Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Maggotdrowners Fur and Feather Match, Plus Some Small Stream Fishing.

Went down the river for a couple of hours last week. Mainly to test the efectivness of the doubled up elastic for mixed nets. Was hoping to hook a variety of sizes of fish. The swim I had in mind was perfect for the pole with a big swirling eddy on the far side that is always stuffed with fish


I arrived at about 1pm and set up the pole with a doubled up number 5 Preston Slip, attached a 1g carbo float and stuck on a 18 Drennan Barbless Silverfish Maggot hook to a 0.10 trace. shotting was 2 number 8 droppers and a bulk about 18 in from the hook.

It wasn't long before I was catching fish one a bung on white maggot, a mixture of dace, chub, roach, skimmers and a lone trout! I gave up at about 3.15pm and ended up feeding about a pint and a half of bait.

The doubled up elastic run very smooth and I hardly lost a fish all day. It quickly tamed a chub of about 2-3lb too.

I got some guy walking his dog to take a quick picture of the catch!


Maggotdrowners Fur and Feather Match.

Last weekend it was the annual fur and feather march of the Maggotdrowners forum. This year it was going to be held at Wylands on the Old Specimen Lake which was stuffed with roach. Due to the lake being frozen all week leading up to the event it was decided to be moved to House Lake near the café. Here the fishing was more mixed with skimmers, roach and hybreeds.

I woke up the morning of the match to find the weather was apauling! Strong wind and freezing rain greeted me. Knowing this was forcast all day I was travling light and used my small plastic seatbox which was loaded with about 10 pole rigs, some peacock wagglers, 1 reel, discorgers, a few plummits, a hook box and some shot, That was it. In the rod bag went the pole and my Milo New Era Powerlite rod, also a unbrela.

I picked up Matt on the way with his usal mountain of gear who told me he was traveling light! As we drove down the rain was still hammering down and the wind blowing. Things were looking quite grim.

We arrived and the usal suspects were at the tea hut which overlooks the lake, sheltering from the rain, Looking at the way the wind was blowing I was praying for a draw with it behind me. I got lucky and was on the bank near the café with the wind behind me. Matt on the other hand ended up on the other side of the lake with the wind in his face.

I had already decided on the tactics for the day which was going to be the pole around the 7-8 meter mark and the waggler out into open water. I was told the whip close in produced most match wins on the lake but due to the cold clear water I didn’t think you could hold the fish in close for the duration of the match so ruled it out. Bait for the day was simple I had 4 pints of mixed maggots, a pint of casters and a few soft pellets and corn.

Here is a picture of my swim from the Tea hut!


I managed to get the umbrella set up as a wind break behind me without it getting too much on the way and set up two pole rigs both with a doubled number 5 Preston slip elastic. One had a 0.6g Drennan Lake with a Olivet about 18 in from the hook and two number 10 droppers, 0.10 trace with a 18 Drennan Silverfish maggot hook. The other had the same hook and trace but a Carpa Chimp set to fish on the drop in about 4-5 foot of water. The waggler rig was pretty standard with a 3AAA peacock insert, three number 8 shot were spaced down the line about a foot apart starting 6in from the hook. This was plumbed up to fish a couple of inches over depth.

I was the allocated time keeper for the match so blew the whistle to start and kicked off on the waggler with maggot, the plan was to feed the pole line for a good hour before having a look to see what was there. The conditions were appalling! Rain and a strong swirling wind which was making feeding on the waggler a nightmare. Being so changeable it was difficult to be as accurate as I would have liked. Also casting the waggler was the same. Despite this I was soon getting a few bites and feeding a pouch full of maggot every minute of so I started to put a good number of small skimmers and roach in the net, letting the rig settle and twitching it through the feed was working well. For the first hour and a quarter I must have put a good 8lb in the net which considering the conditions I was quite pleased with. The only other person I could see catching a few was Mark a couple of pegs along, not as many but I noticed he was netting a few so can assume they are bigger than mine!

It was time to switch to the pole line that I had been feeding with caster and maggot, and have a look to see if I could catch any quicker. But continue to feed the waggler to keep the fish out there and searching for bait. First put in with double maggot on the Carpa Chimp rig produced an instant bite and a small roach was soon in the net. I had another but it didn’t seem that the rig was working as I would have liked so switched to the Drennan Lake with the Olivet as a bulk. This sat a lot better and again feeding about every 60 seconds I was catching steady and a slightly better stamp of fish including some hard fighting hybrids. I found dragging the rig from side to side through the feed was the best way to induce a bite.

Bites did eventually die on the pole and I felt I should really add a section and chase the fish out but by this time the weather was getting worse, the wind was stronger and the rain slightly heavier! My hands felt so cold I though sod it I really don’t want to hold the pole for any longer so it was out with the waggler again. At least I can keep my hands in front of me and out of the wind. As I had still been feeding it I was into fish straight away although a little smaller I was happy to just keep on putting fish in the net.

I did notice at this time there was a crowd gathering behind me at the tea hut, I was thinking they had gathered to watch my superb display of fishing prowess. But in reality they were sheltering from the freezing cold wind and rain!! Not one of them brought me down a cup of tea either!

I alternated between the pole and waggler for the rest of the match and apart from a bit of a dead spell in the 4th hour managed to keep a steady stream of mostly small fish in the net. I did in the last hour really start lashing the bait in on the waggler and the size of fish did increase and I picked up a few skimmers around the pound mark that were very welcome. I was glad when it was 3pm though and blew the whistle for the end.

My gear was drenched and I was glad I didn’t bring my large Milo box with all the gear and quickly packed up and got the scales for the weigh in.

As it turned out Marks bigger stamp of fish on the pole gave him enough to beat me by over 2 lb and the result is.

1st Mark H(moleman) 32-15

2nd Nick G(nick_gilbert)30-3

3rd Mike J(Omega Mike)19-10

4th Jeff D(Jeff_D) 13-4

5th Al L(Al) 11-10

6th Tony 11-5

7th Trevor L(M T Net) 7-8

8th Bill G(Bill G) 6-6

9th Simon E 4-1

All the rest recored DNW, I don't think there were any blanks they just tipped back.
Thinking about it I should have continued on the pole adding a few sections to chase the fish out which were a bigger stamp than I was getting on the waggler. But I took the lazy option to chuck out the waggler that was already set up.

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