Monday, January 16, 2017

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 7 - 15th January 2017

It was all change with the weather again as the temperatures plummeted during the week, we avoided the snow but had a lot of rain although the river was pretty much back to normal level by Sunday. A few of us went to the Little Chef for breakfast again before heading to Upper Coxes to meet the others and do the draw. Rob had been working away and there was a chance he might not be back in time so it was up to me to do the organising although in the end he did make it, even though he was looking a bit bleary eyed!

I decided on using the same pegs as last week but would give options for a few of them, with a couple more fishing today I needed to put in a couple more pegs and it was a toss up between Redbridge or 14 and 15, I asked what people would prefer and the general consensus was the latter because it was quite windy and Redbridge can be quite exposed but it was one of those where people were happy for peg 15 to go in the bucket as long as they didn't draw it!

I announced the draw and the usual scrum began, Baz was praying for 128 but drew H4 and had to be happy with that, Adie was on the same peg as last week when he was second with 10lb 9oz, Hurf had the choice of 123 or 124 and wasn't too happy with either! Rob managed to stay awake long enough to draw and was rewarded with the choice of 124a or 125. Justin ended up in peg 15 with young Stuart on 14 and his brother Karl on H2, John Dursley was on 126 with Steve P on 129 again although he did have the choice of 129a which just left two pegs for me and Fieldy. I went first and H1 was my home for the next five hours, a decent peg that should see me get plenty of bites and Fieldy's drawing hand was still on fire as he managed to pull out last weeks winner!

We got to the river and it looked nice with a good pace although, as expected, the colour had pretty much dropped out of it, the pegs above the bridge were quite badly affected by the wind although Karl and myself would be a little more sheltered. I set up a rig to fish three sections to hand and also a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo with 0.10mm bottom with a size 18 Kamasan B611. On the side tray I had the usual maggots (bronze and red), casters and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp.
Peg H1 looked really nice and we were relatively sheltered below the bridge
I started with the three sections to hand rig with double red maggot on the hook and was expecting to catch straight away as there are normally loads of small fish in these pegs, after running the rig through three or four times, I hadn't had an indication, not even a minnow. I picked up the heavier rig, shipped out to 8.5 metres and inching the float down the peg, it finally sailed away and I had a small roach, another next chuck and then I had a bleak and I can't ever recall catching one on the Isle before! My next fish was a tiny gudgeon so I tried caster and started catching roach again but they were on the small side. Last week I had ten fish in the first thirty minutes for about 2lb, I had the same number after half an hour again but these wouldn't go a pound between them!

I could see Baz up under the bridge swinging in small fish but Karl hadn't caught yet, I was feeding to my left and also across towards the cover on the far bank so I added another section and went across to see if I could get some quality fish. More small roach and the odd dace followed but it was a bit of a struggle and at this rate I wouldn't be putting together a decent weight. Karl started catching the odd fish and then hooked a better roach only for a jack pike to snaffle it, he had it on for ages before losing it at the net. I shouted down and asked if he could keep all the pike down there thank you very much!

I was still getting odd fish including one better roach and I also managed a 6oz perch which pulled out a fair bit of elastic. It just wasn't really happening and after around three and half hours I was up to 40 fish for about 4lb. I added another section and tried across to the far bank at 11.5 metres to my left where there was a branch in the water, I hadn't put any feed in there at all, but holding the float back and inching it through, the float went under and I swung in a slightly better roach. A few more followed including a couple of netters, bites tailed off so I took a section off and fished down the middle to my left and had another decent run of fish but I they were coming in spells.

I kept trying down the middle in front on me and across where I'd been feeding but I only had odd fish there all match, back to the left and I hooked a better fish but as I looked behind me to ship back, it went around some reeds on the inside, I could see it was a better roach so after much faffing about I managed to get a decent 8oz roach in the net but the rig was still attached to the reeds and I lost the hooklength. I put another on and then had a funny five minutes where I bumped several fish but the last hour and three quarters were really good and it was a fish a chuck until the end, my clicker was reading 87 fish and I thought I might have 5-6lb but I didn't think it would anywhere enough today.

I packed up and got the scales from the car, I asked Baz how he'd got on and he said he thought he night have 4lb and that Adie had really struggled. I walked back down to weigh Karl in and he had 2lb 6oz which included some lovely roach, my fish went 8lb 7oz which was more than I thought. We took our kit back to the cars and I walked across the road and leant over the bridge just as Adie weighed Baz in, he had 5lb 6oz and when he said Adie only had 6oz I started to think I might have a chance of sneaking the section, although 129 was in our section today so I'd have to wait and see.
Karl had some nice roach for 2lb 6oz
I had 8lb 7oz from H1
We drove back to Upper Coxes to meet the others and Justin had struggled for 1lb 4oz in 15 and Stuart had 5oz in 14 and if I'm honest I shouldn't have put those pegs in today, Redbridge would have been a better bet but it's very easy to be wise after the event. The anglers from Isle Brewers arrived back and Rob had chosen 124a and bagged right up with five chub for 10lb odd and just under 10lb of quality roach, a lovely net of fish. Fieldy was second from 128 with 10lb 8oz and the next best weight there was 4lb 13oz so I sneaked third place and picked up £23 plus the side bets from Hurf, Steve P (who had 4lb 11oz) and Baz. Thanks to Steve Hurford for the photos*
Stuart struggled in peg 14
Rob had over 10lb of chub*
And for good measure added a similar weight of quality roach*
Hurf won his section with 4lb 13oz*
1 - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 20lb
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 10lb 8oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 7oz

Sections
A - Steve Hurford (Ilminster) - 4lb 13oz
B - Baz Morgan (Somerset Angling) - 5lb 6oz

Some decent weights again and it was great to see a new peg produce the goods, it does make me wonder how many other pegs/areas are full of fish but it's always a bit of a gamble putting them in and there have been plenty of times we've put great looking swims in, only for people to really struggle.

The league is pretty tight and after seven matches and dropping the two worst results, the top six looks like this,

Graham Field - 9pts (dropping 3 + 3)
Jamie Rich - 9pts (dropping 5 + 5)
Rob Cox - 11pts (dropping 6 + 30)
Steve Parker - 13pts (dropping 6 + 6)
Adie Bishop - 15pts (dropping 5 + 5)
Rich Studley - 16pts (dropping 5 + 30)

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - My next great interview and my first guest blog

Check Out - Last weeks lovely day (below)
 

Monday, January 09, 2017

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 5 - 8th January 2017

Before I get on to this weeks match I had some lovely feedback from the blogs Facebook page and also via the contact form, thank you so much, it really does make my day when I know people enjoy my ramblings.

This was from John on Facebook
'Others have tried and failed yours is different what I call straight from the bank to the point truthful and sometimes funny you keep writing I will keep reading thanks.'

Also on FB from Barry who I haven't seen for years
'Thanks Jamie I enjoy your fishing reports. I remember when you started fishing with Busby and my daughter Sharon. Long time ago good luck this year.'

And Dave sent me an e-mail via the blogs contact page
'Happy New Year Jamie and to the club, sorry to hear of the poor start 2017 but plenty fishing days to follow, good ones. Many thanks for all your blogs, love to start the week with them and help relive my fishing days. 

Tight lines 2017 and cheers again Dave'

Thanks again, it means a lot

Onto this weeks match and we finally had some rain on Friday which was much needed although at one stage I started to think the river might be flooded out and we'd end up on the pond. No more of the wet stuff on Saturday and much milder temperatures all pointed to the river fishing well today. I got to the Royal Oak and had my usual sausage sarnie while talking to Baz, Steve P and Fieldy. A quick look at the section boards and I was relieved to see Redbridge wasn't in today after my disaster last week although to be honest it probably would have fished really well. We were talking about which pegs we fancied drawing and Baz said in all the years he'd fished the river he'd never fished 128.

The draw was announced and as per usual by the time I got near the bucket there were only two balls left, Rob grabbed them both and invited me to chose one of his hands, Baz asked if he could chose for me and went for Robs right hand which turned out to be peg 128!, so he finally drew it, but not for himself! Rob opened his other hand to reveal H4 so for the second week running I'd been in with a 50:50 chance of drawing it and had managed to avoid it both times. Baz was on 125 which was also the golden peg and with some colour on it, there was a good chance he could be in for yet another bumper payday.

We got to the river and it looked really good, a nice pace and a tinge of colour for the first time in ages, young Stuart was in 126 and Steve P was down on 129 although he had the choice of 129a as well. These pegs haven't been fishing that well but with conditions nigh on perfect, I felt we'd get a few today. I got to my swim and it looked amazing and even better, while I was setting up there were fish topping all over the peg!
Peg 128 looked lovely
One thing I did notice when I went to put my keepnet in was that there was a small hole in the bottom which looked suspiciously like the work of a mouse! Further investigation revealed those pesky mice had been at my Daiwa landing net too, I'd bought one of those plastic Daiwa net carriers with a zip top especially so those mice couldn't get at my nets but in the last match at Dillington, the flimsy zip broke so now I can't do it up. Why don't they use robust, sturdy zips?, it's annoying that gear that in every other respect I'm happy with, is let down by such a small thing, it's like that clip on the strap of my seat box. I'm sure there are lots of other examples too, this gear isn't cheap for us to buy so why do they use cheap components, surely they thoroughly test it all before releasing it to market!

Anyway rant over, I set up a Drennan 1 gram Tipo with 0.10mm bottom and a Kamasan size 18 B611 and on the side tray I had maggots, casters and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp. The start time arrived and I began by fishing three sections to hand, on the third put in, the float buried and I had a small roach to open my account, next chuck I hooked a better one that pulled out a fair bit of my new orange Maver elastic before I netted a nice roach of 6oz or so. After the first half an hour I had ten roach (plus a few minnows) for around 2lb or so and there were obviously a lot of fish there.
I was getting some nice roach
The next thirty minutes was even better and I added another 12 fish including some clonking roach and with an hour gone I had 4-5lb and I was starting to think a really big weight was on the cards. I'd bumped a few fish so put a new hooklength on. The second hour was similar although I was getting the odd tiny dace along with a few gudgeon, I got to 47 fish (not counting minnows) after two hours but at the start of hour three, bites started to slow up so I went out to 10 metres just off the main flow but had to wait ages for a bite and the first two fish were gudgeon which wasn't ideal.

I had a couple of roach but it was quite slow going so came back to 8.5 metres and started to get some nice roach again along with the odd better dace and some chublets, I was still feeding hemp, casters and maggots to my left on the inside where the flow comes back round and hopefully I'd be able to catch to hand again later. I was still catching well, but in spells, and the chance of doing a really big weight was slipping away. I also lost/bumped two or three good roach which didn't help.
I had some nice dace as well
With an hour and a half left I came back on the shorter line, fishing to hand and started catching really well again, lots of small fish around 1-2oz along with some clonking roach including a couple pushing a pound, I did lose a few more and dropped off a 4oz fish but as the light started to fade, they were topping all over the place again and I dread to think how many fish were in that swim today. I ended up with 135 fish (mainly roach along with some dace, chublets and gudgeon) plus a fair few minnows which I didn't count.
 
I didn't know what weight I had, at 2oz apiece I'd have around 16lb but I thought it was probably a bit more but would it be enough? I packed up and took some of my kit back to the car and collected the scales before me and young Stuart walked down to weigh Steve in. He'd had some nice roach and loads of bits and bobs to weigh 4lb 14oz, then it was my turn and the scales went round twice so I took a few roach out and the first weigh went 17lb 8oz and the remainder went 2lb 13oz to give me a total of 20lb 5oz. A cracking days fishing although I was slightly disappointed I didn't threaten my biggest Isle match weight and there was also a chance Baz on 125 or some of the pegs at Hambridge could still beat me. The last person I had to weigh was young Stuart on 126 and he had lots of bits for 1lb 11oz.
Steve P had 4lb 14oz from peg 129
I had a lovely net of roach weighing 20lb 5oz
Stuart had 1lb 11oz from peg 126
As we loaded the cars, Baz and Karl arrived from above the bridge and had weighed 5lb 11oz and 5lb 2oz respectively so now I just needed to see how Hambridge had fished. Back at the results and the first person I saw was Adie who had been on H5 above the road at Hambridge and said he had the best weight there with 10lb 9oz which included some lovely perch, so I'd done it and won my first match for a while. Graham was second with 9lb 4oz from H2 followed by Rob with 8lb and Rich with 1lb 10oz. Thanks to Rob Cox* and Karl Aplin** for the photos (although judging by the photos Karl and Baz took, David Bailey has nothing to worry about!!).
A camera shy Baz with his section winning 5lb 11oz**
Karl had 5lb 2oz from 124 (despite only having half a head!)**
Adie had some cracking perch for 10lb 9oz and second place (another angler who doesn't like having his photo taken!)*
Rob won the other section with 8lb*
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 20lb 5oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 10lb 9oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 9lb 4oz

Sections
A - Baz Morgan (Somerset Angling) - 5lb 11oz
B - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 8lb

So a cracking days fishing for my first win of the year, I picked up £45 plus a nugget off Steve although to be honest I thought it was going to fish better than it did as the river was in perfect condition.

Todays results saw the league tighten up as well, I've moved up a couple of places but will need two more section wins to stand any chance of finishing in the top three. Here's the top seven after five matches and dropping the worst result,

Adie Bishop - 7pts (dropping a 4)
Steve Parker - 8pts (dropping a 4)
Graham Field - 9pts (dropping a 5)
Rob Cox - 10pts (dropping a 3)
Jamie Rich - 10pts (dropping a 4)
Rich Studley - 12pts (dropping a 5)
Karl Aplin - 12pts (dropping a 30)

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 6 - 1st January 2017

Firstly I'd just like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope your hangovers aren't too bad. Before I get onto the days fishing, I just wanted to say a massive thanks for all your support as the blog continues to go from strength to strength and is breaking new ground all the time. December saw the blog exceed 20,000 (24,071 to be precise) hits in a month for the first time and on Thursday 29th it passed 2000 (2292) hits in a day, awesome stuff, and as long as the blog keeps going in the right direction and you lot enjoy reading it, I'll keep writing it!

Quite a few of us met for breakfast at the Little Chef again (and it was great to see Leighton and Harry who hadn't fished with us for a while), and I can't fault it (apart from the price obviously), service was quick and the food was good, just the job. We then headed to Upper Coxes to meet the others. While we waited for the draw, Hurf showed us his new landing net that his wife bought him for Xmas and she obviously doesn't take any notice of his fisherman's tales!
Well they say size doesn't matter!
Rob had put all good pegs in and I really didn't mind where I drew although I did say to a couple of people in the week that I'd like a crack at 106 or 109, both really good chub pegs. The draw was announced and by the time I got to draw there were only a few balls left (so my New Year's Resolution of getting in there early was broken already!), Harry pulled out 129 at Isle Brewers which just left two pegs with me and Leighton left. I grabbed both and invited him to choose which hand, he went with my left which turned out to be H4, a great peg that's won the last two matches, I opened my other hand and 106 was staring back at me, that'll do!

After the recent cold spell and a few frosts, it was a lovely mild day and I really thought we'd be in for a good day, as I walked up to my swim, something moved in the peg and first of all I thought it was a good fish but then there were more ripples by the far bank but I didn't see the culprit so otter, moorhen or something else? I got my box level and looking at the peg I have to say I really fancied it, Fieldy had three chub for 6lb odd in the last match and had lost/bumped several and Justin had over 16lb of chub and roach in the match before that.
My swim looked lovely
I set up a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 Kamasan B611, the hooklength was on the light side but it was a bit of a compromise as the swim didn't look too snaggy and I was hoping some roach might show along with the chub. There wasn't much difference in the depth so I would start down the middle at 10 metres while feeding across by the tree at 11.5 and 13 metres and go over later where the chub would hopefully be queued up.

The start time of 10:30 soon arrived and I began with single caster on the hook, I really thought I'd catch quite quickly but after half an hour with no indications I stuck another section on and went further over a lot sooner than I was expecting too! Still nothing, so I tried single maggot just to see if I could get a bite, I did have a couple of very tentative knocks down the middle but they didn't really develop and I put it down to minnows.

After about an hour and a quarter, I was still blanking but I wasn't too worried because like I'd said to Adie on 108, it only takes and hour to win a match on these chub pegs. Then the wind got up and it started raining and from being a very pleasant morning, all of a sudden it was horrible and freezing cold. I put my coat on, poured a cup of coffee and prepared to batten down the hatches. Another hour or so passed and I still hadn't caught  and then Rob walked up from below the bridge and said it was the same there, he'd caught a minnow and Adie had three minnows! He did say he'd spoken to Leighton who had some nice perch at Hambridge and I'd had a one in two chance of drawing that peg this morning!

He left me to it and I went back to single maggot down the middle to see if I could get a minnow and eventually I had a bite and thought I'd missed it but then swung in a tiny stickleback! I kept swapping between the two lines and apart from another stickleback it just wasn't happening and I was pinning all my hopes on the last hour as the light faded. My hands were so cold they were like claws and I was struggling to put bait on the hook, my eyes were watering, my nose was running and all I could think about was being sat in the car with the heater on!

I'd like to report that as the last hour arrived, the float went under and I bagged up but I won't drag this out anymore than I need to and I finished up with just the two sticklebacks. I packed up as quickly as my numb hands would allow before taking my kit back to the car, it was a similar story below the bridge as Rob had one minnow and Adie had bagged up with six minnows and a stickleback, he did actually go back to the car at one point to warm up and I wish I had now.
My 'haul' after five hours in the freezing rain!
Harry had messaged me to say he'd only had a couple of minnows and had gone for an early bath, back at the results and Leighton had done well to win with 10lb which included some nice perch, Fieldy was second with lots of small fish for 6lb 2oz from 126 and Hurf claimed the pound side bets as he was third with 4lb 4oz from H2 so maybe his new 'landing net' is a lucky one. Baz won our section with 3lb 14oz from 124 and young Stuart did well and won the other section with 4lb 2oz but had lost a fish that would have got him in the frame. Thanks to Steve Parker*, Karl Aplin** and Steve Hurford for the photos***
Leighton had the top weight with 10lb which included some lovely perch*
Graham had loads of small fish for 6lb 2oz and second place**
Hurf had 4lb 4oz for third place***
Stuart won his section with 4lb 2oz***
1 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 10lb
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 6lb 2oz
3 - Steve Hurford (Ilminster) - 4lb 4oz

Sections
A - Baz Morgan (Somerset Angling) - 3lb 14oz
B - Stuart Aplin (Ilminster) - 4lb 2oz

So after a really nice match to end 2016, an absolutely abysmal one to start the new year, I hope it's not an indicator of how 2017 is going to go! Sitting here now in the warm typing this, I've forgotten how cold I was earlier, hopefully it'll be warmer next week. At the moment, Hambridge certainly seems to be the place to draw and I came close this morning! The way my lucks going I'll probably be there next week and the chub will go crazy at Redbridge!

The league positions after six matches and dropping the two worst results are as follows, I think there's still four more rounds to go so it's all still really tight.

Graham Field - 7pts (dropping 3 + 3)
Jamie Rich - 8pts (dropping 5 + 5)
Steve Parker - 10pts (dropping 6 + 6)
Rob Cox - 10pts (dropping 6 + 30)
Adie Bishop - 11pts (dropping 4 + 5)
Rich Studley - 12pts (dropping 4 + 5)

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My look back at 2016 (below)

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Yearly Review

As the year draws to a close, here's my look back over the previous twelve months,

January 2016

 To kick off the New Year, we visited a new venue, Hebditch's Pond and the weather was hideous with strong winds and driving rain. I tried to catch short and it just didn't happen, after two hours I was the only person still blanking! I plumbed up a new line at ten metres and caught well for the second half of the match, finishing with 12 carp for 31lb 15oz and nowhere as 51lb was last in the money. Fieldy caught all day to win comfortably with 80lb 6oz from peg 4.

After more torrential rain we were back at Dillington for round five of the V.E.S. Precision League and I drew peg 18 again, I've had a lovely day catching some quality roach and rudd to weigh 11lb 6oz and record my first win of the year.

We actually managed to get back on the river for my third match of the year, I drew 129 again which I was happy enough with. It was slow going for the first half of the match though but then after four hours I've had two big chub in two chucks before catching a few roach for 11lb 4oz which was enough for third on the day. Rob Cox won from 128 with a lovely bag of chub and roach weighing 26lb 10oz.

For the penultimate V.E.S. Precision match we were back on the pond and I was fairly happy with peg 4 but despite catching all day I just couldn't catch any quality and ended up with 102 fish for 8lb 8oz and a section win. Tackleuk's Ashley Tomkins won on the day with 12lb 2oz, just ahead of Bruce Hunt with 12lb.

We were back on the pond for the final match of the month and I drew peg 10 with the wind in my face and struggled all day for 3lb 14oz, I just couldn't get bites and it was definitely a day to forget. Ashley won his second match on the trot with 13lb 6oz from peg 17, Scott was second with 10lb 8oz from peg 8 and Fieldy was third with 9lb 1oz.

Highlights - A lovely day at Dillington and my first win of the year.
Lowlights - Struggling for bites in peg 10

February 2016

Yet more rain meant the pond was our destination for the open match and despite the pond being chocolate coloured I still expected it to fish well. I couldn't have been more wrong, I had three bites in the first hour, then nothing for four hours before catching four fish in the last half an hour. My five fish weighed 1lb 5oz which was enough for third place! Gordon Aplin won with 1lb 15oz and Bruce Hunt was second with 1lb 7oz.

The second match of the month was back on the pond, I drew peg 14 on the bottom bank and had a fantastic days fishing catching quality roach, rudd, perch and a bonus 4lb 2oz bream for 19lb 12oz and my second win of the year. I did lose a good bream which was the only downside to the day. Graham Field won the Royal Oak League.
A lovely days fishing at Dillington which included this nice bream
For the last match of the V.E.S. Precision league we were back on the river and I got just the start I wanted when I pulled H1 at Hambridge out of the hat, the wind was horrendous and when I weighed 7lb 8oz I thought I'd 'blown' (if you'll excuse the pun!) my chances of second in the league as I needed to beat Heardy who was on peg 129. He'd struggled too and his 6lb 2oz meant I'd won the section by double default and finished second in the league picking up £75 in total, which was a nice. Baz Morgan won on the day with 12lb 9oz which included a big chub and a lovely 2lb perch.

Barney's Pairs Open was the last match of the month and I drew a flier at Harrys pond (peg 4) but didn't draw so well for my partner Justin (peg 10). I've caught well all day to finish with 47 carp for 69lb 4oz to win the section and lake, Ash and Alex Murray won with a perfect two point score followed by Martin and Bruce with three points, there was then a five way tie on six points but we got the verdict thanks to a superior weight advantage and picked up £35 each and I also won the £55 superpool so a very nice day.
Part of my 69lb 4oz winning catch at Harry's pond
Highlights - Winning two matches
Lowlights - Losing that bream!

March 2016

I then headed out to Thailand for four days fishing at Exotic Fishing Thailand before going to Ao Nang for five days of relaxing and partying! EFT was lovely and I had 17 fish of 9 different species including several new species and personal bests. The highlights were a Tiger Shovelnose catfish, a Chao Phraya catfish and a Salween Rita catfish along with a 120lb arapaima on the last night with five minutes to go.
55lb Chao Phraya catfish
Tiger Shovelnose catfish
After the highs of Thailand it was back on the river and down to Earth with a resounding bump with a blank! Bruce Hunt only needed 4lb 2oz for an easy win over Steve Hurford who was second with just 9oz!

A busy weekend followed with a trip to The Big One on Saturday which was great and then my first match at Summerhayes for a long while, I drew peg 38 and feared the worst but on what turned out to be a tough day, my 5lb 15oz of skimmers was enough for second in the silvers.

A rare mid week match and I was back at Summerhayes, after getting stuck in traffic I was running late so Pete drew for me and pulled out number 18, a great silvers peg and next door to where Adie won on Sunday. I had a lovely day catching skimmers and crucian carp to weigh 15lb 10oz for my first silvers win of the year.

I was back at Harry's Pond for the next match and caught carp steadily all day to win my fourth match of the year with 61 carp for 94lb 9oz. My last match of the month was at Summerhayes on Longs on the Bank Holiday Monday, the weather was awful again but I managed 9lb 3oz of skimmers and tench for third in the silvers and my fourth envelope on the trot.

Highlights - Thailand and winning at Harry's
Lowlights - Blanking on the river

April 2016

It was back on Longs again and I was really looking forward to it after three decent silvers results and the weather was lovely too! I should have known better, I drew peg 10 which I was fairly happy with but struggled from start to finish and weighed 4lb 15oz of silvers for nowhere. Ads Palmer won from peg 34 with over 44lb and Adie Bishop took the silvers verdict with just over 10lb.


The next match was on Longs again but this time we had to contend with strong winds again, I drew peg 3 which isn't a great silvers peg and struggled for 3lb 11oz of silvers and 15lb 13oz of carp for nowhere. Steve Kedge had the top weight with 75lb 1oz of carp on meat from peg 35 and Ray Wickham won the silvers with 15lb 4oz of skimmers from peg 12.

Longs again the following week but peg 8 wasn't the result I hoped for when I stuck my hand in the bucket, I had a good first half of the match, catching some nice crucians and skimmers but struggled in the second half and my 8lb 14oz got me nowhere with Glynn winning the silvers off the same peg his Dad did the week before. Steve Kedge once again proved his class with another victory, this time with 66lb 11oz from peg 23.

My final match of the month was back at Summerhayes but this time spread over Sellicks and Lily, I drew peg 20 on Sellicks and it was also the golden peg, I didn't think I'd be able to compete with Lily but I've had a lovely days fishing catching two nice crucians, five decent skimmers plus some smaller ones for 11lb 7oz which was the top silvers weight over both lakes and I picked up £32 for the lake silvers win and £75 from the golden ball fund, a lovely day.

Highlights - Winning the silvers off the golden peg
Lowlights -
 The previous three matches!

May 2016

The first match of the month was back on Sellicks and Lily again and I drew the same peg as last week, peg 20 on Sellicks, it was hard going this time around but I had a nice crucian, two good skimmers plus a few bits for 4lb 13oz and first in the silvers again, this time picking up a very nice £70. The following day it was on Longs and I've drawn a decent silvers peg but struggled for 17lb of carp and 3lb 10oz of silvers for nowhere, I gave Glynn his pound back from yesterday but had £2 off Rob Kingston to compensate.

Another double header the following weekend got off to great start at Harry's pond where I fished shallow and had 48 carp for 65lb 7oz, second place and £40. Jake Woodard caught all day for a comfortable win with 97lb 12oz from peg 1. The next day we were on Sellicks and I was very happy with peg 2 but struggled all day for just 1lb 7oz of silvers and plenty of foul hooked carp!

I was really looking forward to the first match of the Summer League at Dillington but bright sunshine and 18 anglers fishing was always going to have an impact. There were still some great weights with Alvin Jones winning with 22lb 6oz of bream and skimmers and Ashley Tomkins second with 16lb 6oz of quality roach, rudd and chublets. I drew peg 24 and had 5lb 15oz for a double default section win and £20.

We were back for round two at Dillington the following week and I drew the same peg as last week, I caught well for most of the match but got 'fluffed' out in the last hour and my 9lb 8oz put me last but one in the section. Hurf won the section by double default with 9lb 13oz so it was close, the pond fished it's head off with Ashley Tomkins leading the way with 22lb 15oz of quality roach and rudd caught shallow, Jake Woodard was second with 20lb 1oz of skimmers on the feeder and Alvin Jones was third with 19lb 14oz of bream and skimmers.

My last match of the month was back at Summerhayes on Sellicks and it was hard going but two nice crucians and a few skimmers for 7lb 7oz saw me just nick the silvers verdict for a nice £80 envelope and take a pound off Glynn who was second with 7lb 2oz.

Highlights - Two silvers wins at Summerhayes
Lowlights -  Drawing peg 24 twice!

June 2016

June kicked off with round three of the Summer League at Dillington and I managed to avoid drawing peg 24 again (only because it wasn't in!) and ended up on peg 8 on the far side, I've caught all day but not enough quality to finish with 133 fish for 11lb 10oz and a section win. John Dursley won with 17lb 8oz of bream and skimmers on the feeder from peg 10.

The next match at Summerhayes was on Sellicks with a few pegs on Willow for a change, I drew peg 20 on Sellicks again and was happy with that although the silvers winner was fancied to come from Willow. That's how things panned out when Glynn Wickham had 10lb 6oz from peg 13, the overall winner also came from Willow with Paul Homewood weighing an impressive 130lb 11oz from peg 1 for a comfortable victory. I managed third in the silvers with a tench, a crucian plus a few skimmers for 6lb 7oz with Roger Russell just pipping me with 6lb 9oz.

Back at Dillington and peg 4, I had a brilliant first hour when I had a good skimmer, a lovely little tench, a hybrid, a decent rudd plus quite a few roach for probably around 4-5lb, but I spent too long trying to catch shallow and I just couldn't make it work. I ended up with 10lb 6oz to win the section. Jake Woodard won from peg 2 with a lovely net of bream and skimmers weighing 25lb 14oz from peg 2 on the feeder and Ashley Tomkins was second with 23lb of quality roach and rudd on the pole and caster.

The last match of the month was on Longs and I drew peg 38 again, I had plenty of bites, ending up with 60 fish but only had four proper skimmers and a crucian for 10lb 15oz, which was joint third in the silvers with Jeff Sparks and we had to share £16. Bob Gullick had the top weight with 126lb 14oz and Nigel Wickham topped the silvers with 16lb 10oz.

Highlights - Dillington fishing it's head off
Lowlights -  Not getting it right at Dillington!

July 2016

Then it was back to Thailand for nearly three weeks and this time I travelled about a bit, starting in Ao Nang before heading to Udon Thani and ending the trip in Chang Mai where I stayed at the lovely Teak Tree lake, I had five days fishing booked and some days to look around. I caught loads of fish including eight new species and several personal bests and Bruce and his lovely wife Noon looked after us very well and we packed loads in, hill tribes, elephants, tigers and temples, another fantastic trip to the 'Land of Smiles'.

My highlights of the trip were my first tambaqui, black shark minnow and a fantastic ripsaw right at the end of my last days fishing.
My first tambaqui
Black shark minnow
A fantastic ripsaw catfish
My first match after returning to the UK was at Dillington and I was really looking forward to it but I drew peg 4 again and although I caught all day, my 137 fish for 10lb 14oz was well off the pace behind Alvin Jones with 28lb 10oz, John Dursley with 20lb 12oz and Fieldy with 19lb.

We had a knock up on the lower end of the Isle and it fished quite well with lots of small fish and odd good chub featuring in catches, I ended up with 54 fish for 4lb 4oz and nowhere once again. Steve P had the best weight with 8lb 8oz which included a good chub.

The last match of the month saw my bad run continue at Dillington, I drew peg 22 which hasn't been great and struggled, I couldn't really catch on the deck or shallow and my 6lb 6oz was way off the pace. Graham Field won again, this time he had 447 fish (including a bream) for a fantastic 31lb.

Highlights - Thailand of course!
Lowlights - The rest of the month!

August 2016

We were back at Harrys for the first match of the month and after a poor run of results I was hoping for better things today, especially as the last junior match was won with over 100lb in just three hours. The level of the pond was well down although I still thought it would fish okay but it was a real struggle and I ended up with 15lb for nowhere and Scott Russell won with 29lb 7oz.

Dillington was the scene of my next disaster when I drew peg 24 again, I kept trying to catch chub and didn't get one, my 10lb 10oz was well off the pace with 21lb 8oz winning and 18lb 15oz needed to win my section!

The bad run continued at Summerhayes when I drew peg 7 on Longs, a great carp peg! I had 6lb 11oz of silvers and a few carp for nowhere once again.

In the last match of the month I managed to avoid peg 24 at Dillington when I drew peg 5 and I've caught all day but no quality and my 156 fish went 10lb 2oz for nowhere. Adie Bishop won with a nice bag of skimmers weighing 21lb 11oz on the feeder.

Highlights - None!
Lowlights - All of August!

September 2016

Back at Summerhayes for the Rover and I managed to pull out first choice! Was my bad run about to come to an end? No was the answer, I caught small skimmers quite well and had three nice crucians but I just couldn't catch any decent skimmers until the last hour or so. I ended up with 10lb 5oz of silvers to just miss out as 11lb 1oz was last in the money. Bill Hopping set a new match record with 242lb 15oz of carp on paste from peg 2 on Sellicks.

Next up was the final Summer League match and drawing peg 15 wasn't a great start, I tried fishing for big fish and it didn't really work, ended up catching some lovely roach close in for 10lb 8oz and nowhere once again. Fieldy won on the day with 27lb 10oz which included two nice bream and he won the league as well.

We were back at Dillington for a pairs open, I was on peg 2 with Hurf on 22, I've caught some cracking roach on caster and with five minutes to go I've landed a nice bonus chub around the 3lb mark. I weighed 17lb 11oz which was third in my section, Hurf had four points and we sneaked into third place on weight and picked up £20 each. Andy Downton had the top weight with two big bream and some quality roach for 22lb 7oz, his partner Glen Radford was second with five chub and some nice rudd and roach for 22lb 3oz and they took the title with a perfect two point score. Scott Russell and Ashley Tomkins were second in the pairs and they both had 19lb 15oz of roach.
I had 17lb 11oz which was my best weight out the pond for ages
The last match of the month was back at Summerhayes on Longs, I drew a decent silvers peg and got off to a flying start catching about 5lb of skimmers and tench in the first hour before I got carped out, I did sneak second in the silvers with 8lb 8oz for my second pick up in two weeks.

Highlights - Finally ending my bad run
Lowlights - Just missing out on my first silvers win for ages

October 2016

The first match of the month saw the start of the Royal Oak league on the Isle and I got off to a great start when I drew peg 14 which is one of my favourite swims on the river, I had a lovely day catching 114 chublets, dace, gudgeon and roach for 12lb 8oz and my first win for a while.

Justin invited me to go up and fish the Wye with him and Fred but it was quite hard going, Fred was the only one to catch with two barbel while me and Justin blanked although we did lose two each.

In the first V.E.S. Precision match, I drew peg 128 and had a nice day catching 135 fish (including a skimmer!) for 7lb 10oz to get the league off to a good start. Steve P won on the day and had a lovely days fishing with 15lb from peg 120.

Round two of the Oak league put me on 129 at Isle Brewers and to be honest I didn't fancy it but I had a fantastic days fishing catching 117 fish for 11lb 7oz and second place, I had some lovely roach and couldn't get the rig in the water fast enough near the end. Adie Bishop had the top weight with 13lb 4oz from 126 and Hurf was third with 10lb 12oz of chub from North Bradon.

The temperature dropped for the second V.E.S. match and with the river very low and clear, it was always going to be hard going for some and a good draw was essential, I pulled out peg 14 again which I was happy with but really struggled for 4lb 14oz although it was enough for third place on the day. Baz Morgan had a lovely days fishing to win with 16lb 3oz from peg 120.

The last match of the month saw us head to Harry's pond for a charity match, I drew peg 6 on the far side and caught well for the first two hours but then it was a real struggle, ended up with 24 carp for 34lb 10oz and a section win. Harry had the best weight on the day with 61lb 10oz to record his first win with the club.

Highlights - A lovely days fishing and a win on the river
Lowlights - Blanking on the Wye again!

November 2016

Cold and wintery conditions combined with a low and clear river were always going to make for a difficult match and although I was really pleased when I drew peg H4, I was blanking after four hours. I did manage a nice perch and some small roach for 1lb 2oz and last in the section. Karl Aplin did well to catch four big chub for 13lb 12oz from peg 108 which also saw him take home the golden peg fund.

Round three of the Royal Oak league saw me get my wish and draw peg 120 for the first time in ages and I've had a bite a chuck all day from dace, chublets, roach, gudgeon and two big ruffe! to finish up with 148 fish for 12lb 6oz which was only good enough for third behind Steve Parker with seven big chub for 18lb 7oz and Adie Bishop with a net of quality roach weighing 15lb 1oz.

The next match was switched to Dillington after the river was flooded out, I drew peg 6 on the far side and had bites all day including some cracking roach in the last hour to finish with 130 fish for 10lb 5oz which was enough for third place behind Adie with 11lb 2oz and Fieldy with 12lb 7oz.
I had 10lb 5oz which included some clonking roach
Round four of the Royal Oak league saw me draw peg 29 and although it looked nice and I fancied it, a single minnow wasn't the result I'd hoped for, Justin won with 13lb 3oz followed by Steve P with 11lb and Paul H with 10lb 8oz.

Highlights - Drawing peg 120
Lowlights - Drawing peg 29

December 2016

The hardest frost of the year preceded this years Xmas Fayre and a good draw would be even more essential than normal, thankfully I got one in the shape of peg 14 again. I caught odd fish all day to finish with 65 fish for 6lb 12oz which was enough to sneak into third place and I collected a nice prize of cheese, biscuits and beer plus £20 from the super pool and we all enjoyed a lovely hot meal back at the Royal Oak. Justin won again, this time with five big chub for 18lb and Hurf was second with a nice net of roach weighing 8lb from Hambridge.

Round five of the Royal Oak put me on 125 at Isle Brewers and despite being very shallow, I really fancied it and with around 4lb in the net after an hour I thought a big weight was on the cards. Then the sun came out and bites stopped, I caught odd fish for the rest of the match to finish with 7lb 10oz and a section win. Baz Morgan won the match with a brilliant 21lb 2oz of roach followed by Justin with 16lb 6oz of chub and roach from Redbridge and Rob Cox with 15lb 3oz of roach from Hambridge.

The last river match of the year saw me hang back at the draw trying to avoid 120 as it's been poor the last few matches but of course it was the last peg in the bucket, I started okay but it soon faded and I weighed 3lb 7oz for nowhere which hasn't done my league chances any favours at all. Steve P won from last weeks winning peg with 12lb 6oz of mainly roach and he took home to the golden peg money as well.

The last match of the year was a knock up at Dillington and well attended with 17 anglers, I finally managed a draw on the nearside, it took an hour to get a bite and then I caught small roach all day along with a bonus skimmer to weigh 7lb 5oz for second on the day and a nice pick up of £60 behind Scott Russell who had two big bream and some bits for 10lb 10oz.
A nice end to the year
Highlights - A nice end to the year at Dillington with a tough but rewarding match
Lowlights - Drawing peg 120

Summary

For the first six months of 2016 I had a great run of results and was on target for my best year ever. Along with wins at Dillngton and Harry's I also had some nice silvers pick ups at Summerhayes including only my third golden peg victory ever. Then I went to Thailand for the second time and had an amazing trip but on my return I never picked up a bean anywhere for two months!

During the two trips to Thailand I fished two new venues (EFT and Teak Tree) and caught loads of fish including twelve new species and numerous pbs. I wasn't as successful on home soil where I only managed one trip to the Wye with Justin and Fred and I blanked again! I did lose two fish though.

The fishing at Dillington continues to get better and better with brilliant weights of quality silver fish coming to a variety of methods and the Isle has been fishing really well despite being really low and clear for most matches, loads of small fish are showing along with some big chub in the lower sections. I still really enjoy Summerhayes although I missed fishing the Perry St league and seeing the Chard boys this year. I might try and fish a few matches at the Sedges next year and I keep meaning to fish some opens on the Tone as well.

Blog traffic has gone through the roof and after reaching 318,000 page visits after ten years, I've now passed 453,000 (that's around 135,000 hits in 12 months!), I still get some great feedback both online and on the bank and I really appreciate it. The blog is now supported by Bait-Tech and my match reports now regularly feature on their website and again I must thank Hayley for all her help and advice.
http://www.bait-tech.com/

So as I say goodbye to 2016, I'm looking forward to next year where, hopefully, I'll get back over to Thailand and there's still talk of the sturgeon trip to Canada. I also want to try and fish some new venues and I really want to spend more time fishing for those pesky mullet along with some tench and pike trips and I still want to catch a flounder really badly, so much to do and not enough time!

Matches won - 5
Silvers wins - 4
Golden peg wins - 1
Winnings - £1125

Matches fished - 53
Number of pick ups - 31
Success rate - 58%

New venue pb match weights
Hebditch's Pond - 94lb 9oz

New pb's
Asian Redtail Catfish - 33lb - Exotic Fishing Thailand
Albino Pacu - 14lb - Exotic Fishing Thailand
Chao Phraya Catfish - 55lb - Exotic Fishing Thailand
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish - 25lb - Exotic Fishing Thailand
Salween Rita Catfish - 17lb - Exotic Fishing Thailand
Alligator Gar - 25lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Giant Featherback - 4lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Roho - 33lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Mrigal - 9lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Wallago Leeri - 4lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Pacu - 38lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Striped Catfish - 35lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Catla Catla - 25lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Tambaqui - 35lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Black Shark Minnow - 6lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Vundu Catfish - 38lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
Ripsaw Catfish - 22lb - Teak Tree Lake, Thailand
 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dillington Pond - 28th December 2016

With Xmas Day falling on a Sunday this year and the next scheduled match not until New Year's Day, I thought I'd put it out there to see if anybody fancied a knock up midweek. I suggested the Weds or Thurs and asked people to let me know their preference, it was a close run thing but in the end Weds just edged it although I probably could have run two matches and both would have been well attended! I was expecting maybe ten anglers, maybe twelve at the most but had to stop taking names when I got to seventeen! There were a few anglers fishing the pond for the first time and I was hoping they would have a good day.

By Monday, I was seriously bored so I actually did a bit of prep and changed my catapult elastics, made a couple of rigs up and tied some hooks. I'd also been lucky enough to win some Maver elastics in a competition they ran on Facebook over Xmas, so I thought I'd try out the lightest one first, the orange 5-8.
Thank Maver!

I woke up to a hard frost (the second one on the trot) and by the time I'd defrosted the car and loaded my kit, I was running late again (nothing new there then!). I met some of the others at the Little Chef in Ilminster for breakfast and I have to say it was very good albeit rather expensive, I might even save up and go there next Sunday!

We headed out the pond and although we were nearly the first ones there, it didn't take long before the others turned up. Everybody paid their pools and then I tried to work out which pegs to use to give everybody a chance and I have to say it's a nightmare and I don't envy match organisers at all. I really wanted to leave pegs 1 and 24 out as they are either side of a bush and can be feast or famine, also with several anglers fishing who I knew would want to fish the feeder, I had to try and leave corner pegs out or else they would be casting over each other. We ended up putting peg 1 in and I have to say I really hoped I didn't draw it, I also left out peg 10 and put in 11 and 12 which in hindsight was a mistake and I think pegs 3 or 16 would probably have been better.

The draw was announced and Steve P drew for John Dursley who was running late and he pulled out peg 9 on the far side for him, then the usual free for all began and by the time I got near the bucket there were only three balls left with Scott, Ash and me still to delve in. I hadn't heard anybody admit to peg 1 yet and I started to think it was still in the bucket of destiny. Scott went first and drew peg 6 and then Ash went in and grabbed the two pegs left before asking me to point to which one I wanted, I went for his left hand and when he opened it, number 19 was staring back at me, although it's normally reserved for Karl but as he wasn't fishing today somebody else could have a go!. I was well chuffed with that as I can't remember the last time I was on the near bank. Ash looked at the last ball which turned out to be peg 7 so the Tackleuk boys would battle it out next to each other.

Hurf had ended up with peg 1 and didn't look too happy, Paul H was on peg 2 and Jeff Sparkes was on 4 which is normally a good winter peg and as he took his kit round he said there were fish topping. At the other end of that section, Frank was on 8, then John D, Scotty Jackson was on 11 and didn't fancy it and then Jake was in 12 and to be honest he was a bit hemmed in and wouldn't be able to fish the feeder. Then in our section Nick P was on 13 with Rich S next door on 14, Steve P had 17 and Rob could use his WiFi password again in 18. Young Stuart was next to me with Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping on peg 21 and last but not least, Dean, who was fishing his first match with us, was on 22.
The view from peg 19
Looking up towards the pump house
After getting my box level, the first job was to mix my groundbait up and as always I had Bait-Tech Pro Natural Dark, which is all I use now out the pond, a brilliant roach groundbait. It was a cold frosty morning and with the pond flat calm, it could be hard going today although I still thought double figures would be needed to do well. I set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float for 10 metres, a 4 x 16 Preston Chianti for 11.5 metres, both on the deck and a little Preston Chianti for fishing shallow (not used). On the side tray I had maggots, pinkies, casters and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp.

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres and started with double pinkie on the hook, I was hoping to catch quite quickly but the float just sat there and I started to think it might be a bit of a wait before we started getting bites. I could see Jeff, Scott and Ash on the far side were getting the odd small fish and thought it would just be a matter of time before we started catching. After 45 minutes, I still hadn't had an indication of any kind and I hadn't seen anybody on our side catch.
The first hour was pretty uneventful (apart from Stuart falling off his box!)
There were still quite a few small fish topping and when I saw Rob catch a roach on the feeder, I felt I needed to try something else, so picked up the rig for the 11.5 metre line and went out with a single pinkie on the hook, I was just about to feed a few casters when, to my amazement, the rig settled and sailed away, a few inches of my new Maver orange elastic emerged on the strike and I swung in a small roach to get me off the mark. Two more in two chucks followed before there was an almighty commotion from the next peg as Stuart fell off his box! Luckily he hadn't gone in the pond, which wouldn't have been good on a day like today, me and Bill went and helped him up and made sure he was okay.

I went back to my peg and it was a bite a chuck and I was catching really well, Scotty asked how many I had, I said 22 and he said he was on 26 so despite my blank first hour I wasn't too far behind. I got up to 28 fish after the second hour and then tried the 10 metre line again and had a fish first chuck, I had a further 36 fish over the next hour, mainly tiny roach although I did net a couple of 3oz roach and a similar size rudd and was doing well, most people were getting odd fish but nobody was bagging, I did see Nick P land a skimmer over on peg 13.

I was having real problems with my Drennan Aqua elastic hanging out the end of the pole and I think it had frozen! I was catching on single red maggot but kept trying caster but they weren't really having it yet and I only had a couple of tiny fish on it. Things started to slow in the fourth hour and I only added another 21 fish. Then Scotty hooked a big fish and slipped the net under a good bream to put him in the driving seat. Not long after Ash landed a decent skimmer and then Paul H had a couple of skimmers in quick succession on the feeder and all of a sudden I'd gone from doing really well to needing a bonus fish if I was to do any good.

With around an hour and a half left, I bumped what felt like a much better fish and I was trying caster more and more in the hope of getting some better roach but it still wasn't really happening. Ash had a second decent skimmer and Paul also added a couple more and I was starting to think my only chance of picking up today would be a section win. Then with an hour to go I hooked a better fish on caster and as I carefully shipped back I could see in the gin clear water that it was decent skimmer and I gratefully netted a pound and a half fish to put me back in the hunt.

I was still getting the odd roach but none of the usual quality you get on caster, then Scotty had another bream to go even further ahead, Paul netted another decent fish and Rob was also catching roach really well. I kept putting odd fish in the net and at the end of the match, the clicker was reading 116 and I thought I probably had 7-8lb which I hoped might give me a chance of the section win. I packed up and loaded the car before catching up with Rob and the scales, he'd already weighed Nick P in who had done well to catch four skimmers for 4lb 12oz from peg 13, Rich S didn't weigh and then Steve P had 1lb 5oz.
Steve P had 1lb 5oz from peg 17
Then we got to Robs peg and he had caught really well in the latter part of the match to weigh 5lb 5oz, I was next and my fish went 7lb 5oz which was little less than I thought but a lot of those roach had been tiny. Young Stuart had struggled for 7oz but at least he hadn't fallen off his box again, Bill had 10oz and then Dean weighed 1lb 8oz so I'd at least won my section.
Rob caught well after a slow start to weigh 5lb 5oz
I had a decent skimmer and lots of small roach for 7lb 5oz
Young Stuart struggled for 7oz but as least he didn't fall off his box again!
Dean had 1lb 8oz from peg 22 (and had been to the same hat shop as Jacko!)
The others started arriving back and as expected, Scotty had the top weight with 10lb 10oz and then the next best weight was Paul who had weighed 6lb 5oz comprised of four skimmers and a decent perch and Ash had those two skimmers and a few roach for 4lb 8oz. Jeff had 3lb 9oz but had switched to trying to catch big fish after Scott had his first bream, Hurf had 1lb 6oz, Jacko had 1lb 1oz from peg 11 and then Frank on 8, John on 9 and Jake on 12 didn't weigh so it had been hard going over there. Thanks to Scott Russell for the photos*
Scotty had two nice bonus bream to win with 10lb 10oz (he even gave the camera man a cheeky wink with both eyes!)*
Paul had four skimmers and a decent perch for 6lb 5oz and third place*
Ash won his section with 4lb 8oz*
Jeff had 3lb 9oz from peg 4*
Jacko struggled for 1lb 1oz but had the best hat of the day*
1 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 10lb 10oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 7lb 5oz
3 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 6lb 5oz

Sections
A - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 4lb 8oz
B - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 5lb 5oz

So I ended up in second place and picked up £60 plus £3 in side bets so a nice match to finish 2016 on, it had been hard going but I'd quite enjoyed it and had plenty of bites.

Well that's my final match of the year and I hope you enjoyed reading about my ups and downs and thanks very much to everybody who has taken the time to give me feedback or say nice things. I really do appreciate it and as always, if you want to send me match results, photos or anything fishy related, just get in touch via the contact form in the side bar on the right hand side of the blog. I'm always looking for ways to keep the blog interesting and moving forward and would welcome guest blogs, so if you've got anything you think would make a good read like a review, a particularly good fishing trip or tips and tactics just let me know.

Happy New Year

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - My review of 2016

Check Out - My review of Steve Gardener on...A Life in Match Fishing (below)