Thursday, 29 October 2015

Thursday 29/10/2015 - Harescombe Cost Cutter - Match Lake

I wasn’t sure if the fishing times had changed due to the clocks changing last weekend so left early. As it happened I arrived earlier that planned due to it being half term! Times were the same 9 draw fish 10 to 3 spot on. Breakfast in the café (pictured right), where I was joined by Big Al Oram.

With only seven fishing Andy said he spread us out. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 16. It was a double take, yes on the natural bank in the far left hand corner. I must say that I have fancied the peg from my first visit but its not often pegged. However, I was surprised to find I was the only angler with someone on the next peg 15 (pictured right), on the other side of the bridge. I still had plenty of room so only greedy to say more.

The guy on peg 15 set up a feeder and before the start practiced casting it in my peg. He did apologised explaining that he doesn’t often fish the method often – I believe him!! A real gentleman though. Looking up from my peg I could see the café (pictured right).

The strong wind was blowing directly into me; combined with the rain it wasn’t going to be pleasant.  I set up the usual two rigs – a 4x14 Jolly to fish out in front at top-set plus one section and a 4x10 Yoof for both margins.

The swim out in front was to be fished over pellet, the RH margin to fish over caster and the LH margin to fish over pellet with some meat. All hook baits to be 6 or 4mm meat

On the Jolly the presentation was spot on with the float going against the tow (away from me) and slightly to the left. The hydraulics on these types of canals are unpredictable, so best to understand this before feeding. After potting in some pellet short I was soon catching F1’s and had a great first hour, but as the wind subsided the slower it became. I tried the RH margin but the presentation wasn’t that good due to the float coming at me and out from the bank. The LH margin was much better where I caught three proper Carp to 4lb. The upshot was I swapped between the three lines to keep the F1’s coming. I abandoned the Jolly line after three hours focusing on both margins for the last two hours.

I weighed 85lb 4oz for first on the day only 2oz ahead of youngster George Organ (pictured upper right). Well done lad. Another memorable day.

Full Result:

  1. Mike Nicholls 85lb 4oz peg 16
  2. George Organ 85lb 2oz peg 8
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thursday 22/10/2015 - Harescombe Fishery - Cost Cutter - Match Lake

I picked up Two Pots Bailey this morning and got a bollocking for being early; true I was – 4 minutes!! Not a morning person I think. Took on the Ring Road and won arriving reasonably early to Two Pots distain.

After breakfast into the draw bag and out comes peg 20. No emotion. Dropped off Glenn and parked behind my peg – useful that. I found myself next to Rich Heatley again and on the other side was Julian Pinkett, who has JULIAN emblazed on the back of his coat, I guess it’s in case he forgets his name. Found myself opposite Two Pots, now slimmed down to one Pot!

Set up just the two rigs – a 4x10 Yoof for the down wind RH margin, I knew it would also suit the far bank depth if I decided to fish there. And of course the 4x14 Jolly to fish at top-set plus 1 ½ sections again down wind at 1 o clock. Simple.

All the hook baits was to be 4mm meat (fyi Rich) fished over pellet. I started by putting a half pot of pellet into the RH margin. I started by picking up the Jolly and kindering in some caster and micro. With 4mm meat on the hook nothing happened, whilst Rich next door was bagging over to the far bank. After 45 minutes I could only account for eight F1’s. I tried the full range of hook bait in the bag, Caster, Semi-hard pellet and the humble Maggot. Plenty of bites from micro fish, at least I think it was small fish, nonetheless nothing to weigh in. I started to catapult some hard 4’s over to the far bank wooden piling whilst I tries the margin to no avail. So bugger into the rod holdall and found another five carbon tubes to take the rig out to 13 metres. Again with meat hook bait (fyi Rich) I commenced to catch small Mirror and Common Carp plus a couple of Chub and one Barbel. The wind wasn’t cold but not conducive for fishing long and it wasn’t long before the shoulders threw the towel in even though I was catching regularly, it was the double unshipping that done it. I spent the rest of the match in the margin with meat hook bait (fyi Rich) over loose fed pellet. I did have a purple spell catching some decent F1’s with a smattering of Skimmers.

