I keep promising myself to get to Viaduct and learn a little about the place, today was one of the first opportunities I've had. The match was on Cary, a lake that I've only match fished once before, on peg 80, which in all honesty, wasn't too good. That aside, I need to get my head round these big weight venues and how to approach them.
I decided before I went, that I'd only take 3 baits, pellet, paste and meat. I also decided to try out a different make and pattern of hook, as one I use (PR28) has been discontinued.
Before the draw I saw team mate Dave Wride and we had a chat about the prospects, once I'd drawn, he was trying to convince me that I had a flyer, peg 85, and in all honesty, I didn't envy his draw of peg 80. (The second time he's drawn it in quick succession).
Looking at 85 I could see why it was considered a good draw, plenty of water to attack, probably, for a newcomer, too much!!. I planned to fish the waggler ( pellet shallow and all depths to full depth) towards the spit, pole at 8m with paste and meat down the edge, which looked a certainty to get a few carp.
I set up a 2 swan pellet waggler and a 2g Drake loaded peacock to fish towards the spit, then concentrated on the margin rig and paste rig. The wagglers were on my usual 6lb sensor, with a 0.17 hooklength on the full depth rod, and to my cost, a 0.15 to a 18 PR36 on the shallow waggler.
The pole rigs were 0.19 straight through on the paste rig, finished with a 12 Mustad paste hook and 0.19/0.17 with a 14 B960 for the margin meat rig. As I had time I put a shallow rig onto a topkit, but didn't use it.
At the all in I catapulted a few 8mm's towards the spit and follwed them with the full depth waggler, as it settled, it buried and after a spirited tussle a 10lb+ fish was in the net. Three foul hookers that all came off followed, before the line died. In between tackling up, plumbing and getting ready, a blustery wind - that didn't make an appearance until I'd already got float sizes, distances etc sorted - was coming from right to left, causing a rapid surface skim. It was impossible to get the presentation right on the shallow waggler, I'm sure the Viaduct fish are far too educated to take a pellet trotting through the peg at 12" deep!!
The margin was a waste of time, the meat being either nicked off the hook, or one of those 'vermin skimmers' being landed. It stayed that way until the end.
The paste line was slightly more productive, resulting in two fish and five or six lost, only 2 could I be sure were mouth hooked, why they came off I don't know.
My other dabbles on the pellet waggler when the wind dropped, produced another fish and another lost 7, 3 of which were lost under the rod tip and definitely mouth hooked. One snapped the 0.15 hooklength, on its initial run, like it was cotton.... Quite why these fish came off, I don't know, I had been trying B960's, the waggler fish were all lost using these, the paste fish came off of a pattern I've been happy with for a couple of seasons. Perhaps it's more to do with the fish and their size, rather than hooks.
Listening to the bankside chatter, I had been convinced that I was way behind, so decided to sit out on the paste and see if I could develop the line, had I known I was only three fish away from winning, I would have persisited with the waggler, waiting for the very infrequent times that the wind made presentation acceptatble.
My four carp went 42.11 and the skimmers/bream that snaffled paste or margin meat went 7.08, for a lowly 50.03. Match winner Jim Baines had 88.14 of carp from peg 90, casting into the corner (where the wind was blowing).
1) Jim Baines 88.14 peg 90
2) Anton Burns 80.09 peg 99
3) Phil Harding 68.14 peg 96
4) Gary Wall 65.04 peg 102
5) Colin Dyer 57.12 peg 78