Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Landsend Winter League, Sunday 3rd December 2017

Decided to fish this league as the dates fall OK with work and I planned to treat it as a silvers league, given that Ken pays silvers in the matches and overall (personally I disagree with this, as I believe it can affect the overall league and section points, but its not my league, so I'll go with the rules).

I did chuck some pellets in my bait bag just in case I drew an out and out carp peg and they were having it, although I wasn't convinced the sport would be manic after the cold weather all week.

I never seem to have that knack of mentioning a peg I fancy and then drawing it (how do some people do that so often.....), but I was thinking positive thoughts for 36, 5, 22 or 42, as I thought they'd be good pegs for an all out silvers attack.  Couldn't believe when 33, a favoured winter carp peg came out of the tin.  That meant setting up a pellet rig as well as maggot /caster rigs and as its an end peg, a rig to fish for perch along the end bank, which was only 6" shallower than the main part of the peg and with no island to fish to, I couldn't find any area of shallower water or a shelf, which even with the low water temp, its still nice to have the option, as the water is sometimes warmer over the shallower shelves.

On the 10:00 all-in, I started at 16m to the RH limits of my peg and fedd a few micros and fished an expander on the hook, 15 minutes and nothing.  I then switched to 13m slightly to my left toss potting a few maggots in and double maggot on the hook, I did manage a see through micro perch from here and that was the only bite.

I tried a line at 16m just in fron the aerator, this was equally as dead. Russ Peck on 32 opposite was foul hooking and fairly hooking carp, whilst for all intents, my peg was empty!  At 12:00 I had a look up the edge over some casters with a segment of prawn, I had a perch over 1lb, straight back in, another bite and lost one bigger, back in again and had one over 2lb, Iwas hopeful of a few, but that was it, no more bites from that line the rest of the day.

I managed one more micro perch, one small carp and a small hybrid for the rest of the day, whilst Russ caught carp opposite, I dropped the negative feeding and started pinging casters to see if they would come across, but to no avail.  I did pot some micros and corn in at 16m in fron the aerator and I did hook a fishfrom there on corn with 5 mins to go, but it came off.

My 5 perch (two of which didn't make an ounce combined) went 5lb and the one lonesome carp went 3.15, I think this was next to last in section and no better than halway in the silvers, Tony Rixon had a cracking net of roach from peg 28, I tried desperately to catch one but failed miserably.

I used to enjoy winter fishing, but I can now see the attraction of putting the tackle away from November to March......

Speci Lake
1st 69-12 - Russ Peck - p32
2nd 31- 9 - Steve Sewell - p36
3rd 22- 3 - Adrian Jeffery - p40
1st 21- 0 - Tony Rixon - p28

Match Lake
1st 34-15 - Stuart Barnett - p22
2nd 25- 4 - Nickand Sarah Duckett - p14
3rd 22- 6 - Pete Nurse - p24
1st 6- 8 - Ken Rayner - p1

Johns Lake
1st 53- 0 - Rod Wootten - p58
2nd 15-15 - Lee Williams - p51
3rd 9- 0 - Martin Rayet - p68
1st 5-12 - Gary O'Shea - p70

Silvers Open, Viaduct, Saturday 2nd December 2017

Paddy Curry had advertised this match on Facebook, it seems if you aren't on Facebook at exactly the right time (or glued to it!!) its easy to miss out on matches on there now, as they sell out so quickly.

It had been cold all week and my bait order of 3 pints of caster looked wildly over optimistic when I picked them up before the draw, even considering I was intending to use them on Sunday as well.

Peg 3 came out of the draw tin, can't complain about that and as I was walking passed middle lake to my peg, I wasn't disappointed that I hadn't drawn on there, it was gin clear and I could see the bottom a fair way out.

Once again, plenty of time, so waggler, feeder and 4 topkits set up.  A double bulk rig, a 0.3g rig and a 0.4g rig with 0.10 and a 18 Guru F1 hook, then a 0.3g float with 0.08 and a 20 Gamma Green.

I feda line just short of 16m with 2 balls of GB and came shorter and started at 11m with loose fed caster, I could catch tiny roach and hybrids on this, so felt I needed to put some GB in and leave it, hoping the better skimmers would come over it.

30 minutes on the feeder produced some unhittable roach bites and nothing else and it was looking like another tough day was in the offing.  With hindsight being a wonderful thing, I think I should have carried on fishng a caster line with no GB, as over the GB all I could catch was the occssional 2oz skimmer on pinkie, the bigger fish seeming reluctant to feed.  Even at 16m I could see the fish flashing when striking into them, so I guess each one hooked, scared his mates off for 10 minutes, which is about as long as I was waiting between bites.

If I could fish the match again, I would have stuck to loose feed and have kept catching the tiny roach and hybrids for as long as I could, I ended up with about 4.10, which was mainly small fish......

1. Dave Romain - 13lb 9oz - peg 5
2. Nick Ewers - 11lb 12oz - peg 1
3. Rob Eagle - 10lb 11oz - peg 19
4. Ben Hagg - 9lb 13oz - peg 4

Viaduct Silvers League, Sunday 26th November 2017

Another round fishing this as a stand in, the angler I was deputising for was not in the running for the overall positions, so a positive mood and fishing for a win.  123 came out of the draw tin, the right end was the consensus of 100% of those who enquired as to my location for the day.

Opposite on 119 was travelling partner for the day, Tony Rixon, who was also hopeful of getting a few from there.  Plenty of time, so I set up a waggler, a small cage feeder, a rig for down the edge to hopefully tempt some of Campbells Perch, a couple of rigs to fish at 14m and 10m and a double bulk rig.

I did expect to catch some roach at the start, but it wasn't to be, a look round and it seemed to be fishing hard, I can't pad this out at all, I had 2 roach on the pole and that was it, I swutched to the waggler and had a roach, but that too was bereft of fish, the edge where I was hoping for perch, hybrids and maybe a tench, didn't produce one single bite all match.

A switch back to the waggler brought another roach, then a tench and a skimmer, I thought things were looking up, but no, that was it, my sum total for the day was 2.10, I did lose one fish late on, hooked on a throwawy line at 5m, I think it was a decent skimmer, but it was irrelevant in the scheme of things.

Wrong end of the lake it would seem today, a real struggle.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Viaduct Silvers League, Sunday 12th November 2017

Another day as a stand in, another league I was disappointed not to fish, but couldn't make all the dates.

I was quite optimistic until I drew... 131 wouldn't be my first choice silvers peg, so I had to make the most of it and try and wangle a few fish from it, with the wind coming off my back, I fancied the waggler for a few fish (and I was right.....)

I set up a feeder and a waggler, then 4 topkits, one for down either side, looking for perch, a double bulk after that was all I caught on yesterday, a couple of bulk and two dropper rigs, although the peg was so shallow, that put the bulk at above half depth and it's 18" from the hook.

Fed a line with the same GB mix as yesterday, went out to 13m, in case the wind got up, then tried the waggler, I could catch on the waggler, but it was either micro roach or carp, this was the case everytime I tried it, so it didn't find the hoped for tench and better silvers.

The edges didn't give as much as a knock on the float and a short caster line only gave up a few roach.  I had a busy day catching carp and one took the whole rig, snapping nearly new No6 elastic, so that was frustrating.

I kept on trying, but no matter what I did, was painfully slow going for silvers, although the carp stayed active, I picked off a couple of 1lb skimmers, before giving in and trying the lead, second chuck I had a skimmer about 1lb and eagerly went back out on it, to then hook a carp, they were everywhere in the peg.

I ended up just sitting it out with dead maggot on the pole at 13m, to take a few more carp and a couple of skimmers, I knew I would be somewhere near the bottom of the section and so it proved, 132 had 5lb, I had 6lb, Ziggy on 130 had a few more skimmers, but was the next lowest weight in the section, s o the pegs had fished as many had predicted, by the end it was getting cold and I wasn't too upset at the all-out.

Results on Viaduct FB page.

Avalon Silvers League, Saturday 11th November 2017

I couldn't make all the matches in this league, which is a shame, so I took this chance to stand in for an absentee.  Just as well I left in plenty of time as Tony had assured me the draw was at 09.00, so luckily I was driving into the lane to the fishery when he rang me at 08.25, sheepishly asking where I was, as it was actually a 08.30 draw.

Into the draw bag and I pulled out 36, pretty meaningless to me, as I haven't fished the venue for a while and I had a rough idea of what I was going to do whatever peg I drew.  Walked up from the car park and stepped onto the pallet which couldn't have been slipperier if it had been booby-trapped.  Luckily there was a enough dead rushes around the peg that had been cut down, for me to gather hen up and spread them on the pallet, nice safe walking area now.....

I set too much gear up - its too easy now taking ready made up rods - a waggler, that was cast out to plumb up, it then sat in the roost until it was put away at the end. A feeder rod, as the weather was forecast to be somewhat unpleasant, so I might want to huddle up and watch a tip.  A whip, as Tony had mentioned there were roach of 2-3oz to be caught and three pole rigs, two similar rigs, Drennan floats one 0.6g and the other 1.0g, these with a classic bulk and two droppers set up, 0.10 hooklength and a 18 Guru F1 maggot hook.  The other rig was a double bulk rig, with 5" of line on the bottom, this had a 0.12 hooklength and a 16 Guru F1 maggot hook.

Bait was simply caster, maggot, pinkie and worm, along with a GB mix of Tom Thick's Intelligent, Sensas lake and brown crumb.  Two balls of this went in at the start, I only ventured out 11m as the wind was gusty and threatening to worsen, I then had a look on the whip and caster, this brought a couple of small roach, but that weren't lined up, it was a case of taking a fish or two and then having to change depth constantly to find them, they wouldn't sit at one depth feeding and that makes them unviable as a way to win or frame.

A look over the GB saw a few bites, but it was from small roach, I switched to the double bulk rig and had a near pound hybrid.  The roach weren't such a nuisance on the double bulk, unless it was laid in, rather than lowered fast,  I hadn't put any worm in the first feed, so topped up after an hour or so and put a little bit of worm in, this seemed to kill off the roach bites and shortly after I had appositive bite and lifted into what I initially thought was a carp, but as I got down to the topkit and the fish jagged and tried to get under the net and pallet, I was hopeful it would be a tench, a lovely sight when a nigh on 3lb golden tench was netted.  Shortly after I was struggling for bites again and came back on the whip, I had a few roach from tiny  to 4oz, again by varying from 18" to touching the bottom.  I did try chucking the feeder out, but in all honesty, never gave it long enough, so up the bank with that and out on the double bulk rig.

This brought a couple more decent skimmers, but it was slow going and I was starting to curse my reticence to fish expander pellets, as those catching were catching on them, I did start up a new line with 30 minutes to go and had one decent skimmer and 2 carp from that.  I knew I hadn't beat the end peg 38, Mark Leader, who won with 28.14.  I was pleasantly surprised to be  with my 16.08 and a section pick-up by default.  I caught all the skimmers and the tench on the double bulk rig, it was much more effective than the others,

Friday, 3 November 2017

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 2nd November 2017

The downside of weekday matches is the traffic and today was pretty bad, taking slightly over 90 minutes to complete the 33 miles to Viaduct, getting there bang on draw time, it appeared I wasn't the only one held up and the draw was a few minutes late.

Into the tub and out comes 123, the opposite end to where I was last week, its a little deeper that 132, so with the weather having turned a bit colder I wasn't disappointed.  That was a bit of false optimism, so it won't a long and descriptive blog, as there is very little of substance to write about.

Opposite on 119 I had  Adrian Jeffery, who is a bit of a hustler on these Thursday matches, he isn't usually far off a framing place, if not picking up, so worth keeping an eye on his tactics.

For myself, I had the usual Roob set up to fish meat short (and as the depth was the same, it would do for long), a HB chump for 14m, maggot/caster and a lighter rig with a Drennan float whose name eludes me, in case there were silvers in the area.  A waggler to fish corn, a lead - just to get it out the bag and give it an airing - and a couple of edge rigs, one was the same as last week, one heavier line, bigger hook for when they showed up in numbers...... (uncharacteristically optimistic, I know).

The usual start on meat short was biteless, a switch to caster long over a few caster and GB was biteless, dead maggot finally brought a small skimmer, the stamp of which wouldn't be enough to frame in silvers, I was sure, but hopefully the bigger ones would show.

An earlier look down the edge than I would like (short, I was determined no to go long down the edge until nearer the end) resulted in on 7oz perch.  I carried on rotating lines and started new ones, trying both negative and positive feeding, all to no avail.  I could see Adrian struggling, also 118, but further up the lake there were a few carp being caught.  The guy next door on 124 had stuck to feeding caster short and long and was rewarded with a tench, some perch and I saw him net a 2lb+ foul hooked skimmer, whilst the 7oz perch remained my biggest fish.

My day was summed up when I hooked a 2oz perch at 14m and it came straight to the top, splashing on the surface, a seagull dived down and grabbed it, so for a while I was playing seagull and perch, the seagull finally let go, but then dived in for another grab, whilst I tried to fend it off with my pole.  The perch looked unharmed and survived his ordeal, hope I can catch him when he's 2lb, rather than 2oz.

With 30 minutes to go, I knew it was never going to happen, the peg was not going to spring to life and even a couple of fish wouldn't put me anywhere, so I tipped back 3-4lb of small skimmers, roach and perch, by now the fog was rolling in and visibility was getting bad, so I was off home before the weigh sheets came back. A day to forget!!

1. Jim Butcher - 106lb 1oz - peg 128
2. Dave White - 64lb 13oz - peg 115
3. Paul Dare - 59lb 5oz - peg 114
4. Matt Rowe - 57lb 5oz - peg 129
5. Roy Worth - 54lb 10oz - peg 110
6. Terry Lenny - 43lb - peg 97
1. Vince Brown - 32lb - peg 62
2. Stu White - 25lb 2oz - peg 127

Friday, 27 October 2017

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 26th October 2017

Good to get back out fishing after a miserable couple of weeks, when I booked into this match I ordered some casters, as I fancied having a days silver bashing.  I was then thinking that they were a waste of money when my hand came back from the draw tub, as 132 had found it's way into my hand again, can't seem to get away from this peg.  Good to Charlie Barnes at the draw, hope he can keep getting out.

Given that it's hardly a renowned silvers flyer, I thought I would start fishing for carp, feed a caster and GB line for skimmers and see what happened.  I set up a waggler to hopefully catch a few skimmers on corn, a lead (not sure why, I didn't really intend to use it) and a selection of topkits, which were a rig to fish down the RH edge and up to the end bank, a rig to fish meat short, one to fish pellet long and a rig to fish for the skimmers at 13m.

Bait tray was a bit cluttered given the 2 pronged approach for silvers and carp, meat, 4 & 6mm pellets, corn, dead maggots, casters and worms.  I planned to fish pellet / corn to the RH margin, meat to the end bank and at 5m, with corn at waggler range, caste/GB at 13m off to my left and a pellet line at 14.5m off to the right.  A caster/maggot line to hopefully entice some hybrids and tench down to the rushes on my LH side.  Personally I'm not a believer in trying to feed all these lines continually, I tend to concentrate on one or two and only feed the others when changing to them, the exception being the caster / GB line which I would feed and keep topped up if necessary.

Standard starting ploy for me on Viaduct, feed 3/4 cubes of meat via a pole pot at 5m, lower a cube into that on a light rig.  Instant response and within 4 mins an 8lber was in the net, I thought I'd be ignoring the silvers and fishing for carp!!  Next two drop in's and two more bite, two more fish, but not carp, perch, it seems like the carp was a lone soul.  I spent an hour trying to catch another carp. before giving it up and reverting to plan A, looking for silvers, I had a run of 6-8oz perch down the LH edge, before that went quiet.

A switch to the corn and waggler saw only one bite in 20 minutes and that was from a 6oz skimmer - the intended target, but smaller than I wanted.  I switched to the pole and fished caster over the GB, nothing, even though there were odd skimmer bubbles coming up, worm was equally as ineffective, finally dead maggot brought a 12oz skimmer to the net.  It was painfully slow and I added only 4 more skimmers between 12oz and a pound in an hour.

A switch back to the LH edge saw the odd roach and perch, again, caster was a non-starter, I could a 3 or 4 drop in's with caster, nothing, then switch to double dead maggot and get a fish instantly - albeit a small perch or roach. With and hour and 15 minutes to go I then hooked a carp, which I landed, approx. 9lb, next drop in, hooked another and it charged off and bottomed out the elastic, hooklength went and float disintegrated against the keepnet as it came back at warp speed.

Chucked the lead out whilst I set up a new rig, upping the hooklength to 0.14, tip never moved so I dropped back in and immediately had another carp, this was repeated until the end, I landed them all, up to 12lb on the 0.14 and a 18 LWG hook, was this why I got them?  Or was it just carp o'clock?

Fishing four hours for silvers proved to be an expensive mistake, as I am sure I could have winkled out a couple more carp in that 4 hours, as I had the 8lber in the first hour and ended up with  81.06, so 73lb in the last hour, which with my hard won 12.02 of silvers went 93.08 which was 4th on the day, one out of the money (thats been a common theme this year...) with 117.03 winning from 123.  Still it didn't rain, had a few bites from a peg I didn't really fancy at the start, so can't complain.

1. Tom Downing - 117lb 3oz - peg 123
2. Adrian Jeffery - 108lb 12oz - peg 129
3. Jim Butcher - 100lb 4oz - peg 114
4. Chris Fox - 93lb 8oz - peg 132
5. Geoff Matthews - 92lb 9oz - peg 74
6. Paul Dare - 88lb 6oz - peg 115

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Preston Festival 2017, Whiteacres, Monday 9th - Friday 13th October 2017

Not an easy festival to fish this year, as Louis, one of my dogs, was ill and in the vet hospital at Langford, difficult decision to go, so the fishing and craic was somewhat overshadowed by the concern for him.

Travelled down and stayed with Glenn Calvert, the weather forecast was pretty shite for Saturday, so we didn't get there too early, so the usual practice was missed, a quick look round the lakes revealed most others had the same idea, as hardly anyone was fishing.  Usual Saturday night meet up with a few in the bar and a few beers.

Sunday just to wet a line we had a few hours on Jennys, it was fairly tough going and I think I had about 17lb of skimmers and a couple of F1's in 4 hours, evening was rounded off with a trip to the Two Clomes for tea.

Onto the serious matter of the fishing, the rotation had put me on Bolingey first day, a venue that I have usually done OK on, so looking forward to it.  I drew 18 which can be a good peg and I went hopeful that I could catch a few from it.  Its a peg that gives a few options, the margins aren't too inviting as 17 and 19 are in, but the island and open water gives plenty of space.  I'd based my bait tray round meat and pellet, but did have some corn as a back up.

I two lead rods, one with a method on and one straight lead, two wagglers, one full depth across towards the island, where there is a shelf that's a good 3' shallower than the open water and a shallow waggler. 3 pole rigs, one for meat plumbed up the shelf about 6" shallower than full depth, a pellet rig to fish at 14m and more in hope than expectation, a margin rig.  As I was ready with 40+ minutes to go and there were odd fish showing, I set up a shallow rig and a deep shallow rig, so that was either all options covered, or a confusing mess......

Started on meat up the shelf and was rewarded with a fish nigh on 10lb within 6 or 7 minutes, then I hooked one a lot bigger and lost it just as it was coming to the surface, not sure why.  That seemed to kill off the line and I went over to the island on the lead, but that was totally non productive.  A switch to the full depth waggler saw the odd fish come to banded 6mm pellet, but it wasn't hectic action.

I could see the odd fish swimming through, so had a good go at shallow and deep shallow on the pole, but that was a fruitless exercise, so I switched to the full depth rig over the feed and had one straight away, false dawn as I had no more there.  I ended the match back on the meat line and put several more in the net and I had 103lb on the clicker, this turned out to be 100.12 on the scales and was 3rd in section with that, behind 15 (149lb) who caught on the method all day and 11 (120lb) who had a good run at the end.  Not an ideal start, but not a total disaster.

Day two dawned and I was looking forward to it, Pollawyn, another lake that has seen me do OK on in the past, the day didn't start well when we sauntered up for the draw at 09.15, only to find the doors locked, turns out the draw was at 09.00 - always been 09.30 after the first day, we weren't alone as Tom Scholey and Matt Godfrey were also stood with us looking perplexed.  Glenn jumped in Tom's van with him and went to the shop, whilst I went back and got my van.  I turned up just as Glenn had drawn for me - to say I was deflated is an understatement, he handed me 37, right up the arm and very unfancied.

All I could do was go to it and fish my best match.  It's possible to reach the island from this peg with 16m, so I set up a rig for that, a small pellet feeder, a rig for just down the far shelf and a silvers rig for down the track and a meat rig for 5m.  Not too much to write about, as I felt I fished a tidy match and gave it my best for 5 hours, but all I could muster was 6.07 of perch and two gudgeon.  No matter where I fished in the peg, I either had nothing or a small perch (apart from the glory of retaining the lodge Gudgeon Cup) for the full 5 hours.  That gave me 3 points and festival over, barring 3 section wins and a miracle.  Very frustrating, if there was any consolation, 4lb came off the peg the next day and 7lb the day after, so I wasn't the only one unable to catch from it.

Day three and I drew an indifferent peg, peg 8 on Twin Oaks, would be unusual to beat 16 and 14, so I decided to fish positively, feed a bit and try and attract some fish into the peg, I had nothing to lose.  To my left I had Lee Edwards on 6 and he wasn't best pleased with the draw, as weren't the guys to his left. I had a fish nearly straight away on meat short, then,, just as Monday, lost the second one, but I kept on getting indications, so I persevered, it turned out to be F1's and a I had 3 or 4 before it went dead.  Lee was getting the odd fish on the lead, feeding next to nothing across, but we were far off the pace of the pegs up to the right, which were catching well.  I had a couple on meat at the end, but Lee's tactic of fishing negatively had out weighed my positive approach, Lee weighing 100lb to my 49lb, although we were both well beaten by the favoured pegs.

Day four and I fancied a draw on Trewaters, to banish my poor run there, but it wasn't to be and Acorn 13 was my seat for the day and Glenn headed off to Trewaters.  Peg 15 was in, but 17 wasn't drawn, meaning 3 was the next peg to him, consensus was that he would win the section, but again I felt a reasonably positive approach would be the best way to try and pick up some coin today.
I set up a straight lead, a small method feeder and tried to cover some options with pole rigs, margin, as its a long LH margin and looks good, but I have fished the peg before and never had a bite down the edge.  A meat rig to fish at 7m left, a rig to fish worm and caster at 11m right and a shallow rig.

It turned out to be a tough day and after 2 hours there was hardly anything caught on the lake, I had to concentrate on the worm and caster line to catch and I had a few F1's and skimmers, my week was summed up when I dropped a 3lb F1 back in the lake instead of the net and it cost me points.....  I ended with 17.08 which was worth 5 points and left me with only a lake win to go for on the last day to try and resurrect something from the week.

Day five and the Porth palava of swapping kit around and wondering if there would be a boat trip involved.  I had no need to worry about the boat, but did draw the longest walk again, 40.  Last 4 trips to Porth have seen me draw 40, 39, 16 and 40, each time I have drawn the high numbers they have been poor, with a DNW showing on the board for it on the previous day.

I'd love to report that I had a day catching roach and skimmers on the pole, in fact I didn't have a bite on it, 0.06 and a 24, single flouro pinkie and nothing.  I had a bite on the feeder at 12.30, a skimmer, sadly that met it's fate in the jaws of a pike and I had to wait until 14.30 for another bite, between 14.45 and the end I managed to put a level 5lb of skimmers and roach in the net on the feeder, so another poor day.

Reflecting on the festival and looking at the final positions of some very good anglers, I feel slightly vindicated in my horrendously poor finish, the draw on Pollawyn was a killer, Twin Oaks wasn't so good, Acorn I could possibly have done better and Porth I really don't think I could have had many more fish from the peg, it was barren for too long.

So a week that was not so good for the fishing, the company was great, many thanks to Glenn for the company and putting up with me for the week, apart from the fishing and the concern for Louis didn't help. He came home from the hospital on the Saturday when I got home, but went down hill on the Sunday and that horrible decision to get the vet and end his suffering was taken, so a really shite end to a week of mixed emotions.

RIP Louis,  Feb 2007 - Oct 2017 

No fishing for a week or so due to work.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Viaduct Silvers League Round 1, Sunday 1st October 2017

Sadly unable to make all the matches in this great league due to work, but have offered myself up as a reserve for the dates I can make.  Today I was I believe I was fishing for Steve Denmead.  Travelled down with Tony Rixon and chanced Cannards Well for breakfast, fair play to them, they have invented a new dish Sausage Tartare - I like steak tartare, but pink raw sausages do not make for a good breakfast!!

Onto the fishing and I drew 86, a peg I fancied for a few bites but is not known for regularly producing the better quality skimmers usually needed to make a framing weight.  I had drawn in the area a couple of years back in this league and pellet was by far the best bait, so I decided on a GB/caster line at 14m and a pellet line at 11m, with a rig to fish under the tree to my right, as I have had some quality roach late on in past matches.

Also a waggler and cage feeder set up, to fish a bit further out if that proved necessary.

Starting on the 11m line I fed some micros and a few 4mm's and started on an expander, this was slow going and a switch to a dead maggot on the hook saw a few small (2oz) skimmers come to the net, but it was slow going.  Looking round the lake no one was catching well, so I stuck at it and continued putting similar sized fish in the net.  After an hour I went out on the longer line, trying worm and caster on the hook, I did have one 6 oz skimmer, but that was at the expense of several hooklengths to the carp which were very active over this line.

I did try feeding corn further out and fish that on the waggler, but that was also snaffled by the greedy waterpigs.  Back to the pellet line at 11m and I introduced some GB and worm, this increased the bites, but not the size of fish, but I kept something going in the net.

I did manage a 2lb perch, a couple of 8-10 oz hybrids and a couple of better roach under the tree towards the end and two better skimmers, but this was only enough for 3rd in section, being beaten by two pegs on the diagonal bank, both of whom had better quality fish.  I felt I fished a tidy match, taking top weight of 22.10 on the riverbank side of Cary, but the lack of quality stumped me.

1. Craig Edmunds - 39lb 12oz - peg 123
2. Gary Webber - 39lb 2oz - peg 115
3. Ziggy Slowinski - 37lb 6oz - peg 126
4. Tony Rixon - 36lb 3oz - peg 94
5. Sam Powell - 35lb 8oz - peg 98
6. Chris Davis - 35lb 2oz - peg 77

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Todber Manor Open Saturday 16th September 2017

Just a short blog on this match, drew 41 on Hillview, it has an island chuck, with 40 & 43 not in the edges looked inviting as well, so fingers crossed.   A couple of the locals suggested starting to the island and I did just that, it was pretty much a non starter, so I switched to a 13m line on the pole with hard pellet, this proved to be the only line I could catch from, a short line didn't work until the last 30 minutes, the edges were barren (not a single bite).  I persevered hoping a few better fish would show up, but the 1lb stockies and tiny tench seemed to be the only residents of the peg, until the last 30 minutes when I had my biggest fish of the day, a 3lb tench on meat short.  I weighed 55lb for nowhere and the lack of any quality was what did for me.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ivy House Open, Sunday 10th September 2017

Travelled up to this with Tony Rixon, I had booked into the canal match when I text Andy to book in, he omitted to tell me it was booked out to a club and we'd all be on the match lake.  I can't understand why some of the locals are reluctant to go on the canal, its plenty of bites, great silvers fishing and those stockies are growing fast.   As there is a chance of this happening if the numbers on the canal are low, I was prepared - or so I thought, when I got into the van with Tony, I said "I've forgotten something, but can't think what it is".  I realised what it was as we got to the fishery, the bag which contained my wagglers, feeders, 12" hooklengths and my reels for the feeder rod. 

So, waggler and pole it would be whatever peg I drew, which after a decent breakfast cooked by Karen, turned out to be peg 20, I have drawn this once before and won from it, so no complaints from me.  Opposite at the windy end of the lake on 10 was Tony.  I doubt I would have set up a lead or feeder on this peg even if I had a reel with me....  I did put up the waggler as it was ready made up, but only had a couple of chucks with it, so no more about it.

