Winter league 2018 ,Bradshaws fishery lake three

Today was the first round of my winter league at Bradshaw’s fishery and old hough but with a few thing’s going on at home I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but I forced myself to go because the longer you put thing’s of the harder they become.

My day didn’t start that well because I was late up so no time for breakfast, on arrival at Bradshaw’s I made my way round to lake five and had a quick look at the pegs in the draw because I hadn’t seen this lake before.

At the draw I pulled out peg 22 which I got told was ok but I was up against the better pegs on the split , yet again my expanders had split and as this was my main bait it was going to be a long arse day but it was my fault because I knew they were dodgy.

Started my match by picking the decent expanders out of the mush and tapping in micros at 6m, I began catching the odd f1 and skimmer but the bait just wasn’t right as I kept missing bites plus constantly shipping in and out when the hook bait fell off.

After an hour I put in a new swim at 8m towards my right and this time used banded 4mm pellets but I knew it wouldn’t be right for the small f1’s, unsurprisingly I was struggling to connect with the indicators and after a couple of hours I was on the verge of packing up and going home.

I decided to fish my long 16m swim towards the reed’s and I began tapping in 4mm pellets with a hard 4mm on the hook, this produced a few better stamp fish and when I began getting liners I tried shallow which I didn’t really expect to work at this time of year and it really turned my match around because for 90 minutes I was getting one a chuck even though I had to fight against the blustery wind.

With 90 minutes remaining the bites tailed off and the fish got smaller and I should have switched swims straight away but spent another 30 minutes on it putting next to nothing in the net and it was only when I trashed my rig did I change lines.

I went back on my original 6m swim and my expanders had dried out enough for me to hook them properly, I then had a really good last hour of the match catching some big f1’s and 3lb carp.

At the all out I ended up with 58lb for 4th in the match but with only 72lb winning I should have comfortably had that if I had done a few things better, but as it was my first match since April I was always going to be a bit rusty and I’m still not sure if I can get my spark back.


Hewlitt pit

14th September

hewlit pit

After managing to book a couple of days off work i decided to go for a few hours fishing on my local water trying to reignite my passion for the sport before my winter league starts in a few weeks but to be honest my heart still isn’t in it especially at this time of year leading up to my birthday which will be the first without my dad but anyway i forced myself to go and i could always come home after a few hours with the fishery being right on my doorstep . I planned on just using pellets today so hopefully it would be a nice easy day catching a few f1s but because i had not been here i couldn’t be certain how it would fish , it used to be a very good water for fishing shallow because it was quite deep but with the recent drop in temperature plus plenty rain going in i hoped this would keep the fish on the deck and i would not suffer with liners too much .

On arrival at the venue i was surprised to see three anglers already there and they was all fishing the far bank so i settled on my favorite peg six although this meant i had the wind blowing in my face and with the forecast rain it looked like i meant be getting wet but at least it wasnt cold , i plumbed up a rig at five meters out at a slight angle towards my left so i could play the fish in front of me without disturbing the shoal and i found it to be nearly six-foot deep so i used a positive 4×16 malman roob which is my favorite float when soft pellet fishing because it sits really well in the water with a slightly thicker tip so you can shot it to a pimple which helps to magnify the little dinks from the finicky f1s .

I began my session just after ten and began feeding a large kinder pot full of micros every couple of minutes to try to draw some fish into the peg , i would just tap the pellets in letting them fall slowly through the water to hopefully catch the attention of the f1s and i kept my rig really still once it had settled directly over where i had put the bait in setting a little trap . It took about 15 minutes before i had my first fish which was an f1 about 1.5lb and it was the slightest indication on the float which i could have quite easily mistaken for a line bite , it didn’t take long before i had the fish lined up and i even switched to a small kinder pot because i was getting that many indications but even though i had been carefully with the feed the bottom was soon fizzing like mad , i tried changing to feeding hard 4mm pellets but that just slowed the amount of indications that i was getting and when i started foul hooking the odd fish plus getting liners i decided to put in a new swim in shallower water .

My new swim was in five foot deep and only a couple of feet from my original one so i was pretty confident that i could move the shoal of fish , it took only ten minutes before i was back catching again and by clumping the micros in with a few hard 4mm pellets mixed in my catch rate was soon up to speed again . After a couple of hours of catching my expander pellets had started to break up because i had made the rookie mistake of leaving them soaking in the water for too long and i had not brought any more with me so i had to try using a banded pellet , 6mm pellets was to big making me miss too many indications and the 4mm ones meant i was waiting a lot longer for a bite than i did before , taking a shot off my rig which lifted my float bristle a touch and waiting for a proper pull under helped me hit more indications but it definitely wasnt as good as using expanders but it’s nice to try to make things work on these pleasure sessions .

When the bailiff came round to collect the money he told me that the fishing had dropped of a touch recently with most of the locals choosing to target the bigger carp in the edge on mussels and also that the matches had been stopped due to a lack of people turning up because one lad had won them all , this was a real shame because when i was just starting on the match scene this was one of my favorite venues because you was guaranteed a dozen competent anglers every week and it was an important stepping stone for me before a ventured onto the bigger contests but i suppose some people just like spoiling it for others .

my solitary skimmer in my catch full of f1s

Anyway back to the fishing and i was still getting an indication everytime i put my rig in but even though i had been very careful with the feed it was back fizzing up again , so it was time for another new swim but this time i really struggled to find a good area because there was a big snag where i ideally wanted to put it plus with the shelf being rather stoney it didn’t plumb up that well and i ended up putting another section on to try to find a flattish area . It took me about thirty minutes of constant feeding before i was getting any indications which was only to be expected with it being so far away from my original swim and i was now getting drastically low on expander pellets plus i was getting a bit bored of catching f1s because every one of them was nearly identical in size . So i decided to see if i could catch any of the big carp in here and i set up a margin rig with heavier elastic in because i had been told they are up to twenty pounds in size , i plumbed up on my top kit plus one near an overhanging reed bed were it was relatively flat and i could easily throw hard 4mm pellets around my float to attract some fish into the swim , i cupped in by remaining micros and expander mush before going over the top of it with my rig which had a hard 6mm pellet on the bait band and it didn’t take too long before i was getting indications but not from the fish i wanted because i was back catching the f1s , it was strange because i could the boil from big carp every time i hooked an f1 but they didn’t want a hard pellet today and after around four hours fishing i had managed nearly 50 f1s plus a solitary skimmer so you could say it was a good days fishing but to be honest i didn’t really feel it , maybe it was the time of year and i had other things on my mind or maybe i need the challenge of match fishing im not to sure but i hope to find out in the next few weeks after my opening winter league match on Bradshaw’s lake three .

Thanks for reading Matthews580.

Partridge lakes fishery

14th October

I have been to partridge lakes today for the open match it was due to be on coveys 1-4 plus covey six and looking at the results during the week the latter one was the place to be because the original coveys had fished quite hard due to the very unsettled weather , as its nearly the middle of October and temps are up in the late teens not that I’m complaining still fishing in t-shirts at this time of year . On arrival to the fishery there was all the usual people in attendance getting reacquainted with the coveys as it was soon coming round to winter league time and I’m going to miss it this year , as i am concentrating on the Old Hough winter league that my mate is running but i will be back here for the Individual league in January , it turned out that there was seventy anglers in attendance just your typical weekend turn out for Partridge lakes . As I hadn’t been here for quite some time nearly three months to be exact so i expected to be well of the pace and i was still really looking forward to it even though I thought that it would be tough going , it soon came round to draw time so i joined the queue about half way and when it came to my turn for a dip in the bag of doom somethings never change as I pulled out my usual end peg which was 132 on covey six which does throw up a good weight every so often ( so no pressure then lol ) although it couldn’t be that good because i had been nowhere near it in the four years i had attended the opens on here as i had sat on most of the flyers .

After settling at my home for the next few hours i had the wind blowing into the margin as the scum had settled towards my left hand reed lined corner but i didn’t have any ripple as the bridge to my right and aerator rope directly in front had prevented the ripple reaching me , i decided to set up ;

4ft,3ft,2ft pellet rigs which i would use for chasing the f1s up and down the near slope and on all of them i used  a 4×14 Md wire stemmed float with an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 16 guru pellet attached .

I also set up a shallow rig set at 18 inch because i noticed a few fish swirling near the aerator and the bridge , i used a 4×10 Md mini mag float with a small bulk of shot above the six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size twenty guru lwg hook with a micro bait band .

Bait for the match was ;

Two pints of soaked micros

Two pints of soaked 4mm pellets

One pint of crushed expander

Small tub of 4mm and 6mm expanders

I didn’t take any maggots to my peg today which i felt might have been a mistake if I wanted to fish shallow because there was a few fish knocking at the aerator and pellets do not usually work on here for fishing up in the water , i also didn’t have anything bigger than 4mm but i would give it a try but half expected it not to work and when the all in sounded I flicked my shallow pellet rig at eleven meters towards the aerator , i gave my float a couple of slaps then my elastic came shooting out which took me a bit by surprise and I lost the carp as it took me under the rope , i did not want to start feeding anything just yet as it might affect my other lines but by rotating between here and the bridge I picked up some nice stamp F1+carp in the first ninety minutes before things started to slow down this was when i picked up my catty to try to get them competing but it had the opposite effect killing the swim completely .

When this swim died I went down both edges starting in four-foot and managed a few f1s+stockies feeding micros sprinkling them in through a small kinder pot i had a 4mm expander on the hook when i began suffering with line bites so i tried clumping in the feed to try to get the fish back on the deck , this worked for a while but it wasnt right so i picked up my three-foot rig to chase them further up the near shelf this got me another run of f1s and they was all a good stamp as well , it wasnt long before the problem of line bites returned but i couldn’t get into any shallower water as the scum had began to gather really badly in front of me . I plumbed a swim across to the point of the island at 14m but the wind was making it a problem to keep my rig still and i did manage a couple of fish but i was fighting a losing battle with the blustery conditions so i gave up on it for the time being although i would give it another try when conditions allow .

I  put in a new line further along my left hand margin at the side of the scum but it was nearly four feet deep not ideal and after a couple of feeds i began catching again but the scum kept on gathering meaning that i had to keep adding sections to start new swims but at least it meant i did not have time to suffer with line bites , strangely my right hand edge towards the bridge never really got going and In the last hour I went back into four-foot at eleven meters either side of me which was the extremes of my peg and I managed to pick up the odd fish from each but it was slow going.

When the all out sounded I had managed 25 f1’s and five carp which went 64lb but i never felt in control of my peg today this was just enough to win the section and surprisingly I was also third on the lake , when I got back to the cabin it turned out that I was also third in the match which is my best performance here on these highly contested opens and it had been tough on covey 1-4, to be honest I felt that it could have been on a match winning peg if I had changed a few things and i am kicking myself for not getting the couple of extra pounds which would have placed me into the high flyer match next weekend  but I’m happy with the result on my first visit in months.

Cunneries fishery , teams of three league

October 7th

Today i was back at the Cunneries fishery for the penultimate round of the Autumn teams of three and as the Daiwa adlington team was languishing in mid table we could do with a good performance to move us up the league although in all honesty it would be very hard to make up ground on the top four , during the week leading up to the contest we had some torrential down pours and it was forecast to be continuous rain today as well , this i felt would have an impact on the weights and i thought that just 60lb could be enough for good section points that was probably only thirty-five stamp f1s which should be achievable on most of the pegs on the S canal , the Old canal was also in the match today after it had been closed for over a month and on Thursdays match it had thrown up some really good weights but that was a rover when just four anglers decided to go on it today every other peg would be which would make things a bit tougher .

After my short drive to the fishery i grabbed a buttie before having a chat with a few of the other anglers in attendance and so far the rain had held off but there was quite a brisk wind blowing towards the car park , as i had decided to stand down from the Daiwa Adlington squad after the league had finished i decided to let the other team members do a bit of the work so i relegated myself from doing the drawing duties , but it didn’t really make much difference as the captain still brought back our usual end peg this time it was in the shape of 15 S canal with the wind blowing into it and it looked really good , the only trouble was i wasnt going to be sitting on it as my home for the day was 40 S canal only a couple away from the last round where i struggled to catch a great deal so i expected more of the same this time .

When i arrived to my peg which was half way along the fourth leg i had the usual reed lined margin + far bank plus a nice mud bank and an empty platform either side of me , so at least i had a bit of room and i decided to set up ;

Top kit plus one at an angle towards my left at the bottom of the near slope and i used a 4×12 Md maggie float with a staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along the bottom third of my rig starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 guru LWG hook attached with a micro bait band .

Three foot rig for in front of the far bank reeds and five meters along my left hand margin at the far side of the weed bed , i used a 4×12 Md pellet float with an inch spread bulk shotting pattern starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 Guru pellet hook attached to it .

Channel rig six meters towards my right + left this would allow me to try a couple of different feeding patterns and i used a 4×12 Md maggie float which had a  staggered bulk shotting pattern spread along the bottom third of my rig starting above my six-inch 012 garbo hook length which had a size 18 guru LWG hook attached .

Bait for the day was ;

3 pints of red+white maggots

2 pints of micros

2 pints of 4mm pellets

small tub of 4mm expanders

I began the match on my top three and tapped in a few 4mm pellets before flicking my rig out so that it fell up the near slope even though i kept throwing in some pellets and laying my float among it , it took an age for me to get an indication and i only managed four f1s in the first which wasnt the best of starts maybe hard pellets are on their way out now that the water has started to go a bit cooler . I switched to my across swim it took a couple of feeds of micros through a kinder pot  before i got a response and for the next hour i had a good run of fish the only trouble was they were just stockies+skimmers not what i wanted to be catching if i required some good points , despite trying all sorts of different feeding patterns and moving swims i just couldn’t get through the small stuff .

I decided to give my channel swim a try which was my best area on the last round and i fed one with a small pot of maggots the other with a kinder pot of micros , by rotating between the two i managed to pick up the odd stamp f1 but never really managed a run of fish from either it just seemed there wasnt many in the area and to be honest if i had spent the rest of the match here i would have ended up with better section points but i felt that i wasnt catching quick enough so i had a look down my long left hand margin , i clumped in some micros through a large kinder pot and lowered my rig in over the top of it and i managed three big f1s straight  away i hoped that i could put a run together but it never really got going . A switch back to my channel swim got me a few more fish and i spent the remainder of the match alternating between them both picking up f1s from each , soft pellets was by far the best bait for me today which was strange because others that i had talked to did better on maggots .

When the all out sounded i ended up with 17 f1s plus a few skimmers+stockies and this went a disappointing 35lb which although beat the anglers either side of me was only good enough for 7th in my ten peg section although if i had managed another 5lb which was possible i would have had a lot better points , on meeting up with the other lads in the team they had struggled just like me so we was all a bit down with the result and as it turned out we ended up joint fifth on the day which is a lot better than we thought because i feared we might have even been last .

Theres a few weeks break before the next round so hopefully the weather might have settled down a bit and the fishing has improved , before that im off to Partridge lakes for the first time in ages and then back to Heronbrook fishery for the second round of the winter league so a busy but enjoyable weekend ahead .

MD floats

Heronbrook fishery , winter league

October 1st

I have been to Heronbrook fishery today for the first round of the angling trust winter league and I was guesting for the Stockton heath lads because we struggled to get a team together in time , even though it was only sixty miles away I hadn’t been here for over 12 months since one of the big qualifiers and I was really looking forward to fishing it , on arrival to the venue there was your usual smattering of high-profile anglers plus lots of the midlands top guys , there was even a few people from Partridge lakes in attendance so it was going to be fun competing in this match and after grabbing a bacon buttie i caught up with the rest of the lads then had a look at the waters in the draw bag , nothing had changed since my last visit it was all really tidy and well looked after i couldn’t wait to get started .

On this event you are allowed to place your anglers it was decided that I was going to be on either match lake or match pool as i had fished the first one of them a couple of times and after the team captains did the draw which made a nice change from me doing it , I ended up on peg one on the later of the two and these end pegs seem to follow me around at the moment but im not complaining although it turned out to be one of the few lakes that I hadn’t fished on here and in fact I hadn’t even seen it , i made my way to the lake and after getting there it turned out i could have driven to it but at least i will know for the next round .

The lake itself was oblong in shape with an island 14m away on my side but a bit wider on the opposite bank there was a lot of overhanging reeds so i struggled to get really tight across , there was hardly any margin vegetation and i was unsure that fishing would be an option although i did see plenty of bubbling but with it being a new lake it was very muddy in colour so it could just be the bottom settling down a bit .

I decided to set up ;

Top kit plus one which was at the bottom of the near slope i was going to fish it the same as i would at the cunneries with hard pellets and my float was a 4×14 Md roob style float which had an inch spread bulk starting above the four-inch 012 hook length attached to it was a size twenty guru lwg that had a micro bait band .

Channel swim at six meters were i would be cupping in maggots and as it was six-foot deep i used a 4×12 Md maggie float with a bulk plus dropper shoting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length was six-inch of 012 garbo which had a size 18 guru lwg hook attached .

My across rig was just in front of the over hanging reeds where it was just over two foot deep and i also used it for fishing four meters along my right hand margin , 4×12 Md roob styled float which had a staggered shotting pattern starting above my four-inch 012 garbo hook length .

Bait for the day was ;

2 pints of soaked micros

1 pint of soaked 4mm pellets

2 pints of red and white maggots

Tin of hemp and corn

small tub of mixed hard pellets

small tub of 4mm expanders

When the all in sounded I began on my top kit at the bottom of the near slope with hard pellets throwing a couple of 4mm pellets every few minutes and flicking my rig out so that it fell along the near slope , I began catching hand sized f1’s pretty constantly for the first forty minutes and i changed my shotting to a bulk just above my hook length this enabled me to get my hook bait straight to the feeding fish , I began getting line which signified something a bit bigger in the swim and i then had a carp about 8lb which took me by surprise as it just plodded around the peg before popping up at the net , all the information i could find was it was a stockie bashing water and I didn’t know they was this big in this lake .

When my near swim slowed down I then had to resort to going across at 14m to keep catching but it wasn’t really my style of fishing and I am not great doing a shipping race so i was falling a bit behind in the amount of fish i was putting in the net . With the bubbling still coming up along my right hand margin so I decided to plumb up at four meters and i managed to find a good shelf half way down the margin , i began kinder potting in some maggots and i managed a few stockies but it wasnt great i was thinking of changing it to pellets , when my float shot under and i had another decent carp in the net , after that i was back picking up the odd stockie so i put a medium cupping kit full of maggots in a hope that it would draw some more carp into the swim .

While i left it to settle i went back on my top three-line and had a good run of fish before i hooked and lost another carp so it seemed there was a few in the area i just had to work out how best to catch them ,i had another go across to the far bank but the bites wasnt coming quickly enough for my liking so i decided to spend the rest of match fishing my close in swims .After thirty minutes i went back on my four meter margin line and this got me a 4lb carp before getting broke by another , so i decided to set up another rig with stronger lines and elastic i also switched to kinder potting corn+hemp instead of maggots with ninety minutes remaining i concentrated on this swim , after shipping out with a piece of corn on the hook to see if I could get any more carp and I managed another six but also lost a couple plus got broke.

When the all out sounded I followed the scales around the lake and i ended up fifth on the lake with 70lb those lost fish cost me challenging for at least second which was a low 90lb , but I have learned a great deal and i definitely need to brush up on my shipping match if i want to challenge towards the top of the ten peg section I’m really looking forward to the next round in a fortnight but will probably end up on match lake instead , as a team we didn’t do to well and ended up towards the bottom of the league but it’s very early days yet .

Cunneries hawk pool

10th September
Today i was back at the cunneries fishery as a guest with the Stockton heath lads and I don’t usually do club matches but as it was on Hawk pool I made an exception because it will be in both of the teams of three league’s I am doing on here , have only fished it once before so needed to try a few things out and like they say practice makes perfect .At the draw I had the last ball in the bag ending up with peg 18 which i was very happy with as it is in a good area to be in and I had a bit of room , so i fancied it for a few fish even though we have had a lot of rain in the past few days and was due a bit more during the day .
I decided to set up ;
2ft rig for margin + across and i used a 4×12 MD pellet float with a spread bulk along my 014 garbo main line starting above my four-inch 010 garbo hook length .
 4ft rig at top kit plus one with maggots and i used a 4×10 MD maggot float with a bulk plus dropper shotting pattern , with the usual 014 garbo main line and six-inch of 010 garbo hook length .
Bait for the day was ;
2 pints of red+white maggots
1 pint of bagem soaked micros
1 pint of bagem 4mm pellets
1 pint of bagem crushed expander ground-bait
On the all in I started at the bottom of the near slope feeding maggots through my hand and I had a great run of ide all though they was averaging six-ounce a piece , my constant loose feeding had brought them up off the deck and there was a few swirls on top , I was missing a few bites and i didn’t expect to be catching shallow today so I changed to kinder potting the maggots in which brought the fish back to the deck. In the first hour I caught about 18lb of ide plus a few barbel and It was all going really well i even picked up a couple of f1s+carp , but i was using today as a learning exercise plus I was running out of maggots so I decided to change it to pellets to try to get some more f1’s into the swim and i put in half a cupping kit full of micros+crushed expander.
While it settled I went across to the far bank and picked the spot where i had earlier plumbed up then taped in half a dozen micros before lowering my rig in over the top , i caught a couple of quick f1s before things got a bit difficult because for the next two hours i had a nightmare with liners and foul hookers, I tried setting up new swims all along the far bank and i would get a couple of early fish before it went tits up as i just couldn’t get them to settle no matter what depth I went into and I put next to nothing in the net so I went back on my near line while I had a review on what to do next .
I started by taping in some micros then lowered my rig in over the top and i soon started catching some carp+f1s but the bites were very finicky more like winter fishing when using pellets , I had to be really careful with the amount of feed i began putting in because the bottom would fizz up quite badly if I over did it and I decided to change it back to maggots because I was catching ide a lot quicker , i  set up a new swim for pellets I slightly deeper water towards my right at six meters but this time kicked it off with a nugget of crushed expander and some micros .
For the rest of the match I rotated between them both catching a few from my pellet swim and when it began fizzing up i went go onto my maggot swim which was by far the best line but i didn’t have enough bait to do it justice , at the all out I had 54lb which consisted of 22lb of ide+barbel the rest carp + f1’s which was just enough for the match win but more importantly I learned a great deal and maybe i had suffered a bit with having too much room because at times i had a lot of fish in my peg but at least i have more of an idea if i ever draw on the lake again .

Partridge lakes

July 15th

Covey two peg 31

Today i decided on another change of venue and i had prepared all week for another try at Blundells but due to family commitments  i had to get back home pretty sharpish after the match so i choose a trip to Partridge lakes instead which was a bit more local to me and also a five-hour match unlike my original fancy of venues , it had also thrown up some nice weights recently plus it was mainly mud bank work which would come in handy for a bit of practice before the next round of mosella summer league at Hall lane as i don’t tend to do a lot of this sort of fishing  . I hadn’t visited the fishery since the fisho qualifier a couple of months ago so i expected to be a bit of the pace but it was a day’s fishing and i was really looking forward to it especially as the weather was forecast to be quite reasonable with warm temps , a light breeze blowing towards spey and overcast conditions but on the down side we was forecast to get a few heavy showers during the day but thats the english summer for you . After catching up with a few of the regulars which i had not seen for a while and  before i knew it was nearly draw time so i joined the queue towards the rear , when it came for my dip in the bag of doom i pulled out peg 31 on covey two not exactly where i wanted to be and in my opinion it was one of the worst on the complex i’m afraid that my golden arm has completely deserted me for the time being but i shouldn’t really complain because i have sat on my fair share of flyers so far this season .

When i arrived at my home for the next few hours it was completely flat calm in front of me although i did have a bit of room with two empty pegs towards my left and another to my right , i had a nice mud bank directly opposite me which had two big reed beds either side of it and i also had a reed bed either side of me in the margin so it did look promising , i just hoped that there would be a few fish in the area and taking all this into account i choose to set up ;

mud bank in 18 inch and i used a 0.3 MD diamond float with a bulk of shot above the 012 garbo four-inch hook length .

margin in 1.5ft and i used a 0.3 MD margin float with an inch spread bulk starting above the 012 garbo four-inch hook length .

pellet rig in 2.5ft for fishing in front of the far bank reeds and along my left hand margin at four meters , i used a 4×12 MD pellet float with a centimeter spread bulk starting above the 012 garbo four-inch hook length .

shallow rig in 2ft and i used a 4×10 MD mini mag float with four number eleven stotz spread along my 014 garbo main , attached to it was four-inch hook length of 012 garbo .

deck rig which i plumbed up at five meters underneath my shallow swim and as it was a touch over 5ft so i used a 4×12 MD maggie float which had a bulk plus two dropper shotting pattern , my main line was the usual 014 garbo and hook length six-inch of 012 garbo .

Bait for the day ;

2 pints of red and white maggots

2 pints of soaked micros

some ground-bait for the mud bank

When the all in sounded i didn’t think the mud bank would be right so soon into the match after the overnight rain and i began on my pellet line in front of the far bank reeds , i picked a dark reed as a marker then i dropped a nugget of crushed expander which i hoped would attract some f1s into the swim , five minutes without so much as a liner and my next move was to start taping in a few micros , a further ten minutes past before i had my first fish although i wasnt expecting it to be a gudgeon and before the match i had purposely decided to stick it out on one line for as long as i could because i felt this was something which had let me down recently , as i usually try to chase the f1s around the peg more like winter fishing rather than concentrate on trying to get my feeding right so that i could get them competing on one line which is what you need to do for a good weight  . In the next forty minutes i put four f1s + two stockies in the net but after that initial flourish the gudgeon returned in numbers which was not a good sign , i swapped swims to the other side of the reeds so i could start again and i would hopefully be able to switch between them both picking the odd fish of each , my left hand line never really got going as it only produced a couple of f1s but to be honest neither of them did and there was definitely a lack of fish in front of me .

I put two cups of ground-bait on my mud bank then went long down my left hand margin with my pellet rig in 2.5ft i started the same as i did on my across line by feeding a nugget of crushed expanders then tapping a few micros other the top , this swim got me a few stockies before bites tailed off but i didn’t have to wait too long before i found out why as i struck into something a bit more substantial which took me under the spare platform then broke my hook length so that was one nil to the carp . By continuously feeding a few pellets i began to build up the swim and i managed to pick up the odd better f1 among the stockies but it was slow going , i saw a swirl on my mud line where i had earlier fed some bait a quick change of rigs then i was shipping across and no sooner had my rig settled then it shot under , a sharp lift of the pole tip resulted in a small silver skimming across the surface and a few more followed but no proper fish maybe i was correct about the rain putting them off from going tight to the bank .

I had fed my shallow line since the match started and although i had not seen any signs of fish i decided to give it a whirl because nothing else seemed to working for me , but yet again all i could catch was small silvers and i noticed that underneath this line was a few bubbles coming up so i dropped on this just to see what had settled on it , my bait  had only just touched bottom when my float dipped under and after a spirited fight up popped a barbel which took me a bit by surprise as i hadn’t caught one from the proper coveys before , i missed a couple of quick dips on the float and i hoped that a few more were rooting around so with nothing to lose i took the option of potting in some maggots just like you would over winter , doing this got me a little run of f1s before they backed off so i gave it another pot and as i let it settle i went back across to the mud line this time i managed an f1 among the small silvers but it just wasnt right , i had a look on my long margin with pellets but that didn’t really kick off either so i spent the remainder of my match down the channel where i picked up the occasional big f1 and it was a tactic that i never thought would work during the summer months .

When the all out sounded it called time on a rather frustrating day as i just couldn’t get a run of fish but maybe there wasnt a lot in front of me today and at the start i had set myself an optimistic target of thirty fish which i did manage if i included the handful of stockies , although i did feel that i had been comfortably beaten on both sides as it looked like they had put the odd fish in the net quite often during the day and when the scales finally arrived my fish went just short of 46lb , which was more than i had thought plus i was surprised to find that i had beaten the two anglers either side of me , but i was a long way from challenging for the section as the windward end produced a 80lb+70lb and that was only to be expected , so although i didn’t really do a great deal today i strangely enjoyed it and might have had a chance from a very poor peg if the fish had turned up on the mud bank but it wasnt to be .