I n the past I have been as guilty as they come of never settling at a speciﬁc venue or ‘type’ of venue, and therefore never really giving myself the opportunity to develop a tactic that is going to bring ongoing success.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting new venues, it is a great way to keep things fresh and since relocating it is something that I have had to do to ﬁ nd the venues that I am going to use as the core of my match ﬁ shing outings. In doing so I have had some good results and picked up a few pennies along the way.
However, flitting from venue to venue is not the route to go down if ﬁ nancial gain is the main aim of your match ﬁshing exploits, with the likelihood of venue regulars ready to take your hard-earned pools money straight off you almost a given.
Two key examples of anglers that demonstrate the need for consistency of both venue, and consequently, results, are Lee Thornton and Andy Bennett, the winner and the runner-up in the 2015/16 Match Angler Of The Year competition.
Over the course of last year Lee focused his attentions across two or three venues, namely Bradshaw Hall Fishery where he ﬁshed 82 open matches during the year, in which he framed an astonishing 72 times! Similarly Andy Bennett is a Partridge Lakes master who has an unbelievable record that sees him frame on nearly every visit; in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him not win at least his section at the venue!
That is not to say these two awesome anglers would not do well elsewhere, and to conﬁrm, they win at a lot of different venues. But for the Match Angler Of The Year competition, knowing that they could ﬁsh a very average peg at these venues and still pull something out of the bag due to their knowledge of the place is undoubtedly key to their success over the year-long competition.
Match This Exploits
On the subject of choosing venues that suit your style of ﬁshing, I had two very different Maver Match This qualifier experiences this month. The ﬁrst was at Tunnel Barn Farm, a venue that I think is brilliant – one of the best in the country in fact – but which this year I have failed to get on with in terms of my match results (at least since some winter success in January and February).
Despite some very average results from the venue over the past few months, I decided to book myself on to the qualiﬁer at the venue on the off chance I drew a peg incapable of failure. I haven’t drawn well there in a while, or for that matter at any venue for some time, but was hoping for some luck. When Peg 1 on House Pool stuck to my hand I thought my luck was in.
Apparently not, though, as I ended the day with a mediocre 70lb, a weight that put me nowhere in the match, although I did manage to beat quite a few people on a lake that ultimately ﬁ shed hard.
In contrast, the second Match This qualiﬁer I ﬁ shed this month was at the brilliant Glebe Fishery. The Glebe is a venue that I seem to do well at whenever I ﬁsh it and is also the venue at which my current match weight record of 257lb was caught, earlier this year.
The match went well; I drew Peg 27 on Pool 1, not the area of the lake I fancied but it
was at least a lake I have had some previous success on. I started the match catching a few ﬁsh short on corn over hemp but after 10 carp this line completely dried up.
Moving on to casters shallow at 14.5 metres produced a few ﬁsh through the middle of the match but at times bites were slow, with lots of ﬁsh cruising around in the sun and not necessarily interested in my hook bait. Although this was the case, at times I did seem to be the only person in sight putting a few ﬁsh in the net.
I ﬁnished the match with a weight of 118lb, a weight that comfortably won my section by almost 50lb and saw me ﬁnish eighth overall out of the 120 anglers competing. In the end I felt there wasn’t a great deal more I could have got out of the peg due to not having a great margin swim, which would have given me another option on the day and potentially the extra weight that could have seen me closer to the eventual winner, Perry Stone.
The Glebe is a happy hunting ground for Jake.
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