Sunday, 27 September 2015

Commercial House Round 2 - K&A Canal Seend / Semington

Having not been able to fish the first round of this seasons CH league I put all thoughts of an individual league win to one side. Having won this league last year I had to ask Glenn to pick up my prizes (they are given out on the first match of following league) and I was well chuffed when he gave me a cheque for £62 and this little lot...
I must admit I was really looking forward to being back on the bank after missing the last two weekends, although if I had the choice I'd rather be on a river than a canal at this time of the year. A very busy week at work meant Saturday morning would be spent making rigs etc. From the info I had gleaned the canal was full of skimmers and that was the main target, with practise weights of up to 40lb being caught it all sounded great! I spent Saturday afternoon painting fence panels and that left my arms aching a bit.

Woke up at 6:15am Sunday and that was just before the alarm was about to ring. You may wonder (or you may not lol) why I've not mentioned about shitting my pants for a while, well that's because I've been given a device which I have to use every morning to "empty" my bowels. I've been doing this since August, and it has given me my life back. Getting up 30-40 mins earlier than I normally would to use the device is nothing as I then don't need to go to the loo 10 to 15 times a day and night. Happy days. The theme of shit may continue!

Got to Spencers club in plenty of time for the 8am draw, and the talk was as ever team needed to draw one of the end pegs. That didn't happen and we ended up on peg 7 (out of 9 pegs). I was drawn at C section which was a section down below the "barge pub". I followed James Carty and as we got to the last part of the road to go into the track we stopped, the gate was locked! We waited about 15 mins for Vic Abbot to arrive and unlock the gate, by this time the road was solid with about 25 cars!!!

A nice short walk to my peg which looked OK, but then I knew nothing of the area.

Mike Withey was on my left and he fishes up here quite a bit, he felt the first 3 pegs and the end peg would be hard to beat but we should all catch skimmers. To my right Alan Jones was merrily setting up and we had a good bit of banter. Mark Harper walked past me and said it was a good depth across and I should chuck a little feeder out, I didn't have one with me, ummmm. Anyway when plumbed it at 16m which was across it was 10 inches deep, ummmmm no need for the feeder then lol! Set up a rig for 5m and another for 13m left and right which was out of the main boat channel, these were supposed to be my main lines, I set up a rig for right across but wasn't expecting to need to use it.

On the whistle I fed 3 balls of gbait 13m left, chopped w&c 13m right, and a ball of gbait at 5m. The 5m line produced 1 missed bite and after 15 mins I was trying my 13m lines, 30 mins later I had 1 see through roach, Mike had only had 1 missed bite. A couple of small roach came from another try at 5m but I was going no where fast. I'd seen Mike Martin on 5 and Nicky Collins on 9 catch a few small skimmers fishing further across so I had to go looking over. It was very shallow, and I ended up fishing just short of 14.5m where I had about 14" of water, I plopped in a ball of gbait here and gave it 10 mins to settle. This was a good move as when I went over this new line I had some bites from roach and over about 45 minutes to an hour I had 4 or 5 little 4oz skimmers the target fish. Sad to say I never saw another skimmer all match.

The day just got worse, and as the strong autumn sun shone down and the boats came though the canal just switched off for me. My 13m lines never produced at all, Another long swim was fed but only gave up a few tiny roach, and my main line at 14,5m was good for not a lot. Worm failed, and a desperation pot of squatt and caster tight over for an eel or any bonus was also a waste of time. To be honest I was quite happy for the all out as fishing 14.5m in a nasty wind (came along halfway through) for the odd shitter was not much fun. I had tried to catch better fish but had failed, but I don't think 5lb of bits was possible from this rat tip. Nicky Collins did really well to win our section with 8lb of skimmers, he went right over straight away and fished a good match. Alan had 2lb 7oz, then I weighed 2lb 13oz, Mike Withey was at a loss to explain why his local venue had fished so bad as he plonked 10oz on the scales. Pegs 1 and 2 both had 5lb, and I ended up middle of the whole section but 2 out of 5 points for A div, yuk!

Back at the results I hadn't done so bad in my team as Liam Braddell, Mark Harper and Martin Barrett had all come last in their sections, errr lol! The match was won by Welsh legend John Harvey fishing for the other Thatchers team (who won on the day) he had 22lb of small skimmers in A section. This section gave up 4 of the top 5 anglers on the day, only Mike Kent on the very end peg F9 split them with 13lb of skimmers. Sadly the vast majority of anglers memories of the day were bad ones, with many saying if this venue is in again next year they will not fish. I think it is daft to fish a canal before November, there are simply too many boaters which mess it all up, and this canal is just to shallow to cope.

Next week is the first ATWL and that will be fished on the Avon between Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites. Doesn't appear to be any rain forecast between now and then so the river will be clear on the day, that means pike trouble for some!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

November 1996

Have had to run the eldest back to Plymouth for her second year of University today, so I missed the first round of the Commercial House at Keynsham. It seems it fished pretty well with plenty of small and very small fish feeding. Bathampton won the A div with Shaun Townsend winning the match from peg 29 at Swineford with 17lb of roach and perch. There were plenty of double figure weights it seems. Thanks to Glenn Bailey for picking up all my prizes and money for the league win last year.

My first match in November 1996 was on Saturday 2nd at Woodlands View on their winter league. I drew on Deans peg 26 and didn't catch a great deal at all, just 2 carp on the pole and 3 on a maggot feeder for 14lb 4oz. No record of points so I must have done crap lol! The next day I was back on the river for the local Angling Times Winter League, I drew at Barton Farm which is up at Bradford-on-Avon. I drew in the deeper slower part but with a clear river was not expecting a great deal. With no talk of bream in my area I fed a waggler and maggot line and a pole line at 10m with caster & hemp. It was very slow on the waggler with just odd small fish, the pole line was very hard too but when I caught here it was a roach of 2oz. Going nowhere with an hour to go and with a bit of bank runner info I threw in 5 balls of gbait on the pole and had my best run of fish of the match. 3lb 11 1/2oz  was enough to get me 2nd in the section, and the team were 2nd on the day too,

The following weekend was another double header, first up the Moorlands Farm W/L where I sat on peg 60 on Meadow. I fed finely chopped worms on the pole at 11.5m, left that to settle and chucked the maggot feeder for the first hour which I sneaked 2 carp on, I fished light with a 20 to 0.10! Mind you on the pole I fished a 22 to 0.09 with small hook baits, 1 skimmer, 1 carp and 3lb of roach kept me fairly busy. The team came 3rd on the day and I chipped in with 13 points out of a possible 19. Next day it was the Poppy match on the river, I drew the first peg past the long ash tip field and wasn't really happy with my chances. Being an open I went all out on the gbait feeder fishing down the same hole all day long, I chucked right across. I took 4 chub and 1 roach using a double red maggot hook bait. I got snapped by 2 chub on 18 to 1.5lb and stepped up to 2lb maxima, but I wrote in my diary I missed too many bites through the day. Probably fished to long a hook length or didn't balance the feeder correctly, you live and learn. That said my 7lb 6oz was 13th overall and worth £52.

Continuing the carpy leagues I was back at Woodlands on Saturday 16th November, I think I was on Front Deans. I do remember this match as Des Shipp told me to fish a waggler where I was, and to fish 2 no 11's down the line and watch for bites! A 3BB wag with a thin insert it was then with a 20 to 0.10. I fed lightly with maggots and after the first hour I had 4 carp and could see I was beating everyone, then the carp decided to move and 3 pegs away started to catch. I never had a bite on the pole line and managed only 2 more carp and 1 roach for the remainder of the match. 16lb beat most around me but many more. The following day the ATWL was up on the K&A at Hungerford, a new place for me and the last time I fished it! I blanked! In fact only 1 angler caught in my section 1/2oz and 2nd in section money had to be drawn. My lot had 4 blanks and still came 4rd on the day, rat tip!

Saturday 23rd November and back to Moorlands where the weather up here had turned distinctly wintry with snow and frosts. I was once again on Meadow pool, peg 57 this time. Chopped worm this week was useless and I never had a bite on it. Luckily switching between wag and maggot feeder (both with 20 to 0.10) I snagged 7 carp for 17lb 7oz and 15 points out of 19.

Last match of November 1996 and it was back at Woodlands View again desperately hoping to not let the team down again. I drew a different lake this time, Arles peg 26, and this meant I had an island to chuck to. I started on the maggot feeder 10ft off the island as I was told to do, I had 1 carp in the first hour. A look on the pole on double maggot where I had been dripping in maggs was a waste of 30 minutes. I sat it out on the feeder and took another 3 carp. The pole line was still dead and I fed it a little heavier and took a carp with 30 mins to go, I fed it heavier and had 2 in the last 15 mins! 18lb 8oz on a cold day turned out to be good and I was 7th and last in the frame.

Back to today and it will be another diary dip next week as I have my 47th Birthday next weekend a little trip to Plymouth. Tight lines!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Turner 400 River Thames Radcott

I had a call a few weeks back asking if I'd like to fish this 4 man team match for my Thatchers lot, I said yes as I hadn't fished this part of the Thames before and it would be a good experience. It did mean an early start (getting up at 5:45) to get to the Swan Hotel in Radcott for the 7:30 draw, although most of us got there for 8am as James Carty did the draw for us early. James handed me my peg number, it was peg 2 at Radcott, and it turned out I was downstream of the pub on the opposite bank.

Only a short drive into a field, lifted all my gear over a fence and then took a short walk over a bridge and and got to my peg with no fuss. There were no end of good teams and anglers fishing this event, and local knowledge would be hard to beat, but I was told I was on a good roach peg so I hoped for the best. Got out my first rig a 1gm pencil rig and started to plumb up from 4m to find the contours of the river. It was very shallow at 4m and I was disappointed to find the river just slowly deepened off only beginning to flatten up at 13m where it was about 8ft deep. Whilst this may not seem too bad the issue was all the flow was closer to me, so going past 13m would put me into slower flow. It also limited my options for finding other places to feed, or at least I felt it did. The pencil rig had a 22 to 0.08 on it, I also set up a 0.5g float with strung shot to fish hemp with a 20 to 0.08. Lastly for the 13m line a 2gm rig with 18 to 0.09 in case bleak were an issue, A chopped worm rig was also set up to fish at 11m at 2 o'clock a 4 x18 with 0.14 to 14. I did set up a waggler but never used it.

The picture of the river here looks like it has colour in it, it did look clear in close but I think it must have had a lot of suspended solids in it, plus during the day a lot of weed was coming down and lots of boats stirred things up.

To start the match I cupped in 5 balls of gbait/soil containing some hemp/casters and a few pinkies. I also bait droppered in some worms and casters on my choppy line. Went out on the 1gm rig to start with a caster, but after 5 runs through without a bite it was on with a maggot. I got bites on a maggot but it was from very small dace, 2 little perch and the odd bleak on the drop, after an hour I'd not seen a roach! Dropping in on my choppy with a dendra I had an instant bite and a 2oz perch, 3 more of them before it died so I refed and went back out to 13m. I had been loose feeding this line with hemp and casters, but it was now bleak central and if I did get a bait to the bottom I didn't get a bite very often. I stopped feeding casters and just put hemp in the catty,

The lads either side were struggling too and at this stage roach were not feeding. I'd fed a bit of gbait and maggots at 7m from the start in case I had to fish for bleak, so I dropped in on this with my whip rig and never had a bite. It was crazy my 13m line was alive with little bleak but they would not come in any closer, maybe it was because of the shallower water? Even using my 2gm rig with 3 no8 bulked below would not often beat the bleak. Trying the choppy gave me a couple more small perch and that petered out soon after. In the red hot sunshine it was tough going shipping in and out to 13m catching tiny fish but it was all I could do. A few tries on hemp were fruitless and I don't think anyone caught on it around me. A lot of weed kept coming floating down making trying to get a rig in very hard.

Going into the last couple of hours the bleak went from insane to non existent for 20 mins, odd gudgeon and 1/2 dace and roach were all I caught before the bleak returned. My best spell by far was the last 15 mins when after a run of little roach and bleak on single pinkie I then had three 4oz roach as the match ended. Jamie Cox of Garbolino BMV had wandered up and down a couple of times and we had a good chat and I gave him my casters, I hope he catches more with them than I did!

The scales had to come up from peg 12, and I watched them weigh from Steve Long on peg 5 (he'd struggled for 3lb), there had been some decent weights of bleak below and I was regretting not being able to catch them in close. The lad below me (on a bit of a point) had caught them at 4m and he weighed 6lb 12oz.  My net went more than I though with 5lb 12 1/2oz, then the end peg beat me with 7lb again a lot of bleak on the whip, so I had been beat both sides, by bleak. Bleak fishing is not really a strong point for me, but I am sure if I had caught them feeding on the whip line I could have had another pound of the critters.

Back at the pub it was clear to see that my lot had only done average, in fact My weight was worth 14 points out of 26, Lee Trivett had just under 4lb for 16 points, James Carty 6lb for 13 points, and Martin Barrett 2lb 10oz for 10 points. I didn't stay for the results but it looked like Drennan Oxford had romped it.

Well that's it for me for a couple of weeks now, more family commitments for the next two weekends so no fishing until 26th Sept. I'll have to dig the diary out again!