Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday 28/11/2012 - Bitterwell Cost Cutter Silvers Only Open

“I’m dreaming of a dry Christmas” and that’s what we were promised today by the BBC weather and that’s what we got. However, the temperature had dropped 5 degrees to 5 degrees.
Steve Dawson runs this match for the fishery and knows the venue very well and always pegs it well to suit both the fishing and weather conditions. Steve pegged it three times today to get it right.
I took some learning from the last match, plus I did a bit of homework by watching the Monday match. Gary Etheridge was catching Ronnie’s on Pinkie, by loose feeding “The Travellers” quite heavily. Gary was the only one apparently catching.
Into the draw box and out came peg 1. Yippee, the “Roach Hole”. A peg I have yet to draw and was looking foreword to it. But was wishing it was earlier in the year as it’s the shallowest peg on the venue. However, no one told the Roach or the Skimmers this fact.
For company on peg 2 I had consistent angler John Smith who beat me off the next peg last match here. John is great company both on and off the bank.
Because of the pegs “badge” I set up the Ronnie rig and a 4x12 Sensas Stainey. I also decided to get the Waggler rod out of the tangle holdall in case the Ronnie’s backed off, that said it didn’t get one thrashing.
I started by feeding a decent amount of dead maggot out in front at 9 meters and at the same length at 2 o clock toward the far bank life belt a considerable amount of Pinkie (by my standards). I started on the Ronnie rig with caster which lasted a disappointing 15 minutes without a bite. So out on the Stainey with double red Pinkie and I was soon in to a 4oz Skimmer. I kept the Skimmers coming in the first hour over the same feed. At 11 o clock I fed another pot of Pinkie and again catch a few more Slimmer to 2lb, however, it started to slow. John Smith was also catching Skimmers and was feeding some of the fisheries GB. So I went over a scrounged some form John. After taking out the caster and replacing them with Pinkie I fed a loose pot full. This resulted in am immediate response landing couple of 2 pounders one of which was a flyer. By feeding a bit of JS - GB and potting in loose Pinkie I kept the Skimmers coming until the last 1 ½ hours when I connected with a decent Skimmer which came off. I repeated this for the next two fish before the Skimmers completely disappeared. I did have a couple of Ronnie’s before the whistle blew.
I Skimmer catch in the “Roach Hole” weighed 18lb 15oz for first overall, but more importantly a great days fishing – one to remember especially as I had my revenge on John Smith (pictured below next to the match winner).
It was back to the “Ring O Bells” for a pint – the end of a perfect day.
Full Result:
1.      Mike Nicholls 18-15-0 peg 1
2.      John Smith 14-02-0 peg 2
3.      John Andres 9-14-0 peg 5
4.      Eddie Wynne 7-04-0 peg 12
5.      Steve Dawson 4-14-0 peg 13
6.      Steve Mayberry 4-04-0 peg 9

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday 25/11/2012 - Landsend Individual Winter league - Round One - Specimen, Match and Sidney's Lakes

It was the start of the Landsend Winter League run by Tony Rixon. It’s an expensive league but well worth it because of the payouts with the Silvers getting a reasonable share – but not equal – yet! This did mean we would be breakfasting in Shipham café with the delectable Wendy. Two Chews went for the large breakfast and there was no way he could eat it all and beat me to the finish – he did try. On the way to the draw from the café Two Chews was quiet until he chirped up “That breakfast was one sausage too far”!
Arriving at the fishery the Somerset Moors were well under water (pictured right). Mike Duckett thought it was the worse since 1968 (I remember that year very well). It’s the first time for me that a fishery had to pump out water from the Lakes to gain access to the platforms.
Arriving at the draw box Tony Rixon wanted me to draw for him – I refused, which was my first regret at I could have handed him peg 29 on Specimen Lake and redraw myself – bugger. Tony ended up opposite me on peg 34.
Peg 29 is a peg too big for me with 16/17 meters required to reach the far bank and with me limited to 11.5/13 metres it was going to b e a struggle. Any other peg - nearly.
I decided to fish for Silvers even though it doesn’t have the form as do many of the other pegs on the Lake. So I set up my Ronnie rig with caster, a 4x16 Jolly to be fished at 11.5 metres with soft pellet and the paste rig for over the pellet line in the last hour or so (the second weight on the Saturday open fell to paste by Mike West).
I started by feeding a half pot of caster on the Ronnie (half expecting to catch some specimen Perch as well). I then started kinder potting a few micros at 11.5metres and second put in hooked a big Common Carp. I usually put in keep nets to protect the sides of the platforms which do stick out a bit in to the Lake, but I forgot. Back to playing the big common, we both spotted it’s bolthole at the same time – my pallet. The Carp was far quicker than me and I lost it. I should have let the elastic go on the pull-a-bung which would have given me chance to do the platform shuffle – but it didn’t. I put the side guard nets in – after the Carp had bolted. I must say this pissed me right off as I buggered the float, so a new rig was erected.
From now on I struggled on this line so went in on the Ronnie rig which was disappointing as I couldn’t get a bite on it. So it was the long line for the remainder of the match. As I couldn’t catch kinder potting, I put a full pot in and found this did work for a while catching a few Skimmers, Ronnie’s and one Crucian. However, it was short lived and even though I kept potting in, all I could catch was Ronnie’s, which was bloody hard work for me at 11.5metres with 4 mm soft pellet. I decided for the last hour (which on reflection was the wrong decision) to fish for Carp on the paste which resulted in two small Carp. I now wished I kept on the Ronnie’s as I was 2lb out of picking up a Lake Silvers. My two Common Carp weighed 11lb 8oz as did my Silver for a total of 23lb. At least I beat “Deep Sigh”.
The match was won by Mark Poppleton (pictured right with the joint equal Silvers winner) with 104lb 10oz from peg 11.Mark caught Carp at 13 metre towards the end of the opposite island using expander hook bait over micro. Mark fed 1 ½ pints of micro.
Joint winner in the Silvers was Mark Brennan (pictured lower right with his catch of quality Perch) with 17lb 8oz from peg 31. Mark caught at 16 metes with caster over kinder potted caster.
Full Result:
1.      Mark Poppleton 104-10-0 peg 11
2.      Mike Duckett 82-11-0 peg 22
3.      Craig Edmonds 75-04-0 peg 26
4.      Tom Thick 60-08-0 peg 17
5.      Tom Mangnall 60-06-0 peg 3
6.      Bob Gullick 60-01-0 peg 68
Top Silvers:
1.      Tom Thick 17-08-0 peg 17
2.      Mark Brennan 17-08-0 peg 31
3.      Ken Rayner 15-12-0 peg 13

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thursday 22/11/2012 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

The forecast was for high gusting winds up to 70 mph and heavy rain. As I hate fishing in the wind I was in two minds whether to fish or not. Fish I did and was surprised that another 24 Coffin Dodgers also braved the forecast.
Match organiser Mike Jones as usual gave great thought to the pegs that might be the least affected by the wind. However, the wind proved to be gusting from all points of the compass making most of the pegs difficult to fish.
I noticed a bit of commotion near the draw and discovered that Mike Jones had left the peg balls home and for some unknown reason Bob the Bread was left to staple up the draw tickets – but not very well, it took three staplers before we had the draw ready and then Harry Muir pulled a peg with three draw cards stapled together!!
In I went and pulled peg 19. Yippee a peg I have yet to fish. I have often looked at this peg and could never see any reason why it shouldn’t throw up few fish as it next to one of my favourite pegs - 18. However, looking behind me there are two big Oak trees which are close to the edge of the steep bank and due to the wind it caused me a bit of concern, but they appeared to be still live.
After inspecting the pitch I found that the water had become very clear with the margins a no go area. So I decided to keep it simple setting up two rigs; my Ronnie rig and a 4x16 jolly Ronnie rig to be fished at 9 metres all with caster. After potting in half a pot at 9 metres I started on the Ronnie rig with single caster. I started well catching 2-3oz Ronnie’s with the occasional hybrid. However, it wasn’t long before I was playing a Carp. I was expecting this to upset the Ronnie’s but not, I carried on catching them that was until the next Carp which was a bit bigger and lead me a merry dance. After this I couldn’t get the Ronnie’s to settle, so it was out at 9 metres with caster hook bait which resulted in a few Perch and the odd small Skimmer. The upshot was that I kept switching between 9 metres and the Ronnie rig to keep the small fish coming. However, the long line was hard work because of the wind, which resulted in more time close in.
My two Common Carp weighed 16lb and my Ronnie’s 13lb for a total of 29lb. This put me first overall and third in the Silver.
The Silvers was won by Alan Jones (pictured right with the overall winner) from peg 24 with 19lb 4oz of CW&C caught Skimmer.

Bill Ferris on peg 33 caught a 2lb 4oz plump Perch.
Full Result:
1.      Mike Nicholls 29-0-0 peg 19
2.      Chris Rolfe 28-14-0 peg 29
3.      Pete Greenslade 25-02-0 peg 4
4.      Pete Phillips 22-14-0 peg 2
5.      John Fry 20-12-0 peg 29
6.      Alan Jones 19-04-0 peg 24
Top Silvers:
1.      Alan Jones 19-04-0 peg 24
2.      John Wild 13-02-0 peg 21
3.      Mike Nicholls 13-0-0 peg 19

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sunday 19/11/2012 - Viaduct Silversd Series - Round Five - Campbell, Carey and Lodge Lakes

For the second match running on this series we were welcomed with an over night frost, clear bright skies and flat calm. At least it wasn’t snowing!
My thinking was for a draw on Lodge as I thought the Skimmers wouldn’t feed in numbers whereas Lodge Lake has plenty of small Ronnie’s which tend to feed whatever. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 59 on Lodge. I was happy with this even though it’s a noted Carp peg. Three times on Lodge and three time poor Clayton Hudson has been on the dreaded Carp peg 66. Plus it was my third time next to Tony Rixon who arrived on peg 60 (must be some Skimmers about after all) I was hoping that the tree to my left (which needs pruning over head) would provide some cover and expected to catch a few decent Ronnie there, but at risk of latching in to a Carp or two.
I set up the waggler, which was planned for the last part of the match, but before I could use it leaves had blown over the middle of the Lake making it impossible to use. I set up two Ronnie whips one short and one 4 metre. I also set up a 4x12 Sensas Stainey to be fished at 9 metres close to the outside edge of the tree, in the hope of a Skimmer or two or more likely a couple of big Perch.
Just before the all in we had a tirade of bank walkers with wheelbarrows and all sorts of gardening implements walk past – apparently out to save the Blue Butterfly. There was a steady stream of Mardon Club Anglers throughout the match from Spring Lake. I think the walkers worry the anglers more so than the fish.
I started short on the caster and started to catch Ronnie’s 1-2oz steady, but due to the water clarity they would frighten off after catching a few only to have to wait for their return. I had been feeding caster regularly under the tree and could only manage one Ronnie from this swim – but no Carp! The short swim had slowed, so it was out on the 4 metre whip. All through the first four hours or so I could hear big sighs from peg 60. Up to the last ¾ hour I was giving “Mr Big Sigh” on peg 60 a right “whipping”. That was until the Ronnie’s did a disappearing act and “Big Sigh” caught three big Skimmers fishing 16 metres. I sat at 9 metres during this period where I hooked and unfortunately lost what I believed was a big Perch. I weighed 7lb 15oz for a section second. With only one match remaining I now have 15 points with a 4 pointer to drop so out of the overall league money as I don’t believe in miracles.
The match was won by young Joe McMahon (pictured below centre) with 24lb 13oz from peg 21 on Campbell Lake. Joe caught at 13 metres switching between double dead red and caster catching over GB and caster. Joe helped his weight by netting two big Perch from his margin with caster over caster. I must say that I had been very impressed with Joe over this series – it’s about time he stopped listening to dad Martin! Well done Joe – you deserve to get in the overall frame.
Bela drew crap again peg 105 on Carey, which has come last in section all series. That was until today when Bela reversed the trend by snaring a 3 ½ lb Bream on the tip to sneak the section away from the flyer pegs in this section. So for the second consecutive week we have had double pickups, which today deserved a couple of Pinky Ponks in Bar Gar-age.

Full Result:
1.      Joe McMahon 24-13-0 peg 121
2.      Tom Thick 19-06-0 peg 94
3.      Nicky Collins 17-04-0 peg 68
4.      John Gray 13-02-0 peg 112
5.      Matt Tomes 13-0-0 peg 71
6.      Steve Mayo 12-12-0 peg 90
League Positions: (one match remaining; with one worse result to drop):
1.      Steve Kedge 7
2.      Bob Gullick 8
3.      Tony Rixon 9
4.      Steve Mayo 9
5.      Tom Thick 9

Finally: Clive Petite landed a Specimen 3lb 15oz Perch from peg 119

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Wednesday 14/11/2012 - Bitterwell Lake - Silvers Only Cost Cutter Open

With Tony Rixon on a midweek sabbatical, who pointed me to a cost cutter Silvers match being fished at Bitterwell Lake every Wednesday, which doesn’t seem to have had much publicity. So I booked in with the match organiser Steve Dawson. Having walked around the Lake on Monday every one seemed to be feeding a form of GB made up from Clive’s “Silage” pellet with some “Smelly stuff” in it. So I thought I would go one better and crush up some of his green micro pellet Umm!
Arriving at the draw I was pleasantly surprised to see Ex-pat Steve Rogers (pictured right with his catch of big Skimmers - he dosn't look ant older must have been the climate "down under") in today’s line up. Steve hasn’t fished around this area since 1997. He obviously hasn’t lost any of his fishing or drawing skills as he finished fifth overall.
There is no draw queue on these matches, because the draw box is brought to you. In I go and out comes peg 4. I found myself on one of the three pegs on the road side bank between Steve Dawson (venue regular) and John Smith.
Steve Dawson said that the Skimmers had been coming from the pegs on the concrete, with Roach and Carp from our pegs. With mild overcast weather conditions I was therefore expecting the Ronnie’s to feed.
I set up just the two rigs a 4 metre Ronnie rig and a 4x12 Sensas Stainey. On the whistle I potted in a small ball of the green stuff with some Pinkies at 10 metres. However, I started after the Ronnie’s with caster over caster and I soon had my first 3oz specimen. I kept loose feeding a few casters and soon found that I had Carp up in the water chasing the feed, after a couple of missed bites (Carp liners) I gave up as it was clear the Ronnie’s weren’t going to feed (what’s wrong with them this year)? So it was out on the 10 metre line with the Stainey and single dead red maggot. It was about now that I realised I had made a mistake feeding the green stuff as I was getting liners from Carp and it wasn’t long before I had hooked a 5lb Mirror. After this I did had tree Skimmers on the trot before the swim died again. I foolishly fed again only to repeat the same. I decided to kinder pot a few Pinkies, which resulted in similar again except replace Skimmers with tiny Perch. It wasn’t until the last 30 minutes when I started to loose feed through the catty that things settled down and I started to catch a few Skimmers and Ronnie’s – all to late really. I weighed 8lb 9oz for sixth.

Although there was no coin today I thoroughly enjoyed the day - fishing locally with good company and Des buying the tea's. I will be back and won't be surprised if this match becomes popular.
The match was won by Des Shipp (pictured right) with 19lb from peg 9. Des started on CW&C, but in wasn’t until he switched to single red maggot over loose fed maggot did he started to catch decent Roach and Skimmers at 10 metres. How many sports do you get a chance to compete against England Internationals – Not many!!
Runner up was venue expert Steve Dawson (pictured lower right). Steve also caught on red maggot with many of his fish coming to the waggler over loose fed caster.
Full Result:
1.      Des Shipp 19-0-0 peg 9
2.      Steve Dawson 14-09-0 peg 3
3.      John Smith 11-08-0 peg 5
4.      John Andres 10-15-0 peg 11
5.      Steve Rogers 10-11-0 peg 13
6.      Mike Nicholls 8-09-0 peg 4

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday 11/11/2012 - Avon Angling Open - Chiltern Trinty - Woodlands Lake

Bela arrived early due him not sleeping well, leaving him with a sore head. However, after “two chews” devoured his “Belly Buster” in the Hill Top café in double quick time he was back to his normal affable self.
Over the last few months I have lost a bit of focus due to family matters. I was hoping today to put the focus back. I have never done any good on the near bank of this fishery, whereas, the far bank has always put me in the coin. Walking around the Lake before the draw there were plenty of Ronnie’s topping around the middle pegs, but well out to the centre. So I was hoping for a peg around peg 10ish. In to the draw and after a too long a feel round I pulled peg 31. Quite opposite to what I wanted, and just to confirm I could have drawn better, Chris Fox arrives on peg 32, Chris is a real quality angler and a nice lad but he draws some crap pegs.
Luckily I did have an empty peg 30 next to me – this might help, me thinks. Apparently meat was the bait on the moment, so I cut up a full tin of Spam to 6mm cubes. I had already made up some paste just in case. I set up a 4x16 jolly to fish the meat at 11.5 metres in 9 foot of water. I set up the Ronnie 4 mere whip for my target fish – Ronnie’s. I then set up a corn rig a 4x12 Jolly for the RH margin where I had 30 inches of water and paste rig for the same margin swim.
After feeding some corn and hard 4’s in to the margin, followed by a ¼ of a pot of meat with a few 4’s at 11.5 metres I started on the whip and caster set at 3 foot deep. However, due the wind conditions it was very difficult to hand feed to 7 metres. I started reasonably well catching a few Ronnie to 3oz, which was until I hooked and broke on a Carp. I then spotted a bubble on the meat line so out went the Jolly with a 6mm piece of meat and first put in I hooked and landed a 1 ¾ lb Tench. I had only one more bite over this line which I missed so dumped the line. Back on the Ronnie’s and had another spell of them until once again I hooked and broke on a Carp. So I tried the margin with corn which produced nothing, so I switched to the paste and had a 5lb Carp straight away. I kept switching between the Ronnie’s and caster and the margin adding another four Carp and some small Ronnie’s.
With two hours to go I decided to focus on the carp with paste. Unfortunately I couldn’t get another bite. I wasn’t until it was too late that the penny dropped. I had stopped feeding for the Ronnie’s which had the effect of attracting the Carp in closer and once they were aware of the hard 4’s being dribbled in came in over the margin line. Is it a lesson learnt – perhaps, but maybe it will be different next time.
My five Carp weighed in at 36lb 2oz and the Silvers 8lb 2oz for a total of 44lb 4oz, luckily this put me second overall, Third in the Silvers and a section win if all else failed.
The match was won by Tom Mangnel (pictured right) with 66lb 1oz from lonely peg 2. Tom caught on caster or red maggot hook bait over potted caster and maggot. Tom caught at 13 metres both out in front and to is left.
Full Result:
1.      Tom Mangnel 66-01-0 peg 2
2.      Mike Nicholls 44-04-0 peg 31
3.      Tony Rixon 32-06-0 peg 15
4.      Craig Edmonds 29-03-0 peg 14
5.      Phil Harding 28-05-0 peg 17
6.      Bela Bakos 27-05-0 peg 25
6.      Kev Moulton 27-05-0 peg 7
Top Silvers:
1.      Nigel Bartlett 9-09-0 peg 24
2.      Tom Mangnel 8-08-0 peg 2
3.     Mike Nicholls 8-02-0 peg 31

Monday, 5 November 2012

Sunday 04/11/2012 - Viaduct Silvers League - Round Four - Campbell, Carey and Lodge Lakes

Having watched the weather forecast just before Bela picked me up I certainly wasn’t prepared what we were to experience throughout the day. It was pouring with rain when Bela arrived and by the time we were on top of the Mendips it was heavy snow, with flakes as big as my toss pot, subsequently it was settling quite fast as the picture right shows. By the time we had the draw the rain had stopped and by time we had started fishing the sun was out. Bela drew peg 85 on Carey which can suffer from the late afternoon sun reflecting on the water. But Bela had this sorted by shielding his eyes using his toss pot lid!! See picture below - right – you would think it was August. During this time Bela helped himself to 7lb of Skimmers elevating him to second in his section with 11lb.
For me I drew peg 99 on Carey which can be a good Skimmer peg, but I had the feeling that due to the bright conditions and extreme pressure variations in the last few hours that it wasn’t going to fish that well. On my right I had An-Ton and on my left Andy Neal.
I settled for the Ronnie rig which I thought would be a waste of time due to the water clarity and the fish not wanting to chase the feed  – and I was right. I set up the 4x14 Jolly to be fished at 11.5 metres, and finally the Normark 11 foot feeder rod.
Having fed the Skimmer line with two balls of GB laced with a few casters it was the quick retirement of the Ronnie rig. Out on the GB line and after 30 minutes not a sign of a bite from any bait I tried. Andy had caught a couple of small Ronnie’s on the waggler, so I set it up and with double dead red fished over loose fed caster I was soon in to a Ronnie followed by a couple more before I hooked a 6oz Perch. Unfortunately I fed a few too many casters as the Carp were soon mooching around on the surface scaring off the few fish that were prepared to feed. With two hours gone the three of us were struggling with An-Ton still blanking. What ever I did I couldn’t get the Ronnie’s to come close enough to make them worth fishing for. So I resigned myself to a painful last half of the match fishing for them at 11.5 metres. I found the best way to keep them in the swim was to kinder pot hard ball of my Skimmer mix GB laced with Pinkies with double pinkie on the hook. This also would get any Skimmers interested that decided to feed. I was rewarded with a 3lb Skimmer and a few 4oz specimens. I must say I was tired and hurting by the end of the match, weighing 9lb 5oz for 4th in section. I did managed to beat Andy on peg 100 who mustered 7lb and an 18lb Carp, but An-Ton on peg 97 had a good spell late on coming second in the section with 13lb.
Lodge Lake came up trumps again with the match being won by Steve Mayo (pictured right with his nice net of Skimmers) with 45lb 6oz from peg 69. Steve fished at 13 metres using double dead red hook bait fished over a mix of Gimps Gold and Sensas Lake GB. Steve fed the caster loose in his pot below his ball of GB instead of combining with his GB.
Steve Kedge is the current league leader with a so far perfect score of 4 points.
Full Result:
1.      Steve Mayo 45-06-0 peg 69
2.      Dave Roper 24-14-0 peg 96
3.      Paul Elmes 22-13-0 peg 71
4.      Tom Thick 21-15-0 peg 130
5.      Lee Werret 20-14-0 peg 62
6.      Phil Cardwell 18-03-0 peg 72