Friday, December 21, 2007

New Foum Added

Have a look on the right and you will see I have added a forum for any questions you have and general fishing chat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Maggotdrowners Match at Monks.

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You have no doubt noticed there have not been many blog entries lately. This is because I rarely venture out and fish a match in the cold. The problem being on most venues you can almost predict where the winner will come from and a few will catch well while the rest struggle, which I find rather frustrating. So against my better judgement I decided to fish this match at Monks Lake.

The venue for the day was going to be Lake 1 which is the best one to choose as the fish tend to be in most swims so at worst everybody should catch something. 25 turned up to fish this match that was being run under the Maggotdrowners Forum banner. It was only open to forum members and there were plenty of familiar faces at the draw and a few new ones. I like fishing these matches as it is never too serious with plenty of banter. The temperature was barely above freezing and there was an east wind so the conditions were unpleasant!

I quite fancied a draw on the far side of the lake with the wind of my back today as I reckoned that where the winner is likely to come from. My drawing arm deserted me today and I pulled out 18, a peg on the wrong side of the lake but thankfully I still had the wind blowing from behind me. I still expected to catch a few fish though.

Tactics for the day were going to be simple. I set up a 13ft Maver Reactolite Number 1 float rod and My TD-Sol reel. The rig was a 3AAA insert peacock waggler, set a few inches over depth. This had a 0.10 trace and an 18 Kamasan 611 hook. All the shot was under the float apart from a number 10 6in from the hook then two equally spaced number 8s. This was to be fished in about 4ft of water. I also set up 1 pole rig! This was a Carpa Chimp 4 x 16, this size of float was needed to combat the tow, this also had a size 18 attached to a 0.10 hook length. Shotting was nothing complicated with a bulk and two number 10 droppers. Elastic was an 8 latex. This will be fished at about 11 meters as a backup to the main waggler line.

Bait for the day was 3 pints of white and red maggots, plus a couple of pints of soft expanders.

I will mention something I see a lot, guys setting up multiple top kits, a waggler, feeder, bomb etc, then have about 6-7 different types of bait on display when a couple of simple rigs and baits would do. This says to me that they have no confidence in what they are doing or haven’t found out what works at the fishery.

Anyway back to the days fishing. At the off it was out with the waggler around 20 meters and feeding a pouch full of maggots about every minute. I was feeding quite a large area so I can cast to the back of the feed and slowly twitch the bait through it to induce a bite. Bait was double maggots. I was also feeding pellets on the pole line at around 10-11 meters every few minutes to try later on. Vince on the next peg had a carp first bung on the waggler and most others fishing the method where soon into fish! Bill next door seemed to be struggling on the pole so I think the waggler was a good choice to start with.

During the next couple of hours I did pick up a few F1s , tench, ide and chub. Bill to my right had switched to the waggler by now and was catching more than me, but on the other side Vince was struggling and I guessed I was ahead of him. A quick look on the pole at 11 meters produced nothing which was surprising as I thought they would be queuing up there by now!

Back out on the waggler again and it was slow going just picking up the odd fish during the next hour. Twitching the bait through the feed area seemed to produce the bites with double white maggot the best bait. I did switch to feeding a few maggots on the pole line and intended to have another look later on. Looking up I spotted those on the far bank turning blue with the freezing east wind in their face, I was so glad I wasn’t with them!!!

The 4th hour of the match I went out again on the pole and this time had a few bites picking up some small chub, this eventually died on me and with 45 minutes remaining I was back on the waggler which I had continued to feed. It was solid out there now after giving it a rest and I put about 15lb in the net in the last part of the match including a surprise perch around the 2lb mark!

The whistle went to signal the end and I doubted I had enough to win with possibly 30lb odd in the net. The scales arrived and so far Matt’s 37lb was the best weight on my side of the lake. Bill on the next peg had 35lb and I was sure he had beaten me. My first net with carp in it went 26lb 12 oz, followed by my silverfish that surprisingly pulled the scales down to 10lb. But only good enough for 2nd place on my side of the lake and 4th overall. As I guessed the area on the far side that I fancied produced the two top weights where Omega Mike did well to land over 50lb on the maggot and waggler.

Here is the full result on the day considering the cold weather the lake fished well with no blanks.

1st Omega Mike 54lbs 12ozs
2nd M.T.Net 44lbs 04ozs
3rd Yalding Bloke 37lbs 00ozs
4th Nick Gilbert 36lbs 12ozs
5th gibbinsbill 35lbs 00ozs
6th Jay L 29lbs 14ozs
7th Steve Clinch 29lbs 04ozs
8th Up-Yah 21lbs 12ozs
9th Kev the Catch 21lbs 08ozs
10th Grouty 20lbs 04ozs
11th Sven C 20lbs 00ozs
12th Jim Boase 19lbs 04ozs
13th Peter 18lbs 10ozs
14th Chris 18lbs 00ozs
15th Vince 17lbs 00ozs
16th nomorelongwalks 14lbs 00ozs
17th spamwham 13lbs 10ozs
18th Clive 13lbs 00ozs
19th Dai 11lbs 08ozs
20th aliwoo 10lbs 04ozs
21st petemid 9lbs 00ozs
21st The Hat 9lbs 00ozs
21st Ron B 9lbs 00ozs
24th Zephyr 4lbs 02ozs
25th Wily Coyote 3lbs 12ozs

I won’t be out much now until the first of my League Matches Down Hartleyland Nicks Lake. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer then!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Roach Fishing down Wylands

Me and Yalding Bloke were invited to have a day down Wylands by M T Net, on the Old Specimen Lakes.

With tales of 50lb nets of roach and plenty of carp we went off to sample a days fishing. The weather was far from ideal with a overnight frost, wind in the north plus a bright clear sky I would be surprised if we caught anything!

Trever(MT Net) was going after roach, Matt(Yalding Bloke) was going to target the carp, and I was fishing for anything that swims! The £1 bet was made and we started to fish.

Heres Trevor ready with his whip in hand
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Matt Fishing for carp, not sure where they are though!!
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The fishing was hard but we all managed to catch a decent net of roach, unfortunately the 50lb nets were not going to happen due to the weather but even so it fished well considering. Matt did briefly hook a carp but as soon as I picked up the camera it came off

Here are a few pictures of the days haul and it was decided a draw was in order for the £1 side bet as I didn't want to take a pound off of them again The pics are a bit blury cos I had dirt on the lens
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sams, The Medway and Hartleylands.

Sams Lake

I haven’t had time to put up a blog entry for a while so here it is.

Earlier in the month I was off to Sams Lake to fish a match with a £500 top prize with £200 and £100 for 2nd and 3rd.

I drew quite a nice looking peg with an island chuck of about 30 meters. Apparently it was the wrong end of the lake! It was going to be an all out carp attack and the methods for the day were going to be the bomb and the pellet waggler.

The event was pretty dire and not a lot was caught on my lake! By the 4th hour of the 6 hour contest I only had one small carp on the bomb. I keep on feeding 8mm pellets in the hope that a few moved in with little reward. There was obviously no feeding fish in the area as all round me were carpless!

I was quite board by now so decided to set up a shallow roach rig just to catch a few fish. Flicking out a few maggots at 8 meters and baiting with a single maggot I was straight into a few nice roach. It was at this point I realised I had got my tactics for the day wrong. Not being familiar with the lake I didn’t know it was solid with all types of silverfish. I recon I could have put at least 30-40lb of these in the net if I had switched tactics after the first hour. In the next hour I put about 12lb in the net that included a nice pound plus roach and a 4lb 2oz chub!

With just 30 minutes to go I noticed a bit of movement by the island so a quick switch to the bomb again baited with a 8mm pellet got me a bite. Unfortunately this fish came adrift after about 5 seconds. Wit just a few minutes left I did hook and land another small carp but it was probably too late.

The word was that Vince Webb had been emptying it from the other lake and he had over 150lb, taking advantage of a good draw. But the rest of us had struggled so I may have still been in with a shout of a frame place. 35lb was second and 20lb odd third, I ended up with 16.5lb for around 5th spot.

I missed out today by making the wrong choice and continuing to fish for carp when they obviously had switched off. Its decisions like these that would have had me going home with £200 instead of leaving with nothing.

The River Medway

I decided to run a small knock up on the river down the free section at Monktons Lane in Maidstone. A few days before the match 20lb nets of roach had been coming out of the river. Unfortunately it coincided with the first few frosts of the year. The colour had drooped out of the water and you could see a good 6ft down! 7 of us turned up and most will wish they hadn’t.

Not a lot happened and I picked up an 11oz perch on the waggler and maggot running it through at about 10 meters out after about 20 minutes. That was it for the rest of the match! Everybody blanked so a decisive win. I would like to think I caught the perch by superior fishing skill but couldn’t convince anybody else of that fact.

Hartleylands Reservoir Silverfish Match

I got an invite to fish a match at the Res. The format was going to be silverfish only and a rod and line had to be used, poles were banned. I did fancy my chances of winning this as these days most suffer from politus (only use a pole) and I use a rod and line for at least 50% of my match fishing so am well practiced. It was going to be a pair’s match decided on weight and the winner takes all.

At the draw I pulled out peg 13, not realising the new platforms had not peg numbers on yet I was really on a peg in the mid 20s.
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I don’t think the draw meant a lot today as the roach in the lake are everywhere and I expected to do well from any peg as long as I can avoid the vast numbers of carp.

Tackle wise I set up two 13ft Milo New Era Powerlights, quite possibly the best waggler rods made. The two rigs were simple one was set to fish shallow with a small loaded Drennan Onion which will initially be set at about 3f deep. Just two number 10s were down the line and the hook was a Kamasan 510 size 20 attached to a 0.10mm Drennan rig line trace. This rig will double up to fish just touching the bottom about a rod length out to my right. The other was a 2AAA Drennan insert peacock set the fish just touching the bottom at 7ft, down the line I had two number 10s and a number 8 evenly spaced to fish on the drop with the same hook and trace.

Bait for the day will be 2 pints of casters and 2 of maggots. This will be plenty to feed little and often for the duration of the match of either bait. I don’t plan to put too much in as it may attract the carp.

At the off I fed maggots 6 at a time every 20-30 seconds out at about 10 meters and was soon getting a few bites on the full depth rig. Most came as the rig settled at full depth and after twitching the float a few inches. Quite a few roach in the 2-4oz range ended up in the net on single maggot hook bait during the first hour and I switched to the shallow rig as the fish come up in the water.

Alternating between the two rigs produced a steady stream of bites but the roach were mostly small, a switch to caster didn’t make any difference size wise so I stuck with maggot. I had been feeding casters down the to my right about a rod length out and dropping in here every now and again picked up a few bigger samples in the 8-12oz range.

It was easy fishing for the duration of the match just feeding maggots or casters little and often and alternating between the two lines. Looking around no one seemed to be catching faster than me so I just stuck with what I was doing and ended up with 119 roach and one perch. The surprising thing was I didn’t hook any carp. I put it down to the clear water and recent frosts pushing the fish out onto the middle of the lake.

I was sure I had enough to win the match but wasn’t sure how my pairs partner had done. Walking round I discovered he had only caught 3lb odd and was sitting in last position so not good news. The best weights were around 15lb with plenty 10lb plus so things were looking grim for us. I weighed in nearly 23lb and we then had a combined weight of 26lb odd (I can’t remember the exact amount) surprisingly it put us in the lead. The only challenge was going to be from Matt (Yalding_bloke) and his partner, who had put 11lb on the scales. As it turned out to his disappointment they ended up 8oz behind so we managed to win. I was first in the match on the day and my partner was last but the combined weigh was enough!

Finally have a look on the top right and you will see a link to details of the 1st Invicta Angling Match League. There is a list of the anglers fishing at the end, would you like to pick a winner from that lot, I cant?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hartleylands Match

I was off to fish the Maggotdrowners Southern Champs a match organised by Vince Gould a members of the forum.

After stopping of for a breakfast on the way with Mike Jamerson (Omega Mike) I arrived to see some familiar faces at the draw as well as some new ones. As well as the overall match there was also a pairs contest for the sum of £1. This apparently was a random draw but I think this was a bit suspect as I had Mike. I call him the “Floating Feeder Master” or Noddy for short due to the nature of the method he uses which involves a feeder with a strip of rig foam attached to make it float. This is then filled with Vitalin to attract the fish. The results are devastating and it can dominate matches.

We were on two of the fairest match lakes in the south if not the country, that was Bramley and Pear Tree. Most of the pegs are a 25 meter ish chuck to the island and as long as I’m on one of them I will be confident of a top 3 finish fishing the Waggler. The wind does affect your results a little and if you do get it off your back it will always be worth a few extra pounds in the net due to it being easier to feed and present the bait, but even with a strong cross wind it is still possible to frame.

At the draw I pulled out peg 18 which was at the end of one of the islands on Pear Tree. I had for company on peg 17 Matt (Yalding Bloke) on the next peg who was pretty useful on the waggler and I expected him to do well. Directly opposite I had Omega (Vitalin) Mike.

One look at the peg and I knew I would be up against it today, Mike opposite had a lovely breeze from behind him so a nice leisurely chuck to the island was all that was needed. I however had it in my face blowing round the corner of the island so not so easy!

Bait for the day was easy as a 6 pint limit was in force, it was made up of 6 pints of Skrettings 6mm pellets, I had a few different sized hookers a handful of expanders plus a bit of paste. I also had some groundbait mixed up too feed the margins with so I could save the entire pellet quota for the waggler.

As normal for here I set up my two Carbonactive 11ft rod, one with a 4.5g Drennan Puddle Chucker. Not the greatest float for casting but they hold out well in an awkward wind. On the other was a 6AAA Styro waggler for fishing very shallow less then 12in deep. Both had a 0.16 trace and a 14 Drennan Carp hook. The bomb rod was also set up to fish a hair rigged pellet over the feed area, and a top 4 to fish down the margins with a 2g BGT Short, with a 0.16 trace and size 14 hook.

At the off I fired a good 3 pouch fulls of bait out to try to draw in some fish quickly, then is was about 10 every 15-20 seconds to get them interested, it was proving difficult to feed in the wind and had to give some pellets a brief soak in water to add a bit of weight, not ideal as they sink a bit quicker but it is a better option here than to switch to 8mm. I eventually managed to get my first carp after about 10 minutes on the styro rig set at 12in deep. This was followed by a further 14 in the first hour so things were going OK.

I continued to feed quite frequently and switch around with baits and was still picking up a few fish but not a large number, a brief spell on the bomb tight to the island picked up a few too but they were rather small. By the second hour I was on 25 small carp for I recon about 25lb. I had been feeding the margin so a quick look there with paste produced nothing. So back out on the waggler I started to pick up a few more carp.

The conditions were difficult and a trick I use started to get me a few, I set the float at 2ft deep than put on a floating expander. Now what I do now is wrap the pellet in paste. When you cast out the bait will sink very slowly with the weight of the paste and leave a tempting cloud in the water, but the good bit is it will then start to slowly rise again as the paste melts away. Obviously you can only do this if floating baits are allowed because the bait will eventually end up on the surface.

With about one hour to go I had 49 fish in the net for I recon about 50lb odd. But I had a bit of good fortune as I could see a few down the margin and a quick look every now and again produced 2 fish of about 3lb each, plus one of around 5lb. Another 7 0n the waggler saw me with 59 carp at the end for I guessed about 70lb.

Mike weighed first and had 69 fish for 83lb to take the lead. Next best was Matt on 17 with 60lb. lifting my nets out I know it would be close and didn’t quite have enough with 77lb so ended up taking second on the day and handing Mike the pound back I won of him last year .

Full result and peg numbers here

Omega Mike P4 83-02
Nick Gilbert P18 77-01
Yalding Bloke P17 60-11
Clive P15 49-13
Aigy P8 44-05
Sid06 B20 39-04
Nomorelongwalks B5 30-04
Fadd1st B9 27-09
Wily Coyote P20 26-11
Spamwham B19 26-11
Up Yah B16 25-05
M.T.Net P24 24-05
vg1037 B6 24-03
Gibbinsbill P11 23-10
Dai Fish B8 18-07
Croydon Angler P6 16-12
SimonElsey B17 16-09
Kev the Catch P2 9-01

Im off to Sams Lake next weekend to fish the £500 top prize match so look back after Sunday for my report.

And Finally

I am thinking of running a series of 6 matches on some local waters like Hartleylands and Monks next spring/early summer with a payout on the day for the top 3, plus 6 sections not in the main frame and an overall league paying the top 4.

I will be looking for 30 anglers entry fee will be £15 pool plus the peg fee making it £21-22 a match. Send me a mail if you are interested in entering as I’m sure places will go fast.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sams Lake, Headcorn, Kent

I was off to a new venue today; it was Sams Lakes near Headcorn, Kent. The club I joined this year the Maidstone Town League were running a small match on the top lake. This would be good practice as I had a match here next month with a £500 first prize on offer.

I arrived and found a very nice looking fishery, the lawns surrounding the lakes looked like a golf course and there were lots of vegetation all around with several islands in the lake. The lake we were on had 30 pegs but we were only fishing 1 to 17 most had plenty of water in front of them to draw fish in from. I pulled out peg 17 that was apparently at the beginning of a section known as the graveyard! A narrow bit of the lake that had the island at about 14-16 meters away that had a reputation as being devoid of fish. Great I thought. I have included an overhead shot of the lake so you can see what I mean
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I got to the swim and it looked OK with a big tree on the far bank that was 11 meters away, there was also a couple of gaps in the cover where you could drop the float into at around 13 meters.

Today I was going to experiment to see what worked in preparation for the bigger match next month. I had 3 baits with me to try, hard and expander pellets in several sizes, corn and some maggots. Also a few chum mixers as floating baits are allowed.

I set up a few rigs one shallow with a Drennan Carp 4 to fish pellet. A on the deck pellet/corn rig to fish tight to the far bank cover and one to fish down the middle at about 7 meters both with Carpa Chimp floats. A lighter on the deck rig for maggots also with a Carpa Chimp float. Then finally a margin rig with a BGT short float.

I had a new rod with me to try today too, a 10ft Shakey Match 3 feeder, this would be ideal for fishing a bomb short over the pole line, something I have been doing well with lately. This was set up with a short 6in trace of 0.20mm, attached to a 12 hook to hair rig a pellet.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do so thought I would wing it! At the whistle I cupped in some pellet over by the tree and maggots down the middle. Out went the rig over by the tree with a single 6mm expander as bait. This produced nothing for about half an hour! I started to think no wonder they call this section the graveyard as there was no signs of fish anywhere! So it was down the middle where I had been feeding maggots with the lighter rig, baiting with a double white maggot I started to pick up a few small roach. I continued to feed the far bank with a catty about every 2 mins with about 6-10 6mm pellets in the hope of drawing something in while knocking out the roach.

The wind had been steadily increasing during the next hour and was really blowing strong by now from one side; this was making it difficult to hold the pole steady. I felt it was time to go back over the far side with pellet but holding the pole at the 13 meters needed was difficult to say the least. It bent quite alarmingly so I threw it up the bank as I didn’t fancy my chances of it staying in one piece. I picked up the bomb rod and baited it with an 8mm pellet wrapped in paste. This was swung out into the gap in the far bank tree. I was just tightening the line and the rod was almost pulled off the rest. Without too much trouble a 3lb carp was soon in the net. At least there was something in the graveyard!

Several of its mates joined it in the next hour or so some fish to around 5lb. Sport was slow but steady for the rest of the match as I continued to catch a few by feeding two areas of the far bank with the catty and pellet and swapping between the two. I ended up with about 15 carp by the end of the match.

I was last to weigh and 48lb was the best weight, followed by a 36lb and a 32lb. I ended up with 35lb putting me in third on the day, apparently this was a good weight from the swim I had and most had expected me to struggle to catch any carp. I managed to draw a few in by feeding positively little and often.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Stones Fishery 2 Day Festival

I was off to fish a 2 day event at the fishery, I’ve only ever been to the place once before so wasn’t that familiar with the best tactics so decide to just fish it how I see it on the day. From my previous trip I know the lake held lots of carp and F1’s plus roach, rudd and skimmers. There were 40 anglers fishing the event on the match lake and pegging was going to be a bit tight as the place is not very big.

Day One

At the draw I pulled out peg 37, this didn’t mean a lot to me but when I arrived it looked OK with a big reed bed out in the middle of the lake at about 9 meters, this was right in front of me so I had a limited amount of water to fish. The two pegs either side of me were quite close and there was no cover down the margin so it didn’t look like it would be worth fishing there!

I didn’t set up many rigs just a on the deck one with a BGT Short float that could be used up against the reed bed, the depth was the same at 4ft all along so this would cover all along it. Also a shallow rig with a Drennan Carp 4 dibber to fish pellet and one to fish the margins but I didn’t expect to catch there.

Bait wise I had with me plenty of 6mm pellets, 6mm and 4mm expanders, corn and a pint of maggots. I also knocked up some groundbait.

At the whistle I fed 3 small balls of ground bait mixed with 4mm expanders at one end of the weed bed to try to attract skimmers, at the other end I started shallow on the pellet rig. The first hour on the shallow rig produced not a sniff of a fish. The whole lake was producing very little! I had been feeding a few 4mm pellets at the other end of the weed bed and dropped the bottom rig in over the top with a 4mm pellet and had a bite almost immediately and an 8oz skimmer was in the net, then nothing for the next half an hour. Another spell on the shallow rig still produced nothing. I had been feeding the margin and had a go there and had not a sniff. Lucky for me the rest of the lake was fishing poor with only the odd carp being caught.

A quick re think and I though I may be able to win the section with small fish, so I quickly got out another top kit with a number 8 latex in it, I attached a small dibber, 0.12mm trace and a size 20 Kamasan Animal hook. You may think the hook and trace bit strong for small rudd and roach but I wanted to land any bonus carp I did hook so it was a bit of a compromise.

With a single white maggot hook bait, feeding little and often I started to pick up a few small rudd and roach, nothing big but as least I was putting a few in the net, the guy to my right in my section had had a couple of carp though so I really needed one to catch him up. Just as I was thinking that the float buried and I was into a carp, playing it very carefully it was only about 1.5lb but the way the lake was fishing desperately needed. A few smaller rudd followed and with a hour left I was running out of maggots!

I did notice a carp nosing the reed island in front of me so I quickly picked up my shallow pellet rig, flicked out a few pellets to the edge of the reed and dropped the rig in, this produced an instant but and another small carp of about 2lb was in the net. As I only had a few maggots left I continued to fish pellet shallow against the reed but didn’t have another touch.

With only 15 mins to go and a handful of maggots left I went out again with the shallow maggot rig and feeding 5 at a time picked up another 10 small rudd before the whistle went.

The lake had fished really poor and sections were being won with low double figures. I didn’t think I had done that well as surely someone had caught a few carp in my section? Unbelievably the top weight in my section was only 8lb 6oz with most just having a couple of carp, and one guy had blanked! My two small carp and rudd went 8lb 11oz taking the section. Setting out to catch small fish was a big risk but it had paid off on an out of sorts lake.

The section win put me 4th on points as 3 of the other section winners had a better weight than me although the top 5 all had one penalty point. I was well in contention for day 2.

Day 2

It a good job I’m not superstitious as I pulled out peg 13, This was good looking peg that juts out into the lake with lots of open water in front of me.

I had 3 pints of maggots with me today just in case it fished poor again but looking at the lake I had a feeling I won’t be needing them today, you could see a few carp moving which they were not doing yesterday so prospects were looking better.

It was quite warm so I decided to go for an all out shallow pellet/pole attack, although I did set up a on the deck rig, a margin rig and the shallow maggot rig just in case. Being a wide part of the lake I also set up a pellet waggler rod.

I had one of the section winners from day one for company on the next peg just to make thing interesting.

At the start I dumped some pellets in the margins and went out with the shallow rig at around 9 meters where I had already seen carp cruising. Feeding pellet little and often things where slow with not one bite in the first 45 minutes. Everybody around me seemed to be picking up the odd carp fishing on the deck with the guy on the next peg caching 6! Where I had been feeding shallow the peg was fizzing so I dropped in with the on the deck rig and had plenty of indication on the float. Unfortunately none of these were bites; you could feel the fish rubbing against the line if you lifted the float but the seemed to be shying away from the line. They were obviously in the swim and feeding but I couldn’t hook one.

Two hours into the match I suddenly had a brainwave, quickly setting up a bomb rod, I attached a small bomb and on the end was a size 14 hook with an 8mm hair rigged pellet, I wrapped the pellet in a big lump of paste and swung it out 9 meters over the pole line. Tightening the line the rod got pulled round and I was into my first carp, this was followed by another one quite quickly.

I continued to feed little and often to try to get the fish shallow and did spot a few swirls so quickly went out with the shallow rig and picked up 2 F1 carp. And that is how the rest of the match went, fishing shallow feeding little and often then if I spotted a bit of fizzing in the peg just drop in with the bomb rod and more often than not I would pick up a carp. I can’t remember the exact number of fish I had but it was around 15 by the time the whistle went picking up 7 on the bomb and the rest shallow.

The lake had fished a lot better today with over 60lb winning the match but luckily not my section! 25lb was top in my section and the word was none of the previous day’s section winners had won today. With just me and two others left to weigh my carp went 29lb and the other two couldn’t better it.

So with a 2 point score over the two days this was enough to take the title, a big trophy and collect £510 for the two section wins and overall. So I was well pleased.

Looking back swapping to the shallow maggot rig and catching rudd on day 1 while other sat it out for carp, and switching to the bomb on day 2 were crucial. It was a difficult but challenging 2 days fishing.

Next week I’m fishing a small club match at Sams lake, Headcorn. Somewhere I’ve never seen before. If anybody has any info on the place send is a mail!

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.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hartleyland Match

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I was off to my favourite match venue today to fish with the Maidstone Town league a local club I joined this year. There are a number of reasons I rate Hartleyalnds so much as a match venue. For a start it looks nice with plenty of bankside cover. You can potentially win from anywhere in the summer on Nicks, Bramley, or Pear Tree lake. Added to this there are no silly rules and you will encounter the best conditioned carp you are likely to catch. Today I was on Pear Tree the lake I used for my Pellet Waggler write up for Southern Angler. The lake is roughly rectangular in shape with two islands running down the middle giving you roughly a 25 meter chuck to them.

I arrived and discovered there will be quite a few fishing with nearly every peg in. At the draw I pulled out peg 13 that put me about halfway along one of the two islands that run down the middle of the lake. There was a light cross wind and there was only one method I was going to use here today and that will be the pellet waggler. In my opinion this method is unbeatable here during the warmer months if you have an island to chuck to. Today I was going to try out some Styrofoam waggler I had knocked up, only 3 inches long and taking 4-5AAA they were a perfect size.
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I set up my two 11ft Carbonactive rods, one set to 8in deep, and the other 12in. both had Mr Crappie 4lb main line, with a 0.16 trace. Attached to this were a size 16 Fox carp hook and a hair rigged bait band. I also set up a bomb rod with a new set up on the end to try that I will tell you what it is another time and a top kit and number 4 section to drop in the margins.

Today I had 6mm pellets for bait as they will easily reach the island and I prefer this size here if I can get away with it. Also some 6mm expanders to feed the margins and a bit of paste.

The all in was called and I put a good handful of pellet in each margin and fed a dozen pellets just short of the island, starting on the 12in deep rig it wasn’t long before I got my first bite and a small carp of about a pound was in the keepnet, the carp seemed to respond to very frequent feeding today, about 10 pellets every 10-15 second, I had a very good first hour putting 20 small carp in the keepnet! Things slowed up during the next hour and I found an 8mm hook pellet seemed to get a bite quicker than using the 6mm that I was feeding. I could see a lot of carp in my swim waiting for the feed and the shallower rig produced more bites.

I needed to constantly change bait size and cast around the feed to keep the fish coming. You would only get a bite if the bait was moving and once it had hit full depth it was ignored. I had to feed then drop the float on top, if I didn’t get a bite after about 5 seconds feed again and slowly twitch the bait through the lose offerings. This way most cast came back with a fish on the end.

About half way into the match I hooked a bigger fish, at about the same time Yalding Bloke from the Maggotdrowner Forum turned up, I think he came round to see how I fished the waggler but I gave a good demo of how not to land a big fish. Keeping the rod low I slowly got it in netting range without too much trouble. I missed it with the net and the fish promptly went berserk and it took me another 5 minute to get it in the net!

I continued to feed the margins and had a quick look every now and again if the waggler swim went quiet, this didn’t produce any fish, but if you do this and continue to feed without fishing when you go back over with the waggler you will often get a several fish quickly.

I was counting the carp today and 15 minutes before the end I had 102! I decided on one last look down the margin before the end for a lump. I hooked on two 6mm expanders and wrapped them in a big lump of paste and dropped it in to my right. The float jumped about a bit so I know there was something down there, the float suddenly went under and I was into a good carp. This time I demonstrated how to land them properly and holding the pole low the fish came back to me and a quick lift and one about 4lb was in the net. I had another couple of bites and bumped one down the edge and that whistle went to signal the end. I had 103 carp, 1 rudd and a barbel!

I guessed I had about 120lb and I wasn’t too far out for a change and put 145lb on the scales. It turned out to be easily enough to win as 79lb was second so a good result for the waggler at Hartleylands.

The Styrofoam floats worked well too, although I think I would have still caught as much on a balsa one. I could always jump on the bandwagon start selling them at £2 a go!!

Im back here next week fishing a big open match with all the lakes in, i quite fancy peg 9, 23, 25 or 32 on Nicks lake.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stones Fishery Sherness

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I was going to visit Stones today for the first time; I thought I better fish a match there before the 2 day festival in September.

The lakes are on the side of Stones Garden Centre that conveniently has a café that opens in the morning for breakfast, the draw was carried out in the café and I pulled out peg 31 which meant nothing to me but I was told you can do well from anywhere on the lake. It is a strange looking lake as there are pots in the water with reeds growing out of them!
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This was a day for experimenting being my first visit so I was going to try a few different things, I was limited to only fishing the pole as there is no way I would get any carp in fishing beyond the pots on a rod and line.

I set up a couple of shallow rigs made up from Drennan Carp 4 Dibbers, one with a long line for swinging away from the pole. These had a 0.14 trace and a Drennan eyed size 14 carp hook attached. A on the deck rig with a Carpa Chimp float, these all had a number 10 latex in the top kits. One for each margin with a BGT Short float with 0.16, and a size 14 Fox Carp hook. These had yellow Drennan hollow in them, the main reason I use this down the margins is with the extra stretch if I hook a big fish I can just hang on keeping the tip low, and then don’t have to follow the fish out and add extra sections.

The plan for the day was to feed a long and short lines down the left margin, and one to the right. But the main attack was going to be shallow between the two pots in front of me where there were quite a few carp cruising around. Bait as always was lots of Skretting 6mm pellets, 4 and 6mm expanders and some paste. I have the utmost confidence in this bait when commercial carp are the target even on unfamiliar water.

At the off I fed the margins, then went straight out with the shallow rig, I did however stick out a couple of balls of groundbait out where I was fishing shallow to hopefully draw some fish in. Feeding 6-8 pellets every few second I was soon into my first carp a fish of about 2lb, soon followed by its mate another one about the same size. Half an hour in I hooked a bigger one about 5lb, when it surfaced I missed it with the landing net and it went crazy! Unfortunately the hook then pulled out.

Things were very slow and two hours into the match I only had 5 carp in the net, word was the lake was not fishing too well. I did drop in where I was feeding the margins but there was little sign of anything down there. So back out with the shallow rig and adding a section took me to beyond the two pots full of reeds. I started to pick up a few more small carp and f1’s here, I was warned not to use a light elastic by the reed pots but they came in with not too much trouble, you just lift slightly into a fish then instead of shipping back pushing the pole forward slightly seemed to confuse the fish then you can easily lead it between the reed.

I keep on dropping down the margins but had no response, so carried on picking up the odd fish shallow. I did try a maggot hookbait for a short while and had a few roach and rudd.

30 minutes from the end I spotted a carp down the left margin, dropped in a bit of paste and immediately had a bite and hooked one, another 2 came out from here before the whistle went to signal the end.

When the scales came round 90lb was winning and I knew I had nowhere near that, I stuck 37lb on the scales, the half of the lake I was on didn’t fish as well as the top end where the winner came from. I had an enjoyable days fishing though and would recommend a visit to the lakes, I will certainly be back.

I did fish on after the end of the match down the margin and had one a bung! The margin was solid, I’m sure the carp know!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Willow Park Battering

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Today I was off the Willow Park for the first time. I was representing the team; there are 3 other forum teams in attendance, Total-fishing, Talk-angling and Angling forums. The team orders were I had to be last in my section to keep with the tradition of Maggotdrowners finishing last. I was on the middle lake that apparently held plenty of carp, f1s, and silverfish and would be perfect for the pole shallow, or even the pellet waggler.

I was a bit worried in the run up to the event when I noticed a club match was won on the lake with only 27lb. Surely a lake that demands a £10 a day peg fee offers better fishing than the result reflected? Further alarm bells rang when I read on the forum that the carp had all escaped from the lake in a recent flood. Added to this one of our team was down there the day before for a look around and reported not a lot was being caught on the middle lake! Things were starting to look grim.

I arrived the morning of the match and I must admit the lake looked good although the pegging was tight. After a tea and chat with the other members of the team the draw was made and I was on peg 20, this meant nothing to me not having seen the lake before but I was informed it was a decent draw. Arriving at the peg it did look good, a large willow to the left overhung the water, and a corner to the right with plenty of cover in the margin was the 2 obvious places to fish. Disappointingly I was limited the distance I could fish out in front of me without “crossing swords” because my peg faced a line of anglers on the other banks.

With the enforced bait limit of 3 small bags of pellet my tactics were going to be fishing shallow with the limited amount of pellet I had, also I was going to target the margins with paste and corn, I would have rather used pellet but didn’t have enough to use for both, an all out carp attack. I also had a few maggots with me to avoid a blank if things went wrong!

I won’t bore you with the rig details but I set up one for the margins, a couple shallow and one for on the deck. Also a pellet waggler rod.

At the off I fed a few ball of groundbait on the pole line straight out in front, and some corn and hemp in the margins both sides. I started with the on the deck rig but flicked out a few pellets every 30 seconds to try and catch shallow. During the next hour I went through several hook baits, corn, pellet, paste, eventually catching a small roach on maggot! The swim was devoid of fish as I was getting very few indications on the float.

During this time I also was flicking half a dozen pellets out to my right at about 25 meters as I noticed the odd carp cruising, I had a few cast with this rod to try and mug one of these cruising fish but again caught nothing. I wasn’t keeping track of time but at about the 2 hour mark with only a few small roach to show for my efforts I dropped a lump of paste in my right margin where I had been feeding, the float settled and started moving about then went under, lifting the pole I was into a carp, then 10 second later it came off. I won’t repeat what I said next!

The next hours were a not event fishing wise as I had a few more small roach by switching between the lines I have fed. It was now time to really attack the swim to try and make something happen, out of desperation I took the decision to concentrate on the pellet waggler and I had 2 pints of 6mm pellet left, so stepping up the feed to a dozen pellet every 15 second where I had spotted the odd cruising carp out to my right. All this achieved was to push the carp out of range!

40 minute were left and I quickly set up a shallow maggot rig to put a few more fish in the net, flicking a few maggots out at about 6 meters I managed about 10 small roach then hooked something a little bigger, playing it carefully it was a F1 of about 3lb. No more followed and I was relived when the whistle went to signal the end.

This scratching about sort of fishing that was required on the day is not really my style and to be honest I didn’t get the best from the peg. 2 hours in I had lost interest really!

The scales came around and I put a pitiful 4lb on them, putting me about 14th out of the 20 anglers on the lake and 4th in the 4 man section. 18lb won the lake!!!

Thankfully I did my bit and our team came in last on the day as expected.

The result being.
Angling Forums 40 pts Total Fishing 1 38 pts Talk Angling 33 pts Maggot Drowners 29 pts

I was tempted to ask for a refund of my peg fee as the fishing was poor, personally I expect to catch a few if I am paying £10 and quite frankly the place is not up to standard, There was plenty of talent fishing the lake and most struggled. I do think the 3 pint pellet limit is in place to stop you overfeeding the few fish present! The rumoured lack of carp in the lake seemed true as I saw little evidence of large numbers of fish present, it was a hot sunny day and you would have expected to see plenty of fish cruising in the surface layers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hartleylands and Wierton Res

Hartleylands Match

I was covering a match for Southern Angler that local angler John Keatly had organised, he had invited down a few guys from the Middlands to fish at Hartleland Farms Nicks Lake.

I called him up to get the details and he suggested I may as well have a days fishing while I was there, there was a catch though. I was not able to enter in the main cash pool. So the plan for the day was to fish for about 4 hours and take some pictures for the mag during the last hour.

I didn’t draw my peg just waiting for what was left so as not to affect the match too much, unbelievably peg 9 was left, this is a excellent draw as you have a choice of the end of two islands to fish to .I got to the peg and the wind was quite strong but from behind so fishing the waggler to the island was the perfect choice of methods for the day. It was one of them day when you just know you are going to empty the place even though Paul the bailiff told me the peg had not won a match for a long time, everything was spot on

I set up my 11ft Preston waggler rods, one with a 4.5AAA home made balsa pellet waggler set to 12in deep, the other with my ultra shallow short waggler that also takes 4.5AAA set 6in deep. Both had a size 16 fox carp hook attached to a 0.16mm Fox trace attached to a hair rigged bait band.

Feed and hook bait was my favourite Skretting 6mm pellets, and a small amount of paste was mixed up too.

The start was called and I fed about a dozen pellets just short of the island and went straight out with the foot deep rig. It was quite a slow start but eventually I had my first bite after about 20 minutes, this resulted in a small carp, feeding about every 15 seconds had them feeding well picking up some more fish during the first hour and putting about 20lb in the net. Into the second hour the carp really started to have it and were a large number swirling on the surface when I fed just sitting there waiting!

Switching to the shallower rig and stumpy float as I got into the third hour of the match was resulting in one a bung. It was just a matter of feeding, casting, hook a fish, feed again, net it, and then start again. The average size was quite small but it didn’t matter as I landed around 80 carp in the next two hours so with well over a ton in the net I unfortunately had to stop and take a few photos for the article I was writing. I got back at my peg with about 5 minutes to go and managed another couple before the end though.

The scales come round for the match proper and I thought I would weigh in and stuck 140lb on the scales, which was not bad for 4 hours fishing.

Top 3 in the match proper were
1st 109lb Alan Corby (Hartleylands Farm) peg 8 on the feeder
2nd 103lb Dean Sheldon (SBS Baits) peg 32 on the pole down the margins
3rd 100lb Pete Wellington, (Team Mosella) peg 7 on the pole at 3meters and the margins.

Real fishing down Wierton Reservoir

I was off to fish the last of the 2.5 hour evening matches down my local club water, where bream are on the menu. I have had a good run here in the past winning the last 3 matches I have fished.

Tactics were easy if I drew out of the wind it would be the pole if it was too windy I would fish the method feeder close in as in the summer the fish tend to patrol quite close in during the summer and many fish too far out.

I was hoping for a draw on the island side of the lake where the wind was blowing and the water well coloured, but was a bit disappointed to end up right round the other side of the lake with the wind off my back and the water very clear.

I got to the peg and just set up the one rig. A 1g Drennan lake, with a 1g olivet, and a couple of number 10 droppers. I did have the method feeder rod set up in the bag just in case!

I had some fishmeal groundbait mixed up ready to throw in at the start full of 6mm expanders and some corn. At the start 8 balls of this mix went in at 11 meters. Things where very slow for the first hour, I went through corn, expander and maggot hookbait, and only managed a few small roach. I don’t know why but I had a feeling there were bream in the swim but for some reason didn’t like the way the bait was being presented to them. So I thought sod it and with an hour to go chucked the pole rig up the bank and quickly set up the method feeder rod.

This had a small Korum in line feeder, attached to this was a size 16 Kamasan animal hook attached to a 0.16mm trace of about 5 inches. This was fished semi fixed with a swivel wedged into the feeder. Bait was double 6mm expander. The plan was to cast this just beyond the pole line every 3-4 minutes to try and draw some fish in.

I swung it out and stuck the rod on the rest and waited for it to sink, I know there were fish present as I got line bites straight away. I’ve seen people strike at these before but it is important to sit on your hand and wait for a proper pull round as the method is a self hooking rig after all.

Looking at my watch to time 3 minutes as it got into the second minute the rod went round and I was into a bream at last, a nice fish of about 2lb plus, in the last half an hour of the match I had 8 more, it was solid down there.

The scales came around and 22lb was wining so far and wasn’t sure if I had enough, I ended up just scraping the victory with 23lb. it just goes to show the delicate presentation the pole offers is not always the best way with the crude by comparison method feeder rig doing the damage in the end.

Great Cheap Line

Ive been using a great line lately, 6lb for the feeder and 4lb for the pellet waggler, its called Mr Crappy (no im not taking the piss) from the States. you get it from for $6.99 a spool for 3000 meters of the stuff. Postage for 2 spools is only $3.95. Get some now you wont be dissapionted.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Maver Pairs, Monk Lakes.

Today I was at Monks with my partner Dave to have another go at the Maver match, We have swapped sections today and I was on A that was all of lake one and the good side of lake two, so was well up for this match and confident of putting a good weight together.

We lined up to draw and were first in the queue. Dave nominated me to draw out the pegs, I pulled out 93 from the B section bucket for Dave, not a great draw but better than most. Then in I went for my peg from the A section bucket and out came……. Now wait for it……… 23 on Lake one!!!!! The peg most would sell there soul to the devil for. Now I consider lake one to be the fairest and you can win from anywhere but when you put in every peg on the lake the four end pegs (23 is one of them) are difficult to beat.

I got to the peg and as per usual at Monks the wind was blowing, and a cross wind at that. When setting up the pole it bent alarmingly even at 9 meters, so I had a dilemma. Do I still fish shallow like I normally do but at only around 6-7 meters, or opt for the most popular tactic on the lakes pellet/paste on the deck. After weighing it up with a good chop on the water I decided the fish will still feed close in shallow so will go with that.

So I knocked up a bit of groundbait to ball in at the start like I normally do, and set up 3 shallow rigs, all Drennan Carp 4 dibbers, attached to 0.14 trace and a size 14 Drennan carp eyed hook. I set up a on the deck and margin rig too just in case. 3 keepnets were put in today as we had a maximum weight of 60lb in each net, putting a fish in each net in turn so as to spread the weight

At the off the groundbait went in at 6 meters, and started feeding 6mm pellet over the top, I gave it 15 minutes down the edge while the main swim settled, this only produced one bite which I missed. So out with the shallow rig it was set about a foot deep, I after about another 15 minutes I had my first carp of about a pound, a few more followed and after a hour I had 17. Things got even better by the second hour and I was up to 45! What worked best was feeding about 10 pellets then immediately slapping the rig down on the water until I got a bite, tapping the pole got me a few too but didn’t work as well. By the third hour I was on about 60 fish for I recon about 80lb so was doing very well indeed.

Then disaster struck, I just stopped catching! Half a hour went by without a bite, I stuck on pole sections to go out further, and various other tricks but only had a few more by the forth hour. I had to decide on a change of tactics for the last hour as the wind had picked up and conditions were very difficult, so it was out with the on the deck rig and a 6mm expander was put on the hook, I continued to feed it as if I was fishing shallow but less frequently, With the on the deck rig I started to pick up a few fish, a mixture of barbel and small carp, this was working OK and I caught slow but steady for the rest of the match hooking a good sized F1 of about 3lb on the whistle, ending up with about 70 carp and about 15 barbel.

The scales turned up and 79lb was the best weight so far, I was sure I had over a ton and was not disappointed with my 112lb. the rest of the lake was weighed in and next best was 96lb, giving me the lake and section win. Strange as it seems the last four matches I have fished on lake one I have won with, 113lb, 112lb, 113lb, and today with 112lb!

Dave on lake 3 had not had such a good day as me but still caught a few and had 46lb for a section 3rd so we didn’t qualify for the final, but I had a few quid to collect but wasn’t sure where I was overall, word was the best weight off of lake 3 was 106lb, but the bad new was lake 2 had thrown up a few good weight and I ended up forth overall on the day picking up £90 (now time for a moan).

This isn’t a lot really when you consider it cost £20 plus £10 on the day to enter each round and if you don’t go into the £10 pool you go away with nothing. With 100 fishing deducting the £7 peg fee that is £1300 from each match going to Maver/AT, I’m not sure of the number of qualifiers but work it out, are they really paying out the amount they should be?

On a positive note get yourself a copy of Southern Angler to see a certain handsome chap fishing the pellet waggler on page 6-7.

Friday, July 13, 2007

River Medway and Mote Park

I was down the Medway again Wednesday evening for the Maidstone Victory match, the river looked spot on with a bit of colour and flow. I was hoping for a draw on the high bank so I could catch a few bream but it wasn’t to be and the golden arm failed me for the second week running! I ended up on one of the weedy swims downstream of the bridge. Good for roach and a couple of seasons ago I would have been confident of winning off, but times have changed and bream seem to dominate the results lately with 12-20lb+ winning all the matches. If you target roach you are looking at 8-10lb so you will probably frame but not win.

So faced with a peg that may or may not produce a few bream the tactics were chosen with this in mind, I selected a 1g float to fish a bulked rig nailed near the bottom so I can just edge it through. Hook bait will be corn as I know this will pick up roach and bream,but not as many roach if you fished hemp and tares but maybe around the 5lb mark. Add to this 3-4 bream and I will be looking at around 12-15lb to hopefully win the match.

The whistle went and I threw in 5 balls of groundbait laced with corn and hemp, the plan was to lose feed corn over this for the duration of the match, this was working quite well at the start and I was picking up the odd roach, a hour and a half into the two and a half hour match I had about 4lb of roach in the net so things were going to plan, as the light faded it was now or never for the bonus bream so I deepened up a bit and just edged the bait through slowly in the hope a few moved in for the last hour, and they did, in fact I caught 10.

Now for the flaw in my tactics, they were only about three ounces each!!!!

The scales come along and I weighed in 5lb 1oz. 10lb consisting of 3 bream was winning so not surprisingly I was well out of it and in second place, by the end I was bumped down a few more places into forth. Not a bad result but still pools fodder for the second week running. Three evening matches and I haven’t managed to win yet, the fishing at Barming has changed and I just can’t seem to beat the feeder guys but I don’t like to sit there all evening for 4-6 fish I like to keep busy and catch a few.

Mote Park Monsters!

With the week off work I decided to take a trip down the park lake for a few hours Thursday. My wife decide to come down and be photographer for the day.

I selected a swim on the wall and had the whole 30 acre lake to myself.
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I brought a feeder and float rod and was going to do a bit of both. I started on the waggler with a simple rig, 2.5AAA insert peacock, lightly shotted to fish on the drop in about 8ft of water, I attached a 0.08 trace and a size 20, 511 hook. Feeding maggots little and often I started to pick up a few roach to around the 12oz mark on single maggot. After a hour or so I thought I would have a spell on the feeder to try and catch a few bream.

The rig again was simple, a free running plastic Drennan cage feeder, attached to a 0.12 trace and a size 16 hook. Bait again was maggots and a groundbait mix that I have been using for years that never fails me on natural water when bream are about. It consisted of a third each of Sensas Lake, Roach and brown crumb, added to this is a good helping of ground hemp quite possibly the best bream attractor around. This is always mixed up well before use so it is not too active and rises in the water.

Lobbing this out about 50-60 metres into the lake and clipping up, I then put out a few feeders full to get a bit of bait down. I then cast out, stuck the rod on a rest and sat on my hands! Easy this bream fishing lark!

It wasn’t too long and the tip started jumping about, now you know why I sit on my hands. Eventually the tip pulled round and the rod jumped of the rest and I was into one, it eventual come in and turned out to be a big skimmer. A few more of these arrived all un-missable pull rounds on the tip after a lot of line bites, but then it went quiet.

The tip suddenly went round a slight bit and just stayed there without moving, springing back it all went slack and I had hooked another one, not a skimmer though this time a proper one. After a short scrap I slid the net under one of the big old fish that live in the lake.
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This one went straight back as I think they are a bit big to retain in a net, casting out again I had another and again this went straight back.
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I had another two of the monster bream before calling it a day, a good few hours fishing with the 4 big bream and these roach and skimmers to go with it.
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Not bad for about four hours fishing.

What a great lake that is only a few minutes down the road from me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Back down the Medway.

I was back down the Medway at Barming Bridge for the second of 4 evening matches on the river, when I arrived and had a look at the river I knew I should have left the hemp and tares at home. There had been some heavy rain early in the day and the river was brown, rising and motoring through. Luckily on the way to the river I picked up a pint of maggots as bait from the local tackle shop and had a few casters I had turned from last weeks maggots.

To be honest I didn’t think it would be flowing so fast and coloured so wasn’t really prepared, I had only packed ten pole rigs in my small box I use for the evening matches and the biggest were only 2g so not big enough! I had a feeder rod with me but didn’t really fancy it as I thought the bream wouldn’t feed well with the river rising.

At the draw I pulled out a peg on the high bank and under normal condition would be a decent draw for a few bream plus the ever present roach. Today it looked grim and I didn’t fancy it at all, there was a lot of marginal weed so I had no slack water down the edge to run a float through, and the flow just didn’t look right further out but I decided to give it a go anyway.

I kicked off the match on the 2g rig to nail the bait near the bottom and edge it through at about 7 meters. 5 hard balls of groundbait went in at the off, and maggots was the bait. I just edged the bait over the feed for the first hour or so. All this produced was 1 small roach and a few bleak. I did have a feeder set up so switched to this for another half an hour and caught nothing. By this time I started to lose interest as it started to rain again.

With a hour to go I thought I better pull myself together and try to put a few fish in the net so I ripped of the 2g rig and stuck on the smallest float I had with me which was a 0.5g Drennan Carbo, set it about 2ft deep, using a top 4 to hand preceded to go bleak bashing! Feeding small amounts of maggots and with a single as bait I started to catch one a bung, I was quite glad when the whistle went and probably ended up with about 100-150 of the tiny fish.

When the scales arrived amazingly 14lb of bream was winning (did I say the bream would not feed, Ops!), I managed to put 3lb 8oz on the scales putting me third, I didn’t stay there long as John Overton on the next peg a very good feeder angler had, you guessed it, 6 bream all caught in the last hour for over 15lb to win the match. There was another bleak weight that was amazingly 1 oz behind me so I stayed in 4th place on the day.

The lesson learned today is not to be so impatient on a out of sorts river and chop and change methods too much, who knows if I had stuck it out on the 2g rig I may have put a few bream in the net too.

On a bright note

Get yourself a copy of the August edition of Southern Angler (or buy it every month as its a great read), my pellet waggler write up will be featured in there.

Also I have been asked to do a few of the venue guides for Kent every month so if you have had a decent day anywhere in the area particularly on the rivers, or know a good venue to feature send us an email.

I have a busy week fishing wise planned, down the Medway again for the Wednesday evening match, down Moat Park for a bit of roach fishing, then a Saturday and Sunday matches down Monk Lakes

Friday, June 29, 2007

Maidstone Victory evening match, on the Medway

My local club run a series of 6 evening matches every summer starting in June, I have managed to win the overall trophy for the last 2 years doing very well managing to frame in every match, This year after missing the first match while I was down in Devon I will have to get a first or second in every match to retain the trophy.

I arrived early at the draw so I could have a chat with the guys fishing; tonight it was to be fished on the Barming section of the river. We haven’t had as much rain down here in the South East and the river looked spot on with a bit of colour and flow. In these conditions the bream normally feed well so I expected them to win, the down side of this is that they are only around in numbers in a couple of swims on the high bank although it is possible to pick up two or three from any swim.

I pulled out peg 11 that put me on the first swim to the right of Barming bridge, not a bad draw for roach but not really noted for bream, it also holds a few chub down the far side but I didn’t expect them to feed well in the coloured water.

My normal tactics here are very simple, ball in groundbait at the start on the edge of the nearside flow, then start lose feeding hemp, tares and corn over the top giving you a choice of hook baits, the fish will often show a preference for one of these then you can switch to just feeding what they prefer on the day. This tactic has won me lots of matches on this section of river getting me a bit of a reputation as a Medway expert!!!

For a change though I had set up a feeder even though I was not on a good bream peg, not sure why though? I still had the pole set up just in case the feeder didn’t work; this was a 1g Drennan Carbo, with a bulk and 3 number 10 droppers evenly spaced down the last 3 ft of line. This was attached to a 0.08 trace and a size 16 Kamasan 511 hook.

At the start of the match 5 balls of groundbait laced with hemp went in, the mix consisted on a third Sensas Lake, Roach and brown crumb. Added to this was a generous helping of ground hemp. I will losefeed the hemp, tares and corn combo over the top of this while starting on the feeder.

The feeder was a bit of a non event just catching a few small roach and a bleak in the first hour of the match. I had to do something to put a few fish in the net so a quick switch to the pole and tares hook bait was in order. With 90 minutes left I though I had blown my chances of a decent result as I expected a few bream to be caught, the next half a hour saw me putting about a dozen roach in the net but I wasn’t too worried as the last hour as the light start to fade can be one a bung. The swim got stronger as the match went on and by the time the all out was called I recon I had around 60 roach.

The scales turned up and surprisingly the top weight so far was only 4lb odd, it had not fished well! My 60 roach went 5lb 14oz which surprisingly enough was good enough for 2nd place, as I predicted the winner was on the high bank and managed only 3 bream on the feeder, but they went just over 10lb so easily winning.

There was talk after the match about leaving the high bank pegs out to even out the results as they always win, but I’m not sure if it is a good or bad idea to do that. Having said that we always used to leave them out until I won about 6 matches in a row on the river, someone suggested they were put in last year and since it is difficult to win a match without drawing one of them!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trip to Stafford Moor

I was off to Devon on holiday to visit my father in law, who happens to live 10 miles up the road from Stafford Moor. So a couple of waggler and a feeder rod complete with tackle found there way into the car! Also 16 pints of 8mm coarse pellets, 8 pints of 6mm, and some ground pellet to make up some paste.

I planned to have a days fishing so thought I may as well fish the Sunday open, so turned up at the lake just as the draw was starting. I handed over my money and pulled out peg 36 on Woodpeckers and was promptly told by some of the locals it was one of the best pegs on the complex!

It was right round the far side of the lake and didn’t know what to expect as I have never seen the lake before, when I eventually got there I must admit it did look spot on for the waggler with about a 30 yard chuck to a point of an island and there were several carp moving about. As you can see it it was raining!
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I discovered by having a quick chat with one of the locals a couple of pegs along that the straight lead had been doing well on the lake using a 8mm dark high oil pellet as bait and feeding the same. I noted his advice but had my own ideas of what I was going to do.

I set up 2 waggler rods to fish shallow one set to a foot deep the other set at two foot. These both had one of my 4AAA home made wagglers attached to a 0.18 trace and a size 16 Fox hook with a hair rigged bait band attached. I also put up a lead rod to fish hair rigged pellet that had a 0.20 trace and a 14 Fox hook. I was fishing quite heavy compared to my local waters as the fish run big here apparently.

The start was signalled and I was going to kick off with the waggler, out went a pouch full of 6mm pellets followed by my float with a 6mm hook bait, the float settled and immediately went under!!! A quick strike resulted in hooking my first carp; I had been fishing for about 10 second! Another minute later a 5 pound carp was in my net. Unfortunately after this fish the swim seemed devoid of any life apart from small skimmers that were grabbing my pellet. Stepping up to 8mm pellets cured the skimmer problems but I had no carp for over an hour. I continued feeding pellets every 15-30 seconds in the hope of eventually drawing a few fish in, this sort of worked and I had another one. But that was it for another hour.

Over two and a half hours into the match with only a couple of fish a change was in order, so it was out with the lead rod, I stuck on a 8mm pellet then wrapped it in a big lump of paste, fired out about 20, 8mm pellets then cast on top. I went to put the rod on a rest and it was nearly torn out of my hands with a very savage bite, I got this fish under the rod end and the hook pulled out so I was not pleased. Doing the same thing again I immediately hooked another one, this time it made it into the net with another 4 of its mates in the next 20 minutes. Things were beginning to look up as even the rain had stopped and the sun was out.

4 hours into the 6 hour match and a good spell of catching for an hour I was on 15 carp. But the sky started to darken and it was raining again, or should I say monsoon! It was hammering down and it seemed to kill the fishing. I struggled for the last couple of hours and only managed another 5 carp. At the end I had the feeling I had not really fished the peg to its full potential and should have had a big weight, but on the other hand it may not have held the numbers of fish the locals seemed to think it did on the day I was there, who knows?

The scales eventually came round and my 20 fish went 79lb, so not a bad weight really for a first visit and an enjoyable days fishing, this put me third in the section on the day.

I was impressed by the lakes at the fishery as they all looked superb and will be back next time I am down that way hopefully with a better result.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Back to Wierton

I had a couple of hours to spare so had another go for a carp, after trying to get a take for a couple of hours feeding mixers I eventualy hooked this nice fish.

Scaling down to 8lb line to get a take it took over half a hour to land!
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A nice 24lb fish

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A bit of carping

I had a few hours spare today so decided to visit one of my local Maidstone Victory club waters, Wierton Reservoir is a excellent water full of carp to well over 30lb, plus stacks of bream, perch, roach and rudd.

I brought a new Drennan medium feeder rod last year and haven’t used it yet so thought this was the chance to give it a try! I mixed up a bit of BCUK groundbait and was going to have a go with a method feeder for the bream. I also brought my carp rod and was going to have a go at catching a carp off the surface.

I selected a swim with about a 40 yard chuck to the island and planned to feed mixers here while having a go with the feeder.
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On the method feeder rod the bait was going to be double 6mm expander, I loaded it up with groundbait and lobbed it out about 30 yards and within 30 seconds the rod went round and a decent size skimmer was in the net, I stayed on this method for a hour or so and caught several bream.
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By this time I had the carp taking mixers out by the island so gave up fishing the feeder. I had my old carp rod set up ready to go. This rod is a museums piece; it’s an old North Western 2lb TC rod dating back to the 1980. I like it for floater fishing cos it is quite soft in comparison to today’s modern rods and you very rarely lose a fish, I matched this with a 12lb mainline, a 5g Drennan controller, 10lb mono trace to a size 10 Drennan barbel hook.

Pinging out about 6 mixers at a time I recon I had about a dozen fish out by the island taking them. Ranging in size from 5lb to getting on for 30! I spent the next 2 hours trying to single out one of the bigger fish but could not get one take. I tried double and single hair rigged mixer, double and single soaked with the hook buried in them. Eventually I got round to trying a weighted fake mixer on the hook, these are slightly weighted so they sit with the hook on the top. I gave up trying to target the bigger fish and just lobbed this into the middle of the feeding fish. The mixer landed just at the edge of the island weed bed and I had a take imidiatly!

I want sure the size of the fish as it kept deep and the rod was bent double as I tried to hold it out of the far bank weed.
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It felt like a good size fish but as it come towards me I realise it was one of the ghost carp that live in the lake and these seem to fight harder than most, so wasn’t as big as I first thought. After a few minutes I managed to get the fish in the net.
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Here it is a nicely marked fish. I would think around the 15lb mark, I dont really bother weighing anything if it dosent look over 20lb and forgot to bring my scales anyway!
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It started raining so I gave up fishing after catching the carp, but I did get a quick photo of the bream I caught in the first hours fishing. Would have had a big net of them if I didn't get distracted by the carp!
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All photos taken by Deborah Gilbert

Monday, June 04, 2007


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?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ton Up at Monks

With the Maver Pairs match at Monks lake on Saturday I thought I would have the day off work and fish the Wednesday Open and get a bit of practice. Today it was going to be held on lake 1 which is the fairest lake on the complex so was confident of a decent weight wherever I drew. These mid week matches are never easy to win as it attracts some good anglers.

At the draw I pulled out peg 39 which is in the middle of the far side, I was quite pleased cos I had the wind blowing from behind making it more comfortable when the forecast rain starts!

Bait wise I had with me my usual Monks lake menu, lots of 6mm Skretting pellets, 2 pints of 6mm and 4mm expanders, and some paste made from ground pellets. I had some corn too but I probably won’t use it! I also knocked up a bit of fishmeal groundbait to feed at the start.

The rigs again were much the same that I always use at Monks, two shallow with Drennan carp 4 dibbers, with a size 14 Drennan carp hook attached to 0.14 hook length. One on the deck rig with a Carpa Chimp float set up hook in the loop style, also a BGT Short for fishing on a top 4 at about 3 meters out.

The intention today was to fish a main line out at 7-9 meters shallow, and a top 4 when I wanted to rest the this line, I had 7 balls of groundbait laced with 6mm pellet to feed at the start, 5 in front to draw in a good number of fish then lose feed over the top to bring the fish shallow, and a couple either side of me for fishing a top 4.

At the whistle the groundbait went in and I started off on the top 4 rig with 6mm pellet as bait, flicking a few pellets out over the float, I was soon catching a few small tench. While catching these I was feeding out at around 8 meters over the groundbait. After about half an hour into the match it was about time I went out on the shallow rig, about the same time it started raining.

I shipped out this rig and flicked in a few pellets and was straight into a small F1 carp! I caught a few in the next hour trying to suss out the best way to feed, today wrapping the pellet in soft paste got me a bite quicker, feeding about 10 pellets then dropping the paste on top, also throwing is a small ball of soft groundbait and dropping the rig down the “same hole” caught me a few. Every now and again having a look with the on the deck rig when it went quiet shallow also picked up a few fish. I recon by the end of the third hour I had about 50-60lb in the net, with two hours to go I needed to catch quicker to have a chance of framing.

I stepped up the feed to about a dozen pellets every 15 seconds to try to up the catch rate, this started to work well, shipping out then throwing out a dozen pellets followed by the rig started to produce one a bung. I also fed a small ball of soft groundbait every few minutes to keep a cloud hanging in the water. I had a good last 90 minutes catching well up to the whistle which strangely coincided with the rain stopping.

I guessed I had between 80-100lb in the net, and when the scales arrived 99 was winning so far. I had 112lb of mostly F1s and took the lead, following the scales round the rest of the lake one other ton catch was recorded, lucky for me it was 106lb, so that gave me yet another win at Monks, that is 3 so far out of 4 matches this year at the venue.

I will report back soon with how I do in the Maver pairs, hopefully avoid a draw on lake 3!

Monday, May 14, 2007

BCUK League Round 6, Monks Lake 2

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I was off back down Monks today, on Lake 2 this time. It was the last round today and even after missing a match and a potential 4 points I was 4th in the league.

To be sure of getting a cash payout I needed to finish in the top 8 of the League so another section win was needed, can I do it?

At the draw I pulled out peg 85 right over the back of the lake in a poor area, so that was it for a potential match win today the best I could do was win the section. Added to this the weather forecast for the day was looking grim with rain. Looks like I am stuck on a crap peg today and am going to get wet!

I unloaded my gear out of the car and the sky was getting darker all the time, just as I got to the peg the rain started. Anyway enough about complaining about the weather on to the subject of bait for the day, I had my usual shedload of 6mm pellet, a couple of pints of 6mm and 4mm expanders, a bit of corn, and because of the rough forecast a pint of mixed maggots. I mixed up a small amount of groundbait to feed at the start, this would either kick start the pole line or kill it, Shit or bust tactics!

I had been told this area of the lake is quite shallow, so I guessed the waggler would be a good tactic today with every peg in the fish may be pushed out of pole range. I set up 2 rods one to fish shallow on the pellet with my home made float, the other to fish a bait on the drop set at full depth which was around 4ft at 25 meters, this rig had a small dumpy bodied waggler, both had 018 main line and a 0.14 trace. I also set up a few pole rigs one deep, 2 shallow, and a margin.

At the start I fed the groundbait and then went out with the full depth waggler at about 20-25 meters, bait was a 6mm banded pellet, feeding 6mm pellet with a catty over the top, I did not have a touch for half a hour, a switch to corn still produced nothing, 45 minutes in and I was fishless! Out of desperation I stuck on a 12mm pellet, cast out and had a bite as the rig settled, 30 second later I had a 2lb mirror in the net.

The big pellet didn’t produce any more fish so after an hour I decided it was time to have a look on the pole line while continuing to feed out on the waggler where hopefully the carp would eventually turn up in numbers. First put in on the pole and I had an instant bite on a lump of paste, this was a F1 of about a pound, I went back out then had one about two pound, then nothing, two hours in and I had 3 fish, things were looking grim.

A change of tactics were in order so I took off the deep waggler rigs trace and switched it to a size 16 Kamasan 611 attached to a 0.12 trace. Maggot was going to be the bait, the only problem was I didn’t have enough to feed the swim for the rest of the match so decided to feed pellet with the odd pouch full of maggot to make them last the duration of the match. Not ideal as I like to feed what I have on the hook but I was getting desperate by now.

This at last started to produce a few fish a mixture of, small carp, chub, ide and the odd barbel. I desperately needed some carp as I was being battered in the section so as I got into the 4th hour of the match I fed just maggot and this done the trick and I had a run of carp and as I get to the last hour of the match I recon I had about 25lb, unfortunately I was running out of maggots so had to switch to feeding pellet, hook bait wise pellet or corn produced no bites, so I had to stick with maggot hook bait and feeding pellet, I still caught a few more carp adding the biggest fish of the day in the last hour, one about 4lb.

It rained for most of the match so I was glad it was all over, amazingly when it ended the rain stopped. So the question is how well had I done in the section?

The scales came round and the first guy in my section put 16 lb on the scales so he must have struggled. Next weight went 44lb not so good as I don’t recon I had that much, 30lb odd was next, and eventually I weighed in 37lb for 2nd in the section. 98lb won the match. A quick mental calculation was worked out and I reckoned I was going to just going to snatch 8th place the last money spot in the league.

The result had been worked out and a few had dropped some points and I ended up in 6th place and picking up a few quid.

I will say well done to Paul Kell who was the eventual winner and an excellent angler particularly when fishing the pole shallow for carp.

Individually in the matches I did quite well 2 ton up match wins at Monks, 72lb for second at Framfield and a lake win with 63lb at Hartleylands. Only fishing poorly in the last one, tactically and bait wise getting things wrong.

Realistically 6th was the best I could have done, the winner had 22 points made up from 4 section wins and 2 section seconds fished over 6 matches and I was on 19 from 4 section wins and 1 section second from 5 matches. I was a little disappointed as I feel I could have won it if I didn’t miss a match, but there is always next time and I can’t complain really picking up a average of £80 a match!

The full results of the BCUK League can be found here, the website should be updated in a day or two.