Back To The Locals - Pemb Wrighting

"With the big qualifying matches for the major events, namely Fish O Mania and the Maver Match over with until next year, it was time to start doing some more local matches.

Jim McDowell runs a good summer league down in Kent, with good attendances too, so I dropped in for the last couple of rounds to guest for a few teams that were running short.

The first round I fished was at the awesome Monk Lakes. This place gets better every year and in the previous weeks the lakes had been fishing well.

On the day, I drew peg 50 on lake Two. It was right in the middle of the bank but with everyone having some room I wasn't too bothered where I drew to be honest, fish seemed to be topping everywhere. After a word with Monks main man in form, Myles Levy, I set my stall out to fish shallow on the long pole and another line down the margins. As it turned out, the edge was a waste of time, the wind was bad and it made the tow rip through in the shallow water, making good presentation all but impossible.

The shallow line out long was good for the middle part of the match, with f1's from 1-3 lb. Even though there was a lot of fish there, it was still a lot better to fish light rather than heavy gear. At one point I went up to an 0.15 N-Gauge hooklength, but it just wasn't any good. An 0.11 hooklength to an 18 Eyed LWG hook was the best on the day, with a banded pellet over the loose fed pellet offerings.

Come the end of the match I had amassed 247lb, which was enough to win the match and a great day out to boot.

The next round was to be at Hartleylands Farm. Having only been the once before a few years ago I seeked some advise from the local lads. They all said the same in general; it's solid with small carp! With that in mind, thankfully I’d done plenty of preparation for the day as these fish races always come down to the same thing - who's the most efficient and fishing for the most time wins. By that I mean if you have plenty of spare hooks tied up and rigs set up it will stand you in good stead because you'll get more fishing time. Also, the general opinion was that it was all pellets and maybe some meat on the bait front. I took a load of maggots too because when carp are eating maggots they seem to be a lot easier to catch.

So, come the match and I drew a lake called Bramley. It meant nothing to me at first but when I saw there were only 8-pegs on our lake, it started to look great! With a lot of fish needed, a simple approach was again needed. My plan involved fishing a margin line with maggots and a line where I could loose feed pellets by hand to catch shallow over the top. The match started well, it was solid in the edge as soon as I fed I was catching. After about 5-minutes I was catching well fishing shallow in the edge over loose fed maggots. Because it was very snaggy and the fact how many feeding fish were there, a heavy rig was needed. By fishing an 0.19 N Gauge hooklength to a 14 XS Spade hook it was easy to be very efficient when the fish were feeding freely. Halfway through the match the fish moved off from the margins, it was time to try my shallow swim, which I'd been priming for the last 30 minutes or so. This swim was good too, for an hour or so then it too faded. The last hour was spent nicking a fish wherever I could.

Come the weigh in and my nets totalled 270lb, my joint best catch ever. The complex fished brilliantly all-round, it seemed like everyone had over 100lb, with six other weights over 200! Luckily my weight was enough for another win.

I've really enjoyed my trips down to Kent this summer, I'll definitely be getting down there more in the near future.