Thursday, 23 November 2017

Thursday 23/11/2017 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match lake

I was hoping that the fishing at Hunstrete would have improved, but going by last weeks match where they had nine DNW’s I thought I would go back to Harescombe. Forecast was for no Rain but windy. Got it wrong again we had showers on and off all day with the wind not being able to make its mind up, and was to come from every point of the compass!

Rumour has it that Fishing Republic is in financial trouble, time to look at bargains on their website.

I was hoping to draw on the near side for once. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 18 again, twice now in three visits. However, good company with Rob Roy on peg 20. Andy Price said a lot of rain had gone in overnight which Roy and I thought would seriously impact the weights today. That said it would still be a close match.

I set up the usual and started short on the top-set with maggot over loose fed maggot. However the wind was swirling in from all directions which meant switching around left to right, not good. With only a few Gudgeon and tiny Perch in the net I abandoned this line, switching instead to the top-set plus one where I stayed for the rest of the match. It was fishing hard. I knew if I went over to the piles I would catch better (or foul hook) more fish. I nearly set it up at half way through but with the hip still playing up and the wind picking up I stayed where I was. I then thought I had the feeding right catching a few Skimmers and four F1’s for it only to die for many minutes. I hooked a 2lb Barbel which after a fair tussle it went in behind my keep nets losing the hook hold. Fair play to it I say, it certainly fooled me. The only other fish I lost was a 1lb Skimmer, which flew off the hook. With 45 minutes to go I was expecting a good run on the F1’s, but the Lake went dead calm and temperature fell so subsequently other than a few tiny Skimmers the float sat dormant.

I weighed 12lb 4oz for a surprising second overall. It was another enjoyable but hard day at this fishery. It fishes different every time I come.

The match was won by Rich Powell (pictured right with the runner up, both being photo bombed by Rodney Trotters Granddad) with 14lb 14oz from peg 14. Rich caught most of his fish over to the piles on red maggot over red maggot. His catch was mostly made up of Barbel, only putting two Carp on the scales. Well done Rich nice to watch.

Full Result:

  1. Rich Powell 15-14-0 peg 14
  2. Mike Nicholls 12-04-0 peg 18
  3. Gordy Hemms 9-12-0 peg 6
Weigh Sheet:


Monday, 20 November 2017

Sunday 20/11/2017 - Todber Manor Pairs - Round Four - Hillview, Ash and Home Ground Lakes

Last trip down south for Bela and me for the last round of the Todber pairs and this time found the Frome Little Chef open. Nice breakfast if not a little cold, but definitely too expensive.

The weather for Gillingham was predicted to be reasonably mild and NO WIND!! I really didn’t believe this but took the waggler rod in case. I have been hoping to use the waggler more this winter but the draws and wind has prevented it. Bela and I were languishing down the table on the same points and “The Nicks Chewers” so made it our target today to beat them.

Section B for me which is the high numbers on Hillview. Bela was on Ash. I didn’t mind where I drew but would like to avoid pegs 54 and 55. I did pulling peg 50 which is out on the leg. I found myself in great company when Nick Ewers of the Chewers arrived on next peg 49. His partners Nick Chedzoy was on the next peg 48 – start and end of sections!

Yippee the water was flat calm – eerie. Set up one rig a 4x14 that would more or less do everything which was primarily to fish top-set plus four straight out in front with 4mm Baitec expander (these expand when pumped in water to about 6-7mm) over wetted micro. I also set up the waggler. I hate the sound of swishing rods when anglers are waggler fishing, comes from back when Dad would clout me round the ear if I made any sound when casting, hence I always select a size of waggler that is easily cast. If you’re swishing you are using the wrong size waggler. The waggler was initially set by comparison with my pole rig depth – wag and mag.

I started by feeding a kinder pot of micro and sat on the expander I started to catch small stock Carp around 1 ½ to 2lb. After 2 or 3 of these I would catch small Tench 2 to 8oz. However, topping up left me biteless for sometime where the fishing pattern would repeat it’s self. I decided to feed the micro after the catching three Tench. However, I wasn’t convinced it wasn’t right. Nick hooked a small Carp but his line caught over his Toss pot, just managing to land it. Shortly after I did the same but I had my “self release” kinder pot on which just slid down the line to the float - and landed the Carp with no stress. With two hours to go after feeding a big pot of micro on the pole line picked up the waggler. I had two catapults on the tray one grouped the feed well but only up to 20 metres the other was for longer distances however, the feed would be well advertised all over the place which on hind sight was the right initial choice. After spreading three pouch full’s I caught three small Carp in three casts. I then fed again which I now realise was a big mistake as all I could subsequently catch was small Tench – one a cast. I did have one 8lb Carp in the eye ball which fought like hell; this always leaves me wondering why the eye doesn’t pull out of the socket. A lot left for me to think about regarding the feeding. For the last 15 minutes went back on the pole and caught two more small Carp by the all out.

I finished with 37lb 8oz for section fourth and the second time being one out of picking up. At least I beat Nick – just. Unfortunately Bela had another bad draw so we missed out beating the Chewers. Bela and I finished on 49 points. I had reasonable draws all league managing 15 points with Bela managing the rest of the points from some poor pegs. There are definitely pegs you need to avoid to have any chance of winning this league.

The match was won by Jon Gray (pictured right) from Hillview peg 43 with 84lb 2oz. Not sure how Jon caught.

The pairs were won by Tony Rixon and Ken Rayner (pictured upper right) with 24 points, averaging 3 points each per match – well done to them and the other framers.

I enjoyed the league as I have learnt a lot fishing this new venue for me as has Bela, so we will be back to take the “Chewers” on again.

Full Result:

  1. Jon Gray 84-02-0 peg 43 HV
  2. Alan Oram 75-13-0 peg 86 HG
  3. Gary O’Shea 66-14-0 peg 62 Ash
  4. Tony Rixon 63-02-0 peg 41 HV
  5. Phil Cardwell 62-14-0 peg 71 Ash
  6. Ken Rayner 62-10-0 peg 90 HG

Pairs Overall Result:

  1. Tony Rixon/Ken Rayner 24
  2. Alan Oram/Andy Lloyd 27
  3. Mark Poppleton/Mark Wynne 29
15. Mike Nicholls/Bela Bakos 49


Weigh Sheets:



























































Thursday, 16 November 2017

Thursday 16/11/2017 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match Lake

I have been pondering Harescombe for a week now and dreamt up a few idea’s so needed to go back and try them out. It’s all about feeding and presentation. Isn’t it?

I was lucky I had breakfast at home and was well digested before clearing a swim with Tim – of Sheep (pictured right)! Andy Price said it was a small Lamb it must have weighed 80lb!! I got home only to find I had a Roast Lamb dinner waiting!

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 21, vanquished to the far side again. Still with all the sheep removed I had plenty of room. I still got aching hips from fishing 13 metres last match so all these tubes stayed in the bag, Top-set plus two all day then. The only bait on the tray today was red and fluoro maggot, the fluoro being one of today new additions. Two rigs a 4x10 for the margin and a 4x12 winter shotted upside down (more weight at the top with a logarithmic pattern down the line) the other new addition. The last addition today was GB, no more on this as I couldn’t get it to work.

Knowing it was going to be a tight match the plan was to catch anything that swam irrespective of size early then later focus on the F1’s. So with fluro hook bait over reds on the 4x10 I caught small Ronnie’s plus two surprise F1’s. I stayed on this for most of the match, whilst feeding the top-set plus one line with either the kinder or loose fed reds. I caught some decent Roach to 1lb and four 1lb Skimmers. The wind had been blowing to my left up to the end where fish had been topping. Then with an hour to go the wind picked up and switched to blowing to my right, which herald time to switch to the F1’s and I caught fish up to 3lb until the all out.

I weighed 30lb 13oz for first overall – just. A great fishery. Andy Price is running some silver match after Christmas on the other two Lakes which are stuffed with big Roach.

Runner up was Tim Hadlan (pictured right with the match winner) with 29lb from peg 5 Tim caught on the maggot feeder over to the piles with maggot hook bait.

