ANEW event on the 2018 match calendar is the NuFish Feeder King, the Final held at Doncaster DAA’s Southfield Reservoir, in South Yorkshire.
There is an incredibly strong match circuit in this area, and after seeing the recent success of other feeder-only events, the club’s Andy Renton and Mick Axon decided to run their own midweek series, leading to a big-money Final.
The format was familiar to other events: ten qualifying matches (all 60-peg sell-outs), from which three 20-peg zone winners would qualify for a 30-peg Final.
A combination of entry fees, NuFish sponsorship and backing from Doncaster DAA resulted in a mouth-watering payout of £10,000 to the winner, £3,000, £2,000 and £1,000 for the next three, along with £500 to the winners of each five-peg section. No messing around – this match was the real deal.
As I ive locally to Southfield Reservoir, the Feeder King was a series that held big appeal, especially considering the amount of long distance travelling that my work and fishing commitments demand.
However, my early attempts to qualify didn’t exactly go according to plan. Even though I framed overall, and won ten-peg sections on many occasions, with just two matches left I was still chasing a place in the Final. Happily, I qualified after the ninth match.
Pegs 30 to 60 would be used in the Final, with ‘blocker’ anglers fishing pegs 29 and 61, to eliminate end-peg advantage.
I fancied a middle draw, as this had been a strong area throughout the qualifiers. However, I plucked out peg 58, which was far from a disaster, as it’s the peg where I won a Preston Innovations Feeder Masters qualifier earlier this year.
I opted to set up three different lines of attack, at 18, 30 and 50 metres range.
Why three? Well, as
Southfield is only around 4 ft deep, even shallower in some areas, so the fish are easily spooked. Having other swims to fall back on when one line dries up is vital.
After feeding each line three times with a feederful of groundbait, dead maggots and some chopped worm, I began to work out how I would rotate the different lines… 1
I’d start on the 50 m line, which is the ‘bread and butter’ area at Southfield, to see whether I had drawn on a shoal of bream and skimmers. It’s so often the main line to fish and, because 50 m isn’t a massive cast, you can concentrate on accuracy, even in a big wind.
My next move would be to drop onto the 18 m line, which is typically very much a ‘boom or bust’ swim, as you either get quick bites or nothing. 3
My third swim, at 30, is a useful intermediate line, especially for skimmers, which have outnumbered bigger bream at Southfield this season. 4
According to the response, and noting where other anglers are catching from, I’d switch between two or three of these lines, then maybe go all-out on just one in the latter stages of the contest.
Tackle and bait
All Southfield Reservoir matches are fished to what they call ‘traditional feeder rules’, with 50 cm minimum hook lengths, but no Method feeders, pellets, boilies, dumbells or wafters.
Worms, casters, maggots and pinkies are the only baits to consider, and I expected worms
Rods at the ready. Lee prepares to cast a feeder to one of his three lines.