Sunday, 12 September 2010

Rockells Farm. Saffron Walden. Essex. September 12th, 2010.

Marsh AC club match.
R.jpg Rockells Farm. picture by pnm123
 I’m off to Rockells Farm today for what is probably the most eagerly anticipated club match of the year. Last year Martin Hucker set a new club match record at 383lbs 4ozs and a new club record total of 2911lbs 14ozs was put on the scales by the 19 anglers that fished the match. A lot can depend on the draw, but an awesome weight is on the cards if the draw bag is kind to you. 
As usual when visiting this venue in the depths of Essex I’d arranged to meet Dave at his place just after 6·30am and follow him and Colin down to the fishery. The weather looked good and a smooth run down saw us pulling up at the lake at around 8am to find Keith and his guest Troy along with Jean and Kev, Martin and John already in attendance. A quick look confirmed that the lake looked in good nick although the water level was a little down.
 Keith, Terry and I set off to peg out while the others arrived and I have to say that every peg looked like it was good for a few fish. Keith expressed a preference for a late peg in the high teens and the general consensus was that either the first 3 or the last 3 would be decent draws. So at 8·30am Dave called the draw, people seemed a little reluctant so I dived in early and found peg 19 to be my home for the day. Keith drew peg 3 and with Clive drawing peg 2 with Terry for company on peg 1 they would definitely be contesting the honours, I had Graham for company on 18 while peg 17 was Dave’s for the day and was the one I felt we all had to beat. I had the peg last year and the willow that had been cut back then had re-grown and now offered some cover and would be tailor made for Dave’s floater approach today.

So off to the pegs, and I have to say that I couldn’t have any complaints with my own peg, with the boards to fish to on my left and some cover to my right, both of which had a depth of no more than 18 inches.
 My approach is pretty single minded in that I tend to ignore any long lines when I fish Rockells as shipping back and forth wastes to much time and look to catch on a top 2 from the off if at all possible. Rigs are Middy in-line paste floats made up on 0·20 power match with a size 12 owner barbless relying on the bait to cock the float. Bait is simply GOT Atomic paste with 4mm pellets (and plenty of them) for feed.

So with such a simple set up I had a bit of time before the All-in and had a stroll down to see Dave who was looking as happy as Larry despite not feeling quite 100%……
Dave had never recorded 300lbs in a match, but today he was definitely sitting on a peg that was more than capable of doing it if he could get off to a good start in the first 3 hour session. We fish two three hour sessions here with a mid point weigh-in as with the prospect of big weights it means that fish aren’t retained in nets for to long and it gives the anglers a chance to have a breather as well.

So 10am and Dave blew the whistle for the All-in, a handful of pellet down both margins and in with my first piece of paste next to the boards, a couple of dinks and the float slid away resulting in a perfect little Common of around 8ozs to get me off the mark and from then on in the bites kept coming regularly, unfortunately not all were connected with, I’d get 4 or 5 on the trot then miss a few or foul hook a couple, but I had 20 fish in the first hour. Peg 19 is pretty tucked away in a corner and you cant really see anyone else to judge how you’re doing against them, though I could hear plenty of splashing coming from Graham and Dave’s pegs so it was just a question off concentrating on my own peg. By the end of the second hour I had 39 fish, but they were mostly small. In the 3rd hour I upped the size of paste that I was fishing and although the bites slowed a bit I started to pick up a better stamp of fish. Judy popped round to see how I was doing, but it coincided with one of those frustrating periods of lots of missed bites and by the time that Dave blew the whistle to signal the end of the morning session I had 55 fish on the clicker and was hoping for somewhere around the ton.

The weigh-in started from my peg and I recorded exactly 100lbs. Graham had 84½lbs while Dave had a much better stamp of fish for 150½lbs and top weigh of the morning. Martin on peg 13 had also fished floaters for 101½lbs. Colin had also had a good morning on peg 8, making the most of the cover afforded from the overhanging willow on his peg and again fishing floaters for a fine 144¼lbs. The point pegs hadn’t really produced as expected, lots of small fish, but not enough of the better stamp, with Keith’s 89¾lbs being the best weight of the group. I’d fished Keith’s peg 2 years ago though and expected it to fish much better in the second session. However 1095½lbs had been weighed in by the 18 anglers including four ‘Tons’, an average of just over 60lbs per angler so not too shabby.

By the time we all returned to our pegs and sorted ourselves out it was 2·15pm before Dave signalled the All-in for the second session. I’d fed a couple of pints of pellet into both of the margins prior to the end of the first session and was hopeful that it was enough to hold the fish during the break, and it seemed that it had been a success as I had a fish first put in.

Well the second session pretty much followed the pattern of the first, though I did manage to pick up a few more better fish, but nothing over 4lbs. Dave however was definitely getting a better stamp of fish and was looking good I felt for an overall win. Anyway after a further 3 hours Dave called the All-out for the second and final time today. I had 78 fish on the clicker this time and hoped they would be enough to take me to around 200lbs for the session if I had enough better sized fish, but I would have to wait and see as the weigh in would run in the opposite direction this time, starting from peg 1.

So with the gear back at the car park it was time to start the weigh in. Terry and Clive had both improved on their morning sessions with 128¼lbs and 123¼lbs respectively. Keith had had a standout session though, his 2 nets finally registering 219¼lbs for an overall weight of 309lbs which would prove to be good enough for 3rd on the day.

 John on peg five managed 101½lbs in the afternoon. Colin however had gone from strength to strength with 225lbs and a total of 369¼lbs to take the win on the day. Martin had another busy session putting 158¼lbs onto the scales. Dave had 3 nets in which gave him 193¾lbs, comfortably taking him past his own 300lb target for a total weight of 344¼lbs, a new PB match weigh giving him 2nd on the day. My own weight of 169¼ proved as I feared that I had to many small fish, but the total of 269¼lbs still gave me 4th on the day.

So back to the car park for the results. A total of 2878¾lbs had been weighed in on the day, just short of our record, still an incredible average of 159lbs per angler !!!! with 3 ‘Triple Tons’, 2 ‘Double Tons’ and a further  6 ‘Tons’ overall a phenomenal days fishing by any standards. Roll on next years match, looks like I may have to brush up on my floater fishing.


Total Weight
 1st Peg 8 Colin Sharrard   144lbs 04ozs   225lbs 00ozs   369lbs 04ozs
 2nd Peg 17 Dave Collier   150lbs 08ozs   193lbs 12ozs   344lbs 04ozs
 3rd Peg 3 Keith Ashby     89lbs 12ozs   219lbs 04ozs   309lbs 00ozs
 4th Peg 19 Peter Morton   100lbs 00ozs   169lbs 04ozs   269lbs 04ozs
 5th Peg 13 Martin Hucker   101lbs 08ozs   158lbs 04ozs   259lbs 12ozs
 6th Peg 1 Terry Goff    66lbs 00ozs   128lbs 12ozs   194lbs 12ozs
 7th Peg 5 John Holdsworth    76lbs 04ozs   101lbs 08ozs   177lbs 12ozs
 8th Peg 18 Graham Manning    84lbs 08ozs    90lbs 12ozs   175lbs 04ozs
 9th Peg 2 Clive Pritchard    43lbs 12ozs   123lbs 12ozs   167lbs 08ozs
 10th Peg 7 Tony Roberts    69lbs 08ozs    88lbs 08ozs   158lbs 00ozs
 11th Peg 4 Troy Hillier      (guest)     38lbs 08ozs    78lbs 00ozs   116lbs 08ozs
 12th Peg 6 Ken Walker    35lbs 00ozs    42lbs 00ozs    77lbs 00ozs
 13th Peg 14 Jim Boase    20lbs 12ozs    43lbs 08ozs    64lbs 04ozs
 14th Peg 16 Roger Noakes    25lbs 08ozs    28lbs 08ozs    54lbs 00ozs
 15th Peg 15 Judy Hermite    10lbs 08ozs    42lbs 12ozs    53lbs 04ozs
 16th Peg 11 Kevin Loveland    24lbs 12ozs    18lbs 04ozs    43lbs 00ozs
 17th Peg 12 Eddie Dobson      7lbs 08ozs    31lbs 08ozs    39lbs 00ozs
 18th Peg 9 Rod Turner      7lbs 00ozs
      7lbs 00ozs

No comments:

Post a Comment