Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Viaduct Silvers League Final Round, Sunday 13th December 2015

Travelled down with Tony Rixon today, so the usual stop at Shipham cafĂ©, which was by its usual standards, very quiet, but the breakfast was very nice, so a good start to the day, sadly for me it just seemed to go downhill after that……

Into the draw tin early and wasn’t over chuffed with my peg, 103. One frustration for me on the day was the no shows, even with the last match paid for in advance.  That meant an end peg with two empty pegs either side in my section for Steve Kedge, who took full advantage of it to win the section. Likewise behind me on Lodge, empty spaces and on Campbell as well.  I appreciate you can’t force people to fish, but it does affect the final match when there are gaps that give an advantage.

Peg 103 has a large tree immediately to the left, with overhanging branches, this meant that I couldn’t actually get to any of the ‘free’ water to my left as 104 is left out. I had Bela for company on 102 and the pegging of these two is quite close, so little option to have different lines.
I decided against setting up a feeder, as the lake isn’t too wide at this point and with it being flat calm, with very little wind forecast, I wasn’t sure it would be right in the fairly shallow water.  So a waggler and 3 topkits to complete the array of options for the day.  One of the topkits for a rig to fish down the LH edge under the tree, in the hope of a bonus perch, tench or hybrid.  This didn’t see a single bite or any sort of indication, so no more about it.

Two lines at about 14m and 10m both the same depth, so same rigs, a 0.3g rig double bulked and a wire stemmed float 0.2 with a standard bulk and two droppers.  The waggler was a 4bb Drennan with two No8’s down the line and a No 24 swivel as the final dropper.
Fed 3 balls of GB with caster on the 14m line and 1 ball with caster and dead maggot on the 10m line, then started short on caster, using the same rig, as the depth was the same.  Nothing on this, the shallow water and the flat calm meant I wasn’t too surprised.  Out to the 10m line, again nothing, so onto the 14m line and finally a tiny skimmer.  The roach were conspicuous by their absence; Bela was getting odd bites on the waggler and corn, which he was mostly missing, although he did have a couple of skimmers.

I gave the waggler a run out, loose feeding caster at about 18m, this gave me a decent skimmer followed by his smaller brother, but that was that for about 25 minutes and so followed the pattern of the day, take a fish, maybe two from one line and have to wait 20 minutes for a another bite.  Had I been able to have another line off to my left, it might have given me enough to push for a section but the conditions and depth were against me.  Section was won by Steve Kedge with 13lb odd and my miserable 10.03 was just enough for joint last (albeit with a no show, who was technically last) with Nige Bartlett.  I seem to have drawn the wrong pegs on the wrong days this series and had a pretty dismal run through it, but as usual it was well run and I look forward to next year. Tony won the match from 126, see his blog for full account and results.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Ivy House Winter league Round Three, Sunday 6th December 2015

I can' believe how mild the weather is still, but I'm not complaining, the gas bill will be greatly reduced and the lack of wear and tear on the winter clothing will help it last another year.

Pretty disappointed to see peg 5 come out of the tin, as I was on peg 6 last match and it wasn't a good area, to make it worse, 5 is in with 20, 2 and 17 which have loads of room and were 1,2 and 3 in the section last time.

With the wind driving straight into my face, it was going to be a tough day, I did get the waggler out of the bag, just in case the wind dropped, two lead rods, one with a bomb, one with a small hybrid feeder. Plumbing up the pole line, I found the slope didn't go out as far or as steeply as it does on peg 6, so at least I could get to the bottom of it, without trying to wield 16m in the gusty conditions.

I set up (rather optimistically) 4 topkits, one for down the edge to my left, towards peg 4, a 0.75g rig to fish overdepth at 9m, a 0.6g rig to fish expander at the same distance and a 0.3g rig to fish through the water, as given the ambient temperature, I didn't think the fish would be rooted to the bottom.

Bait was simply micros, expanders, maggots, pinkies, a few worms and bread.  Starting on bread, second chuck I had a steady pull round and hooked what I thought was a decent fish, when it finally surfaced, it turned out to be a 3lb F1, which had managed to snag a branch about quarter the size of Savernake forest, which had yards and yards of line festooned round it, several pole floats and had obviously accounted for many tales of the one that got away......  That was it for the bread, in fact that was it for any bites on the lead or feeder, not so much as a liner.

After half an hour without feeding I fed two lines, one at 10 o'clock and one about 1o'clock, both at 9m, LH side I fed with GB and maggot, RH line, just with micros, I didn't have as much as a tremor on the bristle with an expander on the hook, but had an odd hand sized skimmer on maggot or maggot and pinkie. I switched to feeding micro and maggot on the RH line and had two small skimmers from here, but it was slow going. I tried the bait was laid on the bottom, just touching, off bottom and the only way to catch was lay line on the bottom and wait.  I didn't have one bite letting the float trip through with the tow (or even dragging slowly against the tow).

With an hour to go, the wind started dropping and I picked up the waggler rod, feeding maggot, it wasn't long before the float buried and a small F1 was netted, followed by a couple of roach and the two biggest skimmers, then a stocky mirror carp about 4lb, but this was too little too late as I could see Andy Lloyd on 17 catching and 20 had two proper lumps for 25lb.  Once again, the small size of the fish I have caught has cost me - not really sure how to change that, I really can't just sit on the tip waiting for a bite.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Viaduct Silvers League, Round Five. Sunday 29th November 2015

It was a tad windy when Tony Rixon picked me up today, with much stronger winds forecast - great!!  The usual Shipham cafe breakfast and then onto the fishery where everyone was evoking all their lucky charms and willpower to try and draw a sheltered, or at least wind off your back peg.  Into the tub fairly early and out comes 130, which wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was at least offering the wind over my shoulder.

As the wind was forecast to get up to just under 50mph, I set up a feeder, initially a 4 square cage on 3lb Maxima with a 0.10 hooklength and a 18 hook. I had a 3 square feeder on the sidetray to swap to if necessary.  Next up was a waggler, I have been trying the Drennan Glowtips and like the way they show each shot registering as they settle. This was on 2.5lb Maxima, with a 0.10 hooklength and a 20 hook.

I only got two topkits out, one with No8 elastic for fishing down the edges - no more about that, as I didn't have so much as a bite either side, not surprised it was a bit shallow.  The other one had No6 elastic and a wire stemmed 0.3g float, again 0.10 and a 18 hook.  Only 4 pole sections out of the bag, as I didn't want to feed a line and then not be able to fish if if the wind got too strong.

Started on the feeder about 3 yards short of the aerator, a couple of liners, a small roach and a skimmer were all I had to show for the first half an hour, when a tentative twitch on the tip had me striking into a lively Tench.  I was putting an odd piece of corn or two through the feeder with caster, so decided to try a kernel on the hook - not one of my better decisions, as it didn't hit the bottom before a 9lb carp grabbed it, I landed it and decided not to pursue using corn on the hook!!

After 40 minutes I switched to the waggler and loose feeding caster, this saw me getting bites and indications every cast, but it was from roach and small ones at that. Upping the loose feed saw me get a couple of skimmers, before the carp moved in and I hooked several on successive casts.  The carp certainly seemed to be coming to the loose feed and pushing out the roach and skimmers.

With a couple of hours to go, I had a look on the pole at topkit+ 4 and this produced a run of skimmers to either worm head or double caster over GB and caster, with 30 minutes to go a large section of willow tree branch appeared underwater, right where I was catching, hooking it and getting it out killed the peg and I didn't have another bite, the results show how costly that willow tree debris was. Maybe I should have switched back to the waggler, but hindsight is the best tactic.......

My net went 18.04 for a default section win and 5th overall, just 3lb off the weight needed to win, nice to keep the envelopes coming, frustrating to be so close.

1: Chris Boulten 21.03  peg 126
2: Dom Sullivan 19.09  peg 112
3: Tony Rixon 19.06  peg53
4: Ziggy Slowinski 18.08 peg 124
5: Chris Fox 18.04  peg 130
6: Gordon Canning 17.05  peg 125

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ivy House Winter League Round Two, Sunday 22nd November 2015

With the drop in temperature and the frost visible on the grass whilst driving to the venue, it was likely to be a tough day, but I needed to significantly better the miserable 5 points I had in round one.

Had a chat with Clint before the draw and we ended up opposite each other in the same section, me drawing peg 6, which Clint didn't think was much good and he drew on 12.  I had two aims today, win the section as the main aim and not blank as the second, I still want that beer from Mark Poppleton for avoiding a blank throughout the series.

