Maple 6th June – Regrettably I didn’t have time for a blog last week, so here is a quick recap, I drew peg 21, with a spare peg to my right, and what I thought to be a couple of spare pegs to my left, until an overslept Nige turned up on peg 19.
I had my usual rigs set up for fishing in about 12 inches of water as well as a deeper rig for in front of the sedges. I also had a paste rig set up for 13m which put me on a nice flat spot on the shelf.
To cut a long story short, as always on Maple and Cedar, I caught a few fish from the off but couldn’t keep them coming into the second hour, this is where I hoped my paste line would come good, although I put a few fish in the net from the paste line, it was difficult watching Nige bagging up next to me, I spent more time watching Nige’s float than my own, trying to glean some tips for me to use in future sessions. I ended up weighing in 31lb 4oz, Nige weighed 111lb. This was by far the runaway weight; I think Stu and Bob came 2nd and 3rd with 55lb and 54lb.
Oh and I lost another quid to Owen….fortunately Acko and Gordy weren’t in attendance so that inevitably spared my blushes!
On to Cedar 13th June, due to me being the generous bloke that I am, I’d lent the girlfriend my car for the weekend as hers is, shall we say, buggared. So thankfully Mr Thackwray had agreed to pick me up. I must admit, waking up at 7 o clock was an absolute nightmare, a full day on the pop for Knaresborough Bed Race had taken place on the Saturday so I was feeling more than a little sorry for myself, so much so I had a bottle of Lucozade for my breakfast when we got to the Café and declined the normal big brekkie!
Come the draw I wasn’t too fussed where I drew and as normal hung back to let everyone else decide my fate, much to Gordon’s displeasure as he wanted to be off, he’d drawn peg 11 and peg 12 had won it the day before.
When I got to my peg I set up 2 rigs which would hopefully cover all my options. I had a pellet rig for 18 inches of water which could be fished in 3 or 4 swims on the far bank. After the “paste”ing I got off Nige the other week I decided to set up a paste line again midway up the far shelf.
At the all in I went across and managed to snare 6 small F1’s in as many chucks and after the first half an hour I was probably on 8lb or so. When this swim dried up I alternated between swims but only picked up the odd fish. A lot of these fish I could swing in so I wasn’t building a weight very quickly!
Throughout the middle of the match it was a case of catch a couple and then weight whilst alternating swims, nothing much was doing however! Whether on the pellet or getting frustrated by the lack of hitting bites on the paste. I felt I’d started to get to grips with paste on venues last year, be it in deeper water and bigger fish however.
Come the final hour I started putting a few fish into the net again and Owen said I must have had 40lb now, however I was more of the opinion I wouldn’t have even had 25lb, the last 30 minutes proved fruitful and I put a few more in the net before time was called.
Come the weigh in and our section was very close in deed, Cromie on peg 1 weighed 39lb 12oz, Woody on peg 2 weighed 36lb 12oz, Stu Whit on peg 4 36lb dead, myself 36lb 12oz, until Owen raised the bar with 41lb. Owen ended up with a default section as Nige had again sacked up with 62lb off peg 10 to claim another victory, Gordon on 11 had weighed in just over 40lb so that was me now £2 down. The pressure was on Acko now who unfortunately for him, weighed in a dismal 34lb, must try harder eh?! One quid back!
Overall it was a very tight match with only a couple of weights breaking away from the pack.
Onto Maple 27th June, and again it proved rather fruitless in more ways than one (including England’s dismal display against the Germans which could be heard on fivelive around the entire complex!) two weeks previous I had drawn peg 21, well this week, I was on 20. With only 2 pegs left in the bag I drew this instead of 43, which I’d have preferred in all honesty.
I already had my rigs set up, one for in front of the sedges, one for 12 inches and a paste rig. Once the all in kicked off I managed to foul hook and lose 3 decent fish off the front of the sedges, which essentially scuppered that plan so was forced onto the paste line earlier than expected. I managed to put a few fish in the net but was again getting pestered by bits even after switching to a harder paste. Rotating back through the pellet lines just added to my annoyance, shipping out 15m so often to just bring back a gudgeon or knocked off pellet was taking its toll!
The main problem was the state of my pellets, I’d kept them in the shade all day but they were crispy to say the least mid way through the match. Rather than carry on with them I pumped a new batch which were the other way, to soggy. I just couldn’t get them right on the day, maybe I need to try new hooker pellets? Currently I use the Ringers and Dynamite Bait Betaine’s but after the weekend I’ve lost faith in both of them. I could do with knowing how to keep pellets in good condition throughout a match too if anyone has any ideas?
By the end of the match I weighed in a dismal 19lb 8oz, another quid lost to Owen and Acko and a thorough beating from either side!
Rab came 3rd with 67lb off peg 49 ish, Robbie came 2nd with 84lb off peg 51 ish and Honest John managed a match win of 89lb from peg 1.