The scale came round (pictured upper right) which has gone metric weighing (I have converted to pounds for us purist) and I was surprised to weigh 47lb 10oz which put me second overall.

Tony Rixon beat me for first place (pictured right with the runner up) with 55lb 10oz from end peg 25. Tony caught on hard pellet…see his blog for the finer details.

Two Pots came fourth one out of the coin, caching three big F1’s on paste!!

Full Result:

  1. Tony Rixon 25.72 Kg (56lb 10oz) peg 25
  2. Mike Nicholls 21.62Kg (47lb 10oz) peg 20
  3. Kevin Jefferies 18.26Kg (40lb 4oz) peg 15
  4. Rich Heatley 14.48Kg (31lb 15oz) peg 19
  5. Glenn Bailey 14.02Kg (30lb 15oz) peg 10
  6. Ray Cooper 13.32Kg (29lb 6oz) peg 3
Weigh Sheets (dopey buggers left the proper weigh sheet in the café):

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday 17/10/2015 - Viaduct Silvers Only - All Winners Final - Campbell, Carey and Lodge Lakes

I breakfasted at home and had a steady drive to the venue on my own.

Interesting enough there were more fishing the Silvers final than fished the Carp final with 44 in the field.

I was first into the coffee tin and out comes peg 100. Two years ago it would have been the peg to draw. As usually happens on this time of year the fish move well out from the bank and margins. Nonetheless I still set up the Ronnie rig and a 4 metre whip which would take me out further for the Ronnie’s. I set up a 4x12 Jolly with the shot set for the semi-hard pellet and a 4x14 Jolly to fish long with a double bulk shot.

I fed two balls of GB at 10 metres and another two at 11.5 metres all laced with a smidgen of maggot and caster. I then followed up at 7 metre with wetted micro for the pellet hook rig. I first started on the Ronnie rig with single caster over loose fed caster. I had one first put in, and that was it other than a few small indications. So out on the pellet rig and nothing, I put a single dead red on and started to hook small Ronnie’s most of which were falling off.

I then went out on the 10 metre line with double dead red and what followed was very frustrating I was again hooking small Skimmers quite quickly only for then to come off. I thought it might be the elastic so changed it to a lighter one, but to no avail. I reckon in the first two hours I lost 4lb of fish. I then hooked a Carp which I pulled for a break. New hook length then. I subsequently switched to the 11.5 metre line and had two good Skimmers to 2lb, looking up – not. The upshot I kept switching between the two lines catching the odd small Skimmer and Ronnie.

With 1 ½ hour to go I had fizz over both lines and broke on 4 more Carp, after which I made a pact with myself, another lost hook length and I pack up. I didn’t although I landed a 14lb Common and a 10lb Mirror before the all out!!
I thought Gabe next door on peg 99 would frame so was hoping that my 12lb 4oz might be enough for a default section, alas not Trigger on the end peg beat me by 2lb.

The match was won by Mark Saunders (pictured right) with 35lb 1oz from Campbell peg 112. Mark caught short at 5 metres using caster hook bait over GB.

Gabe (pictured below centre with his partner) next door to me was runner up with 32lb 6oz of Skimmers. I must say he fished a really good match fishing expander pellet over neat GB. Well done matey I was dead impressed.

Full Result:

  1. Mark Saunders 35-01-0 peg 112
  2. Gabe 32-06-0 peg 99
  3. Steve Denmead 29-01-0 peg 129
  4. Andy Power 28-11-0 peg 68
  5. Steve Tucker 26-04-0 peg 110
  6. Paul Elmes 26-03-0 peg 78
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Thursday 15/10/2015 - Windmill Fishery Open - Match Lake

Nicola Sturgeon MP the SNP leader is a very divisive; she has tried to divide our union and has certainly divided Scotland and gets right up my nose. Moderate Scots get her out.

Had the choice of going to Viaduct to have a practice for Saturdays All Winners Silvers Final, but chose to revisit my local fishery Windmill, knowing if I had gone to Viaduct and drew a Carp peg I would have fished for them!!

