Sept 5th , peg 23 Bessie’s pool
After having made a spontaneous decision to fish the charity match at Hall lane Bessie’s pool where every peg would be taken i had a few hours on the pool to sort a few things out a few days before as it isn’t a place that i fish a lot in fact i have only been twice in two years and after the practise i was pretty confident in my approach i just needed a good draw as usual but when fishing in match conditions things rarely go to plan as you will find out later .The day of the contest soon arrived and i headed off to the venue at eight o’clock after my short twenty-minute drive i got to Hall lane car-park which was nearly full but there wasn’t many faces i knew which i am used too but for some reason i didn’t feel to comfortable in fact it all felt a bit awkward , i just kept my head down till i saw a couple of lads that i had fished Weston with which made me feel a bit better and it soon came round to draw time so we all joined the back of the queue i pulled out peg 23 which meant nothing to me other than it was a long walk down the main straight as it was next to the end peg with the wind blowing that way .
As i settled in at my home for the next few hours i decided to fish a couple of lines across plus one in the channel and i didn’t expect the margin to work today with so many people on the complex ( how wrong was i )
My far-bank line was in front of the reeds where i plumbed up to find a touch over 3ft and as Hall lane is rather prone to the wind i decided to use a heavy 4×12 malman roob float with my usual 014 garbo main line with 012 garbo hook length which had a matrix rigger hook and a micro bait band .
My other far-bank line was just over a foot deep i found a flat area around a foot square a few inch away from the mud-bank , i decided to use a heavy more stable 0.3 matrix series three float which would hopefully enable me to pin my hook-bait to the deck my usual 014 garbo main line with 012 garbo hook length which had a matrix rigger hook and a micro bait band .
Channel swim this was an area i didn’t really plan on using but on my practice session another lad fishing was catching really well a proper mixed bag of fish using worm+caster and i figured if i drew a hard area it could get me out of trouble , i used a 0.6 malman roob float my usual 014 garbo main line with 012 garbo hook length which had a matrix bagger hook attached .
My bait for the day relied heavily around pellets with a bit of worm+caster mixed in ;
Two pints of 4 mm pellets
One pint soaked micro
One pint ground-bait
One pint caster
Quarter kilo of worms
Tub mixed hard pellets
As the all in sounded in the distance i put two cups full of feed on my six meter channel swim before going across in front of the reeds on my left hand side i had felt some fish here while plumbing up so i expected an instant response i also decided to trickle some pellets in through a kinder pot hoping not to scare them off , in the first ten minutes i had a few indications but nothing positive so i decided to increase the feed a bit to try to get them competing a bit more confidently this didn’t really work and with other people picking up the odd fish across i was left wondering what to do next . I tried the right hand far-bank incase they had settled there but still no response and my next option was going tight to the mud bank here i at least managed a few bites but the fish were tiny most were coming off on the way in , finally after forty minutes i had my first carp all 8oz of it but at least it saved my blank .
I had seen a few bubbles coming up from the channel so with nothing else to lose i decided to give this a whirl so i put an inch segment of worm on the hook and lowered my rig over the feed it didn’t take to long before my float dipped of course i missed it but it soon went under again this time a firm lift resulted in a 4oz skimmer flying through the air and this one came of as i shipped in , a change to double caster brought more bites but all i could attract was more small silvers not what i wanted to be catching especially as other people were still picking up the odd carp . I decided to forget my channel rig to concentrate more on my far-bank as this was the area which seemed to be were the bigger fish was coming from , i had seen a few carp knocking the reeds on my left hand swim so i went in front of them using my half depth rig and began pinging a few pellets at my float but yet again i couldn’t buy a bite .
