Thursday, 27 January 2011

A Thanks for good service - Matchbox Tackle.

In July 2008, I decided to change my seatbox, I fancied the idea of the tray/modular type, so I could swap trays as dictated by venue. The Matchbox looked to be just what I was after, but with no local dealer I was reluctant to order online. After a phonecall to arrange it, I was on my way up the M5 to visit Matchbox, to see the boxes. As I arrived, the owner was setting off for a trade show and left me with Jane, who couldn't have been more helpful.

I had taken my boss box with me, to get a proper comparison and Jane put up with me disecting the matchbox (and kept me plied with coffee), trying all the accessories and trays, before deciding on my final options. She chucked in a couple of freebies and gave me a really good price. I then discovered that I hadn't brought a cheque book or enough cash and they couldn't take card payment. No problem, between us I paid using their PC, from my paypal into Janes own paypal account.

In November 2008, I wanted another tray, it was dispatched promptly and arrived safely.

I unfortunately lost one of the mud feet from my box on the way back from my last match. I rang Matchbox and whilst I was asking if they would supply just a mud foot (not shown seperately on-line), I also asked if I could have a mix/match of one of their standard trays. On the website they have a river winder assembly, which comprises trays for two sizes of rig, I wanted two trays of the 27mm rig size. They readily agreed to supply this, along with the mud foot, at a very good price including postage.

This phonecall was yesterday morning, this morning I received an email, telling me the package would arrive between 11.12 & 12.12, which it duly did. Well packaged, exactly as orderd, with the addition of a Matchbox cap. (Thanks Matchbox, my old ones are looking worse for wear).

I have the S range box and apart from 2 things, I can't fault it. 1st thing is the mud feet unscreww and they do work loose, although a dash of loctite or 10 mins with a drill and roll pins would sort it. 2nd point is if you buy one, I'd definitely recommend the side plate kit, even if you don't use the side footplate, fit the bars, it stiffens up the legs by a very noticeable amount. Although I now believe they come with the bars as standard.

In this day and age it's nice to receive good service, so thanks Matchbox.

Whilst on the subject of good service, I can't not mention Tony Rixon of Avon Angling, always helpful and willing to bring bait and supplies along to a match if I can't get into the shop - thanks Tony.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Trinty Waters, 19th January 2011

With the weather warming up and the water temps on the rise, I had high hopes for this Wednesday open on Woodland - until I got up and saw that the forecast 1°C overnight was down to -4.5°C on the journey down. At least the lake remained ice free and there were some small roach topping.

Peg 27 came out of the hat, so I immediately decided to fish for skimmers and see if an odd carp or two came along, as in the winter, the lodge bank pegs often find it hard to compete with the opposite bank, when the fish come into the margins. The lodge bank is in its first full winter since being remodelled by John and whilst the ledges he created during the remodelling were very productive last summer, they seem just too shallow to get the carp on them in this cold weather. Maybe next winter, with another years growth of reeds and mother nature shaping the ledges John made with the digger, the fish will be more comfortable to come up the ledge.

Anyway, those of us on the Lodge bank would have been frozen if the high bank was still in place, as it used to block out the sun - which made its margins colder than those opposite, so even before the work often its margins weren't so productive in cold spells.

I set up two rigs, a 1g Jean Desque with a hollow tip added, this was on 0.13 and a 0.09 hooklength and a 18 808, and a 1g Jolly on 0.11 and a 0.08 hooklength with a 20 gamma black. I initally only fed one line 14m and put in two jaffa's of groundbait, micro pellet and dead reds. First put in and the float settled, then buried, a spirited fight ensued, but the double 6 preston slip with a pulla bung saw me net a decent carp after 10 minutes, it took double dead red.

Next put in with a soft pellet saw another carp in the net and just before the first hour was up, a much smaller cyprinid joined its big brothers in the keepnet, my first carp since 18th November!!

As the hands of the watch passed into the second hour, there was some bubbles and activity in the peg, I lost two foul hookers and landed a couple of decent skimmers, then the wind got up, blowing across the lake from the far corner (6) towards the top corner (23), that killed off the sport for myself, Rich Coles on 29 (and I won't elaborate on the defamatory comments made about Rich, by Mr Rixon - who claims he's a silverfish hasbeen :-) ), Andy France on 26 and Paul Lock on 24, the last 3½ hours saw only odd fish, mainly small roach caught on this middle section of our bank, whilst we watched fish coming from the pegs opposite. My 3 carp went 17lb odd, with 5lb odd of silvers.

Pete Sivell took advantage of his end peg (6) with no one on the bottom bank (1-5) and put just shy of 60lb on the scales to win. Jason Radford had 14 & 16 empty either side of his draw on the culvert (15) and again made good use of that situation.

1) Pete Sivell 59.07 peg 6
2) Jason Radford 42.13 peg 15
3) Martin Lengahan 37.15 peg 17
4) Tony (lets leave the good pegs with plenty of room) Rixon 37.07 peg 19
5) Andy Curry 36.14 peg 23
6) Chris Fox 22.14 peg 27

1) Leighton Palmer 15.14 peg 10
2) Steve Kedge 11.02 peg 13

Thats it for about three weeks now, no fishing, as I've had the carpal tunnel op on my left wrist this morning (Friday) (its a right pain in the arse typing this out one handed!!) although you may see me bank walking once I can drive, I get stir crazy in the house.

Viaduct Teams of Five Sunday 16th January 2011

First team match of the year, first visit to Viaduct in 2011, which on the whole, was good to me last year, especially in my first full season fishing it.

Arrived at the Globe for the buffet style, help youself brekkie, not bad, so I was all set for a decent day, when back comes my draw, peg 8 on Spring, another bloody corner, which aren't my favourite pegs in winter. With peg 7 in as well, that left little water to fish, except a 14m line for silvers and the margin for carp (which I had no confidence would show) or a big perch or two.

At the all in I fed some caster at the end of the boards to the RH side and a few dead reds at 14.5m along the margin. At various times throughout the match I tried these lines, with maggot, caster, corn, meat & worm as hookbait, all to no avail, not so much as a twitch on the float.

Starting at 14.5m, with some groundbait and dead reds, I had 3 skimmers in 3 put ins - great, a day on the skimmers, but no they had other ideas and they were the only three I caught all day. The wind was making it difficult to fish the 14.5m line, so I started a line at 9m. This produced a 8oz perch to caster first put in and then a ruffe and a couple of very small rudd.

Once again it was a struggle to get bites, not just for me, peg 7 was struggling, so I had the chance to avoid being last in the section! I started to loose feed caster over the 9m line and shortly after had a tench that saved me from last in section, my hard won 4.08, just beating the couple of decent perch from peg 7 by 5oz.

I can't fish all the matches, but I'm looking forward to some warmer weather and a peg with some water to work at in the next one I fish. Sadly the rest of the team struggled as well and to make the day worse, I lost a screw on foot from my Matchbox walking back to the van, retracing my steps failed to find it. Although that wasn't as bad as Lance (Tucker) who managed to lock his car keys in his car, with no spare.

1. Jason Radford 82-0-0 peg 3
2. John Gray 78-02-0 peg 132
3. Will Bohnie 54-0-0 peg 113
4. John Howell 45-10-0 peg 53
5. Chris Davis 43-12-0 peg 40
6. Alan Oram 35-03-0 peg 110

1. Chris Davis 24-04-0 peg 40
2. Tony Rixon 16-05-0 peg 88
3. Jamie Parkhouse 14-04-0 peg 39
4. Nick Collins 14-02-0 peg 102
5. Steve Kedge 13-09-0 peg 52

Plantation Lake Saturday 15th January

I was intending to go to football, but a phone call from Paul Nicholls saying there was a place going in the Saturday match at Plantation, allied with the warmer weather, had me booking in.

I was fairly disappointed with my draw, peg 12, its a bit like peg 1, win the match or come nowhere, there just doesn't seem to be any inbetween position on the pegs at either end of the lake. I had Rod Wotton on 11 and fellow Ashton Gate absentee, Pete Sivell on peg 8 as my nearest company.

I did set up a margin rig, but had my doubts that I'd catch on it, never had a bite, except on single or double maggot from small roach, so thats all there is to say about that. That left a roach rig for close in, a Malman Winter Wire on 0.11 to a 0.08 hooklength and a 20 gamma black and a MW Diamond on 0.13 with a 0.12 middy hooklength and a 18 808 hook, this for for the skimmers and any odd carp that may show up.

I fed a groundbait line at 14m, two tangerine size balls with some dead reds in and a roach line at topkit range.

The match followed the usual pattern of late for me, my Carp net once again going unused - may as well put them on ebay - and a battle round three lines (one at 6m, loose fed caster started after an hour or so)to keep silvers coming, albeit slowly. The roach were heavier than the skimmers, which backed off after catching two and took 20 minutes or so to come back. A decent F1 from the skimmer line and a reasonable Perch on the topkit caster line helped me to a weight of 11-12, just seeing off Rod & Pete who had 8lb & 10lb weights. We couldn't compete with the opposite corner of the lake, where Rich Lovereing took 53lb to win from peg 33.

1) Rich Lovering 53lb peg 33
2) Simon Carvello 32lb peg 19
3) Kev Perry 29lb peg 27
4) Mark Bromsgrove 27lb peg 31
5) Lance Tucker 22lbpeg 29
6) Lewis Jones 21lb peg 39


1) Mark Bromsgrove 27lb peg 31 (Skimmers)
2) J Page 17lb 12oz
3) Glen Calvert 17lb 06oz peg 4

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Avalon, Sunday 2nd January 2011

All work and no play lately, hence the late writing of this blog entry. After the reasonable days fishing at Trinity on New Years Eve, I assumed that it would be best to stick to another lake with a bit of depth. With confident assurances from Mr Rixon that Avalon was ice free, I booked in.

The sight that greeted me on arrival at Avalon was bank to island ice on the LH side of the lake and ice free water on the RH bank, two hardy souls were thrashing around in a boat, trying to break the ice on the LH side. (Andy Bush and Paul Elmes).

I drew 29, which was miraculously ice free, with Andy Bush on my RH side and Vince Brown on my left. I'd decided to fish two lines on the pole, 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock at 14.5m, one line feeding with dead maggot and one with micropellet. A straight lead and a waggler completed the set up. Vince started at 20m and stayed there most of the day, I did go out to 19m for a short while, but I need a few months in the gym or a bucket of steroids to be able to stick with it when bites are scarce.

After 30 minutes I had a 6oz perch, apart from a 2oz roach on the lead, that was the extent of my days sport, Vic and Leigh walked past a couple of times and said "this seems to be the worst bit" - why didn't that surprise me!!

Not much point in writing any more about a non-eventful day, suffice to say perhaps the ice free areas aren't always the best, during the thaw.

See Tony's blog for the result, I can't get out now until the teams of five at Viaduct on Sunday 16th.