I decided that the cold snap would call for a disciplined approach, but still had far too much bait on my side tray, just can't help myself, although I did remain disciplined and brought home 10X the amount I fed into the peg,

First rod out the bag was a waggler, a MKII  Normark Microlight, cracking winter rod, this had a Drennan waggler on, one of the glowtop models, they cast nicely, settle showing every shot and the colour banding on the shows up lift or on the drop bites really clearly.  Next was a lead rod, Tournament 10-11' at 10' to fish bread, popped up at various depths, I was then going to set up a another lead rod with mini hybrid feeder on, but then realised that I'd brought my 12-13' Tournament instead of the other 10-11' so didn't bother with that one. 3 pole rigs, one for a very, very optimistic edge rig - nothing on that so no more about it, a .3 Hillbilly chump on 0.16, with a 0.10 hooklength and a 18 808 to fish at 16m.Peg 6 slopes off for a long way and 16m was a distance that felt right, didn't think much would be coming any closer. I did set up a double bulk rig for the same 16m line but that didn't see the water.

For the first 1/2 an hour of the match, I chucked the popped up bread and sat on my hands, a couple of liners, but nothing in the way of a proper bite, I tried from 12" to 5' popped up and 30 minutes was by far long enough.  Onto the 16m line with a 4mm expander, nothing, not a touch, tried a maggot to no avail, so then went right into winter mode and tried double squatt, missed a bite, then had a micro perch, immediately followed by a 8 or 10oz skimmer and then bumped a fish, probably another skimmer.

To cut a long story short, the rest of the match was spent rotating between the lead, the pole and the waggler, the waggler being the only method I got any bites or indications on, resulting in a small carp, a perch and a tiny hybrid, I wasn't alone at this end of the lake, only peg 10 beating me, he managed several small carp getting 9lb odd to my 4lb odd,.

So a second in section and a pick up, as this league is paid out 1st and 2nd in section, no overall, just as well, as I was in the lowest weight section........... just for a change!!!


Next up for me will be Viaduct Silvers league next Sunday.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Harescombe Costcutter Thursday 19th November 2015

Toss up between Viaduct and trying my hand at a new (to me) venue today, Tony Rixon promised me plenty of bites and he was driving, so Harescombe won, even though it's a bit too snaky for my usual preference.

It's certainly secluded, set up in the hillside in deepest Gloucestershire, the breakfast wasn't too shabby and a reasonable price. The match was £10 including pools, these costcutters seem to be taking over, its a strange thing to my mind, to fish a match that winning doesn't cover your costs, but there was nothing else on.

I had looked at the weather forecast a couple of days ago and it was forecast to be dry, first lesson of the day, check again before setting off, as I left my bait brolly at home and it pissed down for 90% of the match.  I drew peg 14, meaningless to me as a venue newbie and I didn't ask about it, I thought I'd let the plummet and a bit of watercraft suss it out.  It was 13m to the island, which has wooden stakes all round it, this was about 3 1/2' deep tight to the stakes and about 6" deeper 12" off them, so I set just on bottom at 6" off the boards, a wire stemmed float, 0.12 hooklength and a 18LWG with a band completed that rig.  Another wire stemmed float to fish just at the bottom of the near shelf, a nice distance to loose feed caster, this with 0.10 and a 20 LWG.  Final rig was a glass stemmed float to fish the edges, topkit + 1 to the left and 10m to the right,

I did set up a 9' rod with a method on, but this never saw the water (apart from the rain!!).  I had a pint each of micro's, 4mm's and 6mm's, about a pint and a half of caster and 3 pints of maggots, with the most useful thing in match angling - hindsight - I could have left the maggots at home, in fact I think they cost me......

Starting tight across with a 6mm pellet in the band and feeding 4mm's via a toss pot, I started catching F1's straight away, no big ones, but nice to get some bites and see fish going in the net, also a small barbel. Lifting and dropping was essential to get a bite, often the float just dipping as it resettled, typical finicky F1 bites.  after an hour or so the bites started to tail off, so I fed some micro's, this increased the amount of bites, but also liners, so I cut it out again.

Next quiet spell I switched to the short caster line and had a few F1's and skimmers, but it wasn't frantic, I then tried the edges and also started up a maggot line, neither of these were effective and I spent the rest of the match switching between the long pellet line and the short caster line, adding fish, one or two, before having to switch again.

I had no idea what weight i had at the end and was pleasantly surprised to see 60.06 on the scales which was enough for second, behind the wily old Silverfox, who had 63.02.  I think the time I wasted on trying to make maggot work cost me the win, as the fish were smaller and less frequent than the pellet and caster fish.

Nice venue, I'll definitely go back, I reckon a proper F1 angler would have emptied it............

1: Mike Nicholls 63.02 peg 20
2: Chris Fox 60.06 peg 14
3: Tony Rixon 52.10 peg 8
4: Martin hook 46.00 peg 11
5: Stuart Graham 44.14 peg 29
6: Adrian Jeffery 42.04 peg 24

Viaduct Silvers League, Round Four, Sunday 15th November 2015

Well with my stubbornness costing me in the last round, any chance of a frame place in the series is a distant dream, so a positive approach and treat the rest of the series as opens.  Into the draw tin and I managed to pull a peg that was taking the brunt of today's high winds, 119, not a famed silvers peg of late.  For company I had Fabio on 118 to my left and Tim Clark on 121 on the end bank.

The high wind had me reaching for my feeder rod, although having Tim on 121 on the end bank limited where I could chuck it, so I clipped up at about 20m. 4 Pole rigs, a 0.3 wire stemmed float to fish the standard bulk and two droppers, a Hillbilly Shindig to fish a double bulk and a glass stemmed thin float to fish the edge in the hope of tench and/or perch.

The wind wasn't showing any signs of abating, so only 3 sections of pole came out the bag, no point in feeding an area that you can't fish, on the all in 3 balls of GB and caster at the full 3 sections + topkit, a single ball at topkit + 1 this had a little pinch of chopped worm in. I started on the feeder and had 4 small skimmers and a couple of roach in the first half an hour, but I just didn't get the feeling that it was building into a line that would produce for the whole match.

I had a look down the edge and this produced a micro roach to double caster and then another to 1/2 a worm, so that wasn't ready yet.  The short line only produced micro roach, too small to be a viable option, the 'long' pole line produced an odd skimmer, hand sized or smaller.  I had brought some 4mm meat after listening to the 'electronic chatter' in the week on FB, I fed this at the 3 sections + topkit, off at about the 2 o'clock position, just as a throwaway line, bur a look over it raised my hopes for a short while. A 6oz tench was my first fish over it, then a carp, then two skimmers, one of which was near the 1lb mark.  That was it, the line died as quickly as it sparked into life, not sure why.

The rest of the match was spent rotating round the lines, taking an odd fish from all of them, including a welcome 2lb+ stripey, which I initially thought was a carp, I knew Tim had me well beaten as he had managed some proper tench from his margins and the favoured 124 and 125 had beaten Tim in the section, with the bigger skimmers that seem to live in that area showing up for them. I had 14lb odd, Tim had 19lb and 124/125 had low - mid 20lb weights.

I didn't stay to get the results as I had to shoot off and go to work, but I believe Chris Davies won with 29lb.  Next up, a trip to Harescombe on Thursday, a new venue for me, so fingers crossed Abigail, Barney and what ever other storms have subsided by then and don't restrict the fishing.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Ivy House Winter League Round 1, Sunday 7th November 2015

I decided to book in for this league, as I fancied a bit of a change and also the dates mean I only have to use one annual leave day from work to fish all the matches.  I understood that it can be a hard venue in winter, but given how mild the weather has been I assumed that the venue wouldn't have gone into winter mode yet..........

Into the tin, after a very nice breakfast in the fishery cafe, peg 42 was the number that stared back at me, apparently a reasonable draw, but likely to be beaten by the end peg - that was the information offered to me.  It was full on wind in the face and with the forecast for the wind to increase during the day, I set up a waggler, two lead rods, one with a straight lead, the other a small Guru hybrid feeder. The pole I restricted to 13m, as the wind was also gusting from the side occasionally and I felt there was little point in feeding a line I could not then fish.

I had been given to helpful advice by Mark Poppleton regarding preparing expander pellets, after he took pity on me following last week's pellet phobia, self inflicted cock up. So I had in mind to fish expander on the pole over micros and the odd 4mm pellet, pellet on the lead and a variety of baits on the method. I set up 4 topkits, a 0.3g rig to fish expander, a 0.5g rig to fish expander in case the wind warranted it, a double bulk rig to bag up on skimmers (I was unduly optimistic given the mild weather.....) and finally a rig for fishing down to the unoccupied pallet of 43.

There was the odd fish moving before the start, but as the wind got up, the fish moved with it, along towards the aerator and round towards the lower numbers. First drop in I foul hooked a carp and came back with a scale, another 45 minutes without a bite had me coming in to 8m where I had fed a few casters, this line only produced micro perch and small roach and as the guy on 41 had a carp on his first chuck with a feeder, there was little point persevering with catching fish less than 1oz at 8m.

I went back to 13m and had a 8lb carp on the expander, then a small skimmer and that was to be my final action on the pole, the margin appeared devoid of fish, right up to the all-out, I think I overfed the 13m line trying to make something happen - and I barely fed more than a handful of micros and 4mm all day.  I had nothing on the method, one 2lber fancied my 6mm pellet on the straight lead and with hindsight, I should have just fished a pellet line on the pole and a straight lead for the whole match.

It was a tough section and I was a miserable last but one in it, peg 41 had 3 carp for 27lb, peg 40 had 3 for 24lb, peg 44 had one which was 12l, peg 38 had one for 11lb and my two went 10lb - so it could have been better, not sure if there is a way of singling out the bigger fish or if its just pot luck.

One thing is for sure, the next round in two weeks time won't cost a lot in bait, Leon Hubbard had a chat afterwards and confirmed that feeding is a sure way not to catch, which is a bit of a bugger as I find it difficult to keep my hand off the catapult.  I didn't stay for to see the end of the weigh in, not because I am unsociable or sulking, but I had get home and get to Worcester for a nightshift.

Next up for me is the Viaduct Silvers league next Sunday.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Viaduct Silvers League, Round Three, Sunday 1st November 2015

I firmly believe that the more I fish, the better I fish, so the lack of fishing lately due to working nearly all the time is impacting on my results, just can't get my head into the right place to be competitive.  That, and pellets, I bloody hate fishing with soft pellets.......

I wasn't disappointed with my draw, peg 86, not likely to pester the frame places from it, but should be an OK section peg, I intended to keep things simple, but with so much time to set up I did set up an extra rig to fish a 'throwaway' line fed with micro's and softened 4mm's.  I set up a waggler as the conditions were so still, two rigs to fish caster at 13m, one with a bulk and two droppers and a double bulk rig, I set up a 0.1g rig to fish under the bush to my RH side, hoping for perch or hybrids.  The rig to fish soft pellet had a 4" hooklength and I altered the shotting about from double bulk to spread, and back again during the day.

Glenn Calvert was on 85, so the spare time after setting up was passed chatting to him and Nick Chedzoy who was on 88 came down for a chat, we were all expecting a reasonable days fishing given how mild it had been and the foggy overcast weather this morning.  On the all-in I fed 3 balls of GB with caster and a few dead maggots in at 13m, one ball at 6m, this had a pinch of chopped worm in and 1/4 cup of micros and softened 4mm's at 10 o'clock.  Starting on the 6m line I was a little concerned not to get a bite, even on a single maggot, I gave that 20 minutes before going out to the 13m line.

The 13m line was not a great deal more productive, a small skimmer came to a worm head, a little roach to a live maggot and nothing at all to dead maggot, looks like I had misjudged the way it was going to fish.  I switched to the waggler and had a couple of small skimmers and roach, but this wasn't at all consistent, even though it was absolutely perfect conditions for it, the 2.5lb Maxima line was sinking with a small flick of the tip, the 0.10 hooklength wasn't kinking up as I had a tiny swivel joining it to the reel line, it all seemed perfect, but the fish didn't think so.

What I couldn't ignore any longer was the pin prick bubbles coming up from the pellet line, I hadn't been able to pump my pellets as my Ringers pellet pump had 'thrown' the o ring in the pump, so they were soaked and I had to give them a little squeeze to get them to sink. I immediately got bites, but it was from tiny 'razor blades', skimmers that could only just get a 4mm pellet in there mouths.  I could see Nick on 88 was catching regularly, but his fish were small, Glenn had a few smaller fish but i had heard the splash of a bigger skimmer going into his net.

I was getting frustrated by the size of the fish and by the amount of bites I was missing, this led me to come off feeding fish and go looking for a better stamp of fish on caster, but it was a fruitless exercise, the fish only wanted to eat pellet.  I went back on the pellet line and tried a hard pellet, banded, but this didn't produce a bite at all - how do they know the difference between a hard and soft pellet without putting it in their mouths??

I was convinced by now that Nick was well ahead and Glenn said he had two better skimmers, whilst the biggest fish I had was a 8oz tench taken on the waggler, if I had my head in the right place i would have stayed fishing pellet, but I still tried to make 'proper' baits work.  The edge rig under the bush hadn't moved, in the 3 times I tried it during the match, so back onto the pellet line and more 'blades' and frustration at missed bites. I hadn't hooked a carp on the pole, yet Glenn was being pestered by them, it seems that you need to have carp in the peg to catch the bigger skimmers, as Nick didn't get pestered by carp either and he was catching the same stamp of fish as me.

With 15 minutes to go, I had one last, desperate look under the bush and the float buried, suspecting a perch I was surprised to see a 6oz roach pop up, even more surprised next put in to get one nearer 1lb and two more 6ozers after that. I also bumped two fish there as well.

I was expecting to be well beaten in the section, but was pretty pissed off with myself after the scales went round, Leon won the section on 78, with 12.12, Glenn had 12.09, Nick had just over 11lb and I had just over 10lb, the section win was well within my grasp, my poor decision to not stick at the pellet line had cost me valuable points and an envelope.  Nick and Glenn also both caught on pellet, the fish just didn't want anything else it seemed. I do wonder if it would have been better to put the Cary sections of this silvers league onto Spring, giving more anglers the opportunity to catch the bonus big skimmers.

Unless I can sort out soft pellet fishing, I may as well go back on the river, I just get so frustrated at a bait that comes of the bloody hook so often, not so bad if fishing short, but a pain when fishing it at 12m+.

Next up is the Ivy House individual winter league, which starts next Sunday, I have been been warned to expect hard fishing. I don't mind that, I'm looking forward to a pint from Mark Poppleton - he is going to buy me one if I don't blank in at least two of the matches........

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Viaduct Costcutter, Thursday 22nd October 2015

Well, I guess it would be remiss of me not to write about this one, even though it should be consigned to room 101......

With getting on for 3 pints of pristine casters left and a few worms and some dead maggots, I fancied another day fishing for silvers and that influenced what I put in the van.  Once I drew, I found 115 stuck to my hand and that had me reconsidering, so much so I put some pellets into my bag and cut up some meat.

I did set up a lead rod, not sure why, I had no intention of seriously using it, unless the tip went round within seconds of casting, every chuck.....  3 rigs for carp, a pellet rig to fish on the deck at 14m, a meat rig for 5m and a margin rig, although with 114 and 116 in, I wasn't convinced that would be anything other than a real long shot.

Starting on the meat short, there was no indication of any fish there, so 10 minutes was enough on that, it then took the nest part of an hour to get a fish on the long line, with a 6mm pellet on the hook.  Either side of me had caught on the lead, but I couldn't bring myself to chuck it out.  After two hours I did chuck the lead, as I had only one more carp, both small ones, as I decided to switch to fishing for silvers - not really a wise decision with some decent anglers already targeting them.  Whilst I was putting up a topkit to fish for skimmers, the lead rod went round and it had managed somehow, with a 12" hooklength and a 8mm pellet, to foul hook a carp that got away.

I fed some GB and caster at 7m, this produced 5 fish in 5 put ins, 4 8oz skimmers and a 3lber, before this went quiet after another 3lber leapt and shed the hook.  2 further hours and I had added a few more skimmers, but was going nowhere fast, by now the guy on 114 was catching at about 18-20m on the waggler, which wasn't much use to me, as mine was 35 miles away in the garage.

I switched back to the long pellet line, as  by now the Rubicon was crossed and I had self inflicted a disaster on myself, I had one more carp on the long line / pellet, not a bite on meat or in the margin and packed up with 20 minutes to go, chucking back about 12lb skimmers and 3 carp, and snuck off with my tail between my legs.

I didn't get the results, but I do know that I should have stuck to one or the other and I should have brought a waggler rod.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Ivy House Costcutter, Tuesday 20th October 2015

Having decided to fish the Ivy House winter league series (they still have some spaces) I thought it best to get some practise in and with plenty of casters left from the weekend I fancied another day fishing for silvers.

I thought the traffic would be bad, but my mood by the time I got to the motorway wasn't the best, Ivy House is about 3 miles further than Viaduct for me, but it took an hour and 50 minutes to get there, its 50 minutes to Viaduct!! Over an hour to get from home to the M4, bloody ridiculous.  Once there I was going to order the regular breakfast, but my will power went at the last minute and I had the large one, very nice, a good way to set up for what I assumed would be a chilly day.

I paid Andy for the league fees and the match, before drawing peg 37, not knowing the venue it didn't mean too much, although Andy told me 40lb of skimmers made up part of a 70lb net on Sunday, so I was hopeful of a good day, Andy did warn it might start off slowly.

As 37 is next to the causeway, I did set up a carp rig, but dropped from my usual 0.20 down to 0.16 and a 16 Guru Super Spade as the water was fairly clear. Two skimmer rigs, 0.4g to fish bulk and two droppers, 0.5g to fish a double bulk and a 4x12 rig to fish caster short, I also set up a waggler as we had loads of time before the 11.15 start. The depth was fairly consistent at 13m so I picked an area of 'dark' water for ease of float visibility and fed this with 3 balls of GB/caster/worm - but not too much worm.

Leaving that to settle I fished for roach short, but they weren't too obliging on the topkit to hand, so I went topkit + 2 and this produced a couple of better roach, one of about 8oz, before this line went 'iffy' as well.  Out to the 13m line and I expected to see some sign of the skimmers, I had Gary Ethridge the other side of the causeway and he reckoned we were both on decent skimmer pegs, but I hadn't seen a single bubble over the GB and the tiny perch taking the worm, caster or dead maggot were far from a good sign.

After 3 hours with about 3lb in the net, I was starting to question my sanity in booking in for the league, as both lakes were fishing hard and there were guys blanking.  There had been carp moving along the far bank (what would be the LH margin of 36) all day, but the venue rules are no fishing further than halfway across the lake.  At this point Andy Lloyd walked round, as even he was struggling, he was pointing at the fish in the margin of 36 and saying how coloured it was - not too frustrating then!!

I had tried the area at 14m along the causeway, where I had fed, about 3' out from the bank to find just over 2' of water and there was the odd waft of the float, but I could not induce a bite.  With about two hours to go, the carp started moving out of the margin of 36, they were up in the water and mouthing leaves etc on the surface.  A pair of them were over my 13m GB line, so I swung the margin rig round and mugged one of them, a fish of about 8 or 9lb, gratefully netted.  It was amazing, an area that seemed devoid of fish now had a large number of carp up in the water and heading round the lake - away from me sadly, the rest of them stayed out of reach, but they did start to come closer as they went through peg 38, not sure that they were so visible to Chris Cotterill on that peg, but I could see it was black with them.

Thankfully a few stayed and ventured along the causeway towards me and I had my first from there shortly after the mug fish.  There weren't loads there, as I had no indications until the float buried and it was fish on, I was feeding after each fish, fishing maggots (6) on the hook and I though I might end up with 10, but Andy Lloyd came and sat behind me, he's obviously not a good luck charm as I didn't catch in the time he was there and ended with 8 carp and my sparse collection of roach and tiny perch.

The 8 carp went 89.06 and the roach 3.06 for 93.00 dead and first on the day.

1: Chris Fox 93.00 peg 37
2: Val 86.12 peg 20
3: Gary Ethridge 34.06 peg 11
4: Baggy 27.12 peg 3
5: Paul 26.06 peg 31
6: Fred 25.14 peg 14

1: Gary Ethridge  15.09 peg 11
2: Terry 12.01 peg 6

Viaduct Silvers League Round Two, Sunday October 18th 2015

This is going to be short and sweet.

I missed the first round due to being at the Preston Festival and Steve Tucker stood in for me, doing a decent job with a section second.  So all to fish for, I must admit, when 110 came out of the tin, I wasn't over excited, as 'Tucks' had been 5th the day before, with I was informed, tench and perch - not species that like being caught two days running, I would have preferred a skimmer peg.  I couldn't ring him and get some better info, as my phone had died.

I set up a rig to fish to the stump, for tench and perch, there were some carp splashing along the brambles, so I didn't plumb up there.  I set up similar rigs to yesterday and a waggler rod, hoping to catch some skimmers over GB.  I fed GB and caster at 13m, GB, caster and a little bit of worm at 7m and caster at 4m.

It was a real struggle to get bites and I could see Nick Chedzoy on 112 catching hand sized skimmers steadily, whilst my float was for all intents and purposes, superglued to the surface film!!  I tried the waggler over some loose fed caster at about 20m, this produced a few small roach and one small skimmer.  I then gave in and set up a rig to look for perch and tench along the brambles, but no matter where I fed or fished, the bait I could rely on to get a bite was a caster and when the bite came it would be a micro roach.

With 4 hours to go, I had pretty much exhausted every option I could think of, new lines, well overdepth, shallow, fishing just off the feed, well off the feed, right on top of the feed, etc etc. all with the same result, a long wait for a small roach. I had run out of ideas and was getting somewhat pissed off with the leaves that the wind had gathered into my peg.

In the last 20 minutes I had 4 perch for about 2lb down by the stump, too little too late, so my meagre 13lb odd went 4th in section, that leaves a lot of work to be done in the next four rounds.

Monday, 19 October 2015

All Winners Final (Silvers) Viaduct, Saturday 17th October 2015

It was nice to sit back and relax as a passenger today, Tony Rixon being the chauffeur for the day.  All the talk before the match was that pegs 124-126 and 68-71 would be the ones to draw. I had some banter with Bob Gullick about drawing peg 80, which is definitely one to avoid and luckily, he pulled it from the tin before I stuck my hand in.  64 for me, a classic corner carp peg, which I have never managed to draw in a ‘normal’ match……  Not one you’d normally run to for silvers, but with £750 up for grabs it was still worth going and trying.

As I walked up to the peg, I could see Nicky Ewers on peg 66, he said “Oh, I thought it was bad enough drawing here, now it’s just got worse” my close presence is not seen as much of a good luck charm nowadays, given the regularity that I manage to draw the low weight sections.  Still, it meant that we would have a bit of banter if the fish didn't want to play ball.

I had brought a waggler rod and lead rod, neither of which would see the light of day, as if Nicky and I had fished 16m we would have been pole tip fencing, as we both had an empty peg to one side, I do think it would be better to peg 63 and 66 or 64 and 67 in silvers matches, but that’s just a personal opinion.  4 topkits set up, one to fish the margins either side in search of a perch, a 0.20 Jean Desque to fish for roach short and two skimmer rigs, one with the normal bulk and two droppers, one with a double bulk. All with 0.10 hooklengths and 18 hooks, except the margin rig which had 0.12 and a 16 on.
I could see the regular inhabitants of the peg, porpoising in front of the tree opposite, so I did not intend to fish to my right at all, except the margin, which was fed with caster, I fed a short line with caster, a line about 7m with GB and caster and an line at 13m with GB and caster.  Leaving the GB lines to settle I had a couple of roach on the short line, but it was short lived, as the just pushed out and with £750 to fish for, they were just too small to be worth the effort.  I could get the odd fish on the GB lines, but of no size and the length of time waiting for a bite meant I was unlikely to be threatening the stack of envelopes in the fishery office.

I decided to start a new GB line at 13m at about 1 o’clock to my right, this produced two proper skimmers in the first two drop-in’s much to my surprise, but the water was sheltered here, as there was a chill wind blowing down the lake, coming right through the gap in the trees, straight at me.  The rest of my match was spent concentrating on this line, with an occasional look at the other lines, they remained resolutely biteless, the RH line settled into a regular routine, feed, catch a couple of carp and then a couple of skimmers, it would then go dead, feed gain, more carp, then a couple more skimmers, frustrating to have to get the carp, but there were plenty of them in the peg, it was as they came in over the feed and tore through it, then the skimmers came to see if the carp had left any pickings, when they moved off.

The best bait was a section of worm, about 1” – 1½” long, caster meant the same wait for a bite, but it was more likely to be a roach, I toyed with the idea of putting some corn in, but decided against it, maybe I should have tried it.  As I thought initially, I didn’t trouble the framing positions from that peg, but was pleased to have done enough with the skimmers to take the section win by 7lb, with my 20.09.  As the results show, the pre match predictions of the pegs to draw, weren’t exactly accurate, good thing really.

