Fisho qualifier at Oaks Sessay


June 5th , peg three Ash pool

 

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Today was my second Fish’O qualifier of the season and it was going to take place at the Oaks fishery in Sessay I had fished it before in last years contest where I managed a second in section from Cedar canal so I was really looking forward to it although with my van breaking down the other week I hadn’t had chance to go down for a practice but I managed to get a lot of up to date information through various social media outlets so I was pretty well prepared, it was another bit of a trek so an early start was needed again and I began packing my van just after six ready for the hundred mile trip the journey was pretty straight forward (unlike last year when they closed the motorway so I ended up late for the draw) On arrival at the fishery I met up with a couple of anglers that I knew so we had a chat on what to expect from todays match and everyone agreed that the new lakes were the place to be, after grabbing a bacon buttie I joined the growing queue for the draw and when it came for my turn I pulled out peg three on Ash pool which as luck would have it was one of the new lakes (always been good in the draw bag ) it was also somewhere that you could park behind so I had an easy day no need for my trolley, after finding my peg I was glad to see it was on the windward part of the lake although I had it blowing over my shoulder which I felt would make the other bank a lot better and I also had another angler to my left where everyone else had peg one miss one ( not the best of pegging by the fishery as putting 1+2 in leaving 3 out would have been better limiting the end pegs advantage )

On settling in at my home for the next few hours I had a good look at what was in front of me so I could make a decision on how best to target my peg , I didn’t have a lot in the way of features other than an aerator about 25m away ( which I couldn’t really take advantage of as there was a 14m limit on the new lakes ) I also had a nice cut out to my right  ( you’re only allowed to garden towards your right hand side ) so before I started I used my landing net to remove all the floating debris from inside it and I decided to have a nice uncomplicated match setting up;

Shallow , I used an 0.2 matrix series three float which had four number eleven stotz spread along the 014 garbo main line, my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 matrix rigger attached.

Deck rig at 13m and as it was only a touch over four-foot deep I used a 4×12 maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern, my main line was the usual 014 garbo and my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 matrix rigger attached to it was a micro bait band.

Top four line where I was going to be using meat so I used a 4×12 speedy float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached.

Margin line after plumbing up to find two foot and wanting a stable float I decided to use an 0.4 joof float which had a spread bulk of number eight stotz along the 014 garbo line my hook length was 012 garbo which had a size 16 guru lwg hook attached.

Bait for the day was;

Three pints of 6mm cubed meat

Three pints of 4mm fishery pellets

Small tub of mixed hard hook pellets

When the all in sounded in the distance I started my match by kinder potting some 4mm pellets onto my long line before lowering my rig over the top of it and then holding my float still, not a great deal was happening around the lake for the first fifteen minutes so with a few fish cruising about I decided to begin pinging pellets to try to draw them into my swim which worked as I began putting some fish in the net it wasnt hectic just a nice steady half a dozen an hour they was all stockie mirror carp averaging two-pound a piece the bites were only little dinks on the float and I had to be on the ball to connect with them, after around ninety minutes the fish began moving up in the water to intercept the pellets this caused me to start to get liners and this is where my match began to get away from me because I really struggled to connect with the indications when fishing shallow as I was just foul hooking more and more fish, I found it best to use my full depth rig with just a couple of stotz spread down the line allowing for a very slow fall and this allowed me to pick up a few more carp, I was contemplating putting in a small cupping kit full of pellets in to get them back on the deck but with the bottom of the lake being mostly clay (with the plumet coming back covered in it ) I felt that this would do more harm than good causing lots of fizzing and even more foul hooking so I decided to catty in more pellets but less often hoping this might work for me.

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When the problems started on my long line I began loose feeding my four meter swim by hand with meat and I decided to give this a go I didn’t have to wait too long before my float shot under ( a proper meat bite ) this resulted in another carp but this time a bit bigger at nearly three pounds and I went on another little run adding half a dozen similar sized fish in a forty minute spell , I was feeding through a large kinder pot after every fish or every five minutes depending which was the earliest as I didn’t want to make the mistake of keeping on feeding by hand as this might bring them up of the deck causing foul hookers again, it wasnt long before the bites began to tail off and I spent the next hour alternating between the two lines picking up the odd fish from each but it was no way as good as at the start ( I think most of the carp had followed the wind )

I noticed that a few of the anglers on the opposite bank had begun fishing their margins a lot earlier than I expected and was catching really well so with the other areas of my peg not really producing as I would like I decided give mine a try , I didn’t want to feed the peg until I knew how many fish were present so I put a kinder pot full of meat in then lowered my rig in over the top surprisingly my float had only just settled when it shot under and I was attached to another hard fighting carp which gave me a proper run around before I netted it , but it must have disturbed a branch in my cut out because my next fish snagged me up although i did manage to get it out with no float left on my rig . I replumbed up my margin with another section on this got me under the tree at the side of the reeds but it was a foot deeper not ideal for margin fishing and i did catch a couple more carp but unsurprisingly I suffered a lot from line bites, I even resorted to big potting in meat I hoped that it would pin them back on the deck but it didn’t really work and I spent the rest of the match just picking up the odd carp which was a disappointment after my good start .

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I didn’t have to wait too long to find out my fate as I was one of the first to get weighed in after the lad on the end peg had put 130lb on the scales then it was my turn and my 26 carp went 55lb so a nice average stamp  it seemed that Ash pool had fished really well with a few 90lb nets and most having over 60lb, my match started well probably putting forty pounds in the net in the first couple of hours but instead of it getting better it got gradually worse and I’m sure that I could have caught a lot more from my margin cut out if that snag wasnt present but that’s the way it goes sometimes im not saying I could have framed from that peg but I should have been able to threaten a ton , so it’s on to my last Fish’O qualifier at Partridge lakes lets hope I can draw a good peg again and i am planning to go down at the weekend to contest the open on Saturday & Sunday as I have not been for a good few months.

 

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Tunnel barn farm M and M match


May 28th , peg 27 Jennies pool

Today i was contesting a match at Tunnel barn farm which had been organised by David Marshall through his Facebook page Match anglers matches its format was a dozen qualifiers taking place on various dates over the coming weeks and if you win your five peg section you would qualify for the big money final that was back here at Tunnel barn it sounds simple enough but this competition has grabbed the attention of some big name anglers which should make things interesting , i originally was going to use it as some practice for the Pole Fishing Masters due to a few personal matters meant i had to cancel the festival but i was still looking forward to fishing this match because Tunnel barn farm is a very impressive fishery on its day although recently the weights had been a bit patchy especially on Jennies pool which was one of the lakes in the draw bag the other being Club pool so you can guess which everyone wanted to be on .

With the venue being over a hundred miles away so another early start was required and i began packing the van at around six o’clock ,the trip down went pretty smoothly and i even had time to stop off for some breakfast on the services before arriving at the fishery just after eight . As i was a bit early i had a quick look round the two pools and i noticed that they had done a bit of work since my last visit cutting down quite a lot of trees overhanging the water on the islands , after walking back to the cabin i met a couple of friendly faces so we had a chat while we where waiting for the draw to take place when it came for my pick i pulled out peg 27 on Jennies pool not exactly were i wanted to be but at least i had a bit of ripple and i also had one of my mates a couple of pegs down in the same section so it should be an interesting few hours .

 

My peg was a touch over 14m wide towards the far-banks although i didn’t have a proper mud bank to target , i also had an aerator towards my right but i had the rope preventing me from going right into the corner so i decided to set up ;

Top three margin where it was three-foot deep on either side and i felt this would cause all sorts of trouble in the sunny conditions , i used an 0.4 joof float with a staggered bulk along the 014 garbo main line and with the average stamp being quite big in here i also stepped up my hook length to an 012 garbo which had a size 16 lwg attached .

Top five in the channel it was five foot deep and as i would be feeding meat by hand there i used a 4×12 speedy float with a bulk plus two droppers which would allow for a slow fall of the hook bait in the bottom third of the water , i had my usual 014 garbo main line and a six-inch length of 012 garbo which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Far-bank towards the left of my peg at the side of the reeds after plumbing up i found 3.5ft in a couple of spots but nothing any shallower so i used a 4×12 maggie float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern and i used 014 garbo main line with an 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 lwg hook attached .

Shallow for fishing among the far-bank reeds and also in the channel at 11m , i used an 02 matrix series three float with 012 garbo main line which had an 010 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

three pints of meat

three pints of fishery 4mm pellets

small tub of mixed hard pellets

Just before the all in i had a nice ripple blowing into my peg with a few carp milling about in the margins and i couldn’t wait to get started , i began my match by feeding a small cupping kit full of meat on my channel swim before dropping onto my right hand margin hoping that i might snare a quick carp or two i did manage one nearly 4lb but it was hard work especially when the wind dropped and all the fish were more interested in sunbathing , i decided to give my margin swim a big hit of bait thinking that it might get them back on the deck feeding but it turned out to be a big mistake as i got liner after liner and i had to stop fishing there until it settled down a bit .

I had been loose feeding meat on my channel swim for the past forty minutes and i had noticed some bubbles coming up so i felt a few f1s might have settled on it , i layed my rig in to the side which would allow for a slow fall of the hookbait and every time my float settled i had a little dink on the float but yet again when using meat i just struggled to hit them it was really doing my head in ! ! I began firing some pellets against the far-bank rushes as this would be my next move if i couldn’t get the channel swim to work , i shortened my lash between float+pole tip plus added a couple of back shot to help me hit the tiny indications and to some extent it worked because i had a little run of four f1s all of which were over a pound , i had fed a large kinder pot of meat after every fish and it seemed that i had over done it even feeding that little amount because the f1s moved out being replaced by tiny hand sized skimmers not what i wanted to be catching.

I decided to go on my long line starting on the deck with a 6mm cube of meat and this got me a couple of quick fish including a carp about 4lb but with the sunny weather all the fish were cruising along the island causing me to have lots of liners so out came the shallow rig set at half depth , i began pinging pellets across and also onto my 11m swim to try to get them competing up in the water because a couple of lads towards my left were catching well shallow but they had the benefit of a little ripple whereas the anglers near me were struggling for bites . My across rig really failed to get going as all i could manage was a couple of lost foul hooked f1s and it seemed the fish was more interested in sunbathing than feeding , i then suffered a ninety minute spell of failing to put a single thing in the net and i had to resort to big potting on all my lines but this did not work either and probably made things even worse , it was only in the last hour when i started catching it coincided with the sun going in plus a move of swims along the far-bank closer to the right hand side aerator rope and i just kinder potted four cubes of meat then kept my rig still over the top by doing this i managed five f1s in a twenty-minute spell , i was just getting into the swing of things when disaster struck as i foul hooked a carp which took me around the corner under the rope as i tried to stop the fish going into my neighbours swim the hook pulled causing my rig to tangle around the rope and on pulling for a break the float shattered , so with time running out i dropped onto my right hand margin and i managed four f1s plus two carp on meat before the all out came it was far too soon for my liking .

The tunnel barn staff came round to do the weigh in and i was first with my two nets going a very disappointing 36lb there was also a similar weight to my left before they got better around the corner where there was two high 80lb nets but they was far from the norm as most people had less than fifty pounds , the lads on club had got on a lot better with a couple of tons plus lots of high 70lb so well done to everyone who qualified for the final and it was a strange old match giving me plenty to think about and with my van breaking down on the motorway on my way home meaning i had a four-hour wait to get towed home it gave me plenty of time to asses how it went , so if i manage to get it sorted in time my next match will be the fisho qualifier at oaks next saturday i just hope that i have a bit more luck on that one .

 

Fishomania qualifier at Heronbrook fishery


May 18th , peg 44 canal pool

Today was my first fisho qualifier at Heronbrook fishery and after contesting some of the opens on the venue in the previous three weeks i felt well prepared and was really looking forward to the match , although it was going to be a very long day because with it being a midweek qualifier i would have to set off at 630 so i could get to the venue on time with all the rush hour traffic and limited speed zones on the motorway . I arrived at the fishery just after eight o’clock and there was already a few people knocking about that i recognised so after grabbing a bacon buttie i went for a chat before having a quick walk round the waters that would be in the draw bag today ,when i got back to the cabin it wasnt far from draw time so i joined the queue about half way back and it didn’t look like there was a lot of anglers here no doubt they had got caught up in the traffic on the way here but as it turned out it was a full attendance of 160 with about a dozen reserves getting on too .

After a bit of a confusing start to the draw with people coming in from every angle i managed to get my pick and out i pulled 44 on canal which was probably the worst area on any part of the lakes and i had absolutely no chance so it was all over at the draw bag but this is the very nature of these big competitions especially the fisho qualifiers when every lake is tightly pegged , it would be hard work to even get my section from there as well but i had a couple of positives to take from it one was i didn’t have far to walk and the other was i had fished this area before on the spring league and although i struggled for less than thirty pounds it would give me an idea on how to target it .

On settling in at my home for the next few hours it was just a long straight length of canal with ten anglers in a row and it was 16m tight to the reed lined far bank , i also had a nice reed lined margin as well and to be honest it looked really nice but for some reason the fish don’t want to be down this part of the water. Like i mentioned earlier i had fished this area before so had an idea how to target and i choose to set up ;

Three foot deep tight across to the reeds and i planned on fishing pellet here so i used a 4×14 roob float which would give me total control of my rig if the wind gets up during the day , my main line was 014 garbo which had a four-inch hook length of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Four foot deep rig at 14m just at the bottom of the far shelf and i planned on fishing pellet here so i used a 4×14 roob float which would give me total control of my rig if the wind gets up during the day , my main line was 014 garbo which had a four-inch hook length of 010 garbo attached to it was a size 18 matrix bagger hook .

Top six line where it was nearly six-foot deep and i was going to be fishing meat here loose feeding six cubes every ten minutes there was also a few bubbles coming up already so i hoped that this would be my best area of my peg , i used a 4×14 speedy float which had a bulk at three-foot plus two droppers allowing for a slow fall in the bottom half of the water my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i upped my hook length to 012 garbo because i might pick up a couple of carp among the f1s .

