Friday, 29 March 2019

Thursday 28/03/2019 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

First match of the year for the Bathampton AA Over 55's. Geoff and I had another great breakfast at Hungry Horaces followed by a steady drive to the fishery and got us there in plenty of time for us to have a walk around. I'm not sure Geoff listens to my narrative on the pegs, Geoff draws peg 24 and didn't know where it was - and he has drawn it before!

With Chris Rolfe retired as match organiser Dave Gillard and Ken Morgan have stepped in to run the this years series, so again in good hands.

We were to have a beautiful Spring day, windless and warm sunshine. Great to be out in the countryside.

Nineteen fishing today so it really didn't matter where I drew as I expected to get some bites for most of the day - of course the fish needed to cooperate.

Into the draw bag and had the choice of three disc with one seeming to stick to my palm I pulled it and found myself on peg 16. This peg has of late been poor for Silvers but have been replaced by the F1's that hug the opposite island which is only 11 metres away. For company I had Bailiff John Fry on 15 and Dave Poole on peg 18. I could see Geoff who surprisingly had found peg 24.

Three rigs - a 4x12 Roob set to three foot to fish over, a 4x16 to fish down the channel in 6 foot of water and the Ronnie rig in case the Roach were dominated.

Fed the Ronnie line with GB laced with Pinkie and down the channel at top-set plus four with GB with loose micro. Started on this line with 4 mm expander and had a couple of 1 lb Skimmers. However, the bites were very strange a double pull, but some of it may have been liners - who knows? I then had an F1 - so was it them giving these indications - who knows?  I stayed on this line for half the match catching the odd Skimmer. It was clear from conversations that it was fishing hard/difficult. By this time my swim had completely died and although the were no signs of Ronnie's I had a quick go on the Ronnie rig only to catch four tiny Perch. So all put to the side for the Roob. So with 4 mm expander on the hook and feeding the same through the kinder pot I caught the odd F1, however, it was a question of catching two and waiting for them to return. It was never frantic until the last half hour when the proper Carp arrived catching two 2 pounders and a bonus 9 pound Common. My match went as I anticipated.

My Silvers weighed 8 lb 6 oz and my Carp 28 lb 6 oz for a runner up total of 36 lb 12 oz.

I have been trying various expander pellet and can say that there is very littler difference between all the makes. Just choose a pellet that retains its shape and dont fall apart. I do like to pump mine, otherwise it's a question of taking some whether they are used or not - I hate waste and by god we anglers do waste a tremendous amount of bait.

I was stood next to Tony Rixon when he drew his peg 28. I knew from the look on his face that the match was over for the rest of us.Tony (pictured upper right with his Carp catch) went on to win the match with 103 lb 10 oz. Tony caught at 17 metres over to the island catching on hard pellet fished of loose fed pellet - for the details see his blog...

The Silvers was won by Hughie Evans (pictured right) with 18 lb 8 oz from end peg 31. Hughie caught mainly Skimmers up in the water on maggot over loose fed maggot.


1. Tony Rixon 103-10-0 peg 28
2. Mike Nicholls 36-12-0 peg 16
3. Hughie Evans 18-08-0 peg 31


1. Hughie Evans 18-08-0 peg 31
2. Dave Wride 15-08-0 peg 7
3. Chris Ollis 14-14-0 peg 26

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Thursday 26/03/2019 - Bitterwell Fishery - Silvers Only

At the last moment decided to visit the "Big One" Angling Show on Sunday with Mark Tanner. Well worth the visit. The Browning Poles are head and shoulders above anything else available - but comes at a price. So today needed a quick fix so went local to Bitterwell Lake to the Silvers only/Soup Kitchen match.

The usual reasonable turnout of 14 for this hard fished fishery. Into the milk top bag and out came peg 30, which is on the sunny bank car park side. A reasonable peg but would have to suffer the sun all day. The Lake was flat calm and with the bright sunshine it was going to make things difficult. You have to make up your mind if you want to sit it out for the odd Skimmer or Bream or fish for bites from the Ronnies. I would always choose the latter as I need to be active.

I set up a 4x12 Winter Titan to fish at 10 metres. Which was now possible to ship in/out in one go because I am now the proud owner of a Mosella high pole roller. I also set up the 4 metre whip incase it was really hard - glad I did.

