Monday, 27 May 2013

26th & 27th May 2013, Walrow + Woodlands

This weekend's schedule saw me without a match, so I was undecided as to what to do.
Saturday was a work day so that was taken, infact I cleared a lot of the garden, with help from my kids, a couple trips to the dump made the garden seem a bit bigger and tidier.

Sunday 26th.
Sunday was predicted to be a rather summery affair and looked good for some fishing, although I did think to myself the fishies will be spawning. So the decision to do a car-boot sale took priority.

The amount of  'stuff ' we had accrued since our last one 5 yrs ago or more, stored in boxes and taking up most of the landing at home, was getting silly. Infact, we only took just over half the boxes. So with 2 kids (9 and 11yrs) put in the car amongst the cardboard and pasting tables we set off to earn some pennies. Well the sale wasn't too bad with over £200 made, more for the holiday funds. I did sell a handful of fishing kit(and should have sold more, I have been told several times since!!) and some of my beloved cd's.

None the less, we got home at half 2, unloaded the car and had a cuppa and chilled for 90 mins. I then decided I was going to get the rods out for a few hours as the weather was dry and we were at the loose end.
I had planned on popping over to Trinity and specifically Woodlands lake, as my pellet waggler fishing needs some work, and despite me not liking the tactic, I know what I need to practice(despite my reluctance). So me, wifey and 2 kids loaded my kit into the car (bait bag, nets and pellet wag) and made the 5 minute drive to the lakes, on which there was a match, so we turned around without stopping.
I was just going to drive home and chill as I didn't fancy Sedges as I fish the evening matches, and I am not keen on fishing the same lakes several times a week if I can help it. But the kids wanted me to catch some fish, so I settled on popping down to Walrow lakes in Highbridge.
A quick pit-stop at home to swap my pellet wag rod for my competition feeder rod, and grab some worms, caster and frozen groundbait (defrosted in microwave for 1 min) for now I had bream in mind.

Fifteen minutes later and we were in my choice of swim on Walrow snags lake. My daughter riddled and re-mixed my groundbait while I got my box and rod sorted, my son sorted my landing net, feeder arm and keepnet.
I was fishing by 5:15. There were plenty of bream on the surface, some taking off the surface, so I guess they had other things on their minds, and it showed as I only had a single bite in the first 90 mins, I was fishing a standard open end feeder at 27 or so turns, caster or worm on the hook.
I was only fishing a 14" hooklength (0.12 > 16 B611), so retied the same on a 3ft tail.

The change bought immediate response with a nice 3lber making it's way to the net, then a few minutes later a 5lb+ fish arrived, then it went quiet for a bit before a flurry of activity saw me land another 6 fish (5 to me, 1 to my lad) before I packed up. I did lose a couple, the fish were either ultra lightly hooked or they had swallowed it down properly, nothing in between.
Also there were lots of roach and rudd around, if I had set up the pole I could have had a nice bag of these I think, but I wanted to avoid fishing the pole.

All in all, a nice catch of bream was had. There are loads in there and people should get down and enjoy the sport, there are a few tench and even a rogue carp to be caught.

Some Bream

Monday 27th
Today was to be a few hours (before any predicted rain came) over Woodlands fishing the pellet wag mainly, as planned yesterday.
The boy also wanted to fish and wifey and daughter wanted to get some air. So the car/roofbox was loaded with 2 seatboxes, net bag, bait bags, 4 pole rollers, 2 pole holdalls car-porter and a pellet wag rod. 2 carp chairs for the females to sit on were squeezed into the car.

We arrived at around 9:20 and settled into pegs 22 and 23, with me in 23. The wind was sort of from behind me, allowing for half decent presentation on the p/w. There were a few fish on the surface, but there were also spawning carp along the end and far banks, nothing too much, but I knew it'd be patchy.
I helped sort my son out, he'd be fishing meat at 6m to each margin and banded pellet on the deck at the same distance. So once he was done and ready, I set up my rod, a 6ssg maver float with a Steve Mayo adaptor (all overkill), to be fishing just shy of halfway across. A size 14 B911 on 0.18 was the terminal end, 8mm or 6mm pellet in the band.
After an hour my boy had a few silvers including a decent skimmer in his nets, I had missed a couple bites on the wag, but soon landed my 1st carp. The wind was awkward though and had turned slightly right to left. I had also changed to a smaller loader float and come shallower. However small roach and rudd were a pain with 6mm hookbaits so stuck with 8mm in the band. The silvers were popped back as I didn't want to get another net wet.....

A random occurance happened too. Three (yes 3) environment agency baliffs turned up to check my licence. That's only 4 times in nearly 20 years and 3 of these were on a May bank holiday!!!

Anyways, my son had landed a small-ish carp on the banded pellet and he went for a rest, as he does every hour or so, letting my daughter fish.
Me, well I had a couple more carp, but it was slow going, with the wind being a pain, I had bumped a few but I was also reluctant to get the pole out, but by 1pm it was set up, 2 rigs made.  A shallow one for 8m out, where I had been chucking 6mm baits on and off, and seen the odd swirl, and a margin/meat rig (which remained unused) for my left hand margin. Both were on 0.18 line to 16 B911 hooks.

The next hour or so saw me net half a dozen carp on the shallow rig, I lost a couple too and went and set the boy up on a shallow rig, showing/telling him what to do, he landed a couple before he packed up. I finished with around 12 or 13 carp and a handful of roach when we packed up around 3:30.

Tipping back.....

Ciaran's Catch.

One thing I have decided on doing is to fit a pulla bung on 1 or 2 top kits, as it seemed like ages in me getting a couple fish in, now this doesn't usually bother me, but, I guess, as I have a few carpy type matches coming up, my Middy 14/16 laccy seemed rather 'stretchy' at times. Now I wont go heavier and defo am going to stick with solids as these have stood me well over the years. But the art of getting fish in quicker, without being too soft or heavy handed, seems more efficient.
Now anyone who knows me, knows I hate hollow elastics and pullas (I have 2 set up on 6-8 elastic, but don't like it), but I am going to give them another go, more to see if it helps with landing the fish quicker. I have never had this problem in the past, maybe I am playing them softer than I used to, or maybe people are getting the fish in quicker, but it has rattled a nerve with me. But then, whether they'll still be more of a back-up than an always use situation. Only time will tell.

No match for me next week as yet, so maybe a chance to try these pullas again.

Take Care


Sunday, 19 May 2013

19/05/13 Pawlett Club Match - Avalon Fisheries

Todays match saw 31 of us fishing at Avalon fisheries on the Somerset Levels. We had pegs 1-42 booked and most people(if not all) had some part of an island to fish to. But with Vic Bush and Vince Brown fishing, top-spot looked difficult as these 2 are quality anglers on a water they know well.

I arrived at the fishery at around 8:20, and there were already 20-odd guys and girls in the car park nattering away. The highlight of which was Chris Ware amusing us with stories of Frankfurt and all the 'delights' on offer. Hilarious.

The weather was, according to my phone, due to be sunny early then clouding over with a chance of a drop of the wet-stuff, warm-ish temps and the wind coming from the north-east and initially south-east. Well it was only a light breeze, but an awkward, swirly one, for those unfortunate to get a 'windy' peg at them.

Well, I paid my dues, made my way to the draw bag and pulled out peg 35, the right hand bank, around half way along, in the main gap, though I did have a chuck to the corner of an island at the 10 o'clock direction. In-form Chris Ware had last peg on the same bank (p42) and Vince was up towards the top corner area, who was unlikely to get any problems from the breeze.
Next to me on peg 37 was Brian G, he was possibly going to try for silvers. On peg 33 I had Philip Clapp, alas I had his twin opposite me (Keith).

My peg.
I had with me for bait, 6 and 8mm pellets for the pellet wag and lead. Also I had some 8mm meat and some paste. I did have some caster, 6 and 4mm expanders, all of which remained untouched for the duration of the match.
I set up a pellet wag, clipped up to fish the corner of the island, the lead was to be fished in the same area.
A margin rig for meat was set up to fish along the edge to my left, but all the crap (scum, loosed reed and twigs etc) was built up here. I also knocked up a paste rig for around 8m in front.
Lastly a silvers rig was put on a lighter top kit (13m at 1'oclock), just incase the pellet wag line was dire, also a shallow banded pellet rig was made, for 13m in front
All the 'carp' rigs were on 0.18 hooklengths to B911 hooks in a size 16 (12 for paste). The silvers was a B611x attached to an 18 on 0.12 hooklength.
There were plenty of fish showing all over the lake and I did expect plenty of action.
On the whistle I cupped some micros on the silvers line, fired some 8mm pellets to the island and dumped a couple of pots of meat in my margin swim. 4 or 5 lumps of paste were chucked on that line.
I started on the wag, expecting bites right away it took a while to get a bite, then when it came it was a roach of a pound or so, one or 2 silvers had been caught and only a couple carp were landed from the pegs I could see.
It was difficult to get close enough to the island with the wind, feeding wasn't easy either, but I stuck with it and was rewarded after an hour with a carp around double figures, a smaller 5lb fish soon followed, but presentation was hard.
Brian had landed a few skimmers on peg 37, Phil on 33 had a carp as had Keith opposite. So I was doing ok I guessed.
I did give the paste 15 mins and other than 1 bite, nothing happened, nothing also happened in the edge and I never even bothered looking on my silvers as Brian was catching a few skimmers. As the club only pays 1 silvers, I deemed it unlikely to get me anywhere to change what I was doing.
A couple of hours in and I had a look on the lead over where I had been feeding the pellet wag, but this bought nothing, not even a knock. So back on the wag and 15 mins later another fish of 6lb or so was netted, as was a 3oz rudd.
Bites came as soon as i got close enough to the island, but as I had witnessed, the vegetation was being rather unkind and Keith was very busy pulling his tackle out of the assorted reeds and trees, sometimes with success and others he managed to lose floats, leads and feeders....
Things were slow going as we headed in to hour 4, I had managed to lose a couple of hooklengths when I caught a stray reed or 2. I had managed a couple more carp and a skimmer, but it seemed that most people were not getting regular action, though the grapevine pointed to Vince catching well from his sheltered peg.
Another couple miss-haps and a few wind knots were definitely not helping me and I had to untangle or re-tie my pellet wag a couple times. So as the last hour came about I think I maybe had 40lb of carp. A couple quick fish followed, but both were nice sized of 8lb each, so I chucked my 3rd net in, which was a bad idea and the 3rd net curse struck, I managed to lose 3 carp(up to this point I hadn't lost one), 2 hooklengths, 1 float and loads of mainline(windknot...thanks) in the last hour.
The final whistle went, a few had already packed up and by the looks of some of the islands, plenty of tackle had been lost. I reckon I did have maybe 55lb. All caught on the wag.
I packed up my kit and wandered down to chat to a few guys, they reckoned Vince had nearly a tonne also John Dursley had near to that mark too, with a few others admitting to between 25lb and 40lb,
Brian, next door, looked good for the silvers from where I was sat, as nobody looked like that they'd tried for them, but I could only see half a dozen anglers.
By the time the scales had arrived on my side of the lake, John Dursley (p6) weighed in 95lb+ with Keith having 54lb and a couple 45-50lb weights it looked close for 3rd and the section payouts.
Vince was soon weighing in, his catch totalling 101lb 11oz and taking 1st spot. Will Puddy weighed 29-14 from  peg 28, but 17-2  was silvers and he looked close to what I think Brian was due to weigh,
Eventually (well 2 weighs later...dnws a plenty) it was my turn, my silvers went 2lb 8oz. (1 roach, 1 3oz rudd and a 12oz skimmer). My carp totalled 57lb 3oz, so my total was 59lb 11oz. This took me to 3rd spot at this point, at least the section looked safe as only maybe Chris Ware on 42 admitting to a few carp, but he did say he'd only weigh 35lb or so.
I wandered my kit to the car and loaded my gear away. Mark was busy totting up the amounts so I took a photo of the weigh sheets, which incidentally shows my weight as 57-3, but in fact it should be 59-11 as they forgot to add my silvers..!!
Weigh Sheets.
As it turned out, my weight was enough for 3rd overall, so a few more pence to my holiday pot.

I guess that I should have done better today, but whether or not I would have got near to the top 2 weights is unlikely, but there are 1 or 2 things that were noted, firstly that I found I caught better if I fed 2 or 3 pouches of 8mm pellets and waited for a bite I would get a better stamp of carp to those around me also when I fed consistently bites were not coming at all, whether this was due to the carp not really having it (they were in the reeds sucking up roach spawn methinks) or the fact presentation was hard. Also, if I never got in tight to the vegetation I would struggled for a bite.
The lead proved slow for everyone and shouldn't be spent too long on.
Lastly, it seems I only draw pegs with the wind come at and across me, never from behind (and all the winners of recent matches I have fished have all had wind behind them or none at all).
I also need some practice on the paste fishing and pellet wag fishing too, I get carried away trying to fish a float which is probably too light.
1st, Vince Brown, peg 26, - 101lb 11oz
2nd, John Dursley, peg 6, - 95lb 12oz
3rd, Lee Williams, peg 35, - 59lb 11oz
Silvers, Brian G, peg 37, - 17lb 6oz
Section 1- Keith Clapp, peg 14 - 54lb 6oz
Section 2- C. Pike & Kev Lock, - 21lb 2oz each
Section 3- C. Ware, peg 42 - 40lb 10oz
So all in all a tricky day, which at least stayed dry and warm-ish, just a shame that the fish wouldn't venture too far from the island vegetation.
Next up is a Clevedon match on Shiplate Main Lake on June 9th.
Maybe I will find something before, but we shall see.
Take Care and Tight Lines


Sunday, 5 May 2013

04-04-13, Clevedon Club Saturday Series, Plantation Horseshoe

Todays match was the 1st of a series of 4 matches run on a Saturday afternoon, fishing from approx. 2pm - 7pm.
The matches are well spread with 1 a month in may/june/july and august. The venues (as it stands) are to be Plantation's Horseshoe (aka match lake) and Acorn's Back pond. 2 matches on each, but could change to all on Horseshoe if we get double fisgure of entries for each match.
To win in the series you count 3 results from 4.

Until this week I had not seen the venue let alone fished it, so on Friday I had a 5 hr session on there, mostly to make a couple rigs and familiarise myself with the lake.
I fished halfway up the far bank, I tried for the silvers for 90 mins, maggot and caster over groundbait at 6m and a cw&c line at 11m to my left, I didn't have a bite, so figured that they will not be a viable option for the match.
I then managed to break the same section of my pole that was damaged last week (by being a wally trying to lift the pole from the wrong end), only this time it was snapped in half. Still I telescoped it for now as I wait for a replacement.
I then baited the swim for carp, which I was informed/read averaged a couple pounds. I had a shallow line over the sunken bar, a line at the bottom of said bar and a margin line in close to the next swim to my left. 
Over the next 3hrs or so bites came in fits and starts and I finally tipped back around 28 carp, the smallest was a couple pounds, but most were around 4 or 5lb, I also had a few around the 7 or 8 pound mark.
I couldn't get a bite at the bottom of the bar, and the shallow rig was iffy thanks to the wind blowing up the lake (R to L) and I was fishing banded 8mm, really 6mm would have been better as I bumped a few. Alas I did mug a few fish as they were cruising.
Most of my bites and fish came from the margin, mostly on 8mm meat over 6mm pellets.
So I took my 'knowledge' with me today hoping for something similar.

I arrived early for the draw as I was bored at home, I had re-elasticated the wife's pole in case my telescoped sections didn't like to play (but they were fine really) on mine. I duly arrived at the lake around 11:30, the draw was 12:30.
I took a walk around as I was the only soul present, and saw a lot of fish along the short bank near the entrance, where the wind had been blowing, also a lot of fish were present around the end of the sunken bar on the far corner of the lake and I would like a peg in those sort of areas (if pegged).
A stiff wind was blowing, stronger than yesterday, and it did seem that presentation could be difficult, we had also had a few showers this morning, which I figured may have pushed the fish lower in the water.

A short while later Kev Perry arrived, we said hello's and then he trotted upto the café for some grub.
A new lad arrived aswell, it was his 1st outing with the club I think, Tom Duckett is his name. Mike Lilly arrived (he fished here a lot it seemed) shortly, then everyone else arrived except Glen who was running late.
A bit of chit chat and piss taking, Mike went and done the pegging for Adie and insisted pegs 9-14 were on the island, well there were on 13 fishing and he wrote the numbers(1-13) on the flags himself...!!
Anyways we paid our dues and the draw was made, I went 1st, picking p5 for Adie and 1 for myself, which gave me the scales, which is the 1st time ever I have drawn the scales...... We were fishing 1:45 to 7pm.
For company I had Kev Perry to my left, I could see Rod Wotton on the 'hot peg' across and to my right on p9. Mike Lilly was on 11 across and to my left. Glen Calvert was the opposite side of the mini island in front of me.

Approx. Layout of Today's match

Looking at my swim, I had island rushes in front of me.

I set up 3 rigs, a shallow rig for either mugging or spraying 4mm pellet, this had a banded 6mm pellet on the hook. This never game me a bit despite several tries, so wont be mentioned.
My 2nd rig was for in the slightly deeper, but not deepest, parts of the swim, which was at topkit in front and 6ft off the island at 10 o'clock position. For this I would fish dead reds over micro.
Lastly I had a rig for against the reeds on the island, which would multiply up for fishing in front of the swim to my right and just off the point of the island where I had the same 2.5-3ft depth. Baits were meat over 4mm or 6mm pellet with few free bits of meat in all 3 spots.

The wind was rather strong, so after 9m it was hard to hold the pole, but I needed 11m to reach the reeds on the island and the swim to my right, so i'd have to cope.
The whistle went and I cupped my free offerings in the appropriate spots and catapulted some loose 4mm pellets into open water which is where I spent the first 15 minutes, without response. Glen, in this time, had landed 4 carp and Rod on p9 had also had a couple.

A switch to the deeper rig and 3 dead reds bought a small carp of 1lb or so, and that was that for that line for the day, despite trying varying depths and feeding, I never had a sniff again over micros in the deeper spots.

The 1st hour had passed and 1 carp was my tally, Mike had yet to catch, and I am sure Kev hadn't caught either. Glen and Rod had landed a few though. There were fish showing over the sunken bar in front of the swim to my left, but  at a distance which I couldn't fish with the pole.
The next hour did bring me a run of 4 carp, 2 from against the island weighing a couple pounds each and 2 from in front of the swim to my right which were of a slightly better stamp. I also lost 2 fouled fish from over the margin swim.

So by now we were just over 2 hours in and my swim had died, Kev had landed a couple lumps from his margin swims and Rod was still catching. Glen had stopped catching though. Also up the far end I couldn't see much action in Adie's swim.

The last 3 hours of the match was dire really, I lost 1 rig in a tree when a gust of wind took the rig into a branch/twig, another rig did the same but I got it back minus the hooklength. I did land a skimmer of 1lb 2oz (my only silver in 2 days). The wind was a pain for most. I also missed 3 bites down the edge to my left, a new swim I started with less feed as maybe they were backing off the freebies? The last hour's sunshine meant I couldn't see much in front of me with the glare etc hurting my eyes.

Kev was catching consistently now, fishing down the edge, mostly to his left, and his fish were a decent stamp. Rod was doing ok too, especially the last hour where I guess he had about 8 carp, but most were a couple pounds, but I think he was possibly winning, he was for sure on my side of the main island.

My island swim never gave me a bite once it was shaded, maybe it was the shade which prevented Mike Lilly from doing well as it looked like his swim, although had little in the was of wind, was shady thanks to the trees behind and to the side of him.. Also the wind had altered direction a touch and had swung slightly towards me, resulting in calm water in the right hand margin, which resulted in less bites, but more ducks and geese visiting that area.

The shout for the all out soon came and I guess I had around 16lb, Rod would be near the ton, Glen had double or so what I had and Kev had a good last 90 mins with some lumps, he would weigh around 60lb I did think to myself.

I packed up and assembled the scales etc, and Kev came and weighed my catch, my 1lb 2oz skimmer and the carp tallied up to 21lb 6oz. Not enough, but maybe be ok in the scheme of the series.
Next up we weighed Kev's catch, with both weighs totalling 70lb 4oz,  Mark B weighed 47lb+, then the far end swims never weighed anything of note with 15/16lb weights, Tom Duckett fished the peg next to where I fished on Friday, he had a handful of carp for 18lb-ish.

Onto the island, Rod weighed in, less fish than I thought, but a decent 81lb bag of carp, fishing mostly 6m to the bank/stems to his left, no doubt fishing hard pellet. Mike DNW'd while Glen and Brian Slipper had weights of 40lb 8oz and 49lb 13oz respectively.

1st -  Rod Wotton - 81lb 8oz on peg 9 (1st peg on left over footbridge)
2nd - Kev Perry - 70lb 4oz from peg 2 (halfway along 1st bank)
3rd - Brian Slipper - 49lb 13oz on peg 12 (point of island)

I finished 7th, which I am a little disappointed with, but the wind didn't help my cause making presentation difficult and given very few fish were actually caught from deep(er) water perhaps I did ok from my swim.

Weigh Sheets (not in peg order)
Overally I quite like this little venue, the carp certainly know how to pull back and is reasonably fair as everyone has a feature or 2 and should catch a few. Saying that, I would suggest that if a match is held on there then 18 would be the most I would want, also the lake could perhaps do with an influx of silvers, roach, skimmers or tench, but only around 5lb of bits were caught in total by 13 of us.
I look forward to the next outing on there.
The next weekend match up for me is a match on the 19th when I have a choice of Avalon or Trinity Woodlands. 50/50 which I will go for.
I may fish this bank holiday Monday, but will see if the family want to do stuff, especially as it looks like a nice warm and sunny day is due.
I will probably fish the next Sedges evening match on the Thursdays in between. This weeks was poor for me, a dnw while a few decent weights on pellet wag won the monies (96lb+ won) in 2.5hrs on Thursday just gone.
Until next time, take care and happy angling.