Monday, February 29, 2016

Hebditch's Pond - Barney's Pairs Open - 28th February 2016

Over the years we've used several venues in a variety of combinations for Barney's Pairs Match and this year we were using a new one, Hebditchs's pond for one section along with Dillington for the other. I was a little disappointed we weren't using the river as Barney used to love the Isle but both venues have been fishing well and everybody should get plenty of bites.

I got to the pub in plenty of time for the draw and had one of Cindy's excellent breakfasts which set me up for the day. Amongst the 22 anglers fishing today there were some new faces and it was lovely to see Simon Garbutt from Taunton who was fishing with Scott Jackson (who had a lovely new hat on!) and Alex Murray from Yeovil who was Ash's partner today. Along with the entry fee, Rob was also running a superpools with the winner of each lake picking up the pot. There would be two sections on each lake with six anglers in the first section and five in the other.

Rob announced the draw and one person from each pair had to go up and as Justin hadn't arrived yet, that responsibility fell to me! I pulled out peg 10 at Dillington for him which isn't great and then peg 4 at Harry's for me, I thought I was one away from the reed peg fliers but Steve P said I was where Fieldy had won the last match with 80lb odd and I hoped he was right! Rob had drawn two great pegs for him and Leighton, peg 14 where I won at Dillington two weeks ago and Rob was on peg 5 again, he was second off it with 56lb the last time we were here and was asking Harry if he could get Wi-Fi installed here as well!

After a short drive, we arrived at Harry's and I was delighted when I saw I was on the same peg where Fieldy had won and it's a great peg that wins more than it's fair share so the pressure was on! In the last match I'd spent too long trying to catch short and was blanking until I started a new line at 10 metres so I wouldn't be making that mistake again. I set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Carp float with a 0.12mm bottom and size 16 B911 for the long line and another to fish at 5 metres at an angle to my left. I attached Frenzee Soft Pots to both top kits so I could feed small amounts of bait regularly. On my side tray I had corn, maggots and some 2mm SSP Dark Silt micros that I soaked and added a squirt of Marukyu Bloodworm Boost Juice.
Peg 4 at Harrys, a flier!
On the whistle I cupped in some micros, maggots and corn on both lines before starting with corn on the hook, after several frosts and a really cold wind blowing across the pond I thought it might be hard to begin with but after a few minutes the float slid away and carp number one, around 2lb, was safely netted. I had a bite a chuck for the first hour and put twelve carp between 8oz and 3lb in the net, Alex over on peg 13 was catching well, Simon on my left had netted a couple and it sounded like Rob was getting a few as well.
Simon was getting a few on peg 3
Alex was catching well in peg 13
Going into the second hour I had a couple more but was having to wait longer and longer for bites, so I decided to cup some more feed in and have a quick look on the five metre line while that settled. No indications so I went back on the longer line and the float buried straight away with carp number fifteen, I was just thinking how well it was all going when I shipped back out and the float just sat there! The next half an hour passed with no more bites and Simon said he wasn't getting indications now either, Rob was still getting odd fish and overtook me but looking round the pond nobody seemed to be bagging so no need to panic just yet.

Just as the second hour was drawing to a close I had my first carp in ages and then had quite a good spell, adding another eight carp before things slowed again and I decided to feed another line at 10 metres but at an angle to my left where I would feed small amounts via a toss pot. To be honest this didn't work and I never had a bite there but resting my main line seemed to work because when I went back over it I would get a flurry of fish and I added a further eight over the next sixty minutes.

I also tried double red maggot and caught quite well but then two rudd in two chucks saw me switch back to corn and with an hour to go I was up to thirty nine carp and had no clue what weight I had as some of the carp were very small. I carried on catching quite well and added another eight carp in the last hour, I'd just landed a fish and had a quick check of my watch which showed there were still five minutes to go, I went to ship out only to find out I'd hooked the bottom of my keepnet, still, not to worry, I pulled my net out and removed the hook, rebaited and dropped the rig in while I put the net back in, only to find I'd hooked the bottom of my other net! Eventually I shipped back out, lowered the rig in and Rob blew the whistle to end the match - doh!

I wasn't too upset to hear the whistle as I was freezing cold, I packed up before going to watch the weigh in, Tony Newman had 6lb from peg 1, Steve P had 22lb 13oz before Simon had 19lb and then it was my turn and after three weighs, my 47 carp went 69lb 4oz, Rob was next and saying he didn't have anywhere near that but still had 46lb 12oz, Frank had 7lb so I'd won my section and when Alex had the top weight on the other side with 53lb 7oz, I was the top weight on the lake but by all accounts Justin had struggled out the pond. Thanks to Harry Hebditch for the photos*.
Me with part of my 69lb 4oz (and yes I was cold!)
Rob had 46lb 12oz from peg 5
Heardy was second in his section with 23lb 8oz

Steve P had some nice carp for 22lb 13oz
Simon had 19lb from peg 3*
Alex won his section and was second on the lake with 53lb 7oz*
Tony had 6lb from peg 1*
Trevor had 11lb 13oz from peg 15*
Back at the results, we all had chip butties while the results were worked out, Ash had the top weight out the pond with 11lb 15oz from peg 6 so him and Alex would win with a perfect two point score, Bruce had won the other section at Dillington with 10lb 14oz so him and Heardy had three points and second place but it was looking like there were several pairs on six points including us (as Justin had struggled for 6lb 7oz and five points) and when it went to weight we got the verdict and picked up £35 each, I also had £55 from the superpool so a very nice day! Thanks to Scott Jackson* and Steve Hurford** for the photos.
Jake had 7lb 5oz from peg 24 at Dillington*
Scott Jackson did well again, this time with 10lb 6oz of roach from peg 24 (and check out that hat!)*

Andy Welch had 2lb 2oz from peg 20*

Leighton had 4lb 11oz from peg 14*
Hurf had 9lb 7oz which included a cracking bream**
Hebditch's Pond
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 69lb 4oz
2 - Alex Murray (Sign Solutions) - 53lb 7oz
3 - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 46lb 12oz

1 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 11lb 15oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 10lb 14oz
3 - Scott Jackson (Ilminster) - 10lb 6oz

1 - Alex Murray and Ashley Tomkins - 2 pts
2 - Martin Heard and Bruce Hunt - 3 pts
3 - Jamie Rich and Justin Charles  - 6 pts (on weight)

So a massive thanks once again to Harry for letting us use his pond, Steve and Cindy at the Royal Oak, Ilminster for looking after us, Rob for organising it and last but not least huge thanks to all the anglers who raised £110 for Harry's charity of choice, The British Heart Foundation.

Well this will be my last blog for a little while as I fly out to Thailand tomorrow for two weeks, after a really horrible, stressful ten months I'm really looking forward to some sun, plenty of relaxing and a few beers, oh and I've got four days fishing booked at a new venue so I'll try and post some photos on the Facebook page and then will post a full report when I get back.

I get back on the 11th March and hopefully on the Sunday we're going to have a knock up on the river or out the pond.

Next up - Thailand!!!

Coming soon - My latest reviews and next Pondip article

Check Out - My last match below

Monday, February 22, 2016

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 7 - 21st February 2016

The final V.E.S. Precision match arrived and as the rain had held off we were actually able to get back on the river. On the league front, Fieldy was uncatchable but it was all very tight for the second and third places with Heardy and me on 12 points and Bruce on 13. I got to the pub and it was nice to see Neil Dring for the first time in ages, I paid my pools and Rob said Bruce wasn't fishing today as he's not very well, I hope you feel better soon mate.

A quick look at the pegs and Rob had pegged the lower end of the river and I didn't really fancy Redbridge today as it would be pretty exposed. I drew quite late and was hoping to see the numbers 128 on my peg but had to settle for H1, which was the first swim below the road at Hambridge and one of the best pegs on the river, that'll do! Rob drew 128 again which was also a golden peg and he was last seen asking Karl about the best way to get Wi-Fi installed! Fieldy was on H2 below me and John Dursley and Baz were the two pegs above the bridge. Heardy had drawn 129 which was in the same section as me so it would be a straight shoot out to see who finished in second place in the league.

I got to the river and as I was unloading my kit, I realised I'd left my wellies at home! Not a great start and I hoped it wasn't an omen! Luckily it was pretty mild so hopefully my feet wouldn't get too cold. Setting up, the wind was howling down the river and it was a job to hold the pole at 8.5 metres! I set up a 1 gram Drennan Tipo with 0.10mm bottom and a size 18 B611. The swim looked lovely with lots of cover on the far bank but unless the wind calmed down I wouldn't be able to fish over there!
Some nice features on the far bank but would I be able to get near them!
The start time arrived and I tried fishing three sections to hand but never had a bite and as Fieldy already had a couple of small fish I didn't persevere with it for long. Out to 8.5 metres with the hook buried in a caster and I tried to inch the float through and maintain some control but the wind was hideous, the float buried and a fair bit of elastic came out and my first fish was a 3-4oz roach that I swung in when I probably should have netted it. Next chuck I had one of 2oz, this was easy, I was going to sack right up!, then I had a tiny roach but the next two fish were tiny gudgeon and any thoughts of breaking the match record soon disappeared!

I carried on catching the odd small roach and gudgeon but wasn't putting much weight in the net but then I hooked a better fish which turned out to be a nice perch around 8oz and I hoped a few more would show during the day. Fieldy was catching quite a few small fish and I could see John Dursley on the other side of the bridge swinging in some small roach as well. After an hour I'd had 20 fish for around a pound and a half but I needed my catch rate to improve if I was going to get in the money today.

 The second hour was very similar but the wind was just an absolute nightmare, I was feeding and fishing down the middle but also feeding across by the cover on the right and would hopefully be able to go across when the wind dropped later (or was that just wishful thinking!). Hurf turned up for a chat and I had some nice roach while he was there but also had a funny five minutes where I lost a decent roach, another dropped off when I swung it in, I hooked my keepnet and bumped a couple of fish as well, you're a bloody jinx Hurf!

After he left me to it, I continued catching mainly roach and gudgeon along with the odd small dace and chublet but the lack of quality was a bit worrying. With an hour and a half left, the wind dropped enough for me to add a couple of sections and fish by the cover where I'd been feeding hemp and caster for four hours but it was a bit of an anti-climax and I only added the odd roach and gudgeon. Fieldy had a decent perch and I thought it was going to be really tight between us. By the end of the match my clicker was reading 102 fish but I'd had a lot of gudgeon and I knew I had nowhere near double figures.

I walked down to weigh Fieldy in and he'd had 142 fish including that nice perch but he'd also had a lot of gudgeon and about twenty ruffe! The needle stopped at 8lb 2oz and I didn't think I had that and I was right but it was closer than I thought as my fish weighed 7lb 8oz and I'd had some better quality fish but I needed a couple more. As we took the kit back to the cars we walked across the road to see how the other two had got on and John had a lot of small fish for 5lb and Baz had 12lb 9oz which included a big chub and a lovely 2lb perch. Thanks to John Dursley for the photo*.
Fieldy had a lot of fish for 8lb 2oz
I had 7lb 8oz and needed another perch
Baz had a lovely net of fish for 12lb 9oz from an unfancied (his words!) peg*
We drove back to meet the others and I was sure Heardy would have done enough to clinch second in the league. The lads from Redbridge were already back and as expected it had been hard going with Justin having the top weight with 5lb although the bulk of that was a 4lb 8oz chub and he lost one too! The others turned up and Rob had the top weight at Isle Brewers with 10lb 9oz and Steve P had 4lb 2oz so I was a pound better off at least but how had Heardy got on? He'd weighed 6lb 2oz so I'd beat him by a point to secure second place in the league and I picked up £60 and for good measure Rob gave me £15 for winning the section (by double default!). Thanks to Rob Cox for the photos**.
Rob had a nice net of roach for 10lb 9oz and second place**
Martin had 6lb 2oz from peg 129**
Steve P had 4lb 2oz from peg 126**
1 - Baz Morgan (BAZ Angling) - 12lb 9oz
2 - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 10lb 9oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 8lb 2oz

A - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 5lb
B - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 7lb 8oz

Final V.E.S. Precision league
1 - Graham Field - 11 pts
2 - Jamie Rich - 15 pts
3 - Martin Heard - 16 pts

The club would like to say a massive thanks to V.E.S. Precision for their continued and very valued support, also to Steve and Cindy at the Royal Oak, Ilminster for looking after us so well every Sunday and last but certainly not least to Rob Cox for all the time and effort he puts in organising an excellent league.

Lastly I thought I'd leave you with a few facts and figures about this years league,
  • 23 different anglers fished the seven league matches
  • The best attended match had 15 anglers on the river
  • The river also had the lowest turnout with 10
  • The average turnout was 12
  • Paul Homewood had the best winning weight with 15lb 6oz from the river
  • The lowest winning weight was me with 11lb 6oz from the pond
  • The only angler to win two matches was Paul Homewood (and he only fished two!)

Next up - The pairs open on Dillington and Hebditch's Pond (Sunday 28th Feb)

Coming soon - Some more reviews and hopefully my next Pondip article

Check out - My last match (below)


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Winter League 8 - 14th February 2016

For the final Royal Oak match we were back on the pond as the river was still pushing through and hopefully it would fish better than last week! After a sausage sandwich it was time to dip in the hat and my home for the next five and a half hours this week was peg 14 on the bottom bank which I was fairly happy with as I've done okay the last couple of times I've drawn it. It was a case of deja vu for a couple of anglers as Karl was on peg 19 again for the fifth time and is thinking about getting Wi-Fi put in!, Baz was on peg 6 for the second match on the trot and I think he's getting a bit fed up with it now! Elsewhere Hurf was on 18 and agreed to a side bet and after Scotty Russell had told us how much he likes peg 4, he only went and drew it!

When we got to the pond, most of the chocolate colour from last week had dropped out of it and with it being quite mild I felt sure it would fish well today. The wind was mostly blowing from right to left and missing me although the lads on the road side would be in for a chilly day! First job as always was to mix my groundbait and today I was using Bait-Tech Pro Natural with a little Thatchers Dark added. I'd also been lucky enough to win some Marukyu Bloodworm Boost Juice from a Facebook competition I entered recently and thought I'd put some in the water to mix my groundbait. It's a lovely thick liquid with a potent smell and is bright red (look out for my review coming soon!).
The view from peg 14 on the bottom bank
Marukyu Boost Juice
It can be used in a variety of ways but today I was adding it to the water for mixing my groundbait
Rigs were the usual 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for on the deck with a spread bulk and two droppers to A 0.10mm hooklength and a size 18 barbless B611 and a little Preston Chianti for up in the water (not used). On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres before starting with a single disco pinkie on the hook. Once again it took a while to get my first bite which of course I missed but I had seen seen Scott, Fieldy and Hurf catch small fish so already it was better than last week! My first couple of fish were 2oz chublets and although it wasn't fast and furious, I was getting regular bites.

Scotty Jackson and Dave Sydenham turned up for a walk round and just before they reached me I struck into a better fish and landed a lovely 8oz roach while they were behind me. They reported that Scott Russell was getting a fish a bung and had 29 when they left him, so even with them being on the small side he had 2lb plus. After the first hour I only had eight fish but I had that decent roach, five chublets plus a couple of small roach for around a pound and a half, so not too far behind him at this stage. Fieldy was catching well, Hurf looked to be doing okay and after a slow start, Ash on peg 22 was now swinging in fish regularly.

The second hour was much better for me and I added another 22 fish all on single pinkie including half a dozen net roach, a nice 6oz perch plus some more chublets. Scotty and Fieldy were still catching really well but I hadn't seen them net too many fish. Going into the third hour, I tried caster for the first time and it was a fish a chuck with a lot of them requiring the landing net, including some nice rudd. The clicker was reading 59 fish and we still had two and a half hours to go.

After a decent start, Hurf had slowed up and Karl next door had landed the odd better fish as had Rob on peg 20. Ash still looked to be catching well although I couldn't really see how Terry was doing by the pump house but at least he was a bit more sheltered from the elements this week! I was still doing okay and with about an hour to go I was on 99 fish when the float sailed away and I struck into solid resistance, the fish didn't tear off which suggested it wasn't a chub and slowly but surely I gained ground until eventually a decent bream came to the top and I slipped the net under it, what a bonus!

I was still getting some nice roach and rudd and then 15 minutes later I've hooked another lump that plodded around and a similar sized bream surfaced and as I reached for the landing net, the hook pulled out and agonisingly, the fish lay there for a second, just out of reach of the landing net before waving goodbye with it's fin (or was it giving me the finger!), gutted! I carried on catching the odd roach until the end of the match to finish with 117 fish and I'd had a lovely days fishing, I just hoped that lost slab wasn't going to cost me.

After packing up we started the weigh in with Scotty, he'd done well yet again and had 208 fish for 12lb 5oz, Baz had struggled a bit in peg 6 for 2lb 10oz before Fieldy had 10lb 11oz from peg 8. Then we got to Justin and despite spending quite a lot of time on the feeder, he had some quality roach on the pole for 7lb 15oz, Steve P had 3lb 2oz but had lost a big fish and then we got to my peg, the bream weighed 4lb 2oz and the rest of the fish took the needle round to 19lb 12oz.
Scotty had 12lb 5oz from peg 4
Graham had 10lb 11oz
Steve struggled for 3lb 2oz but gave each fish a kiss before returning them safely!
My fish went 19lb 12oz, what a cracking days fishing
We drove round the other side to meet the others and Ash was the top weight in that section with 10lb 9oz followed by Rob with 7lb 8oz, Terry with 5lb 9oz, Hurf with 3lb 12oz and Karl with 3lb 3oz. So I'd won and picked up £55 (plus £1's off Steve P and Hurf), it was nice that I'd done enough without the bream although if I'd have landed the other one it would have been my best Dillington weight ever! Thanks to Rob for the photos*
Terry had 5lb 9oz from peg 24*
Ash had 10lb 9oz to win his section*
Hurf had 3lb 12oz from peg 18*
Karl had 3lb 3oz including some lovely roach from peg 19*
Rob had 7lb 8oz from peg 20*
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 19lb 12oz
2 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 12lb 5oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 10lb 11oz

A - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 7lb 15oz
B - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 10lb 9oz

In the league, after eight matches and dropping the worst result, Graham Field was crowned the Royal Oak League Champion with Robin Cox second on fourteen and I finished third with seventeen. The club would like to say a massive thanks to Steve and Cindy at the Royal Oak, Ilminster for their continued support and looking after us all so well in the mornings and thanks also to Rob for running yet another excellent series of matches.

Next up - River Isle or Dillington depending on weather

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check out - My last match (below)

Monday, February 08, 2016

Dillington Pond - Open - 7th February 2016

With high winds, torrential rain and floods everywhere yesterday we were always going to be on the pond today and I don't mind because you're nearly always guaranteed plenty of bites. I got to the Oak and given the forecast was pretty awful for today with high winds and more rain coming in later, there were still ten hardy (or stupid) souls waiting to do battle with the elements and hopefully some fish! Along with the regulars it was nice to see John Dursley from Enterprise Angling fishing today.

After everybody had finished their breakfasts and coffee we headed out the pond so Rob could decide which pegs to use. The first thing we noticed was that the pond was chocolate coloured and I said it would either be rock hard or it would fish it's nuts off and I really hoped it would be the latter! Rob announced the draw and held out the hat which would decide peoples destinations for the day, I was hoping for a peg on the near side but pulled out peg 2 which I was fairly happy with. Bruce was my right hand neighbour for the day in peg 1 and Gordon was the next angler on my left in peg 4.
The view from peg 2
The level of the pond was also up a fair bit and water was hammering out of the overflow next to Bruce which meant there must have been a lot of water coming in via the stream which wouldn't do John Dursley any favours in peg 17. As I was setting up, there were odd fish topping which I hoped would be a good sign and I said to Bruce I thought you'd need 8-10lb to win today. My rigs were the usual 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing on the deck and a Preston Chianti for fishing shallow but I felt there was a good chance it wouldn't get used again today!

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of Pro Nat Dark at 10 metres before starting over it with a single red maggot on the hook, the rig settled and just sat there. I wasn't too concerned at this early stage as in recent matches it's taken 15-20 minutes to get a bite. Half an hour came and went with no indications and Bruce said he was still fishless too, from what I could see nobody on the road side had caught either and I think we had our answer to how it was going to fish today. Around the 40 minute mark, I had an inquiry which may or may not have been a bite, I struck anyway and the fluoro pinkie had gone which got me interested again. Bruce then swung in a little roach and a few minutes later I had an indication which I struck at and a better fish was on, I shipped back gently before slipping the net under a decent rudd of 6oz or so.

Next chuck I bumped a small fish, Bruce had another little roach and I thought we'd catch well now that the fish had turned up. I should have known better and after two hours I still only had the one fish and Bruce hadn't added anymore either, it was time for a walk. I was expecting similar tales of woe to ours so was a little surprised when Gordon said he had five small fish and had lost a better one, he was fishing a waggler close in and getting quite a few bites, when I got to Baz he said he had four or five fish as well but was struggling to get any kind of presentation with the wind hitting him head on. I said to Baz that I'd revised my estimate of the winning weight but still thought 4-5lb would win today!

As I walked back past Gordon he said he'd had another fish so when I sat back on my box I plumbed up with the shallow rig at four sections on the inside lines and went in with a single pinkie but no bites and a brief try shallow long was also a waste of time. Bruce added a couple more small fish and I have to admit I just couldn't understand why I couldn't get bites, I asked Bruce if he was fishing really light but he said he was using a size 16 hook to 0.10mm so not really then! I decided to concentrate at 10 metres as surely some fish would find the bait sooner or later.

Over the next hour or so, Bruce continued to get the odd small fish including a couple that he foulhooked, the icing on the cake came when he hooked what looked like a better fish but turned out to be a 3oz roach lassoed around the tail! Great, so I was being battered by Rooster Cogburn! The wind was making it a real struggle to hold the pole at 10 metres so I decided to start a new line at 8.5 metres and cupped in a ball of groundbait and then put one in on the longer line (in case the wind died down later). I left it to settle while I tried the margins again but never had a bite there.

Rooster (sorry, Bruce) was still getting the odd fish but I still hadn't seen anyone on the road side catch a fish so I kept thinking that if I could get a couple more fish there was a chance of a default section win if Bruce, Gordon and Baz all framed! Over the next hour and a half, I went through the motions and drank all my coffee, which normally makes the float go under, but it didn't work this time and as we approached the last half an hour I still only had a very lonely rudd in the net!

Then out of the blue I had a bite on single red maggot and netted a nice 4oz roach, a few minutes later I had another little knock which didn't develop further but when I lifted the rig there was a decent fish on! I started to ship back but the hook pulled out and on closer inspection there was a small scale on the hook which explained the loss. Then Steve P on peg 20 had a fish followed by Rob in 18 and as very often happens, a few fish start to show as the light fades.

My next bite saw a foot of elastic come out and I carefully shipped back before netting a lovely roach of 8oz or so, I had two more little roach where the float just lifted a bit and then Rob blew to end the match. Why couldn't those fish have switched on an hour earlier? Bruce had finished up with 22 fish and as I took my kit back to the car I asked Gordon how he'd done and he said he'd had about 15 or so and Baz had around a dozen, Terry's keepnet was already packed up!

Gordon had the scales and I had a feeling it would be a very tight affair today with just ounces in it, Rooster Bruce was first to weigh and his fish went 1lb 7oz and when I pulled my net out he said it was going to be close but the needle stopped just short at 1lb 5oz, then we got to Gordon and you can tell he's been fishing with us for a while as he had way more than 15 fish and weighed 1lb 15oz to go into the lead. A rather windswept Baz weighed 11oz and then Terry had his meagre haul in his landing net and weighed 4oz.

We drove round the other side for the results and Steve P had the top weight over there with 6oz!, it had been a really tough day. Poor John Dursley ended up having to use a 3 gram rig to try and combat the flow coming from the feeder stream, he only had a couple of fish and didn't bother weighing but I hope it hasn't put him off and we see him again. So Gordon won today which I believe is his first win since he's been fishing with us so well done mate, Bruce was second and I finished third and picked up £20 plus a nugget off of Steve who won his section and Baz won our section by triple default! 
Gordon won today with 1lb 15oz - well done mate
Bruce was second with 1lb 7oz and after today's performance will soon be swapping his baseball cap for a cowboy hat!
I was third with five fish for 1lb 5oz
Terry only had 4oz but was still smiling
1 - Gordon Aplin (Ilminster) - 1lb 15oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 1lb 7oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 1lb 5oz

A - Baz Morgan (BAZ Angling) - 11oz
B - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 6oz

So a really tough day for everybody and I was nowhere near with my original estimate or even the revised one! I think that's the second lowest winning weight in all the years I've fished it and you'd never have believed we were sat round a pond with so many fish in it! Conditions didn't help and the pond was just too coloured, it'll probably fish it's head off next match (or is that just wishful thinking!).

Next up - River Isle or Dillington depending on weather

What's new - Lots of page updates

Coming soon - My next review for Pondip


Monday, February 01, 2016

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Winter League 7 - 31st January 2016

I was really hoping we'd be back on the river this week but as soon as I arrived at the draw and saw Scotty's van, I knew we'd be on the pond as he won't fish the river! After breakfast we all drove out the pond to do the draw so Rob could see which pegs were available, there were no other anglers already there so he put in six pegs on each side, I really fancied a peg on the near side (as always) but pulled out peg 10 on the opposite bank and was a bit gutted as it hasn't been great in recent matches. Things didn't get any better when I took my kit to the peg and I had the wind straight in my chops and the icing on the cake was that I would have to look at Ash and Baz in their armchair pegs opposite, with the wind off their backs all day (I'm not bitter!).
Peg 10 looking up towards Steve P in peg 4
Rob on my left also had the wind in his face, as did Scott but to a lesser extent on peg 8, Fieldy and Steve P in pegs 6 and 4 were both fairly sheltered as was Terry on peg 2. I'm a big fan of dark groundbaits so today mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Nat Dark and added a little Thatchers Dark to give it some more added darkness! Rigs were the usual 0.5 gram Drennan Roach to fish on the deck and a little Preston Chianti for fishing shallow. A single toot from Robs whistle signalled the start and I cupped in two balls of my lovely dark groundbait at 10 metres before starting with double red maggot on the hook.

Scotty was into small roach straight away and Ash hooked a better fish, only to realise he hadn't set his landing net up! He managed to grab the line and gently lift what looked like a decent roach out of the water. While this was going on my float remained motionless so I switched to a single maggot with the same result, Scott carried on catching small fish and it looked like Fieldy was getting a few as well but I wasn't too worried at this early stage as I'd got off to a slow start last week. It was nearly half an hour before I had my first bite from a small chublet and I was already a long way behind Scott. I started to get the odd chublet along with some tiny roach and perch and was going nowhere fast, trying double maggot again did nothing to improve the stamp.

I did have a small chublet that squirted out of my hand like a bar of soap and missed the keepnet and I chuckled to myself that I wouldn't let that happen again. Next chuck I had another and very carefully unhooked it before leaning forward to put it in the net when, bugger me, it did the same thing, hit the rim of the net before bouncing to freedom! I was starting to sense this wasn't going to be my day. After an hour I only had nine fish and could see Ash and Baz catching well and Scott and Fieldy were both getting plenty of small fish.

The second hour was slightly better but every time I started to get a few bites, it wouldn't last and the fish I was catching were tiny, I kept trying caster but they just weren't having it and along with the wind I was starting to get a bit fed up with having to stop to wipe my glasses off and did I mention I was emptying my flask at an alarming rate! Rob was struggling too and to be honest I didn't really know what to do to try and improve things.

Hour three came and went and I was just going through the motions and spending longer on caster, hoping for some quality fish to put in an appearance but it just wasn't happening. Rob landed a nice chub and I now needed snookers to avoid being last in the section! With about an hour and a half left I noticed Steve P was dredging for something with his landing net and it turns out he'd knocked his glasses off into the pond, he did eventually get them back but broke his landing net in the process and that was enough for him. Before he headed home, he did stop for a chat and handed over his nugget which was the highlight of the day so far!

Typically as the light began to fade, I started to get some better roach on caster but it was way too little, way too late and I wasn't too upset when Rob brought proceedings to a close. My final tally of 45 fish wouldn't be winning any prizes today. I packed up and went to assist Scott with the weigh in and get some photos, Terry in peg 2 had 4lb 9oz and then Fieldy had over 170 small fish for 9lb 1oz from peg 6. Scott was next and he had 206 fish for 10lb 8oz and had given me a right battering as my fish only went 3lb 14oz, Rob had a 5lb 15oz from peg 12 which included a good chub, so I got duffed up on both sides!

Terry had 4lb 9oz from peg 2
Graham had a lot of small fish for 9lb 1oz and third place
Scott was second with 206 fish for 10lb 8oz
I struggled for 3lb 14oz
Rob won the section with 5lb 15oz which included a nice chub
We drove round the other side to meet the others and Ash had won again, this time with 13lb 6oz, Baz had 8lb 14oz from peg 18, Bruce weighed 8lb 1oz from 22, Justin had 2lb 13oz from 24, Hurf weighed 2lb 10oz and had enjoyed himself as much as me and Karl had 1lb 14oz from peg 19.

I really hadn't enjoyed today very much, I just couldn't get bites and the weather didn't help, I would have caught a few more if I'd have fished single maggot all day but I just hate catching bits. That's what makes fishing so intriguing, you think you're getting to grips with a venue and then it bites you on the arse!

In the league, after seven matches and dropping the worst result, Fieldy still leads with nine points, followed by Rob on twelve and Justin on fourteen.

1 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 13lb 6oz
2 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 10lb 8oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 9lb 1oz

A - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 5lb 15oz
B - Baz Morgan (BAZ Angling) - 8lb 14oz

Also I'd just like to say a massive thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. I didn't make the shortlist and was a bit gutted to be honest but there was some stiff competition, not many fishing blogs to be honest and I think it was an opportunity missed to get angling blogs some mainstream,recognition although Pondip (who I write for) have been shortlisted and are flying the flag for angling in the company category so good luck to them.

Next up - Ilminster AA's open

What's new - Lots of page updates

Coming soon - My next review for Pondip