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