Sunday, 26 June 2016

Superleague practice Open Bristol Avon Swineford to Jack Whites

For those that don't know my job is a sales manager and as such I spend most of my week sat in a chair, but I have always liked to be active so walking, football and long walks on the river are my way of keeping fit. I took Friday off to trim a couple of trees down, but I only managed to "severely" trim one tree as a) it pissed down and b) I was knackered. Sat morning I cut up all the branches and made 4 trips to the dump, I mean recycling center, and was knackered again. All this and then I had to get all my kit ready for a match on the river, and mix up a load of gbait. A party till midnight that night was good fun, but I could help notice a few aches when I woke at 6:30 Sunday morning...

Driving over the river at Keynsham I could see the heavy rain from storms had coloured the river right up, this was now going to be a bream match. Got to the rugby club and had a warm welcome from the bar staff, and saw that we had 44 people fishing today a good turnout. Looking at the pegging I fancied most pegs up at Swineford, and the Ashtip fields at the Crane for bream. Didn't really want to be a Jacky Whites today. Needless to say after a couple of bacon rolls and a cuppa I drew in the shallows at Jack Whites, balls.

Had a nice easy walk to the river and Dean Harvey found a little bit of flattened grass where we could lift our trolleys over barbed wire, this is easier than those damn kissing gates. Got to my peg and was gutted to find I was on a newly cut out peg opposite a lovely willow, always wanted to draw here as you can see chub in the willow when the river is clear, I couldn't see them feeding today.

When I got down into the peg the water was deeper than what I thought  and I couldn't get near enough to clear the reeds or lillies. I asked if I could move to the peg above which had been left out and nobody objected. It was much steeper to get into this peg but shallower in close and I could clear some reeds and as you can see it was much better to fish.

Mike Withey was the peg above me and he had gone back to his car for his waders, he then faced the same issue I had and he moved to the peg in the field below the lock gates. My section was completed by Jamie Cox on the style, Shaun Bryan on the steps, and Kev Dicks on the cow drink. I couldn't see me troubling the frame today as I have never seen a bream caught from here, so I set up a 3BB wire stemmed stick float to fish in the 5ft of pacey coloured water with a 16 B611 to 0.13. I also set up a feeder rod just in case I wanted to chuck to the willow.

I fished old style, stood up in the water with my box holding all my bait, keepnet etc, and fished rod and line, I fed little balls of gbait with hemp and caster in and also loosefed some maggot and hemp.

 The start of the match was very slow and I took a while messing around with the shotting and the depth to try to find the best way to present the bait. I fished for a while with an over shotted float over depth and literally back winding the float down the peg. The fish I caught were small, an ounce at best and I wasn't really surprised by this. After a while I fished the rig more conventionally and started to catch a little bit more regularly running through at pace and holding back here and there. I was still catching mainly little dace, odd bleak and had a few roach, all small fish. Double maggot was tried, caster, but whilst these got odd bites the quality did not improve and single maggot was as good as anything else.

About halfway through a narrow boat came along pulling another bigger boat, it was only just moving against the flow, and for a good 15 minutes I really couldn't fish the peg due to the disturbance. However, once this settled down I started to catch a better size of dace and even had a couple of 4oz roach. I had a decent hour and then with about 80 mins to go the wheels came off and the peg just died. I was also having terrible problems with my line which was kinking and twisting up terrible, and in the end I had to bite off a load of line and start again. Sadly all I could now get was the odd bleak. I gave the feeder a go right over by the willow and ploughed a fair bit of bait into there, but my only result was a roach. The match had gone pretty much how I thought it would, not enough to do any damage but it was great to get the old stick float out, and I got to use my microlite 2000 rod for the first time which I bought a while back off Tom Bailey.

I helped with the weigh in and the bottom section in the deeper water was won by Dean Harvey with 16lb which was mainly 4 bream, good lad. Kev Dicks had 7lb, I had 8lb 6oz, Shaun 8lb 3oz, Jamie 5lb and then Mike had 12lb to take the section.

