Monday, May 26, 2008

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 25th May 2008

The weather forecast was pretty grim for the penultimate match although it wasn't as windy as they said it would be. At the draw everybody wanted a corner peg per usual and when it was my turn there were only about eight pegs left and all the corners were still there. Did I draw one? did I hell as like! Peg 15 (for the third time) was my destination and as I hadn't done very well off it previously I wasn't optimistic.

I set up two Trabucco rigs, one for up in the water at 11 metres and the other for the inside lines. The whistle went and after cupping in pellet, corn and hemp on the insides, I started on the long line. I was feeding 4 mm Ringers commercial pellets with a 6 mm Sonubaits S-Pellet on the hook. After half an hour I was still biteless and from what I could see nobody was catching much. Another 15 minutes passed and I was beginning to think about trying something else when the elastic was ripped from the end of the pole and I quickly netted a small common of a 1lb or so. I stuck with it but no mores bites were forthcoming.

I tried both insides with corn and pellet but apart from the odd small dip on the float I remained stuck on one fish. Chris Haines and Oz opposite me had both had a couple of decent fish and Les Braunton had caught four and was doing well. It seemed it was fishing really hard, I kept switching between my three lines but was rapidly becoming bored with the lack of action. I knew I wouldn't be using two nets today!

With an hour left (yes the five hours previous had been that exciting!), Janders walked up for a chat, he'd had one small carp and a couple of bits so I reckoned I needed another fish to take the pound off him. With ten minutes to go I slipped two red maggots on and the float sailed away and I had a roach of around 2oz and that was it. In hindsight I should have fished the maggot all day and just fished for bites. I took my kit back to my car and passed several anglers who'd had similar days to mine.

As usual the scales started at peg 1 and Dave Lawrence had struggled weighing 4lb 8oz, nobody had caught much until we got to Hainesy who had 14lb 6oz from peg 5, the next decent net was Les who had eight carp for 15lb 4oz. Dave Abrahams on peg 10 put a respectable 19lb 6oz on the scales followed by Graham 'Dino' Pepper on 11 who had 37lb 14oz. Dino's weight was helped considerably by carp of 16lb 9oz and 9lb 14oz. Mike Hosgood did excellently off of unfancied peg 12 with carp and bream weighing 30lb 8oz. Janders had found another carp and weighed 4lb 8oz to take a pound off me. My two fish weighed 1lb 6oz for second from last on the pond. I also lost a pound to Picky who had 7lb 10oz.

So all in all not a good day. I'm back at Dillington next week so lets hope I fare a little better then.

1 - Graham Pepper (Taunton) - 37lb 14oz
2 - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 30lb 8oz
3 - Dave Abrahams (Chard) - 19lb 6oz
4 - Les Braunton (Chard Remains) - 15lb 4oz

Section winners
A - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 14lb 6oz
B - Mike Collins (Tatworth) - 3lb 2oz
C - Alan Gage (Chard) - 7lb 10oz

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dillington Pond - JMA Summer League - 18th May 2008

I was really looking forward to getting back to what is possibly my favourite venue, Dillington pond. At the draw there was a fairly good turnout of 11 anglers including two new faces, Steve Parker and Terry Morgan. Also at the draw was Richard White, a good friend who I hadn't seen for ages. I drew peg 7 and had Neil Dring for company on my right and Martin Heard on my left next to the willow.

There wasn't much time to go before the start so I mixed up some Sensas Roach groundbait and set my rigs up. On the pole I had a Drennan 4 x 14 roach float with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 Kamasan B611 with blue hydro through the top two. I also set up a waggler rod with a 2AAA Drennan insert peacock with spread shot down the line and 0.12 mm bottom and another 18 B611. On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres to my left and right before starting on the waggler.

I had double red maggot on the hook and was loosefeeding maggot, hemp and caster. After half an hour I had only had one indication so decided to try my left hand pole line. Looking around the pond I could see quite a few small fish being caught and Steve Parker on peg 3 had netted a couple of fish. First put in with caster on the hook I bumped a fish before I started catching small roach along with the odd perch. After an hour 'Big' Frank Woodard shouted across from peg 9 to enquire how many I had and I replied 10, he'd had 20 odd, so I was a long way behind at this early stage.

The second hour was better and by switching between my two lines I got to 40 fish and overtook Frank who was now struggling, Martin on my left was catching loads of tiny rudd but was moaning that he couldn't catch any quality. Things then slowed for me going into hour three although I was still catching the odd small roach and I even had a little hybrid and an eel of 4oz or so. Nobody seemed to be bagging and this was confirmed when Robin Cox wandered around from peg 2, he reported that Dave Lawrence on the bush peg (1) was having similar problems to Martin and couldn't get through the hoards of tiny rudd. He said Steve (Parker) had caught two decent perch and a couple of eels and by my reckoning was in the lead.

With an hour to go very little was being caught and Janders two pegs to my right had even chucked a feeder out but didn't catch on it. I tried single red maggot and had a roach and a small perch but bites were very few and far between. Neil had caught a couple of eels but I felt I still just about had my nose in front of him. Graham Field on peg 4 was fishing the whip and seemed to be struggling. Last year this tactic had won him a lot of money but didn't seem to be working for him today.

The whistle sounded for the all out, immediately followed by a cry of 'fish on' by Neil and he netted a decent eel soon after and I reckoned that fish had done me. I ended with 55 fish and thought I might have three pound. After packing up I went to watch the weigh in, Dave Lawrence weighed 3lb 2oz from peg 1, Rob had struggled to weigh 1lb 4oz and then Steve's fish weighed 5lb 9oz and I couldn't see that being beaten. Graham weighed 2lb 10oz and Janders 14oz (so at least my pound was safe). Neil weighed 4lb 5oz and I didn't think I had that, then it was my turn and the needle fell agonisingly short and settled on 4lb 4oz - bugger!

Top weight from the remaining pegs was Martin with well over 100 tiny fish for 3lb 14oz so I finished 3rd and picked up £20 plus the nugget from Janders. I also secured the all important single point by winning my section, so a good start to the league. I really enjoy fishing here as it is a fair venue and you never know where the winner is coming from. I must also say thanks to Janders for sponsoring the league this year - cheers mate.


1 - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 5lb 9oz
2 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 4lb 5oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 4lb 4oz

Sections (by default)

A - Dave Lawrence (Chard Remains) - 3lb 2oz
B - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 3lb 14oz

Monday, May 12, 2008

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 11th May 2008

After a few blazing hot days, the forecast was the same today so I got to the draw armed with a big bottle of water and plenty of suncream. When the draw was announced I was quite near the back of the queue and when it came to my turn, Les said that there were still three of the hot corner pegs left. When I drew one of them, peg 11, I had mixed feelings as I fished it in a match a few weeks back and never saw a carp. Still thinking I might not see a corner peg for the rest of the series, I played my joker. Basically this means whatever points you score they are doubled.

I got to my peg and amongst the extensive lily pads there were black shapes everywhere! The peg is also one of the few without any tree cover so it was going to be very hot. With large beds of lilies to the right and left there was only a small channel of clear water which could make landing fish pretty problematic. I decided I would fish at 11 metres towards the edge of the lilies to my right where I could hopefully guide the fish away from the pads and play them out in open water before trying to net them in the channel.

I set up two rigs one for fishing up in the water and another for fishing corn in towards the corner. Both were small Trabucco floats with 0.14 mm bottom and size 21 Fox Carp Match hooks, with white hydro in one and black in the other. On the whistle I cupped in corn, hemp and maggot on my inside line before slipping on a Sonubaits S-Pellet and starting at 11 metres, up in the water, while firing out half a dozen 4 mm pellets every few minutes. After around ten minutes and a few indications, the float went and after a healthy scrap I successfully netted a carp around 2lbs. It was 1-0 to me, this was going to be easy!

I then saw a carp under a lily to my right so I dropped the rig in front of it and it grabbed the bait, it tore off and found the sanctuary of the lilies and the score was now 1-1. I hoped this wasn't how the day would continue. After tying on another hook I decided I wouldn't go into the lions den unless I really had to. Two more carp of similar size followed before another carp showed itself in the lilies to my left. I dropped the rig in again and a carbon copy of the earlier disaster followed and after the first hour the score was 3-2 to me.

Les opposite on peg 10 had only had one fish and from what I could see nobody was running away with it. Hour two was slightly better and I added another four carp. Butch Baker's boy came round to see how people were getting on and when he reached me I asked how the other corner peg, number one, was doing and he replied Mike had landed 4 carp and a tench so it was quite close. The other corner, peg 20, wasn't drawn, while he was watching me I landed another carp to take me to seven. Les had by now added a few more but I reckoned I still had my nose in front. 'Dangerous' for that is what they call the lad (don't ask me why!) moved on to talk to Roy Fowler on my left and while he was there I landed number eight.

I then hooked a right lump and as it was tearing through the lilies I really didn't think I had much chance of winning this battle. Slowly but surely though I started to win the battle and after more than a few hairy moments I slipped the net under a sizeable common. All big carp have to be weighed and returned straight away so I quickly walked round for Les to the necessary. The fish weighed 11lb 4oz and was a very welcome bonus. Two more carp around the 2lb mark followed to finish off the third hour and take my tally to eleven. Hour four was steady and I landed another three carp. I reckoned I was still ahead of Les although there was a lot of splashing coming from Tommy Lee on peg 14.

Hour five and the heat was very uncomfortable and my maggots had died ages ago, I was still fishing at 11 metres but bites were few and far between. I kept trying close to the lilies to my left and also dropping the bait in front of cruising fish but I only added one more carp although I did lose two. I started to feel things were slipping away from me although Les's bites had dried up now as well. I decided to go into the lions den of lilies to my right where loads of fish had been showing themselves. I quickly landed carp number 16 before hooking a good fish around 5-6lb and I'd done all the hard work and it was nearly ready for netting when it got wrapped around a previously unseen lily stalk in front of me. I could see the fish so tried getting the net under it when the poxy hook pulled out! I did manage one more to finish on 17 carp.

I quickly packed up and finished off my water, I was quietly pleased with how my match had gone with the final score being 17-7 to me. As I walked back to the car with some of my kit I stopped to ask how Tommy had got on and he said he'd had 19 carp and people were saying his fish were averaging 3-4lb compared to my 2lb a fish and I was convinced that he'd done me and that the late lost fish had cost me. The weigh in started at peg one and Mike Thomas weighed 29lb 2oz and was the early leader despite a scare from Chris Haines on peg four with 28lb. Some anglers had really struggled, weighing ounces, and Mike remained in the lead until we got to Les on peg ten who stuck 30lb 14oz on the scales.

Then it was my turn and after two weighs (and my 11lb 4oz bonus) my weight was confirmed as 50lb 4oz, my biggest Perry St weight ever, but would it be enough? We got to Tommy and after two weighs I knew it would be close but after his two nets were tallied up, his total came to 49lb 14oz. I had done it! only my second ever victory at this venue and my second win this year. I picked up £90 plus a £1 off Janders who had struggled and also 40 points (20 x2) to rocket me up the league leaderboard. I just need two more good results now.

Next week it's the first match of the Ilminster Summer League at Dillington (one of my favourite venues) so wish me luck.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Knackers Hole - 4th May 2008

This fantastically named venue is another place I've never won any money at and I wasn't feeling confident of that changing today. Basically there are two small ponds which are used as stock/nursery pools. The top one contains mainly carp and is fairly shallow with a small island in the middle and the bottom one contains mainly silver fish.

Everybody wanted to draw the top pond as the bottom one has been hard going whenever we've fished it. There were seven pegs on the carp pool and five on the silver fish one and there was to be seperate payouts for each one. I managed to draw peg two on the carp pond and I had Picky Gage to my right and Steve Bishop to my left. My nemesis Janders was on the opposite side at the top end by some reeds, a peg that is always there or thereabouts. I was on the island and on the other side of it were Steve Bush and Butch Baker.

There are loads of small carp averaging an ounce apiece with odd fish around the 1-2lb mark. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Carp strawberry groundbait and on my bait tray I had red maggots, corn and some Dynamite 4 mm pellets (original flavour). I set up two Trabucco rigs, both with 0.14 mm bottoms and size 20 Fox Match Carp hooks. Near the island I had about a foot in depth and my inside line to the left by a reed bed was about the same.

On the whistle I cupped in some loose groundbait towards the island at about 11 metres and a ball on the inside. I started on the longer line with double red maggot and first put in the float sailed away and I landed! a perfectly formed but very small mirror carp of an ounce. More followed and I was ahead of Picky and Bish but from the banter Butch was bagging as was Steve Bush. I got to ten fish before deciding to rest the island and try the inside, more small carp followed. Les and Janders on the anticipated 'hot' pegs were struggling.

Alternating between my two swims I kept small mirrors and commons coming but although I was well ahead of Bish, Picky was by now catching really well and had overtaken me. He was fishing towards the island, I went back across but could only get odd fish. I kept plugging away and by the half way mark I had around 60 fish for about 4lb or so. Picky was still flying as was Butch, Bishop's fish had dried up and Bushy was now struggling. Late on Janders managed two better sized (for this pond) fish and I was worried they had done me. The last hour was a struggle and I ended with 89 small carp.

It was obvious the winner would be either Butch of Picky but as Les was paying the top four, had I done enough to beat Bushy and had those two bonus fish of Janders cost me. First we weighed in the silver fish pond and it had fished better than I thought with some decent roach, skimmers and the odd small carp showing. Dave Lawrence ran out the easy winner with 7lb 6oz. Then it was our turn, Les and Bish didn't weigh so I only had to beat either Janders of Bushy to pick up. Picky was first to weigh and he had well over a hundred fish for 8lb 10oz, my fish went 5lb 4oz, then Janders weighed 3lb something so at least I was in the money. Bushy weighed 4lb 6oz and Butch had 7lb odd so I actually finished third and picked up £30. I also had a nugget off Janders but gave it straight to Picky.

Still that's two venues (Ilminster Canal and here) where I've picked up for the first time as a senior this year. We're back on Perry St next week so lets see if I can continue my good form (four pick ups in five matches). Although as they say all good things come to an end!