Last Sunday, I fished round five of the Thorne Teams Of Three Winter League, run by Lee Kerry, Tom Scholey and Matt Godfrey. The match was from Wykewell bridge right up to the famous 'flats' section, with 70 odd anglers fishing.
I drew peg 210 and having fished in this area on the first match I knew there were a better stamp off roach to be caught. My main plan was to fish at the bottom of the near shelf at about 8 meters with two lines at a 45 degree angle either side of me.
Here, I was going to feed joker in a mix comprising of 60% soil and 40% groundbait, I also planned to have a line at 16m with a view to fishng hemp. I also had a little rig set up for the side of my net to catch a few perch at the start.
At the start of the match I loose fed some joker at both sides of my net, and cupped in five balls of soil and ground bait on each of my short lines. I then cupped some hemp in at 16 meters.
My first move was to pick up the rig for next to my net, where I caught a few early perch… that was until I hooked the bottom of my net and snapped the hooklength! Gutted!
With a few fish already in the net I decided to abandon this line and go on my longer bloodworm line.
First drop in resulted in a nice roach about 7oz, I caught a few fish here but it just did not seem right for some reason. Looking up and down the canal, there were not many fish being caught short though. After a while, the guy to my left went long on casters and was starting to catch a few fish. I had being flicking hemp over my 16 meter line since the start of the match and with him catching and nothing much happening anywhere else, I decided to have a drop on it after just one hour.
First drop in on the hemp the float carried on going straight under. Thinking I had too much shot on I brought it back in and took a shot off. I then shipped back out and now the float stuck out about an inch…
Confused, I then brought the rig back in, put another shot on then went back out. This time the float settled and then went under, I struck and was into my first fish. I soon realised that the first put in, when the float went under must have being a bite - it was solid!
I caught on this line steadily for most of the day, it went quite in the middle for about an hour so I just come off it and went short on bloodworm and caught a few fish while I was still flicking hemp on the long line. When I went back on the hemp line the fish had returned and I was now catching a better stamp.
At the end of the match I weighed 14lb 3oz, this was enough to win my section and put me 4th overall on the day missing out on 3rd place by only 3oz!
I was a bit gutted as I could easily have had 3oz more, but at the same time I was pleased with my performance. To finish so high up against the quality of anglers that fish in the league is a proud achievement.
It’s a great league to fish, with plenty of fish to be caught. I have learned loads in the five matches that I have fished on there and look forward to the next match.