Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Monk Lakes - Match Lake 4

Brits versus Aussies - The 3rd Test
Last night I had a phone call from one of my Wifes Aussie relatives asking if I'd take him fishing while he was over here on holiday for a few weeks. So after some rapid tackle organising I arranged to take him to the Monk Lakes complex.
Arriving around 10am we decided to fish Match Lake 4 as the wind was, as always, blowing a hoolie and making the other match lakes difficult to fish.
Settling in to pegs 155 and 156 which were relatively sheltered I showed Ronny how to rig up a pole and explained how to fish with it before leaving him to have a go.
Now coming from Aus he'd never even seen a pole let alone fished with one so for once I felt confident I'd catch more than him. His only experience of fishing had been fishing for Baramundi and Brim so whatever he caught would be new to him.
Bait wise we had a selection of hooker pellets, some corn and a pint of maggots. Ronny decided to try a pineapple soft hooker first and before I'd even got my bait in the water he'd connected with a small tench. This was followed by a successsion of it's brothers before he connected with a nice Tench of around 2lbs.
His method of shipping back left a little to be desired but he did ok and landed the fish.

I'd decided to fish exclusively down the margins and fish tight to the reeds. First put in caught and small mirror carp of around a pound was soon on it's way in. This was soon joined by it's brother.

As the day wore on Ronny continued to catch plenty of fish mainly small Tench but with the odd better carp thrown in for good measure. I continued to bag up in the margins with a selection of Carp, Tench, Golden Tench and Ide, most were in excellent condition but this one had seen better days, it's mouth was so badly damaged I don't know how it managed to get an 8mm hooker in it.

The weather was almost spot on with overcast skies and a breeze blowing in to our bank so fishing the margins was the best place to be.

By the end of the session I'd had somewhere around 60lbs whilst Ronny had probably caught 30lbs+, I'd could have easily caught more but spent quite a bit of time coaching Ronny.
All in all an enjoyable session although the constant beep beep from guys fishing the match lakes with buzzers did drive me slightly potty. I have to admit dragging out small Carp and Barbel on 2.75lb carp rods with line around 20lb breaking strain was somewhat over the top, maybe they had heard that Charlie Chawner had caught a 17lb fish from Match lake 3 during the weekend.
Ronny thoroughly enjoyed his day and hopefully we'll manage another session before he goes back home.
My next trip out is to be a week long session fishing on the dark side. I'm off to Elphicks Fishery to fish North Lake in the hope of beating my personal best Carp. There is certainly plenty to go for.
I'll post a full report on my return.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Rolfs Lake 10th & 11th July 2009

Day 1
After spotting a post from Malc Doyle suggesting a special night match at Rolfs Lake in Oxforshire I jumped at it. I just love the place, it's a beautiful lake with wildlife in abundance.
Tonight match was to be something that had never been tried before at Rolfs and with fishing times being 6.30pm till 11.30pm it was going to be dark before we finished.
I'd formulated a plan in the days running up to this match which was to fish paste exclusively, as I'd read that it was producing a lot of decent weights and had made up 8 huge balls before I left home.
I've never done very well when I've drawn in the little side of the lake so hoped to draw away from there, of course when I stuck my hand in the draw bag I found peg 2 stuck to my palm. Exactly where I didn't want to be but when I got to my peg it looked quite inviting.

I spoke to Eddie Taylor-Green, who fishes Rolfs Lake an awful lot, about the best way to fish the peg and he told me to fish two lines one straight in front at 5 metres and the other at 3-4 metres along the margin to my left. His other piece of advice was to feed, feed and feed, oh and not to forget to keeping feeding. One other thing he did say was that the fish in Peg 2 were big so I should be prepared. Luckilly I'd just bought some Red Hydro so was ready for whatever they threw at me.

Armed with his advice I was set up with plenty of time to spare and wandered round and had a chat with those close by which included Tony (spamwham), Al, Nick (Neo1) and Terry (Wily). All were really looking forward to what proved to be a great match.

The first couple of hours for me went by with little action apart from a couple of carp early on. They were both good fish though, the first going 13lbs+. the others around me were also finding things alittle difficult although most had caught a few. I kept feeding staedilly, as Eddie had said, and eventually things started to improve. Try as I might I couldn't buy a bite on the margin line but the fish were now queing up at 5 metres. As the darkness fell John, who runs Rolfs, turned on the floodlights which was great for those in their beam but it didn't make a jot of difference to my view so I quickly attached a starlight to my paste float which made all the difference.

