The Professional Anglers Association provided coaches for the event which lasts 3 days. The Angling Trades Association are the people behind NFM and make it happen, it is also backed by the Environment Agency, Angling Trust and Sport England.
Sports Direct and Dunlop are the sponsors for the PAA and provided funds for the event.
Nash Peg One Consultant Jimmy Coffey decided to go a few days early to get to learn the lake a bit and help the other coaches when they arrived. He arrived the Saturday before the event….now that’s keen!
Ragley lake is rarely fished and the fish aren’t used to angler baits. We all thought a “natural” approach would be best, how wrong we were. Sticky Pellet and Monster Crab Method Mix were definitely the way forward for these ravenous fish. For hook baits maggots, corn, luncheon meat, Monster Crab Pellets, Monster Crab boilies, Monster Squid in any of the colours, they all caught.
Most of the coaches used a match style approach using pole or waggler, catching Roach and Rudd with the odd Carp thrown in for good measure. Jimmy used a more commercial approach with method feeders and I used method on one rod and an out and out carp approach on the other rod with Monster Squid Purple as bait. I also used a fly rod for surface fishing for if I could get the Carp on top.
The guys were spread out along the bank and 3 of us were on a floating pontoon. I chose the far end where I could get along the tree line and reach the far bank in necessary. A short cast of about 25 yards and I was tight under the tree with a Drennan method feeder and sticky pellet with a 6mm Monster Crab pellet baitbanded to the hook. The second rod went to the next tree along the bank at about 60 yards with a combi link and Nash Twister hook.
Unfortunately, by the Sunday the Geese had learned what we were up to and surface fishing became a nightmare. No more fish on the fly L The other issue was the gun dog people letting their dogs in the water where I was fishing, not ideal and certainly disrupted the fishing.
A brilliant weekend and a great start to National Fishing Month.
I had 3 events planned for NFM, 2 at Puddledock Fishery in Upminster and 1 at Chigboro Fishery in Heybridge. I am also the secretary of the Essex County Angling Development Group and we had another 5 events planned, all at Puddledock.
We have now held 2 of mine and the first of ECADGs events. The weather could have been kinder, but the people who have attended have had a fantastic time and all caught plenty of fish. We have had 6 coaches on the bank, 2 of which are youngsters who have recently taken a Level 1 Coaching Qualification and are cutting their teeth as coaches with the guidance of more senior and qualified coaches. They have been exemplary and a credit to themselves with their professionalism.
Nash Peg One have sponsored my events and provided plenty of bait, with groundbaits, pellets, soft hooker squidgy pellets and 10mm boilies leading the way.
A lot of the coaches are more match style anglers and have been coaching pole, whip & waggler, while I have been more one the commercial approach with method feeders being my main attack.
On one feeder I am using the ever productive Fish Frenzy Sticky Pellet with Nash Bait 6mm Scopex Squid pellet on a baitband. On the other rod I have used either Fish Frenzy Method Groundbait or Halibut Method Groundbait with a mixture of hookbaits, corn, 6mm Scopex, 6mm Monster Crab and 8mm Squidgy Pellets in White Chocolate or Monster Crab doing the business.
When we have got the fish on it you can cast out and as you go to put the rod down on the rests it has ripped off, that is the power of the Monster Crab!!
I will update when we get to the end of the events, though in the meantime I have plenty more coaching going on with sessions booked for various Youth Offending Teams and other groups. It’s going to be a great and very busy Summer.