I definitely need to have a rethink before the next match I’m available to fish, which coincidentally is again on Maple, so far this year, when I have been able to get out its always been at the Oaks, you’d have thought I’d be getting to grips with the place by now!
With no club match on the weekend of 10/11 July I decided to go down to Weeton for some silver bagging and hopefully a few carp too! In tow were my mate Joe and also my dad who hasn’t fished in around 8 years. We got to the lake at about 8:30 and with it being a small fishery and a few people already there I decided to get us all set up on 3 pegs in a row so I could be on hand if either of them needed any help. I set my dad up on peg 2 with a feeder, I would be on peg one and Joe on the end peg (not sure what number).
With the feeder already set up my dad was fishing within 5 minutes and then I could concentrate on getting Joe set up to fish for Ide at about 7m. I was to do the same but fishing at 10m. We were both in the resident Ide from 4oz up to 2lb where as my dad was struggling for any indications on the tip. After a good mornings sport with the silver fish, Joe and I fed the margins with some pellets and went and had a spot of lunch behind my dad, who by now had caught a skimmer a carp or two. I’d given him a catty to spray a few pellets over the top which seemed to do the trick in luring a few fish in, that and an improvement in casting throughout the day eventually started to put some fish in the net.
After a quick bite to eat it was back to fishing down the margins for some carp. I had a carp of about a pound first put in before a few skimmers, a proper bream and then my first decent carp of about 3lb. Joe wasn’t getting any signs down his edge so a couple of nuggets of pellets down to the other side and he was also soon into fish. I managed to snare a couple of better carp, one about 5-6lb and my biggest fish of the day of nearly 8lb. I managed to get snapped 4 times throughout the day, which makes it interesting when your fishing and you don’t know if you’re striking into a skimmer or a double figure steam train!
We packed up around 4:30 and seeing as my scales only go up to 25lb I decided we’d guesstimate the weight of the nets as weighing in would have been a pain and just weigh our biggest fish. My dads keepnet came out first and he’ll have had a good 30-35lb made up around 11-12 fish with a biggest fish of 5lb8oz. I was next with about 60lb, 50/50 silvers to carp with a biggest fish of 7lb 12oz, finally Joe, who had 35-40lb and a biggest fish of 5lb 8oz also.
So a cracking days sport for all and a nice change to pleasure fish and catch a decent bag of fish for once!
Back up to Maple on the 18th July, after catching a few the week before I was in two minds on how to approach Maple this week, I’d even said to Owen in the café that I was tempted to fish maggot, in fewer words he told me not to bother and get on the mud line with pellet. Come the draw I managed to snare peg 58 which I was pretty pleased with, I had a section win off here with 38lb last year so had a bit of confidence going to my peg. I decided to sack the paste line off this week and concentrate on the pellet and try to make it work rather than constantly switching between lines. I had Bob the Builder on peg 56 and Mick Ayre on 60 for company.
So with in mind, I soaked some micro’s and prepared some hooker pellets. I set up a rig 2.5ft deep with a Malman Cedar 4x12 and a 4x10 of the same float for up in the mud, where I also had a mound of soil that had collapsed from the banking. Both rigs were on 0.14 Ultima power match mainline with an 0.12 hooklength of the same material, hooks were size 16 Preston PR21’s or 24’s perhaps, whichever the spade end ones are?!
As usual Gordon had waited for Bob to leave his box before blowing the hooter, I told Bob he had to give me a 2 fish head start, which to start with went “well”, I had a gudgeon first put in before losing 3 foul hookers, I finally managed to hook my first carp and second fish, coincidentally Bob was also into his first fish. I managed to put 10 or 11 carp in the net in the first hour along with a few roach, the only downside being that all my carp were 10-12oz, so I’d need a few more to build any sort of weight. Over the rest of the match I alternated between 4 sedge lines and picked up the odd fish but into the last hour I was miles off the pace and needed a couple of bonus fish, purely for morale rather than any prizes. I put a good handful of pellets in on the mudline and within ten minutes tails were wagging all over the place! I shipped across into the shallow water and after five minutes hooked and landed a good size mirror of about 6lb, after it thrashing in the net and snapping my rig, I put a hefty rig on of 0.18 and an 0.16 hooklength to hopefully guide a few more out from the far bank. I managed a few liners and a foul hooker before a 4lb ghostie on time.
So another relatively disappointing day on Maple, and not being able to keep a run of fish going. Nige won once again with 114lb, again on paste, Jim Atkinson had bagged 70lb off peg 54 also with paste, there were a few 50’s and also some single figure weights to mix things up a bit! Owen weighed 53lb, Acko had 40 odd I think which meant my 32-13 was far from the pace and was therefore £2 down. Thankfully Superstar Thackwray could only manage 18lb, however he buggared off before giving me yet another trophy pound! Never mind, I’ll just have two off him next week!