Another Fisho Near Miss For Tony Curd!

The road to Fisho continues and this Saturday saw me heading up the M40 to Tunnel Barn Farm. I fished the first qualifier here when there was snow on the ground so this match was going to be massively different to that one with temperatures over 20 degrees and the fish appearing to be spawning on every lake on the complex – A bit strange really as the Thursday before it had been snowing! Anyhow… at the draw I drew Peg 15 on Top Pool, asking a few people who know the venue better than I do the general consensus was that it was worth a day’s fishing but nobody felt the Top Pool was going to produce a big enough weight on a day where big weights were expected across the venue.

Arriving at the peg I was pleasantly surprised to see it was an end peg and that made me fancy it a little bit more than I did before I got there if I’m honest! It was time for a bit of a plumb about to see what I was working with – I plumbed a rig to the lily bed in around 3.5ft of water my rig for fishing here was a 4×12 MAP ISF2 float on 0.15mm to 0.12mm Power Optex line to a size 18 B911 F1 hook. The plan here would be to fish worms and casters up and down. I then set another rig up for fishing at 5 metres in front of me I was going to have a start on pellets here for a quick run of fish then change it to meat for later in the day. This rig was a simple 4×14 WD1 float again 0.15 to 0.12mm Power Optex. I had a bread crate island (Unique to Tunnel Barn Farm!) to my left and it was 5.5ft deep under this which I felt was too deep on a warm day so chose that to be my shallow line for the day a 4×10 MAP S3 was set up with a hair rigged micro band for fishing pellets or casters shallow. The final rig for the day was a margin rig – this was in around 14 inches of water tight to the bank behind me at 6m and also further along the bank at 13m.

The bait for the day was simple and to the point – 4mm pellets, a few 4mm Bait-Tech Xpand hookers and some worms and casters – these would be fed in a sloppy soil mix which I’d added a good blob of Bait-Tech ‘The Juice’ to just to make it a little bit more interesting than boring mud!

Kicking off on my short pole line I tapped in a few 4mms and dropped in with an expander on the hook – all the while pinging pellets to the island and it wasn’t long before I was catching a few fish but as I expected really it didn’t last very long on pellets but with 8 quick fish in the net it wasn’t a bad way to start this line then started to be fed with 6mm Bait-Tech Boosted Meat and would be somewhere to drop onto should it be quiet everywhere else. Going out onto the shallow line with a banded 4mm pellet I slapped the rig onto the surface 3 times pinged a few pellets over the top of it and was immediately into an F1 – the fish on this shallow rig were quite a bit bigger than the other fish I was catching short to it made sense to stick at it.

Catching steadily I’d caught 12 fish in the first hour and after the second hour I was up to 29 fish steady but unspectacular progress! When it went a little bit quiet I decided on a drop in down the edge at 13m where I’d been loose feeding casters from the off – baiting up with an inch segment of worm and adding a blob of mud to the pot I dropped in and before I could even think about anything the float was gone! Only a small F1 but it was encouraging that I could get a bite as quickly! Dropping in again I had another and another – after 5 fish it petered out but with the fish being quite small I decided that fishing 13m along the bank would be too slow later in the match when they really had a go so I binned that and concentrated on feeding shorter at 6m down the edge to be that bit quicker if the opportunity came up to catch well. Back out shallow I was enjoying more bites and catching regular now that it had been rested I had to slap the rig really tight to the crate though otherwise getting bites was a bit hit and miss believe it or not! With an hour and half to go it was time to get down the edge to hopefully make some sort of impact – dropping in with more soil casters and worms I was straight into fish and I was immediately glad that I’d made the choice to fish shorter! With an odd bigger 2lb F1 putting in an appearance among the average fish I was wracking a few fish up every put in – I would imagine I had around 30 fish in the last hour.

At the scales my two nets containing 75 fish registered 129-5-0 which was a lot more than I was expecting to weigh. This was enough for 3rd overall with a 134lb and a winning 141lb from the fancied Club Pool. 12lb off qualifying – I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d of found that from on the day as I caught steady all day with none of those dreaded blank spells – perhaps a bit of luck latching into an odd bigger carp might have closed the gap. Nevertheless it was a great days fishing from a peg I wasn’t expecting much from initially.
Tight Lines

Tony Curd


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