Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Landsend Winter League Round Two, Sunday 25th January 2015

Working until 10pm the night before this match, as every other day that week, so little time to prepare and probably too tired to be in the right frame of mind, but I was looking forward to it, hoping to get amongst the carp and ensure the series wasn't over already.  To try and get the maximum lie in time I had breakfast at home, nice, but not the same as having some banter in the cafe.

I thought a draw on one of the corners of Match lake would be where I wanted to be, so was pretty pissed off to draw near the middle on peg 5, which hasn't had a lot of form for a while now.  Unbelievably, Nick Duckett was on 11, that four matches in a row I have fished at Landsend and he has been on an end/corner peg and with Trigger on 13 and Adrian Clarke on 1, the section was looking a lost cause.  To cap it all, Rod Wootton had draw peg 5 the day before and advised me that he managed about 2lb, but the peg was full of tiny roach......

I set up 4 rigs, one for fishing down to the empty pallets of peg 6 and peg 4, not so much as a liner on this, on caster, maggot or prawn, so no more about that one. A rig with a 4" .010 hooklength and a 18 hook, to fish if the bites were finicky on soft pellet, two similar rigs with the 6" hooklengths and 18 hooks, just different float bristle colours in case the light got tricky.  The peg plumbed up pretty even depth all over, with a slight drop off at 13m towards the open water.

Rod had said both hard and soft pellet were attacked by the micro roach on Saturday and they were still at it Sunday, unhittable bites on both!!  It took a while to hook my first carp on a soft pellet, it was a good fish, 12-14lb I would estimate, it was almost ready for netting when the rig line broke about 6" above the bulk shot, frustrated isn't the word....

The pellet line became worse for the dinks and dips of the tiny roach nudging the pellet, so a switch to caster towards the end of the island saw a couple of bigger (1-2oz) roach landed, before a switch to maggot brought an F1 and a good ide that must have been not far off 3lb. 2 more F1's before they disappeared, I did manage one more F1 on the pellet line, but that was it for the better silvers.  I had two small carp on the maggot, before sticking it out and catching a few of the plippy roach.

It was pretty disheartening to see the elastic streaming out on peg 1 and peg11, also hearing that Trigger was bagging up on peg 13 and I must admit to being pretty pissed off at the end, even a lake silvers win couldn't lift my disappointment at yet another poor draw putting the mockers on my chances in the series.  The two carp I had went 6.13 - probably a couple of the smallest ones in the lake and the roach, rudd, F1's ide and a solitary perch (they didn't feed) went 11.03 for the silvers pick up.

Looks like my series is over now, although with two silvers wins, I will have to fish for them in the rest of the matches and being on lake 3 next match, that's not an attractive proposition on all but 2 of the pegs.

Having to go to work after the match didn't help, the drive to Worcester is poxy at night as the M5 is a continual line of single lanes and 50mph limits after 10pm.  Still, there's always the delights of Viaduct next week, Campbell, which is likely to be harsh if the promised cold snap comes.

1: Craig Edmunds 115.07 peg 13
2: Adrian Clarke 111.02 peg 1
3: Pete Nurse 94.10 peg 33
3: Nick Duckett 94.10 peg 11
5: Rod Wootton 75.00 peg 32
6: Tony Rixon 60.09 peg 15


1: Jason Radford  15.14 peg 70
2: Chris Fox 11.03 peg 5

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Viaduct Teams of 5, Round One. Sunday 18th January 2015

It was good to get back to the pre-match atmosphere and banter of a big match, I had been thinking positive thoughts all week and imagining the tip going round.......

As soon as Mike Walker came back with the team draw, I knew that my dreams were like.y to have disintegrated and become a nightmare, peg 9 - certainly one of the pegs that everyone was hoping to avoid. We had Paul on 118 and Glenn on 85, potentially the best two draws in the team, Mike had also picked himself a toughie, 46 and Freddo on 24.

I set up a waggler, a straight lead and a 3 pole rigs, it was as expected a mind numbing experience, nothing on the lead / bread for 1/2 an hour, when Tony Rixon on 11 had a carp on the waggler. A swap to this with corn, was also biteless, but I hooked into a fish winding back in over my pole line at 14m.  I slipped a couple of maggots on and cast the waggler over the pole line, a 1lb or so skimmer was soon in the net.  A bit of a false dawn, I switched to the pole and had a couple of smaller skimmers, Glyn Reynolds on 10 was having the odd skimmer on a GB feeder, but with ones and two's of carp caught, my only option was to sit it out on the lead, one bite  a skimmer on double corn, nothing else, not even a liner.

The sun was a bastard all day, couldn't see any colour float or even where the lead was landing, just glad I'd brought a flask, at least pouring coffee broke the monotony.  My meagre collection of skimmers went 5.06.

The team result was a disaster, last but one on the day, Glenn on 85 weighed more than the rest of the team added together, one to forget.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Landsend Loyalty Match,Sunday 11th January 2015

The luxury of being a passenger today, although that does involve paying for a breakfast that can satisfy Mr Rixon.  The cafĂ© was on top form and to a man everyone said how good the breakfast was.  

Onto the fishery, where only a fairly disappointing 14 turned up, although a clash with other matches prevented some from coming, there is talk of match angling being in decline, but if all the anglers spread around the commercials within a 30 mile or so radius fished one match, it would be as big, if not bigger than the matches of yesteryear.
The loyalty aspect meant that those of us who had fished the venue 15 times and paid £1 each time for the privilege, could fish this match for the enhanced payout, it was decided to put 7 on each lake, lots of room, which, IMO, is not always the best situation, as it gives fish plenty of space to back off into.

Into the tin and out comes peg 7, I think this side of the island can suffer a bit in the winter, as it gets no sun, but the margins do, whereas it’s the exact opposite on the other bank. The water level is still at least 12”-15” down, so the island shelf becomes less of a likely place to catch.  Four topkits set up today, I did bring a lead rod, just in case the wind made pole fishing to difficult, but it stayed in the tube, as the wind was very light, even becalmed at times. The rigs comprised three kits with white hydro in and one with a well used and softened Vespe green hollow.

 A wire stemmed MW float whose name eludes me, for up on the shelf, I had one roach bite on that and it fell off half way back in, so no more about this.  A NG Gimp for across at the bottom of the far shelf, this had 0.12 and a 16 6313 for double caster, a Hillbilly Chump with 0.10 and an 18 6313 for fishing down the track, this would do for maggot or 4mm expander.  The Vespe green had a margin rig on 0.20 with a 0.16 hooklength on and a 16 Guru XS, this would do for down to the pallet of 6 and up to the pallet of 8.

Keeping it simple, I started by dobbing double white maggot along the shelf, to no avail, I would like Mike to allow bread in matches, I’m sure it would work.  I fed the line I was fishing down the track with a few micro’s and across to the bottom of the far shelf with caster via a catapult.  Following on from last weeks debacle, I wanted to be a bit more positive, but not completely kill the peg.

The micro fed line produced nothing, not any sort of indication on the float that there were any fish in the swim.  A switch to the caster line across saw some 6-8oz perch netted and some roach, but nothing fast and furious, a carp finally took a liking to the caster although it was a small one at around 3.5lb.   Looking back over the pellet line was as non productive as the first look, until a switch to single maggot, brought another carp and a roach.  By now I had the feeling that the best chance of a pick up was to keep fishing  for all species and hope to get some better silvers.

That was when the phone rang and I guessed something was wrong, as Caroline never rings during a match, she was upset, she’d been out walking with Louis (one of our dogs) and he’d been attacked by an American Bulldog, she ended up on the floor pulling the dog off and Louis had a large hole in his neck.  A vet trip later and he was OK, but she was very shaken up, that somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for carrying on. 

 I did get back to it and managed a tench and a big perch from the margin, down under the pallet of 6, also a 10lb carp.  I couldn’t see everyone, so as I hadn’t managed a single skimmer, I was unsure if my low double figure of silvers would be enough to sneak some coin.

As it transpired, I weighed 35.05, of which 11.05 were silvers, Nick Duckett managed second on the lake and top silvers, so I scraped a payout by default, which was better than nothing.

1: Steve Seager 98.14 peg 32
2: Craig Edmunds 86.09 peg 24
3: Mike Duckett 52.13 peg 33
4: Nick Duckett 51.12 peg 11
5: Andy Hembrow 49.07 peg 16
6: Kev Molton 46.06 peg 13

Silvers: Nick Duckett 15.00

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Avalon Open, Sunday 4th January 2015

A bittersweet day today, it’s been just over 3 years since I last fished Avalon, which was the Xmas match 2011 and I managed a framing place, also its bee a couple of weeks since I fished last, due to working over the Xmas and New Year period, so I was keen to get out on the bank.  I had spent quite a while at home sorting through my gear as I emptied my faithful old Matchbox and transferred my kit into my new Octbox.  One bright idea I had was to cut up all my rigs and retie them afresh……  I now don’t have so many rigs tied, it’s a daunting task when you pick up the first float and look into the 3 empty winder drawers in the box!!  I have simplified my rigs, reduced the numbers of line dia’s they are tied to and the same with hooklengths.

Last year saw my results pick up from the summer onwards, I had decided that I needed to finally rid myself of my old ingrained ideas and attitudes, so spent the from the spring on exclusively fishing for carp, not taking silvers gear or bait, thus not having the temptation to switch to them.  Another part of last year was spent trying to learn a bit about method feeder fishing, something I had avoided up until now, but when traveling away from the usual haunts down here in Somerset, it’s a skill that is required.
This year will be the same, I may fish silvers matches, for the winter period, I will take something to catch them, as I seem to draw in all the pegs that the carp don’t want to be in now the thermometer is nudging freezing.  With that in mind, I took a pint of casters today, a few wriggling maggots, a few pinkies, some dead maggots, corn and bread.  I had expected it to be a typical winter match, where feeding nothing or minute amounts would be the order of the day, more of this later……

I loaded up the Octbox in trolley mode and found it really easy to push to the peg, albeit a short walk, to peg 4, but it was much better balanced than my shuttle with the Matchbox and everything loaded on it.  The trolley mode is quickly dismantled and the box nice and easy to set up, I would have liked to get out for a few hours to try it, but there was no problems, a comfy, stable box that puts everything to hand, well-engineered and thought out.

I had brought a lead rod to fish popped up bread, a waggler rod to fish corn and the pole to fish a line at about 13m, I also set up a margin rig, as there was a good 4’ of water in front of the next platform on peg 5.  The island has been well cut back, but there were a couple of branches sticking out, which made casting tight to it not risk free, but I clipped up as tight as I dare.

On the all-in I fed some groundbait in on the 13m line, I had far too much time to think about this match over the last couple of weeks and I brought some Bait Tech Pro Natural, thinking that the fish wouldn’t want fishmeal.  Leaving that to settle I started on the bread, which, I should have left in the bag, the water was really too coloured for it.  Nothing on the bread, I gave it half an hour and searched along the island with it, taking the clip off to allow me to do so.   A switch to the pole line brought a small skimmer and a couple of micro roach to maggot, swapping to soft pellet saw another skimmer about 4oz landed, but it was slow going.

I had been feeding two grains of corn every now and again on the waggler line and switching to that brought some false hope, as first cast I had a skimmer 1 1/2lb. I missed a bite on the next cast and bumped a fish on the third cast, that was the end of bites on the waggler.  I could see John Bradford opposite catching big skimmers, so I decided that persevering for carp would be the way to go, especially as fishery owner, Vic Bush was catching fairly regularly by switching between the feeder and the pole.  I took off the straight lead and clipped a feeder on, but I did not have a bite on this and in desperation, walked up to have a chat with Vic who was battering me.

Vic had kept it simple, he was using a groundbait that I normally use, plenty of fishmeal….  and  dead maggots, he was feeding the peg with a decent sized pot and using a medium feeder, much more bait than I thought would be the way to go, how wrong can you be?  I went back and persevered until the end, but I did not hook a carp all day and my meagre 4 skimmers and a few roach went back before the scales arrived.

I was frustrated by the way I got it so wrong, although I would have expected to hook a carp had there been on there feeding, I wasn’t alone in struggling which is to be expected in winter, but pleased with the new box and it was good to be fishing, rather than working.
Next up is somewhere Saturday, I haven’t made my mind up yet, as the weather forecast is for severe storms and 100mph winds, so let’s see if that looks like coming true or not before booking in anywhere and Sunday is the Landsend Loyalty match.

1: Vic Bush 66.12 Peg 6
2: Tom Mangnall 32.07 Peg 32
3: Craig Edmunds 27.08 Peg 20
4: Tony Rixon 24.13 Peg 29
5: Nigel Bartlett 21.13 Peg 24
6: Steve Seager 19.02 Peg 11

1: Tony Rixon 20.01
2: John Bradford 18.10 Peg 44