Alan Scotthorne auction winners have a great day
By Kev Allen
This is the story of the day John Hancock had with his mate Peter and Alan Scotthorne .
The day started poorly when my fishing buddy Peter’s car wouldn’t start so he arrived late for our 8.00am start time. In trying to make up for lost time Peter drove down the track to the fishery too quickly for Neil who at one time threatened to send him packing, not a good start.
However we were soon settled at our pegs on Bonsai with the ever present strong wind in our faces and inviting islands 16m away from us. We discussed tactics with Alan who recommended the shallow water adjacent the island as well as a swim at the bottom of the shelf to one side. I questioned why Alan did not recommend a margin swim and he thought that with himself on the peg and wandering around the fish would spook, so bottom of the shelf it was.
Alan also thought meat would be better than pellet as things were still warming up, although 20 degrees was forecast the wind was cold so we did not argue.
Once tackle was at the peg I started to feel a bit of a novice, my pole was ok, Daiwa TP but the top kits with hydro and Preston elastics too crude for Alan who said we would use his kits which were elasticated much lighter.
Alan also said I could use his box as well, the footplate would make fishing 16m easier. I have a Rive station at home (too big for my car) but tend to fish from a Rive station light just taking the trays I need as most of my fishing is from platforms on commercials.
My landing net was also unsuitable, (too big) so Alan’s came out the bag.
As for rigs it was Alan’s as well which were lighter than I would have used, ditto hooks. All my rigs have Stotz on them which are great for heavy line but no good for Alan as they move too easily!!
Four rigs in total were set up, bottom of shelf, tight to far bank, 18 inches from far bank and a shallow dibber all rigs had Alans own range of floats.
Out came a plummet when the rigs were set and Alan showed me how to plumb up properly, it probably took 30 minutes to scour the peg looking for suitable areas to fish.
The island peg was a bit too deep and not flat so he decided to fish 18 inches away from the bank, anticipating hitting foulhook problems before moving tight to the bank.
A small cup was fixed the meat cubed and we were ready to go.
The nearside line was kick started with a small pot of meat, the nearside would also be fed by hand and the far side by pole cup only.
On the 16m rig a succession of fish were quickly in the net before the foul hookers started as Alan had forecast so after about an hour the second rig was in play tight to the bank.
A very similar pattern followed with not only carp to 3lb but bream chub and barbel.
The wind was a pain and at times we had to stop fishing as it was gusting too hard making presentation impossible.
When I could fish, the fish just kept coming and were literally ripping the elastic out before I could get the meat out of the cup.
Once again after a couple of hours foul hookers again became a problem so out went the shallow rig. This was very effective and foul hookers stopped.
All of the time we kept feeding the nearside and after 4 hours with the far swim still productive we decided to have a look closer in.
First drop produced a carp as did the second, it then went very funny which I couldn’t work out. Fish were there and the float kept going under but nothing was getting hooked!!
Alan sat on the box to work out what was wrong and quickly sorted it. Two things were wrong, I was feeding too much, Alan cut this down and the rig was being affected by the tow which Alan countered by laying it in differently. Once again it was a fish a bung until we decided to call it a day.
We had permission to use a keepnet so quickly took some pictures of my fish, about 80lb which Alan pointed out had it not been for a swirling gusting wind would have been much higher.
I have been fishing 40 years and I learned so much in the time I had with Alan.
He thinks about his fishing so much, he takes nothing for granted and his attention to detail is amazing. His gear is available commercially but he just seems to add little twists to make it work for him.
Alan’s approach with my fishing partner Peter was different, he basically said set up how you would fish the peg and then set about correcting his mistakes!
I was obviously busy on my own peg so Peter is going to provide a write up of his own of this memorable day.
To summarise I don’t think many anglers would not have learned a great deal on a day such as this so please bid in future all the proceeds are for a very worthy cause. Alan is not a 5 times world champion without good reason, he is also a very approachable guy who genuinely wants to help.
Thanks to all at Big Bash, Lindholme for hosting and to Alan.
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