Monday, 26 February 2018

Sunday 25/02/2018 - Windmill Fishery - Dave Haines Quad Match - Match Lake Two

Four of us wanted to fish local and braved the cold weather and wind at Windmill Fishery and choose to fish the Carp Lake – now the 2nd Match Lake! We selected pegs that were fished last match on the Lake where we all had 20lb plus of small Carp. Pegs 12, 13, 14 and 15 which kept us below the bank and out of the wind add the sun and it was comfortable fishing.

The match went like this; Dave Willmott caught a 1lb Carp first put in on paste which we all thought was signs of good things to come. Twenty minutes later Geoff Francis hooked a big Carp which bust his hook length. I hour later Dave Haines caught a 3oz Rudd on his top-set with Pinkie. Finally I foul hooked a decent Carp which didn’t get anywhere near my landing net. Match over for all those present.

No need to weigh as Dave W won the match and Dave H won the Silvers both pictured right with their catch.

At least Geoff spent some time polishing his pole. We were all very disappointed with the fishing, which we commiserated back at the pub!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Thursday 22/02/2018 - Bathampton AA - Open - Withy Pool

First stop for Geoff and me – Hungry Horace’s. Two freshly cooked Speedwell’s soon devoured.

A biting Easterly wind and a ground frost greeted us at Withy Pool. First visit here for Geoff, so waked him round pointing out the pegs to avoid and the ones not. I told him I fancied peg 57 which surprised Geoff as it is a narrow channel between bank and island. I have only fished it the once and had my best days Roach fishing on this Pool weighing 26lb of quality.

We all said our farewells to fellow Coffin Dodger – Charlie Barnes with a minute’s silence. Gone but will be talked about for years to come, most of the South West Match Anglers has a story or two about him.

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 45, and Geoff peg 57!!! I was happy with my peg even though it’s in open water there was some cover from the wind which would have been better if it was off my back instead of in my face as it was freezing. For company I had Gas Head Peter Greenslade on the left and on the other side Shit Head (pictured upper right).

This peg is one of the deepest on the Pool so set up a 4x16 to fish at 10 metres just keeping the black top in the white water. At last I could fish the waggler properly – yippy. Because of the wind and the depth I clipped on a 10 inch loaded bodied waggler to fish as far as the catty and wind would permit.

I fed the pole line with GB laced with dead Pinkies and fed the waggler line with live maggot, but found I couldn’t get the distance I wanted. I had a couple of casts with the waggler and found presentation very good holding station well. On to the pole to have a quick look with single maggot and found I was getting tiny indications which I thought was tiny Ronnie’s, which proved correct landing two and a small Skimmer. Meanwhile Mike Jones opposite had been playing a Carp for ten minutes. I felt the pole and GB wasn’t going to produce today so picked up the waggler with intentions to fish it all match. Meanwhile I would loose feed the pole line – can’t help myself sometimes! The up shot was I had a really enjoyable waggling day catching Ronnie’s to 3oz and hand size Skimmers and Hybrids. I did try the pole line and found the fishing exactly the same as with both the GB and loose feed. The Skimmers certainly wouldn’t come in close. I fed about ¼ pint of liveish reds all through the match. I was very pleased I was beating Shit Head until ten minutes to go when he caught and landed a large Carp (pictured right). More humble pie to eat at the pub. WELL DONE MATEY.

I finished the match with 12lb 10oz of Silvers and not one sign of a Carp. This was good enough for a Silvers win and fourth overall (pictured upper right).

The match was won by my “back in the day” angling hero Mike Jones (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 37lb 4oz from peg 69. Mike caught five Carp landing three on his favourite waggler and maggot approach.

Geoff fished caster and had a great first hour, but unfortunately struggled for the remainder of the match.
Back to the pub with the usual suspects to round off another great day out with like minded people (pictured right).

Full Result:

  1. Mike Jones 37-04-0 peg 69
  2. Dave Gillard 19-14-0 peg 43
  3. Ray Bazeley 14-0-0 peg 40
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 12-10-0 peg 45
  2. John Fry 6-12-0 peg 67
  3. Martin McMahon 6-03-0 peg 73
Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 19 February 2018

Charlie Barnes 1949 - 2018

Charlie Barnes - RIP Matey.

Owner of Avon Bait - Maggot farm - Charlie always provided the Avon Angling team with immature maggots which we used to great effect of the Gloucester Canal.

Mid-life crisis brought him a Porche, which wasn't one of his more sensible decisions!

Formed the NOVA South West Winter League Team winning the league first time out which included one of his best mates Ron Gaulton - will now be together again - causing more chaos.

