Saturday, August 31, 2013

Viaduct - Tackleuk Open - 31st August 2013

Talking to Scotty, he said there were some spaces for the Tackleuk Open at the Viaduct and he tempted me with tales of big nets of skimmers and tench. I haven't fished the Viaduct for years and I've never fished a match there so there was a good chance I would get right royally battered. Roger Russell has been doing really well feeding dampened 4mm pellets and fishing banded 6mm on the hook with winning silvers weights up to 67lb so that would be my plan of attack today, pellets, pellets and more pellets.

Bait Tech Viaduct Fishery
I got there and immediately saw some faces I haven't seen for ages, Howard Webb who I haven't seen since the Howley days and Phil 'Digger' Denslow who used the fish the Isle and Dillington but has since switched to the 'dark side'. I had a bacon butty and a coffee before popping into the shop and buying some more pellets, just in case! Scott announced the draw and I pulled out peg 111 on Campbell which several people said was a really good carp peg, not what I wanted to hear, on the plus side it was a short walk. I had Roger on the next peg which probably wouldn't help our cause much with us both fishing for silvers.

Peg 111 on Campbell
Ash and Scotty said I should also feed an inside line as quite a few tench get caught down the edge so I set up two Malman 0.6 gram pencils to 0.12mm bottoms with size 16 808's to fish at 6 metres with banded pellet and a Trabucco dibber for down the edge with 0.14mm bottom and a size 16 B911. The all in was shouted and I cupped in some 4mm's at 6 metres and chucked some down the edge. I foulhooked a carp first put in which came off and then lost one next chuck and I wasn't having the best of starts!

In fact I spent most of the first hour playing carp and landed three with the only skimmer to put in an appearance, a rather modest 4oz! Roger had caught a couple of decent skimmers and was feeding the odd nugget of groundbait along with the 4mm's and I wondered if this was making the difference. Around the lake people were starting to catch carp with Scott and Dan Squires next door both catching really well. As hour two started I had my first decent skimmer of around 1.5lb and hoped they had moved in.

I had a couple more, including some approaching 3lb and then added a nice tench and several more carp around the 5-6lb mark but Roger was still a couple of fish ahead. These carp pull a bit and already there had been several pole casualties around the pond. Both Roger and me would get odd skimmers but it was fairly hard going and we couldn't string more than a couple of fish together. I'd lost a couple more hooklengths to carp, including one I thought I had under control when it decided to go under the pallet and snap me!

With a couple of hours to go I had about 10lb of silvers and 12 carp and was still a couple of fish behind Rog, with us both now struggling I decided to have a look on the inside. I had another carp but then my next fish was a 2lb tench and a few more would be very welcome. My next fish was yet another carp and then I've hooked a right beast that took me forever to land and looked to be around 12-14lb. While I was faffing about with it, Roger had a couple more skimmers to further increase his lead. There had obviously been another casualty as a top three came past us out in the middle, rising out of the lake like Excaliber!

I gave the inside up as a bad job and went back to 6 metres and had a couple more skimmers, I was getting plenty of indications but couldn't hit them and I suspect roach were the culprits. The last part of the match was really quiet for me and when Roger landed two tench in quick succession I knew he had beaten me. I packed up, slightly disappointed that the big silvers weights hadn't materialised and thought I had around 15lb which would be way off the pace today.

I have to say the fishery is very professionally run and soon two sets of scales turned up to weigh each bank. When the scales reached Roger, Scott was leading with a massive 203lb 8oz, closely followed by Dan Squires with 182lb 10oz although people were saying it had fished hard for silvers. Roger weighed 25lb of silvers and had done well to avoid the carp, only landing one all day. My carp weighed 80lb and my silvers went 21lb 4oz to give me a 101lb 4oz total and only my second 'ton' ever. The chap on my left had over 135lb and nearly everyone on our bank had caught over 100lb - crazy fishing!

We took our kit back to the cars and then awaited the results, Scotty was announced as the winner and Ashley was second with 190lb 15oz to make it a Tackleuk one-two. Dan was third and Jon Martin was fourth with his biggest match weight to date, 151lb 7oz. Roger won the silvers and I was called out in second place and picked up £30 which I was pleased with on my first match here. I'm not sure I could do it too often though as my arms were killing me!

Tackleuk's Scotty Russell broke the double ton yet again
Jon Martin came fourth and had his biggest match weight as well
1 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 203lb 8oz
2 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 190lb 15oz
3 - Dan Squires (Viaduct) - 182lb 10oz
4 - Jon Martin (Taunton) - 151lb 7oz

Roger Russell won the silvers again
1 - Roger Russell (Tackleuk) - 25lb
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 21lb 4oz

I'm at Dillington tomorrow and I fear I'll be the 'whipping' boy yet again - get it? So come back again tomorrow to see how I get on. Ilminster AA juniors also had a match today out the pond, see the news page for results and photos (or head over to my Facebook page).

Next up - Dillington

What's new - Ilminster AA junior match result and photos on news page

Check Out - See how I got on last Monday (below)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summerhayes - Festival Day 2 - 26th August 2013

After a great result yesterday, I really wanted to do well today and Pete announced the draw for Longs first, I hung back a bit hoping peg 39 would go as it's a peg I never do well on, although Charlie Barnes did well off it yesterday. Steve Martin drew it today and I pulled out peg 17 which I was pretty happy with. Ray Wickham drew peg 5 on Sellicks which is a good silvers peg and then Glynn drew peg 19 (another good silvers peg) and the pressure was on.

Peg 17 on Longs
I had Martin Addicot on peg 19 and he'd be fishing for carp and the next peg on my right was The Paste King on peg 11 so loads of room again. Bill had a chance of double bubble as he'd won the carp on Sellicks and was third in the silvers. As I said yesterday, I felt 8-10lb would be good enough today and I would try and keep putting silvers in the net, no matter what the size. I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim to fish at 10 metres and plumbed up three swims, angled to the right, straight out and angled to the left. I also set up an identical float to fish at four sections where I would cup in some Bait Tech Pro Natural groundbait and maggots.

Martin Addicot was on peg 19
On the whistle I cupped in small amounts of micros on all three 10 metre lines before putting in two balls of groundbait on the short line. I started on the right hand line with a 4mm expander on the hook, it took ten minutes to get a bite and I netted a 2oz skimmer to make sure I was off the mark. I've then hooked a carp which was the sign to move lines, I missed a couple of bites before catching a blade and then next chuck I've had a proper skimmer. here we go I thought.

But then it was a real struggle and I could only manage the odd blade (and carp of course) from all three lines, Martin was catching carp quite well and had also landed a good skimmer on paste. I wasn't panicking yet but soft pellet was getting battered by tiny fish and a 6mm banded pellet just resulted in a carp. I tried the short line and had a small skimmer but then couldn't buy a bite again and double maggot just resulted in another carp.

The match was now two hours old and I probably only had around a pound of silvers  - not good! To add insult to injury, Martin had another skimmer and a tench. Out of desperation I tried fishing two sections to hand with maggot and started getting some small roach, rudd and the odd motherless minnow and probably had 60 fish or so in an hour, I bumped quite a few and had several drop off as well. When Martin shouted up that he had caught another nuisance skimmer, I didn't know what to do next. There were obviously some better silvers about but I couldn't catch them and was heading for a serious blow out.

I tried my ten metre lines again but the only bites I could get were from carp, another try on the short line saw me hook and lose yet another carp which snapped the hooklength so I chucked that up the bank and for the last three quarters of an hour fished the top two and managed another 61 small fish. I felt pretty dejected as I thought I had about 4lb and would finish well down with that. Bill came up and said he'd had some big crucians so I knew he'd done me and Martin had several good skimmers, three tench and a couple of crucians so he'd battered me as well.

I packed up and as I loaded the car I could see Clive had chucked back so at least I'd beaten someone! I caught up with the scales on Sellicks and Glynn had 12lb of skimmers and Ray had over 18lb so he won the lake and would win it overall with a perfect two point score, Charlie was third on Sellicks with 7lb 8oz. Alan Jenkins was first to weigh on Longs and he had a few carp and 4lb 8oz of silvers and I didn't think I had that, Adie had a good net of carp but just shy of 2lb of silvers and I hoped that was another point gained but I really didn't think it would make any difference.

Then the Paste King had 99lb 9oz of carp and added 8lb 11oz of silvers for good measure and looked to be on his way to double bubble. Then it was my turn and my carp went 22lb 12oz and I was surprised when my silvers went 7lb 2oz and I was left wishing I'd fished for those bits longer as I probably did 5lb in about 2 hours. Martin had 79lb of carp and 8lb 9oz of 'nuisance' silvers and I was already down to third on the lake with several more to weigh. Harry M had 2lb 14oz of silvers and Dave B had 12oz so I was still in third place but knew Steve Martin had close to double figures. He actually weighed 45lb of carp and 9lb 13oz of silvers and I really think I'd missed an opportunity today to win my first festival after coming close a couple of times.

I ended up with 5 points and looking at the weigh boards, there were several others on 5 points as well, could I sneak in and avoid the disaster? Bobby G volunteered to work the results out and you could almost see the cogs whirring, a few of us offered to take our shoes and socks off and it took him a while to get the joke!

Look at the concentration on that face!
We knew the Paste King had won the carp and Bobby was second and that Ray had won the silvers with Steve second but what about the minor places. Finally the results were ready and Adie Bishop was called out in fourth place in the carp with 5 points, Nigel Wickham was third with 3 pts, Bobby was second, also with 3 and had taken the verdict on weight by just 4oz over the two days and the Paste King had won it with a perfect 2 pt score.

Bill 'The Bandit' does it again
Then it was time for the silvers, Glynn was fourth with 5 pts (and took a pound off me today), I was called out in third with the same points but a better weight and picked up £49 which was my first envelope for a while, Steve was second with 3 pts and Ray won with another perfect score.

My first envelope for a while

Todays results


1 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 18lb 5oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 12lb
3 - Charlie Barnes (Summerhayes) - 7lb 8oz

1 - Bobby Gullick (Garbolino Blackmore Vale) - 88lb 10oz
2 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 87lb 12oz
3 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 63lb 15oz

1 - Steve Martin (Summerhayes) - 9lb 13oz
2 - Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 8lb 11oz
3 - Martin Addicot (Summerhayes) - 8lb 9oz

1 - Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 99lb 9oz
2 - Martin Addicot (Summerhayes) - 79lb 1oz
3 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 74lb 14oz

1 - Ray Wickham - 2 pts
2 - Steve Martin - 3pts
3 - Jamie Rich - 5 pts (32lb 9oz)
4 - Glynn Wickham - 5 pts (21lb 12oz)

1 - Bill Hopping - 2 pts
2 - Bobby Gullick - 3 pts (167lb 8oz)
3 - Nigel Wickham - 3 pts (167lb 4oz)
4 - Adie Bishop - 5 pts

So another great little festival and a big thanks to Pete for arranging it, I had a cracking day yesterday and should have fished for bits all day today but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Next up - Viaduct

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - See how day one went yesterday

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summerhayes - Festival Day 1 - 25th August 2013

I was looking forward to another of Pete's mini festivals after coming close last time when I ended up second in the silvers. There were 17 anglers today and we would be split over Longs and Sellicks on day one and then swap ponds for the second day. In the week 17lb of skimmers was the top silvers weight on Sellicks from peg 1 and also it was nice to see the silvers weights improving on Longs with weights of 11lb and 9lb recorded.

It was nice to see the legend that is Charlie Barnes
I paid my pools and it was nice to see Bobby Gullick and Charlie Barnes again, Glynn and me struck our normal £1 side bet but it would have to be on points if we ended up on different lakes. I hung back at the draw hoping 15 on Sellicks and 39 on Longs would go before I stuck my hand in the bucket. With only a few balls left I went for it and pulled out peg 2 on Sellicks which I was fairly pleased with. It got better when I got to my swim and pegs 1, 3 and 4 weren't in either, loads of room!

Peg 2 on Sellicks
Adie Bishop told me Clive had caught short on peg 1 on Wednesday and that he hadn't caught for two hours and then the skimmers moved in. I decided on four swims, at 8.5 metres in front of peg 1, the same distance out in front of me and 11.5 metres out towards peg 3. I set up two Malman pencils to cover these swims. My last line would be just a top two down the edge where I would feed three or four maggots to catch some bits if I was really struggling.

For bait I had the usual Bait Tech 4mm expanders, micros plus maggots and casters, just before the start Glynn and Bobby came over from Longs and were rather concerned I'd get lonely on my own with nobody around me!! On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros on all three lines and flicked a few maggots down the edge. I started to my right in front on peg 1 but after 10 minutes I hadn't had a touch on soft pellet so I switched to the other 8.5 metre line. I had a bite first put in and netted a 2oz skimmer to get me off the mark. Next chuck I've hooked a carp that I had on for ages before it did me under the next peg pallet!

After tying on another hooklength I had a few more blades and was pleased to be putting silvers in the net, I switched to 11.5 metres and had a few more and then landed a lovely golden koi/ghostie which was the signal to switch lines again (the idea being to swap lines after every carp). I had a couple more blades and then had a skimmer around a pound followed by two more of 6-8oz. I've then had another carp so rotated again, this time back to the swim in front of peg 1. No bites here at all but with around 3.5lb of silvers after two hours I was still on target to do double figures.

Harry M on peg 5 had landed a couple of carp but I couldn't really see anybody else. I had a couple more blades plus a couple more nuisance carp but bites were slowing up which was a little concerning. I decided to have a quick go with the top two rig as I could see odd rudd swirling for maggots but after half a dozen tiny rudd I soon got bored of that. I went back in front of peg 1 for the third time and still no bites, I was just about to give it up for a bad job when the float went and I've had another blade.

Next put in there I've had a better skimmer, followed by another of 1.5lb and then another, it was solid! I've had five or six good skimmers plus a few hand sized ones and I've bumped a couple too. I was just starting to think a good weight was possible when I've had a carp followed by two more, it was time to switch lines again. Back at 8.5 metres out in front I've had a blade and then an 8oz skimmer before yet another carp put in an appearance and I now had 7 or 8 of them.

Harry was starting to catch carp quite well on paste but was having a bit of a nightmare with a number four section slipping into the pond. Pete got the rake and tried to find it without any luck, I asked if anyone was catching skimmers and he said the best he'd heard on Sellicks was 4 or 5, he also said Glynn had about 5lb over on Longs which was pretty good with a couple of hours to go. I tried my long line again but a carp first chuck and I was soon back to 8.5 metres.

Things had slowed again, so it was back on front of peg 1, I was only feeding a tiny pinch of micros as I was very wary of feeding too much and attracting the carp. I started catching some good skimmers here again and I got to 42 skimmers with half an hour to go and thought I must have around 18lb. I then had carp number twelve which gave me the run around but still fancied I might get a couple more skimbobs before time was up.

With a few minutes to go I've hooked a fish which was either a foulhooked skimmer or a small carp, I was shipping back gently but the hook pulled and I didn't have time to go back out again. I felt I'd fished a pretty good match although I had lost/bumped three or four skimmers and lost about the same number of carp.

The scales were soon with me as I was the first to be weighed, my carp went 23lb 13oz and when I pulled out my silvers net I realised I might have a bit more than I thought. Pete called out 25lb 7oz and it's my best silvers weight yet and Pete said he thinks it's the best silvers net to come out of Sellicks! Harry had done well to finish with 47lb 7oz of carp and then Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping continued his good form when he stuck 70lb 11oz of carp on the scales from peg 8, he also had 5lb 7oz of skimmers which put him third on the lake for silvers.

25lb 7oz of skimmers (my best Summerhayes silvers weight yet)
The next good silvers weight was Steve Martin who 7lb 1oz which put him second on the lake but he also had 51lb 5oz of carp which put him third in the carp. Adie Bishop had 58lb of carp which put him second but he had also suffered a pole breakage and several lost fish. There were several 30-40lb weights of carp but no more decent silvers weights before the scales headed to Longs.

First to weigh on Longs was Nigel Wickham who had 79lb 8oz of carp and 4lb 4oz of silvers, young Reece had 40lb of carp but there were no more decent silvers weights until we got to Ray Wickham who had 11lb 2oz to go into the silvers lead. Glynn was admitting to 10lb or so and I was hoping Ray might pinch a point off him. Mark Leahy had 69lb 9oz of carp and then it was Glynn's turn, his silvers went 9lb 12oz and I claimed a £1 off him (the first one in ages).

Glynn's pound (nearly as sweet as the one I had off the Torquay Tart but not quite!)
Bobby Gullick had over forty 'small' carp for 78lb 14oz to put him second on the lake, last to weigh was Charlie Barnes and he had some nice crucians and tench to weigh 10lb 3oz and push Glynn down into third. As we were enjoying a drink and some crisps, one of Pete's helpers (sorry I didn't get his name) was in the lake searching for Harry's pole section and I just had to get a photo.

Another skinny dipper (it seems to be a recurring theme on this blog!)


1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 25lb 7oz
2 - Steve Martin (Summerhayes) - 7lb 1oz
3 - Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 5lb 7oz

1 - Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 70lb 11oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 58lb 1oz
3 - Steve Martin (Summerhayes) - 51lb 5oz

Sellicks weigh board

1 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 11lb 2oz
2 - Charlie Barnes (Summerhayes) - 10lb 3oz
3 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 9lb 12oz

1 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 79lb 8oz
2 - Bobby Gullick (Garbolino Blackmore Vale) - 78lb 14oz
3 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 69lb 9oz

Longs weigh board
So it's all to play for tomorrow, it was a very tight frame on Longs today and I reckon 8-10lb of silvers will be needed tomorrow. There are several people in with a chance of double bubble too, be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I get on and if Glynn wins his pound back!

Next up - Day two on Longs

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My report on the Chard AC junior match (below)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chard AC Junior Match - Perry St Pond - 24th August 2013

After going to watch Ilminster's juniors on the canal last Saturday, I was off to watch Chard AC's youngsters at Perry St Pond this week. There was a good turnout of ten with a few faces I recognised from last week including George Baker, Clifford Richardson and Courtney Pas. Most of the youngsters were fishing the short pole and catching carp, skimmers and small fish.

Fourteen year old Charlie Rudkin was on peg 2 and had landed a nice carp but had lost one as well, Ethan Collins (eleven years old) on peg 3 was being looked after by Butch Baker and was doing okay. On the next peg was Clifford Richardson who had expressed his wish to catch an eel on the canal last week but didn't manage to get one, his wish was granted this week though as he'd caught a small one of around 4oz.

Eleven year old Ethan Collins was on peg 3
Last weeks winner, Courtney Pas was the next peg along and getting a few and young nine year old Sam Dunning on peg 6 had landed a couple of nice carp and was amongst the early leaders. The next peg was number 12 on the other side and thirteen year old Bobby Lord was being assisted by Steve Bishop and had landed three carp of his own. Little George Baker was on peg 13 and catching some nice skimmers on soft pellet.

Fourteen year old James Battersby was on peg 15 and with three carp he was in with a chance as well. On the next two pegs were brothers Ben (fourteen years old) and Matthew Adams (eleven years old), Ben had landed a carp but Matthew was struggling a little bit but was catching roach, rudd and perch on the waggler.

Eleven year old Matthew Adams was catching on the waggler
Again I have to say it was lovely to see so many adults and parents giving up their time for the youngsters, they even had flasks of tea and donuts to keep them going, the donuts were lovely so thanks to Mike Collins for them.

With an hour to go there were several youngsters with four carp and it was anybody's guess who would win this one. I was back behind Bobby on peg 12 when he landed his fifth carp and he looked like he would be heading for first spot. But then across the pond, young Sam on peg 6 had another carp and as we approached full time he latched into another which he landed after the whistle.

Fish on!
A nice carp is safely netted for Bobby Lord
After they all packed up we gathered at peg 2 to start the weigh in, Charlie had 5lb 10oz before Ethan just pipped him with 6lb 8oz and then Clifford had 4lb 6oz and he had caught his first eel! Courtney had done well again and weighed 7lb 14oz to go in to the lead.

Charlie Rudkin had 5lb 10oz in peg 2
Eleven year old Ethan Collins had a lovely carp in his 6lb 8oz catch
Clifford Richardson had this nice bream (and don't forget the eel!) from peg 4 for 4lb 6oz
Courtney Pas had done well again with 7lb 14oz from peg 5
Then Sam put 15lb 14oz on the scales to go in front before we walked around to weigh the other side. Bobby's five carp weighed 18lb 2oz to push Sam down into second and then we got to five year old George who had caught some lovely skimmers in his 10lb catch.

Nine year old Sam Dunning came second with this catch of carp weighing 15lb 14oz
Thirteen year old Bobby Lord won with this great catch of 18lb 2oz
Five year old George Baker had some lovely skimmers in his third placed 10lb net
James on peg 15 had 8lb 4oz before Ben had 3lb 14oz to claim the bragging rights over Matthew who had worked hard for his 14oz.

James Battersby came fourth with this 8lb 4oz catch from peg 15
Fourteen year old Ben Adams had 3lb 14oz from peg 17
And his brother Matthew (eleven years old) had 14oz from peg 18
1 - Bobby Lord - 18lb 2oz
2 - Sam Dunning - 15lb 14oz
3 - George Baker - 10lb
4 - James Battersby - 8lb 4oz
5 - Courtney Pas - 7lb 14oz

A huge thank you to the sponsors Bait Tech, Tackleuk, Dave Lawrence and Clarke & Cridge and it's great to see tackle and bait firms putting something back into the sport and also local firms supporting the youngsters.

All the anglers took home a goody bucket supplied by Bait Tech

Next week there is an Ilminster AA junior match at Dillington fishing from 2pm - 5pm, names to Scott Jackson if interested.

Monday, August 19, 2013

More Random Ramblings

The blog is going from strength to strength and its now had over 92,000 page views which is amazing so a massive thank you to everyone who enjoys reading about my exploits and ramblings. On the subject of ramblings I thought I'd treat you to some more today.

Adie Bishop sent me this great photo of Bill 'The Pasteman' Hopping and it looks like they've finally crowned him so from now on he'll be known as 'The Paste King'.

The Paste King
If anyone has photos they would like to see on the blog just let me know and I'll be happy to put them on, just send me a message on here or on my Facebook page and I'll make sure I put them on.

On the subject of the Paste King, he sent me this photo with the caption below for his mate Mr Green who he tells me reads this blog!
"Is this the end of the line for Mr Green after losing his pound again to Mr Redfin the Paste King?"

I have to say how much I enjoyed watching the juniors down the canal on Saturday and it was lovely to see so many adults giving up their free time for the youngsters and the sponsorship from Bait Tech, Tackleuk and M.B.H. was fantastic too. I'm at the junior match at Perry St this Saturday and still have loads of Bait Tech buckets to hand out, so make sure you check out the blog to see how they got on.

Slightly off topic, I spent most of last week on a boat on the Bristol Avon at night doing hydro-acoustic fish surveys and it really was interesting to see the numbers of fish that are recorded during the hours of darkness compared to daylight, anyone fancy a night match?

I seem to be enjoying (!) a real lean spell at the moment and have lost my way somewhat at Summerhayes and I'm well off the pace at Dillington which used to be such a happy hunting ground for me. I've got a two dayer at Summerhayes this weekend and I will, of course, be fishing for silvers so be sure to check back regularly to see if my luck changes or if the bad run continues.

What's new - New additions to the 'Rogues Gallery'

Well that's all for now folks

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dillington Pond - Summer League 8 - 18th August 2013

I haven't fished the pond for a fair while and it's been fishing well with winning weights between 15-20lb and some quality fish have been coming out including some skimmers which is a great sign. To be honest I was expecting to get battered as I'm a bit out of touch with it but hopefully I should get a few bites. I got to the Royal Oak and it was nice to see all the lads again, there were eight fishing today including Bruce Hunt who'd had over 400 fish for 17lb odd last time, Heardy and Fieldy were missing this week though which might give the rest of us a chance.

Steve announced the draw and I fancied peg 17 but pulled out 23 which put me on the end near the pump house. I could drive right round and park behind my peg which was a bonus, Moses, Rob and Richy all wanted side bets and when I saw I had Neil Dring on peg 21 I thought I might as well ask him as well, this could be an expensive day! I made myself comfy and the first job was to mix up half a bag of the new Bait Tech Pro Natural groundbait, it smelt great and mixed up a dream.

I'm really impressed with this new groundbait from Bait Tech
A lot of the lads that do well, fish the whip and just get their heads down fishing maggot or caster although there have been some good weights fishing corn over groundbait to sort out the better fish. I decided on a kind of halfway house, I set up a Drennan Roach float to fish at four sections out with caster or corn over some groundbait and another rig with the same pattern to fish two sections to hand. I also plumbed up a line on the inside by the reeds to my right.

I was little worried that my peg was in the corner and a little caged in by a massive floating platform that housed an irrigation pump. For bait I had maggots, casters, hemp and some corn. I was just about set up in time when Steve blew for the all in, I cupped in two balls of groundbait at four sections before baiting up with two red maggots and shipping out. I flicked in some casters and a pinch of hemp, the float sailed away and I was swinging in my first roach of the day, albeit a small one.

I switched to caster and had five more small roach in as many casts so in a bid to find some bigger fish I tried a piece of corn, I bumped a good fish before catching three nice rudd about 8oz each and was quite enjoying myself. Neil was fishing corn on the whip and catching odd better fish but I couldn't really see how anybody else was doing. Then my bites stopped and a switch back to caster didn't really help much. I'd been flicking a few maggots and casters on the short line and was soon reaching for the top two rig. I had a few fish here but they were small and not coming quick enough and already I was in trouble. I had 25 fish after the first hour and knew this would be well off the pace.

Neil was still getting some better fish on corn, including a decent hybrid and a nice skimmer, he was even getting bites on the drop on it! I went back out to four sections with corn on but bites were very few and far between. I cupped in some more feed by the reeds and tried it shortly after but only managed a couple of small roach and a better one of 6oz or so. I was back out at four sections with a piece of corn on when the club chairman, Max, turned up with his massive dog, while we were chatting I had a nice rudd on corn but it was painfully slow going. He said Rob was catching loads of small fish in peg 17 but couldn't catch any quality.

I slipped on a caster and the float sailed away and lots of number four elastic streamed out of the pole tip, this was a much better fish and I netted a lovely roach that had to be the best part of a pound. Max went to see how Richy was getting on but was back in no time, saying he'd just lost a big perch and the air was blue! I didn't think there was much between me and Neil as he was having to wait ages for a bite but they were bigger fish. At the half way point I had struggled up to around 60 fish but my bites had slowed again and Neil was pulling away again, why couldn't I get bites on corn?

Justin Charles then turned up for a chat and while he was with me I think I only had one roach, but he did promise he'd take me barbel fishing on the Wye again. After he left, out of desperation I cupped in five balls of groundbait on the longer line and tried two sections to hand again to let it settle. I never had a bite short so was soon back at four sections again. I actually started to catch quite well on caster, mainly on the drop and amongst the small roach I was getting the odd net roach. Neil had slowed right up and I started to eat into his lead with an hour to go.

I reached 100 fish with 15 mins to go but then my bites just dried up again and it almost felt like those fish were just drifting in and out of the bay. Neil then hooked a better fish and landed a good skimmer that looked to be close to 2lb, I ended up with 102 fish and was pretty disappointed. I think I'd have done better just fishing caster all day and spent too long trying the corn. Moses soon arrived with the scales and when he said he'd had over 180 fish I knew I'd be a pound down. My fish weighed 10lb 1oz and I actually thought I had nearer 12lb which must be a first, me under estimating!

Neil was next to weigh and he some lovely quality fish which went 12lb 4oz and I handed my first pound over, Moses weighed 14lb 5oz and I said goodbye to pound number two. Rob had over 180 fish as well and I thought I'd be 3-0 down but he had no quality and I was relieved when Moses called out 10lb 1oz so we'd tied. I went back and loaded the car and as I drove round I asked Steve how the other side had fished, he said he'd struggled for 3lb 2oz and Richy had weighed 6lb 3oz so I clawed a pound back to make it 2-1 on the day. Terry Morgan had 9lb 2oz and Bruce had done it again with 435 fish for 20lb 1oz, he is a serious speed machine.
Speed machine Bruce Hunt

Neil had some lovely skimmers in his 12lb 4oz
Moses had over 180 fish for 14lb 5oz

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 20lb 1oz
2 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 14lb 5oz
3 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 12lb 4oz

So the pond had fished well again with five double figure weights but to be honest I didn't really enjoy it, there's just too many small fish and I still think it needs thinning out. Quite a few skimmers showed which is really encouraging and some lovely roach and rudd. I'll come back and give it another go in two weeks time as I don't think my peg did me any favours today. Fishing for bites is the way to go here but I just can't fish for bits, I just don't enjoy it. You can stick it out for quality but you wait too long for bites and nine times out of ten you won't compete with the anglers that fish for bites.

On the plus side, the footy season kicked off again yesterday and Chelsea got off to winning start beating Hull 2-0 today.

Next up - Two dayer at Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My report on the junior match (below)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ilminster AA Junior Match - Canal - 17th August 2013

When Scott Jackson asked if I'd go down and cover the junior match on the canal today, I said I'd be more than happy to. I also contacted Bait Tech to see if they'd be willing to sponsor the event and the lovely Hayley has been fantastic. I popped over to Tackleuk to pick up some bait for tomorrow and the lads said there were some boxes from Bait Tech for me and I was amazed how much stuff they sent me, there were buckets, three boxes of groundbait, boilies, stickers and posters. For good measure, Ashley Tomkins added a tray of Bait Tech Tutti Fruti sweetcorn which was a lovely gesture. So a massive thanks to Bait Tech, Tackleuk and M.B.H Industrial Services Ltd who also sponsor the junior matches.

Bait Tech buckets
I got down the canal and the weather wasn't being kind with rain and heavy winds forecast but the youngsters were there setting up, getting ready for the start. It was great to see quite a few parents there as well as several other helpers. Scott and some of the others had done a brilliant job of making some of the swims fishable.

The all in was shouted and I made my way up to peg 11 where twelve year old Matthew Parker was fishing the whip, he was into roach straight away and looking down the canal all the juniors seemed to be catching. Next stop was twelve year old Courtney Pas on peg 9 and she was wielding a ten metre pole like a pro, fishing tight to the far bank cover and catching some quality roach.

Matthew was into roach straight away on the whip
Courtney was fishing the long pole like a pro
Little five year old George Baker was next on peg 7 and fishing at 6 metres down the middle and getting plenty of bites from small roach and the odd perch on a regular basis, his granddad Butch was giving him a hand but I reckon George is a star in the making. Bradley Lawrence (eleven years old) was on peg 5 and Ned was helping him out and he was catching plenty of fish too.

George was getting plenty of bites
Bradley with a nice roach
On the end was twelve year old Clifford Richardson with his dad and he had caught some perch and a couple of nice 4oz skimmers. At the half way point of the three hour match, it was too close to call with everybody catching fish and some lovely roach being landed. Courtney and George were netting fish regularly and looked to be the early favourites but a decent fish or two could swing the verdict for any of them.

Clifford landing a skimmer with a bit of help from his dad
Courtney was getting some quality roach
and so was George
I have to say how impressed I was with all of the youngsters, although some were getting a hand with feeding or netting fish, nearly all were unhooking their own fish and baiting up and not once throughout the three hour match did they lose their focus even though it was raining quite hard. With an hour to go the match was still anybody's, Clifford had a run of nice skimmers that had to put him in contention, Bradley was catching well in spells and George had netted a couple of roach that had to be 8oz apiece.

Courtney was still catching well and fishing against the far bank cover, she had bites all day long, even catching a few on corn. Matthew was still getting some roach on the whip although the wind was affecting presentation with the long line. Scott shouted for the all out and after they had all packed up, the scales made their way up to start the weigh in with Matthew at the top end. As he pulled his net out there was a fair bit of splashing and the digital readout settled on 2lb 11oz. Then we got to Courtney and she had some quality roach to go in front with 3lb 5oz.

Matthew Parker was first to weigh with 2lb 11oz
Courtney Pas had 3lb 5oz from peg 9
George pulled out his net and his 2lb 13oz put him into second place, Bradley had 2lb 14oz to just pip George and then Clifford on the end had 2lb 7oz and it had been incredibly close with less than a pound separating the field. Scott did the results and the top three received tackle vouchers with everyone getting a Bait Tech bucket filled with goodies.

Five year old George Baker had 2lb 13oz
Bradley Lawrence weighed in 2lb 14oz
Clifford Richardson had 2lb 7oz
1 - Courtney Pas (Ilminster) - 3lb 5oz
2 - Bradley Lawrence (Ilminster) - 2lb 14oz
3 - George Baker (Tatworth) - 2lb 13oz
4 - Matthew Parker (Ilminster) - 2lb 11oz
5 - Clifford Lawrence (Ilminster) - 2lb 7oz

I think little George was happy with his goody bucket!

I have to say it was a really enjoyable (if wet!) day and it was great to see youngsters catching fish and enjoying themselves, hopefully they'll be the stars of the future. Also a big thank you to Scott Jackson for inviting me, Ned, Mick Greaves, Brett Venn, David Cleal and all the dads and granddads (Butch) who were there to look after the juniors.

Last but certainly not least a massive thanks to Bait Tech, Tackleuk and M.B.H Industrial Services Ltd for their very generous sponsorship,

I'm hoping to get to Chard AC's junior match at Perry St next week so look out for a report next Saturday and don't forget to come back to see how I got on at Dillington tomorrow.