Sunday, 24 February 2013

Hill View Fishery

I spent most of the week wondering if I should go fishing on Sunday and if so where. I decided to go as I won't have many chances to fish for a while, but it was not until Saturday afternoon that I decided where to go as it was a toss up between a bit of chubbing on the river or go to Hill View. Hill View won as the recent match results had been good after a recent stocking of F1s.

Its a nice easy journey to Hill View (just past Tewkesbury) and with a 9:30 draw no early start is required. A match had been fished on the lakes and the back canal on Saturday and 70lb had won but 35lb was 2nd and the fish were hard to come by. For today's match the 4 canals were in and I hoped I would draw on one of the first 3, not because it had been fished the day before but because it always seems to fish harder when I go. So after one of Keith's breakfasts I got my peg, 88 on the back canal, bugger! It was also at the windward end which everyone said would be harder on all the canals (I'm getting all my excuses in early, lol).

The peg was a bit sparse of reeds for my liking, it had a funny pampas plant that had fronds going into the water that meant I couldn't find a decent spot next to it. Most pegs on the canals have thick reed beds and a little bay so you can explore deep and shallow, I was still confident of catching a few though. Picture of my far bank (before the start and before the very cold wind got up brrrr!) and you should be able to make out the other canals in the distance.

I could tell you all about the rigs I set up for the margin, the middle, just going up the shelf and dobbing rig but I never had a bite on any of those! I could tell you all about the first 4 hours but other than 1 liner I will struggle to make it enjoyable. What I can say is the lad to my left on the end of the canal had 1 F1, the lads going to the right had though caught a few, with the lad one off the end catching F1s well for the last 3 hours. I can tell you that I was very pleased to be wearing my thermal underwear, 2 t-shirts, 2 Preston micro fleeces, windstopper and new DF20 suit cos you get very cold when catching eff all

 At about 2:30pm  (4 hours after we started) I hooked a fish and what was probably a F1 came off as I broke down to the topset! I had hooked this fish against the far bank reeds in about 3ft of water, where I had fed some maggots and micros right from the start. Sticking double red maggot on the 18 PR412  I tried again, and 10 minutes later the 0.2grm PB Inter1 went under and I finally broke the blank with a 1lb+ F1 (the bloke who was catching gave me a little cheer!).  It was probably another 10 or 15 mins later when I landed another F1 of the same size. Alas that was the end of the F1 shoal! With 30 mins to go I had my last bite and this time it was a carp, on 0.10 you have to be careful, and this fish was going some. It turned out to be a near 4lb ghost common and was a very pretty fish. My three fish weighed 6lb 2oz, which beat wo people on my canal (DNWs) and then the two anglers on my right had 34lb (mainly carp) and 52lb (F1s) and whilst they were venue regulars it was obvious where the fish were. 63lb won the match from canal 1, and there was a 54lb from canal 3 and a number of 30 and 40's.

That was probably one of the hardest days I ever had at Hill View, normally you get liners and indications, but as I said for 4 hours I only had one. The lad to my left had 2 bites all day, but as I've said before that's winter fishing! There was a Frys match on the Avon, Dean Harvey won it again, with 3 bream and a carp for 20lb, 5lb was 2nd and 11oz third, the rest blanked.

Well I'm not fishing next weekend as once again I have some family commitments, these have also kept me away from fishing Gold Valley in the ATWL semi final. Good luck to the Thatchers lads on there, and good luck to the Bathampton lads on the Grand Union Canal where currently a 1lb is a good weight. I've got into the Acorn series run by Paul Faires (think I was 3rd reserve) and that will be my next match on the 8th March. Then I will not be fishing for 2 weeks as 1) I shall be moving house (fingers crossed) and 2) My German bosses have 'invited' me to a Monday meeting in Munich meaning I have to travel on the Sunday. By then it will be April and I hope an effin lot warmer!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Matches on the Avon today

As I mentioned in my blog last week I was not going fishing this weekend, in fact I spent Saturday at Bristol Rovers downing far too many pint of Guinness knowing that Sunday was a lie in bed! I had a text whilst supping a pint asking why was I not at Thatchers for a team photo (in our new clothing), well that was because nobody told me! Though to be fair the do at Rovers was a hospitality job and so I couldn't have got to Thatchers even if I had been told.

I knew there were a couple of matches on the river today and thought I ought to report on what I have managed to pick up. The first match was fished at Frys, and only a small number of people were there but they all managed to catch. Dean Harvey had top weight with 16lb of bream from about peg 28 just below the culvert. Mainly skimmers, and odd chub showed, hardly any roach bar a couple of decent ones. Warren Bates was drawn in the bay and caught a few small roach for 1lb 12oz on a pole feeder.