I started by feeding the long line with neat GB with loose Pinkie. With double Pinkie on the hook I found it hard catching really tiny Ronnies which were tending to shed the hook shipping back. Far too slow, so went on the whip with single Pinkie fished over loose fed Pinkie. I could get a bite very cast but again the fish were tiny 1/2 oz to 1 oz. However, I was happy to do this as it's what I do. There were a few better Skimmers coming out with Norman Ferris foul hooking a 3 lb Bream on the paste (don't tell Two Pots)!! Come soup kitchen time I had about 3 lb. The break was very welcome especially when we were  handed a cup of tea and steak pie by Terry Smith. The consensus was that Steve Tanner (pictured right) was winning with about 8 lb. Back in the saddle and I kept on catching the Ronnies by adding Pinkie in the GB and hand feeding small nubs. I did lose three hooks in a snag which was quite high up in the water.

I reckon I had about 150 fish which weighed 7 lb 1 oz which got me a default section. Definitely need a Skimmer or two to frame preferably in the mouth!

The match was won by Enigma (pictured right) with a decent weight on the day of 13 lb 5 oz from peg 13. Steve caught initially Skimmers on 4 mm expander over GB and micro at 10 metres and later down his LH side margin catching decent Roach on caster over caster.


1. Steve Dawson 15-05-0 peg 13
2. Steve Tanner 10-04-0 peg 7
3. Ken Morgan 9-0-0 peg 17
4. Norman Ferris 8-08-0 peg 31

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 22 March 2019

Thursday 21/03/2019 - Bathampton AA - Club Match - Sections Only - Bridge Pool

First stop for Geoff and me was the usual Hungry Horaces for another decent breakfast. Geoff commented on how light the traffic was travelling to the venue - lack of temporary traffic lights I think.

We arrived in plenty of time for me to have my traditional walk around the Lake. The Brown colour had started to fall out especially down the far end. I must say I did fancy peg 3 today as it would have plenty of room. What was most noticeable for once in many days - NO HIGH WINDS.

Eighteen fishing today so two pegs to be pulled - 19 and 4 were chosen - peg 3 looking even better.

Last but two into the draw bag and out comes disc 6. Happy with this especially as Withy Pool was closed so the road behind would be quiet. For company I had Curly Jones on peg 7 and Dave Poole on peg 5. Peg 6 is one of the easiest peg for rig selection - just the one 4x16 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus four out in front. I also set up the waggler in case.

Started by feeding a nub of GB with loose micros and with a 4 mm expander on the hook had a 1 lb Skimmer first put in, followed by four more - blimey didn't expect this but always worry when this happens as you can end up sitting for the next four hours without a bite. Luckily this didn't happened but it was obviously going to slow. I steadily kept a few Skimmers coming and a couple of Tench. With two hours to go it really slowed so switch the same line to Pinkie in GB with loose fed over the top. Whilst this settled I had a go on the waggler towards the end on the island with single LR on the hook over loose fed same and had an F1 first cast. I had two more of these before I lost three munters that decided they would go round the end of the island. Waggler abandoned. Back on the pole with double Pinkie and caught the odd Skimmer, Ronnie and a decent Perch. The swim was starting to come alive again just before the all out. I now wish I hadn't given the Waggler a try.

I finished with 24 lb 4 oz of Silvers and a total of 27 lb 11 oz for a Section win. I thoroughly enjoyed today especially the bit about the no high winds. me pictured right with todays catch.

The highest Silvers weight went to the Enigma (pictured upper right with his catch) from peg 15 with 28 lb 12 oz. Steve caught very similar to myself except he switched to maggot, just lose feeding and switch lines going further out to thirteen metres finding the up-shelf which kept Roach and Skimmers coming. Well done matey.

Geoff Francis also won his section so it was double bubble car today and a good turn out at the pub afterwards.

This was the end of the winter series which was to say the least interesting. Thanks to Dave Gillard for running this series. The Coffin Dodgers starts up next Thursday but this year being jointly run by Dave Gillard (07948 522403) and Ken Morgan.

A Section - Mike Nicholls 24-04-0 peg 6
A Section - John Fry 22-07-0 peg 3

B Section - Steve Dawson 28-12-0 peg 15
B Section - Ray Bazeley 30-12-0 peg 14

C Section - Dave Wride 25-0-0 peg 18
C Section - John Smith 27-08-0 peg 16

D Section - Geoff Francis 7-14-0 peg 27/26
D Section - Ken Morgan 7-08-0 peg 30

Knock Outs:

Tony Rixon
Mike Nicholls (Also rans)
Pictured right with runner ups.

Weigh Sheets: (Tony Rixon's tantrum pencil)

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Sunday 17/03/2019 - Windmill Open - Match Lake

Met with Geoff at Staple Hill Wetherspoons. Couldn't believe it the food was proper hot! Slowed Geoff down a tad.

Short drive to the fishery and saw Chris "Shipp" Davis unloading his van. So would it be stick it out fishing or FOE to golf - he had all the necessaries. Chris stuck it out to come fourth.

I had a look at the Lake and the wind was already hacking into peg 23. Told geoff if I drew it I wouldn't fish it. I've had enough of this wind. Into the draw box and two pegs left - out comes peg 22 - Bugger. In the wind again then. Peg 23 was slightly worse which Lee Waller set up in, however, he was soon to be an FOE.

Peg 22 is a very good Carp peg so that was my quarry for the day. As peg 21 was empty and was offering some calmer waters right across I set up a very large waggler and a 4x16 Winter Titan to hang on to down wind at top-set plus 2 in 9 foot of water!

I started on the pole fishing single maggot over micro and maggot. I was amazed to catch a 4 oz Skimmer first put in, unfortunately not a sign of things to come, subsequently catching small Ronnies. So tried the waggler which to be fair was presenting much better but I couldn't feed fr enough with the wind stopping the maggot loose feed at halfway! More Ronnies followed then a Carp. I stayed on the waggler until the last hour catching Ronnies and six Carp and due to the wind and my presentation I lost six foul hookers. The wind increased significantly and it was was bloody freezing. Geoff did a FOE from peg 3. I switched back on the pole and foul hooked another three Carp landing two. Foul hooking was largely due to the wind and me having to lay on.

Once again the horrendous wind totally buggered my days fishing. The peg was worth far more than my fifth place 40 lb 2 oz. That said I did enjoy packing up and getting warm in the car on the way home!

The match was won by Nick Saunders (pictured right with his catch) with 81 lb 9 oz from end bank peg 24. Nick caught Carp to 8 lb fishing in his right hand margin with his pole rig set to 3 foot fishing meat or pellet over the same feed.

The Silvers was won by peg selector Dave Haines with 6 lb 2 oz from peg 5. Dave fished for Silvers throughout catching on maggot and GB.


1. Nick Saunders 81-09-0 peg 24
2. Andy "The Lead" Gard 63-03-0 peg 20
3. Paul Taylor 53-10-0 peg 1
4. Chris Davis 51-01-0 peg 11
5. Mike Nicholls 40-02-0 peg 22


1. Dave Haines 6-02-0 peg 5
2. Gerry Welch  5-06-0 peg 7
3. Mike Nicholls 5-0-0 peg 22

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 15 March 2019

14/03/2019 - Plantation Main Lake - Tony Rixon and Paul Faiers - Silvers Only Open

Firstly, well done to Rowland Lucas for winning the Fish "O" qualifier at Viaduct this week. I believe it's his second time - good luck in the final.

Got up early and looked out the window and was very tempted to get back in bed. Gusting winds and heavy rain. Had a look at the Metoffice weather app which promised the wind and rain would subside by lunch time. So decision made not to be sat in front of Netflix for another day. Stopped in the Bridge Inn and as I got to the bar they had the power cut. Luckily it was a planned outage and a 110 kVA generator was soon connected. Breakfast was acceptable.

Tony had a request to allow feeder fishing due to the wind. However, I thought it could be pegged negating this particularly as we only had 11 booked in. The near bank is supposed to be the best bank, however, I think you can get a good days fishing from any peg on this Lake (weather conditions permitting) difficult to predict where it would be won from. So with the wind neary in the West Tony pegged the far bank (under supervision) where everyone could pole fish.

Into the draw tub and out comes peg 3 which was permanent peg 24. Very happy with this because I had shelter from the trees plus the steady state wind was behind me. In a previous match I had 43 lb of Roach from this peg so set up the Ronnie rig and a 4x12 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus three. I thought about setting up the 4 metre whip but decided against - should have.

I started long on expander over micro and expected a Ronnie or Skimmer immediately. It wasn't long before I was playing my first fish - a Carp!! I had three more before I switched the line to GB and caster - more Carp. Only on small Ronnies from this line which I missed the net with. Time to try the Ronnie rig initially with caster and soon had two decent Ronnies in the net. Next fish another Carp. My thinking was that the loose fed caster was attracting them. So I fed some GB with a few Pinkies in and with single pinkie on the hook I started to catch Ronnies which when loose feeding Pinkie over the top got better and better. I only fed another four nubes of GB to help things on. However, the last one attracted the Carp and I had a bad period trying to lose Carp as fast as possible. I tried the long line again but the Carp were in waiting.The Roonie line had now settled and started to catch them again. However, there was an upside to the Carp coming in, they brought a few Skimmers with them. The last 45 minutes was difficult because the Carp returned. Throughout the match I hooked 11 landed 3 and pulled for break on the rest.

At last I've had a lovely days fishing and couldn't blame the wind for not catching. I weighed 25 lb 10 oz for halfway which show what a great fishery this is. The benefits of allowing nature to manage a fishery. 

Whilst pegging I mentioned to Tony how the Carp had so far been noticeable by their absence - be carefully what you say!!

The match was won by Mark "Scruff" Broomsgrove (pictured right with his excellent catch of Silvers) with 43 lb 8 oz from peg 8 - Permanent peg 32?. Mark caught on the whip with caster hookbait fished over GB laced with micro, chopped worm and caster and loose fed caster over the top. Mark fed about 1 1/2 pints of caster. Proper fishing.

It's a shame this is the last match for this year, back again next year.


1. Mark Broomsgrove 43 -08-0 peg 8
2. John Fuidge 39-06-0 peg 6
3. Steve Rolfe 38-02-0 peg 5

Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Thursday 07/03/2019 - Bathampton AA - Club Match - Sections Only - Bridge Pool

With Geoff working I was on my own today, so home cooking today - porridge. Arrived and had a look at the Pool and which still had a tinge of brown in it. The wind was fairly strong and was forecast to get stronger - and it did - gale force in fact. Only a few pegs out of the wind - 14, 21, 24 and 26. The pegs that would be most affected would be pegs 15, 18, 28,29 and 30 so hoping to miss these.

I was in the all-so-ran knockout final with Hughie Evans who had drawn peg 24. So I fancied his chances as the wind was not so bad on this peg.

Into the draw bag and out comes peg 28. There was a shout of redraw, due to not enough pegs in the bag, however, no drew necessary as it was sorted. This peg is probably one of the better Skimmers pegs, but today would be affected by the high winds. For company I had Enigma on peg 29. Peg 26 was occupied by Dave Wride.

I set up the waggler for the open water as a back-up to the 4x16 winter Titan. I had planned to try fishing expander over GB at top-set plus three. So started on this and had a great twenty minutes catching four Skimmers and an F1. Subsequently the peg completely died, which I suspects was due to a number of reasons, but primarily the wind had got up so bad I couldn't hold the pole rendering the presentation awful. I had a go on the waggler over the pole line which was a relief from fighting the wind with the pole. The presentation wasn't too bad either. I had four small fish on this. A gust of wind then took all my bait tubs and GB bowl over behind me. I did recover the GB bowl but could not find all my bait tubs!! It was now a question of picking up my bait from the ground! Throughout the day I spent quite some time collecting and fishing out various bits of fishing kit. I mixed up some more GB and switched to maggot at top-set plus two. As the wind was driving in at me from a 11 o'clock direction making things very difficult. I did hook my biggest Skimmer of about 2 lb on this line but it proved to be a question on losing my pole or the fish, no contest - pole safe. I had two small fish and one 10 oz Skimmer before the welcome all out was called.

My Silvers weighed 5 lb 5 oz with my total weight being 6 lb 5 oz. Second in the section Silvers but more important I beat Hughie by 2 oz. I'm getting tired of my matches being plagued by the wind. This is the fourth match that I've had to fight with the wind which has seriously affected my weights. Hope this changes soon - climate change. It was a seriously tough match fir me today.

The match was won by John Fry (pictured right) with 21 lb 6 oz from peg 8. John caught mostly Skimmers at top-set plus two slightly down wind to his left using expander hook bait over micro. well done to him.


A Section - 1 - Tony Rixon - 18-15-0 peg 3
A section - 2 - Dave Gillard - 4-06-0 peg 7

B Section - 1 - John Fry - 21-06-0 peg 8
B Section - 2 - Allan Oram 24-06-0 peg 11

C Section - 1 - Paul Barnfield 9-07-0 peg 16
C Section - 2 - Hughie Evans 14-11-0 peg 24

D Section - 1 - Steve Dawson 7-04-0 peg 29
D Section - 2 - Dave Wride 17-14-0 peg 26

Weigh Sheets: