Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Summerhayes - Open - 28th August 2017

When I booked in, Pete said we'd be on Longs today which I was looking forward to it as it's been fishing really well with Roger Russell winning Fridays silvers match with over 28lb of skimmers from peg 33. I stopped off on the way and had breakfast at the Little Chef, which as always was good although a tad expensive. The traffic wasn't too bad and I arrived in good time and it was already looking like being another scorching day. There were only a few cars there and the first person I saw was Roger and we were having a chat when I noticed the Tart who'd been for a walk round the pond and my heart sunk! I asked how he'd got on yesterday and he said he'd blown out although he had that smug look about him but as that's normal, I thought no more about it!

After collecting some nets and paying my pools I was having a coffee and waiting for the draw when Pete said he had a special announcement and presented the Tart with an envelope containing his winnings from yesterday, yep that's why he's called the Tart! On the Bank Holiday matches, Pete splits the payout down the middle and today he would be paying the top two in carp and the same in silvers. It was also draw and choose so Pete got Simon R to pick out a ball to determine which number the golden peg would be today, he pulled out number one and Pete commented that very often the same number comes straight back out.

With all the balls back in the bucket, Pete stuck his hand in and mixed them all up before offering the bucket to Simon again and blow me if he didn't pull out number one again! I ended with choice number five and of course the Tart pulled out his usual flier with choice number two. Simon wanted a carp peg and went for 15, the Tart chose 37 and would also fish for carp, we decided to have the side bet on our respective positions for carp and silvers. Glen also went for a carp peg, number 39, Rob Birch went for peg 19 and would be targeting silvers and then it was my turn, I couldn't believe 33 hadn't gone yet as it was my first choice, so that's what I went for. Roger picked 35, Jeff Sparkes went for 17 and Mark Leahy opted for 23.

My peg looked nice and from reading Rogers report on Friday's match on Facebook, I knew he'd caught his fish on top two or top two plus one to the reeds on the left and straight out on worm or paste. Most the silvers seem to be getting caught fishing short so I set up a 0.3 gram NG Mini Gimp to fish top two either side and also plus one straight out. I also couldn't resist setting up a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil for two lines at ten metres. As always my side tray was nice and simple, Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse micros that I'd soaked the night before plus 4mm Xpands for the hook.
Peg 33 on Longs
On the whistle I fed modest amounts of micros on all three of my shorter lines and then half a pot on both of the longer lines, if nothing else, it would hopefully keep some carp occupied! First put in by the reeds, the float buried after a couple of minutes and for once I didn't miss the first bite, straight away I knew it wasn't a carp and a 8oz tench got me off the mark. Next put in I had a 2lb ghostie/koi carp and I hoped they hadn't moved in already! Thankfully they hadn't and next chuck I had a 12oz skimmer and then a similar sized crucian and I was in heaven!
A nice little tench first put in.....
Followed by a nice skimmer.....
And a lovely crucian
To be honest, I had almost the perfect first hour, it was a bite a chuck and although I missed a few, I didn't bump any and had one tench, three crucians and six skimmers for around 8lb (plus two nuisance carp) and really thought at this stage I was on for a big weight. It looked like Roger was getting a few and the Tart was landing plenty of carp. As the second hour started my bites stopped but I wasn't too worried as I'd been dripping some micros in on the other two lines every time I shipped out. I went in on the right hand top two line and the float just sat there!, it eventually went under but a small carp wasn't what I'd hoped for.

If the first hour had been perfect, the second hour was the complete opposite with only carp and a couple of blades to show for my efforts, I did have a couple of small fish come off but after catching 8lb in the first sixty minutes, I was up to 8lb 2oz after two hours! I had another go by the reeds and had a carp but also lost what felt like a decent skimmer but that was it and I couldn't believe I'd gone from bagging to struggling. I went out on the top two plus one line and had more carp and lost a couple of small fish shipping back but then I finally had another decent skimmer, no more followed I tried top two to my right again and this time had a nice crucian and another tench so as the half way point approached, I probably had 10lb of silvers and if I could keep putting the odd better silver in the net, a decent result was still on the cards.

Roger shouted up to ask how I was doing and said he was getting odd fish but it didn't sound like he was bagging either. The Tart was still catching carp well and even from a distance I could see that smug look on his chops! Going into the second half of the match, the reed line seemed devoid of silvers and there were carp knocking the reeds about, every time I tried the top two line on the right, a carp would be the result and it was pretty much the same story at two plus one, I was starting to hook some big carp as well, I had one submarine that I thought I had beaten but it came up by my keepnets, shook his head and snapped the hooklength like cotton, another went under the nets with the same result and it was a good job I'd tied a load of hooklengths up on Saturday!

Roger started to catch some big skimmers that were leaping out of the water all over the place whereas all I could catch was the very occasional blade and the inevitable, aggravating carp! The all out was shouted and I was gutted that after such a brilliant start, I'd just fizzled out, Roger came up and said he'd started catching some big skimmers on paste in the second half of the match and might have a bit more than he'd had on Friday so it was odds on that he was going to make it two wins out of two.

The weigh in started with the Tart who'd done well again and weighed 114lb 14oz, I was praying somebody would beat him as he would be unbearable if he won two days on the trot and I was seriously thinking I might have to chuck my phone in the pond to avoid the tsunami of gloating texts I would receive! Glen had also done well and weighed 95lb 6oz and then we headed down to weigh the others in, as we got to Simon, Jeff and Rob arrived with Jeff admitting to 6-7lb of silvers and Rob said he had around 13lb and I knew I didn't have that. Simon had three nets of carp and after lots of weighing in and adding up where Dave Bull had to take his shoes and socks off, his total was read out at 198lb 6oz, a brilliant weight mate.
The Tart with part of his 114lb 14oz (and a cheesy grin!)
Jeff weighed 8lb 12oz of silvers and then Rob had a nice net of skimmers to weigh 16lb 14oz, Mark Leahy was next and also had three nets of carp, off came Dave's shoes and socks again (and he even had a little help from Ted!) before Mark's total was read out as 144lb 1oz (and saved my phone from a watery grave!).
Jeff had 8lb 12oz (and I think he was signalling that he owed me one pound!)
Rob of Arabia had a cracking net of silvers weighing 16lb 14oz from peg 19
Dave even had some help adding up the weights from Ted!
Then it was my turn and my silvers went 12lb 4oz which was a bit more than I thought but only enough to take a pound off Jeff, then we got to Roger and he had a lovely net of skimmers to win with 29lb 15oz, that's nearly 60lb in two matches, awesome mate!
I had 12lb 4oz (and won't be asking the Tart to take my wedding photos!)
Roger had a brilliant 29lb 15oz of skimmers for another silvers win
Back at the results and Simon won the carp and also the golden peg which meant he took home an extra £8 (it went on Sunday as well!) with Mark in second and Roger and Rob were first and second in the silvers. As both me and the Tart were third, the side bet was quits and my phone is safe for another week!

So a disappointing couple of days for me, I wasn't far off yesterday but today I've messed up a good peg, talking to a few people I think I should have fed more which sort of doesn't feel right if you're trying to avoid carp but to be honest after that first hour, what did I have to lose? I could have tried it on one line, I'm back again next week and I think it's a rover on all ponds so I'll have another go then.

1 - Simon R (Summerhayes) - 198lb 6oz
2 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 144lb 1oz

1 - Roger Russell (Tackleuk) - 29lb 15oz
2 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 16lb 14oz

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dillington Pond - Summer League 9 - 27th August 2017

After the last match where I drew peg 24 and never had a fish under the bush, I was hoping for a nice peg on the far side or the bottom bank this week. Another great Ilminster Bowling Club brekkie set me up for the day but before it was time to draw, Hurf announced that todays peg fees would be donated to Bill Hopping's charity of choice - CLIC Sargent , a fantastic cause. There was another great turn out with 18 fishing so most of the pegs were in today. I went into the bucket late, hoping to avoid peg 24 and it worked, better still, I was on peg 6 on the far side, pretty much where I wanted to be.
It was a beautiful day but flat calm conditions weren't ideal!
I got out there and it was another scorching hot day and with the pond flat calm, I thought it might be hard going as conditions were far from ideal for bream! Elsewhere, Jake was on 24 with Stu Aplin on 1 and Leighton on 2, Big Frank was on 4 and I had Karl on my left. I mixed up some Pro Natural Dark with some Triple-N Stick Mix Liquid added and I also had nearly two pints of casters, some maggots and hemp plus some Bait-Tech Sweet Brazem flavoured corn.

Todays menu
I set up four rigs for today!, a Drennan 0.4 gram Pencil to fish just past the reeds at ten metres angled to my right, along with a 0.2 gram AS1 to fish two sections to hand, a little Preston Chianti for up in the water and a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing on the deck over groundbait at ten metres angled to my left. Hurf shouted the all in and I cupped in two balls of groundbait on the left hand line and then two big pots of caster, hemp and corn on the right before starting on the two sections to hand rig with single red maggot on the hook.

I had a couple of tiny roach so switched to caster which improved things and I had a couple of nice roach but it certainly wasn't fast and furious. Karl was getting the odd better fish shallow, Frank landed a bream on the straight lead and Bill down on peg 15 had netted a couple of skimmers as well. I was still getting the odd fish but rather annoyingly I'd lost several better fish which I think may have been half decent perch.

After an hour I had 21 fish for around a pound and a half, whereas Frank had added another slab and a couple of chublets which rather knocked my theory that the bream wouldn't feed into a cocked hat! Bites were slowing up on my short line and I was dying to go out over my big fish line so slipped a grain a corn on, shipped out and fed some corn and casters via a little toss pot. After about 15 minutes, the float slid away and as always, I missed it! Next chuck I had another great bite but I connected with this one and a decent amount of Grey Hydro exited the pole tip, I carefully shipped back and netted a 12oz skimmer.
I was hoping his (or hers) big brother would put in an appearance
Over the next hour I missed two mores bites on corn but it was starting to get really hot and if the bank side jungle drums were anything to go by, everybody was struggling now. I'd been getting the odd little knock so tried double caster, the float sailed away and a 4oz roach wasn't really the result I was after. I put in another big pot of caster and corn and went back to trying to catch roach, I had a couple on the top two to hand rig but it was hard going, a quick go shallow was the same and the deep caster rig was a waste of time with just a missed bite on the drop.

It was now scorching hot and all my maggots had died so I had a quick walk to see how the others were doing on my left, Karl had 2lb or so, Adie had a skimmer and some bits, Hurf was struggling and Nick had a skimmer and some roach on peg 11, I headed back to my peg thinking it wouldn't take a lot to get in the money today, I put some more feed in on the big fish line and would go back over it for the last hour or so. A few people were walking about including Jake who had only caught roach on peg 24 and reported that Stu was really struggling on peg 1 and Leighton had flown out of the blocks on peg 2, catching five skimmers in as many chucks before losing a good fish and then couldn't buy a bite.

I was getting a few roach shallow but just couldn't catch any quality and when Karl latched into a big fish which turned out to be a bream, it was pointless carrying on with that, so with about an hour and a quarter remaining, I would stick it out hoping for a bonus. After ten minutes or so I missed a really good bite and I just felt there were a few fish there as there were quite a few blows coming up. Nothing for three quarters of an hour and I was just starting to think it wasn't going to happen when the float disappeared from view and I missed it! I shipped back out and this time the float barely settled before sliding away and on the strike it felt like I'd bumped a better fish but I came back with a skimmer scale on the hook.

Back out and the floats gone again but this time it was third time lucky and I connected with a decent fish, I shipped back carefully and netted a nice skimmer of 2lb plus, with five minutes left on the clock I thought I might get another but that was last of the action. I packed up and walked up with Karl to start the weigh in at peg 1 and get some photos. Young Stuart had really struggled for a few roach and didn't bother weighing, Leighton hadn't added anymore skimmers and weighed 4lb 7oz before we got to Frank who had managed one more skimmer and weighed 10lb 9oz.
Leighton had five skimmers for 4lb 7oz from peg 2
Frank had 10lb 9oz which included two nice bream
I was next and my two skimmers and roach went 6lb 3oz which was a little more than I thought but I knew it wouldn't be enough today. Karl had 7lb 2oz and his bream was probably getting on for 5lb, Adie had 4lb 10oz, Hurf had 2lb 3oz from peg 9 and Nick had 2lb 15oz from peg 11. Last to weigh in our section was John Dursley who had six skimmers for 9lb 2oz but was cursing two lost chub in the last 15 minutes which have probably cost him the match.
I had two skimmers and some roach for 6lb 3oz
Karl had 7lb 2oz which included this cracking bream
Adie had 4lb 10oz from peg 8
Hurf had struggled for 2lb 3oz but was still smiling
Nick Payne had 2lb 15oz from peg 11
John Dursley had six skimmers for 9lb 2oz
Back at the results and I was hoping Karl would sneak into the frame and I'd get the section by default but it wasn't to be as Bill 'The Paste King' had the top weight in the other section with 9lb 14oz for second place overall and Fieldy had 8lb 2oz for fourth and the last frame place. It had been hard going over there as well with Gordon needing just 3lb 14oz to take the default section money followed by Justin with 2lb and Steve P with 1lb 2oz, Jake, Bob and Rob didn't trouble the scales.

So although the fishing had been quite challenging this week, the leading weights were still close and I certainly had my chances today as I missed several bites on corn, any one of which might have been enough to frame. I did win pounds off Hurf and Steve P (but he did a runner again) although I lost one to Karl (and I forgot to pay up - whoops!).

1 - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 10lb 9oz
2 - Bill Hopping (Ilminster) - 9lb 14oz
3 - John Dursley (Enterprise Angling) - 9lb 2oz
4 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 8lb 2oz

A - Karl Aplin (Ilminster) - 7lb 2oz
B - Gordon Aplin (Ilminster) - 3lb 12oz

In the league, after nine matches and dropping the two worst results, the top four looks like this,

Bill Hopping - 10 pts
Graham Field - 14 pts
John Dursley - 15 pts
Adie Bishop - 17 pts

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Summerhayes - Open - 20th August 2017

It was back to Summerhayes this week for the first time since June and looking at the latest results on Sellicks, the carp have been getting their heads down and proving to be a real nuisance for the silvers anglers. I picked Janders up and we made good time, as we pulled into the car park, the first person I saw was the Tart waving at me, I'd received a text from him asking which lake we were on today so at least I'd had time to mentally prepare myself before I saw him. As I was getting my nets I met Matt Thomas who'd just come back to the UK after spending several years in Perth, Australia and he said he'd really enjoyed reading the blog whilst he was in Oz and it had kept him interested as there wasn't much coarse fishing over there, cheers Matt, thanks for the great feedback!

After paying our pools and having a quick coffee, Pete announced the draw and as per usual I ended up going in the bucket quite late, Janders was on 21 on the far side and I was hoping to join him but was slightly disappointed to pull out peg 7, as for the Tart, he was on 13 which has been a good area for carp and silvers in recent matches. As I took my kit to the peg I passed Bruce on peg 3, Mark Leahy on 5 and I had Dave Romain on my left on peg 9 with Gareth Lennox on 11 which was also the golden peg today.
The view from peg 7 looking up the lake
I set up a Malman 0.6 gram Pencil to fish two lines at ten metres and a 0.3 gram NG Mini Gimp for five metres and a top two plus one line on the inside to the right. The side tray was nice and simple today, just some Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse Pellets that I'd soaked the night before and added a decent helping of Special G Dark plus some 4mm Xpands for the hook.

On the whistle I put in half a pot of micros on the two longer lines, the same at five metres and a modest amount on the inside which was where I started. Mark had a carp first chuck from his five metre line and Bruce had one shortly after, I gave it ten minutes but never had a bite so moved out to the right hand ten metre line. The rig settled and the float sailed away but of course I missed it!, I shipped out again and the same thing happened but this time I connected on the strike, it was obviously a carp but after a few minutes a beautiful golden koi surfaced before I netted it.
My first fish was beautiful golden koi around 3lb
My next fish didn't feel like a carp and a lovely crucian around a pound popped up to open my silvers account. A couple of small carp followed and all around me plenty of elastic was coming out as everybody I could see was catching carp, which was fine by me as they weren't catching silvers! I switched to my left hand line and the first bite resulted in a small 6oz tench but then the next couple of fish were carp. So with an hour gone, I probably had 1.5lb and as the Friday silvers match was won with 10lb, I wouldn't be far off if I could carry on catching at this rate.

I switched to the other ten metre line and had a nice run of three skimmers and another little tench although I did lose what felt like a decent skimmer before the carp moved in but I was happy as I was still on target to do 8-10lb. Every time I shipped out I sprinkled in a few micros on the five metre line (and occasionally on the margin line) but wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it.

I was swapping between the two longer lines but carp were starting to be a real pain and I foulhooked quite a few and was having to reverse them into the net! The right hand line was definitely the more productive and I added another four skimmers to put me on 4.5lb of silvers after three hours. Things started to go a bit pear shaped in the fourth hour, I lost a decent skimmer, hooked loads of carp including another koi/ghostie, another carp did me under the pallet (ouch!) and I only added one skimmer and a tiny blade to the net. Also after a fairly bright start, it had clouded over and we had some light rain but going into the last two hours it started to lash it down.

I came in on the five metre line for the first time and had to wait ages for a bite and of course when it came, I missed it! The next bite saw the elastic come jagging out of the pole tip and I just knew it would be a small tench and it was. Sport certainly wasn't fast or furious on the shorter line but over the next hour I added another three tench between 6-12oz and I was probably up to around 6lb with sixty minutes to go but then the carp moved in on this line and I was missing loads of bites as well.

Janders turned up and was looking rather moist as he hadn't brought a coat with him, he was blaming me for saying it would be a nice day but you'd have thought he'd have known not to believe anything I say by now! He said he'd had four skimmers for about 3.5lb but wasn't going to weigh in, while he was behind me I had my first skimmer from the shorter line, it was only about 4oz but very welcome all the same. He left me to it and headed up to see how the Tart was doing.

I managed another skimmer, this one around 12oz to put me on 7lb or so and there were still fifteen minutes to go, I was praying for a couple more skimmers or a decent crucian but time was ticking by and then I missed two great bites in quick succession, had I missed my chance? Then the float sailed away with minutes to go and the way the fish was fighting, I was convinced it was going to be a decent tench and was slightly gutted when a carp around 2lb came to the top, I was just about to go back out when Adie called time. Typically, no sooner than we started to pack our kit away, it stopped raining!

I took my kit back to the car and we all assembled at Bruce's peg to await the scales, the Tart arrived and said he'd caught a load of carp but only had a couple of roach and as we have a pound on silvers and a pound on carp, it was looking like it would end up quits. Rob Birch said he'd done alright and had between 8-10lb of silvers and I knew I didn't have double figures. Bruce set the pace with 103lb 12oz before Mark just edged ahead with 105lb 2oz, then it was my turn and I had around a dozen carp for 35lb and then my silvers went 8lb 12oz so I wasn't too far out with my estimate.
A very wet Janders watching the weigh in
I had 8lb 12oz of silvers
Dave Romain then took the lead with 109lb 9oz before we got to Gareth on the golden peg, after several weighs his total was called out at 141lb 9oz and he was in for a bumper payday. Then we got to the Tart and after his three carp nets were weighed, Pete called out 139lb 8oz and he was one fish short. Rob was next and when he pulled his silvers net out, it looked like it was going to be tight and his weight was called at 8lb 9oz - phew!

Chris W had done well to weigh 59lb 5oz from peg 17, especially as five sections of his pole was sticking out of the far bank! Alan Jenkins had 2lb of silvers, Janders didn't weigh (and conceded his pound) and then Matt T was last to weigh and had 67lb 2oz from peg 23.

Back at the results and after a very welcome coffee, Pete did the results and Gareth was called out as the winner and collected a nice fat envelope, the Tart was second and Dave was third. I won the silvers and picked up £27 with Rob in second place.
An enjoyable day (apart from the weather!)
1 - Gareth Lennox (Frenzee) - 141lb 9oz
2 - Brendon Ions (Torquay) - 139lb 8oz
3 - Dave Romain (Summerhayes) - 109lb 9oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 12oz
2 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 8lb 9oz

So an enjoyable day apart from the weather, the Summerhayes boat crew managed to retrieve Chris's pole sections, also I went and used the new toilet block and I was very impressed with the new facilities, lets hope the anglers look after them.

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Dillington Pond - Summer League 8 - 13th August 2017

After the last match where I did okay and actually managed a few fish on corn, I was a little more confident going into this one (which is bound to mean the kiss of death!). Before I get on to this weeks match, the club would like to say a massive thanks to Hurf, Jake, Rob, Frank and Max for doing some swim clearing during the week, well done guys! As per usual we met at Ilminster Bowling Club for brekkie and there were a few sore heads as Rob, Hurf, Frank and Jake (who never made it to the draw!) had been out celebrating Leighton and Kayleigh getting hitched the day before, congratulations to the happy couple and all the best for the future.

Hurf announced the draw and I went into the bucket of dreams with only two balls left and pulled out peg 24, one of the infamous bush pegs. To be honest I had mixed feelings as you feel obliged to fish for the chub and bream that live under the bush and of course they don't always show. John Dursley did win off it a few weeks back with a brilliant 45lb but other than that, peg 1 has been the better peg, winning four of the seven matches so far.
The infamous bush between pegs 24 and 1
I got my kit to the peg and it looked nice although there was an overhanging branch which meant I couldn't fish to the point of the bush but I still fancied it. I set up a 1 gram Drennan Tipo to fish at 11.5 metres in open water and a little Carpa 1 to fish by the bush, I had nearly two pints of casters, some maggots, two tins of corn and I also mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Natural Dark for the long line. I've been playing around with Bait-Tech's Triple-N Stick Mix Liquid and added several squirts to the water for mixing the groundbait, it's got a lovely nutty smell and I can think of loads of other uses for it too, I'll do a proper review soon.

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 11.5 metres and then put two big pots of casters and corn by the bush before starting in open water with single maggot on the hook. I had a small roach so switched to caster and had a couple of better roach and then tried a grain of corn, I had to wait ages for a bite which resulted in a 2oz roach and with thirty minutes gone, I was itching to have a go by the bush where hopefully the chub and bream would be lined up! I gave it half an hour with no bites but wasn't too worried at this early stage, I put in another big pot of corn and casters and went back out on the longer line.

I asked Steve P on peg 1 how he was doing and he said he'd only had a couple of small fish, I hadn't seen Bill catch yet on 20 although I was sure Fieldy would be catching lots of bits on peg 2. I had another roach on caster and tried corn again, the rig settled and then sunk from view, I struck and it felt like a slightly better fish before I netted a 6oz chublet. The next bite saw more elastic come out and this time it was a decent skimmer around the pound mark and although I wasn't bagging, I was doing okay from what I could see. With an hour and a half gone, I cupped in another big ball of groundbait containing corn and caster on the long line and went back into the lions den.
My first skimmer was around a pound
Another thirty minutes passed without any indications and although I wasn't panicking yet, small elements of doubt were starting to creep in. It was a bright and sunny day, not ideal conditions for bream and I was beginning to think it might be quite a low weight affair today. I could see Rob on 19 and John Dursley on 18 were both swapping between pole and feeder which usually means people are struggling, Bill still hadn't caught and if Steve P was telling the truth, he only had around a pound of bits, surely somebody would find a few bream (hopefully me!).

I put in another big pot of grub by the bush before going back out and I had a second chublet quite quickly and then after a long wait I missed a good bite but on the next chuck I had another slightly smaller skimmer, this one around 12oz. No more bites so back by the bush and still nothing as we passed the half way mark, any thoughts of bagging had long gone and I was just hoping to get a couple of bites under the bush from bigger fish.

I'd been feeding casters on the long line and there were some swirls from better fish and I couldn't resist having a go for them so quickly set up a shallow rig and had a couple of slightly better roach but they soon disappeared when I put the pole over their heads. Then Bill had his first skimmer and then added two more in quick succession followed by a proper bream so I chucked the shallow rig up the bank and went back by the bush, I needed a couple of lumps now and was hoping they might get their heads down in the last hour.

I tried going further and further under the bush but just couldn't get a bite, I tried double caster and finally the float sailed away but I missed it and then missed the next one too! Then it was third time lucky but a one ounce roach wasn't going to help my cause much! Jake turned up for a walk round and said nobody was bagging and that Frank was doing well catching roach shallow on peg 16 and that's what I should have done but it was pointless doing anything else now and I was committed (or should be committed!) to trying to catch a couple of chub.

With five minutes to go, the float finally flew away but I struck and hit a branch and that was it, my final tally was 13 fish (two skimmers, two chublets and nine roach) and once again I'd got it all wrong. I packed up and took my gear back to the car before catching up with the scales, I missed Nick Payne who'd done well again to weigh 8lb 15oz of skimmers from peg 14, then Frank had a nice bag of roach weighing 9lb 4oz and he'd only fished for them for three hours, Bob didn't weigh on peg 17 and then John Dursley had four skimmers for 4lb 5oz from 18 and Rob had chucked back on 19.
Big Frank had a nice net of roach weighing 9lb 4oz
John Dursley had 4lb 5oz from peg 18
Then we got to Bill who had a good bream and eight skimmers for 14lb and unless there were any surprises, he would win with that, my fish went 4lb 1oz and I only weighed in for the sake of the side bets! Back at the results and Adie Bishop had the top weight in the other section with 10lb 14oz from peg 7, Fieldy had 10lb 7oz from peg 2, Rich Studley had 4lb 8oz, Justin had 4lb 6oz and then Hurf had 3lb 4oz and Steve P had 1lb 3oz so at least I'd won the side bets (or I would have done but Steve P sloped off and Hurf didn't have any change!).
Paste King Bill Hopping does it again, this time with 14lb of bream and skimmers
I had 4lb 1oz and got it all wrong once again
1 - Bill Hopping (Ilminster) - 14lb
2 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 10lb 14oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 10lb 7oz

A - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 9lb 4oz
B - Rich Studley (Ilminster) - 4lb 8oz

In the league, after eight matches and dropping the two worst results, the top four looks like this,

Bill Hopping - 9 pts
Graham Field - 12 pts
Adie Bishop - 13 pts
John Dursley - 13 pts

Even though the pond fished quite hard with the lowest winning weight of the series so far, it's really intriguing fishing and I feel like I got it badly wrong again. If I could fish the match again I would fish for roach and I'm sure I could have framed but that's with the benefit of my old friend hindsight. It'll be interesting to see if the weights are back to what we're used to or if this match was a blip, peg 24 will probably win with 100lb next match now!!

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Perry St Pond - League 9 - 6th August 2017

The final match arrived and the low numbers would be my home for the day, after another excellent Millfield café brekkie we all headed out to Perry St to do the draw with the guys at Sadborow going first where the top three would battle it out for the title. Howard was on peg 1 with Shane on 5 and Exeter Mike on 9, all decent pegs and anything could happen although Howard did have a three point cushion. Then it was the turn of Perry Low to draw and I just wanted to avoid peg 1 which hasn't been great so I had a master plan and would let everybody go first and I'd have the last peg in the bucket. Of course you know what's coming next and I was left with the peg I didn't want. As it turned out the last two pegs in the bucket were 1 and 10 with Commander Smith the lucky recipient of the latter.
Peg 1 (I could have just used the photo from last time!)
I took my kit to the peg and to be honest it looked nice although while I was setting up I only saw a couple of carp cruising about. The usual rigs were assembled, an in-line dibber for fishing a shallow, a 0.3 gram Drennan Crystal Margin for the inside line and I made up a new rig for the five metre meat line. On the side tray today I had Bait-Tech 6mm and 8mm Carp and Coarse Pellets, Strawberry Meat, maggots and some Juice Dumbells in case I could see the odd cruiser.

I was ready in plenty of time so wandered up to give the Tart some abuse, as I reached him on peg 7, Superintendent Smith was already there and there were loads of carp swimming about which didn't bode well as far as my pound was concerned and with Picky on peg 4 and Janders on 8 at Sadborow, this could be an expensive day! On the plus side, Sergeant (Delia) Smith had brought some lovely looking doughnuts for today's treat.
Smithy with todays treats
I walked back with a few minutes to spare and on the whistle I cupped in some meat at 5 metres and dead reds and some meat on the inside before starting at 11.5 metres with the shallow rig and a banded 6mm pellet. After a couple of minutes of firing 6mm's out and lifting and dropping the rig, I was surprised when the float shot under and I was into a carp already. I safely netted a decent fish and was relieved to get off the mark as the last time I was on this peg, I was still blanking after 3.5 hours! The Hoff on peg 2 landed a couple of carp and Grandad Young over on peg 17 had netted one as well.

Any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared when the rest of the first hour was pretty uneventful, I was just about to try the inside line when I had two more carp in quick succession which prompted me to stick at it for another hour. Along with feeding the 5 metre and inside lines, I was also pinging a few 8mm's up towards the corner where I'd caught a few late the last time. As the second hour drew to a close I hadn't added to my three fish so I tried the inside line for the first time. I hadn't been in there long when the float disappeared at a rate of knots and a decent fish has gone off up towards Hoff, I was hanging on with the pole tip under water when everything's gone slack and its buried me in some lilies and snapped me.

The next bite saw me get the fish in open water only for it to come off and when I looked at the rig, I had a load of line and another hook attached to it, so I think I'd hooked that rather than the fish. Things got even worse when I lost the next two as well, I got both in open water and the hook has just pulled out, on a day when the bankside grapevine was suggesting it was fishing hard, I had a feeling they might cost me! Yardie over on peg 19 was having the same problem and had several come off for no apparent reason so maybe they weren't having it properly.

Hoffy was a couple of fish ahead of me but I couldn't tell how the rest of my section was doing although it sounded like Picky and the Tart were getting odd fish. I cupped in some more feed on the inside before having another go shallow without any success and a first look at 5 metres had the same result. A fish signalled it's presence on the inside with a tail pattern so I quickly shipped back and changed rigs, the float sailed away and I actually managed to get this one out to level the scores with the fish at 4-4! Then normal service was resumed when I hooked another that snagged me and I had to pull for a break.

I had another go shallow but it just wasn't happening so I stuck on another section and went up towards the corner where I'd been feeding 8mm's for four hours and never had a bite! Another fish waved at me from the inside so I went in to say hello and enjoyed a purple patch, landing three fish quite quickly to make the score 7-5 in my favour and with an hour left, I thought if I could get another couple, I might not be far off. Then my mate Andy turned up for a chat and it was great to see him, he said he'd almost thought about getting his gear out again but after watching me catch nothing for an hour, I'd probably done nothing to inspire him!

Hoff had a decent fish late to put him on 8 and a skimmer, I packed up and as people started taking their kit back to the cars, I asked how they'd done, it had fished hard for most, Picky had 5, Mark had struggled for a couple on peg 5, Bushy had 7, the Tart had 9 and Sith Lord Smith was admitting to a similar number. The scales started with me and my fish went 30lb 14oz which was an improvement on the last time but could have been a lot better. Hoff weighed 35lb 12oz and that last fish had done me, Picky weighed 15lb 12oz and then Mark had 6lb 14oz before we got to the Tart, his fish went 44lb 2oz although he said he'd lost 15, so obviously a few fish there then!
I had 30lb 14oz but needed one more fish
Hoff had 35lb 12oz
Mark had 6lb 14oz from peg 5
The Tart had 44lb 2oz
Bushy just pipped me with 31lb 8oz to push me down another place and then we got to Corporal Smith on peg 10, when he pulled his net out, it was obviously going to be close and he'd just done enough to beat his travelling partner with 44lb 8oz so at least he wouldn't have to put his ear plugs in on the way home!
Bushy had 31lb 8oz (and nearly smiled!)
Squadron Leader Smithy with part of his section winning 44lb 8oz
Then we headed around to weigh in the other section, Chilly had struggled in peg 11 to weigh 10lb 6oz, Les had 16lb 12oz which included 9lb 4oz of silvers, Oz on peg 13 had 17lb and then Bish had done well on 14 and weighed 58lb 14oz. Butch didn't weigh and then Grandad Young had 39lb 6oz from peg 17 and struck a pose for the camera although we weren't sure he'd be able to get back up again! That just left Yardie who had 10lb 10oz but had lost several as well.
Les had 16lb 12oz which included this nice net of silvers weighing 9lb 4oz
Oz had 17lb from peg 13
Bish had the top weight on the lake with 58lb 14oz
Grandad struck a pose with his 39lb 6oz but we weren't sure he'd be able to get back up again!
Back at the car park and everybody was back from Sadborow, Howard had finished his league in style with 66lb 12oz to win the section, match and league, well done mate. He lead the league from the second match, winning his section five times along the way. Exeter Mike was second in the section with 57lb 14oz which meant he finished as the runner up in the league ahead of Shane. Janders was third on the day and took a pound off me with 52lb.

1 – Howard Watts (Torquay) - 66lb 12oz
2 – Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 57lb 14oz
3 – John Anderson (Donyatt) - 52lb

Perry St Low
1 – Mike Smith (Torquay) - 44lb 8oz
2 – Brendon Ions (Torquay) - 44lb 2oz
3 – Mark Hollister (Chard) - 35lb 12oz

Perry St High
1 – Steve Bishop (Chard) - 58lb 14oz
2 – Geoff Young (Torquay) - 39lb 6oz
3 – Steve Osborne (Chard) - 17lb

After working out the results, Les read the final league results out in reverse order, I was surprised to hear him call me and Bish out in joint sixth place with 30 points as I thought he was only paying the top three, we picked up £15 each although I was bit gutted as today's bad result has cost me a few places, Chris W was fifth with 29, the Tart fourth with 27, Shane with 26, Mike with 23 and champ Howard had 19 points. The final top ten in the league looks like this,

1 - Howards Watts - 19 pts
2 - Mike Hosgood - 23 pts
3 - Shane Jeffery - 26 pts
4 - Brendon Ions - 27 pts
5 - Chris W - 29 pts
6 - Jamie Rich - 30 pts
6 - Steve Bishop - 30 pts
8 - Les Braunton - 35 pts
9 - Steve Osborne - 36 pts
9 - Mike Smith - 36 pts
League Champion Howard collects his winnings from Les
Top three in the league (from left to right) Exeter Mike, Howard and Shane
I really enjoyed the league, the fishing was great and the banter even better! As I said in a recent post, there are fine lines between success and failure and over the nine matches, lost fish here and there have cost me loads of points, especially those lost through my own stupidity. Drawing peg 1 twice at Perry St hasn't done me any favours either. It looks like I won't be able to fish the league again next year as it'll be starting in February but Les said I should be able to fish most weeks as a stand in. Here's a brief overview of the league in numbers,

Most section wins - Howard Watts with five
Best peg at Sadborow - Peg 9 (average of 3 points per match)
Worst peg at Sadborow - Peg 7 (average of 7 points but only used for the first three matches)
Best peg at Perry St Low - Peg 5 (average of 2.86 points per match)
Worst peg at Perry St Low - Peg 8 (average of 5.87 points per match)
Best peg at Perry St High - Peg 11 (average of 3.22 points per match)
Worst peg at Perry St High - Peg 20 (average of 8 points per match but only used for the first three matches)
Biggest winning weight at Sadborow - Jamie Rich - 120lb 6oz
Biggest winning weight at Perry St Low - Karl Everton (standing in for Chris W) - 96lb 8oz
Biggest winning weight at Perry St High - Steve Bush - 79lb 8oz
Side bet scores on the doors
Jamie 5 - Tart 4
Jamie 5 - Picky 3 (he was away for one match)
Jamie 6 - Janders 2 (we tied one week)

So huge thanks to Les for organising another great league and to all the anglers for making it such a good laugh. But for me (and everybody else, I'm sure) the league will be remembered for the wrong reasons with the sad loss of Dave, tight lines and rest in peace mate.

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 07, 2017

Todber Manor - Open - 5th August 2017

After a really good week where I saw one of my all time favourite bands, Teenage Bottlerocket, in Bristol, I was looking forward to fishing Todber for the first time but then came down with a stinking cold on Thursday and wasn't sure I'd feel well enough to go. When the Tart text me to say he was fishing, a day in my sick bed started to look even more favourable! I woke up at the crack of dawn and felt half human at least, so decided a day in the fresh air might help!

I met Scotty and a few others in the Little Chef at Podimore for breakfast, it was really busy and by the time we got served and had eaten we were quite pushed for time but got to the venue with a few minutes to spare. There were 37 booked in for this one which just shows what a popular venue it is, it was also great to see Alan Oram who I hadn't seen since the Chard Pairs league, many moons ago, it wasn't so nice to see the Tart who was looking very pleased with himself. It's a great set up at Todber with loads of lakes where you can park behind your peg in most cases and there's a well stocked tackle shop on site.

The draw was announced and I delved into the bucket quite late, I opened my ticket to see 38 on Hill View staring back at me, this meant nothing to me, the Tart was on 49 on the same lake and when he showed Freddy Roberts and Ashley Tomkins there were some jealous looks and shouts of 'That's the best peg on the lake'. Hopeful of a similar reaction, I tentatively showed them my peg number only for the jealous looks to turn to pity and comments like 'At least you should get a few bites' didn't fill me with much hope. Scott said it wasn't the best area and he'd drawn a couple of pegs away on number 40.
The view from peg 38 on Hill View
With it being my first visit I was going to keep it simple and several people had advised me to fish just down the slope at top two plus two and also feed a margin line for later. Looking at previous results, well over a ton is needed to frame and 40-50lb weights win the silvers, busy fishing with lots of bites from little tench, carp and skimmers along with the odd lump. The side tray was also fairly uncomplicated with three big tins of corn, Bait-Tech 6mm and 8mm Carp and Coarse pellets plus I mixed up some Special G Dark to which I added some Nutty Stick Mix liquid and added a generous helping of corn.
Bait-Tech pellets, Special G Dark and corn
I set up a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for fishing corn and pellets at top two plus two straight out and another rig featuring a hand made pattern for fishing the inside at the same distance but at an angle to my right. It was already quite windy and it was looking like we might get some of the wet stuff which was bad news for Alex Nadin on my left as he hadn't got his waterproofs with him!

On the whistle I fed three balls of groundbait packed with corn straight out and then fed some corn and 8mm's by hand on the inside line. Both my neighbours started on the method feeder fished towards the islands. I had to wait a while before I had my first indication which resulted in a 4oz carp, I had another next chuck and then a couple of tiny tench before I caught a roach and then a small perch (on corn!). Then I hooked a fish that saw a fait bit of grey hydro exit the pole tip and I landed a 4lb carp, a smaller one followed and then a skimmer. Scott and Alex both had a couple of carp but it wasn't fast and furious at this stage although I was expecting the sport to improve as the day progressed.

The wind was getting steadily worse and it started to rain hard enough for me to put my coat on, after an hour I probably had 5lb or so which wasn't great and if anything my bites were slowing up. I could see odd fish being caught but nobody looked to be bagging and Scott commented how hard it was fishing. I had a few more fish in the second hour including a nice skimmer around a pound and a couple of half decent carp but going into the third hour I was really struggling and it wasn't just me. I tried banded pellet but only had one bite which I missed and at the half way point, I probably had around 15lb. I could hear the anglers on the far bank talking and it sounded like it was a similar story over there with people admitting to 20-25lb, Freddy Roberts came for a walk and said he was struggling and was going to get something to eat.

I'd been feeding corn and pellets on my other line and with three hours to go it was time to try it, I had to wait a while for my first bite and landed a nice mirror carp about 2lb, more followed including some good commons and a 3lb skimmer and all of a sudden I was starting to put a weight together. Scotty was getting odd fish and I could see Ash up on 34 netting fish regularly but I was doing okay and if anything my peg was getting stronger and stronger.

With an hour to go, Scott has come in the edge by the hay bales where he'd fed heavily with groundbait and maggots and started to get some proper beasts, including one that he could have put a saddle on! I was still catching well but after hardly losing a fish all day I lost three in quick succession, including one that felt like a big fish. I then hooked one that just plodded around but I couldn't get its head up, after what seemed like an age I managed to get a fish that looked to be around 10-12lb in the landing net, breaking it in the process, I had a spare so wasn't out of action long.

Scott wasn't catching as quickly as me but every one he landed looked like a lump, just before the all out was called, my float buried and I hooked another only for it to come off and I didn't have time to go back out again. I ended up with 49 fish (37 carp plus tench, roach, skimmers and perch) and to be honest I didn't have a clue what weight I had because my carp ranged in size from 4oz to 12lb!

The venue's team does all the weighing in and arrived just after I'd started packing up, Ash had weighed 94lb 8oz, Rich Yeo on the next peg had 51lb 8oz and Alex had already gone. My first carp net went just over 40lb and my second net was 51lb and I wasn't sure I had enough in my silvers net to beat Ash but it was called at 6lb to give me a total of 97lb 8oz. I was a little disappointed not to break triple figures but by the same token I'd had a cracking days fishing after a slow start. Scott weighed a fantastic 137lb 11oz with his biggest fish going over 18lb and the last hour had seen him bag right up. The Tart turned up looking rather dejected as he'd only weighed 37lb and Vince had given him a right spanking off the next peg when he weighed over 130lb, so another of his pounds was heading back to Chard with me.
After a slow start I weighed 97lb 8oz**
As I was packing up I could hear the odd weight being called out as the scales carried on round the lake and I started to think I had a chance of a pick up. Back at the results and the top weight came from Homeground with James Knight weighing 211lb 4oz from peg 76, Scott was second and Vince Brown was third with 130lb 4oz. Top silvers also came from Homeground with Steve Hutch weighing a brilliant 53lb 14oz from peg 87. I just missed out on the section money as Scott Puddy won our section with 101lb from peg 45. Thanks to Todber Manor* and Scott Russell** for the photos.
James Knight with part of his massive winning catch*
Scott was second with 137lb 11oz*
Scott Puddy won our section wit 101lb*
Steve Hutch won the silvers with 53lb 14oz*
Barry Robson was second with 37lb 4oz*
Paul Greenwood was third with 31lb from peg 58*

1 - James Knight - 211lb 4oz
2 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 137lb 11oz
3 - Vince Brown - 130lb 4oz
4 - Jack Stamp - 127lb 6oz
5 - Alan Oram - 126lb 2oz

1 - Steve Hutch - 53lb 14oz
2 - Barry Robson - 37lb 4oz
3 - Paul Greenwood - 31lb

Hill View A  - Scott Puddy - 101lb
Hill View B - Mark Poppleton - 80lb 10oz
Homeground C - Nick Ewers - 86lb 4oz

I really enjoyed the day and will definitely be back again, it's just a shame it's so far away, my main worry was getting battered but I didn't disgrace myself and only just missed out on the ton (and a pick up) in the end.

Next up - Perry St

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My latest ramblings (below)