My Fishing Diaries.

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Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. August 6th, 2011.
Southern Championship 2011.


Today is the day of the Southern Championship which means that I’m off down to Nick’s Lake at Hartleylands Farm just outside the village of Cranbrooke in Kent. Nick Gilbert had kindly taken care of organising the match this year. The early morning glance out of the window revealed a cloudy overcast morning, and the weather forecast wasn’t for much in the way of improvement. I soon had the car loaded up and by 7 am I was on my way.
The first port of call today was The Knoxbridge Café, where a few of the lads were meeting for breakfast. I got there just after 8 am to find most of the usual suspects were already in attendance a ‘Knoxbridge Special Breakfast’ soon had me set up for the day ahead, and it was then just a matter of jumping back into the car for the five minute trip down the road to the fishery.

As we waited for the draw word came through that Tony was marooned on a stationary M25, and a quick phone call to him confirmed that he wouldn’t be able to make it today, which left 16 of us fishing today. Prior to the draw Nick was doing a brisk trade in his floats which he had with him, but we were soon picking our pegs……​


I found peg 13 was to be mine for the day, not a peg that I would have chosen, as I’ve never fished there before and it’s not considered one of the noted pegs. Nick Costar (Bag Up) had drawn peg 8, and would take some beating with his Method approach, while Al had drawn 9, another good peg. Matt and Mick had 23 and 24 and Nick Gilbert was on peg 17, on his own at the top of the lake with the wind blowing into it. Reaching my peg I took stock, a comfy chuck to the island for a feeder, and a promising reed lined margin to the right and a overhanging bush to the left, with the wind blowing from right to left across me ……​


I set up 3 top kits. The first with a 0·2g NG XT Power Pencil made up on 0·16 Ultima Power Match straight through to a size 16 Guru MWG for straight out in front at around 6 mtrs where I had around 4 ft of water. Then a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG for tight to the reeds in my right hand margin where I had 2 feet of water and a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG that would be used tight to the bush on my left. I also set up the feeder rod to fish the method to the island. Bait was a selection of 4, 6 and 8 mm pellets along with some GOT Baits soft hookers and some paste.

Kevin appeared with a welcome cup of coffee courtesy of Jean and after a brief chat made his way back to his peg for the start of the match. With everyone set Nick called the All-In at 11 am. I fed a pot of mixed pellet at 6 mtrs and a handful in each margin before shipping an 8 mm pellet out to the 6 mtr line. a couple of dips then the float buried resulting in a hand sized skimmer to get me off the mark, which was followed by a couple more identical examples. Not quite what I was hoping for especially as the two Nick’s both appeared to be off to flyer’s along with Al, in fact rumour had it that Bag Up had taken a couple of near doubles in consecutive casts within the first 15 minutes !!!!!!

Up to my left on peg 15 was Toby(vassago)Wells, and from what I could see it appeared that he was suffering with a similar slow start to the match like I was​


After upping my feeding on the 6 mtr line my next fish was a Carp, only a small one at around 1½lbs, but it gave a good account of itself before sliding across the rim of the landing net. This signalled the start of a run of Carp, but after about an hour I could tell that I wasn’t catching fast enough and was already falling behind. Time to take a look on the method. I’d previously soaked some 4 mm pellets for use on the feeder, so using those in conjunction with a hair rigged banded 8 mm pellet it was out to the island with the feeder. It was quite shallow out by the island and I could see fish turning toward the splash of the feeder as it landed, and while it soon started to produce fish for me, they were all small fish of around the 1 lb mark. Nick on peg 17 was making serious inroads into the lake’s Carp population and still taking fish regularly……​


I stuck it out in the hope that a few better examples would show up, but it just didn’t seem as if it was meant to be today. Sipping a second cup of coffee from Jean I decided to have a quick look with the pellet waggler, as I had been catapulting 6-8 8 mm pellets to the island every couple of minutes while fishing the method and it was already set up in it’s ready sleeve. The set up was ideal to reach the island but after half a dozen casts it was all to obvious that the wind was making presentation to difficult for it to be effective. I could see that Al was still catching at a steady rate, and his commentary on Bag Up’s progress kept everyone aware of how well he was catching. I could also hear plenty of splashing coming from Nick’s peg although the bush to my left stopped me from seeing quite how well he was doing. However I could see Mick over on peg 24 and he seemed to be catching well down his left hand margin ……​


A quick look down both margins produced nothing apart from a solitary small Roach, so it was back to the 6 mtr line for me. I was soon back among the Carp, still not large fish, but a slightly better stamp at around 1½-2 lbs to those I’d been catching on the method. The problem was that I couldn’t increase the catch rate, it was just steady away. Finally with about 30 minutes to go the fish turned up in my right hand margin and I managed to take a few better fish around the 3-4 lb mark before Nick called the All-Out at 4 pm, but it was to little to late for me. Packing up and chatting to Toby it was obvious that we’d had pretty similar matches, and I felt that I probably had around 70 lbs to show for my efforts. So with my gear back in the car it was time for the Weigh-In.

Mick R kicked things off with 39½lbs, but Simon recorded the days first ‘Ton’ with a fine 137 lbs. Kev could only manage 37 lbs 10ozs. Bag Up put 185 lbs on the scales, but Al topped that with 197 lbs 10ozs. My fish came to 88¼lbs, while Toby had 79¼lbs. Nick showed just what a busy day he’d had 140 Carp for a weight of 222¼lbs. Lee had 82 lbs and Matt had 128¼lbs but Mick won their peg to peg tussle with 177¾lbs. Dave had 50½lbs while new boy Gino had 30 lbs. On peg 32 Terry’s 112½lbs was just 4ozs better than Rusty’s 112¼lbs from peg 33, and Keith was last to weigh with 49¾lbs.

So back to the car park for the results. The Winner on the day and Maggotdrowning Southern Champion 2011 was Nick Gilbert. Al Loader took second place on the day while Nick Costar was third overall. Thanks to Nick for organising the match and to all those that supported it on the day.
Lastly to Hartleylands Farm, what a fishery, Over 1700 lbs of fish weighed in, meaning an average of over 100 lbs per angler, it shows the quality of the fishing on offer.​

Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


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Blasford Hill Fishery. Little Waltham. Chelmsford. Essex. August 13th, 2011.

Marsh AC club match.


Well it’s off to Essex again for another Marsh AC club match, and the initial glance out of the curtains wasn’t to promising with a cloudy grey sky and gently falling rain looking as if it could put a dampener on things today. The venue this time is Blasford Hill Fishery just outside of Chelmsford. The club fished here last year and some decent fish were caught. I soon had the car loaded and set off to meet up with Dave at his house to follow him down as this was my first visit having missed the club match there last year. I met up with Dave at around 7 am and shortly after we found the road blocked off by the Police due to an accident (was this an omen of things to come?), a quick detour soon had us back on track and we arrived at the fishery shortly before 8 am.

A few had arrived ahead of us and we took a walk down for a look at the lake. The first thing that struck me was that it was quite small, indeed there are only 22 pegs, so things would be quite tight today. There were a few fish showing on top, though doubtless they would vanish once we settled into our pegs.
Back at the car park Dave soon had the monies collected and the draw under way. With the pegs not being numbered it was decided to use 10 pegs down each side, leaving out the 2 end pegs and I found peg 11 sticking to my hand. To see where we all ended up see the picture below……​


Making my way round with my kit I was happy to find one of the empty pegs to my left giving me a nice long margin to fish. Jim was on peg 10, the same peg he fished last year, while Clive was to my right on peg 12 with Tony next to him.​


Settling into the peg I set up 3 top kits. one with a 0·3 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG for the 7 mtr line where I found a nice level area with around 5 ft of depth. The other rigs were a couple of 0.2 NG Edger’s on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG’s. One for the left hand margin where I had a constant 15 inches no matter how far along it I plumbed, the other for the patch of reeds in the right hand margin where i had around 2 ft hard against them. Clive would be fishing this from the other side though so I would probably be concentrating on the left hand margin. Bait was a selection of 4, 6 and 8 mm pellets along with various GOT Baits soft hookers, corn, cat meat and some paste.

With a bit of time before the All-In Keith appeared for a quick chat and Jean arrived with a welcome cup of coffee. Looking across I could see Dave on peg 7 and what appeared to be his fan club in attendance……​


While Tony appeared to be happy enough with his lot prior to the off ……​


10 am and Dave called the All-In, a pot of mixed pellet and corn on my 7 mtr line, with some pellet and corn in the left margin and some pellets into the right margin was my opening feeding gambit. I shipped a 6 mm banded pellet out to 7 mtrs and awaited developments. Al appeared to get 3 quick fish on the method, but all round things appeared to be slow. I’d been told that the fishery contained a decent head of Carp including quite a few doubles along with plenty of skimmers and Roach, but the singular lack of action already had me wondering just how accurate this info was. Just to dampen things further we had a short shower, however this didn’t last to long and having run through various baits I finally had a bite having returned to a banded 6 mm pellet. Lifting into it I felt a Carp take off and was just drawing it toward the net when the rig came flying back with a scale embedded on the hook.

Clive had managed an early Carp on the method, but with no further action had reverted to the pole and taken another couple. Tony hadn’t had so much as a bite and was already voicing his displeasure, however rather than sympathy it just resulted in a volley of pee taking coming his way from all around the lake.
I finally managed a second bite, a 4 oz Roach being the culprit, but most welcome as it at least meant a DNW would be avoided and that was followed by a skimmer of around 8 ozs. Jim had picked up a couple of fish from his margin, but a decent fish had snapped his elastic and he’d now reverted to his waggler rod.

After about 1½ hours a kernel of corn produced a bite!!!!!! This was a Carp that was played ever so carefully, not a big fish at around 3 lbs, but very gratefully dispatched to the keepnet. A second similar sized one followed after around 15 minutes, and with Jean arriving with a refill of coffee, hopefully things were starting to pick up. A third arrived after another 20 minutes, but then the sun came out and the swim died. I’d looked at both margins, but there were no signs of life from either of them. Jim appeared to be into a decent fish on his rod, but was taking things carefully with it. I decided to fill in the 7 mtr line and take a stroll in search of some inspiration, and just as I set off Clive lifted into another Carp, not a large fish but it put up a spirited scrap before Clive slid the landing net under it ……​


Tony was in a marginally better mood by now having finally taken a Carp of around 7 lbs from his margin line, but it looked like it was a solitary fish as no matter what he tried he couldn’t tempt another ……​


Al’s catch rate has slowed right down after his quick start to the match and he was now fishing his favourite long pole shallow style, but he did manage a decent stamp Roach as I watched him ……​


Keith was frustrated, although he’d had a few fish, he couldn’t work out why his margin that looked spot on for a few fish wasn’t producing, while opposite him his travelling companion Mick had started to put a few together, and appeared to be in with a real chance of taking the bragging rights for the trip home to Milton Keynes. As if that wasn’t enough on the next peg to Keith’s right was Vic (a fellow GOT Baits sponsored angler) so there was a bit of friendly rivalry there as well. Vic however was also having a struggle so it remained to be seen who would come out on top ……​


Eddie was having a ‘mare’ on peg 1 with lost fish and a smashed top kit to show for his efforts and stopping for a chat with Kev on peg 2 there were a raft of fish cruising the surface in front of him with no interest in feeding and causing him considerable frustration. Jim had finally got the better of the Carp he’d hooked on the waggler and had just weighed it as I got there ……​


Back at my peg things got no better I’m sorry to say, just a single Carp foul hooked at 7 mtrs that trashed the rig as it shot off heading for the other end of the lake. However sport picked up for those on the other side as the afternoon wore on, most notably for Dave on peg 7. It must have been solid with fish under the bush to his left, unfortunately a lot of the fish he hooked were foul hookers, which gave him a right run around before shedding the hook, but he was catching a fair few that were properly hooked, However this was even more exasperating for Terry next door on peg 6 as he couldn’t tempt them round to his side ……​


Time ticked on, but the only highlight was Jean arriving with a third cup of coffee. I managed just 1 more bite for the rest of the match which produced a Roach of around 6ozs, and I have to say that it was a blessed relief when Dave called the All-Out at 4 pm.

I packed up pretty quickly and knew that I would struggle to put 10 lbs on the scales, but was at a loss to work out where it had all gone wrong for me today, and Tony was feeling just the same as we mulled things over. With a set of scales on our side we started the Weigh-In at peg 20 where Martin put 24¼lbs on the scales. John had a level 10 lbs and Rod 10½lbs. Vic managed a level 21 lbs but Keith had 32½lbs to take the section, Al’s 34½lbs proved to be the best weight on our side and took his section. Judy had managed some better fish late on for 25 lbs, Tony tied with Rod on 10½lbs while Clive put a hard earned 33½lbs on the scales to eclipse my paltry 9¾lbs.

Back to the car park where Dave sorted the results and the winner today was Dave himself with 59¼lbs. Second was Jim with a level 55 lbs and third overall was Mick (Keith’s guest and travelling companion) with 52¾lbs meaning that he would be grinning all the way home to Milton Keynes. Graham finished as third club member with 42 lbs.

So that was it for the day, and one to forget for me and I have to say I was glad to get in the car and make my way home, however the day had one more twist left, A hold up on the M25 meaning it took an hour to go 3 miles. Pretty much summed up my day !!!​



Location: Little Waltham, Essex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 20th, 2011.

Jinx Match 5

Well an earlyish start for me today as it’s the fifth Jinx Match in this years Series. I’m not having the best of Series myself this year, but as always it’s been a great set of matches to fish. However as an added bonus this weekend I’m stopping over and fishing as a guest on a club match on Sunday. Anyway a look through the curtains revealed a sunny start to the day, so having fed the cats and demolished a couple of cups of coffee, I soon had the car loaded up with my gear and a few extra bits (sleeping bag, pillows etc) and was on my way. It wouldn’t be a trip to Rolfs with out my customary stop in Battersea for breakfast at the Jimmy’s Griddle café and a ‘Full English’ soon had me set up for the day ahead before I climbed back into the car and headed for Rolfs.
I pulled into the car park just after 10 am to find that it was already quite full. A number of the lads had arrived on Friday and had fished the night match which Simon has won with 136¾lbs from peg 16. Discussion as always focused on how it would fish today, and with it having fished relatively hard last night I wasn’t expecting it to produce any mega weights today.

11·30 am and time for the draw. Webbo wasn’t fishing today and young Liam (Jinx Jnr) at just 8 years old would be fishing his first 5 hour match in his place, and it was agreed that Malc (The Jinx) would have the next peg to keep an eye on him. Well Liam drew Peg 31 meaning Malc had Peg 32, Steve drew Peg 13 but seemed more than happy with that, probably because he’d fished it on Wednesday in the open and had a ‘Ton’ off of it. My dip into the bag yielded Peg 10, a swift return to a peg where I’d had a mare on the Sunday of the MD’s Pairs Weekend. Take a look at the picture below to see where everyone ended up……​


So with my kit collected I made my way round to my peg. I had Neil Riddy for company today tucked behind the bush on my right on Peg 9, and club-mate Tony to my left on Peg 11, while across from me I would have the perfect view as The Jinx and Jinx Jnr went head to head. The set up today wouldn’t be to dissimilar to the way I fished it the last time. Two 6 mtrs lines (a tad further out than last time) at 10 and 2 o’clock to the platform taken care of by a 0·3 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG. A 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG would be used on top of the ledge tight to the bank on my left, while a NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG would be used to fish by the bush to my right. The bait on the sidetray was 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers, along with sweetcorn and paste.​


With a few minutes to kill prior to the off I had a quick stroll round to see how my Pairs partner Fred(Milo) was doing, and as usual he was his laid back self catching up with the news in the paper. However the finishing touch was The Pink Elephant proudly adorning his head as the latest victim of The Minx ……​


So at 1 pm the All-In was called and we were underway. A pot of mixed pellets and corn were shipped out onto both 6 mtr lines and a handful of pellets to the bush and margin swims. An 8 mm banded pellet followed out to the right hand 6 mtr line. Not a lot happened straight away but Malc was into a fish almost straight away as was Steve. My first action saw the float bury, but the fish bolted off, the rig returning with a scale embedded on the hook, surely I wasn’t going another day like the other Sunday.

The wind was blowing down into the Little Lake today, but despite that I heard a YEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!! from down on Peg 40, so that was The Minx up and running……​

Forty five minutes in and my float slid away, obviously another carp, but it felt right and after a short but spirited scrap it was safely in the net, I weighed it to be on the safe side, but at just 8½lbs I needn’t have bothered. Liam had seemed to get off to a cracking start with Richard, one of the Rolf’s regulars keeping an eye on him. Tony had got of the mark with a couple of fish and then lifted into another only to have improbable lengths of elastic stripped from his top kit, obviously a foul hooker but slow steady pressure saw Tony sliding the net under it after a few anxious minutes, a big 15 lbs+ fish and he repeated this next put in with another weigher that went about 10 lbs.

My next fish wasn’t quite of the same stamp, a Bream of around 3½lbs but welcome none the less, which was soon followed by a roach. Liam however was having a rare old tussle over on Peg 31. He played it really patiently though and with it safely in the net it was obvious that it was something special. Onto the scales with it and it weighed an even 20 lbs!!!!!!!! A PB for Liam and thankfully caught on camera ……​


Jean had arrived with a welcome cup of coffee, and while I took a few moments for a much needed caffeine hit I could see that Neil was having a bit of a mare with foul hookers and lost fish, and Steve was suffering too ……​


Rumour had it that Simon, fresh from his win in the night match was really struggling to avoid a Minxing from his better half as well. As the match wore on I was falling further back, I did manage another couple of Carp and another couple of Bream, but Tony was steadily pulling away, as were Liam and Malc, but a glance up toward Pegs 19 and 20 revealed that I was probably having a better day than Jon and Dave on what have become 2 pegs that nobody wants to draw in this Jinx Series .


Malc as per usual was doing his best to provide a bit of entertainment, one fish storming off into the distance before diving under the platform on Peg 33 before snapping him up ……​


The next one did the best job however diving under his platform and making him drop his landing net into the lake before Malc was on his knees and threading his top kit under the platform and retrieving his landing net in the process ……​


…… Somehow though through all this Malc somehow managed to stay connected with the fish and finally got it into the net.
With around an hour to go Paul had taken over from Richard keeping an eye on Liam who was steadily putting a good bag together …….​


……. but it was Neil on Peg 9 who seemed to have finally sorted things out and was steadily putting a string of weigher’s together in a late run. I did manage to add another 2 Carp to my tally in the last hour, but it was to little to late as the All-Out was called at 6 pm.

As I was stopping over it didn’t take to long for me to get packed away and get my kit back to the car park and as I walked round it was obvious that C section in particular had fished hard today. Soon the Weigh-In was under way with Clive on Peg 34 kicking off with 110¾lbs, which would prove to be enough for the section and 2nd overall today. Dave had 78¾lbs while Gem set The Minx Mark at a level 65 lbs. Nick W had 51¼lbs to be her first victim but Budgie scraped though after matching her 65 lbs. Paul followed with 70¼lbs and Geoff had 102 lbs 10ozs for his first ever Jinx Ton and 3rd overall. Kev could only muster 20¼lbs though. Neil had indeed sorted it out weighing 113½lbs for the section and the win on the day. My 57¾lbs ensured another Minxing for me while Tony had 102¼lbs for 2nd in section. Steve weighed 51½lbs while Simon’s 24 lbs ensured Gem took the bragging rights today. Terry had 38¼lbs while Fred with 62½lbs and Mitch with 44¾lbs took 1st and 2nd in section. Jon weighed 21½lbs and Dave M 32¼lbs Ady had a level 30 lbs, Mat 21¼lbs but Dai had suffered a real mare on Peg 25 with just 7¼lbs to show for his efforts. Simon W had 48 lbs and Pete T a fine 95 lbs and Nick W-P 30¼lbs. Which brought us to young Liam who weighed in a magnificent 100 lbs in his first ever match beating 21 of us on the day. Finally Malc weighed 84½lbs and was delighted to be beaten by his son off the next peg.

So back to the hut where Malc sorted the results and monies. With today's results Clive has won The Jinx Series for a second year in a row, this time with a match to go. Well Done Fella. The Star of the day however was young Liam (Jinx Jnr), and there’s no doubt that he’ll take plenty more scalps in the years ahead.

So with the days events over some departed, while some of us stopped on to fish tomorrow. Dave Moore and I grabbed a Chinese takeaway, and spent the rest of the evening chatting by the hut to Hayley, Matt and Malc and I have to say it made for an educational and hilarious evening before I climbed into the car around 11·30 pm for a few hour kip ahead of tomorrow.​

Overall Result




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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 21st, 2011.

Morefax AC club match.

Well I was awoken from my slumbers this morning when a car pulled up next to mine in the car park. Getting out of the car I found Kev strolling across the car park to enquire if I fancied a cup of coffee? Silly question really, and I soon had a steaming cuppa firing up the grey matter thanks to Jean. A few weeks ago Dave C had been asked by the Morefax club whether he could rustle up 10 members of Marsh AC to make up the numbers in their club match today, so a few members of The Jinx Squad were granted temporary membership to make up the numbers so they could fish today. The Morefax lads had planned an early draw (8·30 am) but with a few being delayed a 9·30 am draw and fishing from 11 am – 4 pm was settled on. Soon those of us that had stopped over had packed away our overnight gear, bivvies etc and the discussions had started about where would be a favourable draw. The only thing most agreed on however was nobody wanted Pegs 19 or 20. These however would be in the draw as there were 24 of us fishing today. No Minx or Jinx Jnr today though as they were off to Reading to visit their Gran.

Anyway Draw time soon rolled round and Peg 22 on the car park bank was mine for the day, a shortish walk and a bit to close to those unwanted pegs and Ady had struggled for 30 lbs from there yesterday. Dai and Terry had drawn the short straws of Pegs 19 and 20 respectively, while down to my left I had Malc on 24 and Mat on 26.​


I was just looking for a nice relaxing day today so decided that the rigs from yesterday would be used once more today as I hadn’t stripped them off my top kits yesterday. The 0·3 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 16 Guru MWG allowed me to cover an area at around 5 mtrs straight out in front, while the 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG allowed me to fish the edge of the bush to my left and the NG 0·3 XT Sampson margin on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 14 Guru MWG was fine for the right hand margin. No change to the bait today either, just my usual 6, 8 and 11 mm fishery pellets and a selection of various GOT Baits soft hookers, along with sweetcorn and paste.

At 11 am John sounded the All-In and a pot of mixed pellet and corn was deposited on the 5 mtr line along with a handful of pellets by the bush and down the margin. A banded 8 mm pellet was shipped out to the 5 mtr line. The float soon slid away but it turned out to be what is rapidly becoming my customary foul hooker, and of course as soon as Malc looked round it shed the hook.

However it wasn’t to long before the float buried once more and this time the outcome was more satisfying as after a brief tussle a nice scale perfect common of around 8 lbs slid over the net. Malc was romping away however with 4 carp in as many put ins, though of course just as he felt he had it sorted he suffered a run of foul hookers leaving him with little more than a collection of scales on his side tray and a rig in the trees behind him.

Jean had brought me a cup of coffee and the news that Kevin was struggling down on Peg 30. A couple of better Bream were next along for me in quick succession, and while I could see a few fish coming out around the Big Lake it didn’t seem as if anyone was bagging up. Indeed nowhere was that truer than Pegs 19 and 20 where Dai and Terry were definitely suffering for their sport……​


However Dai did pull the rabbit out of the hat, finally connecting with a decent Carp, which despite giving him a bit of a run around finally found itself safely wrapped in Dai’s landing net. Malc was still getting the odd fish though and from the banter I could hear between him and Simps on Peg 28 so was Simps.

Around 2 pm Dave C strolled round with news that Nick B on Peg 5 had landed a PB Carp of 19½lbs, and shortly after Kevin appeared with a freshly cooked Sausage and Bacon roll. With that taken care of it was back to the fishing, but my next two bites proved to be foul hookers that left me with nothing apart from scales on the hook. Next put in the float buried once more, I connected with what was obviously a decent fish which just plodded off as if it didn’t realise it was hooked. At first I feared it was another foul hooked fish, but soon realised it wasn’t. It was just a big fish that didn’t want to get it’s head up, every time I felt I was getting somewhere with it, it would just head off in another direction. After 6-7 minutes I had it in close but still hadn’t seen it when it headed of toward the bush to my left. I piled on as much pressure as I dared to stop it and it suddenly popped up right by my nets, a big Common. Luckily I managed to net it first time, but it wasn’t till I lifted it clear that I realised what a good fish it was. On the scales it registered 19¼lbs, a pole caught PB for me, and fortunately Malc was on hand to do the honours with the camera……​


As I returned it Terry asked what it had weighed, and when I told him he said that he’d be happy with the ¼ at that point. Of course that was his cue for his float to dip and for him to find that the culprit was a small foul hooked Roach. As the match wound down I managed another 4 carp and one more Bream before the All-Out was called at 4 pm. I thought I had somewhere around 50 lbs but wasn’t unduly bothered as the big Common had made my day, and I soon had my kit packed up and back in the car before the start of the Weigh-In.

Three of the Morefax guys kicked off the weigh in with a best of 60½lbs from Peg 34. Nick W put 75 lbs on the scales at Peg 40 to take an early lead. Next came Simon W with 30¼lbs and Dave C with 58½lbs. Nick B had a good day with 116 lbs to take the lead and start a row of Morefax weights, the best of which were Tony Moore on peg 13 with 49 lbs and Gary Smithers on Peg 14 with 72¾lbs. Dai managed 22¾lbs, but poor Terry could only muster 2 Roach for 4ozs. My weight was 51¾lbs, but Malc put 91 lbs on the scales. Mat had 36¼ but Simps cracked a ‘Ton’ with 100½lbs. Kev managed a tie with Terry on 4ozs and Dave M was last to weigh with 68½lbs.

Back to the hut and Dave C sorted the results. Winner on the day was Nick Bondeau, taking his first ever match win with his first ever ‘Ton’ and a PB Carp. Second on the day was Simps with the days only other ‘Ton’ while Malc finished the day with 3rd place. Thanks to the lads of Morefax AC for the invite today, so an enjoyable couple of days at Rolfs came to an end, not the best of weekends in terms of weights caught, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be such a challenge, still great fun all the same and a credit as always to John and Pauline. (y)

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. August 31st, 2011.


A phone call from Dave Collier was the catalyst for today's trip out. Did I fancy a days fishing on Wednesday with him and Terry Goff? He was thinking of a day down at Hartleylands and was also going to pop down to Hawkhurst at some point and pick up a couple of sacks of pellet as he was running short. “Tell you what Dave, I’ll meet you at Hawkhurst around 9 am, and we can pick up some pellet and have breakfast as well before heading off to Hartleylands”. So that’s how I came to be driving down to Kent on a pleasant sunny summers day and pulling into the car park at Hawkhurst. Dave soon had his pellet and I decided to get a 25 Kg sack of 6 mm’s as well as I was running a bit low. Over to the café, to find that it’s been extended since my last visit. A large ‘Full English’ was soon dispatched and as we made our way back to the cars Terry phoned, he was already at Hartleylands, but The Reservoir which we planned to fish already had lots of anglers on, so it looked like a day on Nick’s seemed favourite. Ten minutes later we pulled into the car park at the fishery to meet up with Terry, and with the roadside bank of Nick’s being free of anglers it didn’t take long to decide that Pegs 33-35 with walks of a maximum of 10 yards from the cars would do today.​


We soon had a gear down at the pegs, with me on Peg 35, Dave on 34 and Terry settled into 33. First things first though, and Dave soon had his stove out and the kettle on for a cuppa. With a refreshing brew sorted it was time to set the kit up. A nice relaxing day today so nothing to complicated. A 0·2 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 16 Guru MWG for the 5mtr line, a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 16 Guru MWG for the margin and another 0·2 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·18 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 12 Guru MWG for paste at the bottom of the shelf. Bait for today was simply 6 mm pellet and GOT Baits Atomic paste.

I suppose it was about 11 am by the time we started and I fed some pellet into the margins and a small pot of pellet at 5 mtrs and followed that out with a banded 6 mm. It didn’t take long before the float slid away and a feisty little Common of around 1½lbs kicked things off for me. Dave and Terry were soon in as well, and the tone set for the day ahead.

After a couple more Carp I then started to get a run of skimmers and Roach, much to Dave’s amusement, but as it wasn’t a match I have to say that I didn’t mind, just as long as I kept getting bites. Terry was just happy to be getting a few fish after a bit of a torrid time recently down at Rolfs. He was fishing paste today and in his own words was using up all the bits and bobs of paste he’d accumulated in the freezer, and whatever they were the resident carp seemed happy enough to accept his offerings…​


A few years back Paul (The owner) stocked 17 Barbel into the Lakes around the fishery, indeed I caught one back in 2004 when they were no more than 6 inches long, but they hardly ever show, and supposedly there are only 11 of them in Nick’s. Dave was having a rare old tussle with a fish and lo and behold what should it be, but one of those elusive Barbel ……​


After the photo, another cuppa was called for by way of celebration, while back at my peg some Carp had obviously moved into the margins, among them a little golden Ghostie that kept drifting in and out. These margin fish can be a bit finicky which is why I’d set up a paste rig for down the shelf later on, but I thought I’d see if I could get a couple from the margin. I banded up an 8 mm pellet on the margin rig and first put in the float buried, the culprit needless to say was the little golden Ghostie……​


By now Dave was offering paste under the overhanging willow to his left and while he was catching steadily, you could hear the odd muttered curse when an apparent sail away bite was missed, but such are the joys of fishing paste……​


I was treated to another sail away bite, the culprit shooting off as soon as it felt the hook, and I have to say that I was more than a little surprised when the culprit popped up to be netted and revealed itself to be another Barbel ……​


As the afternoon wore on another brew up was called for, after which Dave and I took a stroll up to the Reservoir to see how it was fishing, leaving Terry happily fishing away down his margin……​


There were quite a few anglers there and it seemed that most were catching on a wide variety of methods. We cut down to take a quick look at Finches Pond before continuing round Nick’s. where yet again people were catching on a wide variety of methods and bait. Back at our pegs Terry was still happily plundering the margins, a Common being the latest to take a liking to his paste……​


Unfortunately a couple of mishaps then befell me, firstly my elastic snapped on one top kit, then a rig snapped. However I was soon back in action and catching steadily on paste at the bottom of the shelf using just a top two. Sport was steady for the rest of the session and I called it a day at around 5 pm when I’d used the last of my paste. I’d finished up with 49 Carp, 1 Barbel and a fair few skimmers and Roach, Dave had a similar catch, but with one more Carp, but Terry had the best of it with 60+ Carp today.

Soon we were packed away, after what had proved to be a very pleasant and relaxed session, and farewells bid. However we’ll be seeing each other again on Saturday as we have a club match on a Private Lake in Sussex. Hopefully we’ll have a similar day then.
Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Private Lake, East Sussex. September 3rd, 2011.

Marsh AC club match.


It was off down to a Private Lake in East Sussex today for a Marsh AC club match and I was hopeful that it would be a decent day as the lake had been fishing well recently. It was a bit dull and grey as I looked out of the window this morning, but a quick look on the web reassured me that we were in for a good day weather wise, and after feeding the cats and drinking a couple of cups of coffee to fire up the old grey matter, I soon had the car loaded and was off to East Sussex. With no café close to hand I stopped off at McD’s in Bromley on the way where a couple of Sausage and Egg McMuffins were consumed before resuming the journey. It got a bit foggy on the A21, but not enough to delay things and I reached the fishery just after 8 am.

There wasn’t our usual turn out today due to a number of reasons, meaning there were just 12 club members and 3 guests to make up the numbers, but at least we should have a bit of room. Al went off to peg out while everyone got there nets dipped. Bill G was guesting today and as he’s been running a match series there, people were quizzing him for some info. Dave had brought his daughter Chrissy to fish today, but rumour was that it was really to act as his carer. Anyway with the pegs sorted it was time for the draw, and Peg 2 on the dam wall was mine for the day, a short walk and a peg I seem to draw quite often on my visits there, and with Kevin on Peg 1, I should be good for a couple of cups of coffee. The pegs aren’t numbered at the lake, so if you take a look below you’ll see where we were all pegged ……​


As you might guess, it didn’t take long to get my gear to my peg, and having fished it before I had a fair idea of how I was going to approach it. Now when you hear ‘dam wall’ you tend to think deep water, however it’s not the case here, apart from a small marginal shelf close in it just gently drops away to around 3 ft which remains pretty constant.

I had planned to fish paste today so I set up 2 paste rigs, the first was a 0·2 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·18 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 12 Guru MWG for a line at about 5 mtrs straight out. I also set up another 0·2 NG XT Power Pencil on 0·16 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 16 Guru MWG to fish pellet over this line if they didn’t want paste. The Margin paste line was taken care of by a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·18 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 12 Guru MWG. Bait was GOT Atomic paste and a mix of 6 and 8 mm pellets.​


Jean spoilt me today as prior to the off I was treated not only to a cup of coffee, but also a freshly cooked Sausage and Bacon roll. Sitting there waiting for the off, the fog from earlier had burnt off and a bright sunny day lay ahead. In fact I felt we could do with a bit more cloud as a bright sunny day could make for a hard days fishing. Anyway the All-In was called at 10 am so we would soon find out. A pot of pellet at 5 mtrs and some down the margins, then I shipped a banded 8 mm out onto the 5 mtr line. My first bite proved to be a bit of a false dawn as a Carp shot off before rolling on top as the rig came flying back with a scale on the hook. Next came a Roach, but it was Carp or nothing for me today and I hadn’t put a silvers net in, so it was popped back.

Clive had got off to a good start tucked away on Peg 3 fishing to the willow and had taken 3 Carp almost straight away leaving everyone playing catch up already ……​


In general though sport was far from hectic from what I could see and from my vantage point on the dam wall I had a good view of all those fishing the railway bank and on the meadow bank ……​


I managed to get off the mark shortly after when my float slid away, and after a brief scrap a Mirror of around 4 lbs was safely in the net. There’s a good head of carp in the lake that average around 5 lbs and it’s generally reckoned that 20 of them will normally give you a ton, but there’s also a good percentage that are considerably larger, and a few of them in the course of a session can really boost your weight. After that initial fish I changed to the paste rig, and after a few minutes the float buried and the culprit this time was a Common, again around the 4 lbs mark but welcome none the less. I could see Simon over on the railway bank and although he’d had a couple of fish, he appeared to be struggling like me ……​


It was becoming obvious already that Clive would take some stopping today, as although I couldn’t really see him from where I was pegged, I could certainly hear the splashing as what seemed like a constant stream of fish were played and netted. I could see that Mick up on Peg 11 was starting to take the odd fish and knew that he might do some damage as well ……​


My paste fish seemed to be an solitary one so I reverted to the pellet and over the course of the next 90 minutes or so managed to add another 3 Carp to my total, all of which seemed to be around the 4 lb mark. The noticeable thing was that I needed a ripple on the water to get a bite, as soon as the ripple stopped so would any chance of a bite. So with it flat calm in front of me by 1pm I re-fed and took a stroll with the camera……​


Kev had just had his 1st fish of the day on the feeder, while Keith was admitting to 5 in the net. Vic in truth was looking a little tired, probably due to the fact he’d caught 400 lbs at Alders the day before, only to finish second to a weight of 534 lbs !! :eek: However he was still into a Carp as I looked on ……​


John had managed a few as well, but Martin was having a bit of a grim time. Mick was indeed catching despite being plagued by small Perch. Bill was locked in a battle with the Carp in his peg and unfortunately the score was Carp 8 – 4 Bill at that point. He was fishing corn across to the island and as I looked on he was into another fish, a good photo opportunity, but before I could even remove the lens cap the score became 9 – 4. Al was having a bit of a moan up and insisting he was having a bad day so I left him to it. As I continued round I met Dave coming the other way who reckoned he had 4, but was struggling. Next up came Dave’s daughter Chrissy, she’d lost a good fish first put in, and was now fishing her margins ……​


Terry was having a bit of a struggle once more, but Paul was putting a few together on the method feeder to the edge of the island, it must have been solid out there as Paul had a fish take a bare hook as he cast to the island prior to the start of the match. It hadn’t got any better for Simon either and he was hoping for an improvement in the latter stages. Clive however was sitting very much in the pound seats, his corner peg had the wind blowing into it and a willow providing plenty of cover to fish to ……​


Back to my peg and Jean had another coffee waiting for me. I started back on the paste, but couldn’t get a touch on it from any of my lines, so I was soon back to fishing the pellet and slowly started to pick up the odd fish, however they were all of the same stamp, around the 4 lb mark without a hint of a better bonus fish. Keith however had started to alternate between his long line and his margin and was starting to put a run of fish together over on peg 15 ……​


Try as I may I just couldn’t get a run of fish going, it was just a case of nicking the odd fish as the chance arose, and even that was interrupted by a number of foul hookers as the afternoon wore on. Simon did manage another couple of fish late on but it was far from the improvement he’d been hoping for ……​


I just stuck at it and had 14 fish in the net when the All-Out was called at 4 pm. I felt that I had around 60 lbs in the nets, and soon had my gear packed away and back in the car before the Weigh-In started from Peg 1.

