Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunday 30/01/2011 - Viaduct Teams Of Five Winter League - All Lakes - Round Two

We were promised a frost and hence ice free day, which was on the cards until Bela and I reached one mile past Glastonbury (same place Bela flatten the black Cat.) where the skies were clear and the parked cars frosted over. On arrival at the fishery all the Lakes had a 6mm thick lid on them.

Captain Tom handed me peg 94 on Carey. I was well pleased with this as it has plenty of Silvers form. However, on discussing the peg with Tony Rixon he thought that I would struggle. I wasn’t convinced and was quite up beat. As I didn’t bring my ice breaker I borrowed one which I could only throw 7 metres. I spied Joss Garret on Lodge Monk swim and coaxed him round with the proviso that he could use my gloves. Joss was able to clear to 12 metres. This was enough for me.

I set up one rig a 4x14 Jolly with 0.1 hook length and 0.14 rig line. I had about five foot of water at 12 metres. I started by feeding a nugget of GB laced with a few Pinkies. The upshot was Tony was absolutely right I struggled so much I blanked, as did all the section. In fact only two caught on the Carey section each weighing 9oz! I couldn’t even win the draw for the section money. Some top tips I tried - Going for a walk – Drinking coffee whilst fishing – taking the keep net out (this usually works). I expected to catch in the last hour so I kept a nugget going in every hour throughout the match. But as luck would have it the light stayed with us today – is this sign of this dreadful winter coming to an end – I hope so.

Team wise we had three weigh out of five which was just above par and kept us in the top six overall, pulling more points on Avon Angling. Captain Tom won his lake and Fabio was fifth on Lodge. On my walk I took the short video (bottom of page) of Fabio doing the “double swing” on a small Ronnie.

The match was won by Chris Ware (pictured right) from peg 73 with 65lb 8oz. Chris fished double red maggot at 14.5 metres down his RH margin to the over hanging Willow landing six good Carp. Chris fed nothing all match using just 30 maggots as hook bait throughout. It was an amazing weight on the day when considering the second weight was a mere 17lb.

The Silvers was won by Matt Taynton (pictured lower right) with 13lb 10oz from peg 125 (next to Bela). Matt caught at 13 meters with maggot over GB, later Matt switched to 14.5 metres with caster or maggot over caster. Matt also added a small Carp which put him second overall and a pickup in both super pools – Bela and I didn’t get a drink though!!

Full Result:

1. Chris Ware 65-08-0 peg 73
2. Matt Taynton 17-10-0 peg 125
3. Chris Hook 13-09-04.
4. John Moody 10-03-0
5. Phil Cardwell 8-12-0
6. Tony Rixon 7-08-0 peg 62

Top Silvers:

1. Matt Taynton 13-10-0 peg 125
2. Chris Hook 13-09-0
3. Phil Cardwell 8-12-0
4. Tony Rixon 7-08-0 peg 62

Teams on day:

1. Maver Veals Red 71
2. Garbolino BVMG 62
3. Team Jinx 57
4. Somerset Angling 42
5. Westerleigh 39
6. SilverfoxTM 35
7. Viaduct 30
8. Keyford 28
9. Avon Angling 27
10. Amigos 24
11. Megabait 23
12. Viaduct All Stars 15
13. Sensas Thyers 12
14. Maver Veals Blue 11
15. Viaduct Select 10
16. Langport 8
17. Somerset Magic 4

Teams Overall:

1. Maver Veals Red 111
2. Team Jinx 108
3. Garbolino BVMG 105
4. Somerset Angling 104
5. Silverfox TM 103
6. Westerleigh 90
7. Avon Angling 89
8. Viaduct 79
9. Keyford 78
10. Viaduct All Stars 68
11. Maver Veals Blue 66
12. Amigos 64
13. Mega Bait 57
14. Langport 40
15. Sensas Thyers 36
16. Somerset Magic 33

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Did You Know? - Number Five

Did You Know -That Les Williams aka “Chub Head” Farther Mike was also a well know top Bristol Avon Match Men. Mike Fished for Fry’s AA and was particularly good at catching Dace and Roach. The press cutting below shows Mike Williams with one of his winning catching from the Bristol Avon at Limpley Stoke fished on Sunday 25 July 1970.

Did you know - How Les got his nick name "Chub Head"? Well it was given to him by the late Ron Gaulton after one of the ATSWWL's when Ron was fishing for Team NOVA (AVON backwards). Why "Chub Head" you will have to either wait to you meet up with Ron again or ask Les himself, in the meantime it's my secret.

Did You Know? Number Four

Did You Know -That it wasn’t until after the 1971 fishing season that Catapults were allowed in matches. The following press cutting identifies two anglers apparently caught using them in the 1971 ATSWWL series.

After this we were all soon making our own lethal weapons from a variety of materials, as the only one you could purchase at the time was a small aluminium framed version made by Millbro (pictured right), which wasn’t much good for anglers due to the small frame. Believe it or not they are still on sale for a mere £20!

My favourite one is pictured below – “The Sutton Pult”.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sunday 23/01/2011 - Chilton Trinity Open - Woodlands

I put my usual £30 worth of diesel in the car yesterday. I was able to stop the pump at 10p over, now the cash dial is going so fast that I can’t stop it before it’s over by 33p or more – what’s going on!!

With Bela off to Viaduct with his long time mate Shaun Putney I was looking forward to travelling with Tim Ford as I hate travelling alone, plus it was Tim’s first visit to Trinity – Woodlands. I was initially told it was a belated Christmas match, which was subsequently converted to an open. I think we all have had enough of Christmas.

The match was organised by Misha (pictured right) daughter of Sue and John the fishery owners. I must say we were all spoilt during the match today with free oxtail soup and roll followed at lunch time with sausage buns and in the afternoon Mince pies - yummy.

The Silver anglers were hoping to draw the far bank middle pegs where the Skimmers seem to live at present. John Bradford was the lucky angler to draw peg 10, but we needn’t have worried as the Skimmers decided not to feed – as the do from time to time – even the Ronnie’s were to have an off day. So the initial disappointment drawing peg 6 disappeared after the first hour after landing eight Ronnie’s on double dead red maggot fishing over my “reliable” Skimmer GB fed at 10 metres. So in the knowledge that Pete Sivell had won the Wednesday match from the peg with Carp I decided to change to the margin. So I set up a 4 x14 Jolly set to 4 foot deep to fish at 10 metres down the RH edge. This was a bit of a wrench because I had the bitterly cold wind off my back so had to endure it on the side of my face. Poor Tim Ford had it in his face all match. In the rush to get fishing again I broke won of my Cardinal rules and didn’t plumb around enough and after feeding some micro I found a huge 6 inch step in the swim hooking it twice and braking twp hook lengths. So the decision was whether to go longer or shorter so decided on 9 metres as the trees were bit too much of an obstacle further along. However this line still needed a bit of gardening. I started kinder potting in small amounts of micro and hemp seed fishing single corn over the top. I was soon in and out of a foul hooked Carp. At half time I had four 3lb Carp and had lost four foul hookers – one in the tail which I nearly landed. In the second half I netted another four Carp losing none. My Silvers’ weighed in at 9oz and the Carp 29lb dead. This was good enough for fifth overall, which was one out of the overall pools by 1oz, but providing a section, win by 1oz!!

I must say the Carp were in excellent condition with some of the Mirrors having beautiful golden scales.

The match was won by Tony "Leslie" Rixon (no ones sure whether his middle name was given by his Granddad Leslie Rixon or his Godfather Leslie Williams aka “Chub Head”). Tony (pictured right with the Silvers winner) weighed 61lb 10oz from peg 24 – see his blog for more details….

The Silvers was won by Dean Mallin with 7lb 3oz from peg 7. Deans weight was mainly made up by small Ronnie’s fishing at 4 metres with red maggot.

Full Result:

1. Tony Rixon 61-10-0 peg 24
2. Paul Elms 45-0-0 peg 14
3. Brain Chivers 26
4. Martin Lenaghan 29-10-0 peg 32
5. Mike Nicholls 29-09-0 peg 6
6. Timmy Lewis 29-08-0 peg 2

Top Silvers:

1. Dean Mallin 7-03-0 peg 7
2. Tich Williams 5-08-0 peg 11

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Thursday 20/01/2011 - Bathampton AA Silvers Championship - Huntstrete - Withy Pool

A very heavy frost followed a Hunters Moon, with a bright day promised so it was always going to be a difficult days fishing. It was surprising to find we had only two absentees.

I took this picture (right) of one of the competitors car boot with their gear neatly stowed – does anyone recognise it?

The draw for the pairs took place and I drew Paul Barnfield. I was happy with this as Paul is a fair angler. As luck would have it Mike Jones drew with his long time buddy Chris Rolfe – fix I hear – no I pulled out the names.

There was a lot of debate on the best 22 pegs I think the debate will continue as Withy Pool is notoriously difficult to peg.

I drew peg 66 which is a peg that I didn’t fancy because it would be in the shade most of the day with the light NW wind blowing in to it. But the real issue with this peg is the light reflection on the water due to the opposite high leaf bare trees.

I wanted to fish longish at 11.5 metres for the Skimmers but this wasn’t going to be possible until 12:30 when the sun came on to the float bristle. So I had to settle fishing at 5 metres in to a small area of white reflected water. To enable this I set up a 4 x 16 red tip Jolly for the long line and a 4 x 14 black tip Jolly to be fished at 4 foot (a depth I thought would give the warmest water at depth) on the short visible line. On the whistle I fed two tangerine balls of a Skimmer based GB at 11.5 metres and two balls of Ronnie based GB laced with casters at 5 metres. I started long with double Pinkie on a 20 808 hoping for early Skimmers. But as stated earlier the light was so bad it was a bit of a guess as to whether I had a bite or not. The fish I did have, were between ½ to 1oz Ronnie’s. So I gave this up and went on the 5 metre line with single caster on similar terminal tackle. I had a run of 1 to 2oz Ronnie’s. Come 12:30 and with anticipation of some Skimmers went out to 11.5 metres with single red maggot and it was much the same small Ronnie’s and no Skimmers. So I re-fed two more balls of GB and switched back to the 5 metre line. The upshot was that I kept small Ronnie’s coming by feeding and switching to the end of the match, by which time I was bloody freezing. My Ronnie bag weighed in at 6lb 3oz which was just good enough for 4th place and last in the pools.

My pairs partner Paul Barnfield won the Silvers match from peg 44 with 10lb 1oz. Paul fed a 13 and 16 metre line the long one with CW&C with some dead reds and the shorter line with micro and red maggot. Paul left it until the last half hour on the 16 metre line to catch two sizeable Bream (apparently 2 of the 150 odd that was transferred from the Main Lake on Tuesday). Because of the daft points system which Mike Jones has employed which he based on Formula One system I think if Paul wins the next match the Silvers League title will be his, he already has 40 Points!! What’s wrong with the tried and proved section points system? F1 spends millions of pounds taking the luck out of their sport; however, we anglers have to live and with it. Anyway well done partner a good start for us I think.

The Carp pool was won once again by Martin Alexander with 12lb 8oz from peg 43. Martin is trying to convince us that he was really fishing for Silvers, however, we all know he’s out to mug us Silvers anglers - fair play to him though.

Runner up in the Carp pool was Harry Muir (pictured with his 6lb Carp). Harry also lost another from end peg 74 fishing red maggot over red maggot and micro.

Full Result:

1. Paul Barnfield 10-01-0 peg 44
2. Bob Price 9-12-0 peg 47
3. Rich Coles 8-04-0 peg 69
4. Mike Nicholls 6-03-0 peg 66
5. Terry Bruton 6-02-0 peg 71
6. Mike Jones 6-0-0 peg 41

Top Carp:

1. Martin Alexander 12-08-0 peg 43
2. Harry Muir 6-0-0 peg 74

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sunday 16/01/2011 - Viaduct Teams Of Five Winter League - All Lakes

Today was the first round of the Viaduct Winter League Teams of Five. It was a good turn out, with 85 fishing comprising 17. Our team was cobbled together by Steve Long and Paul Greenwood, consisting of myself, Bela Bakos, Tom Mangnel, Phil "Fabio" Harding and Steve Skelton and they named the team "Silverfox TM" (TM not being Trade Mark but Tom Mangnel "cheesy grin" team Captain). Well, Tom did a brilliant job drawing the team a flyer to start the league off on the right foot. Bela couldn’t believe his luck as he was back on peg 15 where he framed last week. I was put on Campbell 118. However, I was hoping to leave this Lake to last as I think the Tench might start to show in numbers by then. Apparently 118 is a reasonable Silvers peg – that will do me then. For company I had Avon Anglings Tim Clark on peg 119. I was amazed it wasn’t Tony Rixon as he has been drawing corner pegs all Ice Age.

With the wind being fairly strong blowing up the Lake and slightly off my left shoulder it was reasonable for presenting the waggler which I had pre-set up. There was a fair tow on which was easily to pick up and trip through. I set up the pole to be fished at 13 metres but reduced this down to 11.5 metres once I felt the full force of the wind. I set up one 4 x 16 Jolly rig which with a 4 inch adjustment was suitable for both at 11 o clock and 2 o clock. I also set up a margin rig for up to the brambles to my left (on Steve Long’s advice as he thought it might be worth a few small Carp). I started by cupping in two tangerine balls of GB laced with a few casters and Pinkies at 11 0 c lock and a pot of casters in at 2 o clock. I started on the waggler with double dead red fished over loose fed casters. I had a small Ronnie first cast followed by another three, so swapped to double caster with similar results - small Ronnie’s. I decided it was time to try the GB line with double dead red and had a 1 ½ Skimmer first run through (the tow was very strong against the wind). A few small Ronnie’s then followed with the odd small Skimmer. Over to the caster line with double caster which resulted in another 1 ½ lb Skimmer followed by once again small Ronnie’s. I could see Ray Hayward opposite on peg 123 struggling. So after two hours I decided to set up a Ronnie rig and focus on them, as it seemed that where ever and what ever I had on the hook I caught a Ronnie. In the hour I fished for them with single caster I had about 3lb. With two hours to go unfortunately I noticed Carp rising in the bramble margin, making it decision time as to go for Carp or keep with the Ronnie’s. It was Tim Clark (see video at bottom catching one of his 15 Carp) who had been catching small Carp regularly from his end margin that swayed me to switch to the margin. This was a big mistake because for the remaining 2 hours I added just one 2lb Carp, foul hooking two others on caster over kinder potted caster. I wish I had stuck to the Ronnie’s as I believe I could have just crept in to the Silvers frame (another degree in hindsight). I weighed 11lb 9oz which added 10 points to the team score (I think).

With Bela winning his Lake, Tom coming 2nd, Fabio 3rd and Steve also gaining 10 pts we were anticipating a team top five placing. I think we were amazed when it was announced that we were first overall by a clear five points. I don't think it will go to our heads.

The match was won by Jason Radford (pictured right) from peg 3 on Spring with 8 Carp which weighed in at 82lb. Jason caught on the lead fishing hair rigged four pieces of 10mm punched bread to 16 hook and 0.16 hook length.

The Silvers was won by Chris Davis (pictured right) from peg 40 on Match Lake with 25lb 4oz. Chris fished waggler and maggot over loose fed caster. Match Lake really fished well – Steve put this down to the water warming quicker than the other Lakes as it is one of his shallowest.

Full Result:
1. Jason Radford 82-0-0 peg 3
2. John Gray 78-02-0 peg 132
3. Will Bohnie 54-0-0 peg 113
4. John Howell 45-10-0 peg 53
5. Chris Davis 43-12-0 peg 40
6. Alan Oram 35-03-0 peg 110

1. Chris Davis 24-04-0 peg 40
2. Tony Rixon 16-05-0 peg 88
3. Jamie Parkhouse 14-04-0 peg 39
4. Nick Collins 14-02-0 peg 102
5. Steve Kedge 13-09-0 peg 52

Top Teams on day:
1. Silverfox TM 68pts
2. Somerset Angling 62 pts
2. Avon Angling 62

Friday, 14 January 2011

Thursday 13/01/2011 - Bathampton AA Over 55's And Disabled Christmas Match - Bridge Pool

Today was the rearranged Coffin Dodgers Christmas Match to be fished on Bridge Pool and it was time for the annual group photo (see picture below centre - can you put a name to face and weight?). There were a few anglers not in the picture through deafness, shyness or having a pee.

After continued persistent light rain for the previous twenty hours and heavier rain forecast for match day it was a pleasant surprise to find the temperature climbing to a massive 15 degrees and the rain holding off until the presentation – when it poured.

In to the draw box and out comes peg 26. Very happy with this one as it has both Carp and more importantly Silvers form. Once again I had Steve Jefferies for company on peg 25 which thankfully put him down wind – no smoking today for me!

I set up my usual 4x 16 jolly rigs one with 0.1 bottom and the other 0.14, plus a Ronnie rig. I plumbed up to the bottom of the inside shelf which was a mere 5 metres out where I fed two tangerine balls of GB laced with Pinkies. With double Pinkie on the 0.1 rig I started well catching Skimmers to 8oz, unfortunately this lasted only half an hour when the swim went iffy, minute bites and fish pulling off. I think this is due to either predators in the swim or more likely Carp. I decided to re-feed and try the Ronnie line where I had been loose feeding red maggot. I kept a few Ronnie coming but they were very small and very difficult to hook, missing loads of bites. I kept trying Pinkie and maggot over the GB but it was too slow. With half hour left of the match I decided to try for a Carp over the GB line using soft 4mm expander pellet. Well what a stepped change as I started to catch Skimmer to 1lb every put in – but no Carp. I must have doubled my weight in this short period. I didn’t want the match to finish. The dilemma now is – “was it the change of bait or did the Skimmers switch back on” – who knows, as it will all be different next time out. I weighed 12lb 4oz for second in the Silvers and 5th overall which gave me a pools pickup and a case of Old Speckled Hen beer and a tin of chocolates.

Everyone that fished got a prize.

The match was won by Ian Sheppard (pictured right) with 49lb 14oz from peg 11. Ian caught at 7 metres using 3lb hook length with a 20 hook carrying a single red maggot. Ian fed 3 small pots of red maggot throughout the match. Ian’s catch consisted of five Carp backed up with a good net of Silvers.

The Silvers was won by Rich Coles (pictured right which this superb net of Silvers) from peg 21 with 19lb 8oz which included an unseasonable 4lb Tench. Rich caught on both maggot and soft 4mm pellet.

The Bathampton AA Secretary Dave Crookes was in attendance today to present Colin Golding with a new set of waterproofs and rod holdall on his retirement as match organiser of the BAA Over 55’and Dave also recognised Colin as a true legend of the South West match scene over nearly sixty years. Unfortunately due to the poor conditions I didn't get a photo.

Full Result:

1. Ian Sheppard 49-14-0 peg 11
2. Rich Coles 19-08-0 peg 21
3. Paul Haines 17-0-0 peg 18
3 Andy Shields 17- 0-0 peg 10
5. Mike Nicholls 12-04-0 peg 26
6. Pete Powe 11-08-0 peg 30
7. Mike Jones 8-01-0 peg 29
8. Chris Snow 7-12-0 peg 23
8. Terry Bruton 7-12-0 peg 8
10. Dave Bacon 6-03-0 peg 28
11. Bill Ferris 4-08-0 peg 6
12. John Wilde 4-05-0 peg 19
13. Chris Rolfe 4-0-0 peg 32
14. Steve Jefferies 3-09-0 peg 25
15. Bob Warren 3-08-0 peg 5
16. Alan Jones 3-07-0 peg 17
17. Terry Church 2-13-0 peg 15
18. Dave Gillard 2-02-0 peg 7
19. Ray Bazeley 1-13-0 peg 4
20. Martin Alexander 1-04-0 peg
21. Harry Muir 0-12-0 peg 3
21. Colin Golding 0-12-0 peg 2
23. Pete Phillips 0-04-0 peg 32
24. Bob Price DNW peg 14 (lost 2 Carp)

Top Silvers:

1. Rich Coles 19-08-0 peg 21
2. Mike Nicholls 12-04-0 peg 26
3. Pete Powe 11-08-0 peg 30

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday 09/01/2011 - Hillview Fur and Feather Open

The match today was the rearranged Hillview Fur and Feather Open. With Bela off down Viaduct I travelled with son Steve. With a few Anglers crying off due to season illness even so there was still good turn out of 42 Anglers. After an egg and bacon toasty (I can’t eat all of Keith’s breakfast and do my cooked dinner justice).

Due to a widespread frost, Cat ice had reformed overnight and with a bright sunny day and light winds the fishing wasn’t ever going to be great. My experience of Hillview is that the fish switch off in these bright conditions. Against general opinion I wanted a draw on Moorhen as it contains a reasonable head of Silvers which I thought might be the order of the day for a framing weight in these conditions. I was first in the woolly hat (youngest first). I thought
I has my wish as without my glasses it looked like peg 18, however, what a disappointment to find I was on Canal 3 (pegging is pictured right) on peg 81. General feeling was it was going to be a hard peg so I didn’t expect too much from it. Steve drew peg 1 on Moorhen – a reasonable peg.

On arriving I was pleased to see that the ice had only reformed around the edges so decided to leave as was. I set up one rig a 4x12 Jolly shotted to fish slowly on the drop as I expected the fish to be at all depths. I started at 10 metres up to the edge of the ice kinder potting in a small amount of Pinkie and micro with double Pinkie on a 808 no 20. It took thirty minutes to get my first bite which was a 4oz carp which shed the hook on the lift. I then landed a similar size fish this time using the landing net! In the next 30 minutes all I could muster was a lost fouled hooked Carp. It was looking grim, no one on my canal was catching. I then noticed down by the end pallet a small blip – then another. So I swung round and had a ½ Rudd on the drop. From then on I had a either a small Rudd or Ronnie every put in. With no one catching stayed with some action rather than not. I didn’t have to feed anything to keep them coming but fed the 10 metre line continuous trying for a Carp regularly. Interestingly, I couldn’t catch the small Silvers over this line. I noticed that the fish where backing off keeping in the shade which meant adding the 11.5 metre section which made it bloody hard work for such little return. I then had a run of three foul hooked carp landing two 2 pounders both hooked in the Pectoral fin. Once the sun lowered in the sky I was able to take off the 11.5 metre section still keeping in the shade. I thought I had about 6lb and was amazed when Keith called out 10lb 7oz. This was enough to win the Canal and section leaving me just out of the frame in 10th place. I was really pleased with this result from this peg.

Steve weighed 2lb 8oz of Silvers for 3rd on Moorhen.

The match was won by Jake Cork (pictured right) from peg 7 on Moorhen with 33lb 2oz. Jake fished waggler and maggot to the opposite island.

Runner up was matt Taynton (pictured right with his catch) from Moorhen peg 17 with 22lb 2oz. Like the winner matt fished maggot and waggler to the opposite side of the island. Matt fed nothing all match!

Keith and his Wife Jo provided prizes, (pictured bottom centre however, not much sign of any fur or feathers!!) and free hot drinks and burgers for all. Thanks Keith.

Full Result:

1. Jake Cork 33-02-0 peg 7
2. Matt Taynton 22-02-0 peg 17
3. Andy Benwell 18-10-0 peg 51
4. Andy Griffiths 18-07-0 peg 50
5. Jim Greenaway 15-06-0 peg 91
6. Ian Chadwick 14-02-0 peg 67

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Thursday 06/01/2011 - Bathampton AA Silvers Championship - Huntstrete - Bridge Pool

As far as I am concerned there is nothing good to say about snow or ice, except one thing. Fishing in an ice hole gives sublime bait presentation. This is due to number of reasons. Firstly the rig is usually protected from the wind, if any. More importantly the water density increases the colder it becomes. This phenomenon makes shotting less sensitive so you can really dot the float down, light reflections permitting. The bites are also very slow and deliberate due to the fish being less active. I wish for similar presentation in the summer months. In any case I am glad it’s gone, but for how long, that’s the question.

Today was the first round of the Bathampton AA (BAA) Thursday Silvers League. There are 22 participating which is about the right number enabling a few of the Carp pegs to be left out!! I must give credit where credit is due. Mike Jones runs a great match and works hard to make sure little as possible is left to chance, similarly as he did back in the Seventies when he was Match Secretary for BAA running successful 300 peg matches, and winning them! Well done matey nice to have you back organising again.

All match men think about which peg they would like to draw. Me, well I find Bridge Pool difficult to predict and really don’t mind as long as I am not fishing in a cold uncomfortable swim. In to the box and I had a fight over the first peg I attached to with Paul Barnfield, he won. In again out comes peg 30. I was happy with that as there are usually a few Skimmers and Carp about. I set up two identical rigs 4 x16 Jolly one with 0.14 hook length the other with 0.1. I plumbed up at 7 metre out in front and at 9 metres at 10 o clock both swims having similar depths. I intended to leave the longer line for back up only initially feeding the short line with a nugget of GB with a few Pinkies in with it. With double Pinkie on a 20 808 hook I started catching Skimmers straight away. But it wasn’t long before I was being broke by a foul hooked Carp. This killed my swim for a while and after another nugget I had another couple of Skimmers to 12 oz. Then it happened again after a bite I struck and at about 2 foot off bottom hooked my second foul hooked Carp and another busted hook length. This wasn’t doing my Silvers swim any good at all. After half an hour feeding regular nuggets I has another couple of Skimmers followed by a proper hooked 5lb Carp – see a pattern forming. I am convinced that Carp aren’t always attracted to the feed but the activity of feeding Silvers. At the halfway stage I was struggling so decided to open up the longer line with a nugget and first put in had a 10lb Common Carp. I won’t go any further as I only added another three tiny Ronnie’s after this carp from the two swims. Interestingly this coincided with the wind changing from the SW to the SE, I realised this because I could no longer smell Steve Jefferies cigarette smoke! The two Carp weighed in at 15lb 9oz and my Silvers 6lb 7oz. This put me first overall – but that is only history as it is a Silvers only and Carp only based match leaving me 6th in the Silvers and 2nd in the Carp picking up in this category only (you can pick up in both – which is how it should be).

All my fish were in pristine condition albeit a bit anorexic, which was a relief after all they have suffered over the last 28 days. Overall it fished as well as it did in the last match before the ice age arrived.

The Silvers and right full winner today was won by Paul Barnfield (pictured right with his catch) with 14lb 5oz from peg 24 (I nearly had it) made up of mainly Skimmers. Paul caught on big maggot fished over micro pellet. Well done matey but I will pull harder on the draw envelope next time!!

The Carp section was won with two Carp by Martin Alexander (pictured bottom right - great eye brows) from peg 15lb with 19lb 9oz. Martin lost five Carp all falling for Pinkie

Full Result (Silvers):

1. Paul Barnfield 14-05-0 peg 24
2. Chris Rolfe 8-02-0 peg 10
3. Mike Jones 8-0-0 peg 18
4. Rich Coles 6-13-0 peg 16
5. Paul Staite 6-09-0 peg 32
6. Mike Nicholls 6-07-0 peg 30

Top Carp:

1. Martin Alexander 19-05-0 peg 15
2. Mike Nicholls 15-09-0 peg 30

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sunday 02/01/11 - Hillview Open

Well, it’s now been 34 days since I have been fishing. I really couldn't get any enthusiasm for braking five inches if ice that was most likely to refreeze during the match. That said I have become “stir crazy”. I over heard the Special One telling her friends that she felt if she has a strange man in the house (right there). Over this period I have been watching films most of the time as the weather prevented me doing the things I love to do. One film worth a watch is “Finding Eric”.

I knew they have been breaking the ice at Hillview so I anticipated that it would be reasonably clear. Bela was also up for it. As the draw was at 09:30 and as Keith does a decent breakfast on site it was a late start for us at 07:30. The match was scheduled for 11:00 start to 16:00 giving us chance to rearrange the ice!!

I was amazed to find that 24 had paid their pools. Keith decided to peg one section split across the two lakes plus three sections on the first three canals. I was hoping for the second or third canal. I didn’t fancy the lakes or canal 1 as it doesn’t fish that well in winter – good in summer though. So in to the smelly woolly hat and out comes peg 50 on the 1st canal – not a good draw in the summer, usually on a hiding to nothing. That said it does seem to hold small fish which might be the order of the day. Arriving at the peg it was evident that Keith had been out with the digger and had cleared out to 4 metres, leaving great chunks of ice (see video below of the tail end of the ice arranging - not quite what I was expecting). It was a good job I brought the new ice breaker and Bela!!

We broke the ice out to 7 metres which was enough for me. Plumbing up with my one rig a 4x12 Jolly had 3 foot down the track and 6 inches less at 7 metres. That a do. I started by kindering in a small amount of micro and a similar amount of Pinkie. I started on a single red maggot down the track but the swim kept bubbling due to the ice breaker stirring up the bottom so I soon switched to double Pinkie at 7 metres up to the edge of the ice. It took an hour before I foul hooked my first Brown Gold fish which came off against one of the ice bergs. I then had a run of two brown GF followed by a gold GF and a fat Silver GF. Bela walked up to pinch some pinkies and reported the only one other fish had been caught on our canal. For the rest of the match I could only add four small Ronnie’s and two small Perch. I weighed 3lb 10oz which easily won the section and believe it or not was enough for 4th overall and my first pick up of the year – a good start bur especially great to be back in the saddle.

Bela blanked today and is now starting to worry that the Black Cat is to blame.

The match was won by Richard Ahern (pictured right getting his coin from Keith Hill) from peg 58 with 19lb 15oz. Richard started fishing 4 mm expander over micro later switching to bread catching Gold Fish and in the last half hour added Carp to 3lb using 4mm punched bread over the micro. Richard fed a small hand full of micro all through the match only feeding once it was fished out.

Full Result:

1. Richard Ahern 19-15-0 peg 58
2. Dave Rudge 17-02-0 peg 74
3. Jon Newton 7-01-0 peg 70
4. Mike Nicholls 3-10-0 peg 50
5. Matt Taynton 3-04-0 peg 58
6. Gary Clark 3-03-0 peg 67