Wayne Swinscoe’s Open Match on the Old Nene

Thanks to top match angler Wayne Swinscoe from Nottingham for an interesting account of a successful Open Match on the Old Nene last week:-

“The Old Nene at March is always a venue I look forward to fishing. The river looked in good trim, a nice pace with a slight tinge of colour – near perfect. All I needed was a really good draw and believe me, this venue owes me a few! Sadly I drew out of the town – 10 pegs below the bypass bridge, an area I seem to live in! The good news was I was on a decent peg in the section with plenty of room. Normally 7-10lb from here will win you the section – I’m not really thinking at this stage about winning the match.

After settling down sat in the water nice and comfy, I decided on a nice simple approach; 2 lines. The first on breadpunch – my main attack, on the second line was groundbait with squat and pinkies. After plumbing up I found the deepest water at 4 joints of my acolyte pole – this would be my starting line with punch. At 6 joints I found about 3 feet of water – this would be my second line. I set up 4 rigs to cover the job in hand; the first one a 0.8 gram olivette rig with 3 x no10 droppers spread evenly to a size 18 Kamasan B511 to 0.7mm hooklength. This was fished 3 joints to hand – this would be my bagging rig (if it happened). The second one a 0.6 gram olivette rig 3 x no11 droppers to a size 20 B511 fished 4 joints short line. Rigs three and four would be G Tip 2 floats (0.25 and 0.4gram) strung bulk shotted and 3 x no12 droppers spread to a size 22 B511 to a 0.7mm hooklength.

With the condition of the river there was a good chance of a few skimmers turning up at some point in the match. I think it’s important to start feeding just one line here and see how it goes before making other plans of attack. I started the match by cupping in a small ball of punch crumb at 4 joints, fishing 3 to hand over the top I was catching chunky roach straight away. It was steady for the first 40 minutes before the bites started to die off.

A switch to the lighter short line rig brought the peg back to life – I was feeding quite regularly with small balls of punchcrumb until suddenly the bites stopped. A few minutes later a 10oz skimmer turned up, at this time I made the decision to cup 3 small balls of pro natural groundbait in on the second further line. These contained plenty of squatts and pinkies, also I started to loose feed pinkies over the top. I carried on fishing the bread line and two more skimmers and the odd roach came to the net before it was time to try the groundbait line. Initially it was poor but by working the 0.25gram G Tip rig with single and double pinkie I began to catch dumpy roach, the odd small perch and importantly the odd skimmer.

By switching between the two lines I kept bites coming until the end of the match to finish with around 70 roach, 9 skimmers (from 6oz to nearly a pound) and the odd perch for 12lb 10oz and a comfortable section win! I was happy with how my match went but disappointed to find I’d missed out framing for the match outright by just 5oz.

– Wayne Swinscoe, January 2014

For full details on the Acolyte Pole as used by Wayne and many other top match anglers, click here.

For full details on the brilliant Drennan Brass Head Bread Punches click here.