Sunday, 17 June 2018

Open match Avon - Staverton and Barton Farm

Hope everyone has had a good time since I did my last blog, I certainly did as I had a week away in Zante which was once again brilliant. I found a lovely little resort there last year and love it, will go back again for sure. My view from beach restaurant..

I got back on the Monday night, back to work Tuesday and Wednesday after work I drove to Somerton to meet up with the lads on the fishing holiday that I usually take part in. However, I was only staying for a curry and then back home. Fair to say they all looked knackered and a few of them a bit pissed, lol. I missed being with the lads, but Zante with my wife was always the first option for me this year.  Whilst on holiday I was asked if I wanted to fish the superleague round on the Bristol Avon up at Staverton and Bradford on Avon, I said yes and was booked in for the open match on Sunday 17th June.

I ordered some bait in the week and managed to make a few rigs and sort out some top sets on Friday evening, had no time Saturday as I had to drive to Plymouth and back, my eldest daughter has finished Uni now and so we had to empty her flat. Woke up 6:15am Sunday and was looking forward to being on the river again, even though I think the river is much better a month into the season, history shows me (certainly on the lower river) that a few bream weights dominate.

The draw was in McDonalds in Trowbridge where I met up with a few team mates, Andy Cranston, Jack Jones, Andy Ottoway, Lee Trivett and Martin Barrett. A quick bit of grub and the draw was underway, most locals said you needed to be at Staverton, and a few decent fish had been caught there yesterday. Of course I drew at Barton Farm, peg 4 which was about halfway down the path I guess. Not a clue about this area, all I know is usually further down past the gate is where the bream are. Martin and Mike Withy both told me I was on a chub peg, hmmm never keen on them having a feed this early, but I would give it a good go. The trees to left of the picture are in dead water and the only pace I could find was from 13m to about 10m off the far bank.

I got setting up and waggler and maggot feeder were first things I set up, I didn't mess about as Mike said I would get bust a few times, so 0.14 to 18 or 16 today. Also set up pole rigs for 13m, a 1g pencil float with 0.09 to 22, a 2g with 0.10 to 18, and a 3g with 0.14 to 16.

The match started at 10:30 and I was a couple of minutes late, I threw in 6 balls of gbait at 13m and began feeding maggots further across. I started on the 2g rig with caster hoping for a few better fish, but sadly it was not to be and I could not get a bite. On to the pencil float with a maggot and I began to get bites from tiny roach, it was a bad start and a bad sign I feared. I did manage a 6oz perch but everything else in the first hour was tiny, and I reckoned to have 1lb 4oz. Meanwhile below me Andy Cranston had caught perch to 8oz and roach to 4oz!

After 90 mins I was on the waggler, and it was a bite every cast with fish taking the bait within 5 seconds. Sadly it was chublets and bleak there were 1/2 to 1oz, although I did get a couple of 4oz chublets. I dropped back in on the pole which I had topped up a couple of times and I had 4 or 5 roach about 2oz to 3oz but then no more. It was cleat there were few fish in my swim of any quality, unless there were some bream and chub about. With half the match left I fed positively on the pole line hoping to get any big fish on the feed on the deck. I upped the feed on the waggler but was still catching tiny fish which were spewing up maggots.

About an hour to go the heavy feeding across had fed off the bits, but sadly no bigger chub put in an appearance. A few goes on the pole with bigger baits also didn't reap any success other than a 4oz perch. When the match finished I knew I was going to be an also ran  today.

The scales weighed from the bottom end where there were a few weights around double figures, perch roach and odd bream. Then just below the gate an angler had 7 bream for 41lb. Cranny below me had 7lb 12oz, then I had 6lb 10oz of snots, more than I thought. The next peg above me was about 80 yards away, he had 4 bream and weighed 23lb, and then next two anglers also had a bream each plus lots of perch. Gary Etheridge on the end peg only had 5lb+.

Up at Staverton I heard a lad had 16 bream for 78lb, and a couple of pegs below him Richard Chave had 4 bream and some roach for about 21lb.

Well it seemed the river fished a bit better than I thought, but gutted I never managed to hook any bonus fish today, such is life. No fishing for me next weekend, and then it will be back up here for the Superleague.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Viaduct Spring League

Some weeks ago Emma Drysdale was looking for a stand in for this round of the spring league, though given the weather summer league would be more appropriate, anyway I said I would help out. It was a pleasant drive to the fishery and I got my car parked in space near Carey, and then Des Shipp parked next to me, hope I wouldn't draw next to him too I thought. Paid my pools, loaded the trolley and into the draw queue, poor Ron Hardiman is having a bit of Lodgeitis, and he drew there again today on 55, not good and I know what it's like to draw there 5 time out of 6, so he has some way to go as its 3 out of 4 for Ron. I picked a good one today in 115 on Campbell, a peg I have had before and hoped I could improve on previous results.

My section started at 110 where Lee Wherret was perched, Phil Hardwick was on 111, Nicky ewers 112, Leon Hubbard 113 and Paddy Curry on 114. Tough section then, though on my right on highly fancied 116 was the one and only Craig "Trig" Edmonds, everyone said be prepared for a hiding, lol.

Rigs today were a mugging rig, shallow slapper, 4x12 for hard pellet on the deck which could be used at 5m and 15m, and another 4x12 for the deep margin on the left. I did set up a lead rod but never used it. The view of my peg is pretty standard, there a bit of fluff about but not so bad as I had last match, but some folk today had the fluff really bad, almost unfishable in a few pegs.

My left hand margin looked like this, and was very easy to fish but it is deep and so I would feed 8mm pellet here. I fished to the clear bit on the point.

When the match began I had a cheeky look at 5m on hard pellet, but never had a twitch here, though Leon Hubbard had a carp and skimmer doing this. Trig soon mugged a carp out long, though we couldn't really see the fish from this side of the lake at this stage so I went with the mugging rig but fed 6mm pellets to try to catch shallow. Probably about 10 mins of doing this I had a carp, it tore off and I assumed it was fouled, but it stayed on somehow and eventually got it back in to the top set. I looked down at the pulla bung and no elastic, shit, fish was still on so the knot was lodged in the other end of the bung. I had no choice but to grab the elastic at the other end and pull the fish towards me. Sadly after 10 mins of faffing the fish snapped me as I had the elastic too tight, the fish was hooked in the mouth and was large, so bad start and never had that happen before. I got back out shallow and hooked another which was fouled and came off. There were very few indications but finally I got one in the net at about 7lb. Lost another fouler and that was it for the first hour. I decided to try the deep rig over the same line and had an immediate bite and another carp about 6lb, a skimmer and no more bites on this, other than liners so I went back out shallow. Caught nothing shallow!

Two hours gone and I was on 2 carp and Trig was on 4, everyone to my left was struggling except for Lee I heard. Paddy and Trig had tried the lead and caught nothing, so I couldn't see the need to try it.  I was going nowhere and could not find any way to get bites. Nearing three hours in Trig caught one shallow on a slapping rig, then he caught another, and another. I went back out an on the slapper but I didn't get one, clearly I didn't know what I was doing wrong as Trig carried on catching. In desperation, and because I had seen Leon catch in his margin, I gave my margin a go. After about 10 mins a few small bubbles popped up and the float went down, I hit a small carp about 5lb. Trig said if I had caught that early I could do a big weight. Well that put the mockers on it, and no more bites.

The rest of the match saw Trig continue to fill his nets with carp, shallow, then in his RH margin, it was quite awesome to watch, though I did try to concentrate on my own fishing it was tricky as I was getting pulverised. With about 80 mins I had to be last in the section, then the 5m line started to show signs of life with a few blows now and again. Trouble was I couldn't hook the buggers in the mouth, argh! I think I lost four and then landed a fouler, then with about 40 mins to go I landed four in no time all hooked in the gob. I had a few skimmers and a couple more carp all on this line till the end of the match, sadly I never had another bite in the margin, which was a shock to me. That said Paddy on 114 never had a fish in his margin, but Leon on 113 reckoned he might have had 100lb in his margin in the last hour. Match over I thought I had 75lb, and guessed Trig had at least 200lb more than me.

I had to wait a long time for the scales to arrive, and had a walk down the section, it was between Lee and Leon for first in section as both were admitting to 130lb, the rest like me had struggled. The scales got to Trig, and they stayed there a long time, he weighed 304lb, a weight which I can only dream of catching, big well done.

My turn, and 7lb of skimmers were added to my 77lb of carp for a total of 84lb+. Paddy had 53lb, Leon 137lb (but he went 3lb over in one net), Nick Ewers chucked back 50lb, Phil had 44lb of carp and 35lb of skimmers on meat, then Lee had 140lb. Third in section, not a disaster for Emma but not great either.

So, what did I do wrong, or more to the point what did Trig do right? Who knows, I don't, but it is the little things in fishing that can make all the difference and can make bites, feeding and presentation. I'd like to think his peg was worth more than mine on the day, but I doubt had we swapped pegs the result would be much different. He is a different class and it shows that if you put the effort in you can do well. The only surprise was he did not win, that went to Sam Powell who had 325lb from peg 85 on Carey.

OK that's it from me, no fishing next weekend and so I hope you all have a good one, oh, and try not to draw next to Trig! PMSL