3rd placed at Hillview Sunday Open on the maggot feeder – 40lb


This Sunday morning was the first time this winter having to scape ice off the car windscreen so I knew it was going to be a hard days fishing, but you can still have a good days fishing, Hillview is as good as any venue in winter.

On arrival as the fishery only 6 anglers had bothered to turn up. Normally there is at least 15 on a poorly attended day but many venues still have winter leagues running at the moment so we were all pegged on the Heron pool and all had plenty of room but it was going to be hard with that frost over night!

Heron pool, Hillview peg 23

Peg 23 is on the end of the pool nearest to the café at Hillview and normally fishing this area you feel a little boxed in as you don’t really have a throw into the deeper water in the middle of the pool as this would mean casting passed the anglers on each bank either side. Today was OK though. The left hand bank (the causeway) between Moorhen and Heron pools wasn’t in due to work they are doing there with a digger widening the causeway and with only two anglers on the bank to my right I was able to throw a feeder towards the middle of the pool if needed and with this frost I expected the maggot feeder to come into play!

Work in process on the causeway between Moorhen and Heron pools

The plan was is see if I could catch on the pole and I set up a maggot rig at 13 metres which also doubled up for my short pole line as the depth of water was similar, a short soft pellet rig and one for margins but I didn’t really expect to catch there, thinking the fish would now be in the deeper water after the frost. If the fishing was hard at least I was able to throw out a maggot feeder into the middle of pool this week not being boxed in.

A slow start on the pole

I kicked off the match feeding micros at 13 metres with double red maggot over the top and 30 minutes into the match I caught a good F1 around 3 lb. But that proved to be the only one I caught here. I tried loose feeding a few maggots over the top but I could only catch small Skimmers and the odd Roach. The short pellet and maggots lines also produced nothing and even an early look in the margins produced nothing at was hard going as expected. So going no where after two hours it as time for plan B.

Maggot Feeder fishing

Winter is the time of the year for fishing the maggot feeder. the fish push out into the deeper water in the middle of the pool. It was clear that fishing the pole wasn’t going to work and after that frost and the conditions were bright, again not ideal for the pole so I reached for my maggot feeder. Things improved now and I began to catch the odd F1. It was a bit of a waiting game for each fish and with leaves floating on the water surface it was a bit of a pain sinking my line but at least I was now catching the odd fish. I still fed my pole lines with maggots via the catapult which is easy to do when fishing a rod and line. If things slowed up at least some bait was going in on these lines and I decided I would kept an eye on the other anglers fishing poles and as the day progressed if they began catching on the pole I would try it again. The last hour can be really be good at Hillview so I was keeping my eye on the other anglers.

As the day progressed I added 10 good sized F1’s and a few Skimmers on the maggot feeder. I had no Carp though and these seemed not to be feeding. Going into the last hour the angler on the next peg did finally catch a couple of Carp and this prompted me to go back on the pole for a short while but all I could catch was small Skimmers so I opted to throw back out the maggot feeder, staying on it for the rest of the match. I quite enjoyed it. I don’t normally fish it very often and really it’s a great winter tactic I should use more often.

The weight in

With only six anglers fishing the match the scales arrived early. I was 2nd to last to weigh in. The angler on peg 29 (Flyer) had already won the match with 70lb. I had watched him catch all day but not much else had been caught. I weighed in 40lb which easily put me into 2nd place (only paying 1st the 2nd) with only the angler next to me to weigh in. Unfortunately for me a last gasp carp he had on the all-out got him over the line for 2nd place with a pound more than me (41lb) But I was still happy I’d enjoyed my day fishing a method I don’t fish very often.

Maggot feeder set up

I used a 10ft Preston Mini Plus bomb rod as this has a light forgiving action that allows the use of a fine wire hook and a 2508 Daiwa TDR reel loaded with 6lb mainline line. I attached a free running small 10g Drennan maggot feeder using a 5 inch twisted boom on the mainline with 2 no.8 stotzs for the feeder to rest on. The twisted boom keeps the hook length away from the feeder which stops tangles and the hook length was a pretied 12 inch size 16 0.138mm (3.5lb) Kamasan B911 F1. When using this set up allow the rod to bend right round on the take and gently lift into the fish to avoid snap off’s

Kamasan B911 F1
10g Drennan Maggot Feeder

Split Shot v Stotz’s – both have their place


Just a short review on a small but really important item of tackle we all use on our pole rigs, Split Shot. I feel both have benefits over the other when used in different ways.

Preston Stotz

Over recent months after using Stotz’s for all my Commercial pole rigs over the last few years since they arrived in tackle shops, I’ve returned to split shot on most of the pole rigs I use now. Stotz’s are great for margin rigs where they make a nice neat bulk above your hook length and they are so much easier to put onto your line but when fishing a stung out bulk when fishing on commercials for F1’s and Carp but they do tend to move up and down the line a lot disturbing the presentation of the rig. When your really bagging in a match I don’t want to spend any time out of the water adjusting shot. I want my shot to stay in the right place.

Ballabeni Split Shot

This has led me to go back to split shot on these types of rig. I use Ballabeni split shot because its soft and cut nicely compared to cheaper types. I spend hours tying rigs, carefully putting on the shot on the mainline using my homemade rig board having inch markers on it. Doing it this way I find it easier to get the shot on the line, and lets be honest it’s hard to do! So do it at home when you have plenty of time in a room with good bright lighting. Having the line tensioned between two pins on a rig board enables me to get even no.11’s or 12 on the line. Something I find impossible doing on the bank. Applying the split shot this way enables me to get the shot on correctly and in the right place so the line is fully at the back of the gap in the shot before I close it up and they then all sit nicely on the line.

Some people say that when you pinch shot on to the line it damages it but I only think this is a problem if you move the shot after applying it to the line, I never move mine. Having tension on the line enables me get them on right and I pinch them on with a pair of Bull nosed pliers meaning I very rarely have a shot ping off when fishing. If a shot does come off I’ll put on a stotz because its quicker and easier to do on the bank and I make do with that for the rest of the match. But as I’ve said split shot are much better to use as they tend to stay on the line if applied correctly and don’t move up and down the line. Once they are on the rig they hardly ever move compared to Stotz’s.

So all my stung out rigs now have split shot on them but Stotz’s still have there use and I always use two no.8’s for my back shot above the pole float as they are easy to move along the line and don’t damage it.

3rd Overall and Section win, Woodland View Mid week Open, 55lb


With the weather forecasted to be nice for the middle of November, no wind and rain and mild for the time of year I made a last minute decision to take a day off work, using up a spare holiday day rather than taking it in December when it probably wouldn’t be as nice a day.

I hadn’t been to Woodland View for several weeks and I fancied a change of venue and booked into the mid week open this week split over two sections on Front Deans and one bank on Back Deans. I drew on Back Deans 47, finally a great draw! A great winter end peg in the deeper water. It hadn’t produced recently but the potential was there, I just needed to catch them.

Woodland View, Back Dean peg 47

I set up a maggot rigs for short and long pole work, soft pellet over micro for into the corner in the shallower water and also a maggot feeder for throwing over towards the aerator. But being such a nice day I hoped the catch on the pole.

Slow start

I started the match out at 13 metres fishing maggots, just feeding a few maggots via a cad pole to gauge how the day was going to plan out and if any fish were feeding. I didn’t want to put much bait in yet. I spent 30 minutes here without any return. The angler on the next peg had caught a couple of Skimmers short so I tried the short pole next, again just cad potting in a few maggots but after another 30 minutes all I had was one small Skimmer and something needed to change. So I big potted in some mirco’s into shallower water going into the corner but at the bottom of the shelf to my left for trying later and I began to a throw a few maggots short while going back out to 13 metres. Another 20 fishless minutes passed before coming short over the short line I’d been feeding.

Throwing maggots short

Throwing maggots short changed the peg. A soon as I went on it I caught a carp around 4lb and then another straight away and then nothing. So I tried soft pellet over the micro next but no bites developed and so I went back to the short maggot line and caught an F1 and a large Skimmer straight away again and then nothing. This got me thinking I needed to rest my lines. The day was bright with no ripple on the water. Maybe my pole hovering over the top wasn’t helping. So I continued to loose feed maggots over my short pole line and returned to pellet line for 15 minutes. No bites came from the pellet line but at least my pole wasn’t over their heads on the short maggot line. After another 10 minutes I went back to the short maggot line and caught straight away and then nothing again. A theme was developing, catching straight away and then not!

Resting pole lines

So it was clear resting pole lines was needed. The pellet line hadn’t produced anything yet so I topped it up every 30 minutes with the intention of fishing it later and I began to fish maggots on my short and long pole lines now, picking up a couple of fish of each line before resting them and alternating between the long and short maggot lines. I wasn’t catching many carp and F1’s but the stamp of the Skimmers I was catching was very good. These were around the lb mark and a couple were edging 2lb so these were good weight builders. These were caught on double maggot. I tried 3 on the hook and hoped for carp but this didn’t work and I retuned to double red maggot. My short line was proving to be the better line but as the day progressed it was fading, but I was really enjoying the day catching these decent Skimmers. Looking around the pool seemed to be doing OK but with just my bank in on Back Deans it was difficult to tell. I knew I really needed some Carp to boost my nets. So for the last hour I decided to forget about the pellet line which hadn’t produced anything anyway and planned to finish off the match at 13 metres. I ‘d been feeding maggots there now for a few hours picking off the odd fish before resting the line so I began to feed little heavier with the maggots on the 13 metre line hoping for Carp. This attracted some small F1’s which I was happy with as they were all adding to my weight but I hoped for a Carp. 20 minutes later I hooked one at last but it was foul hooked and was soon lost but this gave me the confidence that I could land one soon and I went on to catch several more in the last 40 minutes before the all-out.

The weigh in and Result

I had caught 7 carp, a few small F1’s and a good net of decent Skimmers. Being on an end peg I couldn’t really see how the other anglers had faired. I could see an angler on Front Deans behind me had caught well but I had no idea how Back Deans had fished. I estimated I had around 50lb which for this time of year is a good weight so I hoped for a pick up. My Carp weighed 36lb which was good anyway but I knew these Skimmers had been good weigh builders and they tipped the scales around to 19lb boosting my total weight to 55lb. This was enough to win Back Deans and the section. But I was sadly one decent Carp off wining the match out right. the winner had 60lb and 2nd was 57lb. But I was happy the weather had been nice all day and I really enjoyed catching those Skimmers.

Best Rig of the day.

These were actually two but very similar Rigs. Fishing for anything with maggots. The 1.5mm tip on the Slim float aids seeing the bites on calm days and even with a light 0.11mm size 18 SFL-B hook length you can land decent sized Carp when using the green Preston 11 Dura Slip.

13 metres – 6 foot deep – 4×16 Preston F1 Maggot set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge main line with a bulk of 6 no.8 shot 18 inches from the hook with 2 no.10 droppers above a size 18 Preston SFL-B 0.11mm 6 inch Read Rig set up on 11 Green Preston Dura Slip elastic

6 metres – 5 foot deep – 4 x 14 Preston F1 Maggot set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge main line with a bulk of 6 no.9 shot 18 inches from the hook with 2 no.10 droppers above a size 18 Preston SFL-B 0.11mm 6 inch Ready Rig set up on 11 Green Preston Dura Slip elastic

Preston F1 Maggot
Preston SFL-B Ready Rigs
Preston 11 Dura Slip elastic

Commercial venue pole rigs


Being a match angler I never know the peg I’m going to draw, the weather conditions on the day or the depth of water I expect the fish to be in. So I need to be well prepared and carry a total of 110 rigs for most occasions in my seat box.

All these rigs are tied up well in advance and when I go to fish a match, its just a case of selecting the right rig for the day, considering the weather conditions, the time of the year, expected species and the depth of water. I like to be well organised but I carry just two trays in my seatbox containing all the rigs I’m ever going to need. My current seatbox is a Preston Absolute and I organise my two trays as follows.

Tray 1 (calm conditions)

This tray is configured to carry 30 RED 18cm Preston Innovations double slider winders.

Tray 1, 60 Pole floats, Preston Carp Pellet, F1 Maggot, F1 Pellet, F1 Fine

This gives me a total of 60 rigs in this tray where I store most of my fine weather slim bodied pole floats. I’m a big fan of Preston Innovations Des Shipp Commercial Slims. Historically commercially mass produced pole floats used to be not very good or strong for commercial carping and like may anglers I avoided them like the plague and brought my pole floats online off float makers but not these days. These Preston Slims are now well made and very strong plus they shot up perfectly every time, there easily accessible but the added value to me is that they are named and colour coded for the use. which is a great help to me when I’m setting up for a match. I can select the right rig I want without having to go fumbling through rigs that all look the same, trying to read faded hand written marker pen writing on the winders. This tray houses my rigs for calm weather throughout the year. namely the F1 Maggot, F1 Pellet, Carp Pellet for summer and F1 fine for winter fishing. These are all stored in the groups with different sizes. I have 3 double winders for each float pattern holding the 4×16 and 2 double winders for 4×14 float patterns as these are the most used options and then a double winder for each of the 4×12 and 4×10 sizes. All these are on 6 foot rig lengths apart from the 4×16 which have 12 foot lengths. (this is gauged by the length of my two stretched out arms which is roughly 6 foot) Then if I cut the selected rig down once I’ve plumbed up and its now been shortened, I replace it back on the winder after the match and just turn the winder upside down in the tray. That way its easy to identify which rig need re-tying when I get home.

Tray 2 (heavy bottom, Shallow and Margin rigs)

This tray is configured with 14 GREEN Preston 20cm double slide winders, 8 RED 18cm double slide winder and 10 YELLOW 13cm double slide winders. These house my heavy windy weather, Shallow and Margins rigs.

Tray 2, 50 Pole Floats, Guru Diamonds and Wire Pingers, Preston Edge and F1 Fine

I have room in this tray for 7 Guru Pingers and 7 Guru Diamond ranging from 0.4g to 1.0g. These come into play on windy days where a heavy float is needed to combat any tow on the water or I want a rig to be very stable presenting a bait over a pile of feed. I tie these up at 12 foot and then cut them down as needed. Again turning the winder upside down after the match so I know which rig has been used and to be re-tied when I get home. As these are large floats I only house one float on each winder. but still have two rigs of each size tied up on these 14 GREEN winders. This leaves room on the other side of the try for 10 YELLOW double winders for my Shallow rigs for F1 and Carp and then 15 RED double winder where I store my Summer margin Edge rigs and silver fish Chanti rigs.

So I keep a total of 110 pole rigs, all ready to go which cater for most occasions. The only exception are paste rigs. A method I don’t enjoy but if I decide to fish these types of rig I’ll just make them up prior to the match and just switch a few of the rigs in the tray around.

Organising Rig Trays

One thing a couldn’t live without is my Pole Rig Spreadsheet. This shows how I organise all my pole rigs with the shotting patterns I prefer

110 Commercial Pole Rigs organised into 2 Trays in my Preston Absolute Seatbox

Stotzs or Split shot

I use both. I prefer using split shot for my stung out and bulk and dropper rigs because they don’t move on the line where as stotz’s do tend to move and can affect the presentation of the rig. My back shots above the pole float will always be stotz’s though, because you can move them without damaging the line. Stotz do make a nice neat bulk and I using them on heavy margin rigs where you want to pin down the rig near the bottom and on also on my shallow F1 rigs when you want a neat bulk just above the hook length to act as a bolt rig effect.

Line diameters

I use just 3 different line diameters for my pole rigs. But in my view it’s not crucial, where as it is on the hook length and lighter hook lengths deafinitely lead to more bites.

0.19mm for Margin work with Preston Edge floats and short pole line Guru Diamonds where bigger fish are expected.

0.17mm for long pole lines, using F1 Maggot, F1 Pellet, Guru Wire Pinger on the bottom and Shallow work with with either a Preston Carp Shallow or F1 Shallow pole floats. The Preston Carp Shallow are also good for shallow margins.

0.15mm for winter fishing with F1 Fine or Chanti pole floats

Hook Lengths

The days of tying my own hook lengths are long gone. The standard of pre-tied hook lengths are excellent and there really is no need to tie them yourself these days and I simply don’t have the time. Preston and Guru cover them for me with their 6 inch Ready Rigs. These come in plenty of hook grades and line diameters sizes and I have no issues using them. If you want a 4 inch option simply cut one down.

Preston Ready Rigs
Guru SLWG Banded Ready Rigs

2nd placed on Back Deans, Woodland View, Annual Clubman match


Woodland View hold their annual Clubman match once a year for all the clubs that have fished a match at the venue during the previous 12 months. We as the Jubilee Nomads fished a match here as part of our 3 day festival earlier in the year. So we were able to book into this well attended match.

Woodland View – Back Deans peg 34

The weather was terrible, strong wins and heavy rain greeted anglers on arrival at the fishery and this would have put some off fishing. There was still a great attendance with 61 anglers fishing the match over Front and Back Deans, plus Arles and High pools. This match is a thankyou from the Preston Innovations backed venue and all anglers received a Preston cap some hook lengths and feeders at the draw. The winner received a free weekend stay in one of the venues caravans and a margin pole was up for grabs for the 2nd placed angler.

A good draw (for a change!)

I drew end peg 34 on Back Deans, always good for a few fish despite being at the shallow end of the pool and as we were now into winter fishing. I hoped for a good day. A lot of cold rain water overnight and continuing while I set up made me decide to fish for anything and maggots would come into play today but with peg 34 being a end peg I was confident of a few carp out of the corner. As it was probably going to be hard the plan was to try to catch a few carp early and then fish for anything to continue to add fish into my keepnets. So I plumped up 3 pole rigs. One for carp into the corner. A short 2+2 line which is always good at Woodland and a 13 metre line if needed. With a strong blustery day forecast I also set up a bomb rod for throwing over to the aerator if needed.

fishing for carp first

I started on a soft 6mm Sonubaits expander first on my 2+2 line cad potting in a few mirco’s over the top and waited for a bite. I had a liner straight away so I knew a few fish were there but caught nothing and I soon changed down to a 4mm soft pellet but after 30 minutes I still had empty keep nets. So into the corner I went but with a grain of corn this time while cad potting in some micro pellet. After 10 minutes the float dipped and a nice ghostie around 4lb graced the landing net. 2nd put in and 10 minutes later another carp around 4lb followed. Everything was going to the plan as everybody else was struggling. But that was it no more carp followed. I decided to begin to feed maggots on my short and long pole lines and big cupped some corn and micro into the corner with the intension of trying it again later.

Despite the blustery conditions I went out to 13 metres next with triple red maggots on the hook and began to catch some nice sized Skimmers whilst spraying a few maggots over the top. I was catching Skimmers and the odd Roach now. So at least I was adding weight to my two carp from the corner, but I wondered if there were any carp around on this 13 metre line that would take a large bait so I changed to a 6mm soft pellet next and fed a few 4mm’s over the top. This worked straight away. I caught two more carp but that was it. So I now had four carp and some Silvers and looking around the pool everybody was struggling. It was a tough match as predicted probably because of the cold rain water that had gone it. But at least I had achieved the start of the plan. I could now fish for anything.

Switching to maggots

Venue expert Kev Slade was pegged on Front Deans directly behind me and catching well short on maggots so this reinforced my plan to switch to maggots at some point. He was catching F1’s and stockies on maggots short but not on my pool! So I began to fish maggots on my 2+2 line and I soon began to catch more Skimmers and the odd F1. All these were adding to my overall weight and as no one was catching carp on my pool from what I could see I was happy with these Skimmers. I started with triple red maggot but double maggot was better and after another hour I hooked and landed my fifth carp. This gave me the confidence to stay in this short 2+2 line until the end of the match. Just resting it every 20 minutes while I looked into the corner for another carp. But none came my way there. So I concentrated on the short maggot line until the end of the match. I did hook another carp here but lost it and the wind now ruled out fishing long. I was adding Skimmers to my weight anyway and I saw out the match on this short maggot line.

Weighing in

Come the weigh in I could see that I’d beaten all the anglers on the far bank but I didn’t know how my bank had fished. Especially down the other end of the pool in the deeper water. I knew the angler next to me hadn’t caught. When the scales arrived the top weight was 53lb. This won the pool and I didn’t think I could beat that. But they were paying 1st and 2nd in each section/bank so I was still hopeful of a brown envelope. My five carp weighed in at 27lb and then my Silvers went 14lb giving me 41lb overall. This was 2nd in section and also 2nd on the pool. The other pools fished better and the angler in my section that had 53lb didn’t mainframe in the top three overall, so he won the pool but I was happy to pick up the 2nd in section money anyway. Plus the rain held off before picking away my gear! It’s definitely winter now and fishing for anything will be the way forward for the next few months!

Best rig of the day

Short pole line – 4×12 Preston F1 Maggot set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with 8 no.10’s strung out in 2 in gaps above a size 18 Preston 0.11mm SFL-B Ready rig set up on green Preston 11 Dura Slip elastic.

4x 12 Preston F1 Maggot
11 Preston Dura Slip

The Result

Club men’s championship 61 anglers spread across deans high and Arles on a very windy cold morning thanks to all who are supported us this year and for coming today. Thank you to Preston innovations for the sponsorship of prizes which every angler who fished received
1st Tom Cross Darlinston ac. D29. 111-0
2nd K Slade. St Stephens. D33. 87-0
3rd P Rutter. Match box. D44. 64-0
4th J Powell. Nomads. H29. 63-4

Top 3 anglers 2021 Woodland View Clubman Championships

3rd Overall, Manor Farm Leisure, Wednesday Mid week Open, 55lb 14oz


With the week off work I booked into the Mid-week open at Manor Farm Leisure. This week held on the island pool with 12 anglers fishing, so plenty of room.

With the weather mild for the end of October I planned a pellet attack as Manor is a renowned pellet venue. A strong wind ruled out the long pole so I set up just a short pole line, a 30g Preston ICS method feeder for throwing to the island and a Preston ICS 20g bomb for fishing half way across.

Peg 12 island pool, Manor Farm Leisure

A slow start on all 3 lines!!

At the all in I fed my short pole line with some micro’s and 4mm pellets with the view to topping it up regularly while I fished my rods and to fish it later in the match. I started on the method throwing tight in the island but after an hour I’d had no pull rounds and I still had empty keep nets! Flyer peg 6 which had won the last two matches was into fish already. I was going no where!! 20 minutes next on bomb and pellet hadn’t produced anything either. So I was forced to look on the short pole line early. This was terrible. I just couldn’t present my pole rig right in the wind. Changing to a heavy rig also didn’t work. I was getting bites but seeing them was impossible. At this point 2 hours into the match with this howling wind straight in my face and with three empty keep nets I considered throwing in the towel, packing up and going home. But no! I work full time and I don’t get to fish these mid week matches. I threw the pole up the bank and decided to fish my rods until the end of the match.

Catching on the rods at last

During all this time I’d been feeding 8mm pellets half way across. I couldn’t fire out any 6mm’s because of the wind and at last my bomb rod baited with an 8mm pellet pulled around 3 times producing 3 small F1’s but I was still way behind the other anglers. They weren’t catching many carp. Some were fishing maggots and catching Skimmers and small F1’s and others were sitting it out for carp like me but not many were being caught. I needed some Carp and I decided to throw out the method feeder again. One good cast tight to the island made my rod arc round next. A large carp had finally picked up my 6mm chocolate orange wafter! and it was “fish on” I soon realised it was a big carp and the fight it gave me was fantastic. I needed to get this fish in and I took my time before I edged it into my landing net. It was around 12lb and I was back in the game. I cast out again and another smaller carp around 5lb soon followed before it went quiet again on the method but at least I now had something to weight in.

Bomb and Pellet comes good.

The last hour was good. the 8mm pellet line started to produce fish. mainly small F1’s but the odd carp also graced the landing net several times in this final golden hour. I’d caught most of the other anglers up and had now past them. Flyer peg 6 was still ahead of me though and hard to beat.

Come the end of the match I placed 55lb 14oz on the scales which was enough to end up 3rd overall. Considering the poor start I had and the weather conditions I was pretty pleased with the end result considering I nearly packed up at the half way point.

2nd at Hillview Sunday Open with 100lb


This week I fished the Sunday open match at Hillview, Canals 3 and 4 were in this week but only 10 anglers booked in, probably due to other venues having winter leagues and festivals over the weekend. So not many there but at least it was a match. Plus there was plenty of room for all this week.

Hillview, canal 4 peg 88

I drew in the middle of canal 4 on peg 88 which is a good draw but with it turning cold I was unsure whether it would be a pellet or maggot match. I’d pleasure fished on the River Avon on the Twyford stretch the previous day so I had plenty of maggots and casters left over and these would come into play if things got hard and pellets weren’t working.

I started the match on the bottom at 2+2 with 6mm hard pellets on the hook feeding 4mm’s and began to catch well straight away, but I could see the fish were still up in the water dispite it being the middle of October and raining. The angler to my left was catching well in the margins with what looked like a better stamp of fish than I was catching. So as I had plenty of caster I began feeding them to my left margin at about 2+3. I gave it 20 minutes before trying it and I caught fish here straight away. Shallow fishing seemed the way forward.

Wrong shallow bait!

Things were great my catch rate was good on the casters shallow. Just 12 inch’s deep was the best depth and I carried on here fishing shallow to the margins but I also opened up a new shallow line down the middle of the track as back up if the shallow margin line slowed down. The angler on my left was catching much better fish than me and much more quicker. I couldn’t really work out why and I began to rotate my shallow lines. I could see he was also catching 12 inches deep and I persevered with the casters shallow. The fish were there I just couldn’t catch them like the other angler who was racing away from me now. I was still catching well so I carried on. I stayed shallow for the rest of the match rotating between the track and margin but still scratching my head as to why I was getting battered by the angler to my right. He won the match easily 178lb which he told me after the match was has best ever match weight. I asked him “was that on caster?” To which he replied no triple red maggot. doh!! I’d made a mistake.

Lesson learnt!

So a lesson learnt today. I had maggots on my side tray. These were bronze maggots that I had left over from the previous days river session. I didn’t have confidence in them as red maggot is the bait for Stillwater’s. I should have at least tried them! But all was not lost. I weighed in 100lb and was delighted to pick up the 2nd place money even though I’d been battered by 78lb.

Best rig of the day

0.10g Preston dibber float set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge with 5 no 10 stotz’s above a cut down 4 inch Guru SLWG size 18 0.13mm Ready rig set up with White Hydro though a short stop kit. (I just fished the wrong bait all day)

size 18 o.13mm cut down 4 inch Guru SLWG banded Ready rig
Preston 0.10g Dibber

2nd placed at Manor Farm Leisure Open, 75lb 4oz


Using up a few days holiday before the end of the year saw me book into Manor Farm Leisure Thursday Open, this week held on the island pool.

These Thursday Opens are the affordable opens at only £15.00 to enter with the option of entering the super pool for an extra fiver. Normally these opens are well attended where there is no overall winner paid out, just section winners which are normally 3 or 4 man sections. But for some reason only 4 anglers entered this week, very strange. I was there early and paid my £15.00 and the extra fiver for the super pool. But I was the only one to enter the super pool so I got my money back before wetting a line!

With only four of us fishing at least we would all have plenty of room with pegs 6, 12, 16 and 18 in. I drew peg 18 an end peg so I was happy with that but with flyer peg 6 in which had won the match the previous day and with the same angler on it today it was always going to be tough beating peg 6 especially with all the room he had got today. The weather had finally changed from the mild conditions and with a 10 degree dip in temperature it was difficult to gauge how the pool would fish. So I opted to try for carp first but had maggots back on the side tray if the carp weren’t playing ball today.

island pool, peg 18 Manor Farm Leisure

I set up a medium 30g Preston ICS Dura Banjo method feeder for fishing tight to the island an ICS 20g Preston ICS bomb for midway a cross. A maggot rig at 13 metres, soft pellets for the short pole line and a margin rig but I didn’t expect to catch there now the weather had turned colder. It was the first outing of the year for my winter clothing and my Preston Celsius suit kept me warm all day.

A slow start on the Method feeder

I started the match on the method feeder. At manor the you have to get your feeder landing tight to island to get a bite and this it where I started. It can be difficult casting this accurate at long range and the regulars have got used it it but I don’t fish here much and hardly fish rods and I don’t like clipping up but after a few casts I got it spot on using my 11’6″ Method rod. The fishing was slow for all apart from flyer peg 6 who was soon into fish as expected. I caught my first carp on my 3rd 10 minute cast (always use a stopwatch) and added a couple more in between catching a few silvers on the maggot line during the next two hours. The fishing was slow and I was now rotating my lines between the method and bomb and my pole lines but not much was happening.

Soft Pellets on the short pole

As we got into the final two hours my short soft pellet line began to produce. I’d been throwing 4mm’s here all match at 2+3 and caught a good 4lb carp here around 1.30pm this gave me the confidence to stop on this line a little longer rather than continuing to rotate my lines. The water had a tow on it and I changed from a 4×14 to a 4×16 Preston F1 pellet float. This worked much better but I was still having to hold the float on the back shot to keep it still and another carp of the same stamp soon followed using a 6mm Sonubaits soft expander as hook bait. At this point I decided to see off the match on this short pole line as I had began to catch some good sized carp here. One must of been 12-13lb and I got broke on a couple of fish. I’d been using 0.15mm mainline to a 0.13mm hook length and the mainline broke on the mainline loop to the hook length twice despite using a 13 Duru elastic. I had geared down the mainline as we are coming into winter but but think that was a mistake. 0.17mm from now on. Strangely it was the mainline and not the lighter hook length that broke on these two fish.

These lost two carp proved to be costly. I weighed in 75lb 4oz. to finish 2nd in the match, 10lb short of the angler on flyer peg 6. But still a great days fishing for the middle of October.

Best Rig of the day

Soft pellet rig – 4×16 F1 Pellet pole float in 5 foot of water set up on 0.15mm Guru N-Gauge with 8 no.8 shot at 1 inch gaps above a size 16, 6 inch 0.13mm Preston GPM Ready Rig set up on white Preston 13 Duru elastic.

4×16 Preston F1 Pellet
Sixe 16 Preston GPM Ready Rig
6mm Sonubaits Pro Expander

Hillview Sunday Open, Canal 3 -weighing in 73lb


This Sunday I took in the open at Hillview. I fancied fishing one of the canals this week as these are normally in on a Sunday. On arrival at the fishery the place was rammed with anglers cars and I feared a club were on the canals. It turned out two clubs had matches, but I was happy to learn these two clubs actually were on the two main pools, Moorhen and Heron.

Strangely there weren’t many anglers fishing the open this week dispite the weather which was mild for the middle of October and today just 12 anglers fished the open. We used the 3rd and 4th canals this week. These two canals are the best ones at Hillview and I hoped for a peg on canal four (the best one) but Keith the fishery owner drew me out peg 77 in the middle of the 3rd canal for me this time. So no end peg flyer for me this week but I still expected a nice days fishing.

Hillview – Peg 77 Canal 3

Maggots or pellet attack?

As the weather was on the change now, maggots were back on the side tray along with soft 6mm pellets, micro pellet and corn. I was a little unsure what to start on so I decided to start the match on maggots, hopefully to get a good start and get a few small fish in the keepnet before the bigger fish turned up. I started fishing a short pole at 2+2 as you don’t need to fish long on these canals. This was a mistake, I was bitted out with small Roach straight away. I couldn’t get my hook bait though these micro Roach! So an early change was needed.

I could see a few carp and F1’s shallow just off the pallet to my left and I began to throw a few 4mm’s while I was persevering with the maggot line but it wasn’t long before I went on it starting at 12 inches deep. I had no takers but I could see they were very shallow and I soon changed to just 6 inches deep. This was much better, catching and nice ghostie some small carp and F1’s. I was now catching the odd fish. I wasn’t bagging in any way, just the odd fish but at least they weren’t micro Roach! but my thoughts soon began to fishing the left margin at 2+1 to my left.

Margin fishing

The left margin was deep at around 3 foot so I used a heavy 4+16 Preston edge float on 0.19mm mainline with a bulk of no.8’s 4 inches from the size 14 (0.15mm) hook to nail my corn hook bait to the bottom, feeding balls of micro to get the bait quickly down. I caught a few more carp here but I was missing some bites, It just didn’t feel right and I spent the next hour changing between this deep margin and the shallow line off the next pallet.

Change of rig!

I felt the margin had plenty of feeding fish. I just could catch them fast enough and I was getting behind in the match. A change was needed. I had set up a lighter 4×12 Preston F1 pellet float on 0.15mm mainline for the far bank and replumed it up for the left margin. Rather then having a heavy bulk this rig had a 5 no’s 9 and a no, 10 at 1 inch gaps above a 4 inch (0.13mm) size 16 hook length to dot the bristle down. I was going to use a 6mm soft Sonubaits expander this time on a size 16 Preston GPM hook.

This change was much better, changing to a lighter float, mainline and hook length was miles better and I began to catch more fish. the lighter soft pellet rig was much better than the heavy rig that I started on. But this change was to late! I was now catching well but well behind the other anglers in the section.

I finished the match weighing in 73lb which was about 30lb short for the section win. I am sure if I had started with the lighter rig I would have challenged for the section. I’d changed to the lighter rig to late to catch the other anglers up. I don’t really fish these canals enough and the regulars were just to good for me today but you are always learning with fishing and next time with the right rig set up I’m sure I will compete with the regular anglers that fish these canals.

Best rigs of the day

Shallow rig – Preston 4×10 dibber set up on 0.17mm Guru N Gauge with a bulk of 5 no.10 stotz above a cut down 4inch Guru size 18 (0.13mm) Banded Ready Rig, this was set up on White Hydro through a short stop puller kit. A 6mm fishery pellet as hook bait was the best while I was feeding 4mm’s

Preston 4 x 10 Dibber
Cut down 4 inch size 18 (0.13mm) Guru SLWG Banded Ready Rig

Margin rig 3 foot deep – 4×12 Preston F1 Pellet set up on 0.15mm Guru N Gauge main line with 5 no. 9 shot and 1 no. 10 to dot the bristle down, 1 inch gaps above a 4 inch cut down Preston size 16 (0.13mm) GPM Ready rig baited with a 6mm Sonu baits soft expander pellet, set up through a standard power kit puller with 13mm white Preston Dura Slip elastic.

4×12 Preston F1 Pellet
Cut down 4 inch Preston size 16 (0.13mm) GPM Ready Rig

I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Sometimes I doesn’t go right at the start of a match. I’ve not fished these canals much over the last couple of years and my heavy margin rig was probably more suited to fishing the margins when big carp are around, swirling bait around with their tails. But these canals at Hillview are full of small F1’s and Carp and they provide excellent fishing all year round. There wasn’t a need to pin a bait on the bottom. A lighter rig with smaller diameter line and hooks proved to be better.

Doug Smith wins the 2021 ‘Worcesterset’ Leveller 3 day festival


This years Somerset Leveller 3 day festival became ‘Worcesterset’ again this year. As it did last year due to Covid. We were unable to travel down to Somerset because the digs where we normally stay are now closed. So three local venues were booked for this years festival as we did last year.

We were able to book Ghost pool at Woodland View, Badger pool at Solhampton and the Laurel pool at Cob House for the final day.

12 anglers booked in for the festival but unfortunately for Stu he’d done his back in just before the weekend and was unable to fish the three days. So with 11 anglers fishing we had three 3 man sections and a 2 man section each day with the festival decided on points over the 3 days. 1 point for a section win, 2 points for 2nd and 3 points for 3rd in section. We had a daily winners pool but also 3 wooden spoons for the lowest weights each day. Plus the dreaded overall wooden spoon for the last placed angler over the 3 days.

Day 1, Ghost Pool, Woodland View

Woodland Views Ghost pool saw 3 anglers record tonne plus weights. This was topped by the daily winner Kevin Parry with an excellent 192lb 10oz. Second on the day was Doug Smith with 135lb 14oz giving both anglers one point section wins. Rob Butcher’s 130lb 0oz was only good enough for 2nd in section though as he was pegged in Kevin’s section. Andy Mitchell and Pete Dutton picked up the other two section wins. Wooden Spoon winner was Mick Taylor

Day 2, Badger pool, Solhampton

The 2nd days match on the Badger pool was disappointing. A few fish were caught early but then as the day progressed the pool switched off with everyone struggling to put a good run of fish together. The daily winner was Doug Smith with 72lb giving him another section win for the festival but Kevin Parry was equal to this also recording his 2nd section win, giving them both 2 points and top of the standings after two matches. The others section winners were Rob Butcher and Robin Ballard. This put them on 3 points each for the festival joined by Andy Mitchell who’s 2nd place today also gave him a total of 3 points going into the last day. So all to play for. Day two wooden Spoon winner was Pete Dutton.

Day 3, The Laurel Pool, Cob House

The last day saw festival leaders Doug and Kevin drawn in different 3 men sections and with anglers on 3 points also in their sections it could all change on this last day for the overall festival winner. Andy Mitchell won the match with a fantastic 175lb for the all important section win, giving him a total of 4 points. Doug or Kevin needed to win their sections again to beat Andy. But the draw gods had put Kevin on the wrong end of the pool where all the lower weights of the day had been recorded and Kevin’s great start to the festival withered away, finishing 3rd in his section. But it was Doug Smiths year! He recorded another tonne plus weight of 138lb to claim outright victory for the festival with a perfect score of three section wins to finish on 3 points. Well done Doug. The daily Wooden Spoon was Pete Dutton .

The final Result

This was another great festival organised as always by Mark Birbeck. We all enjoyed the fine weather, the fishing and as always the banter!! Oh and the dreaded Overall Wooden Spoon winner, well that was some chap that still caught over 160lb of fish on the final day. So he can’t be that bad an angler, even though his clicking could be better!!!

Phil Seedhouse wins Hillviews Sunday Open with 141lb 0oz


This has been a good week for the Jubilee Nomads. Firstly well done to Stu, Doug, Rob and Mark for winning the Whitehall 1212 Teams of 4 match at the Jam Factory on Saturday. See the full report HERE

Phil decided on a trip to Hillview for the Sunday Open while Rob, Doug and Andy fished the open at Woodland View. Phil added to the Jubilee Nomad success this weekend by winning the match at Hillview with an impressive 141lb. See the full report HERE

However that wasn’t the highest Nomad weight of the weekend, Doug won his section at Woodland View with 143lb after coming 2nd in the mid week at Cobb House with 196lb and a win at the Jam Factory with 118lb.

A great week for the Jubilee Nomads. All catching plenty of fish just before our own festival over 3 local venues at the end of the month.

Hillview Sunday Open match WIN with 141lb 0oz


This Sunday I fancied a change of venue for my fishing. I’ve been going to the regular Sunday opens at Woodland View pretty much all Summer with limited success and I fancied a return to Hillview, I venue that suits me well.

The match was held over Moorhen and the first canal. I really fancied fishing a canal as I’ve not fished one since lockdown but I found Moorhen 15 home for the day. I was pretty happy with that but the other anglers at the draw had said Moorhen hadn’t been fishing well for a while and only 30lb had come off it the day before. With bright weather and high pressure I wasn’t expecting a good day but I still liked Moorhen 15 its a peg I’ve won off before so hoped for a good days fishing.

The plan was to fish short with meat on the deck, pellets long on the bottom and shallow plus the margins with meat or corn over two bags of fishery micro pellet. The margins can be good and at the all-in I potted in micro’s hoping to fish it early in the match but starting short on 2+2 with meat.

I was soon into fish. A carp around 5lb graced the landing net after 10 minutes, followed by several small F1’s in the next half hour. It was a good start but the angler on the next peg had caught several big fish out long at 13 metres and was pulling away from me. I needed to react to that. So out to 13 metres I went fishing a 6mm pellet and loose feeding 4mm’s over the top. That was what the other angler was doing and I just copied him! and I soon began to catch some Carp and F1’s. I manged to draw the fish off him and while I was now catching him up he was also slowing down. All was good I had around 30lb after the first hour and I was winning the pool.

The 2nd hour was still good but I was caught more F1’s than Carp. I wanted some bigger fish so in between feeding the 4mm’s I catapulted in a few 6mm’s. This worked and my carp to F1’s ratio improved and it also kept them on the bottom as they were beginning to come up in the water.

Bagging

3 hours in and I’d clicked to 50lb in the first net and was beginning to fill the 2nd keepnet. The fishing was good and I began feeding my left hand margin with fishery micro’s. As I was catching well at 13 metres there was now no need to try the margin early and I was now planning save it for the last hour.

4 hours in and I’d clicked 50lb into the 2nd keepnet the fishing was still good on the 13 metre line but slowing down a little and my thoughts were turning to be margin. I’d seem a few swirls now and I couldn’t help myself. In I went with 8mm meat. The float ripped away with a foul hooker that I lost. At least I knew some fish where there, and probably bigger! In I went again but again hooked another foul hooker. Then several missed bites. They were clearly there but it wasn’t right and my catch rated had dropped.

Decision time

Do I stick with margin with potentially bigger carp or go back to the 13 metre pellet line? I knew I was easily winning the pool if not the match. I didn’t need any big carp. I just needed to be adding to my weight with F1’s and the odd carp. I’d now clicked the 2nd 50lb net and had started my 3rd keep net. I made the decision to bin off the margin and continue fishing at long range. The line had been rested for 20 minutes and I’d still been feeding it. So for the last hour I continued to catch more F1’s and the odd carp. They had began to come up in the water and I just beginning to get a few foul hookers. Feeding more 6mm’s between the 4mm’s seemed to push them back down but I was fishing a strung out bulk and I caught several on the drop. I felt there was no need to go out with my shallow rig as I was still catching well and had easily won the pool already!

The Weigh in, with expert clicking!

Some days it all goes right. I’d clicked 50lb for the first keep net and I weighed in at 50lb on the nose. Out came my 2nd net which again I clicked to 50lb. The scales went round to 50lb on the nose again. Amazing! My total weight on my clicker was 141lb so I was happy anyway but the 3rd keepnet weighted in at 41lb which gave me a total weight of 141lb Even more amazing!!

This was easily enough to win the Moorhen pool. Then with the best weight from canal 1 being 123lb I’d won the match outright. It all went right today and my clicking was just unbelievable.

Best rig of the day

I caught virtually all my fish on the same rig in 5 foot of water. This was a 4×14 Preston Carp Pellet because it was a calm day with no wind. This was set up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge with a sprung out no.8’s and 10’s as the shotting pattern, (3 inch gaps) above a size 14 Guru SLWG 0.15mm 6 inch banned Ready rig. set up on yellow 17 Preston Dura Slip through a side puller. 6mm fishery pellet as hook bait and feeding 4mm & 6mm fishery feed pellet.

Size 14 0.15mm Guru SLWG banned ready rig. tying your own is old skool these days
4x x14 Preston Carp Pellet. The 2inch Bristle is key. These mass produced floats are super strong these days.
17 Yellow Preston Dura Sip. Simply the best elastic on the market for is price and durability

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Jubilee Nomads win the 2021 Teams of 4 Whitehall 1212 match at the Jam Factory


Saturday saw The Jubilee Nomads enter a team of four at the Jam Factory for the Whitehall 1212 organised match. A total of 15 strong teams entered this years match where each team has an angler on each pool fishing for overall team points to decide the winner. With 15 point for a pool win on offer and then 14 to 2nd and 13 for 3rd and so on.

Stu, Mark, Doug and Rob were our anglers having fished the venue recently with good results. So although there were 15 strong local teams fishing, hopes were high of doing well. They all fished well catching plenty of fish and finishing high on each of their pools and recording double figure section points. Rob and Doug weighed in 74lb each Stu had 56lb and Mark 39lb. This gave the Jubilee Nomad team a total of 46 points and 1st place in the match. 5 points ahead of Portobello A in 2nd place with 41 points and Sensas Evesham Green in 3rd.

Well done Stu, Rob, Doug and Mark an excellent result.

Match fishing – an obsessional pass time?


There is a phrase, “the more you put in, the more you get” match fishing has many types of angler. During my time fishing matches over the years I’ve met anglers from all walks of life. Yes its a fantastic hobby, we all know that, It gets you out the house in all types of weather and health and wellbeing benefits are well known.

Match anglers are all different, some are happy to fish with a few mates on the local pond with a competitive edge and then on to the anglers where fishing competitively completely dominates their life. But is this also a good thing and can pressurised match fishing actually be bad for your wellbeing? I must admit during the first Covid lockdown when we were allowed to pleasure fish I really enjoyed the whole experience. I always though pleasure fishing was a bit boring. But since then I’ve done more of it, no pressure to do well in a match and risk the mickey being taken out of you when the match hasn’t got well. Pleasure fishing is deafinitely good for your wellbeing but I’m not so sure the same can be applied to match fishing.

Chasing the big money

There are various types of match angler ranging from the once a week Sunday angler to the top tackle company sponsored anglers. Many of these companies positively promote their sponsored anglers on their social media channels promoting their goods and many of these anglers are also very active personally on social media which has become part of the job these days. Many chase the big money qualifiers but it must be remembered for many, this is their job. Lets be fair anyone can enter one of these big qualifiers but chasing the dream is really only possible for these types of angler. They have the time to do it, time for all the tackle prep the know how and expenses covered, but for the average joe the odds of actually winning the final are virtually nil. If you have the time to practise on the venues, can afford the entrance fees, bait requirements and travelling expenses go for it. In reality even winning a qualifier is going to be hard. These top anglers are in the public domain and the cream of the crop, many are full time professional anglers but yes you can pay your money and fish against them. I don’t know another sport where this can happen. To compete with these anglers requires a great deal of dedication, skill and luck in the draw bag. Fishing qualifiers for these pro anglers really must be an obsession. They must spent hours on prep work so they have all bases covered.

Social media

We all like a good pat on the back when we do well and many younger anglers who have grown up with social media are heavily influenced by it. Many posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram their latest match results and then counting the ‘likes’ and comments they receive. Many hoping a good run of results will get their name some recognition and the possibility of a little sponsorship from the local float maker or tackle shop. This determination to succeed in my view can be great for some but for many others maybe not. We are not all the same. Personal circumstances for some anglers means they simply cannot afford the gallon caster for a shallow fishing in the summer in a 15 peg match where the winners only going to win £40.00 but if you have it on your bait tray you may bag up on F1’s and post your ‘win’ all over social media. In an attempt to raise your profile. Where as the ones with a few tins of corn or meat and a bag of pellets ‘just had a nice day’s fishing. Is this fair? Some fisheries now have bait limits which is a good idea but how many times have you had your bait tray been checked in a match? Never for me!

Fishing several times a week – good or bad?

Many older anglers now have move free time to go fishing often being semi retired from 55 and starting to take out their personal pensions. Often fishing several matches at the same venue week in week out. They become ‘venue experts’ knowing every peg like the back of their hand and the best methods and baits. This makes it difficult for the once a week angler to compete with them which can lead to disheartenment and not good for their well being . Some of these retired anglers have become brilliant anglers on these venues. They’ve put the hours in and reap the rewards. But is there more to life, fishing on the Saturday, the Sunday and maybe twice in the week. If you live on your own and you want to do it that’s fine. But if you have a family how do they feel? To fish several times a week must lead you to constantly think about fishing 24/7. Are they missing out on other pass times?

Thinking fishing 24/7

I only generally fish once a week being in full time employment and after the tackles gone got back in the garage from the last match I’m already thinking about next weekends match. My first job is checking what items of tackle are going to be needed. What I’ve used and need to replace either off eBay for small tackle items or off to the tackle shop. Tying up rigs, changing elastics etc. At least if I do it then I’ve got all week to sort it all out. Then the rest of the week before the match consists of checking the weather for Sunday, every day! researching the venue on the internet if I’ve not been there and watching hours of youtube video’s. Most evenings are spent pretending to watch TV with the Mrs when really I’m sat in the front room with my iPad all over whats app fishing groups, looking at 2nd hand fishing gear on eBay and facebook marketplace and reading about everybody’s match reports on their facebook and Instagram pages. Then the weekend comes and the Mrs mentions that we’re going out Saturday night and all I’m thinking what time are we home. I’ve got to get up early Sunday morning to get to the draw on time! Plus I’ve now got to fit in buying my fresh bait and preparing my pellets before we go out. So if all this sounds like you I guess your obsessed with fishing just like me.

Then for me there is the updating of this website, posting match reports, tackle reviews and other useful bites of information which I do all for free. Yes match fishing is obsessional, its in my DNA !!

Does this sound like you? Leave a reply below

Why I’ve choosen the Garbolino UK3 Match Power plus over the UK4 Maxim


Having used Garbolino poles for the last 25 years and trust them immensely. Plus knowing all my Top Kits would still fit the new pole, when is came to replacing my GMax C1 Power for my commercial fishing the choice was the easy. A new Garbolino UK pole. But which one?

I couldn’t afford the mortgage for a UK1 !! So baring in mind my fishing revolves around fishing commercials and the UK2 is more suited to river and canals so wasn’t an option. So the choice was either the UK4 Maxim, the out and out big carp muscle pole or the UK3 match power plus. Both were options on the table before I travelled up to the Garbo UK main dealer, Baileys of Warwick to check them out.

I’d checked both options were in stock before travelling over to Warwick and I tried out both poles. I was airing on the 14.5 metre UK4 before I arrived as I don’t really fish 16 metres on the venues I go to and buying the standard 16 metre UK3 package was going to be the more expensive option.

But as soon as I felt weight and balance deference between the two poles my mind was made up straight away. The UK4 pretty much felt like my old GMax C1 Power. A heavy pole built for big carp bagging and to be honest it felt the same. Whereas the UK3 felt a lot lighter but still capable of landing large carp as its built for commercial fishing rather than rivers and canals. The sections are still reinforced, lightweight, strong, and durable and much easier to fish at longer lengths when needed. The difference between the two poles was very noticeable but I didn’t really want 16 metres.

So rather than the standard package, Baileys were happy to supply what I actually wanted. I opted to go with a 14.5 metre version with the extra dolly butt section, 6 carp match puller kits, (I swapped the match kit that comes in the pole for a carp kit). A potting kit and two extra short mini extensions for fishing short for only just a little more than the UK4 RRP price bracket. This suited my budget and I was getting a much lighter pole than I’d been used to. Having the UK4 just felt like my current pole in my opinion.

My new UK3 also fits perfectly in my MAP Pole protection case

Using it for the first time.

I’m lucky to have Manor Farm Leisure on my doorstep and the following evening I headed down to Manor for an evenings fishing after work on the island pool. I wasn’t really interested in catching fish. I just used the opportunity to feel how my new UK3 handled fishing it at different lengths. I started fishing at its full length 14.5 metres with the dolly butt and then worked my way back towards the bank fishing short to see how using the short extensions in the 3/4 and 5/6 sections faired with balance and striking into fish and then ending up fishing in the margins.

Fishing at 14.5 metres was much lighter than I was used to with my old GMax pole. I felt I could fish at length all day. Something which was a struggle before and with the dolly butt the whole pole felt well balanced and responsive on the strike. It was also a pleasure to play fish on the 2.65 metre long top kits. I caught carp up to around 8lb and the UK3 coped with the task easily.

Overall the whole experience was a pleasure compared to using my old pole. I feel if I’d had gone for the UK4 I wouldn’t have found much difference. Paying a little more for the UK3 in my view was money well spent and its great for all my commercial work.

Andy Mitchell puts together another big weight to frame at Woodland View’s Sunday Open


Fresh from his Nomad victory at Tirley Court last week with a double tonne Andy continues his good form at Woodland View where he is now regularly in the frame. This week the open had 22 anglers split over Front Deans and Hay pools.

Andy drew on Front Deans 4 this week weighing another big weight of margin monsters mainly in the last two hours. A tactic that has served him well in recent matches at the venue, placing 164lb on the scales to take 3rd overall.

Just two other Nomads joined Andy this week. Doug also drawing on Front Deans, catching 93lb while Phil saw Hay pool home for the day weighing 63lb.

Sunday Result 25/7/21 Front Deans and Hay pool.

22 anglers fished
1st Ash Ski woodlands. D10 201lb 0oz
2nd K Slade. Peg one. H10. 180lb 0oz
3rd A Mitchell Jubilee Nomads. D4 164lb 0oz

Chip Shopped at Woodland View Sunday Open


This Sunday I went over to Woodland View for the Sunday Open. With a lot a clubs fishing on various pools across the complex as you get in the summer months the open match saw 22 anglers spilt over Front Dean and Hay pool this time.

Now that the covid restrictions have been lifted at was nice to finally draw my own peg this week. My hand pulled out Hay 8 which isn’t a bad area. Only problem was I’d forgotten to bring my trolley and it’s a bit of a walk from the top car park to Hay.

On the plus side Jason Powell a venue expert who consistently picks up at Woodland View and various other places lent me his trolley up at the top car park which was good of him but the bad news was he’d drawn to next peg to me. It was now going to be tough for me to do well with Jas being in my section. But then it got worse when I arrived at my peg. Kev Slade was setting up on the other side of me. Kev is the main man at Woodland View and always the man the beat, which isn’t very often. So the pressure was well and truly on.

The match began and Kev was soon into fish. I’d caught a few small F1’s and Carp but I couldn’t really see what Jas and Kev were up to. My peg had a Willow tree either side of me so if I was going to be Chip Shopped (Battered both sides) at least I wasn’t going to have to watch them bag up. Being blinkered on my peg also didn’t help. I couldn’t see what they were doing, fishing long, short, shallow or the margins. I really didn’t know how I was doing in the match. I was catching fish OK but because I couldn’t see anyone else I really couldn’t gauge how I was doing. For all I knew I was doing alright. I caught in spells mainly on hard pellets. but I really I was never in the race. The good news is I know why and will put this into practise next time. I caught plenty of fish just the wrong size.

I weighed in 63lb, Kev was 2nd in the match with 180lb and Jas won the section with 104lb even though both were claiming 50lb as we waited for the scales. (Both of them couldn’t lie straight in bed) so I had a right chip shop match (battered both sides) Not really worth me blogging about how I caught my fish this week I got it wrong! I Broke a top kit too, the first time I’ve done that for a few years, but at least it didn’t rain!

So a short write-up this week.

2nd placed on Pete’s pool, Tirley Court with 184lb


The prolific Pete’s pool at Tirley Court is a venue I always look forward to match fishing every year. It never disappoints!

It’s not a commercial venue just a pool on a farm. But by-god it’s simply awesome. The fishing here is far superior to any commercial venue I know. Its just a large pool on a farm just south of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire that allows clubs bookings for matches on it. However booking it may prove hard as its sold out most of the year, the fishing that good. I’ve been fishing it now for around 10 years. Mainly once a year and it I’m lucky twice a year and I don’t recall catching less than 100lb in the matches I’ve fished their. I go there now with the Jubilee Nomads and bag up every time. One of our matches a couple of years ago was actually won with a phenomenal 440lb.

Pete’s Pool – Tirley Court (commonly called the stones section)

But how would it fish today on the hottest day of the year with temperature’s in the 30’s. Today was definitely a brolly day to keep out of the sun and the good thing about Pete’s pool is that half the lake has very shallow margins sloping from nothing to 2 foot before you get out into the deeper water. These areas are commonly called the Stones, the grass bank and then there is the deeps on the other side of the lake. I drew half way along the grass bank area. So it was a case of wearing a pair of shorts and going in bare footed to place my seat box in the shallow water. So although it was the hottest day of the year, I was cool all day long and I had the foresight to freeze a couple of bottles of water overnight which were lovely and cool as the sun thawed them out.

Tactics

When you arrive at Tirley the fish are literally crawling up the bank in inches of water but they can be very hard to catch in this very shallow water. It’s much better to ignore them and fish a pole a little further out, generally 2+2 in about 3 foot of water is best. I set up for fishing hard 6mm pellets with a 4×10 Preston Carp pellet pole float on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with a small bulk of no.10’s and one no.10 dropper above a size 14 (0.15mm) Guru banded SLWG Ready rig (no need to tie your own these days) An identical rig was also set up with a size 14 Preston GPM Ready rig for fishing soft pellet or corn if a change of bait was needed. But this also meant I had a spare rig plumbed up ready to go if the first rig got damaged as I expected a catch a lot of fish. I also set up a margin rig but this was only going to come into play if needed.

Size 14 (0.15mm) Guru SLWG Banded Ready Rigs
Preston 4×10 Carp Pellet (3 foot of water)

This was going to be a 6mm hard pellet attack throwing in by hand. I had some soft pellets and micro pellet for the margin and corn as a bait change if needed but I felt confident fishing hard pellets from fishing the venue for 10 years.

A great start

At Tirley the fishing’s that good the owner insists in weighing in half way through the match. At the all-in I began to fish on the bottom in about 3 foot of water and fed 6mm’s by hand and it wasn’t long before I was catching carp. During the next two hours the fishing was great. Easy fishing, just throwing a few pellets at the float every couple of minutes to keep the fish in my swim. Come the mid way weigh-in I placed 94lb of carp on the scales. The next best weigh was 50lb so I great start to the match. I just needed to carry it now.

Rudd’ed out

After the mid match weigh-in I carried on where I left off, fishing hard pellets at 2+2 and even after a spell of not feeding anything while the weigh-in took place I continued to catch carp. All was good then small Rudd began to be a problem. Up until now they hadn’t been a problem for me but they had been for other anglers. My carp catch rate was dropping so I primed my margin line with a big pot of micro and corn. The fish were on it straight away and seeing tails swirling in the margin I just couldn’t leave it. They proved difficult to catch here as expected due to the shallow water and I caught a couple on double corn but I was waiting for bites for to long and the other anglers were now catching me up.

So I returned to the 2+2 line which had been rested for 30 minutes now but still fed. I changed hook bait to double corn thinking this larger bait would see off the Rudd. This was good I caught a few more carp and this seemed the way forward. But no the Rudd returned and were attacking the double corn hook bait straight away. I couldn’t get my hook bait through them. I moved my bulk to 6 inches from the hook but still had the problem Rudd to deal with. My catch rate had slowed right down now. So I returned to the hard pellet hook bait and increased the free offerings hoping to feed off the Rudd. This worked to some degree. I caught some more carp but I still had the Rudd problem although pellets were much better than corn. Now with 30 minutes left. Do I try the margin again? My 2+2 line was producing carp when I could get through the Rudd. I couldn’t help myself though, seeing all these swirling tails breaking the water. I tried it again but for little return so I returned to the 2+2 line for a few more carp until the end of the match.

The weigh-in

Come the weigh in, given my good start with my 94lb on the midway weigh-in leading the match, I had a 40 odd pound weight advantage over Andy Mitchell two pegs away. But I knew he’d had a good 2nd half of the match, much better than me and had caught well. He weighed in 212lb 8oz. An excellent weight. Did I have enough to beat that. I placed 90lb on the scales this time giving me a total weight of 184lb 8oz. A bit short and I had to settle for 2nd place overall. The time spent in the margin chasing tails had really cost me. But that’s fishing, it could have been good in the margin. If you don’t try it you never know. But really I spent to much time in the margins, costing me the match. However I was happy with how the day went considering it was the hottest day of the year so far in the 30’s which can effect the fishing. But Tirley never disappoints, its the ultimate bagging venue. If your lucky enough to fish a match here you are in for a excellent days fishing. Take plenty of keepnets, you’ll need them!

Andy Mitchell wins at Tirley Court with 212lb


This week us Jubilee Nomads fished our own match with a few invited guests on the awesome Pete’s pool at Tirley Court.

We always look forward to fishing the two matches we are able to book on this venue each year as the fishing is always prolific here and actually booking a match here is difficult. Unfortunately Stu had to miss the match as he was having to self isolate due to covid but all the other Jubilee Nomads fished plus a few invited guests.

Tirley Court is a big weigh venue and has a 50lb keepnet limit. So plenty of keepnets are required and the owner insists on a weigh-in halfway through the match. Given that we were all fishing on the hottest day of the year with temperature’s in the 30’s it was most important that we did the double weigh-in so the fish weren’t in the keep nets to long.

Brollys were a must today and as Pete’s pool has very shallow pegs most of us donned shorts, fishing with bare feet and placed our seat boxes in the water. This was most welcome on this hot day and having water lapping around your feet all day kept us cool. But plenty of drinking water was needed.

The first half of the match was patchy and Phil set the early pace weighing in 94lb for the first couple of hours from half way along the grass bank area. Next weigh two pegs down was Andy who placed 56lb on the scales. But this meant only 50lb was recorded.

The second half of the match started and the fishing became better for most as the day processed. However it was for difficult for some to feed off the small Rudd. Andy began to catch Phil up now and also Rob in between Phil and Andy who was now catching well.

Come the end of the match, Tirley returned some excellent weighs as it normally does. Andy claimed top spot, winning the match with 212lb 4oz dispite earlier going over the 50lb keep net limit on his first weigh. Phil continued to add to his first weigh of 94lb and finished the match with 184lb 8oz to claim 2nd place.

Section Winners were Rob with 134lb which was also 3rd overall and the other section was secured by Robin on the ‘Stones’ section with 132lb.

Generally all anglers dispite the hot weather all caught fish and had a good day. 7 tonne plus weighs were recorded from the 12 anglers fishing. Tirley Court really is a awesome bagging venue and one we look forward to every year.

Andy Mitchell wins Back Deans at Woodland View Sunday Open


Just three of us Jubilee Nomads fished the open at Woodland View this week. Andy, Phil and Doug. Despite recent good attendances lately numbers were down this week but there were still some good anglers present. So the match was held on Back Deans and High pools.

Phil and Doug drew on the High pool while Andy found Back Dean’s 63 home for the day. Andy continued his recent good form at the venue and went on to win Back Deans with 93lb despite arriving late and not having much time set up. But he still had time to edge out Guru’s Mark Taylor by 8oz. Phil also lost out by 8oz on High pool weighing in 51lb to see the section being won with 51lb 8oz. Doug decided to throw back knowing anglers in his section had more than his 60 odd pound.

Result

Back Deans and High pools
1st C hill Mosella. H31. 132-8
2nd A penn. H11. 113-8
3rd Andy Mitchell Jubilee Noamds. D63 93-8
4th M Taylor. Guru. D35. 93-0