I’d really enjoyed the last match at Kingsbury although drawing an end peg was obviously a massive bonus on what was a hard day for most. For breakfast this week we were going to Southfork Caravan Park which had recently reopened their cafe although even with the draw being pushed back an hour, it still meant setting my alarm for 5:15! I met ‘The Toast’, ‘The Pole’ and Nick P in Ilminster before heading off to Martock.
We arrived at The Ranch in good time and were well looked after by Kirsty and the banter was in full flow as we enjoyed breakfast. With the majority of us there, Chris did the draw for everyone and it’s quite exciting waiting to see what you get. He called out the names first before delving into the lucky sack (or the sack of doom depending on the peg you got) and of course everybody wanted peg 1. Terry ended up on peg 10 which was quite close to where he was last time, Nick had 15, Steve P was on 16 which was an end peg and with over half the pegs gone, peg 1 was still in there. My name was called, would lightening strike twice? Nope, peg 14 was my home for the day but apparently it’s still a decent area. Chris Deady was the lucky angler allocated peg 1.
After a short drive we arrived at Kingsbury and could drive half way to our pegs, every swim looked gorgeous, proper Mr Crabtree swims with reeds, lilies, bushes and trees. My peg had it all and if anything there were too many options!
I got the same two rigs out I’d used last time but when I went to plumb the depth, the float just disappeared from view and kept on going! I got another rig out, a 1 gram bodied float which was top kit plus the number four section, this was better but it had an olivette rather than a spread bulk which wasn’t ideal as there was hardly any flow. The 0.6 gram DH16 was just about right for fishing tight across to the reeds. I was trying the new Guru Match Special hooks for the first time as they look perfect for this style of fishing. On the side tray I had maggots, casters, Bait-Tech Super Seed hemp plus some Pro Natural Dark and Extra which I’d mixed 75:25 the previous evening.
The start time was put back 15 mins which was handy and I was just about ready in time, on the whistle I fed two balls of groundbait down the middle before starting with a single red maggot on the hook. I was also feeding hemp and caster across but as always would leave it as long as possible before going over. My first two fish were gudgeon so I swapped to caster and had a little chublet followed by a small roach and than a better one of 4oz and although it wasn’t fast and furious, it was a steady start. Nick below me said he was catching minnows and the odd small roach.
A couple of fish topped by the lilies on my left so I started feeding some hemp and caster upstream and after ten minutes, the first run through resulted in a big gobie and the next bite resulted in a fair bit of elastic coming out before I netted a lovely 8oz roach. So with an hour gone, I probably had around 12oz which wasn’t far off the pace for my target weight of 4lb.
Over the next sixty minutes, I had a few more small roach and tiny chublets but was itching to go across so I added another section and the first bite resulted in another quality roach but it was a one off. Next I picked up the lighter rig, added another section and went tight to the far bank, after a few minutes the float buried and I missed it! The next two fish were small chublets so I went back to the heavier rig and took a section off, a couple more roach followed and I was having to chase the fish around a bit.
I cupped in another ball of groundbait down the middle but couldn’t get a bite there on caster and double maggot just resulted in minnows and a tiny dace. Nick was catching lots of minnows but reported that Steve P was getting some nice roach. I couldn’t seem to get more than one fish before having to try somewhere else. We also had a torrential downpour and the weather couldn’t make it’s mind up with blazing hot sun, wind and then rain!
Going into the last half an hour, I tried by the lilies again but with double maggot and it was a bite a chuck from minnows and I was just about to knock that on the head when the float went and a better fish was on, as I unshipped, a nice roach came to the top and the hook pulled out! That proved to be the last of the action and I ended up with 23 fish roach, chublets, gudgeon and dace plus a few minnows, I had 26 for 4lb in the last match but had more decent roach then.
After packing up, Chris W soon arrived with the scales to start the weigh in with Steve, he had some lovely roach to weigh 3lb 15oz which I thought would be there or thereabouts. Nick had loads of minnows and a few small fish for 1lb 1oz and then my fish went a level 3lb. The Grand Wizard had 2lb 6oz on peg 13, Dave P weighed 10oz, John Simms had 14oz, ‘The Toast’ had a level 2lb and the last peg in our section was Derek G with 2lb 10oz from peg 9.
Back at the results and Chris Deady had won the match with a nice net of quality roach weighing 5lb 12oz from peg 1, the next best weight in that section was Bob Newbery with 3lb 1oz from peg 6 followed by Cliff Gaylard with 2lb 14oz so after Chris, the weights were really close. I ended up fourth and last in the frame, picking up £20, I lost a pound to Steve but finished 2-1 up taking nuggets off Nick and Toastie.
1 – Chris Deady (Stoke) – 5lb 12oz
2 – Steve Parker (Ilminster) – 3lb 15oz
3 – Bob Newbery (Stoke) – 3lb 1oz
4 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 3lb
A – Cliff Gaylard (Stoke) – 2lb 14oz
B – Derek Goad (Stoke) – 2lb 10oz
I’m really enjoying these matches, the fishing is hard but it seems like a fair venue, especially if you take the end pegs out of the equation, with only 11oz between third place and seventh. Those bigger roach are definitely key to doing well and it’s really interesting fishing trying to catch them! Looking back on my match again, I feel like I could have done it better, I won’t mention the roach I lost as Bob chucked back a 10oz chublet but there are several things that stood out.
Talking to Terry afterwards he mentioned he’d caught four roach on hemp, it was something I hadn’t tried and with hindsight it felt like there were some hemp roach to be had. Also I’m sure a lighter rig with a strung out bulk would have got me a few more bites and scaling down the hooklength was worth a go as I had a few tentative little knocks that I reckon were roach and all those things add up to the difference between fourth and second.
I was really impressed with the Guru Match Special hooks and only lost one fish all match although they are big for an 18 and I’ve now ordered some size 20’s.
In other news Baz Morgan made it three wins out of three in the Ilminster Summer League at Dillington with 11lb 10oz from peg 14, Fieldy was the bridesmaid for the third time with 10lb 1oz from peg 9 and Rob Cox was third with 6lb 9oz from peg 17.
Next up – Summerhayes
Coming soon – A look at some of the new Guru products
Check Out – My latest review (below)