I recently took part in a senior match at my local lake ( even though I’m a junior) using some enterprise tackle baits ( mostly sinking corn).
I arrived at 9:50 ready for a 9am draw. Most of the others looked like they had rather expensive gear with most of them having 16 m poles, which I could only dream of owning. However I drew peg 62 and when I told the others, they all said I had what was usually the winning peg. We had an hour to set up, which was long enough for me as I’m used to only half an hour in my junior pegs. I set up my feeder rod with 8lb mainline and a 1oz cage feeder through to a size 12 hook.
Also I had a 12 foot match waggler with a 5bb drennam waggler to a size 14 hook
The horn sounded at 10:00 sounding the start of the match. I cast out my feeder towards the island 20 meters out where there were lots of bubbles and fish crashing. I was using artificial sinking corn which had been dipped in a chilli and salmon flavoured glug. Within a minute I was getting knocks but nothing that I could strike at. Then after five minutes the tip bent round and I had contact instantly. The fish headed straight towards me making me have to wind really quickly so that the fish had no slack to perhaps shake the hook. Thankfully it just kept coming towards me so by the time it tried to run away I could get the net under it. After close inspections I saw that it was a 5lb grass carp, this gave me a lot of confidence for the time ahead. Almost as soon as I recast, the tip once again bent round and I hooked into a 5lb common carp. This action carried on for the next hour, then the action started to slow down around 12:30 and bites only came every half an hour. I noticed a lot of carp cruising along the surface but I wasn’t allowed to use floating baits so there was no way of getting a bait right in front of them, and it was too far to cast my float to especially with the wind blowing into me. I had to stick with the feeder yet their were still lots of signs of fish moving in the swim. Then the tip once again swung round but straight away it felt a better sized fish. The fish started taking line and almost ran into my neighbours line, thankfully it changed direction and started coming towards me giving me the upper hand. It ran into the net and was a lovely 8lb mirror carp. For the rest of the match I had carp averaging about 3lb still on the same piece of sinking corn in chilli and spicy glug.
Finally the horn sounded at 15:00 sounding the end of a cold but enjoyable match. We started going around weighing everyone’s catch, with most being around 35lb. Then came to the moment I dreaded. I was the 7th angler to weigh in, and amazingly the scales stopped at 50lb 5oz, which so far was the winning weight. However two of the others looked like they had been catching a lot throughout the day. The first of the two weighed in; 45lb 9oz. I was feeling quite lucky now, but then came the second of the two who I thought may have beaten me, he was the last to be weighed with my haul still in the lead. My heart sunk as I saw him haul out his load of fish. It looked like it would beat my weight easily. They were all poured into the large weigh sling and it took two people to get it on the hook of the weigh scales. The scales tipped: 49, 50. Finally they settled and the match steward shouted out “49lb 3oz”. I had managed to beat 17 experienced adults just using my cheap feeder rod and one piece of fake corn on the hook. I was over the moon especially as it was for a club trophy that had never been won by a junior in the history of the club. Unfortunately I didn’t enter the pool (betting) which would of earned me a nice sum of cash on top of the victory. I didn’t mind the because I showed the old timers that you didn’t need expensive gear and baits to win a match which was good enough for me. Now I have been invited into another of their matches which I will almost definitely go to and this time enter the pool. It was great fun and using fake baits made it a lot easier especially as my fingers went numb meaning I couldn’t really hold the bait, let alone hook it.