My Fishing Diaries.

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Peter

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Rockells Farm. Saffron Walden. Essex. September 12th, 2010.

Marsh AC club match.

I’m off to Rockells Farm today for what is probably the most eagerly anticipated club match of the year. Last year Martin Hucker set a new club match record at 383 lbs 4ozs and a new club record total of 2911 lbs 14ozs was put on the scales by the 19 anglers that fished the match. A lot can depend on the draw, but an awesome weight is on the cards if the draw bag is kind to you. As usual when visiting this venue in the depths of Essex I’d arranged to meet Dave at his place just after 6·30 am and follow him and Colin down to the fishery. The weather looked good and a smooth run down saw us pulling up at the lake at around 8 am to find Keith and his guest Troy along with Jean and Kev, Martin and John already in attendance. A quick look confirmed that the lake looked in good nick although the water level was a little down.​


Keith, Terry and I set off to peg out while the others arrived and I have to say that every peg looked like it was good for a few fish. Keith expressed a preference for a late peg in the high teens and the general consensus was that either the first 3 or the last 3 would be decent draws. So at 8·30 am Dave called the draw, people seemed a little reluctant so I dived in early and found peg 19 to be my home for the day. Keith drew peg 3 and with Clive drawing peg 2 with Terry for company on peg 1 they would definitely be contesting the honours, I had Graham for company on 18 while peg 17 was Dave’s for the day and was the one I felt we all had to beat. I had the peg last year and the willow that had been cut back then had re-grown and now offered some cover and would be tailor made for Dave’s floater approach today. So off to the pegs, and I have to say that I couldn’t have any complaints with my own peg, with the boards to fish to on my left and some cover to my right, both of which had a depth of no more than 18 inches.​


My approach is pretty single minded in that I tend to ignore any long lines when I fish Rockells as shipping back and forth wastes to much time and look to catch on a top 2 from the off if at all possible. Rigs are Middy in-line paste floats made up on 0·20 power match with a size 12 owner barbless relying on the bait to cock the float. Bait is simply GOT Atomic paste with 4 mm pellets (and plenty of them) for feed. So with such a simple set up I had a bit of time before the All-in and had a stroll down to see Dave who was looking as happy as Larry despite not feeling quite 100%……​


Dave had never recorded 300lbs in a match, but today he was definitely sitting on a peg that was more than capable of doing it if he could get off to a good start in the first 3 hour session. We fish two three hour sessions here with a mid point weigh-in as with the prospect of big weights it means that fish aren’t retained in nets for to long and it gives the anglers a chance to have a breather as well.

So 10m and Dave blew the whistle for the All-in, a handful of pellet down both margins and in with my first piece of paste next to the boards, a couple of dinks and the float slid away resulting in a perfect little Common of around 8ozs to get me off the mark and from then on in the bites kept coming regularly, unfortunately not all were connected with, I’d get 4 or 5 on the trot then miss a few or foul hook a couple, but I had 20 fish in the first hour. Peg 19 is pretty tucked away in a corner and you cant really see anyone else to judge how you’re doing against them, though I could hear plenty of splashing coming from Graham and Dave’s pegs so it was just a question off concentrating on my own peg. By the end of the second hour I had 39 fish, but they were mostly small. In the 3rd hour I upped the size of paste that I was fishing and although the bites slowed a bit I started to pick up a better stamp of fish. Judy popped round to see how I was doing, but it coincided with one of those frustrating periods of lots of missed bites and by the time that Dave blew the whistle to signal the end of the morning session I had 55 fish on the clicker and was hoping for somewhere around the ton.

The weigh-in started from my peg and I recorded exactly 100 lbs. Graham had 84½lbs while Dave had a much better stamp of fish for 150½lbs and top weigh of the morning. Martin on peg 13 had also fished floaters for 101½lbs. Colin had also had a good morning on peg 8, making the most of the cover afforded from the overhanging willow on his peg and again fishing floaters for a fine 144¼lbs. The point pegs hadn’t really produced as expected, lots of small fish, but not enough of the better stamp, with Keith’s 89¾lbs being the best weight of the group. I’d fished Keith’s peg 2 years ago though and expected it to fish much better in the second session. However 1095½lbs had been weighed in by the 18 anglers including four ‘Tons’, an average of just over 60 lbs per angler so not too shabby.

By the time we all returned to our pegs and sorted ourselves out it was 2·15 pm before Dave signalled the All-in for the second session. I’d fed a couple of pints of pellet into both of the margins prior to the end of the first session and was hopeful that it was enough to hold the fish during the break, and it seemed that it had been a success as I had a fish first put in.

Well the second session pretty much followed the pattern of the first, though I did manage to pick up a few more better fish, but nothing over 4 lbs. Dave however was definitely getting a better stamp of fish and was looking good I felt for an overall win. Anyway after a further 3 hours Dave called the All-out for the second and final time today. I had 78 fish on the clicker this time and hoped they would be enough to take me to around 200 lbs for the session if I had enough better sized fish, but I would have to wait and see as the weigh in would run in the opposite direction this time, starting from peg 1.

So with the gear back at the car park it was time to start the weigh in. Terry and Clive had both improved on their morning sessions with 128¼lbs and 123¼lbs respectively. Keith had had a standout session though, his 2 nets finally registering 219¼lbs for an overall weight of 309 lbs which would prove to be good enough for 3rd on the day.


John on peg five managed 101½lbs in the afternoon. Colin however had gone from strength to strength with 225 lbs and a total of 369¼lbs to take the win on the day. Martin had another busy session putting 158¼lbs onto the scales. Dave had 3 nets in which gave him 193¾lbs, comfortably taking him past his own 300lb target for a total weight of 344¼lbs, a new PB match weigh giving him 2nd on the day. My own weight of 169¼ proved as I feared that I had to many small fish, but the total of 269¼lbs still gave me 4th on the day.

So back to the car park for the results. A total of 2878¾lbs had been weighed in on the day, just short of our record, still an incredible average of 159 lbs per angler !!!! with 3 ‘Triple Tons’, 2 ‘Double Tons’ and a further 6 ‘Tons’ overall a phenomenal days fishing by any standards. Roll on next years match, looks like I may have to brush up on my floater fishing.

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Location: Elmdon, Essex, UK
 

Peter

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Colemans Cottage Fishery. Cottage Lake. September 19th, 2010.

Kev the Catch’s
50th Birthday Bash


I’m off to Colemans Cottage Fishery in Essex today at the invitation of Kevin Loveland for a days fishing on Cottage Lake to celebrate his 50th Birthday . It will take the form of a small knock-up match, but the emphasis will be very firmly on enjoying the day and will no doubt finish off with tea and cakes in the clubhouse. The alarm going off and a nudge in the ribs from Maria saw me rising just after 5·30 am, our cats think an alarm clock ringing is a dinner bell, so having washed and dressed they were fed, while a large cup of coffee took care of my needs before loading up the car and setting off. A nice smooth trip down saw me pulling into the car park around 7·45 am. First things first so it was straight into the clubhouse where I bumped into fellow Maggotdrowner Ron B who was here for a match with his club. One of Colemans excellent breakfasts was soon dispatched and the banter started to flow as today's participants assembled for the day ahead.

Keith, Terry and Pete set off to peg the lake while Dave collected the pools for the day, our only outlay as Kevin had kindly paid for the lake today. With the lads back from pegging out it was time for the draw. Peg 7 proved to be mine for today so it was off to the car park to collect our kit and make our way over to the lake. As I made my way round to the riverside bank it was soon obvious that we were in for some fun today as some joker had placed my peg number on a culvert with half a forest in front of it, realising this was obviously a mistake I settled for the perfectly fishable peg a couple of paces further on. For company today I had Terry to my left on peg 6 and Colin to my right on peg 8.​


Settling into the peg I recognised it as the one that Colin had won from when we fished the lake last October, while I could see Pete Thompson settling into the peg that I’d fished. Thankfully although the platform resembled a ski slope the adjustable legs on my box and footplate soon sorted that out. I had trees overhanging the water to the left and right which were the two obvious lines to fish so set up a couple of Malman 4×12 Adam’s on 0·20 Power Match with size 14 QM1 hooks to fish at 5 mtrs to the trees on the deck and a MW HC margin again on 0·20 with size 14 Guru QM1 for the left hand margin, though it seemed to be a bit of a snag pit and might prove awkward to get a fish out of it. Bait for today was simply a selection of GOT Baits soft hookers and 6 mm hard pellets while feed would just be a mix of 4 & 6 mm hard pellets. Keith put in an appearance prior to the off snapping a few photos for his blog and caught me setting up a top kit……​


So 10 am and Dave blew the whistle for the All-In and I fed a couple of pots of mixed pellets into both swims and shipped a soft hooker out to the left hand swim. I was going to concentrate on this line as I had it to myself, and Colin would be fishing to the other side of the right hand one. A couple of lightning fast bites followed, both of which I missed, putting them down to silvers.
Rather than keep shipping back and forth I changed to a banded 6mm hard pellet, but before I could ship back out I could see Pete playing his first fish of the day ……​


… obviously a Carp it was giving a good account of itself, but Pete soon had it under control and safely in the net. So out with my rig with a pouch of pellet over the top and after lifting and dropping the rig a few times the float buried and a quick lift resulted in the elastic coming out, not a big fish but a small Mirror of around 2 lbs that was soon in the net to getting me off the mark. Jean put in an appearance with a welcome cup of coffee and all was right with the world.​


A further 6 carp followed in the first hour which as far as I could make out was as good as anyone else. I’d seen plenty of elastic coming out on Keith and Dave’s pegs, and the grapevine reckoned that Clive had a couple of lumps early doors, but sport seemed generally slow around the Lake. In fact Clive came for a stroll round to see how others were doing, a sure sign that it wasn’t going well for him, handily though he was just in time to get an action shot of me landing what would prove to be my biggest fish of the day ……​


Colin was struggling for a bite, and I’d not had any indications on the couple of occasions that I’d dropped into my right hand line, but I’d heard a bit of splashing coming from my left, so obviously Terry was getting a bit of action. I was getting little spurts of action, 1 or 2 fish then a gap before a bit more action, the vast majority of my fish were Carp with just the occasional silver, while Pete who seemed to be catching at a similar rate appeared to be getting a much larger percentage of silvers. I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my right knee for a while and today it was really giving me grief so around half way through I decided to have a stroll as my knee felt like it was starting to seize up. Looking across I could see that Keith already had 3 nets in!!! was he bagging or just being prepared?……


Colin had at last got a couple in the net, but Martin was confessing to being behind his young son Harry in the catching stakes. Judy had moved to her inside line as the wind made things awkward on her longer line. I then arrived at the Birthday Boy himself, and I have to say that the mood was far from celebratory, probably due to the fact that he hadn’t had as much as a bite at that point……​


Clive was wearing that well worn expression of his once more, he’d had a few early fish, but hadn’t had a bite for a couple of hours and was beginning to wonder where the next one was coming from ……​


A bit further round and Dave was admitting to having a few in his usual cagey way, while Keith was making light of the fact that he had those 3 nets in. I thought I’d better take a spare for myself while I was round there though just in case. Tony was having a bit of a mare with fish obviously in his peg but refusing to get their heads down and have a feed…….​


Pete was having a short stroll by then having been seen off by a rather sizable lump down his margin. Terry had the reasonably contented look of a man who was steadily putting a bag together from under the tree to his left ……​


Back out to the edge of the tree at 5 mtrs once more and it was just a question of steady away, Jean had provided another cup of coffee and slowly and surely I managed to keep the Carp coming in ones and twos for the remainder of the match……​


By the time that Dave blew the whistle for the All-Out I had 30 Carp to show for my efforts and half a dozen silvers which hopefully would give me somewhere around 65 lbs. We soon had our kit packed away and the weigh-in reached us quite quickly so obviously there hadn’t been to many big weights. Pete’s 36½lbs leading by the time they got to Terry. Terry had indeed been quietly been doing the business and put a fine 50½lbs on the scales that would be good enough for third place on the day. I was next up and my fish weighed in at an even 74 lbs which as it transpired was enough for the win. Harry beat his dad by 4ozs – 0 while poor Kevin suffered a blank as well.​


Clive’s 38¼lbs was edged out by Dave’s 38¾lbs while Keith was left to rue a biteless last hour when his fish weighed in at 64¾lbs to take 2nd place overall.

So with the weigh-in concluded it was back to the club house for the results where Kev and Jean had arranged for a buffet to be laid on.​
Pride of place went to Kev’s Birthday Cake ……​



………and once the big fella had blown his candle out…………​



……………. and we’d sung a rousing chorus of HAPPY BIRTHDAY everyone tucked in.
I’d like to say A BIG THANK YOU to Kev and Jean for treating us all to the day out in celebration of his 50th, certainly a different way to celebrate a Birthday. Cheers Kev, and may you have many more to come.​

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Location: Rivenhall, Essex, UK
 

Peter

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Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. October 16th, 2010.


Marsh AC club match.


It’s off down to Hartleylands fishery at Cranbrook in Kent for another club match today. We’ve booked the whole of Nick’s Lake and invited a few guests so hopefully all will have a decent day. A dark damp picture greeted me as I looked out of the window this morning and as I loaded the car there was a definite chill in the air, Autumn had well and truly arrived. By 7·15 am I was sitting down in the Knox-Bridge Café for a ‘Full English’ and I was soon joined by Mick the Chippy who was my guest for the day while John, Martin & Zack were soon followed by Graham, Al, Keith and Pete Thompson, all in search of some pre-match sustenance. So with breakfast taken care of it was back to the cars and off to the fishery for the draw.

Most of the usual suspects were present and with the sun beaming down hopes were high for a decent days fishing, though a cool north easterly wind made sure that everyone was glad that they were well wrapped up. Into the draw bag and peg 4 revealed itself as my home for the day at head, a nice short walk once I’d moved my car and I would have the sun on me all day to take the edge off the chill. I had Martin for company on my right on peg 2, while to my left I had Dave Collier along with daughter Chrissy and her partner Nick on pegs 7, 8 & 9.


Set up for the day would be nice and simple. Feeder rod with a small method feeder to fish to the island and 3 pole rigs. the 3 pole rigs were all Malman 4×12 Adam’s on 0·16 Power Match with size 18 QM1 hooks set at various depths to cover from the margins where I had around 2 ft out to 5 mtrs were there was around 4 ft. I wasn’t planning to fish any further out on the pole as the wind would make it awkward. Bait today was my usual selection of GOT Baits soft hookers, expanders and 6 mm hard pellets while feed would just be a mix of 4 & 6 mm hard pellets and some groundbait for the method.

While I waited for the All-In I had a few misgivings in that I hadn’t seen many fish showing on what is normally a very prolific venue and the water had what I can only describe as a cloudy look to it as the algae was starting to break down with the onset of the cooler weather. Anyway at 10 am Dave blew the whistle for the All-In and I cupped 2 pots of pellets in on the 5 mtr line and fed both margins before going out to the island with the method feeder. Ken seemed to be straight into a few fish on the waggler ……


…… while Dave, Chrissy and Nick all seemed to be into fish as well. Twenty minutes in and I hadn’t had as much as a knock on the method which was very unusual, however I noticed a couple of bubbles on the 5 mtr line and soon swapped over to the pole line. A couple of lift and drops and the float slid away, the culprit being a mint little Common of around a pound to get me underway. Now I wish I could say that this was the start of a major bagging session but if I did I would be telling porkies. I did start to put a few fish together but it was far from fast and furious despite Jean arriving with a welcome mug of coffee. Two hours in and I’d only managed 10 small Carp from the 5 mtr line and despite another couple of looks across on the method, had still not had as much as a tap on it. Going nowhere fast I re-fed both pole lines and went for a stroll with the camera to try and suss out how others were catching, if indeed they were. Dave was dropping a bait by the young willow in his left margin and was soon into a fish as I watched ……


Chris was a picture of concentration and while he was getting quite a few small silvers had only had 2 small carp to go with them and boost his catch …….


Keith was having a bit of a struggle, but being comfortably ahead in the points table was using the day to experiment fishing paste which was producing some very positive bites but little in the way of fish ……


…… while Clive wasn’t fairing much better, and I’m sure I heard him telling his drawing hand that he’d be teaching it another sharp lesson after today ……


Carrying on round I came to Colin who I knew had been down a couple of times practising during the week along with Tony, Terry and Dave. He’d caught well on paste (no surprise there) but the drop in temperature looked to have scuppered his plans as he was having a struggle today ……


on the next peg Kevin had been struggling too, but he was just in the process of landing a small Carp, so hopefully things would start to pick up for him


Al was ticking along and owning up to around 15 Carp in the net and Pete was a little frustrated that his plans for a days skimmer bashing was being thwarted by the fact that the skimmers were too small and Carp kept muscling in on the act ……


Mick seemed happy enough with his lot and was getting a few fishing the method but felt that he was waiting just a little to long between bites to do any real damage ……


Terry was another of those anglers who was finding that the fishing today bore no resemblance to that which he’d experienced earlier on in the week ……


Ken’s bright start had slowed somewhat though he was still picking up the odd fish on the waggler and Graham was another of those who was finding to many small silvers and not enough Carp in the mix ……


Back at my peg it was just a case of getting my head down and getting the most from my peg for the rest of the match ……


It was far from fast and furious but by working away at it, constantly lifting, dropping and dragging the rig I kept picking up the odd Carp nothing bigger than 2 pounds and mostly smaller. My feeder line just refused to produce a fish despite another couple of looks and neither margin line produced a bite either. Dave’s fish had slowed right up on him as well, but he’d got off to such a good start that I knew he was out of my reach. John and Zack came round to collect Martin as they were leaving early and John took the honours in the 3 way car sweep with his 18½lbs. I managed a bit of a spurt with 10 Carp in the last hour and when Dave blew the whistle for the All-Out at 4 pm I’d managed 36 Carp.

