Kev Sims runs an excellent series of Saturday matches between June & mid-September. There’s some good anglers taking part but we have a bit of fun as well. This year the league has 21 anglers and with the likes of Andy Kinder and Jamie Jones joining in the fun it’s not going to be easy to pick up much prize money.
There are seven matches in the series and all results count towards the final league result so you really don’t want to start with a huge blowout. I drew Peg 97…yes it’s an end peg…but the worst end peg on the fishery and one of the worst pegs on Pool 6…Aarrgh !. Talking to Roy Marlow before the match. he said that unless the wind was blowing down to my end of the lake (it wasn’t) I would probably struggle against the lower numbers. He said it was a good area for skimmers and since they’d been packing on weight (they average 2 – 3 lb in that lake), I thought that might be a plan.
I had plumbed up on my normal 5m line and also plumbed up further round to my right and even closer (top 2 + one section). On the whistle I put some hemp and corn on the 5m line and a pot of groundbait on my very short line.
Just a quick word on groundbait. My normal Glebe mix is a 50/50 mix of groundbait and micro pellets. I mix the two together dry, then add enough water to make a really sloppy mixture and just leave it. Gradually, the pellets will soak up the water and you end up with a bowl of what looks like solid groundbait. However, run your finger through it and the micros will break it up into a light, fluffy mix ideal for feeding into the margins with a pole cup. Add a few dead reds and stick a few maggots or an 8mm JPz on the hook and you’re spot on. However, during the winter Roy (who owns the Glebe) was working at his part-time job as Technical Director of Marukyu, the Japanese bait giants. He had been collaborating with Trevor Price of GOT Baits and Alders Farm fame and between them they’d come up with a new range of baits and flavour sprays labelled Amino Plus. One or two of the sprays (Umami and The One) are incredibly smelly and ‘linger’ for a long while once you’ve stopped fishing, so be warned !. Anyhow, Roy had discovered that if it seemed to be the kind of day when groundbait would be a complete no-no, if you mixed a very small amount amount of groundbait such as the new Focus Margin Mix with a LOT of water and added a tiny splash of one of the new flavours you’d end up with a smelly soup that seemed to attract the fish without actually feeding them. We’ve been doing this for the last couple of weeks whilst the fish haven’t been feeding too well (cold nights, easterly winds etc) and it’s definitely producing results.
I’d been given a couple of sample bags of the new margin mix but they were now gone, so for the time being I was back to my old mix of 50/50 micros plus whatever else was laying around in the garage. I added a splash of Scopex flavoured Amino Plus liquid and kept adding water, waiting a few minutes, adding more … and more . ..and more until I ended up with two bowls of bait the texture of emulsion paint. You can’t throw it anywhere but cup it in via a pole pot and it makes an amazing cloud containing very little food but presumably lots of flavour because it seems to attract fish!.
OK. back to Saturday’s match. I caught a couple of carp on the corn line but it wasn’t happening. Took a skimmer rig out of my box (a size 16 hook tied to 0.14 line rather than my normal size 14 to 0.20) and started skimmer fishing. Putting 3 dead reds on the hook and a helping of liquid groundbait in my pole cup (made from a yoghurt pot) , the bait was lowered down in the cloud of groundbait and a couple of seconds later the float buried and a 3 lb skimmer was in the net. Happily, this situation continued for the next three hours, as did the incessant rain. Eventually the rain petered out and I started to be ‘pestered’ by carp on my skimmer line. I caught a few on the skimmer rig, then one swam off with my rig, complete with Wilkie float, so it was time to put the heavy gear back on. Continued fishing exactly the same way, using a top 3 with liquid GB and switching around hookbaits between dead reds, JPz or corn. Still caught the occasional skimmer but now it was mostly carp.
As the whistle sounded for the end of the match I was pretty pleased with the way things had gone, it’s always good when a plan comes together!. I was still expecting to be last or second to last on the lake but I’d had an enjoyable day in thoroughly miserable weather conditions. The scales started weighing at the far end of the lake and Kev Sims weighed an excellent 198 lbs from Peg 87. The middle of the lake had fished well the previous week or so and today was no different, Nigel Bond claimed second on the lake with 152 lb. With the other weights on the lake being around or over the 100 lb mark I wasn’t at all confident that I was going to beat any of my fellow competitors, so it was a really pleasant surprise when I eventually weighed in 90 lb of carp plus 50 lb of skimmers for a total of 144 lb and third on the lake. It could have been a lot worse!.