Margin swim at three-foot which i found on my top three along each side and i used a 4×12 speedy float with a similar shotting pattern to the above as i would be using meat there ,main line was the usual 014 garbo and i upped my hook length to 012 garbo because i might pick up a couple of carp among the f1s .

Shallow rig set at two foot i would use this in the channel and also along the far bank tight among the rushes were i planned on flicking a few hard 4mm every few minutes , i used a 02 matrix series three float which had a couple of number eleven stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo that had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached to it .

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints of 6mm cubed meat

Three pints of 4mm pellets

One pint of soaked micros

Small tub of 4+6mm expanders

Small tub of mixed hard pellets

As usual for these matches they give you ages to set up and i was ready with thirty minutes to spare and it gave me chance to try to figure out how to get the best out of the peg , with the weather taking a turn for the worse in the previous few days with a lot of rain plus a drop in temperature i decided to start my match rather negatively tapping in a few micros then keeping my rig still over the top of it and i also began on my four-foot rig thinking that most anglers would go right across by doing this it should allow for the fish to back off into a safety area well that was the plan anyway . When the all in sounded i went out to 14m and tapped in some micros it took a couple of feeds before i had my first indication which resulted in a f1 about a pound , i was thinking that i might be able to catch a few more of these before needing to put in another line but after this early f1 things went quiet with no more bites in twenty minutes , then i had a really fast dip on the float which after a sharp lift saw yards of elastic pulling out of my pole and i managed to get it on to my top kit before it darted under my landing net causing my hook length to break not the start i wanted ! !

I  put on another hook length upping it to an 012 garbo just in case there was any more carp knocking about and it took another couple of feeds to settle the fish down again , i was getting a few indications on the float but i was struggling to connect with them and when i did it was either a hand sized skimmer or a gudgeon hitting the net , i put in a couple more lines along the far-bank but apart from another f1 right at the extreme of my peg i wasnt increasing my catch a great deal and as a few people had caught the odd fish tight across i decided to follow suit picking up my three-foot rig , i was still being rather negative with the feeding and could always go more positive later in the match . Yet again it took nearly twenty minutes before i started getting indications and there just seemed to be no numbers of decent fish along this part of the canal because all i was catching were small silvers , i had fed meat at six meters for the past ninety minutes and i hoped that a few fish might have settled on it , i had a bite almost instantly which was a positive sign and not long after i had another f1 yet again it seemed to be a loner things weren’t going too well but apart from the end peg to my right who had three small carp i hadn’t seen many other fish come out .

I spent a fruitless twenty-minute spell on my meat line and i had seen the odd fish swirl right among the far bank reeds when i cattyed in a couple of pellets and as i expected them to be carp i changed rigs straight away putting a 6mm pellet on my shallow rig , i didn’t have to wait long for my float to shoot under at last i had found a few fish i thought but up popped a chub about six-ounce and i had another similar sized fish on my next chuck before the swirls disappeared . I then had a ninety minute spell of catching absolutely nothing from any of my lines and as i had no other option i big potted on all my lines to try to force the issue but this did not improve matters , with just over an hour of the match remaining i dropped back onto my margin swim yet again i had a quick f1 on my left hand swim and i hopped this might get me out of trouble like on most of the matches i had fished at Heronbrook but guess what it was another loner , a look on my right hand margin resulted in a motionless float for fifteen minutes then out of the blue my pole was nearly pulled out of my hands and i had to put some pressure on to try to stop it getting in the reeds which resulted in my hook length snapping ,after putting on a new one i had another ten minutes of inactivity and with the clouds getting darker as it threatened some rain i made the decision to pack up with half an hour of the match remaining like most of the anglers around me , if i had caught that last carp i might have stayed as it would have put me right back in the hunt for the section because a bit further down the section one lad had a dozen f1s but that was about as good as it got .

So that was my first fisho of the year over with catching five f1s plus a few bites+pieces for about ten pounds and after such a good build up it was a shame that i couldn’t at least have a day’s fishing on these sort of events there is always certain areas that are a waste of time and to be honest i had been reasonably lucky in my other qualifiers because i had usually drawn areas with a few fish , but it is still disappointing when you have looked forward to it putting a lot of time+effort+money into getting things prepared , to make things worse it took me over two hours to get home because of a crash on the motorway so a very long day and i just hope my next qualifier is a lot better which is on the oaks sessay but i wont be able to get down for a practise before hand .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heronbrook fishery open match on canal pool


