May 28th , peg 27 Jennies pool
Today i was contesting a match at Tunnel barn farm which had been organised by David Marshall through his Facebook page Match anglers matches its format was a dozen qualifiers taking place on various dates over the coming weeks and if you win your five peg section you would qualify for the big money final that was back here at Tunnel barn it sounds simple enough but this competition has grabbed the attention of some big name anglers which should make things interesting , i originally was going to use it as some practice for the Pole Fishing Masters due to a few personal matters meant i had to cancel the festival but i was still looking forward to fishing this match because Tunnel barn farm is a very impressive fishery on its day although recently the weights had been a bit patchy especially on Jennies pool which was one of the lakes in the draw bag the other being Club pool so you can guess which everyone wanted to be on .
With the venue being over a hundred miles away so another early start was required and i began packing the van at around six o’clock ,the trip down went pretty smoothly and i even had time to stop off for some breakfast on the services before arriving at the fishery just after eight . As i was a bit early i had a quick look round the two pools and i noticed that they had done a bit of work since my last visit cutting down quite a lot of trees overhanging the water on the islands , after walking back to the cabin i met a couple of friendly faces so we had a chat while we where waiting for the draw to take place when it came for my pick i pulled out peg 27 on Jennies pool not exactly were i wanted to be but at least i had a bit of ripple and i also had one of my mates a couple of pegs down in the same section so it should be an interesting few hours .
My peg was a touch over 14m wide towards the far-banks although i didn’t have a proper mud bank to target , i also had an aerator towards my right but i had the rope preventing me from going right into the corner so i decided to set up ;
Top three margin where it was three-foot deep on either side and i felt this would cause all sorts of trouble in the sunny conditions , i used an 0.4 joof float with a staggered bulk along the 014 garbo main line and with the average stamp being quite big in here i also stepped up my hook length to an 012 garbo which had a size 16 lwg attached .
Top five in the channel it was five foot deep and as i would be feeding meat by hand there i used a 4×12 speedy float with a bulk plus two droppers which would allow for a slow fall of the hook bait in the bottom third of the water , i had my usual 014 garbo main line and a six-inch length of 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .
Far-bank towards the left of my peg at the side of the reeds after plumbing up i found 3.5ft in a couple of spots but nothing any shallower so i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and i used 014 garbo main line with an 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .
Shallow for fishing among the far-bank reeds and also in the channel at 11m , i used an 02 matrix series three float with 012 garbo main line which had an 010 garbo hook length .
Bait for the day was ;
three pints of meat
three pints of fishery 4mm pellets
small tub of mixed hard pellets
Just before the all in i had a nice ripple blowing into my peg with a few carp milling about in the margins and i couldn’t wait to get started , i began my match by feeding a small cupping kit full of meat on my channel swim before dropping onto my right hand margin hoping that i might snare a quick carp or two i did manage one nearly 4lb but it was hard work especially when the wind dropped and all the fish were more interested in sunbathing , i decided to give my margin swim a big hit of bait thinking that it might get them back on the deck feeding but it turned out to be a big mistake as i got liner after liner and i had to stop fishing there until it settled down a bit .
I had been loose feeding meat on my channel swim for the past forty minutes and i had noticed some bubbles coming up so i felt a few f1s might have settled on it , i layed my rig in to the side which would allow for a slow fall of the hookbait and every time my float settled i had a little dink on the float but yet again when using meat i just struggled to hit them it was really doing my head in ! ! I began firing some pellets against the far-bank rushes as this would be my next move if i couldn’t get the channel swim to work , i shortened my lash between float+pole tip plus added a couple of back shot to help me hit the tiny indications and to some extent it worked because i had a little run of four f1s all of which were over a pound , i had fed a large kinder pot of meat after every fish and it seemed that i had over done it even feeding that little amount because the f1s moved out being replaced by tiny hand sized skimmers not what i wanted to be catching.
I decided to go on my long line starting on the deck with a 6mm cube of meat and this got me a couple of quick fish including a carp about 4lb but with the sunny weather all the fish were cruising along the island causing me to have lots of liners so out came the shallow rig set at half depth , i began pinging pellets across and also onto my 11m swim to try to get them competing up in the water because a couple of lads towards my left were catching well shallow but they had the benefit of a little ripple whereas the anglers near me were struggling for bites . My across rig really failed to get going as all i could manage was a couple of lost foul hooked f1s and it seemed the fish was more interested in sunbathing than feeding , i then suffered a ninety minute spell of failing to put a single thing in the net and i had to resort to big potting on all my lines but this did not work either and probably made things even worse , it was only in the last hour when i started catching it coincided with the sun going in plus a move of swims along the far-bank closer to the right hand side aerator rope and i just kinder potted four cubes of meat then kept my rig still over the top by doing this i managed five f1s in a twenty-minute spell , i was just getting into the swing of things when disaster struck as i foul hooked a carp which took me around the corner under the rope as i tried to stop the fish going into my neighbours swim the hook pulled causing my rig to tangle around the rope and on pulling for a break the float shattered , so with time running out i dropped onto my right hand margin and i managed four f1s plus two carp on meat before the all out came it was far too soon for my liking .
The tunnel barn staff came round to do the weigh in and i was first with my two nets going a very disappointing 36lb there was also a similar weight to my left before they got better around the corner where there was two high 80lb nets but they was far from the norm as most people had less than fifty pounds , the lads on club had got on a lot better with a couple of tons plus lots of high 70lb so well done to everyone who qualified for the final and it was a strange old match giving me plenty to think about and with my van breaking down on the motorway on my way home meaning i had a four-hour wait to get towed home it gave me plenty of time to asses how it went , so if i manage to get it sorted in time my next match will be the fisho qualifier at oaks next saturday i just hope that i have a bit more luck on that one .