Today i was travelling down to Tunnel barn farm at Shrewley near Warwick to contest the knock up match on jenny’s , canal ,club , before the main event the North vs South which i will tell you all about when i do another blog later in the week . With the venue being over a hundred miles away for most of it i would be travelling down the speed restricted zones of the M6 motorway and i had a very early start so that i didn’t get caught in the rush hour traffic in Birmingham town center , surprisingly my trip went remarkably well i arrived with an hour to spare so i grabbed a bacon sandwich then had a walk around the complex not a lot had changed since my last visit here nine months ago when i contested a match on jenny’s and as per usual it looked immaculate .
When i got back to the cabin it was approaching draw time so i joined the queue about half way and it soon came round for my turn in the bag of doom , i couldn’t believe it with all the pegs in the draw i pulled out 25 on jenny’s which was only one away from where i struggled for thirty pounds on my last match here , but at least it would give me chance to see how much i had improved in that time especially with the conditions being exactly the same with a light breeze blowing over my shoulder and although it was warm at the moment we was due a heavy downpour around dinner time .
Like most pegs at Tunnel barn you could park right behind your peg which made things a lot easier and after setting up i put all my luggage back in the boot because the last thing i wanted was it to be left soaking in the car over night , the one thing that i have learned over the past few months was to make things simple so as not confuse yourself and today was no different because i choose to set up ;
Margin rig at top three so i could loose feed it by hand which i plumbed up towards my right as this is where i had an empty peg and i used an MD 0.4 diamond float with a staggered bulk spread along my 014 garbo main line attached to it was six-inch 012 garbo hook length .
Top kit line where i plumbed up to find it was four-foot deep and as i would be using pellets here so i picked up a MD 0.3 roob style float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length .
Six meter channel swim for fishing on the deck under my shallow swim where i would be loose feeding casters and it was a touch over five foot deep so i used an MD chianti style float which had a bulk plus two droppers spread along my 014 garbo main line attached to it was a six-inch 012 garbo hook length .
Two shallow rigs one at a foot the other two foot on both i used the same MD 0.1 mini mag float which had three number eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main line and attached to it was six-inch of 012 garbo , i also had a size 18 lwg hook with a micro bait band because i was going to be fishing banded caster as it was a really good tactic on here .
Bait for the day was ;
3 pints of casters
3 pints of fishery 4mm pellets
small tub of 4mm expanders
small tub of worms for the hook
When the all in sounded i began on my top kit with pellets at an angle towards my right this was so i could play the fish in front of me so as not to disturb any feeding fish and after depositing a kinder pot full of 4mm pellets it took about ten minutes before i had my first f1 ,by lift and dropping my rig i caught about six of them in the first hour it wasnt hectic by any means but it was giving me the opportunity to feed my shallow swim by hand . I had loose feed about a pint of casters on my six meter line so i expected there to be some fish present on this line and i started on my deck rig first as i had not seen any swirls on the surface , by doing this it would allow me to work out at what depth the fish were sitting by the indications i had on my float and i did manage a couple of f1s among the hand sized skimmers but it wasnt really working for me , i had a quick look on my deeper shallow rig but i knew that i was very unlikely to get any indications from f1s although i did miss lots of bites from small silvers not really what i wanted and after looking around at the other anglers it was noticable that we was all struggling for a run of fish maybe the heavy over night rain had knocked them off feeding .
With nobody going across to the island yet i decided to give it ago because i could hopefully draw something into my peg and i started on my 2ft shallow rig which was about a foot off the deck , i started pinging half a dozen casters every few minutes and it didn’t take long before i began getting indications most of which i missed i figured that they might have been small silvers but the ones that i did connect with were big f1s , i put my shallower rig on and pushed my rig in right among the over hanging reeds this worked really well for me as i picked up a couple of double figure carp which was fun catching on my short kits with ten hollo elastic in , it was apparent that i would get a little run of f1s before it went quiet and i would catch a carp it took a bit of working out but i was slowly getting my head around it when the heavens opened for over an hour which killed my far swim because it had gone really cold and i thought that the fish would have dropped down into the deeper water
I had a quick look back on my top kit swim thinking that they might have settled there but as i had neglected to carry on feeding it there wasnt any decent fish present and i had been loose feeding my right hand margin swim which was in slightly shallower water but that’s where the fish wanted to be as i managed another good run of f1s , after a while i began foul hooking the odd fish and seemed that my loose feeding had brought them up in the water even at this close range which i wasnt expecting , so a change to dumping in pellets through a kinder pot with a segment of worm on the hook got them back on the bottom and i began catching the odd carp as well as the f1s . As i had my back to my left hand neighbour i missed seeing him catch well shallow i had heard the splashing but thought they was just silvers but when he told me that he had caught twelve f1s on the trot i had no option but to follow suit , although i had stopped feeding my up in the water six meter swim because it was awkward to do when fishing my margin line and i did manage to pick up the odd fish but it was only the ones that had strayed into my peg , suddenly the rain stopped and the sun poked its head out from behind the clouds i thought that this would make the shallow swims even stronger but it had the opposite effect as it just died on me , so i spent the last ninety minutes swapping between my across + margin swims picking up a few fish from each before the all out sounded calling time on a very interesting match and if i could fish it again i would certainly do things a bit differently .
I was one of the first to weigh in on my lake and my forty fish went 94lb which was so close to my first tunnel barn ton but i was still made up with it as it is still my biggest weight here , the lad towards my left managed 104lb which was enough to win the ten peg section pushing me into second but i was also third on the lake , although it wasnt good enough to do any good in the overall match because there was quite a few 150lb weights knocking about over the other lakes .