Help for Heroes Festival – Jamie Harrison

Last weekend saw us competing in the 3 Day Help for Heroes Festival at the wonderful Southfield reservoir near Doncaster.

The format was simple, the match length was split into 3 equal zones and each angler would fish a different zone each day. My draw rotation meant I would fish the order of A, B and then C on the final day. The first day proved to be my immediate downfall however as this was a split section which meant it was spread over both the East Lake and the West Lake.

Unfortunately, my draw put me on peg 6 in the West Lake but as it turned out all of the weights came from the East Lake and my 11lb was only good enough for 10 points which I’ve got to admit annoyed me far more than I thought it would! I’d also fished a rather poor match to be honest fishing far too aggressive and the stamp of my fish was too small to compete with the other bream weights.

I selected my favoured mix of 100% F1 and I’d had by far enough indications from fish to have achieved a top 5 position in the section but sadly I didn’t manage to turn them into fish in the net! An horrendous start but we must learn from our mistakes and move onto the next match.

Day two saw me draw B section and it was an area where a more attacking approach would suit. To cut a long story short I ended the day with 37lb of skimmers and bream with the vast majority of my weight coming from the 16m line which I fished with a 3 hole metal Matrix cage feeder in conjunction with the 3.3m Legend Slim but once again I’d had by far enough indications to have won the zone which was won with 45lb and my weight managed a respectable 3 points.

I’d fed a kilo of worms as well with Liquid Worm and whilst I should have done better, at least it showed that my approach and baits were right. The final day saw me peg 54 in zone C and it was much cooler and the wind was stronger.

The key to the weekend had been finding out which line the fish wanted to feed on and after an hour or so it became clear that this day would be spent focusing on the 30m line. It was 3 hours before I had any sort of reaction from a run of fish and it was evident that when they decided to turn up you had to feed heavy in order to keep them in the peg long enough to catch as many as you could before they backed off!

Once again I fed a kilo of worm and my net of skimmers and bream to 4lb tipped the scales at 29lb which was enough for 1 point and a zone win. The key bits of kit for the final day was the 3.6m Horizon S-Class with an Aquos 4000 reel and submerge braid and by switching to a 4 hole Matrix bullet style Horizon feeder I managed to catch runs of fish for longer periods which gave me an edge.

In summary, the lines we fished, the mix we selected and the amount of bait you fed had a huge impact on the size of fish we caught and for how long we could catch them. It was another great event in the company of some of Europe’s finest feeder anglers and it was a great weekend especially as it was all in aid of raising money for Help for Heroes. Roll on next year’s event…

Jamie Harrison


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