Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Wednesday 30/04/2008 Carps AC - Emerald Pool - Sapphire

First of May tomorrow and the weather is still bloody freezing, which is due in the main to the North Westerly winds and the constant heavy showers. When will see the water getting warmer? The owner of Emerald Pool is building some holiday chalets, which are bounded by a fence some two metres behind pegs 18 to 15 on Sapphire pool. This fence seriously impacts the unshipping of poles and generally hinders fishing. Rich Coles drew peg 16 and decided not to fish due to this issue. I am sure it won't be long before three or four slats are missing from the fence behind these pegs and ad-hoc conversions to pole rollers! Most of the pegs on this pool required some work on them particularly peg 7.

This is the second visit for me, last time I won from peg 2 with 50lb, this time I pulled peg 3. This peg is in open water between two islands. I thought immediately that the waggler into the open water would might be good later in the match, as the fish may back-off. Oh, I suddenly realised left my waggler rod at home! I Quickly nipped round to Bill Ferris who kindly lent me a suitable float rod, which I set up with banded pellet for on the deck. I set also set up a paste rig at five metres and a light pellet rig at ten metres. The intention was, that if the paste rig did not produce I could switch this rig to meat at ten metres at 11-0 clock. I started on the paste and after five minutes did not have any indication. I cupped in some chopped meat at the ten metre line, but started on my ten metre light rig. I started to catch Silvers (Ronnies) straight away (for some reason no Silvers pool today - why not I wondered!). In between the Silvers I caught the odd Carp to 2lb. I tried the meat rig and caught two small Carp, but was pestered by Ronnies. I fished the light pellet rig for the rest of the match and weighed 16lb of Silvers and 25lb 13 of Carp for a total of 41lb 13 oz. This gave me 4th overall and a pick up of £35. Due to the wind picking up in the last hour the waggler rod was returned to Bill without being tested!

Young Tom Thick (pictured top right) won the match from peg 12 with a credible 81lb 14oz of Carp. Tom fished long pole with either expander pellet or sweet corn on the hook over loose fed 6mm hard pellet fished along side an opposite island. I am sure once Tom develops some finesse he will be a very difficult act to beat.

Carps AC Life President who works tirelessly for the club (anybody not been rung up by John yet - let me know) came a credible 6th from peg 17.

Full Result:

1. Tom Thick 81-04-0 peg 12
2. Adrian Bishop 64-08-0 peg 18
3. Ian Dawe 48-08-0 peg 15
4. Mike Nicholls 41-13-0 peg 3
5. Colin Golding 40-10-0 peg 11
6. John Bennett 38-08-0 peg 17

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sunday 27/04/2008 Carps AC - Sedges - Tile and Brick Lakes

This match honoured Tom Coulston's 80th Birthday with the Carps AC Secretary Colin Golding (pictured top right - the one sporting a new coat) presenting Tom with a bottle of Southern Comfort. Tom provided cakes for all forty contestants. As it was his birthday Tom requested a good draw, but alas didn't get one!

This match was held on two lakes - Brick (the old Match Lake) and - Tile (the new converted specimen lake). It was decided to hold two separate matches with identical payouts with twenty anglers on each lake.

Tom kindly pulled my peg for me which was peg 40 on Tile. Consulting the peg map I was on the near side corner peg (behind Brick peg 1). This would be the first time I fished Tile, along with many others as the lake has only been open for a short while after some serious restocking. However, I had my heart set on fishing Brick which I know so well. Got to my peg and felt it might hold a few fish. I set up two rigs at 7 metres, which was 10 foot deep a 4x18 and a 4x16 Jolly for Skimmers and anything else that swims! I also set up a rig for the Ronnie Roach and one for the left hand corner margin. I fed three balls of ground bait at 7 metres and one 250ml of micro in to the margin. I started on the Ronnie rig with caster and caught straight away, the Ronnies were between 2oz and 3oz with the smattering of bigger Ronnies and Rudd. I caught quite fast for three hours. I then tried my 7 metre rigs which produced one Ronnie. Back to the Ronnie rig until the last hour of the match, where I caught fourteen small carp in the margins.