Canal pool peg 13

I decided to have one more trip to Heronbrook fishery in Staffordshire before my first fisho of the year on Weds to see if i can put a plan in place because on my other matches here in the previous weeks i have only really caught with any frequency from the margins and if i could get the same amount of fish from another line i might have a chance but at the moment it is a bit of a long shot . On arrival at the complex there was about fifty people here no doubt boosted by people wanting a sneaky practice before the mid-week big match but with majority of the lakes being free we still had plenty room , after grabbing a breakfast fry up i went for a quick look at bridge+canal pools which ran side by side to see if any of the resident f1s were giving their presence away and i was surprised to see so many fish in the far-bank reeds i just hoped that they would be more inclined on feeding this week .When i got back to the cabin i joined the queue for the draw about half way down and when it came to my turn i pulled out 13 on canal which was a half decent area but my section would be in with both pegs on the bends plus the other stick up pegs , on arrival at my home for the next few hours it was about 16m wide tight to the far-bank although i did have some stick ups which was about a meter closer to me and there seemed to be tons of fish in them so things were looking positive for a good day’s fishing .

I decided to set up a few rigs to cover my options and these were ;

Margin swim , i used an 4×12 roob float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern my main line was the ever faithful 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached my hook was a size 16 lwg .

Top four swim , i used a 4×12 speedy float which had a bulk plus two droppers shotting pattern my main line was the ever faithful 014 garbo which had a six-inch 012 garbo hook length attached my hook was a size 16 lwg .

Far-bank shallow swim , 0.1 matrix series three float for fishing one foot deep it had just two number 12 stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo attached to it was a size 18 matrix rigger hook that had a micro bait band on it .

Far-bank shallow swim , 0.2 matrix series three float for fishing one foot deep it had just two number 12 stotz spread down the 014 garbo main line and my hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo attached to it was a size 18 matrix rigger hook that had a micro bait band on it .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of meat

3 pints of 4mm pellets

Half kilo of worms

Small tub mixed hard pellets

After a bit of a confusing start to the match as nobody quite knew when the all in sounded and it was up to the rumour mill to inform us , i decided to go straight out to the far-bank with my 2ft rig where i could see the fish knocking in the reeds but before i did i fired in a couple of pouches of 4mm pellets and also chucked some cubes of meat onto my top four swim , it didn’t take to long before i had my first which was an f1 over a pound and i would be happy catching these all day i managed half a dozen of these in the first hour i got into a nice routine of ;

feed ship out

hook a fish then feed again

un-hook the fish feed my meat line then ship out

But i was missing loads of bites and a change to my shallower rig didn’t really improve things so i went back to my 2ft rig , it was noticeable that i would only get a proper bite as the rig fell through the water but it was hard presenting my rig like this with all the reeds along the far-bank , with my constant feeding i expected the fish to settle down a bit so i could start hitting more indications but if anything it got worse and with the fish slurping in the reeds i had to resort to using a really shallow rig over shotted to catch anything but even that wasnt working to well . After a couple of hours the wind started blowing slightly to my right which seemed to take the fish out of the peg with indications and knocking in the reeds stopping altogether , i decided to give my meat line ago to see if anything had settled on it as i had seen a couple of bubbles coming up and i had a big f1 straight away before i was back to missing bites which has blighted me on this line for the previous few matches here , i eventually managed to connect with a couple which resulted in two hand sized f1s not exactly what i wanted to be catching so i put a full cupping kit of meat in before going back across .

The rest seemed to have done it some good as i managed to catch two big f1s on my two foot rig before bites deserted me and i needed another line to get a few bites from so i could rotate the swims , i started priming my margins one with worm the other meat+pellets and while it settled i had a look on my 4m line which produced another quick f1 before i was back missing bites so i went back across for a couple of shallow fish . I was keeping up with the anglers around me but i could do with my margin producing like it had on previous matches first look on my left hand worm line and a big f1 straight away not a bad start but then it was roach , perch ,perch so time for a re-feed before swapping sides to my right and this produced a lot better with four f1s in quick succession but when i lost a carp it killed my swim so i re-fed it , a look on my worm swim just produced more perch so i decided to spend the last hour rotating my meat swims and this produced six more f1s .

When the all out sounded yet again it called time on another frustrating match and i ended up with thirty f1s plus a couple of carp for just short of fifty pounds this was good enough to beat the anglers either side of me , but as predicted both corners had nearly a ton and the earlier numbered pegs were there was a proper ripple everyone had over a ton including a 160lb weight which won the lake , so a lot for me to think about before my fisho on weds i just hope i can draw a peg which has a ripple on it and a predict either meadow of match lake will win .

 

Heronbrook fishery , meadow pool


May 7th , meadow pool peg five

After last weekends enjoyable match at Heronbrook i was eager to get back for another go on the open and another positive was the weather as the temps were hitting 24 degrees with blue skies+light winds , i arrived at the fishery just past eight which gave me time to grab a breakfast before having a look at the waters which would be in the draw bag today as im still relatively new to the place . When i got back to the cabin it was nearly draw time and as it came to my turn i pulled out peg five on Meadow pool which did not mean a great deal but at least i was on the better of the three lakes .

