Fish O Mania - Lindholme Lakes, 27th June 2012

and the line kept on getting longer...

After applying for 4 Fish O Mania tickets this year, I managed to secure only 1 ticket for the final qualifier at Lindholme Lakes in Doncaster.

I arrived early, around 7am and was front and centre in the queue which as the morning progressed and the clock came around to 9am got longer and longer...  The banter in the queue was great and just goes to show what a friendly bunch of people anglers can be.

Neil Grantham outlined the rules to the competitor and also paid tribute to an angler that unfortunately could not fish the event as he had been involved in an accident with a car.  That angler is none other than Nathan Watson and a collection was been made.... for the car driver...

Peg 57, Laurels
The Draw
My hand went into the very full bag and out came Peg 57 on Laurels.  I'd fished Laurels before during the week with the Maggotdrowning crew so I had a basic idea of what to expect.

Peg 57 turned out to be on the bank between Laurels and Willow.  It was tucked away in a corner and the obvious target area would be the margin bank leading up to Peg 56.

Walking back to the car it was great to see none other than Mark (MPO) from MFS, he was right at the back of the queue.

The Set-Up
Today would be an all out pole attack, so no rods were broken out.  I set-up the following lines:
  • 13 metre line ahead and at the 10 o'clock position
  • 13 metre margin line to peg 56
  • 5 metre margin line to peg 56
  • 13 metre margin line to the peg 58 pallet
  • Shallow Rig
Bait for the day was fishery pellet, 4mm and 6mm, dead reds, 1 kilo of worm, 4 pints of casters, 2 tins of sweetcorn,

The All-In
I decided to take two approaches with my 13 metre swims, one would be potted heavily to encourage the fish to feed on the bottom, while the other I would use a kinder cup.  If the heavy potting worked I could always convert the other swim.  The aim was to rotate these swims each fish.

I also potted some sweetcorn in on the peg 58 pallet margin swim, and pellets on the right hand margin swims from the start.

It wasn't long before the heavy potted 10 o'clock swim produced a sail away bite on worm section and the first carp was in the net.  The angler opposite me, also on a "margin" swim had hooked a couple of fish and the next angler, half way up the point had netted 3 fish shallow.

I fished the 10 o'clock swim for a further 20 minutes, kinder potting my other 13 metre swim every time I put out.  I now started to rotate the swims and both were producing in equal amounts.  I netted a nice 2lb bream and hoped a shoal had moved in...they hadn't...

The first 2 hours of the match past very quickly and I had a good run of fish, not brilliant, but enough to keep you busy...  My two 13 metre swims where starting to die off, so I chopped some fresh worms and potted both swims and gave them both some time to settle again while I tried my three margin swims.

Each margin swim produced, but the results were quite different.  The Pallet margin swim, I hooked a whole worm on, no sooner had the float settled, fish on... after a brief battle which saw the fish getting behind my keep net a small barbel was in the net... going back to the pallet swim, not a touch... so I topped it up with more sweetcorn.

The 5 and 13 metre margin swim produced some small skimmers on both worm segments and expander pellets.

Nothing else from the margin swims, so I went back over the 13 metre lines for the rest of the match again with a steady stream of fish...

Result
I knew that I didn't have a winning weight, but as I'd had such an enjoyable day I wanted to find out exactly what I had caught.  The scalesmen came round and I registered 14kg 100grams or just over 31lb in old money.

Conclusion
The only thing I would have changed about my match was that I should have started to fish shallow for the first hour as it did take some time for other pole lines to start producing, whereas the gentlemen in front of me was netting 4 fish to my 1 in the first hour by fishing shallow.  I didn't set up a 5 metre line, which could have made a difference.

Well organised by the Angling Trust and Lindholme Lakes, I look forward to watching the final, good luck to all the lads from the North East, Shane Atkin, Adam Richards and Simon Medd.

Angling Trust report on the match can be found here.

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