Monday, 6 September 2021

Teams of Three, R1, Shiplate Sunday 5th September.

 I said I'd fish this a while back, wasn't sure what the set up was, I just knew I was fishing of one of the two Landsend teams entered.  Turns out I was in Landsend B with Steve Segar and Rod Wootten.

The draw gave me the longest walk on the complex, 15 on Westpool.  I left the waggler and feeder rods in the van.  Given its an end peg I was expecting to catch a few off to my left, although the wind had been pushing up the other end for a week or more, but surely there would be a few hungry residents.....

Rig for across with banded pellet, meat down the track, shallow rig, margin rig for the LH edge and a shallower one for the RH edge and end bank.  Started across and had 3 fish for just over 20lb in the first three put ins, I was starting to think this might be a good day.  The fish had other ideas, the bites dried up and I had to nick an odd fish from across, one from the RH margin, two from the LH margin and one from the end bank, it was a proper struggle, not much more to say.  My 51.05 was enough for 3rd on the lake, as a team we were joint first on points, but lost out on weight.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Foxy's Two Dayer, Viaduct, Fri/Sat 3rd/4th September 2021

 It doesn't seem long for this annual event to roll around, although this year is a smaller match than previous years given the situation at Viaduct where Cary is no longer available to book for matches.  This means that next year I have booked Shiplate Farm Fishery, so the event will revert to fishing pile only one day on one lake and any method the other on the main lake.

Thanks to Steve and Helen at Viaduct for hosting this year, the usual friendly welcome (hope Matt is feeling better, as we didn't see him, he was confined to his sickbed).

21 Fishing, the usual crowd down from Smithy's in a lodge, boosting the local pubs profits..... and still managing to fish the next day.  The match was filled by invitation only, those who had previously fished, Friday saw everyone turn up promptly and pay their dues, so we could get the draw done on time.  21 on Campbell, 3 sections of 7, only section money to fish for on the day.

I got Paul Nichols to draw my peg and he didn't endear himself to me when I opened the card and saw 130 - not the worst peg on the lake, but probably not the one you'd choose in a two day combined weight match.  Never mind, after ensuring I'd stashed the cash away safely, I went to the peg hoping to maximise the weight in readiness for a better draw on Saturday.

As it was pole only, nice and simple to set up, meat short, pellet at 11m, no skimmer rig today, as I wanted land every carp hooked, another rig for pellet at 14m, didn't think there was a need to go longer, but had the sections ready if it was necessary.  A margin rig as well, although with 129 and 131 in I wasn't at all convinced the margin would be a banker.

Started on meat short and had the usual skimmer, I also had a carp, but it was slow going, I did persevere for a bit, but eventually went out to the 11m line where I had 3 carp straight away, but then nothing.  It was a day where you had to switch lines and hope to nick a fish, before moving again, as expected the short line started to come good towards the end, leaving me with 134.10 which was 11th on the day, leaving me needing a big weight tomorrow.  Paul Faiers on 113 won on the day with 206.01.

Saturday morning saw a few hangovers and the normal pre-match banter and stating which pegs were desirable.  Today I dropped Paul Nichols from drawing for me and Mike Walker got the prestigious slot... He drew me 132, which is a peg that can be good and also has off days, I must admit it's not been a peg that I have had much success from.

A sunnier day than yesterday, I did expect the fish to be shallow, so a shallow rig and a swinging/mugging rig set up and a depth pellet rig  The usual meat line rig, margin rigs one to fish further up the edge and one to fish on the shallow shelf in the peg.

Had one carp on the meat short and one skimmer, but there was little activity to keep me on that line, I went out shallow but couldn't get a bite, the sun had come round a put most of my peg in the shade, the fish seemed to want to be out in the sun.

I did have a couple by sticking it out long on pellet on the deck, the LH edge was seemingly devoid of fish and the RH edge which was to be my banker was similarly biteless in the deeper water on pellet, tried meat and that produced one perch.  I fed some GB and maggots onto the shelf and that brought plenty of bites, but it was all perch, skimmers and hybrids, no carp.

I was now convinced I was falling well behind Phil on peg 131, as he was catching shallow, every time I looked round his elastic was out.  I went back to the previous days tactics of rotating lines and picked off an odd fish, but really couldn't put a run together.  Finally at 16:30, with 30 minutes to go, some tail patterns down the edge and I started to catch, too little too late, ending with 147.02 for second in section by 3lb.  Dan White winning from 115 with 253.03.

Dan White did enough to take the win and pocket the £350 top prize, along with the section money and superpool, with Andy Lloyd in second, after drawing the same peg both days, Paul Faiers with third place and Last in the money Alex Nadin.

Thanks to all who supported the match and I'll put full details of next years match at Shiplate on 2nd/3rd Sept 2022.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 2nd September 2021

 Just getting a feel of the place again before my two dayer, tomorrow and Saturday.  Into the coffee tin early and pulled out 118, not the worst peg on the lake.

I had pellets and meat, no other baits, set up a lead rod that went away at the end, unused.  A waggler rod and topkits for the margin, meat short, pellet long up and down and a light strung out rig for skimmers if needed.

Started short on meat, bt slow a couple of skimmers and a perch.  Not many carp being caught on the pegs I could see, so went out to 9m and the strung out rig, had a couple of skimmers but more carp were evident, as I had a couple and lost a couple of foulers.

I ended up rotating between the waggler, the meat line and the margin, although that was pretty unproductive, just two carp, although they went about 19lb between them.  Couldn't get any line to really switch on and inevitably, just as I though I had, it would die off and I would have to switch.

