Joseph James Law match. Alders Farm Fishery.


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001


So Friday 14th and it was time for what has become possibly the biggest match in the Maggotdrowning,com calendar, the Joseph James Law match at Alders Farm Fishery. It's a match that we have been fortunate enough to receive an invitation to since entering a team at very short notice in 2016 when an invited team dropped out at the last minute.
It's run by Andrew Settle, the founder and Managing Director of Joseph James Law, a keen angler and someone who has decided to put something back into fishing not just by running this match but by sponsoring the England Ladies team.

It's a fantastic day out for the 12 teams of five that are lucky enough to be invited with the vast majority of the teams representing the major tackle manufacturers. This years line up was no exception.......

JJL Select
Maver UK A
Mallory Park
Maver UK B
England under 15's
Drennan Oxford
Preston Innovations

Some seriously strong teams there with more than a smattering of top class anglers amongst them but we were not daunted by the prospect and entered the following team from the ranks of the membership.

Peter (non fishing Captain)
Dave (Red Leader)
Keith Ashby
Mark Skeggs
Trev Drakes

Dave and I had travelled down from Yorkshire together and arrived at Alders Farm to be greeted on arrival by Andrew and Natalie, both eager to ensure that we enjoyed the day ahead. The car park filled rapidly as the teams for the day arrived and with tackle unloaded, nets dipped and bait procured from the new on site tackle shop everyone made their way down to the Pump House Café to register and indulge in a spot of breakfast and as usual Charlotte, Debbie and the rest of the staff made sure we were all fed and watered and set up for the day ahead prior to the draw. So at 9 am after a short speech from Andrew welcoming everyone and going through the itinerary of the day it was time for the draw.Stepping up I pulled the following from the pot of dreams............... Ash-peg 30 for Dave, Ash-peg 26 for Keith, Oaks peg-6 for Mark, Pines-peg 4 for Clive and Pines-peg 19 for Trev and with that sorted the team made their way to the pegs. This gave me a bit of time to catch up with some people and have a chat with the stewards and I arranged to help out with the weigh-in on Ash at the end of the match.

As all this was going on a lorry turned up to empty the Porta-loo and when i saw the sign on the back I had to have a chuckle to myself and luckily I had my camera handy so I could share what I saw :LOL:..........
After that I took a stroll round Ash Lake to check that Dave and Keith had settled in in readiness and had everything they needed and then popped over to Oak Lake to check on Mark then as I strolled back up towards the car park the All-In was called at 10-45 am.

Returning from the car park it was soon obvious the Andy Kinder had got off to a flying start on peg 1 on Oak. Casting a method across to the island with an orange wafter as bait he was soon into fish, a couple of decent carp already in the net and as I arrived behind his peg he was just getting ready to net a decent Bream.......

Having seen that I popped back to see how Dave had started on peg 30 and was happy to see him into a fish......


however he was having trouble as the peg was so shallow that the fish were running him ragged and he was losing a few more than he was happy with, however he felt sure that it would improve as he got to grips with it. Keith meanwhile had a similar problem, plenty of fish but being that the swim was so shallow it was causing him problems presenting the bait in a manner they were happy with so he'd decided to have a look a bit further out to see if that made any difference.....

Nobody else on Oak appeared to have started as well as Andy and when I got round to Mark he had just had a few small perch to get himself started. He really had a pretty featureless peg and apart from some rushes to his left was struggling to find some other areas to target.

Making my way further round on the way up to Pines Lake I came across Adam Rooney on peg 10......


Adam is the Brand manager for Guru and was putting one of the new Aventus rods to good use casting a method as tight up to the island as he dared, that side of the island is quite snaggy and it did cost him a few hook lengths and while he had taken a few carp he could see Mr Kinder over on peg 1 slowly pulling away from him.

I finally found my way up to Pines to find a lake with very little in the way of fish coming out, so I made my way around to peg 4 to find Clive and just as I arrived he was sliding the net under a carp.......

However it was soon obvious that after a decent start with most anglers getting amongst a few the fish had decided to shut up shop for most. Probably not surprising as Pines is the smaller of the two match lakes and rarely sees 24 anglers on it at one time. Trev was almost opposite Clive and having reached him it was obvious that he was suffering in pretty much the same way as the rest.........

A mark of just how hard it was fishing was that as I returned I saw Peter Archer, a venue regular with a very good record at Alders struggling, having gone biteless for 45 minutes despite having the luxury of an empty peg to his left........

As I made my way back along Oak I could see young Josh Paling, a member of the England under 15's team and he was starting to get amongst a few of the lakes better perch.......

Back on peg 6 however Mark was looking a picture of abject misery, with around 3lbs of Perch in his net and not so much as a liner from any of his feeder lines it was looking like it was a case of finding a lump from next to the reeds at the death or making sure he had the number for The Samaritans on speed dial. Even more so as 20 minutes earlier Stuart Fotheringham fishing for Marukyu on the next peg had snared 2 carp in successive casts for around 32lbs.

Back to Ash and who was that on peg 2 ? Lee Newson fishing for Preston, a very good canal angler who has discovered the delights of Commercial Carp, now a regular at the venue he's put a good run of results together and on a decent peg he would be very hard to beat........

However the pressure was telling on this lake as well, whether it was the couple of previous colder nights or a change in pressure it was hard to tell but it was obvious that it wasn't going to produce the really big weights that Alders Farm is noted for despite the presence of some seriously good anglers on the day.
Walking back across the dam wall I noticed that Mark was finally into something decent as the match drew to a close and i was delighted to watch him finally slide the net under a decent fish. It was a Carp of 16lbs 2ozs and would prove to be the largest fish landed on the day.(y)


Back to see Dave and with the match drawing to a close he was far from happy. Plenty of fish in his peg but they seemed oblivious of any sort of bait offered to them which coupled to the fact that he was still losing a fair percentage of those he did hook was leading to frustration on his part. Keith unfortunately endured similar frustration with lost fish on the day.

So with the match drawing to an end I made my way over to the Pump House to meet up with the stewards arriving just as the All-Out was called at 3-45pm.


We swiftly had the weigh in underway and as you can see from the weight sheets it wasn't quite the mega weights all round that some had hoped for...




So back to the Pump House where an after match buffet was laid on for all Followed by the prize presentation. £100 going to all of the individual section winners on the day.
£500 to the runners up Mallory Park and £1000 and the Winners Trophy with a score of just 19 points to Preston Innovations.


So that's it all over for another year and I would just like to say a few Thank You's. Firstly to all the anglers that took part in the event who without exception fished the event in a great manner with smiles on their faces ensuring that all had a bit of banter and a few laughs. To the owners of Alders Farm and Trevor Price the Fishery Manager and all their staff for allowing the use of their great fishery for the event. Tom Scholey and Catch More Media for recording the days events. All the Stewards who volunteered their services on the day and finally Andrew Settle and his team at Joseph James Law for making this whole event happen.


Regular member
Jun 24, 2006
Well done gents, it sounds like you made a very good account of yourself.


Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
An excellent write up Peter (y)


Regular member
Site Supporter
Aug 2, 2006
Nice write up and photos Peter, well done to all the competitors.

Amusing to see the picture of Lee Newson today. We fished in the same team 25 years ago, but our paths haven't crossed for maybe 20 years until yesterday on the Eastern Region Shield team match on the Great Ouse around Bedford. Lee had the best weight at Willington - a hard earned 5kg and a bit. Those Alders Farm weights certainly put river and canal fishing in perspective.

Also nice to see Chris Barley still competing. Chris was one of the pioneers of carp match fishing in the East midlands and always was a bit good at it!

Oh - and the bloke in blue t-shirt holding the weigh-scale support is Myles Phillips - another former team mate and also National Champ winner (Div 5) on the Lanky back in 1992 or 3 .... I do see Myles a bit more often on the circuit. I weighed a 7 pound 4 oz chub that he caught last year - absolute belter!
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Regular member
Site Supporter
Feb 25, 2016
Great report Peter.(y)........A shame that some of the photos are a bit blurred.:(......Was it all the excitement?:unsure::p:D

Well done to all our anglers, you did us proud.(y)


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
A cracking report really summing up the day.


Doctor ! Why do I act younger the older i get ?
Site Supporter
Feb 18, 2006
nice one Pete, I am sure all the lads enjoyed the day and it would be fair to say you were not the ugliest team hahahahahhahaah ( only joking ! )


Regular member
Site Supporter
May 23, 2006
Nice report Peter.

Are the Maggotdrowners team regular posters on here? (obviously Dave is).


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
They are all members and regularly attend site matches/ fish ins etc, not necessarily the most prolific of posters though.;)