I found my home for the next few hours and i was about half way down facing the road you drive down to get to the fishery , it was flat calm with fish crashing in the margins so things didn’t look too promising for a good day’s fishing but i would give it my best shot . The peg was 14m to the far-bank rushes at nearly 4ft in-depth and another meter to the cut out were the shallowest water i could find was 2ft a similar depth in the margin at four meters , i decided to set up ;

Far-bank at side of the reeds where it was 4ft deep and as i was using banded pellet i decided to use a 4×14 malman roob float which had an inch spread bulk above the four-inch hook length.

Far-bank mud line where it was two foot deep and as i was going to be using meat  i used a 0.4 jadz float which had a positive shotting pattern above the four-inch hook length .

Channel line at six meters and i would be throwing a few cubes of meat here so i used a 4×12 maggie float with an on the drop shotting pattern which would give me a slow fall of the hook bait .

Margin swim i used the same rig as for the far-bank mud line .

Bait for the day was ;

Three pints 4mm pellets

Three pints 7mm cubed meat

Small tub hard pellets

As the all in sounded i put in half a cup of meat at six meters before going across to the far-bank reeds after tapping in some 4mm pellets i lowered my rig in among it , i proceeded to lift+drop my rig which got me a bite straight away and i managed three f1s plus a carp in the first twenty minutes because there seemed to be a few fish milling about in the reeds i decided to start cattying in 4mm pellets around my float this turned out to be a big mistake as it brought them up of the bottom causing me to foul hook my next six fish , i hurriedly set up a shallow rig so i could go over the top of my loose feed but strangely i just couldn’t attract an indication maybe they were backing away from the pole tip with it being flat calm and sunny .

I decided to try my two foot rig against the mud-bank with meat and after tapping in six cubes i lowered my rig in over the top , it didn’t take to long before i began getting indications but i just couldn’t connect with any of them and thinking about it now the 7mm cubes were too big for the f1s . After a while i did start picking up the odd fish by using the smallest cube in the box which wasnt an ideal situation to be in , about two hours of the match had passed and i hadn’t got a great deal in the net which was a similar situation to the lads either side of me . I had flicked a few cubes of meat on to my channel swim and although it was earlier than i planned i decided to see if anything had settled on it but to my surprise i never had an indication but i did keep feeding it for later in the match , another rotation of my far-bank swims did not produce a great deal and when i noticed the lad to my right begin catching in the margin quite well i decided to start feeding mine i originally wasnt sure that it was going to work with the odd fish crashing about , i was careful when positioning my swim to avoid all the commotion and after flicking a couple of cubes of meat every five minutes for half an hour i decided to give it a whirl , almost as soon as my float settled it shot under and i finally began putting some fish in the net but after what happened on my last match i here i didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket so i put in another margin line to my right but this time i choose to fish pellets  and after plumbing up i cut down my far-bank rig ,by rotating the two swims i managed to keep putting fish in the net including a couple of carp around 8lb a piece , with about half an hour remaining the bites tailed off and all i could manage was two big skimmers .

When the all out sounded in the distance it called time on a rather frustrating match as i really struggled to catch across with any consistency and even my meat line didn’t kick off but after speaking to a couple of people after wards i think i know the reason why which i hope to try on my next visit here , when the scales arrived on the lake the lad on peg one put two hundred pounds on the scales for the match win , the lad to my left didn’t weigh in and the lad to my right had 140lb which was enough for the section , my net went just under 70lb and i had most of this in the final ninety minutes of the match as it turned out i was probably the lowest weight on Meadow pool because there was 13 ton catches from 20 anglers on it .

Hopefully i will be back at heronbrook next Saturday for another try at the open and i think there might be a few anglers on it as it is the last match before the Weds fisho qualifier.

Thanks for reading and i hope you enjoyed it .

Heronbrook open match


May 2nd , peg ten match lake

Match lake

Match lake

With my first fisho qualifier looming large on the horizon at Herronbrook fishery i thought it was about time that i headed down to Staffordshire to give the open match a go and after my last contest at Partridge lakes i just hoped that i could catch a few fish because struggling for six hours is never nice , on the morning of the match the weather didn’t look that bad a bit grey+windy but the temperature had risen a few degrees which can only be a positive and after loading my van i headed on my sixty mile trip to the fishery .

On arrival i grabbed a bacon buttie before booking on the match and then had a quick look at the waters that would be in the draw bag , after having a chat with a few of the locals i made my way towards the back of the queue and awaited my fate as it turned out i ended up with peg ten on the match lake i was informed that it was an end peg just after the mud bath , as i made my way round to the peg i noticed that the match lake had about forty platforms of which only one side was pegged this allowed most anglers an island chuck at around thirty meters , when i arrived at my home for the next few hours i had the wind blowing bang in my face and it looked like i would be getting drenched at some point during the day but on the plus side i had plenty room towards my left which had a reed lined margin that looked very fishy .

With it being my first time on this lake i was a bit unsure on what to expect although looking at results over the weekend it is an area that does throw up the odd ton weight so i was quite positive about the day ahead , i decided to keep things simple setting up ;

Eight meter line where after plumbing up i found it to be a full top kit deep and with the wind being so strong i used a 0.6 round bodied+wire stemed pole float , my main line was the usual 0.14 garbo and my hook length was 0.10 garbo which had a size twenty matrix bagger hook attached .

Top four margin line and i was surprised to find that it was nearly four-foot deep tight to the near side reeds , just like before i used a slightly heavier 0.4 malman roob float which had a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern because i intended to be using meat+corn here this set up would allow me to alter a few things as the day progressed.

Matrix little pig 8ft tip rod my island chuck was only about 25m so i used a 15 gram pellet feeder which i am more confident in using my hook was a size 16 guru lwg .

Bait for the day was a bit more than im used to taking with me but it is a six-hour match and i didn’t want to be caught short ;

Three pints red maggots

Two pints of meat+corn

Two pints of soaked micros

Small tub of 4mm expanders

Small tub of mixed hard pellets

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When the all in sounded in the distance i proceeded to put in two pots of maggots on my long line and before i went onto my feeder rod i decided to see if i could pick up a mug carp from my margin swim , i tapped in a kinder pot of meat+corn before lowering my rig in on top of it by holding my pole away from the reeds i could present a static bait and it didn’t take too long before my float shot under , after playing the fish to within netting range the hook pulled out this happened a further three times before i got of my box and changed my elastic from a size 12-14 matrix red as i had been expecting to be catching mainly carp to a lighter 10-12 ng green this solved the problem as i never lost another fish during the rest of the match .

My next three hours were really easy as i caught f1s between 1+3lb pretty constantly and it was only after a really heavy shower then the wind changed direction that things got a bit slower , to be honest at this point of the match i should have started a new line somewhere else in my peg before going back to my margin in the final hour when the fish would have settled down again but i was too focused on putting fish in the net and not seeing the bigger picture . I was also beginning to run out of meat+corn so decided to begin adding a ball of micros in the kinder pot but this turned out to be a major mistake as it just brought the f1s up off the deck making them harder to catch , i altered my shotting pattern to allow for a slower fall of the hook bait this allowed me to catch some on the drop but i also foul hooked a couple and i needed to get them back on the deck although i was a bit dubious about big potting but i had no other option.

Feeding that big hit of bait virtually stopped my bites and i began fearing the worse but i soon found out why as i hit into a carp around five pounds after that the f1s returned although not in the numbers as at the start of the match , with an hour of the contest remaining i was getting worried about my net limits as i had over fifty fish in the nets all of which were a decent size although i couldn’t do a great deal about it now and just hoped that i would not be too far over but it looked like the fish decided to do my favor as i really struggled in the last hour to add too my net , i had to resort to fishing an expander with a positive bulk shotting pattern before i managed to get any bites.

When the all out sounded i had 57 f1s plus a carp but i did feel that it was worth a lot more if i had fished it a bit better but as i had only brought two nets with me it wouldn’t have made a great deal of difference to my final weight , as the scales arrived at my peg there was two 140lb nets on the lake the first of my nets went 57lb and the other was over 50lb as well and as herronbrook has a fifty pound net limit not the sixty pound that i thought i ended up going over on both nets so got knocked back to a ton , which wasnt ideal as i don’t know my true weight of my catch although it was good enough for me to win the section but i have only myself to blame because i didn’t check and i suppose it is better to find out now rather than in the fisho qualifier in May where i would have been really kicking myself .

I am back at Herronbrook fishery at the weekend and with the weather steadily increasing I’m hopeful that the fishing will be extremely good maybe even a bit of shallow for the first time this year and i must remember to take an extra net , there is definitely an art form in catching a big weight of f1s and it’s something that i need to get my head around before long .

 

 

 

Hall lane fishery , Merlins pool


April 23rd , peg 34 Merlin’s pool

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With the weekend weather being a tad unsettled again after a glorious week with temps reaching the high teens i choose to fish on the Saturday as it looked like it would at least be dry although the winds was due to be pretty strong , i had originally planned on visiting Wrightington fishery but on arrival it was fully matched out and i will have to wait a little longer before i grace its banks so i was in a bit of a quandary on where to go as i had been informed the day before that there was a big contest on Hall lane Bessie’s which i would have liked to fish but had not seen any info about it on the social media sites so i decided to risk it hoping that the other lakes wouldn’t have club matches on them . As i reached the fishery there was cars everywhere because not only was there a sixty pegger on Bessie’s but also a club match on Gwen’s and another on the low numbered pegs of Merlin’s , luckily they had left the higher numbered pegs for the pleasure anglers but even then there was over a dozen along that side and i had a fair trek towards the bottom end before i could find somewhere that gave me a couple of empty pegs either side .

