Sunday, 31 May 2015

Tony Rixon's Float Only Series

I had a nice week with a day off work in the middle to spend the day with the wife as we have been married 20 years this month. Celebrated it again Saturday night at San Carlos Italian restaurant in Bristol, great food a cracking bottle of wine and my wallet was considerably lighter! Woke up a few times in the night and it was raining and windy every time, same at 7am when I got up.

Travelling on my own today as Glenn is off getting a sun tan. Packed my car and was on my way and hoping the rain would abate. I'm not sure if it was the wine but I somehow managed to drive off without my pellets, I only realised when I was about half way to Viaduct. I rang the wife and asked did I leave them outside, no she said but you left the shed door wide open! Not to worry I can buy pellets at the fishery.

Bumped into Gordon Cannings at Canards Well and we had breakfast in quick time as it was quiet today. At the fishery and the car park was quite busy, I paid my monies to Tony and not long after pulled my peg. I was fairly shocked but also happy to see that I had drawn peg 123 again, once again I had not drawn Carey. I was told that Ian Parsons had taken 44lb of tench from this peg on Thursday on corn, and whilst a section win was my primary concern I'd happily catch some of them too. My section went round to Mike Nicholls on 116 with Clint Wojtyla 121, Tom Magnall on 119 and a Scouse lad whose name I forget on 118. To my right in the next section I had Lee Wherret on 124 and Shaun Townsend on 125 both of those guys have been doing well here.

I set up rigs as follows; a 3AAA waggler for banded pellet to the top bank, a 4x12 PB Carp 3 for banded pellet at 13m, a 0,2g PC for meat at 6m, and a 4x10 Durafloat for the margin at about 6m. 0.17 hooklength was used on all rigs, with a PR36 to 16 for banding, and a 12 PR478 on corn and meat. Plumbing up I did a stupid thing and held my pole on the 6m section with all the sections on, the wind blew and the section snapped in my hands, twat! Luckily I had a spare.

On the whistle I put a big pot of corn and 4mm pellet in the margin, fed some 6mms to the top bank, and cupped some 4mm and 6mm to 13m. It didn't take long for indications, but sadly the first two fish I hooked were foulers, though after 30 mins I had 2 in the net and lost another. Lee and Shaun were also suffering foulers.

I gave the 13m line an hour and had 4 carp before it went quite dead, I decided on cheeky look in the margin and a tench first drop was followed by a small skimmer then nothing. Not to worry early doors. Back out long and with nothing doing I picked the waggler up. The wind was blowing off my back (the guys opposite really did look uncomfortable) and that actually made feeding and casting to the top bank very tricky. I did catch a carp here and missed a couple of bites, but this soon also stopped showing any indications. Clint on 121 had started well in my section, but nobody else was doing much. Lee and Shaun were still fishing long and were struggling, but when I went out long I hit a carp straight away, but then had a number of indications which I didn't connect with. Back in the margin and a big skimmer and a tench and then nothing again.

A pattern was emerging, clearly the fish were not in proper feeding mood, and virtually every time I went in on a rested line I would get a fish or at least some indications before the fished moved off. I took a few more carp on the waggler, but the last two hours here were impossible as the wind got so strong I couldn't hold the float in place. The long pellet line became redundant, but I took a few carp on my 6m meat line, as well as more tench and a few carp in the margin. I tried toss potting, loose feeding and big pot feeding in the margin, none seemed to make any difference it was always a couple of fish then nothing. I suppose it was a steady day of catching by working all your lines, but it never felt like bagging, but the carp I caught were a good size. After the match I reckoned I had 100lb of carp and 25lb of silvers, and I thought that would do me well in the section based upon what was being said,

The scales came up from peg 132, and Shaun was top on this bank with 161lb (he had a good spell on the waggler and had a few late meat fish), Lee then weighed 116lb. My turn, my silvers went 24lb, my second net of carp (clicked at 40lb) went 41lb, and my first net of carp (clicked at 62lb) went 75lb and so I lost 5lb! Hmmm how did I get that net do wrong?? My total weight was recorded at 135lb, and as it turned out I did win my section as Clint was next best with 109lb.

Nice to make a good start to the league, and I feel like I fished a reasonable match but maybe pellet in the margin alone might have been better than corn???

Winner today was Tony with 170lb+ from form peg 114 (he always seems to do well in this league) and he just beat Craig Edmunds who drew 96. Rich Lacey was 3rd with 169lb (exactly what he had on his clicker!) and Shaun was 4th,

Silvers was won by Glenn Calvert with 44lb I think, I believe the top 4 silvers weights all came from Carey.

I really have to stop breaking things, it is costing me an arm and a leg. Back down Viaduct again next week for the spring league, with temperatures supposed to be rising the carp might be spawning, that might mean a tricky day....

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Viaduct Spring League round 3

Must start off by saying what a great day out I had last Sunday watching Rovers win at Wembley, a lot of beer was consumed over the 18 hour day. To say I was a tad tired in work on Monday would be a slight understatement!

Back to this Sunday and Glenn was doing the honours driving, we stopped at Canards Well for breakfast and there was a lack of staff which although did not prevent us getting a brekkie it did take ages to pay, and only when I threaten to walk out did someone take my money. At the fishery talk was of how hard Carey had fished yesterday, and the feeling that the carp were really wanting to get started with spawning. I really hoped for a peg on Campbell and not one on Lodge (same as last time), but sadly my drawing arm let me down badly and peg 57 on Lodge has been one of the worst pegs on the league. That said fish have fins and I did once win a match off it many years ago.

Sadly I won't be spending too much time on this blog as things really did not go my way today, and it is not even worth mentioning the detail of my rigs since I only really caught on one. Peg 57 has nice pallet to fish to at 16m, but because the level is down it is very shallow and I found 2 feet of water about 2m out from the pallet, I never had anything here!  There is a shallow margin in close by some reeds, and I set up a rig to fish various baits over groundbait at 4m. I foul hooked 1 perch here! The only rig I caught on today was a 0.2g PC with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet.

On the whistle I cupped in some 6mm pellets straight out in front at 14.5m and wasted bait in other areas. Shipping out with an 8mm pellet in the band I missed a bite fairly quickly, a couple of minutes later I went to lift the rig and a fish was on, had I fouled it? This was a heavy fish and it took a fair bit of getting in, when I finally got in the landing net it looked like a 12lb common. I picked the net up and I'm not quite sure how but I snapped the landing net handle on the bush. With no spare I got my extendable river bank sticks out and used them, heavy but they wouldn't break lol!  I shipped back out and fired a few 6mm pellets over the the top with a catty and dropped the rig in, it shot under straight away and another carp was hooked! Steve Seagar next door had a little moan at this, but no long after the carp had made its escape and straightened the hook. Here endeth the activity!

Odd fish were coming out but it was a slow start for most except Fabio on 66 and Ray Haywood on 64. After a couple of hours all I had added to my 1 carp was a few tiny skimmers, Steve was carpless, and Martin Preston on 53, Trig on 55 and Ben Haag on 59 all had 2 carp.  Not much was caught in the middle of the match, and in fact it was 3 hours and 35 mins into the match when I landed carp number 2, which looked like a 10lb common, on the 14.5m line. It was a one off and the remainder of the match all I caught was the 1 foul hooked perch in close.

My league was over, though I should have guessed that when I drew the peg. I weighed in, and the 2 carp went 23lb, and my silvers 5lb for a very lowly 28lb. That weigh actually beat 3 people in my 7 peg section which just goes to show had hard Lodge is fishing at present. My section was won by the ultra consistent Trig with 99lb, just beating Martin Preston. Lodge lake was won by Andy Power on peg 73, who after a poor start got things going in the second half of the match catching long on worm and caster, and in his margin over gbait, he did really well. Just a couple of pegs away Dan White had just the 1 carp, and some other Viaduct regulars found Lodge hard going.

Over on Carey Glenn had been slaying the carp on the lead from virtually his first cast, and he ended with 211lb which was good enough for 3rd and last in the money (just beating Tony Rixon by 1lb). Winner on the day was Giles Cochrane on peg 86 with 280lb all on the lead, Giles has taken this league by storm and not had less than 200lb I think.

I took my gear back to the car and as I took my jacket off my iphone fell out and onto the concrete floor and smashed the screen. My day was now complete lol! Although I had not had the best of days I had enjoyed the banter on the lake and you have to go through the bad days to appreciate the good ones. I still had a smile on my face and was pleased for my travelling partner, and being back here next week I at least know I cannot draw Lodge again, yay!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Viaduct Spring League

Having Alan Oram guest for me on the first match and win the section I was set up nicely for round two. However, I had picked up man flu earlier in the week and it seemed to go to my chest as I was struggling breathing and continually coughing, ended up staying in bed most of Friday. I decided on Saturday I had improved a bit and hoped that would continue on Sunday so with Glenn driving I set a few rigs up but really didn't do much.

Sunday morning and after a lot of "ahem-ing" to clear my sinuses and chest I felt a bit better. A cooked breakfast in Canards Well was also a nice way to start the day, although a trip to the loo soon after was not!

