Back On Winning Tracks

Today we were off to Bowsaw and Billhook, it is a pair of man made lakes about a 1/2 hour drive south of Reading. I have only fished the venue twice before winning once and in the last match I was there, I was third but I discovered something I thought I would put good use to in this match I was about to fish, well that’s what I thought !!!! All the best laid plans etc. We arrived at the venue at about 8am and generally whenever we come here, it is normally gale force winds and torrential rain, today was no different and as the top lake (billhook) which we were on, is on the top of the hill it would certainly add to the excitement given the weather conditions. I had a quick walk round before the draw and the wind was blowing into the pegs in the early numbers.

From pegs 8 onwards the lake goes towards a narrow arm, and from the times I have fished here, I have never seen these pegs produce anything decent, apparently they are decent in the summer but these pegs needed to be in as there was 19 of us fishing with a few anglers fishing with us from Sensas A4 who had a weekend off as there winter league had finished.

At the draw, I pulled out peg 10, right down the arm end of the lake where I didn’t want to draw, still someone had to though but it curtailed my idea of fishing the feeder as it’s only about 30 metres wide and I had an angler directly opposite me.

I decided to fish 3 lines, one tight in against the rushes to my left as I had about 4ft of water there, one at 7 metres and one at 14.5 metres as this I felt was as far as I could fish without upsetting the angler opposite me. The lake is relatively the same depth all through, though the lake does tow a huge amount and conditions dictate the bait needs to be stationary otherwise the fish won’t take it. Rig wise for the margin, it was black hydro, mick wilkinson tapered diamond 0.4g as these sit really well in the water through to 0.15 mainline and a Tubertini 175 size 16 hook. For the open water lines, I set up two different rigs, one to fish corn which was similar to the margin rig, but 0.13 mainline and grey hydro with a pull bung. For the other rig it was identical but as I was likely to use this rig to fish pellet and maggot I opted for a Tubertini 808 size 18 hook.

Baitwise I had some 4mm and 6mm GOT baits expanders, some micro pellet, corn, red maggots and some liquidised and sliced bread in case it was really hard. On the all in I out a pinch of micros, couple of grains of corn and some maggots onto each line and planned to refeed depending on how many bites I was getting. Dave Bosher (Bosh) on my right was into a fish pretty much from the word go, plus the angler across the lake to his right, so it looked like the fish were going to have a go. It took me an hour to get a bite on the long line which I missed, then on the next put in, I hooked into one and despite playing it as though my life depended on it, I lost it at the net. Looking round the lake it seamed everyone was struggling, so I decided to try the line at 7 metres, and first put in with a 6mm expander and we were in which resulted of a fish of about 4lb in the net. That was pretty much that, I did plumb another line up at 10 oclock at 14.5 metres and fish punched bread over liquidised but even this failed to produce.

At the weigh in young Jake Gallagher age 14 who fishes for Maver Farnborough juniors was the winner with 15lb, well done Jake and he led the way with the guy opposite him weighing in with 10lb with his dad in the peg to his right weighing in 8lb. All in all it was rock hard, all I can say is roll on Spring. Next week we are fishing the first round of the Angling Times Supercup, followed by the teams of 3 Spring League at Rolfs fishery. Lets hope I manage to catch more than the total of 3 fish I have caught in my last 2 matches or at least get back to winning a match of some sort.

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