Monday, 30 May 2011

Summerhayes Longs Match Lake

Another new venue for me this Sunday, and following on from Trinity I think I may be sticking to venues I know! I gave a lift to Warren Bates and he and I both had a lot of bait and rigs made up to cover all eventualities. This lake is a snake lake, and you can see it when travelling north on the M5. Mind you getting to and from the venue once off the motorway is hilarious. My journey involved (not in order) travelling down various windy pot hole lanes, driving over the canal, going through a tunnel just bigger than my car, driving directly under the M5 through a fly tipping area and crossing a railway. A Land Rover would be better!

At the draw I spotted some faces that I had not seen since last summer, old Cider Farm regulars, including Steve Howells and so I knew one flyer would be gone! Steve advised the lake contained small carp, skimmers, a few tench and the usual roach and rudd. With 23 fishing there was £100 for the winner today! When I drew peg 39 I tried desperately to get some info, all I got were upturned noses. The best I got from one local was that peg is either all or nothing, and you'll know soon enough.....

I had lots of room as I was in a corner and the other side of the corner (peg 1) had been left out to help me. I set up a 0.3gm inter 4 with 0.10 to 18 for use with soft pellet initially used at 7 sections at 10 o'clock. Across I found 18" of water and set up a 4x10 durafloat with 0.12 to 16 B911 for soft pellet. A 4x12 durafloat was set up for 14 mtrs next to some reeds with 0.14 to 16 B911. At the start I cupped small amounts of micros across in 2 spots and on the 7 section line, half a cup of 4mms were fed next to the reeds. Let me now jump ahead to one hour gone, I've got one roach and have bumped one skimmer and I was thinking of lots of plan B's! I had some worms with me so introduced some CW&C in the open water, and I tried this on and off all day long for 1 roach!!!! I finally managed to pick up 3 small carp and a tench from the far bank but that died, and you had to feed another line and look elsewhere. The wind was awful though and the far bank was pulling like a river and fishing was difficult.

Halfway through and it was like pulling hens teeth, Lewis Jones on 37 had hardly any wind in his peg and had caught far more than me by fishing next to an aerator. With 3 hours to go I went down to the reeds at 14 mtrs for another look and the float buried, I managed to catch a few small carp here over the next hour and a half. It then went a bit iffy and I foul hooked a few and it went very quiet. Despite trying all of the swims I fed I could only manage 1 small skimmer and a carp away from the reed swim, and so had to stay there and wait for the very odd bite. I did catch one small carp down the edge, and I thought for a while that there were a fair view carp in the margins. I later realised it was actually the now rare water vole, and there were a few about. Lovely to see them again as when I was a kid I saw them all the time on the Avon, then the bastard mink wiped the lot out.

I was quite pleased when the whistle went I can tell you! My total weight of 19lb 14oz was never going to trouble the others, and Lewis gave me a lesson weighing 25lb, I weighed more carp than him but he had lots of skimmers. Warren had not had a single carp and caught 9lb of roach and rudd by fishing caster across. 32lb won the match and Lewis was 3rd beaten by 8oz for 2nd by Steve Howells. Steve told me he had 15lb of skimmers in his net and had them fizzing, so they are in there!

All the locals said the venue had not fished this bad for a long time, in fact one local who regularly picks up had not had a bite after two hours fishing for carp and went and fished on another lake! I think on the day I messed up as there were carp against the reeds, I should have stuck to feeding with a toss pot but the catty came out as I thought the noise would help. However, other than that the rest of the peg seemed devoid of fish. I won't draw too much from this one match, but suffice to say I won't be going back until the weights are much more consistent!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Chilton Trinity Wildmarsh Lake

I have never fished this particular lake before, and I won't be rushing back. I was travelling with Glenn Bailey for the first time in many weeks, and we both had little idea of how this place would fish except for info from Tony Rixon and Bob Gullick. Even when we drew our pegs we had no idea of the actual where abouts of them! Peg 51 was my station for the day and Glenn's was 12. I didn't fancy my peg, Charlie Barnes said it was not a good area, and despite all the wind it was flat calm!

I set up a 1gm rig with 0.1 to 18, a 2gm rig with 0.12 to 16 these were for out at 14.5 mtrs where I would feed gbait,caster and worm on one line and micro pellet on an angle. A 4x14 with 0.1 to 18 was for caster at 5mtrs and 4x10 0.18 to 16 for the margins. I fed 5 balls gbait with a good helping of worm and caster, and half a pot of micros at the start. I left the margins alone to see what would happen. Straight out on the gbait line and it was a bite a chuck but only from very small roach, increasing the hookbait size made no difference either, but I did push the bulk down and pushed the droppers together. Fishing single caster I could get 2oz roach, not great but I thought I would go with the flow hoping the skimmers would turn up. I did get 2 skimmers after 90 mins, but they were only 8oz fish and I had no more. I had already topped up with the odd ball of gbait but things were very slow so I fed 2 decent balls and dropped in on the micro pellet line. Despite trying all sorts of hookbaits I never had one bite on this line all match!

I caught some roach at 5mtr on caster (I had been feeding it from the start) but if I caught 5 fish I was lucky and they would not stay. The gbait line would only yield small roach and despite refeeding the skimmers never showed. A couple of people had already been for a walk and I could see in my area it was tough, however on island peg 2 Dave Roper had a couple of decent carp as had Steve Preece just down from the bridge. A few bonus fish appeared on the road bank, Charlie Barnes had 4 barbel, Steve Hutchinson a bream and a couple of carp had been lost. With just over two hours to go I fed 2 pints of pellet in the right hand margin and 1/2 pt caster and some worms in the left hand margin. I went for a quick walk and decided to fish the margins for the rest of the match to try to have a chance of some coin. However, I never had a fish, and so I chucked back around 8lb of fish to end a fairly miserable day for me, cos I also found out my pride and joy plant at home had snapped in the wind, pissing wind!

It appeared that where I was pegged on the day was not good, Turkey to my left DNW and said he had about 7lb of bits and Johnny Baker to my right reckoned he had 5lb. However, there were some fish caught, with Dave Roper winning with a last cast carp taking him to 46lb, Paul Elmes had 45lb on the paste from peg 9 (after he went to McDonalds during the match as he was so fed up!!!) and Glenn Bailey was 3rd with 43lb. Glenn had 15lb of silvers and 28lb of carp, he was an end peg and this must have helped a bit. Glenn could have won the match as he lost a 5lb carp and a 15lb carp both at the net! Steve Kedge won the silvers from next to Dave Roper with 20lb.

Not a good day for me, but then I've had my fair share of good pegs lately and you gotta take the rough with the smooth!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fishing like a Gnome at Landsend

A few weeks ago at the Sedges I saw a match run on Tile lake which was a pole top set match only. I thought it was a silly thing to do and a waste of a day out. However, I realised I was a tad hasty, after all you shouldn't knock it till you try it. Therefore when Tony Rixon said he was going to run a top set plus 1 match at Landsend I thought well let's see.

I was very lucky to be driven to the venue by Lord Nicholls of Silverfox, though we were stuck behind Tonys van so the view wasn't so special. Anyway onto the draw and I wondered where would I want to draw on a match fished with just my top set and a number 4? It was kind of funny when I drew peg 7, as this was the same peg I drew last time at Match Lake. For the umpteenth time I had John Bradford on the next peg (5) and on the next peg to my right (10) was Mike West, having a moan. So what to set up.... I decided on two main lines as far as I could go, 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock. One line I would feed with caster and the other with soft pellet. I thought the silvers would be the main species to oblige and so I set up a 0.3gm PB Inter float with a 16 to 0.12, same float but with a 16 to 0.14, and a 4x12 Durafloat for 8mm banded pellet on the usual 16 PR36 and 0.16. The latter rig could be used for the margin (thought it was a no bite job) and with a little depth change my main pellet line.

On the whistle I deposited around 50 casters at 10 o'clock, and a small amount of micro and soften 4mms at 2 o'clock. I thought I would feed it steady to begin as I had nowhere else to go! Going straight in on the caster line with the 0.12 rig I could catch small perch and roach with the odd better stamp. A quick look on the soft pellet brought a few better quality roach. I swapped between the lines to try not to spook the fish and it worked well for the first hour and a bit with a nice ide, 2 big F1's and plenty of roach and perch. I pulled out of two carp which I think were fouled. These lines then began to slow right down and I had to work hard for bites, with a run of little skimmers and another F1. Going into the 3rd hour it was now getting boring as I could only get the odd bottle top! I did lose a carp out of the blue on the caster line, it swam straight to the margin and I broke the 0.12 trying to prevent it snagging me. I managed one small carp on the pellet line and lost a decent skimmer.

The 4th hour was just dead and I decided silvers time was now over and it was carp or bust, I put a couple of pots of caster in and a potful of micros and 4mms. I found I could catch some roach into my right margin on pellet, but I didn't see them building my weight quick enough. However back out on the main lines and the extra feed had worked and I hit 2 decent skimmers (off of each line) and then caught a carp on pellet amongst the fizzes that had appeared. Then it went silly, I foulhooked a big skimmer and it came off near the net, then pulled out of two carp on the pellet line and one on the caster line, flipping eck! Then I hooked and landed 3 carp in three put ins on the pellet and I'd done nothing different! I took another 3 carp and an ide in the last hour but missed 4 bites pulled out of another carp and lost a ghost carp after the whistle which finally woke up and with me hanginging onto my number 4 it snapped the line. As it turned out everyone had lost lots of foulers, I think it was the fact (at least in my peg) that I had to feed a lot of bait to get them there.

My silvers went 27lb 2oz and my carp 28lb 1oz, and the total of 55lb 30z was just enough to scrape in 3rd place overall. Dan White was miles ahead of everyone else with 80lb on meat from peg 22. Tony Rixon was 2nd with 60lb (including a carp landed after the whistle, humph!) and John Bradford won the silvers with 27lb 14oz, only just though as Alan Oram had 27lb 10oz of skimmers from peg 12. I should have won the silvers if I had used a slightly lighter elastic (used 11 hollo) I reckon I lost 8lb of the hook (those 2 skimmers and some roach swinging them off.) Still it was a good match with lots of close weights and plenty of silvers. Yes, I think I might fish a top set plus 1 again in the future, but not to often eh!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Commercial House Dates and Venues

Please find dates and venues for the 2011/2012 Commercial House. Back to 4 rivers and 2 canals this year, lovely jubbly! Reckon I'm due some good draws this year.

4th Sept Jack Whites, Crane, Swineford.

25th Sept Jack Whites, Crane, Swineford.

23rd Oct Newbridge.

27th Nov Jack Whites, Crane, Swineford.

8th Jan Canal

15th Jan Canal

(Xmas Match on canal is 17th Dec)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Avon Angling open at Avalon

I was back to renew my acquaintance with Avalon, I hadn't been there since Jan when there was ice on the lake! I gave a lift to Warren Bates and he was impressed with the first part of the day (not me being on time) his first breakfast at the Fountain cafe. We arrived at the fishery with plenty of time to spare and so walked around the lake with Nigel Bartlett, straight away we saw a problem. The lake was clay grey in colour and whenever this is the case it usually means the fishing is hard. With the whole of the match lake being used I really wanted a draw on the left hand side (shop side) which had a favourable wind, but no, I go and draw peg 26. This peg is two up from the corner and I have seen many an angler struggle off it, then Warren comes and tells me he has drawn the corner peg 24!!!

When I arrived I was pleased that Tony has given me an empty peg either side, whereas many of the better areas had every peg in, I hoped this could help me. At this stage the wind was not to bad and so I set up a 4 swan pellet wag with 0.18 to 16 PR38, and a method feeder for the island chucks. I settled on 13mtrs for the pole as the wind could become a problem, a paste rig, a banded pellet rig on 0.6gm PB Inter 2 with 0.16 to PR36, and a soft pellet for skimmers in case I had to fish for them (but it never got me a bite)! I discounted the margins as I never seem to catch in them, but I did feed at 5mtr for paste which I didn't catch on!

I was not quite ready for the start as I needed the toilet, but then cupped in half a small Preston pot of 6mm pellets at 13mtr and started feeding 8mms to the island. I always start on the pole here hoping for an early carp and I started on paste, on my first drop I had what I thought was a liner and lifted into a foulhooked skimmer. Twenty minutes later I had my one and only bite on paste from a near 3lb bream. About this time Warren snapped his no4 section on his Tournament. One hour in and I had not had any other signs on the pole so I picked up the wag. The wind was a problem and I didn't land many casts on the money and after 45 mins I had not had a bite on it! Generally if there are a few fish feeding you do get indications, so I had to come off this, but what next? The wind was worsening and so I thought the method would be the best bet, I had to soak some micros first though and so I went back in on the pole. Just as Glenn Bailey rang me for an update I had a 2lb skimmer on 8mm pellet, but no more bites came.

Onto the method and I was pepped up when it went round first cast, the culprit a small carp of no more than 3lb. It then went quiet, and I was not sure the method was right as you cannot use short hooklengths or tuck the bait. After about 30 mins the tip went round again and after a very brief tussle the fish swam into a snag and I lost the lot. I set it all up again but it did not work. I was now fairly hacked off with my lot and the wind was now horrendous blowing all over the place. I thought I would stick to the pole in the hope of some more skimmers and have a chance of the silvers money. It wasn't pretty trying to hang onto 13mtrs of carbon, I had to lay quite a bit of line on the bottom to keep the rig still. Then with 2 hours to go I caught a skimmer, and then not long after a carp. Then the wind eased for a while and I could feed more accurately with the catty, now the swim started fizzing! I then had 2 more skimmers and 4 carp up to 10lb. Then at 5:05 I hooked another near 10lb fish, I landed it with 2 mins to go, dropped the rig back in and it went under within seconds, carp on "All out". It was about 5lb and a nice way to end the match.

Picture of my carp net courtesy of Roy Garland at

Tony Rixon walked round from the other side and asked what I had, I guessed 55lb and he said that might win it! As it turned out I weighed 12lb of skimmers and 49lb of carp and my 61lb was enough to win. I only just beat Phil (Fabio) Harding who weighed 59lb 9oz and so the last carp I caught was crucial. Tom Magnol was 3rd with 53lb 8oz from peg 20 just beat Dave Roper by 1oz. John Bradford had by far the best silvers weight with 23lb on the worm. (I was actually 2nd in silvers today too)

I'll be very honest and say that I could have packed up with two hours to go, the wind was really getting me down and there were quite a few swear words around. However, Warren had had a few in the corner and I know that the carp can turn up late but I wasn't confident. Just goes to show you should never give up.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New Blog

I've recently added blogs to my list of blogs I like to read. The latest addition is that of Chris Tellings, it was Chris who I battered (his words not mine) at Todber on Sunday. Good to read how anglers further afield are fishing other venues, and hopefully can pick up some tips!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

MFS website match Todber Manor

Mark Poppleton organised another website match at Todber and I was given a lift to the venue by fellow blogger Ken Rayner. We were slightly concerned at the gusty wind which was blowing and arriving at the lake other than the right hand end (pegs 20 to 25) it was blowing very hard. I drew peg 13 which put me on another flyer (I was told) the oak tree peg. I could see why it was good the far bank to the left has slipped in creating a recess to fish into, trouble was it was 14.5 metres away.

I set up a dibber rig for shallow with banded pellet, 0.16 to 18 PR36, a 4x10 Durafloat 10 for on top the far shelf where it was about 18" deep, also for banded pellet. A 4x14 Preston PB14 for meat at 5 metres with 0.16 to 14 PR47. The margin was very deep and I couldn't get into shallow water so a 4x12 Durafloat was set up for this in about 3.5ft of water. Lastly I decided to set up a small 15g Preston method feeder, I used my 10ft Preston mini carp rod for the first time with 0.20 and a 16 PR38 to take an 8mm boilie. I mixed up some gbait for this, Thatchers original.

To my right was a lad called Chris from Gloucester, and to my left was Garbolino BMV angler Johnny Atkins, when the whistle went we all started differently! I fed corn and pellet in the margin, and a pot of 6mm pellets across into the recess, and some meat at 5mtrs. I went straight over into the recess with the 18" rig with 8mm pellet and had 2 small carp in the first 2 chucks, followed by a couple of F1's. I was trying to feed with a catty but it was hard to hold the pole and feed, within 20 mins I was struggling to hold the rig in position and as a result fouled a couple. I tried the shallow rig but it was no good and the wind forced me to change. So i picked up the method and cast it under armed into the recess. It was obvious there were a lot of fish there as the tip was moving all the time! I was catching F1's and some small carp on this and still feeding pellet over the top. I had a good first couple of hours and then Guy Manton turned up and I couldn't catch well, he did advise me to feed even more pellet across and this worked after a while.

I had some really good spells on the method when I would get 5 or 6 carp in as many chucks, then it would be funny bites from F1's. I tried the pole and had a couple on the meat but was missing lots of bites, the margin never produced a bite all day! I had to keep persevering with method, and from what I could see I seemed to be doing better than most and I had taken three carp around 5lb and an 8lb fish which is a lot of those F1's! With 45 mins to go things went wrong, the method dried up (but I still had liners) and I could not hit the bites on the meat line, and I probably only had 3 fish in this last spell and I knew it would cost me.

The scales came down from peg 1, there had already been three tons, with peg 7 having 133lb 9oz, John weighed 71lb and I weighed next with 134lb 5oz which was just enough to win the section. Chris next to me was in the next section and had 95lb which was not good enough for any coin. Ken Rayner will show the full result on his blog (he had the sheets) but it was something like this :-

1st Will Bohne 171lb ( a lot of F1's shallow at 11mtr, then carp on meat in the margin)
2nd Mark Poppleton 151lb
3rd Mark Brennan 151lb (ounces in it)
4th Missed the name sorry 144lb

So I was 10lb off the frame and the last 45 mins had cost me as expected, I must try and sort out the meat on this place! Despite the terrible wind the venue had fished well again, I would say the opposite side of the lake to me was better for some reason , in fact I was top weight from peg 1 to peg 20 although Mark Poppleton on 21 with no wind caught at 5mtr with paste. Ken Rayner had 66lb a lot of F1's in his peg.

Amazing place really when people weighing in around 100lb get nowhere, so many fish in this lake it amazes me. Shame I cannot fish the next match here.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sedges Brick lake Open

I was chauffeured to the venue today by Paul Elmes and sat squeezed into my seat by Bela Bakos. A very nice ride down, but for some reason we started talking about car accidents and very quickly all seat belts were on the conversation was changed!

No early draw for me today, as I can pull my trolley along now, and so into the scrum for a peg. Tony Rixon reckoned pegs 1 to 10 would be the best (wind into them) and I pulled out 16, but I thought it would be OK as it is in the middle of the lake. On my right was Ron Hardiman and to my left the Gimp John Bradford. I've had some good weights on this lake over the years, but Ron had fished the week before and said it was hard. With the wind blowing and no signs of spawning I thought the fishing wouldn't be that bad this week. I set up a pellet wag which I was going to start on in the hope of mugging a few early carp, a 4x18 rig with 16 B911 to 0.14, a 4x18 with 16 PR36 to 0.16 a margin rig and a shallow rig. I decided against paste due to the wind.

On the whistle I cupped in a pot of 4mms out to 13 mtrs and began loose feeding 8mm pellets on the wag. I did't get a sign on the wag and after 15 mins the pole line was fizzing so I went out on soft pellet. In my first three casts I had three 1.5lb skimmers and as I have done here before I fed some 4mms with a catty over the top. I caught a few more smaller skimmers but things slowed right down and I could see Tom Thick bagging on skimmers on peg 14. I tried altering how I fed and how much but nothing got them lined up, I got the odd bite but was missing as many as I was hitting and also losing a few which I'm sure were fouled. I went on the wag to rest the pole completely and lost one fouled carp on this, and I never had another bite on the wag all day!

It was a bit frustrating, I knew I had fed far too much bait at the start for skimmers and no car responded, I had cocked the peg up. Eventually I managed to get the odd skimmer by feeding a few 4mm pellets in a toss pot (like winter feeding) and by opening up another line. Ron had taken 2 carp and some good skimmers on the straight lead, and I was wishing I had set one up! I knew I was miles behind Tom in the silvers stakes but was hoping I could reach the 2nd prize. However, despite my frugal feeding (in the last few hours) with 45 mins to go both my pole lines produced 1 carp each and the skimmers vanished. My skimmers weighed 26lb+ and the 2 carp went 9lb+ (I think). Tom Thick won the silvers with 45lb but only admitted to 25lb (no comment) and I was edged out of 2nd place by Steve Hutchinson who did well to hang onto to his pole on the far bank and had 28lb of skimmers. My chance of coin was gone, and Tony took the section by default with 42lb. So I ended betwixt and between and a straight lead may have done me better than the wag, but my feeding was wrong and I lost enough skimmers to easily had 30lb+, damn things were flying everywhere!!!

Chris Davis won the match from peg 18 with 7 carp and some skimmers for 72lb. Taking fish from various lines and depths and the margin. See Tony's blog for the full and detailed result. Either side of my the gimp DNW and Ron's lead tactics beat me by 5oz, well done Ron.

I did manage to pick up £2 from the van sweep, Paul really struggled opposite me and DNW, Bela had a creditable 21lb of skimmers. The skimmers I caught were very rough and had sores on them, sure signs of the ravages of spawning, perhaps they need a bit of R&R before they feed properly again? Anyway, as Bela rightly said we caught plenty of fish, and if we had that weight on the river we'd been chuffed, keeps things in perspective.