Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Maver Classic Qualifier.

After the White Acres Festivals, I have decided to concentrate on qualifying for the Maver Classic at the fantastic Larford Lakes complex near Stourport in the Midlands. I was fortunate enough to qualify for this year’s final, and it was a great couple of days so I am keen to be in the mix for next May’s final. After the long drive up there, which takes around 2 and half hours, we were met with a fairly hard overnight frost and a very stiff cold breeze which would make fishing the long pole very difficult, far from ideal conditions but you’re there to get the job done so there isn’t any time to worry about the weather although it can alter how you have to approach your match.

At the draw I drew peg 18, just past the aerator on the shallow bank, a reasonable draw, but pegs 22 to 28 have been doing the damage of late so I’d have to hope there were a few fish in front of me to hopefully challenge those pegs. As I mentioned the wind was going to make fishing long on the pole difficult, but I decided on still setting a rig up to fish at 13 metres, I could ping some 6mm pellets here and fish either a 6mm xpand on the hook or a hard banded 6mm, over the top. My rig for this was quite simple, a 4x14 MAP WD1 on 0.15 to an 0.12mm hook length. I also set up a short line at 6m this was a 4x12 WD1 on the same line as the longer rig, and I’d start my match here, to hopefully grab a quick run of fish. My main attack of the day though was going to be a simple bomb and pellet approach, this set up was as easy as It can get, a 10ft Parabolix bomb rod, teamed with an ACS 4000 FD reel loaded up with 6lb line, the rig itself was a standard running rig with a half ounce lead and a 12 inch hook length of 0.17mm, on this I’d look to ping 2-3 8mms all the time looking to build the swim throughout the match.

Starting the match, I potted 10 6mms at 6m and went straight over it with a banded 6mm, you can often get a quick run of bites doing this, and if you’re on a really good peg it can carry on all day! Today however with a mega overnight frost no bites were forthcoming in the 10 minutes I spent on this line, I’d keep throwing a few 6mms on it throughout the day and maybe I could find a few better fish late on. Putting that rig down I picked up the 13m rig for a quick look to gauge the response, but to keep it short and sweet I never had a bite, which I couldn’t believe but I wasn’t too disheartened as no one had caught yet so I’d not lost any ground on the match itself. After failing on the two pole lines I was left with the bomb rod, where I had been pinging a few pellets regularly, banding on an 8mm pellet I chucked out and waited, and waited. Not a liner or anything with an hour and half gone and only 3 fish caught on the lake, I began to wonder what was going to happen, if anything but by keeping the pellets going in and casting around the fed area eventually the tip slammed round and my first fish of the day came to the net, an F1 of around a pound and half, the next chuck I had another and I was right back in the race it would seem. After these couple of fish though the swim went quiet and the odd fish started coming out around the lake, after another 15 minutes the tip went round again and a carp of 3lb joined the other fish in the net, my next 3 fish were all carp and it was fairly obvious that there weren’t many feeding f1s in front of me so I decided on gambling and feeding my peg differently in an attempt to target carp exclusively, and I’d do this by feeding more bait, but less frequently and waiting longer for a bite over a larger amount of bait. This started to work quite well and several decent fish came to the tactic, by the end of the match I’d caught 16 fish, when you consider the first hour and half showed no signs of life at all, it wasn’t a bad amount of fish with the biggest going around the 6lb mark.  At the scales, my 50lb was good enough for 3rd in the match, but unfortunately  with the winner having already qualified 2nd place took the final place, so although I felt I’d sorted my peg out, another 15lb in the early part of the match which usually isn’t a problem has cost me big time. Never mind though, it’s all in the memory bank for the next one!

Tight Lines

Tony Curd  

Thursday, 1 November 2012

White Acres Preston Innovations Festival.

This festival is the most important of all the Festivals held at White Acres throughout the year, as 180 qualifiers from previous White Acres matches and festivals fish towards a top 24 place, which culminates in the Parkdean Masters Final for £25,000, a huge incentive if ever there was one! The draw bag would play a massive part to the week, and it would be a case of giving your all to it every day, as the standard is so high you get away with no mistakes! So after a weekend of sorting my kit out from the previous weeks festival, it was off to the draw to see what the start of the week was going to be like!

