Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Wednesday 29/07/2009 - Carps AC - Huntstrete - Withy Pool

I receive quite a few comments about my blog by e-mail. The comments made are very interesting and can be shared with other readers, whom I am sure, would also like to read them. Simply use the “comments” section at the bottom of each blog entry and follow the instructions.

I have mentioned a few times in my blog Skip “The Stig” McCabe the record holder at Mawgan Porth. Well, It looks as if we have a new “Stig” with Harry Billings – doesn’t quite have the same ring, “you know what I mean”! I wonder how many fished.

Mawgan Porth: Match Lake, Fri. 10. Harry Billing (Mosella Garbolino) 363-15-0, carp on pole and pellet, peg 6, new match record; Andy Partridge (Spro) 189-5-0; John Slote (Mawgan Porth) 177-5-0; Wayne Ledbury (Mawgan Porth) 80-13-0; Guy Bristow (Barns) 72-5-0.

However, Stuart Redman must be the real Stig of the match angling world – See attached video and watch his rhythm and how focussed he is!!! 1,247 fish in five hours that’s 311lb 12oz; if they are all 4oz fish or 155lb 14oz if 2oz! Blimey, that is impressive. However, you do need the fish in front of you.

Matey Bela Bakos won Rip Off’s match at Avalon on Sunday fishing paste on the waggler to the far bank - How on earth does he do this?

Well at last the weather forecasters got it right – heavy rain all day, and it’s still raining as I write this blog (no Darren I haven’t got my Halkon Hunt clothing yet and yes I did use the Preston crap and yes I got soaked – make you feel better after Sunday). After a good breakfast at Hungry Horace’s with Mark Tanner we arrived at Withy Pool car park at 08:00 and had a walk around. No fish showing anywhere so I didn’t have a feel for which peg might produce today. On hearing that peg 57 was pegged Terry Bruton said that if he drew it he would go straight home (Terry fished it Sunday in the Bathampton AA Charity match and had two small Carp). It was a good job that Steve Jefferies didn’t go home after drawing it! There is no doubt that Withy Pool is difficult to peg, it’s like dealing a pack of cards! It was a good turn out today – probably because we were expecting some good weather – or was it because it was local venue.

I drew peg 41, a peg I have never fished but always wanted to. I was anticipating a good net of Silvers and perhaps some Carp later. I started on the Ronnie rig and caster and immediately knew the going was going to be hard. I had fed a 7 metre line for both the paste and pellet, so I had a try on both, only to be beaten to the strike by small Ronnie’s on paste, pellet, corn and caster. So I came back on the caster rig loose feeding wetted micro pellet with the same on the hook. This resulted in a run of small hybrid’s and Ronnie’s. With two hours to go I went back on the caster and had a few Ronnie’s – but the going was hard. With one hour to go the Ronnie’s suddenly stopped feeding. I thought it was because of the general poor fishing and miss read that the Carp had moved in. I went out on the 7 metre line and messed about catching the odd Ronnie on various baits. With fifteen minutes to go came back in on the caster and wham one lost carp. Tied a new hook and wham another lost Carp. With five minutes to go I plopped the paste in and wham a seven pounder in the net. Bugger, I wish I changed to the paste with one hour to go – all the signs were there!! I weighed 14lb 14oz which included 7lb 3oz of Silvers which put me third in the Silvers and a pick up of £25.

The match was won by Bob Warren (pictured right with runner up Kevin Dicks) with 49lb 12oz from peg 43. Bob fished paste all match at 7 metres, landing eight Carp.

In third place was Steve “The Skud” Jefferies with 40-12-0 which included a 17 lb Mirror Carp (pictured bottom right) - (which apparently shrank by 3lb whilst in Steve’s keep net). I don't think that today's Carp beats the one Steve caught at Sangria-La last year - Either way Stevee looks just as cold! (see picture bottom right).

The Silvers was won by Mr Pastry from peg 49 with a lowly 8lb 15oz.

Full Result:

1. Bob Warren 49-12-0 peg 43
2. Kevin Dicks 46-12-0 peg 54
3. Steve Jefferies 40-12-0 peg 57
4. Terry Bruton 40 -0-0 peg 74
5. Tom Thick 38-08-0 peg 48
6. Charlie Barnes 25-13-0 peg 69

Top Silvers:

1. Colin Golding 8-15-0 peg 49
2. Tom Thick 7-14-0 peg 48
3. Mike Nicholls 7-03-0 peg 41

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Saturday 25/07/2009 - Hillview Open

Every year Keith Hill runs a charity event at his Hillview Fishery. The proceeds of the charity go towards sending terminally ill children to Disney Land. Although the Wife and I support CLIC this charity mean much more to me as does Southmead NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), my two twin Granddaughters spent three months in this unit and believe me they not only save life they almost create it! This year Keith organised:

Fun Bus
Bar (Head Bar Man Terry King – God help them)
Paddle boat racing
Skin Diving
Various live bands

Hillview is where the South West meets South Wales and the West Midlands, so some language translation needed from time to time! On arrival I had my usual breakfast with matey Terry Homer (we can just about understand eeach other - but not always). I also met up with Terry King. Both these anglers take some beating in the West Midlands, however, both are always very approachable and willing to give advice.