Enjoyable day with just over 100lb of carp and 35lb of skimmers, which was enough for 3rd over all and 2nd in silvers.  lets hope I'm thereabouts at this time tomorrow night....

Monday, 30 August 2021

Acorn Two Dayer, Day 2, Monday 30th August 2021

 Decided to stop in The Bridge Inn at Yatton for breakfast, it unfortunately turned out to be the best part of the day, even with the sausages that must have spent quite some time in the hotplate, giving them a exterior reminiscent of a Kevlar stab vest..........

I drew myself peg 31, whilst my precious matches on this peg have resulted in DNW, I was fairly confident that the space down to my right would see me catch in the edge or short.

Plumbing up both edges and across, I found more depth than I'd like, near 3' than the 18" I would prefer.  I could find shallower water tight to the far bank so set up a rig for there, rig for the edges and one to fish down the near shelf.  A rig to fish in 3' across in front of the grasses was also put up.  The forecast was for wind, so I did get a method rod set up.

Having caught mostly on hard pellet on Saturday, I had hard pellets, corn and soft pellets, I did have a few maggots but only for hookers.

Started across and had indications. lost a few foulers, I tried dead depth, shallow, over depth, tight to the bank, off the bank, hard pellet. corn, no matter what I could not catch, I had 3 fish in the first 2 hours, not in the plan at all.  I just felt the fish were coming to the noise of the bait (started negatively with a toss pot, the moved onto catapulting and increasing the amount of feed - neither of which improved things..) but not taking it, at least, they weren't taking the hookbait.

I had been feeding a line at 2+1 done the near slope, I fished corn and soft pellet here, had a skimmer, then a carp, but it was short lived, skimmers and roach seemed to be all I could catch from there.  I could see Laurie on 28, which produced a good weight on Saturday from the edges, catching, but he had 16" one side and 22" the other, ideal depths.  My edges stayed apparently void of fish.

Looks like banking on pellets was a big mistake, I dug out the few maggots I had and fed them with GB to my LH side (as Lee on 33 was catching well in his edge), I started to catch on this line, but had to feed my meagre supply of maggots in a short space of time, trying pellets and corn was nowhere near as effective.

Disappointing, but my own fault, the match winner caught on caster, other big weights on maggots, speaking to Rob who won the match on Saturday, he also struggled to catch on pellets.  I was thinking keeping it simple would be the best way, but it doesn't hurt to have four pints of maggots in a bag, they'll keep a week or be frozen, lesson learnt.

The small bag of maggots didn't save me from last but one in the section and all chance framing on the day or over the two, but without them, I would have been a long way behind.  Even thinking about it after, I have no idea how I could have increased my weight without more maggots.

Well done to Darren, catching shallow on caster to win the match on the day and the overall.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Acorn Two Dayer, Day One, Saturday 28th August 2021

 As Acorn isn't available for Sunday bookings, this bank Holiday weekend two dayer is held on Saturday and Monday.  21 Fishing, 3 sections of seven, with section points deciding the placings and weight sorting out the order in the event of drawn points.

Been a few weeks since I have been to Acorn, so no up to date knowledge other than looking at the match results, I didn't think too much would change, although I was hoping they were keener for hard pellets than my last couple of visits.

When bridge pegs were out and out flyers, I could never draw them, now they have lost that lofty position and have become silvers flyers, I wasn't surprised when I drew one, I could never draw when they were king....  peg 34, it isn't a bad peg, I was I thought, up against Rob Wilshire on 29 who had plenty of room and the wind blowing into him, also Mark Broomsgrove on 31 has won the section in league matches a couple of times from there.

Tried to keep it simple and cover a few options, so margin rig set up, one for fishing corn over micros short, a rig for fishing in the deepest part of the peg, which is down the track against the bridge and two similar rigs for over, one with a 6" hooklength and banded hook, one with a plain hook and a 4" hooklength.

Started over, trying to feel my way in, tosspotting  4mm pellets and a 6mm in the band, instant response, small carp, small tench then a bigger carp.  I stuck with this for the first hour, not feeding anywhere else, I had 29lb on the clicker, I then fed some micros on the short line, that started fizzing, but apart from one F1 and one carp, even though it fizzed every time I fed it, I just couldn't get bites over it.

I tried maggots by the bridge, one carp and one tench, but not faster than fishing across, I did try a line across with GB and maggot, that certainly brought fish in, but they were small and I was starting to struggle, I had 80lb in the first 3 hours, which was looking OK on the day, but I was finding it harder to get bites and I started to chase fish - that was a mistake.  Dan on peg 33 was starting to catch down his RH edge, I frustratingly could not get a bite down the edge.

I put a small ball of GB in on my far pellet line, I had switched to feeding 6mm pellets to try and dissuade smaller fish, this did kick start it again, but I was still being tempted by the edge, as others were catching in the margins.  The last 20 minutes I did have a fish every put in down the edge and I somewhat saved my day, putting 126lb on the scales, so a poor last half of the match compared to the first half, some of that was me trying to catch short or down the edge when I should have persevered across.  That gave me second in the section and fourth over all, so some coin for that and some hope of a result overall, if I can get a section win on Monday.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Tony Rixon's Float Only League, Final Round, Landsend, Sunday 22nd August 2021

 5 rounds gone, last round today at Landsend, there were 5 of us sitting in second place with one to go, all reliant on Trigger dropping a couple of points to overtake him, once he drew peg 33, it was unlikely.... with 6 framing places, I felt a section win was going to be absolutely essential, given the standard of anglers at the top.  I knew my weight disadvantage could cost me, but drawing the lowest weight section is nothing new for me, its been happening since the 70's.....

