Now residing in New Zealand, this blog will also document my Kayak fishing adventures...
After a 16 year break from Coarse Angling in the UK 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!
Now the final day of the festival is a leveller for all of our skill groups. We would no longer be fishing our section as we had completed the lake rotation. I had managed to get into the 3rd group, so one up from the numpties.
Today was also a special day for Big Ben, it was his 40th birthday so we all sung Happy Birthday and Jo had kindly got him a lovely cake and some balloons... they never went to the peg with him...
Which lake would we be on? Well Clive W drew for us as I had been banned from drawing and we would be back on Beatties. Not too bad I thought and herbie had removed peg 6 as it simply did not fish that well during the week. So I ended up still in the shallow area again, this time on Peg 8!
Set-Up Pole at 14.5 metres to the islandPole top two and two on my leftWaggler to fish towards the break between Beatties and TannersFeeder rod as the island was too much a target not to fishAll-In
Cupped in two balls of groundbait with chopped worm and caster on the pol…
Putting the disappoint result from Oaks behind me it was fishing Tanners that I was looking forward to next. The easterly wind had started to blow after the previous beautiful day so I fancied a draw down around peg 10 - 14, lets see what the drawbar had in store for me today.
Well, peg 2 on the lawns, which is a good waggler and bomb peg so wasn't too disappointed. I had the pellet waggler master for a neighbour on Peg 1, Dave Stockton and Silvers on Peg 4.
The bomb rod was straight out of the bag together with a pellet waggler set up, really simple!
While not a lot had been reported coming out from the margin I just had to set up a margin line to my right and a 5 metre pole line too.
Again mainly pellets together with worms and sweetcorn.
Speaking with Hathers after the draw he mentioned that I'd probably be spending 80% of the match on the bomb and pellet line, which I did to be fair, 5 hours in total.
A chance to fish the Wednesday match with Godalming Angling Society on a new lake to me, Richardson Lake.
The weather wasn't looking the best today with rain predicted, little did I know it was going to rain all day long and soak all the gear.
Peg 7, near to the Apollo tackle shop came out of the bag for me.
With the wind blowing down the lake I didn't feel it would be a waggler day however I set-up a waggler and also a bomb to fish the waggler line too.
Pole lines were: 13 metres at 10 o'clock and 1 o'clockTop 2 and 3 straight aheadMargin lines left and right
Bait was a mix between natural (maggot, caster, worms) and pellets which would be fished on separate lines. All-In
Kicking off the swims I put a small ball of sloppy groundbait with casters on the 10 o'clock line and some 4 mm pellets on the other long pole line. The rain then started.
I decided to try the waggler, pinging casters over the top until the wind got so bad that it made presentation …