Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Looking Back over the Summer

I have hung up my match gear till next March as I have decided just to pleasure fish during the colder months.

I thought I would reflect on my results over the Summer.

Starting in June with the local clubs evening series of 6 matches.

Wierton 1st

River Beult 2nd

The next 4 were on the River Medway and all the matches were won of of the same peg with bream (I never drew it), but i did manage a 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, & 2nd. This ended my unbeaten run on the river that lasted 6 matches over 2 years!

This resulted in retaining the trophy for the year.

Moving into July I fished the Hartleylands festival winning it with 2 section wins and top weight, over the 2 day I was 2nd & 4th overall.

I fished another 2 in July at Hartleylands having a 1st and a 3rd.

Moving into August I concentrated on fishing Monks Lake, out of 3 matches fished I had some good results catching shallow, winning 2 of them with weights of 88lb 170lb! The 3rd match I fished I came nowhere with 50lb odd. I also fished on on the Medway and was out of the frame with a 8th place.

I started off September with a good result winning at Monks again with 170lb 1oz, then off to Moat Park Lake where I managed a 2nd with 30lb of roach. I fished the Surrrey Mirror match at Hartlelands it was pole only and I was 2nd. The last 2 weekends of the month were taken up with a 2 day match at Monks lake, winning my section on the first day with 113lb put me in contention, but a section 3rd on day 2 put me well out of it.

I also fished a Pellet Waggler vs Floating Feeder match that I managed to win with 135lb against 93lb. Watch out for the article in Southern Angler.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pellet Waggler vs Floating Feeder

People seem to think I am some sort of venue expert at Hartleylands and spend a lot of time at the venue but I am far from a regular, I have only fished 4 matches at the venue since May and rarely pleasure fish the lakes, though it dosent matter really as carp are carp wherever you fish and once you have a method sussed you can adapt it for any venue.

The first match I fished the pellet waggler was the two day festival getting 1 section win and a lake win to take the title, the 2nd a Bromley club match which I won with 88lb. Then a third place in an open weighing in 107lb from what I consider a poor area, on that day Mike Jamerson won the match with 127lb on the floating feeder, I felt that day if I had drawn in the middle of the lake with a bigger area to draw fish from a net of 150-200lb was on the cards with the pellet waggler. That is what prompted the challenge as I reckoned on any day and with a fairish draw the waggler can beat the floating feeder every time.

The plan was to fish Nicks lake pegs 23 and 25 but we decided to change lakes on the day as the wind was blowing awkwardly and there didnt seem any point in making thing difficult, so peg 17 & 20 on Bramley lake were picked, I won the toss and picked peg 17 to fish, the only reason is it was closer to the car! I expected the weights to be slightly less on this lake as the fish are a smaller stamp and you dont seem to get many lumps to boost your weight, but I was still expecting to get around 150lb

I had 2 rods with me one set up with a 4g puddle chucker to a 0.14 trace, attached was a size 14 hook with a hair rigged bait band set the fish 24-12in deep, the other had a 3.5aaa short pellet waggler for fishing less that 12in,, this had a 0.16 trace and a 12 hook, bait and feed was 6mm hard carp pellets as I always like to feed what I am using on the hook, I also had some 8 & 11mm pellets for hook bait although I didnt expect to use them. Initially I clip up at a distance to just drop short of the island margins but after about half an hour I will remove this after getting a feel for the distance cast then it allows me to give line if needed if I hook a bigger fish.

I kicked of with the 4g rig feeding about 10-12 pellets every 10-20 seconds, and after the about the 5th cast 2-3 minutes into the match I had the first small carp, I reckoned in the first hour I had around 30 fish, things were going quite well with around another 30 added in the second hour although most were on the small side, by casting around the feed area a bit in the next couple of hours I was picking up a few bigger fish but most remained on the small side, the last hour the fish come right up in the water and were boiling on the surface every time I fed, a switch to the shallow 3.5aaa rig and cutting the feed back a little had me catching one a bung in the last hour putting around 50 fish in the net.I wasnt sure how Mike was doing as I was busy fishing myself but I did notice he stopped fishing about 5 minutes from the all out so guessed it hadnt gone as well as expected, or maybe he had caught so many he didnt need to fish for the last 5 minutes!

As it turned out Mike put 93lb odd on the scales a very good weight that would win nearly every match that had been held on the lake, but I had 135lb a little less than expected as I failed to pick up many of the bigger fish but still over 30lb above the lakes match record which I think is 104lb.

In conclusion I dont think the match really proved what was the best method only what worked on the day, then again I still think the waggler will beat the floating feeder every time until Mike can convince me otherwise!!!!!

Monks Lake Festival

Day 1

I heard about this match a few weeks back, the fishery owner Simon was putting up £500 prize money for the top 3 and charging no peg fee, so it was well worth entering as at worst you would get 2 days free fishing and catch a good net of fish.

I was surprised when arriving to find out only 24 fishing the event! I thought it would be a sell out!! It was to be fished on lake 1 & 2, whatever lake you drew on day 1 you would swap day 2, there was quite a few local top rods at the draw so it wasn’t going to be easy even to win the section, I pulled out peg 6 on lake 1, not a particularly noted draw as I expected the winner to come from the pegs near the aerator but it looked OK with the wind blowing towards me giving the water a nice ripple, I had Omega Mike in the same section as me on the opposite bank so at least I could keep a eye on him!

Bait for the day was 10 pints (yes 10 pints!!!) or 6mm carp pellets, about a third of a kilo of groundbait, and a bit of paste, the pellets are so cheap I always carry plenty cos I don’t want to run out do I? It was a bright sunny day so there was only one method to fish that is shallow on the pole, I set up 2 rigs one short line and another with a long line to the float in case they were shy of the pole tip which quite often happens at Monks.

At the whistle in went 2 big balls of groundbait laced with pellet! The idea of this is to initially draw a lot of fish into the swim then lose feed to bring the carp up shallow, it has worked for me big time here winning 3 out of the 4 matches I have fished at the venue this summer. I started down the edge to try to pick off a few early fish while I fed the shallow line for a while, after 10 minutes without a bite down the edge I gave up on that and went straight out over the shallow line at around 7 meters, almost straight away I was picking up the odd carp on the shallow rig catching steady for the first 2 hours probably around 30 fish, the next two hours things picked up a bit and I recon I had another 40 odd, keeping them coming by constantly changing depth & the way I fed, every time I changed things a little it resulted in a fish or two. The last hour turned out to be the best putting at least another 30 fish in the net. At the all out I guessed I had getting on for my target weight of 100lb.

I wasn’t that far out this time putting 113lb on the scales to win the section, pick up £75 and I think second or third overall, I was so pleased with the section win I forgot to check my finishing position overall! This put me in contention to do well in the festival as it is all about winning the section to score maximum points. Roll on the second match; I will be on lake 2 and all going well catching a big weight.

Day 2

Today I was fishing lake 2, I had been in two minds today if the fish will be “having it” shallow as the air pressure had dropped, my instinct was telling me they wouldn’t, but the weather was telling me they would! Its decisions like these that can make the difference between being a winner or pools fodder.

Looking at the lake there was only two pegs I didn’t want to draw they were in the corner with the wind coming from behind, number 64 and 65, I thought these two wouldn’t hold enough fish to win the section, I pulled out 64, just where all the other 3 section winners from day one wanted me to be!!

I though regardless of the draw I would go for it, and still wasn’t sure if shallow was the way to go, so set up a positive bottom rigs shotted double bulk style, a margin rig with a single bulk 6in from the hook, and two shallow rigs one light with a short line and a heavier 0.4g one for swinging out beyond the pole tip. Bait was the usual 6mm carp pellets, 6mm expanders, paste and some corn.

The tactics was the same as the week before, 3 balls of groundbait at the off then feeding the fish up shallow, things started off ok as while I fed the shallow line I picked up a few small tench down the edge on paste, after 20 minutes it was out with the shallow rig and straight away I was into a small carp, from there things were very slow during the next hour and I only picked up the odd fish although I wasn’t too worried as you can soon catch up as quite often the fish don’t really start to have a go till the you get into the third hour, but by the halfway point I was thinking I should have gone with my instinct and started off deep.

At the halfway point a change was in order and it was out with the deep rig and pellet, things picked up a bit and I was into fish straight away, one a bung in fact, unfortunately they were mainly small tench and certainly not big enough to do any damage, a hour of this and I had had enough of the small tench and with only 20-25lb in the net it was out shallow again as I had still been feeding half a dozen pellet about every 30 seconds, this time amazingly it was solid! I had to swing the rig out beyond the pole tip but was picking up fish virtually every cast, I must have put 40 fish in the net in the last hour or so but was thinking it was a bit too late to trouble the leaders, and that’s how it turned out, the 75lb I put on the scales was not enough to do any damage, 130lb winning the section and 89lb being second. I’m not sure of the overall winner as I had to shoot of to a wedding reception so missed the presentation.

Thinking about how I fished the second day I was possibly on to a hiding for nothing off of the peg I was on. But maybe I wasn’t and got the tactics wrong, because fishing shallow got me 3 wins in a row on the lake I didn’t go with my instinct to target the fish on the bottom. I will know better next time.

Here it is

Hi all.

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.

Day One

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.

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.