Monday, 22 May 2017

Sunday 21/-5/2017 - Ivy House Open - Kingfisher Canal

The day didn’t start too well as four miles into our journey I remembered I left the Bib and Brace home. So we went back. Bela wanted to know which part of the Bib and Brace I had left home, yep both legs! However, the day was to get a lot, lot worse. We arrived at the fishery and I thought Bela’s engine smelt funny so looked under the bonnet and his coolant tank was empty. We decided to fish and call his Green Flag company after the match. Simon and his recovery van came with 70 minutes but couldn’t do a repair as the heater hose housing had broken off. So we were towed back by Simon (pictured right). First time in a pickup truck I didn’t realise that they didn’t have suspension or shock absorbers, plus the wheels felt as if there square! Both Bela and I had back ache by time we got home. Never again, I hope.

However, the interim period - the fishing was very enjoyable. I drew ball 12 which as my neighbour Alan “Salvador” Oram (pictured right) on peg 11 said we were “in the Middle of the wrong end”!

I put Thursday’s learning into play setting up just a yellow topped 4x14 F1 Winter to fish top set plus one and later top-set plus two, which only needed 3 inches adding to the depth. Started with 4mm expander over GB short and caught small Carp from the off and thereafter every put in for 4 hours. The problem is they only weigh between 2oz of 6oz which felt as if I was adding fresh air to the net. It wouldn’t take many of the bigger fish which seem to hug the far bank which are well out of my reach to overwhelm my efforts. At the beginning of the remaining two hours with the short line all but dead I added another pole section switching to feeding micro with the same hook bait and carried on catching small Carp desperately hoping for one of the better Carp to make the difference, alas not just adding two welcome decent Skimmers late on.

By the end I reckon I had about 150 fish so plenty of bites which is the sort of fishing I like. My Carp weighed 39lb 10 oz and my Skimmers 7lb 8oz for a total of 47lb 2oz and “One Out Of” again needing another four Carp for the 1lb 2oz I was short! All wasn’t lost as Bela did the long pole business sneaking in second again.

The match was won by Andy Lord (pictured right) with 61lb 10oz from peg 7. Andy’s weight was made up of mainly 8 Carp caught long over initially hard pellet and later upped his catch by switching to maggot.

The Silvers was won by Matt Vater (pictured right) with 22lb 2oz from peg 4 Andy caught late on using worm hook bait over CW&C, getting through ½ kilo of worm.

I think we need some warm weather now to get the fish spawning and back feeding sensibly.

Full Result:

  1. Andy Lord 61-10-0 peg 7
  2. Bela Bakos 53-08-0 peg 6
  3. Mike Etherigde 48-04-0 peg 2
  4. Mike Nicholls 47-02-0 peg 12
Top Silvers:

  1. Matt Vater 22-02-0 peg 4
Weigh Sheet:


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Saturday 20/05/2017 - Mathern Mill Fishery - Silvers Only Match - Bottom Lake

It was the second new fishery for me this year – Mathern Mill Fishery. A silver only match organised by Norman Sterry. Geoff Francis and Tim Ford joined me in the trip over the bridges! First stop where we met up with Norman and George Sumusion was the Chepstow Wetherspoons, luckily there was a pay and display dead opposite. According to the Satnav it would be 25 minutes, but the twats had closed the Old Bridge adding 15 minutes to our trip. Unfortunately Tim Ford missed the two 20 feet warning signs and continued down the M48 and had to turn round.

Into the draw hat where I was immediately confused by what was in there. Out came half a clothes line peg with number SEVEN written on it, not a clue until everyone who asked me what peg I was on turned there nose up at. Arriving at the peg I had Mr and Mrs Gabe on peg 6 and George on peg 8. I was just off the end of the Island, so I asked Gabe if I could share just a bit of the end which was only just in his peg, alas not.

Expecting lots of Rudd, Roach and Skimmers, which was my target. I did erect the waggler but it stayed fishless. I set up the Ronnie rig which I thought might not be that effective because it is was quite shallow close in. The full depth was five foot at 5 metres. Because of this I set up the 4 metres whip which did get me to full depth, finally a 4x14 F1 Winter for the Skimmers at any length as the depth was fairly consistent.

I feed the top-set plus two line with some of my Skimmer GB laced wit DR’s which was conveniently also over the 4 metre whip line. However, I started on the Ronnie rig with caster and as I suspected it was too shallow but did have a couple of Rudd and a lost 2lb Chub. Out on the 4 metre whip and I wasn’t catching as anticipated – on the drop. I had a few more Rudd and some small Skimmers. It was obvious the venue wasn’t fishing to expectations, I think with the Silvers spawning and the bloody weather had something to do with it. So on to the Skimmer rig which I stayed on for the remainder of the match gradually adding sections out to top-set plus four, catching the odd Rudd, Skimmer and hooking huge Carp! I knew there was plenty of Skimmers around because I foul hooked seven of them and it was 15 minutes to go when I called it a day as I was now biteless.

I weighed 15lb 8oz which was par on the day. You definitely either need some space or an island chuck on the waggler so couldn’t understand why a couple of Island pegs were left out on the far side. Gabe next door did beat me but he was help by his Missis who kept shouting Ryby Ryby, to encourage Gabe to strike.

The match was won by organiser Norman Sterry (pictured upper right with his catch) with 34lb 14oz from fancied peg 25. Norman caught eight Chub on the waggler and maggot and some Skimmers on the pole.

Phil Weaver was opposite me and abandoned fishing for Silvers switching instead to Carp to get a days fishing. Phil had eight munters to over 20lb. One he had pictured right.

To finish off a perfect day it was back to the Griffin for a couple of pints and a steak and Chip’s. I certainly will be back to the venue as it is close even though it’s in a foreign country. Want to have a go at the large Carp with the paste.

Full Result:

  1. Norman Sterry 34-14-0 peg 25
  2. Rich Candy 34-12-0 peg 17
  3. Tim Ford 25-13-0 peg 2
  4. Andy Gard 23-02-0 peg 11
  5. Gabe 20-06-0 peg 6
  6. Mike Nicholls 15-08-0 peg 7
Weigh Sheet:


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Thursday 18/05/2017 - Ivy House Cost Cutter - Kingfisher

It must be about two years ago that I had one of my usual Wednesday walks down to Boyd Valley Lake where I found Tom Bailey fishing with a mate of his. So after exchanging the usual pleasantries Tom was delighted to tell me he had caught a 7lb Barbel. I sat with Tom for about an hour and during that time he had a few Silvers and Carp, one doing him in the reeds. Tom then hooked another decent fish and we both immediately proclaimed “Carp”, it wasn’t it was another 7lb Barbel. If Tom had won the lottery he wouldn’t have been more pleased to land this beautiful fish. A moment shared and a memory for ever, rest in peace Tommy.

Bela had been rained off for most of the week and with work quiet at the moment (good time to get a competitive quote for your roof me thinks) he decided to come fishing with me, John Smith and Pete Greenslade at Ivy House “The Old Canal” which has now been totally refurbished and re-stocked and renamed Kingfisher Canal. Because the others weren’t sure how to get to the fishery we met at The Pit Stop. First time for me and it is very clean and not a bad breakfast but full of Truckers.

We were welcomed by Andy and Karen. Des Shipp was there luckily for a training session on match Lake, lets hope he hasn’t learnt any more!!

Full house of 15 pegs today for the £15 cost cutter. Into the draw box and out comes peg 10, not quite in the middle. For company I had Andy Gard on peg 9 who I’m sure went home with a sunburnt ass. And on peg 11 was Jamie so my work cut out.

First time for me on this Canal so after some inquisitions I settled for one rig a 4x14 F1 Winter to fish – well everywhere because the Canal slopes steeply down to a flat four footish. Two baits on the tray DR’s, wetted Micro, 2mm expander and 4mm expander. The plan was to start on the top-set with maggot with double DR’s on the hook. After putting a big pot of DR’s in and feeding ditto over the top I immediately started to get indications which proved to be tiny 3oz Carp. The maggot for me wasn’t working so I added another section and switched to wetted micro feed with 4mm expander on the hook. I caught small Carp from 2oz to 6oz averaging four to the pound. After two hours although I was netting fish I wasn’t building a weight, especially as the two pegs to my left were catching better Carp long tight to the far bank an I mean tight. I then foul hooked a proper old dark Bream which came off; as they do (might have been a five pounder). Following this I foul hooked a five pound Carp which broke the 0.1, bugger. I decided the loose feeding of micro was the culprit so stopped this. Things were getting harder so another section added now at top-set plus three, and the feeding adjusted to minimal with the hope of catching some Skimmers. This is where I stayed for the rest of the match catching the odd tiny Carp and some better Skimmers. I think I might have mentioned to Bela on the way home the fact that I hooked an 8lb Carp which through some impatient bad angling I lost due to the 0.1 breaking. Not again on goes 0.14.

I finished the match with 70 small Carp for 20lb 4oz and my Silvers went a surprising 24lb 60z for a total of 44lb 10 oz for first in the Silvers and fifth overall.  If only I had landed that Carp it would have been double bubble.

The match was won by Ralph Hillier (pictured right with is small Carp net) with a good weight of 70lb from far end peg 15. Ralph caught at 30 inches halfway along his end bank dragging 6mm expander up the shelf over potted hard fours. Well done matey.

It was back to the Wishing Well with the usual suspects, too late now to wish about landing lost fish.

Bela and I really enjoyed today especially as Bela came second overall, so it was a double bubble van. Both booked in for this Sunday. Proper fishing.

Full Result:

  1. Ralph Hillier 70-0-0 peg 15
  2. Bela Bakos 49-12-0 peg 4
  3. Gary Don 46-02-0 peg 12
  4. Terry 45-08-0 peg 8
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 24-06-0 peg 10
  2. Terry 23-08-0 peg 8
Weigh Sheet:


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Sunday 14/05/2017 - Tony Rixon Short Pole Series - Chilton Trinity - Woodlands

I was looking forward to the start of this league especially travelling with my regular partner Bela and how I have missed the drone of the ladder on the roof rack. First stop Shipham café Small breakfast for me which was ok, not sure the big breakfast was all it should have been.

We arrived early and were immediately offered a hot drink by Misha and husband Tom. I had a partial walk around the fishery, however, there was little sign of feeding fish, however, the fishery looked immaculate. Plenty of work carried out by the family.

It was a pleasant surprise to meet up again after good few years with matey Dave Lewis (pictured right with his catch today). As it happened we ended up on adjacent pegs. He’s still as disorganised as ever, God help us he does sort himself out as he a great angler.

In to the draw box and out comes peg 19. Umm, the only saviour was the wind was blowing into the bank. When this happens peg 17, 15 and 14 seem to be the boss pegs. I didn’t think I could pick up coin fishing for Carp so elected to fish for Silvers using the Ronnie rig with caster over caster down to my left where at even 12 inches from the bank I had 3ft 6ins of water. The margins are exceptionally deep at this end of the Lake. I also set up a paste rig to fetch out any interfering Carp from either the Left or right hand margins. I fed some hard 4’s down to my right up close to the sedges which forms a wall you can’t fish round. I started loose feeding caster with single casters on the Ronnie rig and started to catch small Hybrids from 1 oz to 4oz. Now this species can be difficult to catch as you need to be patient and not strike at the first indication which is the same even on natural venues including the river. So plenty of missed bites! To help boost the weight I did have a 2lb Perch out of the blue. With 1 ½ hours to go I noticed a swirl over the right hand margin where I had been continuously feeding hard 4’s, so went in with the paste and in six consecutive put-ins I hooked six Carp loosing two foul hookers landing four. I now wish I had switched immediately back to the Silvers but didn’t instead wasting some valuable time.

I finished freezing cold and 16lb of mainly Hybrids for second in the Silvers and my four Carp 33lb 8oz for a total of 49lb 8oz and a section 3rd. At least I got some coin.

The match was won by Joe McMahon (pictured upper right with his biggest Carp which weighed in at 18lb) with 119lb from peg 17. Joe caught straight off fishing at top-set plus three (the maximum allowed today) shallow using 10mm banded pellet over loose fed 6’s.

The Silvers was won by the winners Dad (pictured right with a familiar Perch) with 17lb from peg 13. Martyn caught on his top-set out in front using casters hook bait over caster.

It was back to Bar-Gar-Age for a Pinky Ponk. I also made a presentation to Bela for his endeavours in the Golden Reel matches he fished at Viaduct – A rusty Reel Handle for two poor draws.

Full Result:

  1. Joe McMahon 119-0-0 peg 17
  2. Chris Fox 89-03-0 peg 6
  3. Dave Evans 88-07-0 peg 32
  4. Martin Rayet 78-11-0 peg 8
  5. Clayton Hudson 62-09-0 peg 16
  6. John Waite 58-02-0 peg 14
Top Silvers:

  1. Martyn McMahon 17-0-0 peg 13
  2. Mike Nicholls 16-0-0 peg 19
Weigh Sheet:


Friday, 12 May 2017

Thursday 11/05/2015 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

I arrived early so had walk around Bridge Pool and at first I thought it looked as if the Skimmers were feeding all around the pool. Which didn’t seem right, then my thinking went back to another time when the water temperature had increased during spring causing what I think is a reaction between silt and Siltex causing is to gas off. I assume the silt has to be changed from a solid to gas to be removed from water - otherwise. During this period it was very difficult to catch fish on the bottom and that how it was to prove today. Anyone know this chemistry?

In to the draw bag and out comes peg 14 which is one of the deepest pegs on the pool at 8 foot. There were plenty of bubbles coming off bottom which I must say does look like feeding fish. For company I had organiser Chris Rolfe on peg 14 and the next nearest peg to my right was birthday boy Pete Turner on peg 11. Peg 15 and 16 are at 90 degrees to each other so some negotiations take place on who pole roller goes high and who’s go low and typically ends up as pictured upper right – Crisscross – Chris/Ray

Unfortunately we are not allowed to put Carp in keepnets so they don’t count which is a shame as a few were caught today especially from peg 26 (pictured right).

Set up the Ronnie rig for caster over caster down to my right but didn’t hold out much hope as there appear to be a complete lack of Roach in this Pool. A 4x10 F1 Winter to fish shallow and the main attack a 4x16 F1 Winter which I plumbed all around the swim indentifying six different places where the depths were similar, starting at top-set plus two working around and out to a nose bleeding 13 metres. So started short with GB and DR’s and caught five small Skimmers then re-fed had two more before it completely died. I usually stay in the same swim for most of the match but because the Pool is fishing strange you need to keep starting new swims catching a couple of Skimmers before it dies and that how my match went and after three hours I had emptied all six spots. I knew the fish were up in the water so tried the shallow rig which to be fair I didn’t give long enough as I switched to the margin with the same rig and started to get bites from tiny Perch on DR’s which kept me occupied for an hour or so. I didn’t get one bite on the Ronnie rig – what’s going on. Back in the margin I saw a large black bream of about 4lb swim to the surface and race out of the swim. Next put in I hook the culprit that had chased the Bream out a irritated Carp which broke me. I now couldn’t get a bite anywhere so thinking I was well behind packed in 15 minutes early. If I had known it was close for the top 7 (except one) I would have opened another swim.

I weighed 10lb which was more than I thought and saved me from another OOO (One Out Of) sneaking in 7th and last in the coin. With only 12lb 12oz coming second I should have persevered a little longer.

The match was one by Steve Dawson (pictured right) with 32lb from peg 28. Steve started at 9 metres using 6mm expander over micro catching a few Skimmers but once the wind got up pushing his float through with it changed to his shallow rig catching two foot deep on maggot over throwing stick maggot. Well done matey.

Full Result:

  1. Steve Dawson 32-0-0 peg 28
  2. Paul Barnfield 12-12-0 peg 26
  3. Alan Jones 12-06-0 peg 19
  4. Chris Rolfe 11-10-0 peg 15
  5. John Smith 11-09-0 peg 3
  6. Chris Ollis 10-02-0 peg 10
Weigh Sheets:





















Thursday, 11 May 2017

Wednesday 10/05.2017 - Windmill Fishery - Shaun Townsend Just Turn Up Evening Matches - Match Lake

With the sun out and comparatively warm and little to no wind, it was grab it whilst you can, so off to the Shaun Townsend Windmill evening match. I only took the senile paste, hard 4’s and GB as I wanted to give the new paste a good match outing. Into the draw box and out comes peg 22. A good all round peg, but all of us tend to fish for the Carp on the evening matches so it really is an accidental silvers. On peg 20 I had good company with Chris Davis and on 24 Diddly Bonk. We have just 30 minutes to set up which was a rush even for me, just able to set up the one paste rig. A 0.3 PC float set to 3 foot at top-set plus 3 sections down to my right which is where I stayed all match. I fed some GB and within 10 minutes I was landing a very fit 10lb Common. After which I had two Accidental Skimmers followed by another decent Carp. It wasn't until the last hour when the sun went down behind the accidental Silvers winner (pictured upper right) that I added another five Carp, by which time I didn’t want to pack up even though I couldn’t see bugger all.

My seven Carp and the accidentals weighed 54lb 9oz and for the second consecutive match I was OOO (One Out Of) the coin. Very enjoyable match that is until you have to pack up in limited light.

Some say he is a vegan and handles his meat baits using surgical gloves, all I know it’s the Trig (pictured right with his catch) who won the match with 71lb 4oz from favoured peg 18 fishing long down to the first stick ups using ….guess what.

Full Result:

  1. Craig Edmonds 71-04-0 peg 18
  2. John Clarke 65-08-0 peg 13
  3. Paul Elmes 62-04-0 peg 3
  4. Mike Nicholls 54-09-0 peg 22
Top Accidental Silvers:

  1. John Clarke 5-0-0 peg 13
  2. Neil Mercer 4-07-0 peg 6
Weigh Sheet:


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Sunday 07/05/2017 - Windmill Fishery - Open - Match Lake

First stop Wetherspoons Kingswood meeting up with Geoff Francis and Gordon Cannings, another decent Breakie. No Bela as he tried his luck on the Golden Reel at Viaduct yesterday.

It was a disappointing turnout with 10 fishing. Tom has agreed to look at the payout for next match so hopefully a few more will attend.

In to the draw box and out comes peg 10 which has for four consecutive pegs been the home of for Martyn Rayett. However, he did draw next to me on peg 8!

I set up a margin 4x10 F1 Winter for meat over a GB mix at top-set plus two down to my left and a 4x12 F1 Winter to fish at top-set plus three out in front with double DR’s over my GB mix..

I think Carp and Match Anglers can learn from another so I asked Tom Baker who is a renowned boilie maker to help me with a paste and margin mix. Tom came down to my swim during the match and we experimented with a mix. I think we got it about right.

So learning from previous matches this peg hasn’t been that great, with Martyn Rayett only max 40lb of Carp I decided to fish for Silvers, so started by feeding a small ball of GB with some loose DR’s on the long line. I started reasonable well bout soon realised Carp were disrupting the Silvers, and was soon playing a foul hooker which came off near the bank; the scale was so big I put it in the Carp net! So now a I had a dilemma – Carp or Silvers. I was itching to try my new margin GB so fed some and tried the 6mm meat over it and immediately lost another foul hooker. I then had four Carp on the trot. Having rested the Silvers I had another go over it and had a few more Skimmers until I hooked the resident 13lb 8oz Mirror. It took me 15 minutes to get it out on the Silver rig. I nearly running out of patients.

The upshot was I fell between two stool catching 15lb 6oz of Skimmers and 44lb 6oz of Carp for a total of 59lb 12oz for second Silvers and fourth overall both one out of the coin.

I must say I am looking forward to trying this GB down Viaduct. I was impressed with it. The margin mix/paste can be purchased from Tom Baker at Windmill Fishery. It’s called “Senile” and retails at £4 per Kilo.

The match was won by youngster Andrew Cranston (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 87lb 13oz from peg 18. Andrew caught on worm over GB long down his RH margin.

The Silvers was won by Diddly Bonk with 17lb 8oz from peg 20. Dave caught on maggot over GB laced with caster and maggot at top-set plus three. Hs catch included Tench, Perch, Crucian’s and Skimmers.

Full Result:

  1. Andrew Cranston 87-13-0 peg 18
  2. John Clarke 85-02-0 peg 3
  3. John Osborne 63-10-0 peg 1
  4. Mike Nicholls 59-12-0 peg 10
Top Silvers:

  1. Dave Haines 17-08-0 peg 20
  2. Mike Nicholls 15-06-0 peg 10
Weigh Sheet: The neatest weigh sheet I've seen.