Thursday, 14 December 2017

Viaduct Silvers League, Final Round. 10-12-17

The 6th and last round of this series was on this Sunday past and the weather had stored all it's energy for the first couple hours of the contest. Bloody cold temps and winds that anyone with a bit of sense would keep them at some rather heavy rain.

Well I arrived in sensible time, avoiding branches and flooded parts of roads on my trip over to Somerton to find that there were less than the expected amount of vehicles, a few guys hadn't bothered fishing (the pools for the last round paid before rnd 1) plus there were a few of us that would not want to go to our pegs in the conditions we faced. I left my kit in the car and headed for the draw after a natter to a couple guys.
Midway down the line I was for the draw and in my mitt stuck peg 87, along the Cary bank of Cary Lake with the wind coming into my from the 2 o'clock direction, carrying various sized bits of wood and trees.....oh and Trig's EVA bag went sailing up from one corner of the lake to the opposite pre-match.
My pre-match was not great, I decided to set up a little feeder plus a couple topkits with just 3 sections, which in itself was tricky to hold in the wind. But the forecast was for the wind to almost stop. I don't trust weather forecasts enough to believe that.
I took the bungees off the trolley and stood the rod bags up, turned around to grab my side tray and noticed it had blown over the otter I had to climb over and get that.
The next things to blow away for me was a bait tub of casters and my tub of prawns. Then my topkits went for a wander, then the 3 sections tried to make the same trip along the bank.

Viaduct Cary peg 87
Anyways I was soon settled and everything was bolted down so-to-speak.
I had Dave Chidzoy to my right and nobody around to my left until peg 94 which was off in the 11 o'clock direction from me. So a 3-peg section. I had my double or quits pound with Dave after he beat me in an earlier round. I could see Tony Rixon on peg 97 opposite me with loads of room.
My rigs were a DT F1/Silver for topkit, it was a 0.3g float and had 0.10 hooklength to a size 20 F1 hook. My 2nd rig was the same but in 0.4g.

The all-on sounded and I cupped 4 balls of groundbait to my right, 1 to the left and threw a few casters close. Starting on the feeder it took 20 minutes before I caught a roach of 1oz. No blank. Thankfully. A few more little roach followed and a 3oz skimmer, but it wasn't hectic. The only person catching seemed to be Tony over on 97.
After 45 minutes I went on the pole, started on the topkit, no bites, no surprise, so that was generally knocked on the head for the day. Switching between to two 'longer' lines I managed to pick up the odd roach to 3oz and after a couple hours I had about 25 roach and one 3oz skimmer.
It was about then that the winds dropped, but the rain was still cold and I could barely feel my hands, which is unlike me.

Dave had decided to get the rest of his pole out and set up a line around 13m out, so I decided to see how he fared as I didn't think the wind would stay light.
Well I continued to pick up roach on the 2 pole lines (and odd look on feeder), but over the space of 30 minutes or so Dave had 6 skimmers for around 2lb. So it was off my box and the sections to 13m came out. I used the topkit rig to plumb around in front and once happy I potted in 2 decent balls of groundbait with a few dead maggots and pinkies in.
I came back on the shorter 'long' lines and had a couple roach before trying the 13m line and I had indications immediately and I began to put the odd skimmer in the net, nothing bigger than 4oz, plus a few roach. But it was a positive sign,

The last couple of hours was pretty much spent long, but I wasn't getting as many fish as Dave I didn't think, but by topping up regularly, resting it for 5 minutes, then dropping back in I kept a few fish coming, but I just needed a decent fish of 2lb+ to help. I did bump a better fish and came back with a scale and slime, and the odd one fell off as they do, but it was a pleasant couple of hours catching a few small skimmers.
But at the all-out I figured Dave had double what I had. Tony had caught for most of the day, but wasn't in our section, peg 94 hadn't caught as much as us I didn't think.
I estimated Mr Chidzoy to have 11-12lb and me around 4.5-5lb perhaps.
It didn't take long to pack up and soon enough Matt was doing the weigh in. Gary O'Shea had 10lb of roach from peg 85. Trig had the same weight from p74 while Nicky Ewers (24lb) and Joe McMahon (15lb) were on pegs 77 and 78 respectively.
Dave weight 10lb something,  while my guesstimate was well out when I put 9lb 9oz on the scales, so that 30 minutes I watched Dave fishing long before I got my sections out of the bag probably cost me a bit of weight perhaps, but you never know.

Back to the car-park, after giving Dave his £2, it seemed it hadn't fished too bad with Nicky Ewers and Vince Brown (lodge p59) both having the top weight on the day with Tony's 18lb 3rd best.
Vince fed a couple pints of caster to catch his, as Trig did in earlier rounds, and again the fish came on later in the day for him.

1st = Vince Brown, p59. 28-08
1st = Nicky Ewers, p77 28-08
3rd Tony Rixon, p97, 18-00
4th Joe McMahon, p78, 15-07

League Standings
1st, Craig 'Trig' Edmunds, 7pts (drop a 3)
2nd, John Fuidge, 8pts (drop a 7, better weight)
3rd, Steve Jackson, 8pts (drop a 7, less weight)
4th, Gary O'Shea, 9pts (one of five on 9pts, better dropper/weight combo)

Me well I finished down in 34th, which given at least a couple of my draws and it being my 1st attempt I am not too dissatisfied with to be honest and I shall most likely give it another bash in 2018.
A couple of pick-ups along the way did soften the blows from earlier rounds
Well done to the framers, especially the man-of-the-moment, Mr Edmunds. He cannot do much wrong and he has proven what a quality angler he is.

Next up I have a knock-up Xmas match on Trinity Wildmarsh on Saturday, it will be hard, very hard I would expect, but it is Christmas and should be a giggle.

Until then, take care and have fun.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Landsend So-Simple Winter League, Round 1. 3-12-17

First up I would like to than Dean at DT Floats for taking me on as a sponsored angler, I appreciate the opportunity. He does a great range of floats, float silicone plus elastics and bait bands. Take a look at the link at the bottom of my page.

The 1st round of my 1st ever attempt at this series. 27 booked on, 9 on each of the 3 lakes, probably a couple short on each but Ken Rayner does his best and there seems to be an abundance of leagues/series' at this time of the year.

I got there in plenty of time, loaded the trolley and had a natter with a few guys. Paid my dues and chatted a little more.
Saturday's match was hard on the Match Lake (lake 2) and the other 2 lakes (Speci/lake 1 and Johns/lake 3) are not overly fished in comparison to lake 2 so were expected to be tricky.
Personally I didn't mind what lake I was on as you fish all 3 twice over the series.
There were a few favoured pegs on each lake, and a few more less-favoured ones, but Ken had done his best to leave out the pegs deemed 'less good'. But whatever match organisers do they never please all of the people any of the time. A generally thank-less task.

Anyways on to the draw and I went in the queue mid-way and plucked peg 51 on Lake 3. Mr Rixon said it was ok but pegs 41, 42, 68 and 70, plus 58 were deemed as the best 5 pegs in the draw.
I made my way to the lake with Matt Williams, he had drawn 66 which is average I thought.
I didn't really have any company, with only the un-flappable Ade Crawley opposite me within talking range Martin Pettifer on peg 46 and Rod Wootton almost pleasure fishing on peg 58 were my 'neighbours'.

Peg 51, Landsend Lake 3.
4 rigs assembled. The swim was pretty much the same depth give or take a couple inches, it was around 2.5ft deep.
The first was my general silvers rig using a DT F1/Silvers in 0.3g, 0.10 hooklength and a 20 hook. 2 spots were plumbed for this rig, topkit and at 11m slightly to my right between the gap in the islands.
Then I had a DT pellet pinger in 0.1g for across towards the island in 2 areas, maggots over maggots off the point of the island and at 14m in the 10 o'clock direction feeding micros there. This rig would couple up down to my left, but I would be using maggots over maggot here late on in the day.
Then I had a standard meat rig for 2+2 in front and to my right at the bottom of the nearside shelf. The float was an RBS open water in 0.4g.
Lastly an identical rig as the meat was set up and fished off a tree/bush in the water at 13m in front for fishing any bait over casters and dead maggots (perch were my ideal target).
The so-called carp rigs had 0.14 hooklengths and size 16 hooks. If I hook one I don't want to lose it, lol.

A quick walk before the match and I had to think Rod on 58 would win the lake, the water looked a better colour and I had seen a few fish up there on arrival at my peg. The 'better' pegs at the near end looked a little less fishy.
Back at my peg, a quick cuppa before the all in. I potted a little groundbait on both silvers lines and started off to the left over toss potted micros, 5 minutes no bites.
Off to the point of the island, toss-potted maggots, bite 1st drop, I think it was a little roach as it fell off on the strike. Next drop I had a roach of 1oz. Blank avoided. 15 minutes or so later I was back over the micros fed via the toss-pot and I spied a stray rig mooching around the area and typically as I looked across at Ade I felt the pole pull, a carp was attached, it didn't feel right and it was either foul hooked or the rig on my pole had caught the 'roaming' rig. Either way the fish charged up the lake to my left and soon enough the hook pulled. Still positive signs.
Sadly that was the total action for the first hour.

Into the second sixty minutes and I caught my only fish on the topkit line, a 1/4oz perch.
Back out to the point of the island and I was soon attached to a carp, this one was netted and was about 4lb so a relatively small one for the lake. Some roach, micro roach mostly, followed so I started to switch lines to find a better stamp of fish of any species.
Elsewhere Rod up on 58 had a couple carp and some skimmers. Ade had a nice perch and some little roach. It sounded like no-one was getting anything of note further down the lake. One or 2 were still bite less.

Hour 3 began ok as I had started to dump-feed maggots off the point of the island and I was getting a better stamp of roach, to around 6oz and was enjoying it, but I knew I needed a few carp.
I tried the meat line, no bites, actually I didn't have any bites on the meat all day.
Over the silvers groundbait at 11m gave me a few roach and a single 2oz skimmer but it didn't feel like it would give up much so that line was binned.
Over to the micros line and I had a roach on expander and then I managed a nice skimmer of 12oz from that spot. No more followed.
A look by the bush for an expected perch only saw me land my 2nd carp, a 3lb fish. Also a roach and a rudd followed.
A dead spell followed, other than a couple little roach and we were soon into the last 45 minutes.
It  looked like Rod would win the lake and I reckoned on him having near 40lb at this point. Elsewhere it was only 1 carp, foul hooked and landed by Martin Rayet on p68 that had been caught, but that 1 could be bigger than my 2 very easily on this lake and if anyone was going to start catching then now would be that point.

I had been feeding a few maggots down to my left and decided to drop in here and had a bite right away, micro roach and a couple 2oz roach were swung in, but I was getting a few liners so I came away and kept feeding while I tried over the micros. Thankfully a skimmer of 1lb or so was put into the keepnet. So I thought I had maybe 4.5lb of silvers and my 2 carp.
One or 2 roach from the point of the island followed but no more signs of carp.
10 minutes left and a look down the edge and the float shot under, 3oz of roach into the net. The next drop saw the float sail away and I was attached to a carp, another small one netted, 3lb, but they scraped well. The all out followed minutes later. 15lb was my guess on weight, I did not expect much from that but I knew I had more than Ade and Martin. I couldn't be sure on the rest.

I packed up rather quickly and went for a wander around the lake and it seemed my 15lb would be 2nd on the lake by all accounts, but lets see. I followed Steve Seager and Tom Mangnall do the 3 pegs up to me and weights were 2lb 6oz (inc 1 carp), 1-12, 1-05 before I had 5-07 of silvers then 10-08 was my 3 carp weight for a 15lb 15oz total.
I finished packing up and the scales kept on their way.
I caught up with scales at peg 68, Martin Rayet's carp was 7-00 and he had 2lb of silvers. A look at the sheet saw Rod had 50lb, Ade weighed in 1-08,  Matt 2-12. Last to weigh was Mr Consistent Gary O'Shea on decent peg 70. He also struggled. But he just pipped my 5-07 of silvers with 5-12 worth which was 4th on the lake itself.
So only 11 carp (6 to Rod, 3 to me, 1 to Steve Seager and Martin's single one) were caught. It was hard. I picked up the money for 2nd on the lake (section) and a decent start to the series.

Results: (pinched from Ken's Facebook post)
  1. Speci Lake
    1st, 69-12 - Russ Peck - p32
    2nd, 31- 9 - Steve Sewell - p36
    3rd, 22- 3 - Adrian Jeffery - p40
    1st, 21- 0 - Tony Rixon - p28
  2. Match Lake
    1st, 34-15 - Stuart Barnett - p22
    2nd, 25- 4 - Nick Duckett - p14
    3rd, 22- 6 - Pete Nurse - p24
    1st, 6- 8 - Ken Rayner - p1
  3. Johns Lake
    1st, 53- 0 - Rod Wootten - p58
    2nd, 15-15 - Lee Williams - p51
    3rd, 9- 0 - Martin Rayet - p68
    1st, 5-12 - Gary O'Shea - p70
I actually quite enjoyed the day, it stayed dry and warm enough. A few more fish wouldn't have gone amiss, but it is winter after all.

Next weekend is the last round of Viaduct's Silvers League, lets hope that fishes okay.

Until then, take care.