Have Corn will Travel Special Yam Yam week 2020


Site Supporter
Sep 29, 2001
There are certain things we all look forward to each year, special events, holidays etc. This week is one of those, a mixture of both a special event and a holiday feel to it. The festival has been running for a few years now, disappointed with the ways of other festivals it was a chance to bring back the joy of angling, and more importantly the social aspect. Nights out, nights in, surrounded by like minded individuals. A chance to catch up, spending plenty of time with friends.
Thursday 23rd July Spring Lake Viaduct
As the venue is a couple of hours drive away, it was an early start for both Vic and I, we would travel in convoy, due to Covid - 19, protecting ourselves where we can. Meeting up in Buckingham, we left around 0530 for the 2+ hour drive. The plan was to get there for 0830 with a 0900 draw with the rest of the anglers coming from the West Midlands. A nice, steady run down saw us pulling into the venue with 15 minutes to spare to be met by Pete Thompson who had already unloaded his gear. As soon as the car was emptied, the remaining anglers arrived en masse, a parade of fishing wagons filling up the car park.
With old and new acquaintances greeted, it was down to the draw. We had booked Spring Lake for the opening match. This would be an eye opener, few carp but plenty of silvers for those that targeted them. Pete would guest on the match but surprisingly Vic, Del and I would all draw in the same section. Cotty would fill the remaining spot, Cotty on peg 1, me on 2, Del on 3 and Vic on 4. I set up a waggler to fish at full depth towards the aerator, a long pole line at 12m a short 5m line and a line down the edge. Bait would be corn, 6 and 8mm hard pellets.
Starting off on the waggler, I had a couple of good bites and the corn but no fish, a look long also on corn, saw a small 10oz skimmer. I was pinging a few 6mm pellets long and tried an 8mm pellet on the hook, after around 10 minutes another small skimmer. This seemed to be the way things were going, a long wait for a bite, a bite and either a small fish or another long wait. Pinging pellet, toss potting or dumping bait did not seem to make any difference.
All of us were struggling, Cotty had a couple of small skimmers and a roach, Del was plugging away on his GB and skimmer line with dead reds. Vic was also struggling, losing a fish on the bomb and only had a couple of small skimmers to show for his efforts. Bob a little further around, along the spit had nicked a couple of carp, Tim was also getting some decent skimmers and perch on worm hookbaits.
A look on the 5m line with a 6mm pellet saw no improvement in the catch rate or size of fish and I was definitely feeling a more natural bait approach would have been a better option. Down to the inside line, fishing double corn and hoping for a proper lump. I did hook one, which ploughed through the peg and along the rope before the hook straightening.
Cotty sneaked a carp in the last 30 minutes to redeem some pride, Vic had secured a single carp going 4lb, one of the smallest carp in the lake. Del had an enjoyable day catching silvers only and weighing in 21lb to win the section. My weight of 12lb 6oz securing me second in the 4 peg section.
1st Frenchy 78-03
2nd Fred 69-04
3rd Nobby 60-04
4th Bob 48-12
Friday 24th July Campbell Lake Viaduct
After a few beers and a takeaway the previous night, we were up with the lark and raring to go on our first venture of the week on Campbell Lake. We would spend a lot of time on here, with only the Thursday Costcutter and a match on Cary's Lake on the Tuesday to break up the week.
At the draw the chat was all about who would draw the better pegs, from previous years results. My thought was just see where I draw and react accordingly. Peg 128 would be my home. A nice looking peg, which has been severely pruned back. There used to be loads of brambles along the right hand margin and along the spit, now all gone and certainly looks a lot better.

My plan was to fish the bomb with pellet hookbaits for the first hour, then switch to 5m and finally end up down the edges with a couple of hours to go. All feed would be corn, 6 or 8mm pellets.
My section would consist of Bob on 126, Dave W on 130, Chunk on 132 and Mark C on 135. I started off as planned going out on the bomb, trying both single and double 8mm pellets, a robin red and either a standard coppens or a red pellet produce by GOT Baits. A few liners but no fish came, an odd twitch but nothing positive. I tried a few liquids, I had brought with me, The Price is Right, and a Tutti Fruitti glug. The first liquid getting me my first fish around 8lb, before no more bites. A look on the 5m line and a few skimmers on a single 8mm pellet. A look down the edge, both along the bank and into the corner brought nothing. Back onto the bomb and another carp. I was feeding my 5m line regularly with 3 or 4 8mm pellets. Back out with 90 minutes to go and I was picking up odd carp. It was a strange phenomena, nothing in the peg, then a few bubbles appeared and you felt a bite would come, no bubbles no bites. I did however manage to put 60lb in the net within the last 90 minutes, getting me out of jail.
1st Del 164-08
2nd Dave W 155-01
3rd Paul 154-14
4th Fred 152-13

My weight of 78-07 was 3rd in section behind Dave W and Chardy's 120-02. Again, it was a frustrating day, the dominant weights being taken on the bomb and pellet.
Saturday 25th July Campbell Lake Viaduct
A few beers and a takeaway would see us through the previous evening. A few lads went into town and said it felt strange, no one around and very few interacting. I was starting to feel a little unwell, feeling clammy and completely knackered just moving my gear in and out of the car. Still after a little rest I was OK to fish.
Peg 115 on the Cary Bank, opposite where I was yesterday and Soupy had 118lb off it the previous day, so at least it had some form. Albeit late in the day, on the bomb.


"Scared" Steve on 116
My section consisted of Scared Steve on 116, me on 115, Chunk on 126 and Gongo on 125. Opposite pegging. A different plan was hatched and instead of feeding 8mms I was going to try 6mms as a feed, fishing 8mms over the top. Focusing on 5m and the edge but starting off on the bomb.
At the all in I went out on the bomb, feeding five or six 8mm pellets every 30 seconds, still the tip did not move positively. after 45 minutes the tip did move into a large arc and my first fish was on. After an epic struggle a lovely 7lb common was in the net, firmly hooked in the pectoral fin. Back out and nothing.
5m line feeding 6's and fishing an 8mm saw a few good sized skimmers and odd bites from carp that stripped the elastic out. Good sized fish but not going into the landing net. Frustrating. Frenchy next door on 114 was suffering a similar fate, before we both started getting a couple of fish into the net. Scared Steve the other side had reverted to the margins for his bites and getting a couple out, It was close between us three, but opposite Gongo and Chunk were both catching well on the bomb.
Another go on the bomb was short lived, a single fish, but no liners to show fish in the area. Back to 5m and another couple of carp. Down the edge and a couple of flying skimmers but no carp. I have ended the match confident of beating Steve, but behind those opposite.
1st Cotty 212-14
2nd Dave W 191-10
3rd Paul D 147-11
4th Gongo 140-03
My weight of 84-01 was another 3rd in section but the weights were going up slowly. Cotty securing the first double ton of the week and Dave W doing the damage from the same peg drawn the previous day.
Sunday 26th July Campbell Lake Viaduct
After a meal in the Globe Inn the previous night, I was feeling very tired leading into this match, everything was a struggle, unloading the car, pushing the barrow, unloading the barrow. I was feeling it and sat at my peg wondering what I was doing. After 15 minutes I was feeling much improved. I was now thinking that I need to continue with my medication. I was getting palpitations and struggling to breathe correctly and suspected it could have been a withdrawal side effect.
I had drawn peg 132 for the match, one of those pegs everyone would have run to last year. By far the most consistent peg then but not so much this year. Paul D had it the previous day and struggled to 80lb.

To the right

Down the edge.
Again the plan was to fish the bomb to the second pallet along the bank, but with the overgrown trees this was impossible. I chose a line between two trees a little short of the pallet and somewhere I could comfortably catapult pellets to. A line on the top 2+2 and a line down the edges, one close the other longer to the far bank.
I fed a few pellets on these pole lines to start and almost immediately I could see bubbles appearing at 2+2. Resisting the temptation to go in too soon, I started off on the bomb, Surprisingly, it worked and 3 fish all on small side pulled the tip round, to give me a good start, with an hour gone, I still only had those three carp. A look at 5m with toss potted 8mms, a couple of skimmers but was bumping loads, red hydro is not the ideal skimmer elastic, but if you don't you seem to get smashed up by the carp. It was with two hours to go and approximately 25lb in the keepnet, when I looked down the edge to the right. I only had a foot of water before the shelf and you could see fish come in, grab a mouth of food and straight out, never stopping. The fish were big fish, all doubles and although I hooked 4 of them only managed to get one out.
I was feeling unwell, making poor decisions and not concentrating, palpitations were kicking in and I did not feel right. It was a struggle to do anything.
My weight of 50lb was poor and should have been better. I had a few fish on to double that weight, but lost them at the net, pulled out of fish, smashed up the hook lengths and even snapped elastics. Not a good day all round.
Fred had won the section with Bob second, Steve third and me last.
1st Cotty 212-04
2nd Del 194-12
3rd Frenchy 190-12
4th Dave W 180-10
I was going backwards in the festival, a third and fourth leaving me on 7 points and already out of contention after two days. Cotty was leading with 2 section wins and big weights to back it up.

Cotty with 2 double tons
Monday 27th July Campbell Lake Viaduct
I had restarted taking my medication and woke feeling better, no thumping heart and a bit more energy. An early night refreshing the batteries.
Peg 114 and still in the middle of the lake, the previous day it had 80lb with most of that coming in the last 30 minutes.So again not a good area to be in. Chatting with a few others along the bank I was in a section of death and fully expected another last place finish with Paul D on 112, Bob opposite on 129 and Gongo sitting in 128, I had learnt that you needed to give the bomb a go at the start of the match, then come closer on the pole, before attacking the margins late. So with this in mind I set the alarm on my phone to give it an hour on the bomb and take it from there.
Pinging 5 or 6 pellets to around a third distance across the pool and towards the aerator rope. I had a wrap round after 20 minutes, a fish firmly hooked in the tail, 5 minutes later and a bit of a struggle it finally graced the net, all 10lb of it. Another bite 10 minutes later and a smaller 5lb fish, hooked in the mouth on a double pellet. No more bites came in the run up to the alarm call, so it was on to the pole at 5m, a few skimmers before a couple of lost carp on a single 8mm pellet and feeding 8s. After 3 hours I had 5 carp and around 5 or 6 decent skimmers. I had been feeding 2 or 3 pellets down the edges regularly but felt it was still too early to have a look. Mark Chard on 115 had a couple of looks down the edge but nothing to shout out about.

Left hand Margin

Right hand Margin
I went back out on the bomb and decided to give it another 30 minutes, resting the 5m line. I was still planning to go down the edge with an hour to go so had plenty of time to still try to make other lines work.
A couple of bomb fish, albeit small at 5lb and a couple of skimmers on the 5m line. With an hour left I dropped in on the right margin. Using only a top kit and avoiding a cable running out of the bank, I lowered the rig in and it just kept going. A slight lift and resistance was felt and a nice common around 8lb. A look down the other side and nothing after 5 minutes. Back to the right and another 2 pellets fed and the float goes, 5 minutes later I shovelled into a waiting landing net a monster of a fish. Later to be weighed in at 19lb 4oz, a new personal best. A couple more fish, and my match was over. Gongo had caught well on the bomb all day, something the Yam Yams are all good at and where I am learning all the time. I think I can catch fish but these guys are different class on the bomb and waggler.
1st Dave W 144-14
2nd Fred 140-12
3rd Gongo 132-02
4th Chunk 127-09
My weight of 123-02 was just out of the main frame but was second in section from a peg expected to come last. I was having a good day, feeling a lot better, fishing was organised and the result was my first ton of the week. It must also be said about a certain Mr Walters drawing the same peg 3 times out of 4. Drawbag.
Tuesday 28th July Cary Lake Viaduct
I did not know what to make of this match, there had been no matches on the lake since lockdown was lifted, plenty of specimen anglers posting their catches on Facebook and most days were packed and busy. Waiting for the random draw, all we could ponder was how it would fish.

We had the whole lake so that was a bonus. I was given peg 97 by Fred, in what used to be a decent area and to be honest I fancied it for a few fish. I had Gongo on 99 and Dave Walters on 100 in my 3 peg section (one section always had 3 in and an average taken to work out position). Both very good on the bomb and again I would have my work cut out. I set up a Waggler at depth, a bomb and short pole and margin rigs. I was hoping not to use the pole but if after an hour I had to at least it was there.
The peg is on a corner and can be a great area to be in. The issue today would be feeding pellets, the wind was gusting straight into my face and into the corner of the lake. I have caught better fishing long on this peg before towards the spit, but today would need me to fish shorter. I started off at depth on the waggler, feeding 8mm pellets, just to get the range and see the area I wanted to concentrate any fish in. After 30 minutes and no bites or liners I switched to the bomb. After 10 minutes the tip moved slowly round and pinged back, Thats was it for the first hour. Gongo had not had a bite, neither had Steve on 96. Mark Chard had 4 small carp from 95 Dave Walters was on fire and catching well. Paul D and Vic had caught one each but a lot of us were biteless.
I decided to feed a pole line with 8mms at 6m. A couple of small skimmers saved the blank before a carp attached itself to my hook and ploughed straight off into the sunset. Foulhooked. A couple more small skimmers and another carp, this time in the mouth and despite playing it for 10 minutes snapped the hook at the net.
Back out onto the bomb, and with a single coppens pellet on the hair I had a proper pull round and my first carp was in the net. But it was the only indication I had all day. Steve was still struggling, Gongo had started picking up a few fish, despite having gone 3 hours without a movement on his tip. Back on the pole and a few more skimmers, Steve and I going head to head and both switching between pole and bomb. Dave Walters was still catching well. Chunk was getting a few fish fishing down the edge on the bomb towards peg 90.
Our triples team had all caught something and with both Gongo and Bob catching well we were hopefull of going through this difficult hurdle.
At the all out, I believe the fish were not in the area, Steve had also struggled to my right, Mark had those 4 early carp but nothing else. Gongo who had caught, only did so late on and Dave Walters had emptied it.
1st Dave W 218-04
2nd Chunk 110-06
3rd Gongo 101-15
4th Bob 83-15
Highlight for me was Dave Walters fish of 19-06, two ounces bigger than mine and best fish of the week. My weight of 17lb was in a poor area of the lake, 16lb next door and a 20lb weight before the far bank when only one weight was of any note.

Dave Walters 19lb 6oz of Cary Carp
Wednesday 29th July Campbell Lake Viaduct
After our diversion onto Cary Lake, we were back in familiar surroundings and for me peg 128 again. I was frustrated from the previous session on the peg, where I felt I could have and should have weighed more. I really did need to speak with Fred about his drawing arm, but he was stuck in the early bowl and me in the middle.
On my last visit to the peg I caught late on 8mm pellet down into the corner and at 5m. I was hoping that I could sneak a few out before the late run though. I changed tack slightly by feeding 6mms instead of 8s in the hope of getting a few more silvers before the carp showed up.
As had become the norm, I started off on the bomb for the first hour, surprisingly the tip jerked into action straight away and after 15 minutes I had 3 fish for around 15lb. Then nothing, Not a bite, twitch or liner.
After an hour I made the switch to the pole at 5m. Expecting the float to bury straightaway was not going to happen, lifting and dropping an 8mm pellet produced a reaction from a carp and at 8lb was a welcome boost. Refeeding the line with a full toss pot of 6mms I had a quick look into the corner, where I had been trickling in 8mms in ones and twos. After 5 minutes and nothing I went back out to 5m. A few skimmers that were worth catching, before another carp, which smashed up the elastic and was last seen cruising off around the spit. With all the disturbance I had a second look on the bomb for a couple of fish but these where caught short on double pellets. During this spell on the bomb I could see some movement on the pole line at 5m and slinging the rod up the bank I was soon playing another carp. The pole fish were a lot bigger than those on the bomb, averaging 8lb each compared to 5lb on the bomb but they were harder to get out. Persevering on the 5m line I was starting to get the upper hand with 5 fish in the last hour for 40lb. I was enjoying the time in the peg and feeling I was doing it some justice.
1st Paul D 271-04
2nd Dave W 198-06
3rd Mark C 161-08
4th Frenchy 142-08
My weight of 111-14 was only good enough for last in section. One more fish would have got second.It was that tight. Bob, Gongo and I also made it through to the final on Friday of the triples competition.

Frenchy ready for the off

The Machine Paul D best weight of the week 271-04
Thursday 30th July Campbell Lake Costcutter
Every Thursday at Viaduct they have an open where the guests can book in and fish against the locals on their venue. We had been fishing it all week and although we went mob handed, there were enough locals to make it interesting.There are seperate pools for carp and silvers so whatever you wish to do, you still have a chance.
I really fancied a day on Cary bank but no, Matt drew me 129, the opposite side of the spit. A good peg that Mark Chard had caught well from the previous day. For company I had a local on 132, Soupy on 131, Fred on 130.
I set up the normal stuff, bomb, pole at 2+2 and a margin rig to fish along the spit at 11m, nice and comfortable fishing. Bait again was corn, 8mm and 6mm pellets.
Starting off on the bomb, I had 3 fish straight away, only small but 12lb is better than none. I was feeding short of the aerator and in the direction of 112 before it all died. Same thing happened a couple of times during the week, Fred had not had a bite and Soup was fishing the long pole at 16m with a view of fishing the bomb over it later in the day. A local on 111 was catching well, mainly silvers but plenty of them.
I had a look on the 2+2 line and thought that my bait was plugging into the silty bottom and took a couple of inches off the rig and straightaway had a couple of skimmers before a good carp around 10lb. Playing around with rigs and elastics I lost a couple of fish where the elastic just kept going. One thing was the floats remained strong although I did notice a bit of cutting into the bodies.
Every now and again I would look towards the spit and give it a go. Only two skimmers came off it throughout the day. Fred was now catching a carp every ten minutes or so and all I could hear was Soupy's reel having line stripped from it. Although I was catching I felt I was always behind Soupy and close to Fred. I could not see the remainder of the lake due to overhanging trees etc, but I thought Soupy or the local on 111 was winning with me or Fred next. One thing I did know was the guy on 111 was catching silvers very regularly.
A few more fish followed and a good spell at the death kept the interest going, all taken on 8mm red GOT Pellets over standard 8mm Coppens.

Five of us were in the main frame, so not a bad day at the office. The locals certainly know how to catch silvers and it is easy to see why it is one of the premier silverfish venues in the country.
Friday 31st July Campbell Lake Viaduct
I was feeling a little fragile on Friday morning, the effects of Thursday's Hawaiian shirt night out was starting to tell. But it was a great night and something different we could all enjoy.


Cotty, Del and George

Vic and Nobby
Still we all had a great night. It was the final day of the festival, I was lying way down in the points system. So when Fred draws me 128 for the third time in a week, I just laughed, cried, screamed and wanted to just go home. I had been in the same area of the lake for a week.
Still I had a chance to do something different and catch a few fish, I got a couple of rigs out of the box and they hardly needed plumbing up. I was going to try to see how long I could fish the bomb for before switching to the pole. It would be a struggle, don't get me wrong if its going round I am OK with it but if its not happening I think my options are limited. I managed to last a complete 2 hours before I felt that I needed to change, two carp to show for my woeful efforts. Watching across the lake all I could see was team mate Bob catching well and Frenchy next door to him putting a few in the net. Even on my pole lines I was going nowhere fast, foul hookers, liners, snapped elastics( again) and a top kit completely obliterated. I felt my world crumbling.
I would put 57lb on the scales towards the team cause but felt I had let them down. Surprisingly Bob had weighed in 238-04 and Gongo 208-03 to carry me home. Our team ending up with 503-14 to Dave W, Del and Mark C's 419-02.
1st Bob 238-04
2nd Gongo 208-03
3rd Mark C 161-11
4th Dave W 148-05
Well done to all the framers and section winners. The top Three in the festival were certainly the most consistent anglers throughout the week.


There is a colossal gap in my bomb fishing, and something that needs to improve. My eyes have truly been opened.
I have had a great nine days away in great company. An open door policy within the three lodges, a good laugh at every opportunity. Good to see Mark Goggins in the next lodge to us, catching well throughout the week.Unfortunately it all has to end and despite getting stuck in a rut fishing wise, not feeling too good at the start of the week, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. My floats stood up to the test but need stronger top kits.??.
And finally a few pictures from the week.




Dave W


And finally Nobby.
Next year dates are in and booked. The only way is up.


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Awesome read Keith. I could feel your pain/frustration in parts. ;)