Saturday, 30 May 2020

Acorn Open, Saturday 30th May 2020

I hope everyone is OK and coping with the current situation, it's nice to be back fishing, especially matches, as pleasure fishing just doesn't do it for me.  Last weekend I ventured down to Acorn with Paul Faiers and had a few hours, not difficult fishing, although it was windy, mainly fished paste and pellet short, we both ended up with around 200lb on our clickers

Last Monday I ventured down to Viaduct, it was like a winter league or fisho, the car park was rammed and I went and checked if there were actually any pegs left, it was good to be back there and see the Long family, there were a couple of pegs, so I decided to find one. I had a walk round and found 82 empty, so sat there, some of the pegs look empty as you walk round, but then you find a pair of rods on them.  For some reason the carpers seem to sit off the pallets, away from their rods - odd behaviour if you ask me....

Anyway, I had a nice day, the sun shone, I caught a few carp on the waggler, some decent skimmers and a 4lb bream on the pole and a 20lber down the edge, I also sat watching and listening with some amazement at the size of the leads and PVA bags some of the 'carpers' were casting in, like Howitzers going through the air and boshing into the lake, with every carp for 3 pegs around bow waving off in all directions.  The leads must be burying themselves in the silt and taking the bait with it.  I didn't see any of the Howitzer brigade catch anything at all and they gradually packed up and left by 3pm.

Anyway, enough of that, onto today's match, this should have been one of the summer league dates, but with three matches already fallen to the lockdown, the rest of the dates are being run as opens. Peg fee paid to the fishery on the day, pools paid online earlier in the week, so it was rock up and have a peg drawn for you, can't say I was over the moon with peg 26 when it was called - I still have  dodgy drawing arm even when I'm 10m from the drawbag........

Still it was the first match back and the pegs at this end of the lake do occasionally come good, but they are far from consistent, that said, I was going to give it a good shot.  Topkits for paste down the edge, pellet shallow, pellet on the deck and pellets across - last week paste had been the best bait.

On the all-in I fed some 4mm pellets short and then went across to the bare bank opposite and expected to catch, I did have a couple of small fish, but it was slow going.  The depth rig down the track was barren, not even a liner.  I saw a couple of fish over the pellets I'd been flicking in the margin and dropped in there with the paste rig, second put in I had a 9lber and I thought I'd cracked it, but as fish do, they had other ideas and I had no more bites on paste.

I did manage to get a brief run of fish across, on 6mm pellet, but they eventually moved off, the fish were coming to the noise of bait, but weren't in a feeding frenzy, there were long spells of inactivity, but it was beautiful day and at least we were fishing a match

I switched the margin line to GB and dead maggots, fishing double worm over it, this brought a run of fish, not frantic by any means.  The fish  were giving themselves away by tail waving, if I saw one tail, I didn't get a bite, see two tails maybe a bite and three tails definitely a bite, they needed that bit of competition to grab the worms.  I saw a big back out of the water 12-14lb I estimated, it tipped down right on top of the worms and the float buried, trouble is I was attached to 4lber that must have nipped in a grabbed the worms first.

I clicked 97lb, but I do find it tricky at Acorn to get as accurate as I tend to be a Viaduct, I think its the variation in size of fish and the variation in shape, I was happy to put 109.06 on the scales for a section win, but do feel that I could have done better, fishing paste cost me, last weeks experience should have stayed in the past....

Well done Kev on the win and Faiersy - a section win by triple default.... I'd feel too guilty to take it 😀

Viaduct tomorrow, another nice day in the offing.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Trinty Waters Open, Sunday 22nd March 2020

So, the feeling was should I go fishing today, the weekend was supposed to be spent prepping for the Frenzee festival, which has gone the way of all sporting events.
I had arranged to travel down with Tony, but on the morning we thought it would be best to travel separately and I had a feeling that this would be the last match for some time.

Misha did a good job at the draw, she'd asked everyone to bring the right money and put a bucket for it to go in, she spread the swimcards on the floor and retreated a safe distance, calling up each angler one at a time to pay and draw.

Peg 12 for me, not disappointed, its an area where there are usually a few fish to be caught.  I set up a waggler to fish banded pellet and a feeder rod with a hybrid feeder on.  Two topkits, one for banded pellet and one for soft pellet, finally one for down the edge, this lake has deep edges and can throw up fish all year round.

Well, I am going to skip most of the first 5 hours, I had one 2lb skimmer after about 10-15 minutes, I didn't have another bite until an hour and 5 minutes to go, I knew I had to do something to try and turn this around, so fed a 1/4 of a pot of micros and dead maggots down the edge.  In an enjoyable 30 minute spell I had 3 carp, a skimmer, a roach and a tench, all on 4 dead maggots.

 I then lost a big angry common, which quietened things down, before I had one more carp.  I could see a fair bit of the lake and thought I may have done enough to frame, I knew a peg on the opposite bank had beaten me.  Not too disappointed to be second for two Sundays running, sadly no chance of keeping that embryonic run going, as that is fishing done and dusted for a few weeks.

I wonder how the commercials will react to a 'close season' I don't think it will do any harm as long as the owners can afford to manage them and where necessary feed the fish.  Fingers crossed it won't be too long and we all come through this and get back to normal life (whatever that will look like afterwards) sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Todber Whitepost Open, Sunday 15th March 2020

Back to Todber today for an open organised by Mark Poppleton.  On Whitepost, so a simple affair, pellets and maggots on the bait tray, waggler rods left in the van and just the battle through the axle deep mud to get to my peg, which was 25.

I set up a lead rod to fish pellet on a bomb and another rod with a pellet feeder.  A topkit to fish banded pellet, one for soft pellet, another for meat short and one for down the edge.

The weather didn't disappoint, the usual pissing down rain and wind for at least the first half of the match, so huddled into the Goretex I stared across on the feeder.  I was getting odd fish, but not as many as Joe McMahon on 23, who could reach the far side with a pole, I couldn't.

I switched to the pole at 14m feeding pellet with banded pellet on the hook, again, I was getting bites, but not at the rate Joe was catching., So I got off my box and got another section out, going out to 16m, that was better, a fish first put in, then one took me into the reeds opposite and took the hook length.  I put another on and was catching but still not fast enough.

I had been feeding a line at 2+2 with 7mm meat and left it until an hour and 15 minutes from the end to go in there, I was pleased I did, they were queued up and I started catching at rate that was clawing back ground on Joe and on peg 27 who'd had a run of fish from the end bank.  I had to feed 12-15 pieces every fish, if not it took longer to get bites, great to be able to feed and see fish reacting to it!!

Scales came a long and gave peg 27, 112lb, I had 122lb and Joe had 115lb, that was top three on lake and I was second in the match behind Mark Wynne who had 168lb from peg 11 on the top lake.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Todber Winter League, Final Round, Saturday 14th March 2020

This was a reserve date, so I was hoping a week later on than the league should have finished, my turn on the high numbers of Hillview would see a decent days fishing and for us as a team to claw our way into the money.

Well, Barry drew me peg 50, 49 and 50 had been 1st and 2nd in the match last round, so myself and Ricky Mills who was on 49 weren't too upset. These pegs are just into a arm off the main lake.

50 gives you a check to the far bank, open water and a edge down to 51 which is not pegged.  The wind was blowing L to R and would make fishing the long pole either hard work or impossible - it varied.  I set up a bomb rod, a method feeder, a waggler and 4 topkits.  The topkits were one for meat short, one for banded pellet as long as I could go, an similar one for soft pellet and a rig to go down to the pallet of 51, but not too close in, as I didn't think they come into water that shallow.

Started on the method, a perfect cast, hit the clip and a nice little plop into the water, and the next cast, the third one somehow got caught on a frond sticking out from the far bank, that was the end of that feeder... Switched a pellet feeder as I hadn't had a bite and soon had a small fish, and then a couple more, but that was slow going, 6 or 7lb in the first hour, it was slow both to my left and right,so it didn't point to me doing anything drastically wrong.

Ricky started to get the odd better fish as he switched to fishing more to his left into the body of the lake, I was getting an odd fish on the method, but had been pinging pellets to the middle or just past and picked up the waggler.  I had three or 4 on the waggler, all small but it was bites, this died off and I ended the match with a brief run of slightly better fish on meat short in the last 45 minutes to stave off a last in section.  All of us in the arm struggled, Ricky had 62lb, I had 52lb, Chris Martin on 52 has had 42lb and MarkWynne on 53 had 57lb.  Section one and two was 48 and 54 who both fish into the main body of the lake and both weighed around the 110lb mark.

So not the best day and luckily my disaster didn't do too much damage and we moved up into 4th place and managed to pick up some coin, so well done team.

Overall on the day

1st Jon gray 128.10
2nd Martin Rogers 125.09
3rd Mark Poppleton 118.12

Overall league

1st thatchers vets 71pts
2nd sw all-stars 72pts
3rd BAS 76. 5pts
4th one local 79pts
5th parsigns 79.5pts
6th tackle UK 87
7th pi thatchers 87
8th Westerleigh 90
9th cod fathers 90
10th sas 93
11th misfits 100
12th pr floats 125

Monday, 9 March 2020

Todber Manor Winter League, Penultimate Round, Sunday 8th March 2020

This should have been the last round of the winter league, but one round was postponed due to a storm and high winds.

Travelled down with Tony and he must have had a funny turn as he waned me to draw for the team, I did advise it wasn't a good idea and he paid the price when I drew him 16, Mark Poppleton went off looking for Prozac after he saw his draw....

My prize was peg 34, the 'poor' section of Hillview, I was advised that there were no fish to be caught on the pole, so I set up a waggler - it was windy, but it was from behind me, so no problems fishing the waggler.  Two lead rods, one for bread and one with a maggot feeder on.

I did set up a couple of topkits, didn't bother with the margin, just two for out in front, one with a Kaizen hook, one with a eyed LWG and a band for hard pellet.

Started on the bread, but didn't give it too long, as no liners or bites were forthcoming.  It was slow in the section, with no one catching.  I could get maggots out to the island with a catapult because of the wind, so fully expected to catch, I did, but it was a small skimmer and a roach.  Troed the maggot feeder, nothing - I was going nowhere fast.

I picked up the pole and fed two lines, one at 14m off to 11 0'clock with micros, 4 and 6mm hard pellets, the other at 9m off at 2 o'clock, fed with the same pellets and a few dead maggots.  I had a carp after about 5 minutes on maggot over the short line, switched to the long line and soft 4mm pellet, this brought another fish after 20 minutes.

I caught odd fish on 4mm soft pellet switching between the two lines, feeding after every fish, I did have an hour spell without a bite and retried the waggler, that was the same as before, one skimmer.

I had a couple of small tench and another skimmer, with the odd carp until the all out was called, I thought I might have finished 3rd in section behind Ben Hagg on 38 who caught on the lead and Steve Tucker on 37, but luckily my 43lb odd just beat Tucks to take second behind Ben's 60+lb.  That was nowhere in the match with plenty of ton + weights - but not in my section....

Teamwise we did no good, but Tony was warned....

Final round is now next Saturday, so fingers crossed for one of the flyers - no, 5 of the flyers for the team..

1st Ryan Shipp 175lb
2nd Nick Ewers 152-06
3rd Tony Picton 152.00
4th Glen Picton 142lb.00
5th Paul elms 130lb

1st Paul Greenwood 25lb
2nd Chris Davis 22lb
3rd lee Woodhouse 18lb.

Winning team
Codfathers 11pts

Thatchers vets 55
Bac 58.5
Parsigns 61.5
Sw all stars 62
One local 67
Westerleigh 69
Pi thatchers 71
Tackle UK 71
Sas 73
Cod fathers 73
Misfits 81
Pr floats 98

Monday, 2 March 2020

Viaduct Winter League Final Round, Sunday 1st March 2020

With the team having an outside chance of sneaking into the frame with a good performance and the stars aligning, I was looking forward to my turn on match lake, usually good for a few bites.  Paul's turn to draw and he used an unusual style, not taking the pegs from the lake draw tins in order, as every other team does.  Well it seemed to work, 130, 85, 66, 51 and 16, not one draw you could reasonably complain about there.

51 for me and it had the wind pushing from L to R and occasionally swinging round a little to more face on, this was likely to make the waggler a non starter, but I did set one up just in case.  Two lead rods, one with a little cage feeder and one with a bomb, for bread.  Topkits, it was a pretty even depth, so no need for loads of rigs, a Malman Roob for meat short and long and a NG slimpattern whose name eludes me for caster.

Starting on the bread across, I was fully expecting bites, Clayton on 52 had an early fish (first cast) and I was expecting it to go round, well it didn't, I tried at various places along the island, tight in and short.  Trigger on 50 was also in the same boat.  I switched to the pole, having fed GB and caster at 9m and 6mm meat at 14m, nothing over the meat, but a few bites from skimmers roach and perch over the GB and caster.

I was aware of odd carp being caught and the fact I had a couple of better skimmers made me think if I could keep them coming, I'd be in with a chance of beating anyone with 2 or even 3 carp.  I had the occasional look back to the island on the bomb, Trigger had a fish from across there, a 10lber, my first bite saw a real savage pull round turn out to be a 3oz hybrid..... the thought it wasn't to be my day set in there and then...

I was getting some liners over the GB and foul hooked a skimmer, the water was pretty clear and only 2.5' deep, so they seemed to spook off and I was waiting too long between bites, I tried to force it a bit with some more bait and get them down, that was a mistake, it killed it off.  I wasn't convinced that starting a new line would be worth it, the longer meat line was dead, I had one bite, one roach.

I did go back on the lead, but my hearts not in it, I haven't got the patience or the confidence in it and I don't enjoy that style of fishing, where you feed nothing and sit watching a tip...   That showed in the result and what had been a good day on Saturday declined into a bit of a disaster on Sunday.  I did have one F1 that was over 4lb on the bomb and meat, but it was nowhere near enough, as the skimmers had disappeared far too early in the match.

The venue fished harder than I expected, the draw we had should on paper have been a real flyer, but we failed to capitalise and slipped a couple of places, rather than gaining as we'd hoped.

Time for some reflection for me on this for next year, its a big match, its a good atmosphere and plenty of banter, but I only enjoyed one match from 5, this sitting on the lead waiting for a bite an hour isn't really for me, no kneejerk reaction, but I will be giving it some thought, there are a couple of other leagues, including a silvers league that could be fished in place of this one.

Well done to the framers and to those who have the patience, confidence and ability to sit on that lead and know its going to go round.....

On the day:

1. Gary Coton - 99lb 7oz - peg 131
2. Andy Power - 94lb 5oz - peg 111
3. Ivan Oakey - 77lb 8oz - peg 59
4. Steve Nadin - 74lb 2oz - peg 2
5. Matt Culpin - 72lb 15oz - peg 132
1. Vince Brown - 22lb 9oz - peg 112
2. Rob Jones - 20lb 12oz - peg 1
3. Shaun Townsend - 19lb 1oz - peg 10

Teams overall:

1. PI Thatchers - 308
2. Thatchers Vets - 275
3. Team Keyford - 251
4. Trig’s Team - 243
4. Guru Viaduct - 243
6. Garbolino - 238
7. Parsigns - 238
8. Sensus 88 - 233
9. Future Networks - 233
10. 2nd Time Lucky - 231
11. Moaning Maggots - 231
12. Fishing Tackle Warehouse - 223
13. Silverfox - 199
14. Wyvern Anglers - 194
15. Team Amigos - 175
16. PR Floats - 159
17. Viaduct All Stars - 156

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Acorn Winter League Final Round, Saturday 29th February 2020

Last round of this league that has had very definitive sections, with A section producing the match winner every round (including this one).  Still as section points were key, it didn't matter about that.

Another stormy day forecast - great.  I was level at the top before taking into account droppers and this league is 5 matches, dropping your worst result, with weight deciding places equal on points at the end.  using this criteria I was 4th going into today and in the best section, so hopefully a few bites.

Disappointed to see 3 no shows, two of which were in the league leaders section, potentially affecting the result.  One had a broken bone, so understandable.

Into the draw bag and ping pong ball 13 comes out, its not won the section, but it has been second and when I found out 11 wasn't drawn I was happy, the best I could do is win the section, what others did was out of my hands.

No need to rush to the peg, for some reason we get 90 minutes to set up and with being able to park behind your peg, that's more than enough time.  Two lead rods, just in case the wind, which was straight at me, got too much for the pole. I did set up a topkit to fish banded pellet, but never had a bite on it, so no more to say about that.

Topkits to fish right across, on the second shelf, down the track at 5m and the RH margin, all with 0.14 hooklengths and 18 LWG hooks.  KND yellow elastic completes the set up.

Bit tray was simple, live and dead maggots, micros, expanders and hard pellets.  The only baits that were really used were the micros and maggots, I didn't have a bite on anything but maggots, the fish wanted some bait put in, not huge amounts at once, but little and often seemed best.

I'd started on bread on the bomb, searching round the peg and had one liner, so after 15 minutes switched to fishing across, maggot over micros and that saw a couple of carp netted after first landing a skimmer and a roach.

The 5m line produced a couple and I switched between both to keep an odd fish coming, with a couple of hours to go, I looked down the RH margin and immediately had a big F1 on triple maggot, followed by a carp, then one took me round the pallet leg, I lost it and never had another bite there.

A first for me, after losing the carp under the pallet of peg 12, I tried a pellet feeder in front of the pallet, again with maggots on the hook and had 3 carp on this, before switching back to the 5m line and rounding off the match with 3 more.  I thought I had 70lb of carp and a few silvers, including a 2lb perch.  The scales gave me 74.12, the required section win and the match win, that left me on equal points with Paul Nichols in second place, but missed out by weight, so a reasonable series, 3 section wins from 6.

Todays weigh sheets

League ended up as:

Craig Challigsworth 32 points 
Paul Nichols 30 points 238.09
Chris Fox 30 points 203.02
Mark Bartlett 29 points

Thanks to Brian & Paul for running it, well done to Craig and all the framers.

Todber Manor Winter League R3, Sunday 23rd February 2020

It was my turn to be on Whitepost for this round, so as I have only fished it once before I relied on those more knowledgeable to fill me in, damage limitation was the advice, not a good peg.

Just for a change it was muddy, windy and far from ideal conditions, but it's the same for everyone, so no point moaning (well, not too much...).

Wind was left to right and I felt about 8m was the limit I could sensibly fish, so no longer than that set up, a lead rod to fish bread and a maggot feeder rod.

I am not going to say to much on this blog, really struggled, had 49lb on my clicker at the end and weighed 49.08, so the best bit of the day was my clicking....

I had tried the bread, maggot feeder and switched to a small pellet feeder - never had a bite on any of them, not even a liner, which makes me think there weren't too many fish there, not sure what else I could have done, frustrating when that happens, but sometimes I just think the head of fish aren't in front of you.

The fish I caught were all at 8m on maggot, except one lonesome fish in the LH margin (which meant fishing over a small point to my left.

A day to forget, I can't say I learnt a lot or really had any idea how I could change things next time and I only beat two on the toplake.

Onwards and upwards...

Monday, 17 February 2020

Viaduct Winter League R4, Sunday 16th February 2020

No fishing last week, the Todber league called off because of the storm and another storm for this weekend, but not quite so windy, still with me being in the float only section on Lodge, it might be a challenge.

Glenn's turn to draw, he didn't do a bad job for me, 68, not usually a section winning peg, but usually worth a days fishing and a few points, he handed Mark 111 - nice, Rich 86 - nice, Paul 1 not so good and himself 2, not the worst peg on the lake, but not a first choice.

I thought the league was pretty much over after the last round, so told everyone to fish their own match - "fish for silvers if you want", I had only gone in the silvers pool, so intended to fish for them.

Set up a waggler to fish corn, 3 topkits for silvers, one with a Chianti with strung 11's to fish through the water, a 0.4g homemade diamond to fish at 13m
(no point going further with the wind that was forecast) and a light NG gimp to fish over that line as well.

I did set up a rig to go to the empty pallet of 67, set up with 0.20/0.18 in case I felt the need to go for a carp or two.

On the all in I fed two balls of GB/leam at 13m and one ball at 9m (just in case it got windier), then started on the caster at 2+2, this brought a few roach, but wasn't hectic, I gave it 30 minutes before going out over the 13m line, this brought a few decent skimmers, before I needed to re-feed, I had a couple more before it went quiet, I topped up again and came back on the caster line, this had roach and rudd not exactly lining up, but they were coming often enough and a decent enough size to stick at it.

I did look over the skimmer line again on several occasions and ventured past it with the waggler and corn, but it had slowed up, I was pretty convinced that going out to 16m and starting a new line would see another couple, but the roach, rudd, hybrids and perch (including one nigh on 2lb) were still coming on the caster line, so I stuck at it and ignored the empty pallet and the chance of a carp.

Glad I did, I managed 23.05 of silvers and second overall in the silvers, for a decent pickup and 12 points, so happy with that.  The team did OK with Rich winning Cary, Mark doing OK on Campbell, Paul was struggling, being in with match lake, which fished well, but he did grab 3rd in the silvers.  We were 4th on the day and still in with an outside chance of sneaking into the frame, although it will need all the stars to align on the last round.....

1. Adrian Jeffery - 86lb 9oz - peg 129
2. Dom Sullivan - 79lb 7oz - peg 20
3. M Ruff - 74lb 8oz - peg 41
4. John Gray - 72lb 7oz - peg 44
5. Richard A’Herne - 67lb 14oz - peg 86
6. Clint Wojtyla - 61lb - peg 43
1. Adam Palmer - 25lb 4oz - peg 11
2. Chris Fox - 23lb 5oz - peg 68
3. Paul Faires - 22lb 9oz - peg 1
4. Dave Romain - 20lb 10oz - peg 38
5. Lance Tucker - 20lb 1oz - peg 126
6. Lewis Walker - 19lb - peg 61

Today’s Team Positions:
1. Thatchers Vets - 61
2. Sensus 88 - 60
3. Thatchers PI - 59
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 57
5. Team Keyford - 56
6. Fishing Tackle Warehouse - 50
7. Future Networks - 48
8. Trig’s Team - 46
8. Silverfox - 46
10. Guru Viaduct - 44
10. Parsigns - 44
12. PR Floats - 41
13. Wyvern Anglers - 36
14. Moaning Maggots - 33
14. Garbolino - 33
16. Team Amigos - 27
17. Viaduct All Stars - 25

Viaduct Winter League R3, Sunday 2nd February 2020

My turn on Cary for this one, Rich A'Herne doing the team draw, putting himself on 114, me on 96, Paul on 66, Glenn on 49 and Mark on 4 - not a terrible team draw..... or so we thought.

I was pretty convinced that I would have to catch carp to do any good and the peg has produced this league.  So, no pole today, two lead rods and a waggler set up.

I'm not going to wax lyrical about this one, it was a disaster, Cary has been my bogie lake in this league and this year it proved to be no exception.  Other were catching odd carp whilst my tip remained motionless, I managed a couple of skimmers on the waggler and corn and finally, about 2pm the tip went round - my reward, one of the 6lb stockies, everyone else was catching the big boys and girls.

I finally hooked one of the big ones with 5 minutes to go, it ran into a snag and the usually reliable robust Shimano Technium reel line was cut through but what ever the fish ran under -  branch I assume.

Well, that ended a fairly miserable day my stockie going 6.15 and the waggler caught skimmers matching that exactly and the team didn't fair too well either, coming in 12th, so onwards and upwards to the next one.

1. Callum Dicks - 111lb 2oz - peg 119
2. Des Shipp - 107lb 8oz - peg 131
3. Gary Coton - 96lb 14oz - peg 112
4. Nick Ewers - 92lb - peg 86
5. Steve Denmead - 84lb 8oz - peg 110
6. Henry Smith - 81lb 3oz - peg 123
7. Ivan Oakey - 81lb 2oz - peg 113
8. Clayton Hudson - 74lb 7oz - peg 85
9. Stu Woods - 68lb 2oz - peg 70
10. Dave Romain - 67lb 10oz - peg 64
1. Adam Palmer - 21lb 8oz - peg 25
2. Shaun Townsend - 20lb 3oz - peg 105
3. Craig Edmunds - 19lb 2oz - peg 88
3. Mark Thorne - 19lb 2oz - peg 80
5. Nigel Easton - 18lb 10oz - peg 17

Teams Points on the Day:
1. Thatchers PI - 66
2. Fishing Tackle Warehouse - 60
3. Future Networks - 55
4. Parsigns - 52
5. Garbolino - 49
5. Team Keyford - 49
5. Guru Viaduct - 49
8. Silverfox - 48
9. Moaning Maggots - 44
9. Wyvern Anglers - 44
11. Team Amigos - 41
12. 2nd Time Lucky - 37
13. Trig’s Team - 36
14. Sensus 88 - 35
14. Viaduct All Stars - 35
16. PR Floats - 33
17. Thatchers Vets - 32

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Todber Manor Winter League R2, Sunday 26th January 2020

My turn for Homeground, apparently the peg to draw is 90, so no need to put my kit anywhere near that....

The draw put me on 86, there are two sections on the lake and I was told that 86 was the best peg in the worst section, so even though it was dire in there yesterday and team mate Mark Poppleton had one carp from 85, I was hopeful that with the wind giving a ripple, it would be better today.

I had waggler rods with me, they stayed in the bag, the wind was straight into me, so I wouldn't be able to feed with a catapult.  Two lead rods set up, a bomb and bread and a maggot feeder, three pole rigs, one for 2+2, and two for 14m, one with a band, one without.

On the all-in I started on bomb and bread, gave it a good shot and never had as much as a liner, a quick look on the short pole line after feeding some micros and maggots, one bite one skimmer after an hour of the match had gone.

Time to switch to the maggot feeder, I stayed on this most of the match with a couple of looks on the pole, I had one more skimmer on the short pole and that was it for the pole.  First cast on the feeder, it went round, a good fish, had it under the rod tip when it lunged and snapped the 0.16 hooklength - bugger!!  Shortly after I had another, smaller this time but safely landed, I then hooked another decent fish and after a nervy tussle landed a fish about 10lb, which was hooked in the tail.  I'd normally feel guilty and put it back 😊😊😊, but as I'd lost one I took it as good fortune and put it in the net.

I had another, then a long spell without a bite, I should have changed to a GB feeder or method to try something different, but I must admit I was wet, cold, my fingers weren't working properly and I stayed wrapped in my Gortex and persevered with the maggot feeder, I did get a couple more by chucking along the island and lost another, I felt it wouldn't be enough to beat Mark Wynne on 85, who had 3 or 4 decent bream to go with his carp, his 12lb odd of bream with his carp proved enough by 2oz for the section win, so I took 2nd in section and default section money, as Mark won the silvers.  And peg 90 did win the lake as predicted, well done Ben Hagg, you still have to catch them and with the pressure of expectation.....

Cold and wet (on the outside, the Gortex did its job) it was frustrating to lose out by 2oz, probably my fault for not changing things around, but as a team we did end up equal first on points, dropping to second on weight, so not too bad a days work.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Acorn Winter League R5, Saturday 25th January 2020

Round 5 and I was still in with a chance of getting in the overall frame, so a bit of prep making sure I had hooks and rigs, bait would be simple, bread, maggots and pellets.

As the sections rotate, I knew which one I'd be in this round, the 'middle' section as regards weights, three sections of 7 and one section is way out in front on average weights, then the section I was in today and luckily, the lowest weight section is behind me, having been in it last round.

The drawbag was, quite unusually, feeling benevolent towards me today and I couldn't complain when I drew 40, it's been a good section peg.  I thought I might catch on pellet, so set up a rig to fish banded pellet across, another to fish maggot, this was in approx. 18" of water.  A rig to fish down on the 'second' shelf. this would do for maggot or pellet and another for bread, which I would search the depths with.

Finally two rigs to fish down the track by the bridge, one a standard bulk and one dropper, and a Chianti with strung 11's.  All rigs had size 20 hooks and either 0.14 or 0.12 hook lengths.

Optimistically on the all in I started across on pellet, banded 6mm toss potting 4mm, but after 20 minutes without an indication, switched to maggots.  This brought two fish off the 18" shelf, but no other indications, I had 2 carp and a small F1 fishing on the second shelf, one carp on maggot, one and the F1 on bread.

I then had 2 hours without a bite, trying single maggot, soft pellet and even pinkie on all lines, varying the depths, on the deck and slow falling, not so much as a liner o
r other indication.

Finally the deeper water by the bridge produced a run of fish in the last 90 minutes, no big fish, not hectic action, but enough to put 34.07 on the scales and win the section, so mission accomplished and a reasonable pick-up as this league only pays sections, not overall places in the match.  Had to keep a small drip off feed going in, micros and maggots, to keep bites coming.

I did hook a decent fish right on the death, it went under the bridge and it felt as if it was snagged, it then came free with a jerk and then came off.  Mark Broomsgrove on peg 6 was fishing tight to the other side of the bridge and he told me the fish had gone into his rig and snapped the hook length, I think that's what knocked the hook out.

I'm certainly not knocking Mark, as ever since the fishery has opened, peg 6 has fished to the bridge, but I wonder if that's right? as that is well over halfway to the next peg (40).  It undoubtedly affects peg 40 when peg 6 fishes to the bridge, its not a moan or a complaint, just an observation.

Well done to those in the best section, as the won and framed with good weights for a cold January day, hope it fishes like that next round when I am in it!!!

And here is how the pegs are performing...

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Viaduct Winter League, Round 2, Sunday 19th January 2020

Second round and a cold night with a frost capped off a week of rain, with my turn on Campbell, I was hopeful of a few fish with the right draw.  I had decided that the team could take turns in drawing, so this week it was Mark, well I watched as he was first into the tubs, with all the good pegs in and he pulled out some pretty mediocre ones, so I'm not the only jinxed drawer in the team.

Myself on 116, slap bang in the middle of Campbell and not a good winter draw, Paul on 87, can be OK, but not one you'd run to, Glenn on 53, that's not had any form recently, Mark put himself on 1 and Rich on 11 - at least you'd expect some reasonable points fishing for silvers from there and maybe a bonus carp if they venture out from under the tree.

So, 116, used to have a nice short margin under a tree, but the tree is now cut back and the fish don't seem to sit there like they used to.  It has a shelf which drops off to water about 12" or so deeper, hopefully there would be something there.  It was deja vu as I drew 116 last year in this league....

If nothing else it was a lovely, but cold day...

Tried to cover all bases, so set up waggler to fish corn, another to fish caster, two rigs for the margin, one on the shelf and one for down the shelf, a skimmer rig and a rig set up the same, just a heavier hooklength in the optimistic, no, delirious hope that a carp or two might come over the skimmer line.  Two lead rods, one to fish bread/meat corn and another feeder rod with a small cage on - didn't use that.

Not much more to say, I had one 2lb skimmer over the GB on pinkie and a few small roach on caster/waggler, but the silvers weren't really feeding and with the odd carp being caught I had to try and catch one, I failed dismally, as did 124 and 125 opposite me, it really felt like there was nothing in that area, no liners, no indication of any kind.

So a miserable joint last but one on the lake, absolutely no idea what I could have done to catch one - apart from waiting until April.....

Team wise we were helped out big time by Rich winning his section from 11 - great result from there.  Here's hoping for a better draw next round, when I am on Cary.  I'm on 25 hours in this league now without catching a carp, not sure how enjoyable it is anymore....

Monday, 13 January 2020

Viaduct Winter League, Round 1, Sunday 12th January 2020

17 teams of 5, so a decent size league, but it does means there are some pegs in you wouldn't run to....

New format this year with the same lake rotation used, but a free draw on each lake, so nearly impossible for a team to draw the same pegs twice in the league, as happened with the old system.  I drew for the team and put myself on Spring to start, peg 10 - one of those you wouldn't run to, but not the worst draw on the lake. Put Paul on 113, Glenn on 99, Mark on 74 and Richard on 47, none of them too bad, but not the most desirable.

Peg 10 can produce a few skimmers, but it also has an overhanging tree on the island to cast to, which does draw you to it, thinking that at least one carp will be sat there waiting.  I set up a waggler to fish corn, a lead rod to fish to the tree, a feeder to fish well past the pole range and 3 topkits, two for skimmers, one a 0.4g float with a 20 to 0.10 and a 0.5g float with a 16 to 0.10 to lay some line on the deck, as it was pretty windy.  Also a Chianti with strung 11's to see if the roach were feeding.

Fed the skimmer line at 13m (too windy to go further) and started on bread to the tree, had one small liner, could have been anything, tried meat and corn to no avail.  Switched to the skimmer line and that was tough going to, a few roach, but nothing consistent, no skimmers, no quality roach.  Tried the waggler and corn, again no bites or indications.  A shorter caster line for roach didn't work and I was going nowhere fast.

I refed the skimmer line and sat it out with double caster, I did over the next hour get a perch, a hybrid and a decent skimmer, but it never felt like there were many skimmers there over the GB.  I did have one bite, one decent skimmer on the waggler and corn with 45 minutes to go. I knew I needed a carp really, so spent some more time looking for one, that was the wrong decision as I never had one.  Ended up with 9 points and had I fished for silvers all match I would have thought 14 or 15 would have been possible.

Team wise we ended on 49 points for 7th overall, not great, but not a disaster.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Todber Manor Winter League, Round 1, Sunday 5th January 2020

Got to Todber and found Mark Poppleton had sorted out the team draw, putting me on Ash 72, I was advised it was a good area as 74 had won that lake the last three matches.  Every section was going to be a tough one, some good anglers fishing this league and any mistakes would be punished.

Two lead rods set up, one to fish bomb and bread, the other for maggot feeder, a waggler rod and topkits set up to fish banded pellet on one line and maggots on the other, 14m at 10 and 2 o'clock.  I did over optimistically set up a topkit to fish meat short, but never had an indication on that, so that's the last mention of it.

Started across on bread and had a couple of fish before losing a big fish that straightened out a QM1 - foul hooked I suspect, not a hook that usually straightens. A switch to the maggot feeder brought a couple more carp and then it slowed up, further down the lake there were a couple of pegs catching well on the pole, so I switched to that and never had a bite on it, tried pellet and maggot, nothing.

A switch to the waggler and corn saw a few more fish landed, the calm day was not rippling the surface and big carp could be seen cruising up and down the far bank, but they weren't in a feeding mood, managed to get a couple more on bomb and bread in the last hour, although Steve Hutter on 74 managed 4 big lumps in the last hour and cruised to section victory, Sean on 75 had a good last couple of hours fishing to the end bank, so a miserable 4th out of 6.  Probably tried too long to catch on the waggler instead of having the patience to sit on the bomb.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Acorn Winter League Round Four, Saturday 4th January 2020

First match of 2020, bloody hell, 2019 seemed to go by pretty quickly, one advantage will be the summer gets here sooner.

Today's round was back to a open draw and then rotate round the sections again in the final two rounds.  I thought it was probably best to draw in the worst section today and then have the second best and best to come in the penultimate and final rounds and that is exactly what happened, sadly I drew the worst performing peg in the section, peg 21, so I knew I had my work cut out.

21 is next to the bridge and 22 the other side of the bridge has far out performed it, it seems inexplicable that the fish won't come from one side to the other, but no one has managed it yet.  

Peg points and weights so far including today....

No point pussy footing around, a couple of pounds of silvers wasn't going to do any good, so a topkit set up to fish banded pellet across, another to fish soft pellet or maggot in the same depth, two topkits for fishing down the track, by the bridge and off to the right, one with a bulk and a dropper, one Chianti with spread No11's.  And finally, one to fish down to the pallet of 20.

When I plumbed up, I did feel a fish bump into the line, so was hopeful that I might get something across, I went over there on the all in with a banded pellet, had one liner, saw a bow wave and that was it, not another indication over there all match.

It took an hour or so to get a roach in the net, shortly followed by a goldfish that was nigh on a lb.  That didn't herald a catching spree, so it was a matter of rotating all lines and the most productive was against the bridge, where I had 2 perch, a skimmer, another roach and 1 carp.  All on single maggot, on a 20 - I did set up a rig with a 22 to 0.08 and it made no difference at all, I didn't try it too long, if I hooked a carp I wanted to land it.

Well my fish went 9.11 and that was 3rd in section, not sure I could have done much more, the usual pegs threw up the weights, but you still have to catch them, so well done to those who did.  A hard, cold day for many.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Plantation Open, Sunday 29th December 2019

Last match of 2019 and a rare trip to Plantation, a venue that doesn't have many matches on and does offer some great fishing.
I dipped into the bowl of pegs and pulled out 12 - not over impressed to be fair, its not got a lot of form, it's in a bay and if the fish aren't in there then it can be lean times.  I had plenty of caster left over from the silvers pairs, so had the option of fishing for carp or silvers.  I decided that a day on the hard pellet would be the way forward, so mainly set out a stall to fish that a t 14.5m.

The peg does have a margin down to the left hand side, limited by a overhanging tree.  So a rig to fish at about 10m down to the left.

Started on 6mm banded pellet and fed two lines, one straight out in front and one off about 11 o'clock, fed the one straight in front with micros and 4mm's, the 11 o'clock line with just hard 4's and a few 6's.  The line in front had a few skimmers show, the 11 o'clock line produced 2 carp and a few skimmers - this was all in the first couple of hours, it died off then and I had two small carp down the edge in the last hour.  I think the fish moved out of the bay and that was it, still I managed 5th and it was more than I thought I'd get from the peg.

Happy New Year to all and next up is Acorn Winter League and the Todber Winter League.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Viaduct Silvers Pairs, Day Two, Saturday 28th December 2019

Looking for a couple of decent draws for myself and Paul today, his didn't seem to bad, peg 4, mine I wasn't enamoured with, 128 on Campbell, but I still expected to put a few fish together.

Conditions were pretty flat and a little brighter than yesterday so I didn't set up the feeder I'd brought, I did set up two wagglers, one for corn and one for caster, as well as the usual skimmer rigs and a rig to fish to the spit that separates 128 and 129, finally one for caster through the water.

All those plans were pretty much dashed, I did have a couple of 3-4oz hybrids against the spit, but unfortunately they were the biggest fish I hooked all day, roach of less than 1oz being about the only fish I could catch.  Frustratingly, the longer lines didn't give up one single skimmer of any size.

I had to swap about between the waggler and long pole lines to keep those tiny roach coming, there was no bigger fish amongst them, no matter what I tried.

What a huge difference between the two days, from 2nd on the lake to last on the lake, Paul had a bit of a grueller to and we weren't far off last....

Friday, 27 December 2019

Viaduct Silvers Pairs, Day One, Friday 27th December 2019

Work had meant I hadn't had a chance to fish this the last few years, so was looking forward to this year, fishing with Paul Faiers, against some tough opposition.

I drew peg 38, not a bad draw if the skimmers were still sat there, I had Matt Parsons on 37, just the two of us on Middle, the rest of our section on Spring and Paul on the Campbell section, where I'd be tomorrow.  126 for Paul, probably not the the best draw on current form, but if it fishes hard, Paul can usually wheedle out a few roach.

My last visit to this peg ended in what I think is my only ever blank at Viaduct, a frozen lake in a winter league, gin clear water under the broken ice and I joined about half the field that DNW that day.  Surely it would be better than that!

I set up a waggler to fish corn, a couple of skimmer rigs, one 0.3g and one 0.5g - just to see which was best, I also fancied catching short, as the depth is good and it was very overcast.  So a Chianti with strung 11's for caster at 2+2.

Fed the two skimmer lines at 14m with GB/caster/dead maggot and started short, I caught straight away, roach and a couple of small hybrids, whilst keeping an eye on Matt who started on the waggler and corn.  I kept catching roach, so stuck with it for 30 minutes, I did then switch to the skimmer line and it was pretty slow going, I did have the odd fish, getting fish around the 1lb mark.  Matt was getting an odd decent skimmer on the waggler, but my efforts on it were only rewarded with roach and one small hybrid.

I had a decision to make, sit it out and wait and see if the skimmers rocked up, as they can go 2-3lb or carry on putting fish in the net short - by now I could catch on a topkit just over the dead reeds down to my right - decent roach, the odd hybrid and a perch.  I did lose two decent fish in the reeds - elastic was too soft, suspect it was a hybrid and a perch, but could have been two perch.

It was the right decision I think, the skimmers didn't really show up in any numbers and it was a lovely days caster fishing for 24.04, second on the lake, second in section and 5th overall.  Un fortunately, Paul's draw hadn't fished and we were midway after the first day.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Viaduct Christmas Match, Saturday 21st December 2019

With just under 70 anglers fishing this one, a draw was important and the top end of Campbell was on virtually everyone's Xmas list....

Nice and early into the tin, Colin Dyer in front of me pulled 131 - nice, me 15 on Spring, a peg I have yet to catch a carp from this peg and I was informed the tree that overhung the margin down to the right has been taken out. 

Got to the peg and there was some branches in the water, looked more like a fallen branch (and huge snag) than a feature, but I felt it was the only option for carp, as 15 is somewhat hemmed in, as peg 12 stops you fishing more than 16m in front, whilst 16 next door has an island chuck.  I must admit, I was a bit fed up that the peg had been put in when there was only one peg on the other end bank, drawn by Trigger - 24.

The peg decided my options, a rig to dob bread down to the sunken branch, the rest of the gear was just aimed at silvers - my best bet at a pick up, three topkits, one with a HB Frostie and some spread 11's to fish caster at 5/6m and two rigs, a 0.3g and a 0.5g,  Frostie and Gimp, respectively, for 14m.  I did set up a waggler, but it could only be fished on the pole line, so no more about that.

With a couple of good anglers on 11 and 12 (Nick Chedzoy and Dave Brittain) also looking like they were targeting silvers, I was grateful when peg 16 set up two lead rods and nothing else.  I started down the edge dobbing bread, after feeding the 14m line with GB and dead maggot/caster, not a sign of a bite and I switched to the short caster line, that was not much better, one roach in 15 minutes.

30 minutes gone and out to 14m, this saw a few roach, hybrids and small skimmers come to the net, but I was behind Dave on 12, 16 had a carp early on the lead, but I ignored that, as I was 100% concentrated on silvers. By topping the line with a tangerine sized ball of GB I kept the odd fish coming, including a couple of better skimmers approaching a pound. This line did slow up, as did Dave's, I tried fishing past the GB, and either side, but it was if the fish had vanished.

Luckily, the 5m line came to life and I had a run of dumpy roach, including one about 12oz and a skimmer just over a lb as well a s some 4oz hybrids, this pulled me ahead of Dave and I ended with 18.02, more than I thought.  That was enough for 3rd in the silvers overall (and 3rd on the lake)  and a brown envelope.  Enjoyable days fishing, some good banter with Dave and Chedz.

Thanks to Steve, Helen & Matt at Viaduct for a good match, great prizes, mince pies and beer and all they have done through the year.

As expected the winners came from the top of Campbell and Trigger used all that space to take the silvers hamper.

Looking forward to the two day silvers pairs at Viaduct on 27th/28th now.  Happy Xmas to anyone who has been stalwart enough to read this far.....

1. Stu White - 93lb 10oz - peg 132
2. Dick Bull - 70lb 4oz - peg 110
3. Roland Lucas - 60lb 10oz - peg 70
4. Mark Hayman - 59lb 5oz - peg 129
5. Colin Dyer - 51lb 8oz - peg 131

1. Craig Edmunds - 20lb 7oz - peg 24
2. Rob Eagle - 19lb 2oz - peg 102
3. Chris Fox - 18lb 2oz - peg 15
4. Robert Parker - 17lb 8oz - peg 61
5. Pete Ziemniak - 16lb 3oz - peg 85

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Vidauct Silvers League, Final Round, Sunday 15th December 2019

I did wonder if I could resurrect a bit of pride from this league, I have had some draws that certainly don't stand out as silvers pegs.  Nice breakfast in the Cross Keys at Lydford-on-the Fosse and we were at Viaduct in plenty of time for Tony to choose a parking space near the shop.

Not sure if that parking was an omen, as we both drew Lodge, Tony 64 ( I did feel for him, I had it and it certainly isn't a good section peg) myself 59, which should be good for a few fish.

I set up two wagglers, one for caster, one for corn, the caster rod had a Drennan glowtip and the corn rig, a Preston peacock insert with a hi vis tip, both 0.10 hooklengths with a 20 and 18 hook respectively.

3 topkits, one with a HB float with strung out No11's, this for caster on a short line and the same float in 0.3g for a line at 14.5m.  Also a 0.5g chimp style float in case the wind got up, as the peg is quite deep, the aerator obviously scours the bottom out.

Fed some GB, caster and dead maggot on one line at 14.5m at the start and had a look on the caster line at 2+3.  nothing doing there, so after 20 minutes, onto the GB line, that was pretty slow as well, just a couple of small roach.  Switched to fishing the waggler over the GB with a single caster, but that was slow as well.

Next couple of hours were spent on the heavier waggler fishing corn to where there were branches caught round the aerator rope that stretches across the lake, there were fish moving there, a couple of carp, but also skimmers.  I had some indications, some bites and 5 skimmers on the corn, before the wind and tow made it difficult, putting an S in the line and pulling the float away from the area where the fish had been sat.  I think the moved anyway, as to my left they had a couple of skimmers on the wag after I stopped catching.

I did have one skimmer over the GB line after that, but it was a lonesome soul and I finished up having a couple of hybrids and some stocky little roach from the caster line.  My 13.11 being enough to win the section (and lake), also 5th on the day, my weight bettered by 4 on Campbell.

Overall, I was joint 10th on points, dropping to 11th with a worst dropper, I can't really complain about that from the draws  I had and I was happy with the way I fished all the pegs, which really were some you don;t want in a silvers league.

Well done on Viaduct Winter League team mate Richard Aherne taking out the league and unlucky to Tony, drawing one of 'my pegs' (64) which saw him come second.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Todber Manor Xmas Match, Saturday 14th December 2019

A rare Saturday off for Tony, so travelled down with him, paid up the optional pool and after a bit of social chat and some banter it was down to the serious business of drawing, with 86 fishing, it was going to important to draw well.

Tony had 58 on Hill View, whilst I plucked 8 on Whitepost Top Lake for myself, so had to take Tony's van up there after he got his kit out, a new one for me, I have never fished White post before, so wasn't quite sure what to expect.Once everyone was in off the road, I made my (short walk) way to peg 8. 

The wind was blowing straight down the lake right to left, so it was likely to be a short chuck with a lead/feeder to the far side, I set up two lead rods, one with a bomb on, for bread and the other was a maggot feeder.  A 0.18 hooklength with a 14 QM1 on the bread rod and a 0.16 with a 16 LWG on the maggot feeder rig.

I did consider not setting up a pole because of the wind, but did settle on just getting a margin pole out and setting that up at its full length, one rig would do, a 4x14 on 0.16 with a 0.14 hooklength and a 20 Kaizen hook.  Just before the start the sky went very grey and we were subjected to a tempest, I had Steve Denmead on peg 7 next door and the wind blew his flat roller over and smashed his No6 section, this led him to look up the price of a new one and gave myself and Dave Bruton on peg 9 some fodder to wind Steve up, all in good fun and we had some good banter during the match.

I started on bread and had an almost instant bite, which I then lost, so probably a fouler. Landed 3 and lost a couple more in the first hour, it looked pretty slow for most.  I switched to the maggot feeder after an look on the pole, this brought fish at intervals through the match, including 4/5 F1's that I clicked at 2lb, but they were probably over 3lb with hindsight.

I tried the pole line a couple more times during that spell, but nothing doing, until I saw Steve hook a carp on the pole with about 40 minutes to go, the wind was dropping and I soon hooked one after looking in over the micro/maggot feed, a decent fish just over double figures and then another around 4lb, the wind had died off and I could see the odd bubble and indication that there were fish feeding.  A few others also had fish on the pole in the last 30 minutes - time of day or that wind dropping, not sure but it was a welcome change from struggling for bites.

Jack Stamp had been catching steadily on the end peg and the end but one peg had also had a few and thats how the lake panned out, Jack winning the lake from 12, with 95.00, peg 11 had 82 somthing and my clicked 55lb was somewhat more, how much more than 55lb I'll never know as the scales bottom out at 66lb and that's the net limit.  That was enough for 3rd on the lake, a decnt prize and some pools money.

A enjoyable match, not quite sure how I got the net weight so wrong, just underestimated the fish I guess, still it didn't cost me, as it wasn't 95lb and certainly not enough to trouble winner Gary O'Shea from the bottom lake at Whitepost, which threw up 3 ton+ weights.

Awesome weights for that many anglers fishing in December, looking forward to the winter league on there now.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Tony's Open, Todber Manor, Sunday 8th December 2019

Well, this will be short and sweet.  Tony booked Todber to run an open and given the results from the venue lately, I was looking forward to it.  Travelled down with Tony, via the Riverside Cafe, not too bad a breakfast, the day did go downhill from there...

Into the draw bag and 19 came out, it then turns out it was 61.  Didn't mean much to me, on arrival at the peg, it looked OK, a bit of room to the right and a island chuck.

I started on a method to the island, that was slow, a couple of fish in the first half hour, a switch to the pole feeding maggots was not much better and I had two fish on that.  I could see Bela two pegs to my left, chucking a bomb and bred into open water and getting a fish a chuck, Trigger between us was catching and those to the left of Bela were also catching.

The pole line was so dire, I decided to have the rest of the match fishing the method, to try and make it work, try a few tweaks and learn something.  Then a freak storm, with torrential rain and high winds swept through the fishery, I got off my box and put my pole away, seeing some others losing net bags and various other gear into the lake.

I stuck out the method until 30 minutes from the end and then packed up tipping back about 30lb, Tony fared no better, also packing up before the end and not weighing - I can't recall him doing that before!

Well done to Bela, fished the bomb and bread start to finish and won with 160lb+

Xmas match at Todber up next - just hope the draw bag is kind.

Acorn Winter League, Round 3, Saturday 7th December 2019

Got there a bit early and ended up playing with the fishery dog - still they are better company than many people...

After two decidedly average rounds, I was looking forward to being in the best section for this one, I did want to avoid pegs 1 and 3, so wasn't disappointed to draw 11, for a change, a decent draw.

A simple approach for this one, I'd forgotten to stop at the shop and get some bread, so pellets and maggots were the order of the day, plumbing round the peg I found plenty of places that had the same depth, so plenty of option with one rig.  Next was to plumb up on the second shelf across, found enough areas to give some options and finally a rig for the margin down towards the tree.

I did have a method rod set up in the van, so I put that on the roost, it went back in the van unused at the end, not sure why I waste the fuel transporting it...

Started across and I did have a skimmer after about 10 minutes, but it looked like a slow start all round, I switched to a two+2 line just off to my left and had a couple of carp from there on maggots over nuggets of GB with maggots in.  A 20 Kaizen hook to 0.12 was the favoured end tackle and a home made diamond bodied float, with a carbon stem, I find these very stable in windy conditions.

A couple of skimmers from that line and then it died off, I did try across again, but I wasn't getting any indications.  I ventured down to the tree at 13m, fishing just off the outside of it, started feeding a few micros and an expander on the hook, I had one carp on this, but a switch to maggot was more successful and a succession of carp followed.

The last 3/4 of an hour slowed up, the fish had backed off a little, I persevered thinking they'd come back, but I had to give in and put another section on the get another one.

My 82.15 was enough to win by a reasonable margin, so some slim chance of salvaging something from this league, a random draw next match, before rotating again.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Viaduct Silvers League R5, Sunday 1st December 2019

Travelled down to this one with Tony, layered up with more clothing than yesterday, but it turned out there was no need, as the wind was much less cold today.

Having bemoaned my draws so far on this league, it was a shock to see 130 on the card when I opened it,  peg that has produced some decent silvers weights recently.

With loads of time, I set up a 3 square feeder, a waggler and 3 topkits, one for roach/anything at 6m where I'd do a caster line and two rigs for 14m, one a double bulk and one with a bulk and one dropper, all with 0.10 and a 18 F1 hook.

Two lines at 14m, one at 11 o'clock and one at two o'clock, because that's where the light was decent to see the float and the depth was within a couple of inches.  Started by feeding the RH line fairly negatively, with one small ball of GB, without much feed in and the LH line with 2 balls, bit more feed in them.

20 minutes on the caster line and mo bite, that got binned and I went over the negative line and had a couple of small skimmers, then a couple off the positive line, topped up and had a couple of slightly bigger fish, but Ricky on 131 was getting bigger fish, fishing up to his right towards the unoccupied 132.  Topped up again as the bites tailed off, had one more small skimmer and that was it for over an hour, not even a liner.

I did give the feeder and the waggler a go, but only hooked carp on both, there were plenty moving around past the pole line, so it wasn't much of a surprise.

Decided the way to compete (as it was fishing hard from what I could see) was to stick it out on the pole lines, I had another little spell in the middle of catching a few small skimmers and then an hour with none, at 15:10 (twenty minutes from the end) I had a 10 minute spell of getting one a chuck, again small skimmers, nowhere near the size that Ricky was getting, the at 15:20 that was it and no more bites for the rest of the match.

Didn't have a bite on caster all match, dead maggot or dead pinkie being the best bait, I'm sure they just backed off, but following them out was impossible, due to the carp taking the bait first.  Thankfully the carp didn't come in on the pole line, I think I only hooked two all day.  My 12lb odd was enough for I believe 7th overall, 2nd in section, but with Ricky's 20lb winning I did sneak the section money by default, so thanks Ricky....

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Acorn Winter League, R2, Saturday 30th November 2019

No rain for this round, but a cold easterly wind, so wasn't expecting great things, drew 34, a couple or more years ago you'd have skipped to this peg, but the bridges aren't dominant like they used to be.  The other disadvantage id the close proximity of 33, it didn't seem to matter when the bridges were the place to draw, they are by far the tightest pegs on the venue and the lack of space may well be a disadvantage.

It is what it is and I did expect to catch from the peg, but I wasn't quite ready for how tough it was, I'm not going to witter on, I didn't catch across and caught 4 skimmers and 3 small carp don the track next to the bridge on dead maggot, I was bloody frozen and was at one time shivering and shaking, struggling to hold the pole still.

I beat the pegs either side, but not 31 and 38, so well done Lewy and Russ, the weights as expected came from the 'house' bank section and I don't think I could have got near the frame if I'd have fished the peg for a week.  Kev made no mistake from peg 5.

Its amazing that a venue with so many fish in switches off so drastically in winter, apart from a handful of pegs - I guess I should have known that when I signed up to the league.

It was interesting to see the pigs come charging over when you went near their pen, obviously looking for food, I hadn't seen them before, not sure if they are pets or future bacon sandwiches.....

Monday, 25 November 2019

Trinty Waters Open, Sunday 24th November 2019

It was nice to get back to what is one of my favourite venues, don't get down here often enough.  Travelled down with Tony and stopped at new cafe for me, Wooden Spoon in Weston-Super-Mare, very nice too.

Match fishing can be a cruel sport and I fear it dealt me another blow today, I waited for the last peg in the box and was more than happy with peg 7, that would be an end peg and one I was confident of catching a few fish from and with Tony on 9, a nice little head to head.  The dreaded call went up.... redraw, I did the same and took the last in the tub again, this time 16, a peg (and bank) I don't like, its too deep in the edges and whilst I have had some decent results here, I have never troubled the frame from this end bank.  Tony somehow managed to pluck out 9 again.

Peg 16 has plenty of room and options, I am yet to be convinced that too much room is always a good thing, but we'd see.
Waggler set up, just in case they were moving around, 4 topkits, one with a banded B960 16, another rig the same HillBilly Chump with a 18 LWG on 0.14.  A rig for down the edge and another to fish in front of the pallet of peg 15.

It took 30 minutes to get a bite, that was a welcome 8lb common, on maggot, as I'd given hard pellet 20 minutes with no indications. The next couple of hours saw 4 more carp landed and 22lb on the clicker.  I did expect to catch down the edge and for them to have a feed towards the end, but that was before I then went from 13:15 until 15:30 without a bite on any line, at 15:30 I had one last carp, and a couple of skimmers and a decent roach, before the all out at 15:45.

Not much else to write about, as when you cannot get a bite, no matter what you try, it gets a bit wearing trying to consider something to say.

Well when the scales got to me, my 32lb was a about 3lb more than I thought, but it was nowhere near enough to trouble the top 3 who came from pegs 7, 9 & 11, I knew that redraw would cost me, surely my persistently shite drawing must come to an end soon!!

Nice little pick up for the winner, as the golden peg was No11.