My Fishing Diaries.

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Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Match Lake 2. April 4th, 2009.

Marsh AC Club Match


Well today saw the 1st Marsh AC match of the year taking place at Monk Lakes on Match Lake 2 . These matches are always light hearted affairs and there’s bound to be a bit of banter flowing throughout the day, and hopefully a few fish to be had.

Loading up the car for the drive down it was dull grey and drizzling and by the time I arrived around 8 am nothing had really changed. A cup of coffee and a bacon sarnie took care of breakfast. 15 club members and a couple of guests lined up for the draw One of those being Dave Talbot, who had received a new pole as a result of his daughter Faye’s appeal on the forum at Christmas. (You can read the relevant thread HERE). Bill G had come along too, but he was going to spend the day helping Dave get to grips with the pole has he hadn’t used one previously.

Into the bucket and peg 51 stuck to my hand. Colin and Dave drew last and ended up with the two flyer’s 66 and 45. Settling into my peg, despite having a free peg to my left with Judy next up on peg 53 and what turned out to be a free peg to my right as Bill G had drawn it (but would spend the match coaching Dave Talbot) I can’t say I was delighted with it, the wind was blowing straight into it and I would have to watch those on the opposite bank fishing with the wind off their backs for the whole match. Also it’s a peg that doesn’t get fished a lot during the week, pegs 45, 46 and 47 seeing a lot of action on a regular basis due to the resident Barbel.​


Setting up I selected 2 top kits with Black Hydro, these were rigged with a 4X16 Preston Bazzerla PB19 on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook for a 10 mtr line where I had around 6 ft of water and a KC 4×12 Carpa Tricky on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook for a closer margin line where I had 2-2½ft of depth. I also set up my Shakespeare Mach 3 Micro – 11′ Waggler which was rigged with a Premier 4 AAA insert waggler. Bait wise, Got 6 mm expander pellet along with 6 and 8 mm hard pellet along with corn and meat would hopefully provide something appetising for the fish while 6 mm pellet and some Special G groundbait took care of the feed.

10 am and Dave blew the All-in. I fed 3 balls of ground bait on the 10 mtr line and some pellet into both margins.
Dave Talbot on peg 49 had been under instructions from Daughter Faye to catch a Barbel, and got off to the perfect start as the 1st fish on his new pole proved to be a Barbel (Mission Accomplished).​


After about 5 minutes I had my first bite on the 10 mtr line and with what felt like a decent fish taking elastic, was more than a little put out when the hook pinged free as I was getting ready to net it. From that point on my day went downhill rapidly. Judy was sorting out a few of the lakes resident Ide and Dave T was taking some decent fish on a regular basis, much to Bill G’s delight, was it Bill’s coaching or was he sitting on a shed full? It didn’t matter really because I couldn’t buy a bite.​


Wherever I looked people were catching fish, Colin was fishing towards the aerator on peg 66 and steadily putting fish in the net………………​


If I looked to my right, Dave, Kevin and young Zack were filling their boots from the early pegs. Indeed the only angler who seemed to be as inactive as me was Martin over on peg 60………………​


I finally managed to put a fish (a small Tench) in the net after about an hour and that was quickly followed by a Gudgeon before things ground to a halt for me once more. A look on the waggler fared no better but as I could see young Zac and Kevin catching regularly on feeder set ups I got my feeder rod out of it’s ready bag and chucked a banded 8 mm pellet out in desperation. After 10 minutes the tip wrapped round, the culprit being revealed as I netted it as probably the smallest F1 in the lake. Needless to say no more bites followed in the next 30 minutes after this.

By this point in the proceedings word had of course got out, and I received several visits from those who were keen to commiserate with my predicament and offer some sympathetic words of advice…………………..NOT

By now the sun was shining, but all that did was blind me as I tried to fish the ripple on my 10 mtr line, so I came shorter and 1st put in I was rewarded with an F1 of around 1½lbs, but that again proved to be a solitary fish. Things were getting truly desperate for me by now, I’m sure that Bill hid my knife in case I was contemplating suicide, and when Dave C strolled down again with more words of sympathy (Yeah Right) I strolled back with him to see what a decent peg looked like and acquire some maggots off him.

By now I was convinced that I was stone last on the day, the maggots were at least getting me some bites, but these were only from tiny blade skimmers and even smaller Ide fry. I was so fed up that with half an hour to go I stripped my top kits down to pack them away, and as I did that the wind dropped down a bit, so I decided to give the waggler a final chuck. Two red maggots on the hook and at last I could catapult some feed out to a reasonable distance, out with the waggler, it sailed away and a nice chunky F1 was soon in the net. I pulled out of the next one trying to bully it in too quickly but did manage another three before Dave blew the all out at 4 pm.

The weigh-in started from the opposite side with Colin on peg 66 putting 71¾lbs on the scales for a fine win on the day. Dave C took second on the day with 63¾lbs from peg 45 while Dave Talbot completed the frame with a fine 48 lbs, a fantastic effort using a pole for the 1st time, and a result that I’m positive will ensure that Faye is suitably proud of her Dad…………​


My few fish weighed a meagre 12¼lbs much to everyone's delight, my one consolation being that Vince hadn’t been able to make it on the day, thus missing out on what would have been his best chance this year to get one of his £1 coins back from me.

The next Marsh AC match is at Pea Lane in Essex in 3 weeks time, I’ve never been there and evidently it’s predominantly silvers, so I could be on for another battering to provide yet more entertainment for the club members, but before then it’s the Match Lake at Hawkhurst where Vince and I will resume the battle of the £1 coins, and normal service will hopefully be resumed. I’ll keep you posted.​


Location: Marden, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hawkhurst Fishery. The Match Lake. April 10th, 2009.


Easter Friday Hawkhurst Fish Farm. I’ve just been up there and the bailiff tells me it’s free on this day, with everyone being off anyone fancy a knock up?” That’s the post that Paul(paulvis69)Slater put up on the Maggotdrowning forum which has led to 19 of us travelling down to Kent today.
Loading up the car it appeared to be pleasantly mild, which considering the previous weeks weather forecasts was a bonus as they had been promising rain. A smooth trip down saw me pulling into the fishery just after 8 am to find almost everyone already there and eager for the draw. (Unfortunately Kevin had been called into work at 4 am forcing him to miss it) With the on-site café not due to open till 9·15 am Paul soon had the draw underway so that we could get set up and then have breakfast before the start of the match at 10·30 am. Dipping my hand into the bag peg 1 was my reward. Some regard it as a flyer as it’s an end peg in a corner, but I’m not so sure as everyone seems to congregate round it during and prior to the draw which must disturb the fish there and in all the matches I’ve fished there it’s never framed yet alone produced the winner.​


Settling in I had Vince for company on peg 2, so the battle for our customary £1 coin was going to be up close and personal today, while opposite on peg 20 was Terry(Wily Coyote)Goff coming out of hibernation for his 1st outing of the year. Vince must have thought that I wasn’t all that confident because he took the following picture thinking that I was praying to the fishing gods, however he had only caught me pumping some expander pellets……


My set up was pretty simple today, just 3 top kits, 2 rigged with 4X12 Malman Champers on 0·16 to 0·14 bottoms with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hooks, one for 4 mtrs straight out in front where I had around 4 ft of water and the other for up against the boards to my left where there was around 2½ft, while the third was a Malman MTD2 dibber on 0·16 direct to a size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook for the margins where I had around 18″ and would also double up as an up in the water rig. Bait for the day was simply 6 & 8 mm fishery pellet (Skrettings) that would be banded and some 6 mm GOT expanders as a change bait, with feed taken care of by more 6 mm fishery pellet.

With the kit all set up most of us made for the café and a Full English. 2 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 eggs, Mushrooms, beans/tomatoes, fried slice + toast & marmalade and tea or coffee for £5 setting everyone up for the five hours ahead. So with everyone full it was back to our pegs……………


and at 10·30 am Paul called the All-in. A large pot of pellet was dumped at 4 mtrs and another spread along the boards to my left while I fed some more by hand down the left hand margin into the corner where there was a build up of scum. Out with the 4 mtr rig and a banded 6 mm pellet produced a couple of lightning fast bites without connection which I’m sure were Roach just snatching at the pellet, while Vince was soon into his 1st fish of the day and putting a Carp safely into his net. A more positive bite soon saw some Black Hydro coming from my top kit and a nice little Common of around 1½lbs get me off and running. After around an hour I had around 10 fish, no great shakes but at least I was getting fish regularly unlike Terry opposite who appeared to have got off to a bit of a slow start and having a bit of a struggle


Just after the half way mark I was starting to struggle on the 4 mtr line so after dumping another large pot of pellet in I had a look over to the boards on my left, taking 4 Carp in 4 put in’s before the Roach turned up, a look to the corner proved fruitless, so I decided to stretch my legs and see how the others were doing.

It was soon obvious that the middle pegs were the place to be with Paul (nomorelongwalks) who always seems to do well here at Hawkhurst catching steadily, Tony was into a fish…………………


………as was Dave………………


……… though as usual they were both cagey as to just how well they were both doing. Clive who had made the trip up for the day as he always enjoys it here had settled on a margin attack……


……… as had the match organiser, Paul (paulvis69) over on the other bank on peg 13………


Back to my peg and onto the 4 mtr line and the fish were ready for it once more, though I was still getting some of those lightning fast bites that I couldn’t connect with. By keeping the pellet going in I was keeping fish going into the net, even taking a few shallow, but I was having to wait to long between fish on the shallow rig so reverted back to the deck to keep my catch rate ticking over. Vince however was starting to struggle a bit having to wait a bit to long between fish to keep pace with me


With around an hour to go I had 50 fish in my nets but the sky had darkened and it was obvious that we would be finishing the match in the rain. Terry on peg 20 had started to put a run of fish together playing catch up after his poor start, and looking a bit further across I could see that Nick(pastie)Allen on peg 16 and Keith(Disco)Driscoll on peg 15 were having a good old battle with both anglers taking fish regularly.


With the arrival of the rain however my bites dried up while Jay to Vince’s right on peg 3 seemed to have a great last hour ………


I really struggled and only managed to put another 2 fish in the net in the last hour, leaving me with 52 fish when Paul called the All-out at 3·30 pm. I was first to weigh in and 86½lbs was my reward for the day, not good enough for the frame but more than enough against Vince’s 32½lbs to see yet another shiny £1 coming my way. Paul on peg 7 took the win on the day with 125 lbs (Told you he likes it at Hawkhurst) while Keith had edged Nick out to third with 112 lbs to 101 lbs in their peg to peg battle.

So that was it for another day, A Nicely organised match by Paul(paulvis69), Thanks fella, and Paul(nomorelongwalks) kindly treated us to coffee’s in the café from his winnings before we bade our farewells and set off for home.

Next up for me is a Club match at Pea Lane in Essex in 2 weeks time, a new venue to me. How will it go?????????? not got a clue, but all will be revealed in the fullness of time.


Location: Hawkhurst, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Bridges Lake. April 18th, 2009.


Well with Maria having to work today I’d taken the opportunity to pop down to Monk Lakes to fish Bridges Lake. Vince popped down a couple of weeks ago and had a real Red Letter Day, and Bill G went on Bank Holiday Monday and also had a memorable day. Bill was going to join Vince and I today but unfortunately his wife was taken ill forcing him to cancel. So after dropping Maria off at work I popped back home and loaded the tackle up and with the sun shining from a blue sky set off. As I passed Brands Hatch however, the sun vanished behind clouds and by the time I pulled into the fishery car park it was dull, grey and windy. As I paid for my day ticket in the shop I received a voice-mail from Vince telling me he was down by the lake and had already sorted two swims on the first island on the right hand side.
After carting the gear over Vince settled into the swim to the right, leaving me with the one facing out into the main body of the lake with the wind blowing from my right. It transpired that Vince’s swim was the one that he’d had his good session on a couple of Tuesdays previously !!! was I about to get ‘Goulded’ ????​


As we set up Keith(Disco)Driscoll and Steve(rookery54)Allen appeared, they were here to fish the Pads Army Charity Match and after a brief chat they set off for their draw. Vince was soon set up as he had all his rigs from his previous session on winders.


I started plumbing up with a pole rig and was a little dismayed to find nothing more than a couple of feet of depth wherever I looked, so back into the holdall and out with the waggler rod that was already rigged up with a 4 AAA peacock insert waggler finished of with a size 18 Drennan Match Carp hook at the business end, and a few casts around found a nice consistent 4 ft. Bait wise I’d just brought 6 mm pellets for feed and some 8 mm’s to band as hook bait with some corn for a change bait.

A couple of pouches of pellet were fired out to about 20 mtrs followed by the float which soon buried, the strike met with a pleasing resistance and I was soon putting the net under the culprit, a nice fit Barbel of 2½lbs. A steady run of fish started to come to both Vince and I, with a few of the resident Chub mixed in with the Tench and Skimmers, well I call them Skimmers because they were silver coloured, but they were decent plump fish weighing between 2 and 3 pounds which are serious weight builders. I also managed my first Golden Tench of the year, always a nice colourful addition to the day ………


………… and it was soon followed by a second ………


By 12 o’clock the wind had blown the clouds away and we had glorious sunshine, though the wind continued to make things difficult setting up an awkward tow on the lake, forcing me to lay about 6″ of line on the deck and adjust the shotting to hold the float in place. I’d had a look on the feeder to see if that was a better option, but with it only producing a solitary Skimmer it was soon discarded. Vince appeared to be having similar problems with the tow and with the wind full in his face started to struggle a bit as his catch rate seemed to start dropping off. My next fish was a little more weighty however as one of the lakes proper Bream put in an appearance, a nice slab that rolled the scales over to 5½lbs ………


One of the things about Monk Lakes is that with 7 lakes and a stretch of the River Beult it hosts a profusion of water fowl and throughout the day a family of Great Crested Grebe’s were hovering around the edge of my swim …………


Vince had one of those “See You Later” moments as he hooked into something that set of like a torpedo and didn’t stop, so strolled over for a chat to see how I was getting on, and just in time to do the honours with my camera as another proper bream hit the net, a shade larger than the previous one at around 6 lbs……


Which was soon followed by an immaculate Common Carp of around 6 lbs………


Meanwhile I had a visit from “Mother Mallard” and her brood which curtailed my fishing for a little while as I didn’t want to risk striking and launching one of the ducklings skywards ………


A little while later Vince received a phone call from his Brother meaning he had to leave as he’d brought round a floor sander for him to use, not without him getting one final fish though, but try as he might it was not to be ……


……… as his float steadfastly refused to go under …………


My next Bream proved to be my best of the day weighing 6½lbs, to give you some idea of the size, the net in the photo is a 30″ pan net, and the fish is just about as long as the net is wide ……………………


Vince bade me farewell at 3·15 pm, while I fished on for another hour, with another 6 proper un’s mixed in with a few Tench and Chub, to finish the session with 57 fish that must have easily gone 100 lbs+, a really nice days fishing by any standards.

As I packed away Keith and Steve reappeared for a chat having finished their match. I subsequently heard that poor Keith had managed to break his no 6 section of his pole again when the wind blew it while packing up, so no wonder he didn’t mention it at the time !!!!!

So that was it for another day, Thanks to Vince for his company on the day. Next Up it’s the Marsh AC match at Pea Lane (Thanks to Steve Allen for some info on the venue) next Saturday, and as usual a report will be forthcoming here.

Location: Marden, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Pea Lane Fishery. Essex. April 25, 2009

Marsh AC club match.

Today was the 2nd match of the year for Marsh AC, at Pea Lane Fishery (a new venue for the club). It’s a gravel pit controlled by Becmain Angling Club that was dug out when the M25 was being built. Loading up the car it was noticeably cooler than it had been during the previous week, with the threat of rain in the air. I arrived at Dave’s around 7·30 am to meet up with Dave, Colin and Chris and follow them to the fishery, and a short drive saw us pulling into the fishery car park just after 8 am.

As people assembled prior to the draw I had a quick look at the water, everything I’d heard about the water indicated it could be peggy as hell with pegs 1,4,5 and 7 being the ones to draw, and with the wind blowing into it today peg 7 appeared to be the stand-out one today. The “Burger van” was a bit slow to get up and running today, so we put our orders in to be delivered to our pegs and did the draw. Peg 10 was mine for the day (not where I wanted to be.) Dave and Colin as is customary took the last 2 pegs in the hat with Colin getting 18, leaving PEG 7 for Dave !!!​


Settling into my peg a few drops of rain started to fall, but thankfully soon stopped. I set up 3 top kits, the first was rigged up with a 4X16 Preston Bazzerla PB19 on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook for a line at 10 mtrs where I had around 6 ft of water, the gusting wind from left to right making it impractical to fish any longer. The second was a Malman 4×14 Snake 1 on 0·12 to an 0·10 bottom with a size 18 carbon maggot as an up in the water rig, should the Ide put in an appearance, while the third was a KC 4×12 Carpa Tricky on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook for the margins where I had 2-2½ft of water. I also set up the feeder rod as I’d been told that it was possible to drop on some bream from some pegs. Bait was red maggots, corn and pellet, with some Special G groundbait and hemp for feed. Breakfast arrived in the shape of a bacon & egg baguette and I was just finishing this as the all in was called. Chris over on peg 6 was into a fish straight away, with plenty of black hydro streaming out of the pole and after about 5 minutes had the culprit in the net, a Barbel of around 2½lbs………


I fed some pellet into the margins and potted out a mix of hemp, pellet and maggot at 10 mtrs and followed it out with 2 maggots on the depth rig. The float settled and slid away and an Ide of around 6ozs got me off the mark, soon followed by a similar sized Chub. An hour later and I was still waiting for a third bite !!! Half an hour on the feeder was no better, but gave me the opportunity to take some shots of the wildlife.



and already word was spreading along the bank that it was rock hard with just a few bits for most, although Dave had already snared a couple of Carp from the flyer, it seemed that most were struggling to get to grips with the venue on the day. Terry had appeared around 12·30 eating a burger, that being his only bite so far!! and I made the decision having only added a foul hooked Gudgeon and a couple of blade skimmers to stick 5 balls of groundbait onto the 10 mtr line and have a stroll. Dave was happily plugging away and admitting to 5 carp…………


……….but for the rest it was grim, with nobody admitting to more than a few silvers, so I decided to take the burger option and get a bite to eat. All I can say is that it’s probably best to stick to bacon, as hand on heart I couldn’t tell what the burger was made of ???? Thank God for onions and mustard, at least it gave it some flavour.

Back at my peg I could see Judy over on peg 4 occasionally popping fish in her net, was I going to get beaten by the club’s lady angler twice in a row ?


Had the groundbait done the trick? Well I wasn’t pulling up any tree stumps, but I started to put together a few small skimmers and Ide which was an improvement and I just kept pinging a few maggots over the top in an effort to keep them coming. Frustratingly though they wouldn’t come up in the water, I could only get a bite at depth, but at least I was putting something in the net on a reasonably regular basis. Terry had at last had a couple of bites, but he’d missed both of them.


With around an hour to go my bites had dried up again, so I put in another 3 balls of groundbait, then Al wandered round and we decided to go and see what some decent swims looked like. We found Dave admitting to having had a few more Carp including one around the 10 lb mark, but apparently engaged in a tug of war with a patch of reeds, It’s amazing just how far Red Hydro can stretch !!!!!


Judy was plugging away on peg 4, but was frustrated, feeling she probably hadn’t got the best from it, while Jim on peg 3 was in a bit of trouble with a Carp snagged in roots and struggling to net it, finally it was in the net though, a Common of around 7 lbs, a real bonus on the day.

Back at my peg, and the groundbait had brought a few back to the swim with a few better skimmers around the 8-12 oz mark coming to the net. Looking up Chris had plenty of pole in the air again before landing what looked to be a bonus Carp, while Terry reported that he had finally hooked a couple of fish, only to have them drop off.

Thankfully at 4 pm Dave sounded the All-out to put most of us out of our misery. The weigh-in told the tale of the day really, Jim on peg 3 weighed 14¾lbs including his Carp to take 2nd place on the day, While Chris was just 4ozs behind him with 14½lbs. Dave had walked it off the flyer however, weighing in 46¼lbs (not a bad belated birthday present). I was pleasantly surprised to find that my net of bits weighed 13¼lbs for 4th on the day.

Overall the day had been a real struggle though with more than a few suffering their own “Mugger Moments©”, though as usual there had been more than a few laughs with plenty of banter flying around to make up for the disappointing fishing. The next Marsh AC match is at Colemans Cottage on May 16th, but next up for me is a match at Broad Oak in Kent with the lads from next Saturday, that you’ll be able to read about here as usual.


Location: South Ockendon, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Mansfields Lake, Broad Oak, Canterbury. May 2nd, 2009.

May Madness at Mansfield’s.


Well it was back to Mansfield’s Lake again today, for another MD’s Knock Up organised by Mick(The Chippy)Pearson with the help of “The Committee”, and with the promise of loads of banter, a few fish and a ready supply of bread pudding and cakes in the offing, it looked like it would be fun. Now it’s a bit of a trot for me (65 miles) but a nice sunny morning and a surprisingly clear A2/M2 saw me arrive just after 8 am to find to find a number of reprobates fine upstanding members of the community already in situ and devouring humongous “Breakfast Rolls” courtesy of Paul and his Burger Van. As always these Knock ups are more of a social event than a serious match and the banter was soon flowing and the side bets made, with Vince and I having our usual £1 coin on the outcome. Anyway with full bellies, and the chat being about how well it might fish as some decent weights had come out recently we assembled for the draw. Hand into the bag and I found peg 17 on the North bank would be my home for the match.​

I have to say that I was a little disappointed as I fancied one of the pegs on the South bank as they all had beds of lilies or rushes offering features to fish to. However I had nobody in the pegs to my left and Ryan to my right for company. Opposite I had Mike, with Richard(DHLman) to his right and Vince to his left, so at least I would be able to keep a check on the destination of the £1.

With a overhanging tree I was a bit limited, but set up 3 top kits. The 1st was for around 7 mtrs where the old stream bed was and I had around 6½ft of water and that consisted of a 4X16 Preston Bazzerla PB19 on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook, the 2nd for the left hand margin that shelved off into around 3 ft of water towards the empty peg 16 was a smaller 4X12 Preston Bazzerla PB19 on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook while the third consisted of a Malman MTD2 dibber on 0·14 direct to a size 18 Drennan Maggot hook for tight into the right hand margin where there were a load of small roach apparently spawning in the weeds. Bait for the day was a mix of pellets, punched meat, corn and hemp.​


So at 10 am Colin gave a blast on his whistle to signal the All-in and we were off. I potted a mix of pellet, hemp and a few grains of corn onto the 7 mtr line and the left hand margin and just flicked some hemp into the right hand margin. Out with a pellet to 7 mtrs, the rig settled and stayed there. An hour later and the float tip was still dry as a bone. Vince however had nicked an early Carp that looked around 3 lbs on the waggler while he let his pole lines settle…​


and Mike had had a couple of small Tench on paste tight to the lilies. Sport in general was very slow though with just the odd fish showing, and most of those appeared to be coming from the opposite end of the lake where the deeper water was. Ryan was getting the occasional tiny roach while Pete next to him was biteless like me.​


Two hours in and Mike had added a small Carp, Richard had had a couple of small Roach and I still hadn’t had a bite, it was starting to look grim. After another half an hour I decided to take a stroll and see what was happening elsewhere (and get some maggots off Mick). Standing on the empty end peg (peg 14) and looking down the lake it looked lovely….​


and I could see a couple of tail patterns in the water, perhaps the fish had backed off into the quieter parts of the lake? Mike however wasn’t happy with the lack of action, he’s one of those anglers that likes to keep busy……​


Vince was looking quietly confident as there were obviously fish in his swim (could this be the day he finally rip a Golden Nugget from my grasp?) Kev obviously had a shed load of fish in the reeds in his left hand margin, but could he solve the problem of interesting them in his bait? Mick had taken what he hoped was a first Crucian of many and kindly let me have some maggots and casters. Dean aka Marvin Waggler had accounted for a couple of Carp and Tony was determinedly trying to feed off the small roach. Meanwhile Mutley had extracted 3 Carp from the lilies next to his platform. Keith (Ryan’s Dad) had snared a solitary Carp while Mick(Old Carper) was having a bit of a struggle (and dreaming of Manor House cake and Country Slices)……​


and at the same time having to watch Al opposite get amongst a few Carp, Indeed by the time that I got round to Al he was playing his 6th Carp of the day and already looking good to take the win ……​


Bill had had just 2 bites all morning, but at least had 2 Bream in the net………………​


………and Mick’s brother Geoff was concentrating hard in an effort to get one over on his brother for once…………​


……… while Colin had a couple of Carp and missed an absolute sail away on the paste as I watched and Dave had just a solitary carp to show for his efforts……​


As I walked back I noticed Vince playing what looked to be another Carp, and as he netted it and popped it into the keepnet I’m sure I saw a little smile of satisfaction on his face ……​

Settling back in at my peg, another look at 7 mtrs produced nothing with a similar result in the left hand margin. Remembering the tail patterns I’d seen earlier I kept feeding the left hand margin heavily, in the hope that some fish might wander down late on and dropped a maggot on the dibber rig into the right hand margin in an effort to avoid the dreaded DNW. It did the job and in the next half hour I stuck around 25 tiny roach into the net that might have weighed a total of 8ozs if I was lucky. Mike opposite had decided on a similar approach to keep himself busy but had been unfortunate enough to have hooked a couple of Carp that broke him in the lilies and when it happened to him for a third time around 2 pm it was the final straw and he decided to pack up and head for home as he wasn’t enjoying himself.

This however opened up an option for me, so I quickly got my feeder rod out of it’s ready sleeve and changed the cage feeder that it was rigged with for a ½oz bomb with a hair rigged piece of punched meat. The overhanging branches were a bit of a problem but with a sideways flick I could drop it onto the edge of the pads opposite, now I just needed an inquisitive Carp to co-operate to be in with a chance of salvaging my £1 coin from Vince, and more importantly avoid the inevitable stick that would come my way on the forum should Vince take it off me in the assembled company.

An hour later and I hadn’t had a touch, Richard had managed to extract a couple from his patch of lilies and a few more fish had been caught further down the lake, most notably by Dean (Marvin Waggler), Geoff who was looking to put one over on his brothers Mick and Richard, while Colin had tempted a couple more from down his margin.

With 45 minutes to go it was looking as though Vince was going to mug “Mugger” when I noticed a tail pattern in the left hand margin that I’d kept feeding heavily. Having had no joy with punched meat on the feeder I tied up another hair rig to take 4 bits of corn hoping that a highly visible bait might do the trick and dropped it in and waited. 10 minutes later and the tip wrapped round and after a couple of anxious minutes a Common Carp of just over 3 lbs was safely in the net. Could I get another?

Dave walked up and as we chatted another fish topped, but the tip stayed still. I could hear Mick saying that the All-out was imminent when I remarked to Ryan that I could see a Ghostie hovering over where my bait was, but refusing to go down on the bait when the rod was almost wrenched out of my grasp, almost instantly the whistle blew for the All-out and I shouted “Fish On”. From various parts of the lake I could hear shouts of disbelief or was it encouragement and I have to say that I was one very relieved angler when I slid the net under a Common Carp that looked to be just over 4 lbs.

Looking across to the opposite bank Vince’s face said it all, had he had his moment of triumph snatched away from him in the final seconds by “Mugger” ???????? As we packed away there was a lot of banter flowing back and forth. Ryan reckoned that I’d hooked the fish 8 seconds from the end of the match, now it would be all down to the scales.

As the scales made their way round Dean in his 1st ever match had taken the early lead with 26 lbs 10ozs edging out Mutley by 4 lbs, but I was taking my gear back to the car when Vince’s fish were weighed and nobody would tell me what he had weighed as it came to my turn. As I tipped my fish into the net there were various mutterings and when the weight of 8 lbs 10ozs was called Vince’s face gave the game away :oops:, The Mugger had struck again and yet another Golden Nugget was coming my way. Al was last to weigh and took the honours on the day putting a very creditable 44½lbs on the scales on what had proved to be a very hard day.​


A quick mention should also be made of the fact that Mick (the chippy one) is for the most part a confirmed rod & line man when it comes to his fishing, but Bill has taken Mick under his wing so to speak, in an effort to impart some of the dark arts of match fishing and the use of the pole. Well today the pupil beat his teacher and he fished the pole all match. Does this mean that Mick has graduated or will the teacher be putting him in his place next time out? We’ll see.

Back to the car park and Mick (Old carper aka Mr Kipling) had set the table for tea and cakes……………​


while the Pearson brothers Mum had supplied Bread Pudding for all, as had Vince’s Mum in Law. All in all a very civilised way of ending the match.
Vince somehow managed to raise a smile when he manfully posed for a photo as he handed over another Nugget……​


While Mick had to part with a Golden Nugget to Geoff in the battle of the brothers…​


Al took home a nice tankard complete with a few beer tokens for 1st on the day……​


While Dean(Marvin Waggler) fishing what was his first ever match took more coin for his second place than he reckoned he’d spent on his rod.​


A little bonus for me was that the assembled company reckoned that my last minute Carp, was best fish on the day, due to the amount of entertainment that it had provided for everyone at the end of the match, so £10 came my way (y). Finally Vince presented The Chippy with a little something to show our thanks for his efforts​


evidently it’s part of Mick’s autobiography…:LOL:


Thanks to Mick and “The Committee” for organising the day, and to all that attended, making for a good day despite the fishing being a little harder than we would have liked.

Next Saturday it’s Faye’s Match at Monk Lakes that Bill G has organised. It looks like being a good turn out and hopefully Faye will be attending herself and we’ll be able to raise a few bob for her nominated organisation


Location: Sturry, Kent, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Match Lake 2. May 9th, 2009

Faye’s Match.
Organised by
With all proceeds going to support



Back in December last year a young lady contacted the website with the following appeal……………….
Dear whoever is reading this letter.
My name is Faye and I’m 19. I have been seriously ill for 7 years and am bedridden, in a wheelchair and fed by a tube. My doctors have told me that I don’t have long left now and that this will more than likely be my last Christmas. I am trying to make it special for my family so we have great memories. If you would like to find out more about my illnesses you can look at this site . I don’t have any money to buy any nice presents for them so I was wondering if you could help out at all. If there was anything you could send me to give to my Dad who loves fishing and fish, it would mean so much to me and I would never forget your kindness. I do understand completely if you are unable to help me though.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter, I know you must be very busy.

Needless to say the members of the forum rallied round, and you can read about the results of their efforts HERE. Anyway Faye remarked that she would love to meet up with as many of us as possible, so Bill arranged this light hearted match down at Monks, where Faye could come down and meet us, and as a bonus we could raise a few bob for an organisation that is close to Faye’s heart Post Pals . Which is why we are down at Monk’s today.

Well Dave(Red Leader)Webster had stopped overnight at my place, having travelled down from Leeds the day before to fish this match, so there were 2 loads of kit to load up as we set off around 7 am in bright sunshine, and good trip down saw us pulling into the car park at Monks at around 8 am. Most of the usual suspects were in attendance along with a few new faces who had travelled from further afield to support the day and the reason behind it. Various combinations of rolls and sandwiches were soon consumed by the assembled company and around 8·30 Bill got the draw underway aided and abetted by Matt.

Vince walked past having drawn peg 54, so of course being a polite sort of chap I was duty bound to draw peg 55 and did. It would give the day a little extra edge as Vince had previously suggested that the loser of todays Golden Nugget would add an extra £5 to the charity pot and he was feeling confident having done a bit of “homework” on the venue and sorted his tactics ahead of time.

Thankfully “The Management” allowed us to park up by the lake today, so our kit was quickly in place and setting up commenced. Peg 55 is a corner peg, but not one that I was particularly chuffed to have drawn, as it never seems to produce like the others.

Setting up was pretty easy. I’d earmarked 2 pole lines, the 1st at around 7 mtrs and the other down the left hand margin. The rigs were actually the 2 that I’d used previously at Mansfield’s, a 4X16 Preston Bazzerla PB19 on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook, and a smaller 4X12 Preston Bazzerla PB19 on 0·16 to 0·14 bottom with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hook. I also set up a 3 AAA waggler on my Shakespeare 11ft Micro. Bait was red maggot, pellets and meat with pellet for feed.

Tony(spamwham) had remarked on my arrival, that he couldn’t believe that the lake was flat calm without a ripple on it. He should have known better, because as 10 am approached I could feel the wind starting to get up and a few grey clouds coming into view. Both aerators were running that I felt would generate a tow as well……


As we waited a look down the bank to my right revealed Vince taking a photo of me (Surely this would be used in his Blog when he related how he’d battered me and finally taken the Nugget today) :ROFLMAO:


So 10 AM and with the breeze making things feel noticeably cooler I slipped on my fleece just in time before Bill called the All-In. I potted a large cup of maggot and pellet onto the 7 mtr line and a handful of pellet into the margins……….


………while Vince fed 5 balls of groundbait onto his pole line. I shipped out 2 maggots to 7 mtrs and Vince started off on the pellet waggler.


The float soon slid away and the 1st fish of my day, a small Ide was soon residing in the keepnet, a couple of small skimmers soon arrived to keep it company followed by a humble Gudgeon, but alas nothing substantial.

Looking across the lake Al appeared to be into a fish every time I looked………….


and Steve(badpegpicker)Oswick opposite on peg 66 seemed to be trying to find out just how far his elastic would stretch as he was into a regular run of fish ………


NB: I must give a mention at this point to Jon(Mutley)Reed who while not fishing himself, spent the day strolling round taking photos and gave me permission to use as many as I liked for this report. Nice one Jon.(y)

In general though, the fishing wasn’t as good as everyone was hoping for, though most were putting one or two in their nets. Although I couldn’t see from my peg, rumour had it that the far side of the causeway was proving just as hard. MD’s answer to Jan Porter, Matt Love having a bit of a grueller on a water that he knows well………


It can’t have been that bad though as I could see that Mike(Omega Mike) Jameson was still at his peg, which meant that he must have been catching something…………


Tony(spamwham)Roberts was reported as having his own “Mugger Moment©” (payback for him taking the micky when I’d had a mare in a recent club match) and was having a real struggle to find anything to add to his net…….


while Kevin(the catch)Loveland under the watchful eye of partner Jean was having a most enjoyable session, netting a regular succession of fish………


For some of the watching audience though, the excitement of the day was proving to be just too much ………:sleep:


Simon Elsey was having fun on his end peg next to Al, and while not able to keep up with his catch rate was still sticking a few decent fish in his net…………


Over on peg 46 Mick the Chippy was having a fine old day, having drawn between Trevor(MT Net)Little and Clive(Black Hydro)Pritchard, he was simply fishing the feeder and regularly popping fish in the net………


In fact poor Clive was having one of those days when no matter where he looked, it seemed that everyone appeared to be catching more than him……


with Steve(jessebobs)Burgess in his pink sweatshirt to his left enjoying his first visit to Monks and finding the fish in his swim in a particularly obliging mood…………


Which is more than could be said for Vince and I. I had managed to add a solitary small Barbel from my margin swim………


while Vince converted his waggler rod over to the feeder in an attempt to put something in the net……


Indeed with the feeder seeming to produce for so many, I took mine out of it’s ready sleeve and rigged it with a maggot feeder as the pole was proving hard work for little reward, but I’d noticed that Colin on the peg to Vince’s right was starting to get a few on his feeder rod………


Further up my bank could be found Linda(mermaid)Billington, who despite claiming little or no knowledge of match fishing had turned up with a fully equipped Rive seatbox along with a sherpa in the form of hubby Chris to transport it all………………


Jay over on the causeway appeared to be making hay with a good run of fish and appeared to be giving Al a run for his money………


while Roger(upyah)Harris had started to get the odd one or two from peg 49…………


The feeder seemed to have the desired effect for Vince as he put a run of 3 Carp together, threatening me with the loss of a Golden Nugget, but by dropping a maggot feeder up against the marginal rushes to my left, I managed to keep enough Barbel coming to stay ahead………



Around about 2 pm Dave T arrived with wife Liz and the young lady the day was in aid of ….. Faye, and they spent the last hour of the match touring the lake with Bill meeting the anglers.

3 pm and the All-Out was called, and with Faye taking the weights down and Bill and Kevin performing the weighing duties it was soon apparent that although the weights hadn’t matched the expectations a few scalps had been taken on the day and Golden Nuggets exchanged, with Al taking the honours with a final weight of 94¾lbs for a fine win.

The final 2 to weigh were Vince and I, and for Vince it was an all too familiar story with his 13½lbs not matching my 25¼lbs meaning he waved farewell to yet another Golden Nugget.:p

Back to the car park for the results, and a number of the days winners generously returned their winnings to the pot, Then the fun really started with Bill removing his beard for the cause (and a few bob in the pot), only to reveal that he was actually “Razor”Ruddock in disguise !!!!

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More good news followed when it was announced that Monk Lakes owner Guy Harrison was returning £5 from every £8 peg fee to add to the pot, and that the fishery staff had been round the rest of the fishery with a bucket raising over £100 on the condition that Fishery Bailiff Andy sacrificed his curls to the cause which duly happened………

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To round things off Faye got stuck in and drew the raffle, which went down a treat with plenty of banter flying around as some improbable prizes found new homes. Bill announced that the total raised on the day was £580 and with more to come as a result of a tackle auction, a very decent effort.



Dave T made a little speech of Thanks on behalf of Faye and her whole family, and very moving it was, I’m sure I saw a tear in the corner of a few rough, tough fishermen’s eyes.

A team photo of the day to bring proceedings to a close …….

……… before farewells were made, and we departed for homes far and wide.

A few Thank You’s are in order at this point……

Bill G who organised the whole thing and didn’t even fish, spending the day walking the banks offering help and encouragement, as well as taking the pee on the day. Well Done fella, a great effort.

Matt, Kevin, Vince and Paul for helping Bill at various points during the day, and to Jean (Kevin’s partner) for doing the business flogging the raffle tickets.

Guy Harrison, the owner of Monk Lakes and his staff at the fishery for all their help and support on the day.

Finally, all the members of and the anglers who attended on the day, as well as those who supported the day from afar, a very big Thank You as we couldn’t do it without your support. The day was a real success, we may just have to do it again next year.(y)


Location: Marden, Kent, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. May 30th, 2009.

The JINX Series 2009
Match 1.


Well today saw 26 nutters lunatics fools anglers assembled at Rolf’s for the start of this years JINX Series. This has become a “Must Fish” series of matches for me since I started fishing it back in 2005, and with 5 rounds to the Series this year, and there’s bound to be more than a few tales to tell over the course of the matches.

I’d been looking forward to today with a fair deal of anticipation as the matches are more like great days out with a bunch of mates rather than a match, so I was up bright and early and soon had the car loaded and was off to Battersea for my customary breakfast stop. Suitably fortified by a Full English and with the sun beaming down from a gloriously blue sky it was back into the car for a smooth drive down, with a further stop at the Services for Coffee before pulling into Rolf’s car park around 10 am, to be greeted by John and a few of the Welsh contingent who were already there, having stayed down for the whole week. 1st things 1st, so the nets were dipped and laid out to dry, before John filled me in with how the place had been fishing and what he’d been up to since my last visit. The most notable addition being the aerators that he’s purchased and is in the process of installing. Soon the car park started to fill up, including Simon Enticott along with Dave(Webbo) and Steve(Steak) who’d travelled down from Yorkshire to fish as guests .


Even Malc (With Liam and Crystal in tow) was early, which was hard to get used to, especially as in a moment of madness he’d volunteered to loose his ponytail to raise money for MD’s. I’d brought my clippers with me, so at 11·30 am Mugger’s Barber Shop :LOL: was open for business. Fair play to him, he didn’t cry much as his beloved ponytail escaped to freedom………


swiftly followed by the rest of his locks …………


With suitable moral support from the assembled crowd…………

So with the hairdressing done for the day it was time for the draw. Into the bag and I found Peg 13 was my home for the match. I’d never fished it before, but John confirmed that it could be good, a comfy 8 mtrs out in front and down the edge to the right once the fish move in being the plan. Settling in there was plenty of time to prepare as the All-In wasn’t till 2 pm. With this years JINX Series being ‘Pole Only’ setting up was reasonably easy.


A MW 0·4g XT for the 8 mtr line on the deck (it’s a line through the body design that’s nice and strong)on 0·20 Power Match with a size 14 Drennan Carp Match and a MW Trev with similar line and hook for up in the water that could double up down the side, while a third rig consisting of a Malman SC paste to 0·22 Power Match with a size 12 Drennan Carp Feeder hook for paste down the Side. Bait for the day was a mix of various pellets, paste, corn and meat, with feed taken care of by 4 and 6 mm fishery pellets.

It was turning into scorcher but a bit of a breeze kept things comfortable. I must admit that I would have preferred to have drawn on the Little Lake today as I’d seen plenty of fish there earlier, but with any peg capable of throwing up a decent weight I wasn’t to despondent.

So 2 pm and Malc called the All-In and in a matter of seconds a scream arose from the Little Lake as Gemma netted her 1st fish of the day (and had a load of us worrying about being on the wrong end of a Minxing) Shipping out to 8 mtrs with a 6 mm expander on the hook followed by a handful of pellet the float settled and after about 30 seconds buried!!!!!! Fish on and a good un by the feel of it, then the rig flew back with a scale on the hook. Another handful of pellet out to 8 mtrs and another down the edge before I shipped the rig out to 8 mtrs once more. Again after about a minute the float buried with exactly the same outcome.

Now I’ve experienced this before at Rolf’s and it can be very hard to overcome. I altered the rig to lay a couple of inches of line on the deck and baited with double corn. Keep topping up the pellet in both swims and ship out. Nothing !!! keep lifting and dropping the rig and after around 5 minutes the float slid gently away. Lifting into it there was solid resistance but it didn’t power off like a lunatic and gentle pressure saw me soon net the fish, a scale perfect Common and a definite weigher, it went 12lbs 4ozs on the scales, a lovely way to get off the mark.

Unfortunately another 5 minutes went by without a bite. I’d seen that Tony over on peg 31 had a couple of weighers as had Paul on peg 32……



Sprucey over on peg 23 was really struggling and from what I could see hadn’t had a bite yet alone a fish……


and Ant on peg 10 to my right appeared to be in a similar boat and doing a blinding impression of a Garden Gnome ………


My reverie was broken however by the float sliding away to the depths once more, and after a spirited fight another weigher slid into the landing net, this time a Mirror of 9½lbs. Young Ryan Hughes on peg 28 (fishing his 1st Jinx match) was starting to put a few together…………


In fact most of the anglers that I could see on the car park bank seemed to be getting the odd one or two with the exception of Pete Thatcher on peg 29. Indeed, not long after he packed up and left!!! :eek: I was still struggling with just another couple of foul hookers and a few bumped roach to show for my efforts as Malc did his customary lap of the fishery offering words of encouragement with Liam and Crystal in tow.

I had a few fish cruising around in pairs in front of me, but despite switching to the shallow rig couldn’t interest them. Meanwhile Terry over on peg 27 (Who was fishing his 1st Jinx Match) was getting the odd one that stretched his elastic right out ………


Malc returned with news that the Little Lake looked like the place to be today with pegs 4,6,7 and 8 all producing fish. I had a look down the edge with the paste rig, more in hope than expectation as I hadn’t seen a single sign of a fish there, and after 30 minutes gave it up as a bad job. However there were a few shouts of encouragement from the car park bank directed towards Malc’s swim, so I decided to investigate only to find him up to his armpits in the water. A fish had snagged him in a sunken branch, and as he could feel that it was still tethered he’d gone in to free it. Well that was his excuse, I reckon he fancied a bath to go with his new haircut


Up on peg 19 I could see Clive (my Pairs Partner for the Series) plugging away, not the best peg on the day, but if anyone could find a few from it, Clive should be capable as he’s fished that peg more than a few times………


With nothing down the edge or up in the water I decided to concentrate at 8 mtrs on the deck for the remainder of the match. Back out with a single grain of corn on the hook, and after about 10 minutes fish no 3 arrived in the form of a 6 lb Common, quickly followed by another couple of foul hookers that vanished at a rate of knots towards the Little Lake. By now Simon E was really getting into the swing of things over on peg 6 and steadily pulling away…………


Dave was making the most of having drawn noted peg 7 and was well on the way to recording his best ever match weight ………


With around an hour to go I managed 2 fish in 2 put in’s, a couple of Commons, both around the 7 lb mark. However it didn’t herald the start of a great last hour as I only managed 1 more fish and that was foul hooked in the tail and fought like something twice it’s size.

Malc called the All-Out at 7pm to end what had been a frustrating match for me. As I walked my gear back to the car park it was obvious that the Big Lake hadn’t really produced the goods today, and this was born out as we made our way round with the weigh-in. Keith Fellows on peg 34 kicked things off with the discovery that one of his nets had a large hole in it, so missing out on a certain ‘Ton’ weighing just 85 lbs. Simon leapt into the lead on peg 4 with 161 lbs 6ozs, though it would only prove to be good enough for 3rd as next up Simon E on peg 6 put a match winning 222¼lbs on the scales. Next up Dave(Webbo) put a new PB match weight of 138 lbs on the scales from peg 7 that would only give him 4th place as it was beaten of the next peg by Al’s 162¼lbs, giving him 2nd on the day. Nick on peg 9 managed 79¾lbs, a new PB match weight (That first Jinx Ton can’t be far away now) while my fish came in at 46¾lbs, which if nothing else saved me a Minxing and got me a £1 off Gemma. Steve won his section with 91¼lbs from peg 16 and young Ryan won his with 96¾lbs from peg 28.

So that was it for the 1st match of the Series. Not quite the result that some of us were looking for, but I’m sure the fish are ready to spawn any day now, so hopefully when we’re back there in 2 weeks time they’ll have spawned and be ready for a proper munch. Well that’s the theory anyway, we’ll see for sure on the 13th.


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. June 13th, 2009.

The JINX Series 2009
Match 2.


The second match of the series today, I’d heard that it had fished hard last weekend in adverse weather conditions and the midweek match was held on the Big Lake as the Carp were finishing their spawning in the Little Lake so it will be interesting to see how things go today. With Maria working today I was up early to take her to work, before setting off to the fishery. A leisurely stop for a ‘Full English’ and another for coffee at the services still saw me arriving ahead of the rest about 10·30 am.

John was cutting the grass and almost ended up in peg 34 when he got a little adventurous on his ride-on mower. Soon the car park was filling up with a full compliment of 28 anglers, with Simon E having replaced Pete Thatcher in the series as he can’t spare the time off work, and Dave and Steve having travelled down from Yorkshire again to take 2 guest spots as they’d enjoyed the 1st match so much.

With the draw on time again, the general consensus was that The Little Lake was still the place to draw. Webbo couldn’t believe his luck, pulling out Peg 6 this time (Golden Hand or what?) and immediately struck a £1 side bet with me knowing that he’s again drawn a form peg, while Clive (my Pairs partner) remarked that the one peg he didn’t want to draw was Peg 23 on the car park bank……………….. so of course he drew Peg 23 (it looks as if his drawing hand is going to be spending some serious time on the naughty step). I drew Peg 13, and drawing it on the 13th wasn’t the best of omens as I’d struggled on the same peg on the last match. On peg 14 I had Gemma The Minx for company and again the omens didn’t look good as Eddie Turner-Green was coming down today to take some photo’s for John, and Gem always does well when he’s around.​


Setting up took a matter of minutes as it was just a question of opening my box and picking out the 3 rigs I’d used the previous match, a MW 0·4g XT for the 8 mtr line on the deck on 0·20 Power Match with a size 14 Drennan Carp Match and a MW Trev with similar line and hook for up in the water that could double up down the side, while a third rig consisting of a Malman SC paste to 0·22 Power Match with a size 12 Drennan Carp Feeder hook for paste down the Side. Bait for the day was once more a mix of various pellets, paste, corn and meat, with feed taken care of by 4 and 6 mm fishery pellets.

1·30 pm and Malc called the All-In, and I shipped out 2 big pots of mixed pellets onto the 7 mtr line, and fed the right hand margin by hand. The experience of déjà vu was ominous, having baited the rig with a 6 mm expander and shipped out, my first two put ins resulted in foul hookers just like the previous match. Malc however was soon into the lake for an early bath, playing the good samaritan this time and retrieving Tony’s spectacles that had dropped into his peg……


Indeed 1½hrs passed before I hooked into a proper fish which proved to be a weigher, a nice 11½lb Common. After another 45 minutes of inactivity and a phone call from Webbo telling me that he’d only had 7 fish (Oh how my heart bled for him……NOT) I decided to feed heavily and take a stroll to see how the rest were doing.

As I walked past Gem was into a fish, and was taking her time playing it as it was obviously a decent one………………


………indeed her patience was amply rewarded in the shape of a new PB Mirror Carp that swung the scales round to rest on a weight of 15 lbs 2ozs…………


Jon on peg 17 obviously had the Gods shining down on him, as I strolled past he lifted into a small roach, but as he started to ship back yards of elastic streamed out of his top kit, the roach obviously having been bumped off, a hungry carp had snaffled the hook and whatever was left on it on the drop !!!!


Nick and Malc were both struggling at this point and looking down the car park bank nobody appeared to be taking the place apart………………


Indeed Clive found that Peg 23 was living up to his worst expectations, with just a single fish that he’d had on his first put in, just to cruelly raise his expectations.


……………… only to dash them, as he tried in vain to add a second to his tally ……………


Simon E on peg 29 appeared to be putting a few together alternating between fishing shallow and fishing big balls of paste on the deck, while Dave on peg 28 was admitting to 4 fish…………………


Ant on peg 34 was having a few, but Simon on peg 35 seemed to be having the mother of all ‘Mugger Moments©’ as he hadn’t been able to tempt a single fish and was looking at the very real possibility of a Minxing (as were a good few of us at this point)


Slim on peg 37 had landed a carp before the off on a bare hook and was fishing long up in the water to try and tempt a few……


While Al on peg 38 was having to chop and change to keep his bites coming…………


Steve(steak) on peg 40 was putting the odd fish in the net, but was to suffer a minor disaster as one his keepnets top rings collapsed releasing 2 Carp before he could rectify the situation……


Terry (Wily Coyote) had taken 4 fish down the margin on peg 4, but by the look of things they were all out in front of him …


Webbo was quite content on peg 6, though he was mourning the loss of one of his new Malman ‘Elvis’ floats, though looking at his peg I found it hard to feel to much sympathy for him ……


Keith was ticking along nicely on peg 7, but Nick was having a real struggle getting to terms with peg 8……


Andy on peg 9 was getting a bit desperate and had filled in the margin with pellet in a kill or cure attempt to make something happen………


While Dave on peg 10 and Dai on peg 12 were both struggling, Dave having a skimmer and a perch to show for his efforts, while Dai couldn’t buy a bite………


Back on my peg with a few fizzes of bubbles coming up and a few fish cruising I resumed, but despite going through the card, all I could muster were another couple of scales on the sidetray from foul hookers that had taken off at a rate of knots. I did hook one decent fish but that did me under my keepnets and despite managing to thread my top kit under them to maintain contact, it shed the hook soon after.


With about an hour to go I had another foul hooker, but with the hook firmly in it’s pectoral fin I managed to get it into the net, Dave on peg 10 had finally managed a couple of Carp and Dai had snared a Roach to avoid the dreaded DNW and would add a small carp as well before the end.

With half an hour to go Ieuan strolled past having surrendered and resigned himself to a DNW. I managed a final fish, yet another foul hooker, this time in the tail, that did a great job of trashing the swim before I managed to net it. 6·30 pm and Malc called the All-Out ending what had been a very frustrating time for me and a few others.

As always the scales told the tale of the day. A DNW and a Minxing for Simon, Al briefly leading with 74¾lbs till Webbo put 94½lbs on the scales that would eventually net him A Section and 3rd place. My own meagre 24½lbs was nowhere near enough to save me from a next peg Minxing once Gemma put 33lbs 2ozs on the scales and took a Golden Nugget off me. Steve had a quietly steady match on peg 15 to register 101lbs for 2nd, while Jon took the honours on the day off of peg 17 with 104¾lbs for B Section and the win. Simon E taking C Section and 4th overall with a level 93lbs to round things off.

So 2 Golden Nuggets lost on the day, one to Webbo and the other to Gemma, along with my 1st Minxing of 2009, mind you I was just one of 13(There’s that number again) that she added to her list today. So that’s it for today, next up for me is the Individual Championship at Maver Larford’s Match Lake next Saturday. How will it go? I’ve not got a clue as I’ve never fished there before, but it should be a good day out. I’ll let you know next weekend.


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Maver Larford Lakes. Larford, Worcestershire. June 20th, 2009.
Individual Championship 2009.


Well today is the day of the Individual Championship, and this year’s venue is the Match Lake at Larford Lakes. It meant an early start for me as it’s about 150 miles for me to drive. So with the car loaded up by 5 am I was off, and a nice smooth trip with just a stop for coffee on the way found me pulling into the fishery car park just after 8 am. It’s a small world, as I parked next to Andy(andy222)Feltham an MD’s member who hadn’t posted for a while, and was there to fish a club match on the Specimen Lake.

Soon after people started to arrive in force, Vince who had organised today’s match was soon joined by Clive and after dipping our nets we decided to get in quick for breakfast. A Full English for £5 was soon dispatched and fishery pellets purchased. I have to say that I find it strange that you can only feed a maximum of 4 bags of fishery pellets(2 pints of Skrettings in a bag costing £2·50p), but you can feed unlimited amounts of meat or corn, which can’t be good for water quality. Waiting for the draw it was good to catch up with faces, both old and new, The customary side bet of a Golden Nugget was struck with Vince and Gemma(The Minx), while John’s good lady Lynn parted us from our cash in exchange for raffle tickets, the proceeds of which will be going to The British Heart Foundation, and by the time that Vince called the draw at 9 am, 38 of us were ready to go, meaning that we could leave out the even pegs giving everyone a bit of space. Into the hat and I’m rewarded with peg 37, while Vince asks me to draw for him and receives peg 51 as a present from me.

At least peg 37 being on the clubhouse bank means I could drive up and almost park behind it. It didn’t look to bad to be honest with a chuck to the island on the feeder and a nice bed of lilies in front of the bush to my left that should be good for a few.


Looking around I’d got my fellow Marsh AC member, Tony(spamwham)Roberts to my left, so there should be a good bit of banter during the day……


To my right I'd got Andrew(Marginman)Willet and next up fellow blogger and Jinx Series partner Clive, who appeared to be knocking up some groundbait, though he might have had the prayer mat out and be offering up a plea to the fishing gods………


Looking across Vince was over on peg 51, so at least I’d be able to keep tabs on the likely destination of the Golden Nugget.


The set up today was 2 4X12 Malman Adam’s to 0·16 with a size 18 Drennan Carp Match hooks to fish 6 mm banded pellet and meat on the deck at 7 mtrs straight out and on the edge of the lilies to my left where there was about 3 feet of water and a Malman MTD2 dibber, again on 0·16 with a 18 Drennan Carp Match hook for up in the water. I also set up a Malman SC paste to 0·22 Power Match with a size 12 Drennan Carp Feeder hook for paste, just in case any lumps put in an appearance and the feeder rod. Bait for the day was a mix of pellets, meat and paste, with feed taken care of by dampened 4mm fishery pellets.

So 11 am and Vince called the All-In. A handful of pellet straight out to 7 mtrs and another to the edge of the lilies and before I could ship out a banded pellet to 7 mtrs a shout rang out signifying The Minx had her 1st fish in the net, sending a shudder down the spines of more than a few blokes.
Out to 7 mtrs and after lifting and dropping the rig a couple of times the black hydro ripped out of the top kit and soon a plump F1 of around 1½lbs was safely in the net.


This was swiftly followed by a small stockie of around 8ozs and than a bit of frustration started to set in , I had a spate of very finicky bites, but I managed to hit them, only to have them shed the hook as they came to the net for no apparent reason, the hook certainly hadn’t blunted. Indeed I wasn’t the only one to suffer like this, as I found out talking to others after the match. I was still managing to put a few in the net, though there were a few to many small stockies rather than the better stamp of F1′s……

To clear my head I took a quick stroll along with the camera to see how others were fairing. Dai was getting a few, but it was proving to be a bit of a struggle………


Dirk seemed to be happy enough with his lot, and while not pulling up any trees appeared to be catching with a degree of regularity.


While tucked away on the other side of the lake I could see Malc (The Jinx) on peg 55, and judging by the way he was concentrating, he was obviously catching……


Tony was looking as if he was in for a good day with a nice lily pad at a comfy 8 mtrs he was catching a decent stamp of fish fishing shallow, though he had been seen off a couple of times by lumps that had found the sanctuary of the pads……


Clive meanwhile was having a bit of a mare, he was another suffering from lost fish, though he did manage to successfully land one as I looked on……


Back at my peg I continued to put a few in the net, but yet again they were mostly small skimmers and stockies though as Clive strolled past I was into something a little better………


Which proved to be one of the better F1′s that gave a pretty good account of itself, I did ask Clive to stay for a while as he seemed to bring me a bit of luck, but for some reason he didn’t think much of my offer……


As the match wore on Vince had managed to bag a couple of what seemed to be reasonable fish on the feeder, but still needed to find something to up his catch rate and avoid the loss of yet another Golden Nugget………


Weather wise we seemed to have just about everything during the course of the match and with half an hour to go it started to rain, and while my bites had become few and far between, Tony was still catching steadily and continued to put fish regularly in the net right up to the All-out being called at 4 pm.

As we packed away at least the rain eased off and chatting to Tony I felt he must be in with a chance of at least a section as I thought he had something approaching the ‘Ton’. The scales soon arrived and Tony’s fish weighed in at an ounce shy of 97 lbs to place him into the lead, while my net went 50 lbs 5ozs. Clive had indeed suffered with a mere 19 lbs 3ozs to show for his 5 hours. Poor Vince having slipped on the wet bank and pulled his thigh as he was packing his kit away suffered the loss of yet another Golden Nugget with just 17 lbs 11ozs. I followed the scales round as far as Malc’s peg where he put an excellent 89¾lbs on the scales before I returned to make my way back to the club house.

Back at the club house I was pleased to find I’d avoided a Minxing as Gem had struggled today so I managed to retrieve the Golden Nugget she’d taken from me on the previous Saturday at Rolf’s. A buffet was laid on for us, with plenty to go round for all, despite Steve(Steak) doing his best to decimate it single handedly. Vince soon had the results sorted and the presentation underway……

The section winners on the day being………

Malc(The Jinx)Doyle

The main honours going to ……….
3rd place……….Tony(spamwham)Roberts.
2nd place……….Mark(Bungee)Collinson.

and the winner on the day and MD’s Individual Champion 2009……………

The day was rounded off with the Raffle
Which thanks to Lynn’s efforts selling tickets
raised £200 for The British Heart Foundation.
A few Thank You’s are in order at this point, Firstly to Vince for organising the match, and doing his usual Excellent Job. To Lynn for a great job flogging the raffle tickets. To Phil Briscoe and all his staff at Maver Larford for their efforts during the day. Finally to all those members of that supported and took part in the match, making it the success that it was, it couldn’t be done without you. Looks like we’ll have to do it all over again next year.​


Location: Astley and Dunley, Worcestershire, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rockells Farm. Saffron Walden. Essex. June 28th, 2009.

Marsh AC club match.


Todays venue for the Marsh AC club match is Rockells Farm. It’s the venue where I set a new club match record last year of 293½lbs and the club recorded their all time best aggregate weight of 1991 lbs weighed in between 18 anglers. As usual I got round to Dave’s at 6·45 am to follow him and Colin down to the venue, It’s not the easiest of venues to find without a Sat Nav, being somewhat off the beaten track, but we made good time despite quite a bit of fog on the trip up and pulled into the car park just after 8 am.

There were 19 booked in for todays match, 15 club members and 4 guests, Clive and Al who are in danger of becoming permanent fixtures and Keith Ashby and Vic Nugent (both GOT Baits sponsored anglers) who enjoy the occasional trip out with the club due to the relaxed atmosphere and the banter and laughs that are had during the day.

With no permanent numbers allocated to the pegs at Rockells, Keith and I set off into the lifting fog to peg out while Dave sorted the monies out. Every peg appeared to have fish moving in front of it and in the margins promising a good days sport ahead. Pegs 1-3 went into the very end, and could all be regarded as flyers, while pegs 4-11 went in down the right hand side and 12-19 up the left (The high numbers being where you wanted to be). With draw time approaching, 3 members hadn’t arrived (Martin, Zack & Graham) but the draw went ahead anyway.

Keith & Vic drew pegs 1 & 2, and with them both being very positive anglers would take all the stopping on those pegs. My home for the day would be peg 17, with Al for company on peg 18. At the end of the draw there were 3 pegs left which I drew for the missing anglers peg 3 for Martin and peg 19 for Graham (Both flyers) and peg 14 for Zack.

Settling into peg 17 I have to say that I was happy with my draw. I’m pretty single minded in how I approach Rockells, always fishing paste as close in as I can and peg 17 looked tailor made for it, with nettles and reeds overhanging the left hand margin and boards in the right hand margin ………​


The rigs were simplicity itself, 3 top 2′s holding rigs that were made up of 4X12 Middy Paste Floats that are a really strong line through design made up on ·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with a Drennan size 12 Carp Method hook to fish paste in both margins where I had around 2 feet of water on both sides. I had 6 pints of it made up, which was GOT Baits Atomic with some GOT Baits Pineapple Atomic Cloud added. Feed would be a mix of soaked 4 and 6 mm pellet. I had 2 extra sections of pole set up, but hopefully wouldn’t be using them unless I hooked a real beast as I really wanted to be able to fish just the top 2′s for speed and comfort.

Just along on peg 18 Al’s swim looked well capable of pushing me all the way, especially as Al has been putting some good results together recently………


Martin, Zack and Graham had arrived meanwhile, and I fancied that Martin might be in with a chance on peg 3, as although he would only class himself as a pleasure angler, he’d had a good result here last year weighing in a total of 232¾lbs, so the venue obviously suits his approach.
Looking across I could see Keith, apparently lost in his thoughts, sitting on his flyer, so no pressure there then……


The fog had burnt off by now, but there was still a fair bit of cloud, so although it was warming up hopefully it wouldn’t turn into the total scorcher that had been predicted. With the venues potential to produce big weights today's match was being split into two 3 hour sessions with a 1 hour break mid way through for a mid-match weigh-in taken at the fishery owners insistence, so with everyone set the All-In was called at 10 am for the morning session.

A handful of pellet into both margins, and with fish already showing on my left side that’s where the 1st bit of paste was lowered into. A couple of knocks and the float slid away and the first Carp of the day, a small Mirror of around 12ozs was soon safely in the net, number 1 on the clicker. To be honest it was pretty much steady away for me from then on. Al however seemed to be having a few problems, it looked as if he was fishing pellet that was being intercepted by Roach and the smaller Carp, on top of which he seemed to be bumping a few better fish. I was getting a few to many small Carp for my liking, but I found last year that you just had to wade through them and keep the bait going in to draw the better fish, and I started to put a few better 2-3 lb fish together. They were all coming from the left hand margin though as every time I looked down the right I was waiting to long for a bite before landing yet another 8oz Carp.

2 hours in with 44 fish on the clicker another look down the right hand margin resulted in an instant bite and a much better fish powered off and after an anxious couple of minutes a nice Leather Carp of around 12 lbs was safe in the net. With a few tail patterns now showing by the boards I concentrated on that line for the last hour. With 5 minutes to go I fed 4 pints of pellet into the right hand margin and another couple down the left in an attempt to hold the fish during the hours break for the weigh-in, while a final put in produced a 5 lb Common Carp as the All-Out was called at 1 pm.

The weigh-in started from my side and my weight of 120 lbs made up of 62 fish was comfortably leading till it came to the 1st 3 pegs. Keith on peg 1 put 148 lbs on the scales (and he reckoned he was getting roached out, lying ******) while Vic on peg 2 ran him close with 133¼lbs, however it was Martin who put us all in our place when he put a staggering 180¾lbs on the scales for the half way lead. So with over 1100 lbs of fish weighed it looked like all the club records set last year would be going, as it normally fishes better in the afternoon. In fact it had taken the whole hour to weigh-in meant that we delayed the start of the afternoon session to allow everyone to get back to their pegs.
As I strolled back I noticed that Clive was looking a bit numb as he’d struggled on peg 10 for a mere 22 lbs and already needed snookers ……


……… it looks like his drawing hand has decided to get its own back on him big time, for all the punishment he’s given it for miss behaving recently.

Returning to my peg I could see that despite the disturbance of the weigh-in the fish had settled on the pellets by the boards as evidenced by the tail patterns I could see. So 2·15 pm and the All-In was called for the afternoon session. 1st put in and away goes the float attached to a 3 lb Common and that’s the way it continued. Al seeing how successful paste had been for me gave it a go, and while it was an improvement he was having yet another nightmare as he suffered from hook pulls and foul hookers.
Elsewhere round the lake sport wasn’t quite so fast and furious I’m afraid, in fact rumour had it that Clive had put a pair of ear plugs in, so that he didn’t have to keep hearing the splashing of fish coming to others nets……


I suffered with a few foul hookers as well during the afternoon session, despite cutting down on the feed, there were just so many fish down by the boards, even hooked fish charging through them didn’t spook them. I basically fished the right hand margin for the whole 3 hours as the bites kept coming and they were from a better stamp of fish than those from the left hand margin.


In fact, by the time the All-Out was called at 5·15 pm I was quite relieved as my right shoulder was starting to ache, and a quick glance showed me that I had another 61 fish on the clicker.

I was soon packed away and dropped my kit back to the car, before making my way round to the weigh-in which was starting with Keith as the scales had been left there at the end of the morning session. Well, What can I say, Keith put an amazing 234 lbs on the scales for a total of 382 lbs, Vic added 173¼lbs for a combined weight of 306½lbs, while Martin weighed 202½lbs to edge out Keith by 1¼lbs with a total weight of 383¼lbs. So that was over 1000 lbs of fish weighed in from the first 3 pegs !!!
Dave had had a decent afternoon on peg 6 putting 167½lbs on the scales for a total of 254¼lbs. Tony on peg 8 recorded a total of 142½lbs and most had improved on their morning totals by the time we got round to Colin on peg 15 who added a net of 127½lbs for a total of 211 lbs meanwhile Terry on peg 16 recorded a total of 140¾lbs. When it came to my peg the scales recorded a weight of 210 lbs giving me a total of 330 lbs and 3rd place on the day. Alan put a hard earned 101½lbs on the scales for a total of 171¾lbs while Graham rounded off things with a total weight of 114 lbs for the 2 sessions.

So there you have it, Martin is now the proud holder of the club match record at 383lbs 4ozs. The top 10 anglers recorded 4 ‘Triple Tons’, 2 ‘Double Tons’ and 4 ‘Tons’ between them. A club record total of 2911 lbs 14ozs was weighed in between 19 anglers, an average of over 153 lbs per angler. I broke my 3 hour PB match weight as well as my PB overall match weight as did quite a few others. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to try and better that next year, or is that being greedy?

Location: Elmdon, Essex, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Private Lake, East Sussex. July 5th, 2009.


Well it’s off down to a Private Lake in East Sussex for an impromptu session at Bill Gibbins invitation as he’s booked the Lake for today and invited a few of us down to join him for a bit of a Knock Up. It looked like being a nice day as I loaded the car up and set off, though some idiot trying to drive through some road works to escape the attention of the local constabulary nearly stymied things at the off. However it didn’t really delay me and I arrived at about 8·45 am.

Bill was off round the lake pegging out so I dipped my nets and chatted with Roger, John, Ray, Al, Terry and Clive and as Bill returned Dave rolled up to complete the numbers for the day. Al collected the cash as Bill organised an impromptu draw. Peg 2 was my reward, while Al got peg 1 and Dave peg 3 (both rated pegs). Roger had peg 4 with a comfy chuck to the small island, while John was just round the corner out of my site on peg 6. Bill had the back of the large island all to himself on peg 7. Terry had peg 8, while Ray and Clive had pegs 10 & 11 to round things off. Not having fished the lake much I’d asked a bit of advise and the general consensus was a line around 10 mtrs out in front and another down the left hand margin where the outflow to the lake is as it normally holds a few. Sitting there in the morning warmth with a mix of sun, clouds and a bit of breeze it didn’t look bad at all.


Setting up was nice and simple as I was just after a nice relaxed days fishing so I wasn’t about to over complicate things with numerous rigs and options. Just 2 4X12 Malman Adam’s to 0·18 with size 16 Drennan Carp Match hooks to fish 8 mm banded pellet on the deck at 10 mtrs straight out and a MW Trev with similar line and hook for up in the water that could double up down the inside. Bait was 8 mm pellet with 6 mm for feed.

10·00 am and the All -In was called and I dumped a large pot of pellets out at 10 mtrs and fed down the left margin by hand. Straight away I could see Roger was into what appeared to be a decent fish on the feeder, and indeed he was soon into a steady run of them.

I could hear a fair bit of splashing coming from Al’s peg, but it turned out that apart from one early fish he was having a bit of a mare, with fish slipping the hook and trashing a couple of rigs. I’d managed a couple of Carp of about 3 lbs each by the hour mark……..


……… but was being pestered by small roach snatching at the pellet, as a brief change down to a 6 mm on the hook confirmed. From what I could see Terry was getting amongst a few, but it transpired that he was losing just as many as he was managing to get into the net.


Ray and Clive seemed to be ticking over nicely, with Clive seemingly having the better of it from his peg and rumour had it that he’s had an absolutely cracking Tench.


Dave was fishing down into the corner on peg 3 and had around 9 fish when he went for a stroll at about 12·30, which was a couple more than I had. Bill came wandering round on the way to fetch his sunglasses and reckoned that John had 7 fish and was admitting to having had around 20 fish himself (though he reckoned they were on the small side)

By 1·30 I decided to stretch my own legs so Having topped up both pegs with a decent quantity of feed, strolled round with my camera. Dave had gone back to fishing short (4 sections) down the side as it was more comfortable for him and it was still producing for him. Roger was still catching on the feeder, even if he was having a bit of a fight to get them in the landing net.


Battling through the undergrowth I found Bill in the act of unhooking yet another Carp, and although he tried to play it down I’m sure I detected a quiet hint of confidence. Terry, while having caught a few, had it seemed lost just as many again including a proper lump that gave him no chance. Ray was suffering the attention of to many Roach, hindering his attempts to build a weight, but Clive was looking happier than I’ve seen him look for a few weeks as he was starting to put together a decent bag as his margin swim got stronger.


Al had finally come to terms with his swim as well, and after his initial troubles early on was starting to put some decent fish in his nets.


Back to my peg and I continued to pick up fish to the end of the session, but try as I may finding one over 3 lbs seemed beyond me.


while Dave was catching at pretty much the same rate as I was, his fish were of a noticeably better stamp than mine.


The All-Out was called at 4 pm and I knew that it wasn’t going to be a place for me today. Chatting to the owner as I packed up he reckoned that with 24 fish I should have a comfortable ton, but I knew that my fish were small, and told him I would be lucky to have 75 lbs.

Anyway we would soon see as the scales were starting at Al’s peg. It was immediately obvious that Al had caught a much better stamp of fish as he recorded 140¼lbs to set the standard. My fish went 74 lbs 6ozs, so I wasn’t far out. Dave had a little more than he thought with 103¼lbs, while Roger suffered with to many small fish recording 122½lbs. John’s fish only came to 61 lbs but none the less represented his best ever weight from the lake. Bill was next up and halfway through things were looking close, but he came up just short with 136 lbs meaning the loss of a Golden Nugget to Al. Terry was left a bit frustrated with his 85 lbs, which left him ruing the loss of so many fish during the course of the day. Ray had the lowest weight on the day with 60½lbs, but it was Clive who finally took the honours on the day, and a Golden Nugget off Bill, with a fine 149 lbs which included a cracking Tench, which if it hadn’t recently spawned would have gone way better than the 7 lbs 2ozs that it actually weighed.


So that was it for the day, 9 anglers putting over 900lbs of fish on the scales, in lovely surroundings, with good weather and even better company. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 11th, 2009.

The JINX Series 2009
Match 3.


Well today is the day of the third match of the JINX Series at Rolf’s Lake. It promises to be a little different today, as a good number of the lads were there last night to fish a JINX 2009 SPECIAL EVENING MATCH between the hours of 6·30 pm till 11·30 pm and were obviously stopping overnight. With a few of the series regulars not fishing that, but some guests taking their places it should be pretty full today.

So after being woken just after 7 am by our new kitten who wanted feeding, I logged onto the Maggotdrowning forum and sure enough Slim had already put a post up about the evening match… “Just got off the phone from steve(sacker)wilson, seems rolfs fished quite well last night. 3 x 200 lb weights, and a fair few 100 lb + weights. Over 2000 lb of fish were caught and on average worked out about 120 lb per angler.”
So things looked promising for today despite the forecast predicting clouds and rain, and with the car loaded up I was soon on my way via ‘The Jimmy Griddle’ café in Battersea, for my customary stop for a ‘Full English’ to set me up for the day. Suitably refreshed and with just 1 further stop for a coffee at the services, I pulled into an already packed car park just after 10·30 am.

First things first, so I dipped my nets before catching up with the events of the past night. It seemed that Vince (my pound coin dispenser) who has been trying to catch a Rolf’s Ton for some time had achieved his aim in spades with a 200 lb+ bag, Well Done mate.(y) However people were already ribbing him that I hadn’t been there for him to take a £1 back from me, and they were already speculating that normal service would be resumed with me present today. There was a pretty full house, as a couple of anglers that fished the evening match were guesting today, Vince and Budgie, while Dave had again travelled down from Leeds, this time with Bagger J in tow.

So draw time once more, and Clive had refused to mention a single peg number in case his hand played up again, but was rewarded with peg 6 this time. I just wanted to avoid Peg 13 and hung back, but it refused to come out and was still in the bag when I drew. Slowly I opened my hand to reveal peg 34. Happy days, In fact Slim ended up with Peg 13 so it would be interesting to see how he fared on it.


With just a short walk from the car park to peg 34 there was no rush to set up, and I helped Dave Collier with his box to his peg (30) as he’d left it on 34 overnight, having fished it during the evening match. With nobody on peg 35, Vince of course just had to draw peg 36 (you couldn’t make it up) so we were bound to have some fun during the match one way or another. Neo was down on 38 with Webbo on 40 and Budgie on 2 while Jon had peg 4 as his home for the match. Opposite me was Clive on peg 6 with Tony(spamwham) on peg 7 with Steve on peg 8 for company, and I had a feeling that we would spend plenty of the match watching that trio bagging up off those flyers.


With the match not starting till 1·30 pm we had plenty of time to set up and I decided to tie some new rigs up. The 1st was a 4X12 Malman Adam to 0·20 with a size 12 Guru QM hook to fish 8 mm banded pellet on the deck at 9-10mtrs straight out, no further as the wind was gusting from right to left across the peg, while the 2nd and 3rd were 0·3g Malman MTD1′s again on 0·20 with size 12 Guru QM hooks to fish the margins on both sides and double up as up in the water rigs. Bait was 8 & 6 mm pellets + some sweetcorn and some paste if needed, while feed was just 6 mm fishery pellets.

Well 1·30 pm finally rolled around and Malc called the All-In. I shipped out 2 large pots of pellet onto the 9 mtr line and fed more by hand down both margins as well as a spot about 3 mtrs out to my left where John Bennett had told me he’d had a lot of fish from in the past. Vince appeared to be starting on paste at around 5 mtrs (which is what he caught on during the evening match) and it looked like Clive was shipping out a paste rig over on peg 6 as well……


I could see a few bubbles starting to appear on the 9 mtr line but missed the first couple of lightning fast bites, before I briefly connected with a fish that was obviously foul hooked before the rig came flying back. Tony and Steve were both off the mark already though, in fact Tony seemed to have a bite every time he lowered his rig in !!!


I finally connected with one of Rolf’s super fit Commons and after a couple of minutes had it safely in the net…


Now at this point I must apologise to Malc, as I decided to weigh the fish to get a feel for just how they were weighing, the fish turned out to be just 8½lbs so rather than record it I decided to put it straight into my keepnet, however Vince remarked to me that there was no weight sheet at the weigh station, so I phoned him to let him know, however when Malc arrived the weigh sheet was under the crate (in case of rain) meaning a wasted trip round the lake for Malc, schoolboy error on my part Sorry Malc. :(

Back to the fishing, and I noticed that Webbo had started to sneak the odd one out down on peg 40 and appeared to be in with a good chance of taking yet another Golden Nugget off me ……


Budgie over on peg 2 had the look of a man who was a bit shocked, this being his 1st visit to Rolf’s and who was beginning to realise that he was a little under-gunned in the tackle department, and that people hadn’t exaggerated just what was needed to tackle the fish at Rolf’s………


Meanwhile Clive was having a bit of a struggle on peg 6 and was just having to be patient while he waited for the fish to hopefully turn up, He wasn’t helped though by hearing the constant splashing that was coming from pegs 7 & 8 as Tony and Steve continued to catch regularly ……


My next fish was a lovely Common of around 12½lbs that was to prove to be my biggest of the day……


and Vince kindly did the honours with the camera (Webbo even phoned to say I was being cruel to Vince, not only getting him to check the weight, but having him take a picture as well)…………


I had a look at JB’s spot and while it did produce one Carp for me that was all, and with nothing from either margin it was back to 9 mtrs for me as it seemed to at least produce regular bites if not lots of them……………


Jon was tucked away over on peg 4, and while not taking it apart he was quietly slipping the odd fish into the net with a minimum of fuss.


Webbo appeared to be having a bit of an eventful match however, earlier he’d smashed a top kit trying to net an angry foul hooker, but it went from bad to worse when he placed a top kit on his box and sat on it to hold it in place whilst playing a fish so that he could feed his swim and the fish pulled it in. True to form, Malc appeared to try and rescue it, but it had vanished from sight before he had a chance to leap in ………


Vince remarked that it was surprising that more gear wasn’t lost at Rolf’s, given the way that some of the fish fight, indeed he had a struggle on his hands of his own as a particularly fit Common led him a merry dance, before he got the upper hand, and I returned the favour with the camera……


Meanwhile Clive had started to experience an upturn in sport after 3 hours of struggling and seemed to be having regular tug of war matches with a number of lumps, the vast majority of which appeared to be weighers……


I was just ticking along at around 3 fish an hour , and it didn’t seem to matter what I tried I couldn’t up the rate, however it was enough to keep me ahead of Vince, despite him having a bit more on the board in terms of weighers than me. Tony and Steve continued to catch, though it was noticeable that Tony was making very few trips up to the scales……



Clive however was flying by now, and it seemed that every time I looked over in his direction he was attached to another beast that was trying it’s best to drag him off his platform, in fact he was doing battle as Malc called the All-Out at 6·30 pm…


then as if on cue it started to rain, just so we could get a soaking as we packed up and started the weigh-in. I was 1st to weigh and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d managed a ‘Ton’ with a weight of 101¼lbs. Vince couldn’t match that with a weight of 61 lbs so handed over yet another Golden Nugget to yours truly. Dave despite his problems however managed to put 106¾lbs on the scales meaning that he at least recouped a Golden Nugget from me to offset the loss of top kits. The next serious contender was Clive and he put a highly impressive 192¼lbs on the scales and place himself firmly in the lead. Tony put 133 lbs on the scales, he probably caught the most fish on the day, but suffered from them being mostly around the 5 lb mark. In fact Steve almost edged out Tony with 127 lbs (less fish but more weighers. Young Mitch did the business with 116 lbs 2ozs from peg 9 and Simon E put a fine 163¼lbs on the scales from peg 11, while Slim had suffered a bit of a ‘Mugger Moment©’ on my nemesis peg (13) with just 29½lbs. Malc had 152½lbs and Al just missed out on a ton from peg 18 with 94 lbs. Paul weighed a creditable 110¼lbs from peg 19 while poor Gem only manage a meagre 1¼lb of silvers from peg 21 meaning everyone had avoided a Minxing today. Simon extracted a measure of revenge on Gem with 94½lbs from peg 23. The winner on the day however was young Ryan with an excellent bag from peg 26 that weighed 196¾lbs, Well Done Ryan. Fred was the last to break the Ton today with 142½lbs from peg 28.

So there you have it, there were an awful lot of very tired anglers at the end of it, especially those that had fished the evening match as well, but they all agreed that it had been worth it.

Next up for me should be a Marsh AC match on Nick’s Lake at Hartleylands Farm in a couple of weeks time.

You will have noticed that I mentioned the JINX 2009 SPECIAL EVENING MATCH that was fished between the hours of 6·30 pm and 11·30 pm on the Friday night, and although I didn’t fish this match myself, I’ve included the result from that match below for the reference of anyone who’s interested.


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. July 25th, 2009.

Marsh AC club match.


Today it’s another Marsh AC club match and we’re on Nick’s Lake at Hartleylands Farm. There’s a few guests joining us today as is usual and with the whole lake booked hopefully it will throw up a few decent weights. Loading up the car the weather looked set fair and it was a smooth run down to the Knox Bridge Café for breakfast where I’d arranged to meet up with Keith and his pal Mick who were travelling down from Milton Keynes. Stomachs filled it was a short run down to the fishery and we pulled into the car park around 8·20 am.
Along with Keith and Mick there were 2 other guests fishing with us today. Clive, who’s rapidly becoming a fixture and Dave Talbot (Faye’s Dad) who’d been able to accept the invite to join us.

With 17 anglers and 37 pegs on the lake there would be plenty of space for everyone today, and Dave soon had the monies collected and the draw under way. Soon it was my turn and when peg 23 came to hand I was happy enough and pretty sure it would provide a decent days fishing. You can see where we all ended up on the pegging plan below …………​


I soon had my kit in situ and found that I had Tony on peg 21 and Jim on peg 25 for company today, while I could see Clive opposite on peg 12. Now Nick’s is one of those lakes that responds to a variety of methods, and with a bit of space the pole fished shallow is normally the way to go at this time of the year, but I really fancied fishing the waggler today, as I don’t do it often enough and while it probably wouldn’t win, I was sure it would provide me with a decent days fishing, the only fly in the ointment being the wind blowing from my left to right straight up into pegs 17 & 18. So the Shakespeare 11 ft Micro was set up with a Shimano Stradic spooled up with 4 lb Maxima, the business end was a Dave Brittain pellet waggler while the hook was a size 14 Drennan Match Carp with a hair rigged pellet band. With and hour and a quarter to set up I did get the feeder rod out as a back up, but didn’t really plan on using it and I also set up one top kit with a margin rig as It’s possible to nick a couple of lumps late on down the margins if needed. Bait was 6 & 8 mm pellet with a bit of hemp and sweetcorn for the margins.


Jim and John came up for a chat while we were waiting for the off, Jim remarking that with so long to set up he could have had another half hour in bed. Tony had said that he was going to go for it shallow on the pole as he had plenty of water to go at, and it’s a method he enjoys. Looking across I could Clive see sitting at his peg and looking quite serene, obviously happy that he’d got his drawing hand back under control and looking forward to the day ahead on a water that I just knew would be more to his liking after his recent grueller of a session at Drayton Reservoir ……


So at 10 am Dave blew for the All-in and I fed a couple of pints of hemp and pellet into the margins before starting on the feeder to the corner of the island, to allow me to catapult some pellet out to the front of the island to prime it for the waggler. Lot’s of little taps on the feeder resulted in a couple of small Carp in the 1st 10 minutes, but as I could already see signs of fish coming for the feed in front of the island I soon had the waggler out and was into a Carp 1st put in.

The wind was making things tricky however, as well as some Ducks and Moorhens that were doing their best to mop up any loose pellets. I could hear by the splashing coming from my right that Tony was getting amongst a few, and from what I could see around the lake he appeared to be out catching everyone…………


My problem was that I had to drop the float within 18 inches of the island to get a bite, any further away and I couldn’t buy a bite, and feeding a bit further away had no effect. Then a couple of disasters befell me. Firstly the float adaptor split, so I had to re-rig, however this time I went with a Drake 3 AAA peacock waggler that I felt I could control better, then first cast out a Moorhen dashed out to the splash of the float landing and tangled with the rig. Thankfully I managed to retrieve the rig complete with Moorhen which I netted and the bird was released none the worse for it’s experience, before I could once more get down to the task in hand.

Dave had come round for a stroll and confessed that he was experiencing his own “Mugger Moments©” as were a few of those pegged down to my left where it was much more sheltered, though I could see Simon down on peg 31 putting fish in the net on a regular basis, and Dave was soon followed by Colin, who reckoned that he’d only got 7 small carp to show for his first 2 hours of effort. Judy up on peg 16 appeared to be concentrating on a margin swim to put a few fish together……


I managed to get back into some sort of rhythm and started to put a run of fish together, but a couple of times the wind got up making presentation awkward and on those occasions I took the opportunity to take a look down the margins and while this produced a couple of small Carp I soon got back out on the waggler when the wind eased. Just past halfway Tony strolled down as he took a break to have a bite to eat and was admitting to 60+ fish.

Round the other parts of the lake people were having their own private battles. Keith on peg 6 was trying to get to grips with a venue that was new to him, and with the wind blowing straight into him had come shorter allowing himself to feed comfortably and was starting to put a few fish together……


While his friend Mick was having quite an enjoyable day, having drawn peg 9 (one of the noted pegs) he was happily putting together a good net of fish on the pole……


Chris on peg 8 to his right looked to be doing OK from what I could see as he did battle with one of the lakes resident Carp………


With time marching on, I kept plugging away on the waggler and apart from Tony who was catching really well, I felt that I was holding my own against everyone else from what I could see. Clive was fishing his right hand margin, and while he was putting fish in the net, he seemed to be suffering a few blank periods in between………


Colin however was experiencing a really good end to the match and in the last 2 hours was absolutely flying, taking decent fish regularly from the margin over on peg 14……


Jim was having a bit of a struggle and confessed to a bit of frustration as he felt he wasn’t getting the best from his swim as it seemed that wherever he looked others were doing better than him……


with 20 minutes to go the wind got up again so I took a final look down the margin with the pole, but only managed 2 more fish, they were however better fish and probably added about 15 lbs to my net before Dave blew the All-out at 4 pm.


So with the kit packed up and back in the car it was time for the weigh-in. Terry kicked off from peg 1 with 44¼lbs and was immediately overtaken by Dave with 48 lbs. Keith had finally sorted things out to record 76¼lbs, but his mate Mick was to take the bragging rights on the trip home to Milton Keynes with a fine 101 lbs. Clive had 78 lbs to show for his efforts while Colin had a final 2 hours “To die for” as he put it weighing 112¼lbs. Dave T declared he’d really enjoyed his day and the 60¼lbs he put on the scales. Tony’s nets rather gave the game away as they were lifted out, and when his catch was totalled up 176¼lbs was always going to be enough for the win. My own fish came to 106 lbs which would prove to be good enough for 4th on the day. While Simon was last to weigh and put a fine 129 lbs on the scales for 2nd on the day.

So 5 Ton weights in a total of 1155½lbs weighed in resulting in an average of 68 lbs per angler made for another good day out for the members of Marsh AC and their guests, and I think shows just what a good venue Hartleylands Farm is. Thanks to all that made it another enjoyable day out.

The next Marsh club match is at Colemans Cottage next month, while my next outing is to Rolf’s Lake for the 4th match in The Jinx Series next Saturday.


Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 1st, 2009.

The JINX Series 2009
Match 4.


Today saw us back at Rolf’s for the penultimate round of this years Jinx Series. Leading up to the match, the question that had been nagging away at the back of my mind was would the unsettled weather of the previous week have an adverse effect on the fishing today. Looking out of the window a dull grey day greeted me and it looked like we would be in for more rain at some point, and loading up the car there was a muggy feeling to the air. So having made sure that the waterproofs were in the car today I set off via Battersea for my usual stop at The Jimmy Griddle where one of their ‘Full English Breakfasts’ at least made for a good start to the day. The drive down was smooth enough, though I did drive through a few rain squalls and after a final stop for a coffee at the services, I pulled into Rolf’s car park just after 10·30 am.

I was the first to arrive. Now normally the first thing to do on arrival is to dip your nets prior to the match ahead, However John now supplies the fisheries own keepnets and landing nets for visiting anglers to use, so that’s one ritual less on a Rolf’s match day. Anyway John and Pauline were just starting to refill the dip tanks on the weigh stations so I set off with them round the lake and gave them a hand with that and by the time we’d worked our way back round to the car park the others were starting to arrive. Soon the banter was in full flow. How would it fish? Clive spent a lot of the time with his fingers in his ears and changing the subject as people tried to get him to name a peg. Tony ribbing me as to whether I would draw 13 again? Would The Minx return to form and add a few more to her list? Marcus (Budgie) was back guesting again having been hooked by The Rolf’s Experience as were Webbo and Steve(Steak) and with the weather today was The Jinx starting to flex it’s power once more?

Well the draw was late today (much to Jon’s relief as he had stated that he would swim the lake after the final match if all 5 of the series draws had gone ahead on time) I hung back hoping that someone would get Peg 13 before me, and joy of joys Tony’s ribbing bit him on the arse as Peg 13 stuck to his hand. Now Clive and I are partners for the “Pairs” event, and had been heavily tipped as favourites prior to the start of the series, however a couple of disasters in the first 2 matches had seen us languishing down in 10th place, the last match had seen us drag ourselves back to 3rd and we were hoping for a decent pair of draws today to help us improve our position further. Poor Clive however got Peg 23 again, and Jon had obviously drawn well as by the time I reached the draw bag he already had his kit on peg 7 !!! Into the bag and I was more than happy to see peg 8 sticking to my palm, a very decent peg that I’ve never been fortunate enough drawn before.​


So with my kit round at my peg it was time to get set up. I tend to be pretty single minded with my approach at Rolf’s, I find that if you set up to many options you just end up confusing yourself. Now you can fish long on peg 8 across to the far bank, but in all honesty my back isn’t really up to fishing long for 5 hours and with the wind gusting and the promise of rain to come I discounted it. Instead I went for just 4 sections straight out in front on the deck, a comfortable distance that I could throw pellet to regardless of what the weather did, and a similar line to the bush on my left. Rigs would be just one for pellet and another for paste. The pellet rig was a was a 4X12 Malman Adam to 0·20 Power Match with a size 12 Guru QM hook while the paste rig was a Malman SC paste to 0·22 Power Match with a size 12 Drennan Carp Feeder hook. Bait for the day was 8 mm hard pellet, paste and some corn, while feed was simply 6 mm fishery pellet. So a pretty simple set up which left me a bit of time before the all in, though Jon looked like he was determined to cover all the bases as he made the most of every minute prior to the off.


So 1·30 pm and Malc called the All-In and I fed 2 good handfuls of pellet straight out and another to the left then flicked a banded 8 mm pellet out in front, and after lifting and dropping the rig the float buried and a good few feet of yellow Vespe streamed out of the top kit. Slow steady pressure soon saw one of Rolf’s Commons resting in the landing net, a weigher that went 11¾lbs, a nice start.

More pellets and back out with the rig, a couple of lifts and it’s déjà vu as once more the elastic streamed from the top kit and a couple of minutes later it’s another Common in the landing net, another weigher, this time going 11½lbs. Back out again, more pellets over the top and within a minute I’m in again resulting in yet another Common, going 10¾lbs this time.

Now with a start like that you can’t help feeling that it’s almost to good to be true, and sure enough next put in sees me attached to a real creature that just steamed off to the far bank, however I managed to turn it then heard a crack, looking up I couldn’t work out what had happened at first, but it was soon apparent that the elastic had gone at the stonfo. Obviously a little bit of wear that I hadn’t noticed, but I couldn’t help feeling annoyed with myself. Feeding more pellet I decided to re rig the top kit as I had all the necessary with me, but it cost me 15 minutes, though I kept feeding while I did it.


Jon was having a bit of grief having lost a couple of fish (probably foul hookers) and was having a bit of a struggle getting to grips with just how the fish wanted it. Meantime I was back in action, my next fish being a Mirror around the 8 lb mark.

The fishing for most however was proving to be challenging. The Minx had given her customary scream signifying that she was up and running on peg 19 and you just knew that it had caused a few buttocks to tighten wondering if they were going to fall victim to her today. Indeed as I looked up the car park bank from my vantage point sport seemed to be slow. Webbo took great delight in phoning me to let me know that not only had Steak smashed a couple of top 2′s, but had nearly lost his 3rd & 4th sections in the lake as well.


A bit of a lull in proceedings for me, with a lot of finicky knocks resulted in me finally connecting with a fish which proved to be a Skimmer of around 1½lbs and a switch to corn only resulted in a small Roach. Jon however was attached to something that was obviously a lot more substantial. After a few anxious minutes he had it safely in the net, a lovely looking Mirror that rolled the scales round to 17 lbs and a new PB for him.


With me being plagued by finicky bites I decided to try the paste rig as I’d read on Eddie Taylor-Green’s Blog that Vespe sponsored angler Chris Telling had won the previous Wednesday open from peg 8 fishing paste, but I just couldn’t make it work for me on the day as I suffered a frustrating spate of liners and foul hookers.

Malc appeared having had a stroll round the lake and he seemed to think that it was between Simon E on peg 22 and me, with more than a few struggling at that point, indeed Malc hadn’t had so much as a bite down on peg 40. Nick on peg 36 had been fishing long to the aerator nearly all match with little to show for it, but had finally started to get a bit of action as reward for his efforts.


Dave the Fish was having a quieter time than he would have liked on peg 2, while rumour had it that Fred was having a steady match on peg 4. Big Dave Moore had been strangely quiet on peg 6, and I did wonder if he’d fallen asleep after doing a nights work on the London Underground prior to the match until he appeared to ask me to witness a couple of weighers for him.


Back on the pellet rig and I started to connect with a few, a mix of Commons and Mirrors that all seemed to average around the 8 lb mark. However I was getting quite a few foul hookers, so although it looked to some that I was absolutely bagging, the reality was that not all of them were ending up in the net. However sometimes you get something happen that gives you a hint that today might just be your day, and when I went to put a Mirror of around 8 lb in the net and the top ring collapsed leading to me missing the net and the fish landed on the outside of the keepnet allowing me to scoop it back into the landing net, I couldn’t help wondering if the fishing gods were smiling on me today.

With the rain finally arriving in proper fashion with around 2 hours to go, sport appeared to pick up for me (well at least I wasn’t suffering from so many foul hookers) though the frustrating bit was that I couldn’t pick up a single fish from the left hand bush, forcing me to concentrate on the one line. Ryan over on peg 34 was fishing tight up to the buoy in his right hand margin but it didn’t appear to be producing for him today and he’d been snagged up on at least one occasion that I’d seen.


With around an hour to go I heard Malc shout out, which meant he’d finally managed to catch while just 45 minutes from the end a huge sigh of relief could be heard from Simon on peg 9 as he got his first fish of the day, thus avoiding the dreaded DNW though he was still looking odds on for a Minxing. I was still nicking the odd fish, while Jon had gone across at 14½mtrs and finally started to get a few, though he was having problems with sticking sections which made shipping back a bit of a nightmare for him and cost him a few fish.


With just a couple of minutes to go I was into a decent fish, but unfortunately made a schoolboy error. Knowing that there wasn’t long to go I got greedy and tried to hurry it to the net so that I could get another put in before the all out, subsequently I shipped back to quickly and the feisty fish made a bee line for the platform and cracked me off round the legs of it, a silly mistake and I should have known better, and just to rub it in while I was cursing my stupidity Malc called the All-Out.

Packing away wet kit is never fun and Jon had to get straight off but had a real problem with a top kit firmly stuck to a No4, but luckily with Fred’s help he was spared driving home with it stuck out of the window. I soon had my kit back to the car and after chatting to a few of the lads it was obvious that the lake had fished hard for the most part . Just how hard would be revealed by the Weigh-In.

So starting with peg 34 as usual Ryan weighed a hard earned 51½lbs to start things off, and that weight wasn’t troubled till Fred on peg 4 stuck just over 65 lbs on the scales edging Jon on peg 7 by 6 ozs. With 4 weighers on the board and another 11 Carp in my nets I was sure I’d done the ‘Ton’ and so it proved when my weight was called at 131 lbs 6ozs. Paul on peg 16 managed 80¼lbs which would prove to be good enough for 3rd on the day. Gemma on peg 19 recorded a hard earned 33 lbs, drawing more than a few groans as several people realised they’d suffered a Minxing or were about to. Simon E had managed a fine 110 lbs from unfancied peg 22 for 2nd on the day, while my partner Clive’s 52½lbs gave him 2nd in his section. So a pleasing win for me on what had proved to be a hard day, with a Golden Nugget from the The Minx and one from Webbo by way of a bonus. Gemma had the biggest grin though with 13 victims added to The Minxed List, including Simon and her Dad. As for the Pairs, a couple of decent results today for myself and Clive has seen us move up to second place, but an even better pair of results from Fred and Simon E has seen them pull 2 points further in front, meaning that Clive and I will need to beat them by 13 points in the final match to win the Pairs competition, almost impossible but we’ll give it a real good try.

Next weekend it’s back to Rolf’s again with 3 matches in 3 days, It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 7th, 2009.

Dave the Fish’s
Invitation Match.


Today saw 16 of us assembled at Rolf’s for an invitation match organised by Dave the Fish as a prequel to the 2009 Pairs Tournament. I was really looking forward to it, as I’d be fishing the Pairs on the Saturday and Sunday as well, and hopefully it would give me the chance to get into the swing of things ahead of the weekend. However it had absolutely chucked it down overnight and that can have a big influence on how Rolf’s fishes so we’d see how it goes. Looking out of the window this morning showed a dull grey morning and there was still a bit of light rain as I got all the gear loaded into the car. There was a fair bit to take as well as I was stopping at Rolf’s for 3 days including my bivvy, bed-chair and sleeping bag and all the other paraphernalia that you seem to think you’ll need. Anyway I bid Maria farewell and set off around 8·30am as I wanted to get down in plenty of time to set up the bivvy and get sorted out before this afternoons match. Having made my usual stop for breakfast in Battersea, I had an uneventful trip down and pulled into the car park at Rolf’s around 10·30am to be greeted by Pauline & John and to find that I was the 1st to arrive.

I noticed I had a missed call on my phone from Bill, and phoning him back I found out that he and Mick were devouring a KFC bucket in the services while they waited for Al to arrive and guide them down to Rolf’s. Dave was the next to arrive and was soon showing me his latest bit of kit, A Power Walker Trolley, and I have to say it’s quite an impressive bit of kit, especially at the price Dave paid for it.​


Soon the rest started to arrive, and once John had finished cutting the grass we set about getting the bivvies and tents set up for the weekend, though Bill found that the bivvy that his son had lent him came without poles rendering it useless so ended up sharing with Mick. The only fly in the ointment was a phone call from Webbo informing us that he was stuck on a gridlocked M40 due to a car on fire, so we agreed to draw for them both in the event of them not arriving on time. Chris(Cybermanc)Ellis & Tom(tommodiesel)Little arrived and while not fishing today had decided to travel down early and get settled in for the weekend ahead.

So at 1·30pm with the sun starting to heat the afternoon up, we made our draw. We had The Big Lake today (pegs 9-32) as another club was there for a match on The Little Lake (pegs 34-8). So into the draw bag and with only 2 pegs left in Peg 13 stuck to my hand. Now it’s not a bad peg, but I just can’t get to grips with it and it’s the 3rd time I’ve drawn it in 5 matches at Rolf’s this year so I can’t pretend I was delighted, though the assembled company thought it was hilarious.


So I made my way round with my gear, on what is becoming a well trodden path for me, and settled into what are becoming far to familiar surroundings for my taste. One thing is that I know just what rigs I need to tackle it with, but with just under 1½hrs till the start of the match I decided to tie up some fresh ones up anyway. These rigs ended up as a MW 0·4g XT for the 6mtr line on the deck on 0·20 Power Match with a size 14 QM1 hook. a MW 0·6g Cane Diamond for the 8 mtr line on the deck on 0·20 Power Match with a size 14 QM1 and a MW 0·3g Margin on 0·20 Power Match with a size 14 QM1 hook for the inside line. I also set up a Malman SC paste on 0·22 Power Match with a size 10 Ashima barbless for Paste. Bait was my usual combination of pellet paste and corn.


Waiting for the All-In I could see Simon, Bill, Budgie and Scott across on pegs 29-32 and Dave and Mick on pegs 9 & 10, while peg 11 waited for Webbo and peg 14 Tony(teepee) on their arrival. So at 3 pm the All-In was called, a couple of pots of pellet onto the 6 and 8 mtr lines and a handful down the right hand margin and a banded 8 mtr pellet was swung out to 6 mtrs. Nothing really happened for me though, and I think Scott may have been the first off the mark on peg 32 with a weigher. After 30 minutes Webbo appeared with Tony in tow, and I remarked that I’d been decent enough to wait for him, Bill having been seen off by a couple of foul hookers soon had a real introduction to Rolf’s in the shape of a Common that went 18 lbs (a new PB for him) closely followed by a 17½lb’er. I got off the mark with a 12½lb Mirror and Dave on peg 9 seemed to be into steady action………​


While Mick having decided to do his own thing settled in with his avon rod awaiting his first action………​


Things in general were quiet for the most part though I’d added a Common of around 8 lbs, so I re-fed and took a stroll with the camera. Scott was concentrating intently on peg 32…………​


While a look down the car park bank revealed a distinct lack of action for the most part ……​


Indeed Simon on peg 29 was looking decidedly unimpressed with the way his match appeared to be going.​


The only person on the car park bank that appeared to be having any real joy was Al on peg 23, while Tony despite his late start was quietly slipping into gear and sliding a few into the net. Webbo was having a bit of a mare with foul hookers, though everyone was suffering similar frustrations to a degree. Dave sidled up with a Common he was proud of and got Cyber to take a photo with my camera ……​


Mick had managed his 1st fish from Rolf’s, not a huge fish at around the 7 lb mark, but it certainly left an impression on Mick with it’s spirited fight ……​


Simon finally got in on the action, and gave his purple 19 elastic a good stretching ……​


…… though Marcus(Budgie) provided the best entertainment as he explored the lengths that his elastic could stretch to with a few sizeable fish on peg 31, resulting in John having to lift the ropes to the aerator at one stage. I was managing to keep the odd fish coming, nothing big, just regulation 7-8 lb’ers and while I wasn’t exactly bagging felt that I was on for my best result so far from this peg. Bill was getting a better stamp of fish though and I always felt that he had the edge on me…​


Though Bill must have felt it was close between us as he remarked that my last fish could make a difference as I netted it just as Dave signalled the All-Out at 8 pm…​


We packed our kit away prior to the Weigh-In and Dave kicked things off from peg 9 with a fine 101¾lbs which would net him 3rd place. I was one weigher short of a Ton recording a level 91 lbs for 5th on the day. Tony took the days honours with a creditable 110½lbs from peg 14. Al took 2nd place with 107½lbs from peg 23, while Bill managed a Ton on his 1st ever visit to Rolf’s with 100½lbs, a fine effort for 4th.

So with the match over people sorted out some grub in various guises and generally wound down, discussing the events of the day and the prospects for the weekend ahead. The general consensus appeared to be that it had been a fine way to kick off the weekend and as we retired to our various sleeping quarters most would probably be dreaming of how the weekend ahead would go. We’d soon find out soon enough tomorrow.​


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 8th-9th, 2009.
Rolf’s Pairs Tournament 2009.

So 7 am and the sun is shining through the bivvy door as I raised myself from my slumber. First things first and on with the kettle for that first cup of coffee to jump start my brain. Terry greets me with several expletives as it seems my snoring woke him around 6 am, I reckon it was just John mowing the grass. I was going to catch a lift with the lads down to Tesco’s for a bit of brekkie, but missed the lads, so Paul, Terry and I decided to pop up to the services for breakfast. Let’s just say that it filled a hole and leave it at that.

Back to the Lake and today there’s going to be 30 members of the Maggotdrowning forum assembled from all over the country fishing the 2009 Pairs Tournament, a 2 legged affair that gets fished over both the Saturday & Sunday. It’s very much a social occasion apart from the matches, and as such is always oversubscribed and has become an annual fixture in the forum calendar. This is the 4th year running that the competition has taken place. I was fortunate enough to win it with Tony(spamwham)Roberts in 2007, and would love to be the 1st person to win it twice, as I’m sure any of the other previous winners would.

Soon the car park was full, and as people sorted themselves out for the weekend ahead the banter was flowing. I had a chat with Simon and Budgie who had decided to stay on even though he wasn’t fishing, The excitement was too much for Gemma however who snatched 40 winks (probably dreaming of Minxings to come) ……​


At 11 o’clock the draw for the Pairs was made by Gemma who had risen from her slumbers. Not Experts and Novices this year as the majority fishing now have various degrees of experience at Rolf’s. Some interesting pairings came out and I found myself paired with my fellow MD’s moderator Dirk. With the draw for today's match not being till 12·30 pm I took a stroll round the lake with Terry, and as is usual at Rolf’s there were plenty of Carp sunning themselves in all the swims ………


Where did I want to draw? well anywhere between peg 1 and 8 would do me, in fact anywhere but 13. Getting back to the car park for the draw I noticed that some wag (Vince) had written Peg 13 by my name on the draw board, It couldn’t happen could it?


So at 12·30 pm the draw started with Webbo drawing 1st and ending up with peg 11, the same one he’d struggled on yesterday. I then stepped confidently forward stating “Let’s get peg 13 out of the way then” and promptly drew it !!!!!!!!! Gutted, though the assembled crowd found it hilarious. The rest is a bit of a blur as various lads offered their sympathy …………. NOT. :eek:


Well I walked my gear round to you know where, with the match being fished from 2-7 there was plenty of time to set up and it really wasn’t going to take me long as I still had my top kits set up with the rigs from the previous days match, so no need to go over the details of them here. I’m sure you’re all fed up with looking at the photo from behind the peg, so I had a stroll along the bank to get a different angle on things………


I stopped and had a chat with Webbo, and he didn’t seem to be to enthused about his chances and then stopped for a chat with Clive who was looking a bit happier with his prospects for the match ahead……


Looking at the draw I had to fancy Paul East (peg 9) and (peg8) Dave Moore’s chances in the Pairs today, while a Golden Nugget looked to be in danger as Vince had drawn peg 6. Looking across from my peg as I waited for the off I could see Dirk on peg 29, Malc on peg 30, Tony on 31 and Tim on 32………


So 2 pm and John rang the fishery bell for the All-In, feed as per yesterday and out with a banded pellet at 6 mtrs. Not a lot happened though, a few bubbles were rising from the swim, but there were no bites to be had. I plugged away but from what I could see sport in general appeared to be slow, though Paul on peg 9 was getting a couple ……


Half an hour in and I had a bite !!!!! I was so shocked that I missed it but latched onto a foul hooker. Lots of elastic poured out of the top kit as I was obviously attached to a Carp via its tail. Despite loads of encouragement I managed to get it to the net, a weigher to get me off the mark.


Paul Thompson had a bit of a mare as he was connected to a Carp when the sound of smashing carbon was heard leaving him to play the fish on the remains of a shattered top 2……


A few more foul hookers followed for me, none of which I landed, so feeling that I was getting nowhere fast, I decided to feed and have a short stroll with the camera. Dave Moore on peg 8 had got off to a good start and was picking up a few fishing paste down the track and was into another fish as I watched.


…… Unfortunately a bit of a disaster was to befall Dave a few moments after this though, as his keepnet fell in and by the time he retrieved it 3 carp had escaped.
Simon, over on peg 34 had hooked a big Carp which ploughed into the lillies on his right hand side, he tried to free it but only succeeded in breaking his No 4 section. Lucky Mitch was on hand and soon stripped down to his boxers and recovered his top kit.


Gemma’s customary scream was heard from peg 22 meaning a few more hearts dropped, and with good reason as she was receiving a bit of coaching from visiting Rolf’s regular Eddie Turner-Green on the finer points of paste fishing, something that Eddie excels at.


Bill was up on peg 20 and had endured a fishless 2 hours before he’d had his 1st fish, a decent weigher at 14¾lbs to get him off the mark at last.


Now a bit of light relief is always nice to raise the spirits when things are tough, and today it was provided by Terry on peg 15. It turned out that his landing net had parted company with his handle as he tried to land a Carp, and having lost the fish he was faced with having to take a dip to retrieve it. Well it would have been rude to have ignored the photo opportunity wouldn’t it.


Things really didn’t improve a lot for me, I was simply plagued with foul hookers though I did manage another couple of smaller fish that had actually taken the bait……


Opposite me my pairs partner Dirk was suffering too, while Malc had sat doing his best garden gnome impression for over 3hrs before taking his 1st fish ……


In fact Malc was about to provide one of the funniest moments of the day …… Now Malc likes to sit with his pole between his legs, and after lifting into a bite and missing it a Carp must have grabbed the bait and powered off, the force of which pulled the pole down and the butt right up into his family jewels !!!! You could hear the scream across the lake, the fish got off leaving Malc to wipe the tears from his eyes while receiving sympathy from all those around him ………NOT.:ROFLMAO:

Clive was sliding a few into the net on the quiet, but was having a bit of a problem with his keepnets that were floating around in front of him, and in the end would cost him 3 lost Carp ……


Tony was another enduring a frustrating day as he tried to get to grips with fishing paste on peg 31, even picking John Bennett’s brains, but they weren’t really having it despite Tony striking like Zorro on numerous occasions, though he did finally manage to connect with a couple……


I managed just one more before John rang the fishery bell for the All-Out at 7 pm, and I have to say that I was glad to hear it after enduring what had been a very frustrating 5 hours for me. All that remained was to pack the kit away before the weigh-in, and I was seriously debating whether to just leave it there. It was just a question of if I’d suffered a Minxing and whether Vince had taken a Golden Nugget off me as well. All would be revealed by the weigh in.

So the Weigh-In started with Simon on peg 34 who put 41¾lbs on the scales to kick things off. This was swiftly overtaken however, firstly by Alex Malman (peg 37) who weighed 83 lbs+ and then his brother Gaz who recorded 113¾lbs from peg 38. Vince had managed 56¾lbs from peg 6 and I knew that my 18 month run had come to an end and a Golden Nugget would be going his way at last. Dave Moore’s 116¾lbs from peg 8 proved to be the winning weight on the day despite his earlier disaster with his keepnet. Clive’s 110¼lbs from peg 10 gave him 3rd place on the day and Webbo’s 52¾lbs from peg 11 meant another Nugget disappearing to Yorkshire as my 39½lbs came up short. Indeed with nobody else threatening the frame, It was just a question of whether I could avoid a Minxing ? I avoided that by the skin of my teeth as Gemma’s fish came to exactly the same weight as mine at 39½lbs. Malc’s weight of 80½lbs was the best from the final pegs.
So with the Weigh-In over the inquests started, and Eddie was good enough to capture the moment when I had to part with a Golden Nugget and hand it to Vince……


Dave Moore & Paul East were leading with 13 points while Dirk and I were stone cold last with 44 points. Paul, Vince and I popped down to the pub for a couple of drinks with Dirk and his son, before raiding Asda’s for something to pop on the barbie for dinner and the evening wound down with a chin wag and a few beers round the barbie before I hit the sack around 1·30 am. What would tomorrow bring? We’d soon find out.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I stuck my head out of my sleeping bag around 7am and it was obvious that plenty of people were already up and about. This was probably down to the fact that people had to get their bivvies and all the other paraphernalia packed away prior to the match so after a couple of cups of coffee and a bite to eat it was time to dismantle my bivvy and get it packed away into it’s improbably small bag. Considering that I only use it once a year it always amazes me that I manage to do it, but once more it went away OK.

Now we were going to draw at 11·30 am and fish from 1 pm-6 pm in order to allow everyone to get off homeward at a reasonable hour. Having got all my gear packed away I came across our hosts for the weekend John & Pauline tucking into a spot of breakfast themselves.​


There was a bit of speculation as to whether I could possibly draw Peg 13 for a third day in a row (How much suffering did people want to see me go through?) and it had been agreed that I would draw first to put myself out of my misery. So at the appointed time I dipped my hand into the fateful draw bag, and pulled out …………………………………….. Peg 20. (Not the best of pegs, and 13 would probably fish it’s head of today) It was a shortish walk anyway and Bill had briefed me on how he’d fished it yesterday. For company I had Dave(Rockyroads)West on peg 19 and Tony on peg 22, while Webbo was next up on peg 23.​


Setting up was a simple job as I still had the top kits set up from yesterday and with just 8 inches less depth I merely adjusted the depth of the rigs that were already in place. So plenty of time till the off, meaning a stroll with the camera was in order. Down on peg 34 Paul was settling in and with his partner Dave having drawn peg 9 it looked as if they would take all the catching, though it wasn’t impossible…


Tony(teepee) was settling in next to Paul on peg 35, and it was good to see him fishing again after he had to miss out last year when he was taken ill ……


My partner Dirk had drawn peg 38 and appeared to be warming up with a bit of Tai Chi, and a repeat of Gaz’s performance off that peg the previous day would be the minimum we needed (No pressure there then)……


I couldn’t help noticing Gemma on peg 8, she’s good enough to Minx a lot of us, without her drawing a flyer like peg 8, but I’m sure it was a cunning plan to distract us further by fishing in those shorts ……


As I made my way back I had a brief chat with Vince who’d drawn peg 32, and I feared he’d be taking another Golden Nugget home with that peg today. I also saw that Bill was settling into peg 11 which hadn’t really produced all weekend.


Back at my peg it was just a question of waiting for the All-In and Rocky did the honours with my camera (more like a condemned man waiting for the gallows)


Anyway at 1 pm the All-In sounded and we were off, I fed a line at 7 mtrs out in front and another to the bush to my left. Starting with hard pellet and alternating between those, expanders, paste and corn produced not a touch, though Tony was off the mark pretty quickly with a decent fish. The Big Lake was pretty slow however, and word had it that the Little Lake was the place to be today. Rocky had managed a nice common and had then lost another. In fact most people had taken the odd fish, mostly on the pellet waggler and Webbo had taken a couple on a floating rocket feeder. For me it was just a question of keeping faith and hoping that something would turn up. I did get the pellet waggler out briefly after Simon had threaded the line through the rings for me (I was struggling without my glasses), but was pretty restricted in where I could cast so soon gave it up as a bad job and went back to trying the bush to my left……


One person who did seem to be doing OK though was Mitch who was on peg 13, fishing up in the water at 13 mtrs, I’d seen him going to the scales with weighers on several occasions. Simon had managed to extract a couple of fish from peg 15, and had resorted to fishing at 14½mtrs to try and nick a couple more……


Gemma had been noticeably quiet on peg 8, despite Simon reckoning that she’d caught, but when she let out a scream halfway through I thought I was in trouble. Webbo had nicked a couple more and I’d seen Vince picking John’s brains about peg 32 and could see him into a fish, so that wasn’t looking good either in the Golden Nugget department……


I finally managed to tempt a Carp from the bush, nothing big at around 7 lbs, but a fish none the less. Al seemed like he was in pretty much the same boat as me, and just sticking it out in the hope that they would turn up……


With about an hour to go I managed to get another Carp from the bush, again around the 7 lb mark, and next put in hooked another that I played with kid gloves. However Webbo just couldn’t resist saying “make sure you get that in the net” , which of course was the cue for the hook to come free leaving me muttering under my breath.

With half an hour to go I had a final bite, but rather than a surging run from a Carp there was just momentary resistance before a skimmer of about 2½lbs slid over the net. Not quite what I was after, but welcome none the less. Finally at 6 pm the All-Out was sounded, and I have to say that I felt glad it was over, and was quite happy to pack my kit away and get it back to the car.

Paul East was first to weigh and his 69¼lbs from peg 34 would net him 6th place on the day bringing him good points. However Gaz on peg 37 blew everyone away with 165 lbs and the win on the day. Meanwhile his brother Alex on peg 40 weighed 79 lbs for 5th overall. Malc weighed 93½lbs from peg 4 for 3rd, while daughter Gemma only managed 16¼lbs off of peg 8. Dave Moore had a mare on peg 9 managing just 18 lbs throwing the whole match wide open. Mitch weighed a very creditable 89¼lbs from peg 13 for 4th overall. Round to my peg where incredibly my 2 carp and a skimmer weighed 16¼lbs meaning I’d tied with the Minx and escaped again for the second day in a row. However I lost another Golden Nugget to both Webbo and Vince :cry: while Scott recorded the best weight off the car park bank with a fine 94¼lbs on the day for 2nd overall.


So back to the fishery hut and while Dave sorted through the points the banter flowed. It transpired that 1st day leaders Dave Moore & Paul East had been pipped by a single point in the final reckoning, which meant that the winners of the Rolf’s Pairs 2009 were…… Alex Malman & Dave Collier Congratulations to both of them.


Finally a few words of thanks are due to
John & Pauline Bennett for allowing us the use of their superb fishery during the weekend.
Dave Webster, for bringing us all and organising the whole weekend.
Finally, all the anglers that took part, It’s you that make the weekend the success it is.(y)

Overall Pairs Result


Saturday Individual Result.


Sunday Individual Result.


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Colemans Cottage Fishery. Pathfield Lake. August 15th, 2009.

Marsh AC club match.


Today It’s down to Colemans Cottage with Marsh AC for a club match on Pathfield Lake. It’s the second time this year that the club have visited the fishery for a club match, and there should be 16 of us fishing, including guests today. I missed the seasons first club match here in May due to work, though as it transpired it fished quite hard then , so I didn’t really miss much. Hopefully we’ll have a better day today, though it wasn’t the best of starts, as some idiot had crashed his Merc at the top of my road this morning, meaning that I left a bit late for the trip down. It was pretty overcast as I drove into the car park just after 8·15 am and a fair old breeze blowing, which can effect the lake as it’s quite shallow for the most part. However we had the whole lake booked and that should allow everyone a bit of space to draw a few fish.
Anyway first things first and into the fishery lodge for breakfast. Most were already tucking in. Keith Ashby was a guest again and today he’d brought fellow GOT Baits angler, Pete Thompson with him. It was great to see Pete, as he’s a class angler with a particularly dry sense of humour. All to soon Dave was after our money and the draw was underway just as my breakfast arrived. Anyway into the hat and it’s peg 6 for me today (much to Dave’s disgust as it’s a favourite peg of his)

Breakfast finished and it’s back to the car park to collect my gear and the fishery supplied nets then off to my peg. It seems Clive is on peg 2 and Pete Thompson is on peg 4, while Martin and Graham were right in the bay to my left on pegs 7 and 8 with Colin opposite on peg 9. Looking at the peg, the obvious feature is the point of the island opposite, but with the wind gusting from right to left it would be awkward to say the least so rig wise it was decision time ……​


I settled on a 4X12 Malman Adam on 0·16 Power Match with a size 16 Drennan carp match hook and a duplicate rig but with a 4X16 Adam should the wind require it. I also set up a rig with one of the new Malman Slappers, again on 0·16 Power Match with a size 16 Drennan carp match hook for up in the water, that could also double up for the margins, though with so much vegetation on both sides, both my margin swims were very limited. Indeed I decided that my main line of attack would be at 8 mtrs down the track where I had around 2½ft of water. Everyone I’d spoken to about Pathfield had told me that it was pellet & corn, so that was the plan of attack today.


So with everything set Clive arrived complete with camera for a chat and Pete put in an appearance as well. Soon it was 10 am and a blast on the whistle from Dave signalled the All-In. With a large pot of pellet and corn down the track and some pellet into both margins I picked up the 4X12 rig, hooked on a kernel of corn and shipped out to 8 mtrs. There were already signs of fish with a few bubbles appearing over the fed area. 10 minutes later and the anticipation had faded a little, there were a few Carp cruising around but they appeared quite uninterested and I’d only had a couple of sharp taps on the float that I couldn’t connect with. Banded pellet, expanders and corn were all alternated, but at the end of the first hour all I had to show for my efforts were 3 small Barbel and a couple of Roach that might have scraped 1 lb in total.

I’d heard Pete take a couple of fish (and curse the fishery landing nets) but from what little I could see nobody was bagging up. The wind wasn’t helping but at least it had blown the clouds away and bright sunshine was warming things up nicely, but after another 15 minutes biteless I dumped another 2 large pots of pellet and corn on the 8 mtr line to try and kick start things and took a stroll with the camera. Pete was fishing corn down his left hand margin and was admitting to around 15 lbs in the net……


Clive was taking a similar approach and it had already produced a few Carp for him, and he was hoping that things would improve as the match wore on ……


and I could see Terry on the next peg, and while he was fishing down the margins as well he looked as if he was having a bit of trouble with his presentation due to the wind……


Anyway, with others catching I decided to get back and see if I could improve on my performance so far. As I made my way back someone called out my name and it turned out it was Scott(scottymatch) who follows this Blog and his partner who had come down to introduce themselves, and it was a nice surprise to meet them both. After a brief chat they left and I settled back in to get on with things. Second put in with corn and the float slid slowly away and a couple of feet of elastic indicated something with a bit of weight at last. A small Mirror of around 2 lbs, and very welcome. It proved to be a bit of a false dawn however as just a solitary tiny Barbel followed with nearly 2 hours of the match gone.

I’d noticed that Colin was starting to pick up a few fish, while Martin and Graham were fairing no better than me, despite being on what looked like a couple of pegs to die for, especially with the wind blowing into them. Martin had managed to nick a couple of fish on the feeder, but Graham appeared to be having a real grueller and was struggling to even get a bite……


Dave strolled round and stopped to see how I was doing and reckoned that although most were catching a few, nobody was really going well where he was, though Tony had been catching steadily. I then noticed what I was sure was a tail pattern just past the end of my keepnets. Decision Time!!! I had some GOT Atomic paste in my carryall, and decided to make it up. With that done I selected a small Malman SC Paste float and rigged it up on 0·18 Power Match with a size 12 Ashima Barbless. Plumbing up I found 2 ft at 3 mtrs, so with the rig set I flicked a few pellets out and potted the 1st bit of paste in. The rig settled and 30 seconds later a couple of dips were followed by the float sliding steadily away and a nice Common of around 3 lbs was soon in the net. That was the start of the improvement for me, nothing spectacular, but at last I started to put fish in the net on a regular basis.


Unfortunately I started having a bit of trouble with foul hooked fish. Now I wasn’t feeding heavily, just the odd pinch of pellets that were pretty well spread as I didn’t want to concentrate to many fish in to small an area, but it was stopping me from finding any sort of rhythm, and with just around 1½ hours remaining I was looking for a decent finish to the match. Checking on my clicker I realised that I’d missed a few fish off and didn’t really know just what I had in the net.

Now Colemans operates a weight limit (70 lbs per net) and I was hopeful that I’d exceed that by the end of the match so I decided to go and get a 2nd carp net and put it in to be on the safe side. I was pretty careful putting it in, conscious that I didn’t want to disturb the paste line to much. Not to worry though , first put in after sorting the nets and a decent Mirror of around 5 lbs obliged, so no harm done.


So with an hour to go I was set, but how to avoid the foul hookers? I added 3 inches of depth to the rig and fixed a no1 shot 3 inches from the hook in an attempt to get round the problem. Colin by now was catching well and I knew it would be close between us at the end……


The adjustment to the rig had the desired effect and I was soon putting a much better run of fish regularly in the net, In fact I only suffered 1 more foul hooker in the last hour, and the swim was getting stronger and stronger when Dave blew the whistle for the All-Out at 4 pm. I felt reasonably happy with my match at the end, it was just a shame that I hadn’t sorted things out earlier. I felt that I’d probably got around 80 lbs to show for my efforts, but couldn’t help feeling that the peg would have been good for a ‘Ton+’ if I’d sorted it earlier.

So with the kit packed away and back in the car it was time for the Weigh-In. Now I have to say that Colemans probably has the most efficient system for weighing in that I’ve seen at a fishery in some time.


Basically as the picture above shows, they have quad bikes with trailers that drive round. On the back of the trailer is a bar that supports the scales, along with a weighing container and carp mat. It drives round to the pegs, fish are transferred to the container weighed and returned and the fishery nets collected in the trailer. Fast, efficient and with minimal strain for the fish. The chat suggested that Tony had had a decent day round on the other side of the lake, and Keith was keeping things pretty close to his chest, hinting that he probably had 50 lbs+.

Clive kicked things off from peg 2 and put 53½lbs on the scales . Pete had obviously had a decent day on peg 4 and took the lead with a fine 95 lbs. I was quite pleased and surprised to edge him out though when the scales recorded 96½lbs for my fish. That lead was short lived however as Colin put 97 lbs on the scales to edge me out of it. Onward we went with the next weight of note being Tony’s who finally put 86 lbs on the scales.


We then arrived at Keith’s peg!!! What can be said? somehow his 50lbs+ morphed into 142½lbs !!!! An excellent weight given that his peg wasn’t one of the most fancied (Be careful if you’re standing besides Keith though, because if he turns round quickly he could have your eye out with his nose)

So with the Weigh-In completed it was back to the patio outside the fishery lodge where winnings were dispensed by Dave, and tea, coffee and bread pudding along with a load of banter brought yet another Marsh club match to a close. Another excellent day out at a decent fishery in good company, it doesn’t get much better really.

Next Saturday I’m down at Monk Lakes for the Southern Intersite match where I’m fishing for the team. Vince is our Captain and I’ll be looking to mug him and get one of my Golden Nuggets back. Will I manage it? you can find out here.


Location: Great Braxted, Essex, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Match Lakes 1 and 2. August 22nd, 2009.

The Southern Intersite Match.


Well today was the day of the annual Southern Intersite Match, where 4 teams of 10 anglers representing 4 angling forums pit their wits and fishing skills against each other in a light hearted match. Well I say light hearted, but over the years it’s become quite competitive for some, but as usual I’m fishing for the team from and our ethos is still to enjoy ourselves and the day without actually trying to win. The other teams are from Angling Forums, Total and TalkAngling so we’ll see how the day goes. The first look out of the bedroom window was promising, offering the promise of a decent day weather-wise ahead, though the forecast reckoned we might get a few showers at some point.
A cup of coffee to kick start the old grey matter, then get the car loaded before setting off for the fishery. A nice easy drive down saw me pulling into the fishery just after 8 am and pulling up in the car park next to Mick the Chippy. Climbing out of the car it was strangely still, and people were saying that the lakes were like glass with no hint of a ripple to be seen, a very rare occurrence at Monks!!!!!

Down to the chuck wagon for a bacon sarnie and coffee and the greetings and banter were soon in full flow as the 4 teams started to assemble prior to the draw.. New faces being introduced, while old ones were greeted and abused in equal measures. 9 am and the team captains drew their teams pegs which were then allotted to their team members. The MD’s draw was done and with 5 sections on each lake peg 60 on Lake 2 was mine. I was quite happy with that as I much prefer Lake 2 having fished it more than Lake 1.

With new match rules in place at Monk Lakes including bait and net limits, decisions had to be made about bait and as I loaded my kit up onto the barrow I selected 7 pints of pellets, a couple of tins of corn and 2kg of groundbait for the day as well as 4 keepnets (well you never know your luck).​


With my gear safely round to my peg it was time to set up. Peg 60 has a decent bit of depth and a decent left hand margin to a bush. The plan was to fish paste and pellet and concentrate on 2 lines today, 5 mtrs straight out where there was around 5½ft and the margin with around 2½ft. For the 2 paste rigs I selected a couple of Malman SC paste floats made up on 0·18 Power Match with size 12 Ashima Barbless hooks. I also set up a Malman 4X 14 Champers on 0·14 power match with a size 16 Drennan Carp Match hook for fishing the pellet on the deck out at 5 mtrs and a Malman Slapper, again on 0·14 Power Match with a size 16 Drennan Carp Match hook for up in the water, that would also double up for the margin if needed. Bait wise the paste was a bag of Dynamite Swim Stim Amino Original that I had put through a liquidiser to make it really fine and added a packet of GOT Baits pineapple Atomic Cloud which mixes up to a nice soft consistency, a selection of hard and soft hook pellets and some corn, with 6 mm pellets for feed.

With the new weight limits in place I put 3 keepnets in straight away just in case, as I didn’t want to run the risk of disturbing the margin later if I was catching well. Everything was ready by 10·30 am and with half an hour to go I strolled back to the car to get my jacket just in case we got the odd shower (You aren’t allowed to cross the bridge now once the match has started) Nick(Bag Up) was settling in to peg 46 as I got round to the car, and you couldn’t accuse him of being the worlds tidiest angler ……

As I made my way back I took the opportunity of snapping a picture of Clive on end peg 77 as he sat waiting for the off ……


Fred(Milo)Parker fishing for TalkAngling had draw the other end peg (56) and was obviously hoping for a decent day ahead ……


While the lads at the other end were obviously discussing their prospects, and I had to fancy Nick Gilbert’s chances (but not his dress sense) after he’d drawn peg 67 as he’s got a good record at Monks……


So 11 am and the All-In was called and I cupped in 2 big pots of pellet at 5 mtrs and fed some pellet down the left margin. I started off with a banded 8 mm pellet at 5 mtrs which resulted in a couple of lightening fast bites that I couldn’t connect with. Third time lucky though as a slower more positive bite resulted in a first fish, a nice plump Mirror of around 2 lbs nestling safely in the net. It was a case of steady away from then on really, working the bait , lifting and dropping the rig or a little drag to one side to try and induce a bite. There was just a little to long between bites but the fish that I was getting were plump Mirrors so at least a bit of weight was going in the net and at the end of the first hour I had 7 fish for around 18 lbs.

Looking across I could see Hathers (moleman) who appeared to be going along quite nicely on peg 54 and luckily he had a cap on, so I wasn’t getting dazzled by the reflection from his bonce ……


while over on peg 46 Nick appeared to be going along quite nicely thank you, regularly putting fish in the net……


Try as I might I just couldn’t seem to up the rate, while Mark on peg 59 to my right seemed to be catching faster than me, though he was getting a lot of Barbel (I couldn’t actually see though as he was hidden by the bush). So about 12·30 I had my 1st look with the paste rig and while it didn’t provide any increase in bites, they were a lot more definite when they came and easier to connect with.

By 1·30 pm I was feeling a little parched and realised that I’d left my drinks in the car, and as you’re now not allowed across the bridge once the match is on I took a stroll up to Mick to scrounge a drink. The man himself kindly obliged with a whistle wetter and appeared to be enjoying himself as he slid another fish into his waiting landing net while I watched ……


I took the opportunity to pop down and see how Nick was getting on, and he reported that he’d had a blinding start with 20 fish in the net in the 1st hour, things had slowed for him however and he was actually fishing on the deck to keep some fish going in the net !!!! Anyone that knows Nick will know that he’s a confirmed “up in the water” man, so thought I’d better catch proof of this rare event on camera …


Just after 2 pm I noticed a tail pattern in my left hand margin, so felt it was time for a look there. Just 3 sections were needed to drop the paste down the margin and after a couple of minutes the float slid away and I found myself attached to a better fish that appeared to be determined to go and visit the opposite side of the lake. Almost straight away I could feel it was a foul hooker, but fortunately after a few minutes I was able to slide it tail first into the landing net, another plump Mirror, but this one went about 6 lbs.

