New Product Success – Jamie Rich

Since my last report I’ve been trying out some of the new Bait-Tech products and had some very enjoyable matches.

The first outing was at Summerhayes where I haven’t been since the silvers final in October last year! I was up early and it was already looking like being a glorious day, I had a quick pit stop at the Little Chef in Ilminster before heading to Bridgwater. On arriving the car park was already busy as there was a match on Longs as well as ours on Sellicks.

After a coffee, it was time to draw, by the time I got to the bucket there were only two balls left, fellow blogger, Lee Williams asked me to pull out a ball for him and he ended up on 20 and then I had the last ball and was pretty pleased when I saw I was on peg 17. It’s normally a decent area for silvers although some of the regulars said the winning weights have been coming from the other side in recent matches.

Rigs were the usual 0.2 gram NG Mini Gimp to fish top two on the right and a 0.6 gram Malman Pencil for two lines, straight out at ten metres and then down the track at ten metres to the right and lastly a top two plus one line. As always, my side tray was nice and simple, 2mm Carp and Coarse micros that I’d soaked the night before plus 4mm Xpands for the hook, I also mixed up some of the new The Juice Groundbait which I was trying for the first time, it smelt divine!

The all in was shouted and I cupped in a few micros on the top two line and then half a pot at five and ten metres before potting in two balls of groundbait down the middle ten metres to my right. I started at top two and after five minutes, had my first fish, a little 2oz skimmer. It was a further fifteen minutes before the next bite which was a slightly better skimbob of 6oz or so and with half an hour gone I’d only had two bites so it was time to try the longer lines.

I had another little blade on the ten metre micros line before foulhooking a carp which came off and then hooked a fish that didn’t feel like a carp but I’ll never know as that came off as well! The next fish didn’t feel like one either and sure enough a nice crucian around a pound popped up so after the first sixty minutes I had about 1.5lb and although I wasn’t bagging, if I could carry on like this, I didn’t think I’d be far off as 8lb was enough for second in the silvers in the last match.

I switched to the groundbait line for the first time and had a decent spell, landing an 8oz tench and two half decent skimmers in quick succession, both the skimbobs coming just as the rig settled, then I bumped one and things went a bit quiet but I was up to 3lb after two hours and still on target to do 9-10lb.

I was dripping in a few micros on the top two plus one line every time I shipped out but would try and leave it for at least four hours before trying it. The third hour was pretty good and I had a few more blades plus a couple of 6-8oz skimmers to put me on around 5lb at the halfway point. I also foulhooked a couple of carp and what felt like a skimmer and came back with a small scale on the hook. I went back over the ten metre line and hooked a nice skimmer first put in but it came off shipping back and then couldn’t get a bite.

For the rest of the fourth hour it was a struggle and I only had one more skimmer to put me on 5.5lb, so with two hours to go, I came on the top two plus one line for the first time. It took a while to get a bite and I had a couple of small skimmers and then had one of 6oz or so but it was quite slow going, then after half an hour I hooked a good fish that plodded about and then a lovely big skimmer of 2lb came to the top and boosted my weight.

The two blokes on either side were now catching carp really well and it probably did me a favour that I had no silvers anglers around me. I had another little tench and even a nice 4oz roach and with an hour to go, I was just thinking that although I’d hooked a few, my carp net was still empty, I should have known better as I then landed three on the trot!

With thirty minutes to go, the float slid away and I struck only to feel solid resistance before a big 2lb+ skimmer came flying out of the water, it was still on but then it leapt again and came off, just to rub salt into the wound, it jumped a further two times giving me the fishy equivalent of two fingers! I really thought that was going to cost me, I did manage another little tench and a couple more hand sized skimmers before the end.

My final tally was 27 fish (3 tench, 1 crucian, 1 roach and 22 skimmers) which I hoped would go 8-9lb but I was admitting to 7lb. I caught up with the scales and the top silvers weight was Rob Birch with 6lb 11oz. We got to my peg and I weighed 11lb 2oz to win the silvers and qualify for the silvers final again in October.

