Friday, 11 September 2015

Weston Pools - Stretton

Pemberton Central Match
Weston Pools - Stretton
Saturday 5th September 2015

Back on Pem Central match duty last weekend and it was time for our much anticipated return visit to Weston Pools, this time to fish Stretton.

I had been looking forward to this match for some time and given the fact that we had 17 people in our draw queue suggests I wasn't the only one.  In the days (and weeks if I am honest) leading up to this match, I had been keeping an eye on the match results posted to the fishery website and also gaining information from whatever source I can ( shout out to Gary Matthews (Matthews580) for his in depth report - check it out here).
Armed with a wealth of information, one thing was certain - I was confused. I had been told pretty much every common commercial approach to catch the fish but with a 5 pint bait limit at the fishery, I had to make a choice and go with it. In the end I decided to go with just 2 bait options: I took 3 pints of maggots and just under 2 pints of 4mm pellets, leaving me enough on my quota for a few 6mms to use as banded hookbaits.

The fishery staff were very helpful on the day and pegged the match out for us. I was one of the last to draw as usual and was very happy to draw peg 14. I had noticed this peg appear in the results a few times recently and I had also heard that it had won the match the day before.  On arrival at the peg, I was immediately thinking margins; the peg was book-ended by overhanging willow trees on either side, creating 2 nice margin swims that looked like they would be very productive. The willows also made the peg very private as I couldn't see the pegs either side of me so I could get my head down and just fish the match without wondering what was going on around me. So, my approach was simple, I would fish 2 lines in the margins - one on each side and then have a couple of lines out in the open water. My first line here was at about 7 - 8 metres where I would predominantly try to fish up in the water, loose feeding maggots and using the same on the hook. I also set up a line just beyond the end of my keep nets as I had heard this can produce quick fish at the start of the match - on this line I would fish pellets. On the margin lines I was surprised by the depth I found with roughly 4.5 ft to my left and about 4ft to my right - I would loose feed these lines with maggots.

Setting up proved to be a simple affair today, so with time to spare (very unlike me) I had a stroll around the lake to see how everyone was getting on and making sure everyone would be ready for the all in. The attitude around the lake was very positive and most were praising the lake, the only negative point raised was visitor Thomo on peg 2, with an aerator on in peg 1, he was effectively fishing the river Trent which would inevitably make the day difficult for him.

I called the all in at 10:30 and rather than feeding any lines I went straight in on the keepnet line with a 6mm banded pellet. I then fed all lines by hand, with a pinch of pellets going in on the keepnet line, a handful of maggots on each margin line and a catty pouch full of maggots out to the 8 m line. Almost instantly I was into a fish and after a short fight I had a nice carp of around 2lb in the net whilst most people were still feeding. I went straight back in on this line and added a few more carp before the size of fish changed and I was catching small palm sized crucian carp.  With this change, I decided that I had plundered this line for all it was worth at the moment so I decided to put a big cup of pellets on that line and leave it for later in match.  It was time to try the 8 metre line.  My rig on this line was long one initially, the intent being that it would allow me to search the depths for the feeding fish, so out I went.  I had heard that the 'shallow' line on this lake can be quite deep, so I started my line at around 2ft deep and worked from there, after a while of flicking my rig around and loose feeding small numbers of maggots without any signs, I altered the depth and went about another foot deeper and started to get bites however they were proving to be very difficult to hit and becoming very frustrating.  After seeing a few F1s breaking the surface, I decided to come really shallow to around 8 inches and flick my rig around on a long line - this worked for a single F1 but no other fish were obliging.  After a while, I had decided that this line just wasn't quite right and called time on its use in this match.  Before considering any new lines to try, I decided to have an early look in the margins.
Starting on the margin to my left, using a double maggot hookbait, I was instantly into a good run of carp between 2 and 3 pound in weight.  I was catching about half a meter from the bank, any closer and the bites turned to liners.  After a good run, the bites slowed down so switched to my right side to give the left a rest.  Again I was into fish straight away, but the time between bites was longer and the fish were noticeably smaller and included the odd barbel which, despite being a pleasure to catch, fight quite well but don't provide much weight for the effort to get them in; so after a short spell on this line I went back to the left margin in search of the larger fish.  The down side was the fish weren't there in the numbers they had been previously and this started a long worrying spell in the match where I struggled for bites anywhere I looked.  I think for around 2 hours I managed to only add 4 or 5 small carp to my total and I felt that following a really good start, the match was beginning to slip away from me.  In an attempt to make something happen, I switched from feeding maggots on my left margin to feeding pellets and swapped the hookbaits to a 6mm banded pellet and this seemed to really do the trick as I managed to put a good last 90 minutes in catching carp every chuck. As I called the all out I knew this match was going to be a close match, as both Alex and Angy on the opposite side had caught reasonably well all day and Wayne on peg 17 had a good last couple of hours - and that was just what I could see. The weigh in started on peg 2 and whilst everyone was weighing fish, the average was probably lower than expected until Lee Roper on peg 8 put 61lb on the scales to take the lead. By the time the scales had got to my peg Lee was still winning. My nets went to 63lb to take the lead, but it was going to be tense for the rest of the weigh in. Ste Green on peg 15 had been a silent assassin during the match, despite being on the next peg, I couldn't see him so was unaware of how well he had caught - it was a close call as his nets went to 61lb 6oz to take second place. Wayne put a respectable 55lb-odd on the scales from what was reported to be a poor area. Angy and Alex were the last 2 to weigh in and as both their weights fell just short of 60lb it was confirmed that I had managed to sneak out a second win of the year.

I said it last time I reported on Weston Pools and I will say it again now - this is an extremely well run fishery and should be a 'must have' fixture on any clubs list.

We have a few matches in close succession now so I'm going to leave the results until all the matches are done and leave a final report up in October. Old Hough for me next on the 12th September, let's see if I can keep my form up.

1 comment:

  1. Well done on the match win and your right about Weston one of the best venues I have ever fished