Saturday, 17 December 2016

Viaduct Xmas Match

I fancied a change this weekend on what would be my last match before Christmas, and fishing the Saturday suited me and so I chose to fish the Viaduct Xmas match. My preparation was slightly hindered on the Friday, this was mainly due to me having a very late night Thursday (3am) at a industry awards dinner. I found some barbless hooks, and threw in some pole rigs which I had used before.

It was a foggy start in Bristol Saturday morning, and about 4 Celsius, there was not much chance of seeing the sun today so 8 or 9 degrees at most and a few layers required. The drive down was easy and I got to see a few thousand starlings flying overhead from their roost to their feeding ground. I arrived at the fishery with 20 mins to spare and parked up near the bottom of Carey lake, as I got out I saw a carp roll in between peg 105 and 74, and then another. You could see carp moving just below the surface, but the talk was they showed the same last match and didn't feed. I picked up some bait from the shop, paid my dues and said hello to my fellow anglers. A number of anglers told me the pegs that would win would be at the bottom of Campbell, i.e. 110 and 132. I got in the draw queue and those pegs were still in there when I drew, but alas I missed them. Peg 96 on Carey was to be my home, one that can be very good as there is a lot of water to go at. Steve Long said the carp had not really been showing there but they might have moved. Adrian Jeffery told me it did not produce a carp on the Thursday, not really selling it to me then lol, but I was still happy with the draw.

As I walked to my peg I passed Dan White on 105 where the carp were still showing themselves, I tied to video them but I cocked that up it seems. Setting up on my peg was simple, a straight lead with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for hair rigged baits, a waggler with a 18 PR456 to 0.14, and a couple of pole rigs one for gbait at 14.5m and one for for fishing 16m off to my right where I fed positive with caster and corn and never had a bite lol.

At 10:30 the match began and I fed 3 balls of gbait on the pole, and then decided to chuck the lead out to see if there were any carp signs. I started with meat and chucked about half the maximum distance. 15 mins nothing, so I chucked further, 15 mins nothing so I chucked further. After 30 mins Chris Fox on 100 had a carp on the waggler, and not long after Roland Lucas on 99 had 2 on the lead. No bites or liners for me, and it was very quiet around the lake.

After an hour of nothing I chucked the waggler out casting to various parts of the lake with double red maggot, just hoping I might drop the hook bait on the nose of a carp. It didn't happen but I did catch a small roach to break the blank. Back on the lead and trying bread, corn and meat it was still dead. At 12:50 I was on the lead on corn and the tip went round and a carp was on. I was surprised how hard it charged off and it gave a good account of itself. I finally netted it, a Carey mirror around 9lb. Next chuck and I had a slow liner which did not turn into a bite, but that was a good sign I thought Then the angler on my right, Paddy, had a double figure carp on the waggler, then Roland had another. The angler on my left Pete Denslow had been on the pole for a while but chucked the lead as it seemed the carp were waking up, he had liner as soon as he put the rod down. Next cast he had a carp on, but lost it halfway back. Unfortunately this was the end of the action as far as the carp went.

The only fish I caught for the remainder of the match were the odd little 2oz skimmers from the gbait line. It was fizzing most of the day but I never had a sign of a bigger skimmer, and although I kept topping it up I never spent aged on it. The last hour the light was poor and I was struggling to see the float on the pole, knowing that I needed more weight I sat on the lead, but I just had a couple of the same tiny skimmers.

The match over and it was clear this lake had fished hard, pegs 85, 86 and 88 had no carp, Bob Gullick on 90 managed one with 15mins to go. The scales soon arrived, the carp had swam off in Dan's peg and he only had one, Roland Lucas was clear winner on Carey with 5 carp and a few silvers for 49lb 7oz. Phil next to me had 2lb and my carp was 9lb 9oz and my silvers were 1lb 11oz. My 11lb 4oz was 3rd in the 8 peg section, it was tough! Paddy took the section by default with 18lb which included a 12lb carp.

As was predicted at the start Campbell bottom bank was the place to be, with Jamie Bowden winning the match with 109lb 11oz. On peg 132 the second weight was recorded at 91lb 7oz, not sure of the name. Winning the silvers with a great performance of waggler fishing was Matt Parsons, he had 28lb 3oz of tench and skimmers on corn.

I ended up 16th out of the 30, and picked up a nice big box of Becks beer. Whilst waiting for the prizes we were treated to home made mince pies and a can of beer, nice touch that.

Well that's it for me, not sure when I will be wetting a line next now, looking forward to finishing work this Friday and having a relaxing Christmas. Wishing everyone a happy Christmas, enjoy yourself and hope Santa brings you what you want ;-)

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Bathsmpton Xmas Match - Bristol Avon & K&A Canal

Middle of the week I had not decided whether to fish the weekend, but with a few mild days forecast I decided to give this match a go. I of course went with the choice to fish the river at Newbridge, and expected to fish for bream.

