Boldings Fish’O’Mania Qualifier

Boldings Fish’O’Mania Qualifier with Tony Curd

It was back on the road for the Boldings Fisho Qualifier in Shropshire this weekend, after a weekend off of the relentless qualifiers I was looking forward to this one, the venue produces big weights regularly, and no one is ever sure where the winner is going to come from, which is always nice to hear when you’ve never visited a venue before!

Prior to the draw I had a walk around a few of the lakes to see if there were any pegs that were obviously solid with fish, and didn’t really see much of note to be honest, but the talk was that the point pegs were the ones to be on.  At the draw Hawthorn 10 greeted me, a quick look at the fishery map showed that I was on a point of an island, and a few anglers said that it can be good at times, with this I headed off to the peg optimistic of a good days fishing.  Arriving at the peg , I could see I’d be in good company for the day, Perry Stone to my right on the end peg, and Neil Mckinnon opposite him in the other corner, surveying my peg it made it a simple day really as I couldn’t do a lot more than the peg dictated to me.

With the island in front of me being around 12m away, I’d look to fish as far to the point as possible as the peg got narrower and narrower to the right with bushes over hanging which made things difficult as I couldn’t get as close enough to the bank. Rigs for fishing to the island would be for fishing pellets this comprised of a 4×10 float in 2 and a half foot of water, on 0.17mm to an 0.15mm hook length, and a size 16 hook – ideal for 6mm xpand pellets or corn. I had to fish this rig a little heavier than I’d like on a venue with F1s, as I wasn’t sure how snaggy it would be near the island so I had to err on the side of caution and see how it went feed for this line would be 4mm pellets  through a kinder pot.  I also set a shallow rig up for fishing over the same line, a deadly tactic if you can get it to work against islands in relatively shallow water.

I only set two other rigs up for this match, one at 5 metres where it was 4ft deep 0.15mm to 0.13mm line and a 0.2g float would be perfect, and I would be looking to feed pellets and fishing xpand pellets on the hook, I would consider feeding corn on this line later in the day to hopefully catch a few bigger carp to boost my weight, the final rig was to fish down the edge, here I’d feed casters and dead maggots in the hope of catching some big fish in the last hour and half, 0.19mm line to an 0.17 hook length and a size 16 wide gape hook perfect for 4 dead maggots completed the set up.

At the start of the match, I fed my short line with about a quarter of a pot of 4mm pellets, and half a big pot of casters and dead maggots down the edge, a 6mm xpand pellet went on the hook and a full kinder pot of 4mm pellets were potted in over to the island, lowering the rig over the top a few dips and movements were encouraging, and after a couple of minutes a positive dig on the float prompted me to strike and hooked my first decent fish of the day, a quick ship back saw the fish safely removed from the island snags and a 2lb f1 was a good start to the match,  by keeping things steady and not feeding loads I managed to keep the odd fish coming for a while but got the feeling that I needed to make a move if I was to win today, put simply it just wasn’t quick enough.

With this in mind I picked up the shallow rig, banded a 6mm pellet and pinged a few pellets over the top, by lifting and dropping I hooked a carp after a couple of minutes, after a brief scrap around the island a 4lber was a welcome addition to the net. Nothing more followed on the shallow rig which was disappointing, a big pot of maggots and casters went in down the edge, in readiness for a look there in a short while, before I went down the edge I had a quick look on the short pellet line, and I was really surprised not to have a bite on this, I wouldn’t continue feeding pellets here and would change to corn in an attempt to bring some bigger fish into the swim which I’d need if I was to win!

As I was putting the short rig down I noticed a puff of mud come up down the edge, so I picked up the margin rig baited up with 4 dead maggots and  a full kinder of maggots, dropped in and in no time at all the float buried and I hooked a big carp, noticeable by slow thumping fight it gave! At around 9lb it was a big bonus and if a few of these showed I’d have a chance! It proved to be a bit of a loner as no more turned up so it was re fed and a quick look on the short line with corn, another quick bite here was good and a 3lb F1 went in the net.  After this I spent the remainder of the match between the short and margin lines, with only one more 4lb carp from the edge before the end.  My final weight of 42lb 4oz was enough for 2nd on the lake but no more! 113lb won the match from the point on beech pool, as predicted before the match. Never mind, onto the next one at Woodlands Lakes in North Yorkshire next weekend!

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

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