Peg 45 for me, lake three after a decent breakfast in the fishery cafe, didn't mean too much, I just knew I had to go and fish for the section, so there was no point in spending time trying to catch the small stockies (F1's) or silvers.  It was going to be 6 and 8mm pellets, 8mm meat and possibly maggots down the edge.

That meant simple rigs, the lake is shallow, 2' all the way across, so I was distraught at cutting down full length rigs, as they won't do for anywhere else... A slim homemade slim float that takes 2 No8 to fish pellet across to the island, two 4x10 wire stemmed rigs to fish open water, both the same except one with a band, one without.  One rig for meat at 5m and a Hillbilly AK47 for down the RH edge.

For those that don't know Landsend, it has a fair amount of arboreal growth and my peg was a bit of a parrot cage, could have been tricky for the waggler, but I didn't have one, so no issue.  Started pretty negatively and tosspotted some 6mm pellets tight across and fished a banded 6mm over them.  A skimmer a roach and a small F1 was the outcome.  It took me 10 minutes to get a carp, I stuck at this for a while but could see Sean and Martin opposite (through the gap in the island) catching short.

My bank seemed to be fishing hard, we had the sun behind us and it was casting a chilly shadow over us and 3/4 of the water between us and the island, I felt the fish wanted to be the other side in the sun.  A switch to the catapult to make some noise did bring a couple of fish in, often you can see them feeding across to the island, but they didn't seem too interested, so it was a long wait between bites.

I even tried the RH edge after a couple of hours, as soon as I lowered 5 maggots into the water, it was snaffled by a micro perch, so I changed it to GB and corn, that just saw roach nibbling at the corn, so I started feeding 8mm pellets as well, trying to put them off.  I did have one carp on corn in the edge and thought that might be the margin coming to life, but he was a lonesome soul.

The meat line was a non-starter, it was just too cold this side of the lake, so I persevered across where there was some sun on the water, I just kept nicking an odd fish on 6mm pellet, going into the last 15 minutes, I'd trashed my across rig on a bramble, I felt I needed another fish, so I sat it out down the edge and was rewarded with one more carp, the biggest of the day at about 8lb.

I ended up weighing the lake, the far side certainly had fished better than my side, but that didn't matter, as I got the much needed section win (and I'm not bitter, but yet again the lowest weight section in the match..... can't see my luck at the draw bag ever changing).

So, back for the results and the final standing only slightly changed from the pre-match table, Rod missing out, but all the rest of us in second place taking max points, as did Trigger who not surprisingly won the match.  My low total weight knocked me down to 5th place, so a few quid and the section money to take home.  It's hard to be disappointed to come 2nd in a notoriously tricky league, so I might wait until the next time I draw the worst section to post all my kit for sale.....


Sunday, 15 August 2021

Tony Rixon's Short Pole League, Final Round, Todber Manor, Sunday 15th August

 After catching 8 roach in 10 hours in my last two matches, maybe Todber was just what I needed....  Going into this match I was 3rd in the league and needed a decent result to stay in the framing places.

Drew peg 41, looked OK, had peg 40 vacant to my left, so I was hopeful that would benefit me.  I was basing my approach on pellets, but mindful of my last visit where I had to switch to corn to win the section, I had some tins of corn, along with 8mm meat.

Topkits for pellet at 2+2 and topkit, meat rig for topkit, margin rig for just of the bank on the 'second' shelf and a rig to fish in against the rush roots.  Started at 2+2 and had a fish straight away, but I could see others had started catching on the topkit line, so I soon came in on that, it wasn't hectic and plugging away saw me put 29lb in the net in the first hour, too slow. 

Next hour it improved and I had over 40lb, so I was somewhat surprised when the bites dried up, short long and an early look in the edge - two fish for 11lb in the third hour, I knew I was in trouble and had no idea how to get it back.  Going into the penultimate hour I saw a swirl in the edge and couldn't wait any longer, so in there with 8mm pellet, the fish in the edge were a much better stamp but it was sit and wait for one to come in.

I kept feeding the topkit line, switching this to meat and had a few from there, but I knew I was miles off the pace, that middle hour had done for me.  The weights proved that, with the top two weights in the section being 272lb, only separated by ounces, there was a 183lb and then I was equal weight with young Freddy on the next peg, we both had 176.03...

That cost me a framing place by one point, oh well always next year.  Looking back on the match I think I should have been more aggressive with the feed, I am so used to fishing venues where feeding frugally seems to pay off, I seem to have forgotten how to 'pile' it in - and I used to be a master at that!

 Well done to the framers on the day and overall.  I didn't get a photo of the sheets.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Lance Tucker Memorial, River Kenn, Saturday 14th August.

 Today was a match arranged as a memorial to Lance Tucker, who was sadly taken far too early, 55 fishing, as that was the amount of available pegs on the river.  The draw was at the Bridge Inn, where it was good to see some friends and angling acquaintances I hadn't seen in a long time, just a shame it was in these circumstances.

The organisers (Kev and Brian) , along with many volunteers had done a great job in organising the match, clearing pegs and ensuring everyone had a fishable peg.  I drew 35, 3 pegs above Strode road bridge, not noted for bream, but it has been an area for roach in the past.

I was surprised when I got to the river at how clear it was, absolute tap water, I could see the bottom at 6' or 7' deep.

I had intended not to bring a pole, as there have been instances of dogs and inconsiderate walkers/cyclists causing issues, but I did get an old Tournament out of the loft and made up some rigs.

