Another visit to Farleigh Woods Fishery with Geoff Francis, but first a stop for breakfast I thought we would give the Sizzling Onion a miss trying the Café under the railway arches in Bath (pictured right). Both Geoff and I really enjoyed it, plus easy to park. We must support these independent businesses more.
We arrived at the fishery early so had the usual walk round all hoping to draw peg 1 which would have been difficult as it wasn’t in today. The Willows have being doing their usual business casting their sticky shucks.
Into the draw hat and out comes peg 14, happy with this as it won the Silvers last match. A quick set up of a margin paste rig which at the moment is a waste of Silvers fishing time. The only other rig was a 4x12 F1 Winter. I could now apply some learning from the first match so to start, it would be top-set plus one in front in four foot of water and later in case I plumbed top-set plus three which was only 3 inches deeper. On the bait tray 4mm expander and wetted micro. The paste and hard fours were thrown to the side very early on. So all set up when I had a visit from the fishery owner 88 year young John (pictured right – the man that built this fishery – to whom we will be thankful in years to come). We swapped our mutual political views. John was a navigator on a Lancaster Bomber. He is a really nice man who takes time to have a chat with everyone. Time for the pre-match wander and first stop was organiser Chris “Recycle” Ollis. Why is it when someone has prepared some disgusting bait they invite you to smell it. Luckily I had already spotted him extracting fish bones from his home made Chicken and Trout paste – really – taking budget fishing to new Heights or lows, made me feel queasy looking at it.
Ignoring the margin wasting I started by potting a few micros in on both my chosen lines starting short with the 4mm expander and loose feeding micro over the top. I caught small Skimmers1oz to 12oz immediately and by applying last match learning wrt feeding pattern managed to keep them coming steady all day from the short line. Reaching the last 45 minutes by which time I reckoned I had 127 fish. I then had a pretty Common Carp of about 5lb. So decided to start loose feeding the 4mm expander leaving the micro out and had another two Commons before the all out.
I finished with 27lb 5oz of an all Skimmers catch with the three Carp weighing 15lb 11oz for a third overall weight of 43lb. This left 5oz behind Geoff Francis (pictured right with some of his 12 Carp). Geoff is getting a bit of a reputation of pulling Birds.
The match was won by Paul Barnfield with eight Carp for 52lb 2oz from end peg 12. Paul caught down to the empty peg in about 2 foot of water catching on meat over meat. Well done matey.
It was back to the Hungerford Arms for a pint or two of Doombar. When Chris “Recycle” Ollis walked in the two large brown dogs went mental jumping all over him and licking his wax jacket – Umm – Chris also DNW’ed - wonder why? Chris said his Lily pads were moving which was probably the fish trying to get away from the paste.
This is a great fishery all the fish being in exceptional conditions, not a mark on them. The Mallard chicks are a bloody nuisance just raise an arm and the dive towards you. The sad think with these birds is that they pestered us all day and come the bait throwing time they had buggered off.
- Paul Barnfield 52-02-0 peg 12
- Geoff Francis 43-05-0 peg 16
- Mike Nicholls 27-05-0 peg 14
- Hughie Evans 15-03-0 peg 18