Monday, 9 April 2012

First Horwich Old Anglers club match of the year

My first ever club match arrived on 1st April 2012 with the venue being Coppull Mill Lodge (

As with the majority of waters I will be fishing this season, this was a venue I had never seen before.

I managed to get a bit of info from a few people, mainly that it was very deep and full of silvers with bonus tench, especially if you drew the first and last pegs.  Now I don't like deep water one bit and I haven't really sussed skimmer fishing yet so I was immediately worried that this may not be a good venue to start my match fishing career with Horwich Old Anglers.

In the week or so before I could not stop thinking about how I planned to fish on the day. At one point I woke up at four in the morning and immediately my brain turned on and I couldn't sleep for an hour thinking about plans of attack!!

From the two matches I have now fished I have noticed just how much thought and research I now put into fishing before hand and not just turning up and seeing how I feel on the day.

Eventually I decided on two main attack plans. One would be a groundbait attack with maggots or pellets as the hook bait targeting skimmers and tench. I also decided on a short shallow line fishing casters for roach.

The day of match arrived and after a week of summer like weather, conditions had completely changed. An overnight frost and clear bright skies greeted my arrival at the lodge. Immediately I suspected a much more difficult match than I originally thought.

Time for the draw and I drew peg 12. Asking where I would find it I was told it was was in the far corner in the shade, the coldest part of the lake! Great!!

Plumbing up the first problem I came across was the massive reflection of the mill opposite in my peg. No matter what colour float I used I could barely see it.

I plumbed two lines at 11 metres, one at 10 o clock and one at 2 o clock. Both lines were around 10ft. The rigs for these lines were a 1g Drennan Tipo with 0.12 main line and 0.10 hook length with 18 Drennan silver fish maggot hook. I was using Middy Hi Viz yellow shock core matched to a pulla bung in my top kit. I planned on rotating between these two lines if catching well.

I also set a two plus two line for my shallow rig setting it at 4ft to start. Same rig as the deep rigs except a Drennan Caster dibber type float. Elastic was Middy Hi Viz number six solid.

At the all in I cupped in a large tennis ball sized amount of groundbait laced with maggots, pinkies and a few 4mm pellets into both swims and then left them to rest.

I then threw in 6-10 casters on my shallow line and immediately caught a 4oz roach. Happy days, not blanking!! After that I couldn't get another bite on this line.

After about 40 mins I shipped out to the 10 o clock swim with a 4mm expander pellet on the hook. After about ten mins I caught a small roach, not what I was after. Another long wait and I caught a tiny roach who's mouth was smaller than the pellet!! I was struggling badly with the reflection of the mill and missed a couple more shy bites.

I tried swapping to the 2 o clock line but got no bites there either. I swapped hook baits and lines regularly eventually snaffling another two very small roach on double pinkie.

After two and half hours or so I re-fed both lines with a golf ball sized amount of groundbait and left them to rest.

I went back to the shallow line chucking in 6-10 casters every 30 second and began to catch roach up to 10oz regularly. Looking around I could see most people around me were fishing long for bigger fish and not really catching so bar one more short look on the long line I decided to stay short and catch as many roach as I could hoping that I could amass a half decent weight of red fins.

It was interesting fishing as I was constantly chasing the fish, they didn't seem to want to settle at one level. I caught up to about a foot and then back down to over four foot. But I did manage to keep a steady stream of fishing coming to the net.

The all out was called and I reckoned I had around 5lb of red fins. I was really surprised and chuffed to see the scales go round to 6lb 5oz which was enough for 7th place out of 15. I was really chuffed with that. The top two weights came from peg 1 and 15, the two fliers, with weights of 11lb and 12lb of skimmers and tench.

I have to say I was pretty satisfied with my match performance. Looking back the only thing I may have changed was in the first half hour fishing shallow I stayed at four foot. Maybe if I had altered my depths and tried to find the roach I may have bagged a couple more. I also took way too much bait and mixed way too much groundbait. Something else I need to consider before matches to save myself some money!

Looking forward to the next match at Lathom fisheries on 22nd April now and I will hopefully get a practice or two in before then.


  1. Hi Bry,
    Another great blog. I wouldn't be cheeky enough to criticise, I'm not that good, but you seem to be analytical after the match which is spot on. Food for thought.... especially after dodgy weather, but possibly at all matches, what about feeding your groundbait (or a bulk) at 10 o'clock and just putting in a pinch of bait at 2 o'clock. See which line gets the better response. Sometimes a match can be over within 5 minutes if we feed too much. If the heavy feed line is better you can always put more in on your second line, but you cant take it out. Nice that you did your own thing by fishing short and shallow and that you worked out the changing depths thing. Success will come, just keep thinking it through, and good luck.

  2. Nice blog mate, enjoyed reading it and will continue to follow your exploits

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