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 CafĂ© 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

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Thursday 19/11/2009 - Bathampton AA Over 55's - Withy Pool

Well guess who arrived behind me on the bank today – Martyn “Woody” Woodington (pictured right with less hair than when I seen him last). It was nice to see him again, we have been exchanging e-mails. over the past year or so, Woody has been doing very well on the commercials around his home in East Sussex. Unfortunately for him there aren’t that many quality fisheries around his neck of the woods. Hope Dad is home from hospital soon matey. Next time you are in Bristol we must arrange a pint with our old team mates.
There was only two elements against the fishing today. One was the high gusting winds and Colin’s pegging. More or less every peg was in the wind, whilst I watched Carp crashing around in the dead calm waters behind the island. At least the wind kept the rain off!

That said I was happy with my draw - peg 49, especially as peg 50 wasn’t in the draw bag (why not I wonder) and it was one of the more sheltered pegs!! I only set up two rigs – one for corn in the LH margin and a Silvers rig at 6 metres (the furthest I dare fish in the conditions). I started at 6 metres and stayed there most of day with the occasional half hearted try in the margin with corn over caster. I caught Ronnie’s and small Skimmer's steady all day with red maggot hook bait over kinder potted red maggot. That is until 2-o-clock when within a 15 minutes period I hooked and landed three Carp to 6lb, with a fourth slipping the hook after a 15 seconds fight. My three Carp weighed 22lb 10oz and my Silvers 16lb 6oz for a total weight of 39lb. This put me first overall and first in the Silvers (my Silvers alone was enough for an overall win) and a pick up of £20.

Runner up was Pete Bryers (pictured right with the bigger of his two Carp) from peg 47 with 15lb 3oz. Pete caught on the straight lead. Pete's picking up regularly these days.

The gusting winds claimed Steve Jefferies pole, smash two sections in pieces. I was told Steve was trying to fish long over to the island. Steve had to resort to the lead after his calamity.

Full Result:

1. Mike Nicholls 39-0-0 peg 49
2. Pete Bryers 15-03-0 peg 47
3. Mike Jones 10-04-0 peg 67
4. Steve Jefferies 8-01-0 peg 72
5. Bill Ferris 3-02-0 peg 74
6. Bryan Sheppard 2-02-0 peg 66

Top Silvers:

1. Mike Nicholls 16-06-0 peg 49
2. Mike Jones 4-12-0 peg 67

Finally: Dave Crookes (club Secretary) was out and about on the bank today on the pretext of supervising the contractors adding "white stuff" in to Bridge Pool. But we all knew he was out spying for the forth coming Friday's Bathampton Silvers Championship.

Monday, 16 November 2009


A pole is a very long slender cantilever and as such the heavier the furthest end is the more the pole will bend and subsequently become less balanced (wobbly) – simple mechanics. For this reason I try to keep the top sets and elastication to the minimum weight. To achieve this I only use match top sets with the number one section removed which means the top set comprises of a number 2 and 3 only, which is much lighter than power top sets (can be up to half the weight). I have used match top sets for many years and have never broken a section whilst playing and landing fish. Remember a pole is a means of storing the fish fighting medium – elastic and for presenting the float/rig accurately at distance. It is definitely not is a fishing rod!! It is unwise to put a pole and pole joints under compression or tension; however, being carbon fibre it does have good fatigue properties.
For 90% of my fishing I limit myself to just two elastics (I can hear Tony Rixon saying tight so and so). I have got to know both these elastics very well and fully understand their application. Because I fish for both Silvers and Carp I need to compromise on elastics to some extent. However, I can land either group of fish on either elastic. The elastics I use are both hollow. I have tried pretty well all types of elastics and combinations including the most recent fad of doubling up lighter solid latex. As I do not use lubrication I find hollow elastics return back in to the pole much better that the double up’s, (dual core is doubled up elastic - isn't it?) etc… I have also tried filling the hollow core elastics with silicon (similar to hydro elastics) but find it makes little to no difference, other than adding additional weight to the top set. To check if the elastics needs cutting back or changing some anglers run the elastic over their lips and if it feels rough they change it. I wait until I see some physical damage before I cut back, there is plenty of margin in the breaking strain.
The Elastics I use are:

1. Middy HI-VIZ Bungee 18 to 22 - blue in colour: I use this elastic when targeting Carp, I am confident of landing any size of fish on it. I buy one reel of the elastic and cut it in half lengths, this does two top sets. At half length it will be approximately half the length of my top set. I then attach a length of fly line backing (Dacron) to one end of the elastic using a loop to loop. I then attach the Dacron to a Drennan pole bung winder, cut to the appropriate length to suit the top set, and so not to foul up with the number 4 section. I then thread the elastic in to the top set and as I don’t use Stonfo’s I attach another piece of fly line backing (as per picture above left) using one over hand knot on the elastic and a pull over loop on the backing. When I am going to use a Kinder pot close to the end of my top set I make the finished Dacron connector about 6.5 cm long. This helps prevent the line folding over the pot when shipping out. I always check that this hasn't happened as to hook a fish with it caught up can be very interesting!! I tidy the whole end up using a Korda Helicopter bead (see top picture right), I use this method of rig attachment on all my top sets. I then adjust the elastic on the winder such that it just creeps back in to the pole. I find that on the first use I need to adjust the tension a bit more using the Drennan winder, so I always carry a bung extractor . I usually keep the same length of elastic in a top set for about 2 to 3 years, this is because it is very simple and quick to remove worn areas near the connector and let off the Dacron at the other!!

2. Maver Dual Core 12 to 20 – pinkish colour: This I use when initially targeting Silvers on Commercial venues, however I have landed big doubles on it albeit it tales a fair bit of patients. I use a complete length attached to a Preston pull-a-bung. I find with a pull-a-bung that it is very easy to pull the elastic to its elastic limit – “bottoming out”. This will lead to losing fish by either breakages or hook bending. I now mark my elastics so I know how far to pull knowing I have some in reserve. I also use my grip on the elastic as a clutch – similar to a reel. I am currently working on a small winder to enable quick changing of the elastics length and to give the elastic a bit more life through being able to cut worn areas back and unwind – similar to the Drennan bung winder described above.

The pictures above centre show the elastics ect… described above.
In addition to the above I carry one top set with a Vespe 1.8 mm diameter - about no 6 to 8 hollow elastic – bright pink, it’s the smallest diameter you can buy. I complete the set up using pull-a-bung. I carry this for the odd occasion when I am losing too many Silvers fish. However, I have landed Carp to 8lb on this elastic. I also have one special “No Limit” power top set with a half length of Maver Dual Core 16 to 20+ dark red elastic (it’s similar to the Hydro of the same colour but a lot cheaper). There is nothing that swims that can’t be handled by this set up providing you have the nerve to fish with 0.22mm diameter lines!! I have landed 20lb plus Carp just on the top set with this elastic!! I do also have a special whip fitted with the blue Middy – more of this later.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sunday 15/11/2009 - Carps AC - Viaduct Fishery - Carey

Today was Colin Golding’s Birthday match (pictured right with John Bennet cutting his Birthday cake). Colin has reached the grand old age of 73, but can still moan like an 18 year old. Happy Birthday matey and we all wish you plenty more.
Well after two days of gale force winds and rain we were promised a dry warm day, guess what they got it right for once. However, the damage was done, with the fields around the fishery under water (pictured below right) and the lake levels well up. No one expected it to fish well, and we were dead right!!

I drew peg 81 which is one above the spit. I had plenty of water to go at and was expecting to catch a few decent Perch up the edge of the Monk. So I set up a caster rig for down the LH edge at 11.5 metres and a 4x14 caster/maggot rig for out in front at 10 metres. I started by potting in some caster and maggot out in front and just neat caster up to the Monk. I started out in front and caught some very small Ronnie’s and “bottle top” Skimmers. As I was eager to catch some big Perch on caster I decided to go after them earlier than I would normally. I had some indication straight away with the single caster hook bait which resulted another 1 oz Ronnie. Back out on double caster and I pulled out of a decent Perch (about a pound). I then landed one about 8oz. Out again and into a bigger Perch which got caught up in some tree braches which had come down during the recent storm, it finally pulled free. The swim dried up and even though I persevered with various baits - double maggot and chopped worm. I spent most of the match catching what I could out at 10 metres which was in the main 1oz Ronnie’s. After feeding a tiny bit of chopped worm on this line I did foul hook a big Eel which again pulled free. However, that wasn’t the end of my torment – with half hour to go I hooked a Tench which broke me under my pallet (I did have a bit of curly line left, so the Tench might have undone my hook)!! I must mention my two Daddy Ruffe as I haven’t caught one for a couple of years. Both of them puffed up there prehistoric gills looking for a fight – amazing creatures. I weighed 7lb 14oz of Silvers only to find I was only 1lb 2oz out from winning the section which Tom Thick won with 9lb – a bit of bad luck I think. Steve Long said to me after the match that they have been leaving out peg 81 in the Silvers matches as it isn’t producing at the moment!!

The match was won by Dick Bull (pictured right – Dick I suggest you get some practice at smiling in the mirror) with five carp for 58lb 13oz from peg 80 (the other side of the spit to me). Dick caught his fish on the straight lead using luncheon meat hook bait.

The Silvers was won by Tim Pallant with 20lb 7oz from peg 88. Tim caught a mix of Silvers on various baits - maggots/pinkies and chopped worm fished over chopped worm. Tim fed about ½ kilo of worm
Full Result:

1. Dick Bull 58-13-0 peg 80
2. Ray Hayward 51-06-0 peg 87
3. Alan Oram 41-02-0 peg 76
4. Barry Fitchew 24-06-0 peg 97
5. Charlie Barns 21-01-0 peg 100
6. Tim Pallant 20-07-0 peg 88

Top Silvers:

1. Tim Pallant 20-07-0 peg 88
2. Mash 17-13-0 peg 85

Finally: Steve and Paul have been busy refurbishing Spring Lake. They have drained the lake down and moved all the fish in to Middle which has been dammed off. Next they plan to de-silt the lake; however, their plans have been some what scuppered due to the heavy rain fall which has increased the water table such that the lake has started to refill (pictured right). Not to worry matey’s more rain on the way tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wednesday - 11/11/2009 - Landsend Open - John Walter Lake

What a nice family the Duckett’s are. On the journey down I had my Oil warning come on. So I stopped and topped up with the little bit of oil I had left. I kept an eye open for a garage but they all seem to have close down. Within a few Miles of the fishery the oil warning light came on again. Lucky enough Mike and Nick Duckett sorted me out enough oil to see me back to a garage in Wells. – Thanks matey’s, very much appreciated.

The match was switched from Specimen Lake to John Walter Lake (also known as the “Third Lake”), as there was more space for the anglers fishing. I was pleased with this as it would give me a chance to practice for when in two league matches time I will be fishing this lake.

I drew peg 61, some of the comments indicated that I might be at the wrong eng of the Lake. I set up a caster rig for perch and corn down the RH margin. I also set up two 4x12 Jolly’s for fishing down the track at 10 metre – one for the caster/2mm pellet and maggot at 10-o-clock and another of the same for corn at 2-o-clock. I fed both lines accordingly, but started on the caster for perch. This was very slow and resulted in five small Perch a couple of small Crucians and some small Ronnie’s. I switched to the 10-o-clock position and had a couple more small Crucians. I then had a 3lb Carp and one foul hooker. I decided to convert the swim to caster, still feeding a few micros in with the caster. I then had a few fish on the drop. So I spread out my no 11’s over the 4 foot full depth. After five more Carp I heard that four or five anglers were beating me, however, the Silvers were still up for grabs. I then found by leaving out the micro and just kinder potting caster I found some Ronnie’s and Crucians. I finished the match with 28lb 12oz of Carp and 8lb 14oz of Silvers. This put me 8th overall and second in the Silvers and a defaulted pick up of £30, thanks to Eddie Wynne!
It was fitting that today on Armistice Day a member of our armed forces won the match. However, Adam Palmer didn’t do it the easy way from peg 68. On the two hour mark Adam hooked the far bank island and whilst gently trying to pull it free, broke his number six section (well it was a Maver Pole – what did he expect)? Adam tried a number of times to recover it using his remaining pole sections only to be defeated by the elastic pulling it back. He then had the choice to either go and fetch the boat from Match Lake peg 1 or go in. Easy choice for a British Royal Marine who’s paid to swim about in freezing cold water. Adam stripped down and waded out to the track and recovered his sections. He then had to repair the sections so that he could still fish to within 1 foot of the far bank. Adam finished the match well ahead with 76lb 4oz. The majority of his fish fell to corn hook bait.

Adam’s travelling partner Steve Kedge (pictured above right with a typical quality Common Carp) finished third with 54lb 8oz. However, runner up on the day from peg 70 was Eddie Wynne (pictured right in the dark) with 57lb 4oz which included the winning Silvers weight of 10lb 10oz.

Full Result:

1. Adam Palmer 76-04-0 peg 68
2. Eddie Wynne 57-04-0 peg 70

3. Steve Kedge 54-08-0 peg 58
4. Dale Hanson 51-07-0 peg 42
5. Mark Leahy 48-0-0 peg 41
6. John Bradford 47-10-0 peg 66

Top Silvers:

1. Eddie Wynne 10-10-0 peg 70
2. Mike Nicholls 8-14-0 peg 61

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sunday 08/11/2009 - Landsend Individual Winter League Series - Round Two

The rules are, if you fail to turn up and don’t arrange a substitute you have to pay the pools for the match you missed. I think this is an excellent rule. However, as I missed the first match and was unaware if this particular rule (my fault entirely) I had to cough up £50 pools!! So I was more determined than ever to get some return of my investment!

Because I missed the first match three of us had to draw for sections. Luckily I drew A section – Specimen Lake. Better still, I then subsequently drew peg 34. One of my favourite Silvers pegs (I know it’s good for Carp as well as I have done the ton off the peg). Because I had missed the first match (you can’t drop a result) I decided to target the Silvers for some overall coin (based on accumulative Silvers weight over the eight matches). I set up a Ronnie and Perch rig, a whip for the Ronnie’s shallow – all set to fish with caster. I set up a corn rig for 10 o clock at 10 metres and a pellet rig at 2 o clock at 11 metres. On the whistle I potted in 12 pieces of corn and on the other line a pinch of micro. I started on the Ronnie rig and caster anticipating getting some decent Perch. I notice how coloured the water was, which I assumed was due to last week’s high winds and rain. After a few small Ronnie’s it was apparent that the caster wasn’t going to work. I now suspected the corn wasn’t going to work either. So, time to go out on the 11 metre line with 2mm Pellet over the micro. There was some line indication that Carp feeding. I then had a run of four Carp to 6lb. I then had a Carp of 15lb 14oz (just managing to get it in the net on the second attempt). I then lost one of a similar size due to the hook pulling because the hook had straightened. The question remains the same - how much to fed, how often and how and where. I then had a difficult period where I struggled for two hours. I gave the corn a try which resulted in one bite (what a waste if time this proved to be). With half hour to go I switched back to the Ronnie rig, this time with maggot. What difference this made I started to bag on Skimmers, F1’s and Ronnie’s with a Tench chucked in for good measure. I just didn’t want the match to finish – bugger - why didn’t I switch to maggot much early instead of wasting time chasing Carp on pellet and corn. I knew I should have had a practice last Sunday instead of being a sissy and staying home because of the high winds and rain. I weighed 12lb 14oz of Silvers for 4th Silvers overall and 43lb 9oz of Carp which gave me a total of 56lb 7oz for 7th overall and a pick up of £55 for 2nd on the lake and 5 points out of a possible 6 (so some coin back). Another half hour on the maggot would have made all the difference to me.

The match was won by Nick Collier (pictured right with Mike Duckett Fishery Owner paying out the pools - they are there somewhere – sorry about the picture quality this was due to the lighting and weather conditions) from peg 68 on John Walters Lake with 82lb 13oz. Nick caught his fish over to the island and a few down the track using corn hook bait fished over potted corn.
The Silvers was won by Mark Leader with 17lb 13oz from peg 36. Mark caught mainly Chub and Perch fished at 16 metres to the island using caster over potted caster.

Full Result:

1. Nick Collier 82-13-0 peg 68
2. John Bradford 70-09-0 peg 42
3. Mark Poppleton 66-13-0 peg 46
4. Dale Housen 66-03-0 peg 33
5. Mike West 57-0-0 peg 51
6. Mitchell Artuss 56-09-0 peg 70
7. Mike Nicholls 56-07-0 peg 34

Top Silvers:

1. Mark Leader 17-13-0 peg 36
2. Nick Collier 16-05-0 peg 68
3. Larry Burns 14-0-0 peg 5
4. Mike Nicholls 12-04-0 peg 34

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Thursday 05/11/2009 - Bathampton AA Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Firstly I must apologies to Head Coffin Dodger – Tom Coulson for adding a “t” in his surname; it must be us Bristolian’s slipping up and adding a “T” instead of the usual “L”, plus the fact no one can understand what Tom says most of the time coming from Geordie land!!

Despite the previous days weather it was another good turn out. I just wanted to draw a peg out of the wind today as my eyes were really sore after yesterdays match. Luckily I drew peg 23 in a quiet cove, but not that spectacular for the fishing. However, I was happy to go and make the most of it. The colour had really dropped out of the water, so fishing for the Silvers close in wasn’t an option; in fact I wasn’t fancying the peg for Silver and set up for a Carp attack. So the usual paste rig was set up, plus a maggot rig for fishing on the drop at 5 metres. After feeding the RH margin with a pot of micro I started by kinder potting a pinch of wetted micro with a pinch of red maggot on the 5 metre rig. I soon had my first fish a ½ oz Ronnie! However, I then had a run of 3oz Skimmers throwing a couple back due to them sticking to my palm with fish slime – must be more careful as a few ounces can cost you!! I kept loose feeding the margin but could see no point in trying it as the water was so clear the Carp would soon let the presence be known. I persevered with the 5 metre line and did manage to land a pound Skimmer and a similar size Perch. I was getting a few indications on the drop so shallowed up to 3 inches off bottom which lead to a run of 1 to 2oz Ronnie’s and another pound perch. With half hour to go and with no sign of activity in the margin I decided to increase the maggot feed at 5 metres and after a few quick Ronnie bites (a sure indication that Carp are around) I hooked and landed a 7lb 8oz Carp. With only a few minutes left I hooked another Carp but it slipped the hook (I knew this would cost me coin and it did). Just enough time to go out again and on the whistle another bite and I bloody missed it! I weighed 8lb 12oz of Silvers for third and one once out of the Silvers pool. My sole Carp helped me to a total of 16lb 4oz fro fourth overall and again one out of the coin in the overall pool. I really enjoyed the day and was well contented coming close to both the Silvers and overall coin.

My peg was down for weighing in, so I weighed from the far end first. On returning to my peg I had a last look in the margin and sure enough the Carp had moved in, discolouring the water another half hour would have done it.

A Half way through the match a first ever experience for me. Mike Jones had a 6oz Skimmer taken (including his hook, line and sinker) by a Heron – one of the shyest birds!! Apparently this particular Heron has been attacking anglers. I remember my good friend Ron Gaulton (RIP) playing a Seagull in the air at Baltic Wharf that had dived down and taken a 6oz Roach. Ron landed both up in the air in his keep net – never to be forgotten.

The match was won by Steve Jefferies (pictured right with the Silvers winner and match organiser Colin Golding - looks as if Colin's got a new comb) with 39lb 2oz from peg 7. Steve caught all Carp on 6 mm pellet fished at 11.5 metres.

The Silvers was won by Carp Guru Terry Bruton with his highest ever Silvers weight in the Over 55’s with 9lb 9oz from peg 17. Runner up in the Silvers was Pete Bryers with 8lb 13oz (1oz more than me!!). Pete’s catch included a 4lb Tench. Well done matey couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow.

Full result:

1. Steve Jefferies 39-02-0 peg 7
2. Rich Coles 19-05-0 peg 8
3. Terry Bruton 16-14-0 peg 17
4. Mike Nicholls 16-04-0 peg 23
5. Pete Phillips 15-02-0 peg 28
6. Mike Jones 14-04-0 peg 26

Top Silvers:

1. Terry Bruton 9-09-0 peg 17
2. Pete Bryers 8-13-0 peg 11
3. Mike Nicholls 8-12-0 peg 23