Sunday, 24 March 2013

Viaduct C+C, 24/03/13 Pawlett Club match

Somerton Viaduct was venue for todays Wanderings, Pawlett Legion had booked up Campbell and Cary lakes in the hope of some decent sport at the Southwest's best venue. Fishing 10:30-16:30.

It was 21 degrees on this day in never got above minus 4 with windchill today!!
Sadly, the weather put amends to everyone having a few bites and catching a few fish. It seriously must be the worst spell of weather which isnt conductive to decent(or more importantly fair) results.
It seems that venues around here have seen the same 3 or 4 pegs dominate since before christmas and that the drawbag is giving much more advantage to those who draw the hot pegs. Flyers are flyers but it'd be nice if everyone had some bites.

Anyways, arriving at the fishery at 8:30 saw a rather busy car-park. It turned out that the venue also had a match covering match, lodge and spring lakes (read Tony Rixon's blog fro result no doubt)
Upto today, I wanted a draw on Campbell, a lake I have never fished 'match style', I last fished it in the 90's for specimen eels and rogue carp (when it was the venue's speci pond). Cary, which hadnt produced much recently, looked really un-inviting.
23 numbers went into the hat, 12 on Campbell, 11 on Cary. I drew halfway amonst the grabbing of tickets. Peg 86 was my home for the next 8 hours or so.The peg is halfway along the river bank.
Next to me I had John Barker(?) on peg 85 and Rich Barnden on P88.

Chris Ware had drawn well on Campbell, peg 116, this peg had done nearly 150lb on Thursday I believe. But everyone should have a few on Campbell. But put a half decent angler on an in-form peg........

Wandering back to my car to get the kit, I bumped into Viaduct specialist and record holder Tom Mangnall. He told me 86 was the best peg on the lake......well it was until recently.

It was Viaduct's 1st pellet allowed match of 2013, so with this in mind, coupled with a silly cold and reasonably strong wind blowing from my left, cold water and the fact it has been patchy at least meant that everyone was basing their attacks on the lead or waggler. I think only 3 of us set up a pole on Cary.
So my set ups were a 3/4oz lead on 6lb sensor, a 14" hooklength of 0.14 matchteam to a band on a hair on a Drennan Carp Feeder size 16. Using meat, corn, bread discs and 8mm pellet on the band. I fished this in a wide-ish area at 30yrds or so. Over which I fed 8mm pellets and some 6mm meat.
I also set up a 4AAA waggler, which was to be fished around the swim, but nothing occured so no more on that.
2 pole rigs to be fished at 9m due to the wind were set up, 1 for a corn/meat/pellet on 0.14/size 16 B911x out in front. The 2nd was for at the 10am position, with 0.10/B611x size 18, for any silly silvers that wanted to venture in that close.

On the whistle I cupped in a pot of mixed 6mm meat, corn and 6mm pellets in front and a pot of groundbait with a few dead reds at 10 o'clock line. I would leave these for at least an hour.

I lobbed the lead out and cattyed a few free offerings over the top. On looking around Chris Higgs over on peg 100 had a carp 1st cast. 20 minutes in and I had received a few liners and then hooked and landed a skimmer of 10oz. Blank avoided. Nobody else had a bite of substance from what I could see. So I plugged away, chopping and changing baits and searching the vacinity of where my freebies were landing in the wind.

By 12 o'clock I had landed 3 small skimmers, John on p85 had 1 skimmer on a feeder set-up cast off the point of the spit. Pegs 88 and 90 hadnt had a bite and the pegs along the back of lodge lake were struggling, Chris Higgs hadnt had another bite, but Mike Levy on peg 96 had landed a couple decent sized skimmers soon after he had got back to his swim after popping round for a chat and to get his body moving and warmed up. I did have a look over the pole lines for ten minutes but with no joy so I re-fed for a look later.

2:30 arrived and went, with only 6 of us left on the lake and only 1 carp from the pegs i could see, things were tough. Mike Levy had landed a few more decent skimmers and I think he was now ahead of my silvers bag.
Over on Campbell, Chris Ware was apparantly on his 4th keepnet and was catching 1 a chuck, the overall result was sorted well before the end. There were a few others catching on Campbell and 2nd and 3rd could be close.

At 3pm I had another look on the pole lines, and 2nd put over the GB the float dipped and a 2oz blade was in the net, nothing else occured on either line in the next 10 minutes so the pole was abandoned for the day, which seeing as I couldnt feel my hands, wasnt a bad thing. By feeding the ducks my caster and maggots, my hands were kept active and didnt completely freeze solid.

At half 3, a few carp had been caught from the other end of the lake, but me and Mike were level-ish on the silvers front, and with only 1 pay-out for silvers I hoped for a couple more skimmers, duly Mike landed another with an hour to go, then he had another at 4pm before deciding to slowly pack up.
Between 4 and 4:10 I managed to sneak a couple smaller skimmers, and slowly started packing up around me hoping for another bite. Alas, this bite never happened and the all-out was signalled.

Steve Long was quickly around to me having weighed the lodge bank, Chris Higgs had 40lb of carp and Mike's silvers weighed 12lb 8oz. I admitted to around 12lb, but having more fish than Mike but less in the way of quality. My net went 13lb dead. Which providing no-one on Campbell had much in the way of silvers, would pocket me the silvers pay-out.

After packing up I wandered over for the results (it was way too cold for following the scales and steve was being super quick). The highest silvers from Campbell was 9lb 9oz. Bonus for me.

All in all it was really tough going all over on Cary, though Campbell did fish a bit better, it wasnt exactly consistant with 4 DNW's.
Chris Ware won, as predicted, from 116 with 182lb 8oz.

Full results:
1st C.Ware - Campbell -p116 - 182lb 8oz
2nd M. Davis - Campbell -p126 - 107lb 12oz
3rd K. Hurst - Campbell - p125 - 97lb 15oz

Top weights on Cary were:
C. Higgs - p100 - 40lb 8oz,
Kev Crouch - p78 - 24lb 6oz.

Top Silvers:
Lee Williams - Cary p86 - 13lb.

Next up for me is a match back at Viaduct, on Campbell, tagging along with PSV match group

Take care and keep bloody warm.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Shiplate Main Lake, 17/3/13, Clevedon Match

Another new venue today, with another new bunch of anglers.
Clevedon FWAC had booked Shiplate's main lake for this match, so a couple weeks back I took a look down there, it looked ok, so was looking forward to todays gambit.

So arriving there at 8:30 for a 9am draw, fish 10:30 to 16:30. I recognised a few faces from the Thyers team, but pretty much everyone seemed nice enough. 17 were listed to fish, so there were some spaces (duff pegs?) left out and so I paid my monies and loaded my trolley.
The pegs card were chucked in the air and a free-for-all took place, i grabbed one which got stood on, opening my grubby piece of card revealed peg 3. I know that the bream have been had recently on pegs 4-7, but 3 can produce now and then. I had also gained info that peg 1 and the pegs on the far bank generally give up more carp well into double figures.
The left hand bank of the main lake is more silvers dominated.

Baits for the day were micros, dead/live maggots, 4 and 2mm expanders, caster and some groundbait. I also had a various selection of hookbaits in the form of pellets and corn (not even opened as never drew 'carp').
Rigs were set up for 13m at 10 o'clock spot in line with a far bank tree/bush and straight in front where i could find a flat area. My swim shallowed by 8 inches at 13m from towards peg 4 (deepest) to being 8" shallower at the 2pm position. There was 2 inches depth change between my 2 main lines.
Both these used 0.4 Nick Gilbert XT Diamonds. 0.12 to 0.10 to size 18 B911x were line/hook choice.

I also set up a light silvers rig, which was topkit plus 2 sections along my right margin-ish, but i never caught so that wont be mentioned again.
I set up a rig for tight across at 16m which was on a heavy set-up, just incase i saw any big fish moving. All i caught on this was a few chublets on 8mm pellet or triple caster.
A small feeder was put together for swim resting purposes.

On the whistle I cupped in 2 big balls of groundbait and a few deads at the 10 o'clock position. Then straight in front i cupped a big pot of very wetted micros with a sprinklind of expanders and one or 2 dead reds.
Some loose-fed maggot were chucked to my right and some 4mm pellets were fed regularly at 16m across throughout the day.

I lobbed the feeder a few metres off the island with double red maggot on the hook, i wanted to rest my main pole lines. It took ten minutes for my 1st indication on the tip, I wound in a 2oz skimmer, then missed a bite. 20 minutes into the match my tip took a nice curve on and a proper thud on the end came back, a few seconds later the line went slack and back came a nice scale, so one lost foul hooked carp in the first half hour.  Back out with the tip and a couple blades and a chublet were my  tally for the first hour. I was fishless for the next hour, bumping a couple small fish, but nothing of note.

At half 12 I had my first put in over my groundbait saw a slight knock on the float, I struck and a bream of around 5lb was soon netted. I followed this with a couple 4oz skimmers and a smaller proper bream. Bites were more knocks than proper pull-unders, so I shotted each float a touch more so that the tip was just flush with the water, any indication would be 'hit'.
It was tough going, and although I had heard/seen a few fish getting caught from the far bank. My side was somewhat harder, the light/wind/cloud/water colour wasnt great for seeing the float.
The pellet line had not gave a bite, so this we re-fed and left for another hour or so.

Bites soon tailed off over the groundbait, so i cupped in 4 more decent balls of GB with deads and gave this a long rest, rotating the tip, far side and near silvers swim for maybe 3 little fish, but I had figured that the bream/skimmers will come to the rested swims. I had a feeling the skimmers were around but not wanting to get their heads down. Bites were slight and I had to strike at any sideways movement as the float wasnt doing much despite less than 2mm showing.
With around 2hrs to go I'd amassed 2 bream and a handfull of small skimmers and assorted roach/chublets. I wast doing too bad with the silvers though as the lads opposite had caught a handfull of smallish skimmers/roach on a variety of tactics.

At 3pm it seemed like the fish had decided to feed. I tried a 4mm expander over my micros and the float sailed away and a 4lb bream was netted, this was followed by a couple skimmers (5 to the pound size), and then another bream of around 6lb. Bites were coming every put on 4mm expanders and I was beginning to build a nice weight. I reckoned to maybe having 15lb or so which was possibly leading the silvers weights, though Adie on peg 4a was doing ok with a couple decent bream and some skimmers. Peg 1 had only 1 skimmer and was struggling, elsewhere everyone was struggling.
I carried on straight out in front catching a skimmer a chuck, the float rarely going under, but getting 'bites' as soon as the float settled. I did bump a couple, so tried the GB line occasionally, but only managed a couple skimmers and a bumped bream. All the fish I had caught were really lightly hooked. I was catching at dead depth as laying on an inch or 2 didnt make a difference and bites were harder to hit. Coming off the bottom resulted in foul hooked fish. Also maggot stopped producing the better fish, so stuck with pellet.

By 4:15 I think I was possibly having 25lb or so and bites had dried up. However I did have 1 bite in the last fifteen minutes and a 4lb bream was netted.

The all out sounded and I was pleased with my catch of  5 or 6 bream averaging 4lb and plenty of palm sized skimmers, some roach and chublets. I did bump a few decent bream and some skimmers, as I was probably fishing a touch heavy ( I didnt want to hook and lose a carp as they can be proper lumps and would be a help) I thought I had caught more silvers than those I could see, but knew Lance on peg 7 had caught well and peg 14 had a few carp earlier in the day, some had packed up and gone home too.

I packed up and the scales were soon at my peg, top silvers was 17lb or so and there was a couple weights of the 40lb region, I knew I never had enough to win overall, but thought that the silvers could be mine.
Lifting my net out, I looked and thought that I had around 30lb, and the scales registered 33lb 8oz. Nice fishing and enough for 3rd overall and top silvers weight. Adie was second highest silvers with 17lb and took silvers payout by default.


1st - Peg 14 - John Page - 42lb 14oz (mostly carp)
2nd - Peg 7 - Lance Tucker - 37lb 10oz (carp and some silvers)
3rd - Peg 3 - Lee Williams - 33lb 8z (Bream and other silvers, top silvers weight)

1st - Peg 4a - Adie Baker - 17lb 2oz
2nd - Peg 12 - Dom Sullivan - 16lb 4oz

Thanks to all and especially Shiplate Fishery for having us.

The pics below show my swim (i fished in the darker area in front and on the left edge of the pic)
The bottome picture is the overall winner and his catch.

Next up for my exploits is a trip over to Viaduct and a match on Campbell and Cary (never fished Campbell, only fished Cary once in the late 90's), no pellet allowed so it will be fun.
Take care and have fun.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Avalon Match Lake, Open, 3rd March 2013

Today was meant to be a match for me up at Keynsham with Clevedon, but several factors meant me leaning/having to fish Mike West's match on Avalon Match Lake on the Somerset Levels.
I would have liked to fish the river, but such is life.

I havent fished Avalon for years, it used to be one of my fave places to fish in the pre-pellet era, plenty of silvers and an abundance of carp make it a decent allround fishery.

Well, the day started of ok, bit of a frost and forecast due to be nice enough, dry at least. So I loaded the car and made the 20 minute trip from Bridgwater at 7:30am.
On arrival I was greeted with the lake being frozen over and in the distance I could see that other than where the swans were, it was pretty much due to be ice-breaking first up. The aereator was on, Leigh had put it on so the car park end was slowly getting some ice-less area.
Now I havent got an ice breaker, I havent used one since 1997 on the Bridgwater/Taunton canal, so I was debating whether I could/should fish.

A quick wander upto the speci pond where a friend of mine was fishing was refreshing, it was a touch cold. My mate informed me that the ponds had frozen up from around 3 or 4am and that it was fairly thick too, he had landed a couple from under the ice, reminding me of my decision that night fishing in winter is somewhat silly at times.

Back to the car-park and a few other guys turned up, coincideing with Leigh slowly making his way along the left bank (pegs 1-24) in the boat, breaking up ice. Some guys said that'd be an arse and would cause ice drifts and that making your own space would be better, but as I was breaker-less I was okay with it.
Eventually 18 turned up, a couple decided to turn back, leaving 16 of us to brave the cold.

Well it turned out that we had pegs 1-24 and for some reason Leigh said to use the first half dozen pegs on the right hand bank.
Banter was played out, some peeps took a wander to encourage Leigh to move faster in the boat and then the draw was made.
I put my had in and pulled peg 45 (only to find it is out of use, so to go onto, on the right hand bank, to my right (p43) I had a chap called Roger and he had Mike West next to him on 42. To my left on 46 was John Wild.
The whole lake looked fair enough and the payout was top 3 overall and 2 silvers defaulted if needs be.

Fishing time was 10:45 to 4:45pm thus meaning plenty of set-up time. Fortunately I had decided on 2 rigs, one for topkit + 3 sections at 10 o'c and 2o'c positions. Another rig of the same set up, 0.6g NG XT Diamond HD, 0.14 to 0.12 size 16 B611, to be fished on 2 lines at 11m (10 o'c and 2 o'c) then moving further until the ice cleared as 11m was the max I could reach for a couple hours or so.
I also had a full depth waggler rod set up, but wasnt expecting to use it.

On the whistle I cupped a small amount of maggots and caster on the short line to my left, a decent amount of Sensas Lake Dark with few maggots at 11m. Some micros on the 2 o'c line at 11m and my right-side short line was just going to be loose fed with dead reds but that was only an area for when the other lines were rested.
Mike could reach 16m and this looked like his main line as he could reach several metres further than 'us other 3' on this bank. The opposite bank had more probs with margin ice but could fish longer on the pole, a few could even fish a couple metres off the islands.

So how did things pan out? Hard is the word that springs to mind, well for the 4 of us on the right hand bank anyways.
Mike had an early carp (well an hour or so in), I had 1 roach in the same time, the other 2 were blanking. I swapped and changed lines, coming up in the water on occasion incase the cold water had dropped to the bottom forcing fish up. There were loads of motherless minnows/miniscule rudd to be caught, but I really didnt fancy targeting them as skimmers would be needed for a framing weight if the carp never showed.

2 hours in an the ice had moved/melted a little more, but not enough for me to warrant opening a new line etc, so on I plodded, a couple more small roach and skimmers were caught by me, Mike had a couple decent skimmers and Roger on 43 had a couple small fish. The guy in 46 had a 2lb skimmer but missed his net when un-hooking it.
The far bank was faring better with plenty of silver and a few carp being caught, Pete Wild on peg 19 was doing well with carp and silvers, Matt Harris and Leon Hubbard were doing ok on pegs 10 and 23 respectively, more silvers than carp, but they were catching.

By 3pm the ice had allowed me to fish at 13, so i 'shuffled' my 11m 10 o'c line further out, I also dumped a big pot of wetted micros on the 11m 2o'c line, but so far this line hadnt produced more than 1 bite and was my resting line. The 2 short lines were dis-regarded so it was down to groundbait and single red maggot, this was the only combo I could get bites/fish on. Double maggot gave me un-hittable bites and ragged maggots, so single only it was.

Whatever i tried seemed to produce occasional bites and it was defo match over for my bank unless a million sympathetic carp turned up to eat. Even the silvers were not as forthwright as they were opposite us.
By 4pm I had amassed 3 small skimmers, 3 small roach 1 perch of 4 ounces and 2 decent roach of maybe 12oz's each. I also had a couple roach and skimmers fall off when not bothering to net them as they were 2oz each maximum.
There didnt ever seem to be a routine of the bites, it was a matter of toss-potting small balls of gb and occasionally topping up with a bigger cupfull and hoping for a couple quick bites. The occasional foray over the micros did produce two baby roach and 1 more missed bite.

By now i was proper freezing, my feet were like ice, but I was actually enjoying it and had decided to weigh in whatever for the 1st time in a few matches.

At 4:15pm the ice had more or less gone, and as the match was way out of the question, I gave my waggler rod an outing, casting 2 metres of the island and firing a couple casters each cast, I had a bite 2nd chuck, another 1 ounce roach, 4th cast gave me a 3oz skimmer then nothing,
Back on the pole for the last 15 mins, 1 bite, 1 roach. That was me done.

The final hour had produced plenty of fish for pegs 7 and 9 (and some lost ones too), but me, Mike and John remained struggling, Roger had left by 4pm after trying the lead, losing it in a snag and decided enough is enough. Think he only had about 5 roach.

The all out sounded at 4:45. My 2 decent roach and other silvers was going nowhere, Mike's solitary carp was backed up by a couple decent skimmers and a couple roach, John had 3 or 4 roach and 2 skimmers.

By the time we came to weigh in the results were settled, but the 3 of us weighed in.
p46 John, had 1lb 8oz,  p45 (44) Me, 3lb dead,l p43 DNW, p42 Mike had a 7lb 7oz carp and 4lb 12oz silvers (which i called bang on before the scales) for 12lb 3oz.

In the car park, everyone on the other bank mentioned how well it had fished and that there were only 2 weights under 21lb. Ourside = different.

So all in all, an enoyable day for me, a struggled, but an enjoyable one. Maybe they could have just pegged the left hand bank and there was enough pegs, but they wanted peeps to have space, yet the 4 of us on the right side were all in a line.

1st overall, Pete Wild, peg 19 with 42lb 11oz (20-2 silvers)
2nd overall, Mark Harris, peg 9 with 40lb 1oz (6-10 silvers)
3rd overall, Ian Graham, peg 7 with 34lb 12oz (2-0 silvers).

1st Silvers, Matt Harris, peg 10 with 14lb 12oz .
2nd Silvers, Leon Hubbard, peg 23 with 12lb 15oz.

My next match looks to be in a fortnight when I hope to be on Shiplate main lake for Clevedon's match, another 1st time for me.

I am the un-named on p44..!!