Kev kicked things off with just 17 lbs and I was almost spot on when my fish registered 60½lbs. Clive had 25 fish and after 4 weighs recorded 149¼lbs which would prove to be unbeatable on the day. Simon had 38½lbs to show for his efforts, while Paul put 77½lbs on the scales. Terry had 42 lbs and Dave 47¼lbs while Chrissy managed 20 lbs. Al had been telling everyone what a bad day he’d had but still put 81¼lbs on the scales. Bill’s score ended up 21 – 13 in favour of the Carp for 50¼lbs. Mick had kept going all afternoon for 124¼lbs and 2nd on the day. Martin managed just 18¼lbs while John had 46 lbs including a new PB Carp to show for his efforts. Vic had 68½lbs while Keith was last to weigh, and his 103½lbs gave him 3rd overall.

So back to the car park where Dave sorted out the results and monies Next up for Marsh AC is a trip to Rockells Farm in 2 weeks time, a venue that I always look forward to. Before that however I have a trip to Rolfs on Thursday for a match with the TalkAngling lads and then a return to The Private Lake on Saturday to fish one of Bill G’s Matches.​




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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. September 8th, 2011.

A RiveTee Piscatorial Promotion


I’m off down to Rolf’s Lake today for A RiveTee Piscatorial Promotion along with the lads from TalkAngling . It’s a match that I fish every year, and it’s always a good day out. However with it being a weekday and with the kids back at school I knew the trip would take a fair bit longer than my usual jaunt up to the lake at the weekends. With this in mind I asked Maria to get me up early and I’d drop her off at work. So having dropped her off it was back to load the car. Despite the extra traffic, the first port of call was still my customary stop in Battersea for breakfast at the Jimmy’s Griddle Café where a ‘Full English’ was soon dispatched to set me up for the day ahead before heading for Rolfs. Despite the extra traffic I rolled into the car park at around 9·10 am to find John along with Simon and Justin in attendance along with a couple of the other lads. Justin had stayed over as he’d fished the open yesterday, winning it from Peg 4 with 223¼lbs, his first ‘Double Ton’ from the lake. The plan was for a 9·30 am draw, but a hold up on the M40 caused delays for a lot of the lads, meaning it was going to run late……​


Rive T (Tony) and Larry Teepot (Pete) have been running this match for a few years now, and once they’d arrived, things got underway and the chat among the assembled anglers was that with 2 ‘Double Ton’s’ and 7 ‘Tons’ yesterday hopes were high for a good day ahead. Soon Larry had all the peg fees collected and we were called to order and the draw got under way……​


Justin was looking happy having drawn peg 8, but Simon wasn’t looking to enthusiastic having drawn Peg 26. By the time I got to the bag there were 3 pegs left and I was more than happy to find Peg 9 in my hand as it’s one of the most consistent pegs on the lake.​


As I made my way round with my gear I found Larry on Peg 16, he’s been trying for a ‘Ton’ since Moses was a boy and has never quite managed it, so it would be nice if he could do it today, and he certainly had a peg that was capable of it. For company I had Alan, a friend of Rive T on Peg 10. Not a match angler, he’d been lured along today with the chance of picking up a big Perch that the lake can throw up.

Settling into the peg it was time to decide how to approach it. On recent matches there I’d seen Steve Akal and Neil Riddy both suffer with numerous foul hookers costing them both top kits and rigs. However Neil sorted it out and won the last Jinx Match off it by fishing a short line straight out in front in the last hour to take a number of weighers, and that was the approach I was going to go with today……​


I picked a line at 5 mtrs where a square of white water would make feeding easy and this would be tackled with a 0·3 NG Springer Open Water XT on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with a size 16 Guru MWG. A second similar rig was set up to fish about 2 feet off of the bush to my right, while a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG would take care of the margin swim to the bush on my left. Bait and feed today would be a combination of 6 and 8 mm fishery pellets and a tin of corn along with some GOT Baits soft hookers.​


With a little bit of time before the off I strolled down to see Tony on Peg 6. He was talking to Colin B who mentioned that he’d never had a ‘Twenty’ on the pole and I told him that this was the place to do it if anywhere was.

Anyway John sounded the All-In at 11·45 am and I fed a small pot of mixed pellet and corn on all 3 lines before shipping a banded 8 mm pellet out to my 5 mtr line. The float barely had time to settle before it buried and a gentle lift soon told me that I had connected with a substantial Carp. Thankfully it didn’t go steaming off, gentle pressure told and a large Common suddenly popped up in front of my nets, into the landing net and as I went to lift it I realised that it was a bit larger than I first thought. Onto the scales and it went 19 lbs which I got Justin to witness, a dream start for me.

With the fish returned it was back out with another 8mm, and after a couple of lift and drops the float buried once more. A spirited fight followed, not such a big fish this one but still a weigher, another Common which weighed 11½lbs. They say ‘Three’s a charm’ and that was the case today as the third put in saw the float bury again. Another good fish which had designs on reaching the bush in the left hand margin, however I managed to show it the error of it’s ways and introduce it to the landing net. A Mirror this time and at 14 lbs another weigher.

Of course sometimes things go just to well and my next bite proved to be a foul hooker which tore around the peg like a lunatic before the rig came back with just a scale on the hook. After that I re-fed the 5 mtr line with a small pot of pellet and corn and had a look over to the right hand bush. Twenty minutes over there proved fruitless as did a quick look down the left hand margin, so having allowed the 5 mtr line to settle I had a look back there. Sure enough the float didn’t take to long to vanish, but this time instead of the expected Carp the culprit was one of the lakes Bream, but at around 3 lbs it was still welcome. I decided to try corn on the hook, but it just produced lots of knocks and a Roach of around 4ozs, not what I was really after so it was back to the pellet.

Looking around at the other pegs I could see Froggy opposite on Peg 32, unfortunately he seemed to have had his fair share of problems with foul hookers today and had now decided to tackle the bush on his left hand side ……​


Next up on Peg 30 was Tony Williams and despite the fish giving what looked like his purple hydro a good stretching he seemed to be putting a steady run of fish together, leading me to think that it would be pretty close between the two of us if we both kept catching ……​


I was soon into another fish, a Common of around 8 lbs and my first net fish. This proved to be the start of a run of fish, 3 more Commons and a solitary Mirror, all much of a muchness at around 8 lbs each, but very welcome and good weight builders. Then there was a 20 minute gap before I made contact with another foul hooker and the way it charged round in circles made me feel it was hooked in a fin. Well the hook held and as it came to the net it was hooked on the pectoral fin, no wonder it had be so hard to control, but at 12½lbs a nice bonus.

It was just a case of re feeding again and waiting for things to settle down, so I had a look back over to the right hand bush. I missed two quick bites but connected with the third, another Mirror and a good double. Justin however was having a bit of a mare after his win yesterday suffering with foul hookers and also smashing a top kit. Still he was seeing a fair few fish witnessing my weighers.

With just over 2 hours to go I suffered another lull in sport. I already had a ‘Ton’ on my clicker but felt that this could be the day to finally get my ‘Double Ton’ after a long time trying. I added a section on to see if they’d backed off the feed but nothing. Took a section off to see if they’d come closer inside, still nothing. Extra section on and out to the bush still nothing. Leaving the extra section on I took a look to the left on my 5 mtr line and fed some pellet round the float. A minute later it buried and I was back in business with a good Common of around 14 lbs. Fishing this line meant that I was looking toward Simon on Peg 26 and could see he was also into a fish……​


I’d also heard him encouraging Larry who was opposite him on Peg 16 and from the sound of things today would be the day he finally got his ‘Ton’. Word also filtered down that Colin B on Peg 18 had at last got his ‘Twenty’ with a Common of 22 lbs+, and as the afternoon wore on J Mac on Peg 28 was also getting a bit of action……​


With around 90 minutes to go it was just a question of alternating between my two 5 mtr lines and I managed a further 7 weighers and another Bream before John sounded the All-Out at 4·45 pm. A tally up of my weighers on the board came to 158½lbs after Justin had double checked it and the number on my clicker was 205, so had I got the weight of the fish in my net right? With my gear packed away and back at the car park there was time for a quick chat before the Weigh-In, Larry had indeed got his ‘Ton’ as he had over 100 lbs on the board. Colin was well chuffed with his ‘Twenty’ but Simon wasn’t sure if he had a ‘Ton’ and felt he’d struggled on the day.

So to the Weigh-In and a lot of the lads just had board weights and it wasn’t till we got to peg 4 there were fish to weigh, where Cov Blaze just missed the ton with 99½lbs. Tony having struggled at the start had fish turn up to late in the day and recorded 57¾lbs, and Justin had 123 lbs. My 5 carp came up agonisingly short of what was needed for 200 lbs but those 2 Bream and a Roach did me proud to take the total to 206 lbs. Alan on Peg 10 had 45 lbs while Cox62 had 53 lbs and M Jones on 14 weighed 55½lbs. Larry had indeed battered the ‘Ton’ with 158½lbs and it may take a while to get the grin off his face……:D

Colin B’s twenty had boosted his weight to 154¼lbs. Simon got his ‘Ton’ with 108¾lbs while J Mac had 45½lbs. Tony Williams had a fantastic weight of 197¼lbs and a new PB Match Weight for him, while Froggy was left ruing those foul hookers with 93¼lbs to finish things off.

Back to the hut for Larry to sort out the results and monies and the Winner on the day was……………………………………………………..ME.​


Second was Tony Williams and Third on the day was Larry. Sections went to Justin, Colin B and Froggy. A bonus for me was that I finally got my hands on a tee shirt I’ve been after for a while……​


So ended yet another RiveTee Piscatorial Promotion, a great success as always, and fished in the right atmosphere. Thanks to Larry and Tony for organising it, and the TalkAngling members that fished it. I’m looking forward to next years one already. ;)

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Private Lake, East Sussex. September 10th, 2011.

Bill G’s Float Store Series
Match 5


I’m off down to the Private Lake in East Sussex today for the 2nd Saturday running. This time I’m guesting on the fifth of Bill G’s series of Float Store matches. I haven’t been able to fish the series because of date clashes with The Jinx Series, but with a free weekend I can fit this one in. A quick glance out of the window this morning just confirmed it was going to be one of those changeable days weather wise, so with the car loaded it was off to East Sussex via a stop off at McDonalds for a bit of breakfast.

An easy run down saw me arrive around 8·30 am at an already crowded car park, where there were both old and new faces as I strolled down to let Bill know I was there and pay my money and dip my nets. Despite being billed as a 9·30 draw it kicked off early at around 9 am as people were obviously keen to get to their pegs. Peg 3 stuck to my hand, the willow peg in the corner that Clive had won our club match from last Saturday and one I was more than happy with as it had the wind blowing into it.

Dave Collier had drawn Peg 2 and for company today he had fellow club mate Chris Withall who broke his arm a couple of weeks ago and had come out today to escape the tedium of being stuck at home. Plenty of time to get set up today and I decided to take a pretty single minded approach to the peg and concentrate on the area where the willow branch trailed into the swim and with that in mind I just set up 3 rigs which were all basically similar. Two of them were 0·3 NG Edger’s on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG’s, while the 3rd was a slightly smaller 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG for tight into the margins. Bait was simply 6 mm pellet for feed with some 8 mm pellet for the hook along with some 8 mm GOT Baits Ghost pellets.​


With plenty of time to spare I took a stroll to see how the others were doing before returning for the All-In which Bill called at 11 am. I fed a couple of pots of pellet along the line of the willow branch and a handful into both margins before shipping out a banded 8 mm just in front of the branches. The float settled then buried and a lift had me connected to my first fish of the day. One thing about the fish here is that they do put up a fair old scrap, but I soon had it under control and safely in the landing net. A nice chunky Mirror around the 3 lb mark.

Back out and I was treated to a repeat performance with the float burying once more, followed by a brief tussle before a Common popped to the surface and into the waiting landing net, slightly bigger this one at around 4 lbs. Third put in and I was in again, another Mirror of around 3 lbs, a dream start to the day for me and one that didn’t pass without comment from Bill opposite me over on the roadside bank, who’d also got off the mark with a quick fish.

Unfortunately the next two fish that I connected with proved to be foul hookers, the rig returning both times with just a scale on the hook. Dave had taken an early look down his margin and taken a small carp, but in general it was quite obvious that most were off to a slow start. I’ve not fished the lake a lot, but I have noticed that when the weather is changeable it can become quite moody and the fish seem to shut up shop. Was today going to be one of those days?

I managed another couple of Carp before Chris popped round for a chat. I could see the odd carp moving in and out under the willow branch so fed another small pot of pellets then took a look down the right hand margin. The float buried straight away , A common proving to be the culprit, but no more followed. Back out to the branch where I managed to catch another 3 Carp before Chris returned with the news that indeed it was proving hard for most, though Jonny Watt on peg 5 appeared to be putting a few together. I managed another fish after that, making 10 by around 1 pm.

After that however it went very quiet. Dave strolled round for a chat and remarked that there was nothing but pellet on my side tray, and I explained that I was just keeping things simple. From that point on though my bites dried up though from what I could see everyone else seemed to be in the same boat. Looking across I could see Brodie, he’s been well in contention in the series and with Mick McMillan missing this match was hoping to capitalise with a good result, but he was struggling like the rest…​


A little further along was the vision in red that could only be Matt Love, and he was staring down the barrel of possibly his worst result of the series……​


Next to Bill G was Steve Oswick, “badpegpicker” as he’s known on the forums, and it certainly wasn’t looking like his drawing arm had done him any favours today……​


With the sky getting darker and the wind rising we were then treated to rain just to dampen peoples moods a little further. However with the rain came a bite for me, a nice chunky Common of around 6 lbs, and as I netted it I noticed it’s tail hanging out of the bottom of the net. The landing net had ripped and I didn’t have a spare. However a bit of a boy scout job with some spare catapult elastic soon had it repaired. After that I managed one more fish before the rain stopped along with the bites again. Opposite me Bill had gone for a death or glory approach and had balled in three babies heads on his pole line and then gone over it with paste and initially it seemed to do the trick as it produced a couple of quick fish before dying on him again……​


The only other person I could see that was having any joy was Dave Hough on Peg 1 who seemed to be picking up the odd decent sized fish as the match wore on. Dave had no joy from his margins and had gone back out, but it had only produced a couple of smaller fish for him……​


With about an hour and a half to go it was just a question of sticking at it, trickling a bit of bait in and rotating the lines. Both margins refused to produce anything at all, but I managed another 4 fish before the sky’s started to darken again with 15 minutes to go. Dave’s daughter Chrissy had popped down with her daughter Lillie to so she could see Granddad fishing, and just after that I was into my best fish of the day, a nice chunky Mirror that must have been around 9 lbs and that was followed by another of around 6 lbs just before Bill called All-Out at 4 pm. I felt I’d got around 80 lbs in the nets, but just wanted to get the kit packed up and back to the car before the heavens opened and soaked us all, which I managed to do along with most of the other lads.

The Weigh-In started from with Dave Hough’s 54½lbs, Dave’s 4 small Carp came to 14lbs 6ozs when Chrissy announced “Come on Lillie, lets go and see some big fish caught by Peter” Daughters can be so cruel to their dads sometimes :ROFLMAO:. My 2 nets came to 88½lbs. As the weigh-in carried on round Jonny Watt put 61 lbs on the scales. Andy Green weighed a level 65 lbs and Al tied with Dave Hough on 54½lbs. Matt had a ‘Mare’ with just 8 lbs 10ozs to show for his efforts.

Back to the car park and the heavens did indeed open, leading to hasty exits by most. As it turned out the guests had taken the spoils as I took the win on the day, and Andy Green was second. Jonny Watt finished third and was the top angler from the Series on the day. Thanks to Bill for the invite, and Good Luck to all the anglers fishing the Series for the final match.

Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rockells Farm. Saffron Walden. Essex. September 18th, 2011.

Marsh AC club match.


It’s Rockells Farm that is the venue for the latest Marsh AC match today. It normally throws up some phenomenal weights so hopes will be high for a good days fishing today among the club members. I’d arranged to meet at Dave’s house and follow him to the venue, so with the cats fed and the car loaded I made my way over there arriving around 6·45 am. Chris was strolling down the road, he was tagging along today as a spectator, his broken arm preventing him from fishing. Dave appeared and we were off and we made good time arriving at Rockells around 8 am. A few of the lads set off to peg out as the pegs aren’t numbered and I soon had the kit loaded on the trolley, and that’s where it all started to go pear shaped. There’s a bit of a slope up from the car park to the lake, and halfway up the slope I felt a searing pain in my left calf that brought me to a halt! A couple of the lads came to my aid, but I was left hobbling around and feeling pretty uncomfortable, not the best of starts to my day.

Anyway Peg 13 came my way in the draw, a number that seems to follow me, and I hobbled off with my kit to set up for the day ahead. John had Peg 10 with Jim for company on Peg 11, while Peg 12 was empty. I arrived to find that I had Simon for company on Peg 14 today, Terry was through the gap on Peg 15 (where Dave had 344 lbs last year) Vic was on 16 with Clive on Peg 17 (my peg last year). I have to say that my initial impression was that the swim looked spot on with an overhanging willow to the right and another to the left, but with my box set up I got a bit of a shock as I put my nets in, finding that the water barely covered them, and a closer look confirmed that the water level was at least a foot down, if not a bit more on the normal level when I’ve fished there previously! It’s not deep at the best of times and as I sorted out the rigs for the day ahead it became apparent just how little water I had in front of me.​


I ended up with 3 rigs, all pretty much identical, being 0.2 NG Edger’s on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 16 Guru MWG’s, plus a 0·2 NG Margin paste on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with size 12 Guru MWG that was set up on my margin pole, these were set between 6 and 18 inches deep as that was all the depth I could find regardless of where I plumbed up. Bait today was 8 mm pellet and GOT Baits Atomic paste with 6 mm pellet for feed. but I also had some 6 mm floating pellet as these have proved deadly in the past for sorting out the better fish.

On previous visits I’ve caught well on a top 2 tight in to the margins, but that line was dry today, so I would be looking to fish a line at the end of my nets and across to the overhanging trees. With a bit of time before the off I had a hobble along to see how the others were. Pretty much in the same boat, but someone had been doing some gardening removing a lot of cover, most notably in Clive’s swim where an overhanging bush had completely vanished and he was struggling to find any depth of water. Vic’s platform was way off the water, but at least he’d managed to get set up in front of it at water level, but again all the bank side vegetation had been cut back. Thankfully Kevin had brought a cup of coffee round and I sat down to drink that as I contemplated the two 3 hour sessions ahead.

So at 10 am Dave called the All-In and a handful of pellet to the end of my nets and to the edge of both trees was followed by a banded 8 mm to the end of my nets, and I also flicked out a few floaters to the edge of the right hand willow. The float soon slid away and a scrappy little Mirror of no more than 8 ozs got me off the mark. Simon was off the mark as well and I soon had another couple of similar sized fish to keep the first one company. Now Rockells isn’t really about finesse normally, it’s a question of keeping the feed going in and catching quick, but it was noticeable that with so little water, playing fish was making the rest back off, so I was alternating between the end of my nets and across to the willow, while feeding every put in to hold the fish. The floaters weren’t drifting out of the swim, but nothing was touching them either. Across on the other side I could see Keith who seemed to be picking up a few fish down his margin line ……​


While Dave on the next peg looked like he’d set out his stall to fish his usual floater tactics that work well for him here……​


After about an hour I had about 12 fish, not enough by the usual standards so gave the paste rig a try, this is normally a banker for me here as it tends to produce a slightly better stamp of fish, but it wasn’t having the desired effect today as I was having to wait to long between bites and the fish that it did produce were of a similar size to the pellet fish so after 30 minutes that was up the bank. Despite keeping a few floaters going in nothing had shown for them so I just had to keep picking off odd fish here and there and at the end of 3 hours when Dave called the All-Out for a half time Weigh-In I had around 35 fish, the biggest of which might have gone 2 lbs if I was lucky.

With a set of scales on each side of the lake we soon had it underway. John had 51¼lbs and Jim 29 lbs. I weighed 41 lbs and Simon 46½lbs. Terry had 25¼lbs while Vic managed 40 lbs and Clive could only muster 19¼lbs. Not the greatest weights and we could tell by the pace of the weigh-in across the lake that there had been some better weights over there. Martin appeared with another coffee from Jean and the news that Dave and Al had both had 80 lbs +.

At 2 pm Dave called the All-In for the second half and it was just a question of carrying on with my approach and hope that some better fish would put in an appearance, and I kept flicking out a few floaters hoping they would do the job, but the only thing they seemed to attract were 3 geese ……​


The small fish were still there, but were once again coming in fits and starts and at around a pound a time weren’t really large enough to build any sort of weight. I could see Dave across the lake was still taking fish at a steady rate and they appeared to be of a better stamp than the ones I was getting ……​


Another look with the paste proved to be nothing but a waste of time, still yielding little fish, but at a slower rate than fishing pellet. The strange part was that Simon was catching on floaters in the next swim, whereas they were doing nothing for me. Meanwhile John down on Peg 10 was having a cracking session and steadily building a decent weight, as was Vic on Peg 16 who was finally finding some better fish on paste…​


I just plugged away amid rain showers to the end, and while I’d caught more in the 2nd session when Dave called the All-Out at 5 pm I didn’t expect my 55 fish to weigh more than 60 lbs. Thankfully the showers had stopped as we packed away, and with a set of scales at Clive’s peg we decided to get our part of the Weigh-In over and done with. Poor Clive’s day hadn’t got any better with a meagre 16 lbs to show for his efforts. Vic’s second half had been a definite improvement with 100¾lbs. Terry had 41¼lbs and Simon once again beat me with 71½lbs to my 65¼lbs. Jim had added 38¼lbs to his morning total, but John had the best weight on our bank with a fine 128½lbs.

So with our gear returned to the car park we all assembled as Dave worked out the results and monies. Winner on the day was Mr Chairman Dave with a total of 196¾lbs closely followed by Al on 193¼lbs while John’s total of 180¼lbs gave him 3rd on the day just ahead of Keith’s 176lbs. Six more ‘Ton+’ totals followed including my own 106¼lbs so while it would be harsh to say that it had been anything other than a good days fishing, however such is the level of catches that Rockells can produce that it’s safe to say that there were a few disappointed anglers that made their way home after the match.

Anyway the final club match of the season lies ahead at Hartleylands Farm on October 15th when we’ll be fishing The Reservoir, however prior to that I’m at Rolfs Lake on Saturday for the final match of The Jinx Series.

Location: Elmdon, Essex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. September 24th, 2011.

Jinx Match 6

Well it’s time for the final match of The Jinx Series and Clive has wrapped it up with a match to go to retain the title. That leaves Tony, Malc, Steve and Dai to fight it out for the placing's, while Steve & Dai along with Simon & Webbo battle for The Pairs. So hopefully we can all sit back and rip it out of them offer them encouragement today. Now today is also my 28th Wedding Anniversary and to celebrate Maria is coming with me today, so with the cats fed and a few extra bits loaded up in the car we set off just before 8 am. As usual the first stop was at The Jimmy’s Griddle Café in Battersea where I treated her to breakfast (never let it be said that I don’t know how to treat a Lady) before we climbed back into the car and resumed the journey, and after a smooth run down and a quick stop off at Asda for a few bits and bobs, we pulled into the car park at the lake around 10·30 am.

Greetings and introductions took place with those that hadn’t met Maria before, and the discussions soon turned to the prospects for the day ahead. The final Night Match of the year had taken place last night, but it had fished hard for most with Chris Lovelock winning from Peg 30 with 104½lbs. 8 of The Jinx Squad were missing today, but with 4 guests there would still be 23 fishing. Section C for me today and I said that I fancied anywhere between 14-16 to Maria prior to the draw.

Just before 11·30 am Malc called the Draw. Maria was chatting to Ann in the caravan, so I drew for myself when my turn came. Peg 14 was my reward and I wasn’t unhappy with that. I took 2 trips round, one with my gear and the second with a bed chair and the cooker for Maria. It’s not a peg I’ve fished much but it throws up its fair share of decent weights so I was quite keen to give it a go. To my right on Peg 13 was Paul with his wife Jayne for company, while Webbo was to my left on Peg 16……​

Set up today was simply 3 rigs, 2 were 0·3 NG Springer Open Water XT’s on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 14 Guru MWG’s which would be used on the 5 mtr line, while the 3rd was a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 14 Guru MWG for the margins where I had bushes both sides. Bait today was just 6 and 8 mm fishery pellet and some GOT Ghost Pellets for a change bait on the hook.​


With a bit of time to spare before the All-In I put the kettle on for a coffee and took a stroll with the camera. Clive was on peg 11 and hoping for a better day than he’d had last weekend on our club match ……​


Terry was all alone on Peg 7 as Peg 8 had remained in the draw bag, but he did have The Pink Elephant to keep him company today ……​


As I made my way back Budgie was settling into Peg 9 and Geoff was eager to get going on Peg 10……​


With the kettle boiling on my return I made myself a coffee and settled down to await the off. Well at 1 pm the fishery bell was rung signalling the All-In. I fed 2 small pots of pellets onto the 5 mtr line and a handful in each margin and then shipped a banded 8 mm out to 5 mtrs. Within a couple of minutes the float buried, but lifting into it I could tell straight away that it was a carp that was foul hooked. Of course Malc on Peg 20 noticed this and was soon instructing me to take care not to loose it. Of course this was the cue for the rig to come flying back with just a scale on the hook among a chorus of laughter from those looking on, and Neil’s call of “Nobody likes to see that” .

Shortly after this Maria appeared having finished chatting to Ann. I settled back to concentrate on the 5 mtr line, but it refused to offer up a single bite, but I stuck at it as you know that the fish can turn up at any time. After around an hour I added another couple of sections of pole and went out to 7 mtrs. There was only about 4 inches more water there, but I cupped a pot of pellets in and followed it out with the rig which slid away before it really had a chance to settle. This was a carp that came in fairly easily and was gratefully netted. I decided to weigh it just to get some idea, but it only went 8 lbs, still I was off the mark.

Paul, a Lake regular was guesting on Peg 32 today and had been catching steadily from the off, helped no doubt by Peg 8 not being drawn, and was already looking like today's winner unless sport dropped off for him. Opposite me on Peg 26 Dave had Chris keeping him company, and he was starting to pick up the odd decent fish from the bush to his right ……​


Meanwhile I was starting to get really frustrated as the only fish I could connect with were foul hookers over which I had no control as they trashed my rigs and the swim. In fact it was a good job that Maria was there as it stopped me throwing my teddies right out of the pram. Then just to ratchet up the pressure a few more notches I looked over to see Gem playing a carp, which soon produced the familiar cry of YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! so now a Minxing could be on the cards.​


I decided to take a look down my right hand margin, but it didn’t produce anything at all, so I switched to the left. A couple of dips and a tentative strike saw me hook a bream, but as I brought it to the top it shed the hook. Back out and as I lifted the rig it went solid before a carp charged off smashing the rig. A couple of deep breaths and I tied up a new rig and as I took a few minutes to re-plumb I found a small drop off, no more than 6 inches deeper 3 feet off of the bush. Maria provided another cup of coffee and even made one for Webbo as I fed the new spot and shipped an 8 mm pellet out. A few lift and drops and the float dipped then slid away, and soon a Common of around 9 lbs was safely in the net. This was soon followed by a slightly larger Mirror, Things were finally starting to pick up. Next up came a better fish and it really didn’t want to get its head up and I wasn’t about to bully it, however Terry appeared wanting a photo of a carp that he’d caught and been weighed and witnessed by Budgie at 25 lbs. I explained that I was otherwise occupied but Maria did the honours with the camera……​


I finally managed to net the troublesome carp and when I put it on the scales it went 15½lbs, needless to say Webbo seemed happy for me. I then managed to loose another bream, but a couple of smaller commons and another weigher soon made up for that. Dave C had landed a real lump as well, at 20½lbs a new PB and Maria was kind enough to stroll round with my camera to do the honours for him ……​


When she returned a final cup of coffee went down rather well as I managed another weigher and a net Mirror before the All-Out was sounded by the fishery bell at 6 pm. Packing the kit away it became apparent how hard some had found it today with Paul suffering a blank on Peg 13, and I felt I may have around 70 lbs if I was lucky. Anyway with the kit back at the car it was time for the Weigh-In.

Simon kicked things off with 53¼lbs from Peg 34. Dai and Jon had suffered with just 23 lbs and 26 lbs respectively while Chris had 46¾lbs on 2. Simon had 88¾lbs followed By Dave Moore with 69½lbs and Terry with 95 lbs. Budgie had a level 50 lbs while Geoff’s 30¾lbs edged out Clive’s 29¼lbs. My fish weighed 76¼ but Webbo could only muster 36¾lbs. Tony had 64½lbs from Peg 18 while Nick had caught in the final 15 minutes to record 15¼lbs. The Jinx had extracted 61¾lbs from peg 20 while Neil’s 41¼lbs was just 4ozs short of Steve’s 41½lbs. Dave recorded a level 86 lbs from 26 Nick W had 38½lbs and Pete T 40 lbs. Gem put 42½lbs on the scales and handed out 11 Minxings in the process. Finally Paul weighed 167 lbs to take the win on the day, meaning that Terry was second and Simon 3rd.

By now the dark was drawing in and back at the hut John had fired up the Barbecue and soon had everyone fed as we waited for Malc to sort out today's results and also the Series results. Olly made sure he didn’t miss out, helping Paul to finish off his burger……​


And Beau waited patiently for Ann to share hers as well ……​


Finally Malc had things sorted, well as sorted as Malc can be with Terry, Paul and Me taking the sections today with Simon, Dave C and Tony runners up. Then onto the final Series results. As we already knew Clive had won the Series retaining his title from last year. Tony took 2nd place and Malc had managed 3rd place. In the Pairs Simon and Webbo had triumphed over Steve W and Dai having been neck and neck going into today's match.

So with The Jinx Series finished for yet another year it’s just a question of a few words of Thanks to finish off. It’s been another great Series of matches this year, due in no small way to the efforts of Malc(The Jinx) for organising and running the whole thing.(y)

John & Pauline who once again have been kind enough to put up with The Jinx Squad at their Fishery which continues to do them and Rolf’s memory great credit. (y)

Finally as always, The Jinx Squad and those that have fished as Guests over the Series. It’s the anglers fishing the Series that make it the event it is. Take a bow, and see you all next year.(y)

Overall Result


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 5 out of 6 section points.
Overall weight counting in the result of Anglers tieing,

Overall Pairs Result

NB: Pairs were allowed to drop their worst points total during the series so that the results were decided by best 5 out of 6 points scores.
Overall weights counting in the result of Pairs tieing on points. Guests fished when a Pairs Partner was absent and their weights and points were included in the overall totals.

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. The Reservoir. September 29th, 2011.

Day out at Hartleylands

It’s off down to Hartleylands Farm just outside the village of Cranbrook in Kent today. I’m meeting Dave, Terry, Simon and Gino for a days fishing on the reservoir. Our club Marsh AC have a match there in a couple of weeks time, and as none of us have fished the reservoir for quite a time it seems like a good idea to have a session before the match to try and suss out what works and what doesn’t.

No point in an early start today as I’d arranged to meet the lads at 9·30 am at the fishery, and that was when I arrived to find Terry, Simon and Gino there already and just about to set off to pick their swims. A quick discussion ensued and with a few anglers already ensconced in pegs we decided to fish what I refer to as the ‘Finches Bank’ as it runs parallel to Finches Pond. The lads set off to bag their pegs while I unloaded my kit, and with my trolley loaded set off to claim a peg. It was promising to be scorcher of a day, not a cloud in the sky and the first peg I came to was 24 between two overhanging trees and pleasantly shaded, but I felt that Dave would probably like that one (once he finally got there) so left that one. Next up was Gino on 23 with Simon on 22. Terry had gone further round to Peg 18 as he’d always fancied fishing that one, so I settled on peg 20 to leave Simon a bit of space……​


With the sun climbing higher and barely a breathe of wind, the water looked like glass. It definitely was going to be a warm one today. First things first, so the kit was unloaded and as it wasn’t a match I fed a couple of good handfuls of pellet down the left hand margin straight away, then started to set my kit up. One of the things I noticed was that hardly anything was showing on the surface, which I felt was a little strange given the conditions. I knew that Simon was going to try the pellet wag, so left mine in it’s ready sleeve, It wouldn’t take long to set up if I decided to give it a go later.

Instead I decided to just fish 2 lines, the first at 2 sections and a top 2 straight out where I had around 5 feet of water and the second down the left hand margin.. Rigs were a 4×12 CX pencil on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with a size 14 Guru MWG and a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 14 Guru MWG for the margin line. Bait today was simply 6 mm pellet for feed and plenty of it with 8 mm pellet and some GOT Baits soft hookers for the hook ……​


By now Dave had arrived and strolled up to see where we all were, and as I expected he did indeed decide to settle into Peg 24. It was around 10·30 am by now so time to get started. I could see that fish were already in the margins over the bait I’d fed, but I was going to ignore them for now and just keep some bait going in and take a look there later in the day. At the start I fed 2 good handfuls of pellet straight out and another down the margin before shipping out a banded 8 mm straight out. A couple of lift and drops of the rig and the float sailed away and it was immediately apparent that I was attached to one of the reservoirs hard fighting carp. They give a good account of themselves and make full use of the deep water there, but I soon gained the upper hand and had it sliding over the landing net, a nice chunky Mirror, longer than the width of my 22 inch net and around the 10 lbs mark ……​


With us not using keepnets today I decided to use my clicker to keep track of what I had today and it soon started to tick over as I started to pick up regular fish. I was feeding a good handful of pellet every put in as well as keeping some bait going into the margins and was soon picking up a mix of Mirrors and Commons on a regular basis, the average size of which seemed to be around the 4-5 lbs mark with the odd better fish.

Around 11·30 am Dave called out that the kettle had boiled, so I strolled round for a cup of coffee, to find that Dave was playing what turned out to be his first carp of the day ……​


Simon’s mate Gino was also into a fish, he’s quite new to fishing and was taking it easy as the fish gave a good account of itself and refusing to get it’s head up, but steady gentle pressure won the day and he was rewarded with a lovely ghostie ……​


With refreshments taken care of it was time to get back to my peg. Unfortunately the pellet wag had failed to produce anything of note for Simon, just a couple of small carp and a skimmer, so he’d reverted to the pole as he’d seen me catching regularly. The fish were still there on my return and it was really just a question of keeping the feed going in to keep the bites coming, The margin was still coloured up as well, so I just kept the feed going in, but still left it for later. Over on Peg 18 however Terry was having a bit of a struggle and getting a few to many skimmers rather than the carp he’d been hoping for, though the odd carp was getting a look in ……..​


Dave had come up for a stroll, it seemed that the carp I’d seen him playing had been his only one !!!!! and all he was getting were roach, and although they were of a decent stamp around the 8-12 oz mark, they weren’t what he was really after. From where I was sitting I had a pretty good view of what was going on around the reservoir and there must have been around 20 anglers in total, however the majority appeared to be struggling with just the odd fish coming out and despite the heat there was still nothing showing on the top. My peg seemed to be the exception however and I can only put that down to the amount I was feeding. Whatever it was the fish kept coming and by 1 pm I had 103 lbs on my clicker. So with a ‘Ton by One’ I decided to take a break and go and put the kettle on for another cuppa.

By now Dave had opted to try paste in an effort to try to tempt another carp, but it’s probably not a good idea to try and hit sharp paste bites when you’ve got an audience of pee taking supportive mates watching your every move and they’re ripping it out of you offering you their support. Dave gave it up and joined us for a coffee as we mulled over the mornings sport or lack of it in some cases.

With the inquest over we returned to our respective pegs. More feed onto both lines, but it seemed I’d left it a little to long as my line out in front seemed to be devoid of carp now, though there were plenty of skimmers that seemed only to happy to engulf an 8 mm pellet. Time to target the margins. All morning I’d fed where the shelf dropped off and by laying the rig out so that the bait rested on the slope I had a bite straight away. Fishing against the slope the fish tend to dive off for the deeper water which limits any disturbance and once that initial run is contained they can be played out away from the swim. That first fish turned out to be a nice Mirror around the 7 lb mark, and once again it was really just a case of steady away and taking fish on a regular basis……​


With the water well coloured up there was really very little chance of the fish vanishing on me as long as I kept the feed going in to hold them. Simon had taken another look on the pellet wag but that had proved to be fruitless. He’d had a couple of carp on the paste but had now decided to take a look at his right hand margin, but with an empty peg between us it wasn’t producing nearly as well for him ……​


As the afternoon wore on Terry finally managed to start picking up a few more carp among the skimmers that steadfastly refused to go away ……​


Gino was still enjoying himself and managing to winkle out the odd carp here and there alternating between fishing the method and the pole ……​


and Dave had finally managed to find a few carp from a swim that had frustrated him for a good part of the day, even though he was forced to fish a bit further out than he really wanted to……​


For me it was an easy afternoons fishing with just the odd foul hooker upsetting things and breaking the flow as fish came steadily to the net……​


….. and by 4 pm it was time for one last coffee as I had 201 lbs showing on my clicker. Simon had decided to concentrate on one margin spot and up his feed and it was finally starting to pay off for him as he started to take fish on a regular basis ……​


My fish were still there and feeding well and just after 5 pm I had my best fish of the day, a nice plump Mirror at around 14-15 lbs that Simon kindly caught on camera for me.​

That was my final fish as the rig parted on the strike on my next bite, but with 265 lbs showing on my clicker I was happy enough to leave it at that, and I packed my gear away. Terry, Simon and Gino were going to fish on for a bit and Dave managed a final carp before he to decided to call it a day ……​


So what did we learn today? If the fish are there it’s possible to do a really decent weight, It’s possible to struggle in some pegs, even if it holds some obvious feature to fish to, and don’t ignore the margins. Thanks to Dave, Terry, Simon and Gino for their company today, let’s hope it’s a decent day for the match on the 15th, but I somehow feel it may just be a little bit different on the day.
Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Alders Farm Fishery. Great Brickhill. Buckinghamshire. October 5th, 2011.

Marsh AC

Well today sees me and some other members of Marsh AC visiting Alders Farm Fishery just outside the village of Great Brickhill. It’s really nothing more than a friendly mid-week knock up that’s been arranged by club member Keith Ashby who lives reasonably close to the fishery. It’s a venue that’s capable of throwing up some mega match weights, so it will be interesting to see how we get on fishing the Match Lake today. However that means an early start for me today to avoid as much weekday traffic as I can, so I’m up at silly O’clock and have the car loaded and ready to go in time to drop Maria off at work at 6 am, then it’s a case of driving straight through Central London to get onto the M1, then onto the A5 to get to Alders Farm. This saw me pulling into the car park just before 9 am along with Al and Keith P. We soon had our kit unloaded and with our nets dipped and feed pellet purchased from Gary who pointed us in the right direction and we made our way down to the pump house where Gwen had kindly opened up so we could get a pre match bacon sarnie and a cuppa that was much appreciated.

Joining us today were Trevor and Bert from GOT Baits along with Mick and John B who work with Keith. Standing outside on the patio you could see plenty of carp cruising around Peg 1 and a couple of crusts were eagerly devoured by them. Trevor as usual was a mine of information for those that hadn’t fished the venue before. Unfortunately Simon phoned to say he’d had been delayed, so at 9·30 am we went ahead with the draw and peg 1 was the one that ended up in my hand. Nice short walk then.​


Unfortunately the weather had taken a bit of a turn for the worse after the glorious sunshine we’d had for the past few days with grey overcast skies and just the odd glimpse of sun along with a stiff wind blowing straight into the peg, but having been advised by Trevor to stick to fishing top 2′s and 3′s hopefully that wouldn’t be to much of a problem. Jean provided a welcome cuppa so I set about sorting out my gear.

I elected to keep it simple and set up just 3 identical rigs. these were all 0·2 NG Mk 2 Edger’s on 0·20 Ultima Power Match straight through to size 14 Guru MWG’s. As it was just a friendly knock up bait was simply going to be the fishery 6 mm pellet for feed and 8 mm hard pellet for the hook, though Trevor did give me some new 6 mm hookers he’s working on to try as well.​


Simon had arrived by now and Keith delayed the start to give him a chance to set up, so I took a stroll to chat with Al and Keith on pegs 2 & 3. Unfortunately over on the other side Dave had taken a tumble getting down to his peg but Trevor and the rest of the lads on his side rallied round to check that he was OK. Al appeared to be well up for it today with visions of breaking his match PB today from what was a decent peg……​


… while Keith had been put under a bit of pressure from the Alders regulars among us as they were of the opinion that he’d drawn ‘The Flyer’ in Peg 3, though in Keith’s defence it should be noted that he doesn’t fish that many matches there, not that it seemed to make any difference to Trevor, Vic or Bert.​


Looking across I could see Keith P on Peg 28, another guest today taking advantage of a sunny interlude and apparently lost in thought, he’d never had a ‘Ton’ in a match, and was hoping that today would be the day. Trevor has sorted him out with some advise on how to tackle the peg and even given him one of his own rigs so hopefully today would be the day……​


So at 10·45 Keith called the All-In and this seemed to be the cue for the sun to vanish and the wind increase in my corner. A handful of pellet toward the pump house wall and another to the bush to my right and out with a banded 8 mm to the bush. This led to a number of super fast bites which turned out to be from small Rudd trying to engulf the pellet, but they weren’t what I was after so I switched across toward the wall. Within a minute the float sailed away and soon the first Alders carp of the day was safely in the net, a Common of around 2 lbs to get me off the mark. What I had hoped to do was alternate between the wall and the bush and take fish from both sides and then come back to a top 2 in the edges as the day wore on, but with the bush seeming to be solid with small Rudd I had to concentrate on the wall swim and I felt that slowed my catch rate down.

Meanwhile Simon opposite me was targeting the end of the bush on his left hand margin, however it was turning into a day of frustration for him which would end up costing him a damaged top kit and No4 section before the match was over ……​


Steady away probably describes my progress, the wind gusting into the peg was the real problem as I was having to wait for lulls to feed as when it was gusting I couldn’t even throw 6 mm’s 3 sections out!!! By around 1·30 pm my calf was starting to ache, a legacy of pulling it at Rockells Farm, so I had a stroll up to see how Al and Keith were doing. Al was going along steadily, feeding and fishing off the end of his nets, taking fish regularly and obviously on his way to a decent weight ……​


Meanwhile Keith was targeting his right hand margin and although he was catching reasonably steadily felt that Al was pulling away from him ……​


A quick chat with Kev revealed that he was enjoying his day and although his catch rate was nowhere near either Keith or Al’s he was regularly putting the odd fish in the net fishing down his right hand margin …​


Back at my peg the bush was still solid with Rudd, however I’d been feeding close in as well and felt it was time to take a look and see if I could pick up some bonus margin fish. Indeed the fish were there, but they seemed to be much smaller fish around the 8-12 oz mark, not quite what I’d planned so back to the wall swim. Thankfully this was still producing and I ended up fishing there for the rest of the match as it steadily produced fish right up to when Keith called the All-Out at 3·45 pm. I’d ended up with 76 carp which I felt should give me somewhere around 150 lbs.

As I was packing my kit away Kevin came round for the scales. He and John were planning to fish on after the match, so they were going to start our half of the weigh-in straight away. I soon caught up with them, JohnB had a day fishing the method on Peg 9 and had 34½lbs. Next up was Vic who’d made full use of his knowledge of the water to put an excellent 310 lbs on the scales. John was next with 136½lbs and Kevin 74½lbs. Keith had 199¼lbs just short of a ‘Double Ton’. Al had a fantastic day shattering his best ever match weight with 343 lbs.​

However Alders operates a strict 100lbs per net limit and he was over on all 3 nets resulting in a disqualification :error:. Finally my fish took the scales round to 176¼lbs.

With our part of the Weigh-In completed we assembled back at the pump house for the results. Gwen had kindly returned and opened it up and had left us a tin of cakes and tea and coffee, an unexpected treat and greatly appreciated. Keith collated the final results and as a result of Al’s misfortune it meant that Trevor took the honours on the day with 333¼lbs while Vic was second and Bert’s weight of 229 lbs taking third so a clean sweep for the GOT Bait lads. A hard lesson for Al as he’d never caught anything close to that weight of fish before, but a mistake I’m sure he won’t repeat again. Keith P was well made up however as his weight of 186¼lbs had enabled him to record his first ever match ‘Ton’.

Overall a very enjoyable day and Thanks to Keith for organising it today, Alders Farm is a very special fishery that unfortunately attracts some unwarranted criticism for the weights it produces, however the most noticeable thing is that while a lot of waters are way down on their normal levels this year Alders has maintained its normal levels as it’s spring fed and it’s this that allows it to sustain the large head of fish and indeed allows them to breed successfully. Dinah and Gary have a quality, well managed fishery in beautiful surroundings that I’m sure Marsh AC and its members will be returning to in the future. Just a pity that it’s not a bit closer to home for me, as I could see myself becoming a regular there with the other lakes and facilities that the fishery has on offer.​

* Alders operates a strict 100 lbs per net rule in matches,
and unfortunately Al was over on all 3 of his nets resulting in a disqualification.

Location: Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. The Reservoir. October 15th, 2011.

Marsh AC club match.


Hartleylands Farm just outside the village of Cranbrook in Kent is the venue today for the final Marsh AC match this year. The club has booked The Reservoir for today, which should make a nice change as we normally fish Nick’s Lake. It was an early start for me as I’d arranged to meet up with Mick Pearson who was coming along as my guest today for a spot of breakfast prior to the match. There was a noticeable chill in the air as I loaded up the car, and as I made my way down the temperature was only registering 4°C on the car thermometer. I arrived at The Knoxbridge Café just after 7 am to find Mick waiting for me. We were soon tucking into a hearty breakfast and catching up with events since we’d last met. Kevin & Jean along with Graham, John, Martin and Zack arrived for breakfast as well, and with that taken care of it was just a matter of a five minute drive up to the fishery. Pulling into the car park it was the usual hive of activity as greetings were exchanged and tackle was assembled prior to the draw……​


Paul East was actually fishing today !!!! complete with new shuttle, space station and pole that he’s treated himself to, but unfortunately there were a few faces missing due to a combination of work, illness and prior engagements, which meant there were just 15 of us fishing, but with the whole reservoir booked it meant that we would have plenty of space. A quick chat with the bailiff revealed there had been a frost this morning and the day before, not the best of news as it may have had an effect on the fish feeding, though it promised to be a nice sunny day with what wind there was, blowing toward the earlier pegs.

Just after 8·30 am Dave started the draw and I found peg 16 sticking to my hand, probably the furthest walk, but the end of the reservoir I prefer. You can see where it is, and where everyone ended up on the peg plan below ……​


As I made my way round I found Terry was on peg 18, where he’d fished a couple of weeks ago, while Zack was on peg 20, the peg I’d fished with Dave keeping him company on peg 21 along with Chris who’d come along to watch again as his hand is still in plaster. Settling my gear into the peg I planned to tackle it in a similar way to the way I’d fished peg 20 a couple of weeks ago, and that was to just fish 2 lines, the first at 2 sections and a top 2 straight out where I had around 4 feet of water and the second down the left and right hand margins. Rigs were two 4×12 CX pencils on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finishing with size 14 Guru MWG’s for straight out and a 0.2 NG Edger on 0·20 Ultima Power Match finished off with a size 14 Guru MWG for the margin line. Bait today was simply 6 mm pellet for feed and 8 mm pellet and various GOT Baits soft hookers for the hook……​


With a bit of time before the off, I took a stroll down to see Mick and Paul who were on pegs 12 & 10 and the side bet of a ‘Golden Nugget’ was struck with Mick who was obviously confident in the pulling power of Mary Q . Jean had provided a welcome cup of coffee which went down well as the breeze had a bit of a nip to it as we waited for the start. As I sat there I couldn’t help noticing that some of the colour seemed to have dropped out of the water, no doubt due to those first frosts, would it effect things? We’d soon find out.

10 am and Dave called the All-In, I was determined to be positive and fed a good handful of pellet straight out and down the margins before shipping a banded 8 mm out in front. The first couple of put ins resulted in a couple of tentative dips of the float that I didn’t connect with, but the third put in saw me connect with what was obviously a carp, they do pull a bit these reservoir carp as they seek the deeper water, but steady pressure soon took its toll as a feisty Mirror found its way to the waiting landing net, at around 4 lbs a nice way to get off the mark. Bites weren’t coming instantly like they were a couple of weeks ago, but by feeding every put in and continually working the bait there were bites to be had, and in what seemed like no time at all I’d put 8 carp in the nets. The reality was that it had taken 50 minutes as I looked at my watch which said 10 to 11. I really shouldn’t have looked though, as that seemed to be the signal for the fish to switch off.

The next hour or so was pure torture as there wasn’t a bite to be had, but from what I could hear and see everyone else seemed to be pretty much in the same boat, though I was sure I’d heard a top kit smash from down toward Paul’s peg. I could see that nothing had touched the bait in the margins as the water hadn’t coloured up at all, but I kept bait trickling in on all the lines as I didn’t want fish to move in and find nothing to hold them. Around midday I’d heard that Mick and Paul had taken a few fish, so fed a good handful straight out and took a stroll with the camera to see what was happening and take my mug back to Jean. It appeared that Mick was alternating between a pole line and the method feeder to tempt a few fish and he was owning up to around 25 lbs in the net, though as I strolled away he was into another fish on the feeder ……​


Paul revealed that the earlier sound of splintering carbon had indeed come from his peg, his top kit not being up to the task of heaving a double figure carp into his landing net when it had other ideas ……​


Kevin was having a real struggle as were Rod and Martin on that bank, in fact it was hard to tell if Martin was watching the tip of his feeder rod or just staring despondently into the distance ……​


Round to peg 29 and there was Clive struggling for a bite on the peg that according to the bailiff had won the last match with 176 lbs, talk about “You should have been here last week” added to which was the fact that the peg was in almost total shade, it would be fair to say that the moustachioed one wasn’t exactly ecstatic with the prospect of another few hours sat there ……​


Ken wasn’t fairing a whole lot better on 27, another shaded peg, though he had a few small silvers in the net to show for his efforts ……​


Graham was next up on the last of the shaded pegs and was just unhooking a small roach as I arrived, always positive he was hopeful that a few carp would put in an appearance later in the day …​


onto 23 and Nick at least had a carp in the net to show for his efforts, while Dave had managed 3 carp early before they switched off, but he was now feeding small pinches of hemp with a tare on the hook trying to tempt some roach, and while he was getting the odd one or two, even they were proving reluctant to feed ……​


On peg 20 Zack had concentrated on his right hand margin from the off and it had yielded a carp and a few silvers for him, while Terry had been unable resist a look down his left hand margin having seen a fish down there ……​


Back at my peg and a glance down both margins revealed that nothing had visited for a munch so it was back out with a banded 8 mm in front, followed by some pellets. A quick dip of the float followed by a lift saw me attached not to a carp but a skimmer, still it was something to add to the net even if it did slime me. Next put in and the same again only this time it wasn’t a skimmer, obviously a substantial carp it powered off in unstoppable fashion, the rig returning with a straightened out hook. Luckily I had a second identical rig to hand and the next 3 put ins saw 3 more skimmers deposited in the net. Next put in and a lift was met with stronger resistance, a carp this time, a chunky Common around the 6 lbs mark and very welcome. This was rapidly followed by a similar sized Mirror that took a bit of getting in as it was hooked in the pectoral fin, but come in it did. This stirred the peg up a bit and led to a lull, but after around 10 minutes another skimmer joined its mates in the silvers net. By now Dave was targeting his margins and I watched as he landed a couple of carp, and I knew that if there were fish there he would give me a run for my money. Next put in and I was briefly attached to a lump that took off before launching itself out of the water like a Polaris missile and crashing back on the line smashing the rig.

Time to compose myself and tie up another couple of rigs, and with that done get back to fishing. Kev appeared with another cup of coffee, but it dropped to the floor, emptying its contents before I could reach it. Kev trundled off with the empty cup after I retrieved it from the water promising a refill. 10 minutes later and Dave came wandering along to bring me the refill and tried to convince me that I already had 100 lbs in my nets………….I wish. Unfortunately it was back to scratching for bites after that, though Dave gave us all a bit of amusement with the length of time he spent playing a Ghostie, but he had the last laugh as it ended safely in the net. Meanwhile I was just picking up the odd skimmer here and there. Terry however suddenly seemed to have the carp turn up in front of him with an hour to go, and Dave was still getting the odd fish from the margins. Thankfully I managed 3 more carp among the skimmers while Terry suffered a run of bumped bites and lost fish in the last 20 minutes. 4 pm and Dave called the All-Out. it had been a hard days fishing and the reservoir hadn’t fished up to its potential. I felt I had around 70 lbs in the nets, but I’d soon find out for sure come the Weigh-In.

I packed my gear away but left it at my peg and went to get on with the Weigh-In. Rod kicked things off with just 9¼lbs while Martin could only muster 6 lbs. Kev had 20¼lbs and John 14 lbs proving just how hard the fishing on that bank had been. Paul despite his early woes had managed to get the better of a few decent lumps down the margin and put 77½lbs on the scales to take 2nd on the day. Mick had enjoyed his day with 52 lbs, but Jim had suffered a torrid day with just 5¾lbs. I was next and my carp nets came up short of Paul’s weight, but 15 lbs of skimmers gave me a total of 81¾lbs and the win today. Terry had 50½lbs and Zack 29¼lbs. Dave’s 69¼lbs took 3rd overall. Nick weighed 15 lbs while Graham did manage some afternoon carp to take 42¼lbs to the scales. Ken had 8¾lbs while Clive was last to weigh with a level 20 lbs.

Back at the car park Dave collated the scores and monies with the top 3 taking their sections on the day and I relieved Mick of a ‘Golden Nugget’ before we loaded our gear up, bade our farewells and headed off for home. (y)
The club does run a points table over the course of the matches (Guests results are not included in the table) and as you can see Dave Collier reaped the rewards of a very consistent season that included 3 match wins, coming out on top with 218 points while I was Runner-Up with 204 points and Al finished 3rd on 194 points despite missing the final Match. I’d just like to say Thank You to all the club members and guests who’ve fished this years matches. They’ve been great company on the bankside, with some hilarious banter meaning the matches have been enjoyable as always, and I’m looking forward to next year already.

Finally, MANY THANKS to Dave Collier (Mr Chairman) for his organisational efforts on behalf of the club, we give him plenty of ribbing at times, but we do appreciate his efforts. (y)

Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Ivan Marks, The People’s Champion. Book Review.


Where to start? I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this eagerly awaited book for my Birthday.

Being of a certain age I have many memories of anglers that I used to look up to in my early years of fishing, and one of those anglers was Ivan Marks.
The 70′s was Ivan’s era when he and his Leicester AS team (The Likely Lads) ruled the roost. From 1972 Ivan had a weekly column in the Angling Times that I used to avidly read every Wednesday as soon as the paper was published, and it’s from those columns that the contents of the book are taken. The book kicks off with a brief run down of Ivan’s life and career followed by tributes from David Hall, Peter Drennan, Tommy Pickering and Keith Arthur by way of an introduction.

Over 330 pages are divided up into chapters with the following headings ………​
  • Match Fishing.​
  • Fishing for England​
  • Tackle.​
  • Tactics.​
  • Bait.​
  • Ireland.​
  • Everything Else.​
These are accompanied with 16 pages of photos, some of which are previously unpublished.

The chapters contain some of those columns published in the Angling Times over an eight year period, and offer a fascinating insight into Match Fishing during that era, but more importantly it offers an insight into the mind of the man who many (myself included) regard as the greatest match angler of his time and one of the all time greats.

For those of us who fished in that era it provides a nostalgic trip back to earlier times, while younger readers should still find plenty to enjoy and probably be amazed at the differences between then and now, when carp were a rarity, poles were almost unheard of, commercials didn’t exist and ‘Ton’ bags of fish were only dreamt of. Throughout the book there are nuggets of information tucked away in the text that are as relevant to angling today as they were 4 decades ago, it’s just up to the reader to take them in if they choose to.

I must admit that I couldn’t put it down, but it’s also one of those books that I know I’ll be returning to time and again, just to dip in and out of, which all adds to the appeal of this book.
A superb addition to any anglers library, I can do nothing other than heartily recommend this book. It can be purchased direct from Calm Productions along with some other excellent angling books. (y)


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Match Lake 4. March 31st, 2012.

Marsh AC club match.


Well today would see me fishing the first Marsh AC match of the season down at Monk Lakes on Match Lake 4. Having not fished since the last club match in the middle of October I was really looking forward to this, getting back on the bank and blowing a few cobwebs away. I was soon back into the old routine, up early, get the cats fed and a couple of cups of coffee for myself before loading up the car and setting off for the venue. It was a dull grey overcast morning as I drove down toward Staplehurst with the temperature showing just 8°C. I’d like to say that it was an uneventful trip, but a bit of debris falling from a truck I was following shot under the car, with a bang signalling that it had hit something !!!!! The centre box of the exhaust as it happens, which will now need fixing :teeth:. Anyway I made it to the fishery with Rod and Clive arriving behind me. Getting out of the cars Clive looked around and uttered the immortal words “Well at least it isn’t windy”….he really should have known better. Over to the food bar for a breakfast roll and a cuppa where a healthy turn out of club members was assembling along with Mick the Chippy who was my guest for the day. The draw took a little longer than usual as Dave had club fees to collect, but the draw was soon underway and I found peg 154 was mine while Mick drew 155 meaning we would have a good old chat today if nothing else.​


Into the cars and up to the lake, I soon had my gear at my peg as I was able to park within 20 yards of it. I can’t say I was delighted with it as pegs 154-160 are generally regarded as “The Corner of Death” and not the most favoured to say the least, but hopefully we would still get a few. As we started to set up the wind got up, a nasty chill north easterly from my right blowing down into the corner, making it feel cooler still. Having not fished for a while it took a bit longer than usual to get set up, even though I was going to keep it pretty simple today. Just 2 top kits loaded with black hydro and a couple of rigs the first was an 0·4 NG XT Gimp on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X to fish on the deck at around 10 mtrs, while the second was a, 0·3 NG XT Power Pencil Mk 2 again on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X for a 4 mtr line on the deck. Both lines had a similar 4 ft of depth. Bait for the day was going to be a mix of maggot and hard 6 mm pellet along with some 6 mm GOT Rippers.​


Mick meanwhile had the site of a couple of randy swans on his pole line that decided it was the perfect time and spot to make cygnets !!!! Thankfully they soon departed though. Kev also appeared with a welcome cup of coffee from Jean. Dave signalled the All-In at 10 am and I fed a mixed pot of maggot and pellet at 10 mtrs, before starting with double red maggot over it, while Mick started on the method just short of the island. Mick was soon off the mark with a Gudgeon which led to a discussion of the merits of the humble gobio and soon followed it with a small carp and another Gudgeon before my float dipped and I bumped a bottle top off. However it was soon followed by another, all of 2 inches long, but at least I landed it saving myself the dreaded DNW.

I could already hear splashing from up on peg 151 though where Al was able to fish across to the side of the island in relative comfort and seemed to be catching carp already. Mick was ticking along till he got broken by an unseen denizen of the deep, but I was starting to worry about the destination of the Golden Nugget that was riding on our head to head. Maggot appeared to just attract tiny skimmers and roach so a pot of 6 mm’s was followed by the rig with a 6 mm ripper on the hook. a bit of lifting and dropping resulted in a positive bite and finally a carp was on it’s way to the net, a nice plump little mirror of around 1½lbs.

It was still hard graft for me, though Mick kept slipping one or two into the net. By 12 o’clock I just had 6 carp and that solitary tiny skimmer to show for my efforts so I fed 3 handfuls of pellet onto the 4 mtr line and decided to take a stroll with the camera. Rod and Ken on the other bank of the Corner of Death were having an ever worse time of it than Mick and I as they had the North Easterly blowing full into their faces ……​


Graham at least was sheltered by the island, but was still having a struggle to find some fish and had an early look down his margin with some paste to try and snare a carp or two ……​


Vic’s peg looked lovely but he was having to work hard for fish that really didn’t want to play ball ……​


Kev was also struggling despite encouragement from Jean (at least I think that was what it was) I found Tony fishing his right hand margin as his main swim appeared to have died on him, and was lucky enough to get him to pose for a photo with his next fish ……​


Simon was struggling as well despite using his new Maver Elite Carp for the first time and I managed to talk him into letting me have a go with it. A nice pole, but not for me as the balance didn’t feel quite right I’m afraid even after I got Simon to fit the 13 mtr extension the right way round :error:

Round to Keith who complained he was being battered by Mick on the next peg, but he was soon into a fish, but as I raised the camera for an action shot the hook gave way. The curse of the camera? who knows but I felt it best to depart before copping a top two round the ear-hole.

Chris was whittling a few out on his first session since recovering from his broken arm, while Dave had gone for a stroll. Looking back though I could see that Keith and Mick were having a good old ding-dong with the two of them both playing fish ……​


Clive seemed utterly miserable as he found fishing at 16 mtrs to reach the island to much in the wind that was buffeting him and had resorted to the feeder but with little joy. It didn’t help that he had to watch Al on the next peg catching well from the side of the island as it sheltered him from the wind, and it was pretty obvious already that he would be the one to beat today ……​


As I returned to my peg Jean arrived with a welcome cuppa and a cheeseburger from the food bar, so that was consumed before I got back to the business in hand. Time to attack the 4 mtr line and see if I could make something happen. Feed a small handful of 6 mm’s and swing a banded 6 mm out to the same spot. A couple of lift and drops and the job’s a good un as the float buried resulting in a nice little Mirror. It was never hectic but by sticking at it I soon had small carp and F1′s coming regularly to the net, forcing Mick into trying a similar approach in an effort to avoid the loss of a Golden Nugget. Fortunately for me, I managed to keep them coming at a greater rate than Mick and when Dave called the All-Out at 4 pm we both knew the destination of the Nugget.:thumbsup:

With the kit back in the cars the Weigh-In started at Mick’s peg with a hard earned 39½lbs while my net came to a level 63 lbs. John chipped in with 23½lbs. Al had made the most of his island peg with a fine 113½lbs. Clive had suffered with just 29 lbs and Martin had fared even worse with 17¾lbs. Dave and Chris had had 84 lbs and 53 lbs and Jim 27½lbs. Mick’s 83 lbs left him short of Keith’s 97½lbs. Zack added 23 lbs to the total and Simon could only muster 20 lbs while Terry was rewarded with 46 lbs. Tony put 61½lbs on the scales, while Jean’s coaching had resulted in 37 lbs for Kev. Vic’s hard work produced 70¼lbs for him while Graham could only muster 20½lbs. Rod and Ken finished things off with 9½lbs and 18¾lbs respectively.

Back to the car park for the results, with Al taking the win. Keith second and Dave 3rd. Al, Dave, Keith and Vic taking the sections on the day and Mick’s Golden Nugget found a new home in my pocket.

Next up for me is Al’s Knock Up at Hawkhurst on the 14th so keep your eyes out for that report.​

Location: Marden, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hawkhurst Fishery. The Match Lake. April 14th, 2012.

Al’s Match.


Marsh AC club mate and fellow Maggotdrowner Al Loader had booked the Match Lake at Hawkhurst for a knock up today and with a good few booked on for it everyone was hopeful of a good days sport. Unfortunately the view from the bedroom window was a bit bleak when I looked out, dull grey and overcast with rain falling, but with the cats fed and a couple of cups of coffee to fortify me I soon had my waterproofs on and the car loaded up and headed for Hawkhurst. Thankfully the rain soon stopped, but with the temperature showing just 6°C and some fog outside Tonbridge it looked like a none to glorious spring day ahead. I pulled into the car park just before 8 am to find most already assembled and the last couple followed me in. A cool North easterly wind was noticeable as Keith collected the match fees for Al, before we headed to the fishery Restaurant for breakfast before the draw. The breakfast served at Hawkhurst is one of the best (2 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 eggs, mushrooms, beans/tomatoes, fried slice + toast and tea or coffee) which sets you up nicely for the day ahead, and as we chatted over this, Mick the Chippy was adamant that the Golden Nugget would be returning to him today.

With breakfast taken care of it was back to the car park for the draw. With 16 anglers present all 20 pegs were in and when my turn came peg 3 was mine for the day. Collecting my kit I chatted to Mick McMillan who was happy to have drawn peg 5, though he wasn’t quite so happy when he found out that I’d drawn peg 6 for Al. A short walk to my peg revealed Tony on peg 1 while Brodie was on peg 2 and Dave Hough to my right on peg 4. Happiest angler on the day should have been Derek Lockwood on the other bank as he had one empty peg to his right and three to his left. You can see where everyone else drew on the peg plan below ……..​


My set up for Hawkhurst was pretty simple. 3 top kits loaded with black hydro and the first 2 rigs were identical, made up of a 0·3 NG XT Power Pencil Mk 2 on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X for a 5 mtr line (top 2 + 2 sections) on the deck where I had around 4 ft of water, while the third was a 0.2 NG Edger again on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X for a margin line against the boards. Bait for the day was going to be hard 6 mm fishery pellet along with some 6 mm GOT Rippers .

With the match being fished from 10·15 am till 4·15 pm I had a bit of time before the start to have a stroll round and have a chat prior to the All-In so I strolled along the top of the banking behind the pegs to get a better view. Mick McMillan and Al were settled into pegs 5 and 6, a couple of the favoured pegs and would be hard to beat today as they’re both more than capable of doing a big weight……​


On peg 7 Mick was hoping that the power of Beechams powders would hold his cold at bay in his quest to gain back his Golden Nugget and Clive obviously had a cunning plan that was focused on the contents of a tin……​


I had a quick chat with Keith who wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on Mick today, while Terry was having a chat with Paul on peg 10, picking his brains as Paul has a very good record fishing here ……​


John seemed happy enough on peg 12, as he had Dave for company today on peg 11 and the 3 empty pegs to his right……​


Derek was in splendid isolation on peg 16, Rod was going with the waggler from peg 19 and Mick Wright was tucked into the corner on peg 20 and hoping to get the bragging rights for the trip home to Milton Keynes with travelling companion Keith today, while over in the opposite corner Tony seemed lost in contemplation of the day ahead ……​


10·15 am and the whistle was blown signalling the start of the match. Before I could even pot in a cup of pellet Mick was netting his first fish of the day!!!!!! and was netting a second before I shipped out a rig with a 6 mm banded pellet on the hook. The hoped for instant bite didn’t materialise for me and others were already into fish before a bit of lift and dropping of the rig was rewarded with the float jagging under. A quick lift resulted in a pleasing resistance and a small common of around 1 lb was soon in the net to get me off the mark. That set the tone for me, a pinch of pellet every put in and keep working the rig produced the bites and kept the small carp coming and I ended the first hour with 14 fish in the nets. That north east wind was really chilling despite the sunshine, but kept a decent ripple on the swim. In the second hour the wind dropped a couple of times but it was noticeable that without the ripple the bites dried up, only returning with the wind. This was especially noticeable as Terry opposite me had the wind off his back leaving his peg a lot calmer, which resulted in him really struggling for a bite ……​


Despite the lulls in sport when the wind dropped I managed to maintain my catch rate and at the end of the second hour I’d added another 17 fish to the nets, and felt that I was holding my own with Tony and Brodie, though Dave to my right seemed to be catching at a slightly faster rate ……​


Steady away was the story of the third hour for me though Brodie felt that he needed to try a different approach to maintain his catch rate and switched to fishing shallow in an effort to keep them coming ……​


Derek over on peg 16 was getting his head down, catching regularly and was obviously profiting from having those empty pegs around him ……​


…… as well as being able to keep an eye on Mick and Al who, according to the grapevine were neck and neck and both catching well, though Al did have to take a break to go and get some more pellet as he had run out. Strangely though I hadn’t seen Dave having his customary stroll during the match and looking up toward his peg I could see him hunched over and concentrating on his right hand margin, so he was obviously catching well ……​


Into the 4th hour I had 50 fish on my clicker when a bit of a disaster struck. As I netted another carp which thrashed around and broke the line on the rig, and despite going straight back out with a second identical rig I couldn’t buy a bite, no apparent reason for it, but I decided to take a couple of minutes to retie the original rig and once I’d done that had a bite first put in with it.

Mick was still plundering his right hand margin over on peg 20, but the fish that he was getting seemed to be quite small ……​


However it was soon apparent that all was not well as sport seemed to slow down for most around the lake, The margins beside the boards were devoid of fish for me and I couldn’t get a bite when I tried there, indeed in that 5th hour I only managed to put 8 fish in the net. The final hour was no better for me either, and in all honesty I was quite relieved when the whistle sounded the All-Out leaving me with 65 fish to weigh-in. I soon had my kit packed away and back to the car and chatting to others they had all seemed to suffer a poor last couple of hours.

First to weigh-in was Paul on peg 10 putting 97¾lbs on the scales. Keith and Clive had 66½lbs and 71½ respectively while Mick the chippy’s cold had finally caught up with him as he weighed 31½lbs. Al placed a fine 139 lbs on the scales but it would only be good enough for second today as Mick McMillan topped that with 148½lbs to take the win on the day. next up Dave Hough’s 123½lbs would give him 3rd. I weighed 105 lbs, Brodie 87½lbs and Tony 81lbs. Round to the opposite bank and Mick secured the bragging rights over Keith with a level 98 lbs. Rod recorded 23 lbs and Terry 34½lbs. Derek recorded a fine 114½lbs to finish just out of the frame. John put 91½lbs on the scales and Dave was last to weigh with a decent 104½lbs.

So Thanks to Al for organising the day, just over 1400 lbs of fish put on the scales averaging over 80 lbs per man can’t be a bad days fishing on a cold spring day, and Thanks to Mick the Chippy for another Golden Nugget. (y)


Location: Hawkhurst, Kent, UK


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Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rayne Lodge Fishery. The Top Lake. April 21st, 2012.

Marsh AC club match.


The Top Lake at Rayne Lodge just outside of Braintree in Essex is yet again the venue for the second Marsh AC club match of the year. However we normally visit the venue in late may once things have started to warm up a bit. The view through the bedroom window today promised a decent start to the day ahead, but the forecast was for heavy showers after midday. I soon had the cats fed, while cereal and coffee fuelled me to load up the car and set off. A good traffic free run saw me arriving in the car park just after 7·30 am along with Kevin & Jean. Soon the others started to arrive and with just 14 of us fishing today things were soon underway. Dave asked Keith and I to sort out the pegs to use today so we set off round the lake while others ferried their gear down the hill and Dave collected the monies. Virtually every peg looked good for a few fish and Keith and I made the picks trying to give most anglers a bit of room and our 14 choices went into the hat ready for the draw. Into the hat and it’s peg 14A for me, the 2nd time in the last 3 visits (the other one was peg 14) I never seem to be able to get out of this corner of the lake when we visit, but it’s normally good for a few fish.​


Knowing the area so well it didn’t take long to get set up, just 3 top kits with black hydro. It can tow a bit in this corner if the wind gets into it so I set up a couple of rigs to fish at 6 mtrs where there’s around 3 feet of water, the first was an 0·4 NG XT Gimp on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X while the second was a, 0·3 NG XT Power Pencil Mk 2 again on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X which was a little more delicate and would see use if it wasn’t towing. The third rig was my customary 0.2 NG Edger again on 0·14 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X for the margin lines that had around 2 feet of depth. Bait was simply 6 mm coarse pellet for feed and the hook along with some sweetcorn and 6 mm GOT Rippers as alternative hookers.

There was still a good 30 minutes to go so I took a stroll to see how others were going to tackle things. Al and Dave were already exchanging banter on the prospects for the day that lay ahead. Kev was settling into peg 1 which I’d fancied for a few fish when Keith and I selected it earlier. Jean kindly provided a freshly cooked sausage and bacon roll and a mug of coffee to wash it down. Chris had set up for a catch anything with fins approach. Most seemed to be going with the pole, though Martin next to me on peg 14 was going for the feeder to the island in front.

10 am and the whistle sounded for the All-In. A cup of pellets with a few grains of corn was fed at 6 mtrs along with a handful of pellet into the left hand margin before I shipped out with a banded 6 mm pellet, Dave over on peg 21 had got off to a flyer with 6 fish in his first 6 put in’s !!! and I had seen Al netting a couple of quick fish as well. A few more pellets flicked over my rig and a couple of lift and drops soon saw the float slide away and a spirited fight from a small common followed before I netted it to get myself off the mark. The first hour was nice and steady, keeping a little bit of feed going in and working the rig kept the bites coming and a few small carp and skimmers coming to the net.

Word was filtering down that Dave was already in the pound seats as he’d found the fish in the margins and feeding from the off, while Al had reverted to the method to the point of the island in an attempt to keep up with him as he couldn’t buy a bite from his margin. I could hear the two of them talking and tales of 3-4 lbs fish, which meant I was going to need some more and larger fish than I’d already got, especially when my next fish was this mint little common ……​


I took an early look down my margins but to no avail so it was back to 6 mtrs to keep working it, occasionally adding another section to see if anything had backed off the feed, but they didn’t seem to be there in any numbers. I would take 2 or 3 fish and then have to wait 10-15 minutes for a bite. This seems to be the pattern in this part of the lake since 2009 when all the overhanging trees that provided cover were cut down and it now seems that fish just move through the area and you almost have to ambush them as they pass through as they seem reluctant to settle for any length of time.

Mick over on peg 16 was putting a few together but having to work for them, though this was disturbed when a passing duck snaffled his bait as he was laying his rig in. Thankfully Mick managed to get the duck to the bankside where he finally managed to unhook it after some deft work with a disgorger, the duck swimming off with just a few feathers and its dignity ruffled. Martin was having a hard time of it, latching into various snags round the island and then seeing his reel handle fly off and land in the lake. Undaunted he soon changed reels and was back in action……​


For me it was just a question of plugging away and keeping a few fish going into the net as apart from Dave and Al nobody else seemed to be getting among the fish from what I could see or hear. I kept having the odd look down the margins but they steadfastly refused to produce as much as a bite, and after a blank spell of nearly 20 minutes at 6 mtrs I re-fed it pretty heavily and set of for my customary stroll with the camera. John was struggling next door to Martin and it looked like the two travelling companions would be battling to the end of the match for the bragging rights today.​


Clive was settled into peg 11A and having a look down his left hand margin, having struggled to catch from the right hand side of his peg ……​


Keith was on peg 10 and working hard to put a few together and beat Mick in another battle of the travelling companions, though I did manage to bring a smile to his face when I related the tale of Mick’s encounter with the duck …​


Simon and Graham had similar tales of struggle, though Graham’s did ring a little hollow as he lifted into a fish as I passed by……​


Ken seemed quite content with his lot tucked away in a corner on peg 5 and was happily putting a few together today ……​


Chris on peg 3 was also putting a mixed bag together with his approach, but felt that he could be doing better ……​


Kev on peg 1 was having a mare in all honesty, not only was he struggling for bites from his swim, he also had the perfect view of Dave and Al apparently bagging up just across from him ……​


Dave had vanished for a stroll by the time I got round there, but I probably shouldn’t have asked Al what the crack was, as it wasn’t a pretty site ……​


Back at my peg it was just a question of head down and get on with it, nick a couple of fish then wait a while before getting another couple. At least they were getting a little larger as time wore on with a few 2-3 pounders mixed in among the smaller ones. After yet another blank spell I took another look down the margins with 45 minutes to go and the float buried by a feisty little mirror that was soon in the net and thankfully this continued right up to the whistle sounded the All-Out at 4 pm. Packing away my kit I couldn’t help wondering what the outcome would have been had they turned up earlier in the margins? I was sure that Dave and Al were way out in front but reckoned that my late run of fish should see me with around 70 lbs of fish to put on the scales.

The Weigh-In started with Kev on peg 1 who only managed a meagre 12 lbs. Chris recorded 38½lbs while Ken was happy to see his fish weigh 53 lbs, Graham’s 42¼lbs was followed by Simon’s 36½lbs and Keith chipped in with 39½lbs. Clive had a smile on his face due to his 56½lbs, while Martin and John both recorded a level 16 lbs to share the bragging rights in the car. My fish came to 77 lbs leaving me happy with what I’d got from my peg. Mick’s 36½lbs meant that Keith had the bragging rights for their trip home and Terry could only muster 26½lbs for his days efforts. that just left Al who was admitting to 70 lbs (meaning he probably had a Ton+) and Dave who was owning up to 80 lbs and he’s normally pretty close with his estimates. Al in fact put 106 lbs on the scales and Dave 87½lbs.

So back up Heart Attack Hill to the car park where Dave sorted out the days results and the monies. The Winner today was Al, with Dave taking 2nd and third place for me. The sections went to Ken, myself and Al.

Next up for Marsh AC is an Inter-club match at Hartleylands Farm against Morefax AC , but before that I’m off on my first trip of the year to Rolf’s Lake next Friday for a 2 day Special Jinx Match.​


Location: Braintree, Essex, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. April 27th-28th, 2012.

The Jinx Series 2012
Special 2 Day Festival.


Well this weekend it’s something a little bit different to kick off this years Jinx Series, with this 2 Dayer being organised by Malc (The Jinx) to get everyone into the swing of things, and although the results of these matches won’t count toward the series results it’s being treated as a Mini Festival with section points over the two days deciding the winner.

The Jinx Squad 2012
Clive, Tony, Malc(The Jinx), Steve, Dai, Dave C.
Simps, Terry, Budgie, Dave M, Peter, Neil.
Paul, Nick W, Gem(The Minx), Geoff, Mat, Nick W-P.
Fred, Ady, Kev.​
Day 1
Friday, April 27th, 2012.

Unfortunately due to a new job The Jinx himself would be missing Friday but was hoping to get down and fish on Saturday, but in his absence it looked like he’d managed to sort the weather for us with plenty of Rain and more Rain predicted over the 2 days. A quick glance out of the bedroom window confirmed the forecast was right on Friday morning, but after dropping Maria off at work I soon had the car loaded up and was on my way. As usual no trip to Rolfs is complete without a stop off in Battersea to set myself up for the day ahead with a ‘Full English’ and with that polished off it was next stop Rolf's.

Pulling into the car park it was obvious we were going to have a good turn out with the vast majority of The Jinx Squad regulars along with a couple of victims guests ready to do their best to get to grips with the lake, of course this included The Minx but unfortunately her New Hat hadn’t arrived in time so that won’t come into play until the start of the series proper in June. As usual the banter, wind ups and general pee taking was soon in full swing and it was around 11·30 am that Simon called for the draw to start and with rain threatening and a strong breeze blowing down from the Big Lake into the Little Lake everyone was keen to get started and set up before the impending deluge arrived.

Into the draw bag and I came away with peg 3, one that’s not normally included in matches, but one I’ve been wanting to fish for ages as it’s tucked away in the corner of the Little Lake with some decent cover, not to mention the fact that there were reports of fish showing there earlier in the day. The rain had already started to fall as I reached the peg so it was a question of getting settled in and set up as soon as possible. Looking around I could see Neil Riddy settling into peg 34, a good angler on a decent peg who regularly fishes Rolfs and has a good record there, meaning I would have my work cut out to win the section today. Marcus (Budgie) was on peg 39 another peg that’s rarely included and he was keen to give it a go, while round on peg 6 was Dave Moore with Simon Watkins on peg 7 and Geoff on peg 8 completing A section.


I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so just set up 3 pole rigs that were pretty much identical, just varying in length to cover various parts of the peg. These were all Nick Gilbert’s handmade NG Power Pencil’s, two 0·4 gm and a 0·5 gm, all made up on on 0·21 Ultima power match straight through to size 16 Kamasan B911X’s covering depths from 2½-4 ft. I really should have got the feeder rod out as well, but as I couldn’t get the brolly set effectively with the wind in my face it was used to shelter the rest of my kit behind me in an attempt to avoid it getting soaked and the feeder rod was left in the holdall. Bait was simply a couple of bags of 6 mm fishery pellets with some 8 mm hard pellet, corn and various GOT Baits soft hookers for change baits. With a little time to go I just checked my elastics when I noticed some deterioration in it in one of my top kits. All three kits had been elasticated at the same time and although the other two looked OK I didn’t want to risk them. The only elastic I had available was some Vespe Bi-Core so this was hastily rigged into the 3 kits meaning I missed the All-In as I finished the third kit.


I only missed the first five minutes however and soon shipped a small cup of pellet out to 8 mtrs followed by another small pot spread along the edge of the bushes to my left, plus a pinch into both margins before shipping a banded 8 mm out to 8 mtrs. Unfortunately the next 20 minutes was pretty futile as despite working a selection of various baits not a single bite was forthcoming, in fact the only thing coming my way was rain and increasing amounts of it, (At this point I’ll apologise that this report doesn’t contain more photos from the day, but the weather meant that the camera stayed safely in it’s case.) Time for a look over by the bushes and it was a banded 6 mm that produced the required response, the float gliding under, it was only a small roach but at least I’d avoided the dreaded DNW. Next put in and away the float slid again, a carp this time that dived for the cover of the bushes, but steady pressure soon saw me in control and the fish, a stocky mirror of around 8 lbs in the net. As I lifted the net the mesh started to give way though resulting in the fish nearly sliding through an increasingly large hole !!! Luckily I was quick enough to save the situation, but I had to go and find another landing net before continuing.

I had to go up to the next net bin so stopped off for a chat with Dave Moore who was also having a struggle and having to watch Neil opposite steadily walking away with the section. Back at my peg I then suffered a brief spell where I had a couple of foul hookers, obviously big commons judging by the scales that came back on the hook, I thought I’d got away with it till “Nobody likes to see that” carried on the wind from peg 34 as Neil looked on. Still the rain poured down but I managed 4 carp, but they were spooky which I felt was due to the fact that there wasn’t enough leaves on the bushes yet to offer the cover they needed to settle. I settled down feeding around 20 pellets at a time and waiting for a bite before re-feeding. About half way through Keith Powell came walking round, his face a picture of abject misery, sat on peg 10 his waterproofs had proved not to be and he was off to his car to try and warm up, have a fag and dry out a bit.

The rain just didn’t relent and Gem had given it best having only had a single roach from peg 26 and retreated to the dry and warmth of the caravan she and Simps were using for the weekend so at least people would be saved from a Minxing. The rest of us battled on through the incessant rain (in fact the water level rose 1½ inches during the match, showing just how much water was falling) I managed another 4 carp during the course of the match, but I was mightily relieved to hear the All-Out come 6 pm.

Of course once we started packing up the rain eased off and as we started the Weigh-In it had virtually stopped and the wind died down too adding insult to injury. Neil was the first to weigh and pretty much as I had expected he put a very creditable 125½lbs on the scales, Budgie had 56 lbs 2ozs and my fish came to 69 lbs 2ozs. Sport had picked up for Dave toward the end leaving him with 64¼lbs while Simon Watkins had just 16¼lbs and Geoff a level 63 lbs to complete the section, so 2 points for me today to keep my chances alive.

Simon with 49¼lbs, Keith 27½lbs and Clive with 77 lbs from peg 13 made up the first half of B section before we got to C section where Nick W-P’s one decent roach was weighed at 1 lb. Dave Wall on his first ever visit to the lake put 79½lbs on the scales which would prove enough to take the section today. Nick Williams with a level 75 lbs and Fred with 56½lbs followed only to be pipped by Paul’s 60½lbs. Dave C had suffered a bit of a grueller with just 13¾lbs while Gem had just 8 ozs for her one roach to complete C section. Kevin managed 25½lbs and Dai 37¼lbs while Mat completed B section with 22½lbs.

Back to the hut for the results and Neil had taken the Lake win today and along with Clive and Dave Wall was in the pound seats with a section win and 1 point to take into Day 2 tomorrow.

Day 1 Results



With the action over for the day all that remained was to get into some dry cloths and while some were eating in their caravans and bivvies some of us went off to the local Harvester for a couple of pints and a meal which went down really well. On our return there was time for a quick chat with a few that were assembled round the hut, but I felt knackered and soon set off to settle down in my green VW Passat bivvie for the night, and almost as soon as I climbed into my sleeping bag and my head hit the pillows I was asleep.:sleep:

Day 2
Saturday, April 28th, 2012.

I awoke around 7 am to the sound of rain on the windscreen, only a few drops, nowhere near like yesterdays but as I climbed out for a stretch it was noticeably colder than the day before. This was due to a change in wind direction, it had turned through 180° overnight and was now a north easterly blowing straight into pegs 19-21 in the Big Lake. I soon had the stove out and the kettle on for a coffee and also decided to have a pot noodle as I was a bit peckish. Pauline appeared taking Ollie for his morning constitutional and Dave Wall surfaced from his Renault bivvie. By 9 am most were up and about and a few of us returned to the Harvester for breakfast. Fortified by that we returned to the lake and started to sort out our gear for the day ahead. Early reports indicated that the fish would follow the wind meaning the Big Lake would be the place to draw today. Dave Collier confirmed that he wouldn’t be fishing today if he didn’t get a favourable draw as the weather had played havoc with his arthritis, and Kevin was also leaning that way as Jean wasn’t feeling to good either. Around 10·30 am the blaring of a car horn signalled the arrival of that force of nature that is The Jinx, yes Malc was at the lake. I have to say that it was good to see him as without him the series wouldn’t exist and definitely wouldn’t be the same (Is that a good thing? answers on a postcard to…………………….)

So 11 am and draw time once more. Into the bag and it’s peg 19 for me, another of those pegs that is rarely used as 18 is considered the better peg, but with no peg 18 in the draw and the wind blowing into it should be good for a few today. For company I had Dave Wall on peg 21 and Clive had draw one of his favourites………………..NOT in the shape of peg 23. Neil had drawn peg 9, another decent peg today so I would be able to keep an eye on all three section winners from yesterday.


Settling into the peg It was immediately obvious just how cold the wind was, but I was hopeful it would at least keep the rain at bay. I set up 3 rigs, an 0·4gm NG XT Gimp on 0·21 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X for straight out at around 10 mtrs as Nick W reckoned most of his fish had come from there yesterday while the two 0·4gm NG Power Pencil rigs from yesterday would be used hard up against the boat and to the end of the bushes to my right. I also set up the feeder rod today just in case I felt the need for it. Bait was identical to yesterday, a couple of bags of 6 mm fishery pellets with some 8 mm hard pellet, corn and various soft hookers for change baits with some 6 mm’s soaked for use in the feeder should they be needed.


With a bit of time before the All-In I could see a good few were chatting over the prospects for the day ahead over by the hut ……


Rather than join them though Dave and I had a chat, he was fortunate in missing out on another chance to be Minxed as Gem had also decided not to fish today so the pressure was off there, but just for a bit of added interest we had a Golden Nugget on today's head to head ……


Anyway 1 pm and time for the All-In, half a small pot of 6 mm’s out to the 10 mtr line and a few to the bush and against the boat. A banded 6 mm out to the 10 mtr line resulted in an almost instant bite and the first fish of the day, a common of around 6 lbs was soon safely in the net, this was soon followed by a similar sized mirror, a nice start to the match for me. Looking across I could see Malc on peg 25 and it looked as if he was fishing paste to the end of the bush on his left hand side. He was soon into what looked to be a good sized fish that was taking him a while to get under control ……


It proved to be a very decent fish indeed, a Common weighing in at 21lbs 6ozs which Simps managed to get a photo of before Malc returned it……


The wind was getting up a bit more however making it awkward to fish at 10 mtrs so I took an early look over toward the bush again with a banded 6 mm, similar to yesterday feeding 20 pellets at a time and working the bait constantly to attract a bite. Soon the float buried and a lift brought solid resistance but gentle pressure lead the fish away from the bush and almost straight into the landing net. A definite weigher that went 15 lbs, just what was needed and the start of a steady run of fish pretty much all the way through the match for me. Dave wasn’t so fortunate and was working hard just to attract a bite ……


Over on 23 Clive was already on the feeder and didn’t appear to be enjoying things to much …


While down on peg 32 Paul appeared to have had a couple of decent fish on the pole…


Around half way through the damp and cold wind had got to me and I had to take a break for a walk and today I took the trusty camera with me. Clive by now had swapped to the pole but steadfastly refused to smile for the camera (I told you he hates peg 23) ……


Down on peg 30 Simon Watkins had started to put a few good fish together despite having it pointed out to him that he’s set up the top kits on his new pole wrong, telescoping them instead of assembling them as put overs, but soon fell victim to the curse of the camera as about a second after I took this picture the hook pulled ……


Keith was looking a little lonely on peg 34 and was fishing the pole as opposed to the feeder …


Mat appeared to be fishing a pleasure session tucked away on his own on peg 3, while Budgie appeared to be busy trying to get to grips with his peg ……


Geoff was plugging away down the track on peg 8 which he was fishing for the second day running, so at least he knew where the feed had gone in on the previous day ……


Paul was less than delighted to see me appear with the camera, especially as Simps and Malc were also present to offer support, but he managed to avoid the curse and land the carp he was playing ……


Neil surprisingly was having a bit of a grueller on peg 9 and Nick W-P was looking less than enamoured with peg 10 …….


By the time I got back Dave was targeting the end of the bush on his right hand side and this was the swim he would stick with for pretty much the rest of the match ……


Back to the bush for me and straight away I was into another fish another scrappy mirror of around 7 lbs. I don’t know what it is about these fish as they seem to fight a lot harder than the commons. They remind me of the fish we used to catch at Stockton in that they seem to swim with their head down and fight well above their weight. Still they all count and are decent weight builders. A couple of better commons then put in an appearance adding more weight to my total on the board.

I’d also noticed that as the match wore on plenty of people were picking up one or two better fish. Fred had plenty of elastic out on several occasions ……


…… and had started to make regular trips to the scales.

With around 80 minutes to go Neil’s swim woke up for him and he had a decent run of 9 fish that was sure to push him up the leader board ……


I had a lull with around 45 minutes to go and finally took a look with the feeder just past the end of the bush. Within a minute the tip whipped round and after a spirited fight another decent common slid over the net and at 15 lbs was a welcome sight. Unfortunately during the fight the rig had tangled in some old line and was badly tangled and rather than re rig it I went back to the pole and managed another 3 fish, two of them weighers before the All-Out was called at 6 pm.

I have to admit that I wasn’t to sad to pack the kit away, I’d had a decent day with around 80 lbs of weighers on the board and hopefully another 50 lbs in the nets but the constant cold wind and drizzle in my face had left me feeling knackered, though satisfied with my day. I soon had my kit back to the car and loaded away and by the time I caught up with the Weigh-In Keith had recorded 59 lbs 6ozs and Mat had put an excellent 130 lbs 4ozs on the scales to take the small C section of 4 with Dave C and Kevin not fishing. Budgie managed 62¼lbs and Geoff 89¼lbs. Neil’s late run netted him 116¾lbs. Nick W-P had a better second day with 40½lbs while Dave Moore finished the first half of B section with 73½lbs. Nick Williams managed 27 lbs while Fred’s trips up to the scales yielded 109½lbs and my fish rolled the scales over to 140½lbs. Dave Wall could only muster a level 30 lbs meaning he was waving farewell to a Golden Nugget. Clive with 63½lbs just edged out Dai’s 63¼lbs but Malc had the beating of them both with 87½lbs to round off A section. That left the rest of B section, Simps suffering a grueller with just 28 lbs, Simon Watkins recording his first Jinx Ton with 121¾lbs and Paul finishing things off with a fine 119¾lbs.

So a lake win for me today and the bonus of becoming Peg King for peg 19, so as we made our way back to the hut for the results I was happy with that. It got better though as it transpired my 3 points from a section 1st and 2nd was enough for the overall Win. Neil finished one fish short today meaning that a section 1st and 3rd gave him Second place overall while Paul’s 5 point score just edged out Clive’s on a weight countback for Third place.

Day 2 Results




Final Positions and Points
(Countback on Weight to decide ties)

So that’s it, The Jinx Series is up and running for another year. Well done to all that fished the 2 days, with what the weather threw at us everyone deserves a medal for endurance at the very least. Hopefully things will improve by the time the first match of the Series comes round on 2nd June, but hey this is The Jinx Series, anything could happen and probably will.

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. May 12th, 2012.

Marsh AC club match.

It’s off down to Hartleylands Fishery at Cranbrook in Kent for what should have been an Inter-club match against Morefax AC but unfortunately they haven’t been able to get a team together so it’s just a regular club match today. However as we booked the whole of Nick’s Lake we’ve invited a few guests along so hopefully everyone will have a decent day. A glance out of the window offered a glimpse of what promised to be a decent day weather wise, so after taking care of the cats and swigging a couple of cups of coffee the kit was loaded into the car and off I went. First stop was the Knoxbridge Café to take care of breakfast, Mick the Chippy and grand daughter Rosie had just arrived as I pulled up and we entered to find that Keith and Mick already there and waiting for breakfast after their trip down from Milton Keynes. John. Martin and Zack weren’t far behind and once breakfast was taken care of we made our way down to the fishery for the draw.

The usual banter was flying around as we waited. Lee was there, the sole Morefax angler who could make it, so he would be fishing as a guest along with Gary who was Chris’s guest today and fishing his first match for about 30 years. There were two areas I wanted to draw today, either the spit (pegs 7-9) or the mid twenties. Into the bag and the drawing hand didn’t co-operate leaving me with peg 16, not where I really wanted to be. Making my way round to the peg with my gear I found that Rod had peg 13 and Al was on peg 14, while Martin had 17 and Jim 18. You can see where everyone else was pegged on the peg plan below ……​


Settling into my peg it was a question of sorting out a plan of attack. The obvious approach was method feeder to the island, but it only ever seems to produce small carp of around a pound and if I’m honest it’s a style of fishing that bores me to tears, so today I was going to target the bigger fish that tend to lurk around the margins so I set up four top kits. Two had Nick Gilbert’s handmade NG Power Pencil’s, 0·4 g made up on on 0·18 Ultima power match straight through to size 16 Kamasan B911X’s for a line in front at 6 mtrs where I had around 4 feet of water, while the other 2 were 0.2g NG Edger’s again on 0·18 Ultima power match straight through to size 16 Kamasan B911X’s for the margins where I had around 2½ft of water. I also set up a pellet waggler should I see fish moving around up in the water. Bait was my usual combination of 6 mm coarse pellet for feed and the hook along with some 8 mm’s, sweetcorn and 6 mm GOT Rippers as alternative hookers.​


With around 15 minutes to the All-In I took a little stroll. Al had set up to fish long and shallow on the pole along with a method feeder and pellet waggler​


and I found Lee down on peg 7 with a big grin on his face and itching to get started……​


So at 10 am Dave called the All-In, a pot of pellet onto the 6 mtr line and a handful down both margins was followed by a banded 8 mm out to the 6 mtr line, Sport was far from instant though and a good 10 minutes passed before I had my first bite which I promptly missed. Al had gone straight out on the method and was soon into a run of small carp, but apart from him sport seemed to be pretty slow up our end of the lake. My second bite produced a feisty little mirror of around 1½lbs so at least I was off the mark, but my next couple of fish were small skimmers and the first hour saw me add just another 3 small carp to my nets. The second hour was a little better, but only just with another 6 small carp to show for my efforts, but at least the sun was shining allowing me to ditch the fleece and sit comfortably in a polo shirt for the first time this year.

However I was getting nowhere fast, while Al was still catching on the method, although he was complaining that fish were knocking off the groundbait as soon as the method hit the water, so I decided it may be time to get the feeder rod out. However I rigged it with a small cage feeder as opposed to the method, and was going to feed dampened 6 mm’s in an attempt to stop it getting ragged. So with a couple of pints of pellets damped down I took a stroll while the pellets soaked.

Simon had started on the feeder, but it hadn’t really produced for him so he had reverted to the pole in attempt to find some action ……​


Next up was Keith, another who’d started on the feeder but reverted to the pole and while he insisted that he wasn’t really getting to grips with it he was soon into a carp as we chatted……​


Clive was looking a little happier with things today fishing the bush to his right and soon had plenty of elastic streaming out of his top kit, and the culprit a carp that he’d foul hooked in the tail soon found its way to his waiting net ……​


Next up was Tony, back with us today having missed the Rayne Lodge match, he was targeting his left hand margin and seemed to be reasonably pleased with his progress, while down on peg 26 Rosie was having a fine old day in fact she was having such a good time that Granddad Mick had stopped fishing himself and contented himself with being Rosie’s Ghillie for the day :thumbsup:……​


Round to peg 31 and Mick W was being his usual laid back self and although he was being a bit cagey about how he was doing the large tail pattern by his float when he dropped his rig in rather gave the game away that he was probably sitting on a good few fish ……​


On the next peg Chairman Dave reckoned he was having a similar day to me (I won’t call it a Grueller as I know one of my readers would take issue with me on this) but having returned from a stroll of his own had managed a couple of quick fish on paste down the margin ……​


It was pretty much the same story until I got round to the point where I found Lee targeting his margin and getting among a few carp to keep him happy with his progress.​


Kevin was happily fishing the feeder on peg 8 and having one of his best days of the year so far ……​


Terry was also having a decent day on peg 9 although he’s lost a couple of lumps during the morning that just didn’t want to play ball and as I made my way back to my peg Al was giving the method a rest, and seeing if he could find some action on the pole line…​


Back at my peg, and with the feeder loaded and a banded 8 mm on the hook it was out to the island. Within 30 seconds the tip wrapped round and a regulation 1 lb carp was heading to the net, this rapidly became eight in eight casts forcing Martin to get his feeder rod into the action. For the next couple of hours fish came regularly and with around an hour to go I had 50 carp in the nets. The trouble was they were like peas in a pod, all around the 1 lb mark and I wasn’t enjoying it so with an hour to go the feeder rod was up the bank and I spent that final hour looking for some lumps in the margins. However it wasn’t to be, they just weren’t there and I only added another half a dozen small carp to the nets before Dave called the All-Out at 4 pm.

Packing my gear away I felt that I had something approaching 60lbs to show for my efforts. I would almost certainly have topped the ‘Ton’ if I’d fished the feeder all match, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as I like to have something larger to target nowadays. I was pretty sure that Al had won the match though as it had suited his style of fishing as he just likes to be busy and doesn’t mind what he’s catching as long as he keeps busy, and he’d certainly been that today.

When I caught up with the weigh-in they had just weighed Lee in with 105¾lbs and judging by his smile he was happy with that. Kevin had 63 lbs and Terry 73½lbs. Rod had 11½lbs while Al certainly had been busy recording a fine 176½lbs. Next up my estimate proved to be almost spot on with 59¾lbs. Martin managed just 13½lbs and Jim 38 lbs. Simon had tipped back as he’d had to leave early. Keith had managed 85½lbs but Clive topped that with 113 lbs while Tony put 106½lbs on the scales. Mick was a very proud Granddad when Rosie weighed in with a fine 77 lbs, “its just like catching roach on the canal Granddad, but bigger“. Mick W bagged ‘The Milton Keynes Nugget‘ today with 113 lbs but did himself no favours beating Chairman Dave’s 51¾lbs from the next peg. Graham managed a level 40 lbs to Zack’s 23½lbs and John rounded things off with 39¼lbs.

So back to the car park for the results and Al had taken the win today, while Clive and Mick W had tied for second. The sections today were won by Al, Lee, Clive and Mick W. Overall just over 1250 lbs of fish were weighed in, making an average of just over 66 lbs per angler. Not a bad day I think you’ll agree.​


Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


Staff member
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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf's Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. June 2nd, 2012.

The Jinx Series 2012
Match 1


Well it’s game on as The Jinx Series 2012 gets underway with the first of six matches in this years series down at Rolf’s Lake. The weather didn’t hold any great promise after a lovely week previously and with various road closures promised for the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee celebrations I decided to break with my usual routine on the morning of a Jinx Match and forgo my usual breakfast stop in Battersea and head straight to the lake. In the event the trip was pretty trouble free and I pulled into the car park at around 10·30 am. A few of the lads were already there having travelled up before as they were planning on stopping over for the whole of the Bank Holiday. The car park soon filled up, a good turn out for the first match with only 2 members of The Jinx Squad missing, Dave C who was suffering with a savage bout of Man Flu and Budgie who was raving it up in Ibiza. Paul Jay was guesting though so there were 20 of us lined up by the time Malc called the draw just after midday.


Into the bag and I had to be happy with my draw, Peg 8 though John Bennett did mention that it had been patchy recently and that he’d had a DNW from it the previous Saturday. So with my gear collected I made my way round to the peg to find that I had Dai (who almost counts as a resident) for company today on peg 7. Settling into the peg it was hard to believe that it was June with a cool wind blowing across from the Big Lake to the Little Lake.


Just a couple of pole lines for me today, 6 mtrs down the track and around 4 mtrs to the edge of the bush to my left. These would be taken care of by 3 rigs, two of Nick Gilbert’s handmade NG Power Pencil’s, both 0·4 gm made up on on 0·21 Ultima power match straight through to size 16 Kamasan B911X’s covering depths from 2½-4 ft and a 0·4gm NG XT Gimp on 0·21 Ultima power match straight through to a size 16 Kamasan B911X that would cover the track line if the wind or tow picked up making presentation awkward. I also set up my feeder rod to fish tight to the far bank. Bait for today was just a couple of bags of 6 mm fishery pellets with some 8 mm and 11 mm hard pellet, corn and various GOT Baits soft hookers for change baits with some 6 mm’s soaked for use in the feeder.

With a bit of time before the All-In I had a stroll round to collect a coffee from Jean. Gem was down on peg 2 and the peg looked spot on for a few fish today and there were bound to be a few worried anglers listening out for her customary shout during the day.


One of those was bound to be fiancée Simon tucked away on peg 14, he’s a regular at the lake and gets his fair share of results there, but is fully aware of just how fickle it can be just as you think you’ve sorted things out……


Back at my peg Neil popped round from peg 9 for a chat about the prospects for the day ahead, while Simon had now taken a stroll with his camera gathering some pictures for the Rolfs Lake Blog ……


2 pm and the All-In was called, a small pot of pellet was deposited onto the 6 mtr line along with a small handful by the edge of the bush. A banded 8 mm pellet was then shipped out to the 6 mtr line. Lots of dips and dinks on the float were had but there was nothing to show for it apart from a couple of tiny roach that were bumped off on the strike.

Dai however was soon off the mark, obviously a carp Dai soon had it safely in the net, a weigher giving him a good start to the match ……


A look with the feeder to the far bank was next up for me and after a couple of minutes the tip pulled round, the strike met with resistance and I soon had a common of around 7 lbs safely in the net to get me off the mark, but subsequent casts produced no indications at all.

Fred was over on peg 34, one of those pegs that is always good for a few fish even on a hard day. he was fishing the pole down his right hand margin toward the pads and was starting to pick up the odd fish ……


Dai had added another carp as well, but in general the lake had its grim face on today and sport was hard to come by for most. The next incident of any note was the sound of The Minx’s shout of YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS, a chilling sound especially when you’re struggling and Gem’s sitting on a decent peg with the wind blowing into it and a lot of worried faces turned to look in her direction at the sound of it.

The whole match became somewhat of a struggle for most, just 3 more carp coming to the feeder for me in the next 3 hours and the word in general was that most were struggling to put any sort of weight together today, the exception being venue regular Paul Jay who having drawn peg 4 was making the most of his extensive knowledge of the lake to put together a decent bag and Steve Wilson who was getting a few up on peg 16 despite having The Jinx for company on peg 18.

The only people that I could actually see catching with any frequency though were Ade Williams on peg 32 who was starting to put a few together as the match wore on ……


and Clive further down the car park bank on peg 26 who was also starting to pick up the odd fish ……


Kev was having a real struggle on peg 36, not a peg that most would choose given the choice, but finally managed to pick up a carp on the feeder ……


With around an hour to the track line finally produced a fish for me, not the hoped for carp but one of the better bream which now show up regularly in matches……


When this was swiftly followed by a carp my hopes were raised that a final decent hour may be on the cards, but it was not to be and apart from another couple of small roach that was to be my lot today.

It all got to much for Mat on peg 38 and he packed away with 30 minutes to go, with just 1 carp to show for his efforts today after having had to watch Paul opposite catching regularly all day. Dai’s paste line finally produced for him, another couple of decent carp being added to his weight before the All-Out was called at 7 pm ……


Packing the gear away I have to say that I was glad it was over, a frustrating match where what I felt was a decent draw had failed to produce the hoped for result for me today with just an estimated 35-40 lbs to show for my efforts. So with my gear packed away and back in the car it was time for the Weigh-In.

Fred had managed just 33½lbs, Kev 24¼lbs and Mat 13½lbs. Tony managed 50½lbs. Next up was The Minx and her 58½lbs took the A section win and set The Minx Mark producing a lot of very worried faces. Paul put 127¼lbs on the scales, a good weight on a hard day. Dai’s 49¾lbs beat my 40¼lbs as did Neil’s 56¾. Terry had just 13¾lbs and Nick Williams 24 lbs from peg 13. Onto the start of C section and Gem’s fiancée Simon joined the growing band of The Minxed with 49 lbs. Steve had a level 127 lbs which would be good enough for the section win and The Jinx managed 79¼lbs. Round to the car park bank and Dave Moore put 40½lbs on the scales, Nick W-P a level 40 lbs and Clive 65 lbs with Paul managing just 15 lbs 10ozs. To finish off B section Geoff had 48¼lbs and Ade took the section win with 72 lbs.

So back to the hut and the results, Paul Jay taking the win on the day by just 4ozs with Steve 2nd and The Jinx 3rd on the day. The all important section wins going to Gem, Ade and Steve and 14 victims for The Minx. Who’ll get The Pink Hat for the next match? One thing’s for sure she’ll be spoilt for choice but we’ll soon find out when we are back for round 2 on June 16th.

Overall Result

Names in Pink are those that were “MINXED”


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
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