Monday, August 31, 2015

Dillington Pond - Summer League 9 - 30th August 2015

The three matches I've fished in this league so far have been a real mixed bag and swapping and changing methods hasn't helped. The feeder has been winning most of the matches but I've tried it a couple of times without much success, so today I was determined to just fish the pole. I got to the pub for the draw and there was yet another new face as Tackleuk's Andy Downton was fishing today, Ashley Tomkins and Paul Homewood were also back so with all the regulars, there were fourteen fishing which is a good turnout. Rob announced the draw and I had the last peg in the hat which was peg 4, a great peg and one I've won off a couple of times.

I got out the pond and it was flat calm much like the last match where I'd really struggled to catch shallow but this time I'd make sure I set a deep rig up. Fieldy was on my right in peg 2 and I had Stu Alford on my left in peg 6 which has been really consistent and Ash was next to him in peg 8. I mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Nat Dark before setting my rigs up, a Preston Chianti for up in the water and a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for my deep, both had size 18 B611's to 0.10mm hooklengths. Bait was the usual casters, maggots and hemp.
Peg 4 before the heavens opened
On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 11.5 metres before starting over it with a single caster, I was feeding casters and hemp on this line and also by some lilies at the same distance angled to my right. I had a bite on the drop first chuck and was soon swinging in a small roach, in the first thirty minutes I had 18 fish, mainly roach, all caught on the drop and the fish were obviously up in the water. I decided to try the shallow rig and added another 17 fish to put me on 35 after an hour for probably 3lb or so and it was a decent start. If I could maintain that sort of catch rate it would give me around 16-18lb, probably not enough to win but it would put me in the money. I could see Ash catching shallow as well although Stu was struggling a bit on the feeder at this early stage.

Going into the second hour I was still getting lots of bites shallow but missing loads of them (which seems to be the norm for me), I switched back to the deeper rig and the bait actually reached the bottom but then the float just sat there! Back on the shallow rig and I'd get a couple of fish including the odd better one but it was hard going, a look by the lilies was much the same, odd fish and loads of missed bites and by the end of hour two I'd only added another 17 fish and if I was going to do any good today, things needed to improve and fast.
Me in 'action', although I use the term very loosely!
Stu had a couple of skimmers but from what I could see it looked like Ash was only getting the odd fish shallow. Then it started chucking it down and after putting my coat on, I went back to catching very little. I thought maybe the cold rain might have pushed the fish down but I just couldn't catch on my deep rig and then Stu slipped the net under a nice bream and with word on the grapevine that Big Frank had caught a couple of slabs plus some skimmers over on peg 20, I needed snookers already.

Thankfully the rain eased up as we headed into the last period of the match, I just needed the float to start going under now! Scotty Russell turned up, fresh from his carping exploits in France and said he couldn't believe the lack of indications I was getting, he said most people were struggling before walking round to see how Ash was doing. I added a couple more roach but to be honest I was looking forward to hearing the whistle. Ash had fed a long line and kept trying it throughout the match but up to now he hadn't had much off it, Scott obviously brought him some luck as he struck into decent fish and shipped back very carefully before netting what I thought was a skimmer (but was actually a 12oz perch).

I was getting some blows over the 11.5 metre line so went over it with the deep rig hoping a last gasp bonus might save the day and after five minutes or so, the float sailed away and I missed it! I went back out and after a short wait, the red float tip disappeared and this time I hit it but as elastic wasn't streaming out the end of the pole I knew it would be a roach rather than the bream or skimmer I needed. I added a couple more roach before Rob signalled the end and my clicker showed my final tally as 85 fish which I knew would be no good today.

I packed up and walked down to watch the weigh in and get a few photos, I missed the first two in our section, Leighton had 6lb 5oz from peg 13 and Nick Payne had 3lb in peg 12. Bob had struggled for 1lb 4oz and then we got to Ash who weighed 9lb 12oz before Stu had a lovely net of bream and skimmers weighing 20lb 10oz and it would be between him and Frank to see who would be the first angler to win two matches this series. My fish weighed a disappointing 7lb 7oz and there would be no envelope for me this week, Fieldy was the last peg in our section and he had 260 fish for 11lb 9oz.
Although Bob struggled, he was still smiling (I think!)
Ash had 9lb 12oz
Stu Alford won with a lovely net of bream and skimmers weighing 20lb 10oz
Fieldy was third with over 260 fish for 11lb 9oz
We drove round the other side for the results and Frank was top in that section with 17lb 1oz, it was a case of deja vu for Steve Parker as he'd drawn the same peg as last match (14), weighed exactly the same weight as last time (8lb 2oz), won the section again and took another nugget off me. Rob didn't weigh in peg 17, Jake had 3lb 15oz from peg 18 and Andy Downton had 7lb 8oz from peg 19. Paul Homewood had 5lb 12oz and paid me a pound to put me evens on the side bet front and then Hurf had 5lb 13oz but instead of giving me a nugget, he handed me 63p in shrapnel!

So although the leading weights were good, most people struggled today and those big roach and rudd seem to have done a disappearing act. Even though the top two weights were caught on the feeder today, quite a few people have fished it and struggled so I'm none the wiser on how I'm going to fish the last one in two weeks time. Maybe if we get some more rain, it'll put some colour in the pond and those bigger roach will feed again.

1 - Stuart Alford (Ilminster) - 20lb 10oz
2 - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 17lb 1oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 11lb 9oz

A - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 9lb 12oz
B - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 8lb 2oz

So the three most consistent performers in the league filled the top three places again and going into the last match in two weeks time it's very tight at the top, Fieldy leads with 10 points followed by Stu on 11 and Frank on 12.

Then just to finish off a miserable day for me today, we were talking about when the river matches start, when Rob dropped the bombshell that he was only running one league on the river this year, so my match calendar now has rather a lot of empty spaces and I'll need to find something else to do every other week. I'm seriously gutted, I was so looking forward to getting back on the river which fished brilliantly last year and now we're only having a handful of matches on it. In fact if we get rained off a few times and end up out the pond, we might only get to fish it three or four times, what a waste.

I'm in no way having a go at Rob who I think does a fantastic job and it must take up a lot of his time but I just think it's a massive shame that we've got this cracking bit of river and we're not going to use it, I've quite fancied spreading my wings and might look at fishing the Tone which is another cracking bit of water but shame my peg fees will now go into another clubs bank account when I'd much rather fish closer to home and support my club.

Update - In the interests of fairness, Rob has replied to my comments about the river matches which I have posted below

'Jamie. I understand your frustration but you must also understand mine , which you fail to mention in your blog by the way so let me tell people why the decision to fish one series this winter was taken
I spend nearly every Saturday in the winter driving too and fro from the river to see which pegs are or are not fishable, whilst I'm looking at the river I also dig /cut out pegs for the benifit of all club anglers.So and as you said a lot of time and effort goes into ensuring that pegs are available for yours and other anglers pleasure on match day.

Let's talk about match day, royal oak series which is the one you are referring too. I get up at 0630 every Sunday to load my car with my gear but I also have to sort out peg numbers, scales etc for the match.The average turn out for this leauge last season was 5 and that's including myself ,like yourself I love the river but this series is just not supported in the same way as the VES.The anglers that fish the winter series make a choice between the oak and the VES , they don't fish both.

There are 5 dates in the ticket for the royal oak series and despite this being a mistake in printing I am prepared to honour these 5 dates this season, if this is supported I will carry this through into the second half of the season, if not that's it for this season.

I can't be any fairer than that so for all reading this spread the word if you want to keep it.
And although I'm not having a go at you directly Jamie because I think your blog is brilliant and like thousands of other people I enjoy reading it, if your going to vent your frustration about the lack of use the river will get, please also inform people why it won't be used'

So there you have it, lack of support, basically with the league it's a case of use it or lose it....

Next up - Possibly Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 23rd August 2015

This match was supposed to be on Sellicks but after losing some skimmers a few weeks back it hasn't been fishing very well for silvers so I was relieved when I got there and Pete said he'd moved us onto Longs today. With only eight of us fishing it was also to be a rover style match so I was hoping for a ping pong ball with a nice low number on it but ended up with fifth choice. One of Pete's rules is that you have to leave the next peg empty to give people some space and most of the areas I fancied went early on, so when it was my turn to choose I went for peg 2 which raised a few eyebrows! I knew Roger had done a decent weight off it recently and I'd have plenty of room which I hoped might help.
Peg 2 on Longs
It was lashing it down and looking like we'd be in for a rather moist day but at least it wasn't too windy. I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim to fish at ten metres angled to my right and this rig would also do for the five metre line where it was the same depth, my other rig was a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil to fish at ten metres angled to the left where it was a bit shallower. Hooklengths were 0.12mm tied to size 16 Tubertini 808's. For bait I had some damp micros for feed (and they were getting damper by the minute!) and Bait-Tech 4mm expanders for the hook with some 6mm hard pellets if small fish became a problem.

Adie blew (or rather shouted) the all in and we were off, I cupped in half a pot of micros on all three lines before starting with an expander on the right hand line. I had a bite quite quickly and swung in a 2oz skimbob, next chuck I've had a better one, more blades followed and I was getting plenty of indications. Alvin Jones over on peg 37 got off to a flying start and had already landed quite a few carp. After my decent start I was now missing loads of bites as blades and small roach ragged the soft pellet. I switched to 6mm banded pellet and had a decent skimmer first chuck from the right hand line to put me on around 2.5lb after the first hour which was bang on target as I thought 15-18lb would there or thereabouts today. Any thoughts that I'd cracked it soon disappeared as I went back to missing loads of bites and only adding the odd small skimmer to my net.

I was missing or bumping loads of fish and I don't think banded pellet was right so switched to a hair rigged band but it didn't seem to make that much of a difference. I kept trying all three lines but the left hand swim was a bit of a flop with the only action being a lost carp. The shorter line was more productive and I was catching quite a few small skimmers between 2-4oz which bodes well for the future but I was starting to get frustrated that I couldn't catch any quality. Alvin was still bagging on carp and had even added some nice crucians and skimmers which he took great delight in showing me! As the halfway point approached I was really struggling and as it was still raining hard, I was even contemplating sitting in my car and listening to the footy for a bit!

Then the float sailed away on the five metre line and I hooked a better fish which turned out to be a gorgeous little crucian around 8oz or so, I then had a good skimmer that leapt straight out the water and the next chuck I hooked another that did the same but this one threw the hook! I started to connect with a few more fish and added two more crucians, three little carp (which count as silvers if under 8oz) plus some more smaller skimmers and roach and to make things even better, the rain eased off as well. Alvin looked to be on for a big weight and had put another keepnet in, I couldn't really see how anybody else was getting on apart from Matt C in peg 8 who was getting the odd carp.

Going into the last two hours, I went back on the longer right hand line and had a real purple patch where I had a lovely golden tench followed by three decent skimmers and all of a sudden, a decent weight seemed on the cards again. Up until now I hadn't had too much trouble with carp, landing three and losing a couple so I should have guessed what was coming next! I've hooked a decent carp around 5lb which gave me the run around and I tried giving it too much stick when the hooklength gave way and of course I didn't have anymore hair rigged bands tied up to 0.12mm. I tried the other rig with just a banded pellet and did manage a slightly better skimmer but I just had this nagging doubt that a hair rig was better so stopped for five minutes to tie another one.

I was back on the five metre line with half an hour to go, I had another good skimbob and with just a few minutes left on the clock I had another and still had time to go back out but that was the last of the action. I ended up with 44 fish which I thought might give me 10-12lb but I didn't think it would be enough although Ray Wickham had come for a wander just before the end and said that Glynn on peg 18 was struggling and that Adie on 31 was admitting to 5lb and he reckoned 7lb would be a decent weight.

I packed my kit away and caught up with the scales as they weighed Adie in, he had a nice net of silvers weighing 11lb 1oz, then we got to Bill 'The Paste' Hopping on peg 24 who was sporting a rather fetching camouflage poncho and just needed to spark a cigar up to complete the Clint Eastwood look. He'd bagged right up and after all three nets had been weighed, his total was called out at 190lb 5oz, a new lake match record, well done Bill!
'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' weighing in
Bill 'Eastwood' sets a new match record
Then we got to Glynn who had 'struggled' his way to 12lb 15oz of silvers from peg 18 before the good weights of carp continued with John Pear weighing 70lb 4oz from peg 14, Martin Addicot had 72lb 11oz from peg 11 and Matt C had 36lb 5oz from peg 8. Then it was my turn and my accidental carp weighed a level 12lb before I pulled my silvers net out and it looked like it was going to be really close but Adie called my weight at 14lb 13oz and I'd gone into the silvers lead with just Alvin to go. He had 87lb 9oz of carp and 13lb 6oz of silvers to give him a total of 100lb 15oz and second place overall.

 1 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 190lb 5oz - New Lake Match Record
 2 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 100lb 15oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 14lb 15oz
Todays board
So a nice days fishing (apart from the weather) and my first silvers win for a while, I picked up £32 and was relieved lost fish and faffing about hadn't cost me today.

Next up - Dillington

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dillington Pond - Summer League 8 - 16th August 2015

After the last match here where I sneaked a win on the pole in bright and sunny conditions, this week it was fairly overcast and I thought bream and skimmers would probably win it today, so I made sure I had my feeder rod and a reel thingy with me again today. I got to the draw at the Oak and along with the regulars it was nice to see a new face as Nick Payne was fishing with us today. After a sausage sarnie and coffee it was time to draw, I got into the hat with only a few pegs left and pulled out peg 13 on the bottom bank which I was fairly happy with.
Peg 13 on the bottom bank
I got out the pond and it was flat calm which I didn't think would do us any favours today, first job was to mix up some Bait-Tech Pro Nat Bream before setting up a feeder rod with a cage feeder and 0.12mm hooklength to a size 16 B911 with a hair rigged band. I set up a Preston Chianti to fish shallow and was going to set up a depth rig as well but ran out of time. Robin blew for the start and I started on the feeder with a 8mm pellet in the band and cast out to the clip, I didn't leave it out long and had a few casts to get some feed down and also started feeding casters and hemp at 10 metres and another line at 8.5 metres by the reeds to my left.

To be honest the first hour was a complete anti-climax for me with just a few knocks on the tip, Big Frank in peg 10 on my right fared considerably better with a lovely 2lb tench, a decent bream and a couple of skimmers for probably the best part of 10lb!. I'd seen Jake up on peg 6 land a couple of skimmers and Fieldy across in peg 19 was fishing his usual two sections to hand and catching loads of small fish and I heard him tell Rob he'd had 74 fish in the first hour. So already I felt like I was too far behind Fieldy to compete on the pole so stayed on the feeder hoping some bream or skimmers would put in an appearance.
'Please go round!'
I scaled down my hook bait from a 8mm pellet to a 6mm in a bid to try and get some bites, it worked to a certain extent as the next chuck I had a 6oz roach and then had a little tench of a similar size but I was going nowhere fast and after an hour and a half I didn't have a pound in the net yet! With boredom setting in I had a look on the pole line but it wasn't really happening there either and it was really hard work. I did manage to catch some chunky perch up to 4oz from my shorter pole line by the reeds and when Andy Welch turned up for a walk round and said the odd skimmer was being caught but nobody was really bagging, I decided to stick with the pole for now.

By swapping between my two pole lines I was getting odd roach but just couldn't catch any quality despite some good fish swirling for my casters. Frank and Jake were still getting the odd skimmer and I just didn't know what to do next, I had another quick look on the feeder but only managed another small tench so it was back on the pole. It was looking like Jake, Frank and Fieldy would all frame so my best chance of a pick up would be a default section win and I decided to stick with the pole for the rest of the match. Around the half way point I hooked what felt like a much better roach or rudd but of course the hook pulled out and then I tried double red maggot and bumped a better fish and I started to sense it wasn't going to be my day.

I was getting loads of bites on caster but just couldn't hit them, there were still big roach and rudd swirling for my feed but they were crafty fish, I tried altering depths, moving all the shot up the line, laying the rig in and holding it tight, flicking the rig past the feed, adding another section but nothing really helped, I'd get odd roach but none of the quality fish I knew were there. I wasn't too upset when Rob blew for the all out, I finished with 62 fish which I thought would go 4-5lb and it had been a very frustrating day.

I packed up and walked up with Steve to start the weigh in at peg 4, Nick had struggled a bit for 1lb 1oz before Jake had two nice bream and some skimmers for 20lb 1oz from peg 6, Terry had 5lb 12oz in peg 8 and then Frank had a lovely net of fish and just pipped his boy to go into the lead with 20lb 14oz. I weighed 5lb 13oz but any chance of a section win disappeared when Steve had 8lb 2oz and took a nugget off me as well (and he didn't want a side bet to start with!).
It was nice to have Nick fishing with us today
Jake had these two cracking bream
Terry had 5lb 12oz from peg 8
Frank had a lovely net of fish to win with 20lb 14oz
Steve 'Mr Guru' Parker looks pretty happy that he won the section and took a nugget off me
But at the results and Fieldy had the top weight in the other section and finished third with over 300 fish for 17lb 13oz from peg 19, followed by Stu Alford with 12lb 7oz, Rob with 10lb 14oz, Baz with 10lb 6oz and Bob had struggled in 24 for 13oz. In hindsight if I'd have fished the pole all day I'd have done enough to win the section but at the moment the feeder is winning most of the matches so I wasted too much time trying to catch bream and skimmers. I do think you need to be very single minded here, Fieldy just gets his head down fishing for bits and he's framing most weeks and Frank and Jake both fish the feeder and are nearly always there or thereabouts, whereas I keep swapping and changing and ending up in no man's land.

The problem with the feeder is, that if you don't catch in the first hour, you are already several pounds behind the pole/whip anglers so it's pointless switching to try and catch them up so your hand is somewhat forced to stay on the feeder. If you catch on the feeder quite quickly like Frank and Jake did today, you can stay on it as long as you're catching and you still have the option to swap to the pole. It's certainly an intriguing venue and so far there have been eight matches with a different angler winning each time which keeps things interesting.

So after a good run of results, I got it badly wrong today and at times I didn't know whether I was coming or going, now where's the nearest chippie!

1 - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 20lb 14oz
2 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 20lb 1oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 17lb 13oz

A - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 8lb 2oz
B - Stuart Alford (Ilminster) - 12lb 7oz

After eight matches and dropping the worst two results, Fieldy leads with 8 points followed by Stu Alford on 10 and Frank on 11.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest interview (below)


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dean Barlow Interview

Another first for this blog, my latest interview is with a World Champion, Dean Barlow, one of the England squad that were recently crowned World Feeder Champions!

Against Men and Fish - Hi Dean, first of all a massive congratulations to you and the England Feeder Team on becoming World Champions and retaining your title, a fantastic achievement. What did you do to celebrate?
Dean Barlow - I had a couple of drinks at the gala dinner, but I spent most of the evening talking to the other fisherman, I'm not a big drinker these days.

It takes a huge amount of time and effort to fish at international level and you have a young family and work full time so how do you manage to fit it all in?
I have a VERY supportive and understanding family. They come to watch and cheer me on at the world champs each year. Its great to see them after a long week of practice.
This might sound like a silly question but what is your favourite method/style of fishing? Is it the feeder?
I love all types of fishing, obviously the feeder plays a huge part now but I love pole and bloodworm fishing on rivers as well.
And what’s your favourite species?
I have two, roach and perch.
I get the impression that most of your fishing is done on natural venues, do you venture onto commercials much? And what do you think Frank would have made of the massive weight venues we have today?
I like to keep in touch with commercial fishing but fishing for your country takes up a lot of time, I prefer bigger commercial fisheries like Barston where you can catch on all methods. I think dad would have still competed as he just loved fishing.

I used to love reading your Dad’s column in the Anglers Mail every week and I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Best of Barlow’ that came out fairly recently (and reviewed on the blog), have you ever been approached to write a column or a book?
I have written a fair few articles for the monthlies and for websites but I've never been asked to do a column.
Can you give the readers a top tip that will improve their feeder fishing? And what is your favourite groundbait mix when fishing for bream?
My top tip would be, work your peg don't just chuck it and leave it, keep active.

Pro Natural Bream and brown crumb. Special G Gold and Green for commercials.

You’re sponsored by Bait-Tech and Drennan, how much do you get involved with new product development and is there anything new and exciting coming out from either company that you can tell us about?
I have a hand in testing groundbaits, giving feedback to help improve the final mix. I'm involved in product development with Drennan which you would expect being a England international and double world champion with years of match experience.

There are lots of exciting products on the horizon from both companies but I can't say too much, you'll just have to wait and see...

In your long and successful match angling career you’ve won countless big matches and events (not to mention two gold medals with the England Team), but which victories stand out for you?
The two golds are a dream come true, I also won a silver medal when I fished for the England under 18's and I won the intermediate national individually but winning my dads memorial match twice is pretty special.
And are there any titles you would dearly love to win that have so far eluded you?
I would love to win the Saturday or Sunday matches at Evesham on the bank holiday festival. I have won the team match day individually but to win one of the big ones would be fantastic.

Before I let you go, here are some quick fire questions for you,

What’s your biggest fish?
A carp on the pole that bottomed the scales out at 19lb it was well over 20lb.

Your favourite venue?
Inniscarra is a very special place as thats where we won our first gold medal. Also the River Trent and Barston lakes.
What’s your favourite drink?
Orange and lemonade.
Favourite meal?
Favourite film?
Pretty Woman

TV show?
Anything with David Attenborough in.

Preferred reading?
True stories.
What music do you listen to?
Hip Hop / 90s Dance

And finally, what’s your idea of a perfect day?
Winning a gold medal and sharing the moment with my family. .... which I have done twice already!!
It doesn't get much better than that, well thank you Dean, it’s been an absolute pleasure, from Against Men and Fish

Monday, August 10, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 10 - 9th August 2015

The last match of the series arrived and we all knew where we'd be fishing today, I was on peg 2 with Blaker on peg 8 and although I had a two point advantage, I still felt he would be the slight favourite to take the title from that peg. We were two anglers short today and there were a couple of stand ins as well, one of these was the Torquay Tart who was fishing for Jamie P in peg 1 so any chance of a quiet day was out the window! He was wearing a pair of orange shades and said he'd just bought some orange trainers and was thinking of changing his rather nice black Rive box to the Mango version! Never right that boy!, it's bad enough you can hear him from miles away and now he wants to ensure we can see him too! I remember Jan Porter was the 'Man in Red' but now we get the 'Tango Twat!'.
Butch with the Tango Tart
As I was setting my kit up, I was a little concerned that the pond was flat calm which wasn't ideal for shallow fishing and although there were a few fish cruising, I didn't think they'd hang about with a pole over their heads. I set up the usual three rigs, an inline dibber for up in the water, a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp Float for the five metre meat line and my little Trabucco float for fishing by the cormorant roost on the inside. The Tart had started moaning that he was sat on an ants nest which cheered me up no end!
Peg 2
Les blew for the start and I fed some meat and 8mm pellets on the inside along with some meat at 5 metres before starting shallow with a 6mm hair rigged banded pellet at 11.5 metres. I was getting the odd small dip but I'm sure it was small fish and then Hainsey in peg 20 drew first blood with a small carp. I had a tree on my left which meant I couldn't really see what was happening apart from the Tart in peg 1, Hainsey, Mike Smith in 19, Bish in 17 and I could just about see what Picky was up to in peg 3, so when I heard reports that Blaker already had four carp I had to try something else so picked up the five metre rig. I had a couple of good bites which of course I missed and when Mike had a carp and then Picky, although it was far too early to panic just yet, things definitely weren't going to plan and things got worse when the Tart landed his first carp too.

I was still missing bites on the meat and then just as the first hour was drawing to a close I finally hit one and the result was a 2oz roach! I had another but I was going nowhere fast, Mike and Hainsey both landed their second carp and Picky had hooked a few more although I wasn't sure if he'd landed them or not. I was now fishing the inside line and missed another sail away bite when the Tart has latched into his second fish and he was full of it, 'Are you having curry sauce with your chips?', 'Do you want a battered sausage?', I was just starting to think of all the gloating texts that would be coming my way when my float shot under and I was finally into a carp and after a brief tussle, I netted one about 3lb and although I was still behind the Tart, it had quietened him down for the time being.

From what I could hear it sounded like the other end was fishing a lot better than ours, with nearly two hours gone, Bish hadn't got off the mark yet, Mike, Hainsey and the Tango Man all had two apiece and Picky had two or three. I then added my second carp to at least stay in touch with those around me before the Tart hooked another that snagged him in the lilies and despite his best efforts, it wasn't coming out. I was watching him fanny about when my pole got dragged round as an angry carp took off but after a few seconds the hook pulled out which I probably deserved for laughing at his misfortune.

We'd now reached the halfway point and I knew the league was slipping away, with no more bites on the inside I had another go shallow and missed what looked like a proper bite before hooking a carp that tore off and the bloody hook pulled out of that one too! Another go at five metres met with no response so it was back on the inside line and I've had two more carp quite quickly with one a decent fish of 5lb or so and I'd at least gone ahead of the Tart for now and thought I'd better ask him which chippie he'd be stopping off at on his way home!

Bish then landed a couple of fish in quick succession from his long line and the Tart hooked a carp that led him a merry dance through the lilies with his white hydro but he skilfully (cough, cough) managed to get it out and when Hainsey had a flying skimmer it felt like a few fish were feeding now. I added two more carp (and two roach) and started to think I might be able to put a few fish together but then typically I couldn't get a bite. Andy turned up for a chinwag and although there wasn't a lot happening in my peg, he was kept entertained when Hainsey hooked a carp on his light rig that decided it wanted to explore every inch of his peg plus most of the Tart's too!

As we headed into the last hour, a few more fish were being caught down our end (with the exception of me!), I decided to rest the inside for a bit and see if any bigger fish had settled on the five metre line where the odd bubble was coming up but I missed a couple of bites before dropping off a roach and that was enough of that. Bish landed another fish and then Mike started catching from his inside line and when Picky slipped the net under a nice tench, it was starting to look like I might be joining the Tart for fish, chips and mushy peas!

With only 30 mins left I was back on the inside when I hooked a fish that tore off only for the hook to pull out of the third fish of the day and I had a horrible feeling that I really needed that fish. I did land the next two to put me on eight and there were still a few minutes left, then nearly right on time I missed a bite and my over enthusiastic strike saw the rig snagged up, I managed to get it back and untangle it but as soon as I lowered the rig back in, Les blew his whistle to end the match and the league.

I was pretty sure my eight carp would beat most people around me but I knew I wouldn't be able to compete with the other end and this was confirmed when Les came down and said that Blaker had caught well along with Exeter Mike in peg 9, Shane in 10 and Bushy in 11, and my only hope now was if the latter three had beaten Blaker and I finished just behind him. I was still packing up when the scales arrived to weigh in the Tart and he was moaning about all the ant bites he had received, so it's a good job he's sponsored by Savlon and when he weighed 15lb 10oz, I said he could probably get sponsored by Pukka Pies as well and should enquire at the chippie on the way home!

My eight carp (and four roach) went 30lb 12oz and when Picky weighed 10lb I added his pound to the beautiful golden nugget that the Tart had just given me. As the scales carried on up the bank, Chilly weighed 17lb 12oz, Oz had 20lb 14oz and Les 16lb 12oz so at least I'd won my six peg section (due to being two anglers short Les was only paying the top three and three sections today). I went back to finish packing up and it wasn't long before the other anglers started heading back after being weighed in. I asked Shane how he'd got on and he said he'd had a level 50lb from peg 10 and Blaker had just pipped him by 4oz to win on the day and as both Exeter Mike and Bushy had beaten me, Blaker would also win the league.

I must admit to feeling quite deflated as I would have loved to have won the league but I don't think I could have done anymore today, I had the best weight at our end of the pond (pegs 1-7 and 16-20) with four of the five top weights coming from pegs 8, 9, 10 and 11. At the results I won £40 for the section and £90 for second in the league so a nice little pick up and I'd enjoyed a cracking series with an envelope every match. A massive congratulations must go to Paul Blake who fully deserved to be the Perry St League Champion, he won four of the rounds and had the two best weights with 93lb 2oz and 78lb 10oz - well done mate.

The club would also like to say a huge thanks to Les Braunton for running another excellent league as it really is a difficult task and match organisers don't get the credit they deserve.
Board for the last match
1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 50lb 4oz
2 - Shane Jeffery (Chard) - 50lb
3 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 41lb 4oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 30lb 12oz
B - Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 31lb
C - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 32lb 2oz
2015 Perry St League Champion - Paul Blake
Final League Positions

1 - Paul Blake - 33 pts
2 - Jamie Rich - 36 pts
3 - Steve Bishop - 58 pts
4 - Jamie Parkhouse - 59 pts
5 - Mark Hollister - 70 pts
6 - Paul Homewood - 73 pts

In other news, I was supposed to be fishing another charity match at Summerhayes next Saturday but due to quite a few people pulling out, it's had to be cancelled which is a real shame and reiterates my comment above about what a thankless task it is to be a match organiser!

Next up - Dillington

What's new - Lots of page updates and look out for another interview coming soon

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Dillington Pond - Summer League 7 - 2nd August 2015

I was quite looking forward to getting back out the pond again as it's still fishing it's head off with 30lb plus need to win and you need over 20lb to frame. I got it badly wrong in the last match I fished when I had just shy of 14lb of roach on the pole and got battered by people catching plenty of bream and skimmers on the feeder. I found my feeder rod and a reel but after searching everywhere I couldn't find where I'd put my feeders after switching seatboxes from my Tardis to the Matrix. Luckily Hurf and Rob said they'd lend me a couple, cheers chaps!

I got to the Oak in plenty of time for the draw and had one of Steve's excellent sausage sarnies to set me up for the day. Rob announced the golden peg was number 1 so there was a good chance it could go today, but by the time I stuck my hand in the hat, Fieldy had already drawn it. My home for the day was peg 6 and I was a little concerned that the overhanging tree might prove a pain when trying to fish the feeder. After setting my box up and mixing some groundbait (Bait-Tech Pro Nat Bream), I was struggling a little bit to get the rest of my kit set up in time (partly due to having to work out where the reel went and then thread line through rings on the rod, what's that all about?).
My feeder mix for today, Bait-Tech's Pro Nat Bream - lovely stuff
Peg 6, my home for the day
My feeder rig consisted of a cage feeder (borrowed off Hurf), 0.12mm bottom to a size 16 Kamasan B911 with a hair rigged band. I just about had time to set up a shallow rig consisting of a Preston Chianti with spread shot to 0.10mm bottom with a size 18 Middy 63-13, elastic was Daiwa yellow hydro which I find just perfect for catching silvers and used with a pulla bung it will handle the odd better fish that comes along.

Rob signalled the start and I put a 8mm pellet in the band, scooped up some casters before plugging both ends with groundbait and casting out. I was clipped up to fish not too far out, probably 25 metres or so. First chuck, I tightened up and the tip flew round and I was soon netting a greedy 6oz rudd, a decent start. I then spent ten minutes sorting out a horrendous birds nest around the reel (you don't get that with a pole!), on the next cast the feeder didn't even reach bottom before the tip jagged round and this felt like a better fish, it turned out to be a foul hooked skimmer which came off at the net - great! But then after initially feeling like there were a few fish about, I couldn't buy a bite!

I was getting a few knocks and taps but it just wasn't happening and I was starting to get fed up with this feeder malarkey already, I'd been feeding hemp and casters at 10 metres and there were fish swirling for it and I didn't think it would be long before I was reaching for the pole. I hadn't seen much being caught around the pond and to be honest the bright sunny conditions probably weren't ideal for bream. Bob wandered up from peg 9 and said he was gutted as he'd just lost a near 3lb perch at the net. After an hour and a quarter I had a really positive bite which resulted in a decent skimmer but it was a one off. I even tried banding three dead maggots but apart from a decent rudd on the drop, this was a waste of time as well, so with two hours gone, it was time to try the pole.

I started catching roach on caster but despite loads of decent fish swirling I was only getting the 1-2oz fish but stuck at it as nobody else seemed to be catching. I was getting fish in spells so I started feeding a line just off the reeds at 6 metres and swapped between the two, I was getting quite a few small perch from the shorter line and was starting to get a little concerned at the lack of quality. Bank walkers were saying nobody was bagging and that Stu Alford and Rob had caught some skimmers on the feeder early on but had slowed right up and around the pond quite a few anglers who'd started on the feeder were now fishing the pole.

I was still missing loads of bites and even tried banded caster but despite the float sailing away every put in, I never hooked a fish on it! Justin Charles came for a wander round with his dog and said that Bob had landed a nice bream but most people were struggling. As we headed into the last period of the match, my swim seemed to be getting stronger and I was getting a roach nearly every chuck and the average size increased as well, including a couple of clonkers around the 10-12oz mark. When Rob called the all out my clicker was reading 144 fish which I thought would give me 9-10lb of fish but would it be enough to sneak in the frame?

I packed up and went to give Bob a hand with the scales, Fieldy was first to weigh and gave us all his usual "I'll be last on the pond", "I've only got 6lb" but of course when he pulled his net out, there was an awful lot of splashing, his weight was called at 12lb 2oz and he was only 100% out with his estimate! I'll be the first to admit I'm crap at guesstimating my weights but I don't think I've ever been that far out! Hurf was a lot closer with his estimate and said he had around 6lb and weighed 5lb 9oz so was only 7oz out (take note Fieldy!). Then it was Jakes turn and he had a bream plus quite a few skimmers and it was going to be close, the needle settled on 12lb 6oz and he'd gone into the lead. He also said he lost a proper bream near the end.
Fieldy had 12lb 2oz
Hurf had 5lb 9oz
Jake had a nice bream and some skimmers for 12lb 6oz
I was next to weigh and as I said earlier I thought I had 9-10lb possibly a little bit more and I was kicking myself for spending so long on the feeder as I felt sure it was going to cost me today. I pulled my net out and it looked like it was going to closer than I thought, the needle finally settled and my weight was called at 13lb 2oz and I'd just edged Jake. Bob had 8lb 14oz which included a lovely bream that had to be 6lb and he was still cursing that lost perch! So I'd won my section at least and would have to wait and see how the other section had got on, I knew Stu and Rob had both caught some skimmers early on but had they added any more?
My fish went 13lb 2oz
Bob had a lovely bream in his 8lb 14oz
Back at the results I asked Stu how he'd got on and he said he'd weighed 12lb 9oz and was top in the other section so I'd won! I picked up £43 plus a pound off Hurf, although I don't think he was too bothered as he flies out to Thailand on Tuesday, lucky bugger! So a very enjoyable day and it had been a really tight match with only a pound separating the top four weights! I'm still none the wiser on how I'm going to approach the next match though!

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 13lb 2oz
2 - Stuart Alford (Ilminster) - 12lb 9oz
3 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 12lb 6oz

A - Graham Field (Taunton) - 12lb 2oz
B - Steve Parker (Ilminster) - 10lb 7oz

Next up - Perry St

What's new - Website links added to venues on the 'Where to fish' page

Check Out - My last match (below)