I decided to go to Manor Farm for both of the days as I enjoy it there, so Saturday saw the regular open held on Middle Pool. Although I haven't fished Middle for a while, I know the creatures in there are now packing on some timber and it holds some right big lumps and big F1s.
I had a plan going up to fish the method, with micros and a dusting of ground bait with a lassoed 6mm pellet on the hook. I was going to start on that line then come in on the pole line after feeding it up for a while.
The weather was pretty mild for the time of year so everyone at the venue was confident of a few bites even though the water temperature is going down and now sitting at around 11c.
I drew 24, which was on the opposite bank to where I wanted to be but casting out to the middle should result in a few fish. The all in sounded and I went straight out on the method, with a few quick casts to get some bait down there. Looking around the lake it was a slow start with not many getting bites. It was a bit worrying that with an hour into the match I hadn't had a touch, so I increased the casting and 1 decent F1 did end up in the net.
A look on the pole line resulted in another F1 literally on my first put in, but then nothing for the next 20 mins! Very odd!
I had a feeling these fish where shoaled up and that was more or less confirmed by the guy to my right who was catching regular on the lead and hardly feeding any pellet.
Going into the last hour and only a few fish to show for my efforts I took the method off and quickly set up the straight lead with a 6mm pellet on and threw it as far as I could without going over half way (as it was pegged both banks).
Low and behold the tip started going round! I wasn't feeding anything apart from 3 8mm pellets every couple of minutes but landed 10 fish in the last hour for 38lb. It was not enough for anything but it made me realise I had made a big mistake banking on the method to work. I should have gone on the straight lead (possibly even for the whole match) and think it could have been a different result as the guy to my right came in second doing just that.
The results where:
1ST CARL MULFORD 76-0-0
2ND PAUL DURNALL 68-0-0
3RD STEVE SEABORN 65-0-0
4TH STEVE PARTINGTON 61-8-0
Arthur’s Angling Supplies
5TH NICK HANCOCK 43-12-0
Arthur’s Angling Supplies
The next day it was back up to Evesham and back to Manor Farm. With an increased attendance expected on the Sunday Opens, the match was split over Windmill and Ash pools. I really wanted to be on Windmill as I think it is my favourite lake on the venue. I shouldn't have thought that though as I drew Ash 14 which is at the bottom end of the lake and not a really favoured area.
My plan today differed from yesterday on middle, I had the straight lead, the waggler and a long pole line ready to go. There was a rope across the lake going from left to right so I had a limited chuck but that was ok as with the swirling and gusty wind that was blowing I think it was about the limit I could have gone anyway!
I started on the straight lead so cast out just short of the rope and fired a few 8mms over the top and waited!.....and waited.....re cast....and waited......etc etc Hmmmmm this wasn't going well after 2 hours not a bite was had. In fairness though there wasn't many around the lake that had fish!
Rich Hoskins had a few on the waggler but there was just a few odd fish apart from that! I had a look on the pole line and got a few bites but just couldn't hit them. They were all small skimmers and Roach I think as a few times I could feel something shaking the line but that was it!
By now I was getting more than a bit worried so tried the waggler set at half depth.
thankfully after some regular feeding and casting I did start to catch on it and ended up with a good run of fish in the last 2 hours to come third on the lake with 34lb. Richy Hoskins won the lake with 71lb 10oz and Shaun Little was 2nd on the lake with 54lb 8oz then me 3rd with 34lb so it had fished quite hard.
Windmill as thought, fished better with more consistent weights making the overall picture better.
1ST STEVE PARTINGTON 78-0-0
Arthur’s Angling Supplies Peg 22 Windmill
2ND RICH HOSKINS 71-10-0
Daiwa Gordon League Peg 18 Ash
3RD STEVE WATERS 59-0-0
Drennan Peg 24 Windmill
4TH CHRIS TELLING 55-0-0
Colmic Airon Peg 34 Windmill
5TH SHAUN LITTLE 54-8-0
Map Marukyu Peg 22 Ash
6TH MARK MALIN 54-0-0
Colmic Airon Peg 10 Windmill
A good weekend all in all though and some more learning's to take on to my next trip up there which hopefully wont be too far away!