Have Corn Will Travel Part 5


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
Marsh AC Hartleylands Peartree 01.06.2019

The next instalment in the Marsh AC Calendar saw us face our longest trek for a club match, Hartleylands Farm is situated in Cranbrook, Kent. A lot of changes have taken place over the last couple of years and slowly I think the new owners are getting it right.
I arranged to pick Mick up at 5am and after reaching junction 12 of the M1 we were at a stop, slowly crawling along as Junction 11a was closed. On arrival the emergency services were busy clearing up the debris and spilt liquids across the motorway. A simple off and on the other side saw us back on track but with 20 minutes lost. The remainder of the trip was uneventful and by 7am we were pulling into the Knoxbridge cafe for a deserved full English breakfast. Simon and Gino were already there, along with a lot of other anglers fishing a charity match at Monks Lake.With our stomach's full and our throats watered we took the short trip to Hartleylands.
On arrival the biggest decision was how to peg it, odds or evens, small groups, etc. Why is this difficult?
Finally Josh," its all your fault" Donovan made the call and odds it was. Peg 15 we were told was the place to be, apparently, so Mick promptly pulls it out of the bag.A short walk and an island directly in front of him within pole range. I must admit I would have jogged to it. Don't do running!! My hand went in and peg 29, the longest walk but at least I would not be able to see Mick. I had the end of the island directly in front of me but a lot of fluff on the water which would cling to the line and clog up my rod rings eventually.
I set up a pellet waggler to fish the island, A couple of shallow rigs, Drennan crystal dibbers to .17 size 16 banded to fish to yellow KND elastics, trying these out since snapping a couple of white hydros on my last outing. A couple of margin rigs one for 3ft to the right and another 2ft to the left. Both were MW Hi Viz Margins to .17 with a .15 Hooklength size 16 KKM.
Baitwise I had 3 pints 4mm pellets for feed, 6mm pellets for the hook fishing long. Corn to the right margin and meat to the left edge.
For company I had Reverand Tony Roberts on peg 27, 25 was empty with Mark Fox on 23, a good peg between the islands. Gino, Chris T and Simon were on the left hand side.

My match started with a couple of pouches of pellets to the edge of the island, followed by my pellet waggler, a couple of quick dips on the float which I suspected were small silvers and the fluff clinging to the line and rings saw this go up the bank after around 20 minutes. Gino next door had a couple of good fish fishing the tip, Tony had snared one on the waggler, whilst Chris T was trying to mug any of the cruising carp in his peg. Foxy further up the lake had a couple of fish shallow.
A look shallow, again, saw small dips from silvers, a look down the left meat edge saw my first carp, a ghostie around 2lb, before the silvers moved in again. A look down the right hand corn edge saw a couple of skimmers. I had to make a decision. I decided to fish slapping a shallow rig feeding a few pellets after every bite. A few good sized roach took the 6mm pellet with odd carp coming to the net. Tony had snared a carp weighing 10lb. Chris T was still mugging and slapping for odd fish., Gino's early fish had subsided with only odd fish gracing his net. Simon had managed to snap his 13m section but was still catching. John had packed up early as he had a family event to see to but had set the stall with 71lb 12oz on the scales. I was still nicking odd fish, none of which were over 2lb. A look down the margins in the last hour saw only silvers.
At the all out Mark Fox had caught well throughout and snapping his waggler rod before the start seemed to be divine intervention, catching most of his fish slapping an 8mm pellet.

John's weight was good enough for 2nd on the day despite him finishing 2 hours early. He certainly knows how to fish floaters. Chris T took 3rd place to maintain his good form since joining the club.
1st Mark Fox 94-08 Section
2nd John Holdsworth 71-12 Section
3rd Chris Thomas 71-00
4th Simon Watkins 58-00
5th Clive Pritchard 52-12 Section
6th Josh Donovan 48-00
7th Mick Wright 45-08
8th Keith Ashby 44-00
9th Tony Roberrts 42-04
10th Terry Goff 35-08
11th Gino Exell 29-12
12th Jim Boase 10-04
13th Chris Withall 7-00
14th Rod Turner DNW

Another close match all around but to be honest not the weights we would have expected from the venue. I think the fish had other plans with the warm weather kicking in their hormones. Well done to all the framers and section winners. On a personal note I lost another MK Nugget by a single fish, Mick leading 6-2 now.
I have a few more days at work before we go for a week at Todber Manor, another learning curve but it is always nice to get out and about. Next match in the Marsh Calendar is Alders Farm on the 22nd of June.



Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
It has been a busy month for both Mick and I, travelling to Hartleylands Farm and Todber Manor for a week away with the lads, highly recommended, and a local match at Alders Farm.
Now I am first to admit I like Alders Farm and have over the years spent a lot of time there, fishing the midweek opens and guesting on various leagues if time allows. So a match on Ash should be right up my street, but looking back through the blog reports I have not been there since early April, a long time in the fishing world. Mick was in the same boat so the MK Nugget should be interesting. Mick was leading 7-3 going into today, but the sun was out and not a ripple to be seen. Could be good all round or the kiss of death.
Arriving at the fishery I was surprised by the amount of cars by the shop, everyone getting in early for breakfast. The Alders Farm breakfast is right up there with the best we have, good clean surroundings, smiling faces and plenty of scrag to get you through the day. I was asked to place the pegs into the tin and with 17 anglers, mostly members plus a few guests in worked out to leave a few of the lesser pegs out and give everyone a bit of room.

Dave started taking the pools money and I took the names and peg numbers, second or third name in and Mick is grinning like a Cheshire cat, peg 30, probably the most consistent peg on the lake. I do not know how he does it.
I was left with peg 20, which I was quite happy with, plenty of room, as no one on 19. Peg 18 was home to Tony Roberts, Clive was on 21 but was planning to fish around and in the fallen tree.
My highlight of the day was whilst talking to the Tony about life in general a Red Admiral butterfly settled onto my nose, strange and something that has never happened to me before.
I set up a margin rig to the right for maggot late on, a rig for fishing top three with corn on the deck, a shallow rig with a bulk to fish top two to hand with pellet, a deep 12m rig and another shallow rig for fishing long.
Fishery pellets would form the bulk of my feeding on the long lines both via a cup, toss pot or catapult. Corn by hand on top three and pots of maggots late on down the edge.
At the all in I cupped in around a quarter pot of 4mm fishery sinkers and went straight over with a 6mm banded pellet on the hook, float settles and within a minute I had my first fish around 3lb, another followed around 10 minutes later but nothing else after 30 minutes. I had started throwing a few grains of corn to top three line and went over it quite early, a couple of quick carp and after an hour I reckoned on 6 fish for around 15lb. Clive was picking up odd fish from his open water lines rotating them to keep fish coming but they were smaller fish. I was impressed with his jungle skills today, complete with his "Tenko" hat

Tony was nicking odd fish on corn at 2 plus 2 whereas my line had dried up. I had a quick 10 minutes in the margin to my right but geese were climbing in and out disturbing it every time I had a look and no fish were forthcoming. A look shallow and pinging a few pellets I was able to slap my way to a few fish. All peas in a pod, 2.5lb to 3lb fish.
I could see Foxy catching on peg 4 and Madd was getting a few fish.

Nick Pringle had come off his long lines and was now concentrating on his short line towards peg 27. Chris T was suffering on peg 25 but soon worked out a method to eliminate foul hookers and was catching well. Both Mick on peg 30 and Pete Morton were catching well with both having over 40 fish each.

Gino had been exiled into peg 12, a good peg when the wind blows in, but even with no wind there seemed to be a lot of resident fish in the peg.

I was still getting regular bites on the shallow rig but missing a lot, regular changes to depth allowed me to keep in touch with a few fish. Each time I fed I would get a lot of fizzing in the peg, and I suspected they were skimmers up in the water, and this proved correct with a couple of fish around 12oz falling to the banded pellet.

At the all out I felt as if I had done as much as I could from the peg on the day. A ripple would have helped as I am sure fish were sometimes backing off, with a pole over their heads. I need to practice shallow fishing without the "slap" as I think this may have nicked a couple of extra fish. Clive had caught a few fish but it was hard for him down the edges. Lost fish had cost Tony and it was a case of pinch a fish from one line then move to another, rotation seemed to be the key.
Talking about Tony, He was heard to be cursing a lot during this match, missed bites, lost fish, treading on his top kits, heart going out of sync ( Beta blockers sorted it out) then losing his car keys. Jim come back soon as he needs his carer.
1st Mick Wright 153-08
2nd Pete Morton 144-00
3rd Nick Pringle 133-00
4th Phil Young 103-04
5th Chris Thomas 93-08
6th Gino Exell 88-08
My weight of 72-08 was nowhere near, I am getting close to where I want to be, but am thinking of going back to what I know. Decisions. We shall see. Well done to all the framers and section winners, Mark Fox, Phil Young, Chris T and Mick. Mick has now taken his lead to 8-3 and the sun had come out to play. Boy, can he draw.
All photos have been supplied by Pete Morton who took 30 minutes out of day to capture the moments possibly costing him the match win.


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
One of the reasons I go fishing is to fish different venues, venues I would never normally fish. Sometimes they are large expanses of water like Meadowlands or Black Horse, other times smaller lakes like Tofts or the strip lakes at Linford. Mick chose today's venue, Ellie's Lake at Grendon Fishery in Northamptonshire. We had fished the complex of seven lakes about 5 years ago and we both suffered a blank in winter. Mick has been back a couple of times since and revealed a lake with a good head of Bream and Tench, and they grew big. Bream to 12lb and Tench 8lb plus.
Meeting Mick at his house we travelled in our own cars to the venue.Mick had already obtained the padlock number from the bailiff and we were there. Ellie's lake is the first lake you reach on the left hand side before the main gates. It is a dog legged lake which has approximately 6 or 7 pegs on it, a mixture of hard standing and natural pegs. Reed lined and with a good depth. Fishing is only from one bank.
We settled into the second and third pegs and parked behind them. unloading the car I could see how clear the water was. Looking out to top three, not only could you see the bottom, you could see where the drop off was.Although my main line of attack would be the pole I also set up a feeder rod, just to kick start the session.

At the start I went out on the feeder approximately 2/3rds of the way across the lake, A couple of small indications but nothing after 20 minutes. Mick had started on the pole and was in straight away after scattering his feed pellets in a rather large area, his first fish being a bream of 6.5lb.

I had fed 4 balls of groundbait onto a line line at 9m. I had a good depth, just under a top kit and with a light right to left breeze, I could hold it still quite easily by going 3 inches over depth. Arming the hook with a grain of corn, I got my first bite after 5 minutes. Unfortunately this came off, checked my hook and looked good. Back out and my float went again, a good solid bite, this time I made no mistake and my first Ellie's Bream was in the net. Another fish of 6.5lb to match Mick's earlier fish.

After an hour I had that single Bream and a Tench around 4lb and lost another couple of Bream.
Mick was catching odd fish and catching on an 8mm Robin Red pellet over his 4mm sinking feed pellet, neither of us were in bagging mode, fishing of this type rarely is. We are talking big fish, gin clear conditions and foul hooked fish definitely spook any remaining fish in your peg.A couple of hours followed where all I could muster was a few Rudd.
I had all of my fish over my groundbait whereas Mick's fish were coming from a large area of his peg. I started another line at 11m and started feeding pellets, it was working for Mick and was worth a go.

The difference in depth was quite large so I added a length of line allowing for some to be spare and keeping the pole tip away from the float. Due to the clear water it was possible the fish could see the pole tip.
After 10 minutes of feeding and fishing I had my second Bream on a 6mm banded pellet. By chopping and changing baits I managed another couple of Bream, all of them between 6 and 7lb. Another Tench around 5lb finished my day.

As I said earlier bites were at a premium yet worth it as you always felt there was a proper fish on the end of it. My total of 5 Bream, Two Tench and a few Rudd, could have been more as I lost 5 Bream. Mick ended up with 8 Bream, a small Tench and a micro Perch.
I will definitely be going back, as apart from there being a little noise from strimming the grass and mowing the lawns on the caravan/campsite it was peaceful and no-one else around. Peace and Quiet Reign.


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
After a couple of pleasure sessions after some good bream and tench ( I did not write about the last trip as a certain Mr Wright blanked and I did not want to mention it) it was nice to get back on the club match scene.Both Mick and I had missed the previous match at Orchard Place, so it was good to get out again. The venue, Puddledock Farm near Upminster Essex. We have both fished here before but on the other lakes, Road and Island, so it was nice to get the chance to fish the snake lake. Reports from the venue were sparse but I was led to believe, carp around the 3lb mark were the target with the odd bigger fish.
Mick was driving and as Puddledock is this side of the Thames we get a lie in. Mick arriving at 0615 to allow for breakfast opening times at the Puddledock cafe at 0730. A rather uneventful trip down and we were pulling into the car park at 0730. Bang on Time. The weather had changed from the previous few days of glorious sunshine and muggy weather to plenty of rain and thunder. It was on the turn and although the forecast was for better weather as the day wore on, it was hard to believe on the way down that after the rain a heatwave was predicted.
There were only 10 of us in attendance but we all had a bit of room with pegs 1 to 30 allocated to us. It allowed everyone a spare peg next to them either side.As is the norm, Mick dropped his paw into the hat nice and early and drew peg 6, me and peg 12. It meant nothing to either of us. On reaching my peg I noticed a few little cut outs on the far bank with sedges and reeds across. The same was on the near side bank making the margins a little difficult, especially not knowing the rules on gardening your peg.
Peg 12 and home for the day
I had read or seen a video of someone fishing Puddledock Snake before and had logged this in the memory bank for days like today. I planned to fish 6mm banded pellets across in around 18 inches of water tight to the bank, I set up another rig for fishing just in front of the sedges in 2ft of water and another rig for 11m line at the bottom of the shelf. I also set up a line at 2 plus 1 for fishing meat.
For company I had the two Tony's. Tony Roberts on peg 10 with Tony Watkins on peg 14, although the latter was saying from the off the he has never used to coloured sections on his pole before.
With the all in sounded I decided to ping a few 4mms over to the far bank and leave it for a while, preferring to start off on the 2 plus 1 line and the meat. After a couple of minutes, a small stockie was in the net, tiny fish that were going 5 or 6 to the pound. At least I was putting a few fish in the net whilst I watched what was going on around me, both Tony's had started across with the same reaction, small stockies. A switch to a 6mm pellet saw my first "proper" carp around 2lb come to the net, Another few stockies and another 2lb fish saw me sitting on around 7lb after an hour's fishing.
The second and third hours were spent across starting off at 11m for a few stockies and gradually coming up the shelf towards the far bank. There were plenty of bites from the stockies but each time I lifted the pole tip I was snagged in the sedge grasses or the reeds across. Shortening the line from pole tip helped and changing to a light elastic worked better to reduce the snagging. I was now catching small stockies across and a few good roach but although beating those either side, I was nowhere near a decent weight expected from the lake. Both Tony's also were heard cursing the wind and snagging the far bank features.
It was at this point in the match that I made the decision to fish the 2 plus 1 line again with pellets, feeding 4s and fishing 6s. I was getting indications every put in, bumping a few fish on green KND, which again I thought in hindsight was wrong and should have approached the venue with the stockies in mind rather than the bigger 2lb fish. However, every now and again a better fish would muscle in and take the bait. Steadily I was putting a low weight together, but those around me were also struggling so I did not know how the lake was fishing, It was a case of heads down and catch what I can until the end. I spent 15 minutes down the edges in the last hour but getting the float right into the edge was difficult with the near side reeds and long grasses. A single small roach was to show for my efforts.
Chris Thomas fishing to the mud line
At the all out I thought I had fished it correctly, switching lines and rotating. My feeding was good considering the wind and breeze. A few tackle choices affected the fishing on the day, in hindsight I would have fished things a lot lighter, elastics, lines hooklengths etc.
1st Josh Donovan 65-00
2nd Clive Pritchard 56-12
3rd Chris Thomas 38-00
4th Keith Ashby 36-08
5th Tony Roberts 28-08
6th John Holdsworth 27-08
7th Tony Watkins 23-00
8th Mick Wright 22-00
9th Dave Collier 9-00
10th Rod Turner 5-00
Clive with part of his 56lb catch
Mick's catch of 22lb.
Well done to the Framers and to Josh and Clive for there section winning performances. Mick had to pass over a MK Nugget to take the score to 8-4. Not sure how long my run will continue but every run has to start with the first step. I must admit I think we all got it wrong on the day, expecting good fish and good weights, lack of local knowledge made it awkward to assess the lake. But we will be better prepared next time.


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
I had booked a days holiday way back in February for Monks Lake 1. I have only fished it once and then I was pegged right at the top of the spit where it goes round the corner, peg 12 I think was. I did not do very well that day, ending up about 5th or 6th if I remember correctly. Today was all about putting some fish in the net.
I had travelled down on my own, Troy was working, Kris on holiday and Mick recovering from being harpooned. I made good time and with little or no delays. For once the M1/M25 and M2 combination seemed to work. Arriving just behind Tony into the car park and laughing to myself that he missed the turning. Still at least when I reach his age, I still hope to be driving.A bacon baguette and a mug of tea later I was ready. My positive mental attitude had kicked in.
There was another couple of matches on the other lakes 2 and 3 and a few pleasure anglers bivvied up on lake 4 so parking was a bit tight but we all managed to squeeze in and unload the tackle. With monies taken and the pegs decided on, it was draw time. Peg 7 for me, a couple of pegs from where I was last time. I had caught then down the edges but the lake looked well down since then. Terry was sitting on that peg , whilst Josh was on Micks winning peg (8)from last year. I was not sure where the sections run from though as for some strange reason we had 5 on one side of the spit and 7 on the other.
I tackled up to fish top fours and a long line if the wind stopped enough. It was blowing from left to right into the car park bank. I set up a couple of rigs .3g and .5g MW Hi Viz Margins to .19 to .15 KKMB hook length in size 14.. Another set for fishing the longer 11m line where there was very little difference in depth. a couple of margin rigs finding 18 inches of water, tight in I barely had 6 inches. A shallow rig for slapping finished off the set ups. In hindsight I think I should have set up a method rod for across to the empty far bank. Bait would be the usual array of pellets, 4s, 6s and 8s. I had also cubed up 3 tins of meat.
At the all in I cupped in a pot of mixed 4s and 6s onto the long line and top four line, I put a pot to the empty pallet next door permanent peg 15 but added a few cubes of meat.
Starting off on the top fours with an 8mm banded pellet, I did not need to wait long for my first bite, a skimmer around 10oz, out again and another. Then nothing. A look to the pallet and a carp around 5lb on 8mm cube of meat. Re-feeding the pallet line I stopped the 4s and 6mm pellets and fed a pot of 8mm pellets and meat. Back onto the top four and another carp around 3lb. An hour in I had 2 carp and 3 skimmers for around 10lb, not the start I wanted. Terry had caught a good fish and Gino was catching well on the tip. Josh had not had a fish and was fretting about blanking. Behind me Clive and Tony were picking off odd fish.
I kept plugging away and found that by adding a few inches to the rig I could hold it still. The tow was quite strong and by holding it still the bites were positive dips on the float. The only issue I had was a lot of them were foul hooked fish but it was a balance that worked. Running the float through would not get a bite, holding it still would get a bite with a 50/50 ratio of foul hookers.
Terry was now catching carp from all over the peg, Josh had started catching a few carp and out performing both Gino on his right and myself. Chris, a bit further down was catching silvers and was bagging.
By the all out I had secured 12 carp and a few skimmers. I have foul hooked and lost around 6 carp which has cost me today.
1st John Holdsworth 91-04
2nd Gino Exell 82-04
3rd Dave Collier 75-08
4th Josh Donovan 71-12
5th Chris Withall 60-00
6th Keith Ashby 56-00
Chairman Dave fished for 6hrs and 75lb
Is that it!!!!!!!!!
Clive and part of his 53lb
Just sneaking into the top half with 56lb
Josh with part of his 71lb
Gino into 2nd place with 82lb of method fish
Chris and 41lb of silvers
Foxy and a 16lb lump
Well done to all the framers and section winners but especially to John whose catch included 38lb of silvers on dead reds and later on with corn. However, John,s weight was surpassed by Chris, who placed 41lb of silvers onto the scales. An extremely good weight on a difficult day.
Next match is at Colemans Cottage on Stepfield Lake in a fortnight, hopefully Mick will be able to attend and we can resume our nugget matches.


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
It's the end of an era, Marsh AC were attending their final match at Coleman's Cottage. It has had its highs and lows for yours truly but over the years I have grown to like it. Gerry and Jayne have been fully supportive of our club's endeavours. Hosting Kev's 50th a few years back, John has his annual fish in with his extended family and generally good times have been had by all. But it all must come to an end, turning the lakes into a members only complex and freeing up valuable time for the owners.
I travelled the 90 miles to Witham without Mick, who was still recuperating. Kris and Troy were still away and I was looking forward to fishing Stepfield Lake. We had fished it before and I have done alright without setting any records. I found that it was either shallow across or down the edges.
No headaches on the motorways, allowed me to make good time and pulling into the car park I was not the first to arrive. Gino, Chris, Josh and Terry were already awaiting full English Breakfasts being busily prepared in the adjacent kitchen. With my order placed and a mug of tea in hand, we were soon reminiscing of times gone by.
A quick chat with Gerry said which lake we were on and how it had been fishing. The locals catching well in excess of 200lbs. This would not happen unless the right angler was on the right peg. Draw time saw peg 22 stick to me mitt. Very close to where I was last year. Walking back to the car and unloading the tackle I was surprised to see everyone driving past to a different Stepfield. A few words were passed and the confusion of the "Stepfields" was resolved with a lot of returning cars.
My peg looked no different to any of the other pegs on the lake,with the exception of 8 and 10 either side of the bush in the corner. A noted flyer. I would need to fish well and stay focused on what I was doing. I set up a couple of rigs for 11m due to the wind, 5m and 4m coupled with a shallow slapping rig. I also wanted to fish the margins but with only around 8 inches of depth I was sceptical. However, a carp coming in and searching for food prior to the kick off made my mind up to set up either side on top threes.
My plan was to fish 8mm pellets everywhere in the peg but hardly feed anything. My thought process was the fish were already in the margins looking for food and I did not want too many fish in the peg, instead just fishing and catching one at a time, feed then switch sides and repeat.
I had Terry,on end peg and Tony either side of me, with dangermen Josh and Tony a couple further down. At the all in, I cupped in on the longer lines and seeing a fish in the right margin, threw three 6mm pellets in and waited. A minute later the float dipped and fish number one was on and a 3lb common was soon gracing the fishery supplied nets. Three more pellets and out again, same thing happens, things were looking good. Terry was into his first fish. After three fish, I had fed around 15 pellets and could see fish milling around looking for food. A switch to the left hand side, this time feeding 8mm pellets to see if there was any difference to catch rate or size of fish.Still feeding 3 pellets at a time, After an hour I reckoned on having around 30lb and was going fish for fish with Terry from what I could see. Every time I was facing him he was catching steadily. Tony however was struggling to put a run together, he had lots of fish in his peg and was foul hooking fish regularly. I could see further down the straight and Tony was putting fish in the net but I could not see Josh.
With regular feeding and keeping it tight I was able to keep drawing odd fish into the swim and have a back up margin line should one go quiet. After three hours I reached for an additional net, thinking I was close to the net limits. At this point my landing net thread came away from the plastic shroud of the frame of the net. No amount of pushing it back it worked. I looked for some electrical tape but nothing. So I just took my time netting fish, using the net similarly to a trout angler would with his tennis racket net. It was funny to see.
It was only after the match Terry says I have some electrical tape!!!!!!
Still I was catching, fish between 1 and 3lb with the odd five pounder thrown in and felt a steady ton was on the cards despite all my frustrations.
At the all out I had fished a tidy match, considering. I was happy and felt the only thing I would have done differently is catch bigger fish, but we have no say over that. Packing up and walking back it was interesting to see all the Pinocchio's trying to get their stories together. Best one was a certain person claiming 45lb and doubling it.
A lot of the stories revolved around having too many fish in their pegs and they could not catch them, on interrogation it pans out they had all fed pots of bait at the start and this drew in lots of fish, churning up the shallow water and foul hookers as a result. My softly softly approach worked out fine.
1st Keith Ashby 138-08
2nd Josh Donovan 94-00
3rd Tony Roberts 87-00
4th Terry Goff 77-00
5th Gino Exell 76-08
6th Jim Boase 69-08
Well done to all the framers and section winners and looking forward to Puddledock Road Lake in a couple of weeks.


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Well done Keith, nice way to sign off the last match at Colemans Cottage. It's provided some good memories for the Marsh Club over the years, :upthumb: