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CS Midland Qualifier, Larford

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  • CS Midland Qualifier, Larford

    Thursday 17 May saw me sneak a day off work, and rightly so as it's been absolutely hectic recently. More importantly it was the annual civil service midlands match, which again was held at the excellent Larford fishery near Stourport.

    The weather and match reports leading up to the match were good and all indications were that a good day would be on the cards for the 50 odd competitors. And when I say "odd" I mean odd. Jeez, what a bunch. If this lot are responsible for delivering your post, reducing crime, protecting the nation, oh and collecting your taxes (boo hiss) then god help us. The draw was like an omnibus edition of CrimeWatch!

    Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was there nice and early loaded up with pellet and paste with which to plunder the shoals of F1s. Despite not getting out much recently, I was confident of a good result if I got a fair draw. Again I was hoping to be on the burr bank of the Match pool and hoping to go one better than my second in section last year when I was beaten off the next peg by 3 lousy pounds. I should point out that the 6 section winners represent the region in an all-expenses paid national final, which invariably includes an overnight stay and a beer or two or three...... You get the idea. Anyway, where was I, oh the draw. Yes, so imagine my surprise when after drawing peg 73 (yes, the burr bank, bang on) I was told "That's not a good draw" and "You'll need to go for bits over there". Somewhat confused by the drastic change of form I asked what the problem was with the Match pool. This was met with rounds of laughter only for me to find that this years match was being held on the speci lake. Oh yes, I did know that but with chasing around left, right and centre working all over the place I forgot that small detail. Suitably deflated off I trudged around to the far side of the big lake to fish for bits with pellet, paste and a few dead reds. Things were not looking up.

    What seemed like umpteen miles later I arrived at peg 73. Knackered. No wonder they drive the carpers gear around in a trailer on the back of a quad bike. There was then the climb down the bank to get to the water, which from my view point looked to slope away fairly quickly. And with a life ring at the top of the slope, things looked ominous with the odds on going in the drink at some stage shortening! Good job Billy Knott wasn't there as I might have had a tenner on myself going for swim at some stage. Fortunately I had the barrow platform with me, so I soon had a safe-ish base from which to set up and fish.

    Given the "change" of venue and my lack of casters and worm (which are not needed on the match lake), I had to take a risk and go all out for the speci lake carp and ignore the shoals of roach, skimmers and slabs. So I set up 4 rigs. A waggler for pellet up in the water beyond pole range. An inline method feeder for fishing pellet or dead red mags at range. A margin pellet rig and a paste rig at 8m down the shelf.

    5 minutes before the all-in I noticed a few dorsals moving around about 30 yards out. The carp were active and that gave me more confidence in my less than standard approach to the speci lake.

    At the all in I potted in big pots of pellets on both pole lines and went out on the pellet wag to snare one of those carp I had seen cruising around. But it's never that easy is it, and despite showing their backs they didn't want to play. Me thinks they had other, seasonal, things on their minds!

    Plan B time. On to the 8m pole line then. Hmmm, 10 minutes later and not an indication. Right then, time to pot some more bait and now 45 minutes into the match, without a bite, on to plan C. On the up side I had only seen a couple of fish caught on the other side so plenty of time to catch up.

    Plan C involved fishing method feeder at range, and with the breeze ripping the water around 60 yards out that's where I put the feeder. A quick half dozen casts put some bait down on the bed and then I went out again with double dead reds. 5 mins passed without a touch so it was for my secret tactic - time to pour a cup of tea! It always works, well works more often that not, and yet again it did the trick. As soon as I touched the cup full of tea the tip wanged round, and I was in. A few minutes later a 4lb common was in the net. Yesss! Now for the rest of your brethren.

    Over the next three hours I caught a mixture of small stockie carp (6oz to 1lb), a couple of skimmers and a handful of bigger (4lbish) commons. In the 4th hour things slowed right down, so I had a drop in on the paste line on the pole and had three bites and hooked one common, again around 4lb. That line then also died and a quick look in on the margin line produced nowt. So with news along the bank that it was fishing rock hard I went back out on the method for the last hour and concentrated on putting a few more in the net, but with time ticking by I bullied two of the last 3 fish too quickly and they came off. I wasn't too bothered as I had only lost those 2 smallish fish all day but would they be costly.

    It had fished very bad all over, with some sections being won with low double figures and only two good weights had come from the other bank, they being 56lb and 50lb. The scales were then on my bank. Most weights were around 15lb, so I was confident that I had more than enough to take my section. I thought I had around 42lb – 20lb in one net and 22lb in the other. Then we got to the peg 2 down from me. The guy there had targeted the slabs and found them. Two weighs later his weight went 47lb10oz. , or words to that effect went through my mind! Would I lose out again?

    It was then my turn to weigh. The first net, which I though had about 22lb, went 23lb 13oz. Could then second net, the 20lb net go 24lb? In they went, and the scales read 22lb. A total of 45lb 13oz. Again I was second in section and missed the beer fest that is the national final. To make matters worse I came 4th overall and missed the main frame.

    Oh well, it was a day off work and I caught a few fish in pleasant surroundings so it can't be all bad. And the £30 section money paid for a few beers and a curry for me and the missus!
    A Southerner, lost in the Midlands. ;)

  • #2
    Good write up Stu!You're lucky you weren't on the opposite bank next to me!!
    John - Kingfisher
    Talk Angling Senior Member
    Club Record Holder on Grand Union Canal Knowle:D


    • #3
      I didn't realise you fished it John. I didn't see you at the draw.

      Where were you pegged and how bad was it over your side?
      A Southerner, lost in the Midlands. ;)


      • #4
        can you give me some tips for sunday please


        • #5
          Originally posted by SHREAMS
          can you give me some tips for sunday please
          Are you fishing the specimen lake or the match lake? There is also Arena lake, but I have never fished that one.

          A Southerner, lost in the Midlands. ;)


          • #6
            Great write up as always stu I hope you are keeping well. Long time no see.


            • #7
              help on the arena pool


              • #8


                • #9
                  Yes an excellent write up, next time see if you can get some pics Stu and send them over and I will put your write up in the main part of the site.

                  Thanks for your contribution to the site!
                  Simon Young
                  Talk Angling UK fishing chat and tackle
                  web design Doncaster - Limitless Digital