Monday, 28 May 2018

Frying at Viaduct on a Bank Holiday

This has been a really great weekend. It was my wedding anniversary on Sunday and so we wanted to have a good celebration all weekend. Saturday in Bristol was great, a posh meal, splendid wine and plenty of other drinks during the night. Bit of gardening and walking Sunday, followed by some Martin Miller Gin.

I woke up early Sunday with no hangover and really was looking forward to the day. It was a pleasant journey to Viaduct and I arrived in good time but still had to park by Lodge lake. I got all my gear on the shuttle and paid my pools to Steve Long and saw that Trig had turned up. I had hoped that after his mammoth 300lb+ yesterday on Carey he would have stayed at home for a rest lol. I was in the draw queue fairly early more by luck than judgement and hoping to avoid Lodge lake as it has not been great of late. The lad in front of me drew 113 on Campbell, Andy Cranston and Trig behind me drew 125 and 126, so of course I had pulled out 53 on Lodge! Steve Long sniggered and Trig simply said I would not fancy that, in fact nobody gave me good vibes. There were 9 pegs on Lodge and two sections, so I would be fishing for the section money.

I pushed my shuttle all 20 metres to the peg and surveyed the water in front of me, there were plenty of carp on the surface from 4m to all the way up to the rope on peg 70. The only trouble was I thought they looked like non feeding fish, but I would have to try to mug some of them. You can see a couple of carp by the tree in the photo.

Rig wise I set up a mugging rig with a Preston Tyson with 16 KKB to 0.17, a 4x12 pellet float for fishing on the deck up behind the tree to the left, same hook and line. Lastly a 4x10 Durafloat with same terminal gear for fishing in the margins, left down to a tree, and to my right. I also set up a lead rod to chuck down to the end bank, but this became redundant as today was the day the willow trees decided to release their seeds, white fluff!  Picture below shows the tree in the left and end bank that I would have liked to have cast to later on.

The match began at 11am and to start it was a simple try on the mugging rig. I was pleasantly surprised when after 5 mins I got one to take the pellet, it hardly put a fight and I soon put the net under a 10lb fish. After 20 mins I mugged another carp, again it didn't really fight that much and if anything it was a bit bigger than the first one. I think these fish were literally switched off in the sun and I netted them before the adrenaline kicked in, as both went mad in the landing net. If this carried on it would be a huge weight day, of course it didn't and I had not added anything when the first hour ended.

Into hour 2 and I had begun to feed 6mm pellet behind the tree, and 8mm pellet to the right hand margin as I hoped some of the cruising carp might eventually move into there. The white fluff was now getting worse and my long pole line was full of it and with no bites here and the rig full of fluff I gave it up fairly soon. I saw a carp in the margin and quickly dropped in there with an 8mm pellet, the carp was still there, but the float wasn't registering any signs so I lifted it and hooked something which caused a boil and came off. Dropped back in and hit snags, bad snags keeping the bait off the bottom. I decided to have a drag around with a deeper rig and got out a fair few branches and some elastic. I left the margin alone and managed to mug another carp to end hour two.

The third hour was a complete waste, the fluff was horrendous and I could not see carp to attempt to mug them, and spent time trying the margins as I could get a bait in, but no bites. The lad on 73 had enough of the fluff and packed up and went home. The fourth hour was also blank for me, though I did foul another fish in the margin, I hadn't seen hardly a fish caught though and so I soldiered on.

Luckily a little breeze got up and started to shift the fluff down into the end bank, it also seemed to get the carp moving a little and I managed to mug a couple more. Also there were signs of fish coming into the rh margin although the left one never produced a fish. The margin fish were very tricky, I got the feeling that they weren't really interested in feeding and were not hanging around long. I did manage to catch a few carp in this margin, with one that must have been close to 15lb and he did fight. I did lose another fouler which snapped me, and lost a rig when I flicked the pellet a bit farther than normal and hooked up solid. Still the last couple of hours while by no means solid at least gave me something to work at and the fish were of a good stamp, I think I ended up with 11 carp and had 110lb on the clicker, so probably 100lb. I was hoping I might win the section, but I had seen the lad on the monk catching a few late on, but really had no clue what he had. What I did know was I was bloody hot, sweating like a pig, and covered head to toe in white fluff, lol!

Steve Long began the weigh in with me, and my fish went 105lb 11oz so clicked well today, and Steve reckoned that could be the best on the lake. Indeed Lodge had fished hard with Warren Beard on 64 having 76lb 7oz and 44lb on peg 68 was third on our lake. That meant I would get my section money. Picture of some of my fish, the photographer used the video function instead of the camera, hence the play button in the piccy as I took a screenshot of it.

The top anglers today were...
1st Gary O'Shea  193lb 4oz    Campbell 127 pellet shallow
2nd Bill Gronow 186lb 14oz  Campbell 115
3rd Jack Stamp   174lb 8oz    Campbell 130  Pellet on the lead
4th Martin Preston  150lb 10oz.  The giant caught a few mugging and then on the lead on Carey 102

Silvers winner was Chris Davies with 38lb 5oz from 114
John Bradford was 2nd with 30lb 2oz from peg 119.

I managed to come 10th overall, happy with that as Campbell and a few pegs on Carey were clearly the place to be today.

Back at Viaduct again next week, standing in for Emma Drysdale on the spring league.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Todber Manor Fishery Open

With the Royal Wedding on Saturday, and knowing the ladies in my family would be watching it, I hatched a plan to fish Saturday at Todber. Mark Jefferies, Glenn Bailey and Dave Wilmott also wanted to journey down to the fishery, and so it was we met 8am in Riverside Cafe near the fishery. Nice breakfast, bit pricey though. I was pleased to have got there on time as the night before I had been playing skittles and had few pints, but luckily I stopped at 10pm and so was a good boy, lol. Saw some old faces at skittles, Paul Carey and Andy Brain, both who told me they enjoy reading my blog, cheers lads.

Arriving at the fishery and I saw a few friendly faces such as Alan Oram, Mark Leader, Dave Roper and Nicky Collins. The match was on two lakes, Hill View and Ash, and as I had not fished either lake had no idea where I wanted to be. At 9am the draw began and I pulled out peg 68 on Ash, this seemed to me about bang in the middle of the lake, the last time I was here the end peg to my right was the hot peg. Dave drew next me to on 69, Mark on 71 and Glenn was on Hill View just behind us in a corner.

Ash lake is a strip lake and the far bank is not pegged so this obviously is a fish holding area. Glenn had drawn this peg last Saturday and he had 87lb from it, he had some carp on pole and paste and some on the pellet waggler, but said he had to cast in tight to the reeds to get bites. The view from my peg below with a few ducklings that were a little to hungry during the match. The fishery was in pristine condition, and the area around the peg had been recently strimmed.

Setting up today I put a 3 swan pellet wag up with a 16 KKM hook to 0.15, and clipped this up. I also set up a method feeder knowing that this was a tactic used a fair bit here, but it is something I have not fished for a long time, I had mixed up some groundbait for this the day before, and soaked some 2mm pellets on the bank. For the pole I set up a 4x14 F1 pellet float, with a 14 PR478 to 0.15 this was to fish either meat and corn on the long pole. A margin rig was set up but only had a roach on that. There was no sign of any fish shallow, and the hot sun and lack of wind had me thinking this could be a tough day, I didn't even set up a shallow / mugging rig, but if I saw anyone catching on I would change. Dave next to me was going down the silvers route, he recently had 69lb of skimmers here and he was keen to improve on that he said.

The match began, I fed a cup of corn and meat at 13m slightly to my left as that was the empty peg side, and fed 6mm pellet across to the far side. I dropped the rig in at 13m with a piece of meat on the hook, and fully expected an immeadiate bite as I was sure I had felt fish when plumbing up. The float just sat there, didn't move, 5 mins, 10 mins and finally 15 mins a bite and a little 12oz carp. I caught another small carp, and then fed a little bit more bait, I waited longer for a bite, then a little tench, a skimmer and a F1 looking thingy. This was all over about 30 mins, and I certainly was not bagging and bites stopped, The lad to my left had caught a duckling on the method, lost a pellet waggler, and managed 1 small carp. Dave was getting into skimmers on the caster, and was doing well.

Into the second hour and I tried feeding pellets off to my right at 13m, but this line never produced an indication and I had the feeling the carp were not in the area, but with a few showing across I picked up the wag. I managed 1 carp on this but soon the fish had got spooked and disappeared and I was left being pestered by ducklings, until I hooked one in the leg. Two or more hours in and I had a visit from local legend Guy Manton, I told him I was lucky if I had 8lb and was pretty fed up and not going anywhere. I did manage a couple of carp whilst he was with me though, getting one on the method feeder, and this showed there were carp across as I had a lot of liners. However, a couple of casts later and I could not get my gbait / pellet to stick to the method, instead it was sticking to the mould. At this point I had no idea why this was happening, but I think it is my fault for using a free bag of carp gbait I was given, instead of sticking to my tried and trusted Sonubaits method mix, lesson learnt. I chucked the feeder rod up the bank and it stayed there lol. Guy saw enough of my ineptitude and wandered off!

