Nick Speed's Blog - In The Bag
Posted ANGLER BLOGS at Mar 21, 2011
After spending a couple of days last week preparing tackle at home for the Dynamite Festival at White Acres I was ready to get out on the bankside, so on Friday I ventured to Hallcroft on the Bridge Pool and experienced a cracking day on the skimmers. On Saturday I then gave my trainers an exercise by doing some bank running for the Barnsley Blacks who were battling it out up at Woodland Lakes for a place in the Angling Times Team Champs Final.
On Sunday I paid Lindholme Lakes a visit and enjoyed an elastic stretching day on the Oasis Lake.
Sunday 13th March
Oasis & Bonsai Lakes - 48 Pegs
Target Species: A draw on the Oasis was definitely my intentions as this lake hasn’t been fished for a while so I was sure the top weights would come from here. With all the species beginning to feed confidently this was going to be an interesting match.
Thankfully I pulled out peg 43 on the Oasis. This is a good area of the canal as it holds plenty of natural cover for the fish.
With little wind and a warm sunny day I was sure it would be an all-out attack across into the shallow water, so my set up consisted of three Rigs all for fishing tight across up to the far bank vegetation in around 18ins of water (4x10 Middy Carp Grey Float / 0.12mm Middy Low-Viz Mainline / 0.10mm Low-Viz Hooklength/ Middy 63-13 size 18 hook).
All three rigs comprised of the same float but set at slightly different depths for three marked areas of my peg across.
At the start I immediately filled my Toss Pot up with micros and went straight across to the overhanging willow tree straight in front. It wasn’t long before I was welcomed with a rather large F1 of around 5lb! Shortly afterwards, I was again landing another large F1. Within the first hour I had 5 F1’s that were touching the 20lb barrier in total!
This turned out to be quite a simple match as I caught consistently throughout the match up to the willow tree. Although I had marked two other areas of my peg to fish, I concentrated all my attention to the main area of my peg that holds plenty of cover for the fish to feel confident in feeding in the shallow water across.
Throughout the day I caught F1’s and small barbel by feeding 2mm pellets via a kinder cup and fishing a 4mm Expander on the hook, I caught several fish on a piece of meat but the pellet received bites far quicker.
It’s always important to keep focused right up to the last second of the match and this occasion proved no exception as I lifted into a big F1 in the closing seconds before the all out. Happily, I landed the F1 of around 4lb shortly after the whistle.
This last fish proved vital as I weighed in a Match Winning 70lb 4oz. In form Ben Fisk was second with a close 67lb 10oz from peg 11 on the Oasis and Tom Pickering took the best weight from the Bonsai with an all Method catch of 67lb for third overall.
Saturday 12th March
Angling Times Semi Final.
Woodlands Lakes, Thirsk - 10 teams.
It was a pleasure to take a break and give my bankside support to the Barnsley Blacks in this prestigious Semi Final.
The high pressure caused the complex to fish harder than expected, which made certain lakes like Skylark and Partridge fish really hard.
Barnsley suffered three bad draws on the Partridge Lake which, as the day progressed, looked like they could cost us winning the semi-final, or even qualifying!
Thankfully our strength shone through as a team and we managed to score enough points to secure second place and more importantly, a pass for the Final. Well Done Lads!
Dynamite Trentmen took top spot with 37pts, Barnsley 44pts, Sensas Rod and Reel 47 pts.
Friday 11th March
Bridge pool - 15 Pegs.
Target Species: With the end peg fliers on the carp pegs left out, this was going to be an interesting match as skimmers were now the main species to aim for with hopefully the odd carp mixed in to top the final weight up.
With skimmers the main target I was happy to pull out peg 12 on the Bridge Island. This puts me in a good area on the island where skimmers are caught consistently throughout the year, especially now as good weights from the shelf line are possible.
With this in mind my approach was an all-out short day so I set up my usual rig for this line (4x14 Middy Carp Grey Float / 0.12mm Low-Viz straight through to Middy 63-13 size 16 hook.
On the whistle I fed forty 4mm pellets on this line and immediately went straight over the top with a 4mm expander on the hook.
This is definitely a perseverance method as going into the third hour of the match I had only one skimmer. But, like with most situations in fishing, it just takes the flick of a switch to turn everything around.
With only two hours remaining I had only two skimmers in the net, yet by the end of the fourth hour I had around 40lb of skimmers and a couple of carp that might touch the 10lb barrier combined!
In the final hour I managed a few more skimmers plus one more carp. All fish fell to 4mm pellet on the hook.
On the whistle I put 55lb of skimmers on the scales, topped up with three carp that weighed 18lb for a total of 73lb for second overall and, might I add, an awesome days fishing.
Steve Clark won the match with 97lb made up of mainly carp with around 20lb skimmers.