Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding Open Rood Ashton

It wasn't a hard decision to make, fishing or a day in front of the TV, I let the wife and kids have the remote fir the day. Initially myself and travelling partner Warren Bates had booked into Viaduct, but the late start meant it would encroach on our evening plans of beer and food, so I cancelled and booked Rood Ashton instead. I had not fished the venue for around 4 years, and then only twice ever and so I needed some expert advice which I got from Andy Pritchard. He said it was method feeder and pole with pellet job, easy enough then! for those that don't know Rood, it is a shallow venue, with 2ft max depth.

After a nice brekkie in the Waney Edge cafe we arrived to see the farmer had put a post in the middle of the gateway to the lake, only cars could just squeeze through. That was a problem as we'd brought no trolleys and Warren's van would not get through the gap, short walk please! Into the drawbag and I pull out 6 and Warren gets 13 right around the other side. The lad on peg 2 kindly gave Warren his car and organiser Leighton Palmer took my gear in his van. Leighton had peg 1 and was going to be hard to beat as was Shaun Townsend on last peg 14 with space to his left. On peg 5 was none other than my old work buddy and team mate Darren Gillman, so we were sure to have a laugh.

I set up a 30grm large Preston in line method feeder (Rixon will love this) with 0.20 to a PR38. I mixed gbait and 2mm pellets for the feed. For the pole I set up a paste rig, a pellet rig for the deck (4x12) and one for up in the water. On the whistle I launched the method and it went a bloody long way! I haven't done much of this fishing and so it was going to be a change for me and a learning curve. After clipping up I set about landing the feeder in the same place, and failed! Still my bad casting was still yielding fish and after an hour and 30 mins I had 10 small carp, mainly on 8mm white boilie. All the time I had been on the method I had been feeding 6mm pellets at 13 mtrs, Darren had started on the pole and had taken a couple of fish less than me but had lost a few too. So when I dropped in on the pole line I was expecting instant action, but it was devoid of fish and after 20 mins I'd lost one fouler. Reluctantly (as I had hoped to have a nice day on the pole) I went back on the method and had 3 carp in 3 chucks, then nothing. I soon worked out that as soon as I didn't get a pull on the method I had to rest it and try the pole line, every time I went back to the method I caught 2 or 3. I would say that my casting accuary improved during the day, and I also got the gbait and pellet mix correct, cos it does help when it stays on!

I could see that Shaun and Warren Bates were catching and I knew Leighton had a lot of fish on peg 1, and I was gutted I could not get the pole working. Then with 10 mins to go the method died and blow me I had 3 bigger carp on the pole on the pellet deck rig. These fish turned out to be crucial as you will see below, I weighed 86lb 11oz for 2nd overall. Darren next to me had struggled as his pole line died, but he had a few on the conker on the straight lead and had 60lb. The match was won by Shaun Townsend, he had 140lb on long pole and caught most of his fish on soft pellet. A good result by a very good angler.

1st Shaun Townsend 140lb (peg 14)
2nd Tim Ford 86lb 11oz (peg 6)
3rd Warren Bates 86lb 5oz (peg 13) oh I did laugh lol!!!!
4th Leighton Palmer 85lb 13oz (peg 1) Leighton got a tad frustrated loosing fish in the reedbed.

I definitely need to sort out how to catch on the pole at this place, as if I could have kept fish coming off both lines I could have taken a big weight.

Back in the carp park and Leighton did the result, Martin Rayett had kindly carried some of my gear back to the van and then I politely reminded him of the £1 side bet we had, the air was blue and full of laughter! Lady luck was on my side again, and I really had a fun day. Sedges on Sunday, Brick lake, not fished there for a few years either!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Todber Manor Park Lake

Tony Rixon asked me last week if I was interested in fishing a match at Todber, I had never fished the venue before and in the end I took up the offer. I spoke to a couple of my Thatchers team mates who fish this lake regularly; Steve Tucker told me to fish meat not very far out, and Mark Harper said fish the method feeder across. I could see a plan forming around this, start on the method and go on the meat after a few hours.

I had the pleasure of transporting Fabio to the venue, he gets a bit worried about being late, but we arrived 45 mins before the draw time. I used to fish with Phil back in the old Silver Dace days on the Avon, he's switched to carp full on these days. Mark Poppleton had organised this match on the Matchfishing Scene website and he kindly let me draw early. I pulled out peg 25 which meant nothing to me but when I got to the peg it looked great, a point of an island just to my left and a long margin to fish. Steve Tucker rang me to confirm it was a flyer and that it should be good for 150lb, no pressure then! Ten minutes later and Fabio comes and sits next to me (how often do people travelling together draw next to each other!) and carp slayer Tony Rixon was the other side of Fabsi.

I set up a 15g small in line method feeder with 0.20 to a 16 PR38. Two 4x10 Durafloats on 0.16 one with a hair rig and one with a PR478 for meat, these were for across and the margin. I also so set up a 0.3gm Inter float on 0.16 for use at 6 metres for meat. I started the match by under arming the method (packed with gbait) to the far bank grasses and I had liners from the off. I had 3 small carp in about 6 casts but I didn't feel it was right (and it's not something I've done a lot of) and I started feeding 6mm pellet across instead. Fishing with a banded 8mm I got bites but only took the odd roach and F1, I came off this line and I decided to "Go Large" so I began to (badly) loosefeed 8mm pellets across! I tried the meat line at 6 metres and had more roach trouble and after 35 minutes I dropped in on the margin and caught 1 small carp and more roach! There was no silvers prize today so I had to catch carp. Going back across on 8mm pellet I was now getting a lot of indications and hooked a few fish but I reckoned they were up shallow, so I took the defunct meat rig off and replaced it with a dibber rig. I eventually found that 8" deep was about right although I still fouled a few. I had a good few hours on this line catching mainly carp from 2 to 3lb, and I was not being bothered by F1's (except missed bites might have been them?).

I could see Tony had caught a lot of fish across but Phil was struggling catching mainly F1's. I tried the margin on and off but was disappointed most of the time, although it was alive with carp eating spawn or themselves spawning. However, with just under 2 hours to go I finally got the fish going here, but I had to fish off the bottom to stop the foulers. I had fed meat, 6mm pellet and 8mm pellet here, I was doing this to get a quantity of bait in although I would have probably just fed 8mm pellet only but I didn't have a lot with me as they hadn't been in the main plan! The margin did slow in but I stayed with it because I had a sore elbow and didn't fancy going across unless I really had to.

When the match finished Steve Seagar who was across from me reckoned I had 110lb, I thought I had 130lb and Tony was saying he had 120lb but we both had not got much of an idea. I guess I had about 70 fish and they weighed 164lb, this was just enough to beat Tony who had 151lb, in between us Fabio was a chip shop sausage having weighed 54lb. My weight was good enough for 2nd overall, beaten by organiser Mark Poppleton who was on the pre match favourite peg 38 (which Fabsi drew for him!) and weighed 177lb. Mark told me he could see carp boiling at 3 metres whilst he was setting up, and after 30 minutes of feeding them he started to bag, fair play. Tony came 3rd, and he took away the full result to put on his blog.

Well I must say I was really impressed with Park Lake, there are obviously stacks of fish in there and it is my sort of venue where you get lots of bites from small carp. I never heard any noise from cars etc, and it was a really lovely day out in the countryside, I hope I can go back there again sometime soon.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Landsend Fishery Open

Travelled down to Landsend with Glenn Bailey today, and after a good breakfast we arrived very early. Twenty minutes before the draw time Tony Rixon approached me with the draw bag and said get on and draw you might draw lake 3 and have a long walk! After Ade Crawley sold me a £1 (for my 74p) for the £21 pools I drew peg 66 on yep the far lake. Immediately all thoughts of framing were gone and it was a case of go for silvers or the section win. I felt sorry for Glenn who pulled my trolley to my peg, and then went and drew the same lake on peg 42, nice bit of exercise though!

As I set up I wasn't happy with the signs, I could not see any fish topping or feeding but once the sun came out there was the odd cruiser, I didn't expect the lake to fish well but you never know! You are at the end of an island on peg 66 so a chance to draw some fish I thought, and peg 67 was left out so I had a margin to my left. I set up a 4x12 rig with 0.12 to 18 B911 for soft pellet at 10m, another 4x12 but with 0.14 to 16 PR36 for across in 2.5ft of water (and one non hair rig for soft pellet), a 4x10 with 0.16 and 16 PR36 for up in the water and a 4x10 margin rig with 0.16 to PR478 for meat. Plumbing up I found the corner itself was very shallow at 8", but a few feet along the island it dropped to 2.5ft all the way along.

To start the match I fed a small amount of micros at 10m and across in the 2.5ft swim. I fed 4mms by catty to the corner hoping to see if the carp would come out to play! In at 10m and all I had in the first 15 mins were 2 tiny skimmers, so I fed a little more bait here and that got rid of the snotty skimmers and I had no more bites here ALL DAY! I went across and I started to get bites from small F1's on soft pellet, I also caught a couple on banded 6mm pellet when roach took a liking to the soft pellet. The odd carp had shown itself on the corner and I had a look in there after an hour, but the fish would not stay in the peg and all I had was a F1 and pulled out of an ide.

I concentrated back on the 2.ft swim and hooked a 6lb carp here and after this the swim never recovered, with just the very odd F1 showing. Two hours in and bites were very hard to come by, where as Andy France on 68 was catching carp and odd F1 against the corner of the island, although he had more than 3ft depth on his corner. I tried the margin (which I was feeding with caster, corn and meat) but it was lifeless and my whole peg switched off with no fish showing except for cruisers. In the last 3 hours I foul hooked 3 carp and had not landed a single fish, until with 1 minute to go I had my first bite in the margin, after the whistle I landed the culprit a 9lb carp.

That was a very, very tough match and there was nothing I could do for most of the time but rotate swims, and I even went down to 0.10 but it didn't work. My weight was 24lb 7oz with the F1s going 8lb+. Nigel Barlett won the silvers on my lake with 21lb, despite getting vermined out with 42lb of carp. Alan Healy was best weight on the lake with a very good 89lb, 13 carp on paste. Speci and Match lakes fished much better with Dean Malin easily winning with 192lb and Tony Rixon coming 2nd with 162lb, from flyers on speci!

See Tony's blog for more info, I can't write much more about this shite day, other than to say Glenn only had 21lb from peg 42, and as an Arsenal fan his day was complete when Liverpool equalised in the last minute, ouch!

Monday, 11 April 2011

A message to Mark P

Hi Mark P,

I just found your message that you left on my blog back in February. for some reason it went into the blog SPAM which I didn't even know existed! So I have now published your comment and just wanted to put this post up so (if you are still following my blog) you could see I was not hiding your message.

I hope your Dad is doing well, and the fact that you took something positive from what I have written is exactly what I had hoped may happen.

Tight Lines.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Sun, a Ton, I'm done!

I had a funny start to Sunday morning, I was awoken at 7.15am by the sound of a van outside my house, it was Paul Elmes and Mike Nicholls. Unfortunately I had not been able to confirm if I could get a lift with Paul so I decided to lie in, and so I had to let them go on without me while I got ready. The match that we were all going to was a Tony Rixon open at Sedges Tile lake. A lake I have only match fished once before and that was 2 years ago. Had my first breakfast today at Fountain Cafe, and it was a really good one too.

Once again I was allowed first dip in the drawbag, and I pulled out corner peg 40, I had been told 21 (opposite 40) was a flyer and then I was told so was 40! Seem to be doing well at the drawbag this last week! It was only a very short walk for me and my bag carriers, and behind me on brick lake peg 1 was John Dursley who was fishing a silvers match (his peg was solid with carp he he!). John told me it would be worth starting on a method feeder, and lent me his made up rod, which was nice! I also set up the pellet wag and 3 pole rigs for the margins to my left which I was told would be solid, but there's no point talking rigs because the margins never produced a bite. The pellet wag was 4 swan, and I used 0.16 Exceed to a 16 PR36.

On the whistle I launched the method feeder as far as I could and it landed nowhere near the island. I started feeding 8mm pellets as far as I could (no where near the island!) and also fed them to the end bank past some trees. I had 3 chucks on the method and got bored, and as Tom Magnol next to me had taken a carp and was getting bites on the wag and pellet I followed suit. I could not get my feed anywhere near the island, and decided to feed it where I could do so comfortably (Tom was feeding 10mm pellets and getting to the island). I started by fishing about 2ft deep and whilst I was not getting as many bites as Tom I was on a par with him on fish. I was getting mainly 1lb to 1.5lb carp, although I did have an 8lb fish in the first hour. I didn't feel I was emptying it because the fish came in bursts with long gaps with nothing. I tried upping the feed and changing depths all without any real difference, so I just kept going as I seemed to be doing well.

3 hours in and I decided to try the end bank with the wag as I had seen fish moving there, I was into carp straight away but after a few 3lb fish it was back to the smaller fish. I had a really good run here, and started to hit a fish nearly every cast, inevitably it slowed and I rested it and went back in the open water. However, I was soon forced back down the end bank as it was dead out in front. I put a 2nd keepnet in with just under 2 hours left, and to give you some idea of my catch rate that net eventually weighed 42lb. I did catch the willow tree 3 times, and the grass once, but I always got the float back (my lucky day!). I did re set the wag up twice during the match though, this was because the line around the weights was damaged and I have learnt by experience that not doing this means you will crack off eventually!

By the end of the match my arms and shoulders were aching, and I was pleased that my workout yielded 119lb 9oz and that was enough to win. Tom Magnol was 2nd with 99lb of carp (in one net when the limit is 100lb!) and Tony Rixon was 3rd with 92lb from peg 23. Steve Hutchinson won the silvers with about 40lb+ he had 5 big slabs and skimmers and crucians. Tony's blog will have all the details.

It was nice to get my first win this year, quicker than I thought if I'm honest, but a very good peg does help. A lot of casting, a lot of bites, a lot of carp, a lot of sun and I love it!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Landsend Midweek Open

I decided to fish this match because I thought I could catch silvers within reasonable distance and ignore the carp. When I drew peg 7 on match lake everyone said you'll catch carp, hmmmm.

I had 2 pints of caster with me, hard pellet, soft pellet and meat. I decided to leave the casters in the bag, which I think was a poor decision in the end. I was told this peg was shallower then most and so it proved, the very same rig I used at Shiplate on Sunday (0.3grm 4ft 0.14 to 16B911) was at the exact depth for 11mtr line and to fish just off the pallet on vacant peg 8. I used a 4x10 Preston PB4 for across at 14.5 mtrs and had a 0.16 to PR36 for banded pellet, I had just about a foot of water next to a tump of grass. I didn't set up anything else as I felt that would do it! I had a good chat with Tom Thick who was on peg 5 (he likes this peg, as he keeps drawing it!) and he gave me a lot of pointers about what to feed for skimmers and F1's. So on the whistle I potted in about 200 micros and some soften 4mm pellets at 11mtr in front, and at 13 mtrs at 2 o'clock (but this line never produced a bite), I then put some meat down by the pallet and started firing 4mm pellets to the island.

I started on soft pellet on the 11mtr line and within a few minutes had my first bite and a decent skimmer, a couple more followed and then I landed an F1. I could now only get bites from F1's and it seemed they had pushed the skimmers out, but on the hour mark things slowed considerably. I had been feeding some micros and 4mm pellets and tried feeding a bit more, bit less and nothing really got them going. It was taking too long now for bites and so after 2 hours I went across on a 6mm pellet. This looked good as 2 F1's and a carp came straight away, but then nothing!

For the middle two hours it was a struggle for me, I kept trying all my swims with limited success, a tench came from across and a couple of skimmers and 2 carp back at 11mtrs. I was ahead of Tom, but then his peg came alive and he started catching F1's regularly only interrupted by carp across to the island. Tom was potting bait whereas I was using the catty. I tried potting but it didn't help and I went back to the catty. Al of sudden the island swim came alive, another tench, an ide, a skimmer and then 6 carp in the last 40 minutes. I'd had a good end to the match but was frustrated that I could not catch by the pallet and that I had not fed a caster line which could have been useful mid match (still a bit rusty, or just crap lol). I knew Tom had beaten me, but it turned out not by as much as I thought, he weighed 83lb to my 75lb. Tom had 40lb of silvers, I had 32lb, and Tom ended up 2nd overall. I had lost 3 carp, one did me under the platform (argh) and 2 were fouled but I had them near the net a couple of times......

