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Working Things Out

Tom Scholey considers how confidence can have a big impact on match results.

Is it just me, or do some venues seem much easier to fish than others? Take my old haunt Lakeside Fishery at Ranskill for an example. Although I do have the occasional blow out at the place, more often than not when I fish there I end up in the money. I have only fished two matches on the place over the last couple of years and won them both, and I think if I went this weekend I would stand a very good chance of picking up money. I feel I understand exactly how to fish the venue, and would have a good idea what to do off any peg, in pretty much any conditions.

By contrast I think of other venues- such as Porth Reservoir or Woodland View Fishery, and I am filled with dread. I don't feel I understand how to fish these places, as I have never really caught anything. It all has to come down to confidence.

I was talking about this very subject with Jon Arthur on the way back from a recent feature, and we both agreed that their is often a Eureka moment when trying to work out a venue or even more specifically a method when things just click. Of course, some people work it out quicker than others, which is why some people are naturally better at fishing than others.

I felt I had a bit of a Eureka moment this weekend in the first round of the Thorne Pairs League on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal this weekend. I started the match on bread punch at 16 metres, taking a dozen good roach and a small skimmer on this line while most people who had stuck to a standard bloodworm approach had just caught perch. When my bread line died, I went on my usual bloodworm swims, and to be honest caught a similar weight to what I would normally catch fishing bloodworm. Late on in the session, my bloodworm swims seemed to die, so I re-fed my bread line and caught a few more better fish on the white stuff.

When the scales arrived, I weighed 11-10-8, which I was surprised to find was enough to tie with Barnsley's Dave Brookes jnr for a section win. It was while I was walking my tackle back to the van that it hit me. Every time I have had a respectable weight at Thorne I have caught my usual amount of fish on bloodworm plus a few bonus fish- whether this be in the shape of a good start with chunky perch on a short line, from a few better roach on caster, or as was the case on Sunday from a bread line.

Because Alan Scotthorne, Lee Kerry and Sean Ashby can all catch winning weights by just fishing bloodworm, I had fallen into the trap of trying to make myself fish it to the expense of every other method, in a misguided attempt to try and understand it better.

The more I thought about my new-found theory the more it made sense. Every venue that I seem to do well at is one where I have worked out my own way of catching, rather than trying to copy somebody else’s.

I was pleased to discover that my partner Matt Godfrey had also won his section with 12-6-0, giving us a total of 24-0-8, and a sound start in the league. I just hope that my new found confidence is justified, and we can build on our good result come the second round in a couple of weeks time!

Tom Scholey
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