Sunday, 30 October 2011

Winter League Round 3

This match was to be fished on Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites and I had spent all week holding onto a lucky rabbits foot and planted some lucky heather in the garden all to try to help me get a peg at Swineford! Let's just say the foot and heather didn't work. To begin with I couldn't believe it when I found out that the match had not been pegged out, and so myself, Kev Dicks and Lee Trivett did our best to come up with the pegging on paper! What we had to do to make it easier was put two sections in at Newbridge and that is where I drew, peg 66. To be honest this has been a good area recently for roach, skimmers and bream so I wasn't to worried about not being at Swineford.

After the long walk I arrived at my peg to find Steve Hutchinson below me on 67 and Kev Boltz above on 63. I went positive, two pole rigs the usual 1 grm and 2.5grm, and a groundbait feeder. I couldn't see anything else being needed here as I thought I would need bream. At the beginning of the match I threw in 12 jaffas of gbait and caster and emptied 8 big feeder fulls across the river. I then spent 25 mins without a bite on the pole and was just thinking it was going to be pants when a 12oz roach obliged. Next chuck and another roach and as I netted it there was quite a splash, as I pulled up the landing net I saw there was a 3lb pike in with the roach, it must have literally jumped in the net after the roach! Pike don't count!

I had quite a few roach over the next hour, not many but many were 6oz to 8oz fish so worth catching, Kev had been catching the same stamp but then had a bream and 2 skimmers on the pole to move ahead. I managed to sneak out a 3lb bream and a 1.5lb skimmer soon after and thought things were going well, but then my bites slowed right up. Then I hooked a lump, I wasn't sure if it was a big bream or a pike so I took my time with it and after about 5 mins I saw it was a 4lb bream foul hooked. Of course once I got it in close the hooked pulled out, bugger! This really killed the peg and the gbait feeder line was not giving me any bites, meanwhile Kev hit 6 skimmers / bream on the pole in as many casts. I decided to re ball the pole line and hope. It worked to a degree as I started to catch the odd roach again, and had another 1.5lb skimmer out of the blue. Then Kev chucked the feeder out over his pole line and had 7 more skimmers / bream in 7 casts!!!!! The last 45 mins for me was poor, a double figure pike had moved in and did both my rigs in and the feeder didn't produce either across or over the pole line.

I had the scales so had the joy of weighing Kev in first, and he had a fantastic 45lb 11oz and won the match. I weighed 19lb 1oz and that only beat Steve Hutch's 9lb, as the two other anglers in my section below Newton St Loe Bridge beat me! Andy Britt on the same peg he had last week snared 4 good chub to go with his roach for 21lb, and on the end peg which won the match last week (does this guy ever draw a bad peg?) was Shawn Kitteridge. Shawn had a couple of bream and a lot of roach for 23lb and 4th in the match. As it turned out the lost foul hooked bream cost me framing, but such is life, I had a nice days fishing!

Swineford threw up a few bream weights, Robbie Manns was 2nd overall with 30lb from the last peg in the first field, and on the peg below him Nick Chedzoy had 22lb on the feeder. Paul Barnfield was 3rd from the little ashtip with a couple of big chub to go with a good net of roach.

Thyers won on the day and they are now tied in first place with Bathampton overall, with Thatchers 2 points behind.

Next week is back up at Newbridge (assuming it is pegged) and we could with some more rain as the other section up by the pumphouse was only won with 5lb.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Commercial House Rnd 3 Bristol Avon

I had not prepared to well for this match at Newbridge because I spent 3 days working in Munich (and me bag leaked causing a right mess!) then had visitors from Hong Kong and went to a 60th birthday party on Sat. I did however manage to mix some groundbait for balling! It was not looking good based on lack on rain!

I can honestly say I really did not have a clue where I wanted to draw as the river is so low and clear it would just be a case of drawing on shedful. Well blow me, I was handed peg 33 on the straight (the peg I wrote about last week with the chub!) and I was pretty sure this would be dog shite. On the peg below me (36) was river ace Kevin Dicks and we both know these pegs are better with water in and are proper winter pegs. With Mark Harper on peg 20 (1st peg in my section) where 18lb of roach was had last week I reckoned I was going to be the wrong end of the section. I had a plan (as ever) and that was if I couldn't catch roach on the pole I was going to try to catch better fish, bream! That said I did set up a wag shallow for bleak (no more on this), a gbait feeder with 16 B611 to 0.14, 2 pole rigs for the balling line, 1gm pencil with 22 to 0.08 and 3gm PB Silvers with 20 to 0.1. Last rig was 1.25 gm with 0.14 to 13 B711 for chopped worm down the side.

