Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Last Tony Rixon Wednesday Open - Sedges Brick Lake

I'm now working a 4 day week so have Wednesdays off, that meant I got to make the small numbers up on this match along with Glenn Bailey who I gave a lift to. Tony had been kind enough to txt Glenn that the M5 south was shut so we decided to take a route (thanks to Sat Nav) that would go via Street. The traffic wasn't that bad but we nearly got hit on some narrow lanes and then way before Street we came across "Road Closed". We took a guess and ended up on a very small country lane and had a few near misses but we got back out on the right road and found a Sainsburys to have breakfast. Just yards from the venue we got stopped by Farmer Giles moving his herd of cows, and we arrived about 2 minutes before the draw, what a journey!!!!

With only 10 fishing the venue owner gave us the top half of the lake, pegs 6 to 15, and I fancied 6 and 15 as they were at the windward end and could obviously draw a lot of fish. I managed to draw as far away from my choice as possible on peg 11, but this is usually a good peg for carp  being in a corner where the wind usually blows. Glenn drew 14. For company today I had John Bradford on 12. See below my view of the end bank.

I set up a pellet wag and straight lead today, these would be used over where I fed 8mm pellet as far as I could. A 4x10 durafloat for the left hand margin was set up but caught nothing, then a 4x12 version for fishing about 14m to the end bank in about 4ft of water, and rig to fish shallow, 16 PR36 to 0.16 featured on all rigs. Just as the match was starting the wind started to get up a bit and was now more in my face, not what I needed but I still started on the wag after feeding a pot of 8mm pellets to the end bank. It was though a very slow start for me, but Fabio over on peg 10 had one on the wag first chuck. Here he is below trying his end bank later on.

I was going nowhere on the wag and the wind was not helping, I chucked the lead out and had a carp first cast, next cast a liner and next cast a snag and I lost the rig and put the rod down never to try it again. I picked up the wag again and increased the depth to 3ft and I had a bite first cast and after a very manic fight landed a 10lb ghostie. Sadly the wag produced no more and I came off it but did continue to feed this line.

After only 90 mins, early than expected, I was trying the end bank and on my first drop in with an 8mm pellet in the band the float buried and the first carp was hooked and landed. Unfortunately the fishery landing net broke and I had to go back to the hut to get another one. I could not get close to the reeds due to them being overgrown or fallen over, and the line I had picked at 14m gave me a little hole to fish in but I was still a good 18" away from the edge. For this reason I did not want to feed with a catty and instead continued to pot in 30 or 40 pellets after every fish. It was hard work double shipping, but it was proving very effective with carp coming regularly and no foulers. Inevitably it slowed, but the wind now making the wag a waste on my bank, and my left margin not producing I continued with the end bank. I had a real quiet spell and so I put a big pot in again and then I had two tench in two casts.

Glenn was doing well he was catching a lot of skimmers and had a few carp. I continued to catch carp but it was a long wait in between bites but as nobody had really been bagging I thought I was doing OK. However, Tom Magnall over on peg 9 had go the pellet wag to work and was now flying.

My last 90 mins were the poorest of the match for me, the wind was making it now very difficult to get my rig into position, and when I did the reeds were bashing my pole and catching the float, quite frustrating. This was at a time when I was struggling for bites and makes it all the more harder. I got them back in the swim and had 12lb ghostie which I pulled out of just as I dipped the landing net to it, balls! Then I had fouler trouble and lost one in Johns swim (think I trashed his rig to oops!) but going shallow got me no bites and the fish were doing my head in. Fishing 18" off bottom I caught a tench and another carp and soon the match was done. Whilst I'd caught plenty and had a real enjoyable middle period the end of the match has I though cost me.

The scales were on the far bank and when they got to me Tom Magnall was top with 122lb, and Ziggy the Polish angler had 76lb of silvers!!! My fish weighed 113lb 11oz and so that big ghostie cost me beating Tom. The gimp had chucked back, as did Jamie Parkhouse, Glenn then weighed 54lb of skimmers on paste and with his carp had 113lb 4oz, lol let that be a lesson mate ;-)  Next peg to Glenn on 15 A gent called Terry down on holiday fishing the match weighed in 133lb to win, he had caught all his fish on a top set, well done!

