Tony Curd’s Bank Holiday Blog!

Tony Curd has been continuing to chase the big money finals recently here is his latest report from bank holiday weekend where he competed in two events!

Well that’s another bank holiday weekend done and dusted! I managed to get out on the bank for two matches over this period the first being the latest Fish’O’Mania Qualifier at my regular haunt Colemans Cottage Fishery in Essex.  With the fish being on and off with their annual spawning due to unsettled weather I really felt that weights may be down a bit on the usual big 160lb+ weights you’d expect to be required under normal conditions.

At the draw I drew Peg 7 on Stepfield. I really didn’t feel Stepfield could compete in this match at the moment as the weights have been a little low but 7 is one of the better pegs on the lake so I was confident of some bites at the very least! I had Chris Vandervliet on peg 8 for company so there was bound to be a bit of banter throughout the day to make it a bit more enjoyable. Setting up I was going to keep it very straight forward, to do any good I’d need to catch shallow, down the edge or in the shallow water across so that was all that I set up. Two shallow rigs both identical with 4×10 MAP S3 floats set up on 0.15mm MAP Power Optex to an 0.10 hook length and a size 20 B911 eyed with a hair rigged band shotted with a small bulk of number 10’s half depth of the rig. The rig for fishing across where I had around 18 inches of water tight to the far bank was a 4×12 MAP ISF2 0.15 to 0.10mm again and a band for fishing hard pellets.  Elastic on everything for the match was yellow 5-8 TKS Twin Core which seems ideal on Stepfield where you have a broad range of fish sizes to contend with.
Kicking off I loose fed a few 4mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse Pellets on a topkit and as usual for Stepfield it was like a piranha pool with fish swirling everywhere. A banded 4mm on a shallow rig would be the opening salvo then! I caught well here for 20 minutes, putting 20 fish in the net before it totally died and no bites could be had shallow anywhere after this (pretty standard for stepfield!) so I knew it was going to be a case of shipping across for the rest of the match at 15 metres. This was a simple approach too picking out two areas of the same depth across and alternating them when I felt one was slowing up to keep catching throughout feed was 2mm Carp and Coarse pellets with a banded 4mm or 6mm pellet. I caught steadily on this throughout with two bonus carp putting in an appearance among the small F1s that were keeping the float shooting under.  By the end of the match I’d managed to put 80 fish in the net for 95lb which won stepfield and 7th overall in the match. 124lb won from Pathfield which now seems to have come into good form over the last couple of weeks.

Sunday was time to head back to the Glebe complex in Leicestershire for a Maver Match This Qualifier it’s always a real treat to fish at the Glebe as it’s a club water and you only really get a chance to visit on a match like this. An end peg was always going to be a huge advantage on a tightly pegged match so drawing Peg 12 on Pool 1 wasn’t really what I hoped for and I knew I’d probably not be booking my place at Larford this time around. Nevertheless there is always a nice day to be had at the Glebe regardless. I felt that catching on the feeder would be my only hope of winning anything but I thought a bomb and pellet line may come good as I was on the widest part of the lake. Setting up I clipped my 11ft MAP Parabolix up tight to the far bank. This was going to be a large cage feeder with plenty of 2mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse pellets through it along with dead red maggots with five maggots on the hook. Nice and simple getting plenty of bait in by casting every 90 seconds I’d hopefully manage to get some fish settle in my peg at some point! I also set up a 5m line but to be honest I couldn’t see it working with every peg in and a bomb rod as I mentioned which I’d feed with 8mm pellets regularly.

Kicking off on the feeder I chucked tight to some boards 40 metres away and had a couple of liners on my first cast before recasting it – as I was sinking the line that awesome feeling of a fish pulling the rod round transmitted through to me and I began winding the first carp of the day in and what a fish it was too a pristine 10lb Ghostie! After an hour I’d put 25-30lb in the net which was steady going by what was being caught around me. Looking down the lake towards peg 1 though Jamie Hughes was making great headway to a place in the final landing a fish every time I looked up.
I had a steady match with only the third hour being particularly slow not helped by maybe wasting half an hour trying to catch on the straight lead with only one small tench to show for it. Back on the feeder for the last hour and a half and I was managing to put fish in the net regularly to finish with 23 Carp which weighed 124lb 9oz a lovely days fishing and enough for some section money which isn’t to be sniffed at. Jamie had carried on as he started throughout putting a fantastic 241lb on the scales to comfortably win the match and qualify for the final – well done mate!

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

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