Back In The Feeder Masters Final!

I qualified for the Preston Innovations Feeder Masters Final at the weekend. Yippee!

I felt really positive as I drove up north to the stunning JCB Lakes. A bit less so after 100 miles and suddenly remembering I’d not packed a landing net handle! As soon as I saw Dan Webb in the car park, however, I knew he’d be the sort to pack a spare handle. “I’ve got four!” He said. Thanks Dan. Phew!

Peg 47 on the main North Lake was my destination. “Possibly the most consistently poor area of the lake,” the locals told me. Great! However, as I pushed my barrow around the corner I could see I’d got plenty of space, the wind was blowing my way and a few fish were showing. I definitely felt I’d catch as I popped my seatbox into position. A bit less so when I looked around wondering where on Earth my bait bag was! I quickly popped back to my van (still driving a hire van btw!) and no sign of my bait? A phone call to the wife confirmed it was still in my garage, next to my landing net handle. Doh!

Luckily I found a bag of White Acres micros from last week’s festival still in the footwell of my passenger seat. Rob two pegs up also very kindly gave me some extra pellets, so I was covered. I keep my wafters in my main tackle bag, plus a little bag of glugs and potions, so I was all sorted! I popped some Power Scopex Bait Booster on my micros and cracked open the ever-faithful Washed Out Wafters. Today was going to be a simple day!

I’d got an island 45m away with a gap between two bushes, so two 11ft Horizon Commercials were all I needed, with standard 26g Alloy Method Feeders and long stems. First cast, fish on after six minutes. I held on tight as it tried to climb the far bank. I could see a branch lifting up and then the fish came off. No!Thankfully the next five casts produced three big carp. All doubles. They all fought like demons in the clear water and were fun trying to scoop with Dan’s ‘budget banana’ landing net handle! Still really appreciate him lending it me, but I now have an even greater appreciation of how poker stiff my Horizon handle is too!

Second hour I lost one and that was it for ages. It probably wasn’t helped by the angler to my left now chucking 90m and landing a feeder six metres from mine. I’d also fed a long margin swim but no signs on this at all, so I started a new spot. Second cast I was rewarded with a double-figure common. The wind then totally dropped and other than a tremble five minutes to go that was it.

Four nice big carp. All on a pink 8mm Washed Out Bandum Wafter. It sounded like four or five carp was good in my 20-man zone. I hoped my four zoo creatures would nudge 50lb and when the scales settled on 52lb 12oz I was made up. That was enough to win the zone outright and come 4th overall in the match.

A big well done to fellow qualifiers Paul Sheehan, who won South Lake and Dean Barlow who won the match with 109lb. Tamar Lake, here we come!

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