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.