My first time on the Main Lake at Shiplate Farm, the other visits I have made to this venue have been enjoyable and I have picked up something everytime. I didn’t think that was likely to continue today, as it started off pretty disastrously, realising that I’d left my groundbait bowl and riddle on the garage floor, this being compounded by then realising, once I got to my peg that I had left my feeders and floats at home. That’s what you get for working until 10pm for a few nights before the match, no proper preparation.
I drew peg 13, pretty meaningless to me, but at least I had the wind off my back. From the little info I had managed to find out about the lake, meant I had a simple bait tray, caster, maggot, dead maggot and pinkie. My groundbait mixed up in a spare 3 pint bait box completed the bait selection, although I did wonder if soft pellet or corn might work as the water didn’t feel too cold.
Keeping the simple theme, two rods and one topkit were all I set up, it was as I started threading the line through the rings of the tip rod that I realised the feeders and wagglers weren’t in the box ( I took them out for the last match, trying to reduce the amount I carry). Thanks to Fabio, I managed to finish setting up the feeder rod, as he leant me two feeders. The waggler rod was already set up, but with a middy plastic straight waggler, that I wouldn’t normally choose to use with maggot or caster, preferring an insert. Still beggars can’t be choosers, so I took off the banded B960 and replaced it with a 0.12 and a 18 carp match hook. The top kit had a 0.5g float on 0.14, with a 0.10 hooklength with a 18 Drennan silverfish hook.
On the all in I cupped in a couple of tangerine sized balls of groundbait at 11.5m and left it to settle, picking up the feeder and fishing that at about 30 yards, the response on the feeder was instant, with 3 fish in the first three chucks, small skimmers, then the bites got finicky and with each cast I had to wait longer for a bite. This set the pattern for the day, on the pole and feeder lines, the waggler produced one skimmer, although I did have a few crushed maggots that didn’t show up as a bite. When the feeder line went quiet, I unclipped and had a look further out, but this just resulted in the odd liner, so I shortened back up to the original line.
With about 2 hours to go, I felt that I was struggling and had switched from feeding groundbait on the pole line to loose fed caster, dropping double pinkie in amongst the caster saw the float bury and a decent bream netted after a nerve wracking few minutes. A few skimmers and roach followed on caster or pinkie before the line died. Reverting to the feeder I managed three more skimmers in the last 3 casts before the all out.
I think with the head of bream and skimmers in the lake it would be interesting to fish bloodworm and joker at this time of year, maybe that would be the answer to stop them backing off so soon after a couple of their mates have been caught.
My fish went 12.04 for 5th overall and 3rd in the silvers, but thanks to the default rule, I pocketed the 1st silver payout. Just as well as I lost one of Fabios’s feeders and the other split and had to be held together with insulation tape, they suddenly became top of the range, once I’d asked Tony to replace them and bill me!!
1. Clint Wojtyle 25-10-0 peg 1
2. Matt Tomes 23-12-0 peg 14A
3. Tony Rixon 18-12-0 peg 15
4. Mike Nicholls 15-07-0 peg 14
5. Chris Fox 12-04-0 peg 13
6. Nick Collier 10-02-0 peg 12
1. Tony Rixon 18-12-0 peg 15
2. Matt Tomes 16-05-0 peg 14A
3. Chris Fox 12-04-0 peg13