Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Maggotdrowners Fur and Feather Match, Plus Some Small Stream Fishing.

Went down the river for a couple of hours last week. Mainly to test the efectivness of the doubled up elastic for mixed nets. Was hoping to hook a variety of sizes of fish. The swim I had in mind was perfect for the pole with a big swirling eddy on the far side that is always stuffed with fish


I arrived at about 1pm and set up the pole with a doubled up number 5 Preston Slip, attached a 1g carbo float and stuck on a 18 Drennan Barbless Silverfish Maggot hook to a 0.10 trace. shotting was 2 number 8 droppers and a bulk about 18 in from the hook.

It wasn't long before I was catching fish one a bung on white maggot, a mixture of dace, chub, roach, skimmers and a lone trout! I gave up at about 3.15pm and ended up feeding about a pint and a half of bait.

The doubled up elastic run very smooth and I hardly lost a fish all day. It quickly tamed a chub of about 2-3lb too.

I got some guy walking his dog to take a quick picture of the catch!


Maggotdrowners Fur and Feather Match.

Last weekend it was the annual fur and feather march of the Maggotdrowners forum. This year it was going to be held at Wylands on the Old Specimen Lake which was stuffed with roach. Due to the lake being frozen all week leading up to the event it was decided to be moved to House Lake near the café. Here the fishing was more mixed with skimmers, roach and hybreeds.

I woke up the morning of the match to find the weather was apauling! Strong wind and freezing rain greeted me. Knowing this was forcast all day I was travling light and used my small plastic seatbox which was loaded with about 10 pole rigs, some peacock wagglers, 1 reel, discorgers, a few plummits, a hook box and some shot, That was it. In the rod bag went the pole and my Milo New Era Powerlite rod, also a unbrela.

I picked up Matt on the way with his usal mountain of gear who told me he was traveling light! As we drove down the rain was still hammering down and the wind blowing. Things were looking quite grim.

We arrived and the usal suspects were at the tea hut which overlooks the lake, sheltering from the rain, Looking at the way the wind was blowing I was praying for a draw with it behind me. I got lucky and was on the bank near the café with the wind behind me. Matt on the other hand ended up on the other side of the lake with the wind in his face.

I had already decided on the tactics for the day which was going to be the pole around the 7-8 meter mark and the waggler out into open water. I was told the whip close in produced most match wins on the lake but due to the cold clear water I didn’t think you could hold the fish in close for the duration of the match so ruled it out. Bait for the day was simple I had 4 pints of mixed maggots, a pint of casters and a few soft pellets and corn.

Here is a picture of my swim from the Tea hut!


I managed to get the umbrella set up as a wind break behind me without it getting too much on the way and set up two pole rigs both with a doubled number 5 Preston slip elastic. One had a 0.6g Drennan Lake with a Olivet about 18 in from the hook and two number 10 droppers, 0.10 trace with a 18 Drennan Silverfish maggot hook. The other had the same hook and trace but a Carpa Chimp set to fish on the drop in about 4-5 foot of water. The waggler rig was pretty standard with a 3AAA peacock insert, three number 8 shot were spaced down the line about a foot apart starting 6in from the hook. This was plumbed up to fish a couple of inches over depth.

I was the allocated time keeper for the match so blew the whistle to start and kicked off on the waggler with maggot, the plan was to feed the pole line for a good hour before having a look to see what was there. The conditions were appalling! Rain and a strong swirling wind which was making feeding on the waggler a nightmare. Being so changeable it was difficult to be as accurate as I would have liked. Also casting the waggler was the same. Despite this I was soon getting a few bites and feeding a pouch full of maggot every minute of so I started to put a good number of small skimmers and roach in the net, letting the rig settle and twitching it through the feed was working well. For the first hour and a quarter I must have put a good 8lb in the net which considering the conditions I was quite pleased with. The only other person I could see catching a few was Mark a couple of pegs along, not as many but I noticed he was netting a few so can assume they are bigger than mine!

It was time to switch to the pole line that I had been feeding with caster and maggot, and have a look to see if I could catch any quicker. But continue to feed the waggler to keep the fish out there and searching for bait. First put in with double maggot on the Carpa Chimp rig produced an instant bite and a small roach was soon in the net. I had another but it didn’t seem that the rig was working as I would have liked so switched to the Drennan Lake with the Olivet as a bulk. This sat a lot better and again feeding about every 60 seconds I was catching steady and a slightly better stamp of fish including some hard fighting hybrids. I found dragging the rig from side to side through the feed was the best way to induce a bite.

Bites did eventually die on the pole and I felt I should really add a section and chase the fish out but by this time the weather was getting worse, the wind was stronger and the rain slightly heavier! My hands felt so cold I though sod it I really don’t want to hold the pole for any longer so it was out with the waggler again. At least I can keep my hands in front of me and out of the wind. As I had still been feeding it I was into fish straight away although a little smaller I was happy to just keep on putting fish in the net.

I did notice at this time there was a crowd gathering behind me at the tea hut, I was thinking they had gathered to watch my superb display of fishing prowess. But in reality they were sheltering from the freezing cold wind and rain!! Not one of them brought me down a cup of tea either!

I alternated between the pole and waggler for the rest of the match and apart from a bit of a dead spell in the 4th hour managed to keep a steady stream of mostly small fish in the net. I did in the last hour really start lashing the bait in on the waggler and the size of fish did increase and I picked up a few skimmers around the pound mark that were very welcome. I was glad when it was 3pm though and blew the whistle for the end.

My gear was drenched and I was glad I didn’t bring my large Milo box with all the gear and quickly packed up and got the scales for the weigh in.

As it turned out Marks bigger stamp of fish on the pole gave him enough to beat me by over 2 lb and the result is.

1st Mark H(moleman) 32-15

2nd Nick G(nick_gilbert)30-3

3rd Mike J(Omega Mike)19-10

4th Jeff D(Jeff_D) 13-4

5th Al L(Al) 11-10

6th Tony 11-5

7th Trevor L(M T Net) 7-8

8th Bill G(Bill G) 6-6

9th Simon E 4-1

All the rest recored DNW, I don't think there were any blanks they just tipped back.
Thinking about it I should have continued on the pole adding a few sections to chase the fish out which were a bigger stamp than I was getting on the waggler. But I took the lazy option to chuck out the waggler that was already set up.

Friday, December 05, 2008

I’m Back Blogging.

I haven’t done a blog entry for some time because I haven’t been out since the first week of October. I didn’t have a lot of time before then so didn’t report on the two previous matches I fished either. One resulted in a win with over a ton down Hartleylands, The other was a small knock up down Sams Lake in Kent.

When I hear the Leatherhead Club were short of a few anglers in the Surrey Winter League match down Monks lake I volunteered to fill in. I was quite looking forward to the match cos I know the lakes this time of the year respond well to the maggot waggler one of my favourite ways of fishing and fancied my chances off a good draw.

I arrived and it was very cold, but at least it was not raining. We were on lake 1 and 2 today. I prefer lake 1 at this time of the year as the fish tend to be more evenly spread although they will still shoal up a bit like anywhere in the winter. Mark the team captain drew out the pegs for the day and informed me I was on peg 8, I would have preferred to be up toward the other end of the lake around peg 3 or 4 on the side I was on but it should hold a few fish. Well actually there are so many fish in the lake all pegs hold a few and if I put less than 25-30lbs on the scales I will give up fishing!

I got to the peg and there was a cold north/east cross down blowing down the lake and slightly towards me and a bit of a chop on the water, this could make lose feeding maggots a bit of a problem so the distance I fish out will be dictated by how far I can feed them and be reasonably accurate.

Bait for the day was 4 pints of red and white maggots, some 4mm and 6mm soft expanders, and the same in hard pellet. I couldn’t see any other bait would be needed but I did have a couple of tins of corn in the bag.

As always my tactics for the day will be simple (like me) one waggler rig was set up, 11ft Carbonactive float with 0.16 main line and 0.12 trace, This had a 3.5AAA inserted peacock waggler, set to fish just scraping the bottom, 3 number 8s were set down the line starting about 8in from the hook. I could then, swap to a straight peacock, add depth and drag these on the bottom if I need to slow the rig down. I didn’t see anybody else around me setting up the waggler so hopefully I will have the line all to myself. I did see a few setting up a maggot feeder but doubt it will do any damage or match the waggler as a method on the day. I also set up a pole rig to fish on the deck at 11 meters. This was done more to give me something to do if I wanted to rest the waggler line and hopefully pick off a few extra fish.

At the whistle I fed the waggler line with a pouch full of maggots that land at about 20 meters out and though that will do for distance then dumped a small pot full of pellet on the pole line, this will be topped up with a few every 30 mins. First cast on the wag baited with double maggot and the float settled with no indications, a slight twitch of the bait though produced an instant bite and carp number one was hooked after about 20 second. Another20 went by and it was in the net. 2nd cast was a repeat of the first and carp 2 was in the net both F1s around the pound mark. By the first hour I had 7 in the net and was beating all around me as far as I can see so not bad a start. I found the fish showed a preference for a red and white maggot combination resulting in F1 carp. A change to double white in the 2nd hour started I to find a few mirror carp too. Red maggot on its own produced nothing!

As I got into the 2nd hour I had a quick look on the pole line and didn’t have a sniff on maggot or pellet so just kept on feeding it and carried on with the waggler. I caught slow but steady for the next few hours on the wag, having a few looks on the pole line without a touch. With an hour and a quarter to go I was struggling for a bite and by this time had 20 small carp and some silverfish. I started to feed the pole line with catty, 4-5 pellets every few minutes hoping I can get a few late carp in the last hour. This worked a treat and when I had a look I had another 5 carp over the next half an hour. This died a death and with no more bite in 10 minutes so it was back out on the waggler for the rest of the match. This produced another 5 carp hooking the last one just on the whistle. I ended up the match with 30 carp which I was quite pleased with and was sure I had beaten the guys around me which is the best you can expect to do in the winter.

It turned out I had 41lb and this was enough to get 2nd in the section. The winter of the section had I think 51lb from peg 3 up the other end of the lake.

I didn’t manage to frame but still had a good days fishing considering the cold weather, and would like to thank Mark the team captain for letting me fish.

I have a match on the 13th at Wylands Specimen Lake and am expecting a big net of roach so look back soon to see how I get on

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ton up at Shannons

One of the Clubs I am member off was running a match there so I thought I would give it a go.

A mate of mine was there watching me fish so instead of writing a blog myself he did one as a observer

Click on the link to read it


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stones Fishery bag up and Hartleylands invitation match.

I had a trip down Stones, on the Isle of Sheppy cos I am fishing the festival there next month and wanted to have a go on the Old Specimen Lake.

I arrived and had a chat with my mate Dave who is working there now about how it is fishing and decided to fish the top end of the lake near the car park.

It turned out I didn’t learn a great deal in preparation for the match as I caught on most things I tried. One a bung on pellet shallow. One a bung on paste. One a bung down the margins!!! The fishing was excellent and I must have put 150lb of fish in the net that included some nice skimmers caught on 8mm hard pellet 12in deep!

There is a decent tackle shop on site selling food, drink and bait so it is well worth a visit.

Now off to Hartleylands for a serious match.

I was invited to fish a 40 pegger down Hartleylands fished on two of the lakes, the Reservoir and Pear Tree. 10 top rods from the Midlands had been invited to fish including Neil McKinnon and a few others from the SBS sponsored team whom names I was not familiar with. They were all to fish the Res and I was hoping to be on there too and have a crack at beating them. Another reason was to break my jinx on the lake and try to put together a good net of carp.

My luck was in and I pulled out a peg on the Res, a bit too far into the corner for my liking so it restricted how far I could fish out, but there was a nice ripple on the water and the wind was blowing towards my side of the lake.

The bait I had with me for the day was 10 pints of 8mm pellet for the waggler and some 6mm expander pellet and paste to fish on the pole. That was it as I didn’t think I needed anything else apart from my secret weapon, a few chum mixers.

Tactics for the day are simple too, a margin rig with one of my homemade diamond floats attached to a 14 hook and 0.16 trace. A on the deck rig to fish at about 4 meters with the same hook, line and float combination. Two waggler rods were set up too. One to fish shallow at 2ft or less with a 5AAA Styro, the other had a 4g Drennan Crystal pellet waggler float which is longer and slimmer for fishing up to 6ft deep-shallow.

At the start of the match I fed a few 6mm pellets by hand at 4 meters and down the margins, also feeding out at about 20 meters with 8mm pellets to prime the waggler swim. I went straight in with the 4 meter rig on the deck and hooked a carp within a few seconds, and then the hook pulled out! I had a few skimmers on that line and after about half an hour had the first carp of about 4lb. I gave this line another half an hour with no more carp so thought it was time to have a look on the waggler where I had been feeding about every 30 seconds.

I started at about 6ft deep cos there were no carp showing on the surface, upping the feed rate to every 10-15 seconds. 30 minutes on the method and I got no indications of fish in the swim at any depth! I was just thinking of having another look on the pole line when I saw a fish swirl at the feed. Quickly switching to the rod set shallow at about 2ft deep, I fed again and dropped the rig on top and the float buried instantly. The first waggler fish was soon netted with about 3 hours of the match remaining.

The weather started to brighten up by now and the odd carp was now swirling at the feed and things were starting to look up. Upping the frequency of the feed had brought a good number of fish into the swim and I was having good spells of picking up 2-3 in quick succession. I gave up feeding the other lines with 2 hours remaining and just concentrated on the waggler as I felt there were enough fish showing to see me out for the rest of the match and put together a possible winning net.

For the remainder of the match I continued to catch well even picking off a few larger carp off the surface on a floating mixer (noddy style). At the final whistle I had 31 carp in the net so was quite pleased knowing they will go well over a ton. The scales eventually come round and the best weight was Neil McKinnon with 124lb of waggler caught carp. I was very pleased when my 3 nets went 144lb to take first spot after a bit of a lean spell results wise.

This won me a good payout and the biggest trophy I have ever seen!!!!
Photobucket Image Hosting

Saturday, August 23, 2008

At last a blog entry!!!

Sorry for the long delay in writing an entry have been busy and not had time or the inspiration lately.

I have however managed to fish a few matches with some mixed results.

First off I had the Maggotdrowners Southern champs down the Reservoir at Hartleylands. This can be a prolific lake with ton up nets all round. It is a bit of a unlucky venue for me as the few times I have fished it over the years have never managed to win a match at the lake apart from a silverfish only event last year. Although I have been trying to win a match using tares so this could be one of the reasons for my lack of results! This is because one day I sat there and landed 45 carp for over 200lb on the bait.

So I turned up again with several pints of tares for one last try and not surprisingly I failed again. Fished on the deck at about 4 meters I did however manage 49lb of mostly carp on the bait but have now resigned myself that I will never win a carp match with tares and have given up. The match was won by Bill Gibbins with a very good weight of 147lb on paste, Matt love was 2nd using the waggler fished deep shallow with around 100lb.

Next match was the Dave Pankhutst Memorial match down the River Medway at Barming, About 30 turned up to fish this match. Just lately the draw bag has deserted me a bit and I pulled out one of the pegs I didn’t really want. It was just downstream of the bridge and has a big bank of weed that goes out making it difficult to fish. Add to that a howling downstream wind and I was going to struggle to hold the pole or fish the waggler effectively.

I set up a 13 ft feeder rod and decided to chance it and go all out for bream. I wasn’t in the best area for them but the prospects of fighting the pole in the wind for 5 hours didn’t really appeal to me. At the off a medium caged feeder was lobbed out towards the far side baited with worm. Unbelievably within 5 minutes the tip went round and I was into a bream. I landed a fish of about 2lb and it was soon followed by another 2 of its mates. 20 minutes in and I had 3 bream already.

Unfortunately shortly after a large boat went over the top of the swim and must have spooked the shoal as it went dead. For the reminder of the match I just picked up the odd small fish. I did have a short spell on the waggler but it was impossible in the strong wind and I gave up.

At the end the scales eventually come round and I put 7lb odd on the scales which was good enough for the section win picking up £40 and 5th overall in the match. I narrowly missed out on 4th spot by 1oz.

The next weekend I was off to fish the Southern Intersite match at Monk lakes, which is a team event between 4 angling forums.

I pulled out peg 3 on Lake 1 which wasn’t too bad a draw and was expecting a decent weight. I did my usual of balling in some groundbait at the start hoping to draw lots of carp in so I can feed them up shallow but today it just didn’t work! I ended up for the first part of the match fishing an 8mm hard pellet on the deck to pick off the odd carp eventually that died too and I was left with just over a hour of the match left and only roughly 20lb in the net.

Desperate to add to my weight I dug out a pint of maggots I had in the bag and quickly set up the waggler to fish maggots on the drop. Spraying out maggots at 20 meters I started to pick up small chub and the odd carp mixed in. It was a fish a chuck for the last hour and I was cursing myself for being lazy and not setting the rod up sooner.

I ended up with 37lb for a section 2nd beating the guys either side of me. 49 lb won the section. The whole lake fished poor for some reason and 87lb won the lake. Some weighed in less than 10lb!

Full result of the match is.

Section 1

2 Jeff Driscoll TA 21-04
3 Nick Gilbert MD 37-00
5 Andy Gregory TF 15-05
7 Dave Pearson AF 49-01

Section 2

9 M Wright TA 6-08
11 Gary Thorpe MD 7-10
13 Lindsay Scott TF 19-00
15 Mark Hathaway AF 17-10

Section 3

17 Paul Law TA 36-10
19 Matt Love MD 48-08
21 Johnny Beaton TF 28-10
22 Mark Smith AF 63-06

Section 4

23 Ron Byus TA 42-00
24 Matt Nutt MD 48-08
26 Chris Martin TF 86-00
28 T Curd AF 62-08

Section 5

30 Lance Glover TA 21-08
32 Bill Gibbins MD 23-00
34 Tim Suttle TF 26-08
36 R Graves AF 58-04

Section 6

38 Frank Wright TA 8-08
40 Clive Pritchard MD 55-02
42 Colin Forsdyke TF 76-04
44 J Holt AF 66-08

Section 7

92 Fred Parker TA 108-08
94 Vince Gould MD 34-10
96 Russell Grimes TF 77-12
98 J Swann AF 66-00

Section 8

100 R Lucas TA 47-08
104 Paul East MD 50-00
106 Dave A T TF 94-04
108 M Page AF 61-04

Section 9

110 Del Smith TA 45-00
112 Peter Morton MD 85-04
113 Ant Sparrow TF 88-00
115 Dave Churchward AF 147-04

Section 10

117 I Hornby TA 106-12
119 Trevor Little MD 112-00
121 No Angler TF 0-00
123 Stu Wilson AF 117-08

Overall Team Result

Angling Forums....... 34
Total Fishing....... 27
Maggotdrowning.com..... 21
Talk Angling...... 17

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hartleylands Bramley and Pear Tree.

I was running a small open match today at Hartleylands on Pear Tree and Bramley. I didn’t have many fishing only 15 booked in. Some very good local anglers were fishing today so it should throw up some good weights.

It amazes me that you run a match at such a good fair venue and struggle to get any numbers of anglers fishing. Maybe they prefer venues that are peggy and the peg wins the match rather than angling skill! Anyway back to the days fishing.

As usual at the draw I got Trevor Little to pull out my peg, And I ended up on Pear Tree peg 18. It is about halfway along and in the gap between the islands.
Matt Love pulled out peg 16 next to me and he was well pleased, or maybe not.

The wind was blowing towards the gap in the islands and it would be very difficult to fish the waggler today although not impossible. The problem I had was Matt on peg 16 had a much better peg with the island closer and less wind to contend with and I was certain I couldn’t match him on the waggler as my presentation will be compromised.

That decided my tactics for the day I was going to start on the waggler for the first hour and hopefully catch a few while feeding the shallow pole line going out and emptying it. I was going to feed and have the odd look down the margin too if things were slow.

Bait was simple with plenty of 6mm pellets for feed and on the hook, with a few 8mm for hookers. I had a bit of meat and hemp to feed down the margins. Also some groundbait mixed up on the dry side.

I signalled the start of the match and dumped a pot of feed down each margin, then fed pellet out to the island followed by the waggler. As I thought the float was blowing out of position quickly only giving me a short amount of fishing time per cast. I did however manage to catch a few and with one hour gone I had 9 fish in the net. This was not good enough on the day as I know several anglers on the lake were out catching me so it was time to go out on the pole where I had been feeding for an hour.

I didn’t see any fish showing near the surface so started at about 2ft deep. It wasn’t long before the first carp was in the net; this was working well and matching the catch rate of those around me now. For the next 3 hours I caught in spells with most fish in the 1-2lb range mainly at around the 9 meter mark. As always I had to use all the tricks I know to keep catching.

With an hour of the match left I had 52 carp in the net and guessed I needed a lot more to have any chance of winning. I had come shallower to a foot deep by now and decided to step up the feed to 6-10 pellets every few seconds. This really got the carp moving and I could see several just under the surface darting about picking pellets off. I found I can watch the fish and pick off the bigger ones and I had several fish in the 3-4lb range during the last hour putting another 30 fish in the net before signalling the end!

I ended up with 82 fish for 117lb which was the best weight on my lake but word was Rusty fished a good match on Bramley with 137 carp so I doubt I would beat that. It turned out his fish were small but still managed to beat me by 8lb with 125lb to win the day.

The full result on the day is.

1st Rusty Graves B20 125-1
2nd Nick Gilbert P18 117-1
3rd Trevor Little B7 90-6
4th Matt love P16 88-10
5th Jim McDowell B5 80-14
6th Vince Gould B18 80-10
7th Jeff Driscoll P20 77-7
8th Derek Gladwin P6 71-12
9th John Haigh P4 66-0
10th Andy Silver B16 63-13
11th Jay Lay P24 60-5
12th W Miles P14 48-2
13th W Mitchell B9 38-0
14th Charlie Chawner P8 DNW
14th Mike Jamson P2 DNW

Monday, June 30, 2008

Evening match down the Medway

I was off to fish the second Maidstone Victory evening match down the river Medway at Barming Bridge. I arrived and the water looked very clear and had little flow so I guessed it was going to fish hard!

There was about 20 fishing this evening and I pulled out a peg about 100 yards downstream of the bridge. The river here is not very deep at around 7-8ft down the middle and my swim had very little weed. Matt had come down tonight to take a few photos so hopefully I will catch something!
The tactics for tonight were simple with a 1g round bodied float with a bulk at about 3rd depth and a couple of number 10 shot as droppers. This was attached to a size 16 Kamasan 611 hook and a 0.08mm hook length. I also had a 3AAA insert peacock waggler set up to just drag the bottom. This was set up to fish on the drop and had the same trace and hook.

Bait was a big tub of tares, hemp and corn mixed together. I had a pint of caster too that I had turned from some leftover maggots as backup bait. Groundbait mixed up too and I was going to feed it at the start on the pole line.

At the off I fed 4 balls of groundbait full of hemp, corn and tares at 9 meters to hopefully get the roach feeding. Out with the rig and half an hour of running it through and feeding little and often produce very little. So time for plan two!!!!

I had been feeding a few casters on the far bank and flipped out the waggler, It drifted down towards a tree hanging over the far side and the float buried, I was attached to something a bit bigger and carefully played it towards the net. It turned out to be a chub of over a pound.
Another few runs through and I had another bite in about the same position as the first and a decent sized hybrid was in the net. I now had about 3lb. As you can see by the end of the rod in this photo I was on fire!!! ;-)
It soon went out though and I had very little for the next half a hour. The waggler line had died so I went back on the pole. Fishing a single caster with the hook buried in it I started to pick up the odd small roach and continued to do that for the rest of the match.

At the weigh in 5lb on the waggler was winning it so far and I managed 4lb 8oz, it looked like the bream had not fed and weights were low all along the length with most only weighing in a pound or two. That was until I got to the end on the match length and Trevor Froud put 5lb 6oz of small fish on the scales to take the match relegating me to 3rd overall taking the last money spot.

Thinking back I it was a mistake to put the groundbait in at the start on the pole line with the water so clear and it probably cost me the match win.

I’m off to Hartleylands next for hopefully a ton plus day!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Evening Match at Weirton Res

I was off the fish the first of the evening series of matches’ run by my local club Maidstone Victory. I was hoping to draw on the island side of the lake; the plan being to lob out a method feeder for bream then feed a few mixers to see if the carp will feed on the surface. The other option here is the fish the pole for a mixed net and this has won me quite a few matches in the past but was felling lazy and I had the carp and feeder rod set up already.

At the draw I pulled out a peg at the far side of the lake with the wind off my back, not where I wanted to be really as I have never known a match to be won from that area. So I walked past the nice coloured water on the windward side of the lake to the crystal clear calm water on the other side! On the plus side I had some deep water close in so it may be possible to draw a few bream in by lying down a bit of ground bait.

I got to the swim to find I had one of the club members John O on the next swim. Unfortunately for me he knows the water well and will be fishing in a similar manner with a feeder so we may end up sharing what few fish that are in front of us.

As bait I had with me some ground pellet type method ground bait, with maggot, corn and soft pellet to use on the hook. Also a bag of mixers for the carp.

The rig was simple too with a small Korum free running method feeder, attached to this was a size 14 Drennen eyed carp hook and 0.16 trace. This may seem heavy but I have found when fishing the method for bream you don’t need to go fine and can get away with relatively crude tackle.

At the off I baited the hook with a double 6mm expander and buried it in the method ball. This was swung out about 16-18 meters. The water here is a good 13-14 foot deep as it shelves down from the bank. This is the distance I have caught here before and the bream patrol, the mistake a lot make here is overcastting the fish. John on the next peg was casting out to 30 meters and fishing the open end feeder so we will see what tactic is best today.

Instead of dumping a lot of feed out at the start i like to build the swim by casting the feeder every 2-4 minute until the fish turn up, it is a tactic that worked well last year. 45 minutes and about 15 casts later I was just thinking I was going to blank and the tip of the rod sprung about line bite fashion. Sitting on my hands I waited and 30 seconds later the rod was pulled over and I was into the first bream. I had changed hookbait by this point to 5 maggots. This was landed and looked about 2.5lb. Unfortunately the action was short lived and for the next half an hour I was bite less. I kept on casting every 5 minutes though to keep some feed going in for when(or if) the fish did arrive. All the while I was also pinging out a few mixers but it was pretty dead carp wise with none showing.

With a hour and ten minutes left of the two and a half hour match the tip again jumped about with a line bite then as before 30 seconds later bent over and bream number two was in the net at about 3lb. Straight back out with the feeder and the tip went over again with bream number 3, things were looking up. At this point John who was blanking so far decided on some drastic shit or bust tactics and balled in ground bait out the same distance I was fishing! I’m not sure if this killed it or not but I sat there for the remaining hour of the match bite less, It may have just been a coincidence though.

So that was the end of a slow evenings fishing with 3 bites and 3 bream. The scales eventually came round and it had fished quite poor but as predicted the windward side had produced the top 3 money spots so far and were 13lb, 10lb and 9lb odd. Unfortunately my 3 bream went 8lb odd (can’t remember the exact amount) so I missed out and ended up 4th, although mine was the best weight from the side of the lake I was on.

So that was the first round of 6 out of the way and the next will be down the river Medway at Barming Bridge. Bream might dominate the frame weights of the next round but I will be fishing for roach on the pole hoping they don’t feed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Invicta League Final Round Hartleylands Pear Tree & Bramley.

Today I am fishing the last round of the league I have been organising. With the weather forecast looking good this match should be a true test of fishing skill rather than the draw bag lottery we had at a couple of the earlier rounds due to bad weather.

It will be an interesting day as the two leaders Andy Silver and Kevin Pack are both tied on points. Me and a few others have a slim chance of grabbing the final money spot by winning my section but that is only if Collin Wood Doesn’t win his which is highly unlikely in a pole only match!

The two lakes for the day should produce some good weights all around and I was expecting a few ton plus to be recorded. We were fishing to a pole float only rule which in bad weather can often play into the hands of the pole pot yielding feed 6 pellet every half a hour boys. But today I doubt that will happen and a positive attacking approach should get the best result.

At the draw I ended up with Peg 21 on Pear Tree although I would have been happy with any peg to be honest as I felt they all had the potential to do a big weight. I arrived at the peg and did fancy the look of it there was a nice ripple on the water which is always good when you plan to fish shallow.

There will be no surprises when you discover my bait for the day is plenty of 6mm Skretting pellets, plus some 4 and 6mm expanders and a bit of groundbait. I also had today a small amount of chopped processed meat mixed with hemp that I won’t be revealing exactly what it is cos one day I will take a lake apart using it to fish shallow!

I will be feeding 5 lines today from the off the two margins to drop in later in the match, two at 6 meters left and right to hopefully pick up a few early fish on paste while lose feeding pellets out in front between the two to get the fish feeding shallow.

I set up 5 rigs the short line shallow rig with a 0.3g Drennan Carp 4 set at 2ft deep to start with a 14 Drennan Carp Hook tied to a 0.14 trace, another similar with a 0.4g float to long line if needed. The on the deck paste/pellet rig had a homemade 0.5g float similar to a Mick Wilkinson Diamond but mine had a 2mm hollow plastic bristle. The two margin rigs again was a homemade Diamond shaped bodied float, this one had a shorter thick glass stem to be used in shallow water. One was set at a depth to fish tight to the cover and the other was set at about 2.5ft to fish about a meter out. All top kits had a 10 latex elastic.

At the off it was out with a big cup of pellets and golf ball of groundbait at 6 meters on both sides, down both margins went the meat and hemp. I started off with a small bit of soft paste in the right hand swim on the 6 meter line; the rig was shotted double bulk style. While fishing this line I was lose feeding pellet in front between the two swims at around 7.5 meters. You may think this is a bit short to fish shallow but I always do this when the venue hold large numbers of fish. I will not feed long particularly when you have a lot of room as I believe you end up feeding the fish out unnecessarily and by feeding aggressively they will come to you.

carp of about a pound, this was followed by a couple of its mates, switching between the left and right lines I soon had 10 small carp in the net after about 40 minutes of the match. I fed the two lines again and felt it was time for a look out shallow although I haven’t seen any signs of fish on the surface. I didn’t need to worry though as I had an instant bite fishing 2ft deep with a 6mm pellet. Another small carp was swiftly landed and ended up in the net. I stepped up the frequency of the feed to about 6 pellets every 10 seconds and this produced a good run of fish and as the first hour of the match passed by I had 19 already.

Things got better and after another hour I was putting carp number 40 in the net with a few bigger samples mixed in. I had to employ all the tricks I know to keep the fish coming and continued to catch well. When fishing shallow it is all about working out when to feed and how much to feed and it seemed like I was getting it right today.

After 3 hour and 60 fish it was time to have a quick look down the margins where I had been feeding the meat and hemp for 3 hours. This would give the fish on the shallow line a chance to re gain their confidence. I tried to the left which produced an instant bite to a small cube of meat and I was attached to an angry 3lb fish that was soon in the keep net. Another one followed and it went quiet. So I had a quick look to the right margin which produced nothing apart from a small roach.

Time to go back out in front shallow and the 10 minute rest had the desired effect and it was solid. I spotted a largish ghosty cruising just below the surface so quickly stuck on an 8mm pellet and dropped it in front of its nose, this was taken instantly and the biggest fish of the day at about 6lb as soon in the net. It always amazes me that often the bigger fish come in with the least resistance and the smaller ones under 3lb give you all the trouble! More carp followed on the shallow line and with an hour and 10 minutes left I dropped in the margins again and picked up a few too.

With an hour of the match left and 81 carp in the net with plenty in front of me it was time to really try and force the swim by feeding aggressively and extract as many as I could before the end. I saw fish swirling at the feed just below the surface now so it was just a matter of feeding slapping the rig down and then hooking one. Amazingly the last hour produced another 37 carp! Disappointingly the biggest one hooked at about 6lb I missed with the net making it take off with the hook pulling out so should have been 38. At the end though the total of 118 fish was pretty good going and I guessed was the best part of 150lb.

As I wondered round the lake I got to Matt Loves peg and he had had a good day with 80 odd carp caught shallow but I think seemed a bit surprised when I said how many I had! His fish went a very good 104 lb putting the second ton on the scales in two matches and wining the section. Kevin Pack who was sitting 2nd in the league was in the same section and managed 86lb with a good run of fish towards the end of the match to get a section second. Andy Silver was leading the league needed the section win to beat Kevin but unfortunately he was on the next peg to me and seemed to struggle all day resorting to fishing paste at 13 meters to catch a few so was not looking very confident. I was the last to weigh and put 147lb on the scales to take the section and match win, not far off of the 167lb lake record too. This demoted Andy to 3rd in the section and 2nd overall in the league with Kevin taking the title.

Colin Wood over on Bramley fished a good match to win the section holding on to his 3rd spot in the league with 95lb of shallow caught carp. It wasn’t enough to win the lake though, Paul Kell fishing as a guest for the day won the lake with 112lb of shallow caught carp.

The lakes fished very well and it proved you don’t need to lob a method feeder or waggler to the island to get a big weight. I may have to re think my tactics next time on the lakes and get the pole out instead of the waggler.

The top 3 took away £300, £200, £100, plus some tackle prizes donated by Invicta Angling, Ashford. Collin Wood kindly donated his prize of pole floats to be given to a junior section of a local fishing club.

I will be running the event next year so if anybody is interested please email me to go on the waiting list. I have selected the same venues spreading the 6 matches on Monks and Hartlelands.

Full result here (apologies for not knowing your teams!)

1st Nick Gilbert 147-12
2nd Paul Kell 112-1 (guest)
3rd Matt Love 104-13
4th Collin Wood 95-12
5th Andy Goldthorpe 90-12 (guest)
6th Kevin Pack 86-1

League Places

1 Kevin Pack(Medway Tackle) 333-15 26
2 Andy Silver 332-12 25
3 Collin Wood 290-12 24
4 Nick Gilbert 417-6 23
5 Matt Love 338-9 23
6 Mark Hathway 271-8 21
7 Ian Carley 261-10 21
8 Martin Charnock 156-13 20
9 Trevor Little 205-12 18
10 Tony Clark 216-11 17
11 Jay Lay 198-14 17
12 Mark Holland 186-9 17
13 Russ Evans 229-0 16
14 John Haigh 118-0 15
15 Dennis Price 167-12 14
16 Chris Jones 140-12 14
17 Martin Twine 124-13 14
18 Mark Greenway 53-11 6
19 Jim McDowell 61-13 4
20 Mike Jameson 31-6 3

Friday, May 30, 2008

Invicta Round 5 Hartleylands Nicks Lake

The weather for the day was predicting rain so it was looking like the match was going to be a nightmare, and when I set off in the morning it was raining very heavy. Luckily by the time I arrived at the lake it has stopped and the skies were clearing. Maybe we where going to get a decent day for fishing at last!

I gathered for the draw with Matt Love assisting me. As I was running the match I don’t draw my own peg so got Trevor Little who was at the front of the queue to pull one out for me. I didn’t really fancy 27 or 29 as it would men I will be fishing the pole all day and fancied a day on the waggler. I got lucky and Trevor pulled out peg 35 which gave me an easy island chuck with a light wind behind me. The downside of this peg is that the fish tend not to live in the area in any numbers so it can quite often be a slow start as you feed them in as the match progresses.

We had a guest fishing for the day Nick Costar who was known on the forums as Bag Up. He is also know for being good on the method feeder and after taking a lot of stick on the forum for talking a good match was out to prove he could fish one.

I arrived at the peg and had Tony Clark to my left on peg 36 who was intending to fish the Map rocket (noddy) feeder!

My tactics for the day were going to be the pellet waggler which is no surprise to anybody that knows me. Two Preston 11ft waggler rods were set up both with 4AAA styro wagglers, one set at a foot and the other two foot. Mainline was 4lb Mr Crappie, attached to a 0.16 Fox trace and a 14 Drennan carp hook with a hair rigged bait band attached. I also had a bomb rod set up.
Bait for the match was plenty of 6mm Skretting pellets. With some 8mm if needed for hookbait .

I blew the whistle for the start and immediately started feeding the far side just short of the island with 6mm pellets, the idea was to feed quite heave at the start to create a lot of noise and draw a good number of carp into the swim. I felt 10-12 pellets every 15-20 seconds were about right to start with. It was a very slow start to the match and by continually feeding and casting I eventually hooked my first carp after about 15 minutes. This came off as fast as it was hooked! I was quite rusty on the method and several of my casts ended up in a small overhanging bush and it put up a good fight and claimed my trace 3 times in the first hour. To add to this a family of ducks had moved in and were intercepting my pellets as they hit the water and refused to move!! I did managed to avoid the bush and duck and land 3 carp though.

Tony on peg 36 and Bag UP on 3 were thrashing me at this point catching one a bung and I could see lots of rods bending into fish all over the lake so some good weighs were on the cards today. I managed to get it together for the next 2 hours of the match and put a run of fish together. Even the ducks were looking a bit full by this time and had retired to the island looking fat to digest all the pellets they have eaten. So with 3 hours of the match gone and I had about 35 carp in the net for maybe 40lb and I only managed to hook the far bank bush once but this time it claimed my whole rig.

With 3 hours gone to be honest I was thinking a ton plus weight was out of the question and took the decision to up the feed rate to force the swim and either empty it or kill it! I shortened my trace to 6 inches and proceeded to feed about every 10 seconds with around 10-12 pellets. This resulted in the fish rising high in the water and almost picking pellet off the surface before they started to sink and hung in the surface film. I had lots of carp in the swim now after about half an hour of doing this and proceeded to put a good run together using an 8mm pellet. It was casting high and letting the rig hit the water like a bomb resulted in an instant bite.

So with an hour to go I was on exactly 50 fish mostly on the small side for I guess around 50-60lb. It seemed the more frequently I fed the faster I could catch, so it went feed, cast, hook fish, feed, get fish under rod, feed, net fish, feed, unhook fish then bait hook, feed again then cast etc. ect. This resulted in my target of 70 fish with 15 minutes of the match left, some were a good size too and the best part of 3lb. It was as if the heavy feeding and filled up the smaller fish and the result was a better stamp. Amazingly I had another 11 in the remaining 15 minutes before it was time to call the all out. So 81 fish were in the net for what I guessed was about 90lb maybe more.

With the weigh in underway, Tony to my left had around 70lb, after having a good start to the match but struggling a bit towards the end. I was next and was surprised at the weight of my second net when I tried to lift it out, it turned out I put 117lb on the scales! I doubt this was enough to win and as I went round the lake there were several good weights in the 80s and 90s but no tons yet but I arrived at peg 15 where Matt had put 109 fish in the net. Surprisingly they only went 111lb! Peg 9 was another one to worry about where Russ Evans had had a good day putting 109lb on the scales.

The last to weigh was Bag Up who had been catching all day on the method feeder. It turned out he fished a good match as well as talking one and put 125lb on the scales knocking me down to 2nd place on the day.

All was not lost though as I ended up with the section win and a few quid for 2nd place. This somehow jumped me up the League table into 4th place and a chance of taking 3rd position overall and going away with a few quid after the last round.

I recon bar a disaster the winner will come from the top 2 and if Colin Wood can manage a section win next time he will hold onto 3rd place.

Full Result below

Ist Nick Costar(Bag Up) 125-8 Peg 3
2nd Nick Gilbert 117-3 Peg 35
3rd Matt Love 111-8 Peg 15
4th Russ Evans 109-13 Peg 9
5th Collin Wood 93-1 Peg 20
6th Kevin Pack 89-8 Peg 8

League Places

1 Andy Silver 264-9 22
2 Kevin Pack 247-14 22
3 Collin Wood 195-0 19
4 Nick Gilbert 269-10 18
5 Matt Love 223-12 18
6 Ian Carley 203-2 18
7 Mark Hathway 196-14 18
8 Jay Lay 198-14 17
9 Mark Holland 186-9 17
10 Martin Charnock 108-11 16
11 Martin Twine 124-13 14
12 Russ Evans 181-10 13
13 Tony Clark 136-3 13
14 Trevor Little 133-13 13
15 Dennis Price 134-12 12
15 Chris Jones 97-9 12
17 John Haigh 118-0 11
18 Mark Greenway 53-11 6
19 Jim McDowell 61-13 4
20 Mike Jameson 31-6 3

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quick trip to Wierton

I had a couple of hours spare and the sun was out so a quick trip floater fishing was in order.

I arrived and found my favorite swim opposite the central island free with a chuck to the far bank marginal weed of about 30-35 yards. I fed a few mixers to the island and soon had the carp swirling at the feed, some big ones too!
Tackle was my old 12ft North Western carp rod, with a Daiwa Capricorn 3500 reel, the rig was a 4g Drennan controller, with a number 8 hook attached to a 10lb mono trace. I baited it with a single mixer and withing 10 second it was taken and I was into a good sized fish.
You have to hang on to steer them away from the far bank weed!
About 10 minutes later I had the 25lb fish on the bank.
Not bad for about 15 minutes fishing. it goes to show get the conditions right and familiarize yourself with the water you fish and you don't have to sit for hours behind a bank of rods to catch some nice sized carp.
(photos by Deborah Gilbert)

Pads Army Charity match, Monks Lake 1 and 2

A brief report this week as I don’t have much time.

I wasn’t going to fish a match till the next round of the Invicta but as the weather got warmer when I got back from Holiday I booked myself into this match at the last minute cos I just know it would be a good day for the pole shallow one of my favourite methods.

There was a few good local anglers at the draw so this was not going to be an easy match to win, I expected several ton plus weights to come out. I went in and pulled out peg 36 on Lake 1. Not really a noted draw up the wrong end of the lake, but I was quite pleased cos I have won off of it before.

Tactics for the day were going to be simple as always. I set up two shallow rigs a Drennan carp 4, 0.2g with a short line of about 12in to the pole tip to fish about 12 in deep. The other was a Drennan Carp 4, 0.4g with a longer line of 3-4ft to the pole tip for swinging out; being a clam day I expected the fish to shy off the pole tip. Both of these had a 14 Drennan Carp hook attached to a 0.14mm trace. I also set up a margin rig to drop in down the edge if I wanted to rest the shallow line for a while.

Bait wise I had with me 10 pints of 6mm pellet, a couple pints of 6mm expanders as change bait. A small amount of groundbait to feed at the start. I also knocked up a bit of paste too. I’m so confident these tactics will work today I never had a backup plan so this is all the bait I had with me.
It was a strange start to the match as Paddy the guy running it had a 15 minute baiting up period before the match started similar to the world champs! So the whistle went and I threw in 4 balls of groundbait laced with pellet at 7.5 meters, and the rest went in down the right margin. Now all I had to do was fed about 6 pellets every 30 seconds over the top until the whistle for the start sounded.

When the whistle went I noticed some fish moving down the margin so I dropped in the margin rig with 6mm soft pellet as bait. This produced a quick bit and a carp of about a pound, and a few minutes later it was joined by its mate of the same size. After them two quick fish it was out with the short line shallow rig set 1ft deep. By feeding every few seconds and constantly working or slapping the rig down I had a good start and when the first hour of the match was up there were 20 small f1 carp in the net and well on the way to a ton plus as you need about 80 carp on this lake.

The second hour was much the same but bites slowed a bit as the little bit of ripple I had on the water disappeared and I was faced with flat calm. The solution to this was switching to the long line rig and swinging away from the pole tip. So for the next couple of hours I changed between the two rigs using the long line one when there was no ripple on the water and the other when the wind got up a bit. The carp were very cagey giving only tiny dips in the float but I was connection with a fair few and catching pretty steady. I did have to add another section to the pole going out to around 9 meters as the fish seemed to be hanging on the far side of the feed. By the start of the final hour I had around 65 carp and a few small chub, a skimmer, barbell and tench! I wasn’t taking the place apart but catching quite well.

I couldn’t spot anybody emptying the place so was sure I was ahead on the lake.
For the last hour I again added another section of pole and was now fishing at 11 meters as the fish seemed to back off a bit further. This was a good move as I had a run of 20 more carp in the last hour finishing with 85 carp in the net at the end so it looked like I had over the 100lb mark.

The scales arrived and 75lb was winning the lake so far. I put 112lb on the scales easily taking the lead. Word was that there was a few ton plus weight off of lake 2 so I went to have a look. Matt Love on the wrong side of Lake 2 who has been quizzing me for months about fishing Monks shallow fished a good match putting together a weight of 114lb managing to beat me by 2lb fishing similar tactics. I guess that is what I get for saying he will never win off of that peg. That is what makes Monks such a good summer venue there are so many potentially winning pegs and you can never predict what one will win.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Invicta League Round 3, Hartleylands Bramley and Pear Tree

I don't have time to write a blog this week cos im off on holiday but it was a disaster of a match for me only scraping 2 points and puting me out of contention to win the league.

It was dry and warm all day for a change but the lakes were very peggy as you can see from the section results.

This match was a bit of a non event for me. I pulled out peg 12 which I quite fancied. I t turned out my end of the lake was devoid of any feeding fish and managed 16lb odd at the end caught on soft pellet at 11 meters. I managed to beat the guys on the next peg but was still only 4th in the section effectively putting me out of contention.

Mark Holland did well to make it two wins in a row and is on top of the table.

Here is the results.

Ist Mark Holland 65-13
2nd Nick Allen 54-4
3rd Jay Lay 51-15
4th Ian Carley 50-4
5th Andy Silver 47-11
6th Kevin Pack 40-7

League Places

1 Mark Holland 156-6 14
2 Andy Silver 150-3 13
3 Kevin Pack 126-5 13
4 Ian Carley 130-10 12
5 Collin Wood 80-7 11
6 Martin Charnock 52-12 11
7 Nick Gilbert 117-6 10
8 Jay Lay 107-12 10
9 Matt Love 78-10 9
10 Martin Twine 65-0 9
11 Trevor Little 62-12 9
12 Dennis Price 93-2 8
13 Mark Hathway 74-2 7
14 John Haigh 45-2 7
15 Chris Jones 42-4 7
16 Tony Clark 35-10 7
17 Russ Evans 46-14 5
18 Jim McDowell 61-13 4
19 Mark Greenway 22-9 4
20 Mike Jameson 31-6 3

Pear Tree

Section 1

Peg 2 Matt Love 25-9 3
Peg 4 Ian Carley 50-4 5
Peg 6 Collin Wood 28-11 4
Peg 8 Russ Evans 19-7 2
Peg 10 Mike Jamson DNW 0

Section 2

Peg 12 Nick Gilbert 16-10 2
Peg 15 John Haigh 0-13 1
Peg 17 Trevor Little 18-1 3
Peg 19 Tony Clark 19-4
Peg 21 Martin Charnock 25-4 5


Section 3

Peg 2 Martin Twine 31-8 3
Peg 4 Jim Mc Dowell 23-2 2
Peg 6 Mark Holland 65-13 5
Peg 8 Nick Allen 54-4 guest
Peg 10 Kevin Pack 40-7 4

Section 4

Peg 13 Jay Lay 51-15 5
Peg 16 Dennis Price 27-12 3
Peg 18 Chris Jones 14-9 2
Peg 20 Andy Silver 47-11 4
Peg 22 Pete Allen 33-5 guest

Next round is down Monks Lake one on the 18th May

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Invicta League round 2. Monks Lake 1

The weather running up to this match was getting mild so expectations were high for a good match, but the day before the temperatures took a turn for the worst with north winds and snow forecast!

I arrived just before the draw at 9am and the snow had already started and it was freezing cold. The good thing was we had the whole 44 pegs of the lake between all of us so I decided to split the sections with 5 fishing on each bank. All the usual faces were at the draw and I had this deal with Mike Jameson that I was going to draw his peg as I apparently had a golden arm! So in I went and out came 25 which he was quite happy with as it won the match last weekend. Mike did the honours for me and I ended up with 29. The peg everybody wanted stayed in the bag number 23, in fact it didn’t come out at all and Matt was left to pick it out at the end. Unfortunately for me it was also in my section so if he doesn’t bugger the peg up I was likely to be fishing for 2nd place.

I arrived at the peg and had Mark Hathaway and Dennis Price on the pegs next to me for company. The bait menu for the day was not my normal selection of pellets and more pellets. Because of the freezing conditions I have pinned all my faith in natural baits and had half a kilo of worm, a pint of casters and three pints of maggots with me costing about £20! A bit different to using a few quid’s worth of pellets, although I did have some pellet and corn in the bag but didn’t expect to use it.

Tactics were simple I was going to use two methods, one was the maggot and waggler out at around the 20 meter mark, the other was caster/worm/ground bait on the pole just past bottom of the shelf at about 7 meters. The waggler set up had a 3AAA Drennan insert peacock, four number 8 down the line and was set to fish just touching the bottom at about 4ft, trace was a 0.12mm fox and a 20 Kamasan Animal hook. The pole rig was set up with one of my home made floats, this had a diamond shaped body with a 1.2mm glass stem and hollow 2mm plastic tip. The heavy glass stem makes it very stable. This was set up double bulk style with two number 10s about 3in from the hook and a bulk of number 8s 6in above this. Trace line was again a 0.12mm attached to a size 16 Drennan carp hook. Set at dead depth this rig will result in a very positive bites as the float buries or lifts and you will miss very few bites. I also set up a margin and shallow rig but didn’t expect to use them.

I called the all in and at the off the pole line was fed with a large ball of ground bait full of caster and worm. This will be fed again in half an hour or so in a similar way until I fish it. I kicked off on the waggler and was lose feeding about 10-15 maggots every cast about every minute or so. Hook bait was 3 maggots. This may seem a lot in the sub zero conditions but you need to be positive at Monks with the number of fish present and it is no place for feeding tiny post of maggots if you want to end up in the frame at the end of the day. I was soon catching a run of small fish, a mixture of small tench, ide, chub and the odd carp, with a hour gone I recon I had about 10lb in the net so things were going well, bites slowed so it was time to rest the waggler line and just feed it. I had a look on the pole with a half worm on the hook. There were a few fish there and I had 10 in as many put ins, although most were small tench and ide with the odd small skimmer. I was catching well but was finding it difficult to hold the pole in the conditions as the snow was getting quite heavy by now! After about 10 minutes you couldn’t feel your hands!!

For the next couple of hours I switched between the two methods fishing the pole till my hands went numb then having a spell on the waggler. This worked quite well and I managed a steady stream of small tench, ide, chub, plus the odd barbel and carp. The pole line eventually died with a hour to go so I just fished the rest of the match out on the waggler feeding maggots little and often picking up the odd fish until the end, the biggest of the day come just as I was about to call the all out a F1 of about 2lb.

I guessed I had about 30-40lb and as it turned out I wasn’t far wrong putting 38lb on the scales taking the lead. It wasn’t to lead for long as Matt on 23 put 44lb on the scales to claim first place, but not for long as Mark Holland on un fancied peg 10 managed 49lb of mostly carp on the pole to win the match. This put me in 3rd spot overall winning a few quid but still only with a section 2nd.

The day turned into a feat of endurance rather than a fishing match because of the cold and three did give it in and go home, I would have been tempted to join them if I wasn’t running the match!

Full result below

Ist Mark Holland 49-0 Peg 10
2nd Matt Love 44-0 Peg 23
3rd Nick Gilbert 38-4 Peg 29
4th Kevin Pack 37-0 Peg 6
5th Dennis Price 31-0 Peg 31
6th Trevor Little 30-0 Peg 22


2 Jay Lay 28-8 3
4 Ian Carley 24-0 2
6 Kevin Pack 37-0 4
8 Jim McDowell 22-0 1
10 Mark Holland 49-0 5

Section 2

14 Chris Jones 12-9 2
16 Russ Evans dnw 0
18 Andy Silver 23-8 4
20 Tony Clark 16-7 3
22 Trevor Little 30-0 5

Section 3

23 Matt Love 44-0 5
25 Mike Jameson dnw 0
27 Mark Hathway 26-12 2
29 Nick Gilbert 38-4 4
31 Dennis Price 31-0 3

Section 4

35 Martin Charnock 19-9 4
37 John Haigh 12-4 2
39 Martin Twine 18-6 3
41 Mark Greenway dnw 0
43 Collin Wood 28-6 5

League Places

1 Andy Silver 102-8 9
2 Mark Holland 90-9 9
3 Kevin Pack 85-14 9
4 Nick Gilbert 100-12 8
5 Ian Carley 80-6 7
6 Mark Hathway 74-2 7
7 Collin Wood 51-12 7
8 Matt Love 53-1 6
9 Trevor Little 44-11 6
10 John Haigh 44-5 6
11 Martin Twine 33-8 6
12 Martin Charnock 27-8 6
13 Jay Lay 55-13 5
14 Dennis Price 45-7 5
15 Chris Jones 27-11 5
16 Mark Greenway 22-9 4
17 Mike Jameson 31-6 3
18 Russ Evans 27-9 3
19 Tony Clark 16-7 3
20 Jim McDowell 38-11 2

Monday, March 17, 2008

Invicta League Round 1, Hartleylands Nick's Lake


Last year I decided to start the league of 6 matches on some of my favourite fish filled venues to run this spring. I had a chat with Tim who runs Invicta Angling in Ashford, Kent, who kindly offered to put up some prizes for the overall top 3. Then a quick call to book some lakes and the league was born.

The first round was to be at Hartleyland Farm, Nick’s Lake, and the weather running up to the event was looking grim. The forecast for the day was rain and cold wind from the north.

At the draw the talk was that you needed to pull out peg 8 or 9 to do well and due to the cold I would expect the fish not to be spread well over the lake. At the draw Trevor little was at the front of the queue and as I was running the event I thought I better get someone to pull out a peg for me so asked him? In he went and out came 9! That will do me I thought. The only downside of the draw was peg 8 is in the same section of five.

I got to the peg and the weather wasn’t too bad and the predicted north wind had not arrived yet. The tactics for the match were simple. I did run a practice match the week before and figured out what was needed to score good points. Two feeder rods were set up, one with a small Fox method and the other with a running rig where I can attach a bomb or a feeder. Both had a 0.16 trace and a 14 Drennan Carp hook with a hair rigged bait band attached. I also had a pellet waggler set up ready to go but didn’t expect to use it.

Bait for the day was 2 kilos of BCUK groundbait made up the day before with some dead maggots, corn and pellets mixed in the morning of the match giving me a choice of 3 hook baits.

I was ready for the off and the weather conditions were getting worse, the wind had started to swing round and there was light rain making the condition unpleasant to say the least! I called the all in and had the choice of two islands to fish to. I chose the right hand one for the simple reason less people wound be casting to it and I had a long section from the point to halfway along all to myself. The danger of choosing the one to the right is that peg 12 and 21 will be fishing a similar area if they start on the feeder giving you less of an area to draw fish in from.

I started towards the point of the Island which I was going to realise was a bad choice, casting every few minutes with the method feeder to get a bit of bait down with a 8mm pellet on the hook I had 4 bites in the first 90 minutes and that produced small carp. I tried corn and maggot on the hook too but these came to the pellet.

Things were very slow and for some reason I had a feeling I was fishing the wrong area so dropped the feeder 15 ft to the right on the same island, this resulted in a instant bite and a carp of about 2lb. About another 10 followed in the next hour so things were picking up. But as I got into the 4th hour of the match it was getting really cold and to be honest I just wanted to go home. These are the sort of conditions I try to avoid by not fishing winter matches!

For the final two hours I was just going through the motions although I was still managing to put a few fish in the net, I was pretty sure I had a section second anyway cos 3 of the pegs were really struggling so was happy to settle for that. Andy Silvers on the next peg was now out catching three fish to my one although they did look smaller. I must have had about 30 carp for what I though was around 40lb and was very glad when I called the all out to signal the end!

I was very surprised when my 30 odd fish went 61lb, catapulting me into the lead with 56lb leading the match up until then, I wasn’t in first position for long though as Andy silvers on the next peg managed 79lb to take the lead and the match.

I guess not giving the match 100% because of the weather cost me first place and a section win.

Full result below;

1st Andy Silvers 79-0
2nd Nick Gilbert 62-8
3rd Ian Carley 56-6
4th Kevin Pack 48-14
5th Mark Hathway 48-2
6th Mark Holland 41-9

Peg by peg section points.

Section 1

36 Matt Love 9-0 1
2 Kevin Pack 48-14 5
4 Mark Greenway 22-9 4
6 Dennis Price 14-7 2
7 Chris Jones 15-2 3

Section 2

8 Andy Silvers 79-0 5
9 Nick Gilbert 62-8 4
12 Charlie Chawner 24-3 Guest
13 Martin Charnock 7-15 2
15 Martin Twine 15-2 3

Section 3

17 Russ Evans 27-9 3
20 Mark Holland 41-9 4
21 Jay Lay 27-5 2
23 Ian Carley 56-6 5
24 Trevor Little 14-11 1

Section 4
26 John Haigh 32-1 4
27 Mike Jameson 31-6 3
32 Mark Hathway 48-2 5
33 Jim McDowell 16-11 1
34 Collin Wood 23-6 2

League Table

1 Andy Silvers 79-0 5
2 Ian Carley 56-6 5
3 Kevin Pack 48-14 5
4 Mark Hathway 48-2 5
5 Nick Gilbert 62-8 4
6 Mark Holland 41-9 4
7 John Haigh 32-1 4
8 Mark Greenway 22-9 4
9 Mike Jameson 31-6 3
10 Russ Evans 27-9 3
11 Chris Jones 15-2 3
11 Martin Twine 15-2 3
13 Jay Lay 27-5 2
14 Collin Wood 23-6 2
15 Dennis Price 14-7 2
16 Martin Charnock 7-15 2
17 Jim McDowell 16-11 1
18 Trevor Little 14-11 1
19 Matt Love 9-0 1
20 Tony Clark 0-0 0