August Ahoy!

A strange title you may well think but everything will become clear by the end!The month starts in a quiet way with a visit from China of my youngest, Gareth and his wife Wendy. First visit was for the three of us to go for a short session at Patneys (right hand side in the bay area where I had fished with Tom and Simon). Wendy was set up with a whip (Chinese of course with Chinese float), Gareth set up a pole to fish at about 7-8m and I fished long at 13m. First fish for me was a carp about 4lb and a trio of 2lbs plus rudd and skimmers followed to a variety of baits. Gareth hammered out the rudd and perch together with several 3lb carp and Wendy caught perch and rudd steadily before we departed.

Next outing was just the two of us and we visited the local River Marden at Hazleland to fish the weir. Now it has been over 10 years since I last fished the Marden although it is the closest water to me, I can’t figure out why it was so long between visits. Anyway we set up light with a bag of tackle (bag/seat) and an unhooking mat to sit on a pint of maggots, some worms and cheese. A simple running lead with a 3/8oz bomb to a 4lb hook length and 16 hook completed the set up. A short flick into the edge of the flow soon saw Gareth in action with a couple of trout (most unexpected),



This was followed up by a bream and an eel, while I contributed a couple of small chub. Plenty of bites on worm, maggot attracted too many minnows!


One further visit before he went back was again to the Marden, but downstream at Stanley.We were both shocked to see how overgrown it had become with some of the prime chub and barbel swims no longer accessible. We managed a few small chub by moving around but we both left feeling a sense of regret at the state of the stretch.

Gareth sent me these pictures a couple of days after their return to China, caught in the swim where he had the monster catfish, he had 4 on paste. Not sure what the fish are, my first glance said roach/ide but the mouth is more carp like- answers on a postcard please if you know what they are.


Back to the UK my first outing was to the Glebe for the Angling Trust Masters, a team of 6 event where I was lucky enough to be representing MatchFishing-Scene. The event was down on numbers this year due to a clash with the Division 1 National and other events, but even so the calibre of angler was high and my target was to not come last! Pools paid and team draw made, I found I had been drawn on Uglies, peg 44 by all accounts a potential good peg with big carp on offer. Setting up I could only see two other anglers on the far side – the maestro Andy Kinder (if you ever get a chance for a coaching session with Andy, take it- he is a fantastic coach) and Nick Merry.

My peg had a large willow on my left that I could get under and fish against the boards, I also had a shrub on my right margin, both of which were fed, a 6m line at the edge of the willow and one at 11m directly in front, plus another short line in front. A feeder was also set up with the minimum hook length allowed of 20inches. I set up a rig for each of my lines to a 0.20 with hooks varying form 16 to 12 (my paste rig). The all-in sounded and I fed my 11m line with 3 balls of groundbait and half a pot of micos plus some 4mm and corn, the short lines were fed differently with the willow line seeing a pot of 4mm and corn while the line in front had micros (this was going to be my paste line).

To cut a long story short my first fish came after 10mins – a roach on the 11m line. The next 2 hours saw no action from carp on any line plus nothing on feeder, desperate, I put a bunch of maggots on and immediately began to catch small perch on the 6m willow line. With an hour and a bit to go I had 5-7 in my silvers net and no carp, Andy and Nick had both been catching on the bomb out towards the central island that runs down Uglies and Andy was now catching short in the margins. The heavens then began to open and I finally hooked something in my right hand margin (I had been cupping in big pots of groundbait every 20 minutes or so for the previous hour)


This one went about 11lb I had another of about 8lb and pulled out of a foul hooked one  to end up with 19lb of carp and a total of 24-7 and last in section. At the weigh-in Andy said it was a feast or famine peg – if the carp turned up it would have been solid but if they weren’t there it could be a real struggle- as I found out! Team wise we came last but one!.

A short session on Peg 139 at Benger on the weir saw me go light with the same kit as on the Marden and a couple of hours later saw me finish of with some roach, dace, perch and one bleak all taken on the lead. Nothing spectacular but a pleasant session.

Bank Holiday week-end arrives and the final match of the Wessex Summer League at Clanfield. We were heading the league but our closest challenge was going to come from Bankers who had pulled in a couple of “ringers” including Richard Chave of Colmic! Drawing last as League leaders we had peg 2, the boards, and I was on C section. Clanfield is a pleasant way to end as we can drive along the fields and park next to the peg. On this occasion we had a herd of inquisitive young cows that  made their way along inspecting each car and cleaning the cars with their tongues!

My peg looked fishy with a big willow on my right hanging out 10m into the river, just to the edge of the flow, rushes on the far bank (but no flow), and a steady depth on my preferred line at 10m at the edge of the flow. Five balls of Bait-tech Pro-Natural with a handful of casters and wheat were cupped out at the start and a 2g Paster to 0.12 Shogun and 0.08 hooklength to a 22 completed the set up. The shot was bulked 18 inches above the hook with 2 no 8 droppers. Red maggot on the hook saw a steady stream of bites by sometimes running through with the flow and other times holding back, if bites slowed a change to white or bronze maggot brought a quick response before returning to red again when it slowed. I had intended to create a worm line but on opening the bag found they had mysterious all died overnight and I did not have a single worm. By topping up with a ball of groundbait every so often and loose feeding hemp and wheat with the  occasional caster I ended up with 1 chublet, 92 dace, 9 gudgeon, 3 perch and 15 roach for a total of 4-14 and 3rd in section, beating Mr Chave of Bankers in the process. The team finished 3rd on the day and we won the League!

Now back to the title – 3 hours in and boats have been going past on a regular basis then we get a boat that is constantly revving and spluttering that finally dies at my peg and drifts end on against the willow, they managed to manoeuvre it back to the far bank eventually (30minutes plus!) then hailed a long boat for a tow back up the river- this is what happened…


Hey oh- tomorrow is another day.


Jumping July

July sees me jumping all over the country, as you will see. We start off at Larford near Stourport for a MFS match on Specimen Lake. All the talk at the draw was that the middle pegs 65-70 would be the best draws so when I picked out 67 I was pleased. It turned out that it was two pegs away from where I had drawn last year so I was looking forward to a good day, despite the recent rain that had fallen.

I started off on the method feeder at 40 yards but no indications 40 mins later saw me swap to the pellet waggler , again no response! An hour and a half in and I had not had a sign of a bite! Out went the pole to my 13m line which I had been feeding since the start along with a 5m line and two margin lines. A couple of skimmers on pellet then a switch to maggot for some roach at least saw some fish being put into the net. A switch to the 5m line saw no response so with a little over 2 hours to go I tried the right margin after putting in 3 cups of loose groundbait – nothing! Over to the left margin which was on the verge of an overhanging bush , after a couple of skimmers a carp of took my double sweetcorn offering.


The carp was about 10lb and another later on about 9lb set me in the right direction but then a foul hooked carp was lost after a few minutes before a real lump of a common took my bait, played it in and had it over the net 3 times but it wouldn’t fit in it, finally the hook got caught in the net and the carp flipped off. I reckon the carp was at least 15lb and in reality a whole lot bigger! That was the end of the action apart from a couple of skimmers and I ended the match with 28-12 for fourth in section which was won with 32lb! Those lost carp cost me! The anglers either side had 23lb on my left and on my right didn’t weigh in, the “best” pegs were the worst in the match on this occasion.

I then had a week away taking the elderly in-laws to a cottage near Hornsea on the East Yorkshire coast. The cottage was less than a mile from Westlands Fishery so I managed to get a few short sessions in!

First session was on the Canal lake which is like a normal canal but with a bowl at the end, this is where I had my first two sessions.

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You can see my “holiday” kit, a Shakespeare Travel Match (5 pieces) coupled with a Chinese reel, a telescopic Zebco feeder rod with a small Interceptor  reel. a 2m telescopic handle with a fold up landing net, waterproofs that are stored in the seat bag along with a small box of tackle together with scales and a Dunlop EVA bait bag with two internal bait bowls. Bait was micro and 4m fishery pellet and corn.(I did have a few other flavoured pellets for hookers).

The swim had about 4 feet of water two rod lengths out and I began here with a couple of pouches of dampened micros and a small ball of Sonubaits F1 groundbait. The session was only short but I managed a couple of bream of 3lb and 2lb, an F1 of 2lb and loads of roach and skimmers plus a roach of 1-2.

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Session 2 saw me back at an adjoining peg  this time for a clutch of skimmers to 1.5lb and a solitary carp of 4lb. Session 3 I moved to the Tench lake and had a ghostie of 9-9 and mirror of 4-8 on the feeder before changing to the waggler for commons of 5-12 and 7-8 together with a stack of roach for a total in excess of 30lb. I was fishing a 0.12mm Tornado hooklength to a 16 on the float and a 0.20mm hooklength on the feeder.

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Session 4 saw me back on Tench but peg 9 instead of 5 the previous evening.This time I just fished waggler and ended up with 40 roach, 5 skimmers and 1 F1 plus a mirror of 13-12. All taken on corn or banded pellet. The fight with the mirror highlighted to me just how much stick you could give on 0.12mm and a match rod!

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Session 5 saw me back on peg 5 and once again concentrating on the float (although I did have one small carp on the feeder), again I concentrated on the float but also fished closer in to the margins where I had a common of 7lb a ghostie of exactly the same size, 4 smaller carp and a clutch of roach plus a rod bender of 15-4 that took several attempts to land in my inadequate net!

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That session totaled 38-39lb. My last opportunity was on the final evening when I fished peg 3, this time losing 4 good carp with hook pulls but catching 5 bream, 9 F1s and 14 roach to end the holiday!


Back home my first outing was to Patneys where I fished the left bank mid-island for 3 hours.Tried the wheat a lot in this session and caught skimmers roach and carp on it, ending up with a 3lber (not wheat), a 2lber, 3 x 1lb and 4 less than a pound plus roach and skimmers. An enjoyable short session on the pole at 13m.

Sunday saw me at Alders Fishery near Milton Keynes for an MFS match on Pines. I drew peg 16.


I began at 11m and had a few small carp before trying the 5m line with no luck, eventually having to move into the left hand margin (the shallower of the two), starting on paste but ending up on 3 maggots to get bites. 61-1 was the end result, all carp with the exception of a solitary bream of 2-14. A poor 3-4 hour cost me but it was interesting that Rik on my left was fishing the same margin but further along was catching on paste but I couldn’t get a response on it!.


Moving on I had a Summer League coming up at Sutton Benger so decided to have a session just to check how it was fishing. Peg 10 is not a swim I would usually choose at it tends to be chub or very little., but on this occasion I was surprised by the number of very small chub, dace and roach that were present- I mean small most only the size of a small minnow. By fishing over groundbait and then changing to worm I managed to put together about 5lb of fish including some net roach and perch.


Match day came along and I was hoping to be in section A or B rather than the downstream C and D sections that I figured would be murderous to walk after the heavy rain. I was last to draw as the league is drawn in reverse order, so as league leaders we had what was left- the scales and Peg 1. I ended up on B section and what can be a good swim in the weir.

Starting at 11m on the edge of the flow I found that there were a plethora of mini fish but whenever I hooked anything over 2oz a large pike decided to grab it! 5 hours later I weighed in 5-2 with several of my larger fish with pike teeth marks! That was good enough for 2nd in section. I went back to the HQ but no-one from C or D section had even left the field by then so after half an hour with them still not on their way I went home- still awaiting result!