Winning At Willow - Pemb Wrighting

I decided on a bit of a change this week and headed to Willow Park, for an open on the small lake.
I ended up drawing peg one, which is in a snaggy corner of the lake. It's like all corner pegs really, there are either a few fish there or you’re sat twiddling your thumbs.

I decided to set up a couple of shallow rigs, which were made up with 0.17 N-Gauge mainline, to a 0.13 N-Gauge hook length, attached to a size 16 LWG eyed hook with a little Bait band on to fish pellets. This was matched to a white hydro elastic, which is my favourite for shallow fishing. It lets the fish just glide out of the peg after being hooked, with minimal disturbance. This line was planned in to fish out long in the open water.

The other line I made up was for the long pole line right into the snaggy corner. I was planning to fish with meat and some groundbait on this line. This rig comprised of 0.22 N-Gauge mainline, to a 0.19 hook length, finished off with a seriously strong XS spade hook, in a size 12. I used a red hydro elastic on this line because of the very snaggy nature of the swim. The float I used was quite important too. The Malman Elko is a very strong float that takes quite a bit of shot; I like this because it keeps your rig right where you've fed your bait. The last thing you want is for fish to be feeding in your swim and push your rig away from your bait, it could lead to foul hookers or just no bites at all!
The match worked out nicely, I ticked over on the long pole for the first part of the match, until the margin swim kicked into life later on.

Come the end of the match, I was kicking myself though for not noticing what was happening down the edge earlier. I was catching the odd fish from the margins, but nothing special, and also foul hooking an odd one too. In the last 20 minutes I realised what was happening and changed to fishing at half depth, dripping in a bit of meat through a kinder cup. I was put off doing it earlier because of the branches; I couldn't loose-feed with a catapult. So, when I wanted to feed, I had to ship all the way in and top up the cup. But it was worth the extra effort, as the last 20-minutes fishing like this yielded another three valuable carp.

In the end my fish weighed in at 66lb, which was enough to beat my friend Neil Gaff, into second place by 10lb, so I needed those last three fish!