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!