Friday, 17 June 2016

Lindholme Angling Club Festival - Lindholme Lakes, 10th June 2016

Final day...  If I would have a good result today I could make it to the top 5!  I think I piled a bit too much pressure on myself to be honest and today would test me.

The Draw
Peg 2, Bonsai.  Not an area I had ever fished before and I had some good anglers in my section so it was all to play for.  Neighbours for the day where Stuart and Bradley 'Steady' Smith

Set-Up
Pole only, initially although I would break the rod out later in the day.  Another day fishing longer as it was 16 metres to the far bank and 15 metres to my right margin line.

All-In
I figured that the bread working the other day it would also work on Bonsai so I prepared some discs before the all in.  With that and the whistle I started across on the far bank working the bread along the margins.  The action wasn't instant in fact it took some time before the first fish was in the net infact the first fish went to Brad who was fishing short.

Before long Brad followed me over and we had a race for a fish, which he won!  After a few frustrating hours, frustrating for both me and Stuart.  Stuart had lost a
few rigs, now it was my turn!  Fish on and it made a run which snagged me across the underneath the bank.  Pulled for the break and smashed the rig up.

I was hoping to do well on today's match and it wasn't going to plan!  A few choice words came out of my mouth.  So I sat for 5 minutes to compose my thoughts and cracked out the method rod which finally put me back in touch with the fish.  I was behind in the race with the lads and I needed to get back in front so I had to try the margins early.

Priming with margins with groundbait and putting the tried and test worm on the hook the margins soon produced bites but frustratingly the fish were foul hooked.  This happened quite a few times and more frustration was verbalised.

I replumbed and noticed the rig was out by a few inches.  The change put me back in touch with the fish.  I spent the rest of the match in two areas of my margins although I didn't feel I was back in touch with the other lads in my section.

Stuart had pulled some lumps from his margin and Brad has been catching "steady"!

The final hour was fun but the rain started... Stuart, myself and Brad would be weighing in most of the lake.  By the all-out it was tanking it down.  Needless to say the gear got soaked!

Results
Last in section with 29lb... very disappointed but still a good result for me coming 14th out of 50 Anglers


Conclusion
A huge congratulations to Paul Newman for winning the festival again!

Big thanks to Gary for all the organisation and to Rachael and Tracy for putting the bar on everynight.  It was great to make new friends and to see the faces of old friend!

Looking forward to 2017!


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Lindholme Angling Club Festival - Lindholme Lakes, 9th June 2016

The Wednesday night normally has another name that is way too rude to publish here.  Lets just call it an evening of much drink and merriment!  We headed into Epworth and the local curry house

The Draw
There were 3 pegs left in the bag, one of which was a flyer... Peg 20, Beeches.  Gary gave me the tips on how to fish it and also piled the pressure on saying that I should win the lake from there!

Set-Up
The plan was simple... 16.5 metres across under the trees and a margin line.  That was it!

I set-up 3 duplicate rigs for across as I could foresee danger under the trees and one margin rig.  The across rigs would be banded pellet or worms.

All-In
Straight across to the far side kinder potting in micro's and working the rig.  No signs or indications for 10 minutes which was worrying.  Eventually that familiar waft of the float and first fish on!

Gary's advice after hooking a fish under the tree's was to bury the pole tip and ship back straight away to avoid getting caught up in the undergrowth.

The final lump
I repeated the pattern during the first hour and also lost 5 kinder pots in the process!!!

My hand was then forced to heavily pot bait into the area as I didn't have any more kinder pots to use.  This had a positive result forcing the fish onto the
deck rather than shallow across.

Midway through the match I had a steady run of fish and now the dry period started so I changed tactics.  Checking the margin line I had a steady run of small tench and some perch.

I decided to change my hookbait to worms and also brought out the "suicide rig", 0.22 line straight through to a size 12 hook.

The first fish back over with the worm was a lovely perch of around a 1lb.  More fish came in the last  hour of the match with the long line getting stronger.  My final fish was a cracking 9lb 11oz mirror carp that lead a merry dance and some heartstopping moments with the tree line.  The All-out was called and I felt confident of a good result.

Result
47lb 12oz for a section win and a lake 3rd.



Conclusion
Thanks to Gary for giving me the inside information on the peg.  Very simple tactics, no need to change, just working the lines the best I could to keep the fish coming.

Lindholme Angling Club Festival - Lindholme Lakes, 8th June 2016

After the tough day on Willows I headed back to the lodge and bumped into Nathan.  We had a couple of cheeky beers on the terrace which turned into one monster night after all the other lads arrived back.  Pizza was ordered again and hangovers would ensue in the morning!

Lesson Learnt, feed Nathan Stella as he just cannot cope with the stuff ;-)

The Draw
As I was on Willows yesterday, today it's my turn on Laurels.  Peg 13 came out of the bag, an area that isn't noted to be great... with Brian P again opposite.

