Angling Trust Masters + Packington Gearys Lake

On Saturday I helped Roy and Ken run the Angling Trust Masters match. With calm conditions, sunshine and 102 anglers on the fishery it was never going to be easy and that’s how it turned out. As Roy said at the results, it was a fishing match rather than a catching match.

It was great to see some old faces from down south, the Masters is like a who’s who of the match fishing world, lots  of great anglers and I’m really sorry that it was such a struggle for so many people. Wandering around the lakes, you could see where the weights were likely to come from, Uglies was chocolate brown whereas the small lakes (4, 5, 6 and 7) were very clear considering that we are supposed to be at the height of summer.

Anyways, the top two individuals were separated by just a pound, with Warren Martin having 216 lb against the 215 lb from Jase Brown fishing next to him. Top 3 weights all came from Uglies, no surprise there. The team result was equally close with Pino’s Pals beating Frenzee Match Catch by a couple of pounds after they had tied on points.

The anglers and the manufacturers supporting some of the teams did an awesome job at supplying prizes for the biggest raffle you’ll ever see, there must have been 100 prizes, so well done and thanks !!

Sunday the “away team” were on Geary’s Big Lake at Packington. Conditions were the same as yesterday, flat calm and sunny, not great weather for bream fishing. We had a couple of people on holiday, so only 11 anglers but I still couldn’t draw one of the flyers and pulled out Peg 11 (last time I was on Peg 9, I’m working my way towards the good end). There were plenty of carp cruising around in the middle of the lake but we fish pole only on this venue, so it was a case of trying to catch a few proper skimmers whilst hoping that the odd carp would wander into the edge later in the match.

I started in front of me at about 10 metres but after 3 or 4 put-ins hadn’t had a sign. Switched to the right hand margin under an overhanging tree. The right hand side was about 6″ deeper than the left and I stayed there for the rest of the day, switching between 10ft from the bank and tight in the edge. Caught a few skimmers but you couldn’t get them to settle, you’d get a decent skimmer then next cast a 4″ blob of slime…I really don’t like little tiny skimmers!. The same thing would happen if and when a carp appeared, you’d get a carp, then next cast a 4″ skimmer, a sure sign that the carp hadn’t moved into the swim in any numbers. I caught a few fish on 8mm JPz and a few on bunches of dead reds, all the time cupping in slop containing an assortment of loose offerings. Finished with an estimated 67 lb . Barry Rowlands had weighed in 67 lb 8 oz from feature peg 16 and I just scraped past him with 72 lbs. I’d have been happy to see Barry win this one, he’s always willing to help with weighing in, work parties etc but isn’t too successful on the matches. Anyways, he finished second and his wife Toni finished 4th, so a good result for them.

I’ll probably fish the evening match on Wednesday, it might be the last one of the year…where has the summer gone?. Then it’s the fifth round of Kev Sim’s summer league on pool 1 on Saturday and a members match on Sunday.

Alders Farm – Wednesday 12th August

A marauding gang of bandits led by “Atilla” Price journeyed up  from Alders Farm a couple of weeks back and in a 10 a side match gave the Glebe team a good hiding. This was the return match at Alders Farm Fishery near Milton Keynes. To be honest, I didn’t want to fish, it was a long drive, the M1 has a 30 mile stretch of roadworks, and I would be back late which meant putting the dog in kennels for the night but in the end a few of our people had to work, Roy’s wife Sue is unwell so he couldn’t travel so I gave in and agreed to fish.

What a great decision !!…What a great day !!…What a great fishery!!.

We were brilliantly looked after by the fishery owners Lewis and his charming wife Charlotte, ably assisted by the Alders Farm regulars led by Trevor Price. Teas, coffees and a BBQ before the match, teas and cakes after the match and an absolute thrashing in between…what more could you ask for?.

Trevor had sorted out the sections to make an equal number of good pegs for each team, giving a good, a nearly as good and a not quite so good section. I drew peg 10 in the not quite so good section and caught fish all match for 156 lb of carp, nearly all in the 2 – 3 lb bracket. At the other end of my section local superstar Nick Darke had 250 lb (he also had 250 lb at the Glebe match), so I was 2nd in my section. Sadly, Alders Farm had the top FIVE weights, we were well and truly battered.

A quick word about how my fishing day went. It started badly when, whilst trying to move a little branch out of the way on the tree to the right of my peg, I put one of my favourite Wilkie floats plus my all time favourite plummet into the greenery and the line broke. The little branch was 2″ out of reach and as much as I tried, that float and plummet sat there all afternoon mocking my efforts (I did get the float back afterwards but the plummet is gone but never forgotten).

At the Glebe members match last Sunday I’d been talking to Pete Bailey and he was saying that the Alders guys use frozen corn. I’d always thought that frozen corn floated but Pete told me how to make it sink. So I’d arrived at Alders  with 4kg of once frozen corn, suitably treated to make it sink (you stick it in a container and cover it in boiling water, then when the water is cool, tip it off and keep the corn damp). Laying about in my spare room was a little container of smelly additive that originally came from Mr Price. It was labelled smokey pineapple and he’d given it to Roy. Roy had said that his fish had never seen a pineapple, let alone a smoked one and he’d promptly given it to me. It was the right colour, smelled kind of fruity so I tipped it into the two containers of corn. Whilst messing with the corn I noticed that there were lots more little bits of corn, not whole kernels but just bits in the frozen stuff compared to the tins from Lidl’s, so came up with a cunning plan for hookbait. Spent half an hour cutting kernels of Marukyu Credence Corn in half, together with cutting up the bits of stuff that the corn is attached to when you buy it. The plan worked a treat, I caught all but one of my fish on halves or maggot sized bits of Credence Corn. The one time that I put a whole kernel of Credence on the hook I had to wait longer for a bite and when I did get one the carp was firmly hooked in the tail !!.

Whilst watching the weigh in it was obvious that some people caught much bigger fish than others, so now I’m wondering if it’s just a case of the big fish living in certain areas or if I did it all wrong and should have beaten the Darke Knight by fishing differently and catching proper sized carp.

Chatting to Trev after the match he told us that when they came to our place the M1 was closed on the way home, giving them a nightmare journey (he was worrying that they might have to spend the night in a brothel !). Well, although we had to do 50 mph for 30 miles in each direction, the journey both ways went without incident so the brothel was never on the cards.

Thanks again Alders Farm for a really enjoyable day…let’s do it all again next year eh ?


Packington (Away Team) – Sunday 5th July – I Wuz Robbed !

As you know, I retired from blog writing a few weeks ago but I’ve been getting grief from people who want to read about The Glebe. I’ve decided to do a few more blog posts, mainly about exciting or unusual days. I’ll be more careful about who I mention and what I say about them, hopefully I’ll keep myself out of trouble this time.

AS I mentioned in an earlier post, the away team are a bunch of about a dozen anglers who fish little matches (knock-ups might be a better description) on the Sundays when there isn’t a Glebe members match. We fish these matches at Packington or if the lakes there are booked we fish one or two pools at The Glebe.

So on this particular day we were on the high bank of Geary’s Lake at Packington. As we walked along deciding which pegs to put in the draw I made a note of Peg 15. The right hand bank does a sharp left leaving you a lovely edge to fish along the right. At the draw I proudly announced that I was going to draw 15 (I had nothing to do with the draw, it was all done by John Duncan). Lo and behold, out came peg 15 !.

Big Geary’s holds skimmers and proper carp, some of the other Packington Lakes were hit with KHV and are now stocked with F1’s. The carp in Big Geary’s go from a few pounds to really big, you probably don’t want to hook the big boys on the pole. Sitting at my peg, there’s a nice cut-in along the bank at about 10 metres, this looked to be the ideal spot to target, even though it’s only about 12″ deep, together with another area a couple of metres out from the bank in 4 or 5 foot of water. Winds were light and it was sunny, far from ideal conditions for skimmer fishing. Cupping in slop containing casters, dead reds and a few grains of corn I fed both swims and then started by fishing the deep swim. I was soon getting bites on dead reds but the skimmers were so small I wasn’t convinced there was actually any flesh and bones inside that blob of slime that i kept catching. Anybody that has fished with me will tell you that I soon get fed up with catching little un’s, I’d rather wait forever and catch a proper fish than have to keep cleaning slime off my hook length. I started switching between JPZ’s and corn on the hook and began to catch a few proper sized skimmers, up to about 2 pounds. You had to wait for bites but at least it felt like I was putting something in the net, rather than having to clean 3 ozs of slime off my hands for every 4 oz fish that I caught.

About halfway through the match the sky over towards Birmingham Airport began to turn a very nasty black colour. The wind picked up and in no time at all the rain started. I’d been having a quick look down the edge all through the day but except for the odd skimmer the house had been empty. As the rain started everything changed. The float buried in my edge peg and…carp on. I landed some including a 15 pounder and lost a couple that swam off towards Birmingham. The swim was solid, cast out, wait 2 seconds and hook another carp…amazing stuff. The rain stopped and the bites slowed down, but I still kept catching a few. 100 lbs is a good weight on that lake, so I’d put in one net. After a while I thought I’d better put my other net in !.

We fished till 5 pm and I was catching the odd one right up to the all-out. We have these silly rules on the away team matches, the angler to get closest to their estimated weight gets £12, the one furthest away buys the Magnum ice creams for the other anglers. You’re not allowed clickers or any other counting device. I’ve never won the “honesty prize” but I’ve bought the ice creams plenty of times. This was my big chance…they have a 60 lb net limit there and on that particular day the Packington staff were doing our weigh-in. Once I’d asked what the net limit was, and what happened if you were over (you get knocked back to 60 lb) I had no hesitation in guessing 120 lb. The first net had the 15 pounder in it, we weighed that separately then John lifted the remainder and tipped them straight back…he said there was about 75 lb still in the net. Second net was closer but still had around 65 lb, so that too was given 60 lb. Yippee…I was spot on…I’d won the honesty prize !. They wouldn’t pay me. They said I cheated by putting too many fish in the net. It didn’t help that the person who was most vociferous about the incident was one of the organisers who happened to be in the lead for the honesty prize at that time (it’s a bloody sight easier to estimate your weight when you’ve caught bugger all). They even tried to make me buy the ice creams…how could that be ?.

I did win the match, they didn’t pay me the honesty prize and I flatly refused to buy ice creams. An interesting day !

Incidentally, on the following Packington match I drew peg 9, halfway along a straight bank, down a set of rickety steps that aren’t easy for a pensioner with dodgy knees and with nothing much to recommend it. Again got fed up with catching blobs of slime that might or might not have actually had a fish inside it. Switched to my right hand margin with corn on the hook, only caught one carp but won again, this time with 73 lb, proper skimmers plus a single carp. I quite like Packington !.