Welcome to my first ever blog for the Match fishing magazine website!
Over the next few months I will try and talk you through the trials and tribulations of being a modern day match angler. My blog will be a ‘warts ‘n’ all’ account of my latest matches and I wont hold anything back (even if I don’t catch much!)
To open my account I will start by talking about the latest round of the Garbolino/Sensas International rules match that Darren Cox and Sean Ashby run. It was going to be the third round, this was to be held at Gold Valley and with my Barnsley Blacks team winning the league we definitely had to try our best to get a good result.
On the Friday before the match we had a little practice and worked out that the match was going to be extremely hard, but luckily we had sussed out that perch were going to be the target species and these would be what we primarily fished for.
Come the draw and I was handed peg 37 on middle pool, this put me about five pegs from the corner. I had Callum Dicks to my left and Martin Greene to my right with messrs Sean Ashby, Des Shipp and Darren Davies also in my section I was going to be up against it!
My plan was very simple and I fed a raw joker line slightly to my right at 13 metres and a leam line way down my peg towards Callum at 13 metres also. The raw line received about 350ml of joker and 75ml of casters, and the leam line received six balls of leam with 250ml of joker and 50ml of casters. I noticed that everyone around me fed considerably more, was I to come unstuck?
The first 90 minutes was a complete non-event, with nobody on middle lake having a bite! But just as I was starting to get worried my float buried and a 1lb skimmer was soon in the Carass landing net – followed by a big WHOOP. Next chuck and the float slid away again and 1lb 8oz hybrid tested my nerve but was safely in the keepnet. I’d love to tell you that I went on to have a skimmer every single cast until the end but I can’t! instead I was left waiting until the last 45minutes before I got any more action.
I was still winning the lake at this point when all of a sudden I started to get liners, I quickly slipped on double-joker and snared a six-ounce roach straight away. Another one followed before I tried a caster again, first chuck on the ‘shell’ and a 2lb skimmer was welcome followed by two 2lb perch and 4 more smaller skimmers and several roach. Every time I caught a fish it was a case of topping up my peg with about 10 casters. The best presentation was a single caster just nicked onto a size 18 Gamakatsu Green hook fished one-inch over-depth.
I knew I had comfortably won the section and rumour had it that I was in the running to win the match, luckily the other angler in the running was Sharing partner Lee Kerry. At the weigh in I had 14-7-0 and Lee took the spoils with 14-12-0, with Simon Willsmore in third with 10lb.
The venue had fished incredibly hard but we did have four catchers in our five-man team so we knew we would probably do ok. We scored 24 points, Dorking had 23.5 and Banbury took the day with 21. This maintained our lead by four points over Dorking… Roll on Woodland View for the deciding round.
Thorne In My Side!
The next match was on the Sunday and was the third round of the individual league on the Stainforth and Keadby canal at Thorne. This year the match organiser Mark Silman decided to run the series on cumulative weight rather than the usual points. This certainly made things interesting, and it seems to be working brilliantly as loads of the anglers fishing are still in the race!
My draw for the day put me on end Peg 209(yes, yet another flier), this is a fantastic area of the canal and one, which I know very well. I fancied the peg for a good double figure weight of roach. The week before the canal fished a little strange and although I had come third in that match, I felt I hadn’t fed enough lines as you could only catch a couple of fish from a line before having to move. So this week I decided to feed one line at 6m, two at 14m and a sneaky caster line at 16 metres.
The match was a simple one for me helped in no small part by the end-peg. I caught roach very steadily all match and even caught about 20 fish on the caster. At the end of a very enjoyable five-hours I tipped 16-14-0 of roach onto the scales, the next best weight in my section was 13-15-0 caught by Sean Ashby.
I was really pleased with my match and it would add some considerable weight to my total. Back at match HQ and it was soon clear that I was second in the match again, with Starlets’ Cameron Hughes winning the match with a fine 17-4-0 of skimmers from Peg 161. I’m now lying third in the league with 37lb, with Lee Kerry in second with 41lb and Tri-Cast Calder’s Jonny Plows leading the way with 44lb. Lets just hope I get two more fliers before the end of the league (who am I kidding, of course I will, I did shake Jon Arthur’s hand when I first started on the magazine and I haven’t drawn on a bad peg since!)