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?