Monday, August 20, 2007

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 19th August 2007

As I'm doing ok in this Summer league I had to miss the teams of five match on Stathe drain and handed over the captains armband to Les Braunton. I needed a good result in this one as Graham Field is currently leading the league with 5 points followed by me on 7 and I couldn't afford for him to stretch his lead. With eleven anglers fishing I was glad to note they had left the pumphouse swim out, mind you I didn't fancy peg 5 either (where I was last time). Of course I only went and drew it!!!! The only good news was that my section only had five anglers in compared to six in the other.

I got to the pond and the wind was really strong and blowing into fancied peg one where my nemesis Janders had drawn. Looking at my peg the water was flat calm as it was sheltered from the wind by some trees and bushes, would this work in my favour? I set up a gram Drennan Tipo for fishing at 10 metres with 0.12 mm bottom and a size 18 Kamasan B611 and a 0.6 gram Drennan carp float for fishing the insides and by the bush. I also set up a 4 x 14 Colmic Jolly for fishing two sections to hand, this rig had 0.08 mm bottom and size 18 B511. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Supermatch and was ready for the off.

The whistle went and I cupped in three balls at 10 metres plus casters and hemp by the bush and to the reeds to my left. I started fishing two sections to hand with maggot or caster on the hook and loosefeeding over the top. I caught a small perch straight away and after half an hour I had 22 fish (all perch apart from 2 roach). I soon tired of this and went out to 10 metres with caster on the hook, it was slower but I was getting perch, small roach and I also had a couple of net roach. After the first hour I had 35 fish and was fairly pleased with the way things were going.

Looking across the pond I could see Justin Charles catching small fish quite regularly but Jake and Frank Woodard down from him didn't seem to be doing much. I was still catching the odd roach and perch but a lot of the fish seemed to be hitting the bait on the drop. I tried with the shallower Jolly rig and this brought a brief flurry of roach to the caster but I still couldn't catch the quality roach. I tried both insides and by the bush but this just resulted in a few more small roach, rudd and perch and an eel of about 4oz. Back out at 10 metres with the shallower rig saw me catch some more roach. I tried hemp but the stamp of roach didn't get any bigger and I was missing too many bites.

My next peg neighbour, Malcolm Levy, asked how I was getting on, I told him and he replied he was catching but hadn't had anything over 2oz. Justin had netted a couple of better roach but from what I could see nobody was bagging. I tried caster on the shallow rig again and immediately caught a couple of net roach before reverting back to catching fish in the 1-2oz bracket. As the end approached I was still putting the odd fish in the net and had 12 in the last hour to finish on 102. I was pretty sure I had more than the 5lb 9oz I caught the last time I drew this peg but I am hopeless at estimating weights.

Malcolm also reckoned he had more than he had last time and as Neil arrived with the scales it was time to find out. My fish went 9lb dead which I was chuffed with and Malcolm weighed 7lb 13oz, Neil weighed 5lb 13oz. My main concern were pegs one to four on the other bank as they were in my section. As I walked round I met Frank with the scales and asked how he got on, he said he'd had 6lb odd and Jake had 7lb 9oz which really suprised me as I hadn't seen them catch bugger all! Justin took his fish to the scales and he weighed 7lb 7oz, so the weights were really close. Janders on peg one had struggled for 3lb something so the pound bet was safely mine but more importantly I'd won the section .

As we were packing our gear away the rest of the other anglers turned up, Roger Russell had weighed 9lb 6oz and was top weight on the other bank. Bugger I should have kept catching those roach and not tried the insides. I ended up second on the day and picked up £37. Graham Field was second in his section so I pulled a point back on him and with two matches to go there is one point in it.

I must also mention my Chard Remains team who won at Stathe Drain with 39 points. Nicky Collins won his section and the match overall, Steve Bush won his section, Alan Dunn was second in his, stand in skipper Les Braunton was third and Dave Lawrence had 6 points. Well done boys although it's now doubtful if they'll let me back in the side!!!

Next weekend me and Andy are at Evesham for the festival and I dare say a few beers, I'll let you know how we get on.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stathe Drain - Langport League - 12th August 2007

As my team, Chard Remains, is currently propping up the league our only hope of silverware this year is the knockout cup which starts with this match and runs over the remaining fixtures on Stathe drain. I did the draw for the team and managed to get an end peg for Steve Bush who was on B8, my peg D6 was also an end peg sort of as the section is split by a small bridge.

I got to my peg and it looked good with reeds on the far bank and some weed beds at around 11 metres. I set up a Drennan Squatt float for fishing at 5 metres with 0.08 mm bottom and size 18 B511 hook and a Drennan Carp float for my chopped worm rig by the weed. This had 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611. For company I had Scott Russell from team Focus next to me on D7 and on the other side of the bridge was Steve Lovell, next to him was Jack Warner from the Nomads who were our knockout opponents on the day.

On the whistle I put a cup full of choppie and casters at 11.5 metres and started feeding hemp and caster at 5 metres. Scott did likewise and we both started off over our chopped worm lines although he was actually fishing tighter across than me. I was first off the mark with a perch of 4oz, Scotty fought back with a 3lb tench! I then had a skimmer of 6oz followed by a small tench of around 12oz. He had another tench, this one around a pound and a half and I was already way behind. I did add another three of four skimmers before both our far lines died after an hour and a half.

I was quite looking forward to fishing my hemp line so I fed some more choppie across and came in to 5 metres with my lighter rig with caster on the hook. Nothing on caster so a switch to red maggot saw me catch a tiny ruffe, I then had a small roach but it wasn't happening at all. Scotty wasn't bagging either and from what I could see nobody was doing much. Another try with caster saw me catch another 4oz perch. Some minute rudd and motherless minnows came to maggot along with the odd roach but I was having to wait too long for bites.

After three hours I reckoned I had about 2lb or so, Steve Lovell shouted up that he had less than a pound so I was doing ok but a long way behind Scotty. Another try across with worm and caster didn't see me add to my tally. A few more roach including one decent one at 5 metres kept the odd fish going in the net. I tried hemp on the hook but had no bites on it. With half an hour to go I decided to stick it out on the longer line hoping for a bonus fish. With ten minutes remaining the float slid away and I was attached to something which was pulling plenty of white hydro out, alas it wasn't a bream or tench but an eel of 12oz which was welcome all the same. In the last five minutes I had another bite which was a greedy perch but it came off as I was shipping back.

I packed up and went to watch the weigh in, the first couple of pegs had between a kilo and a kilo and a half, my Nomads rival Jack weighed 2 kilo 300 grams and I didn't think I had that. Steve Lovell had around a kilo and then it was my turn, my fish went 2 kilo 350 grams and with two pegs to go I was winning the section! It didn't last as Scotty weighed 4 kilo exactly but the last peg weighed 2 kilo so I ended up second in the section and received 8 points.

Walking back to the carpark we stopped to watch E section weigh in, our man in the section was Dave Lawrence who came last with 320 grams. The winner of E section and the match was Baz Morgan with over 9 kilos of bream and skimmers. Well done Baz! That's his second overall win of the series so far and the way he's drawing there could be more to come. Back at the results it soon became clear we wouldn't be winning the knockout cup either. Alan Dunn was last in his section and Nicky Collins and Steve Bush both had 5 points. Our total of 22 meant we were joint last on the day and remain bottom. It's not all bad news though as there is a wooden spoon! My £25 for second in the section meant it was the first brown envelope in five weeks so hopefully I've stopped the rot.

I'm not fishing the remaining two matches in this league as I need to concentrate on the Summer League at Dillington where I'm currently in second place with three matches to go so lets hope I can get some good section results there, wish me luck.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 5th August 2007

I was really looking forward to this one as the forecast was good and I really enjoy fishing this venue and up until the last couple of matches I have had some good results. I got to the draw a little late and once again there was a good turnout of twelve anglers including a couple of 'muggers', Bruce Hunt and Martin Heard from Tiverton.

I really didn't want the pumphouse swim and hung back from the draw until it went, Martin was the unlucky angler. Thinking I was safe I drew and got peg 6 which is next door and not brilliant - great! I got to the pond and set my stuff up, the swim looked really fishy with reeds to my left and a bush to my right. There were also lots of small fish topping and the temperature was already starting to get really hot. I set up a one gram Drennan Tipo for fishing out at nine metres and a 0.4 Drennan carp float for my inside lines. Both rigs had 0.12 mm bottoms and size 18 B611's.

I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Word Champion groundbait and the whistle went although I wasn't quite ready. When I finally got myself sorted I cupped in four balls at nine metres and a cupfull of casters and hemp by the bush. I started by just flicking my top three by the reeds with double red maggot on the hook and soon had four small perch in the net. I soon tired of this and picked up my nine metre rig, I shipped out with caster on the hook and had several digs on the float as the rig settled, small fish on the drop I thought, then the float went and I was into a big fish. Blue hydro was streaming out and the fish, a big eel , was trying to go to ground and there were bubbles everywhere. Then it went solid and wouldn't budge, I applied steady pressure but the hook pulled out and was covered in crap. Not a good start.

Martin by the pumphouse was struggling as was Neil Dring to my left on the point. Barney Crockett across from me was catching small fish and had caught a couple of better roach on the waggler. Where I had put my groundbait the swim was really fizzing and it looked solid. The trouble was my caster hookbait kept getting hit on the way down. I was putting the odd small roach and perch in the net and if the rig reached bottom I was getting the odd net roach as well. After an hour I had ten fish and after the second hour I had twenty and I got the feeling it was going to be pretty hard.

I refed my longer line and had a quick look by the bush which produced a roach and a small perch. By rights the bush should produce loads of fish as it's one of the few bits of cover on the whole pond but for some strange reason it never does. My nine metre line was now fizzing like a jacuzzi again so I went back out but again all I could catch was small roach. Martin could only catch small perch and not many of those and Neil was also struggling for bites. My mate Andy turned up and sat behind me for a bite, while he was there I tried by the reeds to my left and had a small perch followed by an eel of 4oz. I then hooked an eel of about half a pound and it bit me off!

Barney hooked and successfully landed a big eel which put him well up in the section. Andy soon got bored watching me catch bugger all and left for home. The fizzing continued at nine metres and there were loads of small fish topping. I had a brief go with my shallower rig on the longer line and this would produce a couple of roach before dying off. By now it was scorching hot and most anglers were really struggling. Roger Russell hooked a big fish on peg 2 which lead him a merry dance before he lost it. Bruce walked up to see how Martin was getting on and he reported he had over 250 fish! Martin reckoned he must be there or thereabouts.

Another try by the bush was fruitless and by the reeds produced just a couple of perch. I cupped in two balls of groundbait by the reeds to see if that would do anything. Back on the longer line I hooked a decent eel only for the hook to pull out at the net and I was starting to sense this was not to be my day yet again. With the end fast approaching I was still getting the odd small roach from the longer line and I also had a better roach from the reeds but it was a one off. I just felt those roach were up in the water so for the remainder of the match I fished my shallower rig on the longer line. To a certain extent this worked as I was getting the odd small roach and one better one although I felt I just wasn't doing it right and was missing lots of bites. Nobody else seemed to be catching so I perservered and when the whistle went I had 56 fish.

Frank arrived with the scales and as always asked what I reckoned I had and threatened me with violence if I was too far out. I said about 3lb but actually weighed 5lb 9oz but thankfully Frank didn't throw me in! Martin didn't weigh in and Barney pipped me by three ounces and I was really regretting those lost eels. Bruce Hunt had added a chub and won the match with 13lb 4oz, Graham Field continued his good form here with 11lb and second place. Jake was third with 6lb 10oz and Barney fourth. Barney picked up the section money and I ended up with three points although I did take another pound off Janders.

After six matches Graham is leading the league with 5 points followed by me on 7 and Frank and Barney on 8. A rethink of tactics might be in order as the roach arn't really showing in numbers nor are the bigger fish and at the moment small fish are taking all the money. I know Graham uses a 4 metre whip and just gets his head down and fishes for bites.

Next week is round four of the Langport league on Stathe and by all accounts the fishing is patchy, mind you as we're bottom of the league we can't do any worse!