Sunday, 27 January 2019

January / February 2000

There was no blog last week as I was pretty rough after a bout of man flu, only really just cleared my chest this weekend, why is it these days every cold takes nearly 2 weeks to do one? Also with the weather not looking great right now and me not having any team match commitments I have decided to get some jobs done at home and get some brownie points in too. After a brief journey outside today I am happy as I was not sat out in the strong Northerly wind, but fair play to those that did.

Before I reminisce I have to say how shocked I was today to hear the news on Talk Sport (Fishermans blues) about the Angling Trust dropping the England Team sponsor Drennan after 25 years. The show host Nigel Botherway went on to explain that the Angling Trust have been unable to account for all of the sponsorship money which Peter Drennan had provided, I think it was in relation to 2017, and that £20K of the £30K funds were unaccounted for. Serious stuff, and some very serious questions need to be asked. Peter Drennan made an official statement which Nigel read out. In the statement Peter was clear the AT had now stopped any future sponsorship with Drennan, Peter thanked some of the people he had worked with; England managers Dick Clegg and Mark Addy, but another manager was not mentioned or thanked, hmmm...

Back in 2000 my fishing started on Sunday the 2nd January, it was another round of the ATWL fished at Newbridge. I was on peg 26 and I only had two fish, an eel and a roach which both came to the feeder fished down the middle of the river. Chopped worm got me the two fish, they went 13oz and as I got 8 point for that you can tell it was a bloody hard match. Things didn't get any better the following weekend on the Commercial House on the K&A Canal, I was drawn on the "concrete" up by Warleigh. I caught 8 fish all match and 4 of those came in the last 5 minutes! Of course they were only tiny and 4oz was my lot. Everything was caught on squatt. I had 6 points out of 14 so not great.

January 15th and the final round of the ATWL which was to be fished on the canal. My team were leading the league and we had to have a disaster to let the lead slip. I didn't record where I drew, must have been because I only caught 4 ruffe for 1 1/2oz and just 2 points, shocking. However, the team came 4th on the day and we won the league by more than 50 points, so that was great.

A week later I decided to have a go on the river at Swineford, peg 18 a good chub peg and all these years later still is. The river was going through fast so it had to be a feeder job, and I took an early 3lb chub and small one on the gbait feeder, but then never had a bite for 3 hours. A switch to the maggot feeder brought two more small chub and a good 4lb chub, I also got snapped on one when I gave it too much stick under the rod end.  All the change the following day as I made my first visit to a lake called Fishponds House. A strange lake, with large open area, then a channel narrowing up to a bowl at the bottom. I managed to pull out the peg right at the end of the lake in the bowl, certainly sheltered from the elements and by all accounts one that could be very good. I was told the best approach was to fish to sweetcorn and that a lot of fish could be caught fishing by the nearside ledge. I fished a 4x14 float with a 16 to 0.12 and I fed 4 grains of corn by toss pot after every fish caught. I started out at 9m in front and had 5 carp, but once this slowed after an hour I went 9m to my right down the ledge and stayed here for the rest of the match. I finished with 27 carp for 80lb 11oz and second overall, certainly the best day I had for a while lol!

The following weekend and a visit to another new venue, Riverton lakes. If my memory is correct I drew next Tony Rixon and for sure I had gone there as he would have suggested it down at Avon Angling. Sadly it appeared we hadn't drawn on the fish, and I only had 2 carp for 6lb 8oz. It was back to Fishponds House the following week, and this time I found myself drawn on a point on the open water. Sounds like a good draw, and probably was, but the wind was horrendous and blowing straight in my face. All I could do was fish a very short pole, or down the edge. It wasn't a great experience and 6 carp for 21lb+ was not going to win any coin on such a good venue.

I had the flu after this, and wasn't sure I would fish on the weekend, and in the end I decided at the last minute to pleasure fish at Viaduct Fishery. I got all the way there to find there were matches on the lakes that were open and I was out of luck, bugger! However, Carey Lake was just in the process of being turned into a match lake and Ian Parsons told me he had built some platforms in the week and I could go and fish on them, I sat on what is probably about peg 98 or 99. Behind me on Lodge was a CARPS AC match, and Martin McMahon was struggling. I fished a 4AAA waggler with a 16 to 0.12 with sweetcorn, feeding 4 grains every 10 minutes. It was OK, with 13 carp, 1 bream, 1 chub and 2 roach. About halfway through Martin got fed up catching nothing and seeing me catch, so he wrapped in the match and came and sat on the next peg up from me and followed suit with wag and sweetcorn and enjoyed himself. Think we were pretty much two of the first people to ever coarse fish Carey.

Let's see what the week ahead brings, work and weather, and the rods might come out....

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Commercial House Final Round K&A Canal Bath

Final match of a well run series, but sadly my team were only able to field 4 of our Thatchers squad for the 6 man team. We managed to get a super sub in, Dave Johnson but nobody else and so we would be fishing the last round one man short. A shame since we were winning the league narrowly from Bathampton A, but the way the canal has been fishing anything could happen.

I spent Saturday afternoon with my wife pegging the match out, and I was feeling a bit of pressure doing it as the canal had been so bad last week. However, my plan was to put as many pegs in the town as possible and with not too many boats about I was able to do that. I got 8 pegs in Long Pond, 4 pegs in Horseshoe Pond, 10 pegs in Malthouse, 6 pegs in Richardsons, and 4 pegs in the tunnels. The last two sections I put from Meadow Farm to the George, and I hoped I wouldn't draw them!

Sunday morning and I handed in the pegging sheets to Mike Goodhind, paid my pools and got a little bit of joker and some good bloodworm. I had loads of joker left from the week before, and by keeping it in black leam in newspaper it was all alive. Liam Braddel did the team draw and drew middle peg 4, and my team were pegged as follows:-

A section - the missing person! Bah best section and we don't get it!
B section - Jack Jones last peg in Horseshoe (good)
C section - Dave Johnson
D section - Tony Gilbert  (good)
E section - Liam (shite)
F section - me (shite)

I was gutted but half expected it, just cos you peg a match out doesn't mean you are owed a flyer. Still at least I had been able to see the pegs I fancied lol!

I parked up by the Church and walked past the George pub to my peg, just about the worst peg / area but you've just got to get on with it. At least the owners of the lawn didn't come out and cut the grass opposite. My view for the day.
The reeds look nice, but these actually grow behind a concrete wall of the canal, still they would give a little cover in places.

More in hope than expectation I set up a bread rig, also some rigs for bloodworm, one .25g for fishing in close and across, a .4g for fishing at 5m, and a rig for chopped worm down the middle. If I started to catch a lot of fish on bread I would set up a caster rig for over, but I wasn't confident. My section was always going to be tough to win with Neil Mercer sat on the end peg not far from the white gate just below the George, but I had to beat Mat Challenger of Bathampton A who was on peg 6 with 7 empty, Neil on 8 was pleasure fishing! Either side of me today were Jeff Surmon and Mike Goodhind.

The match started at 10am, I tried the bread for 10 minutes and no bites, then a boat comes down and the captain manages to steer it into my far bank and churns that up did the same to the 3 anglers below me, twat. I came off the bread as nobody had caught on it. I went out 11.5m of at 11 o'clock with the light bloodworm rig where I had fed a small amount of joker. It was very hard to present the rig, the wind was now howling from right, and the canal towing the opposite way (why does the wind always get up when the match starts!).  It was difficult to see the float tip, but I was sure I saw a positive dip as I lowered the rig in for the third time and yes a fish on. I was quite surprised when I swung a 1oz roach in, no blank. Back out over the same line and I caught two more fish in two drops, perch,  sadly these were not much bigger than the bloodworm. I caught another two micro perch from here and never had another bite on this line all match.

An hour gone, and Jeff and Mike were blanking as was Mike Withey, Matt had 1perch, Mike Martin had a couple of perch, and Neil Mercer had a few small perch. The writing was of course on the wall another struggle and ounces likely. Another boat came down and the bloke operating this one thought he had to avoid the anglers poles and was aiming for the far side, I told him to stick to the middle but again my far side got churned up. Mind you I was hoping the colour might switch a few fish on, but it didn't. I caught a perch from right across straight in front of me, and caught another on top set plus one down my left margin. But it was taking longer to get a bite and I couldn't see how I could improve things. I had fed a bit of chopped worm down the middle at 13m, never had a bite, and fed a bit more positive with joker at 11m to my right just past the middle , never had a bite.

Neil had come down for a walk and with 8oz he was easily winning the section. He went back to his peg and then began to catch some roach and skimmers that had probably dropped down from the George. I had spoken to Jack Jones and he had a few roach in the town, and Tony Gilbert had started well at Richardsons but a boat killed his swim stone dead. Tony told me that Jerry Pocock had walked up from the section below, he had managed to catch a small fish and decided to go for a mid match pie and pint, what a legend!

Mike Goodhind managed a ruffe to break the blank, he dropped off two more fish and later when he hooked another at 11m he simply swung his pole out onto the towpath and picked the perch up off the bank, lol!

I was still rotating all my swims the same as last week, and managed another perch from the margin and one at 5m. About an hour and 15 mins to go I went out to 13m down the far side, the light was terrible and I thought the float went under so struck, but I had hooked a snag, probably a trailing reed. But then the float moved, and moved again, my god a lump, but on 0.07. Well it was very heavy and hardly moved and before I had put any real pressure on the fish it came off, aargh! I guessed I had pulled out of big perch, but the hooklength was snapped. I hadn't put anywhere near enough pressure on the fish to snap me, so either the line hit a snag, or it was a pike. Basically that was match over.

Another stunning 5 hours of intense concentration looking at dimples and fighting the wind. Still as far as I could tell I had not missed a bite and lost only the lump, so at least that ration was OK again. Everyone in the section had managed to catch,with Jeff Surmon getting a little perch very late on. The scales started with Mike Martin on peg 1, a few perch and ruffe for 6oz, see his blog (26 year itch for the intimate details). Mike Withey had 4 1/2oz, Mike Goodhind 1 1/2oz, me next 7oz, Jeff 1oz, Matt had about 2oz I think, and then Neil spoiled it all with 8lb 6oz. A lovely net of decent quality fish as you can see.

Well my lowly 7oz was good enough for second in the section (sorry Mike) so good for the team but no coin again as Neil did not frame.

Overall it was no surprise that for the third match on the trot the tunnels provided the winner, this time Kev Dicks had 17lb of roach, skimmers and some perch over a pound. He fished positive with worm and caster best.

2nd K Morris 12lb 8oz (peg A2 long Pond)
3rd Paul Purchase 8lb 14oz (middle of Horsehoe Pond) This man is drawing so many flyers he is starting to annoy his fellow competitors!! lol fair play Paul you are catching loads.
4th Kev Boltz 8lb 11oz (stiff neck next to Kev Dicks)
5th Sam Johnson 8lb 10oz (A3 long pond)

Thatchers A came last on the day, we had 3 second in sections, but two poor scores and the missing person were costly. Bathampton A only just beat us though, and we ended up tying the league on points, but on weight Bathampton won, so well done lads.

Stand and Deliver won the B Div

Kev Dicks was top individual with 38 points, pipping Darren Gillman by one point after Darren had his worst result of the league.

Sam Johnson won the knockout beating Darrent Gillman, after Darren had his.......

Congratulations to all the winners, I had only fished 3 of the 6 rounds so was never in the frame this year, I ended with 20 points.

I think the thing that most pleased me today was that nobody moaned about my pegging (that's a first lol), well if they did they never told me. I crammed the pegs in tight in the town to get as many in as I could, and I think it was right as there were certainly more fish caught than last week. Interestingly there were quite a few chublets caught in the ponds, nice fish to catch.

Well done, Mike and Vince for running the league, and Andy and Nicola. It's a great little league with friendly rivalry and great banter.

I am not sure when I will be fishing next now, depends on the weather and if there is something that takes my fancy.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Commercial House Round 5 K&A Canal Bath

Well after the bagging session on the river and hearing of another few good catches on the river I was sightly sad to be going to the canal, especially after some severe frosts. The draw was supposed to be at the Crown pub in Keynsham, but the landlord forgot so it was moved to McDonalds near Twerton at the very last minute. No problem and nearer to the canal.

I paid Andy Cranston for my bloodworm and joker, paid Nathaniel Johnson my pools and had a quick chat with a few people, and it was really good to see Liam Braddel turn out for our team but that was sure to mean one of the flyers gone lol. Liam did the draw for our team and came back with peg 7, I was in B section at Darlington up towards the wooden bridge in an area that was very poor in the Xmas match I fished.

I got parked up near the canal and walked past the entrance to the tunnels where 4 lucky anglers were, and then past the bay where Liam was, and past the straight where I fancied, here were Shaun Townsend, Glenn Bailey and Darren Gillman all in my section. I went round the bend and passed Mike Goodhind and Rich Whitmarsh, and then found my peg, close to Rich but a long way to Jan Macezck on the end peg. Got my box sorted in the canal and everything close to hand and proceeded to knock up some rigs. I could tell you all about the rigs but in reality only two of them caught me anything!

When the match started at 10am I fed the usual bread at 5m, also fed some joker right across at 11 o'clock and that was it for starters. 15 minutes on the bread and not a bite, tried a pinkie nothing. Rich also had not had a bite. Looks like it is going to be hard then! I finely chopped up two lobworms and fed these straight across with a tiny bit of joker added in. I tried my 4x12 wire stem, wire bristle jobby with 0.07 to 22 across with a pinkie. I had a bite and a small perch straight away over my joker, and then nothing... went over the chopped worm and had another perch on pinkie. That was the last bites on pinkie. Think after 40 minutes half the section were still blanking, it was crap.

Knowing the canal was now going to be rancid I fed various areas with tiny amounts of joker, hoping to get a few perch or ruffe lined up, well we can hope. I took another 2 perch over my joker line across, but was never to have another bite here. I never had another bite over the worm line either, and tried many hookbaits here. I spoke to Glenn and he informed me it was fishing just as bad round him too, so nobody was running  away it in our section.

I could not get another bite on the far bank and did not for the rest of the match. Rich though managed to get a couple across including a roach which was obviously lost. I caught another perch on my top set straight in front, the only bite there. I caught 2 perch fishing in close to the bank to my left, nothing to my right.  With about 40 minutes to go fishing 12m to my left up the inside next to a boat I had a perch and two micro perch in as many casts. This was the first time all match that I had seen any sign of fish by the boat.

Well I cannot say I was sad when the all out was shouted, I had 9 fish for about 5oz I thought. Every fish I caught came when I dropped the rig in, and if I didn't get a bite on the first drop on a line I had to move, so I did a lot of moving lines! I missed one bite all match and never lost anything.

The weigh in began with Jan, he had 5 perch for 6oz, me next and my 9 perch went 6 1/2oz, then Rich had 11 fish and they weighed 6oz. Yay I beat the lads both sides! PMSL!!! My effort today shown below.

Mike Goodhind blanked, and then back round on the concrete Darren Gillman had 10 quality perch for 9 1/2oz and with that he won the section, well done matey and he is top individual in the league at present. Glenn was next and he had 7oz and won the B division with that, but got knocked out the knockout by Darren. Jeff Sibley had a few ounces, and then on peg 1 Towner had the most fish in section, but since they had only been born a couple of months ago they only weighed 4oz. Shaun had a pike in his peg before the match, and here in the picture he is holding the biggest fish he caught, a gudgeon, which was chased in by the pike. We did laugh!

I ended up 2nd in A div and 3rd in the whole section, so decent enough for the team with just 6 1/2oz. Other than A section the rest of the canal was as shite as my section. With a few people breaking the 1lb mark but ounces taking section money.

A Section was the place to be, the first two pegs in the tunnels were superb, with Rich Lacey winning with 13lb, and Mark Williams next to Rich having 8lb. In the bay Liam Braddel had just under 7lb of small roach with bites all day. 4th place I think went to Steve Skelton up by the bay past the George where he managed a big skimmer plus a few bits for 2lb 13oz.

On the team front my Thatchers lot had 5 people catch and that was 2 section winners and 3 seconds, Nathaniel blanked and went home early to get pissed I imagine. Even with Nat going AWOL we managed to win on the day and we are leading the A div but only just.  Stand and Deliver won the B div I think.

I have the enviable task of pegging the canal out next week for the final round of this league, I will be trying to put more pegs in the town where I am sure the majority of the fish are now. However, it will be a struggle to get all 48 pegs down there, lol.