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About this blog

My trials and tribulations after 10 years off


Its been some time coming but I had to get back into it, Driving past rivers and lakes for the best part of 10 years reading the Angling Press and listening to Fisherman's Blues, has finally made me think. There's fish in that there water. smile.png


Over those years I have watched the progress of many old friends from within the sport I have never missed a copy of the mail or times, I have also seen like myself many disappear off the scene, some very old clubs / teams just vanish, teams like Essex County ( The Rainbow Warriors ) and my old gangs Defiant Mobile. and Trevs. a big part of my Angling history has vanished.

The introduction of fishing forums pretty much swung it for me and you have that little ugly bloke Les Woodmouse to thank for my return as if it wasn't for his charity auction that I won I can honestly say I would not have bothered.

Thanks to all the guys that have helped me along the way the list is endless but you all know who you are.

And the title of my blog well that comes from the early editions of Match fishing Magazine where David Hall used the words from a very funny guy and old friend of mine Cliff Hunt who wrote the Life at the Bottom Column, 

So Bottoms up chaps I hope you enjoy my adventure

Entries in this blog

Sunday 8th June High Flier Ely

The Lake

For those of you that don't know high flier this place has been earmarked as one of those venues that has a good chance of breaking the UK Match record. 400lb weights are quite regular 300 and 200 lbs often dont frame.

Its quite a good sized lake 32 permanent pegs all with a minimum 15 metres some have over 20, the lake was first dug out to supply water for there farm its fed by land drainage via a culvert and pumped direct from the Ouse, the water level tends to change a lot from week to week depending on the farmers requirements.

Up untill now I have been real bad at drawing on this place where ever I draw the weights seem to come from the opposite end.

The Draw

In goes the hand out comes 27 Im happy with this 28 has been the inform peg, I have no walk its right by the car park and tea hut and more importantly next to the keep net store 

I set up 4 rigs 4x18 KC Carpa 2 for down the shelf its about 6ft but its gusty and the tow will be bad

I set up a KC Shallow for up in the water set at 12inches deep thats the minimum you can fish

and last and most importantly a Garbo DC6 0.3 for down the edge I set up two of these as when the fish are coming fast you pull out of a lot of fish the fish are up to 16 pound when that hook pulls on red hydro with 20 ft out the float comes back with so much force it often disintegrates 
on 5 or 6 occasions I have been left with just a carbon stem and never found the rest of the bits smile.png

Today I have the organiser to my left I have never managed to beat him before he knows the place inside out and every blade of grass the fish live under.

The off

You need to be prepared for this place, its been known to use over a gallon of hemp, 8 to 12 pints of pellet and in excess of 20 tins of corn, this is no exaggeration, its a heavy feeding venue with lots of fish, nothing thrown in gets passed by these fish.

I start with 2 pots of hemp and 1 corn on my 6 metre line 250ml pots, I put two pots of corn to my right tight to the reeds and two pots to my left laced with 6mm cubed Luncheon meat.

I put some corn on my hook and drop in at 6m
instant bite and a pasty in the net maybe 10oz, another pot of hemp and corn out on the same line. this is the pattern by the way a pot full for every fish.

I get a finicky bite followed by another and another and I cant hook a fish, Im thinking maybe the Rudd and roach are mouthing the bait so I put a 6mm cube of meat on, I get another finicky bit strike and a fish is on, 5 minutes later its in the net a common of 6 pounds.

Now the bite was so delicate I could hardly believe it was a good fish, this pattern seemed to be the order of the day, tiny little bites that the locals wouldn't even see on the cranky over the top tackle they use, yet the on a delicate float they were visible, 6mm meat over corn and hemp seemed to be the way to go I ended up with 17 reasonable fish for 48lb 8 oz I doubled the weight of the organiser and the guy on the flier peg 28 had 1 fish.

I had topped my end of the lake only to be knocked out of the money 2nd day on the turn by 1 place and 1 pound frown.png.

The lake fished poorly not many fish up in the water (I had two) and the winning weight was only 100lb thats unusual for this place but the fish had spawned the week prior and the rain on Friday was heavy the extra cold water may have put the fish down, add to this the fact no one caught any number of fish on the inside confirms this.

