Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dillington Pond - V.E.S. Precision League 6 - 24th January 2016

With Steve and Cindy from the Oak away this weekend we decided to meet at Coxes to do the draw, I had to meet Ash first as he didn't know where that was (which shows how often he fishes the river!). Most of the others were already there and looking at the river I thought it looked perfect with a nice tinge of colour but the decision was made to switch to the pond and to be honest I don't mind where we go as both venues are fishing really well.

After a short drive we reached the pond and there were two pleasure anglers on pegs 17 and 18 which prompted Heardy to ask what I was going to do now as I'd have to fish a different peg! - cheeky git! Rob announced the draw and I was hoping for a peg on the near side but ended up on peg 4 which can be a decent peg. Harry said he can't seem to get away from the far side and in recent matches he'd been on pegs 4 and 6 so it was no surprise when he pulled out peg 7 and at this rate he might get round to the near side by about 2017!
The view from peg 4 looking down the field bank
The pond was coloured and with it being mild I thought it would fish better than the last time and 15lb would probably be needed to win with the possibility of some skimmers showing as well. I mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Nat Dark with some SSP Dark Silt groundbait added and left it to settle while I set up the rest of my kit. No surprises there as I set up the same two rigs that have served me so well of late, a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for on the deck and a Preston Chianti for up in the water. Both rigs had size 18 barbless Kamasan B611's and 0.10mm hooklengths, for the deep rig I had Drennan Aqua elastic in the top kit while the other had Daiwa Yellow Hydro.

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait ay 10 metres before starting over it with the hook buried in a caster, I really thought I'd catch straight away but this didn't happen and I started to think my earlier optimism might have been misplaced. But then Bruce swung in a small fish on the whip and shouted up that it was a small chublet! I thought he was either winding me up or as we'd suspected for a long time, he'd lost his marbles! He was getting a fish a chuck with the majority being little chub (yeah right Bruce!) whereas I had now switched to single maggot and still couldn't get a bite!

From what I could see, nobody else was really catching at this early stage, then after about 15 minutes I finally had a bite which of course I missed, next chuck I had a small roach and started to get regular bites but was missing or bumping quite a few so I put on another hooklength and promptly bumped the next one too! I did try caster but they weren't having it yet so it was back to maggot for the time being. I had a couple of smallish roach then hooked a slightly better fish which turned out to be a 3oz chublet so Bruce hadn't been seeing things! It turns out the club have stocked some small chublets, which is great news and hopefully they will do as well as the original stocking of chub, with most of those old warriors over 3lb and some approaching 5lb, lovely fish.

After an hour I had around 15 fish, including a couple of chublets but no real quality fish yet which was a bit of a worry as Bruce had around 75 fish already which included a load of those chublets. From the sounds of it, Martin, Rob and Steve P on the bottom bank were all really struggling for bites and only getting the odd fish. The second hour was better and I added another 22 fish but despite getting bites on caster, I couldn't catch those better roach which I needed if I was to stand any chance of catching Bruce up. I was still missing quite a few bites and there were obviously fish up in the water so going into the third hour I swapped to the shallow rig and carried on catching but still no quality.

I could see Ash over in peg 20 was catching well and netting the odd fish and it was looking like it would be between him and Bruce although I didn't know how Fieldy was doing in peg 24 as there's always a chance of chub there. After three hours I was up to 57 fish but hadn't used my landing net yet, I went back out with the deeper rig and decided to up the feed to try and get the fish to feed on the deck so instead of feeding 'little and often' I fed a pouch of hemp and one of caster just once every chuck. It worked to a certain extent as I had 21 fish in the fourth hour including a decent rudd and a perch of 8oz or so but with an hour and a half to go I was having to wait longer and longer for bites.

I kept putting odd fish in the net and as the light started to fade, I started to get some slightly better roach but even though my final total of 102 fish (which included half a dozen chublets) was more than I had in the last match here I knew I had nowhere near the weight I had then. Ash shouted across to ask how many fish I'd had, I told him and he said he'd had 115 so I knew he'd beaten me as he had some quality fish. Bruce had finished up with 201 fish and would be there or thereabouts as well, he also had the scales so as soon as we'd packed up we headed to Justin in peg 2 to start the weigh in.

I thought he'd struggled as he'd walked a couple of times during the day so I was surprised when he weighed 8lb 14oz and he had some nice fish, I thought it would be close between us and it was. Bruce called my weight at 8lb 8oz and I'd fallen just short of Justin's weight. Then Bruce went into the lead with a level 12lb, Harry didn't weigh in from peg 7 and then Baz had 6lb 8oz. Jake was last to weigh in our section and had 5lb which included a couple of nice skimmers.
Justin had 8lb 14oz from peg 2 (and nearly smiled!)
I had 8lb 8oz from peg 4
Bruce had a lot of fish for 12lb
Langport Invader Baz Morgan had 6lb 8oz from peg 8
Jake had 5lb which included a couple of nice skimmers
We drove round to meet the others and as expected, Ash had done well, just pipping Bruce by 2oz for another victory, Heardy finished second in that section with 6lb 5oz, Fieldy had 4lb 10oz from peg 24, Karl had 4lb 5oz of chublets on the waggler, Rob weighed 3lb 8oz and Steve P didn't weigh in. So as Justin framed I picked up the £20 section money by double default and had a nugget off Steve. *Thanks to Rob Cox for the photos.
Karl had 4lb 5oz of chublets*
Graham had 4lb 10oz from peg 24*
Martin won the other section with 6lb 5oz*
Ash won with a nice net of roach weighing 12lb 2oz*
1 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 12lb 2oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 12lb
3 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 8lb 14oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 8oz
B - Martin Heard (Mosella) - 6lb 5oz

In the league, Fieldy still leads with nine points, followed by Heardy and me on twelve and Bruce on thirteen so with only one match to go, Graham has one hand on the title and just needs to finish third or better in his section to clinch it but second and third are still up for grabs.

Next up - River Isle

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 6 - 17th January 2016

We were finally able to get back on the river for this match and when I got to the Oak in the morning for the draw it was nice to see Baz Morgan was fishing today. Rob had pegged the Hambridge and Isle Brewers sections and there were also a couple of new pegs in, so it would be interesting to see how they fished. The draw was announced and I went in quite late and was well chuffed when I opened my fingers to reveal peg 129. The last time I drew it back in November I'd had a lovely day catching 12lb odd of roach although the last couple of times its been in it hasn't fished as well.

Rob drew 128 and Baz had pulled out 128a just downstream which was one of the new pegs and it looked nice although these pegs can be feast or famine. Hurf had drawn the other new peg, H1 at Hambridge. After several trips, I eventually got all my kit to the peg and set up a 1 gram Drennan Tipo with a size 18 Kamasan B611 hook to 0.12mm hooklength. I was just about ready in time and slipped a caster on and ran the float through at 8.5 metres in the main flow, the float sailed away and a small gudgeon was the result, I had a couple more gudgeon and some minnows before I caught a tiny roach but I wasn't going to win anything with fish that size and needed to find some quality.
Peg 129 (at least it wasn't blowing a gale this time!)
I kept trying different areas and was getting a bites but only from gudgeon, minnows and the very occasional small roach. After an hour I only had 8 or 9 fish (plus minnows) and hadn't got a pound yet! I could hear Baz asking Rob how he was getting on and it sounded like he was bagging as he'd landed several chub plus some quality roach already. Then it started raining and the temperature dropped a few degrees for good measure which was the signal to get the flask out and put my gloves on.

I did manage a slightly better roach from 11.5 metres to my right which a pike had a go at (it's always the better ones, they're not daft!) but then it was back to gudgeon and minnows so I decided a walk up to see Baz was in order to warm up a bit. He was fishing the waggler and getting odd fish but Rob above him was bagging, I was only there for ten minutes but in that time he netted several fish and looked to be putting together a big weight. I went back to my peg thinking that if Rob framed, it might not take a lot to win the section by default as Baz was struggling and the other two pegs, 125 and 126, haven't been great in recent matches.

I carried on catching gudgeon and the odd roach and then after around four hours, the float buried and the strike resulted in a substantial amount of blue hydro exiting the pole tip and this was no gudgeon! I was praying it wasn't a pike that had grabbed a roach (like the last time I was here) and with no real snags to worry about I just let the fish plod about in open water. It eventually came to the surface and it was a chub, a good one too, well over 3lb and I was over the moon when I slipped the net under it. I couldn't believe it when I've shipped back out and another positive bite saw a repeat performance and the twin of the first chub joined it in the keepnet. Over 6lb in two chucks, this was more like it!

No more chub followed but as the light started to fade, the ratio of roach to gudgeon increased and I was having to use the landing net more, Mr Pike also eventually got his meal, taking one of my roach and a hooklength in the process. Rob called the all out and I'd ended up with 71 fish (plus minnows) and I thought I probably had 9-10lb. I packed up and took some of my kit back across the field just as Steve finished weighing Fieldy in on peg 126, he'd had 2lb and Steve had 4lb from 125.

We walked down to my peg and out of interest I weighed the two chub which went 7lb between them and then my roach and gudgeon took my weight up to 11lb 4oz. Baz had 3lb 5oz from 128a and had done well from a peg I wouldn't have fancied, and then we got to Rob, he pulled his net out and he had a lovely bag of fish including seven chub and some clonking roach for 26lb 10oz. We drove back to meet the others and I was expecting to pick up the section money but had a nice surprise when Rob said I was actually third and I picked up £25 plus a nugget from Steve P but he did have the consolation of winning his section, well done mate. Bruce was second with 13lb 2oz from peg H2 and I'd just pipped Justin who had 11lb 2oz from H4 just above the bridge. *Thanks to Steve Hurford for the photo.
Rob won with a fantastic net of chub and roach weighing 26lb 10oz
Bruce was second with 13lb 2oz from Hambridge*
I was third with 11lb 4oz which included two nice chub
1 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 26lb 10oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 13lb 2oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 11lb 4oz

A - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 4lb
B - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 11lb 2oz

After six matches and dropping the worst result Fieldy leads the league with seven points followed by Rob on nine and Justin on ten.

Next up - River Isle

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SSP Baits Pellets Review

After receiving a selection of the new SSP Baits System-X range to review, I tried the Dark Silt groundbait first and was very impressed, if you didn't read it first time round you can see it here SSP Baits Review. As most of my fishing has been on natural venues for roach, I hadn't had chance to try the pellets until the first match of 2016 when we were invited to fish a match on a pond that doesn't get fished very often. What better way to try the new pellets than on a new venue that I'd never fished before?

As with the whole System-X range the pellets come in two colours, Beige Gravel and Dark Silt and three sizes 2mm, 4mm and 6mm. I decided to take a selection with me, the lighter 6mm pellets and the darker ones in 2mm and 4mm. I always like to soak some micros the night before so they are nice and soft and the first thing I noticed when I opened the bag of 2mm's was a lovely nutty smell, I know they say the range contains crushed nuts but it was far more noticeable in the pellets than the groundbait (although that could be down to my dodgy sense of smell!). The second thing I noticed was that the micros looked a little on the large side compared to the micros I normally use, probably nearer 3mm than 2mm.

Pellets, pellets and more pellets!
I half filled a bait tub and then covered them in water for a minute before draining it off and then adding a decent helping of groundbait which helps to separate the pellets and also gives off a nice cloud when you cup them in. I also opened and had a look at the other pellets, the 4mm's were fine but when I compared the Beige Gravel 6mm's to two other popular makes of pellet they looked quite a bit bigger, in fact they also looked slightly bigger than their own Dark Silt 6mm's which I thought was a bit odd! Update - since writing the review I've spoken to Mark at SSP who said that the reason the sizes are a little different is because the pellets are their own recipe rather than repackaged and flavoured pellets from the two main manufacturers.
The SSP Beige Gravel 6mm's (third from left) looked a quite a bit bigger than the other two popular brands
As I said in my initial review the packaging is superb and a nice little touch with the pellets is that the bags are resealable. Still on the subject of the packaging, I couldn't see a description of the product on the bag which to be fair isn't an issue in most cases as you can see what you're buying but could lead to confusion between the groundbait and stick mix for example. It's only a tiny gripe but if they intend to expand the range I think they would need to address this. I'm also a little surprised that 8mm pellets aren't included in the range as they are probably one of the most used and popular sizes of pellet and I think it would be a big seller for SSP. All very minor issues and I should imagine easily rectified and as with any new company there are bound to be a few teething problems. Update - Regarding the packaging Mark said that all the bags have stickers on denoting the product and size, the samples sent to me didn't because they were from the very first batch, so that clears that up - thanks Mark!

The day of the match arrived and so did the wind and rain! I loaded my kit up and had a look at the 2mm pellets that I'd soaked the night before and put in the fridge, they had softened up nicely and had swelled up quite a bit as well. We all met up for a nice breakfast before heading to a very windswept venue. I won't go into a blow by blow account of the match (which can be found here - http://againstmenandfish.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/hebditchs-pond-3rd-january-2016.html) but I got it all wrong for the first half of the match when I tried to catch short but the fish were obviously happier in the deeper water. The cold wind also put paid to any chance of catching shallow so the 6mm pellets stayed in the carryall.

I eventually got my head sorted, started a new line at ten metres and cupped in some soaked 2mm pellets and corn before fishing over it with corn and double maggot hook baits. I caught well for the second half of the match by feeding a few 2mm's plus a pinch of maggots via a toss pot every put in to finish up with 12 carp for 31lb 15oz and given that 51lb was enough for third place, the wasted first half of the match was costly!
I ended up with 31lb 15oz which included this nice common of 7lb 8oz
So up to now I've only really tried out the Dark Silt groundbait and 2mm pellets, both of which I've been very impressed with, although I can't wait to try out the lighter Beige Gravel pellets and groundbait when it warms up a bit and when I do, you'll be able to find the review right here!
System-X boilies
I'm also looking forward to taking some the SSP Baits System-X boilies to Thailand with me on my next trip as I reckon those Giant Siamese Carp will love 'em!

To go to the SSP Baits website, click on the image below


*SSP Baits sent me these products for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained in this post are my own.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dillington Pond - V.E.S. Precision League 5 - 10th January 2016

After yet more torrential rain on Saturday Rob had no choice but to put us on the pond again for round five. At the draw, there were thirteen anglers booked in for this one including the Tackleuk baggers Scott and Ash and it was nice to see Terry Morgan back again as he hadn't fished with us for a while. When it was time to let the draw bag (Rob's hat) decide our fate, I went in and there were just three pegs left and I was well chuffed when I saw I was on peg 18 for the second match on the trot, Scotty then drew peg 13 for Ash and peg 17 for himself so we were next peg neighbours yet again and for good measure I had Rob on the other side in peg 19.

On arriving at the pond, it was chocolate coloured and I hadn't see it like this for a long time and I said to Scott that it would either fish it's head off or it would be a right struggle. He said he still thought you'd need 14lb to win today, I was a little more cautious and said 12lb but we both agreed that the first ten minutes would tell us how it was going to fish. There were quite a few fish topping as we were setting up, including three of four big fish that rolled out in the middle. Groundbait for today was a 50:50 mix of Bait-Tech Pro Nat and SSP Baits Dark Silt and on my side tray I had the usual casters, maggots and hemp.
The view of a very coloured and very calm pond from peg 18
I set up the same two rigs I used the last time I was here, a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing on the deck at ten metres and a Preston Chianti for fishing shallow, both had 0.10mm bottoms with barbless size 18 B611's. On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait before starting with double red maggot on the hook and was expecting to catch straight away but the rig settled and the float just sat there. Ten minutes later I still hadn't had a bite and I was starting to think this could be hard going although I had seen Scotty catch a couple of tiny roach. I tried a single white maggot and a few minutes later I was relieved when the float slid away and I swung in a small roach to finally get off the mark. A couple more followed and then I had a nice 4oz rudd on double maggot, I briefly tried caster but with no bites after a couple of minutes I didn't want to spend too long on it.

I landed a nice roach just before the end of the first hour to put me on 14 fish for around 1.5lb, Scotty was a few ahead on 21 but as far as I could tell nobody else was catching much and I heard Ash over on peg 13 say he only had four fish! It was a similar story in the second hour and I added a further 12 fish, mainly roach between 1-2oz but with a couple of net fish amongst them. Mike Board came for a walk round and said nobody was catching much on the other side apart from Fieldy on peg 2 who was catching some tiny roach on pinkies. While he was stood behind me I had a lovely rudd of 8-10oz and a couple of small roach.

About half way through the third hour I had to answer the call of nature so asked Scotty how many he had and he said 50 which was a long way ahead of the 30 I had but he did say he had mostly tiny fish and swung in a blip as we spoke. By the end of the third hour I was up to 38 fish for about 4.5lb which as far as I could tell was pretty good, quite a few anglers were swapping between the feeder and the pole which usually means they're struggling and I could see both Heardy and Bruce fishing the whip and catching the odd small fish. I'd been feeding casters and hemp from the start so thought I'd see if I could catch on caster again, I buried the hook in one, shipped out and the rig settled before the float tip disappeared from sight and another two ounce roach was swung in.

This signalled a really good spell and it was a bite a chuck and my catch rate doubled in the fourth hour as I caught another 26 fish and was having to use the landing net nearly every other fish, including a couple of cracking roach and rudd. Scott had slowed right up and I started to claw back his early lead. Some ominously black storm clouds arrived overhead and we had a brief flurry of rain but thankfully it didn't last too long. My swim continued to get stronger while Scott's faded and I didn't think there was much between us as we headed into the last hour. Harry, Jake and Justin on the far bank had really struggled and headed off for an early bath.

Ash started to catch quite well and I was hoping he wouldn't start catching chub like the last time he was on that peg. I set my sights on catching 100 fish which I thought would give me double figures (as the fish probably averaged ten to the pound) but at the final whistle I'd fallen just short with 96 although I had dropped off four! Although Scott had slowed up he'd still finished ahead of me on numbers of fish but he reckoned I'd had more quality fish. We would soon find out as I had the scales although as Rob had packed up a little early he'd offered to start weighing in - cheers mate.

He went to weigh Scott in and I caught up with them just as he was taking his net out, his fish pulled the needle round to 8lb 4oz, then it was my turn and those quality fish swung it for me as Rob called out 11lb 6oz and I'd got my revenge for the battering Scott gave me two weeks ago! We walked round to weigh Terry who had 2lb 6oz, Rob and Karl didn't weigh and Heardy had 2lb 6oz from peg 22 which meant I'd won my section again at least, we loaded the cars and waited for the anglers in the other section to drive back round.

When they arrived, there had been a bit of confusion during the weigh in, the club had bought some new scales, the kind that you can read the weight in pounds or kilos and in all the years I've been fishing, Ilminster AA have weighed in pounds and ounces yet somehow Fieldy's weight was recorded as 4kgs which we eventually translated as 8lb 10oz, then the rest of the section was weighed in pounds. Bruce had 6lb, Ash hadn't found any chub and weighed 4lb 10oz and Steve P had 1lb 9oz and the other three in the section were probably enjoying their hot baths by now! Perhaps we should have held a training session on weighing in before we started! Although it can't be that hard as we managed alright with an identical set of scales!

So after all that, Rob called me out as the winner and I picked up £55 which was very nice plus a nugget from Steve, Fieldy was second and Scotty third. So a really enjoyable days fishing and it was nice to get the year up and running and win my first match in ages. The icing on the cake was another section win in the league which moves me up into second place with nine points although Fieldy is leading with six and will be hard to catch with only two matches left.
I had 11lb 6oz which included some lovely roach and rudd
Scott was third on the day with 8lb 4oz
Heardy jointly won our section by double default with 2lb 6oz
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 11lb 6oz
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 8lb 10oz
3 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 8lb 4oz

A - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 6lb
B - Terry Morgan (Ilminster) and Martin Heard (Mosella) both with 2lb 6oz

Although it's taken me a while, this one's for you Mum..........

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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Monday, January 04, 2016

Hebditch's Pond - 3rd January 2016

A New Year and a new venue! Harry Hebditch started fishing our matches a few months back and he has an irrigation pond on the farm which he holds occasional charity matches on and with nothing in the club book for this weekend we asked him if we could fish it and he very kindly agreed. He also suggested we pop out and had a look over the Xmas period, all I knew about it was that the pond contained a good head of carp and previous matches have been won with weights between 80lb and 140lb. Rob, Frank and me met Harry in the week and had a walk round and it did look nice with lots of features and quite a few fish moving about.

As there are some lumps in there, Harry said he wouldn't fish so he could be on hand to weigh any big carp and return them straight away. He did go down and try his new pole out on News Years Eve and bagged up with over 46lb of carp caught in just a couple of hours and by now all the anglers who were fishing the match were chomping at the bit! We all met at the Cartgate for something to eat at 8:00 and leaving the house at 7:15 in the dark was a bit of a shock to the system! It was also lashing it down and pretty windy so we could be in for a rather cold and wet day! I have to say the breakfast was really good and well worth the money, so with our bellies full, it was time to pay our money and do the draw. The pools today were £20 from which £5 went to a charity of Harry's choosing, we then put £10 a head into the overall pools and also had a £5 silvers pool as they were a bit of an unknown quantity.

I really fancied drawing on the near bank but of course ended up on peg 12 which was opposite where I wanted to be! We got to the pond and Harry had done a fantastic job of strimming the paths and pegs, although with the seemingly relentless rain, the path was getting boggier by the minute. As I took my kit round the pond I passed Scotty and Frank who had the wind and rain straight in their faces and I must admit I didn't envy them one bit! Rob and Hurf up the other end would have no such problems in their armchair pegs with the wind off their backs and the biggest worry they would have all day would be trying not to laugh at the rest of us!
Frank and Scotty on the bottom bank with the wind in their faces!
I wanted to try and keep things simple today so would fish two lines, a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for on the deck at about five metres and a little handmade float for the  margin line to my left, also with it being so mild (before today!), I set up a shallow rig as I thought it might work, especially after we'd seen so many fish topping on our initial walk round. On my side tray I had a tin of Bait-Tech Scopex corn, maggots, SSP Dark Silt 2mm pellets which I'd soaked the night before and 6mm SSP Beige Gravel pellets.

On the whistle I fed some micros in the margin and the same but with the addition of a few grains of corn at five metres before starting there with corn on the hook. Scotty, Frank, Justin on my right and Jake on my left all chucked either the method or a lead out. I thought I'd catch quite quickly but after ten minutes I hadn't had any indications, the wind was a nightmare and I was struggling to hold five metres of pole! After an hour I was still blanking, Scott had caught six or seven carp on popped up bread, Frank had a couple and Justin had one on the method and already it was looking like I'd got it horribly wrong!

I had a quick go down the edge with banded pellet but I wasn't confident as the fish seemed to be in deeper water, I also tried my shallow rig at ten metres but that was a waste of time as well, so it was back to the five metre line. It was still raining really hard and my hands were starting to get cold so for the first time in ages I put my gloves on and also my flask was emptying at an alarming rate! After an hour and a half, I still hadn't had a bite, Jake had caught a couple of carp on the tip and when Harry came round and said I was the only person who hadn't caught yet, I had to do something. I could see Stu Alford and Ash on my left getting odd fish on the long pole so I plumbed up at ten metres and then faffed about getting a suitable rig sorted before cupping in some micros and corn on this new line.

Justin came up and said he hadn't added to his early fish and Frank was still stuck on two so it wasn't just me who was struggling. Just after the two hour mark, I've finally had a bite on corn and was soon netting my first carp, it was a long lean fish that looked like it should weigh 4lb but would probably go half that. I had another and then missed a bite and with rain easing up, I was actually starting to enjoy myself and then Rob blew the whistle for us to stop fishing for the half time weigh in, although only a couple of anglers had caught enough to warrant it, Rob was one and got out of his armchair to stick just over 25lb on the scales and Hurf was the other and put his gin and tonic down long enough to weigh 10lb odd. While we waited for them to weigh in, a few of us congregated around Jakes peg and compared notes, Jake had four carp, Stu Alford said he around the same and Ash was admitting to ten carp so apart from him I wasn't actually that far behind on our bank.

With another toot from Rob, we were off again and as I laid the rig in, just as it was settling, the float went and carp number three was making a bid for freedom. Any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared when I went another twenty minutes without a bite. I didn't really know what to do next as I knew I was way behind Ash, Rob, Fieldy and Scott and as we were paying the top three overall any chance of framing was disappearing fast. We were also paying the top three in silvers and the only angler I could see who was getting a few was Roger over on peg 1 who was catching some small rudd so as it stood it wouldn't take a lot to sneak into the silvers frame.

I slipped two red maggots on which I thought would give me a chance of silvers and carp and also attached a little Frenzee Soft Pot to my top kit so I could feed a pinch of micros and a few maggots every put in. The next bite didn't result in a roach though but another carp and I actually started to catch quite well again, Justin fed a similar line and he started to get a few fish as well, we were never going to catch the early leaders but I still had two side bets to fish for! I got to eight carp but then things slowed up again, with forty minutes to go the float slid away and the strike saw solid resistance and this felt like a much bigger fish. After a ten minute scrap I slid the net under a fish that I thought was 8-10lb, I couldn't weigh it though as Harry had gone back to the farm so with only half an hour to go I popped it in the keepnet.

I missed the next bite but with quarter of an hour to go I had carp number ten, we were due to finish at 3 'o' clock and with a minute or so to go, there was a dip on the float which had me saying "go on, go on" under my breath and bang on time the float went and I struck into my eleventh fish. I kept waiting for the final whistle but it didn't come so I landed the fish and quickly went back out again, I checked my watch and it was about five past three but looking round the pond everybody was still fishing and then Rob shouted that we would fish until quarter past to make up for the mid match break. I managed one more carp to give me a dozen for the day and I thought I probably had around 40lb (eleven carp at an average of 3lb plus the bigger one of 8lb or so).

The scales on our side started at Hurf who had 33lb 14oz from peg 6, then Gordon had 4lb 4oz of carp and 7oz of silvers, Leighton had 19lb 13oz and Ash had a level 32lb, Stu Alford had 18lb 5oz from peg 10 and Jake didn't weigh. Then it was my turn and I was a bit disappointed when the biggest fish only went 7lb 8oz and after two weighs my total of 31lb 15oz was way off my estimate and those fish were nearer 2lb apiece then 3lb. As far as the side bets, it was a case of easy come, easy go as Stu gave me a pound which I gave straight to Hurf! Justin had 13lb, Frank didn't weigh before Scotty had 51lb 12oz from peg 15.
Leighton had 19lb 13oz
Stu Alford had 18lb 5oz
I had 31lb 15oz which included this nice common of 7lb 8oz
Justin had 13lb
Scott was third with 23 carp for 51lb 12oz
The scales finished weighing the other section and Fieldy had caught all day for a comfortable win with 80lb 6oz and Rob was second with 56lb 9oz which meant Scott finished third. As expected Roger had won the silvers with well over 100 small rudd for 5lb 4oz, Karl Aplin finished second with 1lb 2oz and his Dad only needed 7oz for third.
Graham had a lovely day catching 80lb 6oz of carp from peg 4
1 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 80lb 6oz
2 - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 56lb 9oz
3 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 51lb 12oz

1 - Roger Russell (Tackleuk) - 5lb 4oz
2 - Karl Aplin (Ilminster) - 1lb 2oz
3 - Gordon Aplin (Ilminster) - 7oz

So apart from the weather early on, it was a really enjoyable day and if I hadn't got it so badly wrong for the first two hours, I reckon I would have been a lot closer to the framing weights. A massive thanks to Harry for letting us fish and I'm looking forward to fishing the next one already when hopefully the weather will be kinder to us.

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - My next review and another Pondip post

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