I weighed 28lb 10oz of Ronnies for first in the Silvers and 11lb 3oz of small Carp for 39lb 13 oz and second overall on Tile. I took the Silvers winners pool of £60.

My team mate Glenn Bailey won Tile with 75lb 13oz of Carp to 16lb! Glenn fished a tidy match on the pellet waggler, fished just off a island at 40 metres.

Full result:

Tile Lake:

1. Glenn Bailey 75-13-0 peg 35

2. Mike Nicholls 39-13-0 peg 40
3. Alan Smith 30-10-0 peg 28
4. Dave Avery 29-12-0 peg 33
5. Dave Evans 22-06-0 peg 34
6. Bill Ferris 21-02-0 peg 23

Top Silvers:
1. Mike Nicholls 28-10-0 peg 40
2. Bill Ferris 19-12-0 peg 23
3. Paul Attwood 17-02-0 peg 30 (mainly eels!)

Brick Lake:

1. Paul Davis 87-12-0 peg 9

2. Gary Cross 50-03-0 peg 11
3. Ron Grandon 38-04-0 peg 1
4. Russell Peck 36-07-0 peg 10
5. Paul Lock 33-06-0 peg 14
6. Rod Wotton - 27-14-0 peg 3

Top Silvers:

1. Alan Oram 17-02-0 peg 4
2. Mitchell Artus 16-08-0 peg 14
3. Rod Wotton 15-03-0 peg 3

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Wednesday 23/04/2008 Carps AC - Cider Farm Sheppard's

It looks as if spring his here at last, 20 degrees yesterday and 17 degrees today. However, the wind is still in the North West. As is common knowledge Mark Gibson (pictured top right) the Fishery owner is in the process of developing a first class match venue, he anticipates his two match lakes Dabinett and Yarlington Mill to be open again in May, after a number of small club matches have been fished on them. He also informs me that he is in the early planning stages of a further expansion of the fishery - possibly three more Lakes with a head of mixed fish - can't wait. Mark makes running matches here very easy: he sorts the best pegs, organises the draw, weighs in and most importantly serves the cider afterwards - try his home made traditional dry. In fact the only thing he doesn't do is catch the fish!

This is the first time Carp AC has used Sheppard's and my first visit too. Some of Carps AC local members had fished it before, the top weight of Silvers so far had been just under 10lb with winning Carp weights up to eighty plus pounds. As I was running the match I asked local Jim Baines to draw for me and he pulled out peg 1! A flyer Carp peg I am told, with three framing weights in the last three matches (so what's different)! I was a little disappointed because as usual I was hoping to target the Silvers. Any way got to the peg and found myself in a sort of leg of the main lake, which was about nine metres wide. So no good for silvers then (I thought). I set up for corn down the middle at 4.5 metre, which gave be about five foot of water out in front. I also set up a paste rig for down the right hand margin in 3 foot of water. I started on the corn and had one 4oz Roach second put in. I could see Dominic Sullivan on peg 9 catching Carp shallow he had three straight off. After a bite less 15 minutes decided to set up a silvers rig to use in combination with single red maggot hook bait. The float was a modified Preston 4x14 PB14 with a cane insert replaced with a nylon bristle and the thin wire stem replaced with a thicker, longer more durable wire (once bent never straight again!). This float is extremely stable in the wind. I immediately started to catch Roach and very small Skimmers. I decided to stay with this for the rest of the match and caught steady with the odd interruption & disruption from Carp. I must say all the fish were in pristine condition.

At the weighed in I had 23lb 8oz of Silvers and five Carp for 23lb 12oz totalling 47lb 4oz. Enough to win the silvers - you think - but not quite Jim Baines (pictured with his catch bottom right and my catch lower right - you will notice Jim had bigger fish than me) weighed 23lb 12 oz from peg 16! So I finished fourth in the match and second in the silvers and a pick up of £20. Well done Jim.

Dominic Sullivan won the match from peg 9 with 89lb 8oz. Dominic caught his fish at 16 metres shallow with hard pellet hook bait.

Only John Bennett knew this but this was a Silversmania Qualifier. So well done again Jim!

Full Result:

1. Dominic Sullivan 89-08-0 peg 9
2. Lewis Jones 69-0-0 peg 10
3. Bob Warren 56-05-0 peg 13 (unlucky for some - first out of the money)
4. Mike Nicholls 47-04-0 peg 1
5. Jim Baines 26-09-0 peg 16
6. Roger Andonio 23-06-0 peg 18

Top Silvers:

1. Jim Baines 23-12-0 peg 16 - Qualifies for Wednesday Silversmania
2. Mike Nicholls 23-08-0 peg 1

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sunday 20/04/2008 Carps AC - Bullocks Farm - Match Pool

I must say this is a very difficult venue to peg - the question is which ones to leave out - rather than ones to put in! Thanks to recommendations of Paul Fairers as to which to leave out, pegging was about right for the twenty fishing. The match Lake is generally twenty seven inches deep and therefore, needs a lot of working at, the Crucians and Roach don't give themselves up easily. I suppose in some ways this can be an attraction for the purist. As I pegged the match I asked Steve Evans to draw my peg (mistake). Steve pulled out permanent peg 9 for me which was on the back bank. I found myself sandwiched between brothers Dave (peg 8) and Steve Evans (peg 10). A bit unnerving, as I consider both to be venue experts. Bullock Farm matches are always a tight affair, today was no exception.

I started after the Crucians at six meters and caught well for about two hours until I foul hooked a proper Carp, which pulled free. The next two hours were difficult. As every ounce would be crucial I decided to switched to single maggot at thirteen metres over kinder potted maggot and landed a small Carp and a some quality Roach for a total silvers weight of 14lb 12oz and an overall weight of 16lb 2oz (said the Carp was small). This resulted in joint sixth overall and third in the silvers and a pick up by default of £40.

The match winner and qualifier for the Carpsmaina was Gordon Cannings (pictured top right)with 28lb 3oz. Gordon caught late in the match at sixteen metres to the island opposite his permanent peg 17. Gordon caught on 6mm expander Ringer pellet over hard 4mm pellet.

The silvers Carpsmania qualifier was Dominic Sullivan (pictured bottom right) from permanent peg 2 with 17lb 14oz silvers comprising of mainly Crucians. Dominic was also second overall with 23lb.

Full Result:

1. Gordon Cannings 28-03-0 peg 17 (Carpsmania qualifier)
2. Dominic Sullivan 23-0-0 peg 2
3. Rod Wotton 22-04-0 peg 25
4. Lewis Jones 17-03-0 peg 5
5. Dave Wride 16-14-0 peg 29
6. Mike Nicholls 16-02-0 peg 9
6. Paul Fariers 16-02-0 peg 30

Top Silvers:

1. Dominic Sullivan 17-14-0 peg 2 (Carpsmaina qualifier)
2. Dave Wride 16-14-0 peg 29
3. Mike Nicholls 14-12-0

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Thursdays 17/04/08 Bathampton AA Over 55's and Disabled - Withy Pool

What a difference a day makes, back to winter with a bitterly cold 25 mph Easterly wind blowing. Another good turn out. I drew peg 56, which is just at the back of the furthest most island. Not too disappointed with this draw, but would have preferred to have been out on the main body of the lake for silvers fishing. Started at 7 metres with 4mm expander over ground bait and caught small 4 oz Skimmers for two hours, after which the Skimmers did a disappearing act and on came the Ronnie Roach. So I decided to switch to caster on a new line. I stayed on this to the end catching some quality Ronnies to 12oz until the end.

I weighed 25lb 6oz for top in the silvers, just pipping John Bradford by exactly 2lb! This also gave me joint fifth overall and a pick up of £25 (not bad for a £5 bet).

Nice to see my good mate Terry Bruton (pictured top right with scale perfect Common) back in form. Terry won the match with ease (practice makes perfect) from peg 50 with 98lb 10oz of quality carp. Terry fish hard 10mm drilled pellet over loose fed 8mm hard pellet out to the end of the island, down the shelf and also down the shelf of the right hand margin.

