Monday, 21 May 2018

Viaduct Spring League R3, 20th May 2018

Round 3 this week, travelled down with Tony and I urged him to park near Lodge as we wouldn't mind the walk to Campbell, not sure if it was a omen, but there wasn't a space near Lodge, so parking near Cary was a compromise.

Usual bit of banter and conversation before the draw and I got somewhere near the front, but I must be slipping, as there are few now who seem to be expert at getting to the front of the queue, first time for a while I have pulled out just one ticket, not two wedged together, a peek inside and 109 was my home for the day.

109 can be a bit of a feast or famine peg, it used to have lots of tree cover, as well as brambles and other assorted foliage, but over the winter Steve and Matt had a bit of a chainsaw massacre of the LH bank, resulting in a major arboreal reduction.  This has opened the peg up a lot and it will be interesting to see if it changes it much this summer.  It has, probably justifiably, a reputation of being feast or famine, being a corner/end of lake peg that has seen some good anglers struggling, while other days it throws up big weights.

I was expecting to mug a few and maybe catch short, with a bigger expectation of catching up the edge. As its such a short walk to the peg, I wasn't surprised not to see any fish showing themselves, there is always a bit of commotion in the car park at the start with everyone unloading their vans and giving some stick about draws.  A waggler set up, with the smallest Middy fatboy waggler, a lead rod - not expecting to use it and more topkits than usual, as I had brought some paste.

Topkits were a mugging rig, two paste rigs - one for straight in front out by the tree, one for the edge, another margin rig for 16m up the LH edge, a neat rig for 5m and a pellet rig for full depth.  Starting on the meat short saw one roach to show for my efforts, its certainly not been as effective as previous years, so far at least.  Clint on 74 was catching by mugging, but I couldn't see any fish, so that was ruled out for me.  I did try a bit of random long lining to the tree, but to no avail.

After an hour and 20 minutes, my one roach was all I had to show for my efforts, having tried several lines and I was beginning to think it was going to one of those days.  There's not a great waggler cast on this peg, but I picked it up and with a bit of an awkward left handed cast (tree avoidance) I landed the float in the open water in front of the tree and I was a tad surprised when it buried and I had my first fish which was just about double figures.  I kept at this and saw a swirl and cast to it, shortly after another fish circa 10lb was landed, that was the end the waggler caught fish.

One frustrating part of the day, was the amount of twigs and branches that lie on the bottom or under the water along the edges and I spent a fair bit of time being an involuntary swim clearer in the first 2 hours....  You can just see the top of the float in the picture as I clear yet another sunken snag!

I'd been feeding the RH edge, but its a bit shallow and never produced a bite, the short meat line remained devoid of fish, as did the long line out to the tree.  Thankfully the LH edge did come to life, I was fishing 16m to a tiny divot in the bank, pinging 8mm pellets, with a banded 8mm pellet on the hook. It started off slowly with a small tench, then a skimmer, before the first carp took an interest, it shot into a snag and I had to pull for break, the 0.18 hooklength parted.  Next drop in another not far of double figures , then not long after another.  The next bite I lifted into resulted in a much more savage response, the fish charged off as if it was foul hooked, but I didn't think it was, the rig held strong and a fish around 17lb joined the other in the net.

I caught in the same manner, pinging the 8mm pellets at 16m, just pulling the hookbait up the shelf, intermittently until the all out and I was admitting to 115-120lb.  The scales gave me 126.13, so not too far out, as my tench roach, skimmer and 3 stockies went 7lb odd.  Thankfully that was enough for the section win, it was never going to trouble the top weights on Campbell, but at least I'm not out of it with 2 rounds to go, although there is some stiff competition!!

Stopped in the Farrington Inn for a welcome cold beer on the way home - nearly like the old days -except we didn't stay until closing time.......

Monday, 7 May 2018

Viaduct Spring League R2, Sunday 6th May 2018

Travelled down to this one with Tony (and Judith) Rixon, with the promise of good weather I was expecting to see the fish up on the top, although when we got to the fishery it was a bit misty, but that didn't last too long before the sun burnt through.

I was mentally wishing a decent draw into my hand and can't say I was overjoyed to see peg 60 - even fishery owner Steve Long asked with a wry, ironic smile how I manage to draw so consistently....  Still, whilst I think that there are better pegs in the section, I still needed a section win to get my series back on track.  Two more negatives about the peg - firstly its the wrong side of the lake for mugging, too much silver water to see the fish and secondly, for an unsociable sod like me, its on a public footpath and at the point where the path takes anglers round to Match, Middle and Spring lakes, on a nice day there is a fair bit of footfall behind........

Tony had parked the van down by Campbell, so off he went to bring it back up this end, as he had drawn 59, so each others company for the day, I did keep reiterating to him how much better 59 was than 60, although he isn't one to be 'got at' mentally before a match, in all fairness, the margin is probably better than 60, but as I had 61 not in, I was hoping that would work in my favour.

I had Andy Power virtually opposite on 69, not in my section thankfully, as he is a skilled mugger of fish and he had the added advantage of being the right side of the lake.  I did wonder if skimmers might play some part in the match for some of us on Lodge today, so I did set up a rig to fish for them with banded pellet, a LWG 20 on 0.12.  A similar rig, but with a 0.16 and a 16 LWG in case it got good and the carp moved in.  The usual Malman Roob for meat short, a shallow rig, a mugging rig and a margin rig.  I decided to leave all the rods in the bag.

I didn't give the usual starting method of meat short, more than 10 minutes, as it didn't work during last weeks festival and it didn't work again today.  So out to 14m and a 6mm pellet in the band after feeding some 4's and a bit of corn.  No indications on this and by now Andy Power had a couple of fish, mugging with a light waggler.  I did have a skimmer on corn, but now Phil Hardwick on 57 on my section had a carp, so I had to catch one.

By the way Andy was fishing, he could see the fish and was picking them off, as previously mentioned, the water was silver for most of my peg and the fish were not visible.  But, I had to do something, so out of the bag with a waggler rod and I could finally see a fish just this side of the middle, using meat on the hook to get a slow fall, I managed to hook and land the fish I saw, then not too long after another, when I had my third, I knew I had 3 fish for over 40lb.

It was a long wait between fish, even to see them coming my was difficult, whereas Andy was catching one a chuck, by picking them off.  The fish that did venture this side of the lake were very wary, I could see them spooking away as soon as Tony brought his pole within2 or 3m of them.

