Young Guru, Rob Swan, reports on recent results and findings!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for our young Guru, Rob Swan. With the pressure on, he’s managed some great results and learned a lot on the way. Over to you Rob!

“After a poor result in the first round of the Partridge Lakes Individual Winter League, I managed a second in my section last time, and went into last weekend’s match positively. The thing I love about fishing in leagues is that every results count, and often you can claw things back even after a bad day or two.

“Peg 105 on Covey Five graced my palm after dipping into the draw bag, and when I asked a few different people about that area of the lake their eyes lit up...usually a signal it’s a decent area!

“I set up four different rigs. The first was for fishing in the deepest water down the central track. The second was for targeting fish in four feet of water across towards the island. I then set one up to fish in water a foot shallower than this (three feet), as well as a dobbing rig.

“All my rigs were tied using 0.13mm N-Gauge mainline with a six inch 0.10mm Pure Fluorocarbon hooklength. On the track line I opted for a 4x12 RW Maggie float which I like as its dead light and when there is no wind it gives you a naturally falling hookbait. The hook choice was a size 20 Guru F1 maggot hook, which are razor sharp…watch your fingers! On both across rigs I chose to use 4x10 RW Maggie float with the same hook. Finally on the dobbing rig I used a RW Dobber with a size 18 Guru F1 Pellet hook which is perfect for the job as it balances the weight of the bread to ensure it sinks slowly to hopefully catch the attention of an F1 or two.

“The start of the match was very slow, but I wasn’t worried because looking around the lake everyone appeared to be struggling. The best place for getting a few bites was in three feet of water across on pellets, taking things steady and feeding just a pinch of micros every time I shipped out.

“The next couple of hours left me catching just the odd small F1, but I felt I was plodding along at a steady pace. I had a quick run of three F1s in the corner to my left at 16m on pellet in the same depth as I was catching across…the magical three feet! However, catching these seemed to cause the whole swim to die, and I felt disturbing them had caused any feeding fish in the area to spook.

“With this in mind, I decided to try a little sneaky trick I've learned this winter. It involves dragging the plummet around the peg until you feel some fish. It bumps into them and you can establish if there are any little balls of them sitting in an odd spot. That's what I did at 16m in open water to my left, where I discovered a little pod just off the bank. By fishing there I managed two big F1s on the dobbing rig with bread.

“Throughout the day I had been feeding the track line with some maggots at 12m to my right. Just before I went on this line, I fed 20 maggots at 11m down the track to my left to give me another line to try and keep fish coming from too. This led to a bumper last couple of hours just rotating between these two lines. I fed 10 maggots each put in, nice and accurately, before waiting for a positive indication. I have definitely noticed that fish settle and feed in the deeper water later in the match, and by keeping your cool and not expecting too much too soon, you can enjoy a late run like this.

“At the all-out I weighed 37lb 11oz – the late run down the middle was a mega weight boost! This won me the lake and section, also putting me 7th overall on the match; a result I was very happy with considering 73 of the North West’s best anglers were attending! It’s exactly what I needed in the league too to help me creep up the table.”

Staying Local…

“Although I have recently focussed my efforts on commercial snake lakes, this latest weekend I decided to venue to a venue close to my Carlisle home called Carlton Hill Fishery.

“I love the matches here, especially on Trees Pond, as it's up to 18 feet deep and full of roach. On Saturday, I had a great days fishing despite conditions been testing. I pulled out peg 10 and had a cracking day catching on three different lines to finish up with 5lbs 13oz for a match win! I did however, learn a lot and thought I’d share some valuable winter silverfish findings with you.

“I fed a mixture of Dynamite Frenzied Hemp and Skimmer Mix groundbait in little nuggets containing an odd pinkie. However, something I found especially important was the presentation of my rig. Most bites came as the bait was hitting the bottom, so it was essential to keep flicking my rig out to try to entice a bite. I learned that being proactive during the match and always trying to make a bite happen was what made the difference.

“I have always been a fan of fishing nice and light for roach and silvers, and this weekend’s match was the perfect example of these tactics working. I used 0.11mm N-Gauge mainline tied to a six inch hooklength of 0.08mm Pure Flurocarbon. The Flurocarbon is great for roach fishing, particularly when the water is so clear at this time of year, as it is almost invisible and falls naturally in the water. I'm sure that using this material for light hooklengths has brought me more bites recently.

“One final thing that I noticed this weekend when targeting the roach was the importance of having a fresh, clean hookbait. It probably takes 10 seconds to change your hookbait, but it can make all the difference. I found it vital to put a new pinkie on every chuck to give the highest possible level of attraction every time my rig was in the water. A live pinkie is seemed much more attractive to a dormant roach in winter than a dead pinkie too. Perhaps they sense them wriggling? All in all, a nice winter match, a good result, and a lot learned again!”