So to the Weigh-In and my fish gave me a weight of 45¾lbs which would be good enough for a section win on the day. Chrissy’s 35½lbs had beaten Nick’s 27 lbs, but Dave had won the family battle with a very decent 72¼lbs for 2nd overall. Keith had suffered his worst result of the series with just 12¾lbs to show for his efforts, while Clive’s 45¾lbs tied my weight. Tony’s 55½lbs secured 3rd on the day, but today's winner was Al with a fine 84½lbs. Pete ended with a creditable 53½lbs for 4th on his first ever visit to the fishery, while Mick managed 41¾lbs and Ken took the honours from the car park bank with 32½lbs.

So that’s it for this years Marsh AC matches. Thanks to Dave for organising yet another enjoyable series of matches.
Well Done to Keith, Mr Consistent topping the points table. Thanks to all the members and guests who have fished, you’re the ones who make it such an enjoyable day out each and every time.

Finally a special Thank You to Jean for those mugs of coffee during the matches, they were much appreciated.(y)

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The club doesn’t operate a Championship as such but this year Dave’s collated a table of the seasons results using a 30 point system. Guests results were not included in the table. As you can see Keith has been Mr Consistent over the course of the season coming out on top with 212 points while Tony was Runner-Up with 204 points and Colin finished 3rd on 194 points.

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Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK
 

Peter

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Hawkhurst Fishery. The Match Lake. October 23rd, 2010.


Mick the Chippy’s Knock Up.


Back at the end of July Mick the Chippy placed a post on Maggotdrowning.com informing us that he’d booked the whole Match Lake at Hawkhurst for today. Needless to say the whole 20 pegs were soon filled for a day on a venue that has the potential to throw up some huge match weights, With a good Café on sight serving an excellent breakfast and a load of like minded anglers fishing it’s a match that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. However after a couple of days of real cold temperatures I was rather saddened to hear heavy rain beating against the bedroom window as the alarm went off and a quick glance out of the window confirmed it was pouring down. A mug of strong coffee soon had me functioning and having fed the cats and loaded the car it was off to Hawkhurst. It wasn’t the best drive down, rain and heavy spray persisting till I got the other side of Tonbridge, where it started to ease off, however by the time I pulled into the fishery car park it had stopped.

Quite a few of the usual suspects were in attendance and a number of ‘Golden Nuggets’ had been wagered on today's outcome. Mick had set up a rolling draw so that we could get set up before partaking of breakfast in the fishery Café. Peg 5 was mine for the day about half way up the roadside bank, and I was off to a good start when it was draw out as today's lucky peg, meaning that I just had to catch a fish to receive £10.


I soon had myself settled in, the pegs are a decent size and allow you plenty of room to get set up. Just 3 top kits to cover the options today. 2 Malman 4×12 Champer’s on 0·16 Power Match with size 18 QM1 hooks, the 1st to cover lines at 4mtrs at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, and the 2nd to cover 6 mtrs straight out in front, while a 0.2 HB Grizzly on 0·16 Power Match with a size 18 QM1 took care of the margin line against the boards. Bait today was my usual selection of GOT Baits soft hookers, expanders and hard pellets while feed would be the fishery 6 mm hard pellets.


So with everything ready to go it was time to adjourn to the Café. Lots of banter and mickey taking ensued as always while a Full English ( double sausage, double bacon, double eggs, mushrooms, beans/tomatoes, fried slice + toast and tea or coffee for £5) set things up nicely for the five hours ahead of us.

With everyone fed, watered and back at their pegs Mick called the All-In at 10·30 am and the match was underway, and if I’m honest that is where I went wrong. Quite simply I overfed it. It may be a renowned big weight water but I didn’t take into account the two hard frosts on Wednesday and Thursday followed by the heavy overnight rain. Rather than feel my way in I stuck 2 big potful’s on the 6 mtr line and a big potful on both my 4 mtr lines. I wasn’t the only one however. I finally managed my first fish after 30 minutes, a welcome Common that at least guaranteed me £10 for the lucky peg. Indeed the only person that seemed to be catching with any regularity was Ian Harper next door on peg 4, but even so it was far from fast and furious for him.

Looking around I could see Mick who had placed his faith in ‘Mary Q’ as he refers to the new Marukyu baits, but he didn’t appear to be having his faith rewarded today……


Keith was struggling as well and was already having an early look down his margin line in an attempt to winkle out something ……



While Bill was suffering from one of those nightmares that we all suffer with on occasion…… unmissable bites that he simply couldn’t connect with ……



A couple of hours in and I was going nowhere fast with just 3 carp in my net to show for my efforts. I decided that the time was right to have a stroll and try to see what others were doing and maybe give me some inspiration. S Dyball on peg 7 had a few but didn’t really appear to be doing much different from what I could see……



Jeff on peg 8 had around 8 carp to show for his efforts, while Clive on peg 9 was owning up to something like 7 fish in the net, but was into another as I arrived which he soon had safely in the net ……



Al was fishing just a little longer than those around him and was slowly starting to put a few fish together, despite having thrown his pole in earlier having got confused about which hand he was feeding with ……



Bill was still having a struggle and appeared to be in danger of parting with a few ‘Golden Nuggets in the side bet stakes ……



Then there was Nick, and quite surprisingly he was fishing at 13 mtrs with a pot on the end of his pole, however he’d not had as much as a bite on pellet and had switched to maggot fished shallow ……



Mick was still struggling to find fish to put in the net, but still had a smile on his face.



… thanks to the fact that his brother Richard on the next peg was having an even harder time of it than he was ……



Tony was tucked away on peg 1 and was having a slightly better time of it, but his bites were very finicky and he felt that he was having to wait far to long between them to do any real damage ……



Mick McMillan was on peg 4 on his first time at the fishery, a very good angler, the venue should have suited him down to the ground, but he couldn’t match Ian on the next peg ……



Unfortunately my peg was no better on my return the rest of the match turning into a real grind for me and quite a few of the others. Greg over on peg 17 started to pick up a few toward the end of the match, and Nick’s maggot fished shallow had started to produce for him as well. I managed 3 carp in the last half hour meaning that I had 9 carp in the net when Mick called the all out at 3·30 pm.


Thankfully the scales didn’t take long to arrive. Tony’s 36½lbs and Mick McMillan’s 41½lbs both being comfortably beaten by Ian Harper’s 64¼lbs which would prove to be good enough for the win on the day. Jeff Driscoll saw his 44 lbs edged out by Al Loader’s 45 lbs to give Al 3rd on the day. While Nick Gilbert took 2nd place with 47½lb after his switch to maggot fished shallow produced for him late on.


Thanks to Mick for organising a nice smoothly run day, not his fault that the fishery hadn’t produced like it can on the day. At least I got a tenner for the Lucky Peg, and while I had to hand over a ‘Golden Nugget’ to Al and Clive, I got 3 back from Mick, Keith and Bill.

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Location: Hawkhurst, Kent, UK
 

Peter

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Wyland International Angling Centre, near Battle, East Sussex. December 11th, 2010.

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Southern Fur & Feather.


Once more it’s time for the annual Maggotdrowning Southern Fur & Feather match and once again we’re down at Wylands on House Lake. Various things conspired against me this morning meaning that I was running a little late as I loaded up the car, so I rang Mick the Chippy and asked him to draw for me if I was a little late arriving. Now after last year when there was no hot food to be had from the tea hut I made a quick stop on route for a couple of sausage & egg McMuffins to fuel me up for the day ahead. Thankfully a smooth trip down saw me pulling into the fishery car park at around 8·20 am ahead of the draw to find 10 other hardy fools idiots anglers assembled for the day ahead. Indeed it was only Mick and granddaughter Rosie who were missing, but a quick phone call confirmed that they were on their way. Just time for a bacon sarnie and a cuppa then.

Now Mark being the organised fellow that he is had put 14 pegs in, all in the main bowl, so with only 13 fishing took one out (peg 14) come draw time, however when he came to take the last peg from the bag it was missing, Somehow peg 9 had escaped, but rather than redraw it went to Mr Organiser. The Bailiff had called pegs 2,3 and 4 as potential winners, so I was a little bit out with peg 13.

We’d been hoping that despite the cold snap the lake wouldn’t be iced up. No such luck however, so we agreed to delay the start till everyone had cut out a swim. It wasn’t to thick in front of me and I made a start breaking out a swim with my Drennan landing net handle, before strolling round and borrowing Squeaky’s ice breaker to finish off with.​


The Fur and Feather is always a light hearted affair and everyone goes home with a prize so I wasn’t planning on taking a serious approach, simply one top kit with White Hydro and a single rig that I made up consisting of a 4×12 KC Carpa Tricky on 0·12 Ultima Power Silk finished off with an 18 Guru WMG hook. Bait for today was simply red maggots with a few micros for feed.

With some still setting up I took the opportunity to stroll round and get another cuppa from the tea hut. Inevitably I ended up having a chat with Mick and Rosie, and by the time I made my way back Mark was ready to call the All-In. For company today I had Stuart aka squeaky roller to my right on peg 1 on the island while to my left was Simon Elsey.​


So at 10·40 am we were off, double red maggot impaled onto the hook and a pinch of maggot and micros potted in. A shout from across the lake signified that young Rosie had bagged the first fish of the day, no pressure there then as a 10 year old girl took an early lead. A few lift and drops and my float slid gently away resulted in a small roach residing in the keepnet to save the dreaded blank.

It was far from fast and furious, but there was plenty of banter flowing back and forth across the lake. It was soon obvious that the Bailiff had been right about the pegs to be on as they seemed to be producing decent skimmers while all I could find were small Roach…​


At least I was getting bites though and the fish while small were keeping me busy. By about 1 pm I reckoned I might have had 5-6lbs in the net and the lure of a cheeseburger and another hot cuppa from the tea hut proved far too tempting so I set off for a stroll.
Jay was tucked down in the corner on peg 10 and was sliding what looked to be a decent skimmer towards the waiting net……


…… he protested that it was his biggest fish of the day, but Jay knows Wylands well and may have just been fibbing.
Mark was alternating between a couple of lines, taking a couple of fish from each before swapping back again……


He was having a good battle with Greg on the next peg and it looked as if it would come down to whoever nicked a few bonus fish between them……


Andy was facing the handicap of not having a pole to fish with, but he was having a good battle with Rosie on the next peg. Cheeseburger consumed I found Mick chatting to Terry(Wily Coyote) who had popped down as he lives locally to see how we were all doing. Mick was regretting not having broken out a larger swim for himself and Rosie but was doing his best to make the most of it. Jeff, Wayne and Nick were definitely sitting in the pound seats however, and it was obvious that it was just a question of what order they would finish in the top 3……


Returning to my swim Simon reported having been seen off by a good fish that he thought was a Carp, while Toby had shown him how it should be done as he’d landed a Carp of around 8 lbs, a real bonus on a day like today.Simon renewed his efforts after this but it obviously wasn’t going to be his day as he then latched onto what he described as a decent Bream only to see that come off short of the net.


I carried on till the end and managed to pick up a few better examples before Mark called the All-Out at 3 pm. We soon had everything packed away and in all honesty it didn’t take that long to do the Weigh-In, the results of which are in the table below…

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All that remained was for Mark to work out the results and collect up the prizes for those assembled……………


We added a little twist this year and reversed the prize giving so Rosie got first pick, while Wayne received the Winners Trophy and the honour of organising next years Southern Fur & Feather.


Same again next year please Wayne, I can’t think of to many venues that would have produced such good sport in those conditions. Thanks to Mark for organising today's match. That’s probably it for me this year, Roll on 2011.


Location: Catsfield, East Sussex, UK
 

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Rockells Farm. Saffron Walden. Essex. March 20th, 2011.

Ospreys Angling Club


Well I’m finally out for the first time this year, and it’s thanks to Neil Riddy who has invited me to fish as a guest on his club match at Rockells Farm. Dave the Fish is joining me as well after Neil phoned me on Friday with news of a late vacancy.

I first met Neil at Rolf’s Lake and we’ve kept in touch since and swapped banter via Facebook, and for his sins he’ll be fishing the Jinx Series in the coming year. I caught my best ever match weight at Rockells back in 2009 which was 330 lbs. It’s a bit to early in the year to expect anything like that today, but with a decent draw and favourable conditions a decent days fishing should still be on the cards.

Getting up today to go fishing proved to be a bit of a struggle as I’d got out of the habit after 3 months off, but I managed it. Fed the cats while a couple of cups of coffee and 4 rounds of toast and marmalade took care of my needs. I got to Dave’s for 6·45 am loaded all my kit into his car and we were off. A noticeable frost as we left the tunnel into Essex started a few alarm bells ringing in my head, but couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm, especially as I’d discovered a packet of lemon flavoured Jammy Dodgers in Dave’s glove box, and we made good time, pulling into the car park just after 8 am.​


The lake looked spot on as always, though there wasn’t as much colour in the water as I would have liked and very little evidence of fish moving. Dave and I both noticed how cold the wind was as well, so it could turn into a bit of a grueller. Soon the car park filled up and with 24 of us in attendance for the day, Neil had the draw under way. I came away from the draw with peg 20 and found out that it was at the top end on the right hand side. It’s the left hand one of a double peg that we normally leave out on our club matches, normally leaving today's peg 21 in as our peg 4. Peg 21 can fish a fair way down the margin, while the bush only really allows a top 3. Should still be good for a few fish though.​


For company today I’ve got Brian Ritchie on 21, while Neil was to my left on peg 19 and Dave was further down on peg 17.
Setting up took a bit longer than usual for no reason other than I was a bit rusty and it took a while to get back into the swing of things. I was going to keep things simple today, and just set 3 rigs up, all Sackup Floats CX1 4×12 pencils on 0·16 Ultima Power Match with size 16 Guru MWG’s at the business end. One set at around a couple of feet which was all the depth I could find out front and chose a line at 7mtrs to fish, while the other 2 were set at 15inches for the margins. Bait was taken care of by pellets and corn today .

At 10·30am Neil sounded the All-In and I shipped a pot of mixed pellet and corn out to 7 mtrs and fed the bush by hand. Out to the 7 mtr line with a grain of sweetcorn but 10 minutes in and despite lifting, dropping and dragging the bait I hadn’t had a touch. Brian had a couple of lightning fast bites that he’d missed. A change to pellet produced the smallest of dinks which I managed to connect with, unfortunately it was from as small a carp as I’ve ever caught here, normally they gravitate toward Clive’s swim, but with him absent they obviously thought that I would do !!!! Anyway it was in the net, 1st fish of the year and all that, just a shame it wasn’t closer to 4 lbs than the 4ozs it probably weighed. Another soon followed, the twin of the 1st then a Roach before the line totally dried up.
Brian had managed a solitary small Carp in the meantime and he to was struggling for a bite. In fact apart from a couple of swims on the far side it seemed that most of us were struggling.

After re-feeding at 7 mtrs I was resigned to an early look at the margin by the bush, earlier than I wanted to, but I felt that I didn’t have much of an option. Bites were finicky, the merest dink and if you didn’t hit it that was your lot, and I could only get those on a 6 mm banded pellet. The fish just weren’t there in any numbers though and those that were, were in the 4-8oz bracket. It was just a question of taking the odd one or two and then a 10 minute lull before another would have a go. Brian was fishing his margin by now as well and although he wasn’t catching the numbers that I was, his fish were at least in the 2-3 lb bracket.

In general though the lake was showing it’s harder side today. Ricky Green across on peg 22 was catching steadily as was Mick Whitmore on peg 1, but most were having to work hard for their fish. I took a quick stroll down to see how Neil and Dave were doing. Neil had a few on the bomb and Dave had managed to put a few better samples together, but it seemed that it was Tony Taylor on peg 18 between them who just had the edge on their little tussle……​


I wish I could say that it got better as the match progressed, but I would be lying if I did, I did manage a couple of bonus fish, but they were only around a couple of pounds each. Neil called the All-Out at 3·30 pm and I knew that Brian had me well beaten on the next peg. I hoped that I might have 50 lbs to show for my efforts, but the scales would soon tell. and when they arrived Brian’s 76¼lbs comfortably eclipsed my 52½lbs.

Back at the car park for the results and it was indeed Mick Whitmore on peg 1 whose 116½lbs had taken the honours on the day, with Ricky Green on peg 22 managing 98 lbs for second ahead of Chris Lovelock.

All in all though it had been good just to get back out on the bank and blow the cobwebs away. Thanks to Neil and the members of Ospreys AC for the invite and making us feel welcome, and Thanks to Dave for being driver for the day and his Lemon Jammy Dodgers.​

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Location: Elmdon, Essex, UK
 

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Monk Lakes. Match Lake 4. April 2nd, 2011.


Marsh AC club match.


Down to Monk Lakes today for the first Marsh AC club match of the year. It’s always good to be back out with the lads and lasses who make up the club membership for these matches, they’re nice light hearted affairs, more like a days pleasure fishing with a weigh-in at the end than a serious match. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few personal rivalries and scores to settle, but at the end it’s all about a good day out with mates. The forecast for today was looking good and with the cats fed and a couple of cups of coffee to wake me up the kit was soon loaded into the car I was off by 7 am. It’s around 40 miles down to Monk Lakes and a steady run down saw me pulling into the car park around 8 am. Most of the usual suspects were gathered round the food bar with tea’s, coffee’s and various breakfast concoctions being demolished ahead of the draw. A jumbo sausage stick took care of my needs as the banter flowed back and forth, Dave soon had the monies collected and with 19 of us in attendance the draw got under way. I quite fancied a peg in the 160′s today as these pegs frequently produce good bags, however my drawing hand had other ideas and presented me with peg 142 when it emerged from the hat.

So off to our respective pegs and I found that I had Al for company to my left on peg 143 which is tailor made for his long up in the water approach against the reed lined island, while Mick Wright, Keith's guest and travelling companion had Peg 145. Peg 142 had a very shallow area at the end of the island which the lakes waterfowl, especially the geese love to occupy. Down to my right on peg 140 was Keith on the same peg as he had for last years match and yielded a 2nd place for him, so I was going to have my work cut out for a result today. Next to Keith was Kev on peg 139 and with Jean keeping him company I should be OK for a couple of cups of coffee throughout the match.​


Settling into the peg it looked like the wind could make fishing long awkward so I decided on a line at 8 mtrs as the depth was pretty consistent all the way across and a couple of margin lines. I just set up 3 rigs, all Sackup CX 4×12 pencils on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG’s. I find that they’re nice stable but sensitive floats and one was set to fish at dead depth at 8 mtrs where I had around 4 feet of water while the other two were set for the margins where I had between 18 inches – 2 feet and could also cover if I needed to fish shallow. Bait for today would be a mix of maggot, corn and pellet, with feed taken care of by 6 mm pellet.

With everything set a few of the lads were discussing the prospects for the day ahead……​


While Paul East could be found wandering around, probably looking for tips as it’s been 6 months since he last picked up his kit ……​


So at 10 am Dave sounded the All-In and Marsh AC’s season was underway. A pot of mixed pellet, maggot and corn was shipped out to 8 mtrs while the left hand margin received a handful of maggots and the right hand one pellets. Out to 8 mtrs with double red maggot and the float soon buried, a 4oz Roach becoming the first resident of the keepnet today. It was soon joined by a pair of small Tench, a small skimmer and a plump Gudgeon. Al had started with a feeder to the island, but soon reverted to the pole across which produced a Carp for him. Keith had got off the mark after around 10 minutes with a Carp as well, and soon seemed to be putting a few together. Kev had a couple to get him off the mark as well……​


Meanwhile Jean appeared with a welcome cup of coffee, but I was beginning to feel that I was getting left behind as Al started to get among the Carp. I managed just 3 small Carp in the hour, but didn’t feel as if I was getting anywhere. A look in both margins produced just a solitary Orfe to my efforts.

I felt that Al was already over the hill and far away unless his swim dried up, but thankfully he wasn’t in my section. It’s funny how you can put yourself under pressure, it seemed that every time I looked Keith was playing a fish and I convinced myself he was walking the section. I decided to add another section and fish out past my fed area to see if the fish had backed off. Sure enough I started to get a few bites and started to get a few small Carp. With this change of fortune I started to feel a bit better but I was still struggling to put a run of fish together.​


Dave appeared having a stroll and judging by his comments nobody was really taking the place apart. Jean had been kind enough to get me a cheeseburger from the food bar and as I consumed it I mulled over my next move. One of my fall-backs that’s served me well when I’ve been struggling has been to fish what I feed so I decided for the rest of the session to fish banded 6 mm hard pellet and just feed those as well.

It seemed to have the desired effect as slowly but surely I started to put a run of fish together, mostly small Carp but they kept coming at a steady rate. Jean had supplied another welcome cup of coffee while Kevin had gone out on the feeder with a couple of hours to go, a sure sign that he was struggling. Al was still catching and wasn’t going to be caught . It was just a question of whether I could make up the deficit that I thought I had to Keith.​


Sport stayed strong for me and with 5 minutes to go I had my best fish of the day, a nice Common of around 8 lbs (a definite Mugger moment©) and managed a further 3 Carp before Dave sounded the All-Out at 4 pm. I felt sure that Al had close to the ‘Ton’ and wouldn’t be caught, but Keith felt that I may have edged him. I really couldn’t call it as I had been so focused on catching that I had no real idea as to what was in my nets.

The club has purchased a second set of scales this year and the Weigh-In for our part of the lake started from Al’s peg. Two weighs and 94 lbs was a fine effort by Al on a day where the wind hadn’t made it easy to fish at 16 mtrs. I was next to weigh and a figure of 71½lbs was to prove good enough for a section win as Keith’s fish weighed 57½lbs, meaning that he had at least secured the bragging rights over his guest Mick today.

So with the kit packed away everyone assembled back at the food bar for the full results. Over a refreshing cuppa it soon became obvious once the weight sheets were totted up that the lake as a whole hadn’t fished up to expectations. Al’s weight had indeed been good enough for 1st on the day while I took 2nd place and Keith finished 3rd. Clive had managed top weight on the roadside bank with 56¾lbs , while Paul finally remembered how to catch a few fish after his lay off. The backing weights however weren’t quite what we’d hoped for although everyone had a few fish and we’re off and running for another year.​

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Location: Marden, Kent, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. April 9th, 2011.

Maggotdrowning.com
Fund Raiser



Something a little different this Saturday as I was off down to Rolfs Lake where Malc The Jinx Doyle had organised a Fund Raiser to help with the hosting costs of the Maggotdrowning.com website. All 38 pegs are going to be in use as this was over subscribed within a few days of it being announced. I wouldn’t be fishing, just roving the bank with my camera to record the events of the day as with quite a few Rolfs novices in attendance there should be more than a few laughs and shocks along the way.

Looking out of the window it was obvious that the forecast for the warmest day of the year was right for once, and with no fishing kit to load in the car, just a few raffle prizes along with the camera, a leisurely cup of coffee was enjoyed while I fed our 3 cats before setting off via Battersea for a spot of breakfast. With that taken care of I was back on the road, arriving at Rolf’s around 9·15 am. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the car park so full, hardly surprising as there were 36 anglers who actually made it to Rolfs on the day. Malc even appeared to be organised for a change sorting out the draw ……​



with raffle tickets being sold along with the ‘Guess the Weight’ sweep-stake. Lots of banter with faces old and new ensued as draw time approached ……​



All to soon it was under way, accompanied by moans , groans, smiles and all other manner of reactions as people made their way to their allotted pegs.​



I made my way round to help John & Pauline sort out the nets for all the anglers, while chatting with a few about the prospects of their various pegs. How would it fish? Nobody knew as Rolfs doesn’t ever see Matches with so many pegs in use.

The All-In was sounded at 11·15 am as I made my way round the motorway bank. Steve Wilson was already doing battle on peg 14 with what was obviously a good carp, unfortunately it appeared to snag him under his nets, and we both thought it had shed the hook when a good fish surfaced by them and swam off. Steve started to retrieve his net to extract the hook when he realised that the fish was still attached, and after resuming the battle soon had it safely in the landing net, an obvious weigher, it went 16 lbs, a great start to Steve’s day……​



Down to peg 13 and Neil Riddy remarked that he’d had a couple of early bites with nothing to show for them, when his float slid away once more, This time he connected but was convinced it was a bream, till it surfaced, Carp !!!!! but after a short battle it was in the net getting him off the mark ……​



Over on peg 32 Mark Gilbert had his elastic stretched for him before it snapped back into his pole and the hook came back with a scale on it, and as Neil remarked “Nobody likes to see that ” though that may just have been a bit tongue in cheek. Things appeared to be hotting up on the car park bank to, as I could see Pete (crayfishtraps) was well into a fish, though it was certainly giving a good account of itself on his Black Hydro ……​



A chilling sound was soon to be heard however as a scream of “YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!” reverberated round the lake, Gem (THE MINX) on peg 21 was off the mark and searching for victims to add to her list, not a big fish at around 7 lbs, but good enough to start with and put the fear of failure in many a heart​



Making my way round to the car park bank I could see Keith 74 was into a decent fish, however he was having a bit of trouble controlling it especially when it went through peg 26 and collected Len Wade’s rig as well. Who was playing who? or was the fish playing with both of them?……​



Fortunately Len’s rig came loose and it was a very relieved Keith who finally bundled the fish into a landing net, a weigher that had really made him work for it​



Looking around after a while it became obvious that it was just the odd fish coming out. The warm sun had certainly got the fish moving about, but they didn’t appear to be settling, just mooching around, almost as if they were already thinking about spawning. Jean had provided me with a coffee and I was able to have a leisurely look around, a nice change to the view I normally get when fishing myself.

Over on peg 11 Liam (Jinx Jnr) was a picture of concentration as his Dad offered guidance and encouragement ……​



While Dai next door on peg 10 had that look of fierce concentration that told you that he’d rather not get beaten off the next peg by an eight year old ……​



Next to Dai on peg 9 was Chris Lovelock, a good angler who had been more than happy with his draw and hopeful of putting a decent weight together today, unfortunately for Chris though the fish appeared to be having other ideas ……​



Al had drawn peg 7, ideal for his favoured long pole approach, however today he had his 3 children with him, Al Jnr , Jenny and Gary who had come along to offer Dad their support ……​



and to be fair he had been getting quite a bit of stick from a few of us, having been christened “Daddy Daycare” for the day ……​



Next up on peg 7 was Clive looking reasonably happy with his peg, while next along were Ian (Chin) on peg 6 and Geoff on peg 5 ……​



Kevin was tucked down in peg 34 with his partner Jean keeping an eye on him, and as I made my way round he was landing what was to prove to be his 2nd fish of the day……​



Next up came Martin (Coopster1) having his first go at Rolfs and a little unlucky to find himself on peg 35, a peg that normally doesn’t get a lot of use ……​



Adam (dumdum) was another of those on his 1st visit, and while peg 36 had a bit more form, he wouldn’t have found to many wanting to fight him for it today ……​



Meanwhile on peg 37 Budgie already had the look of a man resigned to his fate, it’s not a peg he fancied and he already felt that he was just going through the motions ……​



Mitch had already set out his stall to attack the margins on peg 38, a plan that if it came off could reap big dividends, but could also backfire on him ……​



Down on peg 40 Dave could be found in splendid isolation as with neither peg 39 or peg 1 being drawn he had plenty of water to go at, it just needed the fish to co-operate…​



Tucked away right in the corner on peg 3, and trying to get to grips with match fishing I found Steve Preston (Luckyluca) ……​



While sat on peg 2 was his son Joshua who had come along to fish his first ever match and it has to be said that it looked like Dad was in serious danger of receiving a battering from his lad as Josh was 2-1 up on him and playing another fish as I passed by ……​



Simon (Simple) was having a bit of a struggle on peg 4, with just a single fish and fearing the worst knowing that girlfriend Gem had caught, but I seemed to bring him a bit of luck (a Mugger Moment©) as he was soon into another carp which was obviously happy to pose for the camera ……​



Carrying on round for another lap of the lake Geoff seemed happy enough with his lot, with a couple of fish already in the net being enough for him to be happy that he’d not blanked ……​



Peg 7 and shock horror, I found Clive not only fishing LONG but SHALLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those that know Clive will truly appreciate the rarity of this event ……​



Al in truth was having a bit of a mare on peg 8, which wasn’t helped by people reminding him that the peg had won the match on Wednesday with the 1st 300 lb weight of the year and having to keep an eye on his 3 kids, however he did manage to land one while I was there……​



and was happy enough to pose for a photo to cheer himself up a bit ……​



As I approached Dai’s peg I could hear a fair bit of splashing and arrived just in time to witness Dai sliding the net under what was obviously a good double ……​


which I was only to happy to weigh it for him, and it was good to see his smile as I returned with the fish and the news that it weighed 15¼lbs.
Liam was sticking at it, and by now had 3 carp to show for his efforts, despite feeling tired after being dragged out of bed at 5 am for the trip up with his Dad .........​



Neil was swapping between various lines trying to find what they wanted, you could see the fish cruising, getting them interested was another thing however​



The rest of the motorway bank seemed to be fairing no better although fish could be seen in the area ……​



Steve was struggling follow up his good start, while Scott, Chris E and Tricky only had the 1 fish each, something that Rod Rose (Isis) on peg 18 would have happily settled for at that point ……​



Royst was working hard on peg 19 with 2 fish to show for his efforts, while Mark on peg 20 was still to get off to any sort of start. Gem however had a smile as she knew that she already had more than a few running scared at the prospect of being added to The Minx List ……​



Most of the car park bank were off the mark apart from Jay (nemesis) MarkC and Bazza. It was no fault of Bazza’s however as the poor soul was suffering horribly from what appeared to be food poisoning that was making him be sick at regular intervals.

With the match well into it’s second half I settled down with another coffee (Thanks Jean) for a chat with Kev. He’s one of my Marsh AC club mates and was still stuck on the 2 carp he’d caught earlier. I could see fish in his swim and suggested a few small changes to his approach. With these taken care of and a bit of fine tuning Kev was rewarded with his own Mugger Moment© and soon had carp no 3 in the net……​



In fact he soon got the hang of what was needed and started to pick up fish on a steady basis.
In general though most on the Little Lake were finding sport pretty slow, though looking across I could see that Ian was picking up one or two better fish on peg 6 ……​



The man to beat however appeared to be Clive, who seemed to be getting a better stamp of fish, mind you all fish look big when Clive’s holding them :p



Making my way round for a final time Simon was bemoaning the fact that even his ever reliable get out of jail tactic of a white boilie fished shallow wasn’t producing, however within seconds of me arriving he was in again he was in as carp no 4 made it’s way to the landing net, definitely a Mugger Moment© ……​



Strolling round I looked over to see that Kev was in the process of landing another fish, so things had definitely picked up in the later stages for him ……​



For the final 25 minutes I sat with Gem to see if I could bring her a little bit of luck, and although she did have a couple of bites, she didn’t manage to connect with either of them. The All-Out was sounded at 4·15 pm with Tricky shouting “Fish On “ and plenty of elastic coming from his top kit indicating it was a good fish, and despite lots of encouragement? he was rewarded with a cracking 17 lb+ Common ……​



While all around were packing up ready for the Weigh-In, Al gave in and let his kids have a little go with his kit, and of course with son Gary fishing down the channel where Al hadn’t had a single bite all day the float buried ……​



With plenty of onlookers Al did the honours with the landing net, Gary’s reward being a 17¾lb Common, the largest fish from the peg all day,
I told Al he should have let his kids fish :ROFLMAO:……​



On to the Weigh-In, Kevin (peg3 4) set the mark with 53¼lbs to win A Section. Ian (peg 6) put 65¾lbs on the scales which would give him 3rd place overall but Clive (peg 7) weighed in 88½lbs to take the spoils in B Section and the overall win on the day.​



Liam recorded 20¾lbs to take a few scalps while Neil (peg 13) weighed 67¼lbs to take C Section and 2nd overall. Tricky’s last minute carp gave him a total of 33¾lbs for the win in D Section, while Pete (crayfishtraps) took E Section with 41¼lbs. Finally Mick (peg 30) won F Section with 35 lbs 1oz.

Back to the car park and our Hosts, John & Pauline had been working away to get the barbecue ready……​



and once everyone had been fed it was time to announce the results, and pay out the Section Winners……………​


Kevin……………………………..Clive…………………………………Neil


Tricky………………………..Pete………………………..Godber

The Pairs Winners

Pete & Al
& Guess the Weight Winner

Gem The Minx
This was followed up by a raffle of donated prizes, and I have to say that people were more than generous with prizes. It seemed to take an absolute age to get through and if someone missed out I can only suggest that they give up buying raffle tickets.​



Just a small part of the prizes on offer.Now it’s a Big Thank You to Malc The Jinx for organising the day, which was a huge success, raising the sum of £449·20p to help towards the running costs of the Maggotdrowning Site.

Another Big Thank You to John & Pauline for allowing us the use of Rolfs Lake for the day.

Finally a Very Big Thank You to All who attended and raised the money,(y)



it’s really heartening to see your Support for which I know Dave is very grateful.

Individual Result

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Section Results

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Pairs Result

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Peter

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Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. April 23rd, 2011.

Marsh AC v Morefax AC


Well I’m down at Hartleylands today for a small Knock Up on Nick’s Lake. A couple of weeks ago Dave Collier posted the following on my club forum…… “ Some of my son-in-laws mates have invited me and a few Marsh members for a little knock up on 23rd April. They normally fish as a small club with usually 8 or 10 of them. Between their organiser and myself we have booked the whole of Nicks lake for Saturday 23rd of April. So how many of you want to risk the wrath of SWMBO and come fishing on Easter Saturday” Well after an invitation like that, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it. We had been hoping to have a Marsh club match around this time, but a combination of Easter, Royal Wedding and a lack of available bookings on suitable venues meant that the invitation from the Morefax lads offered a welcome opportunity for about a dozen of us to get out on the bank .
With the weather having been so good recently, it was just shorts and a tee shirt today, and with the gear loaded into the car it was off to the Knox-Bridge Café for a ‘Full English’. Well the best laid plans and all that, I found Pete and Keith just about to pull out of the car park as the café was shut. A stop at a local petrol station meant an overpriced sandwich replaced the ‘Full English’, but at least it filled a hole. Pulling into the fishery car park most were already in attendance and I was surprised to see a face that I work with !! Dave Janes was there with the Morefax lads as a guest of his brother in law Lee Rose. So with 22 of us present it was time for the draw. Peg 3 was mine for the day with Al on peg 4 for company. Keith strolled past with a broad grin on his face on his way to peg 9, while I could see Pete off to my right on peg 35.


With plenty of time to set up before the All-In at 10 am the pellet wag and feeder rod were taken out of their ready sleeves, though in all honesty I was only expecting to fish the pole. 3 rigs took care of my options, once again all Sackup CX 4×12 pencils on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG’s. pretty much the same rigs I’d used at Monks on the previous Marsh match……​


The first to fish at around 10 mtrs where there was around 4 ft of water and the other two to cover two margin lines. Bait for the day being a combination hard pellets and GOT Baits soft hookers. Jean appeared with a welcome mug of coffee and at 10 am the All-In was called. I fed a large pot of mixed pellets onto the 10 mtr line and a handful down both margins before going out with a banded 6 mm, meanwhile Al had started with the feeder to the island. Nobody seemed to get off to a flyer, but a few fish were coming out here and there. Al picked up a few early carp on the feeder but was suffering from a snag on his feeder line that was costing him a number of hook lengths. I was getting quite a bit of fizzing on my pole line indicating fish were present and it didn’t take long before I had my first carp of the day in the net to get me off the mark.​

Sport wasn’t hectic, but with a bit of work the bites kept coming and at the end of the first hour I had 10 carp in the net. Pete over on 35 looked like he would take some stopping though as he was already into a steady run of fish, making the most of having empty pegs either side of him. The second hour was steady away with Al and I matching each other pretty much fish for fish, but from where we were we couldn’t really see much of what was going on around the rest of the lake. With the recent warm weather Al was expecting the fish to come up in the water, but for some reason they didn’t seem to really want to know forcing him to fish on the deck……


Around half way through my long line tailed off, but with a look down both margins producing just a solitary small skimmer I re-fed at 10 mtrs and took a quick stroll to allow things to settle. Keith was up on peg 9 and was concentrating on a line under the willow to his left……​


it was proving to be a bit of a frustrating time for him though with lots of taps and dinks on the float proving hard to hit and he felt that it was probably small skimmers causing this rather than the hoped for carp. A bit further round I found my workmate Dave on peg 15 looking like someone from a Maver advert, he’d recently forked out on some shiny new kit including a seatbox. He was targeting the tree to his left but unfortunately it wasn’t proving to be that productive for him……​


And he felt that he was falling behind his brother in law Lee who he could see fishing the feeder to the end of the island over on peg 20……​


Back at my peg I started to pick up the odd fish once more but felt that I was having to wait to long between fish compared with the rate that Al was catching. A look at the island with the feeder produced a couple of carp but not quickly enough and the waggler fared even worse without a single bite.
By now Al was struggling too and with us both trying down the margins only Al had any success with just a single carp……​


Pete was still catching, but the lads that appeared to be in the box seats were Tony and Gary on pegs 7 and 8 as it seemed that every time I looked over their way they were both playing good fish and both Al and I thought they would both be on for Ton+ weights. With an hour to go the sun vanished and was replaced with heavy grey clouds accompanied by ominous rumbles of thunder and a light sprinkling of rain, but at least I managed a final flurry of fish before the all out was called at 4 pm.​

With Al and I weighing in half the lake we set off from peg 1 where Roy had struggled for just over 17 lbs. My catch weighed 69½lbs, a bit more than I’d expected while Al’s 78½lbs proved good enough to take the section as Tony and Gary both came up a little short with 76 lbs and 73 lbs respectively. Keith put 60 lbs on the scales, including a Carp of 12 lbs 2ozs which would take the £10 heaviest fish money. Tony’s 61¾lbs would be enough to take this section while Chris, Sean and Dave all recorded weights in the twenties and Ian finished the section off with a level 49 lbs. Back to the car park for the final results and the honours on the day went to Pete Thompson (peg 35) with a fine 127½lbs to take the win……


while second and third had come from adjacent pegs with Dave Collier’s 90 lbs from peg 21 giving him 2nd place ahead of Lee Rose (peg 20) whose 79 lbs gave him 3rd overall. Kevin on peg 24 had 64 lbs to give him the section on the day while Nick Bondeau on peg 27 managed 59½lbs to take the final section and his first ever pick up in a match.

All in all a good day, with everyone having some fish and I’m sure it won’t be the last time that the Marsh and Morefax clubs get together for a friendly Knock Up.​

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Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. May 14th, 2011.


Jinx Match 1

It’s that time of year again. Yes that group of angling nutters that make up The Jinx Squad are back once more to fish The Jinx Series of matches at Rolf's Lake.


Clive, Malc(The Jinx), Pete(Mugger), Simon(simps), Tony(spamwham), Terry(Wily Coyote), Steve.
Ady(slim shady), Paul, Nick(monkey), Nick(neo1), Mitch, Fred(milo), Matt.
Kevin, Jon(hatchye), Geoff(cap’n birdseye), Alex(bagger j), Dave(The Fish), Dave.
Dai, Marcus(budgie), Neil, Ant, Al, Dave(webbo), Gem(The Minx)
My usual alarm woke me (3 cats wanting to be fed) and a lovely sunny morning greeted me as I gazed through the curtains. However this was a Jinx Match day so I wasn’t going to be fooled into dressing in just shorts and tee shirt despite the lovely weather we’ve been having. With the cats fed and a couple of cups of coffee consumed I got the car loaded along with a fleece and my waterproofs. All set and as usual first stop was my favourite café in Battersea (The Jimmy Griddle) for a “Full English”. Suitably fortified it was back into the car for what was an uneventful trip to the lake, however with about 4 miles to go the sunshine vanished to be replaced by grey clouds as far as the eye could see…………….Malc (The Jinx) was obviously there before me.

Pulling into the car park my thoughts were confirmed as who should I see first but Malc and Liam (Jinx Jnr). Climbing out of the car it had already turned noticeably cooler, a good job I’d brought that fleece. Dave Moore appeared along with Simon and it was soon clear that they’d fished the Open Match the night before. Results were mixed, and while some feel it primes the lake to fish well the next day, I always feel that it can make it fish harder especially when there are 27 fishing. Soon the rest of The Jinx Squad started to arrive along with a few spots of rain, but I managed to get a cup of coffee and started to catch up with people while the banter flowed as it does on these occasions……


Malc almost got ahead of himself, ringing the bell at 11 am for the draw, however we soon told him to hold his horses as the draw wasn’t due till 11·30 am.
First things though and Gem (The Minx) had to draw a peg number to decide who would have the honour of wearing The Minx’s forfeit, a Pink Elephant Hat for this years Series, and Peg 40 was the one.

Onto the draw and new Jinx Squad member Neil soon found himself in possession of the Pink Elephant for the day……


……after this the others soon dived in, and I came away holding Peg 20, now I’m not saying it’s a bad draw, but it hardly ever gets used in matches, and there hadn’t been a weight recorded from it this year !! On the plus side, just weighing something in would mean that I would become Peg 20′s reigning Peg King.


Making my way round with my gear though that was the only positive I could come up with about my draw. Settling my kit into my peg I could see that Dave (Mr Maggotdrowning) had drawn cock on with Peg 18 and Al next to him on 17……


Nick was to my immediate right on Peg 19, while to my left Steve was on peg 22 and Kevin was on peg 23 with Jean, so at least I should be OK for a cup of coffee or two. Simon strolled round taking some photos for the Rolfs Blog and his picture captured my feeling on my draw……


Paul Jay offered a bit of advise on lines to fish and with plenty of time I opted to tie up some new rigs. Two of them were MW 0·6 Diamonds on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG’s. These would be for 2 swims, one at 10 o’clock and the other at 12 o’clock at around 8 mtrs where I had between 3½ and 4 feet of water. A third was a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin again on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Guru QM1 to fish by the bush to my left in around 2½ft of water. Bait was taken care of by 6 and 8 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers.


1 pm and the bell sounds the All-In, a pot of pellet onto each line and out with a banded 8 mm straight in front. Nick was quickly off the mark with a carp and Steve had a skimmer……


…… not a touch for me though. Time marched on, Jean arrived with a cup of coffee as others were starting to catch. Looking over toward Peg 14 there was an ominous site, lots of orange elastic streaming from Gems pole, Simon fished this peg last night and had just under a ‘Ton’ from it, so it had been well primed……


……………She soon had it in the net and her shout of “YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS“ sent plenty of shudders round the bank. Paul was on Peg 15 and fishing the feeder across to the bar and it looked like it was starting to produce the goods for him……


An hour and a half in and I still hadn’t had a bite, Steve suffered with a run of 7 foul hookers, Nick had another one, in fact everyone seemed to have caught something apart from me. Gem had another couple and I could see Dai in the distance on Peg 32 putting a few together as well……


Time to re-feed and a quick stroll with the camera. Down to the Little Lake and it was obvious that very few were catching well. Malc was down the margins trying hard to tempt a fish on what he would call a “Sulky Saturday……


while Ady looked as if he was already ringing the changes in an attempt to find out just what they wanted……


Simon however was into a fish which was giving a good account of itself and refusing to get it’s head up……


Dave the Fish and Tony (spamwham) were up on pegs 7 & 8 and while they were managing a few fish between them, neither was really having the day they’d hoped for when they drew those pegs……


Dave did manage to get himself a decent Chub though which Geoff caught on camera, that rolled the scales round to 4 lbs when he weighed it ……


Back at my peg and in an attempt to get a bite I decided to try something different and shallowed my margin rig to a couple of feet and fished it out front pinging half a dozen pellets every 30 seconds. After 30 minutes I was on the point of giving that up when the float vanished !!! A spirited fight saw me playing a fish with kid gloves as I was determined not to lose it having waited for so long, and it was a very relieved Mugger who slipped the net under a Common that weighed 11 lbs after an anxious 5 minutes. Back out and almost straight away another bite resulted in another Common of 9 lbs. I’d like to say that I didn’t look back after that, but unfortunately that was it apart from 1 small roach that I bumped on the strike.

Dave had set up his Feeder-less Feeder (a pellet cone to anyone else) with an hour and a half to go and it produced a few carp for him right up to the all out. Al had nicked a carp on the pellet wag but had to pack up early as he’d promised to be home in time to go out for a meal for his daughters birthday. In fact he was walking past my peg with about 5 minutes of the match remaining when Nick hooked into a fish and to my surprise my float buried as well. Carp no 3 thankfully found it’s way to the net and weighed 9¼lbs and that was it as the All-Out was called before I could ship back out.

With the kit back at the car park it was time for the Weigh-In with Mitch setting the early mark with a section winning 67½lbs. Simon had included a 19¼lb Common in his 43½lbs……


While Tony’s 58 lbs from peg 8 was good enough for 2nd in section. Jon had a new PB Mirror of 18¾lbs in his 40¼lbs ……


…… and Mat had a creditable 65¾lbs from Peg 13. Gem set The Minx Mark with 67½lbs to tie with Mitch. Paul’s peg had produced the goods with a Section winning 96¾lbs and 3rd overall on the day. My rather inglorious 29¼lbs at least meant that I’m the new Peg King on Peg 20. Steve managed a hard earned 69¼lbs but it was left to Clive on Peg 28 to record the first ‘Ton’ of the day with 107½lbs, but that would only be good enough for 2nd as Dai on Peg 32 produced a match winning 122½lbs to take the honours on the day.

So The Jinx Series is off and running once more, hopefully sport will pick up a bit as the Series progresses. 21 victims for The Minx today. Who gets the PINK ELEPHANT on the next match? She’s going to keep us waiting till the next match and think about it while she suns herself on holiday in Portugal.

Overall Result

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Sections

A
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B

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C
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Location: South Oxfordshire District, Oxfordshire, UK
 

Peter

'Mugger'
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Messages
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Rayne Lodge Fishery. The Top Lake. May 21st, 2011.

Marsh AC club match.


The Top Lake at Rayne Lodge just outside of Braintree in Essex is the venue for what is the second Marsh AC club match of the year. A quick glance through the curtains confirmed that the forecaster hadn’t been kidding last night and it promised to be a fine sunny day, so shorts and tee shirt were the order of the day. Cats fed and coffee drunk I loaded up the car and set off round to Dave’s house where I met up Chris and Dave for the trip down to the fishery. An accident on the way to the Dartford Tunnel meant we had to divert round it making us a little late, but we still pulled into the car park just after 8 am.

Soon all the kit was transferred down the hill to the lake and discussions were underway about the prospects for the day ahead. Vic (SHANGER) Nugent was fishing his first club match with us since joining and had brought his partner Diane along to fish as well, while Keith had brought workmate Mick along as his guest once more. Into the draw and peg 14 was mine for the day (one away from the one I had on my last visit here)……​


while Keith drew peg 14A to my left……​


with Kevin and partner Jean to my right on peg 12 and Al next up on peg 11A……​


I have to say that the lake looked cock on, There were plenty of fish showing, however they just appeared to be mooching about and it looked as if they were getting ready to spawn to me. With us fishing from 10·15 am till 4·15 pm today there was plenty of time to set up, so everything got an outing today. 2 pellet waggler rods and a method feeder set up came out of their ready sleeves along with 3 top kits for the pole.​


The top kits were set up with 2 Sackup CX 4×12 pencils on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG’s and a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG for the margin line. Feed was 6 mm hard pellet, with dampened pellet for the method while hook baits were 6 & 8 mm hard pellet, corn and a selection of GOT Baits soft hookers.

Jean kindly provided me with my customary coffee and a bonus today in the shape of a freshly cooked sausage & bacon roll so I was well set by the time Dave sounded the All-In at 10·15 am. A pot of pellets and corn onto each my selected lines then I shipped a banded 6 mm pellet out to 7 mtrs. A minute later and the float slid away and carp number 1 was on its way to the net. Unfortunately it was only a couple of ounces, not quite the stamp I was looking for. A better example of around a pound was next up and this was followed by a couple of skimmers and I got the impression that the fish I was really looking for weren’t present in any numbers. I’d started catapulting a few pellets across to the corner of the island and after around an hour took a look with the pellet waggler after re-feeding my pole lines. There were fish there alright, I could see them cruising, but after half an hour I’d only managed 3 small carp for my efforts. A quick look with the feeder was unproductive so it was back to the pole.

At this stage nobody appeared to be running away with it, and the word was that it was generally fishing slow. I started to get a few carp interested on my 7 mtr line, nothing remarkable, but enough to make me feel that I was holding my own against Keith. Another coffee and sausage & bacon roll from Jean was most welcome, so having been re-fed myself, I re-fed the swim and took a quick stroll to try and see what was happening elsewhere. Keith was starting to find a few on a more regular basis, though he was ruing the loss of a ‘Double’ that had taken off out of his swim and just kept going……​


Simon appeared to be ticking along nicely picking up fish by alternating between on the deck and up in the water in an attempt to keep in touch with the fish……​


Diane was playing a fish as I passed and seemed to think that she might have the beating of Vic……​


…… and although Vic was also playing a fish, a quick chat revealed that he was far from confident in gaining the upper hand today……​


Terry on peg 22 claimed to be struggling, though he was playing a fish while we chatted. while Eddie on peg 1 appeared to be ticking along nicely and enjoying his first day out on the bank for a while……​


Dave had started to catch fishing floaters under the tree to his left and while he was having trouble feeding due to the resident geese he seemed to be getting a decent stamp of fish, and it seemed that Martin had followed his lead and was starting to catch a similar stamp of fish from peg 6 round the corner from Dave ……​


Clive was claiming to have a mare, but the fact that he was happy to pose with a small roach that he caught led me to believe that he might just be sand bagging about how his match was going…​


I found Mick in the corner on peg 11 and was shocked to see him fishing the waggler, but he was having a bit of a lean time and figured that it was the best way to tempt a few……​


As I got back to my peg Keith was into another fish so it was time to get my head down and concentrate. First put in and the float buried as a carp intercepted the bait and although the sport was never fast or furious, I managed to keep the fish coming on a reasonably regular basis by keeping the pellet going in to hold the fish. It was nip and tuck between me and Keith right the way to the end with a bit of banter back and forth between the two of us right up till the end when Dave called the All-Out at 4·15 pm while I played a final fish that took my total up to 51 carp.

As we packed up I knew it would be to close to call between Keith and I and with the weigh in starting on peg 1 it had made it’s way round to Martin on peg 6 before I caught up with it to find Dave leading with a fine 114¾lbs which would prove to be good enough to take the win on the day as Martin’s net came up a little short at 103¾lb, but still good enough for 2nd. Clive had indeed been economical with the truth as his net came in at a level 89 lbs for 3rd overall. Al managed 64½lbs while my fish weighed a total of 73 lbs giving me the section and just edging out Keith’s 71½lbs. Simon’s 64½lbs allowed him to tie for 6th with Al. Round to peg 20 where Diane placed a level 48 lbs on the scales to take the decision from Vic’s 34½lbs, though of course we were all full of sympathy for him ……………NOT :ROFLMAO:

Back up the hill to the car park for the results and the section monies and that was it for another match. The next match is at Mill Barn Reservoir on June 11th where I’ll be defending a narrow 1 point lead from Al and Clive with Keith just a point further back.​

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Location: Braintree, Essex, UK
 

Peter

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Messages
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Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. June 3rd, 2011.


Maggotdrowning.com
Fund Raiser



Well after the success of Malc’s April MD’s Fund Raiser he’s decided to do it all again, which is why I’m down at Rolfs Lake on a Friday. So two days of fishing at Rolfs were in prospect today as the alarm went off, but more pressing matters were at the forefront of my mind this morning. I’ve had the spectre of redundancy hanging over me for the last couple of weeks as the company I’ve worked at for the past 15 years is ceasing to sell Lexus cars from the showroom in Park Lane on 30th June, so before setting off to Rolfs I had to go into work at 9·30 am for a meeting with the Director of our HR dept and another Director about our future prospects. Fortunately it was good news and a new brand will be sold from the showroom in the near future and they want to retain my services. So with that weight lifted from my shoulders it was into the car and off to Rolfs post haste.

I arrived just in the nick of time for the draw, and plunging my hand into the bag came out holding peg 7, and I have to say I was more than happy with that. A quick chat with John revealed that in his opinion straight out at 7 mtrs was the line to fish and that would do nicely for me. Today for company I had young Liam Doyle aka Jinx Jnr on peg 8 who will be watched over by Malc (The Jinx), so no pressure there. Kevin was next up on peg 9 leaving me well placed for a coffee or 2 from Jean during the course of the match. Opposite on peg 34 was Dave Moore while on the other side of the bush to my right were Martin on peg 5 and Simon on peg 4 with Dave Collier tucked away in the corner on peg 3.

Setting up was relatively easy as I just used the 3 rigs I’d used on the previous Jinx match. They were two MW 0·6 Diamonds on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG’s. These would be for straight out at 7 mtrs where I had around 3½ feet of water, while the third was a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin again on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Guru QM1 to fish at the bottom of the ledge by the bush to my right in around 2½ft of water. I also set up a feeder rod in case I had to go across in search of fish. Bait was taken care of by 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers.

It didn’t take to long to set that lot up and the All-In was finally called at 1·15 pm. 2 big pots of pellet on the 7 mtr line and a handful by the bush was the order of the day before shipping out a banded 11 mm pellet onto the 7 mtr line. A few sharp dips of the float raised expectations but nothing came of them and I suspected small roach with eyes to big for their belly were the culprits. Simps over on peg 4 was quickly into some action and soon had a nice 17 lb+ Common on the scales to get himself off the mark……​


In all honesty my mind wasn’t really on it, such was my relief at retaining my job, that I was happy just to be sitting there enjoying the day, however the float sharply vanishing soon focused my attention as a lift connected with what was obviously a carp. A brief but spirited fight ensued before a Common of around 7 lbs was safely scooped into the landing net. Next put in and a slower bite resulted in a bream of around 3 lbs which have been showing up in increasing numbers at the lake this season. Meanwhile Dave over on peg 34 was dropping a feeder onto the edge of the rope in front of the lilies and was starting to put a few carp in the net……​


Jean had kindly supplied me with a cup of coffee when I noticed a pronounced arc in a feeder rod on peg 8. Liam was attached to a carp and having previously only used a margin pole was now attached to his first fish on a rod and line. A few tense moments followed, but with a little bit of guidance from Dad he soon had things under control and it was safely in the net…..​


Another couple of carp followed for me, while Malc and Liam set of for a walk round the lake as Liam decided his arms needed a rest after his battle with his carp. I stuck some more pellets in and took a quick stroll to Kev’s peg to take my cup back. Kev seemed to be struggling, but it could have been down to Gem opposite on peg 32 fishing in attire that you certainly won’t find in a Halkon Hunt catalogue……​


It seems to be only the odd fish coming out around the lake with nobody really catching well, though Alex seemed to be getting a few fishing paste on peg 20……​


Back at my peg I decided that as Dave and Liam had both taken fish on the feeder to have a look across on the feeder for myself……​


but while it produced a couple of carp, after 45 minutes I reverted to the pole as I felt it would produce more for me in the long run. I’d been watching Doug (Len Wade) over on peg 36, it’s one of those pegs that nobody would pick given the choice and it really hadn’t produced for him today, but it finally looked as if he would have something to show for his efforts today……​


I managed to keep the odd carp coming along with another couple of bream, but with just over an hour to go Liam decided he’d had enough and Malc decided he didn’t need a second invitation to fish the final hour himself. However rather than fish his favoured pole he fished the feeder to the undercut opposite and it soon produced for him, firstly a chub of 3¼lbs……​


then a cracking Common that led him a merry dance before it rolled the scales round to record a weight of 20¼lbs……​


He followed this up with another chub, this time weighing 4½lbs, but unfortunately I was otherwise engaged playing a carp of my own at the time, so that one went back without a photo, and I managed another 2 carp and another bream before the All-Out was called at 6·15 pm. As we packed the kit away I felt that I had somewhere around 80 lbs, but I hadn’t really been keeping a careful tally, I’d just enjoyed the fishing.

So onto the Weigh-In and Dave Moore kicked things off with a fine 83¼lbs which would prove to be good enough for 3rd overall. Dave Collier put 64¼lbs on the scales from peg 3, while Simon managed 55¾lbs from peg 4 leaving him wondering if it would be enough to avoid a Minxing from Gem. My fish came to 99½lbs once Malc had finally sorted out his sums which would prove to be enough for the win on the day. Dai’s 72¾ and Roy’s 76¾lbs would prove to be the best from the motorway bank, While Alex’s 75½lbs would make him peg king for peg 20.​


Richard (Tricky) on peg 25 with 73¾lbs led the car park bank until Al on peg 30 recorded 94½lbs to claim 2nd overall and Gem finished things off with a level 57 lbs to add 20 victims to The Minx List including Simon.

Meanwhile John and Pauline had laid on a barbecue to bring things to a close, and as we tucked in Malc announced the results and paid out the coin. Scott won the “Guess the Weight” and we finished off with a Raffle. All in all a great day with a couple of hundred quid raised to help with the hosting costs of the Maggotdrowning site, so well done to Malc for organising it, and to all that supported it.

While a few of those headed for home at the end, quite a few of us were staying over as we were fishing The Jinx Match next morning, so a few drinks were had as we polished off the barbecue and the banter continued into the evening and it was still in progress as I retired to my sleeping bag in the back of the car at around 11·30 pm.​

Overall Result

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Sections
A
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B
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C
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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Messages
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Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. June 4th, 2011.



Jinx Match 2

Isn’t nature a wonderful thing? That’s debatable when it seems the whole dawn chorus is focused on waking you up at 5·45 am on a Saturday morning. Well having stayed at the lake overnight after yesterdays MD’s Fund Raiser I was probably a bit disorientated but I was soon up, changed and had the kettle on for an early morning coffee. It seemed that I was first up today, even the traffic on the motorway was reasonably quiet at that time of the morning and it was easy to appreciate the lure that Rolfs has for the anglers that fish it. It was quite overcast, but I took the opportunity to have a slow stroll round the lake. Not a lot was moving as I made my way round apart from a moorhen scuttling out from under the bush on peg 23. A few carp were cruising, but not in the numbers you often see prior to the matches. A couple of ducks awoke from under the cover of the bushes between pegs 3 & 4. By the time I got back to the car park Jean had risen and stuck the kettle on so another cuppa would soon be in order.

We sat around discussing various things as one by one the rest of the campers surfaced. Some of us had already decided that breakfast at The Harvester in Wheatley would be a fitting start to the day and just after 8am 8 of us set off to partake. The service might not of been the friendliest but breakfast certainly hit the spot along with loads of toast and tea and on our return everyone was up and about as they packed up their bivvies and tidied things away.

It’s the 2nd match The Jinx Series today and it was just a question of waiting for the rest of the participants to turn up, as some hadn’t fished yesterday. Banter flew around as usual, mostly focused on the prospects for the day ahead and the pegs people wanted to draw. The other topic was of course the subject of the Pink Elephant Hat and it’s wearer for the Day. That was pretty much a done deal though after a post that Jon had put on the forum saying that he was going to bring his young son Sam who’d asked Why is that man wearing a silly hat? and Does that mean you’re going to wear the hat next Dad? when Jon had shown him the reports from the 1st match. Well it would have been rude to disappoint him wouldn’t it……​


So onto the draw and A section. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want peg 7 again after yesterday, but unfortunately it escaped my clutches and I found myself holding peg 38. It’s one of those all or nothing pegs and with the wind in the wrong direction for it today and only a solitary carp coming off it yesterday I wasn’t feeling confident as I wheeled my kit round there.​


I had Gem to my right on peg 36 along with Kev on peg 34, so not to far for Jean to bring a coffee. Budgie had claimed peg 40 while Webbo had peg 2. Paul and Nick had pegs 4 & 5 with Al and Steve on 7 and 8 to complete A section.​


Settling in to the peg I examined the options, The bush down the left hand margin being the only obvious feature. Rigs were simple and pretty much all in place after yesterdays match. A MW 0·6 Diamond on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG would be for straight out at 7 mtrs where I had an even 3½ feet of water in all directions, while the NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Guru QM1 would be used to fish at the bottom of the ledge by the bush. One additional rig made up with an 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Guru QM1 would be used on top of the ledge in front of the bush, while the feeder rod was on standby if it got really tough. Bait was the same as yesterday, 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers, though I did have some paste I could make up should the lumps turn up in the margin. So 1 pm and the All-In was called, a couple of pots of mixed pellet onto the 7 mtr line and a couple of generous handfuls to the bush on my left before shipping out a banded 11 mm to 7 mtrs. It was soon obvious that the wind was going to be a pain gusting as it was from left to right and in my heart of hearts I just knew that sport was going to be neither fast or furious. In fact it seemed to be pretty slow all around the Little Lake except for Webbo on peg 2 who was fishing the ‘feederless feeder’ (a pellet cone to anyone else) into the sheltered water against the bushes between pegs 3 & 4 which was producing a few carp for him from what I could see…..​


My first fish appeared after 45 minutes, but rather than the hoped for carp proved to be a plump skimmer of around 2 lbs. Gem was having a real struggle on peg 36, but at least that meant that I might escape a Minxing today. Indeed it wasn’t till nearly 2 hours in that a rather stifled Yeeesssss was heard as she landed a skimmer to get her off the mark. I’d managed a couple of carp by then, but it was really hard work and apart from Webbo the only one I could see who was doing any good was Steve up on peg 8. Jean popped down with a cup of coffee and told me that Kev had a couple of weighers on the board from peg 34 and Paul appeared to put a couple of fish together but it was short lived……​


A couple of quick looks down the margin yielded nothing other than a couple of small roach that hung themselves on an 11 mm pellet. While to my left Budgie was working his way through numerous combinations and only fairing marginally better than me……​


In fact as the match wore on it was rapidly turning into one of those that I couldn’t wait to end. Dave was still taking fish every 10-15 minutes and looked bolted on to take the section and looking up towards the Big Lake I could see Al working hard……​


The lack of walkers today made me feel that the Big Lake was probably fishing the better of the 2. Gem had resorted to targeting silvers with maggot to put a bit of weight in the net and with around an hour to go treated us to a proper YEEEESSSSSS as she finally had a carp to show for her efforts. I managed a solitary carp from the margin swim but that was it, and I was pestered by silvers after that till the end when the All-Out was called at 6 pm.

Packing away I had no expectations as I knew I only had around 30l bs. With my gear back at the car I set off for the weigh-in, but they’d already started and had reached Budgie before I caught up. A quick glance at the sheet revealed that Gem had only recorded 10½lbs after finding a hole in her silvers net, while my weight was 38¼lbs. Indeed it was Webbo that had taken A section with 123¼lbs and third overall. Malc on peg 9 had comprehensively walked B section and taken the overall win with a weight of 175¾lbs, while Simon on peg 10 avenged his previous days Minxing with 133¾lbs for second in section and second overall. Clive took a fine C section win with 96¾lbs and in the process became Peg King for Peg 20, while Nick W-P had the misfortune to record a mere 1 lb 6ozs from peg 17 and as the only regular member of The Jinx Squad to be Minxed guaranteed himself The Pink Elephant for match 3.

The next Jinx Match is on 18th June, with a night match on the Friday. I won’t be fishing the night match, but I’m in B section on the Saturday, and with the way I’ve been drawing so far in the Series, what’s the betting that I end up on PEG 13 !!!!!.​

Overall Result
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Sections
A
1525177165056.png
B
1525177195570.png
C
1525177221061.png

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Mill Barn Coarse Fishery, Great Wakering, Essex. June 11th, 2011.


Marsh AC club match.

An early start for me today as it’s a return to The Reservoir at Mill Barn Coarse Fishery for the 3rd Marsh AC match of the year. A glance out of the window confirmed that it looked like a pretty changeable day would lie ahead, so with the cats fed and a couple of coffees drunk the car was loaded up and the waterproofs included along with the rest of the kit. I met up with Chris at Dave’s house just after 6 am, the reason for the early start being that the first stop today would be a stop at the Castle pub in Little Wakering for breakfast. A steady trip down saw us pulling into the pub car park just after 7·15 am to find Kev, Jean and Keith already waiting. I have to say the Full English was Top Quality and well worth the £6, and having satisfied the inner angler we made our way down to the fishery about 5 minutes down the road. On arrival we found a number of carpers bivvied up on the car park bank, despite notices posted on the fishery gate reserving this and the left hand bank for our match, but rather than have confrontation we decided to just use 17 pegs down the left hand bank. Waiting for the draw the banter flowed, though I’m not sure that Tony was impressed when he enquired Where’s the sunken island? and I helpfully informed him that It’s under the water.:p

Time for the draw and when I went up for mine there were no pegs left in the hat !!!! Somehow only 16 numbers had gone in the hat. I agreed to take number 17 to avoid the aggro of a redraw, but John quite fancied fishing next to Martin who was on peg 16, so it was agreed that I would take John’s draw (peg 9). I made my way round to my peg and got down to settling in, the water was well down, well below the swims and with steeply sloping clay there was no way I could get my box down to water level. I elected to stake my nets and fish sitting on the sleeper, a little awkward, but better than being perched high above the water.​


Last years visit to the fishery saw a lot of members caught out by the speed and power of the fish there, so it was a fair bet that most peoples rigs and gear had been uprated for today's visit in an attempt to avoid a repeat this time. I was just going to use my Rolf’s rigs which should be more than up to it. I just picked a line at around 7 mtrs which I could comfortably feed by hand and a couple of margin lines to fish. the rigs were an NG 0·4 XT Open Water on 0·20 Ultima Power Match straight through to a size 14 Guru QM1 for 7 mtrs where I had around 6 ft of water, while the 2 margin rigs were NG 0·3 XT Sampson margins on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1′s. Bait was simply 6 mm hard pellet for feed with some 8 mm’s that would be banded onto the hook.

A couple of the lads seemed a bit surprised how I’d set up, but with a steep bank behind the peg along with the track to the car park I didn’t want loads of pole to ship back and forth. Keith caught Paul and Kev chatting away to me about the prospects for the day after Paul had acquired some 8mm pellet from me and Kev had kindly brought a cup of coffee down to me from Jean prior to the off, though we may just have been taking the micky out of each other ;)

I had Graham for company today to my right on peg 10, while to my left were Simon on peg 8 with Paul on peg 7. Keith was on peg 6, the peg he’d fished last year. He smashed countless rigs and hook lengths on it then, but was determined to have a better outcome from it today.

So 10 am and Dave called the All-In, what would the day bring? A couple of large handfuls of pellet into both margins, then a banded 8 mm was shipped out to 7 mtrs followed by a hand full of pellet. A couple of lift and drops of the rig and the float buried, Carp on and a spirited tussle ensued before a common of around 3½lbs was placed safely into the keepnet. The next put in was virtually a carbon copy, but this time it was a mirror of a similar size that found itself in the landing net, a good start to the match. However it changed all to soon, my next couple of fish were small skimmers, then a lull and a couple roach, the carp appeared to have vanished. There’s supposed to be a good head of carp present, but from what I could see nobody was storming away with it. I decided to up the feed, feeding every put in, reasoning that if I could get enough bait down and get the skimmers interested and feeding well it might pull the carp back in. It was changing from sunny to overcast and a breeze kept springing up from left to right, and I couldn’t help wondering if the fish would follow the breeze up to the high numbers?

I was getting the skimmers reasonably regularly and had managed another carp after a couple of hours when the swim died once more. I re-fed heavily and down the margins and decided to take my cup back to Jean and have a stroll with the camera at the same time. Jean had the kettle on so I took the opportunity to get a refill. Kev was restricted to fishing the feeder as he cracked his number 4 on his pole at Rolfs last week and was waiting for a replacement to arrive. He reported that he’d had a couple of carp, but that was about it ……​


Chris was happy to just rack up the bites and was fishing maggot in the margins for silvers as the carp didn’t want to play for him, and he had just landed a nice perch as I passed by ……​


Tony seemed to be having a bit of a struggle as well and having failed to get anything going on his pole lines and had gone out on the feeder looking for the sunken island that he knew was out there somewhere under the water ……​


Judy was her usual smiling self despite struggling to get to grips today as it became increasingly obvious that most were struggling, at least in the early pegs……​


Keith was fairing no better, he’s a quality angler and well capable of sussing things out, but it looked like this peg was destined to provide him with another frustrating day, but he was hoping that things would improve later on ……​


Paul had started on the pellet waggler, but after managing just a solitary carp that he’d hooked in the posterior that had gone up the bank and he’d reverted to the pole. Simon meanwhile was having a bit of a frustrating time as he was getting bites but was having quite a few fish, mostly skimmers slip the hook before he could get them to the net……​


Graham was another struggling to get his head round the apparent lack of sport, He’s joined the fishery as a member this year as it’s local to him and he knows probably better than most the potential for a decent bag so he was sticking at it ……​


A little further up I found Terry taking an early look down the edge with his pole and he reckoned that the boys to beat today would be Al and Dave on the next couple of pegs ……​


Now Dave and Al are both masters of miss-information and you have to take anything they tell you with a pinch of salt. The rumour was that Dave already had 3 carp for around 20 lbs, but he was adamant that they weighed closer to 10 lbs. Al was fishing the pellet waggler half way across, feeding 8 mm pellet to get the distance and trying to avoid the ducks, and while admitting to 7 or 8 carp but being rather cagey about what they weighed……​


Back to my peg and the skimmers were still in residence, however the heavens decided to open for around 10 minutes and give us all a refreshing shower.
As it eased I lifted into another bite, but this time it was a carp. Safely in the net as I transferred it to the keepnet I slipped and nearly ended up in the lake, as the rain had turned the clay I was standing on into something close to a greased slide. Thankfully I managed to avoid a ducking but decided that it was just to precarious to continue, so moved back to sit on my box for the rest of the match ……​


A couple of looks down the margins yielded absolutely nothing, No doubt not helped by a tufted duck that took great delight throughout the day in filling its face with the pellets I’d fed down there. So it was the 7 mtr line or nothing for the rest of the match. I still kept on picking up skimmers though and was beginning to think that they might make up a decent part of my final weight. Keith had gone for a walkabout , an indication that he was having a grueller as he rarely leaves his peg during a match and was obviously searching for a bit of inspiration. I’d managed another couple of carp around the 3-4 lb mark in between the skimmers, but they seemed to be solitary fish that weren’t disturbing the skimmers. Rod appeared for a chat and seemed happy with his lot having managed a few carp on the feeder which was good to hear as he’s very much a pleasure angler.

Paul had been for a stroll as well toward the end of the match and reported that Dave had taken 3 decent carp from the margins while he’d watched. I just got my head down for the final part and in among the skimmers I managed another couple of carp in the last hour. 4 pm and Dave called the All-Out and as I packed away my kit I wondered what sort of weight I had. I thought the 8 carp would go around 30-35 pounds but had no idea what my silvers net would weigh. All would soon be revealed as the Weigh-in started at the top on peg 17.

By the time I got to the Weigh-In John had recorded 16¾lbs and Martin just 5¼lbs. Dave’s fish were being weighed and the final tale of the scales was 67 lbs, which would prove to be good enough for 3rd overall. Next up was Al and his weight of 103 lbs would prove to be unbeatable on the day. Terry managed a creditable 35¾lbs while Jim could only match Martin’s 5¼lbs followed by Rod’s weight of 24¼lbs. Graham managed just 15¾lbs before the scales got to my peg, My 8 carp registered 36 lbs, but my silvers net came to a surprising 48 lbs …​


Which gave me a total of 84 lbs for 2nd overall, Simon’s was a tale of to many lost fish recording 15½lbs while Paul could only manage 9¼lbs. Keith had finally caught late and weighed a level 40 lbs, but felt the peg had got the better of him again. Judy put 14¾lbs on the scales but Tony weighed 48¼lbs only to lose out on the section by 12ozs when Ken put a level 49 lbs on the scales. Chris had an all silvers bag that weighed 30¾lbs, while Kev finished off the Weigh-In with 22½lbs.

Back to the car park and Dave sorted the results and section pools while the rest of us analysed the days events. The fishing had been patchy at best, but the potential is obvious and I for one would be happy to fish it again next year. Anyway the next club match is at Colemans Cottage on Woods Lake on Sunday July 24th, with Al and I level on 85 points and Dave and Keith just behind on 79 points, so it’s still all to play for. The next match for me however is the 3rd Jinx Match of the series at Rolfs Lake next Saturday, so keep you eye out for that report.​

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Location: Barling Magna, Essex, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. June 18th, 2011.


Jinx Match 3
Well it’s time for the third Jinx Match, and with the way the weather had been in the week leading up to the match I wasn’t expecting anything other than the cloudy sky with the promise of rain that greeted me as I looked through the curtains. Our 3 furry alarm clocks (the cats) had done their usual efficient job, and with them fed, and a couple of cups of coffee drunk I soon had the car loaded, making sure the waterproofs were there, but leaving the brolly out as I find it just gets in the way, especially when I’m pole fishing. Setting off the clouds cleared a bit and the sun appeared, surely trying to lull me into a false sense of security. Breakfast in Battersea as usual was my first port of call, and with a ‘Full English’ duly dispatched it was off to Rolfs. A smooth run down saw me pulling into an already filling car park around 10 am. 13 hardy souls had fished Malc’s Annual JINX Night Match yesterday evening and had stayed over prior to today's match. Now never let it be said that The Jinx Squad don’t know how to spoil their better halves. Geoff had brought down Mags and Saffi for a threesome in the caravan (Don’t worry Saffi is Geoff & Mag’s dog), Paul had brought wife Jayne along to share a tent, Simon and Gem had forsaken their usual spot in the caravan so were also in a tent (providing Gem didn’t burn anymore holes in it) and Nick had also brought Wife Lisa and little Josh along for a wet weekends camping to celebrate their 11th Wedding Anniversary. Who said romance is dead ?

Well after that it wasn’t the greatest surprise to find that Nick was the proud wearer of The Pink Elephant today ……


Anyway 11·30 am and draw time and I’m in B section today and with the way I’ve been drawing all bets were off on me pulling Peg 13. Somehow though Nick Williams managed to intercept it and I found myself with Peg 29, a walk of all of 2 yards from the car park. The downside was that that left Peg 9 which has been on fire recently for Gem (The Minx) leaving a lot of very worried anglers.​


Well having dragged my kit the huge distance to my peg I settled in to take stock. Peg 29 is another of those pegs that doesn’t get fished a lot and a chat with John revealed he’d had a go on it last night with just 3 carp and a couple of bream to show for his efforts, but he told me where he’d fed and the lines to fish.​


Looking up to my left there was Webbo on Peg 31 with Steve Wilson next up on Peg 32, while to my right I had Paul on peg 28 with wife Jayne keeping him company, Steve(Steak) was next up on Peg 26 while Malc(The Jinx) was hiding behind the bush on Peg 25.

Setting up didn’t take to long although the wind blew my keepnets into the peg even before I could start setting my kit up (not a good omen), Anyway the rigs, an NG 0·4 XT Open Water on 0·20 Ultima Power Match straight through to a size 14 Guru QM1 for 5 mtrs where I had around 5 ft of water and a couple of NG 0·3 XT Sampson margins on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1′s, One for tight to the bush on my left and the other down the shelf in front of it. The feeder rod was set up as a get out of jail back up. Bait was simply fishery 6 mm hard pellet for feed with some 8 mm and 11 mm donkey chokers that would be banded onto the hook along with some corn and a selection of GOT Baits soft hookers.

All the while it had stayed quite sunny and warm, but the wind was gusting and as the All-In approached the grey clouds were starting to gather. John got us underway at 1 pm by ringing the fishery bell. 2 pots of pellet at 5 mtrs and a big handful off the end of the bush. Steve was in straight away on Peg 32, a weigher that tipped the scales at over 18 lbs which Dave managed to capture on camera ……​


Dave was out on his ‘Feederless Feeder’ but it didn’t seem to be having quite the desired effect for him today. Odd fish seemed to be coming out all round, though not for Paul or me. About half an hour in my float vanished and a gentle lift resulted in a bream doing a passable impression of a dolphin !! It was soon in the net and while it wasn’t the carp I was hoping for it at least saved the dreaded blank. A little while later I connected with a carp, obviously a foul hooker as I’d connected halfway through lifting the rig out and as it powered off the rig came back alone.

Paul was suffering to with a number of foul hookers. The dreaded YEEEEEESSSSS!!!!!!!! had come from Peg 9 spreading the fear of a Minxing to a good few round the lake. The first of a good few heavy showers had arrived and these would continue off and on for the rest of the match. Sport for me had died completely. It seemed every time I looked up Steve was playing yet another fish and even Dave had forsaken his ‘Feederless Feeder’ for the pole in an attempt to get in on the action……​


If I’m honest, the weather and the lack of any action made me quite despondent and unusually for me I didn’t bother to get up for a stroll to see what others were doing, making do with a couple of hurriedly snapped pictures from my peg. Ady was over on Peg 18 and fishing long trying to tempt fish he could see cruising ……​


Lisa however was undaunted and managed to get a couple of decent catch shots between showers, the first being an 18½lb common that Budgie had on peg 11 ……​


And a 13½lb’er for Hubby Nick from peg 8 ……​


Then around a quarter to five things started to look up for me as a carp put in an appearance, only a small one of around 7 lbs but welcome none the less, and from there on in I seemed to get one every 10 minutes or so, the rain was back with a vengeance as well, thank heavens for a decent set of waterproofs……​


A couple of foul hookers did their best to disrupt things, but I was starting to put a weight of sorts together and daring to dream that I might even avoid the dreaded Minxing. The rain had stopped again and glancing at my watch I realised there were just seconds to go when my float vanished, a lift and the fish was on and as it went off on a run the All-Out was called. FISH ON and looking up I realised that Gem was in as well along with Malc and a couple of others. Gently does it and within 5 minutes it’s in the net and at 11 lbs a nice way to end what had been a torturous match.

Thankfully it stayed dry as we packed away and then it was on to the Weigh-In. Jon kicked things off from peg 34 with 54¼lbs but this was soon eclipsed by Clive’s 140½lbs, but he was cursing a cupping kit that had stuck on his only No 3 section forcing him to fish short for the majority of the match having caught well at 14½mtrs prior to that, especially as it would prove to be only good enough for 2nd on the day after Mat on Peg 5 put 141 lbs 10ozs on the scales to take the overall win and A section. Gem set a mark of 48¾lbs to avoid a Minxing. Budgies level 69 lbs would give him 2nd in section. Simon had 65¼lbs and Tony had a fine 87½lbs from peg 20 despite being another to suffer a stuck No 3 section this time on a top kit. Malc’s 110¾lbs, mostly caught late would give him the win in C section today. My fish weighed 55¾lbs, that final fish saving me from a Minxing and Steve took B section and 3rd overall with 138 lbs 10ozs.

So back to the Hut for the results and a couple of Golden Nuggets for me from Dave and Gem. The general feeling was that today had been a proper JINX MATCH, foul weather, and hard fishing for some, reminding everyone just what The Jinx Series can be all about. 11 victims for Gem to add to her Minx List including Fred who had been the only one to survive last year. That leaves just Ant, Mitch, Steve and Clive without a Minxing this Series with 3 matches still to go.​

Overall result

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Sections
A
1525180418293.png
B
1525180449693.png
C
1525180476761.png

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 13th, 2011.


Lionel’s day out.

Right, I was off down to Rolfs Lake today. One of the mechanics (James) where I work had wanted to treat his father-in-law (Lionel) to a days fishing there, as a bit of a Thank You and Birthday present and I’d managed to arrange it for them today, and as a bonus it might give me an idea of what to expect on Saturday when I’m back there for the 4th match of The Jinx Series. I’d arranged to meet up with the lads at Rolfs around 9·30 am, which even allowing for the heavier weekday traffic gave me the chance to stop off in Battersea for a ‘Full English’ before continuing on to the lake. Indeed when I pulled into the car park at Rolfs the lads were already there unloading their kit and apparently champing at the bit. Stocking up on pellets and a quick coffee we checked with John to see which pegs were available as there was an Open on later in the day and we were ready for the off. Well James was, Lionel was giving his new Maver seat box it’s first outing and had found after loading it up that the tyres were flat !! Luckily I carry a plug-in compressor in the car and we soon had tyres inflated and made our way down to the pegs. There were a couple of anglers already on pegs 34 & 35 with another on peg 2. James had already settled into peg 38, so I opted for peg 39 while Lionel settled into peg 40.

James is very much a carp angler and was using conventional carp gear, with a running rig rather than his usual bolt rig. Lionel opted for a pole approach and had wanted to go with Black Hydro, but I managed to persuade him to go with Red Hydro. As it was a pleasure day I simply set up a couple of rigs that I had made up to try out some new 0·2g NG XT Power Pencil’s that Nick has just started selling. These were made up on 0·20 Ultima Power Match straight through to a size 14 Guru QM1′s while bait was the usual fishery 6 mm hard pellet for feed with some 8 mm and 11 mm donkey chokers that would be banded onto the hook along with a selection of GOT Baits soft hookers.​


With the wind coming over my shoulder I could feed the 6 mm’s by hand out to 7 mtrs so that was my chosen line, with another line fed to the edge of the lilies to my right. With the wind blowing up into peg 34 and the Big Lake coupled with the change in the weather I wasn’t expecting sport to be to prolific today on our pegs. Out with a banded 8 mm to 7 mtrs and a few dinks suggested Roach might be responsible, but after about 5 minutes the float slid away, a gentle lift connected and it was obvious that it wasn’t a Carp but one of the Bream that have been showing this year. It soon slid over the net and at around 3 lbs it was a welcome start to the day.

Lionel had started at around 10mtrs and soon had fish fizzing in his peg, but was struggling to connect with the bites that were forthcoming, but got of the mark with a Bream. Another couple of Bream followed for me before the first Carp of the day put in an appearance. A Common of around 5 lbs that gave a good account of itself before it slid over the net. Looking across Lionel was into a Carp and it was giving a good account of itself, but Lionel appeared to be gaining the upper hand ……​


…… however the fish had other ideas, and with Lionel down to his top kit it dived for the platform and snapped him up round the platform legs.

James was having a real struggle and just had a solitary skimmer to show for his efforts and in an effort to change his fortunes had set a waggler up on one of his carp rods to target the bush to his left, but he wasn’t having any joy with it at all. I plugged on, another couple of Bream coming my way before a better Carp put in an appearance to liven up proceedings, a nice chunky Common that James took a photo of for me……​


Sport couldn’t be described as either fast or furious for either James or Lionel and it was probably even more frustrating to see the lads on 34 & 35 starting to catch regularly, and to rub it in a bit more Lionel had parted company from his second carp of the day. By now the anglers had started the Open Match and Phil Powell who was on peg 4 seemed to be having a bit of a struggle at the start, so it wasn’t just us ……​


Around about 2 pm I decided to stretch my legs and take a look to see how the anglers on the open were doing, but before setting off I fed 5 big pots of pellets onto the 7 mtr line to see if I could make anything happen. I found Neil Riddy halfway down the car park bank and he reckoned it was all a bit slow but was hoping things would pick up later……​


I could see that John was over on peg 18 and it looked as if he was on the paste down the side of the bush ……​


…… and it seemed that it was doing the trick for him as by the time I’d walked round to him he was slipping the net under a 15 lb’er ……​


next up on peg 17 was John’s fellow Rolf’s Cartel member Mick Lane who also appeared to be having a slow start to the match ……​


Down on peg 9 venue regular Paul Jay was hoping for a decent match as the pump had been running all morning before the match and he was hoping that it had drawn the fish to the area ……​


Back to my peg and Lionel was reporting loosing a third Carp and was still trying to fathom out how to connect with the bites that were beginning to frustrate him. Back at my peg and first put in I connected with another decent Bream ” Now you’re starting to take the micky Pete “ was Lionel’s reply to this feat of piscatorial endeavour as I held it up for him to admire. Unfortunately the next two put ins resulted in a couple of trashed rigs as foul hooked Carp set off for the Big Lake at a rate of knots, however they didn’t spook everything and I soon had another couple of Bream and another Carp once I sorted myself out. I could see the lads on 34 & 35 packing up so told James to get himself up there once they left as it just wasn’t happening for him on 38. Lionel had another couple of Bream and Roach, while I added a few more Bream and Carp before I decided to call it a day around 4·30 pm.

James had indeed settled into peg 34 and placed a bait out as close as he could to the lilies in the corner ……​


…… and as I packed away my gear I looked up to see that he was finally landing a Carp which was swiftly followed by another and as I strolled round to Lionel he was ringing the changes once more in an effort to convert those bites into fish. Bidding him Good Luck I set off with my kit to the car park, stopping to say goodbye to James on the way. Well as I looked back there was Lionel with a fair bit of elastic streaming from his pole……​


……. it had to be a Carp but would he land this one? I popped back to see, and to say that he played it gently would be an understatement, but finally he had it in the net, his first Rolfs Carp, a nice chunky Mirror and his smile just told you that it had all been worthwhile.​


So Mission accomplished, both of the lads had caught their first Rolfs Carp and I left them to carry on for a while. Had I learnt anything to help me on Saturday? Probably not as the way Rolfs fishes seems to change by the day, but it would only be 3 days till I found out.​


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 16th, 2011.


Jinx Match 4

Well today’s the day for the fourth Jinx Match in this years series of six, and a quick peek through the curtains this morning confirmed that we were in for a wet start to the day as all that could be seen was a heavy grey sky and a stiff breeze, and by the time I loaded up the car the first spots of rain were already falling. As usual the first stop was Battersea to fuel up for the day ahead with a ‘Full English’ and with that polished off it was next stop Rolfs. Unfortunately the closer I got to Rolfs the worse the rain came down, and with about 5 miles to go it was so torrential that the wipers couldn’t clear the screen, even on high speed. It had eased a bit as I pulled into the car park. Some of the Jinx Squad had fished the Open Night Match the evening before and had stayed over and were huddled under a brolly and the gazebo by the hut. Malc appeared looking as if he’d been for a swim in the lake, but was just walking proof that his MAP waterproofs weren’t anymore. Gem had decided that she wouldn’t be fishing today as it was raining, so Simon decided that as they’ve just moved into a flat together he wouldn’t fish either, and instead they would visit IKEA to get some stuff for their flat. Amazing what love can do isn’t it !! IKEA on a Saturday !!!! instead of fishing !!!!! :eek: He’ll learn, but at least it meant that nobody would get Minxed today.

Well the rain continued to fall, and with this being the 4th match today's draw was all in as we redraw sections for the final 3 matches. 11·30 am and it’s draw time, into the bag and it’s peg 5 for me, a peg I’ve not fished before so I’m quite happy to give it a go. John Bennett had fished it last night and had around 90 lbs, so I picked his brains as to how he’d approached it so I would have some idea of the areas to target.​


Taking my gear round to my peg I passed Dave on peg 34 which was going to be tailor made for his feeder-less feeder (pellet cone) approach. Nick was on peg 38, with Neil on peg 40 and Tony on peg 2. Steve Wilson was on peg 4, while Malc was on peg 7 with Al for company on peg 8 to complete A section……​


John had advised me to target 3 areas today, the first at around 5 mtrs toward peg 34 where he’d fed heavily, the second to the edge of the bush to my right and thirdly tight to the grass in the left hand margin toward the empty peg 6. The rig for the 5 mtr line was an 0·2g NG XT Power Pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match straight through to a size 14 Guru QM1, while the 2 margin rigs were NG 0·3 XT Sampson margins on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Guru QM1′s. Bait was my usual combination of fishery 6 mm hard pellet for feed with 8 mm and 11 mm pellets for the hook along with some corn and a selection of GOT Baits soft hookers.​


Thankfully the rain started to ease up as we were setting up, but the stiff breeze was blowing straight down toward Neil and Tony. The Fishery bell rang at 1 pm to signal the all in. Two pots of pellet onto the 5 mtr line were followed by a couple of handfuls into both margin swims. Looking up as I shipped a banded 8 mm out Dave was already into his first fish. Laying the rig in the float dipped and buried, Carp on, and after a brief but spirited fight a 5 lb Common was safely in the net. My next put in provided a similar outcome and another carp, a Mirror this time joined it’s friend in the net. Dave was streaking away setting the early pace as his first five casts had produced five Carp. There was a brief lull for me before the float buried again, but this was a much better fish that slowly motored away staying deep, however after about 5 minutes of constant pressure it finally popped its head up ready for the net, a much larger fish and an obvious weigher that took the scales round to 15¼lbs. It also marked the end of the rain as a few patches of blue sky started to break through.

Unfortunately it also marked the end of sport for me, try as I might I just couldn’t tempt another bite, it was as if someone had turned a switch off. Not for Dave over on peg 34 however, indeed another bite proved to be the cue for his brolly to be blown loose hitting him in the head leading him to drop his rod and we were treated to the sight of Dave just managing to grab his rod before it sailed off into the lilies……​


Malc was attempting to dry out and was fishing the feeder to start off with, but it was probably only a matter of time before he reverted to the pole……​


Nick over on 38 had a bit of a slow start with just a solitary 5 lb’er on the feeder, but a switch to the pole had produced a nice 13 lb’er to give him a bit of a boost, though he did manage to crack his No 3 in the process. Neil on 40 however was beginning to think he’d upset someone when a gudgeon managed to snaffle his 11 mm pellet. Steve was having a bit of a struggle as well on peg 4 but reckoned that Tony was starting to bag some lumps from down the margin in peg 2. I just kept the feed going in and rotating my lines in the hope that something would turn up on one of them, but apart from a solitary roach and a couple of small skimmers it wasn’t looking to promising. Al appeared with a grin on his face and asked if I would take a photo of a 19 lb’er that he’d just had, so the camera was retrieved from the safety of the holdall to do the honours……​


A foul hooker briefly raised my spirits until the rig came flying back with a large scale embedded on the hook. No such problems for Dave however who still appeared to be catching at a steady rate. More than could be said for those on the car park bank when a quick look revealed what appeared to be a distinct lack of action……​


With around 2 hours to go the float sailed away as I took another look at my 5 mtr line and thankfully a nice chunky Common of around 8 lbs was added to the net and this was swiftly followed by another of a similar size before someone switched the bites off again. With around an hour to go I noticed some bright orange elastic streaming out from what was obviously Malc’s pole. I banded up an 11 mm and dropped it in close to the grass in the left hand margin, nothing not even the merest tremble of the float was forthcoming and I was on the point of swapping swims once more when I notice a tail pattern close to the float. A few more pellets and a lift of the rig and the float buried, a lift resulting in a decent fish powering out into open water which proved to be a common of 11 lbs+. That final 45 minutes went by all to quickly with 4 more weigher’s and a couple of 9 lb’ers coming to the net along with a couple of decent Bream before the All-Out was called at 6 pm. Packing the gear away I was confident that I’d managed a ‘Ton’ but cursing that those fish hadn’t turned up on the inside line earlier. With the gear back at the car a chat with a couple of the lads revealed similar tales of struggle with fish turning up late in the day on the big lake as well.

So onto the Weigh-In and first up was Dave on peg 34, he’d only had 3 weigher’s, but a rack of smaller fish gave him 147½lbs, enough for A section and the overall win on the day. Tony on peg 2 weighed 138½lbs for 2nd in section and 2nd overall. My 117¼lbs was only good enough for 5th in section as Malc recorded 131 lbs for 4th and Al’s 138¼ gave him 3rd in section and 3rd overall. Dai on peg 10 had a fine 113 lbs to take B section while Ant on peg 14 weighed 108 lbs for 2nd in C section as Clive on Peg 15 weighed 124 lbs to win C section. A string of lower weights told a tale of struggle till we finally got to Pete on peg 32 who had 96¼lbs for 2nd in B section.

So back to the hut for the results and section monies. A definite air of relief as no Minxings had been handed out today, The Jinx effect had definitely flexed it’s muscles once more with the weather and patchy sport, but we’ll all be back to do it all again next month. For me, next up is Woods Lake at Colemans Cottage for a Marsh club match next Sunday.​

Overall Result
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Sections
A
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B
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C
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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Colemans Cottage Fishery. Wood Lake. July 24th, 2011.

Marsh AC club match.


Well it’s off to Essex for me today and a club match at Colemans Cottage on Wood Lake. The view out of the window this morning promised a nice sunny day ahead and after a couple of cups of coffee and having fed the cats and loaded the car I was off and heading for Whitam in Essex, and a trouble free run down saw me pulling into the car park around 7·30 am, where Kevin and Jean, along with Simon were already in attendance. Into the fishery lodge for a Large Breakfast, and we were soon joined by Terry, Keith and Pete along with Lee, Dave and a couple of other Morefax lads who were joining us today along with a couple of guests, so it should be a good turn out. Soon the rest of the gang arrived and with breakfast taken care of I went outside to discuss the prospects for the day ahead.

The club normally fishes Pathfield Lake when we visit Colemans, so this is something new, at least for me as I’ve never fished Wood Lake before, but luckily for me Paul Law (justin case) has furnished me with a detailed peg by peg rundown on the lake so I wasn’t not going into it totally blind. Dave soon had the monies collected and the draw up and running and after dipping into the bag I found myself with peg 14 for the day, which according to Paul’s run down was just an average peg. So collecting my tackle I made my way down to my peg. Terry was on peg 1, with peg 2 drawn for Paul who was running late due to a blow out on the way down. Keith was on peg 6 (one Paul had reckoned was worth running to) with Pete Thompson on peg 8. Tony Roberts was on 10, Clive on 11 and Simon on 12 with 13 not drawn. To my left was Martin on peg 15 while I could see Dave in the corner on peg 18.​


Settling into the peg it was time to decide how to tackle it. I had a gap between 2 islands out in front I elected to cover that with a waggler and got out a Shakespeare 11 ft Micro that was already set up with a 2 AA peacock insert waggler. I opted for 3 pole lines. Straight out at 6mtrs where I had 5 ft of water with a Sackup CX 4×12 pencil on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG, and 2 margin rigs, both NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin’s on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG’s plus a paste rig of an NG 0·2 Margin paste float on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Fox series 2. Bait was my usual combination of 6 mm hard pellet for feed with 6 and 8 mm pellets for the hook along with some corn, a selection of GOT Baits soft hookers and GOT Atomic Paste (green halibut).

Kevin had arrived while I was setting up with a cup of coffee and with a bit of time prior to the off I strolled back to the car to collect a bottle of water, only to find Paul arriving by Taxi (having changed his blown out tyre only to find the spare knackered as well !!!!!!!!!!! ) so helped him to his peg with his gear, then made my way back to mine. At 10 am Dave signalled the All-In and we were off.

Two big pots of pellet at 6 mtrs followed by a handful in each margin were then followed by a banded 8 mm shipped out to the 6 mm line. A couple of tentative digs then the float buried resulting in a Carp tearing off and the rig flying back with a scale on the hook, not quite the start I’d hoped for, but at least there were some fish about. Next put in the float buries and it’s fish on again, a good solid surge and it didn’t want to get it’s head up, a bit more pressure and up it popped, not he expected Carp but a Barbel and at around 3 lbs a nice way to get off the mark. A couple of Carp quickly followed this, not big fish, but really solid, giving a good account of themselves which I estimated at around 4 lbs each.

Looking around I could see that Martin had a fish on the feeder that he was playing and most were starting to find a bit of sport, so it was looking like it should be a good day for most, in fact I looked down toward Dave and saw that he was engaged in what looked like a tug of war with plenty of red hydro streaming from his top kit……​


For the next couple of hours it was just a question of things ticking over, a couple of Carp, then a Barbel or two, still putting some weight in the net, but I couldn’t seem to up my catch rate. I’d been using my clicker as there’s a net limit at Colemans which I didn’t want to fall foul of, and reckoned I had about 35 lbs of carp by 12·30 pm. I’d had a look down both margins, the right hand had produced hardly anything though despite the next peg being empty, so decided to concentrate on the left hand one. With this in mind I re fed it quite heavily and took a stroll with the camera to allow it to settle and take my coffee mug back to Jean. Looking down from my vantage point I saw that Clive was busy unhooking a fish that he’d just netted……​


While on the next peg along Tony was doing his best to get the landing net under a fish of his own ……​


Pete had left his peg, but I could see him sitting next to Keith and having a chat with him as he netted a small carp ……​


Terry was being a bit cagey as to what he had exactly, but didn’t reckon he was setting the place on fire. Paul was having a frustrating time trying to tempt some action from his margins, but Rod seemed to be enjoying a bit of sport ……​


Kev was owning up to 3 fish and hoping things would pick up for him later in the day, and looking across I could see Lee and Judy on adjacent pegs ……​


Strolling back Keith reckoned he had around 35 lbs but was adamant that Pete was doing better, and I couldn’t help notice that he was fishing short just in front of his nets, and made me realise that last year I’d caught tight to my nets on Pathfield, perhaps that was the way to go today ?……​


Pete was back on his peg and of course though that Keith was just edging him as he struck into a carp just as I moved on ……​


Indeed it was starting to become obvious that the fish were starting to get their heads down, and I could see Ken on the far bank getting ready to slide a small Carp over the net ……​


Tony was attached to yet another fish, that seemed to be giving a good account of itself with plenty of orange vespe coming out of his top kit ……​


and there was Clive just slipping the landing net under yet another fish that he’d taken on the method feeder ……​


Simon however wasn’t feeling so positive, complaining that he’d never lost as many fish as he’d done today and considering that he’d lost a fair few on the last match at Mill Barn, you could safely say that he wasn’t best pleased ……​


Back at my peg I dropped my 6 mtr rig in on a top 3 at the end of my nets and found just a couple of inches less on the depth, so fed a handful of pellet there and stuck a 6 mm pellet on the band. This soon produced a Barbel of around 3 lbs and was swiftly followed by a couple more, then a small Carp as Dave arrived with another Mug of coffee from Jean. The next fish made me jump as an acrobatic skimmer did a passable impression of a Trout leaping clear of the water as I struck. Another couple of Barbel followed and I’d noticed Al on peg 22 collecting a second carp net so he was obviously going well and from what I could see was fishing the method. Dave was still catching well and he was next to go for a second net. Another small carp followed for me before a couple of foul hookers ran me ragged and seemed to kill the swim. Time for a look in the margin with the paste rig, a couple of knocks and the float buried , the strike meeting with firm resistance as a good fish powered of into open water. The fish stayed deep not wanting to get its head up, but steady pressure finally told as a double figure Mirror slid into the waiting landing net. With that fish I reckoned I had about 55 lbs in the net so went and got a second carp net for myself.

Back in with the paste and it was obvious that the fish were there as the float buried straight away, a barbel this time with a taste for paste, and I took another 7 carp before Paul came up to see how I was doing with 15 minutes to go. Unfortunately this coincided with a spate of iffy bites and I only managed one more Carp before Dave called the All-Out at 4 pm while he played a final fish. Packing my kit up and chatting to Martin I was convinced that I had around 80-90 lbs, but I wasn’t really sure as I’d got it somewhat wrong last year when we fished Pathfield but with the kit packed away in the car all would be revealed as I set off for the weigh-in. Terry kicked off with 63¼lbs from peg 1, which Keith topped from Peg 6 with 86¾lbs just edging out Pete’s level 86 lbs to take the bragging rights on their trip home to Milton Keynes.

Tony on peg 10 put 70 lbs+ on the scales with his first net, but thankfully Graham (The Owner) decreed that as long as it wasn’t over 80 lbs there would be no penalty. His final tally was 143¼lbs, a total that wouldn’t be beaten ensuring he took the honours on the day. Clive managed 69½lbs and Simon just 40 lbs. Round to my peg and as soon as I lifted my 1st net I knew that I’d underestimated as well, thankfully it came in under 80 lbs and my total of 141½lbs that would be good enough for 2nd today. Dave had a good day as well on peg 18 with 122¼lbs and Nick Bondeau recorded a new PB match weight of 71 lbs.
Al was left regretting a slow last half hour when his weight came out at 131 lbs but still ended up 3rd overall. Lee Rose on peg 34 took the best weight among the Morefax lads with a level 98 lbs while Roger, Ken and Graham managed 50 lb weights. So back to the fishery lodge for coffee and results.

Dave soon had the results and the sections sorted and paid out, 1700 lbs + had been weighed in for an average of 62 lbs+ per angler so it was fair to say a decent day had been had by most. Next up for Marsh AC is Blasford Hill on August 13th. For me however the next stop is 3 days at Rolfs Lake next weekend for Dave’s Friday Invitation match and the MD’s Pairs weekend.​

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Location: Rivenhall, Essex, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 29th, 2011.

Dave the Fish’s
Invitation Match.


Well today sees the start of what has become an annual 3 day trip to Rolfs, starting today with Dave the Fish’s Invitation match that precedes the Maggotdrowning.com Rolfs Pairs Tournament over the Saturday and Sunday. This has become a match not to be missed as it’s fished by a few less people and it normally sees the best fishing of the 3 days, and being a member of Dave’s club (Marsh AC) ensures that I’m fortunate enough to receive an invitation every year. Being a weekday Maria was already up and had fed the cats and I’d promised to take her to work, so with that done I loaded the car up. It’s surprising how much extra stuff there was, bivvie, bed chair sleeping bag etc, but it all slotted in without problem before I set off. It was a bit overcast, but warm enough and the forecast for the next 3 days was good with plenty of sun for the weekend. As usual I stopped off in Battersea for Breakfast, Al was hoping to join me, but got delayed and missed out on the delights of a “Full English” before I was back in the car and on my way to Rolfs.

A steady run down saw me pulling into the car park around 10·15 am to find a good few already in situ. Malc had taken Dai and Ann along with Beau up with their caravan on Wednesday and then come back up from Wales early today so we were due to face the might of the whole ‘Doyle Clan’ over the course of the weekend. Others had also arrived early to ensure a good pitch in Maggotville, so it was out with the bivvie to secure a spot. My little 1 man bivvie has seen a fair bit of use over the years, and today one of the poles decided it had enough and snapped. However with some gaffer tape from Scott and a hacksaw from Dai it was soon repaired and in place.

A stroll round soon came to an abrupt halt however as i came face to face with John’s new guard dog !!!!!!!, Black and Tan, was it a Doberman, Rottweiler???​


No, Ollie is a Dachshund, and at around 8 weeks old the cutest bundle of fun you could imagine on 4 legs, and already proving a huge hit with everyone.(y)

Well with 19 of us assembled. and only a single Rolfs Virgin in fellow club member Simon Watkins present, Midday signalled draw time. The general opinion seemed to be that the Big Lake was the place to draw today as the wind had been blowing up into it for the past 3 days, so you can imagine my delight to find Peg 38 in my hand, I couldn’t be further away if I’d tried.​


As I made my way down to my peg I saw that Mitch had drawn Peg 34, while Dai was on Peg 40 with Kevin on Peg 2, so I was OK for a mid match coffee.
Opposite me on Peg 4 was Jon, with Scott for company on Peg 5. Alex had drawn Peg 7 while Simon was on Peg 8, a great draw for a 1st timer.​


Setting up was a matter of 3 rigs, A 0·2g NG XT Power Pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG would be for straight out at 7 mtrs where I had an even 3 feet of water in all directions, a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1 would be used to fish by the bush/grass to my left, and a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1 would be used on top of the ledge tight to the grass next to Peg 37, while the waggler rod was on standby to have a search around if it got really tough. Bait was 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers, along with sweetcorn and some paste should the lumps turn up in the margin.

Clive popped round as we waited for the All-In with news that he’d ended up on Peg 13, I didn’t laugh much though as I’d have happily swapped with him today.​


2 pm saw John ring the fishery bell for the All-In and 2 pots of pellet were deposited onto the 7 mtr line along with a good handful into each margin. A banded 8 mm pellet was shipped out to 7 mtrs but unfortunately didn’t provoke the desired response, in fact the Little Lake was proving hard for nearly everyone, with only Mitch appearing to take an early fish……​


A switch to 6 mm pellet finally brought some action for me, but it was only in the shape of a couple of hand sized skimmers, that were welcome none the less to get me off the mark, and looking across it was obvious that Jon was resigned to a hard session as he was already out with a maggot rig in a bid to hunt down some silvers……​


After a couple of hours I looked across to see that Dai was at last into something substantially larger with plenty of elastic streaming from his pole, but after a good scrap he had it safely in the net, an absolutely superb Common that rolled the scales round to 21¾lbs, a new PB that I was happy to photograph for Dai ............


I’d hoped that it would be the signal for some fish to get their heads down, but it was not to be, so I re fed all my lines and gathered up the camera for a stroll round to see how others were doing. Scott over on Peg 5 was suffering as well, but he was feeding plenty into the margin next to empty Peg 6 and praying that the fish would turn up over the feed before the match finished ……​


Alex had been more than happy to find Peg 7 was his, but had been brought back down to earth a bit as despite producing a couple of early fish they weren’t coming at the rate he’d been hoping for …..​


Simon had a double to show for his first ever visit to Rolfs, but had been left a little shocked by the power of the fish, having also been seen off by a couple​


Terry was over on Peg 32 and was getting a bit of action, but unfortunately he’d had the misfortune to have a top kit reduced to more than it’s standard two parts by an angry foul hooker that smashed it and vanished with the rig and elastic……​


Clive was indeed on Peg 13 and at this point in time was suffering with foul hooked fish, but he was confident that sooner or later he’d sort it out and start putting a few in the net……​


Malc was tucked away in Peg 14 and seemed happy enough with his lot, while a chat with Dave Moore revealed a swim that resembled a jacuzzi, but although there were obviously plenty of fish there, they were reluctant to take a bait. Looking across we could see Al on Peg 24 playing a fish on the pellet waggler, but as I raised the camera having warned him to be careful, it shed the hook, of course we were full of sympathy as ” Nobody likes to see that “ but Al seemed less than pleased……​


Dave was on Peg 18, obviously the draw bag had been kind to the organiser, and as we chatted Dave dropped a ball of paste into the left of the peg and the float buried straight away, the fish steamed off and looked like it was foul hooked, and it had the last laugh when it did Dave under the right hand bush ……​


Round to Peg 22 where I found Paul happily playing a fish, he was having what appeared to be a decent day, ticking along nicely and regularly putting fish in the net……​


Mr Maggotdrowning himself Dave aka ‘Webbo’ was on Peg 26, but today didn’t seem to be quite right for his Feederless Feeder and he’d reverted to the pole in order to keep a few coming his way ……​


Nick was on Peg 29, and it was a case of steady away for him putting one or two fish together, but he’d also sacrificed a top kit to the cause today ……​


Back at my peg things didn’t really improve for the rest of the match, in fact the only one to really do anything was Dai who managed another 4 fish during the course of the afternoon. I even spent a while on the waggler, but that was no more successful than my pole lines, However with an hour to go a look on my 7 mtr line produced a foul hooker that headed of toward the Big Lake at a rate of knots leaving me with just a scale for a souvenir. Kev finally managed to snare a carp over on peg 2 and with 45 minutes to go I finally managed to hook and land a carp that weighed 13 lbs, however it was to little to late and just another couple of small skimmers came my way before John rang the fishery bell for the All-Out at 7 pm.

Packing away didn’t take long as I took my kit back to the bivvie that was only about 40 yards away, and so onto the Weigh-In. Mitch kicked off with a hard earned 49 lbs while my silvers added to the solitary carp came to 16 lbs. Dai’s 5 fish weighed a fine 70¾lbs. Kev had 5½lbs to show for his efforts while Jon had all silvers for just over 13 lbs. Scott had a couple turn up late for a level 26 lbs. Alex recorded 61¾lbs with Simon managing 25¼lbs for his first effort. Tricky(Richard) managed 54 lbs from peg 9 on his Birthday, while Steve had struggled with just a single carp for 7½lbs on peg 10. Clive had indeed managed to sort it out recording 83½lbs but it was Malc on peg 14 who would take the win on the day when he put 103½lbs on the scales. For Dave Moore it was a case of what might have been with his fish weighing 36 lbs, but he’d fished on for a bit after the whistle and caught 6 fish in 6 put ins. Dave had 95¼lbs from peg 18 to take third in his own match. Paul was the only other angler to record a ‘Ton’ with 100¼lbs to take 2nd. Al with 65½lbs and Nick with 67 lbs were edged out by Webbo’s 74 lbs while Terry was last to weigh with 81¼lbs.

So once Dave had sorted out the results and paid out the monies from the day people dispersed to chat over the days events and sort out their food etc.
Al, Webbo, Paul and I elected to visit The Harvester for Dinner along with Richard and Scott and washed it all down with a couple of pints before returning to the lake where the banter flowed along with a few more beers into the night as Simps, Gem and Budgie joined us ahead of the weekend.

By around 11·30 pm I turned in to get some sleep ahead of the Main Event. How would it go? We would soon find out.​

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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 30th-31st, 2011.


Maggotdrowning.com

Rolf’s Pairs Tournament 2011.

DAY 1

Well having stayed over at Rolfs after Dave Collier’s match, I awoke around 7 am to a lovely sunny morning, and a cup of coffee courtesy of Dave soon had the desired effect. A dozen of us had decided that The Harvester was the best option for breakfast and we were there for 8 am when it opened its doors. Breakfast was soon ordered. However it has to be said that the service wasn’t quite what we expected, the chef obviously wasn’t ready for a dozen hungry anglers to descend first thing in the morning, and some of the orders went a little wrong, however eventually everyone was fed, though maybe not with what they ordered, but after a bit of negotiation by Dave Moore the bill for 12 breakfasts came to just £40.(y)

Back to the lake, and the other anglers that were fishing were arriving, making a total of 28 members of the Maggotdrowning forum (20 of them being members of this years Jinx Squad) assembled from all over the country to fish the Maggotdrowning.com Rolfs Pairs Tournament 2011. It’s a 2 legged affair fished over Saturday & Sunday and this is the 6th year running that the competition has taken place.​


There was plenty of banter flowing, with speculation about who would be drawn with who, and where the favoured draws would be. At 11·30am the fishery bell rang signalling the draw for the Pairs which was done by Paul and I and produced the following Pairs…………

Terry(Wily Coyote)Goff & Kev(The Catch)Loveland
Clive(black hydro)Pritchard & Tony(spamwham)Roberts
Dave(The Fish)Collier & Paul(NMLW’s)East
Peter(mugger)Morton & Richard(tricky)East
Barry(Bazza C)Cullen & Alex(bagger j)Clark
Malc(The Jinx)Doyle & Al(al)Loader
Ant(antwood)Haywood & Gem(The Minx)Doyle
Keith(keith74)Powell & Mitch(mitchfish)Auger
Marcus(budgie)Burgess & Jon(hatchye)Hatch
Steve(steak)Akal & Dave(webbo)Webster
Dai(daifish)Thomas & Steve(smiler)Wilson
Pete(crayfishtraps)Tapp & Scott(methodgob)Weston
Simon(simple)Mound & Terry(auto)Pearce
Nick(Neo-1)Williams & Dave Moore

With that out of the way it was time for the draw for today's pegs, and with the wind still blowing up into the Big Lake, that by general consent was where everyone wanted to be, so you can imagine my delight to find Peg 2 in my hand when I pulled it from the draw bag. Kev had fished it yesterday and struggled, but to be fair most of us had yesterday with only Dai sorting it out on the Little Lake.​


Back to my bivvie where I collected my gear for the short walk round to peg 2. It was going to be a warm one with the sun blazing down, but I could at least see a few more fish showing than yesterday so hopefully sport might improve today. Webbo was grinning like the Cheshire Cat having drawn Peg 34 which is tailor made for his favourite ‘Feederless Feeder’ approach, Alex was next up on Peg 35 while Simps had drawn Peg 37 and Terry Peg 38. Paul had drawn Peg 40, Dai’s peg yesterday. Further round from me Ant was on Peg 4 and Gem (The Minx) was on Peg 5.​


Settling into the peg the 3 rigs I’d used yesterday covered my needs today although I re-tied the 0·2g NG XT Power Pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG for straight out at 5 mtrs as I had around 4 feet of water, a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1 would be used to fish by the bush/grass to my right, and a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1 would be used on top of the ledge tight to the bush on my left. With hindsight a mistake was to leave the feeder rod in its ready sleeve as I could have thrown a feeder to the trees on the left of the empty Peg 3 but I didn’t. Bait was 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers, along with sweetcorn and some paste.

A quick chat with Paul about our prospects and at 2 pm John rang the fishery bell to signal the All-In. A pot of pellet onto the 5 mtr line and a handful into the 2 margin swims was the opening gambit, followed by a 6 mm pellet shipped out to the 5 mtr line. A couple of dinks and the float slid away, not with the hoped for Carp, but a small scale perfect Roach, but at least I was off the mark. Looking across to 34 Webbo was already into what was obviously a Carp.
Paul soon reported that he’d been seen off by a Carp, so at least there were a few about and after half an hour it was my turn to latch into one and a few nervous moments followed before I slid it over the net, it looked like a weigher and Liam appeared and followed me over to the scales. 10¾lbs was the weight on the dial which Liam wrote on the sheet while I returned the fish.

By now Ant had started to target his right hand margin, tucking his float in tight under the overhanging bushes and was starting to pick up one or two fish……​


This ensured that there was plenty of banter back and forth across the lake between him and Simon. The two of them have had a bit of friendly rivalry going for a fair while and Simon currently holds the advantage, so it was a given that he’d try everything to stop that being whittled away.
With that in mind Simon was fishing long and shallow (one of his favourite methods at Rolfs) and was starting to put a few together himself ……​


I managed to add another couple of carp myself before Jean arrived with a welcome cup of coffee. Geoff Palmer appeared for a flying visit, having driven up from Wales along with Mags who’s still recovering from a broken femur, the lure of Rolfs proving just to much to miss out on completely, having had to pull out of this event to help Mags with her convalescence. Paul was still struggling with just a couple of skimmers to show for his efforts, but it looked as if Terry was off and running as he carefully guided a Carp toward his waiting landing net……​


The next fish caught me a little off guard as after lifting into a bite a decent Bream leapt clear of the water 3 times like a Dolphin before shedding the hook. The next one wasn’t so lucky though and after a couple of prodigious leaps it was soon safely in the net. Time marched on and I realised I hadn’t heard the customary scream from Gem yet, However I heard Malc arrive to see how she was doing and he was more than a bit disparaging about the rig she was using and he let the whole lake know his opinion of it. Looking over to Webbo, he was still putting a few together, but it appeared that he’d slowed down a bit, but he was still comfortably ahead of the rest of us in the Little Lake ……​


Indeed Alex next door to him on Peg 35 appeared to have gone over to the feeder in an attempt to tempt a few for himself……​


With around an hour to go I’d looked up and noticed an awful lot of orange elastic coming out from Gem’s peg, sure enough she got the fish in and a shout of YYYEEESSS echoed round the bank side, leaving a few souls worried about a MINXING. The thing is Peg 5 has a habit of throwing up big fish late on if they move into the margins, and when she slid the net under another big weigher a few bums were definitely twitching.

Paul had finally managed a Carp down on Peg 40, but I’d lost a couple of foul hookers, one of which had me fearing for my pole as it bottomed out the elastic and just kept going before the rig came flying back with a huge scale on it, but I did manage another small Carp and a couple more acrobatic Bream before John rang the fishery bell at 7 pm for the All-Out. The gear was soon packed away and taken back to my bivvie before the Weigh-In got under way.

As usual it started from Peg 34 and Webbo kicked things off with a fine 138¾lbs and 2nd overall on the day while Alex had 37 lbs. Simon had a creditable 73¼lbs while Terry suffered with just 20½lbs. Paul had just 26½lbs and my fish came to 57¾lbs, while Ant’s 89¾lbs gave him the verdict over Simon today.​


Gem’s 2 weigher’s came to 29¾lbs. Dai managed 78¼lbs and Terry 33¾lbs from Peg 8. Dave the Fish weighed a fine 82¾lbs from Peg 9 while Malc had just 3 weigher’s for 48¼lbs, and Tony on Peg 11 recorded 56 lbs. Peg 13 came up trumps for Steve(steak) with 114 lbs for 3rd on the day and put him and Webbo into a strong position in the Pairs. Clive followed that up with 111 lbs, but Steve W took the honours on the day with 161½lbs from Peg 15 leaving him and Dai well in contention. Kev managed just 29 lbs from 17 and Nick had 64¼lbs from 18. Round on 19 Al was a picture of misery with just 28½lbs and a MINXING as well, but Scott just avoided one with 32¼lbs. Mitch’s 63 lbs just edged Jon’s 62½lbs. Pete, Marcus and Richard all had weights in the 40′s, Bazza had 37¼lbs and Keith 73¼lbs, Dave Moore being last to weigh with his 82¾lbs equalling Dave Colliers weight.

So back to the hut for the results and the scores from day one, and once they were all sorted Webbo and Steak were leading on 5 points from Dai and Steve W on 9 points, While Nick and Dave Moore on 18 points and Clive and Tony with 19 points were well within striking distance.

With that people drifted away to sort out their gear or some food for the evening. Malc though took Julie round to his peg for a go with his gear, and she was soon demonstrating that here was yet another Doyle capable of putting a few fish in the net......​


Jon got in on the act as well with young Sam getting a go of Dad’s gear before he packed it away for the day …​


So although there hadn’t been huge quantities of fish caught today, it had proved to be a good day that almost everyone seemed to have enjoyed one way or another, though it had to be said that little Ollie finally found it all to much and flaked out having found a comfy spot ……​


The chat and drink flowed long into the night, and was still going strong for some when I retreated to my bivvie around 11·30 pm and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.:sleep:
_______________________________________________________________________
DAY 2

7 am on Sunday morning and I’m woken from my slumber by Jean tapping on my bivvie to tell me there was a cup of coffee waiting for me. There are a few sorry looking sights to be seen, as it seemed the drinking went on well into the night and words were had at some point over a radio being played, however apologies had been offered and accepted and no real harm was done. Anyway first things first and it’s off to The Harvester again for Breakfast. It all runs smoothly today as we ordered in advance before we left yesterday, so with the inner angler satisfied it’s back to the Lake. We are fishing from 12-5 pm today, but the first job is to pack all the bivvies and tents away. Once again I manage to amaze myself by managing to pack the bivvie away into its unfeasibly small storage bag and get it and all the rest of the kit stowed away in the car.

Looking at the lake today it’s noticeable that the wind is blowing from the Big Lake straight down into the Little Lake today for the first time this weekend, so what’s the betting I’ll draw the Big Lake today. I didn’t have a long wait to find out as just after 10 am the draw took place and I found Peg 10 was my home for the day.​


Steak struggled for a single fish from there on Friday and Malc only had three from it yesterday, so I can’t say that I was full of confidence as I made my way round to it…​


I had Steak to my right on Peg 9, but he was hidden by the bush, however to my left on Peg 11 was Dave Moore……​


……. and Clive back on Peg 13 for the 2nd time in 3 days, and I have to say that the mustachioed one didn’t look to be to excited about it ……​


However with the 3 of us in a line and in plain view of each other there was bound to be a bit of banter during the match.

Malc had told me where he’d fed yesterday so the rigs were set up for those spots. Two 5 mtrs lines at 10 and 2 o’clock to the platform taken care of by a Sackup CX 4×12 pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG. A 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1 would be used on top of the ledge tight to the bank on my left, while a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru QM1 would be used to fish by the bush to my right. The usual suspects were on the bait table, 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various soft hookers, along with sweetcorn and paste.

A quick stroll prior to the off found Terry(auto) back on Peg 8 for the second day in the row, Golden Hand or what !!!!!!!!!!! but it was what was on the back of his box that made me laugh a subtle dig in Webbo’s direction perhaps ……​


Midday and John rang the fishery bell for the All-In, a pot of pellet onto both 5 mtr lines and a handful to the 2 others then I shipped a banded 8 mm out to the right hand 5 mtr line. The float settled and then buried and the resultant lift brought a pleasing resistance before a Bream of around 3 lbs surfaced and slid over the waiting landing net. Disaster then followed after unhooking it as it flipped out of the net, hit the keepnet in front, landed on the platform, flipped again onto the frame of my silvers net and back into the lake !!!! Looking round I could see Dave’s shoulders shaking and I’m sure that Clive was grinning, It looked like it was going to be one of those day again.:rolleyes:

Next up came a hand sized skimmer, no real compensation, but at least I actually had something in the net, but as I looked round Dave was carefully playing what was obviously a Carp that he’d hooked on the feeder. Of course I wished him well in his efforts to land it, meaning of course that the hook instantly gave way Did I laugh?…………..you bet I did. :ROFLMAO: Then a pattern started to form for me, I’d take a couple of silvers and then a Carp would be foul hooked and charge off at a rate of knots, before the rig would come flying back with a scale attached to the hook.

Clive was looking down his margin line, hoping some fish would turn up for him like they had on Friday, but it didn’t seem to be happening for him today ……​


Dave was the next to join me with a foul hooker, and this fish was ripping lots of elastic from his pole ……​


…… however the gods appeared to be smiling down on him as after a prolonged tug of war a double figure fish slid into his landing net ……​


As the match wore on things never really picked up for me, it was just a case of rotating between my swims and hoping that something decent would turn up among the silvers ……​


Of the leaders going into the second day, Steak was having trouble keeping fish out of the bushes, and although he got a few decent ones out he lost an awful lot more and smashed a top kit. I couldn’t see his partner Webbo as he was tucked away on 14. Dai was opposite on Peg 31 and while he wasn’t catching a lot, those that were coming to the net appeared to be decent sized fish and his partner Steve W seemed to be taking fish on a regular basis ……​


Dave Moore started to pick up weigher’s as the day wore on, and he walked past me with every one of them :cry: this one proving to be the best of the bunch at around 15 lbs…​

I could see my partner Tricky up on peg 19 along with John on Peg 20, but it looked as if we were on our way to finishing nowhere in the scheme of thing, just like last year in fact ……​


Clive finally found a few fish, and was lead a merry dance by one of them as it dived under his keepnets, undaunted Clive managed to extract it and finally had it safely in the net……​


As the match wound down it was Carp 8 Peter 0 and the scales on my sidetray weren’t enough to complete the jigsaw of a whole Carp. I did manage 3 more decent Bream before the end, but if I’m honest I was quite relieved when John rang the fishery bell for the All-Out at 5 pm. I soon had my kit packed away and back to the car park before I set off to catch up with the Weigh-In.

It had started from Peg 34 as usual where Dave the Fish had put 48½lbs on the scales, Simps had 39½lbs while Pete(crayfishtraps) on 37 recorded 20½lbs and Nick 36 lbs from 38. Malc had made the most of the Wind blowing into Peg 40 with a fine 121 lbs that would take the honours today. A shock was that Gem had only a single fish of 4½lbs from peg 2 saving us all from a MINXING. Bazza followed with 40¼lbs and Kev had 57 lbs from Peg 5. Alex only managed 35 lbs on Peg 7 but Terry had 71 lbs from Peg 8. Steak was ruing lost fish with 40 lbs and my silvers registered just 13 lbs. Dave Moore ended with 59¼lbs and Clive just 21 lbs. Webbo’s fish weighed 62½lbs and Budgie just 5½lbs from Peg 15. Tony had enjoyed his day on Peg 18 with 94¼lbs giving him 2nd today. My partner Tricky had 27¼lbs with Jon just behind with 26½lbs. Al had a better day today with 56¾lbs, but Paul could only muster 11 lbs. On 25 Scott managed 44 lbs but Steve W’s 71¾lbs gave him 3rd overall. Keith had a level 48 lbs and Terry 55¾lbs. Dai finished with 56½lbs and finally Ant had 66¾lbs to get another result over Simps.

With that it was back to the hut, and after a brief wait while Dave worked out the results we were finally ready for the results to be read out, pools to be paid out and the trophies awarded by Mr Maggotdrowning himself , Dave(Webbo)Webster to the winning team of………..​


Dai Thomas & Steve Wilson
Congratulations to them both, coming from 4 points behind on day 1 to take victory from Steak & Webbo by 5 points.

Finally a few words of Thanks are due to the following people……John, Pauline & Ollie for allowing us the use of their superb fishery during the weekend.
Dave Webster, for bringing us all Maggotdrowning.com and organising the whole weekend.
Finally, all those Maggotdrowners that took part, the weekend wouldn’t be the success it is without all of you.(y)

Pairs Result
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Saturday Result
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Sunday Result
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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 
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