Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Monday 22/04/2019 - Shiplate Farm Open - Westpool and Hawthornes

Due to family commitments over the Easter weekend I couldn't defend my Todber Manor King of the Manor Silvers. Well done to consistent Jack Stamp who won it this year coming third last. I also missed the first of Tony Rixon's short pole match at Woodlands but I was lucky enough to get Tim Ford to fish who did well off a poor draw. I have finally succumbed to buying a fishing trolley - the Preston Shuttle seemed to be the most popular - right heavy piece of iron work!  I need it more for carrying the rod holdall because carrying it has been affecting my shoulder. 

So after some pining I was really looking forward to fishing Shiplate with Glenn Bailey.The weather over the weekend was really hot and bright so it was good to hear that although we would still be warm there would be some haze - always good for the fishing. I was last into the draw tin so had the choice of one - peg 10 on Hawthornes. Happy with this and had good company with Lewis Jones on peg 9 and Glynn Wickham on 12. I had a walk along the pegs and could see plenty of Carp at each end but not so many where I was drawn. Glenn had drawn peg 14 and with peg 15 not drawn I thought he stood a good chance of winning the Canal and overall. So I decided to fish for Silvers.

I setup a 4x14 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus one out in front with single LR's over GB laced with Pinkie and LR's. I also setup the Ronnie rig and a 0.3 gram shotted paste float just in case.

I started by feeding a reasonable ball of GB and had Skimmers fizzing straight away and had four in four put-ins. Happy days - until the Ronnies showed up who were getting to the hook bait quicker than the Skimmers so switched to the Ronnie rig and could catch a 1-2 oz fish every cast plus the occasional Skimmer. I found myself in a Silvers battle with Glynn. Then I found that on topping up the GB the Carp would come over it which resulted in some unwanted foul hooking. With 2 1/2 Hours left I think Glynn and me were neck and neck on the Silvers. However, I had enough of the foulers so thought I would drop the paste in over the GB line and caught a Carp first try! I stayed on this to the end, first trying loose feeding hard 4's which brought the Carp up in the 5 foot of water - more fouling, by Switching back to the hard balls of neat GB found that they came straight down on it. I'm not sure how many I had but caught 107 lb 4 oz during this time losing a few in the tree stumps. Blimey they fight hard, due to the water quality methinks.

My Silvers weighed in at 22 lb 2 oz adding my Carp took me to sixth overall total of 129 lb 6 oz. Should I have fished for Carp from the start - probably, but how boring would this have been. I have taken paste for the last four matches and haven't had a bite on it until today so that was really pleasing - warm weather?

The venue fished really well with some great Carp and Silvers weights from both Canals. Can't wait to get down here again.

The match was won by Bob Gullick (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 180 lb 6 oz from Hawthorns peg 4. Bob caught initially ob pellet over to the far bank in 18 inches of water and laster fished Meat short.

The Silvers really feed well all round with Nigel Wickham amassing 41 lb 12 oz of Skimmers from Hawthorns peg 6 - surprised me but not the Gamekeeper. Nigel caught on Chopped worm and corn - feeding both with GB.

The paste and now slapping master Glenn Bailey came second overall with 169 lb 6 oz.

Result:

1. Bob Gullick 180-06-0 peg 4 (H)
2. Glenn Bailey 169-06-0 peg 14 (H)
3. Tom Thick 153-10-0 peg 15 (W)

Silvers:

1. Nigel Wickham 41-12-0 peg 6 (H)
2. Tony Thick 34-0-0 peg 3 (H)

Weigh Sheets:


















Thursday, 18 April 2019

Thursday 18/04/2019 - Westerleigh - Rixon's Rip Off - Knock-up - Top Canal

We organised a knock-up at the Westerleigh top Canal. Bela being the local expert took a day off work to fish. So first stop Hungry Horaces where we met up with Geoff Francis who was off to the Thursday Windmill open. It was another decent breakfast.


Disappointed that we had only nine fishing making it a knock-up. Nonetheless, plenty of stiff competition. Tony chucked the pegs on the floor so with an extra push in the back from Tony I just managed to reach the nearest peg which was number 6. As per usual I was told it was a good Silvers peg, but to expect some lumps!! For company I had Martyn McMahon to my right on peg 5 and the Knowle West Shrimp on peg 7.

I set up a 4x12 Roob to fish the margin one metre from the bank for any "Lumps" at top-set plus one. A 4x14 Winter Titan to fish topset plus two in the deepest part on the peg which was about 7 foot. Finally the Ronnie rig.

I started on the Titan with expander over micro and all I got was tiny indications and chewed pellet, as it transpired from tiny Crucians. Abandoned this line in favour of the Ronnie rig over GB and maggot and started to catch tiny Crucians to 3 oz!! At least it was bites - well sort off. For some unknown reason you have to net these fish which puts far more stress on them compared to if they were swung. I tried to feed off the Crucians, which didn't happen as they seem to love the GB. So I switched to loose feeding maggot and started to add some Skimmers to 2 lb.  However, it was never long before the Crucians arrived so fed more GB to keep them occupied. I kept on the Roonies rig until the end trying allsorts of feeding to get at the Skimmers who must be pissed at the Crucians getting to the hook bait first.


Prior to the weigh in Ricky Mills - Scaffolder (no job to big or too small) got the boat out to rescue Martyn McMahon's top-set which was hanging in one of the island trees (pictured upper right).

The biggest Carp was about 4 oz (don't think this qualifies as a lump) which got put back at the weigh in. My Silvers/Crucians weighed in at 24 lb 4 oz for first in the Silvers.

The match was won by Tony Rixon with 63 lb 2 oz from peg 11 - see his blog for the details...

Bela (pictured upper right) was runner up with 51-14-0 from peg 3. Bela caught on hard pellet down the track and over to the far bank. However, it was a tight
affair between Bela and Ron Hardiman (pictured right) who was next peg 2 - losing out by a mere 7 oz! 

Result:

1.Tony Rixon 63-02-0 peg 11
2. Bela Bakos 51-14-0 peg 3
3. Ron Hardiman 50-07-0 peg 2

Silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 24-04-0 peg 6
2. Mike Jones 18-08-0 peg 9

Weigh Sheet:


Sunday, 14 April 2019

Sunday 14/04/2019 - Shiplate Farm Open - Main Lake

Travelled down with Glenn Bailey and arrived early at the fishery. So a little catch up with Goldilocks and the Gamekeeper who is poorly at the moment, hope he gets well soon as we need someone on shotgun.

I had a walk around and noticed Westpool and the Main Lake water levels have drop by circa 10 inches which I put down to the trees sprouting leaves and needing to suck gallons from the Lakes.

I then spotted "Incognito" with his tackle (pictured right) who FOE'd. 

Into the draw box and out comes a peg that I felt embarrassed about as it is usually reserved for Two Pots. I did offer to swap my peg 15 with his Silvers peg 10. Peg 15 and peg 1 are noted Carp winning pegs. However, when I arrived at the longest walk peg I was concerned about the freezing cold wind blowing hard into me. I was boody freezing.

I fancied the waggler down to the end bank where I could let the wind blowing the bait up the shelf. But noticed that a margin tree would hinder casting so gave that thought up. So three rigs a 0.3 Gram paste float which was highly optimistic under such cold and windy conditions. I did try it but the tow was far too great so early bath. Next was a 4x12 Winter Titan to fish out in front at top-set plus two in three foot of water - very shallow at this end of the Lake. I also reluctantly set up a 4x12 Roob to fish the same distance down the inside shelf. However, whilst plumbing I was picking up rotten pieces of tree branches.

Started on the Titan with 4mm expander over micro and within a minute I was tussling with a foul hooked Carp which broke me. So I changed the hook length upto a 0.16 GLine. Out again and another lost fouler next I had a Ronnie which fell off. Next another lost fouler - things not going well. It was clear the towing with the wind along and inwards was the main cause of fouling. So changed to the Roob with double maggot over kinder maggot and I was soon playing a Grass Carp hooked in the mouth! I played this for an age the inside is only a few inches deep so couldn't get the net under it. Fair play to it the hook pulled - bugger as it was easily a double. The torrid time hadn't ended as I hooked another five foul hooked Carp making it 9 nil. So tried some GB which brought an instant response from the resident Tench. They started to save the day for me puttin eight Tench to 3 lb in the net. Now we tend to strike at any indications but because of all the foulers I had lost some confidence. So I was delighted when I had a 20 lb Carp in the mouth and managed to get it in the net. I had a run of three more decent Carp before the swim completely died except for the odd Ronnie. Then between the allout Westpool (another match here) and all out main Lake I hooked my fifth Carp. My Carp catch pictured right.


My five Carp weighed 58 lb 4 oz and my Silvers (Greens) 21 lb 14 oz for a third overall total of 80 lb 2 oz and second in the Silvers so both categories covered.

The match was won by John Dursley (pictured right) with 94 lb 3 oz from peg 1. John caught on the method either over to the island or towards the end bank. Later John caught down his RH margin on meat.

The Silvers was won by Tom Thick (pictured right with the runner up who has more hair) with 29 lb 5 oz from peg 11. Tom caught some decent Skimmers at 14.5 Metres using corn hook bait fished over potted corn.

Finally the van talk on the way home was lost Carp and broken cupping kit!!

Result:

1. John Dursley 94-03-0 peg 1
2. Tom Thick 89-02-0 peg 11
3. Mike Nicholls 80-02-0 peg 15

Silvers:

1. Tom Thick 29-05-0 peg 11
2. Mike Nicholls 21-14-0 peg 15
3. Ron Stark 19-08-0 peg 2

Weigh Sheet:



Friday, 12 April 2019

Thursday 11/04/2019 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Usual stop for breakfast at Hungry Horaces - very good. Arrive in plenty of time for Geoff and me to have a walk around. No sign of any fish except feeding Carp down the far end near the aerator. I thought it was going to be hard for the Silvers - I was right, they seem to have shoaled up either for spawning or areas clear of the recent Siltexing.


Not last into the draw bag, this was reserved for Chris Ollis who was still in bed nursing a hangover. Last but one then peg 11. Happy with this because I have been patiently waiting to draw pegs 11 to 8 to fish the wag and mag over to the island. So this was set up first, settling for a Drake yellow top waggler -3 lb Maxima - 0.14 GLine h/l - and a Tubertini 808 size 18. I also set up a 4x16 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus four out in front.

I started by feeding some maggots over to the island to make sure I could get them where I wanted. That sorted I fed a small ball of GB and loose micro and with 4 mm expander on the hook I was expecting a bite straight away - it didn't happen it took 10 minute before I started to get indications which was either small fish or liners. After five strikes I at last caught a blade Skimmer. Looking around it was fishing hard. So put a decent pot of micro in on this line to watch for any signs of feeding fish. I Picked up the waggler and with single LR on the hook caught a F1 first cast, so stayed with this for the rest of the match. Nothing showed over the micro. The F1's aren't very big 8 oz to 1 1/2 lb but do fight very hard especially on the strike running deep under the island and along it. I also got to understand some of the stranger bites. In between the F1's I caught the odd 2 lb Skimmer. I ended up with 4 decent Skimmers and 30 F1's and a very enjoyable day on the waggler, plus I only hooked the overhanging vegetation once. I fed about 3/4 pints of LR's.

My Silvers weighed 10 lb 8 oz for third in the Silvers and my F1's 27 lb 8 oz for a second overall 38 lb. So both categories covered.

The match was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right with some of his catch) with 115 lb 9 oz from peg 1. I was surprised to be told by Tony that he started on expander and micro, however, it didn't last long before he soon switched to his favourite banded 8mm pellet fished over hard 4's to catch some decent Carp. See his blog for me details.

The Silvers was easily won by Enigma (pictured right with the match winner - by the look on Tony's face I wondered what part of his anatomy Enigma had grasped) with 34 lb 2 oz from peg 27. Steve had a slow start on expander. Things vastly improved once he switched to maggot over loose fed maggot. Steve fed about one pint of maggots.

Geoff did well from peg 5 landing three Carp but got mangled around the island four times!

It was back to the pub with the usual suspects - plus three! Most of us had been in the sun all day which continued in the pub garden.

Finally, Mike Jones got called away before the end and tipped back 10 lb of Silvers and Greens even though he had the scales. I think the penny dropped sometime later. Old age doesn't come alone.

Result:

1. Tony Rixon 115-09-0 peg 1
2. Mike Nicholls 38 -0-0 peg 11
3. Steve Dawson 35-04-0 peg 27

Silvers:

1. Steve Dawson 34-02-0 peg 27
2. Paul Haines 15-08-0 peg 29
3. Mike Nicholls 10-08-0 peg 11

Weigh Sheets:
















Monday, 8 April 2019

Sunday 07/04/2019 - Todber Manor - Rixon's Rip Off - Float Only - Ash

Long time since I travelled with Bela so a lot to catch up on, which always appears to shorten the journey. We stopped in Greggs for a bacon baguette, which was OK.

I was really looking forward to fishing Todber again, it's one of the premier fishing venues in the South West at the moment, especially fishing Ash which is stuffed with Carp and Silvers. All 14 pegs in so no space which I like. Lost focus on the draw and ended up with the last dip into the box and had remaining peg 67. I was told it would be OK for Silvers. Bela had drawn end peg 75 so some expectation for the van.

After bank running some micro down to Bela I set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x14 Winter Titan to fish at top-set plus four with expander over micro. I had some time to waste before the draw so set up the waggler to fish down the far shelf. I plumbed up the waggler to the depth down the inside shelf on the assumption that the design of the Canal would be cross sectionally symmetrical. I fed the Ronnie line with LR's in GB and micro on the long line. I picked up the catty and fire some maggot over towards the far bank - no indication that any of them landed in the water. Thought the maggots must have fallen out of the cup, as they do, so tried again and the same! The penny dropped the feed was landing well into the the bank grass. The wind was perfect for loose feeding. I finally got a couple of cups of feeded in the water. Started on the Ronnie rig with a single LR on the hook and would have betted anything that the first fish would be a Ronnie Roach. However, it was a micro Perch - umm. I stayed on this for 15 minutes with nothing to show for it. So switched to the longer line with the 4 mm expander on the hook and had a small Tench, quickly followed by a couple more of about 1 lb. Did expect to catch a Carp or two on this line but it had completely died. So converted it to GB and maggot. Whilst this settled I had a few casts on the waggler, presentation was ok but I now know I didn't give it long enough. Back on the Ronnie rig and had a few small Skimmers - still no Ronnies! I did have a proper Bream and a few more Skimmers, but it was slow. It was obvious the fish were not cose in, so switch long where I could not get any bites at all on the LR's. I kept persevering far too long trying to catch Silvers. With 90 minutes to go I picked up the waggler again and with double LR's on the hook I had a tiny Carp of 4 oz. This encouraged me to stick with a little longer than previous. subsequently started to catch some better Carp regularly. But was still pulled in short by the Silvers desire. I caught nothing during these changes, so spent the dying part of the match on the waggler and still was able to catch Carp. The float dipped and I struck and thought was bottom, I kept the rod loaded and had a knock so loaded it some more and the rod just started to jag viciously, similar to a Eel but worse. Then there was this almighty swirl and I thought my eyes were deceiving me as I thought I was looking at the head of a Catfish. Seconds later it was all over. However, the hook had opened and impaled on it was what I believed to be a part of the Cats whisker. Bugger they count as Silvers!! I could now catch a Carp every castneeding only a short wait.


My Silvers weighed 22 lb 4 oz for Silvers third and my overall weight of 67 lb 12 oz was only good enough for 6 th overall. Now had I stayed on the waggler when I first tried it then my overall result would have been far better. Interestingly I didn't have a Carp on the pole! Oh, well that's fishing, but disappointed the Ronnies let me down. Bela had to put up with my torment all the way home to we arrived at Bar-Gar-Age. Bela did pay for the beers out of his second in the match pick up with 87 lb 3 oz.

I was on the weigh board and I only seen two Ronnies weighed in? However, for most it was an even and and tight match which is good.

The match was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right with some of his catch) with 110-04-0 from peg 64. Tony didn't start catching until he switched to the pellet waggler and caught steady all match using his favourite 8 mm banded pellet. See his blog for more details.


The Silvers was won by Ryan Shipp (pictured right with his spectacular net of Skimmers) with 42 lb 8 oz. Ryan caught on maggot over GB and loose feed over the top two lines - one at 14.5 metres and one at 10 metres. A great days fishing for him. The Silvers appear to be mainly at this end as hardly any caught the far end.

Result:

1. Tony Rixon 110-04-0 peg 64
2. Bela Bakos 87-03-0 peg 75
3. Joe McMahon 83-11-0 peg 68

Silvers:

1. Ryan Shipp 42-08-0 peg 65
2. Martyn McMahon 26-04-0 peg 63
3. Mike Nicholls 22-04-0 peg 67

Weigh Sheet:


Friday, 5 April 2019

Thursday 04/04/2019 - Shiplate Farm - Rixon's Rip-Off - Westpool

Back to Shiplate Farm for a Rixon Rip-off on Westpool. With the weather making a swift return to winter with rain and cold wind promised Westpool is one of the best places to fish as it is sheltered from the Mendips to the North as well as shelter from a hill protecting the prevailing Westerly winds. Nonetheless it was bloody cold. However, the walk to the pool soon warms you up - for a while! No one expected big weights today we've had a couple of hard frosts and plenty of cold rain has gone in the Lakes.

Had a chat with the usual suspects fishing the Thursday Costcutter, nice to see Mike  Owens out fishing again. His Wife is one day older than me.

Ten fishing so nearly a knock up. Third into the draw tin and out comes peg 9. I was told it would be good for Silvers. I don't take too much notice of these comments as experience tells me to find out yourself on the day.

Unless it's a Slivers only match I compromise my rigs so I have a chance of getting the larger Carp out. So I use the Drennan yellow eatsic which is a 10-12. However, I expect to lose some Silvers - mostly small Ronnies. For longevity my rig line is always 0.16 GLine and my hooks Tubertini - 808's - size to suit bait being used. All hook sizes will land big Carp - eventually. The 808 is a very light hook, weight I think is important so minimum number of blood knot turns, since reading an article by Ivan Marks back in the seventies I have used his recommended seven turns, which is two more than the minimum. Hook length is always 0.14 GLine again for robustness. I like a stiff line as it sits straight and is less likely to get blown around by fish etc..plus fish don't have micrometres. There is a lot of bollocks talked about hook length diameter.

I initially set up a 4x14 float which was far too big for the 3 foot of water, so switched to a 4x12 Winter Titan. The only other rig was the Ronnie. I toyed with setting up a paste rig which would have of got used. The peg had a consistent flat bottom so the Titan would suit all over the peg. I tried it in the margin and found the plummet  would just slide down the steep bank to full depth, no where would hold, so Titan would suit the margin too. Ronnie rig also set to depth. I started at top-set plus two sections with 4 mm expander over micro and had a Ronnie fish put-in. There was a couple of bubbles coming up which went as soon as next put-in I had a small Tench. I refed some micro and could only catch Ronnies which were coming off. So time for the Ronnies rig. I fed some GB and fish LR's over it and had a Ronnie every cast - until I hooked a Carp of 3 lb which came to the net easily. This didn't seem to disrupt the Ronnies. I kept the Ronnies coming for half the match until the wind made presentation too difficult. So switched the Ronnie rig downwind, close in, but down the shelf again with maggot over GB. It took awhile but did transfer the Ronnies. I then had a difficult 45 minutes - the Carp moved in. During this period I landed two more with one a double and lost three with the last one breaking my obviously already damaged elastic - so it was a sad goodbye to one of my Ronnie rigs. I nearly got off my box and set up a paste rig but couldn't be arsed - too cold. So onto the Titan for the rest of the match and as expected lost a few Ronnies but did have five small Skimmers to 1 lb but I did lose two, with the now gusting wind not helping. I was bloody freezing.

My Silvers weighed 19 lb 12 oz missing out a Silvers first by 4 oz and my three Carp weighing 18 lb 14 oz for a third overall pickup with 38 lb 10 oz. So my compromise rigs probably cost me a Silvers first but did get me a third overall. As to being a Silvers peg wasn't right today anyway because there were plenty of signs of Carp especially close in.

The match was one by Johnny Page (pictured right) with 61 lb 4 oz from peg 11. John caught on hard pellet fished down the far shelf at 16 metres, fished over loosed fed pellet.

The Silvers was won by Dave Wride with a dead 20 lb frm end peg 15. Dave told me he caught on the pole in the water with a hook.

Result:

1. Johnny Page 61-04-0 peg 11
2. Tony Rixon 52-02-0 peg 14
3. Mike Nicholls 39-10-0 peg 9

Silvers:

1. Dave Wride 20-0-0 peg 15
2.Mike Nicholls 18-12-0 peg 9

Weight Sheet:


Monday, 1 April 2019

Sunday 31/03/2019 - Shiplate Farm Open - Main Lake

I was ate booking in but first on the reserve list and was delighted when Carol called to advise I was able to fish, otherwise it would be peggy Windmill.

Traveling with Glenn " Two Post" Bailey today and had mixed emotions when he arrived without the Lagoona this car had served Glenn well over the years. However, a new era starts with what could be the new "Battle Bus" (pictured right). I must say it's the right size of van to comfortably fit two sets of tackle.

Arrived at the fishery and was nice to meet up with the Gamekeeper and Goldilocks. Looking around the fishery and was amazed how much work Steve has done here over the winter - absolutely immaculate. Better kept than most gardens. The temperature had dropped some with a chilly wind blowing from the NE, so blowing into pegs 9A/10.

Nineteen fishing with all the usual regulars. I had forgotten my Camomile tea bag so not as relaxed today with normal tea!

From comments being made at the draw the far bank was the place to be for the Skimmers. In to the plastic bucket and out comes peg 7. Near bank but would have the wind behindish. Have drawn it before and had 32 lb of Roach. However, judging from my match last week the Roach had not fed, so anticipated it would be the case today. Set up the Ronnie rig and a 4x14 Winter Titan, which was heavier than the peg required but the tow against the wind was strong so it proved to be the right selection. Thats was it except to deliver my Drennan margin pole to Two Pots who had drawn peg 1 again!

I started by feeding a nub of GB with loose casters on the Ronnie line but started at top-set plus 4 with 4 mm expander over potted micro. First put in I had a 6 oz Skimmer and next a 1 lb Carp (The Gamekeeper has stocked some small Carp). A brilliant start especially as the rest hadn't had a bite. Unbelievably that was it not another bite even though I kept topping up with micro. After 15 more minutes I went on the Ronnie line with a single caster no bites - blimey. I went negative and fed neat GB and switched to single LR on the Ronnie rig and started to catch the odd fish small Perch, Ruffe, Ronnies small Skimmers and Rudd - not weight builders by any means. I then had a another small Carp about 8 oz. I then hooked a right munter which came in close the the rocky margin and snapped me. I switched to fishing the Ronnie line with the Titan and first put in hooked another large Carp. I was lucky to get it out as it was touch and go who was going to give in first. Clearly a twenty. After this spell I never seen another Carp. However, the better Skimmers arrived with the rest of the match spent catching steady Skimmers to 2 lb including two Perch to 1 1/2 lb.

My Carp weighed 22 lb 2 oz (making the one Carp just over 20 lb) and my Silvers 31 lb 8 oz for a Silver win and a match fourth of 53 lb 10 oz. As always a great days fishing at this venue (my catch pictured upper right).

As expected the match was won by Glenn Bailey (pictured right with some of his catch) with 83 lb 14 oz from peg 1. Glenn caught all but one fish on the paste and pole plus a couple of munters from his margin late on.

No better way to christen the new van but with a double bubble.

Finally it was Goldilocks birthday today pictured right with a fellow Aries with some birthday cake. 

Result:

1. Glenn Bailey 88-14-0 peg 1
2. Andy Thick 59-12-0 peg 15
3. Mark Jones 54-06-0 peg 9A
4. Mike Nicholls 53-10-0 peg 7
5. Gary Flinders 52-08-0 peg 3

Silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 31-08-0 peg 7
2. Dom Sullivan 23-10-0 peg 10
3. Glynn Widdicombe 19-0-0 peg 13 

Weigh Sheet: