Unexpected Match

Neil ofthe nene

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After a busy week and with The Boss going out for the day Sunday I decided to have a relaxing pleasure session on the Wellingborough club snake lake at Ringstead.

Arriving just before 8 I noticed what looked like a match congregating in the car park, I then realised this was the club's monthly match. It had been planned for the river but switched due to conditions. Knowing most of the lads I was invited to join them and take the place of a late withdrawal. Problem was I had no keepnet (silvers only match). Luckily The Boss' route out took her past the lake and so after a phone call home I was delivered of a net just before the start.

I drew peg 5 and Peter the Treasurer asked me if it was a good peg and what I thought the winning weight would be. He knows I am a regular on the lake and regards me as a venue expert. To me most of the pegs are similar in what they will produce so I don't care what I draw. As to winning weight I estimated 10-15lb.

I had fished peg 15 on the previous Monday so that Peter could get some photos for an article I have written for the club magazine. That day he didn't fish but turned up at 1 to have a chat and get the photos. Then the water temperature was 9.2, today 8.9.

On the Monday I had found that the skimmers seemed to prefer pellet while maggot brought me perch & roach and corn skin tempted two carp. As many of the skimmers in the lake are now 1-2lb and would, I thought, produce the backbone of a winning weight I opted for a pellet approach though I did have maggot, pinkie & corn with me. Feed would be micros (groundbait banned). To me the water was not yet cold enough for maggot to be a winning bait.

Rig choice on a flat calm day was easy in that I used the same on three different topkits to cover different depths at topkit +5, 3 & 2. The depths at +4 were all over the place and I expected to catch mainly at +5 given this was a match. On a pleasure session, as I did on Monday, I would fish at +3 and expect to catch. Bankside match disturbance and keepnets would push the fish further away. The rig was an 0.2g float shotted with a string of No.10s an inch apart starting on the hooklength knot. Line was 0.13 Reflo Power and hooklength 0.10 with an 18 B611.

I started by introducing a small pot of micros (around twice the size of a Fruit Shoot top) at +5 and at + 3 to the left a full 200mil of micros. Seems a lot but it is something that can work on this lake and the fish can settle over the bed of feed later on. Initial hookbait was a 4 mil expander that produced nothing in the first ten minutes. In that time I introduced a further small pot of micros. A switch to 2mil and a patient wait of a few minutes produced my first bite and a nice crucian of just over a pound. Two similar sized skimmers then followed on the next two put ins with 2mil on the hook. A wait of five minutes without another bite and I switched back to the 4mil and had two more sizeable skimmers. This with having fed only the two small pots of micros. With 5Lb in the first half an hour I was flying.

The rest of the match didn't come up to that standard. I managed to take the occasional skimmer and crucian. I played with other lines and baits but it seemed that for me pellet was the only bait that would produce bites and that on the longest line. Gradually though I put together a net of 8 skimmers, 4 crucians and two roach. I also had four carp but these went straight back.

The feeling down the bank was that the lake had fished hard and my net would be competitive. By the time the scales had arrived the top weight was 13lb 14oz. My weight – 13lb 14oz. Tied for first place! That's how it remained. So having set out for a pleasure session I ended up sort of winning, I had top weight anyway.

I have to admit that venue knowledge played a large part in this result. Knowing that the skimmers preferred pellet at the moment and that they were worth targeting paid off.

The silvers net was better than I had achieved on Monday but it wasn't until after I had put them back I thought about a photo for the article. No matter we still got some good pictures and I can't wait to finally see my writing in print.
 

tipitinmick

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So when you got home over joyous with your match win you tipped your winnings up to your misses and said ...... “ Here sweetheart, here’s something towards those shoes and handbag you’ve bought today “. ???
 

Neil ofthe nene

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She actually spent the day working on a patchwork quilt at her sister's craft shop.

The Boss is not a shoe & handbag buying type of person. If anything she is tighter than I am.
 

Total

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Well done Neil, well angled....Nice when a plan comes together.(y)
 

rd350lc

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Well done Neil , you did something a little different than most by basing your main attack on the pellet and not using it as a occasional look line like most .
Not sure I agree with you about where the fancied areas where because I wouldn't have fancied 13 upwards myself other than the end peg , Les won the section by default with a high 3lbs so it fished really hard up there .
Well done and hopefully we'll be on the river soon , fingers crossed
 

Scribe

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Nice one Neil, when the fishing is hard it can be very tempting to switch about with baits & lines a lot in search of fish rather than sticking to what has been known to work recently. Do you think having fished the lake recently gave extra confidence on the day ?
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Absolutely. But catching five decent fish in the first half hour was a tremendous boost. Had that not happened I would probably have panicked.
 
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