Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Viaduct Cost Cutter, Thursday 13th September 2018

Fishing the Avalon festival the previous 3 days left me wanting more, so I made a late decision to head down to Viaduct, booking in on the way down.

I had bait and tackle to fish for silvers or carp, so wasn't overly fussed where I drew, the dip into the bag decided it for me, 74, not a renowned silvers peg, so the casters left over from the festival would go down one edge.

Whilst tackling up I could see plenty of black shapes cruising through the peg, most of them were headed towards 109, with not too many coming back the other way, some were even hanging around in pole range. Simple match, full depth waggler and lead rod set up, shallow rig, full depth pellet rig, with a light float and  strung out shotting, a meat rig and an edge rig.

Bait tray was casters, pellets and meat, with a few worms as hookers.  As expected, 10 minutes before the all-in the visible black shapes started melting away, have they got watches, is it the keepnets going in?

A quick look short on meat, but nothing doing, so out with the shallow rig and I hooked one nearly straight away, a mirror about 7/8lb netted shortly after, nice start, but that was it, another 35 minutes of persistence shallow and nothing to show for it.  Dropped in with the depth rig and it took another 20 minutes or so to get another fish.  A look just a bit further past the feed with a waggler was a waste of time, not so much as a liner.  I had another on the depth rig and had another carp, but it was another 8lber, so going nowhere fast, if the fish are going to slow coming on Cary, you at least want to catching the big teens that soon add up to a decent weight.

Halfway through I fed the edges, pellets to the pallet of 75 and casters down to the right, rather than drag out an elongated story, I will just say apart from 2 small (3oz) hybrids down the RH edge I had nothing, surprising that, as it always used to be a banker.

The last half of the match I kept rotating the lines, gave the 5m meat line a good go, but only managed 3 more carp, one shallow, two on the deck over 6mm pellet feed, again small ones for Cary as my 6 fish went 49lb odd with 5lb odd of accidental silvers, 55.04 was only enough for 6th on the lake and nowhere in the match.

Next up my two dayer at Viaduct.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Avalon 3 Day Festival. Day Three, Wednesday 12th September 2018

Had a walk round the lake before the match today, the top end of the lake (opposite end to car park) had a brown streaky appearance, an algae bloom that had been blown up that end by the wind that had been blowing that way for a few days.

I was keen to avoid that as I felt there wouldn't be too many skimmers willing to feed well in that, so when I plucked 23 out of the bag ( second time this festival, I drew it for Vic on Monday) I was far from confident I could hang onto second spot, let alone claw back the ground on the leader, which was around a 4lb deficit.  Not only was it right in the brown algae zone, its a corner peg, much more renowned for carp than skimmers.

So, nice and simple to tackle up, as I had left my carp bait, pellet waggler rods etc at home, so it was pretty much the same set up as yesterday, two whips, three topkits and a feeder.  The feeder wasn't used, so no more about that.

Decided to try the two line approach again today, but at 14m rather than 12m, the micro fed line was virtually straight in front and the GB line was off to the right.  I also fed a line at 5m, with micros and corn.

Started on the whip and rather concerningly the float remained stationary, I had two tiny roach in the first 15 minutes before having a look on the long lines, I had a couple of indications on the float over the GB, before the float buried, hopeful of a big skimmer, I was disappointed when the fish took off at a speed only a carp can, netted shortly after, a small and unwanted carp.  The aerator came on and that did see me get a couple of indications and then a skimmer about a pound and a half, but it was a lonesome soul.

I kept feeding the whip line and had noticed a few bubbles over the micros on the 5m line, I went in there with a soft pellet on and had 5 or 6 hand sized skimmers, the bites stopped, so I refed, I had one more from this line and that was it.  By now the sun had started to come out, so back on the whip and a few fish had turned up, but not at the rate I felt was required, this kept me looking back over the longer lines, I had one more decent skimmer on worm over the GB and the only fish I had over the long line micros was a hand sized skimmer and a small roach.

Back to the whip and by feeding twice (30 or so casters each time) and then fishing at the back of the feed, I could catch a few bigger rudd and roach, this was better than the long lines which were very slow and only giving up a very occasional small fish

I thought I might have 11 or 12lb at the end and was pleasantly surprised to see the scales go round to 16.08, I wasn't sure how the lake had fished for silvers, Vic already had weighed 17.00 and Dan on 30 was saying he had 7 big skimmers and a few bits, but that went 14.12 and Conrad who was leading weighed 10.01, that allowed me to overtake him and win the silvers overall, a nice pick up ten quid shy of £500.

Thanks to Vic for running the festival and putting a lot of effort in to get the island strimmed and trimmed back, there was nothing to stop casting tight to them, some nice new platforms as well.  its a shame the fishery didn't fish as well as it can, but never the less an enjoyable 3 days.

I will say, if I had known there were silvers payouts before I paid on and started fishing ( I didn't realise until the end of day 1) I probably wouldn't have fished, as my personal opinion is that on series and festivals there shouldn't be a silvers payout, as it can have a detrimental effect on the result.  So I will deduct the entry fee and my expenses and be donating the rest of the winnings to one or more of the dog charities I support.

Festival Results

1) Tom Mangnall 36 points
2) Jon Newton 34 points  186.08
3) Chris Hill 34 points 150.04
4) Bob Gullick 31 points
5) Scott Smith 29 points


1) Chris Fox 47.03
2) Conrad 45.06

Avalon 3 Day Festival, Day Two, Tuesday 11th September

After yesterday, when I didn't realise that silvers had a payout on the day and overall and my lost fish costing me a few section places, I brought gear and bait to fish for both carp and silvers again and drawing peg 11 had me thinking which to go for, I plumped for silvers, given that it a peg with good form for both skimmers and carp.

I had brought my whips today, as it is possible to catch 30lb+ of roach and rudd on a whip, but warm sunny days seem to be best for that, so maybe today wasn't the day, I still set them up, one at 3m and another at 4m, as the bigger fish seem to sit off the back of the feed and the occasional look with the longer whip can add some bonus weight to a net of whitebait.

I also set a up a feeder, a small cage, with a 2 1/2' hooklength of 0.12 and a 16 Guru F1 hook, this was a plan C if all else failed.  Three topkits completed the roost, same rigs as yesterday, a NG wire stemmed Gimp and a homemade carbon stemmed diamond, both on 0.16 with 0.12 hooklengths and 16 Guru F1 hooks.  Finally a rig to fish for any bonus roach, perch or hopefully tench that would come into the margin where I intended to feed some caster.

I fed two lines at 12m, one with GB, casters, dead maggots and a few grains of corn, the other a lot more negatively with micro pellets.  I had ten minutes on the whip and it wasn't hectic by any means, I then had a look over the long pole lines, as in my experience, the big skimmers come straight to the feed and not fishing for the soon after feeding can see them missed out on.

Well there isn't too much to say about the long pole lines, they were barren, bereft of feeding fish, I couldn't get a bite, not even on single maggot.  This was despite trying them at times throughout the day.  The casters fed into the margin only achieved carp coming in and slurping them up, I did set up another topkit, to fish paste and got two carp out, but that still didn't encourage any bonus silvers into the margins.

To try and stay in the hunt for silvers overall payout, I had to concentrate on the whip, catching small roach and rudd, it was hard work, difficult to catch more than 2 fish with put having to change depth to find them - to do the big weights of silvers on this method, ideally you need them competing shallow (top 12") or at least at a consistent depth.

I use a 14 Drennan Carp maggot hook for this sort of fishing, the size helps with hooking and swinging in fish up to 6oz.  I did drop down to a 16 fine wire hook to see o=if that made a difference, but there was no increase in bite ratio.

I had to go to the full length of the 4m whip to catch in the last hour, feeding caster with caster on the hook was best, maggot was bring very small fish and worm head resulted in far too many missed bites.

I wasn't too confident of doing well when the scales came round and my whitebait went 12.07, which was joint third in the silvers on the day and kept me in the hunt.  Match winner on the day with just over 90lb was John Newton on peg 24.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Avalon 3 Day Festival, Day One, Monday 10th September 2018

Day one of a 3 day festival at Avalon, not 100% sure what to expect so van loaded with  plenty of kit and bait variations, called into Lillypool for breakfast on the way down, not too bad, but a decent sausage would improve it.

Haven't been here for a while, so not sure on the latest information on the place, Vic assured me we'd have a good days fishing - but what fishery owner doesn't say that!!  :)

I hadn't brought gear to specifically target silvers, but there is a good head of decent skimmers and I did have some micros and a few worms, just in case I needed to target them in the middle of the match during the carp's naptime.

33 was to be my home for the day, no real knowledge of it, but Bob Gullick who was a couple of pegs away told me he'd won the section from it last year catching down the LH margin, so fingers crossed.

Pellet waggler set up to fish to the island, along with a full depth waggler, also a bomb rod as the wind was pushing the surface of the lake L to R at a rate of knots.  Onto the topkits and as more than one person had said that paste had been working, a paste rig, then a full depth pellet rig, a margin rig and as the margins were 4'+ deep a paste rig for them as well.  The RH margin is very short as there is a tree jutting out into the lake, the LH margin is accessible all the way to the empty pallet of 34.

Finally, a wire stemmed NG Gimp to fish soft pellet or worms if it was necessary to catch some skimmers during any lulls in the carp action.....

I decided that I wasn't going to fish any longer than the length of my Multi Margin pole, the side wind and my ongoing back problem helping me decide.  So a few pellets in at topkit + 3 on the all-in, leaving me with another section should I need to follow fish out.

The straight onto the pellet waggler, I gave it 20 minutes, without so much as a liner, the wind was pulling it along within seconds, so onto the pole line with some paste, as Mike West a couple of pegs along had got off to a great start, catching carp straight away.  I had some bubbles (a bit too half hearted to be called fizzing....) I thought it was probably skimmers not carp, so out with a bit of devils spawn on the hook and I had two decent skimmers in two chucks.

I had  couple more smaller ones after switching to worm on the hook, but it wasn't hectic, I did hook one that I initially thought was a small carp as it charged off, but it was a 3lb skimmer hooked in the dorsal fin, I made a right pigs ear of netting it and managed to end up with the hook in the net and the fish winning its freedom - doh!

I then hooked a carp, I reckon it was about double figures and just as I thought I was going to net it, the hook pulled, bloody hell (or similar) I cursed.

The lake was fishing hard and 4 hours in I had added a couple more skimmers, but no carp.  I had been lightly feeding the LH margin with meat and the RH with corn and pellet.  Dropping a bit of meat in down the LH edge, it took seconds before I was into a decent fish, another fish that was probably a double, this one came to the surface and it was a wallowing around, as usual with these 'wallowers' the hook came out - great!!

I did manage 5 carp in the end, but three of them were the dark stockies, one from the LH edge and 4 from the RH edge.  Even the skimmers shut up shop and it was a tough day, the lost fish costing me second in section, instead I was down to about 8th in section and that was probably festival over.  I went back to check out the results and found out there was a daily silvers pool and and overall silvers payout.  My skimmers had gone 18lb odd and that was enough for second silvers on the day and the realisation that there is now £400 to fish for in the silvers.

Bob Gullick wandered down at the end a was trying to point out to me where he'd found a shallower shelf in the margin, but using a pole but section, he couldn't find the shelf that s there last year, looks like its gone, eroded away I suppose.

Time to go and dig out my whips now, as it looks like a silvers day for the next two days.

Tom Mangnall won on the day, with 80lb +, not sure of the other results.

Tony Rixon's Short Pole Series, Trinity Waters, Sunday 9th September

Standing in for Ron Hardiman on this match, a venue I don't get to go to as much as I used to, the same friendly welcome  is still there from Misha & Tom, so just needed to draw a decent peg.

19 - that wasn't one I wanted, over the last few years I have won and framed in matches from 3 banks of this rectangular lake, sadly the bank which 19 resides on isn't one of the three.  Still, the wind was blowing into it and surely I'd get a few.

Sadly not, I am really not going to traumatise myself by recounting the match and I can't see anyone wanting to read about it, two bites in 6 hours, one carp and one perch, these went back, I wasn't the only DNW and thinking about the match, I have no idea what I could have done to catch another fish, the peg seemed devoid of fish, with no liners or indications.

Oh well upwards and onwards.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Viaduct, Sunday 26th August 2018

Final round of Tony's popular float only league and as I was guesting for someone (no idea who - obviously no one near the top of the league) all I had to worry about was treating it like an open and trying to secure a win.

With the weather forecasters promising rain and more rain for the duration of the match, I did wonder why it had seemed such a good idea to offer my services back in the heatwave.....   I had sorted out my bait on Saturday evening and decided that keeping it simple would be the best plan, so 6mm pellets, 8mm pellets, 8mm meat and in case I drew an edge peg, some GB, dead maggots and worms.  I considered taking paste, but given the forecast I wrote it off, not sure that was the right decision.  I needn't have bothered with the edge bait, I can't believe the draws on this and the previous two matches I have fished on Campbell, 124, 125 and today, back on 124.

I think a fair few people haven't sussed out that the complaining and moaning about the draw is a bit of a parody and nearly always I actually go to the peg with positive thoughts, today I wasn't so positive inside, it's not been a good area for a while and I have no idea why, it was a good area to draw a couple of years back, but 124-126 aren't exactly sought after draws now.

They did used to be really good skimmer pegs and I'm sure the fish will drop back there soon, but even the silvers seem to have upped sticks and moved to the aerator end of the lake, Mike Nicholls who was on 123 did say he thought putting an aerator this end as well might help and I can't help think he isn't too far off the mark

So, onto the fishing, being float only the lead rod(s) that usually get set up and put away again without seeing any action were safely at home in a nice dry garage.  That left a pair of waggler rods to get out of their ready made up rod bag, one set at full depth, one at 18" to start with, these have 4lb sensor, with 0.17 hooklengths and either PR36 or the new version of that both in a 16 with a micro band.

Topkits comprised a power kit with orange Vespe in, for a margin rig, which was really only because I had the time to set it up, I didn't expect to catch down the edge.  A kit with red KND elastic in, to fish meat at 5/6m, another with green KND elastic to fish pellet on the deck at 11m, I also set up a skimmer rig, with a 0.12 hooklength and a 18 LWG with a band, this was matched to Preston 10 solid elastic.  My back has been a bit painful for several weeks now, so no shallow rig, trying not to wave 14/165m of pole around at the moment.

Bait tray was as described above, with one addition, I found a bag of micro pellets in my Mosella trolley bag (great bits of kit, but I have suggested a wet weather improvement to Vic, hopefully it can be designed into a future model), I don't usually feed micros at Viaduct, but did wonder if I could catch a few skimmers. So a few pellets and micros fed onto the 11m line before dropping in on the 5m line looking for the early mug fish. I did have a skimmer and a tench on the meat, but no carp.  I switched to the 11m line with the pellet rig and immediately hooked a 8lb carp - a racing certainty I suppose - managed to land it OK on the 0.12 and went back out, had a couple of skimmers, but it wasn't hectic and no real indications that there were lots of fish there.

A carp that stole the hook of the skimmer rig prompted me to switch to the heavier rig, it didn't seem to make any difference to the numbers of bites, it was a strange day, they wanted some feed, but they seemed to back off the initial feed, then come in over it, I'd catch one and have to feed again before I could catch another.  I did have another carp on this and I thought I had 20lb in the carp net and 14lb in the silvers net when I hooked another carp, I though it was properly hooked at it was reasonably docile and came straight towards me as I shipped back.  It then went ballistic and charged down to the end bank, I had a few sections of pole back through the otter fence and I couldn't get it back in time - so a first for me, broke a Tournament section on a fish, the 'ferrule' section of the No4 section snapped, at the same time the fish came off, so I did get the topset back OK.

I have had Tournaments for 10years now and that's a first for me, but I had a feeling something would go - I have heard other anglers claiming the PTFE nose cones have contributed to breakages, but I don't think this was the case, just the speed of the fish and the carbon being bent at right angles.

I did try the waggler where I had been feed 8mm pellets, I had a couple on it, but lost a few foulers, there were fish out there, couldn't catch the on the shallow wag, I think the lead would have been better, had it been allowed and as predicted, the margins were devoid of fish.

Mike Nicolls on 123 was catching well on paste and came to borrow a net, I had no need of it, so he was welcome to borrow it, I was a little fed up by now, the rain was relentless and the pegs opposite were absolutely emptying it whilst I had to work hard for every bite.  Luckily the short meat line did switch on towards the end, a few carp, another tench and a couple of bream making the last hour the best one.

I put 123lb on the scales, which comprised 25lb silvers, I should probably have fished all match for them, but hadn't really come prepared for that.  I did take the section money with that, I wouldn't have, but  128 on the spit went over the 80lb limit in his first net and was disqualified.  So in the end a better result from the peg than I imagined at the start, but I'll be happy not to draw there on my next visit - although, those do produce better weights in the autumn, the bigger fish seem to reside there before the winter sets in.

Match was won by Dan White, who also took a swim in the lake when his box, complete with him, tipped into the lake, didn't matter, he had it sewn up by then!  Full results on Tony's blog

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Sedges, Sunday 19th August

Someone pulled out of the league, so I am standing in to fill the space for this and the last round at Viaduct  No need to worry about section points, so hopefully a nice corner peg and fish to win.....

Wasn't overjoyed to draw peg 5, last visit to this fishery was August last year for the same match and I drew peg 4!!

As with last year I didn't think I could win the match from here, but didn't really have the inclination to fish for silvers, especially as Ken on the next peg was going to target them.  I thought I had an empty peg next to me, as peg 4 wasn't occupied, but Dan White turned up late and filled the void.  I set up two wagglers, on full depth and one shallow, doing so I discovered that the bag with all my spare wagglers and 12" hooklengths was still in my garage, not a great start, but at least the rods were ready made up with wagglers on.

Top kits were readied, a paste rig, in lakes this deep I use a Middy paste float with some shot about 18" from the hook, just seems to help when there is any tow.  The next rig was to fish meat, I plumbed this up at 11m, another rig to fish pellet on the deck and a shallow rig.  Finally, not that I expected it to work, a margin rig, but there was not much room either side and it would be a bit of a throwaway line.

Looking at the lake, I did fear that it would follow the pattern it has on other occasions I have fished it, a fish or two in the first hour, a tough 4 middle hours and then a better last hour, with that in mind, I did intend to try and 'force' the peg if it wasn't responding.

Starting on the waggler shallow, I wasn't getting any indications, although there were fishing moving around the top of the lake, I had to switch to the full depth waggler to get any indications and I had one in the tail and one in the mouth for about 17lb between them.

I switched to the pole, I tried paste and pellet, before a piece of 8mm meat accounted for a skimmer of 2.09 - I know that as it was the only accidental silver I had all day!!

Well, my prediction of it being a tough middle of the match was right, I didn't have a bite, Dan on 4 managed a couple shallow on the pole, I tried, but my back was agony trying to hold the pole, so back to the van for some pain killers, even once they had kicked in, I thought it best not to aggravate the injury, so stuck to trying to get he waggler to work, feeding 8mm regularly, hoping they'd go down on the deck.  it wasn't to be.

I had to wait until the last hour for the paste line to come to life, it wasn't hectic and I wasn't catching as many as Dan, but I did up my 17lb to 55lb, including one of 15.06.  Chatting to Dan after he showed me the paste he'd been using, I am not a great believer in fancy flavourings or special pellets, but it was a much richer paste than mine, which is made with soaked Skrettings, Dan had made his from a Spotted Fin betaine GB - food for thought.

I didn't hang around so didn't get the results, had to get home to let the dogs out, I know I was 3rd in section with my 57lb odd, so no good, not sure I expected much else from the peg.  Results will be on Tony Rixons blog.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Ivy House Open, Saturday 18th August 2018

Decided on another trip to Ivy House today, only 13 fishing, Andy had us spread out over the canals, so plenty of room, no idea where I wanted to draw and when I saw 34 staring back at me from the ping pong ball, I was none the wiser.

Allan Oram said it was a good peg for carp, but not such a good silvers peg, I wasn't fussed, just wanted a few bites today, after the dismal day I had on Thursday.  It is the end but one peg on the old canal (Moorhen), so a nice short walk, not that I had much gear, just a pole - typical when Allan walked past and said a Forces match on there in the week had been won on the method!!

So with just a pole to worry about, I set up 5 topkits, one with a small wire stemmed Malman float to fish across in about 2' of water, the only way to get shallower was pull the float up the mud line, this had a 18 LWG on 0.14 and a band.  A rig to fish at the bottom of the far shelf (and the same rig would do to fish from the bottom of the near shelf to the far shelf, as the depth was with 2" all the way across).  A paste rig, as paste has been catching fish on these canals, a margin rig, couldn't get too far down either margin, due to vegetation, but surely a few would come in?  Finally a silvers rig with a 0.12 hooklength and a 16 F1 hook, for maggots or corn to plunder the skimmers.

First put in, I went across and fed 6mm pellets with a catapult and a 6mm in the band, the response was virtually instant and I was attached to a lively 5lb carp, great, fish landed and unhooked, back out expecting a run of them, but it wasn't anywhere near as hectic as I had assumed.

In the next hour I had a couple of small carp (ounces) and 2 more bigger ones up the shelf, as well as one skimmer on corn at the bottom of the far shelf.  I could see a few skimmers coming out, but try as I might I couldn't catch another, I did get a tench up on the shelf and was getting the odd small carp.

I did try a short line I'd been feeding with GB and maggot, but that was no good, maggots were just plundered by tiny roach, even when I tried a heavier rig and bombing the hookbait to the bottom.  I did get one skimmer on them, but it was at the cost of many missed bites and small roach falling off the No10 elastic.

I tried paste and that was useless, one skimmer on it, but there weren't many decent fish over the feed, as the liners were all but non existent.  I had to get some carp and I felt the only way was to go back over to the far side, pellet wasn't selective, as the smaller carp were taking it, although not at a rate where they'd be useful weight builders.  I cupped a pot full of GB over to the far bank and it didn't take long to see evidence of carp turning up and for the last 2 hours, I caught a few between 2 and 8lb, again it wasn't manic or one a chuck, but it was a lot better than it had been.  Best bait was double dendra with the band pulled through them, with just half a dozen pellets and grains of corn in the GB, which needed to go in every third or fourth fish.

I though with my silvers, little carp and proper carp I had about 60lb of proper carp and 12lb or so of little carp and silvers, which by the time the scales got to me - last to weigh in - would be enough for second place, as there had been a ton plus from the other canal.  My weight was a little more than I thought, 75.08, but not far enough out to be worried about and was indeed, good enough to win the lake and 2nd overall.  Well done to Baggy with his 123.06, mostly caught down the margin he tells me and to Allan on a nice net of silvers, with 52lb.

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 16th August 2018

Had been moving some stuff around on Wednesday and hurt my back, so dosed up on pain killers I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a real good go with my new waggler rods, as there was no way I would be swinging 16m (or more) of carbon around.

Into the draw tin and out comes 126, not a peg I'd particularly have chosen, but it should be worth a few fish.  If I had come prepared, I might have had a days silvers fishing, but with 8mm pellets, 8mm meat and not too much else, I thought I'd fish the peg positively with the 8mm pellets and see what happened.

Two wagglers set up, both with Middy Fat Boy wagglers, as like many fisheries, the fish here have wised up (most days) to a dumpy pellet waggler, one the smallest size to fish shallow and one a bit bigger to fish full depth. I did set up a meat rig for 5m, a pellet rig at 11m and a margin rig, but with 125 and 127 in, there wasn't much margin to play with.

Gave the meat short 10 minutes hoping for a mug fish, but not so much as a tremor on the bristle.  Out with the waggler and I had 3 fish in the first hour, much of the lake was fishing slow, although there was a couple of as well anglers catching on the opposite bank.

 The next four hours were spent trying all lines and baits, to no avail, I could not get a bite, I tried the depth waggler, the pole short, at 11m, deep and shallow, I have only ever experienced a day like it once or twice at the most, on Cambell.  At 1600, with an hour to go I had another on the waggler, with another 35 minutes later, I was surprised I couldn't even get liners on the waggler, as the guy on the next peg was catching on the lead.  I tipped back about 35lb and was somewhat bemused by the total lack of fish.

On a sour note, I witnessed someone fishing an inline lead and never saw it move on the line once, I wasn't the only one, another of the regulars told me he'd seen someone doing it (different angler than I saw) I think they were both staying in the holiday lodges, no excuses though, Steve went through the rules at the start, including the free running lead one.  Leaves a nasty taste in the mouth when people have to resort to cheating - it didn't do them any good, but that's not the point.

Didn't get the results, I'm sure Matt has posted them on the Viaduct FB page.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Shiplate Costcutter, Thursday 9th August 2018

I was originally heading down to Viaduct today, but needed a match a bit closer and an earlier finish, so when the opportunity came up to travel down to this one with Tony, I took it, Viaduct will have to wait until next Thursday.

First time in the cafĂ© at Shipham for a long time and it wasn't too bad, so fuelled and ready it was off to the fishery.  Only the main lake in today and I drew 13A, so close to where I was on Tony's Float Only a couple of weeks back.

No pics of the peg, not sure why, just getting forgetful I think, maybe it's an effect of fishing these old codgers costcutters!!!  It has a short margin to the RH side, which I did set up a rig for, but not with much hope, as I have never had much success in the margins in my previous few visits to this lake.  An island chuck was tempting, although it is about 45 - 50 yards and the wind, whilst light was pushing away from the island.  So a 8g Drennan pellet waggler which reached the island easily and a middy fat boy for full depth, not quite getting to the island with it, so would see how it went before I decided on what to do with that.

I did have a few method feeders with me, so set one up in case the wind worsened and while I was at it, a straight lead as well.  Finally 4 topkits, the one previously mentioned for the edge, a shallow rig, a full depth pellet rig and a paste rig.  Bait tray was simple, pellets, hemp and paste, 8mm Coppens for pinging to the island and Skrettings for an 11m paste line.

On the all-in I fed the 11m line with a mix of pellets sizes and hemp, then out on the waggler, expecting an early fish or two, the new Tournament waggler rods I bought were casting well and I could get the float tight to the island (new line on the reels after Sunday's breakages) I was somewhat surprised when it didn't go under, I dropped short of the island, still nothing and I had the feeling that it wasn't going to get any better, at least in the near future.

A switch to the 11m line and paste saw a 7-8lb fish in the net, then I hooked a better one, that I had to shout down to the guy on my left as I was unable to stop it heading into his peg, I got it turned and down onto the topkit, virtually in netting range and the hook inexplicably pulled, some choice words and back out, I had two more to complete the first hour with 19lb on the clicker.  The carp bubbles stopped and the fizzing was that which is probably small skimmers, much smaller bubbles and over a large area, rather than the bigger bubbles in circular or a moving pattern that give the carp away.

Back on the waggler, but still no bites, the wind was now pushing the other way - for a while - it was switching direction and strength every few minutes, the heavy waggler wasn't dragging around, but I wasn't convinced it wasn't too heavy, but I wouldn't have got a lighter on out there.

Time to pick up the method, Mike Owens next door was getting a few on the method and I did manage two carp and two skimmers on it, but there were no other indications and the fish I did have came by winding a few turn on from the clip (which was tight to the island) and catching a couple of metres off the island.  I manged another on the pole, but it was slow going and after 2 1/2 hours I had just over 60lb in one net.  the next 2 1/2 hours were spent trying all the lines, starting a new one halfway to the island with the depth waggler, all to no avail, I didn't have  fish in that time.

At 15:30 with an hour to go I had to get up for a wee, I thought Mike Owens was beating me by a long way, so wandered down to see what he was catching, just pellet on the hook and GB/micros on the feeder, nothing different than I'd tried, he said he had 11 carp.  I went back and refed the 11m line and after 10 minutes the bubbles changed, from the regular fizzing, to the individual blows of carp back in the peg, the last 50 minutes of the match saw me putting fish in the net again, 5 of them for 64lb, too little too late as it turned out, as I ended the match with 130lb dead and one out of the money in 4th place.  I switched to feeding hemp and micros once the fish arrived and they seemed to be following the bait down, as several of those last 50 minute fish were hooked as the float settled and then buried.

Going back over this match, I do wonder if it might have paid to keep feeding the island, as I let that slip towards the end and Titch on peg 3 was catching well to it at the end, but I had my own run of fish then, so maybe it was just time of day.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Ivy House Open, Sunday 5th August 2018

Its been a long time since I went to Ivy House, just circumstance and opportunity, not a conscious decision, as I usually enjoy the matches there and have had some reasonable success on the canals and match lake.

35 fishing so one section on the Kingfisher canal and 3 on the match lake,  I had come expecting the match to be on the match lake, so didn't have the bait for the canal, but I would have been happy to draw on the canal, as its plenty of bites and a busy days fishing.  Into the draw tub fairly early and match lake 10 looking back at me, it's the old peg 11, so a nice edge to fish down to where the lakes have been opened back up into one.

I would probably have only set up a pole and concentrated on a couple of lines, but I treated myself to two new Tournament 12' waggler rods yesterday, so ha to set them up and have a go with them, they had a full depth waggler (Middy Fat Boy, great carp wagglers)  and a Preston pellet waggler, 4g.

Topkit were a full depth pellet rig, two margin rigs, one with a band on the hook, one without, a shallow rig and a rig to fish past short just up the shelf (two + two).  The margin plumbed up at just over 2' down to the rushes at 8m, I thought this would be a decent depth, come back a metre closer and the depth was under 12".

I started by cupping in a few pellets down the edge as it looked inviting and going straight over them with a 8mm in the band.  Apart from some 'shit' fish pecking at the pellet, there didn't appear to be any resident carp.  I had also fed the short line and within 10 minutes I dropped in there with paste, that was a good move as first put in I had a fish 6 or 7lb, but it wasn't the start of a run, I had no more bites from here.

Like a kid with a new toy, I had to get out and try the wagglers out, so full depth first, about 10 minutes into fishing that I had another fish around the 7-8lb mark on a 6mm Coppens pellet.  Shortly after I hooked another, slightly bigger and certainly more spirited fish, the fish ran off and then 'came off', although when looking at the end gear, the reel line loop had broken at he bottom where the hooklength was attached.  Strange, as I only set that rod up yesterday and the loop had it's first hooklength on it, so not wear and tear.

A couple of liners and fish evidently up in the water saw me switch to the shallow waggler, no bites until I put a white semi buoyant bandem on, with a No9 stotz on the hooklength to get it to sink.  Hooked a decent fish on this and the line broke above the float, bizarre, I have used this particular line for a while now and never had any issues with it (Daiwa TDR).  I did set the shallow waggler back up, but no more bites on it. So with 2 hours gone I had about 15lb in the net and knew I'd have to get the edge to work to get a decent weight from the peg.

With 2.5 hours gone I switched back to the edge, I had kept a few pellets going in and was determined to catch on them, the nuisance fish were still evident and I had a roach that was probably shy of 3oz on an 8mm pellet.  I had to try and get something working, so I cupped in some GB and maggots, putting maggots, worms or even corn on the hook was a waste of time, double corn was ragged off as well.  By now there were signs of carp in the peg, but they were coming right into the shallow water and completely avoiding all the baits I'd tried.

Off the box, out with another topkit and I rigged it up with one of my favourite shallow margin rigs, a Korum blob and a 12 hook.  This is primarily for paste, but can be used with change baits of bunches of maggots, worms or corn.

I didn't really look back from there on, catching carp in 8-12" of water on big blobs of sloppy paste, it did stop the nuisance fish, I think they were a problem as the margin didn't have carp in all the time, they were coming in (not hard to spot them in water that shallow) either singularly or in twos or threes.  When it was one fish, I could see it either make its way to the bait, then the blob disappear and the water erupt or the fish would sense danger and veer off.  When 2 or three came in, I inevitably caught one of them as he grabbed the bait before his mate, sometimes they wait and I'd go back in and get another straight away.

With 25 minutes to go, I put a 4th carp net in, the kiss of death, I never had another bite, not even a liner, but thankfully my enjoyable 2nd half of the match saw me put 167.12 on the scales for a lake and match win.

Really nice day, must ensure I get back to Ivy House before too long!!

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Shiplate, Sunday 22nd July 2018

Got a place as a stand in on this match, haven't been to Shiplate for a while, its a nice, well run fishery and it's not too far from home, what more could you want.

Into the tub and I wasn't too fussed which lake I drew, it happened to be 14 on the main lake, so some decent sized fish to go at.  Paste had been working, so I was informed, so a bit of paste, some meat and some 8mm pellets were pretty much the bait tray.  Two wagglers set up, longish chuck to the island, so 13' Maver Reactorlites for today, in preference to my usual Normarks.

Shallow rig, paste rig, edge rig and full depth pellet rig completed the top kit selection.  The all-in was called and I started on the shallow waggler, first cast it dipped and fish on, nice... until I got it under the rod tip, ready for netting and the hook pulled, back out and same again except this one was landed, I was now thinking of a lovely day catching on the waggler.

I kept at it for another 40 minutes but even with trying again several times through the day, those two bites in the first two casts were the only ones all day on the waggler, shame as I do enjoy fishing it.

I really struggled for the next 4 hours, not getting a bite anywhere in the peg, apart from a couple of skimmers, the carp certainly would settle.  With under a couple of hours to go, there was some signs (bubbles) where I had been feeding pellets at 11m, I fished the rest of the match on this line catching a few on paste to end up 2nd in the section with 92lb, but a long way off the top weights in the match.

Tricky to write much more on what was a match that saw all the action in the first 10 minutes and last 80 minutes.

Viaduct Open, Saturday 21st July 2018

Only a small match, as it was match lake only, which was fine, I like match lake, although I wasn't so pleased when I drew 44, I still though I'd have a days fishing, but the fish had been coming from the other side.

I'm not going to bore myself, or anyone reading this as this side of the lake looked pretty lifeless, I was struggling to get a bite anywhere in the peg, I could get a waggler to the island perfectly and I kept at it, but it didn't go under, I chucked back about 13lb with 45 minutes to go (and that was more than Colin on 43 had, it really was grim) best bit of the day was a cold beer on the way home!!!

1. Martin Preston - 148lb 8oz - peg 51
2. Lee Davison - 79lb 4oz - peg 48
3. Adrian Bishop - 76lb 13oz - peg 42
4. Michael Hall - 64lb 6oz - peg 47
5. Ian Driscoll - 61lb 11oz - peg 41
1. Shawn Wilson - 30lb 5oz - peg 49
2. Ian Driscoll - 28lb 10oz - peg 41

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

England Ladies Fundraiser, Barston, Tuesday 17th July 2018

Was supposed to be travelling up to this one with Tony Rixon, but he couldn't make it at the last minute, a poorly dog at home, so I can empathise with that.

A decent drive up, apart from that bloody bizarre M42 where you do 60mph, come to a stop, get to 60 again, stop again and so on.... never see a reason for the bunching, except perhaps the variable speed gantry signs.

It was a shame to see the numbers supporting this match down on previous years, its a good cause as the ladies have to fund themselves in the World Championships and it's a good match, well run by Julie Abbott.

I was early into the big silver trophy that is used for the draw and wasn't too disappointed to see 56 on the ticket  It's and area that usually throws up a few fish, so hopefully I'd have a few.

Four rods set up and 2 topkits.  The rods were a 12' Titan 2000 with a 2SSG waggler, a 13' Maver Reactorlite 2 with a 4G Drennan pellet waggler, both with 6lb TDR line, to 0.17 hooklengths and a 16 PR36.  Two Daiwa Tournaments, an 11' with a Guru elasticated bomb and a 12' with an elasticated Guru hybrid feeder.  Hooklengths were 12" on the bomb and 3" on the method, both 0.20 and a 14 QM1.  Topkits had two similar rigs, one on 0.16 and a 0.14 hooklength, with a 18 LWG and a band for skimmers, the other on 0.20/0.16 with a 16 B960, again with a band, this was in case the carp moved in.

Match organiser Julie rocked up on the next peg and I was ready before she called the all-in.  I started on the pellet waggler but it took 20 minutes to get a bite, which turned out to be an F1.  In the next 40 minutes I had 2 small carp and anther F1, it wasn't hectic and Julie wasn't catching either, she'd started on the method long.

The next 3 hours were spent scratching around for bites, I kept feeding the 8mm pellets and had the occasional look on the bomb and waggler, with nothing to show for it.  I fed the pole line (I only had 7 sections out of the bag) and left it for 30 minutes, dropping in with 8mm banded pellet, I hooked a fish that took off for the middle of the lake, obviously not a skimmer, the 10 solid bottomed out and next the 0.14 hooklength parted - bugger!!   I had a 4lb bream and then a run of smaller fish, it died off pretty quickly though, so I refed and had another fish straight away, but felt that if I wanted to catch skimmers, I'd need to add sections, so back on the rod and line it was.

I started up the feed and went on the straight lead and with 90 minutes left, started to catch fish, with 40 minutes left the bites had slowed and the fish were evident on the surface, so back on the waggler and I had a few more F1's and carp - not sure if the run at the end was 100% down to me upping the feed or a combination of that and the time of day. as Julie had started catching now, including one that brought a few comments on its size (22.08 when weighed).

The match ended all too soon, as I was catching well at the end, especially given the fairly barren middle, a couple of lost fish cost me, the one on the pole and frustratingly one on the bomb, I had forgotten to move my pole from across the footpath and was playing a double figure fish under the rodtip, when an impatient looking couple were on the path, very near my pole, as I juggled to move the pole and keep in touch with the fish, it lunged and snapped the 0.20 hooklength - convinced I would have landed it had I not had to move the pole.  As it was my 121.08 was joint 3rd in section, with Julie taking second spot with 127.12, if my negative feeding was why I struggled in the middle, maybe I could have pushed section winner Mark Poppleton who had 175lb - a lot more than he admitted to!!

A couple of 200lb+ weights took first and second overall, well done to Mark Wynne and Pete Bailey, already looking forward to my next trip to Barston - whenever that will be.  Hopefully Julie raised a decent sum from the match and raffle.

Acorn Open, Tuesday 9th July 2018

First trip out in the new van, not a high top connect like the old one, but a LWB and it's longer than the older model LWB, so more room - just means I'll put more stuff in.....

Into the drawbag and ping pong ball 36 selected, not one I'd have chosen, but I'd go and give it my best shot.  Had to do a fair bit of 'gardening' to get in tight across, but I managed with the help of my trusty shears.

I'm not over keen on the peg and today, there was a slight ripple put on by the aerator, but not as much as the breeze was creating down the main straights.  The RH margin is too shallow and the LH isn't much better, so I was hoping that the far side and a rig on the nearside 'second' shelf would produce, plumbing around, the near side second shelf doesn't exist, is a fairly steep and steady drop off to full depth, not ideal.

I could ramble on about the match, rigs and baits, but they were as usual for here, with pellets being the mainstay of the bait tray.  The aerator and the wind coming down the main straight were causing a horrible tow through the peg and Mike Owens on 37 fished a method most of the day to counter act it.

I really struggled and as I knew I was a long, long way from those I could see catching on 9 and the low teens, I tipped back 53lb on the clicker and packed up neatly and was in the van on and on my way home by the time the scalesmen were starting.

1. Gary Flinders.                 204-10 p9
2. Callum Dicks.                 185-15 p13
3. Craig Challingsworth.   142-05 p22
4. Glenn Bailey.                   109-05 p33
5. Bob Smith.                      109-02 p34
6. Graham Smith.                92-10 p10

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Kedgy's Open, Durleigh Reservoir, Sunday 24th June 2018

A chance text conversation with Mike Walker led me to head down for this match, I fancied a change from the usual, so rang Somerset Angling and booked in.  I haven't been to Durleigh or any other big reservoir for a few years now, so an expensive trip to Veals yesterday - unplanned, I was going to use what I had in the garage, but ended up with a new reel and new braid to load on it.

Yesterday afternoon was spent spooling up the braid, making and adding shock leaders to the braid and a mono spool and sorting out my big feeders from the back of the garage, all good, just needed to draw on some bream.....  in case I was up the shallow end, I did put a couple of whips and rigs in and picked up 2 pints casters and 4 pints of maggots - they'll always keep in the freezer if they aren't used.

So, onto the draw and I plucked 13 out of the bucket, meaningless to me until I saw it, close to the canal that comes into the reservoir, some weed in the margins, so I did wade out and try and get over it with the whips I would be using.

First things set up were two feeder rods, one for fishing 60 turns of the new reel I had bought and 30 turns of an old faithful reel I have had for a while, started with a big bomb and had a cast around, but couldn't find any area that felt harder or more gravelly than the rest of the lake bed.

Once the feeder rods were set up and sorted, two whips set up, 4m, to try and clear the weed fronds and get into 2' 6" of water, one with a 1g float and a 4" hooklength immediately below the olivette, the other 0.8g with 12" below the bulk.

Next up, sort out the bait and I then realised that my worms were nowhere to be seen, can't believe I managed to leave them at home, but I did, must be getting old!!   Decided that I'd still try the cage / traditional feeder route, so both rods had big feeders on ready at the start, no hooklengths attached, as I intended to have at least 10 casts before putting the hooklength on and starting fishing.

The day didn't get any better when the first cast fell short and then on the retrieve I knew the feeder wasn't there, on closer inspection, the link swivel had broken - great start, but worse was yet to come, another big weight forward feeder clipped on a new swivel, and this time it hit the clip, perfect until I struck to release the bait and the line had wrapped round the tip, breaking it...…

New tip fitted, feeding finished and 3 small fish later, I decided after an hour and a half to just have a days fishing and picked up the whip, I had a run of catching perch from micro to 4 oz, then the odd small hybrids and roach showed up.  I alternated between the two rigs to keep the fish coming, albeit some of them were a bit small.  Introducing some GB seemed to get a better stamp fish with fewer bites, but by this time, I had plenty of pike activity disrupting the peg.

I just got my head down and fished the whips for the last 4 hours of the match, finishing with 7.480 Kilogrammes, which I think was 6th on the day, some bream showed up on the very end peg at the shallow end and pegs 7/8 by the point, also put a few bream together, but the rest struggled.

I didn't take a picture of the weigh sheet, it wasn't straightforward.... with some weights in KG, another in lbs and no peg numbers on one sheet, I knew Id missed out on the overall and I missed out on the section, that was won with 9KG, if I had fished the whip the whole match I would have been on for 10.2KG - still it was a nice day, well done to Mike Walker on coming second with 17KG and to the other winners whose names I don't know.

Not a brilliant picture, but a poignant moment of reflection as the Battle of Britain flight passed over, one of only 2 Lancaster's left flying...

Friday, 22 June 2018

Cadbury Angling Evening Open, Acorn, 21st June

Work fell nicely this week to try and make amends for the last evening where I was ounced out of the money.  At the draw Vic Bush went against all sensible convention and rubbed my drawing arm to bring him good luck - he must be the only person, ever, to do that!!!

Ping Pong 37 was the one I withdrew from the bag, wasn't exactly doing cartweels round the car park when I saw it, but I was hopeful of catching a few, I had Mark Broomsgrove on 39 for company, he'd been on 37 a couple of weeks ago and struggled.  It looks like the peg isn't fished too often as I had to virtually cut out a whole far bank 'bay' to fish into as the bankside grasses had got a little wild.  Aso to get down the RH margin and get close in, again, this needed a trim before I could get very far down the edge or close in.

I still had plenty of time to set up 4 rigs before the start, I wasn't confident that there were many fish in the area, they weren't showing themselves at all, so I did set up a paste rig, as well as the usual rig for across, where I had about 15" of water, two edge rigs, one for a metre off the bank, where it was 18" deep and one for in tight, where it was about 10", shallow, but the fish want to be there in my recent experience.

Started across, pinging 6mm pellets, I think this works better than using 4mm in these 3 hour matches, an immediate reaction and a lovely looking F1 about 2lb was in the net within a couple of minutes, I had another and thought maybe I had assessed the potential of the peg incorrectly, but after a little carp, it went really quiet and I only had one more fish in the first hour.  It was a nice little bay I'd cut out, the depth was OK, not sure why the fish didn't want to be in there.

I had been feeding 8mm Skretting pellets at topkit + 1 to my left, in about 2'6" of water, I was hoping that would be shallow enough for the fish to come in over and deep enough to stop them spooking, as the fish have been very wary here for a while now.  I had a look on this line, but had no indication, I had also fed pellets in the LH edge, then GB down the RH edge.  I did try shallow off the far bank, but never had a touch.  There was some indication down the RH edge now, so I tried worm down there on the 18" deep rig and had a small perch, one more try I thought with worm and next fish was a carp nearer 4lb.

It wasn't hectic action, but by swapping to the rig set at 10" I managed to put a few fish in the net, paste was better than worm, but there was never a lot of fish in the peg competing, I knew there were 3 there at one time and I never saw any signs of more than that, it was more a case of waiting for a fish to patrol along.  I had nearly an hour of this and then it died off, so a look in the LH margin, but to no avail. Whilst doing this I saw movement of water where I had kept feeding the 8mm pellets, out with the paste rig and first drop in I had a 4lber.  I stayed with it for the final 45 minutes and added between 25 and 30lb to my net.

Last 20 minutes when the sun went in and the Northerly wind got up a bit, it went quite chilly, so I wasn't upset when the all out was called and I could put a jumper on, but I was having my best spell of the match, so for me it did come when I'd have liked another half hour.

I had 57lb on my clicker and thought I wouldn't have much chance of doing any good, walking round with the scales seeing a couple of 70lb+ and a 90lb+ weighed in from the island and back straight, I was a bit surprised to see my fish go 70.04 and frustratingly for the second evening match, one out of the money.

Did I leave it too late to go on the paste, did I stay too long trying to make the far bank work, not sure but probably, is the best answer.  I can't say I'm too disappointed as I didn't think I'd get 4th from there.  Shame work is getting in the way of the next two weeks evening matches, as they are an enjoyable way to round off the day.  Well done to Martin Rayet on the win and Vic's lucky arm rub even paid off with a 3rd place for him!!  But I am not expecting queues of anglers looking to replicate his actions,...….

Monday, 18 June 2018

Viaduct Spring League, Final Round, Sunday 17th June 2018

Last rounds result had put me out of any opportunity to end up in the money on this years league, so just a section or hopefully match to fish for today.  Then my drawing arm worked its usual 'magic' and it was looking likely that a section win would be the only thing on the cards, but I didn't even fancy doing that from 103, not a peg you'd sprint to.

Still, it's better than work and I was hopeful of a few fish, usual gear set up for Cary, two wagglers, one shallow, one full depth, a lead rod and some topkits comprising a shallow rig, a depth pellet rig, a meat rig for short, a margin rig - I cleaned out the margin down to the vacant pallet of 104 and found a lovely clean flat area to fish on, a little deeper than ideal, but it would have to do.

10 minutes on the meat at the start and a few little knocks and a 3oz skimmer told me there were no carp around, I did feel my best chance would be fishing the waggler, so switched to that, I did get a bit of fizzing feeding pellet at about 25m, the shallow waggler was a waste of time, so I switched to the full depth rig and immediately had some indications and finally my first carp, but a small one about 8lb.  It wasn't too long before I hooked another, similar size and was quite happily playing it on one of a pair of 12' Normark Titan 2000's I use for carp fishing, when quite inexplicably the top section went off with a bang, breaking clean through about 4" up from the joint.  The shock caused the tip to break of as well...…

I'm now in mourning, an irreplaceable rod that is getting harder and harder to find (if anyone has one gathering dust in their shed they want to sell, let me know).  Adrian Jeffery was behind me on Lodge and he said "that's sounds expensive" - sadly its not the cost, its the non availability of these rods. Its looking likely that I will have to find a new pair of rods to use in the future, just haven't found one that suits me as well as the Titan!!

I did manage two better fish on the waggler, so had 4 for about 38lb by just after 1pm, but the indications stopped and I never had another bite (apart from one 6oz skimmer) on the waggler.  The guy on 102 was fishing the lead and not catching, so I felt quite justified in not chucking that out - if there were fish there I would have had indications on the waggler.

I had a look back on the meat line and had a spell catching skimmers, but they weren't going to win me anything, so back looking for carp on the waggler.

With an hour and 45 minutes to go I fed the margin, this produced a couple of small skimmers before finally a decent carp had the orange Vespe streaming out of the pole tip, one of these old dark Cary fish that come to the topkit quite easily, then just swim round and round in front of your nets and they stubbornly won't come up off the bottom, I haven't found a way to get them out quicker, its just patience and constant pressure.  Finally netted it and thought it was about 15lb, so hopeful of more, but a couple more skimmers and a perch were all I managed.

Tough day, my 66lb beat the guys either side, but not 109 and the 100 and 99 were first and second in section with ton plus weights and they were moaning about how many fish they had lost...…

The league hasn't been particularly kind to me, drawing the same section for 3 matches running would be great if it was a good section, but apart from one match where mugging saw a big weight from it, its been a section you'd want to avoid.

Well done the winner and framers.

Top Final League Positions:
1. Aidan Bordiuk - 4 points / dropping 1 / 897lb 1oz
2. Trig - 4 points / dropping 2 / 1252lb 13oz
3. Gary O'Shea - 6 points / dropping 4 / 558lb 2oz
4. Mark Wynne - 6 points / dropping 5 / 762lb 5oz
5. Sam Powell - 7 points / dropping 2 / 843lb 13oz
6. Richard A'Herne - 8 points / dropping 3
7. Adrian Jeffery - 8 points / dropping 6
8. Tom Mangnall - 8 points / dropping 7

Top Weights from Today:
1. Clayton Hudson - 268lb 10oz - peg 85
2. Gary O'Shea - 204lb 4oz - peg 115
3. Mark Wynne - 201lb 9oz - peg 81
4. Rob Wiltshire - 181lb 3oz - peg 126
5. Sam Powell - 168lb 6oz - peg 114
6. Paul Elms - 167lb 15oz - peg 124

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Acorn Open, Tuesday 12th June 2018

Day off, so whilst I did fancy a trip to Ivy House, the traffic is a nightmare on a weekday, so Acorn it would have to be, as its relatively easy to get to on a weekday.  Arrived in plenty of time, so a quick look round and I wasn't sure where I wanted to draw, as the wind was quite strong and blowing off the bank furthest away from the shop.

Into the tub and out comes ping pong ball 21, a bridge peg, I could never draw one when they dominated several years back, but now the peg has no recent form, I manage to make drawing it look easy!!  I'll have to be careful or I'll end up drawing as many bridges as Bob Gullick……

I'd wandered over the bridge at the start and cleared the long grass out of the corner of the bridge and above the bare mud bank straight in front, Ray Bazeley was doing the same the other side of the bridge and we did have a bit of a moan at there being 17 fishing, so plenty of room on the lake and we were the only two pegged next to each other.  I didn't think it would do me any favours having Ray there, but at least he isn't renowned for dumping huge pots of bait in.

Plenty of time to set up, so a rig to fish banded pellet tight over in 10" of water, another for the second shelf which was a bit over 2'.   I have been using a Drennan Carp 4 for the shallow water and they do seem to be ideal, the float for the 2' shelf was a homemade slim, with a tungsten wire stem, both on 0.20 with a 0.14 hooklength and a 18 LWG tied with a band.  A rig for full depth against the bridge by the middle railing upright, this was a 0.4g NG Gimp, this on 0.16 again with the 18 LWG on 0.14.  The RH margin is shallow tight in and then drops down to a shelf nearly 2', it has proven difficult to catch the carp in the shallow margin, so I set up a rig to fish on the steep slope from 10" to the 2' shelf.  I did set up a paste rig to fish down the track, as fish have been falling to it.

As it was windy and I had time, I did set up a method feeder, a 9' rod, a Guru method set up free running and a 18 hook.  Bit of  last resort, as I didn't really intend to use it.  Bait tray was nice and simple, 4, 6 & 8mm pellets, I did soak some micros for the method, dead maggots and some worms.  A bit of GB & a bag of paste completed the bait for the day.

I know some guys have success on here toss potting bait in, but I much prefer feeding with a catapult, so that's how I started, going across tight into the corner with the bridge, as I feared, Ray also started there, so our floats were only the bridge width apart.  The bites weren't really forthcoming, I had a couple of smaller fish, but decided to switch to a line in front the mud bank opposite, this was a little more successful and after the first hour I had about 20lb on the clicker and I thought if I could keep that up then have a good last hour or so down the edge, it would be a decent return from the peg.

The next hour was similar, not hectic, but putting odd fish in the net kept me on track for the 20lb target, it did start to slow and I tangled my rig, whilst I was putting a new rig on I did chuck the method over, I had two fish on it, but it wasn't right, so as usual, up the bank with it.

I had been feeding the middle of the bridge with 8mm pellets, so dropped in there with some paste, I did have 2 carp on it, but also two roach and the float just wouldn't stay still with shit fish attacking the paste.  A switch to banded 8mm pellet brought a couple more carp, but it wasn't frantic, so back across and I had several more from there.

With an hour and 45 minutes to go I put some GB down the RH edge and within a couple of minutes there were fish over it, but up on the 10" deep shelf, which I didn't have a rig set up for, so off the box and out with another topkit, to this I attached a rig which comprised a Korum blob and a hook, nothing down the line.  I dropped some paste in and had a fish straight away, then another, it went a bit quiet so I refed and dropped back in with worms this time, I had another fish after a short wait.

With an hour to go I put a third net in as I had 100lb split between two nets, alternating between worms, bunches of maggots and paste, I put 34lb on the clicker into this net before the all out. So 134lb on the clicker and I was sure that if I had that off a peg that had been out of form, someone would have more.  I had watch Paul Lasson on 14 catching one a chuck on the method for a spell and I thought he had more.

The scales came round and it turned out that my 134lb was enough for the win, pleased with that from a peg with no recent form.  Credit to Ray, he could have fed loads and buggered us both up, but he didn't.  I fed a pint of 8mm pellets, 3/4 pint of 6mm pellets and about 0.5Kg of GB.

1. Chris Fox.                               134-00 p21
2. Stuart Barnett.                       119-03 p5
3. Gary Flinders.                        117-10 p11
4. Paul Lasson.                          110-00 p14
5. Lee Waller.                             107-08 p25
6. John Miles.                           102-03 p6
1. Mike Chapman.                      29-13 p17
2. Mike Hill.                                 12-03 p33

Friday, 8 June 2018

Acorn Evening Open, Thursday 7th June 2018

I quite like the self enforced simplicity of these 3 hour matches, as you aren't going to win by setting up a plethora of rigs and rods, then attempt to use them all. 18 fishing tonight and it was ping pong ball 33 that I plucked from the bag.  A bridge peg, the bridge pegs used to be dominant on the venue, but the last couple of years their dominance has waned, although they are still capable of throwing up weights.

It started to rain as we were tackling up, so into the van with unused kit to keep it dry, the plan was to keep it simple 4 and 6mm pellets for across, 8mm pellets for down the edge, with a back up of some GB and worms. 3 rigs, one for tight across in about 14" of water, another rig to fish down the shelf at about 30" and one for the RH edge.  The deeper second shelf line plumbed up very uneven but I found a reasonable area, just before it shelved off to the main depth.

I usually like to start pinging across, but decided to try just potting half a dozen pellets, no bites forthcoming from doing this, so it didn't take long to pick up the catapult and that induced some action, with fish coming to the noise.  It wasn't hectic, but I put 20lb in the net in the first hour, no big fish and no issues with foulers, as there was only ever one or two fish in the feed area at one time.

I had a look on the deeper line to see if it was any better, the rig was a small homemade wire stemmed float with 3 No 10's strung out. I had a bigger fish (4lber) first put in, but from then on even with the slow fall, it was liners and foulers.  Tried the 10" rig over the top, but couldn't get any bites shallow.

I had been feeding a line short down the RH edge with 8mm pellets, so had a look at that, but the float was undisturbed by the presence of fish. On the halfway point I fed the edge next to the pallet of 32, with GB.  This was only left a short time before I dropped in over it and 3 fish in 3 put ins, that was to be it from there, no more bites, the fish at this venue are very unsettled lately, it's difficult if not impossible to get a run together, a couple from the same line before having to move seems to be the norm at the moment.

I had a barren spell from 20:00 - 20:35 where I didn't put a fish in the net, I then cupped in some GB across and went over it with a single worm hair rigged onto the rig I was using for pellet across, I had 3 fish for 15lb in the last 20 minutes of the match, by lowering the worm as tight to the bank as I could, so I was kicking myself for the tardiness of my decision making and even more so when the weigh in was finished and I was 4th and ounced out of the money..... I don't think I could have had more than double the weight from the peg to beat Kev on peg 4, but I should have been second, so only myself to blame.  Well done to those who made the right decisions!!

A nice touch after these matches are the hotdogs and cider kindly supplied by Cadbury Angling, I forgo the cider as I don't drink it, but a hotdog was welcome after sitting in the rain for virtually the whole match.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Viaduct Spring League R4, Sunday 3rd June 2018

Today, only a section win would do to put me in with a chance of framing in the league, so a good draw and a good performance was needed.  Dipping into the Nescafe tin with some hope of a peg black with fish, sadly it wasn't to be and I knew that my peg, 99 wouldn't be good in the section, I had won this section last round from the opposite end, 109.

There were some pegs that looked pretty uninviting as the willow trees have been and still are shedding their horrible white fluff all over the lakes.  Mine wasn't too bad, but it made waggler fishing hard work as the fluff clings to the line, ending up a tough, fibrous ring clogging frustration.

There isn't  going to much in this blog, its hard to write about nothing much happening, which is what happened for the vast majority of the match.  Usual tackle set up, one lead rod, two wagglers, one shallow, one depth, several topkits - a long line mugging rig, a shallow rig, pellet rig at depth, meat rig, a paste rig and a margin rig, which would be good for either side, to the tree on my left and towards the empty 97 to my right.

The odd fish I could see before the start, magically melted away as the 'all-in' call drifted across the lakes.  I never got near having one on the mugging rig, the waggler was just as barren and it was about an hour and 50 minutes in before I had a fish, I had switched to the full depth pellet rig at 14m and pinging 6mm pellets with a 6mm in the band, I had a skimmer, then shortly after a carp around 6lb, that was 12:50, at 13:15 I had another as well as several other skimmers, but that was a flash in the pan.

I was switching methods and baits with regularity just to try and get a bite, but didn't have anymore joy until 16:10, when I finally had one on the waggler, it was a one off though, as the waggler didn't produce anything else.  I had been feeding 8mm pellets in front of the rushes towards 97 and finally at 16:45 I saw the rushes knocking, dropping in with a banded 8mm pellet, the float settled and buried, not the expected carp, but a small, but energetic tench made its way to the net.  I did drop back in and didn't wait long before a carp about 13lb took the pellet, by the time it was landed and I get the rig back in, the all-out was called.

My carp went 39lb and the accidental skimmers and tench 9lb, that was only enough for 5th in the section, so league over, further down the section Mark Wynne had over 200lb and Richard A'Herne who was between me and Mark said he could see the fish moving round, but they just wouldn't move up towards us.  Sometimes its possible to take positives or at least a learning experience from days like this, but if I was faced with this draw and circumstance again, I have no idea how I would get any more from the peg.

1. Sam Powell - 325lb 5oz - peg 85
2. Trig - 304lb 10oz - peg 116
3. Mark Wynne - 203lb 5oz - peg 102
4. Tom Mangnall - 189lb 14oz - peg 124
5. Lee Werrett - 142lb 4oz - peg 110
6. Leon Hubbard - 137lb 10oz - peg 113

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Acorn Open, Monday 28th May 2018

I needed to be home at a reasonable time, so this was the closest match, with a reasonable finish time and after Thursday nights result, I booked in.

15 fishing so plenty of room to spread the pegs out, into the drawbag and ping pong ball 6 was my reward..... although the peg hasn't got much recent form. I was disappointed to see peg 40 in as well, everyone else on the lake had 1,2 or 3 peg gaps, whereas myself and the guy on 40 would be feeding an area only separated by the width of the bridge.  As peg 5 wasn't in. I would have put 7, not 6 in.

I have drawn this peg before and whilst the RH margin looks inviting, it is shallow and silty, I have never managed to catch from it, so decided not to waste my time with it.  The LH margin is short, due to a small rush bed that divides peg 6 from 7 and again, I haven't had much success from here in the past, but set up a rig to fish it.

The main catching areas would be, I suspected, across at 14m right by the bridge and again at 14m to a small area between the tall grasses on the island, so rigs to fish up on the shelf and another for the deeper shelf, which extends out several feet in front of the bridge.  I also set a rig to fish pellet short, hoping that would come good at some stage,  I had some paste, so set up a rig to fish that over the short line as a target bait.  Apart from that the bait tray was pretty simple, 4, 6 & 8mm pellets and worms, with some GB to go down the edge.

As there was so much time to set up, I did set up a 9' feeder rod, with a method feeder attached, as I could cast down to the boards at the other end of the island and was hopeful that there would be a few from this line.

Given the low weights from the venue recently, I started off fairly negatively, just pinging half a dozen 4mm pellets across, the guy on peg 40 was feeding a bit more positively with a big pot, so I was fairly sure that wouldn't do me any favours. It was a tough first hour with just 3 fish in the net and not many indications.  I had tried to get the line by the bridge to work for an hour, before I fed the other 14m line, this was tricky, as the bank has collapsed in here a bit and made a very shallow shelf, which the fish come in on, but seem very spooky and won't settle.  I was also struggling to present properly, as the wind was just enough to prevent me holding the pole still, typically the wind was L to R through my peg, meaning nearly everyone else either had it behind or straight on, so not affecting presentation.

After about 90 minutes and very little happening, Martin McMahon was having a walk and reporting that Joe was admitting to 40lb on peg 12, I picked up the method rod and dropped it down to the end of the island, with GB on the feeder and a 6mm pellet wafter on the hook, it didn't take long for the tip to go round and then another shortly after, but it was typical of the day, that I struggled to catch two fish off the same line, before having to swap, the method did produce 2 more fish during the day, but each time it was after resting it and then getting one on the first cast after the rest.  The LH margin produced one carp and a perch, it was as in my previous times drawing this peg, pretty much a non starter.  The short line didn't produce anything, not even a liner on pellet or paste.

In the last hour I did start to get a few on 6mm pellet getting it as tight to the bridge as I could, in the slightly deeper water (second shelf), but it was far from hectic.  I was trying out a new pattern of float I'd made, with the tungsten wire and was pleased with the way it performed.

In the end, I weighed a hard won 62.10.08 (yep, the electronic scales registered half ounces!!) which was 5th on the day, the weigh sheet below had 3 more to weigh which didn't have 60lb, so I know I ended up 5th, I can't be too disappointed with that as myself and peg 40 suffered with us both fishing to the end of the bridge.