When i settled in at my home for the next few hours i decided to set up a couple of rigs one of which would cover two areas of my peg these where ;

14m line this was situated about two foot from the far-bank as the drop in temperature would have pushed the fish further down the slope , on plumbing up i was surprised to find it nearly four-foot in-depth so i used a 4×12 maggie float and as i would be using meat i used a staggered bulk with two droppers because this would give me a slower fall in the final third of the water , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i had stepped up my hook-length to 012 garbo and a size 16 lwg hook as the stamp of carp in here was a lot bigger than on the other waters at the fishery .

Eight meter channel swim it was around six-foot deep here so i used a 4×14 maggie float with a bulk plus two dropper shooting pattern for the same reason as above , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and i had stepped up my hook-length to 012 garbo and a size 16 lwg hook as the stamp of carp in here was a lot bigger than on the other waters at the fishery , i also used this rig on my top three-line as the near side shelf dropped away quite sharply and i would loose feed a few bits of meat here hoping that some big carp would be patrolling this area .

Bait for the day couldn’t have been simpler ;

One tin of corn

One tin of hemp

Two tins of meat

With the wind forecast to get stronger during the day i began my session by putting in two pots of hemp+corn onto my channel swim which i would top up every thirty minutes before going on it after a couple of hours , i then shipped out to 14m and kinder potted a few cubes of meat before lowering my rig over the top of it , it didn’t take to long until i had my first fish which was a carp around four pounds not a bad start and for the next forty minutes i had a good run catching a proper mixed bag of fish with carp,f1s,chub,ide and barbel hitting the net . After a while the wind increased and i was finding it harder+harder to keep my rig still so i set up a 4×14 float with a longer lash , i hoped would give me better presentation which it did but it was still hard going holding the pole still so i decided to give it a rest and went on my channel swim.

I had fed my channel swim for the past ninety minutes so i was looking for an immediate response which is what i got with another carp virtually straight away and i had a little run of fish before things died down a bit , i made the decision to start feeding with a kinder pot which turned out to be a mistake as it drawed in loads of ide of course these were nice to catch at ten ounce apiece but i was struggling to get my rig to the deck , so i decided to put in two cups of feed which would hopefully get them back on the deck making them easier to catch . While it settled i gave my top three-line a whirl as i had flicked a few pieces of meat there every five minutes and it didn’t take to long before i had my first fish which was a barbel nearly 4lb , i found it best to flick my rig out directly in front of me and drag it up the shelf a bit when it had settled this helped me to present a static bait and i would often get a bite as soon as i did it .

Going back onto my channel swim i was pleased to see that the fish had settled back on the deck and i picked up a couple more carp+barbel , it became obvious to me that if i just left my bait static on the deck it would take a lot longer to attract a bite which was totally the opposite to my top three swim , if i lifted my rig out of the water around a foot i would often get an indication as soon as it settled and this accounted for a little run of three fish for twenty pounds in a twenty-minute spell consisting of a near ten pound carp , a big barbel and a five-pound f1 . I then hooked into something a bit bigger as the elastic just shot out from the pole tip and kept on going resulting in a broken hook length which was some doing when using 012 garbo , this obviously unsettled the swim so i refeed it with another pot of hemp+corn+meat before going onto my top three-line and for the next hour i just rotated between them both picking up some nice fish from each .

With the sky getting darker as some threatening rain clouds appeared in the horizon i decided to increase my feed going in to see what response this got me , i was beginning to think that i had made a big mistake and was on the verge of packing up when my float shot under for the final time , yet again i was attached to something a bit big and as headed off into the distance i managed to add some sections to my pole which helped me get back in control , after about five minutes i had it on to my top kit but i was still struggling to get it up off the deck and i was thinking that it might have been a barbel , another couple of minutes past before i managed a glimpse of it and judging by the tail pattern it was a big carp , a few more minutes past before i finally had it in the net well i had three-quarters of it in any way and it was one of the biggest carp i had captured in a long time at a very big double nearly touching twenty pounds i don’t think the picture does it justice as it had a very broad back and a fat belly it was just a shame that my video camera had run out of battery .

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I have got a few extra days of work next weekend so will hopefully get in a couple of fishing trips i might even contest a match or two because it’s been awhile and i have some big events coming up , although to be honest I’m really enjoying fishing without any pressure so we will just wait and see .

Hope you enjoy reading my blogs and watching the videos .