Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sunday 29/03/2015 - Hillview Open - Canals 2, 3 And 4

Early Saturday morning Bela cancelled coming to Hillview with me. However, I was going to the pub with him lunch time with Tim Ford and Glenn Bailey to watch Bristol Rovers kick the ball about (0-0 draw). Tim and Glenn were also going to Hillview. I knew after a couple of pints Bela would change his mind. And he did. The weather forecast was horrendous with gale force winds coming in from the WSW and rain. In the morning Glenn was looking for some support to cry off. Too late Bela and I were on the way in my car for the first time – we arrived without noise fatigue!

There was a club match on the two Lakes, plus ten or so Golfers in for breakfast because Puckrup Golf Club is too expensive, so the cafĂ© was busy. Breakfast was good which Bela speaks highly of. Canals 2, 3 & 4 were in the draw so with 22 booked in it was going to be tighter than we are use to here and with the warmer weather comes more club matches, so expect tighter pegging). So time to dip the woolly hat and out comes peg 69. Last Sunday Top-Kit King won off peg 70 which wasn’t pegged today, however, because of the horrendous wind I wouldn’t be able to fish to the platform I would have to leave it to Sean Clayton on peg 71.

I set up two rigs – a 4x14 Jolly for down the track in 4 ½ foot of water (Canal 3 is the deepest of the four) and a 4x12 Jolly for the margins with a bulk 4 inches from the hook.

Starting at 5 metres down the track with semi-hard 4mm pellet over kindered wetted micro I started to catch F1’s straight away. In the first hour I reckoned I had 22lb when the tiny Carp arrived so I switched to Glenn Bailey’s sponsored 4mm meat and had another good run of F1’s with a smattering of Carp to 2lb. I had been feeding a top-kit margin swim down wind to my left which due to the over hanging margin rushed thought was a bit too deep to fish effectively.  I spotted a 5lb Ghost Carp munching on the micro that had landed on the reeds, so time to try the margin first trying to mug it – no chance! I had a few small Carp but it wasn’t right especially with the Ghost Carp returning putting off the smaller Carp. I tried to mug it again but no joy, so I poked it with the top set to get it out of the swim, reluctantly it moved off, but it kept sneaking back. I tried down to the end margin by the bale of hay and had a few more small Carp all on meat. However, the fishing wasn’t as productive as down the track, plus it was difficult to put the rig in without the bloody wind blowing it into the reeds. I went back down the track but unfortunately I had neglected to feed the swim and found it as hard as the margin – bugger - should had stayed there longer – it’s those bloody Ghost Carp the lured me away – lesson learnt.

I finished the match fishing down to the hay bale finishing with 82lb 14oz for second overall. If I had mugged that Ghost Carp I would have won the match – I hate the Canal Ghost Carp!!

The match was won by Trevor Chalk (remember him from fishing the Bristol Avon and Huntspill - pictured right with a bucket of Carp) with 85lb. Trevor caught close in from three swims – in front, to his left and right. Trevor caught well during the last two hours.

The forecaster got it right some rain and high gusting wings to 60 mph. My pole roller went over twice; luckily I had the pole in hand, so no damage. I was relived to have put the pole away at the end without damage.

Bela was pleased he came after all coming third overall with another good days fishing at Hillview.

Full Result:

  1. Trevor Chalk 85-0-0 peg 79
  2. Mike Nicholls 82-14-0 peg 69
  3. Bela Bakos 74-04-0 peg 81
  4. Billy Hill 73-12-0 peg 75
  5. Huggy 71-08-0 peg 77
  6. Tim Ford 66-08-0 peg 73
Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 27 March 2015

Thursday 26/03/2015 - Bathampton AA Over 55's and Disabled - Bridge Pool

Continuing on from Dave Gillard’s close encounter with a Heron during last weeks Silvers league. Dave Bacon decided to help Dave out by giving him a Risk Assessment tool - a Bird Book (pictured right).

Today was the start of the 2015 Coffin Dodgers bringing with it two more new members – pictured lower right – Tony Rixon and Paul Barnfield - heavy weights in many ways!

It appears that most, if not all the matches this year will be limited to Bridge Pool, a disappointment for me as it does make a change to fish other venues. Withy Pool has been providing some excellent Silvers catches for some of the Coffin Dodgers who have been up there pleasure fishing. We put this down to the influx of Carp from Bridge Pool providing more competitions for the feed. Let’s hope the reverse isn’t true for Bridge Pool. This summer will tell.

Thirty two fishing today so only pegs 20 and 12 not pegged. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 7 – OK but has lost form of late. For company I had Andy Smith on peg 8 and Chris Rolfe on peg 6.

I had a family commitment today so I had planned to fish until the end leaving my keepnets behind for Alan Jones to bring home. However, I had a call from the Special One explaining that I had to get home sooner which meant packing up 45 minutes earlier. So I decided not to target Carp relying on accidentals. So I set up the Ronnie rig for caster over caster. I didn’t have a bite on this - the Ronnie’s are conspicuous by their absence. So this rig was packed away early. So I was left to rely on two rigs both 4x16 Jolly’s, one for softened pellet and the other maggot. I picked up a nice tow from left to right against the wind – lovely.

Andy Smith started with his usual aerial bombardment of his “Millionaires GB”. I started at 8 metres with 4mm pellet over micro. The swim was immediately alive with tiny Skimmers more coming off than finding the keepnet. So as an experiment I started to feed hard 4’s and had two decent Skimmers for about 5lb. I thought I had it sorted. Then 0n the hour and for some inexplicable reason the tow stopped and so did the fishing. Looking around it appeared that most anglers had also stopped catching and for those like Charlie Barnes who was still tacking up would have missed out on this golden hour because the fishing from then on was a real struggle. It was interesting to watch Chris Rolfe regularly switching between the lead for Carp and the pole for Silvers – plenty of indecision here.

By switching around the peg with GB laced with maggot I was able to catch the odd 8oz Skimmers to take my Silvers total to 12lb for 8th in the Silvers. I did hook an accidental Carp which broke the hook length - bugger.

The match was won by Rich Coles (pictured right) off peg 16 - his home peg – with 47lb 4oz. Rich caught close in down to his left.

Full Result:

  1. Rich Coles 47lb 4oz peg 16
  2. Bob Tilley 40lb peg 11
  3. Ray Bazeley 36-09-0 peg 27
  4. Tony Rixon 38-14-0 peg 19
  5. Mike Jones 29-05-0 peg 24
  6. Terry Bruton 25-08-0 peg 10
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Jones 29-08-0 peg 24
  2. Dave Gillard 22-0-0 peg 31
  3. Paul Barnfield 19-13-0 peg 34

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sunday 22/03/2015 - Hillview Open - Four Canals

Bela doesn’t like driving on motorways so I agreed to drive his van (The Drone) to Hillview. It’s surprising how quick I got use to driving an automatic car; at the end of my road I stalled the van. Then I was driving in second gear for a long time before Bela suggested I change up to 5th gear!! And then there was the slim chance I got caught on a mobile speed camera on the ring road – time will tell.

After breakfast with Bela, Glenn Bailey and his mate Billy the dog it was time to go into the woolly hat. Keith spread us over the four Canals so plenty of room. I was second in to the hat and out comes peg 67 on the second canal (Pictured right). For some reason I thought I was in the middle of the Canal, but found I was on an end peg. Reasonably happy with this because there is plenty of water to go at.

I set up 2- 4x12 Jolly’s. One set for down the track and the other for just up both the inside and far side shelves. There was plenty of Ghost Carp swimming around which decided me to set up a 1.5 Gram Paste float. I only tried it a couple of times landing one small F1 – so that was thrown up the bank.

I started down the track with semi hard 4’s over kindered wetted micro and was soon catching small F1’s to 1lb. However, it wasn’t long before the tiny Carp arrived. I persevered with this line catching these tiny Carp – a bite is a bite, but was later to realise this was a mistake.

Next I tried the far bank and after cupping in a few micros the swim erupted with four/five large Carp dashing off leaving me with a foul hooker which soon lost me in the weeds – these larger fish are very nervous and any sign of feed or the pole over their heads they disappear. Out again and I had some more small F1’s before the small fish arrived. I then went to the inside margin down to the end platform where the pump hose enters the water. Again it was soft 4’s over micro. I had an excellent hour catching F1’s to a 1lb very quickly. After this the small Carp arrived, but made the same mistake by anticipating the better fish would arrive – they didn’t. The penny had now dropped – once the small fish arrive you have to change lines (I can only apply this to the second Canal). Also once these small fish arrive you can’t go back over the same line later either. With an hour to go I went 2 metres pass the platform with the same rig and caught my biggest fish a 3.5 lb Ghost Carp, followed by some more F1’s.

Lesson learnt on this Canal. If I hadn’t lost time catching small Carp (talking 2-4oz fish) and anticipating return of the F1’s I think I would have done much better. I weighed 67lb 8oz for 8th overall. I am sure I had more fish than anyone else – no consolation!!

That said best days fishing so far this year.

The match was won by Terry “Top-Kit” King (pictured right with a bucket of some of his catch) from third Canal peg 70 (just behind me). Terry living up to his nick name caught on his top–set tight up to his inside edge, down to his right. Terry initially started on soft 4’s over micro catching small F1’s. It wasn’t until he switched to 4mm meat that Terry caught bigger fish loose feeding 3-4 piece of meat feed. Well done matey.

Bela caught 47lb off peg 45, I caught 67lb off peg 67 and Glenn didn't catch 75lb off peg 75, should have been on peg 45!! 

Full Result:

  1. Terry “Top-Kit” King 132-0-0 peg 70
  2. M Howard 99-08-0 peg 81
  3. Neville Groves 80-0-0 peg 58
  4. Huggy 74-0-0 peg 47
  5. Gabe 72-0-0 peg 56
  6. Billy 70-0-0 peg 45
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Thursday 19/03/2015 - Bathampton AA/ Veals - Silvers Championship - Bridge Pool

Arriving at the draw it was a bit nippy with that nasty easterly wind still biting at us. However, it didn’t take too long for it to warm up, we even seen some late sunshine.

In to the draw bag and out comes peg 21 – again – third time I have drawn the peg if stand-in Glenn Bailey is included. However, Mike Jones decided to re-peg it which meant I had plenty of room. That said it was going to be a tough section with John Smith on 18, Dave Wride on 19 and Tony Rixon on 26.

I set up a 4x12 Jolly for over to the island, however, the margin was very steep at 4 foot so I didn’t have much confidence in catching - and although I tried it twice with double maggot over potted maggot I didn’t have a bite, so that’s the end of that. I also set up a Ronnie rig to fish down the inside shelf to my left. Again the Ronnie’s didn’t make a show, are they getting ready to spawn?

The main attack comprised two 4x16 Jollies one with an 808 - 18 hook for soft pellet and the other an 808 - 20 hook for everything else. For my pellet line I choose to fish at 10 metres at 10 o clock. The other Jolly was set to a depth to fish at 11.5 metres just up the far shelf at 12 o clock.

Kindering some wetted micro and with semi hard on the hook I was soon catching Skimmers to 1lb. However, an hour or so into the match I was getting plagued by small skimmers driving me to near madness. I kept trying and was rewarded with the odd 1lb Skimmer, but it was hard work shipping in and out too often losing my pellet to the little blighters. I sensed there were plenty of pounders to be had but the little blighter getting to the bait first. For a moment I thought I had it sorted switching to maggot, but it didn’t take long before I was missing bites again. Time to try over at 11.5 metres with maggot over GB laced with the same. I had some more pounders before the Ronnie’s joined in the fun. The upshot was I had a bad last hour catching just a few small Skimmers and Ronnie’s.

I weighed 17lb 5oz for a section fourth and seventh overall. Luckily my pair’s partner Dave Bacon caught some Bream from peg 1 winning his section and coming second overall – well done matey.

The match was won by Dave Wride (pictured right with some of his catch) from peg 19 with 43lb 10oz. Dave gave us all lesson in soft pellet fishing.

I have to mention matey Dave Gillard who drew peg 33. Dave was aware that a Heron was sat in a tree above next peg 34 for most of the match watching his elastic coming in and out. In the last hour Dave hooked 10oz Skimmer. Unbeknown to Dave the Heron had slipped in to the water and Dave found himself playing the Skimmer 10 foot in the air! His hook length soon parted and the Heron took his Skimmer over to the opposite island spending the rest of the match munching it. This cost Dave second place!!

Full Result:

  1. Dave Wride 43-10-0 peg 19
  2. Dave Bacon 26-06-0 peg 1
  3. Dave Gillard 26-0-0 peg 33
  4. John Smith 25-12-0 peg 18
  5. Tony Rixon 24-05-0 peg 26
  6. Ray “TincaTinca” Bazeley 18-02-0 peg 14
  7. Mike Nicholls 17-05-0 peg 21
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday 15/08/2015 - IVY house Open - Match Lake

With the general election on the horizon in May, The question I want answered is:

“When is the population of UK considered full”?

The first issue in this respect is that current government doesn't know the size of the current population. However, all small country’s (such as ours) should have a “we are full number”. The UK is currently undergoing a number of significant issues such as:

  • Hospitals are bursting at the seams
  • Schools are full
  • Roads are full
  • Public transport are expensive and full
  • Care for the elderly is declining in quality
  • Jobs are declining (excluding zero contracts)

So when the political door knockers come round ask them the above simple question!!

Bela and I decided to go to Ivy House. However, on Saturday I went for a walk and found the NW wind bloody freezing. I was in two minds whether to cancel, but didn’t want to let Bela down. After purchasing Bela one of Karen’s large breakfast which he devoured in quick time. I had a walk around the fishery. Andy has done some more work on the venue, draining the Old Canal (pictured right) and transferring the fish around the venue, Andy is planning to dredge out this Canal and restock with new mixed fishery.

The wind was in the East, I suggested to Andy that he peg it such that the 18 anglers were out of the freezing cold wind. In to the draw box and out come lotto ball 22.

I had a look at the previous six results from the peg and the reading wasn’t promising, which left me wondering why the peg was in, especially as the wind was driving in to it. Apparently the angler that fished it the day before DNW’d and went home early because he was frozen.

Arriving at the peg I did have a huge amount of room. Next peg to my right was corner peg 27 and to my right peg 19. I set up two 4x14 Jolly’s – one with an 808 - 18 hook for the soft pellet over micro and the other a 20 for caster and anything else. I decided to fish the pellet at 10 metres at 12 o clock and the other at 11.5 meters at 2 o clock in slightly deeper water. The problem was that the wind was causing both tow outwards in to deeper water and to my right also in to deeper water. It was also a guess on where my liberal amount of feed landed.

Having tried the full menu of hook baits – 4mm soft pellet, dead red, piece of worm and finally Pinkie, the upshot was for the first three hours I didn’t have a bite except for a foul hooked Carp which came off. I decide to try and warm up and walked around the outside of the venue, everyone was struggling. However, there were plenty of pegs I would have preferred than mine. Arriving back to Bela who was also blanking on peg 17 he suggested I should pack up because of my current health issues. I negotiated another hour, which was also unproductive. I didn’t even have a Ronnie.

My Doctor told me not to get cold (constantly repeated by the Special One) so with two hours to go I threw the towel in for the first time in 8 years. !! BLANK.

During packing up I upset the bait tray; at least the NASTY wild fowl had a good feed (pictured right)

Bela and I soon turned the day around with a visit to the White Harte and bar gar-age.

Don’t know who picked up except when I left the miserable guy on peg 27 had 4 fish, Mike Etheridge opposite me on peg 32 had three small Carp on the straight lead to the Aerator.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Thursday 12/03/2015 - Bathampton AA/ Veals - Silvers Championship - Round Five - Bridge Pool

After a three week layoff due to, as Tony Rixon eloquently put it – “sick note had Newmonial”. Tony was phonetically correct as usual (which I don’t have a problem with) but I actually had Pneumonia (drowning from inside).

I must say that I had the best care from the NHS that anyone could expect. However, this experience left me fuming how the Labour party have politicised the NHS. How must the hard working staff feel about the continued unfounded criticism by “Wallace”. The twat won’t be getting my vote.

Although not totally fit I couldn’t stay home any longer. So I persuaded the Special One to release me. The weather forecast swung it as it was expected to be good. The BBC weather forecast was reasonably accurate with it dry, low winds and temperatures up to 9 degrees.

I didn’t mind where I drew as I was just happy to be out wetting a line. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 31. Happy with this one but would have preferred end peg 32, which John Fry had drawn for the second consecutive match. On peg 30 was matey Pete Greenslade.

I set three rigs – a 4x12 Jolly for caster over caster in the RH margin (which nearly got wet), the Ronnie rig also for caster for further down the shelf in the LH margin, finally a 4x16 Jolly to be fished initially at 7 metres.

I have a little some niggling doubts today because I was using a new keepnet, not that I am superstitious!

I started by feeding a knub of my Skimmer GB fully laced with Pinkie and wetted micro ay 7 metres into the dark water with a yellow tipped Jolly with double Pinkie on a 20 - 808 hook. It wasn’t long before I had a 3oz bottle top. I then had a 1lb Skimmer followed by one about 1 ½ lb. Feeding another knub I had a few more Skimmers to 10oz. The swim died so I fed again. The Ronnie then put in an appearance, which I was happy to catch. I then had a 3lb Skimmer. I reckon at 2 hours in to the match I had about 8lb so decided to sit it out for the bigger fish. So I put a whole pot (250ml) of dead reds in at 10 o clock at 10 metres. With double red on the hook first put in I had a 2lb Skimmers quickly followed by a similar Skimmer. The swim died so in went another pot of dead reds which produce one Ronnie. Time to try the Ronnie rig with single caster over the loose fed caster I had been feeding from the start. It was soon apparent the Ronnie’s weren’t in the feeding mood only adding four of the smaller species’. So I put on another section taking the 4x16 Jolly to 11.5 metres at 11 o clock where I put a big pot of wetted micro in and a repeat of two immediate decent Skimmers, then it died. So I fed a big ball of GB laced with micro and Pinkie out in front again at 11.5 metres and had a 4lb 12oz Tench followed by a 3lb Bream. With now 15 minutes to go I hooked another 3lb Bream however, the line tangled around it’s pectoral fin, which meant it was coming in side ways which makes playing the fish easier, but I bumped the fish because I had to double unship taking the line from the pectoral fin pulling he hook free – bugger – another yellow card from Mike Jones. As it worked out this fish cost me.

I weighed 21lb 7oz for a section win and fourth overall – letting in “Jones the Default” for the section.

The Keepnet is a "Good un".

The match was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right) from his regular peg 6 with 24lb 12oz. Dave Wride was runner up but unfortunately for him he had Tony in the knockout, so once again it was a wheel spin out of the car park for Dave before the results were announced. Tony caught … see his blog. But I could see his pole tip from my peg so he was fishing very long. I hope he mentions how he was nearly beaten by the one armed man in peg 5!!

Full Result:

  1. Tony Rixon 24-12-0 peg 6 (Again!)
  2. Dave Wride 24-06-0 peg 21 (with 20, 22 &23 not fished!)
  3. Paul Barnfield 22-06-0 peg 14
  4. Mike Nicholls 21-07-0 peg 31
  5. John Smith 20-02-0 peg 16
  6.  John Barker 19-08-0 peg 5 (one handed)
   Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 9 March 2015

Sunday 29/10/1978 - Angling Times South West Winter League - Division A - Lacock and Reybridge

It was the turn of our SWWL Division A to fish the Bristol Avon at Lacock with the match stretching from opposite Beanacre Dump to Reybridge. I always looked forward to fishing this stretch of the Avon as it suited the angling style instilled in me by Dad. Basically, very light stick float fishing for Roach, Dace and Chub with light feeding of caster and hemp. Maggot was a non starter because of the millions of minnows, impossible to blank here. However, some of the walks were horrendous, but I always kept the mind set that the further you walked the better the fishing.

The draw was in Lacock village at the Red Lion car park (it wasn’t even a consideration to ask the pub to open back then). Most anglers had a 250 metre walk just to reach the Lacock Bridge, some drove down leaving there kit over the fence and driving back, I couldn’t see the point of this. The shortest walks were about the same for the pegs in the Abbey fields.

I drew a peg down stream half way between Lacock Bridge and Beanacre Dump. So a fair walk which necessitated climbing a number of fences and obstacles suitable for a Grand National course, one obstacle in particular was over a water filled ravine with barbed wire each side. I was walking with Mike Jones who caught his brand new warders in the barbed wire, so wet feet for him, I didn’t laugh - much!!

Finally arriving at my peg which was on a straight between to bends with heavy weeding each end, which meant I couldn’t see or hear the next angler. Access to the swim was difficult as it was shear 12 foot drop from the peg to a plateau level with the water. However, by walking down stream I was able find a gentler slope. Not much time left to set up, so it was a 4BB stick float and a small caster feeder (maggot feeder with the holes enlarged) just in case. I was pleased with the swim because I had a long trot, but it shallowed towards the end dragging the float under. I messed around with the depth accordingly so I had a consistent three foot.

I started on the single caster over light feed down stream of caster and hemp and was soon catching small Dace, Roach, Gudgeon and Perch. Then for some reason the swim died. This was unusual for this to happen so early in the match because due to the nature of the swims the fished didn’t move off; basically you caught what was in the swim. I decided to try the small caster feeder down the peg and caught a small Chub. I then couldn’t get a bite, so I put a worm on the hook and the tip was twitching which I kept striking at thinking it was small nibbling Perch. I then decided to leave the worm until I got a proper bite (now think it might be a decent Eel).

And a proper bite I got and I was into a big fish which at first I thought was a Pike explaining the lack of small fish. After about ten minutes I managed to get the fish under the rod tip and away from the weed. I then saw it – a Barbel of about 6lb. The heart started to pound. It then dawned on me that I wouldn’t be able to get the fish in my little landing net. I then realised that a dog walker was up on the top of the bank watching so I asked him to see if he could borrow a bigger landing net off the next angler, the man and dog moved on not to see him again. Luckily I was level with the waters edge and after a bit of arm to arm combat I managed to bank it in the shallow water and was able to slide it straight into my keepnet. The feeling that followed was wonderful; if only it could be bottled it (it probably is theses days but comes in small plastic bags). I sat there for a while recovering expecting this fish to be the talk of the match.

As per usual on this venue the scales took a while to arrive at my peg, I explained to the scales men that I had a 6lb Barbel but didn’t expect them to dismiss it, this was because further down stream Johnny Raines had caught two Barbel one going 9lb 8oz (I always wondered to this day how they weighed it on 7lb scales – but suspect someone had a set of rusty old Sampson’s in their basket). My fish was further pushed out of the lime light because Brain Webb had also caught one weighing 6lb 7oz. This didn’t spoil the bouncy walk back to the results; it was another memorable day out fishing

I did sneak in 6th for another pay day plus our team – The Golden Carp won on the day pushing us up to third overall, "Our Col" was happy!

Steve Gosling won the match with 22lb 7oz of Chub from a bend at the top end of the Abbey Fields.

Thirty Six year later from time to time I hear some of those that fished the match still talk about Johnny's two Barbel.

Full Result: (Angling Press reports upper right)

  1. Steve Gosling 22-07-0
  2. Jonny Raines 18-08-0
  3. Brian Webb 12-11-08
  4. Steve Sharp 11-11-0
  5. Colin Dunn 8-05-08
  6. Mike Nicholls 7-01-0