January update - Steve Ringer

Last Saturday saw me return to Tunnel Barn Farm for the open on Extension Pool. The only downside was the weather - it was quite literally blowing a gale. Anyway, I put my hand into the bag and pulled out Extension 4, which to be honest isn’t a peg I’d have chosen but one of the great things about TBF is that you just never know.

On arrival at the peg my initial thoughts were that fishing long was going to be impossible, so I concentrated on a short attack whilst setting up two rigs to fish across in case the wind dropped. Bait-wise, due to the fact it was so windy, I decided to concentrate on maggots and keep things nice and simple.

I kicked off at the start on 6m but after 45 minutes for just one F1 and a few bits, I felt I was going nowhere fast. Even though the wind was bad I needed to look across. By dripping a few maggots in I soon started to get bites long but holding the pole was proving a nightmare. I have to admit I found it really frustrating as there were clearly fish present but I couldn’t present a bait to them.

That said, after two hours I had managed ten F1s across but with the wind strengthening it was now proving impossible to fish. Dropping back onto my 6m line produced precisely nothing, so with two hours to go it was time for a look on my banker line which was a little aerator to my right which I could fish against.

I had been trickling maggots here from the start and now felt my last two hours depended on this line coming good. Luckily, whilst it wasn’t solid, I had two really good spells here and by the end had managed to put 32 F1s and a few bits in the net, all on either single or double maggot hookbaits.

When the scales arrived Stu Palsar was winning with 76lb and I knew I didn’t have that, but with 58lb second I felt that was achievable. Sure enough, after two weighs a total of 64lb 12oz was announced which was enough for a clear second, which considering the conditions was a result I was happy with.

Sunday was a very different challenge in the form of a pairs match at Boddington Reservoir. My partner was my brother Phil and having spent so much time at Tunnel Barn Farm of late, I was looking forward to a change. As Phil was running the match, we got someone else to draw our pegs and this saw me on 85 and Phil on 91.

Tactics-wise, my plan was to kick off on the method feeder at 65 metres with a view to going further as the day progressed. On the bait-front, it was all about pellets on the feeder and boilies and punched bread on the hair. I also had some Pineapple Supreme Power Smoke Goo as it’s something that, in the past, has worked really well at Boddington.

Anyway, I kicked off with bread on the hair and after 20 minutes the tip slowly pulled round and carp number one was in the net. Three more quickly followed and from what I could see I was ahead in my five-peg section. The next bite, though, was a drop back and I only got two turns on it before the hook pulled out.

A quiet spell then followed before it was time to go a bit further. First chuck at around 80m saw my quickest bite yet as the line hadn’t even sunk before the tip was round. It then went quiet but by alternating between three 8mm discs of bread and mini fluro boilies, I had nine carp in the net with an hour to go. From what I could see I was looking good for the section with seven being next best.

This is where things went slightly awry as, despite going out to 100m, I never managed another bite whilst Neil Russell at the next peg nicked two more in the last 25 minutes to also finish with nine. My fish weren’t big either by Boddington standards to I had a feeling he might have done me, and so it proved when the scales arrived.

My nine went 62lb whereas Neil’s were of a much larger average size and went 77lb. On the pairs front, though, it was good news as Phil had won his section and with my second it was enough to win the day!

For fishing long at venues such as Boddington I always opt for the 36-gram Guru X-Safe feeders, these being weight-forward in design - great when fishing at range. The only change I make is to substitute the short stem for the long version. The longer stem gives the feeder more stability in flight and also makes a marked different in terms of the distance achievable.