Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dillington Pond - V.E.S. Precision League 7 - 23rd February 2014

I've had rather a busy weekend so before I get on to this weeks match I have to just mention the Big One show at Farnborough, I won tickets so thought it would be nice to go and have a look around and also to wish Steve Mayo farewell before he heads off to Gillhams in Thailand. I actually had two tickets but as I was 'Billy no mates' I let a young lad have my other ticket rather than it go to waste. First stop was the Gillhams stand where it was great to catch up with Stuart, Sean and Steve and young Nathan also turned up later in the day and it was nice to see him again.

Along with the tickets the other part of the prize was a goody bag from Crafty Catcher and when I went to collect it I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with a rather nice cool bag filled with pellets, liquid flavours, mini boilies, groundbait and hemp. I had a walk round the show and had a nice chat with James Cooper and Steve Ringer on the Guru stand, Andy Neal on the Frenzee stand and Tony Wynnick and Jamie Parkhouse on the Burt Baits stand where I also picked up some of their new range to try (review to come at a later date).

I had also arranged to meet the lovely Hayley from Bait Tech for the first time and she said she would bring on the goody bag I'd won recently from the Angling Times, we kept missing each other but when I finally caught up with her I wasn't disappointed, what a lovely lady, she'd brought on my goody bag but also included a bag of the new Pro Natural Dark which I have been gagging to try for ages. Thanks again Hayley! I just had chance to stop by the Garbolino pole stand and say hello to Steve Tucker before saying my final goodbyes (until May anyway) to the Gillhams crew and heading home with the car stuffed full of various groundbaits.

Right, onto this weekends match, as I've said on many occasions, the V.E.S. Precision league is one I've always wanted to win, I've been close the last few years with seconds and thirds but I've never won it. Going into the final match Fieldy was leading with 9 points followed by me and Pete Lonton on 10 points. The day got off to a good start when Rob handed me £30 for winning the Royal Oak league last week. As per usual we did the draw out the pond so we could try and avoid the awful wind that was forecast today. We eventually decided on pegs 16, 17, 18 and 19 as one section with pegs 20, 2, 3 and 4 making up the other section. The only peg I didn't really fancy was 16 and managed to pull it out, Justin was on 17 with Bruce on 18 and Fieldy on 19 and to stand any chance of winning the league I needed to beat Fieldy. I had my usual side bet with Steve but also asked Justin if he fancied having one as well.

I mixed up some Bait Tech Pro Natural Dark, I've been a big fan of the Pro Natural since it came out and the dark version looks spot on for clear venues. I set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 Kamasan B611 and plumbed up at 10 metres where it was a little shallower than I would have liked but I didn't fancy having to go out to 11.5 metres with the wind being very gusty. I would see how the first hour went and if I wasn't catching I could always go longer. The whistle went and the music from Dambusters started as Justin boshed in his usual bombardment of groundbait. I carefully cupped in two balls before starting with a single red maggot on the hook.

Pro Natural Dark, every bit as good as I'd hoped
As per usual I was feeding casters, maggots and hemp over the top with the plan to switch to caster later in the day to hopefully catch some quality roach. I bumped a small fish first chuck before catching a couple of small roach, I put on double white maggot to try and catch a better stamp as this has worked in previous matches but I was still getting small fish and tried caster but this just resulted in more of the same. It was obvious it was going to fish better than last week as most people I could see were catching and the first hour had been slow last time around. I was getting small roach and the odd perch and rudd but did manage a couple of cracking roach about the 10-12oz mark but felt overall the average size of my fish was smaller.

I had 26 fish in the first hour and the second hour was slightly better, I was now fishing caster and catching mainly roach with the odd rudd and added another 28 fish in hour two. Justin was catching well but looked to be getting a smaller stamp than me, Bruce was fishing the long whip and catching lots of bits but I couldn't really see how Fieldy was getting on. I was still catching really well and it was a bite a chuck, during the third hour I had a lovely rudd of 8oz or so and then had three more slightly smaller ones in the next three chucks and was putting a good weight together. Justin had slowed up so decided to ball it in again but this second bombardment emptied his groundbait bucket so the fish could relax now!

I had by now passed the 84 fish I had last week although I was pretty sure I didn't have the weight I had last week. I was catching a lot of small fish with the odd 'netter' among them but I was hoping the last hour and a half would see me catch more quality roach like in previous matches. Then Bruce shouted something and when I looked up he was obviously into a lump and eventually netted a chub that looked to be all of 4lb! I wasn't too worried until shortly after he latched into a slightly smaller one and when he landed that one as well it was looking like everybody else was fishing for second place.

The last hour arrived and I was still catching a fish a chuck but they were mainly smaller roach around 1-2oz with the odd better one, I did drop off a 3oz fish (will I ever learn!) and also lost two better roach shipping back. When Rob blew for the end of the match I was on 143 fish and knew I had double figures but wasn't sure how much. I knew if I won the section I'd win the league but I didn't think I'd beaten Bruce and if Pete won the other section I'd miss out yet again. I packed up and as I had the scales I went to weigh Fieldy first, if I could beat him I would at least secure second in the league. He weighed 5lb 14oz and I was pretty sure I had that, he did have one of the newly stocked little tench and by all accounts, quite a few had been caught today which is nice to see.
Fieldy had 5lb 14oz
Bruce had a lovely net of fish for 18lb 9oz
Justin had double figures as well with 10lb 2oz
I had some quality roach and rudd in my 17lb 10oz
Then we got to Bruce and he had a lovely net of fish, along with those two chub, he also had a little tench and some clonking roach including one that was well over a pound, the needle stopped at 18lb 9oz and I knew I didn't have that. Justin had 10lb 2oz and had slowed up towards the end before it was my turn, there was a lot of splashing as I pulled my net out and everybody was saying it would be close and my weight was called out at 17lb 10oz and I just needed a couple more of those big roach. Still it was a lovely net of roach and rudd. So with me finishing second in my section it now all depended on how Pete had got on in his section.

Rob had some of the new tench and a good perch in his 11lb catch
Rob had the scales in the other section and on his return he said Pete had finished second in that section behind Rob who had weighed 11lb and he'd had nine of the new tench plus a nice perch of a pound and a half. This meant we had tied on points but I had a much better weight advantage so I'd finally done it after many, many years of trying, I was now the V.E.S. Precision champion - get in, chuffed or what!

I picked up £20 for coming second today plus pounds off Justin and Steve and should have my league winnings next week.

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 18lb 9oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 17lb 10oz
3 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 11lb

A - Pete Lonton (Ilminster) - 4lb 6oz
B - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 10lb 2oz

Final League Positions

1 - Jamie Rich - 12 pts (48lb 9oz)
2 - Pete Lonton - 12 pts (24lb 9oz)
3 - Graham Field - 13 pts

The pond just seems to be getting better and better and I'm really enjoying it at the moment, quality roach and rudd and winning weights just shy of 20lb and not a carp in sight - perfect! Next week is Barney's Pairs Open on the river (weather permitting) and Dillington, I'm with Justin so make sure you come back to see how we get on.

Don't forget Ilminster AA's AGM is being held on Friday 28th Feb at the Royal Oak in Ilminster and starts at 7:30

Next up - Pairs Open (Dillington and the Isle)

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Blog of the week - Massive silvers weights still being caught at Emerald Pool, check out Dom Sullivans blog - Dom's Blog

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Winter League 9 - 16th February 2014

As much as I enjoyed going to Portishead for Steve Mayo's leaving meal last week, and it was a great night and I met some really nice people, I did miss my fishing fix. So I was gagging to get out this week and with the never ending rain I wasn't too upset that we would be on the pond again. I've been enjoying a great little run out there, catching some quality roach and rudd and winning the last three matches and a golden peg along the way. On waking up I couldn't believe it when I looked outside and there were blue skies and even the sun was out, the only slight downside was that we'd had a wicked frost overnight.

I arrived at the pub for the draw and the usual suspects were there including Heardy, fresh from his win down the canal last week. We did the draw out the pond in case of pleasure anglers (there weren't any) and decided to use pegs 13, 14 and 15 on one bank and 18, 19 and 20 on the road side. I fancied the latter three pegs but of course drew out peg 13 and thought my good run might come to an end today. The pond was still very coloured and there were loads of fish topping but I still thought it might be hard to start with after that hard frost.

I mixed up some more Bait Tech Omen and just had about time to set up a single rig, a Drennan 0.5 gram Roach float with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 B611. Bait was the usual maggots, casters and hemp and I added a pinch of each to my groundbait mix before making up two balls for the start. Bruce was on my left with Heardy on 15 which can chuck up the odd chub. It was the last league match and I just needed to catch a fish to make sure of winning it. Rob tooted his whistle and we were off, I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres and went over it with a single red maggot.

I had to wait a few minutes but the float sailed away and a fair bit of pink hydro came out of the pole tip on the strike and I was soon netting a good roach of 6-8oz, this could be better than I thought! Any ideas of a bagging session soon evaporated when I couldn't get a bite next chuck. Bruce had caught a tiny roach but Heardy hadn't caught yet and it looked like being hard on our side although it looked like they were catching small fish on the other bank. I started getting the odd small roach on single maggot and did manage another netter to end the first hour with eight fish which was very similar to the last match.

The second hour was better and I added another fifteen fish and had the odd better roach on double white maggot. I found in the last match that if I tried caster early on the size of the fish was no different to the maggot fish but if I kept feeding it I could catch quality roach in the last hour and a half so that would be the plan for today. I was feeding maggots, casters and hemp with double white on the hook and in hour three I had another thirteen fish including a couple of cracking rudd and was up to 36 fish. Bruce was still struggling and Martin was looking for a bonus chub or two.

Justin Charles over on peg 20 looked to be catching well and was slipping out his landing net on a regular basis. Up to now I hadn't bumped many fish although I did drop off a 3oz roach which I really should have netted. I had 18 fish in hour four and was having to net most of them and I reckoned if I could get to 80 fish by the end of the match I would have 10lb (if the fish averaged 2oz apiece). With an hour and a half to go it was time to switch to the caster and in a carbon copy of the last match I started catching some proper roach of 10-12oz along with lots of 3-4oz samples. I did bump a few and lost a couple of what felt like much better fish (perch?) but that last period was really good for me and I had another 30 fish to end with 84 fish.

I had the same number of fish in the last match and weighed 12lb 10oz then, but this time I felt I had caught more quality fish but really had no clue what weight I had (no change there then!). I packed up and took the kit back to the car and as Bruce had the scales we weighed him in first, he had loads of small fish and the needle pulled round to 6lb 9oz. We got to my peg and I pulled my net out and was well chuffed when Bruce called my weight at 14lb 15oz, my best weight at Dillington for ages. Martin had 6lb 6oz and reckoned he could have doubled his weight if he hadn't fished for chub for so long.
Bruce had 6lb 9oz
I had some cracking roach and rudd in my 14lb 15oz
Justin had some nice perch in his 9lb 12oz net for second place
I still thought Justin might push me but when we got back to the cars for the results, Rob said Justin had weighed 9lb 12oz and was top on that bank, so I'd won again and that's the last four on the trot at Dillington and I'm starting to like the pond again! I picked up £40 for the win plus a pound off Steve and hopefully should have some more to come next week for winning the league.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 14lb 15oz
2 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 9lb 12oz
3 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 6lb 14oz

Final league positions

1 - Jamie Rich - 10 pts
2 - Robin Cox - 13 pts
3 - Bruce Hunt - 15 pts

I was really chuffed to win the league again, especially as I missed a match when I was in Thailand. Next week is the final match of the V.E.S. Precision league and I'm currently in joint second place and would love to do the double so come back to see how it goes.

Next up - River Isle

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My interview with Steve Mayo (below)

Blog of the week - Check out new kid on the blog (get it!?), Matt Parsons - Matt's blog

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Steve Mayo Interview

Here's the third in my series of interviews, this one is with top match angler Steve Mayo just before he jets off to start a new life in Thailand as a fishing guide.

Hi Steve, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions,
I recently had the pleasure of your company on a trip to the lovely Gillhams Resort in Thailand and I think it’s fair to say we had a blast! But let’s find out a bit more about you,

Against Men and Fish - When did you start fishing and what was your first fish?
Steve Mayo - I started fishing when I was 12 years old with my dad on the Bristol Avon at Keynsham, my first fish was a roach of about 2oz.

What’s your favourite style of fishing?
My favourite style of fishing has always been the waggler. In the early days it was waggler and maggot on the river for chub then it changed to waggler and maggot for carp on commercials which eventually changed to pellet waggler fishing. I also enjoyed a lot of success at Larford lakes fishing balls of groundbait at range fishing a waggler shallow over the top catching big carp.

Steve in action using his favourite method
Your favourite venue?

My favourite venues have changed over the years but probably my favourite natural venue would be Porth reservoir near Newquay and my favourite commercial would have to be Larford Lakes for its diversity.

You’ve fished at a high level for a long time, what’s been your best match result to date?
I think as an angler competing at the top level it is important to be consistent and there is no better place to prove this than the Whiteacres festivals. I would say my best results would be my two festival wins there.
A lovely ghostie caught on the pellet waggler
My favourite method is fishing soft pellets over micros for skimmers, I do okay but seem to suffer spells of missing lots of bites, any tips?

In my opinion if you are missing too many bites you are feeding too much, try cutting back your feed even to the degree of only feeding 10-12 micro pellets through a kinder pot.

What is your favourite groundbait mix for skimmers?
My favourite groundbait for skimmers would be Thatchers Natural Groundbait. If the water is coloured I would add 25% Sensas Lake to it.

I met you for the first time in May last year at Gillhams Resort in Thailand and you fell in love with the place as much as I do, can you tell us what makes Thailand special for you?
Well Thailand, what can I say, the scenery, the weather, the food, the fishing, the beach, the people, the bars and of course the way of life. For me the way of life is so much more relaxed so I can’t wait to get away from the stress of living in the UK
I’ve heard you’ve handed in your notice with Maver and are going to work at Gillhams as guide next year, it’s a big move and I’m envious but could you tell me a little about why you’ve made this decision?
As I have just said in your previous question I want to get away from the stress of living in the UK. I loved working for Maver and I thought I would be working in the tackle trade right up until I retired. But unfortunately I feel the trade is suffering from the recession and the lack of kids coming into the sport. It has been more difficult to make a living over the last 18 months so after being offered a position as a guide at Gillhams Fishery in Thailand I felt it was an opportunity I could not turn down.

What will you miss about the UK and won’t you miss match fishing?
Moving to Thailand is a big decision yes but the world is a small place these days. I will only be 24 hours away. That being said I will obviously miss my family and friends. With regards to UK match fishing, it’s not the scene I fell in love with. The matches are getting smaller and venues seem to be peggier than ever. So I think this is the right time for me to move on to something new.

Maybe you could start up a match fishing circuit in Thailand, the weights would be massive!
Well maybe we could work something out and run a mini festival at Gillhams which would be interesting to say the least. The weights would be outrageous. When we both fished in the same peg at Gillhams in November we had over 1000lb of fish between us!!!

You were with Maver for a long time, what items in their range do you rate highest and are there any new exciting products about to hit the shops?

Maver has always been at the forefront of product design, especially pole production. I feel the best product they have to offer is their range of Elite Carp poles, they are as stiff as any pole out there but they will handle the biggest of fish in modern commercial fisheries. There is not a better pole on the market for the modern commercial match angler in my opinion.

Maver UK Ltd.
Before I let you go, here’s a few quick-fire questions,
Have you any angling heroes or anyone who has inspired you?
I have had the pleasure of spending quality time with Dennis White, what a legend and I am very lucky to count Des Shipp as a close friend and long-time travelling partner who is a true gent and fishing genius. It has been a pleasure fishing with him over the years, a world champion of the future for sure.

What’s your biggest fish in the UK? And abroad?
My biggest UK fish is a 20lb 9oz carp and my biggest ever fish is a 300lb arapaima from Gillhams Fishery.
Steve with a massive arapaima from Gillhams
What’s your favourite drink?
Favourite drink would be a nice bottle of Sol lager with a slice of lime in it.
Favourite meal?
Favourite meal would be chicken with mixed veg in oyster sauce.
Favourite film?
Favourite film would be The Last Samurai.
TV show?
I don't watch much TV but I do watch a series called Suits which I enjoy.
What music do you listen to?
Music wise I listen to most music that comes on the radio, nothing specific.
Do you have any other interests/hobbies outside of angling?
Other hobbies in the past have been golf and going to the gym, I still go to the gym regularly but fishing is my passion.
Thanks Steve and good luck in your new venture, hopefully I’ll see you over there in May!

Against Men and Fish

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Winter League 8 - 2nd February 2014

After getting another battering from the weather yesterday, I was relieved when I looked out the window this morning and saw blue skies, things got even better when I got outside and there was no real wind to speak of. I knew we'd be back out the pond again today, the river looked good yesterday morning but the rain we had combined with the saturated ground meant it was unfishable for the fifth week running. At the pub it was all the usual suspects with the addition of Bob Hammond. After coffee we drove out the pond and decided on the pegs once we got there. The wind wasn't too bad and Rob put in 17, 18 and 19 plus 2, 4 and 6 on the opposite bank.

As always I fancied a draw on the road side and for once got my wish when I pulled out peg 18, Justin had 17 and had a right old moan and Bruce was on my left in peg 19. After getting settled I mixed up some Bait Tech Omen before setting the rest of my gear up. As always I didn't have a lot of time so just set up the usual 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 B611. Rob tooted on his whistle and we were off, I cupped in two balls at 10 metres and Justin boshed in his usual half a dozen. I started with a single red maggot and started getting bites from small roach straight away. After a couple I was soon switching to double maggot and my third fish was a good roach and next chuck I had a 6oz hybrid and I thought I might be in for a busy day.
At last a peg on the road side!
But then it was a bit of a struggle and after an hour I'd only had 10 fish, Bruce was catching tiny fish on the whip and Justin was getting odd fish but nobody seemed to be setting the world alight. The second hour was slightly better and I added another 16 fish but it definitely seemed slower than last week. I did lose a good fish shipping back when the hook pulled out. I was missing quite a few bites which I put down to small fish, I tried caster and had a couple of roach but they were no bigger than the fish on maggot. I kept feeding caster though as last week I had a really good last hour on it.

The third hour was similar with small roach along with the odd better roach and rudd but I knew I'd be a long way short of the 122 fish I had last Sunday. I could see Justin landing fish and he seemed to be using his net a lot more than me and I didn't think I'd be winning today. Bruce had now set up a longer whip and was catching quite a few bits but I still felt I was ahead of him. The fourth hour saw my bites slow right up and Justin was pulling away further. The weather was still being kind although the wind couldn't make up it's mind which way it wanted to blow!

Bruce started getting the odd better roach and rudd and even had a decent skimmer and I started to worry he might beat me as well. With an hour and a half to go I tried fishing a section shorter to rest the longer line and had a run of 2-3oz roach on the caster. I kept feeding the longer line and with an hour to go I went back out with a caster on the hook. In a carbon copy of last week I started getting good bites and was hitting nearly every one with the result a decent roach and had a couple of clonkers as well. Justin seemed to slow up for the last period but I still thought he had more than me. I ended up with 84 fish and thought I must have a couple of pounds less than last week.

I had the scales yet again and after loading my car, went to weigh Justin in first, he had some quality fish and the needle settled on 8lb 11oz and I still thought that would be enough to win. We got to my peg and when I pulled my net out I thought it might be close but Justin called my weight at 12lb 10oz and I think that last hour and those caster fish had made the difference. Bruce was admitting to 5lb but actually weighed 9lb 7oz to push Justin down another place.
12lb 10oz and another win
Bruce was second with 9lb 7oz on the whip
Justin was third with 8lb 11oz
Rob got back from the other side and he was top over there with 3lb 15oz so I'd won again and done a hat-trick of wins at Dillington. I picked up £40 plus another £1 off Steve who had struggled for 2lb 15oz from peg 6.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 12lb 10oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 9lb 7oz
3 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 8lb 11oz

So with one match to go in the league, it looks like this,

Jamie Rich - 9 pts
Rob Cox - 11 pts
Bruce Hunt - 13 pts

It's the Ilminster Open next week but I'm not sure if I'm fishing yet as I might be on the lash in Portishead with Steve Mayo as it's his leaving do before he heads off to begin his new life in Thailand (lucky sod!).

Next up - Ilminster Open (possibly!)

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Blog of the week - Tim Ford has a great day at the Viaduct - Tim's blog

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Emerald Pool - 1st February 2014

Glynn Wickham phoned me in the week to say Dom Sullivan was running a match at Emerald Pool fisheries near Highbridge. Dom and a few others had paid the venue a visit and absolutely sacked up with big hybrids, roach and skimmers, I don't fish Saturday's very often but the chance of a big net of quality silvers was too good to resist. Glynn very kindly said he'd sort me out some bait and I also checked out Dom's blog (which can be found here Dom's blog) where he'd put some pictures of his pleasure nets and he'd caught up to 60lb, but would it fish as well with anglers all round the lake? I have pleasure fished the venue many years ago with Andy and Arf but back then it was mainly carp although both of my companions caught sturgeon and still remind me that I didn't manage to catch one of those prehistoric beasts.

Of course the forecast was awful again (when will it ever end?) although it didn't look too bad as I drove up the M5. I was the last to arrive and there was a decent turnout of 13 anglers and looking at the lake it looked totally different from the last time I fished and to be honest I can't really remember which lake we fished all those years ago. There was a definite chill in the air and I wondered if it would affect sport. Dom announced the draw and I pulled out peg 13 which put me on the car park bank. The peg looked really fishy with two small islands at around 10 metres but I fancied the open water pegs opposite might be better for silvers.

My peg (you can see one of the two small islands on the right)
I mixed up some groundbait and set up two Malman 0.4 gram power pencils with 0.12mm bottoms and size 16 Tubertini 808's, one to fish at 10 metres and the other for a short line at just three sections out. I wanted to fish in open water but it was fairly shallow and on plumbing up, it got deeper towards the islands. Dom said we should put two keepnets in as there was a 60lb net limit! After a quick coffee, Dom shouted for the start and I cupped in two balls and a cupful of loose groundbait at 10 metres and a single ball on the shorter line.

I baited up with two red maggots and shipped out to the longer line, the float settled and then disappeared and the strike saw a pleasing amount of blue hydro exit the pole and I was soon netting a 4oz hybrid. This happened on the next put in and the next, the angler on my right was also catching and Charlie Barnes, Dom, Darren Greenwood and Nigel Wickham on the opposite bank were all catching well too. After an hour I'd had 30 fish, nearly all hybrids from 4-8oz, I did lose a better fish which I'm sure was a tench judging by all the snot on the hooklength. By my reckoning 30 fish had to give me around 10lb which was bang on target for 60lb which I hoped would be there or thereabouts.

I had been feeding casters on the shorter line and gave it a go at the start of hour two, bites were instant with more hybrids and some skimmers around the same size. I even tried two sections to hand briefly and had a few fish before they drifted off. I also lost a big fish but think this one was a carp. After two hours I had reached 56 fish, so not as many fish but I did have some skimmers round the 8-10oz mark which hopefully made up the difference. The third hour saw me start to get the odd lull in the action and I really should have cupped in some more groundbait and gone out long but the wind was really strong (just for a change) so stuck at it on the shorter line.

It also started raining and it really was a miserable day weather wise, I was still catching in spells and even had the odd quality roach and rudd around 6-8oz. I did find that if bites slowed a small ball of groundbait would kick things off again, to be honest there are so many fish in the lake, the more feed you gave them the better. Charlie had caught a nice tench on corn but it looked like he was having to wait a while for bites. I was still on double maggot but did try double caster which just resulted in another 4oz hybrid. Glynn Wickham walked round and said his peg was really shallow and he'd struggled so I'd won our side bet at least! He did say Nigel, Darren and Dom were really bagging across from me. While he was there I had a really good spell catching a hybrid or skimmer every chuck and was on 105 fish with two hours to go.

I thought my fish must average three to the pound so I probably had 30lb+ and started using my other net and set my sights on trying to catch 160 fish by the end of the match which would hopefully give me around 50lb. The last two hours were really good and I even added a nice perch of half a pound or so and right on the whistle I've hooked a lump which turned out to be a 6lb carp which wouldn't count. My clicker read exactly 160 fish and I hoped I had 50lb, maybe a bit more. I was freezing cold and wet and packing up was a challenge with numb fingers.

The scales started with my neighbour on peg 1, he had over 40lb and I hoped I had a little more, the scales got to Nigel Wickham and after two weighs his final tally was called out at 78lb 7oz, what an awesome net of silvers, Darren Greenwood had 43lb 1oz mainly on the whip and then we got to Dom. His first net was 44lb odd and his second net went over 50lb to give him a total weight of 98lb 14oz, just shy of the magic ton and not a carp in sight (well, he'd caught a few but they didn't count). Dom and Nigel had both fished worm and both caught some proper skimmers, roach over a pound and several tench.
Darren had most of his fish on the whip
Charlie had over 30lb and then Barry Fitchew had 55lb 2oz and it was starting to look like 50lb wouldn't be enough to frame! Wayne Blake had 46lb 2oz and there were several more 40lb+ weights, just awesome silverfish weights for January! I was last to weigh and needed to beat 46lb to get in the money and I still thought I had around 50lb and was disappointed when I emptied both nets into the weigh sling and Glynn called out 44lb 10oz (although how can you be disappointed at catching that weight of silvers!!). I'd lost that tench and bumped/dropped off quite a few so I probably should have had 50lb.
Dom with part of his winning catch
Nigel Wickham had a cracking day too!
Barry was third with over 55lb

1 - Dom Sullivan (Maver/Cadbury Angling) - 98lb 14oz
2 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 78lb 7oz
3 - Barry Fitchew (Pole Repairs) - 55lb 2oz
4 - Wayne Blake (Bristol) - 46lb 2oz

What an awesome fishery and I will definitely be back and I'd like a crack at those open water pegs next time. Many thanks to Dom for the invite and to Glynn for getting me some bait (I haven't forgotten I still owe you for it!). I also have to say thanks to the other anglers for being so welcoming, what a nice bunch of lads.

Check out the Emerald Pool website

Next up - Dillington Pond

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)