Sunday, 18 March 2018

Viaduct Winter League Final Round, Sunday 11th March 2018

This match was originally scheduled for 4th March, but the Beast from the East arrived and covered most of the country with snow, the decision - and I feel the correct one - was taken to postpone the league and reschedule for this week.  It meant a clash with the Landsend league and that meant I had to pull out, I don't like doing this to organisers and don't do it lightly, but Ken understood the team match had to take precedent.

Thankfully the rest of the team could all make it, so we had to hope for a decent draw and performance to at least hang on to our 4th place and hopefully improve it.  Fred had gentle leverage applied to get him to draw again, as there are a couple of very dodgy drawing arms in the team, he was 2nd in the tub and we ended with a bit of a mixed bag.

Mark - 110 - he wasn't disappointed!
Me - 76 - not running to it, but thought I 'd catch
Paul 103 - thought he'd do OK from here
Glenn - 40 - its not got a huge pedigree, but had chucked up good points in a previous round
Fred - 2 - always a chance of a carp and a few silvers from here, with Fred on it, it should be worth a few points

The last two years I have been on Cary on the last match, it's been a disaster and I haven't caught a carp, which to get reasonable points is a must, hoping not to make it 3 in a row.  So today, I arrived at the peg and the tree that was to the right has been taken out, so no feature and a cold easterly, occasionally swinging to southerly blowing into my bank.  I was pretty certain the waggler would be a waste of time, but set two up anyway, just in case conditions improved.  Two lead rods, both with bombs, one to fish bread, the other meat and 4 topkits, a very optimistic edge rig, a skimmer rig for 11m and another for 14m and a heavier rig in case carp were about.

The match started and sadly for me, soon adopted a familiar pattern to the previous two years, I searched round the peg with bread, then meat, then corn, finally maggots, all to no avail.  A switch to the waggler - more in hope than anything else, as the wind was unfavourable for it - and that was also equally unproductive.

I had fed some GB at 11 and 14m after about 20 minutes, so had a look over it, I had a roach, a small hybrid and a small skimmer.  I had to move and tart a new line and I would get 1or if I was lucky 2 fish from a line before having to abandon it and start another.

Kept trying for a carp as well, but at no time did I feel the tip would go round, peg 74 on my RH side was Paul Greenwood and he was equally struggling, whilst we watched Gabriel on 107 opposite, casting a waggler right down to 109 and catching - how frustrating is this winter fishing!!!

Persevering until the end, I had several looks down the RH edge and I thought it had paid off with 30 seconds to go when the float buried and I lifted into a fish, as nice a fish as it was - 2lb Perch - I was disappointed it wasn't a 20lb carp.

Once again, on the last day my team contribution from Cary was going to be minimal and I'd be relying on the others to pull the rabbit from the hat and thankfully they did, with Mark winning the match overall and Fred returning good points from Spring.  If only I could have snared a carp or two and we'd have risen to 3rd overall, but given the level competition, the comeback after a poor year last year and the harsh winter we have suffered, we had to be happy with the end result.

Thanks to Steve, Helen and Matt for running the league, Bait Tech for the prizes and to my team mates, hopefully we can improve next year.

Individual Overall On The Day:
1. Mark Broomsgrove - 108lb 12oz - peg 110
2. Phil Hardwick - 105lb 11oz - peg 132
3. Ben Hagg - 83lb - peg 15
4. Matt Parsons - 74lb 10oz - peg 44
5. Dave White - 71lb 14oz - peg 51
6. Nigel Easton - 67lb 6oz - peg 113

Team Points On The Day:
1. Moaning Maggots - 62
2. Guru Viaduct - 60
3. Team Amigos - 59
4. M5 Angling - 58
5. Balti Boys - 56
6. Colmic SW - 52
6. Thatchers Vets - 52
6. 2nd Time Lucky - 52

Final Team Positions Of The League:
1. Colmic SW - 305
2. Mosella Bathampton - 298
3. Thatchers Vets - 279
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 272
5. M5 Angling - 266
6. Guru Viaduct - 264

Clevedon Club Match, Plantation, 25th February 2018

Got the chance to fish this match as a guest of Paul Faiers, so as I was due fish another Coffin Dodgers match on the venue on Thursday, I took the opportunity to get some time on the water and with the added bonus its fairly close to home.

Only a knock-up really with 10 fishing, I drew 38, which is on a point, you have an island chuck and plenty of open water to fish, you used to be able to fish back down the RH side of the spit, but now there are brambles and minor arboreal growths that prevent this - used to catch big perch doing it.

Plenty of time to set up, the wind was pushing fairly hard left to right and I left the waggler rods in the bag, as I felt there was little chance of getting any sort of presentation with them.  Two lead rods, one for bomb and brad, one with a small pellet feeder on.

4 topkits, a double bulk rig for skimmers, a more conventional bulk and two droppers rig, a Chianti with strung out No11's for fishing through the water and another bulk and two droppers, a bit heavier in case any carp were about.

Started on the bomb and bread, without any indication of fish, tried tight to the island and off it, but nothing.  I then fed the pole line, with GB and caster/dead maggot, before trying the small pellet feeder with a plain 6mm pellet and a few variations of wafters, dumbells etc. this was also met with a motionless tip.

By now Kev Perry on 39 had a couple from under the tree down the edge and Mark Broomsgrove was catching well on the bomb on 27.  There is only so long I can sit watching a motionless tip and today I lasted a bit longer than usual before picking up the pole.

I started catching  straight away and had a couple of decent skimmers, but they weren't really on a feeding spree and they came and went, when they went I refed and looked for carp again on the bomb or feeder and that was pretty much the course for the rest of the match, apart from when I went for a walk and stood with Paul behind Mark Broomsgrove, watching him get a bite or an indication virtually every chuck.

No silvers payout today, which was a shame, as it would have given a few of us something to fish for, I kept up my recent record of not hooking, let alone landing a carp and even if I had targeted the silvers the whole match and with a couple of lines, as the roach didn't feed, I think 3rd would have been the best I could have done, as it was trying to catch both left me nowhere.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Viaduct Winter League, Penultimate Round, Sunday 18th February 2018

With the team in 4th place going into this league, we were hoping for a decent team draw, as well as individually hoping for a peg that might give some individual glory.  I got to the fishery at just after 08:00 and found that we were in the last 4 or 5 to draw (draw is done in order of paying team pools), some teams must get there bloody early!!

Before the draw, Nick Collins said a few words before a minutes silence for Charlie Barnes, well known match angler, retired maggot farm owner and all round nice guy, who passed away yesterday, he will be sadly missed.  I first met Charlie when I was a junior angler working in the local tackle shop part time and his friendliness, cheerfulness and generosity never waned in all the subsequent years, RIP Charlie.

Fred had been strong armed into drawing for the team again, but I stood with him and watched as the decent draws came out of the tin, leaving him very little hope when he had to dip into the tin, it was a case of trying to pick the best of 5 unwanted draws....  The draw Fred pulled, saw me on 126, a pretty poor draw, the best weight from it in previous rounds has been just over 9lb.  Paul on 94, which can be good, but also, can have its off days, 62 for Glenn, 37 for himself, which gave him a chance if the fish were in there and 13 for Mark, which should see him catch down the edge.

Whilst the air temperature had gone up, the water temperature wouldn't have changed and it was still fairly clear, so I was far from convinced that the fish would move from their winter residences, sadly 126 and the other pegs in the middle of the lake haven't been home to the fish for several months now.  I set up two lead rods, one to fish bread and one for meat/corn, two wagglers, one for corn and another for caster.

4 topkits, although that was somewhat optimistic, as I set up a 0.4 Gimp with a 18 F1 on 0.10, a rig with similar end tackle to fish a double bulk, another rig with heavier elastic and 0.12 and finally another with 0.14 and a 16 LWG - I must have been feeling wildly optimistic, which is not my usual mental state!!

On the all in, I started on popped up bread, no signs of a fish whilst it was in the water, so I switched to waggler and corn, this did give me a bite after about 10 minutes, which was a decent skimmer, but another 20 minutes and the wind which was blowing straight at me, was pushing the waggler back towards me.  A switch to the lead with corn on the hook brought another skimmer to the net, but that again seemed to be a one off.

