This Wednesday saw me heading to Viaduct for my first open match there, I've fished two Carps matches and the 2008 Fisho qualifier there, so my venue knowledge is vitually zero. Although before the Fisho qualifier Kev Perry kindly came along for a day with me and we walked all the lakes whilst he gave me loads of info, before we fished on Cary. I do know that at this time of year, the carp shoal up and you do need to draw on them, so with that in mind, I had two plans, if the draw bag dictated, fish for carp, if not silvers.
The match was split between Campbell and Cary, as sections of both were still frozen, the pegs in were all ice free. Steve Long gave me a nice welcome and a few pointers before the draw. When I opened my draw, No 80 presented its self, next to the spit on Cary, not a peg I've heard throwing up Carp in the recent results that I've seen, but I set up a straight lead anyway. I also set up a waggler, 4lb sensor mainline to 0.13 hooklength and a 20 B911. The main line of attack was going to be for roach and skimmers on the pole and a look down the rushes along the spit in the hope of perch. Two rigs set up, a Malman Winter Wire on 0.13 with a 0.11 hooklength and a 22 808 and a MW Slim Power on 0.15 with a 0.13 hoolength and a 20 B911.
At the all in, I put 6 casters, 6 maggots and a few pinkies in at 14m with a pot and waited for a bite, it took 25 minutes, but it was a decent start, a skimmer just over a lb, so I topped up with the same amount of bait. I had also fed some caster just past the end of the spit and some along the rushes at about 9m.
On my right on peg 78 Nick White started catching small roach, but I couldn't get a bite, I made up some groundbait, a mix of Noire, Gros Gardons and Frenzied Hemp and cupped this in, at 12.30 I had my first roach, a metre past the feed, after losing a couple, I swapped from doubled No5 elastic to No3 and didn't lose too many after that. The fish came steadily, but they wouldn't really get their heads down and it was necessary to take a couple of fish from one line, then switch to another.
With an hour to go, I knew that the hour Nick White caught roach when I couldn't get a bite had me behind, so I gambled on the waggler, fished over the caster I'd fed just past the spit, hoping for a decent perch or two or another decent skimmer. I had one perch (4oz) and a few roach, I lost a decent fish that I suspect was a perch, the hook just pulled out.
I could see Paul Blake on 97 had a couple of carp on the lead, but I hadn't seen anyone else catching silvers, so the lack of a bonus fish had, I was sure cost me the silvers and so it proved at the weigh in. Had I stuck it out for roach in the last hour, I'm still not convinced that I'd have caught enough to make up for my blank hour. The margin rushes along the spit didn't produce a bite, at the end Steve Long told me that the margin doesn't produce much in the winter.
The water temperature was 4°C so its no surprise that it fished hard, although not for the winner......
1) Dan Squire 158.11 peg 112 Campbell
2) Paul Blake 33.11 peg 97 Cary
3) Dave Romaine 15.04 peg 130 Campbell
4) Nick White 6.06 peg 78 Cary
5) Chris Fox 5.04 peg 80 Cary
1) Nick White 6.06
2) Chris Fox 5.04