In session March 2015 pt 3

Fri 27 March 15


Anglers name
Dale Calvert

Middy & Bag ‘em Matchabaits

Peg 22, Rivington View, Wrightington Fisheries



Using my XZ65 at 8 sections, 6-10 hollow, Middy Carp Grey Series 3 4×16, 0.14mm mainline and a 0.10mm 6” hooklength. My favourite hook pattern being a lovely fine wire, Middy 63-13 size 16


All Bag ‘em Matchbaits 4mm Super Natural Pellets soaked and 2mm micros

The Session

Very sunny. I had actually got sunburnt on the left side of my face. Hard to imagine it was only 4 degrees. No wind. Absolutely none. Well, on the other side of the lake it was fairly blustery and I could see two anglers sitting on their hands. This was the last but one practice session before I do matches again so it was time to get into gear and sort things out. 6 months is a lot of time away from the bank and I need to start doing things naturally again and each session improves me

Peg 22 is in the middle of the island. It’s quite far off too. 19m or more need to fish pole to the island and each peg on this side has a steep slope behind making shipping long poles difficult. Shipping back and breaking down twice is the norm when fishing long on those pegs so I decided to fish 8 sections making it easy for me

Fairly deep at this length. Rigs have to be full length of top kits at just over 7 feet deep. This depth is pretty even too so three lines with the same rig is easily found. Saying that though I don’t normally fish in the deck for long on this venue and fish can normally be found more than a foot off the bottom and shallower if you try. One rig and one back up rig clipped up and put to one side is all you need for a good days sport here, if the fish are feeding of course.

Two different tree stumps on the island are used for markers and the butt section of the number 8 right under my elbow. Pot on the pole tip and dropped in a very small pinch of micros. If the fish are there they won’t be wanting much on offer as it’s still cold with a frost overnight. The rig had settled and just sat there. I lifted and dropped several times. Nothing. Shipped back in and sprinkled in a few more micros. Hardly any really. 8 or 10 I imagine. Back out and tipped them in then it was the normal process. Waiting a few seconds, lifting the rig and then tried to have the hook bait follow the loose feed through the water column. 2 years ago I did a feature on exactly this method with Matt Godfrey from Pole Fishing Magazine and caught over 120lbs when it was 4 degrees. I mean then we didn’t have several nights of frost proceeding to the feature like this one, but two pegs down and same bait and feeding I’m hoping for something today. Not 120lbs but some good fish anyway

Fishing doubled 4mm soaked pellet was in the cards and a Middy 63-13 size 16 is perfect for this whilst feeding micros sparingly. After a few drop ins and nothing on the deck it’s time to start changing depth. As I’d started fishing 2 inches over I adjust the float to be 2 inches off the bottom. 20 mins and a few more micros and no indications. Over the course of the next hour I adjusted the depth to nearly 2 feet off the bottom and that’s when I had my first taker. A skimmer. Nice one too at over 1lbs. This was followed by several more and then a quiet spell. Feeding more micros and having the hook bait fall roughly at the same speed connected me with a carp. Bingo. The absence of skimmers meant carp moved in. How many is the million dollar question. I’ve had over 50 carp on a session here last year on this peg and it played the same tune then in terms of depth and having skimmers being caught first. 6 more carp and then dead. Completely dead. Gutted is the word. Scratching my head and opting to change depth again and then a barbel off the bottom was landed. Then another 8 more good size barbel. These fish really have grown from their initial 2 inches when first introduced. Have these bullied out the carp? Must say it seemed like it. Then the barbel stopped. These things have all but disappeared

The next hour was spent searching between the two lines and at different depths with nothing. Agonising when this happens. Then back on the deck again to see if any fish have moved back in and have been feeding on the micros that have settled. The answer was yes. Skimmers there again and in larger numbers but no carp or hard fighting barbel. Lovely they are to catch and to land yes. Weight builders, yup that too. So welcomed all the same

Not quite 120lbs. Well, no where near, but worth trying the Layer Method

My tip. When trying to catch fish through the water it’s important to slow the bait down on its descent. Have a couple options open like a line on the deck to fall back on. Try fishing double 4mm pellet. A bigger hook bait seems to bring bites


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