Hall Lane Diary Part One - Andy Bennett

Top Northern anglers Andy Bennett and Steve Parry have recently been entering Sunday open matches, at the fantastic Hall Lane in Wigan. This time around Andy runs us through day by day, exactly what has happened in the last three Sundays, no surprise they both have had some success along the way.

‘Firstly can I start by saying a big well done to everyone involved with the recent memorial match at Hall Lane, in memory of Peter Taylor. It was a fantastic day involving 62 anglers, managing to raise £605 for an important charity, the Wigan Hospice. The whole event couldn’t have happened without the support of everyone, but mainly the owner Richard so thanks once again.

Anyway moving on to the fishing; the first open day was actually a week before the charity match. 31 anglers fished the 75peg lake, so there was plenty of room between all of us and I was looking forward to the day ahead. I pulled out peg 34, which is a lovely looking corner, with the main feature being a gap in the island. Steve was pegged only a few swims away, so I could easily keep an eye on him if he started to catch.
Having fished the lake a few times before, I had a rough idea how to approach it. So I kept things simple, I started with one of my Mick Wilkinson hand made floats attached to 0.17 N-Gauge as the mainline and then 0.13 as a hook link. The hook of choice was an LWG spade, in either size 16 or 18 depending on the size of fish I would hopefully be catching. There is a good stock of hard fighting carp in this particular lake, so I wanted to fish the biggest hook I could get away with to prevent hook pulls.
Bait for the day was four pints of maggots, including some micros for feeding down the edge.
To cut a long story short I had a really enjoyable day, catching on maggots by the island steadily throughout the day.

When it came to weighing in I knew it was close between Steve and I, we were pretty much neck and neck all match. I ended up with 110 fish to his 100; I caught a few better fish later on, which bumped my weight up.
I weighed in with 181lb, which was not only so far a 1st place position; it was also a new venue record. Next around to be weighed was Steve, straight away you could see his stamp of fish were slightly smaller. He ended up with an impressive weight of 140lb, which is incredible when it was his first time fishing the lake. He came a respectable second, so a great start for both of us and looking good for the weeks ahead.