Wednesday, 27 July 2011

August 1991

Time for a look back (alright Andy).

I had a day pleasure fishing at the end of July, I fished the bay in the little ashtip on the Crane stretch of the Avon. I simply took hemp and tares to try and catch something on these baits and improve my confidence. I fished a size 10 Gamakatsu hook to 2lb smart on a 4mtr whip, and had a good session ending with 17lb of mostly roach and dace plus a 1.5lb chub. Have to try that again some time.

Saturday 3rd August saw me fishing a Drennan Superleague round on the Huntspill. I can't recall where I drew, but I only had 2lb 9oz comprised mainly of 4 eels and 1 skimmer. I fished the wag blitzing it with maggot for long spells, this was wrong as I had measely 5 points and everyone who beat me had 1 bream! Sunday was Skanderborg challenge round 2, and I found myself on the K&A near Seend Lock which was all new to me! Based upon a bit of practice info I threw in 5 balls of gbait containing squatt and caster and loosefed pinkie over the top. I had a decent match landing 2 small tench, loads of bottle tops and 2 small skimmers for a total of 4lb 12oz. That was worth 9 points out of 11 which I was really happy with having not fished this part of the canal before, unfortunately the canal fished poorly and our positive team approach failed for most and we bombed out!

A few days later my bags were packed and it was off for three days Div 4 practice on the river Welland. However, it didn't start very well when on the first afternoons practice we could only catch blades on the whip just out past the marginal cover. Luckily for us there was also a section or two on the Coronation Channel and so we practised on there the following day, I was on peg 88. We fished for 3 hours and I ended with 3lb of eels, all taken on the pole with a 22 barbless hook (they were clever them eels!). It was then back to the Welland for another bash, this time in the 300's. I persevered on wag / long pole feeding maggots to try to catch better fish, 2 eels and 2 roach for 1lb 9oz was hardly bagging! Last day of practise was pretty much another Welland struggle, just 2lb 4oz on the wag and mag in 2 hours, but 5lb on the national would be great we were told. I could get a few bites but missed loads, even when going 2 feet over depth!

A week later and I was fishing the national, I was drawn on the Welland and it didn't look good, my part of the section had not been fished before and we all had to hack down the reeds to get to the waters edge. To cut a long story short I had my worst points return in a National ever, 18 points out of 83 for my 475 grammes! What made it worse was that the team was 30 points off of promotion, had I had a reasonable day we would have gone up. The match was won with 50lb, Martyn Woodington had our best weight of 20lb, and one section of 83 was won with just 14oz, I think John Amatto was in that section and came 3rd with 8oz!!!!!!

A couple more pleasure sessions on the Avon at Newbridge were in order and produced double figure weights of mainly roach to wag and mag, but on the match scene it was still shite! I fished the embassy pairs on the T&B canal, didn't have a clue what I was doing and had just under a kilo of roach on punch. Money finally came my way on the August bank holiday fishing the Docks at St Augustines Parade. I stuck to a gbait feeder with an 18 to 1.5lb maxima, caster in the gbait and maggot on the hook. I came 5th with 14lb 10oz and won a massive £12! I think I recall being pegged next to Clayton Hudson on this match, he was on my right (not a bad memory for nearly 20 years ago!).

All of my practice at Newbridge was put to the test on the last day of August for the NFA South West Champs on the river. I drew peg 135 in the trees and endured a very dire match as I had just 1 roach in the first 3 hours. I did manage 3 chublets and 1 eel on the maggot feeder later but lost 2 proper chub in an unseen snag. My 2lb 3oz was 3rd in the 11 peg section (told you it was dire) and 2lb 11oz won it, bloody chub and snags they've cost me over the years lol. The team had a mare as the river had switched off and we came a disappointing seventh. I was glad to see the back of August and I hoped September would be kinder to me.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Shiplate Fishery

Another Sunday, another match kindly organised by Tony Rixon, this time at Shiplate fishing both the canals (25 pegs). Travelling down with Glenn we both thought that Hawthorne lake would be the best one to draw today as it has recently had an injection of carp, and there had been some reasonable weights. After the usual cracking Fountain Cafe brekkie we arrived nice and early at Shiplate and took a wander around. Hawthorne was very quiet, we only saw one fish move, but West Lake had lots of fizzing and fishing moving, perhaps West lake would be better? I was getting a bit of stick from a certain angler for being on for a hat trick of wins, no pressure then!

