My Fishing Diaries.

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Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. May 24th, 2007.


Polepot’s Rolf’s Rumble.
TalkAngling.co.uk Forum Match.


Well today was the day of Neil McMurran aka polepot’s TalkAngling match at Rolf’s Lake and by 9·30 am the car-park had filled up as the 30 anglers booked in for the day arrived for the draw. With the sun beating out of a clear blue sky it promised to be a warm one and it was good to see Rolf himself in attendance as he had recently been into hospital.

As always these internet matches provide the opportunity to put faces to names normally only seen on computer screens, and invariably the banter flows and little side bets are made. Malc’s daughter Gemma has recently got back into fishing and already beaten a few good anglers leading to her being christened “The Minx” and a Minxed list has been published on a couple of websites detailing those anglers she’s beaten. We had a £1 sidebet on the day, but I must admit to having an ominous feeling that this could be the day I was added to the list after all the banter that had been flowing in the past couple of weeks.

Into the drawbag and peg 37 stuck to my hand, not a bad draw normally on the little lake and as I made my way down there I saw that Mark C had 34, a noted flyer in the corner. 35 was vacant, on 36 I had polebreaker for company and on 38 matt6900 while further round on 40 was andy222 who had the misfortune to have Malc(The Jinx)Doyle for company on peg 1.

Setting up I was a little disappointed to have anglers on pegs either side as the pegs are reasonably tight leaving me without an option of a margin peg as such as there is little or no cover on the bankside there. I set up for just 2 lines, 1 at 12 mtrs and 1 at 7 mtrs, both hard on the deck with a spare rig for up in the water should it be needed.

11·30am and the all in saw me feed a large pot of Rolf’s feed pellets on both lines and ithen went out at 12mtrs with a GOT 11mm soft hooker. The float just sailed away and I was obviously attached to one of the resident carp. However Malc and Rolf walked past and after a bit of encouragement for Malc the rig came sailing back with just a scale attached.

There then followed 3 hrs of absolute frustration as I was plagued by hordes of silvers. It didn’t matter what I put on the hook, Corn, Meat, Paste or Pellet in either 6 or 11 mm, I couldn’t buy a bite from a Carp. Looking to my right I could see Mark C steadily putting a decent bag together from 34 alternating between the pole and feeder and even polebreaker was nicking a few………




Andy over on 40 was plugging on and sneaking the odd one or two out and looking forward to a better day than he’d had on a previous visit when is was unprepared for the strength and fighting power of the Rolf’s Carp……




Malc was having yet more trouble getting to grips with Red Hydro and was having to do his best “Matt Nutt” impression in order to land some of the Carp, but at least he was catching which was more than I was managing ……




While over towards pegs 8 and 9 Fred and Griffo could be seen having a right old ding dong, both obviously heading towards what would prove to be decent bags……




Next door on 38 matt6900 had managed to get a reasonable Tench from his margin peg to his left and finally managed to get amongst a few lumps during the final couple of hours despite loosing one landing net head and breaking another……




While tucked away over in the opposite corner on peg 3 Halfounce was making hay and quietly slipping more than a few fish into the net……




For my part, I finally managed an 11 lb weigher and 3 smaller Carp, but it just didn’t happen, despite lashing the bait in I just couldn’t feed off the silvers and I finished the match with just 34 lbs to show for my efforts.
Tony(Rive T)Walsh took the honours on the day with a fine Double Ton weighing 203 lbs 11ozs, a bit of a change from his usual catches from canals.


Halfounce ended up in 2nd place with 192 lbs 09ozs while Fred came out just ahead in his peg to peg battle with Griffo with 187 lbs 12ozs to 185 lbs 09ozs.
Gemma managed 68lbs 06ozs to double my weight and take my £1 as well as add my scalp along with 9 others to “The Minxed List”.

So finally a big THANK YOU to Neil for organising a most enjoyable day in good company. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again in the not to distant future.
I’m back at Rolf’s next Saturday on the 1st round of Malc’s Jinx Series, hopefully I’ll be able to avoid those silvers and find a few more carp then.

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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. June 2nd, 2007.

The JINX Series 2007
Match 1.

So here we were, back again for yet another Jinx Series. The banter was soon flowing as usual as most of the usual suspects were back again having been released back into the community along with a few new unsuspecting fools that had been attracted in the false hope of not being affected by The Jinx.

The weather in the week leading up to the match had not been kind with heavy rain almost leading the lake to overflowing into the surrounding fields. Thankfully a spot of swift action by John Bennett and a couple of the local lads had saved the day meaning that no fish had been lost. However with every peg was under water and with pegs 16-18 lost to the recent bankside collapse and 19-21 out of bounds as they had been fenced off to keep the fish in, a bit of re-pegging was necessary to accommodate the 29 anglers present on the day. Oh, and just to add to the problems the Carp had decided that today was the day for Lurvvvvvvve!!!!! thrashing the margins to foam wherever you looked.........


Well of course the planned 11·30 am draw was never going to happen, This is The Jinx Series after all, as Malc’s car decided to self destruct yet again on the trip up from Wales, so it was more like 12·30 pm once the draw was done with the fishing to be done from 1·30 pm – 6·30 pm.
I had drawn 15, which in reality was somewhere around peg 38 if you had been able to see it, to my right for company I had Monkey (Nick W-P) and Dai for company while Malc had ended up literaly in peg34 (stewards inquiry needed there I think)


How to approach it was going to be the question as the conditions were like nothing I had ever encountered before at Rolf’s. I settled for a margin approach just past a bush to my left which is normally on dry land surrounded by grass and also set up a feeder rod as I had plenty of space down into the corner on my left to throw to.

So 12·30 am and all-in sees me put a bit of meat onto the feeder rig and a plug of over wetted feed pellet into the cage feeder and lob it down towards the corner + 3 good handfuls of feed pellet are deposited in front of the bush. A couple of minutes later and the tip wraps round and I’m into a Carp. It actually felt strange to be using a rod at Rolf’s, and despite some encouragement from Malc….”You won’t land it“….. it was soon in the net. Well you can imagine my amazement on lifting the net to find not one but two Carp safely nestling in the bottom of it!!!!!!!! Apart from the weigher at 9½lbs with my hook in it’s mouth there was another of around 8 lbs keeping it company!!!!! However I did the decent thing and put the 8 lb’er straight back, a good start none the less.

Straight back out and another couple of minutes pass and the tip wraps round again but this time it’s just a solitary 7lb’er that’s in the bottom of the net. So 10 minutes in and 18lbs+ already, could this be a red letter day? Unfortunately the next 40 minutes saw not so much as a flicker from the tip, so reluctantly it was out with the pole rig………



Dropping it in to what is normally a shallow margin saw me being plagued by silvers that just whittled away the bait whether it was pellet, paste or meat with the occasional one managing to hang itself just long enough to find itself on the hook.

Conditions were having an effect on most, I could see Eric on 39 fishing his “Margin” and giving what appeared to be some Preston 19h or was it Purple Hydro? a good work out. Brian on what is normally peg 1 was getting amongst a few fish by fishing up in the water, though he did loose a few as they dived under the sunken platform as he tried to land them, while next door to him……


Paul was slipping a few in his net in the hope that he could finally beat Matt off of the next peg as he was suffering from a peg that seemed to be solid with silvers.

Directly across from me was Simon (me)……


who despite the sunglasses wasn’t Terminating to many, while next door to him was Clive………


who despite having spent countless hours over the last few months getting to know the venue by fishing in the various leagues was just having one of those days where it just wasn’t happening for him.

Dirk wandered along with his son who had come down to help him out with a tale of woe involving a 12lb’er and a landing net that split depositing said fish straight back in the water, while monkey having struggled for a bite finally hooked one only to have it strip his rig complete with his newly brought hydro straight out of his top kit!!!!!
Dai finally managed one but it did lead him a merry dance on what appeared to be black hydro, seeming to be ever so reluctant to get it’s head up……


While Malc having finally reverted to the pole was starting to put a number of weighers on the scales.

I finally managed to get amongst a few fish by fishing tight up against the bush in about 12 inches of water over what is grass with a big lump of paste, a tactic which saw me put another 9 fish on the bank though only the last was a weigher, though I probably lost a similar number that just bolted straight through the bush. Weigh-in time saw me end with 64 lbs 8ozs for 3rd in my section and 12th on the day, not the best or worst result on a day that has frustrated many.

Taking the honours on the day was Dave “Yorkie” Moore with a new PB match weight of 150lbs……


a very popular winner as Dave is one of the few originals left that has fished The Jinx Series since the very 1st series of matches.

Unfortunately Rolf wasn’t present for the match today as a result of having had an operation the previous day, however all our thoughts were with him for a full and speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him fit and fully recovered on our next visit. So that was it for the first match, hopefully The Minx will be in attendance on the next match at Tunnel Barn Farm so that a few of us can reclaim some £1 coins that we have merely lent her. We’ll see when we do it all again on Saturday 30th June.

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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Holly Farm Fishery. Gils Lake. July 14th, 2007.


The JINX Series 2007
Match 3.



Well after 6 weeks with no fishing due to work commitments it was just good to be getting out for a days fishing, especially as it was with the group of anglers who fish the Jinx Series. Holly Farm at Ashby Magna in Leicestershire was today's venue, a complex with 3 lakes, Moby, Trotters & Gils, with us fishing on Gils today.

As usual I arrived with plenty of time to spare after a trip of around 100 miles and had a stroll round the venue, bumping into Nick W-P (another early bird) before retiring to the Café for a chat and a coffee with the others as they arrived.


Malc (The Jinx) had suffered yet more car trouble during the week (Total brake failure this time) so he and Gem (The Minx) travelled up with Nick & Brian, meaning that we at least started almost on time for once. So into the draw bag to be rewarded with peg 7, at least one of the shorter walks from the car park. Now such was the weather today that the 1st 10 pegs had the wind howling from left to right while the rest were sheltered enough to be flat calm.


The peg looked decent enough with the reed fringed far bank being around 13 mtrs away and a bit of cover on both sides. For company I had Nick W-P to my left on 8 and Geoff to my right on 6. I sorted out 2 main lines of attack, 1 right over against the reeds and the other at 7 mtrs down the track while I would also feed both margins during the course of the match, with a view to catching there later on. Bait wise I had the options of meat, paste, corn and pellet with a bag of the fishery pellet to supplement the feed.

1·15 pm and at the all-in I fed 2 pots with a mix of pellet, corn and meat at both 13 & 7 mtrs and with the wind gusting strongly opted to start at 7 mts with a single grain of corn on the deck. 30 minutes in and without so much as a knock the float suddenly dipped and within 30 secs a small Carp of around 12ozs was safely in the net. This was to be a bit of a false dawn however as another 1½hrs went by without another bite. I decided to re-feed heavily at 7mtrs and have a stroll to see how the rest were doing, before going to get a burger (which was looking as if it may be the best bite of the day

Geoff was sorting out a feeder as despite sticking it out at 13mtrs on the pole he had only lost the 3 Carp he’d hooked, while Nick could only report a couple of half hearted knocks on his float that hadn’t developed further.


Strolling round Brian was owning up to 7 small Carp while Clive was another with nothing to show for his efforts……




although Ant on the next peg was owning up to having around 20 fish in his net………


All along it appeared that there were pockets of fish and if you were lucky enough to have them in front of you, you would catch while others around you would struggle.




Matt managed 3 fish in the short time I watched while Malc could hardly buy a bite, and this seemed to be the story as you went down the pegs.

Returning from my walk I sat at my peg and finished my burger and pondered how to approach the final 2 hours. Geoff had managed a couple of Carp on the feeder in my absence, but Nick was still fishless as was Keith’s lad David, who was sweating on a £1 side bet that he’d had with The Minx who was admitting to a small Roach & Perch in her net.


The deciding factor was that the wind appeared to have died down a bit, and I still had plenty of finely cubed meat, so over to 13 mtrs with a shallow rig and out with the catty to see if I could tempt anything up in the water. 5-6 bits of meat every 30 second, surely this would bring something? 40 minutes later and not a swirl, knock or bite. Back over with a full depth rig, if nothing had intercepted my free offerings perhaps they might be attracted to them laying on the deck? 10 minutes in and the float slid away, but the white hydro couldn’t stop it from reaching the reeds in time!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back out with a Black Hydro’d kit and 10 minutes later the merest dip of the float results in Carp number 2 in the net. In the final hour I managed another 4, nothing of any real size, but positively bagging compared with the rest of my match. David managed to save his £1 from The Minx’s clutches when he had a little Carp on a pellet and his top2 in the last 5 minutes of the match as he started to pack his kit away, not that he rubbed The Minx’s nose in it………..MUCH!!!!!

The weigh-in reflected just how patchy the venue had been on the day with Nick (Neo) Williams taking the win with 52 lb 5ozs. Ant managed a 3rd section win on the trot putting himself into pole for the overall series honours. Also it was great to see Nick (Polepot) finally pick up some coin for 2nd in his section, his 1st pay out despite fishing the Jinx Series from it’s start 6 years ago.

My six Carp weighed a meagre 6lbs 6ozs which amazingly enough was enough for 2nd in my section, bringing me a bit of coin to go with my pound that The Minx had to return to me on the day. So a 200+mile round trip for not a lot of fish, but it was just good to be out on the bank again and end enjoying the crack. The next Jinx match is at Stockton, but before that it is the Maggotdrowning.com Pairs Weekend at Rolf’s Lake which should be a blast if it’s anything like last year.

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Location: Ashby Magna, Leicestershire, UK
 

Peter

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Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. July 21st, 2007.

Well having got back into the swing of things with last weeks Match at Holly Farm, I was keen to get back out onto the bank again to make up for some of the fishing I had missed out on in the preceding weeks. A couple of jobs to do first thing in the morning meant that I didn’t arrive at the fishery till 10am, and with a match on Peartree and the Reservoir a comfy peg on Nick’s Lake would do nicely.


Unloading the car I could see there was an angler on peg 29 in the corner, so I took a short 20 yard stroll up to peg 32 that had plenty of cover in the margins which would be suitable as I was planning to try out a couple of paste baits and some solid 22 rated Vespe elastic that I had rigged up in my margin pole.

A couple of handfuls of mixed pellet into both margins while I set my gear up was all the prep needed, and although it was cloudy, hopefully the wind would keep any rain at bay, after the torrential downpours we had experienced in London the day before.


Plumbing up revealed a comfy 3 ft in the margins allowing me to fish a simple dibber rig cocked with a single BB shot at just under half depth on 0·21 MAP Carptek straight through to an eyed size 10 barbless Raptor. The real object of the day was to see how soft a paste I could get away with using, so all the paste would be shipped out with the aid of a small paste pot made up to Teepee’s design. I had made up plenty of paste (six pints) in 2 different varieties, as I would be relying on just the paste coming off the hook to feed the swims.

1st put in at 6mtrs down the left hand margin and the float just slid away after 30 seconds and a nice little Common Carp of about 2½ lbs was soon in the net to get me off the mark. Bites continued to be almost instant, but a lot of them were from the hordes of small palm sized Skimmers that seemed to have invaded the swim, though doubling the size of the paste bait meant that the bait lasted long enough for yet more Carp to find it before the Skimmers polished it off.

By about 12·30 the sky had darkened ominously and the angler on peg 29 had packed up and left, and I made the decision to move down there despite the fact that I had landed 25 Carp by then.


Yet again a couple of handfuls of mixed pellet into both margins as I sorted the gear out and went back to the car to get my umbrella. Plumbing up revealed another 6 inches on the depth of the previous swim so I tied up another rig to suit the extra depth. Soon the threatened rain arrived and much as I hate fishing under an umbrella I was glad I had it with me, even though the shower only lasted for about ½ hour.

Just as the rain eased off I glanced round to see the familiar face of Vince (vg1037) who had popped down to check on my progress. Whether it was his presence standing there behind me in a cream sweatshirt (Sky-lining me?) or a change brought on by the rain, sport slowed as yet again the Skimmers put in an appearance, however with the return of the sun the Carp started to return as Vince left to take his other half shopping.

Soon I was into a nice rhythm taking 2 or 3 Carp from each margin before resting it and swapping to the other.
One of the nice features of Nick’s is the variety of Carp in there. Mostly Commons and Mirrors, there are also some Ghosties present along with some really dark Mirrors that are almost black. Another nice feature are the Tench. Normally I’ve found that Tench don’t fare well in waters where they have to compete with a large head of Carp, but through the session I caught a dozen Tench, and while not large they were all fit as fiddles and pleasantly plump.

Here’s a few photo’s showing the condition of the Carp present in the lake……





As the afternoon wore on a better stamp of Carp moved into both margin swims, taking both varieties of paste confidently, the best of them weighing maybe 9 lbs. By 5 pm they had noshed their way through 6 pints of paste and I called it a day having landed 93 Carp, 12 Tench and a few Skimmers. At a conservative estimate I would think I had 200 lbs+ of fish making for a cracking days fishing.

Next weekend it’s the Maggotdrowning Pairs Event at Rolf’s Lake and if I can manage a similar sort of performance I’ll be well pleased.



Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK
 

Peter

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 28th-29th, 2007.


Maggotdrowning.com

Rolf’s Pairs Tournament 2007.


So there I was 6·30 am on Saturday with the car all loaded up and ready to get off to Rolf’s Lake for the 2nd Annual Maggotdrowning Pairs Tournament.
A quick stop off on route in Battersea for a spot of breakfast followed by a trouble free run down the M40 saw me pulling into the services just after 8m, closely followed by Paul East (NoMoreLongWalks) along with Dai and his good lady Anne and Vince (vg1037). A short phone call soon revealed that Ady (BigLadWigan) was doing a passable impression of lost & confused driving around Holton trying to remember where the lake was, so he elected to return to the services and follow us down there.

Soon it was a case of back into the cars and down to Rolf’s, arriving just after 9am you can imagine my shock to find Malc and his daughter Gemma already there, indeed the car park was almost full as various Maggotdrowners arrived from all corners of the country. Geoff P had taken the long distance award, having been chauffeured down from Scotland by his son for the weekend. While looking around you could see a mini Maggotville emerging as a number of bivvies went up.


Talk as usual was about just how many “tons” would come out over the weekend but as I took a walk round the lake, nagging away in the back of my head was a little voice telling me that things might prove to be a lot harder than many people thought owing to all the water that had been in and out of the venue during the preceding weeks. It was good to see that pegs 16-18 had been reinstated opening up the choice of pegs available, indeed standing in the car park it was hard to believe that the lake had been bursting it’s banks the previous weekend and it was a tribute to the efforts of John and his helpers even going to the trouble of running a pump round the clock in order to make sure that the venue was eminently fishable, leading many to wonder why another website’s match due for the Friday had been cancelled by them the previous Monday.

Finally Dave Webster (RedLeader) arrived, having collected Tony Prentice (teepee) on the way he’d obviously had a “Blonde” moment setting the Sat Nav so that the route from Yorkshire to Wheatly was via the M25??????

So finally we’re all assembled and the draw takes place for pairs, which finds me paired for the weekend with Tony Roberts (spamwham) a fellow Marsh AC member, and then the draw for pegs. Dave and I were the last to draw and I found myself holding Peg 34, considered by many to be a flyer, so no pressure. However on arriving I found that the rope that marks the far edge of the swim had been moved away from it’s usual position???? Tony. my partner had drawn peg 38 so at least we could keep an eye on each other.


Settling into the peg I set the box up on the submerged platform and elected to concentrate on the margins which were about 18″ deeper than usual, but also taking advantage of the new ruling that allows the use of rod and reel, set up a feeder rig to cover my options.

Next door on peg 35 I had Dave “Yorkie” Moore for company, a fellow competitor in The Jinx Series of matches, so if nothing else a good bit of banter was assured.


12 noon and the all in sounds, and it would be nice to say that we all got off to flyers, but it was Gazmalman who had flown off his platform before the match had even started, Malman Floats? well it would appear he does, even if he is well dotted down due to consuming a few to many pies :ROFLMAO:………


………….the crazy bit is that he did it again during the match, this time losing a weigher in the process that probably cost him the section.

For a lot of the anglers it proved to be a hard old day, most had fish in their swims at some point in the day but getting them to show an interest in a bait was another matter. Try as they might it proved to be a struggle, some like Dave grafted away for 5 hours and were only rewarded with a single fish proving once again that there is more to it than just turning up at Rolf’s to guarantee a ton-up bag.


I was lashing in the pellet on the margin line while fishing the feeder out by the rope but for no reward, while teepee opposite on peg 6 had landed 1 and lost a couple. However we all had to watch as Ian Ward (Chin) on peg 7 and Gemma on peg 8 caught steadily from the off and with the lake not fishing to it’s potential strolled away from the rest of us. Ian winning the day with 108 lbs 8ozs, while Gemma was unfortunate enough to lose a good fish in the final minutes that could have pushed Ian all the way, but still finishing in overall 2nd place with 98 lbs, a really top performance on the day allowing her to take more than a few £1 coins off of the assembled company.

I had been fortunate enough to nick a few decent fish at the end with a final 12½lb’er with 5 mins to go, my 73¼lbs pushing up to 9th on the day while Tony had found out about the power of Rolf’s fish, putting 45lbs on the scales for 13th overall but losing many more. A lesson learned hopefully.

As most know Rolf’s health has not been the best so it was especially good to see him put in an appearance during the afternoon and have a gentle stroll round having a chat with those present.

The weigh-in proved just how hard it had been for most with only the 1 “ton” and more weights under 50lbs than above it, Rolf’s had indeed shown us it’s hard side, though hopefully with plenty of feed having gone in, things would improve on Sunday.

Soon the Barbecue was lit and the beers cracked open with Rolf stopping on for a bite to eat before returning home.
Around 9pm the rain stared to fall, but with Dave’s gazebo and countless brollies available the banter continued for some long into the night.


Sunday dawned dry and sunny and with breakfast cooked once more on the barbecue for most it was just a question of waiting for Pete Archer (Vespe) and Keith Arthur (Fisherman's Blues) fresh from his morning radio show to join us for the draw. Both duly arrived and the draw was underway. I found myself on peg 9 this time while Tony had draw sock on with peg 8, while I had Chin to my left on 10.

With the all in at 12 noon, Ady on peg 31 was looking like Raison, Nudd & Wilson rolled into one as his paste attack brought immediate rewards, alas it was not to last, but he looked good while it lasted, unfortunately all to briefly.


I started off with an absolute nightmare, there were fish in front of me but regardless of what I put on the hook or the depth I fished at, all I got were foul hookers that proved to be impossible to land. By the time that Ian walked past with his 5th weigher and yet another fish trashed another rig, my pole was thrown up the bank, to stop myself from smashing it in a fit of temper. Once again I reverted to meat fished in conjunction with a feeder full of fishery pellet, which finally allowed me to put a few fish together. Ian meanwhile was putting another decent net together but was losing a few under the submerged platform costing him several damaged top kits.


Tony however was going along steadily and managed to beat his PB Chub 3 times during the course of the match, culminating in a glorious 5¾lb’er.


Tony (Teepee) had drawn peg 6 for the second day running and although he managed to improve on his day 1 weight, it wasn’t by enough to have any effect overall.


Throughout the match even though I couldn’t see him I could hear Malc (The Jinx) mostly as he traded banter and insults with young Ian ………


however he played a bit of a blinder edging to a win on the day with a level 143lbs, pushing Tony down to 2nd place with a creditable 136lbs. I managed 91lbs for 7th on the day and both days results gave us a total of 52points which proved to be enough for us to take the title of MD’s Rolf’s Pairs Champions for 2007 and receive our trophies from Fisherman’s Blues himself.


Finally I would like to add my thanks to Dave for organising the whole weekend. To John & Pauline Bennett & John Walker whose efforts to get the fishery ready for us were very much appreciated. To Keith Arthur for joining us on Sunday along with Pete Archer & his sponsor Vespe for providing some goodies for the winners. To Rolf, It was good to see you at your fishery once more and Finally to all The Maggotdrowners in attendance, it’s you that make the weekend the success it is. Let’s do it all again next year.

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Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

Peter

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Willow Park Fishery, Aldershot. August 3rd, 2007.


The Southern Intersite Match.



Well today saw me making the relatively short trip down to Willow Park Fishery at Ash Vale for the Southern Intersite match and within an hour of leaving home I was pulling into the car park to see many of the participants already there, ready and eager for hopefully a good days fishing, despite the fact that it was obviously going to be a scorchingly hot day.



Breakfast taken care of, most of the anglers were eager for the draw and while we waited many took the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones that they had only spoken to on the various forums before. In that respect it was nice to meet up with bad.boy bagger and bagging up art, two lads from Bath who use the TalkAngling forum and had told me how much they had enjoyed reading this blog, Cheers Lads.

A quick phone call meanwhile revealed that unfortunately Dai Thomas wouldn’t be joining us as an electrical problem with his car had forced him to return home to Wales. However a local stepped in to make up the numbers for us ensuring that we would not be short on the day.

Vince’s team meeting was short and to the point, with just 1 instruction…….DON’T WIN!!!!!!!!.
I should probably explain at this point that Maggotdrowning.com team members don’t take the Intersite Team matches too seriously, indeed when the series started, it was designed to be light hearted, and an opportunity for anglers from other sites to meet each other, put faces to names and have a bit of fun. We have just carried on with that ethos despite a competitive edge creeping in for some other teams.

So with the draw over it was time to make our way to our pegs. I already knew that I would be fishing the Big Lake and peg 73 on the culvert bank was going to be “home” for the next 5 hours.


A nice comfy peg and with the pegging leaving every other peg out, plenty of room to operate. Given the good head of Bream present I set up 2 feeder rods and paced them both out to around 45 yds and clipped them both up. Groundbait was the new Bait-Tech Special’G’ Green with Casters and chopped worm added and worm, caster or a combination of both as hook baits. I did set up a pole for a line at 8 mtrs but this was very much a get out of jail option as I wanted to concentrate on the feeder.

All set up with 25 minutes to go I took a stroll round to see Vince who was on peg 59 over on the Bungalow Bank in what can be a good Bream swim with the wind blowing into it, though todays bright sunshine rather negated that. He had Perry Stone, one of the local experts for company on end peg 57 but seemed relaxed enough when I left him to get back for the start.


So 11 am and the Klaxon signalled the start of the match. A whole Dendra was selected as bait and the feeder punched out and within 30 secs of the feeder settling the tip pulled round and a 8oz Skimmer found it’s way to the safety of the net “Happy Days” a point guaranteed for the team, job done.

2½ hours later and I hadn't had another touch, despite a phone call offering encouragement from Dave (Red Leader) trying various combinations of hook lengths etc, not even a liner. Reluctantly I opted for the pole, balling in 3 big balls containing chopped worm & caster and offering either half a Dendra or double caster on the hook. A couple of small indications early on, but it was not till Geoff P phoned me from Scotland to see how it was going that I finally managed a Perch quickly followed by a Skimmer and a net Roach. Sport was never fast and furious but at least I was putting a few bits into the net on a regular basis including a nice Crucian of around the pound.

With around an hour to go something took a liking to my offering of double caster and as the float slid away my strike was met with a very solid resistance. Vince phoned at this point and we had a quick chat as to just how far Black Hydro could stretch, as I was obviously attached to a large lump of a Carp I told him that I'd phone him back. Thankfully the fish seemed to be more of a plodder than a torpedo and after 10 anxious minutes it was finally in the landing net. Adrenalin probably made it look bigger in the net than it really was and I could have sworn it was a ”Twenty” however the scales later confirmed it at 17 lbs.

Back in after re-balling with another 3 balls of groundbait brought me a few more perch and roach, when with 15 minutes to go I was attached to what was obviously another double figure Carp which while not quite as large as the 1st was more of the turbo charged variety!!!!! Once again the Hydro received a full workout, but just as I began to feel that I had the beating of it, it surfaced and rolled across the line parting it like cotton. 5 minutes later the klaxon sounded and that was it match over.

Round came the scales and my 7 lbs odd of bits added to the Carp gave me 24lbs 10ozs which was good enough for 2nd in section, edged out by Martin Harper aka The Runner on peg 75 who had the Bream and Crucians turn up on his pole line with an hour to go enabling him to put 29lbs 2ozs on the scales, a good result from the lake on the day.


Back to the car-park for the results and it was soon apparent that The Maggotdrowners had stuck to the team instructions with Vince’s 3 lbs+ just being edged out by Perry Stone’s 87lbs 14ozs for the Individual win on the day.

Middle Lake had by popular consent been exceptionally hard on the day Clive had managed a creditable 14 ozs but was edged out of worst place by Paul (NoMoreLongWalks) with 13ozs. Small lake had produced some more consistent weights but not to the expected level. Thankfully none of the MD’s won their sections though Fred(Milo) and I nearly blew it finishing 2nd in ours, allowing us to take our customary last place on the day with 19 points.

I’d like to say a word of thanks to Dave(Pikey)Pearson for his efforts organising the match, superbly done as always, it’s not his fault that we always seem to have heat wave conditions on the day of the Southern Intersite. Nice to put some names to yet more faces, we’ll have to do it again next year, though hopefully not at Willow Park.

OFFICIAL INTERSITE RESULT

1524658378726.png


Location: Ash, Surrey, UK
 

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Stockton Reservoir. Southam. August 10th, 2007.


The JINX Series 2007
Match 4.


Well, off to Stockton today for the 4th round of the Jinx Series. A nice trouble free drive up saw me arrive in plenty of time enabling me to take a leisurely stroll round what I consider to be one of BW’s most scenic waters and to have a look at the pegs we would be fishing today.


In previous Jinx matches I’ve fished on the venue we have fished “The Boards” pegs, but for this match we were on those to the right as you enter from the car park including those known as The Animal pegs due to them being surrounded by masses of rushes which can make extracting any of the resident Carp something of a challenge. They are also home to plenty of bird life too………


Most of us arrived in good time allowing for a pre match drink in The Blue Lias Inn and the chance of a chin-wag and a chance to catch up.
As usual Malc had forgotten a number of things including the weigh sling and draw sheets so the draw was a little delayed, meaning that we would be fishing from 1·30 – 6·30pm.

The draw bag had dealt me peg 41, right on the end of the Animal Pegs so that I had relatively open water with just the end of the reeds reachable with a short cast on the feeder. To my left I had Paul Roberts accompanied by his good lady Jayne (Though rumour has it that she’s really his community care worker) on peg 42. While to my right on peg 40 was young Ant Haywood, current leader of this years Jinx Series, and only needing another section win to tie up the series with one match to go.

My plan of attack was going to be simple, just setting up a feeder rod for the chuck to the edge of the reeds alternating baits between meat, catmeat, corn, pellet or worm until I could find what they wanted. Initially I didn’t set up my pole intent on sticking with the feeder.

All in and most started on the feeder but Ant fed heavily at both 16mtrs and 8mtrs before spending a short time on the pole. Paul soon discovered that with Colin to his left and myself to his right he was surrounded by “Cockneys” and it would be fair to say that it set the tone for a sustained 5 hrs of light hearted banter and mickey taking.

Sport was so slow that it was almost none existent, even this fella didn’t seem to be having any luck…………..


though Ant managed to foul hook a Carp and played it patiently to the net with plenty of encouragement from yours truly and a short while later this was followed by another similar fish………….


Me? I couldn’t buy a bite and after 2½hrs out came the pole. Dave Collier came up for a chat and almost right on cue the float dipped up up popped a foul hooked Perch, straight into the net and at least a DNW had been avoided, this was soon followed by a Rudd that swallowed a worm twice it’s size, I was positively baggin……….NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul was getting a few bites on the paste by now but was having trouble keeping them out of the reeds, but at least he was getting some fish into the net. I sat the final hour out on the paste over pellet and was briefly attached to a couple of Carp before they vanished into the distance, but the reality was that the final whistle was a blessing, as I had the feeling that I could have sat there for another 5 hours and progressed no further.

So yet another £1 coin handed over to young Gemma due to her MINXING me as I weighed in an incredibly generous 4ozs from the scales-man.(The cheque’s in the post Malc.)

Paul edged out Ant for the section, but he’s still in pole position for the series. Matt Nutt won on the day with 6 Carp all caught on the pellet for 48lbs.

I still love the venue but it can be incredibly frustrating and it beat me today but I will return as it’s one of those venues that I really enjoy.

Next weekend I’m out with the members of Marsh AC at Hartleylands Farm where we’re fishing the Reservoir, hopefully I’ll manage a few more fish than today, but who knows? I’ll let you know the outcome.

1524659057946.png


Location: Long Itchington, Warwickshire, UK
 

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Hartleylands Farm Fishery. The Reservoir. August 18th, 2007.

Marsh AC club match.


Well I was out with the members of Marsh AC today for a club match on The Reservoir at Hartleylands Farm, Cranbrook, Kent. A quick look out of the window revealed a dull grey day with the rain falling, so after a spot of breakfast it was time to load the car up, not forgetting the waterproofs as it looked like being a wet old day. Hartleylands is about 40 miles away from home and a relaxed run down takes about an hour meaning that I arrived just after 8 am just as it stopped raining, in plenty of time for the 8·30 am draw.

Holidays, weather and a number of other factors mean that there were only 12 of us present for this match, meaning that there was plenty of room for us as we had the whole of the Reservoir booked. Into the hat and I found that I had drawn peg 25, not a draw that particularly excited me, but as with most pegs on the water it should be good for a few fish.




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

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


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


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

10 am and the all in and I fed 3 large handfuls of pellets into both margins along with a handful at 4 and 7 mtrs. Straight out to 7 mtrs with a large knob of paste and after a minute the float buried and after a short but spirited scrap the first fish of the day was in the net, a scale perfect Common of around 4 lbs. Straight back out with the paste and a few pellets over the top and a minute later I was in again resulting in a similar sized Mirror resting safely in the net. Back out and within a minute the elastic streamed out and a 5 lb Mirror slid over the net, Happy Days!!!!!

At this point the day took a turn for the worst, the bites just stopped!!!! Despite rotating through all the lines nothing!!!!
I could see that others were still managing the occasional fish. Just after 11·30 I got a bite down my left hand margin and after a spirited fight managed to put the net under a nice mirror around the 8lb mark, but then things went quiet for me again. Just after 12noon Vince put in an appearance, he had hoped to be fishing today but family commitments scuppered that, however he found the time to pop down for a brief chat just as Dave came round with a hot steak slice from the farm shop, always very civilised affairs the matches Dave runs.

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

Young Zack, the club Junior was nicking the odd fish on the feeder……


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

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

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


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So to sum up, a decent days fishing in good company as it always is with the gang from Marsh AC. Maybe not the best of days for me personally, but far from the worst. Nice to get out and catch a few fish after my nightmare at Stockton the previous week, and it didn’t rain at all until I got into the car to start the drive home.

Where to next? Well it’s back to Rolf’s in 2 weeks time for the last round of the Jinx Series, unless of course I manage to get out over the Bank Holiday Weekend.




Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK
 

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Old Bury Hill Fishery. The Estate Lake. August 27, 2007



So Bank Holiday Monday and Maria was working today, so after dropping her at work at 6 am I popped back home to load my kit up and set off towards Dorking, having decided to take the opportunity to reacquaint myself with The Old Estate Lake at Bury Hill Fisheries. Surprisingly for a Bank Holiday the traffic was very light and in just under an hour I was pulling into an already busy car park at the fishery.

Stopping off at the Boathouse to get my day ticket I notice that things have moved on since I last visited with a much better stocked tackle and bait section now in place and a quick glance along the Front Bank reveals that most of those swims are already taken. I really wanted to get among a few of the Bream that the lake is known for, so set off along the Long Bank in the hope of getting one of the swims amongst the lily pads. Carpers, carpers everywhere, but just as it looked like I would be unlucky I found a swim 2 shy of the culvert that would do nicely for the day, allowing me to reach the pads on both sides at 14½mtrs and with a decent amount of open water in front should I hook a Carp.



The rig was simplicity itself, a top 2 rigged with black Hydro with a 4×12 KC Carpa Tricky float rigged up on 0·17 Carptec line straight through to a barbless 18 fox series 2 hook to fish on the bottom in about 4 ft of water. Bait was to be GOT Baits 6 mm expanders, with a few of these being fed along with their 4 mm hard pellets.

It wasn’t hard fishing really just a question of feeding the 2 opposite lines and alternating between them till a bite came along, which it finally did after about 30 mins. A little dip and it just slid away and within a minute there in the net was one of OBH’s smaller Bream going around 3 lbs …



The promise of another bright hot sunny day looked as if it may have an adverse effect on sport but by sticking at it I’d had 10 between 3 – 4½lbs by 11 am.

Next put in and a similar bite saw a lot of Hydro heading through the pads, cranking the pressure onto my Super PowerLite a tug of war ensued, slowly and surely the pressure told and the fish came out into open water. The commotion had brought the angler from the next swim round to watch and within a couple of minutes there in the net was a nice Common Carp of around 10 lbs……



The chap in the next swim was called Paul, fishing more conventional Carp gear of matched rods and baitrunners on a pod, and soon he was into a Carp that has taken a hair rigged Halibut pellet. It was soon netted and weighed in at 12 lbs. He'd only got a basic camera so I captured it on my digital to e-mail to him later………



Another couple of Bream for me and then I was into another tug of war, this time in the other set of pads!!!!!!! Once again the constant pressure told and the fish popped out into the open water and after 3-4 minutes of dogged plodding it slid over the net, a much chunkier fish this time coming in at just over 12 lbs with Paul snapping a picture for me………



A quick phone call to Malc to find out how he was doing on a pole only match at Drayton reveals he wasn’t!!!!!!!!! Yep, the Peugeot had let him down once again and he was waiting for the recovery truck……………… Some things never change. Another quick call to Dave revealed that he and Stu were on a Barbel hunt on a river somewhere in deepest Yorkshire, but at that point in time they hadn’t had one.

Paul meanwhile had another nice Common while I had 3 more Bream in successive put in’s followed by another Carp, a Mirror this time, which thankfully charged out into open water allowing me to bring it to the net relatively easily. In the net it looked a little weird as it appeared to have a massively under-slung mouth, it hasn’t affected it’s appetite though as it appeared otherwise fit and well at around the 10 lb mark…



Yet more Bream put in an appearance and around 3 pm I was thinking of packing up to avoid catching the Bank Holiday traffic on the way home when the float slid away and I was attached to another Carp, yet another Common and with Paul doing the honours it proved to be my best of the day at 14 lbs. As I started to pack my gear away Paul was in again , and after a spirited fight I found myself doing the honours again, this time it’s another lovely Common tipping the scales at 17 lbs……….



So that was it for me, a very pleasant days fishing with some good company and a final tally of 17 Bream and 4 Carp. Paul was stopping on for a few more hours so I bade him farewell having made sure I had his E-mail address to forward the pictures on to him.

Next up it’s the final round of The Jinx Series at Rolf’s Lake next Saturday, Hopefully Malc will get there but with his car you wouldn’t bet on it.


Location: Bury Hill Fisheries, Dorking, Surrey RH4, UK
 

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Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. September 1st, 2007.

The JINX Series 2007
Match 5.


Well it’s the final match of this years Jinx Series today at Rolf’s Lake and for a change there’s no driving for me as a fellow Maggotdrowner Paul East aka NoMoreLongWalks had said that he would pick me up as he had managed to secure a guest spot on the match. A sunny morning held the promise of a good day and with Paul arriving in good time we had time to stop of in Battersea on the way for a hearty breakfast, and a smooth trouble free trip down saw us pulling into the car park at Rolf’s around 11 am allowing us plenty of time before the supposed 12 noon draw. The one worry was that as we had driven down the sunshine had disappeared to be replaced with a heavily overcast grey sky.

A stroll round the lake soon revealed that the lake was almost back at it’s normal level with most of the platforms finally being above water and that John Bennett had been busy gardening, with a lot of work having been done on the swims.
At the draw there was plenty of discussion, Could Ant hang onto the lead in the series or could a permutation of results today see the long time leader lose out to either Royst, Mark, Brian or Nick and could Dave(yorkie)Moore and Eric maintain their narrow 6 point lead in The Pairs over Mark C and Paul Roberts. The actual draw was a little late (as usual) which meant that we would be fishing from 2 pm till 7 pm.

Into the draw bag and I drew peg 34 on the little lake, a peg widely regarded as a flyer. I’ve only fished it once before on the Saturday of the MD’s Pairs weekend, when the lake was still a fair way above it’s normal level and had managed 73¼lbs from the peg. With plenty of time before the start I set up a feeder and a new Shakespeare Mach3 11ft pellet waggler rod that I’ve just brought as well as a couple of top kits for the pole. I was hoping to nick a couple of early fish on the feeder or waggler before concentrating later on the right hand margin.


Looking across I could see Clive who must have run to peg 8 as he had drawn it on Bank Holiday Monday and had 202 lb 4oz , while the previous Saturday John Walker had 530 lbs from the peg, so no pressure there. For company on peg 7 Clive had Nick Jones (Polepot) and on 6 Dirk(The Dangler)Williams, with Royst further down on peg 4 and Steve Wilson on 2. While to my left I had Colin on peg 36 and Nick(Neo1)Williams on 38 while Mark C was on 40.

So 2 pm and the All-in, a big handful of pellet into the bush to my right and another couple in front of it then out to the lily pads with hair rigged meat on the feeder. Looking up I could see that Clive was already in to his 1st Carp, swiftly followed by a Skimmer.


My tip didn’t as much as flicker, normally you would expect lots of little twitches as silvers attacked the bait or even a couple of liners if Carp were present somewhere in the swim, but nothing moved it at all. Polepot appeared to have snared one on the feeder, while Mark C had had one and Steve Wilson had had a couple of fish……




but looking down, the bank to my left resembled a still life as both Colin and Nick were in the same predicament as me……….​



I’d been religiously feeding my margin swim, but it it was far to early to take a look and as I had seen a couple of fish topping I decided to take a look with the pellet waggler after 40 minutes of inactivity on the feeder. A couple of pouch fulls of pellet and first cast out the rod is nearly ripped from my hand!!!
The fish put up a spirited fight but the rod dealt with it all, despite the fish at one stage tangling itself in the line giving the appearance to some of it being foulhooked and was soon safely in the net. An obvious weigher, it tipped the scales at 14½lbs, a lovely way to get off the mark and christen a new rod at the same time. In the next 30 mins I managed another couple of 6lb’ers and then it died on me.

All the time it had been getting cooler, so much so that I went back to the car for my bib & brace and a fleece. Having a chat with a few of the lads on the car park bank on the way back revealed that it was hard graft for everyone with only the odd fish being caught.
As the afternoon drew on Colin had finally got a Carp of about 5lbs while Neo1 had got one as well along with a couple of Skimmers. Poor Steve had had a bit of a disaster however, while playing a decent Carp his no4 section of his pole had snapped clean in two and he could only watch helplessly as the top 3½ sections of his pole slid below the surface of the lake like Excalibur. :( Things had picked up however for Dirk and Royst with them both appearing to be walking away with the match and matching each other fish for fish, although Dirk appeared to have the edge with more of his fish being weighers and including a clonking Golden Orfe that tipped the scales at 6 lbs 4ozs.



With just an hour to go I noticed that Clive had started to finally find a few fish, to little to late, but at least he was catching which was more than the majority of us were doing………


Finally 7 pm rolled round putting most of us out of our misery. While my 3 Carp only weighed 26½lbs, amazingly it was enough to give me a section win!!!!!! Due to the low weights the weigh-in didn’t take as long as usual and it was soon confirmed that Dirk had won the day with his 1st ever Jinx Ton and Royst just missing out due to losing a number of fish, costing him not only the match but the overall win in the Jinx Series as well.

Ant despite the horror of a DNW on the day hung on to win the Jinx Series with Royst taking 2nd overall, while the Pairs was won by Dave Moore and Eric Robathan in a close finish with Mark Causer and Paul Roberts.


1524661303707.png
So another Jinx Series survived.

A big THANK YOU to Malc for organising what still remains the friendliest series of matches that I’ve ever had the pleasure to fish in, and the reason for that is the anglers that compete in the Series. Thank you all for making it the event it is.

Highlight for me was seeing the look on Nick Jones’s face when he picked up his 1st ever Jinx section at Holly Farm and then repeated it again at Stockton. Well Done Nick, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

Can’t wait to do it all again next year. Nurse I think it's time for my medication.
Overall Series Result.

1524661483548.png
NB:
Anglers were allowed to drop their worst section result during the series so that the Overall Series results were decided by best 4 out of 5 section points.
Overall weight counting in the result of anglers tying on points.

Overall Pairs Result.

1524661682135.png

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

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK
 

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Monk Lakes. Match Lakes 1 & 4. September 8th, 2007.

Just a quick visit.


Well today promised to be a bit of fun as I was taking Dave, the owner of Maggotdrowning.com down to Monk Lakes for a few hours. Nothing strange in that you might say except for the fact that Dave lives in Leeds!!!!! He’d actually brought his Wife and eldest daughter down to London as they had tickets to the Prince concert at the O2 arena, so we thought we would make the most of the opportunity to sneak a few hours fishing while he was down. Word had got out however and it seemed like there may be a few more members of Maggotdrowning making the trip down to Monk Lakes to meet up with him.

So Dave finally rocked up at my place at around 12·30 and by the time we arrived at Monks it was close to 2 pm. We went up to match lake 4 to find Vince, Dave Collier and Bill Gibbins already ensconced. Welcomes over Dave and I settled in, with Dave opting for the pole while I had travelled relatively light with just my new Shakespeare Pellet Waggler rod, a chair and a box of bits chucked into my carryall.

The others had been there since around noon and had built their swims up so that they were all catching well, mostly small stockie Carp and Tench, though a few of the better Tench had shown up including a near 5lb’er for Vince who had managed a decent bag from the lake a few days previously.


While Bill contented himself with taking the stockies at the rate of 1 a chuck………


I however was soon caught out as having made a schoolboy error. Playing my first fish of the session, a small Carp things didn’t feel quite right and a quick look soon revealed that I had missed out one of the eyes on the rod when I threaded the line through them while setting up, not that the lads got any pleasure from taking the mickey out of my mistake.


Dave Collier was getting a few, but soon went into “Butler” mode popping down to the snack wagon and returning with the burgers and the teas so a halt was called as those were consumed.

Behind us on match lake 1 a match had recently finished and I could see a few fish moving in the margins where the departing anglers had disposed of their unused bait. As I was finding sport slow in my own swim I took the decision to move over onto the closest swim to see what I could manage from the margins.


Dave meanwhile was sticking at it, even though he took a bit of convincing that his normal ”Yorkie” frugal feeding regime needed stepping up now that he was down south where the fish are hungry and need a decent feed, not pigeons portions. I’m sure he could be heard sobbing quietly to himself as he stepped up the feed from 1 pellet every 10 minutes to a hand full every couple of minutes, but it soon started to reap rewards as he found some better fish including a nice Tench……………


Meanwhile I had settled in and with the margins appearing to resemble fish soup I just needed to keep the pellet going in and using either a GOT Baits 6mm expander or corn on the hook resulted on a fish virtually every put in, a mixture of Carp, Tench and Barbel with even the occasional Skimmer thrown in for good measure.
Chatting to Bill earlier he had mentioned that he had only ever caught 1 Barbel and that had only weighed a couple of ounces, and with the Barbel in Monks now going around the 2 lb mark I invited him over to see if he could get one as I had had a dozen already. Well Bill sat there for a good 30 minutes with me feeding the swim for him, but try as he may all he could manage was a succession of Carp and Tench with me performing the Ghillies duties. It did at least give him a chance to try my rod out with which he was suitably impressed, but of course you don’t need me to tell you that as soon as he passed the rod back to me the 2nd fish I caught was………….. A Barbel. Just to rub Bill’s nose in it Vince wandered over and dropped into a peg next to me and promptly had a Barbel as well.

With home time fast approaching Dave came over to try his hand with my gear………


and was soon into a fish, not the hoped for Barbel but the first of a few Carp that came in a hectic few minutes, topped off with a nice chunky little Mirror Carp……

So that was it, session over, short and sweet but a real fun session in good company and more than a few fish thrown into the mix as well, It would be greedy to ask for anything more really.



Location: Marden, Kent, UK
 

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The Island of Rhodes. October 1st, 2007


And now for something completely different!!!!!!!!

Well I’m back from my holidays, 2 weeks on the Island of Rhodes. Didn’t get any fishing done, though I did manage to fit in a days scuba diving, so here’s a few photos that you may or may not be interested in by way of something just a little different.


Cruising round to the dive site and relaxing with the temperature hitting 34°C​


This is the dive boat Katerina moored up just round the corner from Kalithea Spa.​


Yours truly joining the fish in their own environment​


Some amazing sights down there including this encrusted and long forgotten anchor………….​


Plenty of wrasse and other varieties of reef fish seek the protection offered by the rocks…​



Including this little Moray Eel, this one was only a tiddler at around 2 feet long but still had enough teeth to give you a painful bite​


while further out there were plenty of sea bream ready to snap up any tasty morsels disturbed by the divers.​



Now however it’s time to get back to reality, and on Saturday I’m out with the lads from Marsh AC at Churchgate Lakes in Essex (a new venue to me) for their last club match of the year. I’ll report how it goes in due course.


Location: Greece
 

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Churchgate Lakes. Essex. The Bottom Lake. October 13th, 2007,


Marsh AC club match.


Another cracking day out as usual with Marsh AC. This was to be the last match of the year for the club on a venue that was a new one on the club calendar. I have to say what a lovely looking venue Churchgate Lakes is, consisting of 3 lakes (we fished Bottom Lake) but it switched off big time on the day for no apparent reason.

I had drawn peg 7 and I have to say I fancied it, with a nice comfortable chuck to the point of an island and a nice level 7 ft of depth on the pole line at around 12mtrs…


I had Terry Goff (Wily Coyote) for company on peg 8, and with Dave (TheFish) and his wife Gladys on 9 & 10 and with Paul (nomorelongwalks) and Tony (spamwham) next to them, it was resembling a mini MD’s match.

Things however were slow from the off and though people could be heard saying they were catching fish one a chuck, it turned out that these fish were small Pumpkinseeds and tiny Ide!! Next door to me though it was Terry who had managed a decent Mirror Carp on the feeder early on……


I couldn’t buy a bite on the feeder though, not even a liner. Well I did have one bite, but of course that came while I was tying up another hook length with Dave the Fish chatting to me, so as you can imagine he was totally sympathetic. I stuck it out with maggot on an 18 fishing on the deck for the majority of the session nicking small 4oz Skimmers and a solitary 3lb’er. I was briefly attached to a ‘lump’ which bottomed out my black Hydro in record time, but with 30 minutes to go and an estimated 7lb in the net I remarked to Terry that it looked like he had me beaten on the day. Knowing you, you’ll probably mug a lump before the end ‘was his reply. Nice to know that he had faith in my piscatorial skill and tenacity being rewarded.

Well with 5 minutes to go I lifted into another dip of the float only to be greeted by yards of black Hydro streaming out of the top kit !!!!. Obviously a decent fish, it was a slow plodding fight and I managed to net it just as the whistle went for the end of the match. It was a chunky Mirror Carp which weighed 17lbs 6ozs, equalling my PB Carp and the largest fish that I’ve ever caught on the pole. Added to the silvers it gave me 25lbs 14ozs which proved to be enough for the win.

A special mention for Judy Hermite who managed to catch 2 decent Carp (1 of them a double) on her pole, Judy’s more at home fishing with a rod and reel and these were her largest pole caught fish and gave her 2nd place on the day. Well done Judy.

Also to Gladys Collier, on her 1st Marsh AC match, doubling hubby Dave’s weight off the next peg much to his delight. As you can imagine of course we were all full of sympathy for him at the weigh-in………………….NOT.

1524662794043.png

Location: Rettendon, Essex, UK
 

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Monk Lakes. Match Lake 2. October 27th, 2007.


Well with Maria working today and arranging to meet up with a friend after work I took the opportunity to pop down to Monk Lakes for a session today. I was thinking of having a session on Match Lake 4 providing I could get on there, to see if I could get amongst a few of the better Tench that have recently been stocked. Arriving just after 8 am I stopped off and had a chat with Ron the bailiff while I paid my day ticket. He informed me that apart from a club match on Lake 1 there was nothing on any of the remaining 3 match lakes. I drove up to the top car park and could see that there were a few people on Lake 4 but still plenty of swims left, however as I got out of the car I could see that apart from a solitary angler on Peg 47 there was no one else on Lake 2, and that meant that Peg 45 was free.

All thoughts of Lake 4 vanished, and my kit was soon occupying Peg 45. It’s a corner peg which the prevailing wind normally blows into and usually provides a good days fishing.


A quick chat with the angler on Peg 47 (Mick) revealed that he’d looked in on the Maggotdrowning.com forums for some information on the lakes before his visit, and he was already catching well on the pole. With it being a mild overcast day and the surface of the lake being smooth as glass I decided to set up a 2 ssg styro pellet waggler from Malman Floats so that I could give my Shakespeare Mach 3, 11 ft Micro Pellet Waggler Rod a work out later on with the prolific stock of F1′s that are in the venue. I also set up a couple of top 2′s for the pole to tackle the margins as it’s normally possible to catch well close in especially on a day like today when there’s very little pressure on the venue.

Bait for the day was pretty simple, just a combination of GOT Baits 4 mm pellets for feed that I could also fish banded on the pellet wag and a pint of red maggots.
So a handful of pellet fed at my feet and straight in with a top 2 rig and as soon as the float settled it slid away and a minute later a fin perfect Tench of about 1 lb slid over the net. The fish were just lined up and hungry for the bait and soon it was one a chuck from a variety of Chub, Barbel, Carp and Tench, both green & golden with even a few Gudgeon sneaking in amongst them.

Around 10·30am a car pulled up behind and a chap got out with his son. He came over for a chat and it turned out that his son was just getting into fishing and he’d brought him down to try his luck here. They strolled over to Lake 4 to set up, but seeing them take a couple of uncut loaves over for bait, I did wonder in the back of my mind whether they might struggle.

Anyway back to the fishing and out with the pellet wag. 2 good pouches of pellet at around 25 yds followed by the float soon produced a plump F1 around the 2lb mark and by regularly feeding around 10 pellets a time these were soon coming regularly with the odd better Mirror muscling in on the action when they could beat the F1′s to the bait.

About 1 pm I decided to have a stroll over to lake 4 to see how the father and son (Stuart & Jack) who had spoken to me earlier had got on. Dad had a carp rod and baitrunner set up with a small float set a couple of feet deep, while Jack has a small 4 mtr whip with the same set up but way too much line. A brief chat revealed that they were struggling with just a couple of small stockies to show for their mornings efforts. With his Dads permission I spent 5 mins sorting out Jack’s kit, showing him how to plumb the depth etc and shortening the rig down to a more manageable set up. Apart from the bread they had some corn, so I showed him how to bury the hook into a kernel and as he settled down we fed a few grains round the float. Soon his float shot under and he was into a small Mirror of about 1 lb, netted by his dad and laid on the unhooking mat for hook removal and a picture. A couple more followed then a Golden Tench much to Jack’s delight so I left them to it with Stuarts Thanks.

Back to my peg and Mick came along for a chat, He was a little taken aback by the number of fish he’d caught, telling me that after 30 years angling he mostly fished rivers and natural lakes these days, and he couldn’t get over the condition of the Barbel he was catching as he’d always been led to believe that they didn’t flourish in lakes!!!!

By now the wind had got up blowing straight into me and while there were still fish to be caught on the pellet wag, feeding and presentation were proving problematical. Jack appeared holding his whip explaining that the float seemed to be behaving strangely, and a quick look revealed the shot weren’t locking the float properly, and with the wind getting up he was having trouble so I changed it over to a Drennan blue from my box and re-shotted it and he was soon back in action.

After this I went back onto the top 2 feeding maggot with double red on the hook. Soon it was obvious that the Barbel had moved in with a vengeance. Most of these were in the 1-2 lb mark and all super fit, giving the Black Hydro a good work out. 3 pm soon rolled round and Stuart and Jack stopped by as they were leaving to thank me for my help. Jack watching me land another Barbel remarked that he would love to catch one, so sitting him down on my box I handed him the top 2 and told him to hang on, Soon the float slid away and he was in, the look of surprise as the elastic shot out was priceless, but he soon had it under control and I netted it for him.


With both maggots still on the hook I told him to drop it in again and sure enough another Barbel obliged. Stuart managed to capture the moment on his camera phone, hopefully to provide treasured memories to a confirmed angler in years to come. I think Jack’s fishing could cost Stuart a few bob in the years ahead.

That seemed to be a good point to call a halt to proceedings, Soon the kit was packed away, leaving me to reflect on what had proved to be a most enjoyable day both in terms of fish caught and helping Stuart and Jack with a few pointers in the right direction.


Location: Marden, Kent, UK
 

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Monk Lakes. Match Lake 2. November 10th, 2007.

First outing for my new Seat Box.
Back down to Monk Lakes again today, with Maria going out with a friend for a bit of early Christmas shopping it seemed as good an excuse as any to give a new purchase a 1st outing and see if I was comfortable using it. Yes my faithful Boss 6 draw box has been retired from service and the new bit of kit that’s taking it’s place is a Platt-forms Series3 Tuff box……….


Anyway arriving after a leisurely drive down a chat with Ron while purchasing my ticket revealed that once again there were no Saturday matches on so I could take my pick of swims on the match lakes. With it being quite mild (12°C) and overcast I thought I might have a bit of a practice on Lake 1 for the upcoming MD’s Fur & Feather match however it soon became obvious that the wind was pretty horrendous so I drove down to Lake 2 which offers a little bit of shelter as it sits lower than the other 3 match lakes. Peg 45 was occupied by a father and son so I set up on Peg 47 to give them a bit of space.


I was going to keep things very simple today, just a top 3 with a rig set up for dead depth (about 4 ft) , a couple of pints of red maggots for bait and some pellets for feed.
A couple of handfuls of pellet into the swim followed by a pinch of maggots followed by the rig produced almost instantly, however it was just a razorblade of a skimmer this was followed by a couple of Gudgeon and a micro Carp, but these were then followed by this fella…………….


who proceeded to upend himself in a determined attempt to get at the feed he had obviously seen me putting in. Not content with that he decided it was bath time, thrashing around getting himself soaking wet and then just sitting there preening himself. However whilst all this had been going on the father & son on Peg 45 had decided to move over onto Lake 4, so not being one to miss an opportunity I quickly moved my kit over leaving Mr Swan to his ablutions. A quick re-plumb and I was set, I decided against feeding pellets as I felt the sound of the splash was what had attracted the swan, settling for just flicking out a pinch of maggot.

Now at this point I would like to say just how hard I fished, putting on a true piscatorial master class, chopping and changing with lots of tiny alterations just to keep the fish coming, but that would be a total lie. The truth of the matter is that it turned into one of those easy days fishing where it all goes right. A pinch of maggot, drop the rig in, watch it settle and 15-20 seconds later watch the float slide under and the black hydro come out in reaction to the strike then net the fish. A mix of Barbel


Skimmers, Tench, Carp (both Mirrors and Commons) Chub and quite an large percentage of Ide


a fish that I’ve not caught in any quantity before from Lake 2, and not forgetting of course a number of F1′s……


Monks really should be regarded as the home of the F1 given that Simon who owns the complex originally developed F1′s on the adjacent Riverfield Fish Farm.

By 3pm I’d had 250 fish and with the clouds threatening rain I packed up (well I wouldn’t have wanted to get the new box wet first time out would I?) What about the box? well the seat is probably the most comfortable I’ve spent 6 hours on, but Ill post a full review of the box later.

So that was it for the day, Far better than being dragged round the shops by Maria, and if Lake 1 fishes anywhere near as well on the 15th December we should be in for a good day, We’ll see.



Location: Marden, Kent, UK
 

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Platt-forms Series3 Tuff Box review. November 2007.
Platt-forms Series3 Tuff Box


I first saw one of the Platt-forms boxes early in 2006 when Dave Collier purchased a Series4 and I have to say that I was totally impressed, so much so that I said at the time that if I ever replaced my Boss 6 drawer one of these would definitely be in the running and here it is, my new box………

Made in England, the whole box is constructed from aluminium sheet and all catches used are the tried and tested metal toggle type along with the lift off hinges seen on many boxes such as the original Boss box, all of which are securely riveted to the box components..
Starting off with the top of the box, The seat measures 13″ x 17″ with 2″ of high density foam padding covered with what appears to be a tough hard wearing rubberised material, with a pole channel making it suitable for those that like to sit on their pole butt. This is fitted to the centre section by means of two lift off style hinges and retained by two front mounted toggle catches. There is also a rubber seal round the seat base ensuring that no water can leak between the seat and the compartment below.

Moving onto the centre section, underneath the seat is a compartment for pole rigs that’s around 1½” deep including the recess into the seat and there is a moulded plastic liner dividing the tray in two which has a ridge in the moulding allowing you to pop up the winders allowing easy removal. There is space for around 25-30 rigs to be stored dependant on the size of winders used (No winders are supplied with the box) I’ve also added two trays of the Fox orange winders on top that allow me to store another 28 rigs, which has the added bonus of holding the rigs in place when the lid is lifted. The locking pin for the drawers is also located in this compartment.

Underneath this first compartment are the 3 cross drawers running the full width of the box and these can be opened from either side. The top drawer is 1½” deep while the two lower ones are both ¾” deep. All the drawer contain moulded plastic liners dividing them into two separate sections. All drawers are opened with high quality knurled aluminium knobs. the total height of this unit is 6″

All of this is retained on the box section mid frame with two lift off hinges and two side mounted toggle catches allowing access to the base unit. Yet again there is a rubber seal fitted to the base of the centre section to prevent any water leaking into the base.

The mid-frame unit housing the legs has a width of 23″ and all welds appear to be 1st class. This utilises standard size square legs that are 18″ long and are finished off with good quality screw-in mud feet ( a word of warning however, as I know that Dave Collier had some problems with these coming unscrewed and dropping off when his box was new, though a bit of muck and dirt seems to have cured this now.) The legs are secured by what appear to be good quality hand wheels that are very similar to the Penrose ones. These fittings however are not of the non-marking variety which may be considered a minus point by some, though it’s not a concern for me.

Below this is the 6″ deep base section, which again has with a one piece moulded liner which probably knocks ½” off the internal dimensions. The base can simply be removed by undoing the two side mounted toggle catches if needs be. Needless to say there is yet another rubber seal between the base and mid-frame unit to keep water out.

The footplate supplied is a 4 bar square section one, again all welds appear to be 1st class. The legs are identical to those used with the box.
Nowadays there is a trend for a non slip coating to be fitted to footplates but this one doesn’t have it, which may again be a minus point to some. The footplate isn’t a hinged folding design but locates into a 90° bracket which is adjustable on the box legs, This provides a totally stable footplate allowing you to stand up on it without fear of it folding up. To store the footplate it can be slid under the base unit, however if the base is set lower so that isn’t possible the legs can be slid into the brackets to store it as shown in the photo………


Finally to lift or carry it the box has two carry handles securely riveted to the mid-frame and it is supplied with a top quality detachable Air Strap® carry strap, probably the best on the market and well worth looking at if you’re looking for a replacement strap for your own box.

So there it is, I’ve used it once and it feels absolutely bombproof. The overall build quality is IMO the equal of any box that I’ve seen in recent years. My initial thoughts having spent 6 hours sitting on it are that it is probably the most comfortable pole seat I’ve used.
I’ve pointed out in the review what I feel may be considered minus points by some and there are another couple I feel may be an improvement. Firstly the moulded plastic liners in the drawers may not be to everyone's taste, but they are very securely fixed in place, if these were easily removable it would make the available storage space a bit more versatile. Secondly, it would be nice if the legs were extendable, similar to the new Preston legs as it would make the box easier to level on uneven surfaces. It’s fine for platforms though

Hopefully this will be of help to others and I’ll revisit this when I’ve used it a bit more.


UPDATE: Sunday, January 4th 2009.
Well this box has now seen just over a year of use.
I did address one of my initial concerns with the box however shortly after writing my initial revue, and have changed the legs for the extending Preston legs, allowing the whole set up to be levelled more easily without affecting the footplate position, and as I originally stated, this is the one area that I feel Platt-Forms should address on the box.

How has it performed? Perfectly, nothing has fallen off, worked loose or broken. The seat is still the most comfortable of any seatbox I’ve ever owned.
There is no signs of any corrosion to be seen and the paint finish is unmarked. The box does exactly what it’s designed to do, with not a single problem, hard to ask more from a box. I would recommend it to anyone.

UPDATE: Sunday, June 7th, 2009.
Well it’s 18 months on from my initial purchase now, and the box is still performing perfectly, Just to give you some idea of how everything is laid out on the box I’ll post the following photo……….


(The photo is a little bit of a cheat as it is two stitched together to show what’s kept in both sides of the 3 cross draws)​

The under seat area stores 55 rigs, 27 on the bottom and 28 in the trays on top (These are Fox orange 14 x 180 mm slide winders and are a perfect fit for the box)
At the bottom of the photo you can see the contents of 2 organiser boxes that are kept in the base unit and still leaves a bit of room for a few other odds and ends if need be.

NB: I feel at this point I should make something clear.
A number of people have seen the photo above and have tried to replicate how the winders appear to be fitted and have had trouble stopping them falling out. The winders in the recess under the seat were only placed there to show how many are stored in the box. The trays are not fixed to the recess under the seat.
The reality is that the 2 winder trays are stuck onto a piece of thin Perspex to form a single large tray (you could use thin plywood or something similar) and normally sit on top of the other winders.
I can only apologise to those that may have taken the photo at face value, and experienced trouble trying to make them fit as it appears in the picture.

UPDATE: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010.
2 years down the line and what can I say about this box?

It’s still going strong. There isn’t a single sign of rust or corrosion to be seen. Absolutely nothing has worked loose, dropped off or broken. The seat has no rips or tears and remains supremely comfortable.
I would heartily recommend that anyone looking for a seatbox considers one of these. They may not be the flashiest, but they’re 100% British built and near as damn it bombproof.

UPDATE: Thursday, May 26th, 2011.

Three and a half years down the line and this box is still providing sterling service, and I really can’t fault it. The seat remains 1st class with no tears or rips and is as comfortable as the day I first sat on it. The footplate and frame show no signs of any fatigue on the welds. The paint/powder-coat finish on the body of the box and draws shows no signs of lifting and all the clips and fastenings still work fine.
3½ years of use with no problems. It’s hard to ask for any more from a quality seatbox like this. (y)
 

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Monk Lakes. Match Lake 2. November 24th, 2007.


“hi Peter what are the chances of a days practice before the big day so as you can show me how to snare a whiskery critter or two lol” that was the message that I received from Bill on the Maggotdrowning.com Forum. He’d also posted our intent on the forum and a couple of the newer members, Pete (Petemid) and Ryan (Zephyr) soon agreed to join us as Ryan also wanted a Barbel.So there I was loading my kit into my frost covered car for the trip down with the temperature registering 2°C. Suitably wrapped up as I know just how exposed Monk Lakes can be, the thermals were getting their 1st outing for a while.

Bill and I had decided that there was no need for an early start, and to meet at the fishery around 9 – 9·30 am. I stopped for a couple of Sausage & Egg McMuffins on the way down and arrived just ahead of Bill, while a quick phone call revealed that that Pete and Ryan were already ensconced in pegs on Lake 2. Bill soon arrived and after he’d demolished a breakfast baguette we made our way up to Lake 2, which I was pleasantly surprised to see was flat calm, a real bonus as the lakes normally catch the slightest breeze.

Pete had set up on peg 47 with Ryan on peg 48 and had been fishing for around an hour, so I let Bill take peg 45 as I was positive that he would get his Barbel from there while I dropped into peg 46. On arrival I ‘d had a chat with Ron the bailiff and he’d agreed that we could use keepnets for a little knock-up, and I’d brought a spare for Ryan as I knew he didn’t have one. We started the knock-up at around 10·45 am after Pete & Ryan had gone and got something to eat and Bill and I finished setting up. Ryan was using a pole he’d borrowed from Pete for the 1st time and was soon into fish.


Pete was soon into a couple as well, and I felt that they may have an edge, given that they’d been fishing and feeding for an hour prior to the start.


I set up a couple of rigs, a top 3 for dead depth at around 3 ft deep for an inside line, which would double as an up in the water rig on my main line at around 8 mtrs. My other rig was set to fish dead depth at around 6 ft on the 8 mtr line. Bait was to be double red maggot on the size 18 Fox series 2 hooks attached to both rigs. I started with ½ a pot of micro’s and a couple of dozen red maggots at 8 mtrs and a pinch of maggots on the inside line, though I doubted whether the inside line would work today as the water was icy cold. Bill appeared to set up just a single rig to fish at 6-7 mtrs and was feeding pellet and maggot as well and alternating between corn and maggot on the hook.

1st fish for me was a little Tench followed by an Ide and I think Bill got off the mark with a Chub. I elected to pot more Micro’s and maggots in, and for a horrible minute thought that I’d killed it, but the bites soon returned. Pretty soon I had the 1st Barbel, much to Bill’s delight, soon followed by another couple, Vince phoned and found it hard to believe that Bill hadn’t managed a Barbel at that point, especially as I managed another couple while chatting on the phone.
No sooner had Vince hung up and Dave(Red Leader) phoned for a report and much to Bill’s delight, reckoned that he must be using Barbel-less hooks.

Both Bill and I were catching reasonably regularly and at one point I tried some cat food as a change bait and managed a run of 6 Barbel in 6 put ins, not that I was counting, Bill was though as he waded through the Chub, Tench and Carp to try and find a Barbel. A quick look down the bank revealed that Ryan was catching steadily, but Pete was struggling with big gaps between his bites.

Good to see as well, that the EA’s bailiffs were out and about checking licences in the cold. On a day when there were no matches on and the weather ensuring very few anglers were at the fishery, they could easily have given it a miss and stayed in the warm without anyone being any the wiser.

Around 1 pm the wind started to get up, blowing straight into us and realistically both Bill and I should have changed our light rigs to combat it, but we were both to lazy as we were still getting bites. Soon I looked up and could tell by the grin on Bills face that the fish sliding towards his net was a Barbel, which was soon captured for posterity


Shortly after Paul(nomorelongwalks) phoned for a progress report and let us know that he was off for a pint or two in a nice warm pub. Meanwhile I was building a nice mixed bag of Barbel, Mirrors, F1′s, Tench (both green & golden) Golden Orfe and Ide, nothing big but regularly enough to keep warm.

By 3pm we decided to call time as the skies threatened rain and both Pete & Ryan had realised that trainers weren’t the ideal footwear to keep your feet warm.

Thanks to Pete having scales and a weigh sling with him we had a quick weigh-in. Ryan managing a creditable 22 lbs on his 1st pole fishing session including his 1st ever Barbel……


Pete had suffered however managing just 9lbs, though he did manage a final Barbel after the weigh-in that must have given him double figures……


My bag came to 26lbs, but you’ll have to excuse the picture as Ryan was so cold by then that he couldn’t hold the camera steady ……

Finally Bill weighed in with 21lbs including 4 Barbel that all beat his previous PB


Not the greatest of weights but given the light hearted nature of the day and the conditions, not to bad. Farewells made we set off, but we’ll soon be doing it all again on the 15th December at the MD’s Southern Fur & Feather match.



Location: Marden, Kent, UK
 

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Monk Lakes. Match Lake 1. December 15th, 2007.

Maggotdrowning.com

Southern Fur & Feather.


Well where to start? Back in early October, I remarked to Vince that it might be an idea to run a Fur & Feather before Christmas if anyone fancied it. The main criteria for a venue was that everyone should get a few bites and fish at a time of year when a lot of venues struggle if the weather takes a turn for the worst. A chat with Ron at Monks secured some pegs on Match Lake 1 and a post put up on the Maggotdrowning Forum to see if there was any interest. Soon the banter was flowing, generating a healthy response to the match, even in the days leading up to the match when the weather forecast predicted that the conditions might lead to an outbreak of Brass Monkeys searching for their Balls.

Come the day and it was heartening to see a turn out of 25 anglers with only 3 wimps no shows that couldn’t be bothered to let us know either by PM or E-mail assembled for what in reality was no more than a knock-up. Just a £5 optional pool and a commitment to bring a prize ensuring that nobody would go away rich but nobody would depart empty handed. Draw over we made our way up to the lake where the aerators had been left on overnight to try and stop ice forming, though in reality the lake is so exposed to the wind it was highly unlikely to happen.

I had drawn peg 6, with Paul (nomorelongwalks) and Sven for company on 2 & 4 and Matt (yalding bloke) on 8 and the prospect of watching Bill G opposite me on peg 18 for a full 5 hours.

Now in the past some have referred to me as a Tackle Tart, however it would seem that Matt has elevated the concept to another level. Sitting there in his bright red Santa Claus Milo fleece out came the £100 stainless steel/red foam Milo pole roller, followed by the red foam Milo rig roosts, kept in plastic cases to keep them clean (his excuse was that they were new, yeah right) I think we may have to start calling him RED MAN. However disaster was about to strike as his pole dropped off the roller resulting in a snapped no 5 section. I’m not sure I would have been able to raise a smile if I’d just done £200+ worth of section………


Feeling lazy I had just set up the pole to fish about 10 mtrs, bait was red maggot with a few pellets to feed. I really should have set up a feeder and waggler as alternatives and with hindsight it was a mistake, as when I did set up a feeder later on it was to little to late.

10 am and the All-in and I could see Vince over on peg 20 was straight into a fish…


………. rapidly followed by Nick on 19……


and Matt was soon off the mark with an F1 on the waggler, while Bill and I were still gazing at an inactive pole line, though Bill did get the chance to christen his new pole sock when he used it as a landing net on a small fish to get off the mark. It was obvious that the lads opposite were in for a more comfy match with the wind off their backs (Nick’s favourite) while we had to endure the wind into us for the whole match.

Soon I was off the mark with an F1 followed by a Skimmer and a small Tench, but I would struggle to put a run of bites together throughout the whole match. Dave the Fish put in an appearance around 11 am having decided against fishing, as the sub zero conditions were playing havoc with his arthritis but kindly provided me with a very welcome hot cup of tea. Bill switched over to the waggler in an attempt to keep up with Nick and Vince…………..


while word filtered round that Mike and Trevor on pegs 36 & 35 were doing OK on the waggler. Try as I might Matt was catching 2 fish to every one of mine, and with Sven starting to catch well on the feeder as well as Kevin opposite on peg 17……


I swapped over to the feeder for the final part of the match. Just 4 more Carp proved that it wasn’t a good move and that I should have stuck with the pole, but I was quite happy to hear the whistle for the All-out at 3 pm.

Dave helped me to weigh half the lake while Vince and a helper weighed the other half, and it was pleasing to see that everyone had something to weigh. In total there was a total of 520lbs of fish weighed in, an average of just over 20lbs per angler, excellent given that the temperature never felt as if it had risen above freezing all day and just goes to show what a decent venue Monk Lakes is.

Back to the tearoom for the results, with Mike coming out on top with 54lbs 12ozs to Trevor’s (MT Net) 44lbs 04ozs with Matt taking 3rd with 37lbs 00ozs. Then the presentation of the prizes and a good table-full ensured that everyone went home with something from the day, a few more faces had been put to names from the forum, and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it in a perverse sort of way.

I’d just like to add a word of thanks to Vince for his help and a special mention to Dave the Fish, who despite not feeling up to fishing still turned up and stayed to help out with the weigh-in, Many Thanks Mate.

The long distance award as always went to Dai Thomas for making the trip up from the Welsh Valleys for a days fishing with his fellow Maggotdrowners, you’re a star.

We’ll have to do it again, though preferably when it’s a little warmer.

1524666880486.png


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Merry Christmas Mr Price.

Well todays little jaunt promised to be something of a slightly different nature with no actual fishing involved. I had been contacted a few days earlier by Ray Best of GOT Baits to see if I could lend him a hand with a bit of a cloak and dagger mission.

So a 3 hour journey of hellish proportions due to fog and road works on the M1 saw me pulling into the car park at Alders Farm at around 3·10 pm to meet up with Ray and his wife Maria.

The reason for all this? Well……. The lads that are sponsored by Trevor Price’s company GOT Baits had a whip round to buy Trevor a new seat box, to say that his old box had seen better days is an understatement (and that’s being diplomatic about it)
Ray had sourced a new Matchbox Pyramid and Stax System complete with graphics, and we thought that we may as well get some photos while it was pristine as it probably will never look as good again.



The object of the exercise was to surprise Trevor with it after the 3rd round of the Winter League that was being fished today, which explains why the 3 of us were hiding in the car park slowly freezing this afternoon.

How cold was it? Well…… even a Robin flew into Maria’s car to get warm.


Around 4 pm Ray popped down to the Pump House next to the Match Lake to make sure that every thing was in place, and a phone call 15 minutes later confirmed that the coast was clear as I made my way down the hill from the car park with the kit in the dark, illuminated by a full moon.

Tea and hot minced pies were being served after the end of the days match and Trev didn’t have a clue till he was presented with it, and then he was genuinely lost for words.

It was a truly great moment to see one of Anglings Nice Guys on the receiving end for once, after all the support that he’s given his sponsored anglers and various angling websites and charities over the past seasons.


Congratulations Trev, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fella.



Location: Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
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Peter

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Monk Lakes. Match Lake 4. December 28th, 2007.


Last outing of 2007.


Well after planning on going to Hartleylands but not being able to confirm that the fishery would be open, 4 of us (Dave, Tony, Bill and I) from the Maggotdrowning Forum arrived at Monk Lakes today at around 9·30 am to have a light hearted knock-up on match lake 4. We were expecting Vince to join us but a text message at 8 am telling me that he’d spent the night chatting to God on the big white phone ruled him out. The weather was dull and overcast, but at least it wasn’t raining, and though the temp said 10°C the howling wind made it seem a fair bit cooler. With Bill, Dave & Tony looking to fish the pole I let them take the 3 vacant pegs with the wind on their backs.


while I went round to the left hand side and settled into a swim that would allow me to cast to the lee of a small island


I was going to try out my new Christmas Present from Maria, a Shakespeare Mach 3 11 ft feeder rod and 1oz tip which I’d teamed up with a Stradic 3000. the rig was just a small free-running Drennan Carp Feeder with an 8″ hooklink to a Fox Series 2 18 hook with double red maggot as bait. I’d also set up my Mach 3 Micro with a Malman Floats 3 SSG styro pellet wag set at 18″ deep with a Fox Series 2 18 hook again just in case anything was up in the water.

1st cast out and a gentle tap on the tip followed by a 2″ pull produced what was to be the 1st of many Chublets around the 4 oz mark. Likewise Bill was straight into action with a run of small Carp. Dave and Tony were having to work a bit harder for their fish to start with but soon started to put a few together, indeed Tony managed the best fish of the session when he he landed this Tench that tipped the scales at 4½lbs as well as a cracking Roach of 1 lb 10ozs …


The whole session was really just a social, with breaks taken for chats and the sampling of a rather fine 12 year old Rum that Dave had brought back from his recent cruise adding a warming glow to proceedings. Later on I tried the waggler and despite not being able to feed the line owing to the wind almost every cast produced either another Chublet, small F1 or Mirror.

Around 3 pm we called a halt and a quick weigh-in revealed 28 lbs for me, Bill had 30 lbs, Tony 20 lbs and Dave 13 lbs. Quite satisfying given the conditions. If we had concentrated I’m sure we would all have doubled our weights but that wasn’t really the name of the game today. It was just good to be out on the bank with a few friends enjoying ourselves, and a nice way to end my fishing in 2007.



Location: Marden, Kent, UK
 
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