I won’t go into too much detail for this match because most of you know Chester’s Lake better than I do! After speaking with local legend, Richie Butler, here are a few nuggets of advice that he was kind enough to offer.
With the weather getting colder now, the fish will become less active. Less activity means clearer water and fish that are more easily spooked or frightened.
Having said all that, Chester’s Lake is usually a nice soupy colour, so hopefully spooky fish should be less of a problem.
A match last week still threw out some decent weights so I am hoping that the winner should be looking for around 30lbs to win. Let’s look at some bait…
1.5/2-pints of red maggots/with a few whites. Large tin of Sweetcorn. DARK Method Mix. 1-pint micro pellets Optional baits would be worms, pellets in other sizes (4,6, & 8mm), 2 & 4mm Expanders (Pre-soaked overnight). Maybe 6mm cubed Luncheon Meat…(?)
Your primary bait is going to be maggots. It is recommended to take at least 1.5-pints of maggots, 2-pints is better. I would favour reds with few whites thrown in for a hook bait option. Other baits to be considered would be Sweetcorn and definitely take some DARK method mix. I would recommend mixing about 1-pint of soaked micros (45 seconds) with the same amount of the Dark method mix. Where possible, feed your bait with a pole pot or cup instead of throwing the bait in by hand. This will help to concentrate the fish in a tight area, and not have them too spread out. You can also regulate the amount you are feeding much more accurately so as not to over feed the fish.
Pole tactics will usually score over most other methods. Fish a short line (close to you), top kit plus one or two sections will be plenty. You will need to fine down your hook links to 0.11mm diameter line (3lb) and size 18 or even 20 hooks. The fish are not huge in Chester’s Lake, so 0.11mm should be able to cope. You will need to balance these finer lines with lighter elastics in your pole. Ratings of 9 to 11 are recommended. On the feeder, a 30g medium sized feeder with do, with a 18/16 hook to a 0.17mm (6lb) hook link. You can either buy method hook links without a band or buy ones with and cut the band off because you will most likely be using maggots on the hook rather than pellets or wafters. For the margin areas, try to find a nice flat area in about 60cm (2ft) of water. If fish come into these areas, it will most likely be towards later in the match. Don’t leave it too late to fish these areas because the match is only 3.5-hours long! Feed them at 1:30pm and fish them after 20 to 30-minutes after. Feed the method mix loose in a pole cup, not squeezed into a ball, with a few grains of corn.
On the subject of feeding, I cannot over state enough that you should not over do it! Feed a walnut sized ball of the method mix at the start and don’t feed again unless you don’t get any bites, or the bites start to fade or slow down. Then you can feed again. Let the fish tell you what they want. Forget the catapults, forget throwing the bait, where possible use a pole cup of pot even at short range.
It’s a big championship day for three of you, and I want to say this. The most important thing about the day is that you enjoy it.
The three contenders have all had exceptional seasons and all deserve to win. But there can be only one winner and one runner-up. Someone is going to walk away empty handed sadly.
I want a clean fair match. There are some exceptional circumstances that need allowances, but contingencies are in place to make the match as fair as possible. Although it is a junior match and should be fun, there are rules that I insist are followed to the letter for this one please. No one wants a disqualification on the last points match… I love this match because it is in honour of my dear friend, Martin Vine. Let’s enjoy the day’s fishing as much as he used to…
See you at Whitemoor.