I have definitely found a new favourite commercial fishery, in the shape of TriCast Weston Pools. Fishing the bank holiday three-day festival there was a great experience, and I learnt loads. The three days fishing that I had couldn’t have been any more varied.
On the first day I caught 114lb from Stretton Pool, fishing with maggots on a short pole, a magic worm mix down the margins and a small pellet waggler to the far bank. I must admit, I set up a long 16m pole to fish here, but felt that the carp were spooking from the shadow, and backing off just beyond reach. Halfway through the match I got off my box and set up the waggler, and it was loads better – that decision helped me win the section and lake.
On day two, Canal Pool was my home. I was unsure about what my quarry was, so I started on a safe option of fishing hard pellets short. This decision was a blessing in disguise, as I caught four big carp in the first 10 minutes, fishing on just a top-four kit. A few more fish followed, but after it died I was able to keep fish coming by fishing with chopped worm and caster on the deck at six metres – barbel, big ide, tench and F1s made for amazing sport!
In the final 30 minutes, I dropped back in on the short swim I’d started on. Three big carp and several F1s hit the net in quick succession – it was a lovely little swim to start and finish on. My 136lb was enough for another section and lake win too.
The final day saw me draw another lake – Belvedere. Andy Bennett, who had caught 179lb from this lake the day before, told me that carp were the dominant species here and kindly explained that he’d caught on pellets (he’s a gem!). I based my attack around fishing short with pellets, pretty much like I had started and finished my match the day before.
It worked well, and despite suffering a poor middle two hours, I caught some big carp and plenty of F1s in between. Thinking I had a similar weight to the day before, I was shocked to drop 154lb on the scales for a section win and lake second.
To win the festival, however, I needed a weight advantage, and after hearing that Andy Bennett had managed another section win with 130lb I knew I hadn’t done quite enough. Still, I was over the moon to finish second in such good company, had three of the most varied days’ commercial fishing I’ve had in a long time, and of course the Weston Pools Bar and company was sampled to the max!
Fishing with worms and casters in a peat or soil mix is undoubtedly a good tactic for catching fish. After playing around with the peat out of worms for over a year, I’ve never been happy with it; I never seem to catch anything using it! Recently, I decided to buy a sack of proper topsoil. In the winter, I catch loads of fish using soil on canals, so why wouldn’t I use it on commercials?
A whole £2.67 left my wallet in exchange for a 20-litre sack of Levington’s finest from Homebase, to take to the Weston Pools festival. The soil is loads heavier than that you get in worms, and mixes up totally differently. If you want to fish on the deck with it, you can mix it a little drier and squeeze it into a hard ball; if you want it to create a cloud, make it slightly sloppier; or if you want an explosive cloud to fish in the upper layers, you can make it really sloppy. I caught on two out of the three days at Weston Pools using the mix… it’s well worth a try!