Monday, June 27, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 26th June 2016

A shorter than usual blog this week (hooray I hear you say) as I'm off to Thailand for three weeks tomorrow and I still have packing to do! I also thought I'd try out a slightly new format for the match report, let me know what you think.

The draw

On arriving, Glynn Wickham said the match had been switched from Sellicks to Longs which I wasn't too upset about as I haven't fished it for ages. There was a good turnout of 20 anglers including Tom Mangnall and Bob Gullick who I hadn't seen for ages. Adie announced the draw and after the initial rush died down, I pulled out a ping pong ball which had the number 38 on it, which put me right in front the car park, I've only drawn it once and managed second in the silvers on a hard day with 5lb 15oz. My neighbours for the day were Jeff Sparks on peg 40 and Mark Hanham on peg 36 as Adie had but every other swim in. I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for fishing at 8.5 metres straight out and 10 metres to the left and right and a 0.3 gram NG Mini Gimp for the 5 metre line.
The view from peg 38 looking up towards peg 2.
The first hour

The whistle went and I fed all four lines with half a pot of micros before starting straight out in front with a 4mm Bait-Tech Xpand pellet on the hook. The rig settled and it wasn't long before the orange tip disappeared and I netted a small skimmer to get me off the mark, I had another and then next put in, the float moved along the surface as a fish took the pellet on the drop and I struck only to bump what felt like a better fish but when I shipped back the hooklength had snapped! After putting on a new hooklength I had a couple more blades before hooking a decent fish which turned out to be a nice crucian.

Jeff was getting some small fish and then had a big flying skimmer, I had one around a pound and a few minutes later added a second. Not long after I hooked a third only for it to come off as I shipped back and I hoped it hadn't spooked them. I ended a good first hour with 11 fish for probably 3.5lb.

Hour two

I was still catching quite a few small skimmers between 1-3oz but as I'd feared those bigger ones had gone. I cupped in some more feed on the two 10 metre lines with a view to trying them shortly and when I foulhooked a carp on the 8.5 metre line, it made my mind up to rest that line for a bit. I had a few more small skimbobs off both the longer lines but still no bigger fish and I probably only added around a dozen small fish for 1.5lb by the end of the second sixty minutes.

Hour three

I hooked a carp on the left hand 10 metre line and it led me a merry dance before snagging me on a root on the inside, I managed to get the float back but the rig was trashed and it took me a while to get set up again and despite it being an identical rig, as is very often the case, it just wasn't the same. Jeff had a couple more decent skimmers and I felt he'd edged ahead.

Hour four

Things went from bad to worse when I hooked a decent fish on the 8.5 metre line and it didn't feel like a carp, the hook pulled out and there was thick dark slime on the hooklength so I'm pretty sure it was a tench and I really needed that one to stay in touch with Jeff. I had a quick look on the 5 metre line where I'd been dripping some micros in every time I shipped out but a small skimmer and two lost carp wasn't the result I'd hoped for.

Hour five

I tried the three longer lines again but only added a few more small skimbobs and a 4oz roach, Jeff said he was now struggling for bites. I came back on the shorter line and the next bite resulted in a big skimmer flying out of the water, I safely netted it and at 2lb plus, it probably put me on around 8-9lb. I just needed a good last hour now.

Hour six

It started well with another decent skimmer but it proved to be a false dawn and just added some more smaller skimmers and had another nuisance carp just before the all out. I ended up with 60 fish plus a few carp which I didn't count. Jeff said he thought it would be close between us, he'd had more of the better stamp skimmers but I had a lot more fish. We'd soon find out as Adie arrived with the scales along with Ray Wickham (who hadn't fished today) on weigh board duty.

The weigh in

I chucked my carp back and then my silvers went 10lb 15oz, Jeff pulled his net out and he was right, it was close, in fact there was nothing to separate us as Adie called his weight at 10lb 15oz too! As we loaded the cars, Nigel Wickham turned up and was admitting to 10lb of silvers so I knew he'd probably beaten us and apparently Glynn had around 8lb so that could be touch and go as well. Jeff also said he thought John Dursley might be a dark horse on peg 18. Gabe Skarba was on peg 6 which was also the golden peg and when he weighed 97lb 8oz he was in with a shout of a bumper payday.