Dean Malin won the match with 103lb and I ended 5th out of 10, if you read Tony's blog you'll see how close the weights were. I always seem to fall short at Landsend, and I learnt a lot today about the F1's, I have never caught them before! Overall a lovely day out fishing in glorious sunshine, but I am knackered now due to fishing 14.5mtrs for so long, thanks again lads for the help carrying my gear.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Back in the saddle at Shiplate Fishery

For the first time since January I awoke on a Sunday morning knowing I was going fishing! I was thankful to Glenn Bailey for not only picking me up but also lifting my tackle to his car. We stopped at a burger van on the A38 and bumped into Rod Wootten, who I haven't seen for some time, and we briefly discussed the demise of Cider Farm. As for Shiplate I had never heard of the place before and found out all I could. There are 3 lakes one large speci lake (bream into doubles as well as all the carp) and two "sausage" canal type lakes. The match was on the two canals with one containing lots of bream and skimmers and some carp, the other being very new having lots of small carp and silvers (this lake is still going to have more fish put in).

As we pulled in Dean Malin was stood by my door waiting for a viewing of my bag! Anyway onto the draw, due to my current issues Tony Rixon let me draw 15 mins before everyone else and I pulled peg 5 on West Lake, a peg where Dean Malin recently had 97lb off when pleasure fishing. Bela Bakos, Dean and Paul Elms then carried my gear to my peg, thank you lads I would never have got there without your help! To my left Anton Page was setting up (with my old pole) but he had two speci anglers opposite him which was not going to help.

The peg was 16 metres wide, and whilst the far bank would be the best bet for carp I was not going to fish that long. I plumbed a line at 5mtrs to my left (but never had a bite) a line at 8 mtrs where it was about 4ft deep and a line at 14 mtrs where the depth was a few inches less than the middle. I used 0.3g PB Inter 1 floats, with 0.16 to 0.14 Exceed line and a 16 B911 hook on both lines. I decided that I would feed positive as you need a fair bit of bait to hold 100lb of bream (perhaps a tad ambitious for my first match for ages!) and I put 150ml of micros and 4mm pellets in at 8 mtrs and nearly 250ml of the same at 14 mtrs. My plan was to fish the 8 mtr line for as long as possible and to let the big slabs settle in across.

As the match began the odd carp was hooked, and mainly lost, by those fishing across but it was quiet for most except Russ Peck on peg 3 who had a few skimmers. I had a 1lb skimmer on a 4mm soft pellet after about 15 mins but then no other bites despite trying various hookbaits. I then tried my old river bream hook bait 3 red maggots and this induced some sport. I took a few more skimmers on this but it was a long wait between bites and not long after the hour I went to 14 mtrs and had not a bite! I was not too worried at this stage as it can take a while for bream to get on the feed, and back on the 8 mtr line I had a 5lb slab but again no bites. Going across again I had a couple of 2lb skimmers and maggot seemed best on the hook, and I did lose a foul hooked carp. There was no pattern to the bites and feeding any bait seemed to put them off.

Halfway through and it was hard for all except Martin Alexander who started to catch skimmers regularly and did so for 2 hours. I had another 5lb slab and a 5lb carp across in two casts and then not a bite for an hour. Russ Peck was now catching carp and so I went and put a big pots of pellets on my two lines. It was a gamble and it sort of paid off in that I had a couple more skimmers (lost two more foulers) and took a bream of 6lb. Anton had been bashed up for 5 hours (and Alan Oram let him know it!) but then the carp anglers went and he caught some skimmers and carp to finish strongly.

My bream and skimmers (and 1 ruffe) weighed 28lb 11oz and the lonely carp 5lb 10oz, 34lb was 3rd on my lake behind Russ Peck 58lb (winner) and Martin Alexander 42lb. As I was in Russ's section I got the section by default, which was more than I thought I would get, I was just happy to be there. In hindsight I fed way to much and both Anton and myself felt casters would have been a good bait. I should mention on the lake I was on the two ends were a struggle and it was definitely a case of draw in the middle of the lake. For full result see Tony's blog, and as he was drawn on the other lake I'd be interested to see how he approached it, even if he didn't catch much. My thoughts on the fishery were it has a lot of potential, and the fish seem to be very healthy, a bit of tweaking may help. I would love to fish the main lake, might give it a go pleasure fishing later in the year. Thanks to Jason Radford who carried my box and carryall back (I think the weight may have shrunk him) and to Glenn for taking my holdall and Alan Oram my nets!

I wonder if I am eligible for the coffin dodgers matches?