Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Last Gasp Fishing!

I decided I didn't need a day of stress at work before my operation and so I took a days holiday. The plan for the day was to get out on the river as this would be my only chance before the season ends. From my experience long periods of flood conditions tend to lead to the river fishing its nuts off, the river would still be fast but I expected to get some bites. I thought of going up to Newbridge but with no trolley and not sure of the gate would be open I instead opted for the crane on the cattle grid. Chances of odd bream here but what I was really expecting was roach, and maybe the odd skimmer and hybrid. It was my first walk up here since the storms and I noted the platform near the bottom of the lane had washed away, a tree was blown down across the footpath, and the boat moored just below the cattle grid next to the decking had sunk, I laughed at the one as the owner of that boat is a complete twat, lol!

I only set up one feeder rod and that had a very big 30grm open ender on it with 0.14 exceed to a 14 B611. Groundbait was simply Sensas Magic and brown crumb, with generous amounts of casters and a few chopped worms going in. An under am cast was all that was needed to get the feeder about a quarter of the way across the river, and I had to feed a bow into the line to make sure it stayed put. I had 6 quick chucks and then stuck 2 big red maggots on the hook, within a couple of minutes I had a little drop back and lifted into a fish, a dace about 3oz. I had another one next cast and then missed a bite, and then had a 6oz dace. I tried casters on the hook but two chucks and no bites saw me back on the red maggot but this time three of them. Another drop back and this time I felt a bigger fish on the end, bream on. Oh hang on this is going a bit, I think it could be one of them huge chub I've always wanted to catch! A few minutes later I knew this was no chub as it was really pulling and holding heavy at the bottom, it was a pike I was sure. Sadly I won't know as a few minutes later one severe head shake straightened the hook.

The pike unsettled the peg for a good 20 minutes, but my next fish was a nice 8oz roach again on 3 red maggots. It was strange but during the day I only got bites on maggots, nothing on caster or worm, not sure I can recall that happening when getting bites from roach. The next couple of hours produced odd bites from quality roach and another big dace, and during this time an old boy fished the peg above me. He fished a maggot then gbait feeder for just a couple of small roach, but he also put out a deadbait for pike. He had a jack of about 4lb and another that was probably nearer 18lb, I joked that it was the fish I lost earlier! Not long after this I was attached to another lump and as I was now on a 13 B711 I was sure the hook wouldn't go, but the line might! Eventually after what seemed ages I landed (well the old boy netted it) a big old pike, dunno how big, perhaps 12lb. Here's the best pic the old boy could take with my phone, lol!

Mr Pikey put paid to any sport after that, a couple of roach taken further down the peg were it, and I proved that going lighter made no difference as an 18 to 0.12 never got a bite and so I packed up. I decided to take my own photo of my fish in my landing net, hopefully it gives you a feel of the size of the roach, I guessed I had 6lb to 7lb. Some of the fish I caught today, dace and roach had really fat bellies, and all of them were solid, so I guess they have been eating well during the floods. That was a nice day, I didn't mind not seeing any bream action as catching decent roach on a feeder is challenging and interesting fishing, and I'd had enough bites to keep me interested. I just wish I could have another crack at the river with a float I reckon it would be brilliant if the river would slow up enough. I hope some of you get out there on it!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ivy House Saturday Open

Not sure if anyone will be reading this blog as they may think I'm recovering from my operation, well things didn't quite go to plan last week.... Thursday before last I ended up in A&E with a blockage and as my bowel stopped working I ended up staying in a ward on a drip for a day, never mind they said I should still be able to have the op on Wednesday as long as I rested. I didn't feel well enough to go fishing Sunday and so rested as they said, Tuesday night get a call from hospital, no beds so can't do op, oh great! Therefore I then decided to go fishing this weekend and Saturday looked the better weather day.

I was going to go to Acorn, but Mr Rixon suggested Ivy House and as I have never been before I thought that would be a good shout. I roped Warren Bates into going and he said he would drive, nice. From my house it is a 40 min drive at most to Ivy House, although on the way we missed a turning and took a little detour, ahem! I could see straight away all the work new fishery owner Andy Lloyd had been doing, new pallets going in, trees and bushes felled or trimmed back. Sadly I had a complete mind block and forgot to take any photos today, sorry. Saw some faces from the past, as well as Alan Oram, Matty Toomes, Martin Lendahand (lol) and Gary Etheridge. I got in the draw queue, and Warren somehow got in front and pulled 27 which had won the previous match so he was happy, I drew 44 which was not bad I think but as it turned out the fish thought it was bad! Warren was actually pegged behind me so I could easily tell how he was doing.

I set up a cage feeder (twice as I cast the first one off) with 0.14 to 18 PR36, and two pole rigs, a 0.4gm diamond jobby with 20 to 0.12, and 0.75g with the same gear in case the wind got bad. I fed 3 pole swims (as per instructions) one at 11.5m, and two at 14.5, all with a little micro and maggot. Started at 11.5m and after 10 mins I had a dink and hit fresh air, and then 15 mins later bumped one. The lad to my right had 1 little carp on the pole further out so I tried my longer line in front and after about a minute I had a good bite and a 1lb stockie. I never had another bite on any of my pole lines until the last hour, despite ringing feeding changes and trying gbait.

