Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Review of 2017

With sixteen matches where I was OOO (One Out Of) picking up I thought it was going to be an indifferent year. However, it proved to be another typical year, had I managed to convert these OOO’s it would have been an exceptional year, missing out a few times by ounces. One I won’t forget is losing out to Dave Wride at Shiplate Farm by one ounce my 30lb 9oz of Roach to Dave’s 30lb 10oz of Skimmers on adjacent pegs. I did get revenge. No blanks or DNW’s this year.

I look to get about 100 matches in per year and managed that with 101. The number of anglers match fishing in my circuit has once again remained stable. It was comforting to read a report by the Environment Agency that the sell of Junior fishing licences has increased by 25% this year. Let’s hope they all haven’t had their competitive instincts taken from them at school by the “Do Gooders”

This year matches have been seriously affected by high winds. My best Silvers weight of 57lb 13oz would have been greater had the wind been less. It’s hard work presenting the Ronnie rig in gale force winds. Needless to say that my highest weight of 150lb at Windmill was also wind affected, this was on my first match on the Carp Lake, my cath made up of 1lb 8oz small Carp. This is currently the Lake record.

My average weight per match has reduced directly due to me fishing more for Silvers this year, which I will continue with next year

Started off the year fishing Ivy House the attraction being the refurbished and restocked “Old Canal” renamed Kingfisher, a venue that would suit both me and Bela. I could do my short pole thing with soft pellet/maggot catching the small stock Carp and Silvers and Bela could fish long with pellet catching the bigger Carp. One thing I soon realised was that you had to fish out the small Carp before the big Skimmers would put in an appearance, making the Silvers a late in the match affair unless your peg didn’t have too many of these tiny Carp. The van had a few double bubbles, and of course the one Sunday the van broke down resulted in a very uncomfortable ride back in the tow truck, both Bela and I had bad backs for days.

Chris Rolfe ran the Bathampton AA/Veals Thursday Silvers individual league at Hunstrete on Bridge pool, which was a very strong league of 24 which included two England Internationals proving to be a very tight league. I finished the league second overall with a little more luck on the last match I might have won it. That said I was very happy with all my draws. I drew peg 19 which I thought was going to be very hard but proved to produce the best weight of the league. Unfortunately due to the silvers fishing being so poor in the latter part of this year no one wants to fish the league next year. The fishery is a shadow of its formal self. Bathampton Committee needs to be much more commercially minded if the club is to survive.

Fished Tony Rixon’s Float only and Short pole leagues. Unfortunately due to Son Mark and Inger his German partner marrying twice (Bath Registry Office and in Nord Friesland) I couldn’t fish two of the matches but if both reserves results had counted WE would have framed. On the Short pole match in the first one I had a poor draw Carp wise, so with little chance of catching up in the overall league I fished for Silvers and picked up in all the matches. I can’t speak highly enough of Tony and he effort he puts in to these popular matches, where would match fishing be without anglers like him. Also I have to thank Steve Evans for being his scribe, amazing handwriting considering his health issues. Tony won his short pole match with Craig Edmonds aka Trig winning the float only. “Some say that he is half Russian and designed the Mosella bag-in-a-bag-in-a-bag- in-a……All I know that he catches a lot of fish.” Tony has some different venues for these leagues next year.

We had our yearly holiday at Viaduct in one of the Lodges during which I ran a Saturday 13 metre only and a Wednesday Short pole match. This year will be the same with the added addition of a float only open on the Tuesday at Avalon. I will give priority to those that fished the previous years. Dates will be published nearer the time. We all had a great time with the weather being kind. I suppose I will have to endure another of their cheese parties next year. However, Geoff Francis will I think be steering clear of “Stan” – It was funny seeing him dribble his curry down his front – matron would have been annoyed. No Tim Ford next year being replaced by Podge. Good to see Mark Tanner put in an appearance.
As per usual I fished the Viaduct Silvers league which is very popular with 52 booked in. The first couple of matches are impacted by the Carp but come the last few matches the fishing becomes harder with more traditional methods coming into play. I was satisfied with my result of 12th overall. The league was won again by “The Trig” -  “Some say that he can speak Braille and that he once stared at an orange juice box for an hour because on it was the word “concentrate”, all I know that he only drinks from cup holders”.

Todber Manor Hillview, Ash and Home Ground were new venues for me this year. I was very impressed with the whole venue, loads of Silvers and Carp. I just wish the venue was closer. Bela and I fished the pairs here this year and will be back next. I must say I had organiser Mark Poppleton in my section throughout and was impressed with his results. However, these matches need more than two sets of scales as its pitch black come the last person. The Bristol area desperately needs a decent Match venue.

Another new venue for me was Farleigh Woods a strange place and ideal setting for a Blair Witch film. The Lake holds plenty of tiny Skimmers 2-3oz with the odd 1 pounder. However, not many Carp in comparison to other fisheries. My Saturday PM drinking partner Geoff Francis has really got into commercial match fishing, and has improved significantly over this year. He certainly had Farleigh Woods carp sorted.

2018 will be Bela and my Tenth Anniversary of travelling together.

The Facts and Figures

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