Monday, 30 September 2019

Sunday 29/09/2019 - Winmill Open - Match Lake

Weather forecast wasn't good for this match with rain on and off all day with the winds picking up second half. But glad I went as it's very rare to be as bad as predicted.

Arrived early to heavy rain so no walkies today. Brad introduced us to his new lethal weapon Mia (named after the character in Pulp Fiction - pictured right - Brads on the right) an American Bulldog. Brad wanted a guard dog to help dissuade poachers and thieves. Apparently Mia hates men a rescue dog abused by his previous male owner. Good luck to any Poachers hope you can run 100 metres in 5 seconds otherwise it's hospital time. It was suggested that he wear a muzzle during matches, however, Brad said he would have difficulty in talking!!

I don't like drawing the same pegs however, I wanted to draw peg 1 again only because I had some unfinished business. Last but one into the draw bag and out comes disc 24. Happy with this one as I would have shelter from the wind and rain and holds plenty of Silvers and Carp - if you can catch them. This peg is the deepest on the Lake at 10 foot. The usual plan to fish the first half of the match for Silvers and the second for Carp. As the wind wasn't too bad I set up the Ronnie rig set to 5 foot up the shelf and a 0.3 gram paste float to fish the margins. The RH side was cear of Sedges the LH however, was dense with them. So took the easy option going for the RH. I started by feeding the margin with micro then the Ronnie line with GB laced with LR's. With single LR on the hook started to catch small Skimmers to 4 oz until I hooked my first Carp which broke me. Re-fed and tried the paste - no indications. So back on the Ronnie rig and similarly after a few more Skimmers I hooked another Carp which eventually I landed. And that was the pattern catch a few Skimmers then a Carp. I did hook one Carp which initially I thought was a big Skimmer as it was coming up in the water only to see a flying 10 lb Mirror crash down on my rig - bye-bye to that one then. I kept trying the margin and started to worry I should have fished maggott instead of paste as I couldn't get any indications. The wind had now picked up making presentation difficult on the Ronnie rig so I made the decision to switch to the dangerous side on the Left with paste and started to catch some decent Carp. There was some foul hooking as the bites were really strange to determine today as to which ones were in the mouth and those not. I did lose one of the small Carp in the sedges complete with rig so changed from the Middy bungee blue to the Drennan 25 elastic, not for the faint hearted. I did lose some more Carp due to pulling too hard. I think on the whole I managed to spend equal time fishing for Carp and Silvers although not consecutively.

My Silvers weighed 12 lb 2 oz for second in the Silvers and my 18 Carp 96 lb for third in the match total of 108 lb 2 oz. Happy with this. They say there are no fish at this end - wrong we just can't catch them.

The match was won by Ryan Shipp (pictured right with the Silvers winner) with 225 lb 5 oz from unfancied peg 8. Ryan initially caught at 14.5 metres then came in close down his peg at 5 metres to catch some better Carp on 6 mm banded pellet over 6 mm feed. Great weight on the day and stopped Dave Willmott from winning the Golden peg.
The Silvers was won once again by match organiser Dave Haines with 14 lb 6 oz from peg 14. Dave fish caster and maggot over a small amount of GB and loose fed caster.

1. Ryan Shipp 225-05-0 peg 8
2. Dave Willmott 154-03-0 peg 16 Golden Peg
3. Mike Nicholls 108-02-0 peg 24


1. Dave Haines 14-06-0 peg 14
2. Mike Nicholls 12-02-0 peg 24

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 27 September 2019

Thursday 26/09/2019 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Short Walks

Geoffs back so Hungry Horace for breakfast, which was particularly delicious. Geoff and I arrived in time for a walk around the Pool. The water looked clearer than last match with only signs of fish at the far end. I didn't expect it to fish well.

Tony Rixon told me he wouldn't be fishing Bridge Pool anymore because of brambles on peg 14 and poor maintenance. Well on my walk around a boat had been placed behind peg 14, but as expected no Tony with a couple of whores. What we need to bear in mind is that Bathampton is not a commercial fishery run by professional fishery owners, but run by its members, which you need to be to fish these matches, so it's up to the members to swim clear. Insidently one has been arranged for  5 th October at 07:30.

Matey Dave Gillard is currently undergoing test at hospital and with the other organiser away Steve Dawson ran the match with my assistance. On hindsight I don't think we got the pegging right leaving pegs 20, 19 and 18 out - one of these should have been used. However, we left Hard Hat peg 26 out replacing it with peg 25 which did fish reasonably well -  coming third. I was on peg recording duty so was left with the last peg in the bag. Peg 30, the same peg I won from last match, so was a little disappointed as I prefer to fish a variant of pegs.

Arrived at the peg and found myself next to the affable Ray  Bazeley on peg 29. The wind which was expected to increase was blowing in all directions but mainly into me at 11 o'clock. Same rigs and approach as last time so a bit boring. I fed all the lines and started on the Ronnie rig with single caster over GB with a few casters inserted. I started to get indications but no fish, which I put down to small Perch. I switched to single maggot and had a few Perch, Skimmers and Ronnie's. None of them bigger than 4 oz. Tried the long Skimmer line with worm over worm and caster and got pestered by small Perch, no signs of Skimmers. Back on the Ronnie line and had three better Skimmers and some more Perch and Ronnies. After an hour the swim appeared to fade, so thought I would have an early quick look on the paste line down the margin and had a Carp first try. So that was it, all the Silver rigs were retired. I had a good two hours catch decent Carp to 10 lb. The wind picked up which caused some foul hooking by dragging the rig back towards me and into the bank. The peg gradually faded but there were signs in the last 15 minutes that they had come back in numbers.

I finished the match with 5 lb  4 oz of Silvers and 119 lb 13 oz of Carp for a match winning total of 125 lb 1 oz. My biggest Carp went just over 10 lb. For some reason the Carp were really hard fighting today.

The Silvers was won by Paul Barnfield (pictured right with the match winner) with 16 lb 8 oz from peg 15. Paul caught on either maggot or worm over micro.

It was back to the pub with the usual suspects. A good laugh was had by all.


1. Mike Nicholls 125-01-0 peg 30
2. Paul Haines 54-02-0 peg 28
3. Gary Junior Bowden 29-08-0 peg 25


1. Paul Barnfield 16-08-0 peg 15
2. Steve Dawson 15-02-0 peg 27
3. Chris Ollis 14-0-0 peg 10

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 23 September 2019

Sunday 22/09/2019 - Windmill Open - Match Lake

Back from four days in sunny Cornwall on a walking holiday with the Special One, covering the seven bays. Absolutely beautiful scenery. My legs were a bit stiff so a day sitting on the Lake side was just right today. Some heavy showers today so with very little wind I would be able to sit under the umbrella.

Dave Haines drew the two golden pegs - peg 8 and would you believe it peg 14 again. I was hoping for peg 20. Peg 14 went to matey Glen Bailey so expected another Golden payout. My day would be spent on peg 1, which I haven't fished for some time. Certainly the Sedges weren't so overgrown. The only person I could see was Junior on opposite peg 23, who seemed to be eating pasties for most of the day! I could hear Dave Willmott huffing and puffing on peg 3 whilst fighting the reeds on the island.

Simple plan which I now wish I stuck to. First half fish for Silvers with the Ronnie rig with LR's over GB laced with LR's and Carp the second half with paste down the RH edge. I was hoping to get close in as possible to the bank but whilst plumbing up I kept catching the underwater Sedges so was forced out deeper than I would have liked. I fed the two lines and caught small Skimmers and Ronnie's regularly until I foul hooked two Carp which disrupted the peg for a while. By leaving the feeding alone I got the Silvers back. After 90 minutes and with 5 lb 4 oz of Silvers I saw signs of Carp in the margin and made my first mistake in being tempted away from the Silvers by switching to the paste catching a small Carp first try. There were plenty of Carp about so decided to stick with it but I was landing one for every two foul hooked which was very frustrating. The foul hooking directly due to the depth I was forced to fish. With an hour to go I gave up on the right side and plumbed up the left hand side finding a clear spot in the ideal depth so fed that which lead me to hooking the Carp properly. So second mistake was being too lazy to have a proper plumb around.

I finished with 5 lb 4 oz of Silvers which was only 1 lb out of a pick up - first mistake. The second mistake probably cost me third overall as the peg was certainly worth at least twice my weight of 42 lb 1 oz of Carp for  total of 47 lb 5 oz. Lessons learnt - doubt it at my age!

The rain stopped midday and all my gear had dried and ten minutes before the all out it hammered down and I got soaked - bugger.

As I predicted Glenn Bailey (pictured right) won the match with 94 lb 7 oz from Golden Peg 14. Glenn got his 14 metre section stuck which meant fishing down the edge difficult so he switched to fishing over to the island using his favourite paste attack. Well done matey.

The Silvers was won by Dave Haines (pictured right with a similar stamp of fish I was catching) with 8 lb 9 oz from peg 19. Dave caught on caster over loose fed caster.

The top three weights came from the three far end pegs. I think this is because the water is shallower making the fish more catchable. although the results don't reflect this I'm sure there is as many Carp at the near end.


1. Glenn Bailey 94-07-0 peg 14
2. Ray Bazeley 79-04-0 peg 12
3. Steve Venn 78-02-0 peg 10


1. Dave Haines 8-09-0 peg 19
2. Dave Willmott 6-04-0 peg 3

Weigh Sheet:

Monday, 16 September 2019

Sunday - 15/09/2019 - Windmill Open - Match Lake

Arrived early and had a walk around - what a beautiful autumn day. There was a light breeze blowing to the far end, however, there was very few signs of feeding fish anywhere. It was going to be a hard match especially as the sun was promised to be out for most of the day.  I had a look on the notice board to see the latest news - no news is no news - pictured right.

A good turn out with a very welcome contingent from Swindon taking us to a full house. If you are planning to come next Sunday make sure you book in with Dave Haines.

Dave drew three golden pegs - 2, 6 and 14 again. I was hoping to avoid the curse of the golden peg. Peg 20 would have been my choice. Alas not into the draw bag and out comes peg 14 again! There must have been a conspiracy as Dave Willmott shout out that his magic trick had worked again, I then heard lots of anglers shout look out - too late someone eager to get to another golden peg reversed into me, luckily he hit me on the back leg muscle rather than bone. I was sore for a while but soon recovered once I got down the steep bank and started fishing. Dave Willmott had drawn next to me on peg 15, could have done without him there. Whilst placing the kit I found a dead line hidden in the bushes. God help anyone found doing this this - quite rightly Brad was very upset about it.

I decided to fish the same two paste lines as previous matches. However, bearing in mind that I had 13 lb of accidental Skimmers here last match I added a 4x12 Winter Titan for a silvers line to start on whilst the Carp settled over my feed, which was a pot of micro on the top-set line and a ball of GB on the top-set plus four down the margin towards the sedges. I started on CW and C at full depth at top-set plus two. With a big worm on the hook I was soon playing a 3 lb Mirror Carp! Not what I was expecting but welcome all the same. I then started to get bites from tiny Perch it was very noticeable that the Ronnie's weren't feeding. I soon abandoned this as I could see Carp swirling over the GB. So  went long with the paste and had a couple of small Carp but I was getting lots of liners and a few foulers. Was this the effects of the GB? As last time I kept trying the short paste line which seemed devoid of fish. Everyone appeared to be struggling and with lots of fish showing over to the far bank got the waggler out and decided on maggot. I feed some LR's which the fish seemed to like. I fish double LR on the hook and was soon getting liners but none seemed interested in my hook bait the water is about 4 inches deep so was fishing 6 inches over depth! I did foul hook a small Common which lead to throwing the towel in on the waggler. Back on the short paste line and had two better Carp in two put-ins. I then started to foul hook fish which lead to a very frustrating hour, during which Dave Willmott started to catch down his edge on corn. A lean hour followed. Dave said he had about 55 lb I reckoned on I had 40 lb. I started to wonder if the fish had gone off the paste, but stuck with it and during the last hour the better fish rallied up putting 60 lb in the net during this period, whilst Dave's catch rate faded.

I finished with 1 lb 4 oz of Silvers taking my overall weight to 99 lb 10 oz and at last breaking the curse of the golden peg coming first overall. Dave was second with 81 lb 5 oz. So plenty of fish in this area.

The Silvers was won by Ian Barker (pictured right with the match winner - he did have his trousers on) with a low weight of 6 lb 7 oz of better Skimmers from peg 8. Ian Caught on maggot.

It was back to the Bells with the usual suspect and Paul Elmes who had fished for Bathampton scratch team the day before in the second division national - well done to them winning promotion. Paul explained he had to drive 15 miles to drop off Neil Mercer, then drive 35 miles to his peg!!


1. Mike Nicholls 99-10-0 peg 14
2. Dave Willmott 81-05-0 peg 15
3. Paul Elmes 64-07-0 peg 21


1. Ian Barker 6-07-0 peg 8
2. Kevin Bamford 6-0-0 peg 4

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 13 September 2019

Thursday 12/09/209 - Bathampton AA - Over 55's and Short Walks - Bridge Pool

With Geoff off working in the Solent, I was on my own so once again beans and porridge. Come back soon. Arrived in plenty of time for two laps of the Pool. Once on my own, the second time with Mike Jones and Hughie Evans. Peg 24 would have been my choice today.

The last match Mike Jones was horrified to be told he was now the oldest Dodger. He wasn't happy and went off with a notepad and pen recording everyone's DOB - he got not change!

I know when it's one minute to the draw when Olly is seen ambling up the car park. One chilled dude. Draw for 19 ready pictured right. I was last but two to draw and pulled peg 30 - Ummm. Not that impressed until I found out I would be end peg, so thought I might pull a lump or two up from the empty pegs to my left. For company I had Curly Jones on peg 29. Then there was Junior and Ray Bazeley on Methodist corner, pegs 28 and 27. I'm sure I heard them singing hymns.

As per usual my plan was to fish for Silvers for the first half and Carp the second, so set up the Ronnie rig, a 4x14 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus four barrels and a margin 0.3 gram paste rig to fish left or right. There was a stiff wind blowing left to right which would make presenting the Ronnie rig difficult. Furthermore, the water was quite clear so plumbed up the paste rig further out from the margin than normal into deeper water. On hindsight I should have fished even deeper.

I fed some neat chopped worm and caster on the long line, a ball of GB laced with LR's on the Ronnie line and a pot of micro into each margin. The paste to be fished left at top-set plus two and the right - downwind top-set only.

Started on the Ronnie rig and started to catch small Ronnie's. Perch and Skimmers on single LR. After topping up I tried the worm on the long line and had four decent Skimmers. Topped this line up and back on the Ronnie rig. I kept switching between these two lines, but found the Carp had moved over the worm at the same time someone said we were at halfway. So with the wind picking up went down the right side which produced just a few nibbles. So down the left into the wind where presentation was difficult but could see there was some Carp about. I soon had a decent Carp in the net, so decided to stay with this until the end feeding wetted 4 's - kindered and potted. I did get a tad frustrated losing  seven Carp - most foul hooked and landing three more and one F1. The Carp again would come into the swim and bow wave out leading to foulers. I think now I should have fished further out - who knows for sure, but should have had a line ready primed to try.

My Silvers weighed 13 lb 12 oz for fourth in the Silvers and my four Carp and F1 42 lb 10 oz for a match winning total of 56 lb 6 oz. Beating Junior Methodist by 12 oz.

The Silvers was won once again by Steve Tanner (pictured right with the match winner) with 26 lb 14 oz from peg 17. Steve caught on worm hook bait fished over chopped worm and micro.

Back to the pub with some of the usual suspects. Still able to enjoy a pint outside - but how long for now?


1. Mike Nicholls 56-06-0 peg 30
2. Gary Junior Bowden 55-12-0 peg 28
3. Hughie Evans 36-04-0 peg 24


1. Steve Tanner 26-14-0 peg 17
2. Mike Jones 19-0-0 peg 29
3. Dave Haines 15-02-0 peg 1

Weigh Sheets:

Monday, 9 September 2019

Sunday 08/09/2019 - Windmill Open - Match Lake

It was nice to John Osborne back fishing commercials after his rehab on the river. However, not sure it worked - spot the difference in the photograph right - rhymes with clue!! 

Disappointing numbers with ten anglers. At least we will all have plenty of room. Personally I prefer every peg in. I was fancying pegs 2 or 20.

Last but one into the draw bag (where's the wooden box?) and outcomes golden peg 14. Oh, no the curse of the golden peg. Every time I have drawn a golden peg on this venue I have come second. Still I went to the peg smiling, albeit a little apprehension due to Dave Willmott struggling last Thursday.

Decided to have a go for the Gold so no Silver fishing today. Just two paste floats one to fish top-set plus four sections of the Drennan margin pole down to the edge of the Sedges with the 25 Drennan elastic (love this stuff - not for the faint hearted - best not foul hook). The other to fish just the top-set with the Middy blue 18-20 bungee (last forever). There appears to be a lot of small Carp over by the island so set up a light pellet waggler. After feeding Spottedfin Carp GB down the long edge and one pot of wetted micro on the short line I tried the waggler for 15 minutes with plenty of swirling but no bites - really strange, I couldn't afford to waste too much time on this, so it was retired for the rest of the day. Started down the long edge with paste where the carp were already swirling. It
wasn't long before I caught my first Carp which was of the small variety. I stayed down this edge cupping in GB regularly catching small Carp - I estimated I had 8 for 20 lb! However, I didn't want to miss the start of the bigger fish on the short line so regularly tested it with paste whilst hand feeding hard 4's. I did have 5 accidental big Skimmers from both lines, which gave me the confidence that the bigger Carp would show - eventually! In fact it took until the last 2 hours before I had my first Carp on the top-set. I kept hand feeding fours but had to be careful as the carp would come up intercepting them leading to foul hooking. The last hour was the most productive  catching some decent Carp with the beautiful scale perfect Common pictured right nearly taking the scales to 20 lb, luckily wasn't yet big enough for the Speci Lake so was returned. I felt I had fished the swim out by time the all out came and had done my best to become golden.

My accidental Silvers weighed 13 lb 11 oz and my Carp 122 lb 15 oz for a total of 136 lb 10 oz for another curse of the golden peg second overall!! But did enjoy the focus on the Carp today. So my record of the golden curse continues.
Unfortunately peg 20 was to do the business today occupied by Craig Challingsworth (pictured right with the runner up and Silvers winner) with a massive 184 lb 6 oz. Craig caught long and down his edge on banded pellet over pellet.
The Silvers was won by Dave Haines (pictured right with his catch) with 22 lb 1 oz from peg 16. Dave caught on single caster over loose fed caster. Nice to see these fish lets keep them away from the the Black Death soon to arrive.

How come I can see videos and reports on the France national team in this weekend's world championship but nothing what's so ever on England. Wake up Angling Trust get your act together.


1. Craig Challingsworth 184-06-0 peg 20
2. Mike Nicholls 136-10-0 peg 14
3. Dave Willmott 135-05-0 peg 22


1. Dave Haines 22-01-0 peg 16
2. Mike Nicholls 13 -11-0 peg 14

Weigh Sheet:

Friday, 6 September 2019

Thursday 05/09/2019 - Windmill Open - Costcutter - Match Lake

Left home in plenty of time, it was soon obvious the kids were back at school the ring road was rammed. Travel home was to be far worse.

Nice to see the numbers fishing increasing with 16 fishing today. With the pools only £12 and paying six (three overall and three silvers) the financial rewards would not be the reason for fishing. However, the great company certainly makes it a great cheap day out - great bunch.

The picture right shows the draw being made ready - anglers can be so inventive.

Last milk bottle top out put me on peg 10. Can be an OK peg. However, the peg was flat calm and was to remain so all day. There was some wind in the mid part of the Lake, for it to be like this there must be a negative wind factor - vacuum!! The fish don't like these conditions here. For company on end peg 11 was Martin Alexander, deaf as a post and left his hearing aids home so no meaningful conversation expected. Peg 9 was occupied by organiser Ken Morgan. I could her Dave "Magic"Willmott on peg 14 which he must have "palmed" again! I wonder if this trick is on YouTube?

I must say my head was elsewhere today as one of my granddaughter was unwell with the Special One sitting with her. I set out to fish for Silvers for the first half and Carp the second. I set up a 0.2 gram paste float to fish top-set plus three barrels to the edge of the corner sedges. The Ronnie rig and a 4x14 Winter Titan to fish top-set plus three out in front for Skimmers. I fed a big pot of wetted 4's down the edge and a pot of GB laced with LR's on both Silvers line. I started on the Ronnie rig getting a bite every put-in. However, they were tiny fish and with lots of missed bites were really not worth fishing for. That said from bankside chat it was fishing really hard (as expected). I tried the longer Skimmer line a few times catching the one 3 oz Skimmer and foul hooking one Carp. I stuck with this for four hours far longer than I should have, at which time I had a call from home telling me my Granddaughter was a lot better - really cheered me up and more focussed, so switched to the paste and started to catch small Carp over kinder fours, micro and remaining GB -  so not to waste it. The nearer the match got to the end the better the fishing became - please don't end!!

On the scales my Silvers weighed 7 lb 9 oz and my ten or so Carp 51 lb 10 oz for a joint third weight of 59 lb 3 oz with Matt Drinkwater (us pictured upper right). I love framing draws - good laugh sharing £14. Both needing 4 oz for second overall.

The match was won by Silver Dace Junior Gary Bowden (pictured right with some quality Carp) with his first ton 101 lb 14 oz from peg 6. Gary caught on paste down his LH edge. He has been watching me a few times so have to be careful telling these juniors too much, got to think of my pension! Congratulations matey.

The Silvers was won by Enigma with 19 lb from peg 18. Steve caught decent Skimmers fishing either worm or corn. I think - it is Enigma remember - pictured right with Junior.

Then there was the 10 minute journey home that took an hour!! The council really needs to think harder on what roads they close and when. They then wonder why they exceed the EU air quality requirements - just go and watch thousands of cars sat for an extra hour with their engines running going nowhere.


1. Gary Bowden 101-14-0 peg 6
2. Dave Willmott 59-06-0 peg 14 Again
3. Matt Drinkwater 59-03-0 peg 23
3. Mike Nicholls 59-03-0 peg 10


1. Steve Dawson 19-0-0 peg 18
2. Dave Haines 13-07-0 peg 12
3. Ken Morgan 11-05-0 peg 9

Weigh Sheet: