Tunnel barn , North vs South match


June 28th , peg 41 High pool

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Well today was the day of the big match and the reason i had traveled down to Tunnel barn farm and after booking out of my hotel i headed on my short trip to the venue , on arrival i was greeted to lots of anglers with sore heads no doubt over doing it on the ale the night before rumour had it that a few had managed to find the only club in Warwick getting in at 3 am i just hoped it wouldn’t affect the North’s team performance .A brief run down on how the match would work there was 142 anglers fishing spread over five lakes house,  extension , high , new and canal , which meant nearly every peg would be taken , there was 19 sections consisting of between 7 or 10 anglers depending on which lake you drew on and then you got points for finishing as high as you can the overall winning team was obviously the North or the one who culminated the most points .

With so many anglers contesting the event i expected the draw to take some time but i was really impressed with how smoothly it went , i have experienced a lot of these big matches and it was right up there near the top of the list of well run matches . I joined the very long queue towards the rear and i really fancied a try on house or extension as those are capable of throwing up some really big weights but for a change my drawing arm let me down putting me on peg 41 high pool which wasn’t that far away from where i had won my section in the pole fishing masters i wasnt that happy to be honest especially with every peg being in and i felt that 40lb would be a good weight but i needed to do a job for the team so would be trying my best .

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On arriving at my peg i was situated in the corner of the  straight with your back to canal pool at the side of a water inlet , i had a nice margin towards my left and had a point of an island although it was less than 2ft wide there was also an empty peg too my left and to be honest i thought i would have been better fishing on that one as it allowed me a much wider area of far-bank to target but there wasn’t a lot i could do about it now . High pool is one of the newest waters on the complex meaning a small stamp of fish and also one of the deepest waters which made it difficult to find the depth that the fish wanted to settle on and as a consequence i ended up setting more rigs than i usually do these where ;

Top kit at 4ft

Margin tight to the bank side reeds 3ft

Far-bank 2ft tight to the island

Channel at six meters which was 6ft

Shallow both at 1ft and 2ft

My bait was a bit of a mixture today ;

3 pints of red and white maggots

2 pints of soaked micro and 4mm fishery pellets

4 pints ground-bait f1 dark

Tub of 4 + 6 mm expanders

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At 1030 am the whistle went for the all in its also signaled the end of the constant rain we had suffered with all morning although it was replaced with a strengthening breeze which was thankfully blowing off my back , i decided to start as i usually do nowadays on my top kit and i kinder potted in a hard ball of pellets then lowered my rig in among it . it didn’t take long before i began getting indications and i went on a run of f1s although they were the smaller 8oz stamp but it wasn’t long though until i began getting line bites and as i feared my ball of micros had broken up on the way down which brought the fish up of the deck i tried changing my shotting pattern for a bulk + dropper this caught me a couple of slightly bigger f1s but it was slow going .

Since the match started i had been loose feeding maggots at six meters and i had noticed a few swirls so jumped at the chance at picking up my shallow rig because for some bizarre reason you only usually get a two-hour window before they back off , for the next sixty minutes it was fish a chuck mainly f1s with the odd ide mixed in and to be honest it was all so easy but it started getting difficult as they began too back off making me work extremely hard for bites going up + down the layers . After it had slowed right down i decided to keep feeding the swim but fished my left hand margin in the shallowest water i could find tight to the near bank reeds at 3ft , i was still using pellets feeding balls of micros by lifting + dropping my rig i started putting fish in the net but it was slow going and i needed to up my catch rate to stay in contention for the section because Des Shipp a few pegs away had really upped his by fishing across to the island fighting with the strong cross wind .

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I set up another margin swim further to my left at almost 11 meters in a little cut out between the reeds this produced another run of fish but after a good thirty minutes it began to tail off i had another quick try shallow picking off a couple more big f1s but they wasn’t there in numbers although i saw the odd bubble coming up so they was still in the vicinity and i had a quick try on the deck underneath where i had been loose feeding maggots this produced a few more but with an hour remaining i had no option but to fish across and fight the cross wind i really should have been brave going on it a lot sooner than i had because i caught quite steady until the all out sounded , i kick started the swim with a big pot of ground-bait then topped up with a kinder pot when the bites began to slow and alternating between maggots + pellets on the hook kept the fish coming .

