MFS - Stafford Moor - Silvers Festival, 28th February 2013

The final day of the Silvers festival and an open draw, so I could be on any of the three lakes that we had fished in the previous three days.  I drew Tanners, Peg 9 so on the lawns again just a few pegs up from where I started on Monday.  My neighbours for the day would be Mark Mcdorch and none other than my adopted dad, Herbie, our festival organiser.

We were great by an iced over lake and ice breaking was the order of the day.  Ice breakers were going in all over the lake and I borrowed one from Pete (PerfectPete) and spend 15 minutes cleaning the swim.

The Set-up
After breaking the ice to about 13 metres, I set up the following lines:

13 metres at 45 degree’s to my platform
13 metres straight ahead
8 metres at 2 o’clock

Depth wasn’t ideal at around 4 feet the 13 metre lines, 3.5 feet on the 8 metre line.  Bait was dead and alive red maggot, casters and chopped worm.

The All-In
I decided to fish one 13 metre line positively and the other as I’d being doing the last two days, with a nugget of sloppy groundbait fed via the kinder cup.  I cupped in one large ball of groundbait with casters and dead reds on the 45 degree line and a small cup of chopped worm in the 8 metre line.

The plan was to try and tempt one of the lakes large perch on the close line.  Plenty of big Perch had come out during the week, including a brace of 2lb’ers, 3lb fish and one caught by John (RedArmy) that was 4lb exactly (keep an eye out on Angling Times for that fish.

Small amounts of feed throughout the day was required
It took 30 minutes before the first small roach came in, this was on my negatively fed line.  After 90 minutes I hadn’t had any other fish, neither had my neighbours, it was going to be a tough day!

After 3 hours I had caught some skimmers, nothing to write home about and disaster struck.  The large sheet of ice started moving over my 13 metre swims, it stopped me fishing the long line for 20 minutes, so I went on the chopped worm line, before the ice slab covered that too...  As the ice passed, my swim was clear but on first ship out my rig caught a snag close to the platform and broke at the double bulk.  I rigged back up, new hooklength, re-shotted and re-plumbed the long swims.

For the final hour of the match I started to catch on the left hand swim, so concentrated my efforts there.  The All-out was called and it was clear that our section had fished hard.

The Result
3lb 10oz, 3oz short of a section second!

First time I’ve had to break the ice in a match, the section weights were low and the fishing was tough.  I was pleased with the efforts, I was getting bites throughout albeit after a short wait.  Mark Murdoch had won the section a few days earlier and I fished it exactly how he fished it, shame the big perch never showed.


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