After a few weeks without fishing a match, I finally booked onto a club match on Toft Lakes' Carp Lake with Spring Street AC. I prepared my gear a few days before and the match day was soon here.
As I got to the fishery late for the draw, luckily someone else had drawn for me, Peg 32. I had no idea about this peg or how to fish it, so I went with an open mind and no plan of attack until I got to it. There was a wind coming across me towards the bank, so I decided to set up a short line at only six sections out. I also set up an edge swim where I would hope to get some bonus bigger fish. I decided to set up a Method feeder as well to start on and to give the fish time to gain confidence over other areas before dropping my rig in.
My bait for the day was: 1pt dead red maggots (sprinkled with GOT Baits Atomic Cloud), 2pts of live red maggots, 4mm hard pellets, 6mm Ringers expander pellets and a bag of ground expander pellets which I would use on the short line and feeder.
As the all in was called I fed a ball of groundbait onto the short line and a pot full of dead red maggots onto the edge line. I then cast out the Method feeder. This rig was 6lb Daiwa Sensor main line, down to a small Guru Method feeder with a 0.19mm hooklength to a size 16 Kamasan B911 hook, which I put three dead red maggots on. Within a few minutes my tip zipped round and I was into my first fish, a nice carp of about 1.5lb – a great start! I cast back into the same spot and another few minutes passed before I hooked into my second fish, another carp of a similar size.
After the first two fish it went dead. Whatever I did I could not get a bite. I looked along the bank and saw a few people catching short but I personally didn't really want to come short so early in the match, as I wanted to build the fish's confidence over the feed. As I couldn't buy a bite on the feeder, though, I had no choice but to come onto the pole.
My short rig was my favourite Mosella J Range yellow elastic, 0.16mm main line, a 0.5g Hillbilly Dweezil handmade float down to a 0.14mm hooklength with a size 18 Fox Series 2 hook, which I would use to hook a 6mm expander pellet. I shipped out to the bottom of the slope at six sections and dropped my hook bait in with an instant bite! My light hollow elastic worked perfectly as I shipped back to the top kit and scooped the fish into the net, which boosted my confidence.
I carried on catching steadily on this line and topped up the feed when it went slow with a smaller ball of groundbait and a few 4mm pellets. I was throwing 4mm pellets over where I was fishing every minute to create noise and draw the fish from other people's pegs into mine. The fish were not big on this line – my biggest would have only been about 4lb – but I was catching steadily and knew I was slowly building a good weight up.
The line went dead again so I fed another ball of groundbait with some loose 4mm pellets and switched to the edge swim while the fish on the short line settled. My edge rig was an Ackoo Edge handmade float, Mosella J Range Green elastic, 0.16mm main line down to a 0.14mm hooklength with a size 14 Kamasan B911 hook, which I would thread four or five maggots onto.
I shipped out and waited for a bite. It was hard to control the float as the tow of the water was coming back towards me so I had to keep pulling the rig back into the feed. I had to wait for my first bite, but it was worth it, as my green elastic poured out of my power kit. I soon got the fish to my top kit where I used my pulla bung to control the fish. Its head soon popped up to reveal a beautiful common carp of about 8lb, a big fish for this new lake!
After this I caught another small carp from the edge line and went back out onto the short line where I started catching regularly again for the majority of the match. I did take a few more on the edge line but I couldn't keep the fish feeding there like they did in the previous weeks.
In the last hour I could not buy a bite from any line! Whatever I did I just could not entice a fish to take my bait , so I had caught for five hours out of six when most other people were still catching! After what seemed the longest hour ever it was time to weigh in. It was obvious that my side of the lake had fished better as the first two weights to come out were 50lb and 75lb. The person to my left had a hard day and only managed about 20lb before it was my turn to weigh in. I pulled out my first net, which weighed in at 34lb, a good start. I just needed over 41lb in my other net to take the lead. I knew it would be close. Transferring my fish to the weigh sling, my second net recorded 54lb, giving me a total weight of 87lb and the lead!
As the scales continued their way around the lake, nobody matched my weight so I had won! A cracking result from a good fishery and I picked up £40 to help pay for my next match. Result!
Connor Beresford is a 16-year-old up and coming match angler from Warwickshire and a regular Pole Fishing reader.