Thursday, 27 July 2017

Thursday 27/07/2017 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match Lake

Although I heard that the venue wasn’t fishing that well I thought I would give Harescombe a visit, if only to meet up with the regulars, a great bunch of friendly guys of like minds. That includes Roy “Disney” Liddell.

First visit since 9th of March during which there has been change in the rules, we can now feed GB in a cup. Not for me at mo as there are far too many small silver fish.

After a far too big a breakfast “Disney” and I discussed peg 29 which neither of us liked. Now what happened next if all down to Disney, first into the draw bag and to the immense joy of Disney out comes peg 29 - Bugger.

Arriving at the peg I found I now had to look at Disney who was on peg 2. Luckily I had gentleman Terry Jones next door on peg 30. Peg 30 is Ok providing peg 3 is the next peg, not peg 2. What stood out was how much the fishery is being taken over by Hazel trees/bushes; these need sorting now before the job becomes massive. Andy Price!!

Now for a top tip never spill super glue on the plastic zip of your bait bag, otherwise the only way to get in is through the side with a sharp knife!!

At least the weir was only dribbling because if its running had the peg becomes very difficult. However, the water looked very clear. All this said it must be a fish holding swim. The problem is where to fish for them. Above the water I counted 15 possibilities, let alone plumbing around where there weir had scoured the bottom.

Selected three swims the first two margin swims, one to my right tight in and the other left to the end bank at top-set plus one both could be covered by a 4x10 Yoof. The other swim was at 2-o-clock at top-set plus one which was 4 ½ feet deep which suited the 4x12 Winter. There was a slight flow from the weir enabling this rig to naturally drag up the slope. I started by feeding the three lines with 6mm meat and wetted micro. The upshot of this was for 1 ½ hours I struggled with the meat and 4mm expender both being gnawed to death by small Silvers in all three swims. Only had hard 4’s or corn in the bag so selected the rusty tin of corn. So I switched to kindering small kernels of corn with corn on the hook using the 4x12 Winter rig. This worked well, but was missing loads of F1 bites. It was only a small tin of corn and wasn’t enough to prime the margin as well. I stayed away from the margin until the last hour and tried the meat and had a Barbel of about 2lb. In again and another Barbel which took the meat on the drop, unfortunately it fought so hard it broke 0.14 hook length! I was warned before hand that the Barbel had grown on! The meat was once gain gnawed to depth so switched to the corn and had enough left to feed a few more F1’s into the swim.

It was another great days fishing with plenty of bites. I must add that I had a beautiful 12oz Roach. I weighed 50lb 11oz for third overall so happy with this from unfancied peg (only by my and Disney it’s really a flyer if you know what your doing).

The match was won by Stuart Graham (pictured right trying to hide behind the weigh board) with 81lb 13oz from peg 18. Stuart fished over to the piles using banded hard fours fished over loos fed fours. When it went quite he switched over his GB line to add some decent Silvers. He then switched to 10 metres to keep the F1’s coming again on hard 4’s. Apparently that side of the Lake was very coloured. The water runs in and out on the same side.

Very enjoyable and will be back soon.

Full Result:

  1. Stuart Graham 81-13-0 peg 18
  2. Russ Baker 54-13-0 peg 24
  3. Mike Nicholls 50-11-0 peg 29
  4. Mike Goodluck 47-13-0 peg 22
  5. Martin Hook 42-03-0 peg 14
  6. Paul Haines 42-01-0 peg 6
Weigh Sheet:


Monday, 24 July 2017

Sunday 24/07/2017 - Tony Rixon's Short Pole Match - Round Two - Chiltern Trinity - Woodlands

On my lonesome today how this makes the journeys seem so much longer. If Bela wasn’t here today he would probably be home resting from a hard week roofing.

Into the draw tin and out comes peg 18 – AGAIN. I bloody hate this peg. The platform is so high off the water you need a drop net. Also the margins are all but impossible to fish with paste due to them being so steep 45 degrees from 0 foot to 9 foot, plus this is the deepest peg on the lake. The paste just keeps rolling down, especially today with the wind hammering in to the peg causing a severe undertow away from the bank. So with pegs 15 and 17 in my section the only way to coin was the Silvers. On peg 17 was Mr and Mrs so section going here then.

Chris Ollis (aka Orris or O’Zone) arrived and stood all match between me and Tony. He’s has now booked in for the next match here. Chris is now a fully fledged Ronnie rig and 8mm pellet carp slayer.

I set up a 0.3 Barnett paste rig (good news Stewart coming back from Ozland). A Ronnie rig and a 4x10 Winter to fish the margin in tight with caster. I started on the caster and Ronnie and I soon had attracted Carp the tell tale sign being no Ronnie’s about. In went the paste on the LH side and I just couldn’t present it correctly, the result being a lost foul hooked Carp. On the bright side it did allow the Ronnie’s in on the caster feed. I could catch one-a-bung but they were small 1-2oz, as were the bottle top Skimmers (but nice to see these). The wind was a nightmare for the long lining so shortened up which was much better. From what I could see it was fishing hard so felt I needed a Paste line so had a plumb around and found a spot close to the RH side of the platform where the paste would hold. Having fed some really old smelly dead reds here I went in with the Paste and lost another fouler. I then had a 5lb Carp followed by a very welcome 3lb Tench – a beautiful fish worth coming just for this one. Re-fed the line and although I fished it again I lost more foul hookers landing one more decent Carp I gave the paste up and stayed on the Ronnie’s, catching another Carp which needed a lot of luck to get it out on this rig. The other caster rig was tried but not with any enthusiasm, just a few more Ronnie’s.

My Silvers weighed 12lb 7oz for second Silvers pool with my three Carp weighing 15lb 1oz for a total of 27lb 8oz.

The match won by Jason Radford (pictured right hiding behind the weigh net) from peg 2 with 147lb 8oz. Jason caught on hard pellet fished shallow in his RH margin at top-set plus three – maximum allowed. Jason fed nothing for the first two hour during which he reckons he caught 100lb.

The Silvers was won by matey Dave Lewis (pictured upper right) aka Dave The Drain with 38lb 15oz from peg 9. Dave caught on worm over GB laced with caster and worm. Dave fished top-set plus two and a bit sections out in front.

Dave and I go back too many years. I remember we went on a double header match at Moorlands Farm – Breakfast – Match – Roast dinner – Match. These were well attended matches. The new method was the floating pole, which consisted of a piece of strong 10 inch line with a 14 hook attached with a 6mm piece of meat impaled. You placed 11.5 metres of pole down on the platform between your feet, freeing both hands to catapult pieces of meat at the pole tip. You just waited until the pole tip started to move and hey presto a Carp hooked. I found this hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing all day. This made me realise how stupid and easy Commercial Carp are to catch. If I remember correctly every angler had between 100lb and 200lb during each match. At the end of the day John was knackered from weighing in so many fish and announced he was banning the method. I’ve not heard of it used since and surprised it’s not use at Fisheries that hasn’t banned it. Nice to have Dave back fishing great company and an excellent no frills Angler.

There were a number of early baths today especially one - Phil Harding aka Fabio fell head first in trying to recover his pole, he fished on for a short while but the wind was too cold. Unfortunately no one caught it on camera.

Torrential rain driving home all but stopped the traffic on the M5! The Kids holidays must have started.

Full Result:





















Weigh Sheet:


Friday, 21 July 2017

Thursday 20/07/2017 - Bathampton AA over 55's - Dave Crookes Fishery - Bridge Pool

Exactly same order of play as last match here, except I drew disable peg 8, two pegs away. The company was different on my left was City fan Dave Gillard, who insisted wearing a red top and Gas Head Pete Greenslade to my right – some banter ensued.

