Sunday, 23 January 2011

Chilton Trinity delayed Xmas Match

I'll tell you now that you will find more to read about fish being caught on Tony's and Mike's blogs since they were at the same place and both caught more than me!

I could have fished the canal today, it was the last ATWL round, but decided to fish CT as it would be my first visit. (As it turned out the canal fished pants and so I would have probably blanked! Thatchers won the league comfortably, well done lads!) So it was that I came to be picked up at 6:30 by Mike Nicholls for the journey to Hill Tops. We bumped into Les Williams in the cafe, he had not been very well he advised, after having a nasty bang on the head when his car bonnet fell on him, ouch!

I had some idea of the pegs to draw after reading about Wednesday's match and from talking to a few of the regulars. Unfortunately I drew peg 31, and Rich Coles said this area was rubbish Weds, in fact Nick Davidson (Keynsham Angling) had struggled on it. Never mind, got to make the most of it! I set up two rigs for the deep water out at 14.5 and 16 mtrs a 0.75gm Desque float, and 1gm pencil float. These had 0.1 and 18 Drennan silver fish hooks. A 4x14 Chianti would do for the carp margin line (on 0.12 to a 18 pellet hook) at 7 mtrs to my left. I fed some micros and dead maggots out to 16mtr, gbait to an angle at 14mtr and settled in to see what happened. It was very cold as the wind was Right in my face, and it made presentation tricky at times. After the first hour I had taken two skimmers and a couple of roach, but it just went rock hard for an hour before a carp took a liking to my double dead maggot hook bait. I played it carefully for 10 mins, it was a heavy plodding fish and I just took it really easy. The bulk shot surfaced once or twice and a large boil was created on the surface proving this was a good un, but how big I shall never know because it found a snag about 6 mtrs out....f£%%ing thing!!!!

The rest of the match was spent catching the odd roach, and it was obvious no carp were present in my peg, although to my left Martin Legahan (I think that is how his name was called out at the results lol) had taken carp 16 mtrs down the peg to the corner which was a long way away. To my right Jason Radford had 2 roach and went for walk, the next angler packed up early and so did Rich Coles, it was shite in my area! The margin never produced a bite and I was very happy when the all out came as I was feeling the chill Northerly wind.

I weighed 3lb 8oz, but as Fabio said, I had well over 4lb as the scales were not to good, still it was the same for everyone so no moaning from me. Tony walked the match from peg 24 (see his blog) you don't get roach trouble when you have the carp in your peg lol! Dean Malin won the silvers with 7lb, and 2nd in the silvers was next to him, am I sounding bitter about my peg yet! Martin Legahan sneaked into the frame beating Mike Nicholls by 1oz!

During the match we were looked after by the lake owners who provided us free (as a treat) cup of tea, soup and a roll, sausage rolls and a mince pie! That made up for the lack of bites. I will go back, but when it's a bit warmer I think.

Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this will be my last post for a while as I go into hospital on the 27th for an operation to remove my tumour. Hopefully it will go well and they find no surprises (though the list of risks from the surgery is as long as your arm!), the op is supposed to take about 5 hours and I will be in hospital for 7 to 10 days. Once they've opened me up they will have a good idea of what will happen next, so I'm keeping everything crossed. I'll be looking forward to getting back out fishing, but it will be at least 6 to 8 weeks away, I suppose it might be a bit warmer by then, which would be nice! Tight lines.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Commercial House Final Round

The K&A in Bath was once again the venue for the final round of the Commercial House. I thought that I might be in for a good draw today and in all fairness I probably did get one of the better pegs that our team had drawn, trouble was we had a bad draw. I found myself two pegs away from where I had drawn last week, I was on the brambles up from the George, at least the peg had been rested last week as Martyn Reyatt only managed 2lb+ from it (he he)!

I won't bore you with the rigs I set up because they were the same ones as I used last week. In fact before I had set up a rig I could see Graham Hunt 2 pegs up playing a fish! A pike of about 3lb took his plummet, Graham landed it and then took it back down the canal off the match length to return it alive. Vinny Lunn was to my left and he had no pike trouble, but did have a dog in his peg, his new puppy! I reckoned this match was going to be much better than last week, and so I went positive with my feeding. I put a big Preston pot of liquidized bread in at 4 metres, a decent amount of chopped worm and caster across left and a big ball of joker and caster across right. Onto the punch and I had 3 small roach and then a 6oz hybrid but the wind was really bad and trying to present the bait correctly and read the float was very difficult. A 10oz skimmer then graced my net but after this it was just small roach.

