Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Marsh AC match - Hawkhurst Fish Farm - 11th October 2008

I was meant to be fishing Sams Lake in Headcorn today but due to circumstances beyond my control I wasn't able to and ended up joining the Marsh AC lads at Hawkhurst Fish Farms match lake. I know many of the members as they are friends from the website and enjoy fishing with them.

When I arrived just after 8.30am it was quite foggy but for a change I actually fancied I'd catch a few today.My home for the day was to be peg 18 one I'd not fished before and for company I had Keith (Ghandi) on 17 to my left and Bill Gibbins on 19 to my right.

This was to be a civilised day with everyone setting up their tackle first and then retiring to the Cafe for breakfast. At 10.15am with every one full of bacon, eggs and sausages the All In was called.

I'd chosen just a couple of lines today, the margin tight in under a bush to my left and straight out in front at 5 metres. I cupped in a liberal helping of 4mm skretting pellets and baiting with a GOTbaits 6mm catmeat soft pellet dropped the rig out at 5 metres. It was like a jacuzzi over the pellet feed and I expected a bite fairly instantly however nothing happened. After half an hour I had only managed 1 fish, a small carp around 1lb.

Hours 2 and 3 were not much better with only a couple more fish to show for my efforts. Despite changing hookbaits, depth and hook size I was suffering badly with foulhooked fish. Even changing to my margin rig and fishing it really shallow didn't help.

Not long after I received 2 phone calls I could have done without. The first was to tell me the wife was taking her Mum to Hospital as her dogs had had a fight and ripped her leg open and the second to say Dad had collapsed again (twice in about an hour) and wasn't too well.

With my head not really in it my peg not doing much I sat back and looked around to see Bill catching well and he looked likely to be the leader, Peter was also picking up a few so It could be a close run thing.I cupped in some more pellet and had a wander with my camera to take a few shots and popped down to have a chat with Peter. He told me he too had been suffering with foul hookers but was picking up a few better fish using 8mm hard banded pellet. I went back to my peg and tried again, this time I was beginning to connect with a few more fish and a small flurry of Carp followed. As the match wore on Peter was still catching well and it seemed that he may now be in the lead, my match plan had now gone completely out the window and I was just waiting for the final whistle.

I left very soon after the "all out", not bothering to weigh in but estimated my 14 fish at around 35lbs, certainly not enough to trouble those who had been catching all day. I had loads of bites but just kept coming back with scales.

Peter did indeed end up winning with a hard caught 118lbs, Bill finished a close second with 106lbs 8ozs. Dave the organiser had also included a pairs match which was won by Bill Gibbins & Kevin Loveland .

Despite everything that had happened I still enjoyed the day in the company of some decent people who made me feel very welcome.

I will one day to get to grips with the match Lake at Hawkhurst maybe not till next year though as I shall give the place a miss till things warm up again.

Dawns Vale MD's match - 4th October 2008

My journey to Dawns Vale was quite eventful to say the least. First of all my Sat Nav wouldn't find the postcode for the lake so I was almost travelling blind. I'd printed some directions from the internet but they weren't exactly brilliant. I had a rough idea where I was going but would need help once I got close. Making my way along the M25 I was merrily driving along minding my own business when suddenly the car just in front swerved all over the road and ended up embedded in the bridge parapet. I stopped to see if I could help and found that the car had suffered a front tyre blow out. The young girl was in a state of shock and after waiting with her for a while until she had calmed down and helping her change the wheel I made my way to deepest darkest Essex. (Incidentally, she rang me tonight to thank me for stopping to help her, which I really appreciated). I eventually found the fishery but only after a call to Peter for help, I don't know why I bothered ringing him, he hadn't got a clue as he was following Dave The Fish. In the end I used my sense of smell and arrived at the lake just as Dawn was cooking up Bacon and Egg rolls.

My first look at the lake was a pleasant one, although not that large the lake looked very fishy indeed and I hoped we would be in for a good days fishing. the overnight frost however had me a little worried. Dai and Mick the Chippy were already in attendance and were soon followed by Peter, DTF and Colin. Not long after Dave and Geoff turned up along with Tony and of course Max the mad Boxer. Max was obviously hungry after his long journey and joined the queue for his bacon roll.

After the bacon rolls were consumed amd teas and coffee drunk everyone made their way to their chosen pegs. I settled for the shortest walk and sat right next to the caravan. Dawn had told me it was a popular peg with the locals and often threw up some decent fish from under the overhanging tree.

I had planned a 3 pronged approach for toady which consisted of the pole at 5 metres in front and close in on both margins, a feeder rod for a chuck to the deep water in front and a carp rod rigged up for fishing a boilie.I filled in both margin pegs and sent the feeder out in to open water to hope for an early mug fish. An hour later I was still waiting. In the meantime Dai and Geoff had been slowly bulding a weight of small rudd.I decided a change of tack was needed so picked up the pole, baited with corn and dropped it in under the tree. I somehow expected an instant response but The lake had other ideas and try as I might i couldn't buy a bite. I also tried the left hand margin but that was just as useless.I chucked the pole up the bank baited the feeder with 2 red maggots and sent it back out in to the depths. this time there seemd to be a little interest and suddenly the tip whacked round, the reel churned and I struck...................................................... into thin air. B*GGER!!!!!!!!!!Next put in resulted in another bite but it was only a tiny Rudd. Nothing followed for the next two hours on any line so I baited the carp rod with a smelly squid and octopus boilie cast out under the tree and sat back waiting for all hell to let loose. Unfortuanately I had a long wait and eventually decided I was wasting my time. I chopped and changed for the rest of the match and managed another itiny Rudd before the all out was called.Highlight of the day was watching Dave's new pink knicker elastic stretched to the limit as he tried to subdue what was obviously a decent fish. A number of us had assembled behind Dave giving him encouragement as well as Malc on the phone being his usual polite helpful self.
Finally Dave managed to land the fish and was well pleased with his catch and Max seemed quite interested too.. Throughout the day Peter had been picking up the odd fish and I thought I'd better get a pic of him as he looked like he might just win. Alas when I looked up he'd dissapeared still never mind I took a picture of his empty peg. It's probably a better picture without him in it anyway.

All in all despite not catching much I'd enjoyed the Dawns Vale experience. Meeting up with friends from MD's is always a great way to spend the day even if some smart arse suggested that I should present Peter with his trophy, sorry but I can't print my reply, it's a family site.Thanks to Dawn and her hubby for letting us fish and for looking after us so well. Bacon and Egg rolls to start, Cheeseburgers half way through and copiuos amounts of steaming hot coffee to keep me awake during fishless periods (there were quite a few) were all very welcome. I will definately be going back and Peter and I are already planning a 2 day session for sometime next year once the weather warms up again.My journey home was as bad as the one on the way to the lake. 4 miles from the Dartford crossing the traffic ground to a halt and I sat going no where for over an hour. It turned out a lorry had caught fire right on top of the bridge and the bridge had been closed. This meant everything had to go through the one tunnel that was open (one was closed for maintenance). I finally arrived home at around 9.45pm completely knackered.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Mote Park knock up - 28th September 2008

Today was the day a few hardy souls ventured out to Mote Park, a 30 acre park lake in the centre of Maidstone, for a friendly match hopefully sacking up on the resident roach stocks.

Arriving in the car park numbers were somewhat low with only Trevor and Hemphead (Andy) in attendance. Shortly after Mick the chippy arrived so that made just 4 of us which was shame when we were hoping for 10-12. After paying the bailiff he opened the gate to let us drive along to our chosen pegs on the jetty. Unfortunately there were already a few anglers there so we squeezed in between them. Trevor sat to the right with Mick next to him then Andy and finally me 3 pegs to the left under a low willow tree.(yet another end peg)

I called the all in at 9.30 and all apart from Andy started on the waggler. After balling in 3 babies heads of original Swimstim, first put in and Roach no.1, about 6ozs was safely in the net. A minute later and Roach no.2 followed this time slightly bigger around 10ozs.The others were all catching too so things looked good for a decent days fishing. The bright sun wasn't helping things though as for a while the fish seemed a little finicky not wanting to take the bait properly but after a change of hook size to an 18 things improved. After about an hour I hooked something somewhat larger but unfortunately didn't get chance to see it as it charged off to my left under the jetty and just continued on it's way to the other side of the lake. It was probably one of the lakes Carp that had taken a liking to my maggot hookbait, however I shall never know. Not long after Andy suffered a similar fate. Trevor seemed to be catching a few and had his own fan club watching him, probably the only bird he's likely to pull.

Andy hooked into what he thought was another Carp so I quickly grabbed the camera for some action shots. However it seems he was just playing to the crowds as it turned out to a roach hooked squarely in the dorsal fin.

Mick in the meantime had been catching a few but for now seemed more interested in his sandwiches.

Try as I might I couldn't seem to get in a rhythm, I don't think fishing under the willow helped as it was difficult to cast any distance, the Roach just didn't want to feed close in.A few casts on the feeder produced nothing.Nick turned up around 2pm and proceeded to bag up, catching Roach every put in. It was interesting watching him, one thing I noticed was just how inaccurate his casting was, one left, one right one straight. I'm sure Matt's mentioned this before. Perhaps it's a ploy to lead everyone in to a false sense of security.

The all out was called at 3pm and Mick was first to weigh. His net went, 9lbs 7ozs, Andy followed and it was clear he'd got more than Mick and this showed when the scales settled on 17lbs 8ozs.

My net was next. I lifted out and couldn't help but think I caught a lot more than was in the net, maybe I'd over estimated but I didn't think so as I reckoned I'd had at least 12 to 13lbs. Putting the fish on the scales it was clear I hadn't got that and a measly 6lbs was recorded.
Finally it was Trevors turn. Another decent bag of fish came to the scales and after some light hearted banter the weight was agreed at 17lbs 8ozs, the same as Andy.All in all it was an enjoyable day out but I went home puzzled about how I could have got my weight so wrong. The answer however came when I hung my net up to dry in the garden when I got home, there next to the ring just up from the bottom was a split about 4 inches long. I don't feel quite so bad now apart from the fact I'll probably have to buy a new net as I'm not sure this one can be repaired. Southern Pairs - 23rd August 2008

20 of us lined up for the first ever Southern Pairs Championships at Hawkhurst Fish farm.

The pairs were organised so that each person from the pair would be on opposite banks.

At the draw bag I fancied and end peg and duly drew out peg 20, an out and out flier that I'd seen many a decent bag of fish caught from. happily I made my way to the peg expecting a great day. The aerators were on and fish could be seen all across the lake. After setting up breakfast was taken and then the serious business of catching a few fish began.

Below is what I wrote on the forum after the match, it just about sums up my day.

Got up, went fishing, caught naff all, went home, wished I'd stayed in bed. I think that just about sums it up.
Oh and I must not forget that Matt got a visit from a couple of young girls half way through the match. (I expect he thought they'd heard he was a good angler)
Mind you, I thought Bill was a bit mean,........when he started singing Gary Glitter's "Do you wanna be in my Gang".

Actually I ended the day with 15 pounds of hard earned carp, the lake had fished terribly, worse than anyone could remember the top weight being a measly 38lbs. This meant the pairs result would be close and so it proved with 2 pairs eneding withe same number of points.

Congratulations to Dave the Fish and Clive on winning the pairs match on weight.

I did at least see a few fish caught although Nick had a little trouble landing them on his knicker elastic.

All in all it was an enjoyable day in good company, lets just hope next years match fishes somewhat better.

MD Southern Champs -Hartleylands Farm - 12th July 2008

Today was the day of the Southern Champs held on the Reservoir at Hartleylands Farm fishery. My peg for today was to be peg 6, not where I really wanted to be but it did hat least have some from having once held the lake record. I settled on three lines both margins, left and right and out in front at 7 metres. I'd also set up a pellet waggler if the fish started showing on top.
Across the lake I could see Bill Gibbins settling in to his swim and he looked quietly confident as fish were crashing out the water in front of him.

I cupped in 2 large pot fulls of 6mm skretting pellets on each line, baited with a 6mm GOTbaits soft hooker pellet and waited, and waited and waited. 3 hours later and I'd got 2 fish to show for my efforts and they were only small skimmers. Peter on peg 1 was suffering a similar fate although Bill was absolutely bagging with fish lining up to take his paste bait.
Paul east over on peg 19 was also building a tidy net full.

At the end of the match I with a poor 13lbs 11 ozs and another £1 lost to Peter.

Peg 1 Peter Morton 23-0

Peg 2 Dean Lockwood 55-1

Peg 3 Jeff Driscoll 15-15

Peg 4 Tony Clark DNW

Peg 5 Mick Pearson 4-7

Peg 6 Vince Gould 13-11

Peg 7 Trevor Little 13-3

Peg 8 Alan 18-4

Peg 9 Bill Brice DNW

Peg 10 Matt Love 105-11

Peg 11 Darren Smith 20-0

Peg 12 Empty!

Peg 13 Wily Coyote 30-03

Peg 14 Stuart Wilson 62-6

Peg 15 Bill Gibbins 156-0

Peg 16 Tony Roberts 23-3

Peg 17 John Haigh 52-7

Peg 18 Nick Gilbert 49-2

Peg 19 Paul East 91-7

Peg 20 Nick Costa 34-14

Bill ended up taking the honours with a fine 156lbs with Matt love not a million miles behind with 105lbs 11ozs many of which he caught on the waggler.

At the moment I'm suffering a poor run oif results, hopefully it will change soon, I'm running out of £1 coins to give Peter.