The latest Horwich Old Anglers match was at Lathom Fisheries on number 1 on a glorious sunny day which provided plenty of optimism of a good days fishing and so it was decided we would fish six instead of the usual five hours
I have only ever fished number 4 on Lathoms before and tried to get as much info as I could beforehand. Unfortunately some of it was contradictory so I had decided just to see how the land lay when I got to my peg. It was certainly a day of highs and lows.
The first thing I did notice on arriving was the island I was told about was no longer there; apparently the lodge has had a remodelling. On seeing that I decided to leave the method rod in the car.
At the draw I drew peg six. The lodge is in a tear drop sort of shape and peg six is on the narrower part and happened to be the end peg for the match.
I decided on a few lines of attack for today.
1) First 13 metres fishing a few 4mm pellets every 30 seconds or so to get the fish shallow. I decided to fish a deep shallow line of around 5 foot and a shallow rig of around 2 foot. The deep shallow rig was a 4x14 Chianti style 0.16-0.14 with a size 16 Drennan bandit. Shallow rig would be a small dibber style margin float with same lines and hook, all matched to 13 hollow elastic
2) Second line would be around four metres at 10 o clock position feeding meat and hemp with meat on the hook. This was very shallow, around a foot and a half so the shallow rig from the 13 metre line would be used here.
3) Third line was again around four metres at 1 o clock position. This was a paste line where I intended on using Bait Tech Special G groundbait as paste and feeding micros. The rig was a Middy 4x14 paste float with 0.17-0.15 and a size 12 Drennan Wide Gape hook.
4) The final line would be a margin line. The margins were very shallow less than a foot and with the pegging being very tight I was sceptical about this line. I had decided on feeding micros and using corn dead reds or meat on the hook. This rig was very similar to the shallow rig but with a size 16 Drennan wide gape hook.
With around five minutes to go to the all in I was just about ready when I suddenly decided I would go get my method rod and fish it tight to the pegging opposite. I got the rod out of the ready made bag only to find the rig was in a right tangle. So I had to snap it off and start again. By the time I did this the match was well under way. I had been trying a new method feeder today, the Korum duro method feeder. I was impressed by it and especially the mould that I think is actually better that the Preston version.
So when I was finally ready I filled the feeder with micros and banded a 6mm pellet and cast within about two foot of the opposite margins. I clipped up and then started feeding my 13 metre line.
I had a few liners on the method feeder and somehow after half hour or so on the third retrieval I managed to get the rig in a right tangle so the rod was thrown to ground in favour of the pole.
I started to ship out and suddenly crack the number 5 section of my pole snapped. God knows what I had done with my roles but they were not level and I paid the worst punishment for it. I quickly sleeved the section and shipped out. I then say biteless for another 45 mins. I swapped rigs with no avail. During this time I had feed a large pot of hemp and meat on one line and was throwing small handfuls of micros and bits of paste on the other.
I came onto the meat line and got absolutely nothing for 15 mins so onto the paste line I went. Now I have stopped fishing paste as I really can’t get my head round it and struggled all last year with it but as I was told the venue responded well to paste I thought I would give it another bash. I baited the hook with a 50p size piece and as soon as I put in I began getting knocks, lifts and pull unders. I was really unsure what I should be striking at and really struggled. After about half an hour I did managed to catch a 5oz F1 which hook itself. I continued on this line but could not hook another fish.
I then started alternating these three lines for another hour without getting a fish. Three hours gone a cracked pole, a mess of a method rig, numerous other mistakes and one tiny F1 to show and I was ready for giving up and going home.
I decided I would stop fishing and sort out the method rod, which proved to be a good idea. Eventually I was able to cast it out and I got into a steady run of fish, mainly carp of around 2-4lb plus my first ever barbel and a chublett.
With two hours to go I potted in two large pots of micros & hemp with a few bits of corn and meat right in front of the next peg along. Fifteen minutes later this line was bubbling with fish and I couldn’t resist it any long. I ended up catching fish regularly, including two lumps. Dead reds being the favoured hook bait. I alternated between the next peg and my top two to avoid spooking the fish. Unfortunately I lost what was probably the biggest fish of the lot which I hook as the all out was called, it snapped my hook length clean off.
I was first to weigh and was chuffed with 33lb dead, which was enough for third, considering I didn’t catch in the first three hours.
The ever consistent Dave Dermott and Matt Goulding came first and second with 50lb and 40 odd pound respectively. I think a lot of their fish were caught short and shallow from what I could see during the match, but I didn’t get chance to ask them at the end.
It was very eventful day which turned out ok in the end and I went home with a smile on my face. Plenty I still need to learn and improve and the only way I am going to do that is to practice more and prepare better, something which is non existent at the moment