Marsh AC at Hartleylands Reservoir.

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Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Well, it's out with the members of Marsh AC today for a club match on The Reservoir at Harleylands Farm, Cranbrook, Kent.
A quick look out of the window reveals a dull grey day with the rain falling, so after a spot of breakfast it's time to load the car up, not forgetting the waterproofs as it looks like being a wet old day. Harleylands is about 40 miles away from home and a relaxed run down takes about an hour meaning that I arrived just after 8am as it stopped raining, in plenty of time for the 830am draw.

Holidays, weather and a number of other factors mean that there are only 12 of us present for this match, meaning that there is plenty of room for us as we have the whole of the Reservoir booked. Into the hat and I find that I've drawn peg 25, not a draw that particularly excites me, but as with most pegs on the water it should be good for a few fish.[:)]


Today is really going to be a day for me to try a few things out. I've become more and more disenchanted with the Hydrolastic that I've been using over the past 18 months/2years. I really don't feel that it gives me the control especially when it comes to decent sized carp. With this in mind I've stripped the red hydro out of the power kits of my main pole and my margin pole. I've replace these with solid yellow Vespe (22+) in 2 of the kits for my main pole and solid orange Vespe (25+) in the margin pole kits, all set as soft as possible.
I also had a bucket of unbranded feed pellets that my local tackle dealer had asked me to try out and give him my thoughts on. They're green 4mm with a strong fishmeal smell, lighter than swimstim ones though and when they're dampened the colour doesn't leach out of them. Bait was to be paste made up with bait-tech Special G Green groundbait, though I did have some Dedra's with me as a back up.

Setting up didn't take long with just 3 top kits, a margin rig, another for 4mtrs in front and another for 7mtrs.
Looking across I could see Colin and Terry discussing their prospects for the day ahead.......


.............. and Dave making sure he had everything with him as he settled into peg 17, which had set a new fishery record of 288lbs the month before................


Tony, my partner on the recent MD's pairs weekend was just up from me on peg 21, while Paul, my guest on the day settled into peg 29 close to the car park.

10am and the all in and I fed 3 large handfulls of pellets into both margins along with a handfull at 4 and 7 mtrs. Straight out to 7mtrs with a large knob of paste and after a minute the float buries and after a short but spirited scrap the 1st fish of the day is in the net, a scale perfect Common of around 4lbs. Straight back out with the paste and a few pellets over the top and a minute later I'm in again resulting in a similar sized Mirror resting safely in the net. Back out and within a minute the elastic streams out and a 5lb Mirror slides over the net, Happy Days!!!!![:D]

At this point the day takes a turn for the worst, the bites just stopped!!!![V] Despite rotating through all the lines nothing!!!![V]
I can see that others are still managing the occasional fish. Just after 1130 I get a bite down my left hand margin and after a spirited fight manage to put the net under a nice mirror around the 8lb mark, but then things go quiet for me again. Just after 12noon Vince puts in an appearance, he had hoped to be fishing today but family commitments scuppered that [:(], however he found the time to pop down for a brief chat just as Dave came round with a hot steak slice from the farm shop, always very civilised affairs the matches Dave runs.[:D]

A change to double Dedra's on the hook resulted in a couple of bites to which I was only briefly connected, hard to imagine that the worms had covered the hook point to prevent a proper hook up, so maybe they were foul hookers? However I did manage to land a couple of smaller Carp before Vince left, but felt I was dropping behind in the match as I could see Tony further up still sneaking a few out from the margins though a couple of better fish had managed to get the better of him as revealed by his comments. Datafile11.gif Datafile11.gif

Young Zac, the clubs Junior was nicking the odd fish on the feeder.......


and Chris on the opposite side to me was starting to put together a run of decent fish.

With an hour to go I decided to concentrate on the 4mtr line but all it produced was a couple of skimmers while Tony appeared to be getting a fish a chuck now. Finally with 10 minutes to go I got another Carp, another decent Mirror around the 8lb mark swiftly followed by another of a similar stamp just before the all out.

Weigh in time and all was revealed, Colin, Terry, Dave and Chris had all been amongst the fish with Chris's good late run earning him 2nd on the day with 88lbs 8ozs. Graham Manning on peg 15 managed 81lbs 8ozs for 3rd on the day, but everyone was eclipsed by Tony's level 116lbs for a fine win on the day. thumbsup.gif

Tony Roberts ( Spamwham) 116lbs 00ozs
Chris Withall 88lbs 08ozs
Graham Manning 81lbs 08ozs
Terry Goff (Wily Coyote) 69lbs 12ozs
Dave Collier 69lbs 08ozs
Colin Sharrard 54lbs 08ozs
Peter Morton 43lbs 00ozs
Jim Boase 33lbs 12ozs
Zac Hucker 28lbs 08ozs
Paul East (Nomorelongwalks) 28lbs 00ozs
Kevin Loveland (Kev the Catch) 24lbs 04ozs
Martin Hucker 17lbs 00ozs
So to sum up, a decent days fishing in good company as it always is with the gang from Marsh AC. Maybe not the best of days for me personally, but far from the worst. Nice to get out and catch a few fish after my nightmare at Stockton the previous week, and it didn't rain at all until I got into the car to start the drive home.[:D]

Wily Coyote

Regular member
Site Supporter
Apr 30, 2003
Although Hartleylands is only just over 20 miles away and probably the nearest thing I've got to a local fishery I haven't fished there at all this year, so an invite from Dave to fish a Marsh AC match was not to be missed.
As Peter has already said the weather looked very threatening but mercifully apart from a few isolated spots it held off all day but it was not particularly warm and quite windy. I managed to pull out peg 9 which was in an area I quite like especially as the margins can produce some lumps later on so was hopeful of a few fish. I set up a margin rig for paste and another to fish shallow as well as a feeder rod which was fished about 15 yds out.
I think that Peter summed up the day as by the usual standards it was disappointing and I'm sure the weather is playing a large part in unsettling the fish which seemed reluctant to feed consistently [:(!].
I caught steadily on the feeder most of the day but despite having over 20 carp they only averaged about 3lb and apart from one fish caught nothing in the margins.
This was in complete contrast to Chris in peg 11 to my left who had a prolific last hour eventually persuading the bigger carp to get their heads down by bombarding them with handfuls of maggots resulting in several hydro stretching fish around double figures - nice one [;)]
It's not often that I get the better of both Mr Morton and Mr Collier so was quite pleased with my 69lb [:)] but most of all congratulations to Tony on a storming last hour and thanks to Dave for organising yet another enjoyable match.


Regular member
Site Supporter
Jul 2, 2004
Nice write-up as usual Peter.
The Res is always seems to make us work for our fish!
What's the initial verdict on Vespe vs Hydro - cos in my tackle shop its 3 vs 15.
cheers Tony R
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