After packing up i went round to find the scales man to see how everyone had got on and the weights were a lot lower than on the Pole fishing masters averaging around the 50lb mark which was no doubt down to the very tight pegging we had to endure , when they arrived to my peg my seventy f1s plus a dozen ide + barbel took the dial round to just over 70lb this put me into the lead and kept me there until Des Shipp showed his class throwing 120lb on to the scales i could have probably added another twenty pound by getting my timings right but not the 50lb i required to challenge for the ten peg section finishing second to an England international wasnt to shabby i suppose plus i was also third on High pool out of thirty anglers .

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On getting back to the cabin to await the decision on who had won what there was a price draw with lots of good items of fishing tackle to be won ( a quick tip is always go for the blank envelopes as they usually contain the better prizes and this one contained a coaching session with the North’s team captain Emma Pickering ) While all this was taking place all the points were being added up and checked , after what seemed like an age it was time for the results first the section winners and i picked up mine due to Des Shipp getting third . Then they named the top five with the South managing three of them but another England international this time a veteran Danny Sixsmith winning overall with 130lb and after that it was time for the big one the main reason everyone had turned up . . . . of course the North had won was there ever going to be any other outcome ! ! !

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All in all it was an extremely well run affair and a big thanks must go to all those involved and even though i am not a good socialiser or drinker i really enjoyed the event as i get a real buzz out of fishing these big challenges , i will hopefully be able to contest the return match next year which will take place at Tunnel barn in May so keep an ache on Facebook for more details and i hope to see you all there .

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Tunnel barn open , New pool


June 27th , peg 17

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After managing to sneak one of the last few places available on the North vs South match at Tunnel barn on Sunday i decided to make the most of it and go down for the weekend this meant that i could fish the open on the previous day , after ringing up in the week i found out it would be taking place on New pool which was a water that i hadn’t fished before because i am relatively new to the complex so a few phone calls was required to get a bit of info about it .

An early start was needed so that i could miss all the motorway traffic and get to the venue on time for the draw as i was up packing the car with my stuff at 6am before my hundred mile trip to Tunnel barn which went surprisingly easy even after all the 50 mph zones i still arrived at the venue before 8 o’clock which gave me plenty time to have a look at New pool . The lake i would be contesting the match on today was supposedly a snake lake but on looking at it there was a large bay at one end which had no island to fish too and the pegs towards the twenties were well over 16m wide , so not like your typical S canal we get around here although the stocking was your usual main species of f1 carp ide and what turned my match into a nightmare small 8oz skimmers .

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After booking on at the cabin plus paying the 23 quid pools i waited for draw time and after a bit of a heated discussion between the regulars over what pegs to leave out it was time for the draw , i picked out number 17 which on getting to it put me on the end of the island and it looked as most do on here really good for a few fish with rushes along both margins plus reeds along the far-bank but yet again i didn’t have a mud bank which i felt could be a problem in the warm sunny calm conditions and what little breeze there was blowing towards the other end of the lake into flyer peg ten which one of the locals had drawn .

So that’s my excuses out-of-the-way and at least on here you can usually guarantee a day’s fishing so i decided to set up four rigs to cover my options these were ;

Top kit at 3ft , i was a bit surprised to find it so shallow there because on all the other lakes it was almost 5ft deep and i used a 4×12 Malman Roob float which had a spread bulk an inch apart starting above the short six-inch hook length of 012 garbo hook length my main line was 014 garbo and hook was a size 18 Matrix bagger hook .