Mid match and it seemed most people to my left were struggling, Dave was emptying the lake of every skimmer, and to the right of Mark more fish seemed to have been caught. Mark had a bit of a torrid time on the waggler, he lost a float, lost a few fish near to the net, and caught a duckling lol. I went back on the waggler and all of a sudden things came together, I had gone from casting a dozen times without a sign to now getting a bite / liner every cast. In ninety minutes I put a lot of small carp in the net and was really enjoying myself, though I did lose a few hooklengths in the reeds. I was thinking if this carried on till the end of the match I would be looking at a good ton plus weight, but the wheels fell off. The fish wised up again, or moved off, bit of both I think, and despite resting it the carp never fed again properly. Guy I had said to keep feeding meat at 4m, and I dropped in on this hoping to empty it, but a couple of skimmers and tench proved the carp were still not around. The last hour was costly indeed, the wind got up from nowhere and large amounts of cut reeds were blown down the lake to my right. I did catch three carp short but that was it, many other people had started catching at either end of the lake it seemed, especially the right hand end where the wind was blowing.

When the match finished I was a bit gutted, I had really not fished a good match, showed lack of practice and lack of knowledge on the venue. The scales arrived very quickly and weighed from the end peg on my lake, think it was peg 59 or 60. When they got to me 73lb was top weight, my silvers went 12lb and my carp 71lb, for a total of 83lb. Dave's turn next and we were wondering if he was going to break the silvers record, well his first net had 67lb of skimmers (1lb under the net limit) and his next net had 46lb, so 113lb 10oz of silvers and a new venue record. Wow well done mate, awesome day for you and it was great for me to watch.

Mark had 72lb, and then next to him on peg 72 Jim Butcher had 122lb 6oz and this was enough to win the match. He had caught on paste, and had caught all day fishing about 7m, on end peg 75 Darel Faletto had 116lb 10oz to come third overall. I thought I would get the section by triple default (PMSL) but at this fishery they section money also to the silvers money winners, so Dave took the section money.

On Hill View the top weight was on peg 49, Mayo had 118lb 6oz, and large amount of this came in the last 90 mins in the margin.

Glenn ended up with 87lb in his corner, and couldn't catch in his margins so fell back.

Well for me 83lb of small carp and silvers is really a nice day out in the sun, but with only one good 90 minutes of bagging I left feeling I had not made the most of the peg, but shit happens and I got a sun tan.

Spent Sunday with my wife and we had a great walk at Haresfield and a nice roast in a pub in the middle of nowhere. Saw some lovely butterflies at Haresfield, bloody hard to take picture of them, this was my best effort.

Next weekend it will be fishing on bank holiday Monday somewhere for me, as I have plans Sat and Sun. Hope you enjoyed the sun and had few fish this weekend, the weather in May really is making up for the long hard winter I feel.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Windmill Fishery Open

Back to Windmill for Sunday as I fancied staying local. I had spent a lovely Saturday with my wife, we went to Westonbirt Arboretum, walked the long way around it, and then then we had afternoon tea in Tetbury, that was a Xmas present from my sister in law. Had a great Argentine Malbec red wine, only had half the bottle and felt the effects of it that night, still there was no prep required as I had done all that last week luckily.

It was looking like being a lovely Sunday weather wise, I grabbed a breakfast at Kingswood Wetherspoon and was soon at the fishery. Sadly once again the turnout was poor with only 9 anglers but there was still £50 for the winner to fish for, as well as the golden peg. However, I did not draw the golden peg, that honour went to gentleman Bob Warren, I pulled out peg 4 instead. Peg 4 has been a good one of late, last week Chris Davis had 130lb from it to frame, and so I was quite happy with it.

Got to the peg and the lake was flat calm, no wind and no fish showing either, but that doesn't always mean the fish won't feed. The peg is one of the few that the island can be reached with a pole which is a real bonus, but I hoped I wouldn't have to go the full 16m. In the picture straight in front of me was some spiky grass, and on top of it was a moorhen nest. To the left was a bit of bare bank, very shallow but with my catapult feeding I would feed both spots.

Rigs for today were quite simple, a 4x12 for fishing about 18" deep across (short of the island) with 0.16 to 16 KKM-B for banded pellet, a Tyson dibber with a long line for swinging a pellet into the far bank shallow. I did set up a shallow pellet rig for slapping too. A meat rig for 4m never had a bite, and a 4x12 margin rig... never had a bite!!!!

My neighbours for the day were to my right on peg 2 venue regular John Osbourne, and on peg 7 was Ade Crawley. The match started at 10:30 and I began on the shallow slapping rig fishing at 14.5m feeding 6mm pellet and had a 8mm in the band. It was slow going to begin, and I swapped to the deeper rig but had to fish further across (it was 2 1/2 ft at 14.5m). I had a carp soon on this rig but lost two foulers straight after. Back to the shallow rig and I managed one carp and then nothing, back to the deeper rig and a couple more carp and a fouler. It seemed it was a slow start for most people and after an hour I was doing best from what people were saying. The second hour was much the same, shallow rig not working but get the odd carp on the 18" rig, there were carp over my feed but with no ripple they were proving hard to hook in the mouth!

The third hour became a real test, a lack of any indications, and those I had were liners. I pushed the rig further over, so had to shallow up. It was strange because my shallow dibber rig fished about 6" off bottom would get no interest, but the depth rig (now about 14") would get me the odd indication and lost fouler and odd one in the mouth. I would go ages without anything and then have two in two drops! I tried 6mm in the band, didn't make a lot of difference, and went back to 8mm.

Ade was struggling, he had managed a few carp fishing 14m, John had taken a few carp long lining towards the island, and some silvers and carp in his margin From what I could tell with 2 hours to go I was still winning the match, I thought I had about 70lb.  I just kept ticking over and working hard, varying the feed and where I dropped the float, but getting a proper bite was always a test. My margin and meat lines were tried regularly to give me a rest, as fishing 16m full is hard work.

John had a good fifth hour in the margin, but it died for him after this, MarkSummerhayes on the other side of the island started to catch well on the paste short and his last two hours he had 60ld he reckoned.

The last hour when I thought the margin would kick never did, but finally the carp got more confident across, and I started to get the odd proper bite where the fish nearly pulled the elastic out. Not frantic and had to be patient, but more fish to bite ratio.

The match ended at 4:30pm and I had 120lb on my clicker, not one silver fish today. John was first to weigh and he had 60lb, me next and I had spread my fish over three nets, my final weight was called at 121lb 10oz. Ade struggled for just over 20lb.

I had to wait for the last anglers to be weighed in on the other side, as they had done OK, but as it turned out I had done enough to get the win.

1st Clucker  121lb 10oz
2nd Mark Summerhayes 95lb 1oz on peg 21
3rd Shaun Townsend 82lb 8oz  from peg 17

Silvers winner was Dave Wilmott who won this prize by doubling the second weight, with 13lb.

A lovely day, had to keep working and concentrating all day, adjusting what I fed and lifting and dropping. The shallow long lining rig came in useful towards the end but used at depth, I felt the carp were spooking with pole over their heads and long lining helped I feel. Had a couple of pints back at the folly with Hainer and Dave Wilmott, good company sat in the sun with a cider.

Next week it is the Royal Wedding on Saturday, and so I will be watching that.... Will I f*ck! I am going fishing Saturday, not sure where, but I am not staying home, lol!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Shiplate Fishery Open

After the match here last week Glenn told me there was an open on the main lake on the bank holiday Monday, and as I have never drawn on that lake I booked myself in. The weather forecast was looking good and I was looking forward to a hot and sunny weekend.

I had a lovely weekend walking out with my wife and my youngest daughter, and in between I managed to get a number of carp top sets set up with new elastic, mainly Dura Hollo 12 and 14, though I did put some 16 into the margin pole. I got plenty of rigs made up for fishing shallow and mugging as I thought this would be the way to go, plus a couple of silvers rigs in case I drew pants.

It was a 10:30 draw and so it was a nice leisurely start to the day and I would have been at the fishery very early but decided on a new route and found a road closure lol. At the fishery the match had sold out with 19 fishing, and the usual fishery experts were in residence and I was greeted warmly by the owners. I was told a draw at the hut end of the lake was needed to do well, and my drawing arm at this fishery is unreal as I pulled out peg 14B which is one off the end peg 15 flyer. I was dead chuffed I had drawn well again and was hoping I would be able to make it count this week and get in the money. The payout today was top 3 overall and top 2 in silvers (no double bubble), last week I was third but had no money as the payouts were split over the canals which was fair enough. Glenn had drawn poor, peg 8 I think, and next to him was Dom Sullivan who was less than happy with his peg 9. The other side of Dom was Steve Howell, and so that was three baggers well away from the carp lol!

I got to my peg and before I did anything else I applied some factor 50 suncream, I was fishing in my shorts, a far cry from last week here when I had my thermals on!!! As I surveyed the peg there were the odd carp far out, but down on 15 and to the left there were carp everywhere, hopefully they would venture my way. Opposite me was an island, but it was a long way away and I decided to not bother setting up a lead to chuck to it.

Behind me on Westpool there were carp everywhere, and all day long they were crashing and slurping! As I set up my rigs I kept on the water for carp, I set up a mugging rig, a shallow rig for pellet at 14.5m, a 4x12 depth pellet rig for the same line all on 0.168 exceed to 16 KKM-B.  I also set up a margin rig 4x10 durafloat for hard pellet same line as previous, and a rig for meat at 5m. Lastly I set up a pellet waggler and was hoping to get a few on this as I set it up with one of my new Preston Centris 420 reels. Sadly it needed some backing as 150m of 5lb line didn't get to the spool lip, that said it made no odds as the float cast miles. Only trouble was I never had a bite on the wag so the reel is still a virgin.

Midday and the all in is shouted, I could see a carp about 10m out and so went straight out with the mugging rig, good first drop in and the fish took it game on. It pulled a bit, and took a while to get the net, probably about 12lb, nice start. No other carp were in mugging range, so I waited for a bit but the others I saw were not in the slightest interested when I plopped the bait near them. I went out to 14.5m and started feeding at 6mm pellet fishing shallow, for 20 minutes or so I never had a sign and also didn't get any muggers I saw. A few fizzes appeared and so I tried the depth rig, missed a bite and then hit one, this fish decided it wanted to go to the island and I hung on for my life. I eventually stopped the fish and could tell it was fouled, probably in the tail. It took a while and there were a few hairy moments, but eventually I netter a 8lb common hooked in the tail. Back out and just on the hour I hooked another carp, this one also went well but I didn't think it was fouled, it wasn't, it was about 16lb and lovely mirror. An hour gone and 36lb in the net, good start.

Second hour and I lost a fouler at depth, hooking the fish about 9" off bottom, I'd lose a couple more like that, pain in the butt when they are like that. I managed another 2 carp, 1 was caught fishing shallow and 1 was mugged. Slow going but but nobody was catching much from what I could see. third hour and I had 2 more carp both on the depth rig, one in the mouth one in the tail. Glenn appeared at this point, and he was pretty fed up as all he had was a couple of tench, all around him was poor. He said Gary Flinders on peg 13A (I think) had 5 carp and Mark Jones on peg 4 had the same, I could see he was catching shallow. Either side of me Roy Ede (on 15) and Ray Wickham were fishing for silvers, though Roy was getting the odd carp too.

Glenn went away to pack up and have an hour or so on Hawthorns. I had one carp not long after Glenn had gone on the shallow rig. With two hours to go I had 8 carp for 80lb on my clicker, I was thinking I would be doing a good weight as everyone was saying the last two hours would be awesome.... Ummm not for me! The carp had long since disappeared and I could not get any signs, I managed to catch 2 tench in the margin in the last 10 minutes and that was it. A very disappointing end to the match which I thought would cost me a framing place.

The scales started on the end peg 15 and Roy weighed in 18lb of silvers, plus some carp. My turn next, 4 carp in each net, first net goes 50lb, and next net 33lb, plus the two tench I ended up with 85lb 14oz. A picture of a couple of my larger carp.

Ray Wickham had 16lb of silvers, and then Gary Flinders was next, I assumed he had beat me, but it turned out Gary suffered with the carp not staying in his peg either, and he had around 60lb. Gary told me he was confident he would do a big weight on the peg, but the carp had other ideas today and may have been dining out on silvers spawn. As it turned out the pegs opposite were better and the winner was Paul Faires from peg 2 (whom I could not see as he was behind the island. Paul had 138lb  14oz, he caught on pellet to the island and also on worm over caster in his margin. Second was Mark Jones who weighed 112lb 2oz all carp caught shallow, Mark caught best the last 3 hours when a bit of ripple appeared in his peg. Third was me, but that meant a pick up this time yay!

Steve Howell did well today to win the silvers with 20lb 12oz from the far end of the lake.

After the match Glenn rang me to find out how I had done and the overall results, he had drawn another bad peg as the A38 was solid due to bank holiday traffic. I took a route through Cheddar and past Chew Valley Lake and got home trouble free. Couple of cans of Thatchers to cool me down and now it is time for bed.