Day 1 – Bolingey Peg 26.

I was quite happy to be on this peg, it’s the last peg in the island and had produced a couple of times the week before, the peg is decent in the section but not often a match winner, such is the power of the pegs around the other side of the island. My approach here would be quite simple, I’d need a weight of carp to win the section so I decided on fishing an MAP pellet feeder to the island, I chose a pellet feeder due to lots of brambles near to the island, and this would allow me to get that bit closer. A 16m pole line on the deck, here I’d ping 6mms and fish big 6mm Xpand pellets on the hook, a short line where I’d feed meat, Here I used a 4x16 SD4, on 0.17mm line, a strong rig as the fish are big and can turn up in numbers late, the only other rig I  set up was to fish down the edge to my left here I’d feed groundbait and fish meat over it late in the match. Starting the match I potted 10 cubes of meat and pinch of hemp at 5m, and went straight on it, and after a few minutes the float buried, and my first carp of the day, of around 4lb was a good start. No more bites followed so I would just loose feed this line now and come back to it later in the day. I then picked up the pellet feeder rod and chucked out with a banded 6mm pellet, I fished this for around 40mins and had two pulls and another two carp, things were going well, and I had in mind before the start if I could catch 30lb in the first 3 hours I’d be well in with a chance, so I’d need a few more to reach that target but was well on the way. The pellet feeder didn’t produce any more so it was time to go long on the pole with pellets and see if I could eke out a couple more fish, an F1 was first then I caught another 3 carp in the next hour or so.  At 3pm I had 45lb on the clicker, better than my target and it would now be a case of going for it short and I fed my edge  for the first time with 4 big balls of Special G Green and Gold and would keep and eye on it for signs of fish, I dropped in on the 5m line and after 5 minutes I had a bite and a proper fish of around 10lb was put into the net , several more followed and then it died , so I decided on big potting half a pot in with some hemp,  and had a look down the edge, a couple of foul hookers were lost and I was getting the feeling that it was going a bit wrong! Soon after I landed my first from the edge, and it was the smallest of the day, strange! I fed some more groundbait and went short again with 40mins to go, well it was the sort of thing that dreams are made of, every drop in it buried and I caught 7 big fish to 14lb before the end. At the weigh in, my 16 fish weighed 127lb 9oz easily winning the section and enough to win the match, it couldn’t have been a better start to the week, and saw me heading into the second day 1st overall in the festival.

Day 2 – Pollawyn peg 38

After having such a good start I was absolutely mortified to be presented with peg 38 at the draw bag! I’ve had the dis-pleasure of sitting on this peg before and knew it was going to be a tough day, I’d fish to avoid a disaster and that meant silvers, after an initial look for a carp and also looking for a carp late in the match. The problem you have on this peg is that, fish of any quality get blocked by the other anglers before they reach you, as the peg is right in the corner, so there wouldn’t even be any decent skimmers to target, it was going to be a case of playing the numbers game hoping you ran into a few decent ones along the way.  The early looks up the edge at 16m and across hoping for a carp were a wasted effort so it was head down for bites, I went onto my 5m line with 4mm expanders for skimmers, and had a bite a chuck, from the smallest roach and skimmers in the world, this was changed over to a meat line as it was an absolute waste of time carrying on with pellets, I then had a look down the edge where I had been feeding casters for perch and caught a few smallish fish but bites were far from plentiful. I then moved onto my banker line for bites, fishing worm and caster at the bottom of the far shelf, I stayed on this for much of the day catching roach and the odd skimmer regularly, but as I said the fish in this corner are always small for some reason so I didn’t even feel as if I’d make much of an impact on the section.  A late look across and down the edge for a carp never worked, and my 18lb of mainly small roach (Around 80 fish) gave me 4 points, it could have been a lot worse, and this would have to be my dropped result if I was to make the final!

Day 3 – Twin Oaks Peg 6

Here we go again! Another dodgy peg at the wrong end of the lake and was only worth 2 points the day before so things weren’t looking great! I felt I could make a decent day of it though if my plan came together! I set up a pellet feeder to fish across early, before coming onto a 14m pole line with pellets where I’d target anything I could catch, f1s, skimmers carp etc. in the hope of building a weight hopefully boosted later by some carp on the 5m line with meat! I decided to not fish or feed down the edge on this peg as I just felt there wasn’t enough carp at this end of the lake to make it worthwhile and would distract me from what I needed to be doing. Starting on the pellet feeder I chucked out tight to the far bank and  was pleasantly surprised to see my 10ft Parabolix bomb rod take a lunge for the lake on the second cast, I was even more chuffed to see it do it on the 3rd and 4th casts too, after this though only an F1 followed after around 10 minutes so instead of sitting on it I got on my long pole line in the hope of boosting my early run of bites.  I shipped out with a 6mm Xpand on the hook and bites were plentiful, but I became frustrated at missed bites causing me to ship in and out to re-bait. I thought I’d see if I could get away with fishing a hair rigged hard pellet instead, in the hope of saving some time coming in and out all day. It worked really well and I caught f1s steadily for a couple of hours, along with two more small carp, at 3pm I fed a decent pot of meat at 5m to hopefully line a few lumps up later, I caught a few more F1s and had a drop in at 5m, I had a bite soon after and a 6lb carp was a welcome bonus! No more bites prompted me to put another big pot in and go long again for a few more bites, it was a case of doing this until the last half hour when I had 3 more decent carp, and landed my biggest fish of the day of around 8lb after the whistle. At the weigh in my F1s totalled 44lb and my carp went 46lb giving me 90lb, and third on the lake, a great result from this peg only beaten by pegs 14 and 16, with 108lb and 146lb respectively, which was not a surprise.  This third kept my final hopes alive and it would all be down to the final two days.

Day 4 – Canal Peg 2

A decent peg on the lake, and fished well the day before but with a big switch in the wind direction it could quite easily be completely different and that is just how it panned out! The other side of the lake fished really well and the three pegs on my side of the lake fished terribly. I knew it was going to be tough after an initial look on my short line feeding micros and fishing expanders, and in the first 40 minutes changing between lines I’d only managed 4 F1s and a few roach, not good and a sure sign that it wasn’t looking good! I then had a look across in front of the weed and caught a few fish, but again It wasn’t solid and I’ve had a few fish snag themselves and were lost , but that’s just how it is on this lake unfortunately! A decent spell fishing shallow down the middle and above the weed was my best period of the match, landing 18 fish. At the weigh in my 40lb was only good enough to beat the pegs to my left, and no one else, this pretty much put paid to my final chances and was a completely disappointing day!

Day 5 – Porth peg 71

If I’d have drawn this peg twice in last year’s Autumn festivals, I may have won two matches! This time around though, it’s produced on only one match, with a big 71lb of bream. Now being that my final hopes had been dashed, I opted for a simple two rod approach, a method feeder right out to the cages at range, and a short 30 turn cage feeder for bites.  I started out by putting some bait on the long method line, this was special g green and a full pint of micros. I then got my head down on the short feeder putting some chopped worm and casters through the feeder, fishing dead maggots or small pieces of worm on the hook, to target skimmers. I caught a few in the first hour and half, but it wasn’t very good and bites were not forthcoming, I then decided that it was a waste of time, and sat on the method for the rest of the match, hoping for a couple of bites from proper fish, unfortunately this never happened but it was worth a shot! 12lb won the section, made up of 300 tiny roach, my 4lb beat a few but I’d fished a positive match which never paid off, on another day it would have been a different story, but I’d never draw this peg when its good so I should have known better! Haha.

All in all my Autumn festivals had been a little bit disappointing, I’ve had a few good days and put in some fair performances but overall my drawing arm has been diabolical, you can make a result from some of the dodgy pegs but eventually, it becomes one bad peg too much! I’ll be back in the spring to try again though, and my appetite for succeeding in these festivals is as strong as it ever has been.

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

White Acres Maver Festival

It’s that time of year again when a lot of anglers head back down to Cornwall’s White Acres holiday park for the Autumn festivals, I really enjoy the festivals and on the back of some good spring results there I couldn’t wait for another go on the last two festivals of the year!

Day 1 – Bolingey Peg 50

I must admit this wasn’t the sort of peg I wanted to kick my week off really, it can be one of those pegs where you can win the match one day and be last the next, so I’d have to hope that some fish were in the area for this match! My attack for this peg was very simple, there isn’t a lot else other than carp in the lake, so I’d base my match around catching a weight of those, I felt 80 to 100lb would be enough to win the section which equates to around 16-18 fish.  I started off by feeding a small amount of Hemp and Boosted meat at 5m, only 10 cubes and a pinch of hemp and dropped straight onto it in the hope of a mug fish first drop in, this  didn’t work and it wasn’t long before I was out at 16m on the deck with a 6mm xpand pellet on the hook over loose fed hard 6mms. This bought a couple of small carp and an F1 in the first hour and half, which wasn’t great but didn’t cause much concern as Bolingey can be very slow in the first 3 hours! I then caught a couple of fish fishing the method feeder up the bank to my left, which was handy, but nowhere else produced, it was 3pm and I’ve got around 15lb in the net, I’d now need to make the 5m line and edge work if I was going to do any damage in the section,  this generally involves upping the feed to draw the fish into the peg, and their often big, 4 big pots of Special G gold went down the edge and the 5m feed was upped to around 15 cubes every couple of minutes.  It didn’t take too long for the float to bury on the 5m line and a 15lb carp doubled my weight, if they were all this big I ‘d win in no time! By the end I managed one from the edge and another 5 big fish from the 5m line, for a weight of 80lb, which was good enough for 2nd in the section, a good result from an iffy draw and not a bad start to the week.

Day 2 – Pollawyn Peg 21

This was the first time I’d drawn 21, and if I’m honest  it’s not one I’ve ever fancied ! It has got to be one of the most confusing pegs in the world as, you have a shallow bar at 16/20m to your right, which is your main hope on this peg, then you have the main island to chuck at, and another point of an island in front of you, confusing as it can get! I ended up setting the lot up as I wasn’t too sure about it, and that’s never a good thing, I kicked off on the method to the island and an F1 in the first half hour  was all that I caught on that all day, I then had a look on the waggler where I’d been feeding 8mm pellets and on the very first cast had another F1, then nothing again which started to get a little frustrating  from here I dropped the straight bomb over the same line, again with an 8mm and caught 8 f1s in a spell which was welcome but again it didn’t last so I decided on a look on my pole line at 16m, where I had been big potting meat and casters, a few skimmers were first to the bait then I had a 6lb carp, and another shortly after, unfortunately though these were the last and with no bites short in the last hour I’d struggle to get a top 3 result, my 36lb gave me 4th which was about what the peg was worth I feel.

Day 3 – Peg 1 Jennys

At this point it’s starting to become pretty clear that my drawing arm is having an off week! Peg 1 has been terrible this year, and the day before I think it only beat one angler, so it wasn’t looking very good! I felt I’d need to catch around 65lb to make it to the top 3, so I broke my match down into three simple stages, I’d have a look on the method to start and if it wasn’t working I’d feed casters at 4m for roach and silvers, worms and casters at 14m again catching a bit of everything in the hope of accumulating a decent weight of fish, with hopefully the odd big carp thrown in to boost things. Starting out on the method feeder, a couple of f1s was a fair start but it just wasn’t quick enough and if I was going to go down the silvers route I’d need to have as much time on it as possible so this was put down and forgotten, feeding on the long line would be done by feeding a mix of worms casters and micros in a bit of peat just enough to fill a small kinder pot every cast, this would hopefully build the peg throughout the day, and my main aim would be to come back with a fish every cast, regardless of size, in the hope of avoiding a really bad result. The fishing was steady for a couple of hours with odd tench, crucians and skimmers coming to the net, after a while though it needed a rest so it was refed with half a pot of the mix and I went  onto my caster line at 4m, this was a real let down and I expected a bite every cast this wasn’t the case and it soon became clear that it was a waste of time, a big set back. With an hour to go Grant Albutt was bossing the lake with a string of big carp shallow on worm and having tried shallow and everything else in an attempt to catch some carp nothing worked so I took a gamble for the last 20 mins and put a full pot of worms in on the long line and sat over it with two worms on the hook, luckily it buried with 5 mins to go and I landed a 8lb mirror just after the whistle.  Grant won easily with 99lb, Andy Bennett was 2nd from peg 8, 77lb and my 45lb was enough for 3rd, which I was really pleased with from my peg, as it could have quite easily have produced a last!

Day 4 – Trelawney Peg 25

Although this peg had been out of the ‘epicentre’ during the festival I must admit to really fancying this one, historically it’s a super consistent peg on the lake and I felt I could make a decent day of it, to keep things short and sweet it was an absolute disaster! I caught a carp first drop in on my 5m line and a few F1s, then I just couldn’t catch, I lined a few F1s up fishing long on the deck with 6mm pellets, and had one carp shallow over the same line, but my mistake of the day had to be pinning all my hopes on the 5m line late, it just didn’t work and maybe I should of nurtured my long pellet line and continued catching F1s , although it wouldn’t have won me the section it would have put me a lot further up, 3 points was a very disappointing day and put an end to any decent finish overall, a gutting feeling as any festival angler will tell you.

Day 5 – Porth Peg 71

Arguably the best peg at Porth!  However all week there had been no bream showing from the peg, which is a shame as last year, if you were on 71 or 16 you’d fish for bream all day and probably be first or second in the match, with a section win to boot! As I was finished for doing well in the festival I decided to have a bit of a gamble and fish a feeder match in the hope of 3 or 4 bites from proper fish on the method and some smaller skimmers on the shorter feeder line, a bold move but I had nothing to lose, but I would ball a pole line and have a look, even if it was a practise for the following weeks festival! As I was setting up, I got the horrible feeling I had forgotten something, not a good sign, I checked my bait, rods, nets etc, and soon discovered that I’d left my goretex jacket in the van, with rain coming, there was a good chance this was going to be a very miserable day indeed!  The match began, I balled 10 balls of omen and mantra onto my pole line at 13metres this contained casters and a good amount of dead pinkies, I then dropped 8 feeder fulls of bait onto my 30 yard line and then began fishing on the method, this was clipped up right to the cages, around 85 yards out, I had a few quick casts to get some bait in and then sat and waited, nothing happened in the first hour so I had a drop on the short feeder a few small skimmers were welcome, but it wasn’t really quick enough, so I thought I’d have a look on the pole baiting up with a worm head I had bites straight away, and by topping up with small balls of groundbait and some worms I managed to keep catching for an hour and half, but I decided on putting it down and getting back on the method as peg 72 caught a bream which clouded my judgement, the feeder was cast out where I’d dropped 12 balls of groundbait out before coming off it, and spent the rest of the match – dripping wet and freezing cold due to the jacket issue – watching a motionless tip, my 5lb of pole fish was actually quite good in the section and at the end I was kicking myself for putting it down and getting rail-roaded into fishing the feeder after seeing that bream caught, as Grant won the section with only 7lb 14oz, which I could have quite easily had if I’d of stuck with it, it was time to empty the inch of water from the bottom of my waders, ring out all my clothes and have a hot shower, thoroughly depressed!

So there you have it, my Maver week…All in all quite disappointing and I went into the weekend knowing that I’d made some really poor decisions but confident that I would be able to put that right going into the Preston festival!

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

Monday, 10 September 2012

White Acres Thursday Rover Match

The 2nd match of my recent week at White Acres was the 'Rover' a good fun match, and not taken too seriously, although the want to win is always quietly there! The first draw of the morning is to determine what order you can select a peg from the lake map's, true to form I went into the bag and pulled out No.55 out of 95 tickets in the bag, in my opinion this is the worst section of the draw to be in, as if you're first you can choose an out and out flyer, but if you draw in the middle once the flyers are gone, you're looking for room, and this is only really possible if you're last in the draw if you get the drift!?

