My Fishing Diaries.

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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. July 26th-27th, 2008.

Rolf’s Pairs Tournament 2008.

Having been fortunate enough to receive an invite to Dave Moore’s Birthday Bash the previous day, I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning as I looked out of my bivvy on Saturday morning in preparation for the weekend ahead. However as I stuck the kettle on for an early morning cuppa I noticed Teepee sitting on the bench that looks out over the Little Lake. Strolling over for a chat with him it was soon obvious that all was not well, as his face was as white as a sheet. A quick chat revealed that Tony was in a fair bit of pain, and while he thought he ought to go to hospital, he was reluctant to go in case he got stuck down in Oxford. Luckily a few of the lads that had fished Dave’s match had stopped overnight and they volunteered to take Tony home to Rotherham, so we bade him farewell before the weekend had had a chance to begin. ( Subsequently Tony had to undergo an operation to fix a hernia and he’s thankfully fully recovered. See you soon Tony, you’ll be due a result next year)

So with the Draw for The Pairs not due to take place till 11 am to allow those travelling down from far away places ample time, a few that had fished the previous day made some running repairs to depleted rigs etc while others geared up in anticipation for battle with Rolf’s “Babies” .
Webbo was manfully struggling trying to tie some hair rigged pellet bands and suddenly realised he could see once I’d popped a pair of reading glasses on his nose, should have gone to Spec-Savers fella !!!!!

By 10 am the car park had filled up once more as the usual suspects and a couple of new ones assembled. The Malman brothers had arrived, announced by a blast on a airhorn and a few of us had made a beeline to Gaz’s motor to stock up on floats while stocks lasted, Others were setting about getting their bivvies and tents pitched, while John and Pauline were doing a roaring trade in pellets and advise about what to expect in the couple of days ahead.

11 am and Dave and I did the all important draw for The Pairs. With Teepee’s unfortunate departure young Mitch who had travelled up to watch on Friday was the fortunate recipient of the spare place while Steve B was promoted to the Venue Expert/Experienced Matchman class, with the draw over there was quite a bit of discussion as to who would be the pairs to beat and favoured swims prior to the draw for the actual match. Noon and draw time, with us fishing the match from 1·30 pm till 6·30 pm in an effort to get the best from the venue, however with the temperature steadily rising I did have a few miss-givings .

Into the draw bag and 26 was mine (it had fished well for teepee the day before), a nice short walk to the car park bank and it would be shaded as the match progressed, which was most welcome after my treks round the lake on Friday, and my partner Paul(tommyturtle)Thompson had drawn peg 40 which I felt would be good for a few fish. Simon had drawn peg 2 for the second day in a row and practically ran to his peg having 200 lbs+ from it the day before. Tony(spamwham)Roberts had peg 9 which had fished really well on Friday and appeared to be one of the form pegs.

I had Alex and Ady(biglad) for company on pegs 25 & 24 so £1 side bets were struck for fun, along with one with Chin and another with Vince.

Settling into the swim I elected to keep it simple with a line at 5 mtrs straight out in front and another to the edge of the bushes on both sides. I also set up my pellet waggler and feeder rod as I had both of them with me in their ready sleeves. Tommy came along for a chat along with a cold can for refreshment, and soon we were ready for the off.

1·30 pm rolled round and with the All-in called we were off, 2 good handfuls of pellet onto the 5 mtr line and 1 each to the edge of the bushes, Alex had opted to go shallow at 13 mtrs and it would be interesting to see who’s approach worked.

Well I wish I could say that the sport was fast and furious, but for the vast majority of us it was anything but, With temperatures pushing into the 30′s and fish crashing around I got the distinct impression that the temperature increase had made the Carp think about spawning for a 2nd time. The big problem for most appeared to be foul hooked fish and it didn’t seem to matter how you presented a bait, up in the water or hard on the deck, everyone seemed to be having problems. Also the ever present silvers didn’t seem to want to play either. Alex was faced with a swim that resembled a jacuzzi and it seemed that every fish he hooked came adrift at some point.

By halfway I’d managed 4 Carp when Webbo appeared for a chat as he was fishing my peg (19) from the previous day, Apparently Tony(spamwham) and Vince were doing OK on pegs 9 & 10 and Clive had got among a few on peg 31 but most were finding it hard. Fortunately I connected with another Carp on cue which gave Dave the opportunity to do the honours with my camera.

By 4 pm we had some relief from the sun on the car park bank as it became shaded by the trees, and John was doing a roaring trade in cold bottles of water and cans of Coke that he’d thoughtfully laid on. I managed another 4 fish in the last couple of hours but others weren’t so fortunate and it was probably a relief to most when the All-out was called at 6·30 pm.

The weigh-in told the tale of the day. Simon on peg 2, was unable to repeat his feat of the day before, struggling to put just 52½lbs on the scales, Chris(cybermanc) had got off to a flyer fishing the feeder on peg 7 only to see it die and weighed 81¼lbs. Tony however had made the most of peg 9 with a fine 161¼lbs for the win on the day, Next up Vince on peg 10 put 96 lbs 14ozs on the scales for 3rd on the day, just missing out on a 1st Rolf’s Ton. My 9 fish came to 72 lbs and at least gave me the consolation of a section win while Clive on peg 31 weighed 117¾lbs for 2nd overall and just the 2nd Ton recorded on the day. So, at the end of day one Ant(antwood)Haywood and Tom(tommodiesel)Little were leading with 25 points from Dave(DTF)Collier and Vince on 23 points and Clive and Tim Westmoreland in third on 21½ points.

So with the gear stowed away it was time to fire up the barbecue and start the inquests. Dave and I shot off to Asda for some grub, but were dragged kicking and screaming into the pub by Dirk, Paul, Chris, Vince & Tom and forced to drink cold beer before returning. Sitting round with a beer later in the evening spirits soon started to rise in anticipation of the day ahead. Tales and jokes were told, beer cans exploded on barbecues and Dave came up with one of those ideas that only he can. Needless to say it scared the life out of John Bennett, but that’s all that can be said for the time being. Gradually folk drifted off to bed, and it was gone 1 am when I finally climbed into my sleeping bag for some much needed sleep.

Sunday, July 27, 2008.

7 am Sunday morning and another bright sunny day greeted us as we rose from our slumbers, I boiled up the kettle for a cuppa while Gaz and Alex got the barbecue fired up to cook everyone breakfast. Time to get the bivvy packed away as it was planned to be a 10 am draw with fishing from 11·30 am – 4·30 pm so that people could get away. After a couple of sausage rolls and a coffee I somehow managed to get the bivvy and all the kit packed away and into the car just as Keith(Fisherman’s Blues)Arthur pulled into the car park closely followed by Pete Archer. For the 2nd year running they had both agreed to come down and fish with us on the Sunday (Pairing up with the lowest placed pair from Saturday) and Pete once again brought some goodies from his sponsors Vespe to give out.

All to soon 10 am rolled round and it was draw time. Peg 32 for me…

…….and another short walk to the car park bank peg that Malc fished yesterday. Clive drew well with Peg 8 but had Pete Archer for company on peg 7.

Paul my partner was on peg 23, a peg Colin struggled on yesterday. I’d got Chris(looney)Kendall for company on peg 31 with Terry(WilyCoyote)Goff opposite on 9 and Alex and Webbo on 10 & 11. A quick chat with John Bennett led to me choosing the end of the bush and out at 8 mtrs as the 2 lines of attack for the day. It was double or quits for the £1′s I won from Alex and Chin yesterday and the chance to get my £1 back from Vince that he took from me yesterday.

11·30 am and at the All-in I fed a handful of pellet to the end of the bush and a big pot of pellet at 8 mtrs. Straight over the potful with an 8 mm banded pellet and the float buried!!!! Happy Days NOT as a foul hooked Carp took off at a rate of knots towards the Little Lake before the hook pulled. So started one of the most frustrating 5 hours fishing I’ve experienced in all the time I’ve fished at Rolf’s.
Pete Archer was off to a flyer, fishing shallow at 16 mtrs he’d taken 3 weigher’s in his first 3 put ins. Chris next to me was fishing long on the deck and soon had a swim that was bubbling away, but he started to suffer with foul hooked fish. Me? 3 more bites resulted in 3 more foul hookers and no fish in the net.
Terry was starting to find a few fish and seemed to be alternating between Carp and 2″ Perch........

While Webbo appeared to be doing a serene impression of Buddha ……………

I finally managed a weigher to get me off and running, but I was already trying to play catch up. Dave”Yorkie”Moore was tucked away on peg 5 and starting to find a few close in at the bottom of the shelf.

opposite him though things appeared to be slow with Vince and Paul(nomorelongwalks)East struggling to get any action from their pegs.

Halfway through and I was struggling with just 1 more weigher and another in the net while Chris was starting to put a run of fish together, Clive was getting into his stride on peg 8 as well and had probably edged ahead of Pete Archer …

Looking around I could see that a lot were struggling like yesterday, Dave the Fish was sticking at it over on 14 with little to show for all of his efforts .

but Webbo finally had a fish on only to have his landing net head fall off. Alex lent him his landing net, but then hooked a fish of his own while Webbo was still playing his, and Terry couldn’t lend his to Alex as he was also into a fish of his own. Great entertainment for all of us watching and finally resolved with all fish landed safely.
Steve B over on peg 34 in the corner was plugging away and finally getting a few ………

Keith Arthur had taken a Carp that would prove to be a contender for Largest of the Day at 17 lbs 07ozs, while Dave(rockyroads)West had a happy smile on his face having bagged a PB carp of 17 lbs 04ozs .

In the last couple of hours Chris(looney)Kendall was absolutely flying and well on the way to a Ton+ bag .

Chris(Cybermanc) and Tom(tommodiesel) had been having a rare old tussle during the match on pegs 29 & 30, and Chris was more than a little chuffed to get a new PB in the shape of this glorious 14 lbs 4oz Common Carp…

My day was summed up with a half hour to go as what would have been my 7th Carp disappeared under my platform and smashed me. 4·30 pm and the All-out signalled the end of my torture and at least I didn’t have far to carry my gear to the car. Once again the weigh-in told the tale of the day. Steve B missing out on a Ton by just 8ozs from peg 34. Dave Moore’s 101½lbs giving him 4th on the day while Pete Archer’s 116½lbs took 3rd place. Clive had come good, using his experience of Rolf’s to muster 166¼ lbs for the match win, while Terry had managed a very creditable 90¾lbs. Chris had managed 148 lbs for 2nd overall on the day, but for many the shock of the day had to be Malc’s DNW.

So prize giving time and the Winners and MD’s Pairs Champs for 2008 proved to be Ant(antwood)Haywood and Tom(tommodiesel)Little, finishing 10 points clear of the field with 49 points after a very consistent weekends fishing …………

Thanks must go to John & Pauline Bennett for allowing us the use of their fishery for the weekend, a pleasure to visit as always.

To Webbo for making sure it all happened, Keith Arthur, Pete Archer and Vespe.
Finally to all of the anglers that attended and helped to make it the event it is.
Let’s do it all again next year.​




Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Match Lakes 1 & 3. August 2nd, 2008.

The Southern Intersite Match.

A nice smooth run saw me pulling into the car park at Monk Lakes at around 8 am. I’m fishing for the team today in The Southern Intersite Match. The Intersite matches were originally conceived as friendly get-togethers where members of the various angling forums could meet and put faces to names from the various forums and enjoy a light hearted day out at the same time. However there’s quite a competitive element to these matches nowadays though the Maggotdrowning ethos is still to enjoy ourselves and enjoy the day without winning.

By 9 am all the teams were assembled for the draw, with only the Total Fishing team being an angler short. Our team for the day was Nick Gilbert(captain). Matt Nutt, Gary Thorpe, Matt Love, Vince Gould, Paul East, Bill Gibbins, Clive Pritchard, Trevor Little and Peter (myself). We were fishing Match Lakes 1 & 3 today and my draw gave me peg 112 at the end of the causeway by the aerators on Lake 3. Settling in to my peg i fancied it for a decent days fishing as I had a vacant peg to my left and the wind off my back. I had Ant Sparrow(antmusic) of Total Fishing for company behind me on 113, the other aerator peg and looking across I could see Fred Parker(milo) from TalkAngling and Vince to his right.

I set up 4 top kits so that I was covered to fish the flow and back eddy caused by the aerator to my right, plus a margin and an up in the water rig. I also set up my pellet waggler as I had it with me in its ready sleeve. Feed was a mix of 4, 6 and 8 mm pellets with various pellets for hookbait.

11 am and the all in and I fed a handful of pellet at 8 mtrs on the edge of the flow and followed it out with the rig with a banded 8 mm pellet on the hook set just to trip bottom. Almost straight away the float shot under and after a spirited fight I slid the net under a Barbel of around 2 lbs and followed this with 2 more in the next 2 put ins.

Unfortunately it didn’t last, as for the next half hour I was plagued with a series of fast un-hittable bites that despite varying rigs and baits I just couldn’t connect with. The threatened rain also arrived and while not heavy was enough to be annoying.
Upping the feed I finally got a decent bite and gratefully slid the net under the culprit, a nice Mirror Carp of around 3 lbs. By keeping the feed going in I was getting more positive bites from the Carp and after a couple of hours I estimated that I probably had around 30lbs in the net.

Looking across I could see that Fred was concentrating on his margin swim and it appeared to be producing the goods for him……..

My day was steady, I was getting 2 or 3 Carp but then suffering blank spells before the Carp returned. I kept taking a look at my margin swims that I had been steadily feeding from the off but never once got a bite from them. Vince seemed to be having a bit of a struggle too and was definitely falling behind Fred, as it appeared that the only line he could find a fish on was at 7 mtrs straight out in front……

At least the sun came through in the later stages of the match making things a bit more comfortable for all concerned. I managed to keep the Carp coming in the final stages and had the feeling that it was close between myself and Ant but couldn’t really see the other anglers in my section as there’s plenty of vegetation that’s grown up between the pegs…………

4 pm and the all out was called, and I felt I had 75-80 lbs in my nets and while I’d enjoyed my day, felt I should have had more but for the blank spells.

