Monday, 30 November 2015

Avalon Teams of 3, Round 2, 29-11-15

The day got off to not the best of starts, had to get my car jump started, suppose it is the fact I only ever use my car on Sundays and occasionally a food shop mid-week. Not ideal for battery maintenance. I have ordered me a solar trickle charger...........hope that works.

Anyways, I got the car started and ventured across the A39 and down the bouncy road to the fishery.
I arrived not long after 8:30 and a couple of teams had drawn, myself and Steve Fouracre waited for the 3rd member to arrive before we did the draw. Soon enough Eric arrived and I did the draw this week. With pegs 3 and 6 already gone we hoped for a draw with an island gap, so putting one of us on peg 37 and the other on about peg 11. I drew peg 9 for Eric, not bad. Peg 21 for Steve, not bad as won section in the last round, and I was left with peg 35 which is a nice summer peg but hasn't produced much this autumn or winter when I have been down there, but it has options.

Team Sedges had a nice draw with Jamie having a 'boards peg' on peg 37, Phil was up on peg 24 with the wind blowing up that way and Keith was on around peg 11 and had the edge of the 'boards' opposite-ish Jamie's peg.
For company I had Jamie to my left and he had Rich Coles to his left, to my right and barely visible was Mosella's Pete Wild on peg 32 and he had the last man in our section to his right in the form of Jim Jenner (Somerset Carpenters).

Peg 35 Avalon, front view
Peg 35 right hand edge, Avalon
The weather was windy and due to get windier with 50-60mph gusts amid the 25/30mph winds we were having. Rain was forecast for later in the day, thankfully it didn't appear.
The wind was up the lake, pretty much straight down, so I had it left to right.

I went about setting my kit up, using my Matrix bait hood to protect the maggots (lives and deads, plus pinkies) and pellets (micro, 6mm and 8mm).
I had mixed my groundbait already on Saturday. I opened a small tin of corn and had some caster.
I assembled a small guru feeder and 3 pole rigs. Jamie and Pete only set up a feeder rod each, as did a few others.
One pole rig was for silvers at topkit length to my right, another was a cover-all rig for 7m in front as this was the max I could manage in the wind. Lastly I set up a heavier rig for 13m downwind towards, but not too close, to empty peg 34.

At the all-in I cupped 3 balls of bait out in front, mostly groundbait but with a few freebies.
I fed a cup of dead maggots with a few corn grains and odd pellet down towards p34
I flicked a few maggots at the topkit length by my right hand reeds.
I started on the feeder. I stayed with the feeder for an hour and never had a bite, tried maggots, caster, corn and various pellets all without a touch.
Meanwhile Jamie had landed several carp, and lost a few, and was well clear of the other 4 of us in the section.
So an hour in I tried my pole line in front, no joy. My topkit line also stayed biteless.
I re-fed the long edge rig but decided to leave it a touch longer before trying it, so it was out on the feeder by the island for another 30 minutes.

It was soon approaching 12 o'clock and it seemed that pretty much everyone on the opposite bank had a few fish, I could see team-mate Steve up on p21 catching a few, but so was Keith Clapp and Tom Mangnall (p6).
In my section it looked Pete had 1 little carp as had Jim, Rich Coles had a couple silvers. Jamie was miles ahead.
It was 12:10 that I had my 1st fish, a small perch on the topkit. This was followed up by a rudd and then a roach was snaffled by a pike.....hmmm, I don't see any all summer here and gets myself pestered in two rounds of this series.

Over the next 45 minutes I popped a few roach and rudd in the net from the topkit line.
A look downwind towards p34 saw a couple small fish before the elastic was taken from the pole as a carp headed for the wooden structure a few yards from where it was hooked.......I won the battle though and a small carp of maybe 1.5lb was netted. I did crush my number 6 section though, luckily I had a spare.
I then had a fruitless hour or so as Jamie put more fish in to his net, but the rest of us struggled on.

It was now nearly 2pm and the match was due to finish at 3pm. I had a nice perch around 1lb was caught from the topkit line and lost another decent fish, possibly a perch, maybe a skimmer. That annoyed me a touch, but it happened again, so I changed the hook and rested that line. Still nothing on my feeder rig.
It was at this point that Rich had 3 carp in three chucks to move maybe into 2nd in section, Jim also had a couple more carp and a couple ok skimmers in the last hour.
Pete also had another couple carp, but he said that they were small ones.
As the 30 minutes left point passed I hooked into another little carp down my long edge line and a slightly smaller mirror was popped into the keepnet. Another perch of 8oz was landed just before the all out. I guess I had maybe 3lb of silvers and similar of carp. But it'd be close between me and Pete for section last....

I packed up and loaded the car before following the scales, enjoying the banter as we went.
I didn't pay too much attention to the weights, but there were nice weights along the whole opposite side to me. Eric did have 17lb+ of silvers and that looked to top that category on the day, but he was probably 4th in section.
Steve had 50lb from peg 21 and looked to have won that section ahead of Phil Clapp on peg 24 who lost plenty of fish during the day.
In my section Jim Jenner had 7lb+, then Pete had around 5lb, I managed to pip Pete with around 7lb.
Jamie had 55lb+ and then Rich Coles' effort gave him the default section win with 11lb I think.

1st Nigel Hopkins, Fu Fighters, 64lb 7oz
2nd Jamie Cook, Sedges, 55lb 2oz.
3rd Tom Mangnall, Mosella UK, 54lb 14oz
4th Steve Fouracres, Young Ones, 50lb 9oz

5th Keith Clapp, Sedges, 42lb 15oz
6th Phil Clapp, Sedges, 36lb 2oz

Silvers - Silver peg winner
1st Eric Fouracres, Young Ones, 17lb 2oz

Teams on the day:
1st Sedges - 12pts
2nd Fu Fighters - 10pts
3rd Young Ones - 9pts
4th Mosella UK - 7pts -- 73lb
5th Somerset Carpenters - 7pts --  42lb 11oz

So a hard day for a few of us, but some decent weights were had. It was a little testing though, what with the wind and lack of attention to my feeder fished baits,

Next weekend see's the Viaduct Xmas match and the 3rd round of the Avalon Teams of 3.

Until then take care.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Avalon Teams of 3, Round 1. November 1st 2015.

First round of the Teams of 3 event down at Avalon Fishery, there was due to be 7 teams taking part, but 2 dropped out this week......not so great. None the less, we had to try and catch some fish.

The weather was rather murky, foggy, but warm, though the easterly wind was a touch chilly and was coming at me, rather infrequently, from the 2 o'clock direction.
The team I am involved with this time around was named The Young Ones. My partners were Steve and Eric Fouracre. Team Sedges have won the last two years' competitions and along with Team Mosella Uk, are the favourites to win round by round and overall. Somerset Carpenters and The Fu Fighters were the other teams.

I arrived in plenty of time and had a chatter with Vic Bush before wandering around the lake with him. It looked ok, but the patches of the grey murkiness that inherits the venue were rather sporadic in their location. But the pegs at the near end (3 to 11 and those opposite) would be my choices, though 22 and 24 would be good team draws.
Once everyone arrived and the monies had all been handed in, the draw was made.
Vic pre-determines the pegs that dictate the team draw. So the captain draws a section for him then a number that dictates all 3 pegs for the day.
Eric drew and found himself on peg 3, not best pleased with his draw.
I was on peg 16, the small island, and that is usually a fair draw and I wasn't too unhappy.
Steve was over on peg 28 (I think) and had the gap in the island in front of him, albeit with a dodgy bit of overhead foliage that would be a pain to him all match.

I arrived at my peg to find I had Phil Clapp on peg 19, he'd be casting to peg 20's gap in the island.
I had Mark Sweeting to my left on peg 13, so plenty of space all round.

Peg 16, Avalon Fishery
I went about sorting my kit and bait out for the day. I wanted to have plenty of options as a single section place on the day can add a position in the overall ranking throughout the series, more so with only 5 teams.
A pellet waggler was assembled as was a small feeder, both using 8mm banded pellet as hookbait.
4 pole rigs were knocked up, 2 for silvers and a couple for carp.
The 2 silvers rigs were a) topkit length to hand for bits and bobs using just caster over caster and b) a skimmer rig for 14.5m in line with the end of the island at the 11 o'clock direction.
The couple of rigs for the carp were a) a meat/pellet rig for 13m in the direction of the other end of the island. b) a margin rig for 13m down to my left towards the empty peg 17, again using meat over pellet.

I mixed up some groundbait and pumped some pellets (unused all day). I had 8mm and 6mm pellets for feed, a small helping of meat along with some micros to use more in the way of attracting a few smaller fish plus some maggots and casters.
At the all in I potted 4 balls of groundbait in for the skimmers at 14.5m and pulted some pellets across to the island. I also began feeding the top-kit with a few casters,

Starting on the feeder and it was 10 minutes before my first carp, a nice 4lb mirror was netted, my hopes rose somewhat.
10 minutes later and I was playing a nice fish, only to land a pike of 7 or 8lb......don't count....tipped back.
10 minutes later and a 6lb carp was landed on the feeder then another pike came the following cast!!

So a nice 30-45 minutes, despite 2 pike for around 15lb that wouldn't count.
Then I came on the top-kit and picked off a few rudd and roach, before losing a pike and finding bundles of snags, I managed to recover 3 pole rigs, 3 feeders, 1 lead and countless amounts of line throughout the day (all coupled with branches and twigs).

The next 2.5hrs was dull......I fed the pallet down to my left and let that settle, I had a skimmer from the long line, that was a false dawn. The pellet waggler didn't give me a bite all day, and when I did see fish, the wind picked up and screwed any sort of presentation. So I swapped between the feeder and picking up the odd silverfish on the top-kit line.
I watched Pete Wild bagging up, I could see Tom Magnall's landing net being used pretty regularly down on around peg 11, plus I knew Rich Coles on end peg (of our side of the lake, not the corner peg) was getting a few carp.

Back to my match, it was now around 1:30pm and I had 2 carp and possibly 4lb of silvers in my nets, probably last in section as I could hear that Mike West had obviously started catching as he had began to 'sing' of my teammates was doing okay so the rumor mill was saying, the other was doing less well.
Suddenly my tip wrapped round and I was attached to a lively carp, it was obviously a stockie and it's spirited battle saw it in my keepnet, another 3lb added to my tally. Again no more were coming, so I topped up my feed down by empty peg 17.

Looking down to empty peg 17 from peg 16, Avalon Fishery.
The next hour and a bit was spent trying to bag a carp or two, but did not find any. I topped up a few more bits and bobs on the top-kit.
I took a look down to my left and had a bite 1st drop in and found a 2lb skimmer then it's 6oz cousin.
That took my silvers to maybe 8 or 9lb.
It was now 3pm and I hooked a carp that went through the empty pallet, but it waddled back out (thankfully), before it went mad, it felt foul hooked, and this was confirmed when, after a 5 minute fight the hook pulled, leaving a bit of a scale.
I had another bite at 3:30pm from down by p17 and it felt a decent fish, a decent scrap pursued before I managed to get the landing net under a short, lumpy mirror that looked 12lb but probably weighed around 14lb.

No more fish were forthcoming in the last 15 minutes and at the all out I began to pack away, thinking to myself that I was possibly 4th in section, just ahead of Phil Clapp.
In reckoned on 8 to 9lb of silvers and maybe 25lb of carp.

I followed the weigh in and saw teammate Eric weigh in with 97lb 4oz from peg 3, then we saw plenty of decent weights with Keith Clapp (Sedges)and Tom Mangnall (Mosella Uk) getting 93lb and 83lb respectively. John Fuidge (The Fu Fighters) used his top notch silvers fishing skills to have over 23lb of his prey from his favoured peg 9, taking the silvers pool on the day, he also drew the sillver peg after the match to take that pot as well.
Mark Sweeting weighed in a couple carp and 12lb of silvers before it was my turn.
My silvers weighed in at 9lb and the 4 carp weighed 27lb, so 36lb was ok, but probably not enough.
Phil Clapp weighed in his 4 carp before we got to Rich Coles, he took the section money with 74lb+ of mostly carp caught down both margins.
Around to Vic Bush on peg 24, he caught a few in the 2nd half of the match but fell 1lb 2oz less than me.
Mike West had 46lb 2oz, but said he lost loads to the legs of his peg....he should play them further out then...haha.
The 3rd member of our team weighed in, Steve had a couple carp and around 12lb of silvers.
Further along we saw Jamie Cook have 40lb+ before Pete Wild took the section with 80lb 12oz.
Jim Jenner was last to weigh in and had around 4 small carp and some silvers.

I didn't get the weigh sheets but it turned out that as expected the results on the team front was very tight, see below:

1st, Eric Fouracres: Young Ones --97.4
2nd, Keith Clapp: Sedges --93.15
3rd, Tom Mangnall: Mosella UK --83.11
4th, Pete Wild: Mosella UK --80.12
5th, Rich Coles: Fu Fighters --74.4
6th, Mike West: Somerset Carpenters --46.2

Silvers -  And silver peg winner
1st John Fuidge: Fu Fighters 23.5

Teams on the day:
1st -Mosella UK: 10 points - 209.05
2nd -Young Ones: 10 points - 155.10
3rd -Sedges: 9 points - 154.12
4th -Fu Fighters: 8 points - 126.12
5th -Somerset Carpenters: 8 points - 99.00

So a tough day for over half of us, with a lot of fish caught around the 1st island (even some pleasure guys had a good few from pegs in the mid 40's).

No match for me next weekend (I don't think), The River Parrett is on the following week with the Pawlett guys, hoping for some rain to give the river a nice flush through.

Until then. take care.