I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
On a roll
As I packed the better half off to work, she thought it would it be best to remind me that the idea I go and fish matches is that I try and win them. Since I returned to fishing about 4 years ago, this has by far been my worst year, I’m not sure what has gone wrong to be honest, I feel I have improved as an angler but one could argue this if you were to look at my results so far this year.
With those kind words ringing in my ears, I was off to Reading to pick Dave up on my way to Theale. Disappointingly there were only ten anglers booked in, so at least we were all guranteed a half decent peg. True to most of my draws this season, I drew next to last and with Jon and Steve sitting on pegs 1 and 60, we were up against it. I decided to go to peg 41, my preference prior to the draw was peg 40 but Steve’s mate Gary Davis had gone in there.
As with most of the matches I had fished this season, the method was going to be my main attack, I’m of the opinion if you can get them going on the feeder, the pole anglers won’t compete as they won’t catch fast enough. For the method, I had 7kg of method mix, some maggots, 8mm hard pellet, red meat and corn for the hook, and for the pole lines, I had just brought some hemp and paste made from ground down pellets.
On the whistle I put a pot of hemp on each line, and then it was out on the method. For the first hour it was slow and I only managed to catch 3 carp, but looking round the like it seamed the same for everyone. Come the second hour I started to motor and the fish were pulling the rod round before I put it down, and generally the fish were of a good stamp between 4 and 6lb.
I kept the margins topped up all match but I was afraid to come off the feeder and lose the fish to the next door peg so opted to stay fishing it, despite is slowing down considerably over the next two hours depsite getting indications that there were fish present. Going into the last hour, Gary on the next peg had sacked the feeder and was now fishing down his edge so fingers crossed I would get all the fish to myself.
This I did, but the average size had increased considerably as the big boys had moved in, with most fish averaging 8lb, though I did manage a fish just before the whistle of about 12lb. I had no idea what I had, but after four weighs, I recorded 167lb, which was new personal best for me, whether I had got it right be fishing the feeder remained to be seen. Back at the car park, it transpired that it had been a very close match with me just shading it be 2lb from Jon Draper on peg 56 who recorded 165lb, with a weight of 155lb coming from the unfancied peg 4.
Lastly it was nice to have a top 3 finish without Jon and Steve in it, as this is the beauty of fishing at Theale, you never know where the winner is going to come from. Lastly as I know Jon Draper reads this, he did tell me to tell you all, he caught his weight using a proper method unlike me who fished the feeder. Commisserations on coming second Jon !!!!!!
Theale Take 2
With not being able to fish at the weekend due to work committments, it was my usual Wednesday routine off to Theale. The previous night, I had spoke to one of the club members who told me he had been to Theale on Tuesday and caught really well on peg 1. Come the draw I drew 4th away, so with peg 1 or 60 still available, I opted for 1 over 60. Graham who rarely fishes Theale had opted for 60 and the Steve and Jon had gone on 44 and 51 respectively so it was all to fish for though the pegs they were on are more than capable of throwing up the winner. To add a bit of spice to the proceedings, Andy (Pellet king) had done his usual trick and pulled a good one from the bag and had opted for peg 40, which given the conditions being bright and sunny, this looked like a wise choice considering the amount of cover in that peg and he could be the one to beat.
I opted to fish the method feeder into the bay into the back of the peg, and also set a line to fish paste into my right margin. In hindsight I should of set some shallow rigs up but perhaps I was starting to become a bit blinkered with insisting on fishing the feeder.
On the all in it was the usual hemp on to my margin line, and it was out on the method. To cut a long story short, it fished very hard for all but one of us, the fish didn’t really want to come down the edge so as a result I spent to long fishing the feeder. In hindsight I should of set some rigs up to fish shallow, people reading this will probably think why didn’t I then ?? It’s because you have to fish between 2 trees to catch them shallow and ship back very quickly, but due to the postition I had put my seat box in, meant this was not really possible as I would be shipping back into Graham’s peg.
At the weigh in, I recorded 72lb 8oz, this meant I had finished joint second with Steve. Overall Andy blitzed it from peg 40 recording 154lb, mainly all caught shallow on pellet. Well done Andy !!!
Theale take 3
Yes its starting to sound a bit predictable but having had to work again over the weekend, meaning I couldn’t fish, it was somewhat of a relief to get my ‘fix’ again once Wednesday arrived. Unfortunately the attendances seam to have really dropped off here, I’m not sure whether this is down to the economic climate or the fact the Steve and Jon have pretty much ruled the roost all summer and this has scared people away who were thinking of coming.
At the draw, I drew 4th away yet again, hopefully this would be a lucky omen. Having sat in peg 1 last week and watched Graham fish the feeder, I opted for peg 60 as it still seamed to me that there were still a lot of fish present in the peg, generally on years gone by, peg 60 starts to fade as the weather gets a bit cooler. It was my usual attack, method to the far bank, and I set up 2 lines to fish either meat or paste down each margin over hemp. For company in peg 1 I had Dusty, who also set up similar lines but he also set up a line to fish down the track which runs between the small and big lake.
