Sunday, 29 June 2014

Float only League Shiplate Fishery

I decided to try to get back fishing on Sundays again, and I was lucky enough to get in as a guest on this match. Glenn Bailey was doing the honours driving, but to be fair I don't think our gear will fit in my car anymore, this is because I now have a Space Station Compact box and Preston trolley. We got to Shipham cafe at 8:50, it was rammed with campers and we were waiting until 9:25 for the grub! A rush down the roads and we got the venue with a few minutes to spare. I had no idea where I wanted to draw, but not ever having drawn the main lake before I would be happy to give that a go. As it turned out Glenn drew main lake peg 2 whilst I ended up on Hawthorn peg 6 so I wouldn't be fishing for silvers today.

Neighbours for the day were Leon Hubbard on peg 4 and Glen Calvert on peg 7. Talk was the end pegs were the ones to beat on this lake, but Adrian Jeffery was on peg 9 on the aerator and he had the same peg on this match last year and I think had a ton. The far bank of my peg looked the part, but plumbing up I was not impressed as there was only a few inches of depth next to the bare bank. The bottom seemed to shelve of quickly to about 2 1/2 foot where I plumbed a swim with a 4x10 durofloat with 0.16 to 16 PR36. A shallow rig with the same hook and line strength was set up for here too. If you look closely at the photo you will see an immature Moorhen, it and lots of other wildfowl were a constant pest today!

I set up two more rigs one for paste in the left hand margin, and one for fishing dead maggot down the right margin, but as I only had 3 crucians on paste, and an eel and a perch on the maggot, end of! I did not set up any rigs for the middle deep water as I expected to be fishing up in the water today. As you can see the margin on the left had had a trim by the fishery owner, these reeds though occupy the top shelf and then there is a steep drop to at least 4 feet of water.

To start the match I potted some 6mm pellet in two places across, put a big pot in my left margin and that was it for now. Starting on my 4x10 float on a banded 8mm pellet I soon had a 12oz carp in the net and there were signs of fish in the right hand swim I fed but not my left. I took a 3lb carp and then suffered a couple of foulers, so on with the shallow rig but no bites at all. After the first hour I had 4 carp and that seemed to be doing OK, I'd mainly been toss potting bait in but switched to the catty. However, the second hour was awful and I didn't catch a carp and I kept snagging up on the bottom. Glen next to me was now on the same number of fish as me, but Leon still struggling on 2 carp. The paste anglers weren't catching either and so I carried on fishing across, all the while feeding 6mm pellet in the LH margin by hand,

During the next 3 hours I just kept working the float and mainly fished between 6" and 9" deep. Carp would often show themselves right against the bank but it was not possible to catch them here. I fished over my original deep line and just past it, and kept lifting and dropping. Slapping wasn't really possible due to the foliage. I did get a few carp from the left hand far bank swim and it helped to be able to switch between the two. I tried altering the feed amounts and regularity, and it seemed that a change did sometimes catch a fish, but never a second! I got quite a few fish ahead of Glen, but then he fished another part of his peg across and had a run of fish, and then he had another run down his margin. I managed to pick up 4 carp from the margin, I caught these fishing between 1 and 2 feet deep. I should say that across all lines I found that a Sonubait 6mm bandum to be the best hookbait today. I should say mid match I had to go to the shop as I could not find my drinks and was gasping. (When I got home tonight I put my gear away and found my drinks lol!)

At the end of the match I thought I had 19 carp for about 50 to 60lb, and Glen reckoned he had 50lb but I had more. As the scales came down Gordon Cannings on end peg 15 had top weight with 63lb, Glen then weighed 58lb 12oz and I followed up with 71lb 7oz which was the top weight on the lake. Leon had struggled and ended with 29lb. Just tosay I fed about 4 pints of pellet today.

As it turned out my weight was good enough for 5th on the day (first out of the money) and I was beaten by 4 anglers on the main lake, Tom Magnall 101lb, Glenn Bailey 100lb (the owner told him that was the best weight in a match off that peg), Shaun Townsend 87lb and Eddie Wynne 74lb. I lost probably 8 to 10 foulers today but not a lot you can do about that, and I was more than happy to pick up the section money. Rich Lacey won the silvers with just 10lb, this was again from the main lake, and the same section as the top 2 overall, meaning Pete Notton won that section by lots of defaults with just 4lb 10oz!

That was a hard working day and I enjoyed it even though those far bank carp and wildfowl were at times a tad frustrating, and to get another bit of coin was really happy days.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Viaduct Cost Cutter

After the night from hell I was not only tired but also aching from the physical exertions of the day before, but no pain no gain and I need a lot of a gain. After a lovely breakfast cooked by Mark Tanner we were off again to the lodge for the draw, it seemed to take me twice as long to push my Preston Shuttle there today. Carey was in today, I didn't really want to draw there as I had heard it was fishing hard, not surprising with red hot sunshine, I think those larger carp prefer to feed as it cools down. Luckily for me I pulled peg 116 on Campbell, and I was opposite Mike Nicholls on 125. Woody was close behind me on peg 81, Glenn on flyer 85, and Mark Tanner drew his 3rd consecutive corner with peg 90.

For company today I had venue expert Scott Russell on 115 (who only set up 2 lead rods trying the Roy Worth tactics), and Kev Dicks was on 118. I should also mention Ian Parsons was on 119 and I haven't seen him fishing for ages, he can still draw flyers though! After electing to fish for silvers yesterday today I thought I would fish for carp. With this being a cost cutter I was not going to lose any sleep about not beating the locals, and so rather than try and fish shallow on a long pole I opted for 13m fishing the same paste / pellet rigs as yesterday, which would give me a physical work out but unlikely to bother the main money. My durafloat margin rig also did for the right hand margin.

I cupped in a half pot of 6mm pellets at 13m and then threw 8mm pellets into my margin all day. Within seconds the 13m line was fizzing and I went in with the past rig, a good move as I had 2 carp in the chucks. Here we go then, as I had 3 more fish in the next 3 casts, but these were tench, and then I had a couple of skimmers. In a reversal of yesterday I now changed tack and fished for silvers as the carp had backed off, and on the pellet rig I had a steady run but like yesterday they also slowed after 2 hours. Scott had carp tearing up the bottom in front of him but he only had a few carp and was cursing not having set up to fish shallow. I could see odd carp coming out but again it was not prolific, halfway through and I was forced to go to the toilet, and I found out Steve Long on 110 and a lad on 130 were doing the best, Carey was fishing very hard (except for the pleasure anglers on the diagonal bank who were bagging!).

I stuck to fishing the pellet rig and feeding very little pellet, I had used a toss pot to try to keep some silvers interested and the carp not interested! I would get an odd skimmer out of the blue, just to keep me ticking over. Trying paste again I had a bite and then BANG!!!! My 10m section snapped, ooops. The pole is 6 years old and I know I have dropped / knocked it a few times so I wasn't blaming the pole. End of fishing 13m and so I tried the margin I had a carp first chuck, then one saw me off under the tree. I did though have a tench and a skimmer down here to help my silvers weight, but then another lost rig made me have a rethink. I decided to fish a new long line at 9m and I refed here with 6mm pellet and this was soon fizzing. I had some late carp here including one that was about 13lb which I mugged on my deep rig, but crucially another tench and a skimmer, the pellet rig worked as well if not better than the paste rig for me today.

The scales came down from 119 where Ian had 34lb of tench, he told me he had a torrid time losing lots of carp and tench down the edge, and I didn't think I had that much silvers myself. Kev Dicks total weight was 130lb and he came 4th with that. My silvers went 33lb and my carp 82lb for a total of 115lb. Scott next door ended up with 140lb (3rd) he caught on the lead but also on a waggler which he attached to one of his lead rods (lol) and he mugged quite a few on this, he did mug one on the lead which was a first for me!

Back at the results I had sneaked 2nd in the silvers and another pick up, another great days fishing in good company. Of course we went out to watch England that night and that put a dampner on things, but a few beers solved that soon enough! On Friday we were all so knackered we could not find the will to fish, so we walked the lakes and had a good chat to Steve Long and Colin Dyer in the shop. I headed off to my sponsor Thatchers Tackle in Wells to sort out a new Preston pole and hope to pick it up next week.

Have to think about when and what to fish next, I'll have to see whats about next weekend.

Viaduct Top Set + 3 Match

I first met up with Mike Nicholls, Glenn Bailey, Martyn Woodington and Mark Tanner at Acorn fishery on Tuesday afternoon. I did not want to fish this match as I felt a draw on the island or teens to 20's would make it difficult for me to get to the toilet, and I had a lot of trips to the bog on this day. As you will no doubt already know Glen won this match with 154lb and Mike came second with 130lb. After a lovely carvery in the Brent Knoll pub we drove on down to Viaduct and I got myself settled into the lodge. I decided to take a couple of tablets to help "bung me up" for the next day.

I awoke Wednesday feeling shattered, I'd had quite a number of night trips to the bog and sharing a room with Glenn was like sharing a room with a chainsaw, that man could snore for England! Although I said nothing to anyone I felt good before the draw simply because I was back in amongst the banter again. I wanted a draw at the car park end of the lake as the wind was blowing this way and of course it was closest to the bog. I pulled 124 which was about as far away from where I wanted to be and did get a few laughs, especially when the rest of the "lodgers" drew between 110 and 129. I was in good company though with Tony Rixon on 123 and Ron Hardiman on 125. My intention was to fish for silvers as hauling in carp would be to tiring for me. Obviously with such a short pole match setting up was pretty simple, and I went for a 0.3g PB inter float (slim version which took 6 no 9 stotz) with 0.14 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet. This would do for the full length and with a slight reduction in depth top set+1 at 2 o'clock. A 4x10 Durafloat with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for pellet in the margin (but this never got me anything) and a paste rig with one of my old big H floats with 0.18 to 12 PR478 hook.

To start the match I fed about 20 or 30 6mm pellets on the "long" line, fed some 8mm pellets in the margin and as I turned round to get my pellet rig Tony shouted so much for fishing for long line was fizzing with carp, nuts! Out with a 6mm pellet in the band and no joy, so I tried a 8mm pellet and hooked a small carp. Next chuck I hooked another but soon pulled out, however, the line was covered with dark slime and there was a tiny scale on the hook, tench. During the next 90 mins I did catch a tench another carp and a few skimmers, I was ahead of my neighbours but Tony had 3 tench and was beating me on silvers. At this point the silvers really shut up shop and it was a long wait for any bite or indication. I did nick a couple of skimmers from the short line, but missed bites from  / bumped little 4oz skimmers. I tried the paste a few times and didn't have a sniff and it was obvious this match was tough for most people.

With about 2 hours to go I started to get fizzing again and as I was getting no silvers action I tried the paste rig again, bugger me if it didn't shoot under and I had a carp. It was also about this time that I realised I had sat on my box all the time, no bog visits, I was amazed! I then spent the last part of the match catching a few carp on paste, whilst those around me on pellet struggled. The carp would come into the feed and I'd catch one, whilst I played the carp I could see other carp fizzing over the feed, but by the time I got a bait back in the fish had gone, I had to refeed and wait 10 to 15 mins. When the match ended I was really happy with my lot as I had enjoyed the day.

Tony weighed 54lb, I weighed 95lb (which included 18lb of silvers) and Ron had 27lb, I think I may remember this day a long time, as beating Mr Rixon off the next peg is a rare event indeed and I am sure he will give me a lesson soon lol! Coming 3rd overall was a real bonus for me as I honestly was just there for the day out, I think be relaxed and doing my own thing on a hard day helped. I was choked up if I'm honest.

Tom Magnal won from peg 114 with 125lb and Glnen came 2nd on paste from peg 131. Tony Rixon won the silvers, he rarely leaves without an envelope.

A curry and a couple of beers was probably a step to far for me, (I had a bad night with bogs and chainsaws), but then again it was worth it as they tasted gert lush!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

October 1995

A very small improvement for me this week, just in the last couple of days, trying the medication again but on a very low dosage. I am going to have a couple of days away this week to Viaduct fishery staying in one of their amazing lodges with Glenn Bailey, Mike Nicholls, Martyn Woodington, Bela Bakos and Mark Tanner. I plan to fish matches on Weds and Thursday, but I won't be in contention for prizes having "bog runner" (thanks Mike) breaks I'm sure, but that doesn't matter to me as it will  just be good to be sat next to water and other anglers again. Hopefully then next weekend I can blog on some up to date angling!

My first diary date is actually Sat 30th Sept 1995, I was to peg ATWL at Newbridge with Mark Harper, but I told Mark about the chub I caught at Jackie Whites so we had 3 hours fishing in the morning. I had 11 chub this time, but the last hour I was fishless whilst the chub swirled on the surface taking every maggot I fed! Mark even sat behind me and told me if a chub took my bait, but no good. There were some very big fish up on the surface that day. The following day at Newbridge and I found myself on peg 53. I wasn't sure bream would be caught today so started on a waggler down the middle feeding mag and hemp. Bites were very hard to come by and I was soon on a 22 to 0.08 trying pinkie on the hook. Bank runners told me the river was fishing hard and my section was dire so I carried on fishing for the very odd roach. With 90 mins to go bites had stopped and with 2 bream caught in the section I fished the gbait feeder. I had 1 gudgeon and then on the whistle the rod went round.... and a pike about 10 to 15lb soon saw me off. I had a paltry 2lb 12oz, but that was good enough for 9 points from 11, job done for the team and we won the day.

For some strange reason the following Sunday I was back at Gloucester canal on peg 108. 5 roach and 3 eels on a mixture of maggot feeder and pole was my lot, as usual no good on this rat tip! A week later and back on the Avon fishing the Amalgamation mini league (I think I was guesting). I got drawn on the high bank at Swineford. The river was low with not a lot of flow and I didn't fancy the peg for the float as what flow there was looked all wrong, so most of the match was spent on the gbait feeder. During the match I picked up 5 skimmers and 1 chublet, but I lost a skimmer at the net when Topper Haskins turned up behind me as I was about to net it and made me jump! That lost fish cost me framing, but I got 14 points out of 16 for the team.

An open on the Avon at Chippenham Town was next up for me on Sat 21st, I drew at the bottom of the line of trees. The peg gave me bad vibes, it was gin clear, hardly any flow and full of lillies / weed. As this was a practice for the next ATWL round I decided to fish it and see what was there. Casting a waggler into the gaps in the weed I caught 5 perch and a few gudgeon. I saw a few small fish in close so I set up a 3m whip and fed gbait and pinkie and had some more small gudgeon. 2lb 12oz was all I could muster, but it was info I could pass on if someone drew in this area. The following day I fished an open at Woodland View and drew peg 19 on Deans (front or back?). I didn't have a great day with my final weight being 19lb, and peg 21 catching 37lb in the margins late on maggot to win the section.

My last match of October was the ATWL at Chippenham, I didn't draw that far from the last peg I had, I was 3 pegs above the sea cadets. The river was still a tough cookie here, and I had 1 perch and gudgeon on wag and caster, 4 roach on the pole (mag and hemp) and 50 gudgeon on the whip and gbait. 3lb 6oz was a slight improvement on last week and I got 8 points from 11, so the practice did help me! The one thing I soon realised I should have tried was chopped worm, this was still something not in my armoury and I know in hindsight I let myself down by not trying to get into this method in these early days. On this day the team came 2nd but stayed in the lead overall.

Ah well so much for the rivers, sad the 16th June is upon us and I won't be out on the Avon, though  that said it can be tough unless you're on a shoal of bream. Now I need to sort pellets, meat and paste etc.... how things change!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

September 1995

There was no blog last week as unfortunately I was not feeling that well, new medication from the hospital wasn't working as expected and I was not sleeping well or having much joy at the loo. Eventually on Thursday I lost 3lbs in 2 hours, that enough information!

I've just been having fun and games with my blogger account after virginmedia and google have done something together which caused a conflict. I could not sign into it at all and needless to say it took a lot of time to work out what to do to fix this and caused me to swear a lot, twats!!!!

The first match of September 1995 was the NFA South West Champs on the upper Bristol Avon. I found myself pegged at Staverton 3 pegs below the "Black Bridge", an area I had not fished before. There were 4 pegs below me and 8 above in this section, and I really had no clue what to expect other than some of the lads said just fish for bits. My peg was 13 feet deep which surprised me, and I set up two wagglers one full depth and one 5 feet deep. I had a few small bleak and bits on the shallow wag but it was slow and I was not going to get a good weight on them. Switching to the deep wag was also very slow but when I did get a bite it was from either a small perch or roach so slightly better quality, and I did have 1 skimmer. I had been feeding maggot and hemp and in the last hour I caught some roach on hemp on the wag deep. I ended with 2kilo 480g, and that beat the 8 pegs above me but not 1 below, so 9 points out of 13 for me. Below me the river started to shallow and more roach were caught. The team struggled and we could only manage a disappointing 6th place.

The following day saw me fish the K&A canal at Hungerford for the first time, I travelled with my old Bristol Sensas team mate Mark "Podge" Jefferies who had fished it a few times and done well and said it was solid. When I drew most people screwed their faces up, and Mark just said that's shit. I fished gbait and squatt at 11 metres to start, finding that maggot (on a 22 to 0.075) brought a slightly better stamp of roach / perch but bites were not prolific. I had fed caster across and spawned a 2lb+ tench from here, and this boosted my final weight to 5lb 14oz and a section win. I think Mark framed again as he seemed to always do here!

Sunday 10th saw me making another superleague appearance for Thatchers on the Avon at Chippenham. Originally at the team meeting I was dropped which I was gutted about, but unbeknown to me Steve Mayo and Des Shipp had a go at the manager and I was put in! I have a feeling I was pegged opposite the mouth of the Marsden (not sure though) which was a good peg, and I was once again fishing a new area for me. I started on the wag and mag for bits whilst feeding caster & hemp by hand for the pole. The first 2 1/2 hours were great with roach up to 8oz showing, but then due to heavy rain the Marsden stopped my peg from flowing and coloured up the river, after this I hardly had a bite. My 8lb 3oz was good enough for 2nd in the section and the team also came 2nd on the day.

The following Sunday it was another pleasure fishing battle versus Dave Haines. After the canal and the Docks it was now the river, and we fished in Bath just below the Green Bridge. I set up a waggler and a pole, and my plan was to feed maggot on the wag to catch everything and feed hemp and caster on the pole for roach. Dave stuck to the pole. After 4 hours I had about 6lb of small roach on the wag but had lost two animals on the pole and couldn't catch roach, Dave had been catching roach on the pole and was hammering me. In desperation I fed really heavily on the wag in the hope of a few chub, and it paid off with two 3lb chub, a 2lber, 3 pups and I got snapped by a real dog. My final weight was 17 1/2lb and I just beat Dave by a few ounces, and boy did he moan!

The last round of the Drennan Superleague saw me sat on peg 24 at Newbridge on a clear river. I had a poor day, catching a pound and a half of roach on the pole over gbait in the first 45 mins, then just the odd roach on the waggler. I should have sat it out for bream as pegs 28 to 36 all caught them, and as a result I only had 5 points. The team had a great day and we ended winning the league by 52 points! I think this was the day when as a team we said we would ball it in with gbait, but Vic Bush did not want to do it. At the start of the match he was forced to do it by the manager and he managed to land a ball on his top set and break it! Vic then caught virtually nothing on the pole and halfway through was down and out, he then caught bream late on the tip to win the match. We all found it really funny.

My last note about September 1995 is a day I shall never forget. I took a half day off work to fish at Jack Whites, I wanted to fish the feeder for bream on peg 123. There was a tide (which I knew) and I was hoping to empty it once it had ran off. I was set up waiting for the river to slow down when I noticed shadows coming out of the trees opposite, chub. I ignored them at first but after a while I realised there were lots over there. Luckily I had all my gear with me and set up a waggler with a 20 and 1.5lb maxima and cast out with single caster on the hook. The river was still ripping through and I never fed any bait whilst it was like this, but I caught 7 chub! I only had a pint of caster and a few red maggots with me, and once the river flow had eased I started to feed casters. After 3 hours all my bait was gone and I had 27 chub for what I guessed was about 50lb.