Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thursday 23/03/2017 - Windmill Fishery - Ray's Rip-Off - Match Lake

Geoff Francis if now officially semi-retired so joined me at Windmill Fishery on one of Rays Rip Off’s. But first it was a short wait outside Tim’s place In Kingswood (Wetherspoons). How do they cook it so quick, so good for such a low price?

We were anticipating some forecast wind reaching 9 mph which for Windmill you can easily double. However, for the fourth consecutive match the wind was to limit catches. As it was to prove the wind got progressively worse from 20 mph to 40 mph plus higher gusts.

I was disappointed to hear that peg 20 was in the draw bag especially as peg 13 wasn’t which is a reasonable peg as failing to catchnCarp you can always catch some Silvers, plus the wind would be off the back. Unfortunately Geoff drew peg 20 (the only peg I have DNW'ed from – Again! I drew next peg to him 22.

Terry Smith the Fishery Manager has roped off the swims to limit the impact of the “Black Death” Cormorants’. I must say this is a good idea and appears to be working. Also it stops the lead slayers from casting outside their pegs!!

It was just the one rig, Malman 4x16 F1 in 7 foot of water. I had planned to start at top-set plus two the work put longer later, however, because of the ever increasing wind this didn’t happen, instead staying on the same line all match. With equal payouts for both Silvers and overall (this is how it should be) I chose Silvers and went for 4mm expanders over GB.

The first hour was good catching small Skimmers to 3oz regularly, after which the fishing became gradually difficult mainly due to the ever increasing wind which made presentation difficult especially for soft pellet fishing. I did have three decent skimmers to 1 ½ lb losing one flyer.

I finished the match with 11lb of Silvers (pictured lower right) and one 12oz Carp which put me first in the Silvers. It basically fished crap for Carp. One positive is that the water was really coloured by the end of the match! As I expected Geoff DNW’ed from this crap peg.

The match was won by Tom Baker (pictured upper right) with 28lb 4oz from peg 28. Tom caught a couple of Carp on the pole and some on the straight lead using pellet hook bait. Well done matey.

Geoff and I rounded off the day at the pub, both of us complaining about sore eyes due to the blasting we both had from the wind. 

Full Result:

  1. Tom Baker 28-04-0 peg 28
  2. John Osborne 19-02-0 peg 6
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 11-0-0 peg 22
  2. Steve Dawson 9-08-0 peg 24
Weigh Sheet:


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday 19/03/2017 - Tony Rixon Open - Avalon Fishery - Match Lake

Very sad to hear my all time R&R hero has passed away. It has been said if it wasn’t called Rock and Roll it would have been named Chuck Berry. I was lucky to have seen Chuck perform live in the mid 60’s at the Chinese Jazz Club. I was stood at the front of the stage no more than three feet away – absolutely amazing, especially watching him plat his guitar behind his back. Chuck you may have passed on but your music will last for ever – RIP.

Geoff Francis and I decided to try one of Tony Rixon’s opens at the Avalon Fishery. A great all round fishery, for me the Silvers fishing is special. Our first stop was for breakfast at Shipham. We arrived at the fishery in plenty of time to give Geoff a guided tour around the Lakes. Unfortunately the wind was blowing quite hard so the low numbers would be best on the West bank.

As there was another small match on the Lake they were allocated the low numbers so most of us would have to battle the wind, but still hopeful I might still get a sheltered one. It wasn’t to be as I pulled peg 40. Arriving at the peg I had the wind blowing in at me at 10-o-clock. So I assembled three rigs – a 4x14 F1 to fish top-set plus one, a 4x16 F1 to fish at top-set plus 3 or 4 sections. Plus the Ronnie rig to fish down wind.

The upshot was that the long rigs were hammering through with the wind making presentation impossible. So it was basically the Ronnie rig with caster over caster for 5 of the 6 hours of the match with 1 hour wasted trying to catch Skimmers long. But even the Ronnie’s really didn’t want to feed today.

I finished the match with a disappointing 10lb 2oz of Ronnie’s to 8oz.

Both the Silvers and the match was won by Paul Elmes (pictured below) with 18lb 8oz of Skimmers and 38lb 8oz of Carp for a total of 75lb from sheltered peg 16. Paul caught at 13 metres using soft pellet over GB laced with Micro.


