Shiplate Teams of 3 Round 2 – Tom Downing

After a good start to this years league Tom Downing and his Bait-Tech South West team mates were hoping for more success going into round 2 here’s their report on what happened…

Round two of the Shiplate Farm teams of three took place over the weekend. After the lake rotation it was Lee’s turn on the Hawthorns, Titch was onto his favoured main lake and West-pool was to be my office for the day. Having been away fishing the week prior to the league match I stayed at a friends house to save having to drive the 80 miles to the venue and not have to get up at silly o’clock for a change. After a nice lie in I got to the fishery around 30 minutes before the draw and got my shuttle loaded up ready for the slightly longer walk over to West. West-Pool is predominantly fishing long across to the far bank and the forecast looked spot on for it. Overcast with a slight breeze so fishing should be fairly comfortable.

After The first round draw ( apart from my flier!) I was hoping to put the other two onto some better pegs and hopefully a shed full of fish! Into the order draw I went….7th to draw this week and as usual a lot of the better pegs had already been drawn by the time I got to the three buckets! I drew myself peg 8 on West, Lee was on 9 Hawthorns and Titch 13 on the main lake. Not a good draw from a team perspective at all but we all had a job to do so it was a case of damage limitation!

Once I got to my peg I found out I had drawn next to the ‘Shiplate Legend’ Steve Howell who knows the place like the back of his hand so I knew I’d have to fish a tidy match to compete with him. Peg 8 is one of the longest pegs on the lake and found I’d have to fish 16meters plus a dolly butt to get to the far bank. My set up for the day was really simple, across, edge and down the track.

Firstly for my across rigs I set up two identical rigs but with one set slightly deeper than the other, one at 18 inches deep the other at 12 inches deep. I used a MAP IS2 in 4×10 size to 0.13 Reflo Power and a size 16 pr478. To my left I had a spare peg so I decided to set a couple of edge rigs up, one at the bottom of the slope in around 4ft of water and one on the slope in 18 inches, the 18inch rig was the same as I would use for across and the deeper rig I set up a Drennan Carp4 in .3 to 0.15 Reflo Power to a 14 B911. With the spare peg I also set a ‘throw-away’ line up at top 6 where I would big pot meat and hemp and have the odd look if it was fishing hard. I used a MAP SD1 in 4×14 to 0.15 Reflo Power and again a 14 B911. Finally incase the wind made the fishing across difficult I set up a small method feeder to one of the little cut bays as an option to fall back on.

With lots of rain I felt the fishing may be on the harder side so on my main line of attack I would feed next to nothing to fish for bites rather than try to get lots of fish in the swim. Also with the far bank being so shallow, foul hookers can become a real problem if you get to many fish in the swim. As the all in sounded I fed half a pot of Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp with a few 8mm cubes of plain and N-Tice Poloni Meat, which I’d plan on topping up every half hour or so increasing the amount of meat as the match progressed. I fed the same at the bottom of the slope in front of the next peg but added a bit of corn for good measure. For my across lines I’d simply feed a small amount of Bait-Tech 2mm Coarse Pellets which I soaked in Bait-Tech’s The Juice through a small toss pot. My hook-baits for this line was the awesome Bait-Tech Xpand in 4mm and 6mm smothered in The Juice… Arguably no better combination!

First put in I shipped out to the marker I made on my pole where I found 18inches of water with a 4mm Xpand rolled on to the hook, lowered the rig in and tapped the small toss pot of micros over the top. It wasn’t long before I was getting indications on the float and with that I could see a few fish moving tight against the bank and the float buried… Foul hooker, hooked and lost unfortunately. Out I shipped to the same line but with no bait in the toss pot this time and as soon as the float settled it went under as quick as it went in and a small carp for West-pool standard came to the net of around 1.5lb quickly followed by another. The fish soon backed off for some reason so I had another line across to my left plumbed up, so I would plan to alternate between the two without over fishing one area.

After 2 hours I only had 4 carp but everyone on the lake seemed to be struggling so I decided to have a look on the line I had been potting in meat and hemp but unfortunately to no avail, there was a few fish showing shallow so I had a quick look with no success. So I topped up again and concentrated on the across line. We had a really heavy shower halfway through and that really affected the fishing, for time being anyway. I kept on rotating through my lines but the only lines I could get any indications on were my across lines so I ended up sticking on these for the remainder of the match. I kept a few fish going in the net towards the end of the match and was fairly confident I had beaten Steve but I did notice the angler on peg 4 was catching a few and from what I could see they were a lot bigger stamp than the fish I was catching!

I finished up with 12 carp and I was the first of our 6 peg section to weighed. The other section had been won with 55lb off of the better pegs so it would be interesting to see how we fared. My 12 fished tipped the scales round to 41lb 8oz which as I guessed was only good enough for 2nd in section behind peg 4 who weighed 70lb + on the method down the edge! He certainly had some proper lumps in amongst that but still I was very happy with that and good points for the team from a below average draw! I felt I fished a very tidy match as I don’t feel I could have done anything else to make up an extra 30lb to win the section.

Read How Lee’s day on The Hawthorn’s went here:

Titch’s Report.

After last rounds result I was keen to get some better points on the board and being on the main lake, a lake I’m very confident on, but I was still hoping for a good draw! When Tom told me I was on 13 I wasn’t overly disappointed but being in the section with 15,14,14 a and b and good anglers on them respectively it was going to be a very tricky task! I set up to fish for silvers at the start of the match as the lake has a good chance of winning the silvers out right putting another £20 on top of the £30 lake fund . I set up two lines, one at 8 and one at 14 meters one with a double bulk and one with a strung out bulk to see which presentation would fare me better. I fed the same on both lines, the feed consisted of Bait-Tech Special G Micros mixed 50-50 with Bait-Tech Special G Gold which I also laced with casters. I would keep alternating hook baits and soon found that either corn or a Bait-Tech 6mm Xpand produced the better fish. Whilst I was plugging away I knew that later in the match the fish feed very well at the bottom of the near shelf so I kept feeding a line at 8meters to my left with Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp and 10mm cubes of Bait-Tech N-Tice Poloni meat! There are some really big fish In the lake so I felt 10mm should do it some justice!

With around 2 hours to go I guessed I had round 18-20 lb of skimmers and with no-one else on the lake fishing for them I was confident I had the lake silvers so it was time to get my head down on the carp to boost the section points! It was slow to start but once I upped the feed a little, I started catching steadily until the all out landing a fish around 15lb shortly after the whistle…thank god for the extra 15mins. As the scales got round to me Dave White on peg 14b had weighed in a brilliant ( went on to win the match) 150lb! So that would win the section. My silvers went 20lb and with them I tipped 88lb of carp onto the scales. This gave me 108lb and a section second which I was over the moon with and felt I fished a very tidy match and felt I couldn’t have done to much more to be in contention with Dave! As the weigh in progressed it was confirmed I had won the lake silvers, and with 2 19lb weights from the other 2 lakes I had got the ton up as well so some brown envelopes for the team kitty.


So to round the day up with 3 below average draws we did fairly well as a team with two 5’s and a 2 scoring 12 on the day so we finished in the top half with ‘Up The Famers’ winning the day overall who tied on points with Frys Psv but had a superior weight difference!! The next round is on the 9th October and we will be on the last lakes on the rotation of 3. Titch goes to West-Pool I move onto Hawthorns, and Paul Tidball is kindly standing in for us as Lee is away. Fingers crossed my drawing arm comes back from it’s holiday.

Myself and the team would also like the say a massive Thank You to everyone at Bait-Tech for providing us with some clothing, bait and a few extra goodies, it’s certainly greatly appreciated!

Also a special thanks’ from Lee as he can wear his towel as a skirt…

I hope you enjoyed the teams reports.

Tom Downing

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