Angling Trust Winter League Semi, Gold Valley

Wednesday, was my last practice match before the event, we had a few things sorted on the pole and didn't want to let anyone see, so nobody in the team set a pole up for this match. Its called a practice match but everyone was just trying to win it individually. I drew 105 on Syndicate, caught a few carp and a few bream, never won a penny and felt that it not the best of practice, but never mind its what happens saturday that counts.

Everyone in the team was hoping that the wind direction would change from the the northerlies and the water would warm up, as normally happens at the start of March, and the fish would spread out more and the fishing would improve, as saturdays match was going to be very patchy if things didn't change.

Unfortunately, the northerlies never changed and we all knew this match was going to be hard for a lot of people. When we got the team draw, we all ran through our pegs with the rest of the team and discussed our options for each angler, I drew the point peg on Bungalow, this can be a very good silverfish peg but knew deep down that carp would win this lake as it has 5 corner pegs, and the carp love corners on this lake, I knew it would be very hard to win my section.

The team plan was to fish for carp on every peg, on a method or straight lead, with a back up plan of an open end feeder for bream and skimmers. The final approach was to feed a pole line with bloodworm and joker and hopefully catch some skimmers and bream late in the day, recently the pole has been been good in the last hour and a half, especially as the match have been switched from a 3pm finish to a 4pm finish.

At the start of the match I fed my pole line first and then started on the straight led with a pellet cone, from my peg I could see everyone in the section, while I sat there with nothing happening I could see the 2 corner pegs opposite me start to catch. One of these anglers caught 5 carp in the first 40 minutes, while my tip never moved, I knew from then it was going to be very hard to catch up.

Eventually I had my first pull around, followed by another shortly afterwards, but it was slow going and I was never able to catch up the 2 anglers who were ahead of me. I was fishing a pellet cone with 4mm dampened pellets in it and double corn on the hook. After 4 hours I had caught 7 carp and 2 bream, this was enough to catch up one of the 2 anglers but not the other.

In the last hour I caught 5 more bream on the pole with bunches of 5 bloodworm and a maggot to finish my match with 7 carp and 7 bream for a total weight of 27kg. One of the corner anglers caught 6 carp for 30kg and the other won the match with 57kg, well done to both of them, so I finished third in my section.

One very interesting point on the day was that our anglers who had the cold Northerly wind in there face struggled to catch on the pole, but everyone who had the wind off their back were able to catch late on it.

The team had a comfortable win on the day, everybody was first or second in their section except me and one other. Now we have got the tidal Trent to look forward too, I have been hearing mixed results about the venue and not sure if I am looking forward to it or not.