The last round of this International rules league was fished on Saturday at Woodlands View and my Dorking team were winning the league by just one point from one of the Starlets team, so I decided to go and have a practice the Wednesday before.
Des and I went and fished High Pool on the road bank, to cut a long story short we both caught over 40lb each on a variety of baits, bloodworm and joker was good, but so was maggot and pellet, the fishing was excellent and the weather was mild and windy. The previous Sunday, Simon Fry came second in the Open with 27lb+ all caught on bloodworm and joker. Although we both had a great days fishing it left us confused as we caught so many fish we had no idea what the best approach would be in the match, I then spent the rest of the week wondering what would happen on the day, in the end I decided to use my experience of previous CIPS matches on the venue and look at my practice session as very enjoyable, helping my confidence, but of not much use on the day.
On the day of the match I drew Arles 38, not a bad area of the lake, I remember Des winning a CIPS match from this area about 5 years ago, but that was when there was a lot more F1s in the venue. Now F1s were a bonus and roach and skimmers were the main target species and hopefully the carp would leave me alone, at this time of the year the carp tend to hang around any feature or margin islands, as this peg has open water in front of it I wasn,t expecting more than an odd rogue carp to interrupt my day.
My plan was to fish for roach and skimmers and hopefully catch a few bonus fish, either F1s or perch, so I decided to feed some 2mm pellets and maggot at 13m, some joker in double leam at 11.5m and some neat joker at 12.5m off to the right, my last line was some neat joker at 5m.
This pattern of feeding gave me the best chance of bonus F1s at 13m and I wasn,t sure if it was better to feed the joker neat or in double leak, so I fed one of each. The 5m line can be very good for roach late in the match and there is always a chance of a bonus perch on this line.
So when the the 10m pre-baiting period started I fed 150ml of joker on each of my 3 bloodworm lines and a small amount of 2mm pellets and maggots at 13m. The weather had gone cold the night before, the puddles around the fishery were all frozen and a cold NE wind blowing across the fishery made it uncomfortable for anyone with the wind in their face, one bright note was the forecast for the day was to stay dry, so I was expecting a slow start.
I started on my double leam line and straight away I started to catch small roach, as did most people on the lake, after 20 minutes I caught my first hand size skimmer, I didn,t stay on any of my lines for too long as I wanted to get a feel for what was happening in the peg so I kept rotating the swim, I couldn,t get a bite at 5m, but if this line was going to produce it was always going to be late in the day, I could catch small roach and skimmers on both my long bloodworm lines, but the joker fed in double leam was far better than the neat line. Other anglers around me fed their joker neat and never had as many bites as me.
The 13m line with pellets and maggots was really a line to catch a bonus fish and I would not spend very long on it, unless I was getting signs of fish in the peg. By swapping between the 2 joker lines I was able to keep the bites coming from roach and skimmers for most of the day, only topping up one line when fishing the other. Every now and then I would have a quick look with maggot on the hook at 13m and 3 times during the day I caught a bonus F1 which probably averaged 2lb each.
The best bait for the jokers lines was bunches of bloodworm, anything up to 6 on the hook, I even caught small roach on these bunches. I had bites for most of the 4 hours, the only time I couldn,t get a bite was when a big fish entered the peg. I never had a bite at 5m, had it been a bit warmer, I'm sure I would have caught there later in the day.
At the weigh-in I had 16lb 12oz for a comfortable section win and third in the match, the rest of my Dorking team mates had mixed results, we finished 5th on the day, but it was enough to hang on to the lead and win the series. On a personal note it was very rewarding to finish the series as top individual without dropping a point.
This is the first year the Sensas league has been split up into local regions, which has brought some new teams into the Cips matches, and it was great to see the Pride of Derby juniors fishing this year. They are a nice bunch of lads, with dead keen parents, and Tom Potter picked up his section money at Barston.
The team results are based on total section points over all the matches. Next years venues have yet to be decided, but if anyone wants to enter a team or suggest a venue then email email@example.com
I found fishing a 70 peg match on Saturdays in the winter, on good venues with bloodworm and joker was a nice change from carp, carp and more carp. Another interesting thing on the day was that Milo Bordon never used any bloodworm and joker, they just used positive baits like chopped worm and maggot, whilst they never had the consistent results that bloodworm and joker give, they did have an individual result, Mark Eves was fourth with 16lb 4oz.
Final League Positions
1st Daiwa Dorking 37.5
2nd Kamasan Starlets Blue 41
3rd Kamasan Starlets Green 42.5
4th Preston Thatchers A 46
5th Kamasan Super Starlets 52
6th Delcac 53.5
7th Drennan Banbury Gunsmiths 64.5
8th Garbolino RAF 66.5
9th Sensas Mark One 67
10th Milo Bordon 67.5
11th Sensas Cardiff Nomads 70.5
12th Maver Midlands 72.5
13th Preston Thatchers B 81
14th Pride of Derby Juniors 82
After the match I had a quick chat with Mike Mason, the fishery owner, and he really impressed me with his knowledge of fishery management, he has recently installed 'diffusers' into the lakes, these increase the oxygen levels in the water, which in turn helps the natural bacteria break down the fish waste that builds up on the bottom of his heavily stocked fishery. These diffusers aren't cheap to run and Mike keeps them going most of the time, but the benefit to the fishery are huge, with improved catches and fewer fish deaths, most of the fisheries I fish only put the oxygen pumps on when there is a problem.