Nick Speed's Blog - Workout On Canal Pool
Posted ANGLER BLOGS at Jun 26, 2011
Last weekend saw me fish the Maver Match qualifier at Lindholme Lakes on Saturday, where I managed to sneak out a few big boys in the closing stages of the match to steel 3rd place overall.
On Sunday, I then ventured over to Hallcroft fisheries where I drew on the Canal Pool and experienced a hectic days sport.
Saturday 18th Jun, Oasis, Bonsai ,Lakes
Maver Match Qualifier, 54 Pegs
Without doubt this was a day when my gold finger really needed to do a good job in the draw bag as the venue was fishing a little harder than usual. Drawing the few favoured areas was crucial in order to stand a chance of winning the match and qualifying for the big money final.
With a southerly wind blowing straight down the Bonsai, a draw at the bottom third of the lake would be the most favoured area to produce a few potentially winning weights, or either end peg on oasis would be a good draw also.
In the bag I was happy to pull out Peg 15 on the Bonsai, this put me on the end peg at the bottom of bonsai. With the wind blowing down into this end of the lake I was more than happy with the draw, as I knew I had a good chance of extracting a weight from several areas of my peg.
Although the wind was quite strong, I was still able to fish the pole up to the mud bank in front of me, which was at around 15metres. However my first plan of the match was to fish the method feeder up to the reedy island for the first half hour of the match at least.
By starting here I would be naturally pushing fish from this area over to the mud bank where I could let the fish build their confidence up and then start extracting across in the closing stages of the first hour onwards. Well that was my plan anyway!
My set up comprised of, a method rod, and two pole rigs. For fishing up to the mud bank I set up (Middy Carp Grey 4 x 10 Float, 0.12 Low Viz Line Direct/ 63-13 Size 16 Hook).On this line I was going to feed 6mm Cubed Dynamite Luncheon Meat via a Kinder cup, and fish a single piece on the hook.
My second rig was for the margins in the last two hours or so of the match, where in all honesty I was looking to be catching at least 50% of my total weight. This rig comprised of (Middy Carp Grey 4x12 /0.18 low Viz Line Direct /83-13 Size 14 hook).
I’ve started using this Hook pattern for down the edge, they’re awesome!
On this line I was going to feed my usual groundbait ploy, this mix consisted of Dynamite Baits Swim Stim Betaine Green/Marine Halibut/Marine Halibut Method Mix( Equal quantities of each), and as hook bait I was going to use either Dynamite XL Sweetcorn or Luncheon Meat.
I knew I had a tough challenge ahead of me, as the hot peg at the moment is peg 74, which Craig Elkin won the match with 217lb off this peg just last Thursday, and with the wind in the same direction, this peg was definitely going to produce again.
Peg 74 went to Mark Jones, which now made this peg even harder to beat!
At the start I immediately threw the method up to the reedy island, (my method mix was equal quantities of Dynamite Green Swim Stim/Marine Halibut).
I did expect a response within the first two casts but twenty minutes into the match I was still fishless, Sandra Scotthorne to my right on peg 21, was off to a good start with Three F1’s in the first ten minutes, and looking across I could see Mark Jones already stringing a weight together.
With the first half hour passed, I finally started to pluck the occasional carp on the method feeder, and by the end of the first hour I had managed 7 carp. With the method really slowing down at this point, I felt it was time to swap.
This was the point of the match where I was expecting to ship out and start extracting straight away, but after a bite less first five minutes of trying to hold my float still in blustery conditions, I knew trying to catch on this line was going to be hard work.
This was where I had to make a decision, so I changed my match plan and began feeding both my edge lines nearly two hours into the match. I don’t usually feed down the edge this early on in a match, but this was the only area in my peg where I could at least receive good bait presentation.
So two hours into the match I was feeding and fishing both my edge lines, and although I wasn’t receiving any indications off either lines, I knew this was the only area of my peg that could produce enough weight to possibly make the top 5 Overall (Top 5 from each round qualify for the Maver British pole champs Final).
Looking around the lake I could see few people catching, Mark Jones on 74, and Mark Rodgers on 72, seemed to be the only anglers that were building a sensible weight together.
Throughout the third hour I literally put nothing in my net, and going into the forth hour it still wasn’t looking good, and although I had managed to pluck the odd F1 from either margin swim, I wasn’t catching fast enough.
With the wind now hitting my left hand swim, I couldn’t help but feel that this line was going to start working, so I carried on alternating and feeding both edge swims.
In the last hour I finally began to catch on the left hand line, the odd big F1 with the occasional Skimmer or Tench, was the only species I was catching. With the clock ticking away I desperately needed an arrival of big boys to get me out of jail.
With an half an hour remaining I might have had 45lb in my net, which I knew was just not enough for any respectable placing, but if ever there was a time when the edge lines spring to life, it’s about now.
With now only 20 minutes remaining I was finally greeted by a very welcome 8lb mirror, then next drop in I must have caught his twin brother. In the final 10 minutes of the match I managed to sneak another 3 big boys from down the edge.
This late run of fish boosted my total weight to 89lb, which was enough for Third Overall, and considering the circumstances, I was pleased to sneak in the qualifying places.
Mark Jones won the Match clearly with 157lb and also a ticket for the Big Money Final.
Ben Fisk claimed second spot with 113lb from Bonsai Peg 43.
Sunday 19th June
Moat Pool, Canal pool, 40 pegs.
With a nice sunny day ahead of us, a draw on the moat was my favoured option as I was sure that carp and skimmers would definitely feed shallow and edge.
Luckily I’m one of those anglers that carry everything I might ever need for a match, as when I put my hand in the bag I drew out peg 5 on the Canal Pool.
This canal is of course needs completely different approach, rigs, bait and feeding wise, and having won a few match’s on this canal since its opening 2 years ago, I had a good idea of how I was going to approach this peg.
This 24 peg canal is an average of 13 metres across, with the deepest part of the canal being down the track. Tight up to the far bank on nearly all the pegs is an average depth of 18 inches.
Oh and the most important factor is it’s absolutely solid with fish.
When they named it they should have called it the “GYM” rather than the “CANAL”, when you’ve spent 5 hours on this lake you’ll understand why.
The carp average in size between 12oz -1lb 4oz, with the occasional bigger carp reaching the 2lb mark. Its also full of bream and roach.
For this reason my approach was going to be simple as from start to finish I was going to attack the far bank, as this is always the strongest part of the peg.
For fishing across in 18” of water, I set up 5 identical rigs. This I suppose is where preparation really pays off, as when fishing in situations like this I always like to ensure I spend as much time in the water as possible, and by having this many rigs ensures I can immediately pick another rig up if I suffer a problem.
On the whistle I went straight across with a soaked Dynamite Tiger Nut 4mm Pellet on the hook, and to kick start my swim I just fed a sprinkling of 2mm micros.
One second after lowering my rig in I was into the first carp of the day, and the race was on.
After the first hour I was on 30 fish for around 20lb which was ok, but the cross wind that was gradually building up was becoming a hindrance, and keeping my soft pellet hook bait still was difficult.
Time for a change, so I swapped to Dynamite Luncheon Meat 6mm as hook bait. This made presentation a lot better, as now this heavier bait was creating more stability and so my catch rate started to increase, as this produced more hooked fish and less false indications.
Throughout the whole of the match I caught all my fish across in one area of my peg, and apart from the middle of the match where I suffered a bit of wasted time swapping and adjusting rigs, I ended the match with 180 fish that weighed a Match Winning 118lb.
The only thing is I could have done with a Thai massage after that Gym session!