Sunday, 16 September 2012


Thursday 13th Sept saw me at Far Grange Fishery for the Humberside Fire Brigade inter-service teams of four matches. We arrived at the fishery at 8.30 am; the buzz was that it could be a hard days fishing, due to the prolonged rain from the previous day, and its low night temperature of 40c.

I drew peg 65, and after what seemed like a mile long walk I arrive at my peg. All I have is open water, but on previous visits I have caught well on the pellet Waggler. I set up my Browning pellet waggler rod, and my Browning force 10” bomb rod, to fish on the same line; I also set up a method feeder rod, due to having some good success in the past. Down the margins I also set up a pole line for 6mm to my left towards an empty pallet. The fish here sometimes come close very early in the match!

On the whistle I cup in a couple of large pots of dampened micros, then cast the bomb 25m, with an 8mm pellet on a hair rig. I am catapulting 8mm pellets 2 at a time over the top, to prep for pellet waggler. After a biteless 10 mins a couple of the lads to my left are playing fish caught down the edge; so I decide to give it a go. I ship the past where I want to fish, and drop my paste hook bait over the fed area then move the float back over the top. After 30 secs the float dips, then it buries. I lift the pole, and elastic screams out. The hook then pulls out - was it foul hooked? The answer “yes”, a large scale on the hook gives me the answer. This happens 5 times in the next 8 put-ins before a bite-less 15mins (they have been spooked!) So I decide it must be pellet wag time. I've constantly fed the swim all the time. (There are loads of chub in this lake; which in the past I've caught loads of in this area!) – Not a bite, the rain and cold has knocked them right off!

What I have noticed is the lad to my left has started catching on method feeder – he’s feeding the area with pole pot, and then casting the feeder over the top, so I try it. I dump 2 big pots of micros at 13m, then flick the method with the same micros wrapped around it. The response is instant; a 3lb carp hits the net. I stick on this line for almost the rest of the match, topping up with the pole when bites slow down, trying on the odd occasion to see if anything has come down the margin – but no!

At the end of the match I weigh in at 66lb 8oz; which I am pretty pleased with, considering having such a bad start!
Results in and one of our team members comes third Individually with 94lb, we as a team also came in third by 1 point; the story our week!!!!


Saturday, 15 September 2012


Messingham Sands has got to be one of my favourite lakes; which in the past has rewarded me with some cracking days fishing and some fantastic weights, resulting in some good match wins!

Today (12.09.12) I was left with peg 4 in the draw bag, an area I have had good results from in the past.
On reaching my peg I always sit down on my box and survey the area surrounding me. At approx 60yrds in front of me I have some 'stick ups' with a few lily pads; to my right I have a small island at 25yrds; and in the margins, to my left I have a tree in the water, to the right a large rush bed.

The first bit of kit out the bag is my trusted 10" Browning Force Bomb Rod. With a plan to fish bomb and 11mm pellet close to the stick ups.

Next rod out – my 11" Browning Force pellet Waggler, this is usually a good area for pellet wag, due to the large amount of open water.

I also set up a pole line for the rushes to my right, with a plan to fish soft pellet – All pellets have to be the fisheries own pellets, even hookers; But they are really good value!


On the whistle I start out by firing 11mm pellets as far as I can, just reaching the stick ups - due to back wind, I cast the bomb to within a couple of metres of the sticks, never taking my eye off the tip. I also feed 2 pellets at a time to the island, the middle and to the sticks. The tip gives a sharp pull-round after 5mins, resulting in a 3lb carp.

In the first 2 hours I have 10 carp, and 2 lovely golden tench; but all the carp have been relatively small by Messingham standards!

As I normally do at Messy, I try for silver fish on the pole swim - you can get 50lb of silvers from most pegs on the lake. After 30 mins, and 10lb of crusians later, I go back on the bomb, which I have been constantly feeding, as well as the other two swims; resulting in 2 more carp.

On the pellet wag swim carp are taking the pellets when they hit the water, so I decide it's worth a go; not a touch after 15 casts! There still taking the feed, but will not take my hook bait, so I'll keep feeding the line and go back on the bomb.

Trying the island swim, having just 1 fish in 10mins, I decide to go back on the long range line picking up the odd small carp until 11/2 to go; when the light drops due to heavy rain clouds above, so I try the pellet wag again. As soon as it hits the water the rod is almost ripped from my hand.

The next few casts I have 4 more fish, which are much bigger than the stamp I was getting on the bomb! – Then the heavens open; ½ hour it decides to last resulting in no fish, but I keep feeding.

With ½ hour to go it settles down, and the bites start again, a few more good fish hit the net!
The whistle goes; on the weigh-in, with Messingham unique weighing methods, were the fish hardly leave the water (which is a great way of preventing damage to the fish!), my final weight is 119lb 4oz, giving me a comfortable match win with 2nd place having 63lb.

Another fantastic day at Messingham Sands!!!


Top 5 AnglersPegWeight
Jim Hall4119lb 4oz
Ian Ralph1562lb 5oz
Neil Iveson659lb 13oz
Bob Duncan6353lb 5oz
John Holness6248lb 8oz

Friday, 14 September 2012


Monday 10th September saw me at Lake View Fishery Leicestershire, for a practise run for the Fire Service National teams match the next day. 

We arrived at 11am, after a 2 hour drive from Hull. We parked right next to the cafĂ© and popped in for a quick brew, got our pellets and a quick low down on how it’s fishing! We had a walk round to suss out a good fishing spot, eventually deciding on the Stream Pond. I sat on peg 6, which gave me an island reach of 12m, so quite comfortable!


I decided to start close to the island in 12’’ water, feeding softened micros using a  ‘kinder pot’, and a Bait Tech 4mm expander on the hook! Things started off well with a fish every drop in. This lasted for some 30 mins, before bites started to slow enough to warrant a change in tactics. A worm on the hook and I’m in again resulting in another good run of fish!

Happy with this set up, I then decided to fish the shallows, which I had been feeding by hand for the past ½ hour, at 2 & 2 distances. It started off really well, again a fish every cast. I concluded that the best way to feed was to use about 10 pellets, then slap the rig directly onto the ‘fed’ area. This resulted in a confident bite on most occasions, so overall I was more than happy with the approach we needed for match day! And so on to the B&B for shower, tea, & a few beers.


20 teams had found their way to the fishery, there was a heavy downpour the night before and the conditions were cold and windy. As teams captain I had the responsibility for drawing our pegs for the match, I drew peg 12 on Marina Lake. This was an end peg out of the wind, which was a wee bit chilly to say the least! The only drawback was that it was unfortunately blowing to the other end of the lake!!!


I set up the pole to fish into a cut out in the reeds at the island, which was 11.5m. I utilized the rig I had used yesterday, but replacing the hook length keeping the rig bang on the same depth as previous; perfect!

Next I set up a shallow rig for top 2 & 2, and a margin rig at 9m down to my right. This boasted a large reed bed, which also had a nice little cut out just in front of it giving me 2 foot, a depth which gives me confidence when fishing the margins.
The last rig I set up was aimed at the end of the island, which was at 13m


I began with the 11.5m rig to the island fishing a 4mm Bait Tech pellet, feeding micros through a kinder pot. A steady run of fish from the off was a good start, they were a little on the small side, but it was fish in the net! But as repeated in the practice run things started to slow up, so again a change to the worm, which this time - never worked, gutted!!!


I decided to rest this area and try the 13m line; I also started to feed the shallow line by hand.  So with the 13m line been deeper I again fed micros, but this time I squashed them into the kinder pot so that they would fall in a clump, getting it to the bottom quicker while lowering a 4mm pellet on top.  A bite almost instantly, and a slightly bigger stamp of fish, had I finally sussed it?  The answer was no, I never had another bite on that line!


Shallow rig time; and guess what?... Not one bite!,  So moving back to the 11.5m line, I started to pick up a few fish, but it was slow going. During this time I had noticed few fish cruising in the corner to my left, so I decided to start firing a few 4mm pellets every 2 mins. After 30 mins of feeding I decided to give it a go. 

Using the shallow rig I shipped the pole 13m into the corner and slapped the rig over, the float buries straight away, and elastic streams out the end of my pole! The fish turned out to be a mirror carp approx 3lb, ‘brilliant!’ Before shipping the pole back out I catapult a dozen pellets, then the same thing happens, but this time a hook pulls at the net, bugger!

I spent the rest of the match approx 1 ½ hours on the line picking up better size F1 carp and the odd mirror. When the whistle went for all out I had a fish a cats whisker, into the net it went!  

The scales arrived and two weights later I had 44lb 6oz, giving me 2nd place on the lake and 2 points.

Jim Hall         2 points
Ian Ralph 2 points
Steve Bontoft 3 points
John Holness 7 points

TOTAL 14 points
The team finished in 4th place by 1 point.
Bring on next year!!!