Breakfast at home, Muesli with Blue Berries followed by Five Beans on Toast, can tell Bela’s away, who is currently laying 10th in the Stafford Moor Festival.

In to the plastic square box and out comes peg 8, with the temperature dropping combined with a chilly NE wind I fancied the deeper pegs more. Make the most of what you’re given.

Two Pots came today and drew next to me on peg 6, will the paste still hold up!

I decided to fish for Silvers until the last hour then dip the paste into the margin where I would feed hard 4’s throughout. My margins had no cover whatsoever.

Two rigs 4x14 Jolly (I have had this particular float for 10 years) and a 0.3 gram PC paste float.

I started at top-set plus two with semi-hards over kindered micro. It took a few minutes to get my first 3oz Skimmer and soon after a 4lb hard fighting Common Carp which caused some disruption on my light 8-10 yellow Drennan elastic. Again it took a few minutes to get the Skimmers back I then spent an enjoyable 5 hours 30 minutes catching Skimmers, tiny Carp and one Crucian. I had planned to spend the last hour in the margin on paste catching Carp but because Steve Dawson pegged opposite was also catching Silvers well I had to stay with the Skimmers. But during the last 20 minutes I was caught by another three Carp losing three foul hookers.

My Silvers weighed in at 23lb 2oz and my four Carp11lb 4oz for a total of 35lb for first in the Silvers and 5th overall.

The match was won by new re-entry Andy Gay (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 74lb 1oz from peg 26. Andy caught on the method feeder – enough said.

The paste is still viable with Two Pots weighing a 56lb 10oz third and picking up some super pools by default.

Full Result:

  1. Andy Gay 74-01-0 peg 26
  2. Lee Waller 59-04-0 peg 2
  3. Glenn Bailey 56-10-0 peg 6
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 23-02-0 peg 8
  2. Steve Dawson 18-08-0 peg 22
Weigh Sheet:

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Wednesday 14/10/2015 - Amalgamation Summer League - Final Round - Sedges Canal

Two Pots child minding today so on my own for the last match of the series. My usual stop for breakfast in Misery Guts Café.

 Arriving at the fishery the talk was how bad the Canal was fishing with seven DNW’s in Monday’s match, most coming from the top end – so area to avoid. I have yet to draw the near end, so far not getting passed halfway.

 The Sedges open match was on Brick Lake today and Bob Price wisely decided to fish that rather than the Canal. Good choice as he won the match with 90lb on bread on the lead and down his RH margin. I can just make him out on peg 8 (pictured above).

Andy Smith runs the league on similar lines to the Parkdean Masters in that the top twelve in the overall league fish off for the overall prize money on the last match being shared between overall and Silvers.

In to the draw letter box and out comes peg 57 – top end and second time I have drawn this peg - bugger. I was hoping it would be end peg today, alas not that was reserved for matey Pete Greenslade.

Arriving at the peg I spied some bubbles coming up over the far bank (pictured right). Interesting enough I had the same last time I fished it so I wasn’t going after fool’s gold this time. I set up two rigs a 4x16 Yoof to fish the near and far bank which was only 10 metres away, and a 4x14 Jolly to fish at 5 metres.

The Canal was so clear that the Yoof proved unproductive. So I spent all match on the one 5 metre line. I decided to keep the feed down by kindering a few wetted micros in and with a 4 semi-hard on the 16 – 808 hook; I thought 5 minutes was well long enough without any indication so swapped to single perky red maggot. I was soon dropping off small Ronnie’s before I landed a 4oz Skimmer. Next put in I had a 4lb Common Carp which no doubt unsettled the silver fish as it took an age to catch another Skimmer. The upshot was the predictions were right – it fished hard. I spent the odd hour fishless catching the odd Skimmer plus one bonus 1lb Barbel.

My lonesome Carp weighed in at 4lb 3oz and my Silvers 6lb 1oz for a total of 11lb 1oz, which was good enough for second Silvers and fourth overall.

The match was won by John Osborne (pictured above right) with 16lb 15oz from peg 46.John caught on either hard or soft expander pellet fished at 11.65 metres ¾ across.

The Silvers was won by John Barker (pictured right) with a credible 13lb 3oz from his favourite peg 48.

Well done to both sharing the overall spoils.

 Full Result:

  1. John Osborne 16-15-0 peg 46
  2. John Barker 13-03-0 peg 48
  3. Mark Bellringer 11-05-0 peg 42
  4. Mike Nicholls 11-01-0 peg 57
  5. Alan Jones 9-14-0 peg 64
  6. Dave Bacon 4-15-0 peg 44
Top Silvers:

  1. John Barker  13-03-0 peg 48
  2. Mike Nicholls 6-14-0 peg 57
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sunday - 11/10/2015 - Windmill Fishery Open - Match Lake

On my own again today because Bela is fishing the Stafford Moor Autumn Festival which starts tomorrow, hoping he will better is 7th overall last years result – best of luck matey. I still went for breakfast in the Beefeater – excellent.

I arrived in plenty of time to have a walk around the venue (pictured above). During my travels met up with the Fishery Manger Terry Boulton who was being taken for walk by his dog (pictured right).

After the draw preliminaries (Video bottom) it was into the draw box and out comes peg (pictured right I need to do this now because by the time I get near the peg I have forgotten the number!). Apparently a good margin peg with a few munters lurking beneath. For company I had to my left Dave Haines and to my right Glen Bailey.

I set up the usual three rigs – Skimmer 4x12 Jolly up the shelf in 6 foot of water, Ronnie rig shallow and Carp paste in RH margin, I would have preferred the LH margin but due to the chilly NE wind blowing left to right it wouldn’t be possible.

I started on the Jolly with semi- hards over kindered hard 4’s whilst loose feeding the same in to the margin in 3 foot of water. I started well and after about an hour I had 12 lb of Silvers manly Skimmers to 1 ½ lb and six nice Crucian’s. I then got distracted by a swirl in the margin so went in with the paste and had a 10 pound Mirror first try. Next put in another 10 pounder. I then made a mistake of abandoning the Silvers line instead persevering with the Carp. It took what seemed an age to catch the next two Carp. But that’s how the match developed – catch two then a long wait – bit like buses. I stopped loose feeding and switched to kindering because my feeding accuracy was being disrupted by the wind.

I did have another distraction – the Vulcan Bomber did a fly past I tried to get at the camera but sadly missed it – its last flight too – bugger.

In pairs I landed 12 carp which weighed 80lb 4oz (pictured right) and my Silver weighed 12lb 14oz. This put me first overall and second in the Silvers.

The Silvers was won by Mike Wilson (pictured right with the match winner) with 14lb 4oz from peg 24.

Full Result:

  1. Mike Nicholls 93-02-0 peg 32
  2. Dave Haines 64-08-0 peg 3
  3. Gerry Walsh 40-06-0 peg 8
  4. Norman Ferris 35-0-0 peg 26
  5. Jon Clark 34-04-0 peg 22
  6. John Osborne 32-08-0 peg 6
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Wilson 14-04-0 peg 24
  2. Mike Nicholls 12-14-0 peg 32
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Thursday 08/10/2015 - Harescombe Fishery - Cost Cutter - Match Lake

So the CEO of VW in USA stated today that VW senior management was unaware of the software issues, stating It was implemented by two rouge software Engineers. What a load of lies. The QA system and procedures that VW should and are most certainly operating would not permit individual action without design reviews with pathway to senior management. If I had one of their cars that had software issue I would demand a complete refund because any modifications are sure to lead to lower performance outside specification.

Two pots decided to dip his toe and paste at Harescombe Fishery and kindly picked me up, arriving in plenty of time for breakfast.

My current camera lens has lost a lot of its coating so yesterday I bought a new one – Nikon Coolpix S9900. So plenty of try outs today!

In to the draw box and out comes peg 12. No emotions as you get a great days fishing off any peg at this venue. Two Pots Bailey drew next to me on end peg 14 and with plenty of room I expected great things from this great angler. On the other next peg 11 was that nice man Rich Heatley, who thinks 20lb is in fact 40lb, must sell him some spuds.

Set up the usual two rigs – 4x14 Jolly to fish at 4 metres at 1 o clock in 5 foot of water with 0.18 main line and 0.14 hook length to the reliable light hook -  16 Tubertini 808 which can accommodate any bait in the bag. The other rig was a 4x10 Yoof for the RH margin in 30 inches of water with exactly the same lines and hook.

I started on the Jolly with meat on the hook over kindered hard 4’s. It was soon apparent that the venue wasn’t going to fish as well as previous matches, catching just a couple of F1’s during the first 10 minutes. I switched to the semi-hard pellet hook bait and had a Sepp Blatter (a Gudgeon that was just hanging on), followed by a couple of Ronnie’s. This bait was abandoned for the remainder. Meanwhile Glenn appeared to be bagging at 14 metres over to the corner of the island on banded hair-rigged pellet, with plenty of striking and splashing going on. I tried the margin with meat which I had been loose feeding with pellet since the start only to catch small Silvers. I was now buggered as to what to do. So got the rest of the 13 metre pole out and using the margin rig went out to the island pile boards again with meat over a smidgen of pellet. I had a run of F1’s and small Carp to 3lb – that’s better. I then got broke on a fish. So whilst I re-tied the hook I fed some pellet – mistakes as I started to struggle, managing to pick off the odd F1 and Chub. I thought I had fed them up in the water so persevered without feed to no avail - interesting. In the meanwhile Glenn was still thrashing around striking and foul hooking F1’s, the steam was rising. I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice anymore of my shoulder to fish 13 metres so decided to fish out the match in the margin with meat. I decided to stop loose feeding the pellet and kindered the feed instead sneaking it in quietly. This seemed to work because I did have a good last hour catching F1’s and the odd Carp and the usual Barbel.
My two nets weighed in at 67lb 12oz for second overall which was a pleasant surprise.

The match was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right with the runner up) with 96lb 9oz from peg 22. Tony caught … see his blog for details.

Two Post came a frustrating third – not sure the hair rig was right. The paste didn’t get much of a run out today.

Full Result:

  1. Tony Rixon 96-09-0 peg 22
  2. Mike Nicholls 67-12-0 peg 12
  3. Glenn Bailey 56-15-0 peg 14
  4. Stuart Barnett 48-09-0 peg 3
  5. Terry Girdelstone 47-09-0 peg 23
  6. Rich Heatley 41-05-0 peg 11
Weigh Sheet:

The Pay-out:

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Sunday - 04/10/2015 - Windmill Fishery - Open - Match Lake

No Bela today – out courting. Only takes me 15 minutes to get to this fishery and with a 09:00 draw I was able to have a lay in, which was welcome after getting home from yesterday’s match at 20:00. However, Bela and I did stop for a fish and chip supper in Shepton to thin down our winnings.

It was the first time since last winter that the 4 degree car warning light came on – just the start of the winter to come. However, the sun was soon out warming us up.

I really enjoyed my last visit so was hoping for the same again. Standing in the car park having a natter I heard someone say “Here’s Glen Bailey” I spun round to see the more handsome version pictured right.

In to the draw box and out comes peg 22. There were three golden pegs worth £100 each Bob Price was the only one to draw a goldy.

Got to the peg and was relieved that the sun was off my back. I decided to apply some of the learning from last match. I set up a 4x12 Jolly to fish in 5 ½ foot of water up the inside shelf which was top set plus ¼ of the number three section for fishing semi- hards for the Skimmers. I set up the Ronnie rig to fish over the Jolly line but with casters. No more on this one as the casters stayed in the bag, finally a 0.15 PC paste float for the LH margin in amongst the Bull Rushes.

I started on the semi-hard which became nearly hards due to the sun which I fished on the Jolly over hard loose fed/also kindered 4’s. I was straight into a small Skimmer then a 5lb Common Carp. And that’s how this line fished a few Skimmers to 2lb interrupted by the occasional Carp. All the while I was feeding hard 4’sin the margin, but stayed on the Jolly until the last two hours when I tried the paste and because there wasn’t any Silver fish nibbling I knew there were Carp around. And they were. I added a good few Carp to 8lb taking the tally to 20 before the all out.

My Silvers weighed 17lb 6oz and my Carp 97lb 1oz for a total of 114lb 7oz. which was enough to win both the match and the Silvers (a typical average Windmill Carp pictured right)

The default Silvers winner was Bill Ferris (pictured right fishing on after the match practicing the method feeder – cripes - spending too much time with Bib Price).

Credit where credit is due this has become an excellent close venue - I will be back.

Full Result:

  1. Mike Nicholls 114-07-0 peg 22
  2. Steve Jefferies 55-02-0 peg 1
  3. Gerry Welsh 51-05-0 peg 20
  4. Bob Price 46-07-0 Golden peg 13
  5. Dave Haines 43-15-0 peg 3
  6. Chris Gay 39-06-0 peg 29
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 17-06-0 peg 22
  2. Bill Ferris 12-08-0 peg 26
Weigh Sheet:

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Saturday 03/10/2015 - Viaduct All Winners Final - Campbell, Carey and Lodge Lakes

Bela arrived 5 minutes early and first words were “where we are going”, “Viaduct” I say – “No for breakie”, “Highwayman I say” – All signs that Bela was hungry – after filling my tanks and Bela half filling his it was off to Viaduct for the All Winners Final and we were all fishing for the following payout:

Most of the anglers thought that the straight lead (not fixed or half fixed) would win it and as I can’t do this because of the physically effort and pressure on my arm to land the obese Carp and mentally as I lose concentration after 60 seconds. I was hoping for a peg on Lodge Lake preferably 66. Alas not, in to the draw tin and out comes peg 129 on Campbell. I wasn’t unhappy with this one although I knew the best I could expect was a section win and a days fishing.

Arriving at the peg it was obvious that Algae has arrived turning the Lake an unusual peat like colour. The weather was flat calm and bright October sunshine – not ideal conditions.  

Peg 129 is below the spit (which is getting eroded ore every year). I could easily reach the spit head with 13 metres of pole. I set up three rigs. A 4x10 Yoof for meat up to the spit head, a 4x 0.15 PC paste float to fish at 10 metres at 1 o clock and a 4x12 Jolly to fish at 11 o clock at 5 metres again with meat. However, when comparing the depths of each rig they were all around 30 inches deep which meant I could swap them around if need be.

I started by feeding ¼ pot of 6mm meat on the spit head then started to loose feed 6mm meat at 5 metres. I started on the paste by feeding just a few hard 4’s in the kinder pot with the paste and had three quick decent Carp. Interesting there was no fizzing at all. The swim then died without even any nibbling from Silvers – very unusual. I tried the short meat line without any indication. I swap this meat line to a longer 10 meters out in front and had two more decent Carp for again the swim to die. I retried the long paste line and it was soon obvious that it was dodo. The Lake was so far fishing hard. Time to try the Spit Head line with the meat only to find the Ronnie’s keen to get in on the act. Bugger that I switched the line to paste by feeding a bit pot of 4’s. The upshot was that none of the lines revived so I stuck with the Spit Head for the remaining, catching another seven Carp plus a few Skimmers and more importantly a personal best Perch weighing 3lb. I did find fishing this line hard on my shoulder especially shipping out.
My 12 carp weighed 110 lb 10oz and my Silvers 8lb 8oz for a total of 119lb 2oz for tenth overall and that important section win.

The match was won by Craig Edmonds (pictured right with some of his catch) with 185lb 4oz from peg 112.  Craig caught all his fish on 8mm meat fished short, long and from both margins. Craig fed about 3 ½ tins throughout mainly loose fed. He went home £1,000 richer (if he had bought the fish and chips it would had been reduced to £950)!!. Well done matey and I thought you weren’t listening in the early days!!

Runner up and third were pegged on Carey catching mainly on the lead.
using doubled up 8mm pellet over loose fed 8’s (top three overall pictured below centre).

Full Result:

  1. Craig Edmonds 185-04-0 peg 112
  2. Nicky Ewers 177-06-0 peg100
  3. Ashley Tompkins 165-10-0 peg 96
  4. Ben Hagg 147-01-0 peg 99
  5. Glenn Bailey  134-04-0 peg 124
  6. Dan Squires 135-0-0 peg 97
Weigh Sheets: