Monday, July 28, 2008

Dillington Pond - JMA Summer League - 27th July 2008

I got to the draw and it already looked like being a blisteringly hot day. There were 11 anglers fishing and I was hoping for a good result as I'm currently jointly leading the league with Martin Heard. I drew peg 2 which is on a point, I've drawn it before and not done very well and Martin had struggled off it last match so the signs weren't good.

We got to the pond and the level was down due to the farmer abstracting but there were loads of small fish topping. I had Woggy to my right on one of the 'hot' bush pegs and Robin Cox to my left. I made myself comfortable and started setting up. Woggy came up for a chat and was already dripping with sweat. I plastered on the sun cream in readiness for the scorching day ahead.

I set up three rigs, a Drennan Roach float with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 for fishing out at 11 metres, a light Drennan Squatt rig with 0.08mm bottom and size 20 B511 for fishing up in the water and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 for fishing the inside by the reeds to my right. I mixed up some Sensas Lake Black and PA Megabaits Chocolate match in equal measures for the long line and chopped up some worm and casters for the inside.

On the whistle I cupped in three balls at 11 metres and some choppie on the inside, I started out with caster on the hook and had bites straight away, I bumped the first one and the second one came off on the way in, not a good start. I then had a small roach but missed and bumped a couple more. After the first hour I'd only had two roach and two perch and it felt like it was going horribly wrong. I could see Martin across form me catching regularly and Robin shouted up that Alvin was catching well too. I tried my shallow rig but never had a bite on it, maggot on my deep rig saw me add a perch but I was really struggling.

I put in another ball on the long line and came inside with caster on the hook but after 20 minutes I hadn't caught anything else. Woggy landed a chub but was so hot he went for a wander and reported not a lot (apart from bits) was being caught on our side. My nemesis Janders hadn't caught much and Robin had only had two perch. I went back out with the shallow rig with single red maggot on the hook and had a couple of small roach quite quickly but it soon tailed off. The heat was really uncomfortable and Woggy shouted up that all his maggots had died.

I was still getting odd small fish on the shallow rig but was going nowhere fast, Martin was still catching and shouted across to Bruce Hunt (his travelling partner for the day) that he had 58 fish. Bruce had a similar number and then Janders landed an eel and I could feel a bad section result in the offing and with it my league slipping away. I could see some splashing coming from my right quickly followed by some swearing and I asked Woggy what had happened. He replied that he'd landed another chub only for it to leap, salmon like from his hands back into the lake! Justin Charles on the other side of the bush had also landed a chub but at least he was in the other section.

Woggy with his chub (the one that didn't get away!)

I kept swapping between my three lines but wasn't adding much to my net, just the odd small roach and perch. With two hours to go I decided I needed a bonus of some sort and cupped in a load of caster and hemp on my inside line to try and catch some eels. I went in over it with double maggot and after ten minutes there were loads of pin prick bubbles coming up and I felt sure there were some big fish mooching about. I did get the odd bite but only small perch and had four during the remainder of the match to end with 28 fish (small roach, perch and a couple of tiny rudd). I felt sure I would be bottom or very near it in the section.

I packed up and went to watch the weigh in which started with Woggy, his chub plus bits weighed 2lb 5oz, my 'haul' went 1lb 6oz. Robin Cox didn't weigh so at least I had beaten somebody! Things got better when Alvin weighed 1lb 5oz and Janders only had a pound (and lost another pound). Bruce Hunt had loads of small perch for 4lb 15oz and Graham Field had a similar net of whip fish for 5lb 13oz but he was in the other section. I ended up third in the section which was much better than I thought but I knew Martin had gained some points on me as he won his section (and the match) with a mainly roach bag of 9lb 10oz, his second win on the trot.

This was the worst I've known the pond fish for ages and I really don't know where all the quality roach have gone, mind you I really don't think the heat helped. I've now slipped to second in the league and there are several people hard on my tail. Next week I'm on the resi and apparently the roach are showing big time along with some good bags of bream.

The top three on the day (from left, Bruce Hunt, Martin Heard and Graham Field)


1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 9lb 10oz
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 5lb 13oz
3 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 4lb 15oz
4 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 4lb 2oz

League (after six matches and dropping the worst result)

1 - Martin Heard - 9 points
2 - Jamie Rich - 11 points
3 - Neil Dring - 14 points
4 - Alvin Jones - 15 points
5 - Graham Field - 15 points

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ilminster Canal - 20th July 2008

With nothing on once again I organised another fiddle on the canal, this one was better attended with 10 anglers trying their luck. Unlike last time the canal was gin clear and the top few pegs had a nasty covering of scum on the surface. I drew peg 9, one of the pegs in the scum. It's a consistent peg and picks up money most matches so I was quite pleased with my draw. I had the winner of the last match here on the next peg, Ashley End Peg Tomkins and on my right Roger Russell.

After so many carp had showed last time I was well prepared with 4mm pellets and corn plus the usual caster, worm and maggots. I set up a 0.6 gram Drennan Carp float for fishing down the middle on my chopped worm line with a 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 hook. For tight across I had a Drennan Choppie float with 0.14mm bottom and another Kamasan B611 size 18. The former rig had blue hydro and the latter had the black variety.

On the whistle I cupped in some choppie just past the middle at about 8 metres and corn, caster and pellet tight across in two places, straight over and to my right, both at 11 metres. I started over the chopped worm with caster on the hook but after 10 biteless minutes I became distracted by loads of decent roach coming up for the odd floating caster. I went over and the float buried first put in and I had a roach of 2oz. Ash was still setting up and I got to five fish before he started. Along with the roach I was getting the odd small skimmer and perch.

Ash started down the middle with worm on the hook and soon had a couple of better perch to wipe out my early lead. I kept trying my chopped worm line but it was very slow apart from one perch on double red maggot. I then tried half a worm over the same line but no indications at all, I went out in front of me and the float sailed away and I netted a decent perch of 12oz or so which kept me close to Ashley who was getting less fish than me although the ones he was getting were a better stamp. He did lose a clonking roach at the net. Things were definitely slowing up though.

I couldn't really see what was happening to my right but I didn't think Roger had caught much. After an hour and a half bites were very hard to come by, Woggy wandered up and he'd only had a couple of perch and reported that most people were struggling apart from Martin Heard on the other end peg who'd had three small carp, a small tench and two decent skimmers. Ash tried tight over but only had a couple of indications, I had a quick go with corn on the hook over my far lines but had no bites at all. I fed them again with a view to try again later in the match.


I had a couple of small skimmers on maggot but bites were now few and far between, a kingfisher kept darting up through and he seemed to be enjoying more luck then us lot. After two hours, Janders and Scotty were walking about and said they were both struggling as well. Poor Janders was using his new Preston pole but as yet hadn't tested it with any decent fish. I decided to put in another worm line by a weed bed at 8 metres to my right. After ten minutes I went over it with half a worm on the hook and after missing a few bites I put two perch and a small rudd in the net, not big fish but I was at least keeping the catch rate ticking over.

Another try right over was fruitless and I was at a loss as to what to try next, I did add another perch from the long line, again on worm. The scum in Ash's peg was now really bad and out of desperation he set up a really shallow rig to fish five inches deep with maggot to try and catch some of the venues many small rudd. He was getting the odd one and then landed a nice one on caster, he wasn't bagging but he was slowly pulling away from me. I followed suit and set up a little light rig with 0.08mm bottom and size 20 B511 hook. I tried fishing on the edge of the scum but had no bites so went tight across to the far bank cover and had a roach first put in. My fish weren't as big but I was catching a lot quicker then Ash.

I was starting to think I might catch him when I looked up to see loads of splashing and pink elastic out before he netted a bream of a pound and a half. He was now well ahead with an hour to go. I was still getting odd small roach and rudd at a quicker rate than my neighbour but he added a couple of quality roach and I knew I wouldn't catch him. I was actually quite enjoying it although I was missing quite a few bites. The whistle went and I ended with 37 fish which I reckoned might go 3lb.

I packed up and as I had the scales I went down to start the weigh in at peg 1. Martin ended with 5 carp plus that tench and two skimmers for 10lb 14oz and ran out an easy winner. Scotty Russell had gone bits bashing and weighed 2lb 4oz to win the 5 peg section by default. Janders had 1lb 6oz and Robin 1lb 11oz, Woggy had left for an early bath. Malcolm (Old Fossil) Levy had 1lb 4oz, Alvin Jones had 12oz and Roger didn't weigh. My fish weighed 4lb 5oz and Janders handed over another nugget, Ashley's net weighed 6lb 1oz to claim second spot. I actually ended up third but as we only paid the top two and two sections, I won my section by default and picked up £20.

Janders was obviously overjoyed at handing over another £1

Still my first pick up for a few weeks, next week we're back at Dillington for round six of the summer league so fingers crossed I can get a result there.

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 10lb 14oz

2 - Ashley Tomkins (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 6lb 1oz

3 - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 4lb 5oz

4 - Scott Russell (Yeovil and Distict Angling Centre) - 2lb 4oz

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dillington Pond - JMA Summer League - 13th July 2008

Round five arrived and the forecast was pretty good for this one and I was really up for it. I drew peg 18 which is next to the bush, it's a good peg although the one the other side of the bush, peg 1, is even better. My peg has been throwing up odd chub but I've always felt these type of pegs are a poison chalice here. By that I mean you feel you have to go for the chub and if they show you are a hero and if not you've blown out.

I got to my peg and made myself comfortable, I decided to fish a roach line at 11 metres straight out in front and a big fish line to the bush. Because the peg is very deep I set up a one gram Drennan Tipo with 0.12 mm bottom for the roach and a Drennan Carp float with 0.12 mm bottom for the bush (big mistake). Both rigs had Kamasan B611's size 18's. I also set up a Drennan Squatt rig for fishing up in the water over the longer line. I mixed up some Sensas Black Lake and PA Megabaits Chocolate Match in equal measures and chopped up some worm and caster.

Alvin Jones from Taunton was the other side of the bush but I couldn't see him and Martin Heard was next to him. On the whistle I cupped in three balls at 11 metres and a cup of chopped worm and caster by the bush followed by one of hemp and corn. I started on the longer line with caster on the hook and missed a bite before catching a roach. Sport was slower than normal and after an hour I only had six fish, a brief spell on the shallow rig resulted in one tiny rudd. Things were definitely not going to plan and I couldn't wait to try by the bush. Comments from around the pond made it obvious it was going to be hard yet again, it was time to try my big fish line.

I went in with caster on the hook and after a couple of minutes the float slid away but instead of loads of black hydro streaming out, a small perch came skimming across the water. I slipped on a grain of corn and missed a good bite but at least I was getting indications. Next chuck the float went and this was no small fish, after a short scrap it snapped me under the tree - bugger! I tied on another hook but this time with 0.14 mm bottom and went back out, after half an hour and no bites I re fed it and went back over my roach line.

This was painfully slow and I only added a couple more small fish, back by the bush I had another bite and made no mistakes to land a chub of around a pound and a half. This was more like it and I fully expected sport to now start in earnest. No more bites and I was starting to panic, some ripples from the other side of the bush prompted me to ask how Alvin was getting on. He shouted back that he'd just landed his first chub although he'd lost three! Martin also indicated he was struggling. With half the match gone I only had 11 fish and would be lucky to make two pound.

I kept feeding the bush hoping the chub would move in, swapping to maggot or pieces of worm only resulted in the odd small perch. Alvin was now hooking more chub although he was losing quite a few, I asked what he was catching on and he said double red maggot. With nothing to lose I put two reds on and continued getting the odd tiny stripy, then out of the blue I had a nice roach but it was a loner. With all the worm I had put in I thought the odd eel might put in an appearance but I never saw one all day. I did hook another good fish but the hook pulled out and I just knew I would rue the loss of those two good fish.

I was actually quite relieved when the whistle went and I only had 17 fish and really thought I'd struggle to do two pound. I took half my kit back to the car and went to watch our section being weighed in, Robin Cox put a hard won 3lb 3oz on the scales before I weighed a level 3lb and I prepared myself for a poor section placing. Richard White didn't weigh so at least I wasn't last, things got better when Janders only weighed 1lb 1oz and handed over a pound. He'd bought a new pole yesterday but hadn't really tested it today. Roger Russell was the last peg in my section and he'd caught a chub early and then had five in the last hour to win the section (and the match) with 12lb 2oz - well done Rog.

Janders weighing in Robin Cox

I finished third in my section which wasn't as bad as I first thought and the better news was that Martin Heard (who I was jointly leading the league with) only had 3lb as well but he was fourth in his section. Justin Charles won the other section and finished second with 6lb 1oz of small fish on the whip. Alvin ended with three chub plus bits for 5lb 11oz and third place. The pond had once again fished poorly and I wouldn't want to fish my peg again.

1 - Roger Russell (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 12lb 2oz

2 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 6lb 1oz

3 - Alvin Jones (Taunton) - 5lb 11oz

4 - Malcolm Levy (Tiverton) - 3lb 11oz
5 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 3lb 3oz

After five matches and dropping the worst result me and Martin both have 8 points although I'm slightly ahead due to a better back up result. Next week we're back on the canal for a fiddle so lets hope I do better than last time.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ilminster Canal - 5th July 2008

With there not being a lot on this weekend I organised a sweep on Ilminster Canal, six anglers turned up and the weather looked good although some rain was forecast. The canal looked good with lots of fish topping and we found six swims amongst the weed. I drew peg 2 with Robin Cox on the end peg and Ashley Tomkins on my left.

Ilminster Canal

Being a lazy twat I only set up one rig, a Drennan Choppa float with Kamazan B611 size 18 and 0.12 mm bottom. On the whistle I cupped in some chopped worm and caster by the reeds at 11 metres and some caster and hemp at the same distance to my right, again against some reeds. First put in the float sailed away and I had a small roach on caster and this was quickly followed by more roach, small skimmers and perch. After the first hour I had 16 fish and was ahead of both Ashley and Rob.

I had also been flicking some maggots and casters on the inside by some weed and tried this after an hour and was soon rewarded with an eel of 4oz or so. Back across and I was still catching roach and skimmers but no real quality as yet. Robin still hadn't caught much but Ash had caught lots of small fish and was now on his big fish line tight across. The last time we fished here no carp were caught so I wasn't too concerned. After two hours I had around 30 fish swapping between my two far lines.

Hour three was much slower for me and to make matters worse Robin had landed a couple of small carp. Still if I could find some quality silvers I could still beat him. Then Ashley had a carp and then another! I was still getting odd fish including a good roach and a couple of better perch but was well behind. I kept thinking I should feed a line tight across but did I do it? did I heck! I cupped in some more choppie on my original line and this brought a brief flurry of bites including a 4oz skimmer that I dropped off!

Robin Cox (with audience) looking happy whilst whupping my ass!

The weather took a turn for the worst and it was now pissing down, Robin and Ashley were still catching the odd carp although they both lost fish as well. I was struggling and only adding the odd small fish and kept thinking about fishing for carp (without doing it). By all accounts the anglers at the other end were struggling so I kept plugging away thinking I could sneak third place. Some more chopped worm again brought another burst of fish but I just couldn't hook a bonus fish.

The wind was now hideous and my nemesis Janders suffered a broken pole as a result. John Loder also had his pole smashed but by a dog walker!, the owner stepped over the pole but his German Shepherd went underneath and the lead vapourised his pole! The whistle went for the end and I ended with 50 fish and I knew I'd been well beaten either side but could I still get third? Whilst packing up Janders walked past without weighing so at least my pound was safe. John Loder also didn't weigh so I just needed to beat Alvin Jones. As he pulled his net out I knew I was done for, he had a carp, a couple of good skimmers plus roach and perch for 7lb 2oz. Ashley had 7 carp plus nearly 7lb of silvers to weigh a brilliant 21lb 7oz, so we'd been mugged again.

I weighed 5lb 9oz and was really regretting not fishing a big fish line, still we live and learn. Robin had 5 small carp plus roach, perch and eels to weigh 8lb 6oz for 2nd place. Considering the conditions the venue had fished well and the majority wanted to fish it again in a couple of weeks. If we do I'll be better prepared (probably!).

Ashley before winning his second match on the trot - well done mate.

Next week we're back on Dillington but Scotty and Ashley are in Las Vegas so at least the rest of us should stand a chance.

1 - Ashley Tomkins (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 21lb 7oz
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 8lb 6oz
3 - Alvin Jones (Taunton) - 7lb 2oz
4 - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 5lb 9oz