I did try the RH margin, it was pretty much a non starter, with nothing caught from there, I don't think foot traffic to and from the other lakes was a help, a downside of the sunny weather. I managed  pick off 7 fish in the end all on the waggler and weighed 70.02, which was enough for second in the section, typically for me, the lowest weight section and the only one not to have a ton weight.  Not surprisingly, a long way off the top weights on the venue, which were awesome, just awesome.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Guru Festival, Viaduct, May 2018

Three day festival at Viaduct, which was popular and sold out, 54 anglers over 3 lakes, when I booked in back in the winter, I assumed we'd be basking in sun and mugging fish, as it turns out, I was still wearing thermals on the first day of the festival.  The drive down to Viaduct was in miserable weather, heavy rain and very misty, especially by Shepton Mallet.

Plenty of familiar faces at the draw, which was a free draw first day and then a lake rotation on the subsequent days, so plenty of banter flying about and everyone hoping for a good draw to start the festival, I was actually first in the tub and all the flyers were in there...... safe to say, I didn't pull one out, 25 on Spring for me and who pulls out the next peg (26) but Trigger, so no pressure then.

I was given a bit of advice by Steve Tucker, so decided that would be one approach, a feeder to the aerator , the peg has no margins to speak of, a tree on the RH side does look inviting for a topkit line, but plumbs up so snaggy, I stayed well clear, the other margin, given the clarity of the water and the proximity of peg 26 was discarded as not practical.

So, waggler, to fish for whatever turned up, a straight lead and a feeder, a rig to fish meat in front of the tree to my right, two rigs to fish pellet on the deck, one with a solid 10 elastic and 0.16/0.14 to a 18 LWG and another with 0.20/0.16 to a 16 B960, just in case it got good...... ever the optimist!!

A chat with Trigger and a nose at his rigs before the start and on the all-in I started on the lead with 8mm pellet out to the aerator.  Not so much as a liner, so it only lasted 20 minutes as over on peg 1 Joe McMahon was catching skimmers on the pole, on pellets.  I had a look on this line and it was quite slow, while Joe was getting one a bung, neither myself or Trigger could match his catch rate.

Then Trigger hooked a carp on his skimmer rig and seconds later, so did I, bit of tussle getting it in  as it was nudging double figures, Trig had another on this line, but I didn't hook another all day!!  I gave the feeder a good 3/4 of an hour with just 1 skimmer on corn to show for it, I spent the rest of the match fishing corn on the waggler picking up odd good skimmers. Ending up with 32.06 and 4 points, so a disappointing start, but beaten by 3 corner pegs and 50lb+ more needed for another point - really not sure where that could have come from

Onto day 2 and the rotation put us on Campbell, early into the tub again and not overjoyed with the draw which saw me going to 113, it can be good if the waggler works or if the fish come short, but as most were predicting a shallow fishing day (no thermals today....) it's not the best to compete with the pegs further out in the lake.

Sam Powell, Mark Wynne and Jamie Parkhouse on 130,129 and 112 got off to a flying start fishing shallow, whilst I had two on the waggler then nothing, I did try shallow on the pole, but as predicted, sat too far back to reach the fish.  I then had one on the lead, but as it was so slow and I was so far behind I had to try the edges, earlier than I would have liked, I had one fish down the RH edge, but it wasn't very encouraging.  I went down the LH edge and between 1500-1600 hooked and lost 8 fish, the first went into a snag, 2 snapped 0.18 as I was holding on, trying to stop them getting to the snag (the Daiwa Multi Margin is one strong bit of kit!!) and another was lost as the rig loop burst open - my fault for not retying it after changing two hooklengths that had put extreme pressure on it - the others the hook just pulled out.

Torrid day and I was sure I'd be last on lake, as it was my meagre 85lb was worth 6 points, so 6th in section and that was it festival over, another day I am struggling to see where more fish could have come from.

Day three, Cary and all there was left to fish for was pride and the lake win.  Sticking with the early into the draw and I pulled three stuck together, the last two days I'd pulled two stuck together and dropped them back in, today I took the outer one and dropped the others back in.  Hopefully a good move as peg 90 was to be my home for the day.  It can be an awesome peg in the right conditions, but even on its average days there are always a few resident fish to target.

It had won the section yesterday, so hopefully I could repeat that.  I set up two wagglers and a lead rod, and topkits to cover the RH margin and this was the same depth as going 16m up the end bank, so same rig for that.  LH edge was shallower, so a lighter, shorter float for that, a rig for meat at 5m, a pellet rig for on the deck and one shallow.

The bog standard start, meat short, the same result as the last two days - nothing!  A switch to the lead up to the end bank brought a double figure fish and then 2 stockies, before that went dead.  Shallow on the pole proved fruitless and I did have one on worm over the pellet line at depth, but it was loner by the look of it.

I was hoping to get away with not going 16m up the end bank, but needs must and I had 2 carp and a couple of stockies straight away, before that also went slow, but by persevering I topped up the feed with 10-12 pellets and 6 pieces of meat and had odd fish through the match, including a couple of commons that tested every bit of kit to the limit, but my usual set up of Orange Vespe, Stroft line and Guru XS hooks made sure I landed everyone, including one not too far off 20lb.

3 carp for a bit over 40lb...

I felt I fished a fairly tidy match, a relief after yesterdays nightmare of losing 8 fish on the trot..... and the scales gave me 134.08, enough to win the section and pick up the last Superpool money, buy getting 3rd on the lake - beaten into third by Ben Hagg, who weighed 134.09 - couldn't be closer!!!

Well done to the winners and framers, it was a decent festival, thanks to Ben & Guru for running it and to Steve, Helen & Matt at Viaduct.

Top Ten.
1. Phil Cannings - 3 points
2. Craig Edmunds - 5 points
3. Lee Pisticcio - 6 points
4. Steve Hutter - 7 points / 419lb 2oz
5. Dan White - 7 points / 415lb 15oz
6. Carl Williams - 8 points
7. Sam Powell - 9 points / 417lb 11oz
8. Grant Albutt - 9 points / 379lb 11oz
9. Dave Romain - 9 points / 376lb 9oz
10. Pete Upperton - 9 points / 326lb 13oz

Monday, 30 April 2018

Landsend Open, Sunday 29th April 2018

Tony Rixon was running this match and had 20 odd fishing, two lakes in Match (lake 2) and Lake 3, I always seem to draw lake 3 when both of these are in and today was no exception, I had waited until the end of the draw instead of getting in near the front as I usually do.  Three tickets left in and 62 was written on the middle one, which was the one I took.

Several people offered advice, unsolicited mainly, the peg has an area of rushes/stick ups down to the left and comments about losing fish were one of the main topics, I assured all those who said I would have to fish to the stick ups, that I wouldn't be doing it - I can take no pleasure in losing fish attached to rigs in stick-ups or other snags.

The peg has no RH margin and the LH margin is tricky to access, due to the bank being eroded (most likely by pleasure anglers banksticks), but the island is a nice easy 14.5m reach.

RH side - no margin due to tree in water.

LH edge, can't get too far down it.

Straight in front to the island

I was going to keep things simple, so a homemade float to fish across to the island, the shelf is only about 6" shallower than the main depth, so not ideal.  A 4x12 Malman Roob to fish meat at 5m, near the tree on the RH side of the peg, I did set up a rig to fish pellet at full depth, but it only got wet plumbing up, never used it again.  Finally a margin rig to fish topkit + 1 down the LH edge.

I started on the meat rig, looking for an instant fish, but no sign of one, so after 15 minutes it was across to the island where I had been pinging 4mm pellets, with a 6mm in the band I was soon into a fish, not the desired carp, but a smallish F1.  For the next two hours I kept the odd fish coming but it was never frantic sport and was slowing down.  I had another look on the meat line after 2 hours and it did give me a fish, but no other indications, so back across and another 40 minutes on the pellet saw another fish netted. I had another off the meat line 40 minutes later, but never felt there were many fish in the area.  Opposite Russ Peck had a couple of quick fish swinging a shallow rig on a long line into the gap in the islands, I got of my box and set one up, but had nothing on it, Russ never had another, so I guess two of us swinging a rig at them was just too much.

Just over halfway through the match things had slowed right up, I had jut shy of 50lb on my clicker,  I fed some GB and maggots down the edge and left it half an hour before topping up and going over it, I had a good hour or so, putting another 50lb in the net using 5 maggots on the hook, they wanted a top up of GB and maggots after every fish, dropping back in without feeding wasn't anywhere near as effective, With 50 minutes to go, I decided to put another net in, as I try and stop about 50-55lb in a net.  Probably a mistake, as the last 50 minutes only saw 15lb added, including one on the short meat line, which never looked like coming to life.

It was bloody cold today, looks like the summer has delayed again!!  But at least it was off my back, not into my face.

My fish went 124.13, a comfortable lake win, but that couldn't compete with the match lake, where there were 5 weights over a ton and I beat two of them to come 4th overall, but I think there was a lake payout, so hopefully some folding to come when I see Tony in the week.  Not exactly setting the world on fire, but a much better weekend than my results of late, I was beginning to wonder just how long the dire run would go on.

Next up the Guru festival at Viaduct this week, so here's hoping for 3 decent draws and getting it right on the day.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Cadbury Angling Open, Acorn, Saturday 28th April 2018

Decided to give Acorn a go today, its nice and close and at least you can put all your unused kit back in the van to keep it dry, with the behind peg parking.

Into the drawbag and out comes ping pong ball 11, the same peg I drew on the Clevedon Xmas match, but the weather was a lot colder then, so hopefully the fish will have woken up a bit.  I had pellets and maggots, so rigs based around that, maggots for down the edge, pellets for across and a 5m line.  I'd also brought a couple of 9' feeder rods in case the method or pellet feeder worked.

I could find about 15" of water across, there is a shelf that runs up to and round the point, this was to be the main attack, next were two rigs, one to fish expander, the other banded pellet at 5m.  Plumbing up the margins, there was no nice level area, it was going to be a case of pulling the bait up the slope.

Starting across to the point of the island, I was getting indications straight away, I had several carp in the first two hours, putting just over 30lb in the net, I started by feeding 4mm pellet, but the fish seemed reluctant to settle, so I upped the feed to 6mm, hoping it might pin them down, but they just got more and more spooky.  If a fish touched the line, it would bolt out of the peg, with several others following, then the indications died off and the fish had backed off,

I had a look on the 5m line, this gave up a tiny tench and a 1lb skimmer to expander, but nothing else.  The only way I could catch now was to rotate between the LH margin, the RH margin and going across to the island, it had slowed right down (although it was never hectic) and I spent a long time trying rigs, baits, shotting etc. to try and stop the spooking, I couldn't work it out at all, it may have been a bit better had the wind been giving me the ripple that other areas of the lake had.

I had 33lb on the clicker with 2 hours 15 gone and 47lb at the all out, it was a tough day, I did put 53.10 on the scales, which was beaten by two, so well done to them.  And, we stayed dry.... that was a bonus.

Viaduct Spring League Round 1, Sunday 22nd April 2018

I travelled down to this one with Tony Rixon, no particular pegs to draw or avoid came up in the conversation, the warmer weather hopefully getting the fish spreading out from their winter hidey holes.

Well, I was disappointed with my draw, 124, I (and I'm not alone) think that its the weakest peg in the section (116 round to 126), but I still felt I could get a few fish from it.   The wind was off my back, making the fishing easy, but the fish seem to be following the wind now, so the other bank looked a bit more favourable with the wind pushing into it.

Waggler rod and lead rod were set up, pole rigs were simple and positive, a margin rig, a full depth pellet rig, a shallow rig and two meat rigs, one strung out and one bulk shotted.

On the all in I was confident I would get the usual mug fish or two on meat short, but the only bite I had on meat short was from a near 3lb tench.  By the time I waited for the bite and landed the tench, Dave Romain on 119 had 5 fish....  I swapped to the pellet rig at 14m and had a 7lb carp on that. but it was a bit of a loner, as that was the only fish on the line.  I tried the lead, nothing, the waggler, I had one bite on that, a 3lb carp and it was looking like I was going to get a very embarrassing weight.

I had loads of casters left over from Whiteacres and started dump potting them down the LH edge, going over them with worm brought a succession of fish, Bream, Tench, Perch and the odd Rudd, all decent fish and I was catching well, this was only ever going to be a stop gap though, as I had to get back amongst the carp to ensure I wasn't absolutely hammered into last place in section.  Getting amongst the carp wasn't much of an option as looking round the long and short lines, was a complete waste of time.

With 50 minutes to go I had 10lb on my clicker - the original two carp and 43lb in my head or the silvers net, when finally I had a decent fish about 14lb down the LH edge, then another about 12lb, also a couple on meat short, this gave me 108lb which was last but one in the section, so a dropper already..... Some great weights on the opposite bank, well done to those who had them.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Frenzee Festival, Whiteacres, 16th - 20th April 2018

Even though its been a long tough winter, this seems to have come a round quickly again, just Paul Faiers and myself travelling down this year, our other regular lodge companion was unable to make it this year, shame, as its a good craic with Glenn along, even if I am somewhat off the pace in the bar nowadays....

The draw had put us in a rotation starting on the four small lakes, Bolingey on Tuesday, Pollawyn on Wednesday, Twin Oaks and Trelawny on Thursday and Friday saw us heading for Jennys or Trewaters.

Saturday saw us have a few hours on Trelawny, catching a few, but not really getting amongst the carp or decent F1's, then a few beers and catching up with old friends in the bar.  That led to a fairly late start on Sunday and for some inexplicable reason we decided to go to Trewaters, the weather was awful and we really struggled to catch.

Monday dawned and I did try and talk myself into Canal 19, but it wasn't to be, peg 7 for me and Paul didn't do much better in 11 Canal.  Looking at 4th in the section from here, but you have to be hopeful on the first day, that the fish have moved from their residency.

Peg 7 has no features such as the gorse bushes or trees that many of the other pegs have, I set up a meat rig for short, pellet rig to fish soft pellet over micros, a rig for the edge, which isn't nice either side and a pellet rig to fish tight across.

First two put in's on the meat I was surprised to have a near 2lb F1 and then a 1lb Carassio, but this was a short lived burst of hope, the tone for the rest of the match was set, never taking more than one or occasionally two off the same line. It was a real struggle and the day was capped off by seeing a swirl on the far bank seconds before the all out, I swung the pellet rig with a bit of meat on at the swirl and immediately hooked a small angry carp.  It tore down the bank, tangling the elastic in over hanging brambles, I managed to push the pole right across and free it, only for the carp to change direction, run down the far bank to my left and snag some more brambles.  Got free from them and played it across, about 10' out the fish found a snag and I tried all the usual tricks to get it out, but to no avail.

I had decided that I had to pull for a break, so put the elastic round a keepnet and started pulling, expecting the 0.12 to snap any second, I was surprised to see the carp come free, attached to a bit of rope.  Once I netted it I could see that the rope was tied in a hangmans noose, had I known what the week was to bring, I might have kept it and put it to use.......  The carp didn't affect the result, as predicted pegs 7-13 were the last on the lake, with my 29lb beating two and a long way from the top weight of 70lb+


Bolingey, where I have done OK in the past, so was hopeful of putting the festival back on track, the weather was foul, wind and rain forecast all day, into the tub and out comes peg 20, a look at the results from the day before had me concerned, Vince Brown had been on there the day before and was near the bottom of the section.  Paul was off to peg 2.

The wind was blowing R to L at my peg, so I decided that the Multi Margin would be the only pole out of the bag, as there was no way I could fish longer than its 8m. A pellet rig for 8m. a meat rig for 5m and a margin rig, but on plumbing up the margin, I was very doubtful I'd catch in it, too shallow.

A straight lead and a method, completed the set up, no point in even opening the holdall with the waggler rods in.  Bolingey will usually give up a fish or two (and sometimes more) starting on the meat short, not today, not even a carrasio.  It took me over an hour to get a fish and it was a small carp, in the first 4 hours I managed 2 carp and 4 carassio's for 12lb on the clicker, all on the method, it wasn't exciting and it wasn't frenetic......

At 16.10 with 50 minutes to go I had my first bite and fish on the short meat line, a decent fish, but it wasn't until 16.40 when I had another and then one more at 16.50, terrible, worst day I have had on Bolingey. The results on my bank went:  peg 22 - 37.00, peg 21 - 15.00, peg 20 37.04, peg 19 12.00 and peg 18 6.00, so I won my bank, but for all the value that had in the match, I may as well have blanked.....  Two days gone and festival over by two draws that I certainly couldn't get anymore out of and I am fairly sure that most on the festival would have struggled on.


A chance to redeem myself today, another lake I have picked up on, on several occasions, peg 17 on the high bank, which again hadn't done any good in previous days, not one I'd choose, a bit hemmed in, but I was confident I'd get some fish across and have caught well on the pole in this area before.

Loads of time to tackle up with the 09.00 draw and fishing from 12.00 -17.00, so I had two wagglers, a method and a bomb set up, along with 3 topkits, one to fish meat up the shelf, another for deep shallow and finally one meat at depth.

Once again the wind was looking to spoil the fishing for me, as the waggler was going to be nigh on impossible to fish, unless there were a huge shoal there competing, so the pellet is grabbed as it lands and that was unlikely in this peg.  So having to resort to 8mm pellets to get anywhere near the island with them, in the scare lulls in the virtually incessant wind, I started on the bomb.  This produced on solitary bite from a scruffy looking hybrid that went about a pound and a half.

Pellet and meat on the pole lines were pretty much non starters and I set up a new line and fished worm, this saw 30lb of skimmers netted, in between trying to catch a carp.  I seem to have been on carp avoidance since before Xmas and its wearing a bit thin now.....  This wasn't quite last in section, but it wasn't far off, again, I have no idea, not the foggiest what I could have done to get more from the peg - except to fish 5 hours solid for skimmers......  Just for a change, I could see someone catching steadily, as 27 was catching on the lead into the gap, where the fish had been all week.

Best bit of Wednesday was a trip to The Two Clomes with Paul, Steve Nadin, Chris Albiston, Tom from Whitemoor lakes and Pete, whose second name eludes me.  Nice food, good company and a splendid glass of red......


I fancied A section on Twin Oaks, big carp, rather than F1's, but as usual, I couldn't be further from the lake or peg I wanted, 22 on Trelawny, a lake I have won a section on in the past, on a day the carp didn't feed.  Looking at the results from the day before, I had to be reasonably happy, 95lb and a section win from the peg.

It's too far to reach the far bank with the pole, but there was no horrendous side wind to stop me getting tight to the bank with a method, lead or even waggler, which I clipped up all three.  A line to fish expander over micros and the obligatory meat line, a margin rig and a rig to fish worm and GB right in front of my keepnets, the skimmers and bream will come right up the shelf on this lake.

Started on the method, it produced one tiny carrasio in 40 minutes, the wind had swung round since yesterday and was now blowing straight down the lake into pegs 1 and 32.  I was able to feather the waggler in perfectly and couldn't believe that I never had a bite on it, the far bank appeared devoid of fish, although I stuck it out as peg 20 was having a good run fishing the pole to the point of the island (you can reach it with less than 16m from this peg).

I came onto the micros line and fished expander over it, this was fairly slow and it was skimmers I was catching, no sign of an F1, I did get a 2lb carp, but the line was getting slower and slower.  A switch to the worm and GB on topkit, saw a decent run of skimmers and bream netted, but I was never going to compete with the pegs further up the lake, I had one F1 with 20 minutes to go, so am fairly sure that there weren't many in the area, as peg 23 similarly struggled.  The peg that wasn't 'favoured usually, easily won the section with 122lb of F1's, the wind had done for me again, this time taking the fish down the other end of the lake.

Walking up to the club in the evening we saw this on the ground......
So it wasn't me spitting the dummy out, but I was struggling to come to terms with just how badly I was doing this year, my worst ever festival result was on the cards and I didn't think I'd fished too badly, my drawing had done me no favours...


I fancied Jennys, just because I have a dismal record at Trewaters (Trewaters cost me a top ten finish last year), so fully expected to be driving the 10 miles to Trewaters, but 20 on Jennys came out of the drawbag, Paul Holland had 120lb off it the day before for a section win.

Got to the peg and found Paul's lodge match Andy Bennett on 21, so I kept an eye on what he set up, as he would have all the info from Paul as to how he caught the day before.  Although he did speculate it wouldn't be so good today, as surprise, surprise, the wind had changed......

Its a reasonable chuck to the island, so I set up a 24g Guru Hybrid feeder, a bomb and a 6g pellet waggler.  A rig to fish pellet at 14m, ond for meat at 5m and a rig for worm short.  It transpired that Paul had caught carp on the method the day before, so that had to be my starting ploy, even though its not something I would claim to have any prowess in doing, as I rarely fish it.

I hadn't had a bite and Andy Bennett had 4 or 5 fish, I then saw he was fishing two dead reds on the hook, a switch to this and GB from pellet and micros saw me start to catch, but it was small carassios rather than the proper carp I was looking for.  I switched to the pole and had some skimmers and a small carp on 6mm banded pellet at 14m, but this was slow going as well.  Back on the feeder and a few more small carassios, this was the pattern of the day, with only an odd fish on the short worm line, another small carp on the pole.

Andy Bennett was kind enough to spend some time explaining about fishing the method after the match and I knew he'd beaten, but when the scales arrived, by less than I thought.  My fish went 35lb odd, Andy weighed 47lb odd, I was sure he had a lot more but the stamp of fish were small, over a ton won the section further down and the lake was won from peg 1 with 120+.  If I was a little more practised at casting the method accurately and had some confidence in it, I may have had the couple of pounds more that I needed to be third in section behind Andy, as it was there were a couple of 37's.

So, fishing wise a bloody disaster, memories of last years 19th place finish wiped out by this years embarrassing 151st.  Faierzy managed 71st and it was a good week apart from my miserable endeavours, shame Glenn wasn't there, the service, bar food and on site chippy are all massively improved from the last few years, the lakes have had a lot of work and new fish, so things are looking up.  By the end of Thursday, I was ready to put my tackle on ebay, but now I'm determined to get back and prove to myself, if nothing else, that I'm better than this finishing place portrays.

Viaduct Open, Sunday 8th April 2018

Back to Viaduct this week for a match on Campbell, I had considered fishing for silvers, but decided to fish for carp, as they were spreading out a bit, at last....

Into the tub and out comes 115, a decent peg so not disappointed, to my left was Chris Davis on 114 and Paul Faiers who was fishing for silvers on 116.  Simple today, a lead for fishing pellet, a waggler, and 3 pole rigs, one for pellet on the deck, one for meat and one for down the edge, although I wasn't expecting that to produce.

Set back in 113 was Tony Rixon, who was into fish on the waggler right from the off, whereas it was a bit slow for me, the short meat line which often gives up a mug fish, was a non starter, probably still just too early in the year for that, given the weather we have suffered this winter.  

Paul was catching silvers on a short line and there were odd carp being caught up to my left, I did manage to put the odd fish in the net using the waggler and the long pole, all with 6mm pellet.

Not much more to write about, as it was a slow day, I guess Paul had the most bites as he put a nice 49lb of silvers on the scales, as for me 84lb for 8th on the lake.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Viaduct Open, Saturday 31st March 2018

Some demons to vanquish today, the Winter League, whilst not a disaster team wise, raised a few questions for me, 25 hours without even hooking a carp, was that something I was doing wrong, or was it just the draws?  The pegs I drew didn't exactly throw up plentiful carp weights for anyone else, so I am reasonably happy that it wasn't 25 hours of incompetence, but there is always that nagging doubt.

Driving down to the fishery, at first glance it looked like the there had been several new lakes dug since my last visit, but it was just confirmation of how much rain we've had, as the low lying fields are flooded.

I did have some casters and Devil's spawn in case I drew a skimmer peg, apart from that I had hard pellets and a few punched bits of meat for the hook, none cubed up to feed, it was to be a pellet or bust approach today.  I usually get myself positioned near the front of the draw queue, but today settled for a place at the back, something has to change!!  Ben Hagg was just in front of me and he drew himself and Scott Puddy pegs, 119 and 132 respectively, how is that possible, two corners in one dip!!

I wasn't quite last in the tub and had 97 staring back at me when I opened the draw card, given that the Met Office had forecast a 50% chance of rain and a 20mph NW wind, it was a peg I wouldn't have chosen, the wind (and potential rain) would be blowing into me from my left.  That pretty much settled that I would be fishing for carp, I didn't fancy holding 14m or so of pole for 6 hours in those conditions.  Two lead rods set up, identical except for the attachment on the band, a 0.20 hooklength with a 14 QM1 and a band, the other rod a 0.20 QM1 14 with a plastic spike on a longish hair. A waggler rod taken out of the bag, plumbed up and I was expecting with the forecast and the wind as it was, for it to stay there. This had 4lb sensor mainline, a 0.16 hooklength and a 16 PR36 with a band, my tried and trusted lines and hook for waggler fishing.

I did set up two pole rigs to fish at 11m, the depth was the same at 14m, so there was an option to push out if necessary, using the same rigs.  The rigs were the same, 4x14 floats, just the lines were different, one on 0.20 with a 0.16 hooklength, one on 0.16 with a 0.12 hooklength - just in case there were skimmers to catch.

96 was in, so not much room to my right, 98 wasn't in, so a bit of room to my left and 99 had Chris Davis on, he'd just set up one lead rod and was trying out gloves, to try and alleviate a problem with his hands. With Lodge lake being in, I had Steve Jackson immediately behind me on peg 66, but we had an amicable arrangement for pole shipping, using each other holdalls in lieu of rollers.

I started on the lead and 8mm pellet, couldn't get 6mm's far enough out in the wind and rain, 20 minutes with no indications were enough and I had a look on the pole line, that I had been pinging 4mm and the odd 6mm pellet.  Nothing there either and I could see that Phil Hardwick on 88 had a carp on the lead, so it was back on that. I had a couple of liners, but no bites, I wasn't convinced the 8mm pellet was right, so switched to a 8mm punch of orange meat, this was almost instantaneous in producing a fish, a decent one as well, nigh on 15lb.

I had three more and then Chris on 98 packed up, I am assuming the gloves didn't solve his hand problem, this left an awful lot of water to my left, as Mash on 100 was fishing the pole for silvers, I had one more, but the liners and indications had stopped.  I did try casting down to my left, but that was equally unproductive.  I had been feeding 3 lines, the 11m pole line, 6mm pellets at about 25m and 8mms at 40m or so.  I switched to the waggler over the 6mm pellets and was getting a few indications when the float disappeared, a 8ln mirror put up a spirited fight, before coming to the net.  Next cast I had a bite and missed it, that was it, I persevered for a while longer and tried the waggler again later in the match, but never had another indication or bite on it.

I did try the pole line again, 2 skimmers came from that, but it was slow going and I felt I needed to catch more carp, so back on the lead, I had one more bite on yellow meat, a common that was very reluctant to come to the net, in the way big commons often are, it was shaped more like an F1 than a common and Steve commented on this when he weighed me in.

No further bites, liners or indications, I am sure the fish dropped back into that big area of unfished water, I could see that Steve Tucker over on 81 had a few fish, but they didn't look to be of any great size and I was sure that those on the riverbank hadn't had too much, but I couldn't see what had come from further down the diagonal bank.   My 7 carp went 75.12 and the 2 skimmers 1.03, so 76.15 total, which was enough for 5th on the day and a section win, second on the lake to match winner Roland Lucas who was on 102.

So, the demons banished, I can still catch carp, even if it means resorting to the lead......!!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Charlie Barnes Memorial Match, Friday 30th March 2018

I had taken a couple of weeks off, one enforced by work and one as I just needed a break, far too many matches this winter getting cold, not catching anything was not doing my enthusiasm any good at all.

I had booked into this match as soon as I saw it advertised, some great memories of Charlie over many years and a chance to celebrate his life in a match was nice, as I had to miss his funeral, fittingly it's a silvers only match.

The usual ping pong balls had been replaced in the drawbag today, Cadbury Crème Eggs with numbers on, first time I have ever been able eat my peg number.....

From the information I was given, it seemed likely that munching on the egg would be the highlight of the day, with the top lake being a popular wish for many to draw and the main straight of Paddock lake being the next choice.  I went to my peg determined to give it a go and passed venue regular Mike Chapman on peg 40, who told me we'd both struggle, so not one positive comment about the peg, I was determined to put a few silvers together from it.

 I set up 4 topkits, the depth was pretty even, so they were just different size floats and shotting patterns, as well as one to fish off the bottom looking for roach.  I thought the best to go was positive, so put two balls of 50/50 groundbait and leam with a few pinkies, maggots and casters in at the bottom of the far slope and loose fed caster at the bottom of the near slope.  Starting on the near slope hoping for some indications and small fish to get me going, I fished bronze maggot over the caster.  After 20 minutes I hadn't seen any indication and the rain started, so I put up a bait brolly, put on my coat and was blissfully unaware that I was in for one of the coldest, wettest days of the winter so far.

A switch to the GB line after 25 minutes was equally uneventful with maggot on the hook, I switched to pinkie and over the next 40 minutes I had 4 small skimmers and a tench that was no more than 3" long....  The next 3 hours were painful, both mentally and physically, my hands were seizing up with the cold, the float wouldn't go under, I started a new line up the shelf, wondering if any roach would be in the shallower water.  I was a little apprehensive as there was the odd carp moving along the far bank and the homed straight in on the bait and it quickly became obvious that going up the shelf was a waste of time - although the bites and playing the carp on light gear were a welcome respite from the long blank spell.

I must admit, with 4 hours gone I was very tempted to pack up, the mental image of the gear in the van and me dry and warm, was an appealing one, but there wasn't much being caught that I could see, so a late run of fish could still see a framing place or section win in the bag.  I had some false hope that I'd made the right decision with an hour and a half to go I had a decent skimmer, just over 2lb over the GB on double pinkie, but he was a lonesome soul, next couple of bites were carp.  In fact I think by now I had hooked and landed more carp than in all the matches I have fished since November.... bloody typical, but at least I can still catch them.

Finally the short line produced some fish, a skimmer, a nice roach, then four more carp, the GB line appeared dead, the short line did come back but it was a case of catch a roach, then two carp and another wait, before another roach.  I cannot think how I might have got more from the peg and the scales showed my efforts amounted to 7lb, which given the pegs either side blanked and some decent anglers struggled, I can't complain too much - apart from drawing the wrong lake again.....

After the match, Bev was handing out hotdogs to everyone, there was an Easter egg with your peg number on it and Zoe was dishing out tea and coffee, for those inclined, there was cider or cans of coke, a nice touch and it was very much appreciated.  Confirmation was also made that Charlie's Memorial will be an annual match on Good Friday every year.

There was a shield for the winner and trophies to keep for the top three, they and section winners also had more Easter eggs, again, all nice touches, before they trophies were presented, there was a minutes silence and the Harry Muir said a few words, he did say Charlie would be looking down at us laughing, all sat out in the cold and wet, I must admit, the very same thought had crossed my mind.

Weigh sheets below, it was a clean sweep for the Shipp family, who all drew the top lake, so well done to them.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Viaduct Winter League Final Round, Sunday 11th March 2018

This match was originally scheduled for 4th March, but the Beast from the East arrived and covered most of the country with snow, the decision - and I feel the correct one - was taken to postpone the league and reschedule for this week.  It meant a clash with the Landsend league and that meant I had to pull out, I don't like doing this to organisers and don't do it lightly, but Ken understood the team match had to take precedent.

Thankfully the rest of the team could all make it, so we had to hope for a decent draw and performance to at least hang on to our 4th place and hopefully improve it.  Fred had gentle leverage applied to get him to draw again, as there are a couple of very dodgy drawing arms in the team, he was 2nd in the tub and we ended with a bit of a mixed bag.

Mark - 110 - he wasn't disappointed!
Me - 76 - not running to it, but thought I 'd catch
Paul 103 - thought he'd do OK from here
Glenn - 40 - its not got a huge pedigree, but had chucked up good points in a previous round
Fred - 2 - always a chance of a carp and a few silvers from here, with Fred on it, it should be worth a few points

The last two years I have been on Cary on the last match, it's been a disaster and I haven't caught a carp, which to get reasonable points is a must, hoping not to make it 3 in a row.  So today, I arrived at the peg and the tree that was to the right has been taken out, so no feature and a cold easterly, occasionally swinging to southerly blowing into my bank.  I was pretty certain the waggler would be a waste of time, but set two up anyway, just in case conditions improved.  Two lead rods, both with bombs, one to fish bread, the other meat and 4 topkits, a very optimistic edge rig, a skimmer rig for 11m and another for 14m and a heavier rig in case carp were about.

The match started and sadly for me, soon adopted a familiar pattern to the previous two years, I searched round the peg with bread, then meat, then corn, finally maggots, all to no avail.  A switch to the waggler - more in hope than anything else, as the wind was unfavourable for it - and that was also equally unproductive.

I had fed some GB at 11 and 14m after about 20 minutes, so had a look over it, I had a roach, a small hybrid and a small skimmer.  I had to move and tart a new line and I would get 1or if I was lucky 2 fish from a line before having to abandon it and start another.

Kept trying for a carp as well, but at no time did I feel the tip would go round, peg 74 on my RH side was Paul Greenwood and he was equally struggling, whilst we watched Gabriel on 107 opposite, casting a waggler right down to 109 and catching - how frustrating is this winter fishing!!!

Persevering until the end, I had several looks down the RH edge and I thought it had paid off with 30 seconds to go when the float buried and I lifted into a fish, as nice a fish as it was - 2lb Perch - I was disappointed it wasn't a 20lb carp.

Once again, on the last day my team contribution from Cary was going to be minimal and I'd be relying on the others to pull the rabbit from the hat and thankfully they did, with Mark winning the match overall and Fred returning good points from Spring.  If only I could have snared a carp or two and we'd have risen to 3rd overall, but given the level competition, the comeback after a poor year last year and the harsh winter we have suffered, we had to be happy with the end result.

Thanks to Steve, Helen and Matt for running the league, Bait Tech for the prizes and to my team mates, hopefully we can improve next year.

Individual Overall On The Day:
1. Mark Broomsgrove - 108lb 12oz - peg 110
2. Phil Hardwick - 105lb 11oz - peg 132
3. Ben Hagg - 83lb - peg 15
4. Matt Parsons - 74lb 10oz - peg 44
5. Dave White - 71lb 14oz - peg 51
6. Nigel Easton - 67lb 6oz - peg 113

Team Points On The Day:
1. Moaning Maggots - 62
2. Guru Viaduct - 60
3. Team Amigos - 59
4. M5 Angling - 58
5. Balti Boys - 56
6. Colmic SW - 52
6. Thatchers Vets - 52
6. 2nd Time Lucky - 52

Final Team Positions Of The League:
1. Colmic SW - 305
2. Mosella Bathampton - 298
3. Thatchers Vets - 279
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 272
5. M5 Angling - 266
6. Guru Viaduct - 264

Clevedon Club Match, Plantation, 25th February 2018

Got the chance to fish this match as a guest of Paul Faiers, so as I was due fish another Coffin Dodgers match on the venue on Thursday, I took the opportunity to get some time on the water and with the added bonus its fairly close to home.

Only a knock-up really with 10 fishing, I drew 38, which is on a point, you have an island chuck and plenty of open water to fish, you used to be able to fish back down the RH side of the spit, but now there are brambles and minor arboreal growths that prevent this - used to catch big perch doing it.

Plenty of time to set up, the wind was pushing fairly hard left to right and I left the waggler rods in the bag, as I felt there was little chance of getting any sort of presentation with them.  Two lead rods, one for bomb and brad, one with a small pellet feeder on.

4 topkits, a double bulk rig for skimmers, a more conventional bulk and two droppers rig, a Chianti with strung out No11's for fishing through the water and another bulk and two droppers, a bit heavier in case any carp were about.

Started on the bomb and bread, without any indication of fish, tried tight to the island and off it, but nothing.  I then fed the pole line, with GB and caster/dead maggot, before trying the small pellet feeder with a plain 6mm pellet and a few variations of wafters, dumbells etc. this was also met with a motionless tip.

By now Kev Perry on 39 had a couple from under the tree down the edge and Mark Broomsgrove was catching well on the bomb on 27.  There is only so long I can sit watching a motionless tip and today I lasted a bit longer than usual before picking up the pole.

I started catching  straight away and had a couple of decent skimmers, but they weren't really on a feeding spree and they came and went, when they went I refed and looked for carp again on the bomb or feeder and that was pretty much the course for the rest of the match, apart from when I went for a walk and stood with Paul behind Mark Broomsgrove, watching him get a bite or an indication virtually every chuck.

No silvers payout today, which was a shame, as it would have given a few of us something to fish for, I kept up my recent record of not hooking, let alone landing a carp and even if I had targeted the silvers the whole match and with a couple of lines, as the roach didn't feed, I think 3rd would have been the best I could have done, as it was trying to catch both left me nowhere.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Viaduct Winter League, Penultimate Round, Sunday 18th February 2018

With the team in 4th place going into this league, we were hoping for a decent team draw, as well as individually hoping for a peg that might give some individual glory.  I got to the fishery at just after 08:00 and found that we were in the last 4 or 5 to draw (draw is done in order of paying team pools), some teams must get there bloody early!!

Before the draw, Nick Collins said a few words before a minutes silence for Charlie Barnes, well known match angler, retired maggot farm owner and all round nice guy, who passed away yesterday, he will be sadly missed.  I first met Charlie when I was a junior angler working in the local tackle shop part time and his friendliness, cheerfulness and generosity never waned in all the subsequent years, RIP Charlie.

Fred had been strong armed into drawing for the team again, but I stood with him and watched as the decent draws came out of the tin, leaving him very little hope when he had to dip into the tin, it was a case of trying to pick the best of 5 unwanted draws....  The draw Fred pulled, saw me on 126, a pretty poor draw, the best weight from it in previous rounds has been just over 9lb.  Paul on 94, which can be good, but also, can have its off days, 62 for Glenn, 37 for himself, which gave him a chance if the fish were in there and 13 for Mark, which should see him catch down the edge.

Whilst the air temperature had gone up, the water temperature wouldn't have changed and it was still fairly clear, so I was far from convinced that the fish would move from their winter residences, sadly 126 and the other pegs in the middle of the lake haven't been home to the fish for several months now.  I set up two lead rods, one to fish bread and one for meat/corn, two wagglers, one for corn and another for caster.

4 topkits, although that was somewhat optimistic, as I set up a 0.4 Gimp with a 18 F1 on 0.10, a rig with similar end tackle to fish a double bulk, another rig with heavier elastic and 0.12 and finally another with 0.14 and a 16 LWG - I must have been feeling wildly optimistic, which is not my usual mental state!!

On the all in, I started on popped up bread, no signs of a fish whilst it was in the water, so I switched to waggler and corn, this did give me a bite after about 10 minutes, which was a decent skimmer, but another 20 minutes and the wind which was blowing straight at me, was pushing the waggler back towards me.  A switch to the lead with corn on the hook brought another skimmer to the net, but that again seemed to be a one off.

I had been pinging caster at 14m, dropping in over that with the pole was also pretty frustrating, with no bites forthcoming.  I hadn't fed any GB until now, but decided to cup some in, to try and pull some skimmers into the peg.  Whilst this was settling I tried maggot on the waggler and broke my blank with a 1oz roach.

When I dropped in over the GB, I had a run of 3 or 4 skimmers (3-4oz each) before the bites died off, I replaced the hooklength with a 0.07 and a Gamma Green 20 hook, just to see if the line or hook was putting them off.  I felt I had a few more bites on this, but it was hard going, I had to feed to get bites, but getting the quantity of GB and amount of particles right was very difficult to gauge, as the response was the same when feeding small or large amounts - a couple of bites / fish, then a long barren spell.  This was the pattern right up to the end, I kept trying the waggler and corn, but only had one more bite - that I missed.

I thought I had about 7 or 8lb at the end, but admitted to 5 or 6lb, as its tricky to gauge when the fish come so intermittently.  I was surprised to put 10lb on the scales, but that was no good on the lake, although it was top weight in the middle area of the lake (either side of me and the pegs opposite), but was only worth a meagre 6 points.

Paul had a worse day, putting 11.13 on the scales, but on Cary that was only worth 2 points, Glenn's 11.12 was worth another 6 points, Fred's 19.02 worth 12 points and Mark helped save us from a real disaster by winning Spring lake with 57.14 for 18 points.

So, somehow we remain 4th in the league and gained 2 points on Thatchers Vets in 3rd, it would take a real upset for us to finish any higher than 3rd, but we'll give it a good go in two weeks time when its the last round.

Overall Team Points:
1. Colmic SW - 253
2. Mosella Bathampton - 250
3. Thatchers Vets - 227
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 220
5. M5 Angling - 208
6. Thatchers Gold - 207
7. Guru Viaduct - 204
8. Somerset Angling - 192
9. Thatchers Silver - 186
10. Wyvern Anglers - 184
11. Team Amigos - 181
12. Balti Boys - 178
13. Future Networks - 174
14. Moaning Maggots - 172
15. Garbolino BVMG - 158
16. Silverfox - 156
17. Team Keyford - 133
18. All Stars - 132

Friday, 16 February 2018

Coffin Dodgers Open, Plantation Lakes, Thursday 15th February 2018

Its been over 4 years since I last fished Plantation lakes, where does the time go......

I was lured to this one by the weights in recent matches, only last Sunday it took a ton + to frame and 46lb to win the silvers, also the promise of bites, lots of them from every peg......

Decided to try the Bridge Inn for breakfast, I thought it was OK, with the exception of the sausages, they weren't the best.  A few in there so the usual pre match chat and banter.

I had an early night the night before, strongest drink was cocoa, so that wasn't the cause of me getting to the car park, unloading the van only to find my rods not in the van.  I had my pole, but felt that rods would play a part, so had to arrange to get them brought to Cadbury Garden Centre.  I took my gear to my peg, set up 3 pole rigs and then went off to get my rods.

Getting back to the lakes and my second senior moment of the day, I obviously had my keys in the van when I drove back, I got the stuff out the van and then could not find them to lock the van, searched my pockets 3 times, took my bib and brace off, searched the muddy puddles near the van and was totally bemused where they'd gone.  I had got a new battery for my radio out of the glovebox, so went in there and that's where they were, right at the bottom.......

So back to my peg, which was permanent peg 27 and I had the Silverfox himself, Mike Nicholls on 28.  I set up a small pellet feeder and a waggler and was still sorting my bait when the all-in went round the lake.  Starting on the pellet feeder with micros and a 6mm pellet on the hook, I was expecting some indication, but nothing. 40 minutes later I had tried a chocolate orange wafter, dead maggots and switched to GB in the feeder, all with the same result.  Mike was faring no better not having had a bite.

I switched to a line at 11m where I had been pinging a few casters, great start here, 3 skimmers and a big roach, when the lakes resident Canade Geese decided to have a very vocal, wing flapping and peg disrupting domestic through several of the pegs on this side of the lake.  That put the mockers on any more bites, that and the lack of any ripple on the surface that myself and mike were suffering from.  We were nice and sheltered, but so were our pegs, no so good when the target is skimmers and the sun is out.

I fed some GB and went back out on the pellet feeder to let it settle, this time I did have two bites on dead maggot, but didn't connect with either of them.  A switch to the waggler was equally as barren, although I did mainly fish 6mm pellet on the hook, although I did try a couple of dead maggots in the band.

Back on the pole and a couple of roach and then another skimmer, but that was that again.  Time for plan C, off the box and set up another rod, this time to fish bread along the island, seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was as unproductive as every other cast to the island.  Back onto the pole and I added a section, this brought a couple more fish, but as every other time, they disappeared.  The pegging here is tight, so a line at 10 o'clock and another at 2 o'clock weren't really an option, so lines at different distances straight in front were the only option.   I fed a line at 14.5m with pellet and fished and expander over it, but that only brought one bite and one small skimmer.  I had a Chianti set up with strung No11's, but the best rig was a wire stemmed NG Gimp 0.4g with a bulk and two droppers.

There was a bit of ripple out towards the island, so I changed the bread rig for a small cage feeder, to try and catch some skimmers out a couple of metres short of the island.  Second cast, the tip went round and a decent skimmer was on, halfway back it got entwined in a branch and the branch was all that ended up on the bank.... This was like every other line, a bite or two, maybe a fish or two and then nothing.   I did manage another couple of roach and a skimmer on the pole and then one last skimmer on the feeder before the all-out, but I felt it would not be enough to bother the framers.

The scalesman called 16.08 which was far from the worst weight, but less than half that needed for some coin...... or so I thought, there is a equal split payout on these matches, overall and silvers, this meant that somehow, I picked up joint second in silvers money...... I'm still not sure how!!!

Well done to those who managed to put better weights on the scales, I'm sure we all expected better fishing today after the recent results.  Back there again in a couple of weeks, hopefully the conditions will see more fish caught.