27th April at Grange Park Fisheries, Messingham. 17 brave anglers turned up for the first match of the season with an air of expectation as the grange always throws up plenty of bites. This was a blind pair’s event and anglers didn’t know who they would have been paired with until the draw was completed. Being based on total combined weight a good draw and a good partner would be need to take the win.
Peg 1 on the Osprey pond was my draw and to be honest being an end peg I fancied it for a good days fishing. The margin is reed lined to the left hand side with a large tree hanging over the corner. At the start 3 lines of attack were formulated, the first was to be on a top kit fished left and right side of my keepnet and fed with maggots
The second was to be at 6 metres straight in front and fed with liquidised corn and hemp with corn to be fished over the top.
Both these lines were fished with FP5 floats in 0.5gm on 0.13 mainline with 0.11 hook lengths and 18 hooks. The third line was to be the margin line which was also fished at 6mtr this time to the left of the swim along the very tempting reed line. This line would also be fed with hemp and liquidised corn.
All rigs were matched with Frenzee yellow hollow elastics set very soft.
At the start the short pole line was fed with 6 maggots to each side and maggot fished over the top. Action was fast and furious with bites coming steady for an hour, swapping from one side to another after each fish was crucial to keep bites coming and rest lines in between fish. This line brought a mix of skimmers and small crucians to the net but with a feeling of better fish being needed I banded a 6mm fishery pellet and dropped it over the same lines. This brought an immediate response from a better stamp of crucians and small carp, although it was very noticeable that bites took longer to materialise. After around 2 hrs the weather was beginning to turn from sunny to very chilly and most other anglers seemed to be scratching around for a few fish.
The decision was made to try the 6mtr line with corn on the hook. Immediately bites came and 2 larger carp were hooked and landed within 5 minutes of dropping in. bites on this line were very slow but when they did come they were from a slightly better stamp of fish. Feeding was done through a small pot and after every fish a small amount of corn and hemp was fed. This kept the bites coming and when they did slow down a switch back to the short pole line produced more fish.
The key at this time was to rotate lines after a few fish as not to exhaust the small pockets of fish that were willing to feed.
With 2 hrs to go and driving rain, snow, sleet and wind now greeting us I felt a switch to the margins was needed. I dropped in with corn over the liquidised corn and hemp combo. Fishing around 2 feet away from the margin into slightly deeper water was key and here F1s and some larger carp were willing to feed. Waiting for a bite on the larger corn hook bait was key as it definitely picked out the better stamp of fish.
As the scales begin to arrive at the pegs there was a lot of talk about who had done what and who the likely winners were. As the scales arrived at my peg the angler next door had recorded a weight of 36lb. lifting the net out I knew I had done enough to beat him but by how much? The scales settled at 53lb 11oz, a good weight on the day but the result wasn’t confirmed yet as the other lake had to be weighed in. I waited anxiously not yet knowing how my partner had faired.
As we arrived at his peg the nearest pairing were on 55lb 1 oz., eagerly I asked what my partner thought he had, knowing that 2lb would be enough. 24lb was weighed and we were confirmed as pair’s winners with myself winning my lake and the match outright.
1st –Andy Bowness – Frenzee Bag’Em – 53lb 11oz
2nd – Russ Hall – Frenzee Bag’Em – 37lb 09oz
3rd – Dave Oakley – Frenzee Bag’Em – 36lb 07oz
1st – Andy Bowness & Wayne Thompson – 78lb 09oz
2nd – James Burrell & Sonia Shaw – 55lb 01oz
3rd – Russ Hall & Frank Sellars – 55lb 00