Drennan Oxford’s Ian Young had a brilliant day, despite the heavy rain, catching 353 silverfish during a post-Christmas match on the Raveley Drain. His 15lb 11oz weight was enough for 2nd overall and just 9oz off the winner. Here’s how Ian caught:
It was the Stanjay Open on the Raveley Drain near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and I drew between a bridge and a sluice. I had had a quick word with Pete Vasey in Oakwood Angling when I collected my bait as he had been there very recently so I had an idea of what to do.
I set up 4m, 5m and 6m whips. The 5m whip had a 1g float to fish on the deck over groundbait, the 4m had a 4×12 size float for fishing up in the water over the top and the 6m had a 4×14 float for also fishing up in the water. Hooks were size 18 or 16s to 0.105mm Supplex Fluorocarbon. I also set up a couple of normal pole rigs although I never actually needed to pick them up.
At the start I fed three balls of groundbait at 8m and 11m, plus a cup of hemp at 11m and then loose fed pinkies over the top. Starting on the 5m rig I caught small roach straight away but it was being held up so I switched to the lighter float on a 4m whip and caught roach, rudd and bleak steadily for the next hour before a pike swirled on that line.
A switch to the 6m whip saw me instantly catch rudd of a better stamp around 6ft off the far bank. They seemed to fade away quickly, however, so I went back to 4m while still pinging a few pinkies over to the 6m line. I swapped between 4m and 6m for the next couple of hours. The better rudd then seemed to settle on the 6m line, which I stuck with until the end of the match, catching better on a big maggot hook bait.
I checked my fish counter with an hour to go and it said 248. I finished on 353 an hour later, tipping 15lb 11oz on the scales. I felt reasonably happy that as I hadn’t had a tangle and had only lost one hook all day. It also turned out I was just beaten off the next peg by 9oz! He didn’t have as many fish but a better stamp and quite a few on tares!
What a venue. I only walked 10 yards and there was only one weight not in double figures. Like me, I don’t think the landing net saw much action, but the new Umbrella stayed up all day!