Blake Hall May Bank Holiday Festival – Match Diary

paul_may1I was looking forward to fishing this festival on here as I had won the silver fish festival on this venue only a couple of weeks ago. The plan of attack was going to be simple!

I wanted to catch carp the first 30 minutes and the last 90 minutes and target the silvers in between.

Day 1. Peninsula, Peg 37

I was told it was a good peg in the section. First fish came on the pellet cone chucked 65 yards. It was a 5lb carp. I was itching to get busy on my silver line, fishing short with groundbait and worms. This was my first mistake as I went on this line far too soon, resulting in me only catching small silvers. I plugged at this line hoping that the fish would get bigger and come faster but this never happened.

I was pinging 8mm pellets at 40 yards, hoping to see the odd fish swirl. That never happened either! Kept trying the waggler but no bites. Back to the silvers! Second put in….a 4lb bream….then a 2lb bream…. Here we go, I thought to myself! The fish thought differently as they backed away and vanished again.

paul_may2Top up of groundbait and worms again and back to the pellet cone. Then to the straight lead line under the waggler. NOTHING!!!! Back to the silvers again, I was just catching small fish but at least it was fish in the net. With 90 minutes to go, I felt that my match had drifted away and I needed to do something completely different, so I opened a tin of NTice Polony meat, used a 6mm punched meat hook bait, tied to 0.16 line, thrown on the straight lead line.

It hadn’t even been in for 30 seconds and my rod was bent double. Huge sigh of relief! This happened 5 more times, resulting in my section win with a weight of 42lb. This was made up from a weight of 22lb in silvers and 20lb in carp.

Day 2. Peg 56 Peninsula.

The previous days weight off this peg was 62lb, which was second in section. All his fish had come to the straight lead line. This made me optimistic for the day ahead and I proceeded to set up the straight lead with NTice Polony meat, a pellet waggler with 8 & 6 mm hard pellets alternating between 1.6 & 3.6ft deep.

The next rig I set up was a margin rig dcx2 0.6gr on dia 0.18 garbo main line to a ready tied garbo competition hook length of same dia, size 14 hook. First four casts on the straight lead and NTice resulted in 4 very small stockie carp. On the peg next to me, peg 54, was catching big fish on the waggler line. I decided to follow suit and clip my straight lead rig up. (Oh dear, was this another mistake? Leaving feeding fish?)

A few fish fell to this waggler line, thought I may be in trouble as I caught 3 Chubb, they were big Chubb though! The warm wind that was blowing seemed to have an effect on the fish drifting down the lake.

As I was struggling on for a further fishless two hours, I realized that I should have not ignored the silver fish line as nothing was going into the net. Now, coming into the last hour, I fancied catching a few fish down the edge as I was watching Jamie catch some big fish this way.

Understanding my next mistake, the water was quite clear so I opted for the slightly deeper water to catch the big ones. I felt that the fish would be more confident here. I now know that I could have caught them a little closer to the bank. Off this line, I had 1 barbel, 1 bream and 1 carp…. SMALL and not enough of them.

I made the mistake of sticking to my guns in the hope that the big fish would turn up in this deeper water. I finished this section with a weight of 55lb, second to Jamie who had a weight of 75lb. Well done Jamie!

Day 3. Blake Pool

This pool had been averaging 50lb for a lake win. Going into the last day, I needed a good weight as I thought that it may come down to a weight count back. I felt a little down hearted…. Even worse when I drew the dreaded peg 13 which all the regulars wanted to avoid.

I set up the pellet feeder & a 10g loaded pellet waggler. This was to be fished in between the two islands. No silvers as I wanted to go all out attack for carp. For my margin rig, I would be using a dc6t float 0.3g, tied to dia 0.18 garbo line. This would be fished in the shallow water, close to the bank as I had learnt from yesterday’s fishing. (This would be couple up to 12-14 bazookarp coex elastic)

No fish landed on the pellet feeder. Out came the waggler rod. Four landed on this for 38lb 15oz… Big fish! I felt happy with this as the size of these fish put me in with a chance of a section win. I took the risk of putting up my margin rig with two hours to go. I fed this line with corn and F1 Groundbait. I shipped out my rig baited up with my trusted red worms. Ooooooosh….. Fish on!


This happened time & time again until the end of the match. Weighing in two more nets at 44lb 7oz and 47lb 5oz, giving me a total weight of 130lb 11oz and the match win.

Decca Plant on the next peg had won his section meaning he had won the league…. Congratulations to Decca!!!!

Waiting to hear where I’d finished in the league, I’d heard that Dave Swain had won his section so the all-important weight would come into play. With my 227lb 8oz total, I was able to secure second place in the festival, just pipping Dave! Sorry Dave!!!!!

Learning all the time from both good and bad decisions. A very well run festival at Blake Hall by Nelly.

Tight Lines
Paul Carnwell



One Response to Blake Hall May Bank Holiday Festival – Match Diary

  1. Jamie burt May 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Paul

    It’s jamie jus wanted say what a fine display of margin fishing m8 n u were like a machine.well done for 2nd place. I must do better next year. Also would like to say well done to nelly for running a great festival

    Catch u next year, well done m8

    Jamie burt

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