Sunday, 30 May 2010

Cider Farm Open 30/5/10

After a couple of good draws and results I was hoping for a good day at Cider Farm, well they say things come in threes! The match was sold out on Yarlington Mill and this was mainly due to the Kev Perry league at Bullocks ending last week. I picked up Ade Crawley who was going to pleasure fish (as he couldn't get in the match) and quickly arrived at the venue. Ade made his way to the pleasure lake (and he bagged up on carp and skimmers) whilst I stood in the draw queue, unfortunately I pulled peg bloody 15. I've had this peg a few times (once already this year) and it is, along with peg 7 in the section, without a gap and so your up against it.

Once I got to my peg my concerns about peg 15 were to worsen as the water was on the verge of going a grey colour. In my opinion this is always a bad sign, for example when the water goes grey at Avalon the fishing is diabolical! Also the talk before the match had been how hard Viaduct had fished on Saturday for the Super League, and all the signs told me today would be tough.

The little gap in the far bank reeds on peg 15 had gotten smaller than last time I was here as the reeds had rapidly grown, bad news as this is the only place you can get to shallow water. Steve Howells was on peg 14 and I doubted I would beat him, nor Mr Lock on peg 17 unless things seriously went my way! I set up a 4x10 PB4 at 18 inches for the gap, and another 4x8 for 9 inches deep. Two deep rigs, one for pellet and one for paste were all I needed. On the whistle I cupped in some micros and 4mms in the gap, some 4mm at 11m to my left in the deep water 1 metre off the reeds and threw some 6mms into the near side deep water (no shallow water margin is accessible due to the reeds). I went straight across with the 4x10 rig but kept an eye on the deep water line, if I saw any fizz I would go straight on it. The first 30 mins was a complete disaster as only 1 carp graced the net from across, the wind was very nasty and I quickly stuck on a Preston pot and tried cupping in some 4mm pellet, result 1 skimmer! I fed another decent pot of pellet across and decided to try the deep line. I had been feeding the odd pouch of 4mm to this line, but in truth it was hard to keep the bait in a small area due to the gusty wind. First drop and after 5 mins of lifting and dropping I had a small carp, and 10 mins later another and then the activity on this line stopped.

Back across in the gap and it was not happening, and despite the wind I decided to get the catty going. It was rather tricky trying to fire 4mm pellets into a gap that was just 10 mtrs away in such a very bad wind, but it did seem to induce a few liners and the odd rare bite which was more than before! It was not good though and I decided to try the 9 inch rig tight to the bank, the float buried and the carp was behind the reeds before I could do anything. New hook length attached and next chuck same result! Well it was obvious where the fish felt happiest but it was impossible to get them out fishing next to the bank with so many reeds present. I must admit I did try here again later and the result was a lost rig, frigging reeds!

Halfway through the match Shawn Kitteridge wandered round (he was just watching) and when I told him I had 6 small carp and the skimmer I was shocked when he told me this was par for the course and it was fishing rock hard. Well at least I was not alone then! For the second half of the match things went tits up really, I took another 2 fish from the far bank deep swim before one did me in the reeds, whilst the inside line never produced one bite. By now the wind was so bad I could not feed with the catty and keeping the pole tip from hitting the reeds was a major task, a Thyers angler who had packed up suggested from what he had seen the wind was at its worst in my peg, great! I spent a frustrating time foul hooking and losing fish or getting done in the reeds, and I was doing a bit of swearing, cursing and moaning if I'm honest, alright I was doing an effing lot, bastard wind, bastard reeds!

When the whistle went to end the match I was actually watching Steve Howells landing another carp as I had lost another hook. I decided to weigh in even though I reckoned I only had 20lb which would be nowhere near enough. Guess what, I weighed 20lb! Why is it I can I guess my weight correctly when I catch f**K all? Steve Howells had 48lb, fishing shallow at 16 metres in the open water, to come 2nd. Peg 11 won it (do not know the name as I monked off) fishing paste down the edge. The lake had fished badly, with ace angler Dave Roper on peg 54 packing up, Brian Slipper only managing 30lb off peg 25 (where I won from last time) and Mark Bromsgrove fished for silvers on peg 41 as he could not catch any carp, and there is no silvers pool!

What wrangles me is that I lost more than I caught and so framing was a possibility. I honestly believe that had I drawn a reasonable peg on the day I could have done OK, I don't mean that to sound big headed or like sour grapes, it's just I seem to do well here when it's hard, and today the lack of options on this shitty peg hindered me, mind you I wasn't the only one! Oh well, I suppose it might be a bit of a "taster" of what is to come next week, float only at Avalon. If the water is grey and the wind is just like today then it will be very, very difficult, but I remain positive and hope that this will not be the case. Hmmm maybe that is the cider talking, oh yeah I forgot to say, I decided to drown the memory of today and bought a few litres of Cider Farm Lakes finest rough. I will blame any spellings, poor grammar on this post, and the head ache tomorrow on it, hic! It is absolutely blood lovely stuff to drink, perhaps I should try getting pissed before the next match again, it might work! Actually, I'm feeling very merry now as I write this, and that is after 4 pints, feck me I reckin I cud be in trouble later, dont fink I cun right much more now as getin bollixed...............

Saturday, 29 May 2010


For those who fish, or maybe want to fish the Commercial House League, here are the dates and venues. Room for a couple more teams so if you're not looking forward to breaking ice on commercials again give it a go, teams of 6.

26th September 2010 - Bristol Avon Jack Whites to Swineford

10th October 2010 - K&A Canal

24th October 2010 - Bristol Avon Newbridge

28th November 2010 - Bristol Avon Jack Whites to Swineford

9th January 2011 - K&A Canal

16th January 2011 - K&A Canal

(Xmas match is 18th Dec K&A Canal)

Do I detect a slight biased towards the canal now. Well the match in early October could be interesting, if it's mild could be a lot of decent weights.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Hot Hot Goodiford Mill

This Sunday I fished the Nic Collier and Anton Du Beke organised open at Goodiford Mill Lakes. Thanks must go to Tony Rixon for calling Glenn and myself to ask if we wanted to fish as in the end there was a waiting list. I was up for this match as it was a venue I had never seen before and that always gives me a buzz. However, Glenn, having fished here before, was concerned that 40 anglers on the lake was going to be detrimental on the fishing.

Glenn started my day in excellent form by surprising me with two freshly made bacon rolls which I had engulfed before we got to the M32. Arriving at the venue Glenn showed me the way around and we surveyed what looked like good pegs. There was plenty of evidence of carp spawning, but it was by no means madness and so I hoped some should be feeding. I drew peg 13, actually permanent peg 8, which I was told was where a bar went through the lake and was a good draw for the pellet wag. For company I had young Ryan Summerhayes on my left and Bathampton ace Leon Hubbard to my right. I set up a 3 swan pellet corby and set about finding the bar, but when I got to 5ft deep and could still not hit bottom anywhere I gave up! A little later a local walked around and told me there was no bar in my peg, but it was either side, well at least it would make playing the carp easier (if I could hook some).

I was very positive in my set up, the one pellet wag, and a top set with a 4x10 PB2 for caster. Leon was in much the same mindset going with two pellet wags! On the whistle I started firing out 8mm pellets to just past the middle, and threw some casters to my left. I was expecting some action fairly soon and I got it, but not how I was expecting it! Whilst feeding my swim I had the wag just past the end of the rod and a carp took the pellet, unfortunately I was too slow in reacting and the carp snapped the 0.18 hook length! After this it took about 30 mins to get a carp, and with only 2 other bites the first hour was poor, Leon had managed 3 carp and a rudd. After an hour and a half I had just 2 carp and nothing was happening for me, I could see rudd feeding on my loose fed caster so decided to have a look. I took 4lb of rudd and roach in 30 mins before they had enough and disappeared. I had been contiually feeding 8mm pellet and was hoping the carp would be lined up, but they weren't there!

I was getting a bit worried now, I could see a few anglers catching the odd carp and had I had the pole set up I would have been on it for sure. So with about 2.5 hours gone I started to fish further over and also upped the feed a little. My reasoning was that Leon was getting bites on the bar, but as I wasn't getting anything I needed to try to draw fish to me from either the island or Leon's peg. Leon gave me a lifeline by striking his waggler into the trees behind him, and as he stopped feeding while he sorted it out I suddenly started to get some bites. I was now getting somewhere, and eating into Leon's lead over me, in fact he soon started telling me how close he thought things were. For the last two hours the fish seemed to go between me and Leon, I had a bad spell pulling out of 5 fish in a row (when Glenn was behind me) and then a bit later the same thing happened to Leon! The carp were in my peg now, but they were right up on the surface and frustratingly were taking most baits except my hook bait!

By the end of the match Leon was convinced I had 15 to 20lb more than him which I simply did not believe, I thought we had about the same as we both had around 21 carp. In the end Leon said let's have a £1 on it, so I agreed to give him £1 if I weighed 15lb more than him. When the scales arrived I was not to pleased as they were horrible 110lb scales with a weigh net full of holes that a 1lb carp could and did fall out of. Leon weighed 84lb, and I weighed 102lb (4lb of silvers got me the ton) and promptly gave Leon his £1!

I knew Dean Malin had won the match because of the bank side banter, but I soon realised that the only other angler who could still beat me was Tony Rixon, no surprise then when he did beat me weighing 109lb. I nearly managed to split the Malin / Rixon partnership, lost fish cost me though.

Dean weighed 214lb, all caught down the edge on pellet, Dean said to me after it was boring, but that he lost loads and had his elastic snapped twice as fish went through a bush.

Full result

1st Dean Malin (love child of Paul Lombard?) 214lb
2nd Tony Rixon 109lb
3rd Tim Ford 103lb
4th Gary Bedford 85lb
5th Leon Hubbard 84lb (Let that be a lesson)

Ron Stark won the silvers with 27lb

So I managed 3rd on my first visit here, a decent draw and self belief in the right method certainly helped. I had some good banter with Leon, and it's obvious he's much better at estimating weights than I am. Glenn was looking for anti depressants after drawing up in the leg with lots of anglers and few fish, most people packed up in this area. I must admit the venue is very nice looking, set in lovely countryside, it needs less anglers on it though to make it a better match in future.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

It's good to be back on the Cider

HAVE THAT YOU AUSSIES! Get in there England, 20/20 World Champs, absolutely destroyed those Aussies, about time we've won something and I think Collingwood should be applauded.

After last weeks dismal performance I had booked in on the Cider Farm open on Yarlington Mill. There were only 12 people booked in, which was a shame (a lot of regulars fishing the Kev Perry league) but it did mean lots of space which should help the fishing. I was the last person to arrive at the draw, held up a tad chatting to some of the PSV anglers who were fishing Dabinett, namely Steve Hutchinson and Eddie Wynne.

I was the last person to draw, but the there were 2 pegs left in the hat as the guy holding the draw bag wanted the last one, I drew peg 25 leaving him with 41. My first reaction was that I'd drawn the wrong one, but a quick word with Cider regular Derek Culip cheered me up as he told me he had done well off of it a couple of weeks ago. There is no bare bank to fish to on peg 25 as it is solid reeds, but the reeds here are very dense and it is fairly safe to fish next to them, and there is a nice bit of open water in front. I found 3ft tight to the reeds to my left and the same to my right, a 4x10 Preston PB4 to 0.15 powerline and a PR36 for banded pellet was readied for this line. I also set up a rig at half depth against the reeds, a deep rig for anywhere else (the rest of the peg was virtually the same 5ft depth) a paste rig for deep and that was it.

Whilst setting up I had noticed the reeds had not been knocking that much and I wondered if the fish were going to be in the area. To start I fed a near full small Preston pot of micros and a few 4mm to the left island reeds, all 4mms to the right island reeds, and a cup of 4mms at top set +1 to my right. Baiting up with a 6mm banded pellet I had to wait all of 5 seconds for the float to go under and carp no1 was nailed. Next put in and 5 secs later carp no2, next chuck a skimmer so on with the toss pot and in went some micros. I then had 5 carp in 5 chucks, again all within seconds of the float settling! This was heaven, perfect fishing, but then a fish caught a reed and I smashed the float up pulling for a break. Of course I had expected this to happen, so I was ready with my identical rig, but for some reason this float took an extra no10 stoz. The next couple of hours were good, I was not catching carp within seconds of the float going in anymore but getting indications and fish regularly. I did lose another rig, and a couple of hook lengths, all to the same piece of reed just submerged.

The right hand swim never produced and neither did the inside line, and as my left hand swim was now getting hard work, and the sun was out, I started loose feeding 4mms across to the right hand island point (about 13mtr). I thought I might catch shallow here but it didn't work out like that, and after about 20 mins of feeding I had some fizzing and caught on the bottom, first time this year down here! I was fishing one of Mr Rixons finest jelly pellets on the hook, and I probably took around 12 fish from here before they went cagey. I guess they backed off as the fizzing stopped completely and so with an hour to go I decided to try back on the left hand reeds swim again. I took a couple of fish deep and a couple half depth, but it was slow, and with 30 mins to go I realised that they'd come up in the water. I set up a rig set at 9 inches deep and I by feeding some micros and tapping the water I took another 5 fish before the whistle went.

Other than the old boy on 41 (opposite me) who had really struggled, I had not much idea how it had fished, I thought I had 40+ carp for about 80lb which is usually enough to frame. As it turned out I weighed 98lb to win the match, and banish the bad vibes of last week, a thoroughly good days fishing. Picture kindly supplied by fishery owner Mark.

1st Tim Ford 98lb
2nd Derek Culip 67lb (on the deck on pellet, and up on the mud with paste)
3rd Brian Slipper 60lb (caught shallow on banded pellet)

The PSV match on Dabinett was a tough affair for those anglers not on pegs 6,7 and 21 I believe.

I think that means that I've managed to amass my half century of AT County Champs points. I think this is a clever idea by AT, and it has added a but of spice to proceedings, I'd like to get into the top 20 match at the end of it.

Off to Goodiford Mill next week with Mr Bailey, a new place for me so perhaps I'll get another spanking, why don't I just stay at Cider Farm.....

Friday, 14 May 2010

October 1990 Division 5 National River Trent

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted an old story, Clayton Hudson reminded me of this last week at Viaduct. It gets harder and harder to get on my computer when you've got a wife and 2 kids who live on social networks!

The month of October 1990 started with a four day session on the river Trent which was practice for the forthcoming division 5 National. We started the practice by fishing an open on the Wednesday from Holme Marsh to Winthorpe. Back in the 90's you needed to draw in the weir field and fish a feeder to win, I drew no where near it! I struggled all day up at Winthorpe for just 2lb 7oz of roach on waggler and pole that still put me 3rd in the ten peg section.

Thursday and off to Caythorpe for a practice on the feeder. On this stretch you had to chuck a maggot feeder across to the far bank which was absolute miles away! You had to have a shock leader and a decent rod to chuck a 2oz feeder full of maggots all the way across and keep it fairly accurate. Using double maggot on an 18 hook to 1.5lb maxima I managed to catch chub up to a 1.5lb for a total of 14lb. When you had bites on this method you had to simply pick the rod up, if you struck you came back without a hook or hook length! You'd also get snagged up bringing the fish back, but one trick that worked a lot was to pay off loads of line and then reel it all back in again. This created a different angle and often the fish came free. I can't remember exactly but I think we had a great night out in Nottingham, with it being 1 man to 6 women!

Friday saw us at the famous Ferry Field stretch of the Trent and we fished here for 3 hours. The wind was horrendous and in order to catch I fished a stick float quite close in with 3 no10 back shots. Dace, roach and gudgeon all came to maggot (disco maggot best) on a 22 to 0.08. I weighed 4lb 2oz and was one of the better weights in this short practice. We then fished for a couple of hours on the road stretch at Burton, this was a bit better with 4lb weights coming to the pole in close in just the two hours. It seemed we had hit on the fact that you could catch small fish in close on the pole / whip before going out further in search of better roach. This method would turn out to be useful for me in the National itself.

The last day saw me fish at Shelford where I could only manage 2.5lb of bits on the pole in close, plus 3 decent roach on the waggler. The wind was even worse today and many people struggled to get bites. Anyway this was the end of our practice sessions for the National and there was no more we could do.

The following Friday we were back in Nottingham, and spent an hour or so on the embankment half fishing half setting up rigs. I set up a rig I had read about in the Angling Times, it was for catching gudgeon. It was a 1 grm rig, with just an olivette and 1 no6 dropper, finished off with a short hook length of 1.8lb Tectan to a 20 Drennan Hook. It was a smart move......

The big day arrived and as usual the nerves kicked in, I don't know if you've ever fished a National, but for me as a young un it was a massive chance to get glory and it gave me goosebumps. Glenn Bailey felt the National nerves more than most and was nearly always sick on the morning! I forget who did the draw on the day for the team, but I was hoping for a peg either in the weir field or up at Hoveringham. I was instead handed a peg at Caythorpe and was told to fish for chub on the far bank on the feeder. As I sat on the coach I recalled the first practice match I had fished and the local guy next to me that day said "there's a lot of gudgeon on some pegs at Caythorpe". The coach stopped and we got off at peg 98 (end of section) and as I was on about peg 16 I had a bloody long walk!

Arriving at my peg I was dismayed to see a club match on the far bank, forget the far bank feeder then. However, my peg was a bit different to most as I was in a bit of stony bay. The guy two to my left had the only bush on the inside line I had seen walking to my peg and he was hoping for chub. As I surveyed my peg Pete Sivell came staggering past (he was pegged another 8 pegs down) he was fishing for City of Bristol, and he declared I was fishing in the "Bay of Biscay". I decided that a 4mtr whip and my freshly made 1grm rig would do for the inside, a 7 no4 stick and a maggot feeder (for down the middle as a last resort) would do.

To start the match I followed the AT instructions and fed 6 maggots regularly on the inside line and within minutes I was getting bites from gudgeon on single disco maggot. This line was very good and I was on it for half the match before they went right off, but as I had been feeding the stick line with a catty I was confident it would be solid, WRONG! I never had a bite on the stick, despite fishing it as one of the stewards told me "like a pro". Well you can look good and catch nowt can't you!

During the match I had seen Paul Benson and Dave Haines briefly, and they'd told me to just keep catching the "gudge". So after 15 mins on the stick and 15 mins on the feeder I was back to the whip. Whilst I had been on the stick I had decided to feed a little gbait with maggot on the inside, and the gbait worked as the gudgeon were back. At one stage the float was burying as soon as the float settled, and the stewards were sat behind me watching for quite a while so I guessed I was doing OK. I stayed on the whip for the rest of the match.

When the match finished I only knew I had beaten the guys either side, with the guy on the bush having 2 chub that could be close. When the scales arrived 2 kilo was top, and I weighed 3 kilo 300grm of gudge. Hiking back to the coach I saw Steve Long of Avon Bait (now Viaduct fishery boss) and if I recall he had weighed 2 kilo+ which he told me had beaten everyone around him. Back on my coach I soon realised I was the top weight, but with 2 other coaches in the section did not know how I had fared overall.

When the results were read out my section was won with 200grms more than me, the guy had 3 chub on the feeder, damn! I found out later (in AT) that I had come 2nd in my 98 peg section and picked up £195, not bad for a bag of gudge! On the team front we were gutted, we'd come 4th out of 98, which was fantastic, but one place out of the medals is a gutter. If I recall correctly Paul Lumbard was 3rd in his section (loads of gudge on the stick) and Mark Bailey won his section, again on the stick. I think we only had one poor result and that was Gary Bowden, he could be a bit pig headed back then and I think he didn't like the whip tactics, but that is not meant as blame. I must admit I was left feeling deflated, to come so close to a team medal and section winners medal was hard to take. Avon Bait won the day, they fished wagglers and fed little and fished light to catch those elusive roach. C of B were a bit further behind us and there star anglers Tony Rixon, Pete Sivell, Warren Bates soon gave up rivers for carp puddles!

If anyone who remembers this match can recall their day, or correct anything I have got wrong please add a comment as I would be interested to know.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Tackle For Sale!

This was the first round of the float only series run by Tony Rixon. As I cannot fish the last match of the series I need to do well in every match to stand a chance. That plan has now gone tits up!

I drew peg 134 on the car park bank of Campbell lake, the wind was blowing straight down and into my face. Normally you'd run to a peg with the wind into it, but this wind is, as we know, a very cold North / North Easterly coming from the Arctic! Fishery owner Steve Long was on peg 110 which had been very consistent of late, but he did not rate our chances one bit explaining it had been hard this end of the lake the day before.

I set up two rigs for the long pole, a 4x16 (needed due to the wind) for pellet and a big H paste rig. Both were set up on 0.16 line. I set up a 4x12 rig (0.16 to banded pellet) for down to the next pallet on peg 133 and another 4x12 for caster at 4mtrs to my left. With peg 135 in, I decided to fish my long line at about 11 o'clock and fed a big pot of 6mm and 8mm pellets here, the same down to the pallet and a small pot of caster for my 4mtr line.

First drop in and the float shot away and a foul hooker came off, that was at least a positive indication I thought. 30 mins later I managed to tempt my next bite and first carp, and then had nothing for the next 30 mins. I dropped in on the caster line and took a couple of small roach and then a 2.5lb tench. This then died apart from tiny roach. At this stage I could see that nobody was catching in my section, the last angler was Clayton Hudson who was on peg 128 just past the spit was harder to see though! For the next 4 hours I caught just a few silvers and fouled one more carp on the long pole. The swim down by the next pallet had produced two perch to 8mm pellet! Despite all that I tried I could just not get any bites, I even fed another line with some micro and 3mm pellets and set up a light rig for skimmers, that produced one 6oz fish!

With about an hour to go Bela Bakos on peg 131 said my peg was fizzing (I could not see this due to the wind) and when I asked him where he said right next to your float! The float did go under 30 mins later and I lost another foul hooker which trashed the rig. I had one bite in the last half hour on paste which I managed to miss and that was that. It was obvious I was plumb last in the section and so I chucked back as 1 point won't help me, I now have to fish the next 4 rounds as opens.

Clayton won the section on the long pole, with 86lb+, the lads either side of me had 2 and 3 points both having 20lb weights. Steve Long managed just the 1 carp I think, so it was obvious the fish didn't want to be at this end of the lake. Just to prove this Fred Roberts was "opposite" me on peg 121 with the wind of his back and came 2nd with 107lb.

Mr Rixon won the match from peg 66 with 120lb, read his blog for more info.

At least my taxi driver Glenn managed a few, he was just out of the frame and won his section with 81lb on Carey (peg 97 I think), he had 9 carp for that, 6 on wag and 3 on pole late, including a 15lb fish in the tail!

It seems obvious this rapid chill has hit the fish hard, and certainly the top end of the lakes were best (sheltered from wind). They'll need a bit of time to come back on the feed, and some warm weather, which we are well overdue!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Acorn Fishery Open

I was booked in for this match ran by Tony Rixon, and tried the breakfast on offer at the fishery. It wasn't that great, I wouldn't have it again personally.

This match will have blog overload since Mike Nicholls, Chris Fox, and obviously Tony were all fishing it. When I drew peg 5 I was really happy, this was the peg that John Dursley had won from last time I was here. I felt really confident about having a good day, even with Shawn Kitteridge on peg 9 (has won most matches here) and no one on peg 8! However, I had a very, very trying day!

As I began setting up the rain was fairly light, but the wind was nigh on gale force and causing me problems just to set up! Even before the match my pole blew off the two rollers I had assembled, and it was difficult to keep anything in its place. With the wind being so strong I set up 0.75 grm floats for the deep water, one with 0.12 to an 18 Drennan red hook thingy (for caster), and one with 0.14 to a 16 B911 (for pellet). I set up two shallow rigs, one for 2.5 ft on the shelf, and one at 10" for right up to the far bank. Both were on 0.14 to 16 B911 for either pellet or maggot hook baits.

To start the match I fed a full small Preston pot of 4mm pellets at 4mtrs and to my left, the same of caster in front at 4mtrs, and some pellet and caster across on the shelf, although the wind would have to drop for me to fish here. I began on soft pellet to my left at 4mtrs, and straight away it was hard work to present the bait. I went a float length over depth which produced a couple of bites but no connections, so took a couple of inches off. This produced two small carp and then an eight pounder. As I unshipped to my top set I couldn't find the pulla bung, this was because I had brought the top set without it, so let's just say I had some fun landing that 8lber and some others during the day.... After a couple of bumped fish and another small carp this line died, but with the wind so bad I kept trying this line. The caster line was a complete waste for me, it only produced 1 perch all day. but to my right Paul Faires was bagging perch (though he had fed some chopped worm) after taking a few fish on the method feeder.

I tried across because Shawn had started to catch over, but one carp and two other bites was all I could muster off either shallow lines. The pole had blown off the roller twice more and so I was shipping it along the ground now to prevent major damage. Carp seemed to be topping all over the place in the left part of my peg, including close in, but for the next 3 hours I reckon I might have caught just two fish. To be honest the wind was doing my head in, and I think it blew my brains out because I felt like packing up, Shawn was emptying it and Paul next to me had now caught 3 tench and 2 bream to go with his perch. I felt deflated and for the first time in a long, long time just didn't know what I was doing wrong, the fish were there I'm sure but I couldn't sort it. With 2 hours to go the wind dropped slightly, and going right across at 14 mtrs I had a run of carp that were all below 1lb, I took these mostly on maggot over caster. This line slowed and so I rested it, but it never really happened again.

It seemed to me that other than Shawn the bigger carp had been caught in the deepest water, so with an hour to go I concentrated on the 4mtr pellet line, and a line at 13 mtr to the left with the same depth and rig also feeding pellet. I should say that I tried the inside line on and off all day, and despite seeing at least 8 fish jump here I never had a bite! I took a lump from the 4mtr line, but then pulled out of two more and missed a bite. I tried the 13mtr line and I hooked 6 carp in as many casts landing only 3 (all over 5lb). Why I lost the carp I don't know, but it just added to my general frustration and I started to let it get the better of me. I managed to land a couple more decent carp before the whistle went.

Tony Rixon on peg 2 struggled for 25lb, Paul on peg 4 won the silvers with 25lb and in total weighed 49lb 6oz. I weighed 49lb 14oz which was enough to get the section (9 pegs) by double default. However, this gave me no satisfaction at all as I know I should have come 2nd off this peg today and I blew it, pissed off all day and still am.

Shawn weighed 135lb for an easy win, but he did well battling the wind, Mr consistent Rod Wootten was 2nd with 62lb (including 19lb of silvers), Gary Wall 3rd with 60lb and Martin Rich 4th with 51lb. So I guess I was first out the frame, which is another reason why I'm pissed off as I must have lost 25lb off the hook.

Hopefully I can put this behind me and hope it was "just one of those days" as I need to clear my mind ready for Tony's float only series, next week is the first round at Viaduct and me not having been there for a year means I will have to be on top form to try to compete! Here's hoping you had a better day than I did today!