When i looked at my timer more than half the match had passed and it was really dragging as i had only two-pound in the net i was on the verge of packing up but decided to try my left hand margin swim against the rushes were after plumbing up it was only slightly shallower than my far-bank so no need for a change of rig , yet again i kicked of using pellets feeding through a kinder pot trickling the bait in and i began getting indications almost straight away but nothing positive but at least i knew there was fish in the area i just hoped they were carp . I now had the problem of trying to catch them so after getting my thinking cap on i decided to put another section on which enabled me to fish further along my margin but this time i fed my worm+caster mix and with a full worm on the hook i emptied my kinder pot and lowered my rig over the top of it no sooner had my float settled than it shot under a firm strike resulted in yards of red elastic streaming from my pole tip At last i had a proper carp in the net
I just felt that i had a few fish on this line and i began picking up the odd carp so after biting of my bait-band i got my head down to see how many i could put in the net in my remaining two hours , by changing to feeding just casters through a large kinder pot and alternating hook-baits i kept fish coming it was only when i broke a hook length by trying to bully the fish in as the fight really hard and i didn’t want to disrupt other people’s swims with the pegging being really tight , it gave me the opportunity to give my rig a proper going over shortening my lash and putting a stronger hook-length with a more robust hook this really improved my catch rate a great deal and it’s really surprising how such little details can make such a difference .
The all out sounded in the distance and it came too soon for my liking it was just a shame that i hadn’t found them sooner , i felt that i had fished the correct areas in my peg but used the wrong bait and if i had not gone for the couple of hours during the week were i caught extremely well on pellets i would have no doubt been using maggots like 80 per cent of the other anglers here . For a change i was too engrossed with my trying to get out as many carp as possible i had forgotten to use my clicker i didn’t have a clue what weight i had but after packing up and still no signs of the weigh-in i had a sly look which resulted in me thinking i had gone over my net limit , rumours came down the straight that it had fished really hard all over the lake and as it turned out my section contained some nice bags of fish with a ton coming from the end peg then a 70lb , a 60lb and my 50lb nearly all of which i caught in the last two hours .
After packing my gear into the van i went to see how my mates had got on a couple had mid twenty pound weights but one had a high 70lb which managed to get him 4th and as it turned out with him framing i somehow managed to get second in section by treble default , i didn’t really feel that i had earned it but it was my first envelope for a while so i will take it and i just hope that there is plenty more to follow , well done to Matty Ruddy for winning the charity match for the third year running with 110lb from peg eight . At the moment it seems that i am only managing to compete in half of the match but by surrounding myself in a better standard of angler i hope that i can learn enough to fish a full match for a change . My next match will be the pole+match fishing subscriber classic at Tunnel barn farm in Shrewley on Friday i think that there will be nearly two hundred fishing and every lake will be in the draw bag as you would imagine i am really looking forward to it , after that all eyes will be on the natural bait festival at Weston pools and i might have a little birthday surprise before then if i can fit it in .
August 31st , Stretton peg 22
It had been a few weeks since my last visit to Weston pools and i would have really liked to have contested the big charity match there on the Saturday but unfortunately my wife was working over the weekend so i had to make do with fishing the bank holiday rover , we have had to endure some horrid weather in the previous few days with heavy rain plus a drop in temperature and when i woke in the morning it was still grey + drizzly but i hoped that it might improve during the day because after all i was fishing in a different country . After a pleasant drive down to the fishery i arrived in plenty time to have a look at all the waters which we could choose from and to be honest i really fancied fishing on Stretton even though i hadn’t been on it before as it had thrown up some winning weights during the week plus my mate has a club match there next Saturday , after speaking to a few of the regulars they agreed that Stretton was the place to be as it is usually the last water on the complex to get affected by the cold rain going in and the only trouble was a few of the best pegs had already been taken by pleasure anglers .
On getting back to the cabin it was soon time for the draw and i ended up way down the list to pick where i would be fishing today , one by one all the best pegs went with nearly 80 percent of the anglers choosing to go on Stretton and i was in two minds were to go but decided to stick to my original plan and picked peg twenty i didn’t know was a good or bad peg but at least it offered me a couple of empty spaces which is always handy . My home for the day was in the corner of the bay with as usually two really nice margins and i could even reach the next platform which is a novelty on here , i had just started plumbing up my six meter line and had shipped back to alter my float when i heard a smash behind me upon turning round i saw that a pig had run through my pole i had seen that the field was churned up behind me but other than that no signs of them anywhere ! !
i decided to fish
Margin , i plumbed up to find four-foot so used a 4×12 malman speedy float with 0.16 garbo main line and 0.14 garbo hook length with a size 18 matrix rigger hook .
Top kit , it was just a tad over four foot deep so used a 4×14 malman roob float with 0.14 garbo main line and a 0.12 garbo hook length with a size 18 matrix rigger hook .
Six meter , with it being five foot deep and as it usually tows on here with the aerators constantly on i used a 4×16 malman roob float with 0.14 garbo main line and a 0.12 garbo hook length with a size 18 matrix bagger hook .
My five pint bait limit consisted of
Two pints of corn+hemp
Two pints of worm
One pint of fishery 4mm pellets
As the all in sounded in the distance i started on my top kit between my keepnets i fed a full kinder pot of pellets then lowered my rig in among it and it didn’t take too long before my float shot under with a little stockie carp hitting the net by lifting+dropping my rig i managed to catch a couple more before the crucians moved in , it wasn’t really producing how i wanted it to but i had early primed my six meter line with a pot full of chopped worms and it was fizzing away nicely so i expected a good response when i went on it but although i was getting bites and putting fish in the net they were 8oz ide not the carp i had hoped for i did manage a couple of big f1s on it but it wasn’t how i expected it to be so back to the drawing board on how i can make my this line work as it’s costing me the extra weight needed to contend for a framing position .
With two hours of the match gone i had thirty pounds in the net and i was struggling to get a better stamp of fish on either line , i just hoped my margin lines would get me out of trouble yet again although in the back of my mind i felt it was too early but i had nowhere else to go . I had flicked a few pellets on my left hand margin for the past hour so i went over it with a 6mm on the hook luckily it didn’t take too long before my float dipped and after a spirited fight i had my first decent fish , by feeding a full kinder of pellets i managed to keep putting the odd big carp or f1 in the net although i was conscious that i only had a pint of pellets so had to be careful how i went and i found that by working my rig like you would when fishing across got me a few extra bites .
As my pellets began to run low i decided to begin feeding the other margin at the side of the platform with corn+hemp through a cupping kit and this produced some more carp including a couple of near doubles , it was at this point when i noticed my elastic fraying near the pulla bung and i had to re tie it which must have stiffened my elastic up as i began bumping fish off , i would set the hook then a good 6ft of elastic came out before it popped of and as a consequence i started to play them a bit more softly which resulted in a couple making a bid for freedom under my keepnets it was really beginning to do my head in and it took me awhile to get my composure back and thinking about it now i would have been better changing to a softer elastic using my pulla kit a bit more .
I returned to my pellet margin line and started catching well again which settled me down by swapping between the two swims i kept putting fish in the net and my clicker was working over time but i felt my quiet first two hours had cost me , i did manage another near double just on the all out which put me on eighty pounds roughly plus my silver fish net i did have a quick look at my nets and felt i could be close to my biggest match weight after i had packed up i went to catch up with the weigh in and there was a few ton weights before they arrived at my peg for the moment of truth , my first net went 54lb and I’m usually good at splitting my nets evenly so i hoped my second net went the same but it only went 45lb 12oz for an agonising 4oz short of my first ton of the year .
Saturday 20th June , Covey three peg 73
Today was my last chance for qualifying for fishomania 2015 and it was rather a funny day to be honest as i didn’t really feel up for it which was strange for me on a competition like this as i usually get really nervous about doing them , i think this might be down to the fact that i did the big festival at Tunnel barn in the week leading up to it and might have felt a bit drained . On the morning of the match the weather was a bit iffy with it being overcast and drizzly plus the wind was forecast to increase steadily during the day , after my short drive to the venue i picked up some maggots from the on site tackle shop before meeting up with a few mates who was also contesting this event and after joining the queue towards the back i didn’t fancy drawing on coveys 1-5 because they have an awful record in these big matches for some bizarre reason , when peg 73 on covey three stuck to my hand i had a mixture of emotions because i had fished it recently on an open match and caught quite well so at least i should get a good days fishing ( of course it was one of the twitter hot pegs )
On arriving at my peg which was the second one over the bridge i had a nice mud-bank with plenty of reed cover and there was also a couple of cut outs in the margin bank as well so i decided to fish a nice uncomplicated match ;
Starting between my keep-nets at 4ft
Across at either side of the mud bank at 2ft
Both right and left hand margin at 2ft
Shallow for the channel mid match and also a deck rig for fishing under the loose feed .
My bait was to revolve around ;
Worm and micro for across + margin + top kit between my nets
Maggots for fishing in channel shallow and on the deck
When the all in sounded at 11 o’clock i began on my top kit line and after a couple of feeds through a kinder pot full of worm+pellet resulted in my first f1 of the day the indications i was getting on this line where slight dinks on the float and as a result i began missing a few so i had to reduce the size of worm to allow me to hit more of them , this worked a treat with ten nice sized fish hitting the net for nearly twenty pounds and if it carried on like this i thought that i might have had half a chance but when the wind began to get a bit stronger blowing towards my right it seemed to push the fish out of my peg .
A change of tactics to fishing across was in order while i primed my shallow line at six meters towards my right which was just on the edge of the ripple , after a kinder pot full of worm+pellet i began getting liners but no bites so i needed to reduce the depth of my rig so i could get it really tight to the bank this resulted in me getting some proper indications with half a worm being the best hook bait as the weight of it prevented it getting wafted around and the bites where proper elastic rippers i added a further four f1s plus a carp on this line before faded on me .
After half the match of feeding my six meter shallow line so i expected an instant response as there was the odd bubble coming up but no fizzing which i felt ment that the loose feed wasn’t reaching the deck but after forty minutes of searching the depths and trying my bottom rig all i could manage was two ide ! ! this swim clearly wasn’t working so i began feeding my margin line one side with worm the other with just maggot to see which was best and while this settled i went back across but twenty minutes of inactivity got me putting in a new swim further towards the ripple this time i fed just maggots i got an instant response but not from the f1s but ide + small silvers not exactly what i wanted to be catching .
Ninety minutes of the match remaining and it was time for a look on my margins so with half a worm on the hook i pushed the rig tight into the cut out five minutes of inactivity before my float shot under and a firm strike resulted in an 8oz ide flying towards me ! ! but no more bites ensued on either margin so i was left with rotating my swims to try to get another bite and as a last resort i went back on my top kit line between my keepnets i started feeding heavy with maggots as this is a method which has worked for me on a few occasions when fishing at Partridge lakes , it did again today as i managed four more f1s before the all out which called time on a pretty bad match even if it was a bit expected at the start .
When the scales arrived i put 31lb on which was a bad weight for on here especially on what is usually a good peg in the opens , after i had packed up i went to the presentation i was feeling a bit dejected after my match especially with the good start i had and when they began to call out the sections covey three was won with just 54lb and surprisingly mine was won with just 34lb so yet again another second in section which was twice from three fishos this year .
Well done too Connor Barlow on winning the qualifier and another Partridge regular heading to Cudmore im sure he will have a fair few people watching him there , i just hope it fishes better than what i expect it too .
Well 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 ;
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
June 12th , peg 139
With my upcoming Tunnel barn festival not far away a confidence booster and bagging up session was what i needed , so with the temperatures rising steadily during the week and blue skies plus light winds forecast i decided to grab a few hours after work and there was no better place to go than Partridge lakes especially with Coveys 5+6 being available on day tickets .
