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