Sunday, 25 April 2010

Rixons Rip Off - Cider Farm Yarlington Lake

This match was originally booked to be a Talk Angling Pairs match with the Omnibus lads, but it was cancelled and so Tony ran an open here instead. I'd booked in as I prefer to fish just Yarlington, rather than be split over Dabinett and Sheppards where the Cider Farm open was. As I travelled down with Glenn we we hoped it would fish well, the weather was very heavy when we left Bristol, good conditions normally. However, when we arrived at the lakes the sun was out and there was no breeze which spelt a tough time. Tony had 25 turn up, including John Bradford who finally found the lakes after somehow finding his way to Congesbury instead!

Peg 15 stuck to my mit, not good in my opinion as in my section pegs 4, 11,13,14 and 17 have gaps to fish to and mine does not. A quick word with Brian Slipper and he suggested I get back in my car and go home! When I got to the peg though I was pleased to find a gap in the far bank reeds which was my main hope to catch carp from, apart from that I was struggling to find another sensible line. Martin McMahon was on peg 14, first time he's been for a while as normally he takes his son, Bela Bakos was on 17, and with Glenn on peg 7 it would be a hard job to get the section I thought let alone frame. Setting up rigs it was pretty standard stuff for me, two rigs for the far bank, one with band one without, 0.16 to 16 hooks. A margin rig, though this was on my top set as beyond that I could not get to the margins! A deep rig was put up but again waste of time for me! It was an absolute pleasure setting up, with the sun shining, a cuckoo calling and reed buntings singing, but neither I could see.

All in and some micros and 4mms were fed into the far bank gap in 1ft of water, same plus corn on the margin, and a dump in the deep water. I started across on banded 8mm pellet and within minutes I had a couple of liners, after 15 minutes I was 2 nil down and changed one hook length. Despite being in a gap (about 2.5 ft wide) and on heavy elastic these little blighters can still get to the reeds before you can blink! I managed to land one, before another loss and I felt the need to change the hookbait. Trying the other rig on corn was no good, but onto a sonubaits 6mm F1 hooker pellet and I got a bit more action. I think after 2 hours I had 7 carp and had lost about 5, mainly pulling out of what I expect were foulers. At this stage I could see that Phil Harding had caught well on peg 46, but those around me were struggling.

It all went a bit pair shaped for me for the next two hours (plus it tipped down with rain a couple of times), I couldn't get bites across and only had one margin fish first drop. Out of desperation, and knowing that Tony was running a silver pool, I got out another top set and a 4x12 rig set at 18" with a 18 B911, and a pint of caster. flicking a few out on top set range I soon had rudd boiling and went in with the rig, I had some nice 3oz to 6oz fish for a while and thought I was going to empty it when they disappeared, and I hooked a carp! I played it on the top set for about 20 secs before it charged across and into the reeds and left me hook there! I then caught a few more rudd, roach and hybrids for before they went completely which surprised me. I had a look for the carp again, I'd been firing over some 4mms with the catty to keep some bait going in but it was dead, and the reeds weren't moving. After 20 mins of this I tried the caster line again, a rudd first drop then nothing, so I fed some caster across to the reeds and shipped the rig across. I was soon into small rudd of a few ounces, but at least it was bites, after about 30 minutes this line did the same as the first and the rudd disappeared.

With an hour and a half remaining I knew I had to catch some carp, so I went back over to the gap and tried my luck again. This time I potted in the same amount of 4mms that I had been feeding by catty earlier, but I fed them on the left hand side of the gap, next to the reeds. Within minutes I had a carp, and the next 3 drop ins, all fed the same, produced a carp. Got it sussed I thought, but then the bites slowed up went iffy and I lost a couple of foulers. To try something different I fed a toss pot full of micros to the right of the gap, and right next to the reeds. For the rest of the match I managed to nick just the odd fish from both lines, but had just as many either do me in the reeds or come off as I shipped back, very frustrating! I was not alone in the frustration stakes, I was in stitches over Martin McMahon breaking first his number 5 section shipping out, and then a number 6 section playing a fish, Maver pole wouldn't you know. Martin was a bit rusty (he himself said this) and he was grumbling at himself and the fish, and to be honest I was trying my best not fall off my box from laughing so much. When the scales arrived Glenn was winning the section with 39lb+, that was until I weighed 42lb 6oz, crucially my silvers weighed 8lb and made all the difference. Bela weighed 38lb of all carp and so I had managed to edge the section. First time ever I have fished for silvers on this lake, glad I did! Toss potting was best for me today, but I should have gone closer to the reeds earlier, trouble is you know your going to lose a fair few.

