Sunday, 22 May 2016

Rovers v City Charity Match - Shiplate Fishery

Some months back I was asked to join a Rovers team for a match a Duchess Pond, sadly I could not get time off work to make that match (which the City won) and so when the request came again for a match at Shiplate I was happy to oblige. There had been another match but that was a carpers 48 hour affair which the Gas won, meaning today's match would see one of the teams go into the lead. I was joined by Glenn Bailey who picked me up in a van so we had room for all our kit, sadly the van is not his so it was a one off, but we could do with one between us! We had a breakfast at Shipham with fellow Gasheads Mark Tanner and Shaun Townsend, it was the first time I'd had a brekky here since it changed ownership, it took a very long time to arrive (only 2 other people in mind) and whilst it was nice it wasn't a patch on the old one sadly.

Arriving at the fishery the first person I saw who I knew was City fan Pete Sivell, he didn't believe we were fishing for the Gas and said well that's it then you lot have won. Well we would see, Shiplate can be a peggy place as I recall.... The draw was done a bit random, so rather than one city one gas it was all over the place, and they wanted volunteers to fish the Westpool. Most of our team wanted to go on the main lake it seemed so I went on West pool as did Tony Rixon for the Gas and a few others. City had Ben Franklin and Pete Sivell + others on Westpool. I drew peg 7 which is in the wide bit of Westpool and it was over 16m to the far bank. Tony drew next to Pete down on pegs towards the bottom which was I was told the favoured area, we would see. Oh and Glenn did what Glenn does, drew a flyer, peg 1 on the main lake lol.

You can see the view from my platform, the little cut back to the left was too far away and I fished to the right of the picture.

Got to my peg to find a City fan to my right on peg 5, and Gas captain Rod Poole on peg 8. I set up the 16m of my pole and stuck a rig on set at 18" deep, across it was not really flat and the depth went to a few inches, and so fishing with 16m was going to get me into about 14" of water. On the inside the margins were as bad as I remembered, about 5 inches then steeply shelving off to 3 ft. Rigs were a 4x10 Durafloat 10 for across, a 4x12 for the 3ft 6m to my right, a 0.3 inter 4 for 11m, and a 4x12 Carpa job for meat at top set + one.  I used 0,16 to 16 PR36 on everything. Fellow Gashead Mark Tanner was doing his best to scare the carp from our far bank wearing the brightest T-Shirt he had, it was like having a yellow blimp opposite us.

When the match started I fed 4mm pellet and started at 11m as in the past I have had a few skimmers and carp on this line, all the while feeding 6mm to the far bank. It was a very slow start with one 6oz skimmer and one lost fouler after 40 mins. With odd carp on the far bank showing themselves I went across and quite quickly had two small carp and lost a fouler. Then it got tricky and although fish were still there I wasn't getting any proper bites, also grasses and roots under the water were a real pain. After an hour and a quarter I got off my box and went round to the far bank to trim the grass and removed a fair bit of Willow root. Of course this put the fish off for a while but I hoped they'd come back. I tried the 11m line and the meat line and margin but all were dead, so had to go across. I landed a 4lb fish hooked fairly in the tail, and another of similar size in the mouth. However, with the wind getting up it was hard to fish 16m and with so few bites I was feeling it.

After a while I took a walk down the lake, Mike Stiff had 4 carp, Pete said he had 4 and Tony 6 or 7, everyone was having a tough time of it. The rain then came down and it stayed with us all day long, and it was heavy at times, but the wind dropped and so I went back to 16m and I picked up a couple more carp but it was rock hard until with 1 hour and 45 mins to go I dropped back in on the meat line. After a bit of a weight the float went and I had a 1lb + skimmer, then another next chuck, then a wait and then one of 2lb. This was better than fishing across, and so I stuck with it and then had a carp of 3lb. All of a sudden there were a few fish moving and carp were coming into the shallow margin but were impossible to catch. I stuck it out on the meat line till the end of the match catching another skimmer and 6 more carp I think, it was my best spell of the match.

Packing up in the pouring rain and waiting for the scales I was happy enough I'd done a job for the Gas, I had 44lb on my clicker and so estimated with the silvers I had 50lb. For once I was accurate and I had 44lb of carp and 6lb 9oz of silvers for 50lb 9oz. I was beaten on the West Pool by Tony who had 65lb and Pete who had 51lb 7oz.

The final result was a resounding win for the Gas with a total of 395lb to the City's 175lb. The top 6 was something like this :-

1 Tony Rixon  65lb 6oz
2 Shaun Townsend   64lb 6oz
3 Gary Mealing  60lb 10oz
4 Luke Cox   54lb 10oz
5 Pete Sivell   51lb 7oz
6 Tim Ford   50lb 9oz

Well done to all and well done for raising money for charity. UTG.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Windmill Fishery Open

There was no hangover today, although a couple of ciders did go down nicely Saturday in the sun I was always going to be sensible this weekend. On Saturday the wife and I visited some National Trust properties and on the way home popped in the Station pub in Hallatrow where we met up with Warren Bates and his wife. We had a good chat and discovered we were both going to Windmill Sunday lol.

It was a longer journey than normal as the ring was closed all weekend for resurfacing, but at least I remembered that it was closed. I got to the fishery about 10 minutes before the 9am draw and there seemed to be a few anglers assembled. Paid my £17 pools and had a chat with a few of the anglers briefly before the draw started. Peg 26 was the golden peg today but that went to silvers specialist John Barker and so it wasn't going to be won. I pulled out peg 22 which I thought I recalled, and yes it was the peg I had on my last visit here. Although I did pants that day I felt it was a good peg, and Shaun Townsend had won off it a month ago. With the water being warmer and wind lighter I expected to be able to fish it across to the island in the shallow water.

I walked to the peg and on peg 23 was Warren Bates, what a coincidence sat by him two days on the trot lol! I was able to see how the grasses and reeds had started to shoot up, and in the margins the silvers were spawning and owner Terry advised they had been doing so all week. Looking at my peg I thought fishing two lines left and right across would be a good idea, but that the right side should be the banker. If you look at the picture my right hand spot was in the middle of this pic, and I couldn't reach the island with 16m here, but to my left I could.

I had no intention of fishing right against the island to my right as it was to shallow for my liking but about 1mtr off the bank I had about 16" of depth and this would do nicely. I fished a 4x10 Durafloat with just 1 no10 down the line and a 16 PR36 to 0.16 for fishing hard pellet. I did set up a long line dibber rig for swinging in but it was never used. Two other rigs a 4x12 for meat on my top set just over the reeds and a 4x18 for meat at 6m. I was set up ready for the 10:15 start and with my neighbour on peg 21 being Dave Wilmott I was hoping he wouldn't be doing any magic today. On the all in I fed a few 6mm pellets in a pot on my two far lines and threw a bit of meat next to the reeds. I put an 8mm pellet in the band and shipped out to my right line feeding a few 6mm's with the catty. It was only a couple of minutes at most before I had my first carp in the net. I shipped back out fed some more pellets, lifted and dropped and was in again. After landing my second carp I fed with the catty straight away, then shipped out, fed again and was in again!  Wow this was a good start, surely it couldn't last?

After the first hour I had 30lb on my clicker, things were going well in fact I had 7 carp before losing one off the hook. The 2nd hour was a bit slower but I had a double figure carp which gave me 55lb after 2 hours. At this point the far side went downhill rapidly, with no areas becoming a real struggle to get any indication. My neighbours had struggled from the start and as far as I could see I Was doing well. Resting the far side I tried my inside line and had 5lb carp after waiting for about 10 minutes, sadly this was the only fish from the margin all day long. Going back across it was dead and the next 2 hours were a massive struggle for me and I had 2 skimmers which were like sand paper. It seemed most anglers were finding it difficult except for Paul Elms on 28 who was bagging carp shallow.

With about two hours to go I found I could get the odd carp again if I tried slapping the rig, but doing this at 16m with a wind which had turned around 180 degrees was hard graft. The thing was I just could not get a bite or indication from any of my short lines and so I spent most of the match fishing long and dropping the rig in here and there looking for any signs of a carp. I did manage a carp right at the end so it was nice to end like that, I was well and truly knackered with a nice shiny elbow where skin used to be.

Terry weighed from a few pegs above me and there wasn't much caught carp wise, Warren had 34lb next to me then I had a total of 96lb 14oz which included 4lb 8oz of scabby skimmers! Dave DNW and then there wasn't a lot until Dave Haines on the corner peg 16 had 35lb. Then opposite me on peg 7 and 6 Towner and Mat Tainton both had 50lb+ .

Paul Elmes was last to weigh and he did the business winning with 133lb 6oz, well done that man. I was second with 96lb 14oz and so got a pick up at long last. Towner was 3rd with 52lb and Mat Tainton 4th with 50lb.

