Total Fishing – Day 1

Once more I’m going to start with “it was a funny old day”. Our Great British weather just will not settle down and I think that’s affecting the fishing. Some of our fish at the Glebe still haven’t spawned and we’re half way through June.

This two day match has 48 anglers from the total-fishing.com website competing over two days. The anglers are split 24 on Pool 1 and 24 spread over Pools 4, 5, 6 & 7 so that everybody will have one day on the main lake and one day on the smaller lakes. It’s a good concept but it makes pegging Pool 1 a nightmare because the anglers with an empty peg next to them seem to have a huge advantage. OK that’s got my excuses out of the way, I drew Peg 19 on Pool 1. It’s a decent enough peg, you wouldn’t RUN to it but yeah, it’s ok. It’s in a shallow area of the lake, pegs 19 to 22 are shallow on the nearside and 22 is famous as “the best feeder chuck in Europe” according to Roy Marlow because it’s so flat and shallow on the opposite bank. With my section including peg 22 and with peg 23 being the only empty peg on the high numbered half of the lake I really didn’t need a superstar such as Simon Skelton to be sitting on there….but he was!. Oh well, all you can do is to do your best.

Whilst tackling up it looked promising, there were a few big swirls here and there, and the wind was light but creating a bit of a ripple. Although I’d carried my feeder rods to my peg, it was only to let them see a bit of daylight, I had no intention of actually using them. Today’s plan was easy, corn at top 2 plus 2 put me in about 4ft of water…lovely. On Wednesday evening Roy had caught 60lb of skimmers from peg 16, so I thought that if the carp weren’t playing I’d have a day skimmer fishing. I’ve caught 100 lb of skimmers once on a Glebe match and I’d love to do it again. Fishing top 2 plus 1 and plumbing up halfway between straight out and the bank i.e. at 45 degrees, Id got about two and a half feet of water, again that looked good…I was ready to go.

Rob Hendrick was on peg 18 and he started on the feeder, a standard ploy for many of the Glebe regulars. He had a bite first or second cast and whilst he was playing that fish I hooked my first one. On his next cast I hooked another and then a big skimmer. At this point Rob decided that it was time to go on the pole!. Now don’t get me wrong, Rob is a lovely man and I’m not criticizing him, I just want to make a point here. When you’re fishing a water like the Glebe where there are so many methods that can produce fish you really need to wear blinkers. Yes, take note of what’s going on around you but switching and swapping trying to do what the people around you are doing just isn’t going to work. You need to have confidence that what you’re doing is right…and you should stick to it until YOU want to switch over, don’t be influenced by your neighbours else you’ll go round and round in circles before finally disappearing up your own arsehole.  Whilst I’m on this particular theme here’s another little snippet that you might want to store in your memory bank. A week or two back I had Gordon ‘Corn King’ Parker a couple of pegs away with one angler between us. I’d tried catching on corn and had given up and was fishing down the edge. Gordon had started slowly but was now starting to string a few fish together. Each cast he was feeding a few grains of corn via a little pole pot. The angler between us was lashing in corn like we do in the middle of summer. At the end of the match I’d won the lake, Gordon was second, the angler between us was an also-ran. So yes, do your own thing, don’t change methods just to match the angler next door but do be aware of what’s going on around you. If the best corn angler in the world is feeding 5 grains of corn each cast then there’s a reason for that.

Anyhow, back to the fishing. After that early spurt it all went a bit messy. Next fish was a little brown goldfish, followed by a tiny skimmer. Maybe it was going to be my 100 lb of skimmers day. Maybe it wasn’t!…seven casts, seven tiny perch…bugger, I’d really fancied catching 100 lb of skimmers..oh well. Back to the corn line and first fish was a skimmer. This was bizarre, what were they doing out there. I carried on and caught one or two more smaller skimmers but this was going nowhere either. Since the skimmers that I was catching on the corn line were bigger than the perch and skimmers that I could catch on my skimmer line I decided to try my skimmer rig straight out in front of me.  The top2 + 2 line was too deep for the rig that I wanted to use, and being a lazy bugger, rather than getting a new rig out of the box I took a section off the pole and tried that depth…perfect.

Cracked it!. Feeding slop through the cup and fishing dead reds or 8mm JPz I caught a succession of carp plus the odd skimmer. Weighed in 142 lb, well beaten by Simon Skelton who had around 200 lb but second on the lake. I was well pleased with that performance, ‘Skelly’ had an empty peg to his right and Jamie Adcock who I beat by 2 lb for 2nd in the superpool (Sorry Jamie) had 2 empty pegs to the left of his Peg 11.