Andy Bennett's Blog - Day Four

Day Four

Loco Peg 36

This match was split between three lakes, Loco, Beeches and Strip. Strip only had one section, so this is where I was hoping to draw, as it’s packed with fish of all species. The owner Neil Grantham had put a curse on me, so when I drew 36 on Loco he was laughing his head off, saying it had worked, as I couldn’t have drawn any worse. As I arrived at my peg though, we all had lots of room and even though the wind was blowing up the other way I was confident of a few bites. A few quick phone calls and everyone said the same, "Errrmmm, I don’t know what you could do there!" Great, that didn’t help much. I tried to stay optimistic though and thought that if I could sneak 3rd I’d be over the moon, as you can still drop a result.

I plumbed the short pole up and found 7ft close in at 6m. “Bit deep,” I thought, but at least I’ve got some depth. I then plumbed the long pole up and it revealed 10 to 11ft. Now that wasn’t going to be easy to catch F1s and carp in, so that rig was chucked straight up the bank and I brought out two shallow rigs set at 18 inches and 3ft. I would fish casters on these to try and catch something until the carp turned up late down the side. This lake is noted for its edge fishing and also wag and method feeder. I didn’t fancy the method being so deep so my plan of attack was to fish the wag to where I could feed 8mm pellets, pole fished shallow for silvers and the edge rig.

I started the match on the wag feeding two or three 8millers while also flicking a few casters out at 13m long. Twenty minutes in and I got my first bite on the wag, which I missed. Then, another missed bite around 10 minutes later didn’t give me much hope. However, they are big carp in Loco, so 10 bites could easy go 100lb, so I didn’t panic too much. The wind then picked up and kept creating a big bow in the line, dragging the float out of position so I felt this was a good time to try the pole line, while feeding the wag line until the wind dropped. First chuck in and the float dipped and I had my first fish a roach of around 2oz; not what I wanted as last time I was on this lake I managed 49lb of ide and roach. A lot of the ide were 1lb apiece, after 15 minutes I’d had around three roach and knew this was going to be a waste of time. I decided to sack that line off and concentrate on the wag properly as the wind had swung round from left to right. It was now off my right shoulder, making fishing the wag a lot easier. Third or fourth cast and the float dipped again this time I connected with it. It turned out to be an F1 of around 1lb 8oz. It was a lovely dark-bronze coloured thing, as the water’s so clear on Loco. After another 20 minutes and five and six missed bites without more fish, I felt there were now some fish there. Suspecting that my bait was too big, I switched to a 6mm on the hook instead of 8mm but kept feeding.

Straight away I hooked an F1. I then decided to try feeding six millers but I couldn’t get them out accurately so I made the decision to try and draw them shorter to where I could feed more accurately and try to hit more bites. This worked to an extent and after two hours I’d had around 10 F1s; not great, but it would have been less had I stuck to 8 millers. I still wasn’t happy and felt I needed to try and draw them onto the pole line, so I started pinging a few pellets to 14.5m to see if I could catch them better there. With the water being so clear, I doubted it would work but it did and after 30 minutes I was now catching them on the pole. Two hours of my match was now wasted through not knowing the venue enough, but I was back on track and felt 70lb would be a good weight. I caught well for around two or three hours and had 55 big F1s with an hour to go. Then all of a sudden they vanished and I only managed five fish in the last hour. I tried the edge but never had a bite there, as the wind was howling up the other end and I just felt that I’d run out of fish. It was a very weird match but I ended with 59 F1s and a 2lb bream for 105lb and second in the section Ben Fisk winning the section with 109lb and he had one seven pounder last chuck after time and I was hoping that wouldn’t cost me, as I’d have already won the festival if he didn’t get that fish.