Ian Andrews Match Fishing in January

With the first of our Match Fishing Blog entries – we welcome Ian Andrews who recounts his January matches.

Bait-Tech have kindly given me the opportunity of writing a blog for their web site and hopefully someone out there – apart from my immediate family will get some pleasure from reading it! Apologies for lack of winning weights etc but this first blog has been done from memory for the month.

For those of you who are unaware of Ian Andrews, who I hear you cry – I have approx 18 months ago, stopped working away from home so have had the chance of participating in a lot more fishing competitions having spent the previous 18 years only fishing White Acre festival, I also spent many years driving my son Mark around for different football academies. Needless to say only fishing a few festivals a year with no other fishing has lead to many batterings and a permanent place near the skirting board when results are announced. But at least I have kept up with tackle, techniques and received advice from the very best, I have also made many really good friends, I love the place.

I live in Suffolk and my local fisheries are Cross Drove, Hindercaly Lakes, Suffolk Water Park and Barford. The closest venue to me is Hinderclay and for those of you who are unaware of Hinderclay Lakes, it is a complex of 6 lakes set in the heart of Suffolk, a beautiful commercial fishery which has the appearance of a natural complex and quality fish to match. The fishery owner is Stuart Platt who runs a very hospitable setup, how many fisheries give you free tea, coffee and biscuits!!

I have competed in 3 matches so far this month with mixed results partly due to the  weather, laziness  and setting up my own taxi service. My first outing was on Monday 2nd January and I was off to Hinderclay Lakes where the opens are currently rovers. That reminds me that the previous match I had attended in December I was told that the winning weights had been coming from the low numbers so in my arrogance I chose a high number on Reed Pool where I had won from the month before and a visitor who didn’t know where to go was pointed by me to peg 4 and informed that was where the fish were. Needless to say he won the match and I blanked. Lesson learnt.

Walking up to the draw I had already made my mind up where I was going as I could chose which lake to fish. I had decided that I would pick Spring Lake, which is the specimen lake, and sit it out for hopefully a couple of beasts. In went the hand and I drew No 1, too good a draw for a gamble so I chose peg 15 on Reed Pool, a very consistent peg and short walk…perfect. To my right I had my good friend Stewart Bracey so I knew it would be a good days company. Stewart caught a couple of carp early on going long (and he does go long!!) down the edge into a corner. I sat on the straight lead with 3 pieces of corn hair-rigged to a 16 Drennan feeder hook and caught a couple of carp waiting 40 mins for each bite, after 3 hours I needed a change.

During this time I had been feeding an area 6 foot from the bank to my right with a couple of bits of corn and a few dampened micros at 14.5 metres every 30 mins. They don’t this place Windyclay for nothing and I knew holding a pole wasn’t going to be easy but I gave it a go and first put in I  thought the float may have dipped slightly but it was difficult to tell as it was so windy, still I went back to the same area and the float buried straight away.

The carp at Hinderclay can run a good size so unlike a lot of anglers I had stuck to the warmer weather gear of purple hydro and a 16 Stroft line. I slowly pulled the fish round to net and safely had a nine pound carp in the net, on my return to exactly the same area the float buried immediately and another 9 pounder in the net, worth their weight in gold at this time of year and I had edged into the lead on this lake. On returning to that area I soon realised that there was nothing to be had, so it was back to the straight lead and one more fish followed for a total of 5 fish for 39lbs and a lake win, giving me 3rd overall and as there were over 20 angles a good payout and good start to the year.

I had a drink with Stewart Bracey and the overall winner Vince Cross on the way home and Stewart said that when he saw me go long down the edge away from the bank he thought I was mad and couldn’t believe when I caught. Vince had won the match fishing popped up bread the current in form method. I wasn’t there the following week but Stewart’s father John drew this peg  and won the match throwing a method down to the right at 16 metres…..wonder where he got that idea from!

Next Saturdays open saw me draw 2 in the rover (I have always drawn well!!) so this time I chose a peg that had won the previous match, Peg 9 on Florence against what I had intended, which was going to lake William, the newest lake and very well stocked with silvers and carp to 5-6 lbs with a few larger specimens around. I was fortunate enough to win 4 opens in a row during the Summer on this lake with weights ranging from 50 to 80 lbs these weights included a high percentage of bream round the 3lbs mark so truly brilliant fishing.

Anyway back to reality and after all that boasting I blanked, it could have been so different as the carp where still in the same area that Steve Clarke had won from but unfortunately for me Phil Walpole had picked the peg to my left and had fished a very good match on the long pole with maggot and walked the match with 40 lbs from an area that if the peg had been empty I would have cast to. Still no hard feelings Phil and if I had been still talking to you I would probably have congratulated you!!

Not so lucky on the draw with my last visit of the month to Hinderclay, drew 11 and all the pegs I fancied had gone so chose peg 24 on Reed, a walk of 25 yards but the wind straight in my face, never the less a peg that can produce on its day as it gives you access to the centre of the lake where the carp can hang out. On the whistle I started my 2 prong attack of tip fishing, 6 casts on a small groundbait feeder to get some bait out for the skimmers and then a straight lead with 3 bits of hair rigged corn out further to the lakes centre. Half an hour without so much as a liner I had my first look on the ground baited area with 2 dead maggots, not a touch, not even a roach.

Strange things happen to me and I was about to cast long to my right when a funeral party turned up to scatter some ashes in the lake, it seemed a tad irreverent to cast in front of them so I went back in the middle. After switching a couple of times to and from the ground baited area and still nothing I cast long at a 45 degree angle about 16 meters from the far bank and as the rain had started to pour I was cold, fishless, had eaten all my food and seeing that my car was behind me was very tempted to have a kip or go home. This became an obsession as I got colder and wetter and by this time I was sitting on my hands and bent double to conserve some heat when after 2 hours out the blue the tip flew round and my 10ft Preston Carbonactive mini-carp quiver rod stayed bent, cold and dampness forgotten I soon landed a 6 pound carp. No more fish on that line so continued searching around with no luck. With an hour to go I re-visited the area my only fish had come from and after 10 mins or so I remembered that I had as usual cut some slices of different flavoured tinned meat, a plain luncheon meat and Bait-Tech Polony and Halibut cut about 1 cm thick then punched with an 8mm punch so that it looks like an 8 mm pellet. The polony meat then replaced the corn on the hair rig and went out to the same area.

After a few minutes I had what looked like a roach bite one very small pull that moved the tip about an inch or so but wasn’t too sure in the very strong wind. I wound in and the bait looked untouched so I cast back to the same area and sure enough after another 5 mins another little pull. This one I struck into and that wonderful feeling of striking into a brick wall and an 8 pound carp safely landed, in the last 40 mins I had another 5 of these little bites, 1 perch and 4 carp up to 12 pounds and a final weight of 51lbs and my first win of the season:

1st Ian Andrews – 51 lbs
2nd M Bartrum – 40 lbs 7 oz
3rd  J  Odey – 29 lbs 1 oz

The following Saturday I was keen to get back but having worked all night I wasn’t too tired but felt frozen so went to bed instead!!

2 Responses to Ian Andrews Match Fishing in January

  1. Chris S April 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I can certainly vouch for his new lease of (fishing) life since packing up the long-distance job! We don’t hear about much else. Well, that and his new enterprise as the friendliest (and possibly only) cabby in Hessett, Bury St Edmunds.

    But I’ve also experienced Hiderclay for myself on the one occasion he allowed me to tag along and have a go. Quite a priveledge it was too.

    (I’m not much of an angler myself – in fact the only time I usually “ooh” and “ahh” at the size of a fish is through a greasy glass window before realising the price and opting for a battered sausage instead.)

    Learning about the method feeder was the most memorable aspect of the trip and a roaring success it was as well. Well, I tell a lie – the most memorable aspect was actually laughing at the dog for about 3 hours who was dealing with a sensation never experienced before after running around on a patch of stinging nettles.

    He’s a good teacher is my father-in-law, and a highly improved fisherman too. Not sure about his future as blogger though. Only joking – a good read.

  2. Jim Garratty May 3, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Have just found your website when trying to find out if there is an open match Sat My 7th on Hinderclay lake, I last fished some matches there about 4 years ago ,have tried the eastern papers to no avail have texted Stuart, but he may have a new phone, so you are my last chance so hope
    regards Jim
    ps I know John Oddie who was 3rd in the match you won , but live 62 mile away in Huntingdon Cambs and do not know his or anyone of the others I fished with

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