Friday, 20 July 2018

Thursday 19/07/2018 - Harescombe Cosy Cutter - Match Lake

Back to Harecombe with Geoff Francis and one of Andy,s Breakfast. Not sure whether it's a Cafe, a tackle shop, a bring and buy shop, Charity shop, book shop, but settled on Steptoes shed. I helped Andy out buying a book. I did enjoy the breakfast.

The talk was to be on the far side, I've not been over there for a while and it wasn't to be today, drawing instead in my usual area peg 13. As can be seen from the picture the far bank piles are collapsing, so no far bank shallows for me.

Only two rigs - a 4x12 Winter and a 4x10 Speedy. Bait tray - Micro, 6mm meat and corn. I Plumbed the Speedy rig at top-set to my left margin and the same rig at same depth at top-set plus two and a bit to the right. The left for meat and the right for corn. Started on the Winter at top-set plus two out in front with meat over meat and micro. As per usual I catch an F1 first drop in followed by a few flying Skimmers. Again as usual the swim died. After a big feed it was into the LH margin with meat after a couple of Skimmers Roach and F1's I was absolutely pestered by Gudgeon. So out again on the Winter which produced some flying Skimmers and one more F1 on the meat. Swapped to the RH with corn and after a slow start I caught F1's and the odd Skimmer steady to the end. However, The last twenty minutes was a tad frustrating due to losing a few foul hookers due to more F1's arriving. Each time the result was a rig tangled which happened three times slowing things down.

My Skimmers weighed 11 lb 1 oz and mt F1's 49 lb for fourth overall 60 lb 1 oz and last in the coin.

My Bib and Brace has suffered a slime out over the last few matches - see picture upper right. Time to throw out and buy new me thinks.

The match was won by Ian Sutton (pictured right) with 72 lb 5 oz from peg 23. Ian caught mostly in his margins using banded 6 mm pellet over lose fed hard 4's. Nice to see he caught conventionally on the pole - no Methodist.

As can be seen it was again a close match.

Geoff Francis drew peg 1 and spent most of the day on the phone to his estate agent fingers crossed he has sold his house. So a better excuse for a beer on the way back home.


1. Ian Sutton 72-05-0 peg 23
2. Brian Dix 70-07-0 peg 15
3. Phil Auger 61-03-0 peg 19
4. Mike Nicholls 60-01-0 peg 13

Weigh Sheet:

Monday, 16 July 2018

Sunday 15/07/2018 - Tony Rixon's Short Pole League - Round Two - Chiltern Trinity - Woodlands

Bela chose to have breakfast at Shipham, which was OK. Arrived at the fishery and had a look around the Lake which showed plenty signs of feeding Carp especially at the near end. At the moment I am going through a run of drawing at the far end. I was hoping this would end. Alas not, drew peg 19 again. Found myself sandwiched between Philanderer  Mike West and Lucky to be married Gordon Cannings. Both their pegs not as good as mine, but not by much. At least I should know what to do on this peg, plus I would be in the very welcome shade for most of the match.

What wind there was was blowing into this end and was to get stronger as the day progressed. For these pegs to fish for Carp the wind needs to be the other way, unusual I know but that's my experience. From my peg I could more or less see everyone - my view pictured top right.

I knew pegs 17 and 15 would be favourite to win the section so the only way to pick up coin would be the Silvers. So the Ronnie rig was set-up as was a paste rig as standby in case of unwanted intruders. So it was caster over caster for the whole match catching Ronnies and small Hybrids. Only once did the swim go quiet which was soon sorted first put in with paste and a very angry 7 lb Carp went in the net. Then back on the Silvers. It would have been the same hook all day had it not for a stealth Carp taking a single caster and breaking the hook length.

My one Carp weighed 7 lb 1 oz and my 400 odd of Silvers 28 lb 7 oz for that important Silvers win. But only just, beating Vic Bush's Skimmers catch by 1 lb 4 oz. my net of fish pictured upper right. I hope the Hybrids keep growing as the Carp have.

Mike Wst had a Carp first put in then struggled for the rest of the match. Gordon took three hours to get his first fish, adding only one more!

The match was won by Glenn "Two Pots" Bailey (pictured right with his catch and below us together) with 116 lb 9 oz from peg 31. Glenn caught at the full permitted length using Paste over soaked 4's. Glenn fed about two pints throughout the match.

Finally Bela has put a one Metre exclusion zone around his van - you have been warned!

Full Result:

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 9 July 2018

Sunday 08/07/2018 - Ivy House Open - Willow Lake

Bela still suffering from standing on hot tin roofs, so travelled with Geoff Francis. With three club bookings us regulars were put on Willow Lake which is the first half of what was the Match Lake - now rejoined. Andy has been using it as a Carp Lake so he had to convert it back to a Match Lake with the aid of some correction fluid - Pictured right. After one of Karen's breakfast Geoff and I had a walk round Willow Lake and witnessed some large Carp sunbathing.

Thirteen fishing today. Into the draw tin and out comes white ball number 29 which was one away from a corner which was occupied by Allan Oram. Geoff drew peg 26. I have fished the peg before and had a few decent Ronnies. I thought the waggler rod would be good today fished on the drop with maggot. Whilst setting up I tripped and it was a question of saving myself landing on my face or standing on the Daiwa rod - Rod now history. I borrowed one from Geoff but made a right mess of trying to set it up. When I did I didn't get to use it. Now all a fluster. I set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x14 Malman F1 - I love these float - indestructible. I started on the Ronnie rig set 3 foot deep with caster over caster and caught quick for the first hour, it then slowed so introduced some Hemp seed and started to catch some better Ronnies albeit needing a bit of a wait, again with caster hook bait. I upped the Hemp feed which was to prove a big mistake  managing to attract Carp catching and landing an 8lb Common on the Ronnie rig. After this I spent and hour trying allsorts to catch Silvers even trying CW&C which resulted in one bootlace. It was obvious the Carp were doing their best to piss me off, so I set up a paste rig for the LH margin - now clear of reeds and in the last 90 minutes caught another four Carp losing one foul hooker. The Carp appeared to love the Hemp because the more I fed the better the fishing got and at the end they were lining up, but playing it crafty by coming up along the inside and turning out at the point of feed  and re-circulating.

My Silvers weighed 15 lb 8 oz which fell 1 lb short for the Silvers win. It wasn't only the Hemp and Carp that cost me but the Ronnie escape hole for those dropped fish in the front of the platform (pictured upper right). My five Carp weighed 44 lb 8 oz for a total of 60 lb. Now if only - I didn't do this and did that earlier...

The match was won by Allan Oram (pictured right) with 96 lb 8 oz from corner peg 28. Allan caught most of his Carp fishing long shallow with banded pellet over loose fed pellet. He did have a couple down his edge but was also finding the Carp playing crafty. Hopefully Allan will be joining the Bathampton AA over 55's soon. A great bloke and a very experienced match angler.

The Silvers was won by Glynn with 16 lb 8 oz from peg 43. I'm not sure how he caught but will ask him next time I see him.

Andy Lloyd wanted me to take a picture of him drinking a cider I bought for him - cheeky bugger.

Thank goodness I took my Drennan umbrella which did a grand job keeping me ut of the sun for most of the match. It was so hot Geoff and I had to stop in the pub to get out of the sun on the way home!! 


1. Allan Oram 96-08-0 peg 28
2. Chris Timms 80-02-0 peg 41
3. Paul 72-08-0 peg 40


1. Glynn 16-08-0 peg 43
2. Mike Nicholls 15-08-0 peg 29

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 6 July 2018

Thursday 05/07/2018 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

It was Hungry Horace's for breakfast with Geoff going for the big one which I thought he couldn't eat because he tried to off-load chips onto my plate. He did and started to regret it on the way to the fishery.

I had a walk round the pool and as per usual the fish appeared to be around pegs 14, 10, 26 and 16 with hardly any fish showing down the bottom end except for a few munters swimming around on the top. So I was hoping for a peg without it beginning with a 3. Into the draw bag and counter number 31 staring at me, it's the third time I have drawn down this end the two previous times missing out on a Silvers payout by ounces. Geoff draw peg 21.

For company I had Tony Rixon on peg 30, next peg was Martin McMahon on end peg 33 and would be in the shade all day - luckily, as it was bloody hot.

I knew Tony would fish 17.5 metres over underneath the tree on the opposite island.  I would have needed 15 metres to reach the island from my peg which I don't own. In any case I wanted to fish for the Silvers. So set up the waggler which was over gunned for the short distance which made casting accurately difficult. A 4x16 Malman 4x16 F1 to fish chopped worm and caster at top-set plus four. I chose CW&C only because I had some left over and wouldn't last another week in this weather. Finally the Ronnie rig.

Whilst setting up there was a commotion on the end of the first island with a Carp being chased by something. Some thought it was a Otter, I wasn't sure and thought it might be a Mink. Later during the match another Carp attack and some anglers seen it clearer and was confident that in fact it was an Otter.

I fed some CW&C but started on the Ronnie rig with caster whilst this settled. I was disappointed that I remained bitless for 15 minutes and it wasn't until I switched to maggot that I caught some small Perch, but no Ronnies! Onto the worm where there was some bubbling. Missed first bite which was probably a liner. I then had a 1 1/2 lb Skimmer followed by more Perch. Re-fed and tried the waggler and had two Skimmers on maggot over loose fed maggot - again followed by more small Perch. The upshot was the worm line had completely died - for some reason you can't catch on the bottom at the moment with all the fish up in the water. I caught three Skimmers on the waggler, one on the Ronnie rig whilst trying boost my weight with Perch on the Ronnie rig and 3 more on the pole at thirteen metres with maggot. I did have one small F1 and lost two foul hooked Carp on the waggler.

I heard a commotion from the other side of the island and saw Harry Muir doing a very good impression of Usain Bolt chasing his top five (pictured right) being towed by a foul hooked Carp.

My one F1 weighed 1 lb 4 oz and my Silvers weighed in at 11 lb 8 oz for last pick-up in the Silvers. Welcome after a couple of near misses. Looking forward to fishing one of the pegs at the other end on the Pool sometime.

The match was as expected won by the only angler (pictured right with his half time catch) fishing who can wield 17.5 metres of pole with a hill behind him with 77 lb 14 oz from peg 30. Tony caught on...see his blog for details.

The Silvers was won by Steve Dawson (pictured right with the match winner) with 24 lb 12 oz from peg 26. Steve caught all his Skimmers during the second half fishing at 5 metres shallow at 3 foot using maggot over loose fed maggot. An excellent weight considering the conditions.

