Sunday, 28 April 2019

Windmill Fishery Open

Another attempt to draw at the right end of the Windmill match lake unless the fish have decided to spread out. I reckoned that by the law of averages I should get a decent draw at it seems I have gone a long while now without one, well we can but hope.

Thatchers have two teams in a spring league canal series, there was a chance I would have to fill in at one stage but in the end I was excess to requirements. It was then the reason why I decided to stay local at Windmill and met Glenn Bailey and Mark Jefferies for brekky at Wetherspoons in Hanham. There was a virtual full house today, 23 fishing and that would put a lot of pressure on the fishery. If I could pick a peg here it would be (at present) 22 to 25 and peg 2, all at the car park end, and the further you go down the lake last time I was here the worse it got. Into the drawbag and sadly the bad run continues as I pulled peg 15 out, this is in the middle of the second island and is quite often left out. Very wide here and a few reeds opposite that can hold a few carp, but I was doubtful they would be in the vicinity today. For company I had Mark Jefferies on 16 and Lionel Legg on 14. My view..

I will not lie I was distraught at drawing this peg, and after pushing my trolley to it and having a look and getting my box in place, I went for a walk. I walked around the whole lake taking a look at the water as well as listening to the birds and when I got back to my peg I had hatched my plan. It was a straight lead for the reeds opposite, and then three silvers rigs. A 4x14 for fishing top set plus 3 left and right with 0.10 to 18 PR516. A 4x12 for fishing on a top set in front, and a 4x10 for fishing top set into left margin and this would also do for fishing shallow.

When the match began I fed a small ball of micro top set + 3 to the left and a ball of gbait with maggots to the right. I fed some 6mm pellets across and cast the lead short of the reeds. Never had a twitch, so cast the lead tight to the reeds and never had a twitch. End of the carp fishing. I tried the micro line with a soft pellet but never had a bite, so onto the gbait line where I had about four tiny roach. I came in close where I had been feeding frugal amounts of maggot. I had some tentative bites here and a few more small roach. It certainly wasn't going to plan after an hour. Podge had managed a foul hooked skimmer and carp, next to him on 17 Martin Reyat had three carp.

In the second hour the micro line was abandoned as nothing was interested in feeding over it. The gbait line threw up two skimmers which might have been 3oz each and a couple more tiny roach. The close lines when tried after fishing further out always gave bites straight away, but if I caught one or two roach that would be it. The fish were mostly an ounce, and I was really not sure this was going to get me in the silvers coin, but all anglers down by me were struggling. I caught an occasional better fish, I remember most of them lol, a couple of 4oz roach, 4oz rudd, and a couple of hybrids 8 to 10oz. All these bonus fish came on the close lines.

Mark next to me was a little bored and took a couple of pictures of me, he said you don't get many action shots on your blog. Fair play cos I didn't net many fish today!

After a few hours anglers started walking, the lake was fishing very hard, but up at the other end carp were showing themselves in some pegs but were proving hard to catch. Mike Nicholls on peg 24 had quite a few skimmers and was way in front on the silvers front. With a couple of hours to go Mark decided to pack up and throw back his 3 carp, Glenn on peg 6 also packed up, not sure he actually caught. As my longer lines were dead I decided to start loose feeding maggots out to 13m, very very lightly. I tried my shallow rig over this and caught a couple of small roach. It was like the inside, catch a couple and then nothing, so it was a case of rotating three lines catching very little. I did catch an 8oz skimmer on the long line shallow, and with 30 minutes to go I caught one of over a pound and by far my biggest fish of the day. I did lose a lot of fish off the hook today, but I think it was because they were not really feeding and were also very small, all the fish I caught were very rough and sore having obviously recently spawned.

I must admit I was not that unhappy when the all out was shouted, I had no idea if I was going to get any coin as clearly Mike was taking the silvers top spot. The scales started with Mike up on 24 and he had a nice bag of skimmers that went 19lb 8oz to win the silvers, after that no more than 3lb of silvers was weighed in until me, my bag went 8lb 4oz and indeed was enough to get second in the silvers and some money back. I am glad I took the walk around the lake early on, I had come to fish for carp, but ended up fishing like I would on a canal and at least the float went under!

Overall the match was won by Geoff Francis who drew peg 23 and caught 6 or 7 big carp late on a waggler towards the island point on pellet for 50lb 1oz. second was Dave Willmot on peg 25 with 46lb 5oz, and third on peg 22 (again) was Chris Davis. With Mike winning the silver on peg 24 you can see how important it was to draw up that end, four pegs in a row with the money, and then me down the other end. I could be bitter about these guys who seem to draw the same area week in week out lol, but that's just their good luck at the moment and you've still got to catch them, so well done.

Think most venues have struggled this weekend, after a lot of hot weather the temperature has dropped and the fish don't like it.

Not sure if I will fish this coming weekend, last day of the football season and their could be cider and a late night involved!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Short Pole match Chilton Trinity Woodlands

 Before I start on about the match in the post title I must go back to Thursday when I fished an open at Windmill Fishery. I haven't written a separate blog post on this match as I didn't have the will to write about it, and then things became busy with the bank holiday. I drew peg 11 on the far end bank, and as people will usually tell you it's one of those pegs that's either really good or really crap. With the wind blowing off my bank to the opposite end I was concerned it would be crap and indeed it was! I managed 3 carp on the long pole and hard pellet deep in the first hour, and I lost 3 foulers. After this I never had a bite on the long pole, had 1 carp and one liner on the lead to the island, and then had not a sign for 2 1/2 hours. Managed 2 carp and a big skimmer on the margin to my right next to some reeds late. I enjoyed the sun, the birds and the butterflies, but the fishing was poor at my end, the next two lads up had just a couple of fish and were blanking for 3 hours, and not till you got halfway up the lake did things improve. John Smith won the match with just 54lb, and 34lb was second I think.

Friday had a lovely day at Bath races, continuing my bad draws I never had a winner, luckily my wife had 3 winners and we didn't lose too much money in the end.  Saturday I went for a 6 mile walk with my wife, we took the National Trust Bath Skyline walk, thoroughly recommend it, took us about 3 hours.

Finally Sunday arrived and Glenn Bailey picked me up in the van, it has been a while since we have travelled together after our gear got too big for the cars. We had Mark Jefferies follow us down and we arrived at the fishery in good time. This short pole series is run by the legend Tony Rixon, and today I was standing in for Mike Nicholls so I hoped I could do a good job for him as this was the first match of the series. It was good to see a lot of good friendly faces, young and old no better illustrated than Joe and Martin McMahon lol. I got into the draw queue and was hoping I could get a peg in a corner or with an empty peg next to it as I found in the past these seem to be better in short pole matches here. I drew 24 which was not greeted with much joy, and when I shuffled off to the peg I could see why. It was set back from peg 25 and Dean Malin was on that one, and also peg 23 was in and Martin (Shaun) McMahon was on that one.

I've not fished here for a while but in the past I have found there are three main methods I have done well on, paste, pellet shallow and the margins. With that in mind three rigs did for me for those 3 methods, although I did have a deep rig for pellet too. 16 KKM-B to 0.17 did me for most rigs, heavy as the fish run big here. The maximum you can fish here is top set plus 3 sections, and I plumbed that out straight in front and in the margins I was top set plus two.

My view of the newly landscaped far bank, I had Mark Jefferies opposite me and Tony Rixon was next to him with a couple of empty pegs.

My left hand margin which looked nice above the water, but was a bit deep at 4 feet.

The match began at 10:15 I fed some 6mm pellets on my long line and threw 8mm pellets in the margins. I started on the depth paste rig as I wanted to gauge things, but expected to go shallow soon. After 10 minutes I had a couple of sideways movements and picked up the shallow rig, both Dean and Martin had started shallow and soon enough Dean nailed one. I also was into a carp shallow quickly, but after this it took an age to get another. I was feeding 6mm pellets and altering a 6mm or 8mm in the band. After an hour I was on 2, Dean on 4 and Martin on zero.

I kept trying shallow, slapping, feeding, all the usual tricks, but there were no fish there it seemed, and I was frustrated at being so far short of Dean who looked to be fishing nearly 3m further out than me. I tried feeding a decent pot of pellets long again and tried with the deep pellet rig, it did work in as much as I caught a 6lb carp and lost a fouler but the float was still and no liners also proved that no fish were in the area. I went back shallow as Dean had another and eventually Martin had one shallow. More thrashing, and slapping the long line shallow rig, but it was tough and the middle part of the match was even tougher. I tried soft pellet deep and had two small skimmers, whilst doing this I saw a carp which looked muggable, I risked it and swung the soft pellet at it, luckily I got it spot on and the carp grabbed it before the bulk cut in. A nice fish nearly 9lb. All thoughts of winning any money were gone, Dean was kicking my ass, Tony Rixon had a lot of fish, but Joe McMahon on 6 was emptying it.

I never mugged another fish but I did have a very near miss later on, but it was just a case of changing resting and out of the blue get one. The margins were no good, all I had were a 3lb bream and a 1 1/2lb skimmer from there. F1's were spawning in the margins on and off during the match. Dean was well ahead of me, and whilst never bagging he just managed to get the odd carp shallow, though he too never caught in his margins. When the match finished I had 7 carp  and about 5lb of silvers, Martin had 6 carp I think, and Dean said he had 14, but maybe more. My only hope of some coin was getting the section by default if Dean framed, but Russ Peck had 6 or 7 carp and said one was a beast. We had to wait a long time for the scales as they started at peg 28 (Glenn) and go left.

When the scales got to me Russ had 55lb 13oz and Martin had 41lb, I had 50lb as my estimate. My silvers went 5lb+ and my carp 50lb+ to end with 56lb 7oz. Dean then smashed us all up with over 130lb and that got him second in the match and I got the section money.

Joe McMahon did win the match comfortably with I think 240lb, and Dave Lewis won the silvers with 31lb of skimmers on worm. Full results on Tony's blog.

Glenn also managed a default section win (Vince Shipp won his section with 128lb and came 3rd) so the van had a mini double bubble.

It was a lovely hot day today, plenty of wildlife down here, lesser whitethroats, cettis warblers as well as more common heron and swallows. Despite the tough fishing I enjoyed it and Martin and Dean were great company and I laughed more times than the float went under lol!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Hillview Fishery Open

Had a weekend off fishing last week, spent a good few hours making up rigs and tying some hooks. Hopefully the preparation will pay off at some stage. Wasn't really sure where to go, wasn't fishing in either of the spring series that started today (Viaduct individual, and K&A Canal teams), so opted for a trip back up to Hillview near Teweksbury.

When I got to the venue I saw a couple of familiar faces, Martin Reyat and Joe McMahon, two of Bristol's finest commercial anglers. I grabbed a sausage sandwich from Keith and bought a couple of bags of fishery pellets. Keith decided to put it to a vote of the 18 anglers fishing whether we went on the canals or the lakes. I like the canals, but the majority voted for lakes so 9 on each. With the wind blowing easterly and bloody cold too, I wasn't sure what would be a good peg to draw, though I did fancy one of the 12 end / corner pegs, but I drew a middle peg 7, right opposite the island on Moorhen. Martin and Joe were both on Heron, opposite ends and on corner pegs. A quick look at yesterday's result and 70lb had come off my peg, with 127lb coming off peg 5.

What to fish and what to set up today, I decided to not set up a lead rod or waggler to the island, with over 100lb probably required I thought pole close in would be best (many of the locals here set up topset plus one and that's as far as they go!). I started plumbing up the margins which were deep and sloping off, though I thought that might be OK with the weather being cold. A 4x10 with 0.15 to 16 PR456 would do, I had a margin left and right on topset plus one. Then a meat rig for top set plus one, it was at least 4 feet here, 16 PR456 to 0.15. Finally a 4x16 F1 pellet for fishing at topset plus two, with 16PR512 to 0.13. I did consider a shallow rig but the wind would make presentation difficult so didn't bother.

When we started at 10:30 I fed some micros in both margins, and fed some micro and 4mm pellet at topset plus two. I was expecting a quick bite here but it took a little longer than I thought and then I missed it, and the next one. I was using the Sonubaits pro expander pellets, 6mm, and these are a lovely soft pellet that don't need to be pumped. All I do is put some in a bag the night before and just cover them with water and leave in the fridge, next day they are perfect. Eventually I hooked a bite on the expander, and I was a little surprised when a 3lb carp popped up and not an F1. It was difficult on this line really, struggling to hit bites for some reason, meanwhile the guy to my right was catching well. I did catch another couple of carp and F1 but then it was just the odd small skimmer. A quick look in the margins was fruitless, though the guy to my left had started in his margin and had the odd F1. Not much was being caught at this stage on my lake other than th guy to my right.

Going back out on the long pellet line it was a couple more F1's then no bites and just a little skimmer. I had to change something, so I got another section of pole and plumbed up further out, it was about 6" deeper here. I started by feeding very frugally with just ten 4mm pellets in a pole pot. It was a good move as I had a small carp and then an F1, and I was getting bites again, though some were definitely liners. However, just as before as I thought things would be better the bites dried up. I decided to feed heavier now with 4mm pellets and try to get some carp as these seemed to be feeding as well as the F1's. A quick look in the margins for nothing before going back out. I had a carp of 4lb almost straight away, then lost a fouler. I then had an F1 which had to be 5lb that fought like a devil, in fact in trying to scoop at it the top section of my landing pole came off! It was starting to sink and with the remaining landing net in my hand I managed to get the net and pull it to the margin. I got off my box and grabbed it put it back together and thankfully netted the F1.  Not long after this I hooked my keepnet, and when I finally got the hook out I sat back down and snapped the topset. What a twat!  I had a couple more carp and F1 before it was a chublet and tiny skimmers. A bit more bait this time did not work.

I finally had a fish in the LH margin, a 2lb F1, lost a fouler, missed a bite and hooked a snag. RH margin no good. Either side were both catching in their margins and I was frustrated by this and thought I was getting bashed up. With two hours to go I had a look on the topset plus one meat line, only a couple of skimmers initially. I then went long down my LH margin and fed a big pot of corn as shit or bust line. This produced a bite and a 7lb carp first try, and then one fouler and that was it. My short LH margin only gave me  scabby big skimmer.

In the end I sat on the meat rig and though it was slow I did have 5 carp and a F1 on this, also had a couple of roach and skimmers.

Match over  and I was pretty sure once again I was trounced by the locals, I had even given up on the clicker so had no clue what I had, Martin said he had 64lb on his clicker, I had 56lb.  As it turned out I had greatly under estimated the weight of the fish, and I weighed 84lb, that beat the guy on peg 5 by 1lb, but on my right he had done well and had 110lb, a lot of F1's and some decent carp. That guy won the section money with that weight. I think the peg behind me on Heron won the match with 118lb, he caught in close mainly in the second half of the match on either pellet or corn. Martin had 74lb next to him but hardly caught in close. Joe had the best of the Bristol weights with 91lb, but he also missed out on the coin as there was a 113lb in his section.

It was bloody freezing today, I had the thermals on again but still felt cold at the end. I enjoyed the day but am still a long way off sorting the place out, it was strange today I caught more carp than F1's, and was only 5 carp off the money just wish I could have sorted the margins, must try harder!