Sunday, 21 April 2019

Short Pole match Chilton Trinity Woodlands

 Before I start on about the match in the post title I must go back to Thursday when I fished an open at Windmill Fishery. I haven't written a separate blog post on this match as I didn't have the will to write about it, and then things became busy with the bank holiday. I drew peg 11 on the far end bank, and as people will usually tell you it's one of those pegs that's either really good or really crap. With the wind blowing off my bank to the opposite end I was concerned it would be crap and indeed it was! I managed 3 carp on the long pole and hard pellet deep in the first hour, and I lost 3 foulers. After this I never had a bite on the long pole, had 1 carp and one liner on the lead to the island, and then had not a sign for 2 1/2 hours. Managed 2 carp and a big skimmer on the margin to my right next to some reeds late. I enjoyed the sun, the birds and the butterflies, but the fishing was poor at my end, the next two lads up had just a couple of fish and were blanking for 3 hours, and not till you got halfway up the lake did things improve. John Smith won the match with just 54lb, and 34lb was second I think.

Friday had a lovely day at Bath races, continuing my bad draws I never had a winner, luckily my wife had 3 winners and we didn't lose too much money in the end.  Saturday I went for a 6 mile walk with my wife, we took the National Trust Bath Skyline walk, thoroughly recommend it, took us about 3 hours.

Finally Sunday arrived and Glenn Bailey picked me up in the van, it has been a while since we have travelled together after our gear got too big for the cars. We had Mark Jefferies follow us down and we arrived at the fishery in good time. This short pole series is run by the legend Tony Rixon, and today I was standing in for Mike Nicholls so I hoped I could do a good job for him as this was the first match of the series. It was good to see a lot of good friendly faces, young and old no better illustrated than Joe and Martin McMahon lol. I got into the draw queue and was hoping I could get a peg in a corner or with an empty peg next to it as I found in the past these seem to be better in short pole matches here. I drew 24 which was not greeted with much joy, and when I shuffled off to the peg I could see why. It was set back from peg 25 and Dean Malin was on that one, and also peg 23 was in and Martin (Shaun) McMahon was on that one.

I've not fished here for a while but in the past I have found there are three main methods I have done well on, paste, pellet shallow and the margins. With that in mind three rigs did for me for those 3 methods, although I did have a deep rig for pellet too. 16 KKM-B to 0.17 did me for most rigs, heavy as the fish run big here. The maximum you can fish here is top set plus 3 sections, and I plumbed that out straight in front and in the margins I was top set plus two.

My view of the newly landscaped far bank, I had Mark Jefferies opposite me and Tony Rixon was next to him with a couple of empty pegs.

My left hand margin which looked nice above the water, but was a bit deep at 4 feet.

The match began at 10:15 I fed some 6mm pellets on my long line and threw 8mm pellets in the margins. I started on the depth paste rig as I wanted to gauge things, but expected to go shallow soon. After 10 minutes I had a couple of sideways movements and picked up the shallow rig, both Dean and Martin had started shallow and soon enough Dean nailed one. I also was into a carp shallow quickly, but after this it took an age to get another. I was feeding 6mm pellets and altering a 6mm or 8mm in the band. After an hour I was on 2, Dean on 4 and Martin on zero.

I kept trying shallow, slapping, feeding, all the usual tricks, but there were no fish there it seemed, and I was frustrated at being so far short of Dean who looked to be fishing nearly 3m further out than me. I tried feeding a decent pot of pellets long again and tried with the deep pellet rig, it did work in as much as I caught a 6lb carp and lost a fouler but the float was still and no liners also proved that no fish were in the area. I went back shallow as Dean had another and eventually Martin had one shallow. More thrashing, and slapping the long line shallow rig, but it was tough and the middle part of the match was even tougher. I tried soft pellet deep and had two small skimmers, whilst doing this I saw a carp which looked muggable, I risked it and swung the soft pellet at it, luckily I got it spot on and the carp grabbed it before the bulk cut in. A nice fish nearly 9lb. All thoughts of winning any money were gone, Dean was kicking my ass, Tony Rixon had a lot of fish, but Joe McMahon on 6 was emptying it.

I never mugged another fish but I did have a very near miss later on, but it was just a case of changing resting and out of the blue get one. The margins were no good, all I had were a 3lb bream and a 1 1/2lb skimmer from there. F1's were spawning in the margins on and off during the match. Dean was well ahead of me, and whilst never bagging he just managed to get the odd carp shallow, though he too never caught in his margins. When the match finished I had 7 carp  and about 5lb of silvers, Martin had 6 carp I think, and Dean said he had 14, but maybe more. My only hope of some coin was getting the section by default if Dean framed, but Russ Peck had 6 or 7 carp and said one was a beast. We had to wait a long time for the scales as they started at peg 28 (Glenn) and go left.

When the scales got to me Russ had 55lb 13oz and Martin had 41lb, I had 50lb as my estimate. My silvers went 5lb+ and my carp 50lb+ to end with 56lb 7oz. Dean then smashed us all up with over 130lb and that got him second in the match and I got the section money.

Joe McMahon did win the match comfortably with I think 240lb, and Dave Lewis won the silvers with 31lb of skimmers on worm. Full results on Tony's blog.

Glenn also managed a default section win (Vince Shipp won his section with 128lb and came 3rd) so the van had a mini double bubble.

It was a lovely hot day today, plenty of wildlife down here, lesser whitethroats, cettis warblers as well as more common heron and swallows. Despite the tough fishing I enjoyed it and Martin and Dean were great company and I laughed more times than the float went under lol!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Hillview Fishery Open

Had a weekend off fishing last week, spent a good few hours making up rigs and tying some hooks. Hopefully the preparation will pay off at some stage. Wasn't really sure where to go, wasn't fishing in either of the spring series that started today (Viaduct individual, and K&A Canal teams), so opted for a trip back up to Hillview near Teweksbury.

When I got to the venue I saw a couple of familiar faces, Martin Reyat and Joe McMahon, two of Bristol's finest commercial anglers. I grabbed a sausage sandwich from Keith and bought a couple of bags of fishery pellets. Keith decided to put it to a vote of the 18 anglers fishing whether we went on the canals or the lakes. I like the canals, but the majority voted for lakes so 9 on each. With the wind blowing easterly and bloody cold too, I wasn't sure what would be a good peg to draw, though I did fancy one of the 12 end / corner pegs, but I drew a middle peg 7, right opposite the island on Moorhen. Martin and Joe were both on Heron, opposite ends and on corner pegs. A quick look at yesterday's result and 70lb had come off my peg, with 127lb coming off peg 5.

What to fish and what to set up today, I decided to not set up a lead rod or waggler to the island, with over 100lb probably required I thought pole close in would be best (many of the locals here set up topset plus one and that's as far as they go!). I started plumbing up the margins which were deep and sloping off, though I thought that might be OK with the weather being cold. A 4x10 with 0.15 to 16 PR456 would do, I had a margin left and right on topset plus one. Then a meat rig for top set plus one, it was at least 4 feet here, 16 PR456 to 0.15. Finally a 4x16 F1 pellet for fishing at topset plus two, with 16PR512 to 0.13. I did consider a shallow rig but the wind would make presentation difficult so didn't bother.

When we started at 10:30 I fed some micros in both margins, and fed some micro and 4mm pellet at topset plus two. I was expecting a quick bite here but it took a little longer than I thought and then I missed it, and the next one. I was using the Sonubaits pro expander pellets, 6mm, and these are a lovely soft pellet that don't need to be pumped. All I do is put some in a bag the night before and just cover them with water and leave in the fridge, next day they are perfect. Eventually I hooked a bite on the expander, and I was a little surprised when a 3lb carp popped up and not an F1. It was difficult on this line really, struggling to hit bites for some reason, meanwhile the guy to my right was catching well. I did catch another couple of carp and F1 but then it was just the odd small skimmer. A quick look in the margins was fruitless, though the guy to my left had started in his margin and had the odd F1. Not much was being caught at this stage on my lake other than th guy to my right.

Going back out on the long pellet line it was a couple more F1's then no bites and just a little skimmer. I had to change something, so I got another section of pole and plumbed up further out, it was about 6" deeper here. I started by feeding very frugally with just ten 4mm pellets in a pole pot. It was a good move as I had a small carp and then an F1, and I was getting bites again, though some were definitely liners. However, just as before as I thought things would be better the bites dried up. I decided to feed heavier now with 4mm pellets and try to get some carp as these seemed to be feeding as well as the F1's. A quick look in the margins for nothing before going back out. I had a carp of 4lb almost straight away, then lost a fouler. I then had an F1 which had to be 5lb that fought like a devil, in fact in trying to scoop at it the top section of my landing pole came off! It was starting to sink and with the remaining landing net in my hand I managed to get the net and pull it to the margin. I got off my box and grabbed it put it back together and thankfully netted the F1.  Not long after this I hooked my keepnet, and when I finally got the hook out I sat back down and snapped the topset. What a twat!  I had a couple more carp and F1 before it was a chublet and tiny skimmers. A bit more bait this time did not work.

I finally had a fish in the LH margin, a 2lb F1, lost a fouler, missed a bite and hooked a snag. RH margin no good. Either side were both catching in their margins and I was frustrated by this and thought I was getting bashed up. With two hours to go I had a look on the topset plus one meat line, only a couple of skimmers initially. I then went long down my LH margin and fed a big pot of corn as shit or bust line. This produced a bite and a 7lb carp first try, and then one fouler and that was it. My short LH margin only gave me  scabby big skimmer.

In the end I sat on the meat rig and though it was slow I did have 5 carp and a F1 on this, also had a couple of roach and skimmers.

Match over  and I was pretty sure once again I was trounced by the locals, I had even given up on the clicker so had no clue what I had, Martin said he had 64lb on his clicker, I had 56lb.  As it turned out I had greatly under estimated the weight of the fish, and I weighed 84lb, that beat the guy on peg 5 by 1lb, but on my right he had done well and had 110lb, a lot of F1's and some decent carp. That guy won the section money with that weight. I think the peg behind me on Heron won the match with 118lb, he caught in close mainly in the second half of the match on either pellet or corn. Martin had 74lb next to him but hardly caught in close. Joe had the best of the Bristol weights with 91lb, but he also missed out on the coin as there was a 113lb in his section.

It was bloody freezing today, I had the thermals on again but still felt cold at the end. I enjoyed the day but am still a long way off sorting the place out, it was strange today I caught more carp than F1's, and was only 5 carp off the money just wish I could have sorted the margins, must try harder!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Windmill Fishery Open

You may have noticed the lack of blog last week, this was due to me feeling unwell and I had no energy to do anything. During this week I have felt better but have had some poor sleep for some reason. However, I was going fishing Sunday but had to decide where, with the one less hour in bed and my lack of sleep I decided to stay local and get as much sleep as possible lol.

After spending Saturday in just my Rovers top enjoying the sun it was back to thermals for Sunday. The weather had changed as forecast and the wind was a cold one from the East I think. I got to Wetherspoons just after eight, it was empty bar one other person, clearly the hour less in bed had kept the alcoholics away lol. After I scoffed everything I was swiftly off to Windmill Fishery and was there by 8:45, fifteen minutes before the draw. I paid Dave Haines (now retired) my pools money and tried to glean some knowledge from the regulars. Paul Elmes who won here last week on peg 23, Shaun Townsend and Dave Wilmott were all fishing, so that was three flyers gone. There was about 14 people fishing and I drew about halfway, I pulled out peg 5 one I have drawn before. Dave Wilmott said to me he did not fancy it and said I'd do well to frame from there. I then realised Dave had drawn 23 and Paul had drawn 24! With Towner on that side of the island  on 20 it was already looking like being very tough to get in the top 3.

Got to my peg and on peg 7 was Tom Baker who fishes this venue quite a bit, and on peg 3 was jovial Chris Davis who didn't disappoint and got a few jokes in to make me laugh. Chris had over 100lb on peg 6 last week, but I thought the weights might be lower this week with colder and windier weather. I surveyed my peg, the far bank here is a good 16m away, but I didn't intend to go right in tight as it is very shallow. I instead looked for 2 feet of water which I found about a metre off the bank.

As you can see from the photo as per usual the wind was light before the match began! I set up a 4x10 with 0.15 to 18KKM-B for fishing banded pellet. I also set up a .4g float for fishing in the deep water at top set plus one and across at 13m in the same depth.... never had a bite in the deep water. Finally had a 4X12 set up for fishing in the margin where it was a bit deeper at 3 feet close to my right, and further away the 2 feet rig was the same depth.

We started at 10:15 and as normal the wind increased and it was going to be a pain. Chris started in his right hand margin and caught a few small carp quite quickly, I could also see Towner striking regularly, whereas I was sat like a gnome without a sign. It took me 40 minutes to get a bite and then I hooked 4 carp quite quickly and landed 3 biggest about 6lb. I had been toss potting in 4mm pellets and feeding occasionally with a catapult. It went quiet again and I had to wait a long time for another bite. I tried my margin early but unlike Chris I had nothing, and Chris had also dried up, but with wind being bad he stayed short whilst I persisted mainly long. About now 6 swallows flew by the lake, that's the first ones I have seen this year.

After about 3 hours I was on about 6 carp and 2 skimmers, but I was a long way behind the leaders I felt. I decided to have a change tactics. I changed the 4x12 rig to 0.11 to 18 PR412 hooklength and found 3 foot of depth across, so came further back from the far bank. The bottom here is just a slope, so when you find the depth you have to mark / remember where it is otherwise your hook bait can either be well on or off the bottom. The change of tactics was to try to catch some more skimmers as I felt my only chance of getting some money back was to win the silvers. I went in to winter mode and fed just micros via a toss pot, I was still fishing at 14.5m so it was still hard graft in the wind. I had a 6oz skimmer straight off, then a couple of 1lb carp, so at least the change was working. I was feeding very cautiously trying to prevent the carp from coming in, but after a short run of skimmers the swim died and feeding small amounts was not working, so I fed a full toss pot. This brought me a carp straight away and then another, but then a 1lb skimmer. For the remainder of the match it was just a case of working out what to feed and when. I had a bad 5th hour but then the last hour improved and a few more skimmers and small carp showed. I lost a few foulers, but there were never many fish in the swim today (they were all up at the end of the lake!) and that's perhaps why the skimmers kept coming back.

When the match finished Chris had already packed up and gone, from the banter I could tell it was close between Paul, Towner and Dave, I just hoped I had done enough on the silvers but knew that Dave Haines and Andy Gard would have both targeted them. Luckily my silvers weight of 12lb 11oz was enough to win the silvers, with Andy coming second with 10lb. My carp weighed 44lb 12oz so I ended with 57lb 7oz. Thanks for the photo Mike Staite.

The top three in the end were...

1st Paul Elmes 113lb 5oz (carp on waggler and short pole)
2nd Dave Wilmott 108lb (carp on Sonubaits Banoffee meat! in the margins)
3rd Shaun Townsend 104lb 3oz (carp over on pellet and in his margin on meat)

After the match it was back to the Folly pub where Paul and Dave bought the beers, nice one gents. A good end to the day and it was nice to be in the warm and have a few laughs. I'll have to fish on Saturday next week, where though I do not know just yet.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Hill View Fishery Open

Travelled back up here again as I been working most of the week in Munich and I didn't need to do that much prep for the match.

There were 24 people fishing today and with a club match on the back two canals this match would be on the lakes with 5 people on the first canal. I really wanted to draw one of the lakes as these are usually best for big weights with the larger carp. There were a few lads up from Bristol with Jack Jones back for another crack, as well as Aaron Britnell and Mat Sheppard. When the draw was done I was the only Bristolian on the canal, ah well, peg 48 smack bang in the middle.

As you can see from the picture I took the canals have a serious trim on the far bank.

Having not fished on the canal for a while I was hoping I could catch a few and not get battered by the locals. Bait wise I had decided after last week not to take any maggots as the small fish were all that really ate them. So it was a simple bait tray, micros, 4mm pellets, corn and some soft pellets for the hook. Rig wise I was covering my options, a 4x10 for left and right margins, and across. A 4x12 F1 pellet for topset plus one, and a 4x14 for the middle. All rigs had 0.11 powerline to 16 PR512.

We started at 10:30 and I started down the middle, but this was a waste of time as I only had one skimmer. Already the lad on the right hand end of the canal on peg 53 was catching F1's well. I came in on the top set plus one line and finally caught an F1. I caught about 10 of them over the next hour when this then went dead. The middle was still rubbish and bar another tiny skimmer it was no good all match. I tried the margins and managed one F1 out of the left side, bit early I guess. I didn't really want to go right across as the wind was nasty again, so went back on the topset plus one line again. This needed a bit of nurturing but I started get the odd F1 again before once again they cleared off. I looked around the area but no signs.

The lad on 53 had slowed up after catching well in the first 2 hours (he said he thought he had 40lb) but I wasn't setting any fires alight myself now, but I could get the odd F1 in the margin, usually first time I put the rig in after resting it, and that would be it. I had to try across and so fed a little bit of micro via a toss pot and gave it a go. It was tricky but I got a couple of F1's then fouled a carp mid water (that happens a lot on here I recall!) which snapped me up when it got to the aerator. Another hooklength on and a couple more F1's before this had to be rested. This was the pattern of the day, catch a few rest it, go somewhere else, but as the match went on it just got harder and harder for everyone on the canal except for the guy to my right. He had only had 3 fish in the first 3 hours but was now catching carp down his margins, he fouled a few and got a ghostie out that was about 8lb.

I fouled another carp across, but despite it being hooked in the tail this one stayed on and it was about 5lb. For the last hour all I had was odd bites in the margin from mainly F1's and one small carp. I hooked one just before the whistle but after a few seconds it came off, whilst the guy on 53 landed an F1 just before the end.

The scales got to me fairly soon after the match had ended, the first two lads on the canal had low 30lb weights, and my nets went 63lb, so again a decent day's fishing. The guy to my right had 60lb after his late sacking with a lot on paste, and Jake on 53 did me for the section with 66lb. Oh well close again but no cigar.  I wonder if me not having maggots was a mistake, but the lad to my left fished them at 5m and struggled. Still lots to learn about this F1 lark, but it is fun fishing. The match was won by Nigel on peg 37 on Heron with 119lb on paste all close in.

Well spring is still not here, bit blustery and cold, and I didn't feel that special with a bit of sore throat and a cold it seems, urggh.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Open match Hillview Fishery

Not been here for far too long, don't know why I keep saying this as I rate this fishery highly as it usually guarantees bites. I was going to meet up with Jack Jones, Mike Nicholls and Geoff Francis . However, Mike text me early to say he and Geoff were not going as it was too windy. I did question my sanity as I loaded up the car.

The drive up on the morning was all good and the further North I drove the less windy it seemed to get. Arriving at the fishery the wind was certainly not to bad at all, but it was forecast to get better. I said hello to the owner Keith and had one of his breakfasts which would keep me going all day. There was a fair bit of debate about what to peg to avoid the wind, but I didn't think that was possible. With only 12 brave (or foolish) anglers turned up Keith decided to put 6 anglers on each lake. I was last but one to draw and pulled out 22 on Heron, this was on the car park bank and meant the wind was off my back, yay. That said none of the locals gave me any rave reviews about it, most saying its shallow and a good simmer peg, hmmm. Aaron Britnell had fished here yesterday, and he had 47lb off the same peg, he gave me a few pointers over facebook messenger.

The wind was much worse as you went down the lake, and I was happy to get the pole out. I plumbed up to find the contours / depth, and went for a line at 10m and another at 11.5. The depth was the same on these two lines and a 4x16 F1 pellet wire stem was used, with a 16 PR412 to 0.11 powerline. Another rig was set up same float but in a 4x12, this was to be fished about 3m out from my bank as I felt right in the margin was too shallow. I did also set up a maggot feeder.

The match began at 10:30 and I shipped out to 10m and toss potted in some fishery micro pellets. I fed some maggots on the closer line and would leave the 11.5m line for a while. I slipped a 4mm Sonubait expander pellet on the hook and didn't have to wait long for a bite, first fish was a fantail. Next drop an F1, then a 3lb carp. I took another few fish but after 30 mins this line was dead and my early lead was gone when a couple of lads caught a few carp on the maggot feeder. I had to give it a go but three casts on the hour and no indications, and at the same time the others seemed to dry up too. I could see carp rolling virtually all day further up the lake, and I feared that they had followed the wind.

I went back to the 10m line and managed to get the odd bite again, F1's and the odd hand size skimmer. I was lucky as the wind was worsening and one guy had his spare keepnet blown in, and another had his trolley blown along the bank and nearly went in! My 10m line all of a sudden was consistent and I was getting regular bites and was lining up a few F1's including a couple of 4lbers. It was all going well but when it did slow I tried the 11.5m line where I had fed some corn, but all I caught here were two roach all match. The middle of match was really enjoyable and I thought if kept this up I'd do a really good weight. Probably with about 1 hr and 45 mins to go the 10m line went weird, I struggled to get bites and when I did I could not hit a bite! I also lost a big F1 which managed to get in between my keepnets. I tried the maggot line but it was full of roach and rudd, so I dumped a big pot of maggots in and left it for a bit.

Whilst I was now struggling the lad up from me on the left hand bank was now bagging in his margin catching carp and F1, and the guy behind him on Moorhen was catching well too. I was frustrated by my slow catch rate, but finally with about 25 mins to go I had a decent fish on maggot in close, a bream of about 3 1/2lb. That was followed by a F1, a carp and another F1 landed after the whistle.

I was sure I would be an also ran but never the less I had caught plenty of fish and more than I thought I was going to if I'm honest. I weighed in just under 88lb which I was well chuffed with, this put me fourth. I don't know the exact weights / names of framers as everyone was paid on the bank and we all shot off when a storm arrived. 110lb won from peg 5 on Moorhen, corn in margin. The lad on my lake had 101lb on pellet in the margin (he told me he lost 7 carp too). There was a 90lb on Moorhen and then it was me. Considering I don't do F1 fishing I was pleased with the day, for sure there was probably more to be caught, I think I was to negative with the margin and should have put some corn in at least one side. Still happy enough and I just need more practice!

The drive back home was interesting to say the least. The rain began falling as sleet and the temperature dropped rapidly. The motorway traffic became very slow and I assumed the storm was causing this, but what it turned out to be was snow! Just before Cheltenham the temperature was down to 0.5C on my car and it was snowing and the road was thick with it and some of the fields were all white. It was an amazing change, and I was glad when I got through it and got home.