Sunday, 25 July 2010

The 5 metre challenge at Cider Farm

After returning the pole I borrowed from Warren Bates I was hoping my no 6 section had been repaired and delivered to Avon Angling. As I arrived Sat afternoon Tony told me the section was a no show, oh dear. Well in Tony's defense he does do a good job of repairing tap dancing shoes. I was very badly hung over from Friday night and so could not be bothered to do anything else to get a pole, so it was to be 5 metres maximum on Sunday.

Glenn picked me up with his usual military precision and we were off to Cider Farm chancing our luck. There was a good Bristol contingent with Mike Nicholls, Bela Bakos, Pete Sivell, Chris Gay, Roger Andonio as well as a few Brummies! I drew peg 19, which I have already drawn this year but a long time back when there was bare bank, and Steve Howells had really struggled on this peg the previous week. On the opposite bank appeared Pete Sivell on 20 and Chris Gay on 22, with Glenn next to me on 17 it was an all Bristol affair! It didn't take long for the banter to start from Mr Sivell and it never stopped all match. He asked if I wanted a pound on it, which I accepted despite being limited to 5mtr! I set up a paste rig with 0.18 to size 12 Drennan Nu hook, I fished it straight out at 5mtr, and to my right at 3 mtrs. I did set up a shallow pellet rig and a pellet wag but neither of those caught me a fish.

I fed half a big pot of 6mms and a couple of balls of paste on both my pole lines and started on the 5mtr line. I missed a bite first chuck, and Pete lost the first fish he hooked for the 2nd week running! It was a slow first hour for me with just 3 carp, although I was getting fizzes and plenty of indications. Glenn's brother Mark came down to watch him and this co-incided with him having his best spell of the match, then when Mark went he stopped catching! My second hour was a bit better but I was not connecting with many bites, and with the two lines I tried feeding one with a pot and one by hand. This didn't really help much but as although the fish remained present on both lines they were proving hard to line up. I'd get 1 or 2 fish by feeding a bit differently or resting a line, but then it would be a long spell of missed bites or foul hookers.

The 4th and 5th hours were probably my best, I caught with a little more regularity and was now getting the odd better fish up to 4lb. Fouler hookers were still a problem though and one fish must have straighted my hook but I didn't notice it (Drennan Nu hooks are an odd shape anyway) until I pulled out of two decent fish by the net! By now I wished I had got a longer pole as I am sure a line further out near to the reeds could have been useful, also there was no margin line to fish as the reeds were to dense. My last hour was not so productive and Pete Sivell had a good run of fish which I thought we see him beat me by a long way. When the scales arrived Dave Roper was leading with 73lb from peg 7, Glenn weighed 50lb and I tipped 71lb 13oz on them. Pete then took back the pound he gave me last week by weighing 81lb, and he also took Chris Gay's who weighed 59lb (so that means I have beat you in the section at last Chris!). Pete was obviously very happy to have beaten me, but I did remind him it had taken him three attempts to beat me lol!

The bottom half of the lake was much more consistent, with Lewis Breeze winning the match with 88lb on pellet shallow. In the end I was 8th overall and won my section by default. So a tight frame, with only 17lb between 1st and 8th, I reckon I lost 14 fish (mostly foulers) so could have been up there, but to be fair everyone suffered losses. Glenn had fish feeding on the top shelf all day but could not catch them, he chucked a straight lead out in the end and took 5 fish on this!

Well that is the end of my "season" at Cider Farm this year, it has been very kind to me this year and I've enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to Mark Gibson for his good organisation, see if you can pull a few reed beds out over the winter Mark! I've now had 5 pick ups on the trot, but it will be a mighty effort to keep this run going as I am now at Avalon for the next two Sundays. Time to tie lots of hook lengths!

Monday, 19 July 2010

A bit of rough at Cider Farm Lakes

Is it part of getting old, this last week I have been sleeping badly (4 to 6 hours a night) but have stopped feeling tired? Saturday night I was awake till 1am and then awoke at 5:30am but didn't feel to bad, weird. Unsurprisingly then Sunday morning I was waiting outside Glenn Bailey's house instead of his gear waiting for me!

We were off to Cider Farm Lakes and on the journey down Glenn and I talked about the previous days Fish'O'Mania and what a great advert for our form of angling it was. I have fished against Neil McKinnon before mainly at Hillview lakes, and know first hand how good an angler he is, well done Neil.

Glenn thought the fishing could be hard today as his brother Mark had fished a lake the day before and his winning weight was half of what is the norm. Cider Farm had produced 6 tons the week before so we were still expecting a decent day. The current anglers to beat at this venue are four welsh musketeers, and of them Howard Green drew plum peg 14, and Rob Jones drew the same peg he had taken 120lb from the week before! Still I was happy to pull out flyer peg 41 a regular framer and I was really looking forward to fishing it. As I sat surveying my peg I heard "Don't ever, ever, ever tell me you don't draw flyers Clucker!", it was none other than Pete Sivell. Now I've know Pete for a very long time, and for a long time we were team mates when we dominated the river matches with Avon Angling, so I knew what to expect from him, lots of winding up and mind games and a lot of laughs. Behind me on peg 40 was his travelling partner Ray Cooper and Chris Davies was opposite Ray on peg 32. This meant we could all keep tabs on each other with a bit of verbal, Glenn was inthe distance on peg 11.

AS I set up fish were showing themselves, but it was noticeable how the activity reduced as we got nearer to the 10am start. Pete asked if I wanted a £1 bet and I agreed even though I had already won a match this year off the peg he was on. I set up 4 rigs today, two dibbers one at 9" for right against the far island and one at 18" on the shelf (both for banded pellet on 0.16 to 16 PR36), a paste rig for the left hand margin and at 7mtr with a 12 Drennan Nu hook to 0.18 and big H float, and a deep pellet rig which was a waste of time!

On the whistle I potted in half a pot of 6mms onto the island shelf, and a full pot down the margin at 3mtrs (it was 6ft deep here). I did not feed the 7mtr line to start with as I hoped the island would be prolific. Three fish in 20 mins on the shelf was not a bad start but then it went dead, and after another 20 mins despite feeding with a catty I had not had a single indication. Pete had started off by fishing shallow in the open water but had also struggled, so I decided to start up the 7mtr line. Feeding with half a pot of 6mms it took all of about 30 seconds for it to start to fizzing! Dropping in with the paste rig I was into a fish within a few minutes, but then it got silly with lots of indications but no proper bites. I tried feeding with a pole pot, and with just a big pot, but nothing made a difference. I though I was getting liners but coming off the bottom with the pellet rig and it just sat there motionless. Much earlier than I had planned I tried the inside (as the island was still dead) and took just one fish here.

Half way through and I was completely jarred off, I just couldn't catch and the odd time I hooked a fish on the paste it was foul hooked and came off. I said to Pete I felt like packing up, but then it's too easy to give up isn't it? I was temporarily cheered up by the sight of Ray Cooper swinging out an old tin of sweetcorn that he hooked fair and square in the lid, I reckon he must have had his hookbait in the tin for ages! AS I sat there trying to decide what to do next I could tell nobody was bagging and the venue was having an off day, I realised I was behind Pete despite him saying he only had 4 carp when he had more like 14, and the Welsh lad to my right had 10, so I had to sort things out. I made up my mind to concentrate on the inside line with paste, as this had produced a couple more fish for me, and I would have to try to get the feeding sorted out. Actually in the end I don't feel I changed to much, just threw in three handfuls of 6mm pellet for every fish, but all of a sudden I started to get sensible bites. The last hour to hour and half I caught steadily, with fish mostly 2lb but up to 4lb, this co-incided with Pete's peg drying up after he said he fed too much corn on the line he was catching. I also took one 2lb skimmer in the last hour which flew out of the lake, haven't seen that for a while! After the whistle blew I was feeling better about things but still just thinking of a section win at best. That was until Glenn arrived to tell me had chucked back seven carp and his section was won with 27lb and Howard had just 61lb off peg 14. I weighed 55lb 7oz and this turned out to be good enough for 2nd, just beating peg 46 which had 54lb.

This match had fished much harder than the previous week and Glenn's prediction was spot on. I was gutted not win, especially as I had pulled out of 8 fish, mostly foulers, but I think we were all caught out by how hard it fished.

Pete said he was not looking forward to reading my blog when he presented me with his nice shiny pound coin, but I assured him I would say he fished like a hero to win his section......... I'm not saying too much because we all know in this game, what goes around comes around!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Tony Rixon Float Only Series Round Four

This match was at Landsend, and many people were thinking the fishing would be hard with some of the lakes 2 foot down due to the long dry spell. I had not been able to get my no6 pole section repaired or replaced, and as 5mtrs would not give me much hope I was thankful that Warren Bates lent me his old 16mtr Diawa Connesior Ultra and some top sets. I was desperate not to draw lakes 3 and 4 today as I feel these are currently very patchy and you cannot frame from them. I was therefore not best pleased when I drew peg 75 on lake 4! Last time I was on this lake I was on peg 71 and I easily won the section with the rest of this side of the lake fishing very badly. I could only fish for the section money now, but when Josh Garrett rolled up on peg 71 I thought that was my chance gone. With Vince Brown, Brian Shanks and Jason Radford in the section it was going to be hard graft today!

I have to say I was feeling a bit more positive about things today due to the fact there were carp boshing up and down the lake, and I reckon I saw more before the start than I did in the whole of the last match. I mentioned this to Glenn who was on laske 3 behind me on peg 62, but he was still not keen on the outlook! As I set up Warren's pole I got out his cupping kit only to find it was a Drennan fixing, when all I had were Preston pots, but luckily the guy behind me had a spare Drennan pot and passed it to me. (You wouldn't get such sportsmanship in football would you!) I set up rigs fairly light as I knew the carp were on the small side, a 4x12 rig for 5 mtrs and 14mtrs at 10'o'clock and 2 o'clock with 0.12 to a 16 PR28 was for soft pellet, a 4x12 PB4 for down the margins with 0.14 to 16 PR28, and 2 dibbers one at 10 inches and one at 4 inches deep for banded pellet on 0.16 to 16 PR36.

I started by cupping some micros and dampened 4mms at 5mtr, corn and caster and pellets on the 14 mtr swims. At this stage I did not feed the margins, waiting to see how it fished, I fed some 4mms by catty across to the islands. In on the 5mtr swim and a couple of tiny skimmers came on the soft pellet before my first carp I took another 3 carp here and a few bits in 30 mins before I tried the o'clock swims and never had a bite on them at all! After this I went across and took 1 carp on banded 6mm pellet but the fish were not there in numbers, in fact I could see carp swirling in the empty peg to my left so there were some nearby!

After an hour and a half I was off the pace, Josh had caught well, and so had Brian and Vince and I changed to feeding 6mms across as I felt the noise might attract the carp in the empty peg. I also fed some pellet and corn to my left margin and had started loose feeding decent amounts of casters to my right margin. The 5 mtr line was now shot and I was just catching the odd carp across by trying both dibber rigs, but it is very frustrating when you can see carp on the mud line but they wont take your bait readily. Lifting and dropping didn't work for me, and I felt the pole movement was spooking the fish, so I just waited for a bite or the elastic to come out.

Mid match the left hand margin produced 3 carp on corn in as many chucks, but then nothing. I then tried this rig across, I pushed the rig out across until the float bristle was showing (about 1.5 mtr off the far bank) and this was on the edge of my short loose fed 6mms. This was a smart move and I took odd fish on this line during the rest of the match. Basically I would always seem to get a carp first drop in, and might get one 2nd drop, then it was dead and you had to go back in tight on the dibber. By switching between the two lines I kept fish coming slowly (plus I took another 3 in the margin) during the 4th and 5th hour. The last hour was very hard, but I could see the whole lake had switched off, and I managed 6 carp when most had nothing.

I estimated I had 45 to 50lb, but I thought that would be beaten by Vince Brown who seemed to catch steady for the first 5 hours, although he had virtually nothing the last hour. Josh had 39lb off peg 71, and I weighed exactly 50lb, Brian Shanks had 32lb and then Vince weighed 45lb so I had won the section, and as it turned out I had won the lake. Those last few fish had been crucial for me when most could not catch. Of course I knew I could not frame with such a low weight but I was chuffed to top the lake from the peg I had. Lake 4 had fished much better than last time I was here, but I had learnt from my previous visit when Rod Wootton had caught well on corn. I fed about 3 pint of 6mm, 2 pint of 4mm, 2pints of caster and 1 tin of corn over the whole match.

Tony of course won the match from peg 29 on specimen, his peg was drawn by Trigger, and Trigger won the silvers from peg 13 on match, his peg was drawn by Tony. Pair of draw bag merchants! To be fair you've got to catch them, and they both did very well and made no mistakes. See Tony's blog for the full results of course.

The lakes really are desperate for water, I heard tell that Mike Duckett has some water coming to fill them up this week, I shan't see the effect as I won't be at landsend again now for a long time due to the leagues I will fish.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Cider Farm Lakes Open 4/7/10

After too long a time away I got back to Cider Farm this Sunday and was looking forward to the match. Weights recently had been very good with 100lb+ winning every match and tons coming from both lakes. There were about 36 fishing today so Mark Gibson decided to run 3 sections paying out the top 4 in each. He did this because he felt Dabinett would dominate the frame (and he was right) and so with this in mind I didn't really mind where I drew. There was a good selection of draw bags about, Pete Sivell, Brian Slipper, John Paige (LoL), Steve Howells to name but a few, Clayton Hudson was also there but he's drawing crap at present!

I pulled out peg 56 on Yarlington which I have already drawn once before this year and last time on it I came 2nd on the lake. However, it was a bit different this time out, as the reeds have grown on and they are now sending out runners across the water! As I knew paste had been doing well here I set up a rig for this at 5 metres, where it was 6ft deep, a big H float with no shot, 0.18 straight through to a size 12 Drennan Nu hook (only have a couple of these hooks left now). A 4x16 rig for banded pellet with 0.16 to a 16 PR36 was for the same line (but actually only took 1 fish). Across at 12 metres was a nice bit of bare bank and a 4x10 PB jobby (red float cane bristle) with 0.16 to 16 PR36 was set at 1ft. The margin was nearly 3ft deep, so a 4x12 was set up for this.

The wind was blowing up quite bad, and it seemed to me that my peg and Steve Preece's next door on 58 were the worse affected. To start the match I fed half a big cup of 6mm pellet and a few balls of paste at 5mtr, cupped some 6mm across and threw some in down the dege with a bit of corn. I was quite pleased to see some fizzing on the 5mtr line as this was where I planned to start, and a fish first chuck was very nice! After 50 mins I had only added another 3 carp, and with odd fish showing across (I'd been feeding 6mms by catty) I picked up the 4x10 rig. This was not much better and despite there being fish right against the mud I could only catch 2 in 30 mins, so I came back to the paste and hoped the far bank would improve later on.

After nearly 2 hours I had nine fish, which I thought would be well off the pace, but Mark Gibson walked around and told me it was doing well on my lake. About halfway through the match I was shipping out on my 4x10 rig when a violent gust of wind blew my pole off the rollers and snapped my no6 section where I had it in my hand. Had I let go of the pole it would of been OK, I just didn't realise what had happened quick enough. Worse was to come, as I the break was so near the male end that I couldn't telescope it enough to push it far enough into the no5 section. I tried not let this mishap do my head in and decided to stick it out on the paste at 5mtr, but then I really had no choice did I....

By cupping in 6mm pellets with my paste hook bait I started to get more interest, and had a good spell right up till an hour to go when for some reason they disappeared. I tried potting in another big cup full of pellet but for 35 mins other than a 2lb skimmer I had no carp. The margin had been tried on and off but I only had one small carp here, which I lost in the reeds, so I stuck with the paste. In the last 20 mins I landed 4 carp as they came back on the fizz, but I lost a 4lb fish pulling too hard. I thought I had 60lb (Rod Wootten was convinced I had a 100lb) which based on previous results would get me no where! I hadn't caught the number of carp I had expected to, but what I had managed to do on the paste was get the odd decent carp to 5lb, certainly a bonus on this lake.

As I waited for the scales I heard the best weight in the first section was 68lb (Pete Sivell) and that the angler on peg 46 was admitting to 70lb and most others were saying less than that. Mike Owens (Thyers) next to me came up for a chat and it turned out he only had 15 carp, but like me had also snapped his no6 section in exactly the same place! When the scales finally arrived (I was last to weigh) 65lb was winning my section, and I was able to beat that weighing 75lb 8oz, that turned out to be the top weight on Yarlington. I won £60 for winning my section, and in the whole match came 8th as Dabinett had fished well with four 100lb+ weights.

1st Rob Jones 127lb 11oz - Dabinett peg 12 paste
2nd Howard Green 127lb 10oz (!) - Dabinett peg 20 paste
3rd Alan Healey 122lb 14oz - Dabinett peg 6 paste
4th Derek Culip 117lb 20z - Dabinett peg 16 paste (he lost 20 carp)

As you see paste is doing the business here!

Well, somehow got to get a new no6 section this week, otherwise I will be wasting my time at Landsend this Sunday, perhaps I'll be wasting my time with a no6 anyway!