With an hour to go I was really motoring and had already passed the ton (the 1st time I'd ever done this at Rolfs) and was looking good for a very big weight. Eddie had been right when he said the fish were big as all bar two of the carp were 'weighers' and I was up and down like a fiddlers elbow back and forth to the weigh station. Tony on peg 40 to my left was suffering and having a real nightmare with fish that kept trashing his rigs whilst Al on peg 4 could be heard moaning everytime I got up to weigh another fish.

By the end of the match I was absolutley knackered and knew I'd caught a big weight. Two of the fish I'd caught went 16lbs and 17lbs 2ozs and went mental when hooked but I have to say I was very pleased with the way my pole handled them armed with the new Red Hydro.

As the scales went round the lake it appeared that a lot of fish had been caught although a few had struggled once the lights went on. Dave the Fish in particular had really suffered and had to go for a walk to cool down as the lights were burning the back of his neck.

Finally the scales reached my peg and when the 'weighers' sheet was added up I'd got 190lbs without the couple of fish in the net. My final total was 202lbs 2ozs, a personal best match weight and of course my first ton and double ton from Rolfs Lake. I was ecstatic...................

It turned out my weight wasn't quite enough to win the match but I'd finished a fantastic 3rd and I knew I'd sleep well tonight even though I was sleeping in the car. Simon E on peg 16 had won the match with 242lbs 4ozs with Steve Wilson on peg 30 finishing 2nd with 225lbs 4ozs ( a new personal best match weight). The total weight of fish caught by the 19 anglers was 2288 lb, an average of 120lbs 4ozs per angler. There were 3 x 200lb+ weights and 9 x 100lbs+ weights so it showed what the lake can do when it gets dark.

I have to say the night match was a great success and most importantly everyone had managed to stay safe and not fall in. I for one can't wait to do it again.

Day 2
After finally getting to bed at 3.30am I had a decent nights and woke about 7.30am to the sound of Malc laughing and just knew he'd been awake all night. This turned out to be the case as Steve Wilson had originally planned to sleep in the fishery caravan but had mysteriously been locked out by Gemma and Simple. Now whats that saying....When the caravans rocking don't go knocking.....Steve obviously decided not to disturb them so he went and woke Malc and they stayed up all night talking.
The mornings discussions were all about the way the lake had fished last night and whether the pegs that weren't fished last night would be at a disadvantage today. A few of those fishing today had not fished last night and were soon arriving and were looking for information about which pegs fished well and what methods had proved successful.
Peter Morton, my arch nemesis, came and spoke to me and seemed genuinely pleased that I'd caught a double ton the night before but warned that now he was here things were bound to go downhill. By the time the draw arrived everyone was bursting to get started apart from Peter who semed to be hanging back from the draw bag. It seems he was worried about drawing peg 13, somewhere he'd drawn a bit too much lately, and one he'd really struggled on. My lucky drawing hand seriously let me down picking me peg 36 not only was I again in the little lake but worse than that it was one of those pegs not fished the day before.

To make matters even worse when I got to my peg I looked round and saw Peter dumping his gear down on the next peg !!!!!!!.

I have to say I've drawn peg 36 before and really struggled so I wasn't looking forward to what the day had to offer but as last night proved I can catch plenty of fish when they are in front of me so there was some hope.

This hope soon faded when after 2 and a half hours I'd caught next to nothing and had to watch those around me bagging. Peter was catching steadilly and I was well behind him whilst Tony on peg 7 was absolutely flying. I remembered what Eddie had told me the day beofre and decided to really go heavy with my feeding and in the last two hours fed 6 bags of pellet. This seemed to work as finally I was getting bites. The trouble was so was Peter and he continued to keep catching well. I thought I'd better take an action shot as he was bound to ask me for some pics for his blog.

The fish had taken his some time to land and proved to be a good fish so I took a pic of that too.

By the end of the match I'd only got 4 'weighers' for about 50lbs but at least I'd managed to catch a few. By the time the other few fish were weighed I'd finished with 61lbs. Peter kindly returned the favour and took a pic of my best fish a lovely common of 14lbs which fought like crazy, I'm sure John must feed these fish steroids.

Today hadn't fished quite so well but almost eveyone had caught a few fish. Spare a thought for Gemma though who having finished last on friday night managed that feat again having only been able to catch 1lb 4ozs of silvers. (Probably a good thing as I expect she was tired after the night in the caravan !!................behave Vince!!)
I'm not sure of the full results yet but do know that Ryan won the day with, I believe, 197lbs from the car park bank, Well done Ryan.
Finally I must thank a few people, firstly Malc for organising both matches and giving me an invitation.
Secondly to John for letting us fish the 'Special' on friday and for all his hard work in keeping the fishery the place of dreams that it is.
Finally my thanks must go to Eddie Taylor-Green for his help and advice, cheers mate.
My final thoughts must go to Dave, the owner of the Maggotdrowning.com website. Not only had he travelled all the way down form Yorkshire to fish but he'd managed to snap one of his top kits playing a carp but then went on to lose another when he stuck it between his legs to feed his peg whilst playing another fish and had it dragged in to the lake. OOooopppss!!!!!!!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Maggotdrowning.com - Individual Champs 2009

The 2009 Maggotdrowning.com Individual Champs held on the match lake at Larford Lakes, Stourport, Worcestershire took place today. This is a match that I have the pleasure of organising and have done so for a few years now and thoroughly enjoy doing so.

So many anglers originally booked in that I had to form a reserve list but in the end just 38 turned up hoping to be crowned Maggotdrowning.com Individual Champion 2009.

Talk at the draw was about the big weights that can be caught in the match lake and where the best place would be to draw. One thing I'd noticed was how close the pegs were, there can't have been more than about 10 paces between each one so fortunately today we were using every other peg.

I quite fancied a peg near the club house so of course drew just about as far away as was possible, peg 51 at the far end in a bay. For company I had Simon elsey on peg 53, Midge, Croydon Angler and Royst. Also close by and in full view were Clive and of course my nemesis, Mugger Morton.

My day turned out to be difficult one. I couldn't buy a bite and with 3 hours gone had caught hardly anything other than 1 carp on the feeder. Peter was putting afew in the net but not as many as Tony (Spamwham) who was bagging. By the end I'd given up hope, it didn't matter what I tried there just weren't any fish in front of me, even fishing maggot brought no response. To make it worse I could hear Malc catching fish after fish on the other side of the island, just a good job I couldn't see him or else I might had slit my wrists.

The weigh in told a story, all those pegged in the same bay as me had struggled, it appeared that the fish just weren't there and were all in the main part of the lake.

Congratulations to Fordy on another fine win with 116lbs 7ozs, the only ton+ weight of the day.

Full results by peg no. are shown below. Thanks must go to the fishery staff for looking after us, Lyn for her hard work with the raffle, and to everyone who made the effort to come along and make the day a success.

P2 Bucko 14-01 P3 Smasher (DNW)

P5 Simple Simon 63-15 P7 Baggingman 89-03

P9 Sprucey 46-01 P11 Milo 55-08

P13 Genus9 73-00 P15 Gemma 15 15-11

P19 Me 23-16 P21 Paul Scatt 37-10

P23 ED10 72-05 P25 Dirk 53-12

P27 Mike Globe 64-03 P29 Dai Fish 28-02

P31 BaggerJ 40-13 P33 Floatfisher Jnr 53-04

P35 Spamwham 96-15 P37 Peter M 50-05

P39 Marginman 34-06 P41 Clive 19-03

P43 Drynets 16-10 P45 Royst 34-10

P46 Midge99 18-02 P47 Croydon Angler DNW

P51 Vince G 17-11 P53 Simon Elsey DNW

P55 Malc 89-12 P57 Fish4alarf 18-13

P59 Bungee 98-13 P61 MarkCAdroit 54-04

P63 Aigy 66-03 P65 Fordy1 116-07

P67 Ulladubulla 34-15 P69 Looney 50-02

P71 Hicko1 82-02 (inc 1 fish 16-01) P73 J R Hartley 47-05

P75 Budgie65 31-13 P77 Steak 36-02

Sorry no pics as I'd managed to leave the camera on after taking the first one and flattenned the batteries. OOOooops!!