Three-line at­tack

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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.

2

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.

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