Sunday 17 March 2024

Windmill Fishery Open

 Another busy week, four days working in Munich and then Friday at Cheltenham races, five second places and no winners hmmm. I was pleased to see Kevin Boltz won the last match on the river at Newbridge with 87lb of bream. Quite a few bream fed and so it seemed quite a few anglers had a good day. Dean Harvey framed and he rang to tell me he followed my blog and advice and it was spot on, happy days. Today after the match, an angler asked me if my blog would contain the truth about the bait I used, not sure what caused that comment but I have no need to lie and have always wanted to help others. During a match itself I may try to play my cards close to my chest, but not afterwards. Anyway that’s enough of that, if someone thinks I would go to the trouble of writing a lot of lies they must be very sad.

With 19 booked in for the Windmill Sunday open it was a decent amount for the venue. Peg 10 has been a very good area, and with the wind blowing down that end most people favoured pegs 10 to 14. Tom Baker predicted Paul Staite would draw 10 and he did lol. Not long after I drew peg 11, very happy with this peg. Before getting to my peg I pushed Bob Price’s trolley to his peg, it was then I realised how boggy it was. I was sweating like a pig when I got to my peg!

Peg 11 has good options, island chuck, open water, and a big reed bed to the right going to peg 10.

I set up a straight lead for bread and a method feeder for casting towards the island. I also set up a 4x14 Preston Pellet float with 0.15 to 16 GPM for open water at 13m.

For the reeds a 4x10 carp shallow with 0.15 to 18KKMB with a band for fishing a hard 6mm pellet.

I also set up a 4x12 rig for the short margin well away from the reeds.

We started at 10:15 and I began on the lead, a couple of casts and nothing, but noticed the guy on peg 9 had 2 carp on the method feeder, so I quickly swooped to that. Still no joy on this other than a liner, Paul on 10 was also fish less on the lead but then landed 2 carp on the pole. I’d fed two long pole lines one with a bit of meat and one with pellet and corn. I hooked 3 carp on these lines and all were fouled, I got one out that was hooked in the tail and took ages to get out. I got the feeling there were fish about but they wanted to be shallow.

After maybe 90 minutes I picked up the shallow pellet rig and went down to the reeds at 13m. I had hoped not to have to do this and endure a potential torrid time, but needs must. After a few slaps I saw a bubble come up, and soon after another, and before I knew it I was playing tug of war with a carp. I landed a nice 7lb common. Back out and was soon into another one, fishing about 2 feet deep. This was ok for a couple more fish but I fouled a couple and had a fish hooked deep so went to 18 inches deep. This helped and I was amazed how shallow the carp were, I even saw one come through the reeds to take my pellet, there were a few there!

Inevitably I had a few losses, fish that got into reeds, and I went shallower at 14” for a while. I rested this line when a carp came off and made a right commotion, and cast the lead and bread to where I had seen a few fish moving. I nailed a 4lb fish but it was a one off. Looking around I could only see Gerry Welsh on peg 2 catching and thought I was winning. I had to go out to 14.5m and in the  last hour 16m to keep the fish coming. It was certainly harder hooking and landing the fish at 16m but I carried on as I’d not had any more bites in the open water. I did manage to catch a nice 9lb carp on meat in the RH margin but that was my only bite there. 

When the match ended I had 160lb on the clicker, and all bar 2 fish had come from areas I had not fed any bait. 

Nick Sanders was on scales duty and after four weighs and a bit of adding up my total was 152lb 12oz. It seems a while ago since I caught that much. 

I had enough to win the match, Gerry Welsh was 2nd with 98lb from peg 2, he also caught slapping a pellet. 3rd was Andy Bright on peg 9 with 65lb on the method feeder. Silvers first Jon Osbourne on 14 with just over 6lb, Alan Oram on 18 had a couple of big skimmers for 4lb and second. Weight sheets below.

What a lovely day that was, not just the fishing but a virtually dry day and some welcome sunshine. That is it for a few weeks as next two weekends I’m doing some family stuff. Let’s hope for a bit of sunshine for Easter.

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