Andy Bennett's Blog - Day Three

Day 3

Laurels Peg 56

This section is split between two lakes, Laurels and Willows. I was hoping for a peg on Willows but when I drew peg 56 on Laurels I was happy, as I’d only been on this lake three times but one of the times I’d won the match off this peg with 119lb.

So, I had a rough idea of where and how to fish it. Again, I fished a positive match and decided on three lines. My main line would be pellet, shallow at 14m and the rig for this was 0.17mm N-Gauge to a four-inch hook length of 0.13mm N-Gauge, finished off with a size-16 LWG and a banded hair rig. The float was a small 0.1g diamond-shape pattern set around 12 inches deep with another around 20 inches deep, both with short lines to help hit the finicky bites. My second rig was for down the edge and this was a 0.3g handmade float tied up on 0.17mm to 0.15mm N-Gauge. Theres a lot of barbel to be caught down the sides and although there only 1lb they pull like mad so I had to fish slightly heavier so I could steer them away from the undercut banks. My final rig was a 5m line where I would feed meat but with the water temperature being in the high twenties, I wasn’t expecting to catch much on this, as the fish only seemed to want to feed in less than 3ft of water. I was right as well, as I had just a few small roach off this line.

To start my match I fed my short line and shipped out with a piece of meat on my shallow rig. I spent the first 20 minutes not feeding nothing and chasing the big shadows of cruising carp around, without success. I then decided to start feeding my 14m line with pellets. I didn’t feed to start with as the cruisers seem to vanish when bait is fired in, so leaving the area with no feed going in gave me a better chance. However, I couldn’t tempt any and was falling behind, so it was time to start feeding the 14m shallow line with pellets. I dropped short on my meat line that I’d been trickling meat onto and, once again I just had a few roach bites to show for it.

After 45 minutes I’d probably got five roach for 5oz in the net and was now starting to worry, so out came the shallow rig, which I’d now been feeding for nearly half an hour. First drop in and finally I hooked my first fish, an F1 around the 1lb mark. The pattern for the day then was to keep switching depths and feeding to keep fish coming. After around four hours I had 80lb in the net and was doing OK. A quick look down the side where I’d been feeding meat and it was a fish a chuck, with little F1s and barbel. However, as these fish were around 8oz to 1lb, I wasn’t really going to go anywhere. I was persevering just to see if I could force the peg and catch some better fish, but the barbel were taking longer to get in and I felt my catch rate was slowing, so with just under two hours left it was back out shallow. The 20-minute rest did it wonders and the peg was now solid and I was catching a fish every one or two minutes. At 1lb to 2lb apiece, I was on for a big weight. The last hour was amazing and I had 19 big F1s and a 4lb carp in the last 30 minutes alone. I’d done this for nearly two hours so I reckoned I had at least 70 or 80 fish last two hours. As the scales arrived there was a low 100lb winning my section and Lee Kerry was winning the match with 173lb. I managed 193lb giving me that priceless section win and another match win. I was delighted as I now sat on three wins and was leading the festival by a point.