Monday, March 30, 2009

Chard Reservoir - 29th March 2009

I only fish the 'resi' a few times a year and looking through my old diaries I couldn't find an entry where I'd fished it as early in the year as this. On arrival the reservoir was flat calm and it was bright and sunny, not ideal conditions for bream fishing. Still somebody would have a few and I hoped it would be me! After collecting my bait from Les (maggots, pinkies, squatts and casters), it was time to draw. I pulled out 48 and was quite pleased with that as normally any peg in the forties is ok although the 'hot' pegs are 43, 44 and 45.

The 'resi', scene of my latest disaster

I started the long walk around which was made a lot easier by Les taking my Tardis round on the back of his little 4 x 4 (cheers LB). On arrival, the lake looked ok with a bit of ripple, I started setting up while chatting to Mark Leahy on my left. On the other side I had a mate of Hoff's called Keith who was fishing the resi for first time. Next to Mark on the end peg (again!) was Dave Lawrence. We were all nearly ready when we heard a lot of clunking and clanking coming from Dave's direction. It turned out a cheeky squirrel had picked up Dave's empty sweetcorn can and was trying to get some little bits of corn out of it! Dave retrieved the tin to stop the little thief injuring itself.

Setting up didn't take long, I mixed my groundbait (Sensas Bream 3000 with some Matchblend to darken it) and set up my feeder rod. This had just a simple paternoster rig with a Drennan open end feeder and 0.12 mm bottom with a size 16 B611 hook at the business end. On the whistle I baited up with double red maggot and filled the feeder with squatts and plugged the ends with groundbait and cast out to the clip at about 35-40 yards. I had a couple of quick casts to get some bait down before settling down to await the action.

I didn't have to wait long as roach were soon attacking the bait and I had three small ones in as many put ins. I slipped on a piece of corn to try and avoid their attention. Looking around neither Dave, Mark or Keith had caught yet. Les shouted up that Butch Baker had netted a good skimmer and I thought it would only be a matter of time before the slabs moved in. I had a couple of tweaks on the tip before it slammed round but on striking I thought I'd missed it. As I tightened up though it was still on, here we go I thought, but then the fish kicked hard and the line went slack - shit! On reeling in, it became apparent that the feeder and everything had gone! A weakness in the line? who knows but I had to set up again.

I was still ahead of the anglers around me but Les on peg 45 had caught a bream so I was still quite optimistic. The first hour passed and I added a couple more roach as did Mark but Dave still hadn't had much and kept swapping between his feeder and long whip lines. I wasn't too worried as it sometimes takes the fish an hour to find the bait. By the time the second hour passed I started to worry! Apart from Les and Mike Hosgood nobody had caught a bream and it looked like being a hard match. With boredom rapidly settling in I asked Mark if he reckoned we'd catch a bream and he said that yes he thought one of us would get one, I wasn't so sure.

I was still getting odd pulls from roach but missing most of these and my flask was emptying at an alarming rate. Hours three and four were pretty much the same and I only stuck at it knowing that a couple of bream would get me in the money. Also there were the side bets to fish for and as Janders had only had a few roach the pound was anybodies. I couldn't see Picky so wasn't sure which way that pound was heading. With nobody around me catching I also started to think I might have a chance of sneaking my five peg section. Then going into the fifth hour Dave tried his whip line for the umpteenth time and swung in a roach followed by another. He wasn't exactly bagging but it didn't take him long to overtake my half a dozen fish and put paid to any chance I had of winning the section (unless I could get a bream of course).

The last hour arrived and I couldn't see me catching a bream now, I had added another roach and a perch to give me perhaps a pound in total. With Dave catching odd roach, Mark kept trying his waggler line but never had a bite on it. Even Mark was by now doubting we would catch a bream and had started packing up some of his kit. I stuck at it but was really glad when the whistle blew to signal the end of the match. I quickly packed up and went down to watch the weigh in and get some snaps. It turned out that some of the early pegs had caught bream in the last hour. Mark Hollister had one plus bits to weigh 7lb 14oz, his lead didn't last long though as Dave Abrams on the next peg had two to weigh 11lb 4oz.

Dave with one of his bream (so that's what they look like!)

Then nobody else had much until we got to Mike Hosgood on peg 42, he hadn't added to his early bream and weighed 7lb 6oz.