The draw was at the Crown in Saltford, this pub / restaurant has recently been taken over and it seems it has gone a bit more up market, i.e. prices are higher. Managed to get a breakfast which was not bad but not worth £7.50. Whilst I was eating it the draw was taking place and so I shouted to Dean Harvey to draw a peg for me, he did and pulled 61 on the Norfolk Reeds. This can be a brilliant peg but this season it has not shown its usual bream form, with just odd fish coming from it. However, last match on the river peg 59 just above had 60lb of lids so I hoped they might have dropped down, Callum Dicks had drawn peg 59 today.

I drove to the river and saw Shane Caswell on peg 16, Derek Coles on 18 (a good bream peg) and then there was a gap till Lewis Walker on peg 30.  Warren Bates was on form peg 36 and on the end of the straight Dean Harvey, both their pegs had been fished on Weds and lots of bream were caught.

I had the longest walk of the day but don't mind that as I like to keep fit, I arrived at the peg and got
my waders on as you have to get in the water, and got my box in nice and comfortable. The picture below was taken after the match when I had dragged my box up to the edge.

 I set up my feeder rod first with a 14 B611 to 0.148 exceed, I also set up a 4gm pole rig with 16 to 0.12 to fish 13m out, but rather than ball it I was going to feed balls of crumb and try punch bread. That was it nothing else was set up. Chris Ollis came for a chat before the start, he was in the bream hole on peg 54 and was trying to remember the last time he had drawn it.

When the match began I had about 10 chucks with a feeder about 2/3 the way over, I had intended to to feed chopped worm and caster in the feeder, but.... when I opened my worms they were all dead, oh dear. I had about 15 lobworms with me and for what it was worth chopped them up. After feeding that line I threw 3 balls of crumb on the pole line and tried a 10mm punch, a few run downs were fruitless, so I tried a 6mm punch and had a couple of 4oz roach. It didn't seem right though and I put 2 maggots on, I took another three roach and a chublet but that was it and it was now an hour gone. I picked up the feeder rod and put 3 dead reds on, the feeder was only in 20 seconds when the tip rattled and jagged about. Missed it, and missed the next, but then a little roach. I was surprised by this and it seemed the feeder line was full of small roach and perch, although hitting the bites was tricky. Of course I was never going to do any good catching these fish, but I just had to hope I could feed them off / the bream would move in.

I tried the feeder on the pole line a couple of times but it never worked, and I spent most of the match fishing on the far line. As well as little fish I had 2 chub about 1lb each on this, a 12oz roach and a 12oz perch, not really good signs for bream. I knew bream had been caught by Dean and Warren, Derek and Mike Goodhind and so I had to keep going for slabs. At 2:15pm nearly 4 hours after we started I had a proper bite and a 3lb bream was the culprit. It would have been nice if the tip went round again next chuck but it didn't, in fact at 3pm I had my next decent bite, a classic steady drop back and bream number two was on. At nearly 3:15 I had another slab, but that last 15 mins I was plagued by small fish bites again.

Dean Harvey came up with the scales and I had 18lb 12oz, happy enough as I had more bites than I 'd expected. Callum above me had 1 bream in his 11lb, and then Chris Ollis on 54 had 5 bream for 21lb, most of those came in the last hour. I didn't see the guys weigh but Dean Harvey had about 11 bream for 62lb, a good weight, but Warren then beat him with 66lb. However, the fish that won it for Warren was a spectacular 10lb 6oz barbel!

Back at the Crown Warren and Dean were clearly the top two, Derek managed 3rd with 27lb of bream but he and Shane Caswell on 16 were plagued with boats. I was in stitches as Shane told me of his day, watching 100 Santa's racing in boats, sat on his pole line, listening to the same songs played all day, oh and drone buzzing about overhead.  On the canal Ivan Currie had the top weight with 11lb (read his blog for details) and Darren Gillman was 2nd with 8lb.

After the prize giving we had the raffle, and no surprise I won nothing again, neither did Shane to make his day complete lol. Funniest part was the last prize, it was won by Darren, a chocolate santa. As he made his way to pick it up someone threw their raffle tickets at Kev Dicks and caught him in the face. Kev assumed it was Darren and smashed Santa into a mess. Darren responded by tipping up all the undrawn raffle tickets over Kevins head and they were everywhere!

One more match before Xmas, I'm going to give the Viaduct Xmas match a go, not been for ages and will have to find those barbless hooks out and hope for a bunghole draw.