Friday, 11 September 2015

Weston Pools - Stretton

Pemberton Central Match
Weston Pools - Stretton
Saturday 5th September 2015

Back on Pem Central match duty last weekend and it was time for our much anticipated return visit to Weston Pools, this time to fish Stretton.

I had been looking forward to this match for some time and given the fact that we had 17 people in our draw queue suggests I wasn't the only one.  In the days (and weeks if I am honest) leading up to this match, I had been keeping an eye on the match results posted to the fishery website and also gaining information from whatever source I can ( shout out to Gary Matthews (Matthews580) for his in depth report - check it out here).
Armed with a wealth of information, one thing was certain - I was confused. I had been told pretty much every common commercial approach to catch the fish but with a 5 pint bait limit at the fishery, I had to make a choice and go with it. In the end I decided to go with just 2 bait options: I took 3 pints of maggots and just under 2 pints of 4mm pellets, leaving me enough on my quota for a few 6mms to use as banded hookbaits.

The fishery staff were very helpful on the day and pegged the match out for us. I was one of the last to draw as usual and was very happy to draw peg 14. I had noticed this peg appear in the results a few times recently and I had also heard that it had won the match the day before.  On arrival at the peg, I was immediately thinking margins; the peg was book-ended by overhanging willow trees on either side, creating 2 nice margin swims that looked like they would be very productive. The willows also made the peg very private as I couldn't see the pegs either side of me so I could get my head down and just fish the match without wondering what was going on around me. So, my approach was simple, I would fish 2 lines in the margins - one on each side and then have a couple of lines out in the open water. My first line here was at about 7 - 8 metres where I would predominantly try to fish up in the water, loose feeding maggots and using the same on the hook. I also set up a line just beyond the end of my keep nets as I had heard this can produce quick fish at the start of the match - on this line I would fish pellets. On the margin lines I was surprised by the depth I found with roughly 4.5 ft to my left and about 4ft to my right - I would loose feed these lines with maggots.

Setting up proved to be a simple affair today, so with time to spare (very unlike me) I had a stroll around the lake to see how everyone was getting on and making sure everyone would be ready for the all in. The attitude around the lake was very positive and most were praising the lake, the only negative point raised was visitor Thomo on peg 2, with an aerator on in peg 1, he was effectively fishing the river Trent which would inevitably make the day difficult for him.

I called the all in at 10:30 and rather than feeding any lines I went straight in on the keepnet line with a 6mm banded pellet. I then fed all lines by hand, with a pinch of pellets going in on the keepnet line, a handful of maggots on each margin line and a catty pouch full of maggots out to the 8 m line. Almost instantly I was into a fish and after a short fight I had a nice carp of around 2lb in the net whilst most people were still feeding. I went straight back in on this line and added a few more carp before the size of fish changed and I was catching small palm sized crucian carp.  With this change, I decided that I had plundered this line for all it was worth at the moment so I decided to put a big cup of pellets on that line and leave it for later in match.  It was time to try the 8 metre line.  My rig on this line was long one initially, the intent being that it would allow me to search the depths for the feeding fish, so out I went.  I had heard that the 'shallow' line on this lake can be quite deep, so I started my line at around 2ft deep and worked from there, after a while of flicking my rig around and loose feeding small numbers of maggots without any signs, I altered the depth and went about another foot deeper and started to get bites however they were proving to be very difficult to hit and becoming very frustrating.  After seeing a few F1s breaking the surface, I decided to come really shallow to around 8 inches and flick my rig around on a long line - this worked for a single F1 but no other fish were obliging.  After a while, I had decided that this line just wasn't quite right and called time on its use in this match.  Before considering any new lines to try, I decided to have an early look in the margins.
Starting on the margin to my left, using a double maggot hookbait, I was instantly into a good run of carp between 2 and 3 pound in weight.  I was catching about half a meter from the bank, any closer and the bites turned to liners.  After a good run, the bites slowed down so switched to my right side to give the left a rest.  Again I was into fish straight away, but the time between bites was longer and the fish were noticeably smaller and included the odd barbel which, despite being a pleasure to catch, fight quite well but don't provide much weight for the effort to get them in; so after a short spell on this line I went back to the left margin in search of the larger fish.  The down side was the fish weren't there in the numbers they had been previously and this started a long worrying spell in the match where I struggled for bites anywhere I looked.  I think for around 2 hours I managed to only add 4 or 5 small carp to my total and I felt that following a really good start, the match was beginning to slip away from me.  In an attempt to make something happen, I switched from feeding maggots on my left margin to feeding pellets and swapped the hookbaits to a 6mm banded pellet and this seemed to really do the trick as I managed to put a good last 90 minutes in catching carp every chuck. As I called the all out I knew this match was going to be a close match, as both Alex and Angy on the opposite side had caught reasonably well all day and Wayne on peg 17 had a good last couple of hours - and that was just what I could see. The weigh in started on peg 2 and whilst everyone was weighing fish, the average was probably lower than expected until Lee Roper on peg 8 put 61lb on the scales to take the lead. By the time the scales had got to my peg Lee was still winning. My nets went to 63lb to take the lead, but it was going to be tense for the rest of the weigh in. Ste Green on peg 15 had been a silent assassin during the match, despite being on the next peg, I couldn't see him so was unaware of how well he had caught - it was a close call as his nets went to 61lb 6oz to take second place. Wayne put a respectable 55lb-odd on the scales from what was reported to be a poor area. Angy and Alex were the last 2 to weigh in and as both their weights fell just short of 60lb it was confirmed that I had managed to sneak out a second win of the year.