At the start in went 10 balls of gbait with little food, I went straight over it with the pencil rig and in 30 mins managed 2 roach and a perch that might have weighed 2oz in total! I tried the 3 grm rig with a static bait but no joy and was soon on the gbait feeder feeding the far side. An hour and 30 mins in and I tried the chopped worm swim, you could have knocked me down with a feather when the float buried! A 6oz perch was soon followed by a 1lb perch and a 12oz perch, of course that line then went dead. At this stage Kev Dicks had walked down to see me and hadn't had anything as yet! Word had it the whole match was fishing terrible.

I wanted to go back in on the worm line after resting it but a huge narrow boat tried to turn around in the river, and due to the downstream wind could not. With his engine on full and rudder hard astern he went through about 7 pegs churning up the inside, twat! I went for a walk, and other than Colin Dance on peg 22 everyone else was really struggling.

I spent the rest of the match swapping between the feeder and the chop worm swim and having the briefest of looks in on the balling line. The feeder gave me 1 bite and a small perch, the balling line nothing. Another 4 small perch came from the worm line, so as you can tell it wasn't exactly frantic. The scales duly arrived after weighing Kev Dicks last in section 6.5oz (not often that happens) and I weighed 3lb 4oz which was enough for 2nd in section. Colin Dance won the section and framed wth 9lb 2oz (giving me section by default hee hee) of roach to 1lb. Meanwhile on the peg above Mark Harper had 12oz, and below Eddie Wynne 1lb+. A tight shoal!

There were some very poor weights and sections, but I won't dwell on those. Winning on the day with 30lb was ....wait for it.... Dave Haines ! I think it was the biggest cheer I have heard in a long time when they called Dave's name out. I heard a rumour that Nicola Lunn had stolen Dave's whips, and instead Dave fished waggler then feeder for a few chub then bream on caster. Next peg to Dave was the Karaoke kid Andy Britt and he had 26lb of skimmers on the pole. Andy Ottoway had yet another nice day with 17lb from peg 67.

On the team front the rivers form meant all teams suffered bad results, and somehow my team has now taken the lead in the A div by 1/2 a point!

I was pleased to see Nick Chedzoy starting to show a bit of proper river angler form, Chedz had 2 bites and one was a 3lb+ chub for 2nd in section. Scratching for lumps takes a bit of bottle! Meanwhile his travelling partner Nick Ewers is searching for the Samaritans phone number. As is Sean Townsend who after 24 years drew the end peg in the trees and said he would be dissapointed if he only had 10lb. He weighed 1lb 3oz (pmsl) and we all laughed as did Sean.

Crane next week, thank f%ck!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

October 1991

As mentioned last week I am missing the 2nd round of the winter league at Newbridge Sunday due to family commitments (nothing to do with a gin clear river not flowing).

Back on October 12th 1991 I was fishing a Saturday open at ....Newbridge. I drew peg 65, and as I had pleasure fished a few pegs away in the week and caught plenty of roach was happy with the peg. In the first hour and a half I caught a roach nearly every cast on the pole and maggot, then the river coloured up badly and the bites stopped completely. I hadn't balled it (we didn't do that back then!) and not catching anymore was all down to the colour and extra flow and me feeding maggot. I didn't think bream were in the peg so I went out on a maggot feeder and struggled for a couple of puppies and eels, though I did lose one big chub. My 6lb 12oz was no good, and the bream hole pegs had 40 and 50lb, wish I had chucked out the gbait feeder!

The following day I found myself in an awful peg at Jack Whites, 2 above the cow drink opposite the concrete and as everyone thought bream would go I was expecting to be right down the section. I tried the feeder for a bit but continually lost hooks and feeders, so in the end I fished a waggler 3ft deep with maggot, 20 to 0.1 and took bleak, dace and the odd small roach. When I weighed 4lb 12oz I expected the worst, but the bream did not feed and I ended with 9 points, good enough.

Wednesday was another round of the Veals Classic League at Newbridge and if you recall I had not done very well in the previous 3 rounds. Today I drew peg 22 (behind the pumphouse) and whilst the river was clear again it had a nice flow. I started on the pole fishing 6 mtrs to hand feeding maggot, whilst also feeding casters out to the middle for the waggler later on. The pole line responded well and I was catching good quality roach on the drop, but alas this died and I had to change to the wag earlier than hoped. There were fish out there and I took the odd good roach and 2 decent hybrids all on caster. I fished a 20 to 0.1 on both rigs, and ended with 10lb 8oz of good stamp fish for 5th on the day and a nice little confidence booster. To give you some idea of the anglers fishing this league here are the ones I remember, Vic Bush, Ian Parsons, Steve Long, Mark Harper, Kevin Dicks, Clive Branson, Jeff Reasons, Gary Ethridge, Derek Coles and many many more.

On the Sunday I was back at Newbridge for the Commercial House, just a few pegs along on peg 28 and thought there might be a few chub about (odd ones caught on the Weds). With this in mind I started out on a wag but with a 22 to to 0.1 going from 3 to 6ft deep and with just 2 no 10's down the line. The wind was vicious upstream and made things difficult but I took 3 chub in the first 40 mins and missed one bite. That was the best bit!!!! After that all I had was a few gudgeon on the pole, and I managed to lose a chub on the feeder (I was good at that, still am lol). It was a tough match and I came 2nd in the section with 6lb 1oz.

Two matches left to report on in October, and both involve chub and differing emotions! 27th Oct and the ATWL, I was 5 pegs above the sewer at Limpley Stoke and told it would be rock hard where I was. I fished a wag set at depth (about 11ft) with very light shotting and (stupidly) a 22 to 0.08. After about half the match all I had was a couple of pounds of bits, then I lost a chub under my feet. So I stepped up to 0.10 (idiot) and lost another 2 chub. I then went direct on my reel line which was 2lb maxima, and lost another chub!!! The last two fish I had lost upstream and I got up and looking through the glare realised there was a big weed bed above me. I hooked one more chub and got that one out now I knew what was in the peg. My 5lb 6oz was still worth 10 points but losing 4 chub had cost me the section and a frame place. I was sick as a parrot!

So the last match of Oct was back on the Veals League at Newbridge, it turned out to be a memorable day. Drawing a few pegs further downstream again I was on peg 33. With similar conditions as on the CH match I reckoned the wag for chub would be best, and when I got to my peg and saw about 10 chub on the far bank my mind was made up! The wag was set up with a 20 to 0.1, with 1 no9 and 1 no10 and 4ft deep was best. The angler above me (on 30 I think) was Pete Sivell and he will not forget this day. After the first hour Pete shouted out to ask what I had, "7 chub" I replied. "Don't be effing stupid tell me what you've got Clucker" says Pete. "7 chub Pete!" says I. "Alright eff off then Cluck if you won't be sensible" steamed Pete. Well as you can probably imagine I was pissing myself by the fact Pete thought I was lying! By the end of the 3rd hour I had 16 chub and then the rowers came out and the chub went and I never had another bite on the wag or the feeder. Not long before the end of the match Topper Haskins walked up and asked me what I had, then he walked on up to Pete... "Clucker I thought you was f&cking lying!!!" PMSL! I weighed in 29lb and won the section but only came 5th overall as lots of bream came out from the end of the straight and the bream holes. I don't think chub ever showed in peg 33 again, they must have shoaled for winter or something then went elsewhere? Oh and Pete, I think he had a hard earned 8lb of roach.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

I Really Should Stick to Rivers!

I had no plans to fish this Sunday as there was nothing on the river that I fancied fishing plus I had a bad bout of man flu. However, a text From Tony Rixon saying he was running a match at Avalon got me juices flowing and this would definitely be my last commercial fishery match this year (surely!).

I did feel a tad better today but since I have come home have got blocked up and feel crap again (well being in the fresh helped when I was in it). With most of the lake going to be used I fancied a draw in the middle of the lake, the car park end was flat calm whilst the other end was very windy. Well I pulled out end peg 1 (yes Chris another corner) and that at least meant a nice short walk. However, my planned day of skimmer fishing was now on the back burner as I got lots of advice how to fish for carp.

As this match was any method I set up a method feeder with 0.21 powerline hook length to 16 PR38, a pellet wag (these were to fish about 25 metres up the end bank) a 4x10 Durafloat 10 for corn to the end bank at 16mtr (0.16 to 16 B911) and a skimmer rig on 0.5grm but this was a non starter.

On the whistle I cupped micros and corn to 16 mtrs up the edge, and cast the method further up the edge! It was a slow start but I was not to worried thinking this peg would get better in the last half of the match. I took a couple of small stockies on the method with 3 red maggs before I lost the whole rig when I think a carp must have hit a snag on the line. A change to banded 8mm pellet brought a few more stockies and after about 2 hours I had 7 of these small chaps. I was thinking about going on the pole and turned round to get it and heard a splash, looking back round my rod and reel were in the lake waving goodbye. Oh shit, there's a Diawa TDR reel on there I can't afford to lose that! The rod got to about 20 metres out when it stopped and after a few attempts I managed to snag it with my pellet wag rig. Trouble was the end tackle of the feeder was now well and truly snagged and I was having to pull for a break...but my pellet wag was somehow attached around the feeder rod tip section. I had no choice but to pull for the break and SNAP, back came the rod and reel, but gone was an inch off the end of the feeder rod. Well I hope that makes you laugh as much as it did when I told Mr Rixon!!!!

I went for a quick stroll to see how things were going and I was up with the anglers below me on fish numbers but I had all babies. I stuck another tip in the method and tried it again, but the peg was never the same. The 16 mtr edge line gave up 2 pasties in two chucks with 2 hours to go and after that just two chublets. The method brought me 1 more carp and that was it. A very bad day for me as my 10 carp and bits went 26lb+ which I would imagine would have been close to last. Howard Webb on peg 3 also had 10 carp but his went 39lb.

I didn't hang about for the results as I wanted to forget all about today and get home and have a Sunday Roast. I heard that Martin Mahon won it with 70lb on the method, and that Shane Caswell won the silvers with 17lb. All the details will be on Tony's blog of course. Def weekend of for me next week, so I'll stick a 1991 (hopefully it will be a good memory!) story on for that.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Winter League Round 1

This was the first round of the formerly sponsored Angling Times winter league, and it was at Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites. I had gone to bed the night before dreaming of a peg at Swineford or Jack Whites as I expected the crane to be tough with lots of pike. Breakfast in the rugby club and a chat with Kev Boltz and Shane Caswell before the draw was done. Oh fer fecks sake, the Crane again, only this time on the little wall just past the gantry. This area has been poor so far this year with 5lb being a good weight, my peg produced 2lb for Dave Haines the week before.

This is a shallow peg, and I think that this is the problem, the roach are there but the bright sunshine is penetrating the peg and putting the roach off. Still you have to make do and try to enjoy a day in the sun! Below me was Bathampton's and and good friend Darren Gillman, above me was the son of a millionaire Andy Bush. (Andy had to borrow some float rubbers from me for his topper float, don't Mosella do them lol!)

So what to do today then... First the boring bit, 1grm pencil rig, 4x16 strung out rig as usual. Then a waggler shallow (possible chublets I hoped by the boats) and a 4mtr whip (borrowed off team mate Andy Ottaway). The whip was set up as I had seen a few small fish swimming in close and I thought I would start on this whilst feeding caster and hemp at 13 mtr, no balling in today for me! On the whip I think I had about 1lb 12oz in the first hour, small roach and perch mainly and I was happy with this start. I picked up the pencil rig and started to get bites straight away but they were off the bottom and I bumped a couple so went onto the strung out rig. I picked up the odd roach but the bites were very iffy and when I did get one I often missed it. So far no pike trouble (in fact none all match) but then bleak appeared and they were mopping up every caster I fed and I couldn't get a bait to the bottom.

Onto the wag from id match and I caught bleak and the odd small dace on maggot, I hoped could draw the bleak away from the pole line but despite feeding maggot right across they stayed on the pole line. I got a bit cheesed off with this and went mad and cupped in a pot of caster and a pot of hemp on the pole line to get some bait down. Eventually the bleak left the wag line and disappeared altogether. Onto the pole line and no bleak and no bites, shit I think I messed this up! I set up a maggot feeder but to be honest I doubted it would work as opposite me the boat owners were building a new walkway and patio and I had a headache from them using pick axe, sledgehammers etc. Oh yeah and I could hear a baby crying all day from the boat down by Darren, add to this all the boaters and walkers enjoying the sun and it was truly wonderful. With 20 mins to go I had a roach on the pole and then 5 more, my first roach for 2 1/2 hours. Usual late arrivals!

Darren below me had struggled for 3lb and last in the section, I don't know why, maybe it was the people fishing for pike opposite him, or the boat turning round in his peg, or the two lumps he hooked on the roach rig that snapped him, or the pike he lost..... you get the picture! My section was won by Gary Cross off the high wall with 10lb of roach (it must have been solid) and my 6lb 11oz was 2nd in the section. Young (!) Andy had 4lb+ above me.

On the day Bathampton did very well and won, and also had the top 3 individuals, Graham Hunt 18lb of roach from peg above railway bridge, Martin Rayett 18lb of chub from peg 18, and Sean Townsend 14lb of dace from Jack Whites steps. Good pegs but they did the biz. Wiltshire angling came 2nd with Thatchers (ahem) 3rd, Thyers 4th and Amalgamation last.

Sorry if there are a few grammar issues in my two posts, but I'm to knackered to bother to check! Time for bed!

Angling Times County Champs Final

Welli have to write 2 blogs tonight and I can honestly say I am absolutely fecked after two days fishing in such hot weather!

Alarm goes off at 5:30am and I am outside putting my gear on the pavement in the pitch dark waiting for Sean Townsend to pick me up, it was weird listening to Tawny owls calling as I waited! Sean was bang on time despite having a bit of a hangover and a bad cold, but he's a tough cookie. We finally at Barston for the draw what an amazing place, fantastic set up, but you pay for it, brekkie was £7+. The Avon team consisted of Steve Mayo (superstar), Sean Townsend (legend), Martin Pettifer (bird scarer) Leighton Palmer (shareholder in Natch) and myself (Baggy). Steve did the draw and it seemed I had a good peg as did Sean being in a corner on his lake.

Off to Gearys lake at Packington Somers for me and peg 10, arriving at the peg carp were boshing everywhere, at about 80 metres out next to some pipes. So first rod set up was the method, a Preston in line 45grm job with 0.21 powerline to various hooks for different bait options. A straight lead and pellet wag were made up on standard Viaduct gear, then it was the pole with two 0.3grm Preston Inters for CW&C at 13 mtrs and soft pellet at 14.5 to 2 o'clock. Plus a caster rig at 5 mtrs and a margin rig next to a tree.

On the whistle I fed the pole lines and then launched the method, it seemed to land very nearly where I wanted it to, whereas the guy next door cracked off then fished it short (not enough line methinks!). 30 mins in and the method was up the bank as I had only had 1 skimmer and nobody else that I could see had caught on it. On the CW&C line I fouled a skimmer first drop and then started catching small skimmers (6oz) on either worm head or red maggot on a 16 to 0.12. I did take a couple of 2lb fish and a 12oz tench and at this stage I was ahead of my neighbours. It went funny after 2 hours and I tried the pellet line on the pole and not a bite, took a few bits at 5 mtrs and then tried the straight lead for nothing. The rest had helped and I had another run of small skimmers and a fantail before I hooked a proper lump! I played for about 10 mins, got it out of 1 snag and then whith me holding 14.5 mtrs of pole it did me in a tree down the edge, it was a big lad!

Loosing that carp seemed to really put the peg down and I struggled to the end of the match, despite seeing the odd carp boshing out I never had so much as a liner on the method or the lead. The margin produced a perch to my double dendra hookbait and that was it, all over. A few lads walked around waiting for the scales and it soon became obvious to me that the fish were shoaled up, I beat the two guys to my left and right and just missed out on my 6 peg section £50 as the angler on the end peg had 3 carp for 26lb. My weight of 19lb 14oz was probably about 30th in the 46 peg section. The lad 3 pegs to my right had 50lb on the method, and he told me he had a bite a chuck, to his right Pete Rice had just into double figures thanks to 2 late carp. Back at the results and Steve Mayo had come 3rd in his section with 46lb, Sean won his lake but with 3 lakes in his section we weren't sure how he did but must have been top 10. Leighton had 3lb and Martin 1 carp for 7lb so we had done good, but we came 15th out of 46 teams, so not to bad I suppose. I enjoyed the day out and it was nice rubbing shoulders with lots of famous faces, including £50K Andy Power who only went and won this match with 61 at Barston fishing boilies on the method, what a star!
Just to say as we were driving back to Barston for the results, all these top anglers were going home (shit out) like Steve Ringer, Kieran Rich etc, and they were waving out at us, Sean said "What the feck is going on here all these stars waving out us?" well I simply said "They recognise me of course Sean!". PMSL!