So the two end pegs won the two categories, but the anglers did well on them, I ended up 3rd and another pick up for my troubles. Finally I would just like to say thank you to Tony for running Wednesday matches for so many years, I may not have fished that many myself due to my job, but it takes a lot of effort and phone calls and we should be thankful for all his efforts..... even if he did mug most of us most of the time lol!

Thankfully the drive home was plain sailing, other than a few eejits on the ring road, kids! Back down here again Sunday fishing the float only, I'm standing in for Paul Beaver Elms this time.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Chilton Trinity Woodlands Lake

My travelling partner today was fellow blogger Mike Nicholls, glad he travels light as it made it much easier to fit all the gear into my car than it normally does with Glenn! It was a nice steady drive to Hilltops cafe and after breakfast we got to see a couple of old Vespa Scooters that had parked up after their event at W-S-M.

As my visits to this venue had so far brought me no coin what so ever I was not getting my hopes up today, and after speaking to Warren Bates whod fished a Frys match recently on the lake, I thought I'd fish for skimmers if I drew in the right area. I'd taken micros, gbait, casters and worms so was well tooled up! Only 13 here today, and Martin Lengahan spread the pegs so everyone had plenty of room. I pulled out peg 32 which as ever meant nothing to me, but I found out it was the end peg today on the car park bank and was told to fish long down the margin. On arrival at the peg I could not see me fishing the margin long due to a huge amount of vegetation, but the margin at 4 to 4.5m looked inviting enough anyway. I tried to cut down some of the trouble some reeds and grass but it was hard work due to some old stiff plant stems, I realised after theses stems cut my arms to bits....

Next door on peg 30 was Tom Magnall, and I asked Tom if I'd catch skimmers from my peg, he said I wouldn't compete with pegs on the other side. Hmmm. Rig wise I went for the usual here, a past rig for out at 9m, a 4x18 Preston Yellow with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet on the deck on the same line. A shallow rig (nothing on this), a 4x10 Durafloat 10 with 0.16 to 16PR36 for pellet in the margin, and a paste rig for the margin (nothing on this).

On the whistle I fed a pot full of 6mm pellets at 9m, some handfuls of 8mm pellet in the left hand margin and caster and 6mm in the right margin. I started on the paste and had a fizz straight away and after a few missed indications I landed a 3lb carp, and then a skimmer, but it wasn't right. Going out on the depth pellet rig with an 8mm I could catch skimmers about 6oz to 10oz, not quite fast enough to rack up a big weight but it was interesting and not much was being caught up my end. It was a slow first couple of hours and I had 3 carp and some skimmers but was going nowhere and fruitless drops into the margins led me to think the Woodlands curse was on me again. I dropped back in the left hand margin and the float wouldn't stay still as small roach were attacking the hook bait, this despite me upping the feed. Luckily though the carp were below the roach and I had 3 in quick succession. Mike West turned up at this point, he has not been too well so it was nice to see him, even if he was struggling. I told him there were now carp in my margin, but I need to sort it. Mike left about halfway through the match, and I was now getting into a rhythm in the margin; hook a fish, feed, land fish, feed, drop in again. This worked well for a while, and I suddenly realised I had no idea what weight I had in my net, the limit was 80lb. I started filling the 2nd net and got out my new purchase a "clicker", I had one spell filling this net where I had to shallow up to avoid foulers and keep catching. On the far bank on peg 9 Rod Wotton was really catching well, and we had a good bit of banter about who had the most. Rod did say Leon Hubbard further down my bank was now emptying his margin and catching up.

With an hour and 15 mins to go I had to get my 3rd carp net in, the margin went a bit iffy so I tried the right margin but it was full of roach so I threw loads of casters and 6mm pellets in here! I caught a few more in the LH margin but it went really iffy again, and I was annoyed at the sight of Rod continually playing fish. With 20 mins to go I tried the RH margin and bingo, 3 fish in 3 chucks, then 2 fish in the LH margin to end the match, those last fish went 30lb on my clicker.

I knew I had a big weight but was unsure of what was in the first net, my other two nets I'd clicked at about 70lb each, so maybe 190lb was possible. The weighing was started at my peg, and my silvers went 7lb+ and after a few weighs and some help from Ray Cooper to lift my nets my carp went 218lb, for a total of 222lb 15oz !!!!! That's the most I've ever caught, wow!

Tom Magnall weighed 87lb on the next peg (think there may have been a few more fish in my peg lol), and then we had to get to Leon Hubbard to see what he had, he was admitting to 120lb. Leon needs a clicker, as his weight went 191lbs, and as Shane Caswell said, Leon was a whole keepnet out on his weight, lol. On the other side of the lake Paul Locke weighed a fantastic 48lb of skimmers on paste to win the silvers, and then it was Rod to weigh and he had 174lb and that meant I'd won, yay!

During the day I didn't have to many issues, lost a few foulers, and a few proper hooked carp, changed hooklengths a couple of times when the band broke, and snagged the margin bottom a few times. I can honestly say I have fed and fished margins very similar in the past for little reward, but today it was bang on, and the margins were brilliant all round. Just to say how important tackle set up can be, Leon could have been much closer to me, but he had his elastic snap and said he lost his rhythm after this. Also Rod had to leave his peg to get another keepnet, and he also had his silvers net fall in which he had to spend time retrieving and he lost his 4 tench out of the net. Small things make a difference.

Had a nice cool can of Stella on the way back, and am now looking forward to a good nights sleep. Next up Sedges.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Acorn Tuesday Tenner

The thing about blogging is no matter how bad a day you have, you do have to write something, well that is my view anyway. Tuesday at Acorn was one of those last minute decisions, and I'd text Ray Bazeley the night before to check I could fish, and he said yes.

Traffic on the way down was not that bad thanks to the school holidays, and I arrived with lots of time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. It was good to see Julian Pinkett and his little brother (shit cannot remember his name, well it was 30 years ago!) from the old Silver Dace days, top blokes with happy faces. I was hoping that my drawing arm would get me in a decent area, sadly peg 19 didn't do it for me. There was however, a problem, a peg short in the bag! There was though no redraw as the organiser/s elected to add in a certain peg number and asked the lad without a peg if he would be happy to fish it, he said yes so job done. Shame, I fancied a redraw lol! At this point I felt a rumbling in my abdomen, I rushed to the bog to find no toilet paper, shit, and I did.... That was a crap start to the day!

Finally got to my peg and was told some larger fish had come from this peg recently and my hopes were raised. Harry Muir was once again on peg 21 next to the bridge, and on my right on peg 18 was Darren (Vowles?) from Clevedon. Darren had obviously thought nobody was on peg 19 as his car was parked where I would need to ship my pole, and he proceeded to have a little moan about things, but not directed at me I might add. With larger fish in the area and the paste working that was my number one choice, I picked a line at top set plus two. A margin rig for paste was set up but that only got me one roach so no more about that line! I set up two rigs for the far side, a 4x10 durafloat for fishing on the deck in 18" of water, and shallow rig that once again caught eff all!

On the whistle I fed a pot of 6mm for the paste line and went across with a toss pot and a few 8mm pellets with my depth rig. A few liners and signs of fish shallow so I tried shallow but a few more liners and the fish went. The paste line was fizzing so on to this and sod all. Thirty mins and I needed another crap, so I went behind my car (don't worry not on the floor!). Eventually just before the end of the first hour I had a carp and a tench in 2 chucks across on the deck on an 8mm pellet. Sadly that was that and with the searing heat and lack of wind the fish shut up shop. That is other than a pound skimmer I caught by hooking a swivel on some old line that was attached to the skimmer!

Darren was trying very hard to find fish, but I think it took him 2 hours to get a carp. I was now only managing 30 mins on my box before having to drop my trousers and it was getting me down as was the lack of any signs of fish. Darren then had a run of carp on the method feeder across, I reckon he had 8 and then that died. With two hours to go I had nicked a few carp on the paste, and then had a nice run across with a couple of F1's, a tench and a few carp. This died again, and with my arse exploding (Darren thought I had a bladder problem lol!) I just was not enjoying things. As soon as the whistle went I packed up and tipped back my fish, just wanting to get home and get cleaned up.

Pegs on the island 9 and 4 were 1st and 2nd but the weights were 70 or 80lb, a lot less than of recent.

A shitty day, I guess I knew it had to happen sooner or later. Nice to hear my Thatchers team mate and triple bypass operation survivor Nick Ewers is back out fishing. He won the silvers Thursday at Viaduct, not sure he's ready for the walks up Swineford this autumn though, ha! Keep up the recovery Nick.

Off to Woodlands on Sunday, a place that I've never won a bean at, I'll be hoping that I can change that this time. Anyone got a butt plug, lol?

Friday, 18 July 2014

November 1995

Spending a weekend with the family so no fishing for me this weekend.

Saturday the 4th of November saw me back on Thatchers team duty at Moorlands Farm winter league. I drew on Bank Pool peg 11. I started on the pole feeding casters fishing with a single red maggot on a 20 hook to 0.12. Immediately I caught a few small carp and skimmers but it went dead on this line, I assumed I'd caught the resident fish. I then fished a maggot feeder, casting it as far as I dared without encroaching on anyone else, and this method rewarded me with another 3 small carp then nothing. My last hope was chopped worms, I put a pot in and had 2 skimmers and a big roach, but I caught nothing the last 90 mins. My final weight of 23lb 5oz was worth 15 points from 22 and the team came 6th on the day.

The following day I fished an open match on the K&A at Seend which was a practise match for the winter league next week. The canal was clear after a few frosts and expected to be a small fish match. I started down the middle fishing pinkie over gbait, it was slow with just very small fish, and so I tried a bit of liquidizied bread 3/4 across but the size of fish was no different. Back on the middle and I hooked a tench which was going all over the place on number 3 elastic, sadly for me just when I thought I had done the hard part the fish found a snag bang in the middle of the canal. The 0.07 hook length never stood a chance and a section win was lost. Going nowhere and no bites across either I put a pot of liquidized in right over with a few casters in. I fished a rig with an 18 to 0.10 over here, and after an hour I had a bite and a fish tore off down the canal and snapped me up. I chucked back 2 1/2lb of bits, and was gutted to hear 6lb won the match as the two lost fish would have beat that, doh!

The following weekend and the ATWL on the K&A was going to be a much different affair as we had enjoyed a week of mild wet weather, in fact the weather on this day was lovely I recall. I found myself pegged at Bowerhill Lane on a peg / area not known to me really. I started fishing at 10m with gbait and squatt and pinkie on the hook and caught a small fish every cast. I fed the odd small ball of gbait on this line all the time. After an hour I was doing well in the section, but the angler on my right had 3 tench on the waggler! I'd fed two line right across by the reeds, one just with caster, and one with liquidized bread (very much my own thing after the week before). I just couldn't get any bites let alone any tench, but with about 90 mins to go I saw a tail near the bread line. I went out with double caster and within seconds black no8 elastic was pouring out of the pole, I played this fish for a while and a narrow boat was coming down the canal but decided to let me land the fish, which turned out to be a 6lb carp. No more bites over but the 10m line came good with 5 late skimmers on double red pinkie. After a thoroughly enjoyable match I was pleased to weigh 14lb 4 1/2oz and win the section. My then team mate Des Shipp came walking down the canal advising he'd won his section, and said rather tersely that he'd heard some spawny bastard had caught a carp, when I told him it was me he laughed his cock off! We laughed even more back at the results, as the canal had fished really well with two 40lb weights winning. I think Ian Parsons came 2nd but picked up the super pool as the winner didn't do it, I came 7th overall, but due to other people not doing the super pool I picked up 2nd place and won £110, Des came 10th and picked up 3rd, it was so funny at the time. The team won the day by a fair way as many teams did not think it would fish so well and fished negatively.

I was at Moorlands Farm again on Sat 18th, but with more frosts and night time temps down to -5C  I was expecting a harder match. Once again I drew Bank pool, and this time peg 3 in a bloody corner again and really cut off this time. I fished the pole at 9m (bottom of shelf) all match due to being cut off and fed 10 casters every now and then all day. I landed 5 carp using a 20 to 0.12, but lost 4 foulers, weighing 17lb 12oz for another 15 points. The team were now in 3rd place overall. I fished at Limpley Stoke the next day but never had a bite.

