MATCH DAY 2

Angling Times (UK) - - SOUTH -

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.

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