Set-up
The peg has a great margin, so the pole lines were:
  • 16 metres to margin
  • 13 metres straight ahead
  • Top 2 and 2 margin right
Today I added some bread to the bait list to dob and waft along the margins

All-in
Straight onto the dobbing line down the margins kinder potting micro pellets topped with groundbait.  It only took 5 minutes for the first fish to take the bait.  I worked this line for the first two hours of the match eventually moving to 16 metres down the margin.

As the line was starting to produce less it was time to try the 13 metre line ahead of
me.  It had been primed with some micro's and groundbait.  It started to produce skimmers but no carp.  I held out on this line for around an hour.

My other margin was to my right and within top 2 plus 2 range next to a stump.  This line I had been potting in some groundbait.  Baiting up with two large worms on the hook it soon produced results in the shape of Perch, again not the target but adding weight to the net.

The final two hours of the match I went from the left margin to the right margin and eventually the carp decided to play ball.  When the All-Out was called I felt as though I'd done enough for a section second as "Sam the Man" had been bagging steadily all match and landed some proper lumps.

Results
26lb 7oz ... Section 2nd as predicted and putting me 12th overall.



Conclusion
The margins worked for me.  The bread tactic was definitely a successful one giving me more options dobbing up and down the margins.  If I keep up the good results this could be my most successful festival to date!



Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Lindholme Angling Club Festival - Lindholme Lakes, 7th June 2016

Another night of banter in the bar and an equally unhealthy evening meal from the nearest take away and for a change no hangover for me this morning.

The Draw
Today we would be on either Willows or Laurels.  Peg 24 on Willows was my home for the day an area I'd not drawn before.  The weather was oppressively hot, with very little wind resulting in no ripple on the water.

Set-Up
Getting to the peg I had stick ups right in front of me, so I fished them out with a weed cutter.  I didn't break out any rods and opted for a pole only attack with lines at 13 metres and 6 metres both with options at 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock.

One shallow rig just in case, other rigs at full depth.

All-In
The pole lines at 10 o'clock would be fed heavily, the other lines negatively via the kinder pot... I was already sunburnt from the previous day.  Today would be no exception weather wise.

I worked the negative lines for an hour with very little reward expect a few skimmers.  No-one I could see was catching anything.

The next hour after topping up the heavily fed lines I tried pinging pellets and fishing shallow which resulted in nothing at all... Midge next to me was catching some fish in the margins, but the rest of our section was struggling.

Hour 3 I decided to start a chopped worm line at 6 metres.  I went straight over this line with a worm head.  Immediate response from the silvers.  At least there was some action on this line and I was hoping the carp would soon come and see what all the fuss was about.

What was to happen next surprised me and the people fishing around me.. the float buried and soon elastic was streaming out of the pole.  Big carp I was thinking, big carp I was hoping!

The fish took me all over the lake in front of me at 13 metres, it was almost lost in the reeds to my right.  Brian over the other side was asking how big the fish was and that's when I saw the tiger stripes.

"It's a bloody Pike" I called over and with that it swam straight into my net.  It's a good job I put the bigger net on today too!!!

It was hooked right in the scissors of its jaw.  I decided to get a new net out just for the Pike and didn't know whether or not it counted as part of my weight!

The rest of the day was pretty dull with only a few carp turning up on my lines.  Brian opposite was having a better run towards the all-out with his paste line getting stronger.  Sue only managed to catch a few fish from her peg and Len was having a good struggle with the fish in the stick up's on bread.

The All-out was called and then the debate over whether or not the Pike counted...

Result
9lb 11oz + 8lb 2oz Pike = 17lb 13oz which resulted in a Section 3rd.  Thankfully the pike counted.



Conclusion
A dire day on the bank.  The Pike certainly made the day entertaining.  Section 3rd was a good result but both Laurels and Willows fished really hard!

Lindholme Angling Club Festival - Lindholme Lakes, 6th June 2016

Day 1 of the Lindholme Angling Club 5 day festival, formerly the Maggotdrowners festival. Arriving on the Sunday afternoon it was great to catch up with the lads and to meet some new faces as the numbers of anglers had swelled to 50 taking part.

Last nights entertainment was mainly around my “special friend” Mr Bennetto who apparently is now the “king of tinder”, read into that what you like…

Dinner consisted of a chinese order from the only place that would deliver on a Sunday.  I must now make an immediate apology to Nathan as I took all the orders from the lads and forgot to call him to see if he wanted some food too... sorry mate!

Our accommodation had improved significantly this year with the addition of the lodges.  Wow, luxury, comfort and a decent show!  Thanks Keith!

We ended the evening having some beers with my lodge mates, Neilly, Sir Len and Ecky.

The Draw
Peg 41 close to the tackle shop which gave me a chuck to the island.  Neighbours for the day, Ian and Alan.

Set-Up
To be honest as I hadn't fished that much this year I was at a bit of a loss on where to attack this peg.  The method (hybrid) feeder to the island was the easy choice, my pole lines where:
  • Margin under the tree on the left
  • Top 2 + 2
  • 13 metres shallow and at full depth
Bait was mainly pellets, maggots, some worms (thanks Tex) and corn.

All-In
I cupped in some dampened micro pellets on my 13 metre line and started the match on the method feeder aiming to the left of the island dropping it short of the mud line so that the fish would not scatter along the banks.

Bites were slow but I managed a few fish in the first 40 minutes.  With the sun shining brightly and no clouds in the sky you could see some fish milling about on the surface I has been feeding the pole line with some 4mm pellets to see if I could tempt the fish shallow.

Switching to that line shallow I managed one carp after 30 minutes of trying.  A change to the full depth rig produced just a few skimmers, but no carp.

The islands reeds and over hanging tree were full of spawning fish so in an effort to get more fish in the net I decided on the risky casting to the big snag that was the tree.

The method feeder was loaded with 50/50 groundbait and micros with a 6mm pellet as hookbait.  The tip flew round for the next hour and I put a lot more weight on the scales

Bites slowed on the method feeder and I found that casting around required me to wait for around 5-6 minutes for a bite.

With the final hour and my method line taking longer to produce fish I had to tried the margins which only produced some small perch.  So I sat out on the method until the all-out.


The Result
47lb 2oz to take the section win.  The best start I can get to the festival to be honest in 6th place overall!  Will it last?

I know that I lost a pound to Gary with our "guess the weight" competition, I was well out guessing 39lb!



Conclusion
Sticking to the method feeder produced the fish for me and they were a better stamp.  The key was definitely the area of the island that I fished which of course was the most dangerous area for loosing gear.

Initially bites were pretty instant, but later in the match I had to wait it out for the fish to come.

Monday, 2 May 2016

MFS - Witherington Farm, 1st May 2016

Second night in Sailsbury and a few of us headed to the fantastic indian that deserves a Michelin star, Anokaa!  The evening events were to prove very late for the hardcore few, I ducked out a bit earlier than normal.

The next morning a very hungover Andy Gregory heads down to the breakfast area and declares, "I want the worlds largest breakfast", "but no tomatoes, no eggs...."  It was hilarious.

No forgotten keys today, although we had to deal with the official retirement of Animal from Match Fishing.  Luckily he'll still be going to Stafford Moor, but he will be missed by the lads!

The Draw
Today we'd be fishing the Outer Snake lake, all 16 of us.  I drew Peg 15 on the Outer Snake with Sconey and Deano as neighbours

Set-Up
Again, all pole today, so the lines would be.
  • Far side bank at around 13 metres
  • Margin to my left
  • 5 metre line
Bait was the same as yesterday.

All-In
The plan was to fish the far bank in multiple places, feed my 5 metre and margin lines for later in the match.

I potted in groundbait and micros on my right hand 5 metre line and some meat on the other.  With the weather being cold, the meat wasn't quite working yet, but I thought I'd give it a try.

The far bank I had picked three spots to fish and would kinder pot in some minor pellets.  Initial bait was a bunch of maggots which quickly found the roach and rudd, so a quick change to sweetcorn soon connected with the carp.

I had a reasonable couple of hours fishing across although the gusting wind was making presentation difficult.  Sconey was catching well next to me, Deano wasn't getting any fish on the far bank.

I was picking up the odd  skimmers on the 5 metre line and kept on looking in the margin, but nothing was there.

I decided to put a large pot of groundbait and micros on the far bank and see what that would do for the line.  Going straight over it, the float buried and a carp was on.  Straight back out on that line and another quick carp, then nothing...

Re-potting bait in brought the fish back and I had a great run of carp, still checking my margin lines every now and again.

Deano next to me hooked a lovely carp that would look great in anyone's pond!  This snake lake certainly throws up some lovely looking fish and it would be my turn next to catch one.

A beautiful orange koi came to the net.  In the final hour of the match I hooked a fish on the far bank that I suspect was foul hooked as it bolted down towards my left and ended up snagging my rig over the far side.  Pulling for a break the whole rig came back intact.  Next fish also snagged me and I had to pull for another break.  The rig released itself and next thing I knew, the fish was still on... bonus!

Stoney called the all-out and as I hooked up the rig that I'd caught most of my fish on the line broke...

Result
Weighing in I had 55lb in my nets, which ended up putting me 4th on the lake.

1. Andy G : 72-8
2. Scone : 66-0
3. Jaap : 65-8
4. Lewy : 55-0
5. Macca : 54-8
6. Pete Bailey : 50-8
7. The Tit : 44-0
8. Darren Fisher and Gareth both 36-0
10. Dean Rowden : 30-0
11. Allan Bradley : 24-0
12. Bez : 22-8
13. Pete Clark : 22-0
14. Shedders : 20-0
15. Mark Ogier : 15-0
16. Animal DNF (officially retired)

Conclusion
Taking another Guernsey pound of Bez today was the highlight.  I was very pleased with the way I fished todays match and honestly wasn't expecting such a high finish.  The key was potting in big on the far bank.  Both Sconey and myself found this put us in touch with the fish.

A great weekend as per usual.  Huge thanks to Sconey for the organisation and all the songs he sang on the bank, namely, "Headbutts" and "TOAST" ;-)

More Pictures...
Andy G... eventual winner of todays match!

Shedders pound... thanks mate! ;-)