Same rigs except I chose a 4x16 because this peg is much deeper than peg 10. The Ronnie rig wasn’t going to do the short line either because of the depth which was more or less the same from top-set 9 foot, to three sections out. The Ronnie rig was set to margin depth so I could fish the margin at depth and out in front shallow.

I started by loose feeding casters in the margin and one ball of GB laced with the usual bits at top distance and another ball at two sections. The result was more or less as last match catching a couple of Skimmers on caster or DR’s then Ronnie’s and Perch on caster. The only difference today I caught more 2lb Skimmers. The longer line wasn’t tested until the last hour where I was sent to avoid the Carp which resulted in just one Skimmer and some tiny Ronnie’s.

In the last hour my margin was full of Carp I think it’s about time we were able to weigh them in. It’s the only fishery I know where seasonal fish you catch don’t get count in matches. This is probably the reason match attendances are falling.

What I like about how these matches are run is that you are only fishing for a podium place because the payouts are the same for framers (subject to numbers fishing), so able to experiment in match conditions.

I weighed 31lb 8oz of Slivers for second overall (pictured left).

The match was won by matey Rich Coles (pictured upper right with the runner up) with a good weight of 40lb 2oz from peg 21. Rich caught on worm fished over GB laced with casters and DR’s. Rich caught three Tench and three bream in the first hour estimated at 20lb, so a head start on us all then. Rich caught at seven sections towards the bay to his left.

Usual suspects back for a beer. I think Chris Orris was put off coming because someone suggested it was his round!!

Full Result:

  1. Rich Coles 40-02-0 peg 21
  2. Mike Nicholls 31-08-0 peg 8
  3. John Fry 26-08-0 peg11
  4. Alan Jones 25-12-0 peg 18
  5. Chris Orris 24-08-0 peg 14
  6. Steve Dawson 22-06-0 peg 16
Weigh Sheets:




Monday, 17 July 2017

Sunday 16/07/2017 - Tony Rixon's Float Only League - Round Four - Landsend Fishery - Specimen, Match and John Walters Lake

Didn’t sleep well, eat too late I think. Bela arrived dead on the dot as usual. Driving to Landsend just outside the village Bela thought he saw a dead Piglet in the road. Amazing what hunger can do to a man. I prevented him from going back.

Went in for breakfast to see Steve Segar eating an egg and bacon sandwich with a knife and fork! He said it was to stop egg running down his knees, yes but he had jeans on – well nearly – see picture right. I offered to give him my jeans after the match and Bela offered him his shoes. I will Steve a Tie next match so we can truly call him Colin Segar. 

Another nice breakfast, but you should have seen the look on Bela face when the small breakfast was put in front of him – don’t ever get between Bela and food.

The match was planned to be at Shiplate which we were all looking forward to, but due to a cock up over dates we found ourselves back to Tony Rixon’s favourite venue.

Into the draw tin and out comes peg 11. Very happy with this one because I have had 50lb weights of Silvers and plenty of Carp nets. I can compete with the 16 metre Carp Slayers on this peg because I can catch down to the pallet on peg 12 at a comfortable 10 metres. However arriving at the peg I couldn’t even see the peg 12 platform due to the dense trees that surround the venue which is gradually engulfing Match Lake. So my Jungle army training came into use and with my razor sharp machete – well my pocket knife, I fought my why through the undergrowth to reach the lake side where I could stand on the dry margin where I have previously fished! Twenty minutes later area cleared. However, I was hoping not to go down there.

For company I had matey Martin Rayet (pictured right – seriously concentrating) on peg 13 and Gentleman Nick Brown on peg 9.

Now dripping with sweat I set up a 0.3 Stew Barnett paste float for down to the now visible peg 12 and a 4x12 Winter to fish top-set plus three out in front in 4 ½  foot of water. Bugger no casters so it would be soft pellet over micro or maggot for the Silvers for which I would need the Ronnie rig.

I started on the soft pellet with the 4x12 over micro. I was determined not to get the carp in the swim so adjusted to feed accordingly which seem to work well catching skimmer nice and steady for an hour, everything about the fishing felt right. Then for some unknown reason after losing my first foul hooked Carp the swim completely, everything I tried to revive it failed. So on to the Ronnie rig with single maggot over loose fed maggot produced very small Ronnie’s. It was much too early to switch to the carp margin so decided to stay with this until the last two hours. I did have two accidental Carp on the Ronnie rig luckily they were small. It was now time for the margin with paste over hard 4’s. To start with I knew the Carp weren’t around as the Ronnie’s were tormenting the paste to death. It wasn’t long before the float sat still so knew it would soon disappear and it did. I would catch 2/3 carp before they backed off to the end bank. Warning; don’t follow them as the will back off further well put of reach, it’s a question of waiting for their return and they do. The fish were either near doubles of tiny 3lb fish. I thought Martin Rayett had beaten me because he had a 38lb head start with the Carp, however, I had completely under estimated the size of the fish particularly the larger ones.

My Silvers weighed 15lb 11oz and my Carp 97lb 5oz for a total of 113lb for a section win, fourth overall and second Silvers so plenty of coin options covered. And it was a pleasure to at last beat Tony on his favourite Venue and peg 7.

Bela was chuffed to pick section money by double default with 36lb only nearly 192 lb behind. I had how he caught all the way home!

Some say he puts Viagra in his butt section to stiffen his pole, all I know its The Trig again who won the match with 228lb 15 oz from peg 27. Trig (pictured right with his boss and Silvers winner) caught at 17 metres to the island in 12 inches of water using pellet over loose fed pellet.

The Silvers was won by Neil Mercer with 24lb 14oz from peg 24.

With a double bubble van it was back to Bar-Gar-Age for a Pinky Ponk Juice.

Full Result:

  1. Craig Edmonds 228-15-0 peg 27
  2. Gary O’Shea 198-12-0 peg 30
  3. Joe McMahon 198-06-0 peg 6
  4. Mike Nicholls 113-00 peg 11
  5. Tom Mangnel 111-10-0 peg 5
  6. Dave Romaine 107-02-0 peg 19
Top Silvers:

  1. Neil Mercer 24-14-0 peg 14
  2. Mike Nicholls 15-11-0 peg 11
Weigh Sheets:






















































Result Sheet:




Saturday 17/07/2017 - Todber Manor Open - Ash, Hillview and Homeground Lakes

Son Steve wanted to go fishing on Saturday, so where to go? Then I thought of Todber Manor which has been recommended to me by Gary O’Shea and Des Shipp as being a venue that would suit my style of fishing. So we booked in. Previously I was going for a bike ride with Tim Ford, so he and Glenn switched to coming with us. Steve and I first stopped at Canards Well for breakfast which is a 45 minute drive then on to the fishery which is another 45 minutes. I think there is an easier/quicker way via the A36 and A350.

We arrived in plenty of time to have a walk around the three Lakes in the match – Ash, Home Ground and Hillview, all new and immaculate with parking behind most pegs. Thirty five booked in which is excellent for a Saturday, many whom I knew. A look around the tackle shop which is probably the best stocked in the South West catering for all the various types of coarse angler.

The pools were £20 plus optional £5 silvers which is rightly not defaulted. Into the draw tin and out comes “Two Fat Ladies” - peg 88 which was on the back of Homeground Lake one peg which needed a short walk. Steve drew peg 36 on Hillview Lake.

I was advised by a couple of locals (no names – no pack drill) that the match wouldn’t be won from my Lake, but the Silvers might be. So I’m thinking my options were either fish for Carp for section coin or Silvers. Silvers it would be. The wind was a blowing from right to left into the corner between me and Jonny Gray who was on peg 90 making it difficult for the Ronnie rig, but that was the first rig made up and resting on the bait tray. I also set up a 4x10 Winter to fish top-set plus one in 4 foot of water and a 4x14 Winter to fish top-set plus three which took me to full depth at 5 foot. Looking at the water it appeared to be a nice clean colour leading me to rule out GB. So caster it would be then. I did add some 6mm meat to the bait tray for hookers.

The Carp fishing would be a bit of a fish race so I knew once committed to Silvers there would be no switching to Carp later.That said I'm sure the Silvers could be won accidentally.

I started on the Ronnie rig and as expected the wind made presentation difficult. However, there is so many fish that they didn’t seem mind it too much. I caught pretty much every proper Silver fish there is. Half way through with about 20lb in the net and ten accidental Carp I got a bit tired of fighting the wind with the Ronnie so fished the second half with the 4x10 and caught much easier and quicker – should have changed earlier. Meanwhile Jonny Gray was emptying with a Carp a bung and was happy to loan him one of my keep nets. My weight was made of 30lb of Bream to 8lb and 27lb of Ronnie’s, Tench, Skimmers, Rudd and loads of tiny Perch. Luckily the Carp wasn’t too much of a nuisance of which there was abundance, I could catch one a bung from the margin. You don’t need much bait I was hoping to use ½ pint of caster and save half for Sunday but ended up using nearly a full pint. I only caught one Silver fish on meat hook bait otherwise it would be a Carp.

My Silvers weighed in at 57lb 13oz and my 20 accidental Carp to 2lb weighed 29lb 8oz for a Silvers win and qualifying for the Silvers final next Easter. Hillview Lake didn’t fish up to expectation where Steve managed to get a Par weight and was the only one of the four from Bristol not to pick up coin. Well done to Tim Ford for coming second overall and second with some accidental Silvers and Glenn Bailey for a section default. Well as for Homeground not being able to compete for a frame then these predictions can be so wrong with seven pegs from the Lake picking up coin. Angling is not that prescriptive.

The match was won by Jonny Gray from peg 90 (pictured above right with some of his catch) with 217lb 10oz Jonny caught out in front at top-set plus one, top-set and ditto down each side margin. Jonny caught on hard pellet over loose fed pellet – simple. Well done matey nice to watch.

I have now booked in Bela and me for the autumn pairs four match series. Fishing shouldn’t be so manic by then. I haven’t told Bela that the Lakes are very exposed to the elements which will be interesting.

A very good venue well designed and managed by John Candy. I wish John built had built the Windmill Fishery.

Back to Shepton Mallet for a Winstone's fish and chip supper. A great day out.

Full Result:

  1. Jonny Gray 217-10-0 peg 90 H/G
  2. Tim Ford 184-0-0 peg 77 H/G
  3. Marc Illingworth 160-10-0 peg 85 H/G
  4. Barry Robson 156-02-0 peg 87 H/G
  5. Jack Stamp 149-07-0 peg 69 Ash
  6. Glenn Bailey 148-02-0 peg 72 Ash
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 57-13-0 peg 88 H/G
  2. Tim Ford 25-08-0 peg 77 H/G
  3. Dave Roper 20-04-0 peg 80 H/G
Weigh Sheets:
















































Friday 14/07/2017 - Bristol Rovers v Bristol City - Windmill Fishery - Match and Carp Lake

Timothy Ford organised a Bristol Rovers versus Bristol City fishing evening match at Windmill Fishery with 11 anglers on each side. The match was split with 10 anglers on the Carp Lake and 12 on the Match Lake.

I find evening matches hard as they finish at my bedtime! I was exceptionally tired today because Geoff Francis and I had a heavy meal at the Folly before hand. With two matches over the weekend I decided I would have a steady match.

The two teams lined up – The Gas pictured below.



And the Shitheads – Pictured below.


 Team Manger Timothy drew us odd number pegs, with me pulling peg 9, a number I have been pulling a lot lately at this fishery. However, Dave Haines fooled the draw Gods by re-pegging it putting me on perm peg 22. It can be a decent peg. I have had my biggest weight off it. Two rigs a 0.3g Stu Barnett paste float for the margins and a 4x12 Winter for meat at top-set plus two in 4 foot of water. I started on the paste in the margin and had one Skimmer and one small Carp so after an hour switched to the meat and caught some Skimmers until the Carp moved in, which got a bit frustrating as I had too many foulers. What surprised me was how ferocious the bites were, very similar to the paste.

Just before the end Rod Poole (UTG) brought every angler a tin of cold Thatcher’s Gold which was provided by the Fishery Management – Terry Smith – a nice gesture and well received by all – Thanks.

I was credited with 64lb but think the weigh sheet totalling was incorrect - my fault for not checking.

The match was won by Martin Rayett (pictured right with the Carp Lake winner Geoff Francis) with 103lb 12oz from peg 4 (perm peg 8). Martin trashed around shallow with pellet before coming short with meat where he caught most of his fish. I could see Martin and I must say he fished a good match – well dome matey.

Result Bristol Rovers 530lb 12oz – City 170lb 11oz. Umm enough said – UTG

Individual Result:

  1. Martin Rayet 103-12-0 peg 4 Shithead
  2. Paul Elmes 85-08-0 peg 1 UTG
  3. Glenn Bailey 77-14-0 peg 3 UTG
  4. Dave Haines 73-03-0 peg 5 UTG
  5. Mike Nicholls 64-0-0 peg 9 UTG
  6. Geoff Francis 61-07-0 peg 19 UTG
Overall Results by Lake and Teams:





















Weigh Sheets:





















Thursday, 13 July 2017

Wednesday 12/07/2017 - Windmill Fishery - Shaun Townsend Just Turn Up Evening Match - Match Lake

I watched Fish O Mania last Saturday which left me with a couple of things on my chest. There were lots of comments on social media afterwards regarding suitability of venue due to it being “Peggy”. Well yes a Donut venue is not an ideal shape for match fishing, but excellent for filming. Stocking biggish Carp just before the match was the wrong thing to do; they won’t spread out anytime soon. A panic move I think. Then there was Andy Power catching 8Kg in 30 minutes and coming up on the rails and there was no filming of this period which would have been great viewing for anglers who don’t get to see him. But what got me wound up was Keith Arthur describing a fishing method as “SHALLA” as if was some new type of match angling method. I know Keith’s a Londoner but I’m sure he can say “SHALLOW” phonetically correct if he wanted. I have also seen the word “Shalla” written in other media. Let’s get the word right SHALLWE. Still well done Sky et el. Hope Neil McKinnon’s back next year to add some calm balance.

I decided to fish the Windmill evening match drawing peg 9 again which can be a good edge peg. So with only paste and pellet in the bag I would be fishing short all night. The upshot was I had two early Carp and three late on for 32lb 10oz and no where. Although I had fish showing all night in the margin I couldn’t catch them I think because there wasn’t enough of them to compete for the feed.

What was interesting I foul hooked a Carp and came back with a large scale which I put on the bait tray. Later I hooked and landed a big Carp and had time to have a good look at it and found the scale on the bait tray matched it perfectly – the same Carp!! A clue to how many feeding fish were in the peg.

Some say he has to have an end peg at Windmill because he is blind in one eye, all I know its The Trig again. Craig Edmonds won the match (pictured right) with 94lb 5oz from end peg 16. Craig caught on meat fishing both left and right margins.

The Accidental Silvers was won by Magician Dave Willmott with 15lb from end peg 11.

Full Result:

  1. Craig Edmonds 94-05-0 peg 16
  2. Glenn Bailey 89-08-0 peg 7
  3. Martin Rayet 69-0-0 peg 20
Accidental Silvers:

  1. Dave Willmott 15-0-0 peg 11
Weigh Sheet: