Sun 10th January 2011 – Today we had booked teams in to two leagues, one at Loughborough on the Loughborough canal which will be good practice for our Angling Times Semi final. That is if we win the last round of the Warwickshire Winter League on Sunday 17th Jan and the other was the Coventry & Ashby Canal Winter League, I was given the choice which to fish, I opted for the Coventry & Ashby Canal Winter League which was to be on the Coventry Canal, Coventry City Centre there were only 7 teams of 4 but the fishing would be much better than Loughborough. The team consisted of myself, Paul Bick, Dave McCall and Paul Abbott, already having 2 open wins and a second in the last two weeks they reckon I should do the team draw as I was the inform draw bag.
Dave McCall was in A section peg 17 which was an end peg in the section which might help as pegs 13-16 are normally better.
Paul Bick was in B section peg 40 which is not a bad peg in the section as he had drawn there before and had double figures.
I was on C section peg 47 which was on Foleshill bend a good draw in the section normally there can be a few better skimmers in the area, but the canal had only just defrosted the day before after having 4" of ice on it for a month so after all the ice melt water going in i expected it to fish very hard.
Paul Abbott on D section peg 52 can be a decent area but a bit hit and miss although there is plenty of small fish there but he would be up against it as 5 pegs in his section were the other side of a bridge in a bay which a couple of the pegs are much better.
I didn’t think it was a superb draw but it wasn’t disastrous, any way I went to my peg 47 on the bend it is about 15 meters wide and deep about 4 to 5 feet from bank to bank. There was a strong wind blowing from the left which would make it difficult to present my rig. My travelling partner Darren Lewis had drawn next peg to my left peg 46 and surprisingly there were loads of Roach topping between him and peg 45 which gave some hope that the fish were moving despite the freezing cold water.
Using my Shakespeare Superteam pole I set 3 rigs up all on top 3’s as it was fairly deep and I wanted 3" of line between my pole tip and float due to the wind and clarity of water as it was very clear I didn’t want my pole over the top of feeding fish.
Rig 1 ST11 Superteam bodied 4×14 float with an olivette with 2 x No 12 droppers,
0.08 mainline to 0.06 hooklength and a size 24 kamasan B590 hook for single bloodworm or joker,
Elastic soft 3-4 Superteam.
Rig 2 ST11 4×10 set up with strung out No 12’s.
0.08 mainline to 0.06 hooklength and a size 24 kamasan B590 hook for single bloodworm or joker.
Elastic soft 1-2 Superteam.
Rig 3 ST8 Superteam 4×14 pole stick using with strung out No 8’s with the last 2 feet having 4 strung out No 12 to slow the decent of the hook bait.
0.10 mainline to 0.08 hooklength using a 18 Sensas 3405 black hook for caster’s or bunches of bloodworms.
Elastic soft 4-6 Superteam.
The match starts I feed a small ball of joker 50ml at 6 meters to my left and the same at 6 meters to my right hoping to catch roach early on. Then I feed to my left at 13 meters a big 250ml pot of joker and to my right at 13 meters a big 250ml pot of joker with some neat bloodworm and casters on this line I fed a dozen casters every 15 mins. These would be my main lines which I would hope to catch skimmers and roach. On this canal you always need double figures to win and on a day like this 250ml is more that I should put in, but if them skimmers turn up I want to keep them interested as long as possible.
I start at 6 meters to my left with Rig 1 20mins go no bites, go to my 6 meter right line another 20mins no bites don’t look good Darren Lewis to my left peg 46 got 20 roach and peg 45 got 3lb of stamp Roach. I go to my 13 meter lines alternating between the 2 for about 40 mins I catch about 6 roach for about 3oz total not good but the roach might not be there because of skimmers in the area, I hope! Fall back to 6 meter lines left and get a 4oz roach straight away followed by a couple of 1oz fish switch to my right another 3 or 4 1oz fish back to my left 8oz and a 4oz Roach next two chucks looking better 2 hours gone got 1 1/2 lb and caught Darren Lewis up as his pegs gone dead and stopped catching but then my peg also goes dead 15 mins go by without a bite. Then on my 6 meter line left I get a lift on the float I sense a line bite I lift my rig slightly and lower it again float burries a 12oz skimmer wait 5mins another one then no bites. I wonder if they are on my main lines. I deepen my rig to 4" over depth single bloodworm go to left line 4 skimmers to a 1lb in 4 chucks to my right 3 in 3 chucks back to my left another 3 its solid now, alternating between the two 13 meter lines I caught another 5 one going 2lb. ended the match with 17 skimmers. Peg 45 weighed in 5lb 4oz Darren Lewis on peg 46 7lb 11oz then I weighed in 16lb every one to my right had 1 to 2lb so it was another section win and even better another match win with 9lb coming second from D section.
It was also good news on the team front as well as Dave McCall was 2nd section Paul Bick was 1st section me 1st section and Paul Abbott was 4th section meaning we had only 8 points good enough for a team win on round 1.