Now Ive swapped match fishing for overtime, and work nights I dont fish as much as I would like. I know most of you are married with kids and understand the money/family pressures on us all.

Anyway, my 1st session was a practice on an upcoming charity match on Makins phase2 complex. A bit far (80mile) but I needed to get a look/feel for it.

After a walk round I decided to sit on snake 15 as it looked promising. I had read a few posts on TA forums and some match results in the Times, so was up to date with what was coming out.

I set up with 3 lines, one inside at 4m down the edge and two at 12m 10'clock and 2o'clock. All fed with a pot of green swimstim and loosfed pellet. Started on the inside as fish were showing straight away. Lots of liners to start, then odd small tench and few pasties. Inside went quiet so fed again and went out on left hand line.
Same as inside with odd bits, then couple of 2lb carp made an appearance. Left hand swim died so topped up again. Right hand line same as two others so just kept loose feeding pellet and topping up when gone quiet.

As the day progressed I rotated all three lines and taking a few fish each time. Steady feeding seemed to be working as the fish were interested and not shying away.

Later in the afternoon when the sun poked its head out some fish started to show on top and splashing around. So I went out with 'me ol fav' hook length only, size 10 and sinking bread. I poked it out as far as I could and loosefed pellets on top. It wasnt long before the tip of the pole got pulled under the surface and a bigger carp was on. A short battle and a 4lb mirror was in the net. Back out again and another was quickly on its way.
A few more came to the net, but this came to a sudden end when a big cloud loomed over followed by a clap of thunder. I like to fish but dont take chances.

I know a lot of people like 'dapping' but I feel the carp take the pee leaving you with no bait on your hook! I find presenting them with bread under the surface produces better bites. Most carp that swim near the surface are 12/18" from the top, so thats were I will put the bait. Most takes are very aggressive and really pull the pole tip under sometimes with a big splash. Some may say its a bit primitive, but I know it works ten times better than dapping, try it.

Anyway I finished with over 60lb and feel for a 1st visit this wasnt bad. If I had gone for the bigger carp under the surface earlier who knows, probably have easy done the ton!

I cant wait to fish my match on the 31st May and hopefully bag up.

Neil.