Glynn weighed 9lb 13oz on peg 16 and then Jeff had been right about John D as he weighed 11lb 11oz to go into the silvers lead. Tom Mangnall had 78lb of carp from peg 24 and then Nigel had 16lb 10oz of silvers. Bobby Gullick on peg 32 said he'd had 57 carp but they were only small, averaging a pound apiece but he actually weighed 126lb 14oz (so not too far out with his estimate then!) and stopped Gabe from winning the golden peg. So Jeff and I ended up joint third in the silvers and had to share £16.
Today's results


1 - Bob Gullick (Garbolino) - 126lb 14oz
2 - Gabriel Skarba (Summerhayes) - 97lb 8oz
3 - Mark Hanham (Summerhayes) - 87lb 9oz
4 - Tom Mangnall (Mosella) - 78lb

1 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 16lb 10oz
2 - John Dursley (Enterprise Angling) - 11lb 11oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 10lb 15oz
3 - Jeff Sparks (Summerhayes) - 10lb 15oz

I'm off to Thailand for three weeks tomorrow so keep an eye on the blogs FB and Instagram pages where hopefully there'll be some nice fish photos as I'm fishing another venue for the first time.

Next up - Thailand!!

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dillington Pond - Summer League 4 - 19th June 2016

I actually managed to get to the pub early for a change and it was great to see another good turnout of fifteen anglers at the draw. Steve P had a rather fetching new hat on and we think he was going for the Bob Nudd look but somebody said he was more like 'Nob Budd!', see what you think?
Steve (or should that be Nob Budd) had a new hat!
Rob announced the draw and put Steve's hat to good use, by the time I delved in there were just two pegs left, I grabbed one and Ash had the other, I ended up on peg 4 which is okay but I just can't seem to draw a peg on the near side, Ash doesn't suffer from the same problem as he pulled out peg 20. I drove round and dropped my kit off and I have to say a massive thanks on behalf of the club to Rich S, Hurf and Jake who had been out in the week, strimming the vegetation back, generally tidying up the swims and had done a fantastic job.
The view from peg 4
My neighbours for the day were Jake in peg 2 and Alvin on peg 6 but I couldn't really see them, the only anglers I could see were Fieldy, Jess and and Karl on the bottom bank and Rich S and Rob over on pegs 18 and 19. The side bet club today was Hurf, Steve P and me. Rigs were the usual 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing on the deck and a little Preston Chianti for fishing up the water. I mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Nat Bream with a little Thatchers Dark and maggots, casters and hemp completed the fishes banquet for today.

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres before starting with the deep rig and caster on the hook, of course I missed the first bite but next chuck hooked a slightly better fish which turned out to be a 4oz hybrid (or Zooner!), a few small roach followed and then a decent rudd and I was off to a good start. Things got even better when after about 20 minutes a good bite resulted in solid resistance and I carefully shipped back before netting a pound and a half skimmer - bonus!

I was getting a bite a chuck, mainly from 1-2oz roach and then I've hooked another fish that pulled a fair bit of elastic out, this time it was a lovely little tench around 8-10oz and I was really enjoying myself. After an hour I had 32 fish for probably between 4-5lb but I was itching to try the shallow rig to see if I could catch some of those big roach. To be honest, it was really hard going and although I was getting bites I was missing loads (nothing new there then!) and when I did connect with one, the roach were no bigger than the ones I was catching with the deep rig. I spent far too long trying to make it work and in 45 minutes I only had 8 fish, I went back to the deeper rig and had another 8 fish in the remaining 15 minutes of the second hour.

Sticking with the deep rig, my catch rate improved in the third hour when I caught in spells and added another 21 fish to the net and my clicker was reading 69 at the halfway stage. At this rate I would end up with a similar number of fish to the last match when I weighed just short of 12lb and with my two bonus fish today, hopefully I'd have nearer to 14lb which I thought wouldn't be to far away today. Jess down on peg 14 hooked into a turbo charged beast that eventually snagged him in the reeds (sounds painful!) and he lost it.

Going into the fourth hour, I was still catching roach but I just couldn't catch quality, I kept trying the shallow rig but it still wasn't happening and unusually there weren't fish swirling for the loose feed. Big Frank turned up to see how we were getting on and reported that Rob on 19 was struggling and Ash next door was catching but not really bagging up and when he said that Fieldy only had ninety odd fish (and I wasn't far off that number myself), I started to think I might be doing okay. Frank went to see how Jake was doing and any thoughts I had of winning soon evaporated when he came back and said his boy was bagging and already had two good bream and eleven skimmers on the feeder!

My catch rate was still ticking over but as the penultimate hour arrived it was obvious I was going to fall short of the number of fish I had in the last match. As very often happens, some better fish started to show as we neared the end of the match and I had my two biggest roach with one right on the whistle. I ended up with 110 fish which would give me around 10.5lb if they averaged an ounce and a half apiece and hopefully the skimmer and tench would boost my weight to 12-13lb. Alvin had the scales and soon arrived at Nick in peg 1 and he had 3lb 4oz which included a nice chub. Next we got to Jake who had slowed up after Frank left but he'd added a couple more skimmers and some eels and after two weighs his total was 25lb 14oz, a cracking net of fish.
Nick had this nice chub from peg 1
Jake had a lovely net of bream and skimmers weighing 25lb 14oz
Then it was my turn and I was a little disappointed to weigh 10lb 6oz and the lack of quality showed, Fieldy said it would be very close between us so I knew he'd beaten me! Alvin had 7lb and then Ilton's answer to Bob Nudd, Steve P had 6lb 14oz which included four lovely little tench. Hurf had four skimmers for 4lb 5oz and the massive bird poo on his shoulder didn't bring him any luck as I won the side bets again. Gordon had 1lb 5oz from peg 10 and then Graham had over 200 hundred fish for 13lb 6oz (so not close at all then!) and I needed him to frame to win the section by double default.
I had 110 fish for 10lb 6oz
Alvin had 7lb from peg 6
The man in the red hat had 6lb 14oz
Hurf had 4lb 5oz
Gordon had 1lb 5oz from peg 10
Graham had 13lb 6oz which included a nice tench
We got round the other side for the results and Ash had the top weight in that section with a brilliant 23lb of quality roach and rudd followed by Terry Morgan who had the best weight from peg 24 this year with 12lb 1oz, Terry had some skimmers on the feeder, a lovely tench of 2lb 2oz and a chub but he also lost three which would have put him close to the top weights. Jess had 7lb 2oz from peg 15, Rob had 6lb from peg 19, Adie had 5lb 9oz from peg 22, Karl had 3lb 5oz from 15 and Rich S had 3lb 3oz from 18. *Rob took some photos of the other section so as soon as he sends them to me, I'll upload them.

So I won my section again and picked up £20 but I'm still not getting it quite right, I was 3lb off framing and I spent too long trying to catch shallow. Also for the first time in four matches, I didn't have any of those chublets.

1 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 25lb 14oz
2 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 23lb
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 13lb 6oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 10lb 6oz
B - Terry Morgan (Ilminster) - 12lb 1oz

So the fishing continues to be really good with the top five all catching double figures on a variety of methods with bites galore and plenty of bonus fish featuring in catches as well, what a venue!

In the league, it's early days but after four matches and dropping the two worst results, Ash and Alvin lead the way with two points followed by Jake and Graham on three.

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - Another trip to the Land Of Smiles

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 12th June 2016

No Janders this week as he's on his holidays down in Cornwall, I pulled into the fishery car park and judging by the number of vehicles I knew we wouldn't just be on Sellicks today. One of the first people I bumped into was Glynn Wickham who said instead of Lily, the overflow would be on Willow today and everybody was expecting the top silvers weight to come from there. Pete was also on holiday and had left Adie in charge who was doing a sterling job but it left a vacancy for a tea boy, a role which fellow blogger, Dom Sullivan, filled admirably!

Peg 2 on Sellicks was the golden peg and when Steve Kedge drew it, there was a good chance he could be in for a bumper payday. Glynn was on peg 13 and not happy until Adie told him he was actually on Willow, a great silvers peg and I declined his invitation to have a side bet! I pulled out peg 20 on Sellicks again and in the last four matches I've either been on 20 or 21, I'm not complaining though as it's a very consistent area for silvers, I just wasn't sure it would compete with the pegs on Willow.