45 mins in and the bread line was going nowhere and as Graham had taken a decent perch I looked across myself. I put a lobworm on and shipped across, I had 2 quick bites from perch but they were only a few ounces each. No more bites so I tried the caster rig over this line with red maggot on the hook. This was good for 10 mins, with a 6oz hybrid and a 3 or 4 2oz roach, but then it was tiny perch so I thought I'd have an early look on the caster line (after I fed some joker right and left of my bread line). I caught 3 small roach and stuck a caster on, the float buried straight away and and I had a roach around 3 or 4 oz, followed by a couple more. I then spent the next two hours swapping between taking the odd caster roach up to 6oz, and catching small fish on bloodworm at 4 mtrs. Things were going well until a large barge came through and, I don't know why, after this my far bank never provided another bite.

When the scales arrived Graham Hunt had 6lb 1oz of predators (and he had another pike that of course didn't count lol), Vinny had 5lb, I weighed 6lb 11oz which was top (just beating Anfy Ottoway's 6lb 7oz) until the last 3 pegs down by the school and bay. Here Andy Power won the section with 9lb 4oz and either side of him had 7lb weights. So no dosh again, but I had really enjoyed today as I had put more time into the caster after realising my error the week before. The walk back to the car was fun as the rain became monsoon like and everything was thoroughly soaked as it was chucked into the car.

The match was won by legend Shaun Townsend (and he was top individual in the league and the knockout winner, and I had to mention this because he bought me a pint) from 1st peg past the swing bridge with 14lb. He had skimmers, perch and some big roach. Kev Dicks was joint 2nd, with 12lb+ from the turning bay (perch on the feeder) with Des Shipp managing the same weight from the bay at the Malthouse. There were quite a few weights today of 8lb+ but once again there were some very tough areas.

Thatchers A won the A div on the day and won overall, Town and Country A were relegated to the the B div, which was quite funny because Town and Country B were promoted from the B div! So that's the end of that for another season, well done to the winners, and well done to the organisers Mark Harper, Vinny Lunn and Mike Goodhind (although Mike is useless at reading out the results lol!). One more match for me next Sunday at Chilton Trinity before I go under the knife.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Commercial House Round 5

Back to the canal today, first time for a while for me and so I spent most of Saturday tying rigs, hooks and putting some sensible elastic in my match top kits. The match was pegged from Darlington to Bathampton bend, so there were plenty of decent pegs in the draw. When captain Martin Barrett came back with peg 1 I was looking forward to being on an end peg. However, I was to face 5 hours on peg F1, this was the barren area just before the brambles with the bay in my section (get the excuses in now!). To my left was Gary O'Shea on the start of the brambles and to my right on E9 was Andy Britt. The canal was ice free, except for my section, and the ice started on my peg. I managed to break up a fair bit of ice with my pole and cupping kit, and so did Gary until his cupping kit came off (lol), but fair play he managed to reconnect it and got it back!

Rigs for today were a 4x14 Drennan Roach with 20 B511 to 0.07 for punch, a 0.4grm wire bristle job with 0.06 to 20 PR333 for bloodworm deep, and a 0.3grm for up the shelf with same gear. A 4x12 Preston Chianti for caster on 0.08 to 18 PR334 and a 4x12 Drennan choppa for my worm rig with a 15 B711 to 0.13.

I started on the punch at 4 metres, all I could get was very timid bites from roach of less than an ounce, but the ice (which had been broken up by a boat) kept floating over where I was fishing. Meanwhile Andy Britt had a couple of decent skimmers and a 12oz roach, oh well at least he's in the next section! Both Gary and myself struggled for the first hour on the punch, we were moving ice and catching eyes. I tried my chopped worm line but this only gave up a couple of perch no bigger than the hook bait, onto the bloodworm and I could catch a small roach every chuck at 10 metres. I stuck with this for quite a while, but it was tricky, the ice had gone only to be replaced by lots of debris on the surface which blew and stayed in mine and Gary's pegs for the rest of the match. You had to ship out keeping the hook off the water, not easy when your shipping at an angle and trying to avoid the M25 behind you (it was solid today, ramblers, kids, bikes, dogs the lot). Andy Britt had a dog pee on his rod holdall, I didn't laugh to much!

Rumour had it with an hour to go about 3lb was winning the section and I thought I had close to that. As I could not catch on caster or worm I stuck to the small roach ob bloodworm, but then Gary started catching caster roach more regularly and I had to try and catch these better samples. In the last 20 mins I took 5 roach on caster, incredibly these came over my chopped worm line, not my caster line! I guessed I had 4lb and my guess was close for a change as I weighed 4lb 4oz. This was enough to win the B div, only trouble I'm in the A div and I only beat one of them (cheers Eddie Wynne)! Graham Hunt, (on the end peg in the bay) won the section and the match with 7lb+ mainly 4 perch on the wag. Shaun Townsend a couple of pegs away from Graham snared a 2.5lb perch and with his bits and weighed 6lb+ for 2nd in match. Gary's caster fish did me and he weighed 5lb 5oz, and Andy's bonus bread fish did me as he weighed 5lb 7oz, bitter and twisted....

The canal was a tough nut today, with many people pestered by pairs of eyes and some very good canal anglers struggled for a 1lb, but I enjoyed myself and kept busy all day. Bathampton won the A div and with one round left they are tied on points with Thatchers A.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Avalon Open

First time up and about early for a while, but I was looking forward to getting out on the bank. I ate my brekkie at Shipham quickly to avoid being late for the draw, and it was very nice.

When I arrived at Avalon carp park I could see a fair bit of ice on the left hand side of the lake, and as this was being broken up by a boat I hoped to avoid this side. I was therefore quite content when I drew peg 37 on the right hand side in a ice free peg. My neighbours for the day were commercial regulars Paul Elms (peg 38) and Alan Oram (peg 35). I have never fished Avalon in the winter, come to think of it I've only ever fished the place in late spring / summer so I based my attack around what I had gleaned from Tony Rixon and Vic Bush. I set up a feeder rod with a small gbait feeder with 0.16 to an 18 B911, I intended to put gbait and micros in the feeder and use either red maggot or corn on the hook. I also set up a 3.5 AAA wag with 0.12 to an 18 Drennan silverfish pellet hook to use with maggot / caster. I opted for just one rig on the pole, a 0.6 grm Preston float with wire stem and fine fibre bristle, with 0.1 to 18 silverfish.

I wasn't quite ready for the start, so chucked out the tip but with a straight lead on. After 10 mins I was ready to go and the tip hadn't moved but then I hadn't really expected it to! I fed two lines on the pole at 14.5 mtrs left and right, one with micros and red maggs and the other gbait with a few casters. I then fished the feeder for the first hour but only managed 2 very small roach on this. Onto the pole, and first drop in over the micros with dead red maggot on the hook I got a 10oz perch (!). Now I will admit to a dumb ass moment, I hadn't set up my landing net, I forgot! So I was very thankful to a sporting Paul Elms who lent me his net for this perch. I took a couple of very small roach over the micro line but couldn't get a bite over the gbait. I decided to loose fed a very small amount of caster at about 16 mtr+, I thought that maybe I could get a few roach on caster here later.

In the middle of the match the micro line died but I started to get bites over the gbait. A perch of 6oz, a 10oz roach and a small skimmer were all nice fish, but I pulled out of 1lb skimmer as I unshipped the top set. Double dead red maggot was best for me on the day. I had tried the wag but had no bites, and as the odd small carp had been caught I tried the feeder again. I did have what I thought were a couple of line bites (perhaps real bites, should I have struck?) but it wasn't my idea of fun. Even though Paul Elms took his one and only carp on the feeder during this time I went back on the pole and took a roach first bung and then nothing. I picked up the wag more in hope than expectation and slipped on a single caster, I managed 3 small roach and a 6oz skimmer before it died. With about 40 mins to go I thought I'd cast the wag over to the island with double red maggot, it was a good move as the float buried on the drop and I was attached to a carp! I played it very carefully to the net when it woke up, eventually I landed it, which was nice! I took a few more roach here and that was that.

The scales were round promptly as Vic and Leigh did the weigh in, I had 7lb 7oz in total, and the carp had weighed 3lb 15oz. I was aware that Martin McMahon had caught lots of small carp (and he won with 21lb) and with Alan Healey weighing in 9lb+ I was hoping for section by default, but when I got back to the results I arrived just as Tony announced I was third and a pick up!

Poor Paul Elms, he lost a lovely waggler first cast (before the match started) and did hook the reeds a few times. The reeds in his peg started to move at the end of the match and he fished on a bit until he lost another waggler, he he! Alan next to me had some skimmers and small carp for 5lb 5oz. Tony won the silvers with 4lb 12oz, you can see the full result on his blog. I enjoyed the day, it was hard work and a day to keep trying, other then the lost skimmer I think things went well for me.

There was a match on the canal today in Bath, Andy Powers won (again) from Richardsons with 14lb, and a big 6lb was only 6th so it fished OK. Gonna take a while for the water temperature to rise and wake the fish out of their slumber.