Winter League Round 4 Practice Ramsey 40 foot, Benwick and Whittlesey Dyke
With sixty six anglers turning up for the practice (Sadly this is a big match these days) my first worry was that the end section at Benwick, which is split by some wires across the Old Nene, would probably not be in next weeks winter league....guess where I drew!! In fact we had 5 Sensas Mark One anglers in this last six peg section!!!!
I wasn't best pleased when I got to the end but one peg, and realised I was between two end pegs and only had 14m either side....anyway I had a bit of a grizzle and then settled in to fish the match. I decided to rake the peg, partly to get a couple of clear patches, but mostly to try and attract some fish as I was convinced I would struggle.
Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised and was able to catch a few roach early, and then also caught some perch on chopped worm. Funnily enough having fed at 5m and then at 10m the long line ended up being the most productive, with the worm line also being at 10m at about 2 o'clock.
I fed 5 big balls of groundbait at 10m, with a very small amount of bait in it. My mix was Canal Black, Supreme and black lake, mixed inert with minimal activity to attract fewer pike.
My perch line was fed with about 100mls of chopped worm at the start, with a toss pot topping up every drop in.
The best way of feeding was loosefeeding squatts on the long pole, with a 0.4g rig and a size 20 Sensas 3530 to 0.07. Best hookbait was a single pinkie.
The area we drew was pretty good compared to the other side of the wires, and thanks to a small tench and 5lb of roach, along with those perch, I was able to weigh 11-4-0 to come fourth overall, just half an ounce off third!!
All the top three came fron the 40 foot, with fifth off the whittlesey dyke with a big 10lb.
A good match all round really!!
Winter League Round 4 Ramsey Drains
So the actuall winter league match found me drawn above the railway bridge , on the disabled pegs on the Whittlesey Dyke. I was peg on ein my section and had teammate Paul Wright above me on the downstream peg of the first section.
I had drawn a good peg and was expecting my only challenge to come from Browning Hotrods Lynsey Naylor who had drawn the first peg below the bridge, although he was actually the second peg down, the first not having been drawn.
My match began by fishing a top 3 plus 1, and feeding some groundbait at the bottom of the far shelf a about 7m. The inside line can often produce a quick 3lb before the fish begin to back off across the drain. On this match my inside line just didn't get going, while Paul Wright above me started catching well almost straight away, he had started down the middle at 5m and my fish were disappearing as soon as I caught a couple, I changed to the whip to see if no pole across the inside settled the fish, but this only produced a couple of fish.
Basically I was already behind and was struggling to get going, so I began loosefeeding squatts across, and began by adding one section and fishing a lighter 4 x 14 rig, immediately I began catching at a much better rate, and at last the peg began to make sense. Gradually though I found myself chasing across and changing to a 4 x 10 MB London Squatt float, shotted with a bulk and three no.12 droppers.
The problem was that my peg was filling up with leaves, held up by the upstream breeze and preventing the lighter rig from being fished properly. This slowed up the catch rate for over an hour, as heavier rigs just did not produce any bites, so I had to just keep trying to get my rig in. It went in right one in three times and the frustration was immense as when it went in right, I knew it would go straight away. The stamp of fish was pretty good up to about 6oz but typically at around 2.5oz's, but I was still struggling due to the leaves.
The peg began to clear near the end and I ended up with 9-4-0 for second, a but disappointed as Lynsey won the section with 10-1-0 on punch below the bridge. Team wise we were involved in a three way tie for second, and ended up third on weight, but now go into the next round second in the league with Hotrods two points ahead, it's really tight, lets hope March fishes ok.