Today I was off to fish the Maver Pairs match at Monk lakes, after meeting Dave who I was fishing with today for a superb breakfast at the Stilebridge Inn we drove down to the lakes.
I wasn’t sure of the format and what lakes were in but when we arrived it was all marked up on a board near where the draw was going to be held. A section had all of lake one and the best bit of lake two, B section consisted of mostly poor pegs. We decided to flip a coin for the sections and I ended up with B. From that moment on I know it wasn’t going to be my lucky day!!
We joined the draw queue and I figured out in the B side of the draw I had a 3 to 1 chance of picking out a decent peg so needed to put the golden arm into action. Unfortunately it was not to be as the fishery owner had decided to draw the pegs out of the bucket himself and hand them to everybody. It was not looking good for me! He handed me both pegs and Dave ended up on 45, now this peg is the one I have dreams about drawing one day and putting 200lb of F1s in the net. Me, on the other hand had 81 on the wrong side of lake two, on the positive side I was fishing a 10 peg section against everybody on the same bank.
It was sunny with no wind as I walked to the peg and was thinking at least I would get a tan today. When I arrived I saw a lot of carp moving out in the middle of the lake so I thought the waggler would be a good tactic, the plus point was everybody bar one had only set up poles so I would have the line to myself. I set up two rods, one to fish the pellet waggler, the other with a bodied waggler to fish on the drop but set at full depth, I had convinced myself this would be the winning tactics in this section. I also set up the pole as backup with two shallow rigs and two on the deck rigs.
Bait for the day was my usual mix of 6mm hard pellets, 6 & 4mm expanders. Also the corn and maggots I always bring with me but never use! I mixed up some groundbait to feed the pole line at the start to hopefully draw in a few.
I sat on the box waiting for the start gazing up at a bloke in one of them microlite planes when I heard an almighty bang, I almost expected the bloke to come plunging out of the sky but it was just the signal to start the match. I fed the pole line at the start with groundbait and the two margins, then it was straight out with the pellet waggler, feeding 6-10 pellets and dropping the float on top was not working too well, half a hour in and I was fishless. A switch to the deeper on the drop rig still produced nothing. Meanwhile the guys fishing the pole either side of me were picking up a few fish.
Eventually I had a bite and hooked a carp; I played it carefully and managed to get the first fish of the day in the net, but by this point I was well behind. I could see a lot of fish still moving out on the waggler line so took the decision to carry on, thinking eventually they would turn on to the feed and I would put a decent weight together. Many times I have fished the waggler and had virtually nothing for the first half of the match then gone on to win so I wasn’t too worried.
Two hours in and I still had very little to show just picking up the odd fish, I was getting a bit worried now. I switched to the pole to rest the waggler line for a while and just feed it. I had been feeding the pole line for 2 hours now without fishing it so it could be solid? First 2 put in produced 2 small carp, third time out and I hooked something bigger, 20 seconds later a fish of about 7lb was in the net (who says you cant land bigger fish quick on a 10 elastic!!) probably doubling my weight for the day. This was the highlight on the pole as it was slow going just producing the odd fish for the next hour.
So it was back out with the waggler again for the remaining 2 hours of the match, and what a frustrating 2 hours it was, I had plenty of fish in front of me but I just could not put a run of them together, they came to the splash of the feed but didn’t seem to be really having it. I tried everything I could think of to entice bites but nothing worked well, the fish just wanted to cruise around in the sun! The best results came with my ultra short float set about 6in deep, feeding then immediately dropping the float on top. When the gun went off again to end the match I feared the worst and a last in section.
The scales came around and the peg to the right of me had over 60lb, I stuck 40lb odd on the scales, the guy to my right had 45lb, so I got a right battering from both sided, the first time in about 12 months!! I finished about 5th in the 10 peg section I think my problem is that I try to win the match from any peg I draw and attack it, where a steady more controlled approach on the pole would have got me the section win I needed and been more suitable today.
So I was nowhere but how did Dave do, I had a walk over to his peg and he had his best match weight ever with over 85lb of mostly barbel on pellet, so he had a good day, but didn’t win the section so we came nowhere in the overall standings.
Now I’m not one to complain but there was a bit of controversy over the allowed weight in each net, I hear from another angler at the weigh in that the allowance was 50lb with over 58lb resulting in disqualification. Now I was one of the first to draw and this was never mentioned at any time to anybody. Lots fishing the match didn’t know about this rule and some had over the allowed weight in the net!! I’m not sure if any disqualifications took place because I didn’t stay for the result, I hope not!!! I fish the lakes often and always believed the 50lb rule was a rough guide and as long as you split your weight over 3 nets it would be OK. Having these rules is a good thing but they need to be clearly displayed at the lakes.
Off to the river soon
On a different subject it is getting close to the start of the season, and I for one will be down my local river Medway at Barming bridge fishing a few evening matches, they are over 2.5 hours and you have to make your mind up what tactics you use and see it out for the match.
The tactics that have served me well over the past couple of years is fishing a top 6 to hand for roach, balling in at the start, then lose feeding tares and corn over the top. This has resulted in many wins and not once being out of the top 3 and hopefully it will be working again this year.
I’ve been toying with the idea of running a few afternoon knock ups on the Monkton Lane section of the river, its free fishing so no peg fees, it doesn’t get a lot of anglers on it nowadays, and the banks are relatively flat so comfy pegging. Added to this the fishing is better than ever, so who’s interested let me know?