Across at just under 2ft , yet again i felt this would be too deep but i wasn’t able to get any tighter to the bank due to the reeds my float was a 4×12 Malman Roob which had an inch apart spread bulk starting above the six-inch garbo 012 hook length and my main line was 014 garbo which had a size 18 Matrix bagger hook .

Six meter channel rig , i was surprised to find just four-foot and i would use this rig to fish on the deck under where i would be loose feeding maggots , i used a 4×14 Malman Roob float with 014 garbo main line an 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 Matrix bagger hook attached .

Shallow rig set 1ft deep , this was an 01 Matrix series one float with 012 garbo direct to a size 18 matrix rigger hook with a micro band attached used for hair rigging dead maggots .

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My bait today was ;

2 pints of fishery 4mm + micros which were soaked and mixed together .

3 pints of red + white maggots

3 pints of ground-bait f1 dark for the margin

1 tin of corn

Small tub of 4+6mm expanders

When the all in sounded for the match to start i began on my top kit with a 4mm expander on the hook and fed small balls of softened micros through a kinder pot , after a couple of feeds i began getting indications and it wasn’t long before i had my first f1 in the net but at 8oz it weren’t the stamp i was looking for ! ! in the next fifteen minutes i had a procession of similar sized fish including some skimmers but i felt that i needed to catch a bigger stamp so after half an hour i began throwing a dozen maggots at six meters to try to get them competing shallow before going on it in the second hour . While i was letting them build in confidence i kept plugging away on my top kit and i worked out that if i kept two swims going feeding one the fishing the other i could keep the f1s coming but the little skimmers were a pain even changing to a 6mm expander didn’t make much difference .

I noticed a few fish swirling where i had thrown in the loose feed so i took my opportunity to pick up my shallow rig and with two dead maggots on the hook i began flicking my rig over the top but apart from the odd big ide it was noticeably slow , so i decided to try my deck rig this produced a few bigger stamp f1s but yet again the small skimmers were playing havoc in the swim and i was also getting liner after liner but i just couldn’t find the depth they wanted to feed in .

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After two hours i felt that i had left my far-bank for long enough so i went across with a 4mm expander on the hook although i will be quick to change if i kept missing bites because with extension pool behind me i would need to break my pole down twice , i tapped in my ball of micros before lowering my hook bait among it and it didn’t take long before the float dipped with a flying skimmer making its way to the bank i was beginning to rue the curse of the skimmers but finally after a couple of feeds the f1s muscled their way into the swim and at well over a pound those were the stamp i needed to catch .With half the match gone i began feeding my margins the deeper right hand one with pellets and the left hand one with ground-bait i intended to top up every twenty minutes before going on it in the last hour but i needed to keep an eye out for the ducks because they would clean out my swim if i wasnt careful , while this settled i kept working my far-bank lines but it wasn’t really prolific and maybe i was too positive with the feed or too eager to change swims instead of getting the most out of it ! !

With about ninety minutes remaining i decided to try my margin swims and i went first on to my right hand one with a 6mm expander on the hook i lowered my rig down and it just kept on going with a nice stamp f1 hitting the net i was thinking that i might be on for a shed full but you guessed it my next fish was a small skimmer and i really was cursing my luck , on turning round towards my left i could see some tails waving at me they looked like near double figure carp so being careful lowering my rig in trying not to lay my line over them and with a piece of corn on the hook i pushed my rig tight to the near side rushes .

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I was getting liner after liner with fish wafting my hookbait all over the place and i was kicking myself for not bringing a few worms because the corn was too light but by leaving plenty bristle showing and being disciplined at striking at only proper gazunders i managed to limit the foul hookers to a minimum , the fish i was catching were big stamp f1s and topping up between fish was becoming a problem because the ducks were coming in as soon as i feed but it didn’t seem to bother the fish .I was soon getting into a rhythm of catch a fish then re-feed and i was catching quite steady but with thirty minutes remaining a couple of the lads fishing the match on extension decided to pack up early and all the disturbance killed my margin swim but instead of fishing else were i stupidly sat it out only catching one f1 before the all out .

As i was waiting for the weigh in i felt that i had kept in touch with those anglers around my end of the lake but it was noticeable that the weights got gradually better the further you got to my right so as usual the f1s had followed the wind and when they came to me to weigh in their was three 90lb weights from the bottom of the lake , my nets went 54lb which was a bit more than i thought i had caught but not enough to trouble the top half of the leader board even if i had beaten everyone near me . Well its the big North vs South match tomorrow which is the main reason i came up to Tunnel barn i just hope that 140 anglers on five lakes with every peg being took the fishing will be ok because six hours is a long time when you’re not catching and after its finished i have got a long drive home , the things we match anglers put ourselves through in the pursuit of our fishing ambitions .

 

Pole fishing masters , Tunnel barn farm


IMG-20150611-00634Well today was the day that i had waited for ages because it was finally time to pack my bags and set off to Tunnel barn for the pole fishing masters which was going to take place over three days , there would be five lakes to draw on these were ;

Club+Jennys

House+Extension

High pool

Each water would have fifteen anglers on it apart from High pool which would have thirty on it and after the first days random draw we would the fish each lake in a rotation which seemed a fair way to do things , although if you got some big name anglers (of which there are many ) in your rotation you would be stuck with them for the rest of the festival .The payout for the festival would be the overall top nine anglers and five peg sections plus there would also be a super pool on the day paying the top five weights , to be honest i wasn’t expecting to be troubling the leaders because there was going to be some extremely good anglers contesting the event and as long as i caught a few fish , learned a few things , plus of course enjoyed myself then that would do for me .

I decided to set off from Wigan at dinner time on the Sunday so i wouldn’t be too tired on the first day of the match because it was an early draw 8 o’clock and after an eventful three-hour trip down with various delays on the motorway plus my sat nav failed to pick up the hotel even though it was on the motorway services it looked like i had made the correct decision . After finally managing to book in at the hotel and unloading my gear i decided to try to find the fishery which was surprisingly easy as it was only eight miles away , on arrival at Tunnel barn farm fishery it has nine waters on the complex and of the five that were in the festival ;

Jennys was a lake which had an island reachable at 16m and held a bigger stamp of f1 with fishing across + down the edge working well .

Club was also a lake with a central island although this one is at a more manageable 13m and holds more proper carp .

High was more your typical snake lake although still a touch wide at 14m but i doubt that this would matter as its a numbers game on here so top kit shallow + margins is usually the main method .

House + extension both these waters are mature lakes with lots of different types of pegs they are the oldest on the complex and been fished a lot therefore the f1s are really cute making them hard to catch  so to compensate this they have put in a lot of small stockies in .

There was also various club matches taking place and i had arrived just in time as most of them had started the weigh in , this gave me a good idea on how it was fishing because rumour had it that the fish had spawned in the days leading up to the festival and it seemed that i didn’t need to worry because most lakes were won with well over a ton plus there wasn’t any signs of splashing about in the margins which is always a good . After having had a walk round to find all the lakes in the draw bag and seeing+speaking too a few of the regulars i was ready to get started and couldn’t wait for the first day of the festival , i decided to head back to the hotel to grab some tea and get my gear ready i have a plan in mind i just hope it works for me over the next few days .

Day one

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Monday 15th June , peg 25 Extension pool

Today was the first round of the daiwa pole fishing masters and after having a pretty lousy nights sleep i was eager to grab some breakfast before heading off on the twenty-minute trip to Tunnel barn farm , the draw was going to take place at 8am and we would fish 11 till 4 not really the best hours of the day especially with the sun beating down plus calm conditions .When i arrived the queue for the draw was already quite long and it looked like a who’s who of match fishing with all the big names attending , when it came for my turn out i pulled peg 25 on Extension pool this didn’t mean a great deal to me but when i got to my home for the day it looked really inviting with a lot of margin+far-bank vegetation the only downside really was the lack of a mud bank i just hoped that it wasn’t too deep across .

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My plan off attack today was too ;

Start on the top kit between my nets for the first thirty minutes .

Before fishing across at 14m where when plumbed up i found 3ft which i felt was to deep .

All the time i would be feeding slop at 6m looking for any signs of fish swirling before going on it .

The last ninety minutes would be spent fishing in both margins hoping to get a bigger stamp of fish .

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My bait was to revolve around worm+casters+pellets which had worked well on here recently and i have had some good results using it which made me more confident about using it , when the all in sounded i tapped in some feed in between my keepnets then lowered my worm hook bait in among it and it wasn’t long before my float disappeared but instead of the f1 i hoped for up popped a big skimmer , it took a couple of feeds to attract my target fish but when they turned up they did in numbers and i put a dozen in the net during a forty minute spell . The bites began to tail off with a couple of perch getting in on the act which is never a good sign and i wasted twenty minutes on this line without putting much into the net , i decided to try my shallow line even though i had seen no signs on it but after ten minutes without a bite i choose to leave it for the time being although i did continue to feed it .

After leaving my far-bank line for over an hour i expected that a few f1s would have settled there and for a change i was right because i went on a good run of fish putting twenty in the net during a sixty minute spell , so with half the match gone i was well on target for a good weight but for the next hour i struggled to put much into the net either by fishing across or shallow where there was plenty of fizzing coming up a sure sign that there wasn’t much happening up in the water . I set up a new line across towards my right while i began to prime my margin swims and yet again i had another good run of fish although they were off a much smaller stamp , with ninety minutes remaining i decided to spend it in the margin as this was my only chance of getting back on terms with those anglers around me and luckily it worked as i began catching some nice stamp f1s , by changing hook baits between a worm segment or double caster i kept the fish coming and when the perch made an appearance i just re-fed then swapped sides .

When the all out sounded i was unsure on how i had got on as it was a rather frustrating match catching well in patches but suffered a few too many quiet spells to be in contention for the section because the lads towards the windward end had caught well over the ton , as the scalesmen arrived at my peg i needed 120lb to get into the top two in my section but i could only manage 87lb which was good enough to finish third and i suppose that was ok on my first ever visit here although if i had managed to get a few shallow in the quiet mid-match spell it might have been a bit different .

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Tomorrow i will be on High pool and i will probably have some big names in my section with the calibre of angler in my rotation but I’m really looking forward to it and you need to fish against the best to improve which is what every match angler wants to do .

Day two 

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Tuesday 16th June , High pool peg 34

Today was day two of pole fishing masters at Tunnel barn and my rotation of thirty anglers would all be on High pool , so after yet another lousy nights sleep i headed off to the venue and i decided to pick up some maggots for fishing shallow before joining the queue for the draw . When it came round to my go i pulled out peg 34 which didn’t mean a great deal because i hadn’t fished here before although i did have a look at all the lakes which will be used in the festival on the Sunday when i came down , one advantage of fishing High pool is the fact you can park at the side of your peg so no pushing of the trolley in the sunny + calm conditions and i made sure i used sun block after suffering burnt arms yesterday .

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On arriving at my peg it was at the end of one of the straights and like all the pegs on here the margins had plenty of reed cover plus i had the point of the island to target and for a change a mud bank to target although with it being 16m away i doubt that i would be venturing across that much especially as the stamp of fish are quite small making it more of a fish race ( not something i am particularly good at doing ) on settling in at my peg i had come up with a plan on how best to try to get the most from my peg :

Start on the top kit between my keep nets although on plumbing up i found it to be nearly 5ft i felt this might be a bit too deep .

While i was fishing it i would be loose feeding maggots at six meters to hopefully give them a bit of confidence before fishing it although with the wind a bit blustery i had to use my catty this probably meant i wasnt feeding heavily enough .

I set up a margin swim on my top three towards the corner to my left and the shallowest water i could find was two foot yet again not ideal but the margin to my right was even deeper .

