Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunday 30/12/2012 - Avon Angling Open - Shiplate Farm - Specimen Lake

Two chews had fasted all the previous day because we were once again paying a visit to “A sausage too far” cafĂ©. No belly aching today then!
Not the first time at this venue, but the first time on the Specimen Lake. Apparently the lake has had some pegs added hence a number of “A” pegs. So with twenty booked in the pegging was going to be interesting. With high winds forecast I was hoping to be on the far bank which placed our backs to the South West, so any peg from 10 to 15 would be OK, but by choice end peg 15 would be preferred.
In to the landing net and out comes peg 14, two away from the end peg, but delighted nonetheless, even though it was an unusual long walk for these days. Arriving at the peg my peg, peg 14A and 14B were really close which caused a some discussion; however, I don’t think it affected the fishing, in fact it may have improved it!
I set up just the one 4x16 jolly and the Normark feeder rod with a small Drennan feeder. Having plumbed up with the Jolly it was apparent that the wind was causing some considerable tow, left to right against he wind. Although this was a good indicator that the Skimmers might feed I thought the tow was a tad too sever to catch on the pole at 10 metres. So the feeder was going to be the main attack. On the “all in” I fed the 10 metre line with four balls of GB laced with a few Pinkies, dead reds and Pinkies. Starting on the feeder at 25 metres with the same laced up GB I had a liner first cast which resulted in a lost foul hooked Carp. Next cast I hooked and landed a 5lb 14oz Common Carp (the last and only). I spent the next couple of hours catching small Skimmers to 8oz. These fish gradually became sparser so it was the turn of the pole and first run through resulted in a one of the Lakes big Bream being foul hooked and eventually lost – bugger. After one small Rudd and a couple more of small Skimmers I re-fed and went back on the feeder and another few small Skimmers was in the net falling to one dead red and one Pinkie (it was difficult to determine the maggot from the Pinkie as they were so small – or was the Pinkie big?). After trying the pole a few more times which yielded nothing I spent a difficult last 2 hours adding a few more ounces on the feeder.

I must say I enjoyed fishing the feeder today - twitching and slowly winding in to the small Skimmers - whilst it lasted, I'm sure the venue didn't fish up to it's fish stocks.
My Silvers weighed 9lb 9oz which with the lonely Carp weighed a total of 15lb 7oz for fourth overall and a section win.
The match was won by Clint Wojtyle (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 1 with 25lb 10oz. Clint caught two Carp and two large Bream and one Ruffe on the pole both out in front and down his RH margin.
The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon from end peg 15 with 18lb 12oz. Tony caught on ….see his blog for details.
Full Result:
1.      Clint Wojtyle 25-10-0 peg 1
2.      Matt Tomes 23-12-0 peg 14A
3.      Tony Rixon 18-12-0 peg 15
4.      Mike Nicholls 15-07-0 peg 14
5.      Chris Fox 12-04-0 peg 13
6.      Nick Collier 10-02-0 peg 12
Top Silvers:
1.      Tony Rixon 18-12-0 peg End peg 15
2.      Matt Tomes 16-05-0 peg 14A
3.      Chris Fox 12-04-0 peg 1

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thursday 20/12/2012 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Christmas Match - Bridge Pool

