Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 30th May 2012

I had a days leave today and had booked into a match at Summerhayes, Janders fancied a day out as well so I picked him up and off we went, it was another glorious sunny day and I was hoping I'd draw a peg where I could fish for silvers. I wasn't actually sure which lake we'd be on and was pleased when Pete said we were on Sellicks. I really fancied another crack at peg 23 after winning the silvers off it the last time we fished Sellicks and blow me if I didn't go and draw it! I am drawing well at the moment and it's bound to end soon! Janders drew 17 and we were both on the same side of the pond.

I had Heardy two pegs to my right and Glyn Wickham was next on from him. I was going to use my Garbolino G8 pole for only the second time today and Scotty had very kindly fitted pulla bungs to all my top kits (well apart from one which he managed to snap demonstrating some Preston toss pots!). I set up a 0.6 gram Malman Pencil for the skimmer line at 10 metres with white hydro and a dibber for the corner at 11.5 metres with Preston green elastic. Bait was the normal Bait Tech 4mm expanders, wetted micros and corn.

Pete shouted the all in and I cupped half a pot of micros at 10 metres before cupping in micros and corn in the corner but was hoping I wouldn't have to go for carp. First chuck I had a bite and struck into what felt like a decent skimmer, I shipped back to my top two and then it woke up and shot off, luckily the white hydro and 0.12mm hooklength held and after ten minutes I was still playing what was obviously a good carp. I was playing it with kid gloves as I was still getting used to my new pole and eventually netted a carp of 6lb or so, good start! I was hoping the skimmers would move in but apart from a couple of little blades, it was hard work. I eventually started getting the odd decent skimmer and had four after the first hour for about 2lb. I wasn't too worried because if I could keep catching at that rate, 12lb of skimmers would get me close to a silvers pick up.

Martin hadn't caught a carp yet and Glyn didn't seem to be doing much but going into the second hour I could only get the odd tiny skimmer. Exeter Mike turned up for a look round and brought donuts with him - cheers Mike! While he was with me I had a couple of skimmers and a decent roach to put me on about 3.5lb of silvers and I was still on target. After he left, I went back to struggling for the odd blade and after two hours decided to feed it again and leave it while I tried the corner. I went in with corn on the hook and toss potted some corn and micros in. I had a really good hour, landing seven carp and I started to think I could do a good weight as nobody on our side was really setting the world alight. Janders wandered down and said he was struggling. With my bites fading in the corner, I cupped in some more bait and went back to 10 metres to see if the skimmers had arrived.

I had another carp straight away and then a skimmer and was still doing well on our side although Martin was getting odd carp now and Glyn seemed to be catching skimmers and the odd good eel on his usual chopped worm approach. I've then hooked another carp and it was under control but I wasn't really concentrating and it went between my keepnets and snapped me! This signalled the start of a really bad patch where things went a bit pear shaped as I then hooked another carp in the corner and the hook pulled out at the net! Martin was now getting fish quite regularly although he was losing a few too but I felt he was eating into my early lead and Glyn was now catching really well and looking good to frame or even win the match.

I really didn't know whether to try and win the silvers or stick it out for carp, I was back in the corner and although I was getting bites on corn I couldn't hit them, I was thinking of trying banded pellet when there was a splash from my carp net as a carp tried to leap out, nothing unusual there but then it tried again and this time was successful, it hit the pallet bounced and went back into the lake! Great, I was even losing fish I'd already caught. It felt like it was all going wrong and Martin was closing in all the time and Glyn was now out of sight. I lifted my carp net higher out of the water and put a spare landing net over the top as I couldn't afford any more escapes.

With two hours left and only about 4lb of silvers in the net, I gave that up as a bad job and concentrated on the corner, banded pellet was a bit of a flop and I never added any more fish in the next half an hour and time was running out. I decided to dump a big pot of bait in the corner and go back to my 10 metre line to let it settle. I had three carp on soft pellet quite quickly to put some breathing space between me and Martin but was missing a few bites as well. With only 15 mins left I went back into the corner and managed another carp which I think put me on 13 but it was difficult to keep track, what with fish jumping back in after I'd already caught them!

I packed up and was convinced the carp that had escaped and the one I'd lost through my own stupidity were going to cost me. As Pete hadn't fished today he was soon starting the weigh in around the other side, when I caught up with the scales there was a 6lb 11oz silvers weight and then a 10lb 6oz which made me glad I hadn't stayed fishing for silvers as I'd have struggled to do that. Then Adie Bishop put a fantastic 63lb 5oz on the scales. Bruce had 22lb 15oz and there was an 18lb 13oz, Janders had 6lb 8oz so at least I should have a £1 to come. Glyn had 41lb which included a brilliant 22lb 6oz of silvers and then Martin had 26lb 7oz and I wasn't sure I had that and that bloody fish was going to come back and haunt me!

My silvers went 4lb 10oz (so I wasn't too far off with my estimate this week!) and my carp went 26lb 6oz to give me 31lb and third place - phew! I picked up £15 to keep my winnings ticking over and was so relieved that the mad patch I had in the middle of the match hadn't bitten me on the ass.

Todays weigh board

1 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 63lb 5oz
2 - Glyn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 41lb
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 31lb

1 - Colin Wilkins (Summerhayes) - 10lb 6oz
2 - John Hill (Summerhayes) - 6lb 11oz

I must say I enjoyed using my pole and it performed well, next up for me is round six at Perry St so come back Sunday night to see if my drawing hand is still working!

I can't go without saying a big congratulations to Scotty who won at the Viaduct today with a massive 296lb 15oz.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Perry St Pond - Spring League 5 - 27th May 2012

Round five arrived and it was another hot day, I was running a little late and got to the draw, paid my pools and then it was time to draw for the pairs final. Bish got drawn with Bushy and I got drawn with Mike T. Then it was time for those who hadn't had corners yet to draw and I was convinced I'd pull out 20, I drew but refrained from looking and waited to see the others reactions, Bish didn't look too happy as he'd drawn peg one and there was lots of floating white fluff across pegs one and twenty making them nearly unfishable. Poor old Janders pulled out twenty so at least I was at the right end of the pond, I opened my peg and saw ten staring back at me, it's the best peg on the pond and the pressure was on! Mike Collins drew the other corner, peg eleven.

Then the rest drew and my partner Mike pulled out peg 15 which isn't great but Bushy drew three and that's not brilliant either. It worked out quite well with each pair having a corner and a mediocre peg. I had tied loads of hooklengths yesterday and had brought a third keepnet on the off chance I'd draw peg ten, but would I need it? When I got to my peg there were carp everywhere, it was black with them. It looked like they had mostly finished spawning but would they be in the mood to feed?

I set up a dibber for up in the water with hair rigged banded pellet, another dibber for the corner and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for a 5 metre meat line. With plenty of time before the start, I made up a couple of new dibber rigs so I had plenty in case of breakages. For bait I had meat and loads of 6mm pellets. I slapped on some sun cream and was ready for the off. Les shouted the all in and I cupped in some meat at 5 metres and meat and pellets in the corner at 11.5 metres before starting out in front at 11.5 metres. Predictably a lot of the fish disappeared when the match started but I could still see dark shapes milling about.

I was pinging pellets out and lifting and dropping the rig and was soon into a carp which came off (not a great start!), I then had a rudd on 6mm pellet so I'd at least avoided the blank. I had my first carp which was around 3lb before losing another that tore off and went into some submerged branches and I lost my hooklength and came back with several branches attached to my rig. I tied on another hooklength and was thinking about switching to black hydro but the rest of the first hour went really well and I landed the next four carp to put me on five. Hoff on 12 was getting a few as was Picky on 13 and Chilly two pegs to my right in peg 8.

I was feeding meat by hand on my five metre line and firing some pellets into the corner but wanted to leave those lines to settle as long as possible. Hour two was pretty good and I added another three carp with the last one being a bit of a lump which I walked down to Les to get weighed and was quite surprised it only went 7lb 14oz. Les said they were all struggling down that end and Bushy hadn't had a bite yet! I went back and carried on up in the water but made sure I kept feeding my other two lines regularly. Hoff was still getting odd fish but Picky had slowed up although Blaker on 14 was getting a few now.

The third hour was a lot slower and I only added one carp and my other two lines were beckoning. I tried the 5 metre line but five minutes without any indications told me they weren't there and I moved on to the corner swim, first put in I missed a bite on meat so decided to try banded pellet. It didn't take long for the float to slide away and I was soon playing carp number ten. I safely netted it but was quite concerned that the breeze had turned around and all the fluff and floating crap from pegs one and twenty was heading my way, and quite quickly. Of course it all congregated right where I was fishing with only a tiny clear area, tight to the bank. I did manage another carp but had to add the 13 metre section to get the rig in the clear water. There were obviously loads of fish there and I had another two carp before the gap got covered completely.

I had no choice but to go back to fishing shallow out in the open water, Chilly was still getting odd fish and had been down to get one weighed at 7lb 14oz (I reckon the scales were stuck!) although Weymouth Dave between us was really struggling. Hoff had also got a carp weighed on the opposite bank and his went 9lb 6oz so if I caught another lump I was going to get mine weighed over there! I had a couple more quick fish shallow (and even had to put my third keepnet in!) and thought if I could catch five more in the remaining hour and a half to put me on twenty I'd be there or thereabouts. More fluff and detritus was arriving all the time and I had to find a hole in it and fish and feed there.

I got to 18 carp and then lost one (only the third fish I'd lost all day) with half an hour to go. I got two more to reach my target and then just before Les blew time I hooked number 21 which I landed a few minutes after the whistle. I was well chuffed with how my match had gone and was hoping I'd beaten my biggest match weight. It was a shame about the fluff as I reckon I could have done a lot more if I could have fished in the corner. I packed up and as I walked back asked the other anglers how they had got on and most had struggled with five of six carp apart from Chilly who had landed ten or eleven.

Both Bushy and Bish had caught six or seven carp and would finish high up in their section while Mike T only had a couple of carp and even if I won my section I knew we'd be a few points adrift. The weigh in started at Bish and he had 23lb 6oz, poor Les didn't weigh and has been having a torrid time of late, Bushy had 18lb 10oz and then there were no decent weights until Chilly had 41lb 8oz in peg 8. Dave A didn't weigh and then it was my turn, after weighing my three nets and adding on the 7lb 14oz from earlier, Les called out 80lb 6oz and I'd beaten my biggest match weight but more importantly I'd gone into the lead.

Hoff weighed 52lb 6oz to go into second place and then Picky weighed 19lb 14oz and handed over a £1's worth of 20p pieces, cheers mate (and it's 3-3 now). Blaker had 29lb 14oz and Mike T had 11lb and I thought that would be curtains for us in the pairs (hard luck mate) and then the next decent weight was Mark Mockridge who had 33lb 8oz from 17 which was the best weight from that end of the pond. Janders had really struggled in that horrible peg 20 and handed over a nugget. Back at the results and as we thought, Bish and Bushy were crowned pairs knockout champions beating us 17 points to 14, well done lads. Still I picked up £100 and recorded only my third ever win at Perry St and beat my biggest match weight in the process.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 80lb 6oz
2 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 52lb 6oz
3 - Andy Winters (Chard) - 41lb 8oz

A - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 23lb 6oz
B - Brendon Ions (Chard) - 19lb 2oz
C - Paul Blake (Chard) - 29lb 14oz
D - Mark Mockridge (Chard) - 33lb 8oz

Pair Knockout Final (points scores in brackets)
Steve Bush (8) and Steve Bishop (9) beat Jamie Rich (10) and Mike Thomas (4)

At the halfway point in the league and now eveyone has played one joker, the leaders are Mark Hollister and Mark Mockridge with 51 points followed by Paul Blake and Graham Pepper on 50. I sneaked up a couple of places and I'm currently in seventh place with 42 points.

Peg 10 does it again

Well a really good day for me and Janders and me are off to Summerhayes on Wednesday so come back then to see how we got on.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 20th May 2012

I was on a real high after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties to win the Champions League final and was hoping for a good days fishing to finish the weekend on a high. The match today was on Lily lake and I've only fished it once and managed to win the silvers that day with 7lb 8oz and was hoping for more of the same today. All 14 pegs were taken today and I pulled out peg 6 which put on the end peg and it looked nice with rushes lining the inside and a bed of lilies at about 13.5 metres. Janders drew peg 1 and he also had lilies to his left although he was a bit hemmed in by the pegs on both sides of him.

I had Glyn Wickham on my right and he'd fished the pond in the week and caught loads of carp and some big eels on his usual chopped worm approach. I set up a 0.6 gram Malman pencil to fish at 11.5 metres towards the lilies and a Carpa 2 float for fishing down the inside to my left. Pete shouted the all in and I cupped in half a pot of micros on my long line and the same plus some corn on the inside. First put in I had a skimmer but it was only about an ounce, still it was a start! Next chuck I had a 2lb carp and I was off to a flying start.

I was getting bites every put in but they were only from tiny skimmers and a rudd, Bruce and Glyn had both latched into some big eels and I was already behind on the silvers front. After an hour I had that carp plus 5 or 6 bits and tried a grain of corn on the long line to see if I could improve the stamp of fish. I had a few digs but was going nowhere fast. I fed some more grub on that line before having a look on the inside. I had two carp in two chucks before losing one and felt I could still do a decent weight. I fed the inside again before going back on my longer line but annoyingly could still only catch blades and not proper skims.

Bruce and Glyn were still getting odd eels and carp and now Heardy and Adie opposite were getting carp as well by fishing the lily beds in between us. I noticed Glyn was also fishing a shorter line and getting odd fish so out of desperation I fed a 6 metre line with some micros before trying the inside line again. No more bites from there so I fed it again hoping that it might come good in the last hour or so. Around the pond, most people were getting the odd carp without really bagging and even the worm boys (Glyn and Bruce) had slowed up. My 6 metre line was a bit of a flop with just more tiny blades and a 4oz roach all I had to show for it after an hour.

We were now around halfway through the match and I was sure there wouldn't be a brown envelope heading back to Chard tonight (especially for silvers!). Jess who was the next peg on my left was now fishing towards the lilies that were in front of both of us and starting to catch quite well and I noticed he was fishing worm as well. Martin was still hooking quite a few carp but losing most of them and Adie was netting fish regularly now as well. Scotty and Jon Martin turned up and worked their way around the pond before sitting behind me. With Jess catching well, Scotty reckoned I should cup some feed in by the lilies and add another section. I took his advice and really should have done it earlier but with my pole anything further than 11.5 metres is hard work.

I had a quick go on the inside to let it settle but no more bites saw me heading out to 13 metres but to be honest it still wasn't quite long enough (story of my life!), I started getting odd indications before catching a carp on corn. It was also noticeable that Jess slowed up after I put that feed in. Any thoughts of a last gasp comeback soon disappeared though and with an hour to go I was back on the inside line. With me not feeding and fishing by the lilies, Jess started catching again and added more carp and a big grinner. I did add one more carp from the inside and that was my lot. I ended with 5 carp and 11 bits and bobs.

With Pete not fishing today he had started the weigh in before I'd packed up, the early pegs hadn't really fished and Roy who normally fishes for silvers as well had just 1lb 5oz of them in his 7lb 9oz total which confirmed the skimmers had other things on their minds. Bill on peg 4 went into the lead with 30lb 6oz and Glyn had 18lb 10oz (of which 4lb 8oz was silvers, mainly eels). My carp went 9lb 1oz and along with a mammoth 15oz of silvers I had a 10lb total, a bad day at the office. Jess had 34lb 6oz to go into the lead, the next decent weight was Adie who had 26lb 10oz to go into third place and then Bruce had 15lb 3oz but went into the silvers lead with 11lb 11oz (which included some big snakes to over 2lb!). Janders had 5lb so I pocketed his pound to make it 8-4 to me.

If I'd targeted the lilies all day I might have done better but the people who'd done well today had all fished worm and I didn't have any with me!

Decent leading weights but some (including me) struggled

1 - Jess Jordan (Summerhayes) - 34lb 6oz
2 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 30lb 6oz
3 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 26lb 10oz
4 - Glyn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 18lb 10oz

1 - Bruce Hunt (Summerhayes) - 11lb 11oz
2 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 3lb 8oz

Next up for me is the Spring League (and pairs final) at Perry St next Sunday, come back to see if I draw a decent corner or the dreaded peg 20!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Perry St Pond - Spring League 4 - 13th May 2012

Well finally the sun was shining and it was a glorious day and for the first time in ages it looked like I wouldn't need my waterproofs. First job of the day for Les was drawing for the semi finals in the pairs, I got partnered with Bushy against Exeter Mike and Weymouth Dave and the other semi saw Bish and Mike T take on Janders and Picky. Then it was time for the draw proper and all the people who had already had corners went in before the the four corner pegs were added and the rest of us went in. I opened my peg to find 14 staring back at me, it's a good peg and I played my joker as next match I would have to play it and I could be on peg 20, which has been crap.

Blaker had drawn 10 with Chilly on 11 and Bushy had 13, so at least I'd be able to see how my partner was getting on. Exeter Mike was across from me on peg 5 so I'd also be able to see how half the opposition were doing. I could also see the Hoff and Rocking on the other side of the pond on pegs 6 and 7. Lots of carp could be seen cruising around and I hoped I'd be able to catch up in the water today. I set up a dibber with a hair rigged band for up in the water and another dibber for down the edge plus a rig for fishing meat at 5 metres. My bait tray was pretty simple with just pellets and meat.

Les blew for the start and I cupped in some meat down the edge and at 5 metres before starting up in the water. Bushy was into fish straight away and so was Blaker in 10, I had my first carp after about half an hour and then Mark Mockridge walked down from peg 12 with a lump to be weighed, on his return he said it was 10lb and he'd had a couple of carp to go with it as well. I had a second carp which was foulhooked so shallowed up a bit and had a third at the start of the second hour. Bushy's nephew (who was sat with him) came down and asked how many I had, told him I had three and he said Steve had caught seven already!

The Hoff and Exeter Mike had both landed a couple of carp and Blaker was still landing fish like a man possessed but I felt I was doing okay. I landed carp number four which was a good 7lb and then lost one just before the end of the second hour which snapped 0.14mm. The third hour was slightly better and I landed three decent carp to put me on seven and it looked like a good weight was on the cards. I was still feeding meat on my other two lines in case the long line died off.

I had two more carp in the fourth hour and was just thinking that I'd hooked ten and landed nine (which is unusal for me) when I hooked a good fish which I thought I had under control when the bloody hook pulled out! (9-2 now). Hoff was still getting odd fish but I thought I was still a couple ahead, Rocking hooked a carp up the bum which kept leaping out the water (well you would wouldn't you!) but he safely netted it. Blaker was still catching and looked to be on for a huge weight. From what I could see, I was behind Blaker and Bushy but I didn't know what pegs 11 and 12 were doing but other than those I was doing pretty well.

I kept thinking about trying my other two lines but I was still getting indications and didn't see any point in switching swims yet. I got to eleven carp and then Brendon Ions turned up for a walk round, while he was with me I bumped a carp (11-3) before catching number twelve. In amongst the carp I'd also had two 8oz skimmers which had snaffled a 6mm pellet, 12 inches deep! Hoff had started putting a run of fish together and I didn't think there could be much between us. We were now into the last hour and Dave Lawrence (who was standing in for Dunner) came down from peg 15 and was really struggling.

I got to thirteen carp with half an hour left, I hooked another which kited towards Bushy and then the hook pulled out (foulhooked!) and that was the last of the action. Despite feeding my other lines all day, I hadn't tried them once and when Bushy said he'd had 22 carp with half of them coming from his inside line, I wish I had at least given them ten minutes each. I packed up and as I wandered back past the other anglers there were varying catch reports, Bish had seven and Weymouth Dave had six or seven but otherwise it was just odd carp between pegs 15 and 20.

The scales started at Dino in peg one and he had 66lb 8oz to set the bar really high (and he'd played his joker today), the next decent weight was Exeter Mike with 28lb 12oz before Hoff had 13 carp for 51lb 12oz, I thought I might have a little bit more as I had some lumps. The scales reached peg 10 and Blaker had three nets in and his final tally read 134lb 8oz, a stunning weight and a new match record for Perry St Pond, well done mate. Chilly had 33lb 8oz in eleven before Mark M had a level 40lb. Bushy then had 85lb 4oz to go into second place (and he'd played his joker as well), I pulled my nets out and nearly received a yellow card from Les as some of my fish were very close to 8lb! - whoops. After two weighs I totalled 65lb 6oz and was just over a pound short of Dino's weight. With Dave not weighing I would pick up the section if Bushy framed.

Bish did 37lb 8oz and he'd also played his joker, Janders had a really bad day at the office and handed over a pound but what about Picky? He was admitting to nine carp and as they were paste fish they would be lumps, he weighed 44lb 14oz and his £1 was soon nestling in my pocket as well (3-2 to Picky now), Weymouth Dave had 29lb 12oz and Butch had 14lb 12oz off peg 20. So I'd won my third section on the trot and picked up £30. I'm slowly creeping up the league but that first bad result is proving costly. Still me and Bushy knocked Exeter Mike and Weymouth Dave out and we're through to the final in two weeks time, the results are below with points scores in brackets.

Steve Bush (9) and Jamie Rich (8) beat Mike Hosgood (6) and Dave Abrams (7)
Steve Bishop (8) and Mike Thomas (4) beat Alan Gage (9) and Janders (1)

I'm looking forward to the pairs final and would dearly love to win it again, I won it three years ago with Les and last year reached the final with Hoff but fell at the final hurdle. I still have a corner to come (as does Bish) but the dreaded peg 20 will be lurking in the draw bucket!

With the weather warming up, some excellent weights were recorded.

1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 134lb 8oz
2 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 85lb 4oz
3 - Graham Pepper (Taunton) - 66lb 8oz

A - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 28lb 12oz
B - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 51lb 12oz
C - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 65lb 6oz
D - Alan Gage (Chard) - 44lb 14oz

The league is changing all the time as people play their jokers and the current leaders are Dino and Blaker with 43 points followed by Hoff on 42.

Next week me and Janders are at Summerhayes on Lily lake and I've only fished it once so make sure you come back next week to see how we get on.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 9th May 2012

I always take a days leave on my birthday (unless it falls on a weekend of course!) and today I booked into a match at Summerhayes. It was on Willow Pool which is a bit of an unknown entity as it's never used in matches and I was quite excited about fishing a new water. There were only eight booked in for today including Exeter Mike who was fishing Summerhayes for the first time. Pete said he would pay the top two and one in the silvers pool. I drew peg 5 which put me opposite an island and I had empty pegs either side, so plenty of room. Mike had drawn peg 1 which Bruce Hunt had said he fancied.

Willow Pool

The pond was very weedy but odd fish were topping and I couldn't wait to get started. I set up a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil for fishing at 10 metres into open water to the left and right of the island and also a dibber for fishing against the island. Bruce, Martin and Pete were on the opposite bank and from all the snipping going on, I presume they would be fishing chopped worm. Pete said there were lots of big eels in here and they could make a big difference as far as the silvers pool was concerned. I only had Bait Tech 4mm expanders, micros and corn with me but was hoping to target silvers as always.

Pete shouted for the start and I fed my three lines with micros but with the addition of some corn for the island swim. I started in the right hand swim and was getting indications straight away, in fact I moved the rig and a small 2oz carp was already hooked! Next chuck I had 3oz tench and from what I could see most people were getting a few small fish. Bruce had a couple of decent eels early and I started to think that to do well today you would need to sort out some better fish. I was catching bars of soap and small carp around 2-4oz most chucks and even added a better sample around 12oz and seemed to be doing better than most. After an hour I had around 15 fish but I had no idea what they would weigh and thought I must have around 2lb.

The second hour was almost identical apart from catching a skimmer and a rudd as well, I also added another carp around the pound mark. Martin and Adie Bishop were now struggling and Pete was only getting odd fish as was the chap to my left. Mike seemed to be doing quite well and the bloke on the end peg on our bank was netting decent carp quite regularly after a slow start. Ray, Nigel and Glyn Wickham turned up to watch for a bit and while Ray was behind me I had a few more small fish, another carp around a pound and then lost a good one when the line wrapped round the tip of the pole and the elastic didn't come out, the Tubertini 808 came back straightened out!

The third hour saw my bites dry right up and it seemed to be the same for everyone with the possible exception of Mike and the other end peg. Bruce was catching small rudd regularly and I was hoping he'd do enough to frame and I might sneak the silvers. Brendon Ions who fishes some of the Chard matches also turned up for a look around and said Mike was still doing well and catching some pound plus carp. So after my good start I was rapidly slipping down the places and it was starting to look like a birthday brown envelope wasn't coming my way.

I tried my island swim with corn on the hook to give my other swims a rest but never had a proper bite on it. With my other two lines dying a death I plumbed up a margin swim and put a bit of feed in to try later. I would still get odd fish from my two open water lines but I'd only get a bite as soon as the rig settled, if I left it, it would just sit there. With two hours left I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. Adie was still struggling and Martin packed up early, Pete managed to snap one of his butt sections (sounds painful!) and had to go and get a replacement. Glyn said the chap on the end peg was catching well and getting carp to 4lb! It looked like he would be an easy winner but second and the silvers pot still looked to be anybodies.

We were now getting a few showers and the wind was being a bit of a pain and I was still struggling, I tried by the island with soft pellet and also my margin line but never had a bite in either swim. Going into the last hour I was still getting odd fish and then in the last half hour my regular bites returned. I had two small tench in two chucks and then hooked another decent (1lb+) carp and was playing it with kid gloves when it weeded me and then the hook pulled out! Next put in I've hooked a small tench and my bloody elastic wrapped round the pole tip again and that came off as well! I did manage another small carp and a little tench before the all out.

I ended up with 48 fish, mainly small carp and tench with a few rudd and one skimmer and I had no clue what they would weigh. Mike was first to weigh and his silvers net weighed 3lb 14oz and his carp 12lb 2oz to give him a 16lb total, John Hill on the next peg had 6lb 11oz, which included 4lb of silvers. I felt my only hope was if Bruce framed and I might nip in and take silvers but I wasn't sure I had 4lb of them! I weighed my carp first and they weighed 11lb 13oz and when I plonked my silvers on the scales I could see it was going to be close and Pete called out 4lb 2oz, so I'd gone into the lead for the silvers but my total of 15lb 15oz was one agonising ounce short of Mike's weight. Adie had 4lb 11oz and hadn't enjoyed it very much, Gary on the end had 3lb 10oz of silvers and 33lb of carp to give him an easy victory as I knew nobody else would be close to that.

Pete had 7lb 4oz and then Bruce had 4lb 2oz of carp and when he pulled out his silvers net I knew there would be no happy ending for my birthday blog!, he had 9lb 11oz of mainly rudd to give him 13lb 13oz in total. Mike did tell me that he'd found a 6oz carp hung up in his keepnet after the weigh in but that last lost carp would have done it for me, oh well. Quite an enjoyable day with lots of bites and definitely better than working!

Ounced out on my birthday!

1 - Gary (Summerhayes) - 36lb 10oz
2 - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 16lb


1 - Bruce Hunt (Summerhayes) - 9lb 11oz

I could get used to this fishing three times a week malarky, if only work didn't get in the way! I must admit though, three matches in four days and I'm shattered! Next up is round four of the Spring League at Perry St on Sunday, will I draw a peg where it's worth playing my joker? Come back Sunday night to find out!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 7th May 2012

Up and off to Bridgwater for my second match in two days, the forecast wasn't great at all for today but I was looking forward to a day of fishing for silvers. One of the first people I saw on my arrival was Bobby Gullick and was surprised when he said we were fishing Sellicks today and not Longs. Apparently Longs had fished poorly yesterday so Pete had switched it to the 'Blue Lagoon'. I just hoped I'd draw a peg where I could fish for silvers, I delved into the draw bucket and pulled out peg 23 and was slightly disappointed as it looks the part for carp with it being an end peg but I have struggled on it a few times although I did do 12lb of skimmers in the pairs match last year. Pete said he'd won the silvers off it in the last match, which lifted my spirits somewhat.

Pete with his orange balls!

As yet the weather wasn't too bad, dry and no wind so far, maybe they'd got it wrong! I had Clive Cunningham on my right with Bobby next to him and I could see Nigel Wickham opposite on the other end peg. I set up two rigs, a 0.6 gram Malman Pencil for my main skimmer line at 8.5 metres and a dibber for tight in the corner. Bait was simple, just some Bait Tech 4mm expanders, micros and a small tin of corn. Pete blew for the all in and I cupped in half a pot of micros on my skimmer line plus the same and some corn in the corner. I baited up with an expander and toss potted in a pinch of micros, Clive hooked a decent fish straight away which came off and then I hooked one of my own which turned out to be a 2lb carp and not exactly the start I'd hoped for.

The next two chucks I had two skimmers and I set myself a mental target of six skimmers an hour which should give me 3lb and an 18lb total at the end of the match, sounds simple when you say it like that doesn't it? Clive netted a carp and Bobby caught a decent 5-6lb fish and I could see anglers past him netting skimmers and carp as well. The rest of the first hour went pretty well for me and I added another four skimmers and a tiny one which meant I had hit my target although I had bumped and missed a few as well. The second hour was even better and I had nine decent skimmers plus a couple of blades and reckoned my silvers net was up to 7.5lb. This was probably a little conservative as some of the skimmers were getting on for a 1lb apiece.

Clive was struggling and I hadn't seen Nigel opposite using his landing net much. Bob shouted down to ask what I'd had, I said about 7lb and he said he'd had four carp. Then we had a couple of showers and the wind got up and there was a wicked 'trip' going back the opposite way to the wind and my bites slowed right up. It seemed the same for everybody though and in hour three I still manged to put the odd skimmer into the net and even had two carp in two chucks, much to Bob's disgust! I thought I probably had about 10lb of skimmers at the half way point. Bob was now on five or six carp and Clive had gone to take shelter in the club house.

The only way I could get bites was by holding the float back against the tow and quite a few bites were coming as soon as the rig settled, I was still getting blades and even added a couple of foulhooked skimmers about a pound and a half apiece. I was slipping off my initial target of 18lb but thought I could still do around 15lb which is normally there or thereabouts. After four hours I was up to about 12.5lb and had landed another nuisance carp. Bob had been for a wander and said nobody on the far side was really catching silvers and four carp was good over there! I could see Nigel getting odd skimmers and carp but as I was putting odd fish in the net as well, I wasn't too worried.

In the quieter periods I kept thinking about trying my swim in the corner as I wasn't too far off the pace with carp but I really didn't want to come off the skimmer line in case I went back and they'd disappeared! Bob was now getting odd carp and looking good to frame, the guy next to him was getting skimmers regularly and I had him down as a danger man. We were getting some heavy rain showers and then they'd stop and the sun would come out!, wish this bloody weather would make its mind up! Hour five and I had a lovely little tench of 12oz or so plus some more skimmers including a couple of 'fliers' and I thought I must be getting close to my target of 15lb.

The last hour was really good for me and I had some decent skimmers plus a few blades and thought I must have 16-17lb although Bob reckoned I had more. He'd finished up with thirteen carp plus some silvers although the chap next to him had suffered a run of lost carp and packed up with an hour to go and tipped back his fish, Bob said he'd chucked back about 15lb of silverfish! Maybe I hadn't done as well as I'd thought but both Bob and Clive said I'd won the silvers and that Bob's travelling partner, Tom Thick, would win the match as he had around thirty carp. I'd ended with four carp, one tench and forty skimmers and had a thouroughly enjoyable day but I was pretty sure I didn't have as much as Bob thought I did.

The scales started round the other side and Nigel had 8lb 11oz of silvers and a 26lb 13oz total, the next good silvers weight was Roy Hughes with 10lb 2oz and this stayed in the lead until we got to Tom who had 12lb 2oz of silvers but he wouldn't be picking up any silvers money today as he had 72lb 3oz of carp to go with them to go into the lead with 84lb 5oz, a fantastic weight. Eric Fouracres took the silvers lead with 11lb 15oz from peg 19 and it was looking like the chap next to Bobby had thrown back a framing silvers weight. Then Bob had 40lb 12oz of mainly carp to go into fourth place behind Tom, Bill Hopping with 43lb 8oz and Adie Bishop with a level 43lb, very close weights again.

Then it was my turn and my four carp went 9lb 4oz and my net of mainly skimmers went 23lb 12oz to give me a 33lb total and another silvers win, I really do enjoy this sort of fishing and once again I was only a couple of fish off a frame place although the £40 I picked up was actually better than the winnings for third place.

1 - Tom Thick (Bristol) - 84lb 5oz
2 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 43lb 8oz
3 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 43lb
4 - Bob Gullick (Garbolino Blackmore Vale) - 40lb 12oz
5 - Glyn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 33lb 5oz


1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 23lb 12oz
2 - Eric Fouracres (Summerhayes) - 11lb 15oz

After Tom's weight, it was really close

Well another really enjoyable day and I love coming here, Pete has got a cracking little venue and the crowd that fish it are all really nice too. I'm actually coming back again on Wednesday as it's my birthday (35 again!) and I've booked a day's leave. The match is on Willow Lake which is one I haven't fished before but apparently it holds a good head of silvers so check back mid week to see if I can keep this good little run going on my birthday!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Perry St Pond - Spring League 3 - 6th May 2012

I woke up and was relieved to see it actually wasn't raining for once! The temperature was still a little chilly but a vast improvement on recent weeks. I got out the pond and the first thing Les had to do was draw for the pairs, I got paired up with Picky and we were up against Chilly and Mark Mockridge. Then the anglers who'd already drawn corners pulled their pegs before the rest of us dived in. I was half hoping for a corner but opened my peg to reveal 19, it's not been great and is a new platform, high off the water. My five peg section has been pants (even the corner!) and I won the section last match with a lowly 15lb odd.

Quite a few jokers were played today, including Blaker on peg 7, Mike T in 1, Les in 11 and Dave Abrams in 20. Most people are playing them when they draw corners but would any of them turn into 'chokers'? Bushy didn't play his in corner peg 10, would he regret it? I got to my peg and safely negotiated a route to the top of the pallet after setting up a base camp! Looking down on the anglers around me, I had Dave A on my left and Exeter Mike to my right with Mike T, Mark M and Picky opposite so at least I'd be able to see how my £1 was looking as well as how we were getting on in the pairs.

I'd tried meat for the last two matches without a bite on it but had it with me again this week (third time lucky perhaps?) and was going to feed it at 5 metres and down the edge to my right and as always I had a rig for fishing up in the water with hair rigged, banded pellet. With plenty of time to set up, I had a sandwich and a coffee and then we were off. I feed my two meat lines before starting up in the water. Odd fish could be seen cruising about but the first hour was a complete anti climax and I never had a bite! I wasn't too worried though as apart from Picky who got off to a flying start with four fish in the first hour and Dave A, who had one, nobody else I could see had caught a carp.

I came in on my 5 metre meat line and was feeding a few cubes by hand and after half an hour I started to get the odd indication and finally hooked and landed a decent carp of 5-6lb and I was off the mark. This put me ahead of most people at our end but then Mike T and Mark started catching and soon overtook my single fish. The only other action I had was from a 4oz rudd that took my cube of meat on the drop. I'd still been feeding pellets on the long line and I could see odd fish out there mooching about so after feeding both my meat lines with some more grub, I was back out there.

I started getting indications and landed my second fish but I was having trouble with foulhooking fish, I got to three fish but had lost the same amount. Picky, Mark and Mike were now catching regularly and I was looking at low points in my ten peg section again and the best I could hope for was winning my five peg section money. From what I could see Dave A had one carp, I think Exeter Mike had one and the bankside grapevine said that Bish had four so it was all to play for. I was still feeding meat on both my other lines but every time I thought about trying them I would get an indication off a fish from my long line. I did land a couple of foulhookers and they just didn't seem to be having it properly.

I got to six carp with an hour to go and always seemed to be a fish or two behind those three opposite but felt I was ahead of the anglers either side (Dave and Mike had two apiece I think). With half an hour to go I decided to try my previously untouched inside line and I gave it ten minutes without a touch before spending the remaining time on the long line. I did manage one more fish which I was convinced was foulhooked because it gave me a right runaround but it was fairly hooked and that was that. As I packed up I asked Mike how many he had and he said three and with Dave having two and Bish on five that just left Dave M in our section and I wasn't sure how he'd got on.

As we all started taking our gear to the cars, I paid Picky a £1 as he'd had 9 carp and 2 bream, Janders said he'd had 5 carp but wasn't in a rush to pay me as he'd netted a couple of lumps and as I'd had some smaller carp it could be close for the other nugget. The scales started with Mike T who had 26lb 4oz before Mark had a level 37lb and then Picky had 47lb to go into the lead, this lasted until we got to Blaker in peg 7 and he plonked a fantastic 106lb on the scales and he'd played his joker too! Bushy had also done well in peg 10 with 79lb 10oz but hadn't played his joker! Les had a 'choker' in 11 with only a single carp. Janders five fish went 24lb 6oz and I didn't think I had that. Then the scales arrived at my section and Dave M had 20lb 9oz, Bish had 20lb 2oz and then Exeter Mike's three carp went 21lb 14oz. Now I thought I had approx 20-21lb and was convinced I'd just miss out. My seven carp actually weighed 29lb 4oz and I received a lot of ribbing over my poor estimates. Dave A had 6lb and had suffered a 'choker' as well, so I'd won my section and won a £1 off Janders to boot!

Blaker won with Bushy second and Picky sneaked into third, I picked up £25 for the section win and my 8 points combined with Picky's 10 saw us knock out Mark M and Chilly who had a combined score of 14.

The other knock out results are below (points scores in brackets)

Steve Bishop(4) and Mike Hosgood(6) beat Graham Pepper(7) and Steve Osborne(2)

Steve Bush(9) and Janders(6) beat Mark Hollister(8) and Dave Lawrence(3)

Mike Thomas(7) and Dave Abrams(1) beat Butch Baker(4) and Brendon Ions(3)

Today's weigh board

1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 106lb
2 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 79lb 10oz
3 - Alan Gage (Chard) - 47lb


A - Mark Mockridge (Chard) - 37lb
B - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 29lb 12oz
C - John 'Janders' Anderson (Donyatt Superstars) - 24lb 6oz
D - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 29lb 4oz

After three matches Mark Hollister and Mark Mockridge jointly lead the league with 35 points followed by Paul Blake on 33, with two matches to go until the half way point, there are still several anglers who have yet to play their jokers.

So a pretty good weekend for me so far, Chelsea won the FA Cup and a section win today, I'm off to Summerhayes tomorrow so come back tomorrow night to see if I finish the Bank Holiday on a high.