Round 2 – Match Fishing Magazine Drennan Knockout - Grand Union canal - Stoke Hammond
After a few phone calls and it was clear that this part of the canal contained lots of bonus fish made up of skimmers and carp, although the carp would be difficult to get out due to their size! So draw being kind to me, my plan of attack would be squatts for skimmers and roach, chopped worm and pellets for skimmers, and maybe a line for carp.
At the draw three pegs on the mudflats section had been mentioned, but by the time we got to the draw bag they had gone, my travelling partner Cam Hughes drew peg 26 and was in with the three pegs on the mud flats so would do well to come top 5 in his section that was required to qualify. I drew peg 42 which apparently put me in a good area with a great chance of framing with skimmers and maybe even carp. Walking along the canal it looked lovely in places, although Cams peg didn't look the best!
When I got to my peg it was clear why this was a good area, between me and the peg to my left a big bush hung in the water. I put my box down and started thinking that squatt might not be the way to go as skimmers and carp would be required. This is not normally something I like to do as I love to catch a few small fish, so I couldn't help myself and I set up two squatt rigs with my favourite floats Garbolino DS16 in 4x10 and 4x12 to fish in 3ft of water left and right of my peg at 9m, they were set up on 0.10mm Garbo Line with 0.07mm Garbo Line bottom and an IM1 size 26 hook with strung out shot on the lighter rig and a bulk on the heavy rig. Elastic would be solid Garbolino CLX in 0.07mm. My main lines would be at 13m to the tree with chopped worm and caster slightly to my right, and in a gap to my left at 14m with pellets, although I plumbed up at 16m in case I needed to chase fish back in my peg. Rigs for this line were Garbolino DC22 in 4x10 and 4x12 both were set up on 0.14mm Garbo Line with lighter rig having a 0.10mm bottom with a size 18 B560, and the heavier 0.12mm Garbo Line and a 16 B560. Elastic was hollow Coex in 1.2mm. Next I set up a carp rig with a DCX4 in 0.2g on 0.20mm line and a size 14 guru MWG and Orange Bazookarp elastic set very tight, this would be fished over my skimmer lines if carp showed up.
At the all-in I fed all my lines and started on squatt, I caught a few fish then the angler on my right had a small skimmer at 16m, then the angler on my left had a bigger one, so on went my lighter rig to fish over my chopped worm, straight in and perch of 1lb was in the net; this was followed by a few skimmers and I had around 5lb after an hour so the squatt lines would be fed but with no intention of going back on them hopefully.
I re-fed my worm line and went on my pellet line which I had fed with micros; two skimmers and a crayfish followed. I looked up the canal saw the angler on my left had hooked into a carp, he had done brilliantly to get it away from the far bank, but unfortunately it found a snag down the middle and snapped him. Looking the other way and fellow Garbolino angler Lee Edwards was also playing a carp a few pegs to my right, he netted it and it looked big(it weighed 15lb). I decided to feed at 16m with worms, casters and pellets and leave it for 15 minutes. Back to my 13 m line and a few more perch and skimmers before I hooked a carp which I never had a chance with! I fed again and shipped out to 16m with my carp rig, it went straight under and I was into a large carp! I threw my pole behind me and managed to get the carp from the trees and into my landing net. It looked massive (nearly 13lb)! With around 20lb in the net I was going to be positive for the rest of the match and fish my carp rig, as if I hooked anther one I wanted every chance to get it out. I re-fed at 16m and dropped in at 13m with my carp rig and it went straight under, and another carp was on, the pole was chucked behind me and despite it trying to jump through the tree an 8lb common was in the net!! I rotated 13m and 16m to the end of the match and caught a few perch and skimmers although I did lose a few due to fishing so heavy.
At the weigh in I had just over 34lb, walking back to the van fellow Garbolino angler Jason Lebosquet stopped me and asked what I had as he had also had just over 34lb but I wasn't sure how much and neither was he. We had both lost a few fish fishing heavy for the carp but felt it had been the right choice, the results came in and I had beaten him by 3oz!! How close was that on a canal with big fish. Lee Edwards also did brilliantly to win his section and first out the money. And Cam had come 4th in section and done brilliantly off his peg.
The Garbolino boys had done an awesome job getting through again! So next round is on the Trent at Radcliffe, plenty of time to dust of my stick floats and wagglers if I can find them!!
Hopefully I can report back with some good news again next month, fingers crossed!