Sunday, 29 January 2012

January / Feb 1992

No fishing for me this weekend as I had 2 parties to attend this weekend and didn't fancy getting up Sunday morning! As it turned out the weather took a turn for the worse and I had a quick walk down Frys where 7 anglers had 5 bites between them, with Leon Hubbard winning with 2 bream for 9lb, and a 6oz roach being enough for 2nd!

My first match of 1992 was an open at Conham on the Avon, I drew poor and it took me an hour to get a bite on the stick float. I took 15 dace and 1 roach in the next hour and then not another bite. The footbridge swim dominated this match with 22lb of hybrids, but 17lb of chub, and a 17lb of dace showed in other areas. The following day I was trying my luck on a Docks open match and once again managed to avoid the bream pegs by drawing Avon Street. I had a lowly 3lb 6oz of roach, dace and perch on the pole and caster. My poor start to the year got worse the following Sunday when I blanked from peg 67 at Newbridge on the ATWL, my section was won with 8oz. The river was coloured and pacey but hard frosts had killed it, and half my team blanked meaning we had a disaster and came 10th on the day!

A week later and Conham once again was not being nice to me, 2lb 6oz of dace and a sea trout on the wag was all I could muster. Sunday was the Commercial house and I had a nice walk to about 3 pegs below the New Fence up the Crane. I stuck to a waggler approach for most of the day and had 2 bites for 2 small chub which weighed 2lb 4oz. That was worth 10 points out of 14. I remember this match well as walking back down with the scales one angler in the whole section had caught a roach, in fact he had about 10 of them. I remarked "How the f*ck did you catch them?" as back then a roach above the long ashtip in winter was almost unheard of. The angler in question was a young lad about my age from Yate, a certain Des Shipp. 30b of bream at Swineford won the match and 25lb of them came off the New Fence peg.

The weather got colder during week commencing 20th Jan, down to -6C at night and another grueller on the ATWL looked likely when I drew the 1st peg in the Long Ashtip. For nearly 2 hours I never had a bite, but fishing a little maggot feeder with 22 to 0.1 I caught 7 roach and 2 gudgeon for 1lb 7oz. 8 section points was OK, and everyone who beat me had a chub, the team only came 4th on the day and were now down to 3rd overall. What a crap month Janury was, and then on the 1st Feb I blanked in a Conham open match, oh boy! Finally things perked up on the last round of the ATWL which was fished up at Limpley Stoke and Avoncliff. I drew 3 pegs below the sewer which was not normally a great area but bream were a possibility. The river was clear and I decided to start on a crowquill with punch bread feeding white crumb, this produced a dozen small fish for less than a pound. I then fished a feeder over the top of this and had two bites, both resulting in 4lb bream. I weighed 9lb 1oz which was 2nd in the section and 6th overall, I think Keith Firks won the section off the sewer I asked Keith what he had caught on and he replied "punched chittling". As a team we finished on a better note winning the day and ended up 2nd overall.

My winter of discontent continued on the following Saturday when I threw back 2 roach after 5 hours on a peg a few pegs above Saltford weir, whilst 50lb's came from Kelston point. Sunday and the Commercial House on Frys, can't say I was really looking forward to this one! I drew peg 13 and had 1 skimmer and 2 tiny roach for 1lb 10oz. However, this was pretty good, I wrote in my diary "Everbody in the bay caught skimmers, everywhere else everyone blanked, near enough!" My team Bendix A won the league and I was 3rd Individual over the whole league. As the rest of February was absolutely dire for me I will mention just one more match. The Upper Avon Champs on 23rd Feb which was won by Andy Floyd. Andy had a day that he and most others who were there will never forget. Andy drew at Scotland Road and fished a feeder to begin with, but he had no bites and noticed his hookbait and feeder was covered in gunge. So he fished the waggler over the top feeding caster with 2 red maggots on the hook he caught ......17 bream, 3 perch, 2 tench and 1 chub for 76lb. Now that is proper river fishing!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Landsend League

I was guesting again today and as this match was a random draw I could be on any of the first 3 lakes. I arrived after the draw time (mainly to being behind a big queue of other anglers having brekkie at the fountain cafe) and there were 4 pegs left in the hat 2 good and 2 not good, I pulled out 34 which I was happy with. However, Tony Rixon reckoned I might find it tricky due to the wind.

I walked down the steps to peg 33 and immediately noticed not only the "landscaping" but also the howling wind. I set up a straight lead using a Preston 10ft mini lead rod, and 0.14 to 16 PR36. Pole rigs were limited to just two today, a 0.6g Preston PB Inter float (round bodied wire stem) which would do for most of the swims I could fish, and a 0.3g PB Inter for across if the wind dropped. I used 0.12 and 18 hooks.

I decided to feed two lines at 9mtrs, one with casters and one with soft pellet. I did the same at 13mtrs hoping the wind my drop to try here later. Over the 9mtr caster line and I hit a perch first drop in, which came off halfway back in! A couple of small roach were then followed by a 7lb carp which got me thinking there could be a few about. This line went dead so I refed it and tried the pellet line but this never produced a bite. Very quickly 90 mins had gone by and I was struggling on the 9mtr lines with no bites and strong wind. The guy on 33 had taken a few on the feeder and so I put the straight lead out, first over the 13mtr lines, and then right over and up the side of the island. All for 1 small liner!

Until about an hour to go I had not had a bite since the first 90 mins, but I then missed a bite on soft pellet at 9mtrs. I had earlier fed some more casters over to the point of the island at 14.5mtrs and tried this with no success, though I could only try it for a few minutes due to the wind. However, as Mike Duckett on peg 31 was catching across (and the wind snapped his pole) I stuck to this long line and as luck would have it the wind started to ease off. In the last 30 mins I had a perch, a double figure carp, and got snapped. I dropped the rig in after the whistle to see if they had turned up and a 8lb carp confirmed it, bugger!

It had not been a good day and my total weigh of 20lb 4oz was not good enough for an coin. Tony Rixon peg 32 won the lake just beating Mike Duckett (who had been blank after 3 hours) and read all about it on Tony's blog because there was a lot of laughter going on over there! Phil (Fabio) Harding won the silvers with 21lb from peg 38, mostly skimmers on soft pellet.

I can already feel the shoulders and back aching, bloody wind!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Commercial House Rnd 6 K&A Canal

Final round of the Commercial House today and the canal was my destination once more. Two sections were from the George to up past Bathampton bend (as normal) but the next 4 sections were Claverton and then Diggers out to Warleigh. These last 4 sections had not been fished much but are not as good as they used to be. Team draw done and I was on the last section from Warleigh bridge back towards Diggers, yuk! I got away fairly early from the draw and managed to get a parking space in the lay by, I think I would have been better parking in Diggers as that hill was a test coming back!

As I walked the section and arrived at my peg I was really pleased, I had some really good cover over in the form of brambles which helps as this part of the canal has no far bank depth. I pulled out the same rigs as last week, no surprise there then! With the 4x14 roach for use on the punch, the 0.4 grm and 0.2grm for bloodworm. A caster rig and a chopped worm rig were also put up, but as I never had a bite on these two rigs there is no more to say!

The angler to my right was Richard Lacey, he was fishing for Bathampton Red and as his team were in 2nd place I had to beat him, on my left was Thatchers young star Nathaniel Johnson. We were soon all feeding our liquidized bread, jokers, casters, etc and I fed heavily with my licky as I was hoping for a few bonus skimmers. Then the moment of truth as I slipped on a 4mm punch of bread, and then for 5 minutes nothing. Then a bite and a 3oz hybrid, next chuck roach and the next and the next. It was going to plan for me, the float was burying very quickly and I was catching a nice stamp of roach. 40 mins in and I was thinking a really good weight could be on the cards, and then I had a cast without a bite, and then not another bite! It was madness, I'd gone from getting bites on the drop to dead stop, it never showed any sign of slowing up. I just didn't get another bite on the punch from a roach, although a silly perch did prove the roach had gone. I reckoned I had taken 2lb on the punch, whilst my neighbours had struggled for ounces.

Although the punch had ended abruptly I assumed the roach would be pigging out on my joker, ummm wrong! It was a real hard task to raise a bite even on a bloodworm, and all my lines against the brambles were useless bar one which gave up 5 tiny fish all day. A line at 11mtrs to my left produced a dozen or so fish during the day but that was it, I can't say anything very interesting about the last 4 hours!

I had gone for a walk during the match and I could see I had been winning the section early doors, but I was concerned about my lack of fish after the initial burst. However, everyone in my section had endured a very tough day and my lowly 2lb 15oz was enough to the win section, with Rich Lacey coming second with 1lb 14oz. Nathaniel was trying to look on the bright side having only caught 11oz! I was obviously on a few roach, but I wonder if my positive feeding helped me make the most of the feeding spell?

Back to the results at the rugby club and the team sheet was looking good, we had all done well and were joint top on the day with Bathampton, and so of course that meant we won the league, yay! My team consisted of Martin Barrett, Mark Brennan, Liam Braddell. Gary O'Shea and Andy Power, although today the Power went to Viaduct and his flyer went to super sub Mick Hurst who just missed out on the frame.

On the day Nathan Hawke left the baby at home and caught some chub up at Ferry Lane for 7lb+, just a few ounces behind him at Diggers was Liam Braddell who had 3 big perch (and lost 2), and then came Gary O'Shea with a big 6lb which included a big skimmer, perch and chub from next to Nathan. The legend that is Roy Carter was 4th with 5lb 12oz just past Bathmpton bend, and last in the money was Kev Dicks.

The B division was paralysed by Dave Tippets team, they had already won the league before the day started, no surprise that Kev Boltz featured in their team. Well done lads.

The knockout winner was Paul Purchase, runner up Andy Ottoway.

Biggest fish with a 6lb 2oz Barbel was me!

Individual champion was a bloke who drew some half decent pegs, that'll be me again! Before the piss taking starts I should say I won't pick up any money for this. That's because when the league started I never expected to fish all the matches as I have been waiting for an operation since September, and so I never entered the individual pool money. So in 2nd place taking the money was Thatchers A leg end Leigh Trivett. Well done Lee, or is it Leigh, any chance of a pint mate?

Well done to Mike Goodhind, Vinny Lunn and Mark Harper for running a smooth league, I look forward to fishing it again next year.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Commercial House Rnd 5 K&A Canal

I spent most of the Bank Holiday Monday making up canal rigs, tying hooks and changing elastics as I had not fished a canal since a year ago. When you spend a lot of time preparing for a match you really hope the draw makes it worth while, would it though?

I got to the Rugby club at Saltford with plenty of time to spare and sorted out the team sheet and pools so we would get a fairly early draw. There were a few ringers out today including Des Shipp and Calum Dicks, oh and Paul Dicks was there too, I know cos I stood on his foot and he got me back! As Gary O'Shea did the team draw the last round (when we won) we decided he should draw again. Gary came back with peg 3, and we had what looked like 2 flyers, Gary in Darlington bay, and Martin Barrett the bay at Malthouse. My section was D and this is the section on the Bath side of Meadow Farm bridge. When I got to the canal I was somewhat deflated, peg 9 was the flyer between the bridge and the wires and Dave Haines was sat on that, and the next peg on the recycle tree was Nick Chedzoy. Peg 7 was Darren Gilman, and he said to me in all honesty the further down you went the worse he thought it would be.

Setting up I couldn't see how I could beat those top 3 pegs, and maybe a couple next to them, unless the fish had moved home of course. I debated my tactics in my head, and decided that I would go for a mainly small fish approach as I didn't expect bonus fish. First rig set up was for bread punch, I used a Drennan 4x14 Roach, it has a fairly thick tip compared to most canal floats, but it will support a piece of punch fished off bottom without sinking. I had a 18 PR311 to 0.07 at the business end. A 0.4gm and a 0.2grm PB Silvers (forgot the number!) for bloodworm were assembled with a 20 PR311 to 0.07. A caster rig on another PB silvers float with 0.08 to a 18 B511 finished things off. I never went with any worm rigs!

I started by feeding liqqy at 5mtrs and went straight over it (I also fed joker at 11 mtrs in 2 places and some caster and joker right over), it took me about 5 mins to get a bite and then gradually bites came a bit faster. I only caught roach here and they were mainly 1/2oz but I did pick up a few 2oz fish. I managed to stick on this for the first hour but it was now to slow and I fed a bit more liqqy, it didn't really improve things that much and so I was going to have to look on the joker line. I picked up the 0.4 grm rig to start as the wind had got up and from one swim I took 3 tiny fish, but swapping over to the other 11mtr spot and I had 3 net roach! At this stage I thought I was ahead of my neighbours.

Though I never had anymore net roach I plodded on with the joker lines until 3 hours of the match had elapsed but now needed to rest them and so I tried the caster across. I was just thinking of giving it up when I had a bite and landed a lovely 6oz roach, next chuck same result! Of course I went on to bag...not, I never had another bite on the caster. In fact the last two hours just got more and more difficult for everyone, I had fed some joker in closer but all that produced was a few wasps. I just kept rotating swims trying to get a bite, but it was almost impossible, should I have put some worm in? Well in the end there were no bonus perch caught and my bag of fish had the best quality roach in the section. I weighed 4lb 7oz beating Steve Priddle to my left who had 2lb 10oz and Mark Lloyd to my right with 1lb. Steve spent a long time on worm for just 3 small perch. In the end I was 4th in the section, beaten by Hainer 7lb, Darren 6lb 2oz and Chedz 6lb. So I feel I did the best I could for the team and I enjoyed the fishing to boot.

Overall the match was paralysed by Martin Barrett who had 16lb at the Malthouse, he had 7lb of roach on punch, then 7lb of dace on the wag plus some bleak and bits. Eddie Wynne was 2nd next peg to Martin with 11lb.

In the A div Thatchers A and Bathampton Red tied for 1st, with my lot Thatchers B in 3rd. With 1 round left my team are in first but we only have a 1.5 point lead over Bathampton Red, so we still have it all to do. The last match is next Sunday.

On the 22nd January there is a memorial match on the canal for Bob Warden, with money raised going to the Emphysema charity. Nicola Goodhind has tickets.