Ian Didcote On Form!

Bait-Tech’s Ian Didcote loves fishing for silver fish and is a master of the art so when he visited one of his favourite venues which is full of these species of fish he was going to take some stopping!

Last Sunday I made a trip to a venue very close to my heart.

Burley Fields Lake in Cheltenham is a place I had fished since I was 10yrs old.

Primarily it’s a carp venue but it is absolutely rammed with silver fish. The matches aren’t massive as there’s only limited pegs available (carp and pleasure take priority) but with the sport available it’s worth it.

There are 2 lakes on the complex that are joined together via a narrow gap that’s crossed by an access bridge.

Even though the lakes are joined the larger of the 2 lakes is far superior to the other. With 19 anglers spread over the two lakes the draw was going to be important. I was about 3rd to draw and thankfully drew peg 13 on the day which was the first peg on the better side.

On getting to my peg I was a bit worried that I was too close to the bridge, when targeting skimmers access to the main body of the lake is usually vital. After getting sorted I released my brand new UK accomplice pro from the bag. A very stiff wind was blowing straight into my face which would make presentation difficult, I settled on fishing 11mtrs slightly to my right, 6mtrs in front and top 4 to my right. Both long lines were the same depth which made things easier and at 5ft I set up a couple of rigs to suit. Rigs for open water were based around catching skimmers fast and efficiently. Dc18s from .6 & .8gr both tied on .14 garboline and shotted with either a bulk and 3 no.9 droppers or a bulk and the 3x9s bulked on top of the hook length loop. All these rigs had 15cms of .10 garboline with either a 18 or 16 milo T213 hooks.Elastic was either single 5 or double 5(set soft) through a top 3 with a side puller.

The top 4 rig was a dc12 with a strung bulk tied onto .12 mainline with 15cms of .10 with a size 18 drennan carbon match, single 5 elastic through 3 sections finished this perfectly. The plan was to fish worms and groundbait on both long lines and loose feed casters short.


3pts of casters

1/2pt dead reds

1.5kg worms

2kg of Bait-Tech Pro Natural and F1 mixed 50/50

Also had some 2mm and 4mm Carp and Coarse pellets and some Scopex Corn just in case.

At the whistle I cup 1 ball with 50ml of chopped worms at 6mtrs and 6 balls at 11mtrs 3 with no bait and 3 with 150ml of chop in. I slip a worm head on, loose feed 30 casters to my left and ship my rig out. Within seconds I’m playing my first fish, a 12oz roach after 6 roach of various sizes I topped up with a sloppy ball of groundbait with a few worms via a ultra lite pot. Bites carried on for the next 30 minutes with top ups after every 4 fish, the worry was I hadn’t seen a skimmer yet!DiddyCatch

I topped up with a big ball with 50ml of chop and go long, I get a lift bite straight away which results in a 10oz skimmer. I have a little run of similar fish fish but they seem to want some grub. Topping up with small sloppy balls keeps the fish coming but as of yet no bigger skimmers. The other anglers to my right were catching well but slower than me but with a few bigger skimmers and the odd bream. I refeed my long line and go on my top 4 line. Having fed this from the start bites were coming thick and fast with roach from 1oz up to several touching 10oz. If I fished where I fed bites would stop, but by feeding short and fishing past it I could get regular bites all on single caster, most bites coming on the drop. As the match progressed I rotated between all 3 lines but it soon became apparent that the skimmers weren’t worth catching as I was having to wait for bites.

Going into the last hour things were very close between several anglers so I decided to forget the skimmers and go back on the top 4 making sure I was putting regular fish in the net. I had a really good last hour putting close to 10lb of roach with an odd big rudd in the net. The whistle signals the end and I quickly get packed up and await the scales. The weights were very tight and as the scales came there were several high 20s and a 35.6 (all big skimmers) Lifting the net I knew that I had caught a lot of fish and on the scales they went 35lb 7oz!!!!! I had won my lake by 1oz from Jim Brockie (sorry Jim) 24lb was lowest weight on our lake so you could tell how close the weights were.


The other side was won by Leon Blundell with 18lb of roach and skimmers. Well done young man!

So my fond return had gone well and I also secured a place in the all winners final at the end of May!

This match just shows you need to be versatile and keep putting fish in the net however big they are.

Ian Didcote

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