As there is a long edge both sides on this peg, I set up two rigs, one with a banded hook, one without and intended to fish pellet one side and maggot the other. A rig to fish banded pellet at 14m and another to fish corn or maggot at the same distance, but at 10 o'clock, to the pellet's 2 o'clock.  Next were two rigs to fish up the shelf in  the shallower water, this is where I caught last time I drew the peg.  Again the thought was to fish pellet one side and GB, with corn/maggot/worm the other.

It can be a slow start on this lake and today was no exception, I fed GB, caster and dead maggot at 14m to the LH side and pellet at 14m to the RH side. The pellet line was completely dead, not even a liner, the GB line did give up a couple of skimmers, but to corn, rather than worm or caster.  After an hour I fed the shorter lines and had a skimmer on 8mm pellet almost straight away, then a couple more on corn, before a carp took a piece of corn.  But as seems typical for me at the moment, that was it, the usual one or two fish and can't keep them coming.

I tried maggot over the 14m GB line and that produced a small roach and a small skimmer, so not what I was looking for.  I had left the edges alone and didn't feed them until after the halfway point, expecting them to come good in the last hour or so.  I had two bites from the edges, one each side, I had one on worm over the pellet side and one on 5 maggots over the dead maggot/GB side, with no other indication that the fish were there.

I had been feeding casters straight in front at topkit + 1 range and in the last half hour started to get bites on that, having a skimmer, a 3lb tench, a carp and a couple of perch, fishing a whole small dendra over the casters. Too little too late, my fish went 42.06 and that was 5th on the day, but not hugely impressive as the turnout was only 10.  Well done to Tony, as he made the most of the wind blowing in at him to win.

Next up, back to Todber next Saturday, hopefully get a few bites.

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 7th September 2017

Lodge and Match Lake in today, I fancied Lodge to win the match, but wanted to draw Match Lake as I haven't been on there for a while and it should be plenty of bites.  Simple bait tray, for whichever lake I drew 4 & 6mm pellets, 8mm meat and dead maggots.  I drew 46, an island chuck and a long LH edge, so plenty of options.  I set up a pellet waggler, a cage feeder and 4 topkits, one for meat short, one for pellet on the deck, another pellet rig for shallow and a rig to fish down the LH edge.

I did open a tin of hemp once I was set up, as I intended to start on the meat feeder, putting meat and hemp through the cage feeder and meat on the hook.  I did start on this and didn't have a bite in 15 minutes, there were a few fish evident across by the island, but they certainly weren't impressed with Plumrose....  I started pinging a few pellets over and switched to the pellet waggler, I had a couple of fish on it, but it had to land virtually touching the island to get a bite and the few fronds of willow and brambles took their toll and after I had lost 3 floats, (clipped up, the fronds weren't visible front on) I gave it up and switched back to the feeder, putting some 4mm pellets & GB through it with a 6mm in the band.

This gave a couple of fish in the first couple of casts, but it soon died off, I tried sitting and waiting for a bite, but it didn't happen. A switch to just GB in the feeder and dead maggot on the hook, brought an instant response, 3 fish in 3 chucks and then it died again.  The pegs either side of me were also struggling, but I could see Adrian Jeffery on 49 catching carp shallow, whereas I had all F1's so far.  So a switch to the pole was the next obvious choice.

I pinged a few pellets at 14m and first put in, I had an F1 on the deck, then nothing, a switch to the shallow rig saw me persevere with this for 45 minutes to try and make it work, but I only had 3 more on it, a small carp and 2 F1's. I had a skimmer by switching back to the deck rig, but it was hard work and seemed typical of my matches in the last couple of weeks, that I can't seem to string more than 2 fish together from any line.

Back on the feeder and a couple more fish on maggot, but the all too familiar pattern was repeated and after two, the tip remained motionless. I tried the edge and had nothing from there. With an hour and ten minutes to go, I saw a few bubbles appear on the short meat line and with 41lb on the clicker I dropped in and had a decent F1 straight away, it wasn't manic, but a steady last hour saw me put another 40lb in the second net I started, which included two decent carp.  It was only enough for a disappointing 5th on the lake with 89.12, being beaten by a couple who caught better carp shallow and two fishing paste, well done to Adrian & John on the shallow fishing displays to take 1st and 2nd on the lake, with the overall winner coming from Lodge. (although it was paid out as two separate matches.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Tony Rixon's Short Pole Series, Final Round Sunday 3rd September 2017

The weather forecast was for it to piss down all day, they weren't wrong!!!   I left as much stuff as I could at home, took pole roller out of bag and left it at home etc. 

I went into this match in 5th place overall and confident of getting into a framing place, its a lake I have done OK on in the past and can usually catch some on here.  A bit deflated to draw 29, I definitely fancied a draw on the far bank, but with 28 not in, it was at least one positive.

Given the rain and conditions, I thought it might fish tough, but the water temp was still well up, so it wasn't as if the rain was cold and knocking the temp back.  Set up the usual 4x14 Middy Paste float, a pellet rig to fish over it, a lighter pellet rig and a wire stemmed Gimp in case I had to fish devil spawn or maggot.  Finally an edge rig, same depth both edges, so nice and easy.

Bait tray was simple, 4,6 & 8mm pellets, paste and dead maggots.  I did have some meat left over from Viaduct and worms, but I find meat just get trashed by shit fish on this lake.

Starting on paste I had a liner and after 20 minutes or so hooked and landed a 8lb common.  I switched to pellet after 40 minutes and had a skimmer.  I had been a bit more frugal with the bait than usual, given the miserable weather. Then I hooked a fouler, big fish, it leapt of like a skimmer, but was probably about 12lb, it came off...  I switched to feeding GB and dead maggot and had a few skimmers before it went dead. 

No matter what I did, I could not get a bite.  I did finally hook a fish down the RH margin, it knew where the exposed tree roots were and snagged me solid in them.  I hooked one more, down the LH margin, it charged off, but no problem, I was using my trusty Orange Vespe, 0.20 Stroft with a 0.18 hooklength.  Can't believe what happened next, fish gone, 0.20 snapped, lost my float and that just about summed up my day and rounded off an unsuccessful weekend.

I went 4 1/2 hours in this match without landing a fish, spent an hour fishing maggot without a bite, just trying to put something in the net.  I didn't stay to see the results, but I expect my 13lb odd was last in the match.  It's days like this, that I have no answer to why I couldn't catch, that knock confidence, I've never pretended to be a superstar, but I can usually find a way to catch something and it's frustrating to be in a position where I have no idea what I did wrong.

Well done to Tony on winning the series.

Viaduct Two Dayer, Fri and Sat 1st and 2nd September 2017

21 fishing this two dayer, organised by myself.  Big thanks to those that supported it, no one moaned (well, not too much) and it was fished in a good humoured and friendly spirit.

I have booked the lakes again for next year, 21/22 September 2018 (Fri/Sat) I have booked both lakes both days so hopefully the numbers will be enough to make this work.

First day was on Campbell, pole only, I thought it best to let someone draw for me, Emma volunteered, she handed me 132, probably the least consistent corner, but it can throw up a weight, so I was hoping to day was one of those days.

Nice and simple being pole only, a shallow rig, full depth pellet rig, meat rig and a rig to fish up the edge. I was only paying sections in this match, saving the main bulk of the money for the overall framers over the two days, I had tried to make the sections as fair as I could, but carp do have a habit of moving, so it was best guess, although most thought they were as fair as they could be.

I thought the section I was in would be the lowest weight section, 132, 131, 130, 124 and 111.  I was thinking about 130lb to win it, but who knows, these fish have days when they go mad, so it's impossible to predict accurately.

First drop in short with meat and I was attached to a decent fish, didn't feel fouled, but it came off, that was that for bites short, not surprised I wasn't expecting it to do more than give up one or two fish.  Out to 14m and I had a few fish on pellet at depth, it wasn't hectic action and after an hour or so, the bites and indications dried up.  Back on the short line and that gave me two small skimmers, so no carp there either!

An early look down the edge, where I had fed 8mm pellets and some mest and I had two fish, giving me some hope it would come good, I think they may have been residents, as they weren't followed by any more.  I did feed some GB and maggots to my left and had a double from there, but that was it.  I did lose a couple of fish during the match, those odd ones, hooked in the mouth, but they come to the top and 'waddle' towards you, there is little pressure on the hookhold, but it inevitably seems to come out with these fish.

A couple did rock up short on the meat line, but I knew Mark Poppleton on 131 had beaten me, I think I spent too much time trying to make the edge work, when concentrating on the open water would have been a better use of the available time - another match where hindsight is the answer.....

I managed to put 2oz short of the ton on the scales, a poor effort really and it cost me as I was 4th in a section of 5, so that was me out of the running for the overall places.

Winner on the day was Steve Hutter, with a creditable 237.01 from peg 127.
2: Emma Drysdale 188.09 peg 116
3: Steve Nadin 184.13 peg 135
4: Martin Rogers 163.00 peg 118
5: Allan Oram 155.01 peg 115
6: John Mills 151.13 peg 114

Section Winners:
A: Steve Nadin
B: Mark Poppleton 140.10 peg 131
C: Emma Drysdale
D: Steve Hutter

Onto day two, a quick tangent to the fishing, many anglers like to frequent a café before a match, today I had my first visit to The Den at Pylle.  Not the cheapest café, but it was excellent, food, service, surroundings, toilets, all get a 5.0 (stealing the scoring system from Tony Rixon's blog).

Cary today, no restrictions other than the usual Viaduct rules.  For me all I had to fish for was a match win, today it was just section payouts again, with an added £30 for the match winner, looking at the table after day one, depending on who drew where, it was possible for anyone in the top 12 to get into the overall money.

Emma's trial as my official draw person was abruptly terminated after yesterdays poor show, Steve Nadin was the next candidate for the role and he handed me another corner, 90.  90 can throw up big weights when the wind has been pushing in there for a few days, but today, it hadn't......  

As well as similar pole rigs to yesterday, I set up a lead and two wagglers, most of which had been tried by the 90 minute mark, as I was blanking.  I had fed a line at 14m and had some indication that there were the odd fish coming over it, but couldn't catch one. I did resort to chucking a lead onto that line and by using an 8mm expander (dry) popped up I had my first fish, but it wasn't a magic solution, as I had no more doing that.

There were lots of fish swimming between me and Roland on 94, but they weren't cruisers nor looking for food, they were swimming fast and often in two's - just like in May before spawning!

At 14.20 I had one shallow over the 14m line, then two more, this was strange, as they went as soon as they came and the three in 15 minutes were all I could manage shallow.  I was hoping the short meat line would come good at the end, it did the last time I drew the peg, but before that I was hopeful the margin might give up a few fish.  I did have one, but apart from that and an eel, it was quiet.

The short meat line failed to produce a single carp, just a couple of skimmers for my trouble. The margin did come to life and I had 4 fish in the last 30 minutes, frustratingly, I hooked the big common that inhabits Cary and comes out at about 26lb, I survived several powerful runs, got it nearly to the net and the hook pulled - frustrating, but it wouldn't cost me, as my 73.04 was over 50lb short of what was needed,

Winner on the day was John Mills from 86 with 126.08
2: Andy Lloyd 124.02 peg 85
3: Martin Rogers 81 120.06 peg 80
4: James Evan 99.02 peg 74
5: Roy Worth 96.09 peg 102
6: Roland Lucas 87.04 peg 94

Section Winners:
A: John Mills
B: James Evans
C: Martin Rogers
D: Roy Worth

Well done to Steve Hutter for hanging on to the lead with 11 points and picking up £300 for the win, along with his £40 section money on Friday.
2 Overall: Martin Rogers 11 points £200 + £40 section money
3 Overall: John Mills 11 points £100 + £40 section money + £30 match win
4 Overall: Mark Poppleton 11 points £80 + £40 section money
5 Overall: Roy Worth, Roy missed out on a overall payout on weight, but had a consolation section win.

Viaduct Result Sheet
Total points Total Weight
1 Steve Hutter 11 297.09
2 Martin Rogers 11 283.06
3 John Mills 11 278.05 1st Steve Hutter 300
4 Mark Poppleton 11 227.11 2nd Martin Rogers 200
5 Roy Worth 11 211.09 3rd John Mills 100
6 Emma Drysdale 10 273.02 4th Mark Poppleton 80
7 Andy Lloyd 10 252.04
8 Steve Nadin 10 238.14 Fri Sections
9 James Evans 10 218.06 A Steve Nadin 50
10 Dan White 9 231.07 B Mark Poppleton 40
11 Allan Oram 7 195.05 C Emma Drysdale 40
12 Adrian Jeffery 7 141.00 D Steve Hutter 40
13 Phil Hardwick 6 207.13
14 Roland lucas 6 180.02 Sat sections
15 Chris Fox 6 173.02 A John Mills      50+30
16 Simon Parker 6 117.14 B James Evans 40
17 Phil Morris 5 87.12 C Martin Rogers 40
18 Chris Davis 4 171.01 D Roy Worth 40
19 Claire Hollis 4 94.09
20 Matt Tomes 3 84.04
21 Ian Black 3 46.02

Friday, 1 September 2017

Tony Rixon's Float Only League, Final Round. Sunday 27th August

As I hadn't fished all this league, I was nowhere near a overall place, so it was a positive out and out match win approach.  Not disappointed to see peg 74 on the card when I drew, as I have framed when I have drawn it in the past.

There were a few fish mooching round the surface, but they didn't look settled and I was far from convinced they'd still be there at 11 0'clock.

  I set up two wagglers, one at depth, one shallow, mugging rig, shallow rig, short meat rig, depth pellet rig and a rig to fish up the LH edge that I managed to clear out enough to get in near the bank.

As predicted, at 11 o'clock, the fish disappeared, they moved across into the gap between 105 and 109, I did manage a couple on the shallow wag by casting to fish I could see.  Then dropping in on pellet at 13m to the tree I had a couple more, but it was slow going, tried the depth waggler - nothing, short meat line, nothing.  Went down the edge earlier than I would have wanted to and bumped one, next drop in had one about 13lb and I thought it would be OK - that was it, never had another fish, a real struggle.  I could see the fish that had pushed across moving in threes and fours, up the lake towards the wider area,

That was it then, series over, match over and 66.12 is by far my worst weight from this peg.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Tony Rixon's Short Pole Series, Round 3, Sunday 20th August 2017

Needed a good draw today after a slip up in the last round, wasn't wildly overjoyed with peg 7 but had to make the most of it.  First mistake of the day - looking for worm container whilst tackling up and no where in sight, left at home in the fridge - bugger, I have a fair bit of confidence in worms down the edge and I intended to try and catch some skimmers if the carp went quiet.

Topkits along the roost were: paste rig, which I use a middy paste float for with 5 x No8 18" from the hook. A shallow rig, a pellet rig, a rig with 0.14 and a 18 LWG to fish maggot over GB, in lieu of worms.  Two edge rigs, similar, one with a banded hook, one plain.

Usual start, feed a few pellets and drop the paste rig straight down the hole.  Float shot under and fish on, then off, probably a fouler. It's pretty normal to get a couple in the first 10 or 15 minutes, but not today, not even liners.  I had fed some GB, caster and maggots off to my left at the full length of topkit + 3 sections and tried double maggot, then caster both to no avail.

Back over the initial line, this time with the banded pellet rig and a 8mm pellet, in the next hour or so I landed one fish and lost 5, including one I reckon was 15lb.  I was at a loss to explain it, they weren't foulers, they all came off in roughly the same place.  I was using all my tried and tested gear, elastic, line, hook, really unusual to lose so many properly hooked fish.

Next fish and in the place the other s came off it came up higher in the water, I could then see line hooked over the top of the float, the fish dived down and when I got it back up enough to see the float, the line had come off.  Then this fish came off as well, I reckon that was the best part of 50lb lost in just over an hour.  The line had styed on the hook this time and I managed to get hold of it.  It was fixed solidly round the RH pallet leg and stretch right across the lake, I managed to wind the line in around my hand and snap it off near the pallet leg.

It seems that some carper had been chucking right across the lake with 15lb line, heavier than is allowed at  the venue, what had been happening, was the my rig had been sliding up this line and then was sliding into the hook and disgorging it.  Bloody frustrating.

The culprit, you can see how long it was before I coiled it up!!

The loss of so many fish obviously had a detrimental effect on the swim, especially given the constraints of it being a short pole match.  I had been feeding pellet into the margin and after much time wasted I had one carp.  The tiny fish wouldn't leave the 8mm pellet alone and I was wishing that I had some 11mm pellets.

I had been feeding a short line (topkit + 1) and this finally started to produce bites, I had a couple on pellet, before switching to paste and having 3 more including hooked seconds before the all-out.

I thought I had about 60lb and the scales gave me 63.12, including one skimmer and one perch, both taken on 8mm pellet - I think that's the first perch I have ever had on pellet.

It was frustrating as Tony won the match with 110lb and I feel that without the carper supplied auto-disgorger I could have beaten that.  One small consolation was the default section win.

Next up, Viaduct on Sunday for Tony' s Float Only last round.