Up at the Crane there was a King Billy match, which I would have fished quite happily given the river was fining down although still to fast for the float. I gave Martyn Reyatt a quick call (still a couple of hours left to fish) and he told me he was blanking but he had missed a couple of bites. Martyn was on peg 81 in the Long Ashtip, this is one snaggy peg and I'm convinced a tree has been stuck down on the bottom for a few years now. Martyn advised that all the anglers upstream of him were blanking, whilst below him there were a few roach and the odd skimmer. Shaun Townsend who had been pegged above Martyn had packed up (for the 2nd Sunday running, lol) and decided to fish in the bay in the little ash tip. Shaun finished off a good day by blanking in his new swim, a double blank, lol! The match was won by Jan with 10lb 13oz, I believe he had some skimmers to make up his weight, Dave Tippett had 3lb+ including a few good roach. Oh and Martyn ended up blanking and so did a few others, so not good really.

I know that Shaun fished the Crane last Saturday and had a good day on the float, with a couple of bream and a few big roach, and I think that was the peg that won today. I think we need a dry and settled spell to kick the river into life, having just seen the weather forecast it looks dry but getting bloody cold again!

Hope if you got out you had a few bites today.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Lansend Winter League

As previously mentioned I was fishing this match in place of Mike Nicholls, and that meant I would be drawn on Speci Lake. In keeping with taking Mike's place I travelled to the venue with Bela Bakos and as is the custom bought him a breakfast at Shipham. However, my luck was in as Bela decided he didn't want his usual big brekkie and went for the medium one, bet Mike will be gutted when he reads this as it would have saved him a couple of pounds, lol!

All the way down to the venue it was raining, and some of the roads were already flooded and the weather forecast said it was going to be wet all day...and they were right. Getting into the hut for the draw I got to the bucket and Tony Rixon said there were some good pegs left in there, I drew peg 28 and he then said "That ain't one of them!" Nobody could give me any hope but I gathered as much advice as I could and went off hoping the fish would not be in there usual holes. On my right today was Alan Oram, in my opinion an exceptionally good angler (and he had won on match lake the day before) and on my left on peg 26 (as 27 is left out) was Nick Duckett who knows a bit about the place! The wind today was blowing from peg 32 up to 25, and that meant I had some gusts to put up with, but down on 31 and 32 it was flat calm, Nick said the fish of late had been staying out of the wind.

Setting up rigs was easy today, a 0.3grm PB Inter 4 would do for most areas of the lake as the depth was fairly similar,  a 4x12 Chianti for on top the shelf across and down to the pallet on 27 finished it off! I used 0.11 Exceed to a 18 PR412 (a hook I am really impressed with) for the Inter rig, and a 18 B911 to 0.14 Exceed for the Chianti. To start the match I fed a decent pot of caster down by the pallet (no more of this!) and the same on top the shelf, I considered this to be a shit or bust line. I then fed a few micros at 13m at angle toward peg 27, and the same at 14.5m at 11o'clock. That was all for now as I wanted to see how the place would fish. I then had to go to the toilet as I had forgotten to, but by the time I got back to my peg only Trigger on 39 had caught a small carp. I tried soft pellet on both my lines but after 20 mins was biteless so tried single red maggot, I had 1 bite at 13mtrs and missed it and I never had another bite on this line! Moving across to the 14.5m line I took 3 small roach and a rudd on the drop, not what I wanted but it was something. This then went dead and after 10 mins I hooked a carp, but after 10 seconds it was off, a fouler. At this stage Alan had lost 1 and Nick had a 15lb fish! Sticking it out on the same line I hooked another carp just after the hour mark, it was hooked in the pectoral fin and the double no5 elastic did its job and I landed a 7lb+ carp. Down on peg 31 Kev Moulton was getting a few and Jamie Parkhouse on 32 was getting even more!

No more bites came on the 14.5m micro line and so I now decided to put in a toss pot of casters at 14.5 mtrs straight in front of me and began loose feeding casters at 6mtr. Around another 40 minutes later I had my next bite over the micros, again on red maggot, and this was a ghost common of nearly 10lb. This micro line didn't produce again all match although I kept on trying it. The 14.5m caster line produced a bite an hour after I fed it, a lovely 2lb perch, 15 mins later I had its twin brother before a quiet spell. Getting bites was now proving a real problem, but my 2 carp and 2 perch halfway through was doing me well. I tried on top the shelf and hooked 2 carp in two drops, the first came off quickly, and the second one bust me so I guess they were both foulers. I never had another bite across bar 1 roach! About this time I potted in some casters at 16m at 10 o'clock.

The next hour was a struggle but I did manage another 2lb perch from across on caster, then first drop in at the 16m 10 o'clock produced a 5lb carp but nothing else. I dropped in at 6mtr on and off for not so much as a sniff but with about 90 mins to go it buried as the bait settled and another 2lb perch was landed. I then had a poor hour with no bites. Shaun Townsend on peg 25 packed up and went home and with an hour to go so did Alan as he had only 3 roach, it really was hard up our end. With 25 mins to go I had a skimmer on caster and then with 10 mins to go Jason Radford on 34, who'd gone for a walk, had his box with brolly blown in the lake, obviously some people shouted out to him. What I did not realise was that Trigger and Anton Page on peg 40 thought the shouting was the "all out" and they started packing up (Trigger had just landed a carp before this) and Nick Duckett struck to end the match and fouled a carp which he landed. I only found all this out after the match. With 5 mins to go I caught a skimmer and shipped back out when Nick said to Trig people were still fishing, and they realised the match hadn't ended, 2 more minutes and it did end PMSL! If Trig had carried on fishing and landed another carp he would have been 2nd on the lake, but we'll never know!

I thought I would have about 30lb but reckoned my best bet of winning any coin was with my silvers, they weighed 11lb 12oz (for 2nd on lake) and with my 3 carp I had a total of 33lb 9oz. Jamie won the lake easily with 84lb including 14lb of silvers, but I then found out that I had sneaked 2nd overall beating Nicks 3 carp by 2oz. There were three other 30lbs on the lake so it was tight! I was pleased to finally get some coin at my third attempt on a commercial and had given Mike good points in both overall and silvers so he might buy me a pint next time I see him.

Bela had drawn peg 45 on lake 3 and had 29lb which was a good result from that peg, but his carp were smaller than those people with top weights. Tom Thick had 31lb of hand sized skimmers on peg 68 and was probably the  busiest angler on the day. Oh did I mention it rained all day, that's the main reason I didn't take a photo of the perch, camera would have been soaked. It did stop raining for a bit towards the end when the wind stopped and then came back in a gust and then blew in the complete opposite direction! I am not fishing next weekend due to a combination of work and family commitments, bet the weather will be better!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Viaduct Winter League

I wasn't entirely sure wether I should have fished this Sunday and actually where I should have fished, I'll explain. Some weeks ago Matty Toomes asked if I would stand in for him on the Viaduct WL and I said I would, I hadn't realised it was the same date as the Bob Warden Memorial on the K&A canal, and I had said I would fish that! I ended up fishing for Matty and paid my entrance for  Bob's match as it is for charity. I then went down with man flu on Thursday and felt awful Friday and most of Saturday and was thinking I shouldn't go fishing.. but I did.

The team I was fishing for was team flip flop and when I got to the venue team mate and also a stand in Dean Malin was present but there was no sign of the others. Paul Elms, Anton Page and a decidedly green looking Craig Edmunds finally arrived and then disappeared again and left me to draw the peg. I put myself on peg 2 on Spring which seemed to be a decent one, although I received such varied info on where to chuck etc, it made me laugh. I would have a nice easy day here because on peg 1 was Andy Power and peg 3 Alex Murray, they tend to catch a few! Although Alex cast his first scud waggler up the tree when setting up and left about 15 yards of line trailing, lol! Peg 2 has a chuck to the island, it is a long way though and I didn't have the right rod to chuck to it, so borrowed a 12ft carbon active from Bela Bakos who was on the crabtree peg. I attached an 0.18 hook length to 16 PR38 and that was the rod done. I set up a mini feeder rod with a small groundbait feeder with 0.12 to 16, a 0.4grm PB Silver 5 with 0.10 to 18 PR412 and a roach rig which I never had much of a go on.

On the shout for all in I fed 5 balls of groundbait out to 14.5mtr ( they said fish 16mtr but currently I have a dodgy left elbow joint and didn't fancy it.) then had 5 chucks on a feeder cast near to the aerator to put some bait in. I then chucked the lead towards the island with meat on the hook. Forty five minutes in and one small liner was all I had and it was boring, so I went on the pole with single red maggot. I started off catching 4oz skimmers and odd roach and tried double maggot and casters on the hook. Over the next hour it was slow but I did manage to take 2 net skimmers. This line then went totally dead and I fed a ball of groundbait and picked up the gbait feeder. I tried double maggot on the hook and just like the pole I had bites straight away with two 4 to 6oz skimmers. Then I missed a couple of bites which I was sure were roach so I went on to three red maggots and a 1lb skimmer obliged. This line went the same way as the pole and I had to come off it, but at that moment 3 people on the far side were playing carp so I chucked the lead to island never moved! At this stage I was on a par with Alex but the Power had taken 1 carp but lost 3 munters that tried to snap his pole under the bridge and left him snagged up.

The last couple of hours of the match were tough and it seemed the skimmers had switched off, except for Steve Segar on peg 24 who had a few on double 8mm meat on the lead. I had a run of roach on the pole including a 10oz fish but then it all went dead and I chucked the lead again for the last 25 mins... it never moved! Andy Power netted another carp after the whistle and Alex Murray had earlier landed a lump on the scud and lost a couple so I was well beaten either side. On peg 4 Dave Roper had won the lake with 7 carp we thought. My net of bits went 8lb 8oz which beat about 5 people in the section and turned out to be par for the team on the day. I know I should have fished the lead longer or set up a big wag, but to be honest I thought I had a chance of some skimmers and silvers money and enjoyed getting some bites and watching the resident Kingfisher catching fish.

The match was won by my old team mate Nicky Ewers with I think 119lb from peg 123, all on the lead or wag with meat or corn.

My gear really needs sorting out at the mo, where I am keeping it currently is mouse invested, and when I was mixing my groundbait up today I noticed it was all over the platform, there were two large holes in the bowl! The rest of my gear is damp and going mouldy and needs drying out or chucking away, once I move I can sort things I hope. Next Sunday I will be hoping for third time lucky (third week on a commercial) down at Landsend Speci lake where I am guesting for Mike Nicholls and am having a lift with Bela.