World Pairs – Chris Vandervleit

World pairs in Ireland is a festival that Gary Miller and I always look forward to. This year was our third year in the festival.

Last year we managed to come sixth, this year we were hoping to get higher up the leader board. As per normal we stayed at the Anglers rest in Ballyconnell. First person to great us was Francis Mcgoldrick, owner of the Anglers Rest, a very good angler, excellent host and now very good friend bought us our first Guinness.

First day practice match.

The practice match is always spread around the venues some sections in the South and North of Ireland. The draw took place in Enniskillen in the North at the tackle shop Fishing tackle and bait. When we arrived at the shop everybody was buzzing. He we met up with old and new friends.

When the draw takes place there is a Van draw, this is where anglers travelling together and draw the same section. When this is completed the rest of the pegs are put into the bag so anglers travelling on their own draw. I had the pleasure of drawing for Gary and myself and drew us on the Grass bank which is the low numbers on Church section on Garadice lake. My peg was ten and Gary was on thirteen. We wasn’t too pleased with the draw as the section fished poorly the day before and it did for the rest of the week.

Tackle for the day was pole and feeder. Feeder at fifty metres and pole fished at thirteen metres. Groundbait for the day1 and for the rest of the week was Pro Natural Dark and Extra 50/50 mix After balling in the thirteen metre line I started on the feeder. First fish on the feeder was a small Hybrid of about 6 ounces. Next cast produced a Skimmer of about 2lb then an Eel which didn’t count. As the match progress the feeder line died. A quick look and in seven put in’s seven Roach which weighed up to 8 ounces then not another bite. Back on the feeder I managed to catch several Hybrids to 12 ounces. Come the end of the match I weighed in 5 kilos 750 grams. Not a good weight but I learnt a lot. Gary on peg 13 managed to catch 6 kilos 500 grams. Cathal Hughes won my small section on the pole with 7 kilos 190 grams.

Day 1 – Our draw rotation for the week was one which put us on the Islands in Enniskillen. I was on Horse Island and Gary was on Inish Fovar. Peg 9 was the peg for the day. Horse Island hadn’t been fished the day before so it was unknown on how it was going to fish. After a boat trip to the Island we still had two hours to set up. Three feeder rods were set up two for fishing at fifty metres and the other for twenty five metres. The rods used were Drennan Acolyte twelve foot plus’s for the fifty metre line, one with a fifty gram window feeder and the other had a thirty five gram front loading cage feeder. The rod for the twenty five metre was an Acolyte twelve foot Ultra with a twenty eight gram front loading cage feeder.

At the start of the match I started on the fifty metre line on the cage feeder rod, second cast produced a 12 ounce Roach, next cast another Roach, third cast I lost a big Hybrid in the weed and rocks in front of me. After attaching a new hook length I caught a three pound Hybrid. Throughout the day I stayed on this line catching 21kilos 800 grams of Hybrids and Roach which was third on the Island getting beat by 150 grams for second. Rod Scott won Horse Island and the county with 33 kilos 160 grams. Gary had a good day catching 16 kilos 700 giving us a good start to the week putting us into eighth place.

20160906_173215Day 2 – We was back to the hardest section of the week Church shore low and Lough Scur. I was on Church and Gary was on Lough Scur. My peg for the day was ten one away from where I had practiced on Sunday. Setting up the same methods as I did on Sunday I managed to catch 5 kilos 600 grams mainly on the pole at thirteen metres. Gary caught 12 kilos. This weight wasn’t enough to keep us in the top ten which we expected to happen.

Day 3- Day three saw us back in Enniskillen. I drew Greenies which had fished very well on the three previous days. Gary was at Killadeas which had also produced some very big weights also but only from the first four pegs. My peg was an end peg 2. Peg 2 had been the worst peg on the section in the previous days and the best weight that had been caught off it was 9 kilos. Gary had also drawn bad peg 13 on Killadeas. As you can imagine we wasn’t very happy. Two rods were set up to fish at 50 metres. One with a cage feeder and the other a 50 gram window feeder.

After a very slow start I caught a few small Hybrids and Roach, the Anglers to my left were struggling also. As the match neared the end a few big Hybrids turned up and I managed to win my mini section with 14 kilos 900 grams. Unfortunately Gary had a bad day as we feared and only caught 7 kilo 150 grams. As expected the low numbers in his section dominated the section.

This after day three put us about three kilos off the top ten.

Day 4 – We were on Brackley and Bunerky lakes. I was on Brackley Gary was on Bunerky. Peg 5 was my peg for the day. Which again on paper wasn’t a good peg 5 kilos had been the best weight off it all week. One thing in my favour was that the wind had picked up which always makes the fish feed better. Methods for the day was 9 metre pole ( would have fished further out but it was too windy), two feeder rods one for 60 metres and the other 45 metres both with 50 gram windows feeders. At the start I started on the 60 metre feeder line which I only spent thirty minutes on as the anglers around me were catching a lot of fish on the pole.

First look on the pole which I had been loose feeding Casters produced a small roach, then a Hybrid. For about two hours I caught steadily then the fish just disappeared when the sun came out. At this point I decided to look on the 45 metre feeder line. At this point I had swapped the window feeder for a cage feeder. After several quick casts I caught several Roach then this line died for about twenty minutes, then in two casts two big Skimmers of about 2lb each. At this point there was ninety minutes of the match left, so I decided to stay on this line. I had to wait another fifty minutes for my next Skimmer. At the end of the match I managed to weigh in 14 kilos 600 grams. Gary caught 10 kilos 700 grams. Which put us 6 kilos out of the top ten.

Day 5 – Saw us at Church and Cully’s shore and Connolly’s shore on Garadice lake. Our pegs on paper were the best pegs we had drawn all week. I was on Cully’s 10 Gary was on Connolly’s 8. Both of these pegs had some form from the previous days. The problem was the weather was going to be horrendous and it was. I have never fished in such bad conditions with the wind and rain in my face I set up two feeder rods both for 35 metres, one with a cage feeder the other a window feeder and a 9 metre pole. At the start I started on the window feeder as the wind had already picked up and a window feeder is much easier to cast. After thirty minutes on the feeder I had only had on bite which was a Hybrid. On the pole line in had fed hard balls of groundbait and casters as loose feeding was impossible. Also I only had four foot of water on this line. First two hours I managed to catch approximately 150 Roach from one ounce to four ounces. Then the wind picked up creating two foot waves which made presentation impossible. So I had to fish the feeder for the last two hours which produced six more Hybrids. At the weigh I had managed to catch 12 kilos and 25 grams. Gary managed to catch 17 kilos 20 grams from Connolly’s give us a near 30 kilos on the day and a chance of a top ten finish.

After drying from a rain storm like someone had put a hose on you and dinner we went to the presentation evening. Unfortunately we finished thirteenth approximately 3 kilos off tenth place. Close but not close enough we had ended up with 132kilo 875 grams with tenth having 136kilos 345grams!

We have had a brilliant week and I would like to congratulate all the top ten I the pairs and the Daiwa cup especially the winners Jens Koschnick and his partner Thorsten Kusters who put in an incredible performance. Jens also won the Daiwa cup.

Also I would love to thank all of the sponsors Leitrim County Council, Inland fisheries Ireland, Fermanagh an Omagh District Council, DAERA and Daiwa. The people who make this competition possible Helen Rainsford, Kevin Locke, boat, Quad bike, Tractor drivers and everyone that helps out. Also a big thankyou to Francis McGoldrick for his brilliant hospitality and last but not least my pairs partner and Chauffeur Gary Miller.

Chris Vandervliet


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