MFS - Tylers Common, Willow Lake, 22nd March 2015

Another adventure to deepest darkest Essex on one of George's matches.  It would be an early start for me and I woke up before the alarm went off.  Switching the alarm off and putting my head back on the pillow was a fatal mistake... I re-awoke at 7:55am, the drive was an hour and the draw was at 9am and I hadn't even loaded the car!

Luckily traffic was light and I just made the draw, much to the amusement of everyone who was waiting for me.  Thanks lads.

The Draw
Only just making the 9am draw, there were two bingo balls left in the bag, I ended up with Peg 12. The lads thought I wasn't going to make it, neither did I, especially with all those horrid speed camera's on the M25!

The Set-Up
Based on my previous experience here back in December, my match plan was pole going to be a pole only attack.  Given the prolific sport at the fishery and reports of the previous days match being won with 220lb of fish I was ready for a great day.

Pole lines were set up at:
  • 13 metres, 10 o'clock & 2 o'clock
  • 5 metre line straight ahead
The plan was to fish banded pellet and expander pellet, with some dead reds as back up.

Normally matches run on time, but George's time keeping was, well a little out today.  He eventually blew the whistle at 10:35am after much abuse from around the lake.

I decided on a negative and positive approach on the 13 metre lines, so potted in some 4mm pellets and dampened micro's on the 2 o'clock line and would kinder pot micros on the 10 o'clock line.

4mm expander pellet was the hookbait.  Shipping out on the 2 o'clock line using my far bank marker, placing the rig in delicately expecting a bit to take a few minutes... well, that was the plan...  After an hour I had a couple of roach in the net.  My thinking was that the silvers were getting the pellet before the carp so I switched to a banded 4mm pellet.

Garry next to me had a carp on his long line but the action was slow.  The banded pellet while resisting the silvers still wasn't producing an carp.  Checking the negative line it was the same story.

Change of bait and tactics, so a couple of dead reds as hookbait.  Both the negative and positive lines started to produce.... silvers and more silvers... I felt as though I should be back at Stafford Moor on the silvers festival.

Finally a carp came to the net after I upped the bait to 3 dead red maggots, and then, yet more silvers.

I decided to try my close in line to see if that would produce some carp, it did, but only 3 fish came from that line, the rest were of the silver variety.

Going into the last hour, Gary started to get fish from his margin line, the sound of his puller kit put even more fear into me as carp after carp was landed.  I was still getting silvers...

George's time keeping for the all-out needed a friendly reminder and finally the whistle went but not before I managed one more carp.

14lb mainly of silvers with a couple of carp to show, dead last on the lake and battered both sides (thanks lads).  A pound to Steve 50-50 and as I was rushing off we decided to double or quits at How End next week.

Well the match plan didn't work.  It was a pretty cold day and on reflection I should have broken out the method rod to get me that bit further out.  The dead red's were certainly bringing the silver fish in and banded pellet just wasn't producing the bites.  Finally, I had forgotten some sweetcorn as I had rushed out the door to make the draw.

Final report card, "must try harder" and "is capable of better results".

Annoying noisy elastic system you have mate ;-)

As quiet as a mouse all match... apart from George on the next peg along...


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