The match was won by Chris Davis with 77lb, Chris got a bit stressed at one point and decided to play football with his holdall, obviously taking out his frustration on the holdall worked! Well done indeed to young Ryan Summerhayes who came 2nd with 69lb from peg 19, he caught well the last 3 hours on paste in the margin. Phil Harding managed 3rd from flyer peg 46 with 49lb, he struggled the last two hours. Dean Malin won the silvers with 13lb from peg 28, beating the gimp by a pound.

Weights were not too bad, but the fishing was generally hard today, fish are in the reeds and when they do come into your swim they are hard to hook in the gob. Going shallow doesn't seem to work either! Glenn suffered with many foul hookers, and this did his head right in he said, me beating him for the section probably didn't help either!

The open on Sheppards and Dabinett was dominated by Sheppards, with at leaset one ton weight. So where to fish next Sunday...hmmm, not decided yet maybe a bit of waggler fishing somewhere, I need the practice!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Acorn Fishery Snake Lake

This match was being run by Tony Rixon, and it was a late start with a 10am draw. I'm not used to 10am draws, and normally I'm awake from about 6:30am anyway on a Sunday. However, this Sunday I was once again in an unhealthy state after far to many ales the day before so the late draw was welcomed. Glenn picked me up and we soon arrived at the venue, as I paid my pools money I was trying to keep the banana (breakfast) in my stomach, thankfully the pain passed and all was well!

I drew peg 3 which meant nothing to me or anyone else because the venue is so new, all I knew was that I was on the island. When I reached my peg I was a little disheartened to find there were five of us in a row on the island and I was bang in the middle, with fairly tight pegging I thought I could be disadvantaged. Glenn was on peg 1, Timmy Clarke on peg 2, Garbolinos finest Bob Gullick on 4 and John Dursley was on 5. John's peg looked the best by far as it had open water to the left. I had been told that there were a few thousand small carp in the lake, with a few better ones and some perch. So with this in mind I didn't set up heavy rigs and elastic. A swim on top set plus no4 section was nearly 6ft deep, and I used a 0.4grm Preston slim bristle float, with 0.12 to a 18 PR28 hook and red Hollo elastic. This rig was also for down the middle where the depth was the same. I set up another rig for this depth but with 0.14 to 16 PR28 and Green Hollo in case I was bagging. Fishing at 13 mtrs across I had nearly 2ft and I set up two rigs here (Cider Farm rigs) one with a band and one without. The floats used were 4x10 with 0.14 to 16PR 28 and PR36 for the band.

I just managed to make a quick visit to the toilet (hope no one went there for at least 30 mins afterwards) before the all in was sounded. I potted in some micros and maggots on the close line, a potful of pellets down the middle and some micros and 4mm pellets at 13 mtrs. I wanted to start close in and keep feeding pellets across by catty to try to get them lined up over there. It wasn't long before a small stockie carp took a liking to double dead maggot on the close 6ft swim, and I had a couple of perch here and a 5lb carp which surprised me. Things went a bit quiet for me then, but by flicking in a bit of bait I got the odd small carp, I then hooked another good fish before it snapped me off when it thrashed it's head on the surface. Around me Bob had a poor start, but the others were all catching close except Glenn who gone straight over and was catching.

An hour in and I'd taken another couple of small carp and another decent fish from the middle but this and the inside line had died so I had to have a look over. Fishing a 6mm soft pellet (Sonubaits F1 hookers) I took 4 fish in the first 4 put ins, but this soon slowed up. I was flicking over about 12 pellets every couple of minutes but the fishing was slower than I expected. I put the odd fish in the net in the next hour with some fish up to 6lb, but I also pulled out of a few. My peg then went decidedly dodgy, and I really struggled for bites on any of my lines, Bob Gullick's peg on the other hand came to life and he put a run of decent fish together that put him way out in front of me, but John Dursley was still the clear leader.

With 2 hours to go Timmy Clarke, who had been struggling, started to catch really well on caster, he was fishing across now, but it looked like a little further over than me. As I was just getting the very odd fish I stuck another section on and fed a swim to my left with some micro and maggot (I had no caster). I fed only a small amount as I could see Timmy was hardly feeding anything at all. This line came alive for me with about 90 mins left, the carp were small 8oz to 1lb but the bites were coming the quickest they had all match, I was catching on double dead maggot. Whilst Timmy never stopped catching this line did go quiet for me and I had to rest it, but I managed 2 fish in the last 2 casts landing a 5lb fish after the whistle. I knew John Dursley had won easily but it was close for the rest of us, Bob had struggled for just 2 fish in the last 2 hours and so had Glenn.

John weighed 97lb to win the match, Bob 59lb, me 60lb, Timmy 62lb and Glenn 46lb. So I dipped out on the coin. I should have won the section because I must have lost at least 10lb of fish off the hook, in fact that would have framed. I missed the guys name who came 2nd (it will be on Tony's blog) but he had 74lb and was effectively fishing the next peg round to John (in terms of fishing to the far bank I mean), Steve Hutchinson had 70lb for 3rd and Chris Fox 66lb for 4th. Charlie Barnes won the Silvers with 15lb, just beating steady Eddy Wynne.

It was noticeable that in my 5 pegs we had lots of lumps, as did 2nd place, but the further you went away from us the more smaller carp were caught. So I think the stockies weren't really in our 5 pegs because of the lumps. An enjoyable match, and it seemed to me that everyone caught a few fish. Obviously this lake is very new and it will take some time for the fish to settle in and the landscape to go green, but I have to say I was impressed with it and hope it goes from strength to strength.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Cider Farm Lakes 11th April

After an eventful week I was looking forward to going fishing. I had had my 32" TV pack in a couple of weeks ago and Comet would not give me a replacement only repair the old un (eventually they gave me a new one after they messed up the repair and it's better than the old one!). Then my computer crashed and I had to pay out £90 to get it fixed. I was on holiday in Torquay for a few days and won £80 on the bingo, then Saturday my wife picked the Grand National winner for a £70 pick up. So what was going to happen on Sunday........

I travelled down to the Lakes with Glenn Bailey, we spent most of the time moaning about call centers in India and not about the prospects of the match. Arriving in good time we took a quick look around Yarlington, which was the only lake being used today, and there was not much activity in the reeds at all. We did notice that Mark had been chopping back the old reeds and new green shoots were appearing. I do have worries about the reeds, they are really taking over some pegs and the fish won't come out of them, I think a dose of chemicals could thin the reeds out a bit and improve the fishing. After a quick bite to eat and a cup of tea the draw was done, I had peg 56 and Glenn 20 which is not the best. Peg 56 had not appeared in the top 6 in any match this year, but as it had bare bank options I was happy with the peg. Lucky Brian Slipper drew the same peg he won Yarlington from last Monday, peg 11, and was obviously going to be a threat, as was Rod Wootten who appeared opposite me on peg 13. Rod is as we all know an excellent carp angler, and so I was a bit miffed to see him opposite because I thought it would split our fish.

My set was much the same as previous weeks, with 4x8 floats used for up the shelf one with a band one without, a deep rig (waste of time for me again) and a margin rig. I fed a line straight in front at 11 mtrs 16" deep with micro pellet, a line to the island to my right at 15mtrs that was 12" with micro and 4mms and I loose fed 4mm to this line whilst fishing in front of me. I had a steady start with some small carp on soft pellet at 11mtr, but much as previous weeks it was a case of getting just one fish in the peg and then waiting for the next to arrive. After 5 fish it went quiet so I tried deep, this was dead and I never bothered here again. I took an early margin fish and then one across at 15 mtrs, but both lines were very quiet. Back out to 11 mtrs and I managed to sneak the odd carp into the net, mostly small carp 12oz to 1.5lb. This line got harder and harder and I was looking for the 15mtr line to work but all I could get was the odd liner and 2 or 3 fish.

With two hours to go I gave up loose feeding the 15mtr line and potted in a mixture of micros and 4mm, this seemed to concentrate the fish, but I hooked 4 in 4 chucks and lost the lot, foulers! I pushed the float shallower and tried a 6mm banded, but had no bites, but by pushing the float nearer to the bank I had a couple of fish, though they were not hooked in the mouth! Eventually they started to eat my hook bait and I switched up to 8mm on the hook. For the first time this year I had quite a few fish in the area I was feeding, but it did present issues with liners and I had a spell of just waiting for the elastic to come out I also took a shot off the float. With 20 mins to go they had backed off to the reeds again and a quick look in the margin produced two fish and then one did me in the reeds, match over!

Certainly my last two hours had been the best, and potting rather than the catty helped when the fish turned up. I could see Brian and Rod had caught, I was sure I had more than Rod but not as much as Brian, but I had no idea how the rest of the lake had fished. I weighed in 67lb 5oz which was good enough for 3rd and £60.

1st Brian Slipper 81lb 6oz (peg 11 pellet up the shelf) Brian has it sussed!
2nd Howard Green 79lb 1oz (flyer peg 46, paste deep, and pellet up the shelf)
3rd Tim Ford 67lb 5oz (performed heroics on peg 56!!!!)
4th Rod Wooten 53lb 2oz (peg 13, he let some get past him into my peg!)
5th Rich Coles 52lb 15oz (peg 40)

As for Glenn he struggled for 30lb on peg 20, just missing out on his section. Paul Haines was glad he weighed in on 48 as his 24lb won him the section by double default, but behind him on peg 37 his travelling partner Ray Bazely lost a shed full until Paul gave him some strong elastic.

Change of scenery for me next week, a rixon rip off on the new lake at Acorn, could be good or could be crap!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Cider in my Computer?

Got a major problem with my pc, it either has a virus or something has gone seriously wrong with it! It would not boot up and just crashed every time, I have manged to stop the crashing but still cannot actually make anything work! This post is being written in a Internet cafe!

Sunday morning saw my third consecutive visit to Cider Farm, Glenn arrived a little early but I was all ready to go. This was Glenns first trip for a few months and was extracting all the info he could about how the venue was fishing. There was a healthy turnout of about 38, and this meant Dabinett would be in as well as Yarlington. Fishery owner Mark Gibson reckons I have a complex about Dabinett, and one that I should overcome, he's right I do because unless you are on the pegs on the gap you have hells job of doing well. Anyway I hoped to avoid Dabinett as I queued for a peg, John Paige asked if I would draw for him and I pulled 28 for him and 12 for me, both on Dabinett. John was not best pleased and let me know with a tirade of four letter words, he should have asked someone else to draw because I haven't drawn a flyer since last October on the canal.

I was hoping for some nods to draw on the gap on Dabinett but when I realised that Glenn, Martin Reyatt and Brian Slipper were drawn there I was up against it. Isn't it funny how people turn up to a venue for the first time and draw flyers?

On to peg 12 and it was down at the end of the island, with some thick reeds to the left and a few reeds to the right but a nice bit of bare bank in between. It was quite windy so hard to make out if any carp were in the reeds, but I did spot a couple. I set up two rigs for on top the shelf, both 4x8 bristle floats on 0.13, one was for banded pellet the other for soft pellet. A depth rig was just right for the left hand margin and just past middle so that would do me. I fed some micros and a few 4mm pellets straight across on the bare bank, some further up the island at 14mtrs. I fed micros and maggots just past middle and some pellet and corn down the margin. Starting just past middle I had nothing on pellet, but switching to maggot brought some rudd and a skimmer. This was not what I was looking for and so went across on banded 8mm pellet, I had no indications for 10 mins and then the float buried. Carp no1 was netted, but at 12oz it was much smaller than expected for this lake. I continued to have a slow but steady match, taking the odd carp from across by toss potting in micros, the only thing which worried me was the small size of the carp.

I had a quick walk to see Glenn and Martin and they were doing a bit better than me in terms of number of fish, but not massively, so I plodded on. The fish size increased a bit after 3 hours, with a couple of 3lb fish showing up. The far bank had started to die by now, but the line up at 14 mtrs right across was not working and the margin was dead for the whole match! Eventually the 14mtr line threw some fish up and the last 20 mins of the match here were the best on the soft pellet rig. I had 22 carp in the end and new that was no where near enough but at least I had enjoyed a days fishing. I weighed 48lb 5oz, and this actually put me 4th on the lake behind :-

Glenn Bailey 91lb 2oz
Brian Slipper 91lb
Martin Reyatt 74lb

The top 3 in each section of 12+ anglers were paid out, so I won nowt. I was also 4th overall in the match and still won nowt! So as for my initial thoughts on Dabinett I still find it a very tough place to win money from unless you can draw on the gap. (I do know that the pegs next to the gap framed on Sunday, but then Gary Cross was on one of the gap pegs, so enough said!)

I'm going back to Cider Farm this Sunday, it's just on Yarlington this time so whilst there are still some iffy pegs my mindset will be better. About time I drew a flyer!

Apologies if this is a bit short money run out!