Monday, 29 December 2008

Monday 29/12/2008 - Bathampton Open - Huntstrete - Bridge Pool

Well the Wallace and Grommet 30 minute film got the highest viewing figures over the Christmas (14 million - I think). Goes to show what a load of rubbish both the BBC and ITV put out - at least the WandG film was made in Bristol. It's a good job I got a hobby!

I drew peg 30 today - very pleased with this as six days ago, I pleasured fished peg 31, and had 28 lb of carp and 20 lb of Skimmers on the corn. So set up the one rig then! I hooked four Carp losing one through the hook straightening. The three landed weighed 18lb dead. In the last 40 minutes I switched to single maggot and had two Skimmers and four Ronnies for 2lb 4oz and and total weight of 20lb 4oz. This put me third overall. In hindsight I should have fish maggot throughout I am sure I would have won the Silvers which needed only 4lb!!!

Although there wasn't an overnight frost, this was the coldest I have been all year. The wind was bitterly cold.

Bob "The Bread" Price (pictured top right with his biggest fish on the day - a 13lb Mirror carp) won the match with an all Carp catch of 65lb 4oz from peg 29. Bob fished his usual straight lead in to both open water and up to the island. Bob fished hair-rigged double pieces of small luncheon meat (quarter of an inch square). Bob fed the Seagulls (which are becoming a nuisance with their aggressive squawking) pellet over his luncheon meat!!

The Silvers was won by Matthew James with 4lb (which included a out of season Tench) from peg 26.

Full Result:

1. Bob "The Bread" Price 65-04-0 peg 29
2. Terry Bruton 38-06-0 peg 17
3. Mike Nicholls 20-04-0 peg 30
4. John Darby 16-14-0 peg 31
5. Kevin Collins 12-10-0 peg 15
6. Bob Warren 12-0-0 peg 18

Top Silvers:

1. Matthew James - 4-0-0 peg 26
2. Kevin Collins 3-4-0 peg 15

Thursday, 25 December 2008

End of 2009 report and Lessons Learnt

Well that’s the end of 2008 – never to be seen again. On the whole I have had a very good year. I have caught plenty of fish and picked up in the pools regularly.

This year I have fished 108 matches (648 hours of fishing nearly one third of a year) and picked up in 75 of these matches. Included, was a run of 20 consecutive pick ups, followed by a run of 13 (unlucky).

However, I am aware that we should not stand still. Two comments made to me by anglers I highly respect have caused me to make some adjustments for 2009, and hopefully keep me in the running during 2009:

Comment one:
The first comment was made by my good friend Darren Gillman. The comment was made after the Sedges match on 9th July 2008 in which, Darren beat me in the Silvers - off the next peg by 11oz!

Darren pictured left with his ATWL 2005 Semi Final runners up catch of 37lb 7oz all Chub catch at Tunnel Barn Farm - I still haven't been paid for the loan of my catapult - £5 per hour I think we agreed!

1. Darren Gillman 48-0-0 peg 4
2. Mike Nicholls 47-05-0 peg 5

I had lost at least 5lb of Skimmers, put down by Darren as to using “too strong elastic”. I recognise that I do play the compromise dice; I like to think I can land a big double Carp as well as an 8oz Skimmer. So I have taken Darren’s comments on board and made up three top sets with lighter elastics (still dual core though!) in combination with the pull-a-bung system. I recently landed my first Carp at Stafford Moor on the pull-a-bung which weighed 7lb 4oz. I am amazed how much pressure you can put on the fish with these light elastics, I straightened the hook pulling too hard, which came detached in the landing net!! I am definitely going to go through a learning curve with this set up – one to watch for 2009.

My congratulation goes to Darren for winning the South West Angling Times Individual tile again in 2008. This makes it twice in four years. Well done matey, hope you make it two in a row.

Comment two:
The second comment was made by my long time friend (and friendly tackle dealer) Tony Rixon. He thinks I fish “too short” and miss out on additional fish (mainly Carp I think). I don’t fully agree with this as my usual comment back is “fish can swim”! However, when it comes to some corner pegs and the Landsend Fishery he is correct.

Tony pictured right with his 55lb runners up catch of Carp in the Angleloc semi final knock-out at Gold Valley between Avon Angling and Diawa Dorking, with John Raison (right) on the scales. We were beating Dorking until the last five minutes when Tommy Hillier landed a double figure Carp from the margins on a long float rod.

As my current pole, which was purchased in June 2003 was due for renewal, I decided to have a look at the current top of the range poles. After three months of testing I have just purchased a COLMIC 707 New Evolution (being superseded in 2009 by the 808, which will be made, on the same mandrel as the 707). It was a toss up between this and the COLMIC X5000. In my opinion (and many others) both these poles are better in most respects to either:

DIAWA Airity
DIAWA Professional (this pole is better than the Airity!)
SENSAS 774 (my third choice)

The X5000 will be popular by those anglers who like to pull hard – I don’t think you can break this pole on a fish!! Colin Golding bought one – so no better test!

I chose the 707 as it had better balance than the X5000 at the extreme lengths – I can fish 16 metres all day with this pole. During a trial at Huntstrete on 23 Dec 08 I landed four carp 4lb, 6lb, 8lb and 10lb with ease (incidentally I also had 20lb of quality Skimmers – never lost one).

The 707 is made from patented HM 80 super high modulus carbon with Ultra-Light Aerospace Fibres (U.L.A.F.), the 707 New Evolution has been developed from the successful Match 707 pole. The technical improvements made to the original design have enabled us to increase the pole stiffness and reliability, especially when handling big fish, while keeping an excellent balance. For winter carp fishing on commercial fisheries and for fishing tubular elastics, we recommend using the Filler tip HM60 which will make your pole stiffer and more powerful. The pole comes with two mini extensions to reach the ideal length at 13.00, 14.50 m and 16 m. The Colmic Low Tension and Colmic Joint Line patented systems complete the features of this competition pole.

The low tension vastly improves pole shipping in damp conditions – it is often referred to by Italian anglers as the “fast pole”. When I first threw the pole forward it nearly shot out of my hands!!

If you are interested in any of the COLMIC poles or products speak to Tony at Avon Angling on 0179 517250 who can supply the full range at a price as good as anyone in the UK.

Finally: I leave you with this famous saying by the great Golfer Gary Player:
"The more I practice the luckier I get"
This is also very true with Angling. So get out more often.

"Best wishes for the new year" - lets hope for a warmer summer that 2008.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sunday 21/12/2008 Carps AC - Christmas Match - Viaduct - Campbell - Cary and Spring Lakes

We now find ourselves in a mild spell, forecast up to Christmas day. Light SW winds with temperatures 11 degrees.

I criticise match organisation at much as anyone - but I always give credit where its due. Today, the match was run extremely well by Paul Garrett, ably assisted by Gordon Cannings (he's the quiet one - who just gets on with it) and Martin Preston. The pools options were spot on (£5 Section - £5 Silvers - £5 Carp - no default - excellent) as was the prizes which were purchased and made up in to seasonal hampers by Mike West. Well done Mike - Professional job. Its these touches that make matches bench mark , as was the Bathampton AA Christmas matches of years gone by.

Sorry Steve, forgot to take my camera - catch you next time).

At the draw John Bennett handed me cheques for the following:
  • £50 for the highest number of Silvers win over the year (seven wins)

  • £30 for the third lowest winning weight
I was also informed that I needed to come at least third in the Silvers to win another £50 for the four monthly Silvers aggregate - John Bradford was currently a head of me by seven points (how did get all these points!!)
I could not believe my draw today - Spring Lake peg 2 - this is the fourth time in five consecutive matches that I have drawn this peg. It surely must be a flyer!! However, experience was telling me not to expect much, I took consolation in that I could try out my new pole. I set up a 3AAA waggler, a Skimmer rig and the four metre whip. I was undecided about feeding ground bait, but none the less fed two testicle size at the start at 12 metres. I started on the whip to see if the Ronnies were having a go, whilst the Skimmers settle over the GB. Straight away I started to catch small Ronnies on caster and decided to keep them coming for the first hour - in which time I caught 75 (per hour). On the hour I tried the Skimmer line for five minutes - nothing - the GB wasn't working - I couldn't see anyone catching opposite on the Skimmer pegs either. Um! I potted another GB testicle and resumed on the Ronnies. I tried another two times for the Skimmers - however, my new pole remains a virgin (I will discuss my new pole, etc... in my "End of year report and lessons learnt" journal - watch out for it over Christmas. I carried on to the end of the match catching small Ronnies. At the weigh-in I had 15lb 14oz (I estimated this to be 375 fish). I was surprised to learn that this gave me first in the Silvers and sixth overall (plus second on the Lake) and a pick up of £60, plus a lovely hamper. This also won me the four monthly Carps AC Silvers prize of £50 (John Bennett can now put my name on the cheque).

