Friday, 28 February 2014

Sunday 22/10/1978 - Angling Times South West Winter League - A Division - Bristol Avon - Limpley Stoke

Due to the numbers of teams and the difficulty in pegging for 168 anglers participating in Angling Times South West Winter in a more or less straight line on the Bristol Avon the League was divided in to two divisions – A and B. I had now left Ridgeway AA and joined Golden Carp AC captained by Colin Golding. Golden Carp was in the A division and were always a team challenging for top spots.

The second match of the series was to be fished at Limpley Stoke. I drew A section the Avoncliffe end which was always a good section as there was plenty of flow at this end. I was drawn at A6 which was six pegs below the Avoncliffe Aqueduct. I found myself below the good bush pegs 2 & 3 which are where the fast broken upstream water slowed due the change of the depth of water, both good Roach pegs. I often wished for these pegs but never got to fish them. I was also above the sought after “below reed bed swim” peg B2 where a Bream shoal resided, but didn’t always show, a match winner if they did.

After a long drive to Avoncliffe where the parking is very limited (there is now a small car park just over the aqueduct). It was always touch and go whether you could park close; you didn’t want to be left up in the narrow road. Luckily an angler had dropped his mate off and I was able to jump in his space. After climbing down the steps to the train crossing and climbing over the five bar fence I only had another 200 yards to go! The picture left is a view upstream from the Aqueduct looking towards Barton Farm.

The weed bed just below the weir is where at the age of 14 Dad allowed me to wade out to the edge of the weed bed, which I always liked to do and taught me how to cast up stream and allow the float to move past me working it down stream. We did this using the centre pin reel and lifting and lowering the rod tip. Dad insisted I keep the line with less than 3 inches of slack above the float tip making the striking of the fast biting Dace easier. We caught both Roach and Dace to 10 oz on caster or malt hook bait. Dad could do this without the line touching the water without lifting the float

Back to the match. Matey Gordon Jones from the Charlie Jones dynasty fishing for City of Bristol had drawn peg 3 – lucky bugger – he will catch the Roach if they’re feeding. My peg was where the water shallowed again picking up speed and was wider than most pegs. At the end of the peg there was streamer weed. I set up two float rods. Both 13 foot ABU Zooms. One for the Crow quill, the other for a home made 3AAA Peacock waggler. I started on the Crow quill with maggot hook bait and was soon catching a Minnow every cast. So it was on to the caster and I had two small Roach but was missing loads of bites – more Minnows. I was going nowhere. I had a walk up to Gordy who was as expected catching quality Roach on caster. I went back and decided to fish the waggler to the far bank close to a small tree with caster, Unfortunately it was too far to feed, but once again I was missing bites from minnows. On pleasure sessions I had been catching Chub on the Shallows at Saltford with hemp and tares so I switch to tare hook bait and loose feeding tares which because of their weight and aerodynamics I was able to feed close to the tree. I then landed three Chub in three casts; I then lost one in the near side weeds. I was please with the ratio of 3 to 1 as the Bristol Avon Chub are famous for diving into the bank in a blink of an eye. That was it for me the three Chub and bits weighed 7lb 10oz for 5th overall.

As expected Gordon Jones landed 14lb 14oz of quality Roach for 2nd overall.

Melvin Holbrooke won the match with a good net of Hybrids.

Full Result:

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday 23/02/2014 - Westerleigh Winter League - Sixth and Final Round - Both lakes

After another respectable breakfast in the New Inn it was in to the draw for the final round where I was on the New Lake/Canal. I was hoping for pegs 24, 23 or 30. With these pegs already gone by time I drew with flyer peg 24 going to matey Bela, leaving me with difficult peg 33, especially as I had the gale force winds in my face and Bela opposite (pictured right - there is water somewhere between us - but not a lot!).

The peg is about 6 metres wide so because of the wind I opted to fish just over halfway at 4 metres with just the one rig a 4x12 Jolly with Pinkie over GB - simple.

I had good start with my first five quick fish being five different species, weighing about 3oz!! For the first 20 minutes it was a small fish a chuck until the fish stopped chasing and started grazing. The wind was so bad I had to add extra depth to slow the float movement towards me to keep the bites coming. I ended with 75 fish for 4lb 2oz and 5 points. I did enjoy today but would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t for the bloody wind – when is this warm, wet and windy weather ever going to stop it’s been three months now.

