Thursday, 29 September 2016

Shiplate Teams of Three, Round Two. 25-09-16

Well the 2nd round was fished last Sunday and our Bait-Tech SW team were hoping for a nice draw from Captain Tom's hand. I would be on Hawthorn, Titch on the Main Lake and Mr Downing would be on Westpool.
There was a good bit of banter flying around, some directed at me and my new 'skirt', which was a lovely +BaitTech waist towel in it's bright pink and black colouring, also have a new cap and a tee-shirt to match.....lovely. Thanks to Bait-Tech for them.

We sorted our bait, loaded our trolley, chatted about pegs and tactics before the draw was done.
It turned out our pegs were nothing to write home about but I was a touch jealous when I say that the team of Matt Taynton (end peg 15 on Hawthorn), Lionel Legge (peg 1 on the Main Lake where Tom won the last round) and Alan Healey (peg 4 with some space on Westpool).
Tom handed me peg 9 on Hawthorns, not the worst peg but towards the middle with some boards
across, which usually, not always, holds a few fish. I had Steve Burgess on my left. Whom I agreed not to have a quid with over Facebook the day or so earlier.
Titch was fishing from peg 13 on the main lake, a couple pegs away from the area which was fancied but always a good area for skimmers and odd carp.
Tom was on peg 8 on Westpool, again a couple pegs from the in-form and fancied area, but should catch a few.

Shiplate Hawthorn p9

I set up a few rigs, a tight in close edge rig for my right edge using meat over maggots, this rig would do for tight across over groundbait.
Another rig for down into the deep water in the edge again on the right (couldn't fish left), feeding hemp.
A shallow pellet rig, a light maggot rig which could be spread or shallowed up for down the middle.
A rig for 2+1 in front (hemp and meat/maggot) and lastly a silvers rig, as the last round, Ron Stark would be the man to beat on the silvers front and around 16lb or so would be a good weight of them.
Bait is pictured below.

Bait for the day.......
I would love to say it went all swimmingly, but it seem the lake had generally switched off. I started on maggots down the track and hoped for some silvers to put in the net but it was really slow going. Actually it took a couple hours for my 1st carp (though lost 2 foulers previous) as other than a couple roach on the maggot rig. The guys either side of me were not really fairing any better.
So I will drag this through to the 4hrs in stage, where I was up to a poxy 3 carp, all came on the meat at 2+1, but were all nice enough sizes and my clicker showed 16lb. I was last in section for sure, well I was convinced I would be.

Moving into the last hour and I felt I had fished well enough, tried a few things, altering the usual hooklength diameter, hook size, float sizes and shotting, bait choices and even tried fishing new areas. The fish were not playing ball......
But I was still hopeful of a late surge, I am a pretty positive angler most of the time, and as I have prove before, I tend to catch a few late on and larger fish. So at 3:20 I had another carp, maybe 10lb, and then half an hour later another from the same 2+1 line, this was a more modest fish.
A couple decent skimmers were netted, a couple jumped off the hook, but at least I was getting indications, not the late surge I hoped for.
Meanwhile Steve Burgess was getting plenty of action next door, he said mostly small carp of 1-2lb size, which more or less turned out to be the truth.

So as we were into the last hour my clicker was on 31lb, could I double that? I tried the Polony meat down the deeper edge, but there was a snag, turned out to be some line attached to something, so i reached a few inched further, this worked, well it gave me a carp of 1lb right away, then luckily another one was soon netted, a 4lb fish.
My last carp came on the 2+1 meat line and was around the 3lb mark and my clicker ended the match on 36lb mark. I was suffering with liners and foul hookers on and off during the day, like the fish were present but being little blighters and not eating the feast that was fed.

Anyways, I was sure to be last in my section. I packed my stuff away and loaded the car even before the weigh-in had started.
Chatting to the guys on the lake when I returned to the weigh-in, it seemed that the lake had not fished properly. Actually a couple guys said they had 30lb-ish, sadly they were in the other section as those in my half all said 40 to 50lb......gggrrr!!
Alas, we began to see what all had caught and it was a pretty fair match, some had not even had a fish after 3 hours. But we saw a few 40's and a 50lb net, plus a 701lb weight from my section.
I had amassed 44lb and ounces, which after Steve's 50lb guess actually weighed a few ounces less, saw me finish 2nd last in the section but only just behind those just above me.

The lake as a whole saw a 20lb net, 2x 30lb nets and two 70lb+ nets, the rest of us were stuck in the 40-50lb range. Ron did win the silvers on the lake for the 2nd round, a shade under 18lb if I remember correctly using mostly worms.

Once back at the car park, it turned out that Titch had 108lb and included the top silvers net of 20lb or so, so 2nd in section for him behind overall match winner Dave White with 150lb from peg 14b I believe.
Tom had come 2nd in section fishing with 4mm Bait-Tech Xpands and had around a dozen small carp for a 41lb weight.
Team-wise we had done average as the top 3 teams all had their anglers in the top 2 in the relevant sections.

Team Winners on the day, Dave Romain, Dave White (match winner) and Mark Wynne

I miss the next round when Paul Tidball is covering for me, I am down at White Acres, so I miss the 1st attempt on the Main Lake round of my series, I like that lake. But I am there on Sunday in a PSV match, so a nice draw and some fish will be appreciated......

Until next time, have fun.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Pawlett Match. Viaduct Campbell and Cary. 18/9/16

29 of us were spread across the 2 lakes today, all expectant of some serious bagging. With weights of over 300lb coming off Cary yesterday and several circa 200lb from Campbell, I was somewhat less expectant of such high weights, but even when the venue has an off day 100lb+ nets aren't uncommon.

With the weather set fair and no rain forecast, little in the way of wind I wouldn't have predicted which pegs would be favoured, but personally I wanted to be on Cary as I don't tend to get on there too much. So after paying my dues and loading the trolley, a bit of a natter and it was on to the draw.
Well as usual I waited until the end of the queue and with only 3 pegs left, all on Campbell, I managed peg 114. A good peg but hasn't really featured in the top weights in the last couple of months but fingers crossed that things could change eh?

Peg 114, Viaduct Campbell.
I go to the peg and began to sort the kit out.
Lead rod - check.
Left margin rig - check.
2+2 meat rig - check.
Pellet rigs for shallow and at depth at 14.5m - check.

Bait was 8mm meat, 6 and 8mm pellets, hemp and a handful of leftover corn from yesterday and lastly some paste.
For company I had Steve Fouracre on peg 115 and would be tricky to beat, on peg 112 would be another decent angler in Phil Clapp. Eric Fouracre was on in-form peg 128.

At the all-in I cupped some hemp and meat at that line, fired a few 6mm pellets to 14.5m and began on the lead, 10 minutes passed and I had my 1st fish, a 7lb mad fighting mirror. A smaller 3lb sample followed a short while after. But it wasn't hectic for anyone in the 1st hour, well peg 129 was getting amongst the carp on the lead and the pole.
The 1st hour ended with just a couple carp for me, 2 for peg 115. Eric on 128 had a handful, but only 1 carp was caught in the 1st hour from 123 down to 127.

The second hour was just as slow, I got bored on the lead, no surprise there, so it was out with the depth rig at 14.5m and I was getting a few liners, so back out with the shallow rig and after a bit of feeding and slapping I had another fish, one of around 12lb, a 4lber followed shortly after and I was expecting things to look up......but as we know expectation and reality are far from the same.
All the while I had been feeding my meat line and I was getting a few swirls and some fizzing on that spot, but I kept on the long line both shallow and deep.
The third hour was well under way when I had a run of 6 skimmers and a tench on the meat line, all in the space of 20 minutes, I also had a big common of perhaps 14lb. I was contemplating setting up a silvers rig, but didn't.

Now at the halfway stage I decided to start feeding a few bits and bobs down to my left, about halfway to empty peg 113, but I hoped it'd come good later on.

Left margin of p114 at Campbell.
Elsewhere peg 112, Phil Clapp was getting a good few on the lead and some down his right edge, Pierce on p123 had put another net in and Eric on 128 was consistent in adding fish to his nets as was Jason King on 127, he was getting big fish too.
Steve on peg 115 had slowed right down, made a silvers rig and promptly caught 2 carp on it!!

I pretty much stayed on the meat line for the majority of the match, I did have a couple 2lb carp from the left edge and one of maybe 8lb, but bites weren't easy to come by, maybe I should have used some groundbait? I couldn't get any fish on the long pole despite silly amounts of fizzing.

I had a run of carp in the 5th hour on the meat line, relatively speaking, maybe 5 fish, but it still wasn't hectic.
So as we entered the last hour I hoped for a good spell, really I needed 60lb+ to have a remote chance of a pick up...........It never happened on all the lines, I think I only had 1 carp of 4lb in the last 60 minutes, all the while I was watching Steve on 115 get a lump a chuck down both of his edges to move well clear of my weight and Phil on 112 was still getting some lead fish. Generally things were spasmodic and it looked like 120lb would be a good weight and 140lb+ would be close to the top weights of all those I could see. I couldn't see 116 to 119 and 110.

As the all out sounded I finished on 15 carp, though I probably had 3 for 7lb. My clickers showed 52lb and 34lb, so my carp maybe went 80lb and possibly had 15lb of silvers.
Cary Lake had switched on for the last 90 minutes as Mark Sweeting behind me on 77 had his 1st carp at well after 2pm and ended up with 85lb, 6 carp I think.

I packed my kit away and loaded the car. Back to the weigh in, by the time the scales had got to peg 118, Colin Haggett, it was Eric leading with 150lb and 51lb was winning the silvers, Pierce who was on peg 123.
Colin struggled to around 30lb before we say Steve Fouracre's late run of edge fish shot him up to 144lb. Next was me, 24lb+ of silvers and 88lb+ of carp (clickers worked..!!) gave me a shade over 113lb and at that point 4th on the lake.
I followed the scales and saw Phil's 120lb estimate weigh 122lb before peg 111 had 50-something.
Keith Clapp on peg 110 had admitted to 180lb earlier when I loaded my car.
He lifted his 1st net and it looked tight on the 70lb limit, he'd clicked 58lb. It went 70lb then, not a great start for him. His 2nd net, clicked 60-ish, took two weighs just to lose the whole net as is totalled 84lb...even less great for him.
Still he had 1 net to go, again 2 weighs and the same result, lost. So he finished on a well knocked back 70lb from what could/should have been 240lb-ish and a comfy win.
He also broke his pole today and borrowed one from Ian on peg 111.

A quick chat with Jamie Parkhouse (p86)revealed that he had won Cary after getting 85lb in the last half hour, he had 146lb 7oz and Jamie Cook had 116lb-ish as the next best on there from peg 90.

Weigh Sheets

1st - Eric Fouracre, 150lb 2oz. Campbell p128
2nd - Jamie Parkhouse, 146lb 7oz. Cary p86
3rd - Steve Fouracre, 144lb. Campbell p115
4th - Phil Clapp, 125lb 6oz. Campbell p112

1st - Pierce Furlong, 51lb 5oz. Campbell p123
2nd - John Fuidge, 28lb 1oz. Cary p98
3rd - Lee Williams, 24lb 14oz. Campbell p114

So an okay day if not a little slow by the fishery standards, perhaps I should have fished for silvers once I started to get the skimmers, I had 20lb in maybe 30 minutes and I am sure I could have put another 30lb+ of them in the net had I re-jigged my approach, maybe not...... But hey-ho.

Not sure where to fish this week.....But have Shiplate around 5 or 6 weekends on the bounce (except 1 when I am at White Acres) starting next Sunday on Hawthorn lake.

Until then, Take Care.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Shiplate Teams of 3, Round One. 11-09-16

Off to one of my favourite fisheries for this series, Shiplate Farm, the lakes are spotless and the owners are great, all very friendly, so if you haven't been, then go.

Anyways, 11 teams fishing this series, 30 very capable anglers including a host of venue regulars like Steve Howell, Julian Pinkett and Ron Stark etc. The other 3 consisted of the side I am fishing with, Myself, Tom Downing and Titch Williams, Bait-Tech Southwest is our team name.

I got there early and semi-sorted the trolley and kit, but not completely as the draw had to be done to determine who was on what lake, so I nattered with plenty and discussed ideas with Titch and Tom, Titch generally catches a few at the venue and knows it better than myself and Tom.

The 11 captains went into the hut at 9am to sort the draw and the rotation for the first three rounds.
Out comes Tom with ours, peg 1 on the Main Lake for him......FLYER!!!
Peg 2, in the narrows, on Westpool for me.......hmmm.....very patchy area at least.
Titch was on Hawthorns, I cant remember what peg but it was around peg 7.
So an average overall draw, but Tom was pleased with his.

I made my way to the peg, and sorted my tackle out and my bait.
I had nobody on peg 1, nobody on peg at least I had space. On peg 4 was Jason Bird, he had nobody on peg 5, that shows that the end of the lake I was on was the lesser end and space would be needed. I only had 9 or 10m to the far bank in front.

Looking down to empty peg 1 from Westpool peg 2

peg 2 on Westpool, only around 10m across.....not usually the best area!!
For company on peg 4 was Jason Bird, though we could both chat to Jonny Page on the main lake (see him in the above pic). We were in a section of 5, each of the 3 lakes has 2 sections on each.
I expected around 100lb to win the lake today and possibly the silvers to be 18 or 20lb, but with the venue's best silverfish guy, Ron Stark, on this lake, he would be the man to beat. That's a tough proposition.

I assembled a small method feeder so I could chuck down to peg 1, the haybale in the water looked an ideal feature, there was some reed further round, but they were overhanging and it looked more like a tackle-taking area than one I wanted to cast to. I fished this with a 50/50 mix of Bait-Tech Ntice Meaty Method Mix and micros, hookbait was either 8mm pellet or 8mm meat.

Next up were the pole rigs.
1 for silvers down the middle, an 0.4g NG Slim Gimp, 0.14>0.10>b911f1 size 16 and Middy solid 6/8 elastic, but I was told this area isn't a good area for silvers. Bait for this line would be micros as feed and Bait-Tech 4 and 6mm Xpands or maggots over the top. This was fished down the middle at 2+2 (around 6m).
My carp rigs consisted of:
One for my right side at topkit+1 at the bottom of the near slope in around 4.5ft of water. I used a 0.4g NG XT Margin HD float on 0.18>0.014>B911 size 16 and middy solid 14/16 elastics. As for bait it was a simple meat and hemp mix, using 8mm standard meat over the Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp.
My second rig, which remained fishless (except 1 small perch) was on the same tackle as above though a 0.2g float was used. It was for my left margin up the shelf by a clump of grass and as I had 18" or so I fed the same Method Mix groundbait and coupled this with maggots, using 3 or 4 on the hook as bait.
Then I set up a rig to fish tight over in various spots where I could find around 20" of water, again same line and elastic, but I used an inline NG Inline Dibber in 0.3g to give me a bit of control against the vegetation, feed and hook baits consisted of 6 and 8mm pellets, but alas I never had a fish of this line.
Lastly I made up a rig for carp to fish at 2+2 in the 11 o'clock direction, banded pellets through the water on an NG XT Margin was the approach, again same tackle as the other carp rigs but with a band on this rig.

As we were setting up I noticed, well didn't notice, any fish in the area top or blowing, hmmmm, even the reedy area of peg 1, which looked like they must have fish in, were not moving.
We had the wind blowing up to the far end and fancied the pegs which had a ripple to do well, so that would be around pegs 7 and 8-ish.
With everything ready and the all-in called I began by potting a bit of bait down the middle on the silverfish line and a pot of meat and hemp went in to the right.
I began on the silvers rig and soon had 2 or 3 small skimmers on the 6mm xpands, a couple fell off as they have soft mouths and are young fish. Bites slowed pretty quickly and a switch to maggot saw me miss bites, but they were 1/2oz perch as I did have 2 or 3 of them.

40 minutes in and I went across to the far bank, toss potting 6mm pellets and a 6mm in the band, not a bite, not an indication, I tried 8mm pellet and even a bit of meat, nothing. 15 or so minutes of this was enough. Jason on peg 4 was catching silvers, small skimmers and odd roach but he wasn't going anywhere fast. It was definitely looking like one of them days, as most had suggested the low pegs 1-5 are feast/famine.
Back onto the silverfish line and just the odd plippy roach and two 3oz skimmers it wasn't happening.
So the first 60 minutes was non-exciting, but no panic as I found the canal style lakes at the venue better in the last 3rd of the match.

I soon loaded the method feeder (smallest drennan one) and made the awkward cast of 18m or so (I don't like short casts!!) to the corner of the straw bale, I was chuffed with my accuracy, didn't hit the trees and it landed spot on. I fired some Bait-Tech 8mm feed pellets over the top and waited.
In the meantime Jason had landed a carp from his right edge on paste.
Bang!! my rod wrapped round and I had a mad carp on the end, a bit of a lively battle in the narrow swims but a double figured fish was in the keepnet, bargain. 15 minutes later a 4lb mirror fell to the same tactic. They were my only 2 fish on the feeder all day, but I saw them as a bonus, especially the 1st one.
Shouting up to Jason, he confirmed that the pegs in the rippled area looked to be catching. But it was hard to tell if anyone else was picking up a few carp.

We were now at the half way stage and I only had the 2 carp in the net, Jason was on 3, all on paste down his right edge.
There were now a few carp moving around on the surface and my hopes of catching a few increased, so I began to feed the pellet line, in hope to see a few swirls and maybe a bit of fizzing just to convince me of fish being present. The swirls never happened in any amount, just the odd one. I had given up, for now, on the far line so that rig was converted to a shallow rig which I could lift and drop or slap I the attempts to extract some leviathans......attempts failed. That line only gave me a couple liners, so the fizzing could have been mostly the small silvers. I do expect to odd carp to be amongst the activity, but catching them isn't always straight forward.

Back on to the silvers line and I had a carp of 3lb straight away, gave me a scrap on the light gear, but all fun. No more bites were forthcoming, just a small skimmer over the next 20 minutes or so.
All the while I had been feeding across, but no signs of fish feeding occurred. I had been feeding a few pieces of meat and the odd helping of Bait-Tech hemp to my right and the odd bubble was showing. I hadn't fed my left edge spot as of yet, but soon put 4 cups of groundbait and maggots in, ready for later in the match.
The cruising fish looked an ideal target, so when I had 1 or 2 in the peg that looked catchable I would try and mug them, this worked as I had 4 carp doing this, I did spook a couple and some were not interested but that's the way it goes at this time of the year.

With an hour left in the match I was on 7 carp for maybe 30lb. I looked to be about level with Jason who was on 6 carp, but his looked a bigger average size, as is often the case with paste caught fish.
A look down on the meat and hemp line saw me miss a couple bites, so I shallowed up an inch so my bait was probably just touching bottom and bulked my shot lower down. I had a 2lb carp immediately and figured that I had to cut back my feeding to avoid line bites, so I only fed 4 piece of meat after each bite missed and a small helping of hemp after every fish landed.
A couple more 2 or 3lb fish were landed and it was getting on towards the end of the match, I had taken a look over the groundbait line to my left, but hadn't seen any signs of carp, so it looked like they didn't want to be in shallow water as the far lines proved.
5 minutes to go and the owners arrived with the scales for me and Jason to weigh in our lake, and they bought me luck as a 3lb fish was landed with a minute left, I managed to snap the hooklength so I went down my left edge for the last few seconds. I looked up at Mr Page on the Main Lake and promptly missed a bite as the fish bolted out of the edge....match over!!

I packed up the kit, loaded the trolley and began the weigh in.
We wanted to start at the far end and as we made our way up there we got the general idea that the lake hadn't fished with a couple admitting to under 20lb and some just over. Only 2 guys said they had around 50lb or more, so perhaps Jason and I hadn't done too bad weight wise, my clicker showed 37lb for carp.
Peg 15 only had 11lb, before Dave Romaine on peg 14 had 15lb of silvers and 40lb of carp, 55lb and that looked a good chance of winning the lake, we then had some nets between 16 and 22lb in that 6 peg section. My section began with a weight of 42lb, then a 57lb catch from Julian Pinkett was sure to have won the lake and section. Ron Stark, silvers star, had 38lb total, 18lb of which was his silvers weight.
Jason Bird, peg 4, was next to weigh, he was admitting to 25lb or so, but lifting his net out it was sure to be more than that, so it proved as he popped a level 36lb of carp on the board plus his few silvers gave him a total of 38lb 9oz. He was last in section at that point, so for the team's sake I hoped to try and beat that and Ron's weight to sneak maybe 3rd in section.
Jason did the honors with my nets and my 2lb 4oz of silvers couple with my carp, which looked 40lb+ when it was lifted out, gave me a grand effort of 48lb 1oz and more importantly 2nd in section.
I was told that my weight from that peg was very good and pretty much more than a few regulars expected of it on the day and in the weather (warm, sunny, no wind in my peg!!).

So the trek back to the hut was made, stopping at peg 1 and Tom on the way. He said he'd won the lake with 137lb, so we had a 1st and 2nd thus far. We were not too sure how Titch had done, but he was up loading his car which indicated he'd not faired brilliantly.

Tom and some of his catch (pic courtesy of the man himself.

As it turned out Tom had won the match overall on the day, catching well down a margin after a few early fish shallow on the pole. The team finished joint 3rd, but it is early doors and a long way to go.
The next round for our Bait-Tech Southwest team sees me on Hawthorn, Tom on Westpool and Titch moves on to the Main Lake.

Next Sunday sees me at Viaduct with the Pawlett crew, hopefully it'll be a good one.
Until then, take care,

Pawlett Club Day Out, Mathern Mill Fishery, Chepstow. 10-09-16

The club's once a year day-out was on Saturday,  a new venue for all of us as Vic Bush tries and finds somewhere we haven't been that is within an hour or so from Bridgwater.
This year we headed off across the Severn Bridge to the outskirts of Chepstow, Mathern Mill. But on route it was brekkie, this was had at the diving and outdoor centre a few miles away. It was very nice and the staff had everything ready for us. 23 of us made the journey.

So food done and 5 mins later we were there, and what a nice looking venue it is, sensible pegs and a road around both lakes so you can park behind or next to your peg.
We all paid our dues, got a little wet from the rain and had a laugh and joke while the monies and payouts were sorted.
Not knowing the venue properly I had spoke to a couple guys on the place and found a few nuggets of info, some rather large carp to 30lb are in the lakes, a good head of silvers but they show better in the cooler weather when the carp are less active.
Also the carp come in to the edges, can be seen and tend to frustrate the angler, but catching from the edge and on a lead tends to be the favourite and winning tactics.

Into the hat and I have the 4th from end ticket, peg 13 on the top lake is my location. I drive round to the peg and find it doesn't have an island chuck and is set in a bay/leg area, I guessed it would be a less consistent area as I find these sort of spots a bit more hit and miss, I did hope that they shied away from the main bulk of the lake and moved into my corner during the day.
Opposite I had Kev Crouch and to my right was Steve Fouracre. I could see Derek Beard and Vic Bush who were to Kev's left but had island chucks, unlike us 2.

Peg 13, Mathern Mill, looking left....

Mathern Mill, the island I didn't have to fish to.

Peg 13 at Mathern, looking in front,
I looked at what to do and taking the info I had gleaned I went about sorting my kit.
First up I set up a lead rod and a method feeder for chucking down to my left and in the vicinity of the empty peg 14.
3 pole rigs all on 0.20 to 0.16 and size 16 B911 hooks and 14 laccy.
The 1st was for a 2+2 line where I would feed maggots and a few grains of corn.
The 2nd was for topkit to my right where I had around 2.5ft of depth, here I fed just corn, but I never had a bite off this spot all day.
Lastly a rig for my left at 2+2 aound 1.5m off the bank where I found a flatish area before the lakebed sloped away. I would feed groundbait and maggots, plus a few grain of corn.

Bait was a couple kilos of groundbait, a few pints of maggots, corn and some pellets which I didn't use except those fed over the lead/feeder line.
There were a lot of fish cruising around and there were signs of those margin fish as I had a few come right in by me when I was setting up.....this could be good I thought, but fish can be fussy and peculiar at the best of times. Frustrating is appropriate.

The rain was still falling, not heavy but enough to annoy and make the maggots escape.
The luggage stayed in the car all day which was a bonus.
Elsewhere it was believed that Keith Clapp had an out and out top peg on the lake behind me (the bottom lake) and pegs 10 and 11 on my lake were good, consistent areas.
The all in was called and I fed in front and to the left and right also, I began on the feeder, just to get some bait in that area more than anything. An hour passed before any sort of indication, I had a foul hooked fish on for a few seconds. It was fishing slow on my lake, I only saw 3 carp get caught in the first hour. Though Keith was catching well and was up to around 8 fish in the same period.....writing on the wall?

The second hour came and I went out to the 2+2 line and plucked a few small silvers, I didn't fancy doing that to be honest so soon came into the left hand swim, where again I remained fishless despite my efforts and obvious signs of carp feeding. I started on maggots but baby perch were hanging themselves so binned them for the more robust corn.
Nobody was catching consistently from those I could see on my lake. Just people with 1 or 2 carp each.
Actually it was around 2.5hrs before I had my 1st carp, from the left hand edge, where despite my initial stubbornness and being advised not to, I had come in tight to the bankside in 18" of water. The fish was around 12 or 13lb so a good stamp. Another of similar size followed 40 minutes later after I dropped the bait on it's nose as it left the margin. I also went and got the radio.....only to listen to my beloved Man Utd lose the Manc derby.....pfffttt!!

These fish were definitely aware of their surroundings and any movement of the rig often saw them bolt out of the peg. But I persevered swapping between the lead and the left edge, the right edge remained motionless and the long line just gave small silvers. My 3rd fish came at around 2:50, but a proper beastie of 18 to 20lb was netted after a dogged fight. I did foul hook and lose a couple throughout the day, but it wasn't too bad. Kev Crouch had only 1 carp on the lead to show for his efforts and Steve was on 3 or 4.

So by 3:30 I had 3 carp, maybe 45lb, I hoped for a mad last hour, which to be fair never occurred but I started feeding maggots heavier and corn also, just feeding the groundbait less once I knew fish were coming in more regular. This seemed to do the trick as I had 4 carp in the last hour, well 3 came in the last 20 minutes when I switched back to maggots on the hook, they were taking the bait as it fell through the water, typical, suss it out too late. Steve commented on the same.
Below me on the other lake, Keith Clapp hadn't stopped catching all day and Eric Fouracre I could see picking up a few pretty regular. On my lake a few of us had what I thought would be similar weights, myself, Vic, Rich Coles and Steve Fouracre had a handful of fish each, Jamie Cook had been catching all day I was informed and looked to have over 130lb, so he'd win the lake at least.
The all out was called and I packed up. I ended up with 7 carp I think and a couple pounds of silvers.

With the car loaded I chatted to a few of the guys who all said they liked the venue and that if we were up to speed then we'd have done better. I never followed the scales except the see what Steve and Keith weighed. Looking at the sheet and I could see that Jamie had 140lb+ and Ziggy Slowinski had 30lb of silvers, turns out they were all palm sized skimmers, nice fishing. Rich Coles had 62lb so less than I thought.
I watched Steve weigh and he popped 68lb on the net, I knew I would have close to that and maybe those first 3 fish could prove vital.
But the scales trundled down to the other lake to weigh them before coming back to me and then finishing the top lake. Keith weight 1st on that lake and was admitting to 180lb, well he was close...179lb 15oz and the winning weight, he caught half down the edges in the 2nd half of the match, the other half came on a pellet feeder tight to his island.

When the scales got back to me only Eric had 100lb+, 111lb he had including nearly 30lb of assorted silvers which had a couple big chub in the catch. So 1st, 2nd and 3rd were sorted as was the silvers.
So I hoped to pip Vic and Steve to win the section money, thankfully my 2lb of bits were added to 73lb of carp. Kev dnw'd his 2 carp as did Derek. Vic weighed next, it'd be close and so it proved with his net exactly 1lb 1oz less than mine. He had suffered 5 lost fish in the last hour, maybe foul hooked.

So that was that and I had at least won my section which was a bonus, but feel I should have doubled my catch, well in hindsight that is.
We headed home and had an enjoyable evening at the legion with buffet and cider.....I let the wife drive!!

1st, Keith Clapp, temp peg 26 on the lower lake. 179-15
2nd, Jamie Cook, peg 2 on the top lake, 149-13
3rd, Eric Fouracre, temp peg 29 on the bottom lake, 111-05
4th, Lee Williams, peg 13 on the top lake, 75-01
5th, Vic Bush, peg 17 on the top lake, 74-00
6th, Steve Fouracre, peg 11 in the top lake, 68-06

1st, Ziggy Slowinski, peg 4 on the top lake, 30-03
2nd, Eric Fouracre, 29-15

So an enjoyable day and I will go back at some point.
Next up was Sunday at Shiplate for the Teams of 3, first round.

Until later.

Monday, 5 September 2016

SW Over 50's + Disabled vs PSV, Acorn Paddock Lake, 04-09-16

31 fished today I think, maybe a couple more, but it was an interclub affair against the venue regulars of the SW 50+ and Disabled guys.
With space at a premium and yesterday's and night's rain we had, plus Saturday's match fishing alright, the big 150lb+ weights were somewhat lowered on the expectation level, that said you can never be sure of anything with fish and fishing.

I arrived early, dipped nets and had a chatter with a few guys before getting on with the draw, I fancied anywhere from peg 1 round to 12 and maybe 33, 34 and 35. Peg 12 has been in form the last 2 weeks with weights to 237lb coming off it.
I drew around halfway down the line and plucked peg 5, a nice peg on the point of the smaller island, for company I had Ray Cooper on peg 4, and I could watch regular venue framers on pegs 9 and 10 in the 2 Bobs, Feltham and Smith respectively. Lee Waller had drawn peg 12 and he had Eddie Wynne and Steve Sewell to his left.

Acorn peg 5, lhs

Acorn peg 5
I set up 4 rigs, 1 for each margin, though my right hand side never produced. Groundbait on the left maggots down the right. My right hand margin rig also doubled up for fishing across in the shallow, 12 inch deep, water using corn, maggots and expanders.
A rig for 2+1 in front using expander over 6mm pellets.
A rig for banded pellet around 1m off the far bank in 3ft of water.
Also an unused method feeder was set up.

Bait was 6mm pellets, some 8's for the band, 2.5pts of maggot, 3 small tins of corn, some groundbait and some 6mm expanders.

I began fishing off the island, toss potting 6mm pellets and using an 8 in the band, I had 2 fish in the first 15 minutes, only 3lb fish but a start......then I lost a couple foul hookers before it died properly.
The 1st hour had lapsed with just 2 carp in the net, but I was still ahead of some who hadn't had a fish after 60 minutes.
The second hour was a little better, I managed a couple carp from my left margin on corn over groundbait and then I had 1 from the deeper water on expander. But I was getting a few foul hooked fish, annoyingly they would only come off at the net, I wasn't the only one suffering this though.
It really was slow fact the next 2.5hrs saw me struggle properly and I am unsure if I actually put a fish in the net. There were fish showing in open water but could not be tempted despite trying various tactics,

I had binned the pellet line off the island as I was only getting liners and they wouldn't take bait shallower, they seemed to be just roaming the area. I had also switched to varying what I was feeding across in the shallow water, I began to figure it was a matter of trying to snatch the odd passing fish, try and grab their interest.
I worked out that sometimes a helping of corn would get me a couple fish, then it would die, so a pot of maggots would do similar. Groundbait and 6mm pellets and even 8mm pellets being fed over the same spot would all pick me 1 or 2 fish before dying.
I also had a couple fish from the 2+2 line on expanders.

Into the last hour or so and my 1st net's clicker showed 44lb. I had seen 1 or 2 swirls down over the left edge and managed a couple 5lb fish from here, but still I was getting a few foul hookers or they were not taking the bait properly as I pulled out of a couple fish.
I wasn't taking much notice of others really, but Chris Szacaks on peg 7 was losing a few at the net from peg 7 and the 2 Bobs on pegs 9 and 10 were doing well enough.....Lee Waller had gone by now off peg 12..!!
I also could see that someone around peg 33 or so was using their net often, though those behind me from pegs 40 back to 36 hadn't had too much in their nets, including venue regular Mark Walsh in peg 36.

The last 60 minutes were simply spent fishing across varying the baits while keeping an eye on edges, only dropping in when I could see fish were present. I did mug a couple as they left the margin, dropping a bait in front of them as they departed.
I finished with my 1st net clicked at 54lb and my second was 23lb.

I packed up and loaded my car before following my half of the weigh in, rumour had it that Matt Williams on peg 33 had caught well but that half of the lake (peg 40 back to 22) has struggled.
Also I knew the two Bobs had done fine and that Chris Szacaks had a late run of fish from peg 7.
Peg 1 dnw'd before Dave Stephenson had 12-09 of assorted silvers including a few goldfish!!
Peg 4, Ray Cooper caught a few edge fish late on and had a little over 48lb.
Next up was me and again my clicking has been accurate enough in that my 2 weighs went 26lb 2oz  and 51lb 6oz....finishing with 77-08. I got told that'd be in the frame. I didn't expect it to be honest.
Next was Ryan Radford and Chris S. They had 42lb and 44lb respectively.
Bob Feltham's late run of fish gave him 44lb+ then regular venue winner Bob Smith had 69lb 5oz.
Peg 12 dnw'd. Then we saw Eddie Wynne put his silvers on the scales, it settled at 12-08 before it was noted there was a roach in his net.....he pipped ahead of Dave with 12-10.....lucky lucky.
Steve Sewell then had 48lb 6oz. There were a couple more dnw's along these pegs before I left them to it.
A quick look at the 2nd sheet saw Matt Williams had a couple pounds more than me from peg 33 but that was it from that half, so I had finished 2nd. Not too bad really, we both had lost fish so I cant really say that it was lost fish that cost me the win, maybe it was the fact I managed to knock my bait tray everywhere and spent 10 minutes faffing around with that when I knew there were fish to be caught.....all hindsight though!!

1. Matt Williams. PSV 79-05. p33
2. Lee Williams. PSV. 77-08. p5
3. Bob Smith. Over 50. 69-05. p10
4. Steve Sewell. PSV. 48-06. p15
5. Ray Cooper. Over 50. 48-02. p4
6. Bob Feltham. Over 50. 44-14. p9
1. Eddie Wynne. Over 50. 12-10. p13
2. Dave Stephenson. Over 50. 12-09. p2

So the venue did have a bit of an off day, but there was still plenty of bites to be had if you worked hard to tempt them. By varying things a bit on the day bought me a few bonus fish I think.
So in the last few weeks I have managed 3 seconds and a third from 6 matches, just need to get over that final hurdle, haha.

Not sure where or if I am fishing this week, maybe I will have an afternoon over Apex. Maybe try to fish Summerhayes on Weds and Shiplate on Thursday.
But next Saturday we have Pawlett's day out over at Mathern Mill, a new venue for all of us I believe.

Until then, Take care.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Avalon Silvers Series, 03-09-16 (plus other days)

Bit of a write up of my week since coming 2nd at Harescombe last Sunday.
I fished the Tuesday match at Acorn nr Clevedon, it had been fishing well with some good weights to over 200lb, but foul hooked fish are a problem, you need to get the feeding spot on the minimise them. Think there was 20-something fishing.
I drew peg 7, not too bad with a nice left hand margin and the right had side wasn't too bad either.

Acorn peg 7 lhs

Acorn Peg 7
Basically I fished my left edge most of the match, which produced in the last hour, during the rest of the day I picked up the odd carp from across and at 2+2 all on corn or maggot.  Loads of long quiet spells and I could see Gabe on p12 catching as was Tony Rixon on around peg 2 and Steve Shaw on peg 38. Though Paul Faires just along from me had some fish on the method and some on the pole down his edge and looked ahead of the 2 Mosella backed anglers.
I had 77lb and some ounces for 8th on the day. Learnt a few things going forward.
Gabe Skarba won with 237lb from in-form peg 12.

1. Gabriel Skarba. 237-07 p12
2. Paul Fairers. 142-11 p9
3. Tony Rixon. . 132-00 p2
4. Steve Shaw. 123-07 p38
5. S Holmes. 97-14 p11
6. Mark Walsh. 93-12 p16

Wednesday I fished the Sedges open on Tile, 15 fished and I had the last ball in the basket and it turned out to be a flyer in the form of peg 40. Though I was a little concerned as the wind was pushing up towards the other end of the lake and there wasn't a great deal of activity in my peg.
I fed the left edge only for the wind to change and fill it with floating crap in the form of leaves and branches/twigs, so that never happened.
After a 90 minute blank spell at the start of the match I ended up getting a few fish on the method and also a run of fish later on mostly on banded 8mm at 2+1 on the pole. I knew that blank start to the match would cost me and I ended up 2nd (thankfully my 2.5lb of silvers I chucked back didn't cost me) with 112lb.
1st Stuart Holmes, 140lb 6oz, peg 37
2nd Lee Williams, 112lb 4oz, peg 40
3rd Mick Shaw, 109lb, peg 28

Friday I spent a few hours down at Apex Park hoping for some skimmers, I had actually intended on fishing the Huntspill, but it didn't look right so over at Apex it was. I fished peg 3 and had 67lb of skimmers, bream and a load of roach, nice light kit fishing.

Around half of my Apex Park Lake catch.
So on to Saturday, I had seen the weather forecast and had decided a day of rest and homey stuff was in order......well that was put paid to when Mike West called me at 8am and asked could I cover him in the 1st round of Avalon's Silvers Series, so I agreed, I rushed to sort my gear, grabbed some casters from the end of the road and shot over for the 9am draw. 22 fishing so a nice number and a whole raft of very very capable silver fish anglers were present.
I drew peg 39, not too bad and 1 off the end peg which had a guy who has the venue's skimmers population sorted John Fuidge on peg 40. Ray Wickham to my right on peg 38, then Ken Rayner and Steve Fouracre next again.
Avalon peg 39....
A topkit rig for my right edge just using maggots and casters, a rig for maggot/corn for anywhere in front as I had the same depth all over, so a groundbait line was fed in front at 11m given the wind predictions, then a micro/corn line for 2+2 slightly left.
Lastly a banded pellet rig was made up for 11m and 2+2 on the left hand areas of my peg, but that went fishless, as was the 1 cast I had on a small groundbait feeder.
Simply put, the weather was dire, very wet, a touch windy and I messed my feeding up.
I watched John catch skimmers steadily during the day in amongst his attachment to 21 carp (I only had 9 on). I caught nearly all my fish down my right edge and never had a fish over 6oz in my 5lb+.
I had roach, perch ,skimmers and rudd to make up my weight, which wasn't at all near last by all accounts with a dnw or 2 and a few weights under mine. I only hooked, and bumped, 1 'proper' skimmer all day.
The winner was covering for Chris Fox, Paul Faires, he had 28lb+  to beat John Fuidge's 24lb and Vic Bush's 23lb.
1st Paul Faires (Chris Fox), 28-08, peg 33
2nd John Fuidge, 24-03, peg 40
3rd Vic Bush, 23-00, peg 17
4th Ken Rayner, 19-03, peg 37
5th Lee Woodhouse, 18-09, peg 12
6th Ziggy, 18-00, peg 9

Saturday evening was spent mostly drying fishing gear in various areas of the house!!

Next up is my blog from today's match at Acorn, PSV vs Over 55's...

Until then.....