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Breaking Ducks

After eighteen unsuccessful matches on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, Tom Scholey has finally managed to break his duck and win something!

Those who have been reading my past blogs will be aware of how frustrated I was getting with the place, try as I might I just didn’t seem to be able to catch enough to win anything!

A days coaching with my traveling partner Matt Godfrey has certainly helped however, and the 10-2-0 net that I managed to scrape together this weekend was enough to comfortably win the section.

I drew peg 206, which is around halfway along the match length in what has been quite a consistent area this year. My plan was to fish three lines with bloodworm and joker, two on the long pole at 13 metres, and one a bit closer in around six metres from the bank. I also wanted to feed a caster line at my poles full length of 16 metres to see if I could snare any better roach or skimmers, and feed bloodworm close in so I had somewhere to fish while my other lines settled.

Plumbing up revealed that the peg was very uneven though, which meant that the only way that I could find three nice level areas to fish on was to put two lines at 11 metres, and a shorter one at five metres.

I fed all three bloodworm lines with just three balls of groundbait containing a total of 100ml of joker, as I didn’t want to overfeed my peg at the start. After feeding, I began the match by fishing short for perch, and as pleasantly surprised to catch a run of dumpy fish, straight away. When bites dried up here, I went on my long pole line and was pleased to find that a few roach had settled over my bait.

Interestingly, I didn’t seem able to catch any more than three or four fish off a line before bites dried up, which meant that I had to keep moving swims to keep fish coming. I had Ultimate Barnsley ace Brett Clarke on the next peg, and from what I could see he was struggling to catch as well, so I decided to persevere catching small fish on joker and leave my caster line for later on in the day.

As it turned out, I only ended up catching two fish on caster, and my 10-2-0 net was made up of joker fish.

I was over the moon when I found out that I had done enough to win the section, but the icing was well and truly laid on top of the cake when I found out that Matt had won the match, pushing him further in front in the overall league! His 15-12-0 net was even more remarkable when you consider that he had England International Sean Ashby next to him, and the mighty Alan Scotthorne two pegs to his left- and he beat them both my a clear 2lb margin. Lets hope that he can keep up the good work in the last round of the series next week, as we share our winnings, and half of the £850 that he would pick up would be a big help towards the Christmas shopping!

End Peg Escapades

I am getting a bit of a reputation for drawing fliers on the Fossdyke- and I don’t mind one bit! I didn’t have it all my own way in last Saturdays match though, as when I arrived  at my (end) peg, I was surprised to find a sheet of ice covering the water. Luckily, I had packed an ice breaker on the off chance, and after a few minutes smashing, my peg was fishable.

It was noticeable how clear the water was, and with it being frozen as well I expected a tough match.

I opted to fish two lines with raw joker, and a lobworm line up my peg, but little did I know of the trouble that was in store for me! Soon after the match started, the wind got up and started pushing everyones broken ice down into my peg! Having an end peg does have its disadvantages sometimes!

The first half of the match was incredibly frustrating, as I could only get a rig in for a couple of minutes at a time before a sheet of ice would drift into my peg and spoil my fun. Salvation came around halfway through the match when a couple of boats came through however, as they broke up the big block of ice to my left, which meant the shards floating down to me could carry on floating past, instead of stopping when they reached the unsmashed ice to my left and building up in front of me! Paul Ashley on the peg to my left helped me out by pinning a giant sheet of ice before it could get to me as well.

When I could finally get a rig in, I was pleased to find that there were a few fish in front of me, and it was a small roach every put in. Interestingly I could only catch well on a really light, 4x10 rig. Even though the fish were there, and obviously hungry, they were feeding very cautiously in the clear water.

I did manage to persuade some better roach into having a munch in the last half an hour by starting up a bread line to the left of where I had been fishing joker. This is a ploy that has worked well for me on the Fossdyke before, and though I probably only had ten fish on it, I reckon they will have weighed 3lb between them!

At the weigh in, I was shocked to learn that I had done enough to win the Woodcocks section, and was only beaten by two weights from the rest of the match which was on the Odder length. This put me third overall, and meant it was my turn to give Matt a bit of money for a change!

I am really enjoying my fishing at the moment, and can’t wait to get back on the canal next weekend. I just hope that I don’t have to wait another two and a half seasons before I pick another brown envelope up on the Stainy!

Tom Scholey

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