Hall lane Bessies pool

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 .IMG-20150905-00748

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 .IMG-20150905-00747

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 .IMG-20150314-00509

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 .IMG-20150314-00511

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 .IMG-20150905-00749

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 .

Weston pools , Stretton pool

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 .IMG-20150831-00738

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 .