The weather girl got it spot on, with temperatures a balmy 11 degrees and light rain all day until 15:00. So it was a soaking wet day but the winds were kind for most of the day.
Once again another good turn out of 22 for today's annual Coffin Dodgers Christmas Match, with only two no shows, for good reason, and all pictured below except the Gimp and John Fry who were late – I hope the Gimp got back home OK through the flood waters – I think he now knows he’s not driving an amphibian!
In to the draw bag and out comes a virgin peg for me – peg 13 (only two pegs left to fish on this venue pegs 1 and 2). I was happy with this because I like a new challenge, plus I had empty pegs each side of me – so plenty of room. Once again I found myself technically next to matey Bob Warren.
Although the water was very clear I knocked up some paste, which I tried five times without success – so no more on this. In addition to the throw away paste rig I set up the usual – Ronnie rig and a 4x16 jolly to be fished at 9 metres.
I started by feeding a small pot of a 50/50 combo of micro and caster at 9 metres. But started fishing on the Ronnie rig with the usual caster over caster. Third cast I hooked a 12oz Ronnie which came off. Next cast the same – bugger. Worse to come, next cast and I hook a big Carp which over five minutes didn’t move more than 5 foot hugging the bottom all of the time – it didn’t have to as it let its weight do me. Next cast and another lost Carp, which I think was fouled – but never sure. With the net still empty things settled down, I started to catch some decent Ronnie’s and Hybrids’, I then hooked and landed a 2lb + Perch. The swim then died so it was out on the 9 metre line with 6mm expander. I had a run of very small Skimmers which spent an age inspecting the bait before taking it which lead to a lot of re-hooking and frustration. So I switched to caster hook bait which although this took longer to get a bite the fish was much bigger including some better Hybrids. So after feeding the 9 metre line with a 75/25 mix of caster and micro it was back to the Ronnie rig. The format was to catch a few on the Ronnie rig before they scared off, then on to the 9 metre line which I finally converted to caster only. I managed to keep the quality fish coming until he final ten minutes when I hooked another Carp and because I couldn’t get the pole on to the top set quick enough the hook length broke because the elastic bottomed out – bugger. As it worked out it didn’t matter as my 18lb 11oz of Silvers was enough to win the match and a large joint of beef for the Special one to cook.

Thanks to Mike Jones and Chris Rolfe for once again running an excellent series of matches throughout the year and for Bill Ferris and Mike Jones for organising to days prizes - excellent days fishing all round me thinks.
Full Result: (only Bill Ferris caught Carp so top six only)
1.      Mike Nicholls 18-11-0 peg 13
2.      Bill Ferris 15-03-0 peg 15 (Incl: 9lb Carp)
3.      Mike Jones 14-04-0 peg 32
4.      John Smith 12-08-0 peg 8
5.      Dave Poole 11-08-0 peg 19
6.      Rich Coles 9-13-0 peg 26

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Saturday 15/12/2012 - Viaduct Christmas Open - Campbell and Carey Lakes

The talk at the draw was how Christmas matches in the South West have declined over recent years. It wasn’t long ago that all the pegs were sold out for this Viaduct match, leaving it difficult to get a ticket. Much different to today where we had only 30 fishing. I think it’s all about costs as the total cost of the match was £36 – too much me think especially when adding the petrol and bait costs. However, a thanks goes to the fishery for the complimentary seasonal drink.
In to the draw container and out comes peg 112. I was happy with this as it has both Silvers and Carp form, but not recently.
I had purchased a bag of Prawns at ASDA (first ever try with them) which I split between me and Bela (I have to confess to eating a few last night with my dinner). So a 4x12 Jolly margin rig to be fished in the RH margin (behind me) at 5 metres was set up for this new bait. Then the Silvers rig which was the usual 4x14 Jolly to be fished short at 5 metres and longer at 11.5 metres. Finally it was the turn of the 4 metre whip.
The initial feed was some chopped Prawn with caster potted into the margin. Followed up with a pot of caster dribbled in at 11.5 metres. Finally a pot of dryish GB with Pinkie at 5 metres.
Starting on the 5 metre line with double Pinkie I was soon in to a 1lb Hybrid.  Followed by with four decent skimmers to 1 ½ lb. Then unfortunately I hooked a 3lb Carp which totally disrupted the peg. I had another small Skimmer before I hooked my second Carp which total buggered the peg. So it was in to the margin and after a short wait I hooked my third and last Carp. I was hoping to catch a Perch or two from this margin but the Carp was the last bite I had here. I then struggled for the next three hours I couldn’t get the Ronnie within whip distanced and was forced to fish for then at 11.5 metres over my caster line. This proved very hard on my hands forcing me back short.
My Silvers weighed 9lb 9oz for fifth in the Silvers and a disappointing one out of the Silvers pool by 3oz. If only I could have got the Ronnie’s closer – that’s fishing. Adding my three Carp took my total to 24lb 10oz for tenth overall and a bottle of wine and a tin of biscuits. So the jury is out on Prawn as bait.
However, Bela caught a 12lb Carp first cast on the prawn adding another one on this bait for his four Carp tally of 44lb 1oz from peg 86 and a section win.
The match was won by Martin Preston (pictured right with his winners Christmas hamper) with a worthy 109lb from peg 126. Martin caught on the waggler fished at various depths with red maggot hook bait. Martin fed ….nothing! As did runner up Andy Lloyd – how do they do this?
The Silvers was won by Fred Roberts (pictured right) with 11lb 9oz from peg 126. Fred caught hand size Skimmers on red maggot over casters at 24 metres.
Full Result:
1.      Martin Preston 109-0-0 peg 124
2.      Andy Lloyd 88-03-0 peg 116
3.      Steve Denmead 54-10-0 peg 96
4.      Dick Bull 51-14-0 peg 125
5.      Bela Bakos 44-01-0 peg 86
6.      Alan Oram 42-14-0 peg 115
10. Mike Nicholls 24-10-0 peg 112
Top Silvers:
1.      Fred Roberts 11-09-0 peg 126
2.      Steve Jackson 11-03-0 peg 132
3.      Phil Cardwell 10-02-0 peg 130
4.      Gary O’Shea 9-12-0 peg 129
5.      Mike Nicholls 9-09-0 peg 112

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sunday 20/08/1978 – Golden Carp - Silverlands Trophy

Still very much a part time match angler but I was always on the looked out for matches at Silverlands Lake - Wick Farm, Wick Lane, near Lacock, Chippenham. This Lake was a particular favourite of mine, mainly because it is very open with no trees anywhere near the bank plus plenty of framing pegs. The downside was the walk to the Lake, particularly the walk back – all up hill. I think these days you can now drive to the Lake.

With my new six legged basket and float rod (yes just the one) packed in the car it was off up the A420 to the Silverlands Trophy Open and due to it's popularity I only just managed to book into.

The talk before the match was whether corn would win the match with Tench as Bob Warren (another fan of Silverlands) had won the previous match on the weed bed peg 16 in this way. I did have a tin of corn in case I drew in the Lakes leg weed bed, but as I drew peg 5 which was on the near bank around the first leg the corn stayed in the tin. The approach was to be a 3xAA home made Peacock waggler with three no 10’s down the line (not much different than today). With 1 ½ lb Maxima hook length to 3lb Maxima reel line on an ABU closed face reel which I had just started using. The bait was simple, fine brown GB and white maggot. The plan was to feed regular walnut sized balls of GB laced with a few maggots as far out as possible by hand fishing the waggler over the top. By letting the tow or wind drag the waggler through would usually catch the Skimmers on single white maggot (up to a pound back then). However, having tried this I found I was getting small Ronnie’s and Rudd on the drop. So I switched to loose feeding maggot and by regular casting caught small fish now and then. As the match was fishing hard I stuck with it to the end. I was on the opposite side of the Lake to Eddie Shortman and could hear him explaining to his neighbouring angler that the only way he could catch was also on the drop.

I weighed 4lb 8oz for fifth overall, with Eddie beating me to fourth by 4oz.

Three pegs up from me on peg 2 was Steve Evans who was the only angler to put some Skimmers together, winning the match with 15lb 3oz. beating his nearest rivals, including his Dad Les by 10 lb.

Full Result: (right is the Angling Press Match report)
1.      Steve Evans 15-03-0
2.      Les Evans 5-12-0
3.      Tony Reece 5-04-0
4.      Eddie Shortman 4-12-0
5.      Mike Nicholls 4-08-0
6.      Ray Bazeley 3-08-0

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday 09/12/2012 - Landsend Individual Winter League - Round Two - Specimen, Match and John Walters Lake

After another breakfast at Wendy's and the same comment from two chews “one sausage too far” it was off to the draw.
As we take it turn to fish the three lakes it was our sections turn on Match Lake. Probably was a blessing as the fishing has generally depleted across many venues with this lake being one of the better stocked Lakes.
In to the Match Lake draw container and out comes peg 21. Happy with this as it has plenty of Silvers history. Arriving at the peg I found Beanie (apparently Mike Duckett told him he had to fish the league or get a ban from the fishery - definitely a yokel) on peg 22 and Steve Seagar on peg 19. However, what was most off putting I had Tony Rixon opposite me on peg 3, usually if we draw opposite we struggle – not that I am superstitious!
I set up just the two rigs – a 4x12 Jolly for the margin and a 4x 14 to be initially to be fished at 11.5 metres, but because I thought the wind would be difficult I changed to 10 metres, this float suited another two swims as the depth only varied by a few inches which was marked by my waterproof pen on the line – 11.5 metres at 10 o clock at similarly at 5 metres.
I started by feeding the LH margin with some casters – and if there were any fish there, which I doubt, had a free feast. I fed a few big maggots on the 5 metre line. Starting on the 10 metre line with 3 mm expander hook bait over kinder potted 2 mm pellet I had a liner first put in as the expander was still on the hook. I dropped it back in and caught a 2lb F1. I worry when I catch this early in a match, but it could also mean the start of a good match. In for the third time and another F1, this time on the drop – happy days. Celebrations were too early as the swim died – worries founded I 'm thinking. What I musing about was that I wasn’t getting any bites from the Ronnie’s on the expander as they love this bait on this venue.
I then made the decision to switch to Pinkie and maggot, but first I switched to a 808 20 hook, but still using 0.14 hook length. I kindered in four maggots with a big pinch of Pinkies, and with a single red live maggot and a Pinkie on the hook the swim came alive catching a few small Skimmers and Ronnie’s with the odd Carp. I kept switching hook baits from double to treble Pinkie – big red maggot on its own didn’t seem to have the same effect. I did have a run of three Carp in three put-ins but because of the clarity of the water it was always going to be hard to keep the big fish in the swim. A pattern formed where I would have a few Silvers then it would go quite for a long time before hooking another Carp. 45 minutes before the end I hooked a big Ghost Carp which after a long fight I lost it at the net. I think I was fooled by the clarity of the water thinking it was nearer the surface than it looked – bugger. I did recoup catching one more Carp just before the whistle, making it nine Carp in total.

The strong gusting wind made it difficult to present the bait properly all of the time so rested on the 5 metre line with various baits and that is all I did do - rest!
My Carp weighed in at 48lb and my Silvers 6lb 13oz for a grand total of 54lb 13oz for third overall and a Lake win.
With Bela coming third on John Walters Lake we had another van double pick up – more tin crushing in Bar Gar-age followed.
The match and the Silvers was won by Nick Merry (pictured right) from peg 40 on Specimen Lake. Nick weighed a total of 63lb 11oz which included 18lb 8oz of Silvers. Nick caught at 16 metres along his end bank margin using caster over caster. Nick fed very little caster throughout the match.
Full Result:
1.      Nick Merry 63-11-0 peg 40
2.      Alan Oram 61-05-0 peg 32
3.      Mike Nicholls 54-13-0 peg 21
4.      Clint Wojtyle 52-11-0 peg 31
5.      Steve Seagar 45-15-0 peg 19
6.      Adrian Jefferies 44-03-0 peg 5
Top Silvers:
1.      Nick Merry 18-08-0 peg 40
2.      Tony Rixon 13-05-0 peg 3
3.      Aaron Britnell 10.10 peg 11   

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Thursday 06/12.2012 - Bathhampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Withy Pool

Arriving at Withy Pool I was surprised to see some of the Lake iced over, but after a stone test it was only thin Cat ice. Irrespective Mike Jones decided to peg only the ice free pegs of which there were twenty and nineteen hardy Anglers fishing.
In to the draw bag and out comes familiar peg 54 behind the island. As happened last September I was next to Bob Warren who likewise was on peg 53. All I could think of was that we would be out of the cold biting wind and might catch some small fish. However, peg 49 would have been my choice peg.
Setting up was simple 1x4x14 Jolly with a number 22 – 808 tied to 0.14 GLine. Because the water was so clear I blackened out my hook length with a waterproof felt tip (well for some reason we blacken out GB). I planned to fish the one line at 9 metres just down the inside shelf. On the whistle I fed a small ball of light GB with a few Pinkies in it. After a 15 minutes wait I had a 1oz Ronnie. I then had to wait until 13:00 for my next fish!! For some unexplainable reason I proceeded to catch 28 more small fish one a bung until 13:20 when for the rest of the match I was bite less – explanation?
I must say the peg was great for survival but not good for the fishing. I thought Bitterwell was bad yesterday but today was three times worse. I weighed 1lb 13oz for 8the overall – that’s how bad it fished.
Just before 13:00 Bob Warren who had been fishing the straight lead over to the opposite island with maggot an latched into a Carp. Bob played it very carefully; even so he had me worried a few times he might lose it (pictured below Left). The fished weighed 17lb 8oz (pictured below with a happy Bob) and his one bite and one fish was enough to win the match.

The Silvers was won by John Fry (pictured lower right with the overall winner) with 7lb 8oz from peg 49. John caught on the pole at 9 metres using Fluro Pinkie fished over neat GB.

Arriving back to the car Terry Church said my car alarm had been going off throughout he match. I thought he was nuts because I didn’t hear anything. In to the car to drive home and I found I had a Robin for company, both scaring the living daylights out of each other. I opened the doors for the Robin to escape which I thought it had. Half way home I had the scare of my life as the Robin was still in the car and flew at my face. I then opened all the car windows. Although I don’t have any evidence it must have flown out as a search on arriving home revealed nothing – I hope the poor thing got home OK and my alarm isn’t going off all night. I will have to clean the Robin Poo off the car seats tomorrow.
Full Result: (only one Carp caught)
1.      Bob Warren 17-08-0 peg 53
2.      John Fry 7-08-0 peg 49
3.      Bill Ferris 4-08-0 peg 43
4.      John Bradford 2-10-0 peg 68
5.      Mike Jones 2-09-0 peg 48
6.      John Smith 2-04-0 peg 41

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wednesday 05/12/2012 - Bitterwell Silvers Only Cost Cutter Open

It was great news to hear that matey Darren Gillman has won the South West Winter League Individual title for the third time. This helped his team Bathampton once again to take the overall team title. After a look back over records it appears that Darren is the first Angler in this league to achieve this, albeit the league being somewhat diminished from its hay days. That said it’s a remarkable achievement. Darren has also won the Commercial House Individual League twice. In a year’s time or so, Darren might be ready to take on us Commercial Fishery boys!
Whilst changing some of Fisheries cow pellets in to some likeness to a GB (by the John Smith process) I was surprised by how much Molasses were included which makes the GB very sticky and strong smelling.
Prior to the draw Gary Etheridge explained how he decided not to fish his peg on last Sunday’s winter league practice on the K&A at Great Bedwyn because it was shallow and too clear. However, Gary lived to regret it as the pegs each side of his came first and second in the match – oh dear!
In to the draw hat (without any hairs in it) and out comes peg 4 in the middle of the car park bank. I wasn’t that keen on the draw as it is very snaggy plus anglers on this bank would have the sun in our eyes all day – and we did. An end peg out of the sun would have been my preference. Although the conditions weren’t favourable for the Skimmers (or any other species come to think of it) it was the species I was going to target.
I set up the same rig as last match here, a 4x12 Stainey. Because of the fishing conditions I set up the waggler which although managed a few bites I missed most of them so no more on the thrashing.
I fed a loose ball of the fishery GB at 9 metres at 2 o clock with a few Pinkies and with double Pinkie on the hook I didn’t have a bite. Once the sun had moved round a bit I fed some Pinkies out in front and had a couple of Ronnie’s and micro Perch – the fishing was really hard. I did foul hook a 1lb Skimmer and it wasn’t until the sun started to disappear that I had a couple of Hybrids and another Skimmer, losing another of about 2lb in the margin rubbish. I weighed a paltry 3lb 5oz for joint sixth with Eddie Wynne.
As expected the match was won from end peg 9 by John Smith (pictured right) with 6lb 15oz. John caught on big maggot over loose potted Pinkie at 13 metres. John fed no GB.
Full Result:
1.      John Smith 6-15-0 peg 9
2.      Gary Etheridge 6-07-0 peg 3
3.      Andy Gard 3-13-0 peg 1
4.      John Andres 3-10-0 peg 7
5.      Steve Dawson 3-08-0 peg 6
6.      Mike Nicholls 3-05-0 peg 4
6.      Eddie Wynne 3-05-0 peg 5

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday 02/12/2012 - Viaduct Silver League - Final Round Six - Campbell, Carey and Lodge lakes

After a drink with Bela the night before, whilst watching Man U beat Reading 3-4 we were both a bit jaded. We arrived at the fishery for breakfast only to find Stuart (Woody’s) was running late. However we still got our breakie in plenty of time to push in the front on the draw queue.
Discussing the draw in the shop yesterday Tony Rixon and I agreed it would be good to draw on Lodge again. Tony fancied peg 60 or 62 and as per form he pulled peg 62!! In to the draw box hoping to be next to him again and out pops my bogie peg 130 on Campbell; obviously I didn’t dig deep enough into the coffee tin.
Walking to the peg I was trying to talk the peg up. For company I had Nick Collins on corner peg 132 and Don Sutherland on Spit peg 129.
I decided on setting up a margin rig for Perch even though the margins are very shallow this end of the Lake. I then untangled the waggler rod even though I thought I would end up catch Carp on it as there were plenty of signs of them. Next was a 4x12 Sensas Stainey (I am beginning to love fishing these floats as I now understand their shotting better) to be fished at 11.5 metres for all that swims. Finally I set up the 4 metre whip.
I fed the margin with a few caster and big live maggot but didn’t get to fish it. I catapulted a few casters out to 25 metres, once again I didn’t get use the waggler. I then fed a ball of dryish GB with some Pinkies at 11.5 metres and fed a few Pinkies on the 4 metre whip line. Starting on the 11.5 metres with double Pinkie I had a small Ronnie. I was getting one a bung but because if their size and the distance I was fishing it was going to be hard to build a weight of them. So for the next 5 hours I fished the whip with single Pinkie feeding a ball of GB with Pinkies every 45 minutes. During this spell I did convert the 11.5 metre line for big fish by feeding to caster and big maggot. It wasn’t until the last twenty minutes that I went over it catching two more small Ronnie’s, one 4 oz Skimmer, bumping one decent Skimmer and losing another – bugger.
I weighed about 150 small fish for a total of 9lb 1oz for a section win and 8th overall. This give me 16 points overall but as I could drop a 4 pointer leaving me with 12 but not enough to frame overall but joint twelfth.
The match was won by Tim Pallant with 21lb 5oz from peg 59 on Lodge. Tim caught on Pinkie over GB at 14 metres towards the rope. This result helped Tim (pictured right) to win the overall league. I think this was well deserved as Tim didn’t had all good draws, for example Tim drew the dreaded peg 74 on Carey managing to squeeze get a section win from it – well done matey.
Full Result:
1.      Tim Pallant 21-05-0 peg 59
2.      Des Shipp 17-03-0 peg 96
3.      Nick Ewers 16-09-0 peg 94
4.      Jon Gray 15-14-0 peg 124
5.      An-Ton Page 12-07-0 peg 116
6.      Tony Rixon 11-14-0 peg 62
7.      Paul Elmes 9-14-0 peg 124
8.      Mike Nicholls 9-01-0 peg 130
Final League Positions:
1.      Tim Pallant 7pts 142-06-0
2.      Steve Kedge 7pts 131-12-0
3.      Steve Mayo 7pts 127-15-0
4.      Tony Rixon 8pts 143-01-0
5.      Anton Page 8pts 117-15-0
6.      Bob Gullick 8pts 117-14-0
…..Mike Nicholls 12pts 108-07-0
Highest Silver weight in League:
Phil Cardwell 56-07-0