Monday, 27 April 2009

Cider Farm Lakes Open Match

I had a terrible nights sleep Sat night, and on Sunday morning I was feeling really rough as my cold had gotten much worse on Saturday. Part of me did not want to bother, and it was only the fact that Glenn Bailey was giving me a lift today that I was able to get motivated.

I didn't feel fully prepared for this match as I could not get my backside off the sofa on Saturday to make some rigs, and I had wanted to make a few spares.

An egg and bacon roll, cup of tea and 2 paracetamol helped me at least perk up a tad, and in the draw queue I though about drawing peg 46 (hot peg at present). I pulled peg 37 which is actually the peg behind 46, so whoever drew it I would be able to hear / see them catching! Well wouldn't you know Glenn drew it, he drew this peg the last time I travelled down with him a few weeks ago! Still my peg offered lots of features as it has a shallow bay with reed beds to the left and an island across. Glenn advised there were a lot of small carp caught of this peg last time.

I had about 5 possible lines to catch off, but I didn't feed them all to start. It was a slow start for all around me, but I managed 2 in the first hour in the deepest water and 3 in shallow water next to the island. I was getting bites from the bay and from the inside line, but the fish were small and even paste didn't up the size. Glenn was struggling and after 2 hours had only 4 carp. But his peg got better and in the last hour he was flying. Hours 4 and 5 were dead for me, but I got fish going again in the last hour right next to the reeds in close, then had 2 carp in the last cast back in the bay. I had caught fish on pellet mainly, but also on paste and corn.

I had 29 carp in total and they went 46lb 5oz. This was good enough for 3rd place overall and a pick up of £60, there was a 45lb which was first out of the frame, so those last 2 fish I had (one was on the whistle) were crucial! Glenn won easily with 27 carp for 72lb, so you can see the difference in the size of our fish. Glenn caught in the deep water (5ft) on paste, whereas I had caught all bar 2 of my fish in water 2 ft deep. Well done matey, hopefully a bit of your draw bag luck is going to rub off on me next weekend.

I was feeling better during the match but by the end I was aching all over, sneezing my head off and looking forward to getting home. I've a trip to hospital this week, hopefully no problems and I'll be tackling larger specimens at Avalon on Sunday, now where is that waggler rod, do I need new line on my reels, where are my Corbys......

A Lodge of pleasure

The company I work for has like most been effected by the recession and I'm now on a 4 day week until further notice. I have a lot of DIY plans but they were put on hold as I decided to go to Viaduct fishery for a short pleasure fishing session. A friend and work colleague of mine Paul Corbett has spent 4 weeks at home recovering from a shoulder operation and accompanied me to relieve the boredom. Paul is famous for making the little blue pellet wagglers "Corbys". He started making these some years ago (again when he was bored at home) and I first saw one his wags when I took him pleasure fishing to Cary lake. I borrowed his rod and couldn't believe how well they cast and I told him he should see Tony Rixon and try to sell him some. Tony "poo pooed" them at first and never even tried them, but one day he saw one floating past him at Stafford Moor, retrieved it tried it and loved it. Of course once Tony started raving about the floats their fame spread across the S/West. Where's my commission Paul?

Anyway, back to the pleasure fishing session, Ian Parsons advised that Lodge lake had been fishing really well and if I sat in the middle of the lake I could have a good days skimmer fishing. That was good enough for me, as I was not feeling to well with a sore throat and a few aches and didn't want to battle with lots of munters. I sat on peg 69 and decided to fish at about 12 metres, I used a 4x12 Preston PB Inter, with a 16 B611 to 0.13 Preston Power Line. I started by potting in 4mm pellets and with a soft pellet on the hook I had skimmers right from the first cast. After 5 fish I hit a carp, and on Preston Hollo green elastic I was not in control, must get a pulla bung fitted. I landed the fish and it was about 6lb, I decided not to change the elastic and see if this was a one off, and I was straight back into the skimmers. But after another hour I hit another carp, this took ages to land and no wonder, it had to be close to 14lb! So I upped the elastic and never looked back. I carried on catching skimmers and had another 5 carp to 8lb.

It was an interesting day and I employed different feeding tactics during the day to see how the fish responded, I think Paul enjoyed himself and hopefully he picked up a few tips.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Silverstone - Sun 19/4/09

No fishing this weekend, instead I was at Silverstone for a drive in Ferrari 360 Supercar! Although I had been looking forward to this for a long time, I have to admit to being slightly nervous when I was given the briefing by an instructor. The car would do 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, and if the instructor thought you were capable speeds of 120mph were definitely possible!

I had 3 laps which were over in no time, but the thrill was amazing, and I managed to get the instructor (a retired Formula 5 racing driver) to shout at me a few times "brake!" as I went into corners to fast. I couldn't pick up the right driving line going into the various corners for the first couple of laps, and the instructor had to keep giving me advice. You had to look out for different colour cones which told you when to brake, or turn, or the ones I remembered the green ones which meant accelerate! On the last of the 3 laps I very nearly reached 130mph before I had to exit and this was when I got the biggest shout to hit the brakes! The amazing thing was, and they did tell you this before hand, you don't feel like you're going over 100mph as there are no other cars coming towards you or trees or signs flying past you don't appreciate the speed, until you need to stop that is! Here's a short video clip of one of my laps, the girl shouting "faster" is my daughter Emma, I was doing about 120mph here darling!

Back to the slow lane next weekend, and some sedate angling.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Cider Farm Open Match Sun 12th April

I had arranged to pick up Glenn Bailey at 7:20am Sunday morning and arrived with Military precision and we were on our way in good time. The run down down the motorway was over very soon (not due to me driving excessively fast) as Glenn told me of his previous weekends antics on the barge. Turns out he had a couple of very good catches, including masses of small skimmers from Semington. The best story though was the fact that a Yank on holiday nearly drained one section of the canal due to not understanding the lock system!

I'd told the wife the night before that I really hoped to draw a flyer and get amongst the carp, so I was gutted when out came peg 25, the same peg Paul Haines had drawn last time we travelled together when he only had 5 carp! To rub salt in the wound Glenn drew peg 46 one of the flyers. As I walked to my peg the majority of people told me it was not good, only Mike Nicholls said he thought it could be OK. I moaned a lot about this peg, I had read in a recent Match Fishing magazine article that they reckon Des Shipp moans the fish into his pegs, so I thought I might as well give it a go! As I set up the reeds were knocking about but this was normal and I'd rather see the carp crashing about out of the reeds. I picked 4 swims, one tight against the left hand island reeds, it was 3ft deep here, one to the right hand island reeds, it was 5ft here, straight out in front at 11mtrs, and down the edge to my left. I now use 0.16mm line as although the fish are mainly 2lb in Yarlington Mill they fight like mad and you need the insurance because of the reeds. I fed micro pellet and a few bits of corn to the left island, 4mm pellets were loosefed on the right island, out in front, and in the edge 4m pellet and corn. I started feeding all the lines lightly as I was thinking that my only hope of coin was to win my section. The island left was my starting point with corn on the hook, but it was slow with 3 fish in the first hour. Mark Radford (eventual winner) was opposite me on peg 41 and into fish on paste from the start, I had paste rigs made up so tried it, but for 20 mins it never went under in my peg! After 3 hours I had just 4 carp and decided to try the inside line as I had seen the reeds knock occasionally. Four in four put ins doubled my weight but then it stopped. At this stage the guy to my left had 10 carp, and Thyers angler Steve Priddle had just 2! Word was it was fishing really hard and I kept plodding on, in the last 3 hours I caught 11 carp nicking a few from all the lines except for in front in the open water. Corn had been best for me, although a couple on paste and a few on pellet helped.

I thought the 19 fish I'd caught were around 2lb average and I wasn't far off as they weighed 39lb 10oz. Either side Steve Priddle DNW, the lad to my left had 11lb and I had won the section. I then found out I had come 4th overall, (they only pay 3) but I was 13lb off 3rd place and as I had only lost one fish all day wasn't ever that close. Glenn had come 2nd with 57lb and had caught nearly all his carp in deep water next to the reeds.

A nice pint of Thatchers in the sun was again very pleasant! Glenn returned to Cider Farm the following day for another open, despite the conditions being the same the lake fished a whole lot better, with Glen catching 56lb for nowhere! Brian Slipper of Thyers drew my peg and had 88lb fishing shallow next to the reeds, apparently his deep float wouldn't settle! What a difference, both me and Glenn had commented on Sunday how we could not get any bites shallow!!!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

London calling

I didn't go fishing this weekend just gone, I took my wife for a weekend to London as a birthday present. I haven't been to London for many years, I prefer the country, and was taken aback at the place. We stayed in Knightsbridge, the hotel was over booked and so they put us in a hotel down the road.... which was five stars! A bit posh for me, breakfast was £22 per person (I usually pay that for bed and breakfast!) but luckily the original hotel included breakfast in the price and so they were paying. Then there was the mini bar... a packet crisps £3, small bottle of lager £4.50. Room service, pot of tea £4.50, but also add on service charge of £3 for the use of a tray! Flippin eck, I reckon Mike Nicholls would have fainted if he'd have seen the prices. Oh, hope that doesn't stop me getting that free pint on Friday Mike?

Went to Harrods and bumped into the owner, honest, Mr Al Fayed stood right next to me, along with his 4 body guards. Can you believe some people actually do their weekly shop in Harrods. The queue for eat in Pizza was crazy, especially when you realise a pizza for 2 was £40.

It was spot the normal car in this part of London, Mercs, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and lots more were all common sights. There was a nice flat available for rent, at £6,750 per week! No wonder it's all bankers and footballers who live here.

We also had to put up with the cast and crew of Spooks who were using our hotel for filming various scenes. Still these were about the only people we saw whose first language was English and did not have to say "pardon" to me when I spoke to them.

Well back to Cider Farm this weekend, should be travelling with Glenn Bailey if he is sober enough to drive. Apparently Glenn is now thinking about joining the navy after successfully Captaining a narrow boat along the K&A canal last weekend, sounds like "rum" do to me though...