Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Viaduct Yam Yam Festival 16-21 July 2017

With the prelude to the festival over, the Yam Yam festival was now going to be in full swing. The format being that on day one we would have 12 anglers, two leaving after the match and going home, leaving 10 anglers to fish the festival proper. We had a varied mix of lakes and one unknown. Sunday was on Lodge Lake, Monday, Campbell, Cary on Tuesday, Match Lake on Wednesday, an unknown lake on Thursday as this was the open but would be either Campbell, Cary or Lodge, with Friday being Campbell again.Again we were fishing for section points on each lake with the lowest points winning the festival.You were allowed to drop one result.
Day one Lodge Lake 16th July 2017
Peg 62 was to be my home for the day, I set up a light pellet waggler and a couple of margin lines. I also set up a line to fish banded pellet at 11m and another line at 5m for meat. Starting off at 11m fishing a 6mm banded pellet over 4mm feed pellet I had a small 4oz skimmer after around 10 minutes. Frenchy next door had gone straight down to the platform and snared a carp straight away. Soupy the other side on the concrete tower peg had also had a carp. My first sign of a carp was after 30 minutes when the white hydro poured out of the pole and after a couple of minutes slowly bringing the fish back to netting range I could it was foul hooked, unfortunately as I lowered the net to scoop it bolted off and I was left with a scale. At least I had fish in the area I thought and after another 15 minutes his smaller brother was residing in my keepnet. A couple more skimmers followed before I tried the 5m meat line. I had been dripping in 4 or 5 cubes every couple of minutes and with an hour now gone I hoped any carp would have settled over it. Nothing, not even from a skimmer. A look down the right hand edge saw me lose a proper lump on double corn but nothing down the left hand pellet line. A quick couple of chucks on the waggler line saw nothing although there was a couple of swirls over the feed. Nothing took the 8mm pellet on offer. Back to the 11m line this time with an 8mm pellet banded. Float buries and after a bit of persuasion another carp joins the one already in the net. Nothing follows so back to the edge with double corn on the hook. Soupy was catching well from the flyer, whereas Frenchy was struggling. Kimble had started to pack up and was going home. With that he put his bait tray next to his platform and emptied it. Frenchy was soon on this and proceeded to catch carp regularly. I kept plugging away down the edge and nicking odd fish throughout. Del opposite was catching well at the end of his keepnets and would win his section. Frenchy winning ours.
1st Frenchy 101-12
2nd Derek 92-09
3rd Soupy 92-00
4th Bob 90-14
5th Fred 66-15
6th Paul D 63-08
My weight of 52-06 was seventh overall and good enough for 2 points in the festival. A good start. Vic ended up with 37-10 for 5th in section.
Day two Campbell Lake 17 July 2017
A change of scenery and a chance to bag up. This time there were only 10 of us fishing as Frenchy and Kimble had gone home. Five on each side of the lake would give us all plenty of room and hopefully a few fish.
Peg 123, so I am told the best silver peg in Somerset, great when weight counts for everything.I had Bob, Gongo Soupy and Paul D in my section, whilst Vic and Del where together in their section on 110 and 112 respectively. Both good pegs.
I set up a light pellet waggler for half way across the lake, a bomb rod for fishing over the same line, a margin line to my left towards the corner and a 5m line. I started off on the waggler fishing half way across, pinging 8mm pellets for nothing in the first 15 minutes, at least I had put a bit of feed down for the bomb. Armed with a double 8mm pellet the tip flies round after a minute and I was thinking of silly weights. Another after 5 minutes before it went quiet. The wind had picked up and was now blowing down the lake. A look on the 5m saw a few good skimmers come, but no carp. At least I was catching. Bob on the next peg was now catching well on the bomb. The ripple having reached him and was now staying with him. I had flat calm in front of me. I kept plugging away as I was getting bites, odd carp and skimmers, however the carp were a good size so I felt it was worth plugging away at. With a couple of chucks on the bomb during quiet spells I managed to keep odd fish coming. With an hour to go I knew I was behind Bob, but could not see the others so it was worth persevering with. feeding a dozen 6mms and fishing an 8mm banded seemed to be the best tactic, but it could also be the time of day where the fish come in closer.
My section went
1st Gongo 185-09
2nd Soupy 172-09
3rd Bob 160-01
4th Keith 121-05
5th Paul D 93-5 Unfortunately with a net disqualified for being overweight.
The other Section went
1st Derek 216-05
2nd Cotty 167-10
3rd Nobby 142-15
4th Vic 110-10
5th Fred 110-09
So a second and a fourth for me in the sections. Vic had a 5th and 4th. Derek was looking good though with two section wins.
Day Three Cary Lake 18th July 2017
Peg 85 on the back bank. Another different lake and yet again different styles required. I set up a couple of bomb rods with different hook lengths on, one for fishing single baits on a lasso whilst the other was a combination of lasso and a band for fishing double baits.A couple of pellet wagglers, one set at depth, the other at two foot. I also set up a margin rig. I was in with the low numbers and if the wind was blowing into my peg it could be good, alas it was not and instead was blowing into the low numbers. At the all in I opted to fish the pole down the edge for 10 minutes. I was fishing into a slight depression in the bank side and positioned my rig as close as I could see. A small dip and a skimmer of around 6oz, out again and a common carp around 10lb into the keepnet. I had not fed a bean and I had 10lb in the net. Strange. I fed the line with a mix of pellet and corn the started fishing the waggler. Nothing on either the deep or the shallow waggler, so onto the bomb with a double bait. A carp after 15 minutes followed by another then nothing. With an hour and a half gone I had 3 carp in the net and was going well. Nobby next door was struggling and Gongo had not had a bite. Cotty and Paul on the high number bank were both catching well but not in my section. I could not see how Vic ,Bob and Fred the other anglers in my section were doing but heard Bob was losing a few.I nicked another one from the edge, before Nobby started catching, he had 4 in 4 casts then nothing. Another look on the bomb and another fish, I now had 5 to Nobby's 4. Into the last hour, another one on the bomb to make it 6 and Nobby was now on 6, all tied up. Again I went down the edge with 30 minutes left and I had foulhooked a fish but managed to get it in, followed by a bite and a massive bow wave leaving the peg. Match over. I enjoyed that. Hard but I felt I worked hard for the result.
My section
1st Bob 185 -11
2nd Fred 114-06
3rd Vic 84-02
4th Keith 56-10
5th Nobby 51-04
Other Section
1st Paul D 144-06
2nd Cotty 96-08
3rd Soupy 58-12
4th Gongo 38-10
5th Derek 32-09
The pegs at the lower end of the lake produced the better weights with Bob having lost double figures of carp and still having a high ton weight. Overall I secured another 4th in section, not good and hopefully my dropper. I worked hard for it but just felt the fish were not there in numbers. Vic gained 3pts but the wheels fell off for Del with a last place finish.
Day Four Match Lake 19th July 2017
Another complete change of tack, fishing for F1's with odd carp.This is something we do not do, there are no F1 venues nearby to practice. It is an art in itself, all i could hope for was that the fish hang themselves. I was told you need a corner peg to do well and fish to the island under the cover of the willow trees.I got peg 51. I set up a bomb rod to fish tight to the edge of the island. A couple of margin rigs as they were reed lined and looked great for a few fish. A 5m line for either meat or 6mm pellet and a 11m line for 6mm or 8mm pellet. I made duplicate rigs for each line and just swapped hook lengths around to match the bait.
A couple of chucks on the bomb did not produce even a liner, so I was soon on the 5m line and was soon into fish 3 F1s in 3 put ins saw me dreaming of a good day. However it was soon over, despite changing baits I could not get a rap. Vic was on the corner peg and was chucking to the gap in the willows. A slow start but he was catching. Fred was struggling next door but Paul and Nobby were both catching well and all in my section. A look down both edges saw no movement on the bristles, A llook at 11m and a small skimmer on a 6mm banded pellet, but they were small. A switch to 8mm banded produced some good bites and when I connected they were carp of F1s, unfortunately I was losing them bringing them back in, I was on white hydro, I suspect it was too heavy. But this was the only area of the peg I could get a bite, so I had to persevere.Vic was now catching well and would push both Paul and Nobby for the section whereas both Fred and I would struggle to the end.
My section
1st Paul 88-07
2nd Vic 82-13
3rd Nobby 54-10
4th Fred 21-10
5th Keith 18-00
Other section
1st Derek 99-00
2nd Cotty 66-04
3rd Bob 46-08
4th Soupy 42-11
5th Gongo 23-01
I felt really bad after this match, I should have caught more than I did, I was not prepared, I did not have any light elastics and realised that the banded pellet is not as effective as the lasso. A sharp lesson. I did not expect to win but as I have said earlier, I do expect to compete. Vic was on a roll, going 5,4,3,2 in his section results. Del had shown that the previous day was a glitch and back on a roll with 1,1,5,1. My results were 2,4,4,5 and not looking so good.
Day 5 Thursday Open 20th July 2017
With over 40 anglers on board for the Costcutter Open, the match was split over three lakes, Campbell, Cary and Lodge. Again sections were running low numbers and high numbers. Unfortrunately the difference between lakes can affect the section points considerably, as the weights on Lodge are normally, not as good as Cary or Campbell.Luckily for me I drew 132 on Campbell, a good peg where I had 200+ from last year fishing the bomb.Amazingly another 6 of us drew Campbell with Gongo, Nobby, Fred and Paul making up our section. The other consisted of Cotty and Bob on Campbell, Soupy on Cary and Vic and Derek on Lodge.
I set up two bomb rods to fish with different hook lengths and a couple of margin rigs to fish towards the corner and to the reeds to my left. I started as I had on the Cary match, fishing a single banded pellet to the right hand side hoping for a lone fish to start the day off. After 5 minutes I had my first fish on around 4lb. I fed the line with a half pot of pellet and went onto the bomb for an hour, four fish fell to single baits either a 8mm Jupiter or  8mm Meadowland pellet. Another look down both sides saw no fish although I did get bites down the right hand side. Back onto the bomb and another 4 or 5 fish but they were small. Gongo had 6 in the net to my 9 so I was still in front of what i could see. They guy opposite on 110 was emptying it fishing the waggler across towards the willow tree feeding a pouch and leaving it. He would later go down the edge short and catch.
With 3 hours gone I had around 14 fish for 50lb, a big difference to the size of fish I was catching on 123 earlier in the week. I was picking off odd fish on the bomb and just kept plugging away with a plan to fish the edge in the last hour. By swapping from single and double baits I was able to keep a few fish interested. In the last hour though I could see a few tails to my right. A drop in with an 8mm banded and I was into a good fish that saw me off in the corner. Out again and another one on, this time it was huge, estimated 16+ and as I eased it over the landing I breathed a sigh of relief. That was were my luck stopped. Whilst in the net the fish fell straight through it and dropped between platform and nets. I tried running the rod through the hole in the net but by this time the fish was gone. With a new landing net I was back out fishing and secured another couple of fish to end the day on a high.
My section
1st Gongo 106-00
2nd Keith 99-01
3rd Fred 90-08
4th Paul 82-07
5th Nobby 81-00 who managed to drop a 15lb fish back in the water instead of his keepnet.
Other section
1st Cotty 139-01
2nd Bob 129-11
3rd Soupy 110-12
4th Vic 60-00
5th Derek 51-13
So a good result for myself with a second place in section, but both Vic and Derek had both felt they could not compete with there draw. Unfortunately this would be a dropper for them.
Day 6 Campbell Lake 21st July 2017
Last day and there were plenty of contenders going into the last day's fishing. Derek was still in with a chance of winning it whilst Vic was looking to cement a place in the top half. Myself I was looking to avoid being last overall.
I fancied a peg on the Cary bank of Campbell, it had been consistent throughout the week but i did not know how it would fish after 3 days of intense pressure. Peg 114 was to be my home and I fancied it. I had two good looking margins along with a good line to the middle of the lake and no one directly opposite. I started off on the bomb and had 6 fish in the first hour fishing double 8mm pellets. With no bites for 10 minutes I had a look at 5m for again nothing. Left had edge a small 4lber on an 8mm banded coarse pellet. Right hand edge, a couple of skimmers and a tench on double corn followed a carp of around 8lb. Next fish was foul hooked and sent the rig back with a bang and a rather large scale. It was absolutely chucking it down now and I was getting soaked through but by rotating from bomb to 5m to edges I was able to keep odd fish coming, mainly skimmers, but still fish and weight builders. I knew Paul was catching next door on 112 as I could hear him. Bob went for a little swim with half an hour to go and needed a bit of assistance getting out from Fred.
My section
1st Paul 203-11
2nd Cotty 182-06
3rd Del 181-14 Knocked back on one net.
4th Gongo 102-10
5th Keith 90-08
Other section
1st Soupy 238-03
2nd Vic 123-02
3rd Fred 121-06
4th Nobby 119-08
5th Bob 104-03
At the all out I was glad it was all over. Eight days of fishing is a lot in one go.I had learnt a few valuable lessons this week and hope to put a few into practice over the coming months. I need to invest in lighter elastics, suitable for f1 and small skimmer fishing.I have learnt how to tie the lasso properly and can now do it for 4mm pellets if needed. I need to learn to fish paste and the edges as this is where a lot of fish were caught or lost.
Overall section points were
1st Cotty 9pts
2nd Soupy 10pts
3rd Del 11pts on weight
4th Bob 11pts on weight
5th Paul 11 pts on weight
6th Vic 15pts on weight
7th Gongo 15pts on weight
8th Fred 15pts on weight
9th Keith 17 pts
10th Nobby 19pts.
Well done to Cotty, Soupy and Derek on the top three places, consistent fishing all week. Got to feel a bit for Bob as he has again finished in fourth place. So next year is booked again and already I am planning for it. I must admit if it was closer to home it would be a regular haunt but 200 plus miles each way is a bit much for a day trip.
Finally many thanks go to Vic for all the driving you have done this week, for all the Yam Yams old and new, some are just new with old faces.GOT Baits for the pellet and Trevor Price for arranging the maggot and worm. Also to Steve and Helen for looking after us all week, never a groan and always on hand with a smile, finally Colin?? Reliant driver and Ben?? son ?? who weighed us in each day, and finally to the Globe pub for great food and atmosphere.

Goodiford Mill 14 -15 July 2017 Yam Yam

I have been looking forward to fishing this week since it was first planned last year. I have enjoyed highs and lows fishing with the Yam Yam's but this year was a real eye opener and even made me consider packing it all in. Do not get me wrong, the lads have been fantastic, its the actual fishing that has got to me. I always thought I could catch a few fish, not at a level of an open match angler but a decent club angler, I will not win often but look to compete.  I make decisions throughout the day, not as quick as others and some will work while others do not. However when your in the company of good anglers it can be frustrating and feel at times that you are going through the motions. As I said earlier I do not expect to win a lot but do expect to compete. I know they have a greater knowledge and are prepared to freely part with this, it is just putting what they say into action that does me in.
Anyway he goes my week fishing with the Yam Yams. Vic decided he was going to drive down to Goodiford Mill for the pre-week matches at Viaduct Fishery. All was good travelling down and meeting up with Derek Smith, our Hemel Hempstead based angler at Taunton Deane services for breakfast. With breakfast out of the way we then travelled to Goodiford Mill to meet up with the remaining lads from the Black Country.
Day One Goodiford Mill 14th July
The lads had decided to have a two day festival on the Friday and Saturday before heading to Viaduct after the match on the Saturday. Stopping at the Silverton Inn in Silverton overnight. We drew for pegs each day and points were awarded on your finishing position each day. The angler with the lowest points winning the festival. If tied the weight would come into it.
Day one I drew peg 50 right next to the gate and a nice short walk. I planned to fish the point of the island on the pellet waggler but with a tricky cross wind it would be hard. I set one waggler to fish light and make a plop plop noise on entry and another heavier rig for make casting easier and fish further out if required. I also set up a couple of pole lines for fishing later in the day or when the wind got up too much. For company I had Frenchy on the next peg and Nobby a further peg away.Fred, Paul and Gongo made up the rest of our section. At the off I fed both margins with corn one side and pellet the other. I then started to ping a few pellets over to the island. My feed was going everywhere such was the wind. Changing my catapult to a hard plastic cone type worked better. After around 10 minutes I had my first fish of around 2lb on the light rig but the wind was picking up so switched to the heavier float. A couple more fish came but I was not setting the world alight. Both Frenchy and Nobby were pulling away from me. Paul going further away from them with a few better fish. My only hope was to catch down the edges close in. Starting on the pellet edge I had a few fish quickly before the line went quiet. Switching sides also saw a few quick fish on double corn, but theses were a better stamp than those caught on the waggler or pellet line. Frenchy was now bagging on the waggler, getting proper carp nearly every put in and was favourite for the section with Paul cloase behind. It would be close between the rest of us for the minor places.
1st in Section Frenchy 149lb
2nd Paul D 128-14
3rd Nobby 99-06
4th Keith 97-06
5th Fred 95-12
6th Gongo 73-03 
The other section results were;
1st Vic 153-01
2nd Derek 114-07
3rd Bob 97-05
4th Cotty 95-08
5th Kimble 93-06
Day Two Goodiford Mill 15th July
Again an open draw for the second day and with the arrival of Soupy we were up to 12 anglers.Day two saw me fishing peg 8, a peg Bob had the previous day and had a good weight from. Again I set up similar pellet waggler rods and margin rigs and planned to fish similar to the previous day. Again I had Frenchy on Peg 7, Vic's peg from the previous day and Soupy the other side. However I was not feeling too good, highly probably, down to the amount of alcohol consumed the previous night. Still I was on holiday. I started off on the light waggler and plopping it in well, I thought. I had a couple of fish but then nothing, I was feeding tightly and keeping things neat and tidy, just four or five pellets every 30 seconds or so. Frenchy was feeding heavier and also chopping and changing his wagglers, but catching well. It was noticeable though that the fish were a lot smaller than the other end of the lake. After around 3 hours I tried the margins. Nobby had snared a couple of lumps down the edge and I was hopeful of one or two. Double corn snared a couple of around 4lb, a better stamp than those o the waggler, unfortunately not enough of them on the day. Our section results were:
1st Derek 140-05
2nd Frenchy 107-12
3rd Soupy 76-04
4th Nobby 69-08
5th Gongo 56-15
6th Keith 55-14
Whilst the other section went
1st Paul 149-05
2nd Bob 138-00
3rd Vic 114-01
4th Kimble 111-06
5th Fred 108-06
6th Cotty 84-04
1st Paul D 3pts 278-04
2nd Frenchy 3pts 256-12
3rd Derek 3pts 254-12
Vic finished with 4 points with a weight of 267-02 whilst I was way down on 10pts and a weight of 153-04 and a slowly clearing head.

Alders Farm Ash Lake 25 07 17

Back to what can only be described as normality, the onset of getting up early to go to work instead of getting up to go fishing. As Mick says it's strange it is easier to get up to go fishing than it is for work. Still, I still had a day off before hitting the treadmill again so a Tuesday Open at Alders Farm was planned.
We had 16 anglers on the match today with the favoured cafe bank, still the place to draw. My drawing hand needs a good talking to as I endured the long trek round to 21, a good peg to be honest. Mick decided that a walk of any description was beyond him so settled into peg 1, right next to the cafe. Worse still, I could not see him nor him me.
Armed with the Positive Mental Attitude gained over the last few weeks, I had a plan for the day. Try corn at 2+2 for the first hour followed by a dabble on paste, something I do not really try recently, but used to. Pellet down the side to the tree and corn the other side. I had made duplicate rigs for the 2 plus 2 lines consisting of a .4g DS Diamond strung shotted to a size 16 B911X. I would fish this along the slope feeding closer and marked the line where the top of the slope levelled a little. My edge rigs consisted of a .2g DS Green to a size 14 Kaizen hook with a lasso for a 6mm pellet. The other side was a .2g DS Diamond to a B911X size 14 for single or double corn. My paste was at a top three to 10 o'clock. This was an original Mick Wilkinson paste self cocking float to a size 12 B911X.
At the all in I cupped in a half pot of corn with 4mm fishery pellet. Throwing corn short would serve two purposes, I could bring them onto the top of the slope and also try to get the fish competing higher up in the water in the hope of catching quicker. After an hour I had 6 carp for about 15lb yet felt that I was going no where. A look on the paste line saw a few foul hooker that dragged me straight into the tree to my left. After 30 minutes and no fish, two trashed rigs and I soon realised why I stopped fishing paste.
Down the edge I started on the corn, to the right. A couple of fish on the corn, slightly away from the bank was shortlived. A switch to a banded 6mm pellet again saw a couple of fish, All fish being around the 2-3lb mark.
Lee next peg along the dam wall was picking off odd fish down the edge and on 2+2 lines on pellet, Jim Stubbings was getting amongst a few fish but the real fishing was being done on pegs 2,3,4,5,6. It was flying, every put in I could see anglers netting fish. Again I could not see Mick but assumed he was doing the same. Del and Gary in the corner on peg 30 and 29 respectively were also bagging. It was just pegs 8 round to 25 that were struggling to put a weight together.
I had been feeding the edge to my left from the off with 4mm fishery pellet and with a few tails showing in the peg I decided it was time to have a look. Baiting the lasso with a 6mm pellet it was not long before I was catching regularly, again smaller fish but still fish. A bonus 6lb common graced the net with 45 minutes to go and I was hoping the bigger fish had put in an appearance. Alas it was not to be. I was still getting foul hookers but was also getting more fish so I suppose it was a false economy, depth changes and alterations to shotting did not seem to make any difference, changes to feeding worked by slowing down on the feed a little but you still needed some going in.
My weight of 143lb was never going to trouble the pegs opposite but I was glad to beat those around me. But, would it be enough to win the MK Nugget and draw closer to Mick. After 3 weighs Mick total went 123lb so the prize was mine.
1st Graham West 251-11
2ld Trevor Price 250-04
3rd Charlie Lancaster 250-03
4th Peter Archer 230-13
5th Lee Newsom 218-09
6th Del Smith 216 -03

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Colemans Cottage Wood Lake 01 07 17

A relatively short journey for the Milton Keynes duo of Mick and myself, Colemans Cottage at Witham Essex. One of my favourite venues, excellent fishery with 5 lakes on offer, cafe and surroundings. Mick picked me up at 0600 and with the car packed we were soon heading down the M1 and M25 before the A12 switch. It really is a good journey for us.
Arriving around 0730 we were first in the queue for breakfast and soon followed by the Watkin Brothers, slowly everyone arrived and with a dozen of us booked on we had one bank on Wood going up to the bowl at the top leaving a peg out everyone couple of pegs to give added room.
At the draw, quite unsuspectingly I pulled out my peg before Mick, something I do not normally do, but I had PMA( Positive Mental Attitude) with me today, so knew it would not make any difference. Peg 9 was to be my home, a good peg by the aerator. Mick had drawn peg 15, in the bowl and a not so good area, although consistent. For company and the second match on the trot I had Tony Roberts on the next peg 8 with Jim Etherington on peg 11.
My plan was to be a nice and simple one, up and down at 2+2 straight out, a edge swim either side and another rig for the aerator. Edge swims were a couple of Derek Smith .2 green floats tied to .17 Guru N Gauge and a size 18 B911x with a hair rigged band. The aerator swim was attacked with a DT diamond .3 also to .17 N Gauge to a size 16 Kaizen again with a hair rigged band. A shallow rig set to fish the minimum allowed around 18 inches and another DT Diamond .5 to a size 16 Kaizen. Elastics were all red hydro bar the shallow rig which was white hydro.
I started off at 2+2 straight out on the deck feeding a dozen 4mm pellets every put in, I was getting odd liners and foul hooked fish and after 30 minutes I was still fish less, yet the float had gone under plenty of times. A few changes to the rig and a couple of 4lb fish then more liners. A switch to the shallow rig saw another couple of F1's in the net but I was going no where fast. A look down by the aerator saw my rig bury and fish on and off within seconds trashing the rig in the paddles. Back out with a heavier hooklength, saw fish number 5 in the net. Tony was catching, as I could hear him and I could see Jim;s landing net going in and out. My PMA was starting to wane, however I decided to be more Positive and started upping the feed at 2+2 to keep them on the deck. Two big handfuls and an 8mm over the top. Bang! Bang! Bang! a run of fish which lasted around an hour before fading, Adding another section did not keep in touch with the fish but taking a section off helped with another 10 fish in short time. I reckoned I had around 60lb with 2 hours left, and felt that if I was going to compete I needed one of the edges to fish. The right hand edge, looked good but only provided a roach and a small skimmer. The left hand edge at top two saw a few swirls and a couple of bigger carp on corn over 4mm pellet. but it was a case of swapping and changing baits to keep fish coming. By the end of the match, I felt that I had fished positively and with the correct mental attitude towards the peg. I had around the ton and although I could not see anyone else I knew Tony was close if not better than me. But word was that Mick had 4 nets in and that both Dave and Simon were close to our weights.
1st Keith Ashby 124lb
2nd Tony Roberts 112lb 8oz
3rd Clive Pritchard 106lb
Jt 4th Dave Collier 96lb
Jt 4th Simon Watkins 96lb
6th John Holdswoth 89lb
Overall the lake had fished fair, no out and out winner and any of the top 6 could have won on the day, I must admit I should have put another 80lb on the weight considering the amount of lost fish today. Thinking about it afterwards I think the elastic choice was definitely wrong and a strong case could be made for black hydro on the day. I have pulled another MK Nugget back from Mick to make it 9-5 and the gap is closing slowly. I cannot make the next club match at Puddledock as I am off the Goodiford Mill and Viaduct Fishery for a week away with the Yam Yams. Will let you all know how it went when I get back.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Hartleylands Farm Nicks Lake 17.06.2017

My turn to drive today on another Marsh AC club match, this time down to Hartleylands Fishery in Kent. A long way to go for a match but the fishing is good and the banter to be had can be excellent. A steady trip down saw us pulling into the Knoxbridge Cafe, a regular haunt on these trips and well worth a stop if anyone is in the area. A full English, a mug or two of tea and we were ready for the days proceedings. A short journey to the fishery and a quick look at the water. The levels looked a bit lower than the last time we were here, but there were fish cruising around unperturbed.
With monies paid, Mick was one of the first into the hat and peg 8 was to be his home. My hand was greeted with peg 7. Two and a half hours in a car together and now for the 6 hours of the match before 2 hours back home. Can you believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the way down Mick with his counsellor (well if Rory McIlroy can have one why can't I) head on, suggested that I look at my pegs rather negatively. There was nothing wrong with the pegs, just my mental state of mind. He suggested taking a more Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) to the pegs instead. All pegs are good pegs. He stated I can catch fish and can normally work out a method to catch, so thats not the problem, its just that I treat the peg negatively from the off.
So armed with a new found lease of PMA I literally ran to me my peg, well ambled really. I had fished the peg before and decided to fish it similarly, Pellet Waggler to the point of the island, a shallow rig for 2+4 and a couple of margin rigs. Bait wise I was going to concentrate on hard pellet with meat as a back up line.
I started off on a 4BB pellet waggler punching the float to the point of the island, a couple of small carp came to the net at 2ft deep but I was missing more than I caught and after 20 minutes, it was parked up the bank in preference to a shallow approach. I had been throwing 6mm pellets onto 2 +3 line and started off there nicking a few carp before adding another section as they drifted out of the catch zone. I was catching regularly but as with last week the fish were on the small size, averaging a pound and a half. I tried an 8mm hard pellet on a hair rig and this caught me a few larger 3lb fish but I was again missing more bites than hitting. I put these down to roach as every now and again I would hook one. Again I thought the line was slowing so quickly made a switch to the right hand edge.
John who could only fish for 3 hours due to family commitments had packed up and weighed in, 119lb was the benchmark. I was behind that mark, but I do not fish floating baits, Mick was nicking a few fish and it was close between us, Tony on peg 6 was catching and included a carp around 8lb in his catch. Terry was struggling but Simon and Dave had both caught well with the chairman having a 3lb barbel in his net.
My right hand edge produced well but agin the stamp was small, but I was armed with PMA and knew it would come good in the end. It was just a case of head down and catch what ever swam by. I was getting bites on the deck and tried shallow a couple of times in the margins but although I could see better fish swimming in and out I would only get the smaller stockies.
Unforrtunately, Chairman Dave felt unwell and in the 30 degree heat was struggling so wisely packed up, before things got any worse.
But by rotating my lines I kept nicking odd fish until the final whistle. My PMA had worked well. I did not have any real dry spells, correctly resting lines and moving quickly to the next, rather than sitting on a line which was dying. Something I am guilty of occasionally.
1st Simon Watkins  171lb
2nd Keith Ashby   157lb
3rd Mick Wright 135lb 8oz
4th Tony Roberts 123lb
5th John Holdsworth 119lb
6th Clive Pritchard 112lb
So all in all a good day, the new PMA worked well and although there was a few moments of trashed rigs and hook pulls, my attitude never faltered. I secured the coveted MK Nugget for this match to narrow the gap again to 9-4 and the comeback is on.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Alders Farm Ash Lake 06 06 2017

My season so far has been quite poor on the results front although I feel that I am fishing well at the moment. I am getting pipped by Mick quite regularly now and with him holding an 8-3 lead I really need to start turning the corner. Today was another chance to close the gap, however, the weather gods were trying their best to completely mess up the day.
I arrived at the fishery with rain coming down and a strengthening wind blowing down to the dam wall. While waiting for the draw all the discussion was about peg 30 and how it has changed from a good peg into a solid peg recently. It held a lot of fish and they were comfortable there. At the weekend Charlie Lancaster having 265lb from it.
As has been the usual custom Mick went into the pot first. Peg 30. Boy can he draw well. Myself had to settle for peg 2, another good peg but had struggled at the weekend and the fish could only be caught long. That was out of the window due to the wind but I still set up a rig to fish at 11m in case it became possible. How often do we fish and the conditions change during the match? My other rigs were for fishing 2+2 both sides by the reeds and a 2+2 line straight out. Hopefully I could catch on all three close lines and have a good day.
I had Trevor Price on peg 4, so knew I had my work cut out, others of note were Paste master Charlie Lancaster on 21, Shallow Pete Archer on peg 12 and Steve Wroe on the newly rebuilt peg 8. I started off fishing long for one fish on 6mm banded pellet but the wind made presentation impossible so it was soon binned. Never to be seen again. A look at 2+2 straight out saw a couple of foul hookers on corn so I switched to a 6mm pellet and this seemed to sort this out. I was getting liners on this line so tried a shallower rig and again a couple of fish came to the net. By rotating lines right edge and straight out I could get bites but was missing more than I connected with. Everywhere I looked people were catching under there umbrellas.
I could see Mick catching but it was Charlie again taking the place apart.
Nothing really changed much for me though and it was a case of trying to hit the bites I had. Slight adjustments to shotting patterns and depth kept a steady flow of fish coming to the net but I was not going to trouble the leader board. Yet in a perverse sort of way, I was still relatively happy. I was soaked, as I do not use an umbrella. I was battered by the wind and even 4 hours later my face is still tingling. I had caught a few fish from a peg that at the weekend had struggled and I learnt a few things along the way.
Pellet fishing for me is an alien method, so I am learning as I go. A little here and a little there but slowly I am making progress.
1st Charlie Lancaster 315-05
2nd Pete Archer 234-09
3rd Trevor Price 209-15
4th Steve Wroe 182-06
5th Mick Wright 160-00
6th Keith Ashby 141-12
So the corner has still not been turned, 9-3, why do I do this to myself. Well done Mick. No match for me next week as I have to work but Hartleylands Farm on the 17th is as good a place to start the comeback.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Marsh AC Tylers Common Willow Lake 03 06 2017

Many years ago when I joined Marsh AC, it was because I could get to fish venues that I would not normally bother with due to the distance involved. Yes I could fish them on a day ticket or even book into an open on them but it would never be the same as fishing with a group of friends. Tyler's Common was another new venue for me, the club had fished it the previous year and knew what to expect yet I was going into the match with limited information. What I did know was that the lake contained a lot of small carp with the better pegs in the corners.
Mick was driving and had even sorted out a breakfast venue in nearby Brentwood, a cafe named Konchi's Kafe. In fact it was a Pie and Mash Shop that does a mean breakfast.
John and I were asked to peg it out whilst the others paid their pools and sorted their gear out. Walking around the lake there was a lot of fish movement. Every peg was solid with fish swirling just under the surface and cruising around. Back at the draw, I fancied a peg from 8 to 11, the wind was blowing into them and all had good looking margin swims. Mick had drawn peg 5, a noted peg that won the match last year, whilst I drew peg 7, just off where I fancied but not in the corner and on the back bank. My plan of attack was to fish meat and with this in mind I had 5 tins available at my disposal. I also had a selection of pellets, 4mm, 6mm and 8mm. 4mm for feed and 6 and 8mm for hookers.
I set up 3 shallow rigs to cover from 6 inches to 18 inches, a slapping rig and a deep rig, all to fish one line at 2 plus 2. I could feed comfortably here and as I expected a lot of small carp did not want to waste time shipping in and out. I also set up a rig for the right hand margin close to a tree coming out into the water. I would feed this with pellet.
Starting of on the slapping rig I was soon into a run of small carp, although small by Tyler's standard I was hopeful of a few better fish turning up. The fish were coming right up in the water and even taking the small frenzee flot I was using. I switched to the 6 inches rig and again although I was catching, they were only small fish, averaging just over a pound. A switch to meat caught me a couple of slightly larger fish around 1 1/2lb but I was having to wait for the float to go under. A look down the edge saw no real change of fortune, just small average sized carp.  After 3 hours I reckoned on about 75lb and had plenty of fish. John on peg 8, fresh from his coaching day at Alders Farm with the Garbolino team, was catching well on floaters with a ton weight, Clive on peg 6 had also caught well fishing an 8mm in the margin. Mick had fared slightly worse than me with 70lb. Kevin had plenty of fish for 81lb and Simon was just edging out brother Tony. It was clear at this point though, that the corner pegs were producing the better stamp of fish.
Going into the second half of the match I needed to catch a few of the better samples of carp I had seen during the weighing in. Nearly everyone in the corners, had proper 2 to 3lb fish yet mine were all smaller 1 1/4 specimens. I tried upping the feed and changing the depth regularly but to no avail. I had just drawn a peg where it was solid with those small carp. Nothing I did seemed to affect the change in size of carp, no matter where I placed the rig, margins, up in the water or on the deck. I felt hopeless and out of ideas. Do not get me wrong I caught plenty of fish, probably between 120 and 130 fish but my total weight of 166lb reflected the size.
1st John Holdsworth 337-08
2nd Tony Roberts 280-00
3rd Clive Pritchard 270-12
4th Tony Watkins 256-00
5th Simon Watkins 255-00
6th Terry Goff 187-00
Mick just pipped me for the MK Nugget and now takes an 8-3 lead going into Tuesday's match. I can honestly say that I did not enjoy that match, I left feeling frustrated and vowing never to return as I felt I had no control over the fishing., but in hindsight I think I got it all wrong from the off. Analysing the match I possibly should not have fished meat for an hour, trying to chase a few bigger fish. I should have also ignored the fish up in the water and fished hard on the deck with a bigger pellet feeding more aggressively to push the fish down. Still onwards and upwards. My next Marsh match is at Hartleylands Farm in a couple of weeks.