Sunday 26th November saw me fishing the ATWL on the Bristol Avon above Bath, the frosts had gone to be replaced with rain and the river was now coloured and pacey. I drew Bathford, and couldn't believe it when I drew the funnel peg, a known chub haunt, trouble was it was far from chub conditions! I decided to fish to right over where there was some steady water, using a heavy maggot feeder. After 2 hours a gudgeon and tiny roach were all I had and I was bombing out. I switched to a gbait feeder with lobworm tail with a 14 to 3lb hook length, and first cast on this I hooked a chub. I couldn't give this fish any quarter due to all the reeds and weed in the peg and I bullied it in to the net. Even so as I unhooked the fish I noticed the hook length was heavily damaged as the chub had obviously got into some weeds, that was lucky! Sadly that was my match over with only one missed bite for the remainder of the day. The chub was 3lb 14oz and my total weight of 4lb 1oz won the section, much to the disgust of the Celtic Bait lad above me who had winkled out 4lb of roach down the inside, lol! The team came 2nd on the day but overall we were leading by 46 points.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ivy House Lakes Open

I'd fancied a trip back to Ivy House since my winter visits there, and this time Glenn came along as he'd not been here ever. Once again the venue had changed visibly since my last visit, with all good platforms, a much improved cafe and decking area and many of the reeds removed to make the margins accessible (although a lonely Reed Warbler did seem rather upset that his home had gone).

I had no idea where was best to draw, but every peg pulled out seemed to be greeted with "that's a flyer". I was on peg 33 which is on the island, with next peg being Glenn on corner peg 29, and on my right Dean Malin on 36, Dean has been fishing this venue for a while. My set up was going to revolve around fishing pellet long on two lines left and right, one fed with micro and a bit of 4mm hoping for skimmers, and the other 6mm pellet. The margins were also a main target and I was advised by Andy Lloyd to go left to the reeds by the next pallet about 9m away, see pic.

I set up two rigs for long pole deep, both 4x16 inter floats one with 0.16 to 16 PR36 and one with 0.14 to 16 B911. A mugging / shallow rig was set up but never caught on this. For the margin I set a 4x12 Durafloat with 0.18 to 12 PR478, I set this up on my Shimano Beastmaster margin pole which really is the business on big fish, and it gives my new Preston Absolute XS pole a breather from lumps!

To start the match I fed a half pot of micros and some 4mm pellet at 14m 2 o'clock, a big pot of 6mm at 11 o'clock and away we went! It wasn't long before a few fizzes were appearing on both lines, and I started positively on a 8mm banded pellet. It took about 20 mins to actually catch a fish which was a 2lb skimmer, and I thought I'd better try soft pellet. This was no better and a hand size skimmer and tiny roach were not what I wanted. I did manage a 5lb carp on 6mm pellet line on an 8mm pellet but also lost a fouler. An hour had gone and it looked slow for all, I then spent the next hour trying many different hookbaits and feeding patterns which gave me just 2 skimmers. Dean had a few carp and he had a lot of fizzing and was feeding heavier than me, so I starting potting in good amounts. This did bring another carp about 4lb fairly soon after, and another fouler. However, it was frustrating with lots of fizzing on both lines (most on the micro line) with my float just twitching and anything that looked like a bite being met with fresh air on the strike.

After 3 1/2 hours I had 3 carp and 4 skimmers, and now I put 6 big pots of groundbait and some dead maggots in by my margin. Dean had fed his margin before me and had already netted  1 lump. I tried my margin 15 mins after feeding it but only had a little perch on my 6 dead maggot hookbait. With 90 mins to go and after feeding some more gbait I had the elastic ripped out of the pole by an 8lb carp, this was on a worm hookbait. Next drop in and a similar result, but then it was quiet so I fed more gbait. With Dean catching well I decided to thrown in pellets at 4m to my right margin, and within 5 mins I saw a swirl. Dropping in with the worm the float was washed around by a carp and eventually buried with a 5lb fish. The next fish I hooked came out of the swim very slow and felt very big, but the hook pulled after 15 seconds. The next two fish snapped the line, and I assume were foulers. I was now fed up of looking at Dean so tried my gbait line again but a perch was not a good sign so in went more gbait! In the last 30 mins I had 2 carp from my pellet margin and 1 from the gbait. I thought I had 50lb and I reckoned Dean had double that. Opposite me was Clayton Hudson, he DNW and shouted across that he had about 20 carp in his margin but couldn't get a bite.

When the scales arrived I knew I had no chance of coin today, but ended with just over 55lb which included nearly 9lb of silvers. Dean then plonked 109lb on the scales for the win, he said in the last 30 mins he had a bite as soon as the float settled. Here he is with Andy about to be weighed in, and a few of his fish.

The top weights were 109lb, 86lb, 85lb, 80lb, 77lb and then it was me. Top silvers was 30lb of skimmers caught by Martin Petiffer who fished micros and soft pellet, but fed a lot less than me and did a good job.

If you come to this venue be prepared to fish the margins, that's where all the weights came from, I made a couple of mistakes today, should have fished the margin earlier and fed both sides from the start. You do need to fish a venue a few times to get to know the methods and moods, and this venue is quite different from those that I usually fish. An enjoyable day fished in rain and sun, and it's close to home, but the run of pick ups is over!

Late news, Richard Chave won the Riverfest qualifier today on the Avon at Newbridge with 51lb of bream,so well done to him!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Acorn Tuesday Tenner Match

I decided to fish Acorn as Glenn Bailey had a days holiday on Tuesday and it was somewhere he likes to fish, and I hadn't fished it for a while. This match proved very popular today, with anglers who were on holiday fishing, as well as a couple of Welsh anglers Giles Cochrane and Lee Pestilicco (no mugs them!). With a club match also booked onto the lake it was not possible for everyone to fish on Paddock and so Mike Chapman had to also peg the top lake. After much discussion it was decided to have 3 sections of 9 and pay 2 overall and 1 silvers in each section, this was because the top lake was not expected to frame. I hoped not to draw the top lake, simply because I didn't have the gear or the bait with me to tackle it. However, drawing peg 31 at the top end of the lake was not my ideal choice as this can be a hard area. Glenn drew 5 which can be very good, he had the two Welsh boys on form pegs 1 and 2 so a tough job there.

Getting to my peg I was disappointed to see very little fish activity, and Glenn only made me feel worse telling me his peg was heaving! My section went from peg 17 to myself, so the danger pegs would be 21 (Harry Muir) and 22 on the bridge I felt, venue regular Dave Wride on peg 23 would also have to be a threat. I had come to this match with a very focused approach, pellet and paste short. My long line was top set plus 3 sections with a 4x10 Big H, 0.185 to a 12 Drennan Carp Feeder hook. My margin line was a top set to my left in about 16" of water with the same rig components. The margin line had been well cut back by someone and so it made my choice very easy. Hopefully you can see that in this picture, as well as the clearing storm clouds.

When the match began I fed a big pot of 4mm pellet on my long line, and a half a big pot of 6mm pellet in the margin. Out on the long line and a small fizz was a good sign and within a couple of minutes the float zoomed under and I landed a 4lb carp. After 15 mins I had another 2 carp, although these were (ahem) foul hooked! Another 30 minutes and nothing so I had a quick look in the margin and a 4lb fish took a liking to my paste, that was a lone fish. Looking around people in my section seemed to be struggling early doors, so I stuck with my tactics.

Two hours into the match and not another fish! I decided to grab a shallow pellet rig and try right over as the paste was really not working. Four foulhookers across was my sum total and I was now wondering what to do next. The guy on 29 only had 1 skimmer, and it seemed all in my section were struggling, even the bridge pegs were not as prolific as normal. Down on the island pegs 1 and 2 were catching, but Glenn only had 2 carp.

With 2 1/2 hours remaining a thunderstorm hit us, and this coincided with my margin coming to life. Feeding some 6mm pellets by hand and also in a toss pot with the paste I had a steady 1 1/2 hours. The last hour though only gave up 2 more carp despite there being fish in the swim as my float was often moved by a fish. They would not take the paste and a try on my pellet rig didn't work. I cannot be sure why this was, but it could be I got carried away and fed too much. I did hook a carp 5 mins to go but tried to bully it in and pulled out of it, plonker I hoped that wouldn't cost me. I noted the lads on bridge pegs 33 and 34 pulled their nets out straight away as they struggled.

Andy Gard on 17 brought the scales to weigh our section starting with me, my carp went just over 61lb which was about what I thought I had. Pegs 29 and 27 DNW, Dave Wride had 29lb and then bridge peg 22 had 40lb+. Harry Muir on peg 21 put 71lb on the scales and he won the section, Andy Gard had 22lb of silvers to get the silvers Prize, and so I had managed to pick up 2nd overall.

The top lake didn't fish that well with 56lb being top weight I believe. The island section plus some other pegs was much better though with Lee on peg 2 winning with 140lb, Mike Chapman on peg 36 120lb (paste), Giles on peg had 115lb. Glenn had 70lb in the end with a late run on the paste in the middle. He was 5th overall with that, but did go over the 70lb net limit.

It was a strange day with the weather starting cloudy, then getting sunny and warm and then stormy. The fish were unresponsive in many pegs with most people catching better in the last half of the match. I was happy in the end with another pick up, that's every time since I've come back to fishing after my op I've won a bit of dosh. That may change this Sunday with a trip to Ivy House on their open match, a lot of regulars fishing there so will need a good draw.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Float only League Landsend

Guesting again today and was given a bit of a disabled draw by being allowed to only draw a peg on either Speci or Match Lake (as lake 3 is a bit far from the loo). Glenn Bailey was playing taxi again this week and we got away from Shipham cafe in plenty of time to get to the fishery and dip our nets and stack up our trolleys! I got to the front of the draw queue and pulled out peg 1 on Match lake, a nice draw and the Landsend master Tony Rixon said he fancied it. Tony pulled peg 5 and I though I fancy that, didn't want him in my section lol!

Getting to the lake I had Paul Blake as my neighbour on peg 3, opposite on 24 was John "Turkey" Thompson and I could also see Joe "Tourett" McMahon on 22. Peg 1 has many options, other than the bush at 4m most of them were 14.5m plus, so I was going to be getting a physical workout today. Below you can see the end of the island I could fish to.

And here you can see the left hand margin I could fish at about 14m, I did a bit of pruning before the match which certainly helped during the day.

I set up a 4x10 durafloat 10 with the usual 0.16 to 16 PR36 and this was for hard pellet and would do for the left hand margin and against the island in two places as the depths were almost identical at about 14" to 18". A rig for 9" was set up but I never caught on it. A depth rig for by the bush but I never caught on it! As a late idea I set up a paste rig as Mike Duckett said the fish were responding to the paste.

To start the match I fed a near full pot of 6mm pellet in front  for the paste and potted some more into the margin and one of the island swims. I fed meat and corn against the bush, another waste of Lidls finest... I started on the paste and first drop in I had a 3lb carp, great Mike was right, ermm no more bites other than a skimmer. I was feeding an island swim and the margin by catty but really didn't want to try these this early. With no bites on the short lines I went to the point of the island and fed a toss pot of 6mm pellet and dropped in with an 8mm banded pellet. I had a liner almost straight away, then an F1, then a carp, then a perch lol! A couple of foulers then led me a merry dance and slowed it up so I tried the island toward peg 2 and caught a carp straight away. This swim also quickly slowed up and I only managed another 2 carp from the island all day.

I took a couple of early carp from the end bank margin but that was that and I left it alone again. The usual mid match lull was on me again and I probably had 7 carp 4 hours. Luckily from this point on the end bank margin got going and at times the elastic was ripped out of the pole, the odd fouler was inevitable though. It was really hard fishing though as the wind was really blowing and I was having difficulty keeping the rig in place even with a bit of extra line above the float. Feeding was also tough, keeping it accurate that is. Martin McMahon watched me for a bit and had a good laugh at my piss poor feeding, but he came in handy removing my rig from the bank on two occasions! I was really enjoying the match now but was having to go in tighter to the bank to get proper bites, trouble was that was so very difficult as the wind just kept getting worse. With 25 mins to I was totally knackered and the fishing went tits up, the bites went iffy and I couldn't hit indications deep or shallow. I trashed a rig and my pole nearly came off the roller, and I never had a fish, it was a sad end when I expected to be still catching well.

I had ended with 20 carp, which was more than the other people in my section, I thought I might have 80lb, but some were saying I'd have 100lb. When the scales got to me Tony was winning the section with 76lb, having just beat Paul who had 75lb. As my first net was weighed I knew I did not have a ton, I had quite a few of those smaller carp that do tend to inhabit the end bank. I was though delighted to weigh 82lb and win the section and beat the master. Truth be told I think my peg would have framed today with an angler like Tony on it, I really need to get to the gym!

Tony has the full result on his blog but well done to Paul Elms winning the match on Speci Lake with 150lb+

Back to work tomorrow, I will be aching like buggery after today so nice to sit back in my comfy office chair! Acorn Tuesday my first time there for some time.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

A day out on the River Tone in Taunton

For some time Brian Gay had told me of the great fishing on the River Tone in Taunton, specifically the stretch in the town which is free fishing. Since I had not fished the river before, and not fished flowing water for ages I had to give it a go. I found a free day on Friday but getting up a 6am was tricky after picking up my daughter in town at 2:30am. (Lucky for me Brian rang me and woke me up!)

I think it worth mentioning the attributes of this stretch of river; firstly there is a car park quite near (Wood Street) which for £5 or £6 you can park for the day, don't let that put you off as the fishing is free. Then it is a walk across a road, past Lidl and onto the river where a proper concrete path runs next to it. Probably still a walk too far for some aging commercial anglers (lol), but with my Preston Trolley loaded up it only took 5 mins, although I did get some strange looks on the way back. The river was described by Brian as a mini Rotork (stretch of Avon in Bath) and I could see why he thought that. My peg though had no trees but lots of weeds on the far bank, but I would not be fishing all the way across there.

Brian fished above me and he was just above a big willow tree, which although it looked the part Brian had put me in what was considered the better peg.

Brian had already set up and had just had a few casts when I arrived, he had picked two swims which he had been informed had some chub form although he expected us to catch a lot of dace and we had 6 pints of maggots each to feed them off! My peg was a little steep to get down, but nothing I'm not used to, but at the waters edge there was a lovely concrete bottom which made it easy to set my box up on.

I had come with the expectation of fishing the stick float and the waggler, but the flow in the river was not conducive to a stick. As such I just set up a 3AAA waggler with to start an 18B611 to 0.128 exceed. I thought that was beefy enough as the chub weren't expected to be big. I started with the wag set to 4 feet deep with just 1 no8 and 1 no10 down the line. From the start I fed half a pouch of maggots to see what would happen, actually I cast out before I fed on the first chuck and as I fed the float went under and back came a sucked maggot! For the first 20 mins I missed a few bites had a couple of dace and a 1lb chub, the wind then started to become a pain (doesn't it always!) swirling left then right and often in my face, it made loose feeding accurately very difficult and I ended up trashing 2 catapults during the day. I tried altering the depth and moving the shot and going a bit deeper caught me a roach and this little beauty, a grayling.

As I had missed a few bites I stepped up to a 16 B611 and all of sudden I had a run of chub, with most just over the 1lb mark, and then they started swirling for the maggots! After 90 mins Brian came down to see me, I reckoned I had 15lb, Brian had as many chub as me but his were the 6 to 10oz stamp we had expected to catch. My stamp of fish and both are lack of dace were quite a surprise to Brian. From this point on I had to work hard to try to fool those crafty chub, I cant say I worked anything out but every now and then a little change caught me a fish, but only the one. I did straighten the hook once on the strike (Zorro) so I changed to a 17 B711, that was handy as not long after I had my biggest chub which we weighed at 2lb 14oz (Brian's biggest weighed the same.). After about 4 hours I had fed about 3 pints of maggots and tried to force things by feeding even heavier. Sadly this had an adverse effect and the chub stopped swirling and at the same time they started swirling in Brian's peg! Things tailed off for me after this with just the odd bite and at 2:30 after about 5 hours fishing I decided to pack up as I wanted to get back to Bristol before the traffic built up. Brian weighed my fish for me and they went just under 26lb, which is a cracking weight from any river and it really made my day. Expert cameraman Brian took this catch shot.

Brian fished on for few more hours trying things out to fool those chub, and he had a few more and a couple of 1lb perch to end up with 32lb. When you consider our weights of adjacent pegs, in very tricky fishing conditions (a slow river, clear, often sunny and a poxy wind) you will appreciate that high level of sport this venue provides. I am sure 50lb+ would be achievable with a better flow. I have only one bad thing to say about this venue..... it is too bloody far away from where I live. I am trying to convince the wife that a day out shopping in Taunton is a good idea and that I can fish whilst she shops. A visit to the river after the summer has got to be on my list of things to do this year.

On the way home the M5 was a disaster with a number of accidents, I got off at junction 23 and the A38 was solid too. I didn't get home till 5:45pm a journey of over 2 1/2 hours, boy was I dog tired!

Landsend Sunday for me, guesting on the float only again. Not a venue I excel at probably cos I don't fish it enough, (and I really don't want to be fishing 16m all day as that will but me in traction!) but a venue that needs working at and that suits me.