MFS Hillbilly Pairs, Glebe Fishery – Day 2

Today I’d be fishing on of the small lakes and with 8 end pegs to be shared amongst 30 anglers I was hopeful of a decent draw. Decided to draw with my right hand instead of my left…didn’t work. I stared in disbelief at Peg 96 – Lake 6. You cannot tell where the good weights will come from on these small lakes and Pool 6 is as good as any…but the far end of Pool 6 (where my peg was situated) is a total nightmare, you simply cannot compete with the anglers on pegs 86 (The Little Girl’s Peg) or those other early pegs. As you work your way down the lake the weights tend to get worse and worse. Your only hope is that it’s blowing a hooley down to that far end but I think that’s an Easterly and not a very frequent summer wind. It certainly wasn’t blowing down our end this day.

I tried my normal tactics (left the feeder rod in the garage !) but the 5m line seemed very slow. I caught a couple out there but was going nowhere. Once more I needed the margins to come to my rescue and up to a point they did. Cupping in VERY sloppy groundbait (the new Marukyu Margin Mix) with a few dead maggots mixed in, together with 3 or 4 dead reds on a size 16 hook I started to string a few fish together. I was never going to beat the other end of the lake and ended up 5th on the lake with 136 lb 4 oz but managing to beat the anglers on either side of me.

Incidentally, on Pool One the carp were spawning hard on this second day and weights were as low as anybody could remember, I think that top weight on the lake was around 70 lbs.

Big congratulations to Andy Kinder, winning his section on both days and recording the highest weight of the match with 306 lbs on day 1.

MFS Hillbilly Pairs 2015 – Day One

Match Fishing Scene is one of the most popular match fishing web sites in the UK and the Hillbilly Pairs, kindly sponsored by another maker of genuinely hand-made floats, Neil from Hillbilly Floats is one of their premier matches. It’s great fun, with lots of people from all over the country meeting up with their hyperspace fishing mates. It’s a 60 peg match with 30 anglers on Pool 1 and the other 30 spaced between Pools 4, 5, 6 and 7. The follow9ing day the pegging is reversed, so everybody ends up spending one day on Pool1 and one day on the smaller pools.

With every peg in use on Pool 1 weights are not going to be as massive as when there’s a bit of room, but I was sure that there would still be a good few ‘tons’. The weather forecast was promising stronger winds on day 2, so I fancied drawing the small lakes on the first day. In went my lucky drawing hand and out came Peg 7 – Pool 1…as I said, my drawing needs a bit more practice. You wouldn’t run to Peg 7, it’s OK but not one of the flyers. Anyway, got to my peg to find that some of the fish¬† had started spawning. I could see the splashing around in the reeds but I could also hear fish sucking as they ate the spawn recently produced by their brethren. Hmmm…interesting. You don’t want to fish amongst spawning fish but there were definitely some feeding fish in those margins as well.

I had a few trial casts to the far bank, clipping up so that my feeder would land a few inches from the far bank. Plumbing up I found the usual 5ft or so at 5m and maybe 30″ of water tight to my own bank.

On the whistle I fed a pot of hemp and corn on my 5m line, filled my feeder with a groundbait and micro pellet mixture, with a mini white boilie on the hook and launched it to the far bank. Had a couple of little liners but no proper bite, so recast. Next cast landed 4 ft to the right of the first cast, next one 5 ft to the left. That’s pretty typical of my feeder fishing, i.e. I’m basically useless at casting a feeder into the same spot twice !. Fourth cast and the tip whacked round…played it across the lake until I picked up my landing net and the fish fell of the hook. That’s also typical of my feeder fishing!. The feeder rod was thrown up the bank, never to be used again that day.

Went on to my 5m corn line and waited for a bite…and waited…and waited. Nothing!, no sign of a bite, no liners, no nothing. Oh dear, I was fast running out of options. I hadn’t fed anything in the margins. The spawning had slowed down and I couldn’t hear any more slurping from feeding carp. Decided that I would try and fish with a bait that might be mistaken for carp spawn, so put on a banded, light coloured 6mm pellet and dropped it tight to the bank. A couple of minutes later and the first fish of the day was safely landed. I did that for the rest of the day, just fed a few 4mm pellets now and again. I did try the 5m line a couple more times but absolutely dead, no sign of a fish.

Eventually weighed in 154 lb 6oz for second on the lake, all of the fish were caught tight to the bank on my right and my bait bill for the day was probably less than 50p !

Wednesday Evening Members Match #1 – June 3rd

It has been a cold Spring here in Leicestershire. The fish haven’t spawned, the water has only just reached double figures.

These Wednesday matches are organised by the ‘Corn King’ Gordon Parker and his other half ‘Bad Barbara’. Gordon has a wander along the bank prior to the draw and picks out what he considers will be the best pegs on the night. The normal rule at the Glebe is that the fishing is better when there’s a ripple on the water, so Gordon typically uses those pegs for his matches. With a 5pm draw, there’s never going to be a huge number of anglers taking part, just a few locals and OAPs to be honest.

Anyhow, for this first match the pegs were spaced out between 12¬† and 26 and I was hoping for the higher the better…out came Peg 12 !!. Obviously my drawing arm is out of practice.

The evening matches are pole only and the two favourite methods in these 3 hour sprints are fishing corn or pellet at 5 metres or fishing the margins. On a few days the match might be won by someone fishing pellet or caster long (or heaven forbid, MUGGING), but mostly it’s fishing short for carp plus the odd skimmer.

My opening gambit on virtually every Glebe match is to pot in some hemp and corn on the 5m line, then feed my margins. I’ll then stick a grain of corn on the size 14 hook and drop it on top of where I fed my initial hemp & corn feed. I expect the float to bury within 30 seconds and sure enough, it did and shortly afterwards an 8lb carp was safely netted…the perfect start. I repeated that a few times, in fact I had 5 fish plus one that got away in my first 6 casts. When you’re bagging like this it’s important to take a few seconds out to feed your margins now and again. Anyhow, after about an hour, the 5m line had gone a bit ‘iffy’, so tried the margin under the tree to my right. Feeding a mixture of micro pellets and groundbait via a yoghurt pot on my pole, I soon started catching a few decent carp with the odd big skimmer thrown in.

Spent the rest of the match fishing the margins and I was very pleased to weigh in 161 lb … not too bad in three hours – and from a peg that I didn’t fancy at all. Gordon was next to me on Peg 14 and he weighed in 168 lb, so that put me 2nd in my section. Next to Gordon on Peg 16 was the man who makes some of the best floats in the whole world, Mike ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson. He weighed an amazing 183 lb, I was now third in my section and that’s where I stayed. The other section had weights of 170 lb, 169 lb and 168 lb.

I’m sure that you’ll agree that it was an amazing result for a three hour match.