Monday, May 30, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 29th May 2016

When I phoned Pete to book in during the week, I'd forgotten to ask which lake we'd be on, I picked Janders up and he said it was on Sellicks and possibly Lily, depending on numbers so obviously as we pulled into the car park I was hoping not to see too many vehicles! We collected a couple of nets before paying our pools and I was relieved to see that with fifteen anglers fishing we'd all be on Sellicks. Pete announced the draw and said there would be two equal pay outs today for carp and silvers with the winner picking up £80 and second place taking home £55.

There was the usual scrum to get into the draw bucket and some decent pegs went quite quickly, Ray Wickham pulled out peg 5 which won the silvers in the mid week match and was also the golden peg today, Alvin drew 14 and Exeter Mike had 15, both good carp pegs. I pulled out 21 which is a great silvers area and an empty peg to my left was an added bonus, Jess Jordan was on my right on peg 20 and said he'd be fishing for silvers too. Glynn and Janders were over the other side on pegs 8 and 10 so I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on my side bets.
Peg 21 on Sellicks with Jess next door
I set up the usual 0.4 gram Malman Pencil and a 0.6 gram Drennan G-Tip, both with 0.10mm to a size 16 Tubertini 808. I had Bait-Tech 4mm Xpands for the hook and some 'Juiced' up micros for feed. On the whistle I fed three lines, left and right at ten metres and five metres before starting on the left hand line. I lowered the rig in, it settled before the float slid away and the first carp of the day was hooked! I safely landed it and then next put in I've hooked another but this one snapped me, Jess was also into a carp from his silvers line and I hoped it wasn't going to be like this all day. Thankfully after that early flurry of carp action, things settled down a bit but apart from a few missed bites it was slow going.

Jess was playing a carp when I struck into what felt like one as well, but to my surprise (and Jess's disgust), it turned out to be a lovely crucian about 1.5lb to open my silvers account as the first hour came to a close. Although nice for the anglers, I don't think the bright and sunny conditions were doing us any favours with the fishing. Not a lot was happening, Gareth on 18 was getting a few carp shallow and it looked like Alvin on 14 was catching the odd fish, Exeter Mike on 15 was having fun and games with the carp and the lilies, never a great combination! I had two decent skimmers from the left hand line to add another pound or so to my silvers total, I did try the other longer line but the only action from there was another carp.

During the third hour I had another skimmer and a rudd that nailed the expander on the drop but it was hard going, Jess was still hooking quite a few carp on his silvers rig and said he was thinking of going for them, Nigel Wickham had started to catch quite well from peg 23 after a slow first couple of hours. Exeter Mike was having a bit of a nightmare, he'd had pole section break resulting in some lost pole sections but luckily, with the help of Bill who stopped bagging long enough to lend a hand, he got them back. He walked past with a ruined section and it was looking like an early bath was on the cards.

After three and a half hours, I decided to try the short line for the first time and first put in, the float sailed away and of course I missed it, next chuck it went again and the strike resulted in a carp tearing off, but then it stopped and a big skimmer surfaced! I must admit my heart was in my mouth as I slipped the net under a 2lb plus fish and I was up to around 5lb of silvers with two hours to go. My next fish was a carp hooked up the bum which lead me a merry dance and then I had another skimmer, this one around the pound mark and as the winning silvers weight on Wednesday was 8lb, I only needed a couple more fish to reach that weight.

I went back out on the longer line to rest the shorter swim but never had another bite there, my next bite on the five metre line resulted in another nice crucian and there was still an hour to go. Jess had started to target the carp and was catching well from his inside swim, Adie walked round and said Ray was struggling on peg 5 so the golden peg was safe although Glynn was admitting to 4-5lb of silvers with two hours to go. Exeter Mike finally waved the white flag and sat with me for a bit, I had a carp while he was with me and he commented on the state of my landing net which had been savaged by some mice ages ago and as a parting gift he gave me a rather nice landing net head - cheers Mike!

I was hoping for a couple more silvers during the last period of the match but every bite resulted in a poxy carp and I must have ended up with around ten by the end of the match. Adie ended the match and I only had eight silvers (two crucians, five skimmers and that rudd) for probably 6-7lb. I took my kit back to the car where Janders was already waiting, he'd really struggled and wasn't bothering to weigh in. Glynn also turned up and was admitting to 7-8lb possibly a bit more and I knew I didn't have that.

The scales arrived at Nigel's peg and he'd done well to weigh over 50lb after such a slow start, I didn't weigh my carp (probably 20lb or so) and my silvers went 7lb 7oz which was pretty close to my estimate but I didn't think it would be enough to beat Glynn. Then there was only one fish between Jess who had 56lb 12oz and Gareth who weighed 53lb 4oz. Mark Leahy and Exeter Mike didn't weigh, Alvin had 35lb 10oz before Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping put a massive 129lb 10oz of carp on the scales from peg 13 and that was with a mid match break to give Mike a hand! Neil P on peg 11 went into second place with 64lb 6oz and then with Janders not weighing we got to Glynn. He had over 30lb of carp and then he pulled his silvers net out and it looked like it was going to be tight, Adie called it out as 7lb 2oz and I was still in the lead - phew!

Paul P on peg 7 had just shy of 32lb, Ray didn't weigh on peg 5 and Dan next door had 29lb odd and then peg 2 didn't weigh which meant I'd just about done enough to win the silvers. Back at the results and Bill was named as the carp winner with Neil in second place and then Pete handed me a nice envelope containing £80 and Glynn was called out in second. Then the icing on the cake was when Glynn handed me his nugget to go along with the one Janders gave me!
Today's board
Nice envelope
1 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 129lb 10oz
2 - Neil P (Summerhayes) - 64lb 6oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 7lb 7oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 7lb 2oz

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - Two great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)


Monday, May 23, 2016

Dillington Pond - Summer League 2 - 22nd May 2016

I got to the pub a bit earlier this week so I could have one of Cindy's lovely breakfasts and although we were a few down on the last match there were still twelve anglers fishing which is a decent turnout and would also mean we could spread the pegs about a bit. Hopefully the extra room would help as a few people struggled last week with nearly every peg in. Steve asked me to sort the pegs out and with the help of a few others we decided on a dozen pegs and the only one I didn't really fancy was 24 even though we left out peg 1 on the opposite side of the bush which should help things.

With all the pegs in the draw bag, I couldn't resist a practice draw and said "Watch this, peg 18!" and of course pulled out that very peg, I knew that had to be a bad omen and there was no chance of me drawing it again, still I'd be happy with 17 or 19 instead. Hurf announced the draw and I hung back hoping that somebody else would have the pleasure(!) of fishing peg 24 today. Harry asked me to draw for him again and I pulled out peg 8 which put him back on the far bank again and he wasn't overly impressed. Everybody apart from Ash and me had now drawn their pegs and 24 still hadn't come out, I stuck my hand in and of course it attached itself to my hand! Ash had the last peg in the bag which turned out to be number 17, one of my favourite swims - great!
I could have used the photo from last week but thought I'd treat you to a view of the bush instead!
For company I had Steve P on peg 22 and Hurf was on 20 so the only member of the side bet club I couldn't see was Harry. I set up the same three rigs as last time, a 1 gram Drennan Tipo for the ten metre line, a Preston Chianti for up in the water and a Carpa 2 for by the bush but hopefully I wouldn't have to pick that one up! Hurf blew his whistle to get us up and running and I cupped in two balls of groundbait on the longer line and a pot of hemp, corn, casters and maggots by the bush. I started on the deck at ten metres with caster on the hook and caught quite quickly. I had a steady first hour catching 26 fish, mainly small roach around 1-2oz but with the odd better one including a lovely 8oz rudd and already some good fish could be seen swirling for the loose feed and as the second hour began, I was reaching for the shallow rig.

Jake on 19 had a couple of skimmers on the feeder and Hurf on 20 had hooked a couple of decent fish only for both to come off at the net, Steve P on 22 was getting the odd small fish but had bumped a few as well. I started fishing up in the water and first chuck the float buried and a fish hooked itself before I could feed! My catch rate was around the same as in the first hour but I had three lovely roach and after ninety minutes I had 39 fish. In the last match I had 55 fish for just shy of 6lb so at this rate I was on for around 120 which should give me around 12lb, possibly a bit more with some better fish.

Towards the end of the second hour, my catch rate started to slow so I started fishing shallow off the end of the bush as well and swapping between the two lines I was still regularly putting fish in the net. Hurf, Jake and Big Frank on 18 were still getting the odd skimmer but I didn't think there was much between them and me at this stage although apparently Alvin on 13 on the bottom bank had landed a big bream. Going into the third hour I started missing bites and the stamp of fish was getting smaller so I had a quick go under the bush with double caster and after five minutes the float sailed away and a chub was on! Although at 4oz it was hardly a match for the heavy kit I had on!
I was still catching but the fish were getting smaller!
Back out with the shallow rig saw a flurry of fish before it slowed and I went back to catching odd fish by swapping between the longer lines, straight out and off the end of the bush. Jake was now catching skimmers regularly and pulling away from Frank and Hurf who were just getting odd fish. I tried the deep rig again and had another go under the bush but neither produced a fish so I went back to fishing shallow and adding the odd fish to the net, I was still on for my 120 fish target when, with around an hour and a half to go, I started to get 'fluffed' out again. I was still getting odd fish by dropping the rig into fluff free areas but it was swirling around and for the best part of an hour I couldn't really fish the peg. With fifteen minutes to go, I decided to go under the bush with corn on the hook to get through the fluff and with only five minutes to go, the float went under at a rate of knots and I bloody missed it!

Hurf signalled the end of the match and with my clicker reading 98 fish, I knew that last hour was going to cost me. I packed up and yes, my poxy mud feet came off again! I loaded the car and caught up with scales just as Ash was being weighed in, he had a lovely net of quality roach and rudd which weighed 22lb 15oz, all caught shallow on caster, then Frank had some nice skimmers for 9lb 12oz before Jake came close with a nice bag of skimmers weighing 20lb 1oz. Hurf also had some nice skimmers to weigh 9lb 13oz to just pip Frank and then Steve P had 5lb 3oz and had caught well after a slow start. I was last to weigh and I knew I'd be short of Hurf and Frank's weights but it was a lot closer than I thought when my weight was called at 9lb 8oz.
Ash had a lovely net of quality roach and rudd to win with 22lb 15oz
Frank had some nice skimmers for 9lb 12oz
Jake had 20lb 1oz of mainly skimmers on the feeder from peg 19
Hurf won the section with 9lb 13oz and took the side bets for the second match on the trot
Steve P caught well towards the end to weigh 5lb 3oz
I had 98 fish for 9lb 8oz
The other section got back and there were some cracking weights there as well, Alvin had two big bream and skimmers on the pole for 19lb 14oz from peg 13 and Fieldy had 341 fish on the whip/short pole for 14lb 6oz, which was only good enough for a section win. Justin had 8lb 14oz from peg 4, Harry had a nice bream and a skimmer for 5lb 15oz, Karl had 3lb 10oz from peg 6 and Terry had a couple of nice skimmers for 2lb 10oz from peg 2. Thanks to Harry Hebditch for the photos*
Terry had 2lb 10oz which included some nice skimmers*
Justin had 8lb 14oz from peg 4*
Karl had 3lb 10oz*
Harry had a big bream and a skimmer for 5lb 15oz*
Alvin was third with two bream and some skimmers for 19lb 14oz*
Graham had 341 fish for 14lb 6oz and a section win*
1 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 22lb 15oz
2 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 20lb 1oz
3 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 19lb 14oz

A - Graham Field (Taunton) - 14lb 6oz
B - Steve Hurford (Ilminster) - 9lb 13oz

What a venue, the top four all had very different bags of fish caught on a variety of methods, quality roach and rudd on the pole shallow, skimmers on the feeder, bream and skimmers on the pole and loads of small fish on the whip. You needed the best part of 20lb to frame and good section winning weights too, my 9lb 8oz was only 5oz off a section win, yet I ended up fifth in my six peg section! Great fishing and I can't wait for the next one (as long as I don't draw 24 again!).

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dillington Pond - Summer League 1 - 15th May 2016

With Rob on holiday somewhere exotic it was down to Hurf and me to organise the first match of the Summer League. Well, I say me but when I arrived at the Royal Oak just after 8:30, Hurf looked to be in total control (and with a hangover too!) so I ordered a sausage sarnie and coffee and said hello to everyone. I knew the match was going to be well attended but with 18 booked in, it was a great turnout. Along with all the regulars, it was nice to see Jess Jordan who was fishing with us for the first time along with Alvin Jones who hadn't fished the pond for years and John Dursley who was only fishing it for the second time. It was also lovely to see Richard White for the first time in ages.

Hurf announced the draw and Harry asked me to draw for him to see if he could get away from the far side and I managed to pull out 13 for him which put him on the bottom bank. I then grabbed a peg for me and opened my hand to reveal 24 and I have to say I always have mixed feelings about drawing it because the swim has a big bush on the left which holds some rather large chub but it can be a hero or zero peg. I have done well off it in the past by ignoring the bush and just getting my head down and fishing for roach which is what I hoped to do today. But it was also in the back of my mind that with so many anglers around the pond a swim with some cover might be a bonus.
The view from peg 24
Big Frank was on the other side of the bush in peg 1 and I had John Dursley on my right in peg 23 and if I'm honest I don't think we should have put that peg in as he was set back a bit in a corner and would be hemmed in by Alvin on peg 22 and me. After getting my box level I mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Natural before setting my rigs up, rig number one was a 1 gram Drennan Tipo for fishing in open water at 10 metres, my second rig was a little Preston Chianti for fishing up in the water at the same distance and finally rig three was a Carpa 2 for fishing by the bush. Both the open water rigs had size 18 B611 (barbless) to 0.10mm and the bush rig had a size 16 B911 to 0.14mm.

My bait for the day was the usual casters, maggots and hemp but I also opened a small tin of corn and had some pellets to feed by the bush as well. It was bright, hot sunny day and without too much ripple and lots of anglers, I thought it could impact on the weights but I still felt 15lb would be needed to do well. The side bet club (Harry, Hurf, Steve P and myself) all decided to put a pound in the pot for the top weight amongst us.

Hurf gave a shrill whistle to signal the start which wouldn't have been out of place on 'One Man and His Dog' and we were off. I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres and then a full pot of grub by the bush at about 7 metres. I started with caster on the hook and it took a while before I had any indications and then I missed a few bites before catching a couple of small roach but after fifteen minutes it wasn't really happening and I was soon reaching for the shallow rig. This was much better and I started catching well and was getting roach along with some nice rudd and a couple of chublets.

By the end of the first hour I had 20 fish for probably 2.5lb which was bang on my 15lb target and from what I could see, nobody else was catching, so at this early stage it was going well. As the second hour began I had a lovely roach and some more rudd but it was starting to slow up so I started feeding another line just off the bush at 10 metres and swapped between the two, this worked to a certain extent but my catch rate was dropping off rapidly. I couldn't see Ash over on peg 7 but apparently he was catching well and Rich White on peg 2 had landed a nice bream, then Alvin who had caught virtually nothing so far had a decent skimmer followed by another quite quickly.

I cupped in some more feed by the bush and would try it shortly, Alvin landed a foul hooked skimmer and then had a proper bream and was bagging up, John was really struggling as were all the anglers I could see on that bank. I had a couple more fish but it was now really hard going so I had a quick go by the bush with double caster but no bites after ten minutes and I was scratching my head at what to do next. Alvin added another skimmer followed by a big roach and was looking good to frame but apart from him nobody on our side was catching so the section money was still up for grabs. With that in mind I carried on catching the odd roach shallow but then noticed Fieldy playing a big fish and when he safely landed a 4lb slab, I needed to catch a bonus fish myself.

Alvin had another bream along with a couple more skimmers so I tried my depth rig again but couldn't buy a bite. Then Hurf phoned me to let me know he'd just had a good bream too so it was looking like he'd take the side bet pot unless I could latch into a couple of those elusive chub. I kept trying under the bush with double caster and corn but the float never moved and just to make things even more awkward, loads of that floating white fluff that comes from some kind of plant blew into my peg meaning every time I shipped back the rig ended up like a washing line!

I got bored after half an hour and went back out with the shallow rig but that had died a death now as well. Alvin had also stopped catching but had probably already done enough to win the match and then John finally landed a decent skimmer so maybe the shoal had moved on. I added very little to my net up until the end of the match and when Hurf summoned his sheep dog to finish proceedings my clicker was reading 55 fish which would probably give me around 4-5lb, not good!

Then as I tried lifting my box out of the mud, it was well and truly stuck, I gave it a good heave and it came free minus two of the mud feet which just about summed the day up! I managed to get them back but in the process got covered in pond gunk! I loaded the car and caught up with the scales after the first couple of pegs in my section had been weighed, Gordon Aplin had 2lb 10oz in peg 14 and Karl had 1lb 5oz from 17, then we got to Fieldy and his bream assisted catch weighed 9lb 4oz, Jess had struggled for 1lb 9oz and Terry Morgan had a level 2lb from peg 20.
Graham had this lovely bream to boost his catch to 9lb 4oz
Jess struggled for 1lb 9oz on his first visit

Terry had 2lb from peg 20
Bob Hammond had a couple of skimmers on the feeder for 2lb 6oz from peg 21 before we got to Alvin who had a lovely net of bream and skimmers for 22lb 6oz, John had 1lb 9oz before my fish went 5lb 15oz which was a little more than I thought and I needed Fieldy to frame to give me a double default section win.
Bob had two nice skimmers for 2lb 6oz from peg 21

Alvin had a lovely net of bream and skimmers to win with 22lb 6oz
John had struggled for 1lb 9oz but at least he was still smiling!
I had 5lb 15oz from peg 24
The scales from the other section came back and Big Frank had 4lb 9oz from peg 1, Rich had 5lb 13oz from peg 2 which included a nice bream and Justin also had a nice slab in his 7lb 2oz from peg 4. Nick Payne had 2lb 9oz from peg 6 and then Ash had a lovely net of quality roach, rudd and chublets from peg 7 for 16lb 6oz and second place. Jake had 5lb 6oz and Steve P weighed 2lb 6oz, Hurf had a nice bream which took his catch to 6lb and Harry had 3lb 2oz which meant Hurf had taken the side bet pot by an ounce! Thanks to Harry for the photos*
Rich had 5lb 13oz including this slab*
Justin also had a bream and won the section with 7lb 2oz*
Ash was second with a net of quality roach, rudd and chublets for 16lb 6oz*
Jake had 5lb 6oz from peg 8*
Steve P had 2lb 6oz*
Hurf took the side bets home thanks to a nice bream*
On the plus side, as Fieldy was third I picked up £20 for the section and Justin won the other section. So apart from the leading weights it had fished quite hard although the weather and so many anglers around the pond hadn't done us any favours. Also several of the roach I caught were really rough to the touch and have either spawned or are getting ready to do so. The other interesting thing today was the number of bream and skimmers caught all around the pond and nearly all on the pole. We're back next week and it could fish totally different again so make sure you come back to see how this intriguing venue fishes then.

1 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 22lb 6oz
2 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 16lb 6oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 9lb 4oz

A - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 7lb 2oz
B - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 15oz

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, May 09, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 8th May 2016

The weather was glorious as I loaded the car and headed for Bridgwater and things got even better when I arrived and Pete said as there were fifteen anglers fishing today, we'd all be on Sellicks, so no Lily today! There was a match on Longs as well and just before they started, one of the anglers came up and had a natter about the blog, he said he enjoyed reading it and checked out some of my posts about Longs before the match today, I didn't get his name but it made my day and I hope he bagged right up!

Pete got Adie Bishop to draw the golden peg and it was peg 20 again and as it's a decent silvers peg, could I draw it for the third match on the trot? No was the answer but I was very happy with peg 2 which is also a great peg for silvers. Ray Wickham was on peg 4 and I could see Roger Russell over on peg 23 and he just looked happy he wasn't on Longs peg 6 for a change! It was already turning into a scorching hot day and one of my first jobs was to slap on the sun screen.
Peg 2 on Sellicks
I set up a 0.6 gram Drennan G-Tip to fish two thirds across at 8.5 metres and also at 5 metres and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp to fish in front of the empty peg on my right. Bait-Tech 4mm Xpands for the hook and micros for feed were on the side tray. Ray wandered up just before the start and I made sure all my pole sections were out of the way! On the whistle I fed all three lines with half a pot of micros and started on the longer line, I didn't think a big weight would be needed to win the silvers, especially with it being so hot and bright and I thought 7-8lb would be enough today.

After 30 minutes, I was still waiting for my first bite! Ray had landed a small skimmer but not a lot was happening as far as I could see. The first fish I hooked was a carp (not ideal) and was obviously foul hooked (even more not ideal) but wasn't on long (ideal!). The next fish I hooked was another carp and this time I came back with a scale on the hook, I landed the next fish but as it was a carp, my silvers net was still empty at the end of the first hour.

I tried in front of the empty peg but never had an indication there so it was back to 8.5 metres as I wanted to leave the short line as long as possible. Half way through the second hour I finally had a skimmer and when I hooked another on the next chuck I thought I was on my way but somehow it turned into a 6oz carp when I netted it! I foul hooked a couple more carp as well and it looked like Ray was having the same problem. Jacko on peg 5 and Adie Bishop on peg 7 were both catching carp quite well.

Several times I struck into carp and was convinced they were skimmers, only for them to wake up as I shipped back and I'm pretty sure the majority weren't hooked in the mouth. I did catch a 10oz tench as we reached the half way point but things would need to improve drastically if I was going to challenge for an envelope today and I was counting on my short line coming good later. I did catch a small skimmer but with only a couple of hours left, I was going nowhere fast.

I tried the shorter line for the first time and it was a massive anti-climax and back to 8.5 metres just resulted in more foul hooked carp. Ray landed a nice eel and Jacko and Adie looked like they were having a right battle, matching each other fish for fish. I wasn't too upset to hear the final whistle and my final tally of one tench, two skimmers and half a dozen carp wouldn't be winning any prizes today.

I was first to weigh and my modest silvers 'haul' went 1lb 7oz and my carp weighed 16lb 13oz and it was a good job I didn't have any side bets today! Then we got to Ray and along with the eel I'd seen him land, he'd also sneaked in a nice tench and another eel to weigh 3lb 13oz. Jacko had 60lb 2oz but Adie won their battle when he weighed 73lb, he also went into the silvers lead with three crucians for 4lb 1oz. Mark Leahy didn't weigh on peg 9 and Shane had 28lb 15oz from peg 11. Jason in peg 12 didn't weigh, Nigel Wickham had 48lb 13oz from 14 and Alan Jenkins had 1lb 3oz of silvers next door.

Richard S had 37lb 15oz from 17 and Roy Hughes had 3lb 12oz of silvers on peg 18 and was hoping Adie would frame! Craig S did well on peg 20 to weigh 53lb 7oz but it wasn't enough to win the golden peg. Bill Hopping went into second place with 67lb 10oz from peg 21 and last but not least was Roger on peg 23, I thought he'd struggled and he wasn't admitting to much but his 5lb 14oz was enough to win the silvers, he had a lovely rudd/bream hybrid that was pushing 3lb which helped!
Todays results
1 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 73lb
2 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 67lb 10oz
3 - Steve Jackson (Garbolino) - 60lb 2oz

1 - Roger Russell (Tackleuk) - 5lb 14oz
2 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 3lb 13oz

So some decent carp weights but it was a struggle for most of the silvers anglers although the conditions haven't done us any favours today. Next week I'm at Dillington for the first match of Ilminster AA's Summer League and it's been fishing really well so hopefully we should be in for a good day.

Next up - Dillington

Great read - The latest Gillhams newsletter

Check Out - My last match (below)

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Hebditch's Pond - 7th May 2016

Harry once again very kindly let us fish the pond with everybody donating £5 to his charity of choice, The British Heart Foundation, a great cause. We all met at the Cartgate for a nice breakfast although I was a bit late and most people had already finished theirs - whoops, sorry Rob! It was great to see some new faces as we had Ben Charlton, Jamie Bisgrove and Pete Watts fishing today. Harry had been hard at work out the pond removing some trees that had gone in during the storms a while back and he'd also re-pegged it so when I had the last peg in the hat and it was number 9, I didn't really know if it was a decent peg or not! Instead of the usual side bet, Hurf, Harry, Steve P, Jamie B and me all decided we would put a pound in and the top weight takes it.

It turns out my peg was on the left, near where I should have been in the last match when I couldn't fish it due to a tree that had blown down. It would be interesting to see how the pond fished today as it was netted a couple of weeks back and several hundred pounds of carp removed, although you wouldn't have thought so judging by all the fish moving and taking stuff off the surface. The two 'hot pegs' used to be 4 and 5 either side of a reed bed but are now 1 and 12, Jake Woodard was the lucky angler on peg 1 and with 12 not in, he would be very hard to beat today.
My view from peg 9
I set up a Drennan Carp float to fish on the deck at 10 metres with corn and a Carpa 2 to fish down the edge to my right near a little tree and with so many fish up in the water I also set up a little dibber to fish a hair rigged, banded pellet shallow. On the side tray I just had some 4mm pellets that I'd wetted, 6mm hard pellets and some corn. Rob blew to signal the start and I cupped in some 4mm's and corn on both lines before starting with the shallow rig. I was lifting and dropping the rig while firing in a few 6mm pellets on a regular basis. After about ten minutes or so I've had my first carp, a little pastie about 12oz, I was getting regular bites and after an hour I had nine carp between 12oz and 3lb.

The second hour was similar and I added another eight carp plus a couple of rudd which I threw straight back, most people were getting odd fish but I thought I was doing okay, that was until I heard that Jake already had around forty carp! I was potting in some pellets and corn on the margin line on a regular basis but would try and leave it until the last couple of hours before trying it. Things slowed up in the third hour and I only added four more carp to put me on twenty one, I had a quick go with the depth rig and never had a bite so not wanting to try my margin line too early, I went back out shallow and caught really well for the next hour, adding another ten carp.

Jake was still bagging and Terry Morgan was getting a few but other than those two it looked like just the odd fish was being caught. I added a couple more carp shallow but it was slowing up again so with an hour and a half left, it was time to try the margin line for the first time. I shipped out with a grain of corn on the hook and toss potted in a few grains along with some pellets and the float sailed away only for me to miss it! I lowered the rig in again, the orange tip disappeared and I managed to hit this one, I safely netted a 2lb carp and thought it must be solid on that line. I went back out and never had another bite there!

Back out shallow and I added another four carp to take me up to thirty eight with an hour to go, a couple of people were walking and said Jake had over seventy carp and was on for a big weight. I had a really good last hour and had another ten carp although I had quite a few that were only 8oz or so and finished up with forty eight carp and thought I had 50-60lb. Rob and Harry were soon at Jamie B's peg to start the weigh in and he had 11lb 8oz, Harry had 27lb from peg 11 before they got to Jakes peg and after four weighs, his total was read out as 97lb 12oz, well done mate. *Thanks to Rob Cox for the photos.
Jamie B had 11lb 8oz (nice shades, shame about the shirt!)*
Harry had 27lb to win the section from peg 11*

Jake with part of his winning 97lb 12oz*
Terry had 30lb 6oz next door to go into second place, Leighton had 5lb 12oz, Rob had 7lb 6oz and Ben had the same weight from peg 5, Hurf had 8lb 14oz and Steve P didn't weigh. Pete W had 13lb 14oz which included some nice sized fish and then I was last to weigh, my first net was a level 22lb and then my other net was 43lb 7oz to give me a 65lb 7oz total and second place.
Terry Morgan was third with 30lb 6oz*
Leighton had 5lb 12oz*
Rob had 7lb 6oz from peg 4
Ben Charlton had 7lb 6oz as well
Hurf won the other section with 8lb 14oz
Pete Watts had some nice carp for 13lb 14oz
I was second with 65lb 7oz*
1 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 97lb 12oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 65lb 7oz
3 - Terry Morgan (Ilminster) - 30lb 6oz

A - Steve Hurford (Ilminster) - 8lb 14oz
B - Harry Hebditch (Ilminster) - 27lb

So a nice days fishing and I picked up £40 for second place plus £4 in side bets (well £3 actually because Steve P slipped off without paying!).

I'd just like to say thanks again to Harry for letting us fish the pond and also to the anglers for raising £55 for The British Heart Foundation.

Next up - Summerhayes tomorrow

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 2nd May 2016

On Longs today and the format was the same as yesterday with the top three silvers and carp anglers framing and the payout split down the middle between carp and silvers. I went into the draw bucket late again as it had worked okay in the last couple of matches and this time peg 31 was the result, it wouldn't my first choice but it's a decent silvers area and I was happy enough. I really felt for Roger as he was on 'Cyanide Straight' peg 6 again and just can't seem to get away from it, Glynn was also in the same area on peg 1 and wasn't happy. His Dad, Ray, on the other hand was pretty pleased with peg 12 which is a great silvers peg. Along with my usual side bet merchant Glynn, Rob Kingston was fishing today and we normally have a nugget on it so I suggested silvers which he agreed to but then said we should also have a pound on overall weight.
Peg 31 on Longs
I had Nigel Wickham on my right on peg 29 and Jess Jordan was on my left on 33, I set up a 14 x 11 MW F1 Slim for the ten metre lines and a 0.3 gram NG XT Mini Gimp for five metres. It was pretty windy and I like to try and pack away any items of tackle that I'm unlikely to use so I haven't got to worry about it getting blown around or worse still, ending up in the lake! I've got a battered old number four section that has seen better days and I've broken twice already but I've been using a short number four so put it by my rod holdall out the way. I was ready with about 15 minutes to go and as I was having a cup of coffee, Ray Wickham turned up for a chat and as we were talking he stepped forward, there was quite a loud CRACK and looking down my number four was now in need of a third repair! To be fair, the section was pretty knackered anyway so I telescoped it through and put some gaffer tape around it and it would do in an emergency.

Jess, Nigel and Alvin Jones arrived and we all reckoned Ray was either trying to nobble the opposition or he had shares in electrical tape! With five minutes until the start, Ray headed back to his peg and I breathed a sigh of relief that I still had some pole left to fish with! On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros on two lines at ten metres and the same at five metres before starting on the left hand line with a 4mm expander on the hook. After a few minutes, the float sailed away and the strike resulted in yards of blue hydro streaming from the pole tip as a carp made a bit for freedom! It came off but the next bite was from a small carp and then I had another and this wasn't in the script. Nigel on the other hand got off to a flying start with three decent skimmers in as many chucks and Jess netted a couple of fish as well.

I switched to the right hand line and my first bite here was from a carp as well! I did manage one better skimmer before the first sixty minutes was over and hopefully things could only get better! Nigel slowed up after his flying start and Jess seemed to be having the same problem as me with as he hooked carp after carp! I was getting the odd small skimmer off the left hand line but it wasn't really happening. Ray over on peg 12 looked to be struggling as well and I'd only seen him net one fish, I did hook another good skimmer but it came off as I shipped back and I didn't think I'd be collecting any envelopes today.

Jess shouted down that Alvin on peg 35 was fishing meat down the track and in the margins and catching carp really well but was also catching some good skimmers, crucians and tench! And he made sure he showed Jess every time he caught a good skimmer, I was just glad I couldn't see him! So after two hours I only had about a pound of silvers and just couldn't catch any quality and if the float went under it was a small blade, tiny roach or a poxy carp and then it started raining! For the second day running I had to put my coat on and it certainly didn't feel like we were in May!

I won't give you a blow by blow account of how I didn't catch very much over the next few hours but I stuck at it because Rob Kingston walked up and he hadn't had much either so there was still £2 to fish for. Jess had come in over his short line and had a run of decent skimmers so after four hours I tried my five metre line but all I could catch was small skimbobs and the odd carp, tiny fish were also proving very problematic so I switched to a red 6mm Marukyu JPz pellet and had a few more blades and small roach but it was short lived.

I had a couple of carp that I would have sworn were tench or crucians until they came to the top and then with literally seconds to go I did hook and land a tench around 12oz. I ended up with that tench plus fifteen skimmers and a few roach which I didn't count for not very much and probably a dozen small carp. I packed up and took my kit back to the car as Pete and Adie started the weigh in over on peg 1, as I was loading the car Glynn came back and said he'd weighed 6lb 2oz of silvers so I gave him his pound back from yesterday. Roger had 3lb 4oz of silvers from peg 6 and then Exeter Mike on peg 9 had 28lb 10oz of carp and a lovely perch of 2lb 14oz.

Shane on peg 11 had 16lb odd of carp and 3lb 13oz of silvers, Ray had 3lb 3oz of silvers and then the ever consistent Bill 'The Paste' Hopping had 41lb 2oz of carp from peg 13 to go into the lead. Jeff Sparks was on peg 15 which was also the golden peg, he drew it a couple of weeks back and fell just short of a bumper payday when Glynn beat him by a few ounces, could he go one better today? He had some good skimmers to go into the silvers lead with 8lb 8oz, Rob Birch had 28lb 15oz of carp from 17 before we got to Rob Kingston on peg 19, he had 8lb 9oz of carp and 1lb 14oz of silvers, I thought I had him beat on the carp but it would be closer with the silvers.

Steve Kedge was next and after a slow start he'd caught well in the last couple of hours and and went into the lead with 56lb 11oz from peg 23, Roy Hughes had 22lb 10oz of carp and then his 7lb 10z of silvers put him in second place, Nigel just pipped Roy with 23lb 8oz of carp but fell short on the silvers front with 5lb 12oz. Then we got to my peg and my carp went 17lb 3oz and my silvers weighed 3lb 10oz which surprised me so at least I had £2 to come from Rob. Jess had 8lb 2oz of skimmers to go into second place and then Alvin had 16lb 2oz of silvers to thwart Jeff's bid for the golden peg fund once again and he then had the best carp weight as well with 66lb 4oz but would only claim one lot of pools as there was no 'double bubble' today. Mark Leahy was last to weigh and had 34lb 5oz of carp from peg 37 but had lost enough around the aerator rope to frame.
Todays board
1 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 66lb 4oz
2 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 56lb 11oz
3 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 41lb 2oz

1 - Jeff Sparks (Summerhayes) - 8lb 8oz
2 - Jess Jordan (Summerhayes) - 8lb 2oz
3 - Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) - 7lb 1oz

So a disappointing day for me but that's fishing! Next week I've got another double header with a charity match at Harry's on Saturday and then it's back on Sellicks and Lily on Sunday.

Next up - Hebditch's pond

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, May 02, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 1st May 2016

A double header at Summerhayes for me this weekend as it was a Bank Holiday (well it would be rude not to!), Sellicks and Lily today and Longs tomorrow. I picked Janders up on my way and we were soon pulling into the car park, it was nice to Mike Hosgood (who comes from somewhere near Exeter I believe!) as I hadn't seen him for ages and most of the usual faces were also in attendance. I paid my pools and Pete said there would be two equal payouts today, one for silvers and one for carp with the top three in each collecting an envelope. He also said that small carp would no longer count as silvers which I have to say I agree with.

The draw was announced and I hung back a bit, hoping the pegs on Lily would go quite quickly, Janders went in and pulled out peg 4 on Sellicks which can be a really good peg for silvers and when somebody said all the Lily pegs had gone (I hoped they weren't lying!), I stuck my hand in the bucket and picked one of the few remaining balls, I opened my hand to reveal Sellicks peg 20 and I'd only gone and drawn the same peg as last week, that'll do!

As I took my kit to the peg, it was quite windy and somebody said rain was forecast for later, what a great start to May! My neighbours today were Steve Kedge on peg 22 on my left and Rob Birch on my right on peg 18, Exeter Mike was on 16 and Ads Palmer was up on 14. I got the same two rigs out as last week and plumbed up the same three areas so all I needed to do now was catch the same weight as I did last week! On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of 'Juiced' up micros on all three lines (just like last week) before starting on the left hand line (yep, all sounds familiar!) with a 4mm Bait-Tech Xpand on the hook.
Peg 20 looking down towards the car park with Steve Kedge setting up in peg 22
But then very unlike the last match, the float just sat there for ages, eventually the float did disappear and as soon as I struck I knew I'd foul hooked a carp, it took me a good while to get it in the net as the hook was right in the tail! I did manage a little skimmer but the only other action in the first hour was another carp, this one hooked in the mouth. So at this stage last week I had around 2.5lb in the net, this week I'd be lucky if I had 2.5oz! Things were definitely not going to plan. I'd seen Steve catch a few carp but Rob was struggling like me.

The second hour wasn't great, I was missing quite a few bites and the wind was being a pain but I did land my first decent skimmer around a pound although on closer inspection it might well have been a hybrid or even a good sized silver bream, I wish I'd taken a photo as I'm sure Russell Hilton would have been able to identify it for me. I had another blade and also a carp hooked up the bum which had me convinced it was a skimmer until it got within netting range.

Things started to look up in hour three when my next decent fish was a nice crucian around 1.5lb and when I followed it up with a pound skimmer I thought I might still be able to put a decent weight together, it didn't look like many silvers were being caught on our lake and when Adie walked round and said nobody was really catching on Lily either, I thought 6-8lb might be good enough to get in the money today. I probably had 3-4lb so if I could get putting the odd fish in the net over the next three hours I hopefully wouldn't be too far off.

It started to get really cold and I had to put my coat on as it also kept trying to rain, what a lovely day! Steve was now bagging and putting a big weight together, Rob and Exeter Mike were getting odd carp but I was really struggling for the odd small skimmer and every now and again I would foul hook a carp, landing three and losing two. With two hours to go I had a quick go on the shorter line but only had a couple of knocks so it was back on the longer line and battling with the wind.

Going into the last hour I managed one small skimmer from the five metre line and that was my last fish. I ended up with six carp (five of them foul hooked!) plus ten silvers (one crucian, two decent skimmers and seven small skimbobs) for about 4lb which I didn't think would do any good as apparently Glynn had caught a couple of decent skimmers over on Lily.

I packed up and took some of my kit to the car just as Janders turned up, he said he'd had a tench, a good crucian plus a couple of skimmers so it could be close for the pound. The scales soon arrived at Steve's peg and after several weighs his total carp weight was 93lb 9oz, then it was my turn and the six carp went 14lb 7oz before my silvers weighed 4lb 13oz. Rob didn't weigh and then Mike had 47lb 15oz of carp, Ads had 72lb 8oz of carp from peg 14 but was pushed down to third place by Alvin who had 80lb 13oz from peg 12. As the scales headed to Lily, I took the rest of my stuff back to the car.

I caught up with the scales again just as they finished on Lily and unbelievably I was still the top silvers weight, Glynn had two skimmers for 4lb 1oz (and paid me a nugget) and Roy Hughes had 3lb 5oz which just left the last four pegs on Sellicks, Jess Jordan had 61lb 12oz from peg 8, Alan Jenkins had 36lb from peg 6 before we got to Janders to see which way our side bet would be going, he had a level 3lb of silvers so I pocketed his nugget although as he also had 18lb 13oz of carp he wanted the records to show he'd beaten me on overall weight today! Last to weigh was Bill 'The Paste' Hopping and he didn't disappoint as he plonked 94lb of carp on the scales to narrowly take the victory.

So Bill, Steve and Alvin were the top three carp weights and then I was the silvers winner picking up a very nice £70, Glynn was second and Roy was third.
Todays board
1 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 94lb
2 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 93lb 9oz
3 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 80lb 13oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 4lb 13oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 4lb 1oz
3 - Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) - 3lb 5oz

Another nice envelope
And almost as good, a nugget from Glynn!

Next up - Summerhayes (Longs)

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)