Mike weighing in (not the greatest picture in the world!)

Then we got to Les and his two bream and eight skimmers went 15lb 12oz and I knew nobody else would come close - well done mate.

Don't worry Les, you've done enough to win

LB with his winning 15lb 12oz

Janders was admitting to a pound and I thought it might be close until he pulled out his net and one of his roach was close to that on it's own. He weighed 1lb 12oz and I knew I was nowhere near that so said goodbye to another squid. One good thing though was that Picky hadn't weighed so I could claim a pound off him, or I would've done if he hadn't buggered off early! Double or quits next week then Picky!

Janders with his bonus roach

Keith didn't weigh and I weighed a staggering 14oz!, Mark didn't bother either and Dave weighed 3lb 8oz of roach to deny Janders the section money. Back at the results and the winners were read out, Steve Osborne won his section with 1lb 10oz! so it had been pretty hard going for most. I can officially say good riddance to March which was a crap month for me, lets hope April is better.

The weighboard (pretty grim reading for some)

Top three on the day from left to right - Dave Abrams, Les Braunton and Mark 'The Hoff' Hollister

We're back on Perry St next week so lets hope my luck improves then (don't count on it!).

1 - Les Braunton (Chard Remains) - 15lb 12oz
2 - Dave Abrams (Weymouth) - 11lb 4oz
3 - Mark Hollister(Chard) - 7lb 12oz

A - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 7lb 6oz
B - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 1lb 10oz
C - Dave Lawrence (Chard Raiders) - 3lb 8oz

Monday, March 23, 2009

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 22nd March 2009

Another bright and sunny day and I was looking forward to a bit of carp bashing, my only worry was that several frosts might knock sport a bit. My mate Andy was fishing today as a substitute as was Dave Lawrence for Steve Bishop. Draw time soon arrived and the anglers who drew a corner peg last time went first before the rest of us drew. No corner peg for me, I ended up with peg 14, a good peg but it didn't do much last time. Andy drew peg 10 (a corner) and was well happy, Dave also got a corner in the shape of peg 1 and as he and Mike Hosgood were against me and my reluctant partner Les Braunton I was hoping Les would have a good one. Les pulled out last weeks winner, peg 6, so we had a chance.

Me and Andy awaiting the draw

I got to my peg and surveyed the situation, it looked ok with cover on the insides, one worrying thing was that there were nowhere as many fish moving as last week. On my right I had Mark Leahy on peg 13 and Butch was on my right (peg 15), opposite was Steve Chant on my peg from last week and Les, so at least I could see how my partner was faring. I set up the same two rigs as last week for fishing out and down the insides. Fot bait I had maggots, casters, pinkies, corn and Skinz feed pellets. With loads of time before the start I had time for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Andy also came round for a quick chat.

I think Andy was pleased with his draw!

My reluctant partner Les

On the whistle I cupped in some caster, pellets and maggots at 11.5 metres and small amounts to both insides. I fed one inside line with just pellet and maggot and the other with pellet, maggot, caster and corn. I started with double red maggot on the size 18 Tubertini 808 hook on the long line and decided to just feed through a small pole mounted cup. After five minutes the float sank from view and I bloody missed it!. Next put in and the same thing happened, but this time I connected and I was soon landing a 2lb bream. I fairly quickly added a 4oz skimmer and lost another on the way in, I then had a 2lb carp and was really pleased with my start. After an hour from what I could see nobody else had caught much apart from Darren Roberts on peg nine, who'd had a carp. Both corner pegs (ten and eleven) were still fishless which was a surprise. Les swung a small fish so we were both off the mark.

Dunner was struggling on corner peg 11

Going into hour two, I'd only added a small roach and was thinking about trying my insides but wanted to leave them as long as possible so any fish there would settle properly. I cupped in some more feed on all three lines and stayed put at 11.5 metres. Les by now had a couple of carp and reports said that Dunner on eleven had one as had Mark Leahy and Steve Bush on peg twelve.

Bushy on peg 12

No more bites were forthcoming on my longer line, so a quick look on the insides saw no indications so I went back to catching nothing at 11.5 metres. After three hours I hadn't added any more but apart from Les who was now getting odd fish, nor had anybody else. Andy still hadn't caught, Dunner had one, Mark had two, Bushy had a couple and Butch only had small fish. On the opposite bank Steve Chant only had one as did his pairs partner, Mike Thomas and Darren Roberts hadn't added to his early fish. Les shouted across that I'd better buck my ideas up, I asked him how the other ebd of the pond was fishing and he said our opposition Mike and Dave on pegs 20 and 1 were bagging, it was looking like we could get knocked out of the pairs competition.

Our pairs opposition Dave Lawrence and Mike Hosgood discussing tactics before the match

Worryingly, hour four arrived and I hadn't added any more fish despite rotating all my lines, even more worrying was the fact that slowly and surely more people started catching, Andy had landed a couple of carp as had Dunner and judging by the splashing coming from my right, Leahy and Bushy were catching the odd fish as well. Nothing much had changed on the opposite bank though and Steve had started feeding a robin. There was a lot of commotion coming from the next peg and all I could see was 14 metres of pole being shoved straight up vertically into the trees. It transpired that a pigeon had crapped on Mark Leahy, not once but twice and he got his own back by poking it up the ass with his pole!

Steve's new best friend - the Robin!

Butch Baker had a fish up in the water so I tried that for a bit but only added two small rudd so it was back to the insides (without much success) when Dangerous (Butch's boy) came round for his usual walk. He said that Dave was winning the match from peg 1 and Chris Haines was doing well although most were struggling. While he was there I had my first indication and shortly after I hooked and landed my second carp which was a similar size to my first. I then hooked a better fish which took me ages to land and it turned out to be a foulhooked common of about 4-5lb. Mike Thomas next to Chanter hooked a good fish on light elastic and had it on for an age before it broke him - hard luck mate.

Mike Thomas lost a big fish - you need a bigger boat mate!

Me in action! on peg 14

Going into the last hour it seemed like it was going to be tight between loads of anglers, I reckoned Les and Dave would frame, but after them I had no idea. I hooked another decent fish and netted another carp around the 5lb mark and the was the last of the action for me. Les called the all out and I shouted up and asked Andy what he'd had, he replied five carp and a tench so I thought he'd done me. Mark Leahy said he'd had eight carp and I was rapidly falling down the rankings. I packed up and took my gear back to the car before waiting at peg 1 for the weigh in to start. Dave Lawrence weighed a level 34lb and everbody said he'd win it with that, Mark 'The Hoff' Hollister did well with 16lb 2oz from peg 3 and then there were no more weights until we got to Les on peg 6 and his ten carp weighed 23lb 4oz.

Butch weighing Les in

Nobody else broke double figures until we got to Andy, he weighed a level 15lb and I thought it might be close as I had guesstimated my fish at weighing around 14-16lb. Dunner weighed slightly more than Andy with 15lb 2oz, Bushy had 9lb and Mark Leahy came close to Les with 23lb 2oz but no cigar and I thought bird shit was supposed to be lucky! Then it was my turn and my four carp, single bream and four small fish went 17lb 4oz. Andy called me some choice names before paying me a pound to go with the one I'd already collected from Picky (3lb 8oz) and things got better when Janders only weighed 5lb 8oz and handed over another nugget.

Me with my catch

Chris Haines showed his class again when he plonked 27lb 4oz on the scales, mostly caught up in the water I think and Mike Hosgood weighed 14lb 4oz from peg 20 so Dave had beaten Les and I'd beaten Mike so the pairs result would be close too.

Proof that fishing at Perry St does strange things to you!

Back at the results and as suspected Dave won, followed by Chris and Les. Andy won his section, I just missed out on mine, I needed Leahy to beat Les - oh well. The good news was that me and Les were through to the pairs semi finals beating Mike and Dave 34 points to 32.

Mark 'The Hoff' Hollister won his section

After two matches, Chris Haines is already well into his stride and leading the league although there are loads of anglers battling it out for second place.

The weighboard for match two

Next week I'm going to give the resi a go so lets hope the bream are in the mood!

1 - Dave Lawrence (Chard Raiders) - 34lb
2 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 27lb 4oz
3 - Les Braunton (Chard Remains)- 23lb 4oz

1 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 16lb 2oz
2 - Andy Langdon (Chard Remains) - 15lb
3 - Mark Leahy (Street) - 23lb 2oz
4 - Mike Hosgood (Chard Raiders) - 14lb 4oz

Monday, March 16, 2009

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 15th March 2009

Sunday morning arrived and the weather was glorious and although not a great lover of carp fishing I was looking forward to the first match of the Spring League. I got to Perry St a little early but already many of the anglers were gathering. Once again this popular league was a sell out with several anglers on the reserves list. I sorted out some bait and then it was time for Les to let everybody know what format the league would take. It was pretty much the same as last year in that you can drop your worst result and stand ins are allowed (which was handy as I'd have to miss one match). New for this year was the introduction of a pairs and individual knock out competition with the pairs starting this week and the individual next week. As it was a drawn pairs there was lots of banter with people saying who they didn't want to be paired with. Les was saying how he pitied whoever got me and then was promptly got stuck with me (unlucky mate!).

Also new was that for the first five matches everybody would get to fish one of the coveted corner pegs (i.e. whoever drew one this week wouldn't be eligible for the next four weeks), a novel idea which should make things a little fairer. Anyway the draw was announced and into the bucket I went and pulled out peg 7, it wasn't a corner peg (so nothing changes there then!) but apparently it had been quite consistent. Janders drew another flier in the shape of peg 11 so another pound would probably be waving goodbye soon. For company I had Alan 'Picky' Gage on peg 8 so we decided to have our usual £1 side bet, on the other side I had Chris Haines on peg 6. He had won this league last year and was looking to repeat his success again.

Janders was pleased with his draw!

I surveyed my peg and decided on a line in the open water at 11.5 metres plus two inside lines to my left and right. To my left I had a little raft of twigs which was a result of the recent swim clearing along with the remnants of three tree stumps in the water which could be a problem if I hooked any big fish. To my right at about 8 metres I had an inlet coming in and this looked to be an obvious fish holding spot. I set up a 0.4 gram rig with 0.12mm bottom and Tubertini 808 size 18 hook for the open water and a little Trabucco dibber style float for the insides and also up in the water. This rig had the same hooklength and hook.

I always enjoy this league because the banter is great and I get to see loads of people who I haven't seen for ages, like Rocking Roy, Butch Baker and Graham 'Dino' Pepper along with Picky, Oz, Mike Hosgood and the lovely Steve Chant (who supplied loads of photos for this weeks blog - cheers buddy).

The lovely Steve Chant

The legend that is Graham 'Dino' Pepper

The whistle sounded and I cupped in some chopped worm and caster at 11.5 metres, pellet and maggot on the inside to my left and pellet, corn and maggot to my right. I started with double red maggot on the long line. It wasn't long before there was loads of splashing to my left as Darren Roberts had a carp nearly straight away from corner peg 10, followed shortly by Picky and Janders and both my pounds started to look in danger already.

Darren Roberts was into fish straight away

Mike Hosgood got in on the act as well and it wasn't long before Les started to moan that he wanted a new partner. No bites on my long line saw me try my shallow rig as it had looked like Mike had caught his up in the water. This didn't bring a response either and I found myself thinking about trying the inside lines a lot earlier than I wanted.

Mike had an early fish too

I came in on my left inside line with double red maggot on the hook. I had a toss pot fitted to the top of the pole so I could feed a pinch of maggots and pellets every put in. I had a 6oz perch quite quickly followed by a carp of about 2lb which at least put me on level terms with Picky and Chris Haines who'd had one as well. After an early flurry of activity in which Les, Oz, Mike Hosgood and Mike Collins had all caught carp things slowed down a bit and it seemed to be just the two corners (Janders and Darren) that were catching consistently. Reports from the other end of the pond suggested that Steve Bush on peg 1 was also catching well.

The view from my peg looking into peg 11

I then started to get a few bites and quite quickly added a small perch but dropped off a slightly better one before catching a frog! Despite my best efforts I wasn't allowed to put it into my keepnet. I then had a couple of carp to put me ahead of Picky. Chris was now catching like a steam train, fishing up in the water next to a tree in the water in his peg. Not to be outdone Janders landed a beast of 11lb 8oz and Oz went one better netting one of 14lb 12oz. At the halfway mark I had five carp, two perch and that frog, all on maggot. It felt like I was way down but I kept plugging away. I had carp number six and lost a couple of foulhooked fish. Picky then had a run of two or three fish which he had problems landing due to some tree stumps he had in his swim, he was pegging me back though.

Picky started to catch me up

I now couldn't buy a bite and neither could Dino or Rocking on the far bank if their moaning was anything to go by, they were making a very funny double act. Chris Haines on the other hand had no such problems, in fact the only problem he had was if he had enough keepnets with him! Match organiser, Les Braunton, had a few fish but was now struggling like me. I tried my right hand inside line but no bites were forthcoming and when Picky had another from his inside I soon swung around to try the left hand side again. I had carp number seven and lost another foulhooker and reckoned I was still just ahead of him.

Rocking Roy (one half of a great double act)

Picky added another fish and it was close, I tried to my right again and at last had a bite, after a spirited scrap I netted a lovely tench of around 3lb. I needed to beat Picky because along with the pound side bet I reckoned our five peg section was up for grabs if Darren and Chris framed (which I was sure they both would). The last hour approached and no more bites to the right saw me back down the left margin. Picky lost another before I hooked and safely landed my eighth carp with only five minutes to go - but was it enough? I asked Picky how many he had, he said he had seven to my eight carp and one tench but I had a sneaky feeling his fish were bigger.

Me with my tench

I packed up and after dropping some of my kit back at the car waited by peg one for the weigh in. Steve Bush had 17 carp for 37lb 8oz which was top weight until we got to Chris on peg 6, he had 25 carp and one tench for a fantastic 68lb 14oz. My fish went 22lb 2oz and I still wasn't sure it would be enough to beat Picky.

Chris with part of his catch

Chris performing his famous fish juggling routine!

Picky weighed 20lb 8oz and I was mightily relieved - I knew it would be close, I just needed Darren to frame now. Mike Collins did well from peg 9 to weigh 12lb 12oz and Darren had 39lb 4oz to put him into second place. My nemesis Janders weighed 33lb to take yet another squid off me (I should bloody think so off that peg!). Steve 'Oz' Osborne had four fish weighing 25lb 2oz and then then weights dropped off until we reached Alan Dunn who had 24lb 8oz from peg 19.

Janders weighing in prior to relieving me of another £1

Dunner put in a section winning performance to catch 24lb 8oz

At the results the top three of Chris, Darren and Steve were announced and I did indeed win my section (by double default!) and picked up £20. Still a good start to the league with 14 pts although even at this early stage Chris looks good to retain his title. Round two is next week so lets hope I can draw a corner peg.

The top three (from left to right) Darren Roberts, Chris Haines and Steve Bush

The scores on the doors

1 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 68lb 14oz
2 - Darren Roberts (Chard) - 39lb 4oz
3 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 37lb 8oz

1 - Dave Abrams (Weymouth) - 10lb 14oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 22lb 2oz
3 - John Anderson (Chard Minnows) - 33lb
4 - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 24lb 8oz

Monday, March 09, 2009

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision Winter League - 8th March 2009

Well the final match of the V.E.S. Precision league arrived and although the top two places were pretty much sewn up, my nemesis Janders and I both had an outside change of sneaking into the league frame if we did well. The weather didn't look too bad although I wasn't sure what was forecast. As always the fourteen anglers were hoping to draw peg 125 or 55. I stuck my hand in the bucket and keeping the ping pong ball in my hand, slowly revealed the number. First there was a 1 followed by a 2 and then finally a 5! had I finally drawn my dream peg? The answer was no as somebody had added an A on the end of the numbers which meant I was on the peg above - bollocks.

The last time it was in, Roger Russell had 3lb 13oz off it so I thought I might get a few although would be hard pushed to beat John Coxon on 125 or Martin Heard on his usual flier, peg 123. Janders had also drawn on a good peg in the shape of 29. On reaching the river, it looked quite nice with a tinge of colour although it was blowing a gale and as we were all perched on top of the high banks it could make for an uncomfortable six hours. As I said earlier I had John Coxon on my left and to my right was Martyn Brooks on 124. With the wind I decided to only set up a waggler to trot down to the bend to my left.

I was slightly late setting up and missed the first quarter of an hour as did John below me. I baited up with caster and flicked the float out followed by some loosefed casters and maggots. The wind was playing havoc, blowing the line all over the place and after going through the motions for an hour I knew I wasn't going to catch on the waggler. I shouted down to John who said he'd only had a couple of small fish. Then the freezing rain started and it was time for a walk to try and warm myself up. First stop was at Martyn Brooks who said he'd only had three minnows, next up was Heardy who had one minnow and had cracked a pole section - not a happy bunny! To make things worse his travelling partner, Bruce Hunt, had phoned him from peg 24 to say he'd caught a 3lb chub second put in and had added three more.

Apparently Bruce was bagging again

I walked down to John who said he was struggling but while I was there he netted a 4oz roach. I went back to my peg and set up a pole rig to fish some slacker water on the inside to my right, thinking that as things stood a few minnows would give me good section points. With double bronze maggot on the hook I soon had three minnows in the net but just as soon I got fed up with that! I tried caster but never had a bite on it. By now hail had joined the earlier rain and it was truly a miserable day and I wasn't enjoying it one bit. A couple of times I tried the pole at 11.5 and 13 metres but the wind made this an impossible job.

A couple of times I looked down to see John trying to keep his keepnet in the water as the wind tried to blow it out! Both Martin and Martyn came down to see how I was getting on and they both looked as miserable as I felt. Martin had added a couple of tiny roach and more minnows but Martyn hadn't added to his earlier tally. They soon got bored of watching me catch nothing and went back to their pegs. Throughout the day Martyn would look down and give me a little wave and I happened to look up as he waved again so I cheerily waved back. He waved again and this went on for a little while before I realised he was frantically waving for me to go and assist him. I got off my box and noticed what a wet ass I had before walking up to see what the drama was.

On reaching his peg it became all too apparent as his rod holdall was floating next to his rod bag! the wind had blown it straight in. I didn't laugh (much) before giving him a hand to get it out. I was by now ready for the end, I went back and in between gusts of wind fished the pole long with caster on the hook. I tried maggot a couple of times but this only resulted in minnow bites before the wind blew my bait box and maggots straight off my side tray. I decided to stick with caster! With just under an hour left my float went under and wonder of wonders, some blue hydro came out of the top of the pole and I soon swung in a 2oz roach. Blimey if I could have a good spell perhaps I could do a couple of pounds. It wasn't to be though and that was the last of the action.

I packed up in double quick time and took most of my kit back to the car, Heardy packed up quickly too and said he'd had five tiny roach and twenty or so minnows so I knew he'd done me. We weighed John in who had 5lb 7oz of roach which was a decent weight given the conditions. I weighed 2oz and Martyn had an ounce, Heardy had 4oz and Neil Dring on peg 122 had two good chub for 6lb 2oz. Back at the pub and a bedraggled group of anglers awaited the results. Bruce Hunt had indeed pissed the match with ten chub for 21lb 9oz, Janders had four for 8lb 8oz and second place (along with another pound off me) and Neil Dring sneaked into third. Dave Lawrence won the top section with 2lb 13oz and John Coxon won the bottom section.

I ended with three section points and any chance of third place in the league had gone, Janders also just missed out as Roger Russell did enough with 2lb 11oz to hang on to the third spot. In fact it was as you were in the league with Martin Heard winning yet again with 10 points followed by Martyn Brooks on 14 and Roger on 16. So my river season and challenge for the much coveted title fizzled out to a damp squib once again. Maybe next year eh?

V.E.S. Precision winter league champion Martin Heard

I would just like to thank V.E.S. Precision for their much valued sponsorship and Pete Lonton, Robin Cox and Neil Dring for their excellent organisation and hard work. One thing though chaps, can I have a decent peg next year? Congratulations also to Bruce for an excellent weight on a difficult day and well done to Martin, Martyn and Roger on their league successes.

Next week it's back to the carp puddles so wish me luck.

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 21lb 9oz
2 - John Anderson (Chard Minnows) - 8lb 8oz
3 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 6lb 2oz

Section A - Dave Lawrence (Chard Raiders) - 2lb 13oz
Section B - John Coxon (Chard) - 5lb 7oz


1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 10 pts
2 - Martyn Brooks (Ilminster) - 14 pts
3 - Roger Russell (YDAC) - 16 pts

Monday, March 02, 2009

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision Winter League - 1st March 2009

The weather was once again gorgeous (if anything a little too bright and sunny) and at the draw there was a good turnout of 17 anglers. Everybody wanted to draw one of the hot pegs, which Robin had put in again. 125 or 55 were the pegs most people wanted, Rob had also put some pegs in at Ilford and these were a bit of an unknown quantity as most hadn't been in this year. We queued for the draw and Digger pulled out 125 and then Martin 'Drawbag' Heard pulled out 55, does he ever draw badly? I stuck my hand in and pulled out 43, one of the Ilford pegs which hadn't been in yet this year. I was disappointed once again as it has done some weights in the past but not for a while (and it was a mega walk).

I pulled up and parked and also in my section were Martyn Brooks, Fred and Pete Lonton. Fred looked at his peg and decided not to fish as it was very shallow, I thought this strange as two weeks ago it had produced two chub for Ashley Tomkins who also lost two! I unloaded my kit and started the long trudge across the field, after four trips I finally reached my destination - phew! The peg looked quite nice although you could see the bottom over much of it. Opposite there were several branches in the water which looked decidedly chubby.

I set up my favourite Drennan Carbo rig (which is becoming quite famous if comments at the draw are anything to go by!) with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611. I plumbed up and there was a decent depth opposite and in the flow. I just had time to pop up and see Pete in the weir, his peg looked nice too.

Pete Lonton in Selvidge weir

On the whistle I started feeding caster and hemp in the flow to my right and inching the float along in the flow with caster on the hook. With no bites after ten minutes I found myself trying under the branches on the other side of the flow. There must have been some weed or something there under the water because every now and then the float would get dragged under. I struck the first time it happened and got snagged up. It happened again next put and I was just thinking 'That's not a bite' when the tip of the pole rattled and my black hydro elastic was ripped out. After a brief battle I netted a chub of 2lb or so, a quick look at the watch and only 25 minutes had gone. I really fancied I might get a few more.

No more bites were forthcoming despite trying caster and lobbie in all the chubby looking areas. I decided to stick it out where I had caught the chub but after two hours I still only had the lone fish. I walked up to see how Pete was getting on, he'd only had a couple of minnows. While I was there he phoned Martin Heard to see how he was getting on, Martin said he'd already had four chub and also that Ashley Tomkins had caught eleven and lost four from the council house swim (peg 70). Pete suggested we walk up to see how pegs 38 and 39 were getting on.

Justin Charles was on 39 again (he'd had 17lb off it last week) but he was struggling with only seven minnows to show for his efforts, Dave Lawrence was on 38 and had one chub but had lost two. We walked back and I wished Pete good luck before going back to my peg. To be honest I didn't think the bright sunshine was helping matters and was pinning my hopes on the last hour. I kept going through the motions as the last hour approached, I had a few minnow bites on maggot and double caster was a non starter so I decided to stick to single caster.

The last hour arrived and then the last half an hour and I still hadn't added to my tally. I did have a couple of bites but just the end of the caster was nipped off and I'm sure it was minnows and that was it, another bad day. I packed up and started to take some of my kit back across the field, after dropping the first load off I walked across to Martyn on peg 44. He'd had two chub and as he was doing well in the league I was sure he'd secure good points today as well. We walked up to Pete who had four minnows for 1oz, my single chub went 2lb 4oz and Martyn's two went 5lb 7oz.

Back at the results and Ashley had enjoyed a lovely day catching fourteen chub for 26lb 10oz from peg 70 despite the attentions of the grumpy home owner who always comes out and moans at the fishermen for fishing. Blimey, anglers fishing a river, whatever next! What did he expect buying a house next to a river? Anyway Phil 'Digger' Denslow was second with yet another cracking net of roach from 125, his bag weighed 16lb 4oz and Martin Heard was third with five chub weighing 13lb 4oz from 55. Martyn Brooks won the top section with his 5lb 7oz and Malcolm Levy won the bottom section with 10lb 6oz from peg 123.

The only good thing about my day was beating Janders who finally came down from the highs of last week by recording a DNW from peg 85. Martin Heard leads the league with 8 points followed by Martyn Brooks on 10 and Roger Russell on 13 so its all to play for on the last match. It will also be my last chance to draw a good peg on the river until October, I must be due one!

1 - Ashley Tomkins (YDAC) - 26lb 10oz
2 - Phil Denslow (Taunton) - 16lb 4oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 13lb 4oz

Section A - Martyn Brook (Ilminster) - 5lb 7oz
Section B - Malcolm Levy (Tiverton) - 10lb 6oz