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Junior Blind Pairs Pre-Match Report, Charlottes Lake, Harbourbridge Lakes.

This weekends match at Harbourbridge has a format that has been used in the junior pairs before, and to great effect. The ‘Blind Pairs’ match is back again for 2024.


The way it works is very simple. Juniors will draw for their pegs at 9am and, as usual, in the order in which their booking was received on Spond.


A one-hour period for setting up and a regular match start at 10am.


At some point during the event (Usually when we tire of the withering questions as to whom the juniors are partnered with!) the pairs ‘teams’ will be drawn, at random, according to their peg numbers.


Revitalised with knowledge to withstand the next two-hours of questions, the coaches will weigh in the participants catches as normal.


Points will be awarded with one for the winner, two for second, and so on to the last placed junior.

The points will be added together and the team with lowest points score will be declared the winners.

In the event of a tie on points, positions will be worked out on combined team weight.

In the unlikely event that there is still a draw, then places will be decided on a coin toss, a spitting competition, or a bareknuckle fist fight to the death….


Once the positions of the teams have been worked out, the results and the teams will be revealed at the end, and not before.


Just as a point of order, I and my fellow coaches respectfully insist that juniors remain quiet during the weighing process. It is pressured enough waiting for the scales to settle without adding to it the (sometimes) screaming hubbub of a group of feral junior anglers.

Please gives us a fighting chance to get the results correct.

Failure to do so will result in the rules outlined by the NFA (National Federation of Anglers) whereby participants must remain at their pegs until weighed in.

I know how much you like to see each other’s catches. A little cooperation will ensure this continues.


Onto this weekends match and I’m fresh from an afternoon spent at Charlotte’s Lake.

Alec and Ian had spent most of the morning there already and, by the time I got there, they were catching Roach, Rudd, and Perch one after the other.

There was no point in me trying to do the same, so I set up a shallow rig at a top kit plus three (About 6-metres), and a Pellet Waggler.

With pellets there was not to show for my efforts on any of the shallow pole rigs. I fished at 6-metres, 5-metres, 4-metres, and just a top kit with only a few Rudd and a couple of chunky F1’s on my score sheet.

Despite the breezy conditions, I tried to fish with a Pellet Waggler tight to the mudline.

Feeding was tricky in the wind, and the bow in the line did not allow the float to stay still long enough to fish it effectively. Having said that I did have my biggest fish with it around 8lbs.

The wind dropped enough for me to persist, and I managed four more at around 3lbs each.

After the P. Wag, it was time for a Pellet feeder fished also to the mudline which nailed me a couple more ‘Proper Carp’ and a shed load of F1’s. Sometimes the feeder didn’t even hit the bottom before it snapped up. I fished a 10cm hook link and later felt that a shorter 7.5cm might have been better to prevent the bait from being ejected or a longer hook link to allow the fish to take the bait deeper, because there were a lot of bites missed and fish bumped.

After a spell of catching on the feeder, I swapped back to a 6mm pellet fished on the deck at top kit plus two (about 5-metres). It had a slow start but soon the better fish were coming and Good Carp, F1’s, Bream and Big Roach were processed by my landing net.


In summary then.

There are plenty of fish to be caught short and shallow with maggots. In fact, you should be able to catch small silver fish all day on this line with maggots.

There is no point in trying to fish maggots at full depth, they will never make it to the bottom!

6mm hard pellets fished at depth worked well for the better fish. You will also catch Carp there. Feed 6mm or 4mm semi-soaked pellets.

Small firmly squeezed balls of micros will help to hold the fish.

I fished a small Pellet Feeder with a 6mm or 8mm pellet on the band. Fish this as tight to the far side as you dare. Some pegs do not have a mudline, so you’ll have to go to the trees/brambles.


Bait:

At least one-pint of red maggots.

2mm Micros for feeding and for the feeder.

4mm, 6mm, & 8mm hard pellets.

Other Optional baits:

Corn

Meat


Personally, I would not be using ground bait unless I wanted to attract a swarm of very small silverfish.


See you Saturday!


Juniors Sec.

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