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Cooler Nights

Free At Last & Clattercote

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The reference to being 'free at last' is all about having finally moved into my refurbished apartment in Paris. After spending every week night since June 6th in hotels I finally got to move in last night to the new apartment.

Anyone who has ever read "A Year In Provence" by Peter Mayle and didn't believe the stories surrounding the infamous French word; 'demain' (translates to Tomorrow) should come and talk to me.
When a French tradesman says he will be here 'demain' what he really means is that 'I will return but dont know when'

Anyhow, I have finally moved in and against all the odds and French tradesmen's Gods everything seems to be working as it should.

At long last I can now stop humping a suitecase back and forth every damn week, providing of course that I can find a decent laundry somewhere locally.


Anyone who has fished an FM event at Clattercote will tell you that it is more about the social side of the day rather than 'bagging-up' (how I hate those words) on the Carp, Bream, Tench and Roach.

For sure, on some very odd, and far inbetween, days this venue will produce - just not when 30 or 40 clodhopping FM'ers have yomped down the boards on the way to their pegs.

So, it was with little confidence that I approached my peg number 22 knowing that all but about 4 or 5 FM'ers would be passing by on their way to the distant pegs.

I had done a little research (and chatted to Neil a few times) so my tactics for the match were to be to fish 3 main lines ; A Method Feeder at distance, an open end feeder at about 25 yards and the back-up line being the waggler (the good old wag and mag approach) at 2 to 3 rod lengths out.

Neil yells for the "All In" (and amazingly enough Mr. Spiller resisted the urge to jump in this year)

Out went the Method Feeder, rod into the rest and I started to make-up the second feeder ready for the re-cast. A few casts later and at 24 minutes into the 'match' the tip goes crashing around and I am into the first Carp of the day, a nice little mirror of about 4 pounds.

Full of the new found confidence that the first fish in a match always brings I recast, and then recast, and then recast; ad nauseum!

Duing this period I had been feeding the waggler line at about 2 rods' lengths with both 2mm pellet and a lot of maggot So, time for a 'waggle' and then another waggle, and another until - you get the picture? Yes, it is called Clattercote!

To cut a long story short, I switched and changed between the 3 lines for most of the match and remained bite-less, until with about an hour to go, and on the waggler rod with 4lb main line and 3lb hook length my (Preston - just had to get the advert in) waggler disappears at a rate of knots, a lift more than a strike is met with unbelievable resistance before the clutch on my 2500 simply screamed. (now had they offered me money I might have said 'my Shimano Stradic 2500 GTM) - but they didn't so they can go whistle)

Now, when attached to a somewhat 'miffed' Carp of approaching double figures in weight, on said tackle, there is little you can do to persuade Mr. Cyprinus Carpio to come and join his mate in your keepnet. Suffice to say that after a pretty long and tiring battle it did eventually grace my landing net. At the weigh in it went 9 pounds 5 ounces.

Well, after that fish had beaten-up my waggler line it was back onto the method feeder line for the rest of the match.

Now, my good firend golden-boll ****. . . at the next peg (Mr. Maidment to you all) had already put 3 Carps into his keepnet, so I needed one more to push him for the points.

Six minutes remaining of the match and the tip goes craching around again, a lift and a decent bend stays in the rod - I've got him (both the fish and old golden balls) but NO! On its first run it breaks the hooklength leaving me with a pretty useless rig, egg all over the mush, and in second place to The Clattercote King.

In all seriousness though, Neil fished a damn tidy match all around and was a worthy winner on the day.

Well done my friend - but next year . . . . . .
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  1. Neil Maidment's Avatar
    It was that first early carp of yours that made me stay on the baggin waggler for so long, completely biteless, but they must be out there!

    A swift change to the method on the same line and hey presto three screamers in a row (I lost the middle one so only had two in the net!) and then nothing, absolutely nothing!

    Glad you didn't mention the odd decent roach I attempted to swing to hand on the pole! But the 4lbs+ tench up in the water was a class act I must admit. What was it Mark W. was twittering about? Lucky or good?
  2. Peter Jacobs's Avatar
    I have to admit it Neil; that 'bionic' Tench on a size 6 elastic was pure 'class'

    And what are a few 'dropped' Roach between friends . . . ?

    Made me smile though . . . .