I stayed with the margin swim for the remainder of the match, yet again I couldn’t up my catch rate though. However I was putting fish into the nets on a regular basis even if it wasn’t quite as quick as I would have liked and felt I should have brought some maggots with me as they would probably have drawn a few more Barbel into the peg.

Looking around it was hard to see how others were doing due to the lush bankside vegetation, indeed I could just see Clive’s head peeking above making him appear somewhat like a Jap Sniper in the jungle…


While Mick being somewhat loftier in the height department (though he may have been standing up) could be seen playing another fish when I glanced round ……


My final 40 minutes were quite frustrating as sport seemed to slow right down, and I only managed to put a couple of fish in the net in this period meaning that when the All-Out was called I’d ended the match with 40 fish in my nets. Clive and I had drawn scales duty for the causeway so I managed to get packed away and my kit back to the car while we waited for the scales as they weighed the car park bank first.
Unfortunately Nick(Bag Up) fell foul of the new rules as his 2 nets at the Weigh-In were both over 60 lbs so he only recorded a level 100 lbs (50 lbs for each net) I’m not really sure what happened there though as he had 4 nets in the water during the match.

So we finally got round to the Weigh-In on the causeway and Morgan kindly took on the recording duties allowing Clive and myself to get on with the weighing. Fred kicked off with 114 lbs. Mark Smith took the honours in my section (8) with a fine 145 lbs, which proved to be the 3rd best weight on the day, and giving me a right battering off the next peg as my 98 lbs was only good enough for 3rd in section. Section 9 saw 3 consecutive ‘Tons’ brought to the scales with Nick Gilberts being the best of them at 168¼lbs and the top individual weight on the day. The final section (10) saw all four anglers record ‘Tons’, with Roland Lucas’s 153½lbs, which was the 2nd highest weight on the day winning the section . Billy Lowe put 128½lbs on the scales to record his first ever ‘Ton’ in a match and take 2nd in section, while poor Clive’s 112½lbs was only good enough for last in section.

So with the Weigh-In completed we made our way back to the car park for the results and it was obvious that Lake 2 had been the one to draw, with Lake 1 fishing much harder, in fact just a single ‘Ton’ weight was recorded on Lake 1 by Paul Law (justin case) the TalkAngling Team Captain. With all the results in it was the lads from Total Fishing that took the honours on the day by just a single point from the Angling Forums team. Maggotdrowning trailed into 3rd place with the lads from TalkAngling bringing up the rear.

All in all it had proved to be a good day though, Thanks to Vince for organising today's match with his usual customary efficiency. Thanks to Morgan and his staff for providing his fishery for the day and finally Thanks to everyone from all the forums who made it a most enjoyable day with the match fished in the right spirit, nice to catch up with some we already knew and others for the first time.Happily for me, and unfortunately for Vince normal service had been resumed and Vince had to hand back one of my Golden Nuggets that he’d taken from me at Rolf’s, so a nice end to the day for me at least.(y)



Location: Marden, Kent, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 29th, 2009.

The JINX Series 2009
Match 5.


Well this is it, the final match of 2009′s Jinx Series. It’s been a close fought series this year and there’s probably half a dozen anglers in with a chance of winning the series going into this last match, and Clive and I still have an outside chance to win The Pairs. There’s bound to be a few tales to tell at the end of it all, besides all the anglers trying to escape yet another Minxing at Gemma’s hands.

Anyway with the car all loaded and breakfast in the form of a “Full English” taken care of by my usual stop in Battersea, a smooth drive down to Rolf’s ensued, though the junction 8 services were rammed with Rugby League fans making their way down to Wembley for The Challenge Cup Final. Pulling into the fishery car park, some people were already there as they were making a proper weekend of it and had fished the Friday Night match and were staying on for the Sunday Fish4Wales match. Clive was already ensconced in ‘Hotel Peugeot’ so I stopped for a chat and to find out how the evening match had fished. Soon the Welsh contingent surfaced along with Simon & Gem and as we chatted the car park started to fill with the usual suspects. Nick (monkey) had brought along wife Lisa and son Josh for the day, While Paul had wife Jayne and the family pooch in tow. Dai arrived with Malc and his boy Liam, while Geoff P had interrupted his holiday to meet up with the Jinx mob once again.​


There was a bit of a breeze today and a fair bit of cloud, and with the weather having been a bit unsettled I fancied that the Lake might fish every bit as hard as it had on recent visits, there was also a bit of scum that had collected in a couple of pegs, most notably pegs 10 & 11 and pegs 2 & 3. However there were plenty of fish moving as usual, and it’s notoriously hard to tell just how Rolf’s will fish on any given day, just as long as I didn’t draw PEG 13 I would be happy. Even with Malc arriving in plenty of time, the draw was somehow delayed. Clive however was a picture of joy and elation when he discovered his personal nemesis, in the shape of PEG 23 had been left out of the draw bag, and positively beaming when he pulled Peg 8 from the draw bag. I hung back hoping some other poor mug sucker lucky soul would draw PEG 13. Dai duly obliged (unlucky fella) and I plunged my hand in and came back with Peg 2. Not a peg I’d fished before, but facing a bit of scum was infinitely preferable to spending 5 hours in my personal version of purgatory. Strolling round to my peg there was Dave on Peg 34, Jon on Peg 36 and Slim on Peg 38. Al was on Peg 40, while on peg 4 was Steve, with Malc on peg 6 completing our section.


Down to the business at hand and set up the kit for the day. 2 paste rigs consisting of small Malman SC Paste floats and rigged it up on 0·20 Power Match with size 12 Ashima Barbless hooks, 1 for the margins where I had around 2 ft of depth and the other for 5-8 mtrs where there was around 4ft with just a couple of inches variance over the distance. Then a deck rig for either pellet or corn at 5-8 mtrs made up of a Malman 4X12 Adam on 0·20 Power Match with size 14 QM1 hook and finally a Malman Slapper, again on 0·20 Power Match with a size 14 Drennan carp match hook for up in the water and to double up down the margin if needed. Bait was Paste, 8 mm hard pellet and corn, with feed taken care of by 6 mm fishery pellet.


Well it was 1·30 pm when Malc’s dulcet tones announced the All-In. I shipped out a large pot of pellet with a few grains of corn to 5 mtrs and fed some pellet by hand to the bush down the left hand margin, then shipped out a banded 8 mm pellet to 5 mtrs, but no amount of lifting and dropping could induce a bite……


In fact the start of the match was slow for most of us that I could see on the Little Lake. Steve had got off the mark though, slipping a carp into his net quite early on…


The Jinx himself, Malc had also uttered his customary shout to signify that he’d landed his 1st fish of the day over on peg 6……


I’d been alternating between pellet, paste and corn for over an hour, when I had a sharp bite on corn. I missed it but the strike connected with something substantial in mid water, a foul hooker that I was briefly connected to before the hook returned with just a solitary scale attached. Dave however was into what appeared to be a decent carp that was putting up a good account of itself……


With nothing happening for me I decided to re-feed and take a stroll with the camera, and by the time I got round to Clive, Dave was just guiding it into the net……


Terry was having a bit of a struggle getting to grips with Peg 7, but I’m sure I saw a smile spread across his face as he watched Jon’s pained expression as Dave strolled over for him to verify the weight of the fish he’d just landed …


Chatting to Clive for a while, he’d had a steady start and was hoping for better things as the match progressed, so wishing him well I left him to it ……


Nick was having a bit of a struggle on peg 9, having lost a couple of foul hookers despite having the encouragement of Lisa and Josh watching on behind him……


Next up was Fred on peg 11 who also had his good lady watching on to provide moral support, and it looked as if he was going to need every bit of it……


Then it was round to the dreaded PEG 13. There was Dai, with a swim that was bubbling away like a jacuzzi, and a look of pain on his face that I knew only to well. I really felt for him, having been there far to often for my liking this year, so left him alone with his misery……


Next up was Geoff, who having had a weigher and a couple in the net had a smile on his face and a twinkle in the eye, he was just enjoying his day and as he’d caught that was all that mattered to him……


Looking across I could see Paul, yet again having brought Jayne with him he’d drawn on the car park bank, which by now was in the shade meaning that Jayne had left him in search of some sunshine……


Now it’s obvious that Jayne knows the form when she visits Rolf’s with Paul, as she was to be found sitting in a nice comfy chair in the sun behind the empty peg 19 and looking a lot happier than hubby ……


Gemma was looking distinctly unhappy as it obviously wasn’t going to plan. Nobody had heard her scream as yet meaning that she hadn’t caught, making a lot of people feel a whole lot better as the odds on a Minxing receded……


Big Dave, fresh from a win on the Friday night match, was now experiencing the down side of Rolf’s as it appeared that the fish had wised up to his tactics leaving him struggling …


While to rub it in a bit more, Simon on the next peg seemed to be getting to grips with things and was putting one or two fish in the net……


So back to my peg. There was a bit of activity showing on the 5 mtr line, so back out with an 8 mm banded pellet on the deck having re-plumbed to make sure the bait was just touching bottom. I decided to cut right back on the feed, by flicking just a dozen pellets out at time rather than the 50-60 that’s the norm. I also shortened the line between the pole tip and float to a mere 4″ in an attempt to hit any indication that occurred. 10 minutes of lifting and dropping and the float slid away and a short lift saw a pleasing amount of elastic coming out of the top kit. A couple of minutes later a pristine Rolf’s Common was safely in the landing net, and a weigher to get me off and running. Jon on Peg 36 was briefly connected to a Carp that he felt sure was a foul hooker, and sure enough just moments after I took the photo he lost it …


Slim was struggling as well and appeared to be pinning his faith in picking off a few of the fish that he could see cruising in the upper layers of the water in front of him…


Malc appeared to be having a steady match from what I could see, though Steve seemed to be getting a steady run of fish as well, unfortunately for Steve though, quite a few of those were foul hookers that were coming adrift before he had a chance of landing them.

I’d had another couple of net fish and Al had finally got of the mark with a couple of weighers. Jon by now had got just a little bit desperate thinking that he may be on the receiving end of a Minxing, and had got the maggots out and spent an hour fishing for silvers, Desperate or what? Meanwhile it was a case of a blank half hour for me, but I noticed a few bubbles popping to the surface at around 8 mtrs. After adding another couple of sections I re-plumbed, fired about 20 pellets out and followed with a banded 8 mm. The float kept on going and after a brief tussle a stocky Mirror was safely in the net, another weigher. For the final hour and a half I stuck with the 8 mtr line and while it couldn’t be described as fast and furious action I managed to add a further 5 Carp to my net during that time, the last sliding into the landing net as Malc called the All-Out.

So with the gear all packed away and back in the car, it was time for the Weigh-In which as usual started from Peg 34 and Dave started things off with a hard earned 30¾lbs. The first improvement on that was Slim’s 63¾lbs from Peg 38. My 9 fish came to a level 67 lbs which would be good enough for 2nd in section, as Malc took the honours in our section with an even 100 lbs. Clive on Peg 8 had made the most of his draw putting 128 lbs on the board and taking the win on the day. Tony on Peg 10 managed a level 76 lbs that would give him 2nd in his section. PEG 13 however had handed out a proper beating to Dai, with just 4 lbs of silvers saving him from a DNW.
Gem on Peg 24 on the car park bank had an even more frustrating day with just 3 lbs of silvers meaning everyone had avoided a Minxing. Simon on Peg 26 put 124¼lbs on the scales giving him 2nd overall and a section win, Andy’s 78¼lbs gave him 5th overall, while finally on Peg 31 Simon E’s 123 lbs gave him 3rd overall and 2nd in section on the day.

So that was it, Series over, as we all congregated round the fishery hut and Malc worked out the final positions. Of course boys will be boys and with a few cameras present some opportunities are just to good to miss……


Overall Simon Enticott won the Series with a score of 5 points, with Clive in 2nd place for the 2nd year running with a score of 7 points, and Steve in 3rd place on 8 points.
Congratulations and Well Done to all of them.​

Overall Individual Series Result.

NB: Anglers were allowed to drop their worst section result during the series so that the Overall Series results were decided by best 4 out of 5 section points.
Overall weight counting in the result of anglers tying on points.

In the Pairs the Winners were Simon Enticott & Fred Parker with 49 points while Clive and I were Runners Up just 5 points behind on 54 Points.​

Overall Pairs Result.

NB: Pairs were allowed to drop their worst points total during the series so that the results were decided by best 4 out of 5 points scores.
Overall weights counting in the result of pairs tying on points.

So yet another Jinx Series comes to an end, I’d just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Malc for organising what continues to be the friendliest and best series of matches its been my pleasure to fish.
Yet another BIG THANK YOU to John & Pauline Bennett for all their efforts and for allowing us the use of Rolf’s for the entire series.
Finally a final BIG THANK YOU to all that have fished The Jinx Series, it’s all of you that make it so enjoyable to fish, and long may it continue. See you all to do it again next year no doubt. (y)



Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Private Lake, East Sussex. September 5th, 2009.

Marsh AC club match.


Down to a Private Lake in East Sussex today for a Marsh AC club match. This isn’t really an official club match, but Dave managed to get a booking and felt that some of the members might enjoy the chance to have a days fishing there. We’re expecting 16 of us to be fishing, including 5 guests. The Lake is a prolific fishery with a large head of Carp that’s well capable of throwing up some very good weights . However the weather leading up to the match has been very changeable so just how it’ll fish today is anyone's guess. Looking out through the bedroom window it looked like we were in for a decent day weather wise and I soon had the car loaded. A quick stop for a bit of breakfast on the way and I was pulling into the fishery car park just after 8 am. A good number had arrived before me including the guests. Keith & Mick had come down from Milton Keynes, Bill and Clive had joined us as well for the day and Al arrived in the nick of time as usual.

Dave, in his usual efficient manner, soon had the monies collected and the draw under way. Keith drew Peg 1 and Bill couldn’t disguise his delight at drawing Peg 4 in the other corner. I found myself holding Peg 12, up on the right hand bank with Terry on Peg 11 and Tony on Peg 13 for company today. Reaching the peg I realised that I’d fished it once before, and caught bugger all off it, but that had been in the depths of winter, so hopefully today would prove to be better.​


So down to business and get set up for the day. I set up a couple of Malman 4X12 Adam’s on 0·18 Power Match with size 16 Drennan Carp hooks to fish pellet and corn as well as a small Malman SC Paste float on 0·20 Power Match with a size 12 Ashima Barbless hook. I also set up a Malman Slapper on 0·18 Power Match with a size 16 Drennan carp match hook for up in the water and to double up down the margins. Today's bait was various pellets, paste and corn with 6 mm pellets for feed.

With a few minutes before the All-In I strolled down to see Tony who appeared to be covering all the options with half a dozen top kits set up……


Keith and Mick appeared deep in thought, Keith no doubt wondering if he was going to get the better of Mick today, as Mick has developed the happy knack (for him) of beating Keith when they fish together ……


So at 10 am Dave blew the whistle for the All-In I shipped out a pot of mixed pellets and corn to the 8 mtr line and some fed by hand into the margins, but before I could ship my rig out I could see both Bill and Colin into fish straight away !!!! Anyway out with the rig with an 8 mm banded pellet A bit of lifting and dropping of the rig soon saw the float slide away and I soon had my first fish of the day, a nice plump Common of around 4 lbs safely in the net.

Looking across Jim had an early fish on the feeder to get him off the mark and so had young Zack……


Word had filtered round that Chris had got himself a decent Tench, and that Clive had found a couple of fish as well to get him off the mark. I’d taken another couple of Carp before I lost a fourth when the rig line parted for no apparent reason, it hadn’t parted at a knot or where any of the stotz had been applied. Anyway back out with another rig and I was soon into a fish once more, this one being a better sized Mirror that must have been around 7 lbs. So with about an hour gone I reckoned I had about 20 lbs and felt things looked good for the rest of the match.


Tony had taken 3 fish by now (“1 about a foot deep, 1 at around 3 ft and another on the drop” ) while Terry to my right had 5 in the net ……


In the next half hour I managed just one more fish, a Common around 5 lbs, but it was noticeable that sport had slowed all round the lake apart from Peg 15 that is, as Al seemed to be the only one catching regularly. I decided to re feed quite heavily to see if I could draw some fish, and took a stroll with the camera. Indeed Martin on peg 10 hadn’t even had a bite and was at a loss to explain why, while Terry seemed to have a re-occurrence of a problem he’d suffered with here before, in that he was losing 50% of the fish he hooked for no apparent reason. Chris was concentrating on the end of the bush in the right hand margin of his swim but was only admitting to 4 fish in his nets ……


Clive had resorted to casting a straight lead to the island, and as I arrived he was playing a Common that was giving a good account of itself, but was soon safely in the net ……


Colin was fishing his favourite paste down the right hand margin, but despite a decent start was now biteless ……


Bill tucked away in the corner had started off like a house on fire, his first two put in’s having resulted in a couple of doubles, which had swiftly been followed by a couple of smaller fish, but he was struggling to and had resorted to fishing hard up to the reeds to try and tempt a bite from fish that could be seen moving in them ……


Indeed the tactic seemed to have worked for him, because as I reached Jim’s peg I looked back just in time to see him playing a fish ……


Keith on Peg 1 was another having a bit of a frustrating time having been told he’d drawn one of the favoured swims. He’d managed a double early on followed by another couple of smaller fish, but was now struggling for a bite……


Al however was now putting a steady run of fish together, though he reckoned they were mainly small ones, but at least he was catching regularly ……


I wish I could say that things improved from that point on, but I would be lying if I did. It was as if someone or something had switched the lake off with only the very occasional fish coming out in the next 4 hours. I had one more bite at around 3 pm which produced another Carp, but that was it for me. In fact there was a communal sigh of relief at 4 pm when Dave sounded the All-Out to put us out of our collective misery.

As we packed away, the inquest on the days events started, with everyone scratching their heads and at a loss to explain just why the lake had appeared to have switched off, not that anyone could come up with a convincing answer though.

So to the Weigh-In, Keith kicked things off with a hard earned 30¾lbs, and just a single fish for both Zack and Jim. Bill registered 40¾lbs and was immediately overtaken by Colin with 42½lbs. Dave had just 2 fish while Simon managed 20½lbs. Clive managed 45¼lbs for the lead at that point, meaning that Bill had to part with a Golden Nugget and Chris recorded a level 31 lbs. Round to the opposite bank where Martin had dry netted. Terry’s seven fish came to 36¼lbs leaving him regretting those lost fish. My six fish totalled 29½lbs while Tony’s six came to 26½lbs. Mick’s fish weighed in at 20¼lbs meaning that Keith had done him for once today. Al was home and dry with his first keepnet and eventually recorded an even 122 lbs for a very comfortable win on the day, and was also the last to weigh as unfortunately Graham had dry netted as well.

So back to the car park. Congratulations to Al and a lot of head scratching all round, as none of us had experienced a day like that on the lake before and were at a loss to explain it. Still it had been another good day in great company and pleasant surroundings, even if the fishing hadn’t been up to expectations. We’ll have to do it all again soon, just a few more fish would be nice though.


Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex, UK
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