The draw was made and I came away with end peg 1 on Hawthorne, effectively my 3rd corner peg in 3 weeks, although you cannot actually fish into the corner here as a rope runs across the surface. Similar to last week I was given mixed feelings about the peg (last match the bloke packed up on this peg, Pete Sivell had 35lb on it recently.....) but I thought it had to be worth a few fish as it gives you a bit of room. I found myself in the company of 2 carp slayers, Dean Malin on peg 2 and Rod Wotton on peg 3 so it was going to be hard work.

Rig wise I went for a dibber for banded pellet (for tight across) 0.16 to 16PR36, a 4x10 durafloat on 0.16 to 16PR36 (this did my RH margin and also a line across) and a 4x12 Durafloat same stuff, for fishing on the bottom of the shelf at 13mtr. The LH margin looked good above water, but I could not find a decent depth / flat bottom and it was not really targeted. I opened the match by feeding corn into the RH margin and a half a small Preston cup of 4mm pellets and a few grains of corn at 13mtr 11 o'clock and that was it. I went out with a 8mm banded pellet on my 4x12 rig and luckily did not have to wait long for my first bite and a nice 4lb carp. I took a few carp around the 1lb mark and a couple of 2lb fish in the first hour and was toss potting in 4mm pellets. It then went very iffy on this line and I caught a couple of 2oz skimmers, I tried to put some more bait in but this only worked for 1 more carp. Dean then had a good run on corn and I fell behind.

It was time to go across, but rather than feed with the catty just yet I tried toss potting across using the dibber rig. Boils soon showed that the carp were present but I could only hook 1 in about 20 mins of frustration, so I picked up the catty. I still could not catch tight over (it is only a few inches deep) but did catch 2 carp on the dibber just off the far bank up in the water. I dropped in on the margin while I had a think about things and took 2 carp here on hair rigged corn and then nothing (I took 5 all told from the margin all day). Taking the margin rig at the depth it was at, I plumbed across to find where that depth was on the slope, then stuck on an 8mm pellet and the float went under. I started to catch a few here but it was still what I regarded as slow (still feeding by catty) and so I tried feeding a new line in the deep water next to the rope, but never had a bite there. I kept trying the dibber on and off but never caught on it, and then with 2 1/2 hours to go I tried a piece of corn on the margin rig across line and all of a sudden I got bites much quicker and enjoyed a purple patch when both Dean and Rod were not doing so well.

With an hour and a quarter to go the peg shut down completely, I could not get a bite anywhere, in fact Dean and Rod also had the same experience. I did manage to catch 2 carp in the last hour on my 4x12 rig on the originally fed line at 13mtr, the last one with 15 mins to go was my biggest fish of the day at 5lb.

Tony came past to get the scales and I said I had 60lb, he said it would be close between me and Andy Bryant on our lake (but he was miles out on that one). I was first to weigh and I totalled 61lb 13oz. Dean weighed 49lb 9oz, and Rod weighed 2oz more than Dean! Dean said something rather unpleasant when I pointed out he'd been beaten both sides lol! As it turned out I was top weight on Hawthorne, but alas the hat trick was not to be as John the Gimp Bradford slayed the carp on peg 10 on West Lake to win with 70lb 4oz, at the results John said it was the first match he had won for 3 years, so well done and fair play John. I did manage to sneak 2nd overall, just beating Adrian Jeffery by 2oz (told you I'd put that on my blog!) Adrian was next to the Gimp and also had mainly carp plus a few skimmers.

Lastly, my next door neighbour for the previous 2 weeks, Chris Fox, won the silvers (see his blog for how!). The full result is shown on Tony's blog.

Superleague was fished on the river today, I hear that a 30lb+ weight of bream came from peg 14 at Swineford, and team mate Steve Tucker had 27lb on hemp and tares from the mouth of the marina, nice! No fishing for me next weekend but good luck to everyone fishing the big money river match at Newbridge.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Hunters Rest

A friend I recently bumped into asked me if I would like to accompany him on a day out to Hunters Rest. As I understand it this lake is run by Alcove AC and as he is a member I could go as a guest on a day ticket. I have never fished this lake before and as ever with a new venue was looking forward to fishing it.

Arriving in the car park the sun was shining and I was impressed by the view of the countryside. Unfortunately I had forgotten part of my trolley so I had to carry my gear across the field, it was worth it though, what a wonderful looking lake! The intended pegs to fish were behind the island, but alas the one angler already at the lake was already fishing there, it turned out he'd been there since 4:30am so I was never going to get on that peg! I was undecided as where to fish as I had little knowledge of the venue, in the end I went for peg 8 as it has a nice long margin full of reeds.

The lake was very calm and I set up a pellet wag, a paste rig for the margin (nearly 3ft deep) using 0.18 to size 10 B911 (The Nu hooks are running out!), A deep rig for 13 mtr for banded pellet 0.18 16 PR38 and a paste rig for 13 mtr again 0.18 to size 10 B911. I started on the pellet wag feeding 8mms, but after an hour I had not had one bite. I dropped in on the 13 mtr swim with an 8mm pellet, but I was not getting any indications, no bubbles, no liners and no bites! An hour and a half on this finally yielded 2 skimmers and I took a break to apply some suntan lotion as the sun was very hot! Suitably protected from the sun's rays I took my first look down the margin (6 mtrs) where I had been feeding 6mm pellets regularly. I cupped in my piece of paste with a few pellets and within 5 seconds the float buried and finally I was playing a carp. I had two more fairly quickly but the indications stopped and I came off this line to give it more time. It was about this time that the numerous House Martins feeding over the lake starting making a strange call, I recognised it as an alarm call and looked up to see them chasing a Hobby (a fairly uncommon bird of prey that looks similar to a peregrine falcon).

The 13 mtr line was still not working, so I started just cupping in regular decent amounts of 6 and 8mm pellets and eventually the carp arrived showing themselves with lots of bubbles. Hooking them was not easy, they were feeding off the bottom but you couldn't get a bite off the bottom (old Viaduct troubles!) but at least I had fish in the swim at last. It then started to rain and I decided to try the margin again, and now it was solid! I must have taken 10 carp in as many drops on paste and they were big fish, between 6lb and 12lb. The rain was torrential during this period of catching but when the rain eased off the bites in the margin stopped. Back out at 13mtr and now this was solid on the paste rig, and just getting the hook bait to the bottom avoiding a liner was a challenge! I had some big fish to end the day on a very satisfying but very wet note!

I don't think I have ever fished a venue, or had a day on a lake where it was devoid of fish life for 3 hours and then changed to be solid. The only method that did not work all day was the pellet wag. Certainly the margins were where most other anglers fished and caught their fish, but I feel that giving it a long time before I fished it helped me catch for longer down there. For example, a carper turned up and fed and fished his margins only, within an hour he had a 13lb fish followed by another 3, he then went 3 hours without a run.

What a cracking venue, if I had time on my hands I would certainly be a member and spend some pleasure days there. If you're looking to join a club for pleasure sessions and the odd club match I would check out Alcove AC as they have this and a couple of other gems on their tab.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Viaduct Match Lake

I awoke before the alarm thanks to the relentless heavy rain, seemed to wake me up on and off all night. At least the poor weather should keep the wasps away from me, I managed to get stung again mid week would you believe! I was travelling with Glenn today, but we were fishing different matches, Glenn was on the CARPS Viaduct league (Campbell and Carey) whilst I was fishing an open run by Tony Rixon on the Match Lake. I have not fished this lake for many years and was looking forward to a days skimmer fishing, I took my pole and a feeder rod assuming it would be too windy for the waggler (wrong!).

The first part of my plan (to fish the feeder to the island) was screwed up when I drew corner peg 46 and no island chuck! I was told it had not been a good peg, in fact Tony said it had been the kiss of death! So I walked to the peg on a bit of downer and no one cheered me up until I saw on peg 47 Chris Fox, next peg again! Chris had fished my peg a few weeks back and caught on the wag, he did give me some stick during the match for me not taking a waggler rod! Anyway back to my peg, I had a nice long margin and although Chris had not caught down there last time it had a few reeds 15 metres away which looked inviting. I set up a straight lead in case the wind got bad (never used) a 0.3 PB Inter float with 0.12 to 16 PR490 for skimmers and plumbed two lines, one at 13 mtr and one at 16mtr. For the margin I rigged up a 4x10 Durafloat with 0.14 to 14 PR456, and that was it for today!

On the whistle I fed a handful of casters and micros at 13mtr, half a big pot of casters and micro and a bit of corn at 16mtr. Down the margin I fed the same half big pot but with a bit more corn in it. As I shipped out Dean Malin was already landing a fish on the feeder from peg 42, it took me 25 minutes to get a bite at 13mtr and a nice skimmer. I then took two more in consecutive casts, all on a red maggot and a caster, and topped up with small amounts of caster and micro with a toss pot. I took another 3 skimmers in the next hour all at 13mtr but then they went and I just had the odd tiny roach bite. A try out 16mtr was a waste of time, and I was surprised by this. At this stage I had a few more skimmers than Chris Fox, and Clayton Hudson on 45 only had a couple of carp on the wag to the island.

I struggled on both skimmer lines and so had to go down the margin but I was not confident. However, first 3 three drops on a piece of corn gave me three F1s. I fed after every fish with half a toss pot of caster, micro and a few bits of corn, this was probably too much for the F1s as I then took a few small carp. Inevitably the margin slowed and so I pushed the rig closer to the reeds but kept snagging on underwater branches, so I fed a decent amount of bait in the original margin spot and rested it. First drop back in at 13mtr gave me a skimmer, but that was it, and again all attempts at 16mtr failed. It looked like I had to keep the fish coming from the margin, but I took only one F1 on my next look down there and so I had a rethink. I found a fairly clear spot next to the reeds and fed micros and corn there, and I fed a new line next to a little patch of Lily pads at 13mtrs with dead maggot, caster, micro, corn everything! I did manage to nick a few more small carp from against the reeds and one from the lilies that was nearly 4lb, and then I lost my first fish of the day which did me in the reeds. Then with 10 mins to go I pulled out of a carp and the rig was trashed. I shipped out to 16mtr as I could see a few bubbles and took one more skimmer and that was it.

I have to say that I thought Dean Malin had easily won the match, but thought I would be OK for 2nd (from what I could see and hear). It turned out Dean had 27lb of mainly small fish and my carp went 23lb and the skimmers 12lb for a total of 35lb 7oz and blimey first overall for the 2nd week running! Chris Fox won the silvers with 25lb nearly all skimmers and he had a good run on the waggler at the end, I like drawing next to Chris at the moment!

Both Chris and Tony will have the full result shown on their blogs, I didn't get time to get it as Glenn wanted to get home with his £50 triple default section win!

There was a match fished on the Avon today, and it fished pretty well, with Swineford the best with a fair few bream weights, 30lb+ was top.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tony Rixon's League Landsend Fishery

Unfortunately this year I could not commit to Tony's float only league as I knew I would miss two of them. So when he asked if I wanted to be a guest at Landsend I was up for it as it meant I could travel with Glenn. When we arrived at the venue the weather was nice, the talk though was of how hard match lake had fished the day before. We've had a lot of rain and I think Mike Duckett had also put some water in the lakes so that extra water probably unsettled the fish. I pushed my way to the front of the draw so I could at least have a bit of time to get to my peg, it's a bit of a trek if you draw lake 4! As luck would have it I drew the nearest peg to the hut, peg 33 on Speci for only my second draw on this lake. I got plenty of encouragement from other anglers that it was a good peg, and Matty Toomes passed on some good advice.

As I started to set up it looked like Blogger alley, with Chris Fox on peg 34, and Mike Nicholls on 36. Opposite me on peg 32 was Chris Davis (who kept us amused with jokes and the odd outburst due to foulers) and Paul Elmes was on 31. As I began to get my rigs out a bloody wasp stung me on the neck, it then stung me again on my back before I managed to find it and kill it. I did wonder whether this would be an omen for the day. Onto the rigs and I set up a paste float (nothing on this) a 4x12 Durafloat 10 for hard pellet deep, and a 4x10 Durafloat 10 for 9" deep with about 2.5 ft of line above it. All rigs were on 0.18 Exceed to 16 PR38 for banded 8mm pellet.

I knew there were a few fish about as I had seen some swirls, but even with my sunglasses I could not see fish to have a go at mugging. So on the whistle I shipped out to 14.5 mtr on the shallow rig in front of the aerator and started feeding 6mm pellets here and also down to the end bank. It was a good start and a carp first chuck was followed by another next drop in. I then had a couple of rudd and an F1, so the carp had moved out and I upped the feed. I took another couple of carp and reckoned to have 20lb at the end of the first hour. I was swinging the rig out past the pole or left/right and most bites came on the drop, but the carp were not giving themselves up easily. I had an early look down the edge long on the same rig and had a carp here.

The pattern was set for the rest of the match and I would catch one or two carp at most off one line and then have to switch. I did have some very quiet periods in the middle of the match and especially in the fifth hour when I nowt! I did try the depth rig and caught 3 carp on it but also fouled a few. On the shallow rig I tried going a bit deeper but again all that would do was get a fouler, so I persevered with 9" even though it was a long wait between bites. I fed about 7 pints of 6mm pellets during the match, not big pouchfulls just regular feeding. The end bank was the best line for the last half of the match, but as the willow trees have grown out a lot I was not fishing near the bank, I tried to gently swing the rig under the branches to get as close as I could in, and I caught the branches a few times but never lost a rig (lucky day!). I really wanted to push the rig further up the bank the last 2 hours as the fish had backed off I'm sure,(co-inciding with Chris Davis having his best spell) but the branches were to long to go any further.

By the end of the match I was aching from holding 16 metres of pole all day, something I have not done for a long time. Still it was worth it, and to my 6lb of silvers I added 120lb of carp for a total of 126lb 12oz. I had heard that Dean Malin and Tony Rixon were on for tons, so wasn't sure if I had them beat, but it turned out I had and so I had the match win I've wanted for so long at Landsend! Speci Lake had fished well mostly, with Mike Nicholls winning the silvers with 32lb and in total he had 90lb, Chris Davis and Paul Elmes had a good battle with Paul edging it by 12oz!

The full result will be on both Tony's and Mike Nicholl's blogs, and as I am knackered and have to get up at 4:30am tomorrow I'm going to stop typing now and hit the pillow.

Just one more thing though, there is a big match on the Avon at Newbridge on 31st July with big money prizes being put up by the EA. I can't fish it (gutted!) but it has attracted a lot of interest, and don't faint but Tony Rixon has bought a ticket!!!!!!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Viaduct Saturday Open

Due to family commitments on Sunday I had to pick a venue for Saturday, not too difficult as Viaduct is a cracking venue! When I arrived at the car park two other Bristol lads were unloading gear, Paul Elms and Craig "Trig" Edmunds. Paul said he would have given me a lift had he known I was fishing, trouble is neither of us are psychic. A glance at Lodge lake took my breath away, as there were carp sunbathing in very large numbers.

I somehow (chatting) ended up very nearly at the end of the draw queue, and I could see most of the pegs I fancied had gone, but 110 was still in, instead though I pulled 129 on the spit. Trig was behind me and did his usual drawing act pulling 110! I was told by Paul Greenwood and John Green that peg 129 had been good for silvers, in this case tench, although I was given differing opinions on how they have been caught, meat and corn, paste, in close, 11mtr.... Anyway, as it was thought that the corner pegs were going to dominate the carp weights I made up my mind to go for silvers but have carp options just in case. I set up a pellet wag for the carp, no lead rod (Tony would be proud), a paste rig with 0.16 to size 10 B911 for 5mtr, a pellet rig for the same line, and a rig for the margin in the corner on 0.18 where I would feed meat and corn for the tench. At the start I fed a full pot of meat and corn in the corner, and half a pot of 6mm pellets and some paste at 5mtr. Starting on the paste I had small fizzes and was getting indications but few bites, I did net a couple of skimmers but after an hour things were slow. I'd been feeding a few 8mm pellets by catty so picked up the wag to see if the carp would play. A carp first chuck was followed by a couple more before all signs of fish disappeared.

I then spent the next 2 hours swapping between the pellet rig and paste rig at 5mtrs, I caught the odd skimmer and a couple of carp. Halfway through and I went into the margin on meat looking for the tench, and caught 2 carp and got snapped! I did manage to catch 4 tench in the margin and 1 skimmer, but also had a few more carp that did the silvers in. Back on the paste for the last hour and this line was now solid.... with carp! So I took what fish I could knowing that my chances for any coin were long gone as I could see the guy on 132 had bagged on carp as had Lewis Greenwood on 112.

My silvers weighed 34lb and the carp 66lb for a total of 100lb 11oz. So I had a good days fishing which was nice! It hadn't really fished that well on my side of the lake(bar pegs 123 and 132) the guy to my right fished the lead all day and beat me by 4oz, on the other side of the spit there was a 80lb and Chris Fox had 70lb+.

Trig won the silvers on 110 with 66lb of mainly skimmers and tench (plus 2 nice perch) on meat. He went home happy as he also won the section meaning he went home with more money than the individual winner! So it was a case of being beaten by the lead yet again, and not getting enough silvers. In hindsight I think I may have been able to do a weight of carp on the pole, but we will never know now and I don't let these things wind me up these days. I'm going to have to work on this meat fishing, I need to catch a few on it to get the confidence in the method though.