Full Result:

  1. Paul Elmes 57-0-0 peg 16
  2. Joe McMahon 56-06-0 peg 37
  3. Steve Segar 48-03-0 peg 44
  4. Tony Rixon 46-09-0 peg 20
  5. Vic Bush 43-02-0 peg 24
  6. Pete Nurse 41-01-0 peg 19
Top Silvers:

  1. Paul Elmes 18-08-0 peg 16
  2. Leon Hubbard 17-14-0 peg 33
  3. Matt Challenger 1611-0 peg 42
Weigh Sheet:




Thursday, 16 March 2017

Thursday 16/03/2017 - Bathampton AA Silvers League - Final Round Six - Bridge Pool

Last match of the six match Silvers League which I was leading by one point with a better overall weight, so needed a section second to win overall. As I had breakfast at home I was first to arrive at the draw so walked the Lake, pegs 3, 8, 10, 14, 15, 26, 28, 29, 30 and 32 were showing signs of feeding Skimmers. That said I didn’t mind where I drew so long as I missed pegs 2 and 34 as no one's going to get a days fishing from these pegs.

In to the draw box and out comes peg 21. Umm, difficult peg because I had pegs 26, 28, 29 and 30 all of which had the form to beat my peg. What was worse these form pegs had good anglers on them – double bugger. I had my work cut out but the peg was mine for the next six hours and I wasn’t going to run it down but nurture it. I was thinking 10lb would be a good target.

Peg 21 offers plenty of options but went for three rigs – a 4x16 F1 black top to fish top-set plus three at 10-o-clock for maggot and GB. The same rig would also double up at top-set plus 4 for maggot or Pellet over micro, a 4x12 F1 yellow top to fish at 12 metre, 12 inches up the far shelf again maggot and GB. The final rig was a 4x10 Speedy Titan to fish the inside margin.

I started on the short GB lone and started to catch well mainly small Skimmers until I hooked what I thought was a Tench that was played carefully until I saw a red tail so the wrong colour fish and a 4lb Carp was returned to bugger off. The swim subsequently died. So after trying to revive the swim I was forced to try the margin with caster over caster which wasn’t working and produced nothing. So opened a pellet/maggot line at 11.5 metres at 10-o-clock, same story producing just one small Roach. I went for a walk along the section to give my back some relief, I reckon I was lying joint second with Rich Coles who was on peg 26 which I know from experience can die on you. After a cuppa it was time to go over with maggot and GB luckily this produced a menagerie of small fish at least I was getting bites. I stayed here until the last hour giving all the swims another opportunity to help out adding a few more small fish including the margin rig but with maggot this time.

I finished the match with 12lb 14oz which unfortunately only gave me three points. That said I did enjoy fishing this peg as I needed to work at it. With Callum Dicks winning his section I was pushed into second place overall in the league by weight over Steve Dawson who was third – All pictured below.


Steve Dawson won the match from peg 15 with 26lb 8oz. Steve struggled fishing his favoured pellet and it wasn’t until he went for broke dumping a big pot of maggot at 10 metres that he started catching Skimmers during the second half of the match.

The league was well administered by Chris Rolfe who recognised that the pegging could be bettered for next year. Thanks Chris.

Full Result - On The Day:

1. Steve Dawson 26-08-0 peg 15
2. Dave Willmott 24-06-0 peg 29
3. Dave Wride 23-13-0-peg 6
4. John Fuidge 23-12-0 peg 28
4. Tony Rixon 23-12-0 peg 8
6. Paul Barnfield 21-0-0 peg 11

Overall Final League Placing:

1. Callum Dicks/Des Shipp 9 points
2. Mike Nicholls 10 points weight 76-12-0
3. Steve Dawson 10 points weight 73-13-0

Weigh Sheets:





















Thursday, 9 March 2017

Thursday 09/03/2017 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match Lake

Is this the start of spring? What a beautiful day to go fishing, three less layers and still hot. I had planned to fish Ray’s Beazley’s rip-off at Windmill but due to a booking mix up by the fishery I went to Harescombe instead. I breakfasted at the fishery with the usual suspects plus it was good to see Stuart Graham back fishing.

The good weather meant a good turn out with 18 fishing which some say was just right number for the Match Lake. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 17. I was very happy with this one, not only because it was an end peg on the far bank but the wind had been blowing down this end for a good few days. Found myself pegged next to Rob Roy Liddell understanding his Scottish accent is murrderr!

Set up a 4x12 F1 to fish 4mm expander or meat at top-set plus two and downwind to my left at 10-o-clock. The only other rig was a 4x10 Speedy Titan to fish again down wind in the margin on the top set to fish maggot.

I started on the F1 with 4mm expander over some micro and expander feed. I had an F1 first put-in. The amazingly the wind turned 180 degrees – bugger. I re-plumbed out in front and started again and had four more F1’s and a 2 ½ lb Mirror Carp. The swim completely died but could catch tiny Skimmers! Had I fed the fish up in the water? Had the arrival of the bright sun put them off? However, I suspected it was due to our end going from a nice ripple to completely flat calm. Early try in the margin where on maggot hook bait over the maggot feed I could catch a menagerie of small fish one a bung. This wasn’t going win any coin. So I opened a longer margin line which I was now fishing into the wind with 6mm meat over meat. This bait tends to be left alone by the small Silvers which allowed some time for the F1’s and the odd small Carp to get to the hook bait. After a productive hour which included three small Barbel and a spell of losing foul hooked F1’s the swim died and with the wind ever decreasing the fish moved to my right to Roy who started to catch well short on the maggot. Roy slowed in the last 45 minutes only for Stuart Graham on peg 20 to take over catching on maggot in his margin.

I finished with 6lb 14oz of Silvers and 33lb 2oz of Carp for a total of 40lb. I’m sure the swing of the wind buggered it for me today. That said this put me 5th overall in what was a very close match and a very enjoyable return to this popular fishery.

The match was won by Martin Hook (pictured upper right with his spoils) with 56lb 8oz from peg 5. Martin caught short on the deck with big maggot over loose fed Pinkie of which he about a pint all match.

Steve Brown on peg 14 included 26lb of Silvers (pictured right) in his catch which included Barbel, Chub and Skimmers caught long over to the piles.

Full Result:

  1. Martin Hook 56-08-0 peg 5
  2. Steve Brown 48-04-0 peg 14
  3. Terry Girdlestone 44-02-0 peg 29
  4. Stuart Graham 42-02-0 peg 20
  5. Mike Nicholls 40-0-0 peg 17
  6. Mike Goodluck 37-0-0 peg 2
Weigh Sheet:


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sunday 05/03/2017 - Lance Tucker Open - Plantation Fishery - Match Lake

The BBC weather was forecast to be horrendous, but who believes the BBC for anything! Nonetheless they were right in this instance with 40 mph gusting winds and heavy intermittent rain.

Geoff Francis picked me up at 07:00 planning to have breakfast in the Bridge Inn which opens at 08:00. We arrived early so looked for a Wetherspoons but the nearest was in Portishead. So the Bridge Inn it was and very nice waitress it was too.

I was amazed as many as 12 anglers turn up in such bad weather. If possible I was hoping to draw a peg out of the wind, which would have been on the far bank. It wasn’t to be as peg 4 stuck to my hand (peg 4 last Thursday). Arriving at the peg firstly the bank really needs some maintenance, uneven and with a rail sleeper in front meant the nets were hanging over it. The wind was horrendous and blowing in to me. I set up the Ronnie rig to fish down wind to my right close in to get some shelter. The other rig was a 4x14 F1 to fish as long down wind as far as the wind would permit which was top-set plus three. I fed some micro and a smidgen of 2mm expander over the long line but started on the Ronnie rig. I had three quick Ronnie’s on caster over caster before it died! So out on the 4mm expander and I started initially to catch some Ronnie’s then the Skimmers moved in. I then had a great day catching big Skimmers regularly until a Carp moved in which luckily I removed into the keepnet. I had some more Skimmers and another quiet spell followed until I hooked and landed another Carp of about 9lb, subsequently, a few more Skimmers until 14:00 when I had to surrender to the wind for ten minutes. The Skimmers had gave up allowing the Ronnie’s to get a look in, but we all know what a bugger it is catching these on soft pellet especially in a force 10 gale. So I spent the last part on the match on the Ronnie rig and caster adding another 2lb to the net.