Plenty of famous faces at the fishery and it's not really possible to draw a section without very good anglers in. With Campbell, Carey and Lodge in I hoped to get a peg on Campbell as first choice, Carey 2nd and Lodge 3rd. Into the draw tin and out comes 69 on Lodge, hmmm, Glenn had it on Thursday Costcutter and did well but it fished hard all round. Glenn drew 96 which can be very good on Carey. Des Shipp commented that he would draw next to me, and he then drew peg 78 and said, see told you I would! Between Trigger and myself we explained to Des that 69 is not next to 78 PMSL, and Trig reminded Des of that on the lake so all on Carey heard lol!

Off to my peg and I was given some great info, lead rod with conker, meat long and short, pellet long and in margin, oh and Glenn caught on paste! Great anglers with all different advice because of how they had recently caught on the lake / and the way they like to fish. I tried to think about all this and stuck to what I tend to do. So a lead rod was set up but was for back up really, at 13m towards the aerator I had a 4x12 PB Carp for banded pellet and a paste rig. A 0,25g PC for meat at 5m, and a 4x10 durafloat for the margins. 0.16 to 0.18 was the main stay of line.

Even before the match had started  I had made two visits to the fishery toilet and I was worried about my lot today. I was walking back to the peg when the all in was shouted, and just as I started feeding some 6mm pellets at 13m Mash on the Monk had a carp, and the lad opposite him on 66 had one. My pellet rig sat there at 13m and after 20 mins I was biteless, while Mash had 3 carp. I was in a Welsh sandwich and the lads either side had chucked the lead to start, to my left he had nowt but to my right he did have a carp and a skimmer. I tried my paste rig at 13m and 15 mins later that was up the bank and I chucked the lead about 18m and fed a few 8mm pellets. I spent about 40 mins on the tip and had 3 skimmers, which really didn't do my confidence for carp any good (there is no silvers payout either). The lad to my right was now catching on meat at about 7m, silvers and odd carp, the lad to my left had 1 skimmer and 1 carp on the lead. I didn't get the Welsh lads names cos they couldn't understand me!

Two hours into the match I had my first carp of the day, it came on my 5m meat line and I foul hooked one here a bit after and had a skimmer. I spent the next 2 1/2 hours watching fish being caught around me, whilst I had 1 skimmer on paste and lost a fouler, it was very grim, then I took a carp on the meat again. Welsh lefty had been stuck on 2 carp, but with 2 hours to go he went up to the empty pallet on 67 and had a good run of carp, but lost as many. On my right I was glad of the bush as Welshy 2 was emptying it, whilst the other side of him Trevor Senior had no carp at all! I had been throwing meat into my left margin for ages but it never produced a bite.

With an hour to go I had another carp on the meat line, this one had to be near 14lb but I could only foul one other carp here. I started throwing handfuls of pellets into my right margin by the bush (less than a top set) and I obviously left this far too late because I had 3 drop ins, missed a bite and had 2 commons, the largest about 12lb landed after the whistle.

I knew I had been well and truly spanked today, and this match would be a right off. My section started on the Monk where Mash had 115lb, another Welsh lad on 66 had 221lb (he might have won the match), Welsh 2 on 68 had 70lb, then my 5 carp went 51lb and my 5 skimmers 9lb 4oz. Welshy 3 on 70 destroyed my already messed up ass putting 180lb on the scales. Then Trev had 22lb of silvers and he never hooked a carp on peg 71, lastly Ade Crawley struggled badly on 73, so I ended up beating just 2 people.

Amazing that those carp seemed happy to sit in 70 and not move, he caught on meat. Maybe I would have caught more had I fished up to the rope, and in my RH margin sooner, but I honestly thought the carp would move around a bit! Chip shop sausage today.

I never spoke to Glenn during the match, this was due to him dropping his iphone in the lake before the start, oops! He did retrieve it by scooping it out with his landing net on his third attempt, his first two scoops got a roach and a eel! We shot off as we had no money and by now I had no pants and I didn't want to mess up Glenn's passenger seat. I know there were some 200lb+ weights on Carey Trig on peg 98 and Giles Cochrane on 94. I'm sure Chris Fox will have the full result, I hope!

No fishing next weekend as I'm off to Wembley on Sunday, I certainly hope that will be a better day out than this Sunday lol!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Viaduct Fishery Saturday Open

After a stressful few days at work I was really glad of the long weekend, that said when I woke up Saturday morning I felt pretty knackered and for a few minutes not really up for fishing. Of course after a cuppa and a look out the window the world seemed brighter. Drove down to the fishery with Glenn Bailey who had won at Avalon on Thursday, and we had a nice easy drive down no bank holiday traffic. It was my first time back at Viaduct since a poor day in the winter, but of course the weights were now much higher, though I must say I am not built for bagging huge weights! I said to Glenn I hardly every draw on Carey Lake, but if I did today I would try to fish for the skimmers. A good turnout of 40 anglers and we were spread over Campbell and Carey, so where would I draw? Well I avoided Carey again, and spookily I drew peg 123 on Campbell which is where my Sub Alan Oram drew on the league match!

Glenn drew peg 135 on the car park bank of Campbell and he quite fancied it. As for my peg it had been fishing well recently, and Gary O'Shea told me that on Thursday Ian Parsons had a 150lb on it. When I got to the peg the wind was blowing right in my face, and it was troublesome all day. With this in mind I set up my pole to only fish 11.5m out. Now most locals (Viaduct Slayers) here fish 14.5 to 16m normally, but I have fished this peg before and managed to catch short. At 11.5m I set up a 0.2g PC float (rugby ball job) with 0.16 to 18 PR36 for banded pellet, A 4x14 PB Carp 3 for meat at 5m with 0.14 to 14 PR478, and lastly on the pole a 4x12 PB Carp 3 for the left hand margin at 11m. I did also set up a straight lead to fish to the pallet on 122.

On the whistle I fed about 100 6mm pellets at 11.5m, a good dose of pellets in the margin, and I fed some 11mm pellets to the pallet. The young lad next to me was called Mark Wynne (hope I spelt that right) and he started short for the skimmers. I shipped out with a 6mm in the band and the float cocked and within seconds I hooked a carp. In fact I had 3 carp in 3 drops in no time at all. All I did was top up with a kinder pot of 6mm, trying to keep them on the deck. After the first hour I had 7 carp and I hadn't lost a fish! Mark had 3 carp, but opposite on 118 Dan White had taken a few carp on his slapping method.

The long pole line went iffy and so it was time to chuck the lead, I must admit I was struggling to feed to the pallet as the wind was a nightmare, my firs cast on the lead was off the mark too! Next chuck and a small 3lb carp. I tried it again and I had a couple of liners and then the rod went off, this fish boiled on the bank and then felt like it was in or through a snag and I lost it. That was enough of the lead for me! Back on the long pole and decent skimmer led me to thinking the carp were absent, so I fed another decent amount of pellet. I did catch another couple of carp but then things went a bit bandy when I lost two foul hookers and then bites dried up. A look in the margin where I had been loose feeding 6mm pellet all the time produced one tiny skimmer. The meat line was also devoid of any fish.

After a good first 90 mins I now had a tough time, an mid match was a struggle with the odd carp and skimmer, meanwhile Mark next me hit a purple patch on the lead cast over his long pole line and went ahead of me. Another look in the margin produced a good skimmer, a tench and I pulled out of skimmer, but I needed carp as silvers were no good to me now (I thought). I fed heavier down the margin with the catty and with 2 hours to go tried it again, and for an hour it was absolutely solid with bites coming instantly. It really slowed, probably cos I milked it a bit too much but I felt I had brought myself back into contention, and with 1 hour to go I dropped in my 3rd net for carp. A couple more carp out long was good, but my meat line only produced 1 tench. I did manage some more carp and tench in the margin, including a couple of doubles. My last fish a tench of 2lb came just before the whistle. Mark next to me hooked a carp about 10 seconds after the whistle as he tried to slap as the wind had dropped, he put it back of course. I reckoned I had about 150lb but I do struggle sometimes to judge the weight of big carp!

I had no idea had Carey had fished but I could see that Dan opposite had finished really well and Mark Poppleton seemed to have caught in his margin on 114 nearly all day. When the scaled up from Glenn it was obvious that end of Campbell had fished poor, Mark next to me weighed 165lb 12oz, and I was really not sure if I had that much. My silvers went nearly 18lb and my first carp net about 45lb, which was about 10lb less than I had on my clicker! Luckily for me the other two nets had a little bit more, and my final weight was 166lb 12oz. Yep exactly 1lb more than Mark, which was dead handy as that put me 4th overall and last in the main frame,

Final result (without exact weights sorry, as had to dash off as it was Glenn's Dad's birthday)

1st Ben Haag 200lb+ peg 80
2nd Dan White 180lb+ peg 118
3rd Mark Poppleton 171lb peg 114
4th ME 166lb 12oz.

I think the silvers was won by Nigel Bartlett on Carey, only about 31lb which is low compared to late. In fact I was only a couple of pounds off getting 3rd in the silvers.

Well I enjoyed that today, a good bit of pole fishing and I seemed to get the feeding right with not too many foul hookers, pulled out of a couple of fish though which cost me 3rd, but everyone looses a few. Today I found a 6mm in the band to be far superior to an 8mm, that may have been the slower fall that helped?