Full Result:

  1. Mike Nicholls 30-12-0 peg 21
  2. Tim Hadlan 29-0-0 peg 5
  3. Roy Liddell 23-04-0 peg 8
Weigh Sheet:


Monday, 13 November 2017

Sunday 12/11/2017 - Viaduct Silvers League - Round Four - Campbell, Carey and Lodge Lakes

First stop Canards Well. They say you can tell the quality of a Restaurant/Pub by its toilets, just been refurbished umm!

Had a walk around the three Lakes in today and thought the colour was ok for some Ronnie’s. When I got to peg 113 I could hear a Woodpecker in the tree above the peg and managed to get a picture of a Great Spotted - pictured right – to be verified by Birder Timothy Ford.

A peg facing the NW wind wasn’t a preference for anyone today especially as it was to pick up considerably. In to the draw bag and out comes Carey peg 94. Normally would be happy with this one but once again I would have to contend with a freezing cold wind blowing in at me at 11-o- clock. Plus peg 96 is in this section which has won the section every time so far, framing each time. Then Des Shipp arrives on peg 87 so third place might be the best today, but all that means I will have to try a bit harder, if that’s possible.

The wind was cold and nasty so for survival I decided on fishing to my right at 2-o clock so most of the wind was on my side/back. The RH margin has plenty of depth and would provide more shelter. Two rigs a heavier than would normally be needed, 4x14 and a 4x10 for down the edge. With plenty of time before the start I set up the Normark no 1 feeder rod which never got used.

The plan was caster down the edge and DR’s and GB out at top-set plus two, I had planned to go longer later, but the ever increasing wind was to deter me. Fed negatively with caster down the edge and a small ball of GB laced with maggot went out on the long line. A Ronnie first put in followed by some more very eager Ronnie’s, I then had a 1½ lb Tench – good start. I caught Ronnie’s for the first hour topping up the GB as required. The swim then completely died, umm. I then tried the margin with caster expecting to catch more Ronnie’s and Perch. No indications of fish present. I then had a curry rush to the toilet – just made it. Everyone appeared to be struggling with 6lb being good so far which I thought I had. Back in the saddle, where I started to shiver. I messed around loose feeding etc… trying to catch Ronnie’s but it was very slow. So decided to up the feed putting in two big balls of GB laced with a lot of DR’s which had the desired result catch two big Skimmers, two Hybrids  all during the last hour. Question, was it the time of day or was I being too negative with the feed. I decided it was the latter.

I weighed 11lb 13oz for third in the section and came away wishing I could start again, this time feeding more.

“Some say that he appears on high value stamps in Thailand, and that he can catch fish with his tongue. All I know it’s The Trig.”

The match was won again by The Trig (pictured right in his peg) for the third time out of four. The Trig put 28lb of decent Skimmers on the scales from Lodge peg 59, catching most of his fish late on caster hook bait at 14 metres by upping the feed of caster laced GB. The Trig fed around 1 ½ pints of caster. Upping the feed seemed to have been the order of the day.

Full Result:

  1. Craig Edmonds 28-0-0 peg 59
  2. Stu White 23-02-0 peg 70
  3. Gary O’Shea 22-06-0 peg 73
  4. Matt Parsons 18-03-0 peg 98
  5. Nigel Easton  18-03-0 peg 100
  6. Paul Greenwood 18-02-0 peg 129
Weigh Sheets:






















Thursday, 9 November 2017

Thursday 09/11/2017 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match Lake

Trip up to Harescombe Fishery today to pick up some elastic (pictured right) from matey Stuart Graham this should last out the pensioner! Elastic can be purchased direct from Stuart in 3 metre lengths for £4.50 by visiting: wepolefloats.co.uk

I met up with the usual suspects who informed me that the venue was fishing hard, which usually means a close match. Apparently the Skimmers are on the near side coming on maggot over GB and the far side Carp which haven’t been feeding lately.

A good turn out with 19 fishing – just the right number for the venue I think.

In to the draw bag and out comes peg 18, same peg I had last match, some time back now. Reasonably happy with any peg really. I decided to fish 4mm expander over micro at top-set plus two and maggot on the same 4x12 rig at one section less and a 4x10 margin Speedy again with maggot.

After 30 minutes no bites or indications on the pellet so tried the short line with maggot and caught one 8oz Skimmer and a couple of micro Roach, but was missing loads of bites from them. Tried the margin and had one micro Roach and lost a foul hooked Mirror Carp, going nowhere fast. Adrian Clark opposite on peg 14 was by now catching steady fishing over to the piles with maggot. So time to change and got the full set of tubes out and set up a 4x10 Yoof and after potting some DR’s I caught a 2lb Chub first put in. I then spent a frustrating too many hours foul hooking small Mirror Carp altogether nine landing two plus a couple of F1’s – it was indeed fishing hard. Decided to eat the banana and have a pee and whilst peeing a flock of sheep sneaked up on my and scared the living daylights out of me making me let go of the hose pipe which I didn’t switch off, so a warm feeling was quickly followed by a cold one. I persevered far too long at 13 metres because with 20 minutes to go I switched to the short maggot line where the F1’s were waiting for me. I landed four better ones in the last 15 minutes and didn’t want the match to end; bugger should have gone there earlier.

I finished with a dead 18lb but according to Stuart Graham I should have had another 2oz because the scales man was reading the weights short! This won the section and was Jointish third overall!

The match was won by Adrian Clark (pictured right) with 27lb 2oz from peg 14. Adrian caught Barbel and F1’s at 13 metres over to the piles on double red maggot. Adrian fed nothing all match, which is probably what I should have done when fishing over as I might has had less Foulers – who knows.

I enjoyed the match today even though it was hard – a great venue and a great set of guys.

Full Result:

  1. Adrian Clark 27-02-0 peg 14
  2. Rob Pass 22-04-0 peg 11
  3. Mike Nicholls 18-0-0 peg 18
  4. Stuart Graham 18-0-0 peg 8 - Dubious
  5. Ady Hill 17-02-0 peg 2
  6. Tim Hadland 13-06-0 peg 12
  7. Phil Auger 13-06-0 peg 29
Weigh Sheet:


Monday, 6 November 2017

Sunday 05/11/2017 - Todber Manor Autumn Pairs - Round Three - Ash, Home Ground and Hill View

I thought we would spend half my pension on a Little Chef breakfast which would allow us to travel the quicker route to the venue. Seven hungry Anglers were there on the published opening time of 07:00 only to find it closed, after a lot of door rattling we were told it couldn’t open due to staff shortage. So we were forced to eat some strange plastic looking food next door in Subway – what a strange place I wonder what an American would make of this place.Apparently Kout Food Group has sold its Little Chef roadside portfolio to Euro Garages, a roadside retail company operating brands such as Starbucks, Subway and Greggs. So why am I now not surprised it wasn’t open. Martin Rayet asked if he could have a 2 foot subway roll, the Chef (sorry Microwaver) said he could have 3 foot but needed to book in advance. At least I've got some pension money left for the rest of the week.

No frost up north but one greeted us in Sunny Dorset. Forecast was for sunshine with the wind picking up midday.

My section today was A the low numbers on Hill View. Everyone wanted to avoid the low numbers. In to the draw tub and out comes peg 45. Very happy with it as its got plenty of form plus the wind would be blowing off my back at 1-o-clock. However, there was a down side the sun was directly in my eyes. I set up the usual rigs for the venue as the plan was to fish at top-set plus three to the right of the glistening sun until I was blinded then either switch to the Ronnie rig with caster to my left or hop over the sun glitter.

I started on the 4mm expander over kindered expander and micro. For the next hour I caught small Carp steady until I lost sight of the float in the glitter even though I had the Polaroid’s on. I reckon it would take an hour or so for the sun to move on so on to the Ronnie rig and caster and couldn’t believe that I couldn’t get a bite, switched to the maggot rig, nothing. Blimey better get back out long. So I hopped the Glitter adding another section fishing the same as previous but it took me a hour to pulled the fish back into the new swim. In the meantime the wind had picked up considerably, but at least the rig was doing a good job going against it. However, the downside was once the fish arrived I was towing into them and foul hooking. After some float adjustments I started to settle down again catching small Carp steady again. I missed a bite and not realising I had fouled a Ghost Carp about 5lb which tail walked then again, I was surprised after this that I was still attached to it - in the tail. Unfortunately the fish out lasted my patience bending the hook free near the bank. I lost another Carp of about 6lb which I disgorged with the landing net and found myself playing with myself! First time I’ve done this one.

