Ferry Meadows Qualifier – Tony Curd

Tony Curd loves his feeder fishing whether it is on rivers, commercials or big natural venues he recently fished his first Feedermasters Qualifier at Ferry Meadows near Peterborough and came close to qualifying!

This year has seen the introduction of the Feedermasters Competition to the angling calendar – unsurprisingly with the insatiable demand for feeder style fishing which is spreading across the UK and Europe alike it has been very well received with nearly all of the qualifiers being sell outs. With a guaranteed £12,000 up for grabs in Septembers Final at Bough Beech Reservoir in Kent it just has to be on every serious feeder anglers radar – and something a bit different to the norm!

I fished my first qualifier this Sunday just gone at Ferry Meadows near Peterborough, I’ve only been to Ferry once before but I 13537516_1178493755535039_8256596016840185763_nknew from the first time I went that this was a venue I’d have to visit more often and the qualifying event was a great opportunity to do so – it really is a bream fishing mecca!  Current form was all about Overton Lake as a stand out area which was nailed on for the match win but with the match being broken up into three 20 peg zones with the winner of each qualifying I was quietly hoping for a draw on Gunwade as I felt it would be a fairer match and a greater chance of qualification – should you not be on the epicentre on Overton of course! At the draw I drew Peg 81 on Gunwade which didn’t really mean much to me as I’ve never fished the lake before but for anyone that knows Ferry Meadows the peg is almost bang in front of the car park on the far bank – a massive walk to the peg and I don’t mind admitting it was a struggle, without a doubt the longest walk I’ve had for years! I now know I need a 4 wheel barrow and a case of energy drinks for the next time this occurs! – Anyhow arriving at the peg after getting my breath back it was time to get the kit sorted and that was going to be very straight forward being as its feeder only with no loose feeding of bait! I set up two rods both 12ft MAP Parabolix Feeder Rods with MAP P-Series 4000 Reels and both of these were to fish at 50 metres which I measured out with measuring sticks which gives you guaranteed accuracy.

Fishmeal groundbaits seem to rule the roost at Ferry so it was no surprise to see the same residing in my buckets – Bait-Tech Special G Green is my go to mix for this style of fishing and ticks all the boxes as a bream feeder mix in my eyes on venues where fishmeal dominates. To go with this I had some casters, worms, dead maggots and some Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse 2mm Pellets which really hold the fish in the swim when they get their heads down, there is nothing worse than having a swim full of Bream that are preoccupied on a very fine groundbait mix so it’s always worth adding plenty of particle to the groundbait to maximise the amount of bites you get.

At the start of the match I wanted to get a bit of bait in so I made up a mix of casters maggots a little chopped worm and plenty of pellets and fed 15 feeders of bait before I put a hook length on this would give me a nice little base to work out what sort of day it was going to be. If I caught straight away then it’d be all guns ablaze and feed lots if it was a slower day then I could hold back and not ruin my chances of catching the odd fish that may turn up at some point.  Adding a hook length once I’d fed I decided to kick off on worms because if it was going to be a good day the chances are there would be an early fish or two to be caught and by using a larger hook bait I’d stand a good chance of catching them – the worm which was simply cut in half and both pieces hair rigged using a quick stop to a size 16 MWG hook and 0.16mm MAP Power Optex.  Casting out and sitting back waiting for a bite I was going to keep casting regularly rather than sitting and waiting especially early on while I was still sussing it out as my aim when bream fishing is to keep getting bait in before they turn up – I gave the worms an hour with nothing to show so it was time to change over to dead maggots and see if they bought any bites – first cast I had a small hybrid, followed soon after by a big bleak (…A bit random yes!) and another small hybrid. At the time though with very little being caught I wasn’t despondent at just getting some bites! Nearing the two hour mark I had a more positive bite, a lot slower and more deliberate from the smaller fish picking up into the bite I met solid resistance followed by a big nod on the other end – that really is worth the long walk in its own right! – and I managed to coax a 5 to 6lb bream to the net, this was a big lift to my match as 3 fish was winning the zone at this point so I was back in the race.

13528943_572997502873693_2044142132062254400_nNo more bites followed on maggots so it was big or bust now and back on hair rigged worms for the rest of the match first chuck in on this I’ve had another bite and another big nod on the other end, a little smaller this one at around the 4lb mark but on a hard day I was more than happy to slip it into the keepnet! Chucking back out I was even happier to see the rod pull round on the very next cast this was my biggest fish of the match with a bream well over 7lb and maybe nearer 8lb they really are quality fish at Ferry Meadows and a credit to the venue! Things went quiet after this so I put a bit more bait in thinking they might have cleared it out so hopefully another 5 feederfulls would get me another bite. This didn’t really go to plan as I don’t feel there was any volume of fish out there at any point – I did have one strange occurrence though on a recast  I was sinking the line and had a pull round on the drop, picking up I had a fish on for around 5 seconds before it came off and wound in a scale clearly from a bream judging from the slime up the line, a real shame and extremely unlucky as I can count on one hand how many times this has happened in the past.

Last hour I’ve had one more skimmer around the 2lb mark and a small hybrid and that was that, I really did think I would get a couple more bream late in the match but only the zone winner  who has had five fish in the end has had one. My three bream and a skimmer along with a pound of bits weighed 20lb 12oz at the scales for 3rd in the zone with 24-15-0 winning it was an extremely close fought section and one more bite for any three of us chasing would have seen us over the line.

Ho Hum onto the next one!

Tony Curd


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