Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Todber Manor Open Saturday 16th September 2017

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

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ivy House Open, Sunday 10th September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 7th September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 4 September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well done to Tony on winning the series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 1 September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 20 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Ivy House Open, Saturday 19th August 2017

23 fishing this one and after a decent breakfast on site, into the draw tin - there was a section on the canal and 2 sections on match lake - I fancied the canal, but wasn't unduly surprised to see a match lake peg number on the ball, a peg I didn't particularly fancy either. 18, when I won off 19 the other week, the guy on 18 packed up early!!

With that in mind, that beating 19 would be unlikely, I decided to fish for skimmers and take any carp that came along, although I did set up a method feeder and a waggler rod, just in case.  Topkits were simple, a 10 solid, 0.16, a homemade diamond 0.4 float and a 0.12 hooklength with a 18 Kaizen hook.  I did set up a rig with 0.16 and a banded 16 B960, but that never saw the water, a paste rig and a margin rig were also assembled, the margin rig as 17 was empty.

With the lower overnight temps and recent rain, I wasn't convinced it was going to be an easy match - if there is such a thing here - but started by putting in 4 balls of GB at 14m, only one of which was full of caster and chopped worm.  Then a chuck with the method, then another and then I was bored of it - managed 9 minutes before it went up the bank.

Out over the GB with double caster and it didn't take long to get a 1lb skimmer, but nothing else on it, so a switch to worm and a couple of skimmers on that, but it was far from manic action.  Dead maggot was my next choice and this brought a couple more, I reckon I had 7 or 8lb at the end of the first hour. I topped up the GB and this brought an immediate response, but only one fish again, it was proving impossible to string a couple together.  I had a couple of quick liners, which I suspected were carp, I have a feeling that there weren't too many skimmers in the peg and the carp were unsettling them.

I had been pinging a few 6mm pellets out towards the middle, so picked up the waggler rod and had a few chucks with that, I managed a 4lb carp on it, but no skimmers, so back on the 14m line. This gave up another skimmer and a carp, before going dead again.  This formed a pattern for the rest of the match, catch one from that line, try something else - I did have some liners on the waggler, so got off my box and took the set up pellet waggler from the holdall.  By now the wind was gusting and constantly changing direction coming from over my left shoulder, to directly behind, then over my right shoulder, then it swung back  This was making feeding with a catapult tricky and casting, first chuck I lost my float by over casting and the hooklength went round the dividing rope.....

New float and hooklength on and it was a wasted effort, not a single bite on it.

I had fed the RH margin with pellet and corn, LH with GB and maggot, but even with quite a few drop-ins over the last couple of hours, I couldn't get a bite there.  By now 19 was catching carp, especially down to the end bank, as I expected would happen.

I had been feeding a short line, just up the slope with pellets and dropped in here with paste, this was good for 2 decent skimmers and two carp, with a couple more skimmers nicked from the 14m line.

I knew I had been well beaten by peg 19, but you can't see all the lake from here so was unsure how I was doing in relation to everyone else.  I put 23.04 of skimmers on the scales (not bad I had clicked 22lb) and the four carp went 24.04 for 47.08.  This was beaten by a few on match lake and canal - which produced the winner and silvers winner, my 23.04 was second on the day, but only one silvers was paid....... typical!!  Thankfully peg 19 snuck into 3rd place, so I got the section by default.

Back into the café for the results and it took a lot of will power to not have some of this......

Not too many fisheries that have homemade cakes after the matches!!!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Rail Sport National, Makins Fishery, Wednesday 16th August 2017

First trip to Makins for this match, the national of the railway industry.  I had tried to gather some information, but with every lake on the complex being in, it wasn't a simple task.

So, with that in mind, the van had something for every circumstance loaded into it and the bait bill was slightly eye watering. but little point in going to matches like this ill prepared.  I got in early to the draw queue and was second into the individual tub (its run as a team and individual event) and drew Crater 10 on phase two.  Meaningless to me, so I asked in the bait shop on site and they suggested I was looking for carp over 3lb.

If you've never seen Makins and are from Somerset/Bristol, think of a huge, well maintained version of Bullock Farm....

When I saw the peg, I decided to just set up a pole, as the island was tempting, there was an aerator and two decent margins, I felt confident of catching a few, I now know that confidence is over rated.

Topkits were, paste, margin, short meat, shallow, and two for across to the island, one lighter with a 18 on 0.12 and a slightly heavier float with a 16 B960 on 0.16 for when I started bagging....  This was somewhat optimistic, as I was to find out.

I started short on meat and after 10 minutes decided that an early mug fish wasn't likely to happen.  Out to the island point with a banded 6mm pellet, fully expecting some action on this, 20 minutes later I was re-evaluating my match plan, as I was biteless and fishless.  I started pinging caster shallow and lost a couple of rudd - the elastic was far to heavy for rudd, but I had been told I was fishing for 3lb+ carp and I knew a few silvers wouldn't put me in the top 4 on such a big match.

I then a had a look shallow by the aerator, again, nothing, were there actually any fish in this lake???  I decided to try a line with GB/worm/caster tight across at about 1 O'clock.  Three fish in three drop-ins was my reward -sadly they were 1oz perch, another drop in and finally a bit more resistance, but not too much, as a 1lb carp was the culprit.  Another perch, then a 2lb skimmer, that was to be it, small roach and perch made up the numbers, so a switch away from here was necessary.

The match was only 5 hours and by now, I had less than 5lb and it was halfway through, I could see that the rest of the lake were equally struggling, so I fed both margins, RH side GB/maggot, LH side pellet and meat, I had a 3lb carp first drop in over the GB and maggots to my right.

The next couple of hours were spent keeping an eye on the others on the lake and they too were suffering.  I kept swapping between margin lines and had a few more carp on worm, but it was far from frantic.

I thought I had won the lake and so it proved when the scales gave me 35.12, to the nearest weight of 24lb.  Sadly foe my wallet. this was beaten on Reptile by a couple and I went home empty handed, as they were paying 1st and 2nd in section and I was third, I think winning the lake was the best I could have done, really couldn't see another 30lb coming off the peg for the section.

Didn't go back for the results, so only got a picture of my section sheet and no idea what won overall.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Ivy House Open, Kingfisher, Sunday 13th August 2017

Back to Ivy house today, I had booked into the canal match and found it was sparsely supported, with 13 being on the match on the main lake, so no opportunity to swap to the bigger match or that would make the pegging tight.  I can't understand why it's not more popular, plenty of bites, good head of skimmers and decent carp.

I fancied a draw on 5 or 7 and wasn't too enamoured to see 11 stuck to my hand, although Andy Lloyd did say that 37lb of silvers came from it Thursday.  Ken Rayner had come along to this one and with him drawing 7, I fully expected him to be the one to beat, so I had to try and work out how to get the best from the peg.

The higher numbers on this lake are wider than the lower numbers, being a full 16m, I had to use 16m and a dolly butt to get tight over.  There was an old boy pleasuring fishing behind me on the other lake and he was spread out along his peg, with an extra chair and some other stuff - he wasn't doing anything wrong, in fact he was a friendly bloke, but I couldn't get anywhere to ship back with out breaking down.

I set up a rig to fish across in the shallowest water I could find - about 2', another for banded pellet down the track, a 0.2g and a 0.4g wire stemmed float to fish maggot/worm/corn.  A rig to fish down the margin and a last minute rig set up a mugging rig as some cruisers appeared.  Simple bait tray, maggots, pellets, corn and worms in the bag, as I tend not to start with these.

On the whistle there were still some visible cruisers, so out with the mugging rig, 3 maggots on the hook and had one straight away, two more followed, before they did a vanishing act.  Across with the pellet rig to the far bank, but the old boy behind was up and down to see his mate on the next peg, so I was reluctant to ship back too far and I let it distract me and get in my head - rig tangled and frustrated, not his fault, mine, I shouldn't have let it get to me.  I pretty much binned the long line and came short, this produced some small carp and I fed a line down the track.

I have never had fizzing on here before, but today every line fizzed.  I could see Ken catching well on paste, I was falling behind, the guy to my right was also catching on paste.  I was swapping between lines and baits to keep fish coming, very noticeable by their absence were the skimmers, I finally had one over some GB and worm, but it was small.  I switched to corn and had another, this one was bigger, but no more from that line.  I switched to 4mm banded pellet and had a couple more skimmers on a line off to the left at 7 sections, but this line was fizzing as well and bites were few and far between.

Just over halfway through I fed LH and RH margins, as the end peg had been catching well with good fish from his margin.  The RH margin was not much cop, a couple of perch and a roach, the LH margin did colour up and a look in there saw a few of the small carp landed, no matter what bait I put on, the small carp nabbed it.  I refed and switched back round the lines, by now the short line, as well as fizzing, had black detritus coming up of the bottom, where the fish were ripping it up.  Catching one was another matter, had to wait for a bite and it was then a small carp - although I did have one tench about 1lb.

The fish were coming to the margin now and on more than one occasion I saw a couple of big tails or backs right over the bait, the float buried and a little black 4oz carp had taken the bait - either maggots or worm.  I stuck with it and did manage to find a few better fish amongst the smaller ones. 

I had 15lb odd of silvers, which I was sure would be beaten, 35lb of the small carp (42 on he clicker, a few weeks back 60 went 39lb so they are growing fast) and 34lb of bigger carp for 84lb, only enough for third on the lake, I think when the fish were ripping up the bottom, I should have set up paste rig, as I think they were eating the GB and not much else.  Beaten by Ken with his paste approach and the end peg who had a creditable ton + with the bigger stamp of fish from his margin.  At least I managed a silvers pick up, so that was some consolation, I think the bright sun and flat calm surface didn't help, as the lake is full of skimmers.

The sheet from the main lake match

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Todber Manor Open, Saturday 12th August 2017

Back to Todber today, travelled down with Tony Rixon, stopped in Cannards Well for breakfast, was OK, but a couple of the items could have been hotter.

35 fishing this today, Homeground and Hillview in the drawtub and I pulled out 80, Homeground, a lake I haven't fished before, a quick ask round and I was advised the fish were a bit bigger than Hillview.  When I got to my peg, I realised nothing too fancy would be on the cards today, as a strong wind was right into my face.  I hoped that meant the fish were also pushing over this side.

Simple bait tray, pellet, corn and meat, as it was so windy I decided to get two lead rods out of the bag, one for method to the island, one for bomb and pellet, thinking that as pellet pinged into open water on the pole usually works, bomb and pellet should too.

3 topkits, a meat rig for short, due to the wind this was a 4x16 Malman Roob, a 4x16 float to fish pellet at 11m (as far as I could sensibly fish) and a rig for the margin, which given peg 81 was empty, I expected to catch from.  For company on 79 I had legendary lead slinger Roy Worth and beyond him, Nicky Ewers, so some banter was likely.

I decided to start on the method and first cast with an orange wafter, I had a 2lb+ skimmer, he was obviously ostracised from the shoal, as it was to be the only bite. I unclipped and wound two turns on before reclipping, that brought a small carp to a 6mm pellet, but it was tough going.  A sitch to the short meat line was equally as depressing, a tiny perch and a rudd led me to believe that there weren't hordes of hungry carp or decent skimmers down there.

Time to move onto the banker, pinging pellet, unfortunately this banker had crashed, leaving me bereft of anything to deposit in the net, I cannot recall ever fishing here and not getting a bite on a pellet.

Getting desperate, back onto the short meat line and another carp, but this was a short lived glimmer of hope, as none other were forthcoming.  With over two hours gone and 6lb on my clicker, it was time for desperate measures, I had bought some maggots in the shop on site, for tomorrow and later in the week, not intending us them today.  I put two on the method and had 4, 4oz skimmers in consecutive casts, but no point catching them, so plan H or is it J to hatch.

New line started up and pinging pellets again - it was if I couldn't believe it didn't work first time, I had 4 fish on this before it reverted to a biteless zone....  what now?

4 hours gone and 25lb in the net, I was starting to think how I would counter the banter when I was last on the lake, but thankfully, the wind seemed to drop and whether that was a coincidence or not, I started catching on the short meat line (which was up the slope, about 6" deeper than the full depth), a run of fish took me from 25lb on the clicker to 78lb with 35 minutes to go, I was thinking I could do the 'ton'. I had fed and tried the margin several times, one 3lber to show for it, the only bite, they didn't want to be in the shallow water it seemed.  So heads down for the last 35 minutes and for some reason, the wheels fell off, the wind got up stronger and an undercurrent pushed back from the bank, but unfortunately it seemed to take loads of barley straw from the bales with it, dragging the float under and snagging on the hook.

I had one tench in the last 35 minutes, tried shallowing up, going further out, but all to no avail, as the barley straw got involved in every drop in.  Shame, as that cost me the section money at least and maybe last place or so in the frame.  Interesting place, I seem to just short of getting it sussed, as I was 3rd on my lake and 8th overall, today I just didn't expect it to be so tough at the start and maybe I attacked it a little too hard.  Good excuse to come back and try again...... Well done to the winner and framers, same names cropping up regularly, so there must be something I am missing in my decision making here.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Sedges, Sunday 6th August 2017

As I hadn't fished two rounds of this league, I had nothing to fish for except the match win today, its a fishery I don't get to too often, not for any other reason than lack of time and opportunity.  I seem to draw Brick lake much more often than Tile lake and today was no exception, peg 4 being my home.

I didn't consider that I could win the match from this peg, so decided to fish for silvers - I will say I am against paying silvers in leagues, as it can affect the overall result, but I don't make the rules and if I didn't win any silvers money, someone else would.

I set up a waggler, not sure why really, just because I carried it to the peg, the line got wet plumbing up, but that was the only time. 3 topkits out of the bag, a 10 solid to fish worm, maggot, corn on a 0.5g homemade diamond, mounted on 0.15, with a 0.12 hooklength.  A 0.6g NG Gimp to fish banded pellet on the deck and a Malamn Roob to fish meat short, as the skimmers here can be partial to a cube or two of Plumrose.  As I had time, I also set up a paste rig, as they also like paste.

Paul Faiers had drawn a peg that was more likely to throw up some carp, so he donated some nice looking casters to me, I added them to some dead maggot, pellet and corn and fed this at 11m, the 14.5m line received just GB and pellet.  The obligatory short line was where I started, with meat, this was biteless, I switched to the 11m line and double maggot, this was good for two small skimmers, so I switched to corn and this added a third small skimmer to the net after a barren spell. 

An hour down and 3 skimmers for about 9oz in the net, hardly going to plan, out with the worms, a decent handful of chopped worms in with the next ball of GB and this started a run of skimmers on worm, with red worm (again, supplied by Paul) being the best hookbait.  Whe it slowed down, I topped up and caught another straight away, but that was the end of the little run, from then on every bite was hard won and involved some patience in waiting for it.  I did hook a big double figure carp on worm, but after a short tussle, which did lead into a false hope I'd land it on 0.12, it decided to head for the rope down the middle of the lake, the 0.12 could cope with that.

I had a few looks over the 14.5m line with pellet and didn't have a single bite on it, I persevered with the 11m line but it got slower and slower, the short meat line gave me a glimmer of hope with two skimmers in two drop ins, but that was to be it, summed up a tough day.  With just under an hour to go I dumped 1/2  a pot of pellets at 6 sections and it was like introducing Alka Seltzer, this brought two carp and a big skimmer on paste, in the first three put ins, yet again this was a cruel tease, as I had not another indication off this line.

I ended with 26lb skimmers (and a few roach on caster short, which I tried, but the fish were too small and too slow in coming), I thought it would be nowhere near enough to trouble the silvers frame, but with anglers of the quality of Des Shipp struggling, it was enough to sneak into second place, behind Glenn who had 39lb on paste, the match overall was won by Trigger, with 151lb.

Angling for Heroes Match, Viaduct Saturday 5th August 2017

Hopefully this match would raise a few quid and I would draw a peg full of fish.....

I drew 128, the left hand side of the spit on Campbell, not a peg you can complain too much about, but probably not my first choice, if I had one....  A quick tidy up of the odd bramble and vegetation growth that would stop me getting tight in to the spit and I was ready to tackle up.  A lead rod (force of habit, convention or the vain hope that I might actually bag up on it one day, who knows), two wagglers rods, one shallow, one deep and 4 topkits.

The topkits were an edge rig for up to the spit, this was changed to a paste rig when I plumbed it up, as touching the spit, the depth was the same as the open water in the peg, no shelf at all, not what I wanted, I like a margin that is 15"-24" on this lake. A shallow and deep pellet rig and a meat rig for short.

Pretty standard start, 3 or 4 cubes of meat via a toss pot at 5m, instant bite and a fouler charged off and shed the hook.  Next drop in a carp hooked and netted, a 6lber, next drop in another, slightly bigger, then two skimmers and that was it - little did I know that was to set the mood for the day.

A switch to the waggler was biteless, which is unusual on here, so a out with the long pole and this brought a fish first drop in on the depth rig, it took a while to get another, even though the peg was fizzing like a Jacuzzi with the cast of Blazing Saddles in it.  Back on the meat short and another skimmer, but no other indication.

As the spit was so deep, I went up there earlier than I would usually go to the edges and was rewarded with a few missed bites (or liners?) on paste before an angry 3lber was hooked and netted. I did set up a rig to try pellet or meat along the spit, this also allowed me to hair rig two worms, which accounted for another skimmer and not much else.  I had one more on paste, but there was so little indication, that I was far from convinced the spit would come good.

I had a couple on the pellet wag, but it was a tough day, a case of catch a fish and swap lines/methods until the last half an hour when I had a decent tench and a couple of carp short on meat.  This was enough to put me 5th overall  with 115lb and one out of the money - typical!!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Ivy House Open, Sunday 30th July 2017

When I rang up to book in I booked into the match on the canal, I wanted to see if I could keep my run of wins/framing going and I fancied a busy day with a few bites.  On arrival at the fishery, Andy said there was only another 1 or 2 booked on the canal, so only one match today, on the Match Lake.  Oh well, no prep, either tackle or mentally for the late switch, so after a nice breakfast and coffee (A fishery that has a machine to make fresh coffee from beans - surely it must catch on!!) into the drawbag and out comes peg 19.

19 is a corner peg, so my thoughts of fishing for silvers were put on the back burner, as along with most lakes, the corners here aren't noted for big skimmer weights.  Plenty of time to get set up, I had put my ready made up rod bags into the van, just in case the match was switched, so a lead rod set up and a waggler, both with the thought of fishing 8mm pellet halfway across.

I got 3 topkits out, set one up with a 0.3g HB Chump, banded 16 B960 on 0.16 for hard pellet at 14m, same float on 0.16 with a 0.12 hooklength and a 18 Kaizen hook for corn, dead maggot or if I got desperate enough, devils spawn.  Then with such a nice end bank, I had to set up a margin rig, initial thoughts were to go with hard pellet in the edge, so a HB AK47 with a banded 14 B960 on 0.18.  Plumbing up I found a little shelf about 2' out from the bank, that was about 18" deep, then a little tapered rise before the shallower shelf close in, this was about 12" deep, so a HB AK mini margin float was hastily put on another topkit, to fish maggot up the slope.

I was just about ready, when, just to confuse matters, Andy(Lloyd) walked past and said "carp were caught here yesterday, short on paste" Hmmm, as I was thinking I was on the canal, any paste I had was at home in the freezer.  I did have a bit of green Swimstim in the van, so another topkit out and knocked up some paste - I should have saved myself the bother......

On the all-in I potted in some softened pellets short, then some GB, corn, micros and dead maggots at 11m, before starting at 14m with 6mm hard pellet. 30 minutes of this and nothing to show for it had me reaching for the skimmer rig, better to be putting something in the net and there was the odd bubble over the 11m GB line. First two drop ins with a grain of corn on the hook and two skimmers about 1 1/4lb were n the net, then nothing.  A switch to the waggler, conditions were lovely for it, I had about 4' of water, so a peacock waggler with just a micro swivel down the line, it was bound to go under - but it didn't it resolutely sat there, mocking me with the perfect presentation and nothing to show for it.

Back on the skimmer line with corn and out of the blue a 7lb carp was the next fish from here, but he was a loner, as I didn't hook another.  I did try dead maggot, this wasn't much better, I added a couple more skimmers, but these were smaller.  I had been pinging some pellets to the end bank and had a look here, but nothing.  Back on the waggler, I couldn't believe it hadn't gone under earlier and my disbelief was compounded, as it still remained motionless.

By now (2pm) it was obvious I was behind, I had to catch carp to try and get back in the match and the end bank seemed to be the most likely, so a switch to GB and dead maggot feed - as this is something I have more confidence in than pellet - I had a bite straight away and missed it, then another and it was a roach.  Another pot of feed and finally a carp, another about 7/8lb to join the loner from earlier, this was on the shallower margin rig..  There were some very hungry and determined ducks that were up ending and eating the bait when ever I brought the pole back, they were colouring the water, so a switch to double worm made sense.  This was a lot better and I had a run of fish to about 14lb.  Then it rained, proper rain, this didn't put them off but it was uncomfortable fishing in it. 

I had to top up the bait after every fish and the ducks were content with this as well, not sure why, whether they'd eaten their fill or just got bored, but the ducks moved away and the bites dropped off, I was waiting  a lot longer for a bite now they'd gone.  Luckily the run of fish I had was enough, I had 54lb and 47lb on my clicker for each net and I weigh 103lb of carp and 6lb silvers for 109.08 and first on the day, keeping my nice little run here going.

Next up, Saturday at Viaduct for the Angling for Heroes match.