After arriving at the fishery i grabbed a quick double cheese burger while i decided on which lake i wanted to fish , i quite fancied ago on Ribbon because it would be sheltered from the sun and so hopefully more feeding fish but unfortunately the Oap match was taking place on it plus Spey and Marsh . The recent good weights on Covey six and the fact the F1s were bigger swung it for me so that’s where i headed , on arriving at the covey 5+6 car-park i was a bit surprised to see only half a dozen anglers fishing it including Andy May who was doing a coaching session on a peg towards the bottom of the straight ( it wasn’t long before i heard the typical sound of him ooosshing away every few minutes )
I had only fished Covey six three times before and those pegs were already taken so i settled on 139 which was at the windward end of the main straight , it was the same as most on here with it being 13m wide with far-bank and margin cover . As mentioned earlier my main aim for the day was to get some confidence behind the worm approach which i would be using at tunnel barn and i decided to keep things nice and simple setting up just two rigs ;
2ft for far-bank and margin , 0.3 matrix series one float with 0.14 garbo main line an 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size matrix bagger hook .
1ft for fishing shallow along the far-bank , 0.3 matrix series one float with 0.14 garbo main line an 0.12 garbo hook length which had a size matrix bagger hook .
At 330 i was ready to get started so i filled my kinder pot full of my choppie mix with an inch segment of worm on the hook , i shipped out to the side of the far-bank reeds where i had earlier plumbed up to find 2ft depth and i deposited the feed from a height to try to draw some fish into the area . It wasn’t long before my float dipped but it weren’t the F1 i expected but a small 4oz silver , so back out i went with another full kinder pot and splodged the lot in from a height again then lowered my hook bait in among it my float only just settled before the elastic shot out this was no silver and a nice stamp f1 settled in my landing net .
The first hour went really well with a mixture of 15 f1s+carp coming my way but the constant feeding of the choppie mix had as i expected brought them up in the water this was confirmed when i started getting line bites and foul hooking fish , so i decided to pick up my 1ft deep rig and after taking a couple of stotz off so my hook bait wouldn’t drag the float under . Using this rig i increased my catch rate significantly with a fish coming every couple of minutes and surprisingly they were all a bigger stamp than i had earlier caught .
After two hours i had forty fish on my clicker and as i was approaching my final hour of the short session i decided to see what my margin was going to produce , i had been kinder potting bait in for the previous twenty minutes so when i went on this line i expected an immediate response and i wasn’t disappointed with indications straight away my first few fish were small 8oz tench but it didn’t take too long before the f1s moved in numbers . I was back catching well again although i did miss a few bites and maybe i should have gone a bit tighter to the bank which would have helped solve this problem , just before i was about to call time on my session my float flew under and i was attached to something a bit bigger than the previous F1s after a few minutes i had it under control before i slipped the net under a near 8lb carp which was a fitting end to the day .
In my three hours fishing i had caught sixty f1s+carp , a couple of barbel , a few tench and silvers for about eighty pounds which i felt was a nice warm up before my Tunnel barn festival i just hope that i can do myself proud against the big name anglers that are competing in it and i am extremely looking forward to it .
June 6th , Covey five peg 121
I was back on the Partridge lakes open match today and after Thursdays good day here on Marsh canal i was eager to get back on Coveys 1-4 so i could give my worm+caster+pellet approach another workout , as i was going to be meeting up with a couple of mates their i set off a bit earlier than i normally do so i could grab a bacon buttie and have a bit of a catch up before the draw .
When i arrived at the complex i booked on and got told the match would be taking place on Coveys 1-6 which would allow the eighty anglers contesting the match plenty of room as you will find out later this worked really well because even in the overcast blustery conditions there would be lots of weights over the ton , i was a bit sceptical that Covey six would be able to compete against the others even after Friday’s OAP match on it when 70lb was only good enough for fourth place but in fact it fished better than Covey five .
At the draw i didn’t really fancy being on five or six as those where you’re out-and-out pellet water and i was going to be using the earlier mentioned worm+caster+pellet method , for once my drawing arm let me down putting me on Covey five peg 121 although it was in a reasonable area i was up against pegs 113-115-117-119 all of which i felt were better than mine and with this in mind i decided to fish my original plan to see how this fared against those anglers fishing pellet around me .
After driving around to Covey 5+6 car-park i soon found my home for the day and luckily the wind was being kind blowing off my back as it was slightly protected from the high bit of banking behind me , with this in mind i decided to set up four rigs which would cover my options and these were ;
1ft shallow , 0.2 Matrix series three float with 012 garbo line which had a size 18 matrix bagger hook .
2ft top kit too my right , 0.3 Matrix series three float with 012 garbo line which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook
3ft top kit too my left , 0.3 Matrix series three float with 012 garbo line which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook
Top three situated in between my keepnets , 4×12 malman Roob float with 012 garbo line which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook .
My bait today was going to be ;
1/4 kilo worm
1 pint casters
1/2 pint micros
all mixed together in one three-pint bait tub and i had another 2 pints of casters for fishing shallow .
When the all in sounded i decided to start on my top three-line between my keepnets this worked well on the last couple of trips here and it did today as well , i tapped in a kinder pot full of feed then lowered my inch long segment of worm hook bait among it and after ten minutes i had my first F1 which was just over a pound this was an above average stamp for Cover five .In the next forty minutes i had a nice run of fish putting a dozen in too the net but even after being carefull with the feed my bites began tailing off , i had thrown a dozen casters on to my six meter shallow line since the match started and with a few fish topping in my swim i expected a good response but no bites after twenty minutes wasn’t what i wanted so i gave up on it and went onto my right hand margin , this produced another run of fish although they were a bit smaller than i had caught previously plus the indications wasn’t what you would normally get when worm fishing as they were being just little dinks more like when using pellet and this resulted in me missing a few because if you left them to develop into something more positive they never did , i tried a caster on the hook to see if this would improve things but they just didn’t want it and putting just an inch segment of worm on the hook ( nipping a piece off just below the saddle ) allowed me to hit more bites .
After a while my bites started to tail off so rather than emptying the swim i went onto my left hand margin this was six-inch deeper because i couldn’t get closer to the bank due to the vegetation and i had to wait longer for an indication but the fish were nearly twice as big so well worth waiting for , by swapping in between both margin swims i kept a steady run of fish coming up to the last sixty minutes when the lake seemed to shut down but unlike my usual bad last hour i decided to try something a bit different and i had began to feed my top three-line quite heavily with casters giving me some were to go , by fishing there with half a worm or double caster on the hook produced some bigger stamp F1s and carp .
The all out soon sounded and i had enjoyed my match today thinking that i had done reasonably well catching 65 fish but after speaking to the lads either side of me while packing up it seemed that i hadn’t done as well as them because one had caught 90 fish the other over a hundred , while waiting for the scales man i found out that both my neighbours had fished pellet in the margin or shallow and rumour came our way of lots of tons and one lad even had 170lb .As Mel finally came with the scales 83lb was winning the section from peg 113 , they guy to my right on 119 had 73lb and my 65 fish went 69lb for third in the section , that lad on 121 which wasn’t in my section weighed in 103 lb i think that got him fourth overall and all the top ten had over a ton so as you can imagine it fished extremely well i hope they continue to put the opens on Covey 1-6 when they are able too .
I am not planning on going fishing this week because i need to start preparing for my first ever festival which is at Tunnel Barn and with all the top names attending I’m probably going to get battered on both sides on every match but you need to fish against the best to keep improving , i will no doubt learn a hell of a lot which will only make my fishing better and then when i come back from there i have the small matter of a Fisho qualifier on my home water Partridge lakes so just a nice easy week .