Sunday, 21 May 2017

Stafford Moor May Festival 13th May - 19th May 2017

It has been a few years since I have fished at Stafford Moor Fishery at Dolton, Devon. A lot of changes have taken place during that time, the new owners in Paul and Joanne Coombes have really put a lot of time, effort and money into the fishery, opening up a new lake, Oaks, changing the layout of Pines Lake, net dips, proper walkways around the lakes enabling anglers to get to their pegs and when you get to your peg you now have a comfortable platform to fish from. From all of these changes you get a greeting like no other from both Paul and Joanne. Always having a smile on their faces despite the moans and groans of the match angler.
I was travelling down by myself and left nice and early to avoid the traffic and arrived safely at the venue around 0730. There was an open on Pines, Tanners and Woodpecker and as I had not booked in I was going to fish Oaks as I had not seen it before. Trevor Price, Gary Thorpe and Derek Smith were booked into the Tanners/Woodpecker Match while John Beasley booked into the Pines Match. Madd and Richard Brain was going to sort out the accommodation and have a general walk around the complex trying to see what was working and more importantly what was not.
Day One Practice Oaks Lake
Having never seen the lake before I asked where to park and where to go to the lake, I took a walk before unloading the gear and noticed a few other pleasure anglers on the pegs at the top of the lake, so settled into peg 11 with the wind blowing into it. I set up a Pellet Waggler and a couple of pole lines one at 11m and another on a top kit plus one. First thing I noticed was the depth. I had around 5ft at 2+1 and around 7ft at 11m. I started off on the waggler and after around 10 minutes of feeding and casting I was into my first Oaks carp, around 5lb. A few more followed before Madd arrived for a chat. I was feeding my pole lines with a few pellets and a couple of grains of corn. A few more on the waggler and Madd was back with some good news. The Pellet Waggler was NOT allowed in the festival. It was Pole Only. I had caught around 10 fish on the Pellet Waggler, but now needed to focus on the pole lines. The long pole line saw a few small carp around 2lb on a 4mm pellet before the wind made it impossible to fish the long line. A switch to the 2+1 line, a couple of carp around 4lb each with a odd skimmer thrown in. I found that by feeding around a dozen pellets each put in would get bites but you had to wait for the bite. I ended up with around 40lb of carp from the pole line ( around 50lb from the 2 hours on the waggler) before packing up to meet the others.
Gary Thorpe had caught well from Peg 1 on Tanners to make the frame on the open with 100lb +, Trevor on peg 13 Tanners fishing up to the platform on 12 had 70lb but questioned whether he could fish to the bush further along the bank. Del had struggled on the far bank on 25. John had caught on Pines Lake but not enough for a section place.
Day Two Practice Tanners Lake
Peg 14 Tanners.After getting the method wrong on day one, I was determined not to practice the wrong tactic on day two. I set up the pellet waggler and a bomb rod plus a margin rig to fish just short of the platform on Peg 15. Starting off on the pellet waggler I had a couple of quick fish pinging 3 or 4 8mm pellets in between the islands. This line died so I switched to the bomb and another couple of fish. A move to the boards on the island, saw another couple of fish. A look on the margin rig and bingo. Fishing double corn and edging the rig tight to the bank saw fish to around 10lb come to the waiting landing net. I did lose a couple under the platform but switching to red hydro sorted that out. Ended the day with 12 fish from the edge and 8 fish from the bomb and waggler lines for an estimated weight of a low ton.
Festival Day One Woodpecker Peg 7
With the festival starting with an open draw then a lake rotation system in place before another open draw on day five, I pulled out peg 7 on Woodpecker. This would be followed by Oaks, Tanners and Pines before the open draw on day five.Points were awarded each day with your worst score being dropped from the five matches fished. I set up a Pellet waggler Rod to fish across to the far bank but felt it would be a non starter due to the wind. A bomb rod clipped up to the boards would be my main plan of attack. I also set up 3 pole lines, one for the edge, plus 2 rigs for fish 5m with corn and pellet. I started off on the bomb and first put in I snared a fish around 6lb to kick start the festival off nicely. Within the first couple of hours I had a few more fish before the line seemed to die. A look at 5m saw no fish or bites so a look down the edge. A few dinks and a small skimmer before the elatic stretched out a lot further and a carp of 4lb was in the net. A couple of lost fish which were foul hooked would cost me in the end before the skimmers moved back in. I had a couple more fish from the bomb line but the waggler line was impossible to fish properly. My weight of 70lb 2oz would see me get 5pts from the section but only needed another 15lb for 3rd in section. I felt that the peg was worth 100lb on the day. So although good section points, I was a little disappointed.The other lads had performed alright without any framing places except Gary who claimed section 2nd from Oak Lake peg 11.
Festival Day Two Oaks Peg 13
One thing about the group of lads we had with us was the sharing of information, how you fished the peg the day before and how you could improve. You learn from other peoples experiences. I had a chat with Gary about his experiences from Day one on Oak and it was obvious that the fish did not want a lot of feed going in, so with this in mind I refused to get a cupping kit out of the bag. I set up to fish 4 lines. One at 11m, One at 12.5 where it shallowed up a little. Another at 5m and an edge rig.
Starting off feeding at 11m with a plan to fish 12.5 if they backed off, I was feeding just 6 or 7 pellets via a kinder pot, whilst others around me potted in feed. I was soon nicking odd fish but they were small 2lb fish before it died. Onto the 5m line and no bites, a look down the edge saw nothing. I was starting to worry that the fishing on day one had affected the fishing. Back out to 11m and another fish around 8lb boosted my weight. I was fishing a 6mm pellet over the top of 4mm feed, but it was slow. The rain was now pouring down and I was fishing 12.5m this time with a banded 4mm on the hook with no feed. I was still nicking odd fish but going nowhere fast. To my left peg 12 was catching well on meat and peg 11 again was catching well. Peg 14 had a good last hour on maggot over micros long to boost his weight considerably. My weight of 28lb 14oz was 6th in sect and a poor day. Lessons learnt though for the other lads to pass on.
Festival Day Three Tanners Peg 18
After the disappointment of Day Two, I was hoping for a good draw on Tanners. This came by way of Peg 18 on Tanners. This is a corner peg and the corners had fished well throughout the festival so far. I had a chat with Richard Brain who had had a chat with the guy on the peg the previous day and Kevin Wingfield who mentioned that a few fish had come at 6m. I had a plan. I set up a bomb and waggler rod, a margin rig for both left and right edges and a 6m line rig. Again light feeding of the pole lines was important, I could always up it, but you cannot take it out. I started off fishing the waggler across to the far bank and nicked a couple of small fish, a switch to the bomb saw another come before the temptation to go down the edges proved too great. Left hand edge saw surprisingly no bites despite looking a couple of times throughout the match. However, the right hand edge was fraught with danger. I was fishing 12.5m down the edge to a gap between the lily pads. A couple of grains of corn and 4 pieces in a toss pot. I would hook fish and steer them out into open water. Fish to 10lb but averaging 4lb I did lose a couple of fish in the pads or across the far bank, but thats fishing. Martin Foster on peg 16 was catching well down the edge with meat over micros. Peg 20 opposite was getting odd fish down the edge. I managed to keep fish coming for the first 3 hours when the peg just died on me. I had only fed less than a tin of corn throughout but the fish had backed off further down the peg beyond pole range. A few fish from the 6m saw me boost my weight to 84lb 2oz for the section win and a vital 1pt score. Day three was a good day for the other lads, Trevor winning Oaks Lake, Richard winning Pines Lake and John Beasley winning his section on Pines to join me as a section winner.
Festival Day Four Pines 8
Spirits were high after yesterday's performance, however I knew I would need a good day on my weakest skill, catching silvers. Weights needed would be 20lb plus of silvers and small carrassio. This lake has changed a lot since my last visit, instead of fishing from the outside in, you now fish inside out from the spit created. It can get a bit tight with plenty of long poles especially on the early pegs but I had drawn peg 8 and had room behind me to be able to ship in and out. I planned to fish 12.5m with chop worm late on. Dead reds at 11m left and 4mm expander at 11m right. Another line at 4m in case they were close in which I would feed with micros and dead reds. Starting off close in I fed a couple of hard balls of micros and fished a dead red over it. A couple of small 3oz skimmers obliged before dying. A look at 11m on the expander line produced a couple of small carrassio and skimmers before I moved to 11m left dead red line. I had potted in GB at the start and found that putting a small ball in every put in would get me a fish. However keeping them on the hook proved an issue, I was bumping a lot of fish with white hydro. It was obvious to me the elastic was too severe for this type of fishing. I need to fish blue or orange hydro for these fish. However white was my lightest I had so had to persevere. I was still catching and putting fish in the net, everything needed to be landed and not swung in. A move to the chop worm line with 90 minutes to go saw a few larger skimmers grace the net including a bonus 1lb fish. My weight of 14lb 5oz was good enough for only 7th in section and although it was my worst score of the week I had thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was something I do not do on a regular basis and took away a lot of lessons from some very good anglers in the section. Richard Brain was doing well in the festival with another section win.
Festival Day 5 Pines 13
Final and last day of the festival andf an open draw, only two anglers wanted to fish Pines Lake Mark Hathway and John Beasley. Everyone else wanted a peg on the other lakes. So when the hand went into the draw bag a red token came out, the heart sank and peg 13 Pines was to be my home. At least I had some company either side in Mark Hathway on peg 14 and Derek Smith on 12. Madd had drawn peg 18. I decided to fish similar to the previous day, this time setting up a rig for the margin as I was told odd tench come from the edges tight in and I would need a couple to boost the weight. Steve Shaw had the peg the previous day and struggled for 14lb. Still armed with no light elastics I was hoping a few better fish may be present. Again 12.5m line for chopped worm and two 11m lines for expander and dead reds. A 4m line and my margin rig. I was surprised at the depth having a good 7ft on the long lines and 5ft at 4m. Even the edge had 2ft of water. I started off with the same feeding format, a couple of balls at the start packed with worm or dead reds., then feeding via a tosspot of GB every fish. Fishing 4m saw no bites over micros so i was soon out to 11m and dead reds. A few small skimmers came to the net but I was bumping more than the previous day. The problem was I was bumping small carrassio's and you needed to strike firmly to set the hook in their bony mouths. This is were the lighter elastic comes into it's own. Mark was doing what he does best, fishing for silvers and was pulling away. Peg 10 was catching well and Jon Owen was getting odd bonus fish. Del was catching on the GB feeder across. I was lagging behind and although I tried to push the peg I would catch one or two fish before having to start a new line. I tried the margins for no fish. But Del boosted his weight in the last 20 minutes with 3 good tench. My weight of 11lb 8oz was never going to compete. Another poor day, but I think with a bit of practice and correct gear I can improve on this style of fishing. Mark came second in section whilst Madd won his section with 30lb of tench.
Summing up
Overall I can honestly say I have enjoyed the experience of fishing a festival again. The whole week has been a learning curve. I have had a high and a few lows but was happy overall with my performances. A greater understanding of silver fishing is needed. I think lost fish on day one cost me a few more points while I need to invest in a good meat cutter. The anglers who fished are all first class, imparting knowledge and sharing experiences from the previous day. Paul and Joanne have put their stamp on a venue that is without doubt one of the best in the country. The work they put in around the fishery is non stop and all they want is for you to enjoy yourself. Our group of anglers had three in the top twenty with Richard Brain finishing with a top five placing. We had a few section and lake wins amongst us, so were not too far off the pace. This could not have been done without the banter and debriefing sessions in the evenings. Well done to Tim Guise, Perry Stone and Lee Werritt for claiming the top three places. Excellent performances in some testing conditions.The only down side to the week was the accommodation was to far from the fishery and pubs.You felt isolated from a lot of the other anglers staying in lodges or Dolton. The house was great, plenty of room for us all. Trevor even had his own wing.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Colemans Cottage Pathfield Lake 060517 Marsh AC

It seems that the last week has been spent on preparation for the up coming Stafford Moor festival next week. Rods and reels have been set up with new line added. A dozen rigs made up to go with the loads I already have. Bait sorted and just needs packing and tidying up. So it was good to get out on the bank with a small club match at Pathfield Lake on the Colemans Cottage complex. We have not fished here for a while but it does have some good memories, we wont talk about the poor one's as a good friend Gino insists this post should be a positive one.
Anyway I picked Mick up from his house and waiting on the driveway was his brand new seatbox. All shiny and new. Car packed and a rather uneventful drive down to the fishery, although why someone would want to take my picture on the motorway beats me.
After a full English breakfast it was onto the draw. I had said before the draw that I fancied a peg 19 or 21. The wind was blowing up towards this end of the lake and like most commercials fish tend to follow the wind. So Mick does his thing and goes in first, Peg 21. You cannot make it up. End peg and loads of room. I was not too far away on peg 16 but I could not see him due to the contour of the lake. I had Simon on Peg 15 and Terry on 18. So for those that do not know Pathfield Lake it has two main islands, one ending on peg 15, the other starting at peg 18. So all I had was open water in front of me, no features to fish to. I did have a nice looking edge on the right hand side though.
I set up 4 rigs today to fish 12.5m if the wind allowed, I would move to 11m if it got too bad. A couple of inches different. A shallow rig for going over the top of the long lines. A margin rig to do both left and right sides and a 2+2 line. Bait was 6mm hard pellet and corn.
I started off long for the first 10 minutes but bite registration was either hard or non existent. I came in to 11m and again no bites. A look down the edge saw a couple of small carp grace the net. Simon was catching well tight to the island and was in front of me at this point. Terry was struggling and word was that Mick had 4 at this point. A look at the 2+2 line saw no bites. A time to try shallow, after a couple of put ins the float dipped and the first shallow fish was in the net, A couple more followed but it was slow going. I decided to start toss-potting on this line and fish slightly over-depth to combat the tow. I had a good spell for about an hour on the line but started foul hooking a few fish and despite changes to shotting patterns and depth I could only connect properly to 1 in 5 bites. With this line slowly drying up I re-fed a small pot of pellets and had another look at 2+2, still no bites. Simon had stopped catching but Terry was getting a few but having to wait for his bites. Another look down the edge and a couple of fish on corn over pellet. By rotating my lines I was nicking odd fish from each line before re-feeding and moving on to the next. Going into the last half hour I reckoned on 40lb I felt I was in front of both Terry and Simon who was now catching again just in front of his keep nets.
I decided to just fish down the edge for the remainder of the match, feeding sloppy groundbait and fishing a 6mm pellet or corn saw a couple of better fish around 7lb each. My last bite came just before the whistle and an F1 around 3lb.
At the all out I felt I got the best out of the peg today, perhaps I should have fed the slop earlier and gone over it earlier but everything is good with hindsight.
With the scales starting at peg 5, Dave was first to record on the board with 40-04, Gino on the point of the island chipped in with 15-12, from a positively good peg. Jim continues his good form with 40lb beating John off the next peg who weighed in 30lb. Another peg to peg battle existed with Clive edging out Tony 47-00 to 42-08. Simon put 43lb on the board whilst I upped the lead to 58lb. Terry had sneaked out some proper carp with 11 fish for 35lb. Rod chipped in with 12lb before Mick placed his two nets on the scales for 91 dead.
1st Mick Wright 91-00
2nd Keith Ashby 58-00
3rd Clive Pritchard 47-00
4th Simon Watkins 43-00
5th Tony Roberts 42-08
6th Dave Collier 40-04
So another MK Nugget for Mick, who now takes a 7-2 lead, before we start our annual fishing holidays, Mick to Bullocks Farm near Bristol and myself as pools fodder for the festival at Stafford Moor. I will still enjoy the holiday as I really just go for the craic and see a few old mates,

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Marsh AC Claygate Lake Eva 22 04 17

With my recent run of form I was dreading this match. History placed me on a peg that should never have been in the draw a couple of years ago and it still haunts me to this day. It was an end peg at the end of the lake with no depth and clear water all the way across, how I managed to weigh in that day amazed me. Still today was another day. Mick was driving today, so at least I could relax on the way down. After stopping off at Monks Lakes for a breakfast stick and a cup of tea, we were soon arriving at Claygate Lakes. It was busy with another match on Sophie's lake and plenty of pleasure anglers lining the Specimen Lake and half of our lake.
Unfortunately, this was the first match we had following the funeral on Friday of Martin Hucker, a longstanding member of the club who always had time for everyone. A few words from the Chairman Dave Collier and a small collection was made which will be passed onto his family at this sad time. Tight Lines up there Martin.
We had the railway bank and the straight up to the entrance. 18 pegs in total and from previous experiences everyone wanted to draw 17 or 18. The lake narrows here and by fishing up to a small island you can get plenty of bites. So where do I draw Peg 2, only slightly nearer to pegs 17 and 18 than Jim Boase on peg 1. However I was quite pleased as I could reach the large island with 12.5m although shipping back and forth is a nightmare with a railway line directly behind you and steep banks. I would have to break down twice to get to a top kit. Mick had drawn peg 7 and from where I was I could see if he was catching or not ( hopefully).
I decided to fish 4 lines today one at 12.5m where I had 3ft of water across to the island about a foot away. The next two lines were at 5m at 10 and 2 O'clock where it was around 4ft deep. My last line was down the edge to my right.The deeper rigs were DT Diamonds, .16 stroft to a B911 f1 size 16 with a bulk of shot 5 inches from the hook. Elastics were all white hydro bar the margin where I planned to use a soft black if required. Bait was 4mm GOT sinkers with a 6mm hard pellet or meat on the hook I did have some expanders with me as well.
At the all in we observed a minutes silence and proceeded onto the match. I cupped in a small amount of pellet onto the left hand 2+2 line and threw a dozen onto the right hand line. Another small pot to 12.5m before going across with the 3ft rig and a 6mm hard pellet, a few lift and drops and a small chub was soon in the net. A carp around 3lb followed before the F1s arrived in small numbers. After 30 minutes they disappeared and after re-feeding I had a look on the left hand 2+2 line, nothing, a look on the 2+2 line right and a couple of small F1s. Jim next door was getting a few F1s on maggot at the same distance but was also getting odd roach and skimmers. Terry was struggling but Mick and Clive were setting the pace according to the grapevine.By rotaing my lines I was able to keep fish coming throughout the day, they were not big fish, in fact the 3lb carp I had second put in was the biggest fish of my day. The bites were proper f1 bites, very delicate and I had to dot the float right down to see them but the white hydro was perfect for them.
At the all out I reckoned on 75lb consisting of around 50 fish. Mick was being quite coy about his weight and was just saying it was close. Not normally a good sign for me lately.
Jim was first to weigh and put a 53-00 starting weight. I upped that to 83-08 before Terry chipped in with a level 43-00. Mick was next and his two weighs pulled the scales round to 81-08, 2lb in it and he was right it was close to call, 1 fish in it. Clive was next  with 52-00 before turning up the straight. John put 29-04 losing out to Dave with 39-08. The dangerman in the club is Al, a cracking angler who is a sponge for knowledge. His weight of 73-08 was a great weight considering he is spending a fair bit of time coaching his son. Little Al was next with 12-12 before we come to the flyers,pegs 17 and 18. I was leading up to this point, but Tony and Chris had both not found a good run of fish. Tony blaming everything but himself for his failure to catch, however he pipped Chris with 40-00 dead to 39-08. Chris not catching his normal supply of silver maggot fish today.
1st Keith Ashby 83-08
2nd Mick Wright 81-08
3rd Al Loader 73-08
4th Jim Boase 53-00
5th Clive Pritchard 52-00
6th Terry Goff 43-00
So a welcome match win, after a dismal run of form. I do not win many matches so it is always nice to prosper. I have taken leave of one of Mick's MK Nuggets to make it 6-2 in his favour but the weather is turning and I do not give up easily.
My next match is May 6th at Coleman's Cottage Pathfield Lake, a venue I have fished before but not for a few years so it will be nice to renew acquaintances.
Finally RIP Martin Hucker, no longer in pain, sleep peacefully.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Alders Farm Ash Lake 180417

Someone told me today that they were going through a crisis of confidence at the moment, I thought about it for a little while and after the initial mickey taking, I thought do you know what I could be too. Everything I am doing at the moment, fishing wise, does not seem to be working together.
Today, was the Tuesday Cost-cutter on Ash Lake at Alders Farm. I have not fished it for a few weeks but have noticed that pegs 1, 2, 12, 20 and 30 were fishing well. Having transported my gear down the hill to the cafe and sitting outside on the patio, I was asked where I would like to fish, any peg on the dam wall was the answer, the reason was the wind was blowing towards that end of the lake and I wanted to fish corn in the deeper water at 2+2 and later down the edges. I really fancied the corn getting plenty of bites today. I was confident. Mick and Vic were both in attendance today so as per usual I had my MK Nugget at stake with Mick. Mick goes in first and pulls out peg 20. I follow him into the box and peg 2 sticks to my hand. A good peg, but a little too shallow for what I wanted to do today, I did have pellet with me but really only wanted to use it as feed and not fish it. Vic had drawn another good peg, 12, wind blowing in and some form. Jim had drawn peg 30 with Dennis on peg 1. I had Ken and Matt Kearns on pegs 3 and 4 with the Lancaster Brothers on 6 and 7. Trevor had drawn 23 Paul on 21, Steve Wroe on 18 and Madd on 10.
I planned to fish the corn today, so set up a 2+2 line in the shallow water and would feed by hand but did not expect to catch there regularly. I had another corn line at 11m in the slightly deeper water and planned to fish 11m towards the reed bed at 2 O'clock and another line at 9m into the reed bed at 3 O'clock.
Starting off at 11m I had a small carp around 1lb first put in and another couple in the first half hour but I was also getting liners. I shallowed up a couple of inches to come off deck and nicked another couple of fish before it slowed. I re-fed the line with corn and a few pellets to try to get the fish back on the deck. I went to the 9m line line next to the reeds and had a short spell of fish which even with black hydro could not stop fish going into the reed bed. A look at 11m to the edge of the reeds saw a few more fish but I was losing more than landing them. I was either foul hooking them or the hook was pulling out as I was shipping back. I reckoned I had lost more at the half way stage than caught. I changed the elastics over, adjusted depths, I just could not get it right. It did not seem to make any difference. I changed hook pattern switching from a Kaizen to a B911f1 hook to see if this made a difference, all to no avail. I could hook them but not land them.
Ken next door was also struggling, picking off odd fish, mostly on the feeder, Matt was getting a few fish at 6m whilst I could see Jim catching well throughout. My crisis of confidence was taking effect. I had enough fish on the hook to compete yet, would have little to show for it at the end of the match. And to make matters worse I could see Mick catching late on down the edge.
After a frustrating five hours, it was my turn to weigh in. 63lb for nowhere. A good peg wasted.
1st Trevor Price 150-11
2nd Charlie Lancaster 141-00
3rd Vic Nugent 107-06
4th Jim Stubbings 99-09
5th Terry Lancaster 83-00
6th Matt Kearns 75-02
Mick took another nugget off me to make it 6-1 and I need to sort my crisis out quickly before I set up a direct debit. Tomorrow another pleasure day at Meadowlands before Vic goes in for surgery on his knee.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Pleasure Day Meadowlands 120417

With a spare day off before starting work, I fancied a day out at Meadowlands to set up a few waggler and bomb rods that have been gathering dust in the bag. Vic is off on holiday and Mick had gained permission from his better half to join us, as long as he was back early as it was his turn to cook tea.
Mick had never seen Meadowlands before so we all met up at Jacks cafe before travelling the 30 minutes to the lake. Vic had fished it quite a few times whilst I have had a day on Lambsdown lake and another on Warren, both being very enjoyable yet so different.
Arriving at the site we purchased day tickets and armed ourselves with fishery 8mm pellets, I like these as they are quite heavy pellets and ideal for pinging out at distance. A chat with the bailiff, saw us heading the short walk to peg 18, 20 and 21. Me on 18, Vic 20 and Mick 21.
As I stated earlier, I needed to set up my rods for a festival in May, so stripped them right back, added new line and redone two rods. One waggler and the other a bomb rod. Both Mick and Vic were fishing well before me but had had no signs on the waggler. With the wind blowing right to left I felt it would be a struggle on the waggler yet still planned to fish this early as the wind later in the day was planned to get up. With this in mind I set to fish a comfortable distance where I could get the feed. I also fed a line further out for the bomb and if the wind dropped anytime I could still reach it.
Feeding 3 or 4 pellets at a time, I was into a nice rhythm Feed, Cast, Feed, Twitch, Feed, and do it again.after around 10 minutes the float dipped and fish number one was on and at around 4lb was a good start. Back into the rhythm, and another ten minutes passed and as soon as the pellet plopped onto the surface it was fish on. Another 5lb and a welcome sign. It went quiet for the next half hour so I switched to the bomb and had a better fish around 8lb. A couple of skimmers came to the net during this spell.
Both Vic and Mick were both off the mark and at one time all three of us were in at the same time.
The fishing was not prolific by any means and I persevered with waggler when the wind would allow and a couple more came to it. I think the wind blowing right to left and gusty at times hampered the presentation a lot and the bomb was definitely a more productive method on the day. Yet I still ended up with 10 carp and 4 skimmers. The better fish on the bomb. Vic had a similar catch whilst Mick was slightly behind, shame there is no nugget on pleasure days.
I packed up early and set up another couple of rods before packing them all away. Until next time where I will be at Alders Farm again for the Tuesday Cost-cutter.

Drennan Alders Pines Lake 110417

Things have been getting worse with my fishing lately, some poor draws which we all get now and again unless your name is Mick, some poor performances as well. It seems that I cannot string more than a couple of fish together, yes I am catching but no way near enough to even class it a day out. I feel that I am at a crossroads with my fishing, do I stick to fishing the corn which I feel I can do quite well, but it either works or does not. Or do I get my head down and try to learn how to fish and more importantly feed the pellet?Things are not looking good on the MK Nugget front either, slipping to a 4-1 loss at present.
Anyway enough of my ramblings, 14 of us graced the cafe at Alders Farm for the Tuesday Cost-cutter. The match itself was on Pines Lake and I was keen to correct some mistakes from the previous week. I was not too hopeful, after pulling out peg 19, the same peg Mick had last week and put 90lb on the scales and to round it off Mick drew peg 17. He did say that the fish came late in the day last week on maggot over pellet, so that was my plan. We had Terry Lancaster on 16 and Paul Hawkins on 20. Trevor Price had my peg 12 from the previous week so I would be interested to see how he catches and try to find out where I went wrong. Miles was on his own on the dam wall with Steve Potter on peg 1. Good mate and work colleague Vic Nugent was fishing his first match for over a year, but he still had a drawing arm on him on peg 7.
I set up five rigs today. One for the margins, another for 2+2 and one for 3+2 in case they backed off. I also set up a 11m line and a shallow rig. My plan was to fish maggot down the edge with GB. Maggot over pellet on my close lines and pellet over pellet on the longer lines.
After feeding my long line and edge swim I cupped in a half pot of 4mm fishery pellet onto 2+2 and started off there. 10 minutes in and nothing, 15 minutes and my first bite on double maggot, then nothing. Pushing the rig out to 3+2 and 6 inches off deck I hooked my first carp, back out and nothing. Out to 11m and pinging a few 4mms and fishing a 6mm banded pellet. A couple of small carp came to the net.
Mick was getting a few on the tip to the island and we were even in fish but his looked bigger. Paul was struggling, Miles was getting plenty of action on the dam wall. I could see Trevor in the distance netting odd fish and Steve Potter on 1 was also in action. I could hear Madd talking to the whole lake although I am sure it was not intended, anything from which bands Trevor was going to see, to the accomodation at Stafford Moor. Sometimes he does not realise how loud he can be. LOL.
A quick look down the edge saw me re-feeding after 10 minutes with nothing to show for the effort. I decided to have a look shallow, arming the band with a 6mm Jupiter I soon was picking off odd fish, pinging over the top. However I would get 1 or 2 and then nothing for 15 minutes, despite alternating the feed rate and depth. Mick was now catching fish on his 2+2 line so I gave it a go and saw my float sit motionless for the next fifteen minutes.
At the all out I felt that there were not enough fish close in to pose a decent threat to the weigh in and I spent too much time tring to get it to work. In hindsight fishing shallow for the whole match was probably, my best bet for the whole match.
1st Steve Potter 131-10
2nd Miles Philipps 130-03
3rd John Light 123-00
4th Trevor Price 117-14
5th Gavin Mills 113-09
6th Vic Nugent 77-14
My weight of 46-10 saw me finish nowhere, with Mick taking another Nugget off me with 64-02. Mick now leads 5-1, all of his wins coming at Alders.
Next day out for me is Meadowlands tomorrow to set up some rods in preparation for the upcoming Stafford Moor festival in May.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Drennan Alders Farm 040417 Pines Lake

They say things come in threes, well this is my third fishing trip within my four days off work. Good luck normal follows bad luck as they say, so I was looking forward to this match. It was on Pines lake, one of my favourites in the country let alone Alders Farm.
Mick and I were to resume battle for the MK Nugget so that added a bit of extra spice to the day and with 15 other anglers vying for top spot and a separate silvers pool. There was plenty to go at.
That was where my day started going wrong, en route to the venue a Wood Pigeon decided to headbutt my front grill at 70mph. One very dead pigeon and a gaping hole in the grill. Still I was going fishing.
Get to the venue and everything was good, chatting away to friends old and new. Then the draw. I wanted any peg except 10 or 12 as I thought it would be too shallow at this time of the year. I also thought for a change I would go into the bag before Mick and see if I could get one of the flyers he regularly draws. Wrong peg 12, great in Summer, not so good this time of the year. Off I trot with Mick in tow, on his way to peg 19, another peg he would do well off.
I decided to fish similar to my last outing on Pines, corn at 5m, pellet or corn at 12m and the left hand margin with maggot. Wrong side for me as I am left handed and have to turn completely ninety degrees to fish it.
Starting off at 12m on pellet I had a small carp around 3lb first put in and then nothing for 10 minutes before his mate joined him in the keep net. It was slow going and despite pinging and toss potting I could not string a run of fish together, after an hour I had five carp for about 15lb.
A look onto the 5m line saw no bites, in fact I never had a bite on it all day despite trying corn, maggot or pellet.A quick look down the edge and a couple of quick fish. Then nothing. Back out to 12m and another couple of fish before it again went very quiet.
Back to the edge and I decided to concentrate on this for the remainder of the match. It was too early but I was getting battered off the next peg by Graham West and was struggling so felt I had nothing to lose.
Cupping in two pots of GB and the same of maggots I was hoping for a reaction. I was fishing at 11m in about 12 inches of water. I managed to nick a couple quickly over the feed but then started to foul hook a couple which disturbed the peg. Re feeding the margin did not seem to work as I was still having to wait for bites.
At the all out I felt that I had not fished the peg as I should have, I got it all wrong. OK there were not many fish in the peg but those that were there were catch-able and I did not do it. I got it wrong.. No excuses.
And to make matters worse Mick popped 98lb on the scales to double my weight.
1st Gavin Mills 171-07
2nd Pete Archer 159-14
3rd Charlie Lancaster 133-01
4th Graham West 129-14
5th Trevor Price 114-00
6th Mick Wright 98-10
I will be back on next week on the Tuesday Open and hopefully my luck will have changed and I start to get things right on the fishing front.