Members Match – Sunday 28th June

I arrived at the draw for today’s members match at the Glebe to be met by a Glebe member who was genuinely angry and aggrieved that I’d referred to him as “a very nice man” in the blog. He said that my comment was facetious and derogatory. I apologized and assured him that nothing could be further from the truth and I hope that he accepted my apology. If I’ve upset anyone else in a similar vein then please accept my apologies.

To my mind it’s impossible to write a match fishing blog without mentioning the people that you fish with or against (and anyways you’d soon get tired of reading about “corn yacking” or sloppy groundbait), so I’ve called it a day. It was short and sweet, I enjoyed writing it and appreciate the kind comments from people who enjoyed reading it but I have no wish to upset people.

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Kev’s Summer League – Match #2 – Pool 1

Pensioner Wins Summer League Match

Sorry – I just had to do that headline. All week I’d had Simon Skelton teaching me how to draw flyers, so in went my hand (left one of course) and out came…Peg 30 – end peg on Pool 1 !. We had a particularly high class field today, with Andy Findlay standing in for somebody on holiday so add him to Andy Kinder, Arron Morton, Kev Sims, Andrew Williams, Jamie Jones etc and it wasn’t gonna be easy.

Actually, although pleased, I wasn’t jumping with joy. I’ve only drawn Peg 30 once before and I didn’t do brilliantly from it. Usually, if people do well from it they either “mug ’em” or fish long along the right hand margin. I’m not good at either of those, so remembering Roy Marlow’s mantra of “do what you’re good at” I decided that I’d set up a 5m corn line, a rig for the left hand margin and a couple of rigs for the right hand edge, one groundbait one and one for pellet.

There wasn’t exactly any ripple, it wasn’t flat calm but the wind was in my face and slightly towards my end of the lake. The little bays along the rushes to my right were full of scum and floating reeds, and there were quite a few carp eating stuff off the surface. I started as normal, fed a big pot of hemp & corn on the 5m line, then fed some groundbait in both margins, First cast on the corn line and I missed a bite…that’s a good sign. A couple more casts and I’d hooked my first carp..and it had promptly come off!. That was to be a recurring thing throughout the day, I guess that I lost one fish in every four or five. I presume that they were foul-hooked, I did land one hooked in the head and another hooked in the belly later on.

I eventually put a carp in the net, plus the odd skimmer, but the skimmers were small, only about a pound each, I’d been spoiled by the three pounders that I caught from Pool 6 last week. I could see that the anglers in the next couple of pegs were catching a few, both on the corn line and long – they were both beating me. After a couple of hours and with half a dozen carp in the net I gave in to temptation and had a look down that right hand edge. It wasn’t easy, you kept getting hung up on floating reeds and when I did get a fish it turned out to be a tiny tench or a brown goldfish when I fished maggot plus a couple of small carp on pellet. A proficient angler would have caught lots down that edge, and Chris Needham would have mugged the arse off the peg and probably have broken the match record…again!. However after an hour, and remembering “do what you’re good at” I gave myself a good talking to and went back on the corn line. Apart from a 10 minute period trying my left hand margin I stayed on the corn for the rest of the match.

As the match wore on I could see that I was overtaking some of the anglers that were beating me earlier on, and that was the incentive to just stick to what was working rather than looking to catch even faster.  I still kept losing plenty of foul-hookers and tried all of the old tricks of messing with the depth, changing the feeding pattern i.e. heaving BIG handfuls in, but nothing seemed to have any effect. At the end of the match I’d fed 5 tins of corn and a fair bit of hemp. Speaking to Andy Kinder afterwards, he’d fished corn and had exactly the same experience of losing lots of what appeared to be properly hooked fish.

At the whistle I weighed in 186 lbs and was very proud of my ‘split’ between 3 carp keepnets, 51 lb – 51 lb – 54 lb plus some skimmers. I’ve NEVER been that close on weights and assure you that it was a total fluke and will never happen again!. The next two anglers both weighed in over 100 lb, then it was a couple of the top anglers in my section, first Arron weighed in 170 lbs, then Kev Sims weighed in 150 lb…I’d won my section!. As it turned out, the rest of the lake hadn’t fished brilliantly and I’d won the match…WooHoo!.

Wednesday Evening Members Match #4 – June 24th

What A Fishery !!

A Maver Match This match was scheduled for Cudmore fishery on a weekend date. In 6 months they received about a dozen entries. The match was rescheduled for The Glebe on a TUESDAY and it sold out within 24 hours. I’m not the only person to think this is the best match fishery in the country.

A few regulars were missing last night leaving only 8 of us to fish. I drew Peg 16, hadn’t fished that one for ages. I often make one bad decision during a match, this time I made two!.

Decided that I would fish maggot and groundbait because it had served me well over the last few weeks. Corn won it !. Decided on an area in the peg where I would catch lots, with thirty minutes to go to the end of the match Uncle Roy wanders along and says “why are you fishing there? – when I won the match last week I fished THERE”. When I asked him why he chose to fish THERE he said it was because he’d seen Wilkie catching from THERE the week before.

So, standard set-up, find 4ft of water to the side of the peg and cup in slop, with maggot on the hook. Only variations were that the maggots were in Sanagi rather than Krill. Roy always says that silvers don’t like Sanagi, so I thought that I’d catch more carp…Wrong!. I’d also run out of scopex smelly stuff, so used up the remains of a bottle of even smellier stuff.

On the whistle I cupped in a Drennan pot full of groundbait and also put half a cupful down the edges tight to the bank. First put in a little perch…next five put-ins 5 more perch. Then I hooked a carp which I lost where the maggot had gone over the point of the hook. That was the last carp that I was to see for nearly two hours. Kept catching a mixture of all the wrong species, tiny skimmers. perch, brown goldfish, crucians and tench. Tried a few other spots with similar results. Tried corn on the hook and caught a couple of proper skimmers but you had to wait forever for a bite and the float was bobbing around as tiny fish tried to eat the bait.

Eventually, remembering how I’d caught straight in front of me on a top 3 last Saturday I tried that. How very odd, I seemed to be about the same distance from the bank as when I first started and I was maybe 10 ft from my original spot. I still couldn’t catch any carp but I started catching decent sized skimmers without a single nuisance fish.

I could hear Andrew Williams on my right catching plenty of carp and I could see Doddy on my left also catching carp. I knew that I’d blown it big time…Oh well…c’est la vie.

When Roy wandered along with half an hour to go I had just 2 carp and some skimmers in the net. He suggested that I might feed a bit heavier i.e. fill the pole pot right up because he was sure that the carp were charging around in mid-water eating the small amount of bait that was going down. He was right, I then caught a carp under the arm, another in the tail and finally one in the gob, plus a few more skimmers.

I was pretty sure that I was last on the match but as the scales came along I could see that the weights weren’t all that impressive. Andrew next door had 160 lb for the match win and my carp weighed 23 lbs. To my amazement my skimmers weighed 61 lbs, so a total of 84 lbs and third in the match. Not bad for a three hour  match where I did everything wrong.

Funniest thing on the night was that as the evening went on I could see more and more bright orange elastic hanging from the end of Doddy’s pole. It was a new elastic and as they always do when you catch a few fish on them it had stretched a bit. He didn’t want to re-tie the dacron connector on the bank and at the other end the knot had jammed in the side pulla. Each fish that he caught saw this dangly orange elastic get longer and longer…quite amusing!.

The Away Team – Sunday June 21st – Glebe Pool 6

I should explain that the away team are a bunch of Glebe regulars who have a little match on the alternate summer Sunday’s when there isn’t a Glebe members match. We normally fish on Little Gearys or the high bank of Big Gearys at Packington but if that’s already booked then we fish The Glebe. Even at Packington we fish to Glebe rules, so no meat, no method feeders etc. The most important thing is that the matches are not taken too seriously, no moaning is allowed and we generally have a good laugh. An indication of the light-hearted style of the matches is that you have to estimate your weight (no clickers or other counting systems allowed). The angler getting nearest to their estimate wins a prize and the angler furthest away has to buy Magnum ice creams for everybody else. This is totally unfair because those anglers who don’t catch much are regularly close to their estimate !!. I’ve NEVER won the honesty prize but I can tell you to the penny how much 12 ice creams cost at Packington or the Co-Op near to the Glebe.

So yesterday we had 12 anglers on Pools 6 & 7. With empty pegs either side of every angler it should be a good day and so it was. Whenever you’re fishing these smaller lakes you can never tell which lake is going to produce the goods, so if you’re down to fish a match here and you draw a lake that didn’t produce massive weights the previous week (or even the previous day) please don’t despair, if you’re good enough and do it about right you will have a great day’s fishing and you can easily win the match.

So yesterday I drew Peg 92, I’d have preferred to have been a little nearer the beginning of the lake but I was still looking forward to a decent day’s fishing. There was a good breeze blowing down to Peg 97 at the far end and I thought that it looked perfect for a day on the corn. In fact the breeze was strong enough to make the lake tow from right to left i.e. against the wind and that’s usually the perfect recipe for corn fishing.

My peg is supposedly a decent feeder peg and as this was to be a light hearted affair I got the feeder rod out of the bag!. The reel hadn’t gone rusty and believe it or not, when I clipped up I was managing to get the lead in the exact spot. On the whistle out went the feeder, just a little bit wayward but not terrible. I had micros in the feeder and a small white boilie on the hook. After six casts the feeder rod was up the bank. I’d had 2 feeder sized carp, lost 2 fish and had a couple of casts with lots of liners but no bites. I simply can’t cope with playing those fish from tight to the far bank just for the hook to pull out as I reach for my landing net. I don’t understand how those Guru hooks that stick in your fingers as you try to tie a hook length can EVER come out of a fish. It wouldn’t worry me for one second if I never chucked another feeder in my entire life!.

Whilst attempting to fish the feeder I’d been feeding corn on the top2 + 2 line and I was soon getting a few bites. Some skimmers, some small carp, things were looking up. After catching two particularly small carp i.e. about a pound each I thought I’d try the Roy Marlow line, fishing to my right in 4 ft of water. I had put a big pot of slop in there about 30 minutes earlier, so baiting up with a bunch of dead reds on a size 14 B911 and with a cup of slop in the pole pot I dropped the bait into the cloud. Bugger, I had overshotted the float…oh no I hadn’t, black hydro was being pulled from the pole!. An 8 pounder first cast…Nice!. I then caught a mixture of big skimmers and decent carp for a while. Once I had an estimated 100 lbs in my carp and silver fish nets I couldn’t resist having a look in the edge. It was only about 18″ deep and I hadn’t seen any indications but I just had a feeling about it. Same idea, slop in the pole cup and a big bunch of dead reds. Nothing happened on the first two put-ins but third time the float disappeared and a ‘proper’ carp was on the end. In the net I put it at 10 lb in my mental arithmetic but I suspect that it might have been a pound or two more.

I think there was about two hours left in the match and for the remainder of the time I just fished that margin. To be honest I might have caught more on the Roy line, I would certainly have caught more skimmers (I only had one on the inside line) but who can resist catching proper sized carp on match tackle?. I can’t. You had to wait a few minutes between bites and I had a spell where I think the fish were charging around in the cloud from the groundbait ‘cos I started missing loads of bites. I just added a bit more dry groundbait and micros to make it sink a bit quicker and started catching again. My best fish was a magnificent common carp of at least 15 lb. Lots of my big fish were still full of spawn, as I said a few days ago I don’t think that the carp in the small lakes have spawned yet…when is our summer going to finally arrive?.

At weigh in time it was obvious that our lake had fished worse than Pool 7 but I’d had a blooming field day. I weighed in 235 lb including 46 lb of skimmers for an easy lake win plus  the ‘silvers’ prize. In my mental calculator I’d clicked 206 lbs but added a few on and settled on an estimate of 211 lbs. I was 24 lbs out and everybody thought that I’d be on another trip to the Co-Op. Luckily Birmingham Bob (he’s from Wales) on Peg 109 on Pool 7 had completely lost count of his weight, perhaps because he’d trodden on a top kit and broken it, his wife had trodden on a top kit and broken that….and he’d broken another one on a fish!. He is largely responsible for keeping the sellers of spare pole sections in business but to break THREE  was exceptional, he normally only averages ONE!. Anyhow, his estimate was 26 lbs over, I was safe. The other weights on Pool 7 were much better than those on Pool 6. Roy had shot off to visit Sue, his wife, in hospital (we all send our very best wishes), and in his absence he weighed in around 160 lb, but for once he didn’t catch many silvers. John ‘The Frog’ Duncan had 150 lbs, ‘Dagga’ Ward estimated 95 lb and was right to the ounce, and our only lady angler, Toni Rowlands had exactly 100 lb…big applause to her.

So, in conclusion, once more the corn didn’t work. In fact John Duncan was telling me that he was really struggling and eventually switched to fishing pellet on his corn line and immediately started catching on his way to 150 lb. I’m wondering if water temperature has something to do with it. I remember last season regularly catching 200 lb bags of carp on corn and I was always fishing in a short sleeved shirt, this season I’m either fishing in a hoodie or waterproofs..or both. Until we get some good weather I won’t know the answer to the corn question.

Another thought, some people might think that you need to spend a fortune on bait in order to catch big weights. Yesterday I used the equivalent of a bag of groundbait (actually a mixture of groundbait and micro pellets), a pint of dead red krilled maggots, 2 tins of corn and a pint of hemp. If I’d been fishing corn I’d take 10 tins (£3.50 at Lidl’s) plus a bit more hemp. You might have to spend a fortune replacing worn-out keepnets but your bait bill doesn’t need to be over the moon.

Finally I should mention that a number of people when walking past my peg have been coming out with “what’s that ‘kin smell” or similar such phrases. I’m in no way a sponsored angler but I do field test some of the new Marukyu products and earlier this year we were given a couple of bottles of the new Marukyu Amino Plus sprays. I’ve been using their Scopex flavour in my groundbait over the past few weeks. You’re supposed to spray it lightly over your bait, I tend to unscrew the cap and tip a bit out and that’s why you might get a whiff of it as you walk past…or as you fish 10 pegs away. There’s nothing scientific about what flavour I’m using, it’s just that I’ve always liked the smell of Scopex. I have no idea if it’s making any difference, I’ll just remind you that I’m nearer 70 than 65, I rarely use more than 4 sections of pole, I’m a very average angler. I don’t particularly like reading those articles where the star sponsored angler has to mention each of his sponsors products as he describes how he won his latest big match. I’m low-key and quite shy, I often keep myself to myself but I’m normally fishing with Marukyu products and in the interest of complete openness I’m happy to tell you that I do get a few free samples and as a field tester I buy Marukyu products at a slightly lower price than you’ll find them in the shops.  I believe that SOME of their products are streets ahead of anything else  that can be found on the UK market and that’s why I use them, it’s as simple as that.

Sorry, one more finally…I promise to put some pictures into these blog posts, it’s just that I needed to do the writing whilst it was all fresh in my mind. And once winter comes around and I go into hibernation I’ll write some stuff about my trips to Canada and catching a 9 ft Sturgeon in the Fraser River. The sight of a 9 foot long fish jumping out of the water will live with me forever.

Total Fishing – Day 2

At the draw Simon Skelton who had drawn Peg 22 yesterday (a really good peg AND nobody on Peg 23) then proceeded to draw Peg 86, the ‘Little Girls Peg’, probably the most famous peg in the UK…can that man draw!.

I drew out Peg 71 on Pool 4 and had the proverbial ‘nightmare’. It’s the deepest peg on Pool 4 and that pool is the deepest on the complex which probably means that I had the deepest peg on The Glebe. Not surprisingly it’s a brilliant winter peg, the fish all huddle up and shiver in that peg however it was allegedly mid-summer and I really didn’t fancy it. It was gonna take about 20 minutes for my corn to reach the bottom!. Incidentally, it’s apparently one of the best feeder pegs on the lake but about as much use to me as a blind guidedog.

With the peg being so deep I decided to fish corn on top 2 + 1, it was still about 5 ft deep there, and still sloping off into the depths. The margins looked a bit more promising with the right hand side having a fairly flat area for about 10 ft from the bank. It was still deeper than I’d have wanted but at least it looked likely to hold fish.

I’ll not go into much detail today, nothing much seemed to work, I was foul-hooking (and losing) loads. About halfway through the match Roy Marlow came along the bank and took pity on me, he could see that I was fishing like a haddock!. He has a patented fish catching method that basically involved having a box full of rigs all set to 4 ft deep. He plumbs up until he finds 4 ft of water and fishes there. Cupping in groundbait and fishing maggot on the hook he plops the rig in so that the hook will finish right in the middle of the falling groundbait. He regularly wins the silvers prizes and the method catches it’s fair share of carp although it can’t compete with corn if they’re really ‘having it’. After my training session I did manage to catch a few, in fact at the end of the match I weighed in 1 lb more than yesterday but it had none of the satisfaction of yesterday. Rick ‘Happy Dangler’ Baxter weighed in 165 lb from end peg 66 and Andrew Williams fished an absolute stormer to weigh in 200 lb of corn caught fish from Peg 73. So third on the lake.

Big congratulations to Simon Skelton, Jamie Adcock and Kev Sims who filled the first three places on the 2 day event, all of them winning their section both days and the result being decided to weight.

Total Fishing – Day 1

Once more I’m going to start with “it was a funny old day”. Our Great British weather just will not settle down and I think that’s affecting the fishing. Some of our fish at the Glebe still haven’t spawned and we’re half way through June.

This two day match has 48 anglers from the total-fishing.com website competing over two days. The anglers are split 24 on Pool 1 and 24 spread over Pools 4, 5, 6 & 7 so that everybody will have one day on the main lake and one day on the smaller lakes. It’s a good concept but it makes pegging Pool 1 a nightmare because the anglers with an empty peg next to them seem to have a huge advantage. OK that’s got my excuses out of the way, I drew Peg 19 on Pool 1. It’s a decent enough peg, you wouldn’t RUN to it but yeah, it’s ok. It’s in a shallow area of the lake, pegs 19 to 22 are shallow on the nearside and 22 is famous as “the best feeder chuck in Europe” according to Roy Marlow because it’s so flat and shallow on the opposite bank. With my section including peg 22 and with peg 23 being the only empty peg on the high numbered half of the lake I really didn’t need a superstar such as Simon Skelton to be sitting on there….but he was!. Oh well, all you can do is to do your best.

Whilst tackling up it looked promising, there were a few big swirls here and there, and the wind was light but creating a bit of a ripple. Although I’d carried my feeder rods to my peg, it was only to let them see a bit of daylight, I had no intention of actually using them. Today’s plan was easy, corn at top 2 plus 2 put me in about 4ft of water…lovely. On Wednesday evening Roy had caught 60lb of skimmers from peg 16, so I thought that if the carp weren’t playing I’d have a day skimmer fishing. I’ve caught 100 lb of skimmers once on a Glebe match and I’d love to do it again. Fishing top 2 plus 1 and plumbing up halfway between straight out and the bank i.e. at 45 degrees, Id got about two and a half feet of water, again that looked good…I was ready to go.

Rob Hendrick was on peg 18 and he started on the feeder, a standard ploy for many of the Glebe regulars. He had a bite first or second cast and whilst he was playing that fish I hooked my first one. On his next cast I hooked another and then a big skimmer. At this point Rob decided that it was time to go on the pole!. Now don’t get me wrong, Rob is a lovely man and I’m not criticizing him, I just want to make a point here. When you’re fishing a water like the Glebe where there are so many methods that can produce fish you really need to wear blinkers. Yes, take note of what’s going on around you but switching and swapping trying to do what the people around you are doing just isn’t going to work. You need to have confidence that what you’re doing is right…and you should stick to it until YOU want to switch over, don’t be influenced by your neighbours else you’ll go round and round in circles before finally disappearing up your own arsehole.  Whilst I’m on this particular theme here’s another little snippet that you might want to store in your memory bank. A week or two back I had Gordon ‘Corn King’ Parker a couple of pegs away with one angler between us. I’d tried catching on corn and had given up and was fishing down the edge. Gordon had started slowly but was now starting to string a few fish together. Each cast he was feeding a few grains of corn via a little pole pot. The angler between us was lashing in corn like we do in the middle of summer. At the end of the match I’d won the lake, Gordon was second, the angler between us was an also-ran. So yes, do your own thing, don’t change methods just to match the angler next door but do be aware of what’s going on around you. If the best corn angler in the world is feeding 5 grains of corn each cast then there’s a reason for that.

Anyhow, back to the fishing. After that early spurt it all went a bit messy. Next fish was a little brown goldfish, followed by a tiny skimmer. Maybe it was going to be my 100 lb of skimmers day. Maybe it wasn’t!…seven casts, seven tiny perch…bugger, I’d really fancied catching 100 lb of skimmers..oh well. Back to the corn line and first fish was a skimmer. This was bizarre, what were they doing out there. I carried on and caught one or two more smaller skimmers but this was going nowhere either. Since the skimmers that I was catching on the corn line were bigger than the perch and skimmers that I could catch on my skimmer line I decided to try my skimmer rig straight out in front of me.  The top2 + 2 line was too deep for the rig that I wanted to use, and being a lazy bugger, rather than getting a new rig out of the box I took a section off the pole and tried that depth…perfect.

Cracked it!. Feeding slop through the cup and fishing dead reds or 8mm JPz I caught a succession of carp plus the odd skimmer. Weighed in 142 lb, well beaten by Simon Skelton who had around 200 lb but second on the lake. I was well pleased with that performance, ‘Skelly’ had an empty peg to his right and Jamie Adcock who I beat by 2 lb for 2nd in the superpool (Sorry Jamie) had 2 empty pegs to the left of his Peg 11.

Wednesday Evening Members Match #3 – June 17th

What A Nightmare !!

When I walked the dog at about 3pm yesterday afternoon there was a lovely warm wind blowing, I thought it would fish its socks off last night. However as we got towards the 6pm start time the wind dropped light. I’d drawn Peg 8, a real good edge peg, you fish under the bush on your right. However the bush hadn’t been trimmed much which made it a bit more difficult. It’s the only peg on Pool 1 where there’s something that the fish can get into and snag you up, an overflow pipe that goes down to the other lakes. If it was just a pipe sticking up it wouldn’t be too bad but there’s something else that runs down beside it and the fish try and go through the gap between them. Sometimes you can add a section or two and push the fish around the far side of the pipe but with the bush hanging down it was all a bit tricky. Having made all those excuses I only lost one carp on the pipe and another when the hook pulled as it tried to reach the snag.

So, usual evening match plan…feed some hemp & corn in front of me and some groundbait in the margins. Peg 8 must be one of the deepest pegs on the lake at the 5m line, and when I plumbed up I found that I could only fish top 2 + one and a bit sections unless I either added more line or the rig or chose a different rig. Being lazy and short on time I settled for fishing closer than I normally do, don’t know if it made any difference but I’ll add it to my list of excuses anyway.

After half an hour I’d had a couple of smallish carp and a single skimmer. Kev Russell walked past and said that Wilkie on Peg 4 had started getting a few down the edge and I could see Andrew Williams catching down the edge of Peg 11. Switched over to the margin rig and nothing seemed right. You have those days sometimes, I couldn’t make up my mind exactly where to fish in the margin, there isn’t much of a flat area and everything seemed to be too steep a slope for my liking. My confidence was gone and everything started to fall apart. I was feeding my normal GB and micro pellet mix but not in the liquid form because the swim seemed a bit too deep  and steep, I didn’t want everything getting wafted down the shelf to end up in 5ft of water. Started on triple dead reds and caught a perch, a skimmer and the smallest carp in the lake…all of 6″. Switched to 8mm JPz, had a couple of carp and a skimmer then hooked and lost a decent fish. Next cast lost another one, and the cast after that the fish ran me into the snag. Surely it couldn’t get any worse?.

Well, it didn’t get any worse, but nor did it get much better. The wind had completely died on that first straight (Pegs 1-8) whereas there was a ripple once you got round the corner on Pegs 11 onwards. Switching between corn, Credence Corn and JPz I caught a few more carp and skimmers. Couldn’t find any carp of a decent size and was missing tons of bites, proving that the fish were not really in the mood for a munch.

At the final whistle Wilkie on Peg 4 weighed in 80 lb, I had 75 lb and the weights increased as we went round the corner. Roy Marlow won our little section from Peg 16 with a weight of 107 lb which included 62 lb of skimmers. The stretch of bank between pegs 11 and 18 is brilliant skimmer fishing but for some reason they never seem to move into the first straight in any numbers.

So that’s it, my lowest weight of the season, maybe I’m on the slippery slope to obscurity. Let’s hope not, we’ve got the Total Fishing 2 dayer on Friday & Saturday and it’d be nice to catch a few although there’s a lot of local experts on the entry list so it won’t be easy.

Members Match – Sunday 14th June

The rain had cleared away and although it wasn’t exactly hot (I kept my hoodie on all day), it was pleasant with a light wind and sunny intervals. There were around 40 members out on this first match of the Glebe season and once again I managed to draw an end peg!. Peg 98, the first peg on Pool 7 stuck to my fingers. I’ve now drawn pegs 96, 97 & 98 in consecutive matches, how weird is that?. Now don’t get me wrong, Peg 98 is a very good peg but it doesn’t suit my style of fishing at all. You need to fish long towards the pipe where the water comes in from the stock pond but that pipe is about 17m away from the peg. When we got to the car park I had to suffer the usual banter of “it’s black”, “you could walk across them”, “do you need to borrow a couple more keepnets”, “jammy fecker” etc etc and yes, there were lots of carp cruising around on the surface, although they did do a bit of a disappearing act at about the same time as the starting whistle.

I’ve drawn this peg a couple of times before and I’ve never done any good from it, as I’ve said it doesn’t suit the way that I fish. It’s a peg where you need to fish long. Even in my younger days I was useless at fishing long, I could never hold a pole and catapult bait at the same time, I was hopeless. Now that I’m old and creaking from arthritis there’s no hope of being able to wield 16 metres of pole, in fact on Sunday I tried fishing 12.5m and after just a few minutes I had to give up, the pain in my wrist was unbearable. I don’t really know why, but I’ve never got this peg to respond to the 5m corn method. I talked to Gordon ‘Corn King’ about it and he said exactly the same thing, for some reason corn isn’t really successful in this particular peg.

At this point I was running out of ideas. I remembered a match last year where an angler on this peg had a decent weight of fish by fishing caster with a rod and centrepin reel…I hadn’t brought any casters…not a rod and reel!. Oh well, I plumbed up on the corn line and also identified a couple of patches along my right hand margin that might produce the odd fish. I thought that maybe I could do the skimmer trick that worked so well yesterday and there was another area further along the bank that looked a bit inviting.

On the whistle I tried ‘mugging’ a fish, using a long line, float set 6″ deep with a 6mm pellet on the hook and using 12.5m of pole. I thought that I maybe had a bite which I missed, but after only about 10 minutes I’d given up, that method was simply too painful. I then spent the next 45 minutes trying to get a bite on my 5m line but it was all to no avail. After just one hour of our six hour match I was in BIG trouble. I’d run out of options and as ‘Bad Barbara’ (Gordon’s wife) walked past on her way to the car I was already fishing my edge peg, much to her amusement…nobody fishes their edge pegs until a couple of hours from the end of the match. I caught one fish down my long edge, then nothing, so decided to put the light rig on and try to duplicate yesterday’s effort with the skimmers. After 5 minutes a slight indication on the float and a minute later it buried…with a very angry 10 lb carp on the other end of the line. That wasn’t according to the script. Fed a bit more GB soup and soon another carp joined it’s mate in my net. Where were the skimmers?, the answer is that I just don’t know, I think I caught 6 skimmers in the end. Switching between my two edge pegs and mostly fishing liquid GB with dead reds or corn on the hook I caught slowly but steadily through the match. I had a totally dead period between 2pm and 3pm where I don’t think that I had a single bite but they came back again for the final two hours. As the final whistle was blown I estimated that I’d got 160 lb. It was a lifetime best for estimating, I’ve NEVER got this close to my actual weight, I weighed in 159 lb for a most unexpected lake win. The overall match winner was Kev Russell from Peg 28 on Pool 1. He caught shallow feeding casters whilst fishing maggot on the hook, then switched to catching in the margin using groundbait and dead maggot for an excellent 269 lbs.

I guess that the moral of this story is hat you should follow Roy Marlow’s advice. Whenever someone asks him how they should fish a particular peg he tells them to do what they’re good at. Glebe fish can be caught by every method under the sun but you won’t be successful trying to do something new just because it worked for someone else last week. That reminds me of a big important match earlier in the year. Journalist and excellent angler Alex Bones was struggling to catch on Pool One. Roy walked up to Alex and gave him the usual advice of doing what you’re good at. And “what’s that?” replies Alex to which Roy says “taking pictures”…cruel…so very cruel!.

Kev’s Summer League – Match #1 – Pools 5, 6 & 7

Kev Sims runs an excellent series of Saturday matches between June & mid-September. There’s some good anglers taking part but we have a bit of fun as well. This year the league has 21 anglers and with the likes of Andy Kinder and Jamie Jones joining in the fun it’s not going to be easy to pick up much prize money.

There are seven matches in the series and all results count towards the final league result so you really don’t want to start with a huge blowout. I drew Peg 97…yes it’s an end peg…but the worst end peg on the fishery and one of the worst pegs on Pool 6…Aarrgh !. Talking to Roy Marlow before the match. he said that unless the wind was blowing down to my end of the lake (it wasn’t) I would probably struggle against the lower numbers. He said it was a good area for skimmers and since they’d been packing on weight (they average 2 – 3 lb in that lake), I thought that might be a plan.

I had plumbed up on my normal 5m line and also plumbed up further round to my right and even closer (top 2 + one section). On the whistle I put some hemp and corn on the 5m line and a pot of groundbait on my very short line.

Just a quick word on groundbait. My normal Glebe mix is a 50/50 mix of groundbait and micro pellets. I mix the two together dry, then add enough water to make a really sloppy mixture and just leave it. Gradually, the pellets will soak up the water and you end up with a bowl of what looks like solid groundbait. However, run your finger through it and the micros will break it up into a light, fluffy mix ideal for feeding into the margins with a pole cup. Add a few dead reds and stick a few maggots or an 8mm JPz on the hook and you’re spot on. However, during the winter Roy (who owns the Glebe) was working at his part-time job as Technical Director of Marukyu, the Japanese bait giants. He had been collaborating with Trevor Price of GOT Baits and Alders Farm fame and between them they’d come up with a new range of baits and flavour sprays labelled Amino Plus. One or two of the sprays (Umami and The One) are incredibly smelly and ‘linger’ for a long while once you’ve stopped fishing, so be warned !. Anyhow, Roy had discovered that if it seemed to be the kind of day when groundbait would be a complete no-no, if you mixed a very small amount amount of groundbait such as the new Focus Margin Mix with a LOT of water and added a tiny splash of one of the new flavours you’d end up with a smelly soup that seemed to attract the fish without actually feeding them. We’ve been doing this for the last couple of weeks whilst the fish haven’t been feeding too well (cold nights, easterly winds etc) and it’s definitely producing results.

I’d been given a couple of sample bags of the new margin mix but they were now gone, so for the time being I was back to my old mix of 50/50 micros plus whatever else was laying around in the garage. I added a splash of Scopex flavoured Amino Plus liquid and kept adding water, waiting a few minutes, adding more … and more . ..and more until I ended up with two bowls of bait the texture of emulsion paint. You can’t throw it anywhere but cup it in via a pole pot and it makes an amazing cloud containing very little food but presumably lots of flavour because it seems to attract fish!.

OK. back to Saturday’s match. I caught a couple of carp on the corn line but it wasn’t happening. Took a skimmer rig out of my box (a size 16 hook tied to 0.14 line rather than my normal size 14 to 0.20) and started skimmer fishing. Putting 3 dead reds on the hook and a helping of liquid groundbait in my pole cup (made from a yoghurt pot) , the bait was lowered down in the cloud of groundbait and a couple of seconds later the float buried and a 3 lb skimmer was in the net. Happily, this situation continued for the next three hours, as did the incessant rain. Eventually the rain petered out and I started to be ‘pestered’ by carp on my skimmer line. I caught a few on the skimmer rig, then one swam off with my rig, complete with Wilkie float, so it was time to put the heavy gear back on. Continued fishing exactly the same way, using a top 3 with liquid GB and switching around hookbaits between dead reds, JPz or corn. Still caught the occasional skimmer but now it was mostly carp.

As the whistle sounded for the end of the match I was pretty pleased with the way things had gone, it’s always good when a plan comes together!. I was still expecting to be last or second to last on the lake but I’d had an enjoyable day in thoroughly miserable weather conditions. The scales started weighing at the far end of the lake and Kev Sims weighed an excellent 198 lbs from Peg 87. The middle of the lake had fished well the previous week or so and today was no different, Nigel Bond claimed second on the lake with 152 lb. With the other weights on the lake being around or over the 100 lb mark I wasn’t at all confident that I was going to beat any of my fellow competitors, so it was a really pleasant surprise when I eventually weighed in 90 lb of carp plus 50 lb of skimmers for a total of 144 lb and third on the lake. It could have been a lot worse!.

Wednesday Evening Members Match #2 – June 10th

We had the usual gang plus a couple of new faces for this evening’s match. The weather was calm and exceedingly cool for flaming June. Gordon was poorly, so ever dependable Andrew Williams took over the running of the match.

Again I wanted a high number and this time the drawing arm was in form, Peg 24…very nice. After last week’s fish catching fest everybody was looking forward to another brilliant bagging session but one thing I’ve learned in my three years on this fishery is that the carp can be very moody and easily affected by climatic conditions. With that in mind I potted in just a third of a pot of hemp and corn on the 5m line and fed a bit of groundbait down the edges. As I’ve said in in earlier post, with this approach I expect a bite within 30 seconds. This time there was no bite !.

After 10 minutes I hadn’t heard anybody landing a fish. Andrew W next door on 22 was trying to force them to start feeding by lashing in copious amounts of hemp and corn, I knew that was a serious error.

I just sat there, lifting and dropping the bait and slowly but surely began to string a few fish together. My feed was limited to half a dozen grains of corn plus a few grains of hemp after every fish, you’d often feed heavier than that in the middle of winter.

At the end of the match I’d caught 88 lb, all on the 5m line. I hadn’t seen a sign of a fish in the margins and I’d used about half a tin of corn. As the scales worked their way down the bank I could see that it had been a very difficult match for all the anglers and my 88 lb was the winning weight.

There’s a very important lesson to be taken from this match, on the right day you can feed as much as you like and they’ll eat the lot but just occasionally those fish can be extremely moody and you really do have to take it steady. Once you’ve lashed it in you can’t take it out again !.