My next visit to Summerhayes and the match was on Longs where there have been some decent silvers weights in recent matches, although the carp have also been very active so I spent Saturday tying lots of hooklengths in readiness! After a quick pit stop for breakfast I was soon pulling into the car park at the fishery.

The draw was announced and after I delved into the bucket I wasn’t too disappointed to see the number 31 which can be good for skimmers. I set up a 0.3 gram NG Mini Gimp for the top two lines left and right and 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for top two straight out, a five metre line and two ten metre lines, one fed with micros, the other with the new Juice groundbait. On the side tray I had 2mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse Pellets plus some 4mm Xpands for the hook.

With five minutes to go I picked up my tub of micros to make sure none were clumped together and then promptly dropped the lot, luckily the bait tin didn’t go in the lake although I was still scraping micros off the pallet when the all in was shouted! I managed to salvage about half of them which hopefully would last me but it wasn’t the best of starts!

I cupped in some micros on the top two lines, left and right, a ball of groundbait straight out and then two balls on the left hand ten metre line and some micros on the longer right hand line. I started on the top two right hand line by the reeds but as soon as I lowered the rig in, a carp came up and tried to eat my float! I switched to the left hand line but the float just sat there so I then tried over the short groundbait line and finally after half an hour I had my first bite only to bump what felt like a small skimmer. This definitely wasn’t going to plan!

I swapped around on the three shorter lines and a lift bite on the left hand line resulted in a 4oz skimmer to get me up and running but after an hour that was the only fish I had and I just wasn’t getting any indications. I fed some micros on the five metre line and let it settle for ten minutes before trying it. I was having expander troubles and struggling to find one that wasn’t mush or didn’t split when I tried to roll it on the hook. Several times motherless minnows have ragged the bait as I shipped out and when I finally got the rig out there, carp seemed intent on eating my float! I tried the five metre line for the first time and after a few minutes, a positive bite saw a decent amount of blue hydro came out before I netted an 8oz skimmer. The next indication resulted in a foulhooked carp so I came back on the top two line and decided to try one of the new Bait-Tech Special G Gold soft hookers.

After five minutes, the float sailed away and the strike saw a pound skimmer come flying out of the water but it stayed on and I safely netted it. When the next fish was a carp I went back out to five metres and had three skimmers in quick succession and things were looking up. Back on the short line and another ‘leaper’, this one around 2.5lb and the next chuck I had a little 8oz tench and I was starting to enjoy myself. The bankside grapevine was saying Gabe Skarba on peg 18 already had around 12lb of silvers so I had some catching up to do but I was starting to catch quite a few carp and it didn’t matter which line I went on, there were carp ready and waiting to give me a hard time.

I did manage another skimmer in amongst the carp but also suffered a few missed bites, with about an hour to go I was back on the five metre line when I hooked a decent fish and a 3lb skimmer flew out of the water, it was definitely a squeaky bum moment but I gratefully netted it which put me on around 8-9lb and I thought if I could get a couple more, I might even push Gabe.

I didn’t get anymore big skimmers but I did manage two more for about a pound between them to finish with 12 silvers (11 skimmers and a tench) which I thought might scrape double figures and around the same number of carp. As the scales reached me Gabe had the top weight of 13lb 8oz of silvers which included a nice bonus in the shape of a 3.5lb eel and I knew I didn’t have that but it was actually closer that I thought when I weighed 11lb 15oz for second in the silvers.

For my last match I was standing in for somebody at Perry St Pond and the draw sequence put me on peg 1 which I wasn’t overly impressed with as it hasn’t done anything in recent matches. Apparently the wind had been blowing down that end all week but I still didn’t fancy it and I have to admit I was having a bit of a moan!

We got out the pond and there was a bit of ripple on it and all the scum was down our end which would hopefully mean there were a few fish under it. No prizes for guessing the first rig out of the box was my trusty inline dibber to fish 6mm banded pellet at 11.5 metres, I also set up a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for fishing on the deck at the same distance plus a hand made pattern for fishing the 5 metre meat line. Today’s side tray had live and dead red maggots, 6mm meat and Carp and Coarse 6mm pellets.

On the whistle I cupped in some meat at 5 metres before starting shallow with a 6mm banded pellet, after about five minutes the guy opposite struck into a carp on his inside line and then his neighbour on peg 19 hooked one shallow so hopefully there were a few about. I had a couple of indications where the float has disappeared but as I struck, a fish has bow waved off, so possibly liners.

As per usual I intended to stick with fishing shallow for at least an hour, as well as feeding pellets out at 11.5 metres, I was pinging a few 6mm’s up the edge at 13 metres and feeding a few cubes of meat regularly at 5 metres. The first sixty minutes came and went without me adding anything to my nets and I thought I’d been a tad optimistic putting three in at the start!

As nobody down our end was catching, I decided to stay fishing shallow along with the odd attempted mugging and keep an eye on the anglers fishing on the deck and if they started catching I could always switch rigs. The second hour was no different and I really thought I was going to blank and was chuntering away to myself about how much I hate peg 1.

Carp were still swimming about and a couple even came in close by some lilies on my left, I started feeding a few pellets down there and flicked the rig in, I did miss a couple of bites which I think were rudd or roach. I looked away from the float for a second and felt the pole tip get pulled round as elastic streamed out and a carp tore through the lilies, I held on and thankfully it came out without too much grief and after a brief scrap, I netted my first carp. A few minutes later I flicked the rig in and was just about to fire some pellets out when the pole was nearly wrenched from my hands, this carp headed the same way and I could see the line grating against the lilies and I was just waiting for everything to go slack but then it was out in open water and carp number two was in the net.

No more indications there but as is often the way, there were loads of carp on the longer line so I shipped back out to 11.5 metres and after a few minutes, I was into another and all of a sudden I was interested again and thought I might have a chance of winning the section. I had a quick go at 13 metres on my right by the scum but no bites saw me back out trying to mug fish but they didn’t want to know.

With half the match gone, I was on three carp and by all accounts, the pond was fishing really hard. I decided to have another go to my right but this time with a white Juice Wafter in the band as I’ve done alright with them in the past and they’re easier to get through the scum. I shipped out to 13 metres and kept firing a few pellets over the top, after a few minutes, the float sailed away and carp number four was on, it was a decent 5lb fish too. Next chuck I had another to put me on five carp with two and a half hours to go.

The guy on my left was getting the odd carp and now had five carp plus some skimmers and I didn’t think there would be much between us. I was still fishing up edge to my right but every time I saw some carp cruising I’d try a bit of stalking and finally one took the bait and tore off. I really needed this fish to put some daylight between me and the next peg but of course it reached the sanctuary of the lilies and still wasn’t stopping, the inevitable happened, everything went slack and I hoped that wasn’t going to cost me. Time was ticking by and by my reckoning I was still a fish in front but I could really do with another.

Then with half an hour to go, the float buried and before I had time to strike the fish was off at a rate of knots, it headed up the pond with me hanging on with the pole tip under the water, it was either a big fish, foulhooked or both and I was just waiting for the line to slack. Eventually I started to gain the upper hand but as I unshipped to the top two I could see it was good sized common of 7lb+ (hooked in the mouth) and I really wanted to make this one count. Every time it came within netting range it would power off again and I was sure the hook was going to ping out but everything held and I netted it with five minutes to go.

I had time to go back out but that was the last of the action, I took my gear back to the car before waiting for the scales. My eight carp went 35lb 6oz and then my neighbour had 28lb 4oz so that last carp came in handy. I followed the scales round and it soon became obvious the pond hadn’t fished very well and the next best weight was 26lb 8oz so I’d won and had a nice pick up of £100.

Follow my weekly exploits at

Tight Lines

Jamie Rich

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.