The match was won by Steve Denmead with 88lb 8oz from Cary peg 78.

Full result:

1. Steve Denmead 88-08-0 peg 78
2. Barry Fitchew 85-08-0 peg 134
3. Tim Pallant 70-12-0 peg 110
4. Ray Hayward 27-10-0 peg 8
5. Joss Garrett 18-07-0 peg 85
6. Mike Nicholls 15-14-0 peg 2

Top Silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 15-14-0 peg 2
2. Paul Garrett 15-12-0 peg 24 (unlucky - 2oz the difference)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Wednesday 17/12/2008 Carps AC - Christmas Match - Plantation Match Lake

With the weather being the coldest start to the winter for 33 years (remember the statements re-global warming - "warmer, dryer winters"!). The weather is turning a bit for the better with the temperatures today in the high fives - at least no ice to clear. All the anglers were surprised to find that the match fee today (for a Wednesday) was £25!!!! The explanation was that Carps AC had bought more prizes that budgeted for! How come the Chairman ran a raffle for the remaining prizes!!! I was assured that the Sunday Christmas match will be the usual cost of £21.

It is good to see Colin Golding back to full form - I could hear him moaning about the Ronnies taking his 6mm pellet 50 metres away - the Ronnies must hate him. I though it prudent to give the link to a video converted from super 8 - filmed in 1973. You will see/hear a number of well known names throughout - but take particular care around 7 - 8 minutes. Name the two top Bristol anglers? no prizes!

I drew peg 10 (permanent peg 12), which in the far left hand bay. I have never see any weight come from this area, although I was informed differently. There were a number of small blips from very, very small fish, so I decided to set up the 4 metre whip to fish over ground bait. I also set up w 4x14 to fish at 10 metres both at 10 o clock and 2 o clock. One to fish red maggot over GB the other 4mm pellet over micro. I started on cater over loose fed caster, which resulted in a 4oz Ronnies ans lots of un-hittable bites. These were less than 1oz Ronnies. The upshot was I struggled for anything decent and rotated the three swims for the five hours. However, I did have four small Skimmers consecutively once the sun went in for five minutes. I weighed 4lb 11 oz for 5th in the Silvers and ninth overall. I picked up 24 bottles of Stella Artios.

The match was won by Mike Owens (pictured right) from point peg 4 with six Carp for 21lb 4oz. Mike caught his fish on the straight lead to the opposite island.

The Silvers was won by Rich Coles from peg 1 with 9lb 10oz of Skimmers nad one decent Perch. Both anglers picked up identical Christmas hampers (thanks to Bill Ferris).

Full result:

1. Mike Owens 21-12-0 peg 4
2. Andy Curry 16-07-0 peg 6
3. Rich Coles 9-10-0 peg 1
4. Dave Bacon 7-12-0 peg 9
5. John Thompson 7-0-0 peg 19
6. Andrew Shearn 5-13-0 peg 5

Top Silvers:

1. Rich Coles 9-10-0 peg 1
2. John Thompson 7-0-0 peg 19

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Sunday 14/12/2008 Carps AC - Sunday's Silversmania Final - Viaduct Fishery - Spring and Cary

Friday night we had 44 mm of rain, followed by a mild Saturday, however, it was disappointing to wake to another hard frost. But for the first time in three matches - no ice on Spring Lake and the last chance in 2008 to win another £500. However, it was not to be. As John Bradford was "on the day organiser" he had his peg drawn for him, and out came peg 1. His face said it all. However, I did notice that his peg came from the top of the draw bag, so I went deep and drew peg 2 for the third time in three matches (It must be a flyer!!). Not today. My mate Darren Gillman drew fancied peg 17, behind the island on Spring.

I fed the pole and whip line with Lake ground bait and started on the GB feeder, which resulted in one fouled hooked 1oz Ronnie. Tried the four metre whip - nothing! Tried the pole at 13 metre - nothing. At this point I decided to set up a 3AAA waggler to fish over the feeder line. I started to catch 1 to 2oz Ronnies on maggot over caster. A switch to caster on the hook brought the same size fish. I could see Skimmers coming out on pegs 19 and 24, so decided to turn today into a practice session on the waggler. I felt I got it working reasonably well and hope that it will be of benefit in the forth coming winter leagues at Viaduct. I weighed 5lb 11 oz of small Ronnies for twelfth overall.

The match was won by Steve Kedge (pictured top left - Ian Spriggs look-a-like) with 23lb 4oz of Skimmers from peg 24. Steve caught mainly Skimmers at 14.5 metres using red maggot over ground bait.

Runner up was Bob Gullick (pictured right) from peg 19 with 22lb 7oz. Again with pole caught Skimmers. I think if bob fished the match again he would win it, as he had some bad luck with duff elastics.

Third was my winter league travelling partner Bela Bakos with 22lb from Cary peg 96. I will convert him to Silverfish yet!!

Full Result:

1. Steve Kedge 23-04-0 peg 24 (£500)
2. Bob Gullick 22-07-0 peg 19 (£300)
3. Bela Bakos 22-0-0 peg 96 (£200)
4. Andy Neal 19-0-0 peg 102
5. Shawn Townsend 14-06-0 peg 98
6. Paul Greenwood 9-09-0 peg 3

Darren was very disappointed with his 3lb 10oz - at least he wasn't first out of the money for the fouth time!!!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Thursdays 11/12/08 Bathampton AA Over 55's and Disabled - Christmas Match - Bridge Pool

When I was at school (1960's) I got my pocket money of an half a crown (12.5 new pence) on Friday's. On the Saturday I made a beeline for Woolworths to buy an Airfix kit, which once built, I would hang from my bedroom ceiling. If someone had told me then, that in 2008, I could buy the whole Woolworths store chain for £1 I would have saved a bit harder!! Where as it all gone wrong - Mr Gordon Brown. The Labour party will go down in history as the party that introduced binge drinking (24 hour licencing) and binge spending.

Today was the last match of the year, finishing with our Christmas match. Matches don't start again now until 26 March 2009.

We were all welcomed with sub zero temperatures and 12 mm of ice. It was an amazing turn out, with twenty anglers up for it, which was surprising considering the conditions. John Bradford was the hero, who went round Bridge Pool with his ice breaker and broke the ice for all the disabled swims (some of which weren't even in the draw! - well done John mate - nice to see the tackle trade looking after it's customer).

I drew peg 11, which is one of deepest swims on Bridge. I got my ice breaker out to Finish off what John had started! I set up one rig a 4x16 Jolly. It was a toss up whether to feed some micro pellet or ground bait. I now think I made the wrong chose by feeding a small ball of ground bait. However, I did manage to put together 6lb 8oz of very small Ronnies using single red maggot. This put me fourth in the Silvers and seventh overall. I came away with a bottle of Rum, a chocolate orange and some after eights - well done Colin for the prizes.
The Silvers was won I think for the first time by Terry Bruton (pictured top right with his Silvers catch) - (I blame the ice - I'm not going to hear the last of this, and with fourteen weeks before the next match!!!) Terry weighed 13lb of quality fish - including a Bream of 3lb from peg 15. Terry fished red maggot over caster at five metres. well done matey.

The match was won by Bob Dark (pictured right with one of his three Carp) from peg 7 with 37lb, which included some good Silvers weighing 9lb 8oz. Bob fished red maggot over kinder potted micro pellet and red maggot.

Runner up was my long time friend Bob Warren (pictured bottom right) with 27lb 3oz from peg 17. Bob caught four Carp down the left hand margin on red maggot.

Full Result:

1. Bob Dark 37-0-0 peg 7
2. Bob Warren 27-3-0 peg 16
3. Bob Price 23-0-0 peg 17
4. Terry Bruton 13-0-0 peg 15
5. John Bennett 7-10-0 peg 31
6. John Wild 6-9-0 peg 18

Top Silvers:

1. Terry Bruton 13-0-0 peg 15
2. Bob Dark 9-8-0 peg 7
3. John Bennett 7-10-0 peg 31

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Wednesday 10/12/2008 Carps AC - Silvers only Match - Viaduct Fishery - Spring Lake

Today was practice for Sunday's Silversmania. As expected the lake was frozen. The ice was about 12 mm thick - much thicker than Sunday - real plate glass. Steve long did his usual with his ice breaker boat. With Carps AC paying the top three I needed to draw either pegs 15, 16, 17, 18 or 19. I pulled out peg 2. I drew this peg in the same practice match last year and came second with 20lb. Not this time however, I could only manage 6lb 13oz of very small Ronnie’s plus a couple of better fish. This gave me 7th overall. Because of the bright sunlight the Skimmers have shoaled in the darker areas i.e. the pegs mentioned above. The sun hardly touches the water in this area all day.

The match was won by Steve Jackson  on peg 15 with 27lb 2oz. Steve catch consisted of all quality Skimmers.

To aid those that could not fish today I have included the full result of the match:

1. Steve Jackson 27-03-0 peg 15
2. Rich Coles 20-11-0 peg 18
3. Dave Roper 16-03-0 peg 16
4. Phil Cardwell 16-01-0 peg 19
5. Jess Jordan 7-06-0 peg 3
6. Steve Kedge 7-02-0 peg 10
7. Mike Nicholls 6-13-0 peg 28.
8. Paul Greenwood 6-11-0 peg 9
9. John Bennett 4-01-0 peg 4
10. Charlie Barnes DNW peg 25
10. Colin Golding DNW peg 24
10. Paul Blake DNW peg 17
10. Mike Owens DNW peg 11
10. Tom Thick DNW peg 5

As Charlie Barnes said after the match - "Sunday's final is going to be all about location, location, location"! He could be right.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Sunday 07/12/08 - Veals Teams of Four Winter League Round 7 - Viaduct Fishery

With overnight temperatures plummeting to -6 degrees, and as expected all the lakes were frozen solid. On our arrival, Steve Long was out rocking his boat breaking the ice. No one wanted to draw Middle - particularly the "bowl". This area can be devoid of fish at this time of year, you are also up against some good Silvers pegs on Spring. I wanted to draw any peg on Spring. Thanks to team captain Charlie he pulled out Spring 15. I spoke to Paul Garrett, who suggested that as the peg was in the far left corner, that I would catch Carp down the right hand margin. He suggested that I drop in for the Carp every 15 minutes or so. In terms of Silver fish and section points I fancied the peg. On arrival I was greeted with a small ice free hole (bring back the boat Steve!). However, Mark Broomsgrove lent me his old pole with a weed cutter attached, which, allowed me to clear the swim of ice out to 10 metres (this, proved, not to be far enough). As the swim would not see any sun (nor me) I was concerned that it might refreeze. I set up a rig for the margin (TBF cult) with 0.18 straight through, backed up with 22 elastic. I also set up my usual modified Preston PB14 with 0.14 bottom and 16 Tubertini 808 (I chose 0.14 bottom because of the icy conditions and the expectation of one or two large Carp - always best to scale down rather than up (they go to 20lb in Spring))! For the first time I tried the Vespe yellow hollow elastic which is about a number 8, with a pull-a-bung. I was impressed with it's performance - it's got good memory. The next dilemma was what to fed (if anything) . I decided on one testicle size ball of Sensas Black Lake with four maggots. On my first put in with single red maggot I landed a 1lb Roach on my landing net - which had become an iced up tennis racket (always helps to get a good fish "on top" of the net early). I decide then to put a Clementine (it's Christmas) size ball in - without any maggot. I then had a run of decent Skimmers. I then fed again, which resulted in some more Skimmers and an out of season Tench. I kept the odd ball going in until the last hour and half when the fished back off - FRUSTRATING - as I couldn't follow them out, due to the ice. Throughout, I fed about one pint of Lake and finished with 23lb 1oz. This gave me third in section and 13 points. I was one out of the Silvers pool with fifth, but won my five peg section for a pick up of £40.
I did try down the right hand margin with treble maggot for about three minutes! Surprisingly - nothing!