Also set up two wagglers, one insert peacock and another canal grey to fish off the bottom and on the drop, finally a lead rod.  Just as the match started, the wind got up and was pushing upstream - I say upstream, but the river was penned absolutely still.

I managed a miserable total of 7 roach, all on the waggler, only had one bite on the pole, which I missed and no indications at all on the lead.  I didn't bother the scalesman and unfortunately I couldn't go back to the Blue Flame for the results, so not sure what won my section, but I don't think it was much.... the two pegs to my right also DNW.

Big thanks to Kev for organising, I believe a decent sum of money was raised for the Charity that Craig (Lances son) has supported, hoping to fund research to stop the heath issue that Lance died from.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Rail Sport National, Makins, Wednesday 11th August 2021

 This match was over all tree phases of Makins and can be fished either as a Teams of 4 or individually.  I was just fishing individually today, so a nice positive approach trying to win the match.

I drew A5 on lake 2 Phase 1, not that it meant much to me, so a quick shout out on FB brought the usual jokers and one bit of useful info.

I set up a bomb to fish bomb and pellet, a method to get to the island, a waggler for fish round the peg and a pole line at 14m.

I am not going to try and make this sound interesting, I had one bite all day, a roach on meat at 5m, the guy to my left on peg A4 was likewise, I was out of the carpark soon after the final whistle and didn't stop to get any results.

The epitaph for this one is.... at least it didn't rain!

Sunday, 8 August 2021

'Pops Pairs' Sedges, Sunday 9th August 2021

 A charity match in the memory of Jamie's father (Jamie owns Sedges) and some money to a local hospice.  Traveling partner Tony Rixon said he wouldn't mind being on Brick lake, so I happily took Tile lake.  We decided (without much difficulty) that Tony would draw, both being nervous of what my drawing arm might pull out....

Tony got 9 on Brick for himself and 37 for me, not a bad draw as a pair.  I expected that I'd need a ton plus to come back with good points, so had 6 & 8mm pellets and 8mm meat.  I also had some paste, as it can work on here. Set up a method to chuck to the island, a straight lead to try bomb and pellet and topkits for meat, pellet on the deck, a shallow rig and a paste rig.

To my right I had Jamie, the owner, he had one rod set up, a method; to my left Guru backed Ben Hagg, so a tough day in prospect.  Just as last time I fished the venue, it was windy, made it difficult to hold anything over 11m, even plumbing up.

I started at 11m fishing pellet on the deck and in 40 minutes had 2 skimmers, not a lot being caught, so I picked up the method, a 6mm pellet into the band and micros/GB on it, I was pretty shocked when it went round after about 2 minutes and a carp about 4lb was the culprit.  Stuck with it for a bit, but never had another bite on it.  I could see some fish moving in front of the island, so off my box and took the waggler rod out of the bag, but that was a waste of time no bites on that.

I still hadn't seen much caught, so tried the bomb and pellet where I'd been feeding the 8mm pellets, about 5m off the island.  Not as much as a liner.

By now I was wishing I'd brought some worms and skimmer GB, I did knock up some GB and opened a tin of corn, just to try and put something in the net, the GB worked and I had a few decent skimmers, then a carp about 6lb, I was hopeful the feeding skimmers would draw some carp in, well that didn't happen, I tried the short meat line every 15 mins or so, but never had a bite on it.

Next to me Ben had persisted with slapping and did get some carp in the end, enough to win the lake, fair play to him, I just cannot do it, the monotony it of breaks me after 10 minutes or so without a bite. Jamie's single rod approach also paid off as he beat me by 8lb.

Thankfully Tony had a second on lake, my gamble on catching skimmers paid off and we ended up third overall and last in the money, with me winning the silvers as well, so a reasonably happy van on the way back up the M5.  Well done to Ben and Scott who slapped their way to victory.

Overall 1st Scott Puddy and Ben Hagg 5 points 124lb 4oz
Overall 2nd Jamie Parkhouse and Paul Homewood 9 points 147lb 4oz
Overall 3rd Tony Rixon and Chris Fox 9 points 140lb 4oz

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Phil's open, Viaduct, Saturday 7th August 2021

 First trip down to Viaduct for a while, some no shows put the number down to 17, I managed to draw myself 132, it's one of those pegs that can be brilliant, or not so good, as it's a corner and the fish do come and go from it.

Two rigs for pellet in open water, one on the deck, one shallow, a meat rig for 2+2 and a margin rig to fish up the edge and to the end bank if necessary.  Also set up a straight lead, didn't bother with the waggler, couldn't really see many fish moving.

Started short on meat, but nothing on that, not even a skimmer, I had pinged a few 8mm pellets out into open water and went over them with the lead, I also fed 8mm pellets to the end of the willow that hangs over the RH side of the peg, from both these lines I caught fish and put 60lb in the net in an hour and 50 minutes, happy with that I was hoping for at least the same in the middle two hours and then a good last two.

Well that didn't work, I had two more fish in the middle two hours, one on the lead and one shallow on the pole, I wasn't getting liners anywhere, it didn't feel like there were many fish there.  I even went up the edge a bit early and had a skimmer on 8mm pellet, same down the LH edge, I never even hooked a carp in the edge, which is unusual even for an off day on the peg.

Last two hours I had a few skimmers on meat and an odd carp, about another 60lb in total and so it proved, I put 122lb on the scales for less than half way up the field, not sure what I could have done differently.  135 didn't weigh in,  so there weren't too many fish up this end.   No picture of the weigh sheet, as I manged to put my phone into a bait tub with meat and water in and it died..... expensive day!!!