1: Mark Saunders 35.01 peg 112
2: Gabriel Skarba 32.06 peg 99
3: Steve Denmead 29.01 peg 129
4: Andy Power 28.11 peg 68
5: Steve Tucker 26.04 peg 110

6: Paul Elmes 26.03 peg 78

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Preston Festival, Whiteacres Monday 5th - Friday 10th October 2015

After qualifying for the Preston Festival at Whiteacres, I decided to give it a go, Sue Faiers was looking for a week of respite, as she sent her husband along to keep me company.  This would be the first time I had fished the lakes when pellet and method feeders were allowed, as the Bait Tech which I usually fish is a ‘natural’ bait festival.

I had to get everything ready the week before, as I was away in Gran Canaria not getting back until after midnight on the Saturday, this involved buying some of the Guru X-Safefeeders, which are the only elasticated feeders allowed at Whiteacres, as well as tying rigs hooks and generally (with hindsight) packing too much gear and bait.

Leaving Paul to collect the fresh bait from Veals on the Saturday, I was ready before I jetted off and within 7 hours of landing back in Bristol I was packing up the van to head to Nailsea and collect Paul.  On our arrival we decided to fish on Sunday afternoon, a few hours on Pollawyn, where we caught fish, but it wasn’t hectic sport, a sign of things to come…..

We had opted to be in the same section, to make it easier for travelling and I wasn’t disappointed to be on Bolingey for day one, I have picked up money on my last two visits to the lake, so was fairly confident.  That confidence was short lived when I pulled out 21 – the coldest peg in Cornwall – it really is a poor draw and was true to form.  I started on bread tight across to the island and had a carp, which gave me false hope, the next bite was a drop back and that was a 8oz roach, that was the end of the island action.  The information we had been told from the Maver festival the week before, was very frugal feeding was the way to go, so I had put 2-3 bits of meat in on the 5m line every 10 minutes and some 4mm pellet at 14m.

 The peg seemed devoid of fish until I upped the pellet feed with the catty and had a Carussio, then two Carp in fairly quick succession before that line died a very final and total death.  The 5m meat line didn’t produce as much as a quiver on the float bristle and my final three fish came from the margins, one from the RH side down to the pallet of 20 and 2 from the deeper margin to my left.  My 39lb and 4 points was the best of the peg all week, it really did live up to its poor reputation.  Paul had peg 44, a peg we have both drawn in the past and got good points from, but the fish came from the other side of the lake, so he didn’t have a bright start either.  We did keep up the tradition of having an after match pint in the Bolingey Arms, but it appears we are mere shadows of our hard drinking days in the 80’s.

Day two and it was Pollawyn, my luck had obviously changed as peg 13, which is a flyer section peg, found its way into my hand, Paul had 29, so neither of us were too disappointed. I like Pollawyn and have had a couple of second in sections on there, but the pressure was on not to bugger up this flyer.  I set up a waggler to cast to the island, whilst doing this, I was looking to my right and could see carp porpoising in front of the island pegs, about 2/3 the way across, not much activity in front of me, by not much, I mean none!!  The wagglers only venture into the water was before the all-in, so no more about that. I set up two lead rods, one for popped up bread and one for pellet, the pellet one had the same fate as the waggler, the bread didn’t produce as much as a liner.

I set up 6 topkits, more than I would normally, but with Pollawyn being deep, you need to cover the different levels that the fish might be at. One topkit to fish caster down the RH edge, not a bite on that, one to fish over GB, worm and caster just up the near shelf off to the RH side, a meat rig to fish off to the LH side and 3 rigs set at full depth, half depth and 2’ to fish at 14m.  As mentioned, the bread didn’t produce anything, I had been flicking a few bits of 6mm meat on the LH 5m line and dropped in on that, a quick response and a 4lb carp in the net, no other bites there, so I had a look on the 14m line, I could get bites on 6mm meat, but it was small fish and I find fishing the long pole for small fish pretty tedious, so swapped to the worm and GB line. This produced the expected skimmers, but they were up in the water, I couldn’t get them to take a bait off the bottom, but liners and foulers were a problem whilst waiting for a bite.  Its not an uncommon problem now on commercials, I am sure the skimmers don’t want to be near the silt, which is probably unpleasant stuff.

It was fairly slow going, I did try the other lines regularly and had a skimmer from the meat line, but the only way to guarantee bites was to stick on the worm and caster line. I had kept pinging a few bits of 6mm meat out to 14m and with 90 minutes to go had a couple of liners on the full depth rig, so picked up the half depth rig, liners again, so in with the 2’ rig and I managed 3 more carp and a couple of skimmers on this, sticking with it to the end of the match.  The scales registered 40lb odd and a section win, 8lb ahead of peg 1.  Paul had the pegs with the porpoising carp in his section and whilst they were too far to my right, they were too far to his left and he struggled in his section.

Onto day three and I had some optimism before the draw, today was split between Trelawny and Twin Oaks, I had been dreaming positive dreams and will peg 16 Twin Oaks into my hand, but somehow I managed to pull peg 6 Trelawny, another poor draw. Paul had 29 on Twin Oaks – in the right area for the big F1’s. The waggler rod stayed in the bag, two lead rods, one for bread and one with a method on, 4 topkits today, one to fish banded pellet at 14m, one to fish meat at 5m, one to fish worm/caster either side and straight in front short and an edge rig.  Nothing, not even a liner on the bread, not sure that boded well for the method, so I didn’t chuck it out, they tried it either side and didn’t catch on it, so I think I was right.

I concentrated on the L and RH sides short, one side fed with GB one with just caster, these were fairly unproductive, so I stuck another section on and started a fresh line at 5 sections, this fed with GB, worm and caster.  Same problem as the day before, skimmers in the peg, but they were up in the water and causing me liners and foulers, I was getting frustrated by the amount that were jumping ad coming off, but I think they were virtually all either foul hooked or not hooked at all. I couldn’t see too many pegs, but peg 2 had a couple of carp down the edge and I could see the pegs either side were struggling.  Peg 8 then started catching the odd bigger F1 from his margins and I made the mistake of following him, I did not have an indication of any kind from my margins and he beat me by about 6oz, which wouldn’t have been the case had I stuck with the skimmers, although it was of little consequence seeing as, as expected pegs 4, 6 and 8 were the bottom 3 in the section.  4 weighed 18lb, me on 6 24.12 and peg 8 weighed 25.03. Paul had an F1 lesson on Twin Oaks and learnt a lot, whilst being beaten by some good F1 anglers, they are so different than what we usually fish for…..
We had been walking to the nearby Piran holiday park for the evening meal, its much, much better than the food in the Whiteacres restaurant. But tonight we risked fish and chips from the Whiteacres chippy, that was pretty good.

So onto day 4 and we drew next to each other on Trewaters, Paul on 39 and me on 41, which isn’t a bad draw, but probably not the flyer I needed with Des, Johnny Arthur and Andy Leathers also in our section.  The peg is about 20m wide so no need to consider the pole to the island, the usual bread/lead rod set up, a small method feeder and a pole rigs to fish 14m banded pellet, 5m meat and rig to fish caster short and a margin rig for both sides, there was a nice flat area just my side of the pallet of peg 40, I was confident I’d get fish in there.

First chuck into the far bank indentation which looked the obvious place to fish, with bread and within seconds I had a carp about 3lb. Nothing else on bread, but a switch to the method and a 6mm pellet brought two more fish to the net within the first 15 minutes, then it went dead. I swapped the bread hooklength for a banded hooklength and tried this over, but nothing, the fish had gone.
To cut a long boring day short, it fished hard, I set up another rig to fish 16m and 5m of line to swing to the far bank, I could get bites on this, not sure if it was shit fish or F1’s, but whatever it was I didn’t hit a single bite.  I had one skimmer and a small tench on the caster line and what I thought would be a good margin produced nothing. The guy on 43 had one small carp with 45 minutes to go, but he managed 3 more from his RH margin which had some cover, which seemed necessary to catch, where mine were bare. I managed 11lb, which wasn’t last on the lake, but it was last but one, Des had struggled to catch from 45, but he did weigh 35lb, beating Pauls weight by ounces.  Tricky day and I’m not sure what I would do differently if I had to fish it over again, apart from be more negative, but going on the previous weights I thought I was fishing for nearly double the 54lb which won the section.

Last day and off to Porth, this wasn’t in the Bait Tech this year, so its 18 months since I fished it, I decided to just take two feeder rods and fish one at 30 turns of a 3000 reel and one at 55 turns of a 4000 reel, peg 16 had thrown up one decent weight earlier in the week, 48lb which was 8 fish I believe. I obviously fancied peg 16 and was somewhat shell shocked when it revealed itself in my hand. The day before it had produced about 1lb, I guess whoever was on it had fished for bream…..
Arriving at the peg I had Des for company on peg 17, I would say I am a better silvers angler than carp, but I won’t try and kid myself or anyone else that I could beat Des in a roach head to head, so the feeder would be a shit or bust gamble. (which is that when it goes wrong? Shit? Or bust?) Paul avoided the boat ride as he drew 23. So same section again, he too had just feeder rods and quite a few more had the same idea, most of us with no chance of qualifying in the top 24!!

I had a look at the new Preston pole Des is using, it looks a nice bit of kit and he was raving about it, so much better than what Preston have produced before. I then got really frustrated trying to tie a shockleader knot, Des couldn’t help, he never uses one, so up the bank to peg 23 and Faiersy tied it for me, something I must practice.  On the all-in I spent nearly 15 minutes with a big feeder putting GB, pellets and corn at 55 turns, then spent 20 minutes on it, just in case there was an inquisitive fish in the area.  No signs of a decent fish, just a 3oz roach that some how rattled the tip and got hooked when attacking double hair rigged worm. So onto the short feeder line and not long before I had a bite, a small perch, not a good sign, a couple of small skimmers and another perch before this died. Back out to 55 turns and casting every 5 minutes to keep it topped up, at least whilst I was waiting for a bite I had a first hand view of Des’s roach masterclass and his cursing at the pike attacks.

With two hours to go it was looking unlikely anything was going to happen, the conditions weren’t conducive to catching bream, sunny, easterly breeze, so I switched to a method feeder and boilie, this did give me faint hope when I struck into a drop back, but the fish wasn’t the 6lber I hoped for, more like 1lb 4oz. With 20 minutes to go, I had a last cast and determined to leave I there until it either went round or the all-out was called, I had  a couple of flicks on the tip, which I though were liners, but when the all-out was called, I reeled in and had a skimmer about 3oz hooked fair and square in the mouth, I guess he couldn’t lift the 45g method feeder off the deck, I am really surprised he didn’t attract the attentions of a pike.  Des won the section with 17lb, I was about halfway with 3.12, but I knew it would either be glory or nothing.

On the evening Glen Calvert turned up with his misses Liz, nice to see them but they led me and Paul astray, after our week of sensible sobriety, we were last out of the bar and then back to their caravan for more beer, but it was a nice way to round off a disappointing week.

I just managed to not finish in the bottom 3rd, 119th, Paul was 138th, the last two days he had a taster of what it’s like to be me…… I was in the lowest weight section every day, at least he only suffered that fate on the last two days, not sure what the odds of drawing the section that has no chance of framing every day, but I wish I’d put a few quid on it before hand.  All in all it was a decent week for the company, we met up with Scott Russell, Dan White, Scott Cousins and a fair few others, the weather turned from looking dreadful to not too bad, the only let down was the hard fishing and couple of dire draws. 

Lessons learnt, especially that we had far too much bait again, but partly that was caused by us finding a couple of kilo’s of worms left in the storage shed by the previous occupants, I haven’t opened the two kilos I bought.  I didn’t use half the 10 pints of caster and I brought plenty of meat and corn home.

Oh well, next up the Viaduct silvers all-winners final on Saturday and the Viaduct silvers league on Sunday, so the same prep and bait for the two days.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Landsend Open, Sunday 13th September 2015

After the last match I fished at Landsend, I decided to book into this one and fish for silvers, that was after I checked that lake 3 wasn't going to be in as I feel that it cannot compete with Match or Speci lakes for silvers.

On arrival I found out that there had been a 20 peg match on the lake the day before, bugger, this seems to wake up the carp and they often feed better when there has been a match the day before, but in my experience, its the opposite for silvers, as the main weight builders are skimmers and perch, which shut up shop.

Too late to change my mind, especially when I drew peg 5 which has in the past thrown up a few F1's, I don't agree with them counting as silvers, but that's the venue rules, so I was hoping to catch a few.  No carp rigs set up, only 4 topkits to try and cover all the silvers / F1 options, a rig to fish banded caster on the far shelf, a double bulk rig in case the skimmers really went and two similar rigs with wire stemmed floats, one with 0.14 to see if there were any tench or big perch by the lilly pads to my left and one with 0.10 in case it was tough.

Bait tray was simple, caster, a few dead maggots, some micros and softened 4mm pellets, a selection of expanders, although by the end I was thinking B & J might have been a better option......

Before I had finished cupping in on my chosen pellet line, Tony Rixon, who was on peg 3 was playing a carp, I fed some caster short - very short - and at 6m, starting on the 6m line with double caster, after 10 minutes without a bite, I was starting to get a bit concerned as starting on caster here usually brings instant bites from small fish, which then seems to attract the better stamp.

A switch to the expander over the pellet feed brought a couple of 10oz skimmers, but there was very little signs of fish feeding in the peg, I ended up spending the whole match switching between four lines, a caster line at 6m which was pretty barren apart from a roach and a very small rudd, the topkit caster line produced one big skimmer and a decent perch, the far shelf single caster saw four more perch netted and a couple of unwanted carp.   It was very hard going, as it was for Nick Ewers on peg 6 and Rod Wotton on peg 7, Nick fished for carp, Rod for a bit of both, but we did seem to be in a fairly barren area.

It was hard work and my meagre catch tipped the scales at 13.07, that was enough to take 3rd and last payout in the silvers, behind Clint's 36.01 and Paul's 33.02, they both managed a few of the decent skimmers which eluded me and Rod, who fished his usual hard pellet for them.

On the carp side Trigger had a red letter day, he said afterwards he had a 10 minute spell without a bite....... I had about 5 hours 50 minutes of no bites!!

1. Craig Edmunds 311.05 peg 13
2. Tony Rixon 25.09 peg 3
3. Steve Seager 147.01 peg 39
4. Andy Hembrow 141.05 peg 13
5. Paul Elmes 134.01 peg 24
6. Mike Nicholls 90.12 peg 18

1. Clint Wojtyla 36.01 peg 37
2. Paul Faiers 33.02 peg 22
3. Chris Fox 13.07 peg 5

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Gary Wall Memorial Match, Landsend, Monday 31st August 2015

I decided to go to this match and see if I can't get a result at this venue, where I seem to struggle, unless I fish for silvers.  With that in mind I did have a couple of pints of caster, just in case.....

Into the draw tin and out comes peg 9, match lake, which was my preferred draw, as it seems that lake 3 never competes on silvers, but the considered opinion of the venue experts was that 9 is an out and out carp peg.  Not a problem, as I had brought pellets and meat as well and with Tony Rixon on peg 7 I was sure I would get a few pointers as well as a lesson in catching carp on this lake.

I set up a rig to fish caster, same rig would do for short and down the track, a meat rig for 5m, pellet rig for bottom of the shelf and one for up the shelf and as it was a memorial, I did set up a paste rig, as no doubt Gary would have been on it if he were still here.

Starting at 5m on meat resulted in a worryingly motionless float, Tony was finding the same thing, whilst we could hear splashing from the opposite side. In the first two hours I managed to get two 3lb carp, one on pellet and  did set up a paste rig to fish it tight over, one on that first drop in and then nothing.  Tony was still struggling and I could hear Russ Peck and Ken Rayner discussing catching, which seemed a distant memory to me.

I switched to fishing caster and had a bream on my topkit just in front of my nets, I switched to feeding caster down the track and across to the bottom of the shelf, this produced one tiny roach across and two skimmers along with a 6oz perch down the track.  Thankfully the bream / big skimmers came in on the short line and double caster accounted for every fish I weighed in, all caught short apart from the those previously mentioned.  Nice day in the end putting 30.04 on the scales to win the silvers and complete a weekend of picking up - a nice change from the poor run I have been in.  See Tony's blog for the full result.

Float Only Final Round, Viaduct Sunday 30th August 2015

Been a lean month for fishing, lots of work, I did venture to Larford last week for the Maver Pairs, this resulted in one carp, exactly the same as last year, I shan't be rushing back there.......

On to this match, I was out of it in the league, after a good first round and a section win, it went downhill from there at Landsend, somewhere I just seem to struggle to get any decent results there apart from silvers.  So this match was all about being positive and I wasn't too upset when 115 came out of the draw tin.

Plenty of time to get to the peg and tackle up, I have been trying Sensas magic elastic and whilst it is very different to the hollows I have been using and a chance conversation with Steve Tucker led me to have a close look at my kits, after he said he had some break.  Both the No12's I had broke very easily, one had an obvious nick in, one had no visual marks or degradation, glad I checked before the match.

I set up two waggler rods, one shallow, one full depth, not much more to say about them, did try them, not a bite on either.  4 topkits set up, a rig for meat short, 0.20 to a 16 Guru Extra Strong spade end hood.  A rig to fish banded pellet at 13m, this was on 0.20 to 0.18 and a B960 16 with a band, a paste rig, which was a back up plan and a rig for down the edge, only short margins on this peg, so wasn't sure what, if anything they'd throw up.

Started on the meat short and had a couple of fish in the first 20 minutes, before venturing out to 13m and taking odd fish but nothing hectic. Glen 'two pots' Bailey on 114 was fishing paste and he had a couple of quick fish the it went quiet.  Chris Davies on 116 was managing to get some fish shallow and had a run whilst I had a quiet spell, I took the paste rig off and set up a shallow rig, but this only produced one fish. By switching between the 13m pellet line and the short meat line I managed to keep fish coming.  With a couple of hours to go I fed the margin and had a look in there every 15 minutes or so, but there were no signs of any feeding fish in the edge.

The meat line kept producing odd fish, no late run, but enough to keep me plugging away at this line. With 40 minutes to go, I saw a swirl down the edge and the water was clouding up, first drop in saw a fish about 15lb netted, this might have been a senior moment as I put it in a net that had 62lb in it, although I thought that made it 62lb...... it proved to be a costly mistake.  Another 3 edge fish that went into a new net for 25lb rounded the match off.  I had 9lb skimmers, a net with 69lb and ounces in (close shave) a net with 77lb in (lost 7lb) and the 25lb net.  Total weight 173lb with the 7lb deducted, Trigger had 175lb for the win, with my 173lb second, Chris Davies with 170lb for third.  See Tony's blog for the full result as I had to shoot off at the end before they were finalised.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Final Round, Short Pole Series, Trinity Waters Sunday 9th August 2015

All to fish for in this match today, going into the league in 4th place, with a chance to climb a place or two if I could get a decent draw and get those above me in my section. Into the draw tin and out comes 28..... again FFS, not a happy bunny about that. it's been the worst section, some were commenting that it was the fairest section, but not when you look at the results on paper, as peg 24 won the section the first match (25 not drawn), peg 25 won the section the next two matches and 24 won the section this match, so maybe not so fair after all.  My draws for this series read 28, 17, 27 and 28, piss poor is one description and the fact that I was 100lbish behind on weight from those above and below me in the league made it virtually impossible to rely on weight to help me.

So going to my peg I wasn't very confident of gaining ground, although I had Paul Elmes who was in third place overall on the next peg, 29, which has been a shit draw as well.  I though the match might follow the pattern of the others which was a fish or two in the first hour, a tough middle and a fish or two in the last hour, no point in messing about with a multitude of baits, so pellets, paste and dead maggots on the side tray.  4 topkits, two to fish pellet at full pole length (topkit + 3) one with a band, one without. A paste rig and a margin rig, then as I was ready with 25 minutes to go, I set up a shallow rig, so all options covered.

My prediction of the pattern of the match was wrong, as I didn't hook or see any signs of a carp in the first hour (or second) just a couple of small skimmers on soft pellet, I wasn't alone, as Paul was in the same position, along with Clint to my right. I walked back to the van to get some GB to mix up and fish for skimmers, reminder to self, if you tidy the back of the van up, put the GB back in.....  So with that option out of the window, I fed one ball of GB that I had mixed up for the margin, and some dead maggot, this brought a couple of bigger skimmers to the net on dead maggot, but not at a rate to consider switching to fishing for the silvers money.

With half the match gone I fed some GB and maggots into the LH margin and had been feeding pellet into the RH margin, the RH margin didn't produce as much as a liner, so no more about that.  Clint on 27 had a fish after spending ages fishing shallow, so I did have a thrash around with the shallow rig and had a small parrot mouth fish, but that was to be it, apart from one decent roach.  I ended up switching between the margin and a paste rig in the last 2 hours, adding 5 more fish to the net, which I was confident had beaten Paul and Clint, but not so of the 'form pegs 24 and 25, so it proved, with bela on 25 beating me by a solitary lb as well, leaving me 4th in section.  My silvers went 7lb odd and 33lb of carp for 41lb and a bit.

Rod Wootten on peg 30 had not seen a carp all day, these middle pegs on this bank have not been the place to draw this series.

So my 4th was enough to consolidate 4th place in the league, my point better than Paul making us equal 3rd, with me knocked back to 4th on weight, as I knew it would.  Nice to go home with an payout, after not picking up once in the league, ending with 3 x 2nd in section and a 4th.  I was also in the knock out final and wasn't confident of getting a pick up in that and so it proved, the drawbag hasn't been kind this series.


Monday, 3 August 2015

Float Only League, Penultimate Round, Sedges, Sunday 2nd August 2015

Reading the blogs and hearing the tales from Thursdays practise match, I decided to just take pellets and paste to this match, not sure if limiting my options like that was a good idea, but I don't think anything but a friendly trawler going round the lake for me would have given me a chance of winning it.

It was a lovely day, but once again, the wind affected the fishing, making bait presentation very difficult, oh for the chance to have fished a straight lead......

Peg 4 was my home for the 6 hours, a noted skimmer peg I was told, but then recently, apparently the skimmers have come from the opposite side of the lake. I had two waggler rods with me, one shallow and one full depth, the rule about only one No8 shot on the bottom worked against the waggler today, as a string of 5 or 6 led on the bottom might have slowed the floats pace through the peg to a gentle trot, rather than the rapid gallop. Not a bite on either, although because of the wind and its affect on them, I didn't try them for too long.

4 topkits set up, two paste rigs, one to fish at 13m - which was wildly optimistic, a rare moment of optimism for me, no idea where it came from - and one to fish at 5m. two pellet rigs, one with a band and one without for soft pellet, I didn't have a bite on a hard pellet, so little more to say about that. Trying to fish at 13m was just frustrating and i gave it up as a bad job and concentrated on the 6m line.  This would only yield tiny skimmers on soft pellet and at least half a dozen missed bites for every 2oz blade landed.

If it hadn't been for the fact that the section was fishing hard and I had given Steve Evans a lift, I might have had an early end to the day and gone for a beer and watched the Charity Shield game.

In the 4th hour I stretched my legs and had a chat with Paul Faiers, going back to my peg at the start of the 5th hour, I was somewhat shocked to see the float go under and a proper skimmer take the paste hookbait, he was to be a solo act, as I never had another, but I did manage 5 carp in the 5th hour, all on paste at 5m.  I was just starting to think that this might be a chance to win the section, with a similar number in the final hour, but that was nearly as bad as the first four, I lost a foul hooker and I also lost a decent fish that was properly hooked, the line snapped, it was all rough and abraded, I can only assume from rubbing on the fish.

So another miserable day, beaten by Steve Tucker for the section, by 19lb, as he had 6 carp and a couple of skimmers for 62lb, whilst my 5 carp, Billy no Mates decent skimmer and his tiny offspring went 43lb, the lost fish and one other might have troubled Steve's weight but not the framers. Still looking on the bright side, it wasn't the lowest weight section as per usual for me, it was the 3rd worst weight section, so going in the right direction.......

Well done to Mike Walker, drew a fancied peg, but held his nerve and had 187lb to win by a comfortable margin. Whilst the weights are better, it does feel like venues are fishing more like the winter, with fish holed up in certain areas and not foraging round the lakes.

Full Result:
  1. Mike Walker 187-04-0 peg 11
  2. Nick Chedzoy 146-11-0 peg 10
  3. Gary O’Shea 133-01-0 peg 31
  4. Chris Davis  119-11-0 peg 34
  5. Tony Rixon 114-09-0 peg 12
  6. Tim Ford 88-03-0 peg 40
Top Silvers:
  1. Vic Bush 33-05 -0 peg 14
  2. Mike Nicholls 30-06-0 peg 19
  3. Leon Hubbard 19-02-0 peg 15

Monday, 27 July 2015

Ivy House Open, Sunday 26th July 2015

After last weeks float only league on this venue, I decided to return and see if I could better my performance, it certainly appears to be a venue where you have to think and work at catching a framing weight, nice that its not just carp that play a part in the weights.

It was no surprise to see the rain falling as Tony arrived to pick me up, it seems to have been a recurring theme this summer - or what laughingly passes as summer - to be OK in the week and then piss down at the weekend.  I opted for the big breakfast, so extra gym sessions this week, very nice but it is a filling plateful.

Into the drawbag and out comes peg 1, a corner that look like it will be a margin fishers paradise, but with peg 20 and peg 2 in today, its a little hemmed in and had the wind blowing out of it...... is that enough excuses yet???

Plumbing up I found that the peg slopes away from the end bank and out in front for about 13m, given the foul weather, I set up a feeder rod to fish a cage feeder and GB/worm well beyond pole range, hoping that the skimmers would settle over it. Four topkits, one for down the edge, which although it looks inviting, slopes away, with no real shelf that I could find. 2 lines here, I decided on GB/maggot at 8m in by a rush bed and at 14.5 which I would feed with 8mm pellets.  Three rigs for the open water, one wire stemmed 0.4g to fish worm/soft pellet, a double bulk rig and a rig to fish banded pellet..

I fed some micro's and 4mm pellets at 13m and then started on the feeder, this resulted in one double figure ghostie, but not the target skimmers.  After 1/2 an hour or so, I had a look over the 13m line and had bites immediately on soft pellet, but it was the same as my other visits, small skimmers.  I switched to a banded pellet and this resulted in less bites, but better fish including, bigger skimmers an F1 and a couple more carp.  This then died off so I topped up with GB and worm, this had a similar effect to the soft pellet, one small skimmer and one small perch, before it went dead.

By halfway I was having to wait a long time for bites and fed the edge, expecting to see some fish activity, to save typing and energy, the margin was devoid of fish, not so much as a liner at any point during the match, so much so I decided to re attack the 13m line with GB and dead maggot, this saw the stamp of skimmers and the frequency improve in the last hour, as well as a couple of carp taking a fancy to the three dead maggots.  I wasn't sure what was leading the lake come the all out, but I was sure that the lack of margin fish would cost me and so it proved.  Just to rub it in, within 15 minutes of the all out, the margin was colouring up and there were swirls as the fish moved in - its about time Andy confiscated their watches......

As per the venue rules, I had three nets in, one for silvers which went 22lb, one for carp under 5lb, which went about 10lb and the net with those over 5lb, the three fish went just over 33lb. My 66.02 wasn't enough to pick up, but it was 5th and I feel I learned a fair bit about the venue.  Just to cheer me up on the way home, Tony said "I would have been distraught if I had drawn 1 or 2", which he didn't, peg 10 for him and a nice win with 93lb, of which over 80lb was skimmers. (You pick up both here as well, no default payout).

Once again the nice touch after the match, home made scones and sausage rolls whilst waiting for the results.

1: Tony Rixon 93.17 peg 10
2: Clint W 89.00 peg 37
3: Dick 81.07 peg 15
4: Shaun Townsend 77.09 peg 14
5: Chris Fox 66.02 peg 1
6: Mick 63.04 peg 12


Tony Rixon 81.02 peg 10
Andy Lloyd 45.10 peg 39

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

England Ladies Fundraiser Match, The Glebe. Tuesday 21st July 2015

I saw this match posted up on MFS and after enjoying my first visit to the Glebe fishery earlier this summer, I put my name down, as the chance to fish it doesn’t come round too often.  The match is organised by Julie Abbott, trying to raise funds to help the England Ladies team fish the World Championship, so a whilst every match is competitive, this was all in good spirit.
A 05.00 alarm call – not my idea of fun – days don’t really start until at least 09.00, preferably 10.00 for me, but load the van up, a look round the garage to make sure nothing was forgotten and then on the road.  The early start to avoid the worst of the midlands traffic worked and I found myself at Roys Rolls, a roadside breakfast van, which is about a mile or so from the Glebe, which was good last time and it was good again today.

A walk round the lakes and a chat with Mark Poppleton, who had assured me several days before, that I needed to take a feeder rod for lake one (and it was windy – again!!)  I was unable to find my bag of cage feeders on Monday, so bought 20 quids worth of new ones in anticipation.  I drew lake 5, peg 76, I was OK until I saw fellow drawbag disaster, Nick Merry heading to the lake, he gloomily told me we were on the worst lake – should that have come as a surprise to me……….

On the plus side, peg 76 is an end peg and it was the end the wind was blowing into, surely I would empty it from here.  Looking at the wind ripping down the lake I left the pellet wagglers in the van (a decision I nearly came to regret) and set up a feeder rod, and four topkits,  one for down the edge, I was convinced that this rig would be busy later on…..   

Two rigs for fishing out in front, the wind was limiting me to about 7m, unless I fished at an angle to my left with the wind, but here the bottom shelved up towards the end bank.  Finally, I found a flatish area about 4m from the bank, which was just under 3’ deep, very similar to where I had a few decent fish on paste on my last visit.

I then realised that I had left my two buckets with the carefully selected pellets and groundbait in, at home - I blame the early start -  thankfully I had a bucket and enough GB and pellets in the van, at the bottom of the bucket were the missing feeders, so I now have a lifetimes supply!!

On the all-in I fed the paste line with pellets and caster, fed some corn at 6m and then started on the feeder across, I was expecting fairly instant bites, first few chucks were made every 40 seconds or so to get some bait in, then as no fish were coming to it, I started leaving it a bit longer, this made no difference at all.  Looking down the lake, everyone seemed to be in the same boat, which in my very limited experience of the fishery was unusual. After ¾ of an hour, I put the feeder rod up the bank (yes, I lasted that long on it) and had a look over the corn, 20 minutes of this and nothing,  so back on the feeder and a switch to maggot on the hook, this produced my first bite, a perch that might make 2oz with a bit of wind assistance. A couple more casts with maggot brought little rattles and knocks on the tip, a sign to me that there were no carp in the area.

By now I had started pinging a few pellets down the towards the end bank rushes and took the feeder off and put a straight lead on, this cast over the pellets, was as the feeder, no liners, no bites.  Earlier than I wanted I fed the LH margin, just past a long sleeper which looked an obvious place to fish and then had a look over the paste line, which I had kept topped up.  I wasn’t very confident of catching on it, as it had, as the rest of the peg seemed barren of fish and so it proved, I had several ‘looks’ over it during the match and remained biteless.

It was now 14.40, (11.30 start) and I had a 3lb carp and a perch, I had an early look down the margin and hooked another perch which fell off unshipping the topkit, I was wondering whether to wrap it in and get home at a reasonable time.  I decided to give it a bit longer and went back on the corn at 6m and to my surprise the float buried, carp on.  I netted a 5lb fish and refed, float went under again, missed bite, back in, another fish, at last they’d turned up.  I could seem most of the lake, or at least the rods and poles of the others and I knew it was hard for everyone, so got my head down and whilst they weren’t queuing up I managed to keep the odd fish coming to the net.  Mick on the next peg had picked up his pellet waggler rod and much to my surprise, given the wind, he started to catch, so much so, I was in two minds whether to set one up.   I decided instead to feed pellets across and if necessary drop in on the straight lead.  The corn line went quiet, so I had another look into the margin and had a 4lb fish, that was to be my one and only from what I thought would be a banker.  I tried the straight lead over to the board opposite and did managed one carp on it, but the 20” hooklength rule seems like a recipe for leaving hooks and line in the far bank vegetation, it’s the venue rule so I stuck to it, but I’m not convinced it’s a good idea.

Back on the corn line and with an hour to go I had 50lb on my clicker, so started the second net for the last hour, this saw 5 fish go into it, certainly not hectic action, but much better than the first half of the match.  I was fairly sure than Mick’s pellet waggler approach had beaten me, I was thinking about 70lb in my nets, the scales came along the bank and when they got to Mick, top weight on the lake was from the other end peg, 85, with 51.08.  Micks fish went 82.04 and I was even more convinced then, that I made a big mistake in not getting off my box and setting the waggler up, but luckily my poor estimating skills saved the day, my clicked net went 59.00 and the last hour net 29.04 for 88.04 and the lake win.  Fellow long distance traveller Nick had 42.00 from peg 82 and his portent of doom about being on the worst lake was spot on, the other lakes were all won with better weights.

I had to hang around at the end for my lake money and so stayed the extra few minutes for the raffle, not that I need have bothered, there were loads of prizes, but even though I had a handful of tickets, my numbers remained uncalled.  £850 raised to help the ladies on their way to the world champs, shame it didn’t fish to the usual standard (apart from lake 1) and I was glad I didn’t go home early.

1: Mick Wilkinson  212.08 (inc 103lb skimmers) pool 1 peg 27
2: Roger Edmund 197.08 pool 1 peg 21
3: Mark Baker 169.08 pool 1 peg 17
4: Ian Farrow 167.10 pool 1 peg 1

Other lakes:
Pool 4; Doddy 103.08 peg 67
Pool 5: Chris Fox 88.04 peg 76
Pool 6: Paul Robinson 94.00 peg 90
Pool 7: Joe Wheldon 128.08 peg 100