Saturday, 16 June 2018

Marsh AC Southend Farm 16.06.2018

Another new venue for me, Southend Farm. By all accounts it is stuffed with fish, plenty of carp with a few horses in amongst them, add in good skimmer weights and it was a day not to be missed. Despite work offering a good package to go in,  I could not let those around me down..
I had spoken to Andy Gregory over Facebook and I had a game plan for the day, I had shared this with a club.It had worked before and I was confident in it working again. Meat at top four, a shallow meat rig and a margin rig would see the pole only used if I was not catching on the Pellet Waggler. I had brought two rods with me and set up a Drake 4BB Waggler to fish around 30m at a depth of 2ft. I also set up a 3AAA Drake to fish the same line but I had this set at 5ft and was hoping they would stay still long enough for bites.I also set up a bomb rod in case the wind was too bad.
It was my turn to drive and due to the fact that it was a new venue and we were going to be trusting Tom Tom and Mick Mick to direct us Troy decided on following us down.
Leaving Mick's at 0600 we made good headway, entering the fishery at 0650. This was the closest we have ever fished with Marsh barring Alders Farm. A good breakfast was soon devoured, it was a nice set up, plenty of lakes, plenty of parking available, tackle shop and cafe.

With monies paid it was time for the draw.I was hoping for a low number, we had all the pegs along the far bank and round the corner to about 14 so anywhere between 2 and 6 would be beneficial. In goes Mick peg 9, Troy goes in Peg 8 I go in peg 4, happy days. This Positive Mental Attitude thing is working.

 Three rods Unheard of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At the all in I started on the pellet waggler using the 4BB drake I was able to reach 30m comfortably but the wind was blowing right to left and creating a significant bow in the line. I was feeding 3 or 4 8mm pellets regularly and despite swapping between long and short up or down all I had to show for it was a solitary skimmer after an hour. Tony Watkins on the next peg  was also on the waggler and had hooked and lost two good carp. So with fish in the area I persevered. The second hour was just as bad with a smaller skimmer on the waggler line( I was warned they may take a while to turn up). I had however started feeding my pole lines. I needed to put some fish in the net, even if it was only for an hour. Gino was getting a few fish so silvers were a distinct possibility for a weight if the carp did not show. 

Looks Fishy
I started on a top four at depth dripping in 4 8mm cubes of meat each put in and was getting a few small skimmers and some chunky roach on the drop. I probably had around 15lb of pole caught skimmers after 3 hours but a look down the sides changed things. I was getting a few better skimmers around 2 to 2.5lb mark from the right hand edge and was starting to get into a rhythm when John appears behind me and says I think I need to weigh this one, a double figure fish and it would mean having to catch around 6 good skimmers to catch that fish up. Next thing I know Tony on peg 3 has hooked a carp and although not as big as John's would still need matching.
Never did ask why Mick had a cross in his keepnet. Divine intervention.

I had been catching a lot of skimmers to the right hand side all on meat and going well but felt it needed a rest, so I switched to fishing a top two ( same depth) to the left this time with an 8mm hard pellet. I stayed on this for around 10 or 15 minutes with no bites, until the float buried and a proper fish was on 14.5lb of mirror carp for my first Southend Farm lump.
Back over to the right and a few more skimmers and roach on meat, another look on left hand swim, nothing no bites.John pops his head round the corner again with another even bigger carp. 16.5lb, Tony was in again but lost it along with the whole rig. Out he goes again with another rig and the same thing happens, no one likes to see that happen. During my chuckles I managed to pinch another carp from the left hand swim, a stunning Ghostie tipping the scales at 11lb 4oz. Tony had now got his act together and had placed a couple of smaller carp in his net. I was now getting a skimmer nearly every put in and going well. I had started another keepnet at 1430 and during the last 90 minutes I managed to put 35lb in it all skimmers.
At the all out I was confident I had 50lb of skimmers and roach, Added to the 25lb of carp I reckoned on having 75lb of fish. I knew John had caught carp and had a few in a keepnet, the Reverand Tony Roberts was keeping quiet so I knew he had caught, whilst Troy and Tony were saying it was close.
1st Keith Ashby          97-12
2nd John Holdsworth  54-04
3rd Tony Roberts        42-00
4th Tony Watkins        38-00
5th Troy Hillyer           31-12
6th Mick Wright          31-08
Another new venue, well worth another visit, even if it is just to break the ton mark. Another section win for Troy. My silver's nets went 72lb.Another MK Nugget for me.

Keith 5
Mick 5

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Marsh AC Hartleylands Peartree 02 06 2018

The last couple of matches have been a bit of a mystery, I have caught plenty of fish but no real weight. Another pound on each fish would have seen dramatic changes in my fortune. However, it is very hard to choose which fish will take your bait. Older and wiser spring to mind and I am currently getting the kindergarten stamp at present.
Mick's turn to drive and a long one to boot. Hartleylands means a 0500 start to get to the Knoxbridge cafe in time for opening at 0700. A full English washed down with a couple of cups of tea always goes down well and to meet up with a couple of others fishing the match sets the tone.
The short trip to Hartleylands was soon done and I was pleased to see a lot of work has gone into refurbishing the venue. Proper car parks, new lakes, solid platforms and good signage as well as a bailiff on site to answer any queries all looks good for the future. We were on Peartree Lake, having not fished it for a few years, I can vaguely remember fishing on the edge of one of the islands and catching late on, close in.
This lake has also changed and another island created and with the wind blowing into it and a lot of scum being created congregating into the corner I fancied it for a few fish. We had the far bank and the car park bank to play with and with only 12 in attendance, it was decided to peg out four pegs, miss one, four pegs miss one, four pegs.
As is the norm Mick drew first and peg 25 down the far end of the lake, close to where I was last time and the furthest away from the fish. My turn and peg 27, a bit further down and in the same section as Mick. Tony" the Reverend" ( Due to the amount of exorcising he was doing) Roberts was in between us with Chairman Dave on the end peg in the corner, no short walk for him today!!!!!!!!
I must admit I still fancied the peg for a few fish, they were cruising around without a care in the world. I set about setting up to fish 3 lines, 2+2 with a DT Diamond .3, size 16 B911X to .17. I had the same depth at 11m so would double up on this if required. A couple of margin rigs Derek Smith Diamonds .2 with same hook and line. I also set a light rig for up in the water and a heavier slapping rig. Bait was corn, pellet and meat.
At the all in I potted some feed down both sides and started off on corn 2+2. After 10 minutes I had a couple of liners to show but no fish. Tony had a couple of small fish but Dave and Mick were both fish-less. A switch to a shallow rig on the same line saw a small common around the 1lb mark. A few more followed before the line dried up. I re-fed and went out to 11m. Again the same sort of reaction a couple of fish before the line dying. Ten minutes down both sides saw a single mirror around 1.5lb. Others were catching further up the lake, and it seemed the further you went the better the fishing got. Still a section to win. Birthday boy Troy and Kris were neck and neck, both fishing the pellet waggler towards the island. Sometimes only feet apart according to the rumours.Simon and Gino were having their own private battle on the new island whilst John was bagging down the edge into the scum. I knew Mick was struggling despite him spending a whole 12 hour night shift making rigs. Tony was just picking off odd fish and still on the small side. By half way Dave was admitting to 10lb and although I had that already I was not too far ahead. I decided to just keep rotating and working my baits to try to keep fish coming to the net. They may have been small but they all count. It seems as if my run of small fish would continue. Mick's fortune did not change and he was destined to finish down the field. Dave's did though with a run of late carp pushing up his weight.

1st John Holdsworth 160-04
2nd Gino Exell 74-12
3rd Troy Hillyer 64-12
4th Simon Watkins 60-08
5th Clive Pritchard 56-00
6th Kris Old 52-08

My weight of 50-04 was enough for 7th overall, but I felt I had worked hard for the section win. Again another day full of small fish with nothing over 1.5lb. Well done to all the framers and section winners. Mick's weight of 11lb cost him a MK Nugget and a little bit of abuse at work. Dave's long walk never paid off  with John having the remaining peg in the bag and winning the match. Ouch. Next match is in a fortnight at Southend Farm and another new venue for the satnav  for both Mick and I. 

