Another fishing year has quickly passed which has been successful for me on many fronts. The weather has been particularly kind with only two soakings all year and last years ice covering a distant memory. The fishing has also been extremely good on all the sixteen fisheries I have fished. Five of them left long lasting memories.
There are two Ronnie venues I must mention; the first is
. Leyton Palmer ran a few “open” matches early in the New Year which I thoroughly enjoyed winning the Silvers a few times with 30lb Ronnie’s. The other venue is Plantation where Carps AC ran a Wednesday League, similarly catching 20 to 30lb of Ronnie’s with a few Skimmers every match, narrowly winning the highly competitive Silvers division on weight. On each venue I used my Ronnie rig with caster over caster. I believe I have developed a way feeding and presenting my caster in a unique way for my beloved Ronnie’s (which I have been keeping close to my chest until the book). However, it has its draw backs. This year being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis (wearing out of the joints) in my neck, foot and wrists (at least I have developed it in pursuit of pleasure)!! Boyd Valley Lake
After the bashing my joints got during the first quarter of the year I decided to rest the smaller fish and go for the bigger variety, Skimmers and Carp. There were two venues that I was able to put some big weights together of both these. The first was Viaduct which during the two mid quarters of the year fished its head off with 100lb weights often not making the coin. Steve and Paul manage this fishery extremely well, without over management or any tinkering. I had my highest Silvers weight on this venue from peg 116 (Steve Long on peg 118 thought he had me beat for the Silvers thinking I landing all Carp). In addition I had a good few 100lb Carp weights. The other venue I caught a few Carp on was the
, in five matches I managed to weigh in 710lb – satisfying but boring! BAA Huntstrete Lakes
The fifth venue I must mention is Stafford Moor. I fished the October festival and discovered a wonderful Lake – Josephs, or as we named it
This year saw Andy Power win the “Maver Match This” picking up £50,000. So it was “well done you”. This got me thinking back to the 1972 and 1973 seasons when a certain Mike Jones picked up over £3,000 in each of these years it didn’t end there). Transposing this in to today values, a 3 bedroom house cost £4,000 back then so by my reckoning it equates to £150,000 per year!! Where did it all go Mike surely not all on perms, hair colouring and facials to keep your Peter Pan looks.
I have fished 112 matches this year and thinking about it in terms of equating to almost three months of the year being away from the Special One left me with a bit of guilt. As it did when I took the family out to the Cross Guns at Avon Cliff where we walked the
When I retired five years ago I also gave up serious team fishing. I choose the word serious carefully because I do fish with Charlie’s Angels in the SW Teams of Four and this year Steve Long cobbled together a scratch team for his teams of Five Viaduct Winter League. I think we amazed everyone (including us) coming runners up to Somerset Angling. I didn’t contribute much to this success. It was mostly down to Captain Tom Mangnall with his golden drawing arm (I suspect Tony Rixon will now use Tom to draw for him at his shop matches). Tom did come second overall individual which helped a lot. We have entered the same team again this year. We will see how much of a fluke it all was – as long as we beat Avon Anglings team nothing else matters.
Tom was to later in the year break the Viaduct overall match record from peg 94 (the peg I blanked on in the winter league) with 319lb 5oz with just 25 fish. He was piped for the top weight in the South West by Anton Page’s match record at Landsend Fishery with 342lb 8oz comprising 45 fish from peg 31. Nice to see these youngsters (relatively speaking) doing so well. Both anglers have certainly gained my respect for their match fishing this year.
In this years statistics table I have included some financials. I don’t think the cost of £9/day (cost of less than 3 pints of lager in my local pub – there are plenty that drink this amount a day) will not surprise many match anglers. By publishing this I hope I haven’t broken a taboo as we do like to hide some of these facts from our Special Ones, limiting our discussions to the days we win! Still on financials I hear a lot about how popular the cost cutter matches are becoming, particularly at Viaduct. Although I see a need for these matches for the over 55’s (pensioners) we have to be careful that travelling anglers can still cover their costs from winnings. For example I reckon I need to win an average of £30 a match to break even.
The following table contains some, but not all the statistics of my match fishing for 2011:
|Total Number of Matches Fished||112||109||99|
|Total Number of Anglers fished the Matches||3,463||2,551||2,701|
|Average Number of Anglers per Match||31||23||27|
|Number of Different Fisheries Fished||16||22||19|
|Total Carp Weight||3,377lb 11oz||3,246lb 2oz||2,470lb 15oz|
|Total Silvers Weight||1,943lb||1,506lb 7oz||1,1601lb 3oz|
|Overall Weight||5320lb 11oz||4,752lb 9oz||3,632lb 2oz|
|Highest Overall Weight||193lb 12oz||201lb 10oz||210lb 14oz|
|Highest Silvers Weight||54lb||44lb 10oz||44lb 7oz|
|Heaviest Carp||19lb 12oz||18lb 10oz||18lb 14oz|
|Average Weight per Match||47lb 8oz||43lb 9oz||36lb 11oz|
|Number of Times in top 6 Overall||58||54||43|
|Number of Times in top 3 Silvers||42||40||45|
|Number of Times won Both||4||6||6|
|Number of Pick-ups||68||67||59|
|Capital Expenditure (spread over 3 years £500/3))||£167|
|Total Cost 2011||£3,349|