Monday, 3 May 2021

Sunday 02/05/2021 - Westerleigh Winter League - Round Five - Taylors Pool and Shipp's Canal

We had a heavy, but short rain storm last evening. I went out to the car this morning at 6 am to find another frost and the car covered in frozen rain. I went back out at 6:30 am to find the frost and ice on the car gone. I reckon the temperature had increased by 3 degrees in 30 minutes.

My turn on Shipp's canal. I pulled myself peg 9, which is the wrong side of the canal for the majority of the Carp. So I was immediately thinking the only way for a pay day would be the silvers. So with only 2 lb 1 oz winning it last match I set this as my target - its was going to be a long day! However, I did have plenty of room as peg 7 wasn't drawn.

My back issues has returned due to lifting something too heavy too far and steeping too high off the step ladder. So I have to be careful today.

Accordingly, I set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x13 MR and a light stepped straight loaded Drake waggler to fish all round to hopefully nick the odd silver.

I started by feeding three lines with pinkie in a small knub of GB, starting on the Ronnie rig and have a couple of micro Perch and a Ronnie. This died so went out to two barrels with the MR and double Pinkie finding the small Crucians had arrived. In these matches they don't count as Silvers and being anything from 2 oz to 8 oz they don't really contribute to the Carp weight either, so a nothing fish, plus they are annoyingly hard to catch. I had a run of these and one welcome 4 oz Skimmer before I picked up the waggler and fished it towards the left hand island with single LR over loose fed LR's and picked off the occasional Ronnie, Perch and Rudd. I then had a nice little run of F1's, about ten. I then hooked a right lump which did me in the opposite island which is full of under water brambles. This died so rested it, hoping the big Carp basking in peg 7 might come round the corner - they didn't. With an hour to go and knowing there were some decent Perch in the Canal I fed a new line down to my right with neat finely chopped worm and with worm head on the hook had two small one's, pulling out of a better one.

My Crucians and F1's weighed 13lb 9oz and my Silvers 2lb 4oz which got me first in the Canal Silvers - so mission accomplished. All though my total weight was only 15lb 13oz I still got a few points and in fact other my back playing up I enjoyed it. A week off fishing now for various reasons.

Lee Waller (pictured with the Silvers winner) won the Canal with 36lb 10oz from peg 3. Lee caught initially over with hard pellet catching a few small Carp and one 10 lb before switching to the meat down the track to keep small Carp coming.

Taylors was won by Martin McMahon (pictured with the Silvers winner) with 33lb 12oz from peg 20. Martin caught on 6 mm banded over hard 4's at 16 metres. With Bela Bakos winning the Silvers with an impressive weight of 11lb 10oz . Bela caught short using Pinkie over GB.

And finally - had my first pub pint since lockdown with the usual suspects.



1. Martin McMahon 33-12-0 peg 20

2. Mark Taylor 29-05-0 peg 26

Silvers: Bela Bakos 11-10-0 peg 18


1. Lee Waller 36-10-0 peg 3

2. Lynol 33-09-0 peg 5

Silvers: Mike Nicholls 2-08-0 peg 9

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 30 April 2021

Thursday 29/04/2021 - Shiplate Cost Cutter - Main Lake

John squeezed twenty of us in today, about the maximum number without repegging the venue. Second to have my peg pulled which saw me on peg 6. Happy enough with this as it is a good Silvers peg. However, the main shoal of Skimmers still seem to be sitting in the thirteens.

Peg 6 is an ideal peg if you want to keep out of the sun, I didn't as the wind was bitter which was veering in to me on occasion so found it necessary to put on an extra coat. I could see Rod Wootton opposite sat in his tee shirt!!

Set up the usual 4x13 MR red top to fish top-set plus two barrels out in front with GB and DR's. Also a 4x14 Winter Titan - black top to fish top-set plus three barrels at 1 0'clock for  Skimmers over Chopped worm and Casters later as a fall back but wont feed it until necessity calls. I had some paste left from Tuesday so thought it prudent to set a 0.3 gram paste float to fish near full depth on my top-set - I wasn't holding my breath with this one as the fish still reluctant to come into the margins at the moment. First mistake of two today not setting up the Ronnie rig!

All set up so having heard Tony Rixon was on peg 2 which is one his favourite types of pegs - fishing to the mud banks. So took the camera down and did a short video - below - he's a natural. I recently fished peg 3 and Tony was more optimistic than I would have been that he would catch Carp. See his blog to see if it went to plan.

Copy paste the link below into Google/or other search engines (MicroSoft stopping me adding the video at moment)

Back to my peg and started short with GB and DR's and had a good hour catching about 10 lb. However, none of the bites were positive. It slowed so thought I would loose feed some Pinkie - mistake two - the Carp came to it and were swirling just below the surface and were really scatty with any movement from my rig and they would bow wave away. I really struggled form there on. Tried the CW and C never had a bite on it. Came in on the paste rig - nothing, but by swapping to whole worm caught a couple of Perch to 12 oz. For the rest of the match I only added another 10 lb, but from what I could see only Kev Winstone was catching Silvers which stopped me thinking about scratching around with the Ronnie rig. Interestingly I only foul hooked one Carp.

My Silvers weighed 20lb 8oz just 4lb off second, which I could have caught with the Ronnie rig. This isn't quite hindsight as I haven't been setting it up recently because if the absence of numbers of Ronnie's - next time.

The match was won by Gary Flinders (pictured right with four Carp that weighed 45 lb) with 106lb 8oz from peg 5. Gary caught most of his lumps fishing shallow with a bit of slapping at 14.5 metres. Switching to the method more for a rest than anything else I think. Well done matey.

The Silvers was won my Kevin Winstone (pictured right with the match winner) from fancied peg 13A with 32lb. Kev caught on maggot fished over GB. Well done Fella.


1.Gary Flinders 106-08-0 peg 5

2. Tony Thick 76-06-0 peg 9A

3. Norman Huggett 59-10-0 peg Zero


1. Kevin Winstone 32-0-0 peg 13A

2. Paul Fiaers 24-08-0 peg 8

Weigh Sheet:

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Tuesday 27/04/2021 - Acorn Cost Cutter - Paddocks

Another try at Acorn to avoid a Bridge peg. I had a walk around and there appeared to be plenty of fish showing from 36 round to 12, with the top end looking quiet.

I couldn't believe it when Mike Chapman pulled me another bridge peg. Four consecutive bridge pegs now since lockdown ended! This time peg 40 which I think is one of the better bridge pegs. For company I had Landsender Dave Wescott on peg 38 who had plenty of room with peg 36 not drawn due to no shows. Mike had two of them today, how easy is it to text that your not coming so Mike can adjust the pegging and not be hanging around at the draw.

I had plenty of time before the all in so set up far too many rigs and for the first time my roost was half full with four top-sets. However, I was to only to catch on one which was a my current favourite a 4x13 MR. This rig was fished up to the bridge halfway along to try for the resident Tench AGAIN! Luckily I have at last found some by regularly feeding two chopped worm with DR's also chopped with twenty or so casters on top. I kept a few decent Tench to 5 lb coming steady throughout the match catching on either triple DR's or worm heads. It is usual to foul hook Tench, but managed four today, landing two in the tail (eventually). I had no Carp issues landing one F1 and a Carrasio.

My one Carp weighed 1lb 13oz and my Tench 37lb 13 oz for a Silvers win - at last! A memorable day's fishing.

The match was won by Bob Smith (pictured with the Silvers winner) with 83lb 7oz from peg 12. Bob caught over to the mud bank in 20 inches of water with banded 6mm pellet over hard 4's. Bob later came down the shelf to 3 foot with 6 mm expander to keep some decent Carp coming. Still nothing from margins around the venue it wont be long - hopefully!


Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 26 April 2021

Sunday 25/04.2021 - Shiplate Open - Hawthorns and Westpool

Firstly, paid the pools to John Hawkins the Fishery Manager (pictured right), who I must say is doing a great job, but needs to keep his weigh scales glass cleaner. 

