Sunday, 10 September 2017

Commercial House Round 1 - Bristol Avon Swineford to Frys

A busy week this week, got to see England football team play at Wembley, spent a couple of days working in Northern Ireland and then spent Friday travelling to and from Plymouth taking my eldest daughter back to Uni. I also had to peg out a section at Jack Whites, and this was not at all straight forward due to a boat moored in the steps peg and a high tide to contend with. I did my best to give anglers pegs that they could fish from with the tide.

Sunday morning arrived and I checked to see if the moored boat had gone, but alas no, so had to peg around it. Then onto the Crown in Keynsham for an OK breakfast and the draw. Now normally I am given a peg at the Crane, and whilst my first choice is always Swineford I would take the Crane today and hope to avoid the tidal sections at Jackies and Frys. However, Mark Harper had other ideas and drew me at Jackies. We had peg 9 and that meant the end peg, so I was more than happy with the peg and would have to try to beat the dace pegs up in the shallows. I decided to attack the peg with rods only and left the pole in the car and made the walk across the field.

I got to the peg after a nice walk and as I remembered it was a steep peg ravaged by dogs and so it would need some serious digging out first. Thankfully Mark had lent me a spade so I was able to make a good job of it after 15 minutes. This picture doesn't do the steep bank justice.

Sweating like a pig I now had to think about setting up and I was going down the crowquill route, a 12BB float was set up, but I soon changed that to 14BB as the wind was horrendous blowing downstream. An 18 to 0.12 was I thought right for the fishing today. I set up a waggler and a feeder too. I took my box and other stuff down the peg and got as comfy as I could, I Was about 3 foot off the water but with the tide coming up by at least 2 foot I was going to stay where I was.

When the match began at 11pm the river was still rising and it did so for nearly 45 minutes. I tried fishing a maggot feeder across to the trees but this was a waste with no bites at all. I did take 4 perch on a lobworm tail cast randomly round the peg. Then as the river started to drop I threw in 5 balls of gbait and went over the top with the crowquill with double maggot on the hook. I had a few bites almost straight away and had a couple of dace and a perch, then a couple of chublets. I threw a small ball of gbait in about every 4 runs down and it was proving successful with bites coming straight away and all down the peg. The wind was an absolute nightmare, but even with a bow in the line I could get bites. I spent about 90 minutes putting fish in the net fairly regularly, and they were decent size.

With about 2 hours to go the peg went from regular bites to a real struggle, I could hardly get a bite. I tried loose feeding a bit of bait, reduced hook and line size but all to no avail. Two hours to go I reballed it and added a bit of worm for good measure. It did not work at all, and with 90 mins to go I was in trouble as I needed to get bites regularly on the float but now I could not get any. I went for a quick walk and my worst fears were confirmed with Nicky Johns getting one a bung above me and Jeff Surmon getting a few too. I thought I only had 5lb at most and that would be probably last in section. I spent most of the last hour on the feeder looking for a bonus bream, but I had 2 perch and a roach and that was it. I was gutted.

Packing up I was quite down, I had expected to catch at least 10lb off this peg today, if not more. I could not believe that being on an end peg the bites dried up, maybe I pushed the peg too hard, but I expected a lot more and when I did catch I caught really well.

The scales were going to be unkind to me, and so it proved, with my lowly 6lb 12oz beating only one angler in the A div and a couple of B div anglers. Nicky Johns on the peg above me caught small roach all day on the crowquill and won the section with a high 11lb, well done. He balled it and loosefed over the top.

On the overall stakes today the match was won by Glenn Calvert on peg 3 at Swineford with 21lb of bream and skimmers. Liam Braddell was on peg 15 at Swineford and had a good 18lb for second. Clive Branson on peg 2 at Swineford had 15lb of bits for 3rd and young Andy Cranston was last in the frame with a high 14lb from just above the bay at the Crane.

Thatchers B won the A dive and my Thatchers A were second. Maver Cadbury won the B div today.

The river fished OK but it did not hit the heavy heights of previous years, I feel it is still to clear and the rain we've had has done nothing. I cannot fish the next round as I'll be in the sun, so no blog now for a few weeks.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Turner 400 River Thames

What happened to August? That month seem to fly by, it was a busy month but September looks just as busy. I was asked if I was available to fish a couple of matches on the Thames, only this Sunday was free so happy to fish in the Thatchers team for the Turner 400 fished around Clanfield and Radcot areas. It was going to be an early start as I had to be at the Swan at Radcot for 7:30am, so alarm was set for 5:30am. I had fished this part of the river once before, that day I drew at Radcot by the pub so I had not really seen the rest of the river. We had two teams in today, A team was Lee Trivett, Andy Ottaway, James Carty and Tom Morreti. B team was Ian Pauley, Luke Sorokin, Andy Cranston and myself.

The draw took a while as there were 30 teams fishing today, and Ian came back with our pegs telling me I had an end peg. I was at Rushey, one above the bridge above the Trout inn. I remembered people saying you could see a lot of chub from the pub as they knew they were safe and couldn't be caught. I followed Tom to the river as he was up the top of my section and I found I could park right behind my peg, nice! The river here is not that wide some pegs just 12m, others about 25m and some are absolutely feature ridden. My peg looked OK but I was feeling very optimistic having a nice long run.

There seemed to be a bit of flow in close to 2/3 over, the river was clear when you looked in close  (aren't they all) but also seemed to be a a bit of a blue /green colour, not sure if it was algae or my eyes. It was only shallow here, no more than 6ft at most. I set up a few options today, a 4m for fishing to hand, a 0.5g rig with a bulk and droppers, and a 4x14 strung out rig, both with 22 to 0.08 and and for fishing at 10m. A 3g flat float for fishing worm down the peg and lastly a 2 1/2 AAA waggler.

The match stated at 10:30 and it was already raining by now and the wind had also picked up and was gusting downstream after being flat calm. I cupped four balls of gbait in at 10m, two balls at 5m and began on the 10m line looking for roach on the caster. The first four attempts were thwarted by minnows which held the float up, so I pushed the bulk down. I had some quick bites but did not connected and suspected minnows, but after 15 mins I finally had a proper bite and netted a 6oz roach. I would be happy catching that stamp of fish and was hoping for a few more, but alas I was not to see another roach for a few hours. All I could muster on the long pole was a bleak, three gudgeon and a chublet. I dropped in on the short line with the whip looking for gudge, nothing other than the odd hold up from minnows.

A poor start, and whilst I had been fishing the pole I had been feeding hemp on it, and feeding a few maggots across and down the peg for the waggler. Out on the waggler and I fished it a foot off bottom with 3 no10 shot down the line. Thirty minutes on this yielded two chublets, a tiny dace and a couple of minnows. The next couple of hours were piss poor, I couldn't any bites bar the odd minnow bite but did manage two small perch on the wag. With about 2 hours to go I cupped in 5 balls of gbait stuffed with hemp, caster and worms hoping for a bonus, though my worm line had not produced a sign. I let it settle and then tried the waggler casting tight across into the dead water, I had a couple of small fish here but was going nowhere. I began to feed a whole pouch of maggots down the peg in the hope of waking some chub / draw them up from the bridge. I had to gamble as I had so little in the net.

Trying the pole with the bulk rig overdepth, I eased various hook baits down the peg which got me a 4oz perch, but when I tried the light rig with just less than hour to go I hooked a roach, which I pike grabbed. I held on and it let go and a 4oz roach was in the net. I took another two roach in 15 mins but again that was my lot.

Last 30 mins on the waggler and nothing doing, but then I spotted a few top a long way down the peg, I took the waggler off and put on a 5AAA model. I cast it as far down the peg as I could and with double maggot on the hook I had 3 chublets in my last 3 casts though one was nicked by a pike. Should I have done that earlier or was it the time of day? Forty five minutes later after packing up and chatting to Tom (who had already weighed in) we noticed that chublets started topping down where I caught them late.

Tom had done well catching nearly 7lb of perch on worm and would do well with that. When the scales got to the straight I was on the weights were poor, I think I beat the 6 lads above me, and I only weighed in 3lb 8oz. Shocking. I beat 15 anglers with that weight in the section, most of those were my side of the bridge as below it I was told most people had 5lb+.

Back at the results and all of the team had done average, with 4lb weights and no one getting on a shoal of fish. Talking to a very good local angler he told me how he would have fished my peg, and it was virtually how I did today, he also said the 3 or 4 pegs above me can be very good and this match last year produced well, they were probably some of the worst pegs today though. I waited around for a while but the results it seemed were going to be late, so I shot off and it seems the rest of the team did too as we knew we would not do any good today. As it turned out both teams were divided by just the 1 point, and we finished in about 13th / 14th place.

Cold, wet and hungry I was glad to be home and tuck into a roast made by my lovely wife.

Busy week now, London tomorrow, Northern Ireland Tues to Thursday, Plymouth Friday and then it is the weekend again lol! Commercial House next Sunday, glad to be back close to home, I really think I am due a decent draw on the river.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Tony Rixon Float Only - Viaduct Fishery

Not fishing related but I managed to cycle to and from work a couple times last week, I have done this because my weekly football has stopped due to the all weather pitch being destroyed as it was part of the old Grange school. I'm 49 next month and keeping relatively fit is something I try to do, it helps prepare me for the river walks too lol.

Mike Nicholls had asked me to stand in for him this round, and I was happy to help out although he was not doing any good in the league it would help Tony keep the numbers up. Glenn arrived about 7:25 and we proceeded to squeeze the gear into the car, and I managed to drop my mobile phone and watched slip through the slit in the drain in the road. Luckily the drain was full of dirt and not water and we managed to lift up the iron and retrieve it, phew! On to Canards Well for a breakfast which I enjoyed, there were a few other lads in there and Martin and Joe McMahon blocked most of their cars in with their van.

Arrived at the fishery and plenty of time to unload the car, once again I was without a shuttle as it won't fit in the car. It was good to see Robin Guy who I have not see for quite a while, he was fishing an open on Lodge. It wasn't long before we were queueing for the draw and I was fairly in the queue and soon into the coffee tin, I was disappointed to see peg 94 on Carey as I felt a draw on Campbell was required for framing. It is not a peg I have drawn before, but Glenn has three times and said he didn't like it. Glenn zoomed off to 115 on Campbell leaving me to stagger to my peg with my gear, though thanks to Bela and his young travelling partner Joe who also took some kit for me and I got there in one journey. The pegging was tight today but I had a bit of room as I have a corner to fish to, but it would probably be all or nothing depending if the carp were in the area or not. I though my section went to my left, where Dave Evans (I think I got the right one) was on 95. Mr Rixon was on 96 and Dan White on 97. However, my section went from Dave round to 86, where Craig Edmunds was sat, bugger.

It was going to be a hot and sunny day, and as you can see from the picture flat calm, opposite on 90 was Glenn Calvert, and young Joe was next to him on 88.

I decided I wasn't going to take on the 16m shallow anglers at there game, plus my arms won't take it as my tendons are still painful. I set up a paste rig for 5m and one for 13m, a shallow waggler for casting around the peg and over to the pallet on the end bank. I set up a mugging rig and a 4x12 rig for fishing hard pellet at 14m to might in the margin. It was very deep in the margin, 3 foot but I could not get in tight as there were lots of over hanging branches etc, but I thought with it being shady it could be good. See picture of the margin.

When the all in was shouted I fed my two paste lines and fed a few 8mm pellets in the margin and to the end bank for the wag. I dropped in at 5m with the paste looking for a mug fish, but there was no fizz and no sign and then I saw a carp so went out with mugging rig. I didn't get the carp I saw, but another came into view and I nailed this one, a nice start and 8lb in the net. I couldn't see any other carp after this and then noticed the 13m line was fizzing, so out with the paste rig. The rig sat motionless for 5 mins whilst there was a bit fizz going on, then a proper bite and carp on. It was a another mirror of around 7lb this time. Next drop and another wait then another carp hooked, but this one came off after a minute, it didn't feel fouled. A skimmer and then a wait and another carp hooked and it felt a good un.... But we shall never know as my elastic snapped, bad angling there as it was obviously weak but I did not check it. Sadly that was the end of my paste line for carp, never saw or hooked another carp here all day.

Next plan was to try the waggler, and I gave this 30 minutes, casting to the platform and to the open water. I had one bite next to the platform which I missed and that was it. I tried the paste, the margin and the waggler but all were rubbish, I had some skimmers on the paste line and that was it. With 2 hours to go and only two carp in the net things were not good and Trig was easily winning our section. I went into the margin again with an 8mm pellet, and I had an indication as soon as the rig was in position, and soon after had another bite and hooked a carp, got this one out without too much trouble as was only about 6lb. It was difficult to feed the swim due to all the branches and I had to lean out to feed with a catty, I did put a toss pot on too to try to get a few pellets close to the hook bait. Anyway next drop in and another carp on and this one was probably 10lb, a lovely looking fat common. I took another two carp in as many drops and all of a sudden I was thinking if this carries on I might be able to get a ton. Of course it slowed right down, and when I had a tench and a skimmer it was plain to see the carp were gone.

I tried all the other lines to rest the margin, but nothing was doing, so I decided to stick it out in the margin. I did manage two or three more carp, another tench, a lovely 2lb hybrid and a skimmer. I also managed to pull out 4 branches and carious twigs. I also pulled out of 3 carp, which I was sure had now come off bottom and were probably fouled. The last one swam out of the corner, and then despite my best effort swam back into the corner. It got round some snags but was still on, I managed to get it free and then it came off and a twig was attached to the hook instead. That was literally just before the all out and the rig was resembling a pigs tail and it was match over.

When the scales came up I saw that Tony had 75lb and Dave 28lb, my turn next, and my silvers went just under 15lb and my carp 69lb, so 84lb+. That was top in the section until Trig weighed in 140lb+ so no coin for me today.

Campbell had fished very well today and there were weights all around the lake, I believe the top three were Shaun Townsend 217lb (peg 125), Tom Magnal 216lb (121), Dave White 185lb (135).

Shawn Kitteridge won the silvers with about 34lb from peg 119.

Congratulations to Craig Edmunds for winning the league for the third year on the trot, and bad luck to Tom Magnall who came 2nd having 6 section wins but missing out on weight.

Full results are on Tony's blog.

A tough but enjoyable day, and Glenn managed to win his section on Campbell. Not sure what I am doing next Sunday, might be on the Thames.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Super League Final Round - Bristol Avon Newbridge

Two weekends without fishing passed quite quickly, I had enjoyed some quality time with the family and even managed to get some sunburn by the sea.

This final round was a bit tense for my team, were in second place in the league just a few points ahead of Lobby's, and desperate to hang onto second place, winning was not possible as DGL had pissed it already. Saturday morning I spent preparing and checking I had everything ready, Saturday afternoon was spent with Glenn and Mike in the pub whilst keeping up with the Gas score.

It was a nice start to the day on Sunday weather wise although rain was forecast later. I decided to try the breakfast at the Riverside where the draw was, it was a help yourself affair today and so I had my fivers worth, and it was not bad I thought. Team member began arriving, some looking very tired after their exploits the day before on the National where Thatchers came 20th out of 49. It was decided that I should do the team draw, well that was not much of a change, and also it was no change when I drew the same peg the team had last week! They came 2nd off it last week, but there were some tough pegs I thought and no real fliers, at least given the conditions. I had put myself on peg 84, and that is an area that I would always say is useless, but last week that area fished well so I was happy enough.

I got to the rugby club and parked up and was soon on pushing my trolley up the path, I passed some nice pegs that I would have fancied, and some I would not. Lance Tucker was on 88 and his peg had won the section the week before ( a surprise to me as again I think its crap) then I guessed / worked out where 84 was, with the next peg number being 79 above me I had a lot of room. As you can see my view from the top of the bank, from where I had to fish, there was a nice willow tree right next to me on the left which I hoped would hold some fish.

The water was very clear and the flow was low, so I expected a tough match for most people. Setting up I had a 2g rig with 18 to 0.10, a 1g with 22 to 0.08 (fine for me I never usually go this light in summer), a 1g with 13 B711 to 0.15 for worm. I also assembled waggler and mid match a feeder but neither were of much use.

The match began at midday and I threw in 10 balls of gbait containing casters, hemp and pinkie. Picked up the 2g rig and tried a caster, first fish was an ounce at most, after a few minutes I had managed two similar ones and the float would not go under, not a good sign. Picked up the light rig with a caster and nothing, on with a maggot and bites began and I was catching the odd tiny roach and perch. I was gutted by the size of the fish, but there is not a lot you can do when you ball it as I firmly believe you catch what is there. After an hour bites reduced and it was time to try the worm line close to the tree, nothing, one missed bite and no second chance lol.

I gave the waggler a quick 15 mins for 1 bleak, hmmm where are all the chublets? Back on the pole and I could get the odd bite but was missing a lot, I thought I knew why, and when I put a pinkie on the hook I knew I was right, roach and pommies less than an ounce. Unfortunately I couldn't make bites on anything else so caught as many as I could, but even then presentation had to be worked at and varied to get these little blighters to take the pinkie.

I tried the worm several times and only had one 4oz perch, the waggler produced two roach, but they were at least 2oz! With an hour to go it started to rain and was quite heavy, I fed the pole line heavy with casters and hemp, hoping to get a decent roach or chub, sadly none appeared and I was left feeling the peg had been devoid of any quality, I had 104 fish but couldn't see them going much more than 6lb. As I turned round to pack up I was greeted by a host of slugs everywhere lol.

Lance below me had struggled, and Ian Stainer above me said he had too. However, as we went to weigh the lads in below us it was evident those pegs had all faired better. Winner of the section was Kev Abigail on peg 97 (this peg was last in section last week) he had 12lb 2oz and he had caught some big roach and a bream on the pole in the first 2 hours, one of the roach was well over a pound and a half. Here is the man and his bag of fish, well done Kev.

Above Kev, Dave Micklewright had just under 9lb of quality roach and chublets, and then on peg 90 Andy Jane had 10lb 12oz of roach. Lance managed 4lb+ for last in section, and then my fish went 6lb 3oz, and I only beat Lance as Ian had 6lb 9oz which included three large eels. A disaster for me and I hoped the rest of the team had done better. Here is my net of sprats, slightly smaller stamp than what Kev had PMSL...

Back at the results and Mr Harper was no best pleased when I told him I only had 2 points as he was convinced Lobbys would beat us. However, he was wrong and the team had come second on the day and claimed second place overall. DGL won again to ram home their dominance, with Neil Richards man of the league fishing five rounds and winning his section every match, and he won the match today with 19lb 9oz. Neil drew peg 138 but had to move to 140 due to a boat in his peg, and that also happened to Darren Gillman who was supposed to be end peg but had to move above anglers, all annoying and bad luck for Darren.

Kev Abigail was second, then came Dave Clapton with 11lb 14oz of skimmers from peg 26, Matt Challenger 11lb 4oz, And Jayne 10lb 14oz and Charlie Valender 10lb 11oz. Not bad weights but nowhere as good as recently, pike are more of a problem, and bream are not feeding at the moment.

I've got to fish Viaduct this weekend, I'm filling in for Mike Nicholls in the last round of the Tony Rixon float only league. That's handy as I have to go back soon for the all winners final, but then it will really be about getting my head on for winter leagues and other river matches.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

July / August 1998

You may be wondering why there is no actual fishing blog this weekend, well it's because I was so tired after catching so many fish at Evesham last week, lol. The real reason is because I had watched T20 cricket Friday night (present from my daughter Lucy) and then watched Bristol Rovers at Charlton yesterday (and yes we lost there again). There would be no time for prep, and I thought I might be suffering a bit, in the end for various reasons it was a good call. I did have a quick walk along the bank at Newbridge and saw a few fish being caught, Dean Harvey had a couple of bream and a number of aanglers were catching roach, it was good to see Darren Gillman back on the bank again and he had just short of 10lb. Not sure what won it, but good practice for next weeks superleague, think I've been dropped for not fishing the practice as we had 10 anglers fishing today, such is life.

July 1998 didn't start well, I fished a FishOMania qualifier on the K&A canal, had a tench and some bits and chucked back.The following weekend I pleasure a lake called Sevington with Dave Haines. I'd never fished it before but got on a peg where I could fish to the point of an island. I fed some pellet, corn and caster over there and fishing with a dibber and 14 to 0.16 I had a lovely bag of tench, crucians and carp for approx. 70lb. However, I did lose 10 carp and my elastic snapped twice, this was because there were brambles trailing into the water and they cut my rig and elastic to bits. After having a chat about the place with a few of the lads we had a knock up at the place the following Saturday. I drew a peg next to a bridge wall. I started off trying to catch the small tench and crucians that I had last week, but I really struggled to get many, whilst opposite me Mark Bailey was catching them steady. Changing tact I fished up against the wall and hooked and landed seven small carp and my final weight of 20lb 8oz was tied for top spot with Mark.

The next two weekends I spent fishing the K&A canal at Honey Street but I caught so little there's not much point recalling, just over a pound each time, and way down the section each time, shite.

Into August and onto the Huntspill, a venue that I liked (still do) to fish and generally did OK on. I drew peg 34 and started on the gbait feeder, but after 90 minutes I was still blanking and I never had a bite on the feeder all match. I fished light on the pole with a 20 / 22 to 0.10 and had 8 eels on bronze maggot, these weighed 1 kilo 850g. I was happy to have caught the eels but without a bream I was never going to do any good here. Back again the following week for another open match, this time I drew peg 73. I had an enjoyable match, a couple of small skimmers on the tip and then no more, but lots of bites on the pole roach and eels feeding caster and maggot. 3kilo 250g was only good enough for 3rd in section. Despite my less than average performances the team still picked me for the superleague match, I moved a little further up the venue getting peg 102.  It was a struggle though with nothing on the feeder and just scratching for eels and roach again. It was back to Imperial scales and I had 3lb 11oz, this was 3rd in the 9 peg section, so OK for the team and we managed to come second on the day.

Fourth match on the trot on the Spill, and I was drawn somewhere near the clapper. I finally managed to hook a bream on the feeder, but lost it! One skimmer in the net and as usual it was on to the pole and today there were only eels about. I had 6lb 2oz in the end all at 13m with 01.0 to a 20 on 1 gm float, double maggot on the hook was best today. I was second in the section today and the team were 3rd.

Not a very inspiring couple of months then but as ever it was a learning curve.