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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!