Come the weigh in and my net came to 85¼lbs which only proved to be good enough for 3rd in section and 2 points with Dave Churchward of Angling Forums taking the section and the match with 147¼lbs.
Back for the results and it was obvious that Lake 3 had been the one to be on, with Lake 1 not fishing up to expectations and overall the Maggotdrowning Team finishing 3rd on the day.

Congratulations to Angling Forums for their win in the day and a big Thank You to Vince for organising the match with his usual efficiency. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it enough to do it all again next year.

Location: Marden, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rockells Farm. Saffron Walden. Essex. August 16th, 2008.

Marsh AC club match.

Today was the Marsh AC match at Rockells Farm in Essex and I’d arranged to meet Dave Collier at his house at 6.45 am and follow him and Colin down to the venue as it’s rather tucked away off the beaten track and a pig to find, Chris Withall had the same idea, and as we set off in convoy it was raining and the weather forecasts in the week previously hadn’t been good, so it looked like we may be in for a wet old day. Round the M25 and onto the M11 and we were brought to a halt by a crash, though thankfully we were soon moving. Intent on following Dave I got a phone call from Paul East, who had missed his turning and taken the scenic route via Colchester, and by the time we’d sorted that one out it was obvious we would have to draw for him.

Arriving in the fishery car park around 8·15 am Kevin Loveland and I were dispatched to arrange the pegging for the 18 of us fishing while Dave organised the draw. We were under instructions to leave as many of the pegs close to the car park out as we could, so pegged 9 down the left and the other 9 round the top and down the right of the lake. Happily the rain had stopped and the sky was lightening as we started the draw so perhaps a decent day was on the cards.

I’d been looking forward to this match for a while as Rockells has a reputation of producing some decent weights, I’d only fished there once previously in the depths of winter and blanked, but last years club match which I missed as I was on holiday had produced a 200 lbs+ winning weight and a few tons to back it up. I’d spoken to Trevor Price of GOT Baits prior to the match and he’d told me how he would fish it if he was there, so at least I had a good idea of how I was going to approach the day given a half decent draw.

Into the draw bag and I pulled out Peg 3, one of the three pegs at the top of the fishery, and I was more than happy with that. Tony Roberts had drawn Peg 1, which I was informed by Dave was the out and out flyer, while Judy Hermite joined us on Peg 2. Opposite I could see Martin Hucker who had won the previous match at Churchgate Lakes and Paul finally arrived to take Peg 5.

Peg 3

Settling into the peg I just set up 3 top 2′s, 2 fitted with Teepee’s paste pots and Mk3 Malman self cocking paste floats, one to fish straight out into about 2 ft of water and the other for the margin where there was around 18 inches depth. The third rig was just a Malman MTD1 Dibber for up in the water if the fish rose up to intercept the pellets I was planning to feed. Bait was simple, all I was planning to use was paste, which was the new Atomic Paste from GOT Baits. I’d been forewarned that you can use a fair bit at Rockells, so had premixed a good 6 pints of it the night before. For feed it would just be 4 mm pellet and some hemp. The reason for the hemp was that today's match was being split into two 3 hour sessions with a 1 hour break mid way through for a mid-match weigh-in taken at the fishery owners insistence, and I wanted something that I could feed just prior to the break that would stand a chance of holding the fish during this break when we couldn’t feed.

Tony was happy with his peg.

So 10 am and Dave blew the whistle for the all-in. A pinch of pellet and hemp out in front of me and the same down the left hand side. Going out with the deeper rig in front I potted in the paste and the float settled and 5 seconds later buried and I was off and running with a little Mirror Carp of around the pound safely in the net. After that it was just a case of trying to get into some sort of rhythm with just a pinch of feed going into both swims regularly and trying to sort the liners from the real bites.

After an hour I had 30 fish in the nets but they were all pretty small, ranging from 6 ozs to 1½lbs, but I could see that Martin opposite was getting a better stamp of fish. He was fishing floaters down his right hand margin and I could hear the fish slurping them off the top. Looking down the margin I could see a few tail patterns so decided to have a look down there to see if the fish were of a better stamp and straight away was rewarded with a Common around the 2½lb mark. One of the frustrating things was the number of missed bites, a lot of which you would think were liners, but with very few foul hookers I felt that it was due to the poor condition of a lot of the fish’s mouths making it hard to get a decent hook hold.

Sport remained pretty constant but I trashed 3 rigs when fish took me through brambles that were trailing into the water, and I took 15 minutes out to tie some new rigs, knowing that we would be stopping for an hour at 1 pm for a mid match weigh-in. I knew that Tony was catching reasonably well along with Martin, but felt that it would fish even better during the afternoon session. The problem would be keeping the fish in the margins during the hour’s break for the weigh in and the ensuing commotion of the nets coming out and fish being returned, so with a couple of minutes to go I fed 3 pints of hemp into the margin swim along with a pint of pellet before Dave signalled the all-out.

A chat while we waited for the scales revealed that Judy wanted both Tony and I to give her an hours start in the afternoon, Tony was owning up to having around 70 lbs on his clicker (but can you believe one of Pinocchio’s relatives?) while I felt I should have a good 80 lbs. By the time the scales arrived Colin had weighed 83½lbs from Peg 17 and Martin 110¼lbs. Tony’s fish weighed in at a level 82 lbs while my 2 nets registered 107½lbs. So 2 Ton weights caught in 3 hours and all to play for come the afternoon session.

Martin partakes of some mid match refreshment

Thirsty work this baggin.

Waiting for Dave to signal the afternoon all-in I mixed up another 3 pints of paste just to be on the safe side as I could see the tail patterns still in my margin swim so felt confident. Just after 2 pm Dave blew the whistle for the all-in, straight down the margin and the float buried and I was off again as a bright silver Common around 2 lbs nestled in the landing net. To be honest the sport remained pretty constant for the next 3 hours and while the average size wasn’t big I did manage to find a few larger examples around the 6-8 lbs mark in the last hour. Martin had another good session, but I was pretty confident that I’d caught more than him this time, especially as he’d run out of bait with 5 minutes to go and I’d had another 4 fish in that time.

With the scales starting from our side this time round, a quick chat with Tony revealed that he thought he was in with a chance of his 1st Double ton on aggregate, while I felt that just maybe I was in with a chance of a Treble Ton as I’d caught much better in the afternoon session. Soon the Weigh-in got underway with Tony posting a level 130 lbs for an aggregate of 212 lbs, Mission accomplished. Judy added 45½lbs for a total of 70¼lbs which is her best ever match weight. My turn next and lifting the 1st net I needed John to give me a hand. As it turned out I was a little bit short of what i needed for a Triple Ton as the 2 nets came to a level 186 lbs giving me an aggregate of 293½lbs, by far my best ever match weight by over 100 lbs.

Round to Peg 4 and Martin had another great session weighing 123½lbs for a total of 232¾lbs and his best ever match weight. As the scales moved round everyone had improved on the morning weights with Dave, Al, John and Paul posting ton plus aggregate weights. Last but one to weigh was Colin, and by all accounts he’d had a cracking afternoon catching a decent stamp of fish and he was admitting to 41 fish in his 3 nets, they weighed 167½lbs giving him an aggregate of 251 lbs and second place on the day.

So there you have it, the top 4 anglers all beat their previous best match weights and the top 3 also beat the previous Club match record held by Dave at 231 lb. To top it all the final total of 1991 lbs of fish weighed in was 300 lb higher than the club had ever weighed in and represented an average of 110 lb per angler. One hell of a days fishing by anyone's standards.

Sorry for the lack of photos, but as you might have guessed from the report, I was a little too busy to take many today.


Location: Elmdon, Essex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hawkhurst Fishery. The Match Lake. August 22nd, 2008.

Southern Pairs Match 2008.

Twenty of us assembled at Hawkhurst today on the Match Lake for the 1st ever Maggotdrowning Southern Pairs organised by Vince.
Pulling into the car park most of the usual suspects were already assembled along with a few “virgins” in the form of Keith ‘Disco’ Driscoll, Gary ‘alltackledup’ Page and Steve Allen and his 2 lads, Pete & Nick and the banter was soon flowing. Breakfast was soon consumed in the Café and the draw made so that we could get to our pegs and with the sun beaming down it looked like we could be in for a decent day with a lot of fish on the cards.

Now Hawkhurst has a reputation for producing big weights and as I settled into peg 3 it was obvious that Matt, my Pairs partner for the day was expecting a real bagging session as he already had 4 keepnets in place !!!!!!!!

I just set up 3 rigs, all on top 3′s as I was planning to fish at no more than 3 mtrs. 1 with a Mk3 Malman self cocking paste float on 0·18 to a size 12 Drennan Carp Match for paste and 2 for pellet, a Malman 0·3g MTD1 dibber on 0·18 to a size 18 Drennan Carp Match for shallow and a Malman 4×12 Snake IV on 0·18 to a size 18 Drennan Carp Match for on the deck. Bait wise I was going to keep things simple, with just 6 mm hard pellet for both feed and hookbait and 8 mm hard pellet and a few 6 mm expanders along with some GOT Atomic paste as alternative hook baits. 10 minutes prior to the off the aerators were switched off and plenty of fish could be seen moving around as anglers sat and considered the 5 hours ahead.

10·30 am and Vince blew the whistle for the All-in and I fed a handful of pellet into the margin and another straight out at 3 mtrs and followed it with a banded 6 mm pellet on my deck rig. Bill over on peg 17 was into a Carp straight away as was Paul to my right on peg 4, but overall it wasn’t the hectic start that most of us had expected. Vince even had time to try out his new camera, I’m sure he must have been asking me how many fish I’d caught when he took this one………

Indeed within half an hour of the start things appeared to slow down all round the lake. Matt however did have his fan club turn up and caused a bit of excitement as they watched him take the nice fishy for a swim, though when Bill started singing a Gary Glitter song I thought Paul and I were going to split our sides ………

I was really struggling to find as much as a bite, though Terry didn’t seem to be having to much trouble, it was just getting them to stay on the hook that was proving troublesome ………

Paul had put as good a run of fish together as anyone, but then went through a stage of getting a load of foul hookers, none of which found their way to the net before he to suffered a lull in sport………

Fed up with struggling I went for a stroll to see if anyone had found the secret to putting a decent bag together on the day.
I found Dave Collier up on peg 6 admitting to 7 fish and preparing to have a go under the bush in his left hand margin ………

Clive was concentrating on his right hand margin over on peg 11, not that it appeared to be reaping any huge rewards……

Kevin seemed to be searching for some inspiration anywhere he could find it and was having an absolute mare with hardly anything to show for his efforts …………

Trevor was also fishing the margin to his right , but was handicapped by having to face Bill who was next door on peg 17 ……

Back to my peg and it was just a question of sticking at it, cutting back on the feed and fishing for bites and this finally started to produce a couple of fish for me though I did suffer with a few foul hookers.

With sport being so slow the banter was flying however. Keith”Disco” Driscoll on my left having been rechristened “Nightclub” by Bill and Nick on peg 1 and Vince on peg 20 being accused of having a separate competition to see who could make the best (Worst?) job of blowing a noted Flyer. Indeed at one point Nick obviously worried that Vince might win that one spent a good 10 minutes trying to lose a Carp, even wrapping it round his platform legs in an attempt to avoid netting it ………

Thankfully Vince blew the whistle for the All-out at 3·30 pm to put us all out of our misery. With so little caught however at least the weigh-in didn’t take to long and it was going to make for a close result to the pairs competition.

Back at the Café for the results it was revealed that Dave Collier and Clive Pritchard were the Maggotdrowning Southern Pairs winners for 2008, tying on points with Paul East and Terry Goff but taking the result on weight with myself and Matt Love in Third just 1 point behind.

I’d just like to say a big THANK YOU to Vince who did his usual excellent job of organising the day’s proceedings, even managing to lay on the best weather for quite some while, Oh and he had to give me yet another £1 coin. Just a shame that the fishing wasn’t up to expectations, though everyone appeared to enjoy themselves. Here’s to the next one.

Pairs Result

NB: Where points were tied, position was decided on weight.


Location: Hawkhurst, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Falkenville Mushroom Farm. Hailsham . August 25th, 2008.

August Bank Holiday Monday and with Maria having to work I’d accepted an invitation from Bill to join him and a few of the lads on the Maggotdrowning forum down at Falkenville Mushroom Farm for a session on the new lake there. It was over 5 years ago that I last fished at Falkenville on the same lake as today when it 1st opened when it looked as it appears in the photo above. However in the intervening time it has been changed with 1 arm cut off and the rest widened, and now looks something like the image I’ve created below.

Pulling into the car park I was greeted by Pete, Ryan and Mick and after a brief chat Bill pulled into the car park to join us, that just left Al who was obviously running late. Rather than wait Bill got the gate key and we drove over to the lake. No draw today, just a fun day out so we just unloaded the gear and plonked ourselves in the nearest pegs. Now on Saturday there had been some discussion about Bill being a JINX, and maybe there’s something in it. When I had left home the sun was shining but as I got closer to the fishery the sun vanished to be replaced by grey clouds and by the time we had set up the wind had risen and there was the threat of rain.

Plumbing up I couldn’t find much more than 3 ft of water in front of me, so set up a paste rig comprising of a Mk3 Malman self cocking paste float on 0·18 to a size 12 Drennan Carp Match and a Malman 4×12 Snake IV on 0·18 to a size 18 Drennan Carp Match to fish pellet on the deck. Starting off at around 6 mtrs I soon had a bite that rewarded me with a nice plump Common of around 3 lbs while most of the other lads were still setting up. A ringing on Bill’s phone revealed a slightly lost Al needing to be talked in by Bill, and most of us were off the mark by the time that Al finally arrived to join us.

Well the wind increased and some rain arrived and soon it resembled early winter rather than late summer. By about 1 pm I’d managed half a dozen Carp, Ryan had just the one but was determined to get a few more………….

Pete was getting a few by chucking the feeder across ……………….

Bill was doing best of all and had been catching regularly fishing paste at around 5 mtrs, but even his action had slowed……………

while Mick was struggling despite trying the pole and feeder…………..

and Al had a few fishing out in front of him but just couldn’t interest the fish that were obviously feeding in his margins …………

By 1·30 I’d had enough of the struggle, I tipped back my fish and moved over to a swim at the end of the arm that had been cut off. Reed lined on both sides it offered a little bit of shelter from the conditions and just looked as if it was good for a few fish.

A few pellets down both sides and a lump of paste on the hook and I was into fish straight away and from then on a regular succession of Carp provided great entertainment right up to the point when the lads came round with the scales at the end of the session, indeed I hooked a final fish as they arrived, but with a crack the rig vanished. It turned out the Black Hydro had snapped!!! I can’t really complain though, as it was 4 years old, so I’ve had my monies-worth out of it. 43½lbs of pristine Carp showed what an enjoyable afternoon I’d had, so with those I’d tipped back earlier I’d had a good 50 lbs+ on a challenging day. Bill had 67½lbs for the bragging rights on the day and Pete managed 40 lbs+ as well, indeed we’d all had a few.

All in all not a bad day given the conditions, Thanks to Bill for organising the day and to the lads for their company, it won’t be 5 years before I visit again.

Location: Hailsham, East Sussex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. August 29th, 2008.

The JINX Series 2008
Match 4.

Well after a gap of eight weeks The Jinx Series returned to Rolf’s today for the penultimate round of the Series. Blue sky and sunshine greeted me as I set off which was nice as the weather in the past week hadn’t been the best. A trouble free run down after my customary breakfast stop saw me arrive with plenty of time to spare, with just Dave, Tim and Nick along with John there to greet me. First things first, so nets dipped and laid out to dry then a look at the Lake.

John’s got some plant on site digging out some flood defences so pegs 19 and 20 are out of the match today as the work is going on right behind them, and I couldn’t help wondering if it might just have an effect on the fishing today for those pegged on the Big Lake.

Soon the car park was filling up and the usual banter and micky taking was starting to flow as is customary on these matches. Even Malc was on time as he’d travelled up with Dai (Yes the Rover is still dead) and today he had his 2 youngsters in tow (Crystal & Liam) could Rolf’s survive the presence of 4 members of The Jinx Family? Indeed many were wondering whether the change in weather would affect things too as a lot of venues have been fishing poorly recently.

Anyway with 23 anglers assembled it was time for the draw (yes it was late) and I was hoping for the car park bank and a nice short walk, and peg 29 was my reward, a stroll of around 5 yards as my car was parked right behind it.

For company today I had Keith to my left on peg 31 and Mitch on 32 with Kevin to my right on peg 28 and Dave on peg 26.

I was planning on keeping it reasonably simple today and just set up 3 rigs. I to fish paste just on the slope of the shelf at the ends of the bushes to my left and right and this was simply a Mk3 Malman self cocking paste float on 0·21 to a size 12 Drennan Carp Method. The second was to fish pellet straight out at around 6 mtrs where I had around 5 ft and was a Malman 4×12 Adam on 0·18 to a size 16 Drennan Carp Match and I also set up a Malman 0·3g MTD1 dibber on 0·18 to a size 16 Drennan Carp Match in case they wanted it up in the water. I also set up the feeder as I had it there in its ready sleeve, but wasn’t expecting to use it. Bait wise it was just 6 and 8 mm fishery pellets and some paste.

With plenty of time till the all in people could be seen discussing the prospects for the day ahead…………

…… or maybe not in some cases …………………

So 1 pm and Malc called the All-in, a handful of pellet by each bush and 2 big pots of pellet went out onto the 6 mtr line which I followed out with an 8 mm banded pellet onto the 6 mtr line just as I heard Malc’s shout signifying his 1st fish from peg 7. After raising and dropping the rig a couple of times the float buried and a Common of around 7 lbs was safely in the net to get me off the mark. This was swiftly followed by another Common around the 9 lb mark, a great start, but short lived.

Looking to my left I could see that Keith was into his 1st fish of the day which appeared to be a Skimmer while across on peg 10 Clive was also into his first of the day…………

I then went through a frustrating spell, suffering from a number of foul hooked fish resulting in a collection of scales on my sidetray but nothing added to the net. Kevin with nothing to show from his pole line except a solitary Roach decided to go for it on the feeder, and it seemed to be the right choice as it produced the occasional fish for him throughout the rest of the match.

Keith meanwhile seemed to be bringing a steady stream of fish to the net, but this was deceptive as a number of them were lost as it turned out. Dave Moore meanwhile having been through numerous variations in an attempt to find a fish had been back to his van to retrieve his pellet waggler rod to implement ‘PLAN Z’ as he put it.

By around 3·30 pm it was obvious that most were struggling. I hadn’t seen Tony on peg 14 land a single fish and he was having a stroll around. Slim was having a bit of a mare losing a few fish while Clive next to him on 10 continued to slip the odd fish into the net ………

Having tried my 2 inside lines with no success and with just a lone skimmer taken on the feeder, I decided to concentrate on the 6 mtr line which I’d been feeding regularly for the remainder of the match. I soon had a couple of Carp one of which was a weigher, to add to the net and as Tony arrived for a chat I latched into a slightly better one. Into the waiting landing net and it proved to be a weigher and at 14 lbs was just the inspiration that Tony needed to get back to his peg and try and avoid the dreaded DNW.

The pellet wag finally produced a very welcome Carp for Dave as I was attached to a rather fed up foul hooker, a decent Common which I briefly saw before it did me underneath the right hand bush. This seemed to kill things for me as I couldn’t buy a bite in the following 30 minutes.

With an hour to go I was in again and had a run of fish including another weigher of 16 lb. With around 10 minutes to go I had another 5 lb’er and Kevin asked me what I thought I had. I reckoned that one more fish could see me reach the ‘Ton’.

Sure enough the float buried once more and an obviously decent fish tore off bottoming the elastic!!! Fortunately the rig held and as a rather disoriented Common with the hook firmly in it’s pectoral fin surfaced on it’s side I scooped it into the net, a weigher that went 16½lbs and before I had the chance to get the rig in again Malc called the All-out.

Chatting to others while packing up it was obvious that a lot had struggled, though Malc was owning up to a ‘Ton’ and I was sure that Clive had won the match, but Slim was really worried that he could be on the receiving end of a Minxing. However while we waited for the weigh-in, Slim’s good lady showed fine form demonstrating to Slim how it should be done when she had a go ……

What a star she proved to be, even coming round with the iced lollies during the afternoon. While I’m at it, I mustn’t forget a big Thank You to Kevin’s partner Jean who kept me supplied with cups of coffee during the day and a sticky bun at the end.

Soon the weigh-in revealed just how hard it had been. My fish weighed 113 lbs for the early lead that I felt sure I would to lose to Clive. Ant had managed 76½lbs. Gemma managed 31¼lbs from peg 2 leaving Slim looking nervous, much to everyone’s amusement. Malc’s fish went 109½lbs, a very relieved Slim just avoided a Minxing with a level 35 lbs and sure enough Clive took the win on the day when he put 154 lbs on the scales. Nice one Clive.


Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. September 3rd, 2008.

Rive T’s Forum Match.

It was down to Rolf’s Lake today for A RiveT Piscatorial Promotion along with the lads from TalkAngling. I Missed getting my name down for this when it was posted on the forum, but managed to get on the reserve list, and nearer the day I was in probably due to the fact that it was a weekday, but as I’d got few holiday days left it wasn’t a problem for me to get a day off. The weather didn’t look like it was going to be the best with it raining pretty much the whole trip down.

People soon assembled and got their nets dipped, and it was good to catch up with some faces both old and new. Dave’Yorkie’Moore, one of the Jinx mob had snuck down for the day and I was able to finally catch up with Lee(Mouse)Woodhouse on his 1st visit to Rolf’s. Mr & Mrs Sumo were in attendance with Sue hoping to beat hubby once more. Tony(RiveT)Walsh and Larry gathered in the monies and it was Draw time. With everywhere fishing so inconsistently at the moment including Rolf’s I was hoping for either pegs 7 or 8 or the Car Park bank to avoid a long walk and the peg that stuck to my hand was 22, the 1st peg on the Car Park bank.

Now John had been gardening once more and the left hand bush has had a good old pruning, but the brambles to the right are still intact and with nobody to my right till Dave Moore opposite on peg 18 today I fancied it for a few. To my left I had Matt6900 on peg 23 and Curtains on peg 25……

Rigs were my usual ones for Rolf’s with 2 to fish pellet consisting of Malman 4×12 Adam‘s on 0·18 to a size 16 Drennan Carp Match hooks, one for straight out at 6 mtrs where I had around 5 ft of water and the other to fish up against the brambles and to the edge of the bush where there was around 3½ft. I also set up a paste rig with a Mk3 Malman self cocking paste float on 0·21 to a size 12 Drennan Carp Method. I also set up the feeder as I always do at Rolf’s. Bait wise it was 6 and 8 mm fishery pellets. a bit of hemp, paste and 6 and 10 mm cubes of meat.

So 11 am and with the rain falling the All-in was called and I dumped 2 large potfuls of pellet onto the 6 mtr line and a handful along the brambles and another to the edge of the bush to my left. While those settled I chucked the feeder over to the edge of the bush on peg 20. On the 4th chuck the rod wrapped round just as I was feeding the brambles once more, but fortunately I managed to connect and after a spirited tussle was rewarded with a nice Common of around 8 lbs in the net.

Matt was fishing out a bit further on the pole and was soon off the mark as well…….

but already had the fish fizzing on his pole line and started to suffer with a number of foul hookers though he did manage an acrobatic Skimmer. I’d had no more joy on the feeder and with a few bubbles coming up over my feed at 6 mtrs had gone onto the pole and by constantly working the bait I was rewarded with my 2nd fish of the day, a Mirror of around 6 lbs.

With thunder starting to rumble in the distance and the rain getting heavier sport was slow with nobody appearing to be doing well around us, just the odd fish coming out though reports were that pegs 7 and 8 were doing OK and a few more fish coming out on the Little Lake. Matt and I had managed a couple more each and Dave had got off the mark with a fish that he’d hooked in the tail that had led him a merry old dance before he netted it.

Thankfully around 1·30 pm the rain had eased off and the sun actually came out and with so little action I re-fed and took a stroll to let things settle. Tucked away on peg 13 I found Paul(Justin Case)Law who’d had a bit of a frustrating start but was starting to get amongst a few fishing down his right hand margin……

Looking across I could see Lee on peg 31 doing his best to get to grips with a sort of fishing which is pretty different to his normal approach on the Midland canals………

……….and it seemed that he was being handed a lesson off the next peg by Sue(Mrs Sumo) ………

Back to my peg just as the rain started again and the 6 mtr line produced another couple of Carp and Matt found a nice Carp from under his right hand bush, but was then frustrated by a number of Roach that moved onto his bait. I couldn’t buy a bite from the brambles but finally managed a weigher from the edge of the left hand bush. Curtains on peg 25 finally started to get a few weighers and it looked like Matt and I would be playing catch up ……

Peg 17 had started to catch regularly but poor Dave on 18 was having one of those days that we all dread watching others catch without being able to do anything about it himself despite going through all the methods ……

Matt’s fish seemed to have dried up on him and he packed up before the all out and tipped back while I managed a final couple of fish from the 6 mtr line before the All-out at 4 pm.

The scales started from my peg and 67½lbs was my reward for the day and a section win. Lee managed 24 lbs 6ozs made up of 3 lbs of silvers and 2 Carp of 9 lbs and 12 lbs 6ozs but had lost 7 fish during the course of the day but somehow managed a section win although he was soundly beaten by Sue. The best weights on the day came from the Little Lake with 160 lbs winning, 148 lbs 2nd and 120 lbs 3rd. All in all not the best of days, but certainly better than being at work.

As always though it was good to catch up with friends both old and new and enjoy a day in good company, Hopefully it won’t be to long before we do it all again somewhere. One word of warning though, Don’t have a Mars Bar bet with Lee, as he doesn’t pay up, probably because he eats them all.

It would appear that the result sheets have been mislaid, but if they ever turn up I’ll post the full results.

Location: Holton, Oxfordshire OX33, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Colemans Cottage Fishery. Pathfield Lake. September 13th, 2008.

Marsh AC club match.

Saturday saw me travelling down to Witham in Essex for a Marsh AC club match on Pathfield Lake at Colemans Cottage Fishery. I’d been looking forward to this match as I’d never visited the fishery before, but had heard good things about it. As usual I’d arranged to meet up with Dave and follow him down and by 7 am we were on the road. Blue skies and sunshine held the promise of a decent day, though this was replaced by dull grey skies as we exited the Dartford Tunnel, but a trouble free trip saw us pulling into the fishery car park around 8 am. Into the fishery lodge and we were soon tucking into a hearty breakfast as Dave took the monies and organised the draw.

There were 19 of us present including 4 guests so with the draw done it was back to the car park to sort the kit for the day ahead, and collect our keepnets and landing nets which are supplied by the fishery before we made our way to our pegs….

It had been interesting to watch peoples reactions to the pegs they’d drawn, Dave had been more than happy with drawing peg 6, a peg he’d fished on previous visits, and judging by his reaction peg 11 which I’d drawn wasn’t bad either. Thank heavens for my barrow as peg 11 appeared to be just about as far away from the car park as it was possible to get.

Setting up it didn’t look to bad, though there was a bit of green scum on the surface, but with a bit of an indent on the opposite bank and a few fish moving things were looking promising though the water level looked like it was about a foot down on its usual height.

Tackle-wise I set up a couple of Mk3 Malman self cocking paste floats on 0·16 to a size 12 Drennan Carp Method. one to fish the 18 inches of water in the margins and the other for the 4 feet that seemed to be consistent from 3 mtrs out to 11 mtrs, and I set up a Malman 4X12 Adam on 0·16 to a size 16 Drennan Carp Match to fish pellet and corn at 6 and 10 mtrs as well as a Malman 0·3g MTD1 dibber on 0·16 to a size 16 Drennan Carp Match that would double up as a shallow rig and margin rig for pellet and corn. I also set up a pellet feeder and pellet waggler for right across. Bait was sweetcorn, pellet and GOT Atomic paste with 6 mm hard pellet for feed.

10 am and Dave called the All-in and I shipped out 2 large pots of pellet and sweetcorn onto a line at 10 mtrs and 5 mtrs and fed some pellet down both margins. To give those lines a chance to settle I started off on the pellet feeder across, but despite signs of fish moving about didn’t get a touch in the 1st half hour. Out with the pole onto the 10 mtr line but despite switching baits and working the rigs couldn’t buy a bite there either. A look on the pellet waggler was no more productive either and I was starting to worry. Jim Etherington to my right on peg 9 had managed 3 or 4 Carp by now but from what I could see others were struggling. Judy on peg 8 seemed to be in the same boat as me…………

……. and Terry on peg 7 appeared to have had just a single fish…………

About 2 hours in my float finally dipped, but rather than the elastic coming out with a Carp on the other end a small hand sized Skimmer flapped to the top, but was gratefully netted all the same. However with nearly 3 hours gone nothing had joined it. In desperation I filled it in at around 5 mtrs pumped some expanders to try as a change bait, grabbed the camera and set off for a stroll looking for a bit of inspiration. Chris on peg 15 was admitting to a few silvers and 3 or 4 Carp and was soon sliding another into the net…………

Tony on peg 17 appeared to be struggling to get to grips with his peg, while Eddie down on peg 23 was handicapped by the painful effects of a slipped disc but was putting a few fish together ……

……… as was Jim Boase almost opposite on peg 26………

Looking across to Wood Lake where there was an open being fished, I could see Browning’s Dave Vincent but he didn’t appear to be having much more luck than us, despite knowing the fishery really well ………

Al on peg 28 was admitting to around 20 lbs and with fish bubbling away down the track in front of him seemed to be firmly in the pound seats ………………

Meanwhile Paul on peg 34 was in danger of losing what little hair he had left trying to connect with bites that he was getting fishing the lead tight across to the island, mind you he had come to the match straight from a night shift so probably wasn’t at his best, though it’s always hard to tell with Paul ………

Further along Clive had decided to target his margin and with 5 Carp in the net was hoping to crack on in the later stages ……

Dave up on peg 6 was struggling at this stage too with just 3 Chub and a Crucian, but as I passed Terry on peg 7 he was firmly attached to a rather angry Carp that he’d hooked into the tail, well not so firmly as it turned out as it departed rather abruptly without gracing the landing net after charging round most of Terry’s swim …………

Back at my peg and I noticed a few bubbles coming up on the 5 mtr line, so an expander was slipped onto the hook and the rig shipped out. Within 10 seconds the float slid away and a firm lift met with a pleasing resistance and a Common of around 3 lbs was soon in the net. Back out and almost straight away I was rewarded with another Carp, this time a Mirror of around 4½lbs. Unfortunately I also suffered from a number of foul hooked fish which with the shallow water tended to charge around like lunatics disturbing the swim preventing me from building up any sort of rhythm though I did manage to keep catching reasonably regularly through to the end when Dave called the All-out at 4 pm.

The weigh-in at Colemans is a delight to watch as a bailiff comes round with a quad towing a trailer. The scales are attached to the trailer so that the fish are transferred to the weigh sling weighed and returned with the minimum of fuss and the fisheries nets collected all in one go. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my fish weighed 55lbs, the second best weight at that point behind Jim Etherington’s 66½lbs which contained a right lump of 15 lbs. Chris put 64 lbs on the scales but it was Al who took the honours on the day with a fine net of fish weighing 88 lbs, while Clive took 2nd place with a level 70 lbs.

Chatting with Dave Vincent afterwards in the car park it was plain that the Open on Wood Lake hadn’t fish much better with some very good anglers struggling on the day. Back at the fishery lodge for a post match drink and the inquest was conducted. 3 guests had filled the top 3 spots, but all the club members seemed to have enjoyed the day even if the fishing had proved to be harder than expected.

It’s a cracking fishery and one I’d happily recommend that you pay a visit to if you’re in the area. I know that I’ll definitely be going back to it in the future.


Location: Rivenhall, Essex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Rolf’s Lake. Holton. Oxfordshire. September 20th, 2008.

The JINX Series 2008

Match 5.

So down to Rolf’s Lake once more for the fifth and final match of this years Jinx Series. Maria had decided to join me for the day as the weather promised to be decent and she’d heard that Paul’s wife Jayne and Nick’s wife Lisa were going to be there as well. So with the car loaded up with a few extra bits and pieces we set off around 8 am and with my usual stop for breakfast and a smooth trip down we arrived in the car park at Rolf’s just after 10 am. I soon had my nets dipped and after introducing Maria to the assembled throng paid my cash in and topped up on pellets for the match ahead.

The Draw was of course LATE, and surprise surprise Malc had forgotten the days paperwork ensuring that the Series placing's would remain unknown at the end of the day, so no change there then. I’d asked Maria to draw for me today and when she pulled out Peg 31 and I was quite happy with that, a nice short walk and a peg with a bit of form. Gem had pulled peg 8 leaving a few to worry about another Minxing and I had Clive for company to my left on peg 32 and Nick to my right on Peg 29.

I was looking to keep things simple today, just fishing a line at around 10mtrs where I had around 5 feet of water and a back up line by the bush to my right.
Both of the rigs were Malman 4×12 Adam’s on 0·18 to size 16 Drennan Carp Match hooks and I also set up the pellet waggler as I could see a few Carp cruising around on top. I had the feeder with me in its ready sleeve but left it in there as I didn’t think it would come into play today. Bait was 6,8 and 11 mm pellet that would be fished banded along with meat and 6 mm expanders and I also had ½ pint of maggots with me in case things proved tough. Feed was simply the fishery 6mm pellets.

So 12·30 and Malc called the All-in. 2 pots of pellet out to the 10 mtr line and a couple of handfuls by the bush took care of the initial feed. A banded 8 mm pellet was shipped out to the 10 mtr line and I was in business, A yell was heard from peg 7 as Dai netted his 1st fish of the day and within five minutes my float slid away, but all to soon the elastic snapped back as I parted company with my 1st foul hooker of the day and for the next 2 hours I was to suffer this another 4 times without putting anything in the net. Nick Williams was over on peg 13 and was starting to put a few together fishing down the margin to his left………..

………… while Clive had managed just a solitary fish and was also suffering with foul hooked fish…………

Indeed looking around most appeared to be struggling with most having just one or 2 fish to show for their efforts apart from Keith on peg 9 and Nick. With 3 hours gone I lifted into another bite and realised that I was connected to a decent fish and after a tense few minutes was delighted to slide the net under one of the better inhabitants of Rolf’s ………

Maria was delighted as she was beginning to believe that she had Jinxed me and soon had the camera out to record the event, even capturing the weight recorded on the scales…

………. 14 lbs 04ozs. at last I was off the mark.

Well I wish I could say that it improved from then on, but really it didn’t, not for me anyway, and not for most others either. indeed looking down the car park bank it was starting to resemble a still life………….

Clive however was starting to nick the odd fish though he was still suffering from the odd foul hooker. With just over an hour to go I was attached to another fish, this one hooked in the tail, however despite it’s best efforts I managed to get it’s propeller out of the water and slide it into the landing net. Young Mitch had appeared having weighed a super looking Mirror that was a new PB for him at 15 lbs 8ozs and Maria did the honours by getting a photo for him ………

Looking across to peg 14 I could see Alan who was guesting on the day, doing what is commonly know as a ‘Garden Gnome’ impression, and a particularly good job he was doing of it too ……

With around 20 minutes to go I was attached to another torpedo………

…… yes another one hooked in the tail, but after another tug of war this one ended up in the net as well and weighed 13 lbs 12ozs. Nothing more for me though Clive did manage one final fish before Malc called the All-out at 5·30 pm ………

Chatting as we packed up it was obvious just how hard it had fished for most, indeed poor young Nick (monkey)to my right hadn’t had a single bite during the whole 5 hours.

Come the weigh-in my 37 lbs wasn’t going to cause any stirs and Clive’s section winning 60¾lbs held the lead all the way round to peg 7 where Dai’s 88¼lbs wrapped up his section and Gem’s 13½lbs saved a lot of people a final day Minxing (and gained me a £1). Round to peg 10 and Keith put a match winning 146½lbs on the scales, a very good performance on the day. Hard on his heels came Nick on peg 13 with 119¾lbs to wrap up second place. Slim edged out Steve in their £5 side bet leaving Malc to tie up first place in his own Series with a section winning 56¼lbs from peg 22.

So that’s The Jinx Series over for yet another year. Congratulations to Malc for his series win, and a big THANK YOU for organising what continues to be the friendliest and light hearted set of matches its been my pleasure to fish. Congratulations as well to Clive and Tony for their 2nd and 3rd places, and also to Malc and Dai for taking the pairs title.

This has to be the most successful series ever with 8468 lbs 02ozs of fish being brought to the scales over the course of the Series.(8645 lbs 02ozs if you include the fish caught by guests)
A new Series record winning weight set by Ade Williams at 266 lbs 12ozs in match 1.
Overall there were four 200 lbs+ weights recorded. Two for Ade Williams and one each for Simon Mound and Ant Haywood with another thirty four 100 lbs+ weights over the course of the series of 5 matches.

Another big THANK YOU to John and Pauline Bennett for allowing us the use of Rolf’s for the entire series and all their efforts.

Finally another big THANK YOU to all that have fished the series, it’s all of you that make it so enjoyable to fish, and long may it continue. See you all to do it again next year you bunch of nutters.

Overall Individual Series Result.

: 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.

: 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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Sep 18, 2001
Dawns Vale. Wethersfield. Essex. October 3rd, 2008

Well today promised to be a little different as Dawn, the owner of Dawns Vale had invited some of the lads from the forum down to her fishery for a small match. This had turned into a weekend event for some though, as anglers from as far afield as Scotland, Yorkshire and Wales had accepted Dawn’s invitation. Having met up with Dave and Colin at Dave’s house we made our way out to deepest Essex arriving at the fishery just after 9·30 am.

Parking the cars up it was obvious that a couple of the lads had already arrived. Dai, who was staying for the whole weekend had already pitched his bivvy and Mick and Vince were already tucking into egg and bacon rolls and a cuppa that Dawn had cooked up in the little 2 berth caravan at the side of the pool. As Dave, Colin, Tony and I unloaded our tackle, Webbo (and his lunatic boxer dog Max) and Geoff pulled in, Geoff having travelled down from Scotland the previous day to meet up with Webbo in Leeds.

Dawn soon had us all fed and I took the opportunity to take a first look around. Dawns Vale as the fishery’s called is a small natural pool (about an acre I’d estimate) that’s fed by 7 springs set in woodland that’s situated on the side of a hill. Thankfully the trees shelter it to a degree from the wind, which was starting to get a bit of a blow on.
They’d had their 1st frost of Autumn overnight and a heavy grey sky held the promise of rain at some point. Today we were going to have a friendly little 6 hour Knock-up between the nine of us, and Dawn had even gone out and got a Trophy to present to the Winner………

Now the pool isn’t a venue that is match fished, it’s normally fished by carpers and pleasure anglers, and with only about 12 pegs we decided to draw and have a walk off picking our own swims. Most opted for the shortest walk possible, leaving Mick and I to stroll to the far side and I ended up opposite the caravan, allowing me to keep an eye on everyone except Mick.

Settling into the swim I was happy to realise that I was pretty sheltered and would have the wind off my back. Dave has fished the pool once before in the summer and had told me that the margins were deep at around 4-5 feet with depths up to 25 feet in parts of the pool. There were some decent Carp present, along with Crucians, Tench and thousands of small Rudd that would rob any bait they could. I’d already made my mind up based on what I’d heard to target the Carp, but the frost and conditions were making me wonder if I’d made the right choice.

Plumbing up down the right hand margin there was 5 feet of water with a similar depth at 5 mtrs straight out so I settled for those 2 lines with a simple rig incorporating a MW Diamond to 0·18 to size 16 Drennan Carp Match hook, and also set up the feeder as a back up. Bait wise it was going to be 6 mm pellet for feed and 8 and 11 mm hard banded pellet to deter the Rudd.

At 11·30 am I called the All-in and dumped 2 big pots of pellet into both pole lines, then chucked the feeder with soaked 6 mm pellets and a hair rigged banded 11 mm on the hook. After 30 minutes without a flicker on the tip it was onto the pole but neither of the 2 lines produced a bite just tiny little knocks from Rudd attacking the pellet and from my vantage point I could see that nobody was doing any good apart from Geoff and Dai who were both happily taking a succession of small Rudd.

With 2 hours gone I re-fed the margin swim heavily and went for a stroll to see how everyone was doing. Webbo was on the pole trying to tempt a Carp with Max keeping a careful eye on proceedings and probably glad that he wasn’t relying on him to catch his dinner ………

Tony was ruing parting company with a decent fish earlier on the method feeder and was sticking at it hoping for another bite at the cherry ………

Geoff and Dai were still getting amongst the Rudd making the most of their foresight in bringing some maggots with them, It was good to see Geoff on the bankside and catching a few as he hadn’t been out since May and was quite content just catching and not bothered about the size of fish.

Vince was fishless, but concentrating on the job in hand (not losing a £1 to me in our usual side bet)………

Birthday boy Colin(66) was biteless but determined to stick at it and if possible sneak a Carp out on the paste, though with the wind howling into his chosen swim which was one of the shallower ones, it wasn’t looking to hopeful.

Dave was happily settled into the swim he’d fished before, and was taking it easy as his arthritis was playing him up in the cold and was only owning up to a couple of liners but nothing in the way of fish………

Finally I came to Mick, yet another Birthday Boy (50) who was getting a few Rudd on the waggler to christen his new rod ………

…………….Yes there is a fish there, as a close up proves ………

Back to my peg and I opened a tin of corn that Geoff and kindly let me have, and slipping a grain onto the hook I shipped it out to the margin line. After about 10 minutes of lifting and dropping the rig the float finally slid under and a firm lift met with a pleasing resistance as the elastic stretched from the top-kit. The fish stayed down but didn’t tear off (probably due to the depth of the venue?) but steady pressure soon saw me get the upper hand and a couple of minutes later a nice plump Mirror of around 6 lbs was safely in the net.

15 minutes later my 2nd bite of the day produced a similar result, though this time the fish was a little smaller at around 4 lbs.

With another half hour gone and no further action I re-fed the margin and looked up to see Webbo with yards of pink Drennan bungee pouring out of his pole, so I grabbed the camera and strolled down to watch the action ………………

……..Webbo was getting nowhere fast with the fish and soon had quite a crowd watching and giving him helpful advise and encouragement. I even phoned Malc and put him on the loudspeaker to see if The Jinx effect would work long distance. Finally after what seemed like 10 minutes the fish was on the top and safely heading for the net………

and you could tell from the grin on Webbo’s face that all the micky taking had been worth it in the shape of a cracking Mirror what tipped the scales at 12 lbs 4ozs.

Back to my swim, and the sky was getting darker and the wind was increasing. Back out to the margin and a change to double corn produced a 3rd bite after half an hour and resulted in a 3rd Carp, smaller again this time, a mint little Common of no more than 2 lbs. Shortly after that Webbo popped round as he took Max for a stroll and he was soon followed by Dave and Colin, with Dave taking a few grains of corn away with him in an effort to get himself off the mark.

No more fish followed for me, but Dawn appeared with a freshly cooked double cheeseburger and a hot cup of coffee to lift my spirits. Obviously the corn had the desired effect for Dave, for not long after I looked over and just caught him netting a decent fish……

With around 1½ hours to go I decided to go back onto the feeder as I had seen a couple of fish crash out to my right. After about 20 minutes I had a couple of tentative knocks followed by a 6 inch pull and the strike met with a firm resistance and I could feel the fish kite out into the centre and judging by the angle of the line to the water it had obviously sought the deeper part of the pool. A couple of minutes of steady pressure saw me gain the upper hand though and I soon had my best fish of the day, another Mirror around the 9 lbs mark. I only had one further bit of action before the end of the match, and that was when Bill G phoned, we were chatting away as the rod tip wrapped violently round!!!!!!!!! I wasn’t connected for long however and the hook returned embedded in a scale.

So 5·30 pm and I called the All-out just as the 1st drops of rain threatened to fall. A quick weigh-in confirmed just how hard it had been on the day. Dai was 1st to weigh and put plenty of the pools small Rudd on the scales which weighed in at 20 lbs………

……. and with Geoff weighing another 15 lbs of them for 2nd and 3rd places respectively, they had kept themselves busy and warm, however bags of Rudd like that may be the last for sometime as Dawn told me that they’re being netted out at the end of this month. They’ll never get them all though, so it’s just a matter of time till they return.

My 4 Carp weighed 21 lbs 8ozs to take the honours on the day and another £1 from Vince, and receiving the Trophy from Dawn was a nice end to the day.

Soon the kit was loaded up and farewells said. I have to say that I didn’t envy the lads that were staying on overnight (Webbo, Geoff, Dai and Mick) but it will be interesting to see how they did overnight and Sunday before heading home.

I’d just like to say a big THANK YOU to Dawn for putting up with the Maggotdrowning Mob and making us feel welcome, I’m sure we’ll be finding our way back sooner or later.

For anyone who fancies a trip to Dawns Vale, you can find the details of the fishery on their website at
The Pool at Dawns Vale is quiet and secluded, set in about 2·5 acres of woodland it’s the perfect place to get away from it all. While it doesn’t have the high stocking densities of a commercial pool, there’s a decent head of fish to target that are all in tip top condition, including Carp (Common. Mirror and Ghost) that run to 20lbs+, Crucians, Tench, Eels and the odd Bream.

Please note: you can’t just turn up to fish, you MUST phone or contact the fishery via E-mail 1st to book a day or nights fishing as swims are limited.

It’s a charming little fishery, and one that I have no hesitation in recommending as worth a visit if you get the chance and fancy a bit of peace and tranquillity.

Location: Wethersfield, Essex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hawkhurst Fishery. The Match Lake. October 11th, 2008.

Marsh AC club match.

Saturday was the last match of the year for Marsh AC, and the chosen venue was The Match Lake at Hawkhurst in Kent, to hopefully finish off the match calendar in fine style.

With the car loaded I set off around 7 am with the forecaster on the radio promising a fine sunny day ahead. By the time I reached Badgers Mount there was thick fog and I’d also had a phone call from Keith (Gandhi) who was travelling down from Milton Keynes to guest on today's match. The fog hung around all the way down to Hawkhurst and I pulled into the car park just after 8 am.

There was a reasonable turn out assembled as we had a total of 5 guests joining us today and as the on site café wouldn’t open till 9 am we decided to draw and set up beforehand and then have breakfast before starting the match around 10 am. Into the draw and I came away with peg 15, just about half way up the left hand bank as you look from the car park…….

…and there was quite an eerie silence as everyone settled into their pegs shrouded in fog………

I was going to keep the set up simple. 1 line at around 7 mtrs and another in the margin against the boards. Rig wise i set up 3 rigs consisting of Malman 4×12 Adam’s on 0·18 to size 16 Drennan Carp Match hooks . 1 to fish at depth at 7 mtrs (around 4 ft) another shallow and the 3rd for the margin where I had around 2 ft on the shelf. I also set up the pellet waggler, but wasn’t expecting to use it unless I struggled on the pole. Bait wise I went with 8 mm fishery pellet with 6 mm expanders and corn for change baits while feed was taken care of by 4 and 6 mm fishery pellets.

With the fog still hanging around I could just see Clive trying for some atmospheric shots with his camera………

…… as I strolled up for a spot of breakfast just after 9 am. I’ve got to say that the Full English at Hawkhurst is well worth the £5, and the banter was soon flowing as everyone tucked in. Dave had decided to run a little pairs match with-in the match and sorted out the draw for that over breakfast as well. As we made our way back to the lake it was bathed in sunshine, the sun having burnt off the fog and Dave finally called the All-in at 10·15 am.

I fed 2 large pots of pellet on the 7 mtr line to try and nail any fish in the vicinity to the deck straight away and a handful on the margin line and shipped an 8 mm banded pellet onto the 7 mtr line where I could see the odd bubble coming up over the feed already. Judy opposite me was into a fish straight away…….

I was just lifting the rig a foot and letting it drop back and after a couple of minutes the float dipped and I lifted into it and was into my 1st Carp of the day, a nice little Common of around 1½lbs. A welcome start as on the 2 previous occasions I’ve fished Hawkhurst this year it’s been a bit of a struggle with both the matches being low weight affairs. It was just a case of trying to settle into a rhythm, flicking a pinch of pellet out and constantly working the rig to try and induce a bite.

Worryingly sport seemed slow for most, though Bill on 19 and Keith on 17 had seen a bit of action, Poor Vince however was draw between the two of them and was having a real struggle just to get a bite. With an hour gone I had 10 fish in the net which was better than most from what I could see.

I decided to have a look and see if the constant feed had brought the fish up off the bottom as I could see a few cruising about, but wasted 30 minutes for just 2 small fish as I tried to make it work. Reverting back to the depth rig I was still picking up regular fish but was suffering with the odd foul hooker, however from what I could see I was still doing better than most, indeed Terry to my left on peg 14 was heard to tell me to “give it a rest” as he was struggling despite having the cover of the tree to his right.

Tony was stuck up on corner peg 10 all on his own and did seem to be getting a few……………

It didn’t seem to matter what I tried, I couldn’t up my catch rate, but by sticking at it I was getting a fish every 5-6 minutes and slowly building a decent weight. Looking down to my right I could see that Roger on 16 was struggling, while Keith was still catching though not as regularly as me.

Bill down on 19 seemed to have to stand to net his fish with yards of elastic streaming out of his pole. I heard someone say he was catching lumps, but was pretty sure that he was just on light elastics as the fish at Hawkhurst give a good account of themselves.

Generally sport was slow though, with even the noted pegs struggling to put together a few fish, Colin was trying hard to put a few fish together from his peg, but just couldn’t seem to get to grips with it today………

With a couple of hours to go Dave (The Fish) Collier started to put a few together from down the edge ……

………so I had a look down my margin swim, but after 10 minutes without a bite I wrote it off as a bad job and went back to 7 mtrs for the rest of the match. Despite trying the corn and expanders the only thing I could get a bite on was the 8 mm banded pellet and even those only produced small dips which had to be struck, if you left it, waiting for it to develop further you’d missed it, but at least I kept putting fish in the net and when Dave called the All-out at 4·15 pm I’d managed to put 64 fish in my nets.

As I packed away my gear it was obvious from the talk going on it had been a bit of a struggle for most. Vince strolled up to give me yet another £1 as he had to shoot off quickly to sort out a family problem and he’d tipped back knowing his 14 fish wouldn’t be enough on the day.

So round with the scales for the weigh-in and Alan was soon leading with 50½lbs from peg 2 but relinquished it to Dave on 62¾lbs and then Tony up on corner peg 10 who put 69 lbs on the scales. When they got to me on peg 15 my two nets came to a satisfying 118 lbs for the match win. Keith managed a creditable 81½lbs and third on the day on his first visit to the venue, while Bill put the only other Ton of the day on the scales with his fish weighing 106½lbs for second place.

Finally as mentioned earlier Dave decided to run a Pairs match on the day for a bit of fun and the top 3 on the day were as follows……

Now the club doesn’t operate a championship as such but for a bit of fun I worked out a table of the seasons results using a 20 point system, allowing for an anglers worst result to be dropped and 1 point awarded for a DNW. Guests results were not included in the table.

So that’s the Marsh AC matches done for the year. It’s been a pretty good year for me on the club matches one way or another, and they’ve all been fished in a friendly atmosphere with plenty of laughs and banter along the way. I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Dave for organising things on our behalf, and I’m sure I speak for all the members and guests who’ve joined us over the course of the year when I say that his efforts are much appreciated. Let’s do it all again next year.

Location: Hawkhurst, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Mansfields Lake, Broad Oak, Canterbury. November 22nd, 2008.

Mick the Chippy’s Knock Up.

Out with the lads from today for a Knock up arranged by Mick the Chippy with the aid of his brother Geoff. Loading up the car it was obvious that it was going to be a cold one, so the thermals were getting their 1st outing of the year. A smooth drive down saw me arriving at the lake around 8·30 am, however a displayed temperature of just 3°C had left a small seed of doubt in my mind as to whether the fishing would be up to much.

The good news though was that Mick had persuaded a local snack wagon to put in an appearance so that we could get some hot food and a cuppa prior to the start. While the others arrived I strolled down for a 1st look at the lake……………

So with 13 lunatics of us assembled and everyone fed and watered we dived into the draw then made our way to our pegs. Having drawn 11, I opted for the far side that offered a bit of shelter from the wind and found myself settling into peg 20 with Dave and Vince on my left on 19 & 18 respectively, with one of the Allen brothers to my right and Colin next to him.

The set up was going to be pretty simple, and a quick plumb up revealed around 3 ft on a top 2 line but with lots of twigs etc making for a bit of a snag pit, while adding a section gave me a decent 4½ft straight out in front that was relatively free of clutter. The feeder rod was also set up with a tiny cage feeder, while bait was simply red maggots with a bit of corn by way of a change bait.

10·30 am saw Mick call the All-in, and it was soon pretty apparent that we might be looking at a bit of a grueller. I heard a muttering from my left and heard Mike questioning Vince, it turned out that Vince had had a wrap round almost straight away on the feeder but hadn’t connected. For most of us however it was just a case of nicking some small roach (though Mick was positive they were Rudd)

Mike on the opposite side was fishing long into the teeth of the wind and after about an hour was rewarded with yards of elastic streaming from his pole. He’d obviously connected with a Carp, but with only No4 elastic in his top kit was having a few problems. Mick stepped in to provide a ghillie service however meaning that Mike romped into the lead when Mick netted a small Carp of around 2½lbs for him.

45 minutes later and Mick was rewarded with a small Carp of his own, which he gingerly played on a pound bottom, and I’m sure his heart was gladdened by all the calls of support that accompanied it’s capture.

No such luck for the rest of us, though Colin was rumoured to have had a half decent Skimmer to boost his Roach, Bill had strolled down and reported that he was getting small Roach regularly from his peg up the top end where he had 9-10 ft of water close in.

With not much happening for me I took a quick stroll to see what was happening elsewhere. Bill was indeed catching pretty regularly by keeping the feed going in…………

………. but everyone else seemed to be plodding along just nicking the odd small Roach here and there……….

Indeed unlike Bill I was finding that feeding was the kiss of death, and it was only by stopping feeding that I could attract any bites. Dave was finding the same despite alternating between a maggot and likkie line………

I’d had a couple of looks on the feeder, but it hadn’t produced as much as a tremble on the tip. Meanwhile Colin had netted a cracking Roach of 1½lbs and Mike had landed another small Carp to put himself firmly into the pound seats. With around an hour to go the Allen brothers decided they’d had enough and packed up (Youngsters these days, No staying power or perhaps more common sense than the rest of us :ROFLMAO: )

As we moved into the last half hour Mick’s brother Richard got himself a small Carp, while Vince was having one last look on the feeder in an attempt to get a £1 coin from me for a change…………

Thankfully Mick called the All-out at 3 pm. A quick weigh-in ensued, and sure enough Mike had taken the honours on the day with 6 lbs 14ozs while Bill and Colin shared second place with 3 lbs 8oz each. Vince put 2 lbs 4ozs on the scales, and initially my fish were called at the same weight, however the scalesman finally called it at 2lbs 5 ozs to give me another shiny £1 coin.
Back at the car park and Mick presented Mike with a trophy for the winner………..

and we were all very pleasantly surprised to find that Mick had got us all engraved medals as a memento of the day, a really nice gesture on Mick’s behalf. (y)

So the end of yet another MD’s day out, and a big THANK YOU to Mick and his brother Geoff for organising the whole day. Mick’s already planning the next one, but hopefully that can wait till next year when things warm up a bit. Mind you the next trip isn’t far away as Ryan (Zephyr) is organising a match on Nick’s Lake at Hartleylands Farm on 6th December and as usual I’ll post a report on the days events here.

Location: Sturry, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Hartleylands Farm Fishery. Nick’s Lake. December 6th, 2008.

Ryan’s Winter Knock Up.

It was definitely a day for the thermals today as I loaded the car ready for the trip down To Hartleylands Farm for a friendly little Knock Up on Nick’s Lake that Ryan (Zephyr) has organised through the MD’s forum. By the time I arrived at the car park it was around 8 am and it appeared that I was the last of 17 lunatics to arrive. Fortunately Mick had managed to arrange for the catering wagon that had been at Broad Oak to turn up, so breakfast was taken care of courtesy of a cuppa from Andy and half of one of the monster breakfast rolls from Trevor Thanks lads.

Nick unfortunately had a black out and cracked his head, but after we had got him into the back of a van and Kevin had administered a spot of first aid he thankfully recovered enough to fish, especially once he realised that peg 9 was left in the hat for him.

My draw had yielded peg 36, not a great area in winter, but with a nice short walk from the car and a bit of shelter looked like being a bonus today, and as only sections were being paid out today instead of the top 3 I still had something to fish for. For company today I had Andy(The Hat) to my right on peg 36, and to my left 3 of my fellow Marsh club members, in Kevin, Terry and Dave on pegs 2,4 and 6.

The peg was comfy enough with just a short chuck to the corner of the island, and with it being so cold I only set the feeder up. Bait was simply a couple of pints of reds and some groundbait. The one doubt in the back of my mind was the colour or rather lack of it in the water. The recent frosts appeared to have knocked the colour right out of it which is unusual on Nick’s regardless of how cold it gets.

So 10 am and the All-In is called, feeder to the point, tighten up and wait for the action to start …………….and wait ………….and wait ………………and wait. Thankfully Kevin’s partner Jean broke the monotony by providing me with a hot cup of coffee, but apart from Dave getting a small Carp and receiving all our hearty congratulations……NOT there didn’t seem to be much happening, In fact the only person that appeared to be doing anything was Steve Allen on peg 8. Now Steve normally fishes with his two sons Pete and Nick, but it was obviously a little to cold for the poor things so he’d brought his mate, Terry with him for company. A quick chat with Andy revealed that at least he’d had 3 small fish, better than me at that point with his more “speccie” orientated approach……

Well with 1½ hours gone without as much as a nibbled maggot to show for it, I decided I should get the pole out, at least shipping in and out would keep me warm. The rig was a Malman 4×10 Snake1 to ·12 finished with an 18 Drennan maggot hook. I set this up to fish at around 6 mtrs where I had around 3½ft of water with soft set white hydro in the top kit. A pinch of maggot followed by the rig soon rewarded me with a small roach, at least I hadn’t blanked.

Terry was alternating between the feeder and a pole approach but was struggling like the majority of us, nothing really seemed to bring him a run of fish……………

Dave meanwhile had managed to nick another small carp on the feeder, but was also sorting out a pole rig in an attempt to find a bit of action………

Indeed regardless of where I looked it was hard to find anyone who was getting amongst the fish apart from Steve whose could be seen with a bend in his rod on a regular basis.

I managed to keep the small roach coming, not quickly enough to build any real weight, but fast enough to pass the time and keep me focused.

With about 10 minutes to go Kevin finally had a bite on the feeder and was rewarded with a small carp, however in his enthusiasm to get back out there his next cast ended on the island and the resulting break ended his day with 5 minutes to go. I chucked the feeder out just in case there was another in the area, but the tip remained stationary till the All-Out was called at 3 pm.

At least it didn’t take to long to pack up and get the gear back to the car, and a stroll round with the scales showed just how hard it had fished today. Steve had walked the match today putting 42 lbs 12ozs on the scales for a comfortable win, in fact everyone else only managed single figures apart from Trevor whose 10 lbs 4ozs of silvers won him his section. Steve’s mate Terry Goulding realised he had tipped back a weight that would have won his section but Hey Ho…….. That's fishing, and of course we were all very sympathetic……….NOT.

Thanks to Ryan for organising the day (his 1st attempt at organising a match). Next up is the Maggotdrowning Southern Fur & Feather match at Wylands next Saturday. How will that turn out? You can read about it here next weekend.


Location: Cranbrook, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Wyland International Angling Centre, near Battle, East Sussex. December 13th, 2008.

Southern Fur & Feather.

Well it was off down to Wylands, just outside Battle today for the Southern Fur & Feather match on the fishery’s House Lake, that’s been organised for the lads on the Maggotdrowning forum by Trevor(MT Net)Little. Loading up the car it was cold, windy and pouring down with rain (the sort of morning that makes you question your sanity) and it didn’t get any better during the trip down. Pulling into the fishery and as I got out of the car I realised it was even windier than I thought. A quick bacon sarnie and a coffee while I caught up with the other 14 lunatics assembled proceeded the draw and it has to be said that nobody looked too enthusiastic to get started. In fact the conversation revolved around which were the closest pegs to the snack bar.

Anyway peg 14 by the footbridge stuck to my palm. A stroll down with the tackle revealed a pretty steep bank that would test the seat box legs out, all in all a little precarious. Mick to my right on 13 was in pretty much the same predicament while across the footbridge I had Jeff D and Al on 15 & 16. Once I’d managed to level the box up I stuck the brolly up. With the wind swirling and the angle I was fishing at, it meant that I couldn’t get right out of the rain but at least it offered a bit of shelter.

I just set up 2 pole rigs, both consisted of Malman 4×14 Snake 1′s on 0·12 to an 0·10 bottom with a size 20 red Drennan carp maggot hook, one for under the bridge, but with only just a couple of feet of depth I wasn’t expecting much from there. The other was for out into open water at 7 mtrs where I had around 3½ft. Fishing any longer was out of the question really with the wind and driving rain, Bait was just red maggots with some corn for a change bait and some micro’s for feed.

10am and Trevor called the All-in. A pinch of micro’s and maggots followed by a maggot baited hook soon produced a small roach from the open water swim and set the pattern for the day. Looking round after about an hour though , very few were looking comfortable, though everyone appeared to be catching the odd fish. Now I’ve had my Preston Dri-Fish suit since they 1st came out and it’s served me well, but despite regular NikWaxing after 4 seasons of abuse it’s due for changing, and today the conditions found it out. I could feel the water starting to leak through, so decided to retreat to the snack bar for a warming coffee. I wasn’t the only one either. Mick produced a bottle of Brandy and a shot was added to the coffee (strictly for medicinal purposes of course) Sitting there certainly seemed a better idea than battling it out with the elements and offered a good view of the lake.

Nick Gilbert right in front of us seemed to be doing OK, alternating between waggler to the island and the pole line, as did Mark(MoleMan)Hathaway a couple of pegs along to the left of Nick. Tony(spamwham) pegged between them was having a bit of trouble however with his umbrella with the wind doing its best to wrap Tony up in it …………

I returned to my peg for another go, but I have to say that my heart wasn’t in it, despite the Roach still being there. I stuck it out till about 1 pm, but I was cold damp and miserable, so gave it best, tipping back about 6 lbs of Roach and hastily getting my gear back to the car. A session with the hand drier in the loo got some feeling back in my hands and I returned to the snack bar to watch the rest of the match, and by the time that Trevor called the All-out at 3 pm there were half a dozen of us there.

The weigh-in didn’t take long, Mark(Moleman) taking the honours on the day with 32 lbs 15ozs from Nick’s 30 lbs 03ozs, though the real shock was Omega Mike sticking it out for the whole 5 hours for 19 lbs 10ozs and 3rd place !

So a quick presentation saw Mark with a nice shiny trophy, while the rest of us all took home a little something from the prize table for Christmas. Thanks to Trevor for organising the day, we all agreed that it was a cracking venue and that we’d like another go at it in better weather. On a final note all the lads chipped in the pools money and Keith at Wylands chipped in £2 from each of our peg fees, meaning £75 was donated to the Maggotdrowning Christmas Appeal Nice one lads. (y)

The DNW’s aren’t a reflection on the fishery as the 6 anglers all caught,
but packed up early and tipped their fish back.

Location: Catsfield, East Sussex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Buxted Oast Farm Fishery, Buxted, East Sussex. December 29th, 2008.

Well with Maria back at work today after the Christmas break, I’d accepted an Invitation from Bill G on the Maggotdrowning forum to join him and a few of the lads for an impromptu Knock-up at Buxted Oast, especially as it was a venue that I’d not fished previously. Having dropped Maria of at work around 6 am I popped back home to load the car up, but with the outside temp readout showing -2°C I must admit to questioning my sanity as I pulled away from the flats.

An easy trip down saw me have enough time to stop for some breakfast in East Grinstead and still arrive by 8·30 am, though by the time I pulled up the temp was down to -3°C. My 1st site of the Lake revealed over half of it was iced over, It was fed by a stream at one end with a ‘monk’ type outlet at the other, and it had space for around 17 pegs maximum, but with only eight of us fishing today we wouldn’t be to cramped. While Bill pegged out the chat revolved around who would have to break the ice.

Draw time and Kev was 1st in for peg 2 and I followed with Peg 3, these are the pegs where the stream comes in and share a reed bed that Bill reckoned had Carp moving in them when he pegged out, but by the time I got my gear down there, they were nowhere to be seen (Must have seen Bill’s face and buggered off) However it was relatively ice free, with just a bit of cat ice and with the sun shining that would soon go.

A couple of pegs to my left was Mick with John, one of Bill’s club mates next up. On the road bank were Ryan, Vince on the outlet and Mick’s brother Geoff in the corner peg, which Bill reckoned was the ‘Flyer’, leaving Bill in the shade and ice bound on the final peg.

Bill, Geoff and Vince had some serious ice breaking to do 1st, while the rest of us had the luxury of setting up straight away. I was going with the pole and just set up a couple of identical top kits. Both of these were rigged with Malman 4×12 Snake 1′s on 0·12 to an 0·10 bottom with a size 20 Drennan Match Carp hook, Feed was just micro and 4 mm hard pellet, which would be fed through a kinder pot, while bait was simply 4 mm expanders and corn.

10 am and the All-in, and with an initial feed of a pinch of micro’s and a couple of grains of corn potted in against the rushes I dropped the rig baited with a piece of corn full of anticipation.Kevin had a bit more trouble with the ice in his peg so started off targeting the other end of the reeds,

Mick was soon into small Roach fishing maggot with his trusty Tri-Cast and Mitchell 300, but no amount of lifting, dropping and dragging the rig could induce a bite for me. with an hour gone Ryan had a small Carp, but most of us were struggling and Bill was already starting to freeze on his shaded peg, though he appeared to be getting the odd Carp.

A change to pellet on the hook made no difference apart from a few knocks that I was convinced were small roach shredding the pellet. However the bird life was a pleasant distraction, with a Kingfisher flitting back and forth across the pool between perching in the trees……..

While a tiny Wren flitted around my peg on the lookout for a tasty morsel to come his way………

2 hours in and I went for a stroll. Mick was happily bashing the bits. John had had a few small Carp and silvers, while Ryan was now targeting the Roach in the absence of another Carp. Vince and Geoff were both struggling with just a few small Roach between them.

Bill however was getting a few Carp and landed a small one of around 6ozs while we chatted, however with no sun on it his peg was so cold that I soon left him to it.

Returning to my peg Kev was admitting to a solitary small Roach but my peg was still dead apart from a few more knocks on pellet. This was getting desperate and I was starting to think that I was going to end 2008 not just with a blank, but worse still losing a £1 to Vince.

Desperate measures were called for so I popped along to Mick and scrounged some maggots off him. Double maggot on the hook and straight away a small roach obliged saving me from the dreaded blank. Now it was just a case of getting my head down and catching as many as possible in the last couple of hours. If Vince managed to nick a Carp he would be firmly in the Pound seats, if not I was in with a chance.

A visit from Bill, who was trying to restore some circulation revealed Vince was targeting the Roach as well, but I was at least catching regularly, and that’s the way it stayed until the all out was called at 3 pm. Kevin’s solitary roach had saved him the dreaded DNW, while 4 lbs was the result of my bit bashing. Mick had around 7 lbs for his efforts. John’s 18½lbs was a very creditable effort on the day,, while Ryan’s bonus Carp added to his Roach saw him weigh 4¼lbs, Vince had had a mare however with to many missed bites meaning that just 1 lb 10ozs registered on the scales, so the final £1 of 2008 was mine. Geoff added 2 lbs 10ozs of waggler caught Roach, but the star on the day was Bill with a very fine 37½lbs to take the honours on the day.

So that’s it for 2008, I was hoping to get out one final time before New Year, but with the way the frosts are coming down at night, I think I’ll wait till the New Year before venturing out again. What will 2009 bring? Well hopefully more £1 coins from Vince. I’m already booked in for another Jinx Series and more Marsh AC club matches, but above all I’m looking forward to more fun and enjoyment with all those I fish with in 2009. Till then may I wish all that read this a Happy, Prosperous and Fish Filled New Year.


Location: Buxted, East Sussex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Monk Lakes. Match Lake 2. January 17th, 2009.

1st trip of 2009.

It was off down to Monk Lakes today for a session with a friend of mine from the website, Andy (The Hat) Spreadbury. Andy had treated himself to a new float rod for Christmas and was eager to try it out, and I’d resurrected an old Bob Church Boron spliced tip match rod that hadn’t seen the light of day for at least 10 years. We had planned to go between Christmas and the New Year, but postponed it due to the cold snap, but with a bit of milder weather during the week decided to go for it today.

Loading up the car it was raining, but the forecast was for it to brighten up later in the day. A crash in Catford held me up briefly so that it was around 8·45 am when I finally pulled into the fishery car park to meet Andy. Greeting done with, it was into the shop for some bait (maggots), a quick chat with Ron at the counter (he was kind enough to let us use our keepnets) and pay for the day ticket followed by a coffee from the snack wagon before driving up to the match lakes.

Climbing out of the car the first thing to hit you was the wind (no surprise at Monks I’m afraid) and it had a real chilling bite to it today. Lake 2 looked the best bet and with 4 anglers already on the prime corner (pegs 45-49) the spit looked favourite as we would have the wind of our backs. We soon had our gear sorted and over to our pegs, settling for pegs 58 & 59.

I soon had the old Bob Church rod set up, matching it with an old Stradic reel freshly loaded with 3lb Maxima. I rigged up a 4AAA peacock insert waggler finished of with a size 18 Drennan Match Carp hook at the business end. Andy had soon rigged up his new rod, a Shakespeare Mach 3, 13′ Float Lite, a lovely pencil slim blank and had it set up with a similar rig to mine.

So around 10 am we got down to the fishing just as the sky seemed to get a shade darker and the wind stronger. The old rod was a tad heavier than some of the latest stuff but was quite at home punching the waggler out and I was soon into a rhythm catapulting a regular pinch of maggots out and twitching the float to try and induce a bite. Working my way through the depths I finally got a bite with the bait hard on the deck. soon the spliced tip was hooped over and the rod handled the fish effortlessly as a nice little Mirror of around 2½lbs slid over the net to get me off the mark…………

Andy was off the mark soon after with a nice F1 to christen his new rod……

………and seemed more than happy with the performance of it. Shortly after we were treated to a short rain squall just to remind us that it was winter (though I must confess to looking round to see whether Bill G had put in an appearance) That soon blew over however to leave us with blue sky and sunshine.

A couple of F1′s were added to my net but Andy appeared to be struggling, so I strolled over to see if I could help.

After a little adjustment to Andy’s shotting I stood back to watch him fish. A couple of alterations to little things like rod-rest positioning etc then we turned our attention to Andy’s feeding. Now Andy is probably fine with a catapult firing out boilies when he’s carping, but maggots on a windy day leads to what you might call a scatter-gun approach. He also has no concept of quantity!!! Trying to get him to just fire out 6-8 maggots regularly round his float somehow turns into 30-40 as and when in a general direction (well they all land somewhere in the lake). It did bring instant rewards though in the shape of a couple of tiny skimmers.

I returned to my peg but was distracted by a couple of the resident swans that seemed to be preoccupied with practising their take-off and landing techniques, but after 5-10 minutes of that the Cob decided to practise a bit of posing……

I had to get back to some kind of feeding rhythm and I soon had another Mirror and a couple of F1′s as I started to get regular bites once more. Andy came up to ask me what the fish was that he had in his landing net as he wasn’t sure, It was a decent Ide, which pleased Andy as it was the 1st he’d ever caught ………

I managed an unseasonable Tench and a decent skimmer that pretended to be a Trout, leaping clear 3 or 4 times before Andy was back again with more fish ID questions. A Golden Orfe this time and another 1st for Andy and an opportunity for another photo call ………

A nice Perch of around a pound put in an appearance for me just to add a bit of variety, but the noticeable thing was that although I kept altering depths during the course of the session the only time I could get a bite was when the bait was nailed to the deck, and that a number of the fish had what appeared to be small creamy coloured leeches on them, which I took to indicate that they may had been laying up semi dormant during the icy spell the previous week and were only just starting to feed, though I might be wrong on that one, who knows for sure.

We fished on until just after 3 pm, when with the light starting to fade and the wind feeling a touch colder we decided to call it a day. As Andy had his Avon’s with him we had a quick weigh-in to see how it had gone on the day. Andy was first to weigh and his fish came to 29½lbs……

While my fish tipped the scales at 34½lbs ………

Gear back in the cars, there was just time for a cup of coffee and a cheeseburger from the snack wagon as we mulled over our thoughts on the day. All in all a decent day in good company and a couple of nice nets of fish given the conditions. Andy seemed more than happy to have christened his new rod and had hopefully picked up a few tips along the way and we’d had a few laughs and a bit of banter, which is what it’s all about really, we’ll have to do it again soon.

For those of you that are interested, to give you a different viewpoint, the following is Andy’s thoughts on our day………

Winter for me, used to be a grim time in the fishing year. Sitting behind a pair of carp rods, week after week, freezing cold, bored, frustrated at the lack of action, and thoroughly fed up with the whole thing wondering what the hell I was doing there. Then I discovered With the discovery of this band of lunatics came new friends and a window on a world of Angling I had hitherto had scant knowledge.

First the pole, then the waggler on the many commercial fisheries in the South-East became my winter interest and I am happy to say that through Maggotdrowning I have had some not only really enjoyable sessions in terrific company, but I have learnt an enormous amount – mostly from the Master of the Poles himself – our very own Sir Peter of Morton. It was with Sir Peter I was fishing one of my favourite places today – Match Lake 2 on the Monk Lakes complex near Staplehurst, known to all Kent anglers. It’s always a Grand Day Out with Peter and today was to be no different……..

The Session

I left home in a downpour and things looked decidedly grim – Monks is very exposed and the combination of high wind and rain can make a session on there arduous to say the least! We decided to go for pegs with the wind at our backs and this proved a wise decision as the wind really got up on occasions during the day.
Straight out of the rod-bag it’s my brand new Shakespeare 13 foot Match Lite (£85 from Devon Angling and price matched by the excellent Invicta Angling of Ashford). This was its first outing and I was really keen to see how it would perform; this was teamed with an old Shakespeare ‘Powerplay’ rear drag jobby filled with 3 lbs. Line, the rig terminating in 0.1 Preston Powerline and a size 18 Tubertini.

First up and it’s a little Chublet for me, closely followed by Peter with a hard-fighting carp of three pounds or so. This was going to be a very good day, marred only by a family of mental retards fishing the far bank, shouting to one another in what can only be described as ‘ape language’. The dad seemed to be permanently turned to maximum volume and appeared to have the intelligence of a Geranium. Peter asked me if I had a gun as he wished to put the poor man out of his (and our) misery!
As usual, Peter’s catch-rate began to exceed my own and I sat there scratching my head wondering what it was he was doing that I wasn’t. I thought I’d got a grasp of the basic principles (acquired during previous sessions with Peter) of Feeding being the key to success, the Little and Often principle applying to pole and waggler fishing in general. I was obviously not doing it right and it was not long before Peter had spotted this too and stopped fishing to come to my aid….

“Lets have a look at your rig Spreaders”.

I willingly offered up my end-tackle, thinking “he won’t find much wrong with that” a bulk around the base of the float and a single number eight, nine inches from the hook acting as a tell-tale. Peter grasped the line, screwed up his face in disgust and pointed to a single shot I’d got a foot below the float,“What’s that doing there?!”“Erm; it’s a shot to take the float down a bit – I had too much sticking out of the water”
Peter had an ‘Oh my God’ look about him as he made lots of adjustments to my shotting.

“You need to stabilise the rig in this wind as there’s a bit of tow on today; there’s four shots tapering down to the number eight, up from the hook and the locking shot are closely tucked up at the base of the float”.

This was an altogether better rig which on casting felt a lot better, it didn’t drift so much on the tow, away from my feed. Ah feed. Now that was another disaster.

“Cast out and fire out six maggots around the float”

I grabbed what I thought was a small pinch and fired them off in the general direction of the float, the strong wind unfortunately taking them several yards away from the float, (well that was my excuse anyway!)

“Andy, the general idea is to actually feed where the hookbait is – not five yards from it. All that will happen is the fish in the area will go and eat the feed there rather than where your hookbait is! And I did say half a dozen not half a bloody handful!”

On paper, Little and Often sounds as easy as anything, but how many is Little, and how long (in time) is Often? Here was the answer – six maggots every minute and a half and they have to be spot on around the float otherwise you’ll just end up drawing the fish away from your rig rather than to it.

After this I spent the rest of the session trying to get these few basic principles right – and how difficult it proved to be. Granted, the wind didn’t help although on the day it was a useful training aid in practicing skills with the catapult, but for a relative numpty, I found it remarkably difficult to get right, my maggots flying hither and yon, scattered to the four winds on occasions. Peter had the answer to this too – fish a lot shorter. Better to bait accurately at short range, than inaccurately at longer range.
From then on, with just a few maggots landing around the float every few minutes or so my catch-rate began to pick up and I managed to put together quite a respectable net of fish – F1s, some Ide

(a first for me as I’d never caught one before – a fish like a huge Roach and very hard fighting), a Golden Orfe (again another first), skimmers, and a lone Tench. At the end of the session we had a weigh-in (we had special dispensation from Ron at Reception), and I was very pleased to record twenty-nine and half pounds – the most I think I’ve ever weighed-in at Monks. Peter was of course ahead of me with thirty-four and a half pounds which would have been much, much more had he not stopped fishing to sort me out and give me instruction.
Once again it was a Grand Day Out in smashing company. My thanks to Peter for persevering with me throughout the session – what a frustrating pupil I was! Here’s to the next time we go fishing.

Location: Marden, Kent, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Private Lake, East Sussex. February 22nd, 2009.

“The Private Lake on Sunday, are ya coming? eight thirty if you are . No keepnets just a days fishing.”
With an invite like that from Bill G it would be rude to refuse, especially with the weather forecast predicting a nice mild 9°C. As with all good things though Sunday Morning revealed that Saturdays glorious weather had come to an end, but a smooth drive down stopping off in Bromley for a spot of breakfast on the way, saw me arrive at the fishery at 8·30 am to find Vince waiting beside a locked gate, Bill soon arrived though with the padlock combination so we were soon parked up and decided on a walk round while we waited for the rest of the cast to arrive.

Usually when I’ve visited the Lake in the winter it’s been brim full and today was no exception, with a fair bit of water running down the outflow pipe on the dam wall. As we strolled round Al was the next to arrive and was soon dropping his gear into the 1st peg by the gate, a peg he’s been eager to have a go at for a while.
By the time we got back to the car park Dave, Colin and Tony had arrived.

Soon we had our gear together and set off for the session. Colin was travelling light only intending to have a crack on the river today and Tony also started with the bare minimum of gear hoping to sneak a Chub or two out of the river early on before settling down on the lake.

The surprise of the day was that Bill wasn’t going to fish!!!! deciding instead to spend the day wandering and chatting with the rest of us collecting titbit’s for his Blog, so he’d just brought a comfy chair with him and settled down with Al. Meanwhile Dave set up just just along from Al before the outlet on the dam wall.

Vince and I strolled a little further round to the far bank with Vince dropping in where he would have an easy chuck with his feeder rod to the island as well as a nice comfortable line where he could try out his new pole. I dropped into the next swim along (Bill had won his last club match from the peg), where I had about 13 mtrs to the island which was ideal as today I planned to try out the Clever Claw and see how I got on using it.

Al was soon into fish, and even before most of us had set up he’d had four quick fish.

Tony had winkled a Chub of around 2½lbs out of his swim on the river to satisfy his quest, but by the time Bill arrived on the 1st of his strolls neither Vince or I had got off the mark. This soon changed however as Vince’s feeder tip whipped round and he was into a carp. Someone had remarked on the forum a couple of days previously that he’d never seen a photo of mine of Vince actually catching a fish, so I seized the opportunity to rectify that…..

….and soon Vince had a nice plump Common to show as his reward.

Bill was of the opinion that I wasn’t fishing close enough to the island, so another section was added and after potting in some more feed and adjusting the rig, I of course didn’t see the 1st bite as I chatted to Bill. I was briefly connected, but it shed the hook. However next put in I was more alert and connected with the bite properly this time, soon putting the net under a nice plump Mirror of around 5-6 lbs. I have to say that the fish that the owner has stocked are some of the plumpest Carp I’ve come across, being deceptively heavy for their size and in lovely condition.

Tony came strolling round just after with his pole gear to fish the back of the island as he wanted to try out fishing long with his new Maver 401. Vince meanwhile had rested the feeder rod looking to christen his new pole, a Maver 101. I had managed another Carp, a Mirror of around 10 lbs before taking a stroll to retrieve a couple of KitKat’s that I’d left in the car. Dave had had a couple of Carp and a few Roach, and Al was now getting Roach, though as we chatted he was into another Carp and I got the definite impression that his peg would only get stronger as the day went on.

Vince meanwhile had been unable to resist the temptation of popping over the fence with his feeder rod and had succeeded in bagging a couple of Chub around the 2-2½lb mark from the river, before returning and resuming the task of trying to christen his pole.

I settled back to fishing across and I have to say that the Clever Claw made it an easy task, allowing me to rest the pole across my leg while the Clever Claw took all the strain……………..

Indeed I soon managed to extract another couple of Carp with Vince doing the honours with the camera for me on the second one………..

……… another nice one that may have nudged 8 lbs given how plump it was.

Strolling round I found Tony, well settled in and trying to build his swim, but getting pestered by what he felt must be Roach trying to rob his bait.

Returning back to my swim a bit of a breeze had got up making presentation difficult and it was to cost me a couple of rigs in the island bushes before I decided to back off a bit and re feed a couple of feet short of the island. All along I’d been feeding to a tree in my left hand margin, but despite regular looks there hadn’t had a bite from it. Tony had finally managed a carp around the 7 lb mark and had come round to show me as he was surprised just how heavy it was when he weighed it, proving once more just how solid the fish are.

Vince finally managed to christen his pole with a couple of 5 lb’ers while I added another to my tally from my new line.

Vince started to pack away around 2·30 pm but managed one final Carp on his feeder rod before he said his farewells and departed. I had one final Carp just before 3 pm, but with the breeze ever present I felt the temperature was dropping and I decided to call it a day as well. As I packed away my kit Colin reappeared having spent the day roving the river and reported having a thoroughly enjoyable day despite only having three chub.

As I wandered back Dave reported having had a few more Carp, while Al had firmly taken the honours on the day with a succession of Carp from his peg.
All in all a pleasant session with a few fish to keep things interesting, next Saturday it’s a knock up at The Oast at Buxted, so until then………… That’s All Folks.

Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex, UK


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Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Buxted Oast Farm Fishery, Buxted, East Sussex. February 28th, 2009. Knock Up.

It was a small Knock-up amongst a few members of the forum down at Buxted Oast today, but it didn’t get off to the best of starts for me, as I went down to load the car and found that some scrote had tried to break into the car overnight :mad:. However I managed to fix the damage pretty quickly and was soon loaded up and on my way. Overcast but nice and mild, it promised to be a decent day and I even had time to stop off in East Grinstead for a spot of breakfast, arriving at the fishery car park around 8·45
The MD’s knock-ups are always fun and today promised to be no different, Bill had already pegged out, so it was monies paid and into the draw bag, with peg 4 being my home for the match.

Settling in I had Trevor for company on peg 3 with Pete to his right on peg 2, while peg 5 to my left wasn’t drawn. Bill had recommended fishing a comfortable 8-10 mtrs straight out where there was about 2½-3 ft and not to ignore the margins so that was the basic approach. I just set up two top kits and both of these were rigged with Malman 4×12 Snake 1′s on 0·14 to an 0·12 bottom with a size 18 Drennan Match Carp hook and I also set up the pellet waggler rod as I could see a few Carp already cruising around the top. Bait for the day was Corn, GOT 6 mm expanders and 6 mm hard pellet, No maggots though as these tend to pull the Roach.

10 am and Ryan called the All-in. I shipped out half a pot of mixed pellet and corn to 10 mtrs and fed some pellet by hand into the margins and had a quick cast with the pellet waggler to see if I could “mug” and early fish, but with no interest shown that was quickly discarded in favour of the pole. Shipping out a 6 mm expander to 10 mtrs the float had hardly settled when it disappeared down the hole and a nice Common of around 3 lbs was soon safely in the net, next put in and another smaller fish around 1½lbs joined its friend, Happy days. Trevor had had a couple of quick Carp too, as had Pete.

Dave tucked away in the corner on peg 6 had got off to the best start however, fishing tight into the corner under the willow, taking 5 Carp and a Frog !!!!! You just know that Dave the Fish’s nickname will become Dave Le Frog after that little episode.:p

After that initial burst however sport seemed to grind to a halt for most, leaving people scratching their heads as to why they couldn’t get amongst the fish, and Trev being bored looking at a stationary float reverted to a top 2 and maggot to get some action with the roach, soon lining them up and regretting the fact that he hadn’t packed a whip today. Around 12·30 I re-fed my main line and another to my left and went for a stroll round.

Dave’s sport has slowed but fish were moving round the tree, while Bill on peg 7 by the outfall just had a solitary Carp, but frustratingly, he could see fish in front of him taking pellet.
Colin tucked away in fancied peg 8 was another with just a solitary carp to show for his efforts, but was now being plagued by small Roach attacking whatever he put on his hook.

Vince meanwhile was fishing down his right hand margin on peg 9 and had taken a couple of Carp despite it being “Snag Central” and costing him a few hooks, and he managed to slide a third Carp into the net as I watched. Would he be taking a £1 coin from me today ?

Back to my peg and out to 10 mtrs and the float shot strait under as I laid it in !!!! A foul hooker that tore around a bit, but was soon safely in the net, with the hook in a pectoral fin and a good 5 lbs added to my weight. Pete dropped by for a chat as I shipped out to my left hand line for the 1st time, and an instant bite resulted in Carp no 4 making it’s way to join the others in the net.

Trev was getting into a decent rhythm and building a weight of silvers when the inevitable happened and he hooked a Carp, and he was connected to it just long enough for it to trash his swim before it shed the hook, leaving him to have to build it up again.

Tony strolled round and informed me that both he and Paul had a couple of Carp each, while Mick on peg 1 breathed a sigh of relief as he finally managed to snare a Carp, having endured a frustrating time watching them cruise round in front of him, leaving just Ryan staring at a dry float tip as it steadfastly refused to go under.

With a couple of hours to go Dave started to catch regularly, having fed a few floaters under the tree, and was looking uncatchable, leading Bill on the next peg to change rigs to just a couple of feet of line and a hook and fish long to try and tempt the fish that were still cruising in front of him, and it soon started to produce for him.
With nothing showing on the top within pole range in my swim I stuck it out alternating between my 2 long lines, as nothing apart from Roach could be tempted from the margins, and I managed another 5 Carp before Ryan called the All-out at 4 pm.

The Weigh-in told the story, Dave Le Frog had won comfortably, taking 27 Carp in total for 52¼lbs and a very comfortable win. Bill had a good last hour weighing a level 27 lbs to bump my 25 lbs 6ozs down to third.
Trevor put a very creditable 21 lbs 3ozs on the scales for 5th and may well have taken second place if he’d remembered to pack his whip. Of course poor Vince had to hand over another £1 coin to yours truly, so it seems normal service has been resumed in 2009.

My next planned outing is in a couple of weeks time, to Wylands for a “Silvers” match on House Lake which should be fun providing we don’t get a repeat of the weather we had on our last visit there, though if we do at least the Tea Hut will do a roaring trade.


Location: Buxted, East Sussex, UK


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Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Wylands International Angling Centre, near Battle, East Sussex. March 14th, 2009. Knock Up.

Well it was back to the scene of the MD’s Southern Fur & Feather match today for yet another Knock up organised by Mark(Moleman)Hathaway and Trevor(MT Net)Little through the forum. As I loaded the car up for the drive down it appeared that the weather gods were smiling on us for once with the promise of some decent weather for a change, and hopefully a good few fish would find their way into everyone's nets today. Pulling into the fishery car park around 8 am a few of the lads were already there and the food hut was soon doing a brisk trade in breakfast rolls and cups of tea and coffee.

By 9 am it was time for the draw and it was literally a draw for pegs as Moleman had a bag of numbered cloths pegs. I came out with peg 15 on the day, which was the same peg as I had for the Fur & Feather match previously. Having struggled to get set up comfortably last time, I had my platform with me this time and set it up so that i could use it as a seat, I’d been told by Trevor, who knows the water like the back of his hand that the line to fish was towards a bush on the opposite bank, so that was my plan of attack, I had Bill for company to my right today and Roger(Up Yah)Harris to my left, on the other side of the bridge. The rigs I set up consisted of Malman 4×14 Snake 1′s on 0·12 to an 0·10 bottom with a size 18 hook, one for the margin swim to my right by some weeds where I had a couple of feet of depth. The others were for out into open water at 7 mtrs and 10 mtrs where I had around 3 ft. Bait was maggots and various pellets with some corn for a change bait and some groundbait as well.

While we set up there was a bit of commotion on the opposite bank. Poor Keith(Disco)Driscoll had got his pole out of his holdall, only to watch the whole lot slide down the bank and into the lake!!!! Of course he had to go in for it and thankfully he managed to get the whole lot back. Of course we were all full of sympathy for his plight (Thanks to Vince for capturing it on film )​

So 10·30 am and the All-in and I fed some maggots and pellets into the margin swim and cupped 5 balls of groundbait in at 10 mtrs. I followed out with the rig baited with double maggot. The float settled and just slid away and the culprit, a small skimmer of 2-3 ozs was soon in the net. Bill was in straight away too, but his skimmer was around 1lb!!!! I was soon into a run of skimmers, but they were all the same sort of stamp (2-3 ozs) despite switching to 3 maggots on the hook as suggested by Bill, while he continued to bag up with decent 1 lb+ examples, and the only reason appeared to be that Bill had a good 4½ft of depth at a comfortable 5 mtrs.

Anyway head down and keep going, at least I was catching regularly, even if Bill was battering me, Indeed after a couple of hours I reckoned that I had around 10-12 lbs while Bill must have had 40 lbs+ and was going to need a second net, Trev meanwhile on the peg to Bill’s right was steadily putting a decent run of fish together alternating between the pole and waggler. Bill was having one of those days though, and soon had loads of Grey Hydro streaming out of his top kit, the culprit being a decent Carp, putting me even further behind………

Having already mentally waved farewell to the £1 I’d had with Bill, I was relying on my customary £1 with Vince to offset it, but my view of Vince was obscured by the island so I just got on with it. The bites kept coming but despite trying various things I just couldn’t up the size of fish I was getting. Very occasionally I would get a better skimmer, but they were always followed by more of their smaller brethren. I seemed to be keeping up with Roger to my left, but even his fish appeared to be of a slightly larger stamp.

Around 2 pm Terry(Wily Coyote)Goff put in an appearance, he couldn’t fish today, but being local had popped down to see how things were going just as my bites started to tail off , but I don’t think it was down to Terry as it didn’t seem to matter where you looked as sport seemed to have slowed down for everyone, even Bill.

Vince came round just after 2·30 pm to ask Terry to weigh his fish as he had to get away early as his son was in his first amateur drama production of “The Wind in the Willows”, and of course like any proud parent he wanted to be there. His fish weighed 18 lbs 13ozs and he left the £1 with Terry for safe keeping.

With the All-out about to be called Keith’s day unfortunately went from bad to worse. Getting off his box he slipped and the sound of splintering carbon was heard by all across the lake, resulting in a catalogue of carnage (no 7 section broken in two, no 4 section in 4 pieces and a top 2 pulla kit snapped)

So with the match ending on that unhappy note it was time for the weigh-in. Moleman’s 35 lbs 10ozs set the early pace till he was edged out of the frame by Omega Mike’s 37 lbs 9ozs from the road bank. Trevor put a fine 50 lbs 6ozs on the scales, but it was Bill who took a fine win on the day with 74 lbs 2ozs.
My weight of 32 lbs 4ozs was only good enough for seventh place on the day, but at least meant that another £1 from Vince had come my way.

All in all a good day in good company as always seems to be the case when the MD’s get together. Here’s to the next one.


Location: Catsfield, East Sussex, UK


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Sep 18, 2001
Lucks Lane Fishery, Paddock Wood, Kent. March 28th, 2009.

Back in mid-February Paul(paulvis69)Slater put the following post up on the Maggotdrowning forum “I’m trying to arrange a match on Saturday 28th March at Luck’s Lane Paddock Wood.” Which is how despite some misgivings due to the weather forecast and previous experience of the venue in the winter months, I found myself loading up the car and heading down there today to give it a go. Keith (Disco) Driscoll had remarked that he would be stopping at the Oakdene Café, and I met him and Greg Andrews there at around 7·15 am for breakfast before we made our way down to the fishery. As soon as I got out of the car in the fishery car park it was obvious just how cold and windy it was, and this was reinforced when I had a walk round for a look at the pegs. I hadn’t fished there since 2004 and thankfully the platforms have been improved since then. I fancied either peg 11 or 12 as they are either side of the only tree that overhangs the water.

Chatting to a few of the lads prior to the draw, hopes were high as some good weights had come out recently. Paul called the draw and after handing over my money I dipped my hand in and was rewarded with peg 12 with Mick for company next door on peg 13.​

Settling in it was obvious that the tree wasn’t going to be providing any shelter so decided to keep things relatively simple setting up just a couple of top kits. Both of these were rigged with KC 4×14 Carpa 2′s on 0·16 to 0·14 bottoms with size 16 Drennan Match Carp hooks. The 1st to fish on the deck at around 8 mtrs where I had around 3½ft and a distance I felt would be comfortable to fish at given the wind, while the second was set at around 2½ ft to fish to the edge of overhanging tree branches. Bait wise it was pellet all the way with hard 6 mm’s for feed and GOT 6 mm expanders for hookers along with some hard 8 mm’s to fish banded as a change bait.

It was soon obvious that everyone had set up pretty quickly as nearly everyone was walking around and having a chat with half an hour to go, either that or they were just trying to keep warm.

Anyway Paul called the All-in early giving us an extra 15 minutes. I potted out a large pot of 6 mm pellet at 8 mtrs (the wind was to strong to throw them) and fed a big handful by the tree branches. 1st put in at 8 mtrs and after a couple of lift and drops of the rig, the float dipped and I connected with a small Carp of around 8 ozs that was swiftly netted to get me off the mark. Really it was a case of steady away from there. The bites were pretty shy though meaning I had to dot the tip as far down as the conditions allowed and hit every dip. It didn’t help matters that the rain soon arrived to heap more misery on us and the wind seemed to keep changing direction.

After around 1½hrs I had 30 fish in the net but the bites started to dry up on the 8 mtr line so I had a 1st look down by the tree, and there were fish there. Colin arrived to see how I was getting on, he’d had half a dozen Carp on paste pretty quickly at the start……………

……… but his bites had dried up and he was starting to feel the cold and was going back to the car park to get some warmer kit and I joined him as I’d left my fleece in the car.

Just up from Colin, was Keith who was catching steadily…………

……… but was going to endure yet more bad luck with his pole, the wind blowing it off the roller and breaking his no 6 section.
Mike (not a lover of having to scratch around for a few bites) was obviously not enjoying himself with very little in the way of fish coming his way………

……… and had also suffered the bad luck to have his no 6 section break on the strike which meant that with no spare section he was having to fish short, and would soon decide to call it quits and depart to the comfort of a warm fire and a glass of wine at home.

The fish that I was getting by the tree were a bit bigger than those from the open water swim, still silly little bites and I had to keep the feed going in to keep those coming and when I received a phone call from Dave the Fish at around 12·30 pm I’d just netted my 52nd fish. The amount I’d had to feed to keep the bites coming had caught me out though and I quickly had to pop back to the car once more to get some more pellets. While I knew Keith, Gary and a couple of others were catching steadily I was feeling pretty good about framing as I was sure that I was ahead of those anglers that I could see.

Around 1·30 pm the rain stopped and sun finally appeared, and around 2 pm Matt put in an appearance and you couldn’t miss him, red Milo jacket and boots topped off with a red baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses!!! A very rare site as you seldom see Matt until the average temperature reaches 60°F. Living close by though, he’d ventured down to see how we were getting on and take a few photos……

………. but with dark grey sky’s threatening again he bade us farewell and departed. Well the rain and wind returned, this time with added hail as a bonus. My bites had slowed but I was still getting the odd better fish from down by the overhanging branches……..

……… with a couple of 5 lb’ers being the last of my 92 fish. Thankfully the sun came out once more and the wind dropped for the final 15 minutes of the match and allowed us to at least pack up and weigh in in the dry.

Greg set the early pace with a hard earned 57 lbs but was soon overtaken by Keith putting 83 lbs on the scales, including a 10 lber and at that point I though that bonus fish might make the difference. However my 2 nets weighed a total of 88 lbs to give me the win on the day and a nice few beer tokens. Thanks to Paul for organising the match and the rest of the lads for their company, it turned out to be quite enjoyable for me on the day.

As an aside, today was the 1st outing for my new PROTAK gear and I have to say that it coped superbly with everything that the elements threw at it keeping me warm and dry all day. Doubtless it will get another good test next Saturday when I’m at Monk Lakes for the 1st Marsh AC club match of the year. I’ll keep you posted.


Location: Paddock Wood, Kent TN12, UK
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