MATCH DAY 2
WHEN peg 49 on the legendary ‘one tree point’ stuck to my hand I started to think it could be my day.
Granted, this area had been rock hard on day one but in the practice match it fished really well.
My thinking was that the fish were having one day on and one day off!
I was trying to stay optimistic and I have to admit I did fancy it. The conditions were perfect for bream, and that was just what I needed.
After a careful plumb around my swim I decided on a one-line approach at 56m.
This put me just past all the anglers around me and put me in a depth of water that I felt the bream would be happy in.
Bough Beech is a very deep reservoir and I was very conscious of the fact that parts of it were just too deep for bream to feed on the bottom.
The match started, and it quickly became apparent there were a lot of small fish present.
I felt that maybe it was the chopped worms that were attracting them, and so after an hour-and-a-half I cut the worm out and just fed pellets and casters through the feeder.
This seemed to work to a degree and I picked up a few 3oz-4oz skimmers. These were welcome but, with a 25lb target weight in mind, not what I required.
I even tried bigger hookbaits, and after a switch to four dead maggots the tip went round and this time I actually felt resistance!
My first Bough Beech bream was soon in the net and at 3lb 8oz it was very welcome. Surely now there were more to come?
WORKING THE SWIM
Alas, despite trying everything I couldn’t get past the nuisance small fish, and no more bream followed.
I chopped and changed feeder sizes to try and get more bait in to pull a bream but nothing worked. I even spent the last hour on double hair-rigged corn but this only produced two skimmers of around 1lb apiece, plus a few more 1oz fish! I have to admit it was really frustrating – everything seemed right but I couldn’t catch, and believe me, I tried.
Suffice to say that when the final whistle blew I felt somewhat deflated. Not because I hadn’t won but more because I felt I still had little understanding of the water.
Looking back, I think this is because to learn about a venue you need to be catching the fish, and I just hadn’t been on any.
Come the scales my bream along with a few bits went 11lb 8oz for a 23lb 2oz total.
This left me the best part of 10lb short of the main frame and if I’m honest I have no idea how I could have caught that.
ROLL ON NEXT YEAR!
My struggles aside, Feeder Masters was a fantastic event and one that I really enjoyed. Thanks go to my England Feeder team mate Mick Vials for creating the event to start with, Lee Kerry for running it faultlessly, and Preston Innovations for sponsoring it.
The staff at Bough Beech worked tirelessly during our stay, even laying on transport to the pegs, which was much appreciated.
Massive congratulations to John O’Driscoll, who was a deserving winner over the two days. Roll on Feeder Masters 2017, as I want another crack at that final, and those Bough Beech bream!
All credit to the top men – they deserved it. ANTI-TANGLE LINK My feeder rig is a simple, and safe, running rig which means the feeder is able to run on the mainline.
To connect the feeder I use a home-made feeder link which is made from a small bead and a snap link swivel crimped on to a 1.5ins length of 0.47mm Korda Mouth Trap - a super stiff filament carp anglers use to make their chod rigs.
Since I’ve been using these links I’ve suffered much less tangles.