I said it last time I reported on Weston Pools and I will say it again now - this is an extremely well run fishery and should be a 'must have' fixture on any clubs list.

We have a few matches in close succession now so I'm going to leave the results until all the matches are done and leave a final report up in October. Old Hough for me next on the 12th September, let's see if I can keep my form up.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Barston weekender

Following on from my disappointment of not drawing Barston in the Match Fishing subscriber Classic a few years ago, I had always wanted to get back down to Barston and have a crack at the place but for one reason or another, I never did get down there until last weekend.  
Thanks to some of the lads in Pem Central who regularly fish Leisure Lakes matches over Winter, I managed to get a place on a match at Barston Lakes run by the same match organiser, Steve Dutton. The match itself was on Saturday 22nd August so without needing much more of an excuse, I decided to go down on the Friday before and have a practice day - fellow Pem Central member Dennis Darby was to accompany me on the practice day so it would be good to have some company.

Practice Day
Friday 21st August

On the Friday morning, I picked Dennis up at 6 AM to make the journey down to Barston, hopefully allowing us to get there early enough to fish during the match times. An uneventful, easy journey had us down at the fishery at just after 8 AM.  The notice in the pro-shop showed us as fishing pegs 1 - 38 on the match so we obviously decided that we would fish somewhere along that length in the practice.  With our gear unpacked we started the walk up the match length; there were a few carp anglers already on the early pegs by the 18th Green and some others at the top end of our match length in the early 30's so we settled on pegs 21 and 22 in the open water to give us chance to try feeder fishing both long and short. I opted to fish peg 21 and Dennis went for peg 22. 

My set up for the day would cover 2 feeder options; the first was to fish long on the method feeder, using my Daiwa Theory 12ft feeder rod matched to my Daiwa Procaster 4000, I was fishing a 45g Preston method feeder at around 70 turns - the other feeder set up was shorter on my 10ft Preston Mini Carp using a 30g Preston method feeder and fishing around 30 turns on my Shimano Aero Match.  I decided that as I was likely to be fishing for one fish at a time with a small method feeder, there was no need to clip up on these set ups. My method mix was a mixture of micro pellets and Sonubaits Match Method mix with a variety of pellets in different sizes and colours for hook bait options.  My final option for the day was a pole line at around 12 metres where I would fish expanders on the deck over a bed of micros and 4mm pellets.
Before I was ready to make my first cast, Dennis had already been getting indications on a traditional cage feeder set up with some worms and caster but the fish he was catching were small skimmers. My first cast was to be on my shorter feeder line and it wasn't long before my tip wrapped round. A spirited fight that saw the culprit kite far to my left, eventually resulted in a nice carp of around 3lb.

First cast fish

Such a positive start had me anticipating a proper 'bagging' session but my high hopes were quickly dismissed as follow up fish on the short method line were only small carp or small skimmers, there in numbers no doubt but nothing of any size. By now Dennis had also switched to the method feeder at similar range so I decided to try the long feeder line but disaster struck (or more likely, I was my usual clumsy self) when on the first cast I cracked off due to me not realising my reel was still clipped up from my previous match at Orcheton.  Lesson number 1 - always check your line clips before starting a new session. So back I went on the short line whilst setting my long feeder up again. It wasn't long before I was set up again and out on the long line. I did notice on this line that the bites were coming slightly quicker than on the shorter line but the fish again were mainly small skimmers - the best fish off this line was a nice hybrid.
Hybrid - best fish off long method line

Despite the fishing being a fish a cast on either of the method lines, the size of the fish were not going to be match winners so I decided to have a look on the pole line. With a 4mm expander on the hook I was soon catching skimmers of a similar stamp to the method lines but with more small carp thrown in. When the float was held still the bites were coming thick and fast but with a strong wind blowing, the tow on the lake was becoming very strong and even in around 3 1/2 feet of water with a 0.5g wire stemmed float fished 3 inch over depth my float was running through the swim as though I was fishing a river. In fact Dennis was having similar trouble on the feeder, adamant that his 30g feeder was being pushed along the bottom with the tow. I wasn't experiencing this with my 45g feeders but it was obviously a problem for Dennis.

Following a short break for lunch, me and Dennis had a walk up and down the match length to see how other anglers were doing. The carp anglers on the pegs in the low 30s were fishing well and were reporting catches of carp up to around 18lb, they openly told us that they weren't fishing very far out and were using 18mm boilies on the hook and catapulting the same as loose offerings. A look down into the lower pegs and there was a couple of guys practicing for the matrix final on the Sunday. One was fishing a long range feeder, similar to myself but not reporting catches yet as they hadn't long since arrived. 
Dennis and I went back to our pegs planning to mimic the approach of the carp anglers, only using pellet and bomb tactics on a short line and firing in loose offerings of the same. As per usual, I managed about 20 minutes of this approach before knocking it on the head, I just can't get to grips with bomb and pellet fishing and never have any confidence in it. I ended up going back on the long range feeder and continued to catch skimmers. Dennis was starting to catch some good sized F1s on his bomb line though and proved that come the match day, this method was not one to be ignored. For the rest of the day, I alternated between long feeder and pole to keep catching the skimmers and small carp, I did have a take from a much bigger fish on the long feeder which, after kiting far right then far left, managed to snag me somewhere and I ended up pulling for a break.  Other than that, the only other major event was a minor box tipping incident that very nearly saw me taking a dive into the lake on top of my box - luckily the only things at was a bait tub and a catapult. I reckon I managed a weight in the low 20s by the time I had packed up. Dennis had a much better second half of the day by catching the F1s. The owner, Nigel came round mid afternoon and did the pegging for us for the match. A chat with him was good as he also said that the small skimmers could be caught short on the pole at around 6 metres and if you wanted the bigger skimmers to add some corn. 

By the time I had packed up on Friday, a plan had developed in my head on how I would approach the match on Saturday and the good thing about it, is that it didn't really matter where I drew, I could put the plan into action.

Match Day
Saturday 22nd August.

After a good breakfast at the fishery and a catch up with some of the other Pem Central lads that had made the trip down on the Saturday morning it was time for the draw.  I drew peg 8 from the draw bag, which put me near enough square in the middle of the 18th green, not a place I fancied to be honest but the green could be a good feature if the fish are in the area. Dennis drew on peg 15 which was good for us as a travelling partnership as he was in a different section to me and we were planning on sitting any winnings.

Peg 8 and the 18th Green

So my plan for the day was a relatively simple one, I had the green in front of me so I would fish a method feeder up to the edge of the green. I then also set up the shorter line on the mini carp to fish bomb and pellet (despite my reservations around this method, it clearly worked for Dennis yesterday). I then set up 2 pole lines, one at 13 metres where I would feed and fish a mixture of corn and 4mm pellets and another line at around 6 metres where I would fish the micros and 4mm mixture that I fished on the Friday.  I was set up pretty quick so before the all in, I managed to have a walk up the bank to see how everyone else was getting on.   Fellow Pem Central angler Ste Green had drawn peg 21, mine from yesterday, and as I approached his peg I saw my bait tub on the side of his peg, he says it had popped up in the margins of his peg and after I told him the story of my box tipping incident, he kindly let me reclaim my bait tub.

Back at my peg and at the all in I decided to go straight out on the long feeder to see if any early fish could be picked up and I wasn't to be disappointed as my tip shot round and I was soon playing what felt like a decent carp. I managed slightly better this time round and actually managed to play this carp to the landing net before it decided to take a dive for cover in the margins and snag me up - another pull for a break and this was a case of lightning striking twice and not the start I hoped for. I didn't want this snag to go to my head so I decided that before I went back out I would feed my pole lines and chuck out the bomb rod before slowly setting up the method feeder again in slow time and regaining my composure. There were no signs on the bomb so as soon as I had the method up and running again I was straight back out on it. This time though, I was back into a similar routine as the day before where the tip was always going round, but the culprits were the small skimmers. At this point it was decision time as I knew I could catch skimmers of this size on the pole line and with a much lighter breeze than the Friday, controlling the pole line would be much easier today.  So I brought in the feeder and went out on the long pole line. This was a good decision on the day as I was soon catching a good run of skimmers on the long pole line with corn on the hook. Considering Nigel's advice from Friday, I switched to the short pole line in the hope of catching quicker but despite Nigel's advice, I couldn't seem to get this line to work so I was soon back out on the long pole line and catching again. I was soon getting in a rhythm on the pole line where I would feed a large pot of pellets and corn and then fish a single grain of corn on the hook, I would then feed with a kinder pot after every fish or 5  mins and then re-feed with a big pot after 4 or 5 fish. This pattern saw me put a run of good size skimmers and some bream in the net. With over half of the match gone I felt I was doing ok in my section but with talk of carp travelling down the bank, I felt I would need to search for a carp or two myself to stay in contention, so I decided to have another look on the method feeder line. After a few small skimmers on the long line I decided that it wasn't going to be the day for this tactic so I put the feeder rod away and went back on the pole. If catching the skimmers wasn't going to win the match, it would at least be a good days fishing. I soon got back into the pattern as was before and I was really enjoying the day with constant bites and some good size bream coming to the set including a couple around 4lb. With around an hour of the match to go I had a quick look on the bomb line but after 10 minutes staring at the tip, I once again gave up on the method and went back on the pole to continue catching the skimmers right to the all out.  I had no doubt that I had a decent weight of silver fish, I didn't really care how it would do in the match as I had really enjoyed the days fishing. All of my fish bar 1 roach was either a skimmer or bream and all had been caught on a grain of corn on the hook. It couldn't have been a more simple day. Chatting to Paul McCann whilst waiting for the weigh in, I was admitting to around 30 - 35lb.  The weigh in was to start at peg 38 and work its way down the length so I was going to be one of the last to weigh. I followed the scales down and started to think my initial estimate was a bit generous as I was seeing some nets of fish that I thought were better than my own take the scales around to what my estimate was for myself. As we approached Ste Green on peg 21 he was admitting to catching a few carp - his weight was 71lb-odd and this took the lead in the match. Dennis on peg 15 put 60-odd lb on the scales to take second place up to his peg. The weights weren't as high as I expected and by the time the scales were at my peg, Ste and Dennis were still holding 1st and 2nd place.  3rd place was Keith Barton with a weight of 47lb-odd.  Surprisingly, my net of silvers took the scales round to 47lb 14oz and I was regretting not paying attention to Keith's exact weight as the other weights didn't match mine so I was potentially looking at 3rd or 4th place in the match. I had to wait until the presentation in the  club house to find out and I was pleased to hear that I had managed to take 3rd place in the match. 

I know a lot of match anglers say that you don't get a good practice by pleasure fishing, and that you need a match scenario to get the best out of a practice session but it was clear that by fishing the Friday had given me a better understanding of the fishery and allowed me to make some key decisions on the match day that kept me in contention.  The match also proved that carp aren't the be all and end all of match fishing and even on this venue with a large head of F1s and Carp, I managed to compete with an all silvers net.

The results were positive for me and Dennis as we agreed to split winnings so we managed to win enough between us to cover a lot of our expenditure on the weekend. A good result. Another good result was evident for Pem Central as club members managed to take the top 3 places on the match. A good weekend at a great fishery and one that I will make sure I get back to again.

Monday, 17 August 2015


Pemberton Central Match
Saturday 15th August 2015

After the confusion of wrong dates in the build up to Orcheton it was good to be on the fishery and ready to go. It is one of my favourite lakes to fish in the local area, despite it being quite peggy. With the peggy nature in mind, it often benefits the match to have a low turn out so with our match only having 11 on it, it was quite a nice number to have. 

At the draw, I was hoping for one of the usual flyers, pegs 1, 18 or 19 would do nicely but typical of my form on this lake, I drew peg 11. I think in the last 4 matches I've fished on here, I've drawn in the area of pegs 9 to 12. 

Peg 11 is just to the left of the rope that runs top to bottom of the lake which makes for a nice marker when fishing. My plan was simple but fairly typical of the approach here. I had a method feeder and a bomb rod set up to fish along the rope at around the third 'bottle' out and a pellet waggler to fish at the same range. I also set up a pole at around 13 metres with a rig on the deck and another in the margin to my left. I also set up a pole rig to fish a small pellet waggler on a long line. This is a tactic that was recommended to me so I thought I would give it a go, the plan being to try dropping this in front of cruising fish. 

I started the match on the method and immediately started to feed the same line with 8 and 11 mm pellets. The method didn't seem to produce though and with no liners or any other indications, I soon switched to the pellet waggler. I did get a few indications on this line before the float eventually buried and I was landing a nice roach of about 12oz; not what o was expecting on the pellet waggler but I persevered with it for a while, altering depths to try and find the fish before deciding it wasn't working and came off it. At this point I was thinking it might be a match where the pole would be better, so I fed my 13 metre line with a large cup of pellets and fed the margin lines with a mix of corn and pellets. While these lines were settling, I had a quick look with the bomb but as per usual, I couldn't sit out on this tactic and quickly gave it up. Onto the pole line at 13 metres and I managed to put a few small skimmers into the net but nothing to shout about and it was becoming apparent that today wasn't going to be the prolific day I thought it might be. As all else seemed to be failing, I decided to pick up the pellet waggler pole rig and have a 'plop about' - this turned out to be a good decision as after catching a nice skimmer, I went back out and soon hooked into something much more substantial. A spirited fight soon saw me slipping a double figure carp over my landing net. I quickly went back out to try for another but no other fish were obliging.  For the rest of the match, it was a case of picking up a couple of fish by rotating through the various set ups I had available. With about 30 mins to go, I got my head down and fished the margins and managed to put a run of skimmers in the keepnet.

At the weigh in, my final tally went to 28lb (thanks to my double figure carp) and that, surprisingly, was enough to secure me third place in the match. Dennis Darby came out on top with 41-8 from peg 17 and Alex Yates took second with 38lb from peg 1.

Pem Central - Current League Standings

I have updated the results page following the Orcheton match.  This can be found here 

Still all to play for at the top of the league.  Personally, due to missed matches and some poor results, I have set myself a target over the last 4 matches to aim for a top half of the table finish.  I am one position off at the moment - lets hope I can get some decent results in the upcoming matches.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sea Fishing - the species hunt continues

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a blog update. This is quite simply because I haven't been out much. Since my last post I have only had one outing on the beach at Cleverleys and quite frankly, it was a very much uneventful trip and resulted in a further blank. I don't normally object to writing about a blank session but I couldn't think of anything worth saying about this one so decided to leave it. I should have also had another Pem Central match to report on based on the match calendar I have published, but, to cut a long story short it transpired that I had muddled up the dates and we had no match on the 18th July as planned.

So here I find myself, ready to report on my last 'proper' outing, on which My regular sea fishing partner Danny and I managed to find some time and headed down to Cleveleys again to see if we could top up our species hunt tallies.

Rossall Promenade - 5 Bar Gate 
Friday 7th August
High Tide - Approx 17:30

The tides for this session were good for me. Being able to finish work at 12:30 would allow me plenty time to get up to Bispham Angling for some fresh worms, then make my way up to the mark and fish it a couple of hours up, and then all the way down to low tide at around midnight. Danny would be joining me around high tide. A few delays though saw me only get to the beach at around 4pm though. When I got there, there was already a few anglers on the beach but I managed to find myself a spot and was soon set up and had my first bait in the water at around 4:30pm - so I would at least get to fish an hour up.
As the plan for the day was a 'species hunt', I took 2 rods. 1 rod was set up on a 2 hook flapper rig, supplied by Rig Kraft - on which I would fish worm baits either on their own or tipped off with squid. The second rod would be set up on a pennell pulley with bigger baits, such as whole squid, sandeel or cocktails of the two in the hope of a larger specimen. I had plenty bait for the day so I was changing baits fairly regularly but in the hour or so up to high tide there was little happening, looking down the beach, it seemed I wasn't alone as I could see others were struggling. Danny showed up shortly after a high tide and was soon fishing. We fished for an hour or two after high - during this time Danny managed to catch 2 small Tope pups, and I caught a dogfish on a pennel rigged large worm/squid bait.  I wouldn't normally be overly pleased with the presence of dogfish but it was a species hunt and despite their commonality it was one that I was yet to record so it was certainly a positive.

As the tide started to drop, we had less and less depth in front of us so we decided to have a break to allow the tide drop a little further before fishing again. A freshly made brew on the gas stove and a quick trip to a near-by Chinese takeaway quickly refreshed us and we were soon itching to get back on the beach.  The tide had dropped enough for us to get beyond the first gulley now and as we were walking back out towards to sea Danny spotted something flapping on the beach, the culprit was the smallest flattie I've ever seen and after a quick inspection, it was safely returned to the sea.

As we fished the tide down, we were rewarded with a very pleasant evening with a clear sky and some good views of the stars, the space station and some satellites but alas, no further fish showed themselves that night. At around midnight and low tide, we decided enough was enough and called it a day. We were hoping the fishing would have picked up as it had been a bit slow in the area of late but despite the improvement on our last session, and the fact that we both recorded an additional species on the hunt, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the result and the realisation that this session will likely be he end of my summer campaign on the beach as the next few weeks sees me on match duty with Pem Central and also have some important family time. Maybe I can sneak a last ditch attempt at the species hunt towards the end of September and into October. 

Blog Update
I've added this little bit in after initially publishing this post but I have completed the update to my 2015 species page.  This can be found here

So my forecast for the next few weeks is looking like this, 15th August Pem Central take on Orcheton. On the 21st and 22nd August some of the lads from Pem, myself included are heading down to Barston to fish a match on the Saturday. I've managed to score a cheeky day off so will be heading down on the Friday for a practice. Then after a weekend off I've got consecutive Saturday matches in September at Weston Pools and Old Hough. Will be a busy few weeks but I'm hoping there will be some good results in there too.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Rosemary Wood - Moss Lake

Pemberton Central Match
Rosemary Wood - Moss Lake
Saturday 4th July 2015

Rosemary Wood's Moss Lake is one of those Marmite fisheries in my opinion. It often divides opinion. Once we are fishing, generally everyone seems to be ok with it but the poor pegs, the campsite of carp anglers and the fact that they are always queuing up to get on the next available peg does get to some people. I am one of those people but if you want a match on this lake then it's something you have to contend with.

We have 2 matches on this lake most years. One earlier in the year where we can catch nice nets of skimmers in amongst the Carp and indeed, regular readers of my blog will know that I won the match on the venue earlier this year by fishing a banjo feeder for a nice bag of skimmers from the 'boards' pegs.  This time, being later in the year and following some nice warm weather I was hoping that the carp would be playing and I could have a day fishing the pellet waggler, a method which often produces the goods on here when the carp are feeding well.

Once we had finally got sorted, the draw allowed peg 30 to find its way into my hands. This peg is on the far bank and with the water levels being a bit low, it meant I would likely need to get my box in the water to be able to fish it; luckily I had brought my wellies.

Setting up in the water, I decided that I wanted to keep today as simple as I could. So I set up my pellet waggler rod, which I hoped would be the main tactic for the day, as seems to be compulsory when pellet waggler fishing these days, I also had the bomb rod set up to fish on the bottom under the pellet waggler line. Finally I set up a method feeder rod to give me the option of fishing the feeder. Bait options was as simple as I could. 8 and 11mm hard pellets for the wag/bomb line and softened micros for the feeder with various hook pellet options. The simple approach to my set up this week saw me ready to go in quick time and allowed for a relaxed start to the match. For company today, I had Dave Benson to my left and visitor Shaun Welsh to my right. I think this is the 3rd time in 4 matches I have pegged at the side of Dave and on each of the previous times he has beaten me.

Rosemary Wood - Moss Lake - Peg 30

At the all in, I went straight out on the pellet waggler and started feeding 11mm pellets over the top. 11mm were used on this day as there was an intermittent wind that would hoer my ability to get 8mm where I wanted them.  Sport however, was very slow to what I was expecting with only a couple of bites and 1 fish to show for my efforts in the first hour. The rest of the match was spent switching between all 3 methods to keep any fish coming. I couldn't get to grips with it on the day and struggled to get into a rhythm of catching fish and as such by the end of the match, I was thinking I would have only about 20 - 25lb which would be nowhere near enough based on this venues track record with the club.

