After a 16 year break from Coarse Angling I re-ignited my passion for fishing in 2010. Follow my journey from tackle selection, new methods, old and new venue's. All the blanks and bags captured. Thanks for stopping by...
After spending a week at the fishery staying at the what can only be described luxurious lodges I feel that I can give all blog readers an insight into this jewel in Devon.
I stayed in Maple Lodge, which is the first lodge on the left as you enter the fishery. Sharing the lodge with me where two other MatchFishing Scene members, Andy G and Rich H. As you can see by the picture, the lodges have a wide balcony both on the ground and first floor, the only thing you need to watch out for is slipping in your wet boots.
Either side of the double entry doors are two secure lock up's for tackle and bait which include a freezer and washing machine. The kitchen is fully appointed and you don't need to bring anything apart from your condiments, tea, coffee, milk, etc. The downstairs lounge is spatious with a dinning table that can seat 6 people with ease and some of the lodges have a sofa/bed in them, inlcuding a small TV on the wall and further storage cupboard.
There are a further two bedrooms, a double and a twin including a large bathroom with bath for those weary anglers after an exhausting day on the bank.
Upstairs you have another living area with large screen TV, plumbed into Sky, a large outdoor deck that over looks Beatties or Tanners Lake dependant on which lodge your are in.
Finally, there is a double room with ensuite bathroom including shower. I managed to blag this room ;-)
The lodges are very clean and tidy, that is until we had stayed in them for a week, but Andy and Debbie's army of cleaners soon put this right for the next tenants. The bedding, matresses and pillows are very comfortable ensuring a sound night of slumber or maybe that was also to do with the amount of beer we all drank at the "Lodge of Plenty"?
Would I stay here again? Without a doubt, comfortable, clean, friendly and very close to the lakes.
For more pictures of the Lodges, check out the Stafford Moor website under Holidays
During the Maryuku / MFS Silvers festival we fished both Tanners and Woodpecker lakes. Tanners is the larger of the two and more sport was seen from Tanners during the week, although it appeared that more carp were caught from Woodpecker.
Chris Haines, Olympic Diving Team?
All the lakes have good sturdy platforms to fish from, but be careful as they can get quite slippy after rain, something which Chris Haines, local tackle dealer, co-sponsor and venue regular learnt to his cost on day 3. Chris never did tell us the depth close in or what the bottom was made from, at least he took the Dive scoring from the Lodge of Plenty members well ;-)
Tanners and Woodpecker are stocked with a variety of fish, Skimmers, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Perch, Goldfish, Carp and Tench. The tench are your normal browny green colour but there is also a high mix of the beautiful golden tench variety, something which I caught on day 1 and was overwhelmed by how beautiful the fish looked. All the fish are in excellent condition.
Stafford Moor fishery rules are simple, don't mix carp and silvers, no method feeder, barbless hooks and a very sensible net limit of 50lb of silvers, 65lb of carp in one net.
The sport is brilliant, with only one day from my week proving difficult for bites, but that may have been down to the angler, not the peg!
Andy Seery is a great help too, letting you know all about the peg your about to try your luck on and even coming round to see how things are progressing and helping out with a couple of suggestions to get more fish in the net.
Overall a place that I will go back to! Thanks Andy and Debbie!
Lessons Learnt from the Silvers Week
Here are some simple lessons that I learnt during my week. MFS has some top class anglers who attended the festival, all of whom where very willing to share tips and tactics to all who would listen.
Come armed with a very light elastic - I was using Diawa Pink Hydroelastic, which is rated 4-6. It was clear that this elastic, in my opinion was a little too harsh as I bumped a couple of fish. Other were using Prestons Original Slip 5 & 6 solid and Middy Green double. When they were lifting for a strike it was clear that the elastic was coming out a lot easier than my pink hydroelastic
Hooklengths down to 0.10 and 0.08, and fine wire hooks such as Gamma Green. Gary (Milo) has advised me on hooklengths and hooks and these were the order of the day.
Sloppy groundbait with a pinch of worm and caster fed sparingly from a toss pot. On the first day of the festival I had fed balls of groundbait, which the skimmers didn't settle over straight away. The sloppy groundbait enabled the skimmers to feed on it straight away. See more on this post.
Groundbait mixed with micro's seemed to work better than just groundbait. It was clear that some anglers where having more success with this approach than just groundbait itself.
Take a groundbait that has a fishmeal content. This is a commercial fishery and as such, the fish are used to and seem to enjoy fishmeal. My mistake on day one was to use a groundbait that was more suited to natural waters with no fishmeal content.
Rigs - set up both the lift method, by using two number 8's above your hooklength knot or loop to loop for the skimmers and also set up a traditional bulk with 2 to 3 droppers. The lift method was working during the early part of the week, whereas the bulk and droppers worked later in the week.
Don't ignore the edges. The margin's are not just for carp, there are some good tench, perch, raoch and skimmers to be had from edge fishing.
Feed little and often and feed to your bites. Starting a line with a single ball of sloppy groundbait and top up via your toss pot seemed to the be the method that was working best during the week.
Finally, listen to Andy Seery, he gives great advice for the peg your about to fish and he knows the fishery inside out. After all, he has been there for 11 years!
The last match of the year for me and an outing to Lawn Farm near Cambridge with the Facebook Angling League guys. Lawn Farm has been quite kind to me this year although the very cold weather lately made me think that today would be a tough day.
I'd pinged Amer Jawad who is a local (although not for much longer) regular at Lawn Farm for some advice as I'd not been on the bank for a few months to get some tips. Amer certainly helped my day, so thanks Amer!
A couple of now shows, although the best no show was Glen who thought the match was on the Sunday, not the Saturday! Luckily Paul Law who was getting a lift from Glen arrived with another angler. On the plus side at least Glen didn't turn up at some ungodly hour at Paul's place on the Sunday!
Peg 27 came out the bag for me which I was happy about. The peg is on the spit at the back of the lake and gave me open water and the island to go for.
Peg 27 happened to be Amer's favourite peg so the adv…
Neil, owner and general great bloke from Hillbilly Floats, very kindly sponsors the aptly named HillBilly Pairs event at Roy Marlow's Glebe fishery in Peckleton.
48 anglers descend for the two day event where mystery pairs partners are picked at random to battle it out for the title.
The draw for the pairs is always full of banter. My partner for the weekend would be Herbie, our great leader of MFS!
Pool 6, Peg 90 with Ruddy and Neil as neighbours, it would be a battle for the golden nuggets. Not forgetting Les H who was further down Pool 6 on the end peg. Today could turn out quite expensive!
Very simple today. Feeder clipped up to the far bank which could if required be changed to bomb / pelletPellet waggler clipped up to the far bank alsoPole line at 5 metresPole line on the right hand margin
On the menu for the fish, sweetcorn, hemp, dead red maggots, 6mm and 8mm pellets together with some donated casters and micro pellets from my new best mate Neil (NS69) as…
No match this weekend so I decided to head back to Badshot Lea small pond, peg 38 to test a theory I had after my previous weeks match. The theory? Well more groundbait on one line to hold the larger fish together with some hook bait changes.
Weather was very similar to the previous week together with quite a few carp anglers at the bottom end which almost simulated the match conditions of the previous week. My aim was to start my "match" at 10:30am and fish until around 2pm.
Longer feeder line this time, just short of mid way.
14.5 metre lines same as the match, 11 and 2 o'clock.
I set up two different pole rigs this time, one that was around an inch overdepth and the other a double bulk where the second smaller bulk where actually on the deck looking for the tell tail lift bites.
Bait, maggot, caster, micro and 6mm pellet. Groundbait was a 50/50 mix of a method mix and dark sweet fishmeal F1.
Rather than pot in 8 balls of groundbait on the righ…