Sunday, 27 January 2013

Landsend League

Before I write about the match today I better put some people out of their misery. The photo I posted last week was not a river, it was actually the peg I had on the canal at Limpley Stoke, in Beeches turning bay. The coloured water was the result of a boat turning around, and not a flooded river, lol!

An early start today to pick up Shaun Townsend as we wanted a breakfast and it was an 8:30 draw, but we didn't get up early enough and only saw Ken Raynor leaving Shipham cafe and were 10 mins late to the draw. Only 4 pegs left in the hat, I pulled 7 on Match (seem to be a magnet to this one) and Shaun 41 on lake 3 which is a corner peg. I must say I was not prepared for this match due to a very hectic week so rigs were made on the bank. This peg is shallow and despite all the water running into the lake it wouldn't be enough I thought to make it any better than on Wednesday when Des Shipp drew the peg and took 20lb+.

I had drawn next to the slayer Tony Rixon on 11, and fellow blogger Ken Rayner was on peg 3. I set up a 4x12 Chianti for down to the pallet on peg 8, with 0.14 to 16 PR456, a 4x14 pencil float which would serve for 5mtr and two 11mtr swims with 0.10 to 18 PR412. (JEEZUS!! sorry a massive clap of thunder just went off above the house as I'm typing this!). I also set up a 4x10 Durafloat for across at 13mtr in about 2.5ft of water with 0.12 to 16 Drennan maggot (red). On the whistle I cupped some caster in at 5mtr, 13mtr, some at 11mtr 10 o'clock, and down by the pallet. Micro was fed at 11mtr 2 o'clock. The first 15 mins were spent at 5mtr and did not produce a bite, onto 11mtr and I had 2 tiny roach until 45 mins in and a 1.5lb F1 got me going. Next drop in and I hooked a carp which I had on for about 5 mins and then it decided to head off to it mates in Tony Rixon's peg and snapped the hooklength. I fed a bit of caster again and dropped in on the micro line with red maggot and was rewarded with a lovely tench of about 2lbs. I thought maybe things were going to improve but it was then just little roach over micros on whatever hookbait.

About two hours in I hooked a carp, again on the caster swim and this time it was playing ball and I landed a  near 4lb common. No more bites other than the odd roach so I went over to 13mtr, this was just a long wait for more small roach, so I fed a good dose of casters to try and feed them off! The middle two hours were a real struggle except for a look down by the pallet which produced a 1lb perch and a couple of smaller ones, and I did open up another line with micros at 14.5mtr towards the gap by peg 6. It was around this time that a sudden storm picked up and in an instant my pole was knocked off the rollers and my rig blew up the tree at the same time. I was lucky the pole didn't break, and I retrieved the rig but decided to walk up to see Tony as his peg was a lot more sheltered. Tony had caught in fits and starts but certainly was doing well, but my Thatchers team mate Mark Brennan on 13 was doing better.

Getting back to my peg I tried the 11mtr caster line again as Mark Poppleton on 19 was playing a double. My float buried and I was attached to another carp, hooked on a single caster, and this took a while to subdue but it did hit the net ans was near 7lb. Next drop in and another carp, again a common, of 4lb. Unfortunately that was the end of that and I never did hook another carp anywhere. I managed 1 skimmer off the micro line at 14mtr, but the last hour despite me upping my feeding on all lines it was all roach, and a couple of small perch.

When the scales arrived from peg 1 Paul Haines had 10lb, Ken had 9lb 6oz of silvers, and the guy on peg 5 3lb. My 3 carp weighed 15lb 9oz and my silvers 9lb 8oz for 25lb 1oz, and that might have beaten two others but basically the rest of the lake was much better. Tony had 64lb (see his blog) and Mark Brennan on 13 won the match. Both caught on the same baits as I used and so it seems Des was right peg 7 is crap! (To be fair I wouldn't mind it when its warmer!). On 15 and 17 Tom Thick and Bob Gullick enjoyed some decent skimmer fishing, with Tom loosing a fair few carp too.

I'm going to be back down here again in two weeks, fishing in place of Mike Nicholls and I will be on Speci Lake which was not good for many on there today. As for next week I'm guesting for the flip flop team at Viaduct, must get prepared for that one!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

December 1993

I had already planned to have this weekend off as during the previous week I had been unable to find a match with any spaces, of course once the I saw the forecast I decided it was a stay at home weekend. To any anglers who did get out and fish this Sunday I say fair play to you, and hope you managed to catch and keep warm.

As mentioned in a previous post this is my last historical (thanks for the word Woody) blog until I move house and find my old diaries out, so I'm hoping the weather improves so I can get out on the bank again.

In 1993 the Commercial House Xmas match was run on the Bristol Avon at Frys, this match was always held on this venue but some years later it was changed to the canal due to the poor fishing at Frys. On this day I drew peg 70 at Frys, the pegging is different now and I was somewhere up in the deep water. The river was a little pacey and due to the depth I decided to go all out on the groundbait feeder. Bites were few and far between and everything I caught was taken on double red maggot, 3 skimmers, a chub and couple of roach weighed 6lb. I pulled out of a bream which cost me framing but I took a prize home. The following day I was just a little further up river fishing the Bristol & West Xmas match. I drew a short walk just above the cattle grid on the Crane stretch, a peg where I should catch but I doubted I could frame from. The peg was steady in close, as the main flow goes across the river, and a 7no4 wire stem stick float was my weapon of choice. Using a 22 to 0.08 and loose feeding hemp and maggots I caught small roach and dace well for the first two hours, but after this it was much harder and the peg got progressively worse. I enjoyed myself (as I always do fishing a stick) and ended with 6lb 11oz which won me the section. The match was won with 38lb of chub from peg 14 at Swineford (still a good peg today) more chub came from peg 19 and bream from peg 29. Not a bad match for many anglers.

The following Saturday I pleasure fished the K&A canal at Limpley for a couple of hours, but 1 skimmer, 1 roach and 20 gudgeon were all I had to show for my efforts. On the day as soon as a few boats went through it killed the swim. Sunday morning and what back then was THE big Xmas match, the Bathampton Xmas on the river. I drew in the trees peg 138 which I was not unhappy with as the river was coloured and rising. It was an out and out feeder match and the river fished hard. I fished the feeder just 1/4 of the way out and found double and triple red maggot got me bites, well a few! I only had 1 gudgeon, 1 eel and 1 chub for 1lb 14oz, but lost a big chub which snagged me up. The match was won with only 11lb reflecting how hard it fished, and my lowly weight won me a litre bottle of vodka.

Just one weekend of fishing remained for me in 1993 with another two Xmas matches. On Saturday 18th Dec I was fishing my team's Xmas match (Bristol Sensas) and drew in the Lane at the Crane. The river was fast but not badly coloured but I made a big mistake of fishing the feeder in close. I spent a lot of time in snags and only managed a pathetic 9oz comprised of an eel and a hybrid. When I watched the weigh in and got back to the results and listened to those who caught and I realised I should have fished further out. It was a lesson in understanding the pace of the river and where the bigger fish will feed. Never mind I could make amends the next day on the Docks Xmas match, especially if I could draw at Welshback! Alas on Sunday my drawing arm failed me and I ended up pegged outside the Ostrich pub and I never had a bite all match! I wasn't the only one as the skimmers refused to feed and the place to be was Half Penny Bridge and Avon Street for dace and roach. Not a good end to the year then, but I'm sure I drowned my sorrows very quickly, lol!

Just coming back to today, I recently won a min competition run by Dave Harrell on Facebook and he sent me some floats to try out on the Bristol Avon (pic below). Alas I wonder if I will get the chance to use them this season, Graham Hunt reckons its 3/1 to Bolo floats get used and 20/1 the wagglers and I wouldn't argue with that!

While I'm at it, here's a picture of a peg I have drawn, anyone like to take a guess where it is?

Tight lines!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Commercial House Final Round K&A Canal

A cold start to Sunday morning with some ice scraping of the car required, but I didn't spill any ketchup down me this week! Talk at the draw was of how hard some venues had fished on Saturday and fish seemed to have shoaled up again. Fair play to Lee Trivett who won the Gold Valley round of the CIPS league on Saturday with 20lb of skimmers on the waggler, and to Andy Power who was 3rd with 18lb of roach. Many anglers blanked though including Des Shipp.

Today's match had been pegged in the town, at Darlington, at the George and up at Limpley, Gary O'Shea said he did not want the bay! The draw was being done once again by Captain Martin Barrett and we asked him not to come back unless he drew end peg 11, and he did! This put me smack back in the middle of Beeches Bay, a place that used to be solid with fish but not the last couple of years. I drove off quickly to get a parking space and got in thankfully when many struggled, some parking in the bus stop! I got to my peg and found I was next to Diawa Gordon League angler Steve Ford (no relation) he was to left of the bay and my section went back to the first peg over the Aqueduct. This bit of canal is deeper and some of my usual rigs would not be deep or heavy enough, the punch rig would be OK, but I fished it at 6mtr as the peg was flatter here, a 4x14 bloodworm for 3 mtrs, 0.5grm bloodworm rig for 6m and 13mtr, and a 4x16 chopped worm rig for 14 mtrs to my right. I also set a 3AAA waggler up.

Ten minutes before the all in a barge came down and turned around in the peg, so I ended up fishing 10 minutes after the start time although the swim was now very coloured. Starting on bread I gave it 30 minutes and never had a bite, I fed some joker and chopped worm out at 14mtr, and joker at 13mtr to my left, as well as some joker at 3mtr and 6mtr.

An hour into the match I caught a micro perch at 3mtr, and that was my only fish until 2 hours later when another micro perch from 3mtr joined it. It was quite obvious today was not going to be my day as I couldn't buy a bite on any of my swims, Steve Ford had taken about 7 little fish but was going nowhere, below him Roy Carter and Colin Dance had caught some roach on bread and as you went further down to peg 1 it just got better. I caught a ruffe out at 13mtr and then after another 30 mins got off my box and walked until the end of the match! In the next section going back up to Limpley the same was happening, the further you got from the bay the better the fishing. Nathaniel Johnson had some nice skimmers, Graham Hunt had a couple of skimmers and 2 big perch, but on the end peg team mate Nick Chedzoy had some decent skimmers, an eel and a 2lb perch. I walked back to my peg just as the whistle went and chucked my 3 tiddlers back to dry the net, I only did this of course cos the team had already won the league and as I knew I was last it would not mess anything up. Anyway I have no complaints as I have either been a shedful of fish or nowt this winter and the good days have more than made for the bad, and that sums up winter fishing.

My section was won on peg 1 with 6lb, and peg 2 had 5lb for 2nd. Steve Ford came last but one next to me with 13oz.

Chedz won the match easily with 16lb, a good weight on the canal. He caught on bits of dendra after a few early bread fish. Gary O'Shea was second from the end peg above the swing bridge at Bathampton with 8lb 15oz of roach. Martin Reyatt had 8lb for 3rd from the peg by the wires just past Bathampton bend.

Bathampton Elite won on the day beating my team by 1 point (Martin Barrett moaned A LOT at me, but most laughed as it meant nothing) but as I said we'd already won the league, in fact that is the third year on the trot I'd been in the winning team.

Neil Mercer won the knockout and Jerry Pocock came second.

In the individual overall stakes it was close, with Nick Chedzoy winning with 54 points but he didn't go in the pool (lol) so the money went to Martin Reyatt with 53 points and a better weight than Kev Dicks who also had 53 points. Well done those three, as it was a difficult league this year with flooded rivers and the canal has been up and down.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Commercial House K&A Canal Round 5

Happy New Year everyone! Personally I'm glad to see the back of 2012, it decided to kick me in the teeth at the end by giving me and the wife the flu all over Christmas. 2013 though has started much better, a trip to the BRI was rewarding as the consultant advised that on the latest scan they could find no traces of cancer, yay! Hope it stays away for good now!

Getting onto the fishing and I was well chuffed to walk out the door at 7:30am and feel the mildness in the air, not like recent January's that's for sure! Onto the draw and it was good to meet up again with the team and all the lads that fish this league, a few ringers were on show today with Richard Chave, Jon Atkins and Kev Abigail among the canal slayers! The talk at the draw was mostly about how well the canal would fish with the weather being so mild, some people suggesting 15lb would be needed to win. I managed to spill tomato sauce down me again as I munched on some rolls and I'd just finished eating when Martin Barrett came up with the team draw. We had peg 10 which was one off the end peg but still a very good draw we thought, I was more than happy with being one past the wires at Meadow Farm (just before the recycle tree) as I would have some extra space. Last time I was in the section it was hard with 4lb a good weight, but in past years it has been a very good area.

Getting to the canal there was a very noticeable smell of diesel in the air, and in fact the whole of this side of the canal was covered in it. On end peg 11 on the bridge side of the wires (and pleasure fishing lol) was Paul Purchase and I knew he would do well off that peg for skimmers. I was setting up and realised that peg 9 had not been drawn, there was one team short and that missing angler was next to me, NICE! Rigs today were the usual 4x14 punch rig with 18 B511 to 0.07, a 0.4grm bloodworm rig for the deep water, a bloodworm rig for across a Preston Silvers PB5 strung shotted with no 11's ending with 0.07 to 20 PR311. A caster rig and a chopped worm rig were assembled but they did not work.

On the whistle I cupped the usual decent amount of liquidized bread in at 5mtrs and dropped in with a big piece of punch. I had to wait a minute for a bite but it was a nice 6oz roach, but by this stage Paul had taken 2 skimmers! I picked up some 1 to 2oz roach before I latched into an 8oz roach and soon after an 8oz hybrid. Thirty minutes in and I had nearly 3lb when some boats went through, it went a bit slow but I was still getting bites but on the hour I fed some more crumb. The punch was slowing now and so I fed some other lines, with joker and casters across at 12m to my left, gbait and joker in the deep water. Back on the punch and couple of small roach and then the float shot under and I landed a 10oz skimmer, 15 mins later a 12oz skimmer obliged. The bread line was now shot but I was confident of catching on the other lines. An early look on worm was no good, and the bloodworm lines were not producing, I thought this might be because of the busy boat traffic, and Paul was also struggling. Through the middle hours of the match I just took the odd small fish on bloodworm, but I did try bunches of bloodworm, lobworm and my caster rigs all to no avail.

It wasn't until an hour and 15mins to go that my across joker line came to life, and all of sudden I was catching roach on single bloodworm. The bites were coming quite quickly after the float had settled and if I didn't get a bite within 5 secs I lifted the float out and dropped the rig in again and this seemed to work. The roach were from 1/2 to 2oz. I really had no idea what was being caught in my section so I just kept going for the roach, topping up with the occasional marble of joker. As the match finished Paul landed a skimmer, but was not admitting to much more than 5lb, I reckoned I might have 8lb. I had the scales today so wandered down with Steve Hutchinson to end peg 1 to find Jerry Pocock who had some skimmers and weighed 6lb 8oz. Kev Abigal had 6lb 3oz and on the bend a lad had 6lb 1oz these were the best weights until I poured 7lb 15oz on the scales. Paul then pushed me close when he weighed 7lb 7oz off the end peg, and I had to say "let that be a lesson!" I then had the most exercise I have had for a while walking back up the hill at Meadow Farm, thankfully Leon Hubbard helped me on the last few yards as my leg muscles had given up!

I was gobsmacked when I got back to the results to hear that my weight was good enough for 2nd overall, the big weights had not transpired but there had been lots of 5lb and 6lb weights. Framing in this league is well worthwhile and I picked up £150 for coming 2nd.

1st Shaun Townsend 8lb 9oz (in the tunnels at Sydney Gardens) with lots of skimmers on punch and bloodworm.
2nd me 7lb 15oz
3rd Paul Purchase 7lb 7oz let that be a lesson!
4th I think was Nick Chedzoy 6lb 12oz from the brambles at the George

My team won on the day with 27 out of 30 points, and in fact we have now won the league already! At the other end of the scale Bathampton Invincible with one match left are so far back they are already relegated to the B div!

Three matches on the trot now I've framed and that is rare for me in the winter so let the good times (and draws!) roll. Perhaps 2013 is going to be a better year, now let's see if I can get my house move soon without any problems this time!