For company this week I had Jacko on 18 and Mark Leahy on 21 as my usual neighbour, Jess Jordan, was on the opposite side of the lake and people were asking if we'd fallen out! I won't go into too much detail with the rigs as I'm sure you all know by now that a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil would be first out of the box followed by a Drennan 0.6 gram Drennan G-Tip!

On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros on two ten metre lines, angled to the left and right and the same at five metres before shipping out with a 4mm expander on the hook (Bait-Tech Xpands of course!). The rig settled and after a couple of minutes disappeared from view, for once I didn't miss the first bite although it was obviously a decent carp which wasn't my target species and after a lengthy tussle I slipped the net under a lump of 5-6lb.
A nice fish but not what I was after!
The next bite I had came from a skimmer of 4oz or so but it came off as I gently fed the pole back, then I had a decent skimmer before I suffered a run of missed bites and that was basically it for the first hour although nobody looked to be bagging. Early in the second hour I had another nice skimmer and a bit later hooked a fish which didn't feel like a carp but any thoughts of it being a crucian disappeared when it powered off and then a lovely tench around a pound and a half popped up which took me by surprise somewhat! So after two hours I probably had 2.5lb and was doing okay, Mark and Jacko were getting odd carp and snake charmer Roger Russell up on peg 17 had landed a couple of nice eels.

I was hoping to build on my steady start during the third hour but I was still missing bites and all I could catch was carp, I tried the right hand line for the first time but all that yielded was yet another carp. Mark kept hooking a root on the far bank and he was mystified as he'd been fishing the same spot for two hours without snagging it once! I suggested he could change his surname from Leahy to 'Levi' and perhaps put some 'Reggae Reggae sauce' on his pellets!

Roger had a decent crucian and there now wasn't much between us but apart from the odd carp I just couldn't catch from my longer lines. I was thinking about trying the five metre line which I'd been feeding for 3.5 hours when I hooked another carp and was joking to Mark that it was a big crucian but then that's exactly what it turned out to be and at 1.5lb it was another nice bonus. Next chuck I've had a good skimmer which by my reckoning put me back in front of Roger, he shouted up to ask how I was doing, I said I was struggling before asking him how he was getting on, along with the eels and the crucian, he'd also sneaked in a tench which I didn't know about so it was still too close to call.

I had a couple of small blades from the longer line but another carp made my mind up, it was time to try my five metre line with around two hours to go. In the last match I had two good skimmers and a crucian so I was hoping for more of the same today but it just didn't happen, I lost a big carp but the only two silvers I managed were a small roach and a blade and then I looked up to see Roger landing what looked like another tench and I needed another decent fish. Just before the all out I hooked a fish but there was no fairy tale ending as it was another poxy carp. I ended up with around a dozen silvers which I thought would go between 4-5lb plus about 7 or 8 carp.

As I was packing up, Roger walked past and I said I thought he'd done well but he said his eels were only little bootlaces! The scales started over on Willow where Paul Homewood set the bar very high with 130lb 11oz of mainly carp from peg 9, Glenn Bailey was the next best weight with 66lb 9oz from peg 1 and as expected Glynn had done well catching 10lb 6oz of silvers from peg 13 and I didn't think anybody would come close to that on Sellicks.

First to weigh on our lake was Steve Kedge who had 56lb 3oz from peg 2 so the golden peg was safe for another week, Jess had 39lb odd from peg 4, Gareth had 32lb from 6 and Craig had 50lb 8oz from peg 8. Dom had 38lb 8oz from peg 9 before Woody went into second place with 69lb 1oz from peg 11 but was pushed down into third when Gabe Skarba next door weighed 83lb 8oz. Adie Bishop had 43lb 10oz on peg 13, Nick Harvey didn't weigh on 14 and Jeff had 38lb 8oz on 15.

Then we got to Roger and his bootlace eels were nearer a pound apiece and along with two nice tench and that crucian he weighed 6lb 9oz and I didn't think I had that. Jacko had 51lb 2oz and then it was my turn, my carp weighed 19lb 3oz before I pulled out my silvers net and it was closer than I thought but I fell just short with 6lb 7oz, Mark 'Levi Roots' Leahy didn't weigh and Alan Jenkins had 13lb 9oz from peg 23. So I ended up third in the silvers and picked up £16.

1 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 130lb 11oz
2 - Gabriel Skarba (Summerhayes) - 83lb 8oz
3 - Woody (Summerhayes) - 69lb 1oz

1 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 10lb 6oz
2 - Roger Russell (Tackleuk) - 6lb 9oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 6lb 7oz

Next up - Dillington

Check Out - My review of the Drennan Series 7 BR 9-30 Carp Method reel (below)


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Drennan Series 7 BR 9-30 Carp Method Review

Anybody that knows me will know I like entering the odd competition or four and I'm sure people get fed up of all the 'Liking' and 'Sharing' I do on Facebook! I'm also a member of several angling forums and the excellent Match Fishing Scene which besides being a great discussion forum and invaluable source of info, also holds regular monthly competitions. It costs a tenner per year to join which is well worth the money, especially as I've been lucky enough to win several prizes, a set of Nick Gilbert Floats (the review can be found here - XT Mini Gimps Review ) and a Ringers Pellet Pump so I was thrilled when I logged on to see I'd won the latest Drennan comp.

The prize was a choice of the two latest additions to the Series 7 reel range, the BR 9-30 Carp Method or the BR 9-40 Specimen and I went with the former, the smaller model. All MFS ask is that the lucky winners write a little review for the site which is a small price to pay for the continued support of firms like Drennan. Of course it gives me a chance to do another review for the blog as well! After e-mailing the site admin with my choice, a package arrived at work within a week or so and I couldn't wait to get home and have a look at my new reel!

Before I get to my review, here are the technical details from the Drennan website,

The Series 7 BR 9-30 Carp Method is an excellent choice for anglers wanting all the advantages of a freespool facility but on a smaller reel body

The freespool system allows line to be taken by a fish until you engage the rear lever. This is widely used by specimen anglers targeting large carp and barbel but has also become increasingly popular for general coarse fishing applications. There is also a growing trend for freespool-type reels when targeting match-sized carp on commercial fisheries – particularly with bomb and Method feeder tactics.
The BR 9-30 Carp Method comes with an alloy spool as standard plus a shallower composite spool and a useful set of line identification buttons.

  • Reliable front drag system
  • Freespool lever at rear allows fish to take the line until you disengage mechanism
  • Single, reversible handle
  • Nine ball bearings, including roller bearing
  • Ideal for feeder fishing wherever quality fish are expected
  • Useful spool filling advice on packaging
  • Comes with a set of rubber line identification marker buttons
  • Supplied with a spare composite spool
Spare Spools:
  • Carp Method: Aluminium 41.5mm
  • Carp Method: Composite 42.5mm
I couldn't find any prices on the Drennan website but searching online this model sells for around £45.95 and looking at the features above, you get a lot for your money, but is it actually any good? To be honest, being a match angler and a very pole orientated one at that!, freespool/baitrunner type reels aren't something I use very often and to date I've only really used them when I've fished various venues in Thailand. On opening the box, the first thing I noticed was that it feels like a solid little reel and screams of the quality you'd expect from a brand like Drennan.

The freespool facility works really well although I'm not actually too sure when I'd use it as I don't really fish the method for carp but I have been meaning to have a go at the tench in Cheddar reservoir and this would be the ideal bit of kit for that. I'm obviously familiar with front drags but again being a match angler, on the rare occasions I use a reel I tend to backwind so it might take some getting used to! Two spools are supplied, an aluminium one and a composite one which is a little shallower so will be probably get more use. They both have line clips which is the norm these days but a nice little touch is that there's a little recess for the reel line knot to sit in when you fill the spools which is just typical of the thought that goes into Drennan products.

I wasn't as impressed with the two lots of reel line markers that were supplied, it's quite a nice idea, you just remove the blank marker already in place (see photo below) and replace it with the breaking strain or diameter of the line you're using. I've just tried and it was a simple job to do although being rubber I'm not sure how long the markers will last and really, how hard is it to remember what line you have on two spools? Perhaps I'm being a bit over critical but as much as I love the rest of the reel I felt the markers were a bit gimmicky.

So you get a lot of reel for your money and I can't wait to get out there and use it in anger, as soon as I have I'll update the review with, hopefully, details of a new pb tench!

For all their latest tackle and some great articles, check out the website - Drennan (The Windbeater Fleece looks nice!)

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Dillington Pond - Summer League 3 - 5th June 2016

I arrived at the pub for round three and there were some more new faces fishing today in the shape of Adie Bishop and Rich S who I normally see at Summerhayes. Rob was back from his holidays and Bob, Nick, Jess and John Dursley were all fishing after missing the last match although a few regulars were missing which meant we had a dozen fishing again. It's actually probably a good thing that not everybody is fishing every match as we'd never fit them all round the pond!

Rob announced the draw and I hung back hoping I could avoid peg 24 (although I needn't have worried as it wasn't in!) and really fancied a peg on the near bank (pegs 17, 18 or 19) but should have known better as Karl was on 19 and Rob in 18, well they do need to make good use of that WiFi they've had put in! I pulled out peg 8 on the far bank and Jess was my next peg neighbour for the second week on the trot so some laughs would be guaranteed! Fieldy was on 17 and as I walked past  he'd nearly finished setting up before I'd even got my gear round to my peg!

After two trips I finally got all my kit to my swim and set my box up before mixing some groundbait (Bait-Tech Pro Nat Bream and Thatcher's Dark), todays rigs were a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach and a little Preston Chianti for fishing up in the water, both had size 18 Kamasan B611 (barbless) hooks to 0.10mm. Todays side bet club was Hurf, Rob, Steve P and me with Hurf on for a hat trick after taking the nuggets in the first two matches.

Rob signalled the start and most people fed their poles lines before quite a few people (including Jess and John Dursley on peg 10) started on the feeder. I cupped in two balls of groundbait at ten metres before starting with the deep rig and caster hook bait. The rig never even reached the bottom as a roach took the bait on the drop, I bumped the next couple of fish and it was already obvious the fish were up in the water. I stuck with the deep rig for the first hour and it was a bite a chuck with the majority of fish coming on the drop but the average stamp was on the small side. Even if the bait got to the bottom, the size of the fish didn't improve and after sixty minutes I had 35 fish for around 2.5lb but with fish swirling for the loose feed I was itching to try the shallow rig.

I could see Fieldy over on peg 17 netting fish regularly and John had landed a couple of pound skimmers but most people seemed to be struggling. I shipped out with the shallow rig and before I had time to feed, the float sailed away followed by my Drennan Aqua elastic as a decent roach bolted. I netted a cracking roach and I hoped it was going to be the first of many. I had a few more but it wasn't long before I started missing loads of bites and my catch rate slowed up. I only added 22 fish in the second hour but a better stamp meant I'd probably added another 2lb or to the net.
I started getting some nice roach up in the water
In the last match I had 98 fish for 9lb 8oz which works out at around an ounce and a half per fish so if I could get to 160 fish it would give me 15lb which I thought wouldn't be too far off the pace today. I started feeding another line at ten metres and swapped between the two but I was still missing way too many bites. The pond was flat calm which probably wasn't helping much but I also thought it wasn't ideal conditions for bream or skimmers either which hopefully would work in my favour (remember that for later!).

I had 19 fish in the third hour but my catch rate was still going in the wrong direction, I tried laying the rig in and keeping a tight line and hooking the caster like a maggot but I was still missing loads of bites and it was doing my head in. Also after an overcast start it was now scorching and at times the pole would get so hot you almost couldn't hold it, I'd also left my bottle of water in the car on the opposite side of the pond and despite my best efforts, Hurf wouldn't go and get it for me! John now had four or five skimmers but there probably wasn't much between us, Jess kept swapping between the feeder and the short pole and caught some nice roach on the latter but he also lost a couple of lumps.

I was still catching roach along with the odd rudd and chublet but I couldn't catch any quality and I was a long way off my 160 fish target. I went out to 11.5 metres which helped a bit but the fish were still on the small side. Jess hooked another lump and this time did well to land a big bream that wiped out my early lead and put him in with a chance of framing. John was still getting the odd skimmer and had seven or eight which wouldn't be far off either. I had a nice 4oz hybrid or 'zooner fish' as Jess calls them! (ask him about them when you see him next).

I reached 128 fish (which I thought would give me 12lb) with about 15 minutes to go, I bumped two better fish which didn't help my cause and my final tally was 133 fish, as Rob called time, John shouted 'Fish on!' before slipping the net under a decent bream which he said looked about 4lb. I packed up and took some of my kit back to the car, thankfully my bottle of water wasn't too hot and I walked back round to get some photos of the weigh in.

Rich on peg 2 was first and he had some nice skimmers and a good perch on the tip to weigh 6lb 8oz, then Bob had 2lb 1oz from peg 4 before we got to Nick on peg 6 who had 4lb 2oz. Jess had 14lb 5oz and we weighed the bream which was 5lb 2oz, a nice bonus! My fish weighed 11lb 10oz which was a little less than I thought and then we got to John and as it turned out he needed that last fish as he weighed 17lb 8oz to go into the lead and I'd been 'bream battered' on both sides!
Rich had 6lb 8oz
Bob had 2lb 1oz from peg 4
Nick had 4lb 2oz
Jess had 14lb 5oz which included this lovely bream of 5lb 2oz
I had 133 fish for 11lb 10oz
John had a lovely net of bream and skimmers weighing 17lb 8oz
We got back round the other side where Fieldy had the top weight of 15lb which put him in second place. Steve P was the next best weight with 9lb 11oz, followed by Adie with 9lb 1oz, Hurf with 7lb 4oz, Karl with 4lb 7oz and Rob didn't weigh. So John won with Fieldy second and Jess third which meant I'd won my section by double default and as an added bonus I picked up the side bet money too! Thanks to Rob Cox for the photos

Steve P won his section with 9lb 11oz*
Karl had 4lb 7oz including a nice tench*
Graham was second with a nice bag of roach and rudd for 15lb*
Hurf had 7lb 4oz from peg 14*
Adie had 9lb 1oz from peg 12*
1 - John Dursley (Enterprise Angling) - 17lb 8oz
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 15lb
3 - Jess Jordan (County Gardening) - 14lb 5oz

A - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 9lb 11oz
B - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 11lb 10oz

So another nice days fishing with loads of bites but I'm a couple of pounds shy of framing and I need to be able to sort out those better fish and hitting more bites would help!

Also I can't go without saying a massive well done to my Summerhayes travelling partner, Janders who won the match at Chard Reservoir with 55lb of bream from peg 1 on Sunday - well done mate!

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My review of the Ringers Bait Punches (below)

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Ringers Spring Loaded Bait Punch Review

When I was at The Big One back in March, I picked up a pack of the new Ringers Spring Loaded Bait Punches and I've only just got round to being able to review them! I've previously reviewed two Ringers products, the Pellet Pump way back in April 2013, which if you haven't seen it yet, can be found here - Pellet Pump Review and remains my most popular post ever with 3257 hits! The other more recent review was of the Pellet Bander and you can find it here - Pellet Bander Review, both products are still going strong and the pump in particular has had a lot of use over the last three years or so.
Ringers Spring Loaded Bait Punches
Each pack contains two spring loaded punches, they float and come in two hi-viz colours, an 8mm in pink and an 11mm in yellow. Each pack retails for £6.99. On opening the packaging, first impressions were good, the spring mechanism feels sturdy and should last you a good while although obviously only time will tell on that front. They are made of tough plastic that will withstand the rigours of everyday use but, like the Pellet Bander, you're not going to be able to jump up and down on them! They shouldn't come to any harm sat on your side tray though and you'd have to go some to lose them, given the vivid colours and the fact they float!

With a match at Summerhayes the following day I thought I'd punch some 8mm hookbaits using Old Ghost Hookbait Sausages (Snail flavour - yummy!). I cut the sausages in half and then punched the baits out two at a time and I ended up with some lovely pellet type hook baits. You can punch several hook baits at a time (depending on how thick you slice your meat) and the baits won't dry out as you can push them out of the punch one at a time.
The Ringers Bait Punch in action
You can punch two or three baits at a time
Nice pellet shaped hook baits
You can punch out a reasonable amount of hook baits in no time but with the sausage shape there's a lot of wastage compared to the more conventional tinned meat 
They're not just for meat though and are equally at home punching bread for dobbing on commercials in the winter and you can also punch three or four discs at a time for hair rigging to pop up on the straight lead. Of course I can also see these punches being very popular among river anglers fishing for chub and big roach. So yet another great, well thought out product from the Ringers stable and I will endeavour to update the review after I've used and abused them for a few months (although I'm not sure I'll use the 11mm punch that much as I don't catch fish that big!).

 *Ringers sent me this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained in this post are my own.