As expected the other parts of the river threw up bream, with the top 2 anglers in the long ash tip having 44lb and 33lb of bream. Steve Priddle had 25lb of slabs from just above the cattle grid and the top weight up at Swineford was Nathaniel Johnson who had 20lb from about old peg 7, he had 3 big bream and some bits, he sent me this pic as he said he has been desperate to get on my blog ;-)

Superleague next week and we will have 2 sections in at Frys as well, fingers crossed for right peg for the right conditions. Though I would love to draw my peg today in the winter leagues.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Thursday Costcutter Viaduct Fishery

Last day of fishing today as we were all to knackered to even think about fishing on Friday. Obviously this match clashed with the England v Wales footy, and Glenn and myself said if we were not catching we would leave our pegs and go back to the lodge for 2pm, and return to fish for the last hour. I hoped I would not being watching and my daughter back at home was going to text me any scores. We also said goodbye to Geoff who was off home today.

The match today was on Campbell and Cary, and I really hoped to draw on Campbell as I just don't fish Cary much, hardly drawing it. Once again this week my drawing arm was on fire and I pulled out 132 the corner peg on Campbell where Trig had caught yesterday. Gordon had drawn shite all week and 94 on Carey was not great, I did feel for him but he got on and made the most of it ending with a 20lb fish which was nice. Glenn was on 88 but with silvers anglers around him he should do well on the lake.

I drew this peg in the recent spring league, but that was the day after Rovers got promoted and I was rather hungover and didn't do the peg justice. That said on that day peg 135 was in and I never felt I had many fish in the swim, catching most of my fish on meat short. Today 135 was not in and that had to help me.

When I stood on the platform of 132 I had to admire the gardening Trig had done the day before, but he did say he lost a lot of fish he hooked in close to a branch. If you look in the photo at Trigs work I chose to fish just on the point, with gbait and once again employed the use of the beastmaster,

My other main line was down to the end bank at 14.5 metres where I would feed 6mm pellets and fish an 8mm in a band. This is where I struggled last time, but usually there are small carp in residence. I fished just to the left of the edge of the willow tree.

My only neighbour today was Sean Clayton on peg 130, but anglers I thought would do well were Tony Rixon on 128 the peg Glenn won from yesterday, Steve Shaw on 110 who just fishes the lead and does it well. Terry Leahey was on my peg from the day before.

I actually began the match fishing meat at 13m, and I fed a few cubes and hooked one straight away, but it was fouled and he took the whole rig, bloody first chuck and new rig required grrrr. Back out on it and had one in the mouth, but that was it, and after 30 mins I was going to the end bank with pellet. Having fed it by catty since the beginning I was hoping a few carp might have settled on the feed and I soon got my answer and a 2lb carp was netted. I had a good hour catching these little carp one a bung, but then it slowed, but still after 2 hours I reckoned I had 80lb and I wasn't going to be watching the football today.

The end bank now seemed to be mainly occupied by the odd bigger fish, and these older wiser fish were much harder to catch and it was frustrating at times as I could see them in the swim feeding but all I could get was liners, the float would go under fast but when you struck you felt a carp and it spooked off. I tried to change hook baits changed depths and the feeding but it was not making it better. That said when I did connect with a proper bite it was a decent carp from 6lb to 10lb, but I was off the pace of Steve Shaw who was catching steadily all day. I was also running out of rigs as a few floats had blown on foulers, and a couple of fish got into the brambles and damaged the line. The biggest fish of the day was a mirror about 13lb, it caused me all sorts of problems by going under my nets and platform at least 3 times. It just would not come away from them, and as Sean said after I did have a bout of tourettes, thankfully by doing a lot of knitting with the top set I got the clever bugger out.

With 2 hours to go I put some groundbait in the edge, and it took about 20 mins for carp to make themselves known. It wasn't anywhere near as good as yesterday but I had a few from there, but I kept going back to the far bank as I thought this was a bit better. I caught a gloriously bright orange goldfish of 2lb which was a nice surprise, and just the two tench. With an hour to go I asked Sean if he had a spare net and he kindly brought me one down.

With 30 mins to go the gbait line rig blew up when I pulled out of a fish, so back out to the end bank and the last pellet rig I had got brambled, but I got it back, trouble was both pole rubbers had gone. Now what to do, didn't want to waste time making a rig, so I lassoed the line around the float and pushed a no8 stotz by it. It looked awful, sat in the water terribly, and I used it over the gbait line with a 10mm pellet in the band. I had 2 carp on the bounce with yet another carp hooked just seconds before the all out was shouted. I never lost any fish to the snag that Trig had problems with, think I pulled a lot harder than him. Phew what a day, I thought maybe I had my first 200lb, if my clicker was accurate. I was the first to be weighed in, by Steve's son today, and with some spot on adding up by Sean 209lb 3oz was the final tally. However, I still thought Steve Shaw had more than me, but it turned out to be closer than I thought as he weighed 222lb 4oz, so a couple of fish in it come the end.

The rest of the lodgers didn't fair so well today, with Glenn just missing out on a pick up by having the second best weight on Cary and was 8th in the match with 127lb. The top 6 weights though were all on Campbell. Surprisingly Terry struggled on 112 and went home early.

Top silvers on the day went to Scott Russell with 52lb of skimmers from peg 111.

The rain had stayed away today, so most of the gear was now dried out again. We got back to the Lodge absolutely shattered, but after a couple of cans and a shower we were back up the Unicorn for steak night, and they were really good steaks, Somehow we decided as it was our last night of the holiday we should have one more cider, and then one more, and well it was 1am before we hit the sack.

Friday morning and the slow realisation that the holiday was over and it was time to pack up and go, but not before thanking Steve and Helen on a wonderful time all round, and one last walk around the fishery. As I drove home I contemplated the week I had, Sunday went all wrong and Monday was looking like another Lodge blow out until a great last hour and a bit. From that point on it was like a switch was flicked and my draws were good, my luck was good and my fishing went well and I had some really enjoyable fishing catching some beautiful big carp. I've never really caught carp over gbait before, but ended up doing it every day at Viaduct, yes I had the pegs to do it on but I found it a very exciting way of fishing. Picking up 4 days on the trot was a bonus. Of course right from the off the craic was good and we laughed so many times at so many things I forget. A great holiday with great people and great fishing, happy days.

Wednesday Short Pole Match - Viaduct Campbell Lake

We were a little slow getting going Wednesday morning, all except for Mike who gets off to bed early and rises at 6am, proper OAP him. The cheese and brandy cocktail was being blamed for a few things including someone who had at least 5 trips to the toilet.... Glenn lol. We had booked breakfast at the Savanna cafe in town for 8:30, and it does set us up nicely for the day.

I was really hoping for a draw on the bank next to Carey as I feel on these short pole matches a decent margin feature is a big bonus. With 20 booked in it was sold out and there were some good venue experts fishing so it would be interesting to see how it fished. Scott Russell pulled out 125 and that was one area I wanted to avoid, and then Gabriel Skarba next to me in the queue pulled two tickets stuck together, he offered me one but I declined. Gabe got 130 which was another I wouldn't have wanted, my turn and I got two tickets but kept the one in my grasp, it said 112 result!!! That was a good un and I couldn't be happier as it has a lovely margin with peg 113 not being used.

I got to the peg and it was nice and sunny so not wishing to get any more red bits I applied factor 30. I had been told that most of the carp were down at this end of the lake and the anglers down here were Emma Drysdale on 135, Woody on 110, Paul Blake on 111, opposite Trig was on 132 and I guessed he have another huge weight today. On my right on 114 was Steve Rolfe.

On this match you can only use your top set plus 3 sections, that is it, and no other sections can be added if you hook a fish, simples. I was sure I was going to catch most of my fish in the margin which is behind where you sit, so I placed my box at angle to make it easier to fish there. Rigs today were one for meat at full length which only caught me one carp, a 0.15 Corby with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for fishing hard pellet at full length at 2 o'clock. Lastly a margin rig which was going on my Beastmaster pole, this was the 4x10 durafloat 10 again, with 0.18 to 12 PR478. This was to be used in two places where I found a similar depth, at full length back into the bay just short of a bit of bramble going into the water, here I fed meat.

The other spot was on my top set where I had to do a bit of gardening to get in close, and in the process I scratched my arms to pieces, ouch. Here I was going to feed groundbait, this was the mix I had left from Monday with another 1 kilo added, this was rancid now as I had left in the car and not in the lodge fridge.

On the whistle I fed a small amount of 6mm pellets in front, some meat in front and a big pot of meat in the far margin. I began on the pellet and was expecting a swift response, but I was disappointed as the float sat there and no bubbles or fish were in evidence. Meanwhile Glenn was off to a flyer on peg 128 catching from first drop in on the paste, on 127 Mike was losing carp from the start as he was going for silvers, but it seemed quiet for most. A couple of small skimmers and a fouled carp landed came on the pellet, over on the meat it was just one foul hooked carp landed and no other indications. Back on the pellet and a tench and a proper hooked carp but it was all far too slow and after an hour Paul Blake was battering me on his meat tactics and Glenn was still doing OK. I knew after the last two days where I had only caught for the last 2 hours that I was going to have to start catching soon today otherwise I would have no chance of framing.

After an hour of glorious sun it began to thunder and then came heavy rain, this lasted for the whole match and did not let up one bit! It was a struggle to keep the bait and gbait dry.  I guess it was not much longer than 90 minutes when I decided to go down the margin over the meat line, where I had been throwing odd pieces of meat to. It was a good decision as the float wasn't settled long before it went under so fast the elastic came out before I struck. Having the beastmaster meant I could really pull hard on the fish and it came out before it could reach any nasty snags. I caught well here for the next hour and felt I was clawing back some of the deficit on Paul, but not on Glenn. Trig was also catching well on 132 as he does. The meat line then faded and all signs of carp went, at the same stage Steve Rolfe on 114 started to catch in his margin and did so for a while when I had to give it a rest. I started feeding groundbait on the top set line and kept my eye out for signs of carp.

I went back out in front and caught 3 carp on the pellet in quite quick time, but lost a few foulers too. This was then iffy, so I had to speed up and I was pleased to see my groundbait swirling around as a carp rooted around beneath the surface. I had a run of fish here and put a lot of fish in the net in a short time, on some occasions a bite came instantly. It was lovely fishing and at times I could see a carp tail and I would drop the rig in somewhere near where I thought its head was, sometimes I got it right and I hooked the fish and was able to watch it turn and swim off. I kept feeding the gbait and if I saw no signs of a fish I tried the meat margin line, it didn't produce many but they were handy fish. In the last 20 mins I stayed on the gbait line fishing double 8mm meat, carp were always in the swim. I hooked one with 3 minutes to go and I thought just get this out don't rush, as I played it I said to Mike when is the all out, he replied with something but I cold not hear him. Anyway I landed the fish, dropped the rig back in and it went under straight away and as the elastic poured out Mike shouted all out, I shouted fish on. Got that one out and it was a great feeling to do that, not that I thought it would make any difference. I was convinced Glenn had won, with Trig second, Paul next to me didn't have anywhere near as many carp as me but they looked bigger than my fish, but we often think that. When I got off my box I felt water running down the backs of my legs, I was soaked through to my underpants.

The scales started at Trig, and after a while he shouted across he had 170lb, I'd clicked around 180lb, but usually over estimate the fish so I wasn't convinced I had Trigs weight.  Glenn went into the lead with 229lb 15oz, all on the paste over three lines, it was a pleasure to watch. When my weigh in was done the weight was shouted out at 173lb 8oz. Trig then should across what did I weight, I told him 170, not knowing what he really had, he then said 173, same as me. Eventually he went to check what he had weighed and after a bit of banter he had weighed 5oz less than me. Well it is a very rare day when I catch more than Trig, so I was happy with that. After all this banter I forgot about Paul, it turned out he had 166lb 5oz, just one fish short of my weight, and he lost a double at the net he said.

A good win for Glenn, and I was really on cloud nine after enjoying catching close in and coming 2nd and getting my third pick up on the trot. We then dragged our soaked gear and clothes back to the lodge and wondered how any of it might dry out for tomorrow. Of course Glenn and I had to buy the beers this time, but not until we had a nice curry at Somerton's and one and only curry restaurant. As you can see there were a lot of nets used today.

Tuesday Tenner at Acorn Fishery

I had to be up at 6am on Tuesday in order to be ready to leave to drive up to Kingston Seymour and find a breakfast van that was close tot the fishery. All of my gear and one set of clothing was wet after the rain on Monday, the forecast today did seem a little more promising though. We all paired up for the journey and I squeezed my gear into Glenn's car, it fitted OK as you don't need trolleys at Acorn. We set off in front in search of grub, along the way it seemed the others couldn't keep up with Glenn and they forgot the directions we were given and went straight to the fishery! We rang them and got them to the van, though Mike was somewhat grumpy at Glenn for "driving to fast" lol. As we ate our food it started to rain heavily and the wind was picking up, not really a good recipe for Acorn which does get ravaged by the wind.

Arriving at the fishery we parked up behind Gabriel Skarba who was keen to talk to "Bailey". Gabe had left his wallet at home and asked Glenn if he would pay his pools for him. Then Gabe produced a little bottle of vodka and a shot glass and I had knocked one back, a tad early at 8:20 am!!!  Gabe later convinced Glenn to have a shot as it was at least 9:45am by now PMSL!  It was good to see the Acorn regulars again, and quite a few of them gasheads too. I have not fished this venue since the last holiday last year, so not up to speed and also not expecting to draw a bridge peg either. Actually we only had pegs 1 to 5 and then 18 to 40 as a club was also booked in, so it was to be tight pegging. As a group of 6 from the lodge I thought a few of us might draw well, but only Woody and Mike did OK with peg 1 and 37 respectively.  Gordon had 25, Geoff 27 and Glenn 28 with me on 31, and that was really pants for them three, my peg can do OK. On bridge peg 34 was Gabe, and Mike Owen was on 33 and they were backed to do very well as were the island pegs. I asked Mike what was my target weight on 31, and he said he thought 40lb would be good, oh dear I said, or something similar. The angler on my right was regular Mark Walsh and apparently he does a lot of damage here on paste short.

Luck was on my side a tad as the strong wind was from behind and the farm building sheltered me from it for most of the match. I set up rigs for right across where I had 2 spots to fish, a shallow little cut back, and against some stick ups which were cut nicely back. A rig for top set plus one in front, and a rig for down toward pallet 32 which was empty , but I never caught on these two lines. I started the match by feeding 6mm pellets across to the far bank and started on the deeper stick up spot. Unsurprisingly I lost a fouler first drop, lost another and then had one in the mouth. After this there is not much more I can say about the first 3 1/2 hours other than I had caught 2 carp but only had one in the net as the other had jumped out. It was dire, with no liner or signs, Mark next to me was blanking! Glenn was doing the best up our end of the lake, with about 6 carp.

I had changed to feeding 4mm pellet in a toss pot to the far bank, and whether it was this change or the fact that all of a sudden there seemed to be active fish in the peg (topping and boshing) or a combination of the two but I started to catch carp. I could only catch from the stick up deeper area, but it was an indication every drop. I had to fish a 6mm in the band as an 8mm was simply no good, as most of my fish came on the drop. I probably had a good hour and then the fish went iffy, they were still there but not having it confidently. However, as most people were still struggling I stuck with it and got the odd one till the end of the match. Mark did catch but only 4 carp and he chucked back.

When both sets of scales got to me at the same time I was the last to weigh in, and Woody who'd admitted to 50lb was winning with 71lb 11oz, Ryan Jordan on peg 5 was second with 68lb 10oz and Gabe who had a bit of a torrid time was lying third with 59lb 4oz. I had the luck on my side again as my fish went 59lb 10oz and I just pipped Gabe into 3rd place and got another brown envelope. I was chuffed with that as it was, at least to me, really unexpected.

A drive from the fishery to the Brent Knoll carvery where we refuelled and left no room for dessert.

The sun had come out for the last couple of hours of the match and we had all dried off after yesterday, Gordon who had the wind and sun in his face was now doing a good impression of a beetroot head, it was a little sore and he wasn't the only one to be caught out today we all had copped it but not as bad as Gord.  This may have been the night when after a few Thatchers Haze we got back to the lodge and enjoyed cheese, nuts, and brandy. I think Geoff and Glenn had about 8oz of cheese each, but my memory is a bit hazy of that night.

Viaduct Lodge Lake

Steve Long had kindly shut Lodge lake for us on Monday and the six of us, plus three lads from the other lodge and Colin Dyer made it a 10 peg knock up. That meant plenty of space for all and with us fishing from midday to 6pm I thought there could be some good late margin munter fishing. It was absolutely hammering down with rain to begin the day, but we soon found out it was also very warm, almost tropical weather. As draw time approached I looked at the pegs and with only 53 and 56 on the car park bank I thought I should finally get to see another view of the lake. OK maybe not, I pulled out peg 53. I was not complaining though as this peg as had some form lately in the spring league. Steve's advice was that I should catch late down the left hand margin, and whatever I hooked keep it well away from the two posts opposite as that would be goodbye fish.  My neighbours today were Mike Nicholls on peg 73 and Woody on 56.

Initially I decided on three spots to fish; one at 14.5m to the left hand side of the willow, one at 9m in front of the willow, and 11m down the left hand margin.  The two lines either side this willow were fed with meat.

The long margin line was going to be fed with groundbait down under the branches where the pole would not be seen by the carp.

I started the match on 14.5m line with meat, a 4x12 rig with a 12 PR478 to 0.18, but after 30 mins on here all I had were nibblers, as I had been feeding it lightly I dumped a pot in and went to the front of the willow with the same rig where I had been throwing meat in. To begin it was more nibblers and little roach, but then I had a couple of decent skimmers but it was slow. An hour gone and Woody has 4 carp and Mike has 4 and I'm already being battered, hmmm.

Feeding the big pot of meat at 14.5m stopped the nibblers but also stopped everything, and I never had another bite on this line. The odd bubble was coming up in front of the willow and I had a little tench and a couple of nice hybrids. No sign of the carp here, but they were easy to spot as they were coming up by the posts all day, but I had decided to not fish over there and lose loads and hoped they would venture out soon. After a couple of hours both Mike and Woody's swim had gone very quiet and it seemed the lake had switched off for all. I plugged away and then had what I thought was a fouled carp, but it turned out to be an eel of over 2lb. After many attempts I got it into the landing net, much to Mike's amusement, and I was laughing my head off too.

Three hours into the match and with no carp in the net I fed gbait down the margin, and I opened up a new line at 14.5m in line with the left hand post, where I fed 6mm pellet. Fishing here I had a tench, lost a carp, and after a couple of small skimmers I finally landed a carp, yay I was only 60lb behind Mike now lol! I did lose another carp on this line but this also went right off. Finally with about 2 hours to go, and after regular feeding of gbait, carp were in the margin. I shipped out with a 4x10 Durafloat 10 and with 8mm meat on the hook. There were fish there but it was hybrids and not carp, but I stuck with it as I was sure carp were nearby. It took a while to nail one, worth the wait though as it was a 10lb fish. I fed a ball of gbait again, then went in with double meat and after about 15 mins I was hanging on to another large carp. Basically this is where I stayed for the remainder of the match and as the match went on the fishing got better for me as the carp decided to feed with a number of large carp and just a few foulers lost. I fed about 1 kilo of gbait today, so had a kilo left which I kept for the rest of the hols.

Mike opposite had caught some very large carp late and I thought he had more than me as I had been so far behind after 4 hours. Woody was the first to be weighed and he had (going from memory!) 109lb. Glenn on 59 then had 111lb. Gordon on 68 had 107lb (including the top weight of silvers of 25lb).  On 73 Mike had 117lb and I had him down as the winner, but my silvers went 18lb and my carp 105lb so I took the win with 123lb. As you can see it was a close match and 1 fish could have made all the difference.

Out in Somerton that night and it was my turn to buy the "winners" beers, and we had a great meal in the Unicorn Hotel, I think this was the night Geoff had a monster mixed grill, it beat him in the end.

Tony Rixon Float Only - Landsend Fishery

Sunday was effectively the first start of my annual fishing holiday staying in one of the lodges at Viaduct. Mike Nicholls, Glenn Bailey, Martyn Woodington, Gordon Cannings and Geoff Francis and I were looking forward to having plenty of good fishing, cider, food and weather, well we would see.

I got up early Sunday to pack the car, it was full to the brim as I had to take enough bait for 5 matches as well as clothes, booze, etc. I got to Landsend in good time, Gordon and Mike were already there but the other three holiday makers were fishing at Summerhayes. I'm not fishing the league due to clashes of dates but was standing in for Steve Skelton. I really fancied a draw on the favoured end of Speci lake, but that was not to be as I drew on lake 3 again, peg 70 again! No complaints from me as it is a good peg, but I have never got it sorted, I decided to try to go down the F1 route and get in on the silvers money if possible.

When I got to the lake and sat on my peg I couldn't believe it as Paul Faires on 42 and Matty Toomes on 41 were also on those pegs last time I was on the lake! As I began to get set up the banter started with the Scouser on peg 68 Dave having me in stitches at times. I went with light rigs for the F1's  either 4x10 or 4x12 for fishing on the bottom at 6m towards my left, and 13m straight across to the spit, these were for banded pellet and I used an 18 PR36 with 0.13 line. Also set up a shallow rig for slapping which can be a good way to catch the F1's and a margin rig with a size 12 PR478 to 0.18 to fish to my right with meat. I began the match feeding 4mm pellet in small amounts at 6m but just a few small roach and a skimmer after 30 mins meant I left that line but kept feeding it by hand all day with 6mm pellet. Going across to the spit I took 3 F1's in 3 drops and thought I'd cracked it, but then I hooked a carp, which was fouled and came off. Back out and I hooked another carp which in about a second got to the end bank and snapped me up. This line went iffy after this and I couldn't get anything, so I went on the shallow rig to the end of the spit as I had been feeding 6mm pellet by catty here. A good move as a couple of F1's obliged before all was dead again. I went on the deep rig here and had an F1, but then hooked a carp which found the end bank again. Using a 11 hollo was right for the F1's but not for the carp. I changed elastic and then took a couple of carp but it seemed the F1's had gone.

Everything went quiet and I couldn't get a bite, meanwhile Dave next door had taken plenty of carp in close from the start and looked like winning the section as it was fishing hard by all accounts. I then noticed a boil in margin line, and dropped in with a 10mm cube of meat, the float danced around a bit before finally flying under, a carp of about 4lb was netted. I fed again and went back in and then lost one, fouled I think. I had to wait then for another fish to show, and when I hooked this it steamed off to the weedbed and I could feel the line snagging against it, I hung on as the top set and no 4 section bent alarmingly. Thankfully the fish came out and I managed to get a 12lb carp in the net. About 15mins later another boil and I went back in and hooked another large carp which went under the weedbed and seemed to be pulling harder than the last fish, in response I pulled harder..... CRACK!!!! The no4 section snapped where my hand was and before I could grab it it completely snapped off and shot off into the lake never to be seen again, balls. I have spare no4 sections but losing the top set was a blow. I decided to run back to the car and get my Shimano Beastmaster pole which was fitted with yellow 17 hollo.

At this point the sun came out and it seemed to knock the margin on the head for me and most people, and I only took one more fish from here. Thankfully I managed to get in amongst the carp as the 6m line came to life, but I had to be quick after hooking the fish as these little 3lb carp are lightening quick and try to get in the snags, I did lose a couple but it was an enjoyable spell.

With the match finished I had about 58lb of carp and 14lb of silvers, Dave was going to beat me and he weighed just over 100lb, to my 72lb. That meant I was second in the section and no coin as default wasn't possible as Dave didn't frame as Speci threw up some big weights topped by Craig Edmunds 298lb on peg 34. After the match I was lucky to find Nicky Ewers in my section, he has the same pole as me and he leant me two top sets so I had some spares for the weeks holiday, thanks very much for that Nick, top man.

Nice drive down to Viaduct, a nice meal and some cider with the lads and Woody bought a round as he had framed at Summerhayes. The lodge is really something very special inside and out.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Viaduct Fishery Spring League

There was no blog last weekend as I spent a few days away with the wife in Guernsey and what a lovely place it is. We also spent a day on Herm Island which was very peaceful and I saw some great bird life there including Peregrine and Marsh Harrier. Lovely scenery.

Back to today and I was travelling on my own as Glenn had suffered sickness and the shits on Saturday, he owes me £20 as I had to pay his pools so bad weekend for him all round! My journey to the venue was uneventful and I arrived in good time and got into the draw queue with only a few anglers before me. I managed to pull peg 129 on Campbell which is on the carp park side of the little spit, A nice peg but in a section that has some nice pegs, and it also had some very tidy anglers on it! Peg 128 was the start of my section and team mate Nick Ewers was on there, Matty Toomes was on 130, Craig Edmunds 131, Ben Haag 132 and Mark Wynne peg 135.

First job was to cover myself in sun tan lotion, although it was overcast to start it was forecasted to be hot and sunny. After talking to Bob Gullick who had been on my peg a couple of weeks ago I formed a plan. A 4x10 durafloat with 0.17 to 16 PR38 for fishing 8mm pellet to the spit. A 4x10 PB Carp 4 for fishing meat at 5m and 13m with 0.17 to 14 PR456, also a dobbing rig. Also set up a lead rod.

The aerator was on all day and it made it difficult to have any form of conversation, I could talk to Matty but beyond that no chance, plus Nick Ewers didn't catch on the lead today so he had no hands free to use his ear trumpet. I started the match by cupping in about 20 pieces of 8mm meat at 13m and fishing straight over it, Matty did the same it appeared, and he was rewarded with a large carp first drop, I fouled one. Mat then had another barney rubble whilst my 8mm meat was whittled away by bits. After 45 mins Mat had getting on for 40lb I reckon, I had 1 carp and a skimmer and had lost another fouler. It was tough going for me with no indications and so I picked up the lead rod and cast it to where I had been feeding some 8mm pellets. I didn't have to wait too long for a wrap round but it was only a 2lb carp. A couple of chucks later and another carp was netted but that was that for the lead.

A couple more carp and a tench came on the long meat line but I was not making any in roads into Mat's lead and Trig also had more. After 2 hours an early look on the spit was a complete waste as there were no fish there. My 5m meat line was full of fish, but they were not that big and would whittle away at the meat until they could nick it off the hook. The middle of the match was even tougher for me and Mat had struggled after losing a fish that took his rig and elastic. I tried a bit of slapping with a pellet but never had a touch.  Trig started to come to the fore catching on meat and some dobbing, his peg just got better as the match went on. I thought the spit might come to my rescue and get me up the section, but it never happened and all I got from it all match was 1 skimmer (Nicky never caught on it on the other side). Finally I had some reasonable action in the last 75 mins catching on my 5m line, I had some carp and tench but my fish were never big enough to trouble the lumps that Mat had. When the match finished we were all very and bothered after sitting in the sun all day, but also being in the shadow of Trig. He paralysed the section with 223lb, I never thought he had that much, I think Mark Wynne would have been second in section but he hadn't weighed when I left. Matty had 114lb and I had 93lb which included very nearly 20lb of silvers. Nick Ewers gave me 2 points as he took last in section with 83lb, as we said it's not a bad day when you catch that many fish, but you need well over a ton to compete.

I didn't hang about as a cold beer was in the fridge waiting for me, so I don't have the full result but it seems that Gary O' Shea won with 240lb from Carey 85, Dan White had 227lb from 81 (though he lost 88lb due to going over in a net, ouch!) and Trig came third.

Well it is fair to say I am well off the pace in this league, I used to be able to hold my own at Viaduct but I can see I am a way off these carp anglers. That said I still enjoy fishing the venue and trying to work out what is going on. Will be off to Viaduct for a week next weekend, fishing various venues as well as two matches on Viaduct. The blogs won't be done to the week after though.