Hall lane , Merlins lake

Peg 33 , July 13th

After having a months break i was back on the club match trail at Hall lanes Merlins lake , i personally hadn’t fished this lake for well over two years and even then i had not had a good experience fishing it coming nearly last in the match , i knew that plenty of club members had fished it a lot in the previous weeks so they should have it sorted by now and should be hard to beat . This year i have decided not to waste my time doing practice sessions as they tend not to fish the same as they do in matches and so far it is working out for me because i am sitting towards the top of the league table even after missing a match .

On arrival at the venue there was plenty of people knocking about with three club matches and an open taking place , so after managing to find everyone so i could collect the pools and with only one angler missing their would be 19 contesting the club match on 24 pegs which could make the fishing a bit harder , especially after the recent inconsistent weather because it had rained constantly over night and we now had strong winds to contend with blowing towards the bottom of the lake which is also the better area to be in but it could make for a fairer match ” we shall wait and see.”

Before starting the draw i informed everyone about the new rules on the fishery and that i wouldn’t be attending the next match but as i expected no one came forward to volunteer to run it for me ,you could even see a few people back away while i was talking which was quite funny so we will just wait and see what happens .One by one all the better pegs where going with good anglers on both end pegs and on the split between the islands , when it came for my turn their was two pegs left in the bag and both where in the same section so i let Tony draw my peg and i ended up on number 33 which was towards the bottom of the lake in a decent area for carp “cheers for that mate ”


After the long walk i arrived at my home for the day i found that i was also on a peg between the islands and in one of the more winnable sections and i was kicking myself for leaving my tip rod at home but you can’t be expected to take everything with you , so after getting the usual banter for drawing that peg and was expecting me to get a big weight from their “so no pressure then “.I had decided to keep it pretty simple today regarding rigs ;

Across 3ft + shallow

5m shallow

Margin paste


My bait today revolves around a few different options i decided to follow the information that i had learned from friends on twitter and not follow the dubious tales that had been banded about by various people fishing the match .


Pellets 4mm

Meat and corn


I planned on targeting the point of the island at 14 meters in a little patch of calm water which was in between two reed beds this offered my float a bit of protection from the wind and it also allowed me to go further along the bank if the conditions improved . When i plumbed up i couldn’t find the 3 ft depth which i had been told was the best place to start , in a suitable area so i scrapped that idea and went tight up to the mud bank where it was less than 1 ft deep .

As i was finding the right place for my rig a carp hit my line and bolted off which was a good sign of fish in my area, my margin paste line was a bit deeper than i would have liked too and all the reeds had been hacked back so i didn’t really think this line would work for me today and i should have put a line in somewhere else which could have produced a few extra fish and as you will find out later i could have done with a couple more carp today .

When the all in sounded i cupped in some 4mm pellets on to my margin swim and then another of meat+corn on to the far bank mud line i then went over the top of it with a cube of meat on the hook , my first few fish where small chub around the 8oz mark before the carp moved in but i was having real trouble keeping them on the hook and i bumped off three plus got broke on a 4lb hook length ! !



The wind was playing havoc with my pole control and it looked like it could be a long day , after changing my hook for a more robust guru Lwg because i thought that the thinner wired gamma pellet hook must have bent out with the size of carp i was attempting to catch and after the change i didn’t lose any more which was good but i was sure my bad start would cost me in the end .

My second+third hour were pretty straight forward with ten carp coming to the net averaging 3lb a piece and after catching a couple i would re pot in some meat-corn , but the wind was getting stronger and i was struggling to control my pole which certainly slowed my catch rate because i couldn’t keep my float still long enough to get a bite . So i changed my rig for a heavier float with a longer line between pole and float  , i hoped this would keep it steady long enough for me to get an indication and i was spending so long fighting the wind with my pole i had neglected to feed my shallow maggot line- margin paste line .


So in the last hour when the fish backed away i had nowhere to go and as i expected when i rotated my lines i had no bites apart from a small roach , so i stuck it out for another couple of carp because i felt that i would need at least twenty of them to be in with a chance of winning but i could only manage one more . When the all out sounded i was unsure how i had got on as from where i was fishing you couldn’t see the top of the lake and i knew that the end peg nearest to me had caught a lot but they wasnt the same stamp that i had caught .


I didn’t have long to wait though because that was the peg i would start the weigh in on and he had 50lb with treble the amount of fish that i managed , my 16 carp went 45lb so close but no cigar today and i had to put up with second in the match ,bad time management cost me today and i was a bit disappointed with myself for not doing better from that peg but it wasn’t your run of mill peg which i am sure that i would have had a good result from if i had thought a bit more about the best areas to target and had also kept them fed right “but that’s fishing for you”

The weight further up the lake towards the cabin had got gradually worse but most anglers had around twenty pound which was good in the conditions and their seemed to be a lack of carp up that end too but that might have been because of the way they fished it or bait they used . Well that’s me done for fishing for a couple of weeks as the wife is working away again , i just hope i can find something to keep me busy after work and i will put up the results for the next club match on blundells ash pool when or if i get them .

1st Dave 50lb peg 27

2nd Gary 45lb peg 33

3rd Mick 34lb peg


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