Went for my usual walk with Glenn Bailey along Hawthorne's the Canal we all wanted to draw due to Westpool still suffering from an influx of fresh water. The pegs 1 to 6 looked favourite as it was catching some wind off the Mendips.

I was delighted when John pulled me peg 9 Hawthorne's, however, Glenn was faced with peg 1 Westpool - will it fish? For company I found Chris Fox (brother Blogger) on peg 10 and Steve Seager on peg 7, both good company. But will take my swear box for Foxy next time.

Against common belief there are lots of Silvers in both Canals, however, they are hard to catch due to the head of disruptive Carp. My peg was flat calm with plenty of Carp visible on the surface. I decided to fish four hours for the Silvers and the last two for Carp in the margins. However, plumbing up the margins both sides were almost vertical from the bank edge to the bottom so couldn't find any shallow water except within my platform cut back area, so wasn't optimistic.

Tried setting up a 4x13 MR white top only to find I had half-hitched it when I made it up and broke the line trying to move the float - bugger. So had to settle for a 4x14 Winter Titan yellow top for top-set plus two barrels in front. The paste rig was a 0.3 gram.

Fed two balls of GB and with single DR on a 18 - 808 went out and was soon playing a fit Carp followed by another. It settled and I had a nice run of Skimmers from 4oz to 2 lb, really enjoying it. Refed which was followed by another two accidental Carp, they seem to like the GB falling through then a few more Skimmers would follow. As expected the Skimmers gradually petered out over the four hours. With nine accidental Carp in the sack I tried the margin as it's easy to add 100 lb an hour on this venue if they are having it. The weren't only adding one small Carp on the paste.

I weighed a total of 65lb 7 oz with my Silvers going for 17lb 2oz for first in the Silvers. Very enjoyable day.

Hawthorne's and the match was won by the affable Matt Culpin (pictured with his catch) with 191lb 1oz from peg 3. Matt caught down the track using banded caster over copious amounts of caster loose feed.

Tom Thick (pictured below with the Hawthorner's - me between to big boy's) won Westpool with 85lb 2oz from peg 13. looks like the Canal is improving - needs some warm rain me thinks.

And finally I saw these hand made floats in the Shiplate shop and marveled at the workmanship, with each floats having a bird feather varnished in. On close inspection they would unlikely be suitable for fishing with.


1st overall p3H
Matt Culpin
191lb 01oz
2nd overall p6H
Lewis Walker
131lb 04oz
3rd overall p4H Tony Rixon 121lb 08oz
4th overall p15
Mark Wenn
103lb 08oz
1st westpool p13
Thomas Thick
85lb 02oz
2nd westpool p3
Tich Williams
56lb 04oz
1st silvers hawthorns p9
Mike Nicholls
17lb 07oz
1st silvers westpool p9 Julian Pinkett 9lb 02oz

Weigh Sheets:

Friday, 23 April 2021

Thursday 22/04/2021 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Short Walks - Bridge Pool

Arrived early and had my usual walk around the Pool. With no rain, high winds and plenty of sunshine for weeks I suspected low oxygen, so was surprised that the aerator wasn't running all night. Anyway it didn't look good with no fish showing anywhere. I felt pegs 18, 19 and 21 would be the best bet today.

Dave Gillard announced that we would have to weigh in both Silvers and Carp at 1 pm and return them to restart again at 1:30 pm. This was followed by a lot of groaning and grunting. No one was happy about this, with a lot of disquiet and talk of finding a new venue to host these matches.

Dave did the draw and put me on peg 16, happy enough with this, but can be a bit hit and miss for the Silvers also prepared for some pole fencing with Mike Taylor on peg 15 (pictured above with Cliff on peg 24).

I thought a plan was needed - Decided to fish for Silvers first half over two lines one at 10 metres down the track to my left with a 4x16 Winter Titan which would be switched to a virgin line PM same distance down to the right into the open water. And in front at top set plus one with a 4x14 MR which would be abandoned PM in favour of fishing long over to the island which was currently bathed it sunshine which PM would have some shade for a while hopefully for the F1's and a lump or two.

Fed the long left line with GB and DP's and the same short in front. Fed a pot micro over to the island. Started down the long line and soon had a bite which came off. For some unknown reason I lost another three, however, they were tiny fish. I had a feeling they were foul hooked? It wasn't happening on this line so switched to the short line where I had been loose feeding Pinkie and had a few Skimmers and F1's and the occasional snag.

The first half resulted in 5lb 8oz of Silvers and 4lb 8oz of F1's - 10lb. The section midway was tight with just a few pounds between us in the section.

Second half I think we all knew we could all but right off catching any more Skimmers/Silvers due to the tip back. I did feed the long right side and started to loose feed LR's over to the island. I tried for some more Silvers and lost a decent Skimmer landing one about 4oz. I noticed that both Chris Ollis and John Smith were also losing Silvers. All abandoned except the island where I fished out the rest of the match with double semi-conscious maggot hook bait. I had a run of eight F1's losing two, one in Bramblegate, another fouled. I then hooked a decent Carp which unfortunately I lost trying to avoid Mikes pole. As soon as the sun came back on the water the F1's dried up to be replaced by Rudd, I did add a couple of small Tench.

My total Silvers weighed 8 lb just10 oz from a pick up with my total weight 24lb again 3 lb from a pick up. Bit of bad luck. If I stuck on the RH long line I'm sure I could have got those Silver ounces, but I like all my options open.

The match was won by newbie Andy Gard (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 38lb 7oz of F1's from fancied peg18. Andy fish down to his right using either expander hook bait or hard pellet over micro. Andy found the hard banded best.

The Silvers was won by Paul Barnfield (pictured with the match winner) with a very poor weight of 13lb 2oz from peg 11. Paul caught mostly on maggot over maggot and GB adding a couple of bigger Skimmers on worm.


Section A

1. Steve Jefferies 15-04-0 peg 7

Silvers: Hughie Evans 6-14-0 peg 5

Section B

1. Paul Barnfield 27-13-0 peg 11

Silvers: Dave Wride 8-10-0 peg 14

Section C:

1. Andy Gard 38-07-0 peg 18

Silvers: John Smith 7-13-0 peg 24

Section D:

1. Kevin Winstone 31-12-0 Peg 33

Silvers: Dave Haines 11-0-0 peg 30

Weigh Sheets:

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Tuesday 20/04/2021 - Acorn - Cost Cutter - Paddocks

Another light frost to be followed by a near windless, bright sunny day. Strange weather which is definitely affecting the fishing country wide.

Bob Feltham (aka MD) came round and presented with my membership to the RJS club with the team hat - nice long peak. Must say MD makes a good impression of a lubricated zip!

I had a walk around before the draw and reckoned pegs 1 to 5, 6 to 10 and pegs at the far end where there were plenty of Carp on show on pegs 27 to 30. With the conditions the fish are following the wind irrespective how light it is.

What can I say three matches since lockdown and three bridges with Mike today drawing me peg 33 and once again becalmed by the other side of the bridge (the above picture shows how flat the water was).

I set up all sorts and the upshot being, after 4 hours I had a couple of pound of Silvers and one Carp. I could see signs of Carp very shallow just up by the bridge and thought two or three times about shallowing up a rig to fish around - but didn't bother - could have been a mistake.

With two hours to go the sun was now such that the empty platform on peg 32 had gone in the shade at my side so went down there with a 4x12 Roob with 4 mm expander over micro and had a Carp first try. I then got pestered by small fish nicking the pellet. So went out with the 0.3 gram paste float and quickly added five more Carp. I had a look at the clock and with an hour to go I started to think I might get somewhere. The lad on peg 31 spotted this and decided to also come to the platform. I then hooked a small Carp with my rig catching in the Lads rig. This meant I had to go down to the the platform to unhitch my float. I also had to get down to free my elastic which had caught in the platform wood severely damaging it. I did free it and walked the fish back to my peg and landed it. I don't know it his upset the peg but my framing hopes were dashed only landing one more Carp.

My Silvers weighed 2lb 9oz and my few Carp 32lb 7oz for a no where total of 35 lb. I've had loads of lessons on "If you think of something - try it" . Should have tried shallow at the bridge to satisfy my inquisitiveness.

The match was won by Zac Williams (pictured right) with 113lb 13oz from Bridge peg 21! Zac setup his lines short then bottom of the slope at 11meters then a few dobbing rigs and a couple of mugging rigs. Started short without a bite. Zac could see the odd fish around his peg so decided to cut out the feed and get his head down mugging. Zac spent more or less the whole match on this. In the last 20 minutes he nicked three down the edge.

The Silvers was won by Alan Smith (RSJ) (pictured with the match winner) with 33lb  3oz from peg 13. Alan caught mostly down the track using worm over chopped worm and caster. Well done matey good weight on the day.

Finally but most important a really well done to Junior Freddie Clarke and his parents for supporting him (pictured right) catching 60lb 5oz from peg 1. He had Glenn Bailey worried until the last hour who went on to take third place with 99lb. Lol


Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 19 April 2021

Sunday 18/04/2021 - Westerleigh Winter League - Round Four - Taylors Pool and Shipps Canal

With the nasty NE wind which has been pestering us for an age has at last abated so we were in for a proper Spring day. However, it looks as all the fisheries are suffering with poor results, so expect the same here today. I must say Mark Taylor is doing a great job with the fishery, sporting some new platforms.

My turn on Taylors Pool and was looking forward to fishing the waggler for the Silvers and small Carp with maggot, which would have been the way to go with the conditions. However, I pulled peg 18, which is in the top corner and Cormorant roped off, so no chance of fishing my preference. The regulars told me the fish are mainly at the other end in peg 24/25. So decided to have a Silvers line with Pinkie and GB and a Carp line with expander over micro. So just the two rigs - a 4x14 to fishing top-set plus three barrels in 7 foot and a 4x13 MR to fish top-set plus 2 barrels set to 3 foot down to the left.

Fed the inside line with Micro and a few expanders and the Silvers line with one hard ball of GB laced with Pinkie. Started on single DR and had a Rudd on the drop first put in followed by a small Carp and some hand size Skimmers. After refeeding the line I tried the expander and had one small Carp. At this time it looked as if at least three anglers were doing well on Carp. So my thinking to coin was to focus on the Silvers. So made the decision to convert the inside line to GB and Pinkie anticipating catching some Ronnie's. This to prove to be a mistake - should have kept with the expander, etc... I kept swapping between the two lines adding only one small Carp from the inside line, not one Silver! The longer line was by far the most productive. I did experiment with the feed - loose GB, loose Pinkie, hard balls with Loose Pinkie etc... the Loose was best I think.

My Silver weighed 5lb 7oz for the Silvers win and my few Carp 6lb 6oz for a third on the Lake 11lb 13oz. I think if I had stuck with the expander line I might have nicked second from Simon. Nonetheless a great day out with great company of experienced anglers.

My lake was won by Lynol (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with a spectacular weight on the day of 33lb 6oz from peg 25. Lynol caught 33 Small on 4 mm hard pellet over tight to the opposite island. Feeding hard 6 mm. Well done matey, nice to watch

Shipps Canal was won by Steve with 46lb 1oz from peg 3. I didn't get to speak to him because he was busy launching the life boat to retrieve his top four, but I can safely assume it included copious amount of liquidised bread. The Shipps gang pictured right man handling HMS Bela.


Taylors Pool:

1. Lynol 33-06-0 peg 25

2. Simon 14-08-0 peg 24

3. Mike 11-13-0 peg 18


1. Mike 5-07-0 peg 18

Shipps Canal:

1. Steve 46-01p0 peg 3

2. Martin 33-13-0 peg 2

3. Mark 29-02-0 peg 1


1. Ricky 2-02-0 peg 4

Weigh Sheet: