Have Corn will Travel Part 8

keith

Gandhi
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After missing the last round of Marsh AC matches due to being away with the Yam Yams, I was looking forward to catching up with a few of the lads at a venue I have done well at before, albeit I only fish it once maybe twice a year. Still Puddledock must like me. Mick was away for this match cruising the Midland Canals on a barge, with his sense of direction, I feel for the other canal users.
It takes around 70 minutes to get to Puddledock, just outside Havering, Essex from Milton Keynes so started off at 0615 to allow plenty of time for breakfast and a quick look in the on site tackle shop. Unfortunately, I never got to do either, for some reason I got talking to a total stranger and the time just passed, Marsh anglers arriving regularly, all wanting to laugh at my exploits from my trip away. Still it was all in good faith and nothing was meant.
At the draw I was given peg 22, not really where I fancied as the wind was blowing up into the high teens and generally the fish follow the wind. Still on arrival at my peg I was pleasantly surprised, there were a few fish cruising around that hopefully would succumb to the slap,


My plan was to go across on the waggler to start with and nick a few early fish, then come onto the 5m line and sack up, following the fish back across the lake to 12m, before coming down the edge in the last hour to empty it again. Never bloody worked.


For company, I had Josh on 23, Gino on 20, Kyle on 19 and Terry on 17, the latter three were all in my section. I decided to start off on the waggler, as per plan but after struggling with the left to right breeze, I felt I could not present the bait correctly. I stuck it out for 20 minutes and one bite or it could have been line drag but importantly no fish.A look onto the 5m line feeding 4mm pellets and fishing a 6mm over the top brought bites at dead depth but again no fish, changes to shotting patterns and depths did not work and I was stumped as to why, I tried a shallow rig over the to top, no bites. steadily going deeper til the bottom where bites started again. I could only get a bite on the deck but still could not hit them. Putting it down to small silvers pecking away at the 6mm pellet, I gave up earlier than expected and went out to 12m.
Gino and Kyle had both caught a carp each, Terry had sneaked one in, All three were in my fancied pegs area. Both Josh and I were both struggling, I could get bites but not connect with them. Swapping hook lengths for lighter ones made no difference. Then out of the blue a small stockie around 12oz graced my net, before another around 2lb. Both caught on 6mm pellet, Josh then had a carp. We were both suffering a fair few foul hookers. But it was getting us positive and connecting bites, so it was a case of sticking with it and hopefully they would get there heads down and feed properly.
I started pinging around 15 4mm pellets around the float, spreading the shotting and fishing a small, 6mm pellet. Lifting and dropping a couple of inches would get odd bites and I started putting a couple of fish in the net. I was sure my three keepnets were not going to get used to their full potential today. With an hour to go I dropped into my margin line, fed with groundbait and a few grains of corn, nothing.
Kyle was getting a few late down the edge and I thought he would win the section with myself or Terry second. Gino had really struggled and was admitting to 6lb. I thought I had between 20 and 30lb. Josh although not in my section was doing the same, it was close. Fortunately I sneaked home in the section. That's all you can do to start with.


Overall
1st Tony Roberts 74-00 Section Winner
2nd Chris Thomas 62-00
3rd Mark Fox 37-08
4th John Holdsworth 32-08 Section Winner
5th Keith Ashby 25-04 Section Winner
6th Kyle Deane 22-08
A very frustrating day was had by all, the top three anglers all coming from one the opposite side bank where the wind was blowing in. And if you put good anglers in good pegs they will perform well. Well done to the framers and section winners.
Next Marsh match is at Claygate Lakes on Eva, not one of my favourite venues, but it has a good head of fish, both carp and F1's. Hopefully Mick will be there and the MK Nugget can resume.
 

keith

Gandhi
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Another match with the Marsh AC lads and another long drive, getting quite used to it now. Mick made the decision not to attend as the drive is too much for him. And with Covid 19 still present and the both of us declared as vulnerable it is a wise decision. So with a couple of hours drive ahead I set off around 0545 planning to arrive at 0800. Arriving a little ahead of time I was able to have a cup of tea before the draw.

We had been given all of the front bank, pegs 19 -36 and with a dozen of us in attendance we could leave out some of poorer pegs. I had previously stated that the end peg was a either brilliant or absolute garbage dependant of the wind. It is at the end of an arm, from 33 to 36 can be poor and the further down the arm you go the worse it gets.So those selecting the pegs decided to leave it out and make peg 33 the end peg, at the entrance to the arm.

I let Dave, the Chairman, draw for me as he has done it so well throughout the season. Peg 33 and not where I hoped to be. But I had a bit of room with no-one to my left. I had Josh on 32, Chris T on 31 and Clive on 29, all in my section. All more than capable of winning the section, let alone the match.


I set up a couple of rigs for the margins, top of the shelf and bottom of shelf. A 4m line, just off the end of my keepnets for meat, a pellet line at 6m and a line at 11m both up and down. Bait was corn, meat, pellets and a few maggots left over from the previous days pleasure session.







Starting off on the meat line at 4m, feeding 3 or 4 cubes every couple of minutes, I had a small tench and a perch after 20 minutes but none of the carp or F1s I was hoping for. A look long on 6mm pellet both up and down never produced a bite all day. I was struggling and with an hour gone I had a couple of tench and one perch.

Josh and Chris had been catching as I could hear the splashing in the shallow water. So I was up against it. The banter was flowing between the pair of them and at times it was funny just listening to them. Coupled that with a young family on the far bank pleasure pegs, running around and screaming at the top of their young voices made for a memorable day. I could not see any further down the bank to the early pegs but word was Foxy was catching well and Dave had nicked a good carp.

I decided to concentrate on one area of the peg at 6m on pellets, dotting the float down to a dimple, I would lift at any movement of the bristle. The bottom of the lake was very silty and I was thinking the bait may be sinking into the silt. When I got a bite I could see a few bubbles approaching, then a small indication on the float, With a normal bristle set up I am sure I would have missed these bites, or waited longer for it to go under. Slowly I was putting together a few fish, some just after you fed and the light elastic just ripping out of the pole, other times waiting for the bubbles. F1s around the 2lb mark and with the halfway mark approaching I reckoned on having 25lb in the net, consisting of 5 tench, one perch and 10 F1s. Similar to Josh who was catching on the tip and pole across to the island.

I would catch a couple of fish before it would cool off, I made another decision at this time to stop feeding meat close in and start feeding pellets, in hindsight a poor move, I think the fish were comfortable away from the bankside disturbances.But what it did do was give me the chance to come away from the 6m catching line and rest it. Because I could not monitor how the fishing was, I was fishing a bit blind, Foxy was still catching, Josh, Chris or Clive were catching but I could not which one of them.So it was a case of just plugging away, nicking odd fish and ringing the changes. Switching from fishing 6mm to 8mm, feeding a couple of 6mm in with the 4mm, adjusting shotting from spread to bulk and vice versa, fishing up and down. All changes whenever there was a quiet spell.

I was pleased when the whistle went, my head was hurting from the family opposite and thought I was well battered by Josh and Chris.Then Tony came down to help with the weigh in, moaning about the poor day he had and how everyone else had struggled. My spirits lifted and now my (in my head estimate) of 50lb was looking good, Josh was admitting to 60lb and to be fair he is normally pretty close with his calls.

Overall



  1. Keith Ashby 57-12 Section Winner
  2. Josh Donovan 56-10
  3. Mark Fox 51-12 Section Winner
  4. Jim Boase 30-08
  5. Chris Thomas 29-08
  6. Dave Collier 27-00
  7. Terry Goff 23-08 Section Winner
Overall the lake fished as it always does, poor in most areas, just odd catches here and there.It maybe because the we only have half a lake and pleasure anglers on the opposite banks on a small venue, nearly every peg was in on our side with very little room. A lot of the pleasure anglers were catching odd fish, fishing a feeding floating baits, as I saw a few dog biscuits skirt by. It may be we got OUR tactics wrong and our expectations are too high. Still I am not too proud to claim a win, but did I enjoy it, not really.
 

keith

Gandhi
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As the alarm clock went off at 0500 for the Orchard Place match, I reconciled it with the fact it was the last of the long drives. Two hours driving to a venue and two hours back is fine with a bit of company but was really starting to take its toll on me. Social distancing and other's health issues compounding everything. Still we continue on.

Orchard Place is a set of lakes sitting in the middle of nowhere near Paddock Wood. We had secured the spit on Lake 6. Normally a brilliant area of the lake, but on arrival, the far banks of the lake were solid, nearly every peg was taken and still people were arriving. Bivvies scattered around the lake, bed chairs and rod pods everywhere. At least the spit was clear of anglers.

We only had 9 of us, so more of a knock up than a match, a few working, one moving house and a few others doing other things. But those in attendance were more than capable of winning, so I still had to work hard and think about my match. I had peg 2 drawn for me, along the straight on the left hand bank.


Not really where i would have liked to be and even offered to swap pegs with Tony behind me. I had Rod, Clive and Jim in my section. Dave, Tony, Chris, John and Terry would make up the other section.



My match would be based around 4 and 6mm hard pellets, a good simple match, feeding 4s and fishing 6s. I would be fishing for mainly f1s and odd carp, both up and down in the water at 5m, a couple of margin rigs and a rig for 2 plus 1 on the end of my keepnets.








On my laast match at Claygate, I also found an issue seeing the bites from F1s, the bites were really tiny and only a slight indication on the float. Since that match I came up with the idea of making a float that was stable enough yet had no bristle, just the stem painted up. Shotted with a small bulk of 3 no 8 shot set on top of the 6inch hooklength. Happy to say on the day, this float would be responsible for 85% of my catch.

Starting out on the prototype float at 5m, fishing on the deck in 4ft of water. putting 8 to 10 pellets around the float. Five minutes in and instead of the expected float burying, it lifted, a gentle lift and fish on. A pristine 2lb F1 was soon in the net. A few more fish followed but everyone else around me were struggling. Dave had a good 8lb carp but little else, Clive and Jim were sat motionless. With an hour gone I had around 10 small F1s for 20lb. The second and third hours flew by, just nicking odd fish at 5m. A look on my other lines produced nothing. The fourth hour proved the most successful with nearly a 2lb fish every 5 minutes. I reminded myself that in previous years the fish generally came late, but that was on the bank behind me and not mine. I was putting fish in the net and thought another couple of fish would take me over the ton mark.

I could see the other anglers on the bank behind me, catching a few lumps, Chris was giving it the "oooosssshhh" so I knew he had a few fish. John was catching and through the vegetation Terry was putting a few fish together. Dave and Tony were both getting a few carp late on as expected. I was trying close in and was hoping for a few lumps of my own to bolster my weight. A mistake, I should have stayed out fishing the 5m line, although not prolific, I was catching. Still another lesson learnt.

At the all out, I felt as if I had won my section, but did not know where I was in the match. Some were saying John had caught 20 plus carp, Chris was catching but no one was admitting to anything.


Overall



  1. Keith Ashby 108-00
  2. Chris Thomas 91-08
  3. John Holdsworth 73-04
  4. Terry Goff 56-08
  5. Jim Boase 43-08
  6. Dave Collier 41-04
  7. Tony Roberts 41-00
  8. Clive Pritchard 27-12
  9. Rod Turner 13-00
Another enjoyable day out with the Marsh lads, another section win and 100lb to boot. I am getting to grips with my fishing, my positive mental attitude has returned and although not fishing many opens, they will return in time. Looking after my Grandson, on Wednesdays and Thursdays are enjoyable and well worth giving up two days fishing for. A couple of pleasure days up next, one to Tofts, the other to How End before heading back on my travels to Southend Farm.
 

keith

Gandhi
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As a result of some repairs or maintenance work at Hartleylands Farm, we needed to change our match at the last minute. Southend Farm came up trumps and gave us use of Damsel Lake. 17 pegs and can be a bit tight if all the pegs were in, but it was a lot closer to Milton Keynes and somewhere I like, a good head of skimmers which in turn give lots of bites, a decent amount of carp to give the elastic a good stretch.

It was close enough for Mick to attend and resurrect the MK Nugget match. Vic also requested to fish and as numbers were on the low side for this match, he was welcomed back. Meeting up at Micks at 0630 we took a nice steady run down to Waltham Abbey to the lakes. A little after 0730 and we were parked in the car park and both Mick and Vic were ordering their bacon sandwiches from the site cafe. John was already sat in the cafe and after a quick chat we drove round the corner to the lake car park. Soon after Dave, Tony and Jim arrived with tales of woe on the M25 which must have occurred just after we passed.

A chat with a few locals ensued about methods and peg numbers to use, with Vic and Tony using this info to peg out our match, knock up, gathering, call it what you like. We had 7 anglers who were going to brave the elements, winter is on its way, loads of rain and a bit of a breeze which could turn nasty at any time. Unfortunately 3 of the pegs, the better pegs according to local info, were down a set of steps or a steep slope. I ruled this out as A. I would struggle getting my tackle to the peg and back out, B. very little room to move around. If I drew one of these pegs I would fish somewhere else. Dave and Mick drew the car park bank leaving me with a choice of pegs 1 or 2. Into the draw bag and peg 1 sticks to my paw and I was grateful not to have to choose a peg from the rest of the lake. Jim on 2, Dave 3 and Mick 4. Vic, John and Tony were on the awkward pegs but at least they would have a days fishing.

On arrival at my peg I felt I had too many options, I was tucked away in a small arm, 16m across to the far bank, 14m to a set of reeds, two good looking edges but unable to go long down them plus the obligatory short lines. I had cut a couple of tins of meat (8mm) and opened a tin of corn, a mixture of hard pellets both for feed and hookers, along with around a pint of turning maggots.

I decided to start off on meat at 5m in around 5ft of water, using one of my own .4g diamonds to a size 14 kkmb hook and using the new dura elastic for the first time. A feeding a few cubes of meat and around 20 4mm pellets, a skimmer around 10 ounces graced the net then nothing. a switch to maggot saw a procession of small perch and blade roach. With the rain slowing and becoming more showers, I was able to have a look across, both at 14m to the reed bed and 16m to the far bank. Both lines only gave up a couple of small skimmers around 4oz apiece so I came back to the nearer lines where the stamp of fish were slightly bigger and the catch rate similar( why struggle when you don't have to).

John was catching well from the middle of the 3 awkward pegs, plenty of skimmers, roach and an odd carp. Tony was also catching well with a slightly smaller stamp of fish to John, but was catching regularly. Vic I could not see through the trees but his landing net was visible going back and forth. Mick was catching carp as he does from his close lines and any hopes of me getting an MK Nugget off him were disappearing fast. Dave nicked a couple of carp and a few skimmers, with Jim like me carp less.

By rotating all my lines, I managed to keep a few fish coming throughout the day. I had a carp with around 20 minutes to go which went nearly 7lb and was quite pleased how the Dura elastic coped with it. My weight of 27-12 was never going frame but I did learn a few lessons.

Overall



  1. Mick Wright 72-00
  2. Vic Nugent 71-12
  3. John Holdworth 48-00
  4. Tony Roberts 32-12
  5. Keith Ashby 27-12
  6. Dave Collier 27-04
  7. Jim Boase 22-04
John had the best silvers net with 92 silvers for 37lb Well done to both Mick and Vic on the frame places.

Mick 2
Keith 3

Next up for me is a couple of pleasure sessions with Vic and Pete in Somerset/Devon followed by the last match of the Marsh AC season at Arrans.
 
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