Thursday, 28 March 2013

Thursday 28/03/2013 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

Today was the first of the 2013 Coffin Dodgers, which has an ever increasing membership with the competition being more interesting by getting tougher. The matches are well run under the veteran match organiser Mike Jones (pictured right using his pole in a way only Mike can do – breaking ice – it didn’t get used any further today) who is aided and abetted by Chris Rolfe.
I remember being on the BAA committee when the club was in the process of purchasing Huntstrete Lake when we hit an impasse and if it wasn’t for Chris Rolfe taking on considerable personal risk the club would not have been able to purchased the Lake – we owe him much.
I must give credit where credit is due. This fishery has been fishing comparatively well all through this awful winter for Bream, Skimmers and a few Tench showing in addition to the usual Carp. I think it is currently the best Silvers venue within 25 miles of Bath and Bristol. Pleasure fishing must be exceptional, especially being able to select your peg.
I have fished many venues around the South West this winter and there has been a noticeable absence of Silvers especially Roach. Only last week the Silvers pool on the Wednesday Match at Plantation Fishery was won with a mere 2lb 2oz (two Skimmers)! In 2011 I was catching 40lbs+ of Ronnie’s on this venue. Don’t worry the fish are still there all we need it a stable period of warm weather.
If my season is anywhere as good as last year it will be another memorable year at Huntstrete.
Driving to the match I had a feeling that I had left something behind. It wasn’t until I was driving over County Bridge in Keynsham that I noticed the lock gates were frozen over – The Tony Blair – my WMD – was still in the garage. I was hoping that Bridge Pool wouldn’t be iced but it was. Luckily there are still a few Coffin Dodgers with some memory left and I was able to borrow one.
With only 19 pegs, I really didn’t mind where I drew so it was in to the draw bag and out comes peg 26. OK but had 10mm of ice over it. I soon had it cleared out to 5 metres. Just the one 4x16 Jolly secured with 0.18 main line and a size 20 – 808 hook to 0.14 hook length. This is one of the deepest swims on the venue, so only had to shorten the newly made rig by 2 foot.
I started by feeding a tiny ball of GB laced with a few Pinkies. With a dead red on the hook I had a bite first put in – a 1oz Ronnie which fell on to the ice, but I was able to net it. There are some that think this is against the rules (whatever they are these days) but having checked with the match organiser and John Smith on the next peg both were happy I weighed it.
I then had a run of Skimmers to 1 ½ lb until a Carp put its nose in to someone else’s business. It took a while to get them back and from then on I caught Skimmers steady until the end.
It was another great day on Bridge Pool weighing 18lb 7oz for first overall and first in the Silvers. However, I was glad to hear the whistle as I was bloody freezing cold from the ice cold cutting wind.
Runner up was John Smith (pictured right with the overall winner and we hadn't yet been to the pub) with 14lb 8oz of Skimmers from peg 28.
Full Result:
1.      Mike Nicholls 18-07-0 peg 26
2.      John Smith 14-08-0 peg 28
3.      Pete Greenslade 13-10-0 peg 16 (two carp)
4.      Ray Bazeley 12-08-0 peg 7
5.      Bill Ferris 11-05-0 peg 31 (one Carp)
6.      Terry Bruton 8-12-0 peg 29

The weigh boards follow:

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Thursday 21/03/2013 - Bathampton AA/Veals - Silvers Championship - Round Six - Bridge Pool

In my previous blog covering the match at BAA Huntstrete - Withy Pool I stated that the lake had been netted and Silver fish removed (which was my understanding together with many other anglers). I received the following part communication from the Secretary of Bathampton AA Dave Crookes who I have known for 40 years first meeting through the BAA affiliated clubs back in the 70’s.

“Just read your report on fishing Withy yesterday. You mention that you haven't fished the lake since the small fish were removed - where the hell do you get your information from, why don't you give me a ring. Withy was survey netted (for the first time since its opening in May 1999) in March last year, the Over 55’s were fishing Bridge Pool on the same day. Apart from 7 big carp being transfered to the Main Lake NO SILVERS WERE REMOVED (I think Dave’s shouting at me here) and none have ever been removed. As you know 155 big bream were transferred to Withy from the Main Lake year before last”.

As far as I am concerned if Dave Crookes say’s they didn’t net the Lake for Silvers then they didn’t. So it looks as if those not catching fish here will have to come up with another excuse! Might be me next match.

If any BAA member wishes to discuss Dave’s email further please contact him direct.
Over the last few years the weather in this country has been abysmal. Even though today was the first day of spring there was no change, in fact it was the worse conditions I have fished in this winter. The only thing that keeps me in this country is the fishing, today left me wondering whether it’s worthwhile.

The draw was made for the knockout and I was paired with Dave Gillard. Dave is a great drinking partner but needed a better draw than peg 10 to beat me, which I was secretly hoping he would. Alas not. Nether the less Dave is in the final fish off for third. I do hope he draws better next match.

I was hoping for peg with the horrendous wind off my back and I was initially delighted to draw peg 28. That was until I got there and found that the high gusting wind was being accelerated through the gap between the hills behind me. At least the horizontal rain was into my back.

I was drawn next to the Gimp peg 29 who like me didn’t really want to be here. I needed either a first or second in section. But looking along the section I had a difficult job on. I set up just the one 4x16 Jolly (that’s how enthusiastic I was). I decided to fish it at 10 metre which was a mistake as the presentation was crap. I caught just a couple of Skimmers and Ronnie’s over the GB on this line finally giving up fighting the wind and re-plumbing at 4 metres. Again over the GB with dead red on the hook I still managed to catch a few Ronnie’s and the odd small Skimmer. However, a majority were coming of due to the wind and the need for number two elastic. It wasn’t long before I hooked a 3lb Tench which helped the cause. I decided to stay on this line until the end and did have three decent Skimmers in the last half hour losing two 2 pounders due to the pull-a-bung bead getting stuck up the number four – bugger. Luckily it didn’t change the overall result. My net weighed in at 11lb 12oz for a section second and a third overall – mission accomplished.

Because of the weather conditions a number of anglers retired early including the Gimp.

My partner in the pairs came good with a section win which combined with my 2 points put us second in the pairs and only 3 points off the lead.

The match was won by Dave Wride (pictured right with the Carp pool winner) from peg 30 with 25-02-0.Unfortunately I can’t report any more as Dave refused to explain how he caught his fish – except on the pole in the water.

The biggest fish a 4lb 2oz Tench fell to John Smith from peg 19. John caught it on double pinkie over GB.

Full result:

1. Dave Wride 25-02-0 peg 30
2. John Smith 24-12-0 peg 19
3. Mike Nicholls 11-14-0- peg 28
4. Barney 11-10-0 peg 26
5. Mike Jones 10-12-0 peg 9
6. Chris Rolfe 9-09-0 peg 14

Accidental Carp:

1. Dave Bacon 26-04-0 peg 18
2. Terry Bruton 19-12-0 peg 21

The weigh board follow:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunday 17/03/2013 - Landsend Individual League - Final Round Six - Specimen, Match and John Walters Lake

Firstly the sad news, fellow matchAangler Martin Rich passed away today at 11 o clock. It’s always sad to lose one of our own – RIP matey.
Mike Duckett has done a vast amount of swim clearing on all of his Lakes. I must say Match Lake looked a lot better with the short back and sides. We can now see the sky – well done to Mike. The picture right is the latest view along the far bank of Match Lake.
It was Ken Rayners 43rd birthday today and his mum baked us a Rainbow cake (pictured right). Bela had a piece and thought it wonderful – thanks Mum.
It was my turn on Match Lake so expecting good sport. As far as the Silvers league goes I was in 5th place and no more than a Sponsor in the overall league. So unless there was an upset – like a couple of broken legs I might make the overall Silvers money. That said, realistically I was only looking for an on the day pick up.
In to the draw box and out comes peg 17. I didn’t know what to expect so had a chat around and decided that Silvers was the best opportunity for coin. I set up the two rigs one was a 4x14 Jolly to be fished at 12 o clock and a corn float for down to the RH pallet. Both these rigs were to be fished at 11.5 metres.
Sitting on the peg all I could see was what I mistook to be feeding fish. I was concerned that if I fed I would end up foul hooking – it looked that good. I fed the pallet down to the pallet with some hard fours and went out on the Jolly with a softy 4mm over just a few kindered micros. I couldn’t get a bite and noticed that there were no fish presences over the feed even though there were bubbles all over. I realised that the bubbles were a result from the bottom warming up and the peat bottom giving off gas (later chatting to Nick Duckett he agreed with my analysis).
I did have a couple of big Skimmers on this line falling to the 4mm softy. However, it was hard going all round the Lake for Silvers with a few Carp coming out from the usual pegs. It was clear after the first hour that the Silvers were going to be my only avenue to coin. What surprised me was that I wasn’t getting the usual interference from the Ronnie. So after a couple of hours with four decent Skimmers an a few lesser mortals in the net I decided to switch to maggot, feeding maggot and micro combo. This switched on the Ronnie’s adding a couple of pound of them plus another decent Skimmer. I did lose a Roach of about 1lb due to bad angling.
It was time to try the pallet swim with corn and first put in I had a 3lb very dark scaled Carp (a shy Carp that must live under the pallets to achieve this colour). No further bites here so after re-feeding with corn and hard 4’s it was back out on the maggot at 11.5 metres where I snagged 2lb Ide. With one hour left I decided to focus on the margin. This resulted in one more darky Carp and what a surprise a 4lb Tench and another big Skimmers all on corn – should I had concentrated on the margin more as it appeared that most of the fish around the lake were coming from the shallower watered margins. Was this because of the gas-off? Who knows?
I weighed 20lb 13oz of Silvers and the two darkies weighed 6lb 12oz for a total of 27lb 9oz. This gave me 6 points overall Lake and more importantly a Lake Silvers win and a second Silvers overall – mission achieved.
This left me and my stand in Tim Ford 4th overall in the Silvers league – just out of the money – unlucky matey.

The match was won by Kevin Moulton (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 19 with 90lb 4oz. Kev caught on hard banded pellet from tight over to ¾ over and down to his RH pallet.
The Silvers was won by Bob Gullick from peg 39 with 24lb 12oz. Bob caught on soft pellet fished over to the far bank and at 13 metres down the track.
For the final overall league positions see Rip off’s blog.
Full Result:
1.      Kevin Moulton 90-04-0 peg 19
2.      Tony Rixon 83-07-0 peg 32
3.      Nick Duckett 83-06-0 peg 7
4.      Craig Edmonds 83-03-0 peg 22
5.      Steve Segar 82-14-0 peg 41
6.      Tom Thick 73-0-0 peg 34
Top Silvers:
1.      Bob Gullick 24-12-0 peg 39]
2.      Mike Nicholls 20-13-0 peg 17
3.      Phil Harding 17-12-0 peg 13
The full weigh sheets follow:

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Thursday 14/03/2013 - Bathampton AA/Veals Silvers Championship - Withy Pool

With a sharp overnight frost I was expecting Withy Pool to be iced over, so the light breaker went in the car. Driving past the Main Lake it was frozen, passing Bridge Pool it was ice free, and arriving at Withy Pool luckily it was also clear of ice - well almost.
The draw was made for the knockout; I was hoping to draw Dave Wride because unfortunately he couldn’t make it because he had muddled the dates. Shame Dave couldn’t make it as I like our good humoured tussles. Bill Ferris drew him and just managed to get through. I was drawn against Paul Barnfield who drew next to me on peg 49. I had pulled peg 48.
I didn’t really know what to expect as I haven’t fished the Lake since BAA netted the small fish out. I thought these fish would be important today as I thought it too bright for the Skimmers.
I do know you need to fish this peg long to get over the rocky bottom. Luckily I had my new invention – a surgical pole brace. I am now able to fish 13 metres but decided on 11.5 metres with the extra up my sleeve if needed.
I set up two 4x16 Jolly rigs – one for the maggot over GB at 12 o clock and the other to be fished at 2 o clock over micro and maggot.
After feeding both swims I started over the GB line with single maggot expecting a bite from a Ronnie. Instead I had a 1 lb Skimmer first put in. And that was how the day panned out catching Skimmers well for the first hour then slowing but catching the bigger Skimmers. I did have a couple of tries over the micro with triple maggot catching just the one 2lb Skimmer. I did have a very slow middle match, but in the last hour managed a couple of decent fish with one weighing 4lb 9oz to take the Veals £15 voucher. I weighed 30lb 2oz for another section win, second in the match (for the third time) and got through the knockout - a days fishing for me. However, this isn’t the whole story as the weigh sheets bare witness – plenty of good anglers struggled for bites – the small fish are really being missed. I tried to catch a Ronnie and managed just the one.

As for the pairs partner Chris Rolfe drew another difficult peg 56 behind the island. Still we are joint second with only second spot now being a reality - two more matches to go though.
The match was won by Mike Owen (pictured right with the accidental carp winner) with 32lb 9oz from peg 62.Mike caught at 13 and 14.5 metres out in front catching big Skimmers and Bream.
The accidental Carp was won by Mike Jones with one Carp for 11lb 12oz from peg 45. Mike caught it on the waggler using red maggot hook bait. Mike also managed two accidental Roach!
Full Result:
1.      Mike Owens 32-09-0 peg 62
2.      Mike Nicholls 30lb 2oz peg 48
3.      Paul Barnfield 13-0-0 peg 49
4.      Terry Bruton 9-04-0 peg 66
5.      Alan Jones 7-06-0 peg 61
6.      Mike Key 7-02-0 peg 60
Accidental Carp:
1.      Mike Jones 11-12-0 peg 45
The full section boards are shown below:

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sunday 10/03/2013 - Kev Perry Series - Round One - Acorn Fishery - Paddocks & Match Lake

Bela and I were supposed to be at Viaduct in the last match of the teams of five winter league. However, as the team were doing “not so well” due to Tom Mangnall’s draw arm deserting him and with a clash with the KP series at Acorn we thought out fortunes were best found here. I called Tom to find I would have been on peg 80! Enough said as this has been one of the worse pegs of the series so far.
Bela arrived dead on time as usual. Only to find he was suffering from concussion. Apparently Bela went out with “Stella” last night and “she” pushed him over twice banging his head – and forced her fingers down his throat!
We had breakfast in Acorn café; unusually I finished off Bela breakie in exchange for my last two paracetamol.
The weather conditions were atrocious to say the least; I just wanted a peg with the cutting wind off my back.
In to the draw bag and out comes peg C2 – permanent peg 12. I know back in the summer when I last fished the venue I would have run to the peg, but I wasn’t so sure of myself today as a lot of water has passed on the Autumn and Winter bridge since. But I nearly had the wind off my back coming in over my RH shoulder at 11 o clock.
I must admit I really fancied the RH margin as it was a corner peg with the water flat calmish. So this is where I targeted. I set up a 4x12 Jolly for up the inside shelf and a 4x16 Jolly for down the inside shelf.
The upshot was that I didn’t have a bite on the three lines I tried. After a bite less first hour I decided to try the far bank as I had seen a Carp tail wave at me. This meant getting out two more sections including the coloured 13 metre storage tube! After adapting the 4x12 Jolly which I set to four foot. I went over with the kinder pot putting in dead maggots with a single dead red on the hook. I had a Carp first put-in followed by two more the next I foul hooked which soon came off. The upshot was that I kept a few Carp coming until the end weighing 1lb 12oz of Silvers (2 – F1’s and a solitary Skimmer) and my twelve Carp weighed 35lb for a total of 36lb 12oz foe a section win and sixth overall – hindsight is  wonderful thing.  Now feel as if I had now adjusted to the current conditions.
The match was won by Paul Bartlett (pictured right with his catch) with 68lb 3oz from peg 9.
The Silvers was won from the “Dog Bone” peg 8 by Nigel Vigus (pictured right) with 14lb 6oz.
Full Result:
1.      Paul Bartlett 68-03-0 peg 9
2.      Mike Owens 62-09-0 peg 34
3.      Lewis Jones 52-10-0 peg 7
4.      Chris Fox 44-08-0 peg 33
5.      Matt Tomes 44-04-0 peg 38
6.      Mike Nicholls 36-12-0 peg 12
Top Silvers:
1.      Nigel Vigus 14-06-0 peg 8
2.      Tim Ford 12-0-0 peg 7
Full Section Boards are below:

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Thursday 07/03/2013 - Veals/Bathampton AA - Silvers Championship - Bridge Pool

Plenty of good news emanating from Bitterwell Lake. Clive Reid (current fishery manager) has now opened up the Lake for “Matches - any day, any numbers”. Expect Rip of Rixon will be out there soon. He has also lifted all bait bans, so anything goes, he’s even selling pellets! The lease is up for renewal in May and I know at least one person that is keen to put a sealed bid in – unfortunately he can’t make tea. Then in June the fishery is to be closed for a few months whilst the council does well over due renovations, apparently spending £50,000 – there’s talk of 26 pegs – jury out on this one! The old changing rooms are to be removed and three disabled pegs put in instead. Move in the right direction - at last!
Before the draw proper the individual knock draw was held. I drew with Bob “Medium Sliced” Price. I offered to make him up some paste, but he already had some!
I decided for the first time against doing the Accidental Carp pool as I find it a distraction.
In the draw bag and out comes peg 6, Umm. This is in Section A, the same as last match. Also the peg the Gimp was on and struggled for a couple of pound. What made matters worse Dave Wride was on peg 9, the peg I won the section from. At least my pairs partner Chris Rolfe was in a different section – at last.
Arriving at the peg and a bit of luck, I found a 50p coin – a good start! It wasn’t the Gimps - he doesn’t carry money.
Sitting on my box I found I had the wind and rain right in the face. I decided to set up the usual two 4x16 jolly rigs, one for the maggot over GB at 1 o clock, where I had some tow in to the wind and one for the soft pellet over micro at 10 o clock where I had a lot more tow becasue there was no shelter form the opposite island. Both rigs were to be fished at 10 metres. Because there was an overhanging tree to my right (down wind) I decided to set up a 4x14 jolly for the CW&C.
On the “All in” I fed a few micros into the 1 o clock swim and some CW&C into the margin up to the tree. I left the GB line as I prefer not have too many swims open at one time, potentially splitting the fish. So starting on 3mm expander I didn’t have a bite for the first fifteen minutes, until I foul hooked a Carp – It was OK, it came off. So I re-fed through the toss pot and the swim came alive with small Ronnie’s. Any pellet falling through the water got attacked. It’s clear that the first pot of micro went to the bottom unnoticed. It was frustrating even for a Ronnie basher because I was missing so many bites and when I hooked them they came off. I even changed down to a 6 elastic with little to no benefit. It was time to feed the GB line and hope this drew the Ronnie’s away from the pellet line. After feeding a small ball of GB laced with Pinkies it was into the margin with a piece of worm hoping for a few Stripeys. First put in I had a decent fish which proved to be a 10oz Roach. Next put in the worm tuggers had arrived, landing four 1oz ballers. So I re-fed some more CW&C and tried the GB line. My plan had worked but in reverse the Skimmers came on to the GB, whilst the Ronnie’s stayed over the micro, which I stopped feeding. After a few small Skimmers I re-fed and tried the worm rig landing another 10oz Roach. I then hooked a big fish which I thought was a Carp and decided to pull for a break. Luckily I noticed a big flapper of a Tench tail and released some of the pressure landing a 3lb Tinca tinca.
I re-fed CW&C and back out on the GB line and low and behold another Tench on pinkie. A great start. The margin swim only produced a few more Ballers and after a run of six Skimmers over the GB I struggled for the last hour adding only a few Ronnie’s by fishing on the drop.
I was surprised to find that my weight went 18lb 2oz for another section win and a match second overall. I also got through the knockout, whilst partner Chris Rolfe stood up to the mark, gaining 3 points from difficult peg 13.
The match was won from in form peg 24 by John Smith (pictured right with the “Real” Pete Philips) with 24lb 4oz. John caught at 13 metres using either maggot or 3 mm expander fished over micro.
The accidental Carp was won by Pete Philips from end peg 4 with two for 18lb 8oz.
Full Result:
1.      John Smith 24-04-0 peg 24
2.      Mike Nicholls 18-02-0 peg 6
3.      Dave Wride 16-13-0 peg 9
4.      Paul Staite 12-12-0 peg 28
5.      Paul Barnfield 12-0-0 peg 26
6.      John Bradford 11-0-0 peg 11
Accidental Carp:
1.      Pete Philips 18-08-0 peg 4
2.      Harry Muir 13-13-0 peg 8
Weigh sheets follow:

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunday 03/03/2013 - Viadcut Teams of Five Winter League - All Lakes

I see this week that they have conducted a survey on alcohol consumption and can’t account for 50% of the alcohol produced against that consumed, leaving the experts baffled. The answer is simple make sure Bela is included in the survey next time!
So was our run of team crap draws going to continue – it couldn’t get worse – could it? Yes it could. Is this the worse draw possible in the series – I don’t know now, but it must be getting close. Beginning to think our earlier draws weren’t so bad after all. The draw was:
Me peg 110
Bela peg 102
Tom peg 76
Steve peg 6
Jamie peg 37
I was given peg 110 which the Dude had blanked off last match. So it wasn’t looking good as the peg was frozen over. Luckily the Dude had made a new ice breaker and tried it on my swim on his way to peg 81 and another blank! He cleared it further than I could fish! Some anglers were initially tapping the ice with their cup sets until a breaker become available. Ron Hardiman was one of these annoying tappers - pictured right.
I set up two rigs a 4x12 to be fished down to the tree stump with the optimistic outlook of catching a couple of 3lb Perch! This didn’t happen, even though I fished CW&C and a variety of other baits.
I set up the 4x14 jolly to be fished at 11.5 metres for the Silvers (I didn’t expect ant Caro whatsoever). After wasting six worms and a few casters by feeding them down to the stump, I fed a small ball of GB with some Pinkie. It took two hours and a walk before I caught my first Ronnie. So after saving the blank and with the ice moving out I set up the waggler to be fished down to my left towards the middle unoccupied pallet. With double dead red fished over a few loose fed casters I had one bite which I think was a Ronnie. Next cast I hooked a Mallard which thought it was a Tench diving in to the brambles breaking my float. I spent the rest of the match sulking adding another 19 Ronnie’s for a total of 1lb 14oz. At least I wasn’t last in the Section gaining a mere 4 points.
Team wise:
Me 1lb 14oz - 4 points
Bela 13lb 6oz – 13 points (section pick up)
Tom 15lb – 9 points
Steve 2lb – 4 points
Jamie 22lb 12oz – 12 points
The match was won by Mark Broomsgrove (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 92lb 12oz from peg 116. Mark as able to fish the waggler from the off catching Carp on maggot over loose fed caster. Later because of the wind was forced on the lead but the fishing slowed.
The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon from peg 102 with 37lb 14oz. Tony caught on….see his blog.

Full Result:
1.      Mark Broomsgrove 92-12-0 peg 116
2.      Simon Jones 71-15-0 peg 125
3.      Andy Power 69-0-0 peg 86
4.      Vince Brown 67-11-0 peg 16
5.      John Buckingham 61-06-0 peg 66
6.      Dave Roper 51-09-0 peg 90
Top Silvers:
1.      Tony Rixon 37-14-0 peg 102
2.      Anton Page 32-01-0 peg 18
3.      Rob Jones 30-03-0 peg 77
The full section results follow: