I've never fished this area before, but it did look promising when we were setting up. We made our way to the canal after visiting a local tackle shop for supplies.
The draw put me on peg 1 with Roger to my right on peg 2. The wind was very strong, but I wanted to fish the pole. I set up to fish my Preston Euro Carp XS 1000 pole at 11.5 m.
Just 2 rigs today. A tapered string of stotz on a 1.25 g Inter Carbon, and a bulk down rig with two droppers on a Preston 1.5 g Power float.
Elastic for the Inter Carbon was the new Drennan Power Pull in 1 mm, and for the Power the same elastic in 1.2 mm. I've used this elastic a few time now and I've been really impressed. It's like a happy medium between the Original Preston Slip and the new Dura Slip elastics. Top marks Drennan.
At the start I cupped in 5 balls rich in chopped-worm, dead maggots and casters. Then I constantly fed hemp over the top all day long. It is essential to have a constant stream of feed going in - and the noise helps a lot in attracting fish to the area.
I was surprised to catch the first Roach after just 5 minutes, but then had to wait 10 minutes for the second one.
The wind was blowing hard over my right shoulder and caused right to left waves on the water. The canal however was flowing slowly from left to right.
I set the rig in to the left with the wind, and as the rig settled I got the bites. The strung out stotz were working well on the Inter Carbon rig.
Best bait was a single white maggot on a ready-tied Preston N10 size 18 hook.
I did have a short spell when two grebes went through, it was hard to get a bite, but otherwise, I have had a steady days fishing, catching 82 fish - 79 Roach and 3 Perch.
I saw Martin get a Bream and it looked like he was doing really well, but the others seamed to be struggling. Phil started on the feeder, but after just catching a Tommy Ruffe, he changed to the pole after a couple of hours.
Although the weights were low, catching over 80 fish was a good days fishing for me. Martin also had a good day. I kept my head down until the final whistle and those extra fish in the last 15 minutes got me the vital ounces I needed for the win.
It's all over - and I'm the Champion for 2023. Role on 2024!