Thursday, 30 September 2010

Avalon. Wednesday 29th September 2010

The 11 o'clock draw and the desire to try and suss out how to actually land the damn fish in this venue persauded me to end up in this secluded part of Somerset for the second match running. Back to school for Mr Rixon, as we needed a redraw, when it was discovered that there was one peg missing from the drawbag.

Draw bag being a loose term for the soggy floor where the swimcards ended up, mine revealing 7 when I opened it, Dean (Malin) had 70lb odd from this peg Sunday on the feeder, so there should have been some fish there.

As usual when there is an hour to set up, I wasn't quite ready, hurrying had made me less observant than I should have been, the rods I had carefully clipped up not half an hour before, now landed in the troublesome reeds and tangle of twigs, because the wind had dropped.

I must learn not to praise any of my tackle, I'd be extolling the virtues of my Maver pole roller to Mike West, only days before and the bloody leg snapped off whilst I was setting it up. I slipped on the very slippery platform and thought I'd broken the brand new waggler rod rod I had in my hand, luckily not, just knocked most of my bait off the side tray. The No2 quiver tip on my feeder rod split between the tip ring and the second ring, this after a couple of years of good service (well, OK, it doesn't get used much....) What else could go wrong....

I'd decided to fish a line at 13m with micro and 4mm pellet, as I did Sunday, to try and learn how to avoid the foul hookers and to fish across as tight as I could get to the island, which proved not to be tight enough because of the reeds. Peg 7 is also quite a narrow peg, perhaps another reason not to have fished to the island.

I should have stuck to my plan and fished paste over the 13m line for the rest of the day, but on several occasions I wasted time fishing the waggler (and resetting it up a few times, because Fabio was catching well on it to my right. Although I was totally wrong in my estimation of his weight, Pete Sivell walked down and said Fabio had about 20, I assumed that was 100lb.

The buggering about with the waggler cost me the chance to push the top places, as I managed 12 fish in total, 2 which fell to the first two casts on the feeder (and that was the sum total of my action on it) and one which came on the waggler, when the wind parted the reeds perfectly, for me to get close enough to the island. The other 9 all came on the 13m line on the paste, I'd tried hard pellet, no bites, first put in on soft pellet ended up with Sunday syndrome, bite, fish on, fish running, fish off!!

Nick Davidson on peg 9 had seen me catching on paste and started chucking his lead rod with a conker on, in at 13 or 14m and started to catch, so those better fish do come close.

For me, it was a match plagued with poor decision making, being convinced that Fabio was battering me and not sticking to my plan of fishing paste. My 12 fish went 73.01 and seventh place, with some commitment to my beliefs, I should have been looking at a pick up.

Thats it for a couple of weeks, as I am having a small operation on my wrist tomorrow (Friday) not sure how long it will stop me fishing for, not too long hopefully. Although as soon as I can drive, I'm sure the stir craziness of being stuck at home, will see me walking a bank or two.

1) Dean Malin 131.04 peg 11
2) Tony Rixon 122.14 peg 13
3) Jamie Dyte 104.09 peg 1
4) Phil 'Fabio' Harding 96.03 peg 5
5) Tim Clark 94.13 peg 20
6) Nick Davidson 78.14 peg 9


1) Kevin Davis 26.00 peg 19

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Avalon, Sunday 26th September

If yesterday was bad, today was not much of an improvement, I think I'll give coarse fishing a miss tomorrow and take the floppy rods and woolly hooks out, to try and catch tea - well maybe.... it's my birthday on Monday, so the pub and a curry seems more likely, the trout might have to wait until Tuesday.

The drawing arm let me down again today, as all the top weights came from the LH bank, whilst those of us on the RH side, struggled. I had pulled peg 32, with no one on 33, I couldn't complain about the space. As we were tackling up, the wind started and it was apparent that the waggler wasn't much of an option as the surface was towing to the car park end at a great rate of knots.

