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The Clyde Abt...


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Well the fat lady has defiantely sung, and the Clyde ABT is over for another year.

The river has a formidable reputation on the ABT 'circuit' and while it remains a very tough fishery, there seemed to be a few more 5 bags this year compared to last, and I think the total fish caught increased as well.

My plan for the comp' all along was to hopefully, find a few fish in the oyster racks. Consequently, come prefish day I had all my SX-40's and 48's rigged and I was raring to go. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I discovered the racks to be seriously lacking in any fish, and not only that, I had made the big mistake of using up all my valuable prefishing time trying to find them in the racks, when I could have been testing pastures new. That night having had my plan blown out of the water, I wasn't feeling very optimistic about my chances.

I drew NickoTheFisho as my non-boater for the first day and it was great to have someone I knew well on board for what was going to be a tough days fishing. I planned to fish the racks for an hour and if they didn't produce, I would either head downstream and jig the mouth of the river, or go upstream and fish areas I hadn't prefished before. I decided, perhaps mistakenly, that the areas I really would have liked to have fished upstream were too far away, so downstream I went.

Now I have to say, using 1/8th and 1/6th size jigheads in deep water is not my favourite style of fishing, but a comp' situation sometimes means you have to grit your teeth and bear it, so for around 5 hours I monotonously jigged up and down while drifting along in the strong current, repeating the same drift an endless number of times. For all my jigging I managed to fool only a couple of 'just legals' onto my lure. My only compensation was, a lot of my fellow competitors had found it just as tough, if not tougher, than me.

Second day I had Dan Brown aboard and although tempted by a total change in tactics, I resolved to stick with the deep jigging techniques I was using the previous day. By this time however, I was just beginning to get a feel for how the area fishes, so I planned to fish the mouth of the river first up for an hour, then hit another spot a little further upriver before heading downstream again for the turn of the tide when, hopefully, the best fishing would be had.

Dan and I caught a couple of small bream initially, only for them to come up short of the 25cm mark. One of these fish only just missing out on being weighed in by 2 millimetres, even though my tape said 25' spot on.

We moved upstream and swapped our heavy jigheads for 32nd's and tied on a few poppers. We fished hard again and our persistence was finally rewarded with Dan boating the best fish of the day, a Clyde 'monster' of 600 grams! We fished the area for a bit longer but the fish were again absent without leave, so we headed back to the mouth.

It was during endless repeats of the same drift I managed to boat the next 'keeper' which totally engulfed an Ecogear Bug Ant liberally smeared with Shirasu scent.

By this time I believed we had 3 legal fish in the well, so I finally started to feel a bit more relaxed, however I had the feeling as time went on and the run out current pushed harder, the chances of adding to the total were going to get fewer.

So after all that I ended up in 21st spot.

I can't be totally happy with 21st, but on the plus side, I think I learnt a little more from this comp' and gained some very valuable experience which can only help me improve as a competition fisherman.

Finally, a lot of very bad things get said about the Clyde during comp' time, but I have to say, it would be a great river to fish 'socially'. The range of species and scenery is superb and well worth the visit, especially if it means you don't have to fight over the same fish with 133 other anglers. ;):)


Edited by Pukka
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Sounds like a tough place to fish. I have heard all sorts of tales about commercial fisherman flogging the place before comps. Dunno how true it is.

Well done on your placing anyhow Joe you worked for it :biggrin2:

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Sounds tough Pukka, but a good report to read anyhow, I always learn something from your reports. Being a Bream luring newbie its interesting to see how the same type of fish can require so many different techniques depending on where your fishing. Is it fair to say the locals did better than most ? I noticed Wade Eaton's name up there. :thumbup:

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