I had been pinging caster at 14m, dropping in over that with the pole was also pretty frustrating, with no bites forthcoming.  I hadn't fed any GB until now, but decided to cup some in, to try and pull some skimmers into the peg.  Whilst this was settling I tried maggot on the waggler and broke my blank with a 1oz roach.

When I dropped in over the GB, I had a run of 3 or 4 skimmers (3-4oz each) before the bites died off, I replaced the hooklength with a 0.07 and a Gamma Green 20 hook, just to see if the line or hook was putting them off.  I felt I had a few more bites on this, but it was hard going, I had to feed to get bites, but getting the quantity of GB and amount of particles right was very difficult to gauge, as the response was the same when feeding small or large amounts - a couple of bites / fish, then a long barren spell.  This was the pattern right up to the end, I kept trying the waggler and corn, but only had one more bite - that I missed.

I thought I had about 7 or 8lb at the end, but admitted to 5 or 6lb, as its tricky to gauge when the fish come so intermittently.  I was surprised to put 10lb on the scales, but that was no good on the lake, although it was top weight in the middle area of the lake (either side of me and the pegs opposite), but was only worth a meagre 6 points.

Paul had a worse day, putting 11.13 on the scales, but on Cary that was only worth 2 points, Glenn's 11.12 was worth another 6 points, Fred's 19.02 worth 12 points and Mark helped save us from a real disaster by winning Spring lake with 57.14 for 18 points.

So, somehow we remain 4th in the league and gained 2 points on Thatchers Vets in 3rd, it would take a real upset for us to finish any higher than 3rd, but we'll give it a good go in two weeks time when its the last round.

Overall Team Points:
1. Colmic SW - 253
2. Mosella Bathampton - 250
3. Thatchers Vets - 227
4. 2nd Time Lucky - 220
5. M5 Angling - 208
6. Thatchers Gold - 207
7. Guru Viaduct - 204
8. Somerset Angling - 192
9. Thatchers Silver - 186
10. Wyvern Anglers - 184
11. Team Amigos - 181
12. Balti Boys - 178
13. Future Networks - 174
14. Moaning Maggots - 172
15. Garbolino BVMG - 158
16. Silverfox - 156
17. Team Keyford - 133
18. All Stars - 132

Friday, 16 February 2018

Coffin Dodgers Open, Plantation Lakes, Thursday 15th February 2018

Its been over 4 years since I last fished Plantation lakes, where does the time go......

I was lured to this one by the weights in recent matches, only last Sunday it took a ton + to frame and 46lb to win the silvers, also the promise of bites, lots of them from every peg......

Decided to try the Bridge Inn for breakfast, I thought it was OK, with the exception of the sausages, they weren't the best.  A few in there so the usual pre match chat and banter.

I had an early night the night before, strongest drink was cocoa, so that wasn't the cause of me getting to the car park, unloading the van only to find my rods not in the van.  I had my pole, but felt that rods would play a part, so had to arrange to get them brought to Cadbury Garden Centre.  I took my gear to my peg, set up 3 pole rigs and then went off to get my rods.

Getting back to the lakes and my second senior moment of the day, I obviously had my keys in the van when I drove back, I got the stuff out the van and then could not find them to lock the van, searched my pockets 3 times, took my bib and brace off, searched the muddy puddles near the van and was totally bemused where they'd gone.  I had got a new battery for my radio out of the glovebox, so went in there and that's where they were, right at the bottom.......

So back to my peg, which was permanent peg 27 and I had the Silverfox himself, Mike Nicholls on 28.  I set up a small pellet feeder and a waggler and was still sorting my bait when the all-in went round the lake.  Starting on the pellet feeder with micros and a 6mm pellet on the hook, I was expecting some indication, but nothing. 40 minutes later I had tried a chocolate orange wafter, dead maggots and switched to GB in the feeder, all with the same result.  Mike was faring no better not having had a bite.

I switched to a line at 11m where I had been pinging a few casters, great start here, 3 skimmers and a big roach, when the lakes resident Canade Geese decided to have a very vocal, wing flapping and peg disrupting domestic through several of the pegs on this side of the lake.  That put the mockers on any more bites, that and the lack of any ripple on the surface that myself and mike were suffering from.  We were nice and sheltered, but so were our pegs, no so good when the target is skimmers and the sun is out.

I fed some GB and went back out on the pellet feeder to let it settle, this time I did have two bites on dead maggot, but didn't connect with either of them.  A switch to the waggler was equally as barren, although I did mainly fish 6mm pellet on the hook, although I did try a couple of dead maggots in the band.

Back on the pole and a couple of roach and then another skimmer, but that was that again.  Time for plan C, off the box and set up another rod, this time to fish bread along the island, seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was as unproductive as every other cast to the island.  Back onto the pole and I added a section, this brought a couple more fish, but as every other time, they disappeared.  The pegging here is tight, so a line at 10 o'clock and another at 2 o'clock weren't really an option, so lines at different distances straight in front were the only option.   I fed a line at 14.5m with pellet and fished and expander over it, but that only brought one bite and one small skimmer.  I had a Chianti set up with strung No11's, but the best rig was a wire stemmed NG Gimp 0.4g with a bulk and two droppers.

There was a bit of ripple out towards the island, so I changed the bread rig for a small cage feeder, to try and catch some skimmers out a couple of metres short of the island.  Second cast, the tip went round and a decent skimmer was on, halfway back it got entwined in a branch and the branch was all that ended up on the bank.... This was like every other line, a bite or two, maybe a fish or two and then nothing.   I did manage another couple of roach and a skimmer on the pole and then one last skimmer on the feeder before the all-out, but I felt it would not be enough to bother the framers.

The scalesman called 16.08 which was far from the worst weight, but less than half that needed for some coin...... or so I thought, there is a equal split payout on these matches, overall and silvers, this meant that somehow, I picked up joint second in silvers money...... I'm still not sure how!!!

Well done to those who managed to put better weights on the scales, I'm sure we all expected better fishing today after the recent results.  Back there again in a couple of weeks, hopefully the conditions will see more fish caught.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Landsend Winter League R4, Sunday 11th February 2018

Round 4 of this league means going back to a open draw and then rotate the other two lakes, so no preconceived ideas before arriving and drawing - except that it would be tough for some.

I cannot deny its getting harder to write these blogs, as my winter has been dire and the only matches I am enjoying are the Viaduct Winter League matches, I always did enjoy team fishing, as at least it gives you something to fish for, for the full match and even if in the worst section, coming back with points in the bag is satisfying. I have no great desire to go back to the rivers and canals - because of the boats and bank side activity, but that's about the only places to get regular team fishing, shame we don't have a commercial team league in the area.

I am usually as close to the front of the draw queue as possible, but today, was fairly apathetic about actually being here, so hung back and drew what has been a good draw, 13 on Match Lake, can't say I was overjoyed when I heard that the match on Saturday was on this lake and won from this peg with 20lb odd.  I think in the winter that these small commercials don't fish as well two days running, especially for silvers, but I also understand that its a commercial and not likely to be shut before league matches like many natural waters were years ago.  I can recall when many anglers fishing a league (rivers and canals) wouldn't fish it the day before even if it wasn't closed.  

So, at least there had been a couple of fish in the peg and as I was expecting a tough day, with a blustery wind forecast, I had taken a lead rod and a waggler, which I normally leave at home when fishing here.  With plenty of time to set up I put the waggler up and had a cast around, the peg is a fairly even depth apart from a deeper hole in front of the island and as that is nigh on 18m, I choose to use that as the reference point for full depth and marked that on the rod.  Lead rod was a simple 9' rod with a running bomb and a 0.16 hooklength.

4 topkikts out of the bag, one for fishing down to the pallet of 14 and it would also do to fish to the end bank, both sides of the tree that sticks out, just a simple HB margin float and a 16 LWG on 0.16.  A rig to fish through the water, a 4x12 Chianti, with a 18 Kaizen to 0.14 (hoping for an early mug decent fish) another to fish the deeper water this time a HB Chump and a 16 F1 maggot hook on 0.12 and finally a similar rig with a 18 F1 on 0.10 to target silvers.

After 40 minutes of dobbing round the peg with maggots (I wish Mike would allow bread in this league...), I hadn't had a bite, Martin Rayet on 11 was in a similar position and he commented on how tough it was.  Shortly after he was playing a fish from the end bank and then another, whilst I remained biteless. He then lost a fouler and I was getting concerned when the float dipped and I had a welcome carp of about 5lb.  Martin then had a decent double, whilst my float remained motionless.  Both doing the same thing, not feeding, fishing to the end bank.....

I switched to the silvers rig and hoped to put some roach and perch in the net, but nothing, could not get a bite on either line I'd fed, one caster, one micros.  A switch to the waggler over the deep hole and a bite on single maggot, expecting a micro perch or roach, I was surprised when a 4lb carp was attached to the hook.

By now it was fairly obvious the not feeding or very negative feeding wasn't working, Martin had managed one more carp giving him 5, but he was no longer getting indications or bites.  I started pinging a few maggots at the aerator, but to no avail, so a look round the other lines again, none of which gave even the faintest glimmer of hope that there was a fish in the vicinity.  Back to the aerator and I had a bite out of the blue, another 4lb carp, then a 6oz hybrid, I think it was nothing more than the time of day, as there was 40 minutes remaining, I had another carp, another 6oz hybrid and a 2lb skimmer, too little too late sadly.

Against most predictions the top weights both carp and silvers came from the opposite end of the lake, which was the most wind affected and they hadn't been pegged the day before, my carp being of a small stamp weren't enough to trouble the frame, likewise the silvers.  Fair play to Mike and Ade for top two weights on the lake, from pegs which at the start, the regulars weren't fancying and were the windiest pegs - good weights from all three lakes from the windiest ends.  

Still it could have been worse, Nick Duckett weighed 4oz from Match Lake and he's no mug on the venue, so more typical winter fishing and I will be glad to see the back of it......

Monday, 5 February 2018

Viaduct Winter League R3, Sunday 4th February 2018

My turn on Spring Lake today, so was hoping for a decent draw.  The boys in the team were all for Fred to draw for us again, as he hasn't done too badly the last couple of rounds and with faux reluctance, he agreed to do so again - he doesn't take much persuading, as he really can't face sitting on one of the pegs I'd draw and Fairsy doesn't draw much better.....

We were about 2/3 down the pile of team sheets and could see some of the favoured draws disappearing and when Fred went to draw, Ditch who was calling the peg numbers, said to Fred "there's only one or two good ones left", that would have been the kiss of death had it been my hand in the bucket, but Fred managed to locate one of the decent draws, much to our relief.  The draw put Paul on 130, not spot on, but close to the carp ball on Campbell, Glenn on 99, again, not plum in the epicentre, but in with a chance, Fred wasn't disappointed with his own draw of 69, Mark was on 50 on Match lake and expected a few bites and I certainly wasn't disappointed with 18.

I got to the peg to find Bernard Curry on 19 and Dick Bull on 17, with Ron Hardiman not too chuffed with his drawing arm, he'd put himself on 20.  Drawing 18 immediately had me hoping for a good day on the waggler, but first of all I set up two lead rods, one with a straight lead for popped up bread and another for fishing a GB feeder.  Next up the two waggler rods, one to start on, with a 0.15 hooklength, just in case there was a carp lurking, the other with a 0.12 hooklength, with the option to go lower.

3 topkits set up, a 0.4g Hillbilly chump, 0.10 hooklength and a 18 F1 maggot hook, this coupled to Middy 1-5 elastic - perfect for skimmers, a Hillbilly float whose name eludes me, but its one I use for double bulk fishing, this again with a 0.10 hooklength but a 16 F1 this time and No6 elastic, hoping this rig would pick out the bigger skimmers.  Finally, an optimistic rig with a homemade float, 0.14 hooklength, a 16 Kaizen hook and white Avalon hollow elastic, this was just in case there were carp in the peg, or the big skimmers really had a feed....... as I said, an optimistic (wildly so, it turns out) rig.

On the all-in I went straight across to the island with popped up bread, within two minutes I had a gentle bite and I was into what I initially thought was a skimmer, then wasn't sure and even until I saw it I wasn't sure what it was, once it came up for netting I could see it was a decent hybrid, not far off 2lb.  Not the double figure carp I wanted, but a nice start.  Next cast, the tip flew round and a smaller, but feisty cousin of the first fish was netted.  Given that start I stuck at the bread for 30 minutes, but apart from one small knock, that was it. 

I had fed a pole line at 14m, after about 15 minutes and decided to have a look on here, sadly, the wind was getting up and pushing round the island, 18 is the narrowest point of the lake and it was acting as a perfect venturi, with the surface water pushing through the peg at pace.  The rig I was fishing was just enough to counter the wind and I had two roach and a tiny hybrid, before I lifted into a better fish on the 4th bite, a skimmer nearing 2lb.  I was now thinking that I might have a good day, but the size of the fish and the frequency of the bites went rapidly down hill from there.

I topped up the pole line and left it, I picked up the feeder rod and that was almost instant, with a 6oz skimmer coming to double maggot.  But what followed was the pattern for the day, fish a line and get an instant fish (or nothing) then have to swap to another line or method to get a fish.  I was disappointed that the wind didn't abate enough to make fishing the waggler a viable option, I had several attempts, but only small roach were fooled by the moving bait.  First half the match, I couldn't find any trip against the wind, second half the match, the trip was going hard back against the wind near the island, but the wind tow was picking up the line close in, causing a big S in the line and dragging the float towards me.  Shame, as this is a great waggler peg.

One of the feeder chucks saw a spirited bite and I was surprised to see the culprit be a scale and fin perfect F1, that went 2.14 - about sums my luck up, every other carp caught on the lake was touching double figures or bigger.

I thought I had 8 or 9 lb and was surprised to see the scales go to 11.11 for silvers and my 2.14 F1 taking me to 14.09.  That would be decent points I thought and it turned out to be worth 13.  Frustratingly one out of the money in the silvers (one out of the money is a regular theme lately!).
 The corners caught carp 3 each and it was just the size of them that settled the lake, in favour of Tim Ford.

Team wise, we thought we might have done OK, although we hadn't bee quite keen enough to follow the scales round on such a cold day. Paul had 12 points, Glenn 15, Fred made the most of his nice draw and won the lake so 18 points and a silvers pick up for 3rd in silvers, Mark had 7 points, giving us 2nd on the day with 65 points. 

Two rounds to go, currently lying in fourth and hoping we can stay in the hunt for a framing place - I best go nowhere near the draw tin next round.......

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Landsend Winter League R3, Sunday 28th January 2018

My turn on lake 3 and having drawn venue expert Tony Rixon in the knock out, I was going to have my work cut out, in fact as I was so far down the league, but with a glimmer of hope in the silvers, I was intending to fish for them.

The draw slightly changed my thinking, as I drew 41 and I would prefer a non corner peg for silvers - unless the F1's feed, but as there had been a match on the lake the day before, I wasn't confident, as whilst the carp at Landsend often respond to being fished for the day before, its usually the kiss of death for silvers.

The margins on 41 are considerably different in depth left and right, so two rigs made up, as I was hopeful of a fish or two from the edges, especially as we were fishing until 16:00. I set up a rig that I hoped would catch a few silvers, but also land any bonus carp, so 0.16 with a 0.10 hooklength and a 18 Guru FI maggot hook.

I thought that meat might work, so I set up a rig on 0.20 with a 0.14 hooklength and a 16 Kaizen, this would do for many areas of the peg, as except for the area where the aerator used to be, the peg was the same depth. I also set up a rig for across to the spit that sticks out, as this usually holds a few fish, this was on 0.16 with a 0.12 hooklength and a 18 F1 hook.  There is a shallower area tight across and the rig was plumbed to be just on the bottom on this shelf.

This peg does offer the option of going down to the end bank, but I refuse to do it, the bank is eroded and has trees and other snags in the water, I just won't put myself through what would end in frustration, Tourette's and tears......

Whilst the weather was mild, the water temperature was still very low, so reluctantly I put a pot on the end of my topkit (I'd rather be using a catty) and started across to the spit with a few pellets dripped out of the pot and a 4mm expander on the hook. I had an indication straight away, lifted and dropped it back in and a positive bite saw a 6-7lb fish netted, great start, the next 30 minutes saw 3 more between 3-4lb in the net and I was no thinking of abandoning the silvers and going for carp.

The first half hour was a bit of a golden patch, as the next half hour saw only one more fish in the net.  I fed a ball of GB into the open water on the hour mark and left it 20 minutes before dropping over it with double maggot, this brought another small carp and a couple of roach, a switch to 4mm expander saw a small skimmer come to the net and several more roach.  But the carp seemed to disappear.

Now with the beauty of hindsight, I should have got my head down and fished the rest of the match for silvers, but I was fairly convinced the last hour or so would see the carp come back, I did have a look down the RH margin - which is the deeper of the two and it was barren, I wanted to leave the LH margin to the last 30 minutes before going in there.

I did manage a very small F1 and a carp that would struggle to push the scales to the 1lb mark from across to the spit again, as well as a couple of roach. The margins only produced one carp, probably 2lb, so that was a disappointment and confirmed my poor decision in not fishing for silvers, as the lake silvers was won with 5.04 and I weighed 4.12, I think 7 or 8lb would have been easily obtainable.  My 8 carp went 38lb odd and Rob Watts on 43 had 4 for 39lb odd and his silvers just beat me, the top 3 weights on the lake all came from the opposite bank, so another mediocre day for me, I felt I fished a tidy match, but the size of the fish I caught cost me.

Dreadful winter, really not sure what I am doing wrong as I just can't seem to put any quality in the net, be glad to see the spring arrive and the water temps climb up above 10° or 12°C.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Viaduct Winter League Round Two, Sunday 21st January 2018

Back to Viaduct this week for the second round of the winter league, it was my turn on Match lake, which I like, so hopeful of a few bites.  The draw would be all important, the team protocol was for each member to draw, but as Fred has the golden arm he was cajoled into dipping his hand into the tin again. There were a couple of unflavoured draws in the tin, but thankfully Fred avoided the worst of them and handed us: Glenn on 127, Fred on 96, Mark on 64, myself on 47 and Paul on 15.

127 wasn't likely to throw up a weight, but Glenn would try and catch some silvers there, Fred knew exactly what to do on 96, Mark recalled my time on 64 last year, I was blanking with 3 minutes to go and then had a carp that salvaged a few points, 47 was more favourable than I first thought, when I found out 46 wasn't in and Paul was hopeful of carp down the edge and skimmers on 15.

As the matches are 5 hours, no need to set up too much kit, but with an island chuck I did set up a lead rod, to start on bread across, a Normark Microlight to fish the waggler, 2lb reel line and a 0.10 hooklength with a 20 F1 hook.

Plumbing up the pole lines, I found the deepest part of the peg was at 11m, going further out saw the bottom slightly sloping up and at 14m it was 6" shallower than 11m.  I set three rigs up, one for 11m, two for 14m, one a double bulk rig.  The water was fairly clear and I wasn't convinced that the fish would come to 11m.

The all-in was called and I started on the bomb and bread, I tried tight to the island, short, at various places along the island, all to no avail, I was expecting a bite, but didn't have so much as a liner. I switched to the waggler and put a small roach in the net, then a skimmer, another small roach and then a 6oz roach - I thought that I was going to have a busy day catching, but that was the end of the roach, they disappeared and I never had another the rest of the match.

I did have a better skimmer on the waggler, then a smaller one, then the jagged fight of a perch.  This was spread out of 40 minutes, the action was far from hectic. Next bite was met with a more solid resistance and initially I thought it was a carp, but the fight soon gave away it was a good perch, the fish took the line above the float through a floating bramble branch, with a clump of weed attached to it.  This would not come off the line no matter how hard I tried and in the end I had to try and lift it out of the water to get the fish up to net it.  It then became a dead weight and negated the playing action of the rod and the perch bounced the hook out of its mouth, shame it was 2lb+.

Next cast, another decent fish hooked, but it felt fouled and so it was, halfway in and it came off, a large F1 scale still on the hook.  This saw the start of an hour or so where bites had dried up, I had a look in the pole lines with pinkies, tried the lead again, all to no avail, I kept pinging a few casters in regularly and went back on the waggler, deciding that I had to try closer to the island.

The downside of this was the volume of tree cuttings or wind fallers in the peg, at one stage I hooked one every cast, I had to drop shorter than I wanted and this did see 2 F1's and another couple of skimmers come to the net, but I needed a carp to bump my weight up and for the second week running I did well to avoid one.....

I knew I'd beaten some, but with Matt Tomes on my left having two carp, I knew he'd beaten me, as with a couple of others who had carp.  Also beaten by a couple of the pegs on Spring which were in the section, so my hard won, waggler caught 13.04 was worth 11 points.

Glenn had struggled on Campbell, beating those around him to get 5 points, Fred winkled a couple out for 10 points, Mark had a similar experience to me on 64, a carp in the last 5 minutes giving him 12 points, my 11 and Paul with 13 from peg 15 saw us with a lesser total than last week, but we only dropped a place to 5th and apart from Colmic who are opening up a big lead, its tight and all to fish for over the next 3 rounds.

Viaduct Winter League Round One, Sunday 14th January 2018

Hard to believe that a year has passed since the last winter league, where is the time going.....

I must admit, I haven't been enjoying this winters fishing and am not taking every opportunity to get out on the bank, as I usually would, I'm not sure if the stats would bear me out, but I feel as if the winter fishing is getting worse every year.

But, it was with renewed enthusiasm I got my kit ready for this, I have always liked team fishing and this year sees us with an unchanged team of Myself, Paul Faiers, Freddy Roberts, Glenn Calvert and Mark Broomsgrove.  We are looking to improve on last years finish, hopefully emulating 2016's league win, but there are some good anglers and the draw bag to overcome to get near that aim in the 5 matches.

Its great to see the banter and atmosphere that these big matches generate, something that is missing from todays match scene, along with the social side, when many used to have a pint or two on the way home.  A great sense of anticipation from the 90 anglers in attendance, anticipation and hope that one of the 'shite draws' doesn't come their way.

With renowned poor drawers in the team, we all voted Freddy to pluck our rotation and peg from the draw tubs,  that put him on 132, Mark on 103, Myself on 71, Paul on 52 and Glenn on 20, not the worst draw in the tin, but probably Glenn and myself of the least favoured of the pegs.

Peg 71 on Lodge is a bit hemmed in, but this year with peg 55 not being in, you can cast the waggler a little further. Lodge lake section is float only, so no need to set up a lead rod, I had two wagglers set up, one with 0.12 and a 18 Guru F1 for caster and one with 0.15 and a 18 PR36 for corn or meat.

I did set up a rig to try under the brambles to my right, although I was far from convinced that I would catch short, a rig to fish at 14m and a double bulk rig for the same distance.

Starting on the waggler and meat saw the waggler sitting motionless, a switch to corn was no better, finally a switch to maggot brought 2 missed bites.  I had fed a bit of GB, with dead maggot and caster in at 14m, a look over this saw a roach netted - that was the blank saved, but it was pretty much it, as far as the pole lines went, nothing on caster, maggot or even prawn down to the bushes and nothing else on the 14m line.

I spent most of the match fishing the waggler as far as I dare without encroaching on to peg 56's boundary, this was the only lace I could get bites, corn being the best bait.  I kept persevering as peg 70was getting a few bites doing this and he had 3 decent carp and some skimmers to win the section. I managed 12.01 of skimmers for 7 points, one 10lb carp would have seen my points doubled, that's how tight the lake was.

Teamwise it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't a bad day, Fred taking 15 points, Mark with 14, my 7, Paul had 15 and Glenn 9, so 60 points and joint 4th, Colmic were runaway winners on the day with 75 points.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Landsend Winter League Round 2, Sunday 7th January 2018

My turn on match lake and after a pretty disastrous first round I needed a decent draw, the fish have been at one end the lake, so of course, I drew the opposite end.  Peg 22, it can be a good skimmer peg, but with the water so cold and clear, I was unconvinced that they would feed, but silvers had to be my only chance of picking up on the day, although with Tony Rixon on 5, which is home to the lakes F1's (silvers at Landsend) I knew it would be a tough ask.

Not going to try and spin this out, it was cold and tough, the lake fished very tough and Allan Oram was a runaway winner, my silvers quest was unravelled by Tony, although I am led to believe my 5lb of silvers was enough to win them by default, that just about sums it up.

Ivy House Open, Saturday 7th January 2018

First match of the year and back to Ivy House, first visit for a while, not far any other reason than opportunity and the weekday traffic keeping me from attending the midweek matches.

13 of us here today, Andy decided to put everyone on one canal and I was happy with that, sometimes in winter too much room lets the fish back off into gaps.  The draw tin gave up peg 23 to me, an end peg, although it was mentioned it might be the wrong end....  Well, we'll see, so off to the peg and a fairly simple approach, maggots and pellets, a wire stemmed gimp to fish down the track, another slightly smaller to fish just up the far shelf and a rig top fish up the far shelf, although I wasn't convinced it would produce.

I was right about going up the far shelf, not a bite there, I spent the day between 3 lines, one at 2 o'clock which was a maggot line, another at 10 o'clock which I fed pellet and one just dragged 6"up the far shelf which was deeper down to the tree opposite and to my left.

The pellet line was a non starter and didn't give me a bite all day, I was hoping for a few skimmers on maggot, but they were not playing and I kept working away to get small carp from 1oz up to about 8oz, they weren't coming fast and I had a spell of nearly two hours without a bite.  I did have a hybrid about 2lb and was hopeful for more, but the silvers were either not at this end or had shut up shop.

A couple more fish in the last half hour, including the biggest carp of the day at about 2lb saw me weigh 13.12 for 4th on the day and one out of the money, so 2018 starts as 2017 ended.....  As predicted, the other end produced the winner, but it was nice to back out.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Clevedon Xmas Match, Acorn, Sunday 17th December 2017

With work and a new puppy arriving on 22nd December, this was likely to be my last match of 2017, Clevedon FWAC a club I had a long and happy association with, but just don't seem to get to their matches anymore, so it was good to get along and support the 2017 Xmas match.  Tony (Rixon) was also coming along, but as I was on-call, I had too travel down by myself, just in case I had to pack up and deal with any issues at work.

The draw was in the Bridge Inn at Yatton, that pub brings back some memories of Clevedon Veals team meetings, that inevitably turned into full on drinking sessions, given the members at the time and our proclivity to enjoy the genial atmosphere of public houses and partake in regular 'lock-in's'.....

Enough of the memories, even if some of them are a little hazy, all I know is that I could not go fishing now, after some the sessions we used to have and still turn up and fish!!

I drew peg 11, I was fairly indifferent to it, as I haven't been to Acorn for a while, the one thing I thought might not work in my favour (or Mark's) was that Viaduct winter league team mate Mark Broomsgrove drew 12 and with both pegs in you are fishing to the same corner point of the island.  At least having Mark on there meant we both had an idea of the etiquette required, so kept a respectable distance away from the apex of the islands corner.

I had put a method rod in the van, but decided that it could stay there, so 4 topkits onto the roost, one set up to fish the shallow water tight across, more in hope than expectation, given the temperature, which saw the lake covered with cat ice at the start, although it was melting whilst we set up.  Another to fish down on the second shelf, I spent ages plumbing up and it was virtually impossible to find a level, flat area to fish on, so I would have to rely on dragging the bait onto the shelf.

A rig for full depth which would do for short and across and finally a rig for down the LH edge, which at over 2' I did think I would catch there at some stage.  Bait tray was live and dead maggots, and a few pellets, as well as a couple of slices of bread, no need to complicate things.

Starting on bread, tried dobbing it at various depths, both across and down the edge, but not so much as a twitch on the float.  Mark on 12 had lost a couple, so I fed a few maggots and went out onto the 3rd shelf, I had a couple of tiny indications on the float, but it took until nearly 12:00 to get a carp in the net, that was about 4lb, 30 minutes later I had another, a bit bigger, I was now expecting to get a few more, but it took until 15:10 to get another, this was a decent fish and put up a spirited fight on 0.12 and a 18 Guru F1 hook.  A shade over a double I guessed.

Well come the way in, it transpired that my section was the second worst for weights and I missed out on the section money by 2lb, as the shameless :)  Tony Rixon won the section with 23lb which was 5 carp and a skimmer, 2 of the carp he gleefully admitted were foulers.....  My 3 carp went 21lb.

It was back to the Bridge Inn for results, raffle and prizes, good to catch up with some old friends, especially Kev Perry who was having an operation on his back a couple of days before Xmas, hope it went well mate.

Well done to reluctant commercial attendee Ivan Currie for winning the match with 70lb or so.

Roll on better fishing weather and I hope all my angling friends have a good Xmas and New Year, see you in 2018.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Landsend Winter League, Sunday 3rd December 2017

Decided to fish this league as the dates fall OK with work and I planned to treat it as a silvers league, given that Ken pays silvers in the matches and overall (personally I disagree with this, as I believe it can affect the overall league and section points, but its not my league, so I'll go with the rules).

I did chuck some pellets in my bait bag just in case I drew an out and out carp peg and they were having it, although I wasn't convinced the sport would be manic after the cold weather all week.

I never seem to have that knack of mentioning a peg I fancy and then drawing it (how do some people do that so often.....), but I was thinking positive thoughts for 36, 5, 22 or 42, as I thought they'd be good pegs for an all out silvers attack.  Couldn't believe when 33, a favoured winter carp peg came out of the tin.  That meant setting up a pellet rig as well as maggot /caster rigs and as its an end peg, a rig to fish for perch along the end bank, which was only 6" shallower than the main part of the peg and with no island to fish to, I couldn't find any area of shallower water or a shelf, which even with the low water temp, its still nice to have the option, as the water is sometimes warmer over the shallower shelves.

On the 10:00 all-in, I started at 16m to the RH limits of my peg and fedd a few micros and fished an expander on the hook, 15 minutes and nothing.  I then switched to 13m slightly to my left toss potting a few maggots in and double maggot on the hook, I did manage a see through micro perch from here and that was the only bite.

I tried a line at 16m just in fron the aerator, this was equally as dead. Russ Peck on 32 opposite was foul hooking and fairly hooking carp, whilst for all intents, my peg was empty!  At 12:00 I had a look up the edge over some casters with a segment of prawn, I had a perch over 1lb, straight back in, another bite and lost one bigger, back in again and had one over 2lb, Iwas hopeful of a few, but that was it, no more bites from that line the rest of the day.

I managed one more micro perch, one small carp and a small hybrid for the rest of the day, whilst Russ caught carp opposite, I dropped the negative feeding and started pinging casters to see if they would come across, but to no avail.  I did pot some micros and corn in at 16m in fron the aerator and I did hook a fishfrom there on corn with 5 mins to go, but it came off.

My 5 perch (two of which didn't make an ounce combined) went 5lb and the one lonesome carp went 3.15, I think this was next to last in section and no better than halway in the silvers, Tony Rixon had a cracking net of roach from peg 28, I tried desperately to catch one but failed miserably.

I used to enjoy winter fishing, but I can now see the attraction of putting the tackle away from November to March......

Speci Lake
1st 69-12 - Russ Peck - p32
2nd 31- 9 - Steve Sewell - p36
3rd 22- 3 - Adrian Jeffery - p40
1st 21- 0 - Tony Rixon - p28

Match Lake
1st 34-15 - Stuart Barnett - p22
2nd 25- 4 - Nickand Sarah Duckett - p14
3rd 22- 6 - Pete Nurse - p24
1st 6- 8 - Ken Rayner - p1

Johns Lake
1st 53- 0 - Rod Wootten - p58
2nd 15-15 - Lee Williams - p51
3rd 9- 0 - Martin Rayet - p68
1st 5-12 - Gary O'Shea - p70

Silvers Open, Viaduct, Saturday 2nd December 2017

Paddy Curry had advertised this match on Facebook, it seems if you aren't on Facebook at exactly the right time (or glued to it!!) its easy to miss out on matches on there now, as they sell out so quickly.

It had been cold all week and my bait order of 3 pints of caster looked wildly over optimistic when I picked them up before the draw, even considering I was intending to use them on Sunday as well.

Peg 3 came out of the draw tin, can't complain about that and as I was walking passed middle lake to my peg, I wasn't disappointed that I hadn't drawn on there, it was gin clear and I could see the bottom a fair way out.

Once again, plenty of time, so waggler, feeder and 4 topkits set up.  A double bulk rig, a 0.3g rig and a 0.4g rig with 0.10 and a 18 Guru F1 hook, then a 0.3g float with 0.08 and a 20 Gamma Green.

I feda line just short of 16m with 2 balls of GB and came shorter and started at 11m with loose fed caster, I could catch tiny roach and hybrids on this, so felt I needed to put some GB in and leave it, hoping the better skimmers would come over it.

30 minutes on the feeder produced some unhittable roach bites and nothing else and it was looking like another tough day was in the offing.  With hindsight being a wonderful thing, I think I should have carried on fishng a caster line with no GB, as over the GB all I could catch was the occssional 2oz skimmer on pinkie, the bigger fish seeming reluctant to feed.  Even at 16m I could see the fish flashing when striking into them, so I guess each one hooked, scared his mates off for 10 minutes, which is about as long as I was waiting between bites.

If I could fish the match again, I would have stuck to loose feed and have kept catching the tiny roach and hybrids for as long as I could, I ended up with about 4.10, which was mainly small fish......

1. Dave Romain - 13lb 9oz - peg 5
2. Nick Ewers - 11lb 12oz - peg 1
3. Rob Eagle - 10lb 11oz - peg 19
4. Ben Hagg - 9lb 13oz - peg 4

Viaduct Silvers League, Sunday 26th November 2017

Another round fishing this as a stand in, the angler I was deputising for was not in the running for the overall positions, so a positive mood and fishing for a win.  123 came out of the draw tin, the right end was the consensus of 100% of those who enquired as to my location for the day.

Opposite on 119 was travelling partner for the day, Tony Rixon, who was also hopeful of getting a few from there.  Plenty of time, so I set up a waggler, a small cage feeder, a rig for down the edge to hopefully tempt some of Campbells Perch, a couple of rigs to fish at 14m and 10m and a double bulk rig.

I did expect to catch some roach at the start, but it wasn't to be, a look round and it seemed to be fishing hard, I can't pad this out at all, I had 2 roach on the pole and that was it, I swutched to the waggler and had a roach, but that too was bereft of fish, the edge where I was hoping for perch, hybrids and maybe a tench, didn't produce one single bite all match.

A switch back to the waggler brought another roach, then a tench and a skimmer, I thought things were looking up, but no, that was it, my sum total for the day was 2.10, I did lose one fish late on, hooked on a throwawy line at 5m, I think it was a decent skimmer, but it was irrelevant in the scheme of things.

Wrong end of the lake it would seem today, a real struggle.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Viaduct Silvers League, Sunday 12th November 2017

Another day as a stand in, another league I was disappointed not to fish, but couldn't make all the dates.

I was quite optimistic until I drew... 131 wouldn't be my first choice silvers peg, so I had to make the most of it and try and wangle a few fish from it, with the wind coming off my back, I fancied the waggler for a few fish (and I was right.....)

I set up a feeder and a waggler, then 4 topkits, one for down either side, looking for perch, a double bulk after that was all I caught on yesterday, a couple of bulk and two dropper rigs, although the peg was so shallow, that put the bulk at above half depth and it's 18" from the hook.

Fed a line with the same GB mix as yesterday, went out to 13m, in case the wind got up, then tried the waggler, I could catch on the waggler, but it was either micro roach or carp, this was the case everytime I tried it, so it didn't find the hoped for tench and better silvers.

The edges didn't give as much as a knock on the float and a short caster line only gave up a few roach.  I had a busy day catching carp and one took the whole rig, snapping nearly new No6 elastic, so that was frustrating.

I kept on trying, but no matter what I did, was painfully slow going for silvers, although the carp stayed active, I picked off a couple of 1lb skimmers, before giving in and trying the lead, second chuck I had a skimmer about 1lb and eagerly went back out on it, to then hook a carp, they were everywhere in the peg.

I ended up just sitting it out with dead maggot on the pole at 13m, to take a few more carp and a couple of skimmers, I knew I would be somewhere near the bottom of the section and so it proved, 132 had 5lb, I had 6lb, Ziggy on 130 had a few more skimmers, but was the next lowest weight in the section, s o the pegs had fished as many had predicted, by the end it was getting cold and I wasn't too upset at the all-out.

Results on Viaduct FB page.

Avalon Silvers League, Saturday 11th November 2017

I couldn't make all the matches in this league, which is a shame, so I took this chance to stand in for an absentee.  Just as well I left in plenty of time as Tony had assured me the draw was at 09.00, so luckily I was driving into the lane to the fishery when he rang me at 08.25, sheepishly asking where I was, as it was actually a 08.30 draw.

Into the draw bag and I pulled out 36, pretty meaningless to me, as I haven't fished the venue for a while and I had a rough idea of what I was going to do whatever peg I drew.  Walked up from the car park and stepped onto the pallet which couldn't have been slipperier if it had been booby-trapped.  Luckily there was a enough dead rushes around the peg that had been cut down, for me to gather hen up and spread them on the pallet, nice safe walking area now.....

I set too much gear up - its too easy now taking ready made up rods - a waggler, that was cast out to plumb up, it then sat in the roost until it was put away at the end. A feeder rod, as the weather was forecast to be somewhat unpleasant, so I might want to huddle up and watch a tip.  A whip, as Tony had mentioned there were roach of 2-3oz to be caught and three pole rigs, two similar rigs, Drennan floats one 0.6g and the other 1.0g, these with a classic bulk and two droppers set up, 0.10 hooklength and a 18 Guru F1 maggot hook.  The other rig was a double bulk rig, with 5" of line on the bottom, this had a 0.12 hooklength and a 16 Guru F1 maggot hook.

Bait was simply caster, maggot, pinkie and worm, along with a GB mix of Tom Thick's Intelligent, Sensas lake and brown crumb.  Two balls of this went in at the start, I only ventured out 11m as the wind was gusty and threatening to worsen, I then had a look on the whip and caster, this brought a couple of small roach, but that weren't lined up, it was a case of taking a fish or two and then having to change depth constantly to find them, they wouldn't sit at one depth feeding and that makes them unviable as a way to win or frame.

A look over the GB saw a few bites, but it was from small roach, I switched to the double bulk rig and had a near pound hybrid.  The roach weren't such a nuisance on the double bulk, unless it was laid in, rather than lowered fast,  I hadn't put any worm in the first feed, so topped up after an hour or so and put a little bit of worm in, this seemed to kill off the roach bites and shortly after I had appositive bite and lifted into what I initially thought was a carp, but as I got down to the topkit and the fish jagged and tried to get under the net and pallet, I was hopeful it would be a tench, a lovely sight when a nigh on 3lb golden tench was netted.  Shortly after I was struggling for bites again and came back on the whip, I had a few roach from tiny  to 4oz, again by varying from 18" to touching the bottom.  I did try chucking the feeder out, but in all honesty, never gave it long enough, so up the bank with that and out on the double bulk rig.

This brought a couple more decent skimmers, but it was slow going and I was starting to curse my reticence to fish expander pellets, as those catching were catching on them, I did start up a new line with 30 minutes to go and had one decent skimmer and 2 carp from that.  I knew I hadn't beat the end peg 38, Mark Leader, who won with 28.14.  I was pleasantly surprised to be  with my 16.08 and a section pick-up by default.  I caught all the skimmers and the tench on the double bulk rig, it was much more effective than the others,

Friday, 3 November 2017

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 2nd November 2017

The downside of weekday matches is the traffic and today was pretty bad, taking slightly over 90 minutes to complete the 33 miles to Viaduct, getting there bang on draw time, it appeared I wasn't the only one held up and the draw was a few minutes late.

Into the tub and out comes 123, the opposite end to where I was last week, its a little deeper that 132, so with the weather having turned a bit colder I wasn't disappointed.  That was a bit of false optimism, so it won't a long and descriptive blog, as there is very little of substance to write about.

Opposite on 119 I had  Adrian Jeffery, who is a bit of a hustler on these Thursday matches, he isn't usually far off a framing place, if not picking up, so worth keeping an eye on his tactics.

For myself, I had the usual Roob set up to fish meat short (and as the depth was the same, it would do for long), a HB chump for 14m, maggot/caster and a lighter rig with a Drennan float whose name eludes me, in case there were silvers in the area.  A waggler to fish corn, a lead - just to get it out the bag and give it an airing - and a couple of edge rigs, one was the same as last week, one heavier line, bigger hook for when they showed up in numbers...... (uncharacteristically optimistic, I know).

The usual start on meat short was biteless, a switch to caster long over a few caster and GB was biteless, dead maggot finally brought a small skimmer, the stamp of which wouldn't be enough to frame in silvers, I was sure, but hopefully the bigger ones would show.

An earlier look down the edge than I would like (short, I was determined no to go long down the edge until nearer the end) resulted in on 7oz perch.  I carried on rotating lines and started new ones, trying both negative and positive feeding, all to no avail.  I could see Adrian struggling, also 118, but further up the lake there were a few carp being caught.  The guy next door on 124 had stuck to feeding caster short and long and was rewarded with a tench, some perch and I saw him net a 2lb+ foul hooked skimmer, whilst the 7oz perch remained my biggest fish.

My day was summed up when I hooked a 2oz perch at 14m and it came straight to the top, splashing on the surface, a seagull dived down and grabbed it, so for a while I was playing seagull and perch, the seagull finally let go, but then dived in for another grab, whilst I tried to fend it off with my pole.  The perch looked unharmed and survived his ordeal, hope I can catch him when he's 2lb, rather than 2oz.

With 30 minutes to go, I knew it was never going to happen, the peg was not going to spring to life and even a couple of fish wouldn't put me anywhere, so I tipped back 3-4lb of small skimmers, roach and perch, by now the fog was rolling in and visibility was getting bad, so I was off home before the weigh sheets came back. A day to forget!!

1. Jim Butcher - 106lb 1oz - peg 128
2. Dave White - 64lb 13oz - peg 115
3. Paul Dare - 59lb 5oz - peg 114
4. Matt Rowe - 57lb 5oz - peg 129
5. Roy Worth - 54lb 10oz - peg 110
6. Terry Lenny - 43lb - peg 97
1. Vince Brown - 32lb - peg 62
2. Stu White - 25lb 2oz - peg 127

Friday, 27 October 2017

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 26th October 2017

Good to get back out fishing after a miserable couple of weeks, when I booked into this match I ordered some casters, as I fancied having a days silver bashing.  I was then thinking that they were a waste of money when my hand came back from the draw tub, as 132 had found it's way into my hand again, can't seem to get away from this peg.  Good to Charlie Barnes at the draw, hope he can keep getting out.

Given that it's hardly a renowned silvers flyer, I thought I would start fishing for carp, feed a caster and GB line for skimmers and see what happened.  I set up a waggler to hopefully catch a few skimmers on corn, a lead (not sure why, I didn't really intend to use it) and a selection of topkits, which were a rig to fish down the RH edge and up to the end bank, a rig to fish meat short, one to fish pellet long and a rig to fish for the skimmers at 13m.

Bait tray was a bit cluttered given the 2 pronged approach for silvers and carp, meat, 4 & 6mm pellets, corn, dead maggots, casters and worms.  I planned to fish pellet / corn to the RH margin, meat to the end bank and at 5m, with corn at waggler range, caste/GB at 13m off to my left and a pellet line at 14.5m off to the right.  A caster/maggot line to hopefully entice some hybrids and tench down to the rushes on my LH side.  Personally I'm not a believer in trying to feed all these lines continually, I tend to concentrate on one or two and only feed the others when changing to them, the exception being the caster / GB line which I would feed and keep topped up if necessary.

Standard starting ploy for me on Viaduct, feed 3/4 cubes of meat via a pole pot at 5m, lower a cube into that on a light rig.  Instant response and within 4 mins an 8lber was in the net, I thought I'd be ignoring the silvers and fishing for carp!!  Next two drop in's and two more bite, two more fish, but not carp, perch, it seems like the carp was a lone soul.  I spent an hour trying to catch another carp. before giving it up and reverting to plan A, looking for silvers, I had a run of 6-8oz perch down the LH edge, before that went quiet.

A switch to the corn and waggler saw only one bite in 20 minutes and that was from a 6oz skimmer - the intended target, but smaller than I wanted.  I switched to the pole and fished caster over the GB, nothing, even though there were odd skimmer bubbles coming up, worm was equally as ineffective, finally dead maggot brought a 12oz skimmer to the net.  It was painfully slow and I added only 4 more skimmers between 12oz and a pound in an hour.

A switch back to the LH edge saw the odd roach and perch, again, caster was a non-starter, I could a 3 or 4 drop in's with caster, nothing, then switch to double dead maggot and get a fish instantly - albeit a small perch or roach. With and hour and 15 minutes to go I then hooked a carp, which I landed, approx. 9lb, next drop in, hooked another and it charged off and bottomed out the elastic, hooklength went and float disintegrated against the keepnet as it came back at warp speed.

Chucked the lead out whilst I set up a new rig, upping the hooklength to 0.14, tip never moved so I dropped back in and immediately had another carp, this was repeated until the end, I landed them all, up to 12lb on the 0.14 and a 18 LWG hook, was this why I got them?  Or was it just carp o'clock?

Fishing four hours for silvers proved to be an expensive mistake, as I am sure I could have winkled out a couple more carp in that 4 hours, as I had the 8lber in the first hour and ended up with  81.06, so 73lb in the last hour, which with my hard won 12.02 of silvers went 93.08 which was 4th on the day, one out of the money (thats been a common theme this year...) with 117.03 winning from 123.  Still it didn't rain, had a few bites from a peg I didn't really fancy at the start, so can't complain.

1. Tom Downing - 117lb 3oz - peg 123
2. Adrian Jeffery - 108lb 12oz - peg 129
3. Jim Butcher - 100lb 4oz - peg 114
4. Chris Fox - 93lb 8oz - peg 132
5. Geoff Matthews - 92lb 9oz - peg 74
6. Paul Dare - 88lb 6oz - peg 115

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Preston Festival 2017, Whiteacres, Monday 9th - Friday 13th October 2017

Not an easy festival to fish this year, as Louis, one of my dogs, was ill and in the vet hospital at Langford, difficult decision to go, so the fishing and craic was somewhat overshadowed by the concern for him.

Travelled down and stayed with Glenn Calvert, the weather forecast was pretty shite for Saturday, so we didn't get there too early, so the usual practice was missed, a quick look round the lakes revealed most others had the same idea, as hardly anyone was fishing.  Usual Saturday night meet up with a few in the bar and a few beers.

Sunday just to wet a line we had a few hours on Jennys, it was fairly tough going and I think I had about 17lb of skimmers and a couple of F1's in 4 hours, evening was rounded off with a trip to the Two Clomes for tea.

Onto the serious matter of the fishing, the rotation had put me on Bolingey first day, a venue that I have usually done OK on, so looking forward to it.  I drew 18 which can be a good peg and I went hopeful that I could catch a few from it.  Its a peg that gives a few options, the margins aren't too inviting as 17 and 19 are in, but the island and open water gives plenty of space.  I'd based my bait tray round meat and pellet, but did have some corn as a back up.

I two lead rods, one with a method on and one straight lead, two wagglers, one full depth across towards the island, where there is a shelf that's a good 3' shallower than the open water and a shallow waggler. 3 pole rigs, one for meat plumbed up the shelf about 6" shallower than full depth, a pellet rig to fish at 14m and more in hope than expectation, a margin rig.  As I was ready with 40+ minutes to go and there were odd fish showing, I set up a shallow rig and a deep shallow rig, so that was either all options covered, or a confusing mess......

Started on meat up the shelf and was rewarded with a fish nigh on 10lb within 6 or 7 minutes, then I hooked one a lot bigger and lost it just as it was coming to the surface, not sure why.  That seemed to kill off the line and I went over to the island on the lead, but that was totally non productive.  A switch to the full depth waggler saw the odd fish come to banded 6mm pellet, but it wasn't hectic action.

I could see the odd fish swimming through, so had a good go at shallow and deep shallow on the pole, but that was a fruitless exercise, so I switched to the full depth rig over the feed and had one straight away, false dawn as I had no more there.  I ended the match back on the meat line and put several more in the net and I had 103lb on the clicker, this turned out to be 100.12 on the scales and was 3rd in section with that, behind 15 (149lb) who caught on the method all day and 11 (120lb) who had a good run at the end.  Not an ideal start, but not a total disaster.

Day two dawned and I was looking forward to it, Pollawyn, another lake that has seen me do OK on in the past, the day didn't start well when we sauntered up for the draw at 09.15, only to find the doors locked, turns out the draw was at 09.00 - always been 09.30 after the first day, we weren't alone as Tom Scholey and Matt Godfrey were also stood with us looking perplexed.  Glenn jumped in Tom's van with him and went to the shop, whilst I went back and got my van.  I turned up just as Glenn had drawn for me - to say I was deflated is an understatement, he handed me 37, right up the arm and very unfancied.

All I could do was go to it and fish my best match.  It's possible to reach the island from this peg with 16m, so I set up a rig for that, a small pellet feeder, a rig for just down the far shelf and a silvers rig for down the track and a meat rig for 5m.  Not too much to write about, as I felt I fished a tidy match and gave it my best for 5 hours, but all I could muster was 6.07 of perch and two gudgeon.  No matter where I fished in the peg, I either had nothing or a small perch (apart from the glory of retaining the lodge Gudgeon Cup) for the full 5 hours.  That gave me 3 points and festival over, barring 3 section wins and a miracle.  Very frustrating, if there was any consolation, 4lb came off the peg the next day and 7lb the day after, so I wasn't the only one unable to catch from it.

Day three and I drew an indifferent peg, peg 8 on Twin Oaks, would be unusual to beat 16 and 14, so I decided to fish positively, feed a bit and try and attract some fish into the peg, I had nothing to lose.  To my left I had Lee Edwards on 6 and he wasn't best pleased with the draw, as weren't the guys to his left. I had a fish nearly straight away on meat short, then,, just as Monday, lost the second one, but I kept on getting indications, so I persevered, it turned out to be F1's and a I had 3 or 4 before it went dead.  Lee was getting the odd fish on the lead, feeding next to nothing across, but we were far off the pace of the pegs up to the right, which were catching well.  I had a couple on meat at the end, but Lee's tactic of fishing negatively had out weighed my positive approach, Lee weighing 100lb to my 49lb, although we were both well beaten by the favoured pegs.

Day four and I fancied a draw on Trewaters, to banish my poor run there, but it wasn't to be and Acorn 13 was my seat for the day and Glenn headed off to Trewaters.  Peg 15 was in, but 17 wasn't drawn, meaning 3 was the next peg to him, consensus was that he would win the section, but again I felt a reasonably positive approach would be the best way to try and pick up some coin today.
I set up a straight lead, a small method feeder and tried to cover some options with pole rigs, margin, as its a long LH margin and looks good, but I have fished the peg before and never had a bite down the edge.  A meat rig to fish at 7m left, a rig to fish worm and caster at 11m right and a shallow rig.

It turned out to be a tough day and after 2 hours there was hardly anything caught on the lake, I had to concentrate on the worm and caster line to catch and I had a few F1's and skimmers, my week was summed up when I dropped a 3lb F1 back in the lake instead of the net and it cost me points.....  I ended with 17.08 which was worth 5 points and left me with only a lake win to go for on the last day to try and resurrect something from the week.

Day five and the Porth palava of swapping kit around and wondering if there would be a boat trip involved.  I had no need to worry about the boat, but did draw the longest walk again, 40.  Last 4 trips to Porth have seen me draw 40, 39, 16 and 40, each time I have drawn the high numbers they have been poor, with a DNW showing on the board for it on the previous day.

I'd love to report that I had a day catching roach and skimmers on the pole, in fact I didn't have a bite on it, 0.06 and a 24, single flouro pinkie and nothing.  I had a bite on the feeder at 12.30, a skimmer, sadly that met it's fate in the jaws of a pike and I had to wait until 14.30 for another bite, between 14.45 and the end I managed to put a level 5lb of skimmers and roach in the net on the feeder, so another poor day.

Reflecting on the festival and looking at the final positions of some very good anglers, I feel slightly vindicated in my horrendously poor finish, the draw on Pollawyn was a killer, Twin Oaks wasn't so good, Acorn I could possibly have done better and Porth I really don't think I could have had many more fish from the peg, it was barren for too long.

So a week that was not so good for the fishing, the company was great, many thanks to Glenn for the company and putting up with me for the week, apart from the fishing and the concern for Louis didn't help. He came home from the hospital on the Saturday when I got home, but went down hill on the Sunday and that horrible decision to get the vet and end his suffering was taken, so a really shite end to a week of mixed emotions.

RIP Louis,  Feb 2007 - Oct 2017 

No fishing for a week or so due to work.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Viaduct Silvers League Round 1, Sunday 1st October 2017

Sadly unable to make all the matches in this great league due to work, but have offered myself up as a reserve for the dates I can make.  Today I was I believe I was fishing for Steve Denmead.  Travelled down with Tony Rixon and chanced Cannards Well for breakfast, fair play to them, they have invented a new dish Sausage Tartare - I like steak tartare, but pink raw sausages do not make for a good breakfast!!

Onto the fishing and I drew 86, a peg I fancied for a few bites but is not known for regularly producing the better quality skimmers usually needed to make a framing weight.  I had drawn in the area a couple of years back in this league and pellet was by far the best bait, so I decided on a GB/caster line at 14m and a pellet line at 11m, with a rig to fish under the tree to my right, as I have had some quality roach late on in past matches.

Also a waggler and cage feeder set up, to fish a bit further out if that proved necessary.

Starting on the 11m line I fed some micros and a few 4mm's and started on an expander, this was slow going and a switch to a dead maggot on the hook saw a few small (2oz) skimmers come to the net, but it was slow going.  Looking round the lake no one was catching well, so I stuck at it and continued putting similar sized fish in the net.  After an hour I went out on the longer line, trying worm and caster on the hook, I did have one 6 oz skimmer, but that was at the expense of several hooklengths to the carp which were very active over this line.

I did try feeding corn further out and fish that on the waggler, but that was also snaffled by the greedy waterpigs.  Back to the pellet line at 11m and I introduced some GB and worm, this increased the bites, but not the size of fish, but I kept something going in the net.

I did manage a 2lb perch, a couple of 8-10 oz hybrids and a couple of better roach under the tree towards the end and two better skimmers, but this was only enough for 3rd in section, being beaten by two pegs on the diagonal bank, both of whom had better quality fish.  I felt I fished a tidy match, taking top weight of 22.10 on the riverbank side of Cary, but the lack of quality stumped me.

1. Craig Edmunds - 39lb 12oz - peg 123
2. Gary Webber - 39lb 2oz - peg 115
3. Ziggy Slowinski - 37lb 6oz - peg 126
4. Tony Rixon - 36lb 3oz - peg 94
5. Sam Powell - 35lb 8oz - peg 98
6. Chris Davis - 35lb 2oz - peg 77

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Todber Manor Open Saturday 16th September 2017

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

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ivy House Open, Sunday 10th September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 7th September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 4 September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well done to Tony on winning the series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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