Friday, 15 June 2018

Saturday 09/06/2018 - Thursday 14/06/2018 - Viaduct Lodge Week

The week I have all been waiting for all through this long miserable winter; my week at Viaduct with good friends Geoff Francis, Glenn Bailey, Gordon Cannings, Martyn Woodington and Mark "Podge" Jefferies (pictured right enjoying what enjoys the most) who stood in for Tim Ford.  I have known most of these lads when they were Juniors. We arranged for three matches at Viaduct, one at Landsend - Tony's Float only, one at Avalon.

Saturday 09/06/2018 - Silverfox 13 metre only open - Viaduct - Campbell:

As most know I'm a supporter of match fishing being limited to 13 metres only for pole fishing as per CIPS rules. Most competitive sports use the same apparatus whether it be a Javelin, Shot, hammer, etc.. Fishing isn't about strength but about skills in presentation, feeding and water craft and the smaller anglers shouldn't be penalised because they can't swing or afford sometimes upto 19 metres of pole.

I've not been to Viaduct since the Silvers league back in the winter, so set myself the three matches here to qualify for the all winners final.

The match was a sell out plus a reserve list. The fishery has been out of sorts due to the time of year and weather conditions. Luckily most of the Willows have shed their shucks and willow herb, some still lingering in peg 132. Into the draw tin and out comes peg 129. Happy with this; so I thought, because earlier in the spring there were some decent weights of Silvers. The plan was to fish for the Silvers out in front with Sonubaits expander and up to the spit with corn for hopefully some Tench and bigger Skimmers. Two rigs a 4x12 Winter and a 4x12 Roob. The upshot was first put in with the 4mm expander fished over hard 4's I hooked a Carp. I did expect the expander to get ragged by the Ronnies, but they weren't feeding (oxygen levels?). This allowed me to catch a few Skimmers but it was very slow. So I switched to the spit with corn over corn and had two more Carp before adding a couple more Skimmers and a Tench.

My three Carp weighed 12 lb 13 oz and my Silvers 14 lb which put me a disappointing fourth in the Silvers.

The match was won by Podge (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 151 lb 5 oz from end bank peg 121. Mark "Three Pots" Jefferies caught on Two Pots paste fishing at 13 metres out in front all match. Podge had previously qualified for the all winners.

The Silvers was won by Glenn "Two Post" Bailey with 25 lb 11 oz of Accidental Skimmers from peg 123. This qualifies Glenn for the all winners Silvers. However, he was miffed watching Podge win the match on his paste - Teacher and student thing.

Top Three:

1. Mark Jefferies 151 -05-0 peg 121
2. Martin Rayet 112 09-0 peg 116
3. Gordon Cannings 109-03-0 peg 119


1. Glenn Bailey 25-11-0 peg 123
2. John Fuidge 16-03-0 peg 118

Weigh Sheet:

Sunday 10/06/2018 - Tony Rixon's Float Only - Landsend Fishery:

Travelled up from Viaduct with Gordon Cannings who is still doing enforced community service after is spat with the wife. Tony is correct when he's says it's one of the better home cooked breakfast. Met up with Bela who was worse for wear after a long day and night out with Stella!

I had a walk down to the Match Lake and noticed the water was about one foot down and how dense the foliage was due to nature doing its thing this time of year.

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 3. Everyone offered the advise to fish for Silvers including my next door neighbour Tony Rixon who was on peg 1; who decided to do some gardening, which from what I witnessed wasn't done well enough (pictured right). To be fair peg 3 does have a long history of Silvers wins similarly opposite peg 21. So that was my target set. The Ronnie rig for caster over caster and a 4x12 Winter for 4mm expander over micro. From the very first put in I was pestered by Ronnies which is the best way to catch fresh air and practice speed pole retrieval it isn't the way to catch Ronnies. I did hook a decent Bream which came off. After sharing some frustration with Tony I switched to the Ronnie rig with the caster and really expected to catch them well from the way they were eager to take the expanders. Amazingly I had just two small ones, so slipped on and expander over loose fed micro and started to catch them! I also had three decent Bream on this method. After long spells of boredom I switch to fishing down to peg 2 with paste with the hope of catching some more Bream which do like the margins here. The upshot was I caught just the seven Carp, most foul hooked, something Tony was having trouble with.

My Silvers of just 9 lb 2 oz was the highest weight on Match Lake and Sidney's but was beaten by Mike West again with Accidentals!

The match was won by Craig Edmonds (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 32 with 249 lb 6 oz. Trig caught both shallow out in front and later down his edge using hard pellet.

"Some say the he disinvented hot ice cream and that's why we can now only buy cold. All I know it's The Trig again"

Th Silver was won by Mike West with 11 lb 6 oz from Specimen peg 36. Mike caught Accidental Skimmers on paste. A pattern forming with Silvers an paste!

Top Three:

1. Craig Edmonds 249-06-0 peg 32
2. Shaun Townend 187-01-0 peg 7
3. Dan White 131-03-0 peg 25


1. Mike West 11-06-0 peg 36
2. Craig Edmonds 11-04-0 peg 32

Weigh Sheets:

Monday 11/06/208 - Viaduct Residents Match - Lodge Lake:

This is basically a cost cutter knock up between two Lodges with our friends from Birmingham - nice bunch of lads. So eight of us fishing. I drew peg 70 and decided to have a relaxing day catching Skimmers on corn which didn't fully materialise catching for a very short period at the start small  Skimmers! During the last hour I went down to the empty platform peg 71 with paste and caught three Carp.

My Silvers weighed a mere 11 lb 14 oz and the three Carp 16 lb 05 oz. No paste Silver accidentals for me. It was bloody hot and would have loved to sit in the shade all day on peg 59.

The match and the Silver was won by Martyn Woodington (pictured right with his Skimmer catch) with 25 lb 2 oz of yet more Accidental Silvers caught on the paste and his Carp catch taking him to 66 lb 7 oz from peg 62.

Geoff Francis (pictured right with his Silvers net of Skimmers) was second Silvers with 20 lb 7 oz from peg 59.

Tuesday 12/06/2018 - Avalon Open - Float Only:

Previous years we have travelled to Acorn which for most of us it was the same distance as travelling home! So a change this year to Avalon which is very well managed by Vic Bush. I love the place which is very popular with Clubs leaving very few dates for open matches.

It was a shame we only had ten fishing however Vic closed one side of the match Lake for us which gave us plenty of room.

In to the draw bag and out comes counter 46, so short walk. My neighbour for the day was the Bath expat Rich Coles, never short of a laugh with Rich about we have similar sense of humour we go back too many years to remember.

I decided to fish the Ronnie rig and have a paste rig set up as back up for the enticing LH margin. The depth is about 7 foot which starts from under the top-set finding a level playing field all across. The margins are also deep at a good 3-4 foot, shelving quickly. So I started on the Ronnie rig with caster and caught well for about 20 minutes when I hooked a Carp followed by two more with one trashing the Rig in a sunken tree stump. A new rig setup I managed to retrieve the lost one and carried on catching a menagerie of fish species. Including the beautiful Golden Tench - pictured right. Once things slowed and with a couple of hours remaining I fished the margin with paste catching the odd hard fighting Carp in the margin on paste adding an accidental Tench and one 4 lb Bream I did lose five Carp to the snag.

I caught 12 species of fish with my Silvers weighed 14 lb and a default Silvers pick up at last! My Carp taking my weight to 78 lb - I think - because the weigh sheet was lost before I could photograph it, so the following weights are my  best estimate.

The match was won by lenn Bailey (pictured right with some of his catch) with 168 lb from peg 42. Runner up was Martyn Woodington with 129 lb from peg 24.

The Silvers was won by Dave Willmott with 19 lb of Whitebait from peg 28. Dave caught on caster. 

Every comment about this venue was very positive - we will be back for sure. Thanks Vic for accommodating us.

Mark Tanner joined us this evening for a few days and as usual spends most of the night as shown right! Never spills a drop.

