The fine winter run of getting spanked, which all started since I had the op on my hand(thats my excuse), continues.
Peg 115 for me today, I've not drawn it before, but it does have some form, so I expected a few fish. I did myself no favours by taking worm & caster, corn & meat and maggot. I had some half baked plan where I'd fish for silvers initially and then carp, as other venues I've fished recently haven't been producing carp from the start.
Once I saw John Green on 116, I started to change my mind and confused myself, doing myself no favours with either silvers or carp. I fed a line at 7m with groundbait and caster, one at 14.5m with caster & corn and some corn via the catty at lead/waggler range towards the middle.
I set up a straight lead, 6lb Daiwa TDR to a 0.17 hooklength and a 16PR36 with a quickstop. A waggler with 4lb sensor, a 0.13 hooklength and a 18 6313 and three pole rigs, a Mosella slim float (model unknown) to fish caster on the 7m line, with a 18 6313 on .011, a MW diamond to fish corn, double caster or maggot on the 14mm line, with a 18 808 on 0.13 and a Durafloat to fish meat/corn at either distance on 0.17/0.15 and a 18 Xedion hook.
I started on the waggler with meat, over ½ a dozen grains of corn, that produced nothing for 25 minutes, the 7m line with double caster yielded a fish a chuck, but it was roach of an identical stamp, lucky if they went ¾oz each. Some carp were being caught on the waggler and at least its easy to see when others are catching on meat. So out with the lead and a 6lb fish first put in, then 2 fish lost, one definite foulhooker. A quiet spell and then another 6lb fish followed by an 8lber, the bites followed the same pattern, no indications, then a liner or two, before a rip round. It seemed as if there were just individual fish coming in to the peg and finding the bait.
The middle of the match saw a very quiet spell, I set up a margin rig as 114 was taking fish from his LH margin (the pallet of 113) and Dick Bull on 112 was catching in the margin fishing back towards 113. I may have well as saved the effort, as I didn't have a bite or any indication in either LH or RH margin. There were still carp being caught on the waggler, I didn't manage to get one single bite on it in 6 hours, apart from one foolish cast with double maggot (another pea in the pod ¾oz roach).
In the last hour I had a few more fish on the lead/meat, I'm pretty sure the fish were shoaled up, in certain pegs, but not to the extent that other pegs were virtually barren, I just couldn't work out how to feed/how much to feed. In the last hour and a half, I upped the feed to ½ a dozen or ten cubes of meat every cast/bite and I caught more, but was that just last hour syndrome?
This was my first experince of an open on Viaduct where the pellet is banned (apart from a Carps AC Xmas match where the lake was frozen over at least 1" thick) and I've got a lot to learn about how to fish it during the winter, I reckon its back to the Thursday costcutters for a bit of experimentation and learning curve, at least it cheaper to be pools fodder in these matches.
I managed a lowly 56.03 (not a bad winter weight in my book, but not good on the day). The middle 3-3½ hours were where I fell by the wayside and the answer lies in the feeding (I think!! although I had no liners or indications during this time).
1) Ray Hayward 156.09 peg 126 waggler/meat
2) Roland ? 123.03 peg 123
3) M Wright 111.01 peg 114 waggler/meat, LH margin/meat
4) Trev Huth (??) 94.04 peg 110
5) D Cockayne 93.11 peg 118
6) Dick Bull 73.15 peg 112
1) Steve Hutter 21.03 peg 131 (including 4 perch for 10lb)
2) John Green 16.06 peg 116
3) S Denner(??) 10.10 peg 129