Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hartleylands Nick Puncher Memorial Match

I make it no secret that this is in my opinion is the best match venue I have fished, so was looking forward the match. It is always well supported with all the peg fees being donated to charity. 100 plus were booked in today with most of the top rod from the south east fishing. The 3 match lakes and the res are all being used. I would expect a ton plus will be needed to win today and that would more than likely come from the Res or Nicks lake, but you cant rule out Bramley or Pear Tree to throw up 100lb but I don’t think any will be in the top 3. The payout for the day will be top 3 in the lake so it doesn’t matter what one you are on. There is also a £5 super pool for the overall top 5.

I arrived at the lake to discover Mark the match organiser and Paul Ward the fishery owner had an interesting £5 side bet going on. Paul had bet that I would finish in the top 3 on the day from wherever I draw!

At the draw was some rules put in place for the day and one had me worried for a bit, a 3AAA limit on waggler! Luckily towards the bottom of the board was another saying max pellet waggler size 4g, which happened to be 5AAA, the biggest float you will ever need on the lakes.

A big queue was at the draw and I eventually got to the front and pulled out peg 14 on Nicks Lake. I couldn’t remember exactly where it was but was told I was halfway along the back island with no form whatsoever. I wasn’t too bothered where I was to be honest as I have said many times before you can frame from virtually any peg on the match lake in the summer so had my chance to prove it today.

I arrive at my peg and was not disappointed at all, there was a slight cross wind but I couldn’t see it being a problem today. It was a nice easy 20-25 meter chuck to the island so obviously it was going to be a waggler attack (what a surprise you are thinking!).

As always I set up two 11ft waggler rods with 4.5AAA Styrofoam float. One set at 12inches and the other at 8 inches. They both had 0.16mm hook lengths with size 14 Drennan carp hooks and a hair rigged bait band. I also set up a top 4 in case a few fish moved in down the margins and a bomb rod with a rig I have been experimenting with that I will have to keep to myself for now as it was not my idea.

I will bore you with the bait I had today in case you are new to the blob but most will know what I will be using. I had with me plenty of 6mm coarse pellets which are the best size at the lakes, some paste, plus some 8mm hookers and a few of pints of expanders to feed the margins.

The hooter went to signal the start and I fed 4 big pouch fulls of bait quite quickly to the island, the thinking behind this is to draw some carp in quickly, the reason being the two blokes to the right were also fishing to the island so I didn’t want to lose fish to them and maybe I will pinch a few. I continued to feed about 10 pellets every 15-30 second and casting over it. 15 minutes into the match I had my first small carp, things started slow but steady and an hour in I had 10 carp on the 8 inch deep rig. I had a lot of fish in the swim but they were not really “having it” they would come to the noise of the pellet and were proving difficult to tempt. I tried various ways of feeding, different hook pellets, wrapping the pellet in paste and nothing seemed to work well. I wasn’t too worried because you can build the swim and the last two hours of the match are always the best. Paul the fishery owner came round to see how I was getting on and told me the lakes were fishing quite hard with no one emptying it yet which was good news.

By the end of the third hour I only had 30 carp averaging about a pound in the net, five that were caught on the bomb so not so good. I was still struggling to put a decent run of fish together but still felt I was in with a shout. The next hour was more of the same with another 10 fish although some were a better stamp around the 2lb mark. With an hour of the match left I recon I had about 50lb in the net made up of 40 small carp.

I still think I had a lot of fish in the swim so maybe could still have a good last hour, so I took a gamble on feeding quite heavy and very frequently(cant tell you why just had a feeling it would work), my suspicions were confirmed as carp started to show on the surface every time I fed. Shallowing up to 6in deep, feeding a big pouch full of bait then landing the float on top resulted in an instant bite. I had 15 carp in the next half an hour (one every 2 minutes), the biggest around the 3lb mark. The final half an hour resulted in another 10 so when the whistle went I ended up with 65 carp, 25 that were caught in the final hour.

The scales came round and the best weight on my lake was 84lb 9oz which was lying third overall in the main frame, I guessed I had around 80lb so it was going to be close for third spot, Mark who was doing the weigh in was worried he had lost his £5 side bet. My first net on the scales went 44lb; the second was 40lb 2oz, giving me 84lb 2oz putting me second on the lake and forth overall picking up £150 and only 7oz away from a few quid more! A decent result from a peg that was apparently not too good!

The top two on the day came from the Reservoir, I can’t remember the exact weights but they were around 140lb and second place just over a ton.

Not out fishing next weekend but will be fishing a 2 day event at Stones fishery on the 8the and 9th of September so look out for my report on how I get on.

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