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Caerphilly Castle makes a stunning backdrop for our day with Lee Edwards.
28 matchﬁshing December ’07
but he didn’t ever take me out. as the local Caerphilly And District AS club ran matches for juniors on this lake. plus assistance from Shimano and Cralusso in internationals Teams: Shimano Team Wales. com.h illy ! t I s Doe We travel to the homeland of Welsh international Lee Edwards. To get me out from under his feet he bought me one of those crappy little 6ft rods and I managed to catch a little perch on 6lb line.indd 2 9/11/07 11:28:23 . mainly sea fishing when the cod came in. Lee! Before we talk about that. I had a gang of mates. and we would all fish here. My dad used to fish a bit. Match Fishing: Congratulations on your individual bronze medal in Hungary this year. however. ANGLER PROFILE Name: Lee Edwards Age: 32 Occupation: Carpenter Sponsors: Preston Innovations and sonubaits. Tel: 02920 885409 Directions: The venue is easy to ﬁnd – it’s right in Caerphilly town centre and well signposted from the A470 December ’07 matchﬁshing 29 P28-32_MF_12_caerphilly. can you start at the beginning and tell us exactly how you got into match ﬁshing? Lee Edwards: I started here. Caerphilly. Preston Innovations Thatchers VENUE PROFILE Name: Caerphilly Castle Lakes Day tickets: Available from Tony’s Tackle. fresh from winning his World Individual bronze medal. actually. That was the start of my fishing! Lee is as well versed with carp on commercials as he is with international methods. to see what makes this rising match star tick.
which helped get me an invite to the trials for the junior Welsh National team. others will ‘hopefully’ do the same for me when I go to theirs. 05 PR24 hooks work well for both silvers and carp. I don’t mind anyone ringing me for advice. When I was 14 I won the first of two back-to-back Welsh Junior Nationals. That was with 35lb of dace on the waggler and I got an award in the weeklies for that. I seemed to win most of the trials but never got asked to fish for the team. Lakes in Tewkesbury the other week and the banter ended up along the lines of: “We’ve all turned into men now. I don’t mind helping out if people ask and I think if I give people info on a venue I know well. Fishing places like the Wye and taking a gallon of maggots was expensive for a young lad. MF Do you still see or ﬁsh with any of the people who ﬁshed those junior matches with you? LE Only a few. It was difficult travelling to those events because I was too young to drive and my Dad never took me. Sadly it doesn’t always work like that! On some venues people really get the hump with anglers giving away the ‘secrets’. 4mm expanders. Hopefully this is the ﬁrst of many medals! 30 matchﬁshing December ’07 P28-32_MF_12_caerphilly. though. and they fish the local matches here at Caerphilly. 03 Soaked Fin Perfect 2mm feed pellets. if you know what I mean? If you know the method is right. I sometimes turn up to fish and get greeted with: “Oh look. you’ve got to stick with it. and I really enjoyed those. give expanders a quick squeeze underwater to ensure they sink. the money’s gone today!” I went with a couple of them to Hillview LEE EDWARDS’ TOP TIPS 01 Dipping your pot in the water helps pellets stick in and not bounce out when shipping. My Uncle Dave used to take me when he went to the Wye and Lugg. but I knew I needed the bait to be able to compete – I had to work a milk round to afford to fish matches.FEATURE LEE EDWARDS Later on the club had five trips a year to the River Wye as well. 02 After hooking. 06 Small balls of Fin Perfect groundbait and brown crumb feed the slider swim. 04 Preston Chiantis for big ﬁsh and Classic 6s for silvers. I felt you had to be a member of the Glamorgan squad to have a chance of getting picked. MF What kind of an angler would you call yourself? LE I’m an all-rounder. and he taught me that you needed to be aggressive with the feed to get past the bleak. so I never really had a chance.indd 3 9/11/07 11:28:45 . casters and corn. Some of them were senior events. but I still fished them and even won one when I was 15. ’cause we’ve all got kids!” It’s good that they turn to me for help with their match fishing. quite positive when I know it’s right.
They gave me plenty of advice in the early days about the way the matches are fished and the parts of it that are different from matches at home. you are going to get fish. Pam. actually told him he had to try me out! My first match was a Six Nations event. Working with experienced international team-mates Darren Frost and Andrew ‘Spud’ Murphy has helped with that aspect.Lee’s worked hard to hone his waggler skills for international events. It helped me realise that you need to really cut down the food value of the groundbait when it’s like that. You don’t want to be fishing with poor-quality bait in such a high-pressure match. In Hungary. because it was hard fishing for roach and skimmers. We use cork dust. in Finland. he is one of the nicest blokes in Welsh fishing. in France I think. and the trips to the Wye. really. Coming here to Caerphilly Castle gives me a chance to work on that. Also. and I beat the Belgian star next to me on both days.indd 4 9/11/07 11:29:47 .” December ’07 matchﬁshing 31 P28-32_MF_12_caerphilly. so having the right stuff to split your joker is just one valuable lesson I’ve learnt. in Finland. When I was younger. We fish the slider on Cardiff East Dock and Port Talbot Dock for skimmers and eels. I know that it was just my day. was good experience for Hungary this year. “If you can drop a ball on top of your ﬂoat every time. Any one of them would have got the team into the medals and could have got me silver. but I also really like fishing the stick float and bolo on rivers. however. but I only scraped in really. His wife. The most important part of the fishing this year was being accurate with the feeding. One of the skimmers I landed was just on when I picked up the rod and I was only 40g ahead of fourth place. Now I’ve had time to think about it clearly. Doug Hornblow rang to offer his congratulations. but I’m comfortable fishing with plenty of weight down the line. It just went on from there and I fished my first World Champs in 2005. you didn’t get a bite – it was as simple as that. From the start. Sometimes you need that weight for control and fishing the slider in those early days. and you just have to accept that what will be will be. Alan Scotthorne. you are going to get ﬁsh. Fishing the slider is another method I enjoy and one that I’ve always had to use. feeding ‘fists’ of groundbait. Now I’ve had the chance to stand next to him and win a medal – but I’d like to win gold now! My ﬁrst World Champs in 2005. but I’ve been doing really well just using double leam (damp leam and grey leam) and a tiny amount of joker. It is great to have my achievement recognised. Clive Roberts and Clive Branson have rung up. if you didn’t land your feed within a metre of your float. helped me learn that lesson. I enjoy fishing the long pole for skimmers. I’ve had plenty of phone calls from some of the past Welsh masters since I got back from Hungary. as you can catch skimmers and some big slabs on the slider at 40 metres. I read the papers every week to see how Alan had done at the weekend. Some of the anglers I fish with don’t have any floats bigger than 2g. so it’s swings and roundabouts. I really thought he was the kind of angler I wanted to be. MF Has being on the international circuit with Shimano Team Wales helped your ﬁshing? LE It was a real eye-opener watching the French and Belgians shipping their poles back – they are so fast! There’s no doubt that the more time you spend in the water. on the second day. the more you catch. I lost a couple of skimmers on the second day and for a while I was suicidal. MF What was the best part of being on the podium this year? LE Standing next to my hero. Eric is convinced you should always feed some groundbait for skimmers. Eric Humphries (Shimano Team Wales’ manager) asked me to fish because I’d been getting in the papers for framing in loads of matches. That was actually good experience for Hungary this year. by the way. I’ve felt at home fishing international matches. Getting the preparation right is as much about being able to cope with the higher standard as it is about sorting out your gear. was one of the best bits. If you can drop a ball on top of your float every time. Tiny things like looking after bloodworm and joker are also important.
we were witness to a proper result: close to 80lb of silvers and carp. It certainly sounds like you have worked hard to get where you are. with the Welsh star getting into a rhythm with roach. Working through the gamut of baits at his disposal it took quite some time to entice a bite. Still. Woodland View is the commercial I fish the most. because you don’t want anything to go wrong. which takes me three hours to get there. the venues come round in cycles.indd 5 9/11/07 11:30:05 .” he observed. where we are today. I won’t go to a match on a Sunday without being ready for it. so you always have some idea about a place. Thankfully.” but once you’ve had to drive halfway across Europe a few times it all seems easy. but they stood no chance alongside the ravenous carp that were hoovering up the pellets. “There used to be loads of these in here.com Fin Perfect Marine Fishmeal groundbait mixed 50/50 with brown crumb.” Hauling his nets out of the water as the sun dipped over the historic Welsh market town. On Valence. Coming back from the Euros this year we stopped off at Lake Como and Lake Garda – it was stunning scenery and makes the drive easier. Lee. It’s brilliant driving back and seeing the sights. To get to Hungary. better skimmers and some tiny perch to remind him of his childhood. “We used to just catch tench on that line. A couple of ‘tincas’ came in the ﬁrst few hours. they only want to eat pellets now. bagging skimmers on the long pole. but they probably get bullied by the carp a bit now. but we still have to drive to some of them. we flew this year. is a 24-hour straight drive. we all fish the slider and the fixed waggler pretty well and the result is now history.18mm (4lb) Korum reel line. Lee began by feeding two lines on the long pole: one at 11 metres straight in front for roach and skimmers. I don’t like to turn up half-cocked. apart from the double-header we fish at Porth Reservoir. often picking up two or three ﬁsh on single corn or a 4mm expander. I spend a lot of time trying to get information. Every 10 minutes he tried the big-ﬁsh line. because there was a European Championship there in 2004 and then there was a team match just a couple of months before the World Champs. and after the first couple of days practice it was obvious that they weren’t coming in on the pole line. we all knew how it had fished recently. I spend as long as it takes to get ready. A 6mm S-Pellet hook bait was successful and a proper old slab was the result. The ﬁrst swim was kicked-off with ﬁve balls of sonubaits. To get the info. MF Was it a surprise that it was actually dominated by rod-and-line ﬁshing this year? LE We’d heard a whisper from Roland Marq (Belgium’s manager) and Bobby about how it was going. People often say to me: “You travel a long way to fish your matches. I was looking forward to it because Darren Frost had told me it would be right up my street. MF Thanks for the insight.FEATURE LEE EDWARDS Wow! The Session MF How much time do you spend on preparation? LE Every Friday and Saturday I spend all day in the garage sorting the gear and bait. but I suppose with all the carp boys ﬁring in ﬁshmeal. it takes me an hour and a half to get there. A smooth swing ﬁred his 12g Perfect waggler out to 40 metres and a ball of groundbait was expertly landed next to its tip. His 13ft Preston Sentient rod was matched to a Shimano Stradic reel loaded with 0. No wonder the locals get scared when Lee comes home! 32 matchﬁshing December ’07 P28-32_MF_12_caerphilly. Before I travel to an international match. We caught them on worms or corn. and we reckon there are deﬁnitely a few more medals in you yet! It’s time to show us what you can do at Caerphilly Castle Lakes. I talk to Eric or Bobby Smithers (from Ireland) – I certainly don’t get anything out of the English! Fortunately. MF How far do you have to drive for your match ﬁshing? LE An average drive at the weekend is three hours to get to and from most venues. Lee proved his versatility with a ﬁne net of ﬁsh caught on a variety of methods. the other alongside the marginal bushes for carp and tench. Winter Leagues and Super Leagues for Thatchers take a similar time. for instance. but since the club stocked some carp it’s become much like any other water. Casters were the bait for the silvers. I have so much gear ready for every eventuality that I don’t have a lot extra to do unless it’s a strange venue – spool up new line on the reels and tie up a load of hooklengths and that’s about it. Once the sun had given way to a matt-grey blanket. Lee decided to pick up his waggler rod to demonstrate his slider skills. The carp and tench swim was fed with a small cup of soaked 2mm Fin Perfect pellets and corn every cast.
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