Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Medway Trotters Match, Monks Lake Bridges.

Today I was fishing with the Medway Trotter club down Monks Lake, we were fishing Bridges which is one of the pleasure lakes and stuffed full of all sorts of fish including masses of skimmers.

It was not pegged down today and we were going to be drawing numbers and walking off to pick a swim. The weather was wet and windy and the prediction was for it getting worse during the day so a swim with the wind off my back so I can set up the umbrella as a wind break was going to be my choice and I didn’t care where it was! As it turned out I pulled out number 2 so had a good choice of swims and decided to walk right down the far end as I heard this can be a good area. Conveniently the bank curved round and the wind was blowing at an angle from behind.
It has been raining for several days so the banks were very wet and muddy. As the water level was a bit low I couldn’t fish from the flat area and I perched my seat box on the muddy slope at the edge of the lake. I didn’t intend to set up the pole today in the bad weather and set up 2 feeder rods, one with a free running method. This had a short hook length with a size 18 Fox Series 7 hook. The other with a cage feeder, the trace was about 18 inches long with a size 16 Kamasan 911 attached to a 0.12 hook length. The waggler rod was also set up, this had one of my homemade peacock inserts, attached to a 0.12 trace and a size 16 Kamasan 611 hook. This was set to fish a couple of inches over depth.

Bait wasn’t too complicated, a couple of pints of 4mm and 6mm expanders, 3 pints of maggots, some corn and 2 kilos of ground bait which was made of ground pellet mixed up the night before to make it inert.

So with everything set up I was thinking of my plan of attack while waiting for the start. I had an island in front of me but decided to fish to the right of it in the open water trying to draw in some bream. The lake is not too deep with around 4ft everywhere in front of me so I just clipped up the feeder at about 30 meters. I didn’t want to fish out too far because of the strong cross wind preferring to cast shorter to be more accurate. I was also intending to feed at around 15-20 meters out for the waggler later in the match if things were slow giving me somewhere else to go allowing me to rest the feeder line.

The whistle went to signal the start and I chucked out a large Drennan cage feeder loaded with ground bait plus plenty of maggots, pellet and a bit of corn mixed in, hook bait was 3 maggots. Casting was difficult due to the wind and I had to throw the feeder out low and hard to get it in more or less the same spot every time! I re cast the feeder about every 2-3 minutes to get some feed down, and it wasn’t long before a few bites materialised. About 10-15 minutes in I was into the first skimmer and then a net sized bream of about 1.5lb. Things where quite slow and the first hour only produced 6 small skimmers and the bream. The second hour was a bit better with about another 10 skimmers and a bonus carp of about 2lb. I had been feeding maggot and pellet over the waggler line so was going to have a quick look, but before that I dumped in 6 big feeder full’s of ground bait before resting it.

The waggler was very slow only producing two small skimmers in about 15 minutes so the rod went up the bank and it was out again with the feeder. The rest did the trick and I was into small skimmers one a bung now, nothing big but fish were going in the net most casts. Maggots were still the most productive hook bait producing bites faster than the other baits. I caught steady for the next 2 hours putting at least 40 fish in the net.

I had continued to feed the waggler line and with an hour to go had a quick look to see if I could pick up a bigger stamp of fish. This time there were plenty of fish to be had but still all small skimmers. I thought I would stick with the waggler as I could catch faster than on the feeder. I did pick up another bream of about 1.5lb and with about 10 minutes to go took a chance and had another look on the feeder to see if anything bigger had moved in. No luck there and it was still the small skimmers and I added a few more before the whistle signalled the end. I lost count of the numbers of fish caught but guessed it was at least 80 possibly more, all skimmers apart from 3 bream and a small carp.

When the scales came round 30lb 2oz was winning, I thought I had around 30lb, and was hoping for more,but it turned out my estimate was spot on for a change and the needle on the scales went round to 30lb exactly, so narrowly missing out on 1st spot and having to settle for 2nd on the day with about 27lb taking 3rd spot.

