Sunday, 25 September 2011

Commercial House Rnd 2 Bristol Avon

Back on the river today and not a pellet in sight! I had walked up the Crane on Friday watching Paul Staite and Alan Jones catching the odd fish but having a lot of pike problems. As far as I was concerned I wanted to draw at Swineford, but once again I was up the Crane! It was difficult to know exactly where I was as the pegging was ass about face and it didn't look right. I ended up on peg 81 in the Long Ashtip Field with my 9 peg section starting 1 below the high wall and ending up towards the end of the long ashtip, yep they were very well spread out! I don't mind admitting I was a tad annoyed with my peg after walking past lots of unpegged good pegs.

Time was short for setting up and I did something today I have never done before on a river match just set up a pole. I reckoned that I was only going to catch roach and perch and with a nasty downstream in your face wind and very little flow a pole would be the only way to present a bait. I went for the standard 1grm pencil rig with 0.08 to 18 B611, 2 grm 0.1 to to 16 B611 (never used) a chopped worm rig (to weed to use it!) and I also got out my little used 4x16 PB15 float with spread shot again with 0.08 to an 18. Just setting up these rigs (and getting my box and gear into the river and silt) only gave me a few minutes rest before the start.

On the whistle in went 12 jaffas at 11 metres, that was far enough out today as there was some flow there and it would make shipping back a bit easier. It was my usual slow start (why can't I catch to start!) with just the odd dace and small perch in the first hour and I lost 3 fish to pike. Into the 2nd hour and I was now picking up the odd roach but still losing some to the pike and I was getting pretty cheesed off especially as was it raining heavily! The middle of the match was very difficult indeed and I reckon I would get 1 bite in about 7 runs through, and if i did hit the bite I then had to hope the pike didn't snaffle the fish or the fish didn't weed itself, I had realised there was a weedbed out to 9 metres!

I got up and went for a walk to try and clear my thoughts, Nathan Hawke below was struggling like me but above me Steve Priddle said he 80 small roach. Glenn Bailey on peg 1 in my section was also finding it tough, so I went back to my peg and tried to winkle out some more roach. I kept swapping between the 1 grm and 4x16 rigs (although this one was unusable at times of high wind) and maggot was the best hookbait up till now. With 45 mins to go I was contemplating reballing it (well it worked last match!) when I suddenly started getting a bite every cast on the 1grm rig from 4oz roach. Then I lost the rig to Mr Pike and went out with the 4x16 rig with caster and took a roach evey chuck to the end. Why had the fish switched on, I don't know, but those roach were obviously there all day and once they went on the feed it was easy. Nathan also had a good last 45 mins.

I weighed in 10lb 8oz which was 2nd in the whole section but 1st in the A div so job done for the team. The section money will come in handy replacing all the hooklengths I lost to the pike! I think I took nearly 5lb in the last 45 mins, and that took me right up the section. Barny had top weight with 11lb, this was from the peg that had 40lb of bream the previous match, and Steve Priddle's tiddlers weighed 9lb 10oz. Nathan ended with 8lb+ so as you can see it was a tight section.

Liam Braddell won the match from up in the Cornfield with 31lb, he had some bream and skimmers and about 7lb of roach all on the pole / feeder over the pole line. There was a 28lb of bream at Swineford and Lee Trivett had a nice 22lb from peg 17 on the waggler. Overall good weights again but pike caused havoc for most anglers. I don't know the team result so far but I do know my team won on the day.

A double header next week with the County Champs final on Saturday and the first Winter League round on Sunday.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sept / Oct 1991

Back again on the memory trip, as I really needed a weekend off as have felt really tired last couple of weeks.

My last match in Sept 1991 was a Bristol & West open that took in Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites. The day before had been very wet and windy and the river was up just a little with nice colour and I was sure bream would feed. I drew a peg in the cornfield it was on the end of an S bend opposite a willow tree (I think it is the split willow, but never sure) and I had Silver Dace bagger Mike Ainger on the peg upstream. Mike said we could catch some bream, I didn't know as I had very rarely drawn in this area. So it was an easy decision for me when setting up, 1 feeder rod with a 16 to 1.5lb maxima for the gbait feeder of course. Chatting to Mike before hand I told him I would whistle out if I caught a bream, I could, still can, do this stupid sort of warbling whistle which can annoy others ears! (That whistle is now perfected by Andy Bush, and I believe he has over the years driven his Dad Vic and his mates mad with it lol!)

It was a nice easy cast here and I chucked 3/4 the way across using 2 or 3 red maggots on the hook. I think it was about 20 mins when I first whistled out to Mike after netting a slab. I lost a chub under my rod end not long after but then never lost another fish all day. By mid match Mike was getting more and more frustrated at my whistles and had to come and see me at one point just to make sure I wasn't winding him up! By the end of the match I had taken 13 bream and 2 chub for a total of 43lb 14oz. Walking back everyone was saying you'll win it etc, but I did not win it, that honour was bestowed upon Andy Floyd. Andy was in the 2nd field at Swineford and had a brilliant 54lb on the crowquill and bread, although I expect he admitted to 10lb! I came 2nd, but only just as there were 2 other 40lb weights I recall. It was a brilliant match with loads of weights.

Wednesday 2nd of Oct and back on the Veals Classic league looking for continued improvement at Newbridge. Oh no not again, I struggled for 3lb 2oz on peg 28 with the waggler, so any chances of doing good in the league were well and truly over.

Saturday and a trip to the Oxford Canal for the final Drennan super league round. The team had no chance of winning or relegation so we didn't practise. The draw was in a pub on a village green, it looked a cracking place to live. At the bar we ordered bacon butties and then Paul Lumbard cheekily asked for a pint of Guiness and the Landlord said OK (this was before the existing licencing rules remember) and all of a sudden the whole team had a pint of Guinness and then another. My team already had a bit of a reputation of being animals and this just enforced it with quite a few choice comments from other more serious teams! What a good laugh it was and I went to my peg feeling rather merry. As for the actual fishing, well my 2lb 7oz (all caught on rod and lime) was worth 7 points and a good enough return for the team, we came 5th on the day and ended the league 7th.

No time to rest though, I would have had a load of beer Sat night I'm sure, then up for the Commercial house on Sunday at Laycock. This venue was peggy as hell of course, but you just had to make the most of what was in front of you and hope the odd bonus would show up. Now there is a certain angler who will remember this match very well and I hope he reads this and reminds me exactly what and how he caught, Martyn "Woody" Woodington. I got drawn on a peg just below the telegraph pole peg in the Abbey field, below me I remember was John Dursley. I didn't know what to expect here but went with my standard approach for the upper river, stick float and caster. I was on a 20 hook and 2lb breaking strain Smart. For a couple of hours I took the odd dace, roach and perch and then a weird thing happened that is hard to explain but it is the truth. I ran the float down and it went through the swim a bit different for some reason and I knew something was going to happen, bite, clunk, I landed a bream. Next chuck the float goes down the river the same way and I knew the float would go under in the same spot, and clunk bream on, John Dursley is now a bit miffed as he heard the clunks! Next chuck the same spot, clunk, now lots of f%cks from John and I was getting very excited. Sadly for me that was the end of the action, but it was a real adrenaline boost. My end weight of 11lb 11oz got me 3rd in the section and 5th overall. Winner of my section was Woody with I think 48lb of mainly barbel on the float, his biggest was nearly 10lb. We heard about his catch for a few weeks after that! Amazing that all this was 20 years ago now, but still remember some stuff like yesterday.

Hope you've all had a good Sunday fishing, looking foward to a good draw on the river next Sunday. I had a bad run at the drawbag last autumn on the river (made me feel shit as I was having to put up with the head f*ck that having cancer was giving me) but after a summer this year of good draws, well who knows. One thing for sure, no more corner pegs!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Windy Chilton Trinity

This was probably gonna be my last commercial fishery match for quite a while and I wanted to give it my best. With bad weather forecast I mixed up some gbait for the method and cut a couple of tins of meat, and also made a few rigs and tied some hooks, all on Sat evening!

I was one of the last to arrive at the venue and heard tales of multiple 100lb+ bags coming out in recent matches, that sounded alright to me! Into the draw net and I pulled peg 17, in a corner again (I actually prefer open water, honest) and with the wind smack in my face. Dean Malin and Tony Rixon said it was a good draw and so I decided to fish for carp and go for the win. I set up the method feeder (but I was hoping not to have to use it) and two pole rigs, a 0.75gm for 5 mtrs with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet, and a 4x16 for the margin which was about 4 ft deep, I couldn't find anything shallower.

I fed a cup of 6mm pellets out at 5 mtrs, some meat and pellets into my right margin, and corn and caster to the left. I started at 5mtrs with an 8mm pellet and did not have a bite despite a few blows coming up. I changed to a 6mm pellet and snared a hand sized skimmer and then a 1lb skimmer and that was all the action I had in the first hour! In the 2nd hour I caught 1 small carp from the right margin, and pulled out of a fouler. In the third hour I lost a carp in the margin that got under the pallet on peg 16 (forcing me to walk round and free the rig) and I lost a carp at 5 mtrs.

In the fourth hour I had an eel from the left hand margin, and 1 carp from the right. I changed my 5mtr rig to 0.14 and 16B911 with soft pellet. This brought another skimmer and a carp. I tried the method in desperation and this did yield one carp, but nothing else. The fifth hour saw 2 carp from the margin landed and more lost (foulers). The sixth hour saw 1 carp from the right hand margin, and 2 carp and a tench from the 5 mtr line. All in all it was shite and I lost as many carp as I hooked.

As you can probably tell I didn't have to good a day, but I did have a good laugh. Shane Caswell was next to me on peg 15 and he had a very bad day, landing just two carp for 8lb. He also had a few run ins with a problematic bramble and went hedge trimming to retrieve a rig. This after he told me he had fished the Doncaster canal last week and blanked, lol!

My 5lb of silvers and 31lb of small carp was 20lb short of taking any coin, and Rich Coles on peg 19 showed me how to do it coming 3rd with 59lb. Rich caught on paste next to the reeds for the first 4 hours, and then lost 10 and landed 1 in the last 2 hours, I did hear him cussing! Trig won the match, he has been very consistent this year, and unlike Samson losing his hair doesn't seem to make him weak! Tony was 2nd with 66lb.

Chris Fox won the silvers with just 10lb, bugger I should have used the worms I had decided to leave in the car.

Just a note about the Angling Times Winter League Final today, Dorking have won it, and I believe off the next peg Bathampton came last, sorry lads must try harder!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Commercial House Rnd 1 Bristol Avon

It's winter league time again! Sunday and back on the lower Avon for the Commercial House winter league fishing for Thatchers, in this case the B team. We had 2 subs (OAPs) in the team today as 2 of the team were on holiday, so I hoped they didn't get long walks! It was great to see the lads again, and there was a fair bit of anticipation as to how the river would fish.

I was adopted as captain for the day (PC Barrett will take that duty back next time) and had the drawbag at my mercy, I fancied Swineford today for framing and wanted to avoid Jack Whites. Well I pulled neither, I ended up in the boys hole up the crane which should be OK for some roach. The OAPs had the pegs at Swineford and one of them was on the beach and lost all his colour when I told him how far it was! Well there were no mugs in my section today, other than Gary Cross that is (lol), Graham Hunt was by the cattle Grid, Mark Harper was on the peg 10 yds below me, and Sean Townsend was above me. I fancied my peg more than those either side, but thought the 4 pegs above the gantry would be the best.

I had a pretty good idea how to approach this peg, and the pole would be the main attack for roach. I plumbed my 1grm pencil rig and it was 4 inches off the bottom (not a bad guess) so that would do for starters, I went fine today on this, a 20 to 0.08 as I thought it would be tough. A 2grm rig with 0.1 to an 18 would do for overdepth, and a 1.5gm rig with 0.16 to 12 for chopped worm in close. I also set up a wag (not used) and a gbait feeder with 0.12 to 16. Glad we had plenty of time to set up!

On the whistle I fed worms and casters at 5 mtrs, then threw in 12 jaffas out to 13 mtrs. Out with the 1grm rig and I had 2 roach in 2 casts, then on the third cast the roach was taken by a pike, new hook required! Back out and I couldn't get a bite, in the next 20 mins all I had was 1 small perch and it looked bleak as both Mark and Sean were catching. I tried the heavy rig but it was also no good. I then ran the pencil rig all the way down the peg and had a bite! For the next hour and a half I caught odd roach way down the peg and out of the blue two 8oz skimmers. I also lost a couple more fish to pike including a better skimmer. It was a very difficult day, the wind was strong upstream affecting presentation, but still the lighter rig was best. If I could catch 3 roach in 3 chucks that was it, then it was dead for 10 mins, I had to change depths and try different places in the peg all the time, but caster was the best hook bait. During the middle of the match I lost a decent skimmer which I foul hooked and the peg went right off and so I decided to give the feeder a go for 30 mins or so while resting the pole line. The feeder didn't produce a fish, but I then had 6 roach in 6 casts on the pole before it was back to working hard again and trying to avoid the damn pike.

With half an hour to go the peg was properly dead, so I decided to reball it and hope! It was a good move as a few more roach up to 8oz came my way before the whistle went. I knew I had beaten Sean and Mark but Graham had been catching all day so I thought he would piss the section. Graham did win the section with 11lb 15oz, but I wasn't so far away on 11lb and came 2nd, I had fewer fish than Garahm but better quality. Mark had 7lb and Sean 4lb and so it proved they had worse pegs than me.

Overall it was:-

1st Leon Hubbard 80lb (!) 31 bream from a peg in the cornfield, not bad I suppose!!!!
2nd Jonny Atkins 46lb bream on the pole in the little ashtip (that's a first!)
3rd Leigh Trivett 16lb+ last peg on the beach

There were quite a few double figure weights and considering the clarity of the water it fished well. Although Nick Ewers on the first peg into the little ashtip might disagree as he only had 3lb+, not a peg I would have liked!

The two Bathampton teams tied for first place, and my team was 3rd, unfortunately the two OAPs only managed 3 points between them, but at least they gave it a go.

Well that's enough typing, my shoulders are aching after two days of pole fishing, and today was busier than yesterday, shame I have to wait another 3 weeks to fish the river.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Avon County Champs Final Landsend

It was a bit strange waking up on a Saturday morning to go fishing, and my body clock took a little adjusting! I was travelling on my own today since my normal partner Glenn Bailey did not want to fish this match, and as it turned out so did quite few others. So in the end only 10 people were fishing for 5 places. I am surprised that so many people didn't want to fish (don't want to go to the final?), but I guess some people don't like going out of their comfort zone, and I can understand that but I have never minded travelling.

Anyway back to today and as I put my hand in the bucket a ticket flew up and I grabbed it, peg 19 was looking back at me. This was the peg that Mike Nicholls had lost 25 carp from on Monday, and venue expert Rod Wootton said to me "it's foul hook city". Oh well at least plenty of interest for the day then. The pegging was generous and on 21 was Martin Pettifer, and on 17 was Eddie Wynne, for some it was even more generous, Sean Townsend on 11 had his next anglers on 7 and 15! A quick call to Tony Rixon confirmed the peg should be approached shallow at 13 mtr to avoid foulers for as long as possible. So I set up a 4x10 Durafoat with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for this line (it cocks with 1 no8 stotz and either a 6mm or 8mm pellet). A similar float for down the edge to my right, a dibber for 6" deep if they came right up or I needed to go in tight. Finally a 0.3 gm Inter float with 0.16 to 16B911 for the deck at 7 mtrs and 13 mtrs.

On the whistle a pot 6mms went in at 13 mtr, a pot at 2'o'clock at 7mtrs, casters and corn down the edge and at 10 o'clock 7 mtr (but nothing on this at all). I started on 7 mtrs with soft pellet and lost a fouler (here we go I thought) first dob but no more carp activity, I took a near 3lb bream and a F1 here and the first hour was gone! I had been feeding 6mm pellets by catty to 13 mtrs and decided to take a look over on the shallow rig first to avoid foulers..... um it never it went under and after 15 mins I was on the deck. This was slow, no liners or foulers, another flying skimmer and a couple of babies obliged but it was tough going. I kept going on this line and started to toss pot a bit of bait in as well as the catty, it seem to help as I took another 2 F1s, a chub and 4 carp by the halfway mark. This wasn't great but no one was really bagging, although Martin and Rod had a lot of carp in their pegs they were fouling a few and landing some. Martin then went and took 5 carp next to some marginal lillies in 5 chucks to storm ahead, he hadn't even fed it they were just there! My margin line was dead, the carp seemed to be the other side of the pallet today!

My next 2 hours were rock hard with just a decent ide and a few roach and I knew I was out of it. I tried in tight to the far bank, but never had anything other than the occasional liner. I decided to up the feed in the catty significantly and blow me the peg started blowing and I caught a carp on the deck then fouled one, so out with the shallow rig. I then caught 4 more carp and lost one fouler all up in the water before the whistle. I was left wondering if I should have fed heavier earlier, or was it just the usual last hour improvement? I knew I had been beaten by Martin (who lost 20 odd carp) and by Rod and by Steve Mayo on peg 1, so chances of being in the top were slim. As the scales went round I wandered up to see Eddie (who had chucked back) and my team mate Leigh Trivett. Leigh had gone round to watch Sean Townsend weigh in and had left his nets unattached on the pallet with the fish in. I couldn't resist it! I grabbed his carp keepnet and hid with it in peg 16. When they came round to weigh Leigh he was a tad upset that his tough day had now gotten worse as he proclaimed the carp had dragged in his net (lol). I then appeared in Leigh's peg with his net just as he was up to his armpit in the lake looking for the net. Yes I nearly did PMSL !!!!!

I weighed 51lb 11oz, which included 13lb 11oz of silvers, this was enough to take the consolation prize of the top silvers weight. I was 6 overall but in the final as Rod Wootton announced he did not want to go. I asked Rod what had I done wrong on this flyer, in his opinion the fish were not there as there was not enough pressure on the lake to push them into the gap, but I also feel I could have done better fishing longer to the point, hey ho.

1st Sean Townsend 86lb (19 carp) peg 11
2nd Rod Wotton 72lb+ peg 22
3rd Steve Mayo (3 ounces less than Rod) peg 1
4th Martin Pettifer 62lb
5th Leighton Palmer 53lb
6th Tim Ford 51lb 11oz

So it is off to Barston and Packing Summers on Oct 1st.
Came home tonight and spent over an hour mixing gbait and changing the gear around for the river tomorrow, hope it is worth it!