3 weeks ago I visited a new venue for the first time, the fishery is called Highfield and is located between Blackpool and Fleetwood. Ive heard plenty of glowing reports about the place over the last few years and since the matches on my local pond have now stopped because of work being carried out it was time for a visit. First impressions were very good the place is imaculate and very well kept, infact the toilets are the cleanest Ive seen on a fishery any where. The reception was very warm and friendly and after tucking in to hot sandwich I was ready for a days fishing.
My first visit there more like trying to get a feel for the place and to see how best to go about tackling it next time. Ide play a big part in matches and its not uncommon to catch 50lb plus of them. I had a go for them but couldnt seem to get past the bits on maggot or caster so I switched to pellet on the deck and managed to get in to plenty of skimmers. I finished the day with 23lb which was never going to worry the winning weight which was around 73lb. After the match I thought next week forget the maggots and casters and concentrate more on pellet.
That was my biggest mistake Ive made in ages. After drawing one of the more fancied pegs on the island I had to sit and watch the guy across empty the place of ide for the first 2 hours while I struggled to get a bite. The second half wasnt as bad when the skimmers came to my top 2 and 2 line but I only had then for a short while and only managed to put 13lb on the scales while all around me the three top weights of the day were recorded. It wasnt all bad, the guy who won the match with 70lb of ide and a few barbel put me right on the bait and tactics.
Change of plan for the next match. The ide can not be ignored and 3 pints of maggots are needed to catch them. When the bites dry up switch onto the skimmer line with pellet and then try the margins late on. All started well on the maggot for ide with some very nice size fish gracing the net. After catching steady for about an hour and half the bites dried up. Little bit sooner than I would of liked but now was the time to have a look on the skimmer line. First drop in resulted with a skimmer about 1lb but that was it. Back on the maggot looking for ide but after a long wait for a few more fish it wasnt going to plan. I did notice the odd swirl in margin and made the decission to feed it, leave it for 15 mins then have a look. first drop in resulted with an almost instant bite and the elastic was out with some thing heavy on the other end. A few moments later i slipped the net under a carp about 5lbs. For the rest of the match I caught well down the edge but things slowed a little when I had a bad patch and started foul hooking big fish which spooked every thing out of the swim. To over come this I fished at the edge of the feed and managed one or two more until the end of the match.
At the weigh in I managed 61lb but was beaten to top spot by about 1lb. Having had the run of foul hooked fish near the end had cost me but I had a realy good days fishing and Im looking forward to next weeks match with my new rigs i tied up when I got home.