Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Bank Holiday Monday - Shiplate Fishery - Pairs Match - Hawthornes and Westpool

Had an early night and woke early to finish sorting kit out to find a text from Glenn Bailey my partner for today's match. He confirmed the time and reminded my to not fish for the Silvers as it was to be a combined overall weight match. OK then. On the way down he said Ha, there might be a Silvers payout - Umm too late for me. Indeed the payout was for the top Silvers pair and top two overall pairs.

We would draw a peg and fish that numbered peg on both Canals. We could choose who fished which Canal, Glenn had on a few previous occasions hinted he wanted Hawthorns. So he had his way. Glenn asked what peg I wanted, silly really which pair wouldn't want peg 1. He comes back with peg 3. I was happy with this on Westpool because I could reach the far bank at 12.5 metres, plus I have fished it before. Experience is half the battle. For company I had Matt Shepherd on peg 1.

I set up two paste rigs (both shotted) one for top-set plus two at full depth out in front and the other for both margins. I also set up 13 metres where the margin rig was also suitable. However, the 13 metres was to be left sunbathing for the rest of the day.

Started by kindering some hard 4's with a lump of paste (more like a home made 16 mm expander). Signs of feeding fish within seconds. I had eight small Carp and five Skimmers before the swim faded. Two more before I had to either go large over or go marginal. I choose the latter. Loose feeding hard 4's down both sides. I could see Carp sneaking tight to the LH bank and waiting for some free offerings before swimming out for them. This lead to only one thing, foul hooking and I had my share. A differing approach needed. Luckily with two margins I could experiment. So (don't tell Genn) I had some DR's in the bag so put big pots of these in to the RH margin,and potted micro into the LH margin. Just after I did this Matt came down and asked if he was doing something wrong because he had lost 10 foul hooked Carp. I told him no because I was suffering just as badly. In with the past over the DR's and first try an 8 lb fish followed by another. Re-fed and tried the LH side which also worked, but still a few foulers. This form of pellet feeding really confused the Carp by their behaviour on the surface. Carp were still going past with their shoulders hard against the bank. The maggot swim gradually died whilst the micro margin got better, near the end I couldn't get in quick enough.

After the match I went and explained to Matt how I had fed to stop the foul hooking.

I weighed 112 lb 6 oz for third on Westpool. Got back to Glenn's peg and he had weighed 113 lb 4 oz which was top weight on Hawthorne's so we had a total of 225 lb 10 oz. Although Tom Thick had 170 lb his Dad who partnered him had struggled. So Glenn and me had won the day and a decent pick up - us pictured upper right.

The Silvers pairs went to the Wickhams Glynn and Nigel with a total of 37 lb 7 oz from pegs 12. Worn was sure to be involved on the hook at some time. However, it didn't end there for the Wickhams because young Mackenzie who partnered Grandad Ray won the top Junior Prize. Well done to them - pictured right.

If your not knackered after two days match fishing your not doing it right!!

A well thought out and run match especially the junior prize, We need more kids out fishing - half trm a great time to try it. I am taking my twin Granddaughters out this week.


1. Mike Nicholls + Glenn Bailey 225-10-0 pegs 3
2. Tom and Antony Thick 206-11-0 peg 9
3. Lewis Jones + Steve Howell 202-06-0 peg 11


1. Glyn and Nigel Wickham 37-07-0 peg 12

Sunday 26/05/2019 - Viaduct - Tony Rixon Float Only - Round One - Campbell and Carey

For a few years now I have had to miss one or three of these matches so good news my calender is telling me for once that I will be able to fish all of them this year - so far!!

First stop Cannards Well for Bela and me. Again a good breakfast. I had a quick look around the two Lake we were to fish and there were some Carp still spawning. I had decided that if I drew on Carey or pegs 112, 124,125 and 126 on Campbell  would fish for Silvers. However, if the Carp became a nuisance I would quickly switch to them.

So into the draw coffee tin and out comes peg 85 on Carey. Happy with this for Silvers as I have alway done reasonably well off it. For company I had the Happy Scaffolder - Ricky Mills on peg 86 and technical next to me Two Pots on peg 81. Couldn't help noticing how many Carp were in and around his peg. Hope he kept them there.

I set up two paste rigs - not used. Initially two Silver rigs - the faithful Ronnie rig and a 4x12 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus one. I had a bit of a surprise by how deep this peg had become. I think it may have been scoured out by the recent aerator installed on the end of the spit. So incase also set up a 4x14 to fish at two carbon tubes more. The wind was blowing debris into my peg mainly Willow Herb - bloody stuff so expected this to impact on the Ronnie rig. So simple caster and GB with some LR's incase.

Started short with the one ball of GB with some loose casters in the pot and started to loose feed casters over the top. I had a good start catching some decent Skimmers on the Ronnie rig with single caster on the hook and topping up if if faded. Whats was good no signs of a Carp whilst Two Pots was getting battered by them on paste with most ending up in his keep net - section winner already I thought. I then had a funny spell after losing a Flyer Skimmer I foul hooked four losing all of them - emotional, which I think was down to towing into them. So switched to the Titan over the same line and because I could hold against the tow (due to the aerator) I had a few 1 lb Skimmers. Once again the Roach still aren't feeding so couldn't top-up with them in between slow periods. The inside line had now died so went out longer with the same feed but with double caster and had a few more better Skimmers and foul hooked a small Carp which came off near the net, the nearest I came to touching a Carp today. With an hour to go the debris had been blown away and my bites slowed up adding only a couple of pound during this time. I tried a maggot on the hook, however, there has been an explosion of 1 oz Skimmers (good news) which would rag the maggot before it got to bottom, just too small to target at the moment.

My Silvers weighed in at 34 lb 14 oz for second in the Silvers. So mission accomplished. Plus I wasn't last in the section even though I fished for Silvers!

As I suspected the match was won by Glenn Bailey (pictured upper right with three of his Carp that weighed 51 lb) with 228 lb 14 oz from peg 81. Glenn caught out in front using paste over pellet feed on the listing lighthouse float method. Well done to him.

The Silvers was once again won by Ryan Shipp (pictured right with the match winner) with 37 lb 3 oz from Campbell peg 114. Ryan caught on corn or worm hook bait. I'm getting closer to him!

Nice day out and after a drink in Bar-Gar- Age with Bela I had to get my kit ready for next day's pairs match at Shiplate, so early to bed for me.


Weigh Sheets:

Friday, 24 May 2019

Thursday 23/05/2019 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Another nice breakfast with Geoff at Hungry Horaces. We arrived in plenty of time for a walk around Bridge Pool. Plenty of colour but was flat calm and bright so was expecting a hard day. I wasn't wrong. I fancied pegs 18, 21 and 24 today (Tony Rixon did ask which I fancied but for now obvious reason I didn't tell him), Stood on peg 21 which Geoff has drawn a few times and said he didn't fancy it because he hasn't caught over to the far island as of yet.

Numbers down to 16 again due to holidays. I left it late again with three pegs left 18, 24 and peg 1. So two of my fancied in there but I pull peg 1. No emotion because fishing this peg means I have now match fished every peg on Bridge Pool at least once. Geoff had drawn peg 21 (you can't write this stuff). His reaction was captured on camera pictured right.

Arrived at the peg to find I would be looking at Tony Rixon all day. I watched him standing on his peg wondering where his island was! He will have to fish like the rest of us today. Nonetheless he still set-up 16 metres - why - because he can. However, it was soon to be reduced when his 13 metre section broke in half!! He was then reduced to mumbling about peg 15 not being in!!

Peg 1 had plenty of end margin to have a go at. However, there wasn't any sign of Carp along the end. I did set up two margin rigs - a 0.2 gram paste rig and and a 4x10 Yoof to fish maggot both to fish in three different locations. I set up two Silvers rigs - The Ronnie and a 4x16 Winter Titan to fish at top-set plus three. The latter to fish 4mm expander over micro and the Ronnie maggot over GB. I fed the near margin paste line with hard 4's which I would keep handing feeding, some micro on the long line a a ball of GB on the Ronnie line. I started on the expander and got indications straight away from an F1 up in the water. However, first fish was a 2 oz fin perfect Skimmer. Unfortunately the were ragging the expander on the drop which was frustrating after a couple more of these and the F1 I was thinking the bigger fish wouldn't get a look in, so switched to the Ronnie rig with single maggot. This proved better as I had a couple of better Skimmers and a run of the newbie small Tench. After an hour the tiny Perch paid a visit. I didn't mind catching them as everyone was struggling - some bites. Time to try the margin and had one F1 in every one of the three locations I fished - one on double maggot - losing one in the reeds - two on paste losing two on the aerator. No sign of the bigger Carp until two went pass which I swung the double maggot rig at and to my surprised the lead fish took the bait but my strike wasn't right so just pricked it!

My Silvers weighed 12 lb 7 oz fro third in the Silvers with my four F1's the total was 16 lb 7 oz for 5th overall.

The match was won by Geoff Francis (yep) (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 57 lb 11 oz from peg 21. Geoff caught most of his fish on banded 8 mm pellet plus a few on paste at 13 metres over to the island. Later he put the paste in his margin to add one and one small Carp.

The Silvers was won by Paul Barnfield (pictured right with his catch of Skimmers) with 21 lb 3 oz from peg 6. Paul caught mainly on chopped worm feed with worm on the hook. He did add a few on corn.

Well done to both on such a hard day.

It was back to the pub with the most of the usual suspects. Someone did comment how much quieter it was without "Cliff". I personally didn't find it that quiet.


1. Geoff Francis 57-11-0 peg 21
2. Paul Barnfield 45-12-0 peg 6
3. Paul Haines 40-08-0 peg 14


1. Paul Barnfield 21-03-0 peg 6
2. Ken Morgan 15-05-0 peg 24
3. Mike Nicholls 12-07-0 peg 1

Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Saturday 18/05/2019 - Terry Bruton Memorial Match - Todber Manor

Glenn and me booked into this match some weeks ago as we didn't want to miss Terry's match. When I first heard about this match I could see Terry giving me that long lasting wink when he did well in a match - which was often. The wink always lasted that bit longer when he beat me in the silvers which wasn't as often.

Great that the match was a sell out, but can't understand how an angler can expect to fish two matches on the same day?

Glenn and I stopped at Greggs for a bacon and omelette baguette, very nice.

I must say there was a strong field of Silvers Angler as well as the usual Carp Slayers. I think Terry would have classed himself as one of the latter.

Late into the draw box and out came peg 38 on Hillview. On signing the weigh sheet I found myself next to Glenn who was occupying peg 39 making this 12 hours sat next to him! No emotion just glad there was some ripple. I planned to fish for Silvers so set up the Ronnie rig, a 4 x 14 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus two and a light waggler. I did make up a paste float that didn't get used and a 4x10 Yoof to fish in 18 inches of water down the edge.

Recently I have been travelling with Martin Rayet and the McMahons and perhaps should have today - Martyn Mac peg 90, Joe Mac peg 49 and Martin R on peg 48 arguably the best three pegs on the venue?

Once set-up I noticed something strange opposite in the reeds so took a picture - googled it - apparently it was a "White Headed Meat Dipper". Not be be confused with the three Great Crested Grebes on Hillview.

I started on the Ronnie rig with caster over GB and caster and had a good 45 minutes catching a menagerie of fish, mostly small Skimmers. I did foul hook a "Big Black" which came off. I had been loose feeding casters and wondered if I brought the fish up so shallowed up and hooked a Carp, then another! So switched to the Titan this time maggot in GB and single on the hook and caught some Perch and Tench - umm. I had about 15 lb in the Silvers net and was really struggling. Unfortunately the Roach still haven't started to feed after spawning. So time to have a days fishing on the waggler with single caster over loose fed same. Although the wind was strong at times in was in my face so presentation was good. It wasn't long before I had a Carp not what I was hoping for. I did have a couple of the newbie Skimmers then a run of numerous small Carp which I gave up on due to fatigued arms. So spent the rest of the match in the margin on the Roob with double maggot over GB and maggot. A few small Rudd and more Carp - lost two lumps trying to rush them.

My few Silvers weighed 17 lb 10 oz with my total weight 80 lb 4 oz for nowhere.

The match was won by Steve Hutter (pictured upper right) with 193 lb 4 oz from peg 60. Steve caught initially on the Method then short and finally in his margins all caught on pellet.

The Silvers was won once again by Ryan Shipp (pictured right) with 66 + lb (went over the net limit) from peg 42. Ryan fished 18 inches deep at 10 metre using caster over caster. Ryan fed 7 pints of caster (I'm not feeding enough). Well done to him a great weight.

I often got a phone call on Monday nights from Terry for him to tell me how well he or son Dave had done. So I wondered what he would say this Monday - "My Dave (Terry always referred to Dave as "My Dave") did well from a poor peg nearly beating each side" RIP Matey miss you.

Thanks to son Dave for running the match which is to be an annual event. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

The quality of this fishery speaks for itself in the results:

Result: (very close frame - best not go over in net - Nick Ewers)

1. Steve Hutter 193-04-0 peg 60
2. Joe McMahon 176-12-0 peg 49
3. Martin Rayet 164-12-0 peg 48
4. Steve Trevett 163-10-0 peg 79
5. Ashley Tompkins 162-04-0 peg 45
6. Des Shipp 161-08-0 peg 70


1. Ryan Shipp 66-0-0 peg 42
2. Mark Harper 43-04-0 peg 64
3. Nick Collins 43-03-0 peg 63
4. P Barnard 40-06-0 peg 87

Weigh Sheets:

Friday, 17 May 2019

Thursday 16/05/2019 - Viaduct Thursday Costcutter - Carey and Lodge Lakes

I had originally booked into Shiplate with Glenn on the reserve list. However, as was expected from this popular venue a space didn't come available. Glenn preference was Viaduct so I cancelled my place at Shiplate before checking Viaduct had spaces - they didn't! so booked into Windmill. However, a late phone call from Steve Long found us two spaces. So cancelled Windmill! I was happy with any of these venues. However, looking forward to Viaduct and seeing the Long family again especially now the 200 -300 lb weights at Viaduct have subsided.

Glenn usually turns out immaculately, but today it looked like he had slept outside Veals all night. His excuse was there was no mirrors in his van sun visors. I spoke to his Wife who promised to look into it! First stop for us Cannards Well for breakfast which has drastically improved, really enjoyed it.

Although I had my usual baits for Carp the mission was to try and qualify for the Silvers final. So having caught up with the Thursday regulars which left me last but one to draw and pulls the peg that only needs a picture. I have noticed that some Skimmers have been caught at this end of the lake over the last year, so happy with this until I got to my peg and could see plenty of evidence of feeding Carp. I called Glenn and asked him the best way to avoid them - he's good at this! For company opposite on peg 66 was John Darby who was to have a torrid time during the first half of the match fighting Carp, Trees and Bushes.

On my peg you have to set up a couple of incase Carp rigs - which was paste and meat which luckily didn't get wet. Two Silvers rigs a 4x12 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus one and the Ronnies rig - both to fish out in front. I started on the Ronnie rig with single caster over GB laced with caster and was amazed not to get a Ronne first try - still not feeding properly then. Over the next 30 minutes I had a torrid time losing foul hooked Skimmers and one decent Hybrid - at least 8 to 10 lb of them which left very little in the keep net. I kept feeding the GB with caster and tried loose feeding which brought loads of bites which I could not connect with at first I thought it was Motherless, but found the culprits to be 1 oz Skimmers - last years fish I think - good sign. It was obvious the Lake was fishing hard. Half time with about 8 lb in the net I went for a banana walk around to Glenn on peg 87 who confirmed Carey was also fishing hard he had just two Carp and a couple of accidental Skimmers. So back in the saddle and changed to feeding dry GB but still the caster. This improved my catch rate mainly catching on the drop. The Skimmers wouldn't settled to bottom. I switched between my two Silvers rigs keeping the odd Ronnie and Skimmers coming, it was hard to understand the feeding as I would catch in spasms. The last half hour was poor as the Carp started to respond to the loose fed caster I only foul hooked one which bent the hook once I quickly bottomed out the elastic.

When the scales arrived 23 lb was winning the Silvers and knew I had more weighing 26 lb 6 oz for a Silvers win and through to the al winners - mission completed.

The match was won by the effervescent Roy Worth (pictured upper right with some of his catch) with 129 lb 5 oz from Carey peg 94. Roy caught fishing over to peg 93 on the lead using 4 or 6 mm banded pellet over loose fed 4's (Silvers and match winners - Badger and Fox pictured right).

Glenn sneaked in 5th and last in the pools, so van double bubble. Another memorable day at Viaduct with friends.

Off to Todber Saturday for mate Terry Bruton's Memorial match and Thursday Hunstrete Over 55's . Then Sunday back down Viaduct for the first of Rixon's Float Only.


1. Roy Worth 129-05-0 peg 94
2. Steve Chant 107-05-0 peg 78
3. Nigel Easton 92-0-0 peg 100
4. C Hyton 76-05-0 peg 53
5. Glenn Bailey 72-14-0 peg 87


1. Mike Nicholls 26-06-0 peg 64
2. Pete 23-07-0 peg 105
3. Andy Cranston 22-01-0 peg 69

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 13 May 2019

Sunday 12/05/2019 - Tony Rixon's Short Pole - Round Two - Todber Manor - Ash and Homeground

Traveled with Glenn Bailey today aka Two Pots. We stopped in the Riverside Cafe, which wouldn't get a very high ranking on the Rixon scale.

Really looking forward to the match. I came armed with all baits for both Carp and Silvers, where I drew would determine what I used. I didn't mind where I drew but my hopes were lifted when Tony told me that with only two pegs left in the box, one was peg 90. I tried to get Dean Malin to draw one but he was a bit more forceful than me and made me draw. Yep, two matches now the peg I wanted left behind! However, peg 77 was OK.

For company I had Martyn McMahon on corner peg 76 and Martin Rayet on peg 78. From the three days I spent down here last weekend my assessment was everyone would have a low 100 lb with pegs 90 and 89 probably topping the weights.

Tim Ford had got me off to a good start in the league with a 2nd, however, it did mean I was out of the knockout through my nonattendance. So section win would be good. So I set up a Yoof for the meat and a paste rig. The plan was to start on paste at top-set in 3 1/2 foot of water over loose fed hard 4's. This is a good indicator if the Carp are around. Second try I foul hooked a Carp then next put in had a 3 lb Carp. I then had two Skimmers followed by small fish attacking the paste. It was soon apparent that it would be difficult to win the section as the two end pegs and Martin Rayet were catching well. So with a few Skimmers about I got up and set up three Silver rigs - the Ronnie, 4 metre whip and a 4x14 Winter Titan to fish top set plus one just up the inside shelf. I wasted sometime doing this and should have set these up before hand.

The wind here is strange as it keeps changing direction sometimes through 180 degrees. I think this is why peg 90 fishes so well as it has some wind irrespective of direction.

Started on the Ronnie rig with single caster over hand fed caster and started to catch Perch, Ronnies and the odd 4 oz Skimmer. Happy with this as the catch rate was reasonable. However, the wind changed and with sun now out the Ronnies disappeared. So I fed the caster in GB  which brought the usual small Tench and Skimmers. I realised I had made the right choice fishing for the Silvers because I wasn't pestered by Carp. The swim slowed so  I switched to DR's in the GB with double DR on the hook which vastly improved the Skimmer catch rate with the odd 2 lb fish. At around Carp o'clock a shoal of small Carp arrived and had ten small ones over a 15 minutes period, four breaking my hook length. I was about to fish for them with meat when I had another Skimmer. The shoal had moved on  probably after munching my GB. I stayed on this to the end. I was disappointed the Ronnies really didn't feed as well as normal which reduced my anticipated weight. That said I had a lovely days fishing.

My Silvers weighed 39 lb 8 oz and my few Carp 23 lb 12 oz for a total of 63 lb 4 oz for second in Silvers pick-up.

As I expected Deam Malin (pictured right with an ethnic Carp) won the match with 180 lb 14 oz from peg 90. Dean went 16 lb over one net, as he does to wind up Tony methinks! Dean caught initially at top-set plus two then later in his margin in the top-set all fished with banded 6's fished over loose fed hard 4's.

The Silvers was once again won by Ryan Shipp (pictured right with the Silvers runner up) with a massive 60 lb 14 oz. Ryan caught initially at top-set plus 3 (max distance allowed) fishing caster shallow. He later switched to his margin catching the big Bream on corn over corn. Ryan is certainly difficult to beat on the Silvers at this venue.

Have to say a well done to Podge for his third position today especially as he put Tony Rixon out of the knockout. Tony only one person had a bye and that was Two Pots!!

Finally spare a thought for Joe McMahon the recent Todber Manor festival winner who today came last but two. Hero to Zero!

Off to Shiplate Farm on Thursday and supporting Terry bruton memorial match at Todber on Saturday, expecting a good turnout for this angling legend.


1. Dean  Malin 180-14-0 peg 90 (HG)
2. Martin Rayet 142-06-0 peg 79 (HG)
3. Mark Jefferies 129-06-0 peg 89 (HG)


1. Ryan Shipp 60-14-0 peg 70 (Ash)
2. Mike Nicholls 39-08-0 peg 77 (HG)

Weigh Sheets:

Friday, 10 May 2019

Thursday 09/05/2019 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's - Bridge Pool

Geoff not fishing today due to working in London, which he hates in spades. However, I think he made the right choice weather wise, it was horrendous. Rain on and off all day and very high winds (he hates wind just as much as me). Some of the rain was very heavy at times.

With all the organisers and gophers away on holiday Tony Rixon stepped in as acting match organiser. However, we didn't expect him bring his "Pop -Up" Gay Bar - pictured right. What was worrying he kept dropping £20 notes!! Pete Taylor his first customer but would only enter with hands in trouser pockets!

A comment overheard in the bar "All the 17 metre to the island pegs will be in today" - not quite.

Only 14 fishing today - some must have heard about the Pop-Up. Low numbers does make it difficult to peg. Having had a walk around the Pool I noticed that it was less coloured at the bottom end so fancied peg 18 and nearly got it. Only two left in the bag when I drew 18 and 31. Bugger peg 31 it was to be. I hate it this far down as it's in between Silver and Carp pegs, I rather be right down the bottom than here. For company I had no one as I had two empty pegs to my right and three to my left - a good area then. Opposite I could shout across to Enigma on peg 4.

I cant remember when a Carp came from this peg but set up a margin rig for them anyway. I set up the waggler which I found impossible to fish over to the island due to the horrid wind. Come to think of it I can't remember when I fished here without there being wind! I set up a 4x14 Winter Titan or the Skimmers to fish at top-set plus two.

I started on the Titan with expander over micro expecting a quick response, this didn't happen. It took 15 minutes to get my first Skimmer. I soon had three more so not a bad start. We then had a very heavy downpour. After which I couldn't catch. So switched to feeding micro in some GB which worked to some extent. This also got the F1's Fizzing up above the GB and I think was deterring the Skimmers. I set up a 4x12 rig set to 3 foot and had a couple of small Ronnies and one decent Skimmer and an F1. The wind was killing the presentation. With Enigma catching Skimmers regularly in the relative calm of peg 4 I needed to catch some Carp so spent 2 hours trying various baits. With the Roach not feeding my first choice was maggot. This produced a Bumble Bee every put in. So fed them off and had one Skimmer and one foul hooked lump which broke me. Last hour decided to feed the Titan line heavy (for me) and thought I was going to have a good last hour after catching a Tench and another decent Skimmer. Alas not even though I fed a lot of bait I had one more Skimmer and some Bumble Bee's. I was bloody freezing by the end and was glad to hear the all out.

My Silvers weighed 15 lb 9 oz and the 1 lb F1 taking me to 16 lb 9 oz.

The match was won again my Tony Rixon with 94 lb 5 oz from peg 15. Tony caught long to the island on hard 8 mm pellets - see his blog for details.

The Silvers was won by Paul Barnfield (pictured right with his great net of Skimmers) with 31 lb 4 oz from peg 27. Paul caught on red maggot over micro and maggot all potted. Paul caught most of his fish in the first 4 hours. He said he only fed 2 pints of micro and 2 pints of maggot - ONLY! I must be seriously under feeding.

It was back to the pub with a reduced numbers up suspects. We were hoping the log fire would lite - not.


1. Tony Rixon 94-05-0 peg 15
2. Dave Wride 72-0-0 peg 9
3. Paul Barnfield 38-10-0 peg 27


1. Paul Barnfield 31-04-0 Peg 27
2. Steve Dawson 24-0-0 peg 4
3. Mike Jones 18-06-0 peg 18

Soggy Weigh Sheets:

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Saturday 04/Sunday 05/Monday 06/05/2019 - Todber Manor Three Dayer - White Post, Hillview, Ash and Homeground

Really Looking forward to this three Dayer even with a very competitive field of anglers with the method playing a large part every match, which is something I don't do. When your fishing these matches it's impossible to catch all the overall winners, so I only noted on sections I drew in.

Martin Rayet, Martyn McMahon, Joe McMahon and me decided to stay rather than travel so booked in local at Stour Cross Farm. Excellent accommodation. I travelled with Joe McMahon. first thing was breakfast at the Riverside Cafe which is just around the corner from Todber on the A30. Martin thought the breakfast was good but I had a differing view, but it Hobson's choice. Apparently new management on the way. However they were kind enough to open especially for us at 8 every morning.

Day One:

Seventy two anglers fishing. First day it's an open draw. The talk was you wanted White Post first as the fishing rapidly declines. Into the draw bag and out comes peg 45 on Hillview. This meant we would be on White Post last. However, I was happy with the peg especially as there was a really cold Northerly blowing which meant I would have it off my left shoulder. It's common knowledge that the fish at this venue follow the wind, so expected the fishing to be harder than normal but would hopefully be improved by better presentation. For company in corner peg 44 I had Lee Woodhouse, always good company and a very experienced angler. I set up the waggler which although I could feed miles the wind was producing a very strong tow. So really only had a couple of casts. Next was a 4x14 F1 Winter to fish at top-set plus two down the shelf and a 0.3 gram paste float to optimistically fish on the top-set. I started on the long line with initially 4 mm expander over a mix of 4's and micro. I had a couple of small Carp but was getting bitted out by Tench etc...so switched to corn which improved the length of time in the water so caught a few more small Carp. Most anglers in the section were struggling except Mark Wynne on spit end peg 48 who was catching well on the Method. To Lee's amazement half way through I decided to try the paste on the top-set over hard 4's which I had been carefully loose feeding since the start and also to my amazement I had a Carp first try. I stayed on this to the end catching the odd better fish but the peg never really came good near the end as expected. I weighed 65 lb 2 oz for 9 points.

The section was won by Mark Wynne (pictured right) with 169 lb 6 oz from peg 48. Mark caught around 100 + lb on the Method using maggot in GB with maggot on the hook. And the same baits down his RH margin.

My choice of peg today would have been peg 43 which had the wind on the side and was just in the ripple.

I like my Silver fishing so had to photograph any decent Bream as the one pictured upper right.

Back to the Farm then off for a few pints and some food at the Stapleton Arms. Very poor service and food below average. But we did have some fun trying to get a taxi back, luckily a Gurkha came to the rescue. Both Joe and Martin did well picking up superpools money and more importantly good section points.

Section weigh sheet - Day One:

Day Two:

This morning with Joe still in bed we couldn't get out the door because Joe nominated himself chief of security and had the door key under his pillow!

Rotation now set so will be on either Ash or Homeground. Into the draw tub and out came peg 76. I believe Eddie Green won the match the day before with over 200 lb who also won the biggest fish a Common Carp weighing 20 lb 9 oz on Hillview. So hopefully some fish around still I hoped. The wind had subsided and swinging  round to the North West so not so cold but we did have a frost at the Farm.

I have been influenced by the meat heads they cut me a tin so I set up a 4x10 Yoof for the margin both at three section towards the corner and short on the top-set. Also the paste rig was duly set-up and the 4x14 F1 to fish at three sections I started on this line with meat over kindered meat and had a couple of Carp but with most soft baits fished on bottom long you get pestered by Silvers. So this line was abandoned in favour of the long margin meat line which did produce some Carp but only when the wind blew into it otherwise I was foul hooking!! Long line now abandoned in favour of the paste rig which again caught a few Carp but foul hooking was prevalent. I fished the last couple of hours on the top-set with meat in 18 inches of water with a similar pattern of catching when there was ripple and foul hooking when not. I weighed 115 lb 12 oz for  7 section points. however it was a very fair and tight section a couple of more Carp would have made a big difference.

My choice of peg would have been peg 90 because I've always wanted to fish it, which was occupied by my chancey pairs partner Andy Shanks. A new friend isn't that what angling also about. We finished in 18 place with 367 lb.

The section was won by Senior England International Mark Harper with 141 lb 3 oz from peg 86 and was a very close call with Mark Poppleton on next peg just 13 oz separating them. mark had a quick 25 lb on the Method then switched to the pole with meat.

It was Lee Woodhouse's turn to catch a big Bream (pictured right). This was one of a 30 lb catch of them.

Once again Martin and Joe did well with more pools money and great section points.

I have learnt Joe is a very friendly lad he stops by any angler willing to talk to him which left the remaining three of us waiting for him to either get to his peg or get back - typically pictured right.

Back to the Farm then off to the Kings Arm for a carvery where we met up with Mark Taylor, Joker Chris Shipp and the rest of the Shipp family. Very popular place, the food was reasonable but nowhere near the Special One's.

Unfortunately today Dan White found himself pegged between pensioners Mark Taylor and Martyn McMahon on Hillview.

Section Weigh Sheet - Day Two:

Day 3:

My turn on White Post and top Lake peg 15 for me. Des Shipp had it the day before and weighed 100 lb. I had a chat with him and he said he wouldn't want it today. I asked about using the waggler but as I found out his advice was correct with the fluff on the water hindering its use. Martin the day before had caught on maggot over loose fed maggot from peg 10. - very few small Silvers in White Post Lakes so maggot a good choice. Joe had drawn peg 88 on Homeground but first had to drop me off. Joe is such a well mannered lad he not only dropped me off but carried my tackle to my peg then cut me some meat cutting his hand in the process. Now with Joe needing a section win to win the three dayer I was worried he wouldn't get tackled up in time. Apparently when he arrived at his peg everyone was tackled up. However, in Joe's calm and collected manner tackled up and won his section - no stress from this lad.

For company I had Freddy Robert on end peg 13 but not for long as he buggered off early. I'm not sure why because Fred was doing as good as anyone in the section at the time.

I couldn't help myself and set the waggler rod up to fish maggot over to the far side which was about 22 metres away. Des was right after one Rudd and 5 casts the rod rings were full of fluff which was very difficult to unpick. The upshot was I fished the one rig a 4x12 F1 Winter initially at top-set plus 3 sections with 4 mm expander on the hooked fished over kindered micro which resulted in catching the strangely scaled Carrasio's regularly for three hours I then switched the same rig to top-set plus two sections round to 2 o'clock where I had been priming it with LR's. It was instant a Bream first put in. I then mixed up some GB and started to pot this and I was resulted in catching Carp to 4 lb regularly but never manic. So I nice steady match same rig all match except I had to got up to 0.16 hook length because the Carp would accelerate off as soon as they felt the hook travelling 20 metres in one second!! very fit "non-domesticated" Carp.

I finished with 35 lb of Carrasio's and 39 lb of Carp including one Rudd and one Bream for a section winning 74 lb. This venue suited me today as the Method and the pellet long Carp Slaying didn't work - needed some finesse.

Section Weigh Sheet - Day Three:

Our group did well with Joe winning overall and picking up over the three days £2,250 with 4 points. He also won the chancey pairs with Calum Craig. Martin Rayet came fourth with 6 points and I won the over 65's with 17 points. So a happy bunch travelling home.

For the overall results see the Todber FB page being published Wednesday.

A great 3 days to remember. Thanks lads and especially Joe for his help to the aged and of course John Candy and his humour.

Winner photos: