Saturday, 14 April 2018

Marsh AC Monk Lakes 1 14.04.2018

One of the main reasons and pleasures with the Marsh Angling Club is that they enjoy fishing new lakes (to us). Although we have been to Monks Lakes many times we have never fished Lake 1. We have been on Lake 4 and 2 many times.
It was my time to drive the 220 mile round trip to the other side of Maidstone, so an early pick up was required for Mick. We also had my new barrow in attendance so packing the car with two lots of kit would require a change to the norm. Still it all went in and we made good time to Monks lakes arriving nice and early for breakfasts and teas.
We really did not have a clue on lake and how to approach it. I had a message from Mike M who pointed out that 6mm feeding 6mm would get a few fish. I also took some 4mm for feeding on a different line and some 8mms that have worked well on the complex in the past. I also had some expanders and cubed a couple of tins of meat. The dead reds were forgotten and were still sat in the freezer.
We had 3 banks on the lake, both sides of the spit that runs through the lake and pegs 1 -10 on the near bank. At the draw I checked to make sure Mick had drawn and in goes my hand, peg 12. OK so where is the map. It seems I was bottom peg on the spit, the wrong end looking where the wind was blowing. Still it was an end peg and had features down both edges. Mick had drawn peg 14 and with no one on 13 I would be able to see his every move. The barrow was loaded up and made light work of the relatively short trip to the far corner of the lake.

I had been told the lake was around 4ft deep so decided on fishing 5 lines and a shallow rig. I pulled out a 4ft rig and promptly chopped 2ft from it. Oh dear. Changing my plans I settled on a rig to my right at top 6 in the deepest part of the peg. Two rigs for fishing the left hand edge at 9m and 12m. A shallow rig set at a foot and a deep 2ft rig for 14m straight out in front of me. Mick had another foot on all of his deeper rigs.
I started the match fishing and feeding 6mm hard pellet via a toss-pot at 14m, nothing. A look down the edge with a piece of meat hoping to mug a fish before I started feeding produced nothing. Mick had secured a carp on the tip and also saw mud churning up on his inside line and had 2 fish in the first half hour. Clive was setting the pace though on peg 31 fishing down to the platform.It took nearly 2 hours for my first bite from the 9m right hand line on 6mm pellet. A good fish though at around 10lb. Nothing else followed for the next hour, despite changing baits regularly. I felt as if I had lost the plot. Trying to make things happen and forcing the peg when the fish were not there. I was now feeding meat on lines I had been fishing 6mms, fishing  6mms on my meat line and expanders all over the place.
I decided to concentrate on the two left hand margins going in to the last couple of hours. I would feed only via a small toss pot and see what happened. Lo and behold the float dipped and carp number 2 and 3 were in the net from the 12m line. Resting it, I re-fed and went to the 9m line and tried the same thing. Carp 4 and 5 graced the landing net. Back out to 12m and a small skimmer. Mick was now catching well at around 8m fishing meat on the deck. Clive had slowed down but Tony on the next peg was getting a few lumps down the edge late on.

I managed another 4 fish from the left hand side and in hindsight spent too long chasing another double from the right hand swim.
At the all out I felt that I did not do the peg justice, despite the depth. There were just too many options for the angler and unfortunately I tried most of them to no avail. What I should have done was to concentrate on three lines all down the edges and feed it negatively to start with feeling my way. But that's why we go fishing.
1st Mick Wright 84-04
2nd Clive Pritchard 79-00
3rd Tony Roberts 69-00
4th Troy Hillyer 60-08
5th Keith Ashby 51-00
6th Gino Exell 41-04

Mick 2
Keith 1

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Oakfield Open Red Kite 28.03.2018

Due to shift patterns I have to try and get my match fix where and when I can. Finishing work Tuesday morning  meant no Alders Farm match so both Mick and I decided on a trip to Oakfield for their open. Red Kite in winter is very much feast or famine, but no different to anywhere else. Ideally somewhere in the middle of the lake would suffice, always seems to be consistent fishing. The weather forecast was also not too good. Cold Rain planned from 0900 until around 1500 and a slight breeze bringing the temperatures down considerably.
Arriving nice and early I pulled into the car park to see Mick was already there and waiting for his breakfast. So I ordered a bacon sandwich and a mug of PG and joined Mick on the table.With everyone present and correct the 13 anglers drew their pegs. My home was to be peg 34, not where I wanted to be but fish swim so who knows. Mick had drawn peg 6, a little further up the lake on the opposite bank, although that bank did not produce much at the weekend.
I decided on fishing 3 pole lines, one at 12.5m another at 11m to the right and a margin line in front of peg 33's platform. I also set up a bomb rod thinking that with the cold rain going in, feeding the peg may be the kiss of death. I could always add a feeder if needed later on.Bait was meat, corn 6mm pellet and some dead reds.
I had Barry Eddy for company on peg 36 and we both started off on the bomb. I opted for hair rigged corn. After 15 minutes and no indications, a switch to 5 maggots and still no signs after another 30 minutes. I switched over to the pole at 12.5m, the wind was not too bad and with a .4 DT diamond I was able to fish it comfortably, however still not a sign of a fish. I could see the guy on peg 9 and Mick both have an early fish and after 90 minutes all I had was a slight dip on the float. A move to 11m with corn saw another dip on the float but nothing really positive. I played around with both depths and shotting to no avail.
After 4 hours with nothing to show for my efforts, I was getting desperate, I was soaking wet as I do not own an umbrella, I could not feel my hands that were red in colour and wrinkled. I started upping the feed down the edge. With 90 minutes left I had my first proper bite and with it a good size F1, only to lose it at the net. My day gets better. Feed again and back out and a smaller F1 around 1.5lb was on the card. Another couple of missed bites and a foul hooker gave me hope that they had moved in. Mick had snared a proper lump on the tip. And I do mean snared, he was wiping his hands dry and noticed the tip was round and bouncing.
Persevering in front of the platform, I sneaked in a couple of similar F1s around 1.5lb followed by a carp of around 7lb. A couple more foul hookers followed but nothing else came to the net.
My 4 fish went 13lb 10oz for nowhere, well beaten by those in the middle of the lake, Mick's 3 fish went 16lb, including a carp of 12lb which sneaked him into 4th place overall and the receipt of an MK Nugget. 48lb won the match, apologies for not naming the angler but I failed to get a photo of the weighing in at the end.
My doctors have said" keep your legs and feet warm". So after 6 hours in the freezing cold and rain, it has taken two hours to get warmth into my bones. Glad I went but also glad it is over.

Keith 1
Mick 1

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Marsh AC Claygate Lakes Eva 24.03.2018

As a few of you already are aware I have been undergoing various hospital tests and appointments over the Xmas and New Year periods, add in the snow," blast from the east", and his smaller brother has curtailed my fishing. The health issues are now being dealt with by both the doctors and myself, so onward's and upwards. I am happy to report that I am back into fishing mode.
My first match coincided with the start of the Marsh AC 2018 season. The venue Claygate Lake Eva. A difficult venue, but a fair one. Basically it  is full of F1s, there are odd skimmers and roach but to do well you need to plunder the F1s. There are odd carp in the lake but you cannot target them. If you nick one then great.
Mick had volunteered to drive and although we had arranged to meet up at 0530. I was wide awake by 4am and looking forward to the day. I had not been out since early December and who know's what my gear was like. It looked alright from the outside of tubes, no moisture lingering about. My bag had been emptied of all rot able matter prior to packing some Micros,4mm, 6mm GOT sinking pellets, meat. Troy had agreed to pick me up some maggot in case it was really hard. If I hard left anything behind then so be it.
As is always the case with Claygate we tend to stop off at Monks Lake near the fishery for  breakfast and a cup of tea of coffee. Today was no exception.
Arriving in the car park at Claygate, we could see a few of the others unloading their gear and renewing acquaintances from last October. Hand shakes all round, club and match fees paid, it was onto the draw. Unfortunately only 9 anglers made it to the draw. As is customary, I let Mick draw his flyer before I went into the bag. Myself Peg 22, a double peg at the entrance to the lake close to the island where hopefully a few fish will be lurking. Mick had indeed drawn well Peg 3 on the opposite bank and a good area for F1s. The other MK member is Troy, pegged on another good peg 31 with the gap of the island to go at.
I planned to fish a couple of spots along the edge of the island either side of a small snag at 12.5m. An area around a metre off the island at 14m and a 2+2 line where I had the same depth as across at 12.5m. I also set up a small .2g DS Green for up in the water.

All were tied to .17 NGuage to .15 of the same. .3g DT Diamonds with a small bulk around 6 inches from either a size 16B911F1 or a size 18. White Hydro completed the set up.
I started off feeding micros with a 6mm banded hard pellet on the hook and first put in, I had an F1 around 1 1/2lb and it was if I had not been away. That feeling stayed with me as I foul hooked my next 3 fish losing them all. In hindsight I think it was because I was lifting at every small dink.A quiet remainder of the hour with a couple of smaller fish. Simon opposite was catching well, small fish but he did have a carp of around 7lb hooked in the fin safely netted. Tony next door was dobbing bread along the reed line, he had nicked a few fish and to be fair there was not a lot between any of us. Clive was catching switching between pole and the tip.
A look on the 14m line resulted in another F1 around 1 1/2lb but it was getting harder, bites were getting more difficult to read. Simon was the only one really catching the rest were just trying to catch up. Chairman Dave, came for a walk admitting to 4 fish,

Troy getting the Rods Ready

Troy on 5 and Terry on 3, we were all in front of those scores but not by a lot. I needed to up the catch rate and decided to ping 4 or 5 4mm pellets over my lines to see if this made any difference to the catch rate. It did, by keeping a regular few pellets trickling through the water column, a few fish came. I had to wait for a bite but they were more positive. 

Tony's dobbing had slowed, maggots brought roach and perch into his swim. 
Simon had slowed down whilst Clive was still nicking odd fish on the tip between the island.

At the all out I felt as though I had needed another 30 minutes to pip Simon. I think I got the tactics right eventually but it took too long for the brain to engage. But that's fishing.
1st Simon Watkins     36-00
2nd Keith Ashby        34-00
3rd Mick Wright        32-08
4th Clive Pritchard     29-00
5th Tony Roberts       26-08
6th Jim Boase            25-04
7th Dave Collier        25-00
8th Troy Hillyer         18-08
9th Terry Goff           12-04
It was great to get back out on the bank after such a long lay off. I do not think I have ever gone that long without wetting a line before.But getting your health right  is important, I am told it leaves you time to do the things you enjoy for longer. So second overall, a nice shiny MK Nugget from Mick and a new toy to play with on my next outing. A new electric barrow courtesy of Neil Dudsbury to help me getting to and from my peg. Certainly looks the part. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Oakfield Wednesday Open 06 12 2017

Last week caused a bit of a stir. I had over a hundred views on the page for not going fishing. Unfortunately, I still had the clutch issues with my car, which puts a strain on actually getting there. The weather had however improved slightly. It was still cold especially in the wind, but the temperatures had improved from -2 degrees to around the 4 mark. 
Mick had kindly offered to do the driving and with the increased traffic expected we left slightly earlier than normal. Arriving in plenty of time for a breakfast and a couple of cups of tea, meant we were well prepared. We had taken a quick walk upto Red Kite Lake and both fancied a peg in the middle of the lake nearside out of the wind and to avoid the corner pegs.
There were 17 anglers in attendance including fellow GOT Baits angler Roy Makins, who regularly contributes his sessions on various websites. 
Going into draw my hand stuck to peg 17 and a corner peg with the wind blowing in. Mick had fared slightly better on peg 9 in the middle of the lake, also with the wind in his face.
With an hour to set up I set up 3 pole lines, 7m, 11 and 12.5m I would start at 12.5 feeding at 11m in case the wind got up and it was impossible to fish longer. I would feed a little at 12.5 via a tosspot but nothing of any significance, My other line at would be corn at 7m feeding regularly by hand. I also set up a bomb rod which could easily be changed to a maggot feeder if required. Bait would be fishery 6mm pellets, dead maggot and trusty old corn.
I started off with a small pot of corn and dead reds on the 11m line and another of the same at 7m. The theory being that the bait will not disappear whilst on the bottom. The dead reds hopefully bringing in smaller fish which in turn attract the larger f1s and carp. There would then be some corn to them to feast on. 
I then picked up the bomb rod and had a couple of chucks towards the bare bank to my left. After 15 minutes and nothing I tried the open water in front of me and first put in with single hair rigged corn resulted in a good sized f1. After an hour that solitary fish was all I had to show for it. Dave Stratful on the opposite corner peg was struggling, Roy Makins had a couple of foul hookers on the tip and waggler. The guy Next to Roy though was catching well on the tip, Pete Alland also had caught. My neighbours were struggling also with a couple of small roach to show for there efforts.
I re-fed my pole lines and decided to have a look on these. I started off at 12.5 with corn and nothing, coming back to 11m and I had a small carp after around 15 minutes which was hooked under the chin. No other bites on either corn or dead reds. I tried a banded 6mm but again this proved fruitless.
Others were now catching, especially opposite. Dave had caught a couple of f1s and a carp, Roy was now getting a few, chopping and changing between waggler and pole, whilst his neighbour was also still putting a few into the net.
Going into the last 2 hours I was stuck on 2 bites and 2 fish. The remaining couple of hours were spent on the bomb with a couple of dead reds. Cast it and leave it. Two more fish followed and four in four but nowhere near enough to compete. To be fair I think I was out of it at the draw, but you never know. My weight of 16lb 5oz fared better than Mick who surprisingly had also struggled on peg 9. One carp and a few roach for a did not weigh.
We did not wait for the overall result but knew we were well out of it. I am sure Roy will inform us in due course. Well done to all the framers, I do know there was a couple of 40lb+ weights from the early pegs before Mick and those opposite must of had close to that if not more.
So that is all I have to post for this year, it has been challenging, both in learning and the MK Nugget. Mick is improving year on year and always keeps me on my toes. Many thanks to all those who have helped improve my fishing, you may not think you have but sometimes a single conversation is all that is required.
Have a good Xmas and New Year and I will see you all when the ice melts.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


Unfortunately Part 2 of 2 has been postponed for a couple of weeks.

A couple of reasons, the clutch on my car has been playing up and needs fixing, the guy I was going with has called to say he cannot make it. The weather is planned for -2 degrees overnight with a plus 1 temperature and a wind chill of -3. Now I do not mind going fishing in the cold but when faced with this scenario a couple of weeks ago, three of us all blanked, with none of us even have an indication.

Winter fishing has a lot to answer for. Saying that if I was booked into a match I would have still gone.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Alders Farm Tuesday Open 28 11 2017

Working the shifts that both Mick and I do means we have a fair bit of time off midweek to go fishing. This week will be another double header for me, a Tuesday Open at Alders and another session on Linford Lakes Black Horse Lake (Thursday) hoping for a few bream.

Tuesday's match was on Pines Lake. The lake fished quite well over the weekend and with only ten anglers on the match space was not an issue. So hopefully we would all have a few bites. Overnight the temperatures had dropped and with a bit of rain, I suspected that the fish would be in the deeper water and not come up like last week when it was consistently milder leading up to the match. So a priority at the draw would be a deep water swim, please. Peg 5 stuck to my hand and I was happy with that. Peg 4 and 6 were empty so I had a bit of room and could see Mick on Peg 3. Pete Archer sat on peg 2. Dennis on 7 and Danny Wallace on peg 9. Opposite Trevor was on 16, Sean 17, Graham West on 18, Paul Higgins on 22 and John Light was last peg 24.

Peg 5 is a cracking peg, plenty of depth for both on the deck and fishing up in the water. I also had plenty of water behind the pole line to have a go with the waggler. It is something I must admit I do not do enough of. Strange really as, when I do fish it I enjoy it. I am starting to think that we all suffer with poleitis when we go out fishing.

I started off fishing a line at 7m fishing double maggot over a half cup of micros.10 minutes in and nothing. Out to 11m with the same rig pinging a few maggots every minute or so. 20 minutes and still nothing, no liners,bites or any form of indication. A switch to the 11m deep rig with a bulk around 18 inches from a size 18 B911x. Around 10 minutes spent on this and a first bite, a nice skimmer around 1 3/4lb. Nothing then for the next 20 minutes. A look on the waggler saw the wind blowing a big bow in the line and making the float travel through the peg too quickly. However when the wind slowed you could get decent presentation. After 20 minutes of perseverance I managed a couple of small carp on double maggot. The bites coming as soon as the hook-bait hit the bottom. Back into 7m and start the whole process again, hoping that during the rotation a run of fish come. Mick had started off very well on the maggot feeder in the open water and was nicking odd fish on the pole lines. Trevor opposite was catching well on the far bank fishing away from the island spraying maggot. And although I could not see Graham or Sean I could hear a bit of splashing from behind the island. Pete Archer was targeting silvers and ticking over. I would like to say that my plan worked, but it did not. I ended up with around 7 carp and 2 skimmers for 27lb odd and nowhere but that's winter fishing.

1st Graham West 60-04
2nd Trevor Price 55-00
3rd Danny |Wallace 50lb

That's winter fishing for you though, I think I managed to keep changing things around a bit better than last week. Feeding was a bit tidier and although I only had a few bites lost fish have cost me a better weight, I would still not have got in the frame, but I worked out why I was lost 5 carp in a row and corrected it. Now I am looking forward to a day's fishing for bream on Black Horse Lake. Cold clear water, Brilliant sunshine and a maximum temperature of 5 degrees, perfect bream conditions!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Oakfield Revisited 22 11 2017

Many moons ago I used to fish Oakfield Fishery at Kingswood,  Aylesbury. They have a couple of lakes back then and rotated between Brook and Kingfisher. The owners then added a couple of other new lakes and the place started to take off. Red Kite has become their main match lake nowadays and although quite open and wind affected offers plenty of sport for the regulars.
It was a chance meeting with Dave Stratful, who now looks after the catering and matches at Oakfield , that gave both Mick and I the desire to revisit the fishery and take our chances.

With 18 booked on it would be a good test for us. The MK Nugget series is over for the year as agreed by the both of us, and although we are fishing a match, it really is just a pleasure day for us both.
We both arrived nice and early and with Dave donning his pinny behind the counter, a full English breakfast was soon being devoured by both Mick and I, a couple of cups of tea washing it down.
I had exchanged a few texts with Gary Thorpe prior to the visit and he suggested that corn may start working on the pole lines. So that was one kilo removed from the freezer. I would also set up both a bomb rod and a Atomic laced maggot feeder. I would fish these for the first hour regardless of where I drew.
I was quite happy with peg 23, I would have the wind on my back and with the breeze gradually getting up to 50mph, I was glad of it. Mick had drawn 29, again a peg with the wind on his back.
Mick would base a lot of his fishing around fishery pellets and maggots, whilst my attack would be predominantly corn with maggot as a back up.
At the all in, I cupped in half a pot of corn onto the 11m line, whilst I could hold the pole out there. I also fed a line at 6m by hand. Leaving them to settle I started on the bomb with double corn, just over half way. I could catapult 4 or 5 grains over this line. I also fed a few grains at around 25m.
I was fishing double corn on a hair rig to a size 16 QM1 and although I was getting a few pulls, they were just liners, nothing concrete. A switch to the maggot feeder brought 2 micro roach impersonating fish. So back onto the bomb.With an hour gone I saw only 1 fish caught on the bomb but Pete Alland further down on 27 was getting a few on the pole.
Out to 11m with a single grain of corn and a tosspot of corn. After 5 minutes a bite and a good sized F1 was steadily coming back to the waiting net. One last ditch run for freedom and it was off, Damn or words to that effect. Back out and a longer wait, in hindsight I probably did not feed via the toss pot at this point. But a bite did come eventually. A run of 2 or 3 F1's would come but then nothing. I did lose a couple during this spell and found that by feeding 10 grains of corn and 6 or 7 6mm pellets after every fish or 5 minutes whichever was first was the way to go. I was still at 11m but the wind was getting stronger as the day wore on.
I have ended up with 6 F1's and a single mirror carp and a couple of more micro fish for 24lb 11oz and a thank you for coming. Beaten both sides by a couple of fish.
1st Pete Alland 56-10 Peg 27
2nd Chris Davis 40-02 Peg 10
3rd Mick Wright 30-02 Peg 29
4th Paddy Mack 30-00 Peg 33
So not too far off and a few more lessons, I think a longer tail on the bomb with a softer hair and single baits may have been a better approach. Also A lighter rig .4g with spread out shotting worked better than a heavier .6g rig in the conditions.Also small corn worked well.
Mick done well creeping into 3rd spot with a few late fish down the edge on maggots and a nice brown envelope. Well done to all the framers.