Monday, July 31, 2006

Langport League - River Parrett - 30th July 2006

Up well early and at the Langport Arms by 8 'o' clock for the draw. As captain I have to draw for the team and once again I didn't make a particularly good job of it with no end pegs and the weigh boards. My team , Chard Remains, drew team Focus in the knockout, they are a good team with the likes of Scott Russell and Steve Bishop and would be hard to beat. My peg for the ensuing five hours was D4 at Coombe. This stretch hadn't fished too well in the previous two matches. Got to my peg and there was duckweed everywhere but also loads of fish moving.

Had time to make a rig up, set up a one gram Drennan Tipo with a spread shot bulk, 0.08mm bottom and size 18 Kamasan B511. Didn't set up a whip or waggler. The match kicked off at 10:15 and I cupped in two balls of Sensas Noire on the 7 metre line. Feeding hemp and maggot I was getting the odd roach and small skimmer but the duckweed was proving to be a nightmare and it was a real job to lay the rig in without getting weed on the hook. Steve Bishop and Baz Morgan to my right seemed to be catching well. After an hour I had 18 fish for around a pound but the weed was reaching impossible proportions. The three pegs to my left were around a slight bend and the wind was blowing the duckweed round the bend where it was piling up and the anglers on these pegs were really struggling.

Because of the weed I was now just fishing with my top four and flicking the rig out in between the weed and I was starting to catch well , with most of my fish coming on the drop. I kept clearing the area in front of me with my landing net and had an impressive pile of weed on the bank next to me. Going into the third hour was still catching lots of roach, small skimmers, hybrids along with the odd gudgeon and motherless minnow. Was getting the odd better roach but a pike had started to show an interest and I had lost a couple of fish (plus hooklengths) to the toothy critter. I was regretting not setting a whip up as this would have made getting those fish out a lot easier.

With the fish going about twenty to the pound I set my sights on 100 for around 5lb which would have been a good weight for this section on previous results. In the fourth hour the heavens opened and as I didn't have a coat (it was scorching hot at the start) I got soaked. To compound things the pike was still snaffling fish and then my landing net pole snapped in half whilst doing some more weed clearing! There were loads of fish in front of me and I was getting a bite every put in, the trouble was I was missing and bumping loads and every better roach I hooked the pike would nab.

I reached my target of 100 fish with half an hour to go, by the all out I had 132 and in my heart I knew I should have done better. I'm sure a good whip angler would have had double figures off my peg. I followed the scales and when the anglers to my left weighed 3lb, 1lb and 2lb odd I knew I'd beaten that. My fish weighed 6lb 12oz, Steve Bishop weighed 7lb 8oz (I really should have had that), Barry Morgan plonked 10lb+ on the scales and the last two pegs weighed 3lb and 5lb something. So I was third in the section and got seven points for the team.

Back at the results Nicky Collins and Alan Dunn both came back with section wins (and nine points apiece), Andy had four and Les Braunton was last in his section and would be dropped for the next match. With my seven points this gave us a total of 31 points, we ended up joint second on the day behind Focus who also knocked us out of the knockout with 33 points. I picked up £15 for my section third.

The league standings were read out and Chard Remains are in joint second with 12 points behind Focus who are leading with 5. Next Sunday is round four on Stathe drain, can we knock a hole in Focus's lead or at least consolidate our second place?

Results for Chard Remains so far

Round one - River Parrett - 7th on the day - 7th overall
Round two - River Parrett - 3rd on the day - 3rd overall
Round three - River Parrett - jnt 2nd on the day - jnt 2nd overall

The team for next week is

Jamie Rich
Andy Langdon
Alan Dunn
Nicky Collins
Dave Lawrence

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Next up

My next match is the third round of the Langport teams of five on the River Parrett on Sunday (30th). My team, Chard Remains, finished 7th (out of eight) on the first match and 3rd on the second match. I think overall we are languishing near the bottom, still it's the first round of the knockout so maybe we can buck our ideas up a bit. We have quite a good record in the knockout, winning it the first year and reaching the final last year although we got absolutely hammered by Weston. The team for Sunday is as follows,

Jamie Rich (captain)
Andy Langdon
Alan Dunn
Nicky Collins
Les Braunton

Elsewhere, as somebody who has a touch of the OCD's about them I am fairly obsessed with lists and spreadsheets and keep fairly extensive records of my fishing exploits. Each year I try and beat my winnings total from the previous year and the good news being that last Sundays victory took me past last years total (£535) and within touching distance of 2004's. My total this year is £556 (and it's only July!). That's probably put a hex on things and I won't win a bean for the rest of the year. Next entry after Sunday's match.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dillington Pond - 23rd July 2006

Dillington Pond - The main species are roach, rudd, perch and chub. Other secies present are bream, tench, crucian carp and eels.

Met at the Crown per usual, drew peg 2. When we got to the pond it was a lot lower than usual due to a farmer abstracting for his potatoes! As a consequence we were all sat in thick glutinous mud. It was a lovely day and there were fish topping everywhere. I had Butch Baker on peg 3, Vince was supposed to be on peg 1 but due to an all night party, he turned up, was sick and went home again! My mate Andy Langdon was the next peg along on 9.

The match started at 10:00 and I cupped some chopped worm in at 11 metres. I started on the waggler up in the water, the first two chub I hooked, I lost in the thick weed - not a great start. Spraying maggots, casters and hemp, I started catching loads of small perch along with the odd chub and slightly better rudd. I could see most people catching well, including Andy. We always have a £1 side bet and as we are both highly competitive this often seems more important than the main prize money.

By the end of the second hour I had over 40 fish including three chub around 12oz-1lb apiece. The match was six hours in duration and I set myself a target of 100 fish which I thought would give me a good weight. Three hours in and I was still catching well, the usual banter around the pond was missing which I took to mean people were catching and keeping their heads down and concentrating. I shouted across to Andy and asked if he was 'bagging', he replied he was doing ok and had caught a bream of 2lb+. I reckoned this put him ahead of me and I started to fear for my quid.

On double red maggot I had been catching loads of small fish along with the odd better one. I decided to try caster in a bid to sort out the better fish, this worked a treat and although I was having to wait longer for the bites, I started catching quality roach of up to 1lb. I found by casting out and feeding and drawing the float back over the feed I was getting most of my fish on the drop. If I missed a bite I would feed again and repeat the process up to three times per cast.

Among the roach I also had another chub and an eel around the 1lb mark, which was fun trying to land with all the weed around. Approaching the last hour I was getting quite a few 'iffy' bites, I moved a number 10 Preston Stotz up to the float and added a number 11 to dot the float down further and hopefully show the bites more clearly. This worked to an extent and although sport was slower I kept putting the odd fish in the net.

Looking around the pond it seemed the action had slowed for everybody. Andy was still catching the odd fish and I thought I was catching better than him even to the extent of pulling back enough fish to cancel out his bream. He had a spell on the pole and landed five good roach quite quickly while I kept pace with a couple more good roach of my own. When the whistle blew to end the match I hadn't quite reached my target, landing 99 fish.

When the scales arrived I really wasn't sure what weight I had although I was pretty sure I had double figures. The scalesman, Robin Cox, said that Barney Crockett had been catching roach well all day and all of a sudden I wasn't so sure of how well I'd done. I pulled my net out and it seemed like a good weight, the scales settled at 18lb 14oz (my biggest weight at Dillington yet) and I knew I must be in with a shout. I followed the scales along our bank and Barney weighed 11lb odd from peg 5.

Back at the results Andy asked how I'd done, I told him and he replied he'd had 16lb 9oz. When Robin read out the results it was confirmed I'd won (my third match on the trot at Dillington) and picked up £55 plus the £1 side bet from Andy who was second.

Result

1st - Jamie Rich - 18lb 14oz
2nd - Andy Langdon - 16lb 9oz
3rd - Barney Crockett - 11lb 12oz

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Against men and fish

Everyone else seems to be doing so I thought I'd give it a go. My blog will just be short accounts of the fishing matches I enter and how I do in them. Hopefully as the blog progresses there will be some funny stories and tales of triumph and defeat and days that are just a complete disaster.
My first entry will be of tomorrows match at Dillington pond, wish me luck!