August Matches. Hi all fishing lovers, Today’s post is “August Matches”. i hope that this post is helpful for you, all fishing lovers.
No more matches this month so I’ll publish early.
Toft Carp Lake, Peg 46
A lake I normally feel very comfortable on as the margins can fish well. But not for me today.
The margins on this lake can have some funny profiles with loads of ledges and drop-offs but almost never straight. Plumbed up and found different depths so had to make a choice and did so. Also set up a rig to fish at around six metres where the lake reaches full depth of around six foot. Method feeder prepared for fishing to the island.
Started on the feeder after feeding the pole lines and within 60 seconds had a five pound carp pull the tip round. That was followed fairly quickly by two smaller fish before the feeder line went quiet. Or was I just too eager to try the pole lines. Anyway tried the six metre line with no effect and similarly in the margins. Back on the feeder for a while and had to wait for the very occasional bite, switching baits between dead reds, hard pellet and Band-Um. After around 90 minutes I noticed fish in the left margin. Dropped in and almost immediately hooked and landed a nine pound fish. Probably the worst thing to happen.
I switched my entire attention to the margins and struggled for the rest of the match. I could see fish arriving but getting them to take a bait was almost impossible. I knew that given their size that if I could get it sorted I would build a weight quickly. But it wasn’t to be. I tried every trick I knew or could think of. Nothing made a difference. I did try the feeder to the island every now and then, mainly though as a way of fishing while setting up new rigs or altering existing ones. Had a couple of fish on it but not enough to make me stick with it. Those big fish in the margins were just too enticing.
Ended the day with 36lb and in the bottom half of the match, roughly seventy pound behind the winner and half of the section winning weight.
Decoy, Elm, Peg 17
I must like this lake because my last five matches before this one saw me get one first, three seconds and a third. So I suppose I went into this club match confident. For me Elm provides the perfect Summer margin fishing. Though some of my results have been achieved over Winter as well. So no surprise that I planned to base my attack around the margins, certainly not going further than 2+2 on the pole.
Left hand margin looked a banker if a bit deep. A clump of grass overhanging the water next to me, then a gap of around two foot that could be fished with topkit before a small bush provided yet more cover. To the right I had a bare bank up to +2 distance where a clump of rushes grew out from the bank.
Plumbing up I discovered that the left margin gap swim was around 3 1/2 ft deep. Some may consider this too deep, I don’t. To the right I had the same depth roughly at +1 with the butt of the section held into my stomach and the float around a foot from the bank. That was important because anything less or more than that and the depth shallowed rapidly to twelve inches. I decided to target that deep hole as a safer bet than getting fish into shallow water and spooking them when/if anything was hooked.
I also set up a rig to fish at the full depth of the lake (5 ft) on topkit+1 but at a 45 degree angle left and right. These two spots would be fed with a mixture of 4 mil and micro pellets by pot and 4 mils thrown over the top to make a noise.
Fed the lines and started on the Method feeder around 15 yards out. I could only cast halfway (18-20m) as we were using both banks of this strip lake. Not even liners on the feeder so I had an early look on the deep +1 swims. Managed to hook and lose a small skimmer on the left one but nothing seemed interested. The margins similarly looked dead.
Switched to a pellet feeder and tried that but still nothing. Meanwhile Jon on the next peg to my right was catching seemingly decent fish steadily shallow. I tried the deep lines again and had three skimmers and a carp of around 3lb, foulhooked. Again around 90 minutes into a match and I was getting battered. Time for a re-think and a decision. I know this lake’s margins have form and if I was going to do any good that was where I was going to have to catch. Decision made I checked my depths, made a small adjustment and settled down to fish the margins until something happened.
The left stubbornly refused to yield anything despite looking spot on with cover either side of a gap just large enough to get a float into. It was the right hand margin that eventually came alive in the deep hole I had discovered. Over about an hour I added between thirty and forty pounds to my weight. Decoy have a 50lb net limit so I always look to put around 40 into one net. You start the match with two and have to go back to the lodge if you need another. And you can only collect one at a time. After roughly two and a half hours I was onto my second net and dreaming of a big weight. Though Jonny was still catching regularly both shallow and in the margins.
The next ninety minutes were a nightmare. For some reason I couldn’t fathom bites slowed and I was only getting the very occasional fish. Frustrated I checked my depth and realised that I had allowed the float to move about two inches up the line. Adjusting so the bait (expander or corn) was just resting on the sloping bottom saw bites increase again and I was back into the sort of catching rhythm that sees you build a weight. I had gone back to the lodge and collected a third net while availing myself of the facilities when I wasn’t catching so well. This net was needed with around two hours to go. Jonny had gone for a third net after me but before I had needed my third. I estimated I was around ten pound behind him. I could tell that the match was going to be between Jon and myself as we were the only ones to go for extra nets.
The third net was put into use with around two hours to go and I was catching well, but so was Jonny. I was feeding a tosspot of micros and a few grains of corn after every fish or three to four minutes. Things would go quiet occasionally but I just kept the feeding routine as if I was catching. I also tried dragging the rig into the shallow water occasionally and this did bring a few extra fish.
With an hour to go I was approaching forty pound in net three and at half past three, 30 minutes left, I slipped an 8lb fish into a net already containing an estimated 36lb. I had to make a decision. Fish on and fill the three nets I had and risk being overweight. Between 50 and 60lb and the net would count as 50, over 60 and I would lose the whole net. Being the cautious type I decided to make the trip back to the lodge for net No.4. I offered to get Jon one but he declined, that gave me hope as his maximum weight would be 150lb. As I had caught a couple of 8s and a 9 pounder I could see me topping that with luck. The last twenty minutes saw me land just three fish for an extra ten pound in net four.
If I had 40 in the first three that would give me 130lb total. But I thought I was over 40 in at least two of the three. The nets went 41, 44, 49 and 10 for a 144 total, my best ever match weight. I weighed before Jon and so it was with jangling nerves I watched him lift out his nets, first was just under 40, the other two saw him total 112. Although he had been catching lots of fish many were smaller than mine and while I didn’t have any Jon had caught quite a few barbel. Hard fighters but not as heavy as the carp I had been catching.
Next best weight was 90. So a clear win. Again Elm has been kind to me, even more so that I was on a golden peg with the pot at its maximum. I can’t complain but I do dream of the weight I could have had without the poor start and poor middle of the match.
Green Farm, Weedon Lois, Match Lake, Peg 18
Small open with just ten of us fishing. Just the right number I think on this 18 peg water. I haven’t fished here for a few years but it was taken over two years ago by a lad called Dean Jones. He and the farm’s owner have plans to expand this three lake fishery into something rivalling Makins I think with talk of ten lakes. Improving the three existing lakes is just the start.
As I was organising I had the last peg left in the bag, turned out to be a fancied flier. Good to know the drawing hand is warming up again! The lake is only three foot deep, and that’s at the deep end where I was. Sort of a corner peg but the presence of beds of lily like plants makes the corner inaccessible in Summer. But I had a few yards of clear margin to the right and another clump of these plants filling the space between me and the empty peg 17.
Set my stall out to fish the margins and a 2+2 line straight in front. Decided to approach it with a method I use occasionally. That is to set up a pair of over/under pole rests on the box legs. With them adjusted so the tip was just above the water I would feed micros with a medium sized tosspot
With the pole lodged in the rests and twisted so the micros were always on exactly the same spot. Similarly the float always hits the same point. The rig would be a 0.2g float set dead depth with 7xNo.10s strung out and a ten inch hooklength, last shot just above this.
The margin had an obvious step down from around 12 to 18 inches a couple of foot from the bank. I set up two rigs, one for down the step and one in the shallower water. Fed again with micros.
Started on the 2+2 line and using expanders had a few silvers on 6mil. That caused me to switch to corn on the hook. After a short while I noticed activity in the margins and so tried there and had a few fish. Nothing large but again I was getting some roach & rudd. Margin hookbait was switched to 8 mil hard pellet to target the carp.
Eventually I settled to feeding the shallow margin with 4 mil pellet and down the step with micros. I used the deeper margin rig both down the shelf and in the shallower water. In the shallow margin I was lying the rig out away from me and feeding 4 mil pellets towards the corner so as to attract fish from the bankside “lilies”. Then it was a case of switching between the two lines. Letting the margins settle before taking one or two fish up and down the shelf before going back to the 2+2. That line was producing two or three fish before going quiet. The two dovetailed together quite well.
Nothing large, biggest fish caught was around three pound. In fact I ended the match with six fish in my “over 2lb” net for 18lb. The other net went 29lb with a mixture of smaller carp and silvers.
Total 47lb and a win. Next weight was 41 and then a 38. A nice day’s fishing, never hectic but needed to be sorted as regards the margins.
Barby Banks, Peg 61
The final one of the year, and last ever Bucko’s qualifier. Not fished this lake for several years, and then only once. So approaching it as a new venue.
Immediate discovery was that the lake is only three foot deep. In fact on peg 61 I could use the same rig from margin to far bank. Talking to the owner/bailiff he told me that feeding pellet could bring in too many small fish and that he had recently done OK fishing pellet over corn. I set up three rigs to fish expander and hard pellet. Settled on fishing the margins and +2 line, 3 spots fed with corn, meat & micros. I had an overhanging willow tree at around ten metres so also planned to ping some 4 mil pellets there and have an occasional look. A pellet feeder would complete the set-up. This would be cast to the opposite bank but to just short of level with the vacant platform to my right where there was an inviting angle formed by the margin rushes.
Started on the feeder having fed the pole lines and third cast had a small carp. The next bite snagged me and I had to pull for a break, a bad sign. Re-rigged and tried again but the next bite ran left and snagged on some unnoticed brambles trailing in the water. Hooklength went.
Switched to the pole lines and had a few silvers plus a three pound carp from the margins. Back on the feeder and again I lost fish in the brambles. Managed to land one. Switched to a spot closer to me but this didn’t produce any bites. Decided to concentrate on the pole lines. The willow swim didn’t produce anything so that was binned. Decided to switch to topkit +1 in front just past the end of the keepnets. This produced a couple of fish.
Now it was getting deep into the match and I was struggling. Decided to get the long pole out and try the far bank. Pinged a few pellets over and first two put ins had two carp, first six pound. Then the fish seemed to spook from the pole tip and I struggled finally taking one more small carp. That line too was binned.
Now I was down to fishing just the margins and +1. Feeding the margins to the left with corn and corn on the +1 line. I was taking the occasional small carp and silver but nothing like enough to challenge. Last half an hour I switched to the margins where some bubbles were appearing and had another couple of small carp.
Ended the match with 22lb and nowhere. Match was won with 66 and my section with 31lb. So I wasn’t that far off a section. Perhaps an earlier switch to the margins may have got me the section.
Importantly though I had whittled the viable swims to just +1 and margins. Very important knowledge for my match the next day which was on …..
Barby Banks, Peg 48
Club match using some of the same pegs as the day before. 48 had come second with 61lb fishing long. That meant 14 metres and not my favourite style. I opted for +1 and left margin. On this swim the tight margins were about six inches shallower than the +1 line which was a good three foot. Again I would feed corn and start with expander on the hook. Feeder to the far bank to start.
On this swim the feeder produced nothing. So I was committed to the two pole lines. After around 90 minutes I had roughly five pound. I had been feeding corn sparingly by hand on the +1 line I now switched and used a toss pot and a secret weapon – prawns. Weighing in the previous day one guy who caught well had mentioned his swim came alive when he fed chopped up prawns with his corn. I happened to have some in the freezer at home and so dug these out and chopped them like worms. Feeding corn and prawn alternately and more frequently than I had been doing saw increased signs of fish activity in the form of bubbles. Still with expander on the hook I started to take fish regularly if not frequently.
I had also been throwing six or so grains of corn into the close margin swim. With around two and a half hours to go I switched to corn on the hook and straight away had two fish from the +1 swim in as many put-ins. With two hours to go I tried the margins, corn on the hook and again an immediate response. Those last two hours were spent switching between the +1 and margins taking fish to five pound fairly regularly.
I weighed in 71lb for third. Top was peg 46 (narrow bridge peg, excellent angler) who had 146lb and second had 85. Had to be happy with that sort of improvement in 24 hours.
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