Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Alders Farm Tuesday Open 18 10 16

Three matches in 5 days, must be mad. First, the JJL event at Alders, Second, a match in Kent on the Saturday before the Tuesday Open at Alders Farm. I am knackered. Still I did manage to pinch a Nugget off Mick on the Saturday so now lead him 6-5 and with both of us fishing today, another nugget was at stake.
We had 13 anglers today, some getting in a sneaky practice before there league starts on Sunday. With everyone ready for the draw, we decided to fish Ash Lake. The weather was mild with a hint of rain in the air and the wind getting progressively stronger. At the draw, I dipped in first for a change and out came peg 1, not really where I wanted to be as I have not fished it since all the changes to the bank. From the patio, no fish were showing and this was not a good sign. Charlie was on his favourite peg 8 and Terry on 21. Pete Archer was on 29. Mick had drawn in form 27. Trevor Price was sat on peg 16.
I had heard that the previous day Terry had been clearing out some of the reeds on peg 1 to the right, so would fish a line along this new edge and set up a couple of rigs to cover the inevitable breakages and trashed rigs. I also set up a line to fish long at 11m due to the wind. Again two rigs were set up. My last line was at the corner of the wall.
At the all in I toss-potted both of the long lines with micros and shipped out a 6mm hard pellet. I missed the first couple of bites and connected with the third, a nice common around 3lb, out again and the same thing, miss a couple and then connect. I thought it might be the length of line between float and pole tip, so shortened it but this just meant I lost control of the float in the wind and it was not right. I adjusted the depth to just off bottom and a couple of fish came to the onion bag. At this point in the match I was struggling, I foul hooked a few fish and lost them and had 6 fish in the net when Dave Pontin went to the toilet, he was admitting to 17 fish, so I was way behind already. I had a quick look down the edge and had a couple of small carp around the 1lb mark so went back out after re-feeding the edge. Another couple of small fish on pellet and one on corn was getting me nowhere. I was getting bites but could not hit them despite several changes to the rig.
Back down the edge, and I started getting a few better fish on corn, only 3lb fish but better than the twister's. This again died after around 20 minutes and I went back onto the pellet. I would get a few fish shallow then have to go back onto the deck to keep bites coming. This was the story for the remainder of the match, I would catch a few then adjust, catch a few then adjust.
At the all out I knew I was battered, I had around 50 fish for a level ton. Garry on peg 2 was admitting to 40 fish on the tip at 20m with dave on 3 admitting to 40lb per net.
1st Terry Lancaster      Peg 21     202-06
2nd Trevor Price         Peg 16     201-11
3rd Charlie Lancaster  Peg 8       199-06
4th Pete Archer          Peg 29      163-08
5th Gary Page            Peg 28      152-01
6th John Clennet         Peg 5       129-13
Overall, I could not get my head straight today, there were fish in the peg and I felt that I did not do the peg justice. Lessons learnt today and feel better for having fished the peg, it has changed and with the colour dropping out a little probably knew it would be hard, so my 116-04 was not too far off the lower places, but still a long way off the winners.Still I did take a nugget of Mick, albeit by 6lb. Standings now 7-5.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hartleylands Res 15 10 16

The final club match of the year was to be held at Hartleylands Reservoir In Kent. This lake shuts for matches between April and September and we normally try to book the first Saturday in October for our last match of the year, but due to another booking we had to re-plan it for the second Saturday. We have always had good close matches on the reservoir with a variety of methods winning and framing.
I was driving today and when I arrived at Mick's house to collect it was a nice 11 degrees, it was still dark as we travelled the 2 hour journey to the Knoxbridge Cafe, around 15 minutes from the venue. The breakfasts here are really good and value for money. The weather though had changed and it was now 9 degrees and getting foggy in patches. However, arriving at the venue saw clear skies, but the temperature was still low.
With a couple of late drop outs we had 10 anglers on the lake and after speaking with the bailiff we decided to only fish 2 and a half banks of the reservoir. leaving the rest open to pleasure anglers. I already had a plan in mind and this consisted of fishing the pellet waggler for the first hour, longer if I was catching and then coming to 5m and the margins for the remainder of the match.So at the draw I was glad of peg 9 coming out. This was 1 peg off the flyer (10)by the willow tree on the far bank, it was flat calm but stronger winds were expected later in the day. Mick had drawn peg 8, so no getting away from him, Tony Watkins was on Peg 10 and with his brother on 7 and Clive on 6 it would be interesting.
However, my plans very nearly went out of the window, when I realised I had left my wagglers at home, but Clive came to the rescue with one I could borrow, although I did need to add 2 AAA shot to it, to stop it looking like a lighthouse. I plumbed up at 5m and set my rig to fish dead depth, with a plan to fish 6mm hard pellet on this line and I rigged up both margins to fish with corn.
At the all in I pinged a few pellets out towards the middle of the lake and chucked the waggler out with a 5ft tail and an 8mm hard pellet. After around 10 minutes the float dipped and fish number one was on, a nice common around 6lb, Tony had also set up a waggler and had lost a fish at the net. I went out again and another 10 minutes of pinging, retrieving, pinging, casting, pinging and so on passed before I had another fish of 11-04 ( all fish over 10lb had to be weighed and returned). So two fish in the first half hour and I was going well. I could see John and Gino both catching on the favoured pegs 4 and 5 and felt I was still in it. Pushing on I had another two smaller carp on the waggler before the wind got up and made the fishing awkward. The wind was blowing the line all over the place and although I could cast the distance easy enough, the bow in the line was causing issues on a strike. I then tried the 5m line with a 6mm pellet and was plagued by little dinks from small roach and skimmers. A switch to an 8mm banded pellet and a carp was hooked.
With the increased wind, which was now blowing into Simon and Clive's bank, I was struggling to keep fish coming, so I upped the feed and put 3 inches of line on the deck, this saw improved presentation, but an increase in foul hooked fish. Shallowing up to 2 inches off deck saw the rig running through with the tow a little but I would also get proper bites and hook fish in the mouth. Clive was now catching well and I reckoned that I was always one fish behind him throughout. I would catch one and then Clive. Simon was struggling and had nicked a couple of carp, Tony was catching odd lumps, whilst Mick was having a nightmare on peg 8, with only a couple of roach and 2 carp caught late on.
1st John Holdsworth  86-00
2nd Clive Pritchard    66-08
3rd Keith Ashby        62-04
4th Gino Exell            52-08
5th Tony Watkins       42-00
6th Terry Goff            41-04 ( including a 23-08 carp caught in the tail with 10 minutes to go)
7th Tony Roberts       41-00
8th Simon Watkins     26-12
9th Mick Wright         13-08
10th Rod Turner         DNW
Well, that's it for another year with the Marsh AC lads, I have thoroughly enjoyed the matches that I have been able to attend. Good to see a few new venues appearing on the calendar. See you all next year.
On the MK Nugget front I have taken gone in front for the first time this year and now lead 6-5 with time and available dates running out. Never Give Up.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Joseph James Law Team Event Alders Farm 14 10 16

It is not often I get to fish a team event, due mainly to work commitments and the shift patterns making it impossible to fulfil league events unless I book loads of holidays to cover them. However, I got a phone call from Pete Morton, one of the moderators at the highly popular fishing forum www.maggotdrowning.com. A team has pulled out of the Joseph James Law Team event and can I fish, course I can, I was off anyway as I was fishing Hartleylands tomorrow, so another day's fishing with some of the other Maggotdrowners won't hurt.
The team consisted of Dave Pontin, Garry Toole, Dave Hart, Terry Pearce and myself. All had fished the recent MDs two dayer on the venue and had an idea of how to fish it.
On arrival at the fishery it was clear this was going to be a big event and Joseph James Law had pulled out all the stops and had everything organised to a tee.A bacon roll and a mug of tea supplied by the ever enthusiastic Alders Farm Catering team set me up for the day ahead. The match was to be a 5 aside match with 2 sections on both Ash and Pines and a single section on Oaks. To be honest I did not mind where I was placed, but in true MD tradition we drew lots and my home was to be A section on Ash Lake, all I needed now was a low number at the draw. Alas it was not to be peg 10. Not really where I wanted to be, it was flat calm and these pegs in the corner need a bit of a ripple on it. Garry had drawn peg 21, a good peg but will have his work cut out with Pete Archer next door. Dave had drawn the short straw and was going to peg 8 on Oaks, but we still had a couple of good pegs on Pines, Dave on peg 16 and Terry on 10. All to play for.
Match fishing scene had laid down the gauntlet regarding the match itself saying" as long as we beat MDs we will be alright". But there were plenty of class teams on show today and some very good anglers within those teams, after all Joseph James Law had put up a £1000 prize for the winning team, £500 for second and Lake winner prizes as well.
Onto my match I had decided to fish a tight match as the weather had got cooler, still feeding 4mm fishery pellets and fishing a 6mm, but had a bag of corn with me as well. I started off fishing 2+2 and after the first four put ins I had 4 fish around 2 1/2lb each, then nothing, I edged the rig out another 10 inches where it dropped off a couple of inches and nicked another couple of fish. It was fishing hard, I could hear Mark Russell fishing for Team England on peg 9 and D Pez from BAE on 12 both nicking a few fish, but no more or less than I. It was a heads down match. As the time progressed it became clear there were not the numbers of fish in the peg, that could do any damage to the early pegs, so I settled  for just trying to stay ahead of those around me. I tried coming in closer as sometimes just fishing before your feed can get you a few bites and switch to the side of the tree for another couple of fish, however it was not to be. I would get a couple of fish then nothing for 20 minutes. My final weight of 82-03 was good enough to beat 3 others in the 12 man section and I contributed 4 points towards the team total.Mark had beat me with 106-11. Not bad for a man who claimed only 70lb, I should have known better.
In hindsight I think a negative approach may have done better on the day, feeding everything via a tosspot and only a little at a time.
Garry had suffered on Peg 21 weighing in 36-08 for last in the section, Dave Hart had fished well and althogh he only weighed in 8-13 from Oaks it was enough for 7pts and a midway finish. Terry Pearce had drawn peg 10 on Pines and chipped in with 42-03 and 5pts whilst Dave Pontin secured second last in section with 5-07.
Team wise we came 10th from the 12 teams fishing, beating BAE and Match fishing scene.
Overall winners on the day were Team Drennan, with 2 section wins and 2 section 2nds and a 7 point score, this was enough to beat Team Garbolino by three points.
Overall individually
Colin Spencer ( Drennan)with 249-11 from Peg 3 on Ash
Steve Tucker (Garbolino)with 218-08 from Peg 2 on Ash
Steve Waters ( Drennan Oxford) 204-01 from Peg 1 on Ash
I have had an enjoyable day today, a good laugh with the other MDs, Dave taking photos of anybody with a name on their jacket, Joseph James Law have put so much effort and resource into a fishing match, if they deal with your legal needs with as much efficiency as they did today you would be a winner, they really have excelled themselves, from the moment you arrive and checking in, taking pre-match and match photos(from a distance) organising a buffet and hot drinks for after the event and providing the prizes for the presentation. Finally to everyone at Alders Farm, you do this week in week out and always have a welcoming smile.The lads who weighed in, did a sterling job, no moans, no gripes, very organised. Well done to all the winners either individually or in the teams. A credit to everyone involved and if I am invited next year within the team, I would definately take a days holiday for it.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Maggotdrowning Alders Farm Pines 08 10 16

I have been a long standing member of maggot-drowning.com since the very early days of its inception. I think my membership number is in the early double digit country and have met some great people over the years, many of whom are friends outside of the forum. So when the chance to catch up with a few of the old guard appeared on the site, I stuck my name down for the saturday match. They had booked Alders Farm for the Friday and Saturday but due to work I was unable to fish both days. They had a good day on Ash Lake on the Friday with 199lb winning and nearly everyone having a ton plus weight so good tight fishing.
Todays Match would be on Pines Lake, a lake I do enjoy fishing, although never seem to do well on it. With Trevor Price doing his normal meet and greet service by the shop, making sure everyone had there bait and advice.
Anyway after devouring one of Charlotte's lovely breakfasts it was down to the draw. There was only 9 of us fishing, a couple of others had dropped out due to man flu, namely my mate and normal nugget bandit Mick. So no MK Nugget to play for today. Another is the main man himself Mr Dave Webster, or Wibblester for those in the know, who by all accounts caught his dose of man flu rebuilding a house for another maggot drowner, Pete Morton. So lets get this straight Pete, you work the poor man into the ground, he catches a sniffle and cannot attend the weekend, this is what you do to the owner of MDs. Your a bad man. Still nine anglers and a match was to be had.
At the draw, we had the near side bank on Pines 1-10, as there were a few pleasure anglers dotted about on the far bank. Garry had drawn peg 1, I took the last peg 2, Gingert76 Tony Leutchford on peg 3 and Mugger himself on peg 4, Dave Hart on 5, John Holdsworth and Clive Pritchard on 6 and 7 respectively, before pegs 8 and 10 were filled by Terry Pearce and match organiser Dave Pontin.
So peg 2, not one of my favourites, but today is a different day. I aimed to start off at 2+2 at the edge of the shelf fishing and feeding fishery pellet. I also set up another rig to fish just past the feed which was a heavier rig, in case they backed off a little and the wind got up. A couple of margin rigs to fish the reeds both sides, one would be fed with corn, the other pellet and a little corn.
At the all in I potted into the margins and started throwing pellet by hand, this was when I noticed a few 4mms taking a lot longer than normal to sink. I was feeding around two dozen pellets every minute and was wary of over feeding the peg early on, I wanted to feel my way in before upping the feed. I had my first fish after around 10 minutes and with both Tony and Gary having caught a couple I was behind already but a 5lb fish is a good fish. Another few minutes go by and a smaller fish was in the net. This is where it all started to go wrong, I was either foul hooking a lot of fish or simply just losing them off the hook. Elastics were set soft, hooks were sharp and I could not get to grips with it. Changing the feeding to a larger handful less often, settled the fish a little and after 2 hours I was going nowhere, I had a dozen fish for about 40lb. I asked Ginger how he was getting on and he reckoned on 30 fish. Garry was admitting to 25. I needed the margins to produce. I re-fed the edges and had a quick look for a 6lb fish, but nothing else was forthcoming. A couple of smaller samples came in the next hour on a margin rig over the 2+2 line, before I decided to concentrate solely down the edge. I could see the odd reed moving and decided to sit on a grain of corn. Ten minutes later and I was into a good fish, it did not pull or fight but came straight to the net, 10lb thank you. Out again and a couple of small carp about 3lb. I started to toss pot after each fish and this produce regular bites until the end. I reckoned of having caught around 100lb in the last 2 hours down the edge, all from the reed bed towards peg 1.
At the all out I reckoned on a conservative 130lb, admitting to 100lb. Garry and Tony had been catching throughout, and I honestly thought I was fishing for 3rd place at best.
1st Keith Ashby                           142-08
2nd Clive Pritchard                      127-00
3rd Tony Leutchford                    112-00
4th Dave Pontin                           103-00
5th Garry Toole                           101-00
6th Dave Hart                               96-08
7th Pete Morton                           93-08
8th Terry Pearce                           92-00
9th John Holdsworth                    38-00
A surprise win and it just goes to show that fish can turn up in your peg at any time, if they turn up early then you can have a big weight, if they turn up late, as in this case, then a good weight can still be had. I was surprised though that pegs 1 and 3, although they had caught a lot of fish, their's were a lot smaller than I thought.Never give up.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Marsh AC Alders Farm Ash Lake 17 09 2016

Regular readers will know that Mick Wright and I have a running nugget stake at each match we fish together, This has been going on for a few years and this year is no different with Mick leading 5-4 going into today's encounter. Alders Farm and Ash lake is a local venue to the pair of us and as such we made our own way to the complex. After a chat with Debbie and Trevor in the shop, it was agreed we would fish the cafe bank pegs 1-11. We only had seven Marsh members and a couple of guests to help make up the numbers, but this allowed everyone to catch a few hopefully.
I intended to fish the pellet if I drew pegs 1-6 and corn if I was further down the lake, as it is a little deeper there and with a good wind blowing into the end pegs, I thought that a static bait would work better than pellets. However the decision was decided at the draw bag where I took the last peg and peg 3. Mick had end peg 11 and I fancied it for a few today. It would also suit Mick as you are not fishing too far out.
For company I had Tony Roberts on peg 2 and John Button on peg 4.
I set up a couple of DS .2 greens to fish at 2+2 with a foot of line above the float and a couple of margin rigs to fish both the edge of the reeds and by the tree between pegs 3 and 4. The open water rigs were on black hydro as I believe I land more fish than on the standard red. However down the edge it was red hydro and orange vespe due to the expected larger fish.
At the all in, I threw around two dozen pellets onto each line and started off on the 2+2 line. The wind though was only allowing me to throw to 2+1 1/2, so I replumbed up and started again. My first fish came after about 3 minutes on this new line and I was off and running, by making slight alterations to the rig I was able to keep picking off fish in the first hour and had 14 in the net for about 40lb. Tony was catching on the maggot but was losing a few fish, I could see Gino further down the bank and Jim catching on 6. The second hour flew by but I was still doing well against those around me and with around 90lb in the net I was in auto pilot mode. Feed, lay rig in, feed, lift rig, feed and so on. The amount of feed varied during the spells, If I was catching then around a dozen seemed right but if it went quiet I upped it to 2 dozen and started again.
Halfway through the match I knew I had done the ton and asked Tony how he was doing and he said he had 44 fish, so I worked that out to be 130lb and felt I was a little behind but still within reach. I was once told by Gary Thorpe, that if you think it, do it, this was so true today. I thought the fish were off bottom, and tried a shallow margin rig to start with and I nicked a couple of 5lb fish doing this but still it was not right. I then took my spare 2+2 rig and took the line off above the float and set it to 12inches deep and a short line above the float. The wind had died down a little and I pushed the rig a little further out and bingo, I had a run of fish that took the weight to around 160lb with an hour and a bit to go. I placed a fourth net in. I wanted to see how much I could catch in the last hour. Tony's peg was slowing and mine was picking up, I was still on the black hydro and although I must have lost a netfull of fish today, others suffered the same fate. I was catching steadily to the end and never tried the margins, catching all my fish at either top 4 or 3 1/2. All on pellet and not a grain of corn was used.
At the all out, I knew I had beaten those around me, but Mick was still a worry as I could not see how he was doing and as I said earlier I did fancy his peg. Jim was first to weigh and opened up with 118-08, Tony placed 179lb dead onto the scales before it was my turn. After 8 weighs I recorded 299lb onto the board. John Button on his first outing this year beat his personal best with 106lb and his first match ton. Chris pipped him with 120lb even before Jim Etherington jumped into 3rd place with 170lb. Gino and Terry had a good peg to peg battle with Terry edging it 124lb to 122lb. Then onto my nemesis, Mick, end peg and a good draw, 240-08 to take second spot.
1st Keith Ashby                      299-00
2nd Mick Wright                     240-08
3rd Tony Roberts                   179-00
4th Jim Etherington                 170-00
5th Terry Goff                        124-00
6th Gino Exell                        122-00
7th Chris Withall                     120-08
8th Jim Boase                         118-08
9th John Button                      106-00
Overall, despite the change in weather conditions, from hot and sunny yesterday to rain and wind today and a big change in temperature, the lake fished well again. Lowest weight was 106lb and a couple of double hundreds. But more important than all of that is the score 5-5 and level pegging. Onto the next one in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Alders Farm Ash Lake 06 09 16

With the MK Nugget challenge sitting at 5-3 to Mick, but with the initiative sitting with me I was glad we could both fish the Tuesday Open at Alders Farm, a win and I am on his coattails, a loss and back to square one.
Having obtained a couple of bags of 4mm fishery pellet from the shop, I was going to continue my learning curve on the banded pellet. I did have 4 tins of corn with me but hoped to not have to use them. With all the monies paid including the new Matchman League, we had 10 anglers fishing with the cafe bank and the dam wall included in the draw. I went into the bag first and out came peg 9, Mick follows and peg 3 is to be his home.
I decided to try to keep things simple today, 2 rigs for 2+2 and 2 rigs for the margins in 15 inches of water. All tied to .18 stroft and size 16 B911F1 hooks. Elastic was red hydro and black hydro. I have found that recently I cannot get the red to work properly, It is either too tight or too loose and I pull out of fish when the elastic is coming back. So I tend to prefer to fish with the black and a puller kit, this seems to work better and the ratio of fish hooked and landed is greater.
At the all in a handful of pellets went out to 2+2 and down the right hand margin by a clump of grass sticking out into the water.Starting off at 2+2 I had a small 2lb carp after around 5 minutes followed by a couple of similar size fish. I was feeding around a dozen pellets every put in and started getting a few liners so came 6 inches off bottom and still it persisted, I was still getting a few fish but was missing more bites, I switched over to a shallow rig and this saw a few more fish in the net. After an hour I had around a dozen fish for about 30lb.
At this point I saw a swirl over my margin line, out with a rig and buried, a nice 4lb fish. Another followed and another. I was doing well now and getting bites as soon as the bait hit bottom. If not, I would lift it out and start again. I needed to also vary the feed as when I fed heavier to bring fish in, too many came and I would get foul hookers, cut back and back to normal bites before dying again. This was an occurrence I faced throughout the match, I never felt I got it right on the day. Word was that Lee Newsom, Dave Pantin and Mick were catching. I could see Charlie Lancaster catching well on the paste and Dave Howe was getting a few off peg 15 in the corner.
Hours 3 and 4 were very similar, in that I would have a spell of fish before foul hookers then back to fish again, and although I was still putting fish in the net, they were on the smaller side, averaging 2lb apiece. The last hour, saw a couple of bonus fish with one around 8lb and another about 6lb. but it was all much of the same. I thought I had beaten Mick Kelly on peg 6 and Garry Toole on 10, but was unsure about the rest of the field and more importantly Mick.
Lee opened up the weigh in with 251lb before a peg to peg battle on 2 and 3  with Dave edging Mick out 239-233. It would be close as I reckoned on 200lb. Terry Lancaster then chipped in with 294. Not bad seeing he only had 4 fish after an hour. Mick K had 143 before I placed 238 to take the MK Nugget and make it 5-4 overall. Garry had 126 before we turned the corner to peg 15 and Dave Howe, 267lb and second place with 2 to go. Up next was the Pasteman, Charlie Lancaster and 340lb, before Dennis Simpson recorded his own personal best from peg 21 and 106lb.
1st Charlie Lancaster        340-06
2nd Terry Lancaster          294-15
3rd Dave Howe                267-09
4th Lee Newsom              251-15
5th Dave Pantin                239-12
6th Keith Ashby               238-11
7th Mick Wright               233-15
So one 300+ and 6 200+ weights and the lowest weight was just over the ton mark.I will not be able to make the next couple of Tuesday's as that thing called work gets in the way, but do have a club match at Alders on the 17th.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Marsh AC 03 09 2016 Colemans Cottage Wood Lake

After another midweek battering at the hands of Mick and another lost nugget, it was good to get back in the groove quickly and try to recoup some pride. Today's venue was Coleman's Cottage in Essex on Wood Lake and with 16 anglers booked in, should be a good match. I had fished it a few times over the years and it is lake I like, although the results from it have been a bit hit and miss.Problem is it also suits Mick.
Mick was driving and we made good progress from Milton Keynes to Witham, checked in for breakfast and monies paid to Chairman Dave. Although we had the whole lake, I thought the pegging was a bit strange, it was pegged to leave out the bowl and was just pegged along the straight on both sides. Giving both the end pegs a massive advantage. Still I would be on peg 38, with Mick on 9, a good peg by the aerator. I had two decent looking edges with room under trees either side, so these would be my option for later in the day. I was surprised to find around 6ft on 2+2 line and around 5ft on 12m. It was shallowing up towards the central islands. I also set up a shallow rig to go over these longer lines in case the fish came up. Bait would be 4mm Alders Fishery pellets with a 6 or 8mm hookbait. Nothing else. I have been trying to teach myself pellet fishing and slowly am coming to terms with it.
At the all in I cupped a halfpot onto the longer lines and threw a handful of pellet to me right hand side. I then started at 12m pinging a few pellets every 30 seconds. I had a few liners and finally connected with my first fish, a common around 2lb after about 10 minutes. With no further bites or liners I tried the 2+2 line. Nothing, no dips, liners or anything. Down both edges and a small carp from the left hand edge and a roach. Back out to 2+2 and a small skimmer, but found I had to feed heavier to get a bite. After an hour I had 4 fish for about 4lb. Not the start I wanted or expected.
Chairman Dave had come for a walk and was admitting to a couple of fish on the maggot, and that Simon was catching well on the end peg and both Mick and Tony were also doing well on the opposite bank. I needed to do something to provoke a response from the poor start. I shallowed my margin rig up to about 8inches deep and fished tight to the bank on my right hand side. I could see a couple of fish coming in and having a look and hoped to snagged a couple of them before they spooked completely. After around 5 minutes the float dipped and 5lb of angry mirror carp was in the net. Out again and another, unbelievable in such shallow water, that was it though. I deepened back to depth and by feeding a dozen pellets and dropping the rig through them picked off a few more carp, some ripping the elastic out before it touched bottom. With 3 hours gone, I was back in it, I had started a second carp net due to net limits and although I was missing a few bites I was also picking off odd fish to around 7lb. I could see Jim sneaking a few fish out regularly and John was also getting a few fish. Mick was still catching and I could see Tony netting some nice carp although they were slower than me.Whenever it went a bit quiet I simply re-fed and moved to the tight edge 8in swim as I could see a lovely ghost carp cruising in and out, alasI never did hook it, but it was a lovely fish.
With an hour to go I reckoned on 100lb in the net and opted to get a third net. I then started getting a lot of foul hooked fish, 6 on the trot at one point and made a slight tweak to the shotting pattern and this seemed to work a bit better. I did have a couple of  looks down the left hand edge but was getting odd roach.
At the all out I was hopeful of beating Mick despite the poor start as my catch rate was a little better, I thought.Simon and Clive had both posted a ton on the weigh sheet before the scales arrived at my peg. With 4 weighs of 4lb, 56lb 50lb and 27lb, I was under on all nets (60lb Limit) for a total of 137lb and the lead. John had just under the ton, Jim 121lb, before it got to Tony and Mick, with Mick just edging it 95lb to 91lb. Jim E who I could not see, and the grapevine seemed to miss, was last to weigh with 125lb.
1st Keith Ashby           137lb
2nd Jim Etherington      125lb
3rd Jim Boase              121lb
4th Simon Watkins       114lb
5th Clive Pritchard       107lb
6th Terry Goff              100lb
Overall, the lake fished well,after a slow start, the only anglers catching from the off were on the end pegs and the aerator. However as the wind increased and blew into the bottom of the lake, things improved. So with a MK Nugget in my pocket and the score looking a bit more acceptable at 5-3. Roll on Tuesday for another battle.