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 .



Partridge lakes , Maver match this qualifier

July 18th , Covey four peg 83


Well today was my last chance to fish a big qualifier this year and to be totally honest i wasn’t feeling it due to illness but having paid for the ticket in January i just had to give it a go , i found out through social media the day before the contest that there was 86 anglers due to take part in the match these would be spread over nine lakes Covet 1-6 , Spey , Marsh and Ribbon this would allow us a lot more room than on the normal open matches where a similar amount of anglers would be just on coveys 1-5 and with this in mind i expected some big weights ( i took three nets just in case )

The weather recently had been a bit indifferent with one day it being warm+sunny the next cloudy+rainy ( well it is summer after all ) we had some heavy rain overnight but on the morning of the match it was forecast to be dry with blue skies although a bit breezy , on arriving at the venue i had a quick catch up with a few of my mates that i hadn’t seen for a while and joined the queue there was a smattering of big name anglers but not too many of the Partridge regulars who had no doubt gone to see how Connor Barlow gets on in the Fishomania final at Arena lakes Cudmore .


When it came for my turn to choose their wasnt that many left in the bag but i still managed to find a flyer with peg 83 covey four sticking to my hand and on an open match i would have been more than happy with it but on the big contests the coveys don’t have a good record although with all the room today you just never know , as i arrived at my home for the next few hours in front of me was flat calm with the strong wind blowing down both sides of Covey four and this could give me a problem because all the recent framing weights had been caught shallow with a ripple obviously being an advantage allowing the fish to settle better .

With this in mind i decided to set up ;

Shallow 1ft-2ft-3ft , 0.2 drennan AS3 float with 012 matrix line with a size 20 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was orange matrix .

Margin, 0.4 ruddy float with 016 Matrix line and an 014 matrix hook length which had a size 16 matrix bagger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .

Far-bank , 0.3 joof float with 014 Matrix main line and a 012 matrix hook length which had a size 18 matrix rigger hook attached my elastic was red matrix .


Partridge lakes has a strict six pint limit so i took with me ;

3 pints red and white maggots

2 pints of 4mm pellets

1 pint corn

1/2 kilo of ground-bait

I was ready well before the 11am all in it was around this time i started feeling rough again no doubt down to the tablets wearing off and tackling all my tackle to the peg , as i had done all the hard work getting ready i had the easy part of fishing the match so i hopped my illness would settle down a bit as the day progressed and as the hooter sounded i shipped out to the far-bank where i had early found three flat areas when i plumbed up .After tapping in some 4mm feed pellets i lowered my rig in among it but five minutes without an indication wasn’t what i had expected so i brought my rig in and re-fed , this time my float had only just settled when my elastic shot out it didn’t take long before a small carp hit the net and i managed another four of them in a forty minutes spell but strangely no f1s.


All the time i had catapulted in a dozen maggots towards my left as close to the ripple as i was allowed and with the lads on both sides of me catching well shallow i decided to follow suit as my far-bank line wasnt really producing how i would like plus if i was going to catch a good weight of fish i would need to get them lined up in the water although for some strange reason i can’t get that method to work on Partridge lakes , with there not being many fish topping in the area i started on my deepest rig and i would go shallower if i began missing bites or foul hooking fish . I kept firing in a few maggots before laying my rig in through them but even though i had fed this line for nearly an hour i didn’t get any indications which wasn’t the response i had hoped for , i tried feeding heavier and changing for a shallower rig but all this produced was the odd Ide there was lots of bubbles coming up from the deck which was a sure sign that most of the maggots weren’t getting eaten on the way down and i hadn’t set up a channel rig up because i felt that the water was too warm for it too work .

I kept on feeding shallow while i went back to my far-bank swim and by working the three areas i had earlier plumbed up i managed to catch a few big f1s but with just over half the match gone i was contemplating packing up early as i was beginning to feel sick and burning up , i decided to put three cups of ground-bait plus one of corn onto my margin and if it didn’t work i would be off home i left it to settle for twenty minutes so i re tried shallow but yet again this only produced a few Ide somewhere quite big although not what i wanted to be catching .


My first try on my margin swim gave me an indication straight away which lifted my spirits and it didn’t take long before my first proper bite this resulted in a carp of around 4lb , the next hour passed in a flash with a big f1 or carp hitting the net every five minutes when the swim started to die on me i just feed with another cup of ground-bait plus corn and i might have drawn in too many fish because i began foul hooking a couple of them which resulted in broken hook lengths or trashed rigs . It took me awhile to get my new rig to work properly ( how often does that happen exactly same float but does not sit the same ) and settle my swim down ,but by going a lot tighter to the bank i began catching again although they was now f1s rather than carp but as the all out sounded i just had time to net a nice mirror , i was kicking myself for not trying my margin sooner because i had a few fish lined up and they definitely wanted to be there with the wind blowing into it but rightly or wrongly i felt that i needed to catch shallow to get a big weight .


I had 36  fish on my clicker and reckoned that would get me around 70lb but i would have a long time to find out as i was the last to weigh in on Covey four , Jon Arthur to my right had caught well all day putting 180lb on the scales which is a top weight from that peg and there was plenty weights around the ton mark before they arrived at my peg and 102lb was winning my section , my first net went 48lb which was more than i had thought and I’m usually good at splitting my fish so i figured i might have a chance for the ton but my second net only went 41lb and i ended up just under 90lb and second in section again . As per usual for on here i fished half a good match and couldn’t get them shallow but i should have known the lack of ripple would have worked against me , if i had concentrated on my margin or even set up a swim in front of empty peg 84 i could have caught a lot more but i doubt that by doing it i would have won because Spey had a 215lb weight then another 200lb from Covey three and in fact their was twenty weights over the ton out of the 84 anglers here today plus i had my best weight from Partridge lakes and my second big 80lb of the year .

After the match it took me awhile to pack up my gear as i was physically drained so i will be having a rest for the next few weeks until i can get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me starting with some blood tests at the doctors , but i hope that my next outing will be at Weston pools the first Sunday in August .