Anyway, after hearing all the happy people heading to dream draws I headed upto the board to see what I could get my hands on, to be fair there were a few half decent pegs still available and I opted for peg 18 on the High Bank of Pollawyn, I chose this not only as it has potential to win on the right day but also so I could get a little practise in for the festivals that are coming up! My approach to the day was going to be very straight forward, I'd like to catch on the waggler if possible after a start on the pellet feeder tight to the island, and maybe dropping the bomb over the top of the waggler line, and feed a 5m line for the last 90 minutes, to hopefully catch a few weight boosting lumps!

The waggler set up was as simple as it gets, my trusty 11ft Parabolix Pellet Waggler rod, which is definately the best waggler rod of this style I have ever picked up, pure class. This was a 4lb main line down to a 0.17mm hook length and a 16 hook, the float was a 4g straight loaded waggler, for fishing between two foot and six foot deep, these style floats definately have the edge over the short stumpy floats when fishing deeper, and add a bit of finesse to an otherwise crude method. The bomb and Pellet feeder rods were both set up on 10ft Parabolix Bomb rods and 4000 ACS reels loaded with 6lb main line, perfect for the range I would be fishing on this match. The 5m rig was a 4x16 SD4 which was ideal for the 7ft deep swim .19mm straight through to a 14 hook, plumbed dead depth. Bait wise, again straight forward 2mm Bait-Tech Premiums for filling the feeder, a few pints of 8mms for the waggler, 3 pints of meat and some 8mm method boilies as change bait should I need them.

Starting the match, I filled the 30g pellet feeder with soaked 2mms with an 8mm on the band, and cast to the island hoping it would go round immediately, unfortunately this wasn't the case and within half hour I was on the waggler line biteless! I honestly thought I'd be off to a decent start from this peg and was suprised at the lack of fish coming out all along the bank, after a while though the float dissapeared shortly after casting in and my first fish of the day, an F1 of nearly 2lb went in the net, another followed the next cast, then a roach then absolutely nothing, an hour and half in with 5lb in the net and I'm beginning to wonder why I chose to fish the peg in the first place! With nothing to lose I picked up the Pellet Feeder rod and decided that it was my best chance of picking up a few resident fish that live close to the island, casting in, it wasn't long before I was making a grab for the rod as carp number 1 slipped up, this occured on the next 5 casts too and a few had obviously showed up! As soon as they came they had gone again and it turned into one of those days where you'd need to nick a fish from a line and keep changing to build a weight, the odd bite on the waggler and pellet feeder kept me ticking over, and by keeping my 5m line well fed I'd give myself the best chance of catching a weight late too. With an hour to go, I went onto the 5m line and immediately had one of those absolutely blistering digs on the float which you only get at 5 metres! A nice fish of 8lb was a very welcome addition to my net, and 3 more and 4 barbel were extracted before the final whistle. At the scales my two nets weighed 103lb 10oz, a bit more than I thought I had, and some of the flyers had failed to produce so I was lucky to take 5th in the match and win some pennys for my efforts, all in all a hard day really and if I'd of stuck to my guns on one or two methods I definately wouldn't of even made it to 50lb!

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

Sunday, 2 September 2012

White Acres Gold Residents Match.

As I was on a weeks holiday last week at White Acres in Cornwall, I decided on having a go in the Monday open match that they hold weekly at the fishery, the match was to be held on the Twin Oaks and Acorn lakes, with around 35 anglers competing a draw on the low numbered lake would be preffered with the epicentre being 14 to 18!

At the draw though, peg 9 greeted me, mid way along the lake, which wasn't really ideal but felt it would be worth a few fish, and a good peg in the section, although end peg 2 can spoil the party sometimes especially with the wind blowing down there, as it was today. The weather on this particular match was absolutely horrendous (Accounting for lack of Photos for this post!) with a strong wind blowing down the lake and rain from start to finish.  My attack for this match would be very simple to a to the point, as this peg wasn't the best I'd need to go positive in an effort to undo the power of the pegs further up! This would involve fishing a method feeder tight to the far bank, a short pole line with meat at 5 metres, and down the edge to my right, a do or die approach really but I felt the peg could take it. The bait's I took for todays match were some 2mm Premium Pellets for moulding around the feeder, some 6 and 8mm's for banding on the hook, some red and white boilies as a change bait and three pints of meat. I also took two kilos of N-Tice groundbait for feeding down the edge a couple of hours into the match in the hope of a run of big fish in the later stages.

The rigs were as easy as the approach! The rod for fishing the feeder was a Parabolix 10ft Bomb teamed with a ACS 4000 reel, loaded up with 6lb line, I selected a 30g Inline Method - heavy methods are a must for fishing to far banks as they hold on the slope far better - a 4 inch hooklength of 0.22 to a size 14 hook and a hair rigged pellet band. The short pole line for fishing at 5m with meat was a 4x16 SD4 float, as there was quite a lot of tow on the lake, this was a no-nonsense .19 to .17 rig and a 14 B911, ideal for an 8mm piece of meat. My edge rig was plumbed up in 15 inches of water slightly out from the bank to my right, and a 4x10 IS3 float is perfect for this style of fishing, having a nice thick bristle which makes distinguishing liners from propper bites far easier, this was .19 straight through, to a strong size 14 hook, again for fishing meat on the hook.

Starting the match, I fed some bait on the 5m line and loaded up the method feeder with pellets with a banded 8mm on the hook, this was cast out to the clip very tight to the far bank grass, you have to be so close to the far bank on this lake to catch the fish, believe it or not 4 or 5 inches can make a massive difference between catching 100lb or 30lb some days! First cast the rod went round and to my dissapointment the fish came off on the way in, which was a bit dissapointing, next cast however I managed to open my account with a nice carp of around 4lb, one of these every cast and I'd be well in! The first hour yielded around 20lb for me, and it was steady-ish! After the first hour it would be a case of regular casting across and picking up the pole pot every 20minutes to build that 5m line for later. A few more fish followed but a blank 20 minute spell prompted me to give it a rest and pick up the pole rig, baiting up with meat I shipped it out to 5m, dropped in and immediately it bolted under, a great sign, unfortunately though the fish was foul hooked and took a while to get in, but at around 6lb it was worth the struggle, another followed, also foulhooked then nothing, it definately wasn't ready yet so it was back on the feeder for a couple more! With two hours to go, I fed my margin line for the first time with 5 big pots of GB, this showed no signs of fish for around 10 mins, then they turned up, tails everywhere! Dropping in, the float buried and the first of 5 proper fish were put into the keepnet, after these I refed with more GB, but unbelievably no more fish came from this line, and only a few more from the short line before the end of the match. All in all it had been a decent match from an average area of the lake but as predicted the pegs at the top end of the lake produced the goods with a winning 156lb from peg 15. My final weight of 110lb was just beaten into 2nd in the section by the end peg 2 with 115lb, a bit annoying as I had a couple come off but thats fishing I guess and good practise for the forthcoming autumn festivals!

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

Friday, 17 August 2012

Hi All,

Welcome to my new MAP Match Blog!

I hope that by reading the posts on this blog in the future that you can enjoy all the highs and lows of my Match Fishing exploits as well as picking up a few ideas along the way to put into your own fishing, and hopefully will help you put those extra few fish in the net which make the difference at the end of a match! As well as my own fishing I will be posting all the latest news and products from MAP which you will find of interest, as there is a lot of fantastic new ideas which are being developed all the time and it is certainly very exciting times for MAP.

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

MAP are pleased to say that Tony Curd will now be doing a regular Match fishing diary Blog.

Many of you know that Tony is one of the countries finest commercial fishery anglers and is a valued part of the MAP team. 

Tony will use this BLOG to talk about recent trips, talk about new product and speak with you directly, so rack his brains for all the hints and tips you can!

Tony will get started soon, so over to you mate.