Monday, 26 December 2011

Review of 2011

Another fishing year has quickly passed which has been successful for me on many fronts. The weather has been particularly kind with only two soakings all year and last years ice covering a distant memory. The fishing has also been extremely good on all the sixteen fisheries I have fished. Five of them left long lasting memories.

There are two Ronnie venues I must mention; the first is Boyd Valley Lake. Leyton Palmer ran a few “open” matches early in the New Year which I thoroughly enjoyed winning the Silvers a few times with 30lb Ronnie’s. The other venue is Plantation where Carps AC ran a Wednesday League, similarly catching 20 to 30lb of Ronnie’s with a few Skimmers every match, narrowly winning the highly competitive Silvers division on weight. On each venue I used my Ronnie rig with caster over caster. I believe I have developed a way feeding and presenting my caster in a unique way for my beloved Ronnie’s (which I have been keeping close to my chest until the book). However, it has its draw backs. This year being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis (wearing out of the joints) in my neck, foot and wrists (at least I have developed it in pursuit of pleasure)!!

After the bashing my joints got during the first quarter of the year I decided to rest the smaller fish and go for the bigger variety, Skimmers and Carp. There were two venues that I was able to put some big weights together of both these. The first was Viaduct which during the two mid quarters of the year fished its head off with 100lb weights often not making the coin. Steve and Paul manage this fishery extremely well, without over management or any tinkering. I had my highest Silvers weight on this venue from peg 116 (Steve Long on peg 118 thought he had me beat for the Silvers thinking I landing all Carp). In addition I had a good few 100lb Carp weights. The other venue I caught a few Carp on was the BAA Huntstrete Lakes, in five matches I managed to weigh in 710lb – satisfying but boring!

The fifth venue I must mention is Stafford Moor. I fished the October festival and discovered a wonderful Lake – Josephs, or as we named it Jurassic Park. I wish I could fish this lake more often. During the festival I won both the Lake Silvers and overall on peg 27. It’s a must fish Lake, especially around the back pegs where you can expect some magnificent hard fighting Carp. The Lake it full of dead trees etc… and you wonder it the next fish might be a Crocodile – wonderful place to spend the day or a week!!

This year saw Andy Power win the “Maver Match This” picking up £50,000. So it was “well done you”. This got me thinking back to the 1972 and 1973 seasons when a certain Mike Jones picked up over £3,000 in each of these years it didn’t end there). Transposing this in to today values, a 3 bedroom house cost £4,000 back then so by my reckoning it equates to £150,000 per year!! Where did it all go Mike surely not all on perms, hair colouring and facials to keep your Peter Pan looks.

I have fished 112 matches this year and thinking about it in terms of equating to almost three months of the year being away from the Special One left me with a bit of guilt. As it did when I took the family out to the Cross Guns at Avon Cliff where we walked the K&A Canal and River and as we walked I was tallying up the swims I had matched fished over the years in opens and league matches there were many. I wonder if I can reach fishing for a quarter of a life time. One thing for sure neither I nor anyone else will beat Colin Golding’s record; he must be close to half a life time.

When I retired five years ago I also gave up serious team fishing. I choose the word serious carefully because I do fish with Charlie’s Angels in the SW Teams of Four and this year Steve Long cobbled together a scratch team for his teams of Five Viaduct Winter League. I think we amazed everyone (including us) coming runners up to Somerset Angling. I didn’t contribute much to this success. It was mostly down to Captain Tom Mangnall with his golden drawing arm (I suspect Tony Rixon will now use Tom to draw for him at his shop matches). Tom did come second overall individual which helped a lot. We have entered the same team again this year. We will see how much of a fluke it all was – as long as we beat Avon Anglings team nothing else matters.

Tom was to later in the year break the Viaduct overall match record from peg 94 (the peg I blanked on in the winter league) with 319lb 5oz with just 25 fish. He was piped for the top weight in the South West by Anton Page’s match record at Landsend Fishery with 342lb 8oz comprising 45 fish from peg 31. Nice to see these youngsters (relatively speaking) doing so well. Both anglers have certainly gained my respect for their match fishing this year.

