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.
  • Sunday, May 06, 2007

    BCUK League Round 5, Monks Lake 1

    Today I was off too Monks the day after the fishery hosted the Fishomania qualifier, which I didn’t get a ticket for! I was worried how it was going to fish after 130 angler were at the lakes yesterday. 36 are fishing today so nearly every peg on the lake will be in.

    I arrived at the draw and was chatting to the guys in the queue saying that all the times I have fished Monks I have never drawn one of the favoured end pegs, I stuck my hand in the bag and pulled out peg 24, with peg 23 not in today I had at last drawn an end peg! This is exactly where I wanted to be as I needed another section win to keep in contention; the down side is I will be fishing against peg 21 that was also on the end and a very good draw.

    I got to the peg and there was a brisk crosswind blowing from right too left, anybody who fishes Monks will know that the wind always blows here as it is so exposed. Tactics today will be the pole as short as I can get away with because of the wind, I set up 2 shallow rigs, 0.3g & 0.4g Drennan carp 4 dibbers, a deep rig with a 4x14 Carpa Chimp to fish hook in the loop style, and a margin rig with a 0.3g BGT Short also hook in the loop style, all rigs had a 0.14 trace.

    Bait for the day was simple I had with me 10 pints of 6mm Skrettings coarse pellets, 2.5 pints of 6mm expanders. I also had some 4mm expanders and corn with me but didn’t expect to use it. To kick start the swim I had 6 balls of BCUK groundbait, this was all going in at the start and I intended to lose feed over the top to bring the carp up shallow. This tactic has worked well here in the past.

    The whistle went and in the groundbait was thrown in at about 7-8 meters, also a ball went in each margin, I dropped the margin rig in to start with, while the groundbait settled for a while, I fed 6-10, 6mm pellet over the top about every 15 seconds, after about 10 minutes and no bites in the margins it was out with the deep HITL rig where I was feeding. I had a bite after another10 minutes that resulted in a small carp. After a couple of missed bites I figured the fish were up shallow already so out with the shallow rig, I was picking up the odd fish on this rig and in the first hour I had 10 small carp in the net for about 10lb.

    Steady feeding produced more carp shallow and by the second hour I had added another 20, some of these were a bit bigger and I guessed I was on about 40lb now, things were going well and I added another 10 in the next half an hour, then something strange happened. Bites virtually dried up catching just 1 carp in the next half an hour!

    I was puzzled a bit as to why I was not catching, the only explanation is that I had over fed a little and the fish had gone deeper, this seemed to be the case and a switch to the deep rig produced a carp first put in, feeding 10, 6mm expanders then dropping the rig in over the top produced a run of carp and I was catching well again for about half a hour, again bites stopped and a switch to the shallow rig produced another few fish.

    By changing between the deep and shallow rigs for the rest of the match I caught steady until the whistle at the end. Ending up with about 70 fish.

    I was sure I has done quite well as I didn’t notice anybody really emptying it, and that seemed to be the case when the scales got round to my section, top weight was in the 60s and I was sure I had over 80lb? I was a bit worried when the 2nd guy to weigh in my section put 92lb on the scales and took the lead, it was my turn did I have enough? 3 weighs later and I had 101lb, getting the section win and taking first place in the match.

    I was quite pleased today as I managed to get a good result on the pole which makes a change from having to fish the pellet waggler in the previous 3 matches.

    Unbelievably I think I have moved up to 4th place in the league, which is some going as I missed one of the matches, with just one match to go I can’t win it but may jump up another place or two and get a decent payout at the end, on top of match payouts I have won already.