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 .