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Tony Rixon's Float Only, Penultimate Round, Todber Manor, Sunday 1st August 2021

 Everyone was a little shell shocked by the results from the festival the week before this match with anglers catching over 400lb and coming nowhere.  I didn't expect such big weights today, as there were less on the lakes.

Peg 52 for me, I felt there were better pegs in the section, so it would be a case of getting my head down and concentrate for 5 hours.  I had banked on pellets being the bait that would see me through the 5 hours, so my main line of attack was two rigs for straight in front at 2+2 and topkit. Also a margin rig and a shallow rig.  The two open water rigs were glass stemmed to take the pressure of catching short and quickly..... hmmm.

Started at 2+2 and banded 6mm, it took a little while to kick off and never really got going at a rate I felt would see a big weight, I'd been feeding the topkit line and came in on that, had a carp instantly, then a small tench and that was it, nothing.  Back on the 2+2 line and by toss potting a few pellets I could get odd bites, but it was pretty slow going.

I tried the LH margin, even 8mm pellet was getting ragged by small silvers, I wasn't convinced there were too many carp down this arm today, but there was obviously some, I needed a section win to be in with any chance of keeping in touch with the league leaders.

I ended up opening a couple of tins of corn and feeding that short, it was better than pellet and I had a steady run of fish at the end, which thankfully was enough to see me over the line of the section, but a long way from the framers.

I think this is the table going into the last round, but I haven't had all the details of stand-in's this does have the worst result dropped.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Open, Acorn, Saturday 31st July 2021

 One of my matches at Acorn today, with the optional series alongside.  Had a few drop out, and they let me know, but two no shows on the day put the numbers down to 17, at least it meant plenty of room for everyone.

I had the last but one ping pong ball out of the bag, 21, not the peg it was, I have won from it in the past, but wasn't convinced that it was a good draw today.  I set up topkits for across - banded pellet, down the edge, one for the near shelf and also one for the bridge, to fish against the middle stanchion.

Started across with banded pellet, I had two bites, one small carp (less than a lb) and one similar that fell off at the net and that was it, there really didn't seem to be any fish over there. I fed groundbait and dead maggots to the bridge and slowly started to catch a few tench and skimmers, with the odd carp thrown in. 

I did feed the margin, but that wasn't any more productive than the farside, so I just concentrated on the middle of the bridge, I had to feed a ball of GB after every 2nd fish or the bites dried up.  I knew I had no chance of catching enough carp, so settled for fishing for silvers as the only chance of pocketing some coin.  It worked out a good decision and I won the silvers, so a pick up when otherwise I would have gone home empty handed.

Bit tricky to call the optional series placings yet as there are only three matches gone, but it's difficult to see past Martin Rayet who has won all three matches so far.  Best 4 of 6 to count in the series.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Ivy House Open, Sunday 25th July 2021

 Just a 13 pegger today on the Old Match Lake at Ivy, travelled up with Tony and had breakfast there, it's not the cheapest, but it's nice.

Tony beat me to the draw tin as I wasn't paying attention, he pulled 12 - nice you can reach the island with 16m, somewhat disappointingly I drew 13 out of the tin, same peg as last time on the lake where I managed 3rd, but that time there was a silvers angler on 12, who never went near the island, that wasn't going to be the case today.

Rather sportingly I did help Tony get his pole (Daiwa) up to the full 16m limit, perhaps I should have just stayed quiet... Last time I was on this peg I caught most fish on the waggler, so that was first out of the bag, I did get a method feeder out, but that stayed led on the bank and went away unused.

Topkits for margin, a short line where I intended to fish 5mm pellets as if they were meat, a rig for banded pellet at 11m and a silvers rig, jut in case I had to fish for bites.  Couldn't see the point in going long on the pole, as it's too far from the island, could probably do it with 17m and a metre of lash, but that's not allowed.

Started short on 8mm pellet hoping for  'mug' fish, but nothing, I'd fed two lines at 11m, 10 and 2 o'clock, GB/maggots on one, corn and micros on the other, the skimmers weren't queuing up and I probably spent 15 minutes too long trying to catch them whilst I primed the island to fish the waggler.  I did have a couple of skimmers and two small carp on it, but by now Tony had shipped out to the island and was catching carp.

The difficulty in fishing the waggler to the island was the same as the last time I fished the peg, to get a bite, it had to right up on the mudline and not be dragged away by wind, surface trip (which there was very little of in all honesty) or the ducks that were attracted to the pellets.

I caught intermittently, as the fish would disappear  after 2 or 3 had been caught, switching to the other lines was pretty much a non-start, even though the 5m line was fizzing, I tried worms over it as well, to no avail  I did try worm on the waggler over to the island, I had one on it, but I felt pellet was better when the cast and presentation were right.

Finally the edge started to give up a couple of fish, not frantic, but 3 or 4 better fish in the last 30 minutes, including one landed after the whistle.  I knew Tony had beaten me, he just caught more consistently across to the island. By the time the scales came round there had been a couple of ton weights and Stu on peg 10 added another, I didn't think I had that.  

Tony's fish went on the scales and he'd somehow manged to get 42lb in one net and 83 in the other, losing the second net by exceeding 80lb.  About 4 or 5 years ago we were pegged next to each other in a Viaduct winter league, I did exactly the same with the same weight over, that cost me a 96 peg match win, this cost Tony a 13 peg match win. I did have a ton, just over 105.10 which was enough for 3rd on the day, one out of the money, so a skint van going home....

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Tony Rixon's Short Pole League, R3, Trinity Waters, Sunday 11th July 2021

 Some trepidation after the really tough round here a fortnight ago when I had only 4 bites all match.   To widen my options this round I brought casters, maggots and worms, to widen my options, rather than gambling all out on carp.  The next important thing was top draw one of the pegs with space or an empty peg next to it -  failed miserably on that account drawing 11, nicely surrounded.

Started on paste, as that is probably the best chance of picking up an early 'mug' fish, it paid off with a double figure mirror after about 20 minutes, next drop in hooked another good one and was only slightly frustrated when it came off at the net...... that could be costly.

I fed my catch all line and pretty much stayed there all day, catching an odd skimmer and 3 more carp on worms to end up with 44lb and a section win - happy with that as I really don't feel I could compete with the pegs that had space.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Ivy House Open, Saturday 10th July 2021

 An open spread over Kingfisher and the old match lake, fancied Kingfisher, but drew OML - not much changes does it.....

Anyway, peg 13 for me, can't reach the island with 16m and that's where you need to be to catch consistently.  So I had to set up a method and a waggler, the pole was set up to try and encourage them short (and long, but 13 is the narrowest peg on the causeway, so is at least a single breakdown of the pole for shipping).

I really couldn't persuade the fish to come off the island and the waggler wasn't much use, so I picked up a method rod, I had one on this and the fish were rolling along the island and over the method, but could I catch on it, I had one and that was it, tried switching to maggots, that saw constant silvers bites, wafters, bigger pellets, smaller pellets and dropping it slightly short, all to no avail.

I fed a line with some 4mm pellets, GB and dead maggots at 11m, just a catch all line, this did produce a few skimmers, but I'd not really come to fish for silvers - unless they wanted to eat hard pellets, which today they didn't - so I spent the rest of the match fishing the waggler and that started to produce a few fish, maybe stopping several times to look on the 5m line and in the margin cost me winning the lake, as I never had a fish from either line.

Ended with 48lb for 3rd on the lake, missing out by 5lb for a lake win, the best weights came from Kingfisher, pretty certain I was never going to compete with those on the day, but should have won the lake, oh well, upwards and onwards.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Tony Rixon's Float Only R3, Landsend, Sunday 4th July 2021

 So, back to my bittersweet venue, I just love its location, its peace and tranquillity, I get frustrated with the bankside vegetation and I also seem to struggle on here, unless I fish for silvers - no point in fishing for them this match, as I have a section second and my disaster on the squircle, at least I can drop that one!!   A section win is a must.

Into the draw tin first and 18 on the match lake for me, next to venue regular Russ Peck and I could keep on eye on Tony, as he was diagonally opposite through the gap in the islands, on peg 5.  This lake has seen a stocking of small tench, F1's and crucians, but I felt to catch enough I'd have to focus on the carp.

Rigs set up for meat short, pellets down the track, margin and across to the island, where there was a nice depth of around 18".  Started short on meat, all that produced was some missed bites and some little bars of soap (tench), harder to handle than eels.....  I stuck with it switching sides and changing to pellet, whilst priming over to the island.  That produced a 3lb skimmer and a couple more tench, but was going nowhere fast, I switched to fishing at 16m to the point of the island.  I had a couple of carp, fishing a banded 6mm pellet over 6mm pellet.  I kept at it, then had 4 carp in four put ins, kiss of death then as Russ on 19, said "You've got them there now", that was it, they disappeared.

I came back on the short line and upped the feed, had a carp and indications that there were others in the peg, but I never felt they were really interested in feeding, just coming to the feed without eating.  By now I had my earbuds in listening to Max winning the GP.  The weather had turned, it was pissing down and it certainly didn't feel like July.

The rain did ease off and stop, I had kept a few pellets going in over to the island and had a good last hour across there and I thought I had about 85lb, turned out with my few 'accidentals' I had 95.11, which was 4th on the lake, but more importantly, the section win.  Got to miss the next round, but I can have a stand in for one match thankfully.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Tony Rixon's Short Pole League, R2, Trinity Waters, Sunday 27th June 2021

 I used to be quite a regular here, but what with other commitments and not so many opens on here, I don't get down too often. It's an old brick pit, so a bit deeper than most commercials, although some of the work done on the lake and the silting up that is impossible to avoid has reduced the depth from when I first started fishing it.

Its also not had a stocking for a while and has a head of big carp, but no smaller ones to stir them up and as we know, big carp can be moody and have days they don't really feed for the duration of the match.  With 24 on today and restricted to 3 sections + topkit, I suspected a tough day and thought 2 or 3 converted bites an hour would be enough.

Paste, pellets and dead maggots would be my mainstay baits, with some worms for the hook, you can use meat here, but I have never caught on it (although a few years back, Coshida was a decent margin bait, so catmeat was OK).

Paste rig and pellet rig for on the deck, rig for each margin, as they were different depths (small moan here - I was on peg 13, the only peg in the section without a spare peg one side..... but it's tricky to peg it any other way, so it is not a serious moan).

Well, 30 minutes in and a double figure fish in the net on past, nice, but usually on here when you feed you get the jacuzzi effect, not today. I gave it until the hour mark and switched to a line away from the paste, fishing 6mm banded pellet, another carp, so slow but steady progress.

Lets now jump several biteless hours, where I tried everything and could not get even a liner.  The Grand Prix was on in my headphones, so I at least had some entertainment, I potted a 3/4 of a big pot of dampened 4's in, shit or bust really and did get some activity in the peg, hooking a another double on worm over the pellet, hook pulled at the net, so that summed up the day, I hooked and lost a fouler and then nothing again.  Had one 5 minutes from the end on paste, so 4 bites in 6 hours, not my idea of fun really.  I couldn't even catch a skimmer on bits of worm.

The lake fished hard, back there for R3 in two weeks, so may have to rethink the approach, but in all fairness it fished hard for most.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Tony Rixon's Float Only R2, Shiplate Farm, Sunday 20th June 2021

 Shiplate Farm today for the second round of Tony's popular float only league, this is a lovely fishery near Weston-Super-Mare, right on the banks of the river Axe.

I was hoping for a draw on the main lake, big carp and a big head of skimmers, suits me perfectly. second to that, either of the two canals, what I wanted to avoid was the 5 pegs on the lake know as Squircle.  Where did I draw, yep, from a 1/8 chance, Squircle 9.

X marks the spot where my peg was, less than 10m wide, the lake holds small carp, some ornamentals and very few silvers.  I banked on pellets and set up 3 rigs to fish different depths on the far slope, from tight to the bank in 8" of water, one at about 14" and another at 18".  I did set a rig at depth to fish maggot short.

I wasn't enthused at all by the peg/lake and started short, had a couple of goldfish and two unexpected skimmers, but it wasn't ever going to be productive enough to compete.  Switched to fishing pellet over - hardly a hardship at 9m.... this wasn't much quicker and I doubt I had 4lb in the first hour,

I persisted with this, but could see Paul on peg 14 catching better fish on meat, 14 is on the opposite bank where the lake opens up a little wider.  I hadn't brought a meat cutter, but had in anticipation of a draw on the main lake, brought some meat already cut up to 8mm.  I did get of my box and set up another rig to fish this, but by now my frustration at drawing the bloody fishpond, not being able to get a signal to listen to the GP and the ducks, the f##king ducks.....  

I am usually pretty laid back with ducks, I don't think the fish mind them, because this lake is shallow and it has a head of ducks that would put a duck farm to shame, meant that it was impossible to feed any other line than that which you fished at the time.  If I fished short and fed over, the ducks would be diving and eating al the bait and vice versa.  I did have some better fish (1lb - 2lb), but I took too long to change to the meat and just lost my head with it and beat myself.  Not sure I could have beaten the end pegs, but if I had not got myself so pissed off, I could have pushed them a lot closer.

Some great weights of skimmers of the main lake, whilst the carp didn't really feed well on the other lakes.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Ivy House Open, Saturday 19th June 2021

Back to Ivy House for an open on the Old Match Lake, found a diversion set up as the road through Sutton Benger was closed, bloody hell, it was a 10 or 12 mile detour, I was so late Karen rang me to make sure I was still coming to the match! 

Peg 2 for me today, with the temperature having dropped and the threat of some rain, I wasn't sure that 2 was a favoured draw, although there were a few blows and signs of fish, so I was hopeful that I could get a few out.

With the island well out of pole reach I set up a method and a bomb - neither of which were cast in , so that's them forgotten about - those rods must get fed up coming along for the ride, being set up and then put away again at the end unused..... 😀  Also a waggler rod.

Pole rigs were a rig to fish the edges, one for pellets at 5m and one for pellets at 14.5m.  Nice and simple.

Started at 5m with 8mm as sometimes this throws up a fish or two, it did today, but skimmers not the expected and wanted carp.  After 20 minutes I switched to the waggler and gave that a good go, but never had a bite on it.  

Onto the 14m line and again. skimmers in place of carp, with two hours gone I decided to switch to fishing for skimmers and set up a new line at 11m with some GB and maggots, it wasn't manic and I had to sit and wait for bites, worm was the best hookbait and the fish were all a reasonable stamp.  I did land 3 smallish carp that muscled in on the act, but was never pestered by them.

Even though the bites weren't coming that often, I had to feed after every one or else they dried up completely.  Never felt there were that many fish over the bait, as you usually get liners and indications when you have skimmers in the peg.

Come the end, it proved to be the right decision to switch to silvers, as two corner pegs took first and second overall and I don't think I could have got to their weights.

Enjoyable day and it didn't rain!

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Open, Landsend Lake 3, Sunday 13th June 2021

Yesterday should have been the final round of the delayed Acorn winter league, but with the fishery closed for a couple of weeks it was decided to end the league after 5 rounds, leaving me in second place, can't grumble a nice pick up to come and you can't keep rearranging leagues and expecting everyone to be available,

 Back to my love / hate venue today, love the tranquillity of its location on the moors, but my record there isn't the best.... more of a knock up than a match, with 12 fishing.

Travelled down with Tony, had a great breakfast at the venue and wasn't surprised when Tony drew 58 for what seems like the third time running, whilst I had 70, which doesn't often seem feature in the frame.  There is a weedbed off to your right and a spit at 14m in front, bit hemmed in, when I got there and saw the carp spawning in the weedbed, I decided to fish for silvers, which also includes F1's on this venue.  Its had a stocking of F1's and some that look like crucians, so I expected to have a few bites.

Not too much to say, its fished pretty tough, I had to tosspot in groundbait and maggots to get bites, but they weren't exactly going mad, the cap stopped spawning, then they and the ducks were slurping in the weedbed eating it all.....

I tried pellets and other lines, I expected to catch shallow, but the water was very clear - unusually so for a commercial this time of year - I certainly couldn't catch short, never had a bite closer than 11m.

Wasn't sure what weight I had come the end, but knew it wasn't a lot, but it was enough to justify the decision to fish for silvers and pocket the one payout for silvers, Tony won the match so a contented van on the way home.

Ivy House Festival, 7th - 11th June 2021

 5 days of fishing at Ivy House, I'd not had a chance to get up there so wasn't fully au fait with the current trends and what the latest developments Andy has done, as he's always tweaking something.  I decided that most lakes would be either a pellet or maggot approach, so that was my mainstay baits.

Its just under an hours drive - as long as I leave before the Bristol rush hour traffic, so an early start every day, the rotation was drawn before, so I knew which lakes on which days, Kingfisher - Heron - Willow - Heron - Old Match Lake.

Happy to start on Kingfisher, its been OK to me in the past, its a canal type lake, but it doesn't have a shelf across, so its tricky to catch over there without getting foul hookers, I tend to start over there and come off it when it dies off or the foul hookers start.  It has a decent number of skimmers in and they can be very much needed to make up the weight.  As I was so early arriving, I walked the lake and noted that 37 and 39 had plenty of signs of fish blowing, 41 and 42 are decent draws, whilst there wasn't so much activity in the higher numbers.

I drew 45, not my favourite area and I thought it would be tough to compete with Ryan on 41, as well as 37 and 39.  I started across on 6mm pellet and had a couple, but it was slow, so I switched to maggots short, this brought a run of skimmers and small carp, but was never going to last, it does come and go, like many canal lakes where you need to switch lines to keep fish coming.  I tried pellets down the middle and that was pretty much a waste of time, having just the one fish on it.

I had to go back across and I was catching odd fish, but Steve Hutter on 48 was now catching on caster, as was Ryan on 41 - problem was I didn't have any caster, I am sure if I had some and fished it shallow, I could have pushed for more than the 91.00 and 5 points I achieved.  Disappointing start and I could and should have done better, by at least a couple of points.

Tuesday and the first of 2 sections on Heron, which is the newest lake at Ivy and has a head of small carp and F1's - its a busy lake and probably the lake I'd consider my weakest, I'm not overly keen on these fish race lakes, especially when there are no lumps to drag you back in it, if fallen behind,  towards the end.

The info was you need to catch the F1's as they are a better stamp of fish, but they do live up to their reputation of pellet lickers, being the frustrating source of many, many  missed bites.  Peg 24 for me and a bit of space to my left, I set up rigs to fish pellets shallow and maggots short.  I started on the maggots short and had a run of fish on this, when it slowed up I tried for 75 minutes to make the shallow pellets work, but the bites were few and far between and I only hit 1/10.  I switched back to maggots short and putting some nuggets of GB in increased the number of bites and come the weigh-in  I was cursing the decision to spend that 75 minutes where I only put 9lb in the net, ended up with 103.04 which was equal 4th beaten by two fishing caster shallow and two fishing paste, I could/should have had more points had I not be tempted to try the shallow line.

Wednesday - Willow, this one I was looking forward to, proper fishing for bigger carp, the consensus was there were a couple of pegs you didn't want and 33 was one of them, 33 was where I ended up.  I was disappointed to find there was nigh on 4' in the margins and the bankside foliage meant that was only a topkit either side (if I had a say in it, the edges would be trimmed back to allow good access to the margins on all pegs).  The island point was within easy chuck of a feeder, bomb or waggler.

To cut a boring tale short, I managed on on the feeder and one down the edge after an hour or so, then went 3 1/2 hours without a bite and it really felt like I wouldn't get one.  Really couldn't see the point in sitting there when I could see Dave on 23 having one a bung down his edge and I knew my two 8lbers wouldn't be costing anyone any position in the section if I slipped them back and headed home 45 minutes early.  Found several cans of Double Punk (8.2%) in the fridge and polished them off.  Resounding last in section and maybe I could have fished 16m shallow all day and hoped something swimming past grabbed the bait, but that really isn't for me.

Thursday - Heron again!!  So after the caster thrashing on Tuesday, I purchased 4 pints of 'shells' and intended to empty the peg (9) of the pellet licking sods.  Peg 9 is one of the widest pegs on the lake, but I felt that only the pole would be quick enough, so rods left in the van.

Started short on maggots whilst I primed the shallow line, left it nearly an hour before going out shallow, had a F1, a couple of missed bites and then the fish backed off and were swirling just beyond the feed, added pole sections and chased them out, in the end, after a couple more fish and some wasted time, they backed off well past the 16m pole limit, so I binned it and went back on the short line fishing maggots.  Beaten again by two fishing shallow and a paste angler, although this time the shallow anglers had caught on pellets - I really didn't get this right bait wise and I either need to bin going to F1 lakes or learn how to catch them..... 100.08 for 5 points ( the sheet below is wrong...)

Friday - Old Match Lake

Peg 12, next to Venue owner Andy who was on 10.  

I suspect that as there was a breeze blowing towards the far bank, that I would have to fish to the island to catch.  I set up a waggler, a method and a straight lead, as well as a rig to fish towards the right hand corner of the island, but at 16m that was a metre or so off it.

I started short on 8mm pellets hoping for a quick fish, but all that produced was a skimmer.  Tried the waggler, feeder and lead to island to no avail, decided I needed to get as close as possible with the pole, so set up another rig and plumbed up in front of the clump of rushes.  

By fishing 16m, leaning forward on my box and holding the pole as far forward as I could manage, I did have a few fish on pellets right in front of the rushes, couldn't catch in the margins, so had to stick at it all day.  I do know I couldn't have done this with my Tournament, the Browning Sphere is a easier to fish at length.

I misjudged the size of the fish and thought I may have had 120lb, but ended up with 108lb odd, once again I cost myself points, as had I fished the same line right from the start, I'm sure I could have taken been second on the lake rather than fourth.

So, a great week for the weather, company and fishing, but not so good for being competitive, felt I was jut off the pace for four of the days and out of the game completely on the Wednesday.

Well done tp Trig for winning and the other framers, full details on Ivy House Facebook page.