Everything is Slightly Different in Match Conditions – By Alan Scotthorne

I had a rare opportunity to fish a match on peg 48 on Bonsai lake, that I had drawn just five days earlier in an eighty peg Open.  I won that time with 130lb, sixty pounds of silver fish and the rest  made up of F1s.  In the opening hour and a half I caught thirty seven  fish, skimmers and F1s  fishing 13 meters down the edge with Micro pellets and corn fed through a cad pot.  While doing this, I loose fed casters out at 16meters.  The fish were boiling (on this spot) by the  time I picked up my shallow rig and proceed to empty the lake !  I have  to say I had a lovely match, catching Chub, Ide and odd F1s and keeping them  feeding right to the end.  So you can imagine when I drew peg 48 again, I thought it would be much the same.  How wrong can you be!

The conditions seemed even better with a gentle breeze blowing up the lake and  it was much warmer.  So in theory, shallow fishing would be even better  and I couldn’t wait to start! I set up three rigs for the shallow sixteen  meter line and one to cover the same area on the bottom, just in case.  Then I assembled two rigs for down the edge: one with green Hollow  Core and a size eighteen Kamasan F1 hook to 0.10 Polemaster Fluorocarbon  hook length and a second more aggressive rig for fishing corn on the same pattern of hook in a 16 to .117 Double Strength with yellow Hollow Core to a 16 of the same pattern.

I  started down the edge to the right at thirteen meters in 2ft 6inches of water close to a bed of rushes, potting in corn and micro pellets but  also loose feeding long with a catapult. To say it was slow was an under statement: I had just six fish in the first hour and was forced to go long.  This line was also very slow to kick in, but odd F1s and chub kept me  ticking over.  I needed to make the inside line work too, but didn’t  want to stop feeding the long line as it was obvious that you were going to  want topside of a ton to win the match. So with the catapult in my hand constantly feeding the long line, I started pinging 4mm hard pellets down the edge  too.

It  was nothing like the previous match, even on the caster shallow line, so after three quarters of an hour, I was back down the edge.  This time, I changed the hook to an eyed B911 and a banded 6mm hard pellet.  This was a transformation: I started to catch regularly and by using the caster line as a rest line, I caught well for the last two hours.

At  the weigh in, I had superceded my previous weight with 142 lb, this was good enough for second with a brilliant 150lb winning from John Allerton. It just goes to show how every day can be different and preconceived ideas can lead  to disaster, so the rule is always keep an open mind on what the day requires !