Sure enough, as the weigh in started at the other end of the match length, a few weights in the 49's were recorded as well as one in the 50s and a very good 73kb from Ste Green to take the lead after roughly half the anglers had weighed. So I was only to hope that I wouldn't be too far down the overall standings and hoping I would beat Dave Benson off the next peg for a change.

Dave weighed in first and he out 23lb-odd on the scales, so he wouldn't be troubling the lead this time round but I felt it would be close between me and him. When my fish went on the scales I was quite surprised to see the needle settle on 28lb dead. I had managed to break my curse and bear Benson off the next peg. Overall, that 28lb put my 7th place so a top half finish in the match (just) and with a visitor being above me, I got 6 points for the league so damage was minimal.

Preston Docks - Species Hunting

Preston Docks - Bull nose
Thursday 9th July
High Tide - Approx 18:00

So last time I went out sea fishing, I decided that the species hunt card for the Lancs Sea Fishing group had officially jinxed me. I needed to get going on this hunt and break the curse so a check of the tides during the week showed a favourable time for me to hit Preston docks and hopefully get off the mark with a Flounder.

With.a high tide of around 18:00, it was ideal for me to get down there after work just about high tide and fish it for a couple of hours down.

Work spoiled it a little bit and I found myself getting there a little later than planned. I called the drive thru for some tea first and took it to the bullnose with me. Planning to chuck a bait on first before eating my burger, I barely had a bait in the water for 5 minutes and managed just one bite of the burger before the rod was bouncing. A short but spirited battle saw me land my first fish of the night and finally get under way on the species hunt with the Flounder. Mission accomplished.

Fish number 1 - the Flounder

In theory, I could go home now but decided I would just fish it for a couple of hours to use up the bait I had took with me.  I took another 5 flounder over the next couple of hours and all were bigger than the first one I claimed. All were taken on a smelly, sticky frozen black lug.  As an added bonus, I also managed to snare an Eel, I hate these buggers but was happy to see one on this night as it took my species count now to 2.
Fish number 2 - Eel

I called it a night at around 20:30. Feeling happy to have gotten off the mark on the species hunt. Need to get moving now and get some of the other common species under my belt before I can start targetting the more rare species

Sunday, 28 June 2015

First Blank of 2015

Rossall Promenade
Saturday 27th June 2015
Low tide approx 14:40

I suppose it had to happen sometime.  So far on my sea fishing adventures, both me and my usual partner Danny had managed to avoid the blank. Sometimes we only had 1 each, but at least we caught.

This time though, there was added pressure as both me and Danny had belatedly joined the summer species hunt run by the Lancashire Sea Fishing Facebook page and as we were late entries we had some catching up to do. 

After having a good result last time out we headed back up to Rossall Prom area, this time though we headed a bit further up to where the concrete bits are just up from the 5 bar gate. The plan was to get there just for low tide and fish it all the way up as we had done last time.  A bit of traffic on the motorway meant we were a little late and only managed to get there for about 15:15.  We met a third member of our group at the gate as Novice Dez had decided to tag along for the day. 

So.......full of anticipation, the 3 of us soon had baits in the water.  As I was in a species hunt zone, I set up 2 rods. One to fish a loop rig with 2 hooks; this rod was to be a 'catch anything rod' hoping that I would be able to catch up on the species hunt with the 'easy' species.  The other rod was set up with a pulley Pennel rig, baited with crab, I was hoping I might snare a Smoothhound on this rod.

Well, I persevered all afternoon, following the tide all the way up but sadly my rods showed no signs of life and only Danny out of the 3 of us managed to break the blank with a small Plaice to kick off his species hunt. 

So by high tide at around 20:40, spirits were low and it wasn't looking like I was going to get a result this time. Novice Dez must have been having a bad time as in a fit of rage he decided to break my rod that I lent to him and then storm off home (ok, I might have exaggerated that for dramatic effect, but he did break my rod and with that decided it was time for him to call it a night).

Danny and I continued on for about 90 mins after high tide before conceding to defeat and making our way back to the car. Throughout the day there had been many other anglers on the beach but as we walked back to the car, as far as we could see, everyone had already gone; it was probably a sign that the area hadn't fished well that night.

I can't help but think that I have jinxed myself by entering the species hunt. We will have to see but for now, my score remains at 0.