At­tack on the feeder follow Steve Ringer’s ad­vice for big­ger catches

Steve on why stick­ing to your plan can reap re­wards

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

THE UK Cham­pi­onships has been a re­ally tough event for me this year.

A poor draw in Round 1 at Lindholme saw my chances van­ish from the off and on top of that, work com­mit­ments meant I missed Round 2 at the Glebe.

A sec­tion sec­ond at Bod­ding­ton in Round 3 only pa­pered over the cracks, but de­spite all of the above I was still keen to fin­ish on a high at Barston for the last round.

Come the draw, though, when 117 stuck to my hand I knew I was up against it.

I was in the same sec­tion as end peg 124, and there are gen­er­ally more fish to be caught as you go higher up that bank.

That said, I was here to try and win the match and that is ex­actly what I in­tended to do.

Look­ing at the peg and my sec­tion line-up I quickly came up with a plan. It looked as though ev­ery­one would feed short, so I had no real chance if I was to con­cen­trate on that – al­though I would feed it just in case.

In­stead, I felt my best op­tion was to fish the feeder, but fish it pos­i­tively.

My the­ory was that af­ter an hour most of the other an­glers would pack in the long line and come short, but if I could at­tack it and have it to my­self then if the fish turned up I might have a chance.

Of course there are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ there but af­ter con­sid­er­ing all my op­tions I felt I had no other choice.

SET­TING UP

While I now had a plan I still felt it im­por­tant to cover my op­tions, so I set up a long feeder rod to fish a medium-sized Hy­brid feeder at around 55m.

I had a quick cast around with a 2oz lead and felt I was on gravel here. This isn’t some­thing I nor­mally do at Barston, but as it was to be my main line of at­tack I felt it well worth a look.

On top of that I set up two wag­gler rods, a bomb and a short pole in case the peg was solid with big skim­mers.

I could feed the wag­gler/bomb line while I fished the feeder, and it would pre­vent those around me hav­ing that line to them­selves.

FEED­ING PLAN

On the bait front, bear­ing in mind my plan to at­tack the feeder line I had four pints of wet­ted-down, 2mm Ringers Method Mi­cros to which I added a good squirt of Main­line Hy­brid liq­uid.

The carp in Barston see a lot of boilies, and I know that Hy­brid is a favourite of theirs, so it made sense to add it to my pel­lets to give them a boost.

On top of this I also had five pints of 8mm carp pel­lets for the loose­feed line, plus meat and corn for skim­mers short – al­though ad­mit­tedly this was some­thing of a throw­away line. Af­ter all, there were 124 an­glers in my sec­tion and I couldn’t see how I could win it un­less I caught carp.

HOW THE MATCH WENT

My plan was to re­ally at­tack the feeder line. I wanted to get a lot of bait down so that when a few carp turned up I could hope­fully hold them. With this in mind I kicked off by cast­ing every two min­utes with a 32g medium-sized Hy­brid feeder.

I half ex­pected that reg­u­lar cast­ing would bring a quick re­sponse, but 45 bite­less min­utes wasn’t what I was hop­ing for!

Now at this point it would have been easy to panic and start chop­ping and chang­ing, but I had a plan and if it was to work I felt I needed to stick to it. Look­ing around the area, other than from the favoured pegs there was very lit­tle be­ing caught so there was no ob­vi­ous tac­tic that was work­ing.

On the 55-minute mark I had my first in­di­ca­tion, which was a 2lb bream. Then, within 30 sec­onds of the next cast, the tip pulled round and the first carp was on.

At around 8lb it was a wel­come fish, and when an­other fol­lowed next cast I be­gan to think the plan was work­ing.

VARY THE CASTS

Sadly though, those fish proved to be a bit of a false dawn. The next hour pro­duced noth­ing, de­spite vary­ing my cast­ing pat­tern. A lit­tle trick that of­ten works at Barston is to make three quick casts and then fish on the fourth.

The carp are at­tracted by the noise and bait go­ing in, and I then catch on the fourth cast, which I leave out for up to 10 min­utes.

Af­ter two hours I de­cided to slide a chuck slightly to the right of my spot, as that was the di­rec­tion the fish seemed to be go­ing. Maybe they were sit­ting off the feed?

This brought an im­me­di­ate re­sponse and I knew straight away I was into a proper fish.

Sure enough, af­ter a lengthy bat­tle a 15lb-plus com­mon lay in the net – a cou­ple more of those and I would be back in it!

Frus­trat­ingly, though, I couldn’t get an­other bite and it was back to watch­ing a mo­tion­less tip.

I did have a look on the pole at the half­way point, hav­ing fed it from the off. Two bite­less min­utes were all I needed, though, to know it wasn’t solid so I quickly put that down again to avoid wast­ing time.

At this point there were a few wag­gler fish com­ing out to my right, but in front of me it just looked dead and to my left noth­ing was be­ing caught.

I opted for an­other half-hour on the Hy­brid. This still of­fered the best chance of a run of fish, as I had my own wa­ter out there and with an hour re­main­ing there was every chance it could still come

good with the amount of bait I now had out there.

A cou­ple of small skim­mers weren’t re­ally what I was look­ing for, though, so just to mix things up I de­cided to try 15 min­utes on the wag­gler, mainly to give my feeder line a rest.

Fi­fiten min­utes later and with no bites it was back out on the Hy­brid, and sure enough, the tip pulled straight round with carp num­ber four!

Yet again, though, this fish was a loner and I was back to at­tack­ing a swim that just wasn’t re­spond­ing.

I have to ad­mit it was re­ally frus­trat­ing. To my right you could see carp mov­ing, yet from me back to the left no-one was catch­ing.

THE RUN-IN

The last hour did get slightly bet­ter, as I man­aged three de­cent F1s on the feeder plus a late carp on the wag­gler, al­beit a small one.

This gave me 62lb 11oz and fourth in sec­tion, which I think was as good as I could have hoped for at the start of the day.

As ex­pected, end peg 124 won the sec­tion with 107lb, with Andy Power sec­ond on my right with 79lb of wag­gler-caught fish.

To my left the top weight was just 34lb, which summed up the di­rec­tion of the day.

Look­ing back, I hon­estly feel I got it right in my ap­proach – it was just that you can’t catch what’s not there!

Had I been able to fill in the gaps be­tween the carp with F1s and skim­mers then I may have been able to nick sec­ond, but I never felt they were out there and de­spite at­tack­ing the swim they never moved in ei­ther.

I was hop­ing by putting a lot of bait on the bot­tom long that if any fish moved up the lake I would hold them, but it just never hap­pened.

Oh well, that’s match fish­ing I sup­pose and it’s not every day you can win the World Champs! Don’t worry, I’ll be rar­ing to go when it comes to next year’s event.

I wish I’d had a few more of these big carp!

I was pre­pared to chop and change tac­tics.

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