After a couple of years hearing of how matches mostly opens but a few clubs are being won with up to and over a 100 lb, so I've been trying to up the amount of what I normally manage to snatch.
Sometimes my catch rate has took a dive but on most days it's up and with the days when the fish really turn up I get the idea I know what I'm trying to do.
On average I decide what tackle to take and limit myself to either pole or feeder to avoid having my wife carry too much,.
This year though if I take my feeder rods I also take a power top three from Midi with a eighteen elastic for in the margin, the kit was only around £20 from Universal tackle it's a bit heavy to put on my pole but is fine for close in the margin.
So my typical day is to start with the feeder either a small inline method or an even smaller pellet feeder, I haven't needed to alter from pellets this year not yet anyway.
I avoid the two pegs I have been making sure I get simply because they're far too easy it seems I know all the fish by name I've caught them so often, and find a peg with a clear mud bank across coupled with a nice near bank margin.
start tight across with a small Preston method loaded with micros with haired garlic sausage hook bait, casting close to the sedges tight to the mud there always looks to be a few fish across with bites comming from the off. I can mostly catch a few fish before they start to turn a little wary but a change of bait to either prawn or dead maggot sees a more careless response from the fish turning the taps into bites.
What's curious for me is the fact the fish across are either Carp to a pound and half or small Barble up to a pound every now and then I may get a two pounder but no bigger.
After a couple of hours I start to cup a few pellets on both sides in the margin very close to the bank very quietly, quietly because if the ducks see they will drive you mad trying to get every last one. It seems nothing will deter them but when I start to fish the margin I don't mind the ducks being there because I believe the ducks give the fish confidence and they don't come too close when my pole's there.
Attempting to catch the better fish from pond 5 at Aston I reckon I know at least how to get a few, the best days I've had up to 13 Carp to 6 lb.
Strange for me is that fish in the near margin range from 3 to 6 pound a lot bigger than across on the feeder. I don't start fishing for them until I can see them or at least the sludge they churn up when they arrive. When they do come I normally give them a little time to settle but after half an hour at most 40 minutes I can't resist and have a go.
The bait is usually garlic sausage, prawn, maggot, bread or my favorite at the moment mussel, the rig is simply 18" of 8 lb line a 911 hook size 10 no float, either filled with maggot or any of the above.
Which ever hook bait is used I just put the bait two foot from the edge drag it back to the bank and have the tip of the pole resting on the grass the hook bait just either sits on the bottom or hangs touching the bank, the elastic is just yanked from pole so bite aren't missed. If I use bread it's just punched with an apple corer foulded in half hooked then when it's on the surface it opens out but watch the ducks.
When I get a fish the others all seem to scarper and whilest they're gone a cup full of pellets goes in tight to the grass again but they soon return. I can tell you I've not laughed to myself so much fishing for a long time.
I've no way of knowing my final totals regarding weight but do have a good idea but I'm keeping that to myself.

I have to say that the only reason for my poor attempts at blogging has been to try to at least to improve my spelling, grammar and punctuation to what it was before my stroke. Even my posts which I never bothered with until I joined Talk Angling were only to try to return my english to at least the level I reached at school.
It seems the only thing that have improved to me is my spelling, with the help of the spell checker as without checking it resembles alien speak.
Though my english has improved a little my demeanour hasn't, that's something I recon I'm stuck with.
I'm sure I was never so cantankerous.