Finaly don't forget to have a look at my range of hand crafted pole floats, super strong and will not take on water.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Float testing for the day down Monk Lakes

Today I was off to Monk Lakes, Kent to test out some of my float designs all available from my online shop (link on the right). The intention was to fish one of the match lakes but when I arrived I fancied a change from the featureless holes in the ground and decided to sit down the far end of Bridges Lake.

After paying my day ticket money at the office I had a drive round the lake to decide where to fish, apparently since the lakes were dug the silverfish population has flourished and it was now heaving with all sorts of fish growing fast on bait fed by the carp boys.

I decided on a swim at the far end with the wind blowing into it with a island to my right and lots of open water to fish.
The plan for the day was to give my new Finesse range of a good work out and the swim seemed perfect. This foat is designed with siverfish in mind but still retaining strength. The lake didn’t seem very deep with only about 3.5ft of water at 5- 9 meters, with it getting a few inches deeper out at 11 meters. Seeing as there were not many people about I figured the fish would come in close and decided to start at only 9 meters. If this was unproductive I can always fish out a couple of sections more. The rig for the session was simple with a 0.3g Finesse float.
This was shorted up with a small bulk of no8s 18 in from the hook and a couple of number 10 droppers at 6 inch spacing. The rig trace was a 0.10 Drennan rig line attached to a 16 Drennan Silverfish Hook. This was plumbed up to fish just touching the bottom. . Elastic choice was a doubled up 5 Preston Slip.

The bait for the day was white maggot, a selection of Got and Skrettings expander pellets, plus a very basic cheap ground bait which consisted of a 50/50 mix of fishmeal and brown crumb.

Cos it was cold I didn’t feed a lot to start just a small ball of ground bait with a handful of pellets and maggots. Things were very slow to start with no bites for 10-15 minutes so I decided to feed about 10 maggots every 30 seconds with a few expanders mixed in to try to draw a few fish. This was a good tactic as I soon started to get a few knocks on the float and was catching a few skimmers to about 8oz. After catching a few I stuck on a 6mm expander and the size of skimmers got bigger. With fish up to around the 2lb mark.
Things got slow after a while so I decided to try throwing in a couple of balls of ground bait as the fish seemed to respond well to a bit of noise, This worked well and I was catching the one a bung soon after fishing at about 10 meters just beyond the feed. It seemed maggot produced a selection of fish including skimmers, chub, roach, tench and rudd, where slicking on a expander sorted out the bream in the 1-3lb range.

It was easy fishing really and as long as I kept bait going in about every 30 second I was getting one a bung. I got a bit bored to be honest so set up the waggler to give that a try. Fishing my 2.5AAA homemade peacock insert just beyond the pole line at about 20 meters and again feeding little and often I was into fish one a bung, this time some hard fighting tench around the 1-2lb mark and a few chub to a 1lb.

It was getting a bit late and I decided to call it a day about 4pm after about 5 hours fishing probably catching the best part of 150+ fish! So not a bad days fishing giving the float a thorough workout.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back Blogging Again

I have had time to write a blog for some time but entries will be more frequent from now on! I have been busy using my spare time to launch my float shop that will feature float made by myself and a selection of float making materials. Click on the link to the right to check it out.

I have a variety of results lately and a few match wins over the past few months, the most notable being the Southern Intersite at Monks Lake and a couple of Open wins down Hartleylands farm.

The most enjoyable match I have fished though was down the newly re opened Burham Reservoir , catching a few nice roach on the waggler for a 2nd.

I am planning a few trips out soon so keep looking in for the full reports of my ventures.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

GOT Baits ISK League 2009 Final Round Result

The venue was Hartleylands Farm, Nicks Lake.

Paul Kell stormed the last match fishing the method feeder, getting the section win to take the last round and win the league on maximum points.

I managed to sneak the 2nd spot with a weight advantage over Colin Wood in 3rd position. Taking the last money spot in 4th was Ian Carley.

All the top 4 went home with a big bag of assorted GOT bait goodie including Atomic Cloud, Expander Pellets and a selection of Soft Hookers generously donated by our sponsors. All other competitors took away a tub of soft hookers.

I would like to thank Trevor Price from GOT baits for his sponsorship.

1st Paul Kell Peg 26 145-13
2nd Nick Costar Peg 23 132-13
3rd Nick Gilbert Peg 12 99-15
4th Ian Carley Peg 17 97-11
5th Mark Hathway Peg 21 93-9
6th Collin Wood peg 33 89-4

Final League Placing (worst result dropped)

1 Paul Kell, 0-5-5-5-5-5, 524-14 25
2 Nick Gilbert, 5-3-5-3-5-5, 462-7 23
3 Collin Wood, 3-5-5-5-0-5, 396-4 23
4 Ian Carley, 5-4-4-5-4-4, 483-9 22
5 Russell Graves, 0-5-4-5-5-3, 340-5 21
6 Russ Evans, 4-3-4-3-5-4, 362-9 20
7 Mark Hathway 4-4-4-0-3-4, 304-10 19
8 Jonny Watt, 5-3-3-0-5-3, 291-4 19
9 Dennis Price, 4-4-5-3-2-3, 278-1 19
10 Matt Love, 5-4-4-0-3-2, 272-6 18
11 Jeff Driscoll, 4-3-3-4-4-0, 249-2 18
12 Nick Allen, 3-5-3-2-1-3, 259-3 17
13 John Haige 2-2-2-3-4-4, 262-2 15
14 Pete Allen 2-2-1-3-2-5, 288-13 14
15 Paul Slater 3-0-2-4-3-1, 193-2 13
16 Trevor Little 2-1-3-4-0-2, 237-3 12
17 Chris Jones 3-1-2-2-2-2, 163-0 11
18 Al Loader 0-2-3-0-3-1, 176-8 9
19 Brian Pink 2-2-1-2-0-2, 59-15 9

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

One Good and Bad result at Monk Lakes!

I haven’t had time to do a blog lately so this is a double.

Although there isn’t much to write about on the first match down Monks Lake 1 and it was a disaster.

I pulled out peg 29 and because the weather was poor I had decided that the maggot waggler was going to be the killer method and catch me enough to win the section. I didn’t even think of a plan B I was so confident it would work although I was going to lose feed a pole line as backup!

So I set up the waggler rig with a 3aaa peacock insert shotted with 3 number 8s down the line set to just drag the bottom, on the end was a size 16 Kamasan 611 to a 0.12 trace. I also set up a shallow and deep rig to fish out in front. The shallow rig can double as a margin rig too cos I was feeling lazy and couldn’t be bothered to set one up.

I guess my lack of preparation, thought and cowboy approach to this match cost me. I blew the whistle to start and kicked off on the waggler, feeding maggots little and often I had 3 carp quite quickly and not a lot was coming out, I was just thinking to myself this will be easy, 50-60lb win the section, then go away with 5 points. At this point the waggler died and I was struggling. Not a good start!

I switched to the pole and that again produced nothing but the odd fish. To cut a long story short I alternated between the pole shallow and waggler for the rest of the match picking up the odd fish and ended up with just 20 carp and some other small stuff. I put 29lb on the scales for a 3rd in section so paid the price.

Lucky for me all the section winners from the week before dropped points too so it left me 3rd overall in the league.

Result below

1 Collin Wood 60-12 Peg 23
2 Nick Allen 59-7 Peg 36
3 Dennis Price 57-14 Peg 22
4 Rusty 57-00 peg 16
5 Russ Evans 53-10 peg 24
6 Squeaky (guest) 51-0 peg 31

League Placing

1 Ian Carley, 5-4, 124-8 9
2 Matt Love, 5-4, 107-1 9
3 Nick Gilbert, 5-3, 133-13 8
4 Collin Wood, 3-5, 110-9 8
5 Dennis Price, 4-4, 105-1 8
6 Nick Allen, 3-5, 103-1 8
7 Jonny Watt, 5-3, 95-5 8
8 Mark Hathway 4-4, 69-15 8
9 Russ Evans, 4-3, 104-3 7
10 Jeff Driscoll, 4-3, 82-14 7
11 Russell Graves, 0-5, 57-0 5
12 Paul Kell, 0-5, 44-4 5
13 Pete Allen 2-2 63-11 4
14 John Haige 2-2 33-1 4
15 Chris Jones 3-1 27-6 4
16 Brian Pink 2-2 19-15 4
17 Trevor Little 2-1 81-6 3
18 Paul Slater 3-0 39-7 3
19 Al Loader 0- 11-10 2

So on to round 3

This round was on Monks lake 2 and I needed a section win or I would have no chance of staying in contention for the title. Looking at the table with Matt Love not fishing this week I needed the leader Ian Carley in my section but more importantly I had to win it with a good weight so I could then move back to the top of the table.