I drew peg 17 on Moorhen Lake (see photograph right - you will also see the match winner packing away his gear). I was very pleased with the draw and further delighted to find I was two pegs away from Terry King on peg 19!! I am noted for fishing long on the Lakes at Hillview – five metres!! I had two good margin swims – one each side. I set up both a soft pellet rig at 5 metres (seven foot deep) and a paste rig. I also set up a margin paste rig for the LH side and a corn rig for the RH side. I was really fancying a ton or more today! I started at 5 metres on the pellet and had a couple of 2 oz Carp (Keith has stocked 14,000 of these blighters in each of his Lakes). I then had a small Skimmer, then a 3lb Carp. The going wasn’t good. This forced me in to the margins far too early. I tried both margins, but again the going was slow, with only a couple of Carp as a result. Back on the 5 metre line, this time on paste and I had a run of two Carp!! Back in to the corn margin and I had a run of one 12 lb Carp. Basically this is how my match went and after the five hours I wasn’t disappointed to hear the all out. I weighed 55lb 11oz for Tenth overall. No Silver pool here, however, Bob Ginster had 45lb of Skimmers form Moorhen Lake on Luncheon meat.

The match was won by Rob Lawrence (pictured above right shown with a part bucket of his catch) with 126lb 10oz from peg 7 on the causeway. Rob fished corn in to both his RH and LH margin over kinder potted 4mm hard pellet. Spoiling what otherwise would have been a close match!

Both Terry K (picture right being weighed in) and Terry H picked up money – another lesson from the boys from the Midlands!! Thank you.

I had one pint with the boys, but once the Wrestlers arrived I was off!

Full Result:

1. Rob Lawrence 126-10-0 peg 7

2. John Hale 87-13-0 peg 1
3. Terry King 85-05-0 peg 19
4. Terry Homer 83-01-0 peg 87
5. Bob Ginster 77-04-0 peg 11
6. Ian Bauker 67-110 peg 9
7. Lee Pestacio 67- 06-0 peg 76

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Thursday 23/07/2009 - Bathampton AA Over 55's - Withy Pool

Isn’t everything nice and green!! Yet again heavy showers – jacket on – jacket off - jacket on ….., until half hour to go then torrential rain and thunder - jacket staying on! The Coffin Dodgers were on Withy Pool today and for some reason there was a good turn out, probably due to the Kingswood mob not having a match today. For the first time Colin held the draw in the Withy Pool car park.

I drew peg 47. A peg I have won both the Silvers and Carp from, so was chuffed with this peg. But not as pleased as Terry Bruton who drew peg 50 and ran to his peg, Terry was nearly set up by time I got to mine! I kept to my usual plan of fishing for the Silvers for the first half the match, then on to the Carp, but only if the Silvers dry up. I was fancying the left hand margin as I had caught some big Carp there in a previous match. However, I started on the caster and had a run of Ronnie’s, but the going was hard. I decided that 10lb would be sufficient to frame in the Silvers, so when I thought I had reached this target I went in to the Margin – nothing - not even a Ronald willing to play football with my paste. I then went out on the pellet at 7 metres and – nothing. I decided to fish paste on the same line and had a run of six Carp to 18lb 14oz, losing one through bad knot tying! I weighed 10lb 13oz of Silvers for second in the Silvers and 60lb 12oz of Carp for a total of 71lb 9oz and first overall and a pick up of £25. I did say at the weigh in that I had a twenty pounder in the net and would run home naked if it wasn’t. However, I didn’t account for it losing 1lb 2oz whilst in the keep net!!

Bob Warren (pictured right) won the Silvers by a mile with 24lb 8oz of Skimmers from unfancied peg 49 – remarkable Silvers weight on the day. Bob caught the better stamp fish on paste and the smaller Skimmers on soft pellet. Bob also add a couple of Carp which helped him in to runner up spot.

So today it was a question of 1st – 2nd and 2nd – 1st.

Full Result:

1. Mike Nicholls 71-09-0 peg 47
2. Bob Warren 37-14-0 peg 49
3. Brian Sheppard 31-10-0 peg 74
4. Terry Bruton 31-01-0 peg 50
5. Martin Alexander 27-13-0 peg 53
6. Bob Feltham 24-10-0 peg 43

Top Silvers:

1. Bob Warren 24-08-0 peg 49
2. Mike Nicholls 10-13-0 peg 47
3. Colin Golding 8-12-0 peg 62

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Top That

I first met Mervyn Haskins during the fishing season of 1969 - 1970 at a South West Winter League match when I fished for the Ridgeway AA. Mervyn, is of course, better known as “Topper” Haskins. Topper was then captain of the City of Bristol team, a team always in contention for the South West Winter League title. Back then, Topper travel to matches on his motor bike with his tackle box strapped to the rear and with rods on his back.

There is a miss conception that Topper got his nick name through some association with fishing – not true! His name was given to him by his family – commonly known as his “Family given name”. Mervyn was born in 1939 and had four brothers Tom, Gordon, Jim, Jay and two sisters Brenda and Diane. Jim’s Family given name was “Demon” for some reason. The rest of the boys were also known as “Topper”.

Topper started fishing at an early age and had quick success. In 1956 Topper qualified for the “Peoples” Championship final on the river Ouse. For the youngsters reading this the People was Sunday broad sheet paper, very similar to the “News of the World”. It was a very popular paperback then – I know I use to have a Sunday newspaper round!! Alan Coley (another well known float maker - Wagglers and Sticks) had also qualified and travelled with Topper to the final.

Topper was fishing against the best anglers in the country, such as the great Ivan Marks. With heavy overnight rain the competitors were confronted with a rising river Ouse. However, Topper had a good draw with a bay just down stream, giving him some slack to trot an Avon float in to (no quiver tips or feeders back then). Topper won the match with 9lb 2oz. The picture on the right shows Topper landing a Roach on his running line and float rod - why the two keepnets?

Topper had a few good years winning most of the big club match
trophies. The picture right shows Topper being presented with the Bristol & West Open Trophy fished on the Crane stretch of the Bristol Avon at Keynsham in 1957.

In 1960 the fishing had to be put on the back burner as Topper was conscripted into the army at the age of 21, for the mandatory two years, joining the “Somerset and Cornwall” Regiment (it’s a shame that conscription was ever stopped). Topper traveled overseas quite a lot in that two years. One of his more memorable days was taking part in the “Gibraltar Sports Day” in North Africa – Trabruc – Al’adam. The sports day was traditionally held against the Army arch rivals the RAF based at Al’adam. Topper’s chosen event was the pole vault!! However, back then they didn’t have the carbon fibre poles they have today. Topper had to make do with a stiff aluminium pole. However the pole vault event became army versus army as the RAF were left wanting some what. Topper came second with a vault of 11 foot 3 inches, narrowly beaten by his army buddy.

As I have previously written Topper became the Bathampton AA Club team captain and had many successful years. The team event that Topper is particularly proud of was his John Smith’s Teams of Five win. Topper (pictured right with his winning catch) won the match with 9lb 4oz. His weight consisted of mainly Barbel, an eight pounder!

You can’t write about Topper without mentioning his now famous Crow Quill Avon floats, also commonly referred to as “Toppers”. The first of Toppers floats were constructed with a shaped balsa body slid over a crow quill. Topper later developed a three piece float with Separate crow quill tops and bottoms with high density foam with slimmer shaped bodies (helicopter internal blade quality – say no more). The foam floats took much more shot than the previous balsa type. He also added colourful whipping to help give the float rubbers grip. They were in fact a work of art (see photographs right of his float range) – and all duly signed “Topper” with the approximate weights in BB's.Topper has now retired from float making; however, a distant relation of his Mark Haskins is still making a very similar float (as far as I am concerned they will never be the same). I remember fishing an open match at Fry’s and Topper was up stream of me and he lost one of his home made Crow Quill Avon’s (this was before he made them commercially). The float had freed itself from the line and floated down in to my swim. I recovered the float and my first Topper float was in my tackle box. Some years later I explained the story to Topper and offered to return it. I treasure that float and I still have it in my river float box today. The result was another win for Topper - third in four matches (see newspaper clip bottom left).

With river matches in decline, mainly due to the advent of commercial fisheries Topper fishes few matches now days. However, he can be enticed back as a stand in on the river if a winter league team is short, but the river has to be “spot on”.
Topper married his wife Pat in 1963 and today (pictured lower right together in their back garden) –46 years on both share the same hobby of Caravanning. Topper now has a caravan down at Brean and spends most of the summers there. He tells me he goes fishing most days on a small lake adjacent to his caravan (Bream to 7lb).

I will never forget the 114lb 3oz match catch of Bream Topper had from the Bristol Avon from one below Swineford Outfall. Topper fished down the middle with one of his 14 BB Crow Quill Avon’s with bread on the hook.


Saturday, 18 July 2009

Sunday 19/06/2009 - Avon Angling Pole Only Open - Viaduct Fishery - Campbell

So Motorists will get up to £5,000 off the cost of a new electric car within two years under plans to create cleaner modes of transport. What a load of green claptrap. Where’s does electricity come from? No dear, not from the clean white plug in the wall. Electricity is generated from burning another fuel, typically in the UK Coal and Gas both process produce huge amounts of C02!! So what’s the point of burning a fuel to make another fuel!! On the other hand Nuclear power generation doesn’t produce C02!!

I had the choice today to fish either the Carps AC match on Carey or the Rixon’s Rip-off Pole only on Campbell Lake. I chose Campbell, simply because it was a pole only and I believed it would fish far better because of pole only, and it did with seven weights over the ton! I drew peg 114, which is a reasonable peg for Carp (although my mate Terry Bruton only managed 25lb the day before off this peg). After the draw a quick word with Steve Long, who informed me that the Silvers were being caught on worm over ground bait. I didn’t have any GB so borrowed some of matey Tony (6 month old split bag of Gimps Black). The wind was gusting into me at 11 clock so set up at 11 metres with paste as near in to the wind as I could. First put in on paste I had a 5 lb Carp. Then the wind got too bad to fish the paste - the paste was getting pulled off with the tow. A quick look round and the pegs opposite and those at the car park end were really bagging. So I made the decision to fish for the Silvers pool. I had fed some GB out in front at 11 metres and tried worm over it and had a few Skimmers. I could not pick up the under tow and was left laying on over depth, it was really slow. In to the Ronnie RH margin with caster after an hour on them I reckoned I had about 10 lb of Silvers. I had a couple of Ronnie’s fall off but luckily they landed in my Carp net – I will retrieve them later at the weigh in, I thought!! with one hour to go I decide to try paste in the LH margin over the loose fed 4mm pellet, which I had been feeding since the start. I had a run of seven Tench and one lost. Then the vermin moved in, disrupting the Tench. The result was a couple of double figure Carp. I weighed 33lb 11oz of Carp (unfortunately, I had forgotten about the two Ronnie’s and weighed them as Carp) and 24lb 14oz of Silvers for a total weight of 58lb 9oz (beat you again Terry). This put me 13th overall and second in the Silvers by just 4oz – I wonder what those Ronnie’s would have weighed? However, I did pick up £30. I was happy with this, as I felt, I could have fished better.

The match was won by Phil Harding (pictured right with part of his catch) from peg 125 with 177lb 7oz. Phil fished 8mm pellet shallow (6 to 18 inches deep) at 13 metres using hair rigged 8mm pellet, lose feeding 8mm pellet over the top. The majority of the framing weights came from pegs that had some shelter from the wind.

The Silvers was won by young Dan Squires from peg 123. Dan caught on 8 mm pellet at full depth fishing in to the end Margin. Am I ever going to draw this peg? The statisticians will tell me I might never draw it!

Full Result:

1. Phil Harding 177-07-0 peg 125
2. Bryan Shanks 167-12-0 peg 128
3. Martin Pettifor 148-09-0 peg 135
4. Tony Rixon 136-02-0 peg 112
5. Martin McMahon 127-08-0 peg 126
6. Martin Lenaghan 114-04-0 peg 121
7. Bela Bakos 100-02-0 peg 12
Top Silvers:

1. Dan Squires 25-02-0 peg 123
2. Mike Nicholls 24-14-0 peg 114

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Wednesday 15/07/2009 - Carps AC - Bullocks Farm - Match Lake

So I might have inspired yet another blogger, no other than “long term acquaintance” – Tony Rixon. I have attached a link to his blog (go to "my favouite websites"). From what I have seen so far it could prove to be a very interesting blog!! Oh, Tony's trying to improve his carbon foot print by going Green!!

I travelled again with Mark Tanner and it's the first time Mark has arrived early, in fact ten minutes and nearly catching me out!! I insisted that Mark parked his car in my lucky spot. Mark drew peg 22 (one of my favourite pegs) and I drew peg 25. I have never fished this peg before, but have always fancied it. My first impressions were that the fishery seems to be getting very overgrown. I started after the Crucians in open water at 8 metres with the usual 4mm expander over micro pellet. After five minutes I knew the Silvers might not be the option today. However, I persevered for an hour for about 8lb. I took the decision to go after the Carp up against the rushes to my left with paste. You need to be brave or mad to even attempt this (kids don’t try this at home). I soon had two Small Carp in the net – easy then. I then lost the next three, plus two rigs! I soon realised I was no longer fishing against the other competitors, but the Carp themselves. In fact at five to me and six to the Carp it became personal. I tried all sorts to stop then getting in the rushes. We finished the match on eight all – a draw. However, if there was a referee at least four of the Carp would have been red carded because they were foul hooking themselves!! I now need to tie up three more rigs, to replace the ones I lost. I weighed 33lb 4oz for third overall and with enough fish on the hook to easily win the match – Oh, I wish I could start the match again – things would be different – “I’ll be back”! Mark had one 5lb Carp in the margin, but DNW'd.

The match was won by Dave Wride (pictured right – I like this picture as it very natural) from peg 15 with a total weight 46lb 2oz. Dave also won the Silvers with 28lb 15oz of Crucians. Dave fished 4mm expander over micro pellet.

Mate Rich Coles picked up the Silvers by default with 10lb 5oz from peg 17. Rich fished his peg similar to that of winner Dave.

Full Result:

1. Dave Wride 46-02-0 peg 15
2. Pete Sivell 46-0-0 peg 21
3. Mike Nicholls 33-04-0 peg 25
4. Tony Thick 32-09-0 peg 24
5. Tom Thick 31-02-0 peg 29
6. Andy Curry 30-11-0 peg 8

Top Silvers:

1. Dave Wride 28-15-0 peg 15
2. Rich Coles 20-15-0 peg 17
3. Charlie Barnes 19-0-0 peg 6

Monday, 13 July 2009

Sunday 12/07/2009 - Tony Rixon Float Only Individual League - Round Four - Landsend Fishery

Afghanistan; a lot of news this week, at last we have decided to attack; However there is a lot of politics from the opposition that are troops are not equipped well enough. For once I agree, but not about the lack of Helicopters!! We spend billions of ponds at Aldermaston on nuclear weapons. We know where the Taliban insurgents are why on earth don't we pull our troops back and nuke the lot - job done. Apologies to Chris Davis for getting this one off my chest.

Back to Landsend! During my usual walk around the venue I decided that peg 5 or opposite peg 19 would be a good bet. However, I had already decided to draw last with the expectation that all the pegs on Specimen Lake would be drawn (I just didn’t want to draw there again). Can you imagine my horror to find three draw tickets remaining and one of them was Specimen 25!! However, my plan worked (to a degree), I drew peg 72 on the fourth Lake. I was well pleased (now I don’t know why). I thought as the fish in this Lake are relatively juvenile my small soft pellet approach may bring in some more coin. I was drawn against Gary Etheridge in the Knockout and Gary had drawn peg 1. It was now down to which Lake fished the best. Best and best Gary’s peg should always win, simply because of the size of fish. However if….!

I walked down to my peg with Shane Shaun Caswell (ask Shane). The water was a milky colour, which can indicate that the fish had been feeding hard overnight. Not the best colour I thought. Plumbing up revealed a relatively flat bottom from ¾ metre from my bank to ¾ metre from the opposite island. I was told that the aerator between my peg and peg 71 would be switched on a noon. Because of this I chose to fish to my left more so away from the aerator, which proved not to be the best decision. I dump feed 4mm hard pellet down the track at 7 metres at 10 clock, but started on the soft pellet on the top set, over lightly loose fed 4mm pellet. I quickly had a Rudd, two tiny Skimmers and a small Carp. It then went dead. I then went out to the 7 metre line and didn’t even have any indication of a bite. Liam Barrett next to me on peg 71 was bagging on hard banded pellet. Then bang on time the aerator came on. As it was a fountain type it wasn’t too bad (except for the noise). The aerator was creating a bit of flow past a bush on the end of the island, which was about 13 metres away, so I set up a banded pellet rig and loose fed 4mm pellet. I had a little run of small Carp. I then, potted in some 4mm’s because I decided to give paste a try. I started to get bigger fish but fewer of them. Liam on 71 was still catching well. I found that after feeding the fish backed off, and subsequently would have a run of fish. I felt as my swim was on the edge of a shoal camped on peg 71 and was pulling the odd Carp away. With an hour to go the aerator was switched off and so were my fish. For the rest of the match I only could muster one more Carp and was pestered by small uncatchable Skimmers (unless you foul hooked them). I weighed 28lb 14oz for 4th in the section with Liam winning the section and Lake with 54lb. All in all it was a very frustrating day. Gary Etheridge weighed in 87lb 7oz (fishing 18 metres in to peg 2) dumping me out of the knockout. I was in good company though; Tony Rixon was also knocked out by Andy Lloyd fishing a peg on Match Lake. I didn’t mind being knocked out by such a good angler as Gary, well done mate I hope you now go on to win it, my money’s on you. I can now concentrate on winning some coin with the Silvers.

The match was won by Eddie Wynne (pictured right) with 127lb 11oz from peg 19. Eddie started close up to the opposite island fishing about 12 inches deep but found by fishing the same depth 1 metre away caught quicker with fewer foul hookers. Eddie used haired rigged 6 mm pellet loose feeding about two pints of 6mm pellet. A well deserved win as Eddie puts a lot of effort in to his fishing.

I must mention Rod Wotton who once again framed at his favourite venue. Rod always seems to make the most of his pegs at Landsend. I think will have to sit with him through a match if I’m going to visit the venue more often!!

Full Result:

1. Eddie Wynne 127-11-0 peg 19
2. Craig “Trigger” Edmonds 112-07-0 peg 22
3. Anton “Bruno” Page 111-0-0 peg 30
4. Bryan Shanks 91-09-0 peg 35
5. Gary Etheridge 87-07-0 peg 1
6. Rod Wotton 85-09-0 peg 36

Top Silvers:

1. Colin Dyer 16-01-0 peg 37
2. John “The Gimp” Bradford 14-12-0 peg 27
3. Stu Foale 13-09-0 peg 65

Overall League position (weight order):

1. Tony Rixon 27 points
2. Anton "Bruno" Page 25 (my hero x)
3. Gary Etheridge 25 (nearly had his car written off)
4. Alan Oram 25 (Aerated out)
5. Craig "Trigger" Edmonds 24

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Saturday 11/07/2009 - Hillview Open

Son Steve and I were back to our old haunts – Hillview for thier Saturday open. The match was being fished on Heron and Canal One. Steve and I walked the venue and neither of us fancied the Canal. The water looked a bit too clear. Steve thought corner peg 30 on Heron might be a good draw (and it was).

Steve pulled out peg 28 and I pulled peg 36 both of us on Heron Lake. Both pegs being reasonable draws. Although I was exactly opposite Steve I couldn’t quite see him because of a tiny island being between us. I started at 6 metres on expander pellet over kinder potted 4mm pellet (I decided to take it easy with the feed). I had couple of Skimmers and two Gold fish, but the going was slow. I then hooked a good fish which broke me, I thought! On examination I had a curly bit of line left, the tale - tale sign of a bad knot (triple reef) – bugger, I had lost the lot. I could see a lot of fish on the surface out by the tiny island so took a break and tackled up the pellet waggler. First cast and a 3lb Carp – great I've got in cracked…Then ten Canadian Geese entered the lake from the adjacent empty pallet and decided to make a hell of a commotion around the island! I knew I had a good margin swim so having fed it steady for the past hour or so (it is good policy not go straight in to a margin swim) I decided to try the paste. I then caught Carp to 8lb steady for the rest of the match lightly feeding wetted 4 mm pellet through a kinder pot. For some strange reason you are not allowed to pot in paste at Hillview, which makes it a bit more difficult, so best fish short as possible. I weighed 84lb 14oz for second in the match and a pick up of £40. It was a change for me to be “ouncing out” someone one else - sorry Steve Ayres!! Driving back home son Steve said to me your were brave telling a seven footer "let that be a lesson to you" . It's the little blokes you need to be careful with; not the gentle giants.

Steve finished fifth overall with 52lb 6oz and like me had lost quite a few foul hookers. Probably because the fish weren’t really feeding today. I took the video (bottom left) of Steve being weighed in by the Hill’s with their very efficient system. Note the bucket and how long Keith takes to decide the weight. I think this method is more fish friendly than the purse net. I wonder what Steve Long's opinion of this would be?

The winner was Richard Ahern (pictured right) from peg 30 with 102lb 13oz. Richard caught most of his fish from the corner margin using corn hook bait. His catch included a 13lb Grass Carp.

Full Result:

1. Richard Ahern 102-13-0 peg 30
2. Mike Nicholls 84-14-0 peg 36
3. Steve Ayres 84-4-0 peg 34 (only 10 more oz)
4. Lee Werrit 75-09-0 peg 26 (caught shallow on the pole)
5. Steve Nicholls 56-06-0 peg 28
6. Alan Such 55-12-0 peg 23

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Thursday 09/07/2009 - Bathampton AA Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Before the match today I walked all three lakes. It was noticeable that the Carp were feeding heavily in pegs 61, 60, 59 & 58 on Withy and pegs 1, 24 and 31 on Bridge Pool. However, interestingly all the Carp were feeding in the margins in very shallow water.
The pegging was really good today. Credit where credit is due, Bob Warren and Terry Bruton were spot on with their peg selection.

I was hoping for peg 24, but was equally pleased with pulling peg 16 (I have kept the draw card as memorabilia of the day – right). It was also going to be an interesting match as my good friend Terry Bruton had drawn next peg 15! My plan was to fish for Silvers for the first three hours anticipating on catching 20lb, which would normally get you in the Silvers frame. The last three hours I planned to fish for Carp (as peg 16 is a noted Carp swim). On the whistle out on the caster and after two hours the Silvers started to back away (Carp driven I think), however, I still persevered with the Silvers until the third hour as planned. I reckoned that I had reached my target of 20lb, which included two bonus Tench. Terry by this time had landed seven Carp. So dead on time into the margin with paste and within twenty minutes I had caught Terry up!! As soon as my float cocked in got ripped under by Carp to double figures for the rest of the match! I had fifteen Carp in one net and nine in another. Terry had sixteen. Terry reckoned I had easily beaten his previous match record of 134lb. I weighed 22lb 9oz of Silvers and 179lb 5oz for a total of 201lb 14oz and a new venue record. This put me first overall and second in the Silvers, a pick up of £20 and more important a new personal best match weight (a pity it wasn't all Silvers!!). Terry came up to me after the match and shook my hand (us pictured right). Indeed, a memorable day.

All my Carp were caught on 0.18 mm diameter G Line straight through to a 10 Colmic Nucleari hook and Gerry’s of Nottingham 0.3 gram Corn/Paste floats (I used more than one!). I caught on just my top set (Colmic "No Limit" Carpa) fitted with Maver dark red 22 elastic. I only shipped on the top four and five if the Carp ran towards the left hand tree, otherwise I played them on the top set irrespective of size - the 707 is an amazing pole. I fished to the left of the swim in 3 foot of water next to a tree (hence three lost Carp and two smashed rigs).

The Silvers was won by Tom “The Bomb” Coulston with 24lb 8oz of Skimmers from peg 24 (told you). Tom caught on pellet and bread fishing a 4 metre whip. Well done Tom, excellent Silvers weight on the day.
Driving home after the match I was wondering what weight I might have had, if I had gone after the Carp earlier, on the two hour mark when the Silvers when iffy. One thing is for sure I would have needed to borrow a fourth keep net!! But always stick to the plan! For me the most difficult aspect of catching big weights of large Carp is keeping concentration whilst playing them, I find in monotonous. My lack of concentration lost me the biggest Carp of the day - play every Carp if it is your first and last.

Full Result:

1. Mike Nicholls 201-14-0 peg 16
2. Terry Bruton 120-14-0 peg 15
3. Pete Phillips 57-08-0 peg 23
4. Bob Warren 38-0-0 peg 7
5. Tom Coulston 31-14-0 peg 24
6. Dave Bacon 31-03-0 peg 10

Top Silvers:

1. Tom Coulston 24-08-0 peg 24
2. Mike Nicholls 22-09-0 peg 16

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunday 05/07/2009 - Carps AC - Sedges Fishery - Brick Lake

Apparently if you live in Bristol you are the most likely in the country to keep you savings under the mattress!! Perhaps that’s why John Bennett’s back is hurting!!

I decided to give the Preston Drifish 1000 another chance. Brenda sponged it clean and washed it in reproofing. Guess what, it’s even worse! The clothing is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE. So yesterday I ordered the real thing Halkon Hunt ¾ length Jacket and Bib and Brace, all made to measure and to your own design. You only get what you pay for. I will give the Preston kit to Brenda to do the washing up in – that’s all is fit for!!

On our arrival Jamie the Fishery owner had some mates swimming and diving around the islands in Tile Lake to clear the snags that impede the method and feeder anglers. I did notice one diver pulling out loads of high breaking strain line. Perhaps the anglers are impeding themselves!!

A walk around Brick Lake and it was noticeable that the colour had dropped out since Wednesday. However, there were quite a few Carp up in the water on most pegs. The wind had picked up and was blowing at 11 o clock down the Lake, away from the car park, slightly favouring peg 11. Darren did his usual grass trampling on peg 6 and 7 – the best Skimmer pegs.

I drew peg 15 and Darren 9. I thought I might catch a few Skimmers here, but noticed that John Bradford had drawn peg 7 and Mr Pastry peg 6. I decided to feed positive for the Skimmers so at 7 metres put in eight balls of Swim-stim ground bait (the green stuff). I also fed one pot of micro at 11.5 metres. I started on a piece of worm over the GB and had one 12 oz Skimmer on the drop. I changed the hook bait to 6mm expander and had 8oz Skimmer – then nothing. So I tried double (dead) red maggot and had one Ronnie – on the drop. I could see John and Darren catching Skimmers regularly. So I decided to try caster in the margin and had a run of 2oz Rudd and Ronnie’s. I then caught and landed a 10lb plus Carp - on the drop. Next put in on caster I hooked and lost another double due to the 0.14 hook length breaking! I changed the rig to 0.18 straight through. By switching between caster, corn and Paste I landed ten good sized Carp. Which I though would at least get me in the money. I weighed 3lb of Silvers and my ten Carp went 80lb 14oz for a total of 83lb 14oz for first overall by a good margin, picking up the winners purse of £65.

The Silvers was won by John “The Gimp” Bradford (pictured right with the overall winner) with 40lb 10oz (“I can never catch the Silvers at Sedges” – you can now John). Darren did well to get as close as he did to The Gimp from peg 9 with 34lb 10oz for runner up spot in the Silvers. Both John and Darren caught on maggot – John over GB and Darren over potted caster and white maggot.

Full Result:

1. Mike Nicholls 83-14-0 peg 15
2. Tom Magnell 46-14-0 peg 10
3. Chris Davis 46-12-0 peg 20 (that was close)
4. John Bradford 40-10-0 peg 7
5. Darren Gillman 39-13-0 peg 9
6. Colin Golding 38-03-0 peg 6

Top Silvers:

1. John Bradford 40-10-0 peg 7
2. Darren Gillman 34-10-0 peg 9

Some of my margin rules:
  • Try and fish with the wind of you back
  • Set up to pick up the tow - easier in the margin
  • Keep the bait moving - tow, lifting, re-casting
  • Fish the slope of your margin and keep pulling the bait up to shot your float
  • I don't usually find having two margin swims beneficial
  • Never play your fish in the margin - let them slowly swim through
  • Learn to read when the Carp have moved in - no Silvers present

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Wednesday 01/07/2009 - Carps AC - Sedges - Tile Lake

The Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs has been refused parole by Justice Secretary Jack Straw. Straw rejected a recommendation by the Parole Board which backed the release of Biggs, now 79. Ronnie’s son Mike said today: “Dad is no threat to society whatsoever", adding "he cannot walk, he cannot talk, and he cannot eat and drink. If he was released the worse Dad could do is use his bus pass before nine”. Come on Jack is this man really a menace to our society? We have Bankers walking away in to the sunset with huge wealth from near ruination of our banking system and Country and nothing is done about it. Then there are MP’s….!

I travelled down with Marks Tanner as he had the day off work. It’s good to see him getting back in to fishing again. However, he scared the living day lights out of me when his trolley tyre exploded due over inflation and the heat. My back felt a lot better, but I was still taking it easy – I am find it difficult twisting whilst sitting on my box, so long pole out of the question for now.

Well I wish there were some Ronnie’s about today! The best way to describe my match was “RUDDY HELL”. I drew peg 27, a reasonable Silvers peg. I had the “Legend” Colin (Mr Pastry) Golding on next peg 28. Before the start Colin explained to me how he had sorted his tackle (see video bottom left). I decided to start at 7 metres for the Skimmers and feed Caster in to the margins for later. First put in I had a 12 oz Skimmer, quickly followed by a 12oz Carp. Then I was engulfed by a vast plague of ½ - 1oz “RUDD”. I couldn't ship out the expander hook bait, it never got further that 2mm in to the water, before a Rudd had it off. OK then, let’s fish for them. On to the caster and 3.5 metre whip, amazing, I didn’t even have to strike, after one second I had a tiny Rudd. After an hour of this I went in to the margin to find more of the same. With ¾ of an hour left and with the temperature soaring in to the thirties, hot as “HELL” and a flat calm lake I decided that I couldn’t face another Rudd. So out came a tin of corn and in to the margins. The Critters still had a go at the corn, but couldn’t take it off the hook. I had a run of seven Carp in quick succession until it died all together – except of course the for the Rudd. Lets all hope they grow quickly. Apparently Darren Gillman likes catching these! I weighed 17lb of Silvers (Tony Rixon described them as “Whitebait”) and 20lb 10oz of Carp for a total weight of 37lb 10oz. This put me seventh in the match and second in the Silvers and by default I picked up £30 first in the Silvers pools.

The match was won by Chris Davis with 88lb 2oz from peg 35. Chris caught shallow on the banded pellet at 13 metres. Chris (pictured right with his net of Skimmers) weight comprised of 57lb 9oz of Carp and 30lb 9oz of Skimmers. It’s the biggest bag of Skimmers I have seen off Tile Lake and all caught shallow!!

Full Result:

1. Chris Davis 88-02-0 peg 35
2. Tom Magnell 73-15-0 peg 23
3. John Thompson 55-13-0 peg 36
4. Jess Jordan 48-03-0 peg 34
5. John Bennett 39-03-0 peg 24
6. Mark Tanner 38-15-0 peg 30

Top Silvers:

1. Chris Davis 30-09-0 peg 35
2. Mike Nicholls 17-0-0 peg 27