I finished the league a disappointing eighth which was due to too many difficult draws. That said I did enjoy the league and will probably fish it again next year!

Bela as expected won out Lake with 9lb 4oz but not with a few wobbles losing a big Perch near the end. His catch did include a 2lb Perch.

The match was won by Simon Belcham (pictured right with the Silvers winner) from peg 10 with 9lb 6oz. Simon caught at 13 metres on single maggot over loose fed maggot, but not a lot. Apparently Simon started the series with a ¼ of a pint of maggot and has most of them left.

The Silvers was won by Joe McMahon with 8lb 12oz from peg 13. Joe caught at 13 metres using soft pellet over micro. Most of His catch was made up with three big Skimmers.

The league was won by Simon Belcham (pictured right with second and third in the league). See the table below for league results.

Thanks to Brian Shanks for organising the league and laying on
 food after today last match.

Full Result:

  1. Simon Belcham 9-06-0 peg 10
  2. Bela Bakos 9-04-0 peg 24
  3. Martin McMahon 8-14-0 peg 14
  4. Joe McMahon 8-12-0 peg 13
  5. Steve Rogers 8-10-0 peg 21
  6. Brian Shanks 7-10-0 peg 3
Top Silvers:

  1. Joe McMahon 8-12-0 peg 13
  2. Brian Shanks 6-08-0 peg 3
Weigh Sheet:

Final League Table:

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Thursday 20/02/2014 - Bathampton AA/ Veals Silvers Championship - Round Four - Bridge Pool

For the sake of my blog (diary) and history I needed to record some aspects of yesterdays Tony Rixon’s abandoned match, which I guess from discussion at today’s match is becoming widely expressed. I must say if it wasn’t for Harry Muir’s quick response that day events would have been far worse. John Bradford, Ken Rayner and Phil Harding also stood up mark with John suffering some bad bites. Ron Hardiman sacrificed his pole butt section protecting Harry Muir as he escaped the garden. However, for me young 11 year old Josh was the hero who didn't even cry throughout his ordeal. Apparently he is doing well and having plastic surgery today at Frenchay hospital. Harry is keeping in touch with Josh’s Mum on progress. Get well soon Josh, hope we meet again on the bank under better circumstances.  An event which will be forever etched on my memory and I guess everyone there. In future I will certainly be taking extreme caution when out with my grandchildren if dogs approach.

On a very much lighter note Tony Rixon asked if I would add Martin Lenaghan’s picture to my blog (Copy right Mr Rixon) which was taken at last Wednesday match at Ivy House Lake, although Tony added the picture to his Facebook, he couldn't up load it to his blog. So pictured right is Martin after his belly flop. If anyone is looking for a “bog monster” for next years pantomime – look no further!! Martin is a good sport; if he carry’s on like this it won’t be many more years before he becomes an honorary Bristolian! Martin also played his part yesterday with some in valuable first aid.

If today’s match wasn‘t a league I think I would have given it miss as I didn’t sleep that well. Mike Jones did the draw for the last 16 in the knock out and I drew John Fry who was on peg 10 and with peg 9 currently not available he was going to be hard to beat.

My pair’s partner asked me what the plan was for today. I said not to draw in my section, and what does Chris Rolfe do is exactly that drawing peg 4 dead opposite me!

In to the draw bag an out comes peg 32 which has been the worse peg on the Lake for sometime. I set up the one rig a 4x16 Jolly to be fishes at 10 metres. I did also set up the GB feeder, but as usual if it didn’t go round during the time I had a thimble full of coffee it went up the bank. The upshot was I had 70 or so tiny Ronnie’s for 3lb 9oz. It did get me through the knockout but didn’t save me from a battering both sides. Mike Jones fished an impressive tidy match next to me fishing his to hand elasticated whip.

The match was won by Dave Poole (pictured right with the Accidental Carp winner) with 12lb 12oz from peg 24. Dave caught on soft pellet over micro at 11.5 metres catching Skimmers steady throughout the second half of the match.

Full Result:

  1. Dave Poole 12-12-0 peg 24
  2. Mike Jones 12-01-0 peg 31
  3. Paul Dicks 11-08-0 peg 14
  4. Dave Wride 8-09-0 peg 9
  5. Ade Crawley 7-14-0 peg 33
  6. Mike Taylor 7-02-0 peg 27
Accidental Carp:

  1. Bob Price 19-15-0 peg 15
  2. Mike Key 8-06-0 peg  28
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday 16/02/2014 - Viaduct Winter League - Round Three - Campbell, Carey, Lodge, Match and Spring Lakes

A phone call from Bela late Saturday to say he couldn't fish due to his bathroom being incomplete with no crapper I was worried I wouldn't be able to find a replacement at such late notice, luckily I managed to get super-sub Jamie Parkhouse to fish. So with a lift organised with Gordon Cannings it was off to Cannards Well for a buffet breakfast – no queue here.

At this point I realised I was coming down with man flu.

I nominated Gordon to pick the peg – I wish I didn't as he draw me a crap peg plus an overall indifferent team draw (pictured left).

Its amazing that the three matches so far have been fished in calm very bright sunny conditions and in between its been horrendous wind and torrential rain.

You just don’t want to draw between Campbell pegs 129 and 132 this time of the year, as most of the Carp have migrated to the top end of the Lake. So 132 for me it was – another bloody corner peg and fishing for one lump or two which I really don’t have the mentality to do.

I set up the straight lead, Waggler and a 0.15 Silverfox PC float for 9 metres down the RH margin towards the end bank.

I started on the lead with punched bread and sat on this for 30 minutes - the length of my retention span (I wish it was longer) without any indications. So that went up the bank and only got one more failed outing with double corn. I picked the waggler and fished single caster over caster. I had a few small Ronnie’s and then the biggest fish of the day a 1 ½ lb Tench. Having fed some caster and hemp down the RH margin and without seeing a bite the elastic was shooting out, it didn't last long as a big Carp had swan into my rig straightening the hook. That was it for this line not another bite. I decided to stay on the Ronnie for the remaining hour missing plenty of bites, but it did keep my interest up.

For the second match running I was last in section with 3lb 8oz. However, the team did reasonably well beating Avon Angling again by 1 point!

The match was won from fancied peg 125 by Steve Kedge (pictured right with some of his catch) with 161lb 7oz. Steve “The Lead” Kedge caught on the lead with either bread or meat hook bait not having to feed a thing!!

The Silvers was won by Dave White with 31lb 3oz from peg 38 on Middle Lake. Dave had gone before I could speak to him.

Full Result:

  1. Steve Kedge 161-07-0 peg 125
  2. Andy Mitchell 147-06-0 peg 119
  3. Roland Lucas 115-04-0 peg 116
  4. Nicky Ewers 98-01-0 peg 124
  5. Lee Werret 75-09-0 peg 110
  6. Dave White 72-0-0 peg 38
Top Silvers:

  1. Dave White 31-03-0 peg 38
  2. Bob Gullick 22-15-0 peg 25
  3. Glen Reynolds 21-03-0 peg 37
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday 09/02/2014 - Westerleigh Winter League - Round Five - Both Lakes

Mr. Organiser - Bryan Shanks decided enough was enough with the bad pegs and took a vote on leaving out pegs 18 and 35 (I have drawn both). The decision was four against and seven for. I thought due to the conditions plus a few no shows it would be an injustice for an angler to fish either of these pegs with much better pegs empty.

Darren North was a bit perplexed when Bryan first announced that he was proposing taking out the bad pegs, in reply said “Are we all going home then”!

Bela was 47 years old today, so we gave him Silvers peg flyer peg 10, he didn’t lets us down coming 5th overall. With 18 not in the draw my drawitus disappeared! However, I got as close as you can get to this, drawing peg 14!

Peg 14 has done well in the series so far with a last, first and second overall with three or four Carp, with little to no Silvers. So after wading through the slushy mud and pushing off the water from my platform I decided to fish two swims with identical rigs 4x12 Jolly’s one on a number 4 hollow elastic and the other on a Middy blue bungee. Both at 10 metres as the wind and rain was bloody awful limiting us weaklings plus float visibility was really bad. The heavier elastic was to be fished over wetted micro and a few dead reds at 2 o clock (Carp) and the lighter elastic at 10 o clock with GB laced with Pinkie (Silvers).

Having fed both lines I started over the GB with dead red and had a run of small Ronnie’s. I then had a 2lb Tench followed later by a 2lb Skimmer. I was keeping a bit of GB laced with Pinkie going in through the kinder pot that was until the wind blew my GB in the Lake.  I couldn’t be assed to mix up any more which was a mistake was relying instead on loose fed Pinkie. However, the next fish was a 4lb 8oz Carp! As can be expected I had a lean spell after this and it wasn’t until I finally succumbed to mixing up so more GB which jumped started the swim catching some small Skimmers and Ronnie’s.

Although I kept trying the Carp line with soft 3mm pellet and double dead red I only had the one bite – a minute Ronnie which fell off.

I finished the match with the one Carp and 6lb 1oz of Slivers for a Lake win and second overall with 10lb 9oz and an overall Silvers win.

The Match was won by Simon Belcham (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 14lb 6oz of Carp and F1’s from peg 24. Simon caught 1 metre off the far bank with potted Pinkie and red maggot with a combo of either on the hook.

What ever you do don’t let Simon have more that ½ a pint of bitter ale otherwise he starts talking some strange language!

Full Result:

  1. Simon Belcham  14-06-0 peg 24
  2. Mike Nicholls 10-09-0 peg 14
  3. Dave (Dodgy) Downton 6-10-0 peg 8
  4. Bill Ferris 6-03-0 peg 5
  5. Bela Bakos 4-08-0 peg 10
  6. Martin McMahon 4-07-0 peg 30
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 6-01-0 peg 14
  2. Martin McMahon 4-07-0 peg 30
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thursday 06/02/2014 - Bathampton AA/Veals Silvers Championship - Round Three - Bridge Pool

The last match in the series we tried Withy Pool because of the continuous bloody water falling from the heavens causing Bridge Pool peg 9 platform to slip forward and causing bank slippage between pegs 13 and 14 (pictured right). However, until the rain has stopped and the banks dried out the works can’t sensibly start.

As we were promised rain all day (which was absolutely correct) there was plenty of gore-tex on display. However, some clothing fit well and others with a big upper body have issues with the leg length, as per the incognito angler pictured right – not so - as I think anyone who knows him will recognise him!

Only a couple of anglers not attending, with most having good excuse. Mike Jones decided to leave all pegs in, which was probably right for a league match, with only two pegs left in the bag.

What you don’t want to do is draw in the same section as your pair’s partner. In to the tiny draw bag with the big draw cards and after putting back a number stuck together I ended up on peg 30. Unfortunately for us, my partner drew peg 27 in the same section.

I had matey John Smith on peg 31 (first peg in the next section, I was the last peg in my section) and the bloody jinx Paul Barnfield on peg 29. I set up the one rig a 4x16 jolly to be fished at 1 o clock and 10 o clock (with 2 inches taken off) both swims with 10 metres of pole.

I fed the 10 o clock with caster and a few micros and the main attack with my Skimmer GB laced with pinkie. I started on double Pinkie and had immediate indications from the presence of fish. I then had 45 minutes catching three decent Skimmers and a couple of smaller versions. The swim died and for the next 3 hours or so I didn’t have a bite on any line or anything else I tried.

Things got so boring that I mentally calculated (apparently this sort of mental activity slows down dementia) that a Pinkie in wet weather can travel up to 0.3 mph. Incredible for such a small creature (if I got the sums right).

With 80 minutes of the match left I decided asked John Smith if I could borrow his waggler rod. He agreed. So after adjusting the various parameters I fed some caster to the opposite island and with single caster on the hook I had a bite second caste which I missed. I suspected Carp. Next cast I hooked an 8lb Carp which after getting accustomed to the ABU 604 reel again (back winding) I landed it. I must say John’s Normark Microlite mark 2 rod performed extremely well, anyone got one for sale)? John had already landed a 16lb 4oz Carp so wasn’t threatened by my first Carp. However, after I landed my third Carp John went a bit quiet!! Thanks John you’re a good egg. Sorry I tangled the lot on my last cast!!

My early Skimmers weighed 5lb 10oz for a section fourth. My thee Carp weighed in at 20lb 3oz for first in the accidental Carp. Can’t be more accidental than this – can it?

Luckily Chris Rolfe won our section so jointly we ended with 5 penalty points.

The match was won by Rich Coles (pictured right with the Accidental Carp winner) from peg 6 with 15lb 6oz. Rich caught one 5lb 6oz Bream on the pole after which his swim died so he switched to his Sigma Wand (remember them from the Gloucester Canal I still have on in my rod store) with a small feeder laced with Pinkie with double pinkie on the hook.

Full Result:

  1. Rich Coles 15-06-0 peg 6 (Incl: 5lb 6oz Bream)
  2. Mike Jones 13-03-0 peg 14
  3. Chris Rolfe 13-01-0 peg 27 (Incl: 5lb Bream)
  4. Mike Owens 9-11-0 peg 25 (Incl; 5lb 3oz Bream)
  5. Bob Price 8-12-0 peg 8
  6. Ray Bazeley 6-02-0 peg 24
 Accidental Carp:

  1. Mike Nicholls 20-03-0 peg 30
  2. John Smith 16-04-0 peg 31
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sunday 02/02/2014 - Viaduct Winter League - Round Two - Campbell, Carey, Lodge, Match and Spring Lakes

After some excellent back bacon in the Globe Pub, Captain Bela went in for the draw and came back with a good team draw- again (pictured right).

I was probably on the worse, peg 13 on Spring Lake, but it has produced some Carp in the past mostly on the lead down to the corner. I must say my least favoured fishing method that said if that’s how you catch-em!

After getting some team bread slices and Hair rig stops form Bela, a borrowed 10mm Bread punch from Tim Ford and a lead from trigger who was on next peg 12 I had the main attack sorted. Because peg 13 is an out and out margin peg, cut-off from open water where there is little hope on any Silvers. So the only pole rig was a 0.15 Silverfox PC to be fished at 11.5 metres down the edge up to the boards with dead reds over maggot/caster. This didn’t produce anything.

So my match was all about initially fishing hair rigged three pieces of 10mm punched bread down to the trees in the corner. I was getting indications straight away from small fish tapping at the bread – I did have a few strikes in the hope it was Carp bites – but alas not. After 2 hours and nothing on the bread I switched to corn and unbelievably I had a tremble and landed a 3oz Perch!! Lee Werret (pictured right landing one of his six Carp) was opposite on peg 15 and was catch down his edge on maggot so I put a maggot feeder on with the purpose of feeding the peg (no other way was possible). I subsequently tried triple maggot, Bread and corn again, getting one liner 10 minutes before the end. That was it 3oz it was and 1 team point.

The weather once again was against us with another rare bright day, putting off the Silvers from feeding in any numbers.

Out team draw proved to be a good-un as we ended up 5th overall on the day with the rest of the team doing the business, lifting us off bottom place and above Avon Angling!!

The match was won by Nigel Easton (pictured right) with 119lb 12oz from peg 125. Nigel caught initially on the straight lead with punched bread then switching to the waggler with meat and subsequently meat on the lead. Nigel fed nothing!!

The Silvers was won by Adam Mitchell (pictured lower right) with 23lb 2oz from once again from in form Middle peg 37. Adam caught on the pole at 14. 5 metres catch Skimmers on maggot over Thatcher Gold laced with caster and dead reds. Adam also caught Perch to 3lb on caster down his margin.

Full Result:

  1. Nigel Easton 119-12-0 peg 125
  2. Steve Long 112-14-0 peg 78
  3. Dave Roper 105-10-0 peg 102
  4. Chris Davis 100 -09-0 peg 124
  5. Paul Elmes 87-06-0 peg 85
  6. John Dewberry 82-13-0 peg 64
Top Silvers:

  1. Adam Mitchell 23-02-0 peg 37
  2. Des Shipp 16-15-0 peg 68
  3. Nicky Ewers 16-01-0 peg 38
Weigh Sheets:

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