I weighed 57lb 4oz which included 2lb of tiny Tench. Not one Ronnie today! This gave me section second. Bela drew peg 85 on HG and did well from ther managing to beat both sides.

Hillview Lake as a whole was won by Alan Oram (pictured right) with 72lb 9oz from peg 52. Alan fished something strange called a Bandum Waffter on a pellet method – method.

The match was won by Andy Lloyd from fancied peg 75 on Ash Lake with 114lb 8oz. Not sure how he caught because the weigh in took so long that I couldn’t find anyone in the darkness! Need more scales this time of year one set per section would be good!

Full Result:

  1. Andy Lloyd 114-08-0 peg 75
  2. Andy Power 106-0-0 peg 74
  3. Alex Murry 84-0-0 peg 69
  4. Bob Gullick 74-0-0 peg 88
  5. Alan Oram 72-09-0 peg 52
  6. Ken Rayner 72-06-0 peg 58
Weigh Sheets:










































Friday, 3 November 2017

Thursday 03/11/2017 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Hunstrete - Bridge Pool

The first stop with Geoff Francis has to be a full English which was devoured in the Queens Head Keynsham.

First match for a long time that Carp would count in our matches, which brought matey Terry Bruton out, which was good to see. He hasn’t lost his drawing arm pulling peg 10.

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 33, which meant I would be sat in the shade all day under dew dripping trees. In my opinion this peg is probably one of the worse pegs on the venue especially if the sun is reflecting the autumn colours onto the water. I was a bit surprised to find out later that pegs 17,19, 21,22,26 were left out any one I would have gladly swapped with. In fact there were three anglers spread over 10 pegs. I set up a 4x16 black top to fish a yellow top out at 10 metres once I could see it in amongst the trees (see picture left - good one for Spot the Float). A 4x 14 to fish 9 metres down my right as far out as I could into a tiny bit of white water and a 4x10 for the margin.

For company I had Pete Turner. I reckon I need only to fish next to him another four times and I will be able to run a brewery.

I started on the black top fishing Pinkie over GB and had a small Roach and a tiny Perch, after an hour not a sign of another fish. So while I waited for the sun to disappear I went in the margin with caster and caught a Small Chub, a decent Roach and Perch losing one decent Perch – as you do. That was it no further indications so having fed some micro out long and with the sun being clouded over I tried 4mm expander – nothing, double DR’s one Tiny Perch and that was it for the Silvers even though I kept trying all the swims in turn. It was now time for a banana walk mainly to try and warm up. The venue was fishing awful to say the least. Back to 33 and decided to stay in the margin with worm over caster to see if I could catch a Carp (or Perch). I did hook and land a 4lb Carp followed quickly by another that done me in the reads. The final fish of the day was a micro Perch.

My Silvers weighed 1lb 11oz and my one Common Carp 4lb 2oz for a not last weight of 5lb 13oz.

What do you get if a Swan wants to befriend an Irish Man - a right laugh - Harry Muir.

The match was won by Mike Jones (pictured upper right with his catch) with 46lb 15oz from peg 30. Mike caught on his favoured waggler fished four foot deep with maggot hook bait fished over maggot. Impressive weight on the day and well executed that’s why it was so difficult to beat him on the River.

The Silvers was won by Dave Willmott (pictured right) from fancied peg 11 with 18lb 2oz. Dave caught on caster over caster from his margins.

Back to the pub with the usual suspects (some pictured right) to round the day off reminiscing on the hay day of Bridge Pool and how badly the fishing has declined over the past five years. This Pool has been converted from an ochre colour to almost gin clear during this time. Shame, can it recover?


Full Result:

  1. Mike Jones 46-15-0 peg 30
  2. Paul Haines 18-10-0 peg 29
  3. Dave Willmott 18-02-0 peg 11
  4. Paul Barnfield 16-08-0 peg 31
  5. John Smith 12-02-0 peg 14
  6. John Fry 11-07-0 peg 3
Top Silvers:

  1. Dave Willmott 18-02-0 peg 11
  2. Paul Barnfield 11-12-0 peg 31
  3. Paul Haines 6-0-0 peg 29
Weigh Sheets: