First 2019 Club Match

Neil ofthe nene

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Decoy, Six Islands was the venue for my first Osprey club match of the year, I drew peg 6. Last May I had 217lb from peg 11 but I didn't expect anything like this as the car was showing -2/3 degrees on the drive there.

13983 Peg 6 on Six Islands (the L shaped lake), Four Islands was behind me.

Here I have to go back roughly 24 hours and say that I listened to a talk by Andy May on how to fish open water swims at this time of year. Needless to say Andy's approach differed somewhat to my own normal way, mostly in the area of feeding. This was at The Big One show at Stoneleigh. I also listened to Steve Ringer talk about feeder fishing using the hybrid feeder. I asked Steve what the difference was between hybrid and Banjo. Two main things it seems, one is that the hybrid has holes thus allowing water to reach all the pellets quickly and that the hybrid was designed to cast better.

Andy recommended starting at 2+2, one of my favourite distances (yes @notneeded it doesn't damage my back ). While I would start potting in loose micros possibly with a few 4 mils and a grain or two of corn Andy is all for throwing in 6mil pellets. He also recommends going to 13m when the 2+2 line dries up. Well that wasn't going to happen! I would be shipping the pole into Four Islands lake behind me and I just plain avoid it if I can. Plus I have found that at Decoy there really is no need to fish that length. So I plumbed up 2+2 and 2+4.

The other consideration is that on many of the Decoy lakes there really is no margin slope. Peg 6 for example, the virtually full depth is found just off the end of your keepnets. It only gets another four inches deeper a little further out. The drop off from the margin 2 ½ foot to the full depth of five is quite severe and I planned to feed this line left and right just in case fish were coming to the bank but not up into the margins themselves. With a margin water temperature of 8.9 and a cold wind I didn't expect to catch in the margin at all.

So to start with four rigs would suffice. Two to fish full depth in front and two for the bottom of the margin drop off. The two rigs each line because I wanted to try both hard pellet and expanders/corn/maggot.

Osprey allow feeding before the start so while setting up I was throwing a few 4 mil pellets (I didn't have 6 mils with me) over the 2+2 line and into the nearer swims to left and right.

To start with I cast out a Guru hybrid feeder with Steve Ringer's wise words from the previous day still in my head. My casting was abysmal and I had absolutely no confidence of catching so after a couple of casts I switched to the pole. Started with 4mil expander, then corn, then 6 mil expander, all the while throwing 4mil pellets over my float at roughly 5 minute intervals as Andy “Oosh” May had recommended. Nothing reacted to this so I switched to hard 6 mil in a band. After a few put ins the float buried and I had my first fish, a carp around 5-6lb. Next put in a similar sized fish obliged. 10-12 pound in the first half hour had me dreaming of a 100lb day (six hour match).

I then had a long spell with no bites. I religiously kept the feed going in as Andy had said but he must use magic pellets. I tried a few casts with the hybrid again and still no bites, those Ringers chocolate orange wafters must have been a faulty batch. Eventually I switched to my favoured pellet feeder, four dead reds on the hook and first cast had a fish around 2lb. Then that was it for another long spell. In these quiet spells I was trying the nearer swims, still feeding with loose 4 mils.

By now I was muttering all sorts of rude things about Andy May. Eventually I had to give in and revert to type and I started a new line at 2+3 feeding a few 4 mils but mainly micros loose in a small pot. First run through with the tow and I foulhooked a fish. This pattern continued on this line for the rest of the day, for every rare fish I hooked in the mouth I foulhooked at least four managing to land three of them.

Interspersed with the pole I was casting the feeder but no more bites came on the pellet version so I switched to a Banjo with corn on the hook. Now here is a fascinating, to me, thing. Why does the type of feeder make a difference? I say this because within four minutes of casting out the Banjo I had a bite. The same thing happened for the next two or three casts, almost bang on four minutes the tip went round. Then that too went quiet.

The rest of the match was spent alternating between the Banjo and the 2+3 line. The feeder fish were averaging around 2lb but gradually I worked my way to an estimated 56lb by the end. The bites on the feeder continued to come in short bursts and always around 4 minutes into the cast.

All match it had looked like Andy, opposite me on peg 13 was keeping ahead of me. I had no real idea how other parts of the lake had fished but on talking to people on the walk back to the car it seemed the whole lake had fished hard. Not surprising really with the overnight temperature and a cold Easterly wind. I was second to weigh in and the scales gave me just over 62lb. A weight I was happy with given the sporadic nature of the fishing. Andy opposite me surprised me with a weight of 59lb, Ray on peg fifteen had 60. Then came two weights of 69 and 70 so I ended up third.

Happy with that result given how my day had gone. Of course had I not listened to Andy May (feed 4/6mil hard pellet) and Steve Ringer (the Hybrid feeder is better than the Banjo because it has holes) I may have done better. But that is the beauty of fishing and as I think Andy said, what works for one angler may not work for another.

Anyway a good start to my club year.
 

Total

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Good result Neil, on what read like a difficult day. (y)

......Maybe Mr Ringer and Mr May need to book a coaching trip with you to enhance their knowledge! ;):giggle:
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Or in your case @Scribe, 12 days.

Weather warming up nicely now we should have a good day. Of course if Messrs May & Ringer want to join us I'll see if the club will allow it. Very strict on allowing guests are Wellingborough.

I am always available though if anyone thinks they may learn something from me.
 

Scribe

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Neil it was the 575 days preceding today, when we originally planned to go to Shearsby I was talking about, not that I have been counting or anything :D:D

Looking forward to it. (y) Will be hard not having any casters or maggots, although if meat is allowed on the lake I plan on bringing something I haven't used since my twenties. :)
 

Total

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.........Looking forward to it. (y) Will be hard not having any casters or maggots, although if meat is allowed on the lake I plan on bringing something I haven't used since my twenties. :)
^^ And the £240 booking fee! ;):D:giggle:
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Neil it was the 575 days preceding today, when we originally planned to go to Shearsby I was talking about, not that I have been counting or anything :D:D

Looking forward to it. (y) Will be hard not having any casters or maggots, although if meat is allowed on the lake I plan on bringing something I haven't used since my twenties. :)
I'd forgotten about that.

Meat is allowed but not groundbait or boilies. Barbless hooks only.
 

Paul22

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Interesting read....... sometimes it’s easy to be influenced by others and easy to sway from your normal approach.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is different approaches and methods are often appropriate for certain waters but don’t work every where.
I know what you mean about the banjo it’s happened to me ! I switched from a small method feeder to a banjo as I wasn’t catching and the guy next to me was catching on a banjo..... I then started to catch using the same bait and casting to the same spot as before 🐟
 

Gutsy

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Or in your case @Scribe, 12 days.

Weather warming up nicely now we should have a good day. Of course if Messrs May & Ringer want to join us I'll see if the club will allow it. Very strict on allowing guests are Wellingborough.

I am always available though if anyone thinks they may learn something from me.
Just a suggestion Neil , why don't you put up a raffle prize of a day's coaching on Brickys charity match there's some top prizes to be won already and I'm sure that would be popular
 

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