Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Alders Pines Lake 23 08 16

After yesterdays exertions at Meadowlands, I still had one day off before going back to shift work. Tuesday's for me have always been about the Costcutter matches at Alders Farm. Today's match was to be on Pine's Lake and with a good turnout expected due to the Matchmen League coming to a close. Anglers were chasing those final points to make it through to the final on Bank Holiday Monday.
My day started off well, I woke up, always a bonus when your getting on a bit. I took the ten minute trip to the fishery and dipped my nets at the top. With all the scares of KHV going around it is always best to be on the safe side. A couple of bags of fishery pellet and no corn for me today.
Fifteen anglers were queueing up for a good draw and with having the whole lake to ourselves we would all have a bit of room.It was also good to meet a couple of Maggotdrowning members (getting a sneaky practice in) Davered5 and Turkish 67. My home for the next five hours was to be peg 9, an OK peg but the wind was blowing down to this end of the lake so I was hopeful of catching a few. I had Richard Brain on peg 7, Matt Kearns on peg 6 and Ian Orbell on peg 12. There was no one on 10 or 11 and this would normally provide sanctuary for the carp.
I set up four rigs to cover top two plus two and the right hand margin, plus another rig to fish in front of the platform of peg 8. Although I did not expect to use it. All tied on .18 Stroft to a size 16 Drennan Carp Margin hook, I am starting to like these hooks but have suffered a few hook pulls recently. Del Smith floats in .2 and either red hydro, orange vespe or black hydro, dependant on how they were having it.
At the all in, I potted half a pot of 4mm fishery pellets to the platform and started throwing around a dozen pellets to two plus two. After a few minutes I run the landing net under a nice carp around 5lb, a couple more followed and thought today was going to be the day, however for no apparent reason I started to pull out of and foul hook fish. After an hour I had around a dozen fish but must have lost 7 or 8 along the way. Hour two saw the same thing continue despite changes to feeding, depth, shotting, fishing a bit further in/out. It did not seem to make any difference. I reckoned on having around 70lb at this stage and although was still putting fish in the net, was still losing too many for my liking. Hour three saw my original rig on the orange vespe elastic trashed so I switched to the duplicate on black hydro. Now I do not know why but the ratio of lost fish improved and I was cruising placing 50lb in the nets. It was not too last though, half way through the fourth hour the swim died, I tried coming shallow and nicked a few but it was too slow.
At this point I made the decision to move to the right hand margin. I had fed it every half hour with a small handful of pellets since the start and first put in a small carp around 4oz, not what I expected. Second put in though was his bigger brother and and his mates were ready to follow, I was getting a bite every put in, however some of those I expect were those smaller carp, which we placed back rather than crush them in the keepnets. At the all out I estimated I had 60lb in each net for a total of around 180-200lb.
1st Charlie Lancaster      243-15      Peg 15
2nd Gary Thorpe           226-04       Peg 18
3rd Keith Ashby            219-03       Peg 9
4th Terry Lancaster        214-04      Peg 22
5th Jim Stubbings           175-06      Peg 4
6th Pete Archer              164-13     Peg 14
Overall, the lake fished well, no clear runaway winner and plenty of ton plus weights. A few of the lads topped up their points towards the Matchman League Final and are now safe.My next match will be next Tuesday, 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Meadowlands Pleasure Day 220816

When you are away with the Yam Yams you get talking about venues local to them, one of them was a place called Meadowlands, situated this side of Coventry. It consisted of two lakes, Lambsdown and Warren and is home to a good head of carp that have a liking for the pellet waggler and bomb. Again something I am still learning. I had been there last year for a look round on one of the Yam Yam matches and was impressed with the set up.
I had not been out for a while with a good friend Vic, so when it was mentioned about a trip up to Meadowlands I jumped at the chance. I arranged to meet Vic at Jack's Cafe at 0630 for the 45 minute journey to the fishery. On arrival we opted to fish Lambsdown, the larger of the two lakes. With a day ticket paid and a couple of bags of fishery 8mm pellets stored in the carryall we off around the lake. We decided to sit on pegs 47 and 48. No real reason why, probably because the car was not allowed any further round.
The plan was to fish the bomb and waggler, but I also set up a sneaky pole line just in case for corn. Not far out as it was very shallow but enough on a topkit and one. I had a selection of hookbaits that I could use, 8 and 10mm Jupiters, some 8 and 10mm standard skrettings and a few other samples that found there way into the tub.
I started off on the waggler, set around 3ft deep at around 40m, pinging was hampered by a strong left to right wind, that was gusting everytime you wanted to feed, so I was fishing slightly to me right to combat this.
Vic had started on the bomb and was soon into a couple of fish. I had my first after around 15 minutes on the bomb and a 10mm Jupiter, a good common touching double figures, another couple found there way to the net, smaller than the first but still averaging 5lb. A switch back to the waggler saw me pick up a odd fish, before it was back to the bomb. I then had a spell of foul hookers, some taking the tip round on the drop. I had a couple of looks on the pole line and was never really comfortable on it. The double corn would go and I would end up with a roach or skimmer. Understandable really when 100lb bags of silvers are caught on a venue.
Vic was still catching regularly and was always in front of me by a couple of fish. I am not sure how we should have approached the water, we just did what we thought was right and we caught on the day. Both of us had over the ton and a good practice session ahead of next years trip to Viaduct and Stafford Moor.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Alders Farm Pines Lake 09 08 16

With my secondment to working in Dagenham now over, I am now working back in Milton Keynes, but not scheduled to go back until the 16th, so it made sense to fish the Tuesday Costcutter at Alders Farm. I did not know which lake it was to be on, but have decided I need to try to learn how to fish hard pellet. Now this may sound simple to most, but trying to get the best from it, is what you need to work out. I do not take these matches too seriously, they are more relaxed and people tend to open up a little on these events.
There were 10 of us in the queue for the draw, pegs 10 to 25 on Pines Lake. My draw saw me sitting on peg 16 in the open water. I would have preferred a peg on the dam wall or the top end of the lake but it was not to be.
As I have already stated I wanted to practice my pellet fishing, so I only took a tin of corn as a change of hookbait, no corn feed, a couple of fishery 4mms bags and a bag of 6mm fishery pellets as hookers. I also had a few 8mm hookers, again as a change bait. I was going to fish the open water, 2+2 line, so set up 3 rigs to cover the 2ft depth. Two set dead depth, one at half depth. I also set up a margin rig to fish top three to my right. The two at dead depth were .20 to a size 16 B911F1 hook and a Del Smith Margin float. The half depth float was also one of Del's green slimmer range.Over the last couple of weeks I have tried a hair rigged band on the hook and this was not right. A straight band on the hook resulted in more fish in the net and less foul hookers.
I had Paul on 14 and Matt on 18, so needed to keep an eye on them. At the all in I started off on the deck feeding around a dozen pellets every 20 seconds or so. This saw me put my first fish in the net after around 10 minutes. I felt that there were not a lot of fish in the peg at this point as it was a slow start. Both Matt and Paul had a couple of fish and I was already behind. However after the first hour I had 11 fish for about 30lb and going well. Hour two saw the trend continue. I was getting bites but missing a lot, probably liners and tried the shallower rig for a couple of fish but was waiting longer for a bite. Back onto the deeper rig, and by adjusting the depth by an inch I managed to cut out a lot of the liners. A small difference but a learning, none the less.
Into the third hour, I started having a few problems, losing fish for no apparent reason, they did not seem foul hooked. I had a quick look shallow on two added sections for a single carp. I changed the feeding on the 2+2 line slightly, by doubling up the feed and sitting on it before re-placing the rig after a minute if no bite came. Feeding again and leaving for the minute and so on. I now had around 75lb in the net and pulling ahead of Matt and Paul. Matt was now concentrating down the edge. I had had a couple of quick looks down the edge for no fish, so it was time to leave it and concentrate on the 2+2 line.Hour four saw the perseverance pay off, I was fishing just off the feed by coming a half section closer and the bites were more direct. Into the last hour I was getting a few fish, but they were all small fish at around 2lb. I thought I had done enough to beat either side of me so was happy with my days work. I had learnt a few new things and had a couple of ideas I think my help in the future, so a positive day.
1st Del Smith                    250-08       Peg 22
2nd Terry Lancaster          164-11       Peg 25
3rd Keith Ashby               145-09       Peg 16
4th Charlie Lancaster        144-15       Peg 12
5th Neil                             129-03      Peg 10
6th Roy Makins                123-03       Peg 13
Unfortunately Charlie fell foul of the weight limit on his keepnet and was knocked back to 50lb for the net costing him second place.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Arrans Lake 06 08 16 Marsh AC

There are some venues that I frequent that challenge me, fishing wise, Hartleylands Farm Nicks Lake is one I cannot get to grips with but am slowly increasing my weights and starting to compete. It does not help living 100 miles away and only fishing it once or maybe twice a year, but slowly it has taken shape. Another venue is Oakfield, this time only 25 mile away but still the same issue, I cannot get to grips with Red Kite Lake although I think I should be doing better. However, Today's match was on Arran's Lake near Chelmsford, a prolific water capable of anglers catching well in excess of 700lb and on its day a 1000lb of fish. I must admit I do not enjoy it, but I can understand why anglers go there. At least I only go there once a year.
Mick had volunteered to drive at promptly arrived at 0600 for the 1hr 20m trip to the main highlight of the day, Breakfast at Rosie's Cafe just 10 minutes from the venue.I can highly recommend it.
Onto the fishing, we had the first car park bank and upto the willow tree on the far bank. We had 13 anglers and could easily fit leaving a bit of space where possible. With the peg fees and pools paid it was onto the draw and with that I wanted a low number on the far bank, anything from 1-5 would have been nice, however peg 10 was to be my home. Mick had decided to hang back and where does he draw, peg 4. But he did have 2 good anglers in his section and would have his work cut out to compete. Still he did have another MK Nugget in his sights after leading 4-1 for quite a while now. I also had my eye on it and peg 10 although not ideal, looked good for a few fish.
I decided I was going to fish one line only today and set up four rigs to cover it, all shallow from 8 inches to 18 inches deep.This was on a top 2 plus short 4 but feeding shorter, I wanted to catch on a top kit if I could.However because the venue is so prolific, I knew that keepnets could be an issue in there placement. I had four out in front of me and hoped I would not need the other 3 sitting behind me. This cuts down on the amount of water in front of you, and pushes you further out than you want to fish. Hence the short four.
At the all in I started off on the 18inch rig flicking it out with a 6mm hard pellet to avoid the hordes of roach and rudd in the venue. This did not work very well as I was getting plagued with them, so a switch to 8mm and although I was still getting a few around the 8oz mark I also started to catch carp to around 5lb but mainly 4s. I was feeding regularly around 12 pellets every 20 seconds and lifting the rig out and placing it in again with regular rhythm. After an hour I reckoned on 50lb in the first net so switched to another, Tony on peg 11 had said he had about 70lb and 18 fish, I had 14 fish at this time.Clive the other side of me was getting odd fish but did not seem to be build his swim. John and Terry were catching well making regular trips to the scales with larger fish. Hour two flew by and before long I had done the second net and was into net three. Still feeding a dozen pellets short every 20 seconds or so, even if I was playing fish or unhooking them. Hour three  saw me complete the 4 four nets and an estimated 200lb bag of fish. Tony was also admitting to a double ton.
Our matches here are split into 2 x 3hour matches with a combined weight deciding overall placings.
On our bank weights were
Gino         58lb
Tony R    228lb
Keith      213lb
Clive         80lb
Terry       123lb
John        202lb
However on the far bank, Al (again) had plundered the larger fish and placed 372lb onto the scales. To lead overall by nigh on 150lb. The match was his to lose. Mick had 132lb, a large gap between us, but not unassailable on this water.The Watkins brother were also battling it out for family bragging rights and Tony was just sneaking it 202 to Simon's 182lb.
With keepnets repositioned I was aware that generally in the afternoon things improve. Hard to believe but the larger fish seem to turn up and things get madder. I had the three back up nets ready.
This time I started off on an 8mm pellet and just the top two, It took around 5 minutes for the bites to arrive, but they did and the stamp of fish improved to 5lb fish. A small difference but one that makes a huge difference to the end result. I was still feeding regularly and tried to up the feed and changing to shallower rigs to combat liners, but I was still catching and putting fish in the net. After an hour I had 21 fish for about 100lb, Hour two saw me fill the remaining two keep nets so it was onto the spares.The best depth seemed to a foot deep,but i had to keep ringing the changes as the feed was going in. With my nets replaced and back fishing It was a case of head down for the final hour. I was still catching well and a couple of foul hookers did not seem to bother the resident shoals of carp swimming in my peg. I knew Tony was still catching well and needed to keep going to the end to pip him for the section win. John was also catching but not in my section, so less focus was on him. All I could do was to keep going. Hour three saw those keepnets put to good use with regular fish filling them up. ALL OUT.
Again our bank was weighed.
Gino         151-12
Tony R     268-08
Keith        337-04
Clive        239-12
Terry        169-08
John         237-00
The far bank weights were
Tony W      283-08
Rod              72-00
Al               489-00
Keith P       245-08
Mick          241-00
Simon        244-08
Jim             154-00
1st Al Loader                  861-00
2nd Keith Ashby             550-04
3rd Tony Roberts            497-04
4th Tony Watkins            486-08
5th John Holdswoth        439-08
6th Simon Watkins          428-08
7th Mick Wright              373-08
8th Clive Pritchard          320-04
9th Terry Goff                 293-04
10th Keith Powell           245-08
11th Jim Boase               231-00
12th Gino Exell               209-12
13th Rod Turner             118-00
What a match, however to me it was not fishing, it was catching and to be honest although I enjoy the fact it is a one off club match aimed at boosting their personal best match weights, it does nothing for me.I have fished some big weight waters before with varied successes, as I have said at the top. Viaduct fishery in Somerset is an awesome venue, but you do have to work for your catch, Stafford Moor is the same. Alders Farm is not just another carp puddle, you have to work for the results. The more you put in and learn will only improve you. Give me that anyday
Well Done Al on breaking your own club record, I did say at the start you will have 700lb plus mate. MK Nugget came my way to make it 4-2. And Tony took a nugget off both Gino and his brother Simon.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Alders Farm 26 07 16 Pines Lake

Seeing as I managed a pick up last week I thought it would be rude not to give it back to them this week. Todays match was on Pines lake at Alders Farm, and with the Maggotdrowning.com website holding their annual pairs match this weekend I thought I had better post this so people attending have an idea of how it is fishing. After a net dip including the stink bag, I was off to the cafe to await the others.
There were only 7 Anglers fishing the knock up today but the lake had a few pleasure anglers on to spread the fish out a bit. There was a slight breeze blowing into the corner of peg 1 and an area that normally fishes quite well with a ripple on the water.
With all the monies paid in the draw could take place. Ricky was on Peg1, Ken on 2 Ash on 4 with Brian on 5, Dennis on 8, Matt on 10 and myself on 12. So we all had a bit of room to fish.
One thing I have found on this lake is that we over complicate things by having too many lines and fishing them all quite negatively. Today, I set up 4 rigs,two for up in the water and two deck rigs. However they were all to be fished over one line, 2+2. I had one deck and uitw rig set with a plain size 16 B911x on .20 Stroft, the other two both incorporated a hair rigged band. Bait was Corn and both 6 or 8mm fishery pellet over 4mm fishery feed pellets.
At the all in, I threw around 20 4mm pellets and started off on the banded pellet, promptly foul hooking and losing my first five fish. It was shallow, at around 20 inches so out came the shallow rig at 1/2 depth. This worked with hooking fish in the mouth but the black hydro was too soft so I switched to red and this cured the problem.After a couple of hours I had 18 fish for about 40lb. However the third hour was slow, with only 4 fish coming to the net.all taken on corn, I was having to drip feed pellets regularly with 3 or 4 grains of corn every couple of minutes.and fish shallow to get a proper bite, when it was on the deck the float was moving around too much on both corn and pellet hookbaits.
Hour 4 improved with me doubling my weight to around the ton mark, I was still having to chase the fish up and down in the water, but at least I was still catching. The only downside to the peg is that all you can see are the anglers on 8 and 10 so you do not know how it is fishing properly and whether you need to increase the catch rate.
Going into the last hour I was catching quite well, only small fish around 2-3lb but regularly and I reckoned on putting 50lb in the net in this spell. I thought I had beaten Matt and Dennis but the better pegs I could not tell. When the Scales came round I was pleased to place 156-04, Matt had 129-02 while Dennis did not weigh in. Brian then placed 226-03 on the scales with plenty of peg 5 edge fish. Ash secured only his second ton on the complex with 113-09 whilst Ken put 152-06 before Ricky was last to weigh with 222-03, pushing me into 3rd place.
Overall, it fished well and with the MD's Friday match on the lake it should continue to do so. If I was fishing the weekend I would take with me to cover the 3 days, 12 tins of corn, 8pints of maggot and at least 6 bags of 4mm fishery pellets. You do not need a lot of 6mm and 8mm pellets, but they do come in handy on the hook. It is a shame I cannot be with you guys, but that cursed word Work gets in the way. Have a good one and good luck to all of you.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Alders Farm Ash Lake 20 07 16

With a day off, I made my way over to Alders Farm for the Cheap Tuesday Open. These events normally have around 8 to 20 anglers attending and although they are competitive they also encourage plenty of banter.
I arrived nice and early, dipped my nets at the net dip and got some fishery 4 and 6mm pellets for feeding. I had with me a kilo of corn defrosting in the carryall and although the corn has not been working of late I was confident that a few fish would come to it.I also had some 6mm's for hookers and some prepared expanders.
Today, we would have the shallow bank and dam wall areas of Ash lake and with 10 of us in attendance, it was decided to pay out the winner and 2 x 5 peg section winners. One of which will be default due to the winner coming from one of them. With all the monies paid and the draw underway, peg 29 stuck to my paw. Everyone fancied it today as it had a good shaded area, which in 32 degree heat would be welcome.
I had Brainy, Hugh, Lee Newson and Nick Pringle in my section, with Charlie,Dennis, Pete Archer, Smithy and Colin Spencer making up the other section. So my first priority was to win my section and then take it from there.
I decided to fish 4 lines and see which was producing best and then concentrate on 2 lines towards the end. I opted to fish 2+2 in around 18inches of water with a Del Smith blue pattern float, dotted right down and the plan was to fish corn over pellet. Down both edges with some of Del's shallow floats, one in 10 inches the other around 14inches of water. My last line was to my right at around 2+2 at 2 o'clock. There was a slight depression here and and used the same 2+2 rig dropping 3 inches off. All were tied to .18 Stroft to a PR36.
At the all in, I opted to drip feed rather than pot in, It was hot and I did not really know how the fish were going to respond, just using a toss pot I could see how fish were reacting and fish accordingly. Placing a couple of grains of corn and filling up with 4mm pellets every put in, I was soon getting indications and fish in the net. I was feeding the other lines by hand and soon these were showing signs of fish activity. After an hour I had around 7 fish for 30lb. These fish were noticeably larger than the resident 2-3lb standard. I had a look down the left hand edge and still fishing the corn and pellet I was getting regular bites. I could see the fish coming in and going out of the swim. However by chopping and changing baits I could keep the fish coming with a 50/50 split on corn and 6mm pellets. I was hearing plenty of splashing to my right but due to a bush in the way, I could not tell whether it was Richard or Hugh catching.
With around 70lb in the net after 2 hours, I was going along nicely. This continued throughout the third hour with most of my fish coming to corn before I started foul hooking fish. I decided to stop feeding as I felt I had too many fish in the swim and this was causing the foul hookers. I did try shallowing up but in 10 inches of water there is not a lot of scope to change. I even left the swim to settle down again and tried the other edge and 2+2 2 o'clock swims, nicking a few fish from these lines before going back to the left hand edge for the last hour. I already had a ton weight and would be happy with my day.
Going into the last hour, I switched rigs to one with a shorter length of line between float and crows foot and this seemed to work better, landing a far better percentage of fish hooked. During the spell I placed 50lb in the net to end up with around 150lb and a good days fishing.
1st Hugh Crawford 242lb
2nd Colin Spencer 229lb
3rd Charlie Lancaster 223lb
4th Pete Archer 182lb
5th Keith Ashby 158lb
6th Nick Pringle 136lb
Overall it fished well, and with Hugh winning the match, I managed to secure the section by default and a brown envelope. Colin picking up the other section. Lowest weight was just under the 100lb mark.Considering that Colin drew peg 15 in suicide corner, with no wind blowing in and flat calm, he has done well to amass 229lb. Well done Mate.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Alders Farm Pines 12 07 16

What a difference a couple of month's away from a fishery makes. I have popped down for a social cup of tea and viewed Ash lake and Oak lakes but had not ventured up to Pines since about April. I had booked into the Cheap Tuesday Open on Pines lake as I had a day off and fancied a day's fishing. On arrival I did the norm and took my gear straight up to the lake and was blown away. Gone are a lot of the trees and bankside hazards. Nice solid platforms changing it from 31 dodgy pallets to a comfortable 25, all with plenty of space.It looked and felt so different.
As I just fancied a day out and was not really bothered about the match itself, I just took a couple of kilos of corn, a couple of bags of fishery 4mms and had a few 6mms for the hook. With 9 in attendance, it was simply about recharging the batteries. I drew peg 1, which used to be a decent area, when the hazards were there, as fish congregated by the brambles and it was a case of hit and hold. With no brambles now, it would be interesting to see what would happen.
My approach. Corn at 2+2 and down the left hand margin, 6mms for fishing up at 12m. Rigs for 2+2 were MW Diamonds .3g to a size 16 PR36 on .18 Stroft. For the edge it would be a Del Smith Green to a size 14 PR36 and .20 Stroft. All elastics were red hydro.
At the all in I cupped a small pot of corn and 4mm pellet onto both the 2+2 line and down the left hand edge at 11m. I started on the 2+2 line and started throwing in 6 grains of corn every 30 seconds. After around 10 minutes I had my first carp, around 2lb. Keeping the feeding to 6 grains, it was slow going, so moved a foot closer and sneaked another couple of fish before getting pestered by crayfish, 6 in 10 put ins is a little steep.I shallowed up by 6inches a nicked another fish.
After an hour I had a look down the edge as this was where I expected to catch the bulk of my catch. I was already behind both Pete Archer and Nick Pringle. After a few changes to the rig I got it to settle properly and started to catch a few more carp, nothing big but they were still pulling hard,attempting to get right into the corner or undercut banks. I lost a few fish trying to get them into open water. I was also foul hooking a fair few fish. Something we all do at Alders.
By chopping and changing lines I reckoned on 60lb at the end of the match. Not the glorious return to Alders but at least a days fishing. Both the end pegs had performed well with Pete Archer winning with 199-10, Lee Newson second with 181-15 and Charlie Lancaster third with 167-02. The rest of us had between 43lb and 80lb.