Sunday, 26 April 2015

September / October 1996

Here I am looking in my old diary again when I was instead expecting to be writing up how I got on at Viaduct Spring league round 1. Well I completely forgot that my eldest was coming back from Uni this weekend to watch Rovers last home game (as was I ) and I had promised to take her back to the bus station and take the wife out for a meal on Sunday, oops! Had a great day out with Glenn watching the Gas win 7 nil, a few largers and even a Jaeger bomb I think! Although ended up in A&E with daughter who got knocked over in the goal celebrations and badly hurt her shoulder, which meant Sunday at Viaduct would have been hard work. I am though one of the top anglers in the league after the first round, as my stand in Alan Oram won his section on Cambell, yay! Many thanks indeed Alan, I was delighted to have an angler of your class fill in for me, it could be my only section win lol! Also thanks to Tony Rixon who got this sorted for me, great help.

If Ray Stevens is reading this post then just wanted to say that I got your message Ray. I certainly remember Team Robbos, I think you were a half decent side! I would certainly be interested in seeing the results info you have, and I really appreciate you contacting me, thank you.

Time warp time... Back to September 1996. The last time I wrote about this year it was the National on Sat 21st Sept. The very next day I was fishing the super league at Newbridge (I am sure in those days it was easy going Sat and Sun, now I'm knackered just after a Sunday) for Thatchers and it was the final round. Team draw done and I was in the last section which would put me above Newton St Loe Bridge as I was on H1. However, whoever pegged it must have been on the loopy juice as it turned out they pegged the sections starting A12 at the top, and H1 was the end peg of the match, I kid you not it was mind blowing lol!!! I arrived and found I was on peg 83 which was really a pile of pants, but being the end peg I hoped it might not be as bad as usual. There was not much flow on the river and I set up a 3AAA insert waggler which had just 3 no8 and 3 no10 down the line, and a 24 B511 was tied to 0.075 pro micron... flip me I used to fish fine in those days! I also set up a pole to fish about 10m out with hemp and caster, I did not record the rig used. Knowing the river was likely to be tough I took a very steady feeding approach; 6 to 8 maggots and some hemp every cast on the wagg, and the same with caster and hemp on the pole. When I used to fish like this I would generally hope to get a few bites early on the wag but always expected the peg to start producing after an hour, and work out where the fish were feeding. This was important as in 13feet of water you could catch on the deck or 4ft deep, I always started just an inch or two off bottom and worked things out from there. On this day it was slow going but eventually small roach started to feed. When it went a bit iffy I'd drop in on the pole, and I'd generally get 3 or 4 fish here and then it would die. After catching a few roach in the bottom lip (a give away they're up in the water) on the wagg I shallowed up and eventually found 2 foot off bottom best. I plugged away all day with the odd small roach, bank walkers were saying it was fishing rock hard and I was winning my section. I finished the match with just under 9lb of roach and did indeed win the section, but even better I'd come 2nd in the match and picked up £235! The icing on the cake was the team came 2nd on the day and we won the league, you live for days like that, great times.

If I am honest that weekend in September was brilliant, but after this I really struggled to do any good all year on many venues, but I was learning about new venues even if I was getting battered. The following Sunday was a real low, I drew at Frys on the Commercial House and after a massive tide ran off all I could catch was very small fish, but it was every chuck. I hooked 3 better fish during the match which all headed for the nearside weeds and I lost everyone of them, I guess chub. A bad result and a chance of framing wasted. A couple of matches at Moorlands Farm were tough affairs with only 15lb of fish each time. Although on the second match I should have won my section on Bank Pool but a local angler beat me by 1oz when he "found" a skimmer in his net after he'd been weighed in. The skimmer looked about 6oz but the scales said 12oz, it was ludicrous, then the scales were zeroed at the next peg!!

A week later and a match at Beanacre on the Avon, another poor show, just 3lb 8oz but I did write in my diary I should have had 6lb if I'd have fished chopped worm earlier. An awful 11lb at Woodlands view on October 19th was followed the next day by a rancid draw on the Avon up round Chippenham. It was a ATWL round and I scraped 3lb 9oz for just 4 points out of 10, although the team came 2nd and were leading after 2 rounds. I finally won some coin again on October 26th fishing the Moorlands winter league. A decent peg on Meadow in the form of peg 15 and I had a bit of hope. I had a nice day catching 31lb of small carp and silvers on the pole fishing maggot and got my section money.

Back to the here and now, I will be fishing Saturday next week as I will be hoping to have tickets to watch the Gas on Sunday in the 2nd leg of the play offs. Must say it has been good to see both Bristol clubs doing well this year, about time we all had something to cheer about!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Chilton Trinity Short Pole Series

I made the decision just last Monday to fish this series and also Tony Rixon's Float Only Series. It meant I could put some dates in my diary and also keep Glenn company as he was already long booked in for both. Another manic weekend really with little time for prep, I had to take the eldest back to Uni in Plymouth on Saturday and as you can imagine time was limited but I managed to knock up a couple of deep rigs and change an elastic which was perished and filled my bait bag with 4mm and 6mm pellets and took some meat and paste out of the freezer.

Glenn was driving today and we stopped off in Hilltops cafe where quite a few other anglers had taken a munch, including fellow blogger (with some words spelt correctly) Dom O'Sullivan who was off to Summerhayes. Clint Wojtila came in wearing a T shirt and shorts and I questioned his sanity as the weather forecast was for heavy cloud and 11C max, but he said he was used to the cold!

We got to the venue in good time and after dipping the nets and paying entry fees and pools I was soon pushing a loaded Preston shuttle up to peg 34 before waiting for the draw. The wind was North Easterly and blowing across to the car park bank, meaning a draw opposite would make for a pleasant day. When I stuck my mit in the draw tin I had about 3 tickets stuck together, so I shook them and kept the one I had the most grip of, it was peg 33, not far from where I dropped my gear. Sadly it meant I would be facing the cold wind, but I did have an empty peg either side and that meant I had a corner peg which I thought might be a good thing on the day. I drew peg 32 last year and took over 200lb from the margin and that was a positive help today. Neighbours for today were Steve Seagar on peg 2, Clayton Hudson on 31. Also in my section were carp slayers Martin McMahon on 4 and Tony Rixon on 30, the Gimp on 3 would prevent me from a last in section I thought as hed fish for silvers.

Short pole limits are top set + 3 sections, so I plumbed up two swims on angles at that length where I found the same depth, about 7ft. A 4x18 Preston Yellow with 0.14 to 16 PR36 was used here. I made 2 margin rigs up one for my left margin was a 4x12 PB Carp 3 with 0.16 to 16 PR36, and to my right margin where it was a little shallower a 4x10 Durafloat with same gear was assembled.

On the all in I fed meat on one long line, and 4mm pellet on the other, I fed both margins with 6mm pellet. I was already wearing all my clothing to keep me warm from the wind, but I warmed my hands up by putting them in the lake as the water was much warmer than the air temp. I started on my long lines, but there was nothing happening, no liners, no nothing. After about 35 mins I had a 3oz roach on 8mm meat, and on the hour I had an 8oz roach, despite all efforts this was the sum total of my meat fish today!!! An early try in the margins was fruitless with just the motherless minnows playing .

Two hours in and I had added 2 small skimmers to my lonely roach, these fell to banded 6mm pellet over the 4mms. Not long after this a decent bite on the pellet and I had hooked a carp, it was only 3lb but at least a carp! About halfway through I was scratching my head, our end of the lake was poor with Tony and Martin best with 4 carp, Steve had 1 and Clayton on the whitebait. I decided it was a good time to go for a toilet break. Returning it was obvious the anglers from peg 10 to 15 all had been catching and this was best area by far.

Returning to the peg Glenn opposite me on 7 had taken 2 carp and a few small skimmers but with 2 1/2 hours to go he started to get a few bites. I carried on throwing 6mms in my margin in the vain hope the carp would finally move in there, if there were indeed any carp in the area! With just over 2 hours to go another look in the left hand margin with 6mm banded pellet and the float buried and loads of elastic came out, carp on! Fish landed I fed a few more pellets and dropped the rig in again, it danced around bit as if plagued by minnows and then shot under again and it was another carp. The margin looked like this in my left, I caught next to the green stick ups before the tree where it was about 2 1/2 ft deep.
For the next hour I put carp in the net regularly, but then margin then began to slow as I feared it might. I went over to the right margin which had showed no signs of life and the float just sat there and did not move, just as I was about to give up I had a carp from here. Back in the left hand margin and although slow there were carp to be had and they were decent fish around 6 to 7lb. I was clawing my way back on the guys who'd caught well and I didn't feel I could waste to much time resting the left margin as I needed to motor. I took another 2 carp from the right margin and a more from the left including in the last 10 mins a 3lb and 5lb fish. What a contrast, 4 hours of tedium followed by 2 hours of bagging, I thought I had 90lb. In all I had fed just shy of 2 pints of 6mm pellets into the margins. Glenn opposite had also caught well late although he said nothing like me, and generally most people caught carp late on.

Tony started the weighing in on his peg and he had 76lb, Clayton struggled for 20lb+, and then my nets went a total of 96lb 5oz. I must have had 90lb of that in the last two hours. My weight was enough to win the section but Tony said he didn't know if it would make the frame. As it turned out I clung on to 2nd overall with Mike Nicholls winning the match with 117lb from I think peg 15, well done! Those last two carp were crucial as I beat Paul Elms by about 3lb and Bela Bakos had 88lb. Just for a change I have a catch shot of my ugly mug and a few of my fish.

A good match in the end, but I could have done something else for four hours lol! Full results will be on Tony / Mikes / Ken's / Chris's blogs lol!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Landsend Fishery Open

After a bit of mid week debate with Glenn we decided on a trip to Landsend, two weeks on the trot for me then. My BMW was packed to bursting again, but that's the last time as it goes back to the lease company end of next week. We got Shipham cafe which was also full to bursting, and it took a while to get the brekkie, but at least we got one as Ken Rayner wasn't allowed to order one! Found out the match was going to be split over match and lake 3, with the lakes being paid out separately so effectively fishing two matches. I was hoping for a draw on match lake as this had fished better last week and its also got more silvers. Luckily I got my wish and I pulled out peg 11 which can be a good one for silvers and carp.

I got to the peg and noticed how high the water level, I found out owner Mike Duckett had topped it up with water in the week. I thought I would set up for both carp and silvers, but hoped to get the silvers going. Rigs set up were two 0.3g PB Inters one with a band and one without, 18 PR36 to 0.14 was used. A 4x12 PB Carp as used last week for across in 2 1/2 ft of water with 0.14 to 16 PR412 for caster. Lastly a 4x12 dibber thingy for slapping.

When the match started I fed some 4mm pellets at 6m just off to my right and some at 11.5m and pinged a few with the catty across to the far bank to the reeds.

By the time I had done this Tony Rixon on 3 and Gordon Cannings on 5 both had carp on. I stated on my 6m line with banded 6mm and after about 5 mins the float dipped and I had a carp on and not the hoped for skimmer. I landed it safely and went out again but this time the float didn't move. Out to 11.5m and sadly the same result and not an indication. With 20 mins gone the silvers plan was not going well, and Kev Molton opposite on 13 was biteless, meanwhile Tony and Gordon were still catching. I picked up my slapping rig and went out to the reeds, I got some fast bites but hooked nothing and thought it was roach, but then I hit one and the elastic came out! It was an F1. Around 5 mins later I had another F1 and as these count as silvers I was thinking a few of these would be good weight builders. Then I hooked a carp which was around 5lb, and the fast bites stopped and despite me slapping elsewhere the F1's could not be relocated!

I was now sure I had to stick to silvers as Tony and Gordon were not slowing down and I heard Sean Townsend was also bagging. I tried my 6m line again and this time I had an immediate indication and I landed two skimmers in two drops. A little lull then followed so I fed a few more 4mm and not long after had another skimmer. It was awfully slow again and the 11.5m line again yielded nothing. Time for a rethink, and I had a pint of caster with me so fed a pot of them across to the island just in 2 1/2 ft of water. Leaving that to settle I went back on pellet lines and had 1 more simmer at 6m but that was my last fish from there all match. Finally a bite at 11m but it was from a carp.

Time to try the caster, and using double caster on the hook I had the obligatory couple of small roach and rudd. I shoved all the shot down to the hook length and then started to get a few perch which were around 8oz. It quickly slowed up so I refed and tried the other lines without luck. Back on the caster I had an F1 and a few more perch, before I had to rest it again. I started to feed some 6mm meat at 5m straight in front of me, hoping the skimmers might prefer that.

The caster line was by far the best area as I had a tench and a chub from it, but I could tell it was slowing up as I'd get less bites from it after every feed, and eventually with about 2 hours to go it dried up. I struggled the last two hours for silvers, I changed the 11m line to worm and caster and this gave me a couple of perch and a tench but nothing else. The 6m meat line was also quiet with just 1 skimmer and 1 carp. In between to rest the lines I slapped a pellet in various places across and a few carp but no F1's.

When the match finished I had really enjoyed the day but was gutted that the silvers wouldn't keep coming especially the skimmers. As it turned out my silvers went 26lb 1oz, and my mainly accidental carp 38lb 3oz for a total of 64lb 4oz. I ended up second in the silvers and a pick up, and was beaten by Paul Faires on 24 who had 30lb of mainly skimmers.

The match was won by Tony Rixon off peg 3 with 209lb, and Sean Townsend on peg 18 had 170lb for 2nd. On lake 3 Anton Page on 50 (where I was last week) won with 168lb and Adrian Clark on 46 had 117lb. What a difference a week makes!

Glenn managed 94lb on the paste from peg 21, he also managed to snap his number 4!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Landsend Fishery Open

Fancied a change this weekend, nothing against Hill View but just wanted to spice things up, and so Landsend was the option I chose for Sunday. Bela Bakos was also looking for a match and someone to give a lift to (as Mike Nicholls was on family duty) and so we shared the van. The weekend had started well as I spent a few hours down at the memorial ground on Friday watching Rovers put 5 past Chester, UTG. It was good to watch it with long time mates, Glenn, Mark Jefferies and Paul Benson. Saturday I planned to make some rigs up, this was postponed when the neice and nephew turned up, as 6 year old and hooks don't go together! Managed to get some rigs and banded hook lengths done later in the day, more than enough to cover a number being trashed lol! I set up a mixture of 4x10, 4x12 and 4x14 Preston PB Carp 3 floats as in the picture.

After a nice breakfast in Shipham Cafe we soon arrived at a full looking car park, and the usual slayers were in evidence. The lakes being used were match lake and lake 3. I've never done that well on lake 3 but it had fished well last week and so I didn't mind where I drew. Pulling out peg 50 sounded half way along lake 3 and not that good, but I was told it done well in recent weeks on the w/l although this was when it was the only peg in for a few pegs, and today I had Nick Duckett on peg 51 next to me. Venue expert Tony Rixon told me it was a great margin peg with a bush about 8 or 9 metres to my right  (actually 12 metres to my right) and I was happy enough with what I'd heard.

My far bank looked inviting, even though there was no shelf to speak of. My 4x12 with 0.14 to 18 PR36 for banded pellet was used here.

The margin bush looked like this, and the depth out by the bush was almost identical to across,  but right against the bank it was shallower. A 4x12 was again called upon, but this time with 0.16 to help pull them out from the bush.

You'll notice on both these pictures that there is a ripple on the water, this was before the match started, the majority of the match the lake was flat calm. I set up a rig to fish meat but I never had a bite on this, also a rig to fish tight into the nearside margin  and I never had a bite on this!

To start the match I fed some 4mm pellet across the far side against that bear bank, some meat at 5m, and pellet down to the bush which I continued to feed with a catty all day. I started on the meat at 5m (well it worked for Tony last week) and after 15 mins of boredom, and watching Paul Faires on peg 41 and Gordon Cannings on 42 catch straight away I was already behind. Nick took a carp on the far bank and so I shipped out long with a 6mm pellet in the band and fed a few 4mm with the catty. After an hour I had 1 roach and 1 small skimmer, and had spooked 4 carp and lost 1 fouler. I decided to feed another far bank line to my right and this time I just toss potted a few 6mm pellets in and fished the same on the hook, after 15 mins I finally landed a carp of about 5lb. Not long after I had a 1 1/2lb carp before this went quiet, going back to the bare bank I lost a fouler and then had a 1lb carp, Other than a skimmer that was my lot from the bare bank.

At this stage the weather was lovely, sun had been out and I'd been fishing in a T shirt, this was the best part, as Nick was about 6 carp to my 3 and only Phil, Fabio, Harding below me on 46 was doing worse than me. I managed to foul a couple more fish but as the sun went behind the clouds the fishing got worse across. Trying down by the bush produced a bite first time and a 5lb fish, but despite carp showing themselves on the surface around the bush no indications came my way.

The middle of the match was dire, and Fabio went for a walk and came back and said they were emptying it on Match lake. I couldn't get a liner let a lone a bite, but Nick next door had also struggled after his early fish. I did sneak a couple more carp and a couple of silvers from the 6mm swim, and I hooked a decent carp by the bush on 8mm pellet which was 6lb. Another carp took the 8m pellet and this was near 9lb, but I shall never know as it spat the hook out at the net!

I took 2 carp from the margin in the last hour, I was fishing right next to the bush and gave it the old heave ho on the strike. Sadly there were no other bites in between. It was a poor day and typical of a Landsend struggle when you land half of what you hook, Nick next to me had experienced the same. I weighed in for the hell of it, and 34lb was my lot, Nick had 39lb and Fabio had packed up. 48lb was top on my bank, but opposite there were two 60's and a 70lb for Kev Moulton from end peg 70.

The match was won by Bela on peg 19 with a lowly 216lb!!!!!  Bela caught by slapping a rig with either 6 or 8mm pellet, although after an hour he was a long way behind Tony Rixon on peg 18. In the end though Bela gave Tony a spanking as Tony finished 2nd with 149lb, despite having too many in one net. Meat head Craig Edmunds came 3rd from peg 7 with 143lb which included a lot of late carp to meat, and 30lb of skimmers on pellet. I believe Rod Wooten won the silvers with a huge 50lb from peg 22.

Another poor day for me, but I'm just waiting to turn the corner and get a few again. Well done to Bela on catching his first double ton, I had a Guinness or two to celebrate on the way home!