May Matches

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May Matches. Hello all of fishing lovers, Today’s post is “May Matches”. We hope this article is helpful for you, all fishing lovers.

May Matches

Decoy Horseshoe Peg 1

Club match and strangely before the draw I told one of the members I would like peg 1. Never fished it before and it has no form in our club matches but I fancied it. As it turned out I believe I should have won from it.

Its a corner peg with an aerator about 25 yards away adjacent to the bank across the corner. A target for the pellet feeder to start with. I also opted to fish two spots, 10 & 2, at topkit+2 using my margin pole and a very inviting right hand margin. Feed on the pole would be micros with corn or pellet on the hook.

Two casts to start on the feeder without a bite. Tried the 2+2 lines and was soon catching fish from the left hand spot on corn. Mainly skimmers and tench but my weight was building nicely for the first hour. Sixteen pound estimate after sixty minutes, looked like being a good day. But then ……

Next two and a half hours saw me land just ten pound. I have no idea what went wrong. I foulhooked a few and landed some but things went deathly quiet. This coincided with the morning’s persistent rain ceasing. Gradually I started to catch a little more frequently but I still wasn’t getting anywhere near the number of fish I knew I would need in order to win. That was confirmed when one lad went for a third net. That meant he was on around seventy pound while I was on thirty.

With around two hours to go I tried dropping the feeder nearer to me but still towards the end bank. Having not had a bite on it all day the tip went round after a few minutes and a three pound carp went in the net. This was followed by one of seven pound a few minutes later and a small one a few minutes after that. So mindf made up, I had to get out the long pole and fish the 13m required to get to the end bank across the corner. Took a few minutes as the margin was a lot deeper than I had imagined so had to switch the short margin rig I tried first for a longer, heavier one. Eventually though I was ready to go.

Almost immediately I started to catch F1s around the two pound mark. Still feeding micros and with corn on the hook the float was going under with pleasing regularity. With an hour to go I had started my second net and had around ten pound in it meaning I had about fifty pound. At this point I want for a third net in case the bigger carp showed up.

For the last hour I had regular bites from the F1s and with a few minutes to go landed another bigger carp just shy of seven pound. My estimated weight was seventy one pound, 21 added in the last hour. So I didn’t need the third net.

I would be last to weigh in and knew I was down the field as two other lads had gone for third nets. The first lad to get his third net, Jim had 100lb exactly. Andy, with his three nets had 105, Ray completed the trio of three netters with 80lb. My two nets were 73lb. So fourth after having a huge barren spell.

I really have to get over this aversion to fishing the long pole. It cost me in this match as it has done in others. Had I fished 13m all day or at least after the first hour there is no doubt in my mind that I would have won.

But to be fair, the fish that I expected failed to show in the margins, unusual for this part of the lake. On another day the short lines would have seen me get over 100lb and in with a chance. These are the decisions you make and have to live with when match fishing.

Misterton Hall

No peg numbers on this estate lake, and for me no peg!

As usual I hung back from the draw and waited until there were three of us left to draw. The other two drew and I was left with an empty bag. Things got sorted and luckily the corner peg by the car park had been left out when pegging so I had that.

I have fished this lake only once before around sixteen years previously. That day I packed up early as after three hours I could still count the ten grains of corn I had fed at the start. It was that clear and, my swim, devoid of fish.

Spent ten minutes dragging loads of branches out of the margin so I could get my keepnet in. Then set up the pole to fish at nine metres. I had made the decision to fish this match solely on the pole and left my feeder rods at home. I decided to fish three spots. One to be fed with casters as I had read that some people had had success fishing maggot over caster, another to be fed with micros and another to fish with just maggot, catapulting regularly over the top.

It was one of those days when the first two hours seemed to disappear in a flash. This might have been because I had to make and receive a few phone calls about the match I was running on the Sunday so my concentration on my current match wasn’t the best. The maggot lines produced a total of two small perch and a roach. I spent another half hour trying different depths and feeding before making the decision that I was going to have to go all out for the tench, crucians and fan tail brown goldfish that inhabit the lake.

So a switch to the pellet line with a 6 mil expander on the hook was made. I knew this was going to have to be a patient waiting game. Luckily it paid off and fifteen minutes after starting on the line I was playing a tench of around two pound. So already much better than my previous visit to the venue.

Over the next two hours I had six bites, landed three more tench and lost three that I think were foulhooked. You can tell by the bite and the way the fish fights.

Final weight just over nine pound for a section win and fifth overall. Top was 24lb, second 12. One more tench would have probably got me up to third and two into second. Again, too late a switch in tactics. But at least I’m doing better than some recent matches.

Biggin Lake, Oundle, Peg 51

Again a lake I have fished only once before. Because of the reputed size of the carp I opted to leave my main pole in the bag and fished feeder and margin pole. Feeder to start would be The Method with my home-made groundbait and white boily. Pole would be at the full 9m of the pole feeding groundbait and then down the margins that the bailiff who was fishing the match told me should produce.

First cast on the feeder produced a 2lb bream. Actually a bad thing as it led me up the proverbial garden path. I stuck with white boily thinking that’s what the fish wanted. Big mistake. Struggled though the first four and a half hours trying all my lines and producing just three more skimmers.

With around an 90 minutes to go I noticed fish cruising on the surface so set up a pellet waggler. Nothing on pellet but first cast with a white boily and I had my first carp of the day at 9lb. But nothing else was interested. So back to The Method and this time with a yellow boily. That produced a fish a chuck for the rest of the match. Final weight 29lb for fifth out of nine. Top weight 80lb, second 46.

Toft Farm Silvers Lake Peg 12

First of Bucko’s qualifiers. Not my favourite lake and the way I have been fishing lately I didn’t approach this match in a positive frame of mind.

11 ½ metres saw me reach to just in front of the reeds opposite, another section allowed me to reach twop gaps to left and right. The problem here is that the reeds are sparse and any hooked fish look to charge through them with an inevitable result. Also the far bank shelf is so uneven I found I needed four rigs to be able to fish four spots.

Started by feeding micros on all four spots and waited for a bite. The float was dancing and the reeds moving but I had to wait a long while for my first bite. Luckily this fish was stupid and headed out into open water. The next few hours were spent chasing fish around the swim, trying different spots. Hooked a total of nine fish and landed four. I had eventually settled on fishing at 11 ½ metres just in front of the reeds in deeper water. This way I found that the couple of fish I hooked here didn’t get into the reeds. It needed some rapid shipping back to apply the pressure needed to stop them.

Eventually, totally demoralised I packed up with half an hour to go. I knew that pegs 10 and 14 had enjoyed a much better day than me. 14 won the match with 58lb, 10 was second with 23. But the rest of the lake fished hard. Many people had less than my nine pound. My section was won by default with 12lb. So two more fish would have seen me take it. But on the day two more was a big ask.

Makins, Lake 2b, peg 8

The only thing I knew about this lake was that you really needed to be landing a feeder within inches of the island and then you were likely to encounter some big carp. This task was made very difficult as it was a 50 yard throw (well 50 turns of the reel handle) and then the island bank angled away from me. So in order to get close you had to judge where the feeder was headed (strong cross wind didn’t help) and try and feather or stop the feeder on the right distance.

This isn’t what I am good at. I think I can be reasonably accurate with a feeder but this swim was on the limit of my abilities.

I set up the pole as well to fish at 2+2 and margins. Any longer on the pole and the lake seemed to shelve away to around ten foot. I didn’t expect to catch that deep at this time of year.

Struggling to het a good cast on the feeder I tried the pole lines with no indications. So I kept switching between pole and feeder for a while with no signs of fish. I then tried maggot on the 2+2 line and had three small skimmers. Meanwhile Terry on peg 5 was getting the very occasional big carp on the feeder. He probably had a longer cast than me but to a bank that was easier to hit accurately. He was also on the pole at 13m and taking the odd bream. So I decided that as the wind had moved slightly to near face on I would also try the pole long. Didn’t do me any good.

With half an hour to go I decided I wasn’t going to challenge for a frame, I had seen enough caught to know I couldn’t catch up. I packed away the pole, emptied my three skimmers out of my nets and set them to dry. I continued with the feeder until the end and managed a bream and a carp in the last fifteen minutes. Not worth getting my nets wet again I put them back and DNWd.

Terry won the match with 60lb, Fourth was 14lb so my estimated weight of around ten was not that bad but a frustrating day when you are virtually fishless for 5 ¾ hours.

Tunnel Barn Farm, Jenny’s Pool, peg 17

This is the annual get together run by one of the community. I have never done any good at Tunnel due to the main quarry being F1s. I cannot get my head around these fish.

I had for company a couple of lads I know well on pegs 15 and 19. They both know and fish this complex better than me. On one side, Gaz on 15 was going for a long pole approach, 13m to the far side despite the strong and gusting wind. Steve to my right on 19 was adopting a short pole/margins approach. I opted to copy Steve as I would have needed 14 ½ metres to fish the far side, not my idea of fun in a strong wind.

So 2+2 and margins for me. Margins looked spot on and I should have listened to my instincts regarding them. At my favourite water, Decoy, I would have spent all day fishing them but didn’t think I would be as successful there on an F1 dominated venue.

Started by feeding the 2+2 line lightly with loose micros and had no response. Meanwhile Steve had already had a fish from the margins and Gaz had started well on his long line. I fed my margins one side with a pellet and groundbait mixture in nuggets and the other with meat. An early look showed no signs of life.

Back on the 2+2 and I started to feed the micros in small balls to ensure the feed reached the bottom. Pretty soon fish activity in the form of bubbles told me the change in feeding had made something happen. Soon enough I had a bite and captured a 2oz skimmer. Still the carp didn’t want to show. Another look in the margins but admittedly half-heartedly showed nothing doing. I was now falling a long way behind my two neighbours. Not unusual for me at Tunnel.

Reverting to type I dumped in a full 200mil pot of micros on the 2+2 and this produced even more activity. But it worked and I had my first F1. I put the largest tosspot I carry on my topkit and started to feed quite heavily. Gradually I was getting bites, many lightening fast. My rig in five foot of water was a 0.2g float with a string of No.10 Stotz and dotted down so the float was just about submerged. But still I could only hit around one bite in ten.

This frustration continued and I must admit I became fixated on trying to make this line work. With around 45 minutes to go I picked up my margin rig again and decided to give the right margin a good look. Quickly I had a couple of missed bites and then connected with the third. Only another F1 but at least a more rapid response than I had seen on any line until now. Back into the margin and I was soon playing a 5lb mirror. A few more of those and bigger would see me happy. In that last three quarters of an hour I probably doubled my weight. Still only 33lb and second last on the day but at least I had at last enjoyed some proper sport.

Gaz was fourth with just over 80lb. Steve had struggled like me fishing the short lines and managed 38. Still enough to take the pound we have with each other when we are on the same match.

Boldings Pools, Sycamore, Peg 13

Fishomania qualifier. I made the more than two hour drive in hope of getting a ticket. I started at around 90th on the reserve list. On booking ion I was told I had risen to 69th on the day. Just squeezed in as the second to last reserve to get on. Drew Sycamore 13 from the two pegs left and was immediately told it was a flier margin peg.

The peg itself sits on the end of a point out into the lake. Where you sit the spit is around 4-5 metres wide. So restricting the actual amount of margin you can reach to around a topkit left and right. By sitting at a 45 degree angle backwards I could also reach the margin behind me to the right. Information given to me by a helpful Maggotdrowner showed two weights of around 145lb coming off this peg in April. A weight like that today would surely be enough to win.

I set up six topkits to fish the margins. There appeared to be no real shelf close in so I needed different depth rigs to fish the three spots I could reach. I also set rigs up with a band on the hooklength to fish hard pellet in addition to my normal expander & corn approach. These rigs would also double as up in the water rigs as I could see fish cruising already in the morning sun.

First problem was the fishery own pellets. I am used to using Skrettings, these were not. The micros were OK, I wetted them and immediately poured the water off. But the 4 mils didn’t seem to want to absorb the water so I left them to soak some up for a few minutes. They turned into a solid lump of mush. A bit of experimenting with timings got me something that was acceptable but for me not ideal.

At the start I fed my margins and went out with the shallow rig to see if I could mug an early cruising fish. I didn’t. But I had seen a couple of swirls near the margin to my left and so switched there thinking that there might already be fish in residence. Fairly quickly the float buried and I saw a bow wave take off. A fish shallow in the margins already, great!.

An hour later and with every margin explored I hadn’t had another sign of fish. Meanwhile a few had been caught early by those fishing long pole up in the water. But it was obvious that no one was storming it. Trying the margin behind on the right I had a bite, had a fish on for around five seconds then the hook pulled. Foulhooked or weeded I don’t know. But that was the last bite I had until the last twenty minutes.

Middle of the match I tried a line at five metres for around thirty minutes. A few little dips, probably small silvers, but no proper bites. With twenty minutes to go I had my first fish on hard pellet out of the margin behind me. A carp of just over a pound. This was followed immediately by one of around four. And that was my day done.

Another Fisho, another DNW. Lake was won with 54, most didn’t bother weighing in. Match was won with 105. So had I been able to get the margins working, even for three hours I may have achieved a good result. But it wasn’t to be. I may have overfed the margins believing that if I were going to land enough fish to make 100 to 150lb I needed to feed them. But I was mainly feeding micros so nothing to really fill fish up.

Might try next year but I probably won’t make the drive to Boldings again. The M6 on the way home confirmed why I’m happy to be retired and no longer commuting.

Holly Farm, Trotters Pool, Peg 27

Another of Bucko’s charity qualifiers. With my recent form and previous failures on this lake I wasn’t very confident, but a new day, a new match and another chance.

At Holly you have to use their pellets and groundbait. I have never found the pellets to be that effective but one good angler I know told me he did OK using the micros on the pellet feeder.

Peg 27 has a really attractive looking right margin, under a tree with about 24 inches of water. The left margin has a nearby bed of sparse reeds that I was sure any hooked fish would charge straight through so that was out of the equation. My plan therefore was to fish the pellet feeder to the island around 25 metres away, pole at topkit plus three sections in front and under the tree to the right.

As I have said I really don’t trust the fishery pellets so feed would be krilled meat (6mm), corn & liquidised corn. I have found here in the past that the cloud & smell of the liquidised corn can attract fish into the margins. Hookbait would meat & corn. On the feeder it would be meat, corn, dead reds and min-boilies. I have had a couple of fish in the past on the boilies. I also had some Band-Ums in my box that I have never had a fish on. I also mixed up a small amount of the fishery green groundbait. Again I have had some fish on this in the past. Unlike the pellets this stuff seems to work well on the Method and mixes easily to the right consistency.

Fed the pole lines at the start, meat on the +3 line, corn slop and meat in a couple of spots under the tree. Two casts of the pellet feeder in twenty minutes and all I had was a couple of line bites. Spent some time on the +3 pole line with no indications before trying the margins. One slight dip under the tree was probably from a small silver.

An hour gone and the recent pattern of me struggling was repeating itself. I have lost count of the number of times I have gone home to The Boss and told her I had got things sorted in the last hour. Today I left home with some advice from her, don’t leave it until the last hour today. Thinking of this I switched the pellet feeder for the Method. Corn on the hook and cast out. I have to say here that I never regard my feeder casting to be my best skill. But today I was managing to get close to the island and into a two metre wide gap fairly consistently. Sometimes even crashing through the overhanging bankside vegetation.

First cast didn’t produce anything and while waiting I readied a hair rig with mini boily. Second cast with the white boily and after five minutes something unusual happened, I had a bite!

A minute later and I had a 2lb carp in the net. Next cast and a three pounder joined it. This can’t be happening surely, I have lost the ability to catch fish yet here I was with two in the net. Two casts later and a fish of around a pound and a half hung itself. I was motering.

Then a couple of casts with only liners so I switched to a yellow boily and on this another two fish were netted. Again it went quiet so I switched back to the white bait and again had a fish before things slowing down. Ok on such an unusual day perhaps I needed to switch baits regularly. I reached for the three tubs of Band-Ums, two semi buoyant and one sinking. Trying the sinking first didn’t help so a strawberry floater went on. And that was it for the rest of the day. With the floating strawberry Band-Um popping up from the feeder and as long as I got a cast to within three feet of the island the tip would, most times, go round after a while.

With an hour left I did have a brief look in the margins but no indications of life there soon had me back on the feeder.

Most of the fish were small, did manage a seven pounder and lost a few to hook pulls and one to a break of the hooklength. Ended the match with an estimated 36lb.

I was helping with the weighing in starting on peg 3 and it soon became apparent that the lake had fished hard. By the time we got to peg 27 there were two weights of around 36lb. I was now praying my estimate was on the low side. Scales gave me 40lb 7oz and the win. Glory be I had broken my drought.

The strange thing is though that I felt somewhat embarrassed as all I had done was throw a feeder and waited for it to go round. I’m sure I beat some good anglers who had worked harder for their weights. But a win is a win and I’m certainly not handing it back.

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