This was my 2nd winter league at the venue, luckily I won my first, so I was keen to defend the title! The event is a 18 match series done on section points, with your best 10 results deciding your overall position in the league. Each round the match is spread over the 3 lakes, Cyprio, Front and Match lake.
I got off to a great start to the series, after the first 4 rounds I'd had 2 section wins and 2 2nds in section and was winning the league! The weather was still mild for November, the carp were still on the munch, so it didn't really mater what areas of the lakes you drew. Caught bags of carp ranging from 60-100lb.
The early rounds the best methods had been fishing long and short pole in open water and down the margins late on. All these areas I'd been catching on 6mm Tutti Frutti Boosted Pellets
, feeding 3 or 4 6mm pellets covered in Tutti Booster Liquid with a kinder pot. Last year I caught on these methods all the way through the series, this series was going to be completely different though!
It's fair to say the fishing wasn't going to plan at midway point! The weather had finally changed, as a result so did the fishing. Needed to draw and fish well to compete.I've got a lot of confidence in my approach when it comes to fishing the pole for carp, they just wasn't coming in to pole range on most pegs though! The method, waggler and bomb were starting to be the dominant methods..none of which I had confidence in!
Went through a bit of a bad patch results wise, only managed a 2nd, 3rd and 4th in section, also missed three rounds over the Christmas period. Admittedly I'd drawn 2 poor pegs which I really didn't have much of a chance from, but my bomb and method approach just wasn't right and I was missing out on fish. Time for a rethink.
I've always fished with the smallest hooks and leads possible when fishing the bomb in winter, but after seeing a few blogs from the carp anglers on the Hinders Facebook page and the set ups they use, I dread to think how many carp have 'got away with it' as a result of my set up lol! Changed over to bigger leads, short hooklengths and the biggest hooks allowed ( size12) and the results have been amazing!!
Towards the end of the league I had a really good run of results, had 7 section wins and a couple of 2nds! Most of these rounds my main approaches have been, method feeder using hinders micro pellets, mixed 50/50 with Pollys Method Mix
with a wafter soaked in boost liquid on the hook or bomb and corn. Both tactics I've fished up to features such as islands and airiators at long range, loose feeding the odd 6mm hinders carp pellet over the top. The weights needed to win the section have been between 30-50lb towards the end, which is only 6 -10 fish on some lakes, so every bite counts. Really glad I changed my approach when I did. Was drawing well, had confidence in my approach and had my fair share of luck regarding last cast fish that made all the difference!
That late run of results has put me on 11 points ( 9 section wins and a 2nd) which has been enough to win the series, with 2nd place ending on 15 points !! Really happy to win it again, especially after having to completely change my approach for the venue midway through. Even with the bad patch over Christmas I've still managed to pick up money in all but one of the rounds I've fished, be it section money or framing in the match! Happy with that level of consistency and look forward to the next winter league...after a summer of bagging that is!!
A big well done to Tom form all us at Hinders!!