Bait-Tech Viaduct Winter League – Tom Downing

Bait-Tech backed Tom Downing reports from the Bait-Tech Viaduct Winter League read on for his full report…

Having only just started to fish at The Viaduct in the summer just gone I was very keen to put a bit more time to the venue as the more effort you put into one fishery the better the reward can be. With this in mind I spotted a post on Facebook that a team were a man down so I was quick at the opportunity and offered to fish for them. A few of them I had fished with before, The two Dave’s who won the Shiplate league, Jon Howell who I’ve fished with at Stafford Moor before and Steve Denmead who I hadn’t met before.

With the fishery being 70+ miles from home and being booked in for a breakfast at a nearby pub it was an early start leaving home at around 5:30am. After demolishing the brekki, I headed on down to the fishery to meet with the chaps and have a yap about the day ahead. It was soon clear that drawing well was key in this league as fish tend to shoal up in certain areas, pretty common for a lot of fisheries at this time of year but on the other hand knowing where they were going to be with nearly every peg in was a different matter as I know to well from a previous Fish-O-Mania qualifier!

The first round is a random draw rotating through each week, I didn’t really mind where I drew as I knew I’d get to fish all the lakes eventually which is nice as 3 of the lakes on the complex I haven’t fished as of yet! Captain Steve did the draw and as we were last to pay we were last to draw! And apparently we had one of the worst team draws possible with me being on peg 124 which is on Campbell. With the previous matches being won up the other end I wasn’t overly confident of catching carp but if you can, they are worth some really good points! I decided to keep it relatively simple setting up a bomb rod, a waggler and a couple of silver lines on the pole one at 14,5 meters and one at 9 meters. I fed the silvers lines from the off, the long line with ground-bait and some dead maggots and the shorter one with loose-fed casters. I sat out the first hour trying to catch a carp but I only had one liner and no one around me was catching so I looked on the silvers lines. All I could seem to catch where really small ‘blade’ skimmers not ideal but it was fish in the net but then a couple of carp were caught in the nearby pegs so catch up was needed. I topped up the pole lines and sat on the bomb. After 10 minutes or so it finally went round with a carp I feared to be foul hooked by the way it was fighting! And to confirm my worries as it came to the surface one final burst and the hook pulled! I was gutted as I’ve not had another sign for the rest of the match! I did put a few more skimmers in the net, but again no size to them. I used a mix of Bait-Tech Pro Natural Bream darkened up with some of the Pro Natural Dark! I’ve ended up weighing 2lb 9oz so a bit of a disaster but I managed to pick up a few points. Perhaps I could have sat it out on the bomb but the angler on my right fished it for the majority of the match for no bites at all!

2 weeks later and this time I’m on scary Cary! Hoping for a good draw again, we couldn’t believe that Steve had drawn us the same set of 5 pegs as the previous round which placed me on 88!! So not good again just a case of damage limitation really. My set up was almost identical with the exception of a throwaway line on the pole if people started catching carp in the area. It seemed like a case of déjà vu to the previous round with just the one liner on the bomb in the first hour. No one in the area was catching so I plodded away and started to catch hand sized skimmers but bumping lots of fish which became very frustrating and couldn’t seem to resolve the problem! After a day of persistent rain the all out couldn’t have come any quicker and I finished the day with 5lb-6 which was good enough for 7 points on the day so I was relatively happy with that but feel I could have caught more skimmers if I could have sorted the foul hooking out.

Round 3 and it was onto lodge lake. We all had our fingers crossed that we had a different draw for a change. Speaking to people before the draw and the majority mentioned peg 66 would be a good draw so I was more than happy to be on there and all being well catch a few carp! Again a very simple approach for me, 2 rigs for down the edge, one for fishing on the deck and one for dobbing. A line at 14.5 meters to the end of the tree to my left and a short line if I needed it to my right. I started the match going straight under the tree to my left with an 8mm punched piece of bread dipped in the new Bait-Tech Liquid Plum (This smells and tastes so good!) My first sign of fish was almost instant with a liner and 30 seconds later I had hooked a carp only to loose it at the net which was clearly foul hooked. So I moved the float to fish about 8 inches off the deck and never really looked back. Apart from having to chase the fish further into the trees but they weren’t really too much of a problem to get out. So I was on 9 fish with 2 hours to go and all indications stopped from under the tree so I left alone and had a look on the long line where I fed a few cubes of the Bait-Tech N-Tice Poloni, no signs after 10 minutes so I topped the swim up putting 50 or so cubes in and looked under the tree again… no signs! Back to the meat line and the float didn’t have time to settle and a good fish of around 15lb was in the net! That was my last fish of the match having a bite less last hour but I wasn’t to complain as I had a lovely days fishing. At the scales my 10 carp went 85-14 which won the lake and section! (14 pegs on lodge with 5 on Cary) This was also good enough to get 3rd place overall and a nice little pick up to boot!

A mixed round up of the first 3 rounds and on the team front we are currently last but that was mainly down to scoring barely any points on round one with a couple of blanks from the team, but hopefully a good last two matches can see us climb up the ladder but with a very strong field of anglers it’ll be far from easy! Next up for me is the match lake with a few pegs on spring and middle which I am looking forward to.

Check back in a few weeks when the league has concluded and I report on the final two matches!

Tight Lines

Tom Downing


3 Responses to Bait-Tech Viaduct Winter League – Tom Downing

  1. bonnard Bruno February 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Bjr ‘et avec une grande certitude que la pro Natural et hors du que c the best des groundbaits……?

  2. topsy February 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Great report mate ,good luck on the next 2.

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