Friday, 19 October 2018

Thursday 18/10/2018 - Windmill Open - Cost Cutter

On my own again due to Geoff still settling in to knob hill. I must say I feel sorry for those that have to commute to work by car, the roads are at saturation point. Is there no plan to limit the number of cars per mile of road?

It was good to see nineteen fishing today, plus the weather forecast was reasonable with light winds. The only downside the fish tend to switch off at this venue without the wind creating the tow they love to feed in.

Into the draw bag and out comes bottle top 4. Now this peg has a history of being blackballed and not usually pegged hence the first time I have drawn it. I was willing to give the peg the benefit of the doubt. For company I had mumbler Paul Haines (apparently it's singing) on peg 3 and deaf aid Martin Alexander on peg 5. No point in talking to Martin as his response is always the same "The time is...".

Vince and Bullseye Shipp (pictured right) drew fyler peg 22. I think it's nearing the time for Vince to ride on the trolley and Bullseye to fish!!

A Indian guy fished today and drew peg 2. I went and had a chat with him and noticed he didn't have any keepnets. However, he was still happy to fish even though I would get his money back. One I should beat then!

The Carp on this peg tend to hug the far bank. So I decided to fish for Silvers. However, when the Cormorants return the Silvers disappear and there were three sitting on the transmission towers. I set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x14 F1 Titan and optimistically a margin paste rig. I started with putting a ball of GB laced with some DR's over the Ronnie rig line and was disappointed that after 15 minutes I hadnt had a bite except for one very tiny lonely Perch. Umm. So out at top-set plus two with the 4x14 in 5 foot of water. This time kindering small amount of GB with some loose LRM's. I started to get the odd Ronnie on the drop. I did lose a decent Skimmer which i think I foul hooked on the drop. However, I was dropping too many Ronnies so switched to a very light elastic and as fate would have it I hooked a Carp luckily it was one of the new 3 lb Arrivals. The upshot was I kept on this line until the last 45 minutes adding the occasional small Carp and Small Ronnie's, switching to the margin with triple maggot over maggot and caught a 8 lb Carp. Tried the paste and hooked a right bottom hugger. I couldn't get it up and once again right on the death of the match lost a fish that would cost be coin.

My six Carp weighed exactly 23 lb which matched my estimate and my Silvers weighed a megre 4 lb 14 oz for a total of 27 lb 14 oz. For no coin today. Except for two weights it was a tight match, a Carp or two helping most to coin. So my current thinking is that peg 4 can compete with Carp but not sure about the Silvers though with the near bank still being best place to be pegged.

The match was won by Dave Willmott (pictured upper right) with 57 lb from peg 9. Dave caught on 6mm meat over meat. Dave fed about 1 1/2 tins.

The Silvers was won by Pete Turner (pictured right with his decent Skimmer catch) with 13 lb 9 oz from peg 20. Pete caught on maggot over GB laced with caster fished at 10 metres. Pete fed about 1 kg of GB. This was a remarkable catch considering Pete spends at least two hours on the phone running Mumbles Brewery. Great beers I hear.

Back to the Ring-o- Bells with the usual suspects to round off another great day out in the fresh air.


1. Dave Willmott 57-0-0 peg 9
2. Glenn Bailey 44- 08-0 peg 17
3. Martyn Rayet 34-12-0 peg 16


1. Pete Turner 13-09-0 peg 20
2. Steve Dawson 8-08-0 peg 8
3. Ken Morgan 6-09-0 peg 19

Weigh Sheet:

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Saturday 13/10/2018 - Avalon Silvers League - Match Lake

Firstly well done to Craig Edmonds for winning the Parkdean Masters and picking up £25,000 - well deserved. This proves how strong the angling is in the South West with seven local anglers making it to the final.

Martyn Rayet asked me to stand in for him in the Avalon Saturday Silvers League. I agreed as I was free. I have had some great weights of Ronnie Roach at this venue, but we all know how finicky theses fish can be.

The night before I was advised that the road I usually use to access the fishery was closed, so I planned another route which added another four miles. I went passed the road closed sign and wished I had tested it as I found out later that it was passable - bugger. I was hoping that the horrendous weather forecast was also passable. The temperature was 20 degrees - Weather Weirdness.

Breakfast in Shipham and met two anglers off to Stafford Moor for a weeks holiday.

Arriving at the fishery I was surprised to find only 16 fishing. For some reason I had expected 30+ as it's a great venue. this probably due to being on Saturdays which can be difficult for many. Nice to see Paul Locke fishing.

The wind was horrendous so the pegging was changed to 8 per side and all in a row - no empty pegs creating 4 end pegs. Into the draw tub and out comes disc 43. This was the right side for some shelter from the wind and I could park behind my peg. However, it's not the best side for the Ronnies. For company I had the two Dodds.

I set up a short Ronnie rig, a 4x12 Roob both for the LH margin where I had 4 foot of water right up to the bank. I then got out the heaviest float in the box a 4 x16 which was totally out gunned by the depth and tow against the wind. I tried it at top-set plus 1 and at 10 metres, but with all the shot on the bottom it would not hold. I did spend some time on this holding back which resulted in one Ronnie and a tiny Skimmer fishing DR's over DR laced GB. In the meantime I kept thinking about the 4 gram floats I had home which would be about right today. I had a feeder rod in the Car but didn't set it up those that did didn't catch on it.

The league is decided on overall weight which after one match Martyn was winning. So I thought it important to get as many ounces in the net as possible rather than risk sitting it out for a Bream or two. So I spent 90 % of the match in the margin. I started on the Ronnie rig with single caster over caster and was getting indications from Ronnies so went shallow with maggot and had a run of Ronnie's with one around 12 oz. This died so tried the Roob tight to the bank and caught the odd Ronnie. One thing I discovered is that Oak leaves are attracted to yellow topped floats! between switching between the two rigs up and down I kept the odd fish coming. I did lose a Tench (thick slime) which caught me by surprise diving behind my keep net - bugger. I managed to avoid most of the Carp hooking three landing two for an estimated 20 lb.

The wind was absolutely horrendous. The wind affects the hydrodynamics in many ways which I find fascinating. It certainly affects where the fish are prepared to sit and where they feed.

I weighed a meagre 5 lb 6 oz for halfway! Still it kept Martyn in the running now in second place.

The match was won by Joe McMahon (pictured right) with 26 lb 3 oz from peg 7. Joe caught two early Bream at 10 metres, then switched to top-set plus one to his left to land more Bream to 4 lb. Joe fished DR's over DR laced GB. What was interesting re hydraulics although Joe was on the more wind affected side his rig was going with the wind? I think the islands affect the the tow (funneling) and with Joe in open water may have been responsible. One thing I am sure of Joe will soon be another Parkdean masters qualifier.

Incidentally Avalon and Todber Manor are exactly the same distance from home at 66 miles return and both taking 1 hour 11 minutes one way.


1. Joe McMahon 26-03-0 peg 7
2. Gabe 19-01-0 peg 39 End peg
3. Alan Parsons 12-04-0 peg 47 End peg

Weigh Sheet:

League to Date:

Friday, 12 October 2018

Thursday 12/10/2018 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Arrived at the fishery in plenty of time to have a walk around the pool with Dave Gillard and Steve Dawson. The water was too clear for my liking especially down the far end - didn't want to draw down here. With Chris Rolfe away the morning assembly was held by Mike Jones - subjects today - No swearing and no abusing car drivers by leaving poles behind you on the road side.

In to the ASDA "bag for life" (no draw bag) and out comes the last disc I would have chosen - peg 31. I always seem to struggle on this peg but have managed to scrap last in the silvers money or onced out. I should have taken this experience of the peg more seriously. for company I had Hughies Evans and Rob Duffety who was end peg 32.

I set up two paste floats one for just up the inside shelf and the other for a deep margin (water clarity). Setting up these rigs was a mistake and proved to be no more than a distraction for what I should have done all match. The Silvers rigs were the Ronnie rig and a 4x16 f1 to fish top-set plus one Barrel which was 4 inches up the inside shelf.

I started on the 4mm expander over micro on the F1 and caught two decent Skimmers in the first two put-ins, both on the drop, going to empty it then. That was it except for one Ronnie. Did the right thing and fed some GB on the same line and switched to maggot and got a bite every put-in with only 50 % resulted in adding ounces to the net due to them either dropping off or missed bites. I think I might have to succumb to micro barbed hooks (they are permitted). I persevered with this to half time. I had to assist weigh in again today and it was clear the pool was fishing hard for silvers. I estimated I had 8 lb which was as good as anyone. The biggest Carp weight was 35 lb which also could be easily over hauled if I could get the margin munters. My tactics have been to fish for Carp second half, but today it was a dilemma. The upshot was I made the wrong choice by trying the paste in the margin for far too long which resulted in two lost Carp followed by some nibbling. I went back to the Silvers but was getting frustrated by flying Ronnies (the increase force between fish and hook from them being in water and suddenly not was the main culprit). I hadn't fished the Ronnie rig because I thought the water was too clear, but now gave it a go and relised that if I had started and finished on this rig I would have had a lot more Ronnies in the net I also had two more decent Skimmers.

I had one F1 and my Silvers weighed 15 lb which was 2 ounces from a pick-up. Will I never learn. Still I did enjoy it.

The match was won by Dave Wride with 71 lb 4 oz from peg 21.

The runner up today was Tony Rixon (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with... see his blog for details. It involved catching mainly F1's fishing long everywhere.

The Silvers was won by Paul Barnfield with 24 lb from peg 28 (why was pegs 27 and 29 not fished?). Paul caught long ising worm hook about over chopped worm and micro. Paul "only" used 1/4 kilo of worm and 4 pints of micro!!!  I noticed that he had at least a gallon of wetted micro on his bait tray!

We finally got back to the pub after negotiating lots of traffic on a rat run around the road works on the junction of the A39 and A368. One frustrated tosser asked Dave Gillard "Where he thought he was going travelling down the lanes" - Dave replied in his usual dry way "The pub, where are you going?".


1. Dave Wride 71-04-0 peg 21
2. Tony Rixon 67-0-0 peg 4
3. Paul Barnfield 59-06-0 peg 28
4. John Smith 41-03-0 peg 6


1. Paul Barnfield 24-0-0 peg 28
2. Mike Jones 18-0-0 peg 7
3. Steve Dawson 15-02-0 peg 24
4. Mike nicholls 15-0-0 peg 31

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 8 October 2018

Sunday 07/10/2018 - Viaduct Silvers League - Round One - Campbell, Carey and Lodge lakes

Because Bela was fishing the Stafford Moor Autumn festival he missed the first match so I travelled with Gordon Cannings. We stopped at Canards Well for breakfast, which I must say was enjoyable.

What a difference a day makes, first frost of the Autumn, with sunshine for most of the day with little to no wind. However, this would no doubt affect the fishing. Opposite to yesterday I gradually took lavers off instead of adding them. lovely and warm.

This league is as strong as it gets with no easy sections, so a good draw important. Into the draw bag and out comes peg 73 on Lodge Lake. Umm, right Lake, wrong peg I'm thinking. for company I had blogger Chris Fox on peg 74. Neither of us expected much.

I thought if the Roach fed and the Skimmers shied away I might have a chance against the rope pegs, ever the optimist. So first up was the Ronnie rig to fish short to the right towards the tree, a 4 x12 Winter to fish top-set plus three barrels out in front and a 4x10 Roob to fish caster under the brambles to my left. Whilst checking the shotting on this one a Perch took the bare hook. Promising?

I started by feeding a small amount of micro on the long line to fish 4mm expander over, but started on the Ronnie rig with caster over caster. After 15 minutes and no bites I knew I was going to struggle - bugger the Roach weren't feeding. So I dropped a single caster in under the brambles and had a 12 oz Perch first try. This was my only fish here as it wasn't long before the Carp arrived which I could see mopping up the caster. My last hope was the expander which I tried and stayed there for 15 minutes before catching a small hybrid, followed by a 1 lb Skimmer and few smaller ones. I had only been dripping in a few micros which was enough for the Carp to take a liking to. I foul hooked one - no lost hook. I decided to switch to DR's over GB, so opened another line and fed it quite heavy whilst I switch the Ronnie rig to single Pinkie which sort of worked until I foul hooked another Carp - no lost hook. Then again on a single Pinkie I thought I had foul hooked another Carp in the tail this time. I suddenly relised that it hadn't ripped the light elastic out so was thinking it must be a small one - but needed to check before pulling for a break. I was delighted to see the head of a decent Eel surface, only for the hook to pull - was it fouled hooked? Who knows. Spent the rest of the match feeding GB and catching next to nothing just the odd Skimmer and Ronnie.

I finished with a lowly 11 lb 6 oz only beating two in my section of seven, at least I wasn't last. I was certainly at the wrong end for the Silvers. Considering peg 73 is a noted Carp peg I was surprised to only lose one hook to one of the four Carp I hooked.

"Some say that he punched anglers in the soul, and that he’s confused by stairs. All I know is he’s The Trig.”

The match was by Craig Edmonds (pictured right) with 50 lb 3 oz from Carey peg 99. Craig initially caught on expander over micro and later went longer on DR's over GB laced with caster.


1. Craig Edmonds 50-03-0 peg 99
2. Dick Bull 38-03-0 peg 103
3. Ricky Mills 30-03-0 peg 85
4. Bob Gullick 30-01-0 peg 98

Weigh Sheets:

Saturday 06/10/2018 - Todber Manor Pairs - Hillview, Ash and Homeground

I had planned to fish this league with Bela but for various reasons ended up substituting himself for Martin McMahon. So two Coffin Dodgers go South.

I can say without contradiction that to a man we were unprepared for the weather that was to face us. This venue is affected by the wind, so higher it is the more we catch. Sit out of the wind and there is a good possibility that you would struggle. The weather conditions were horrendous fierce NW wind which was icy cold and horizontal rain.  

The pools payout is based on four sections of nine anglers with section payouts only - £100 first and £60 second. No overall payouts, which I like. Two sections on Hillview, one on Ash and the other on Homeground. First match we got to chose of either Hillview or Ash/Homeground. I let Martin choose deciding on Hillview and drew peg 52 up the leg, which was OK but would be facing the wind. I go in and draw peg 64 on Ash, which is three pegs up from the shop end. I couldn't comment on whether is was a good draw or not. For company I had the affable Ashley on peg 65 and on end peg 62 Pete. I stood on the platform and with the wind blowing down this end of the Lake I watched the 4 inch high waves battering through and wanted to go straight back home - it was bloody freezing.

I only had maggot, expanders and paste hookbaits so thought the paste would be unusable in such conditions. Nonetheless, I only put 4 mm expanders, paste, micros and hard 4's on the bait table. Three rigs two paste floats one for the margin the other up the shelf at top-set plus one barrel, a 4x16 winter to fish top-set plus three barrels for the expander, which was far too ambitious in such conditions.

Before the all in I still wanted to go home! I kindered some hard 4's followed by my paste mix on the long paste line. It just hit bottom when the float went under from a liner. The tow was very strong into the wind. In again and I caught a 2 lb Carp. Paste vindicated which was a relief. I kept on this line for most of the match because I found the down wind margin was towing so hard my feed ended up by my keepnet! There was no way I was going to face the wind and rain especially with glasses on.I experimented with feeding a mix of 4's and micro and found the Skimmers appeared so stayed with the 4's - for another day! Halfway through my hands were so cold they stopped working. However, I had a good days fishing but did get frustrated with the tow. It was so difficult to hold the paste back, hence I was towing into fish causing at least 20 foulers today. All my Carp were between 1 lb and 3 lb with only one 8 lb. All I knew I had beaten the only angler I could see which was Pete on the end peg.

I finished the match with 142 lb 2 oz for second in the section and 7th overall. Second seems habitual at the moment, but would settle for this every time. I got beat by matey Martyn Rayet who weighed 177 lb. It was noticeable how much bigger his fish was to mine - us pictured upper right - who's the Silverfox?

Sorry Ash a Bristol chip shop sandwich for you today.

Martyn's partner Joe McMahon did well his catch included a PB Carp of 19 lb 14 oz - pictured upper  right.

Although my partner weighed a 100 lb it was only worth 7 points! The venue fished it's head off.

The match was won by Steve Tucker (pictured right with his partner whom also won his section and came second overall - the pair to beat I think) with 201 lb 7 oz from Hillview peg 49, renamed "Tuck's corner" because he draws it so often! Steve caught on maggot over GB both from his margins and short out in front.

What a great fishery but be aware ij owner Jon Candy say's dip your nets best dip them!


1. Steve Tucker 201-07-0 peg 49 HV
2. Gary O'Shea 184-10-0 peg 80 HG
3. Martyn Rayett 177-0-0 peg 67 Ash
4. Vince Brown 173-09-0 peg 50 HV
5. Dave Romaine 152-14-0 peg 86 HG
6. Matt 146-10-0 peg 85

Weigh Sheets:

Friday, 5 October 2018

Thursday 04/10/2018 - Windmill Cost Cutter Open - Match Lake

Hungry Horaces for breakfast with Geoff Francis. A reasonable turn out of 14 for a mid-weeker, which included late comer Steve Jefferies. After paying the £12 and having the usual walk round the fishery it was into the draw bag to determine which milk bottle top fate would deal me. Out comes peg 8. I have only picked up once on this peg which was a double winning bubble. I didn't fancy it much, but the weather was perfect to be outside in the country for 10 hours. The wind was ideal, a light Southwesterly blowing down the far end which nearly included my peg. Geoff was on peg 14, a peg he wished for himself.

For company I had Dave Poole on peg 7 and "Standing Man" John Osbourne on peg 10. Whilst draw bag John "Boy" Smith (does he never age) was on the end bank peg 11.

Peg 8 doesn't have any bankside cover and with the water clear and the level down 18 inches or more I wasn't sure my margin was going to fish. Nonetheless I set up a margin paste float to fish out 1 metre from the bank in deeper water. The peg is a reasonable Silvers peg so set up the Ronnie rig and a 4x14 F1 winter to fish top-set plus four barrels in 5 foot of water for 4mm expander over micro, where I started the match. First kinder pot certainly got the fish interested with loads of indications however, it was Carp. During the first hour I had two Skimmers and four Carp for 25 lb before the swim completely died - apparently. Looking round it seemed everyone had gone quite, except John Boy who was catching down both his edges. So I decided to get my head down with the Ronnie rig with maggot over loose fed maggot. It was a tiny Ronnie a put-in. I thought I would try some GB which worked well as I started to catch better fish with the odd Skimmer.

Halfway through there was some commotion from the pegs opposite. Pete Greenslade had foul hooked a munter in the tail on his Silvers rig which had gone into Bob Prices peg. Bob could see it in the reeds so netted it out for Pete. For the sake of fairness Bob agreed to release it with the hook still in it for Pete to have another attempt to land it - which he did. You can't write this stuff.

With two hours to go and the small Silvers still hungry John Osbourne started to catch down his edge. decisions to be made and elected to try my margin with paste over hard 4's. First try a 8 lb fish was soon in the net. So I decided to stick with this until the end landing Carp to 14 lb. However, I did have a frustrating time foul hooking five Carp in a row. The crafty buggers were coming from the bank down the shelf hitting my line before getting to the hook bait. I fished in closer but still fed in the same place which improved things. I shouted "fish on" on the all out whistle and lost it five minutes over time with the hook pulling out and was lucky I had a hat on otherwise I would have looked like a Unicorn with a float in my head!! It being about 8 lb it wouldn't have been quite enough to beat John Boy though.

My Silvers weighed 12 lb 9 oz for second Silvers and my overall weight 104 lb 1 oz for second overall - mission accomplished.

As expected John Boy (pictured upper right with my munters) won the match with 114 lb 1 oz from peg 11. John took small Carp from each margin using double corn over corn and micro mix.

The Silvers was won by "Enigma" (pictured right rolling back) with 25 lb 4 oz from peg 16. Steve caught on allsorts.

I must say the Match Lake is fishing very well helped by the influx of 500 lb of 2 to 4 lb Carp transferred from the Carp Lake - a good move. Expect more fish to be transferred in the coming weeks. The winter fishing will also improve this year. Lets hope the Cormorants don't show as much this winter.

It was back to the pun with the usual suspects. it was good to see Dave Gillard fishing today.


1. John Smith 114-01-0 peg 11
2. Mike Nicholls 104-01-0 peg 8
3. Dave Haines 98-10-0 peg 2


1. Steve Dawson 25-04-0 peg 16
2. Mike Nicholls 12-09-0 peg 8
3. Dave Poole 9-04-0 peg 7
3. Martin Alexander 9-04-0 peg 6

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 28 September 2018

Thursday 27/09/2018 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

After a cool breakfast at Wetherspoons Geoff had to fight through the school traffic. Still we arrived in plenty of time for the usual banter and welcomed our new member Allan Oram. We were all appreciating the wonderful autumn morning with wall to wall sunshine forecast - but not for those in pegs 29 to 32. After the usual headmaster's assembly with Chris Rolfe it was time to feel for a lucky disc in the draw bag. This time peg 10. Pegs 10 and 11 are always fancied because they are both popular for the pleasure anglers - easy access. For company I had Gas Head John Smith on peg 8 and Ken Morgan on 10. I can confirm John Smith is not a Methodist because after a few casts was in the top of a tree after a reset-up cracked off at the bail arm!! Method feeder binned!! Good job otherwise he wouldn't have caught what he did.

I set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x16 F1, a margin and deep paste rigs for the same plan of Silvers first half and Carp second half. I had a nagging doubt as to whether the Skimmers would feed due to the clear water, bright sunshine and little to no wind. With this in mind I decided on a neat GB approach to feeding so I could scratch around with various baits over it. I started at top-set plus one which is as deep as anywhere in my swim using 4 mm expander and had immediate interest from some Roach and small Skimmers. However, ever improving Ken Morgan was fishing 10 metres and catching bigger and more Skimmers than me. So I put on two more barrels and repeated the feeding. However, I remained biteless for sometime whilst Ken was still catching well. There was a fair amount of feeding fish over the GB but fancied they were munching the fine particles up in the water so now thinking GB might not had been the right way. I then hooked and just managed to land an 8 lb Common. I refed GB and again there was plenty of evidence of feeding fish. So put out the deep paste rig and had a couple of big Skimmers and another Carp. This slowed so decided to come in close again but changed to maggot over maggot and had a little run of 1 lb Skimmers on double live red plus a small Carp of about 3 lb. With half time approaching I re-fed the short line, abandoned the long line and fed the RH margin. My three Carp weighed 19 lb 3 oz. I reckon I had 10 lb of Silvers yet to be confirmed. So not going to plan with a mix of Carp and Slivers. I was laying second behind Dave Wride by 2 lb.

I had a very quick try with the Ronnie rig with maggot, and as suspected it was far too bright and clear for it to work. Needed some cover.

Started the second half on the short line with double maggot and had four quick Skimmers before I hooked and landed another 8 lb Carp. I wondered if it was one I had just out back? I couldn't wait to try the margin with paste. So in  I go and had a 10 lb Carp first put in. So was anticipating some Carp hauling. However, the water was so clear I was only getting one fish in the margin at one time, so by swapping between the deep paste rig over the maggot and margin over hard 4's I kept adding the occasional Carp to my net. It was never frantic.

I thought Ken (pictured upper right with his Silvers catch) had  much more Silvers than me but my 16 lb 4 oz just pipped him and put me second in the Silvers my total Carp weight was 56 lb 9 oz for a second overall weight of 72 lb 13 oz, with Dave Wride keeping his first half advantage of 2 lb to win the match.

Dave drew peg 21 and caught on the pole in the water!!

The Silvers was won by Curly Jones (pictured right) with 20 lb 10 oz from unfancied peg 32 (but not by him). Mike caught fishing 3 foot deep using caster over caster catching all species including some big Perch. A decent weight considering the conditions but was one of the anglers that didn't see the sun all day.

Back to the pub with the usual suspects for a decent pint of Doombar to which Geoff Francis has switched.


1. Dave Wride 74-13-0 peg 20
2. Mike Nicholls 72-13-0 peg 10
3. John Smith 48-03-0 peg 8
4. Tony Rixon 44-03-0 peg 6


1. Mike Jones 20-10-0 peg 32
2. Mike Nicholls 16-04-0 peg 10
3. Tony Rixon 16-02-0 peg 6
4. Ken Morgan 15-03-0 peg 11

Weigh Sheets: