“Fish O Mania – Home International” by Alan Scotthorne

What a terrific match this was again with the team of Will Raison, Des Shipp, Steve Hemingray and myself doing a great job for Team England to win the Fish O Mania Home International at Cudmore fishery. Most of the fish were caught on the pole but on the difficult pegs in front of the Sky commentary box, the pole line dried up after two hours and I was forced onto the waggler.

After the match, a lot of people asked me how I made fishing the waggler look so easy. So I thought it would be good just to explain some of the finer details of how I went about fishing to an island without a hitch.

One thing you need to start is a good catapult. I use the Drennan Soft Feed groundbait caty with the soft latex on the green frame. Of course, I’ve had some time with it, but you can make it look very easy with two days practice at Cudmore because it’s all the same width. I simply cut the elastic down until I could fire a ball at full stretch within two to three meters of the fare side of Greer’s. So from the start I avoided killing the camera man on the island with a stray ball of groundbait, which could have been a little embarrassing !

Choice of rod was the next thing. I knew I needed a model with a soft action to cast the fully loaded 3gram Insert Crystal Waggler to the far side, so I chose a Drennan 13ft Matchpro Ultralight that was also perfect for playing the Skimmers that I was catching. The float was kept as small as possible because the Skimmers were really shy biters, we used just 0.2gram on the pole so you can imagine as small a waggler as possible would be an advantage.

Again to avoid any problems, I clipped up the rig just short of the far side vegetation because the last thing I wanted was to lose a rig in the swim while catching. The only problem with this is that if a Carp was hooked and made a run for it, I would have to unclip pretty smartly ! I did hook one Carp but unfortunately it was foul hooked because I was sinking the line and it broke me after a short tussle.

It was about 4ft deep where I was casting and my fully loaded Insert Crystal Waggler was held in place with three small Drennan rubber float stops. To stop the stops slipping on fine line, I had a five foot piece of 0.22mm line so the grommets were tight on the line and then the 4lb Supplex mainline, really nice and supple to help cast the float the required distance. To finish the rig I had just two number eights and a swivel as a dropper and a size 16 B911 to 0.128 Double Strength hooklength.

To kick the peg off at the start, I fed 15 balls of a mix of Sensas Magic and Crazy Bait Gold, loaded with dead maggots and casters. It was important to keep feeding this line during the first part of the match on the pole, because if you didn’t keep topping up, the fish soon vacated the area. I really did enjoy the match and even without a bonus carp or two, still managed close to 40lb of skimmer and three small barbel on the pole.

The 20lb I added on the waggler kept things ticking over nicely and as a team we coasted to an relatively easy win with Des and William being first and second in the match with 30kg and 25kg, two great performances, and Mr Consistent Steve Hemingray throwing in 23kg. Cudmore is the perfect place for this match and I hope it goes ahead there again next year.