I set the wagglers up anyway (full depth and shallow) and a straight lead, as the end of the island looked like it should be home to hordes of hungry carp. I also set up 3 pole rigs, a 1g preston green with an olivette to fish maggot on the deck and two MW diamonds, one for soft pellet, corn or meat and another the same with a hair rigged band for hard pellet.

I started on the lead and had a carp within the first 7 minutes, I then had a small carp (into the silvers net, but it's so wrong, should have a separate net for small carp!!), then a skimmer and the last action of the first hour was a wrap round bite, and a fish trying to get to the snag on the end of the island, I held on and the 0.17 hooklength snapped!! That was the end of any bites or liners on the lead.

I'd fed some softened micro and 6mil pellets at 14.5m and dropped in over that with 6mm soft pellet, this resulted in a couple of skimmers, ringing the changes to maggot or 6mm hard pellet saw a couple more skimmers into the net. I then had a spell where I hooked and lost 13 carp, some were foul hookers, some probably not, by 1.30 I had to walk down to Tony Rixon, before I lost the plot (or my temper). I returned after 10 minutes and immediately lost two more, I set up another rig, with only 2 No9 stotz down the line at 2/3 depth, but I couldn't get a bite on this. Back in with the on the deck rig and another fouler hooked and lost..... I tried altering the way I fed, what I fed, the amount and so on, all to no avail,

I picked up the shallow waggler and third chuck hooked a decent fish, which turned and ran, I held it and then it was gone, the PR36 (16) snapped clean in half (on a 0.17 hooklength), I wasn't sure which rod or pole to jump on first!!

A couple more skimmers near the end and a carp hooked and landed finished the day off, with a chance of sneaking into the silvers money by default - according to Tony's dodgy reckoning. Even that was scuppered by Tom Magnol, who beat me by 5oz and half his silvers were carp!! How does that work?

A frustrating day, the fish were there in enough numbers to have picked up money, but I just couldn't work out how to get them to take the hookbait. Feeding? Hookbait? Presentation - I wish I knew.

1) P Wild 105.07 peg 20
2) D Malin 78.12 peg 7
3) C Hudson 75.11 peg 1
4) P Elmes 73.08 peg 12
5) B Hagg 62.02 peg 13
6) M Lenaghon 61.00 peg 24


1) S Seager 16.12 peg 19
2) D Malin 14.08 peg7
3) T Magnol 11.15 peg 21(Boo, half of the 'silvers' were carp less than 1lb)
4) C Fox 11.10 peg 32

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Viaduct Open. Saturday 25th September 2010

Today turned into one of those days that would have been better spent in the pub....

I drew Campbell 114, not what I'd have picked, but still well worth a go, I took my lead rod out of the case and found the tip ring snapped off the quivertip, no worries, I'll just reuse it as it had snapped right next to the ring. Thats until I dropped the ring in the grass and couldn't find it. That's a new No2 quiver to order now!! I made up the rod with the No3 tip in and also set up two wagglers, although given the temperature, I thought the shallow wag was unlikely to get used.

I set up a shallow rig on the pole, a full depth pellet rig and two meat rigs, one for the margin back into the vacant 113 and another for a line about 7m. Plumbing up showed there is a deeper channel straight in front, about 6" or 8" deeper than the same distance out at 11 & 1 o'clock. Paul Greenwood had announced 11.30-17.30 fishing times and then blew the hooter at 11, so I had been leisurely setting up, chatting and making new rigs and as usual wasn't ready.

I started on the lead, as the majority of fish were caught from the middle pegs on Thursday, by those fishing it. In less than 10 minutes I had a vicious wrap round and a 4lb fish in the net. As the temperature had dropped I decided to try the pellet cone, seemingly it worked, although only for that fish as a lost foul hooker was the only other action for the rest of the first hour. There were signs of fish moving and I was already 4 or 5 fish behind Jamie Cooper on 115, who was catching on the lead.

Second hour saw me on the waggler and that resulted in one fish, I then tried the line at 14.5m which I'd fed 6mm pellet over and lost a foul hooker and had a skimmer, then nothing. Back on the lead and I was now at least 12 fish behind 115 and I couldn't even get a liner. I tried the 7m meat line, nothing, I had a Tench fishing down to the pallet of 113 and a small carp. I managed to end up with 9 carp by switching between the lead and the two meat lines, also losing half a dozen or so. My meagre net of carp went 43.07 and 4.09 was the weight of my tench and two skimmers. Absolutely battered off the next peg, 115, by 3:1 ratio.

Afterwards Alan Oram suggested that I was probably wasting my time going down the margin, I must give him my mobile number....if he'd had it, he could have rang me and told me with two hours to go....... Still thats all part of the learning curve, as the summer gives way to autumn, I guess I'll have to adapt quickly compete. (Although whilst I was sat next to the winner, Alan had the dubious honour of being sat next to the second placed man!1)

1) Jamie Cooper 154.15 peg 115
2) Roy ?? 117.12 peg 130
3) Andy N 111.05 peg 85
4) M ??? 108.04 peg 132
5) P Cardwell 102.12 peg 80
6) P Tidball 84.07 peg 123


1) M Prestin (??) 33.09 peg 112
2) Steve Jackson 25.10 peg 126
3) John Green 24.10 peg 131

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Viaduct Costcutter. 23rd September 2010

21 booked in today for the Costcutter, so 7 pegs on Cary and 14 on Campbell, I fancied a peg on Campbell, second to draw and John Bradford asked me to pick his peg out, I managed to get him 132, although he did roll his eyes and mutter about "another bloody corner". Dipping back into the tin and I pulled myself 119, the opposite corner, its usually worth a few fish, so I wasn't disappointed. (Not sure why my drawing arm only works on Thursdays....)

I had intended to keep things simple and set up a MW slimpower to fish pellet at depth, this on 0.19 to a 0.17 hooklength with a B960. A shallow rig with the same line and hook, for an up in the water rig,with a J range dibber being the indicator. A MW slim power set up to fish to the rushes on the end bank (to my RH side) and a rig for meat if I needed to try it. As it's so easy nowadays to set up rods with the holdalls to keep them made up, I set up two wagglers, one full depth, one shallow and a straight lead.

On peg 118 I had the musical Bank Manager(retired)and he gave us a good afternoons entertainment, as he managed to break both his No4 sections and at least one topkit, both times the No4 broke he lost the topkit to a fish and luckily managed to get them back - landing one fish in someone else's peg!! I bet you can't guess the make of his pole.....

I decided to feed three lines and started feeding 8mm pellet, 14.5m at 1 o'clock, at 16m down to the end bank and in front of the pallet of peg 120. I had three carp and 1 skimmer in the first hour, all on the 14.5m line, 8mm pellet on the deck.(I decided against feeding anything smaller, as the 8mm was getting nobbled by nuisance silvers).

I had a look across to the pallet of 120 with the shallow waggler and took a couple of fish, before they spooked. I then went to the third line and all I could muster from there was a carp and a skimmer that went about 1½lb between them. I could still see fish moving over by 120, so decided to join the ranks of the lead chuckers and that netted me a couple more fish, fishing tight to the pallet.

The 14.5m line had a steady drip of pellet going in and there was some fizzing, so coming up to the halfway point I went back in over this with the full depth rig and started to catch, putting 6 fish in the net, before switching to the shallow rig and taking another. The fish were gradually coming up and competing, I was optimistic about them coming stronger and catching well in the second half of the match. What I didn't bank on was the 15 minute storm, the wind got up, the rain came down torrentially and the thunder rumbled overhead. That was enough for poor old Jim on 118, he packed up and buggered off (no doubt to order new Maver sections).

The rain eased off and lasted another 10 minutes or so before the sun came back out and the lake surface went flat calm, that was the end of my 14.5m line, not a touch up in the water and one more fish in the last 90 minutes on the full depth rig. Another 4 fish on the lead took my total to 19 and as I had a bit of a mixture from less than 1lb to 8lb, I guessed I had around the ton. Perhaps I should have tried the meat after the storm, but as I hadn't fed any, I left it in the bag and stuck with pellet, not sure if it cost me or not. I did think that paste might go, but didn't set it up, as I was confident that pellet would keep catching until the end, which it did, but slowly after the rain. The scales gave me 1.15 for my two skimmers and 109.02 for the 19 carp, I'd like to think I'd weigh more than that if I could fish the match again.

As the results show, today was the day to draw on Campbell where it was a close fought match, with only a fish or two seperating many weights, top weight on Cary was S.Crowford with 83.05 from peg 86.

1) Gary Ethridge 138.05 peg 111
2) Chris Fox 111.01 peg 119
3) Andy Gard 95.12 peg 115
4) Brian Chilvers 94.02 peg 130
5) John Green 92.04 peg 114
6) Dave White 86.02 peg 128


1) John Green 66.09 peg 114
2) Barry Fitchew 48.08 peg 129
3) John Bradford 21.08 peg 132

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Landsend, Wednesday 22nd September 2010

I haven't been to Landsend since July, its a venue that I seem to end up a long way behind the winner, without a clear understanding of why. So was the case today,(being a long way behind the winner) although I know why today, the peg I drew was virtually a carp free zone!!

The match was split over Match and Specimen lake, I drew on the Specimen lake, peg 29, once again nowhere near one of the coveted corner pegs. Tony Rixon's toys came out of the pram when he was drawn peg 3 by Andy France and the last peg in the hat was for last to arrive (again) John Bradford - peg 32.

Peg 29 had a bit of form and most of the advice was to fish short of the island shelf for at least a couple of hours, picking up odd fish and then go over and plunder the shelf for the second half the match. ("You'll know when they are there, you'll see the tails") I'd taken some caster and soft pellet as a back up, to get some bites if my usual troubles in hooking a carp at this venue persisted.

I set up a shallow dibber rig for the island shelf, a MW slimpower on 0.17 for a rig to fish down the shelf on the drop, another slim power rig on 0.15 with a 0.14 hooklength and a 16 808 to fish soft pellet, corn or caster at 7m. I also rather optimistically set up a paste rig, as the water was 16°C.

I started by potting some caster 4mm and micropellet in at 7m, then kept a steady feed of 6mm pellet, with the odd 8mm going across to the island. The 7m line produced 3 or 4 skimmers and 2 F1's, but Jason Radford on 31 had already had 3 carp, so I had a look at the bottom of the far shelf, just twitches on the float as silvers pestered the 8mm pellet. Out with the dibber rig and I had a carp that would struggle to pull the scales round to 2lb. Back out and nothing.

I dropped in on the 7m line again, with double caster and a flying bream of 3lb+ was in the net, then the aerator started up and that was the end of the skimmers, it also stopped Jason catching. I had one more carp from the bottom of the shelf on 8mm pellet, this one was smaller than the first, so 2 carp from the Specimen lake that together went less than 4lb......

Once the aerator went off, Jason started catching again, peg 27 had caught 3 or 4 ccarp on the straight lead and 25 was catching lumps. I knew I was very unlikely to catch up, as there was still no sign of a waving tail or tell tale swirl on the island. I had a look over anyway and once again the float bobbed and twitched as small silvers tried to gorge themselves on a 8mm pellet (and it was worse with a 6mm), it was apparent that there were no carp over there. I did have a dabble on paste, which resulted in zero bites, must be nearly time to put the Big H floats away until next year.

I didn't have a decent caster shallow rig set up, but using my soft pellet/caster rig, I had a look shallow fishing to hand and had a bite from a roach every put in until the end (only hooking one in four, as the rig was not the most sensitive....)

I did drop back on the 7m line hoping for another skimmer or F1, but even though it was fizzing, I couldn't get a bite. So back to the roach and the casters had run out, I'd tried to bulk them out with corn & 4mm pellet, it didn't put the roach off and they kept coming until the all out, proving to be the right decision as I took first in the silvers and at least put some cash back into the wallet.

1) Dave Westcott 122.10 peg 25
2) Jason Radford 89.07 peg 31
3) Martin Lenaghan 79.15
4) J Dyte 75.09
5) Tony Rixon 52.07 peg 3
6) N Davidson 51.10


1) Chris Fox 17.14 peg 29
2) Leighton Palmer 17.01

Sunday, 19 September 2010

South West Teams of Four, Cider Farm 19/09/10

An opportunity arose to stand in for an absent Gary Bedford in his team, so as it was a decent size match, I took the opportunity. It's been a couple of years since I've been to Cider Farm and I was amazed by the triffids , reeds that have sprung up in that time. Everything else was as I remember, a friendly welcome and some words of advice from Mark as he walked round.

I was handed peg 32 on Yarlington, a poisoned chalice, as Des Shipp had won the County Champs from this peg the day before, I’m not too keen on getting a peg that performed well the day before, as the fish can tend to move off or switch off if they’ve been hammered. I had various advice given to me about fishing to the bare bank, into the reeds and down the margins. I set up two shallow rigs, to fish up in the water and on the far shelf, a paste rig –just in case – and a rig to fish at full depth.

It was hard work, I started over by the reeds as there was some fish activity, they didn’t stay there long once the pole and some 6mm pellet went over there, I ended up switching between the bare bank across to my left and the full depth line at 13m, I had 21 fish, I could get a couple up on the shelf and then they’d disappear, no liners or any indication at all that they were there. I would switch to the 13m line and take an odd fish on corn, as well as one on paste, but I went 30 minutes on a couple of occasions without a bite. I tried a long line to keep the pole away from the fish, but with the overhanging vegetation, this was a non starter, I dropped down to 0.11 and a size 20 B960, this did seem to improve the bites missed to hit ratio, but didn’t stop the fish vacating the shelf after 1 or 2 of their mates had been caught.

I guess I spent too long on the paste, as had one fish on it and had an indication virtually every put in, although I think it was small skimmers, even though the blows over the line were ‘proper carp jaccuzzi’s’, My 21 fish went 46.12 and I lost out on picking up some coin by about 4lb, maybe persisting shallow would have seen that weight added to my net. Also I guess that this will be one of the last days this year I go fishing without maggots or casters.

It made a nice change to go to Cider Farm and I think I’ll be back in less than two years this time, although I do fear that the reeds could spoil the venue if they carry on growing unabated.

Results blatantly copied and pasted from Mike Nicholl's blog....

Full Result:

1. Des Shipp 103-15-0 peg 41 Yar
2. Rod Wotton 98-01-0 peg 1 Dab
3. Dean Mallin 89-04-0 peg 7 Dab
4. Paul Elmes 77-13-0 peg 16 Dab
5. Tony Rixon 70-14-0 peg 20 Dab
6. Mark Broomsgrove 69-0-0 peg 6 Dab

Top Silvers:

1. Steve Seagar 21-06-0 peg 15 Shep
2. Mike Nicholls 21-0-0 peg 21 Dab
3. Kev Perry 19-0-0 peg 3 Shep

Saturday, 18 September 2010

County Champs, Somerset Final

I just knew drawing 110 and winning on Thursday would be a bad omen for today.....

At least I haven't got to travel 'oop north, to an unknown venue. Peg 124 stuck to my hand from the draw tin, with Jacko on 125 for company, neither of us were confident and so it proved to be with three of us in a row (Nick Duckett on 126) struggling for bites and DNW.

It took 50 minutes to get a fish and that was by resorting to chucking the lead, I had two decent fish on meat short on the pole, one shallow on the waggler and four on the lead, seven fish that probably went 45lb. At the start I would have agreed to making it 6 hours, by 4 o'clock I was glad it was 5 hours.....

As for the results, I'd love to put names to the weights, but it seems that many of the competitors at Viaduct are inacapable of writing, perhaps its an 'in' Viaduct joke to fill your name in with the left hand (or RH for the kack handers), either that or they are all Doctors.... I'll try and decipher the weigh sheet, but don't take the names as gospel.

1) P Cauoulin (I bet thats not right...) 114.08 peg 131
2) Fred Roberts 106.06 peg 132
3) Tom Magnall 99.03 peg 119
4) Andy Power 91.04 peg 130
5) Dick Bull 90.12 peg 127
6) Roiand (???) 82.12 peg 113

Perhaps Paul and Steve could insist on block capitals being used on the weigh sheet.....

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Viaduct Costcutter. 16th September 2010

It seems a long time since I last got the tackle out of the garage and stuck my hand into a draw bucket, work and a short holiday in France were the cause of the two and a bit week break. I was half intending to get to Viaduct on Wednesday (yesterday)but on the day I was due to go to France, the Citroen that were going in, decided to spew all its power steering fluid out. I came home from work and spent a while ringing insurances company, RAC and Eurotunnel on line to swap all the details over to my van.

I spent yesterday renewing the power steering pump and drive belt (a serpentine belt which had shredded one rib off and into the seal of the pump, thus knackering it)- I wasn't a happy bunny, I'd rather have been fishing. France was OK, 'Er indoors and the dog enjoyed it and the van was well loaded up with paté, garlic sausage and many bottles of vin rouge, as we came back across the channel.

So, with one eye on Saturdays County Final and the opportunity to get back on the bank, I booked into Viaduct for the costcutter on Campbell. The draw wasn't important, I wanted to catch a few fish and get some ideas for Saturday, once again using the costcutter to boost my knowlege of the venue. 110 was the peg that revealed its self once I opened the card, having had a ton+ and third in the superleague from this peg earlier in the year, I wasn't too disapppointed and when I got there and found that the North Westerly wind was pushing across towards me, I hoped that the fish were following it.

I tackled up covering all options, a straight lead, a waggler at depth and a shallow waggler. Pole rigs consisted of a shallow rig, a pellet at depth rig which was a MW slim power on 0.17, to a 0.15 hooklength and a 16 B960, a paste rig and two rigs for the margin, on with a 16 B960 for banded pellet and one with a 14 B911 for meat, both on 0.17.

At the all in, I cupped in some softened and hard pellet at 14.5m up the LH margin, I fed some corn & meat by the 'stump' and fed a line by catapult at 14.5m 11 o'clock and another at 35m 10 o'clock with pellet.

It took an hour to get my first fish, nothing on the 14.5m pole line, two lost foulers on the waggler and a lost fouler by the stump was the sum of my first hour, a couple of minutes past 12 and I took two fish in two put ins on meat by the stump, one around the 8lb mark. A look at the 14.5m margin saw two more fish in the net, the smallest two of the day. Looking around the lake it was obvious that it wasn't fishing brilliantly, so a change to the straight lead with 8mm pellet brought three more fish and then it went quiet again. It seemed that it was a day to take a couple of fish from one area, then swap lines and take a couple more.

I had a several fish on the waggler casting towards the empty end bank and with just over an hour to go had another look in on my 14.5m line which had only yielded a couple of missed bites up to now. the full depth rig produced two fish in two put ins, then two lost foulers, back out with the shallow rig and a run of fish up to the final whistle saw me with a total of 22 fish, a few of which were a decent size, so I knew I had just over a ton. Paul Greenwood had been for a little walk and when he got back he proceded to empty his peg (128) for the last couple of hours, catching at the end of the spit. George Perkins had had a fair few skimmers on 112, then caught carp on the same line giving him a decent weight, but it looked like no one had run away with it.

The scales went round from 132, so I was the last to weigh, 138.00 and 102.11 to beat, I was pretty confident of beating the 102.11, not so sure about the 138.00. My two nets, four weighs, pulled the scales round to 143.08 and first place. A nice way to get back after a couple of weeks off, although it will probably be a bad omen for Saturday.....

1) Chris Fox 143.08 peg 110
2) Paul Greenwood 138.00 peg 128
3) George Perkins 102.11 peg 112
4) Stu Foale 96.13 peg 118
5) Matt King 88.13 peg 131
6) Dave Roper 79.09 peg 115


1) George Perkins 44.07 peg 112
2) John Green 21.10 peg 114
3) Charlie Barnes 21.06 peg 125
4) Dave Roper 4.15 peg 115
5) Matt King 4.06 peg 131
6) Stu Foale 3.06 peg 118