Maver Match This, Makins, 30th July 2011

During a moment of madness a few weeks ago I realised that my diary was free to allow me to fish the Maver Match This qualifier at Makins Fishery in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

I arrived at Makins 40 minutes before the 9am draw and was greeted was a small number of anglers including the likes of Tom Pickering, Steve Ringer, Jon Arthurs, Derek Willan and other faces I recognised from the fishing magazines.

The anglers I was chatting too figured that Reptile would produce the winner and the place not to be drawn on was Paddock.  I had a good chat to Jon Arthurs, editor of Pole Fishing Magazine too.

Draw Time
So the time for the draw, I got into the not so orderly line and reached into the bag.  I pulled out Paddock, peg 19... not the favoured lake, oh well I thought, it's my adventure into match fishing so I'll just enjoy the day.

The Lake, Peg and Lines
Arriving at Phase 2, the anglers on Paddock where faced with a small trek to the lake.  This was the view from my peg, right in the middle of the section, but with a spare peg to either side, plenty of room.

We had plenty of time to set up, so after positioning the box, I could see plenty of large carp cruising around in the sunshine.  I decided to fish the point of the island to my left, also the cut in the reeds to my right, straight ahead right on the island, the two margins swims to my left and right and a track line directly in front of me...

Thinking about it post match, that is 6 lines, but luckily on plumbing up, the margins where identical as where the left, middle and right lines to the island.  The track was slightly deeper, so I only needed 3 rigs set up.

I opted to go with Grey Hydro, 4.1lb main line and 4lb hook lengths, which turned out to be a mistake which would cost me later.

I had very little room behind me to upship the pole to, but found a gap in the hedge.  Shipping out would be the problem mind you...

Bait for the day, I had hemp, corn, casters, dead maggots, 8mm cubed meat, 6mm and micro pellets, including some 6mm expander pellets.

I was set up with plenty of time to spare.  My neighbour to my left came up for a chat again mentioning that Paddock was not the place to be, it either fished it's head off or was quite a difficult little lake.

The All-In
The whistle went and I decided to try and mug a couple of early fish, so shipped out to the left point on the island with an expander pellet as hookbait and a Fox Toss Pot full of micro's.

I was quickly into the first fish, with my neighbours still priming their lines.  The grey Hydro certainly got a work out, as did the pole.  I played the fish for a couple of minutes before it steamed off and pulled the hook... Fish number 1 lost.

Rebaiting and shipping out again, I hooked another good fish... the same pattern as the first was to emerge, fish number 2 lost.

I decided to prime my lines, I fed positively on the left and negatively on my right as I didn't know what the feeding on this lake was to be.

My neighbour to my left had his first fish and was soon snagged in the wooden box where the reeds where.  He was also to lose a few fish to this area.

About an hour into the match and I was still to land my first fish.  My neighbour to the right hadn't taken a fish either, the activity on the lake was very still, but the angler to my left had managed to land two carp.

In the second hour I hooked a very good fish which.  I slowly shipped back and after 5 minutes I tried to lift the fish towards the net... the fish had other idea's and steamed off to my left, bottoming the elastic out and ended up right in front of the angler to my left.  It was at this point the 4lb bottom gave way.  I apologised to the other angler and he commented that it was a good fish.  Never mind.

I lost approximately 11 good fish and managed to land one 3.5lb Mirror carp.  The angler to my right had started to take silver fish, so I decided I must follow and landed 4 perch.  The match wasn't going well for most of us.  The Maver Match This qualifier for this round was not going to come from Paddock that was for sure.

Disaster
10 minutes before the end of the match, a duck dives and picks up my bait.  I managed to land the duck but while bringing the net back I had to put down the top two sections on the pole, the duck made a break for freedom and flew out of the net and to the island taking my top two kit with it...

So the whistle blows and I checked with the anglers either side of me if it was ok for me to recover the top kit from the island and to check if the duck was ok.  So I stripped off down to the underwear and in I went... the duck had broken free, but at least I recoved the kit.

The Result
4lb dead on the scale, 5th on the lake out of 8 anglers.  The angler to my left won the section with 20lb.

Conclusion
The fish were cruising all day long but did not take any interest in baits up in the water.  I could not get the fish to feed up in the water or to settle on the bottom.  I foul hooked a number of fish which cost me in weight and finally I hadn't geared properly for the lake.  None the less I enjoyed my day out and topped up the tan!

I made the error of calling Colin (aka Billy No Fish) from the Matchfishing Scene forum and told him my tales of woe... He posted a classic entry on the forum, titled, "How Clueless can you be?", which certainly made me laugh!

Next stop, The Glebe in Leicester and a fund raiser match for the Ladies England team... surely I must fair better?!?!?!

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