Mick 5
Keith 4

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Marsh AC Tylers Common Willow Lake 19.05.2018

It seems that I have been spending a lot of time in the garage lately. It all started packing gear ready for a week at Weston Pools, come back and replace it all for a pleasure day at Meadowlands before switching it all around again for the trip to Tyler's Common today.Oh the joys.
So Tyler's Common, I picked Mick up for the relative local trip to Brentwood, home to the Konchi's Pie and Mash shop that happens to do a cracking breakfast. The venue is only about 10 minutes away.
View from peg 14
We had booked Willow Lake for the day, 14 anglers plus one guest, Malc Doyle,the Jinx himself. So with pools paid it was off to peg it out. Both Mick and I managed to peg it so everyone had a bit of room 2 pegs miss one and so on.Whilst doing the pegging we did notice it was absolutely black with fish in the early pegs, the wind was blowing into this bank, so this may have been the reason. The draw placed Mick on peg 8, in amongst the black stuff, whilst I was going for a walk to the opposite bank, peg 14 and as far as possible away from the cruising fish.
Chairman Dave has Rod's ear
My plan for the day was to catch as many fish as possible shallow before switching to the edges later in the session. We had been told there may be a need for a mid match weigh in so hopefully that is when I would switch.
I made up two shallow rigs to cover 12 inches and 18 inches, differing hook lengths one with a B911F1 hook in size 16 the other a size 18 B911X. I also set up a long line mugging rig. I also set up a couple of margin rigs to fish both sides on a top kit. Bait were pellets, pellets and pellets, 4s 6s and 8s were all on my tray and plenty of them.
 Tony Roberts - Why is my barrow in the lake?
At the all in I started on the shallow rigs, feeding a few pellets and dropping the rig in amongst them, I managed a couple of fish but there did not seem to be enough fish competing for the bait. Upping the feed made little difference as I was having to wait for a bite after the feed had gone past the hookbait. I could hear Clive and John both catching well and felt as if I was going nowhere. I could even see Mick and Simon in the distance playing fish each time I looked up. An earlier than expected look down the edges proved a good move as I nicked a couple of fish from the left hand topkit and a couple of fish from the right. I would then try shallow again for 10 minutes before trying again, this time nothing to the left and another couple of fish from the right. I was now getting into a rhythm and rotating my lines, however two of the lines were not producing so needed to start another couple. I added another couple of sections to both my margin lines and hoped these would prove fruitful.
Troy preparing his meat
The Watkins Brothers -It was this big? Honest
Everyone on the lake could hear Tony R and Troy talking amongst themselves, I had this on pellet, I had that on corn, it was quite funny listening in. It seemed that the double pegging made for little two peg battles separate from the main match, no one angler was running away with it.

I just managed to get my head down and was now rotating my right hand edge lines, topkit, top three and top four, nicking odd fish from one and moving the rotation. At the all out I estimated I had around the ton mark and a quick chat with Clive, he reckoned around the same, it would be close.
1st Mick Wright 143-00
2nd Simon Watkins 142-00
3rd Tony Roberts 141-12
4th Troy Hillyer 130-08
5th John Holdsworth 119-00
6th Keith Ashby 109-00
Bagging pegs 7 and 8
Well done to Mick, Tony and John on the section wins.
The lake was very consistent and fair to be honest, I think we knew in advance which pegs were going to frame, although not in which order. I also stated previously that I did not like the lakes which was unfair, The lakes are fine, although a lot of the fish are in poor condition. What I did not enjoy was the amount of pleasure anglers walking around trying to find a peg or moving around from lake to lake.

Mick 5
Keith 3

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Pleasure Day Meadowlands 17.05.2018

With Mick being unable to fish this week I managed to sort out my days off to leave Thursday as a spare day. Vic and Derek were keen to have a go on the Pellet Waggler and Bomb in readiness for the upcoming Viaduct trip with the Yam Yams. These are methods we very rarely use, the waters we fish just do not suit. Occasionally the bomb will score, when all else fails but generally the rods are left in the bag.
A meet up at Jacks cafe just outside Towcester allowed us plenty of time to get to Meadowlands, which is situated this side of Coventry. Forty Five minutes later we were pulling into the fishery. Day tickets and a couple of bags of fishery pellet 8mms were purchased before we got the gear and walked to the nearby pegs 18-20.
Both in
I was on 18, Vic on 19 with Derek taking the last peg 20. I had deliberately left the pole bag at home, I know if I took it I would fish it.
So it was time to dust off the rods, Maver Powerlite 11ft Waggler rods fishing a 4AAA Drake to a size 16 LWG with a band in the hair to take an 8mm Jupiter or standard Skretting pellet. Reel line was Daiwa ST 6lb. For the bomb line I fished the 11ft version of the Powerlite Feeder system. Lovely and forgiving under the tip. A size 16 QM1 tied to 18inches of .20 Stroft and again a band in a hair.
I started off feeding 3 or 4 8mm fishery pellets at around 30m. The Drake soon followed with a 8mm Jupiter on the hook. However the wind was proving tricky, left to right, creating a large bow in the line. I was able to get the distance with both float and feed but connecting to bites was awkward.

Derek With a Meadowlands Baby

By constantly feeding it was a case of trying to hit bites with a large bow, the fish were not taking the bait as it hit the water, it needed to hang for a little while. I managed to winkle out 6 carp up to around 5lb before both Vic and I had a couple of good pound plus roach on pellet. Then something I had heard about but not witnessed before at Meadowlands, I started catching bream, not skimmers but bream 3 to 4lb fish, three foot deep and regularly. I had had skimmers before but not the larger bream and this was all on the waggler. 
The bomb proved worthless for me, just one additional carp, however Vic and Derek had a couple of fish on it.
Next day out is to Tyler's Common on Saturday, not really looking forward to it but as my counsellor says " go with a positive mental attitude".

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Weston Pools Week 05.05.2018 - 11.05.2018

Regular readers will know, that over recent years I have been going away twice a year for a weeks fishing.One week is spent with the Yam Yams and is all match orientated with league, sections and payouts each day. The other is a much more relaxed affair with a group of friends sharing the joy of fishing. No targets just pure fishing.
This year we were going to Weston Pools for the week, stopping on site in one of the log cabins. The venue has been receiving great reports over the last couple of years, not only for the fishing but for the complex as a whole. Caravans, Tents , Hobbit houses, Log cabins are just a few options for staying the night. A club house and Tackle shop on site adds to the attraction. Also with 5 lakes on site and an additional one about a mile away there was plenty of fishing to be had.
We agreed to set off around 6am enabling us to have a breakfast along the way. So it was that Vic, Mick and I set off onto ventures new. It was a really good journey and by 0820 we were pulling into the pre arranged cafe. We had arranged to meet up with Derek at the cafe and were not surprised when he was already sitting on a table with plenty of toast around him. Breakfast devoured it was off to the fishery. It was only a short journey to the Weston Pools Complex where an open was taking place.
Day one Saturday
Due to the fact that there was an open taking place, we were able to fish the Claypit Lake which is the one off site.
The Claypit
The complex has a policy of fishery only pellets, however you can use whatever pellet on the hook, so a couple of bags of 4mm and 6mm pelets were purchased prior to fishing. With directions firmly in place it took no time to get there and with others setting up or already fishing we settled into the first pegs as you arrive at the fishery, pegs 1 to 4.
It was a lovely day weather wise with temperatures above 22 degrees, the fish were cruising around in the upper layers and both Vic and Derek settled into pegs 3 and 4 and planned to fish the pellet waggler. Mick and I were going to fish the pole, Mick top three and myself long and shallow. I am no expert on this style of fishing but enjoy it, I am getting better each time and practice helps.
We all enjoyed the day fishing with Vic and Mick probably doing the best. Mick having a lot of fish from the shaded area close in.
Mick has a unique style, all to himself
Vic though was getting fish around the couple of pound mark from the pellet waggler lines.
Another one in the net for Vic
Whilst myself and Derek spent most of the day chopping and changing tactics to see which worked better.
Derek with a pole caught carp
Day Two Sunday
Troy and Pete had arrived later on the Saturday and made up the full compliment of anglers to six. We managed to get onto Weir Lake and whilst Derek and Vic were sorting out the pegs I purchased the day tickets. Again there were a few matches going on and this seemed to be a regular item. Each day we were being given a different lake and as a lot of the matches were rovers you could get tackled up and start fishing when all of a sudden anglers turn up and fish as part of the match. The weather was glorious, plenty of sunshine and shorts and T shirts were the order of the day. My peg was Peg 10 and looked nice, I could see a few fish in the margins with their heads in the reeds, why do they do that?
I set up rigs to cover 12m straight out, 5m in front and a couple of margin rigs either side. I also set up a now compulsory shallow rig. Armed with fishery 4mms as feed I was going to fish a standard lighter 6mm on the hook. I also had some corn for down the sides. One thing I noticed is the depth, lovely depths from 3 to 4ft on some pegs and good depths in the edges as well.
The day started off quite slow with only a couple of carp in the first hour, so I went for a walk to see some of the other lads also on Weir Lake. Del was getting a few silvers whilst Vic was struggling to get a bite. Mick was doing what does and nicking a few fish on a top three line. Troy and Pete were both catching silvers with Pete having a small barbel amongst his catch.
Back on my peg I was getting a few fish long fishing both up in the water and on the deck, all carp around the 5lb mark or F1s about 2 to 3lb. Good fishing. A switch to the left hand edge produced nothing despite seeing fish in the peg. A look on the right hand margin saw a couple of small F1s and Tench. The biggest change was when I went longer to the edge of the reeds with a shallow rig. Still fishing a 6mm pellet I would simply flick the rig out and ping a few pellets over it and leave it to drop through the levels and repeat. I was regularly getting bites and fish to 12lb from this line. In total I had 36 carp or big F1s for an estimated total between 150 and 200lb. Derek was also getting in amongst the fish doing the same from his peg, Vic had caught a few eventually whilst Mick, Troy and Pete had all caught well with mixed nets (figure of speech) of carp and silvers.
Mick definitely has the whitest legs I have ever seen, Does he wax them?
Day 3 Monday 
Monday saw us all gathering around Jacks Lake, A gorgeous looking pool with a central island and plenty of willow tree cover. Again letting somebody place a bag on a peg whilst I got the day tickets worked. Peg 16 on the back of the lake. Vic and Derek were sitting on pegs 3 and 4. Troy and Pete were on 11 and 12 with Mick on 17. I opted for a line at 6m and a couple of margin pegs left and right. A shallow rig was also set up. Starting at 6m I had a couple of small Ide in the first ten minutes followed by a couple of skimmers. I could see Mick and he was planning to fish top three and both edges, one side corn the other pellet. A similar approach to me. I had fed both margins and after an hour had a look on the left hand side with pellet with three sections of pole. A couple of dips before an F1 around 3lb graced the net. A couple of small carp around 2lb also came from this side. A look on double corn on the right hand side on a top kit saw the float burying and me hanging on for dear life, these fish do pull a lot.A carp around 5lb was the culprit lightly hooked in the mouth. I could see both Pete and Troy nicking odd fish with Pete having a barbel on the tip in his catch. Derek and Vic were both struggling despite encouragement and coaching from the fishery owner, however Vic did have a big Ide as a reward. Mick was now in the margins and bagging up, every put in was met with resistance. I was catching well and still getting slaughtered, every time I looked up he was playing fish. I ended up with 43 carp and F1s over the 2lb mark, I had a lot of smaller fish in amonst them for a conservative weight of 150lb, Mick must have added another 50-60lb on top of that. The others all had between 50-80lb. Sorry no fishing photos during the day as phone was on charge.
Still the evening was spent in the clubhouse.
Day Four Tuesday Match 1
We had arranged a few knock ups throughout the week and with permission the fishery allowed us matches on Canal, Stretton and Belvedere during the week.Tuesday was the first of these. Canal Pool and pegs along the spit. As there were only six of us we had plenty of room, allowing us every other peg.
I drew peg 23 and I must admit it looked nice. I could reach the far bank with 12.5m and had a good depth across. I set up another line at 5m, a margin line and a shallow rig. Our match was split with a carp match and also a silvers match, no overall result except for the MK Nugget between Mick and I.
I started off at 5m expecting the fish to become wary as the day wore on and pushing back to the security of the far bank. Small skimmers and crucians came readily but as has been the case all week I look across to Mick and see him playing a carp. A look towards the margin saw my first carp around 3lb but no other bites. Troy and Vic were both struggling, Pete was getting odd fish but the fishing was hard by Weston Pools standards. I decided to fish shallow with around 2 hours left and after losing my first four carp, I changed the rig and hook-length and started nicking odd fish. Things had also improved around me with both Vic and Troy now catching. I was playing catch up also with Mick and felt I was always a couple of fish behind him. Those lost fish would count dearly. Still I was now catching carp and F1s slapping and flicking the rig before time ran out.
My weight of 30lb was only good enough for last place, with Pete winning the Carp pool and Derek winning the Silver Pool.
Troy in the Shade
Happy Vic
Last of the Summer Wines Pete
Derek had top weight overall with 42lb, Troy 41lb, Pete 36lb Vic 34lb Mick 33lb.
Derek with a superb little Bertie
Mick en route to another nugget

So Mick took the MK Nugget to lead 3-2
Day Five Wednesday Match 2
Wednesday saw us fishing Stretton Lake, again another lake we had never fished before. We had been allocated six pegs at the far end of the lake which seemed very fair in comparison. I had drawn peg 26 on the far bank with Mick and Derek either side on 28 and 24 respectively. Vic was on the opposite bank not quite in the corner with Troy and Pete for company.
As this was a larger lake I thought a longer line at 11m with a top three line, a margin line and a shallow rig would cover it all. There was very little difference between top 3 and 11m so set up two rigs with different coloured bristles due to the light on the water. My margin lines was set up in 3ft of water but I did not want to fish it as fish were spawning down the sides and to be honest I did not want to disturb them. I would use this as a deep shallow rig. I started off by cupping in some feed on all lines and by the time I had done that Mick was already playing his first carp, how does he manage it?
My peg was again slow to respond but by pinging a few pellets on the shallow rigs both at 3ft and 18 inches, I started getting a few bites and odd fish. However this soon died. Mick was still catching well, Pete was catching and losing a few whilst Troy was struggling despite looking like a whirling dervish with his pole. Vic was starting to get a few fish which has been the story of us all, all week. Start off slow and catch later on. Derek was now targeting the silver fish and catching crucians, ide and skimmers down the side. I was still feeding the top three line and decided to have a look with an hour to go, A few carp were now on this line and helped top up the weight to 42lb overall. Mick had doubled that weight to end up with 94lb and best match weight of the week. Derek dedicated approach for silvers saw him win the silver pool with 27lb. Vic had a few fish late on and ended with 44lb whilst Troy threw back around 15lb and Pete weighed in 12lb of silvers.
Mick was now leading 4-2 and stretching his lead in the MK Nugget.
Day Six Thursday Match 3

Day Six and a first look at Belvedere Pool, again we were all in one end of the lake.

I drew peg 1 and it looked nice with a small island at around 14m which I did not fancy fishing as the fish steam off at pace and are a larger stamp in this lake. I did set up 11m though away from the island and a top 4 line. A couple of margin rigs completed the set up. I had Troy and Derek for company on my bank and could see Vic, Mick and Pete from my peg. 
Derek with one he could ride

And one he was advised not to

Mick did his customary trick and hooked a carp before anyone had fed their lines. I started off long whilst Vic opposite started off short. I did not have to wait long for a bite and soon black hydro was pouring out of the pole towards the island. Still I managed to turn it and felt comfortable playing the fish. Despite this I proceeded to lose and 6 more of his brothers or sisters before switching to red hydro. I never had another bite on the 11m line  but I did switch to the top 4 line and nick a couple of fish from there to test the theory out that the black hydro was bouncing out of the fish. The Red being stronger kept things tighter connected to fish. I also managed a couple of F1s around 3lb each from the right hand margin on double corn. Mick was still nicking odd fish and I knew it would be close between us. Vic was getting a few on his short line and Troy was getting a few down the edge. 
Love Ya
Pete had decided on a silvers match and from what I could see was getting a few down the edges. Derek was also getting F1s next to the platform of the next peg and also had 22lb of silvers to win the silver pool all three matches. Pete weighing in 12lb of silvers.
Pete Thumbs Up
I sneaked a win in the carp pool with 26lb of carp to Micks 23lb and reduce the deficit in the MK Nugget Challenge to 4-3.
Day Seven Friday
With no more matches and both Troy and Pete having to leave early, it was a day where we could go wherever we wanted, Mick decided on a day on Weir Lake fishing the tip. Vic, Derek and I fished the Stretton Pool again. Despite trying different things and playing with elastics we all struggled again to keep fish in the peg for a period of time. Bites would just come and go, try somewhere else and the same, late on the fish tend to come closer and can be caught well in the last couple of hours. I ended up with around 7 carp and good F1s with a splattering of small F1s and Crucians. Vic was catching well in patches but again the fish drifted in and out a lot. Derek had another mixed day spending time catching gudgeon, crucians and perch with odd carp thrown in.
Overall, I have enjoyed the fishing at Weston Pools, I have had two good days were I had over 150lb, the rest have been a struggle to be honest. The weather did not help with glorious sunshine and roasting temperatures 20+ at the start of the week, before halving to around 13 degrees and a bit more cloud. The fish did not know what to do, spawn, chill in the sunshine or feed. In the end I think they got the hump and  did a mix of the lot. Add this to us not knowing how to fish it properly meant we would get lower weights than the locals. 
The clubhouse was excellent throughout with plenty of choice and well able to cater for larger parties. Staff were all very friendly and helpful. 
Look no hands
The Tackle shop is well stocked and Darren was excellent throughout our stay, always at hand with queries, loaning us weighing in scales and buckets and offering general advice.
My only criticism is the accommodation, it was very basic compared to other fishing log cabins I have stayed in.There were only enough cutlery, plates etc for three people. No freezer compartment in the fridge.The shower was tiny and although I have put on weight it was difficult to turn around. Mick must have showered with the door open,😝😝, amongst a few other small gripes.

Mick 4
Keith 3

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Marsh AC Arrans Lake 28.04.2018

Certain waters respond better when the water warms up a little, Arran's Lake is certainly one of those. It is a prolific water capable of throwing up huge summer weights. As a club, we have decided amongst us that this is not what we want, however, during the early or late parts of our season, April and October the fishing can still be good and you need to work at what you are doing.
Mick was driving this week so it was my turn to fork out for breakfasts at Rosie's Cafe just outside Chelmsford . Already enjoying the food were Gino, Simon, Tom and guests Kyle and Bernie.It is ideally suited for Arran's as it is only 10 minutes away.
We had 17 fishing today including a few guests. With both Dave and Tony missing from the assembled group of anglers, Simon stepped in and covered proceedings amicably. Quickly running through the rules, taking the money and getting the draw underway. As has been the norm of late, Mick drew before me and peg 14 was to be his home, My hand was drawn towards peg 4 on the opposite bank. I had never fished this bank before so was going into it blind. Mick was telling me for the last fortnight that he was going to fish a rod and line as an experiment in the cooler, wet weather. I did tell him not to but well Mick is Mick.
My plan was to fish pellet wherever I was pegged so peg 4 was as good as any peg. My aim was to fish up in the water feeding 6mm Alders Farm pellets with either a 6mm or 8mm on the hook banded.
In total I set up 6 top kits for this( mad) I had two rigs with different hooklengths, one I would place a banded pellet on the hook, the other was hairrigged band. The other difference was elastic, either red or black hydro.Beauty was that if one got trashed I could be back out fishing quicker.I also set up two deep rigs around 2 1/2ft, again with the different hooklengths.
At the all in I started off feeding a line on a top three and fishing a 6mm hard pellet, after five minutes I had snared a couple of rudd, so started upping the feed to around a dozen pellets every twenty seconds, this had the desired effect and I was now starting to connect to carp. After an hour I  estimated I had around 10 fish for about 25lb. I looked around me and apart from Simon on peg 5 no one else seemed to be catching on our bank. Troy was doing alright on the opposite bank as was Gino and Kris. Malc had arrived and dropped into peg 10, the flyer next to the bridge, it would suit his style of fishing. Fill it in and sit over it.
I soon realised that I was getting four or five fish in a run and then they would back off a little, so to keep in touch I would add a section and then push it out to fish between 3 or 4 sections. This got me a couple more fish each time. Eventually the fish would come back and by varying the feed and shotting the fish would respond. I was catching well again, although the fish were on the small side. Simon was matching my catch rate now and had a few fish pushing 10lb.
Hours three and four saw me pull away though, adding probably 80lb in those two hours. I could see Mick across the pond and he did not seem to be doing well but looks could be deceiving. He was setting up the pole to fish in the margins and if it kicked in could do well in the last few hours.
My last couple of hours were a replica of the first couple, a few fish before having to swap things around and change something, I tried shallow a couple of times throughout the match and apart from a couple of fish, it was really a non starter. Just goes to show that plans can change and you need to adapt.
At the all out I felt I had done enough for the MK Nugget, but did not know about the match as I could not see all the anglers by the bottom car park. I estimated I had around 150lb and with Simon admitting to 120lb I thought I may have got it all wrong. However,
1st Keith Ashby 185-12
2nd John Holdsworth 183-12 ( 2lb deducted for breaking net limit)
3rd Malc Doyle 137-08 Guest
4th Simon Watkins 135-0
5th Terry Goff 96-04
6th Troy Hillyer 91-06
All in all another great day for the Marsh AC. Special mention should go to John, he had a lot less fish than me but put 33 fish on the scales for 179lb. An average of nearly 6lb per fish. A lot of close weights followed the above to show that even in the cooler months Arran's can still produce good, fair matches.
Next week see's a few of us travel to Weston Pools for a week's fishing. Something we have been looking forward to for nearly a year. As usual I will let you know how we get on, warts and all.

Keith 2
Mick 2

Monday, 23 April 2018

Pleasure Day Tunnel Barn Farm 23.04.2018

With nothing booked or planned for my shift off days, I accepted an invitation from Vic for a pleasure day at Tunnel Barn Farm. I have not been here for what seems like 10 years, back in the days of the Jinx series. He even offered to pick me up.
Leaving just after 6am and going across country, the journey did not take long and I managed my first ever look at Warwick Castle, what an impressive building that is.
We were soon pulling into the fishery and looking slightly puzzled as to where we needed to go to get tickets etc. Still a rather nice gentleman( later found out he was the owner) on a quad sorted us out and pointed us in the right direction. We purchased our day tickets and fishery pellets and were shown the lakes on a map. We decided to fish the High Pool pegs 2 and 3 due to the wind. Vic was on 2 myself 3. I must say at this point that the whole complex looked brilliant, well laid out, plenty of pegs with room, cut grass all round, no pot holes on the drives and most of the pegs you could park behind.
With no prior knowledge of High Pool I decided to fish at 2+1 working my way outwards as the fish backed off. I opted to fish shallow as all the videos I had seen dictated this, I set up three rigs covering anything from 2ft to 6inches. All were .2g Gandhi's tied to .15 NGuage to .13 off the same material. Hooks were size 18 B911 F1's . I also set up a deep rig for 2+1 line just in case the colder weather had put them down. Bait wise I had 2 bags of fishery 4mms for feeding, a selection of different 6mm Hookers and a pint of dead red maggots in case I really struggle.
Peg 3 High Pool
I started off by fishing 2+1 feeding 4 or 5 pellets every 20 seconds or so, I was fishing the deeper 2ft rig and after 5 minutes I started missing bites, so switched to the 1ft rig, slightly shorter in length and still keeping a short line between float and elastic.That seemed to work better and I started connecting with a few F1's, this went well for around an hour, feeding four or five pellets regularly and fishing the tight line, the elastic was coming out on its own as the fish hooked themselves. Vic had started at 11m and had a couple of roach before coming in a lot closer and fishing shallow saw him amongst the fish as well. The other two anglers on the lake were not catching.
After 90 minutes I reckoned started getting liners on the 1ft rig and switched again to a rig set at 8 inches. It was dotted right down to a dimple and every movement of the float was struck at. Still fish were coming, but I think this is where I started going wrong, I was now feeding 10 to 12 pellets every put in and I think the fish went back down again. I had to keep swapping rigs around to keep the fish coming.
At around the 3 hour mark we both stopped fishing and looked at the results of our labour. Both Vic and I had over 100lb in our nets. No wonder TBF has got such a good reputation.
Over 100lb of F1's for Me
A Happy Vic, Bagging over a ton

We decided to fish on longer, Vic deciding on either 50 fish or 1400hrs, whichever came sooner. It was strange for me, as I could not get the fish lined up. We had only stopped fishing for around 15 minutes and I needed to start again from scratch, whereas Vic was back in straight away. He was soon powering away from me and although I was nicking odd fish of a decent stamp, I could not keep up with his catch rate.
Another 90 minutes passed and Vic had had enough. The 50 mark had been reached. I had another 24 to add to my total.
We have averaged the fish at 1 1/2lb and know that the majority of fish were 2lb plus so were extremely happy with the way the day went, good company, good fishing,what more could anyone ask for?.