July Matches

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July Matches. Hello all of fishing lovers, Today’s post is “July Matches”. Hopefully this informative article is ideal for you, all fishing lovers.

July Matches

Shearsby Valley, Alder, Peg 35

One of Bucko’s charity opens. This is a venue that I just don’t seem to have got right somehow. I always struggle. Talking with the owner, Nick, before the match it would seem this day may be hard all round as there are a lot of fish cruising but not feeding. I was advised though that the 4 metre (+1) line should produce something. In my mind, with the recent hot weather I was thinking margins.
On the peg and it was obvious that I would need sixteen metres to reach the island. While I have a pole long enough (MAP M16) it is heavy at full length and shipping back would be awkward. So I decided to concentrate my approach on what I I think I do well and that is short & margins. Rigs set up for +1 and several margin spots, each to be fed differently. I could reach the two empty pegs either side with ten metres and so set swims on the near corner of the platforms plus swims at topkit and topkit+ 1 left & right. One fed with a 2 and 4 mil pellet plus corn & meat mixture, one heavy with micros, one with meat & groundbait and another with corn. The two closest I would regularly throw 2mils on the left and 4 mils on the right.
Started on the 4 metre line and after half an hour hadn’t had a touch. Glen to my right had taken two or three small carp shallow and close to the island but it was clear that everyone was finding it hard. I worked around the margins with no luck except for a small perch on meat so went back to the 4m line. After an hour without a fish it was obvious that my plans had fallen apart. Plan B, copy Glen.

Shallow rig with 8 mil hard pellet and firing 4 mils over at around ten metres. Glen had started to feed at a similar distance and pick up some fish. While I didn’t have a fish on this line I did notice that bubbles had started to appear where I was firing the pellets. Plan C, go deep at ten metres.

New rig on as it was slightly deeper than the +1 line and I wanted to keep that rig for coming back to the line later. Around two hours into the match and I had my first carp. On the deep rig at ten metres. Only around two pound but a start. By now though Glen was into his rhythm and steadily building a weight. I noticed he was still feeding at around 8-10 metres but occasionally dobbing around longer and picking up odd fish this way as well. I have to admit that Glen is a master at shallow fishing, something I’m still not confident in.

No more bites on the deep rig so I switched back to the shallow and after about thirty minutes the elastic came out of the pole and I was netting another small carp around three pound. Again though this was an exception and I was struggling at the halfway point. Apart from Glen though I hadn’t seen much caught.
 
Tried the margins again with no luck and no indications. Normally if fish are there and rooting around the float will show signs that encourage me to stick with it. Not today so far.
Plan D I dumped a full pot of micros on the ten metre line to try and encourage those fish willing tom feed to get their heads down. Pretty soon the spot was fizzing and so I decided to stick with fishing on the deck there and try to make it work. Went through all my baits, 4/6 mil expander, corn & meat – nothing. Then decided to try two grains of corn. Float settled and after a second disappeared. Another carp joined the first two.
 
That proved to be the last fish on the ten metre line. While continuing to fish it I noticed some silt waft up when I fed the short margin to my left and with 90 minutes to go decided to put all my eggs in one basket and concentrate on this spot for the remaining time. It would work or not. Over those last 90 minutes I managed three carp, biggest around five pound. Had to be patient, obviously. I could see the occasional fish both arriving and leaving the swim. So I knew it was worth sticking with. I continued feeding by throwing in handfuls of micros. Afterwards though I did wonder if I still hadn’t fed enough.
     
I estimated a weight of twenty pound. Doing the recording with the scales it was obvious that this wasn’t enough to frame but was a reasonable weight on the day. Loads of five and six fish weights in the twenties. Top was Glen with 107, second had 57 (and a dip to cool off or save his top four), and third 31.

Luckily the third weight was in my section and I was second with 21 so took the section prize by default. 21lb was enough for 8th out of 16.
 
It was a day when just one or two fish made a massive difference to your overall position. Two more five pounders or four at three pound would have seen me in third. But plenty could say the same.

Decoy, Cedar, Peg 10

Now this was a day when I shouldn’t need to fish more than 2+2 and should catch well in the margins. A club match with 15 fishing so we all had plenty of room on this 26 peg rectangular lake.
 
Again plan was to fish at the bottom of the margin slope to left and right plus margins. Left margin could be fished at two lengths, +1 and topkit, right, due to rushes was only accessible as far as just over topkit distance tucked under the rushes. Plumbing up though revealed that there was no margin shelf as you can find on some swims. The slope went down steeply to virtually full depth just a couple of feet from the bank. Depths here varied left and right and I set rigs to fish both. Big fish swirling just feet from the bank encouraged me to think that my short approach should work.
 
I have had success on these lakes in the past fishing at +1 distance but using +2 and fishing left and right away from my keepnets and feeding 4 mils heavily. Given the temperature and fish activity I expected this to work today.
 
Fed the margins at the start and fished the +1/2 line. Had no reaction apart from liners either from carp in midwater or some of the fry I could see in the margins.
 
Looked around the margins and again had little indication. After nearly an hour I was fishless, but then so were others on both Cedar and Elm that was behind me. No panic yet as I have easily done a ton, my target weight today, in five hours. Rethought my feeding strategy for the right hand +1 margin spot and started to kinder micros every two to three minutes. After four feeds the float buried and at last I had my first fish. I took around six fish before that seemed to go dead. Time for another re-think. I tried the shallowest margin rig over the right margin (the deepest) and immediately had an F1 followed by loads of indications.

Plenty of fish were showing shallow and so I realised that in the margins I should ignore the bottom of the slope as I had been fishing (five foot+) but come shallower. Careful plumbing to the right, under the reeds revealed that the slope did indeed go straight down with no shelf even tight to the reeds, depth here was around four foot. I decided though to set a rig that would just sit on the start of the slope. Fed with micros in a kinder pot I soon started to take fish regularly though not as rapidly as I would have liked. Still I was now catching. But then so were others. Andy opposite me was catching mainly small carp (F1s?) regularly fishing worm shallow and Jim two pegs to my right was catching at what looked like +1 just off the end of his keepnets. I had been watching Andy and knew that when he started to put fish in his second net that he would have an estimated forty pound, I had twenty.

Jim was the first to go for a third net (fishery own, two at the start, weight limit 50, collect more if needed) when I probably had thirty pound so I knew I was a long way behind him, I usually am.
 
I decided to change tactics and set up a shallow rig to fish at +2. Pretty soon I had taken a couple of fish this way but was not catching well. Like the day before I noticed lots of bubbles where I was throwing pellets and so tried the deck. This again produced a couple of fish but was not consistent.
In the end I found myself swapping rigs & swims. Taking one or two fish from the margin, one or two shallow and a couple deep.

An estimated 86lb by the end converted to an actual 87lb and fifth. Top weight was 136 from Jim to my right, 123 from corner peg 26 and 107 third from Andy opposite me who had fished shallow with worm virtually all day. Peg 14, another corner produced 96 for fourth, 80 of that coming in the last ninety minutes. That really poor start of mine really hurt me.

I have to also give a mention to Lisa who has not been fishing that long. Recently won a ladies match at Whiteacres beating a couple of England ladies apparently. Lisa produced her PB match weight of 71lb for sixth and pushing me close. She has taken on board the coaching from Stewart, her husband and was today’s sixth place.

Holly Farm, Trotters Lake, Peg 36
 
Bucko’s disabled/vets pairs. Drew the same peg as last year, then I had just 5lb. The same tree still prevents you casting tight to the island and the left margin still looks inviting under a tree. Apart from that there is nothing to recommend this peg.
 
I have no confidence in the fishery own pellets and so am always looking for an alternative feed. Last match at Holly I did OK on Gil’s lake using liquidised cat meat as feed and corn on the hook in the margins. Chose to try the same.
 
I still had to try and cast a feeder to the narrow gap between the trees opposite and paid the price in two lost feeders and one lost lead. So the pole it had to be. I’d set up to fish at eight metres feeding meat and then the margin under the tree. Managed a few small fish on the 8m line. Fish showed in the margins but apart from one foul hooker that I lost I didn’t have any bites.
 
Result? 4lb. My partner also faired badly and we came last.
 
Toft Silvers Lake, Peg 30
 
My PB on this lake before today was 9lb. To say it is a venue I can’t fish is an understatement. For this match I did two things. I sought some advice from a good angler who works in my local shop and made some tackle changes.
 
The advise was to fish 6mm banded pellet 12 inches deep firing 4 mils over the top. Feeding this line at 10m while fishing a feeder and go over it when the fish show.
 
My tackle changes were aimed at hopefully getting to grips with the F1s that now dominate this lake and the reason I haven’t fished it well. To that end I made up some 4 inch hooklengths with a Kamasan B911 size 16 to 0.14 Trabucco fluorocarbon for fishing full depth. I don’t put shot on hooklengths so the shorter version would allow me to put the last dropper around five inches from the hook. Hopefully improving bites from the F1s. I also tied some ten inch hooklengths with a band and the same hook for fishing shallow.
 
Rigs would be two shallow at 12 and 24 inches plus a depth rig set dead depth.
 
Started the match on the Method feeder with my own groundbait and corn on the hook. First cast and before I had set the rod down after sinking the line the tip pulled round and I soon had my first fish, a 1 1/4lb F1. Second cast and I was tightening the line when the tip went again and a similar fish was in the net. 4-5 minutes gone and I had 2 1/2lb, my best start here ever. That though was the last action I saw on the tip.
 
After a couple of biteless casts during which I had been pinging pellets at 10m and almost immediately seeing swirls I picked up the 24 inch shallow rig and in quick succession had another two fish. Total around seven pound in the first half hour had me dreaming of a ton in five hours. Shallow line, like the feeder went dead. I had noticed some bubbles coming where I had been pinging pellets so I set the full depth rig on the spot and within a couple of minutes another pound fish joined the first four. I then stuck on that eight pound for the next two hours or so.
 
I tried the feeder with various baits, kept up the feeding and occasional fishing of the shallow line and put out the full depth rig. With around two and a half hours to go I re-thought my strategy and remembering my last match at Decoy decided to concentrate on the 10m lines fishing deep and shallow. To this end I put in a full pot of micros just to the right of where I was firing pellets. Pretty soon loads of bubbles showed me I had generated some interest and persevering on the line brought the reward in my first fish for a while.
 
With no more bites deep I switched to the 24 inch shallow rig and surprisingly had a couple oof fish before it went quiet again. I then settled into a rhythm of fishing the deep swim and despite having to be patient, taking one or two fish while feeding the shallow area. I would then plunder a couple of quick fish shallow before going back deep and waiting for a couple of fish there.
 
That routine saw me amass an estimated 38-40lb by the end. Happy with that as it blitzed my PB on the lake. Even happier when, assisting with weighing in I realised that I had won my section easily and would have won the other section we weighed as well. So I was top on my half of the lake. Made second overall to an excellent top weight of 81lb.
 
Waterloo Farm
 
No peg numbers here. Drew halfway along the lodge bank. A long chuck to the island but with a decent margin. Rigs were set to fish margins and at the bottom of the margin slope at topkit+3, just where full depth started to shallow up.
 
A few early casts saw me getting close to the island and the closest produced a carp of 8lb. I then struggled, getting close enough to the island without snagging a willow tree or overhanging vegitation was almost impossible. Eventually picking up a couple of fish from the +3 line and one from the margin. I also had a few silvers from the +3 for a total 30lb. Top was 110 from the other bank followed by a 97 and 90 from my section.
 
The Riddings, Folly Pool, Peg 29
 
Another Bucko’s qualifier. A tale of what might have been.
 
Only my second match on this lake. Had 30lb last year discovering too late that I had to push the float to within a couple of inches of the bankside rushes to the right of peg 10. This fishery does not allow pellets to be fed though they can be used on the hook. So I needed an alternative plan/plans to my normal pellet attack.
 
Peg 29 has a feeder chuck to the point of the island. That would be my opening gambit. Last year I also caught fishing shallow with pellet but feeding a liquid groundbait. This forms a cloud and scent trail in the water that the fish hopefully follow until they find the pellet. Last year this method produced a ten pound carp. Finally the main approach would be margins. I was told this was a flier margin peg. This is due to there having been two trees overhanging the water that had been cut down leaving two stumps to the left. One at just past topkit distance the other at six sections of my margin pole. I chose to fish between the two stumps which was topkit+3. Around two and a half foot of water and a nice wide shelf.
 
Feeder would be a Method and the margins would be fed with corn & meat.
 
First half hour on the feeder produced just one small carp, 2 1/2lb. Next half hour on the shallow/Slop method at 11m produced nothing. Decision taken therefore to attack the margins for the remaining four hours.
 
Pretty soon had a couple of fish of four/four and a half and pretty much that was the next three hours taken care of. Feeding meat & corn regularly. The only bait I could get a bite on was 6mil meat. I was steadily building a weight but just as teadily regularly losing fish. Two larger specimens broke me (0.17 Reflo Power) others just slipped the hook. Going into the last hour I was hoping for a storming finish and hopefully a section or frame. I was worried by Daryl on my right as he had been catching regularly on the feeder. Turned out though his fish were a lot smaller than mine. It didn’t help that he took a tumble into his swim as well. It was a warm day though.
 
In the last hour I had one bite and again lost the fish. My final estimated weight was around 48lb scales gave me 50-15. Daryl’s fish were smaller and he had 37, a surprise to me as it sounded to me like he must have ad at least 75 if I had 50. Just goes to show you should keep your head down and fish your match.
 
Winner had 69, 2nd61, third 55 and I was fourth and took my section by default. That last fishless hour and the lost fish cost me a frame and possibly a win. My fish were averaging around 5lb. The two that broke me would have been enough to secure second. Oh well, that’s match fishing.
 
Rookery Waters, Pidley, Magpie lake peg 1
 
I have only fished this lake three times previously and only in Winter (November & January). Two matches in November last year showed that the margins still worked despite the cooler weather, possibly due to their depth at 4-5 ft. There is no margin shelf. In those matches I discovered though that you needed to feed sparingly and be patient.
 
Looking at the match results it was clear that the margins were the place to fish wth matches regularly won with around 150lb (hence the fishery rule of starting with three nets in). This information made me commit 100% to a margin approach. To that end I left both feeder rods and long pole at home and only took my margin pole.
 
Fished the same peg last November and had ten fish (5 @ 10m, 5 from the margins) for 17lb and fourth. I knew the margins fished on this peg but the large winning weights and warmer weather fooled me. I plumbed three spots and fed each differently. One with corn & meat, one with micros and one with 4 mils. And then struggled.
 
It took me around half an hour to get my first fish. I was gradually going through my repertoire of margin tactics, baits and feeding. Nothing seemed to make much of a difference. I was getting the occasional small fish on meat (9mil cube) and nothing else. After around three of the six hours I estimated my weight at twenty pound, nowhere near enough.
 
By this time I was starting to get large fish showing shallow in the margins so I opted to try and catch them and spent a frustrating hour with fish mouthing the float but ignoring the bait. With two hours to go a re-think was needed.
 
I replumbed and set the float so the bait was just touching bottom on a slight slope around six inches from the marginal vegitation. My plan was to use the wind in my face to drift the float up against the slope, a tactic that has seen me turn a difficult day round before. I also swapped my pole pot for one about a quarter of the size I started with. First drift in on the left swim and the float buried and I had my first fish for an hour. Five minutes later and another followed. Still small (2lb) but welcome. The same depth was also fine for drifting on the right swim and I was alternating between the two and started to take fish more frequently than at any point in the match. I was feeding ten 4 mil pellets and ten 6 mil cubes of meat regularly/after a fish and this seemed to be the way to go as I finished the match with my best 30 minute spell.
 
This late flurry wasn’t enough and I only scaled 44lb for mid table. In four matches on the lake this was my first failure to pick up some coin. Still the day wasn’t wasted as I think I have worked out that these fish just don’t need a lot of bait. Back there with the club in November. Hope I draw peg 1 again.
 
Lavender Hall, Dragon Lake, Peg 9
 
Maggotdrowners’ Midlands Individual match fished over two lakes, Dragon & Ben’s. First time at this fishery. Nice place, excellent cafe but that has a downside. Peg 9 on Dragon is one of the pegs with the access road immediately behind. As the cafe is a popular place for people to drop in for a meal/coffee the road is in constant use. Hence shipping a ling pole (more than around 8m, is difficult. Luckily I wasn’t planning on fishing that long.
 
Some of the lads had a knock up on the Friday afternoon, won with 31lb. Reports were that the lake was stocked with loads of silvers and newly introduced stockie carp around 4 ounces. Not suitable for the 16 & 18-20 elastic in my poles. Apparently the lake had been netted and the larger carp moved to the fishery’s specimen pool. This left some resident fish around the 3-4lb mark but in what numbers we didn’t know. So my approach had to be to search these fish out and hope to catch enough to beat those fishing for the small fish.
 
I set up five pole lines, one in front at around 8m and just into the deepest part of the lake. One in front at +1 and three margin spots. If there were some larger fish left I expected to target them in the margins. Also set up a pellet feeder to cast to the island around 30 metres away. Casting was hampered by the surrounding trees but I could just steer the tip through the narrow gap above me.
 
Fed the long pole line with corn, again hoping to attract and hold larger fish, short pole line with micros, a full pot. If there were hoards of small fish I wanted them to have plenty to settle over. Margis were fed with either micros or micros & corn.
 
Started on the pellet feeder with no result. Tried various baits but after around 45 minutes I had nothing. Tried the short pole line and had two small skimmers and hooked and lost two stockie carp. My 16 elastic wasn’t going to make that line workable as a speed fishing line. A quick look around the margins with nothing showing and back on the feeder. Tip went round and I had a small carp around 2 1/2lb. Soon after hooked another slightly larger and lost it six inches from the landing net. After that the feeder line went quiet.
 
I was now around two hours into the match and doing badly. I noticed an angler opposite have what looked a decent carp from his margin so I decided to try that. Spent around half an hour on this line but again no bites except some tentative dips from presumed small fish. I decided to go back on the feeder but doing something I don’t normally do, and in fact have argued against. I put pellets onto a Method feeder. This was forced on me as I had forgotten my groundbait. Banded 8 mil on the hook and I cast out. As I was sinking the line the tip wrenched round and I was into a 3lb carp. Next cast the same thing happened, this time a half pound stockie. Third cast and this time I managed to get the line sunk before another wrap round and another 3 pounder.
 
The next hour continued in much the same vein with the fish seemingly attacking the feeder as soon as it landed, that is if it landed in the right spot. My casting went to pot. Excitement, tiredness, trees or just my lack of skill in this but about one cast in four landed in the right spot. Some would hit the island others fall five yards short. Yes I was clipped up but still could not hit an accurate distance. I pulled out of a couple and got broken by two that didn’t feel that large.
 
Managed gradually to get myself up to around 30lb. Then with an hour to go I hooked into something large. Played it for around ten minutes before the hook pulled. I had one more fish in the last hour as my casting remained erratic, much to the amusement of those around me.
 
Weighed in 36lb 11oz for third on the lake, fifth overall (fourth 37-1). Out of the frame by five ounces but section by default.
 
Millcotton (Wellingborough club water), Peg 7
 
With nothing booked I picked up a small open on my favourite water. This club lake has been dug out like a commercial snake, 40 pegs, aroubnd 14m wide and stocked with a variety but the main quarry is carp up to 9-10lb, average 3. Plenty of decent crucians also.
 
Decided on three pole lines in front separated by a pole section, all the same depth. Also the margins were a bit too shallow and the bottom a bit irregular so decided to fish in 3 ft of water around 5 foot from the bank. This line has been consistent this year producing a fair weight of tench, skimmers and crucians as well as the odd carp. And carrying on from Lavender Hall I would use the Method with pellets. I also set up a rig to fish shallow at around 11m. Sometimes this works and sometimes not. I have found in the past that if it works it will do so quickly with large skimmers showing first with the carp moving in to investigate.
 
Started on the Method having fed the deep margins with a small amount of micros and micros in varying amounts on the three long lines.
 
Had a small carp early on the feeder but it wasn’t really producing so tried the pole lines. They didn’t produce either. Spent half an hour trying the shallow line but again, nothing. Back onto the feeder and had one more fish before deciding that I would concentrate on the deep margins for a while. Very quickly this produced three carp followed by a few crucians, a couple of tench and some roach & skimmers. Unfortunately this led me into thinking that this was the line to concentrate on for the last two and a half hours.
 
As I say it did throw up the odd crucian of around a pound and similar sized tench but no more carp. With around an hour to go I put on a new margin rig and shipped the 13m needed to fish the far bank. Not something I do often here. I am convinced the fish are wary of the pole over their heads. I have seen lads have two or three quick fish like this at the start of a match and then struggle. And holding 13m of pole without getting bites is not my idea of fun. Fed sparingly with six cubes of meat, meat on the hook and suddenly the tip dragged under and I soon landed a fish around 2lb. But that was all.
 
With twenty minutes left I put out the feeder with the intention of packing away the poles. In that last twenty minutes I had four casts, landed two five pound carp and catapulted myself from nowhere to an eventual third place with 32lb. First was 37, 2nd 34. So would I have won had I switched to the feeder for the last hour? I will never know, but that’s the beauty of fishing.

Article source: neilofthenene.blogspot.com

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