Have Corn will Travel part 4

keith

Gandhi
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The Marsh AC season of club matches are coming to an end, the weather is starting to turn and with the dark nights getting earlier and earlier, it is starting to feel wintry. Today's match was at Hartleylands Reservoir at Cranbrook, Kent and with that means an early start. Mick picked me up at 0500 for the two and a half hour trip to the venue, although it does mean we get to sample the delights of the Knoxbridge Cafe. After Alders Farm, one of the best breakfasts I have had the pleasure to devour.
As I said earlier the nights are drawing in and although we could still maintain our six hour matches, it is very much dependant on the fishery. After speaking with the bailiff to confirm all the rules we were happy. Scales for the larger fish were scattered around the lake, hooking mats for those that required them, no need for a mid match weigh in as we were showing "a level of responsibility" with our plans.It does the club proud the fact that fisheries will welcome us back each year knowing that the fishery and its rules will be respected throughout our stay.
A good turnout (15) today for the reservoir match saw Mick pushing his way to the front of the queue whilst I was holding back and letting every one else go in first. One day a flyer will be left in the bag for me.

Mick with his secret ingredients.
But alas, Mick, Gino, Chris and Simon occupied my perception of the better pegs. I decided that the Reverend Tony Roberts was a danger man, not to the fish but to himself, he had drawn the same peg as last year where he struggled his way to 40lb. Someone said he had brought a rope with him and with plenty of trees surrounding the lake, I made sure to fish a line where I could see him.

The Reverend contemplating happier moments
My peg 16 was one of those where, nothing really happens and then you get a short burst of fish then nothing again. I had a plan to fish 5m in the deep water around 4ft at 10am and 2pm feeding 4mm pellet one side and nothing the other. I would also have a line down both edges on a top three for maggot on the right and pellet left. I did want to fish the pellet waggler to the middle but decided at the last minute to leave them at home, mistake, it looked perfect for the waggler, a little ripple in the middle of the lake with fish topping all over.
At the all in I put a large pot of 4mm sinkers onto the top four line and a pot of maggot down both edges. Starting off on the no feed line I had a couple of six ounce roach to start off with, lifting and droping a 6mm hard pellet. A switch to an 8mm saw my first carp after around twenty minutes, a crisp common around 6lb. Nothing was forthcoming so I switched over to the fed line and again lifting and dropping a 6mm woould only see a couple of pound skimmers and roach whereas an 8mm saw a couple of small 3lb carp.

Terry ready for the off
Gino was going well with a couple of weighers but he felt the Simon was emptying the lake opposite him on peg 1. I could see Mick catching well, fishing the margins and the willow tree. Jim Etherington, a guest of the club was also catching well on the bomb with popped up bread over his pole lines.
I had been fishing top four lines for three hours and had around 30lb including some silvers and felt it was time for the edges, A look down to the left saw a couple of small roach and perch fall to 5 maggots on a size 14, the right hand edge, again started off with roach and perch before the float buried and a good common around 8lb was gracing my landing net. Feeding a pot of maggot after each fish and lifting and dropping a bait was working, I was picking off odd carp in amongst the roach and perch, the only downside being that time was running out.
At the all out I had nicked six fish from the edge for around another 30lb to add to the earlier 30lb and a few silvers.
Asking around, Tony was admitting to another 40lb weight, Gino was revelling in his 45lb weight and was planning on how he was going to spend his section winnings. I must admit I may have been responsible for this as I did tell him I had around 30lb, but watching a grown man fist pump a weight in fishing did make me laugh.
Still the scales do not lie, said weight watchers. Gino was first up and an impressive 55lb Rod had struggled all day to place a couple of pound onto the scales. I put 13 pound of silvers on the sheet before place 59lb of carp for a total of 72lb 12oz. Tony had left his rope in his bag and had worked hard for 44-08. Jim had down the business and walked the section with 108lb, a mix of bread caught bomb fish and a few on the pole. Dave was a bit hemmed in on his peg but still managed 38lb with Roger adding 18lb to the scales sheet.


Chris trendsetting again
On the other bank Mick was first to weigh in and placed a solid 100 - 04 on the board for the section win with Chris on the other side of the willow adding 56lb of waggler fish. Jim had caught well with a solid 70lb with Garry chipping in with a couple of weighers, already on the board and a few silvers for 23-05. Clive was in the corner and chipped in with 48lb before we got to John. Four fish on the board for 40lb plus 51lb in the net would see John leap into 3rd place. Terry weighed 52lb with Simon jumping into 4th place with 83lb of pole and waggler fish.

Simon on his way to 4th overall
Overall
1st Jim Etherington 108-00
2nd Mick Wright 100-04
3rd John Holdsworth 91-04
4th Simon Watkins 83-00
5th Keith Ashby 72-12
6th Jim Boase 70-08.
Overall, I went with a plan and felt that with better control on my part it would have worked better. I felt afterwards that potting maggots and feeding via a toss pot would have improved things, hindsight.
The longer line went as i expected really but perhaps more time trying to find a level area within the peg would have been better, rather than trying to get the float to sit right on the slope.
Mick had fished a good match from a good peg, but it was good to see him back to winning ways, even if it did cost me a MK Nugget.
Mick 6
Keith 10.
 

keith

Gandhi
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Like most good things, there must be an end and today was the last of the Marsh AC matches for 2018. The club predominantly having club matches from the end of March through to October leaving a few months for recuperation, a spot of predator fishing, winter leagues or a dabble on the rivers.
I had been doing well this year despite not fishing all of the matches,.I was in front by a couple of points from my Nemesis, Mick. Yet still felt that the match was mine to lose rather than win. All I needed was to beat Mick and the overall title was mine.
Seeing as Puddledock Fishery is only 70 miles away we were able to leave Mick's house around 0615 for the relatively short trip along the M1 and M25 motorways. The cafe was just opening on arrival and with a couple of full English Breakfasts ordered we sat down and pondered the day ahead. Some of the lads popped into the tackle shop for advice, whilst I had a plan which consisted of micros, maggot and 4mm expanders. The target fish were small stockies around the 1lb mark. Islands Lake is a water we had never fished before and an ideal way to end a season.
Lots of little islands give the lake it's name.
Strangely enough, things tended to run smoothly for a change, perhaps it was Tony's near perfect delivery of organised chaos, details were taken, monies collected and the rules spoken with such calmness and clarity. Mick had drawn peg 9 and I as always hung back and allowed everyone else to have a go in the bag of dreams before plunging my paw and pulling peg 8. Typical, but not so bad. I could keep an eye on Mick, as he could me, but we were also on different banks. We both had the corner of an island around 25m away which was a comfortable lob, but as i did not bring a rod with me I did not even consider it.


Yours truly
I had my plan and was going to stick at it. Maggots, down the edge in a foot of water, maggot and micros at top 4 in around 2ft of water and expanders or 6mm Hard Pellet at 11m. I did plumb up all the way to 14.5m but found a small dip at 11m where it added another 3 or 4 inches to the depth. Feeding for this line was micros with a couple of 4mm sinkers. All feeding would be via a tosspot and not thrown. Considering the cool nights and slow warmth throughout the day's I wanted to try to concentrate fish tightly, as I was only expecting odd bites throughout.
Tony had drawn Peg 1, a peg which screamed fish, a small island at around 7m and some open water and good looking edges. Gino had a bank of reeds to go at across on the tip and looked lovely in the winter sun.

Tony's flyer or too many options!!!!!!
At the all in I started feeding my lines with a small pot of micros and either maggots or a couple of expanders added to the mix line dependant. It was slow but I started getting a few indications at 11m and after 10 minutes I had a small stocky in the net for around 10 oz. At least I was off and running. Clive on peg 10 had started on the method and went off like a train.with 5 fish in the first hour. I had nicked another couple of small fish with a couple of roach and had around 3lb in the first 60 minutes. The second and third hour saw me switch to the top four line with maggots but just one bite for a 2lb bonus fish. Swapping between expanders and 6mm hard pellets I kept on putting odd fish in the keepnet. Mick had pinched a couple of fish from the corner of the island and was steadily building a weight. Neither of us were setting the world alight but we were catching. I could see Simon catching well on peg 5, Clive had stopped catching on the tip and was now fishing the pole.

Looking forward and happy with his peg, Gino

John struggled throughout but kept smiling
Kyle, feeling unwell decided to go to the cafe and get a sugary drink, next thing we know was he was beinghauled out of the lake after walking into it. Thank you to the staff and owners of the fishery who kindly driedhis gear off and looked after him getting him back on his feet, whilst we knew nothing of his escapades.
I could not see anyone really setting the world alight and I was just ahead of those around me and still catching so kept on plugging away in hour four adding a few better fish to around 3lb. I now estimated I had around 28lb. However the last couple of hours simply dried up, I had two bites and two fish both from the 11m expander line. Mick was now getting a few fish from the end of his keepnets on maggot, but love or try I could not get the fish to come so close throughout the match.
Overall
1st Gino Exell 34.08
2nd Keith Ashby 33.00
3rd Simon Watkins 28.08
4th Mick Wright 20.08
5th Tony Roberts 14.00
5th Clive Pritchard 14.00
Overall the lake, I think fished as expected, I said at the off that 30lb would be a good weight and knew the cool temperatures and colder nights coupled with shallow water would have an effect on the fishing. I was lucky enough to come second by switching lines regularly and working to a plan. Mick ended up giving me another MK Nugget.
I was also successful in the Marsh AC league competition winning both the all matches count league by 4 points from Mick and also the drop 2 matches league by 13 points from Simon.
Well that's it for this year on the Marsh AC front. I will know turn my attention to fishing a few matches at Alders Farm and Oakfield to fix my fishing habit throughout the winter.
Keith 11
Mick 6
 

keith

Gandhi
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Messages
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With the cold weather looming, it will soon be the time to put the gear into hibernation.for a couple of months. I have done my time breaking ice and with ageing years and bones, I must say it is not something I enjoy. Still we are not quite there yet and although the weather forecast was sunny but cold, I was happy. Overnight there was no sign of the frosts that greeted me getting into my car after a night shift.
Mick and I were both in attendance along with a few regular faces, a few visitors practising for the upcoming winter league and a few new faces, well new to me.
With our monies paid and the whole lake to go at, Trevor set about spreading the anglers out as best as he could, trying to give everyone a bit of room. Mick was in his customary position towards the front of the queue whilst I slipped in unnoticed at the back. Peg 2 was to be my home. A good summer peg with the cafe wall and reed beds to go at, but in winter I have always found fishing long to be more beneficial. Mick was still drawing flyers in the shape of peg 8, a good peg with decent depth close in.
My plan was a simple one. two rigs for 10 and 2 o'clock one for pellet, the other maggot, scaling down to .13 hooklengths and size 16 or 18 KKMB hooks, Both using .3 MW Steadies. Black hydro completing the set up. I did the same at 5m, plumbing up lines at 10 and 2, the same as long. Still on this line I would throw back but on the longer lines everything would go in via a tosspot. Feed wise I had 3 pints of maggot, 2 pints of fishery 4mms and around a pint of fishery micros. Hookbaits would be 4 and 6mm expanders, maggot or 6mm hard pellet if the fish were having it.
At the all in I went out to 12m at 2o'clock and the float stood still, nothing was coming from the pellet line, lifting a dropping a 4mm expander saw a small indication on the float but the float did not go under. Bringing the rig back in I added another shot and greased up the bristle to hold in the surface tension. Back out and the float buried after a 5 minute wait. A 6oz skimmer being the culprit. Out again and nothing, so re-fed the line with half a small pot of micros.
Moving to the 10 o'clock line with maggot saw a procession of small perch and odd skimmers.I was now feeding via a tosspot on this line and adding a pinch of micros to each pot of maggot. Feeding needed to be regular to keep bites coming and after an hour I had my first carp to go with a few silvers. However, whilst placing the fish in the net I glimpsed up and saw Mick playing a fish.
For the next hour I kept switching between the two long lines for another couple of maggot fish. Hour three saw me having a couple of looks at 5m, I had been feeding it regularly, both by hand and accidently shipping out to the long lines. Only 1 bite on a 6mm expander but no fish within 30 minutes so I binned the lines,deciding to stick to 12m. Hour four and five saw me catching well on maggot over the micros and I felt that the fish had finally arrived, too late to do any damage, but still I was catching and learning.
Realistically I must admit that I probably had 20lb after three hours but doubled that towards the end.
Overall
1st Trevor Price 99-05
2nd Peter Archer 93-05
3rd Sean Wain 88-06
My weight of 65-11 was not too far off the pace, ifs, buts and maybes but was still a days fishing. I also managed to secure another MK Nugget off Mick as his flyer peg was only good for 48lb.
Keith 12
Mick 6
 
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