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