Invited to fish in his Veals teams of four team - Charlie's Angel's. Team pictured right. With two matches at Stafford more we spent the whole weekend in the Kings Arms. Charlie would out last us all in the bar, only because of his Cat naps (pictured right).

Charlie a regular member of the Coffin Dodger and loved fishing for Silvers and was quick to rub it in when he beat me - one of the many occasions pictured right holding up one of his winning Bream from across the Lake

Charlie occasionally fished Viaduct Fishery with again the focus on Silvers and when he won the match on peg 112 with Carp and I suggested it was a waste of a Silvers peg the pictured right was his response.

Some more pictures which explain his approach to life which was never dull for him and those around him. I think he has left a great legacy with young Tom Thick with the mentoring he unselfishly gave him. Finally I will never forget the joke he played on Tom whilst travelling ... the one about the Ventriloquist...and his dummy...

Friday, 16 February 2018

Thursday 16/02/2018 - Coffin Dodgers Open - Plantation Fishery - Main Lake

Cormorants are currently devastating our Commercial fisheries. Some say it’s due to human interventions. The answer for me is yes and yes. Yes its common knowledge that our seas have and are being over fished. And yes we have built inland fisheries that are stuffed full of fish providing much easier pray for the “Black Death”. I’m sure if the seas could be repopulated the Cormorant issue would not disappear, simply because Commercial fisheries will continue to provide an easy living. Every year the “Black Death” population increases exponentially which is opposite to what the seas would provide – an unnatural evolution of significantly reducing their numbers. I’m not sure what the future holds, but do know the situation is now very serious indeed for us anglers. Whatever commercial fishery owners do to protect their livelihoods has my full support.

On a lighter note, some say there is a role reversal in the Rixon household. I see on social media that the Mrs is off fishing whilst Mr works, then there’s an apparent fetish for vacuum cleaners by Mr. Today Mr. was seen walking around the car park with an umbrella that’s lets say not masculine (pictured right). No pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

Geoff Francis and I had a plastic breakfast in the Bridge Inn before Tony and I pegged it out. We tried a different combination from last time and I am coming to the conclusion that twenty anglers is about three too many for this venue.

Into the smelly Woolly hat and out comes peg 15 which is permanent peg 28, an open water peg between the two islands and a peg we had to move off some pleasure anglers! I was immediately thinking glad I was out of the wind which was to prove OK for self survival but wasn’t going to be true for the fishing. The bright sunshine wasn’t going to help. What was disappointing that I was in another bloody Parrot cage peg.

I set up and fished identical as last match and couldn’t believe I couldn’t get a bite it took 90 minutes to catch an 8oz Skimmer on my pellet line followed by a 1oz Ronnie on the GB and caster/maggot line. Meanwhile those that had some wind cover were catching Skimmers well and found myself in a position of no catch up on the Silvers. I went for a banana walk to find the fishing very patchy. I decided to try the new waggler rod even though it meant under arm casting. On went a small bodied waggler to help get some under arm distance. I was surprised I could cast 25 metres. However, would have liked to have been able to fish the peg properly – much further out where I could see feeding Carp. The hope was to catch some Carp the only means of catch up. The conditions were perfect for the waggler as I could pick up the tow against. The upshot was that I had a few Ronnie’s and three small Skimmers and even though towards the end I fed maggot heavily I only had one small Carp.

I finished the match with 10lb 1oz for nowhere. But I did beat Colesy. Plus my waggler rod is no longer a virgin!

The match was won by John Fuidge (pictured upper right with his nice catch of Skimmers) from peg 5 – permanent peg 8. John caught at 13 metres using a multitude of baits – Pellet, maggot and caster. I know it’s a good peg but it was noticeable that is was also the most wind effected peg where the fish can find some cover from the “Black Death” in these open water fisheries.

The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right) with 33lb 8oz from peg 16 permanent peg 31. Tony caught on …..see his blog for details.

It was back to the Bridge Inn for Geoff and me a Pint and a bite whilst the traffic receded.

Another great day out – did I detect some spring in the air?

Full Result:

  1. John Fuidge 44-11-0 peg 5 (8)
  2. Tony Rixon 36-04-0 peg 16 (31)
  3. Martin McMahon 28-12-0 peg 19 (38)
Top Silvers:

  1. Tony Rixon 33-08-0 peg 16
  2. John Fuidge 33-04-0 peg 5
  3. Martin McMahon 23-11-0 peg 19
Weigh Sheet: With permanent pegs noted:

Monday, 12 February 2018

Sunday 12/02/2018 - Hillview Open - Canals 1,2 and 3

Five of us ventured north to the Hillview Fishery, one of my old stomping grounds, which makes this the eighth venue so far this year. It is great to see Podge (pictured right in his Preston kit including gloves!) getting back into the match scene and doing well.

The outside temperature was bearable, however, the North Westerly wind wasn’t. There was no way the lakes would be fishable with waves breaking into the far end bank. Keith sensibly chose the first three Canals. So my waggler rod would remain a virgin for at least another few days.

After a Keith Hill breakfast which his dogs were keen to share it was time for the dip into the smelly woolly hat and shining disc with 72 on the third Canal stuck to
my mitts (pictured right). Happy with this as it’s the best end of the Canal in winter, and the nasty wind gusting wind was off my back. I felt for those on Canal 2. For company on end peg 70 was matey Glenn Bailey. So half expecting a duffing up from him. The peg has great margins so I set up a 4x10 Speedy which would be also suitable for over if need be. However, when checked the depth over the plummet was getting knocked about by fish. I daren’t go over with a bare hook. I also set up the old faithful black top 4x12 to fish top-set plus three which is down the deepest part of the track. Because of the activity over I borrowed a slice of bread from Glenn, who also had indications over. The only other bait on the tray was maggot.

I started over on 10mm punch bread fully expecting the float to disappear. The upshot was not one indication which Glenn also found. Umm! I optimistically switched to maggot – again nothing. The wind was blowing hard into the far bank rendering presentation very difficult. Far bank now abandoned. Into the sheltered calm waters of the margin at top-set plus two along the bank towards Glenn who had already caught a few small Carp over on maggot. I was getting some indications which I took to be small Silvers. However, I now think it was liners from the two tiny Carp I caught there. Ninety minutes up so my attention switched to the down the track where I had been feeding maggot. It wasn’t long before I had my first 2lb F1. The bites were very finicky once the bait settled near bottom. However, when taken on the drop the opposite was true. So changed the shotting pattern and fished on the drop. This improved my catch rate immensely; having a great middle match spell initially F1’s then Carp, but never a mix! I would certainly have put more in the net if it wasn’t for the bloody wind which when gusting I didn’t catch, careful not to say I didn’t have bites because I wouldn’t have known!

Another lovely day’s fish at this venue which suits me once the summer Carp Slaying stops. I weighed 63lb which was good enough for the win (me pictured right with the runner up - just like that)

Keith told me he’s digging another 40 peg Lake over the back of Canal 4. Bigger Carp and Silvers are to be stocked. I suggest he also invests in a set of new scales that have divisions smaller than 8oz.

The Bristol five did well with three of us picking up coin. We will be back.

Full Result:

  1. Mike Nicholls 63-0-0 peg 72
  2. Dave Willmott 57-08-0 peg 50
  3. Lee Payne 43-08-0 peg 75
  4. Glenn Bailey 43-0-0 peg 70
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Thursday 08/02/2018 - Bathampton AA Open - Withy Pool

It was the first time back on Withy Pool for some time. I was hoping for a peg I could chuck my new waggler rod at, such as any peg in the 60’s and behind the Island. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 72, which I was happy with thinking it would be an end peg. But, it wasn’t to be as John Fry arrived on peg 73! However, I was expecting John to fish the lead down to the aerator for Carp – but didn’t. Plenty of small Roach on this end peg so was hoping John would share a few.

Tony Rixon's was having problems with his trolley and had to do a quick wheel change. The  Ferrari Pit team need not worry (pictured right). No that's not Jack but Dave.

Although it’s not a waggler peg I set it up anyway because it was eager to get it wet. I had pre-set it up at home with apparently not enough light because I threaded the line behind the tip eye!! So reset it up, had a few casts with it but remains a virgin. Just the one pole rig a 4x14 in 5 foot of water, which was good enough for a multitude of lines but initially choose one at top-set plus two only because I expected to only catch small Ronnie’s so wanted them close. After feeding GB laced with a few dead Pinkie with P’s on the hook I expected to catch fish early, but after an hour nothing. Meanwhile end-peg John was catching small fish regularly. So I decided to go longer than John to 10 metres with the same bait. I soon had a small Skimmer and thinking blank avoided. Not another bite so went for a walk and found that only me and John had caught a fish on our bank. So back and after adding some dry GB in the GB mix and feeding it loose I started to catch a few small Ronnie’s. I then saw signs of a better fish over the feed, possibly a Carp. The swim subsequently died I then had a visit from Tony Rixon who was on peg 54 who was blanking and said he was thinking of going on Bridge Pool. I suggested that he fish on as one Carp would do it today and was on the peg to do it….see his blog for the outcome…

It took a while to get the fish back having another run of Ronnie’s. Luckily I had a bonus 12oz Perch which might have been the earlier disrupter.

I finished the match with 6lb 8oz for a 4th Silvers and a pick up by an overall default- happy days. HOWEVER, I WAS BEATEN BY DAVE GILLARD WHO INSISTED ON US ALL EATING HUMBE PIE BACK AT THE COMPTON INN. Well done matey – make the most of it I say.

The match was won by Paul Barnfield (pictured right) with 21lb 10oz comprising of two Carp caught on the waggler fished in Pete Greenslade’s peg.
The Silvers was won by John Fuidge (pictured right with some decent Roach) with 11lb 11oz from gully peg 57. John caught on Pinkie over to far bank.

Full Result:

  1. Paul Barnfield 21-10-0 peg 59
  2. John Fuidge 11-11-05-0 peg 57
  3. Tony Rixon 9-05-0 peg 54
  4. Dave Gillard 6-11-0 peg 45
  5. Chris Rolfe 6-10-0 peg 47
Top Silvers:

  1. John Fuidge 11-11-0 peg 57
  2. Dave Gillard 6-11-0 peg 45
  3. Chris Rolfe  6-10-0 peg 47
  4. Mike Nicholls 6-08-0 peg 72
Weigh Sheet:

Monday, 5 February 2018

Sunday 05/02/2018 - Shiplate Fishery Open - Squircle Pond

I have been thinking of buying another waggler rod, so I spoke to Tony Rixon who is the man to consult on this sort of thing. I was pointed in the direction of the Drennan Ultra rods. As soon as I picked up both the 13 foot Ultra and the Ultra plus I was amazed how technology had moved on since being a Normark convert. These rods are less than 5oz in weight and have the correct amount of stiffness in the second joint which I was looking for (a lot of highly priced rods are just too floppy due to the “through action” nonsense). After switching between the two and finding small but noticeable differences – weight and stiffness. I went for the Ultra plus because of it’s slightly better stiffness, which would best suit me. I wish Dad could have had a waggled it he would have been amazed.

I am getting stuck on where to fish Sundays at the moment especially as I like to stay local in the winter. With Windmill attendances falling off I booked Geoff and me into the Shiplate open which, due to it’s popularity had two club matches on the main lakes to we were put on Squircle Pond, which was limited to nine.

First stop Shipham cafĂ© which was very busy with anglers. I felt hungry so went for the large, when it arrived I was thinking too much when mate’s Bela and Gordon came in on their way to Viaduct, so I was able to off load some.

We were made very welcomed by Carol and Steve with Geoff getting the Tea Induction course.

Now from time to time comments have been made about the cleanliness of my tackle especially the Boss box “looks like new”. I pride myself with ensuring my kit is ready for a match. However, today I found someone who has taken cleanliness to a higher level – Shaun Larkham. I thought at first that all his kit was brand new and first time out, apparently not (pictured right). A good workman always looks after his tools. He told me he uses cotton wool buds on his trolley wheels.

In to the draw tub and out comes peg 9. I have only fished this pond once before and had 70lb so thought I would start where I finished this match with micro and 4mm expander. I set up a 4x12 to fish the expander at top-set plus one and a 4x12 to fish over. Like and idiot I also started to feed as if I was going to repeat the weight! After three quick small Brown Goldfish on the expander I couldn’t get a bite. So went over which was easily reached with 10 and a bit metres with maggot over maggot and due to the wind found the rig too light so changed to a 4x12, however, the presentation wasn’t good and although I was catch some small Silvers the presentation wasn’t good enough, and spent too much time trying to make it work. It was soon apparent that the fish had migrated to the early pegs with the frame to be made up of these pegs. I walked down to Geoff who was also struggling on peg 11 and was chasing Goldfish by dobbing maggot. It was close weight wise between us so at least I was now back into a competition. Back to my peg and decided to sit it out at top-set plus three where I picked off Ronnie’s, Chub, Perch and the occasional Goldfish on Pinkie over Pinkie in dry GB. I even started to enjoy myself despite the freezing cold NE biting wind. I should have fished this line all day.

I weighed 9lb 2oz of mainly proper Silvers just pippin Geoff by 8oz.

The match was won by Mark Thorne (pictured right) with 42lb 6oz from first peg 2. Mark caught on various baits finding corn over micro best catching at one metre from the far side. The regulars got it right with most catching the bigger Carp using corn.

It was nice to fish a five hour match old style from 10 to 3 we were back home by 5:30 which did include stop in a local pub. Geoff was really impressed with the fishery set-up especially the no mud aspect. We had a walk up to the River Axe and was amazes to see so many Roach topping. Jim Thomas has been fishing it lately with stick float and caster. I must say it made me want to have a go with the new rod, which I just might.

Full Result:

  1. Mark Thorne 42-06-0 peg 2
  2. Nigel Webber 27-0-0 peg 4
  3. Steve Howell 22-12-0 peg 5
Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 2 February 2018

Thursday 01/02/2018 - Coffin Dodgers Open - Plantation Fishery - Match Lake

Almost a year since I fished Plantation Match Lake last, so was really looking forward to fishing what I think is the best small fishery in the South West. The Roach and Skimmer fishing is second to none and is extremely popular with pleasure anglers, so lucky to be allowed to match fish it.

First stop the Bridge Inn with Geoff Francis for a cold breakfast, must have a word with the micro waver. Geoff eats so fast he needs for the food to be cold.

A good turn out with 20 booked in plus a waiting list. Tony Rixon and I re-pegged the match (so only peg 1 on permanent pegs) whilst Chris Rolfe collected the coin.

So what’s changed since my last visit – well nothing above water – below has - with the Roach having grown on and producing some Hybrids – great to see.

Into the Asda draw bag and out comes peg 13, which I think was perm peg 25. This put me on the far side with the wind off my back. For company I had Rich Coles and to my right the Gimp. The peg card stated I had an Island chuck but whoever pegged it out didn’t bother to look up as I found myself in another Parrot cage with line streaming with the wind – this could have been me! I could see feeding fish at about three quarters to the island which was well out of reach for the pole I would definitely have set up the waggler. So set up the pole at 11.5 metres the longest I was willing and able to fish today. To this I initially attached a 4x12 red top, which was near invisible so I changed to a yellow top to fish in some darker shadowed water, one area to my right at 1 o clock and the other to the left at 10 o clock. Lastly the Ronnie rig which has always proven to work well here. I fed the right side with wetted micro and the left with one big ball on GB laced with maggot and started loose feeding the Ronnie line with casters, which were spot on today thanks to Matt at Scott’s Tackle. I started over the micro line with 4mm expander but couldn’t see the float due to the light. So set up a black topped 4x12 which meant moving the swim a metre and re-feeding – bugger, some time lost, which on this venue can be detrimental. While I let this line settle I went far too early over the GB line with maggot. First fish a small Ronnie followed by a 3lb Bream. I tentatively re-fed but luckily the fish didn’t seem to mind this – no need to fish out the feed today. I then had a run of Skimmers, then a 4lb Carp. The swim subsequently came alive with Ronnie’s. The Carp Groupies having seemingly disappeared. I re-fed but adding some casters in the GB this time and went over the new micro line. I had a couple of quick hand size Skimmers and Hybrids, followed by tiny Ronnie’s. So re-fed the micro and tried the Ronnie rig. First try on single caster an 8oz Ronnie quickly followed by one 12oz. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep them there and disappeared for a reason I can’t explain. Back out on the on the GB line and found the caster was getting shelled, slowing me down, so went back on the maggot and had another run of Skimmers before I foul hooked a Carp – again the Groupies buggered off. I spent the remainder of the match cycling around the three swims picking off the Ronnie’s and small Hybrids. The Ronnie rig did produce a very nice 2lb Perch, which I think might have been the source of the Ronnie’s not hanging around too long.
My Silvers weighed 27lb 13oz and my sole Carp 4lb 12oz for a total of 32lb 9oz for second Silvers and third overall. So mission accomplished.

I have fished this venue about thirty times and have only had one indifferent day and that was because the ice was so thick I couldn’t break it out more then 4 metres! A brilliants venue, we will be back.

The Match was won by Jason Radford (pictured right) with six Carp for 40lb 3oz from peg 20. Jason caught down his LH edge using “Bait for the People” supplied in packs with Giros to the unemployed by Jeremy Corbyn. Can’t have them getting bored.

The Silvers was won by Magician Dave Willmott (pictured right with his catch of mainly quality Roach and Perch) from peg 19. Dave caught at 8 metres using caster over loose fed caster.

Back to the pub with the usual suspects to end another great day.

Full Result:

  1. Jason Radford 40-03-0 peg 20
  2. Dave Willmott 37-12-0 peg 19
  3. Mike Nicholls 32-09-0 peg 13
  4. Tony Rixon 23-03-0 peg 17
  5. Andy Gard 22-10-0 peg 9
  6. Mike Jones 22-05-0 peg 6
Top Silvers:

  1. Dave Willmott 31-07-0 peg 19
  2. Mike Nicholls 27-13-0 peg 13
  3. Tony Rixon 23-03-0 peg 17
Weigh Sheet: