Match 2 - Sunday, 19th December 

The second match of the series today and after the first match I am lying in 7th spot with 7 points. For the first match the large numbers of small Roach caught me by surprise - I was expecting it to be Perch on chopped worm and maybe the odd Roach or Bream. It was nothing like that. This time I am better prepared if the Roach are still there.

At the draw I pulled peg xx from the hat and made my way to the peg. 

Groundbait this time is slightly different. I've gone for 1 bag of MVDE Black Earth Heavy mixed with 1 bag of Sonubaits So Natural Black River. The swim is 4.5 m deep so I need a heavy groundbait to get down to the bottom and break up more slowly. I will introduce all this groundbait at the start and I have also mixed up a bag of Black Roach to introduce in small balls with dead pinkies occasionally when required.

In the initial feed I have 500 ml of Joker, a few dead pinkies, and some hemp. All but 2 of the balls are really hard and should break down slowly. I will regularly feed a few grains of hemp over the top to keep some noise attraction in the swim. I'm using my throwing stick instead of a catapult today.

I have set up 2 rigs on the long pole at 11.5 m and also an 8 m whip.  Both are fished over the same groundbait area - there is next to no flow so the rigs are fairly still.

The whip is the 8 m Absolute System Whip and I am using it with a cut-back flick tip. I have cut the tip back about 10 cm. Main line is 0.14 mm Accu Power and the hook length is 0.10 mm Accu Power to a B560 size 18 hook. The float is a 3 g Drennan Pencil. The rig overall is about 7.5 m long - about 50 cm shorter than the whip - so I can swing fish to hand. I'm fishing this rig dead depth with an olivette and 1 No. 8 Stotz dropper.

The 2 long pole rigs are a 2 g DH21 and a 2 g Preston Kerry. The Kerry is set up to fish dead depth with a bulk and 3 droppers, and the DH21 is set about 30 cm off bottom with a bulk and a short string of 5 Stotz. Hooks on these rigs are size 18 or 16 Natural N10's. Main line is 0.14 mm Accu Power and hook length is 0.09 mm (18) or 0.10 mm (16) Accu Power. Elastic on both rigs is Original Slip Yellow No. 6 through just the Monoblock tip section of my Euro 3000 Competition pole. 

The N10 has proven to be an excellent hook and the Kamasan B560 is a proven winner.

My hook choice was important today because when you are catching lots of fish you need a robust hook. The new Natural N10s have proven to be excellent hooks and I can catch fish all day on the same hook. The Kamasan B560 is a slightly thicker wire with a wide gape that will cope with swinging in the fish on a flick tip perfectly. If you haven't tried these hooks before, give them a go. 

Hookbait will be either double Bloodworm or double white pinkie, alive or dead - we'll see which works best. I also have worms, maggots and casters should the need arise.

I hope the Roach are still here and that my plan works - we'll see in 4 1/2 hours. The match today is from 09:30 to 14:00 on what is almost the shortest daylight day of the year - did you feel the Earth stop tilting? :-)

I threw in the hard balls at the start and cupped in the 2 softer balls. I also cupped in a ball of Black Roach with a good helping of dead pinkies.