I was off the fish the first of the evening series of matches’ run by my local club Maidstone Victory. I was hoping to draw on the island side of the lake; the plan being to lob out a method feeder for bream then feed a few mixers to see if the carp will feed on the surface. The other option here is the fish the pole for a mixed net and this has won me quite a few matches in the past but was felling lazy and I had the carp and feeder rod set up already.
At the draw I pulled out a peg at the far side of the lake with the wind off my back, not where I wanted to be really as I have never known a match to be won from that area. So I walked past the nice coloured water on the windward side of the lake to the crystal clear calm water on the other side! On the plus side I had some deep water close in so it may be possible to draw a few bream in by lying down a bit of ground bait.
I got to the swim to find I had one of the club members John O on the next swim. Unfortunately for me he knows the water well and will be fishing in a similar manner with a feeder so we may end up sharing what few fish that are in front of us.
As bait I had with me some ground pellet type method ground bait, with maggot, corn and soft pellet to use on the hook. Also a bag of mixers for the carp.
The rig was simple too with a small Korum free running method feeder, attached to this was a size 14 Drennen eyed carp hook and 0.16 trace. This may seem heavy but I have found when fishing the method for bream you don’t need to go fine and can get away with relatively crude tackle.
At the off I baited the hook with a double 6mm expander and buried it in the method ball. This was swung out about 16-18 meters. The water here is a good 13-14 foot deep as it shelves down from the bank. This is the distance I have caught here before and the bream patrol, the mistake a lot make here is overcastting the fish. John on the next peg was casting out to 30 meters and fishing the open end feeder so we will see what tactic is best today.
Instead of dumping a lot of feed out at the start i like to build the swim by casting the feeder every 2-4 minute until the fish turn up, it is a tactic that worked well last year. 45 minutes and about 15 casts later I was just thinking I was going to blank and the tip of the rod sprung about line bite fashion. Sitting on my hands I waited and 30 seconds later the rod was pulled over and I was into the first bream. I had changed hookbait by this point to 5 maggots. This was landed and looked about 2.5lb. Unfortunately the action was short lived and for the next half an hour I was bite less. I kept on casting every 5 minutes though to keep some feed going in for when(or if) the fish did arrive. All the while I was also pinging out a few mixers but it was pretty dead carp wise with none showing.
With a hour and ten minutes left of the two and a half hour match the tip again jumped about with a line bite then as before 30 seconds later bent over and bream number two was in the net at about 3lb. Straight back out with the feeder and the tip went over again with bream number 3, things were looking up. At this point John who was blanking so far decided on some drastic shit or bust tactics and balled in ground bait out the same distance I was fishing! I’m not sure if this killed it or not but I sat there for the remaining hour of the match bite less, It may have just been a coincidence though.
So that was the end of a slow evenings fishing with 3 bites and 3 bream. The scales eventually came round and it had fished quite poor but as predicted the windward side had produced the top 3 money spots so far and were 13lb, 10lb and 9lb odd. Unfortunately my 3 bream went 8lb odd (can’t remember the exact amount) so I missed out and ended up 4th, although mine was the best weight from the side of the lake I was on.
So that was the first round of 6 out of the way and the next will be down the river Medway at Barming Bridge. Bream might dominate the frame weights of the next round but I will be fishing for roach on the pole hoping they don’t feed.