Sunday, 18 August 2019

Ivy House Open, Sunday 18th August 2019

Travelled up to this one with Tony Rixon, so that meant having breakfast in the fishery café, very nice it was too.

I fancied a draw on the old and true to form, drew on the new canal, peg 25, one peg away from where I had struggled a couple of weeks ago, although that was a very hot and sunny day, so different conditions.

Decided on a simple day, a rig for hard pellet across, found a nice flat shelf which I thought would be perfect to catch carp on, this shelved fairly slowly down to full depth, so I set up a second rig to fish down this slope.

Two rigs set up for down the track, one a homemade 0.4g diamond, with a 0.14 hooklength and a 18 Kaizen hook, with a double bulk, second rig a Hillbilly chump, this with a 0.10 hooklength and a 18 F1 hook, this with a standard bulk and two droppers.  I also set up a margin rig, but apart from plumbing up, it never saw the water.

The peg looks nice and calm in the picture, but that was taken before I tackled up and the wind started!!  On the all-in I potted a few pellets onto the shelf and dropped in, had a couple of small carp straight away, but then the wind was making it just far too difficult.  I switched to plan two, which was feed two lines down the track at 8m, GB and maggots on one line, micros and 4mm pellet on the other.  Also maggots short just in front of my keepnets.

Fishery pellets only here, but you can use your own hookers and GB, I had a 50/50 mix of Burts Exander and Silver Sensation GB (this mixes up lovely and skimmers love it), and some F1 hookers.

I was getting odd small carp and roach, over the GB and I had to keep topping up to get bites, the short maggot line was no good, but sometimes it can take a while to get going.  The wind dropped a bit and I went back over, had one on the deeper rig, but the wind soon got up again.  Whilst it had dropped, I saw a few pin prick bubbles over the GB, so went in on the double bulk rig with a piece of worm, I had a couple of skimmers around the pound mark, so chopped up a few worms and fed them in the next GB top up,  I had two bream on worms, but it was slow going, a switch back to maggot saw three or four bream come to the net and frustratingly, a decent fish around the 4lb mark slipped the hook - that proved costly....

The bream went as quickly as they came, not sure if I didn't feed enough GB, but some small carp moved in after the bream vacated the peg.  I also had a few small carp, roach and a lone perch from the short line and a lively carp around the 4lb mark.  I even had a eel, haven't caught one of those for a long time,

Enjoyable days fishing, the lost fish cost me winning the silvers, but I did sneak the section, with second on the lake.  My prediction of the old canal (Kingfisher) being much better than the new canal (Moorhen) was a bit out today, but it was a good match and its not all about catching huge weights.

Norms Bagging Open, Acorn, Saturday 17th August 2019

With the weather forecast set reasonably fair, I was hopeful of a good day at Acorn, Norm's opens have an optional silvers superpool, but I declined that and had come to focus on carp.

Can't complain about my draw, peg 11, it did have the wind pushing fairly hard from right to left, but it's not a long reach across, so it should be OK.  The downside of this peg in the summer, is the depth of both margins, but I was sure I'd catch across, shallow and short, sadly my optimism (yes, optimism) was not to be bourn out.

Plumbing across, where there is a nice shelf, fish were obviously present and I started over there, pinging plain 6mm feed pellets and same in the band.  Two fish for 7lb in the first two put in's and I was thinking it could be a good day.  Well that's optimism for you, I'll be ditching it and going back to my usual pessimistic state, as I never had  another bite for 75 minutes.

Finally had a couple shallow, fishing to the corner of the island, but that was that, another 2 hours passed without a bite, before I finally put 4 or 5 fish together, pinging 6mm Polony pellets down to the tree and slapping over the feed.  This was a short burst of fish and apart from one more which hung itself on a white wafter, when I chucked the method out - in desperation - that was it.

I hooked one fish in the margin down to my left, and before I could react, it was into the tree and snagged solid, disappointing day and around 3 o'clock I did wonder if the day might be better spent, but I did stick it out and ended up with 44lb on my clicker, which went 46.07 on the scales for a resounding nowhere.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Rail Sport National, Makins Fishery, Wednesday 14th August 2019

The Rail Sport National, is unsurprisingly, a national for those employed in the rail industry, it can be entered as a team or as an individual, as a life long Billy-No-Mates, I was one of the lonesome individuals entered.

If I am honest, I am not sure how they work out the draw, as there are two queues, individual and team, there never seems to be many draw cards in the individual tub.  Last time I fished this match, I drew Phase Two, won my lake, but not my section, as that extended to another lake with much higher weights all round.

So hoping to avoid the same this year, I pulled out Phase Three, Avon peg 2, meant nothing to me, so spoke to the guy in the bait shop and he advised fish 6mm pellet across and worms down the RH edge.  Its fishery or green swim stim Dynamite pellets only here, so my Burts choice was limited to Tigernut GB for down the edge.

Fishing this match as an individual, not much point in going too cautious, the guy in the bait shop mentioned throwing a method towards the bridge and I had brought one, but it really would be last resort.  Tackling up I was surprised how shallow it was, 2'6"- 3' anywhere in the peg.  Tackling up it was getting greyer and greyer, I got the method rod set up (it laid in the grass and was packed away unused at the end) and 4 topkits, before the rain started and I fetched an umbrella from the van.  I never used to use an umbrella, but must be getting old, as I now am happy to sit under it when the heavens open.

It was 13.5m across to the far side, I set up two rigs to fish across there, a 4x12 Roob, that takes 3 No 11which were spaced a couple of inches apart, 6" above the hook. This had a 18 LWG on 0.14 with a band.  Next rig was a homemade float, a touch heavier and a 0.16 hooklength to a 16 B960.

A rig for down the track and a margin rig, completed the roost. Started across with the Roob, pinging 6mm pellets with a catapult, had a 5oz skimmer first drop in, then had 40 minutes catching a couple of skimmers, a roach, a feisty little Gudgeon on the banded 6mm pellet, before having a couple of carp.  It seemed like a decent start, but for some 'unknown' reason (the inverted commas will become plain....)

After 40 minutes, the bites dried up, I persevered, fishing two lines across at 10 and 2 O'clock, for over an hour this remained barren and I did try coming closer, down the track over some micro's with a soft pellet, but this was equally barren.  I had a spell of missing bites across, but still no fish, then I started to catch odd fish including a 9lber (most were 2lb).

I committed the ultimate match sin, whilst it wasn't hectic, I came off feeding fish and looked down the edge, where the guy in the shop had said fish.  First drop in with worm over GB, a 4lber, that cost me precious time as I stayed down the edge and ignored the far bank.

Finally sense prevailed and I went back over and picked a couple more fish off, too little too late.

I had 48lb on my clicker and told the scalesman I had 2lb of silvers, after he told me I had 100lb, the scales backed me up and 48.02 of carp and 2.0 of silvers for 50.02.  I could and should have won the lake - that's frustrating, but at least I am now feeling I knew where I'd gone wrong, earlier this year, I was struggling a lot and had no answers at all.  Today wasn't much about feeding, it was more about decision making, I can live with making the wrong call, it helps to learn.  I could and should have won the lake, someone confident and on a roll would have....

Not sure on the overall match result, but I am sure Phase one would have thrown the winner, so I didn't go back for the results as the two hour trip home was a bigger attraction.

No names on the sheet, but that's me on the top, peg 2

Monday, 12 August 2019

Tony Rixons Short Pole Series, Todber Manor, Sunday 11th August 2019

Guested as a stand-in for the final round of Tony's popular short pole series, the round being on Hillview lake, at Todber.  No stress involved in driving down, fastest I have done it so far, bang on an hour.

Fair bit of time to kill before the start, so a look round the well stocked shop, a bit of socialising and the usual discussion of who wanted to draw where - I wasn't too fussed, as I don't know it that well, so when 52 showed itself on the drawcard, I was indifferent.

Being as it's a short pole series, (topkit +3) a nice simple approach, a rig to fish hard pellet at 2+2, this was a homemade diamond 0.5g, with as it was windy and a strong tow back against the wind.  A 4x16 Roob to fish meat at 2+1 1 and a rig to fish down the edge.

Started on 6mm plain feed pellets and was soon into fish 2-3lb, but this didn't last long, after about 20 minutes the bites dried up, I decided to come short on meat and this was steady, but not hectic and I stayed on this until the midway point, when I thought I had 120lb, I then fed the LH edge with GB and it didn't take long for the fish to rock up, I dropped in the edge, but wasted 10 minutes not catching anything, I think it was too soon and they weren't settled.

Back on to the meat line, by now I had switched to feeding 50/50 8mm meat and 8mm Burts Polony Pellets, this saw me have a good 90 minutes and I had to go back to the van to get a couple more nets. I had been feeding the RH edge with pellets and there was no sign of fish, the LH edge where I fed GB and maggots was full of fish and I switched to it, I had a good run of bigger fish, up to 10lb on worms, but the last 15 minutes I kept at it too long, I should have had a look back on the 2+1 meat line, as I only put one fish in the net and that was the smallest from the edge.

Disappointed when the all out was called, this was an enjoyable days fishing, which flew by, I was admitting to 240lb, so when the scales came round and my nets added up to 258lb, I couldn't really be disappointed, but I was, as I was 30lb from winning it, as Martin Rayet had 288lb, the peg was probably worth that and more, but I was a bit rusty on catching that much.  So third on the day and could have done better.

Special mention to Fred on peg 51, Clint Wojtyla's young lad, Clint coached him through, but he was told to go away and leave Fred alone at one point, Fred has weighed 153lb an awesome weight for a youngster and I was impressed with his concentration and perseverance.

Next up, Makins on Wednesday for the Rail Sport National.

Viaduct Open, Sunday 3rd August 2019

Report to follow.

Ivy House Open, Sunday 28th July 2019

Heron for this open, I drew peg two and decided that fishing the method across would be the right approach and it would be a bit of a learning opportunity.

Well, it was a frustrating day, I had plenty of fish across, was getting bites, they were taking the pellet out of the band, if I did hook them I was bumping them, they were coming off and I was pulling my hair out.  I tried different hook sizes, different hook patterns, switch from a method to a pellet feeder and it was the same result every time.

I had persevered for the best part of 4 hours, trying to work it out, I'm sure someone who fishes the method regularly would have worked out how to catch them, but I gave up.

Last 2 hours were spent down the edge to the RH side, fishing maggots over GB and I started catching well, but too late to catch up, maybe I should have just done that all match, well beaten off the next peg by Baggy, who fished paste shallow, one to forget really.

Friday, 26 July 2019

England Ladies Fund Raiser, Barston, Tuesday 23rd July 2019

How time flies, this annual event seems to come round quicker every year....   A match that is keenly contested, but done in a friendly and social manner.

Nice to get a ride up today with Tony, a nice straight forward drive up and a decent breakfast in the Premier Inn.  The draw queue formed and then another formed and it was the secondary queue that got it right and we had to tag on near the back, I could see most of the 50's still undrawn, so was really hopeful of being there, but no, 16 presented itself to me and Tony opposite on 109, reasonably fair sections, but not, we thought likely to win.  That said, you are only fishing for section money, so no real disadvantage.

I was given plenty of advice by the two Mark's (Poppleton & Wynne) and this had me changing my plan of fishing for skimmers, to fishing for carp. So two wagglers set up, one shallow one at depth, a lead rod to fish the bomb on the line I could ping pellets and a method set up at 55 turns.

3 topkits, a shallow rig, a 0.5g homemade diamond float for skimmers and a Malman Roob set up heavier in case the carp moved in.  Starting on the waggler I gave it nearly an hour without a bite, swapping between shallow and full depth, before trying the bomb where I had been pinging 8mm feed pellets.  Chocolate orange 8mm on the hook and it didn't take long to go round, a 3 1/2lb carp was soon netted, but that was it, not so much as another indication.  The guys to my left had had a carp or two on the method, so out to the clipped up 55 turns it went, this was where I had found a harder patch of lake bed, within 2 minutes it went round and a 7/8lber was welcomed into the net. This again on chocolate orange 8mm, with 50/50 chocolate orange micros and GB on the feeder.

I stuck this out for another hour, timing casts at 5 mins and increasing to 10 minutes, but never had so much as a liner.  Back onto the waggler and whilst there was surface tow taking the float from L to R I managed to get the depth waggler to sit reasonably still, by putting 12" of line on the deck along with the 8m pellet, I was switching between plain feed pellets and chocolate orange, both on the hook and feeding, just to try and get a reaction.  The float never moved, to have a waggler sat in the 'pnging zone' and not get so much as a liner would suggest there aren't any fish there.

I finally succumbed to the boredom of not getting any bites and had a look on the pole line, with about 2 hours to go, I'd been feeding chocolate orange micros, 6mm choc orange pellets and corn at 7 joints.  Going in with a 6mm pellet on the hook, I was getting lots of indication, but with nothing to show for it, I then had a roach and after, a razorblade skimmer, so I think the indications were small fish pecking at the pellet.  I switched to corn on the hook and waited longer for a bite, but when it cam there was a better fish on the end.

I had to keep topping up to get bites and had an enjoyable last 90 minutes catching skimmers, although it was too little too late, had I fished 'properly' for them and fished two lines, I am sure I would have been in with a chance of some section coin.  Frustrating, but I would rather understand where I went wrong, unlike some matches earlier this year when I was no wiser after as to why I hadn't caught.  If only this were available in tackle shops....

So 33lb and thanks for coming, that doesn't detract from the enjoyable day, beautiful weather, I find the while Barston experience to be fairly unique and much prefer these big lakes to snake lakes.  The main point of the day was to raise some money to help the England Ladies get to this years World Champs and that was done, there was a match at the Glebe the day before and I believe it was about £1600 over the two days.  Well done to Julie Abbott for the organisation and administration of the event, there was a raffle at the end and my luck - or lack of it - continued in the raffle, although Tony won a tin of hemp and snails....   I guess we had one bit of luck, we managed to get an ice cream from the club shop before they sold out.

Well done to Pete Bailey on taking it out with 242.04 from 54, there was also a 140 and a 132 from the 50's so it appears the fish had followed the wind down the lake.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Penultimate Round, Shiplate, Sunday 21st July 2019

After the torrential rain of Friday and some spells yesterday, it was good to see a weather forecast with no rain for todays trip to this well kept fishery.  A bit of socialising before the draw and I got distracted and instead of being near the front of the queue, I ended up near the back.  6 Hawthorn was to be my home for the day, I will admit, I wasn't too chuffed, as I had brought Burt expanders, corn and Burts Silver Sensation/Expander GB to fish for skimmers, really hoping for a draw on the main lake.

I arrived at the peg and it was shouting out to be fished across with a banded pellet, tight to the far bank, I did set one up and plumbed it up, but had somewhat foolishly decided to 'fish for everything' by fishing expanders short and down the track.  So a rig set up for that, it was the same depth from under my feet to within 6' of the far bank, so one rig for both lines.  A HillBilly chump with the titan wire stem, I have been trying these and they are well suited to this sort of fishing.

A paste rig and a margin rig completed the set up, I wasn't convinced about the margin, it was only a topkit either side and too deep.  Neither of these really featured in the day, nor did they contribute to the weight, so no more to say about them.

I did go across on the all in, but whilst the plummet had gone in ok, the rig was settling on loose fronds of grass and reed.  I then hooked a small roach on the banded pellet and it fell off, then the rig looped over into the bushes.... great start.

I then decided that I was going to make the peg fish the way I wanted it to and would catch silvers and carp on my two lines.  Well, it was a fairly daft idea, after 2 hours I had one 6lb carp, two skimmers and two tiny roach.  I had two options, call it a day and go home, as the day was going nowhere or sort myself out and fish the peg in the manner necessary to catch.

I got out the very handy weed cutter that fits on the end of the pole (screws onto the cupping kit) made by Lee Murphy, cleared out the far side as best I could, picked up the rig I had set up, which was a Drennan clear float, on 0.16, to 0.14 and a 18 LWG hook, with a band.  Started pinging 6mm Burts feed pellets across, with a 6mm in the band and I started catching.  By the time I started this there was 3.5 hours of the match left and I still had 6lb in the net.

Initially I was sat there thinking what am I doing, I am not enjoying this, but I had to keep the feed going in and fed about 3 pints.  It was a bit of a balancing act, too much and it was fouler after fouler, not enough and the bites dried up, so it became interesting and I ended up enjoying it.  The best way to catch was to lay a couple of inches of line on the bottom and wait for a bite, lifting and dropping just incurred more foulers.

I ended up with what I thought was about 115lb, it actually went 129.12 and if I hadn't been so determined to make the peg fish my way and had actually fished it as it needed to be fished for the whole 6 hours, I am sure it was a 200lb peg.  A minor consolation as I got the section by double default and instead of finishing 8th it really should have been a framing place, if not the win.  Being stubborn is a life long trait of mine, sometimes it pays dividends, others times, such as today, its not such a endearing quality.

Oh well, on to the next one, Barston on Tuesday, looking forward to that.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Round 4, Sunday 7th July 2019

Sedges for the fourth round of Tony's popular float only series, a venue I don't fish often, not for any other reason than opportunity, as its a tidy, well maintained fishery with a decent head of fish.

Two lakes in, Tile and Brick, I usually find myself on Brick, but not today, peg 38 was to be my home, sandwiched by the match organiser Tony on 37 and Steve Evans Tony's admin clerk for the series on 39.  Favoured corner peg 40 was drawn by Neil Mercer, who does seem to have a golden arm, winning last weeks Todber round from a corner peg - that said, you still have to catch them and with the pressure on.

I had come with options to fish for carp or silvers, I did fancy a day on the waggler, so set up a shallow and depth waggler, a 4g floats would get to the island which looked inviting.  Next up the topkits, a paste rig as this has been as and far as I am aware a successful method on this lake, a rig to fish banded pellet on the deck, this was plumbed up at 13m - as far as I was going, my back is still painful.  A homemade diamond 0.5g float next onto a topkit, this was matched with a 18 Kaizen hook to 0.14, this was plumbed up at 6 joints. A similar rig, but on 0.20 (rather than the 0.16 of the previous rig), just in case the carp action got hectic.

I also set up a light rig with strung out No11's, again with a 0.14 hooklength, this was plumbed up short, so it was well up the slope and it would also double as a 'deep shallow' rig in open water.  Bait tray was simple, Burts feed pellets in 4mm and 6mm, some 7mm meat, Burts F1 soft hookers, 8mm feed pellets and some 6mm Polony pellets.  I also had a bag of paste, made from soaked feed pellets.

On the all in, I started on the waggler (shallow) and fed 8mm pellets to the island, straight away it was obvious the wind was going to cause havoc and it only lasted 10 minutes before it went up the bank and that's where it stayed.  I fed some dampened 4mm's at 6 joints and went over that with a soft pellet, small skimmer first drop in, 10lb carp the next, so a decent start, but I had by then decided that my best way of picking up was to fish for silvers.

I stuck out the line at 6 joints, the catch rate varied, it was never manic, I came off the bottom by about 6"and caught some skimmers by doing that.  After about 3 hours it had slowed a lot and the fish had got smaller, slipping a bit of meat on the hook I waited to see if that would increase the size of the fish - it didn't, I didn't have a bite on it.  I got off my box and mixed a little GB (Burts Expander and Burts Chocolate Orange) and opened a tin of corn, I fed a ball of GB with orn and 4mm pellet in, put corn on the hook and dropped in, 2 decent skimmers in two chucks, both on corn - sussed it!!…… or not, that was the only two bites I had on corn.

The last half of the match was spent swapping and changing between the 6 joints line and meat up the near shelf, this brought 3 more carp and a few decent skimmers, it was no good leaving the rig still, the meat had to be either dropping through the water or not on the bottom longer than 20 seconds, once it was it had to be lifted out and flicked back in again.

Enjoyable day, my thoughts that I wouldn't beat Neil and then Tony when he started catching shallow/long (too far for me to hold) so my decision to fish for silvers was vindicated as I weighed 44.02 of skimmers for a silvers win.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Acorn Evening Open, Thursday 4th July 2019

I was in two minds as to whether to fish this, but the weather was good, it should have been a straight forward drive down from work - which turned into a diversion, as the motorway was at a standstill at Cribbs Causeway.  I'd also had a chat with Paul (Faiers) who had won the Tuesday match, so I had all the latest info.

Managed to fight my way through the traffic and arrive in time, the plan was to buy 3 pints of maggots and fish them for the whole match, that plan was scuppered by Paul buying the last 2 pints in the shop....

Peg 6, not what I would have chosen, especially with 40 in.

The back up would be pellets, Paul did give me a handful of worms, as they can pick up some margin fish.  Simple bait tray then, 4 and 6mm Burts feed pellets, worms and a I knocked up a bit of paste as it was so warm, I also soaked a few micros..

There is an area across to the bridge that has a flat shelf, but it was so overgrown, I felt it was too much gardening for an evening match, there was an area already cleared out (or so I thought) so I plumbed up there, it was deeper than I would have liked, but I could pull the pellet onto the slop by going in tight.

A paste rig, a shallow rig and a margin rig completed the set up, starting across, I had a fish first put in, second put in I got snagged on the grass which was under the water and lost the rig, elastic (which snapped at the puller bead) and that set the mood for the night.  Another top kit out, duplicate rig and back across, I had a couple more bites, but it was not prolific, none of the lines were, I had a couple out of the margin, a couple on paste and that was it. I fed micros in the margin, just a few at a time, if I tried worm on the hook I got a roach or a perch, telling me there weren't many carp there.

I walked round with the scales doing the board and many others were telling tales of lots of foul hookers, seeing fish in the margins and not being able to catch them, a different world from my peg I must admit.  Still after a shit week and a sad day on Wednesday being involved in some initial investigations into the accident where two fellow railway workers lost their lives in an accident in Wales, I was determined to just enjoy the evening, whilst it was frustrating  struggling for bites, Wednesday had put it all into perspective, well done to Walshy and the framers.

Next up is Tony's Float Only on Sunday, Sedges this week, so lets see what that brings.

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Todber Manor, Sunday 30th June 2019

There was a lot of anglers who were really looking forward to this one, myself I haven't fished it since the beginning of January, so no up to date info on it.

I drew peg 87 on Homeground, meant nothing to me, but had a lovely looking island chuck with a waggler, so shallow and depth rods were  the first bit of kit set up.  Then trying to keep it simple, a shallow rig, a banded pellet rig for on the deck - I had planned to fish this at 11m, but that soon changed!  A rig for meat short and a margin rig, although I didn't expect that to work, given the pegging is quite tight.

On the all-in I went out to 11m and saw that Martin Ryatt on 86 was straight onto 2+2 and those to his right were also starting short, as they were catching from the off I dropped back in on that line and with 8mm Burts polony pellet om the hook I had a decent first hour putting just over 50lb in the net. That was on a par, if not ahead of the others on the bank, but then it slowed up and I tried the waggler, going long again and soon started losing ground to those who stuck it out on the short line.

The wind was strong enough to completely ruin the waggler fishing and I did start to lose my way, at one point I was looking at anglers with a 2" lash fishing short catching hungry carp and I was questioning why I was there, is that really fishing?  I am not saying it shouldn't be like that for those that want to do it and there is no doubt that there is ability and skill involved in amassing the weights that were seen on the day, but I just wasn't enjoying it and really had no competitive spirit left.

I did start to catch some better fish towards the end on meat, but knew I was a long way behind those to my right and Neil in the corner who was getting one a bung, after a slow start.  Wwll to him on the win.

I must be either alone, or in a tiny minority that weren't raving and praising the fishery after the match on social media, I can say the fishery is well maintained, a great shop onsite, its welcoming and is very accessible with parking behind many of the pegs, but I just don't think its for me, I was looking somewhat jealously at the posts on social media from the guys who had been fishing the Superleague on the Huntspill.

Time to take stock and maybe have a change of direction, weigh sheets below, the weights are quite unbelievable.

Ivy House Open, Saturday 29th June 2019

Back to this fishery which I enjoy coming to, for a open over both canals, canals and snake lakes aren't usually my favourite, but these do respond to fishing in the open water, rather than tight across.

Arrived in plenty of time to have a breakfast and very nice it was, its not the cheapest especially when you add in the ground coffee, but you get what you pay for and there are no pockets in shrouds.....

Hot and sunny, so not sure what to expect and even less sure when I drew the new canal, as I usually draw the old canal, so even one of my last refuges of being able to draw somewhere I wanted has been got at by the draw gremlins...

Well, it was a lovely day to be sat outside so I intended to make the most of it, although when I got to 24, I found it to be in the shade, would have been nice to get some of that onto the water, but it was full on sun all day.

There were a few carp cruising round, so first rig out was a mugging rig, then a rig to fish across, a rig for down the edge and another for fishing soft pellet down the track, so nothing too complicated.

A good start, a 7lber mugged first put in, then a 5lber and I was starting to think it might be a good day, what I hadn't taken into consideration, was that whilst I was end peg, there were 3 empty pegs to my left and this is where the fish went and stayed sunning themselves all day.  No more muggers, none shallow and I ended up fishing down the track with expanders for anything that would take the bait, which in all honesty, wasn't a lot - a few skimmers, the odd small carp and F1, but it was far from hectic sport and it got worse and worse, the last two hours seeing only two fish landed.

The lake was won from a peg with some shade and the aerator in, looked like Frank fished a tidy match, but we were obliterated by the other canal which as expected produced the best weights. A disappointing day, but given the heat and bright sun, not surprising, hopefully I'll be back soon.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Viaduct Open 22nd June 2019

Just a small match today, not more than a knock up in reality, with 12 on the Match Lake.  I fancied it for a few bites, as this lake is one where you can usually work at it and catch off a few different lines.

Into the draw tin and 51 was my reward, I don't draw that side often and it has often been the better side for F1's on the occasions I have fished this lake, so not too disappointed with the draw, although with Ben Hagg on 40 with a bit of room, I wasn't going to bet against him.

I was still wary of setting up too long a pole after last weeks agony and it wasn't much better, but smothered by pain killers, I did get 14m out, if I could get regular bites at that length it wouldn't be too bad, its sat holding it waiting ages for a bite which hurts, not the shipping in and out.  I was hoping to catch at 5 and 7 joints though.  Also set up a feeder and a waggler, expecting to catch on both to the island, even more so when I played a fish all the way back from the island, whilst clipping up the waggler, before it came off - solid!! and several let me know.

Before the start had a chat with Ben and he was telling about how he'd been round the lake in the boat and found some hard spots, one in my peg at 16m - well he might as well have said it was on the moon, I wasn't getting that section out -  especially for a 12 pegger.

Started on the waggler and had a disastrous wind knot at the reel on the second cast, I tried unpicking it, but no chance, so had to set that up again. It took 40 minutes before I had a fish on it, a 2lb F1, I had started by not feeding anything, but the pinged the odd 6mm Burts feed pellet across, but no more bites forthcoming.  I tried the feeder, with just micros, micros and GB, finally just GB, to no avail, not a bite.

It was fishing hard, I tried the pole at 7 joints, fishing Burts sweet F1soft hookers  over micros, this brought some bites, but it was 1-2oz skimmers, no point, not going anywhere with them.  Ben was catching odd fish at 16m alternating between slapping and on the deck, so I ventured out to 14m and had an F1 straight away, then a decent skimmer, but that was it, no more bites.  Back on the waggler and another carp, but the wind was making it tricky and I ended up losing a float - I hate doing that.

I ended up fishing 6mm meat for the last hour and had another carp and F1, along with a few skimmers, that's the hardest I have known that lake fish, it was tough going.  It was frustrating watching Jack on 47 landing small carp or F1's and putting them straight back as he was fishing for silvers, he should have framed!

One more fish, or maybe getting that 16m section out might have propelled me from 5th to 3rd but I don't think I could have beaten Ben's 60lb on the day or the 40lb that was 2nd, the methods I was banking on just did not work.  Fair play to him.  Maybe with hindsight I should have fished for silvers, the skimmers wouldn't settle on the bottom, but they were catchable had I targeted them, still couldn't see the point on that peg or on a 12 pegger.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Viaduct Spring League Final Round, Sunday 16th June 2019

It still seems a little strange for the Glorious 16th to be just another day in the match calendar, it used to have real meaning and resonance for myself and many other anglers.

So, after yesterdays aborted match and severe back pain, I was wondering if I would make today, I had dosed myself up with Codeine and Tramadol, more than the label said and whilst the pain was still there, the pain killers made it bearable.  I decided that I would just take my margin pole, waggler and lead rods and make that work, no way could I be holding a long pole.

The draw was kind to me, in giving me a peg sheltered from the wind, in 128, the spit and its heavy arboreal growth sheltering me from the wind ripping down the lake.  In all honesty, the peg could do with a bit of trimming, as the margin brambles, the willow and the general weed growth along the spit all interfere with the peg to some extent, especially in my case, as the end of the spit is not reachable with rod and line due to the willow trees.

So, a simple set up, one waggler rod, one lead rod and my trusty Multi Margin, 5 topkits, a paste rig, a rig to fish meat at 5m, one to fish banded pellet at 7m and a couple of margin rigs to fish along to the trees and if my back would cope, the final section to go to 8m and fish against the spit.

Starting on 8mm meat at 5m I had two carp for about 12lb and a skimmer in the first 30 minutes, but no other signs.  Out to the 7m pellet line, which I didn't feed until I started on it, feeding plain feed pellets I had a skimmer, then a 5lb carp, but again, this died off, I feel this is when I should have gone long and maybe fished shallow, as there were fish out there.

I tried the waggler, but even with 12" of line on the bottom with a 8mm pellet on, it was being dragged through by the surface skim, I couldn't find any trip going back the other way,  so I even resorted to the dreaded lead and got photographic evidence....

The tip didn't move, if I am honest, I didn't really expect it to, the fish don't seem to be getting there heads down and feeding properly, no fizzing anywhere in the peg today, even when I dump potted micros to try paste over.

Glynn Reynolds had said I'd catch in front of the bush, I never had a bite there all match, so on with the last section of pole and out to the spit, potting in a few 8mm Burts Polony Pellets in.  Instant response and I had 3 fish in fairly quick succession on the Polony pellets, but that was it, no more signs.  I wasn't going to put GB or maggots in because of the depth, but decided to put one small ball in. Dropping straight after with 5 dead maggots on the hook, the float buried and after a very brief tussle an old warrior about 14lb was netted.

The maggots (and trying worms) only produced perch, roach and skimmers after that, I persevered for a short spell, but felt there weren't any carp there.  I switched back to feeding the 8mm Polony pellets and had a look back on the 7m pellet line in open water, one lost fouler and a couple of liners later, I looked back to the spit, first drop in I hooked a fish that was in the brambles before I could react, a small fish no doubt, they are the worst for running into snags, the bigger ones don't do it, lost the complete rig, hate doing that!

I did hook one more fish against the spit and was holding the pole bent nearly double as the fish tried to get to the brambles and in end I wondered what would break first if the fish didn't turn, the 0.18 hooklength was the victim, at least I got the float back and didn't leave line trailing, which I hate doing, even when its totally accidental.

The last 40 minutes were really enjoyable, the better fish rocked up on the 5m line, first time they have done so for a while and I ended the day with a touch over 102lb.  No good in section, well done to Jeb the other side of the spit who had 200lb+, I wonder if the fish had moved round the spit into the wind.  Bit of a battle with Paul Elms on the next peg, as a few weeks ago he battered me, he did beat me again, but by just 5lb, so those lost fish cost me the head to head with him.

19 tons today, so the fishing is getting back on track, I managed 18th out of 54, nothing to shout about, but in a drug (prescribed) induced euphoria and a self imposed 8m limit, not as bad as it could have been.

Top Weights of Today:
1. Clayton Hudson - 202lb 3oz - peg 81
2. Jeb Attwood - 201lb 1oz - peg 129
3. Steve Chant - 168lb 5oz - peg 64
4. Ron Hardiman - 155lb - peg 66
5. Aidan Bordiuk - 152lb - peg 111
6. Dan Hook - 146lb 4oz - peg 115
7. Leon Hubbard - 137lb 3oz - peg 88
8. Steve Shaw - 133lb 6oz - peg 135
9. Phil Hardwick - 126lb - peg 110
10. Nick Ewers - 124lb - peg 62
11. Richard A’Herne - 120lb 8oz - peg 131
12. Clint Wojtyla - 120lb 7oz - peg 114
13. Rob Wiltshire - 115lb 5oz - peg 113
14. Nick Chedzoy - 114lb 14oz - peg 121
15. Roy Worth - 109lb 2oz - peg 85
16. Paul Elmes - 107lb - peg 127
17. Sam Powell - 104lb 12oz - peg 119
18. Chris Fox - 102lb 5oz - peg 128
19. Bela Bakos - 100lb 3oz - peg 123
20. Lee Pesticcio - 90lb 5oz - peg 130

Acorn League, Saturday 15th June 2019

This will be short and sweet.  Went to Acorn as a stand-in today, I drew 31 which had won the section last time, I wasn't sure which peg it was so checked, as it hasn't got a pallet, this means an extra section of pole and it pretty much rules out the margins.

It started slowly for me and I was struggling to hold 14.5m of pole, as my back was bloody agony, it got worse and worse and I just couldn't concentrate, I didn't have any pain killers, so with just under 3 hours gone, I decided I would have to pack up and go home, not something I do lightly, but I couldn't concentrate.

Apologies to those involved, I certainly don't make a habit of it and it was a shame to see some negative comments about me giving Callum Dicks extra space by going, before anyone asked the reason why.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Viaduct Spring League R4, Sunday 2nd June 2019

I usually try and get in right at the start of the draw, but decided to hang back to near the end today, so see if it would change my luck, pulling out 109 left me feeling maybe it wasn't one of my better ideas.  It can be a decent section peg and I have won the section from it before, so there was that to go for, as I felt it very unlikely the peg was capable of framing.

Given the last couple of matches the section has been won with 50 odd and 60 odd pounds, I did think that would be achievable.  Short walk, so plenty of time to set up a waggler, a lead, topkits for pellet on the deck, pellet shallow, a meat rig and a soft pellet rig. Finally, two margin rigs, one for the edge off to my left and one for the much shallower edge to the right.

Usual start on Viaduct, meat short, it hasn't paid off this for me, but can throw up an early big fish, not today, two decent skimmers in 15 minutes and that was that. I fished the waggler out to the trees in the water, no bites or indications, although there was an odd fish moving.  First look up the edge with Burts Polony pellets saw a 5lb carp netted, hopeful of a few I persevered for another 20 minutes with no indications.

I switched from 8mm feed pellets on the waggler to 6mm and had a 9lber straight away, then shortly after a 6lber, I was getting odd liners and signs that fish were around, but no more proper bites.  A switch to the long pole and pinging pellets brought 2 more carp, before that line also died off.  Another up the edge on Polony pellets, but it was a 2lb stockie, nice to see, but it seemed to be a loner.

The above was in the first 2 hours 15 minutes, with 2 hours to go and no bites since that 2 hour 15 mark, I fed some Tigerfish GB into the edge, a small perch and a 2lb tench took a liking to the double worm, bit nothing else, then out of the blue after rotating round my waggler, long pole and even a lead line further out towards the end of the tree you fish from 74, a 13lber from the edge over the Tigerfish GB, I had 51lb on my clicker and about 5lb silvers.  It was if the fish had moved out of the peg as all indications and signs of fish stopped when the bites dried up, they seemed to want to be further up the lake near the aerator.

 Unfortunately 109 is the last peg to weigh, so I had packed up and wandered up to see the rest of the section weigh in.  Well my initial thoughts of 70lb being a section winning weight were soon proven to be wrong, as the first two in the section had weighed 801, 101 and with more to come, I went back, chucked back and headed home, as I was going to last in section, so it would no effect on anyones  points.  Well done to those who caught and to Gary, winning off 66, which whilst is one of the pegs you'd be happy to draw, its not had great form since the tree was pruned back.

Quite surprised to see me 27th out of 54 after a DNW, still last round and nothing to fish for except pride.

Acorn Saturday League, Saturday 1st June 2019

Back to Acorn as a stand in for someone on this league, I was not at all disappointed to dip into the ping pong bag and pull out 11, a decent draw and a decent section peg.  My mild euphoria was to be short lived, the dreaded "come back, redraw" was being shouted, as Kev Perry the last to draw found the bag empty.  I wouldn't expect my drawing arm to perform twice in a month, let alone twice in a day!!  And so it proved, peg 1 was to be my home for the day, not a great peg in the section and it hasn't had much form lately.

I'm not going to run through the blow by blow account, I struggled for bites, it was nearly an hour before I had a fish, the line across, where I'd been round and cleared out a lovely little bay to get in tight, was seemingly devoid of fish, except when there wasn't a pole there.  Remove the pole and an odd fish would rock up, but as there was no competition for feed, it was a long wait for a bite.

The margins were similarly devoid of fish, I had Paul, who had won on Thursday to my right on 34, he was similarly struggling and Kev Perry on 33 was finding it tougher than we were.  I did put some micros in and fished Burt Baits Sweet F1 expanders over them, this brought an odd F1 (or are they Carassios?), some decent roach and skimmers, but it was too slow and the fish weren't a decent stamp.

I ended the day with 48lb and last in section, cloud of dust out of the car park and home for the football, which wasn't much more entertaining... so back to the having no idea of why I couldn't catch.

Acorn Thursday Evening Open, Thursday 30th May 2019

Back for another go at this 3 hour match, nothing too technical to write about as I tend to keep it simple with just a couple of rigs and pellets on my tray, although with the way things have been, I did have a few worms as back up.

Into the ping pong bag and out comes 21, not unhappy with it, as I won from it the last time I drew it.  It hasn't had too much form lately but usually holds a few fish, but the match is a tale of two decisions that were erroneous and definitely cost me picking up some coin.

Two rigs, one for across tight into the corner of the bridge, where there is a nice little shelf.  I always go and clear out the far bank line and get rid of loose fronds etc.  Well tonight it looked clear so I didn't bother.  I started off catching well, pinging 6mm feed pellets, a small stamp, but at least there were fish coming to the net, the size gradually increased, but so did the amount of times the trailing vegetation in the water prevented the rig settling or caught it when lifting out.

So, I tried using my neat little weed cutter that I bought from Lee Murphy, but it was a little too much for that, so off the box, onto the bridge and clear the weed.  Not surprisingly the bites tailed of a little - a rooky mistake.

I had been feeding pellets down the edge, RH side and some fish were coming in, but not wanting to take a pellet on the hook, I persevered, but only had one, I finally got off my box and mixed up some Tigerfish GB and put this in, fishing worm over the top.  This saw me catch virtually straight away, but the damage was done, you can't afford to mess about in 3 hour matches, I was one fish off 3rd place and really should have been second, not sure I could have beaten Paul's ton, well done to him. Even though I was out of the money, it was some relief to at least be able to look back on the match and evaluate where I went wrong, unlike some matches recently where I have been at a loss to explain what has been wrong.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Viaduct Open, Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2019

So, back to Viaduct today and try to banish yesterdays embarrassment. I had sorted out my bait and had a selection of pellets, there was a bag of worms and a pint of dead maggots still in the bait bag, I left them in, just in case...

54 fishing today, so Campbell, Cary and Lodge all in, waited and joined the back of the draw queue, just to try and change my luck / routine.  Campbell was my reward, 125, the area had fished hard yesterday, so I had the option of fishing for silvers or carp.

When I got to the peg, it was evident that the guys either side were fishing for carp, mainly on the lead by what they had set up, this swayed me towards the silvers, but did set up the usual lead and waggler rods and a couple of top sets for carp, just in case they had a munch.  The other topkits were two identical Hillbilly floats, new models to me, with Tungsten wire stems, the type that doesn't bend, one with a banded hook and one with plain hook, both 18's on 0.12.

Started short, as this can often throw up a quick carp or decent skimmer, but with no signs in 6 or 7 minutes I binned this line and fed a line at seven joints with plain feed micros, feed No4's in a ball of GB, which was a 50/50 mix of Burt Baits Silvers Sensation and Expander.  I did feed 8mm feed pellets at 25m, to see if the fish would respond and start fizzing.

First put in over the micros/GB with a 4mm Burts soft hooker pellet (sweet F1 flavour) and I hook a carp, about 9lb, it was netted after tussle, the Stroft 0.12 and Guru 18 Kaisen hook doing the business.
After this I did settle into a routine, catching skimmers from 6oz up to 2lb, for the first couple of hours it was best to feed a ball of the GB/pellets and fish it out, gradually the fish backed off and trickling in some pellets without GB brought them back.

I did try worm on the hook, I had a couple on it, but it was nowhere near as effective as the Sweet F1 pellets, I feed some of the GB mix down the edge virtually next to my pallet, over this I had a run of perch, a small tench and a couple of skimmers.  Resting the 7m line seemed to help, as going back over it brought some more skimmers and I did this for the last 90 minutes, taking odd perch and skimmers, as the fishing slowed down.

The scales arrived, I'd tipped back my lonesome carp, couldn't believe I had fished all day with the same 0.12 hooklength, must be a record this time of year.  I thought I might have 40lb and was pleased to see the scales record 49.05 over two weighs, I knew Steve Tucker had a good run of skimmers down the edge on 123 and was relieved to see him weigh a respectable 45lb, so my 49lb won the silvers and qualified for the silvers all winners final.

Well done to Adrian on the win, a tough day for many, hopefully things will start to settle down soon.

Tony Rixon's Float Only League, Sunday 26th May 2019

First match of this enjoyable league, I'd happily fish many more matches as float only.

I am having a nightmare run at the moment, some poor draws, but I seem to be shot of confidence in making a method or bait work, so am getting nowhere near the best from pegs at the moment, hopefully today would be a good chance to reboot and get back on track.  The draw was a good start, 112, narrowly pipped for the section and lake win by Steve Shaw on 110 a few weeks back, an enjoyable day catching on the waggler and then a few short.

There were quite a few fish spawning round the lake, so I was wondering how it would fish, first job was to set up full depth and shallow waggler rods, then full depth and shallow pellet rigs, meat rig, edge rig and in case the sun came out, a mugging rig.  There was time so I set up a paste rig - too much stuff, evidence of my uncertainty and loss of confidence I guess.

Started on meat short and had a 10lb fish first put in, great start, then the wheels came off.   Lost a foul hooker on the meat and then it was getting ragged by shit fish and even a 10mm piece of meat was getting whittled down until a 2oz roach could get it and the hook in its mouth.

A switch to the waggler and I was expecting a few fish, its a method I enjoy and would back myself on, well not today, I didn't have a bite on it.

I spent the rest of the day being well and truly chip-shopped, as I switched from long pole and pellet, meat short, worms down the edge, pellet shallow and failed quite spectacularly to catch, whilst Phil opposite and Paul next to me were catching on pellets, I had a couple on Burts 8mm polony pellets on the deck, had a few liners so picked up the shallow rig, fish first drop in, but that was it, just typical of my matches at the moment, make a change, catch a fish, but then fail to take more off that line.  Had one on paste, but no other bites on it.

Probably last in section, as no one seems to be able to be honest about their weights and I left before the section was finished weighing in. One of those matches where I left thinking, what the **** just happened, I really should have stuck to trying to make something work, rather than chapping and changing.  Well done to those worked it out.

Back to Viaduct tomorrow, going to cut down on my choices by just taking pellets.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Acorn Evening Open, Thursday 23rd May 2019

After a win and a couple of framing places in last years evening matches, I was looking forward to this.
Into the ping pong bag and out comes ball number 40, not the peg I would have chosen, especially tonight as the wind was putting a nice ripple on most pegs, but not 40.  It was flat calm and had some stale looking surface flotsam, along with two dead carp and 5 dead perch floating round in it.  The wind was just enough to skim the surface towards the bridge, where it all stopped as the bridge is in the water.

It's only 13m across and with a nice shelf I expected to catch carp over against the bank, staring on 6mm banded Burt feed pellets, I did have one carp, but no other signs, I was getting bites, but it was from these..

I was fearing the worst and it took until the last 20 minutes before I started catching carp, shallow down the track, I chucked back 30lb and headed straight home, couldn't even face staying for the free cider and hotdogs!

Well done to those who caught and framed.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Viaduct Spring League, Round Three, Sunday 19th May 2019

Back to Viaduct for this keenly fought league, I needed a section win to keep me in with a shout, so a positive approach was planned.  Can't say I was over enamoured with my draw, 99 on Cary, but there is plenty of water to go at here, so hopeful of a few fish.

One lead rod set up, I jokingly said it would go away again unused, but it did, a waggler set at full depth and some top kits, a meat rig for 6m, a pellet rig for 14m, although the depth meant they'd be interchangeable. A shallow rig and as it was sunny a mugging rig, a paste rig (just in case) and finally, not sure why, a margin rig - with 98 and 100 in I didn't expect to catch in the margin.

Bait tray was a simple affair, 8mm meat, 8mm Burt Baits Polony pellets and some plain feed pellets.  I left the dead maggots, GB and worms in the bag.

Starting at 6m with meat I only gave it 10 minutes, as there was no indications and I just had the feeling there was nothing there.  Picked up the waggler and had a 12lb fish first chuck, feeding the 8mm polony pellets with on in the band. I stuck with the waggler for 2 hours and had 3 more fish and had 37lb on the clicker, but then all indications died off, it was fishing hard all around, Roy next to me hadn't had had a bite, Winter League team mate Rich was struggling on 97 and had switched to fishing for skimmers, even that wasn't happening.  I did feed a quarter of a pot of feed pellets on a throwaway line and did try paste over it - no fizzing or signs of fish, so unusual.

I got some 6mm polony pellets out of the bag and fed these with a few cubes of meat at 14m, trying to catch skimmers (anything) I had one about 4oz and that was it.  The waggler seemed the best option, so back on that, but nothing apart from a foul hooker that snapped the main line above the float as I tried to stop it going half a dozen pegs away and a 3lb bream.

I could se the guy on 96 hook one on the pole, so I switched back to the 14m line and hooked and lost one - foul hooker - switched to the shallow rig and gave it a real go, but never had a touch on it, back on the deck and a 13lber with 30 minutes to go and was hopeful of another, but it never happened, it was a real struggle and I thought I had 50lb in the net plus the two skimmers.  The scales confirmed I was nearly right with 49lb odd and the skimmers adding just over 3lb.  Beaten by two further down the section, with just a couple of pounds in it, the lack of skimmers cost me, maybe I should have had some expanders with me, but I had gambled on hard pellets and maybe that cost me the section.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Mark's Two Day Pairs, Trinity Waters, Saturday/Sunday 11th/12th May 2019

When Paul Faiers asked me to partner him for this two dayer, I jumped at the chance to get back to this friendly and well kept fishery.

I haven't had much opportunity to get back down here lately, so not 100% up to speed on what is working, but I really didn't expect it to be much different to previous visits, where pellets and paste normally are the bankers.

First day draw saw me on 27 (I could have predicted that, I always draw the middle of the lake this side...) and Paul on 7. I'd go into a long explanation of the day, but I really don't want to relive it, I had on fish about 10lb on paste after 20 minutes and another down the edge at 15:45 on Belachan paste, over Belachan pellets, that was it, I just could not buy a bite.  I set up a new line feeding micros and fishing soft pellet and had a couple of skimmers, then had to restart a new line to catch two more.  I was getting a battering off the next peg by Dave Romain - who was catching on meat - my meat cutter and tins of meat was 40 miles away in my garage.

I was resoundingly last on the lake, not a great experience and I was not in the best of moods, had I the option to not fish on Sunday, I would have taken it, time for a few beers and a doner kebab to try and wipe that from my memory.

Mindful it was a pairs match - albeit one that was now out of reach baring half the field blanking, I did manage to restrict myself to a couple of beers and was up and away on time, hoping for a draw on some fish.  The weather was slightly warmer and with the promise of sunshine, I did think it might be a day for mugging.

The draw put us on peg 12 for me, which Mark Broomsgrove had struggled on Saturday and Paul on 22, which Kev Perry had 3 late fish for 40lb on Saturday, but not much else.  Still, different day, different conditions.  I had brought meat today, given yesterdays lesson, but still had faith in pellets to kick the peg off.  I did set up a method feeder, along with a waggler rod, as Mark had two on the feeder yesterday, but I was pretty sure that the fish would be down on the deck given the sun.

Topkits to cover paste, pellet on the deck, shallow rig, mugging rig and a margin rig.  I left my phone in the van, so no pics, or I would have illustrated the short margin to my left and the closeness of peg 11 which was in.

11:00 all in and I was confident of getting an early fish, its rare not to on this water, but no matter what I did I could not get a bite, I could see Paul across on 22 catching well, using the same tactics as I was, I had explained to him the way I fish paste on here - it was working for him, but I wasn't even getting liners.

There were some catching, others struggling, I was pulling my hair out, I had been feeding some polony pellets into the margin and it was completely dead, I switched to meat and had a perch about a pound and half, but then the meat was getting ragged by tiny fish.  I had to do something as I was in danger of coming last again on a venue that I have a good record, I just couldn't explain it.

Two big pots of Tiger Nut Method/Margin groundbait and then a whole pot of dead maggot, I left it to settle for 10 minutes and first drop in had a beautiful golden Tench about 4lb.  I had a run of 2 more perch and 4 carp, I was starting to think I might catch up those who had a runaway lead, but as the farthest you can get along this margin is top kit + 1, I feel they fish spooked off, that may have been due to the short margin or I must admit after 10 hours of hardly seeing a bite, I probably overcooked it a bit trying to force the peg.  Between me and peg 11, there was a clump of rushes and the water was a bit shallower here, I had left it alone as the pegs were close and I had an empty peg to my left (even though it was no real advantage, due not being able to get to it).

I fed some meat my side of the rushes and saw a swirl, dropping in I had a fish straight away, what was noticeable, was the size of the fish I was getting were small, plenty of others were landing double figure fish , the biggest I had was 8lb.  Was the peg worth more - definitely, I could have fed and managed the margins better, it was just desperation and trying to force the peg that cost me, as for Saturday, I really have no idea what I could have done differently.  The mugging rig stayed in the roost, I was sure that some would come up on top, I saw a couple when tacking up, but none during the match.

Confirming the old adage fish have fins and swim, Paul won the match from 22, where Kev struggled yesterday, so well done mate, shame I couldn't have added to the pairs tally.  Well done to the pairs that framed.

I'm not sorry to have that weekend behind me to be honest, I love the venue, but I do wonder (as quite a few others speculated) if it could do with an injection of new fish to give it a boost as a match lake.  After a week at work, I do like to have a few bites and I reckon I had 10 bites in 6 hours on Saturday and not many more on Sunday, maybe once the weather settles and spawning is out of the way, the fish will settle down.

Next up, R3 Viaduct Spring League, need a decent draw and a good performance to keep in touch, so fingers crossed.