Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday 27/01/2013 - Landsend Individual Winter League - Round Four - Specimen, Match and Walters Lake

After missing a weekends fishing and a couple of mid weekers it was good to be heading to Landsend Fishery, which I think is one of the most consistent winter fisheries in the South West. The reason for missing previous matches is self evident from the picture right of my Hazel nut tree in the front garden.
After the usual breakfast at Shipham it was time to unpack the tackle. Steve Seager had invested in a new trolley. Unfortunately for him he thought he had bought a two wheeler but realised he had left two of his four wheels of his trolley at home (pictured right Steve looking a bit puzzled by it all).
So it was time to stand in the draw queue for half an hour! With a free draw I was hoping to draw on Walters Lake (Lake Three). My Dad always told me to be careful for what you wish for Son. In to the draw box and out comes a peg on Walters Lake, it was now a question of whether it would be peg 50 or 51. It was the time for 51 again. Probably the worse peg on the Lake. That said I was happy enough to endure the tramp through the mud to get to the peg.
I set up exactly the same rigs as last match on peg 50. The upshot was that I struggled to get bites on anything I tried. After fifteen bite less minutes I put on a couple of Pinkies and caught two ½ oz Ronnie’s. That was it for four hours! I tried everything including fishing 13 metres to the island and every bait in my bag including worm. Then Mike West opposite shouted out to look behind me and what followed was a horrendous storm. Winds to 70 mph and heavy rain, fortunately for me because Mike had warned me I was able to unship the pole and huddle with my back to it all. However, Mike carried on fishing shattering his number six section!
After the Great Storm, I decided I needed to try and get some small fish feeding in the swim with the anticipation that they might draw in some of the inquisitive bigger fish. So I put in a ball of GB and spent the last 1 ½ hours catching tiny Ronnie’s finishing the match with 18 of them for a grand total of 9oz. It sounds worse than it was as I managed to beat two other anglers overall and finished 6th in the Silvers!
I still enjoyed fishing this lake especially the last hour.
The match was won by Mark Brennan (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 71lb 2oz from peg 13. Mark caught Carp and some Silvers on soft pellet over micro at both 13 metres and 16 metres into open water and later switching to maggot in his end margin.
The Silvers was won by Bob Gullick with 23lb from peg 17. Similarly Bob caught at 13 metres using soft pellet fished over micro.
Full Result:
1.      Mark Brennan 71-02-0 peg 13
2.      Tony Rixon 64-05-0 peg 11
3.      Mike Duckett 60-0-0 peg 32
4.      Bela Bakos 59-01-0 peg 22
5.      Clint Wojtyle 56-14-0 peg 33
6.      Mark Poppleton 48-05-0 peg 19
Top Silvers:
1.      Bob Gullick 23-0-0 peg 17
2.      Tom Thick 22-09-0 peg 15

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sunday 13/01/2013 - Avon Angling Open - Plantation Fishery - Match Lake

After breakfast Bela and I walked the Lake. Although the Lake had plenty of colour there wasn’t any sign of Ronnie’s – well at least it wasn’t frozen.
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In to the draw landing net and peg 1 stuck to my hand. It wasn’t one of the favoured pegs during the pre-match tittle-tattle. Bela thought I had talked myself in to this is peg during our walkabouts. Bela drew flyer peg 8, I think he should have fished more to his right!! The positives were that I had plenty of room, sun and biting wind off my back.
I was slightly disappointed with the peg as it doesn’t have much of a Silvers history. So it was a change of plan. It was to be GB and maggot for the Skimmers and caster for the Ronnie’s.  Instead the new plan was to start on the expander over micro hoping to catch a few early Carp then switch to the GB later. However, I couldn’t help myself, setting up two Ronnie rigs which stayed lying on the ground for the duration of the match. The two rigs that mattered were a 4x14 and a 4x12 Jolly. The latter to be fished in the RH margin at 9 metres up to the over hanging brambles (starting to sound like Darren “Brambles” Gillman) and the other out in front with pellet.
On the whistle I fed a few micros out at 9 metres and at the same length down to the right where I fed twice as much plus an ample helping of caster. Out with 3mm expander and first cast I had a 4lb Carp. Three more followed in consecutive put-ins. I had topped up between each fish and probably over done it as I sensed the fish had come up in the water. I eased back on the feed and put on a piece of corn (scrounged form Tony Rixon) and after adjusting the depth so that the corn shotted the float I hooked my fifth Carp, but interestingly it was the smallest so far. So it was back on the expander, which resulted in two Skimmers. I took this as a sign to switch to GB and maggot. So after feeding GB laced with Pinkies it was time to test the margin. So after kindering a few more micro and casters I went over it with corn, resulting in some indications but nothing to strike at. I decided to switch to triple maggot and soon netted a near 2lb Perch. I fed again and went over the GB with single dead red and landed another small Carp. It was then turn of the Ronnie’s catching a 2oz fish regularly. A decision had to be made Carp or Silvers and because the Ronnie’s weren’t coming as quick as I would have liked I went back in the margin catching another Perch and four more small Carp. I kept topping up the GB line which only encouraged even smaller Ronnie’s.
My Silvers weighed 6lb 3oz (in hindsight I think I could have framed in the Silvers if I focussed on the Ronnie’s) and my ten Carp weighed in at 34lb 14oz for a total of 41lb 1oz for fourth overall, picking up third overall pool by default.
The match was won by Alan Oram (pictured right with the match runner up) with 85lb 10oz from peg 27. Alan had a next peg battle with Martin Lenaghan who stormed ahead for first three hours of the match but Alan pulled back once the fish deserted Martin in the last two hours. Both caught on expander pellet over micro.
The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon (pictured lower right just before he slipped on his ass – need to wear your glasses to the toilet!) with 61lb 6oz from peg 7. Tony also caught on expander over micro.
Full Result:
1.      Alan Oram 85-10-0 peg 27
2.      Martin Lenaghan 75-02-0 peg 28
3.      Tony Rixon 61-06-0 peg 7
4.      Mike Nicholls 41-01-0 peg 1
5.      Paul Elmes 39-02-0 peg 37
6.      Bela Bakos 24-12-0 peg 8
Top Silvers:
1.      Tony Rixon 11-10-0 peg 7
2.      Martin McMahon 9-12-0 peg 3

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Thursday 10/01/2013 - Veals Bathampton AA - Silvers Championship - First Round - Bridge pool

I have been looking forward to the start of this league as it is well attended and as expected was a sell out with four sections of six.  Luckily as the weather was to take a turn for the worse we started on Bridged Pool which has been fishing reasonably well – considering.<
In to the very small draw bag and out comes peg 29. As I have said before I really don’t mind where I draw – but the higher pegs haven’t been fishing that well of late. However, I was peg D2 and expected the fishing to get worse further down the section higher numbers, so I was the right end. Also I had good company with John Smith on peg 30 – D1.
I decided on a negative approach setting up three rigs. Firstly the usual Ronnie rig which produced just the one on caster. The other two rigs were 4x16 Jolly’s. One with a 18 - 808 for the 3mm expander over micro and the other a 22 – 808 for GB and Pinkie, otherwise they were identical except for the depth as the bigger hook was to be fished out in front and the smaller at 10 o clock both with 10 metres of pole.
I started by feeding a small amount of micro with a dash of caster at 10 metres, holding back with the GB until I tested things. I started thrashing around for the Ronnie’s and caster before going out with the 3mm expander where I had a good 45 minutes catching Skimmers to 12oz regularly. I kept topping up with micro gradually increasing the caster to micro ratio. The reason for including the caster was for the Hybrids which can go to 2lb and well worth catching. However, today this proved to be a mistake as I only managed to attract Carp but couldn’t catch one. What followed was a difficult two hours. It’s very difficult to reverse feeding so I stopped feeding the caster and switched to GB laced with Pinkie. This produced a few more Skimmers but mainly small Ronnie’s. Thinking I had made amends on my pellet line I switched back only to be pestered by small Ronnie’s removing the 3 mm pellet before it got to the bottom. I had to switch to a 2mm pellet to catch them. For the purists a 2mm pellet on an 18 – 808 looks ridiculous, but it works. It was a question of feed a line and switch to the other and back again. I did have a bite every put in but the fish were very small from here to the end of the match.
My weight very difficult to estimate and was pleased to put 12lb on the scales for third overall and a section second – a satisfactory start to the league. The full section result is shown below which confirmed my view if the section.
The match was won from peg 24 with 43lb 12oz by Dave Wride (pictured lower right with his exceptional net of Skimmers). Dave “apparently” caught on either dead red maggot or 3 mm expander over either GB or micro fished at 11 metres at 11 o clock.
Full Result:
1.      Dave Wride 43-12-0 peg 24
2.      John Smith 14-06-0 peg 28
3.      Mike Nicholls 12-0-0 peg 29
4.      Pete Greenslade 11-01-0 peg 16
5.      Alan Jones 10-04-0 peg15
6.      Bob “Medium Slice” Price 8-09-0 peg 7
Accidental Carp Pool is a roll over even though Terry Bruton landed three but didn’t invest in the £2 pool!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunday 06/01/2013 - Landsend Individual Winter League - All Lakes

After a breakfast in “The sausage too far café” (It’s obvious that Bela has been to the kitchen gym practicing eating this breakfast). It was on to Landsend after a detour because of a road closer.
At last on “Snow White” (aka; John Walter Lake). With the weather very mild for the time of year at a balmy 11 degrees and overcast the venue had to fish well. You think.
I really didn’t mind which peg I drew on the lake but if I had the choice it would have been 41, 68 and 70 in that order. However, pegs 50 and 51 have stuck to me over recent years. So in to the draw box and first pull two tickets stuck together, so I dropped both back in and pulled single ticket revealing peg 50. A number of groans about the peg as last match pegs 50 and 51 fished hard. I didn’t take a lot of notice as I was happy enough to fish the peg. Arriving at the peg I had Mark Brennan for company on peg 51, at least I was in for a quiet professional neighbour who drew flyer peg 68 and handed it to Tony Rixon. Tony ran to hid peg forgetting the weigh board - picture right explains all!
I set up the following:
1- 4x14 Jolly with 16-808 hook to be fished at 10 metres with 4 mm expander.
1- 4x14 Jolly with 20-808 hook to be fished at 10 metres wit Pinkie
1- 4x12 Jolly with 16-808 hook to be fished in the RH margin or at 13 metres across down the shelf.
And of course the Ronnie rig.
In summary the margin rig after three missed bites produced one Ronnie. The 13 metre line produced two up in the water liners, two Ronnie’s and a small Skimmer. The Ronnie rig unfortunately produced nothing as the Ronnie’s didn’t show, once again letting me down. Even though trying the Pinkie a few times throughout it produced just a couple of micro Ronnie’s.
So 99% of my fish fell to the 3mm expander fished over wetted micro at 10 metres. From the start the focus was the lake Silvers. I started well catching a few Crucian’s and F1’s before latching into my first 4lb Carp. The upshot was that for the first Hour I netted three Carp and 8lb of Silvers. I spent the rest of the match scratching around, catching a few more Silvers and one more 6lb Carp.
As estimated In weighed 11lb 2oz of Silvers and 23lb 6oz of Carp for a total of 34lb 8oz (the Lake very close result is pictured right) This put me second n the Lake Silvers and Lake fifth overall. I was content with the result as I really enjoyed the fishing. I can’t wait to get back on this lake even though there is plenty of deep mud to negotiate.
The match was won by Mark Poppleton (pictured lower right with the Silvers winner) with 73lb 2oz from Specimen Lake peg 29. Mark notched up his third Lake win to take a comfortable series lead by catching most of his fish in his RH margin using corn over micro in 18 inches of water.
The Silvers was won by Carp specialist Tom Manmgnall from Specimen Lake peg 31 with 19lb 3oz. Tom caught Skimmers using 2mm expander fished over micro.
Full Result:
1.      Mark Poppleton 73-02-0 peg 29
2.      Paul Homewood  70-02-0 peg 34
3.      Paul Elmes 53-15-0 peg 36
4.      Tony Rixon 47-01-0 peg 68
5.      Craig Edmonds 43-07-0 peg 43
6.      Tom Thick 42-07-0 peg 25
Top Silvers:
1.      Tom Mangnall 19-03-0 peg 31
2.      Paul Nurse 14-06-0 peg 11
3.      John Bradford 14-01-0 peg 3

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review of 2012

The beginning of the year it was the Viaduct winter league for me fishing for SilverfoxTM (the TM is for Tom Mangnall our lucky dip Captain). There are five matches and you fish all five lakes (unless you are Des Shipp who so how managed to miss fishing Carey Lake by switching teams). Starting on Lodge I had three good matches, until it was my turn on Campbell and although I drew well, peg 115, unfortunately I fished it out of character messing around with the straight lead and meat and not really catching much, it wasn’t until I switched to wag and mag over caster did I put a few fish together too late on. My final match was to be Carey peg 90, not one you would wish for, but again after switching to caster over caster on the pole I started to get a few good Skimmers. Both these matches are now stored in the lesson learnt bank for 2013 – when no doubt new lessons will be forthcoming. The team did reasonably well with me finishing in the top ten individuals.
In between the VWL I guested in the Landsend Individual League. It worked out well for me as I love fishing Walters Lake (Third Lake) and fortunately I am about the only one who does, so there was always a spare place for me. This Lake is Snow White - the fairest of them all. Weights are consistent with many in the 40lb bracket – no thrashing for colossal weights here.
During the winter on Thursdays I fished my second Bathampton Silvers Championship, fished between Bridge and Withy Pools. The league was a sell out, well organised and very enjoyable to fish with some decent weights. An example was the day I broke the ice (well Harry Muir did) on Bridge pool and still caught 17lb of Skimmers. The overall league was tightly contended between Dave Wride and me, with Dave coming out on top by weight count back – helped by super weight of 54lb from peg 49. The 2012 league is starting again soon so looking forward to taking on Dave again.
I started to visit Acorn Fishery where there has been a growing match scene. I must say I enjoyed fishing the venue as it suits much my style of fishing. Made more enjoyable by beating matey Glenn Bailey a few times, to his despair, it’s not good getting regularly beaten by a pensioner! I am looking forward to another spell there this year, which kicks off early spring with the KP series.
Throughout the summer I spent a lot of time fishing the Viaduct and had some really memorable days – catching my biggest overall and Silvers weights. I had a great week in June staying in one of the fisheries new Lodges with Glenn, Mark and Martyn. We have booked it again for 2013 (June 15th).
It was about late summer when unsurprisingly saw the demise of Carps AC. It was a real shame, but it goes to show you can’t run an Angling club like a business.
It was on to the Viaduct Silvers League where we had gathered all the top South West Silvers anglers. For me it was very enjoyable picking up in four of the six matches. The day on peg 101 will stay fondly with me for ever. I found myself fishing next to Tony Rixon (three times during the league) who was on peg 100. Tony won the match with 48lb and surprising myself and Tony I was just behind with 46lb – Oh, if only I didn’t lend him some of my GB. The series was a big success with Tim Pallant winning the league – rightfully me thinks.
Throughout the year I fished the Thursday BAA Over 55’s and Disabled (Coffin Dodgers). It’s great to be on the bank with some of fishing legends. The matches are growing in numbers and strength under the leadership of Mike Jones. I think Bridge pool has provided the most consistent sport with the Silvers showing more now that the Carp has been “thinned out”. However, Withy Pool has shown some decline and requires more small silver fish (4oz). The venue on the whole has been well managed by the club which is obvious by the amount swim clearing that is done.
Two matches of note for 2012 both on Landsend Match Lake. Both times I was adjacent to peg 19 and both times battered from it. The first time I drew peg 18 and An-Ton was on 19 who slapped away all match for a weight of 279lb. The second time Tony Rixon was also slapping and sorry “Stalking” as he calls it whilst I was on peg 21. Tony broke the fishery record this day with a monster 351lb. The difference between the two anglers was easy to determine - Tony was exhausted!
This year saw the South West legend – Colin Golding more or less retire form match angling. We will miss the whole character who has brightened up our day on many occasions.
Darren Gillman sent me the picture opposite as a joke (me on end peg – ha,ha). However, joking a side this I found thought provoking and something I would like to try.
This year I fished less matches mainly due to Carps AC no longer running Wednesday matches. Although Avon Angling run matches mid week they tend to be more afternoon matches starting at midday, which is times I’m not keen on as I get up at the same time but get home after eight at night. Also my arthritis has had an impacted my fishing this year and of course the bloody wet weather.
It was nice to increase my strike rate this year – helped by some good draws and applying some learning from 2011.
The cost of matches has stayed about the same, however, the cost of travel is increasing which has reflected in the reduced number of venues fished this year – I must get back to Hillview in 2013.
The fishing has improved catching more fish per match which is now averaging 51lb.
Match attendance has stayed about the same. It was good to see another junior showing through with Joe McMahon doing really well in the VSL. But we need to keep the conveyor belt filled otherwise the sport will surely die.
My best Silvers weight of 2012 was 58lb a mix of Skimmers and Tench taken from peg 115 at Viaduct a fishery which has provided consistent sport all year – thanks to Steve and Paul management.
It was good to see Des Shipp turning up at some of the local matches. Who very welcome as far as I am concerned. You can’t be the best without fishing against the best – watch, enquire, listen and learn.
Below is my match statistics for 2012;
  2012 2011 2010 2009
Total Number of Matches Fished 92 112 109 99
Total Number of Anglers fished the Matches 2,869 3,463 2,551 2,701
Average Number of Anglers per Match 31 31 23 27
Number of Different Fisheries Fished 10 16 22 19
Total Carp Weight 3,098lb 6oz 3,377lb 11oz 3,246lb 2oz 2,470lb 15oz
Total Silvers Weight 1,634lb 7oz 1,943lb 1,506lb 7oz 1,1601lb 3oz
Overall Weight 4,732lb 13oz 5,320lb 11oz 4,752lb 9oz 3,632lb 2oz
Highest Overall Weight 177lb 10oz 193lb 12oz 201lb 10oz 210lb 14oz
Highest Silvers Weight 58lb 11oz 54lb 44lb 10oz 44lb 7oz
Heaviest Carp  17lb 2oz 19lb 12oz 18lb 10oz 18lb 14oz
Average Weight per Match 51lb 7oz 47lb 8oz 43lb 9oz 36lb 11oz
Number of Times in top 6 Overall 48 58 54 43
Number of Times in top 3 Silvers 38 42 40 45
Number of Times won Both 4 4 6 6
Number of Pick-ups 62 68 67 59
Strike Rate 67% 61% 61% 60%
DNW 0 0 0 2
Blanks 0 1 1 1
Peg Fees £474 £645
Pools Entry £1,382 £1,730
Travel Costs £455 £550
Bait Costs £267 £257
Capital Expenditure (spread over 3 years £500/3)) £205 £167