I finished the match with 32lb of Silvers (pictured upper right) and 12lb 8oz of Carp for a grand total of 44lb 8oz which put me first in the Silvers and fourth overall.

I really enjoyed fishing the venue after some 3 years. Really need more matches here as it is full of quality fish.

The match was won by Steve Sewell (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 70lb 8oz from peg 27. Steve caught on the method and waggler – for details see his blog.

Full Result:

  1. Steve Sewell 70-08-0 peg 27
  2. Lance Tucker 65-04-0 peg 7
  3. Mark Birdseye 45-04-0 peg 5
  4. Mike Nicholls 44-08-0 peg 4
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 32-0-0 peg 4
  2. Brian Slipper 14-12-0 peg 12
Weigh Sheet:


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Thursday 02/03/2017 - Bathampton AA - Silvers League - Round Five - Bridge Pool

I had breakfast in the Hanham Café with the usual suspects, more Gas talk than fishing.

It was our turn in the dreaded A Section. The boss peg has been peg 32 with peg 3 close behind everything else has been crap, especially peg 2, I don’t think Jesus Christ could win the section from here.

First into the draw and out comes peg pictured right. Not what I was hoping for there has been a few disasters on the peg Blanks and DNW’s from some excellent anglers. The best two pegs went to Chris Rolfe (who still can’t tell the time) and Rich Coles peg 3. The Jesus peg 2 went to Glenn “16 metre” Bailey. It was good to see the Gas Heads sticking together – Bailey, Smith Peg 34 and Greenslade peg 33 – as expected all to struggle.

Like would like to record that I caught on the edge rig and the GB feeder I set up but can’t. So it was the yellow top 4x16 F1 Winter that was to serve me well once again today. As forecast the wind was strong and gusting coming in from the West. The crap pegs were relatively sheltered, but this wouldn’t help them, so decided initially to start short at top-set plus three.  After plumbing deadish depth (never absolutely sure the depth is perfect for many reasons) and running the float through at 2 –o-clock I found the tow was aggressive against the wind - left to right. I like a bit of tow but because of the gusting wind I couldn’t hold it back as I would have liked. We were already to do the initial potting only to find the organisers watch was slow by five minutes, duh.

In went my first knub of GB laced with a few dead Pinkies not really knowing exactly where it would settle the fish. So with single DR on the hook I started to run it through, the pace was harder than Newbridge in summer. I was soon settled with a micro Ronnie. Over the next two hours I caught surprisingly well including a 2 ½ lb Tench (thinking of renaming by Skimmer GB to Tench GB). After which the wind died the sun came out and the tow stopped and my struggle to get a bite started. I started a pellet line at 10 metres and a new GB line at 11.5 metres again at 2-o-clock. The upshot was I caught one 1 ½ lb Skimmer on triple DR’s over the pellet losing a 2 pounder foul hooked in the anus. I had three more 8oz Skimmers over the long GB line, but it was a long remaining four hours. Rich Coles had a great middle of the match catching decent Skimmers regularly, but I was hoping I might pip him because of my Tench. This wasn’t to be because all the Tench I have caught during this league has shown signs of significant weight loss.

I finished the match with 9lb 10 oz – 15oz behind Rich Coles. Well done matey. This put me in section second and fourth overall. Certainly would have settled with that before the all in!

The match was won my Paul Barnfield (pictured right) with 16lb 1oz from peg 28. Paul caught on the waggler at 20 metres with triple Pinkie over lose fed maggot and catapulted GB. Paul also fished the feeder over the same line and later when the wind died caught at 11 metres catching 15 decent Skimmers throughout the match with all methods adding to his over all weight.

Full Result:

A Section: Rich Coles 10-09-0 peg 3
A Section: Mike Nicholls 9-10-0 peg 4
B Section: Steve Dawson 13-06-0 peg 7
B Section: Dave Wride 6-02-0 peg 11
C Section: Jim Norris 6-0-0 peg 19
C Section: Dave Willmott 5-08-0 peg 17
D Section: Paul Barnfield 16-01-0 peg 28
D Section: Steve Tanner 8-12-0 peg 24

Weigh Sheets:





















Thursday, 23 February 2017

Wednesday 22/02/2017 - Viaduct Silver Match - Spring, Middle and Lodge Lakes

I had been looking at the progress of storm Doris and it looked if my Thursday match would be a no go with wind speeds up to 60 mph. So was delighted when I received a text from Bela on Tuesday asking if I wanted to fish Viaduct Silvers match on the Wednesday, The weather was to be reasonable so went for it. We left early but still found plenty of traffic about. Breakfasted in Cannards Well – was OK once they put on the lights!

A good turn out with 20 Skivers and 2 Pensioners. Steve spread us over Lodge, Spring and Middle. The wind wasn’t too bad but preferred it off my back as I wanted to fish the waggler. I got my wish pulling peg 25, first time on this peg. I have always wanted to draw peg 24 especially when it was a noted Silvers peg, but as time has gone by things have changed in this respect. For company I had the affable Alex Murry who had drawn 24. Directly behind me was the Lodge we will be occupying in June. Bela drew his normal crap peg 38 on Middle, Christ he can draw crap.

I set up the Ronnie rig, a on the drop 4x12 F1 Winter to fish at 10 metres, the waggler and a GB feeder to cast over the caster in the latter part of the match. On the all-in I fed some caster out as far as I could, letting the wind decide where they would fish as it was gusting all over the place. I fed a tester knub of very light GB laced with Pinkie at 10 metres for the F1 rig. I decided to start on the Ronnie rig with caster over caster to catch any “low hanging fruit”. So after catching about 1lb of small Ronnie’s it died. So went out on the pole and had a few hand size Skimmers, most on the drop, so didn’t leave it in long before another put-in. The tow was right to left and at times quite fast, strange really as the wind was over my right shoulder. Re-fed and tried my banker – the waggler. With single caster I started to catch Ronnie’s which was OK as I initially expected this. These soon tailed off expecting to start catching some quality Skimmers. Unfortunately after a couple of hours trying I had only the one 2lb Hybrid. Alex was also struggling on 24. I couldn’t see pegs 19 and 18 (the other pegs in our section) due to the bush on the right, but Alex could and said they were bagging on the feeder. So I chucked it out with double dead reds. All I could get was small Ronnie’s ragging it on the drop. Until they got fed up with me bombarding them with it. Subsequently sat there motionless. Andy Power then started to bag on quality fish on peg 3 both the long pole and waggler fishing shallow. No chance of coin today, so I decided to sit the rest of the match out at 10 metre this after toying with going longer but decided to preserve my aching back. I caught small fish regularly mostly Skimmers and Hybrids until the end with double Pinkie over light GB.

I weighed 13lb 8oz which was a tad disappointing Alex just piping me with 14lb 10oz. Still a very enjoyable match.

The venue fished exceptionally well with 25lb plus to win a section. Brilliant Silvers venue.

The match was won by Andy Power (pictured right) with 56lb 14oz from peg 3. Andy had a very slow start and it wasn’t until he started to heavily loose feed casters over both his pole line and waggler line that he started to catch. Andy came shallow on the pole and caught about 10lb of Roach, a Tench and a decent Perch. He switched to the waggler again with caster hook catching decent Skimmers off bottom. Andy kept the fish coming until the end switching between the pole and waggler. Andy impressed me today which left me wondering why he’s not in the Team England set-up.

It was a perfect end to a perfect day for Bela and I because we had a great fish supper in Winstones on the way home, plus a few beers in Bar-gar-age.

I went to go in the back door and found a Frog staring up at me on the door step. Not the Special One I hope. Luckily not, but Bela kissed it in case!!

Full Result:

  1. Andy Power 56-14-0 peg 3
  2. Rich Aherne 54-06-0 peg 19
  3. Tom Thick 46-03-0 peg 56
  4. Scott Russell 33-11-0 peg 1
  5. Ben Hagg 33-05-0 peg 18
  6. Steve Kedge 25-14-0 peg 33
Weigh Sheet: