Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Tuesday 31/01/2013 - Viaduct Cost Cutter - Campbell, Cary and Lodge

On the way to Canards Well for our breakfast Bela and I played our usual game of “translate the dashboard Hieroglyphics” – Temperature, Time and Radio Channel (without radio on). Today we tried from the clues pictured right.
I was surprised to find 26 booked in, obviously everyone is celebrating the end on Christmas, saying good bye to the couch. Plus it was a cost cutter.
I intended to only fish the waggler today so after going in to the draw tin and pulling peg 99 on Carey I was delighted. However, over the weekend Silvers pairs in didn’t fish that well. Nonetheless, I only set up the one rod choosing a larger than normal waggler due to the expected high winds which didn’t transpire (once again). On hindsight I should have changed to a smaller one after the first hour mark.
So it was caster over caster for the whole match. However, the feeding pattern was initially hard to work out as the Ronnie’s were all too ready to take the caster falling through the water. It was a question of feeding heavy and waiting for the fish to follow the bait down where they were far easier to catch as on the drop bites were frustratingly hard to hit, with the caster missing every time. The upshot was I kept a few Ronnie’s coming interrupted once by a 2lb bonus Skimmer for a total weight of 9lb 1oz and unfortunately one out on the Silvers coin by ounces. Nonetheless, I had a satisfying busy day.
The match was won by Don Sutherland (pictured right) with 55lb 7oz from peg 85. Don caught Carp on the straight lead with triple red maggot cast long around his swim and not feeding anything.
The Silvers was won by Gary O’Shea (pictured right coming back late from his peg) from un-fancied peg 80 with 16lb 11oz. Gary caught at 13 metres fishing red maggot or caster over GB.
Full Result:
  1. Don Sutherland 55-07-0 peg 85
  2. Nigel Easton 54-05-0 peg 118
  3. Phil Cardwell 50-04-0 peg 110
  4. Steve Cousins 48-15-0 peg 123
  5. Stu 40-01-0 peg 116
  6. Andy Powers 38-0-0 peg 73
Top Silvers:
  1. Gary O’Shea 16-15-0 peg 80
  2. Matt Parsons 14-11-0 peg 114
  3. Steve Long 9-13-0- peg 86
  4. Mike Nicholls 9-01-0m peg 99
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday 29/12/2013 - Todber Manor Open - Match Snake Lake

A new venue for Bela and me today,Todber Manor. So we both sought information from various sources – mainly in the Avon Angling shop about the Match Snake lake.
“Thousands of F1’s, 80lb of Roach & stuffed with small Carp”. Where have I heard this before? However, it’s the first time in memory that it was nearly true.
It was breakfast in Cannards Well where we met Tony Rixon, The Gimp and Fabio whom we followed to the venue down through Bruton, about fifty minutes.
Arriving at the venue I was immediately impressed with the whole set up especially the design, layout and tidiness. It looked almost pristine and unused. As expected the venue was iced over due to the very heavy frost. However, it was tappable with the pole pot.
There was a very close kept secret held back from me – there was no Silvers pool. As it happened it was probably the right decision by organiser Mark Poppleton.
I didn’t have a clue where the best pegs were. So in to the container and out comes peg 10. After some probing I was on an average peg with peg 35, 5 and 7 being favourites.
Arriving at the peg and even though the platform was in excellent condition with slip proof strips it was a bit high off the water so I elected to fish to the side on the grass. I was apparent even looking through the ice that the water was really coloured which was a clear sign of plenty of feeding/active fish.
The peg was one of the widest on the snake Lake, just over 16 metres I guessed. Having broke the ice to just over midway 11.5 metres I set up a 4x 12 Jolly which proved to be spot on in 42 inches of water. As I had time I set up a 4x10 for the LH margin (this only produced one Ronnie and a speared Motherless). I took off the 11.5 metres section electing to fish 10 metres. I was glad I didn’t bring no more than 13 metres of pole because I would have been tempted to fish over to the far bank which looked very fish with my body regretting it in the morning.
The all in was sounded but noticed Nick Merry on his phone (pictured right) being called away for 30 minutes on a heating breakdown.
So first put in with a single dead red on a 20 – 808 over 12 micro pellets I had a 6 oz Skimmer with plenty of indications of fish up in the water. Next put in I had a F1 (the last and only one, so many thousands unaccounted for). I then hooked a large Carp circa 8lb (is this a small Carp – don’t think so! Because I wasn’t ice trained I tried very hard to lose it with the elastic catching in the ice a number of times. Finally at the net I got my way with the hook pulling. With only 10 lb winning the match the day before I thought this would cost me today and as it happened it did. Next put in I hooked and land a 10lb Common Carp. I managed to keep a few Carp coming by fishing on the drop. However, the wind picked up slightly, but enough to blow Nicks remaining ice into my swim and even though I managed to push it slightly out of my swim I still had to do a bit of tapping to break it up a bit. This didn’t help the fishing as it took forty or so minutes to get the fish back. From then on I caught steady to the end netting 20 or so Carp.
My fished weighed in at 74lb 15oz for fifth overall and a section pick up by default.
I can’t express enough how much I was impressed with the venue the weights were close and spectacular considering recent weather conditions. I can’t wait to get back there as it does suit my style of fishing.
The match was won by Phil Harding (pictured right) with 98lb 7oz from peg 37. Phil caught across (narrow part of the Snake) catching on red maggot over micro.
Runner up was Steve Nadin (pictured right with some of his catch) with 92lb 2oz from peg 3. Steve caught ob red maggot over a mix of maggot and micro.
Full Result:
  1. Phil Harding 98-07-0 peg 37
  2. Steve Nadin 94-02-0 peg 3
  3. Tony Rixon 81-05-0 peg 35
  4. Nick Merry 80-10-0 peg 11
  5. Mike Nicholls 74-15-0 peg 10
  6. Fred Roberts 69-13-0 peg 34
Weigh Sheets:

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Float Depth Marking

I often see anglers with their top-sets peppered with white marker pen (tippex/correction fluid) which is used to mark the float depth they have decided on. Looking at the size of the blobs accuracy must sometimes be in question, also in some cases I wonder how they recognise which blob to use. When I used this method some years ago now , I would scrape the marks off after every match, which incidentally doesn't always all come off. For someone (me for example) who strives for accuracy I found this inadequate for a number of reasons.

So with the ever increasing need on Commercial fisheries to utilise different lines ("throw aways", etc...) using the same rig has become desirable. So to quickly and accurately adjust the float the few inches necessary. It is also essential and to ensure that the depth is maintained accurately throughout the match. So I now use a black waterproof marker felt tip pen on my G-Line which is translucent in colour (as is many high tech lines) hence the black is easily to see.

I first find the deepest swim and mark the depth at the top of the float (mostly in my case the top of the rubber on my Jolly). I then find the shallowest swim and mark the bottom of the float and any depth between these settings (see pictures right)

Sometimes after playing Carp (especially if they have gone round the pallet a couple of times and along the inside and far banks) the float can move and by quick visual checks you can maintain the same depth. Plus, if you need to shorten (or lengthen) the line between the float and top-set the same depth markers are still valid, negating the need to re-plumb. I often how re-plumbing affects feeding fish.

I occasionally find that when I thrash around for long periods using the waggler the stop shot and/or float stop can move, so I have also adopted this marking on my waggler. The black works well on Maxima. I only mark the top because the float usually goes down due to the casting forces. Nonetheless, I can see which ever way it moves.

Best of all the marker can easily be removed and the rig reused, providing it's not been gradually wrecked through the match!

If you lose a rig then a complete restart is necessary.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sunday 15/12/2013 - Viaduct Silvers League - Round Six - Campbell, Carey and Lodge Lakes

It was the last match of this year Silvers League, which has not been that productive for me for a number of reasons, mainly being in the right peg at the wrong time. Today was no different.
The weather has been very mild as it was today, topping at 12 degrees c. But we were hit with a heavy downpour.
In to the draw tin and out comes Peg 71 on Lodge Lake. I was not too unhappy with the peg, but as I had planned to fish the waggler all match I found the wind blowing into me which would make feeding very difficult.
I set up a 4x14 Jolly heavier than I would normally use because of the condition and the waggler. I fed a couple of balls of GB laced with caster at 11.5 metres but started on the waggler with single caster on the hook fished over loose fed caster. I do like and attempt to feed accurately. However, due to the wind I wasn’t able to achieve this. I got frustrated and ended up casting to the feed rather than the other way round. As it happened I don’t think it made much difference as all I could catch was small ½ - 1oz bottle tops and Ronnie’s. This was the case over the GB as well no mater what hook bait I put on.
I did hook one Carp on the waggler which I was hoping was a big Skimmer or Perch, alas not. I finished the match with a very disappointing 3lb 11oz.
The match was won by Steve Tucker (pictured right) with 21lb 10oz from peg 110. Steve caught at 14.5 metres using double caster hook bait fished over potted caster. Steve caught one Tench early out in front then swung round to his left and had a run of decent Skimmers.
The league was well and truly won before this last match by Tony Rixon (pictured right with the league runner up Bob Gullick) and today Tony showed his class by once again winning his section to make it a clean sweep with six section wins - very impressive, especially in this class of field with little luck involved. Well done matey.
Full Result:
  1. Steve Tucker 21-10-0 peg 110
  2. Bob Gullick 20-13-0 peg 98
  3. Paul Greenwood 17-04-0 peg 131
  4. Mash 17-0-0 peg 119
  5. Andy Power 16-12-0 peg 56
  6. Ian Didcote 16-10-0 peg 97
Weigh Sheets:

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Float Tip Colour Markers

We have all have some Float quick drying colour marking paint in our tackle boxes, no doubt similar to those shown right (I only carry black and white). I prefer these over permanent marking pens as it can easily be removed without damage to the float tip. However, these products tend to have a very short life (sometimes not making it home from the tackle shop) becoming dry and difficult to apply with the product being thick and sticky and not much use because a thin coat is required.

So I have discovered by toping up the bottles with white spirit the products becomes a lot thinner and easy to apply and lasts for ages. I have been doing this for some while now.

I wait for fond comments from my friendly tackle dealer!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday 12/12/2013 - Bathampton AA Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

Woke up this morning and observed the following Bird on my neighbour’s roof – was this an omen?
Today was the last match for the 2013 Coffin Dodgers season, which meant it was our Christmas match and as tradition we had our annual photograph with 27 in the photograph below with one John Smith in the toilet.
In to the draw bag and out comes peg 18 – very happy with this, even though it meant being on the scales. This peg has both options – Silvers and/or Carp.
It was simple a 4x16 Jolly to fish at 12 o clock at 7 metres for the Silvers and one of my new design of floats a 0.3 gram for the RH margin at 5 metres set at 3 foot deep with an 18 hook for caster or maggot.
I fed the Silver line with Pinkie in a tightly packed ball of my Skimmer GB and a few casters in the RH margin.
I started on double Pinkie over the Silvers line which was slow with no instant action it took 15 minutes before I put a small Ronnie in the net. Next cast I hooked a 7lb Carp which was played very carefully and luckily ended up in the keep net. After a few more Ronnie’s I hooked and landed another Carp of about 10lb again on double Pinkie. After re-feeding this line I tried the margin with double caster and after 15 minutes with no indication I went back out on the Silver line and had a 2lb Skimmer the last and only. I then had a 1lb 8oz Roach on the drop – fully scale and probably the first time it s been caught since it was 2oz – worth coming just for this fish.
After re-feeding it was back in to the margin where I had a liner over the kindered caster I was soon playing my third carp which was carefully managed in to the keep net. The problem I had was the water was so clear playing fish scared other fish out of the swim. So it was back out catching Ronnie’s on the drop until I went back in the margin and had another Carp on triple dead red maggot, my last one of the day.
My Silvers weighed 4lb 10oz and my four Carp 35lb 13oz for a total of 40lb 7oz and first overall on the day and a tin of Quality Street for the Special One. The match winner pictured right with the Silvers winner.
The Silvers was won by John Smith (pictured right with his catch) with 14lb 4oz from peg 32. John spent the first three hapless hours catching nought. It wasn’t until John went on to 12 metres over potted caster with double caster on the hook that he started to catch quality Silvers including a 3lb Tench.
Bill Ferris caught the Silver of the day with a 5lb 4oz Bream which helped him to a Silvers third – pictured lower right.
Full Result:
  1. Mike Nicholls 40-07-0 peg 18
  2. Bob Price 35-12-0 peg 16
  3. Terry Bruton 35-10-0 peg 6
  4. Charlie Barns 25-01-0 peg 5
  5. Paul Dicks 24-09-0 peg 8
  6. Dave Poole 17-11-0 peg 30
Top Silvers:
  1. John Smith 14-04-0 peg 32
  2. Rich Coles 10-0-0 peg 15
  3. Bill Ferris 9-12-0 peg 31
Weigh Sheets:
And finally thanks goes to the series organiser Mike Jones and Chris Rolfe - Mike Jones pictured right with the Christmas fare.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A Sunday in 1967 - "The Cart Horse in The Donkey Field" - A True Story by Mike Jones

After a bit of banter with Mike Jones at the last Coffin Dodgers Match I teased him about the story of the Horse that ate his GB. The reason I knew about this was because I worked in the same company as Les Evans whom I use to meet up with at his Milling Machine every Monday morning to discuss the weekends fishing and on a Monday during 1967 he mentioned some of the following story now re-told in detail by Mike Jones (pictured right picking up more coin on the national match scene in 1968) in his own words.

"During the foot & mouth outbreak in the late sixties all fishing on agricultural land was stopped, all club waters were closed. After several weeks of no fishing a small group of us discovered that the donkey field at Rotork was a public footpath and could be fished.
The following Saturday a small group of us met to have a sweepstake.
The match started and for a while we were all catching quite well when the resident very large cart horse came along and started to eat my ground bait, casters, food and all the grass around me, and being a wimp I didn't argue with a horse the size of a steam train. he then moved up to Malcolm Murfet who was in the next peg and did exactly the same.
Next peg was the late Mike Roussell, now Mike who was not known for being over generous, patted the horse on the nose and said f**k off Dobbin.
Dobbin did not like this and as a wise old carthorse knew exactly what Mike was saying. In a flash Dobbin put his head in the small of Mikes back, flicked his head and Mike was in under the water in the river. Now Mike was 17 stones and flew into the water like a rag doll. After much mirth we dragged Mike out of the river, Dobbin had a good s**t in his peg and wandered off.

True story."

Too good a story to leave in the comments section of my blog.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday 08/12/2013 - Westerleigh Winter League - Round Two - Old and New Lakes

After another cold Breakfast it was a long wait for the draw as we were delayed waiting for the Shipp family.
First in to the draw box and out comes Death peg 35!! Last match Brian Shanks had 5oz from it!
Arriving at the peg I couldn’t believe what I saw, from bank to bank I could see the leaves on the bottom (pictured upper right - all of he picture I could see the bottom). Plumbing up I managed to find 3 foot down to the left at 11.5 metres (surely it would have been better to have put the next peg in – bloody armchair pegger’s – we all now have to see out the league with this)! For company I had Darren North (pictured right - he's there somewhere) opposite on peg 21, which also had 5oz from the peg last match!
I set up just the one rig a 4x12 Jolly with a 22 - 808 hook. After plumbing around I really only found the one place to I felt comfortable to fish which was with a white tip float against a very narrow black reflection from a tree trunk. However, wherever I fished it was going to be hard to see the float
I started by cupping in a half a dozen Pinkies and with Pinkie on the hook I had a bite first put in but didn’t make contact. I took another 15 minutes before I put my first fish in the nest a ½ ox Perch. The upshot was in between a couple of walks I managed to put 14 fish in the net for a grand total of 7oz all caught on single red Pinkie over Pinkie and some dry GB for last bur one on the Lake.
The match was won by Simon Belcham (pictured right with his five Carp) with 18lb 5oz from peg 14. Simon caught at 11.5 meters over to the opposite Willow on double red maggot fished over maggot and wetted micro.
The Silvers was won by Brian Shanks (pictured lower right) with 8lb 3oz from peg 3. Brian caught at 13 metres using either soft pellet or red maggot over GB laced with wetted micro.
Full Result:
  1. Simon Belcham 18-05-0 Peg 14
  2. Brian Shanks 11-10-0 peg 3
  3. Martin McMahon 10-05-0 peg 8
  4. Martin Alexander 7-13-0 peg 10
  5. Phil Harding 07-0-0 peg 7
  6. Dave Downton 6-03-0 peg 22
Top Silvers:
  1. Brian Shanks 8-03-0 peg 3
  2. Martin Alexander 06-01-0 peg 10 
  3. Martin McMahon 06-01-0 peg 8
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Thursday 05/12/2013 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

I had phone call from Bob Warren at 7am he was unwell so was unable to come fishing today – get well soon matey.
The attendance is still holding up with 24 in attendance. Mike Jones decided to have 25 pegs in the draw rather than take one out – I suggested he take peg 33 out of the draw as this end of the Pool has been fishing hard for Silvers for many months as previous weigh sheets testify. And as a result a good peg gets left in the bag, this time peg 26 and I draw the peg I wanted out peg 33! I let Mike Jones know my feelings in this respect, it was a bit of a Martin Alexander moment!! However, I was pacified when Mike Jones drew peg 1 so he was in for a bad day on the Silvers also.
I hate fishing in the wind which was really strong blowing in from the west and gusting to gale force, blowing plenty of leaves my way. All the anglers were batten down (pictured right) as the wind was only going to get worse through the day. I set up a 4x16 Jolly to be fished at 7 metres and a 4x12 Jolly to be fished down the LH margin where there was some cover form the Bankside vegetation.
On the whistle I fed a small ball of GB laced with Pinkie at 7 metres at 12 o clock, followed by a few casters down the LH margin at 4 metres. Starting over the GB with double Pinkie I had a small Ronnie which was blown off by the wind, followed by another ½ oz fish. I then had a bite (a liner) and when I struck I foul hooked a Carp at half depth which soon came off. After 15 minutes without any indication I thought I would try the margin for some Ronnie’s and first put in I had a 4oz Ronnie. It then went quite followed by an hour of Carp action foul hooking four Carp and landing five. However, whilst playing the fifth carp the lone Swan came over my margin and did an upside downer. Unfortunately I couldn’t both play the Carp and chase the Swan out, which Mike Jones found this hilarious. This totally killed my margin swim and although I tried another swim further along all I had was two small Perch and another 4oz Ronnie. Angler should stop feeding this swan as it is becoming a bloody nuisance.
My Silvers weighed 8oz and my five Carp 36lb 9oz for a total of 37lb 1oz for first overall on the day.
The Silvers was won by John Smith (pictured right with the match winner) with 13lb 9oz from peg 15. John caught on double Pinkie hook bait over GB laced with Pinkie at 10 metres.
Full Result:
  1. Mike Nicholls 37-01-0 peg 33
  2. Paul Dicks 28-06-0 peg 18
  3. John Smith 21-0-0 peg 15
  4. Pete Greenslade 20-04-0 peg 11
  5. Rich Coles 16-05-0 peg 7
  6. John Fry 12-10-0 peg 21
Top Silvers:
  1. John Smith 13-09-0 peg 15
  2. Paul Dicks 8-04-0 peg 18
  3. Rich Coles 6-14-0 peg 7
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sunday 01/12/2013 - Viaduct Silver League - Round Five - Cambell, Carey and Lodge

It was breakfast at Canards Well as usual where we were joined by eight other anglers. Then off to the draw. Being 1 degree above freezing where we were all dressed for the weather except An-Ton (pictured right) who was dressed appropriate for a holiday in Barbados!
In to the draw tin and out came “Two Fat Ladies” – 88. I was happy with this as there were plenty of worse pegs in the tin. Bela drew peg 81 where once again he was among the leaves.
Arriving at the peg I was welcomed by the wonderful smell of freshly cut wood. Lucky for a few of us Helen Long has put in a few new platforms, however, Helen insisted that I wiped my feet before setting up.
The water was so clear that I decided to set up the waggler plus a 4x14 Jolly to be fished at 11.5 metres and although I half heartedly tried it a few of times with various hook baits over GB laced with caster I abandoned it in favour of the waggler.
So it was almost waggler from front to back with caster hook bait over loose fed caster, which I really enjoyed, catching Ronnie’s initially followed by three good Perch and a couple of Hybrids. The feeding was difficult to work out because after feeding I was expecting to catch the Ronnie’s on the drop, but for some unknown reason that didn’t happen (perhaps the water clarity). It was a question of fishing the feed out. I tried to feed a tight grouped line as far as I could and a more scattered line further out (accidently). By casting long and pulling over the two lines I kept fish coming through out until the last half hour when Bela’s leaves arrived making it difficult to spot the float.
 I weighed 11lb 6oz for a section third and a pick up by default thanks to matey Gary O’Shea.
The match was won by Gary (pictured right) with 23lb 2oz from peg 94. Gary caught on the pole at thirteen metres using single dead red maggot over GB laced with a few casters and dead maggot.
Full Result:
  1. Gary O’Shea 23-02-0 peg 94
  2. Lee Werret 20-0-0 peg 59
  3. An-Ton Page 15-08-0 peg 118
  4. Mark Brennan 14-09-0 peg 119
  5. Richard Ahearn 13-02-0 peg 111
  6. Craig Edmonds 13-0-0 peg 102
Weigh Sheets: