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