Monday, 29 December 2014

The year that was 2014........Part 1.

Well I wish all my readers a Happy New Year and hope you all stay healthy and enjoy the coming 12 months.

So I am just about to give you all a quick overview of the last 12 months on the bank, how my match fishing went and ending with what I am hoping to look forward to in 2015.

January, February and March
The year started off by mostly fishing the Avalon Teams of 3 series, my Woolavy Wanderers had began the series well enough and were towards the top of the pile. Myself, James Withers and Paul Wharton had all picked up some money in several rounds, but as the series went on things got tougher and my side drifted down the table to somewhere more 'realistic'. It was an enjoyable though and the winning side were The Sedges (Jamie Cook, Phil & Keith Clapp). My best individual result was a 3rd overall.
In the meantime I fished a match, my 1st and only match in fact, at Summerhayes. I dnw'd on a tough day on Sellicks.
My Sellicks peg at Summerhayes
Other notable matches came in the form of a 3rd placed finish at Lands End, mostly perch and F1's caught on prawns, plus the odd bonus carp in my 47lb net. This qualified me for the Silvers Winners Final with Pawlett Legion AC..
A February match on Shiplate's Main Lake with Clevedon AC was enjoyable and went to plan, catching 13lb+ of skimmers on soft pellet and added 3 margin caught carp to this, securing 2nd spot in the match. Shiplate Main Lake is one of my favourite venues.
Pawlett club also had a match on the Bridgwater/Taunton canal, where I didn't weigh but it was won with over 66lb of mostly tench.
March ended with a PSV match on Plantation's Main lake, where an enjoyable, but sort of frustrating day saw me string a run of edge caught lumps boost my pellet waggler caught bag to 66lb 8oz to secure 2nd spot but take the 1st money prize by default.
Here's my post of the match Plantation PSV Match, March 2014.

April, May and June
The month of April started off with a week at White Acres for the Dynamite Baits Festival, my 1st ever experience of such an event. Myself and Withers were in the caravan next to Keiron Rich, and plenty of 'names' were fishing as well as a good influx of Somerset based anglers including Dan White, Jamie Parkhouse and Ben Hagg to name a few.
I could go into loads of details of the week, but simply I found it a massive learning curve and learned loads throughout the week, especially with F1 fishing and the need to catch silvers in quiet spells.
I did manage a pick-up during the week, at what I thought may be my strong card, Porth Reservoir.
You can read the daily updates from the drop downs on the right hand side of this page.
I do hope to get onto a festival in 2015.
On returning from the festival I had a few matches over the following weeks, starting with a Clevedon match on Trinity Waters' Woodland lake, only half a dozen of us fished but we averaged over 82lb per man with myself taking the honours with 117lb+ and my 1st Clevedon match win.
I then picked up section money during the Pawlett Silver's match at Sedges before a few blow outs at the same venue.
A trip to Larford Lakes for a Fishomania qualifier was a new experience for me and I did ok from a not-so-great area, just missing out on a pick-up due to an angler bagging a last gasp munter from his margin. A similar story at Viaduct for the MMT and Fisho qualifiers, drawing non-competitive pegs hindered further progress in the competitions.
May began with a Clevedon match at Avalon, I drew peg 1 and true to form I didn't trouble the opposite end of the lake where the warm wind was heading.
I redeemed myself on Shiplate's Westpool during a blind pairs match with the same club, 2nd on the day and 1st on the lake was how it ended with myself and partner Adie Baker securing 3 points, though we lost out on weight!! Here's how.....
An MFS 2-day event followed, with me winning my section from peg 86 on Cary on the 1st day with 142lb 3oz. The 1st day was won with nearly 300lb by Dan White from peg 110 on Campbell.
The 2nd day gave me a nice 90lb bag from Campbell, but that would never compete with the top 5 catching over 180lb each on the 2nd day
The last 2 matches of the month were PSV matches at Trinity Woodlands and Landsend Match + Speci lakes. The 2 matches gave me good draws and I somehow managed to convert them into successive wins.
June was a busy month with plenty of matches including a MMT match at Viaduct, but I didn't draw any good at that match, but did get suntanned feet!!
Sun Tanned Feet.......
The rest of the month saw me not pick up at Sedges, Viaduct and Trinity (Pawlett all winners final) as well as on Hawthorns lake at Shiplate.  My draws were not the best, maybe my luck had run out in the previous couple weeks?
My last match of the month gave me an envelope at Avalon, with PSV, where the defaulted 3rd place money helped top up my holiday funds.

So that was the first 6 months of the year briefly covered.


That was the year 2014.......continued

Moving on to the second part of my round up,  what happened in the warmer months and through to the end of the year...??

July, August and September
The 1st weekend of June began with the Pawlett Club's Silvers' Winners final, this was held at a lake I have never seen before, Quantock Lakes at Nether Stowey. It was a busy match catching small fish and hoping for a bonus skimmer or tench, alas I never had any and the day was won by Dave Nash (who chose the venue himself). Some guys, especially Jamie Cook, had carp problems all day, thankfully I never hooked one.
Moving on, the following week's match was a PSV arranged one at Sedges, on the Brick lake. Chris Davis won on the day and had over 60lb of silvers in his net, me, well I had 40lb of them to take the Silvers money.....Brick Lake Silvers showed up!!.
Avalon gave me second spot with the Clevedon match, caught mostly on the pellet waggler, my 89lb was almost half of the winners' net and I'd doubled 3rd spot's weight. I lost a good few fish in the reeds on the day to.
Paul Nicholl's and part of his 175lb+ Avalon net
The month ended with yet another poor showing for me at Viaduct, Campbell lake, with a Tourettes induced Chris Davis sacking over 200lb despite getting through net handles and topkits during the 6hr contest.
As we moved into August the weather warmed up considerably and it began with another win for Chris Davis as PSV had a match on the Match Lake at Landsend, I managed a late run of fish to take 4th spot, first out of the money. But I really enjoyed the match but a length of very strong line caused me to lose a fish that cost me 3rd on the day.
I was really looking forward to the Pawlett match on the Huntspill River at Withy Grove, a venue I had spent a lot of my youth fishing but hadn't fished it must in the last decade or so. It was pretty well attended and 22 of us all caught fish. The highlight of my day was a 3.5lb hybrid, a stunning looking beast, sadly I never got a photo, but everyone commented on it at the weigh in.
My 7lb managed to pick up section money and 5th on the day. The match was won with over 20lb by Keith Clapp.
Before that match I fished a match that was a Clevedon vs Frys contest held on Durleigh Res, a venue I feel that doesn't get enough matches on it, I managed just over 20lb of mostly roach for nowhere on the day but the roach sport wasn't fully exploited by me as I tried to catch bream and carp on the feeder with no joy!!
Last match of July was at Sedges, Brick Lake, and I finished one out of the money again in 4th spot, but it was a good day fishing as is the usual scenario at one of the best fisheries around.
As the kids headed back to school, September looked to be a month of travelling with Pawlett's club day out being held at Ridgeway Fishery aka Walters Lake up on the Cotswold Water Park area, a snake style lake that has produced big nets in the past, but seems to have less hectic in the last 12-18 months. I did manage to scrape 4th or 5th and win my section money on the day. The top 2 were separated by an ounce, Jamie Cook taking the honours ahead of Eric Fouracre.
Another Campbell lake blow out for me was followed up with the annual PSV weekend away, this was held in gorgeous surrounds, but the fishing was very tricky over the 3 day/3 lake event.

Nice Views

Stunning Venue.....
Over the 3 days I got lucky enough to take a 2nd spot and 2 match wins to secure the overall event.
I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, read how it went.........Holgan Farm Weekend.
Lastly in September was another match at Viaduct, a not so great draw for me again, peg 130!! was made worse when the 2nd ticket I picked out at the draw I gave to Steve Fouracre. He went on to win from peg 80 with just over 200lb.
I managed to secure some money with a late run of fish giving me a net of 108lb or so and 6th over the Cary and Campbell lakes.

