Sunday, 27 November 2011

Commercial House Rnd 4 Bristol Avon

This match was fished from Swineford to Crane and Jack Whites, in fact myself and Any Ottoway pegged the match on Saturday. We did not see a fish top all day except for the very top end of Jack Whites, so thought it might be hard, but with the river being clear chub might have a go.

The team draw was done by Gary O'Shea, and when he came back with peg F1 for me I could have kissed him! This was the top peg at Jack Whites, on the fence above the steps, I couldn't help saying that at last I'd drawn a really good peg on the river and was looking forward to a days dace bashing.

I was in for a shock when I saw the river, there was a big tide on, but thankfully it was at its peak, but it must have been all of 3ft. I have drawn this peg once before and I had 22lb of dace on the stick, I fancied more of the same today. The stick float really is my favourite style of fishing, but if I get to use it once a year I'm lucky. The plan was 6 no4 stick on a 15ft rod, and waggler on a 13ft rod, with a maggot feeder for just in case. Shite! I left my feeder rods at home, all I had was my 10ft mini carp, oh well that will do, 0.17 to 16 B90. Shite! I could not get the reel seat to shift on the 15ft rod, so I had to put the stick on my Titan with 0.11 to 18 B611 and that was it! Not a very good start to the day.

Starting on the stick feeding maggot I was expecting bites, but no, it was deadly quiet, maybe the tide had put the dace down. 15 mins in and my first bite resulted in my hooking something decent for 5 seconds before the hook pulled. I went another 20 mins before my next bite and hooked what I thought was a big chub which tore off and snapped me. Oh dear.... OK so no dace bites, time to fish for chub, onto 0.14 and a 16 forged hook. Exactly 1 hour into the match I had my next bite, and this fish nearly took the line off my reel! Eventually I landed a 6lb 2oz barbel. Exactly 1 hour later I had my 4th bite on the stick and after another healthy scrap landed a 5lb 4oz barbel! OK that's enough of maggots, I lashed in 10 handfuls of hemp and caster on the stick float and went for the barbel!

I couldn't get another bite on the stick, I also tried the feeder but nothing, perhaps I had fed to much? I had seen 3 people by now, Paul Barnfield, Jerry Pocock and Kev Dicks, all were below me and had been struggling, only Nathaniel Johnson had caught well, with 5 chub, so I needed to catch another barbel. I had noticed though that Dace had been topping upstream of me for an hour and then at 2pm a couple topped in my swim. This lead me to pick up the stick again and I had a dace first cast out, and the next, and the next..... I was still on the heavy gear, but the dace and odd roach did not care and were grabbing my single maggot every chuck whilst I carried on throwing in hemp and casters, and I swung every fish out. When the whistle went I had caught fish for 90 mins on the stick, and it turned out I had caught 9lb 14oz in that time, bagging!

It was going to be close in the section as Nathaniel had ended with 9 chub, but my weight of 21lb 4oz was just to good for his 19lb 11oz. As it turned out we were 1st and 2nd overall, result! At Jackies every peg came alive late on, at the bottom end, anglers blanking even caught a fish, Nicky Johns and Barny saw at least 9 salmon / sea trout jump clear of the water.

Back at the results it was clear the river had been tough in places, but it still needed over 13lb to frame. Mark Brennan (in my team) came 3rd from the Crane with 16lb, including a 2lb 14oz perch. In fact my team had a good day all bar one and we were clear winners on the day and are now winning the A div by 3 points. I am leading the league individually, but the next two matches are on the canal in the New year and I'm not sure if I will be able to fish them, but we will see.

I have to end by saying that today was a day I will never forget. If I could fish a stick float every day I would be a happy man. Hooking some lumps early and then catching so fast late on was a special experience for me. It was the last w/l river match today.

One final note, pegging the match was more difficult than I thought, and we did put a couple of dodgy pegs in. Shawn Townsend drew the worst one, and caught one 13oz chub 10 mins to go! When he came back he had calmed down, but he did say the match that was not pegged previously (when we did it from memory) was pegged better. PMSL, a top comment!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Viaduct Open Campbell

You may be surprised by the title of this post with the winter league being on the canal this weekend. I had decided not to fish the canals this year as they are so busy with people I just don't think I can take the "toilet breaks" I need. I was not going to fish at all this weekend, but then rang on Friday and booked in to the open, whilst the other lakes were taken up by the teams of 4 league.

I had tried to gather a bit of info leading up to the match and went with an open mind to fish for either silvers or carp depending on the peg, and Mat Toomes was very helpful. When I pulled peg 130 I didn't get very good vibes, in fact Tony Rixon said in his opinion it was no good for carp or silvers! Still fish can swim and peg 132 had produced 100lb the day before so the fish were in the area. When I rolled up on my peg I had a look at the anglers on my bank and it was not too bad, Phil Cardwell peg 132, Lee Wherret 129, then Dick Bull, Ray Haywood and Andy Neal...... I've been in easier sections lol!

I set up a waggler for use with 8mm meat, with 18 PR36 to 0.14. A straight lead with 18 PR36 to 0.,and 2 pole rigs; one was a 6x10 pencil jobby with 0.14 to 16 B911 for meat, and the other had the same float with 16 Drennan Carp to 0.12 for caster. I was feeling a bit more confident about things as 30 mins before the start carp were showing in my peg and the empty peg 131. So come the the whistle I fed some meat and caster at 16 mtrs 2 0'oclock, some caster down the edge and then cast out the wag and meat. It wasn't long before I had my first carp, in fact I had 5 casts and hooked and landed 4 carp! Phil Cardwell was also catching on the wag. At this stage I had fed nothing, the carp were clearly in my peg and I just hoped they would stay.

After the first hour I reckoned to have 28lb, it then went very quiet and the wind picked up in my face and I was not able to feed meat as far as I would have liked. I cast the lead out and had a pull round first chuck but the fish came off halfway in. Next chuck on the lead produced a couple of small liners and I had enough of that and went back on the wag. First cast and fish on, and it was a good 8lb fish. Up until the start of the third hour I stayed with the wag, getting indications on most casts, some were liners as I lost a few foulers and landed one that was hooked in the tail. I knew the carp were there, but they seemed to have gone off the feed a bit. Time to try the pole and so I shipped out a piece of meat to 16 mtrs and within 30 seconds I was into a carp! Lee Wherret who was fishing for silvers said he was glad he was not fishing for carp today! Cupping in 4 pieces of meat and some casters after each fish I took another 4 carp here in no time at all, and they were big up to 10lb, and also had a tench. The pole died and so it was back to the wag for a few more. I then had 2 more carp on the pole but no more bite,s and for the last 30 mins of the match I didn't catch but missed 2 bites on the wag. I had really struggled to fish the last hour as my right shoulder blade area was really cramping up for some reason.

I could see I had beaten those around me, but Ray Haywood up on peg 126 had 20 carp which was more than I though I had. I was right but it was close! My carp weighed 122lb and I had 2 tench for 4lb+

1st Ray Haywood 130lb
2nd ME 126lb 13oz
I actually don't know what was 3rd cos the results weren't given out, I was just handed my winnings, but I know Phil Cardwell had 80lb on 132.

Paul Faires on peg 110 won the silvers with 18lb 8oz, and Lee next to me was 2nd with 18lb 2oz. Paul caught on wag feeding casters, Lee caught on pole over gbait!

Well I must say I had much better day than I thought I would have done, and was chuffed with the result as well as the fishing. It does help to draw on them at this time of the year of course! I was a bit rusty I know, and I missed too many bites on the wag I feel, but I'm not worried about that at all. Now have to change all the gear back over for the the Avon on Sunday lol!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Poppy Match

I won't go on about wanting to draw at Swineford this week cos you and I know that it wasn't going to happen. I got to the draw nice and early and was soon greeting a number of faces that I only seem to see on this match, Topper Haskins, Jeff Surmon, Julian Pinkett, Mark Haskins, Mike Shellard, I could go on! I was very shocked when I saw commercial expert Chris Davis come in though. It's good to see all these people support this match, but it is a shame that there are just no young anglers coming through. Bill Milton lead the 2 minute silence and then it was on with the draw. So with 120 pegs in the bucket I somehow drew the same bloody peg as last week, peg 20 at Newbridge, oh dear, how sad, never mind!

It didn't take me long to set up as the pole rigs were obviously all the same as last week, I set up a feeder rod with 16 to 0.13 but that was it. The river was now a nice colour, on the clear side, and I thought the roach would show today. I was going to set up a waggler for over but the wind was very bad and with the amount of boaters and leaves on the water I gave it a miss. I balled it at the start but with only 10 balls today and little grub in it, and then cast a big gbait feeder across 7 times. Onto the pole and it was hard work with a vicious downstream wind, and I could hardly get a bite! After an hour I had a 4oz roach, 7 blades and 1 small perch, not really match winning potential! Onto the feeder and first chuck I missed a whacking bite, the maggots were smashed and it must have been a chub. An hour later on and the tip had yielded 1 perch and something which was taken by a pike.

Time for a walk. It was fishing very hard, and my section was being won at the time with about 2lb, so my 10oz was really shite. I gave the pole one more go and picked up 4 more blades and a perch and that was the end of that. Feeder all the way now. I had a couple of bites which I missed and I knew it was from chub so I shortened the hook length down as I was pretty sure I wasn't going to see any bream action on this peg. I took two chublets soon after and thought I should change over to a maggot feeder, it took me 30 minutes to get another bite but then for the last hour (bar the last 15 mins) it went bonkers with chublets hitting the bait sometimes before the line had tightened up. Normally I use bronze maggot on the hook, but fluro maggot was much better today. I was lucky that this period of activity came when the wind had dropped and the leaves had lessened, meaning I could see the bites a lot better. It was a nice end to what had been a poor 4 hours before. I weighed 7lb 8oz which won the section as the next weight was only 3lb 12oz. It seemed the river had once again been a tough nut to crack when it looked in fine fettle.

Winning on the day was Paul Haines with 32lb of bream from about 2 pegs below the outfall at Swineford (I said I wanted to be there lol). Well done Paul a great result. 2nd and the hottest bream angler on the river at the moment was Kev Boltz with 21lb from peg 10 at Newbridge. 3rd was Leon Hubbard with a lovely net of roach on the stick float from peg 29 at Swineford that went 20lb. Dave Haines made a good day for the Haines, catching 3 big bream for 18lb.

4th Andy Ottoway 16lb
5th / 6th Shawn Townsend, Andy Power with 14lb weights

An angler at Jack Whites had a barbel 8lb on the stick float, but lost two others, one he managed to get the head in his landing net but it fell out, wonder how big that was!!!!!

The results were a lot of fun with Bill Milton and Ray Bazely on fine piss taking form. Despite the tough fishing there were lots of happy faces, good laughs and everyone had contributed to the poppy fund. It should be noted that Bristol and West and Bathampton do not charge peg fees for this match allowing for more money to go to the fund, so well done them and well done to all the sponsors. Roll on next year, please keep attending!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

November 1991

I'm not into dancing or singing so time for a blog on a Saturday night!

November 3rd 1991 was the date for the middle Avon champs, unfortunately a lot of rain in the previous days had brought the river up and the peg I drew was going to be very important in the outcome. Peg 1 at Warleigh was a chub flyer but not in today's conditions. I managed 1 chub and a bullhead on a maggot feeder before the river further and made the peg unfishable. I always remember this match as Bill Milton was a few pegs above me where the river was wider and he was getting regular bites on the feeder. I spent most of the last 2 hours watching Bill and he reckoned on having 15lb, but his keepnet got snagged and he ripped a big hole in it. When he pulled out just 4lb he was gutted, even more so as he would have won. I think on the same match there was a thunderstorm further up river and Warren Bates narrowly avoided being struck by lightning.

I pleasure fished the Crane stretch of the Avon on the Wednesday, starting on the stick float I was bagging and had 6lb in an hour before the peg was covered in leaves. I packed up and walked to the New Fence peg and fished the feeder for a couple of bream but missed bites that I couldn't see due to the bloody leaves! Come Saturday I was fishing an open at Newbridge and the leaves had washed through. I drew peg 3 in the little field which I was really pleased about for a days fishing but doubted I could frame as I thought the bream pegs would dominate. With a lovely pace on the river the peg screamed stick float but I did also set up the pole but that was it for tackle. Using a 20 to 0.1 and feeding bronze maggot I caught roach, chublets, dace and perch all day, but I did have to alter my shotting and depth to keep catching. I ended a lovely day with 15lb 2oz and I sneaked into 4th place!

Sunday and it was the Poppy match (topical!) and I got drawn at Swineford, the last peg in the first field in amongst the reeds. The river being pacey was obviously very fast in this shallow peg, and I took a feeder approach from start to finish. I had a poor start though and only 1 chub and a couple of bits after 3 hours, but then things improved and 4 skimmers and another chub gave me a reasonable 12lb 4oz. I'd caught fishing two lines, down the middle and right over, and worm and caster was the best hookbait on the day. My weight was 9th overall and a few quid dropped in my palm for the 2nd day running.

Wednesday and I was on the last round of the Veals classic league at Newbridge. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I pulled peg 3 out again! However, the river was once again different as more rain had added colour and flow, but I thought the stick would still work and set this and the gbait feeder up. As the match started it soon became evident I had misjudged the pace and the stick float was not right today. Switching to the feeder about 1/4 of the way across the river I proceeded to have a very enjoyable day despite heavy rain falling for most of the match. I really noticed on this day how the hook bait affected the species I caught, bronze maggot brought quick bites from decent roach and hybrids, red maggots took me longer to get a bite but if I got one it was a skimmer. If I tell you I had 7 skimmers, 2 chublets, hybrids and roach for 26lb you can see I had a lot of bites on the feeder and a lovely looking net of fish. Bob Ingram of Diawa Gordon League had the next highest weight in my section, 19lb of skimmers on the stick float from opposite marina. I got back to the results to get my section money only to find out the bream had not fed well elsewhere and I had won the match! I ended the league with 47 points out of a possible 55, and first one out of the overall payouts, those 2 early poor matches cost me, as you only dropped one result, but in retrospect it was a good result for a spotty young un like me!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Winter League Round 4

Back on Newbridge today and this match would be OK for pegging as it is permanently pegged! The river had taken on a hell of a lot of colour from the previous 24 hours although it was not pacey at all. Talking to Leon Hubbard we both thought it would either be a bagging match or crap. Well I drew peg 20 just before the pump house, a good peg generally but the area had been poor in recent weeks. On peg 22 below me was once again Kev Boltz, I hoped for revenge, but hope was all I had!

I was convinced this would be a bream match, and on this peg most fish are caught on the bream line so I set up two pole rigs; a 3grm with 0.12 to 16, and a 3grm flat float with the same gear. I also set up two feeder rods, one with a 16 and 0.14 and the other with 11 to 0.16 for lobworm. No point in setting up a float today, plus there were lots of leaves on the surface. At the start I threw in 18 bombs of gbait, thinking this would help hold any bream later on. I started by trying the normal 3grm float, and it took me about 10 mins to get a bite and a little 4oz hybrid. Next chuck a roach, two chucks later another 4oz hybrid. I expected hybrids as they normally feed in coloured water, and then I hit a decent fish. What it was I don't know as I pulled out of it just as it came near the surface leaving a boil. A few runs through later and I had a nice 12oz hybrid now this was more like the stamp I wanted! I thought these fish would come better to a static bait so I went out with the flat float...and never had a bite!

Back on the normal float and it was dead until out of the blue a bite and a skimmer of nearly a pound and a half. I couldn't get another bite, I tried the flat float and the feeder over this line but it was shot. Resting it I cast the feeder across a few times and settled in on this for an hour for 1 perch! It was evident the river was fishing hard, with some anglers still only having ounces, but I still couldn't work out why my bites had died. I did reball the pole line, that gave me 2 small roach and a foul hooked an eel. So I stayed on the feeder but only had 2 bites on this, hitting one which was a 8oz roach. I tried various hookbaits during the day, and only had one bite on a worm which surprised me, red maggot was best for me when I had the fish early on.

Once again Kev Boltz had given me a lesson, he lassoed 3 bream for 12lb whilst my net went 4lb 8oz only 3rd in the section. When I say lassoed, he actually caught one by hooking a lost feeder from ealier in the day and a bream was on the end of that old rig! OK I give up Kev! Shaun Townsend was 2nd in the section from peg 14 with 6lb.

The pegs below Kev in the next two sections nearly all had bream, with Thyers anglers Paul Purchase landing 3 for 18lb (I heard 2 were fouled!) and Paul Bromsgrove having the same weight including a foul hooked slab, they tied for 1st overall. Thyers won on the day with 40 points, Thatchers 2nd with 38 points and Bathampton 3rd with 28 points. League is now -
Thyers, Bathampton, Thatchers, Wilts Angling, Amalgamation.

Quite a number of anglers got out of jail with late bream, none more so than team mate Leigh Trivett who had a last cast bream of 7lb 14oz in his 8lb 10oz! Meanwhile Darren Gillman was last in section for the 2nd week running, that shows how tough the river is at present as Darren is one of the most consistent river anglers around.

Next week is the Poppy match, and I hear that many tickets are sold and it should be well over a 100 pegger. I wonder if my luck will come back next week, cos at present I seem to be wearing something that the bream don't like, lol!