I was a bit luckier when plumbing up across because i managed to find an ideal depth of 18 inch in a couple of spots and i planned to go on this line towards the back-end of the match hopefully allowing the fish a bit of a safe zone in the peg .

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My bait was the usual ;

1/2 kilo worm

1 pint micro pellets

4 pints maggots

When the all in sounded i went straight onto my top kit line with a kinder pot full of worm+pellet mush and an inch segment of worm on the hook , as usual it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in a big skimmer hitting the net but it wasn’t long before the f1s made an appearance . In my first hour i put 15 fish in the net and all the time i was catching i had fired in maggots at six meters , when i saw a swirl i decided to pick up my shallow rig set at 1ft but i kept missing bites on maggots and it wasn’t long before i found out why when a 2oz roach was netted i kept plugging away adding only a couple of ide to my weight . With the shallow line not producing as i would like i went back on my top kit between my nets and started kinder potting on the margin swim , my top kit line wasnt working like at the start of the match so i went onto the left hand swim still using worm on the hook and feeding worm mush through a kinder pot  and this swim started producing instantly with f1 after f1 coming to the bank after half of the match had passed i reckoned that i had 40lb in the net i just hoped that i could keep it going .

For the next hour the top end of the lake where i was seemed to shut down as everyone struggled for bites which is what i thought would happen and it was now time to fish across in my safe area but before i did i decided to feed the top kit swim with two cupping kits full of maggots to try to force some fish back on to this area , i put a full pot of worm slop across the far-bank mud line then went over the top with a piece of worm on the hook it didn’t take long before i had my first fish which i bumped off on the way in and i then had a mini run of a few f1s but they was a lot smaller than i had previously caught and i didn’t feel the bites were coming quick enough to warrant fishing at 16m so i decided to leave this line .

With ninety minutes remaining i chose to concentrate on my margin swim because this would hopefully keep me in with a chance of getting a good section position , i kept plugging away on my original margin swim but bites had slowed down considerably so i decided to set up a new line further towards the left hand corner after plumbing up i found it to be nearly a foot deeper even tight up to the reeds i had to cut down one of my rigs to use and as it was a good bit deeper i choose to feed and fish maggots . After tapping in a big kinder pot full of bait i lowered my hook bait among it but i was having trouble getting the maggots to the deck with small silvers intercepting it on the way down and if it got to the deck i would get a bite from an f1 with this in mind i thought that i would try a segment of worm as it is heavier and after all it was my best hook bait this worked extremely well and in the last forty minutes i added 15 fish to my net although they were mainly barbel .

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The all out soon sounded and i felt that i had a good chance of finishing in the top two of the section i was the first to weigh in at the top end of the lake and my 65 mixed bag of fish went 57lb which was more than i had thought ( even did my usual trick of leaving an f1 in my net ) luckily for me it did not alter the outcome of the section as my weight was 10lb clear and i had won my first ever festival section , this also put me on 4pts after two matches which makes me 25th overall and i just hope that i can get another good draw so i can finish off my festival in style but to be honest getting a section win in this company was more than i had hoped for before i had set off to fish the pole fishing masters .

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Day three

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Weds 17th June , peg 17 Club pool

Today was the last round of the pole fishing masters at Tunnel barn farm and after my previous days section win on High pool i was looking forward to finishing the festival in style , although that would be really tough with the anglers contesting the event and i would surely end up with a couple of big names in my section . So after booking out off the hotel were you guessed it i had another bad night’s sleep so i grabbed a bacon buttie before heading to the venue where i had a look at the two pools which would be in the draw bag these where Jennys +Club and i had read a lot about Jennys in the fishing magazines i really fancied fishing it especially with all the big weights coming off it in the last few days .

At 830 it was time for the draw and it seemed a lot quieter than on earlier days as it turned out a few people had chosen to go home early because they had no chance of finishing high in the table , i felt that this was inappropriate especially with empty pegs giving those anglers an advantage as weight could play a big part in the final outcome . When it came round to my turn out i pulled peg 17 on Club pool not what i wanted as it was one of the low weight waters which in fact might do me a favor , but on getting to the water it was noticeable that the wind had increased considerably during the morning and the temps had also dropped too with rain also forecast i felt this could make the fish have a feed although with all the bait going in they could also shut up shop .

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As i began setting up Luke sears turned up and sat to my right  ( ok i will be looking for second in the section ) but then Lee kerry and Alan scothorne plus a sponsored browning angler this was turning into my worst draw that i could get ( just hope i can do myself proud and not finish last ) the one good thing is that i was at the right side of the lake with the wind blowing my way too , my peg was 14m wide with reed lined far-bank but yet again no mud bank and i also had a nice margin on each side .

Yet again i decided to keep it simple just like on my previous two matches and would start on my ;

Top kit between my keep nets for the first hour .

Across for the middle of the match at the side of the rushes .

Margin either side which i would feed with different baits to see which would be best .

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My bait was to be the usual worm+pellet approach along with a couple of pints of mixed maggots which i had remaining from yesterdays match .

At 11 o’clock the whistle sounded for the all in and while everyone went straight across i fished between my nets this had been really successful for me on the other matches here so i expected today to be no different but for some reason it didn’t work producing only a tench plus a couple of f1s and to be honest i spent too long on it wasting my first hour which cost me big time as you will find out later , all the time i had fished close in Luke sears had been dobbing fish with meat and had caught over twenty pound although the other anglers to my left were struggling it looked like it could be a long day ahead .

Before going across as this didn’t seem to be working for the other anglers in my section i decided to try the far shelf at 4ft deep after a couple of feeds of worm mush through a kinder pot i began getting indications at first they were 8oz skimmers but the f1s soon moved in and at nearly 2lb a piece i was soon putting a weight together , although it took me awhile to work out that the indications where just slight dinks and if left to develop into your proper bites nine times out of ten they did not . After an hour this line began to slow down so rather than fish it out i moved two meters to my right and started again this got me back among the f1s but it wasn’t as prolific as my original one but by swapping between them both i kept my weight ticking over .

With two hours remaining i began feeding my margin swims the right hand one with 4mm pellets + maggots the left hand one with pellets + worm mush while this settled i went across into the cutout between the reeds where it was 2ft deep this was the shallowest depth that i could find , my first drop on this line produced a little dink on the float which i missed and then i bumped off three fish on the trot ( not good ) i couldn’t work out why this was happening and i was on the verge of giving it a rest when my elastic came flying out resulting in a spirited five-minute fight with an 8lb carp hitting the net ( bonus ) no other indications came from this swim and with the last hour fast approaching it was margin time .

I started to my left on my worm rig first drop my float buried with a big f1 hitting the net quickly followed by another and if they kept coming at this pace i could be on for a good weight but yet again bites began to tail off and this is something which i have suffered with for a while now , when i went onto my right hand swim it failed to produce a bite which was strange and in the last two hours me and Luke traded fish but i just couldn’t get my nose in front . When the all out sounded i had caught 35 f1s plus some silvers and the odd carp , before the scales arrived Lee kerry came over for a chat to see how we had got on because he needed a top two finish to stay in contention for the overall places soon it was the moment of truth .

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Luckily i had managed to finish third in the section which i felt was a good achievement but a few things cost me a better finishing position mainly time management and not changing swims quickly enough , you just cant do mistakes like that when competing against these calibre of angler and at the end i finished with 7 points with two thirds and a section win this should put me in the top third of the table fingers crossed . I have really enjoyed the Tunnel barn farm pole fishing masters festival pitting my limited angling skills against the pros it was an extremely well run contest and i cant wait to get back there which might be quicker than i first thought .

The next match on the agenda is the little matter of a fisho qualifier at Partridge lakes these big matches are coming thick and fast at the moment , I’m so glad that i left club matches and knockups behind so if you’re thinking about improving your angling abilities then go and compete against the big boys you wont regret it .