Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tony Rixon Float Only League, Shiplate Fishery

You may recall how last week I had a rather tricky day with things going wrong, it didn't get any better when I went home as my bag leaked in bed at 5am, and I left the freezer door open and everything defrosted! What an effing weekend that was!

No travel difficulties this week as Glenn was doing the honours on the driving front and I bought him brekkie at Shipham. That was about the best thing the day had in store for me! After being reminded by Mat Toomes that I had once again left without paying a £1 (a few matches ago) we struck double or quits. Bob Gullick was also keen on getting his £1 back from the Huntspill so another side bet was struck. In the draw today were pegs on all three lakes and the general consensus was the main lake would be best with Hawthorn 2nd best and West pool best avoided. This fishery is a tad peggy, but that's not a complaint just an observation, and the wind does tend to move the fish around. I went into draw queue and was stood along side Des Shipp who was a chirpy and down to earth as ever after his stint on Sky last Sunday. I drew peg 12 on West Pool, which was not really what I wanted as I felt the end peg 15 with the pipe and pegs up the other end in the wind would be better. However, on getting to the peg 13 was empty and gave me some extra room which had to be helpful. On 15 was Chris Davis, 14 was Shaun Townsend, Mike West was on 11 and my section was completed by young Scott Puddy on 10.

There were plenty of carp up on the surface all over the lake, so I set up a mugging rig (though I don't really like this style of "fishing"), a shallow rig for pellet right across and at 6m, a depth rig (4x10 Durafloat) for right across, a paste rig, and another 4x10 durafloat for the margin. On the whistle a fish swirled in the margin so I dropped the mugging rig on top and a 12oz carp was in the net in seconds! I then fed a pot of 6mm pellet off to my left at 8m for paste, some caster and meat in the margin, and started by feeding 6mm pellet by hand at 6m as well as feeding by catty across. The 6m line had fish swimming in and around, but nothing was feeding it appeared and after 30 minutes I hadn't had a bite. I kept feeding this but then tried mugging as Shaun had a few, I think I had 1! So after an hour and 15 mins I went across with the deep rig and had a carp first drop. I then had another on 8mm banded pellet, it then took about 10 mins to get another but this was at least proper fishing. Unfortunately that was the end and I never had another bite across all match either deep or shallow. The 6m line never produced a fish and after 3 hours of loose feeding itI gave it up.

I basically spent the rest of the match trying all my lines with out any signs except for the odd fish I mugged, I never had a bite on my paste line at all! The margin had shown no signs of life but with 10 mins to go I saw a vortex and tried a piece of meat for the umpteenth time, I had a bite and missed it, I then had 2 carp on the last two drop ins landing the last one on the whistle. I caught another after the whistle just to prove they had turned up, barstewards!!!

I was thoroughly drained, I think the heat and waving around long lengths of pole had really took its toll on me. The scales came up and Chris has struggled for 13lb (he spent the last 30 mins just stood up not fishing), Shaun won the section with 39lb of mugged fish, I weighed 20lb 6oz and, Mike West who had struggled had 1 small carp and 1lb 10oz of silvers (top silvers on our lake!). Scott then weighed 26lb to keep more poor efforts in this league going. The other section on this lake was much better and it provided the match winner in Tom Magnall who caught a fantastic 140lb shallow on pellet at 6m (well I did try to catch like that!!). O should mention the £1 bets, it was funny that Mat and Bob were both on the main lake and just opposite me, Mat said he was looking for Golf Clubs and so we ended quits, but Bob after a poor first half had 40lb of carp and so we are quits too! Jo McMahon had a Sturgeon and Alan Oram landed to large grass carp, so the main lake did through up a few decent fish. Glenn had 50lb from peg 10 on .... paste.

Glad to be home now and enjoying an ice cool magners, that's it for me now for at least 3 weeks and the next blog won't be until 18th August. Hope you all continue to bag up where ever you fish.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Superleague Huntspill / Planes Trains and Automobiles!

Spent most of Saturday watching Fish O Mania with Warren Bates and plenty of Thatchers cider, that meant not a lot of preparation for the Huntspill! I mentioned this on facebook and Bob Gullick struck a £1 bet with me claiming he was rusty, well I would be rusty in the morning!

Woke up 6:30am Sunday having slept on top the bed all night and still felt boiling hot! Got the missus a cup of tea and loaded my car up with the gear I needed for the Huntspill. As I drove onto the ring road by ASDA at Longwell Green the low pressure in tyres warning came on. Only turned out I had a flat on the rear, I tried to fill it with air but no luck it was flat out! I drive a BMW and it has no spare tyre but has these "run flat" tyres which you are supposed to do no more than 50 miles in, that being the case I didn't fancy driving. A few phone calls later and Rich Lacey picked me up at my house, he was fishing Tony's match at Sedges and after he picked up Shaun Townsend we were on our way to Hill Tops cafe. When I got to Hill Tops I never stopped for brekkie, I then transferred to Gary O'Shea's van who took me to the draw at Laburnam House. I shovelled down a brekkie and got given my draw (peg 32 on the North bank which meant sun in my face all day) and Gary dropped me off at my peg and nice short walk.

I had a Diawa Gordon League angler on the the end peg 30 and Thyers angler Dave Wride on my right. Andy Britt, Ian Hudson and Steve Hutchinson were also in my section and all offered me a lift home after the match. Getting on with setting up, I mixed some groundbait (Thatchers and Lake) and set up a feeder rod and then realised I had no feeders, they were back in my car, this day was really not going to plan lol! Dave Wride gave me 3 feeders and I just hoped I didn't crack off during the match so I could give him them all back (which I did). A size 16 PR34 was tied to 0.12 and that was the feeder set up. A waggler was set up but never used as the wind got up, two pole rigs a 4x16 with spread shot with 0.10 to a 20 B611 and a 3/4grm job with 0.10 to 20 B520. I had noticed that just past the middle there were 2 or 3 reeds sticking up, and so I decided to fish the feeder next to these (or as close as my casting would allow!) as I thought they might hold a few fish.

On the whistle I made 5 quick casts with a feeder, then potted in some maggots and caster at 14m. Meanwhile Dave next door fired some balls of gbait across and I hoped that he would not catch on this line! I chucked the feeder out and started with double red maggot on the hook, and after an hour all I had to show for my efforts was a roach and 2 perch. The tip then pulled round really well and struck and felt nothing... reeled in to find the maggot had gone over the point of the hook, grrrr! I immediately changed up to a 14 hook. Next chuck and a bite again and this time a nodder, I safely landed a 1lb skimmer and that was followed by a 2lb fish. I then had a couple of casts with small fish bites so I put a worm on and had another 2lb fish. A couple more fruitless casts and then a really good bite and fish on, it felt like another 2lb+ fish, but it came off about halfway back, bugger! That was the end of the action on the feeder for a long time!

I had a few looks on the pole and took a few small perch and roach, but had to wait too long for bites. I upped the feed and during the match caught 2 eels on the pole without really giving it a good go. The reason was that I knew 2 lads in the middle of the section had bream and so I needed one of them too! I did manage 2 more skimmers on the feeder but theses were smaller 12oz fish, I missed a couple of bites but they could have been pesky ruffe which give great bites! By the time the match was finished I was well cooked but glad I had some lotion, my pinkies and maggots were nearly all dead and everything else had survived thanks to ice packs!

The scales arrived and gave me 8lb 9oz which I was more than happy with considering how hard this section had been before. I beat the anglers either side of me and was only beaten by the two lads in the middle who had 10lb and 12lb, so 3rd in section was job done for the team. I then chucked my gear in Ian Hudson's van and he took me back to the results, where I found out my team had done poorly and came 5th. Cadbury Angling won on the day and Diawa Gordon League lead overall. 41lb won the match (I didn't catch the name) and Darren Gillman came 2nd with 28lb, Dar said that every one of his bream snagged him in weed mid river but he pulled them all out. A 22 and 21lb filled the frame.

After the match I transferred my gear into Gavin Messer's truck and travelled home with him and Martyn Reyatt. Finally home I found my feeders and kicked the car and got some grub down my neck. Oh and I almost forgot to say, I did collect £1 from old rusty himself Bob Gullick, cheers Bob see you at Shiplate next week!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

June / July 1994

Nice to see the sun out and the temperatures up again, alas I was not able to sit in it this weekend after a hectic couple of days travel and watching my daughter dancing on stage today. (I was also resealing the bathroom / shower but that didn't get finished.) Before I dip back in the diary I will just mention that Thatchers came 5th in the ATWL Final fished on the Trent yesterday. Lee Trivett was unlucky to lose a bream a couple of rods out, and that cost the team 3rd place, but Liam Bradell was more than happy with his 3 barbel and 2 bream as he won the match, well done!

After a close season of inactivity in 1994 the river season started with my team Bristol Sensas travelling up to Peterborough for practice for the Drennan Super League final. The two days practice for me on the river Nene produced 1lb 4oz and 4oz! We watched an evening match on Grendon Pond at Castle Ashby and that was all we could do, as the next day was day one of the final. On the Nene I had another startling day weighing 910 grammes and beating just one person in the section. I caught 1 hybrid and a few dace on the waggler, and 4 hybrids on the pole. I was way off the pace as the method was to ball in gbait (I didn't) and fish it 13m+ in a strong wind, my pole was bent double and I needed a stiffer pole. The team managed 6th on the day. Day 2 was on Grendon Pond, and before the start a local guy / organiser told everyone to take it easy and we'd catch..... On the whistle everyone balled it in on the pole line! I had 1 bite all day long on a waggler with maggot, missed it and that was it I blanked. Virtually all carp caught were done so on the feeder. The team came 6th again and that's where we finished overall.

The following weekend I fished the Embassy Pairs on the Gloucester Canal, I drew Splatt (rhymes with crap) and blanked! Even people who had bloodworm blanked on this cess pit, I still have nightmares now!

The following Sunday I sort of blanked again, it was the biggest cock up in fishing I have ever known! We all turned up for the Drennan Super League at Cardiff Docks only to find a concert for the BBC was being organised and we were not allowed to fish the venue. What a balls up, lol!

My season of "success" continued the following weekend when in the Fish O Mania qualifier on the Avon I drew somewhere in Bath Town. It was 16ft deep, not moving and after a few hours and a few fish I packed up and was glad to see the back of another rank draw. I needed a pick me up, and so decided on a couple of pleasure fishing sessions. The first at Shearwater lake on the roadside where I guessed I had about 70lb of carp, skimmers, bream and a few big roach fishing an open ended feeder. It didn't matter what hook bait I used, what length hook length I used it all caught fish! A couple of days later I fished the middle lake at Longleat and had about 40lb on the pole. I fished a 20 to 0.1 with either caster or red maggot hook baits over groundbait and caster. I had roach to 12oz, skimmers, and 3 carp.

My next match was on the 16th July at Sabre Lake, a new venue for me, with the Silver Dace crew. I fished a waggler and maggot approach and got through 5 pints of bait for just 9 small carp for 17lb and nowhere. I did manage to fire a burst maggot into my eye on the day, it hurt like hell and my eye swelled out like an onion. I remember it was a nice hot day though!

The following Saturday I found myself in the draw queue for Silstar Pole qualifier on the River Axe at Bleadon, a place I knew little about. I drew my peg and the locals running the match told me absolutely diddly squatt about the peg, so I assumed it must be a decent draw! To start the match I balled in 3 jaffas of groundbait at 11m and loosefed casters over the top in the hope of some skimmer / bream. While I let that settle I went on the whip and in 20 mins had 1 roach! Onto the long pole with a 1grm rig and 20 to 0.1 with maggot / caster hookbait and after a few minutes the float went under and the elastic came out! A bream of nearly 4lb plopped into the net and had me very pleased, and when I hooked another straight away I was in heaven! I remember that Charlie Barnes and Woody were pegged next to me and were struggling at this point. I then took another 3 bream by the end of the first hour before the fish switched off, I caught 1 eel for the remainder of the match. I even went for a walk and had a little sleep behind my peg, much to my neighbours annoyance as they thought I was winning the match and should try harder. As it turned out I did win the match and the locals told me after that they knew I get bream there!!!

The last match to mention to here today was one of those that I doubt will ever happen to me again, I didn't win any money but it was a day I'll never forget. It was a Bathampton open at Newbridge, and I drew peg 73 the first one below Newton St Loe bridge. Martin Barrett told me he had struggled on the peg recently but caught 6lb of gudgeon in close. I set up a waggler for my main attack, and a 1grm pole float with 18 to 0.1 on a 3m whip. Below me that day was a real river angler legend Brain Webb, a truly great angler. We both started on the wag but I was finding it tricky in the awkward flow, so I picked up the whip and had a gudgeon first chuck. Within an hour I had shortened the whip to 2m as the gudgeon were right up in the shallow water. Goodness knows how many gudgeon were there that day, but I ended up weighing 12lb 6oz of the blighters! Brian beat me with 14lb, but he was helped by a 3lb tench he caught 3 ft on the waggler! I actually came 6th on the day and I remember at the results it raised a few eyebrows. A better day's gudgeon bashing I have never had since!

Next week I'm back on the team scene on the Huntspill, apparently it has been fishing a bit rank!