The drawing god was with me today and I ended up on peg 49 and Ian was in my section on peg 51. So now all I need to do was win it with a good weight to move into first place again, easy  !

The weather had been good in the run up to the day with the air pressure high so there was only one tactic I was thinking off, yes you guessed it fishing shallow with pellet. The problem though was the cross wind, it was very strong and fishing beyond 9 meters would be a problem, as it was about 7 foot deep so balling in to draw fish close was out of the question cos I thought it was a little too deep. I was going to have to lose feed them in meaning it may be a bit slow to start.

I set up two shallow rigs for the day both had Drennan Carp 4 dibbers, 0.14mm traces with a 14 Drennan carp hook. One had a short line and the other long so I could use the two to fish anything from 3ft to 1ft deep, one of these could also be used down the margin. I also set up two on the deck rigs one to fish out in front at around 5 meters at the bottom of the shelf the other to fish at about 8 meters where it was slightly deeper. All of these were set up with a doubled Preston 6 Slip elastic.

Bait for the day was plenty of 6mm hard carp pellets with a few 8mm for change bait. I had some maggot and expanders too but didn’t expect to use many.

I blew the whistle to start and fed the 5 meter line with a few pellets and a small ball of groundbait and went straight out on it with a 6mm expander. It wasn’t long before I started to get a few bites and had my first small carp after about 10 minutes. Things were a bit slow and I had nothing else for the next 10 minutes! I was growing inpatient by this time and was feeding at about 8 meters with pellet about 6-8 every 10 seconds. I went out with the 3ft deep rig over the top and a few minutes later was into a decent F1 of about 2lb.

At this point could bore you with a fish by fish account of the action but to be honest all I did for the rest of the match was keep the feed going in and eventually fed the fish up to a foot deep and caught slow but steady the whole match.

I may have oversimplified things with the last sentence because of the savage cross wind hampering feeding and I had to constantly change the frequency and amount fed and the way I worked the bait to keep bites coming. I also had look on the deck if things got slow shallow to pick up the odd fish too.

I ended up with 67 carp and a few small fish at the end and I guessed they would go the best part of 90lb. I doubt it was enough to win the match but it was looking good for the section win.

It turned out my fish went 107lb which was a bit of a surprise; this put me 4th overall and gave me the section win I needed.

Result below.

1 Paul Kell Peg 45 143-10
2 Russ Evans Peg 56 123-5
3 Dennis Price Peg 68 111-9
4 Nick Gilbert Peg 49 107-4
5 Russell Graves Peg 74 96-10
6 Al Loader Peg 46 91-10

Peg Rundown

54 N Costar 68-4
52 C Jones 43-8
51 I Carley 80-6
49 N Gilbert 107-4
48 N Allen 66-3

46 A Loader 91-10
45 Pl Kell 143-10
56 R Evans 123-5
57 K Driscoll 83-13
59 J Haigh 73-14

60 B Pink 20-0
62 P Slater 32-9
63 J Driscoll 48-8
65 M Hathway 74-12
66 C Wood 89-6

68 D Price 111-9
70 J Watt 71-8
72 P Allen 69-15
74 R Graves 96-10
76 T Little 89-11

League Placing

1 Nick Gilbert, 5-3-5, 241-1 13
2 Dennis Price, 4-4-5, 216-10 13
3 Ian Carley, 5-4-4, 204-15 13
4 Collin Wood, 3-5-5, 199-15 13
5 Mark Hathway 4-4-4, 144-11 12
6 Russ Evans, 4-3-4, 227-8 11
7 Nick Allen, 3-5-3, 169-4 11
8 Jonny Watt, 5-3-3 166-13 11
9 Paul Kell, 0-5-5, 187-14 10
10 Jeff Driscoll, 4-3-3 131-6 10
11 Russell Graves, 0-5-4, 153-10 9
12 Matt Love, 5-4-0, 107-1 9
13 Trevor Little 2-1-3, 171-1 6
14 John Haige 2-2-2, 106-15 6
15 Chris Jones 3-1-2, 70-14 6
16 Pete Allen 2-2-1, 133-10 5
19 Al Loader 0-2-3 103-4 5
18 Paul Slater 3-0-2 72-0 5
19 Brian Pink 2-2-1 39-15 5

For a bit of fun the Weight League

1 Nick Gilbert 241-1
2 Russ Evans 227-8
3 Dennis Price 216-10
4 Ian Carley 204-15
5 Collin Wood 199-15
6 Paul Kell 187-14
7 Trevor Little 171-1
8 Nick Allen 169-4
9 Jonny Watt 166-13
10 Russel Graves 153-10
11 Mark Hathway 133-10
12 Pete Allen 133-10
13 Jeff Driscoll 131-6
14 Matt Love 107-1
15 John Haige 106-15
16 Al Loader 103-4
17 Paul Slater 72-0
18 Chris Jones 70-14
19 Brian Pink 39-15

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

GOT Baits ISK League 2009 Round 1

Today I am fishing the first round on the league I am running, I haven’t fished a match since last December so had to blow the cobwebs off all my match gear!

The venue for the first round is Hartleylands in Kent and the match was to be split between 2 lakes Bramley and Pear Tree. For those that have never read the blog before the lakes hold a good number of carp most in the 12oz to 3lb range with a few bigger fish mixed in.

At the draw there were a few from last year and a few new faces and it was set to be a good match and although only 20 are fishing each round there will be no easy point to be had and a good start will be essential, as will be a good weights as this may come into play at the end if there is a tie on points.

As always when running a match I got Trevor Little to pull out my peg and I was not disappointed when peg 4 on Pear Tree come out, it was close to the end of the island near to the gap in the middle of the lake. The peg is not the shortest chuck to the island but with the light wind coming from an angle from behind feeding on the waggler was not going to be a problem.

Arriving at the peg I had pretty much made my mind up the waggle shallow was going to work even though the weather was not that warm, so plenty of 6mm pellets were in the carryall, along with some expanders, corn and some mixed maggots as backup in case it was hard and I ended up fishing on the deck! I also had some method goundbait mixed up too but didn’t expect to use it.

Two 11ft Preston waggler rods were set up with my own 6aaa Styro Wags, one set to just over 2ft and the other 1ft. A 10ft Shakey Match 3 feeder rod to fish bomb and pellet, this had a 12 in hook length. The pole was also set up with two shallow dibber rigs set at 1 and 2ft, a on the deck rig using my own Diamond float, and a margin rig again using one of my floats plumed up to fish down each margin at about 6 meters.

So all the gear was set up and I was ready for the off, or I thought it was. I blew the whistle for the start and used a large pot of pellets to feed 4 pole lines, 2 margins and 2 in front in case the wag didn’t work. Just after doing this I realized the landing net wasn’t set up! So a big pouch full of 6mm pellet was sent toward the island while I set up the net. 3-4 more were sent out and I was eventually ready to cast. Out went the 2ft deep rig and I immediately had a bite. A small carp was hooked and bumped. A couple of casts later another was in the landing net.

Feeding frequently I was straight away putting a good run of fish together. They were around the 2ft mark to start but soon I was fishing 12in deep rig as the carp rise up in the water to the feed. With an hour gone I had 19 in the net. All the while I had been feeding at about 11 meters pellets little and often to see if I can get the carp within pole range. So I went out with the 2ft deep shallow rig to have a look and also rest the waggler line as things had slowed up. I stepped up the feeding to every 10-15 seconds while dropping the rig in. on about the 4th go the float dipped and a fish was on. It took a few minutes to land but turned out to be about 4-5lb so a good bonus. Another five minutes on the pole with no other bites and it was out again with the waggler.

The rest on the line worked well and it was solid, I had about 10 fish one after the other. Another 10 followed but not quite so quickly and with about 2 hours and 15 minutes I had 40. Time to rest the waggler again so it was out with the shallow pole. Same thing happened as before and this time I had two carp quickly and then nothing! I continued to pick off the odd fish on the waggler but it had slowed up a little with 1 hour 30 minutes to go I was putting carp 50 in the net. I also had a quick look down the margins both sided that I had been feeding and this produced one carp of about 2lb.

By this time the waggler had died on me, a quick look on the pole shallow also produced nothing so a re thinks of tactic was needed. I figured I had fed it a bit heavy on the waggler and driven the fish to feed on the deck. So the bomb rod was quickly baited up with a 8mm pellet and cast out to where I was feeding. My suspicions were right and the rod banged round with the first of 18 carp to be caught almost one a bung in the remaining hour and a bit left in the match. This saw me with 79 carp at the end and I guessed I had 90-100lb.

It turned out I ended up with 103lb for quite a convincing win and a good start to the season.

Full result and league places below.

1 Nick Gilbert 103-13
2 Matt Love 5 79-9
3 Ian Carley 5 78-14
4 Jonny Watt 5 73-14
5 Jeff Driscoll 4 63-6
6 Russ Evans 4 50-9

League Placing

1 Nick Gilbert 5 103-13
2 Matt Love 5 79-9
3 Ian Carley 5 78-14
4 Jonny Watt 5 73-14
5 Jeff Driscoll 4 63-6
6 Russ Evans 4 50-9
7 Dennis Price 4 47-3
8 Mark Hathway 4 44-8
9 Collin Wood 3 49-13
10 Nick Allen 3 43-10
11 Paul Slater 3 39-7
12 Chris Jones 3 16-14
13 Trevor Little 2 48-8
14 Pete Allen 2 23-3
15 John Haige 2 19-5
16 Brian Pink 2 9-11
17 Rusty (on Holiday) 0
18 Alan Loader (forgot about the match!) 0
19 Pauk Kell (forgot about the match!) 0

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Maggotdrowners Fur and Feather Match, Plus Some Small Stream Fishing.

Went down the river for a couple of hours last week. Mainly to test the efectivness of the doubled up elastic for mixed nets. Was hoping to hook a variety of sizes of fish. The swim I had in mind was perfect for the pole with a big swirling eddy on the far side that is always stuffed with fish


I arrived at about 1pm and set up the pole with a doubled up number 5 Preston Slip, attached a 1g carbo float and stuck on a 18 Drennan Barbless Silverfish Maggot hook to a 0.10 trace. shotting was 2 number 8 droppers and a bulk about 18 in from the hook.

It wasn't long before I was catching fish one a bung on white maggot, a mixture of dace, chub, roach, skimmers and a lone trout! I gave up at about 3.15pm and ended up feeding about a pint and a half of bait.

The doubled up elastic run very smooth and I hardly lost a fish all day. It quickly tamed a chub of about 2-3lb too.

I got some guy walking his dog to take a quick picture of the catch!


Maggotdrowners Fur and Feather Match.

Last weekend it was the annual fur and feather march of the Maggotdrowners forum. This year it was going to be held at Wylands on the Old Specimen Lake which was stuffed with roach. Due to the lake being frozen all week leading up to the event it was decided to be moved to House Lake near the café. Here the fishing was more mixed with skimmers, roach and hybreeds.

I woke up the morning of the match to find the weather was apauling! Strong wind and freezing rain greeted me. Knowing this was forcast all day I was travling light and used my small plastic seatbox which was loaded with about 10 pole rigs, some peacock wagglers, 1 reel, discorgers, a few plummits, a hook box and some shot, That was it. In the rod bag went the pole and my Milo New Era Powerlite rod, also a unbrela.

I picked up Matt on the way with his usal mountain of gear who told me he was traveling light! As we drove down the rain was still hammering down and the wind blowing. Things were looking quite grim.

We arrived and the usal suspects were at the tea hut which overlooks the lake, sheltering from the rain, Looking at the way the wind was blowing I was praying for a draw with it behind me. I got lucky and was on the bank near the café with the wind behind me. Matt on the other hand ended up on the other side of the lake with the wind in his face.

I had already decided on the tactics for the day which was going to be the pole around the 7-8 meter mark and the waggler out into open water. I was told the whip close in produced most match wins on the lake but due to the cold clear water I didn’t think you could hold the fish in close for the duration of the match so ruled it out. Bait for the day was simple I had 4 pints of mixed maggots, a pint of casters and a few soft pellets and corn.

Here is a picture of my swim from the Tea hut!


I managed to get the umbrella set up as a wind break behind me without it getting too much on the way and set up two pole rigs both with a doubled number 5 Preston slip elastic. One had a 0.6g Drennan Lake with a Olivet about 18 in from the hook and two number 10 droppers, 0.10 trace with a 18 Drennan Silverfish maggot hook. The other had the same hook and trace but a Carpa Chimp set to fish on the drop in about 4-5 foot of water. The waggler rig was pretty standard with a 3AAA peacock insert, three number 8 shot were spaced down the line about a foot apart starting 6in from the hook. This was plumbed up to fish a couple of inches over depth.

I was the allocated time keeper for the match so blew the whistle to start and kicked off on the waggler with maggot, the plan was to feed the pole line for a good hour before having a look to see what was there. The conditions were appalling! Rain and a strong swirling wind which was making feeding on the waggler a nightmare. Being so changeable it was difficult to be as accurate as I would have liked. Also casting the waggler was the same. Despite this I was soon getting a few bites and feeding a pouch full of maggot every minute of so I started to put a good number of small skimmers and roach in the net, letting the rig settle and twitching it through the feed was working well. For the first hour and a quarter I must have put a good 8lb in the net which considering the conditions I was quite pleased with. The only other person I could see catching a few was Mark a couple of pegs along, not as many but I noticed he was netting a few so can assume they are bigger than mine!

It was time to switch to the pole line that I had been feeding with caster and maggot, and have a look to see if I could catch any quicker. But continue to feed the waggler to keep the fish out there and searching for bait. First put in with double maggot on the Carpa Chimp rig produced an instant bite and a small roach was soon in the net. I had another but it didn’t seem that the rig was working as I would have liked so switched to the Drennan Lake with the Olivet as a bulk. This sat a lot better and again feeding about every 60 seconds I was catching steady and a slightly better stamp of fish including some hard fighting hybrids. I found dragging the rig from side to side through the feed was the best way to induce a bite.

Bites did eventually die on the pole and I felt I should really add a section and chase the fish out but by this time the weather was getting worse, the wind was stronger and the rain slightly heavier! My hands felt so cold I though sod it I really don’t want to hold the pole for any longer so it was out with the waggler again. At least I can keep my hands in front of me and out of the wind. As I had still been feeding it I was into fish straight away although a little smaller I was happy to just keep on putting fish in the net.

I did notice at this time there was a crowd gathering behind me at the tea hut, I was thinking they had gathered to watch my superb display of fishing prowess. But in reality they were sheltering from the freezing cold wind and rain!! Not one of them brought me down a cup of tea either!

I alternated between the pole and waggler for the rest of the match and apart from a bit of a dead spell in the 4th hour managed to keep a steady stream of mostly small fish in the net. I did in the last hour really start lashing the bait in on the waggler and the size of fish did increase and I picked up a few skimmers around the pound mark that were very welcome. I was glad when it was 3pm though and blew the whistle for the end.

My gear was drenched and I was glad I didn’t bring my large Milo box with all the gear and quickly packed up and got the scales for the weigh in.

As it turned out Marks bigger stamp of fish on the pole gave him enough to beat me by over 2 lb and the result is.

1st Mark H(moleman) 32-15

2nd Nick G(nick_gilbert)30-3

3rd Mike J(Omega Mike)19-10

4th Jeff D(Jeff_D) 13-4

5th Al L(Al) 11-10

6th Tony 11-5

7th Trevor L(M T Net) 7-8

8th Bill G(Bill G) 6-6

9th Simon E 4-1

All the rest recored DNW, I don't think there were any blanks they just tipped back.
Thinking about it I should have continued on the pole adding a few sections to chase the fish out which were a bigger stamp than I was getting on the waggler. But I took the lazy option to chuck out the waggler that was already set up.