Team mate Rich Coles fished the Middle "Bowl of Death" and blanked along with I think, seven others. Despite this, Charlies Angels managed to retain third spot overall. Tom Thick had good points on Campbell 123 fishing double caster on the waggler.

The match and Carp weight was won by Andy Lloyd (pictured right) with 94lb from Spring Lake peg 8. Andy landed nine Carp and lost fourteen! Andy fished treble red maggot at 14 metres down his right hand edge into the end margin. Andy did well to land nine, as he had to guide the Carp down a channel two foot wide (two foot deep) between the bank and a large weed bed of lilly's.

Runner up was Steve Mayo (pictured below right - apologies for the poor quality - my range finder condensated) from Spring peg 18. Steve was the first angler this series to pick up in both the Silvers and Carp, with second Carp 46lb and fourth Silvers weight with 28lb 8oz. Steve caught quality Carp on the straight lead using "popped-up bread.

The Silvers was won by Matt Parsons with 34lb 13oz from Spring 19

Full Result:
1. Andy Lloyd 94-0-0 Spring 8
2. Steve Mayo 46-0-0 Spring 18
3. Eric Fouracres 28-13-0 Spring 6
4. Vince Brown 17-4-0 Campbell 110
1. Matt Parsons 34-13-0 Spring 19
2. Dave Roper 34-11-0 Spring 24
3. Chris Davis 30-9-0 Spring 20
4. Steve Mayo 28-8-0 Spring 18

Top teams overall:
1. Westerleigh - 91
2. Sedges Mosella - 77.5
3. Charlies Angels - 67.5
4. Avon Angling - 67

Top Individuals:
1. Mike Nicholls Charlies Angels - 87
2. Chris Davis Westerleigh - 85
3. Ryan Shipp Westerleigh - 77
4. Vince Brown Sedges Mosella - 77

10. Tony Rixon Avon Angling 71

Monday, 1 December 2008

Friday 28/11/08, Saturday 29/11/08, Sunday 30/11/08 - Veals Teams of Four Winter League Round 5 & 6 - Stafford Moor Fishery

Friday 28 November:

As I had not fished Stafford Moor previously, Bela Bacos and I decided we would fish the Friday open. This meant getting up at 4am ready for pick up at 5am. We had a steady drive down arriving at 8am, which included a stop for a McDonald's breakfast - this is serious junk food.

Bela was staying at one of the Lodges on site and gave me a quick tour before the draw. I must admit they are really nice and spacious. Very much different than the Royal Oak where the Angels were staying.

I drew peg 25 on Tanners. Information was, that it was not that good a peg - shallow. Also, it would not be featuring in the League. I must say after all the hype with regards this fishery I was a little upset to hear that there were such poor pegs in the draw!! With a £2 Silvers pool I decided to focus most of my attention on them. The upshot was that I had 12lb 2oz of 2oz Roach and Skimmers on soft pellet - maggot - caster - etc... I came fourth in the Silvers, but with hind sight I could have came very close, by staying with the Ronnies, rather than chasing the bigger Skimmers.

The match was won by fellow Angel Rich Coles (pictured right) from peg 36 with 119lb 9oz. With the lake being flat calm all day Rich was able to fish the waggler dead depth with 10mm banded pellet. Rich fished in to open water towards peg 1. Rich red about a quarter of a pint of 8mm pellet.

Full Result:
1. Rich Coles 119-09-0 peg 36
2. John Lacey 95-0-0 peg 35
3. Adam Palmer 60-15-0 peg 30
4. Eric Fouracre 43-03-0 peg 11
5. Vince Shipp 42-03-0 peg 16
6. Ryan Shipp 39-10-0 peg 5
Top Silvers:
1. Steve Fouracres 20-13-0 peg 32
2. Vince Brown 18-08-0 peg 4

Back to the hotel - a few beers - steak and chips and early to bed.

Saturday 29 November:

The talk at the draw was that Pines Lake was fishing bad, with Tim Pallant catching only 2lb the day before - pleasure fishing! Charlie arrived at the draw dead on 8-30 and we were last to draw again. The draw was conveniently at the Royal Oak, where we were staying. Charlie, informs me that I had drawn Pines 16! After a quick chat with Tony Rixon and a few others (apparently it's Nick Collins favourite peg - good enough for me), it therefore seemed I had one of the better draws on the lake, albeit it being shallow (three foot). When I arrived at the peg I had a very cold wind blowing directly in to my right hand cheek - it was bitter cold. As I was informed that there were only a few Carp in this Lake, I decided to fish it light (0.o6 Ignesti). I plumbed around and found the deepest part at 9 metres. I decide on three lines out in front (pellet) - 2 o clock (chopped worm) and 11 o clock (maggot/caster). The pellet line was the most productive. The first eight fish were all of different species - not usually a good sign. Mel King was on adjacent peg 14 and was struggling to get bites. However, Steve Mayo was opposite to me, on peg 13 and was getting the odd fish. I could hear the odd chattering suggesting that it was fishing really hard - some confessing to ounces. I fished it hard to the end and weighed 12lb dead for a lake win and a pick up of £40. Bela also drew Pines 26 and was last on the lake with 15oz!

The overall Carp winner was Vince Shipp (pictured right) with 61lb 12oz from Woodpecker Lake peg 20. Vince's little known brother Des (I have included Des's picture underneath for those who may not have seen him before) won the Silvers from Tanners peg 30 with an impressive 36lb 11oz of Skimmers and Roach on chopped worm and caster.

Full Result:
1. Vince Shipp 61-12-0 Peg Woodpecker 20
2. Jon Green 58-02-0 peg Woodpecker 22
3. Paul Garrett 46-05-0 peg Tanners 16
4. Tim Clark 36-01-0 peg Tanners 6
1. Des Shipp 36-11-0 peg Tanners 30
2. Tony Rixon 18-0-0 peg Tanners 26 (an excellent Silvers weight from this peg)
3. Martin Pettifor 17-12-0 peg Tanners 9
4. Brian Slipper 15-04-0 peg Tanners 35

On the Team front Charlie's Angels move up one position from fifth to fourth. Charlie was well pleased - promising to be first in the draw the next day!

It was announced that with today's lake win I was now top overall league individual with 60 points.

As the result was in our hotel we had already downed a few pints. Charlie is not a great drinker and after a couple and a hearty meal Charlie (pictured right) dozed off in the corner by the fire. Apparently only to revive later and keep everyone entertained with his endless joke telling.

Sunday 30 November:

Charlie nearly lived up to his word by being third in the draw - only after Rich Coles got him out of bed!

Charlie drew peg 36 Tanners for me, an excellent peg for Carp and Silvers. When I got to the peg the wind was blowing straight in to me, so the waggler for the Carp was out, so set up the straight lead. I set up two pole rigs one for four metres and the other to serve two swims (pellet/cwc) at 10 metres for Silvers. On the whistle I fed my three swims and then chucked the lead out. I counted to 120 - no indications so up the bank it went. I decided to focus on the Silvers until the last thirty minutes (this decision was reversed later). I had a steady run of Skimmers, Crucians and Roach. I then had a 7lb 1oz Carp and one lost foul hooker on pellet. However, I could not keep the fish concentrated and didn't work out the feeding pattern until the last half hour (I suspect Des Shipp worked it out after his first fish). I weighed 17lb 3oz of Silvers and the one carp for 24lb 4oz. This gave me a lake second and fourth in the Silvers and a pick up of £60.

Vince Shipp was two pegs away and weighed 23lb 3oz of Silvers. We discussed the feeding and Vince suffered the same as me, even though he had full instructions from Des. Des even gave Vince the rig he used the previous day!!! More to this fishing than meets the eye.

Full Result:
1.Chris Davis 44-0-0 Josephs 17
2. Brian Slipper 43-12-0 Woodpecker 24
3. Rich Coles 43-02-0 Woodpecker 10
4. Bela Bakos 42-03-0 Woodpecker 20
1. Vince Shipp 23-06-0 Tanners 34
2. Steve Mayo 21-12-0 Tanners 5
3. Ryan Shipp 18-0-0 Pines 3
4. Mike Nicholls 17-04-0 Tanners 36
Top Teams:
1. Westerleigh 79
2. Sedges Mosella 62.5
3. Charlies Angels 61.5
4. Sarfix South West 57
Top Individuals:
1. Mike Nicholls 74
2. Chris Davis 73
3. Rod Wootton 64