Home‎ > ‎

Ian Jones Match Blog.













Hampton springs individual league. Round 4. Peg 30 Long island. 29/03/15

Hampton springs was once again the venue of choice for today. It was the fourth and final round of the spring league. We had all rotated across the 3 lakes and today was back to random draw. I was currently lying in 2nd place and needed to catch 43lb more than 1st place to overturn the deficit which is a big ask! The draw bag was my only hope and a good draw was needed. I went in the draw bag and out came peg 30 Long island. This is the first draw i have been excited about as it is a very good area. Steve Boyd drew peg 9 Meadows which has been very hit and miss lately. (more miss!) I could only give it my best given the poor weather conditions and see what happens!

Baits for the day were 1 pint 4mm pellets, 1 pint micros Corn and 6mm expander's

Rigs

Corn rig 0.8 dino duke chi chi 0.12 - 0.11 16 lwg green bungy.
margin rig 0.3 dino duke 0.13 - 0.11 16 lwg 10 - 12 bungy.
Maver power lite 11ft. 6b mainline to 0.18 hook length and size 16 hook. hair rigged corn.

On the all in i fed a full pot of micros to the platform of peg 31. I fed half a pot of 4mms and some corn at 13m and the same at 8m. I then started on the method at about 50 yards towards the island. I only caught 3 small carp in the first half hour so it was time to look at the pole lines.
I have gone in on corn and had a carp first put in. I have gone straight back in and had another carp. Just as this line was coming good the wind switched round and nearly blew us off the bank! Fishing long was now impossible! My top kits were all blown from the roost and my roller went over. I spent 5 minutes off my box battening down the hatches before going on my 6m line to catch a couple more carp.
I had a quick look in the margins and caught a carp first drop in. I had another look and it went under straight away and a couple of minutes later a 5lb fish was in the landing net. I fed another full pot of micros and went on the method feeder over my long pole line. Straight away I hooked a fish and after a bit of a battle another big mirror was in the net.
I went back down the margins planning to catch what i could before topping up again. I caught 3 to 4 carp off one pot of bait before topping up and this was to be how it went to the end of the match. just before the all out i hooked a good fish which took me about 5 minutes to land but thankfully a 7lb common was the last fish to grace my net. That fish could prove to be very important!!

The all out came at 3.30pm and i honestly felt i was in with a serious chance. A positive approach had worked and now it was all in the hands of the scales man! Our lake was the first to weigh and one of my main rivals for a frame position was Stuart Holmes. He had managed just over 72lb and it really would be close between us. When the scales came to me struggling to pull my net out was a good sign. 2 weighs later and 76lb 6oz nestled on the scales it looked like the match win would be in the bag but it would all be down to what Boydy had for the final league standings.
We followed the weigh in round and it was clear the other lakes had fished hard. We got to peg 9 Meadows and only one keep net was in which made me think not many proper carp had been caught. As he pulled his net out it looked like I had possibly done enough. I needed to better his weight by 43lb to take the overall league win and luckily for me the scales settled on 25lb meaning there was a 50lb weight difference on the day. The fish i landed just after the all out proved to be the clincher as i had won the league narrowly by 6lb! Due to Steve's weight Stuart Holmes had also leapfrogged him into 2nd overall in the league.
I had made a conscious decision to attack each and every match and it had paid off. Absolutely over the moon with this result. My confidence is sky high not only with the result but by the manner of the come back! Never rule anything out. Fish to your strengths and anything can happen! Some brilliant anglers and venue regulars fish these leagues so i am really proud to be sitting at the top after a good run of competitive matches.
Big thanks to Martin Wedley and Will and Rosie from Hampton Springs Fishery for running another great league!

Tight Lines :)



Hampton springs individual league. Round 3. Peg 3 Meadows. 22/03/15

Today was the third round of the spring league. I was on Meadows this week and peg 3 was my home for the day! Like the previous two rounds i wasn't overly excited with the draw but as always would give it my best shot!

Baits for the day were 1 pint 4mm pellets, 1 pint of red Maggots. 1 pint micros Corn and 6mm expander's

Rigs
Shallow Drennan crystal dibber 0.2. 0.11 - 18 lwg and 6-8 drennan bungy.
Island rig 0.3 dino duke. 0.11 18 lwg. green bungy.
Pellet rig 0.4 dino duke 0.11 - 0.09 18 lwg green bungy.
Maver power lite 11ft. 6b mainline to 0.18 hook length and size 16 hook. hair rigged corn.

Peg 3 on Meadows has an island at 16.5m in front a nice deep margin to the left and some shallow water to the right to explore with the method feeder.
I started on the pole towards the island and caught odd stockies on pellet but for the first hour it was pretty quiet all over the lake. I had fed the margins from the off with small amounts of pellets little and often priming it for later in the day. I tried it out of curiosity and managed to nick a carp about 7lb before re feeding and moving back towards the island. I started to get a few liners so came off the deck on banded pellet and managed to snare a big mirror carp around 10lb! The rest of the lake was fairly steady but nobody breaking any records.
I decided to have a couple of chucks on the method which resulted in 2 5lb fish in 2 chucks before no more indications had me back on the pole. I caught a few more F1s by the island and then went down the margins on corn for the last hour. I managed another nice carp plus several small F1s and carp bringing me to the end of the match!

The all out came at 3.30pm and i happy with how it had gone. I hadn't had lots of fish or even steady runs of fish but i had caught some quality fish. I had 5 carp for about 32lb and a few stockies and F1's for 39lb 4oz which was good enough for 5th in the match had kept me well in contention and due to the results on the other lakes meant I had actually jumped into second place heading into the final match. 

Tight Lines :)



Lloyds Meadow Fishery. Badger Lake peg 6. 21/03/15

Today was the first of the open matches I said I would help run on behalf of the fishery owners at Lloyds Meadow. I had managed to get another 10 anglers together for the day so it had the makings of a good match. The weather had been a bit up and down through the week so a negative approach was probably the order of the day! Running the match Kristian helped me with the draw. We called out the names leaving myself until last so there would be no questions asked about the draw. My fate was decided by what everyone left in the bag. Thankfully Peg 6 was mine. Just as an idea of how happy i was if i had the pick of any peg on Badger I'd have gone on peg 6!! :)

Baits for the day were 1 pint of red Maggots, Corn and a few slices of bread. 1kg of fish meal ground bait.

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.8g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 18 g point pellet hook. Drennan Bungy 6 - 8.
Dino F1 float 4 x 10 16 lwg hook. 0.13 - 0.12 Drennan Bungy 10 -12.

My plan of attack was very simple today. Fish meal ground bait laced with dead maggots and some micros fed down the track to fish for skimmers and roach and bread across for the carp. I started with one big ball of ground bait as i intended to let fish settle on it for at least an hour before giving it a go! Once i had fed this i baited up my dobbing rig and shipped to 15m tight to the far bank.
After missing a couple of bites i had a 4lb carp after about 3 minutes. This was caught about 1 ft deep in 2 ft of water. I foul hooked another couple of carp before altering the rig and shallowing up to find what level the fish were cruising around at. The next 6 fish were hooked properly in the mouth and landed without a problem. The fish were coming in spells and this was to be the case all day.
I had a quick check on the other pole line but i could see carp swimming along the far bank so i never gave it long enough to work.
The bread rig was back on and a few fish later and it proved to be a good decision. After about 3 hours I've had 10 fish for 40lb.
I went from dobbing bread to 3 red maggots and the size of the fish seemed to increase. I had 2 fish touching 7lb and a couple of 5lb fish. I continued to catch odd fish through to the end of the match ending up with 21 carp.

We started at the far end of the lake and worked our way back to my peg. There were lots of 25lb+ weights which meant it had fished fairly consistently. Kristian Jones was leading the way with 34lb from peg 16 ahead of Stuart Lennon with 28lb 2oz from peg 8. When we got to mine i thought i had about 60 - 65lb. my first net of 10 fish went 42lb 8oz and my second net had 11 fish for 35lb 10oz meaning i had totalled 78lb 2oz for the win. I was over the moon to get the win after a good run of results over the last few weeks.

Tight Lines :)

Hampton springs individual league. Round 2. Peg 18 Long island. 15/03/15

Hampton springs was once again the venue of choice for today. It was the second round of the spring league. I was on long island this week and peg 18 was my office for the day! I wasn't overly excited but I had the easterly wind off my back so every massive cloud has a tiny silver lining I suppose.

Baits for the day were 1 pint 4mm pellets, 1 pint of red Maggots. 1 pint micros Corn and 6mm expander's

Rigs
Shallow Drennan crystal dibber 0.2. 0.11 - 18 lwg and 6-8 drennan bungy.
Island rig 0.3 dino duke. 0.11 18 lwg. green bungy.
Pellet rig 0.4 dino duke 0.11 - 0.09 18 lwg green bungy.
Maver power lite 11ft. 6b mainline to 0.18 hook length and size 16 hook. hair rigged corn.

Like last weeks match i decided before the all in a positive approach was needed. I've cupped in micros on one line at 13m and at 2 o'clock position I've cupped in 4mm pellets and corn. From the off I've put a third of a pot of micros down the edge for later.
I've spent the first hour on the tip using a guru 24g method feeder and hair rigged corn. I've had 2 carp and 4 small f1s for about 7lb.
I then came onto my main pole line at 13m I baited a 6mm pellet and went out over the micros tapping a few over the top. The float sat still before eventually burying resulting in a small stocky carp. Wendy locker was doing her best to catch every stocky in the lake but things were very slow over our side. I kept chopping and changing catching odd for fish a couple of hours but was really struggling.
I've tried the margins a few times with little success and not much else happened on the tip. I baited with another 6mm expander and went back to 13m and had a carp around 6lb before things died again! A late run of 3 carp down the edge made my total a bit better but it had been a tough match today!

The all out came at 3.30pm and off this peg today it was a damage limitation exercise. I've ended up with 26lb 6oz for mid way in the match. thankfully this was enough to keep me in the mix as the other lakes had fished really hard!

Tight Lines :)




Hampton springs individual league. Round 1. Peg 3 rock pool. 08/03/15

Hampton springs was once again the venue of choice for today. Silver fish however were not my target today! It is the first round of the spring league so a more attacking approach was needed and hopefully a good draw! Draw bag however wasn't kind and put me on peg 3 Rock pool. This peg hasn't fished great through the winter months and about 12lb of silvers has been the best weight. The only advantage was the bank behind me would offer some protection from a howling wind!

Baits for the day were 1 pint 4mm pellets, 1 pint of red Maggots. 1 pint micros Corn and 6mm expander's

Rigs
Shallow Drennan crystal dibber 0.2. 0.11 - 18 lwg and 6-8 drennan bungy.
Island rig 0.3 dino duke. 0.11 18 lwg. green bungy.
Maver powerlite 11ft. 6b mainline to 0.18 hook length and size 16 hook. hair rigged corn.

Yesterday at Weston it was tropical compared to today. Windy wet and horrible and a peg i didn't even want to go to!! how wrong could i be!?
I set up in good time and spent a few more minutes just sussing out my plan of attack. weather and lack of faith in how many fish were in front of me helped and i decided a very attack minded approach was needed.
I started in the tip with a banjo feeder and like yesterday at Weston had a few knocks but no bites after 20 minutes so i switched to a cage feeder. I filled this with micros and chucked out a corn hook bait and the rod was off the rest within minutes. A very welcome 5lb mirror carp being the culprit. I had been firing 4 to 5 grains of corn out to the point of the island every 5 minutes. I chucked it out again to the same spot and almost instantly it went round again! A much better fish this time. 5 or 6 minutes later a common about 11lb just about went into my landing net and now i was feeling abit happier! i stayed on the tip for 1 1/2 hours in total taking a few small carp and F1s but it was time to try the pole lines. Due to the weather and the bank being awkward behind i had been feeding 4mm pellets every now and again via the catty to save messing about toss pots of bait on a regular basis meaning i could concentrate on the tip.
I went out to 13m with a 6mm expander on and was into fish straight away and it was one a bung for half an hour before things went a bit iffy. I put the shallow rig over the top of my pellet line and instantly was into a much better fish. It was a carp about 5lb so i went out again shallow and had another carp about 3lb before it went quiet. i went back on the deck and carried on catching F1s skimmers and small mirrors feeding 6-8 4mm pellets on a regular basis. When the bites went a bit iffy again i came off the deck with the dibber and 6mm banded pellet and caught a couple more proper carp. It was too windy to fish to the island at 16m but when i did get across it was solid with 3oz f1s. 16m is a long way to come back with 3oz fish so i stuck with the 13m line until the end catching on and off the deck with pellets.

The all out came at 3.30pm and apart from getting drenched all day i feel i fished a very tidy match. I lost very few fish and didn't have any prolonged quiet spells which is about as good as you can do at this time of year. I ended up with 47lb 12oz which was enough to win the lake and take 3rd overall.
A long way to go yet but a solid start! I think feeding with the catty really helped today to draw a few extra fish into the area. I think I'll have the catty out a bit more over coming weeks! ;) Even on a peg you don't fancy give it your best and anything can happen! Fish have fins after all and will be wherever they want to be on any given day!

Tight Lines :)



Weston Pools Fishery rover. Stretton 14. 07/03/15

I couldn't resist giving the rover at Weston another bash. It was bright but fairly warm so i was really looking forward to it. I drew ball 11 in the rover but thankfully everyone left 14 Stretton for me. That's 5 out of the last 5 rovers I've been on this peg. It's a good peg in a great area so I'd go on it every week if i had the chance. ;)

Baits for the day were 3 pints of red Maggots, Corn. 1/2 pint micros and some expander's.

Rigs
Maggot line dura 6 0.75g 0.13 - 0.11 16 lwg. 10 - 12 drennan bungy
Shallow rig. drennan crystal dibber 0.2 18 lwg green bungy.
Margin 0.4 dino duke 0.13 - 16 lwg.
11' maver powerlite sx. 6lb line 0.13 hook length 16 hook.

On the all in i fed maggots through a big pot at 6m and 13m. I also started to prime the margins from the off with a regular trickle of red maggots.
I started on the tip and had a chuck with the banjo feeder. Not a lot happened so i switched to a cage feeder with a 12 inch tail and had 2 F1's in 2 chucks casting to exactly the same area. this was followed by a mirror carp and several ide before switching to the pole lines after 45 minutes
I went out to 13m with a medium frenzee pot on full of maggots. My double maggot hook bait had been on the lake bed 60 seconds before a barbel nailed it and 10-12 bungy was everywhere. this happened 4 times over the next 30 minutes before the swim went dead so i put another helping of maggots in through the big cup and left it.
I tried the 6m line and had a barbel and a couple of small crucians which told me there probably wasn't much feed down there so i put another pot of maggots in and went back to 13m. I took 5 Ide in quick succession of the deck but no interest shallow at all. I held my rig still while feeding over the top with the catty to see if there were any liners as the fish intercepted the maggots on the way down but nothing happened. This line soon died again so i re fed and moved on.
This quiet spell coincided with the height of the midday sun so i think everything had shut up shop in open water!!
I went down the left margin and had 5 fish in as many put in before it went quiet. I tried my other lines just to rest it before going back on it for the last 1 1/2 hours. I caught several more barbel and some big F1s but lost a couple of foul hookers and a couple of big F1s at the net.

It had been a real struggle at times today but when the fish show up they show up in numbers! I ended up with 41lb 6oz. I lost a couple of big F1's at the net and foul hooked a few but the bright conditions meant everyone was in the same boat and the results reflected that. The top weights were all made up of edge fish. Some anglers really struggled. 65lb still won which isn't to be sniffed at giving it is the first week of March! Looking forward to next week!!

Tight Lines :)


Hampton springs. Alice springs peg 10. 22/02/15

Hampton springs was once again the venue of choice for today. An overnight frost greeted us but thankfully the fishery wasn't frozen. 20mph winds were once again battering the fishery so it was ran as a rover. I drew ball 8 out of 16. I once again decided to risk it and go on Alice springs. the peg I fancied was 10 on the roadside and has a bit of shelter so could be OK today. I chose this peg a few weeks back and framed so fingers crossed for today.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots. 

Rigs
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.
Maver powerlite 11ft. 5lb mainline to 0.10 hooklength and size 18 hook. Small maggot feeder.

Today it was so cold it was the first time i had really questioned why i had got out of bed! Snow, sleet, wind and rain hit us and that was just setting up! I decided on a very simple approach today. Fish the first part of my match on the tip and then go onto a caster line that I'd primed for a couple of hours.
I started with a maggot feeder putting 20 maggots in and single red on the hook. I clipped up and cast to the same spot. it took about 10 minutes to get any interest but the tip tightened and seconds later a 4oz skimmer graced my net. The next hour or so i gradually built up a swim that provided a bite every chuck but unfortunately they were mainly roach and bites were hard to hit.
I had been feeding the pole line at 11.5m for about 1 1/2 hours little and often and picked up my rig set 12 inches off the bottom. straight away i was into roach. I caught several before the bites dried up. From fishing this peg last time i was thinking carp or Perch! Rather than lift or drop i continued to feed over the top of a static float. 5 minutes later the float dipped and 6ft of number 5 elastic streamed out! I was unsure of the culprit but 60 seconds later a 1 1/2lb perch graced my landing net! i continued to feed 15 casters every 60 seconds and the roach were soon back.
The wind had picked up now so i came one section shorter to 9m. Once again it went dead! :) The float dipped and once again i was into a big perch! It took me about 2 minutes which felt like a lifetime playing the fish that have a good success rate of slipping the hook! Not this time and a near 3lb stripey was soon in the net! Happy days!
The roach came back once again and i caught steadily until the end of the match foul hooking 1 carp up the backside shortly before the end.
I have to say i had caught a few fish but it's one days fishing that i didn't really enjoy due to the horrible conditions!

The all out came at 3.30pm and like every other rover you never quite know what everyone else has got! I ended up with 13lb 2oz which was just shy of the frame once again. It's quite frustrating getting within one fish every time but on reflection I'd rather finish in the top 5 or 6 every week and be in with a chance. Roll on next week. Hopefully some warmer weather is on the way!!

Tight Lines :)


Weston Pools Fishery rover. Stretton 14. 14/02/15

Weston pools was once again my venue of choice again for today's match. 12 had booked on so we would all have plenty of room and the weather was playing ball! Next to no breeze and 6 degrees. After a quick walk round to see where i fancied it was time for the draw. Due to my recently found drawbag skills i obviously plucked out ball one from the bag! ;) I decided to go on peg 14 Stretton like i did a couple of weeks ago.

Baits for the day were 2 pint of red Maggots, Corn. 1/2 pint micros and some expander's.

Rigs
Maggot line Dino Duke 0.4g 0.10 - 0.08 18 G point wide maggot hook.
Shallow rig. Drennan Roach 4x12 0.10 - 0.08 18 wide gape maggot hook.
11' maver powerlite sx. 6lb line 0.13 hooklength 16 hook.

I had a sneaky feeling the fish were going to have a munch today. The weather had been frost free for 5 or 6 days now and it was overcast and light winds. Presentation shouldn't be an issue!
I cupped in some maggots at 8m straight in front and about 50 mags at 13m to my left. I also potted in some maggots at 13m to my right at the 2 o clock position. I started on the maggot feeder at 20 yards. This is how i finished the last match and wondered whether a more positive approach rather than just a single hook bait would be better today. 30 minutes without a bite told me otherwise. What i wanted to do was build a swim for later so throughout the day i have fired 3 to 4 pieces of corn into the same area which i was planning to try again later in the match.
I went onto the pole at 13m to my right and caught my first IDE after 10 minutes. I started off feeding through a toss pot 10 mags every drop in but soon ditched this for the catty! They were having it! Every IDE i caught had a throat full of red maggots. I fed quite heavily probably 20 maggots every 45 - 60 seconds and followed the fish up in the water. Bites were fast but when i settled into a rhythm they were easy to hit and all fish were between 12oz and 1lb. I stayed on the pole for around 3 hours switching between lines trying on the deck to my left with mags and corn looking for bonus fish but it just seemed to be IDE that were keen to feed. I had 1/2 hour on the tip in the last hour for a 2lb Barbel and a 3lb F1 before bites dried up. A run of half a dozen more IDE got me to the all out. I had fed 2 pints of red maggots today and had a really busy afternoon. :)

The all out came at 3.15pm and i thought it would be close. I guessed i had around 35lb in the net. The IDE had fed well so I'd had a really busy day! The scales settled on 38lb 2oz which for a days winter sport is good by any one's standards. This turned out to be good enough for 2nd overall. 42lb 10oz won and 36lb 10oz was 3rd. Great days fishing and another result i am over the moon with. Today suited the style of fishing i have been using alot really and I'm glad it worked well once again. Makes me look forward to spring that little bit more! :)

Tight Lines :)


Hampton springs. Alice springs peg 10. 01/02/15

Today it was back to Hampton springs for the silverfish matches. Due to 20mph winds from the North which effects a lot of the fishery it was ran as a rover. I drew ball 2 out of 15. I decided to risk it and go on Alice springs. the peg I fancied was 10 on the roadside and has a bit of shelter so could be OK today.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Some micros and 4mm expander's. 

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 20 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up.
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.