Full Result:

1. Terry Bruton 98-10-0 peg 50
2. Pete "The Meat" Bryer 50-0-0 peg 68
3. Pete Philips 42-0-0 peg 43
4. Phil Coulam 34-12-0 peg 47
5. Mike Nicholls 25-06-0 peg 56
5. Terry Church 25-06-0 peg 51

Top silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 25-06-0 peg 56
2. John Bradford 23-06-0 peg 61

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wednesday 16/04/2008 Carps AC - Landsend Fishery

This match was contained on the Specimen Lake as another match was booked for Match Lake. Wow what a fishery! Thanks to Mike Duckett (pictured right) the fishery owner and his care and attention of his fish. Everyone enjoyed the fishing, with plenty of silver fish showing. The weather helped with the best day for many a long winter month.

I drew peg 37 and approached the peg exactly the same as on the previous Sunday and had an excellent days fishing. I weighed 48lb of Silvers comprising of Crucians and Skimmers. I also had two carp for a total of 60lb 12oz . This put me winner of the silvers and third overall and a pick up of £25. My travelling partner Darren Gillman drew peg 31. Based on our experience from the Sunday match we discussed the possibility of using the waggler shallow over to the island with caster as a possible winning approach for silvers, which is the approach Darren used at half time to weigh 33lb 8oz of silvers. Darren caught 12oz hybrids on double maggot over loose fed caster fishing a 2AA waggler two foot deep. However, it wasn't quite enough to win the silversmania by default.

Dave Wride (pictured bottom left - apparently smiling) took the Wednesday Silversmania with 36lb 7oz from corner peg 25.

Top junior was Ryan Houghton (pictured bottom right with PB bream of 4lb) from corner peg 33 with 15lb 5oz.

The match winner was Colin Golding with 72lb 3oz with Carp to 16lb from peg 27. Colin caught on his usual methodology of gelatined 6mm Ringer over loose fed 6mm gelatined Ringer pellet.

Full Result:

1. Colin Golding 72-03-0 peg 27
2. Dave Wride 63-12-0 peg 253.
3. Mike Nicholls 60-12-0 peg 37
4. Darren Gillman 50-06-0 peg 31
5. Mike Owens 40-07-0 peg 30 (where's my Sensas 754 pole)
6. Dave Bacon 39-06-0 peg 39 (included a Carp of 18-08-0)

Top Silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 48-0-0 peg 37
2. Dave Wride 36-07-0 peg 25 - qualifies for Carps AC Wednesday Silvermania
3. Darren Gillman 33-08-0 peg 31 (unlucky mate!)

Top Junior: Ryan Houghton 15-15-0 peg 33

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Sunday 13/04/2008 Carps AC - Landsend Fishery

At last drew Specimen Lake peg 34, and my good friend and travelling partner Darren Gillman drew next door peg 33 (corner peg). I new I was up against it on the silver pool, however, corner pegs aren't usually that great for silvers. Will I beat Darren on silvers?

I set up three 4x14 Jolly floats, one black top for 11-o-clock and one yellow top at 1-o-clock due to differing light at 9 metre. The yellow top also plumbed up for my top set caster rig. I also set up another black top for the margin with small pieces of paste over my new ground bait mix, just up the inside shelf. The plan was to feed at 11-o-clock then fish the 2-0-clock and vis versa. I started by potting in 250ml of ground bait at 4 metres down the peg. I then started to loose feed caster at top set distance directly in front. I started at the 11-o-clock with 4mm GOT expander, which resulted in some Crucians and Skimmers. I knew at this point that the bright sun was going to be a problem for the fishing in general. I kept switching 11 to 1-o-clock and managed to keep the odd Skimmer and Bream coming. I switched to my top set line over the catser which resulted in 15 small Perch and three 1lb Roach.

I switched back to the 7 metre line which taught me why the lake is named Specimen. My next three fish weighed 48lb 8oz which included a personal best Mirror of 18lb. I landed another five Carp by the whistle.

At the weigh in I thought both Bill Ferris and Darren had beat me on the Silvers. However, thanks to Darren losing a Tench near the end I beat them both by one pound! I weighed 20lb 9oz of silvers for third in the silvers and a winning total weight of 102lb 12oz and a pick up of £80. I have now qualified for all of the three Carps AC mania's.

John Bradford pictured (top right) had peg 20 on Match Lake drawn for him and he doubled the next silvers weight with 41lb 6 oz of mainly Roach! John caught on caster shallow and also qualifies for the Carpsmania final.

Full Result:

1. Mike Nicholls 102-12-0 peg 34
2. Rod Wotton 96-04-0 peg 32
3. Bob "The Bread" Price 42-03-0 peg 15
4. Glenn Bailey 41-15-0 peg 13
5. John Bradford 41-06-0 peg 20
6. Steve Evans 40-12-0 peg 6

Top Silvers:

1. John Bradford 41-15-0 peg 20
2. Bela Bakos 23-03-0 peg 19
3. Mike Nicholls 20-09-0 peg 34
4. Bill Ferris 19-4-0 Peg 36

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Thursdays 10/04/08 Bathampton AA Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

We were promised sunshine and showers - where was the sun? A good turn out once again. I drew peg 8 which is one of the disabled pegs on the road side. For the second time I drew next to Harry Muir, I love the banter and humour of the Irish, great bloke to draw next to. I had not fished this peg before, but the peg was in open water opposite the end of an island, open water is always good for Silvers - my quarry. I plumbed-up and found the bottom of the near shelf at 7 metres, which was seven foot deep. This was to be my Skimmer line. I also set up a caster margin rig for the Ronnie Roach. Although I had paste I decided to try and avoid the Carp today. I started by feeding one 250ml cup of micro pellet into my Ronnie line. I then put four tangerine balls of my new Skimmer mix of ground bait in to the 7 metre line. I started on the Ronnies by loose feeding caster over the micro pellet, which resulted in one Ronnie. I quickly switched to the Skimmer line. This was productive on the the GOT 4mm expander with Skimmers to 1lb. However, it wasn't long before the Carp move over the feed and pushed out the Skimmers. After about ten minutes the Skimmers were back for another twenty minutes. This ebb and flow went on for about two hours, at which time I fed three more balls of ground bait. Then switched to the Ronnie line which resulted in four Tinca tinca for about ten pounds. The Ronnies weren't really feeding, so switched back to the Skimmer line which resulted in ten or so more Skimmers.

I weighed 26lb 8oz which won the Silvers by 16lb 8oz and a pick up of £25.
Pete Bryer (pictured top right with 15lb Mirror Carp) won the match from peg 26 with 99lb 3oz - with just thirteen Carp! Pete fished at 4 metres to his left using his favourite bait - Cat Meat.

Full Result:

1. Pete "The Meat" Bryer 99-03-0 Peg 26
2. Pete "The Real" Phillips 70-13-0 Peg 28
3. Keith Firks 69-05-0 Peg 18
4. Bill Ferris 54-0-0 Peg 24
5. Bob "The Bread" Price 47-07-0 Peg 19
6. Terry Bruton 46-04-0 Peg 15

Top Silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 26-08-0 peg 8
2. Ian Sheppard 10-0-0

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Wednesday 09/04/2008 Carps AC - Bullocks Farm - Match Pool

Why is it that venues which you hate are always kind to you. Bullocks Farm is one such venue for me. From the photograph (bottom right) you might think it idyllic! I have fished the venue four times and framed three times. So today was no different I drew permanent peg 22 (for the second time) - a good draw!
I set up one rig a 4x10 Jolly with no 11 shot spread out over the full three foot at 10 metres. I Plumbed at 12-o-clock and 2-o-clock and found 10mm difference. The twelve-o-clock was deeper due to anglers naturally fishing out in front, caused by fish "feeding-out" the silt. I expected to catch more at the 2-o-clock position.
I decided to try my new mix of ground bait which I fed through a kinder pot at 12-o-clock. I caught Crucians steady on 4mm GOT expander for while but it was not really working well enough. I switched to the 2-o-clock where I fed 3mm expander (five pellets every fish). I caught Crucians steady for the rest of the match. I think this worked much better due to:

1. The expander pellet feed falls slowly.
2. The Crucians are taking the feed pellet whilst moving (on the drop).
3. Not fishing in a "hole".

I finished the match with 25lb 13oz of Crucians for second overall and second in the Sivers and a pick up of £30.

Young Gun Tom Thick photographed with his catch of mainly Crucians (top right) won both the Match and Silvers with 28lb 2oz, qualifying for the Wednesday Silversmania. Tom caught on single maggot over swim-stim ground bait from peg 25.
The match proved to be a close affair for the top six.

Full Result:

1. Tom Thick 28-02-0 Peg 25
2. Mike Nicholls 25-13-0 Peg 22
3. Dave Wride 19-05-0 Peg 18
4. Bill Ferris 19-0-0 Peg 10
5. Andy Gard 18-08-0 Peg 26
6. Colin Golding 16-09-0 Peg 12

Top Silvers:

1. Tom Thick 26-10-0 (Wednesday Silversmania Qualifier)
2. Mike Nicholls 24-04-0

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Thursday 03/04/2008 Shangri-La

John Bennett invited me to help one of the Carps AC new juniors at Shangri-La, which I agreed to do. For those that have not fished this nine peg pool I have attached a photograph (right). The house and pool is owned by John's son Martin. I can remember Martin fishing for the Flowerpot back in the "real" winter league days. The pool is stuffed with Carp varying from 2oz to 20 lbs. There are also Tench and Chinese Koi. Shangri-La is the venue for the Carps AC Thursday evening league.

The junior was fourteen year old Ryan Houghton who had not caught a fish before. Colin Golding kindly gave Ryan an old Trabucco 13 metre pole. I set him up with a 4x14 Carp float he had in his box to 0.22 G-Line straight through to a 16 Colmic Nuclear hook. The swim was five foot deep (twice that of Bullocks Farm!). Decided that it would be best to fish corn at dead depth at 7 metre (there is a 10 metre maximum rule). Cupped in twelve corn kernels. Ryan's first put-in resulted in a three pound Mirror Carp and Ryan's first fish in the net! As the picture (bottom left) shows Ryan was really pleased - what a smile - makes it all worth while. Ryan and I decided that the best feeding pattern was three fish for every twelve kernels of corn. I must say I was impressed how quickly Ryan adapted to pole fishing (one to watch for in the not too distant future). Ryan fished for five hours and weighed in 43lb 12oz. The photograph (bottom right) shows part of Ryan's first Carp bag.

Note: Juniors fish for free with Carps AC and get one to one tuition! For more information go to

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Wednesday 02/04/2008 Carps AC - Huntstrete - Withy Pool

My birthday today so I decided to bring along some cakes to the draw for my fellow anglers. So happy birthday to all those born on 02 April, which includes John Baker, the previous Carps AC Treasurer and one time National Angling Champion. It was nice to see Andy Britt bring his Dad Bryan with him for this match (Bryan won the last Bathampton AA pensioners match from Withy Pool). The match was pegged a big strange to say the least - in blocks of sevens and fives which only occupied 50% of the lake, what a waste! I drew peg 57 which was 6 metres wide to an island - but an end peg (thank god).
I set up a Skimmer rig which was a 4x14 Jolly with no 20 Tubertini 808 to 0.14 G-Line hook length. The depth was about five foot down the track, which I decided to fish at 10-o-clock at 9 metres. I also set up a caster rig, for fishing over to the island with kinder potted caster, and single caster on the hook. I also setup a paste rig for down the left hand margin a 4 metres.

I started on the caster and had one small Roach which came off. Decided early to started over my Skimmer line with 4mm GOT expander pellet and didn't look back, I caught Skimmers from 3oz up tp 2lb all match. I foul hooked one Carp, which came off in five seconds and broke on another. Caught nothing on caster or paste, but both were fished half heartily.

I weighed 24lb 9oz for first in the Silvers and second in the match and a pick up of £35. Tom Coulston won the match with four Carp on bread on the straight lead and a few Skimmers for 38lb 11oz from peg 54
Chris Fox (pictured) was second in the Silvers with 17lb 6oz of quality Roach also from an end peg 41. Chris qualified for the Wednesday Silversmania by default.

Full Result:

1. Tom Coulston 38-11-0 Peg 54
2. Mike Nicholls 24-09-0 Peg 57
3. Colin Golding 23-00-0 Peg 45
4. Chris Fox 22-15-0 Peg 41
5. Dave Bacon 16-02-0 Peg 44
6. Bill Ferris 12-04-0 Peg 43

Top Silver:

1. Mike Nicholls 24-09-0
2. Chris Fox 17-06-0 (Qualifies for the Wednesday Silversmania)