Im still drawing at the wrong end of the lake but Im getting on the method quicker, cant wait until next Sunday.

Do you ever Doubt your Ability ? 7th June 2008

Saturday 7th June brings me to familiar surroundings the Lake John car park Waltham Abbey, only today Im fishing an open on Beruit

Thats the name it was given by Colin Sucker Tasker due to his dislike for snake type lakes and there general appearance prior to the lake maturing.

I have never fished this lake before its a square lake with an island 26 pegs, and the island can be reached from every peg, maximum 14 metres.

We have the normal brekkie in the on site cafe the banter is running strong, Kenny Farrel is doing knot lessons on the top table and people are just genrally taking the ****, this is what open matches are all about.

The Draw

In the bag goes my hand, peg 3, I look at everyone and there is no comment the kind of silence you expect when you have drawn real bad, and no one wants to upset you by telling you, 

It doesnt really matter to me as I have never fished the place I ask a few questions of what to do and where to fish I get some mixed responses, does anyone actually know ?
Colin the owner is always on the money I ask him the crack he gives me enough pointers to get working with and I know he is never far off.

My peg

My peg looks nice, im in the middle of a far side bay with two points that stick back towards me from the far bank, both points can be reached with 14m its comfortable, My inside line has nice reed growth especially to the left leading up to peg 2 and to my right I have a gap in the reeds I can poke a pole through and keep myself well hidden.

The tactics for the day

Im expecting to make a few mistakes today, new venues take some sorting out but I have had a reasonable amount of info to work on

I set up a small dibber for the tight over features .19 to .15
two rigs for down the middle which incidentally is the main line on this place in the summer, they are two preston Chianti's 4x12 and 4x14 both .13 to a .10 hook length with an 18 808 hook, both with middy yellow high vis laccy I think its 10

my inside line is a .3 preston red bulked at half depth no droppers, I use some silicone on the bristle as Im fed up with pulling eyse out, and use my old faithful middy blue solid that super smooth elastic that people really need to jump on as its very good.

I plumb up the inside and have 2ft 6 inches tight up against the reeds, thats nice im sure I will catch there with minimal; spooking

the far side is a bit shallower I have to cut down the rigs a little

I plumb the middle and im quite shocked its 3 ft max all over, I was told it was a shallow peg but wasn't expecting that, I have to doctor my two fav rigs, I like to fish 18 inch of line between float and tip when im down the middle I like to be able to search a bit rather than drop off the end of the pole, it seems now days people insist on fishing 3 inches of line your missing out on too much doing this.

The whistle goes I cup some chopped corn and caster tight over on each feature and leave the bay free of bait incase it all goes wrong, two big pots of hemp with a little corn go down the inside both left and right
I put 1 large pot of 4mm polar ice pellet down the middle again with a few bits of corn.

out we go long

first cast produces a fly away bite I miss it and wait for another, I wait and wait nothing I feed again this is followed by another bit and I hook a carp only small but it comes off, I wait for another, "nothing" 45 minutes has gone and no fish the guys around me are catching and they seem to be doing the same as me, I put in another small cup the float buries and I catch an 8oz skimmer, at last I have a fish, I sit and wait and nothing,

This match is typically won with 40 to 50 lb im wasting time, I switch to the middle, I can see some fizzing over my pellet I drop in just off the bait, im getting silly little digs on what is a super sensitive float, then it disappears I lift into a fish, I feel like I have hooked the bottom only for the bottom to start swimming, it just swims and swims and swims, I have hooked forest gump. on middy yellow I have more chance of being prime minister than getting this in my elastic bottomed out and "BANG" back comes my rig it hits the pole and smashes into small fragments, at this point iam like WTF I was told .10 and 10 laccy frown.png

I put on the lighter Chianti it has a longer line as well, the float goes I get a skimmer I feed again and nick a few more.

Im 2 and a half hours into this match and have put nothing together maybe 4 pound others have 20 plus im getting a tanning from each side and starting to doubt my ability.

I sit back have a cigarette and think about this for a bit

I needed a new approach fishing out a pot of pellet isn't working so I damp down some micro and put on a large toss pot I fill it 3/4 with micro (polar ice) add a few 4mm and half a dozen grains of corn, drop the float in and pour

im going to do this religiously now regardless 10 minutes later im getting a bite a chuck switching to corn gets me a nice run of crucians and skimmers, Im catching up, now the noddy in peg 3 is turning some heads, its always good when the guys each side start paying attention to you, it usually means they are concerned, this went on until 90 minutes to go I now have about 10 to 12lb I have started to suss things out feed every fish and have a long line keep the tip away from the feed area.

All this time I have kept feeding the inside bulking with hemp and a small amount of corn if the carp show it will take them ages to mop up all that hemp and I may just get a few off it.

I look round and the guy to my right has a good sized carp maybe 5lb I look at my inside line and its time to give it a shot.

First drop in results in a missed bite but im now on the edge of my box, amazing what a bite on a big bait can do

in again another bite, which results in about 6 meters of blue 20 shooting across the pond

I lose it

Is today gonna get any worse ?, in again within seconds I have another on I land a 2 pounder this is followed by 2 more in two casts but slightly bigger.

I have now been joined by the lake owner Colin, he sits down behind me, away goes the float I have a better one, only this time Im ready a few minutes later I have one about 5lb in the net, the problem Im having with these carp is Iam undoubtably in the shallowest peg on the lake you hit a fish and its immediately on the top it then goes off like a train in an attempt to gain freedom. I get a few more in and lose a very good fish about 6 or 7 pound it should have been in the office sadly even on this forgiving laccy the hook pulled.

I finish with 8 carp on the inside line and the whistle goes

I estimate 30lb after nearly 3 hrs wasted time I got my act together, next week I will get it right from the off unless conditions change

John Young won on the day with 37lb kenny Farrel 2nd with 36lb Martin Amos third with 34lb
I weighed 31 LB.12 oz I was one out of the money frown.png

I cant be too disappointed first time there, and I wasted a lot of time, any one of 3 lost fish would have won the match if I had got the middle line right like the others from the start maybe I could have had 6lb more
Who knows, and I guess thats why we do this sport. As for the doubts, local knowledge was the key on this one, roll on next Saturday Im going back for more

Getting a ticket for the Fisho's is a mission in itself often over subscribed so to see Monk Lakes wasn't sold out was somewhat alarming, eventually it sold out as it remained open.

On the morning there was a distinct lack of the regular faces those hardened Fisho entrants that travel from far a field were not there in numbers, The poor fishing last year combined with some quite silly rules really have taken its toll.

on the morning there were lots of views of where this would be won from, I fancied around 15 to 20 pegs could put me in with a shout, having never fished Puma or Bridges I was hoping for lakes 2 or 3 I joined the queue early and when it was my turn I pulled out 69, not the best peg on the spit by a country mile and given the fact the match was now mostly full of local rods it was going to be hard doing any damage from this peg, I was 3 from the end of the spit facing the shallow bank on lake 2 but being the optimist I was gonna give it a good shot.

Maybe its my lucky day

While im setting up my phone rang, Chris V promptly asked me if i had trodden in dog poo this morning smile.png the word had got out that the peg to my left on the end of the spit had not been drawn, this gave me a very good peg indeed I just needed the fish to come down the margin early and I was in with a chance

My approach

I set up two margin rigs almost identical using a 0.2 Ackoo caster both with .16 Xceed and one with a 16 b911 and the other a 14 b911 the 16 b911 with a black hydro the 14 with 12/20 maver.

I also set up a Wilkie Chimp type float in 4x14 for the 6metre line with a strung bulk .15 hook length to a 16 b911 and 13h laccy, I don't know what these floats are called but they are awesome a must have float in my opinion that has overcome all the issues with the original chimp.

the method would be micros and corn to my left margin micros and corn to the right and loose feed pellets at 6m I also set up a method and a pellet wagg and decided i would feed 6mm pellets as far as i could on the pellet wagg.

Off we go

A small pot of soaked micros with some meat to my left and the same with corn to my right, a large pot of pellet at 6metres 2 big pouches of 6mm at 35yds and we are fishing, i drop in at 6 metres i work the float and all the baits until i finally get a bite on corn Im half an hour in and just 1 fish in the net a lone 2 pound mirror, then another bite well not really a bite i was looking away and the laccy came out yeah yeah i know but we have all done that smile.png another 2lb mirror, after an hour i have 3 fish its fishing poor I turn around and ask Gary Miller hows its going and pretty much the same so I try the margin, i go right first on the corn line and miss bite after bite a few shotting adjustments and i have a skimmer in the net, I guess from this my peg is fulkl of tiny skimmers, feed again and go back on 6m, the second hour produces another 3 carp, Im really disappointed by know 2 hrs gone and just 7 fish maybe 12lb, I try shallow in the margin as like most I have carp spawning in the edge they were crashing about everywhere, half a dozen fast bites but no fish, Im suspecting liners,

3hrs has now past and im getting a tad concerned this isnt right I throw out the pellet wagg I get 5 good F1;s the 2lb stamp in 5 casts and no more bites, i chuck out the method on the same line and nothing.

I noticed the guy on the far side in the corner is catching in the margin so i decide to try the meat line and percevere with it, Im now starting to put a few fish together rewarding the peg with a tosspot full of micros and 4 or 5 pieces of meat every bite or fish, this is starting to work, I estimate I have 50lb now and have gone way ahead of those around me, i check the time and have 50 minutes left not enough time for a comeback but maybe a frame or a section as the guy in the corner peg 90 is emptying it, I start my second net.

Im now sacking up im into a rythm and i dont think i can catch any quicker im now on the size 14 rig and the 12/20 laccy, Fordy and the camera crew turn up and ask how im doing, I reckoned on 65lb he said im in with a shout but knew deep down i was well off the pace due to the poor first 3 hrs.

The whistle goes I net one on the whistle I have out caught everyone i can see including the eventual winner in that last hour, but i know im going to fall well short.

The scales arrived and 80lb was winning the spit I weighed in 92lb and a few ounces the last 50minute net weight in at 46lb 12oz if only i had a first hour one as well smile.png

the spit was won with 135lb from the first peg over the bridge its a top peg and had a good angler on it, I was 2nd on the spit and 2nd in the section. from what I hear i was 8th or 9th overall another top 10 thats 6 from 10 now and 2 of which were 3rd's

Im drawing well in this tournament, lets hope moorlands gives me a good en.

The guy on 90 went on to win I wouldn't have give his peg the time of day so a very well done indeed, he caught steady all day and that was the key.

Monk was a very good 2011 Fisho well run lots of room and some good fishing, lets hope it attracts the numbers it has in the past again as it really deserves it.
Lake John, Top Lake 30th April 2008 

Its been a long while, Last match I fished was Frant lakes Near Hastings a summer league around 1996/7

I awake in the morning hesitant, nervous, and can't wait all in one package.

get my bait out the fridge knock up a few kilo of ground bait and load the van.

I get there early looking for a brekkie on site, only the cafe doesn't open weekdays frown.png

Gradually people start to appear, people look at me unsure as to who Iam they look and they remember me but are unsure, I find this amusing, one guy comes over and asks if Iam Paul "of course Iam" a few more arrive including a couple more old friends, I get chatting some people look in disbelief "what the hell you doing back" is the comment I get mostly.

In the hat goes my hand I wonder if I can draw still Out comes peg 7, it doesn't mean a lot to me im practically fishing blind, I go to my peg and set up the rigs I finished my day with on Sunday.

The whistle goes and I look around looking for pointers.

Its quite amazing how Sunday I was quietly confident and the whistle goes and its like what the hell.

All is see for 10 minutes is poles going out with ground bait long poles too, I haven't even set up a rig for the long pole smile.png.

I cup in two balls at 6 meters at 3 o clock and the same at 9 o'clock, a pot of pellet over each and set up a long pole rig frown.png, I plumb up and find the peg is quite shallow I have to chop the rig about I hate doing this but reluctantly do it. I follow up with half a dozen balls cupped in at 14 metre.

I go on the 6m line catch a few at 9 o'clock small cup of pellet and switch to 3 o'clock, both lines dry up so I put a ball of crumb on each and go long.

I couldn't get too many bites long, but when I did it resulted in a 10oz skimmer, I kept flicking from 6 to 14 then back again 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock and so on and so on, I knew it wasn't going well I was chopping and changing too much.

The whistle goes

I always look at beating either side they are your benchmarks after that your looking for a section and so on. the guy to my right I had him well beat the guy on the left its going to be close, he was on the reed peg well known peg lots of fish short. I weighed 18lb 12oz he had 18lb 2oz, the guy to my right 5 or so pounds, Im happy with that,

From memory it was one on peg 14 with 42 lb 
I was about halfway not good not bad I knew that was about right as all day im going from one line to another


Colemans Cottage my second open Match. 12th May 2008

After my first match at Lake John I was eager to get back into the fold, Its difficult as Im missing that always relied on local knowledge and it really is like starting from scratch.

I arrive at the venue armed with bait and rigs I put together from information gathered at my local tackle shop J and B's in Enfield

I take a peak at the lake it looks superb it looks like each peg has an island at around 14.5 metres nice and comfortable and the whole complex looks well thought out and well managed.


As Im taking this photo a car a van pull up, out get Dave and Mick Vincent two of my old sparring partners Im as shocked to see them as they are me, we walk over to the clubhouse and bump into another old friend Gary Miller we sit down for breakfast and fly through the last nine years in about an hour.

I daw peg 26 Im told thats a good peg, on a point, deep inside line you can often catch just down the shelf there isn't any inside cover, my island is very small and around 16.5 metres.

I get to my peg it looks fishy the way the peg juts out I can control a big part of the lake from this peg, Im armed with a bucket of the Carp Vader white pellets and a couple of tubs of the soft hookers 4 and 6 mm and this will be my main line of attack with hook bait switches as required.

The whistle goes I pot in 2 250ml pots of hemp and a pot of white 4mm sinkers at 5metres and the same at 16 with a few free offerings of corn 

1st cast is a missed bite on a soft 4mm pellet 2nd cast is a carp about 2 pounds i get a steady stream of small carp up to 2lb then I hook a good one my black hydra is stretched right through the next peg and the hook pulls,I return with a 10 pence piece sized scale, I have around 16 pound on the clicker and I hook another, this time its in the mouth I have to break down twice as the guys either side are fighting with rollers and I didnt want any of that, I break down at the top 5 then break down at the number 3, as I place sections 4 and 5 down the number 5 comes off and drops in the water to the right hand side of the platform, now I still have a fish on I give the fish some welly net the fish and attempt to retrieve my number 5 only as I got up I see it slowly glide away into oblivion.

Gutted is an understatement, I take the fish which is still in my landing net balancing in my keepnet unhook it and put it in the net.

In I go I need the section as I dont have a spare no 5 needless to say I had no luck its around 4ft deep at the end of the platform and 6 ft in the middle, I am deeply disappointed I draw a good peg and feed my pole section Iam now stuck with 4 sections of pole to fish with frown.png
and of course I have been walking around where I now have to fish.

I percevere and set my stool out at 4 metres I cant even reach where I fed, I cup in some nosebag just short of the furthest I can reach
cast out and shake my head with disbelief, Im staring at my float half heartedly when it shoots away smile.png I have hooked one of the lakes lumps, I have got a battle on my hands here as I only have my elastic there are no sections to add on, 15 minutes later Im rewarded with a lump around 10lb, 

I carry on heavily feeding pellet switching between corn and pellet on the hook with the occasional maggot, I hook another this time im in trouble it goes off like a train all I can do is put my pole under the water simply apply a little side strain and hope it stops, well it did I turned it and it made its way back to where I sat, after a merry dance around the inside another 10lb er in the net. this continued until the end I lost a couple of which im sure I would have landed given the availability of my number 5.

I went on to weigh in 78 lb good enough for 5th 112lb won it, I think I could have took the main envelope if I hadn't lost my 5.

After the match I went in for a proper swim I never found my section, Gerry the lake owner did get it back for me during the week they had some divers down there for other peoples sections a well spent 20 quid in my opinion.

Well the guys had a good laugh back at the clubhouse, and of course I would have done the same smile.png


Edit Blog Entry

Docklows Pools 17th 18th May 08

Something attracted me to this day arranged by TA, I don't know what, Maybe Im just as crazy as the guys I met.

