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Matthew Simmons

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Matthew Simmons last won the day on October 8 2015

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About Matthew Simmons

  • Birthday 11/06/1954

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  1. I find artificial corn/maggots/caster work best with some sort of close concentrated feed - either a PVA bag or a method feeder, groundbait feeder or maggot feeder. I use an artificial maggot to supplement real maggots with a maggot feeder on a helicopter rig for tench and I'll make a corn stack with an artificial one at the top - this works with a groundbait feeder for bream or a method feeder for anything. I have used them successfully on both rivers and lakes - rubber caster worked for barbel over a bed of caster and hemp with the same in the feeder - in the days when there actually were barbel in the rivers around here. For me artificials tend to work on a short hooklink and I think this is because they are essentially hoovered up by mistake while the fish are getting stuck into the feed items - so loose feed is too random - I like a pile of it with the artificial in the middle. Hope that helps.
  2. Hemp and Caster is great for legering as well. Simply dropper it in to the swim and then fish with a feeder (with hemp caster mix) over the top. Hookbait can be a rubber caster with 2 to 4 real ones superglued to it or a bit of meat (subject to crayfish activity). Used to work a treat on the Kennet when it had barbel in it.
  3. I think all of those! But mainly flow and oxygen I suspect. All the main suspects feed very early morning in these conditions in my experience - although having said that I understand that they've been taking big bags of bream in the day on the upper Thames when the season opened. My strategy is to leave the rivers for a month or so, apart from the odd bream session at Child Beale in the evening and fish for tench and crucians - even carp (yuk) in my club lakes. If I do fish the rivers it would be with bread for the chub and hemp caster for barbel/roach.
  4. The Shakespeare Mach3 13ft is bang on for about £50on ebay - new. I got one on Tigger's recommendation and it dealt easily with trotting for barbel on the Wye last year as well as trotting for dace and roach on the Thames with a 'pin. Its lightweight and comes in a zip up sleeve so you can keep it set up and ready to go. The other rod to look at is the Drennan MatchPro 13' - its a stepped up version of the Ultralite. You'll find them occasionally on ebay 2nd hand and its more refined than the Shakey but not quite as powerful - better for roach, chub, perch but while it bends alarmingly it dealt with barbel up to 7lbs when the kennet still had any.
  5. Shame - I feel your pain in loosing the trophy, despite the reports in the comics, its not as easy as it appears. Still 9 biteless hours in the sun is better than catching bream I guess! Mind you - a 9 hour golf round - either you loitered outside the halfway house eating bacon sarnies in biblical quantities or you must have posted the highest score ever :-) See you on the Thames some time. I fished south stoke wednesday tea time through till 10pm and had a few nice roach and silver bream but it was hard to get through the small stuff. Lots of surface strikes though, but no interest in liveys.
  6. Distinct lack of 4 lb Crucian pictures from Rusty' Marsh Farm trip. I starting to wonder if he ignored our advice on bait and bagged up on bream. Steve also (generously in my view) recommended any bait, like halibut pellets, that was heavy on fishmeal would guarantee crucians exclusively. I trust Steve's knowledge on this totally and Rusty would have been mad to have ignored it. :-)
  7. Its a tough lake but can be rewarding. There is everything in there especially decent bream and large tench. I think its been patchy this year, and most of the fish have come from the far bank next to the river inlet where the water is deeper. I can't imagine that the bright weather helped the match boys. Alan at Thames Valley Angling will give you latest updates if you go in and buy your bait there - his maggots are very good actually. There is a bar running left to right as you look at the lake from the car park and a 30/40yd cast with a feeder from the point would normally put you on the bream. The river is good there - I've had roach to 2 lbs and bream to a tad under 10 - but I get better results in the autumn.
  8. I look forwards to hearing your results at MF Rusty, and the pictures of double figure Crucians - but don't come crying to me if you bag up on bream because you ignored my advice - generously given I might add!
  9. First session will almost certainly be on Old Father T, but I'll be fishing somewhere where Steve Appleford can't knock a big fish off at the net mate! Probably from a boat at Marsh Lock on Monday evening and I expect to be somewhere near South Stoke on wednesday evening. By the way, did you know Marsh Farm was full of bream these days Rusty? I'm told that the best way of avoiding them is to use a fishmeal-based ground bait and leger red maggot or worm and caster over the top.
  10. Just don't let Keith kick it - you could be back up the M1!
  11. I do enjoy your "few hours out yesterday blogs" Tigger! Nice to see some fish on the bank even if they aren't mine. That rod is highly rated as a specialist river tool - and beyond my pay scale for the success I have for this kind of fishing at the moment. However, I would be blanking in style for sure!
  12. I have 2 ultralites in 13 and 14ft. For canals they'll be perfect and can genuinely support hook-lengths down to 1lb. They will be too light for commercials and bigger stuff - from experience you will struggle to stop carp over 5/6lbs from taking you all over the lake. I also have the stepped up version called Ultralite Matchpro 13' which is a beautiful rod and I use for trotting on the river when I can realistically expect barbel and it deals with them fine. You can get the Matchpro on ebay sometimes. It's not overpowered when catching roach and I have regularly had carp up to 19lbs off my local lake - 5lb line and a 4lb bottom. I did have another Drennan rod, sadly nicked form my garage, Series 7 Competition in 13ft and that would also be ideal for your needs. It was allegedly designed for commercials and is pretty similar to the Matchpro but being series 7 is not quite so refined - again I've taken big carp on it while fishing for whatever has come along. Again ebay. There are a ton of rods out there for what you need and they aren't big money - any medium float rod will do the trick - Korum make a decent range CS series 13ft looks perfect for £50 new.
  13. I'll happily use my old 506's for trotting for most stuff - the line does bed down a bit especially if you pick up a rogue chub. But a clean trot through will sort it. The trick is to find a match spool and/or load the reel with no more than 100yds of line. There's a guy who trots the Kennet and successfully lands barbel using the the larger version, but to me it seems quite heavy to hold all day. I've not tried the new 506, but I'm told it performs well. There's a Ryobi that you can still find on ebay that some people rave about.
  14. Simply doesn't bear thinking about Rusty :-(
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