Sunday, October 15, 2006
Here it is
I thought I would write down an account of the matches I fish, with the hope it entertains a few of you.
First off all a quick account of how I ended up match fishing, apart from entering the odd match I had been mainly a pleasure angler since I was a kid (I am now 43!), I grew up fishing in and around London.
It wasn’t until I moved To Maidstone in Kent and joined the local Maidstone Victory club that I decided to have a go at some matches, First one I fished was on the River Beult, everybody was fishing the pole, I set up a light waggler and fished for roach and came 2nd to the amazement of the rest fishing. That was 3 seasons ago and I have been fishing them ever since, I ended the season just one point off the club champion that year which I didn’t think was bad for a first attempt. The next year I won it with an unbeaten run of 5 match wins in a row, also I had a good run in the evening series of matches the club wining 4 out of the 6.
More recently I have turned to fishing more open matches on commercial pools, and trying to get to grips with pole fishing for carp, after getting quite a few battering last year (and winning a few quid sometimes), I have adapted my style of fishing and to suite these venues.
It was fishing the well run Beastmaster league this spring where things started to come together, I didn’t win any matches in the series with my best result being a 2nd place on Monks lake, but I picked up lots of top info fishing against the very good opposition, and spent a lot of time watching those around me fish especially the ones doing the winning!
It was July and I had I decided to have a go at the Hartleylands Festival run over 2 days, it was the £80 entry fee that prompted me to take this match seriously and I have wrote a account of the match and how it went.
I drew peg 5 on Bramley, which put me on the end of the island so I was quite pleased
and fancied catching a few, the target is mainly carp from 8oz to 1.5lb with the odd bigger fish, being a big event I set up quite a lot of gear, 2 waggler rods (one deep and one shallow) this was the main plan of attack, and also the pole as plan B, I didn’t have a plan C!! I had plenty of 6mm had pellet with me as these were a perfect size to catapult to the island, and I had planned to fish 6mm pellet on the hook.
Looking at the peg I was going to kick off with the waggler feeding pellet and corn, on the hook hair rigged hard pellet and corn was the bait. Starting on the deep waggler rig and corn I didn’t get much action in the first 5 minutes while the guy next to me had already had 3 fish! They were attacking his feeder as it hit the water, in a big swirling mass. I decided a couple more chucks with the deep waggler and I was going shallow, the next cast with the rod would be the last as it broke in two while swinging it back behind me .So sooner than planned it was out with the shallow rig with a short 3g float, and hair rigged 6mm pellet as bait, feeding about 10 pellets every 15 second soon had the fish swirling in the peg, after about half a hour I had my first fish a small carp, and feeding and casting I had about another 12 in the next hour, but as the match continued I caught more fish and by the halfway point I guessed I had a good 30lb+ in the net, carrying on feeding about every 15-20 second and dropping the float on top was producing almost a fish a chuck as I got into the 4th hour, I didnt need to watch the float as it was better to just wait for the rod to go round as I was getting a lot of liner with a huge number of small carp in the swim, in the last hour of the match I must have had 25-30 fish.
I was the first to weigh and put 90lb 14oz on the scales, a new lake record, and a section win, next best was around 75 lb on the feeder, unfortunately I only held the lake record for about 15 minutes as a guy in the other section on the lake had 106lb, it didn’t matter as I had won the section I was in, was second on the day picking up £80 and getting my entry fee back, and had only 1 penalty point going into day 2.
I was pretty relaxed about day 2 as I had already picked up £80 on day 1 so the worst I could do was break even!
I couldn’t believe my luck when I stuck my hand in and pulled out peg 7 on Bramley just 2 off of where I was yesterday although I was confident of dong well anywhere, Colin Wood had peg 7 on day 1 and commented to me after the match that he had a lot of fish in front of him but was having trouble catching them, I had my theory why he struggled and was sure I wouldn’t have the same problem. I was right in the middle of 5 anglers, pegged next to Derek Gladwin(also on 1 point) and Vince Webb 2 good anglers it was going to be a hard section to win.
I fished it exactly the same as day 1 but this time catching from the start, the fish were slightly smaller that the previous day but I still had plenty of the 1lb+ one that you need, I must have had 90 fish during the match and had an arm ache at the whistle!! I didn’t know what anybody else in the section had as I was to busy fishing to take notice but did fancy my chances for another section win, the scales turned up and peg 7 weight in 85lb, did I have enough I wasn’t sure, I couldn’t believe it when I put 96lb in the scales enough to win the section again and top weight on the lake.
I decided not to follow the scales around and see how the other section winners had done and had a cup of tea. Near the end of the weigh in I walked round and discovered that two of us were tied on 2 points but I had a 6lb weight advantage making me the festival champ.