Monday, April 27, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 2 - 26th April 2015

Firstly there should have been a blog yesterday describing how Steve Hurford and myself went to Seaton and caught lots of big mullet but despite seeing loads and having them swim around our floats we never had a bite between us all day. To be honest the weather wasn't great for it and we had a fair bit of rain but I still enjoyed it and the highlights were an excellent bacon and sausage sandwich in the morning and Hurf getting a wet foot when he slipped down the bank although I wasn't quick enough to get a photo! Even though they are the most frustrating fish ever, I can't wait for the weather to warm up and get back down there for another bash.

So after blanking yesterday, I was hoping for better things today, I got out the pond and there were a couple of anglers missing today as Jamie P and Paul H had already committed to another match, Les had managed to get the Colonel to fish for Paul which meant we were only one short today. Blaker had picked the envelope for the days peg rotation and my home for the next six hours would be peg 4 and with Jamie P absent, it meant the peg next door would be vacant which is always a bonus. It was overcast and actually quite cold and I wasn't sure my normal shallow approach would work today, I'd still try it for a bit though. The wind was quite strong and blowing down towards pegs 1 and 20.
Peg 4 looking up the pond
I set up the same three rigs as last week, an inline dibber for up in the water, a little Trabucco float for down the edge to my right towards the empty peg and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for the 5 metre line but once again I never picked it up all day! Les started the match with a toot on his whistle and we were off, I started on the shallow rig with a 6mm banded pellet about 18 inches deep at 11.5 metres and started feeding a few 6mm's while lifting and dropping the rig. I also started feeding some 6mm meat on the 5 metre line and down the edge.

Bish down on peg 19 was into carp quite quickly and Exeter Mike up in corner peg 11 was off to a flying start landing several fish quite quickly. I was getting the odd indication and had my first carp after about half an hour, Picky on my right had one and so did Chilly in peg 6. There were quite a few fish being caught and I added a second as the first hour came to a close. I was still feeding both my other lines with a few pieces of meat but wanted to leave them for as long as possible for trying them.

Early in the second hour I lost a foulhooker before catching carp number three and then Picky had his third one and we were neck and neck. Bish and Mike were still getting odd fish and Oz looked to be getting some good fish shallow up on peg 7. By the halfway mark I had only added one more fish and lost another foulhooked fish but apart from Bish, Mike and Oz nobody seemed to be catching that well so I decided to have a first look on the inside line with 6mm meat on the hook. After about five minutes the float buried and I was soon netting carp number five, next chuck I had another and there were obviously a few fish there. I had another four fish and lost one but the last one went through the lilies and splashed about quite a bit before I got it out and the swim died after that.

Bish was still getting odd fish and was landing some proper lumps and Hainsey down in peg 2 was now starting to catch as well. Picky and Chilly were now struggling although Dunner and Andy Bayley opposite were starting to get odd fish. I went back out on the shallow rig and hooked what felt like a much better fish nearly straight away but it just kept going and snapped the hooklength. After tying on another I've hooked carp number eleven which turned out to be foulhooked. With half an hour remaining I've gone back down the edge, hoping I might snare a couple more, I did miss two bites but I didn't add to my tally before the end of the match.

I packed up and as I headed back to the car I asked how the others had got on, Hainsey had twelve carp, Bish had a similar number but had caught some big fish and Hoff in peg 1 said he had ten fish but reckoned he had several smaller fish. It looked like it was going to be close weights again and when Exeter Mike got back to his car and said he'd had twelve carp, I started to think I might miss out as I knew I had smaller fish than last week. The scales soon arrived at peg 1 and Hoff weighed a level 28lb, then Chris plonked 43lb 4oz in the weigh sling, then with peg 3 not taken, it was my turn and after two weighs my total was called at 34lb. Picky had 11lb 8oz and handed over his nugget and as long as Hainsey framed, I should get the section by default.

Chilly had 7lb 12oz and then Oz in peg 7 only had eight fish but had some lumps for 33lb, Les had some big eels and a couple of carp for 9lb, Rocking didn't weigh and then Blaker had 23lb 6oz in peg 10. Exeter Mike then went into the lead with 48lb 8oz, the Colonel only had one carp and then Bushy had 28lb 4oz. Janders had one small carp and hadn't enjoyed himself very much and then Mike Collins had 4lb 4oz on the feeder in peg 15. Andy Bayley weighed 14lb 12oz and then Dunner had 18lb 10oz and Butch weighed 12lb in peg 18. Then we got to Bish and his first net went 24lb 10oz before he pulled out his second net which pulled the scales round to 30lb 8oz to give him a total of 55lb 2oz and the lead with one peg left to weigh, Richard Collins had struggled in peg 20 for a few ounces so Bish had won and I'd actually managed to hang on to fourth place and picked up a very welcome £40.

1 - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 55lb 2oz
2 - Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 48lb 8oz
3 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 43lb 4oz
4 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 34lb

A - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 28lb
B - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 33lb
C - Steve Bush (Chard) - 28lb 4oz
D - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 18lb 10oz
Some good weights again
It's very early days but this is how the league looks after two matches

1 - Steve Bishop - 5 points
2 - Jamie Rich - 6 points
3 - Chris Haines - 8 points
4 - Paul Blake - 9 points

Next up - Two days at Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My great interview with Bait Tech's Hayley Goldsmith (below)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hayley Goldsmith Interview

My latest interview is with the lovely Hayley Goldsmith from Bait-Tech and if you've ever wondered what it takes to keep a massive bait company running smoothly, please read on.....

Against Men and Fish - Hi Hayley, I’ve known you for a few years now and through your role at Bait-Tech you have been very supportive of this blog and have helped me gain access to Pete Clapperton and several of Bait-Tech’s high profile anglers for interviews so I thought it was about time you told me and my readers a little more about you ;
What exactly is your role and how long have you been with Bait Tech?
Hayley Goldsmith - It's very hard to describe ‘exactly’ to be honest. I joined Bait-Tech 3 years ago with the brief: learn everything, improve it and grow the business.

So that is what I did and am still doing. The first priority was to make the manufacturing side efficient alongside creating an online presence for the brand…….…and then everything else in between!
And what did you do before this job?
Life before this job was very different……I was working within academia: I was the Global Development Manager for an organisation that acquired, sold and distributed teaching materials for management education. I travelled the world visiting business schools and universities talking to professors about their research. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was in academia for 14 years but I reached the point where I needed a new challenge in my life.

The opportunity at Bait-Tech came along at the right time and I am loving it.

Can you talk us through a typical day (if there is such a thing) at Bait-Tech HQ?
You are right, there really is no typical day. I like to be the first one on site for a couple of reasons – a bit of quiet time to get my thoughts together for the day ahead, and to show staff that I am committed & hard working. There’s nothing worse than seeing your manager/boss not putting in the effort, it doesn’t make you feel as though you should either.
I’m very hands-on in the factory as it is important that I know what’s going on at all times. As a busy manufacturing environment there is a lot of planning involved – I have to make sure all the ingredients are coming in on time and work with the Factory Manager to plan the production schedules. We have just over 150 products in the range and that takes a lot of planning!
I look after all the online content and it’s great to hear from our users what baits they are using and what they are catching. We are a very inclusive company and like to feel that we are approachable to our users, it is important that we stay grounded and listen to our customers.

I may have a supplier meeting or a strategy meeting with Peter, or I could be an extra pair of hands in the warehouse if we are exceptionally busy. Or I could be working on a project such as the DVD or new groundbait bucket, or working on new products and sourcing interesting ingredients. But I am always looking to improve, become more efficient and reduce overheads.
Every day is long but certainly different.
Hayley out on the bank
Bait-Tech have brought out loads of new exciting products for 2015 (I’m loving the F1 groundbait) but where do the ideas come from?
Thanks for saying Jamie – yes our new products for 2015 are very exciting.
Ideas come from everywhere and they percolate, develop, expand, change….until they are ready to be released. There are many ideas that don’t make it.
New for 2015 (click on the picture to see more exciting products)
And any more in the pipeline you can tell us about?
There are always things in the pipeline – it’s whether or not we can make it at an affordable price for the consumer and maintain the quality levels we expect. We have shelved many great ideas as we just can’t make them at an affordable price - and we’re not here to rip people off.
We have one idea that we’re not going to shelve just yet as it is an absolutely amazing product and the field testing has given us incredible results. At the moment the price is too high and therefore we are trying to see what we can do to reduce the manufacturing costs.

The only thing I can tell you about is the Poloni Boilies – coming out very, very soon.
Bait-Tech sponsor loads of events (like the recent Whiteacres Festival) but it’s always intrigued me as to what companies get out of it, is it just about exposure or giving something back to the sport? And how do you judge whether the outlay is a success? Do sales of your products go up as a result?
It is a bit of both actually, some festivals and sponsorships are to just give back to the sport or support a particular event that we believe in, regardless of the exposure. It really isn’t just about the exposure for us and therefore it is difficult to measure the return.

I know you’ve started to do a bit of fishing yourself, how’s that going?
I am loving it and as a newbie I am still learning so much every time I go, however with each time I go more and more of the jigsaw falls into place.

With a nice grayling (and rather nice blue nail varnish!)
What’s your favourite fish and style of fishing?
I’ve only really been float and feeder fishing while I am learning – I don’t want to rush it, and I enjoy both. Feeder fishing probably has the edge as I have shocking eyesight and can sometimes have real problems seeing a skinny float. I wonder if Dave Harrell has got a big fat one I can use?!
Your biggest fish so far?
The only fish that I have caught that has been weighed is my PB 14lb 15oz Common. But I have caught reasonable sized roach, rudd, tench and grayling.
Hayley with a stunning common carp
Wow, that's an impressive pb, it took me years to catch a double figure carp! So have you got any ambitions in angling?
Not yet, I want to continue to learn and see how I go – I would like to take part in my first match this year and see whether I like the competitive side and I love the idea of trying out for a RiverFest qualifier but I am a few years away from that!

For now I am happy doing any type of fishing and improving my skills.
Okay so let’s move away from the world of fishing for a minute, you are one of the busiest people I have ever met so what do you do to relax?
Ha ha ha, yes I certainly work a lot of hours but fortunately I really enjoy it.

I don’t watch TV as I feel there is so much more to experience in life rather than the latest marriage/murder/birth/argument in a soap. You’ll find that when you don’t watch TV there is so much more time to do other things. I want to get to my death-bed and say what a ride I’ve had!!
I love keeping fit and that does relax me, I enjoy going to the gym or going for a run. I’ve always been a fit and active person and if I don’t do some form of exercise for a few days I do get cranky – it’s so fundamental to my wellbeing. I might sign up for a half marathon this year….want to join me? (Against Men and Fish - umm, thanks for the offer but I'll pass!)

I’m an avid reader and love books of all types, music is always around somewhere in the house. I do like watching films but I don’t seem to have the time these days. I like walks in the countryside and being outside, looking after my donkeys, and I like hanging out with friends. I also very much enjoy meeting new people – you get to meet new people all the time in fishing, it’s great. Plus I’ll talk to anyone, anywhere really.
Hayley's furry friends
If I have time, I take part in research and focus groups and I’ve done all sorts: been a taste tester for a bakery brand, a nutrition experiment where I had bloods and urine taken every 12 hours to name a couple. Most however are just research groups looking for opinions, it can be very interesting and you do get to meet different people plus you get to spend an hour or so doing something different.
I also squeeze in charity work where I can – I am currently involved with Fishathon 6 – check out their FB:

I do really want to learn to play the drums and speak better French – but I guess I need to sleep at some point.
Where do you see yourself in say, five years’ time?
5 years? That’s an age away! Although I have expansion plans for Bait-Tech, I never actually make personal plans as anything can happen in life. I like to be flexible and adaptable and take opportunities that come my way, if I feel it is the right thing to do at the time.

Well thank you so much for finding time in your hectic, crazy life to answer my questions but before I let you go, here’s a few quick-fire questions,
What’s your favourite drink?
Southern Comfort followed very closely with JD Honey

Favourite meal?
Pizza and fresh salad
Favourite film?
There are so many good films out there and still so many I haven’t seen. Can’t think of my favourite but certainly in my top 10 are The Lost Boys and Lord of the Rings

Preferred reading?
Any good read
What music do you listen to?
Loads, I guess my favourites is funk

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Going to bed thinking I haven’t wasted a minute.
Well thank you Hayley, from Against Men and Fish
A pleasure.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 1 - 19th April 2015

I always look forward to the start of the Perry St league and catching up with everyone and on arriving at the pond I could already see quite a few familiar faces like Les, Bish, Butch, Bushy and Rocking Roy, unfortunately I could also see the Torquay Tart but fortunately he was standing in for someone so I won't have to see him every match! Les relieved me of all my money when I had to pay £20 pools, £10 league entry and £25 for a new club licence. He announced the draw and I pulled out peg 12 which is a decent peg and it also meant I would be on even numbers for the rest of the series. Along with my usual side bets (Picky, Janders and the Tart), Jamie P and Paul H also wanted in on the action and with them both on corner pegs, this could be an expensive day!

I had hoped it was going to be another nice sunny day and I would be able to have a nice day fishing shallow but it was overcast and actually pretty cold. With Jamie P in peg 11 and Picky on 13 I would at least be able to keep and eye on two of my side bets. Hainsey was in peg 10 with the Hoff next door on peg 9. I set up a little J-Range in-line dibber with a size 16 Kamasan B911 hook to 0.14mm with a hair rigged band for fishing shallow, a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp float to fish meat at 5 metres but I never picked it up all day and finally a little Trabucco dibber style float to fish the margins. My bait tray was pretty simple today, 6mm meat and 6mm and 8mm Bait Tech pellets.

Les blew for the start and I decided to not cup in any feed and just feed the margins and 5 metres by hand, I shipped out my shallow rig to 11.5 metres and started feeding a few 6mm pellets while lifting and dropping the rig, I'd only fed three times when the float buried and carp number one was on. The grey hydro did it's job and I was soon netting a nice 5lb fish and was off to a great start. I had a few more indications and did lose a carp which was possibly foulhooked but the rest of the first hour was a bit of an anti-climax. Apart from Bish in peg 7 who had netted two or three carp it was really hard going with just odd fish caught.

I was regularly feeding the 5 metre line with a few cubes of meat but wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it and would start to feed the margins with a couple of hours to go. The sun actually put in an appearance but it didn't affect the majority of us as we were underneath trees and shaded whereas Jamie P's peg on the other hand was bathed in glorious sunshine and while Hainsey and me were putting extra clothes on, he was taking them off! I added two more carp in the second hour and was happy enough with my catch rate as nobody I could see was bagging, Jamie and Chris were both getting odd fish but the Hoff was really struggling.

Groups of carp could be seen swimming about up in the water and I managed to mug two in the third hour but Jamie had gone a fish or two ahead of me, I'd seen Picky net a couple of fish and it looked like Chilly was catching shallow up on peg 14. Bish was still doing well but had a pole section break which cost him quite a bit of time sorting it out. Without it ever being fast and furious I got up to seven carp but both Hainsey and Jamie had a couple more although I did have some lumps. I had started feeding my inside lines and with two hours to go I could see fish in the right hand margin so switched rigs and went in there with a 6mm cube of meat on the hook. After a few minutes the float shot under and the result was.... a 2oz perch!

I went back in and the float went again and this wasn't a small perch and I was soon netting carp number eight but Jamie had another and he always seemed to stay at least two fish ahead. After the commotion of that last fish I tried the other margin but never had a bite there so went back in the right hand side, the float buried again and this was a lumpy fish but it tore off through the lilies and snagged me before snapping me - bugger! I tied on another hook and had another go but no more bites and I didn't want to waste too much time, especially as the Hoff had started fishing shallow and had four fish quite quickly.

I went back out but couldn't buy a bite there either now and the pond seemed to have switched off, Hainsey had a decent perch and I felt I needed another couple of fish to do any good but time was running out. I could see fish in the margins again and had another go but they didn't want to know so with 15 mins to go I felt my best chance was to go back out shallow. The float shot under and carp number nine was hooked but by the way it was going berserk, it just had to be foulhooked and eventually I managed to net it and it was hooked in the wing but at about 6lb it was very welcome and that was the end of the action.

As we were packing up, Jamie said he'd had ten carp plus a small one and Hainsey had ten plus that perch and when Chilly and Bish both said they'd had nine carp as well it was all going to be a bit tight. As I walked back I stopped and asked how people had got on, Picky only had two carp but had lost a few and the Torquay Tool had the same number so hopefully that was two side bets safe although I felt sure Jamie had beaten me. Les and Rocking had struggled and then Blaker said he'd had twelve carp so he would be there or thereabouts and then Paul H in peg 20 said he'd had a dozen as well although he said he had some smaller fish.

The scales soon arrived at Bushy in peg 1 and he recorded 18lb 12oz before Janders came close with 16lb 4oz, the next decent weight was Bish in peg 7 and his nine carp weighed a level 39lb and I didn't think I had anywhere near that. Paul H asked what I had and I said I really didn't know but possibly 27lb if they averaged 3lb apiece, he said he thought his fish would go 26-28lb so it would be really close for our pound. Chris weighed 38lb 12oz in peg 10 and Jamie P had 36lb 14oz so it was really close with only one fish in it. Then it was my turn and my first weigh was 18lb 14oz and then my second net with five carp went 22lb 12oz to give me 41lb 10oz to go into the lead and Paul H gave me some stick for being so far out with my estimate.

Picky had 10lb 8oz and paid me a nugget and then Chilly had 30lb 12oz, the Tart had the same weight as Picky so I had a pound off him and hopefully earned a bit of peace and quiet for a couple of weeks. Blaker had a massive eel of 2lb 6oz and then his two nets of carp went 41lb 10oz to give him a 44lb total to push me down into second with two left to weigh. Exeter Mike had 9lb 12oz and last to weigh was Paul H, his first weigh went 18lb 11oz and when he pulled his other net out it was obvious it was going to be really close and it was called at 22lb 12oz to give him a total of 41lb 7oz and I'd just about held onto second place and we were both as rubbish as each other with our guesstimates.

Although it had been a struggle for some, the leading weights were really close with just one fish separating the top six places. I picked up £80 for second place plus a clean sweep of all five side bets so a nice day and a great start to the league.
Close weights today
1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 44lb
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 41lb 10oz
3 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 41lb 7oz
4 - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 39lb

A - Steve Bush (Chard) - 18lb 12oz
B - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 38lb 12oz
C - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 36lb 14oz
D - Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 9lb 12oz

Next up - Mullet fishing at Seaton

What's new - Lots of page updates and keep an eye out for my next interview

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 12th April 2015

It was back to Summerhayes today for match number five in eight days, the scores on the doors so far weren't too bad, Ray and me won the two day silvers pairs festival, I missed out on a silvers pick up by 2oz on the Wednesday and then I was second in the silvers yesterday, so what would today bring? Depending on numbers, the match could be split over Sellicks and Lily and if you read this blog regularly you will know I'm not a big fan of the latter and just can't seem to get on with it.

I picked Janders up and let him have the raffle prize he won yesterday (so it didn't go straight on e-bay as some suggested yesterday!) and as soon as we got to the fishery I knew Lily would be in by the number of vehicles in the car park. There were twenty five anglers fishing today which meant seventeen would be on Sellicks with the remaining eight on Lily. My drawing strategy is to go in late by which time all the pegs on that lake have been taken - simples! The Tool from Torquay went in early and pulled out peg 10 on Lily, so that was one gone and how I laughed! Today's pound pot saw the Tart, Glynn and me all stick a nugget in and the best silvers weight collects £3. Glynn pulled out peg 20 on Sellicks and it's a great skimmer peg, his drawing arm is on fire at the moment.

I was still hanging back and Janders pulled out Sellicks peg 2 which can be another good silvers peg, a quick look at the board showed that seven of the eight pegs on Lily had gone with only a few anglers still left to draw, the trouble was that the people in front of me that had just drawn all had balls with the letter S on them! Bill Hopping and me were the last two to go in the bucket, Bill pulled out peg 19 on Sellicks which is another peg with good silvers form and that just left me and you know what's coming next don't you? Yep poxy peg 7 on Lily, how Brendon laughed and I suppose I got what I deserved really. We might as well have handed over the pound pot to Glynn there and then!
Peg 7 on Lily (you can see the Tart over on peg 10 and he's still laughing!)
Still I was determined to give it a good go as some good sized bream had been stocked recently and the top silvers weight on Lily yesterday had been 12lb and although 18lb was top on Sellicks, only just under 11lb was needed for second. My peg was on the bottom bank and I had Jacko on my right and fellow blogger, Ivan Currie, was over on peg 5 with nobody in peg 6.

There was a blustery wind which would make presentation difficult once again, I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim to fish two lines at 10 metres, one fed with micros and the other with groundbait and a Drennan 0.6 gram G-tip for the 5 metre line which I would feed with micros and a few soaked 4mm's. On the whistle I fed all three lines before starting with a 4mm expander over the micros on the right hand line, it took an age to get a bite and the result was a 2oz blade and the next chuck I had another and I already knew this would be a frustrating day. The next bite saw a decent amount of elastic come out but it was a 10oz carp so I switched to the groundbait line but more blades and small roach followed. At this early stage the pond was fishing really hard and I hadn't seen anybody else catch a carp yet.

Then Brandon's caught a decent skimmer and wanted me to know about it, he even coughed rather loudly to attract my attention as he slipped it into his keepnet! I was still getting small fish and had another carp but was going nowhere fast, I came in on the five metre line and the rig had barely settled when it buried and the strike resulted in blue hydro streaming out as another small carp shot off, the Tart was grinning smugly at my misfortune so I told him it was a tench and then a 4lb bream popped up! I safely netted it and the Tart had gone strangely quiet!

After an hour, hardly any carp had been caught yet and the pond wasn't fishing well at all. Going into the second hour, odd carp started to show but it was hardly fast and furious. Martin Addicott on peg 4 had a couple on the waggler and Paul Homewood was starting to catch on peg 2. Ivan then landed a decent bream and not long after added a second and I didn't know what to do next, I was still getting blades and roach but just couldn't catch any decent skimmers. After two hours Jacko still hadn't caught, Brandon was struggling, I could only catch bits and bobs and I don't think any of us were enjoying ourselves very much.

Kev Perry on peg 12 had caught a few carp and added a bream but nobody was bagging and I couldn't see anybody challenging the weights on Sellicks today. Jacko finally got off the mark and started catching a few carp and he lost two bream as well. The Tart added another skimmer but I could still couldn't catch any quality, I did hook into a fish on the five metre line that I was convinced was a bream but it woke up when I got down to the top two and turned into a carp! I tried 6mm meat as a change bait but the small fish were hitting that as well. Adie came round and said Roger had two big bream on Sellicks and that Glynn had three plus some big skimbobs so I needed to find another big bream from somewhere to stand any chance and I just couldn't see it happening.

With two hours to go I was going through the motions again and just adding the odd small fish to the net from the shorter line when the float sailed away and as soon as I hit it I knew it was a big bream as it plodded around. It surfaced and looked to be bigger than the first at around 4-5lb and I was back in the hunt. Jacko was now catching quite well and Martin and Paul were both netting fish regularly as well. Kev Perry had a second bream so there were three of us with two now but I hoped my few pounds of bits might swing it my way. The Tart was really struggling and had only caught one carp to go with his meagre silverfish haul so I'm guessing there won't be any gloating texts this week!

I tried a banded 6mm pellet to see if I could sort out some better skimmers but only added a few more blades and if I'm honest I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to target the better silvers on this lake, I think you just have to fish for carp and hope some bream turn up, not really my kind of fishing. The all out was called and I hadn't enjoyed today one bit, I ended up with 2 bream, 33 bits and 5 carp and to stand any chance I needed to beat Kev Perry, Ivan and hope that Roger hadn't found any more slabs.

As I took my kit back to the car, the weigh in had already started on Sellicks, Janders hadn't had a great day either, he had 5lb of carp and 5lb 11oz of silvers, I said I thought I had 8-10lb and he handed over my pound from yesterday but I knew Glynn would taking it off me anyway. As the scales continued along Sellicks there were quite a few DNW's before Adie Bishop set the pace with 45lb 12oz from peg 7. Roger was on peg 11 and had done well to catch two bream and a few skimmers for 12lb 10oz and I didn't think I had that.

First to way on Lily was Paul Homewood who did well to weigh 33lb 12oz from peg 2, Martin Addicott had 29lb 6oz and then Ivan had 12lb 12oz of carp and his two bream went 7lb 6oz. I was next and my five carp weighed 10lb 12oz and my silvers went 11lb 8oz and I knew it wouldn't be enough today. Jacko had 21lb and Brendon didn't trouble the scales, Kev Perry had actually caught three bream and weighed 12lb 10oz to go into joint first for the silvers, he added 20lb of carp as well and then peg 14 didn't weigh before the scales headed back to Sellicks.

Alvin Jones had 44lb 3oz on peg 12 to go into second place overall and then Nigel Wickham had 12lb 1oz of silvers on peg 14 to polish off any vague hopes I had of sneaking in the silvers frame. Dom Sullivan had done well again and his 67lb 5oz from peg 17 put him in the lead although the bankside rumours were saying Jon Martin might have more on peg 23 and it was a golden peg too! Jon, however, was saying he didn't have 40lb and must have gone to the same school of weight estimation as me! Glynn had 18lb 13oz of silvers but he also had 27lb of carp and would probably frame.

Luke G on peg 22 had over 40lb before it was Jon's turn, his final weight was 70lb 4oz which was enough to win on the day and earn him a bumper payday - well done mate.

Jon Martin won the match and the golden peg
1 - Jon Martin (Taunton) - 70lb 4oz
2 - Dom Sullivan (Maver) - 67lb 5oz
3 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes)) - 46lb 1oz
4 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 45lb 12oz
5 - Alvin Jones (Car Care) - 44lb 3oz

1 - Roger Russell (Tackleuk) and Kev Perry (Thyers) - 12lb 10oz
3 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 12lb 1oz
Todays weighboard
So my mini fishing marathon ended with a bit of a whimper and that's twice in a week that I've missed out on an envelope by a few ounces and the Lily jinx continues. I know Lily will sometimes compete with Sellicks and it jointly did the top silvers weight today (by default) but the top five all came from Sellicks. Personally I would rather we were all on the same lake, I know it might make the fishing a bit harder but at least everybody is in the same boat. If one lake switches off like Lily did today, you can't compete with the other lake. I realise there were 25 fishing today with only 23 pegs on Sellicks, in that scenario I think it would make more sense to have two separate matches (like we did the other week with Longs and Sellicks) so at least you have a chance.

Next up - The first match of the Perry St league

Coming soon - My next interview

Check Out - My report from the Gary Bull fundraiser on Saturday

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Summerhayes - Gary Bull/England Disabled Team Fundraiser - 11th April 2015

Mark Cox arranged this match to raise funds for the England disabled and ladies teams and worked really hard to publicise the event and getting loads of firms on board who gave generously for the raffle. There was a real buzz around the match as more and more people put their names down for this very worthy cause including a certain Mr Des Shipp! There were over 60 names on the list at one point although a few dropped out before the big day which was a bit disappointing. It was great to see quite a few anglers from Ilminster there with Robin Cox, Frank and Jake Woodard, Jamie Bisgrove and Steve Hurford all showing their support.

I picked Steve up and when we arrived the car park was already nearly full with more anglers turning up all the time. We collected our nets and paid our pools where I met fellow blogger, Lee Williams for the first time who was helping out with the organising, it was also really nice to meet Gary Bull who had travelled down to fish the match. Alongside Des and Gary, other stars included Alex Murray, Giles Cochrane and Vince Brown to name a few. The match was being held over three lakes, Longs, Sellicks and Lily with two sections on each of the first two and one on the latter. The payout would be the top three in each section with an optional superpool that would pay the top two silvers in each section and the top three overall.
It was great to see so many people turn out to support the event
At the draw I managed to avoid Lily and pulled out peg 19 on Longs, it wouldn't have been my first choice but I have done some decent weights of silvers from this area, the Tart was on Sellicks peg 4 which is a really good peg for carp and silvers, his mate Howard was on Longs peg 40 and Glynn was on Longs number 35, another great area. We all decided to put £2 in the pot and pay £4 to the top silvers and carp weights. Des was on Longs on peg 37 and as he had quite a bit of space and was fairly sheltered he had to fancy his chances, despite it being his first match here!
I think Des was happy with his peg!
I got to my peg and was pleased to see the pallet on my right wasn't taken and two empty pegs to my left, my nearest neighbours were Alex Murray on peg 17 on my right and Steve Kedge on peg 22. It was quite windy but not as bright as previous days which would hopefully help the fishing. I mixed up some groundbait and then set up two rigs, a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim to fish at 10 metres and a 0.2 gram NG Mini Gimp to fish the shorter line at 5 metres. I plumbed up and the bottom was all over the place on the longer line and it took me a while to find three areas with the same depth. After Wednesday where I'd had problems with small fish using 4mm expanders I had some 6mm Bait Tech Jelly Pellets and also some hard 6mm pellets for banding.

On the whistle I cupped in micros at 10 metres on the right and straight out and then two balls of groundbait on the left before finally potting in some micros at 5 metres. I went out on the right hand line and had a bite after a few minutes and hooked a carp, I had it pretty much under control (or so I thought!) when it had other ideas and did me under the pallet! I had to tie on another hooklength and plumb up again which wasted a few minutes but then my next bite saw solid resistance and I was soon netting a good bream. Any hopes of a bagging session soon disappeared when all I could catch on my three longer lines were tiny roach. Alex and Steve were getting odd carp but it was quite slow going at this early stage.

I kept trying my different lines but all I could manage were two blades and a slightly better 4oz skimbob, Charlie Barnes on peg 15 was also fishing for silvers and it looked like he was struggling too. I tried a 6mm strawberry jelly pellet but although I could get indications I think a lot of it was small fish again, I did lose two foulhooked fish, one might have been a skimmer but the other was definitely a carp. Then out the blue I've had a decent skimmer from the line straight out in front and then not long after another good bream around 3-4lb but then my next two fish were carp. Alex was now catching well fishing to the island, Kedgy had slowed up after a good start and Jamie Bisgrove was struggling in peg 24 although he had caught a nice bream and a small carp.

I had another carp but was going nowhere fast, there were blows over my 5 metre line so I put on a 6mm banded pellet, I started getting indications and then hooked and landed a slab that looked to be getting on for 5lb, and then a few minutes later I've had an even bigger one and there's still thirty mins to go. Alex had switched to his inside line and was now bagging, getting a fish a chuck and would do a good weight. I was praying for a few more fish but time was running out and then with ten minutes to go the float buried and I've hooked a good fish only for the hook to pull out - bugger! I had a couple more indications but then time was called and that was that. As I was packing up, Glynn came down and said he'd had five slabs plus some other silvers so that last fish I lost could have been costly.

With Pete not fishing today, the weigh in was soon underway and started at Longs peg 2 where Ryan Thomas had 26lb 10oz which remained the top weight until Paul Homewood in peg 14 had a level 30lb and then Alex Murray stormed into the lead with 64lb 12oz but would it be enough as apparently Des had bagged up with around forty carp and Vince Brown had done well on Sellicks peg 14. Then it was my turn and my three carp went 7lb 12oz before my four bream and four skimmers plus a few bits went 19lb 13oz but I was the first peg in my section which also included Glynn and I knew he'd beaten me.
I had some lovely slabs
Giles Cochrane had 49lb 2oz from peg 29 before Dom came close with 44lb 9oz, then Glynn had 25lb 9oz of silvers so it would have been close if I'd had that last fish I'd lost. Then Des had a brilliant 89lb although as he was over in his carp net, this was adjusted to 81lb 1oz. So I'd finished second in silvers in my section (and on the lake) and should have an envelope to come. The scales then moved onto Sellicks and Ray had 17lb 1oz of silvers on peg 3 before Lee Williams had  32lb 5oz from peg 5 and then Andy Gard just pipped him to take the section with 34lb 7oz from peg 8.

Glynn had the best silvers weight on the day with 25lb 9oz
Des won with a brilliant 81lb 1oz
We then all turned right onto Lily and Bob Gullick set the pace with 42lb 7oz from peg 2 although he'd lost a few fish (and floats) in the lilies in the process, Gavin Jones had 36lb 7oz next door, Simon Hales went into third place on the pond with 32lb 15oz from peg 8. Back onto Sellicks and Vince Brown had 69lb 3oz from peg 14 to go into second place overall, Scotty Russell had 41lb 10oz of carp and 10lb 13oz of silvers from peg 23 for second on the lake and first in silvers and Gary Bull finished third on the lake with 31lb 8oz.

1 - Des Shipp (Preston Innovations) - 81lb 1oz
2 - Vince Brown (Sedges) - 69lb 4oz
3 - Alex Murray (Sign Solutions) - 62lb 10oz
4 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 52lb 7oz
5 - Giles Cochrane (Mosella) - 49lb 2oz
6 - Dom Sullivan (Maver) - 44lb 9oz
1 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 25lb 9oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 19lb 13oz

On the sidebet front Glynn picked up the £4 for the silvers and the Tart took our mini carp pool with 16lb odd. We all gathered for the results and Pete and Sally laid on free burgers and drinks which was a fantastic gesture. Before the prize giving we held a minutes silence to remember Clive and then Gary said a few words thanking everybody for turning up, which was nice. Lee and Mark did the results, I picked up £18 for second in the section for silvers which helped cover the cost of the day. Then it was time for the raffle and there was loads of fishing tackle up for grabs, Hurf won twice and Jake and Rob's numbers were also picked out so they took home some nice prizes.
Some of the fantastic raffle prizes
It was a really nice day, well run and organised by Mark Cox, Lee Williams and Norman Sterry - top work lads. Pete, Sally, Adie Richards and Adie Bishop looked after all the anglers really well and everybody who supplied prizes were very generous and I believe over £530 was raised by today's match, what a brilliant effort.
Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My Milestone (below)

Friday, April 10, 2015


250,000 hits, yes you read that right, quarter of a million (if only I had a £1 for each page view!), a figure that I could only dream about when I started blogging way back in 2006 (where did those nine years go?). As I've said before I didn't start with any grand master plan in mind, I just loved fishing and really enjoyed writing and this blog was just a journal detailing the matches I fished. Through the blog I've met (and fished with) some great people, I've written for fishing magazines and other angling websites and even appeared in Match Fishing magazine! An unexpected (but very welcome) perk has been various companies sending me stuff to review and I try to be as honest and thorough as I can be.

More and more anglers are posting their match results on Facebook which is great and I love seeing how everybody else has got on but it is very noticeable and it makes me laugh that the majority only ever post something when they've done well. One noticeable exception is Des Shipp and I find it refreshing that he tells the world when he gets it wrong (it doesn't happen very often mind!). I've always been quite proud that however I've done, you get to read about it, warts and all! Sometimes it's tough to write about my latest match when it's been a disaster or I've got things badly wrong or lost that match winning fish at the net or even, God forbid, lost a pound to the Torquay Tart! (but then even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally!).

It can be a real labour of love sometimes, especially when it's gone 12:00 on a Sunday night and I still haven't finished writing up that days match and I've got work in a few hours but then somebody will message me asking where that days blog is and it makes it all worthwhile. The feedback I get about the blog is all good and people can be so nice. It did make me smile when somebody recently told me that this blog is their Monday morning reading when they are sat on the toilet (you know who you are!). I love the fact that people check out the blog to see if they got a mention and sometimes anglers will contact me to advertise a meeting, match dates or see if I'll cover a junior match which I'm more than happy to do if I can.

I realise this year is only just over three months old but it's been eventful so far, I didn't manage to defend my V.E.S. Precision title and finished a disappointing fourth but on the plus side, the river fished it's head off and I won one match with over 21lb of clonking great roach and in the last league match I had 11lb 7oz and was only fifth in my seven peg section! Dillington continues to fish really well and I won the lake in Barney's Pairs Open with 14lb 8oz of quality roach and rudd. I still love fishing Summerhayes and so far this year I've framed on a few occasions, topped my best silvers weight and won my first two day event with Ray Wickham as my partner.
I had 11lb 7oz in the last league match which included a lovely 2lb perch
There's lots to look forward to on the horizon, on Saturday there's the Gary Bull Fundraiser at Summerhayes with over 60 anglers fishing including Des Shipp, the Perry St league starts in a couple of weeks and I'm itching to get back down to Seaton and have another go at those mullet. There will also hopefully be some more trips with Russell Hilton and my annual trip to Thailand.

So a massive thank you to everybody that has read the blog, taken the time to contact me with good feedback or had a chat at a match. Thanks also to fellow bloggers who have helped to spread the word and I make no apologies for once again thanking the lovely Hayley at Bait Tech for all her help and support. Please keep reading and don't forget to contact me with feedback, any photos you'd like to see on the blog, in fact anything fishy. Next stop, half a million hits!


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 8th April 2015

After a very enjoyable two days fishing over the Bank Holiday weekend, it was back to Summerhayes today for match number three in four days. I was a bit late picking Janders up but we got there in good time, only to be met by the worst news possible that Clive Cunningham had suffered a heart attack at the fishery the previous day and sadly passed away. I didn't know Clive that well but he loved the venue and was there more often than not, he always said hello and we'd have a bit of friendly banter, what a sad loss and my heart goes out to his friends and family.

After that terrible news, the draw was a rather sombre affair and people just went to their pegs and started setting up. I'd drawn peg 31 which is in a great area for silvers, Janders drew peg 14 where Charlie won from on Sunday and the Tart drew peg 36 which can be great for carp and silvers which was bad news for me as we'd decided to have a pound on silvers, one on carp and another on overall weight! At least Janders played fair and had our side bet on silvers! Adie Bishop let me have some great looking pencil style floats that he's made and as soon as I've tried them out I'll report back.
Peg 31 on Longs
It was another hot, bright day and the lake was flat calm which wouldn't help the fishing but I still hoped we'd be in for a good day. I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for 5 metres and 10 metres to the left and a 0.2 gram NG Gimp for two more lines at 10 metres where it was a little bit shallower. My neighbours for the day were Roy Hughes on peg 33 and he always fishes for silvers and Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping was on my right. I just had time to slap on some sun cream before the all in was shouted.

I cupped in micros at 5 metres and on the right hand and middle 10 metre lines before putting two balls of the excellent Bait Tech F1 groundbait on the left hand line. I started on the right hand line with a 4mm expander but it took ages to get a bite and the result was a 2oz skimmer which was a little disappointing, my next fish was a better skimmer but it certainly wasn't fast and furious. We were half an hour into the match and I hadn't seen Bill or Roy catch yet and it looked to be hard going for most although I had seen Steve Kedge on peg 34 and Dom Sullivan on 11 land a couple of fish.

I moved to the middle line but no bites after ten minutes saw me move to the groundbait line, I had two good skimmers here but the action was short lived and I reckoned it was going to be a case of nicking a fish or two off a line before putting in a little bit of feed and resting it. I had a small skimbob from the middle line before I tried five metres for the first time, I had to wait a while for a bite but it was worth it when I netted a decent skimmer, I missed a few more bites before catching a tiny blade so it was time to move again. Two more good skimmers and a small carp came from the right hand line and although I wasn't bagging it was steady and I was doing better for silvers than those around me.

Bill was getting the odd carp now and Mark Chapman next to him was doing okay, I could also see Jacko netting some skimmers down on peg 26 and Janders had landed a couple of fish but I couldn't see if they were carp or bream. Rotating round my lines, I had a good skimmer from the left hand line, another from 5 metres and then a 4-5lb bream from the right hand line and was starting to enjoy myself. Then a light wind put a ripple on the water and I really thought the fishing would get better but instead I stopped catching! I was still getting bites but missing most of them and when I did connect with one it would be a tiny roach or blade.

For the last two and half hours I just went through the motions, hoping I might be able to snare another couple of better skimmers but it just didn't happen. In hindsight I probably should have started another line further over or maybe tried a more resilient hookbait like banded pellet or corn but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Scott came for a walk round and said that Andy Hembrow had bagged up in peg 4 and Dom Sullivan had also done well. On the silvers front Janders had landed three or four big bream, so I was resigned to losing that pound and as I'd seen the Tart land a few carp I would be another £2 down there but hopefully I'd be able to claw back a pound from him on silvers.

I packed up and went to watch the weigh in, Adie Bishop had 28lb 7oz from peg 39 and then Paul Homewood had 38lb 7oz from peg 2 before Andy Hembrow went into the lead with 89lb 9oz from peg 4 which included 13lb 4oz of silvers, Roger Russell had 5lb of silvers from peg 7 and peg 9 didn't weigh. Dom went into second place with 65lb 9oz from peg 11 and then Simon had 5lb of silvers from next door. Then we got to Janders and he had a lovely net of silvers weighing 20lb 8oz and I handed my pound over - well done mate.
Andy Hembrow had 89lb 9oz (thanks to Dom Sullivan for the photos)
Dom had 65lb 9oz
Janders had 20lb 8oz (and almost smiled!)
Mash in peg 17 had 37lb 12oz which included 11lb 13oz of silvers, then pegs 19 and 24 didn't weigh, Jacko went into second place in the silvers with 14lb 5oz and I thought that would be that. Steve Martin had 33lb 15oz from peg 28 and Bill didn't bother weighing. Then it was my turn and my lone carp weighed 1lb 5oz before I pulled my silvers net out and it looked more than the 8lb I was claiming! The digital readout stopped agonisingly short at 14lb 3oz and the poor second half of the match had really cost me today. Roy had chucked back before Kedgy plonked 47lb 10oz on the scales to go into third place. Then last and least was Brandon the Tool who'd had a carp jump out of his net which was costly as he weighed 38lb 1oz and missed out on fourth place by 6oz. Still he did have a £1 off me which cheered him up and gives him a 2-1 lead this year.

1 - Andy Hembrow (Clevedon) - 89lb 9oz
2 - Dom Sullivan (Maver) - 65lb 9oz
3 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 47lb 10oz
4 - Paul Homewood (Sedges) - 38lb 7oz

1 - John 'Janders' Anderson (Donyatt) - 20lb 8oz
2 - Steve Jackson (Garbolino) - 14lb 5oz

I was going to say something about how disappointed I was about missing out by 2oz but the mornings sad news puts everything in perspective and to be honest it's just fishing.

Next up - The Gary Bull charity match on Saturday

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Summerhayes - Pairs Festival Day Two - 6th April 2015

It was another glorious, sunny day as I made my way to Bridgwater for day two, as I arrived most people were already there and all the silvers anglers were hoping to avoid the carp pegs today and vice versa. Pete announced the draw and the anglers who had been in the high numbers yesterday were in the low numbers todays so Ray had to draw first for us, he pulled out peg 3 which is a cracking silvers peg but he had Charlie's partner John on peg 5, another good silvers peg. Glynn was on 9 with the Torquay Tart in 7.

Then it was the turn of my section to draw and I really wanted to avoid pegs 14 and 15 as they are two of the best carp pegs on the pond. Adie drew for Charlie and when he pulled out peg 14 that was one of them gone, then Nigel pulled out peg 15 so I went to draw but Dave Bull got there just before me. I told him not to draw peg 21 (one of the best skimmer pegs) and of course he pulled it out. I stuck my hand in hoping for peg 20, 18 or 17 but 23 attached itself to my hand and I'd forgotten all about that peg! I've done some decent weights of silvers off it but it's a good carp peg as you've got the end bank to fish to but I would be avoiding it like the plague today.
The view from peg 23 looking back up the pond
The pond was flat calm which probably wouldn't help the fishing, I set up two rigs, a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil to fish at 10 metres angled towards peg 22 (which wasn't in) and also at 5 metres to the right and a Drennan 0.6 gram G-Tip to fish at 8.5 metres and 5 metres straight out in front. Both rigs had 0.10mm bottoms with the lighter rig having an 18 808 and the other rig had a 16. For bait I had some Bait Tech F1 groundbait, expanders, micros, some 4mm's I'd dampened down last night and also some maggots and pinkies that Ray let me have as change baits.

If nothing else we should have a laugh today as Dave was on 21 with Pete next to him on 20, that was if I could hear anything over Jacko's chickens which were in fine voice today and making a right old racket! Adie finally shouted the all in and I put in half a pot of micros on the two right hand lines before cupping in two balls of groundbait containing some micros, maggots and pinkies on the 8.5 metre line and lastly some 4mm's on the left hand 5 metre line. I started on the right hand 10 metre line with a 4mm expander on the hook and expected to get indications quite quickly but this didn't happen which was a bit of a worry. I could see Ray on the other side and he was getting the odd fish but there wasn't a lot happening on our side.

I was lifting and dropping the rig and after 15 mins I had a bite and hooked what felt like a small carp but I'll never know for sure as it came off! I missed a good bite before foulhooking a carp which I had on for a while before the hook pulled and things weren't going to plan. Dave had a couple of carp fishing across and from all the swearing coming from the top of the pond, I guessed Charlie had already started hooking carp! With no more indications I tried the shorter line but nothing doing here either, I was just about to go back on the longer line, when the float buried and I hooked a decent skimmer, but as I shipped back, it came off! We were now an hour and a half into the match and I was still blanking and starting to panic a little bit.

No more bites on my two right hand lines so I cupped in a bit more feed on both before going to the left hand 8.5 metre line. This was slow going as well but after ten minutes the float buried and I shipped back very gently and was mightily relieved to slip the net under a 8oz skimmer. Things got even better when I had one about a pound a few minutes later but the action was short lived. Pete had landed a couple of silvers and I'd seen Nigel net a couple of fish too but it was hard work, Dave was still stuck on two carp but that was good on our side at this early stage. My next fish was a 4oz blade from the right hand 10 metre line and I could only get one or two bites from a line before I had to put in a little feed and move to another line.

I bumped a fish from the right hand 5 metre line before hooking a decent skimmer of 2lb or so that I safely netted and then had another 4oz fish from the 8.5 metre line and I was at least getting a few bites now. The only place I couldn't get bites was on the 5 metre line over the 4mm's. I kept rotating lines but with half the match gone I was still only on five fish, I missed a couple of bites and then couldn't buy a bite anywhere! Pete was still getting odd skimmers and was way ahead of me now, the bankside grapevine was saying that Ray was doing well and I needed to get a few more fish if we were to do any good but I couldn't buy a bite. Dave was in the same boat as his partner Martin was bagging up with carp on peg 12 so in a bid to try and make something happen he started to feed in front of the empty pallet between us. This worked a treat and he had several carp including a couple of munters and he was now doing his partner proud (and I can't believe Martin is going to drop him for someone else in the next festival!).

I then saw Brandon go to get a third keepnet and knew he was either getting it for someone else or winding me up as he could fish until next Monday and not need three keepnets! I tried double pinkie but still couldn't buy a bite, I did go to move the rig and foulhooked a carp which eventually broke the hooklength, the next fish I hooked felt like a good skimmer but turned out to be a small carp hooked in the wing! Pete was now bagging on skimmers and looking good to take the section.Time was running out and the next excitement was provided by Dave when he foulhooked a good carp, it ran through my swim and my float shot under and the strike saw me attached to Dave's line but luckily my rig came free and I could go back to catching nothing.

With 15 mins left I managed another good skimmer from the right hand 5 metre line and that was the last of the action. I packed up and went round to see Ray who said he thought he'd done well on that side. It had been a scorching hot day and I knew I'd burnt my arms and as we waited for the scales there were quite a few panda faces about! Clive was first to weigh and had 16lb odd of carp but only a few ounces of silvers and then Ray had 15lb 14oz which included a couple of lovely bream. John B had 6lb 14oz of silvers before we get to the Tarts peg and as suspected the third keepnet had never made it into the water. He did have a nice net of carp weighing 48lb 1oz and I paid him his pound back from yesterday, I then had to pay Glynn one as well when he weighed 11lb 2oz of silvers. Rob Birch had 22lb of carp and then Martin Addicott had 77lb 3oz from peg 12 to put him and Dave in a very good position.
Ray had a couple of lovely big slabs
Charlie was first to weigh on our section and he had 4lb 7oz of silvers and had suffered a frustrating day playing carp after carp, Nigel had 5lb 12oz and it was all very tight on the silvers front. Brendon's partner Darren had a better day today and weighed 22lb 7oz of carp from peg 17 and they would probably frame. Mark Leahy had 14lb of carp and then Pete had a lovely net of skimmers weighing 19lb 7oz for the top silvers weight on the day. Dave Bull had done well and his 26lb 7oz of carp gave him one point, then it was my turn and I thought I might pip Charlie but I didn't think I had enough to beat Nigel but Adie called it at 6lb 11oz to put me second in the section - phew!
Dave Bull caught a load of carp (and the sun!)
Back at the results and our three points from today meant we'd won the silvers with eight points ahead of Charlie and John on ten and Glynn and Nigel on 11. We picked up £48 each to round off a nice couple of days. On the carp front Martin and Dave only dropped one point between them over the two days, a great result. Brendon and Darren finished second with 11 points with Mark and Rob a point behind them in third.
Carp Champions Martin Addicott and Dave Bull
1 - Jamie Rich and Ray Wickham - 8 points
2 - Charlie Barnes and John B - 10 points
3 - Glynn Wickham and Nigel Wickham - 11 points

1 - Martin Addicott and Dave Bull - 5 points
2 - Brendon Ions and Darren - 11 points
3 - Mark Leahy and Rob Birch - 12 points

I've got the rest of the week off and I'm fishing five matches in eight days at Summerhayes, so the first two went pretty well, come back on Wednesday to see how I get on.

Next up - Summerhayes on Wednesday

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, April 06, 2015

Summerhayes - Pairs Festival Day One - 5th April 2015

As per usual Pete runs a two day mini festival over the Bank Holiday weekend and my partner was Ray Wickham once again, in the last one we both did well on the first day but blew out on day two when we drew good carp pegs! Also the texting from the Torquay Tart started last week as he advised me to get a big tube of Savlon for the spanking he was going to give me, I was just amazed he could find someone to fish with him!

We were all on Longs for the first day and after paying my pools the first job was to draw for which section we'd be in and I ended up in section A which was pegs 3 to 20 so at least I couldn't end up on 39 which is my least favourite peg. I ended up on peg 3 which is on what used to be known as 'Suicide Straight' but after those big bream went in, it's been doing some good weights. Ray pulled out peg 24 which isn't in the best of areas for silvers and he would be up against it with Glynn on peg 30. Glynn paid me the £2 he owed from last week and I felt there was a good chance he'd get one back today. The Tart wanted a pound on overall weight which I agreed to and was possibly a tad rash as I would be fishing for silvers!
Peg 3 looking back to the car park and you can see what a lovely day it was
I took my kit to the peg and we all had loads of room and my nearest neighbours were Martin Addicott on 39 although he was in the other section and the Tarts partner Darren on peg 7, we had a natter and he seems like a really nice bloke so God knows what he's doing with Brendon (or Brandon as it said on the board!, I think it suits him). I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim and plumbed up three lines at 10 metres and a NG 0.2 gram Gimp for 5 metres where it was a few inches deeper. Both rigs had 0.10mm bottoms and size 16 Tubertini 808's with both top kits having Daiwa Blue Hydro running through them. I mixed up some of the new Bait Tech F1 which is packed full of ground expanders and should be ideal for this kind of fishing with some good catches of bream being recorded using it already. It's quite a heavy groundbait and you can tell it has loads of expanders and pellets in it and I added a handful of micros as well.
One of the latest products from Bait Tech
In a complete contrast to last week there was hardly any wind and the sun was shining and it looked set to be a gorgeous day and I really fancied it would fish it's head off today. On the whistle I potted in half a cup of dampened micros on the right hand and middle lines at 10 metres before cupping in two balls of groundbait on the left hand line, finally I put in the same amount of micros at 5 metres. I started with a 4mm expander on the right hand line, I was expecting to catch quite quickly but that didn't happen and it was a good ten minutes before my first bite. It felt like a decent skimmer and I was disappointed when a 2lb carp popped up! Next chuck I had a skimmer around 8oz which was more like it and I switched to the middle line, my next fish was a flying 1lb skimmer and I thought I'd sack right up but then I couldn't buy a bite.

I tried over the groundbait line and missed a few bites before rotating round the other two lines again but after a fairly promising start it had just died. I hadn't seen Martin or Darren catch much yet and when Adie came for a walk round he said everybody was struggling but it was early days yet. I'd been dripping some micros in on the 5 metre line but wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it. As the second hour started I was on the middle 10 metre line when the float buried and a much better fish was on and I shipped back gently before slipping the net under a lovely 3-4lb bream. My next fish was a much more modest version of 2oz from the groundbait line so with 90 minutes gone, I fed the three longer lines again before trying 5 metres for the first time.

I missed a sail away bite then my next fish was another big slab, the next bite resulted in the elastic come jagging out of the pole tip and I just knew it would be a tench and sure enough a lovely tinca of 1.5lb was soon netted, my first for ages. I added a carp which was foulhooked under the wing which I would have sworn was a bream and then added a another blade and a better skimmer of a pound or so. Martin was starting to get the odd carp and had also added a skimmer plus a couple of small tench and his partner Dave Bull was catching on peg 11 as well. Darren was hooking carp but they were beating him up in the reeds and apparently Charlie Barnes was catching bream and skimmers in peg 14.

I had another carp and a foulhooked 2lb bream from the short line so fed some micros before resting it and fishing the longer lines but it was like they were devoid of fish now and all I could catch was the odd small roach over the groundbait line. After half an hour of not adding very much to my nets I was back on the 5 metre line and a good bite resulted in solid resistance and eventually a proper big old slab that had to be pushing 5lb boosted my weight. Next chuck I hooked another but it somehow turned into a poxy carp when I netted it! Much like the last match it seemed like you could get a couple of bites before having to feed again and try somewhere else. I felt like I was going through the motions a little bit on the longer lines and in hindsight perhaps I should have started a new line at 11.5 metres. Then out of the blue I've hooked another good bream from the middle line which I netted safely and there was still three quarters of an hour to go.

I decided to concentrate on the 5 metre line for the last 45 mins as that was where I'd had most of my fish and added another big bream, a small carp and just before the whistle another blade. I ended up with 16 fish on the clicker (5 or 6 good bream, 5 decent skimmers, that tench and a few blades) plus a few small roach which I didn't count and 5 carp. I thought I possibly had 20lb of silvers but as you all know by now, I'm not the best at estimating weights!

I packed up and took my kit to the car, Brandon arrived and although he wasn't admitting it, Martin said he'd seen him catch quite well and I reckon there was a good chance I'd be saying goodbye to a nugget today. The scales started with me and my five accidental carp went 9lb 6oz before I pulled my silvers net out, Adie called it at 26lb 7oz and I was well chuffed as it's my best silvers weight here yet. Darren had struggled a bit and had lost the battle with the reeds, Dave Bull had 24lb 13oz of carp from peg 11 before owner Pete had 4lb 13oz of carp and 9lb 12oz of silvers. Then it was Charlie's turn and he had a lovely net of skimmers and bream weighing 28lb 5oz to push me down to second. Nigel Wickham had struggled for silvers but had done well for carp, weighing 18lb 13oz of them. Mark Leahy was the final peg in our section and he had 20lb 9oz of carp and 6lb 2oz of silvers.

Ray was first to weigh in the other section and had 4lb 3oz of carp before his net of silvers weighed a level 9lb, the Tart was next and only had 1lb 4oz of silvers but when he pulled his carp net out (and showed us how not to weigh in!) I thought it might be close but Adie called it at 28lb 7oz and I wouldn't be needing that Savlon after all! Glynn had 12lb 6oz of silvers to push Ray down into second but still had to pay me another quid and then Charlie's partner John pipped Ray by 3oz to push him down another section place. Clive had struggled in peg 34 and then Rob Birch had 7lb of carp which incredibly put him second in the section with one to weigh but when he pulled his silvers out I thought he might cost us another point but it was called at 8lb 9oz and that just left Martin who had 5lb 1oz of silvers and his carp weighed 14lb 7oz for second in the section.
'Can I borrow your tube of Savlon?'
So at the half way point Charlie and John are leading the silvers with 3 points and Dave and Martin also have 3 points on the carp side of things.

1 - Charlie Barnes and John - 3 points
2 - Jamie Rich and Ray Wickham - 5 points
3 - Glynn Wickham and Nigel Wickham - 6 points

1 - Martin Addicott and Dave Bull - 3 points
2 - Mark Leahy and Rob Birch - 5 points
3 - Brandon Ions and Darren - 7 points

The draw will be all important tomorrow, we're in a good position but two carp pegs like last time and that will be the end of that. Funniest quote of the day was when Darren had to pay Brandon a quid and said 'The trouble is the way he drives I'll have to listen to him go on about it for three hours!' (it's an hour's drive).

Next up - Day Two

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