Last week I enjoyed my best ever weeks fishing at Heronbrook fishery during the 2016 summer festival, it is an event I look forward to each year due to the variety of methods needed to compete. Unfortunately there was a smaller turnout for this years event with only 30 anglers fishing, but with an £800 winners prize and good daily payouts, it was well worth trying my hardest to win.
Here is a run down of how each day went for me:
Day 1 - Peg 44 - Meadow Pool:
It would have been hard to ask for a better peg to start my festival!
Peg 44 on Meadow is where I do most of my coaching at Heronbrook and holds more f1’s than any other peg on the lake.
As a big weight was needed I kept things simple and fished just 3 areas of my peg.
Most of my match was spent fishing hard 4mm pellets across on the bottom although I added around 40lb to my weight by fishing paste shallow down the middle, I also caught some f1s down the edge feeding Bag’Um commercial carp groundbait and corn late on.
My catch of 20 carp and 70 odd F1s went 239lb on the scales which won both the section and match overall.
Day 2 - Peg 12 - Match Lake:
Again a peg I was happy to draw but with a strong wind blowing into my face it would be difficult to fish.
I don't want to go into too much detail about this match as it was filmed by the MAP cameras and will be available to watch shortly.
I had a very busy match though with odd fish on a variety of methods before I had an arrival of monsters in the last hour.
I finished with 171lb and another section win.
Day 3 - Peg 19 - Meadow Pool:
This area of the lake always seems to hold lots of carp in the 2-5lb bracket. Because of the high air pressure I was reluctant to fish anywhere other than the shallow water so rigs were made up to fish hard pellets across in 2ft and 14inches. The same depths were found in the edge to fish the same baits, I also set up a couple of shallow rigs to catch any fish that were sucking in the grass for any pellets.
Another nice simple match saw me catching lots of fish shallow and in the shallowest water, all on 4mm hard pellets.
A mistake that I did make though was fishing far too light, my hooks and elastics were causing a few fish losses and looking back I think 300lb+ was easily possible with stronger kit.
Luckily my 244lb was enough for a section win and my 2nd overall match win of the week.
Day 4 - Peg 31 - Meadow Pool:
I was a bit unsure on whether a section win was possible after I drew this peg as peg 26 had been almost unbeatable in previous weeks and had won the section every day so far.
I was extremely confident in my hard pellets approach though and I had tied plenty of stronger hooks up after the previous day's problems.
Again I had a simple match catching steadily across before ending with a run down the side in the final 15 minutes.
What did come as a surprise was how few fish I caught on my shallowest rigs, with most fish coming to a 2ft rig.
The fish here were also much bigger than the previous day and my 42 fish went 246lb.
Luckily the bend fish hard and I managed to win the section and again the match.
Day 5 - Peg 7 - Match Lake:
A peg I've always wanted to draw at Heronbrook, although the start of the match could have gone a lot better!
I began by trying to mug a few lumps that were swimming around the peg but for some reason they refused to take my meat hook bait and I was fishless after 45 minutes.
A switch to my shallow line produced a few f1s but I had to swap depth and rigs every couple of fish. Swapping to casters was great move and I began to catch quickly at 10 inches deep, a few carp also turned up giving me around 100lb with 90 mins to go, I felt I was behind Brad Parkes on peg 3 so a move to the margin was needed to pull back, again I fed commercial carp ground bait and corn in 16 inches of water down the side. Some big fished turned up again in the final stages and I put around 140lb in the net in the last period.
Brad had slowed down late on and my 239lb final was enough to win the section meaning I had won the festival and my 4th match of the week!
Well done the other framers with John Myatt finishing 2nd and my mate Andy moors finishing 3rd.
A great week was had by all the anglers and an astonishing amount of fish were caught during the week, I already can't wait for next years event.