Back to the pub with Geoff where a cold pint was never so welcome.


1. Tony Rixon 77-14-0 peg 30
2. Paul Haines 59-08-0 peg 15
3. Dave Wride 48-02-0 peg 24
4. Martin McMahon 47-14-0 peg 33


1. Steve Dawson 24-12-0 peg 26
2. Paul Barnfield 15-13-0 peg 11
3. Mike Nicholls 11-08-0 peg 31

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 2 July 2018

Thursday 01/07/2018 - Tony Rixon's Float Only - Todber Manor - Hillview and Homeground

The third round of the float only saw a change of venue this year from Landsend to Todber Manor, which was a popular move; with 15 pegs on Homeground and 30 pegs on Hillview. I was hoping to be on Homeground as it has more catchable Silvers. However, first stop the EG Diner (was Little Chef). Bela obviously enjoyed his "Mighty" breakfast.

It was possible we could have some lightning and heavy downpours. I must admit the skies looked a bit troubled but with some wind blowing it did feel comfortable even though very muggy.

Into the draw box and out comes peg 42 on Hillview - one from where I was in the short pole, so not that enthused. I did win the Silvers from peg 41 but Homeground wasn't in. However, that wouldn't stop me having a looksee.

For company I had Chris Ship on corner peg 43 and Jack "The Cat" Billet on peg 41. I set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x10 Malman Yoof for the very very shallow margin finding 18 inches 1 metre from the bank, a 4x14 Malman Winter Titan to fish at top-set plus three - the long line, a 0.3 gram paste float, finally a 9 inch waggler - which wasn't used but fed the waggler line some maggot anyway.

I fed the long line with some corn and micro, but started on the Ronnie rig. It took a while to catch a Ronnie. In the meantime everyone I could see were catching Carp regularly. The upshot was after 45 minutes the Ronnie rig was abandoned as I was being pestered by small Perch. So out on the long line with single kernel of corn hoping for some of the better Bream, but had a few small Carp. I then potted some casters in the LH downwind edge and tried the caster a couple of small Tench and and a multitude of tiny Perch followed. Jack Billet had caught a 11 lb Catfish which count as Silvers at the venue ("Jack the Cat" pictured right with his pussy). The writing was on the wall not going to beat Homeground on the Silvers. So paste it would be for the remainder of the match. I had plumbed up on the top-set straight in front in about 3 foot of water. I started by feeding hard 4's. It started slow but once the wind changed direction slightly blowing straight at me I started to catch well and better fish than the stamp. Once the wind dropped things slowed and the bites became iffy, I think the fish came up in the water. It wasn't until I decided to put 1 pint of casters in on the paste line that things hotted up again catching Carp to 6lb. I have to confess I did have some accidental Skimmers and Tench, with three decent Bream flying off the hook due to having upped the elastic to keep pace in the fish race. I fed one tin of corn, 1 pint of casters and 1/2 pint of 4's.

My Silvers weighed in at 14 lb 4 oz and my Carp 135 lb 14 oz for a section win and a sixth over placing. Now if I hadn't bothered with the Silvers then .....that's now history. Unfortunately I have to miss the next two matches so that's my league over with - good luck to my subs.

The match was won by Craig Edmonds (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 179 lb 11 oz from corner peg 81 on Homeground. Craig caught on pellet at either 13 metres, 5 metres and later from his margin.

"Some say he has won the lottery without buying a ticket, and that he can win a marathon … while walking". All I know it's The Trig again.

The Silvers was won by Steve Nadin with 41 lb 12 oz from end peg 90 on Homeground. Steve caught three of the big Bream with most of his weight made up of 12 oz to 1 lb Skimmers. He fished meat over meat and GB combo. The question hanging - were the accidentals?

With a late finish and with only two sets of scales and with about 4,000 of Carp to weigh in I didn't get home until 21:00!! Need to rethink scales and starting time for this venue.

Finally who wears trainers like these?

1. Craig Edmonds 179-11-0 peg 81 HG
2. Steve Nadin 172-04-0 peg 90 HG
3. Ryan Ship 162-14-0 peg 53 HV
4. Dan White 162-07-0 peg 82 HG
5. Gary O'Shea 156-09-0 peg 54 HV
6. Mike Nicholls 150-12-0 peg 42 HV


1. Steve Nadin 41-12-0 peg 90 HV
2. Nick Brown 24-08-0 peg 84 HV
3. Lee Williams 20-10-0 peg 79 HV

Weigh Sheets:

Friday, 29 June 2018

Thursday 28/06/2018 - Shiplate Fishery - Cost Cutter - Hawthorne and Westpool Canals

The match today was moved from the usual Main Lake to the outer Canals - Hawthornes and Westpool. Mark Jones was there again providing breakfast. Most places I go I usually have a small or medium breakfast, however, Mark's breakfast are so tasty I have the large, which is far too much for me really. I must instill some discipline and have the small next time.

We are currently in a heat wave with temperature reaching 30 degrees, so it was nice to have a fresh cooling wind blowing from the East. After paying my pools in the gamekeeper's Lodge to Goldie Locks it was time to have a dip in the draw bucket and out comes Hawthornes peg 1. Hawthorne's isn't noted for it's Silvers catches, however, I am sure there are plenty in there but due to the high population of Carp the Silver fishing gets disrupted; plus peg one is a noted Carp peg. None of this would stop me trying to catch a few Silvers though.

For company I had affable Julian Pinkett on peg 2. The pools payout was split into two matches top two overall and Silvers from each Canal. There was plenty of Willow stuff on the Canal, luckily the wind was such that my end was clear. Half suspecting that Carp might be the quarry today I chose to fish the Drennan margin pole - what an excellent piece of kit this is and can handle hollows up to 25. I feel confident to put my full strength through this pole. First rig was a 0.3 Stu Barnett paste float for both margins. The Left side was such I had to go long at top-set plus two. The right side was comfortable on just the top-set. I also set up a 4x12 Roob Steel wor banded pellet again for each margin. Finally a 4x14 Winter for the Silvers to fish at top-set plus three.

I started by potting a few hard four's down the Left side margin and loose fed a few in the right side. A few wetted micro went in over the Silvers line and with 4 mm sonubaits expander on the hook I went over where the water was not just fizzing but foaming! I was expecting to foul hook a Carp any second but instead caught a Ronnie followed by three more, a Skimmer, two Tench and a Crucian!! Activity died so refed again expecting a foul hooker, alas not I waited, the peg seemed to have died even though it was frothing -Eels? I noticed the Carp down the Left were waving the reeds in a come and get me way. So I had to give it a try so on went the paste and first try the float sailed away and my first small Carp entered the net. During the first hour I netted 19 Carp. I had been feeding hard fours with the paste through the kinder pot after each Carp which was probably too regular feeding - little and often thingy. Anyway the Carp moved up in the water intercepting the falling freebies. The Carp were coming in behind the float and dragging the paste down the steep shelf which at the best of times was hard to hold on. Not many foulers about 6 in all. So tried the banded pellet which didn't do it. The Carp appeared to be snacking rather than feeding I think. I changed to big potting and leaving whilst I picked the odd Carp off from the right side again with paste over loose fed 4's. But after two fish they would also become difficult to nail. So by switching between the two margins I did keep the fish coming but didn't feel as I got the feeding right. So in the last 20 minutes decided to put a big pot of DR's in the right side in an attempt to put and keep the Carp down. During this time I hard two proper paste bites from two proper Carp. I wish I tried this earlier!

My few Silvers which I was expecting to be about 5 lb only weighed 3 lb 6 oz. My 40 odd Carp weighed in at 125 lb 8 oz for a Canal winning weight of 128 lb 14 oz. this was also good enough for second overall.

The match was won by Gary Flinders (pictured right with some of his catch) on Westpool peg 10 with 154 lb 14 oz. Gary initially caught long over on the pole but found he had foul hooking problems so switched to the methodist catching small carp regularly on banded hair rigged pellet with Micro clamped to his feeder. gary also picked up an additional £100 for beating he Pool record. Well done matey.

The Silvers was won by Mike Jones (pictured right with the match winner and Mark Jones's kitchen) with 19 lb 4 oz of Roach from Westpool peg 5. Mike caught on his favourite whip using caster/maggot. Mike explained how he ended up playing two Carp at the same time. Apparently he hooked a Carp which, not uncommonly, broke his elastic. Mike later hooked another Carp which tangled around the rig of the lost Carp, so two Caro in one go. try that with Silvers!!

Geoff and me decided it was cool enough for an Indian so stopped at Frenchay to find the Restaurant closed and more akin to a building site. Quick drive to the Tamarind in Downend where we had a great meal in an air conditioned environment, plus a few Kingfishers to round off the day. I got back in time to see the last knockings of the England Game which appeared to Fortuitus, couldn't have sat through 90 minutes of this. Another great day in retirement.


1. Gary Flinders 154-14-0 peg 10 WP
2. Mike Nicholls 128-08-0 peg 1 HT
3. Tony Rixon 122-0-0 peg 6 HT


1. Mike Jones 19-04-0 peg 5 WP
2. Dave Wride 18-14-0 peg 3 WP

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 25 June 2018

Sunday 24/06/2018 - Ivy House Open - Kingfisher and Moorhen Canals

Bela had planned to come but due to the pressures of work couldn't make it so travelled with Geoff Francis. After one of Karen's breakfast I had a walk round, what a beautiful day for fishing. Seen Baggy's fishing kit in the car park (pictured right) what a tackle tart. Seriously, just goes to show what you can achieve with a Drennan margin pole and some very experienced tackle.

First into the draw tub and outcomes mini white ball 41 on Kingfisher Canal. Very happy with this one as it's a noted Silvers peg. For company I had Ricky Mills - Spiderman Scaffolder on peg 39 and Roofer Mick on peg 43. From previous experience fishing this peg I have done best using live maggot rather than the caster, which is usually my first choice of bait. Shame as Matt Challenger (Scotts Tackle) had provided some excellent casters - typical. Set up a 4x14 at top-set plus three to fish corn over corn/micro mix and the Ronnie rig for the maggot shallow. Using live maggot is essential when loose feeding accurately because they are dry and don't stick in the hand unlike DR's. The corn line was only to produced one F1 and two small Carp so was abandoned to the shade. Starting on the Ronnie rig with maggot I had a Skimmer first put in. Then disaster struck. I lost a Tench due to the newly tied hook pulling out of my poor knot. Thought this was a one off, alas not I lost a further two Skimmers before I took the situation serious and checked the line had been pulled tight before pushing down to the spade. Calm resumed and I started to put fish in the net. It was a question of catch a couple of Skimmers then work hard to entice a couple more. I'm not sure I got the feeding right. I thought I had done enough to win the Canal Silvers so thought I would chase the double bubble by setting up a margin paste rig. Feeding micro with the paste through the kinder cup I was getting plenty of indications and had to keep shallowing up because the sneaky Carp were coming from behind the float. I managed two Carp and was to wish I started it earlier as the Carp were there in abundance come the all out.

My Silvers weighed 31 lb 10 oz for the Canal Silvers win adding my few Carp took it to 43 lb 12 oz. I needed 49 lb for the double bubble. However, Stu White on Moorhen did a double bubble. Well done matey.

The match was won by Ricky Mills (pictured right with his catch) with 61 lb from peg 39. Ricky struggled for the first half on the match until he switched to his margins with either corn over corn or corn over a wetted mix of micro and 4's. Ricky caught particularly well late on. Ricky also noticed that the Carp were doing the "back sneak".

Finally we were treated to a flying display by five Red Kites. Beautiful to watch.


1. Ricky Mills 61-0-0 peg 39 K
2. Paul Baker 55-12-0 peg 49 K
3. Stu White 49-02-0 peg 46 M


1. Stu White 43-14-0 peg 46 M
2. Baggy 35-0-0 peg 31 M
3. Mike Nicholls 31-10-0 peg 41 K

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 22 June 2018

Thursday 21/06/2018 - Harescombe Fishery - Cost Cutter - Match Lake

Geoff and me decided to on a return to Harescombe. The fishery is exposed to the wind from West round to North, so with a strong cold North Westerly blowing is was going to be difficult except the two pegs on the green bank.

After one of Andy's breakfast I had a walk down to the Lake to view the recent excavations. A gully has been dug to reconnect pegs 25 to 29. I'm not sure why, unless it was an aborted attempt to re-establish the Lake - pictured right.

Just about the right number fishing with 15 booked in. Into the draw bag and out comes brass counter 7. Over the time I have found the fishery about as fair as it gets and is really only affected by the weather conditions. So no emotion. Geoff had drawn peg 3 so no long walks. The wind was hacking straight down the Lake which ruled out fishing long. I was thinking that the Methodist would do well today.

With the F1's getting bigger I thought I would take some paste to give it a try. So I set up a paste rig to fish top-set out in front which was just down the inside shelf. The usual rigs of a 4x10 Speedy for the down wind margin for meat and pellet and a 4x12 F1 Winter for top-set plus three which was as far a I was prepared to fish in the wind to fish again meat and pellet.

I started by putting in a full cup of wetted micro on the paste line I  slipped a lump of paste on the hook and was getting indications straight away. I caught a few Skimmers all of them practicing their flying skills. I had one large F1 before I started to get liners which kept me preoccupied whilst putting very little in the net. The penny dropped, the fish, especially the F1's had come in the water feeding on pieces of paste falling off on the way down. knowing there was plenty of interest in the paste I decided to make up a paste rig for the upwind margin. I had a few Skimmers and a couple of F1's and was just  thinking I had it cracked when once again the fish were only interested in feeding on the paste jetsam. Having now wasted nearly two hours and noticing that the Methodist were all catching I switched to the meat on the long line and had a run of Skimmers and F1's. I couldn't get the feeding sorted though because after topping up it took and age for the fish to respond. So switched to the down wind margin and had a few F1's. So by switching between the two lines kept a few Skimmers and F1's coming. I was expecting the margin to switch on in the last hour but it didn't. I think the F1's were happy sat against the far bank boards in the wind.

My Skimmers and one Barbel weighed in at 16 lb and my F1's 37 lb 12oz for a sixth overall of 53 lb 12 oz. I felt I needed to try the paste even though it probably cost me a place or three.

Geoff had a great day and must have been in the Barrel peg catching eight (catch pictured right).

The match was won by Roy Liddell (pictured right) with 99 lb 7 oz from peg 21. Roy changed from Prodestant to Methodist for the day catching on the method over to the boards. Roy caught steady all match. 


1. Roy Liddell 99-07-0 peg 21
2. Brian Dix 89-11-0 peg 19
3. Tim Hadland 70-03-0 peg 25

All the above caught on the method. The fish seem to be fairly well distributed with most anglers getting plenty of bites. Bloody wind though.

I do like the 5 hour match very little fatigue afterwards and back in plenty of time for a pint. 

Weigh Sheet:

Monday, 18 June 2018

Sunday 17/06/2018 - Ivy House Open - Moorhen and Kingfisher Canals

Back with Bela and his jealousy van. Must say it’s so easy to get the kit in especially now I have an allocated area! We have both booked in for the Todber Autumn pairs again this year - shame they are on Saturdays; at least no clashes.

We promised a quick return to Ivy House so this was the next available date. Apparently Bela entered a one man raffle and won a Drennan rod and stink bag. Vince Shipp was miffed he wasn’t asked to enter.

One of Karen’s breakfasts then into the draw tin and out come peg ball 31. One peg away from where I was last match and I thought then it looked a better peg because it’s the narrowest on the Canal and would create some wind driven flow especially as the wind was hitting the peg hard today. This was to become a bit of a nuisance though.

Vince Shipp told me Ryan had won the Silvers from the peg the previous day. Apparently feeding 7 pints of casters!! Well my one pint would surely be ample with some left over for the next match? For company I had Baggy who was to fish paste all day. He was telling me about some guy in Bristol that spends lots of time mixing his paste with special ingredients – wonder who he’s referring to?

Bait table consisted of a small tin of corn, 1 pint casters and half pint of wetted micro. I could easily reach the far bank with 11.5 metres so thought I would set up a 4x12 Roob set to 3 foot with 0.16 straight through. The Ronnie rig for caster over caster and a 4x14 winter to fish top-set plus two with corn over corn and micro; simple.

I started on the Ronnie rig and found it a slow start, but the Ronnie’s arrived for a while catching them to 12 oz – lovely; some Skimmers and Hybrids; until the bloody nuisance 2 oz Carp arrived. Time to leave alone and start on the corn and micro line I did have some big Bream on this, losing 2 huge flyers, not sure one was even hooked though. I overdid it with the micro as fizzing started with fishing slowing. Shall I go over to the far bank – bugger nooo. Laziness came in to play and I used the Roob down my margin with double caster over kindered caster hoping to avoid the small Carp. First try I hooked a big Skimmer and bumped it due to the heavy elastic. Bugger it let's do it properly so a lighter top-set and a 4x12 winter was soon having a 5 lb Bream flying off the hook. Things then settled and I had a lovely run of Skimmers, Tench, Roach and Perch, until the bigger Carp showed up. The first Carp I bullied too much and pulled the hook. The next two were landed. That was it three in a row – amazing. I stupidly up the caster and brought back the tiny Carp. So back out on the corn, I think I fished this line too far out and may have been better fished just on the top-set just down the near shelf. The wind wasn’t helping the presentation either. That’s how the match progressed; switching between the two lines to keep away from the Widgers.

My Silvers weighed 43 lb for a first and my Carp 16 lb 14 oz for a second overall total of 59 lb 14oz.  Double bubble and I came away with ¼ pint of casters!! I did feed most of the micro to the Widgers at the end. Some of my Skimmers pictured upper right with me dressed for winter.

The match was won by Vince Shipp (pictured right) from near end peg 34 with 65 lb 14 oz. Vince caught on pellet either shallow long towards the corner or down his RH edge to the end pallet.

I think Andy has got the fish balance about right (except for the Widgers) because more often than not you need the Slivers back up to frame either of the Canals.

 Another great day out.


  1. Vince Shipp 65-14-0 peg 34
  2. Mike Nicholls 59-14-0 peg 31
  3. Mick Gale 47-10-0 peg 43

  1. Mike Nicholls 43-0-0 peg 31
  2. Mick Gale 40-08-0 peg 43
Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 15 June 2018

Saturday 09/06/2018 - Thursday 14/06/2018 - Viaduct Lodge Week

The week I have all been waiting for all through this long miserable winter; my week at Viaduct with good friends Geoff Francis, Glenn Bailey, Gordon Cannings, Martyn Woodington and Mark "Podge" Jefferies (pictured right enjoying what enjoys the most) who stood in for Tim Ford.  I have known most of these lads when they were Juniors. We arranged for three matches at Viaduct, one at Landsend - Tony's Float only, one at Avalon.

Saturday 09/06/2018 - Silverfox 13 metre only open - Viaduct - Campbell:

As most know I'm a supporter of match fishing being limited to 13 metres only for pole fishing as per CIPS rules. Most competitive sports use the same apparatus whether it be a Javelin, Shot, hammer, etc.. Fishing isn't about strength but about skills in presentation, feeding and water craft and the smaller anglers shouldn't be penalised because they can't swing or afford sometimes upto 19 metres of pole.

I've not been to Viaduct since the Silvers league back in the winter, so set myself the three matches here to qualify for the all winners final.

The match was a sell out plus a reserve list. The fishery has been out of sorts due to the time of year and weather conditions. Luckily most of the Willows have shed their shucks and willow herb, some still lingering in peg 132. Into the draw tin and out comes peg 129. Happy with this; so I thought, because earlier in the spring there were some decent weights of Silvers. The plan was to fish for the Silvers out in front with Sonubaits expander and up to the spit with corn for hopefully some Tench and bigger Skimmers. Two rigs a 4x12 Winter and a 4x12 Roob. The upshot was first put in with the 4mm expander fished over hard 4's I hooked a Carp. I did expect the expander to get ragged by the Ronnies, but they weren't feeding (oxygen levels?). This allowed me to catch a few Skimmers but it was very slow. So I switched to the spit with corn over corn and had two more Carp before adding a couple more Skimmers and a Tench.

My three Carp weighed 12 lb 13 oz and my Silvers 14 lb which put me a disappointing fourth in the Silvers.

The match was won by Podge (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 151 lb 5 oz from end bank peg 121. Mark "Three Pots" Jefferies caught on Two Pots paste fishing at 13 metres out in front all match. Podge had previously qualified for the all winners.

The Silvers was won by Glenn "Two Post" Bailey with 25 lb 11 oz of Accidental Skimmers from peg 123. This qualifies Glenn for the all winners Silvers. However, he was miffed watching Podge win the match on his paste - Teacher and student thing.

Top Three:

1. Mark Jefferies 151 -05-0 peg 121
2. Martin Rayet 112 09-0 peg 116
3. Gordon Cannings 109-03-0 peg 119


1. Glenn Bailey 25-11-0 peg 123
2. John Fuidge 16-03-0 peg 118

Weigh Sheet:

Sunday 10/06/2018 - Tony Rixon's Float Only - Landsend Fishery:

Travelled up from Viaduct with Gordon Cannings who is still doing enforced community service after is spat with the wife. Tony is correct when he's says it's one of the better home cooked breakfast. Met up with Bela who was worse for wear after a long day and night out with Stella!

I had a walk down to the Match Lake and noticed the water was about one foot down and how dense the foliage was due to nature doing its thing this time of year.

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 3. Everyone offered the advise to fish for Silvers including my next door neighbour Tony Rixon who was on peg 1; who decided to do some gardening, which from what I witnessed wasn't done well enough (pictured right). To be fair peg 3 does have a long history of Silvers wins similarly opposite peg 21. So that was my target set. The Ronnie rig for caster over caster and a 4x12 Winter for 4mm expander over micro. From the very first put in I was pestered by Ronnies which is the best way to catch fresh air and practice speed pole retrieval it isn't the way to catch Ronnies. I did hook a decent Bream which came off. After sharing some frustration with Tony I switched to the Ronnie rig with the caster and really expected to catch them well from the way they were eager to take the expanders. Amazingly I had just two small ones, so slipped on and expander over loose fed micro and started to catch them! I also had three decent Bream on this method. After long spells of boredom I switch to fishing down to peg 2 with paste with the hope of catching some more Bream which do like the margins here. The upshot was I caught just the seven Carp, most foul hooked, something Tony was having trouble with.

My Silvers of just 9 lb 2 oz was the highest weight on Match Lake and Sidney's but was beaten by Mike West again with Accidentals!

The match was won by Craig Edmonds (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 32 with 249 lb 6 oz. Trig caught both shallow out in front and later down his edge using hard pellet.

"Some say the he disinvented hot ice cream and that's why we can now only buy cold. All I know it's The Trig again"

Th Silver was won by Mike West with 11 lb 6 oz from Specimen peg 36. Mike caught Accidental Skimmers on paste. A pattern forming with Silvers an paste!

Top Three:

1. Craig Edmonds 249-06-0 peg 32
2. Shaun Townend 187-01-0 peg 7
3. Dan White 131-03-0 peg 25


1. Mike West 11-06-0 peg 36
2. Craig Edmonds 11-04-0 peg 32

Weigh Sheets:

Monday 11/06/208 - Viaduct Residents Match - Lodge Lake:

This is basically a cost cutter knock up between two Lodges with our friends from Birmingham - nice bunch of lads. So eight of us fishing. I drew peg 70 and decided to have a relaxing day catching Skimmers on corn which didn't fully materialise catching for a very short period at the start small  Skimmers! During the last hour I went down to the empty platform peg 71 with paste and caught three Carp.

My Silvers weighed a mere 11 lb 14 oz and the three Carp 16 lb 05 oz. No paste Silver accidentals for me. It was bloody hot and would have loved to sit in the shade all day on peg 59.

The match and the Silver was won by Martyn Woodington (pictured right with his Skimmer catch) with 25 lb 2 oz of yet more Accidental Silvers caught on the paste and his Carp catch taking him to 66 lb 7 oz from peg 62.

Geoff Francis (pictured right with his Silvers net of Skimmers) was second Silvers with 20 lb 7 oz from peg 59.

Tuesday 12/06/2018 - Avalon Open - Float Only:

Previous years we have travelled to Acorn which for most of us it was the same distance as travelling home! So a change this year to Avalon which is very well managed by Vic Bush. I love the place which is very popular with Clubs leaving very few dates for open matches.

It was a shame we only had ten fishing however Vic closed one side of the match Lake for us which gave us plenty of room.

In to the draw bag and out comes counter 46, so short walk. My neighbour for the day was the Bath expat Rich Coles, never short of a laugh with Rich about we have similar sense of humour we go back too many years to remember.

I decided to fish the Ronnie rig and have a paste rig set up as back up for the enticing LH margin. The depth is about 7 foot which starts from under the top-set finding a level playing field all across. The margins are also deep at a good 3-4 foot, shelving quickly. So I started on the Ronnie rig with caster and caught well for about 20 minutes when I hooked a Carp followed by two more with one trashing the Rig in a sunken tree stump. A new rig setup I managed to retrieve the lost one and carried on catching a menagerie of fish species. Including the beautiful Golden Tench - pictured right. Once things slowed and with a couple of hours remaining I fished the margin with paste catching the odd hard fighting Carp in the margin on paste adding an accidental Tench and one 4 lb Bream I did lose five Carp to the snag.

I caught 12 species of fish with my Silvers weighed 14 lb and a default Silvers pick up at last! My Carp taking my weight to 78 lb - I think - because the weigh sheet was lost before I could photograph it, so the following weights are my  best estimate.

The match was won by lenn Bailey (pictured right with some of his catch) with 168 lb from peg 42. Runner up was Martyn Woodington with 129 lb from peg 24.

The Silvers was won by Dave Willmott with 19 lb of Whitebait from peg 28. Dave caught on caster. 

Every comment about this venue was very positive - we will be back for sure. Thanks Vic for accommodating us.

Mark Tanner joined us this evening for a few days and as usual spends most of the night as shown right! Never spills a drop.

Wednesday 13/06/2018 - Silverfox Short Pole Match - Viaduct - Campbell Lake:

This Match is very popular but with it being a working day we finished with 18 booked in. The match is limited to the top-set plus three sections of pole with the rest of the pole in the holdall as there is no shipping on. Rig line length limited to the length of the top-set. So ideal for our little used margin poles.

Into the draw tin and peg 118 was looking at me. my second chance to qualify for the Silvers. I have caught Skimmers short on this peg in the past. So with the Ronnies not anticipated to feed I choose expander over hard 4's at full length of pole out in front and I did make up a paste rig for around the corner to my Left into Bramble Bay. It started OK but only for  short while. The tow was very strong from left to right against what was only a moderate breeze, making presentation awful. So changed from a 4x12 to a 4x14 which did help some but wasn't the answer There just wasn't enough feeding Silvers in the peg. I went down the edge with paste and had the one off Tench and a couple of Carp until I got Brambled. I tried the Ronnie rig with maggot and could only get bites from Motherless Minnows and Roach fry. Decided to try the expander again on a new line but this time feeding a pinch of micro. I could believe the hook bait got to the bottom without being ragged. I then had six Carp in six put-ins, the Silvers definitely out of sorts.

My Silver's weighed 9 lb 6 oz and my few Carp 60 lb.

The match was won by Martin Rayet (pictured upper right with some of his catch) with 205 lb 14 oz from peg 116. Martin caught initially on pellet shallow slapping and later having piled in an extraordinary load of pellet in to his RH margin continued to catch on either 8 mm meat of 8 mm hard pellet.  

The Silvers was won by Phil Harding (pictured right with his Skimmer catch) with 20 lb 1 oz from peg 111.

What was interesting today was that the short pole fished better than the 13 metre match. I think there is a lot to be said in limiting options particularly having a limited choice of baits on the bait tray, make what you have work.

We did get a surprise visit from Tim  Ford, joining us for the Thursday Curry night (pictured right).

Top Three:

1. Martin Rayet 205-04-0 peg 116
2. Glenn Bailey 155-13-0 peg 115
3. Matt Williams 127-0-0 peg 119


1. Phil Hardwick 20-01-0 peg 111
2. Geoff Francis 14-06-0 peg 112

Weigh Sheet:

Thursday 14/06/2018 - Viaduct Cost Cutter - Campbell and Carey Lakes:

As usual a good turn out with 33 booked in. Nige Easton was fishing and as he has done well recently with the Silvers we had a chat. Apparently Nigel has been catching on hair-rigged 4m pellet fished over "pinged" hard 4's.

So my last chance of the holiday to qualify to achieve this I needed to draw Carey Lake. So I was disappointed to find myself having a return trip to peg 129. For company on peg 130 was Podge so someone to chat with.

I fished a 4x12 winter with hair rigged 4mm hard pellet at 10 metres fished over pinged same. Same pattern as previous catching a few Skimmers before it was to die and not ressusable. In the last hour went over to the Spit with a 4x12 Roob with 6 mm Banded pellet fished over same. I knew I would catch Carp there because there's lots of cover with this side of the spit being in the shade for most of the day. I started by foul hooking, which was remedied by fishing off bottom on the drop. This worked well catching 12 quick Carp.

My few Silvers once again weighed a lowly 11 lb 12 oz and my Carp weighed in at 60 lb 8 oz for a overall of 73 lb 4 oz. I'm sure if I fished for Carp all day I would have easily won the Lake, but not the match.

The match was won by Adrian "I might as well go home" Jeffery (pictured right with the joint Silvers winner) with 153 lb 12 oz from Carey peg 94. Adrian caught on the Arlesey Bomb using either Wafters or red pellet hook baits fished over loose fed hard 8's. Adrian fed about 3 pints.

The Silvers was joint with 27 lb 13 oz caught by Wally and Martin Tizard. Wally drew peg Carey peg 81 and fished meat down his edge managing to only catch 2 Carp! Martin caught on corn over corn at 11.5 metres from peg 88.

Top Three:

1. Adrian Jeffery 153-12-0 peg 94
2. Mark Tanner 96-03-0 peg 90
3. Steve Jackson 90-01-0 peg 110


1. Wally 27-13-0 peg 81
1. Martin Tizard 27-13-0 peg 88
3. Martyn Woodington 22-03-0 peg 85

Weigh Sheets:

It was another great week at Viaduct with their Lodges as good a condition as they were when first built. Great company with like minded people. I was pleased everyone had a pick up. We had breakfast every morning at M&M's cafe in the Somerton precinct. Mandy opened early for us having the food ready on our arrival. If you want breakfast early just call her and she will be happy to have it on the table waiting. Evening meals weer OK but felt the Unicorn has lost its way with poor service and food not that special. The curry was average with not enough spices for my liking. We all agreed the best pub/food was the Globe.

We have booked two lodges for 2018 and matches as per this year. A big thanks to Steve, matt and Helen Long for looking after us. Can't wait.

My only regret was sticking to the silver fish plan, instead should had more focu on the resident Carp. It will be difficult to qualify at present and will now probably leave it to Autumn.