Moss Farm Fisheries (Maddisons Pool) 09.01.16
Firstly, a happy New Year to all readers of my posts. Hopefully this year will bring even more success and I hope you continue to follow my progress. As always, it is very much appreciated!
My first outing of 2016 saw me take a trip to Moss Farm Fisheries in Irlam, just a six or seven-mile trip up the road for the final round of the winter series that I have been part of and my first opportunity for silverware this year.
People who have read my last couple of posts will be up to date with how I have been getting on in previous rounds of the series, but for those who may have missed them, out of the previous three rounds, I was unavailable for the first (luckily we are able to drop our worst result). That meant the three remaining matches were even more important because there was no room for a poor result. Round 2 saw me finish 2nd in the match, a solid start to my winter series. Round 3, again at Lloyd’s Meadow Fishery, resulted in a silver-fish match win, but only fourth in the overall competition. Not completely disastrous but it did mean that going into the last match I was sitting in second with a group of people just one point behind me in the overall standings. Derek Smith was top of the table at this point. However, he was not fishing the last match and ultimately could not figure in the overall standings.
Having arrived at the venue early I made my way to the on-site café where the draw would be taking place and got myself a full English breakfast, joining a few of the lads who had the same idea. As I mentioned in my last post following my first visit to Moss Farm, the venue has brilliant facilities with the on-site café as well as a tackle shop.
It didn’t take too long before all the expected participants arrived and we began the draw. Before the match I had been advised by people who had fished the venue before that the better pegs were those on the near side of the lake (1 to 7) or closest to the car park. Having not seen the lake before I wasn’t too fussed where I drew, I just knew I needed to do well!
I pulled out Peg 8; apparently the wrong end of the lake but being an end peg I was happy with my pick.
On arrival at Maddisons Pool, the match lake here at Moss Farm Fisheries, I pretty quickly came up with my plan for the match. The lake is a pretty standard canal/snake-type lake, although in places pretty wide. For example, my peg was 16.5 metres to the far side, meaning options are increased slightly from more conventional narrow snake lakes. Setting up the tip rod was an option but in the end I decided to keep it in my bag.
I decided on three main lines: A top two plus two at the bottom of near shelf feeding maggots, using a 0.3g AS3 float, 0.08mm hooklength and a size 18 B911 F1 hook. The second was fished at 11 metres to the bottom of far shelf feeding pellets and dead red maggots, using a 0.4g AS3 float, 0.10mm hooklength and a size 18 B911 F1. The final setup was my far-bank dobbing rig comprising a 0.1g Carpa Ape float, 0.11mm hooklength and size 16 B911 F1 hook.
I kicked the match off by putting a small sprinkling of soaked micro pellets in on my 11m line, along with a few dead red maggots, hoping that when I moved onto this line some fish would have settled over it.
The first rig I picked up was my far-bank dobbing rig, set six inches underdepth with a strung-out shotting pattern to help the bait fall as naturally as possible. I dropped it in on the far side, poking it into gaps in the far-bank foliage and up against the features along the bank.
It took around 20 minutes to get my first bite of the day. This resulted in a carp of around 1lb. My next few put-ins resulted in nothing more than being mithered by small rudd, which were interfering with the bait wherever I dropped it in. To try and avoid this I altered my shotting, but to no avail.
A change was in order and I decided to see if anything had settled over my initial feed at 11 metres. Two dead red maggots was my initial bait of choice and it almost instantly produced, with my float burying after just a couple of minutes; a small yet scrappy carp of around 4oz finding itself in my net following a spirited fight.
Next put in I waited a little longer but again a small carp fell for my hook bait and inevitably ended up in my net. I’d have been happy to continue catching these small carp but that wasn’t to be.
It took 20 minutes to get my next bite, this time a carp of around 3lb; a nice bonus on what looked like it was going to be a tough day!
Following this I struggled to get another bite from this line. A rest was in order, so I topped the swim up with another sprinkling of pellets and moved onto my 2+2 line, where I had been trickling in maggots from the start of the match.
I was expecting bites straightaway from here because it was my line to catch everything and anything – or so I thought. Not a single bite! Not even those pesky rudd had moved in.
At the halfway point I felt I was doing okay. Not many big fish were being caught and most people were ticking over with small silvers with the odd small carp chucked in.
For the next 90 minutes I rotated between my far-bank line and 11m line, picking up plenty of small fish, rudd, roach and small carp of no more than 4oz to 6oz. I could only see the people directly opposite and Jeff on the next peg. He had been catching silvers from the off down the track but had struggled to catch any bonus fish. Will Willows, my main competition in the overall standings, had caught a lot more consistently than me, with a few better carp mixed in. However, apart from him, I could not see that anybody had caught much more than me.
The last hour was simply a case of trying to pick up anything possible. Despite being a hard winter’s day’s fishing, the fact that I didn’t know what I was going to catch next made the venue good fun and I had to work hard for bites; something you have to do if you are going to catch during winter.
In this time I managed another carp of around 2lb and some smaller fish, mainly from my 11metre line, some falling to a 4mm Xpand pellet and some to maggots. I did also manage to catch a couple of chunky roach from my 2+2 line in the closing minutes to finish the match off nicely.
After some trouble with the batteries in the weigh scales, we did eventually manage to get the weigh-in started after one of the carp lads from the neighbouring lake kindly leant us a set of dial scales.
It was noticeable from the first few weighs that the bigger carp hadn’t really shown a great deal, although everybody seemed to have caught plenty of fish.
With four people weighed in, 10lb was winning. Will was next to weigh in and easily took the lead when his mixed net of fish took the scales round to 21lb 6oz. I knew I hadn’t done enough to beat that but as long as he didn’t finish more than one position above me we would be level on points.
Following a weight of 7lb coming from the peg to my right it was my turn. I had guessed at between 10lb and 12lb and wasn’t too far wrong when the scales read 12lb 8oz, putting me into 2nd place at this point. However, there were still seven people to weigh in and if anybody came anywhere between Will and me, I would drop down the overall standings.
Jeff Stoll and Pete Mahoney were next to weigh in on the two pegs directly to my left. Strangely, both weighed in with 6lb. Following these, other weights on this side of the lake included 8lb and 5lb.
With just Paul Ryan to weigh in on the end peg the standings hadn’t changed, with Will and I still sitting top of the overall league and 1st and 2nd on the day.
Paul had fancied himself on this venue and was confident before the match that he would do well and rightly so, when his net of carp put him into 1st place with 24lb 6oz, a great weight on a tough day!
This dropped Will and me down a place but, more importantly, kept the gap to one position between us. Noticeably, Paul’s fish were of a much better stamp than anybody else’s. Having asked him after the match how he caught, it’s safe to say his experience on the venue was his edge.
In the end I was 3rd overall on the day and had done just enough to secure first place overall in the winter series, sharing the spoils with Will.
1st – Paul Ryan – 24lb 6oz
2nd – Will Willows – 21lb 6oz (Sec)
3rd – Jake Fowles – 12lb 8oz (Sec)
4th – Mike Dench – 10lb
5th – Simon Evans – 8lb
6th – Arthur Plumb – 7lb 12oz
7th – Dale Shingler – 7lb
8th – Jeff Stoll/Pete Mahoney – 6lb
10th – David Smith – 4lb 14oz
It was a typical winter’s day fishing at Moss Farm Fisheries; hard work yet everybody managed to catch plenty of fish. The venue has a great setup with really good facilities I would definitely recommend it.
It was a nervy last match but in the end I managed to do enough to secure the overall league title and collect my first piece of silverware of the year, hopefully the first of many!
A big thank you to Paul Ryan and Simon Evans who have run a really enjoyable series over the last four months and to both Lloyds Meadow Fishery and Moss Farm Fisheries for accommodating the matches!
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