pole fishing and match fishing subscriber classic at Tunnel barn farm

September 11th , peg two Top pool


Well the time has come for me to contest the pole and match fishing subscriber classic at Tunnel barn farm this is my first attempt at this competition but it certainly will not be my last , the only trouble with fishing tunnel barn was the early start needed to get there and today was earlier than usual with the rolling draw starting at 830 so i needed to get up at 5am so i could meet my mate at Llymn as for a change i wasn’t required to do the driving . The trip to the venue went extremely smoothly apart from the usual fifty mph zones and traffic build up towards Birmingham and we had a chat on how we would approach the match today . we arrived just after 8am which gave us time to grab a bacon buttie then have a quick look around the lakes which would be in the match and of all those that we saw i really didn’t fancy fishing Top pool as i had not really heard any good reports from this water and as we arrived back at the cabin we joined the queue for the draw towards the rear .The draw went smoothly as expected when Tom and Joe are running the event for a change my drawing hand let me down as i pulled out peg two on Top pool but to be fair it was in probably the best area of the lake but all ideas of a framing place had gone out of the window so concentrating on a section or maybe lake win was my aim of the day , on arriving at my home for the next few hours i found it situated in the bowl towards the rear of the lake it had an island straight in front which was 13m away and i then had two nice reed lined margins although on plumbing up they were pretty deep at over three-foot the only down side was that i was stuck in the middle of three anglers both of which seemed to be on better more consistent pegs .


I decided to fish three areas of my peg ;

Far-bank at the side of the reeds where i had plumbed up to find three-foot which i felt was a bit deep for a positive rig so decided to use a 4×10 Joof float this would allow me to let the hook bait fall slowly through the water layers , my main line was 014 garbo with a 012 hook-length which had a size 18 Matrix rigger hook attached and a micro bait band .

Mud-line under the overhanging trees and here i found the ideal depth of 18 inch which enabled me to use a positive size 04 Ruddy float with 014 garbo main line and a 012 garbo hook-length this had a size 18 Matrix rigger hook attached and a micro bait band .

Shallow this was situated at five meters towards the left side of my swim and i had two rigs set up one at 1ft the other at 2ft they both consisted of a 4×8 Preston chianti float with 012 garbo direct to a size 20 Matrix bagger hook .

Margin-line i plumbed up carefull on both my left and right hand sides trying to find the shallowest water possible and i managed to get a depth of two foot on my left hand side which was just in a little cut out of the reeds it was level for about a foot before gradually going deeper , i used a 4×12 Malman Speedy float with 014 garbo main line and hook length i used a size 18 Matrix bagger hook .

As we did not know which lake we would be on before the draw i decided to keep things a bit simple so i just had on my side tray ;

Four pints of red+white maggots

Three pints of fishery 4mm pellets

Mixed tub of hard hook pellets


As the all in sounded my first line of attack was against the far-bank rushes with pellet and i tapped in a kinder pot full of 4mm before lowering in my banded 6mm among it , no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under with a 2lb mirror carp hitting the net before the other anglers within eye shot had stopped feeding there swims . I went straight back out and missed an indication instantly but then the guy to my right hit into a carp which went straight through my swim this was always going to be a problem with the pegging being so tight it buried itself directly into the reeds where i had fished this understandably killed my peg so i decided to try my mud-bank line ,yet again i tapped in some 4mm pellets before lowering my rig in among it and it took a couple of lift+drops before i began getting indications but i didn’t have to wait long before i had my first f1 unfortunately my next couple of fish found an underwater obstruction no doubt it was a branch from the overhanging tree and i had no alternative than to plumb up a new swim further to my left i managed to find a similar depth although it was under some low branches which could make striking into bites a bit problematic .I managed a few fish from this new swim but it just didn’t feel right upon looking around the lake other people were similar to me in just picking up the odd carp it seemed that they had switched off with some many anglers here it is also a lake that does not hold that many matches so struggled to cope with the pressure , i had fed my shallow line for the past ninety minutes and after having seen a couple of swirls i picked up my deep shallow rig hoping that they might be f1s but as it turned out they were just ide around the 6oz mark not really what i wanted to catch although i was getting one a bung , i was netting around six fish to the others single carp or f1 for a similar weight and i spent around forty minutes doing this it was really good fishing the only real downside was that i needed to break my pole down when netting them because of the hill behind me this slowed my catch rate down i figured i was in front for the section but when the guy on peg three landed a double figure carp i knew i wouldn’t catch him up by catching ide so i made the decision to concentrate on my margin swim which i had fed for the last ninety minutes .I laid my rig in against the side of the reeds where i had earlier been big potting in maggots+pellets no sooner had my float settled than it dipped under but it wasn’t the carp i needed but small perch and they was there in numbers and i decided on a re-feed before going back across on to my original swim against the reeds i picked up a couple more f1s but it was very slow going , i was going nowhere fast and i decided to put all my eggs in one basket by concentrating on my margin swim for the remaining ninety minutes as this usually gets me out of trouble on most matches these days . The only trouble was that the small fish were still there in numbers which had me thinking on how i could get among the carp+f1s on the spur of the moment i decided to try hard pellet because that was what bait i was using when i fished across so i bit my hook length off replacing it with one containing a bait band , first drop with my new hook bait and no sooner had it settled than it dipped under thinking that it was yet another small silver i half heartedly lifted into the indication but my elastic shot out with my first f1 hitting the net in what seemed like an age but it gave me renewed hope that my margin swim would finally come good .In the next twenty minutes i began picking up the odd decent fish it was by no means hectic but my weight was ticking along nicely , it didn’t take to long before i had more problems to solve because now the fish were getting really cute because when i lifted into the bites the fish were now burying themselves straight into the reeds and my elastic wasn’t powerful enough to pull them away yet again this got me tearing my hair out especially as the fish had moved an underwater obstruction meaning i was now getting snagged up on that too . I decided to set up a new swim a bit closer to me although it was slightly deeper i found it to be a bit more snag free and it produced a good run of barbel+f1s right up to the all out whistle , i was a bit unsure at just how i had got out but i reckoned that i had around forty pounds and my main challenger for the section on peg three was admitting to the same so it was all down to the scales man and after what seemed like an age the finally turned up my neighbour had 43lb and my net just scraped 46lb which was more than i thought luckily this was enough to pick up the section i was still a little down heartened as i felt i had enough fish in my peg to contest for a low ton weight which would have been enough for me to frame .IMG-20150911-00762

On getting back to the cabin we had our pre match baked potato while we waited for the official results my mate had also won his section and lake so it was a profitable trip , it was soon time for the lads to read out who had done what and it turned out that 110lb had been enough to win with 100lb being enough to frame . So after picking up our money plus a bucket full of bait we headed on out two-hour trip home and it called time on my trips to Tunnel barn farm for the year but i can’t wait to get back there again . Next up on the horizon is my natural bait festival at Weston pools i hope to fit in a few trips there before that starts at the end of September and then it will be back on Partridge lakes for some cold weather f1 fishing with pellets it has been a good few months since my last visit and i can not wait to get back there .




My peg for the day... Peg 14

My peg for the day… Peg 14


Well it has finally come round to my first attempt at a Maver match this qualifier and an early start was in order for the 250 mile round trip , the alarm went at 5.45 and i woke up a bit nervous of what to expect when i got there .

Arrived at Droitwich with plenty time to spare but this is were it went a bit pear shaped because the match ticket said HAY LANE  and that’s what i put into the sat nav but when i git there the fishery was nowhere to be seen , a quick ring to Woodland view and i was told i was 20 mins away and should be on HAYE LANE not the best of starts .

By the time i got their it was 815 and after queuing to book on were it turned out i was 2nd on the list and after buying some fishery pellets which were 2 bags for 7 pound , meant i had limited time for a walk round which i wanted to do because i had only seen the venue in dvds or in magazines ,i had no time for breakfast today i would just have to make do with a mars bar and bottle of coke .

The venue its self looked really nice and i just hopped it would fish well but with it being mainly carp stocked i wasn’t confident because their was ice on some corners and the aerators had been left on mixing all the cold water together it didn’t look that promising but it was the same for all the other 80 anglers fishing today .

We were fishing on front deans , back deans and areles i didn’t really know which would be best so i was going into the draw a bit blind and was just hopping for the best but at least it would give me a better idea for when i return for the fisho qualifier in June .In the queue for the draw i was surprised and a bit star struck with all the big names present all easily recognizable with the articles they right in the fishing magazines .

My home for the day was peg 14 front deans and after a short drive which meant i could park nearly behind it so no trolley was needed today , i ended up with an end peg but at the wrong side of the lake and had two aerators to contend with which were left on all match ,mixing the cold water together and causing an under tow which would effect my presentation , i didn’t hold much hope from winning from here today but might have a chance of my 12 peg section although pole fishing editor Jon Arthur was one of many big names to cope with .

My lines of attack today were ;

13m 12 o’clock line .12 garbo main line to a 16 gamma pellet hook , 5ft deep so used a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers this was my pellet line .

13m 10 o’clock line , 0.12 garbo main line to a 16 gamma pellet hook , 4 ft deep so used a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers  this was my caster and corn line .

5m line bottom of slope .12 garbo line to a 16 banded hook , 4ft deep so used a 0.3 scone float with a bulk and 2 droppers this was my hard pellet line

11m margin line .16 garbo line to a 16 animal hook , 2ft deep so used a margin float with a bulf 1ft away from the hook , this was my caster and corn line .


4ml hard pellet 1 pint

6ml hard pellet 1 pint

caster 1pint

corn 0.5 pint

4 ml expander for hook

My thinking behind these lines were that the two 13m lines are to see which bait would work best today and they would have been wider apart but for some tight pegging . The 5m line was were i had information on saying it was the best area to start while your 13m line was settling down , i wouldnt have normally put in a margin line with it being so cold but it was an end peg after all and just maybe there might be a few carp present . I did have a pellet waggler and straight lead set up but with the angle of my peg and close proximity of the aerator meant i would be only able to fish these 6m out from the margins so decided not to bother but would keep an eye out on what other people were doing .

The 2hr setting up time was plenty for me and i was ready well  before the hooter sounded , first thing to do was feed my margin line with a medium cup of corn and caster next was to feed both 13m lines with a small pot and then i was ready to start fishing , i started on my 6m line with a hard pellet on the hook this was within throwing distance but the 4ml fishery feed pellets floated and you wasn’t allowed to soak them , so the only thing i could do was kinder pot them in and soak them as i was shipping out .

The first hour was a non starter for me and majority of the anglers on my end of the lake which wasn’t a surprise after the cold over night temps which went down to minus 4 degrees on the way here in the car , the weather today was sunny with a blustery wind into my face but hopefully it would warm up enough to start the carp feeding , i kept rotating all my swims but the lack of bites were beginning to become a bit worrying , after 90 minutes i finally had a bite on my 6m banded pellet line which took me by surprise but that was my only action from that swim .

I then had a spell of bites on my 13m 12 o’clock expander swim and caught a few 2lb bream mixed with the odd roach and this turned out to be the only line which produced  any fish , i tried altering my shotting pattern for an on the drop set up and began loose feeding casters to see what response it would make , this kind of worked but they were only silvers and the guy 4 pegs to my right well away from the aerators was catching carp on the pellet waggler and i also needed to find them to be in with a chance of winning my section .My margin line didn’t produce anything which i was kind of expecting in the conditions even though i had been feeding it all match , so for the last hour i tried banded pellet shallow on a longish line in case they were backing of from the pole , i kept altering the depth of it but this didn’t work for me either and when the all out sounded i was happy that i had got the best out of my peg and no carp were present up this end of the lake , all the anglers around me hadn’t caught as much as me apart from the guy on the pellet waggler who won my lake and got 2nd overall with 39lb of carp and even lost a 6lb mirror after the whistle and a guy in the far corner who caught 29lb all on the straight lead they were both in front of me for my section  i had 9lb so third in my section against some top anglers , not the best of starts to my qualifiers but you need to draw well to compete at the and i just hope it improves for my next attempt here at the fisho match in June were it should be warmer and the carp will be feeding although 120 anglers will be fishing it .


Jason brown on pellet wag didn’t feed anything all match and caught carp at full depth , he had 6 carp in last hour when normal matches would have finished , he was casting well away from the aerator because he was told no carp was present near them.

The anglers near aerators on all lakes seemed to struggle not just me.

Role on summer the carp must be starving ,





thanks for reading and any comments would be appreciated .