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.
Overall
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.
Overall
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.
Overall
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.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Alders Farm Ash Lake 30 08 16 + Toft Lakes 31 08 16

Sorry for the delay but it seems I do not have a lot of time at present. Probably because I have been on the bank a couple of times a week for the last fortnight.
Anyway, the Alders Farm Costcutter matches on a Tuesday are starting to gain a bit of a following, with 14 anglers in attendance, especially seeing as the final of the Matchman League took place the previous day on the Bank Holiday Monday. Well done Colin Fossdyke on the win.
Mick the Meat was in attendance today, so the MK Nugget was resumed. It is 4-2 to Mick and if I had any chance of overtaking Mick I needed to start now and hope he falters towards the end of the year.
So with all the pegs sorted and monies paid ( I have also decided to have a go at qualifying for the next Matchman League final) it was into the drawbag. Mick had gone in first and out comes peg 21 ( flyer) I go in and out comes 19. Never far away, we spend all week at work together and then always seem to draw next to each other.
Arriving at my peg it looked good, I could see a few swirls at 5m and thought the fish would be up today, so set up a couple of deep rigs to fish 5m, and a couple of shallow rigs, one a foot deep the other 2ft. I also set up a margin rig to fish to my right hand side. I had Matt Kearns for company on 18 and the progress he has made this year has been outstanding, not only that but he is a nice young man without the attitude a lot of his generation seem to have.
At the all in, I cupped a half pot of fishery 4mm pellets onto the 5m line and started off on the deep rig with a banded 6mm pellet. I was getting a few bites, yet not turning them into net fish, I was either foul hooking fish or pulling out of them. This went on for about 30 minutes and with only 3 fish in the net I was already behind both Mick and Matt. I tried the deep shallow rig and this got me a few more fish but it was not quick enough to compete. I tried long and shallow and again I would get a few fish but then nothing. It was now 2 hours into the match and I only had around 30lb in the net.
The change came when i went down the margin, I had been feeding from the off, around a dozen pellets every minute. First put in and 10lb added to the weight, another of around 4lb followed by a 6lb fish. 20lb in less than 10 minutes. I would persevere for the remainder of the match, switching sides occasionally to rest the swim but only for 5 minutes at a time. During this switch I also managed a couple of fish from the left hand side but these were smaller fish. I was still way behind both Mick and Matt and this would follow through to the end.
At the all out I breathed a sigh of relief, and was quite glad it was over. I had wasted 2 hours and knew I should have done better. Lesson learnt. I even gave Mick his Nugget before the weigh in.
Overall
1st Charlie Lancaster     277-04
2nd Richard Brain         262-14
3rd Mick Wright           239-04
4th Pete Archer            230-09
5th Matt Kearns           217-01
6th Tim Jolley               176-09
7th Keith Ashby           154-14
Mick now leads 5-2 in the challenge and my work is cut out to regain the lead, but I will be trying.

Wednesday saw myself and Vic travel to another new venue for me, Toft Lakes near Dunchurch, Warks. I had heard good reports of the place from Vic and a couple of other people. It does not look like a hole in the ground carp puddle, but is very mature couple of lakes, with nice comfortable platforms. I decided to fish the pole as I had been told the margins can be good. Vic was to fish the pellet waggler and the bomb.
I set up 4 rigs, one at 5m in around 5ft of water, another at 11m with 6ft of water, a shallow rig and a margin rig for 2ft of water. 
My plan was to fish corn at 5m, pellet at 11m and corn down the edge. I fed all the lines at the start and started off at 11m, with just a couple of small indications on the float to show for it, after 30minutes I was trying the corn at 5m, again I was getting small lightning bites which I suspected were from roach. I decided to refeed the margin line after an hour with corn, and went straight over it. The change was immense, 3 fish in 15 minutes, one around 10lb the others around 4lb. This line then went quiet and I was getting bitten corn, a sign of the red signal crayfish who seem to have a liking for sweetcorn. I refed and had a quick 10 minutes down the left hand swim for one fish around 5lb. 
Vic was having a mare on the waggler 5 fish hooked and only one out, a switch to the bomb saw a couple of foul hookers. I just kept plugging away in the margins with a double corn bait. Occasionally I would drag out a crayfish, but I was still picking up odd carp to 10lb. 
By rotating the margins I was able to keep in touch with the carp, finishing off with 18 carp and a couple lost due to hook pulls. Vic had got his act together and ended up with around a dozen fish in the net.
A good pleasure day out, a new venue and some more carp caught.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Alders Pines Lake 23 08 16

After yesterdays exertions at Meadowlands, I still had one day off before going back to shift work. Tuesday's for me have always been about the Costcutter matches at Alders Farm. Today's match was to be on Pine's Lake and with a good turnout expected due to the Matchmen League coming to a close. Anglers were chasing those final points to make it through to the final on Bank Holiday Monday.
My day started off well, I woke up, always a bonus when your getting on a bit. I took the ten minute trip to the fishery and dipped my nets at the top. With all the scares of KHV going around it is always best to be on the safe side. A couple of bags of fishery pellet and no corn for me today.
Fifteen anglers were queueing up for a good draw and with having the whole lake to ourselves we would all have a bit of room.It was also good to meet a couple of Maggotdrowning members (getting a sneaky practice in) Davered5 and Turkish 67. My home for the next five hours was to be peg 9, an OK peg but the wind was blowing down to this end of the lake so I was hopeful of catching a few. I had Richard Brain on peg 7, Matt Kearns on peg 6 and Ian Orbell on peg 12. There was no one on 10 or 11 and this would normally provide sanctuary for the carp.
I set up four rigs to cover top two plus two and the right hand margin, plus another rig to fish in front of the platform of peg 8. Although I did not expect to use it. All tied on .18 Stroft to a size 16 Drennan Carp Margin hook, I am starting to like these hooks but have suffered a few hook pulls recently. Del Smith floats in .2 and either red hydro, orange vespe or black hydro, dependant on how they were having it.
At the all in, I potted half a pot of 4mm fishery pellets to the platform and started throwing around a dozen pellets to two plus two. After a few minutes I run the landing net under a nice carp around 5lb, a couple more followed and thought today was going to be the day, however for no apparent reason I started to pull out of and foul hook fish. After an hour I had around a dozen fish but must have lost 7 or 8 along the way. Hour two saw the same thing continue despite changes to feeding, depth, shotting, fishing a bit further in/out. It did not seem to make any difference. I reckoned on having around 70lb at this stage and although was still putting fish in the net, was still losing too many for my liking. Hour three saw my original rig on the orange vespe elastic trashed so I switched to the duplicate on black hydro. Now I do not know why but the ratio of lost fish improved and I was cruising placing 50lb in the nets. It was not too last though, half way through the fourth hour the swim died, I tried coming shallow and nicked a few but it was too slow.
At this point I made the decision to move to the right hand margin. I had fed it every half hour with a small handful of pellets since the start and first put in a small carp around 4oz, not what I expected. Second put in though was his bigger brother and and his mates were ready to follow, I was getting a bite every put in, however some of those I expect were those smaller carp, which we placed back rather than crush them in the keepnets. At the all out I estimated I had 60lb in each net for a total of around 180-200lb.
Overall
1st Charlie Lancaster      243-15      Peg 15
2nd Gary Thorpe           226-04       Peg 18
3rd Keith Ashby            219-03       Peg 9
4th Terry Lancaster        214-04      Peg 22
5th Jim Stubbings           175-06      Peg 4
6th Pete Archer              164-13     Peg 14
Overall, the lake fished well, no clear runaway winner and plenty of ton plus weights. A few of the lads topped up their points towards the Matchman League Final and are now safe.My next match will be next Tuesday, 


Monday, 22 August 2016

Meadowlands Pleasure Day 220816

When you are away with the Yam Yams you get talking about venues local to them, one of them was a place called Meadowlands, situated this side of Coventry. It consisted of two lakes, Lambsdown and Warren and is home to a good head of carp that have a liking for the pellet waggler and bomb. Again something I am still learning. I had been there last year for a look round on one of the Yam Yam matches and was impressed with the set up.
I had not been out for a while with a good friend Vic, so when it was mentioned about a trip up to Meadowlands I jumped at the chance. I arranged to meet Vic at Jack's Cafe at 0630 for the 45 minute journey to the fishery. On arrival we opted to fish Lambsdown, the larger of the two lakes. With a day ticket paid and a couple of bags of fishery 8mm pellets stored in the carryall we off around the lake. We decided to sit on pegs 47 and 48. No real reason why, probably because the car was not allowed any further round.
The plan was to fish the bomb and waggler, but I also set up a sneaky pole line just in case for corn. Not far out as it was very shallow but enough on a topkit and one. I had a selection of hookbaits that I could use, 8 and 10mm Jupiters, some 8 and 10mm standard skrettings and a few other samples that found there way into the tub.
I started off on the waggler, set around 3ft deep at around 40m, pinging was hampered by a strong left to right wind, that was gusting everytime you wanted to feed, so I was fishing slightly to me right to combat this.
Vic had started on the bomb and was soon into a couple of fish. I had my first after around 15 minutes on the bomb and a 10mm Jupiter, a good common touching double figures, another couple found there way to the net, smaller than the first but still averaging 5lb. A switch back to the waggler saw me pick up a odd fish, before it was back to the bomb. I then had a spell of foul hookers, some taking the tip round on the drop. I had a couple of looks on the pole line and was never really comfortable on it. The double corn would go and I would end up with a roach or skimmer. Understandable really when 100lb bags of silvers are caught on a venue.
Vic was still catching regularly and was always in front of me by a couple of fish. I am not sure how we should have approached the water, we just did what we thought was right and we caught on the day. Both of us had over the ton and a good practice session ahead of next years trip to Viaduct and Stafford Moor.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Alders Farm Pines Lake 09 08 16

With my secondment to working in Dagenham now over, I am now working back in Milton Keynes, but not scheduled to go back until the 16th, so it made sense to fish the Tuesday Costcutter at Alders Farm. I did not know which lake it was to be on, but have decided I need to try to learn how to fish hard pellet. Now this may sound simple to most, but trying to get the best from it, is what you need to work out. I do not take these matches too seriously, they are more relaxed and people tend to open up a little on these events.
There were 10 of us in the queue for the draw, pegs 10 to 25 on Pines Lake. My draw saw me sitting on peg 16 in the open water. I would have preferred a peg on the dam wall or the top end of the lake but it was not to be.
As I have already stated I wanted to practice my pellet fishing, so I only took a tin of corn as a change of hookbait, no corn feed, a couple of fishery 4mms bags and a bag of 6mm fishery pellets as hookers. I also had a few 8mm hookers, again as a change bait. I was going to fish the open water, 2+2 line, so set up 3 rigs to cover the 2ft depth. Two set dead depth, one at half depth. I also set up a margin rig to fish top three to my right. The two at dead depth were .20 to a size 16 B911F1 hook and a Del Smith Margin float. The half depth float was also one of Del's green slimmer range.Over the last couple of weeks I have tried a hair rigged band on the hook and this was not right. A straight band on the hook resulted in more fish in the net and less foul hookers.
I had Paul on 14 and Matt on 18, so needed to keep an eye on them. At the all in I started off on the deck feeding around a dozen pellets every 20 seconds or so. This saw me put my first fish in the net after around 10 minutes. I felt that there were not a lot of fish in the peg at this point as it was a slow start. Both Matt and Paul had a couple of fish and I was already behind. However after the first hour I had 11 fish for about 30lb and going well. Hour two saw the trend continue. I was getting bites but missing a lot, probably liners and tried the shallower rig for a couple of fish but was waiting longer for a bite. Back onto the deeper rig, and by adjusting the depth by an inch I managed to cut out a lot of the liners. A small difference but a learning, none the less.
Into the third hour, I started having a few problems, losing fish for no apparent reason, they did not seem foul hooked. I had a quick look shallow on two added sections for a single carp. I changed the feeding on the 2+2 line slightly, by doubling up the feed and sitting on it before re-placing the rig after a minute if no bite came. Feeding again and leaving for the minute and so on. I now had around 75lb in the net and pulling ahead of Matt and Paul. Matt was now concentrating down the edge. I had had a couple of quick looks down the edge for no fish, so it was time to leave it and concentrate on the 2+2 line.Hour four saw the perseverance pay off, I was fishing just off the feed by coming a half section closer and the bites were more direct. Into the last hour I was getting a few fish, but they were all small fish at around 2lb. I thought I had done enough to beat either side of me so was happy with my days work. I had learnt a few new things and had a couple of ideas I think my help in the future, so a positive day.
Overall
1st Del Smith                    250-08       Peg 22
2nd Terry Lancaster          164-11       Peg 25
3rd Keith Ashby               145-09       Peg 16
4th Charlie Lancaster        144-15       Peg 12
5th Neil                             129-03      Peg 10
6th Roy Makins                123-03       Peg 13
Unfortunately Charlie fell foul of the weight limit on his keepnet and was knocked back to 50lb for the net costing him second place.