One and a half hours into the match I had a look on the feeder and had a small carp on red maggot. Two more casts had liners so I guessed some fish were near, but sadly despite sitting on my hands it didn't happen. Meanwhile behind me Warren had been steadily catching stockies from his margin fishing 14m, he hadn't had a bite in open water. The guy opposite him in the other corner had a lump on the feeder, and a lump on the pole. Three hours into the match I had another pull on the tip and a 1lb skimmer was the culprit. Sadly after this the only thing I had was 5 roach on one of my long pole lines, I spent the last 15 mins behind Warren and "coached" him to catch another 3 carp and a tench. I threw back my fish as I knew I had no chance of any coin.

As it turned out Warren won the match and came 2nd in the silvers (double bubble here) with a total of 49lb. He had a couple of barren spells but when the fish were in the margin he caught well, he caught on caster. The lad opposite Warren had just 3 carp, but they weighed 41lb and he came 2nd. Peg 10 (corner) had 5 carp for 37lb 8oz, and opposite him on peg 49ish was 5 carp for 37lb and that won my section. These weights were all caught on maggot. Sadly the weights tailed off severely after this, but I know the venue is full of fish and having a netting done on it Tuesday probably unsettled the fish. I'm sure once the weather warms up it will be a cracking place, but you need to be prepared to catch carp from 1lb to well over 15lb!

Right, I assume this is my last blog on actual fishing for a while and I hope the operation will happen this week..... who knows!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

February to June 1995

I did think about fishing this weekend but a day on lake 3 at Landsend in wind and rain was not really getting my juices going. However, what made my mind up was when the biggest tree in my garden got blown over, and with the awful weather forecast I decided Sunday would be chopping day. Warren Bates brought his chainsaw Sunday and was going to take the wood for his fire, but his chainsaw wouldn't start and so I spent an hour cutting up the small branches and that was it, lol! (It was nothing to do with the large amount of Guinness consumed the day before enjoying hospitality at Bristol Rovers.)

A look back to 1995 now when the river was out of its banks (really) and the last ATWL was held on the canal on the 5th Feb. I was drawn in the Malthouse section, just a couple of pegs down from the road bridge, and I could not get a bite! I ended with 1 gudgeon and 1 fluked bleak, 1.5oz was only worth 3 points as the pegs further down emptied it. The team came 2nd on the day and were tied in 1st place overall on points, but a count back on section wins pushed us into 2nd as we had 1 less than Bathampton, bugger. The following weekend the river was still in flood and I spent a couple of hours fishing above the locks at Keynsham for 4lb of bleak, roach and perch.

Saturday 18th February was the last round of the Moorlands Farm W/L, and found myself pegged on Moors lake, peg 16. The corners tended to be best here and as I wasn't in one I just had to do the best I could. Starting on a maggot feeder I missed a couple of roach bites and lost two foul hooked carp, not good. It was two hours into the match when I tried the margin to my left and I then caught 3 small carp in 3 drop ins, sadly those were the last action of the match for me. My weight of 9lb 3oz was worth 21 points out of 27, and another good team performance saw us come 2nd on the day and 2nd overall, a great result as a lot of good midland anglers fished this! I think Pete Sivell and Brian Shanks were in this team, I can't recall the other angler.

I didn't fish again until Sunday 12th March when I fished the canal in Bath, the Long Pond to be precise. I pleasure fished it with Andy Floyd, and I recall the day was very mild and sunny. We both fished wagglers but I fed maggot whereas Andy fed casters. I caught 7 species of fish, all rather small, for 5lb+, Andy had more as his casters unsurprisingly took a better stamp. For the last day of the river season I sneaked a couple of hours on the river Chew at Keynsham, it wasn't great but a couple of chub on a waggler made it worthwhile.

The next trip out for me was another pleasure session, this time at Bitterwell lake on the roadside. I fished a waggler with maggot using 0.10 to a 20, the first 2 hours were quite a struggle but then the fishing went up a gear, I had 6 carp, 1 tench, 2 crucians, 1 skimmer, and roach and rudd to 1lb. In just under 5 hours I had fed 2 1/2 pints of maggots and reckoned to have 30lb. It was another long time before my next outing, and I should say that these big gaps were due to my getting married at the end of May! I finally got out on the 10th May on a place called Lovelynch Lakes, I was told I would need to catch 100lb+ of small carp on a top set and got my rigs, elastic and bait all sorted by Tony Rixon (he had hair then). Well Jonah that I am the place fished poor with only one ton weight and 56lb coming 3rd, I had 38lb for nowhere but I really liked the look of this lake, even though it was a long way from home.

After marrying Wendy, and saying cheerio to Martyn Woodington (who was off travelling the world with BA) I had a little think about my fishing. Having fished Moorlands and seen other anglers I realised there was a lot more to experience and learn. I'd been talking to Steve Mayo and he'd mentioned about me joining a team he was now fishing for called Thatchers. After a short while it was all change and my days with the Amalgamation / Bristol Sensas team were over as I joined Thatchers Tubertini. It was a very hard decision to leave my best mates, but I can look back now knowing it was the right one, fishing with the likes of Steve, Des Shipp, Mark Harper, Vic Bush, Steve Long, Ian Parsons, Gary Etheridge, Gary O'Shea, Brian Gay and many, many more would see my eyes opened to many new techniques.

Well I hope I can get to fish next Sunday as I expect that really will be my last time on the bank for a couple of months.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Viaduct Winter League

I'd not committed to fishing this league as I'd expected to be missing some of the rounds, never the less I was happy when Mike Nicholls rang me and asked if I would help out his team in round as Steve Skelton couldn't fish. I was going to be in the section on Match lake and  pegs 1 to 6 on Spring lake, with pegs 2 to 5 the likely ones to throw up big weights. Gordon Cannings was one of my team mates for the day and he drove me to the fishery, I have known Gordon since Silver Dace Junior days and the journey with him and conversation was excellent. As we were unloading the kit in fishery car park Bela and Mike drove in with the team draw, they told me I had a flyer, peg 42 on match lake. I heard how this peg had fished last round from Tim Clarke (in Avon Angling the day before) so was really happy, 50lb came off it last time and so that was my target.

The view from my pallet of the island facing me, and I can chuck to it (the peg42 sign shows that).

To fish to the island I set up a 4AAA waggler with 0.12 exceed to a 18 PR434, and a small cage feeder with 0.165 exceed to 18 PR478.

The view of my right hand margin which was where I was expecting to catch most of my fish from.

What makes this peg so good at present is the aerator has been taken out for servicing, and with no rope on the water you can fish long down the edge. Also peg 41 is left out so the corner is all mine, that's very generous! Setting up here was simple one 4x12 rig with 0.14 exceed to 18 B611. I also set up a .3gm rig to fish out in the open water over two swims but as I never had a fish from these that's the end of them!

My neighbours for the day were Mat Toomes on peg 40 (who fouled a F1 when setting up) and Glynn Reynolds from Wales on 43.

On the whistle I fed some gbait long (wasted) and some caster long (wasted), some caster, dead maggot and corn 11,5m up my right hand margin, about a metre out from the bank (by the tump of green spiky stuff you can see in the piccy. I then picked up the waggler and cast out with a single dead red. It took me about 6 casts to get a bite and an F1 was landed, but after another 10 casts and no bites and odd fish coming out on the lead I switched. I landed the cage feeder what looked right next to the bank on the clip, and within a couple of minutes an F1 pulled the tip around. Next chuck a 2lb mirror gave me a good scrap, then a longer wait and another F1 was netted, though this was a jammy one.... The fish had a piece of line trailing out of it's mouth with a shot on it, and I'd hooked the shot, lol! The island line then died for me, and a skimmer and 2 rudd told me the carp had gone. Matty had 1 F1 at this stage and Glynn 1 fish less than me.

Just over an hour had gone and after the early fish most people were struggling, but odd fish had come out of the corner margins I heard, so I decided to have an early look. I started using double dead red on the hook and I had a couple of F1's which was good and then hooked a good fish which turned out to be a 6lb carp. I was toss potting in casters and a bit of corn, and now had a couple of silvers so tried the corn and never had a bite, hmmm. It was then a case of trying different maggot / caster hook baits and within another hour I had another 2 good carp a skimmer and a perch. Mid match I had a wobble and I lost 3 foulers and bumped a couple of what I think were perch as I took a couple round the same time, I did have a couple more F1's though. Another annoying thing was that I had a number of fish swim into sunken branches that were about 4m out, the carp stayed on but a couple of F1's shed the hook into the branches, during the day I pulled 3 branches out from open water and another is still in there! This slowed things up, so with 90 mins to go I fed a pot of casters and some corn at 14.5m close to the tree in the margin. I'm sure doing this had the effect of knocking the shorter margin line, and a skimmer and 1 carp was it so I went long for the remainder of the match. A couple of F1's straight away then a couple of 6lb carp came on maggot but then two foulers, and losing one broke the float so I had to set up again. I tried off bottom a couple of times but roach always took the bait, so in the end I stuck with a corn hook bait and finished with another three decent carp to end what had been an enjoyable day.

Phil Cardwell came round with the scales and weighed me first, my silvers went 8lb 15oz and my carp 57lb, so 65lb 15oz. That was top on match lake by a long was as I think Mike Williams on 44 had 28lb. Glynn had 23lb on the tip, and Matty had 12lb mainly on the waggler, so it shows how good peg 42 really is! I ended up 2nd in the whole section as Phil had 7 carp on spring lake for 67lb 5oz, so those lost fish cost me a bit, never mind eh! What a lovely day that was, a lucky draw and good info meant I had what was a busy day with regular bites, I feel very fortunate when I saw how many people struggled, with team captain Mike Nicholls having 1 perch on spring, see his blog for tactical run down.

Mike will have all the results, I think..

Not sure yet what to do next Sunday, but my fishing will be curtailed soon as I am going for the reversal operation (again) on the 19th February, fingers crossed.