Thursday, 31 December 2009


For many, many years I have been making allsorts of pole pots. Starting with pots which had sliding side linkages which hung swinging from the end of the cupping set (I did see one being used recently). I remember spending hours cutting sections of old top sets in half and gluing them to various would be cups – plastic bottles and plastic bottle tops being the most favourite, however, they could damage the top set if not used carefully as did many of the designs that fitted this way. Over the years many of the top tackle manufactures have marketed various designs based on the above concepts. I have now found two types of pots that suit my way of fishing and have been fishing with them for five or so years now and haven’t had a problem.

This first pot is one that I use all year round and most often in some form or other, so I carry ten – all basically the same. I make them myself from children’s “Kinder Surprise” egg containers. In the unlikely event that you haven’t heard of them – see picture top left. The cups are very simple and quick to make. I use both halves the Kinder pot – however, one will be deeper than the other. The deeper ones I tender to use for testicle size GB. To make the cups I heat up the shank end of a 2 mm twist drill and make two clean holes in the base of the cup at approximately 6 mm centres equally spaced about the cup centre. I then get a short length of old no 16 solid elastic and thread it through and tie a single over hand knot so it is just tightened to the cups base (don’t use lubricated elastics as the knots can come undone). It is very easy to move the knot to tighten further to suit the top set, that is until the knot is fully tightened. I then trim of the ends of the elastic. See pictures right of two completed pots. There are many advantages to the application of these pots:
  • Very easy to make – just a few minutes.
  • Very quick and easy to fit to the top set.
  • They will not damage the top set.
  • They can be slid up and down the top set very easily. I often slide the pot down the top set after feeding close to the end especially if the wind is a problem blowing the line over the pot.
  • If the line does catch over the pot when positioned close to the end of the top set a decent size fish can pull the pot off on to the elastic. I have landed a few Carp like this!
  • I use the pots for both loose feeding and when slid down the top set I can use the same cup for shipping out paste hook bait. My so uses two in this mode one for the paste and the other for loose feeding.
  • They float.
  • C-h-e-a-p – 79p for 2 cups (or as KC has commented - 2 for 64p in Tesco's, even better)!!
The manufacturers have recently made the two halves of the egg hinged. If you buy this type then you need to cut off the hinge. Alternatively you can keep the lid on and burn out holes in the lid. I have made a "Salt" and "Pepper" pot this way, which I used when I fished the canal for very light feeding and to ensure I didn't feed too many swims!!

The second pot is one everyone will recognise which is the Drennen Polemaster pots (the middle size is pictured right). These come in three sizes. However, I only use one size which is the 150 ml (I do carry the smaller one as spare). I mainly use this for feeding GB. If I am to feed six to eight balls on the long pole at the start I sometimes loosen off the screw which holds the pot to the top set. This allows the pot to rotate freely about the pole. This helps prevent early ejaculation!

Monday 28/12/2009 - Viaduct Two Day Silvers Freeze Up - Day 2

Although having checked that the Subway in Glastonbury would be open by 07:30 Bela and I were again disappointed to find the moron that was opening up as we arrived didn’t appear to know what day it was. So on to MacDonald’s again – and the last time for me. In future back to Shipham, sorry Bela doesn’t look like you going to get your breakfast in a loaf.

Steve Long wanted to proof load his new bridge over Spring Lake on peg 1 and required four average sized anglers to stand at mid span. I did better than this I got two anglers for the price of four. The picture right shows the bridge hardly deflecting under the weight of 36 stone (close on a 1/4 of a ton). Bridge passed with flying colours.
I must say I was a bit concerned that I would draw the peg 110 again today. However, out came peg 37 on middle. I was delighted as the section was won from this peg by Dave Roper with 13lb of Skimmers all caught in the last ¾ of an hour. I had a quick chat with Dave who gave me the low down – “take it easy with the GB”. The previous day Middle was ice free, but with a very heavy overnight frost there was about 3 mm of ice. I was hoping to clear it using the pole and cupping set, but it was just a little too thick. So round to Tim Pallant who was on peg 35 to borrow his ice breaker. It was a bit of a monster and I could only throw it 7 metres. So I dragged it back to Tim who reckons he can throw it 13 metres – should take up the shot put mate. Luckily Colin Dyer arrived on peg 38 and had a pensioner sized ice breaker. Unfortunately it only had 13 metres of rope (as you would expect) so I had to settle for that. I did make sure I cut a narrow channel as I think the ice do give the fish a bit of cover in the Vodka clear water. However, this does limit you to basically one swim, which I thin can be a good thing. Overnight I had decided to take a few of my Canal rigs with me (yes I still got them). So I set up a Senses Desque 0.3g wire stem – wire tip with 0.1 main line and 0.05 bottom to a size 20 Green Gamakatzu bloodworm hook. I also set up the usual PB14 with 0.1 hook length and 20 Tubertini 808. The plan was to start on the light rig until I caught my first Skimmer then swap to the heavier rig. I had no reason to change my feeding pattern, so fed identical. I did expect to catch a few Ronnies early, but not. To cut a very long story short I had my first bite at 15:30 and which was a 1lb Hybrid. I thought I might now start bagging, but alas not I did have a 5oz Ronnie at 15:50 which put me on 1lb 5ox and third in the section which was won by Andy Powers with 4lb on peg 33 and second weighed 1lb 9oz.

I think it was Tim Ford that mentioned ecently the lack of junior anglers coming in to the sport. As I said I think most are now entering via the Commercial fishery route but there needs to many more as I think the future of match angling is at risk. I mention this as pegged next to me today was a 15 year old junior (so I was pegged between the oldest and youngest anglers fishing today). His name is Geraint Powell (pictured right looking pensive on what to do next – like the rest of us then) and had travelled all the way from South Wales to fish the two day event. We all should nurture these young anglers and help them all we can to early success, which will maintain their long term interest. We also need Dads that are prepared to fund their kids and take them fishing even though they might not fish themselves. I do hope we see more of Geraint who, although didn’t have a bite, fished to the final whistle and well done Dad for supporting him.
The match was won by Tony Rixon from Campbell peg 114 with ….see his blog.

As anticipated there were two anglers with two section wins with the winner Joe Roberts (pictured right) taking first place on weight with 20lb 1oz to Bob Gulluick’s overall weight of 9lb 4oz.

Full Result:

Section Winners Day 2:
Section 1 Andy Power 4-14-0 Middle
Section 2 Joe Roberts 12-09-0 Carey
Section 3 Bob Gullick 2-04-0 Carey
Section 4 Tony Rixon 15-02-0 Campbell
Section 5 Nick White 6-10-0 Campbell

Overall Series:

1. Joe Roberts 2 points 20-01-0
2. Bob Gullick 2 points 9-06-0
3. Tony Rixon 4 points 19-05-0
4. Dick Bull 4 points 13-03-0
5. Nick White 4 points 11-06-0
6. Dave Roper 5 points 25-0-0

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Sunday 27/12/2009 - Viaduct Two Day Silvers Freeze Up Day 1

At last I have found a reliable source for weather forecasting. The site provides text description, plus weather animation throughout the selected day of the week ahead – copy/paste the following address in to your navigation bar - worth a try:

A bit of a run around for breakfast this morning, with the Shipham Café still getting bad press it was off to a place call Subway in Glastonbury (I discovered it’s not an underpass but a fast food type place). However, on arrival Bela discovered it was closed until 08:00, even though Tony Rixon had promised it would be open at 07:00 – say no more. Having met up with Tony we decided a driven in to Glastonbury looking for some breakfast type food. This failed miserably, so a two point turn and we were off to MacDonald’s in Street. Thankfully they were open and after some sort of “Muffin” (why are the eggs so perfectly round) and a cup of tea we were soon on are way to part company with £50 for the Viaduct two day Silvers “freezer up”.

With 32 fishing it was decided to have a free draw on both days with 5 sections of sixish! Each section winner each day would pick up £60 with the top four picking up overall. So I reckoned that you needed two section wins to frame overall and the highest weight on both days to win.

On arrival I was amazed to find that there was 1 inch of ice on both Carey and Campbell with a few pegs having some of the ice broken up. However, Middle was completely ice free (not necessarily good).
Again I picked out two pegs connected by a staple – bad omen. However, having put one back I was reasonably delighted to open peg 110 on Campbell – a noted big Silvers peg. However, looking in to the water I could see the bottom and the tin cans etc…that had been discarded by match anglers!!! The ice on the peg had been broken up out to 9 metres but had been reconnected over night by “Cat ice”. This was the same for fellow Coffin Dodger Rich Coles who was on peg 111. It only took a few minutes to clear the ice as once it was freely floating the facing wind blew it into the margins. Some anglers were faced with throwing their breakers (see picture top right).
I set up two rigs, one 4x12 Jolly black top for caster in to white water at 10-0-clock with no 20 hook to 0.1 hook length and similar terminal tackle under a 4 X14 PB14 for over the GB line at 1-0-clock. On the whistle I fed the caster line with a dozen scrumptious casters and then fed the GB line with a Kinder cup full of GB with a dozen Pinkies. After an hour an a half with no bites from either line I decided to take a walk – Phil Cardwell (pictured right - winner of my section) had been catching from the start on peg 112 and had about 7lb and Adam Palmer (pictured lower right with the size of Skimmer that I had targeted) was also catching small Skimmers regularly) on Carey 78. Having decided that my feeding might be a bit frugal I went back and decide to feed GB and Pinkies regularly through the Kinder until I had a bite!! Well to cut a very long un-repetitive strain injury short I didn’t have a bite all match.
The match was won by Mash from peg 102 (I think) with 17lb of small Skimmers. Mash caught on flouro Pinkie over Kinder potted GB.
Tony Rixon said to me at the end that I wouldn’t have much to write about in the blog tonight – well I think mine is bigger than yours, which we ascertained some years ago - albeit the cold weather!!
Anyway back again tomorrow with no chance of a place overall, but hopeful of getting my money back and a breakfast from Subway!!

Section Winners Day 1 (All picking up £60)

Section 1 Mash 17-0-0 Carey
Section 2 Joe Roberts 8-03-0 Carey
Section 3 Dave Roper 13-02-0 Middle
Section 4 Phil Cardwell 13-08-0 Campbell
Section 5 Bob Gullick 7-0-0 Campbell

Do The Right Thing!

A day off today as the Landsend League was called off due to the lakes being frozen. Can't remember that happening last year. So I have taken the opportunity to get something of my chest.

I recently spotted the following article in the Bristol Evening Post. The interesting aspect of the article is that Bathampton AA is an angling club open to any angler who wishes to join. The club is managed on a non profit making basis by a Committee elected by the general membership at an Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Committee members give up their time free of charge (excluding honorarium and out of pocket expenses) in managing the club affairs. Any member can nominate themselves for the committee (I am sure there are always vacancies). Bathampton AA waters are NOT Commercial fisheries
The article was also covered by the Angling Times which reported that ..."In a meeting Mr Coulson admitted that BAA had made greater provisions for disabled members than any other fishing club he had visited. So it was difficult to understand why he then pursued his demand for compensation of £5,000 for "the effort, stress and injury to feelings".

So why did Mike feel the need to involve outside agencies, could there have been some other motive .... the £2,000 that the club paid to Mike can only come from one source - the pockets of the the club members.
My views are:
  • Bathampton AA does far more than any fishery I know in the South West for disabled anglers and it seems grossly unfair that the club members should have been penalised in this manner.
  • If Mike was unhappy with the club committee he should have chosen the diplomatic route by nominating himself at an AGM enabling him to voice his opinions and make change. Incidentally his father Tom was a one time committee member.
  • Fifteen minutes doesn’t seem an unreasonable amount of time to gain access to a fishery for a full days fishing.
  • There will now be two sets of access gates - one electronic for Mike and the other "as is". Lets hope the electronics are reliable!
  • BAA Committee should consider adding £1 to the Huntstrete day ticket for those that wish to use the Electronic gates.
Finally: "Mike, having proved your point I suggest you "Do The Right Thing" and donate the £2,000 compensation to BAA towards the new gates."

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wednesday 16/12/2009 - Queens Head Christmas Match - Boyd Valley Lake

The local pub match was in doubt after a number of the regulars cried off because of the weather (wimps), however it was the Carps AC Hardy men that save the day and picked up most of the spoils to boot.

The draw was held at the Avon Aquatics café and I must say I was impressed with the breakfast (too many at Shipham I think). It’s a pity the café not open earlier more often, particularly on a Sunday and Wednesday. I was told by the owner that they will open by request, worth knowing.
Dark, Damp, Cold (1 degree) and raining!!

A bit of confirmation news the Landlord (Martyn Rayet) and Landlady (Tanya) (pictured right – the Natch bottle isn’t balancing on Tanya’s head, it's on the top of the Christmas tree (Tanya can do most things but not this) apparently all the other fairies at the Queens head are too heavy for the Christmas tree) are to Marry Christmas Eve. I tried talking Tanya out of it, but her mind is made up – Martyn is a lucky beggar. That said I think they are very well suited and wish them all the best (pint of).

I also heard today that Colin Golding has donated a significant sum to the Amalgamation Fisheries for a new footpath around Tockenham Reservoir. Apparently it is to be named “Golding’s Way” – what would Dad George say?

I drew peg 2, not a bad draw I thought, and would suit my style of fishing. However, with no silvers pools today I had to catch everything that swims. On arriving at the fishery I was amazed how coloured the water was – bright red! Due to the heavy colour I thought the Ronnie’s might have a go, so the first rig I set up was my Ronnie rig. I also chose yo set up a “catch all” 4x16 Jolly at 7 metres. I potted in four balls of ground up expander pellet on the 7 metre line and started on the Ronnie rig and caster. I caught Ronnie’s to 12oz most of the day at various depths, the most productive being 12 inches off bottom. I did have a look on the GB line and caught 3 oz Skimmers every put in on 3mm soft pellet, however this was not as productive as the Ronnie line, where I stayed for the remainder of the five hour match. I weighed 25lb 14 oz of Ronnie’s for second overall and a pick up of £40 and a leg of Lamb (my favourite meat).

The match was won by Shaun Townsend from peg 3 with 30lb 5oz which comprised of 17lb of Carp (including a ten pounder) and 13lb of Roach. Shaun caught most of his fish on caster at dead depth. Shaun is my tip to replace Colin Golding he just needs to brush up on his pellet fishing and moaning!!

Full Result:

1. Shaun Townsend 30-05-0 peg 3
2. Mike Nicholls 25-14-0 peg 2
3. Martin Alexander 14-05-0 peg 9
4. Bill Ferris 13-14-0 peg 5
5. Bob Price 12-07-0 peg 1
6. Paulso 9-03-0 peg 10

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Sunday 13/12/2009 - Landsend Christmas Open Match

New people are now operating the the café at Shipham. However, the jury it out on whether there is going to be an improvement – so far no good!!! Lets hope they get it right.

Plenty of prizes up for grabs today at the Landsend Christmas

match (as pictures right show).

I drew peg 7 on Match Lake and was advised that I had drawn a Specimen Lake. I set up two rigs both Jolly’s a 4x12 for half way up the far shelf at 12-0-clock for corn and caster and a 4x14 for down the far shelf at 11-0-clock with 3mm pellet and 1-0-clock for caster/maggot. I mark the the depth difference using a black marker pen on the line just above the top rubber - saves having all the those white dots on the top sets. I potted in 12 casters in at 1-0-clock and some micro in at 11-0-clock where I started with soft pellet, after a just a few minutes I miss three bites, which proved to be liners as I then foul hooked a Carp. Next cast I did the same, both resulting in sizable scales! After re-feeding I then on to the caster line and had two 4 oz Perch (a bottle in the bag then). I then hooked and landed two Carp in successive casts. I re-fed with a few casters and retried my pellet line, which resulted in nothing – not even any line indication. I then put in a few grains of corn with a few casters and tried half way up the shelf – again nothing., I think the water is much too clear for the fish to venture in to the margins without some dense cover, especially as it was fairly bright. Everyone I good see were really struggling for a bite. So I decided to fish the remaining match on the caster line, changing to double red maggot hook bait (at this stage I think I should have opened another caster line a bit further down the peg). I re-fed with caster but this time added some red maggot. I then foul hooked another Carp, the hook pulled free but as luck would have it the hook connected with its dorsal fin (a double foul hooker). I played the fish for quite some time until it got fed up with me deciding to dive under the platform breaking me – bugger. I then landed two more Carp and 2 more 4oz Perch before the whistle. The four Carp weighed in at 22lb 10oz and my Silvers 2lb for a total of 24lb 10oz. This was the highest weigh on my bank and put me thirteenth overall and some Christmas fare on the way home to the Special One. So the venue experts were spot on again about it not being a Silvers peg.

Carp peg once again, with the expectancy of little to no Silver fish. The pegs along this part of the lake are only just over 13 metres wide, so much easier to fish than the pegs on

The match was one by Tony Rixon (pictured right with the Silvers winner and his partner in crime John Bradford) on peg 31 with an outstanding weight on the day of 105lb 1oz. I understand from Tony that he lost ten Carp which was only slightly less than the ones landed (as you can see he was tearing his hair out)!! A 50/50 ratio appears to be average this time of year. I am sure Tony will have something to say about me resting the peg for him at last Wednesday’s match. Tony caught on triple red maggot at ……. See Tony's blog.

The Silvers was won by John Bradford on peg 70 with 16lb 14oz. John caught mostly quality Roach with a few Crucian Carp and Skimmers on expander pellet.

Full Result:

1. Tony Rixon 105-01-0 peg 31
2. Andy France 46-08-0 peg 41
3. Jason Radford 41-14-0 peg 34
4. Dave Hodgson 37-14-0 peg 58
5. Dean Malin 33-11-0 peg 32
6. John Bradford 33-08-0 peg 70

Top Silvers:

1. John Bradford 16-14-0 peg 70
2. Nicky Collier 12-09-0 peg 16

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Thursday 10/12/2009 - Bathampton AA Over 55's Christmas Match - Bridge Pool

Today was the Over 55’s Christmas Match and the last match of the 2009 series. The weather conditions were again spot on for the anglers and has it happened the fishing was un-expectantly good too. Especially compared with last year when John Bradford spent most of the match breaking the one inch thick ice for us all! As it happened I drew peg 11 which was the same peg as last year. However, my thinking was that the conditions will not be dictating where I fished this year. Wrong. When I got to my peg the reflected sun was blasting in my eyes and I was just as limited as to where to fish. The thinking is that you can fish away from the sun and as it moves over to the first swim you can open a new one where the sun once was. Wrong assumption, we are not the “pied piper”, so don’t expect all the fish to follow!!

I decided to fish just inside and just to the left of the reflected sun (anticipating that the sun would move similar to that of yesterday). I also decided on a rig to the left, again just inside the sun. The LH rig would be fished at 5 metres where I found bottom at nine foot with pellet/maggot. The RH swim would be my caster rig. I started loose feeding a few casters at the same time potted in a few micros. I started on the red maggot over the micro and caught a 1oz Ronnie first cast. I switched to expander pellet and had a run of small Skimmers. However, as the Ronnie’s seemed to be having it, I switched to the caster and had a run of quality Ronnie’s to 12oz. I then had a lucky Tench of 2lb. Next cast I hooked a Carp which broke me (it might have been foul hooked). The swim died so out to 5 metres on the pellet and a few more small Skimmers found the net. Back on the caster and first cast a10lb carp was hooked and landed. I had a few more Ronnie’s until another 10lb Carp found itself in the net. I then hooked a monster Carp which I played for 20 minutes; having done all the hard work the hook came free at the net as did the worthy competitor. The two carp weighed 20lb 4oz and the Silvers weighed in at 15lb 4oz. This put me first in the Silvers and third overall with 35lb 8oz and a pick up of £25.

The match was won be Chris Snow (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with four carp and a few Silvers for 43lb 9oz from peg 32. Chris caught his fish using double red maggot over red maggot feed.

The Bathampton AA Heron was in attendance again today and put in at least six attacks. However, the heron only managed to take fish from Mike Jones and Bob Price.
As today’s match was a Christmas match where everyone is a winner I have included a full result and photograph of all today’s Coffin Dodgers entrants (that is all the ones that arrived on time). If you want to see the photograph at full size go to "Mike's pick of Pic's" on the Favourite website navigation bar to the right.

Full Result from right to left:
7th Mike Jones 13-03-0 peg 17
1st Chris Snow 43-09-0 peg 32
15th John Wild 4-14-0 peg 14
14th Terry Bruton 5-04-0 peg 19
20th Alan Jones 0-12-0 peg 23
11th Ian Sheppard 6-08-0 peg 29
8th Bob Feltham 8-07-0 peg 24
13th Bryan Sheppard 6-08-0 peg 26
19th Steve Jefferies 0-15-0 peg 25
16th Colin Golding 4-02-0 peg 4
10th Rich Coles 7-01-0 peg 21
21st Dave Bacon 0-10-0 peg 30
17th Terry Church 3-03-0 peg 13
4th Martin Alexander 34-08-0 peg 7
6th Bob Warren 14-0-0 peg 31
12th Pete Bryer 6-05-0 peg 16
5th Pete Phillips 16-10-0 peg 4
2nd Bob Price 41-12-0 peg 8
9th Bill Ferris 7-04-0 peg 15
3rd Mike Nicholls (out of shot) 35-08-0 peg 11
Late arrivals:
20th Tom Coulson 0-14-0 peg 3
18th John Bennett 3-0-0 peg 6

Top Silvers:
1. Mike Nicholls 15-04-0 peg 11
2. Mike Jones 13-03-0 peg 17

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Wednesday - 09/12/2009 - Landsend Christmas Match

The weather was spot on today - no wind, no rain (at last) and temperatures in the teens. I wanted to draw a peg on Specimen Lake but not any between 31 and 26. In to the draw bag with my left hand and I pick up two pegs one was stuck in the staple. This is bad news, as I always worry that I will return the wrong peg: and I probably did as on opening up the one I kept revealed peg 31. Peg 31 is normally a real Carp slayers peg. All the advise (and there was plenty) was to forget the Silvers and fish for carp at 16 metres up and down the shelf using double red maggot over pellet. However, I was in good company drawing next to the Gimp who was on peg 32 for the second time in consecutive matches. Oh yes beat him again!!

I got to my peg and decided on three rigs – a Ronnie rig/Perch rig, a soft pellet 4x14 rig for 1-0-clock at 13 metres and yes – the full sixteen metres for the far bank shelf with a 0.3 gram Gerry of Nottingham corn/pellet float. I decided to feed a couple of balls of GB at 4 metres out in front and loose feed caster at the same distance at 9-0-clock to my left. I also fed some micro at 13 and 16 metres. I started on the 13 metre line with 3mm soft pellet and was pestered by 1oz Ronnie’s. I came in on the 4 metre line over the GB and had one 10 oz Skimmer on pellet. I tried all the various baits over this line, but the GB just didn’t do the biz. On to the caster and I had a run of Ronnie’s to 8oz. However, I now realised that I wasn’t going to pick up money in the super pool with Silvers as Glyn Wickham on peg 33 was catching decent Perch and chub. Having tried the 13 metre line again and once more I was prevented from get to the better fish by the Ronnie’s I decide to fish the rest of the match for Carp in an attempt to get up the placing for a better prize. I tried all the baits on the table, all of which were prey for the Ronnie’s!! I decided to open a tin of corn (another 22p down the drain) and get some 4mm hard pellet out the bait bag. I catapulted half dozen of 4mm’s in and fished corn over them. I was still being pestered by Ronnie’s and had to hook the corn deep to keep it on the hook. I kept feeding a few 4mm’s. I then hooked a decent Carp which tore off close to the net and broke me (was it foul hooked I wondered). The up shot was that I hooked six Carp and got two out. I reckon the nearest any of them was to being in the mouth was 2 cm. I weighed 7lb 8oz of Silvers and 16lb 10oz of Carp for a total weight of 24lb 2oz. This was only good enough for ninth overall. I did come away with a bottle of Brandy and a ton of Quality Street!! I must say that I was very impressed with the Colmic pole. At 16 metres it is a very well balanced and stiff.

The match was won by Vic Bush (pictured right under the arm of the Silvers winner Tony Rixon) with 87lb 4oz from in form peg 11 on Match Lake. Vic caught at 11.5 metres using single caster over potted caster with a bit of micro.

The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon with 22lb 9oz from peg 3 on Match Lake. Tony caught on …………see his blog.
I must say I didn’t go prepared for the fine spread that the Duckett’s laid on; hot cottage pie, hot dogs and all the usual buffet fodder. If I had known I would have cancelled my dinner with the special one and got stuck in like the rest. I must say the prizes were very good too. Well done Mike. I am back there again on Sunday for next Christmas match.

Full Result:

  1. Vic Bush 87-04-0 peg 11
  2. Dean Mallin 73-03-0 peg 16
  3. Adrian Clark 64-15-0 peg 36
  4. Tony Rixon 40-10-0 peg 3
  5. Alan Oram 32-02-0 peg 25
  6. Andy Bryant 29-0-0 peg 13
Top Silvers:

  1. Tony Rixon 29-02-0 peg 3
  2. Glyn Wickham 22-09-0 peg 33

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Wednesday 02/12/2009 - Carps AC - Christmas Match - Plantation

This time of year I am really finding it frustrating trying to take photographs with it getting dark so early and all, plus the wet conditions. Last Sunday I dropped my camera in a puddle, but fortunately it is still in good working order. This was my first Christmas match of 2009 and with the weather improving I was looking forward to some good Skimmer and Ronnie fishing.

I drew peg 6 which Chris Fox informed me was the Carp flyer and I should win the match easy – just set up the straight lead then! Umm, don’t think so!! Fishing isn't that prescriptive or reliable. However, to Bob Price’s amazement I did set it up, plus one Silver rig. I started by potting in some ground bait at 10 meters, I wanted to fish further but it would have meant pole fencing with John Bradford who was on the next peg 5. Both John and me couldn't fish the middle of our pegs because it was in total disrepair - plus charging a £6 peg fee - a bloody disgrace if you ask me!! I fired out some corn to just off the opposite island and to my amazement it more or less landed where I had targeted. I started on the straight lead with double corn hair rigged. After 5 minutes Rich Coles was in to his first Carp on the pole. He was catching on soft pellet over micro. As I hadn’t had any worth while indications I potted in some micro about 4 metres away from my GB line. I then went out on the pole with single maggot over the GB and had a run of Ronnie’s to 4 oz. I kept slipping on a soft pellet trying it over both lines but without any luck. Back on the maggot and a 5lb Carp was in the net. The swim died a bit so not having completely given up on the straight lead (even though Rich Coles by now had five Carp). I tried again and first cast I hooked a decent Carp which I pulled out of just as I grabbed the landing net. I cast out again and although I was getting liners I made the conscience decision that I could not catch Rich Coles up on Carp and decided to focus on winning the Silvers super pool instead. Using soft pellet over the micro I started to catch Skimmers to 2lb. I stayed on this to the end with the swim dying from time to time from either the bright skies and/or Carp having a smooch round the micro. The one Carp weighed 5lb 10oz and my Silvers went 16lb 6oz for a total of 22lb. This was good enough for first in the Silvers and 5th overall and a pick up of £45.

The overall winner and Silvers winner gets first choice of the prizes; however, because of gout issues I left the red meat and alcohol alone and went for a Clucker instead. I also a second pick from the raffle, again I decided to plat safe a picked up a jar of toffees (that’s the special ones Christmas present sorted)!!

As expected Rich Coles (pictured right with his winning catch) won the match by a big margin, weighing 61lb 13oz. Rich caught on the pole at 11 metres using soft pellet over micro.

John Bradford (pictured bottom right with his favourite Red Fins) on the next peg to me was runner up in the Silvers with a nice net of Ronnie’s. John caught on tiny pieces of worm over chopped worm.

Full Result:

  1. Rich Coles 61-13-0 peg 9
  2. Mike Owens 37-12-0 peg 13
  3. Darren Vowels 31-14-0 peg 4
  4. John Thompson 27-0-0 peg 14
  5. Mike Nicholls 22-0-0 peg 6
  6. Colin Golding 18-06-0 peg 12
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 16-06-0 peg 6
  2. John Bradford 14-08-0 peg 5

Monday, 30 November 2009

Sunday 29/11/2009 - Stafford Moor Teams of Four

Bela and I were joined at the Globe Inn by fellow team members Rich Coles and Paul Locke. We had a great evening dinner; my sirloin steak was the best I’ve had for a long time. Because I have to minimise my alcohol intake due to gout issues I was off to bed early after just four pints. The heavy weights stayed up much later with a gallon or more on board by lights out!

At the draw I was asked by Captain Rich which lake I wanted to fish, Tanners or Woodpecker. As I am unfamiliar with the fishery I left it up to the Captain, which left Bela and I drawing for the two pegs on Woodpecker. I pulled peg 10 (see lake plan showing my two weekend pegs pictured right) and Bela peg 26. Rich was on Tanners peg 13 and Paul on fancied peg 35.

Well when I got to my peg my first thoughts were what a strange peg and why had it been pegged!! The platform looked directly up the lake and my LH margin being the main open water of the lake. As it was an out and out Carp match (highest weights of all species wins the section) I soon realised that to my RH margin was a group of trees that overhung the lake by at least 3 metres, which was surely a holding point for some munter Carp!! However, as with all my margin pegs I like to feed little and often gradually building the Carps confidence, then go in after them in the last couple of hours or so. So my plan was to fish for Silvers in open water for half the match and Carp for the second half. I set up two rigs the same Skimmer rig as the previous day plus a corn rig for the RH margin (another painful left handers peg ). I must have been the only angler that didn’t set up a waggler of lead rod!! I started on the Silver rig feeding identical to the previous day with similar results. After about an hour and having about 4lb of Silvers I hooked a Carp. I then up the size of elastic and first put back in hooked and landed another Carp. At this point I decided to give up on the Silvers and go in to the margin early for more carp (for the team’s sake you understand). I used a size 18 Colmic Nuclear hook (very strong and sharp) tied directly to 0.18 G Line for the corn, which was hooked very lightly – one strike and it’s off. First put in and the corn was taken on the drop and the third Carp was in the net. I then had another six Carp in consecutive put-ins, losing only one under the platform. With one hour to go the swim completely dried up. I was left with small Skimmers and Ronnie’s mouthing the corn. At this point I should have gone back out for Silvers, but I was hoping for a couple more carp which didn’t materialise. I weighed 4lb 14oz of Silvers and my nine Carp weighed 45lb for a total of 49lb 14oz, which point me fourth in the section and tenth overall. Whilst packing the van Bela said he thought he might have won the Silvers with just 9lb 8oz. I thought this unlikely. Back at the results, guess what Bela (pictured right) did win the Silvers and I was absolutely amazed when I was told I had won £40 for second in the Silvers!!

The match was won by Gary Webber from Woodpeckers peg 3 with 97lb 3oz. Gary caught on waggler and straight lead using corn hook bait.
Team wise Somerset stormed the match with just 9 penalty points. Charlie’s Angels ended with 22 penalty points for 5th overall. Paul Lock did best in the team with 52lb and a section second.

The man of the weekend must be Steve Kedge (pictured bottom right) who had a second placings on both days and lead his team to first overall. Well done matey.

Full Result:

  1. Gary Webber 97-09-0 peg 3 W
  2. Steve Kedge 86-05-0 peg 22 W
  3. Mel King 72-01-0 peg 16 W
  4. Bryan Shanks 64-08-0 peg 3 T
  5. Nick Jones 60-14-0 peg 4 W
  6. Ray Hayward 59-18-0 peg 18 T
Top Silvers:

  1. Bela Bakos 9-08-0 peg 26 W
  2. Mike Nicholls 4-14-0 peg 10 W (Accidental)
Top Teams:

  1. Somerset Angling 9 points (Penalty)
  2. Avon Angling 12 points
  3. Stafford Moor 16 points
Finally: The Stafford Moor Christmas match is to be held on the 30th December - Contact Andy on 01805 804360 to book in.

Saturday 28/11/2009 - Stafford Moor Silvers Open

After a hearty breakfast Bela and I were soon at the draw. Bela was first in the queue and pulled out peg Woodpecker’s 3. I was about sixth to draw and drew peg Woodpeckers 4 – next to Bela – what are the chances of that!

Dave Downton thought 43lb to 45lb was going to be needed to win the match (a bit precise from someone that caught 15 lb the day before pleasure fishing!!). However, I thought 25 lb would be sufficient to frame, which I made my target weight.

The weather had dramatically changed - for the better and both Bela and me had plenty of shelter from the wind as it was off our backs and with the high bank behind us made it was quite comfortable. However, we had a tree lined spit between us that extended out about 16 metres, so we couldn’t see each other but could still manage a chat. I must say I thought the peg more of a Carp peg that a Silvers peg, but I guessed it was pegged because of the shelter from the elements that it gave. I set up two Ronnie Rigs, one for fishing elasticated top set distance and the other a 4 metre whip. I also set up a Skimmer rig for 10 metres at 11-0-clock. The lake map promised me 8 foot of water, but only provided 6 foot (I shouldn’t buy anything down this way measured in feet and inches)!! As I thought Carp might be an issue, possibly effecting the Silver fishing I decided to fish ground bait over the Skimmer line (Carp tend not to like ground bait – especially the GB’s that have no fish meal content). I feed three Satsuma’s size balls through the cup. As I like the Skimmers to settle over the GB I started on the Caster and top set, which resulted in one ½ oz Ronnie. I then tried the 4 metre whip and found this very slow. So an earlier start on the Skimmers then! First put in and a 6lb Carp was soon stretching the hell out of my Skimmer rig. Umm!! Out again and I started to catch Skimmers in the 2-3oz bracket (what big eyes they have). In between I started to catch some good size Crucians on 3mm Pellet or caster. At the half way stage I started to top up through the Kinder pot, which kept the Skimmers and Crucians coming. I had a rest bite and came back on the top set and found that a few Ronnie’s had moved in, but I couldn’t make up my mind whether the Ronnie’s would weigh more than the Skimmers, even taking in to account it was much quicker on the Ronnie’s – difficult decision, but I was swayed to go back out on the Skimmers in case I caught more Crucians – which were going to be a real bonus today. I didn’t have any more carp trouble and finished the match with ten Crucians and a shed load of “peas in the pod blades”. I was amazed when I weighed 24lb 8oz achieving my target weight. This put me third overall and a pick up of £50.

The match was won by Tom Pallent (pictured right) with 34lb 3oz also from Woodpecker peg 34. Tim caught decent Skimmers to 2lb on chop worm or maggot hook bait over neat chop worm with a pinch of red maggot.

Bela weighed 11lb plus 4 Carp!!

Full Result:

  1. Tim Pallant 34-3-0 peg 34 Woodpecker (W)
  2. Steve Kedge 32-08-0 peg 32 Tanners (T)
  3. Mike Nicholls 24-08-0 peg 4 W
  4. Gary Webber 23-09-0 peg 5 T
  5. Adam Palmer 22-05-0 peg 26 W
  6. Darren Waite 20-09-0 peg 8 T

Friday 27/11/2009 - Siver Fish Practice at Stafford Moor!

Off to Stafford Moor for the Saturday Silverfish Open and the Sunday Teams of Four with Charlie’s Angels. I was travelling with Bela Bakos who was standing in for Charlie Barns. Bela and I decided to travel down on the Friday morning to get a Silver fish practice session in. By time we got to Bridgewater the weather had deteriorated in to heavy rain, so we changed our plan for a session on the lead. By the time we got to Exeter the weather worsen so I decided to have a lead fishing lesson from Bela. On arriving at Stafford Moor the wind had picked up to add to the rain, so we agreed that the fishing kit would stay in the van. We met up with Dave “Dodgy” Downton and Mike Etheridge who were also down for the weekend. Dodgy was fishing and Mike was tying some rigs in the Log Cabin. Mike soon had the kettle on; I must say he makes a great cup of tea.

We then went down to see Dodgy (pictured right fishing on peg Tanners peg 5). The conditions were awful. We didn’t hang around long and was soon enjoying another of Mike’s cuppers. Mike then took Bela and me on a tour of his tackle (Mike and Bela pictured bottom right with Bela having a rig tying lesson). I was amazed how much tackle Mike had and how clean and well prepared it all was. In fact Mike must be the number one “Tackle Tart” in the South West, yes Dodgy don’t even come close.

We then went off to find the Globe Pub in a place called Beaford, which we soon found only a 10 minutes drive away.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thursday 26/11/2009 - Bathampton AA Over 55's - Bridge Pool

The Bathampton club Heron (similar creature pictured right – apparently there are 61 Species of Heron, but this is the model that Bathampton AA appear have taken ownership of) was active again today. It first decided to have a go at Bob Price on peg 17, but failed to nick his fish. It then spotted John Wild on the next peg to me playing a 3oz Perch. Well within 10 seconds John had lost his Perch and rig. The Heron then dragged the lot on to the island and swallowed the Perch whole. It could then be seen flying towards Withy with the rig flying behind it like a kite. I must say this isn’t the normal behaviour of Heron’s; perhaps a phone call to the RSPCA/RSPB might be in order.

I drew peg 24 which can be both a good Carp peg and Silvers peg depending on the prevailing conditions and time of year. I set up just the one rig, a 4x16 Jolly, which I fished at top set plus two sections on in front in nine foot of water. I decided on red maggot hook bait over kinder potted red maggot. I started well catching 3/4oz Perch every put in. Then the sun came out on to the water and things slowed. I found that by picking up the tow I started to catch the odd Skimmer to 10oz. However, because the wind kept veering, picking up the tow became difficult with the float suddenly running in the opposite direction. On reflection I should have fished a 4x18. I persevered with this until the last hour when in anticipation of a Carp I decide to up the feed, by filling up the kinder pot and feeding similar amounts after every fish. With 15 minutes to go I was rewarded with a 10lb 7oz Mirror. On the last put in of the day I fouled a decent Silver fish but pulled out. I weighed 11lb 10oz of Silvers, this combined with my Carp put me first overall with 22lb 1oz and also first in the Silvers and a pick up of £25.

Mike (The Peter Pan of Angling) Jones (pictured right with the overall winner) picked up the Silvers pool by default with 9lb 6oz. I am amazed how well Mike does on the wag and mag, especially in the windy conditions that were present today. I just hope he doesn’t get the confidence to use his pole more often or we’re all in trouble!!

Full Result:

  1. Mike Nicholls 22-01-0 peg 24
  2. Chris Snow 21-05-0 peg 7
  3. Colin Golding 10-13-0 peg 10
  4. Mike Jones 9-06-0 peg 31
  5. Steve Jefferies 9-01-0 peg 29
  6. Bob Price 7-06-0 peg 17
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 11-10-0 peg 23
  2. Mike Jones 9-06-0 peg 31

Friday, 20 November 2009

Sunday 22/11/2009 - Landsend Open

The number of people currently in Great Britain is 61 millionish, I have to ish as this Government (and previous Governments) do not record everyone leaving GB, difficult to believe but true. The population is expected to rise to 71 millionish within the next ten or so years. My question to the Politician’s of all parties is:

“What is your population policy and at population level would you consider GB full?”
I know the answers to both these questions:
  • None of the major political parties have any specific policies in this respect.
  • Where ever drive - country lane to motorway the roads are jammed full so I believe the country is already full so:

"We should act now by calling for a population policy to enable a decrease to a long-term environmentally sustainable level - well below the current 61 million."

The consensus is that the Shipham Café breakfasts are not as good as they once were. I had to leave what looked like a cross between fried bread and toast due to it being inedible. Unfortunately it’s Hobson’s choice.

I drew peg 3 on Match Lake and immediately after the heavens opened up. Tony Rixon could be seen cowering in the back of his van worrying that his SA tan might get washed off! Any way thank God you’re back in the shop matey.

The water in Match Lake has gone very clear. I think this is mainly due to the leaves that have fallen from the many trees that surround this lake. If I was Mike Duckett I would cut the lot down and get some air on the Lake. The peg looked dower to say the least. However, I am the optimist as always. I set up three rigs – one for the small Ronnie’s on maggot, the second for 3mm pellet at 11.5 metres at 11-0-clock and a maggot/caster rig at 13 metres just up the slope at 12-0-clock. All the rigs were 4x14’s. I started by potting in a little bit of wetted micro with a pinch of red maggot. I loose fed so me maggot and caster at two metres for the Ronnie’s and started on this line. Nothing!! Out on the 3mm pellet at 11.5 metres and immediately my first Carp was in the net. My next three put-ins saw another three 4lb Carp in the net. On my fifth put in I broke my 0.14 hook length on a bigger Carp trying to prevent it going under the platform (which idiot said that Carp don’t fight as well in the winter). At this stage no one else had a Carp. Was I going to empty it today. The answer was not. The sun came out and I foul hooked and lost three Carp in consecutive put-ins. I then struggled for the rest of the match catching the odd Ronnie’s, Skimmers and Crucians. I weighed 17lb 10oz of Carp and 8lb of Silvers for a total of 25lb 10oz. This put me 7the overall and one out of the coin by 2lb – that lost Carp costing me, I think I could play the Carp better if given the opportunity again!!.

The match was won by Kevin Moulton (pictured above right) with 47lb 13oz from Match Lake peg 19.

The Silvers was won by Dean Mallin (pictured at the bottom - three times because Dean hasn’t yet decided which is his best side – I got news for you mate you need to rely on your personality like the rest of us) with 22lb 8oz from Match Lake 17. Dean caught down the far shelf using maggot hook bait over maggot.

Full Result:

  1. Kevin Moulton 47-13-0 peg 19
  2. Jason Radford 44-13-0 peg 11
  3. Andy Bryant 43-14-0 peg 31
  4. Alan Oram 43-10-0 peg 32
  5. Tony Rixon 30-11-0 peg 13
  6. Martin Lanaghan 27-05-0 peg 1
Top Silvers:

  1. Dean Mallin 22-08-0 peg 17
  2. Anton Page 15-10-0 peg 39