Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Alders Farm Ash Lake Costcutter 14 11 2017

There I was congratulating Mick on his win as Marsh AC club champion for yet another year, when it dawned on me that the all important MK Nugget was not finished and we still had one last agreed match to finish off the season. Today, was the day. Conveniently the score was 10 each, so it was all to play for. It's not the we do not go fishing anymore because we do. It is just that the matches tend to dry up, as we both do not like breaking ice, and we can focus on different aaspects of our sport. Myself, trying my hand for skimmers and proper bream on a local complex, Mick tackling the local rivers with a loaf of bread.
Ash Lake was the chosen venue, and as it had got decidedly cooler, the ball would fall nicely into Mick's court. he had completely dominated the start of the campaign winning a lot of his matches during the cooler spring months, before I managed a comeback during the summer months. Still the weather was fair with little wind and odd showers planned for later on towards the 3pm finishing time.
With only a few hardy souls in attendance. Nice to see Dave Stratful there as it has been a few years since our paths last crossed. We spread out along the cafe bank and the dam wall. Mick was again one of the first into the bucket and end peg flyer 21 sticks to his mitt. My attempt would see me on peg 19. So after 11 months of fishing, travelling and being pegged next to each other on numerous occasions we were also together on this last MK Nugget match of the year.
I planned to fish at 11m just out of the shaded area of the peg, this stretched to 14m before going completely dark with shadows. I also set up a line for top four and three but did not think the fish would come so close. I had good depth there, just a strange feeling around the time of year when a lot of fish are shoaling up in the bowl and island pegs. I also set up a small drennan crystal dibber which doubled up as a margin rig and shallow rig.
At the all in I started on a banded 6mm feeding a small amount of micros and a pinch of maggot. No bites after 20 minutes, I tried lifting and dropping, switching to a 6mm expander and even a 4mm banded. Still no bites. For 90 minutes, nothing no bites at 11m despite trying a variety of baits. Mick was faring better and had secured 3 carp before my float dipped and a small carp around 3lb graced the net taken on worm. Another fish on worm ten minutes later saw me close the gap to 3-2 before Mick pulled away again.I was looking around the lake and no one seemed to be setting the world alight and it was a case of trying to nick odd fish throughout. However, Trevor and John on pegs 6 and 7 were getting odd fish on the waggler.
Coming in on the closer lines proved fruitless with 30 minutes wasted for no bites or indications. Dennis decided he was going for a swim after falling off his box, so I was quick to ship back in and run to his aid. He did not look too good and was quite shaken but after a change of clothes was was soon back fishing. Back out to 11m and another carp, Mick was still nicking odd fish by the tree, however I found that by feeding a line at 11m and fishing 12.5m I would get odd bites. Strange I know, but who am I to argue.
I was now fishing double maggot on my 11m rig at 12.5m. Another seven carp came before the end of the five hours. It would be close between us, we both had 10 or 11 carp with Mick having a couple of Rudd and a skimmer to me solitary skimmer. Everyone seemed to have struggled.
1st Trevor Price 57-07
2nd John Light 56-04
3rd DanWallace 40-00
4th Dave Stratful 36-00
5th Keith Ashby 34-07
6th Mick Wright 27-02
7th Dave Adams 20-02
8th Pete Archer 14-10
9th Dennis Simpson DNW
So that's it for another MK Nugget year. A close one to call, I just nicked it at the death, 11-10. I still do not know how I managed to scrape in, I had a horrendous start to the year, worse than previous years, but managed to claw some results back during the summer and autumn.
Now for a few pleasure sessions to see the year out.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Monks Lake 2 Marsh AC 21 10 2017

We must be absolutely mental to go fishing in gale force winds brought on by Storm Brian, couple that with torrential rain heading our way.
We knew it was going to be a bit blowy as soon as I had collected Mick and hit the motorway. It was busier than normal and as soon as there was any sort of gap the wind hit you, pushing you to one side. Sensible precautions were the order of the day. We still made good time and were soon pulling into the car park at Monk Lakes. We were on Lake 2, a lake I have fished only once before and drew a dolly peg and won the lake. Today would be a bit harder, my dolly peg on the spit was not in and the bridge had gone. Dave had decided to fish the match trying to give everyone a spare peg. As there were only 12 of us this only comprised the car park bank and the left hand part of the spit.
After fuelling up on a bacon stick from the mobile snack wagon on site, we were ready for the draw. Mick had gone in early and I was hanging back. Out comes peg 60 for Mick and I have peg 58 on my scrap of paper. Yet again, we are pegged next to each other. At least we would have a tree in between us.I had Gino, who was in a rich vein of form at present, the other side of me. Tony Roberts was a little further up the bank and needed to beat Mick by a couple of places to win the overall league title. It would be interesting to see how it all turned out.
I set my stall out to catch on the deck, it was blowing well and gusting all over the shop but the calm patches were easily reachable and thought I could fish comfortably at 12.5m, I settled on 11m though just in case the wind got up even more. I had the same depth so used the same rig. Rig wise it was a DT Diamond .6g to .17 NGauge and a size 16 B911x. I also set up a DT Diamond in a .4g for the right hand edge. This time I had a hair-rigged banded pellet on a size 18 B911x.My final rig was a small Drennan crystal float for fishing shallow. It was set at 2ft with .19 NGauge to a size 18 B911x to white hydro.Bait would be 6 and 8mm hard pellets and meat on the 5m line. I did bring a feeder rod with me but the whistle went before I had a chance to set it up.
At the all in I cup in some 4mm pellets onto both 5m and 11m lines, leaving the margin until I was planning to fish it properly. I also put half a pot of 6mm meat onto the 5m line. I started off doing something a little bird told to try ages ago but had forgotten. I shipped my top three down the edge with a 8mm piece of meat and fed nothing, after 5 minutes the float buries and fish number one was on and off just as quick. There is definitely something in this. That was a bonus fish lost and I would need to work the margin properly now.
I started off over the 5m line and again first drop in had a carp around 4lb and I was off and running, A couple of skimmers followed, so I re-fed and went out to 11m, whilst I can. Fishing on the deck in the blustery conditions was not easy going, even with a longer than normal line between float and pole tip. Back shotting helped a lot but had to use a couple of number 4s to make it work. A couple of small F1s came during this spell, but also quite a few liners. Instead of shallowing up, I added a bit more line and held it all still. Another couple of fish before the liners appeared again. I picked up the shallow rig and after 5 minutes of pinging 3 or 4 pellets I was nicking a few better fish, a mix of F1s and Carp.I carried on throughout the match, I mean it is October. The last half hour I went down the edge properly. A banded 8mm tight in to the bank accounted for my best fish of the day 12lb.
I think everyone was relieved when the whistle went for the all out. We had all got battered by the wind, although it could have been a lot worse. The rain was only sporadic and although most of my gear was damp it was not sodden.
John started the ball rolling on the scales with 20lb although he did leave early.

Simon 68-12
Simon put 68-12 on the scales and word was that would be enough to win it. Chairman dave placed a level 16lb on the scales before a tie with Richard and Chris both recording 37-04.
Richard 37-04
Chris 37-04

Jim chipped in with 18lb of barbel.

Gino 29-08

Yours Truly 83-04

Mick not quite 48-12

Gino placed 29-08 onto the board with mainly feeder caught fish. I then placed my three nets on the scales to overtake Simon with 83-04. Mick was next to weigh, 48-04 and the MK Nugget was going my way. Terry placed 5-04 on the scales. Tony had sneaked in front of Mick with 60-12 before Jim placed 35-00 on the board.
1st Keith Ashby  83-04
2nd Simon Watkins 68-12
3rd Tony Roberts 60-12
4th Mick Wright 48-12
5th= Richard 37-04
5th= Chris Withall 37-04
So that is it for another Marsh AC year. As ever it has been a good year with plenty of ill health hampering our fishing, yet we still get out when ever we can and enjoy the craic. The Marsh AC lads are a credit to angling, they do not fish for the riches on offer because there ain't none, yet month in month out they turn out regardless of the conditions.Congratulations to Mick Wright on winning the Overall League title, something I know you have wanted since we joined all those years back. Well done to all the framers in all of the matches this year, it has been a pleasure to compete with you.
Finally to Mick, a long standing friend and travelling companion. It has again been a pleasure. After all our matches this year the score is situated at 10 each. A decider is on the cards.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Alders Farm October Festival Day Three ( Final)

First of all I would like to say Thank You to all those who have read my ramblings over the years. Although I really write this blog for my own personal notes, it is great to see that others enjoy it. All the feedback is positive and it is nice to know that it is something people look forward to reading.
Day three and the last and final day of the Alders Farm Festival. Going into the last round there were three anglers all tied on 12 points, one on 11, two on 10 and another three on 9. And we had the unknown factor of Pines Lake to contend with. We had spent two days on Ash Lake and from a personal point of view, I was just happy to still be in with a shout. OK I needed others to fall by the bank-side and I needed a near Herculean performance. But that's the beauty of fishing, anything can happen.
As a group we decided to amend the fishing times as some lads needed to get away sharpish at the end of the match. At least this time we will finish weighing in during daylight.
With yet another Full English firmly tucked away, it was onto the ever important draw. Again two sections of 7, although John Haselar was unable to attend as he put his back out lifting his nets on day two. Slowly the pegs were going and as I got closer there was not many left. In goes the hand and peg 15. I had to ask where it was, but was told it used to be a good area. Nice, used to be.
All the draw bags had still managed to draw well, even without Pop Ups assistance. Nick was on Peg 1, Followed by Ricky and Nick P on 2 and 3. Fozzy had secured 4 with Dave Taylor sitting on 5. Colin Spencer on 22 and Paul Kearns on 24 made up the section,
My section went Pete Archer on 6, Rob on 9 with Lee sitting on 12. I was next on 15 with Matt Kearns keeping me company on 16. Alan made up the last man in the section.
My plan today was simple, 4 pole lines, one up at 11m due to the wind and one down on the same hole. A 5m line for pellet and a top three line for maggot. I also set up a waggler rod for fishing beyond the pole in case the wind dropped. I did not expect to use it but it was available.

I started off at 5m and spent the first 30 minutes trying to stop foul hooking fish. I had landed three all in the tail and was shortening the rig to no avail. So I went back to plan A and changed the shotting to a spread shot pattern. This seemed to work better. Very few foul hookers and bites almost instantly. I was feeding a mixture of fishery micros and 4mm and fishing a 6mm on the hook. I had not fed the top three line as I was leaving this for the last hour unless things dried up. I had put a pot of micros and 4mms onto the 11m line in case but again with the wind it would make this awkward to fish.
To be fair I was getting into a rhythm, I would hook a fish and ping 6 or 7 pellets onto the line whilst playing it. Net it and feed again by hand again about 6 or 7 pellets. Load up toss pot with micros and 4mm , ship out, float settle and bury, repeat process. It was working well. If I felt fish were coming up in the water I simply cut out the 4mms and fed micros, this seemed to put them back down.
With 2 hours gone I reckoned on having around 40lb and although not a brilliant weight I was going OK against those in my section and that was the main priority. Section Points. I could see Pete Archer on peg 6 and he was catching well and good fish. All mine were on the 2lb mark with the odd better one. Rob was slowly putting together a good weight, whilst Lee had a few early fish but was struggling at 14m for only small yearling carp and odd proper carp. Matt was getting odd bites but was again getting pestered by the smaller yearling fish. Alan I could not see very well but I did hear his spool going regularly on his feeder reel.
For me it was heads down and focus and having had a nightmare start, make use of the remaining time. Hours three and four flew by, I was still catching well and putting fish in the onion sack.
However with around 90 minutes to go , disaster, the elastic snapped at the puller and everything was lost elastic, rig, the lot. A quick re-plumb of the 11m deep rig and I was back in but with a firmer elastic than I really needed. I then decided to start feeding the top three lines and only feeding the 5m line every now and again to keep it ticking over.
Another couple of fish on the 5m line and after spending 20 minutes of regular feeding the top 3 line I started fishing it properly. I was feeding very regularly around 30 or 40 maggots every 30 seconds and getting a mix of fish, mainly carp to around 4lb but odd yearlings, an odd skimmer and a perch.
Fortunately I was able to keep things ticking over to the end.
All out and the festival was over, Pete had battered the section and would be crowned Alders Farm October Festival Champion for 2017 so any hopes I had were gone. It was left for the weigh in and the results to be shared.

Matt Kearns Peg 16
Alan Harrison Peg 19
Barbel and A Tench for Colin
Paul Kearns peg 24 

Top Three Individuals
1st Pete Archer 246-02
2nd Colin Spencer 232-14
3rd Colin Fosdyke 206-00

Overall Section 1
1st Colin Spencer 232-14 7pts
2nd Colin Fosdyke 206-00 6pts
3rd Ricky Quick 192-08 Section Winner 5pts
4th Nick Pringle 171-08 4pts
5th Dave Taylor 145-08 3pts
6th Nick Rowe 117 -00 2pts
7th Paul kearns 49-04 1pt

Overall Section 2
1st Pete Archer 246-02
2nd Keith Ashby 172-00 Section Winner 6pts
3rd Alan Harrison 146-04 5pts New Personal Best Match Weight beating yesterday's weight
4th Rob Rendle 140-00 4pts
5th Matt Kearns 101-12 3pts
6th Lee Newson 96-08 2pts
7th John Haselar  Did Not Fish 1pt

Final Points table
1st Pete Archer 19 points  541-01
2nd Colin Spencer 18 points 534-04
3rd Colin Fosdyke 18 points 517-00
4th Ricky Quick 15 points  431-11
5th Dave Taylor 15 points  421-03
6th Keith Ashby 15 points  403-08
7th Lee Newson 12 points 355-04
8th Matt Kearns 12 points 325-12
9th Nick Rowe 11 points 343-02
10th Alan Harrison 11 points 334-03
11th Rob Rendle 8 points 308-02
12th Nick Pringle 6 points 296-14
13th Paul Kearns 4 points 213-01
14th John Haselar 4 points  153-12

So that is it for another year, many thanks to all the competitors, plenty of new faces which is always good to see.No moaning or complaining, instead discussed and agreed. Well done to all the winners and losers. The staff at Alders Farm over the 3 days, first class service as always. You do realise you are the standard I measure everyone against. To Trevor Price who has organised the event and been on hand every day to assist, guide, supply bait and coach where required. Also to Alders Farm Fishery (not the people), the fish have surpassed themselves over the three days, excellent and fair sections with you making us work for our catches.Finally to Drennan who as a surprise, laid on a few prizes, rods and umbrellas, for some of the contestants. Unfortunately not for me though, still I cannot complain, I have picked up a few quid and enjoyed three days wonderful fishing in good company.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Alders Farm October Festival Day Two 12 10 2017

So there I was yesterday, professing to fishing too light for the fish in front of me. I felt that I would have secured another few fish by fishing more positive. So with this mind, I was going to pull out all the stops, regardless of where I was going to draw.
I had done alright yesterday, 4th in section but picked up some coin, sneaking the section by triple default. Strange how these things work. Today though was on the harder but fairer section. At the breakfast table all the talk was who was getting peg 21 and 29. Both Pete Archer and Colin Spencer were claiming them as their's. With breakfast out of the way and Pete holding the bucket,  Pop Up stepped up and pulled out his peg, 21 can you believe it? Colin could not believe it, only for Jim to pull out 29 for Colin. That is one golden arm. I was going to reside on peg 27, it won the section the day before. Colin Fosdyke was on 28 and Alan Harrison was on Peg 30. Round the corner we had Pete Archer on 21, Nick Pringle on the peg nobody wanted 20 and Rob Rendle on 19.

Any one of these Please!!!

Interestingly both Matt Kearns and Dave Taylor who were leading the other section were pegged next to each other on 2 and 3 respectively. John Haselar on 1, Paul Kearns on 5, Nick Rowe on 6, Ricky Quick 7 and Lee Newson on end peg 8.
As I stated earlier I felt a more positive approach was required, this would not be in the feeding but in the rigs themselves. I was going to start on .19 NGauge to a size 16 B911x and .4 rigs. They were all Derek Smith Diamonds, there was not a lot of difference in depth from 5m through to 11m so I just made duplicates of the same rig with depths accordingly. I also set up a small float for fishing maggot tight into the reeds to my right. I only had about 10 inches of cover, but the fish are used to it.
At the all in, I started off on 6mm pellet at 5m feeding fishery 4mm pellets through a toss pot. A foul hooked fish to start with and then nothing. I tried a maggot on the hook and still nothing. Adding a section and working a pellet around the feed got me a couple of small carp. Fossy had got off to a good start with 5 in 5 put ins before again his swim went quiet.
I could hear a bit of splashing from peg 29 so knew Colin was also nicking a few early on.

I could not work it out, I had to feed to get bites, not too much and you would get one or two fish and then have to move to a new area of the peg. Bait would have be either maggot or Pellet, it did not seem to make any difference. With 2 hours gone I had 9 fish for around 18lb and felt I was going nowhere. I was going to fish the remainder of the match down the edge. I was going to be last in section if I did nothing so attacked the edge positively.
Although I had only around 10 inches of depth at a top three and tight in, I could see odd fish coming in and going out again. I needed to find a way of holding them there. Feeding pellets and maggots together seemed to work and bites were coming regularly enough to keep things interesting. I was still having to wait but bites were hit-able and averaging 3lb a fish, I was building a weight. Not enough to catch Fossy but it would be close within the section.
At the all out I thought I had around 80lb but it may be nearer the ton if they were slightly better than the estimate.
Top Three Individuals
1st Lee Newson 152-04
2nd Colin Fosdyke 146-02
3rd Ricky Quick 125-10

Overall Section 1
1st Colin Fosdyke 146-02  7pts
2nd Pete Archer 109-07  Section Winner 6pts
3rd Keith Ashby 105-09  5pts
4th Colin Spencer 105-06 4pts
5th Alan Harrison 101-07 New Personal Best Match Weight  3pts
6th Rob Rendle 86-01 2pts
7th Nick Pringle 46-08  1pt

Overall Section 2
1st Lee Newson  152-04 7pts
2nd Ricky Quick 125-10 6pts
3rd Dave Taylor 115-00 5pts  Section Winner
4th Nick Rowe 107-06
5th Matt Kearns 100-09
6th John Haselar 68-01
7th Paul Kearns 66-04

So all to play for tomorrow, I realistically need a section win and hope that others fail. I am probably lying mid table and is where I thought I would be. I spoke with Nick Rowe prior to the start of the festival and he was of the same vein as me. Did not think we could compete at the top of the table but can upset a few results.

Alders Farm October Festival Day One 11 10 2017

Like a lot of anglers around the country I enjoy a change, this may be a change of venue, a different style of fishing or in this case a festival over a set amount of days. This had been planned for months, I committed to it and arranged all of my life around it. Nothing was scheduled for the three competitive days. Admittedly I was busy leading up to the event and will be after, but nothing in between.
Alders Farm for me, is a venue that I do not fish a great deal of at weekends. Mainly due to the anglers attending the weekends. They are a great bunch of lads but I feel that I cannot compete with them on a regular basis. Perhaps wrongly but it is how I feel. Events like this, gives me confidence as it is spread over a period of time rather than one match.
On this festival we have some very good anglers, who have appeared in both the weekly and monthly magazines showing off the skills that us mere mortals can only dream about. Yet these same people will tell you anything you want to know. People have travelled far and wide for the event and this is on my doorstep.
My festival started with a chat with Trevor Price and collecting the excellent maggots I had ordered from him. Loading the trolley with everything I would need for three days of fishing, as we did not know which lake we would be on. A full English breakfast followed in the cafe, before we received the bad news. It seems that a lot of anglers had dropped out, some with good reason, some without any notification whatsoever. Still, there would be 14 of us, not ideal but it made two sections of 7 and we decided amongst ourselves how we would progress considering the short numbers. We decided on two sections of 7 on Ash lake. Alternate on day two using the opposite sections still on Ash Lake. Friday would see all 14 of us on Pines Lake again split into 2 sections. Section points would be awarded each day and the highest score winning, If a tie then weight would be a decider. Payout each day would be top three on the lake and default section winners, thus spreading the pot a little further.
My draw saw me on Peg 6 on Ash, a good peg and one I fished thew week earlier. I caught then on pellet at top four and late on with maggot on top three both in front and to the left. I would set my stall to do similar today. I set up a couple of DS diamonds .3g to cover the depth from top three to top 5, incase they pushed out a bit. I also set up a .3g MW steady for 11m in case the wind dropped and I needed to fish long. I had Pete Archer and Nick Endpeg Pringle on 7 and 8 with Colin Fosdyke on peg 4. Rob Randle was on 3 with the pastehead supreme Colin Spencer on peg 2. Alan Harrison made up the section on peg 1. To be honest I thought that mid way in the section would be about right. Pegs one, two and four were all good and eight would have a lot of water to play with.
I started off fishing the 5m line and within minutes I was playing a good fish around 8lb. I would have blown the whistle for all out then.Another smaller fish after around 5 minutes of lifting and dropping. I was feeding a small amount of micros with 4 or 5 fishery 4mm pellets via a toss pot. I was having a bite instantly as the float settled, if not I would start lifting and dropping. Colin was catching well on 4 and I could see Colin Spencer's landing net going backwards and forwards. Pete on 7 was getting a few bites long both up and down in the water. After a couple of hours I had a dozen fish for approximately 40lb.
I had a quick look long but nothing was forthcoming, I think a heavier float would have been better. A look on maggot short only produced a 2oz perch, so it was back on the pellet. By swapping rigs and depths around I was nicking odd fish, a couple on pellet, a couple on maggot then 20 minutes with nothing before It went full circle again. Eventually  I got a few fish to settle on the top three line to the left and I was putting a run together, however I was also getting a few foul hookers amongst them. Pete was now flying, getting a fish nearly every put in long and shallow. Nick was struggling on the end peg. Fossy and Colin Spencer were also doing well.
The anglers on the opposite dam wall were all catching but in spurts, similar to us. I could see those on 27 to 30 putting fish in their nets, so at least we were all getting a few.
At the all out I had the pleasure of saying fish on, and after taking my time slipped the net under a 3lber firmly hooked in the side.
Top Three Individuals:
1st Colin Spencer 196-01 
2nd Peter Archer 185-08
3rd Colin Fosdyke 164-14

Overall Section 1
1st Colin Spencer 196-01   7pts
2nd Peter Archer 185-08  6pts
3rd Colin Fosdyke 164-14  5pts
4th Keith Ashby 125-15  4pts Section Winner
5th Alan Harrison 86-08  3pts
6th Rob Rendle 81-14  2pts
7th Nick Pringle 78-14  1pt

Overall Section 2
1st Dave Taylor  160-11  7pts  Section Winner
2nd Matt Kearns 123-07  6pts
3rd Nick Rowe 118-12  5pts
4th Ricky Quick 113-09  4pts
5th Lee Newson 106-08  3pts
6th Paul Kearns 97 -09  2pts
7th John Haselar  85-11  1pt

So with day one out of the way it is time to reflect on the day. In hindsight I think I fished it too light on all fronts. I would have been better off fishing with a bulk rig and dotting the float right down to a dimple. I did get a few in the end but so did everyone else on the short lines, so perhaps a bit more time with a more direct approach longer would have produced more.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Alders Farm Ash Lake 03 10 2017

It has been a while but we have finally got a MK Nugget match after a few weeks off. Mick has been on family duties for the last couple of weeks, so no matches. Just when he had opened up a lead again. It is back to 10-8 in his favour and with the year and potential matches running out, it will come down to the wire.
Today saw a dozen of us fishing Ash Lake at Alders Farm. Pines Lake had suffered from plenty of rain and made the trek up to it a bit messy so on the grounds of Health and Safety the decision was made to fish Ash Lake.
We had the pegs 1 round to 21 with a few pleasure anglers occupying the pegs opposite the cafe. They were getting a few fish whilst we were waiting to draw so we were all hopeful of a good days fishing. I deliberately hung back and waited for Mick to draw first. Peg 8 was to be his home for the day whilst my paw lifted peg 6 out. At least we could see what the other was doing and gauge accordingly. In between the pair of us we had a new face in Ben Lawrence. A couple of older faces were on 2,3,and 4 in Dennis Simpson, Trevor Price and Peter Archer. Waldorf and Statler were back together again. Mr consistency Lee Newson was on Peg 1. Charlie Lancaster had drawn peg 12 with Paul Woodley on 19 David Adams 20 and Neil Lawrence 21.
I opted to fish 4 lines today. 9m, 5m, 3m and top three to my right. It was quite breezy to start with so I set up a heavier rig than normal .6g DT Diamond to .19 Stream and a B911F1 hook in size 16. This would cover the 9m line. A couple of .4g DS Diamonds to .17 Stream but one with a size 16 the other 18 B911f1 hooks. The margin line was a Del Smith Green into a foot of water. I did not expect to catch on this line as it was fairly clear. Bait would be 6mm Hard Pellet with 4mm and micros( both fishery pellets) on the longer lines and maggot on the shorter lines.

I started on the 5m line feeding micros via a toss pot and fishing dead depth, I also felt that the fish needed to know that bait was coming in so threw 4 or 5 pellets in every 30 seconds or so. This caught me a couple of quick fish, but then nothing, Ben next door on 7 also had a couple then nothing. Mick was ahead of me after an hour. Ben started fishing long and this is perhaps something I should have done earlier. I did go out to 9m after the hour but I was getting skimmers and odd smaller carp.Things were steadily going from bad to worse. After 2 hours I had 11 fish for around 30lb. Ben was catching well for the first couple of hours, Pete Archer and Trevor were also catching well on differing tactics. Trevor fishing rod and line to Pete's pole attack.
A deep spell of no fish affected the three of us on 6,7 and 8 despite us all changing lines, shotting, opening up new areas of the peg and differing our feeding approaches. Nothing any of us could do brought a run of fish.Going into the last hour I made the switch to maggot. I had been feeding a little and often at top three and had a look over it at regular intervals. However, this time the float dipped and red hydro came out. A good carp around 5lb and his little brother also joined in the fun. A couple of foul hookers put the dampers on things for a little while but they soon came back and I was catching a few fish. Problem was so was Mick. The scales would tell at the end but I thought it would be close.
David Adams on peg 20 was leading by the time the scales got round to our side of the bank with 89-07.
Charlie had packed up early preferring to sort out his clutch on his car than continue to struggle on peg 12.

 Mick was next and his total of 74-13 was his reward.

Ben placed 98-05 on the board to take the lead, considering he struggled for over half the match.

 My three weighs went a total of 112-15 to take the lead but still had 4 good pegs with good anglers on.

  Pete weighed in 124-14 to jump ahead of me.

Trevor Price placed a method caught 128-13 to jump ahead of Pete, it was that sort of match. Dennis placed a creditable 68lb on the scales which consisted of a lot of small fish, again caught on the method. I will say that there was a lot of underhand tactics going on today with Trevor having to bear the brunt of it. Both sides of him have tried to stop him catching by filling it in. Groundbait one side and micros the other. 
Last to weigh though was Mr Consistency Lee Newson. 129-02 and yet another win under his belt albeit by 5oz.
My luck has turned again and I have to find another home for an old pound coin. Mick now leads 10-9 but considering where I was a while back, I am happy with the fightback and my Positive Mental Attitude.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Alders Farm Ash Lake 26 09 17

It was so good having Pete Morton stay over as we got talking about his blog and how the photos he takes are a great feature of it. Now Peter fishes for fun, but still has a competitive streak when required. He will regularly stop mid match and take a few snaps before going back to his peg and mugging a few fish to normally frame. However I took the opportunity to ask him how he does his photos. It was never this easy before. So now you get piccies.
It has been noticeable over the last few weeks that there are a lot of fish holed up on the far bank of Ash Lake. Some double tons at weekends and even when the rest of the lake has been performing below par there have been some good weights. That's not to say the cafe bank has been fishing badly, just that the fish have drifted in and out all the time. Getting a run of fish together is hard but if you can get them going then a very good weight is on the cards.
Today would see pegs 1-8 on the cafe bank and 27 to 30 on the opposite bank. Now we are entering October and the fish are still sitting in the shallow water, strange place Alders. With pools and pegging paid it was onto the draw. Peg 28 was to be my home and not where I fancied to be honest. It had some good form winning the JJL match and also framing the previous week, so there were fish about. Either side of me, I had Nick Pringle on 27, Peter Archer ( Waldorf from the muppets) and Trevor Price on 30 ( Statler also from the muppets). I knew the banter would flow and before a line was wetted a post was on Facebook highlighting the new parking arrangements and what sponsorship was all about. At least Nick would keep me sane.

I had decided to fish pellet on a top four and top six if things were not going to plan. I had the tree to my left and although I fancied it for a few fish was not comfortable fishing it, as it was fraught with danger. A couple of margin rigs one for pellet and the other with maggot would see me through the match.
At the all in I started off feeding a few micros with a pinch of 4mms. After 5 minutes the float dips and a 5lb carp is soon in the net. Feed again and same thing happens, The red hydro is doing its stuff. Then nothing, I started dropping in 4 or 5 pellets and I would get a couple more fish. A switch to maggot saw a smaller fish of 2lb so this was sacked off and I continued plugging away on the pellet.
Pete was catching well in between bursts of tourettes. Nick was proclaiming his ascendancy as the Alders Farm Perch Champion, Trevor was bemoaning his lack of fish. Across the pond I could see Alan Donnelly, Charlie Lancaster and John Clennet all catching well. Far better than I.
All I could do was to keep plugging away, I was switching between top four, margins pellet and maggots just nicking odd fish, but they were a decent size so you never know. I was seeing tails and fish down the edges but they would not feed. They were coming in and as soon as a pole went over them they shot off. The water was quite clear so this may have been a contributory factor.
Back out to top four and by fishing just dead depth and dotting the float to a dimple, I caught steadily to the end. Nick had finally got amongst the carp with a late run of fish. But the match would be settled from the cafe bank or Pete.
1st Pete Archer 212-03

2nd Charlie Lancaster 186-13

3rd Alan Donnelly 185-02 ( First ton weight of carp)

4th John Clennet 182-02

5th Keith Ashby 147-04

6th Trevor Price 111-15

Well where are they Trev?

Now all I have to do is check the Waldorf and Statler statuses on Facebook. It was promised to get messy.