Wednesday 13/06/2018 - Silverfox Short Pole Match - Viaduct - Campbell Lake:

This Match is very popular but with it being a working day we finished with 18 booked in. The match is limited to the top-set plus three sections of pole with the rest of the pole in the holdall as there is no shipping on. Rig line length limited to the length of the top-set. So ideal for our little used margin poles.

Into the draw tin and peg 118 was looking at me. my second chance to qualify for the Silvers. I have caught Skimmers short on this peg in the past. So with the Ronnies not anticipated to feed I choose expander over hard 4's at full length of pole out in front and I did make up a paste rig for around the corner to my Left into Bramble Bay. It started OK but only for  short while. The tow was very strong from left to right against what was only a moderate breeze, making presentation awful. So changed from a 4x12 to a 4x14 which did help some but wasn't the answer There just wasn't enough feeding Silvers in the peg. I went down the edge with paste and had the one off Tench and a couple of Carp until I got Brambled. I tried the Ronnie rig with maggot and could only get bites from Motherless Minnows and Roach fry. Decided to try the expander again on a new line but this time feeding a pinch of micro. I could believe the hook bait got to the bottom without being ragged. I then had six Carp in six put-ins, the Silvers definitely out of sorts.

My Silver's weighed 9 lb 6 oz and my few Carp 60 lb.

The match was won by Martin Rayet (pictured upper right with some of his catch) with 205 lb 14 oz from peg 116. Martin caught initially on pellet shallow slapping and later having piled in an extraordinary load of pellet in to his RH margin continued to catch on either 8 mm meat of 8 mm hard pellet.  

The Silvers was won by Phil Harding (pictured right with his Skimmer catch) with 20 lb 1 oz from peg 111.

What was interesting today was that the short pole fished better than the 13 metre match. I think there is a lot to be said in limiting options particularly having a limited choice of baits on the bait tray, make what you have work.

We did get a surprise visit from Tim  Ford, joining us for the Thursday Curry night (pictured right).

Top Three:

1. Martin Rayet 205-04-0 peg 116
2. Glenn Bailey 155-13-0 peg 115
3. Matt Williams 127-0-0 peg 119


1. Phil Hardwick 20-01-0 peg 111
2. Geoff Francis 14-06-0 peg 112

Weigh Sheet:

Thursday 14/06/2018 - Viaduct Cost Cutter - Campbell and Carey Lakes:

As usual a good turn out with 33 booked in. Nige Easton was fishing and as he has done well recently with the Silvers we had a chat. Apparently Nigel has been catching on hair-rigged 4m pellet fished over "pinged" hard 4's.

So my last chance of the holiday to qualify to achieve this I needed to draw Carey Lake. So I was disappointed to find myself having a return trip to peg 129. For company on peg 130 was Podge so someone to chat with.

I fished a 4x12 winter with hair rigged 4mm hard pellet at 10 metres fished over pinged same. Same pattern as previous catching a few Skimmers before it was to die and not ressusable. In the last hour went over to the Spit with a 4x12 Roob with 6 mm Banded pellet fished over same. I knew I would catch Carp there because there's lots of cover with this side of the spit being in the shade for most of the day. I started by foul hooking, which was remedied by fishing off bottom on the drop. This worked well catching 12 quick Carp.

My few Silvers once again weighed a lowly 11 lb 12 oz and my Carp weighed in at 60 lb 8 oz for a overall of 73 lb 4 oz. I'm sure if I fished for Carp all day I would have easily won the Lake, but not the match.

The match was won by Adrian "I might as well go home" Jeffery (pictured right with the joint Silvers winner) with 153 lb 12 oz from Carey peg 94. Adrian caught on the Arlesey Bomb using either Wafters or red pellet hook baits fished over loose fed hard 8's. Adrian fed about 3 pints.

The Silvers was joint with 27 lb 13 oz caught by Wally and Martin Tizard. Wally drew peg Carey peg 81 and fished meat down his edge managing to only catch 2 Carp! Martin caught on corn over corn at 11.5 metres from peg 88.

Top Three:

1. Adrian Jeffery 153-12-0 peg 94
2. Mark Tanner 96-03-0 peg 90
3. Steve Jackson 90-01-0 peg 110


1. Wally 27-13-0 peg 81
1. Martin Tizard 27-13-0 peg 88
3. Martyn Woodington 22-03-0 peg 85

Weigh Sheets:

It was another great week at Viaduct with their Lodges as good a condition as they were when first built. Great company with like minded people. I was pleased everyone had a pick up. We had breakfast every morning at M&M's cafe in the Somerton precinct. Mandy opened early for us having the food ready on our arrival. If you want breakfast early just call her and she will be happy to have it on the table waiting. Evening meals weer OK but felt the Unicorn has lost its way with poor service and food not that special. The curry was average with not enough spices for my liking. We all agreed the best pub/food was the Globe.

We have booked two lodges for 2018 and matches as per this year. A big thanks to Steve, matt and Helen Long for looking after us. Can't wait.

My only regret was sticking to the silver fish plan, instead should had more focu on the resident Carp. It will be difficult to qualify at present and will now probably leave it to Autumn. 

Friday, 8 June 2018

Thursday 07/06/208 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Geoff and I had another cold breakfast at Wetherspoons Hanham. At least we were able to eat it fast which was essential if we were to get through the Keynsham traffic in time for the draw; we only just made it.

Twenty Four fishing in to the draw bag and counter peg 32 it was. Umm. All the fish appear to be hugging islands at the moment with open water being difficult. So with peg 32 being the wrong end and in open water I knew it was going to be a difficult day to pick up coin. For company I had matey Geoff on peg 31 and Pete Greenslade on end peg 33. Opposite was radio Leicestershire’s Ray Bazeley.

I have found the best way to catch the Skimmers here is to fish the pole at top-set plus three with 4mm expander over micro for one hour then switch to the waggler and maggot. I did clear the margin out where I thought I might catch a Carp or two, but seeing how clear the water was hopes faded. The other end of the pool had much more colour. I also noted that were no signs of any sort of fish fry.

So waggler with a 9 inch bodied drake was erected and a 4x16 Winter for the pole. Started as planned and I was taken by utter surprise when I had a bite on the drop first put in and found a two pound Skimmer flying two foot out of the water. Surprise got the better of me with the line momentarily catching around the end of the pole bumping the fish off, to a few anglers amusement. I didn’t realise it at the time but this was to cost coin. As predicted I had a few Skimmers and three small F1’s before on the hour I started to miss bites and found them to be from tiny Perch; time to go on the waggler. I knew there were Skimmers to be caught but was pestered by tiny Perch.  I did have a couple of Skimmers but the nuisance Perch were getting to the bait first. I plugged away on the waggler because I was getting bites when everyone around was struggling.

My few F1’s weighed 2 lb 10 oz and my Silvers 13 lb 10 oz and one out of the Silvers coin.

The match was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right) with 94lb from peg 30. Tony made use of his bulk fishing 17.5 metres over to the island catching various sized Carp and F1’s. See his blog for further details.

The Silvers was won by Steve “The Wizard” Dawson (pictured right with the match winner) with 35lb from peg 10. Steve caught fishing pellet during the first half whilst he fed the Skimmers up switching to maggot shallow in the second half to keep the Skimmers coming. Well done matey a great catch on the day.

A constructive note about future pegging; now that Carp are playing a bigger part in the weights pegs 5, 17, 19 and 25 should be considered and pegs 20, 32 and 33 left out.

It was back to the Compton Inn for a beer and a faggot supper.


  1. Tony Rixon 94-0-0 peg 30
  2. Paul Haines 80-14-0 peg 21
  3. Harry Muir 65-11-0 peg 4
  4. Rod Dufferty 52-06-0 peg 18
  5.  Ken Morgan 45-15-0 peg 24
  6. Paul Barnfield 45-13-0 peg 28

  1. Steve Dawson 35-0-0 peg 10
  2. Paul Barnfield 15-11-0 peg 28
  3. Chris Ollis 15-06-0 peg 27
  4. ken Morgan 14-12-0 peg 24
  5. Mike Nicholls 13-10-0 peg 32
  6. Pete Greenslade 12-0-0 peg 33
Weigh Sheet:

Monday, 4 June 2018

Sunday 03/06/2018 - Ivy House Open - Kingfisher and Moorhen Canals

Bela arrived with his new van for its first trip fishing. In fact first time Bela has driven it. All I will say RTMF1 (Read The Manual For Once). Nice and shiny (pictured right sun glasses recommended) I was given prior instructions not to wear anything dirty!! It’s about time he treated himself, he works so hard it is well deserved (pleased as punch – picture right).

We decided on Ivy House Open which was on both canals – Kingfisher – Moorhen. Both Ryan and dad Vince has recommended it many times especially for the Silvers fishing. Arrived early and had a very nice home cooked breakfast. Fuelled up and into the tin and out comes white ball with 30 on it – Moorhen it would be then. With seven on each Canal we would all have plenty of room.

Peg 30 is one into the Wides which would need 14 metres to reach tight to the far bank. However, I could get close enough with 13 metres to get halfway up the shelf. I’m not sure why I have mentioned this because I didn’t go any further than my top-set! Two rigs – a 4x14 Winter to fish anywhere from top-set out – very flat bottom. I don’t know why I have mentioned this either as I only used the Ronnie rig all match!

Two swims one down to my left with the rig set at 3 foot which could be fished up and down by pulling into the margin and one out in front fished at various depths. Only one bait live reds. I started well catching some decent Ronnie’s and couple of Hybrids and small Skimmers to 1 lb. Then due to over feeding drew in the pesky 2 oz Carp that have been stocked which all have to be netted!! The problem is that the Silvers won’t stay feeding with them or more like these small Carp get to the bait quicker. Anyway as soon as I fed them into the swim I would changed to the in front swim and that’s how I kept the Silvers coming. I caught Bream to 4lb and Ronnie’s to near a pound. I did have an accidental 8lb Carp. My one pint of maggots looked like not being enough but by rationing managed to get through the full six hours.

My 2 oz Carp weight 9 lb (55 of the blighters) and the one proper Carp 7 lb 10 oz. My Silvers weighed a dead 42 lb for a total 58 lb 10 oz. Now “if only” I had caught one more 2 lb Skimmer I would have double bubbled. Instead coming second Silvers and third in the match. I was a bit rusty due to having a week away on holiday with the Brighton side of the family; plus it was bloody hot. My net of Silver pictured right.

The match was won by Baggy (pictured right with another fossil) who fossilised the competitors on Kingfisher winning both the match and the Canal Silvers, so a nice double pick up for Mrs. Baggy. Baggy caught on paste initially down the middle then later down his margin for an overall weight of 80 lb 10 oz from peg 39.

The Silvers was won by “I haven’t caught much” Ryan Shipp with 43 lb 10 oz from Kingfisher peg 24. Ryan caught on caster and Corn.

Last time Bela and I fished ay Ivy House we said we must go there more often; we said it again today with greater intentions. Another great day out fishing.


  1. Baggy 80-10-0 peg 39 K
  2. Simon 59-06-0 peg 34 M
  3. Mike Nicholls 58-10-0 peg 30 M

  1. Ryan Shipp 43-10-0 peg 24 M
  2. Mike Nicholls 42-0-0 peg 30 M
  3. Baggy 17-08-0 peg 39 K
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Thursday 24/05/2018 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match Lake

Out on the garden yesterday which was a bit nippy to start with but I was soon sweating. Today I wish I had put on the thermal underwear!

Nice breakfast cooked by no other than Andrew Price. I pinched Geoff’s black pudding off his large breakfast to boost my small.

It was nice to catch up with the venue regulars especially Terry Girdlestone. I was hoping not draw next to him because he’s a jinx.

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 14. I was reasonably happy with this even though peg 15 was in on the end bank; but was slightly worried when Terry arrived on peg 12! Geoff had drawn opposite on peg 18. I thought I had an end peg that was until 20 minutes to the start the owner of peg 15 rolls up Duh. I think he’s a plumber as he spent 25% the match on the mobile discussing boiler power requirements with anon.

You have got to be quick setting up as it’s only an hour from the hut to the second duck call. Two rigs a 4 x12 winter for top-set plus two in a lot deeper water than I remember; for 4mm expander over micro; next a 4x10 Speedy for the RH margin in three foot of water.

I fed the margin with a smidgen of 4mm meat and the long line with a pot of micro. First put in on the expander I hooked and landed a F1, subsequently nothing only indications from tiny Silvers. I had previously decided that the peg would produce most from the margin so spent the rest of the match there with kindered meat over meat. I must admit I had a great first two hours catching very well; both Skimmers and F1’s. It slowed but at 13:00 the swim completely died for 50 minutes, during which I noticed the colour had dropped out if the water. The swim really didn’t recover as I expected in the latter parts of the match. I did have a few but nowhere nearly enough. I thought I had around 60lb, but those around me thought I had 100 lb only because they thought my 20 Skimmers were 2lb F1’s!

My Skimmers weighed 11 lb 14 oz and my F1’s 51 lb 4 oz for a forth overall total of 63 lb 2 oz.

The match was won by Stuart Graham (pictured right) with 80 lb 8 oz from fancied peg 22. Stuart caught short on maggot over maggot.

Back to the pub for a beer and debrief with Geoff and an excellent end to another perfect day.

I must fish here more often a great bunch of lads.


  1. Stuart Graham 80-08-0 peg 22
  2. Brain Dix 78-10-0 peg 6
  3. Rich Powell 74-10-0 peg 24
  4. Mike Nicholls 63-02-0 peg 14
Weigh Sheet:

Monday, 21 May 2018

Terry Bruton 1936 - 2018

I first got to know Terry at the end of the 60's during South West Angling Times Winter League matches his Dad Sid and I were in the same team. Terry was a Systems Engineer working on Concorde and was Team Leader of one of the systems teams - Hydraulics I think. Terry had to interface quite a lot with the French so he was sent on French lessons I don't think the language stuck. Later he started his own business servicing Quarry equipment. 

I am not sure what year it was but Terry won every single section in the SWWL which was amazing considering there were 14 teams. After this he was referred to as the "One man Band". Never to be repeated.

I remember drawing next to Terry in an open match on the Fry's section of the Bristol Avon and could only watch in amazement him fishing the far bank in 13 foot of water (where the flow was) using bread over home made bread groundbait, he easily won the match that day with 21 lb of Skimmers, Roach and Hybrids. No crow Quills for Terry he used a homemade float which I copied - all balsa  with a wooden antenna. The interesting aspect of these floats was they could be used top and bottom or waggler - crafty.

Through us both having Sons of similar age, all keen to learn match fishing we became good friends. We supported the lads in the various leagues. I remember Dave winning a Junior match on the Crane with 18lb of Chub from the New Fence Swim, Terry was over the moon about this. later we fish the Dads and Lads matches. Terry and Dave won it at Huntstre pushing Steve and me into second place with a late 6 lb Tench, Pictured.

Both our sons fished the Junior national on the Bristol Avon, we both had great expectation only for the lads to get beaten by a poor draw.

Terry loved his Carp fishing, but was equally at home catching Silvers. Terry pictured right with a match winning net of Silvers from Bridge Pool. However, he mostly loved his Carp fishing in traditional ways.

Terry loved the Hunstrete fishery more than any other and was the record holder until one day I drew peg 16 and Terry was on next peg 15. Terry weigh 120 lb but I was to take his record with 201 lb. Terry was the first to congratulate me. Pictured.

Terry won more matches than most matchmen have had hot dinners. Any venue and method he did them all. Later in life he focussed on local venues - Hunstrete and Viaduct.

He use to call me regularly especially when "My Dave" did well in a match. He was so proud when this happened.

Terry lived for fishing and fishing lived for him. he was the most focussed angler I know. RIP matey will be sorely missed by me and  many others. Especially the Coffin Dodgers pictured below:

And finally Terry having a swim at Viaduct on peg 118. borrowed my smelly fleece and carried on - whats else from Terry.