The all in today was at 10.30am I fed some micros at 13m straight in front and some casters at 13m at the 2 o clock position. I then started on the tip and decided to drip feed casters at 6m. The first couple of hours were extremely hard going. No bites resulted from the tip on maggot feeder, bomb or a little cage feeder with a few micros in! The next hour rotating all pole lines resulted in not as much as a knock!
I honestly contemplated packing up but thought I'd stick with it. i started pinging 10 casters on a regular basis at 13m. This has been very successful for me over recent weeks and i thought if anything is going to get me a bite this will! Sure enough after casters had been trickled in for 15 minutes regular bites has arrived. Most were 2oz roach with odd fish around 8oz.
I caught steadily for a couple of hour including a cracking perch of about 1lb 8oz. then disaster struck! I hooked what i knew was a big perch... I played it carefully to the net and as it came to the surface to be greeted with my net the hook pulled and it turned and slowly swam away! My desperation scoop was all in vain! NOT HAPPY! To rub salt into the wounds after catching a few roach it would go dead! I knew another big perch was present! The float dipped i struck and elastic came streaming out again! Half way back it was off!! This happened twice more before a run of nice roach completed the 5 hours!

The all out came at 3.30pm. I thought i had 8 - 10lb. I've had quality fish but not the quantity to have done as well as I'd hoped. I was last to weigh. 19lb was winning off meadows. 15lb was 2nd off poplars 8lb and then two 7lb 12oz weights. The rover was paying out top four and i was convinced i had 8lb. Imagine all of our surprise when the scales settled on exactly 7lb 12oz giving us a 3 way tie for 4th and therefore a 3 way split of £30. Something is better than nothing and although a hard day it's been enjoyable! Those big Perch i had lost had proved very costly though! 

Tight Lines :)




Weston Pools Fishery rover. Stretton 14. 31/01/15

I really enjoyed my recent trips to Weston pools so that was my venue of choice again for today's match. It was a fairly low turn out due to awful conditions. Could well be a tip only day! After walking around the lakes looking at what pegs would be fish able it was time for the draw. I decided to go on peg 14 Stretton! In the summer you wouldn't get on this peg for Robbie Griffiths. This time of year is still seems to hold a few fish so i was up for it!

Baits for the day were 2 pint of red Maggots, Corn. 1/2 pint micros and some expander's.

Rigs
Dino F1 float 4 x 10 18 lwg hook. 0.13 - 0.12 Drennan Bungy 10 -12.
Maggot line Dino Duke 0.4g 0.11 - 0.09 18 G point wide maggot hook.
Preston Durafloat 6 1g with an olivette as a bulk. 0.10 - 0.08 18 wide gape maggot hook.
11' maver powerlite sx. 6lb line 0.18 hooklength 16 drennan feeder hk with speed stop.

The wind was pretty wild so i was keen to feed where i would be able to reach all day. I cupped in some maggots at 9m and 6m and went straight on the lead with corn. First chuck i have had a massive liner. I'm convinced it was a liner as if it was a proper bite my rod would have been gone! I reeled back in and recast slightly shorter with the theory being if I've had liners maybe I'd gone past the fish. 5 minutes later the tip went round and a good fish was on! i played it carefully to the net and was very happy to be popping a 6lb mirror into the net within the first 10 minutes! In terms of good starts it doesn't get much better than that!
I went back out on the bomb for another 45 minutes but no more indications despite chucking around searching for fish. After the hour mark i went out on the pole to 9m. Due to the wind the tow was really bad and my 0.4g float was seriously under gunned. However i did catch 2 1lb f1's in the first 10 minutes on the pole and 1 IDE. The bites were all as the float almost trotted through the swim and all came from an area about 1m away from my bait.
The wind got up and i was getting bites but hitting them was impossible. I popped some more maggots in to keep them interested and went back out on the bomb. I had a couple of chucks but no liners or nothing. The middle part of the match was a real struggle and with about 1hr and 30 minutes to go i decided to fish the maggot feeder. Maybe they wanted some bait after all?!
First chuck tip went round but i really wasn't expecting it and no sooner was it on it was off! The last part of the match though i have had a bite a chuck. A small maggot feeder with about 20 red maggots in and single or double maggot on the hook. I caught a few IDE a barbel and 8 F1 in the last hour or so. maybe they were there all along? We'll never know!

The all out came at 3.15pm and i thought it would be close. I guessed i had around 20lb in the net. With the two other anglers really struggling on my lake and a blank on Belvedere the other lakes were a bit of an unknown. When the scales came round my 1 barbel 3 IDE 8 F1's and 1 mirror carp went 18lb 5oz. This was good enough for 4th. 37lb won and then 22lb 4oz and 20lb so once again not far off the pace. 

Very enjoyable day and looking forward to get back on Hampton tomorrow!

Tight Lines :)



Weston Pools Fishery. Silver fish pairs match. Jacks pool peg 20. 25/01/15

Part of the reason for fishing the rover yesterday was just to get an idea of what was feeding with today in mind. I was partnered with Chris Jones and we had decided on the morning that i would go on jacks and Chris would take on the Clay Pit. There was some cat ice on the lakes so it would be interesting to see how that would effect fishing. If anything it might stop the carp feeding which don't count. I drew peg 20 Jacks and Chris drew 12 on the Clay pit. I didn't know too much about either peg but looked like i had drawn a good one.

Baits for the day were 2 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint micros and some expander's.

Rigs
Pellet line Dino Duke 0.4g 0.10 - 0.08 18 G point wide maggot hook. 6 - 8 drennan bungy.
Maggot line was the same as above double 4 sensas magic
2 shallow rigs both with Drennan roach floats and strung shotting pattern. 0.10 - 0.08 18 g point wide gape maggot hook and single 5 sensas through match kit.

It took 20 minutes to clear the ice in my swim using my pole and landing net. I opened up to 13m straight in front. There were some pads to my left but I've stayed away from here as it's abit shallower and screamed carp! I didn't want any of that today! On the all in i have gone out to 11.5m with some micros. I have potted in just maggots at 6m with the plan to feed by hand and hopefully have this as my main catching area.
I've started on maggot at 11.5m just to have a look and I've had 4 gudgeon on the bounce. I then struck into a slightly better fish but it was foul hooked and came off. I picked up the rig i had set a floats depth off deck and had a roach first put in. Only small but it wasn't a gudgeon so i was happy. Having had some success in recent weeks fishing like this the catty was out and i started firing 10 maggots every 30 seconds to get some competition going. I was catching one a bung between 1 and 3 oz but it was something to keep the net ticking over when others were struggling. I've stayed on this line gradually following the roach up in the water for about 2 hours in which time i estimated about 6lb in the net. Things had gone a bit iffy though so I've dropped on my short line for 15 minutes and caught gudgeon and 1oz skimmers.
All the while feeding the long line with the catty. Before heading back out I've put the equivalent of 2 medium frenzee toss pots in on my short line. There were loads of small ones around so this might encourage some bigger skimmers to feed. I've gone back out on maggot and continued catching steadily over the next hour including some very big roach 3 of which were around 12 to 14oz mark and i also caught an IDE the best part of 2lb. It went quiet so i came back onto my short line a tried expanders an caught very small skimmers and gudgeon for 10 minutes for one last blast on the long line. I went out and caught steady for the last hour. I had 3 2lb+ F1s which must have forgotten what month it was ripping the elastic out like it was summer and a carp about 2lb but thankfully caught a few more roach before the all out.

The other anglers had been catching and had odd big IDE and skimmers but from the peg i was fishing i could keep an eye on what was happening without looking away from my float too much. I was pretty confident i had 12lb. I had caught steadily all day and picked up odd bonus fish when i needed them. I was second to last to weigh on Jacks and 7lb 10oz was currently leading. My net went 13lb 8oz which i was really happy with. Andy on the next peg had 8lb so I'd won the lake by 5lb 8oz. The fishing had been hard and i was lucky to be fishing a method that has done well for me over recent weeks on a decent peg where the fish have wanted to feed.

It's ironic it was FA cup weekend! I certainly felt like the underdog lining up against all the venue regulars this morning! News filtered through that 13lb 3oz was the best weight on Clay pit so I'd won my lake and edged 1st overall in the match. Today however was a pairs match so not about individual glory but a team effort and my Partner Chris had drawn a bit of a stinker on Clay pit. He struggled for 2lb but that was enough to get us 3rd overall. 
Although today wasn't a big weight affair i am really pleased with how i fished. Today was a classic example of fishing to your strengths and having complete confidence in yourself and your tackle and anything can happen! Today was right up there with my 100lb weight in terms of enjoyment!! :)

Thanks to Weston pools for running such a brilliant event. The clubhouse has been finished since the last time i went and it's a great place to have a chat about the one that got away after a great days fishing! if you haven't already been be sure to check it out. In my opinion right up there with the best commercial fisheries in the country!! www.weston-pools.co.uk

Tight Lines :)



Weston Pools Fishery rover. Belvedere peg 24. 24/01/15

I really fancied a change of venue today so I've headed back to Weston pools fishery. The last time i was there was September so you could say i was a little out of touch with the lakes. I have been keeping an eye on results and like all fisheries given the unsettled weather they are up and down like a yo yo.
I drew ball 3 and decided to go on Belvedere 24. The lakes were very clear but there were a few fish moving around so who knows. I had Matty Dawes for company on peg 2 opposite and Chris Diamond had taken a punt on peg 2 Stretton which backs onto Belv so if nothing else we could have a bit of banter.

Baits for the day were 2 pint of red Maggots, few slices of bread. 1/2 pint micros and some expander's.

Rigs
Dino F1 float 4 x 10 18 lwg hook. 0.13 - 0.12 Drennan Bungy 10 -12.
Maggot line Dino Duke 0.3g 0.11 - 0.09 18 G point wide maggot hook.
I had 2 rigs of each set up to cover different lines.

The peg i had chosen was full of features. Nice margin swims, an aerator, a tree stump coming out of the water and a submerged Lilly bed to my right.
I started by feeding 50 or so maggots at 9m to open water slightly to my left. I planned to top this up every half hour for first 3 hrs and see if anything turned up. I shipped out to 14.5m and dobbed around the tree stump to my right. Matty was off the mark in about 10 seconds! I dobbed for the first hour or so but could only connect with small roach. I've probably had 10 for 1lb whilst Matty had 3 F1's in the net and had also lost a carp.
I went onto over the aerator with a single maggot and trickled in 10 maggots in a kinder pot. I lay the rig in for about 10 minutes coming back for 10 maggots every few minutes to try and get a response but no indications at all. 
I tried down the left hand margin at 13m just down the shelf and trickled in bait but again no interest. I continued to put in 50 maggots on my maggot line and then left it alone. i went back out to the stump dobbing for some more roach and then dobbed the aerator but no interest.
Matty had caught a few on the bomb but not much was happening. A couple of hours in Ive had a quick look on my maggot line but nothing had arrived so i potted in a few more and left it again. There had to be fish somewhere so Ive baited with a red maggot and loaded the kinder pot with 10 maggots and started a new swim to my right a bit closer the the Lillie's. Two minutes later a bite which i missed!
I lay it back in and then hooked an IDE around the 1 lb mark. Next put in same again 10 maggots and lost a carp which i think was foul hooked. Thankfully next put in i had a Mirror carp about 3lb so i continued with this line for about an hour before it dried up which resulted in several more nice IDE. 3 and a bit hours in and i probably had about 10lb in the net. 1 carp 6 IDE and 15 roach. I got the plummet back out and started a new swim at 6m. Same approach and had a 10oz roach and 1 IDE within 10 minutes before that dried up. For the rest of the match I've rotated all my swims looking for F1's but they weren't having it so i managed 2 or 3 more IDE and that was that. 

The all out came and I knew Matty had roughly double what i had. I'd seen a few people pack up and go home so it had been hard going. Considering how much cold water had gone in over the last few days with the ice on the lakes i had really enjoyed the challenge of winkling out a few fish. I didn't gamble enough on carp and that was my downfall. Matty won overall with 22lb, 2nd 20lb 02oz, 3rd 20lb and 4th Chris with 19lb 12oz. I had 14lb which consisted of mainly IDE, one Carp about 2lb and 15 1 oz roach. I love the matches that are this close as its literally one or two fish in it.

Very enjoyable day and looking forward to the silverfish pairs match tomorrow!

Tight Lines :)




Hampton springs. Alice springs Peg 1. 18/01/15

Today was the latest round of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. Leaving the house it was minus 3.5 so i had a feeling today could be tough! Arriving at the fishery and sliding straight past the fishery gates due to ice had me thinking what are we doing here?! I parked up and the temperature was minus 5.5 degrees! Usually there is some free water on the lakes but every peg was frozen from bank to bank and was 1/2 inch thick!
23 others had also braved the cold. We must need our heads testing! I drew peg 1 Alice springs which i thought would be bang on today! It's usually full of big roach and perch but would they still be at home after we'd bust the ice!

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Some micros and 4mm expander's. 

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 18 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up.
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.

I broke the ice out to 13m straight in front and to the pipe to the right of my swim. This is normally an area noted for perch so i would target these here.
It took over half an hour to get a swim cleared so that pushed the all in back to 10.45am.
I fed a small cup of chopped worm and caster at 7m toward the pipe in about 5ft of water. I planned to loose feed caster and a few red maggots over the top to get a few perch in the area.
I loose fed 3 or 4 casters from the off at 2+2 to try and get the big roach competing and potted some casters in at 13m.
I started with single red maggot on the pipe swim. I layed the rig in lifted and dropped and let it sit static with no response in 15 minutes. I put a small piece of worm on and sat for another 10 minutes without an indication. I went out to my long line just shy of the ice and again worked the bait but before i knew it i was past the hour mark without a bite! I tried short but it was more of the same and before i knew it i was past the 2 hour mark without a bite!
I was looking down the lake and it seemed like it was the same for everyone so a case of keeping my head down and trying to concentrate in the cold!
I started loose feeding more regular on all lines as it couldn't harm the fishing! I went out to 13m and came about 12 inches off the bottom. After feeding regular for 10 minutes i started to get a few liners. I managed to put about 10 roach in the net averaging 3oz before a snow shower put pay to that! When it snowed it knocked the fishing and anyone who had started to catch was now bite less for another 30 minutes! 3 hours in and i was looking at 2 1/2lb if i was lucky! I came short on caster and had a 12oz roach but that was to be the only fish off that line. I went back on the pipe swim and had a run of small perch before hooking and losing a big perch! For the last hour the wind was horrendous but the only place i had a run of fish was 13m so i went back out and had one a bung until the end of the match. They were nice sized roach but i didn't think i had the quantity to do any good.

The all out came at 3.45pm. I have never been so happy to hear an all out! The wind had come straight into my face from the north for the last hour and I was frozen! I was happy with what i had managed to winkle out. It had been a tough one but we were all in the same boat. I managed to put 7lb 8oz on the scales which narrowley missed the section by 12 oz. That perch proving to be very costly!

I have got a silver fish pairs match next Sunday with Chris Jones so a change of scenery will be nice and doing something a little bit different. Lets hope for less ice and more fish!!

Tight Lines :)




Hampton springs silver fish rover. Long Island peg 40. 11/01/15

Today was the latest round of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. As the forecast said winds were 25mph with higher gusts the match was ran as a rover to give people the option of getting out the wind. I drew ball 7 and decided on peg 40 long island. I was confident on the peg as I had won the lake from that peg the previous weekend with 18lb.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Some micros and 4mm expander's. 

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 18 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up.
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.

I started the match by feeding a pellet line with some micros at 13m straight in front and started firing casters little and often to my left also at 13m. I also loose fed casters from the off at 5m. I fully expected to catch how i caught last week but it wasn't to be. I started 6 inches off the bottom and have gone deeper and come shallower looking for fish but indications were very few and far between. I stuck with the caster for an hour as everyone else was struggling too but I only had 3 small perch in the net and 2 very small roach for about 6oz. This was a bit different to last week when I'd had 4lb in the first hour! I did try caster on and off all day and fed little and often all day but the roach never turned up.
I always feed a pellet line from the off and where skimmers are concerned like to let it settle for a while. With the caster not working i shipped out to 13m with a 4mm expander and lowered it in. with seconds i had an indication on the float. It soon dipped and i was into a Crucian about 6oz. The sport was slightly better on pellet but small mirror carp were an issue and kept disrupting the line. I'd have 1 skimmer and a crucian or small F1 and then a carp would hi jack the swim. Although i was waiting longer for bites at least they were decent stamp Crucians and odd skimmers so i just swapped between pellet lines for the next few hours picking up odd fish and trying to avoid carp!

The all out came at 3.30pm. I was a bit disappointed with today but it just goes to show two days are never the same! Last week i caught 100+ fish mainly roach and IDE. Today i have had 3 small perch 2 roach 0 IDE and the rest of my net was then made up of 8 Crucians 3 F1s and 3 big skimmers. This week i weighed in 9lb 6oz for about half way in the match

The main thing i have been reminded of today is although a plan of attack is a good thing not to go to a peg blinkered. Just because it worked well last week it doesn't mean it'll work today or even next week. Go with a plan but be willing to change so giving yourself options is the key!

Tight Lines :)




Hampton springs. Long Island peg 40. 04/01/14

Today was the latest round of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. The match was spread over 3 lakes. Alice Springs, Rock pool and long island.
When we arrived at the fishery it was minus 3.5 degrees. large sections of all lakes were frozen with ice up to 1/2 inch thick. To top it off i was feeling a bit grim through a bug i have picked up over Christmas. I was therefore hoping to draw a peg with A. Short walk B. No Ice and C. loads of fish!! Maybe too much to ask?! My hand went in the bag and out came peg 40 long island! A and B had been granted but 5 hours of fishing would let us know about C!

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Some micros and 4mm expander's. 

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 20 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up.
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.

Once again this week there was a lot of ice smashing to be done so we didn't go in until 10.30am. Peg 40 is where the bridge used to go across to the island and is a peg full of features. My plan of attack was caster up and down at 13m. A pellet line to my right at 11.5m and a line to the bush at 13m to my left expecting a few fish and possibly some F1's
On the all in I've cupped in a few casters at 13m two medium frenzee pots of micros on my pellet line and left the bush until I wanted to go on it.
The story of the match went something like this. Shipped out to 13m.... Lay the rig in.... Fed 10 casters.... Float vanished! :)
Apart from a couple of quiet spells where i have explored other lines for just a few fish i have had a bite a chuck all day. The fish that i caught were Roach Ide and hybrids between 2oz and 12oz.
I have only caught about 6 fish on the bottom all day. Thankfully the roach all stayed at pretty much the same depth all day too. I caught approx 12 inches off the bottom. I have also only bumped 3 small fish all day so it was just one of those days where things went right. From where i was i couldn't really see what the others had done but i was really happy with how i had fished.

The all out came at 3.30pm. I had kept a running total through the match and reckoned i had about 18lb. I had caught steadily at 13m and on every line i had tried all day. The only quiet spells i have had is when Carp were probably present! The scales came round and i am always honest and admitted to my 18lb. Low and behold the needle on the scales stopped on 18lb! :) Ours was the first lake to be weighed so was unsure how the others had got on but was hoping for a good result! I packed up and then caught up with the weigh in on rock pool. After two lakes had been weighed i was still on top of the pile. Alice Springs had fished very well though!! 31lb winning overall 23lb 19lb and 18lb 8oz. 
My 18lb was good enough for 5th overall (24 fished) and 1st overall on Long Island narrowly pipping Stuart Davies who had 16lb 8oz.

Considering i nearly didn't get out of bed due to being ill i am over the moon with this result. After getting A. short walk B. no ice i was thankful that C came up trumps too! Loads of fish! This was also made it a hat trick of results in last 3 matches. 2 section wins and a 3rd overall. Hope the drawing arm continues to produce! :)

Tight Lines :)



Lloyds
Meadow Fishery. Badger Lake peg 19. 01/01/15

Happy new year! Today 10 Chester tackle locker regulars had booked on for a New years day knock up. There was a large area of ice still on the lake and with a lot of cold water about from snow melt and heavy rain we didn't really know what to expect. I drew peg 19 on the back bank and fancied it for a few fish. My peg wasn't actually frozen but with other people braking the ice to fish it soon dislodged big sheets of ice that were floating about causing havoc!

Baits for the day were 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies and a few slices of bread.

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.8g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 18 g point pellet hook. Drennan Bungy 6 - 8.
Dino F1 float 4 x 10 16 lwg hook. 0.13 - 0.12 Drennan Bungy 10 -12.

My plan of attack was very simple today. Fish meal ground bait laced with dead maggots and some micros fed down the track to fish for skimmers and roach and bread across for the carp. I started with two pretty big balls of ground bait as i intended to let fish settle on it for at least an hour before giving it a go! Once i had fed this i baited up my dobbing rig and shipped to 15m tight to the far bank.
After missing a couple of bites i had a 4lb carp after about 10 minutes. This was caught about 2 ft deep in 3 ft of water. Over the next 50 minutes i had 3 more fish from exactly the same spot at exactly the same depth.
I decided to let this line settle and went down the track. I had an 8oz skimmer and 6 roach in about 15 minutes but in that time Tom Gollins had picked up 2 carp dobbing. That was enough to make me head back to the far bank! I don't think the size of silvers i was catching could compete so it was worth waiting longer for the carp bites!
Over the next few hours i managed a total of 8 Carp. All from the same spot under a laurel branch and all pretty much at the same depth. The wind was awkward and I've probably missed 20 good bites on bread and had a few close encounters with the bush! I could only see what Tom was doing as he was on the same bank. He had about 14 carp to my 8 and with knowing Stu had a weight the best i could hope for was 3rd.

The all out came at 3.30pm and there was only going to be one winner! Stuart Davies had done his best to try and empty the lake and put in excess of 80lb on the scales. Tom Gollins was second with 51lb and i had taken 3rd spot for a few more pennies with 27lb 13oz. I was really happy with that as i had packed all my gear up with 1/2 hour to go after not feeling too well.

Fantastic weights given the conditions. Although we have all fished in quite a negative manor today that seems to be how the fish wanted it on the day! If you haven't tried Lloyds Meadow all the lakes are full of mixed species including a lot of specimen perch. Have a look at some of the feature the team has done on there and get down and check it out. You will not be disappointed!! :)

Tight Lines :)






Hampton springs. Rock pool peg 18. 28/12/14

Today was the latest of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. Today's match was Alice Springs and rock pool both of which had substantial amounts of ice across them. Everyone knew this would be hard so a deep peg was what most people were after. I drew peg 18 on Rock and although not a bad area it was one of only 3 pegs on the lake where an ice breaker would be needed. That said the ice would provide a bit of cover so I smashed out as far as 12m and wide enough to put two lines in at that distance. I also smashed a swim out down the left margin for perch.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Worms, some micros and 4mm expander's. Being so cold expected to use next to none of this!!

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 20 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up.
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 120 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.

After smashing ice for the first 30 minutes i was already boiling! The All in had be changed to 10.30am just to allow everyone to get their swim fish able. By the time the all in came my perch line had already frozen over again. The main channel i had smashed and cleared was trying to do the same! On the all in i fed 1 medium frenzee toss pot of just casters at 11.5m to my right and also one medium pot of micros. I was intending to leave this for an hour to see if anything would settle on it.
I started the match very negatively on pellet. fishing 4mm expander on the hook and just feeding 20 micros. I also started with about 20 casters at 7m with a view to drip feeding this swim and hoping to catch on it later. To cut a long story short the first 45 minutes came and went without any indication even after introducing just a small amount of pellets every five minutes just to get a response! This was the same all round so it was set to be a tough day at the office. I decided to try the line where i had put 2 medium pots of bait at the start and never looked back! This is the only line i have caught on all day. I was catching mainly small Ide and roach on the deck. I was having to lay my rig in tight to the ice but had actually fed just off the ice. In previous weeks on a practice i made the mistake of feeding too tight to ice and when the fish backed off under it i couldn't get to them!
Half way through the match I've had a 2lb chub which was a very welcome visitor. I've carried on catching bits and had fish anything form an inch over depth to 4 inch's off the deck only catching 2 or 3 fish before chopping and changing. I knew second in section was up for grabs as several people were struggling but Andy Spencer had caught steady all day. Gareth was catching quick towards the end of the match but hopefully a late burst of roach was hopefully enough to get me over the line?!

The all out came at 3.30pm. After a fruitless first 45 minutes I had then managed to catch odd fish through the whole match so I couldn't complain!! I ended up with 7lb 2oz which I was really happy with on a very cold day! The angler to my left had not had a single bite anywhere all day and some very good anglers had also tipped back so I had done pretty well to winkle a few out! I held off Gareth who had 6lb 8oz so my weight turned out to be good enough for 2nd on the lake (7 on lake) meaning a default section win and 4th overall (21 fished) and saw me taking home a few quid plus one of Gareth O Evans Shiny pound coins! ;)

I enjoy matches as tight as this as it is all to play for! although i was only 10oz ahead of 5th i was only 10oz behind 3rd overall so the margins of success and failure are very small! With the weather up and down like a yo yo God knows what next weekend has in store. Before then i have a new years day on Badger at Lloyds Meadow. I love that place and can't wait to get back on it!

Tight Lines :)



Hampton springs. Alice Springs peg 12. 21/12/14

Today was the third of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. Today's match was run over three lakes again. Alice springs, Rock pool and Willows. The wind was howling so any peg that you could present a bait on today would be a bonus! On the previous two matches I have been on willows and poplars so I was hoping for Alice springs today as it is the most consistent silver fish pool on the complex. My hand went in the draw bag and out came peg 12 on Alice Springs. At first I wasn't overly happy as Alice doesn't have set peg numbers so depending on anglers peg 12 would normally back onto Rock pool, However today it was by the oak tree. An end peg which would offer some space but again not really a noted area on the lake.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Worms, some micros and 4mm expander's.

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 18 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up 3. 2 + 2 line plus it was the same depth down the right hand margin.
Shallow Drennan Roach 4 x 10 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. 0.10 - 0.08. single Sensas number 5 elastic.
Tip rod. 11ft Maver powerlite with 1/2oz tip in. 5lb main line. 0.11 hook length 18 wide gape maggot hook. 15g small cage feeder.

After losing a plummet and hook length in a snag before the match started I already wondered whether it would be one of those days?! 
Imagine my face when on the all in I shipped out my cupping kit to 14.5m with some micros inside, upon tipping it up the cup fell off and proceeded to blow across the lake before sinking!! Great start!
I didn't want to risk losing another pot as the thread had gone on the cupping kit. I then shipped out to 9m a couple of times with toss pots on the pole and fed some casters. When shipping out on one of these my hook length caught on a snag and also snapped. 5 minutes in and I'm already fed up!
When I eventually primed my swims I then went on the tip toward the island. I had 6 fish in the first 30 minutes. Two 8oz skimmers and 4 plump roach so I was off to a good start. I stayed on this for another 10 minutes to allow my line to settle whilst feeding little and often on my caster line. I winkled another couple of roach out before putting the tip rod down and going for the pole.
After 40 minutes I shipped out to 14.5m with a pellet on expecting instant action and sat there for 5 minutes before any indication. After a couple of very small skimmers I began to foul hook fish. I dropped the shallow rig in over the top and caught a couple of nice roach. Although I had prepared this line as a skimmer line with pellets I was already thinking roach so I start pinging casters over the top. I caught steadily for 30 minutes at a time before coming short to rest the swim.
On my 9m line I was also getting lots of line bites from the loose feed bringing the roach up so I now had 2 fairly productive shallow lines on the go. I chopped and changed between the two all day and felt like I was competing with those around me as well as having a very enjoyable day!
The wind was mainly off my back but every now and again it was really wild from the side. I caught by constantly tweaking depths. When i missed 3 bites in quick succession it was time to shallow up by 2 to 3 inches until I found fish again and hit bites. You would only catch a few fish before having to change so you can't afford to be lazy using this tactic.

The all out came at 3.15pm I had caught pretty much all day and although i had some nice roach I also had a lot of small fish. This is fine if you can catch them short but coming back 14.5m with 1oz roach isn't ideal. I estimated about 10lb but didn't really know how everyone else had got on so it would be interesting. 

I've followed the weigh in round. 25lb won overall from Peg 8 rock pool. 2nd and 3rd were from the shallower pegs on Alice 19lb 14oz and 19lb 10oz.
Nearly every angler on Rock pool and Alice had double figures silverfish weights which proves how good the fishing can be when we get a settled period of weather. I was the very last to weigh and was happy with 11lb 12oz. I managed to beat the angler to my left who had 7lb and the noted red bush peg produced 12lb 8oz so it looked like the bigger skimmers had backed off into the shallower water with the unseasonably mild conditions in the week!

Everyone had plenty more bites and fish then in previous weeks. Hopefully the next match will be the same. I'd like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!!

Tight Lines :)



Hampton springs, Poplars peg 12. 14/12/14

Today was the second of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. Today's match was run over three lakes. Alice springs, Rock pool and Poplars. The weekend was a similar story to last weekend, a very hard frost on Friday night left all lakes covered with ice. This had once again thawed back into the lake for the match on Sunday. I think we all knew we were up against it. The draw came at 9am and after going in the draw bag fairly early last week and ending up on a lake I didn't fancy I waited until near the end hoping that a nice peg on Alice springs would await me! No such luck! Peg 12 on poplars was my home for the day. it is a very shallow peg with a maximum depth of about three ft but it does have Lilly cover. That said it is usually Carp soup but the silvers like some cover too so was it was a bit of an unknown quantity.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots with a sprinkle of bronze, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Worms some micros and 4mm expander's.

Rigs
Pellet line.   Dino Duke 0.3g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 20 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up 3. 2 + 2 line plus it was the same depth down the right hand margin.

On the all in i fed 3 lines. Top 2 + 2 with hemp and caster. Top 2 + 2 to my right margin with casters and some chopped worm hoping to draw some perch in later and tight to the Lilly's at 11.5m I put in some pellets and a few casters. I started off tight to the pads and it was about 10 minutes before my first indication on caster. That was a plump roach about 5 oz. shipped back to the same area and it was about another 15minutes before my second fish! yet another nice roach. I wasn't concerned at this point as my peg was looking up the lake so without taking my eye off my float for too long I could keep a mental picture of what was happening.
Andy Spencer had also winkled out a few early fish but no one was stringing two bites together. My 3rd fish was a nice skimmer about 12oz and although very slow I was happy just to pick off odd fish given how hard it was. I decided to rest this swim after about 45 minutes so I put in about 20 casters and a pinch of micros and then left it alone.
I gave each caster line 5 minutes with no indications and the dropped in on my top two where I had fed a few casters and to my surprise was rewarded with a 12oz Chub.
After an hour it was time to go back to the Lilly's and once again had 3 or 4 roach in the next half an hour before a small mirror carp joined the party.
After about two hours I was probably edging the section but it was going to be tight so I just kept plodding on chopping and changing. I tried all baits on my side tray but pinkies were now the only bait that was catching any fish.
I re plumbed past my initial line by 1.5m in water an inch shallower by the island. I also put 2 medium frenzee pots of micros to a different area of the pads and just planned to leave that hoping some skimmers or crucians may settle on it. After trying all caster lines once again with not so much as a sniff it was back over to the area where all my fish had come from so far.
Sure enough a couple more roach were had before another slow spell. This continued until 5 minutes before the all out when I tried the pellet line for the last time. Having not had a bite on pellets I fished fluoro pinkie over the micros and hooked a carp. Rushing to get it in so I could get out again I was pleased when it broke the surface as it was a 1lb F1. These count and it was a proper bonus fish. I got back in a caught a roach about 6oz right on the all out.

The all out came at 3.15pm and like last week I don't think I could have done much more. The main problem today was that when I had to come off the Lilly swim to rest it there wasn't another area I could get a bite! I was basically just going through the motions for 10 minutes before going back on the line and catching 2 or 3 fish before they backed off again. It was going to be close but if I'm being honest I thought I had managed sneak a section win in what was a very tough 5 peg section. I ended up with 6lb 12oz and chucked back 3 carp. unfortunately for me Wendy Locker pipped me by 8 ounces for the section but left me second in my five pegs so I was happy enough on a rock hard days fishing!

18lb won overall from Alice springs. 2nd and 3rd also from Alice 12lb 4oz and 11lb 4oz and 11lb 2oz the best weight from rock pool. That shows how hard all lakes have fished and the effects the cold water has had going into the lakes.

Another tough day at the office but i think it is days like this that you really learn something about fishing. Roll on next Weekend!

Tight Lines :)


Hampton springs, Willows peg 21. 07/12/14

Today was the start of the Hampton springs silverfish matches. I have been wishing the summer away to get to these and then as predicted the cold snap kicks in making everything slightly unpredictable. Trying to stack the odds in my favor I had a practice on the same lake yesterday. After breaking the ice fishing was hard so with numbers around the lake on match day i knew it would be a struggle. Being 2nd hand in the draw bag I knew all the fliers were in there and still found myself on peg 21 Willows. In summer i'd take that all day long as it is a noted carp peg but a bit of an unknown at this time of year.

Baits for the day were 1 pint of casters, 1 pint of red Maggots with a sprinkle of bronze, 1/2 pint of pinkies. Worms some micros and 4mm expander.

Rigs
Shallow rig. Float, Preston Chianti 4 x 10. 0.10 - 0.08 line and a size 20 g point wide gape maggot hook. Number 5 sensas magic elastic.
Pellet line.   Dino Chi Chi 0.5g 0.10 - 0.08 line and size 18 g point pellet hook. Sensas magic 4 doubled up.
Caster line. Dino Roach Cesar 0.4g. 0.10 - 0.08 size 18 g point wide gape maggot hook. Sensas magic doubled up 3.

On the all in i fed 3 lines. Top 2 + 3 to my left (10 o clock position) with chopped worm and caster. Top 2 + 3 to my right (2 o clock) with micros and a line straight in front at 13m on a little flat spot slightly up the shelf.
Started on caster as the chopped worm line tend to give you a good indication straight away of how things will pan out and after 3 skimmers in the first 10 minutes things were looking good. Up steps Mr carp and three on the bounce had me looking elsewhere!!
I dropped in on my pellet line and 2 more carp followed. Mmmm one of those days?
After an hour of chopping and changing picking off odd fish I probably had around 2lb in the net. I continued picking off odd skimmers on pellet and chopped worm and caster but couldn't make a lot happen.
I started firing a few casters into the vacant peg 20 at an angle at 13m and did this for half hour or so planning to get a few shallow. In the mean time I had shallow up on the caster line and got a good run of about 10 roach. Not big fish but bites all the same.
After about 2 hours I was on about 3lb but everyone else was struggling so I wasn't too concerned. I went onto the shallow line I had been feeding and had a few nice roach and an 8oz skimmer and then spooked them. I continued to feed that line just dropping on it for a few fish before they backed off again. All i could catch on pellet was gudgeon and Carp so concentrated the last couple of hours on caster.
At 1.30pm the sun vanished behind the hedge line and I really struggled for bites until the end of the match. I went long and tried to force the peg as I wasn't exactly ruining it and had a run of 3 more carp shallow on maggot and then a couple of lost hook lengths. The wind made it difficult to present a bait properly as it was cutting right across me. That said I had more fish while it was breezy so it was a no win situation really!

The all out came at 3.15pm and I don't think I could have done much more. I rotated swims on a regular basis and fed little and often but they weren't really having it. I ended up with 6lb 12oz of mainly small roach and chucked back 8 carp for about 25lb. As it happened it was a pretty low weight affair with 23lb being the stand out winning weight assisted by 2 big barbel. 2nd and 3rd overall had 13lb 9oz and 13lb 3oz all from willows and the top weight on Alice was 12lb so on reflection not sure i'd have fired much better on there either.

Still good to be on the bank whatever the weather. looking forward to next weeks match already.

Tight lines :)



Patshull Park. peg 49. 19/10/14

Today I was off to Patshull Park again. After speaking to a few people in the week it was clear the fishing was going to be on the hard side.
That said i enjoy the challenge! The forecast wasn't great with the back end of a hurricane coming our way! This could be interesting.
We had a bacon butty before the draw. Always sets you up for a good days fishing. Draw time came and i drew peg 49. This is a peg in the bay and could be a bit hit and miss today.

Baits for the day were a Ringers fish meal based ground bait. 1 pint of casters 1 pint of red maggots. 1/4 of pinkies. 1/2 kilo worms

Rigs
11ft tip rod as you are fishing at between 25 and 30 yards. 
5lb mainline 0.12 hook length with size 16 swept gape micro barbed hook.
20 gram block end feeder free running on a korum feeder bead.
Loop to loop hook length to mainline. Hook length was varied between 2ft and 4ft.
Pole line was a standard top 2 rig. 0.4 gram float as i was only planning on fishing on the top of the shelf. bulk of shot and size 18 hook.
11.5m line. 0.14 - 0.12 float 2g AS3 g tip 18 micro barbed hook. started on 6 - 8 bungy but it wasn't setting the hook properly in 12 ft of water striking through a heavy float so i went up to 10 - 12 bungy.

I put in 4 big balls of ground bait on my pole line at 11.5m in about 12ft of water. These balls were a combination of fishmeal ground bait laced with chopped worms and casters. I put half a dozen quick casts out on the feeder at 30 turns. Then re cast and started the waiting game for the first bite. My first bite as usual came after 20 minutes. This was a 4 oz skimmer. After a couple more casts another slightly bigger skimmer was in the net. Time goes out of the window a bit here as the battery on my phone died. I didn't have a watch and i normally like to time my bites on the tip to gauge when a re cast is due! I had 4 skimmers in 4 consecutive casts and things were looking good. The wind was a pain but with the bites being very positive they were hard to miss!

After 2 hours ish i now had 7 skimmers in the net for about 3 1/2 lb, I decided to come onto the 11.5 m line now which i had been feeding caster over the top of. Roach were there from the off and a had a few very quickly. I then thought id hooked a big perch! :) I played it very carefully to the net only to find its a 3lb jack pike! The pike had taken my worm segment hook bait and was hooked perfectly in the side of its mouth.
After unhooking i took it about 3 pegs to my right and put it back. Hopefully it would go and annoy someone else!
Now that was out the way the roach came back. It was a case of catching a few changing hook bait and continually working the rig to get bites.
The wind was now very strong straight in my face. Presentation was difficult as was bite detection. I missed a lot of bites as you would miss the early stage of it as the float was riding the crest of the waves.

I'd already been off my box to get the time from the angler on the next peg. After 4 hours i was probably looking at about 6 1/2lb
I now felt it was time to try the top 2 line. I fed some casters and ground bait and caught a trout straight away! Not a good sign.
The next few put ins were nice roach and perch to 5oz. This was to be the method until the end of the match now as presenting anything wasn't great. I caught in little bursts and had to keep swapping between red maggot caster and worm to keep bites and fish coming.

Once again I knew it was going to be a very close match as the skimmers didn't really feed! When the scales came round I had 11lb 11oz. this was only good enough for 5th overall but no envelopes this week. I missed my section by 11 oz and Wendy locker won overall with 13lb 4oz so i wasn't too far away.  

Despite the hard fishing i had a very enjoyable day. The battle against the elements, the fish, and the predators made for some interesting fishing. I need to invest in a watch as not knowing the time through the match was a pain. I couldn't time my bites on the tip or make changes at certain times during the match. Every time i got up to ask the time i was actually wasting time. When the frame is that tight the time I've wasted could have been the difference between 5th and 1st. Every session is a learning curve so it's onwards and upwards.

Tight lines :)




Patshull
 Park. peg 28. 28/09/14

Today i was off to Patshull Park again for some skimmer fishing. (or so i thought) I left the house at 6.30am to get to the fishery for around 7.50am.
I got there in good time to have a bacon butty from the lodge and a brew. We all had a good chat and it's always a good chance to pick peoples brains which i was certainly doing.
Draw time came and my hand went in the bag to pull out peg 28. This is a flier! I always worry when people tell me this as i either ruin them or they're not really a flier but more of a moral booster so you just don't go straight home. 

Baits for the day were a Ringers fish meal based ground bait. 1pint of casters 1 pint of red maggots. 1/4 of pinkies.

Rigs
10ft tip rod as you are fishing at between 25 and 30 yards. 
5lb mainline 0.12 hook length with size 16 swept gape micro barbed hook.
20 gram block end feeder free running on a korum feeder bead.
Loop to loop hook length to mainline. Hook length was varied between 2ft and 4ft.
Pole line was a standard top 2 rig. 0.4 gram float as i was only planning on fishing on the top of the shelf. bulk of shot and size 18 hook.

I put in 3 big balls of ground bait on my pole line at the start hoping to draw in some silvers for later. All it seemed to do initially was attract trout as i could see the flashes of their silver flanks as they took any freebies mid water. I put half a dozen quick casts out on the feeder at 25 turns. Then re cast and started the waiting game for the first bite.
Today it was a waiting game and it was about 20 minutes before my first bite which i missed! It was very fast and id imagine Roach were the culprit.
A couple more casts then resulted in my first skimmer quickly followed be a second. After one hour this left me with about 1lb which was not the start i was after. I persevered for a further hour putting another 3 skimmers in the net but it was slow going and everyone was struggling in the bright conditions.

It was now time for plan B!! The guy on peg 29 had started fishing the whip and was catching so i used this as a gauge and decided it was time to make a tactical change. I fished the pole on and off for the rest of the match going back on the tip to rest the line after landing trout that were ruining my swim on a regular basis! I put a steady run of big perch to 1 1/2lb and roach to 4oz for the rest of the match. I did try the tip and managed to sneak one more skimmer but that was about it on the tip rod!

I knew it was going to be a very close match as the skimmers didn't feed! When the scales came round i owned up to 8lb and was pleasantly surprised when they went 13lb 12oz ;) That was enough to secure my 5 peg section and send me home with a little white envelope and a few pennies richer. 30lb won and then 15lb 7oz 2nd two 14lb + weights and me in 5th overall which i was very pleased with.

Sometimes you have to adapt and make the best of a bad situation. If I'd of stuck it out for skimmers i may have scraped 4lb. As it was by fishing the pole short i had plenty of bites. I also had 7 trout to about 2lb which don't count and lost a further 7! They are really good fun but they don't count so are a real pain in the backside!

Trust me to draw a flier when the resident skimmers weren't feeding! :(

Next weekend sees me make my official debut in the Greens of the Fishing in the northwest team! :) Badger at LLoyds meadow is a fantastic mixed fishery and bites are guaranteed!

Tight lines :)



Old Hough Fishery. Peg 9 Lower Benbo, 27/09/2014

After a brilliant first visit to old hough last week i couldn't wait to get back there today! I left Chester at 7.30am and arrived at the fishery at 8.05am to give me enough time for a brew before the draw.
I drew peg 9 lower benbo and despite everyone saying its crap as i didn't know the fishery too well all I could do it give it my best and find out for myself how good or bad it was!

Baits for the day were a bag of ringers crushed expander ground bait. Corn, 2 pints red maggots, worms and 1 pints 4mm pellets.

Rigs
16.5 m shallow rigs 2 depths 6 nches and 1ft 0.13 guru n gauge, size 16 lwg on Drennan 10 - 12 elastic.
2+2 line. Preston Durafloat. bulk 12 inches from the hook and a couple of droppers. size 16 g point hook and 10 - 12 bungy elastic.
Margins 0.19 - .0.17 guru n gauge. Mick Wilkinson 0.2g margin float size 14 xs spade hook. 14-16 Drennan bungy.

As my game plan from last week seemed to work i thought I'd stick with tried and tested. On the all in i fed some ground bait ground bait at 9m and 5m laced with corn and some pellets which i planned to fish over with worm or corn for anything that swims.
I fed the left margins with ground bait and corn.I fed a big pot of 4mm pellets tight to the island at 16.5m.
I started tight over on the deck but similar to last week had several foul hooked fish early which had me thinking shallow! It was 5 degrees when i left the house so i was a bit cautious but went for it anyway. After 20 minutes i had 2 carp on 4mm pellet feeding 4mms little and often but then the whole line just died on me.The next couple of hours saw me chop and change between lines short and long but with very little success. I was just picking up the odd Ide but not much else.I continued to feed the far bank and managed to mug a couple of confident Carp before it died again. With an hour to go i was needing miracles. I manged to pick up 2 late carp out of the margins on bunches of maggots over ground bait but it was all far too little far too late!

I ended up with 18lb 4oz which was 2nd on my bank as everyone else except the eventual section winner (37lb) had decided enough was enough and tipped back and headed home.

I made the school boy error off feeding far too much on all lines on the all in! I didn't take into account how hard the lake normally fishes compared to upper benbo and the cool conditions and probably killed my swim within the first 5 minutes of the match!

Oh well, now the weather is changing I'll try to keep that in mind for next time!

Patshull Park again tomorrow! :)

Tight lines :)



Patsull
Park. peg 39. 21/09/14

Today i was returning to a fishery which i hadn't fished for 10 years! Last time I fished it half the match blanked so i think it was fair to say i had mixed feelings! Patsull park is a 75 acre natural lake. It has depths up to about 30ft so some people are put off before they start but It is stuffed full of skimmers Bream and Roach. It is also a trout fishery and they quite frequently like to play ball which makes things interesting.
Mark Mealing picked me up from Chester at 6am and we made our way to the fishery. We had a good chat all the way talking about today's tactics and also previous matches that we had fished together. We arrived at the fishery at 7.30am and with mist rising from the surface it had the making of a great days fishing. we paid our money and had a pre match Bacon butty and we were set for the draw. I drew 39 and Mark drew 41.

Baits for the day were a Ringers fish meal based ground bait. 1pint of casters 1 pint of red maggots. 1/4 of pinkies. I wanted to keep my plan of attack fairly simple today!

Rigs
10ft tip rod as you are fishing at between 25 and 30 yards. 
5lb mainline 0.12 hooklength with size 16 Drennan silverfish maggot hook.
20 gram block end feeder free running on a korum feeder bead.
Loop to loop hooklength to mainline. Hooklength was waried between 2ft and 4ft.

On the all in the mist was just about clearing off the water. Sitting on my box which i had positioned in the shallow water in the side of the lake it really was a picturesque setting! I filled the feeder and cast it to the clip at 25 yards. I did this a couple more times just to get a bit of bait in the swim before baiting my hook with single red maggot and casting it out again. I cast every 4 - 5 minutes to build the swim and had my first bite after 20 minutes. 

After an hour i had 4 skimmers in the net for about 4lb. Some of the bites nearly had the rod off the rest and some were very small indications that needed striking at so it took me a while to get to grips with hitting the bites.
After the 2nd hour i had 8 fish for about 8lb and was on track for a decent weight. In previous weeks 25lb has been enough to win so i had a good feeling. the next few fish i had were 1 1/2lb+ and were also followed by a few Roach.
I continued to catch odd fish for the duration of the match and to be honest enjoyed working for every fish and not the hustle and bustle of commercial matches. I ended up with 25 skimmers and 3 Roach.

When the scales came round I had estimated 20lb and was pleasantly surprised with 24lb 2oz. Unfortunately for me that wasn't anywhere near enough today. The end peg had 41lb there was another 30 something and Simon from Chester Tackle Locker had 29lb so i wasn't really in the running.

I had lost a few nice fish during the match and it wasn't until we were half way home that i realised I had made a BIG school boy error! On the natural venues it isn't uncommon for barbed and micro barbed hooks to be allowed. This also applies at Patsull and i had forgotten about it and fished with barbless hooks all day. I lost a few big skimmers as they nodded their head trying to shake the hook free. Losing the fish would never have been enough for me to frame but would probably have seen me closer to 30lb so i will be remembering them for next time.
Well done to Mark on winning his section. 27lb of silvers all caught short!

Next weekend depending on work commitments could be a repeat of this weekend. Old Hough Saturday and Patsull Sunday. There aren't that many venues in the Northwest that offer that sort of skimmer fishing in such a tranquil setting. 
Looking forward to going back to Patsull already! :)

Tight lines :)



Old Hough Fishery. Peg 7 Upper Benbo, 20/09/2014

Today I fancied a change from Weston so it was off to Old Hough Fisheries near Middlewich. The fishery is just over 30 minutes from Chester and has been really well thought out. All pegs were very spacious. There was loads of room for shipping poles back and no long walks to any peg. I had also been told it was a very fair venue which is great. Couldn't wait to get stuck in.

We drew at 8.30am and i got peg 7 Upper benbo. I was reliably informed by pretty much everyone that this was a good peg! NO PRESSURE! The match was on upper and lower benbo which are almost identical in layout. upper benbo being slightly narrower at 15m across with lower benbo being 17m in places. Upper benbo also tends to fish slightly better than lower so i was happy with the peg.

Baits for the day were a bag of ringers crushed expander ground bait. Corn, meat, worms and 2 pints 4mm pellets.

Rigs
15 m shallow rigs 2 depths 6inches and 1ft 0.13 guru n gauge, size 16 lwg on Drennan 10 - 12 elastic.
2+2 line. Preston Durafloat. bulk 12 inches from the hook and a couple of droppers. size 16 g point hook and 10 - 12 bungy elastic.
Margins 0.19 - .0.17 guru n gauge. Mick Wilkinson 0.2g margin float size 14 xs spade hook. 14-16 Drennan bungy.

On the all in i fed some ground bait ground bait at 9m and 5m laced with corn and some pellets which i planned to fish over with worm or corn for anything that swims.I fed the left margins with ground bait and corn.I fed a big pot of 4mm pellets tight to the island at 15m.
I went straight across with worm on the hook a couple of inches over depth. I had already seen some activity and had a 2lb carp first put in. This was followed by 3 foul hooked fish in 3 put ins. This got me reaching for the shallow rig 5 minutes into the match. :)
I started feeding 4mm pellets tight to the far bank little and often and this would continue all day.
Apart from very occasionally looking on the other lines to rest the shallow line i pretty much fished across all day. It was too tight to the sedges to slap the rig so lifting and dropping was the key. Most bites came on the drop just as the pellet settled. I caught fish all day between 8oz and 2lb at depths between 4 and 12 inches deep.If the shallow line went quiet i put my margin rig over the top with double worm and caught a few on the bottom before they came shallow again.

Come the all out i thought i had about 60lb which i was happy with. First time at a new fishery and I'd caught loads of fish and had a really good day.The scales came round and i was a bit too close for comfort to the 50lb limit on one of my nets! I had 44lb of carp in one net and 31lb 8oz in the other giving me a total of 75lb 8oz and 2nd in section which i narrowly missed by 4lb. This was good enough for 6th overall out of 24 anglers so for my first visit to old Hough i was over the moon.

All the lads were really friendly and open with how best to fish it which was great. The key to the shallow fishing really is feeding little and often even when playing fish by resting the pole across your legs and varying depth to keep in touch with the fish. if you enjoy Roach fishing you would enjoy shallow fishing carp!

Same again next weekend?! Don't mind if i do!

Tight lines :)


Cudmore fishery. Arena pool peg 21 14/09/2014.

Today myself and Gareth Evans were guests of Saughall AC at Cudmore fisheries in Staffordshire. Its been a good few years since i had fished arena pool, having watched this years Fishomania final where some great anglers struggled we didn't quite know what to expect! On arrival there were fish cruising around and i've got to say i quite fancied it!

We drew at 9am and i got peg 21 which was an area in calm water with the wind off my back. I thought it might me a tough area as Arena is known for the fish following the wind.

Baits for the day were a bag of ringers crushed expander ground bait. Corn, meat small amount of 4mm and 6mm expanders and 2 pints of 6mm pellets.

Rigs
14.5 m shallow rigs 2 depths 3ft and 2ft 0.13 guru n gauge  - 0.11 powerline. size 16 lwg on Drennan 10 - 12 elastic.
Skimmer line. Preston Durafloat. bulk 12 inches from the hook and a couple of droppers. size 18 g point hook and 6-8 bungy elastic.
Margins 0.19 - .0.17 guru n gauge. Mick Wilkinson 0.2g margin float size 14 xs spade hook. 14-16 Drennan bungy.
Bomb rod 3/4 way over/ and up to island.

On the all in i fed 3 cups of ground bait at 9m laced with corn and some pellets hoping the skimmers would come over it.
I fed both margins with ground bait and corn.I started on the tip but had a fruitless 15 minutes. There were plenty of fish showing so while waiting for my ground bait line to settle picked up the shallow rig.Wanting to leave the skimmer line for at least 45 minutes before looking on it i started feeding 6mm pellets little and often and slapped the rig in 3 times before letting it fish for a few seconds.

After about 5 minutes the elastic was ripped out the end of the pole and the first fish was on. 5 minutes later a mirror carp of about 6lb was in the net. After losing a lot of fish yesterday i just took my time as i had a feeling every fish would count today! I went straight back out and continued the feeding pattern. 10 minutes later carp number 2 was making tracks for the far bank! Within 5 minutes another 5lb mirror was in the net. Capitalising on this early part of the match is often key on venues like this. Sure enough no more shallow fish for the rest of the day despite feeding the line all day and trying it on and off.
The skimmer line didn't produce a lot! I had about 12 small skimmers off it throughout the day.The left hand margin i decided to fish at 14.5m to a clump of grass. In the last half hour i have had 3 carp averaging 5lb of the line.

I weighed in 27lb 8oz (5 carp for 25lb and 2 1/2lb of bits) which was good enough for 3rd overall. The top 2 were in the pegs that had a favourable wind so i was happy with that.

From fishing Weston over the last couple of months my shallow fishing has improved a lot. Still a long way to go but last year id of probably missed out on those 2 early carp by not having the confidence to give it a go. It's always best to have a plan of attack and plan B and C just in case.
At a lot of these commercial fisheries it is easy to get confused with baits and tactics so the best thing to do is just fish to your strengths.
After lots of lost fish yesterday other than bumping a few small skimmers i landed 5 carp out of 5 so i am putting yesterday down as one of those days and wiping it from my memory!

Not sure what next weekend holds yet!

Tight lines :)


Weston pools rover. Peg 13 Canal 13/09/14

Today I fished the Weston pools rover match. I fancied canal pool as i had never fished it before so was hoping for a low ball at the draw. I drew ball 4 entitling me to 4th pick of any peg on the complex. Peg 13 is tucked away on its own with plenty of options. It is a very good peg so that was good enough for me!

Baits for the day that made up my 5 pint limit were 2pints of 4mm fishery pellets. 1/2 pint of corn 2 1/2 pints of maggots.

Rigs.
Shallow at 2 + 2 i used Drennan crystal dibber 0.2g to Guru n gauge mainline 0.13 to 0.11 Preston powerline hook length Guru size16 lwg. Elasitc 6 - 8 Drennan bungy for Ide and 10 - 12 for F1s
Top 2 pellet line AS1 0.4g float 0.15 silstar match team - 0.13 Guru n gauge size 16 lwg with a bulk 12 inches from the hook and a dropper just above the hook length making it very positive. Elastic 10 - 12 drennan bungy.
Margin rigs AS2 float 0.3g  0.18 - 0.16 with a size 14 Guru XS spade. bulk of no.8 shot with a dropper. Elastic Drennan Bungy 14 - 16 and black hydro. Method feeder on the tip..

On the all in fed both margins one with corn and one with maggots. I started to feed maggots shallow little and often while i chucked out the tip rod. 2 minutes in i had my first fish a 2lb barbel followed quickly by a 2lb F1. A couple more fish less casts and i picked up the pole. I decided to fish deep shallow on the 2+2 line so set the float about 3ft in 4ft of water. I baited the hook with single maggot and began slapping the rig / lifting and dropping to get a response. Over the next hour with constant feeding every 30 seconds i had put about 10 F1s in the net. I was probably looking at 20lb after 1 1/2 hours so decided to make a few changes.This is where thing started to unravel!!

Over the next few hours i hooked and lost (through hook pulls) about 30 fish! Nothing would stay on the hook. I went up hook sizes, tinkered with elastics, changed hook thinking they were blunt but nothing seemed to make a difference. The main issue was when the carp and barbel took off towards the aerator at 100mph you cant afford to give them an inch so by applying maximum pressure that was resulting in the hook pulls.On a couple of occasions i was just waiting for my top kits to snap but the hooks would give just in time! In a swim with less hazards id of just gone down a grade of elastic but on 13 (unlucky for me) canal this wasn't an option!
I even dropped the method in the margins and the barbel took me round the back of the aerator and snapped my line! These are big fish and far too clever for me! I plugged away catching odd fish but this proved to be one of those days!

The scales came round and i had 56lb 8oz. I honestly think i lost double that so it was a very frustrating day!

Cudmore Sunday. lets hope for a better day!

Tight lines! :)




Weston pools Memorial match. Peg 4 wier 07/09/14

Today I fished the annual Weston pools memorial match. The match was in memory of all angling friends who are no longer with us as well as raising money for the Claire's house Children's hospice which is a local charity. The who event went very smoothly and with 80+ anglers on the bank this is a credit to the whole team at Weston pools. I thought the minutes silence before the draw was a very nice touch.

Having broken my match PB the previous day I was full of confidence. I drew peg 4 wier which is a very good peg but with 15 anglers on the lake everyone expected it to fish hard. My plan of attack was a short pellet line on the deck, shallow with pellet long 13m and maggot short 6m. I also plumbed both margins.

Baits for the day that made up my 5 pint limit were 2pints of 4mm fishery pellets. 1/2 pint of corn 2 1/2 pints of maggots.

Rigs.
Shallow at 2 + 2 i used Drennan crystal dibber 0.2g to Guru n gauge mainline 0.13 to 0.11 Preston powerline hooklength Guru size16 lwg. Elasitc 6 - 8 Drennan bungy for Ide and 10 - 12 for F1s
Top 2 pellet line AS1 0.4g float 0.14 silstar match team - 0.13 Guru n gauge size 16 lwg with a bulk 12 inches from the hook and a dropper just above the hooklength making it very positive. Elastic 10 - 12 drennan bungy.
Margin rigs AS2 float 0.3g  0.15 - 0.14 with a size 16 Guru XS spade. bulk of no.8 shot with a dropper. Elastic Drennan Bungy 14 - 16 and black hydro.

On the all in i cupped some bait onto my chosen lines and went straight on my top kit on pellet. Within 10 seconds my float buried and 1 minute later a 2lb F1 broke the surface and I was off to a flier! Must of been alone though as 5 minutes later with only a couple of missed bites to show for my efforts I had no more fish and decided to go long. First couple of put ins i had a lot of indications but no proper bites so i put the shallow rig on the same line and starting pinging pellets little and often. I had 4 F1s in as many put ins and then nothing. The whole lake seemed to be struggling. I chopped and changed for the next hour but only found an Ide in my left hand margin and a barbel around 4lb on the shallow line. 2 hours in and i had about 14lb in the net! Things were not going to plan!

At this point I thought i've got the tip rod with me so I'll give it a go! Got it out the hard case and put the rod together. I had a banjo feeder already set up as i prefer these to method feeders in slightly deeper water. I soaked a few 4mm pellets while i was setting up and these were ready to go. I banded a pellet loaded to feeder and plopped it in over the pole line at 13m. it didn't sit there for 2 minutes before the rod was almost off the rest! To cut a long story short this happened 15 more times with carp between 1 and 5lb.
I tried to pole line in the margins every now and again but it was no good! The all out came and i think its fair to say most people on the lake struggled. I ended up with 43lb 14oz which was 2nd in my 5 peg section section.

Today was a prime example of not being lazy which i have been guilty of far too many times in the past! I could have easily sat it out on the pole and maybe scraped 25lb but making the decision to put the feeder rod up gave me an enjoyable few hours sport on a method i don't use too often so I was happy. The moral is 'If you think it..... DO IT!'

After the weigh in we went back to the cafe area to have a hog roast butty and share a few stories about the ones that got away and congratulate the winners.This was a great day supporting a very worthy cause and once again have to say a massive Well done the the team at Weston pools and Deeside tackle for promoting the event. The fishing may not have gone exactly to plan but i did win a raffle prize! :)

On a personal note i was thinking about my dad while i was fishing. He passed away 3 years ago and we shared many a day on the bank of rivers canal and lakes here there and everywhere. I hope he was catching a few up there too! :)

I'm looking forward to next weekend already wherever that may be!

Tight lines! :)


Weston Pools Rover. Peg 6 Stretton 06/09/2014

Today I decided to fish the rover at Weston Pools in Oswestry. Although fairly new to the fishery from looking at match results and spending some time walking around the complex it is easy to see which areas hold a lot of fish! Having drawn ball 3 entitling me to have 3rd choice of any peg on the complex (excluding lakes booked for club matches) I decided on peg 6 Stretton.

I already had a plan of attack which I had come up with after a couple of previous matches where I felt I hadn't done myself or the peg justice and just generally got it wrong. Today's plan was maggots shallow and Margins with pellet and maggot and nothing more complicated than that. Baits for the day that made up my 5 pint limit were 2pints of 4mm fishery pellets. 1/4 of a pint of 6mm expanders. 2 1/2 pints of maggots.

Rigs had been tinkered with as I felt the change in temperature over the last few weeks meant the crude summer margin rigs may have to stay in the rig tray for the rest of the year.
Shallow at 2 + 2 i used Drennan crystal dibber 0.2g to Guru n gauge mainline 0.13 to 0.11 Preston powerline hooklength Guru size16 lwg. Elasitc 6 - 8 Drennan bungy for Ide and 10 - 12 for F1s
Top 2 pellet line AS1 0.4g float 0.14 silstar match team - 0.13 Guru n gauge size 16 lwg with a bulk 12 inches from the hook and a dropper just above the hooklength making it very positive. Elastic 10 - 12 drennan bungy.
Margin rigs AS2 float 0.5g  0.15 - 0.14 with a size 16 Guru XS spade. bulk of no.8 shot with a dropper. Elastic Drennan Bungy 14 - 16 and black hydro.

On the all in I fed both margins one with maggots and one with pellets and started to feed maggots shallow. I started shallow on maggots at about 12 inches deep and was into Ide straight away. I continued to drip feed bait onto all my other lines and stayed on the shallow line at 2+2 for about 2 hours catching steadily F1s and Ide up to 1 lb. When they are feeding well they just rip the elastic out of the pole which makes it a very exciting method of fishing! :)

At the 2 hour mark I estimated 35 - 40lb in the net but no bigger fish were showing so I decided to go down the right hand margin. I fished a 6mm expander and had a few Crucians and small F1s but not what i was after really. Having still fed the shallow line it was now boiling with fish so I went back over it and had a few more Ide and F1s before it slowed right down.For the last 2 hours I have gone done the left hand margin on maggots and had carp and barbel nearly every put in until the end of the match.I foul hooked and lost a few fish and a lot of the fish were hooked on the outside of the mouth and face indicating they weren't really feeding properly.

Pellet line to right hand margin and top 2 didn't produce many fish which made me happy I had taken a punt on the good old maggot. When the scales came round I wasn't quite sure what I had in my nets. I had put a 4th net in with 1 hour to go as i didn't know how close i was to the net limit on my silvers net. the first 3 nets went 96lb which meant i needed the 5 barbel to go 4lb to break the 100lb barrier. Thankfully they did and the total came to 104lb 14oz which was good enough for a new match PB and 4th overall (but 1st out of the money lol)

I had a great day and I am convinced that the slightly more refined rigs made a massive difference for me today. Feeding all lines little and often was by far the best approach. I am looking forward to the memorial match tomorrow. Another great days fishing and in memory of all angling friends who are no longer with us. Who knows given the right peg maybe another ton too? :)

Tight lines.




Comments