October, November and December
As we moved into the rear end of the year, as temps were due to drop, fishing was being patchy everywhere with the lack of rain and it seemed that no venues were truly fishing to how they should.
My October began well when I drew peg 7 at Sedges, on Brick Lake. I managed to catch 32lb+ of silvers, which was the best on the day, but my carp boosted my net to 83lb, finishing 3rd on the day, which was won from a true flyer of a peg...peg 10..!!
The following week was my 1st trip up to Harescombe, a venue I heard had lots of F1's and skimmers with carp being bonus fish.
The venue is set in a gorgeous valley, but we had murky , cold and fog all day, but I enjoyed it despite coming nowhere on the day.
Shiplate Main Lake peg 15 was my home a week later, a brilliant draw usually and so it proved with me putting a good few fish in the net in my winning 156lb+ was 100lb clear of the next best on the lake and around 90lb clear of the best Westpool weight. If you want, take a look at this blog...!!
I dnw'd at the last match of the month, as temps dropped and fish moved, I drew peg 130 on Campbell lake. I got home in time to watch some footy though!!
November began over at Landsend, peg 1, with the PSV guys, I struggled to 46lb or so and I wasn't the only one. Chris Gay won fishing maggots and worms over groundbait in the margins from peg 16.
Trinity Wildmarsh provided a 3 peg battle for the silvers and framing places, except 1st spot as that was sewn up by Brian Shanks. I came out 3rd in the battle with John 'the gimp' Bradford and Darren North, they had both caught bonus fish where as I hadn't, but I took home some money so it wasn't all bad. I really enjoyed that match and made a nice change away from carp.
A match on the Bridgwater/Taunton canal was fished with Pawlett Club, it was due to be on the Parrett, but rain put paid to that, but I had a nice day and finished 5th.
I followed this up with a DNW at Shiplate and the month of December was soon upon us.
The month of Christmas began with PSV's Christmas match on Bitterwell Lake in Coalpit Heath near Bristol.
Bitterwell Lake
If you want to read how the day panned out and see that I came 5th, read PSV Xmas Match blog.
Pawlett held their annual Christmas match at Sedges a week later, I plucked a peg I didn't fancy in the form of peg 30. But I fished ok to take the section money with 45lb, the best weight off that bank.
Acorn Paddock Lake was the venue for Clevedon's xmas match, it was bloomin hard and I managed a couple late carp to go with my silvers money winning 2lb 12oz skimmer. I drew peg 1 in that match, only to be told that it is very rarely put in the draw,!!
I did manage to squeeze two open matches in either side of the Clevedon match, 1 on Brick where I had peg 11 and on the other match I plucked peg 27, both times I managed to finish 4th and a couple of envelopes to add to my holiday funds.  So I had picked up in 5 consecutive matches after that result.
My year ended how it began with a match at Summerhayes, this was on Longs lake. It wasn't the busiest of days when it came to actual fish catching, my 8lb 15oz was 6th or 7th out of 15, but I really enjoyed it.

So that was a (sort of) brief summary of my 2014 match fishing, some decent results along the way, but best of all I had enjoyed it. I learned loads and found that I was pretty consistent.
I managed to pick up in 26 or 27 of the 61 matches (except White Acres week) so a 45% ratio isn't too bad.
For 2015 I hope to improve on my pick-up ratio and hopefully bag a few decent draws at the MMT's and Fisho qualifiers. A good result at Viaduct and Sedges Tile lakes wouldn't go amiss either. Also trying to squeeze in another festival at White Acres may be on the cards.

Here's to 2015, Have a Happy, Prosperous and Enjoyable year.

Take Care and Tight Lines.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Summerhayes Open, Longs Lake, 28-12-14

15 of us fished this match today mostly made up of venue regulars plus myself and James Withers, whom I'd convinced to tag along (ooopps). John 'Lucky' Dursley and Scott Russell, whom had been doing really well dobbing bread recently on this venue, were also in attendance.

I arrived in plenty of time despite having to de-ice the car before leaving home, it wasn't too warm outside!! Though it got cooler as I got closer to the lakes.

Now I have never fished this lake, infact I have only fished the whole complex in it's present guise once and that was on Sellicks almost a year ago to the day.
I knew it was going to be hard and after taking a quick look at some spots on the lake, the pegs nearest the hut, pegs 33-37 looked the likeliest to produce fish, on the other hand, the pegs at the opposite end were somewhat clearer and would be tricky for sure. Hardly any silver fish movement was apparent, just the odd plip.......!!

After Withers got me a cuppa and a bit of a natter with a few guys, it was the draw time.
I was given the bucket to pick the golden peg, which meant that I had 1st dibs in the draw itself. Now most of you probably know that I would rather be near the end of the pack!! None the less I plucked peg 25 for the golden peg and followed this up with peg 14 for myself.
I didn't know where that was, but as it turned out it was the last peg on the far bank before you head along the motorway bank.
Arriving at my peg I saw that it was 17m to the island and I had a nice set of dead reeds to my left. The empty peg that is peg 15 was around 13m away.

P14's left margin, Longs Lake, Summerhayes

p14 Longs Lake, Summerhayes

For bait I had some damp micros a handful of expanders and some maggots, plus a couple slices of bread to use punch on the hook. I also mixed up some groundbait.
Tackle for the day consisted of a small method feeder, which other than 1 lob across while I had a drink, remained untouched.
4 pole rigs were attached to topkits, 2 on light gear for silvers at around 7m in front and in the 1 o'clock direction, both of the never gave me a fish and only 1 missed bite, so no more on them then.
The last couple of rigs were set up with the carp in mind, 1 rig to fish along my left hand margin and 1 rig for 13m in front and just off the side of the empty peg 15.

At the all in I cupped a nugget of groundbait in front of me and a few micros off to the right before starting off dobbing by the reeds and the empty peg.
Nothing happened for a couple hours, infact it took ages for a lot of people to catch anything, my 1st 2 fish were 1/2oz roach caught by the reeds.
It was soon 12:30pm and from what I could see pegs 16 and 20 hadn't caught, neither had James on peg 8, peg 5(?) also hadn't caught. Pegs 12 and 10 had both caught 1 or 2 carp each by dobbing across.

My 1st carp, all 5oz of it, came down by the reeds at 12:45, this was followed by two more netted and 2 lost (both left me scales) all in the space of 10 minutes. A quick look by empty peg 15 gave me another 1lb carp.

I kept plugging away, I was getting line bites and I'd occasionally prick one, probably not in the mouth. I did come off bottom but I didn't get any joy.
By this point it was 2pm and 1 or 2 guys had packed up, the chap on peg 16 had banked a few silvers and 3 or 4 carp, so had John Dursley on peg 20.
A look by the empty peg produced a 1lb carp and bumped another.

My 6th and final carp came at 3:10pm and was another squeaker. The 3:30pm all out couldn't come quick enough!! By this point James had left having not caught and I think only 8 or 9 of us had to weigh in.

I packed up and went and helped with scales duty, everyone knew peg 37 had been catching well all day and so it proved when 49lb was tipped onto the scales by Bill Hopping. This was only after peg 40 put 16lb on the board.
Then we had a few weights of under 5lb, though someone had a crucian boosted 2lb 12oz silvers weight, then we got down to John Dursley on peg 20, he amassed 1b 12oz of silver and topped up to just over 10lb with his 4 carp.
I was next to weigh as peg 16 didn't bother, my 6 carp and 1oz of roach gave me 8lb obviously I had targeted the lumpiest fish in the lake!!
The next peg had 14lb before I left my duties and went to take my kit back to the car.

By the time I had loaded the car the weigh in had finished with Scott Russell putting 10 carp for just under 25lb on the board to take 2nd spot.

So the results were:
1st 49lb, p37, Bill Hopping
2nd 25lb(ish) from peg 1 was Scott Russell
3rd 16lb 5oz from peg 40 was Glynn Wickham

The top 2 silvers weights were 2lb 12oz and 1lb 12oz.

Overall, even though it was hard, I enjoyed that match. I will try not to leave it so long before my next visit.

Next up for me is Sedges Tile Lake on Sunday, though I do hope to get out on Thursday or Friday.....back to work tomorrow.



Friday, 26 December 2014

Sedges Open match, Tile Lake, 26-12-14

Today's Boxing Day match at the Sedges was a sell-out 20 pegger with a good few venue regulars in attendance, I arrived early as everyone was entitled to a Bacon and Sausage Bap, courtesy of Mark Hembery.
After some lengthy chat, mostly about Xmas Day happenings, the draw was underway.

Now I fancied any peg other than he one I had last week, peg 30 or a peg without an island chuck which I think is peg 34 or 35(?). I waited until the end of the queue and plucked out peg 27, not too bad I thought, I had an island to cast to and pegs 124 to 128 have been doing ok recently  (but the whole venue is decent, so most can expect bites).
Peg 30 was taken by Paul Homewood and I had venue owner Jamie Cook on my right, peg 26. Martin Heard(p31) and Nick Selway(p40) took another 2 corner pegs and are definitely capable anglers.

None the less I had a job to do and I headed off towards my peg, wishing luck to Mark Hembery on peg 24 and Kev Crouch on peg 25.
I arrived at my peg and went about readying my kit. 2 feeder rods were assembled, 1 on the method, 1 on an inline maggot feeder.
2 pole rigs were attached to slack no14. elastics, both were on 0.16>0.14>B911 size 16's. One of which was for meat over dead maggots at 2+2 in the 10 o'clock direction . The second was for dead maggots over dead maggots and a sprinkling of wet micros. This would be fished at 13m in front.

Tile Lake, peg 27, Sedges Fishery
The weather was due to get windy and wet, for this reason I didn't set up a waggler rod.
Bait was live and dead maggots, micros for both feeder and long pole line and some 6mm meat. I did have some assorted hookbait pellets to band up on the feeder.

At the whistle I cupped almost a full pot of dead maggots on the short line, this also had a few cubes of meat in. On the long pole line went a whole cup of dead maggots and a small helping of micros to add some smell.

I began on the tip and spend 2 hours fishing this, switching between the method and maggot feeders, those 2 hours were dead and I only had 2 line bites. Jamie on peg 26 was in the same boat as was Mark on peg 24. Also the rain had come and it was bloomin freezing.
During this 2 hours I did re-bait the long line with a small helping of micros and maggots, plus I had been chucking 6 bits of meat on the short line every half an hour.
On peg 25, Kev Crouch had been catching a few skimmers and carp on both the waggler and feeder and was doing well, as was Paul Homewood up in corner peg 30. Nobody else had caught much, just the odd skimmer and carp were getting netted.
At around 12:15 I had my 1st fish on the feeder, a 1lb mirror was quickly netted. Jamie also had his 1st fish around this point, but looked easily 7lb+. A quick look on the short pole line saw me miss a couple bites, I thought they may have been line bites. So I came off here right away hoping any fish present would settle.

At 1pm I had to go to get some gloves from the car as my hands were numb, I generally don't suffer with cold hands, but the damp from the pole forced the issue.
Onto the long pole line and I had a bite right away and a fish was felt on the end, but after a few seconds the hook pulled, I think it was a skimmer but may have been a lifeless carp, I will never know. A small roach followed a few minutes later, and that was the end of action for that line.
It was at this point I decided to stick on the feeder until the last 45 minutes or so.
I stuck on the feeder for another hour or so and I did manage a couple more carp, one of 10lb-ish and another of 3lb.
Jamie had landed another and up on peg 30 was Paul happily catching regularly on the tip and pole, he looked like he was to win from what I could see. Kev Crouch (p25) had a slower spell but was in contention for a frame place. Only Nick on peg 40 was out of sight. A couple of guys had packed up by 2pm.
All the while I had been flicking a few bits of meat on the short line, plus another 1/2 cup of maggots went in at 1:30pm.

At 2:20 I took a look on the short line and I began getting an occasional movement on the float, soon it bobbed under and I struck into a fish, after a spirited scrap and 5lb fish was netted. Another biteless 10 minutes saw me spend 10 minutes back on the feeder, but no bite was forth coming, so with 10 minutes left I went back on the 2+2 line and after a missed bite I had a couple knocks on the float but something wasn't right so a lifted the float and hit into a carp.
After 5 minutes I hadn't seen the fish, it was staying deep and plodding.
The all-out sounded and I carried on playing the fish. It wasn't until 5 minutes after the horn that I landed the carp, though my brolly was an arse and made netting difficult. At around 12lb it was a worthwhile fish and I thought I'd ended up with about 30lb. 5 carp and 1 roach was my tally.

I began packing away while waiting for the scales. Pretty much everything was wet, I was cold and I had to keep moving to keep warm. The air wasn't cold, just the rain, apparently there had been snow further north towards Gloucester, so we'd missed that.

The scales were soon at me and Kev Crouch was leading the way with 49lb+ but only 20lb-ish was next best.
My 1oz roach was added to my carp total to give me 33lb 4oz. Not bad given how slow the day had been for most.
I didn't get to see what the next couple of pegs weighed, but peg 30 had given Paul Homewood 70lb+ for a comfortable win (it was presumed).

I made my way back to the car and loaded the kit and caught up with the scales, my weight was ok.
There were a couple mid-20lb nets before Nick Selway on peg 40 put 32lb on the boards.
I did manage £50 for winning my side of the lake, so a result in that respect.

Peg 30, Paul Homewood, 70lb+
Peg 25, Kev Crouch, 49lb+
Peg (?), Pete Cooke, 34lb
Peg 27, Lee Williams, 33lb 4oz (section 21-30)
Peg 40, Nick Selway, 32lb 12oz (section 31-40)

The silvers was won by default with 7lb 6oz and 2nd best was 7lb exactly.

So all in all it was another typical winter's day fishing, hoping for a few bites, and it was more trickier than most thought it would be.

Next up for me is a match on Sunday, not too sure where yet. Then it's back to work from Monday until Weds afternoon. I am hoping to squeeze a match in on Friday or Saturday next week before another match on Sedges Tile lake on the 4th.

Until next time, tight lines.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Clevedon FWAC (& co) Xmas Match, Acorn Paddock Lake, 21-12-14

I was kind of looking forward to this match, as conditions being rather mild and overcast recently the fish could still be feeding well...........well so I thought!!

View across Acorn Paddock Lake (from around peg 11)

Arriving in plenty of time for the 9am draw I chatted to a few guys, some of whom were 'guesting' the match as Clevedon had opened it to non-members this year. It had not been fishing well and the draw would be all important, a bridge peg preferred or at least a peg between 6 and 13 maybe.
Nobody really wanted to be on pegs 1 to 6 on the island as it seems they are not the best, especially in the cooler months. Also the road bank (cyanide straight) was unlikely to give xmas cheer!!

With 32 fishing, and it being xmas, we had 13 payouts. These were top 5 overall, 2 silvers and 6 sections pots, so a 1 in 3-ish chance of a pick-up. It would be tough with good anglers fishing and/or those who know the place miles better than me, Mark Bartlett, Mark Walsh, Rich Heatley and the Thyers gang all in attendance, plus Rod Wootton alongside Andy Hembrow.
I was the last in the queue to draw, following Mike Wilson, Lee Waller, Darren North and Keith Ray, all of PSV fame!!
With 1 peg left in the bucket I took it with great anticipation...........peg 1....on the island.....with scales duty!! Still there was to be a presentation and raffle at the Bridge Inn, with a prize for everyone who took part.

I made my way to my peg and found I had Paul Faiers on peg 2 and Steve Bonwick on peg 3, both to my left. I had Mark Walsh on my right, well sort of, he was the other side of a part of the lake. Nick Harvey was behind me. I could see most of the guys along the straight bank, Lee Waller had drawn a bridge peg.

View down to peg 5, Acorn Paddock Lake.

View of peg 1
I began setting up and sorting my kit out, we were fishing 10:15am to 3:15pm.
3 rigs today, all on 0.14>0.12>18 B911f1 hooks. 2 on soft no.14 elastic and 1 on number 8 elastic.
The 1st rig, for 3 open water swims, was an NG Power Pencil in 0.5g.
The 2nd rig was for the bottom of the far shelf and was an NG Diamond float, 0.2g, which was pretty much unused.
The 3rd rig was another Diamond float of the same size, but would be for across against the far bank vegetation, this was around 13m in distance.

However with the wind likely to be brisk any decent presentation could be tricky.
It was also at this point when I noticed that I had left my coat at home,  thankfully the showers predicted never arrived. But I was cooler than I would have liked to have been.

Baits were micros, maggots and a few pinkies, I also mixed up a small helping of groundbait.
I also had some soft pellet, 4mm pellets and corn, all of which remained unused.
While we were setting up it seemed there were a few fish in the area, carp and plippy roach seemed to be present.
At the all in I cupped a small ball of groundbait at 2+2 in the 4am direction, at the bottom of the near shelf. Some micros and maggots went in at 2+2 in front. A helping of maggots and loose groundbait was cupped over in front of the vegetation.
I began in front at 2+2 and waited, waited a bit more, then after 20 minute of waiting I had a couple line bites, this coincided with Paul Faiers on peg 2 foul hooking a couple fish, though he did land one of them, hooked nicely in the tail...!!
He then lost another fouler.
To my right, Mark Walsh (p34) had landed a carp or 2 from by the bridge and others had maybe 1 or 2 carp maximum after the 1st hour.

The next 90 minutes was dull, I missed a bite to my right before I did land a skimmer of 2lb 4oz.
So after 3 hours I had 1 fish, missed 1 bite and had a few line bites.
Along the island the anglers had all caught one carp each, either on the pole or the method/pellet feeder. Paul was on 2 carp and 1 roach.
Behind me, Nick Harvey, had a run of 3 or 4 carp short on the pole before his area died.

The following 2 hours was pretty dire, I started to feed a topkit line with pinkies and small balls of groundbait in the hope that some fish (a fish) may turn up in the last hour.
Until then I rotated my swims for no reward. Saying that, at around 2pm I managed 2 bites in as many drops against the far side vegetation, both were foul hooked carp, both came adrift.
As we approached the last 45 minutes I came into the topkit line and stayed there almost exclusively for the remainder of the match. With half hour left I had a bite which I missed, then next put in saw me hook, and land, a carp of perhaps 4lb, I had hoped it was a decent skimmer as nobody seemed to have any amounts of silvers from what I could see.
5 minutes later saw me attached to another carp and a 3lb ghostie was duly netted. Both of these fish had been succumbed by my pinkie hookbait!! That was my match.....7 bites, 2 carp lost, 2 landed, 1 skimmer of 2lb 4oz netted, 2 missed bites and a few line bites had in the first hour.

As the all out was called, myself and Paul had noted Adie Baker over on peg 9(?) was doing well late on, plus Walshy had possibly 25lb+. Nick Harvey had 4 carp. On the far bank, along the straight, a few carp had been caught all the way along and it looked close among them.
Further round the lake, during the day, I saw Brian Slipper and Mark Bartlett land a few fish, plus peg 6 looked to have 3 or 4 carp and would probably win our section, but it is a decent peg.

I packed my kit up and set about weighing in pegs 1-13.
My skimmer weighed 2lb 4oz and my 2 carp took my weight to 9lb 5oz.
Paul's 2 carp and odd roach gave him just under 6lb, similar weights from pegs 3 and 5 with Rich Loverings on peg 4 not weighing. Peg 6 weighed around 15lb. The next 6 pegs gave weights from 4oz to 23lb, with 15-18lb being the average, with the 23lb+ going to match secretary Adie Baker.

I then went back and loaded my car and made my way down the road to the Bridge Inn for the presentation and raffle.
As it turned out my 2lb 4oz was enough to win me the silvers pool, with 2lb 2oz next best in the silvers.
Mark Walsh had 30lb or so to come ahead of Adie Baker, while PSV's Darren North took 3rd or 4th spot with 22lb+ alongside Andy Hembrow who also had 22lb+.
After a couple hours here, prizes given and chosen, raffle done and a 99th minute equaliser for Liverpool FC on the big screen, I made my way home.

1st, peg 34, Mark Walsh, 30lb 9oz
2nd, peg 9, Adie Baker, 23lb 5oz
3rd, peg 14(?), Andy Hembrow, 22lb 6oz
4th, peg(?) Darren North, 22lb 2oz

Silvers winner was me from peg 1, 2lb 4oz.

There was also money for 5th plus 2nd in silvers. 6 section winners took a little cash home to. All the fees went to the pools, no peg fees were taken from entry fee.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sedges Open, Brick Lake, 20-12-14

A rare Saturday match saw me fish a 20 peg open on the popular Sedges Fishery's Brick Lake.
Recent form on this lake has shown that the out and out flyer is corner peg 10, with pegs 1 and 20 also worth a punt. Peg 11 is the final corner peg and wouldn't be the worst draw either.
However it has been tricky fishing for most with 15lb a decent weight at the moment from any peg. 10 to 12lb was expected to win the silvers pot. Overall 30lb should be a decent weight.

I arrived in plenty of time, with the lovely Denise offering cuppas, I gladly accepted. Others in attendance were Simon Ryall and his sidekick that is Jonny Page. Ron Stark, Jamie Parkhouse, Martin Heard and Rich Coles were also among the 20 of us.
After a bit of chat and banter, Jamie called the draw.
As many of you may be aware, I more often than not pick a peg between 12 and 14, but these pegs were the wind affected pegs. I fancied anywhere along the middle bank from pegs 3 to 8, offering me a day on the waggler with the wind from behind, also the skimmers usually show along the middle sections of Brick Lake.

Anyways back to the draw and I was late on in picking my number, Jamie Parkhouse had drawn peg 10, Rob Dodd peg 20 and Simon Ryall had drawn along the middle of the right-hand bank.
I managed to pluck peg 11, again I was up the far end of the right-hand side. Not a bad draw and the end bank offered me a chance of catching a few along the end bank.
The waggler rod was going to stay in the holdall as I would not be able to fish it and feed effectively with the stiff breeze that was blowing towards me and a little from my left to right!! Ggggrrr.

Brick Lake peg 11
I started up by setting up a maggot feeder, generally based on the idea to fish towards the central rope and slightly to the right. There had been a few carp boshing in that area all morning.
I then set up 3 pole rigs, the same 3 rigs as I had used last Sunday on Tile Lake.
So it was a carp rig and silvers rig to fish at 10m in front, which coincides with end of the slope that heads towards the end bank.
My 3rd rig was to fish the same distance towards the end bank, but the bottom was a touch uneven and the wind was an arse, so I came around 1/2m off the reeds to avoid snagging them in the gusts.

For company I had Pete Cooke and Jamie Cook on pegs 12 and 13 respectively. Opposite was Paul Homewood on peg 9 and Jamie Parkhouse on p10 (good angler, best peg).

Bait was simple today, 2pts of maggots, some F1 groundbait and a few micros and corn.
The all in was sounded and I potted some maggots and a few bits of corn in along the end bank area where I had around 4.5ft of water, possibly too deep.
3 small balls of groundbait and micros were potted in the open water swim.

I began on the feeder and found myself getting liners, but I spent the next 70 minutes waiting for the tip to pull round as there was fish activity around the area I was fishing the feeder. But despite trying various tactics, different hookbaits and hooklength lengths I remained fishless.
I wasn't too concerned though as it seemed that only Jamie on peg 10 had caught, he'd had 3 or 4 plus a couple lost carp in this period of the match.

At around 11:20 I took a look on the open water pole line and was immediately rewarded with a couple roach and blade skimmers. Pete on peg 12 hadn't had a fish, but had  lost a carp on the feeder when it snagged him. Jamie C on p13 had a couple small silvers.
12  o'clock saw me take a look on the end bank swim, so my double maggot hookbait was lowered into the swim and the float carried on going and my elastic began to come out as the fish made it's bid for freedom.
A minute passed and I felt the hook wasn't in the right place, so I took things gingerly. I got down to my topkit and the hook came out, bringing back a nice scale as a reward. Bollocks.
A few minutes passed before another bite saw a small roach swung in. Then I hooked carp number 2, another foul hooked fish. I re-fed and went back on the feeder.

Between 1 and 2pm I sat fishless on the feeder while Jamie Parkhouse kept catching a few, so was Jon Page on peg 8. The fish were still in the area, around 2/3rd of the way to the central rope, I was getting liners and I knew that had I been able to fish the wag then I may have turned a few liners into fish netted.
2pm came when I hooked another fish, which seemed properly hooked, but after a few minutes it came adrift and as it turned out the maggot had folded over the hook point. Bugger.
10 minutes later I was into another carp, which I did actually land, it was a lump around 10lb and made the score Lee v Carp, a comeback looking one,  3-1 lead to the fish!!
I had a 2nd carp right away, though it was a smaller 4lb fish, I then bumped a couple so I re-fed and fished another spot while the bait settled.
With 30 minutes to go I landed my 3rd and 4th carp of the day, plus a nice 4oz roach.

The last 30 minutes was quiet and the all out was soon upon us.
I packed my kit away and managed to catch up with the scale after 3 or 4 people had weighed, a couple dnw'd and John Page had just put 49lb on the board to take the lead, I said to him that I had around 20lb, maybe 25lb.
Paul Homewood put 18lb or so on the scales before Jamie Parkhouse, from peg 10, amassed over 90lb. A nice day's fishing any time of the year. He'd win comfortably.
I was next to weigh and my silvers weighed a whole 14oz before my 29lb 10oz of carp gave me a combined total of 30lb 8oz.
A few dnw's and weights up to 13lb followed before we arrived at corner peg 20, Rob Dodd had plundered his swim to take 2nd spot with 52lb-ish of mostly carp.
Les (Jamie's dad), bless him had a couple of blond moment with his math, forgetting to add 10lb onto a couple weighs, so when I took a pic of the weigh sheet for this blog, he asked if he'd become famous. I replied, 'no, but I will mention you', lol. He's a nice guy, go easy on him if he had a 'moment' should he add your weight up a shade out.

So onto the results:
1st - Jamie Parkhouse, peg 10, 90lb 13oz
2nd - Rob Dodd, peg 20, 52lb 13oz
3rd - John Page, peg 8, 49lb 5oz
4th - Lee Williams, peg 11, 30lb 8oz
5th - Paul Homewood, peg 9, 18lb

1st silvers went to John Lacey from peg 4 with 11lb 5oz
2nd silvers was from peg 15, Martin Heard - 7lb 2oz

So I managed to pick up £25 for winning my section, so not a bad day really.

weigh sheet
If I could have fished the waggler, well been able to feed the area I wanted to fish the waggler, I may have had a few more carp, they seemed to be tacking the mick somewhat, all if's and but's though!!

Next up for me is Clevedon's Xmas match on Acorn Paddock lake, I am hoping the wind calms down considerably!!

Until next time, tight lines.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Pawlett Club, Xmas Match, Sedges - Brick & Tile Lakes. 14-12-14

So another week of cooler weather, plus winds and not too much of the wet stuff. Well it was -3 degrees at 2am this morning, -3 at 4am and by the time I loaded the car at 7:30 the temps had risen to a whopping 4 degrees and the frosts had vanished.
This would have an affect on the fish surely?

A rush to the venue as I was shattered from a couple nights of little sleep, I really wasn't in the best frames of mind. But upon arriving the array of smiley faces and plenty of banter lightened my mood a bit.
A draw on Tile lake (which is a bogey lake for me) was wanted by myself and the other 31 guys/girls. Tile has been 'easier' than Brick in recent weeks. I wanted a peg with an island chuck as the feeder(any type), has been picking up fish in nets to around 60/70lb. 60lb would be a very nice weight and in with a chance of framing. 24 to 27 have been consistent recently but the pegs 33 to 40 would be ok as these are on the whole better at this time of year.
As for Brick, any corner would be ok or perhaps 5-8 or 14-17 in the middle areas.
Golden pegs were 27, 7, 38, 5 and 4, so plenty of chances to scoop a boosted brown envelope, all these stood a decent chance.

I waited until 3rd last before picking my peg for the day, there was pegs 30, 27 and I think 36 left. So at least I would have been on Tile lake, I also was in with a 2 in 3 chance of a good peg. Nope I drew peg 30, now peg 30 is one of the pegs that doesn't perform for 95% of the time, it tends to be my nemesis during the summer evening matches and I haven't ever caught much from the bloody peg.
It looks a decent peg with the end bank to go at and an aerator in front, but it doesn't have an island chuck, which is what I felt was needed in order to compete.

Peg 30, Tile Lake, Sedges.

Looking at everyone else's islands from island-less Peg 30, Tile Lake, Sedges.

The day didn't start off great, I mixed my groundbait, sat on my box and dropped a plummet in! I then rigged up my waggler which promptly gained a wind knot on the line, this happened again. Probably due to the fact I re-spooled last night! This meant I was gonna have to rush setting the rest of my kit. Anyway this was set up on a 0.10>18 B611x hook, primarily aimed at bagging a few roach and maybe a skimmer or 2.
I set up a method feeder to fish to the aerator and 3 top kits for the pole.
I had 2 pole rigs for the same 14.5m line in front, one was set up on a 0.10>18 b611x hook to no. 8 elastic and the other was on slightly heavier 0.12>16 B911 and no.14 elastic.
The 3rd pole rig was to be fished in a couple spots along the end bank to my left at 14m and 9m. Hooklength was 0.12>16 B911 and no.14 elastic.

Bait was 4mm pellets prepared for the method feeder, some groundbait for the long pole line and a couple pints of maggots, which would form the basis of my feeding. I also had some corn for a change bait/feed. Plus assorted pellets for the band on the method.

For company I had Kev Lock on peg 29 and could see the 3 guys opposite me on pegs 31, 32 and 33.
The all in sounded and I was just about ready.
I started on the method feeder and stayed on this, fishless for about 1.5 hours. In this time not a lot had been caught from what I could see. Kev had landed 1 carp, Mark Hembery on peg 28 had one as well.
The nice man that is Colin Haggett was on golden peg 27, he'd got off to a decent start, or so it sounded, he had hooked, and lost plenty of these carp too.
Giffy on peg 33 had landed a couple carp on the method.

At 12pm I took a look on the waggler at about 20m in the 11 o'clock direction and had a roach 1st put, then I hooked a carp which promptly straightened my B611x, I thought it was foul hooked, but to be sure I changed to a 0.12 hooklength and B911 size 18 hook.
Until this point I hadn't fed any pole lines, so I decided to pot some groundbait and maggot in at 14.5m and fed 2 spots by the end bank with maggots and a few of the wetted 4's.

Next cast on the waggler saw me connect with a carp, this was duly netted and was around 4lb. I stuck at this for a couple hours, just topping up my pole lines occasionally with small helpings of maggots. During this time I had a good few roach, baby skimmers and odd perch. I did also have my 2nd carp which was around the 8lb mark.
Elsewhere peg 31 had landed a good few carp on the waggler and Giffy (P33) was catching a few in spurts. On peg 32 was Phil Clapp, he was being beaten by both sides, but was still landing the odd carp and silver fish. Down to my right things were quiet and despite his best attempts Colin on peg 27 was losing more than he landed. A 16lb 8oz carp was landed by Pete Manning on peg 23.

Into the last couple of hours and it was a look on the long pole line, but all this gave me was small roach, so I gave up on that line, plus it was hard to see the float in the conditions.
A look down to the end bank at 14m and I hooked a carp on my 1st drop, it fought like stink and once netted looked close to 11lb, next drop saw a roach, another followed, so I re-fed and went back on the waggler.
My 3rd wag caught carp was soon netted and it was the smallest of the day at around 2.5lb, but it was my 4th of the day, so I was doing ok, no chance of framing but happy enough I guess.
Some more silvers followed before another fruitless 10 minutes on the feeder never gave me an indication.

The last 45 minutes of the match saw me stay on the pole along the end bank. I landed another 3 carp from there, all decent fish, plus the odd roach to keep me awake as the conditions got murkier.
This last period of the match also saw Kev on peg 29 land another carp plus Giffy have 3 or 4 more on the method feeder.

The all out was called at 3:30 and I was soon packed up and wandered down to the scales, which had just started weighing Tile lake.
Peg 21 struggled for the day and only put a few pounds on the scales before Pete Mannings 16lb 8oz weigher helped him to 43lb 6oz, this looked like it was a good weight.
As the scales went along the road bank we had weights of 7lb, 29lb and 3 between 11 and 17lb before the board got to me.
My assorted silvers gave me 3lb 10oz and my 7 carp totalled a decent 42lb 2oz, thus my total was 45lb 12oz and the top weight on that bank/section.
The pegs between 31 and 40 fished on the whole better and as we made our way along we had weights of 49lb, 31lb, 57lb, 37lb, 63lb, 52lb, 27lb (inc 11lb silvers) and 48lb from peg 40.
Most of these weights were caught on the feeder with odd fish to the pole or waggler, but it was pretty fair.

Over on Brick lake top weight was Rich Coles from a corner peg, he amassed a total of 56lb 7oz from the flyer that is corner peg 10. Peg 1 was second on the lake with 45lb 10oz. Other than that there were a few 22-29lb nets.

There was a presentation and some food laid on at Pawlett Legion , which was over by the time I got there!! I'd got home unloaded the car, got changed and left.......oooppss. Feel bad now.

1st, Chris Higgs, peg 36, 63lb 2oz
2nd, Chris 'Giffy' Ware, peg 33, 57lb 12oz
3rd, Rich Coles, peg 10, 56lb 7oz

Silvers: Eric Fouracre, peg 39, 11lb 4oz

plus 4 sections were paid out which I won my section.

Overall I was 6th on the lake and 7th across everyone, so not too bad given my draw and the fact I spend at least an hour too long on the feeder.

Brick Weigh Sheet

Tile Weigh Sheet
Next up for me is another match at Sedges, on Brick lake next Saturday as Jamie is holding an open on there. This is followed up by Clevedon's Xmas match on Paddock lake at Acorn Fishery.

Until next time, take care.


Monday, 8 December 2014

PSV Xmas Match, Bitterwell Lake, 07-12-14

Sunday saw myself and 22 other anglers line the banks of Bitterwell Lake. The lake is on the outskirts of Bristol and is often visited by the like of Des Shipp and Callum Dicks etc. I hadn't fished it since circa 1995/6 when it was a little different. Though I had been up and taken a look a couple weeks back, more in the plan of not getting lost!
The lake had been fishing hard recently and with the temperatures all over the place we knew that a tricky and challenging day, but with roach, skimmers and possibly the very odd carp the target most were keen to get fishing. The day started a mild 9.5 degrees at 7am, dropping to 4 degrees by 3pm!!

The draw was done at the New Inn, Westerleigh. Where the majority had a full English style brekkie, not me though I manage just a banana and some crunchy nut!!
I drew my peg about halfway down and plucked out peg 17, that didn't mean much as the pegging was done by Steve Burgess on the day before. For company I would have Mike Welling on my left and Steve Wynne on my right. Pretty much everyone could see everyone given the lake's shape.

Overlooking \Bitterwell Lake
My peg is on the left hand side of this photo, the 2nd platform along.

I arrived at the lake after a 5 minute drive, on arrival Terry (who runs the place) said we'd have a tough day, but at least it would be fair.
I had hoped for a peg along the far bank from the car park, or perhaps a peg on the top right corner of the lake. My peg, I thought, was so-so and I wasn't either happy or unhappy.

At my peg I went about sorting my kit out, a simple day in store though with it being a pole only event.
Firstly I set up a 3.5m whip which was rigged with 0.14 mainline, a 4x12 Carpa Chimp and a 0.10 hooklength to a size 20 B511 barbless hook.
Secondly I set up an NG 0.6g Silverfish Caner float, 0.12>0.08>size 22 middy 9313 hook. The elastic for this was a number 8-10 solid set soft but on a pulla kit.
Lastly I set up a smaller 0.2g NG Silverfish Caner float on the same lines/hooks, but the elastic was a middy solid 4-6.
Both of the rigs were the same depth as the bottom pretty much stayed the same from 6m right out to 16m.
Baits I had with me were some liquidised bread for fishing the punch on the whip.
Some groundbait (sensas magic and roach mixed 50/50) to fish over on 1 line at just over 14.5m, using pinkies on the hook.
Lastly I had some micros to feed at 13m slightly to my right with the intention of fishing maggots or 4mm expander over the top.
I kept my 4mm pellets and corn in the holdall.

View from my peg.
The all in was called at 10am and the 5 hour contest began.
As I loaded my pole cup I looked across the lake to see Mark Radford into a carp immediately, with carp likely to be a rarity this bonus fish would likely see him take a framing position. As it turned out he actually had his plummet taken while checking the depth, he lowered his maggot bait on to the same spot and the carp took it straight away!!
Anyways I potted in a couple balls of groundbait laced with pinkies at just over 14.5m and some micros at 13m slightly to my right. The micros line never gave me bite all day!!
I began on the whip with bread punch, I stuck at this for 20 minutes as only a couple small roach had been caught (plus that carp). No bites were forth coming, in fact I never had a bite on the whip so no more on that!!
I went out onto the long pole line with single red pinkie on the hook. I was using the 'heavier' rig just in case I fluked a random carp..........I didn't!! I did hook a small roach which was bumped off soon after starting to ship back.
Talking of shipping back, I got lucky in the fact that behind me was a convenient hole in the hedge, thus allowing me to fish without having to double or treble ship like others on the lake.
Matt Taynton was shipping back by lifting his pole high up over the hedge behind him, so at least we would see when he was shipping in or out and whether or not he'd caught!!

I switched to the lighter rig, but with a decent, if not strong, breeze swirling around the lake I was struggling with it. I put the 0.2g rig back on the winder and transferred the 0.6g to the 4-6 elastic.
Back out over the groundbait and 20 more minutes passed before I had my 1st fish, a roach of 3oz saved me from a blank. A second roach of perhaps 2oz followed. I was doing ok compared to others.
Elsewhere it seemed that any fish were at a premium and even after 90 minute more people had yet to have a bite than those who'd got a fish or 2 in the net.

As we approached the halfway stage of the match I noticed that Rich Britton on peg 2(1st peg on the opposite bank) had a carp in the net along with a few silvers, Darren North and Colin Ellaway both had lost carp, so had young Ryan Radford.
I was on 6 roach and a small 2oz skimmer at this stage and was doing ok. I had tried to swing in a couple roach which fell off......schoolboy errors......would they be costly? I also bumped the odd fish when shipping, but this seemed pretty common across the lake, the awkward shipping possibly didn't help with poor hookholds.
Soon after this point we had the largest cheer of the day when Derek Lucas netted a nice carp, we were all hoping that he'd win the match with that as he doesn't have the best of luck/draws/catches. Well we all hoped that he'd win if it wasn't ourselves!!

The anglers either side of me hadn't had a bite yet and were struggling. Matt Taynton seemed to be catching a few though and Chris Gay was also beginning to string little spurts of fish together from peg 15 to my left.
I just kept my head down and stuck at my long line, feeding regularly with loose-ish groundbait, fighting against the wind and seeing the float in the un-favourable light conditions was my biggest problem.
At 2pm I did hook a better fish, which fortunately didn't fall off, it was a skimmer of 6oz or so, followed up by a perch of 4oz. A couple welcome bonus fish of sorts.
The last hour was soon under way and I thought that perhaps I had 1lb 4oz in my keepnet, I kept plodding along hoping for a better skimmer to come along, or a decent perch perhaps.
With a few minutes to go Mike, next door on p16, had a bite over the rather large helping of groundbait he potted in at 2pm, a nice skimmer saved him from a blank. Something 5 anglers had to endure!!
I ended the match with a couple 2oz roach and I did bump a better fish which pulled a few feet of elastic out for a couple second,  but generally I wasn't sure how I'd done in the scheme of things.
Perhaps I had 1.5lb or so.

The all out was called to ironic cheers and I began to pack up and went and loaded the car.
I caught up with a few of the guys, Chris Gay reckoned he had 1lb, similarly Lee Waller. Only 3 carp had been caught, so the top 3 spots were taken by Mark, Derek and Rich Britton. But 4th and lower, including section payouts would be close!!

I soon caught up with the scales after Chris Szacaks had not weighed, Rich Britton had amassed 8lb 7oz and looked already to have won. Steve Burgess plopped a couple ounces on the scales, Ryan Radford 1lb 11oz. Darren North had 1lb.
Mark Radford's carp plus a couple roach gave him 5lb 11oz and 2nd spot thus far.
The back bank looked to have struggled with a few 2oz to 5oz weights. When we got to Adam Caswell, he suggested that I had perhaps 4lb......I told him what I thought, 1lb 7oz. Chris Gay suggested a quid on who's closest. I refrained from that.
Chris Gay was soon weighing in, I was convinced he'd beaten me thanks to an hour spell where he had plenty of small roach on punch or squatt. He put a few ounces over a pound on to the weigh sheet.
Mike's single fish was worth 6oz before my net was hauled up the bank. It looked around 2lb, not 4lb!! Onto the scales went the fish, 2lb 3oz was called, I should have taken that quid bet, I was temporarily into third, though Derek's carp was larger than that and Matt had a good few more fish than me, and so it proved as we moved on to the last few nets.
Steve Wynne didn't catch from peg 18, Derek's peg 19 carp (plus 1 dram roach) gave him a weight of 5lb 8oz. Lee Waller had 1lb before Mr Taynton's squatt caught fish amassed 3lb 3oz, relegating me to 5th. Mike Wilson, the club chairperson, blanked off the peg next to Matt.
So that was the end of the weighing in process.

The presentation and results would be done at the Midland Spinner pub in Warmley at around 6:30pm.

At the presentation there was plenty of banter, some nice food and some decent prizes for all that fished. Thanks to PSV for that, I am sure everyone appreciated this.


1. Rich Britton .... 8-7
2. Mark Radford ... 5-11
3. Derek Lucas ... 5-8
4. Matt Taynton ... 3-3
5. Lee Williams ... 2-3 (section winner)
6. Ryan Radford ... 1-11 (section winner)
The other 2 section winners were Lee Waller and Ron Hardiman (I think!!)

So I feel I did fair enough for my weight, the top 3 all had a carp each, but I was glad to win my section outright as no carp was caught along my 6 pegs. Perhaps I should have taken squatt, but to be honest I never considered that. I may have had a few more fish if I could have seen my float better (or at all) at times, plus the wind made it hard work with 16m of pole out.
Most of my fish came after feeding and as the bait settled, so I had to lift and drop a fair bit.
I did bump one or 2 fish, and a few minutes before the all out I did hook into a better fish but the hook bumped out, perhaps a skimmer?
I do enjoy the fishing when it is tricky/challenging/hard going and re-ignites my enthusiasm, which has been waning.

Next up for me is Pawlett's Xmas match at Sedges, next Sunday, I would guess bites may well be a little easier to come by..............famous last words!!

Until then, take care.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Shiplate Main Lake, PSV Match, 23-11-14

Today was due to be rather wet and cool, but on getting up at 7am the day was dry, a little cloudy but better than expected. In fact the day stayed dry for us which was a bonus.
This time last week, I was looking forward to this match, but the amount of rain that we've had in the last 5 days would possibly have a knock on effect on the fishing. Only one way to find out though. The main lake at Shiplate is one of my favourite venues, so I was pleased to be fishing whatever the results.

With 12 of us on the lake we all would have some space, 12 would be the ideal amount for this lake, allowing everyone to fish whatever method they fancied. I loaded the barrow and chatted with a few guys (there was a match on Hawthorns too, filled by venue regulars/experts) including our resident venue expert in Alan Healey.
We discussed which pegs would be 'ideal', I noted that pegs 3, 7 and 11 would be my choices, with 11 being my overall preference. Obviously the two flyers that are pegs 1 and 15 could be there abouts at the end of the match. To be honest most pegs have plenty of silvers in and I full well expected 25lb of these plus a handful of carp to take the honours. 40 to 50lb would be the target weight.

The draw was done a few minutes early as we were all present. I waited until there were 2 tickets left, one for me and the last for Steve Burgess. I drew peg 6 which is a much-of-a-muchness peg, while the match secretary was left with peg 3..!! With Alan Healey on peg 15 and peg 1 taken by Mark Radford the prizes may well be hard to come by.
For company, if you can call it that due to bankside vegetation, were Darren North (p7) to my left and Derrick Lucas on my right (p5). Opposite I had Lee Waller and Mike Wilson, both are likely to be fishing for silvers.

Peg 6, Shiplate Main Lake.

I set up a method feeder for towards-ish the island. I used groundbait on this rather than pellets, with dead reds as hookbait.
A rig for silvers, which was my usual 0.6g NG Silvers, bulked and 1 dropper,  hooklength was 0.10 and a size 20 Middy 6313 hook. This would be fished at 13m in front and as a topkit rig as depths all over the swim were the same
A duplicate silvers rig, though I had spread the shotting on this one, and remained unused.
A couple of rigs for carp were assembled but stayed untouched on the roost.

For bait I had some groundbait, 1pt of pinkies, 4mm expanders for the hook and some semi-dormant maggots. A handful of 4mm pellets and some micros, both remained unused after the initial feed at the start.
The all in was called, I cupped in some groundbait long, some pellets at 14.5m in the 11 o'clock direction and some at 6m to my left just out from the marginal shelf.
I began on the method feeder, after 30 minutes this was abandoned without even a bite.
A look on the topkit gave me a run of roach between 1/2 an ounce and 2ozs. Elsewhere, Alan had a couple carp and the 2 opposite me had a good few skimmers/roach.
I stuck with the topkit for a short while before going out over my initial feed of 2 balls of groundbait, I managed a few more roach and a couple 4oz skimmers before it died off. I re-feed a couple more balls and went back on the feeder. No joy here, back to the topkit for a few more roach. I did sneak a decent perch of maybe 8oz+.

By 1 o'clock I had about 4lb of silvers in the net but it was tricky going for most, though Alan Healey up on peg 15 had a good net of carp already. Plus Stevie Wynne (p10) was obviously picking up a few as Lee Waller on peg 11 was commenting on this in his rather amiable way. Chris Szakacs down on peg 8 was struggling for silvers and had switched to trying for a few carp, he'd had a couple by now fishing a method? to the island and had a couple more later on down his margin on the pole.
Darren North on peg 7 (which won last weekend) was picking up a few skimmers and I think he had landed a decent bream or 2 by the all out, but he wasn't bagging for sure.

So for the last 2.5hrs I stuck with switching between the long pole line and topkit, with the odd look on the method to rest the lines.
I just couldn't get any better fish feeding in my peg despite various attempts, other than the perch I had early, my largest fish was a 4oz skimmer.

By the time the all out was called I had all but packed up and duly tipped by my fish, I reckoned on having between 7 and 8lb of fish, but I was certain that I'd not be taking home any coin. I did give a quid (not a Euro) to Steve as I passed him on the way back to the car. He'd had a couple carp and lost a late lump which jumped clear out of the water and shed the hook.
I didn't stay for the weigh in, but Adam Caswell told me that Alan had 90-odd pound from peg 15 and he'd had a few pounds, not much. There had been a couple 20lb nets by the time he'd got back to the car park.

1. Alan Healey (15) ... 97-6
2. Steve Wynne (10) ... 33-13
3. Mark Radford (1) ... 27-0...
4. Ryan Radford (4) ... 26-4
5. Lionel Legge (14) ... 25-2

1. Lionel Legge (14) ... 18-0
2. Lee Waller (11) ... 10-12

Overall it fished pretty hard, no doubt a great deal of the struggles was down to the influx of cold water after the recent rains. Either way I enjoyed the day, yes I would have liked a bonus bream or 2, but these things happen. Generally from pegs 5 round to 9 was rather hard going. With peg 15 doing the business again, I think maybe the fish moved back here away from the lake's natural movement of the new water (I believe it runs along from peg 1 down to the end peg 9).

I don't know where or if I am fishing next sunday, if I don't then my next match is at Bitterwell Lake for the PSV Christmas Match, somewhere I haven't seen in well over a decade..!!

Until then take care.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Pawlett Club Match, Bridgwater-Taunton Canal, North Newton, 16-11-14

Originally this contest was going to be on the River Parrett at Langport, which I was looking forward to. But as predicted the rains came in the lead up to the weekend and the call came on Friday night that it had been moved to the Bridgwater-Taunton Canal at North Newton. We had 19 fishing today, not a bad turn out really.

I arrived in plenty of time for the draw and unloaded my kit, there was a few guys there already present. Looking at the water, the colour looked spot on for some punch fishing, a lot clearer than Saturday afternoon when I took a ride along the canal with my kids, it looked a lot more coloured up then.
Alas, this meant that I didn't bother to take bread with me today, it could prove a bad decision as the canal is usually a good bread punch water.

So after a little chat with some of the guys, it was left to me to pick the 4 golden pegs. I obviously used all my expert ability in drawing good pegs as the golden pegs were 6, 12, 1 and 20. 1 and 20 were end pegs and 12 was the next to end peg. We had 2 sections, one above and one below the little road/swing bridge. A draw from pegs 1 to 10 would be my choice as 11-20 have the road as the far bank, saying that any end peg (or end 2 pegs) on any canal is always a nice draw to have.
The actual draw saw me pick 3rd last with peg 15 my plot for the day. I wasn't best pleased and didn't expect much from the swim.

My peg for the day

Looking downstream
My neighbours for the day were Mark Hembery on peg 16 and Chris Higgs on peg 14.
The pegging didn't go as planned however as pegs 11 (Vic Bush) and 12 (Eric Fouracre) were pegged under a massive willow tree and were not fishable, so we all shuffled down a couple pegs....poor old fester, who pegged the match, cant have looked up when putting the peg numbers down.

Rigs were assembled, 2 whip rigs using Carpa Chimps in 4x12 size, 0.12 mainline to 0.08 hooklength and barbless size 20 middy 6313 hook, the difference being one was on a 3m whip, the other on a 3.5m whip.
A pole rig using an NG 0.2 silverfish float to run over the whip lines was set up on the same line/hook, middy 4-6 elastic was set soft on this rig.
Another pole rig was made up using an old maver pole float on slightly heavier kit, 8/10 elastic and 0.14>0.12>18 B611 hook. This was for 9m in the 11 o'clock direction over chopped worm and caster. I never had a bit on this, so no more on that.
Lastly a small dibber type NG float was set up for tight over to the folded reeds, I had a 18 inch round area that I would feed worm/caster. Middy 14/16 elastic was my choice for this spot, lines were 0.16>0.14 and a B611x size 16 was my choice of hook.

Baits were 1/2pt of pinkie, 1/2pt of maggot, some worms, 1pt of caster and 1.5kg of sensas roach/matchblend mix. I was un-prepared for the clearer water as I would have had bread and liquidised bread instead of the groundbait.
As I was sorting my kit out there was a few fish topping, especially further back toward Vic and Eric, I managed 3 small rudd on a bare hook while checking my shotting before the match.......not a great sign usually.

The all in whistle went at 9:30 and the 6hrs began.
I cupped some worm and caster tight across and a couple small balls of groundbait on my 9m line.
While I was doing this the anglers to my right all got off to decent starts with some fish immediately, including a few 'netters'.
I began on the 3m whip and had a few small rudd and a couple blade silver bream, nothing over 2 ounces though. I also was bitten off by a pike on my 2nd cast, which annoyed me!!
I spent the first couple hours switching between both whip rigs, but it was hard going and other than a 4oz rudd most of my fish were 3 to the ounce rudd....!!! I was feeding nuggets of groundbait when bites slowed or stopped, this would bring a few fish back, but no quality.
Elsewhere Vic and Eric were doing well as was Steve Fouracre who was a couple pegs up from me, he was getting less fish but a better stamp. Everyone else was struggling.

At around 11:45 I took a look on my other lines, the 9m never gave a knock, nor did my line on the far bank. A switch to my pole rig over the whip lines didn't change my fortunes, so after a few fish on this I switched back to the whips, especially as I only had 2 sections space behind me to ship the pole back. It didn't make sense to stay using the pole over the whip lines, so it was chucked on the roost for the rest of the day, I made this choice based on a effort to reward basis.
I did figure that when things went quiet I could find a few small fish by dropping the whip rig alongside the near dead reeds.
Just before 1pm I took another look on my far worm/caster spot and immediately the float buried and some pink elastic stretched from the pole, only to retract a touch and a perch of 6oz was my prize, that was my only real bite from that line for the rest of the match.

The second half of the match was soon upon us and I reckoned I had 2lb, also the water was rapidly clearing with the fishing getting harder and I could now see the bottom the canal by my keepnets. Next door on peg 14, Chris wasn't catching many, however when he did hook a decent fish, well a fish worth netting, he did it in full view of about 50 ramblers, nothing like playing to the audience, lol.
Also Mark on peg 16 landed a cracking rudd at around 1:45pm which in turn put an end to his catch rate!! Steve Fouracre landed a very decent perch on one of his forays to the far bank reeds. Vic and Eric were still picking a few fish of various sizes and were plenty ahead of everyone I could see.
I continued to feed balls of groundbait and some pinkies, being rewarded with 3 to the ounce rudd!!
That's pretty much how I spent the remainder of the match doing this with only odd 2 or 3oz fish as my 'bonus'.

The all out sounded at 3:30pm and I had well over 100 fish, but 95% of them were these baby rudd. I thought that I only had 1lb or so of 'proper' sized fish for perhaps 3lb in total.
I packed my kit up and put it by the car before catching up with the scales which had done pegs 1 to 10, leading at this point was Jamie Cook off golden peg 1, he'd amassed 7lb 9oz. Kev Crouch had netted a couple tench for his 4lb 8oz from peg 7, there was only 2 other anglers weigh in from that section.
Vic's turn at the scales saw the scales showed 8lb 2oz to put him in the lead, Eric's 6lb 10z catch off golden peg 12, put him to 3rd. The scales continued their way to my peg.
My net of mostly baby rudd weighed a grand total of 4lb 2oz.
Mark weight just under 2lb before Steve Fouracres perch boosted net of 5lb 5oz moved him into 4th and looked to have taken the section money by default.
I didn't watch the last few weigh as I wanted to load the car.

Back at the car park the results were called:
1st - Vic Bush, peg 11, 8lb 2oz
2nd - Jamie Cook, peg 1, 7lb 9oz
3rd - Eric Fouracre, peg 12, 6lb 10oz

Section winners(by default) were Kev Crouch and Steve Fouracre.

So all in all a tricky match for most, with everyone hoping for a bonus fish or 2, but other than a couple small tench to Kev Crouch, the bonus fish were perch or decent net roach.
I enjoyed it though and although we'd have liked a few more fish, me especially wanting some 2oz+ fish would have been nice, it was fair and the weather wasn't too bad either, haha. I did feed a fair bit though, as did others, keeping some bait going in was the way to at least keep a few fish interested.

Weigh Sheet.
So next up for me is Shiplate Main Lake with PSV. Shawn Kittridge won there today from peg 7, which is one of my favourite pegs there. The silvers are showing well too, which is a good omen,

Until next time, take care.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

PSV Match, Trinity Wildmarsh, 09-11-14

A generally dry day was the forecast for today's match on the tricky Wildmarsh lake at the popular Trinity Waters complex in Bridgwater.
I made the very short trip and arrived in loads of time, so took a wander around the lake and dipped my nets while I waited for everyone to arrive.

Everyone soon arrived and the usual banter was made, but things seemed to stem around how difficult the lake can be.
11 of us were to fish and Misha had put, I think, pegs 6-12 and 23-30 to one side for us. However a couple carp anglers in 2 pegs between 7 and 9 put paid to that.
So after a walk along the main road bank (pegs 58-67) where there was loads of fish blowing and odd one topping, we decided to had 7 pegs along that bank and 4 on the spit pegs 26-30. All 12 pegs went into the tub, thus leaving one empty peg. I fancied a draw around pegs 60 to 62 or maybe peg 30 which is the point of the spit.

The draw was made and the golden peg was plucked, peg 26, a good peg, would be the winners bonus should they win from there. I picked my peg out towards the back end of the queue and pulled out peg 28 which is on the spit, not a bad area. For company I had John 'The Gimp' Bradford on peg 29 and Derrick Lucas on golden peg 26. Opposite me were Alan Healey and Ron Hardiman.

Trinity Wildmarsh Peg 28

I decided to set up 2 rigs for silvers and 2 for carp, plus a method feeder(initially a pellet feeder).
The silvers were both on 0.14>0.10>B611 size 18 and middy solid 8-10 set soft.
One of these rigs was a NG Caner in 0.6g  and was for topkit length as I found that this spot can do well, unfortunately it didn't today, only giving me a single bite from a 2oz roach. I fed maggot and caster over odd balls of groundbait on this spot.
The 2nd silvers rig was an NG Gimp in 0.8g and covered two spots. The 1st at 9m slightly left for maggot/caster over groundbait. The second line was for maggot/caster on the hook over micro pellet, this would be fished in the 11 o'clock direction at around 14m,
The 2 carp rigs assembled covered my right hand margin at 7m on the near shelf, the second rig was for 14m in the 1 o'clock direction, these would be fished over 4mm pellets and corn, with corn hookbait. I never had a bite of these 2 rigs so no more on them.
The method would be fished at around 20m in front.

The all in was called around 10:10 and we'd be fishing to 3:30pm.
I potted a couple small balls of groundbait at 9m and half a pot of micros with a few maggots at 14m.
Some pellets went in on the spots I hoped for the odd carp (or tench, bream or similar).
I began on the feeder, but after 40 minutes I was biteless. John on peg 29 had netted a couple skimmers by this point, but it was pretty quiet all round.
A switch to my topkit gave me a roach right away, but that was the end of that line for the day as far as bites was concerned.
Out to 9m and a bite was soon coming as a 3oz skimmer took my bait, a few roach of 2oz each soon followed before it tailed off. I potted in another small ball of groundbait and went out to 14m.
I stuck here for 15 minutes and never had a bite, so fed some more micros

We were soon well into the 2nd hour and some guys hadn't had a bite, John had landed a nice tench and Darren North on peg 30 was getting a few silvers, it was tough going.
A look on the method feeder, with some groundbait around the pellets was what I decided to do next, hoping for my bonus fish, and if by magic the tip shot round, it wasn't the carp I expected but a welcome 12oz skimmer, that was the last of the action on this!!

The remainder of the match was mostly spent switching between my 2 lines at 9m and 14m (I had fed some groundbait here by now as micros were not doing anything), I kept picking up the odd small 3oz skimmer in amongst the roach, topping up with odd balls of groundbait when bites tailed off. A pretty simple last couple of hours or so, with just the odd 5 minutes here or there looking on the 'big fish' lines without success.

As we approached the end of the match Ron Hardiman had his 1st fish, but soon after packed up, Alan Healey bumped a decent skimmer. Steve Burgess and Adam Caswell both picked up odd skimmers too. John's bites had slowed but I reckoned he had maybe 13 or 14lb. Also Brian Shanks on the far end peg of the road bank had landed a couple small carp and was getting some decent silvers too, but I couldn't see what exactly.

The all out was called and I began to pack away, Adam shouted that he thought that Brian Shanks would win, John Bradford 2nd and either me or Darren would be 3rd.
After I had put everything into the car I made my way back to my swim where I asked Darren what he had, he said maybe 5 or 6lb, about the same as me I guessed. John said he'd not got 10lb, but I reckoned on him having 14lb or so.
The scales soon arrived at us and the board showed Ron had 31lb+ then Adam Caswell had 5lb-odd and was in 2nd spot.
I was first to weigh as Derrick tipped his pound of fish back, which he caught on maggots I let him have, lol. My net of fish pushed the dial round to 11lb 11oz.
The Gimp's net pushed him into 2nd spot with 15lb+.
Lastly Darren tipped his fish, which had a bream of around 3lb in there, onto the scales. It was going to be close, the needle spun round a bit and was soon bouncing around the mid 11lb area.
His weight was called at 1 ounce more that me at 11lb 12oz.....bummer, the few bumped fish may have cost me, but then no doubt Darren and John lost a few.

1. Brian Shanks (58) ... 31lb 9oz (inc 7lb of carp...only ones caught today)
2. John Bradford (29) .... 15lb 10oz (inc a bonus tench)
3. Darren North (30) ... 11-12 (inc a bonus bream)
4. Lee Williams (28) ... 11-11
5. Adam Caswell (61) ... 5-8

Overall I was pleased with how the match went and picked up some money for my efforts, but maybe I could have done with a proper bonus fish like John's tench or Darren's Bream. Brian's weight was very good and unless a couple decent carp appeared for anyone else, it was unlikely to be bettered on the day.
I really enjoyed the day, I like it when it is challenging and makes a change from carp catches.  I may even head over there for a pleasure season soon.

Next up for me, hopefully, is a match on the River Parrett with Pawlett, I don't get to fish running water too often so I am looking forward to it.

Until then, take care.

Monday, 3 November 2014

PSV Match, Landsend Match Lake, 02-11-14

A match at Landsend today with another 13 of PSV's finest, though Adam Caswell wasn't amongst them, nor Mark and Ryan Radford. Saturday's match weights were ok with plenty of 60lb+ bags and the silvers won with around 20lb.

I arrived in plenty of time for the draw, but there were a good few present. So after a little chat and banter the draw was made, I fancied pretty much any peg from 13 down to 20, 15 or 16 preferred, though I didn't really fancy a corner peg as they tend to be shit or bust when I am on them!!
The golden peg was picked, peg 18, but after last week the pot was barely into double figures.
I waited to towards the end of the draw before picking my peg for the day, this turned out to be peg 1......not an ideal peg, well I didn't fancy it. Yes it has the long end bank on the left hand side of the swim, at trimmed down tree to my right and the point of the island at around 14.5m. But I'd rather have had a mid-way up peg where 'silvers' are usually present in better numbers.

Landsend Match Lake, peg 1.

The water levels are well down with at most 3.5ft anywhere in front of me. I spent too long getting ready for the 10am all-in, in fact it was 10:25 before I put any bait in and was ready to fish!! By this point we'd also had a massive rain shower and everything was rather wet!! My enthusiasm again waned, perhaps I shouldn't watch Thinking Tackle....makes me want to get my carp rods out, ho hum.
Also By this time a good few carp had been caught by all the pegs to my right, I had Lionel Legge for company on peg 3, opposite me I had Si Belcham in the other corner, he had Lee Waller next to him.

Rigs were a pellet shallow rig for along the end bank which would double up for open water stalking if needed. A rig for silvers at 2+2, but this never gave me a fish, neither did the rig under the tree to my right and I didn't have any fish come from off the island. I did have a rig for banded pellet at depth just off the shelf at 14.5m along the end bank, I think I had 4 foul hooked fish lost off this, possibly as fish headed up the shelf without any feeding intent (my excuses).
In fact my match was rather quiet, not helped by the fact I could see Lionel and Brian Shanks (p5) catching well enough for most of the day.

My 1st carp came from the area at the bottom of the ledge along the end bank, I caught this around 2hrs into the match and was my only mouth hooked fish from there,  I had already tried for silvers but couldn't get a bite.
I was still suffering from line bites, foul hooked carp, leaves, poor sunlight and a few more leaves plus the odd tangle or 10, I really was fishing like a tw*t!!
So by now we were at the halfway stage of the match and I was on 1 skimmer and 1 carp!!

The second half of my match was a little more productive, suffering less foulers and generally putting a few fish in the net, all bar one came from the end bank. 1 fish I stalked at top-kit distance when I spied a 6lber sucking on a bunch of leaves!! Meanwhile, Brian, Lionel and I think, Ron Hardiman, were doing well and all looked like having at least 80lb, Brian possibly nearer 100lb.
I could see the fish mooching along the bank and resorted to fishing 2+2 distance along the bank where the odd fish would drop down to feed, but it was too shallow to get a run of carp going.
The odd look on the deeper rigs didn't produce anything.

By the all out I was on about 8 carp and 1 skimmer, so possibly around 35lb.
I began packing away as I had the scales duty and waited an age for Mr Burgess, who incidentally drew peg 19, the peg he said he wanted on Saturday night on Facebook!!

I weighed first, my skimmer weighed 2lb and my carp boosted my weight to 46lb 6oz.
Lionel said he had 70lb, I reckoned on 80lb, he had 84lb on the button.
Brian Shanks on peg 5 totted up a decent 105lb 15oz.
Next up was Ron Hardiman, he put 83lb 15oz on the board.
We were soon at John Bradford, silver fish extraordinaire, was on peg 13 and gave the silvers weight of 17lb 7oz, he also put back no less that 14 carp during the day.
Peg 15, Darren North, on the peg I wanted, moved into third with 91lb+.
However, next to Darren was the in form Chris Gay, he gave the board 130lb+ using his normal groundbait and dead maggots, fishing worms over the top, down the margins. A good weight, well done.
Alan Healey on peg 18, golden peg, put a great net of silvers on the board, moving The Gimp into 2nd silvers place.....22lb 14oz was Alan's silvers weight.

The scales continued down the bank and there wasn't much to report regarding the overall positions, though Lee Waller on peg 22 did have 12lb+ of silvers.

1. Chris Gay (16) .... 130-6
2. Brian Shanks (5) ... 105-15
3. Darren North (15) ... 91-9
4. Lionel Legge (3) ... 84-0
5. Ron Hardiman (7) ... 83-15

1. Alan Healey (18) ... 22-14
2. John Bradford (13) ... 17-7
3. Lee Waller (22) ... 12-4

I am not too sure how well I did, but we had a couple DNW's and a few fished for silvers.
I couldn't seem to get the fish feeding in any sense of the meaning, just picking up the odd one in the 2nd half of the 6hrs, me starting late and it seemed like one of the days which I would rather of not had. The silvers were not present in any numbers for me, which I had initially wanted to fish for.
Maybe I should have tried meat, but I didn't take any for the 1st time in over a year!!

Anyways, at the moment, next week,  we are on Trinity Wildmarsh, though I believe Mr Match Secretary is trying to move it to Woodlands.

Until then, have fun.