Monday, 13 April 2015

Shanghai AC match - Tunnel Barn Farm - 10.04.15

I’m not a match fisherman, it’s not my thing but these Shanghai AC matches are a great way of networking and keeping in touch with fellow automotive contractors, the ‘jobbing’ market is a small pool of people who move around and networking is a must. (to be honest, it’s a good excuse to go fishing).

Huge bag weights seems to where it’s at in modern commercial match fishing, and I for one cannot see the appeal, overstocked pools with hungry competing fish with multiple keepnets required to hold the huge quantity of fish, fishing ? hook a duck springs to mind.

600lb match weights, really. Think about that for a minute………600lb

I remember the first time I fished Tunnel Barn which was a few years ago, it was the height of summer and there was a match angler sitting on an island bridge on House Pool with his legs dangling in the water, with a whip and a few pellets and he was catching wet lettuce F1’s by his feet like there was no tomorrow. It was literally fish soup.

Last year we fished it again and despite booking certain pegs on one of the pools, one of the regulars was insistent that he had a certain peg and we had to fish around him, this miserable chap was whacking his pole on the water to attract the fish, tutting constantly at our inferior tactics whilst clearly his blood pressure. I bet he has fished the same peg twice a week for years and has names for individual lipless F1’s.

2 years to the day we fished house pool and it was bitterly cold and was won by Steve Breese with 22lb with many struggling to even muster up a bite, today was 20 degrees, madness. It’s still cold overnight so the the water certainly is nowhere near summer temperatures when huge bag weights at Tunnel Barn can be achieved.

Although I’m at polar opposite to the match fisherman and it’s ain’t my favourite mud puddle I enjoy these monthly matches; it’s about fun, catching up and a bit of banter……. I’ve even for one of the matches decided to target the specimen >4lb Perch that bottom pool reputedly holds, I didn’t do very well, no perch just carp.

For the match I had two rods set-up, a bomb rod that I intended to fish close to the island towards the end of the match to try and pick up a bigger carp, and a light float rod that I intend to fish at tight as possible to the margins. There isn’t really science when catching F1’s they tend to hook themselves and I’ve found the tighter you can get to the inside the better. They seem to come up in the water to feed so I intend to swop between half depth and shallow. Bait was maggot, pellet and corn with a few small pellets fed little and often.

As soon as the match started Dave Roberts was the one to watch, it was catching straight from the off. I was getting indications on the float when fishing the margins but they were must have felt resistance on the float because they were reluctant to take the float under. I was getting indications on the float when fishing the margins but they were must have felt resistance on the float because they were reluctant to take the float under.

I decided to whack the bomb rod out to the island and switch to a lighter float and lighter hook-link. Within ten minutes I had a half decent F1 on the bank but then after half an hour without any bites I switched back to the lighter float in the margins. This was the change required as I started to catch some fish. Rich Gould to the left of me was also fishing the margins, albeit with the pole and he was catching well too. The last hour I picked up some better F1’s and was looking at a reasonable weight. Dave Roberts would win it though, but until the weigh in we didn’t realise it was a club record. The fish seemed to be in better condition which is good but still, you can see just how much the pools have been stocked. The reputed 140,000 fish is probably right.

Zander Thursday evening for a couple of hours, cannot wait.

  • Peg 2 - Steve Breese - 48lb 12oz
  • Peg 4 - Mark Youds - 28lb 8oz
  • Peg 6 - Dave Bennett - 67lb 3rd
  • Peg 8 - Simon Champion - 36lb 8oz
  • Peg 10 - Dave Roberts - 172.5lb 1st (club record)
  • Peg 12 - A. Breeze -22lb 4oz
  • Peg 14 - Rich Gould - 78lb - 2nd
  • Peg 16 - Mick Newey - 60lb 12oz


  1. A sterling effort though Mick and from what I can see only just missed out on a "podium" finish, not too shabby at and I wouldn't mind a swing at that either. Tight Lines for the next outing. J.

    1. I like competing against the pole anglers with my inferior methods:) I've won the odd time too. I'm polar opposite with my fishing though, I'd rather wait for 'that' fish down the river rather than catch loads at a commercial. You can see why they are so popular though.


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