I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Woodlands Fisheries near Thirsk
Garbolino sponsored former Fish-o-mania champion Dave Pimlott has been a regular at Woodlands for the last ten years and with at least thirty wins and countless placings under his belt is one of the most consistent scorers here. Fishing4fun.co.uk joined him on a match to find out some of his secrets.
Woodlands Fisheries in Carlton Minniot, near Thirsk is perhaps the biggest, best, and most popular fisheries in the North East attracting pleasure, club and open match anglers every day of the week all year round. With a Fish-o-mania qualifier and The Drennan final coming up in the next month open match attendances are being swelled by anglers travelling miles to get in some practice. We joined venue expert, Dave Pimlott, on a 90 peg open match being fished on four of the many pools on the complex.
Tactics and Targets
I’ve drawn Partridge lake peg 21 which is potentially a fantastic peg three away from the corner. I drew the opposite bank last Wednesday and won with 128lb but I’m not counting my winnings just yet as the fish do move about here, a couple of weeks ago I drew in the area and only had 6lb.
I’m going to concentrate on two main lines today, starting on pellets at six metres then going out to 14 metres with luncheon meat, both on the bottom and then as the match progresses up in the water. I’ll also set up a bomb rod to chase them out beyond pole range and will feed a margin swim for the last hour.
With the weather warming up and the carp becoming more active every day I don’t think there is any doubt that a hundred pound plus is going to be required to win today, how big the weight might be is anyone’s guess but you’ve got to fish for at least a ton.
Woodlands matches have been dominated by the pole and bomb over the last few months so that’s all I’ll be setting up today although I do have a waggler rod set up in my holdall should the wind get up too much.
Pole fishing allows accurate feeding and presentation with light rigs and with the right elastic set up allows you to land your fish quicker than on rod and line. It is by far the most efficient method for bagging up with carp and with the warmer weather arriving will be the method that wins the vast majority of matches here and on most commercials around the country.
I use a Garbolino Power Legion pole which is incredibly strong for carp bagging, light enough to fish all day at 14 metres and doesn’t cost a fortune. All my power top two’s are threaded up with black hydro elastic with a Dacron connector and soft rubber bead for attaching my line.
For my leger line I’m using a Milo bomb rod, that has a lovely forgiving action to prevent hook pulls but also has strength in reserve when it comes to netting fish, and a Shimano reel.
I’ll set up four pole rigs and the bomb rod, one pole rig for the 6m line, one for my margin swim and two for the 14m line, one full depth and one shallow.
I’m going to use 4×14 Carpa Porth floats for both my pellet and meat full depth rigs shotted with a bulk of size 8 ‘Stotz’ 18 inches from the hook and a couple of size 11’s spread out below. I use 0.15 Preston main line and 0.13 hooklengths with a size 16 Kamasan B611 hook on my meat rig and a size 14 on my pellet rig.
I use a ‘blob’, a tiny polystyrene ball, for my meat shallow rig set a foot or so from the hook and shotted simply with two size 11 ‘Stotz’ together six inches from the hook. I use 0.15 Preston Power line direct to the hook with this rig because you tend to catch bigger fish shallow and a size 18 Kamasan Animal eyed hook which allows me to tie a knotless knot with a hair rig, you seem to hit more bite hair rigging
the meat when fishing shallow.
For my margin rig I’ll use a Carpa Caster float shotted up with a bulk of 8’s and a single 11 dropper using 0.15 line direct to a size 14 Kamasan B611 again because you tend to get bigger fish down the side. My bomb rig is simply a ¼ ounce bomb sliding on the line with a four foot tail of 0.15 line to a size 18 Kamasan Animal and again I hair rig my meat on the lead.
Right that’s everything set up, I’ve plumbed up and set the bottom rigs an inch overdepth and I’ve got all my bait to hand on side trays attached to my seat box. I’m going to start with a cup full of cubed meat and hemp on my 14m line, a cup of meat, hemp corn and pellets on my margin line and I’ll loose feed pellets by hand on my 6m line. I will also loose feed meat over my 14m line to try and get the carp coming up in the water and fire a few cubes every so often beyond my pole line for the bomb rod.
I’ve brought 3 tins of plumrose meat cubed with a 6mm cutter, a tin of hemp, a tin of corn, a bag of 3mm pellets, a bag of Ringers 6mm expanders for the hook and a small bag of cubed meat dyed red for a change bait.
I’ve started on the six metre line with pellets and am surprised it hasn’t produced straight away. Normally, if you are on some fish, you can catch seven or eight fish for thirty pounds or so in the first hour before they move out to the long line. I hooked one after ten minutes and lost it coming back with a scale on the hook showing it was foul hooked, and haven’t had another bite on the pellet. A bad sign, especially as I can see them catching well up to my right.
I’ve had a drop in on the margin line but not had a bite there either so I’ve had to go to the 14m line much earlier than I’d hoped. My first four fish were a skimmer, a gudgeon, a tench and an ide – a sure sign that there aren’t any carp in
the peg yet. So with an hour gone I’ve got less than 2lb while up to my right I’ve seen Sean and John land seven or eight fish each so I’m thirty pounds adrift already.
Second and third hours
The second hour was significantly better than the first as at last I got some carp into the swim. I landed my first at 12-o-clock on the dot and another two in the next five minutes, not big fish but a start. I caught fish between a pound and three pounds steadily but not quickly for the next forty minutes to finish the second hour with seven fish for about 12lb all on the 14m line at full depth. I had a go on the shallow rig but had no signs of a bite.
I started the third hour on the bomb and had three fish straight away followed by a biteless ten minutes. I tried the waggler and the 14m line again with no joy before catching another four in fifteen minutes to finish the hour off with another seven fish for about 12 lb again. With Sean and John both catching well I’m miles behind now but, as I said earlier the fish do move about here and they might move to me. One good hour and I’m right back in it. Until they do though all I can do is keep rotating around my lines to keep something going into the net.
I noticed they were catching shallow up to my right so decided to fish the shallow rig for the fourth hour knowing that you tend to get bigger fish. It was my best hour of the match by far with me adding 10 fish to the keep net for about 25lb. Unfortunately amongst them were a few chub and I didn’t get any of the bigger carp that Sean and John seem to be catching with my biggest being about 3lb while I saw them getting 6 and 7lb fish. It looks like I’ve drawn just off them today.
I started the final hour in the margins hoping for some of the big carp that I now needed to get back into the race. With double figure fish being caught regularly here a good hour on them can net you 50lb. I started with two 5 pounders on my first two put ins but that was it for the margin line and I spent the last half hour fishing shallow for another three carp.
I’ve weighed in 74lb 14ozs, which is a bit more than I thought, while John has won the match with 123lb and Sean has come second with 117lb. The match has been brilliant throwing up 5 tons and a 98lb – what a venue!
It’s been a frustrating match in many ways from that disastrous first hour right to the end. I’ve not been on the fish so have had to chop and change too much just to keep some fish coming and I haven’t caught a big enough stamp of fish. Sean and John have both managed to catch consistently on whatever method they were on and they’ve caught bigger fish. Normally you need to catch 30 fish here to weigh in a ton, I’ve caught more than that today and still come a long way short. That first hour was the real killer though, 84lb has won my section and 98lb has been last of the framers, it wouldn’t have taken many fish in that first hour to get me into the money. With hindsight I should have spent that hour on the bomb.
It is a great venue though, I’ve struggled today and still caught the best part of 75lb. There’s no wonder it’s packed solid every weekend.