 In this years statistics table I have included some financials. I don’t think the cost of £9/day (cost of less than 3 pints of lager in my local pub – there are plenty that drink this amount a day) will not surprise many match anglers. By publishing this I hope I haven’t broken a taboo as we do like to hide some of these facts from our Special Ones, limiting our discussions to the days we win! Still on financials I hear a lot about how popular the cost cutter matches are becoming, particularly at Viaduct. Although I see a need for these matches for the over 55’s (pensioners) we have to be careful that travelling anglers can still cover their costs from winnings. For example I reckon I need to win an average of £30 a match to break even.

The following table contains some, but not all the statistics of my match fishing for 2011:

2011 2010 2009
Total Number of Matches Fished 112 109 99
Total Number of Anglers fished the Matches 3,463 2,551 2,701
Average Number of Anglers per Match 31 23 27
Number of Different Fisheries Fished 16 22 19
Total Carp Weight 3,377lb 11oz 3,246lb 2oz 2,470lb 15oz
Total Silvers Weight 1,943lb 1,506lb 7oz 1,1601lb 3oz
Overall Weight 5320lb 11oz 4,752lb 9oz 3,632lb 2oz
Highest Overall Weight 193lb 12oz 201lb 10oz 210lb 14oz
Highest Silvers Weight 54lb 44lb 10oz 44lb 7oz
Heaviest Carp  19lb 12oz 18lb 10oz 18lb 14oz
Average Weight per Match 47lb 8oz 43lb 9oz 36lb 11oz
Number of Times in top 6 Overall 58 54 43
Number of Times in top 3 Silvers 42 40 45
Number of Times won Both 4 6 6
Number of Pick-ups 68 67 59
Strike Rate 61% 61% 60%
DNW 0 0 2
Blanks 1 1 1
Peg Fees £645
Pools Entry £1,730
Travel Costs £550
Bait Costs £257
Capital Expenditure (spread over 3 years £500/3)) £167
Total Cost 2011 £3,349

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sunday 18/12/2011 - Avalon Christmas Match - Match Lake

After a decent breakfast in the Fountain Café it was off to Avalon Fishery for their sell out forty peg Christmas Match. With a hard frost and fairly bright conditions the fishing was always going to be hard. I am not sure everyone was going to appreciated this.
I must say both Vic Bush and his wife Heather did us proud with great traditional prizes (pictured right) and post match cups of soup and home made mince pies – no wonder Vic always looks so well!!

I haven’t fished this venue yet this year and was looking forward to fishing it again as it is a well maintained venue, and always seems to keep it’s colour.

 In to the draw tin and out comes peg 43 I wasn’t sure where I was and how good the peg would be. Arriving at the peg I found myself next to my travelling partner Bela on peg 44 and Dave Roper on peg 42. The peg looked as if it might have some Carp form as it had a tiny crooked bay opposite with some cover. I decided on two rigs a 4x16 jolly to be fished at 13 metres and a very small Drennan feeder for down the shelf of the far bank. I decide to have a wetted micro swim at 13 metres at 1-o clock in the shadow of three tree trunks and a GB line also at 13 metres at 10-o clock against a very think shadow of another tree trunk – the light (which was ever changing) was extremely bad because of the trees on the opposite island having shed their leaves. I had decided that I would fish both lines on the pole, and then determine which might be the best hook bait and feeder contents for the feeder. On the all in I feed a kinder pot of GB laced with ten dead reds, followed up with 20ish micro on the other line. Starting on triple maggot over the GB I finally had a 3oz Skimmer after 15 minutes, followed by five more before I re-fed and tried the micro line, again with dead reds. This resulted in a small Ronnie and a couple of small Skimmers. I switched to the 4mm expander pellet and had a couple more small Skimmers. Because the size of fish didn’t improve I switched back to the dead reds hook bait, because they are more robust during a long wait for a bite. By switching between the lines I kept a few very small Skimmers coming, but it was very slow all round me. I finally decided to try the feeder with GB laced with micro with dead reds on the hook. The bites on the pole were to say the least very shy, as it proved on the feeder catching another two small Skimmers. I did have one good bite which I initially thought was a better Skimmer and half way back the fish lunged which felt like a Pike had taken it. However, it proved to be a Carp (to Bela’s amusement), my one and only weighing 1lb 1oz! I soon got bored and came back in on the pole and had a run of Skimmers again over the GB, bringing my total number of Skimmers to 16 which unfortunately only weighed in at 6lb 5oz which was only good enough for third in the Silvers. My total weight of 7lb 6oz got me my coveted box of biscuits.
The match was won by Vince Brown (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 19 with 48lb 4oz. Vince caught on the feeder compacted with micro pellet attached to a short 0.1mm hook length with hair rigged double 4mm expander pellet. Vince had two quality double figure Carp in his catch.

The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon with 9lb from peg 28. Tony caught on….see his blog.

I was surprised that Vic allows vagrants to fish his matches. I caught this one on camera after the match (pictured right).

Full Result:

1.      Vince Brown 48-04-0 peg 19
2.      Andy Gurd 15-08-0 peg 27
3.      Darren North 1401-0 peg 10
4.      Shane Caswell 13-04-0 peg 24
5.      Chris Fox 11-11-0 peg 48
6.      John Bradford 11-08-0 peg 9

Top Silvers:

1.      Tony Rixon 9-0-0 peg 28
2.      Alan Oram 7-14-0 peg 12
3.      Mike Nicholls 6-04-0 peg 43

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Thursday 15/12/2011 - Bathampton AA Over 55's And Disabled - Christmas Match - Bridge Pool

Another good turn out for the Coffin Dodgers Christmas Match. With the weather forecast being do uncertain I was expecting a few to drop out, as it happened we had only one no show. The talk before the draw was whether or not we would miss the worst of the weather. Mike Jones got it right with a 09-15 draw fishing to 14-15. We certainty had the best weather of the week so far.
It was great to see BAA (Mike Jones) keeping the traditional Christmas match fare going (see picture right) – thanks Mike, it does take hard work which I know is well appreciated by all participants – keep it going matey.

In to the draw box and out comes peg 7 – another disable peg along the road side. I can’t complain as I have had my fair share on the natural side. I set up two rigs – one I didn’t use, so it was all down to the 4x16 Jolly. I had a good plumb round and found a deep scallop at 5 metres, which was about 4 metres wide and shallowed up at about 10 meters.  Thought this area would produce a few Skimmers so started here with a small ball of GB laced with dead reds. With triple maggot on the hook in I went and sat there for an age watch John Smith on next peg 8 catching a 6oz Skimmer every put in, whilst my float just sat there. John explained that he fished the peg last week and struggled. I re fed and did have two decent Skimmers. I was struggling and was in a hole – literally! I plumbed around again to search of shallower water and found some towards John Smith. So I re-fed another ball of laced GB and had a run of decent Skimmers, but no where near enough to catch John. For the next two hours I had just one Skimmer. So with twenty minutes left I needed a Carp, so out on another two sections of pole and started to drip in some micro at 10 metres. With 8 minutes to go I was blessed with a bite and I was soon aware I had hooked a decent Carp. However, it felt strange and was worried it was foul hooked so I played it very carefully as it was going to be a very important fish. Just after the whistle I was relieved to have landed an 11lb 11oz Carp, in the nose!! I was surprised that my few Skimmers weighed in at 10lb 15oz to contribute to my 22lb 10oz overall weight which left me second overall behind as expected John Smith who also had a low double Carp.

The Match and the Silvers was won by John Smith (pictured right with his “peas in a pod” net of Skimmers) with 20lb of Skimmers and the one Carp. John caught at 10 metres) level with my 5 metres as he was set back behind me). John caught on red maggot over GB and potted casters.

Below is the picture of today attending Coffin Dodgers:

Full Result (From Left to Right):

Terry Church 1-05-0
Bill “Pikey” Ferris 5-10-0
Paul Haines 14-04-0 (4th peg 24)
Chris Rolfe 18-0-0 (3rd peg30)
Bob Warren 3-06-0
Terry Bruton 13-0-0 (6th peg14)
Mike Jones 12-04-0
Dave Gillard 6-04-0
Harry Muir 7-04-0
Ray Bazeley 0-03-0 (Last)
Rich Coles 11-10-0
John Smith (1st peg8)
Dave Greenslade 0-08-0
Alan Jones 2-05-0
Pete Philips 13-01-0 (5th peg 14)
John Wild 0-06-0
Dave Bacon 07-13-0
Dave Poole 0-08-0
Mike Nicholls 22-10-0 (2nd peg7)

Top Silvers:

1.      John Smith 20-08-0 peg 8
2.      Chris Rolfe 18-0-0 peg 30
3.      Rich Coles 11-10-0 peg 5
4.      Mike Nicholls 10-15-0 peg7

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Thursday 08/12/2011 - Bathampton AA Over 55's And Disabled - Bridge Pool

I was pleasantly surprised to find twenty plus Coffin Dodgers in attendance, especially after the weather warning given out – gale force winds and heavy rain later. I guess that we are all at the age where we would prefer spending our time doing the thing we all love with people of similar minds.
In to the draw box and out comes peg 4. It’s been a long time since I fished this peg. I went to the peg with mixed feelings as the wind would be horrendous along this section of the Lake. However, it is a peg you can fish short as the shelf is only at 5 metres. As I was setting up I could hear some creaking from the trees behind. Looking round there was three or four trees with some very large dead branches on them (pictured right). I was worried that if the wind got up I might get one on the head. I nearly went for a redraw but as I was now set up I carried on fishing, keeping an eye on the trees when the high gusts hit me – probably too late by then - allat my risk and not BAA's. Anyway I survived the full duration. And lucky enough Mike Jones timed the match to perfection; I was packed away before the deluge hit us.

This peg is probably one of the shallowest on the Lake. I set up the one rig, a 4x16 Jolly with 0.14 hook length with a 16 - 808. I decided to keep it simple and use the remaining GB from yesterday and dead reds on the hook. First put in, after feeding a walnut ball of GB I was amazed to hook and land a 1lb Skimmer – happy days. I re-fed another knub and had another Skimmer. The presentation was such that it was a question of laying on by riding the rig up the inside shelf to get some purchase. I decided to try a piece of worm with a dead red and surprise, surprise a 2 ½ lb Tinca Tinca in the net. The fishing then slowed, probably because of the commotion the Tench made in the swim. I later had a run of Skimmers to 2lb by feeding a knub of GB after every fish (or before the next fish – Mr Feltham).
As I hadn’t had a bite for an hour and heard through the bank side drums that Bill Ferris on peg 18 had caught a large Pike, so I went round with the camera and got the picture (right) of Bill’s PB Pike which weighed 23lb 8oz. Lucky enough a couple of guys from Eastern Europe came by and purchased it for £10 for their Christmas dinner. In my opinion predators of this size has no place in a Lake such as this.

Back to the peg. However, before I left, I fed a couple of whole pots of dead reds. I knew the tow was sure to be left to right (wind opposing), but hadn’t mange to pick it up because of the bloody wind. But on the two occasions the wind subsided I did I manage to “pick the trip” and had a Skimmer each time. My Silvers weighed in at 13lb 9oz, which I expected to be there or there abouts as the anglers I could see all struggled. As it happens this put me fifth overall and second in the Silvers. Those that beat me were those that had either sheltered swims or the wind off their backs.
The match was won by Dave Poole (pictured right) with three Carp plus some Silvers for 36lb 2oz from peg 21. Dave caught on either 4 or 6mm expander pellet fished over micro pellet. Dave fed about a pint of micro throughout the match.

The Silvers was won by Mike Jones with 16lb 4oz of Skimmers from peg 25 (wind off the back and peg 24 empty – again). Mike caught on red maggot fished over GB.

Full Result:

1.      Dave Poole 36-02-0 peg 21
2.      Terry Bruton 29-05-0 peg 11
3.      Mike Jones 27-09-0 peg 25
4.      Pete Greenslade 19-14-0 peg 14
5.      Mike Nicholls 13-09-0 peg 4
6.      Bill Ferris 7-10-0 peg 18

Top Silvers:
1.      Mike Jones 16-04-0 peg 25
2.      Mike Nicholls 13-09-0 peg 4
3.      Dave Poole 8-08-0 peg 21

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wednesday 07/12/2011 - Carps AC Christmas Match - Plantation Match Lake

There is always the first time for everything. Today’s pools of £22 included a mandatory £5 breakfast. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best one by a long way, in addition to me I heard a couple of anglers moaning about heart burn afterwards. Still no Christmas prizes even though the match was billed as such.

In to pass the draw box and out pops peg 38 with “island chuck” written on it, at first that I thought I had won the raffle!!. This is a point peg and has plenty of Silvers form. However, Paul Haines said he drew recently and had problems with the sun in his eyes, hence I was hoping it would be overcast all day, which isn’t usual with high gusting winds which was blowing right to left.
The picture left is the state of the sun after packing up – the best it was all day.

As per usual I decided to fish for the Silvers so initially set up a 4x14 Jolly, which would normally suffice for the depth I had at 10 metres, but because of the wind I had to park this rig and set up a 4x16 Jolly. The second and last rig was my usual Ronnie rig with caster over caster. Unfortunately the sun was out and very low at 10 o clock and would move to 2 o clock by all out. I anticipated this, but fed these lines nonetheless with GB laced with a few dead reds – this was a mistake. I started on the Ronnie rig and – nothing – “don’t believe it”. Out on the Skimmer line and after landing one Carp and losing one which very cleverly managed to untie my hook (how do they do this?) the sun was so bad my head was aching – now I understand the expression “blinding headache”. I decided to switch to a line at 3 o clock into the bay on the right with a red topped Jolly – much better. So I re-fed GB through the kinder pot with double red on the 16 hook. The presentation was also much better as I was now facing into the wind which was blowing the bait up the inside shelf. I landed another five Carp losing three foul hookers. I did manage a 1lb Perch plus a few Skimmers – but still no Ronnie’s! Because I was compromising on the pole elastic I lost a 2lb Skimmer bouncing off at the net. This was a very important fish as it cost me a Silvers win. I am now thinking I compromised the elastic too far towards the Carp – who knows. Two things that surprised me today – no Ronnie’s and catching Carp over GB.

My six Carp weighed in at 24lb 3oz and my Silvers 7lb 11oz for a total of 31lb 14oz. This left me fourth and fourth (another tin of buicuits has slipped me by)
The match was won by Rod Wotton (pictured right with his first weigh catch) with an amazing 85lb 6oz from peg 25. Rod fished various Carpy baits on the hook – hard pellet, corn and caster. Rod fed four pints of 4 mm pellet fishing towards empty peg 26.

The Silvers was won by Andy Gard (pictured right with the overall winner) with 9lb 6oz from peg 18. Andy fished maggot short.

I should now retie tomorrows rig which I used today, but because my face is now wind burning hot and the headache subsiding, I think I will settled down and doze through tonight’s TV instead.
Full Result:

1.      Rod Wotton 85-06-0 peg 25
2.      John Smith 48-09-0 peg 27
3.      John Dursley 37-0-0 peg 31
4.      Mike Nicholls 31-14-0 peg 38
5.      Chris Fox 31-0-0 peg 4
6.      John Bennett 23-0-0 peg 29

Top Silvers:

1.      Andy Gard 9-06-0 peg 18
2.      John Dursley 8-13-0 peg 31
3.      Steve Dawson 8-0-0 peg 39
4.      Mike Nicholls 7-11-0 peg 38

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sunday 04/12/2011 - Carps AC Christmas Match - Viaduct Fishery - Campbell and Carey Lakes

Bela has at last moved in to his new abode. Very nice bachelor pad it is too. As has now become custom we stopped for breakfast at Canards Well, where we were joined by John Bennett and Gordon Cannings.

Before I start on the fishing I must have a rant about how this match was advertised – “Carps AC Christmas Match”. I, along with many other anglers fishing today was expecting the usual Christmas fare as prizes, alas not– just the usual cash payouts. I suggest such matches should be advertised as they are - a normal club match and not to purport to be something else – all very disappointing. Fur and Feather matches have been a wonderful tradition for many, many years and we should do all we can to retain them and not just throw them away in this fashion.

In to the draw bag an out pops peg 129. Yet another day fishing along side a spit. Bela joined me on a spit drawing peg 80!! I really don’t understand why peg 80 is always preferred in the draw over peg 79, which in my opinion is a much better peg?

There has been plenty of Carp coming to meat and straight lead from pegs 129 to 132 and the opposite numbers 114 to 110. So whilst walking to the van I decided that I would only take the straight lead rod. After unpacking I decided to add the Silvers waggler rod – just in case, but wouldn’t set up the pole! Arriving at the peg I changed my mind to add two pole rigs – a 4x10 Drennan Chop for the corner between the bank and the spit – a 4x14 Jolly for the Skimmers. I also untangled the waggler and straight lead rods. On the whistle I fed the Skimmer line at 11.5 metres with caster and a few chucks of 8mm meat, followed by a pot of caster along the spit. However, I started on the straight lead with meat pulled through a hair rigged band. After 15 minutes I was bored, but noticed fish blowing on the 11.5 metre line, so out went double caster and first put in I hooked a Carp rather than the big Skimmer I was anticipating. Unfortunately I lost it at the net from a pull out. Next put in the same again – another lost Carp – that was it for this line for the rest of the match even though I kept trying it in desperation rather that anticipation. Time for the waggler with triple dead reds on the 16 hook fished over loose fed caster. This resulted in my sum total of Silvers 1lb 6oz comprising two Skimmers and five small Ronnie’s. I did have a 5lb Carp before this swim died. In to the corner margin with double caster and the float buried and a decent fish – unfortunately it wasn’t a big Perch or Tench I was craving for, but another small Carp. That was it for this line!! Back out on the wager with double caster and another small Carp was all I had to show for my thrashing about. Whilst feeding the caster in the catty I had the occasional elastic pull off the pouch or the frame, but for the first time ever I had both elastics pull off the pouch at the same time, leaving the pouch and casters in one hand and the catty frame and elastic in the other. I found this very amusing – for a second. With twenty minutes left I decided to start packing up so launched the straight lead again and after ten minutes the whole rod bent round and Carp number four in the net. Out again and another rig tidied away when the rod went round again and Carp five in the net. My total Silvers and Carp weighed in at 26lb 2oz for unlucky thirteenth overall ( worth a tin of buscuits me thinks). I wish I could fish the straight lead for longer – perhaps it will come with age!
The match was won by Howard Webb (pictured above centre with the Silvers winner – the white spots aren’t bubbles or Fairies but bloody great rain drops on the camera lense) with 114lb 9oz from peg 110. Howard caught on the straight lead fished into the end margin. Howard caught on Tesco’s meat balls in tomato juice. However, Howard went on to explain how he cuts his balls up and the punches them for the hook and that Sainsbury’s brand is a bit tougher and ASDA’s are ---- at this point my eyes glazed over. What I will say is that Howard does get some right rap rounds as us on the opposite bank could see his “drag ins”, I was left wondering how many rods he loses using his balls.

The Silvers was won by Nick Collins with an incredible 37lb 6oz of Skimmers from Carey peg 78. Nicks weight was “head and shoulders above anyone else” – words not usually associated with Nick, I know! Nick caught on both the pole and a waggler using single caster over loose fed caster on the waggler and potted on the pole line. The majority of his fish came to Nick’s favourite waggler method. Great weight on the day Nick - I’m envious.

Full Result:

1.      Howard Webb 114-09-0 peg 110
2.      Ray Hayward 112-15-0 peg 119
3.      Dave Roper 63-01-0 peg 77
4.      Darby 54-0-0 peg 112
5.      Nick Ewers 50-12-0 peg 130
6.      Glen Calvert 45-10-0 peg 128

Top Silvers:

1.      Nick Collins 37-06-0 peg 78
2.      Steve Jackson 18-05-0 peg 76
3.      Phil Cardwell 16-10-0 peg 116

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Thursday 01/12/2011 - Viaduct Cost Cutter - Campbell and Carey Lakes

I decided to stop on the way to the Skivers match at the Viaduct Fishery in the Canards Well for a lonely breakfast. I must say its good value for money and today I had a bunch of Cherry Tomatoes cooked to perfection with the skins just starting to split – scrummy.

Another reasonable turn out with both Campbell and diagonal bank of Carey in the draw – unfortunately not peg 80!! In to the draw tin and out comes peg 118. With the wind blowing down that way I was expecting a decent days fishing on the waggler and caster. Arriving at the peg the water levels was surprising high – winter level, I think. I have always manage to catch six to seven small Carp in the LH margin up to the Brambles (felt a bit like Darren Gillman drawing on the Canal), so I set a margin rig for this. I also set up a Silverfish rig to be fished at 11.5 metres, followed by the most important weapon - the waggler, Umm!

On the bait table I had dead reds and Caster - that’s it. I started by feeding caster in the LH margin and similarly at 11.5 metres. However, I started fishing on the waggler, feeding caster with double caster on the hook. What happened over the next to hours was a new experience for me – even after 50 years of fishing. I was getting drag away bites which resulted in nothing, not even a damaged caster. I tried double dead red which resulted in the odd tiny Ronnie. Back on the double caster, once again these strange indications. It was if the fish were dragging the line up in the water. I tried varying the depth but nothing seemed to work. I decided to try the margin and did have a run of the predicted small Carp on double caster – no Perch though. I tried the pole at 11.5 metres with double caster and was getting similar indications as the waggler – very frustrating, because I believe the culprits were Skimmers dragging against the line. Back on the waggler where I tried various forms of feeding – heavy, light, before casting, after casting, etc…Frustrating. I finished the match in the margin catching my usual seven Carp which weighed 16lb 11oz adding my 3lb 7oz of Silvers my total weight was 20lb 2oz, for nowhere.

It was a day when I wish I could see how the fish were feeding, assuming they were of course.
The Match was won by Dan White (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 131 with 125lb 7oz. Dan caught on the straight lead using meat on the hook.

The Silvers was won by Steve Woods with 20lb 15oz from peg 123, who caught quality Skimmers primarily on the waggler fishing caster over caster.

It was nice to see Charlie Barns back on the bank after his recent illness and lucky for him he drew the end of Campbell where all the Carp seemed to have mustered.

Full Result:

1.      Dan White 125-07-0 peg 131
2.      Martin Lenaghan 120-14-0 peg 114
3.      Charlie Barns 114-01-0 peg 129
4.      Terry Bruton 77-06-0 peg 126
5.      Paul Greenwood 70-0 -0 peg 110
6.      Chris Rolfe 38-15-0 peg 119

Top Silvers:

1.      Steve Woods 20-15-0 peg 123
2.      Paul Greenwood 20-05-0 peg 110
3.      John Green 19-14-0 peg 116

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday 27/11/2011 - Carps AC Silvers League - Round Six - Viaduct Fishery - Carey and Spring Lakes

After another great breakfast in the Canards’ Well it was off to the final round of the Carps AC Silver’s League at Viaduct.

I was quite optimistic today even though the forecast was against us – bright sunshine and high winds. Once again everyone wanted to be on Spring Lake. It was pass the coffee tin, which I was third into and out comes peg 80. Not such a favourable draw, which also happen to set an unlucky theme for the day. That said I was still hoping for another 20lb to make it 20lb+ off every peg in the series.

I set up just the two rods – waggler and feeder with dead reds and caster on the bait table.

I discovered today that dry casters can be catapulted 5% – 10% further than wet casters. However, if you buy then from Avon Angling and wait two hours the casters will go miles further – because they sprout wings!

First cast on the double red maggot on the wagged fished over loose fed caster resulted in a bite. I struck unknowing that the line had caught around the pole roost (why I had used the pole roost beggars belief as I hadn’t set up the pole) and I broke the line at the reel. This was just the start of a bad day at the office. Whilst I set up again I chucked out the feeder with triple red maggot with five weeks old GB and caster in the feeder. I had nearly set on the waggler again when the tip went round and I landed a 1lb Skimmer, plus I retrieved the waggler line with a 4oz Skimmer on the end which fell off as I lifted the line. At least I got the line out and my new “second hand” waggler. As I was untangling the waggler line I mistakenly broke off the feeder rig, so I was left with nothing to fish with!! So after a failed rushed attempt to get fishing again it was a count to ten to calm myself down. Having set both rods up again I cast the waggler for the second time and hooked a good fish – not a Carp it wasn’t big enough for this Lake. I saw a spiky dorsal fin and was thinking big Perch, alas not; it was the smallest Carp in Carey a 3 pounder! That released and the third struggle of the season started. I must say the first half of the match wasn’t one of my best switching between feeder and waggler and managing to catch nought. It took the second half on the match for me to gain some sort on calmness and consistency, concentrating on the waggler. I started to put a few fish in the net in between hooking two more disruptive Carp. The frustration continued to some extent as I pulled out of five good Skimmers even though the fish I caught were deeply hooked (probable why - pulling out of the fleshy part of the throat). I must say I wasn’t unhappy when the whistle went. My net of Perch and Skimmer went 10lb 6oz which was fourth in the section. Not the 20lb I was hoping for, but considering the conditions I felt I did the peg justice especially taking into account my initial bad angling.

The match was won by Stu Foale’s (pictured right with his funny hat hiding his new hair do) from Spring Lake peg 16 with 38lb 3oz. Stu fished 13 metres with either caster or red maggot over GB. Stu operated two lines throughout.

Today’s weight plus three draws on Spring Lake helped Stu to overall league winner picking up £250 and a holiday in Majorca. Bela and I are waiting for the invitations to join him!! Well done matey.

I must say the league was a success with the final league result being close right down to the top sixteen anglers. Without fear of contradiction I believe that this league had the cream of the South West Silvers Anglers taking part – not an easy league to win without the help of the Gods me thinks.

Full result (on the day):

1.      Stu Foale 38-03-0 peg 16
2.      Lee Werret 34-09-0 peg 18 (drew this peg three times)
3.      Steve Kedge 32-02-0 peg 76 (1lb 8oz Eel included)
4.      Clive Pettit 24-11-0 peg 17
5.      Tim Pallant 22-01-0 peg 105
6.      Gordon Cannings 19-15-0 peg 78

Top Six Overall Money Winners (Final Position five matches count):

1.      Stu Foale 7pts 152lb 9oz
2.      Tim Pallant 7pts 127lb 11oz
3.      Bob Gullick 8pts 115lb 12oz
4.      Lee Werret 9pts 194lb 3oz - Ave 39lb per match
5.      Rowland Lucas 9pts 142lb 5oz
6.      John Green 9pts 131lb 10oz