Sensas Challenge - North Holland Canal, Landsmeer
Einfachstippen have entered the Sensas Challenge Match on the North Holland Canal near Landsmeer. There are 26 teams registered to fish, with the top two teams going through the the Sensas Challenge Final in France later on in the year.
Our team will be Steve, Roger, Theo and Nico. It's our first match as a team, so I'm not expecting too much in the way of a team result. It is important that we take the time to practice and hopefully we will have a few days good fishing.
It will be good to fish next to some top anglers and see how we stack up against them. Maybe one us us will get in the individual frame, and who knows team wise, miracles do happen ;-)
We have entered because we love fishing, and match fishing is the best platform on which to gauge your angling abilities - and it's a great feeling when you win. And whilst it is great to win, it is really about taking part.
Good luck to everyone fishing. Let's hope we have good weather and the fish are hungry.
Practice Session - Sunday, 12.03.2017
My first visit to the canal with Roger, Theo and Nico did not go well. I was suffering from a bad cold, headache sore throat and blocked nose. I didn’t feel very enthusiastic, but nevertheless, I gave it a go.
We fished at the 9.8 km marker (it’s on the far bank on the railings). The canal is about 40 metres wide and from about 7 m out to 11.5 m it was about 3.6 m (12 feet in old money.) As my top 3 is 3.95 m, I had to use the top 4 at 5.6 m and shorten the rig a bit. Here is where a short No. 3 section would come in very handy.
I threw in 10 large balls full of Joker, casters and chopped worm at the start, but they were not the most accurate throws I have ever made – which was not a good start.
I started short at 4 metres and after half an hour I hadn’t had a bite. Theo tried short as well and he also hadn’t had a bite. Roger caught straight away out at 11.5 m, and Nico had a few indications at 11.5 m, but no fish yet.
After 30 mins, I moved out to 11.5 m on a 2 g DH13 to 0.13 mm Reflo Power and a 0.10 mm bottom. The rig was finished off with a B560 size 18 hook. I tried a small piece of worm first and after 5 minutes I caught a small skimmer of about 300 g.
Meanwhile, Roger was having a nightmare next to me. He had lost 2 big Bream and when the hook pulled out of the second one, his rig shot back and up into a tree. No, we didn’t laugh ;-) He changed rigs – and increased his elastic strength, and then had a few more fish.
Nico and Theo were catching steady at 11.5 m and at the end the 4 hours they had about 4-5 kg each. Roger had 3 kg+ and I scrapped in with 4 Skimmers, a small 800 g Bream and a Rudd – for maybe 2 kg.
We managed to get an idea of how to approach the canal. For the second session, I'm going to fish one line at 11.5 m in a depth of about 3.6 m, and one line at 4 m in 2.5 m of water.
Rig 1: Top 4, 2 g DH 13, 0.13 mm main line, B560 size 18 to 0.10 mm.
Rig 2: Top 4, 1.5 g Preston Inter Wire, 0.13 mm main line, B512 size 16 to 0.09 mm.
Rig 3: Top 3, 1 g Drennan AS 5, 0.13 mm main line, B512 size 16 to 0.09 mm.
I have started to use the Preston Innovations Stotz on my pole rigs and they are working really well. No damaged to the line and really easy to move. Give them a go.
We had another practice session a week later and all caught well close in, so our tactic was to fish at 4 m and 11.5 m. We'll see how it goes.
The Match, Saturday, 25.03.2017
The draw is at the http://www.cafededriezwanen.nl/
From the Cafe to the canal is only a couple of km's drive.
On the day, 17 teams turned up to fish the match. Many have dropped out apparently because the fishing is not so good. As it turned out, the fishing was excellent.
I drew peg A11, Nico B1, Roger C5 and Theo D14. With our limited knowledge of the canal it was difficult to know if there were any good areas or not.
As planned, I started on the 4 line, using a 1 g AS 5 float fished well off bottom, feeding small nuggets of soft groundbait with joker at regular intervals. We could only get bites well off the bottom - the fish just didn't want to go down to the bottom.
I caught fish more or less from the start, but nothing big – small Roach, Skimmers and Bleak.
After 45 minutes I went out on the 11.5 m line where I had fed 12 balls full of Joker and Caster.
No bites, so back to the inside. Every 10 minutes or so, I went out to 11.5 m, but it wasn’t until the halfway mark that I had a fish, a small skimmer.
I persevered at 11.5 and managed one Bream, but I just could not get the bigger fish and finished with 46 fish for 4.445 Kg and 6 pts. My neighbour managed several good Bream and was top weight in the match with 15 kg - so I was in a good area :-(
Nico had 4.370 kg and 4 pts, Roger 5.315 kg and 5 1/2 pts and Theo 4.975 kg and 8 pts. Good weights really.
With our 23.5 points we came in 14th place and could have easily been in the top 10 with a couple of bonus Bream.
I think the venue fished well with an average weight of 5.990 kg per man - pretty good.
Congratulations to the two teams, Teams Sensas Nederland and HJG Drescher who now qualify to fish the final in France.
If we continue to learn these new venues I'm sure we will improve over the coming months. I'm looking forward to the 2018 Sensas Challenge already.