On the ‘all in’ I fed both lines with my usual of a bit of hemp and it was out on the feeder. Over the next 3 hours, I’d get to or three despite gettting indications so my thought were that they were getting pre-occupied with the groundbait and ignoring my hook bait so a change of plan was called for. Instead of throwing the usual coconuts at them, I changed my feeder to the preston inline ones, and using the method mould, which I must say is an excellent bit of kit, I reduced the amount of feed I was offering them. This was like someone had flicked a switch as I started to get one a bung in the last hour and a half, and I couldn’t really see anyone catching though the stamp of fish were only about 2-3lb each.
With only ten minutes left and trying to make every second count disaster struck. As I netted a carp and went to ship back with the landing net, it came apart !! As a result the once netted carp was free again but eventually I managed to net it with my keep net though it wasn’t ideal as I was netting the fish right under my rod tip. Unfortunately I didn’t have a spare landing net pole and the other one was still nestling on the bottom somewhere, so I decided to risk it as there were only a few minutes left and I would net it the same way if I caught another one. Back straight out on the method and the tip went round again, and I played it carefully to the waiting keepnet. If I’d had proper landing net and handle I would of netted it easy, but as I had to net it right under my feet, the hook pulled followed by words I can’t repeat, the question was would it cost me the match as I estimated the fish to between 3 and 4lb.
Overall my weight went 107lb, I was done by a pound by Steve who weighed in 108lb. Yes the fish had cost me the match and I went home feeling a little deflated as I had cost myself a victory.
Next stop it was a club match at Greenridge Farm near Romsey, if have read my blog before, you will have an idea what sort of place it is. At the draw, I went and drew peg 15, which was exactly the same peg as I had drawn in the open when I fished down here for a few weeks earlier, so at least I had an idea of what to do, well you would of thought so !!!
I decided to fish it exactly the same, a line tight across to the far bank, a line just short of it in the deeper water, a paste line at 10 and 2 o clock at 4 sections, and a line in my left hand margin.. Baitwise I had some 6mm pellet, some soaked micros, paste mix, some hemp and 3 pints of red and white maggots. My plan was to start across and prime my paste lines and margin line for later in the match.
I fed both paste lines with some hemp and some pieces of paste, then it was out on the line just short of the far bank. I started at the depth I thought I’d catch, and spent to long trying to catch them at this depth, rather than starting on the bottom and working my way up to catch them at the depth I could catch them at, lesson learnt, but eventually I started to put a few in the net. As the sun got higher the bites ceased so I decided to try my paste lines, although it was earlier than I wanted to.
Over the next coupe of hours I managed a few on the paste, it was by no means bagging but looking down my lake no one seamed to be setting the world alight. Coming into the last hour, I managed one on maggot down the edge and that was it, overall it had fished quite hard.
I estimated that I had 50lb, Duncan to my left had caught well on worm though he assured me his fish were not of the same stamp as mine. So it proved as I won the match with 54 1/2 pound, Duncan was second with 42lb, and Ken on Lake 1 was third with 39lb all caught on maggot.
Bringing my blog up to date, my last match as you have probably guessed by now was my usual Wednesday escape to Theale Pits. As the weather has started to get cooler, certain pegs start to dominate at Theale so the Saturday before Greenridge I had gone over to try a few things out. It was obvious that the method had started to die as I only caught 2 on it, but fishing the long pole out in open water, I caught about 80lb fishing meat over hemp, though only feeding a pinch every put in.
Back to the match, I drew 4th away for the third week running, and was pleasantly suprised to see that peg 40 hadn’t been taken so I felt it would of been rude of me to leave it in the hat. The only downside was Jon the venue expert come in the peg next to me, though fingers crossed I would avenge the mauling I had suffered the last time we were both on these pegs.
With the cold nights setting upon us and going on my practice on Saturday, I opted to set a line up in the deeper water, but also a shallow line against the tree in the water plus the method. I did also set a line up to fish down the edge, but didn’t really feel of confident catching here.
On the all in, I pinged a small amount of pellets towards the tree, a small amount of hemp in the margin and then it was out on the method. It was a slow start for me and Jon, but come the end of the second hour I had 7 fish in the net. Looking through the trees, Pete Kay on peg 50 seamed to be stringing a few together but I was to far away to see if they were a decent stamp but the shallow line looked like it could be good as the fish were starting to boil for the pellets.
I decided to sack the feeder line and come back to it if need be, and now it was time to try the shallow line. Over the next 3 hours I caught steady pretty much to the end of the match, the only downfall to fishing shallow on this peg is trying to ship fast enough behind to keep the fish out of the tree. I did manage a couple of more fish towards the end on the method, and speaking to Jon on the next peg, he seamed pretty sure I’d won it
And so it proved, I won the match with 120lb, Pete Kay on peg was second with 90lb, and Steve on peg 60 was third with 78lb. The rest of the back up weights were good and the next 6 or seven anglers all had between 70 and 77lb which is good match and fishing by anyones standards.