Sunday, 23 April 2017

Windmill Fishery Open

As blogs go this one will be short and lack detail, as today was a tough one, the best part of the day was the breakfast.

After walking around the lake briefly on Wednesday it seemed that the fish had spread around a bit, so worth giving the venue another go I thought. After a beautiful Saturday weather wise and a lovely walk with the wife at Haresfield Beacon, I was hoping for an equally lovely Sunday. Weather wise it was, fishing wise....

The draw gave me peg 25, a peg about 20m wide and is around 8 feet deep at 16m, it is an area that has been good of late, though I would have preferred peg 26 where at 16m it is only 3ft deep, Paul Staite was on that peg. To my right was Brian Shanks on peg 24. Early excuse I was the only angler with no empty peg on the venue. I set up a rig for the margin, one for top set+1 where it was about 7 foot and still on a slope. A rig to fish across as far as I could, a long line on on my top 4. Also a lead rod.

I fed some 6mm pellet across by catapult and decided to start on the lead to see if I got any liners as I hadn't seen a sign of any fish in my area. Paul next door lost a carp first chuck at 16m, and had one next. Joe McMahon on 22 and John Clarke on 6 were also into carp, and Ken Rayner had a few early carp. Me I had nothing other than a liner. Then had a couple more liners and thought that maybe the pole might be better. I tried the swinging rig and after a few attempts had a bite but nothing connected, then after about 50 mins finally got one. I was already a long way behind most people but Brian only had one too. That was the only fish I had on the swinging rig. About at least an hour later I mugged one, then 20 mins later mugged another. I never saw another carp after this. About 3 hours to go I had a carp on the lead, then nothing and all indications stopped.

Despite trying everything and new lines, a lone crucian in the margin and a lost carp from the same line was my lot. The lake had fished hard for most towards the end.

Young Joe won with 93lb, closely followed by John Osbourne on peg with 91lb. Only those two got paid out and so Geoff Francis was 3rd with 57lb and no coin. Silvers winner was Dave Wilmott on peg 13 with 11lb 8oz.

Poor day, but the weather was nice and I had a good laugh with those on the bank.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Landsend Fishery Open

Another match run by Tony Rixon and I thought I'd give it another go with the hope of drawing Match Lake this time. Sunday didn't start off great as I was awake for a couple of hours in the night, and woke up hanging. The journey down was rather slow with a bus and some early Sunday drivers out, but I got to the venue in plenty of time.

Breakfast as usual and then onto the draw, I got my wish getting a peg on match lake in the shape of peg 5. Gary O'Shea had a good weight off of here last week and Leon Hubbard told me how he caught most of the fish. The wind was forecast to be 20mph today but depending on the direction would have to see how it affected the presentation.

Got to my peg and walked past Andy Hembrow on 3 who wasn't very enamoured with his draw, on peg 6 was Mark Summerhayes. You can see from the picture below the island opposite, as it goes away from you the bank is undercut and I would be trying to flick my pellet under here, although it was very shallow. As you can see before the match it was not really windy.

 Also to a picture looking up the lake, I would have a go in the margin here later.

Martin Reyat had fished this peg the day before, so I gave him a quick call and he said he had a lot of fish in the swim across but struggled to get any, catching manly late for 60lb and no good. I set up a few rigs today, a slapper (never had a bite on it), a 4x12 with 16PR36 to 0.16 with a long line above it to swing the rig in to the island. A 4x12 depth rig with 0.12 to 18 PR36 for fishing in the open water for F1's and maybe a few skimmers, a 4x12 margin rig for meat, and a 4x14 rig for meat at 5m.

When the match started a fed some 6mm pellets across to the island in a couple of spots, and then started on meat at 5m. First drop in and a bite, it was a 1lb F1. Sadly that was only bite here for 20 mins and as Leon on peg 18 was catching across and Mark had a couple I had to go across. It was a bit of trial trying to get the pellet to land close to the island without catching bits of ivy and I lost a hook when I misjudged it. It was though completely dead for me, and I could not get any indications, it wasn't until 70 mins that I had a carp of about 5lb across, but it was a one off. Leon was catching well, he had already gone into his margins and was catching there too. Mark and Andy either side were struggling like me.

I decided to have a look for some silvers, so fed a few 4mm pellets at 11m, and at 14.5m off to the gap. Both those lines yielded not a bite for an hour. Halfway through and I had a couple of F1's from the 14.5m line, but that soon died and the wind was no becoming a real pain. I just couldn't get bites anywhere in the peg, I even fed some caster, but like last week it didn't really produce for me. With a couple of hours to go I managed to snare a double figure carp from my right hand margin, but alas another one off and no other bites here.

There was now the odd fish swimming around on the far bank, and I had a carp of 3lb and then mugged one about 9lb in the gap. The wind was now very bad, and trying to get my rig near the island was very hard, once the rig went in and the line above caught the ivy, I left the float there and had a bite and struck, fish on and the line came free. This fish went a bit and I soon realised why, as it was a 7lb ghostie hooked in the wing. I lost a fouler and then the wind became to much.

Mark next to me who had endured a barren time started to get odd bites on meat, ad had a few skimmers and odd decent carp to the end of the match, my 5m meat line started to show life with 25 mins to go, I had a perch, big skimmer, 2 carp and lost 2 foulers. End of match. I chucked back about 40lb of carp and 6lb of silvers. I'm not sure what Mark weighed but here is him just beginning to weigh in.

Well that was a torrid day, I've never felt like there was many fish in the peg all day, but was surprised that I could not catch any F1's either. I've no clue as what I could have done differently today, and it soon became apparent that the anglers on the opposite bank were going to take all the money, with Shaun Townsend on 15, Leon on 18 and Gordon Cannings on 22 all having 130lb+ I think, top silvers was also on peg 24 (Dave Lewis) and 13. Ho hum!

I was not going to hang around, but before I left I shook hands and said goodbye to deluded City fan Stu Barnet who is off to Australia again. Stu left on a high note winning lake 3 he told me with over 140lb, well done and good luck with the move back to Oz.

Well there's not a lot more to say about today, wasn't expecting to struggle like that, just have to put it down to one of those days. Full results on Tony's blog.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Landsend Fishery Open

I had a text in the week from Tony Rixon asking if I wanted to fish a match at Landsend, and as I wanted to give Windmill a miss until the fish spread out I thought it would be worthwhile. I was actually in Ireland working when Tony text me, a few busy days there and only time for a couple pints of Guinness. Once I was back home I booked in along with Glenn Bailey.

Glenn picked me up on the morning, first time we have travelled together for ages as the gear won't fit in one car. However, as Landsend requires no rods we thought we could manage it, it was a squash but we just got it all in. Straight forward journey to the venue and then had one of their tasty breakfasts to keep me going for the day. Tony had enough anglers to peg Match and Lake 3 but was going to run each lake as its own match to make the payouts more spread out and fair. I always like to be on Match, but I always seem to draw Lake 3, and today was no exception, peg 70 on Lake 3. I've drawn this peg a fair number of times, and it's a corner peg which usually holds small carp and some F1's and silvers.

After the short walk to the peg I surveyed the options, a weed bed to the right, a spit in front of me, and into the left hand corner the end bank which is full of lots of roots and branches and is a dangerous place to venture!

The spit

The weed bed
 The tackle graveyard

Fishing this peg before I have always just missed out on silvers payout, section etc. Today I decided I was going to go all out for silvers and try to get some early F1's. Rigs were a 4x12 PB Carp 3 with 0.12 to 20 PR36 for fishing on the deck by the spit. A similar rig but just a bit deeper for fishing soft pellet by the weed bed and at 11m in front. A rig for caster at 5m, a shallow slapping rig in case the F1's were up in the water was also put up.

On the all in I Cupped a small amount of micros by the spit, by the weed bed, and 11m. I fed casters by hand at 5m regularly. As I put my top set on my pole  with a 6mm pellet in the band Chris Fox opposite on 41 had an early fish by the aerator. I didn't have to wait long to myself for a bite and a little fantail was netted. Next drop and a longer wait and before I knew it a carp swam all the way down to the corner and the rig was gone. New rig on, back out still fishing light hoping for F1's, it was a bit slow and Chris opposite who was targeting carp was getting the odd F1. I had another fantail and then another carp was hooked and I got this one out as it swam out nicely. Another Fantail thingy and then another carp hooked which went to the end of the spit and snagged me solid, what the hell? New hook length required, but I decided now to switch up to 0.16 and a heavier elastic. Chris now started hooking carp, and it seemed to push the F1's around to me as I had a few in the next 30 mins.

Paul Faires was on peg 68 and he had started next to the weed bed, he'd managed a couple of carp and F1's but was not tearing it up. The spit line had gone dead for me, so I tried a bit to the right but nothing happened, it was all very quiet. I started to toss pot in some 4mm pellets and loose feed some to try to draw some fish. The line down to the end bank hadn't produced a bite so far, and the 11m line yielded on 4oz skimmer. Back on the spit and I had a couple more F1's and after 90 mins I though I might have 10lb of them so going OK. After this I never had another F1 all match, they simply disappeared, and against the spit I caught the odd small carp.

Never mind time to try the caster line and catch some proper silvers, ummm three 1oz perch was not what I expected. Finally caught by the end bank 2 carp in quick succession and then nothing else, not a bite here again all day. Paul was virtually biteless for a few hours, and all I could get was the odd carp across. Chris was now catching odd carp in his margins and was the clear leader at our end.

I tried the slapping rig a few times, it never yielded a F1 but I did get 2 carp on it and a 6oz roach. Over by the weedbed my soft pellet was snaffled by a 2oz skimmer, a little roach then a carp. After this no more bites! What ever I did I could not get another silver fish off of any line. The wind had got up and it made life hard, the only place I could get the odd bite was by the spit, but fish 14m in the wind was hard work. I fished my depth rig and spread the shot, but in the last 90 mins getting a bite was very hard, then on the last 3 drops I hooked 3 carp. Game over. By my clicker I had 50lb of carp, and I guessed 12lb of silvers, I wasn't sure that would be enough.

Chris started the weigh in on my peg, my silvers went 13lb 3oz, and the carp 55lb 6oz, 68lb 9oz was not going to win any money so I hoped I could take the one silvers prize. Paul next door really struggled and had 20lb, Rod Wootten on 66 did not weigh, and then Stu Barnet on 65 had 77lb. Top weight on my bank was Anton Page with 106lb from peg 58. On the opposite bank Shaun Townsend had 110lb from peg 46 and Chris won the lake with 130lb. Nobody beat my silvers weight so I would take home a few quid.

Over on Match Lake it fished really well, with Tony Rixon winning with 180lb from peg 6, and next door on 5 Gary O'Shea had 150lb, there were a few other tons but silvers weights were not great with 15lb top I think. More info on Tony's blog.

Glad I put some suncream on at the start as the sun was quite strong, although the last hour it went cloudy and the temperature dropped to 12C and we all felt the chill. I had an enjoyable day, frustrating at times, and surprised I could not catch more silvers, but there you go.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Windmill Fishery Open

My choice of fishery this weekend was based upon being as close to home as possible, I didn't want to have a very long day. The reason being I was going to have an early start Monday morning getting a plane to Ireland for 3 days of business meetings. Windmill being just 15 mins away was the obvious choice.

I had a great start to the weekend after getting invited to watch Rovers in the hospitality area, free food and free cider well it would be rude to say no. Glenn and myself were very thankful to Mark Tanner who invited us at late notice. I drank no more after we left the ground (happy with a win) as I was already well oiled. That meant Sunday morning I awoke feeling fine and dandy and and was at Wetherspoons in Kingswood before they were open. Also there were Mike Nicholls, Geoff Francis, Gordon Cannings, Paul Elmes and Shaun Townsend. A large breakfast and tea set me up for the day, service and price as well as quality here is very good.

We had to enter the venue today via the field entrance on Westerleigh road, this was due to work on the pylons, not for me climbing all the way to the top like the experts were doing, I've got no head for heights! The draw was delayed 15 mins to allow for anyone who had to drive the long way around, and in the end I think there was 20 fishing. I paid my pools and bought some pellets as you have to use the fishery pellets, they look like coppings to me. Good to see some of the regulars and some familiar faces and an old school mate Paul Staite. Talking to people it seemed the car park end of the fishery has been best, I drew peg 7 which is in the middle of the lake in the gap between the islands, not my first choice really.

I got to my peg and on flyer peg 6 (I drew it once and bagged up) was Mike Nicholls who had won the silvers from the same peg last week, he was "more than" happy. As I surveyed the peg I realised that due to the roping off I was able to fish towards to the two islands, though it would have to be on a wag or lead. I took a few pictures, but with the sun in front of me it was tricky.

A view of the island to my right in the first picture, where I tried to fish between the rope stake and the stick ups.  The island to the left was more open, but the wind was blowing away from it so I planned not to target it that much.

I set up a 2 swan pellet wag with 0.16 to 16 PR36, a couple of 4x14 Inters, one for meat at 5m and one for pellet at 13m. Also a 4x10 rig for pellet in the margins.

When the match began I fed some 4mm pellets at 13m with a cup and fed some 8mm by catty to the islands. Mike was going to fish for silvers and as ever he was starting short, I therefore hoped that my feeding to the island on the right would bring fish in as Mike would not feed across, more of this later. I dropped in at 13m with a 6mm pellet in a band, I probably waited no more than a minute for the float to bury and fish on, a 3lb carp first drop. Shipped out again, didn't have to wait long for another bite and soon a 1lb carp was in the net. Sadly this was to be a false dawn as I never had another bite on this line all day despite dripping bait in all day. After about 40 mins Gordon Cannings on peg 8 had 2 carp on wag, so I decided to have a go. I had a couple of casts without any joy and then had a bite which I hit despite having a large bow in the line. A 3lb carp was the culprit. That proved to be a flash in the pan too.

At this stage it appeared the venue was fishing hard, Mike was struggling to catch silvers and certainly nobody was bagging from what I could see. My pole lines were tried and produced nothing, another go on the wag and another carp, I had it on for a while but I think I pulled to hard as the hook pulled out under the rod tip. It was easy to cast the float in to the right island as the wind was slight and from my left, presentation was good but then the wind got a little worse and I lost a fouler and kept thinking that a straight lead would be better. Eventually I got off my arse and set the lead up, a nice little chuck toward the shallow water, and within 10 mins the rod was pulled round. I was happy to net a better fish of 4lb. Soon after the rod was literally pulled in and I hung on as a good fish pulled hard, this one I guessed was about 8lb, a lovely common.

During the middle hour or so of the match I took a few more good size carp on the lead, including one from the left hand island. Things were slowed down for a bit when I hooked a duck which decided to fly/swim under the rope into Mike's swim, I pulled as hard as I could but could not retrieve it and it was flapping about in front of Mike which annoyed him greatly. The duck got into the margin by Mike and I asked him to net it, Mike;s idea of netting it was to snap my line with the net on purpose, I may have used a very rude word to describe him. But I'm not one to worry about these things and I set up all over again and had a couple more carp

With about an hour and 45 mins I had put 48lb on my clicker, and I was sure I was doing OK, not winning as Joe McMahon was catching well up on about peg 1or 2. Mike had gone for a walk and confirmed I was doing OK, he also said he had to make a decision and had decided to get out all 13m of his pole and go across to where he could see carp mulling around. Whether it was co-incidence or not Mike started to catch the odd carp, and I stopped. I never had another fish until the very last cast on the wag to left hand island. It was frustrating as I watched Mike do well whilst I just could not get a bite other than the odd liner, and I knew it would cost me.

Sadly I never had a bite on the pole lines in close, but to be fair down my end of the lake nobody did, and it was incredibly poor to my left. The scales soon arrived, and Mike was admitting to 40lb, but I knew he had more, I had 50lb on the clicker. Mike weighed 52lb 5oz, including 7lb+ of silvers, my carp (I had no silvers) weighed 51lb 15oz. Gordon had 22lb and after that it was worse.

Joe was an easy winner today with 112lb, and I believe Shaun Townsend was on 25 and had 59lb and next door on 26 Paul Staite had 56lb.  Mike won the silvers, and I was then next, so effectively one out of the money. As I expected the last 90 mins were my undoing. Still I had a few fish and enjoyed the lovely warm sunshine and light winds. Mike treated us to a couple of pints from his winnings and as it was his birthday he said, so fair play.

Spring is here, I could tell not just because of the willow warblers signing, but the amount of red faces after the match!