The silvers was won by John Barker with a nice 24lb of roach, and he was closely followed by Steve Dawson who had 22lb. There were very few skimmers caught and I think they were recovering from shagging.

Next week I am fishing on Saturday at Shiplate for a Rovers versus City match, I am sure you know who I'll be fishing for. UTG

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Viaduct Spring League Round 2

Preparation for this match was done Friday and a little bit of Saturday morning, the rest of Saturday was taken up with watching Bristol Rovers. Well, what a day that was gaining promotion to League one in the 92 minute, OMFG I said or something similar. I think I drank a fair bit of cider with friends and family till quite late, well quite a lot of cider actually and it was going to take a toll on me the following day, but it was worth it, what a day.

Getting up Sunday morning I won't pretend I was feeling OK, I was functioning but I was definitely hanging. I loaded the car and made my way to the fishery, about half way along the journey I realised I had left my phone at home. When I got to the fishery owner Steve Long kindly lent me his phone so I could phone home and let the wife know not to call me. I had managed to get a breakfast bap down me but must have looked worse for wear judging by the comments made. I was also fishing in my Rovers shirt so that got up a few City fans noses. I couldn't care less about where I drew but I did hang back to let all the Lodge pegs get drawn ha ha, I pulled peg 132 which is a corner on Campbell. I had to be happy with this as the wind was blowing into it, but then I remembered that pg 135 is in so that might make life a bit tricky.

Got to my car and started to unload my gear, I realised that I had left part of my Preston Shuttle at home, but no matter I improvised and got my gear to the peg. I was thinking lead, waggler, long pole in front, long pole to the end bank and meat at 5m.  Now to set up, OK now I knew the cider had really kicked in this morning, I'd left my reels at home. I walked up the bank looking to borrow one, in the end that very nice man Tony Rixon (who was on 109) lent me one. Back to my peg and managed to thread the line through the rod rings, then oh dear, I've left me wagglers at home too, and I should have known as there in the same bag as my reels. Team mate Nick Chedzoy on 131 lent me a couple of wagglers to help me out. A 4x10 carp PB3 was put up for the end bank for use with 8mm banded pellet. A 4x12 set up for the long pole and so was a slapper rig but it saw no action. Lastly a rig for the meat which was a Corby job, with 0.17 to 14 PR38.

I fed some pellets to start and by the time I got my rig in the water Calum Craig on 132 had lost 2 and landed one carp, this was shape of things to come. On the long pole with 6mm pellet it was slow with just a tench and small carp in 40 minutes. I went to the end bank early and did have a tench and a small 2lb carp and nothing more, so an hour in and not good at all. Calum was bagging but Chedz was struggling same as me, other side of Chedz was fellow Gashead Shaun Townsend and he started well. I had a look on the waggler casting to the pallet on peg 133, I had 1 carp here but no other bites. The long pole was tried again but this was a dead duck and it seemed as if the carp were all over by Craig. I decided to give the waggler a go in open water as I could see the carp out there. I thought I had hit on the method as I had 3 decent carp quite quickly, but then they seemed to drift off back to their mates in 135.

Halfway through I had a few more carp from the end bank but it was a false dawn as they soon disappeared. I came in on my 5m line with meat and had a couple of tench, and then a carp, that was it and time to try another line. That was how my day went, and I got the feeling there weren't lots of carp there, I basically caught more fish on my meat line than anywhere else, and the last two hours were quite steady fishing. Chedz caught well the last 2 hours, but Shaun had a bad last 2 hours. Calum just caught all day and weighed 256lb.  My fish went 130lb which included nearly 20lb of tench. Chedz had 144lb which was less fish than me but he had some big carp, then Shaun had 143lb 12oz.  Chedz said before the weigh in he had 40lb less than Shaun errrr lol! I basically came no where, think I beat 1 or 2 in my section so that's the league over. I reckon I could have beaten Chedz had I been sober!

Full results on others blogs, I am too tired to write anymore sorry, night night. UTG

Monday, 2 May 2016

Landsend Fishery Open

Tony Rixon was running this match and I was able to get on it before it sold out. Tony had match lake and John Walters (lake 3) booked and he effectively ran them as two opens with separate payouts on each lake. Whilst this cuts the payout down for the overall winner/s it does spread the dosh and allows for one lake fishing better than the other which can happen. Given a choice I'd prefer Match Lake as I just don't seem to be at the races on lake 3.

I had a breakfast at the fishery and it was as good as the first one a few weeks ago, it's great to start the day knowing your food will be spot on. The draw was at 9:30 and it was all very serene and nice to not be in a rush, I paid my pools to Tony and said at least I won't be on Lodge this week, but he said I could be on 56 lol. When I did get to the draw tin I was confident of being of a peg on match lake, but that was wrong again lol. Peg 58 (I need to stop getting pegs beginning with 50+) on lake 3 was my home and was greeted with "flyer" from most people. It is an end peg on the far end of lake 3,but away from the end bank and I was told to expect the bigger carp, not fishing for silvers today then.

For company today I had Adrian Jeffery opposite on 56 who is good at catching carp but shite at bird watching  (he tried telling me a Kestrel was a sparrow hawk) and to my left on 61 was the one and only Tom Magnall. Completely forgot to take some photos today, so I'll do my best to explain the peg. In front is an island which is about 14m away, to my left in the margin about 8m there is a bush growing out over the water, looks good and looks snaggy. To my right in the margin there is a bramble bush which I fished along side of at 13m. I could not find much more than 8" difference in the depth between all my chosen spots. Rigs were all much of a muchness then with 4x12 jobs with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for banded pellet across, and 0.16 to 14 PR478 for use with meat on the margins and at my starting point of top six. I also set up a shallow rig for the island.

When the match started I fed some 4mm pellets by the island, then meat with a bit of hemp on my other lines, starting on the top six line. It was a biteless 10 or 15 mins by which time most people had a carp or an F1, just as I thought I needed to go across I had a bite and bumped something, carp or F1 I reckon. I dropped back in and missed a fast bite, but then hit the next one and after 5 seconds that fish come off. A third fish frustrating was hooked and came off before I finally landed an F1 and a small carp, but 40 mins in and I was a few carp behind Adrian who was catching short on meat, and Tom had taken a few on the island on pellet.

I went over to the island with a 6mm pellet in the band on my depth rig and I soon had a bite and an F1, in fact I had 4 F1's and 3 crucians across but no sign of any carp and all of a sudden had a decent net of silvers. The island died on me and a quick look back on the top six produced a solitary roach. I decided to have an early look to the left hand margin on meat, and within a minute the float showed signs of fish and I soon had a carp trying to get under the bush, the 15 hollo did its job and a 3lber was netted. Dropped back in expecting another bite but the float never moved. By now there was the odd carp slurping on the far bank and I shipped out the shallow rig with an 8mm in the band. After swinging the rig in twice the slurpers were gone, but I persevered and after 10 mins hooked a carp but as I was shipping back it came off. When I say it came off the whole rig had come off, errrr how did that happen!!!   I put on another shallow rig but despite trying a few times I never did get a fish on it. Things were now very quiet and I couldn't get bites or any indications across, time to try the brambles to my right, It was very awkward for me being right handed but after a patient wait the float went under, it was another small carp of about 3lb. I went back in again and had a couple of dips / liners but then no signs at all.

The middle of the match was tough, but Tom started bagging on meat on the other side of the bush and short, I could not replicate that and only had one more carp from next to the bush. I tried feeding a small amount of pellet & meat across to the end of the island and caught an F1, lost two foulers and had a 2lb carp, but that all came in about 30 mins and then that line died. It just seemed there were not many fish up here, or I was feeding it all wrong and spooking them, meanwhile Tom carried on hammering them out. I did manage a couple of carp from the brambles, but it was a very long wait for bites and then nothing there in the last 40 mins. I caught two skimmers back on 6mm pellet across in my last two drops of the match which seemed to sum up the lack of carp in the area. I had been soundly beaten by all and sundry it appeared, with the two anglers below Tom also catching plenty of carp.

Tom won our lake with 102lb, Paul Faires was 2nd off peg 70 with 90lb of carp from his right hand margin, and Bob Gullick had 80lb of Mekong Catfish from peg 41. There were two prizes for silvers and they went to Martin Alexander and Joe McMahon with about 16lb of bits and bobs. I had 34lb of carp and my silvers went 11lb 12oz so silvers money could have been a possibility but I had my carp head on. I spoke to Rod Wootten after and he said the carp seem to be in pegs 61 to 65 at the mo, and that my peg is feast or famine. That said I feel it was worth more than I caught and once I was behind I forced it too much hoping for a good last two hours. A tough match but it was lovely to be at Landsend today, there were so many summer migrant birds singing (mainly warblers) in the bushes close to me and I saw my first swifts of the year, it is a wonderful place to visit let alone fish.