Well it all starts with a long drive from London up through Birmingham and down the M5 to Leominster, I got up late and left about 40 minutes behind time, I had arranged to meet Bagging up Art and Bad boy Bagger outside the tackle shop at 8am it was imperative I got there close to that, having never met anyone from TA the thought of walking around the complex asking people if they were bagging up or bad boy didn't appeal to me smile.png

I make good time and arrive at 8.10 am I get out the van and walk down to the tackle shop.

Now I got to find two people I have never seen before, I see two guys loitering around by the tackle shop I walk up and ask are you Art smile.png
and I get a reply in a strong west country accent, "you must be Justin" 

Its quite a unique situation when you think about it, very few know each others real name on TA its like having a new life, we discuss where we are going to fish and go off in separate directions, I need a breakfast they need some bath towels smile.png strange habits these Bath guys have, what ever happened to a good old fry up to get the day going.

After brekkie I drive down to the lake where we arranged to meet, Art and bad boy are already there and best part set up Im not sure what they done with the bath towels but they look ok.

I drop into the swim next to Art, I set up quite quick throw a few rigs on a few cups of bait go out and its one a chuck all day, I think we must have fished the training pool or something, no matter what bait what line what depth It resulted in a bite and a fish. "good times" 

I don't know what weight we had they were mainly small fish, but we had a lot. I decide enough is enough and arrange to meet back at the pub later and go off in search of my B&B

Leominster isn't far 5 minutes down the road and I find my digs, Its a really nice place called Copper Hall, I felt my van looked out of place in the car park but hey its only one night.

I met the owner she ran me through the set up "I was in the coach house" this was a separate building across the courtyard consisting of two bedrooms a lounge and a bathroom. I arranged to go to the main house after I had a shower for some afternoon tea "How posh" 

Disaster strikes

I grab the keys, my bathroom kit and hit the shower, all thats on my mind is meeting up with the lads back at the pub and the other people that are coming down, I go back to my room, I look for the room key.

Do you ever get that feeling your in deep doo doo, all the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you think to yourself 
what the ..........
well of all things I had picked up the van keys instead of the room keys.

Iam now stuck with no clothes no keys no phone im in the coach house across the courtyard and cant get into my room, as I got undressed in the room all I have is a tiny towel and a very small ill fitting bath robe that I cant even get my arms into, "I found this in the bathroom,

Oh well, I set off to the main house as I ring the door bell the door opens, she must have seen me half naked walking across the courtyard, WRONG some old guy and his wife walked out the door, you know the type ex wing commander, I didn't really know what to say so out came the words " good evening" they looked me up and down with disgust and walked off shaking their heads smile.png more to the point they shut the damm door.

It wasn't going to be my evening I rang again and wondered what else could go wrong, the owner finally arrived laughing historically and let me back into my room, I get dressed go and have a cup of tea then book a cab.

I called the local cab firm, I sensed the woman was a tad crazy when she said she couldn't pick me up for 10 minutes as she had to pack away the lawn mower ? Im starting to wonder im being set up.

The cab arrives she is quite pleasant and she gets me the 5 miles back to Docklow "How much I ask" She replies "20 quid" looks like im about to get my backside slapped, I question the cost, its because its bank holiday, I don't want to argue I just need a beer and I pay up.

The Pub

I walk in Art and Bad boy have ordered food I get a beer and order some myself.

After a while Larry and his party turn up Sumo, Sue and Larry's partner (sorry the name has gone) we drink into the night lots of jokes some great laughs were had its was brilliant, it was as if we had known each other for years.

At the end of the night Larry dropped me back to my B&B and I crashed out looking forward to the match the next morning.

The Match

The next morning we meet up in the car park its strange how we all seemed to gel form the off, a great bunch of guys, Breakfast was going to be interesting as during breakfast the day before I talked to the owner and we arranged to have brekkie at one huge table in the hall,

This was ace, it was like a medieval gathering for bacon and tea, the jokes were flying about it was a great ice breaker to start the day off.

after brekkie we drive down to the lake do the draw and carry out the TA rituals of mickey taking etc etc and then go off to our pegs, lots of people wearing pink by the way.

I have drawn next to Floater (Polekiller) and Opposite Tony (Rive t) I dont remember all the other guys around me it was all too much to take in, I look across the lake to see if Rive is looking and light up a ciggie, I watch carefully to see if he gets his laccy out of a cool bag,

I have a good look at the peg not having a clue about this pool I set up a chop and caster rig for 14 metres a heavy rig for down the edge and a light style rig in case t fishes the same as yesterday, 

Off we go

Two pots of chop and caster go in long
1 pot of corn down the inside line tight to the reeds and I flick a few casters on my to hand line, I drop out the to hand rig and instantly start catching a few small roach followed by a pastie and a few more roach, fish are steady but slow so I switch to the long pole, first cast im created with a skimmer, it goes a little quiet I put out another pot and go back to the style rig and it is dead , I nick two or three more fish and that line is over. I try the corn line and nothing.
looks like its a long pole day, I go back over my chop the float sails away, I hit it slide the pole back to the top 3 and heave the fish to the top and into the landing net a 10 pounder in the net in about a minute, I dont think the fish realised what had happened smile.png as it went crazy in the landing net.

By this time Rive was doing his best to reduce the lilly pads opposite me with some new age trimming tools a bomb rod some monofil and a carp, I laughed quite a bit at this as it was a no win situation it was too far for the pole and as soon as you had a bite on the bomb the carp was already wrapped up in pads smile.png I did notice at one point frustration had set in and I almost offered him a fag, what Im sure made it worse is Polekiller had just Lassoed one on a floating pole next to me and dead opposite Rive, he went on to get another as well.
Our very own Mr Nudd was in the corner and it seemed like he was getting a fish a chuck, he ended up with a good weight, I went on to add a few bits to my weight and missed a couple of cracking bites on the chop line undoubtably big fish as I was on big baits.I weighed in 15 pound odd I beat either side and thats all I could hope for on such a dismal day in fact I ended up with my section.

Back to the pub for a cold drink results and a long drive home. 

It was a great day the fishing was poor but the company was second to none, all the way home I chuckled to myself about Rives infectious laugh, Larry with his facial hair making him look like a young john Wilson and le mo losing every fish in the lake, twice smile.pngand of course the Bath brothers forgetting there towels and how bad boy seemed so proud to wear his bright pink hat for the whole duration of the match, Im sure Art done the same, There was a rumour they didn't have to buy them as they were taken from their line dancing outfit smile.png

It was great meeting all of you sorry I dont remember all the names, I wished I had took some pics. and I can't wait to do it again


Whats all this fishing about ? Pleasure session first me thinks. 27th April 08

Snow snow and more snow.

Someone is trying to tell me something, we are not supposed to have snow this time of the year, more to the point I purchased all this new kit and forgot about clothing.

once I got warmed up and shook my way through near hyperthermia I finally got my head down and put a few fish together, in fact it was quite a nice day, plenty of good size skimmers, 4 or 5 tench a carp about 6lb and a wonderful looking black spotted carrot around 4lb.

So whats new

Number 4 elastic doesn't work any more, all the 22's and 24 hooks won't be any good, its wise to buy warm clothing for UK fishing, and I need a Sensas tin opener for my bait.

Fishing really has changed the fundamentals are the same but rigs baits and the general approach is totally different.

I ended the day with a comfortable 40 or 50 lb not bad for a noob or is this fishing of today ? I will hold back and answer that another day.

One thing quite funny happened today, I was fishing away and I heard lots of laughing coming from the opposite bank, It was my old drinking partner and good friend Colin Tasker, we go way back as he was setting up I called him on the mobile and told him I needed him on a job for an emergency after a small pause and some concern he looked up and spotted me, needless to say we had a great laugh for the rest of the day.

There is an open here Wednesday I nervously book a ticket



Lake John Wednesday 21st May 2008

I have missed out writing up on quite a few opens as i'm fishing 3 a week and its a lot of writing so I will just write about the interesting ones.

The midweek match at Lake John is a favourite of mine, its stuffed full of skimmers 100 lb is not impossible and it really is a busy 6hr match so busy the time flies by. I often wonder why more commercial venue designers dont take this approach,and base the bulk of the fish on skimmers and roach that feed all the year round, with a good helping of tench rudd and carp. 

All the usual suspects are there at the draw Im looking for pegs 23 or 33 in the corner or anywhere on the back bank or 10 to 16 all the pegs are good I just don't like the remainder
I draw 34 I have drawn this before Im at the end of the island so have to take the feeder rod with me.

The main attack for me today is 13m and 6m lines and the feeder, the first 20 minutes will be on the feeder while the fish get there heads down on the other two lines.

On the whistle I cup in 8 hard balls at 13 metre packed with caster corn and micro pellet and 3 balls on the 6 metre line.

My feeder mix is simple yet effective I get a 2 pint tub put in a big handful of 6mm meat and two handfuls of hemp I add a little dry brown crumb to help it bind, I hair rig a 12mm soft pellet and a 10mm piece of meat and launch it out, it lands a foot from the island. 

before the off I had a few casts with a small bomb got my distance and clipped off,

You cant miss the carp in this place you must never let go of your rod otherwise it will be gone, i'm getting liners from the off, then a slow pull round I lift into it and have a skimmer about a pound and re cast, I hit almost the same spot and I'm getting liners once again, I wait and wait a few recasts later the rod tried to fly across the lake I lift into a carp, I land the fish its about 6lb, the two guys either side of me are catching steady on the pole lots of foul hooked skimmers they haven't got there heads down so I persevere with the tip. another half hour goes by and I have added two more skimmers, time for a change.


As a rule would expect the float to bury, but nothing, I lift the float slightly to one side and let it fall back into the water it sails away I ge the first skimmer on the pole and its hooked in the mouth, this is followed by half a dozen more then it goes quiet. I cup in two more of the same and switch to the 6 metre line,

I nick a couple of small fish but again have to wait for a bite, I hear a regular plop as skimmers are hitting the net in peg 33, sadly I cant see him due to a large reed bed I look to 36 the flier and Alan is getting a fish a chuck,

Something isn't right here, I can't buy a bite, a good trick I have found on this venue is when they are not having it a large pot of chop can bring the peg to life, I get my multi scissors out and chop up a 2 pint tub full, you may think this s a lot of bait but the place really is stuffed full of fish, they would devour a bag of micro pellets in minutes and move on, if you dont keep it going in or topped up, 
60 lb in 1 hour is a possible task when they are switched on as they can average 3 lb a piece on some days. I put a worm on and drop in over the top, 

about a minute goes by and my float lifts right out of the water, lift into a nice fish a bream about 2 lb's, I fsh a simple double bulk rig on this lake, conditions dictate the float size but typically between 0.5 and 1gr and I use a Garbo dc13 or dc6 its the same float one has a carbon stem the other a wire. I always bulk with no 9 stotz and have at least 3 no 10 stot droppers which always end up bulked 3 inches from the hook I use a o.13 mainline and a 6inch 0.10 hooklength,

No matter what line I fish and feed I'm struggling here, and just nicking the odd fish. I go out past my feed drop short and the same applies. The guy on 36 s still bagging, foul hooking fish left and right and getting them in, Im still hearing the regular plop from the other side of the reeds. at last the whistle goes, ts one of the only times I was happy to hear the whistle, I went on to weigh 37 lb to my left 71lb (3rd) and peg 36 two to my right he won the match with 78lb. I ended up just over halfway.

I like to analyze what went wrong, I dont beat myself up when things dont go right, but you have to have a mind like a sponge in this sport and take everything on board, Peg 33 to my left is one of the on form pegs, you fish into a corner, the peg has huge advantages, 36 is also a flier ( The winning peg) but this is mainly due to the island and its carp potential.

I ask the guys either side how much groundbait they put in at the start, I get a dodgy avoiding the question response, you know the type err well I err, none err quite a lot at the start, this isn't the first time I have had this response.

They are quite obviously in my mind doing it a little different although they did have favoured pegs, I dont believe there is a secret magic bait just how you apply things, and obviously you need a few feeding fish as the catalyst.

I cant wait until the next one in fact I had a sneak practice with my son the day after this he fished one method I fished my adapted method we fished the same rigs same lines the results are quite interesting and for another day smile.png

Paul Law

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