Monday, May 28, 2007

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 27th May 2007

Match day five arrived and so did the rain! This time however I was prepared and brought a brolly. I didn't draw very well, peg 16, a swim I did 9lb off a couple of matches back. The swim has a bed of lilies on the inside to the right, although I never caught anything from it last time. I set up the usual two rigs, both 0.4 gram Drennan carp floats with size 18 Kamasan B911's, one with black hydro for the inside and the other with white hydro for open water.

On the whistle I cupped some chopped worm, casters and hemp at 11 metres and some micro pellets, caster, hemp and corn on the insides to my right and left. I had my nemesis, Janders, for company on my right and we had the usual £1 side bet. I started at 11 metres with double red maggot on the hook and soon had a small skimmer and a little rudd to get me off the mark. A switch to worm saw me catch a perch and I missed a couple of bites. I slipped a piece of corn on the hook and a positive bite saw me playing a decent fish that plodded around before the hook pulled out, again not a great start. I then missed a further three bites on corn!

Janders wasn't doing much either and from what I could see not a huge amount was happening, Chris Haines opposite was catching lots of small fish and had also landed a couple of small carp. Butch Baker's son wandered around and he said not a lot had been caught, Les on one of the fliers, peg 10 (nothing new there then!) had only had small fish. A quick try by the lilies saw a great bite on corn but a 2oz roach was the result. Back at 11 metres saw me catch my first carp on corn and I was now at least ahead of Janders.

No more bites saw me try the inside to my left and I started catching but only small rudd and perch along with a bootlace eel, all on double maggot. Chris had now added a couple more carp as well as a bream and was doing well. I also saw Les net a couple of carp but most the anglers I could saw along the opposite bank were struggling. I carried on catching small perch to my left on maggot and tried corn and soft pellet to no avail. I then had another small carp on maggot before reverting back to the perch. Janders landed a carp and a couple of eels to stay in touch with me.

Chris landed another bream so I tried my long line again, I missed a bite on maggot before catching a small roach, no bream for me! Time was running out, as was my chance of a good result. I then hooked a good carp on maggot and after a lengthy battle, netted a fish of around 4lb. With an hour to go I needed a couple more to give me good points, Chris netted yet another bream and I did flirt with the idea of going back out long but decided to stick with the inside line. I then hooked what felt like a good carp and I wasn't sure who was playing who! It kept trying to get in the lilies but the black hydro was slowly doing its job and I felt I was getting the upper hand. Famous last words! a concerted effort by the fish saw it make the lilies and the hook pinged out, great!

Apart from a couple more perch that was it and we all packed up in the rain. After dropping some of the kit back at the car it was to peg 1 to watch the weigh in. Graham 'Dino' Pepper was on peg 1 (yep another corner peg) and weighed 13lb 14oz and led the field until we got to Chris Haines who weighed a brilliant 18lb 14oz from peg 4. Nobody else had much until we got to Les in peg 10 who came close with 16lb 8oz and Dunner in peg 11 who had 14lb 8oz. My three carp plus perch, roach, rudd and two eels went 8lb 6oz, which was more than I thought but I knew I wouldn't be taking home any brown envelopes this week. Chris's travelling partner, Tommy, plonked 16lb 10oz on the scales to take the runner's up spot. Steve Bush the league leader blew out on peg 20 with 4lb 14oz.

I think I ended up with 14 points but I'm not sure because everybody rushed off to get out of the rain. To be in with any chance of a final league position I need to get really good points off my joker in the last match and it would help if some of the anglers above me blew out. Hopefully we're at Dillington next week. Oh, I almost forgot to mention I took the pound off Janders.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dillington Pond - 20th May 2007

Bit of a disaster this week, Robin Cox, the summer league organiser had sent me the dates and the first match was supposed to be today. I knew he was holiday in Turkey but was getting back on Saturday so I assumed the match was still on. Anyway Janders and myself arrived at the Crown just before nine for the draw and the pub was shut!, despite phoning and texting Robin I had no response. We decided to pop out the pond for a few hours and would have a tenner on who caught the most fish with no perch under 4oz counting.

We sat next to each other and I just set the pole up and Janders started on the waggler, per usual we were straight into small perch and it was a case of trying to sort out the better fish. Janders got off to a good start with a decent chub around the pound and a half mark and I started to get some nice roach up in the water with hemp and caster. Among the roach I had the odd rudd and a single hybrid and my best fish was a good perch which had to be at least a pound and a half.

After five hours I ended with 49 fish (and around the same number of small perch, which didn't count) and Janders had 19 so I took the tenner off him.

Next week is the fifth match in the Perry St spring league and I need a good result to keep pushing for a decent league placing so I will let you know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Perrt Street Pond - Spring League - 13th May 2007

Spring League matchday four arrived and I really needed a good result to keep me in with a chance of a final league placing. I was stood waiting for the draw with Janders and asked which peg he fancied and he replied peg one which has to be the most consistent peg on the pond. Les came round with the draw bucket and I duly drew it! God I hate drawing flyers as you look such a dick if you cock it up. I was also wishing I'd played my joker. Also it was around now that the rain started and it was forecast to last most of the day - great!

After a short walk to my peg I surveyed the scene, it was obvious why its such a good peg, straight out in front is a large bed of lily pads stretching out to about 11 metres. Towards the right in this corner peg are more marginal lilies with a small channel at about 9 metres. Janders who won of here a couple of weeks ago said that all the fish came towards the right where a bramble hangs in the water at around 13 metres. It was blatantly obvious that the only way to land fish was to hook them and play them out in open water before netting them in the only lily free area to my left.

I set up my usual two 0.4 gram Drennan carp rigs, one with white hydro for open water and the other with black hydro for fishing to my right. Both rigs had 0.15 mm bottoms and size 18 B711's. For bait I had red maggot, caster, corn, hemp and Ringers micro pellet. I wetted these before straining them off, which in hindsight seemed rather pointless given the torrential rain!
I never fish under a brolly and for some unbeknown reason I hadn't brought wellies either and by the time the whistle went I was already drenched.

I cupped in some pellet, corn, hemp and caster on the edge of the lilies to my left at 10 metres and also in the little gully to my right. First put in with double red maggot and the float sailed away and a firm strike saw several feet of white hydro come out, whatever it was didn't feel like a carp and as I shipped carefully back a good skimmer surfaced, foulhooked up the bum! Just as I unshipped to net it the bloody hook pulled out and then I bumped off a smaller sample on the next put in, this wasn't the start I had hoped for. I did successfully land a rudd of around quarter of an ounce to avoid the blank.

Alan Dunn opposite on peg 20 got off to a flying start landing two carp but he also lost two. With only another missed bite to show for my efforts it was time to feed again before trying in the gully. I went in with corn on the hook and after a few indications a decent bite saw me hook a carp around the 2lb mark, I added some sections and played the fish out in open water before netting it. No more bites were forthcoming and after Alan had landed his third carp the call of the bramble at 13 metres proved too much. I cupped in some feed and had another brief flirt to my left while this settled. After half an hour all I had to show here was another bumped skimmer so it was on with a piece of corn and over this newly fed swim.

I couldn't really see what was happening elsewhere as I was facing towards my right, away from all the other anglers as well as being hunched under my hood in a vain attempt to keep dry (it wasn't working!). After Alan's good start he was now struggling and occasional glances around only revealed lots of miserable anglers, Chris Haines on peg 18 seemed to be doing ok as he had a couple of small carp and eels. My first two put ins on my new line resulted in two good bites and I missed them both, third time turned out to be lucky though and after a spirited battle I netted my second carp.

I was getting regular bites now and soon added two more small carp and a tench of around a pound and a half and despite being soaked was actually quite enjoying it. Chris Haines netted three bream in three put ins to look good for a podium place. My bites had by now slowed so I cupped in some more feed and had another go to my left, my only bite here resulted in a small skimmer of 3oz. After another biteless ten minutes I decided to abandon this line completely and concentrate towards the right for the remaining couple of hours. The angler to my left netted a big eel which looked like it had to be a pound and a half and the chap next to Chris lost a good fish before landing a small carp.

Dunner now couldn't buy a bite anywhere and from his grumblings I sensed he wasn't having fun. I went back out to my right and had a nice common of 2lbs or so and I was silently congratulating myself for not losing anything from the right hand side when I hooked a right lump that tore through the brambles snapping me up. While I was sorting my rig out and tying a new hook on, Janders wandered up, he was really struggling and only had a few bits. With an hour and a half left I felt if I could get another four fish I would be in with a shout.

No more bites were forthcoming and a quick go down the gully had the same result, I concentrated at 13 metres but in the back of my mind I had the nagging feeling I should stick another section on and go past the bramble in case the fish had backed off and I still don't know why I didn't do it! The whistle blew for the end of the match and I hadn't added any more fish. Steve Bush wandered up and said when he won off the peg he had gone to 14.5 metres before finishing at 16 metres to keep in touch with the fish. That confirmed it, I am a moron!, I blamed my waterlogged brain!

I was first to weigh and my five carp, one tench and two bits went 13lb 8oz and I knew it wouldn't be enough to win. Janders only weighed 14oz so at least my pound was safe and Picky didn't weigh so the pond had fished pretty poorly. Les reckoned Steve would win as he netted a good carp on the whistle, along our bank nobody had much until we got to Butch Baker and when he pulled his net out I was sure he had beaten me but the scales settled on 12lb 7oz - phew! The scales then reached the other two corner pegs and I had no idea how they had got on, Dave Lawrence on peg 10 only had a couple of fish and Les on peg 11 had 9lb exactly. Bushy's last gasp bonus carp was just under 9lb and with his other two carp and a bream he weighed 18lb 2oz to take the lead.

There were no other weights until we got to Chris Haines, he was claiming it would be close between me and him but I was sure he had more than me. His mixed bag of carp, bream, eels plus bits went 15lb and I had to settle for third place on the day and picked up £50 (plus that pound off Janders). My 18 points (out of a possible 20) gives me a total of 51 after four matches and I'm not too far behind the leaders although I still need a good joker result.

For me it was a day of if only's, if only I'd played my joker, if only I'd gone out to 14.5 metres and if only I'd brought my wellies I wouldn't have got so wet! Next week hopefully sees the first Ilminster match of the Summer league at Dillington, a venue that has been kind to me, lets hope it continues.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sadborow Pond - 6th May 2007

My mate Andy phoned to ask if I'd fish in his place in the Sadborow league as he's had a rough time of it lately, as I didn't have anything on I jumped at the chance. Sadborow is mainly a carp water although there are some roach and skimmers but to do well you need carp. The pond hasn't been fishing well and the last match was won with only 10lb.

The format of the league is you fish each of the pegs over the nine matches, the match organiser, Les, pulled a ball out which meant I was fishing peg 6. My peg was on the roadside and one of four that can reach the pond's only island although Les said hardly anything had been coming off the island with most fish coming from the margins. I made my self comfortable and set up two rigs, one a 0.4 gram Drennan carp float for open water, with 0.14 mm bottom and size 18 Kamazan B911 with white hydro and an inline dibber rig for the margins with 0.15 mm straight through to another 18 B911, black hydro completed this set up.

For company I had Steve Bush to my left and Alan Dunn on the peg to my right. For bait I had corn, maggot, caster and meat, including some I had dyed red with Predator Plus. On the whistle I cupped in a mixture of the baits on my open water line and in the margin to my right, to my left I cupped in just six cubes of meat. This frugal feeding has worked for me in the past and also I read in a recent article that Steve Ringer often feeds swims like this (one with very little and the other with a lot) so he can gauge which type of feeding the fish respond to.

I started in the open water with double red maggot and missed a bite first put in but I think it was a roach. There was an awful lot of debris (leaves, twigs and bits of fluff) floating about making it very difficult to put the rig in. Butch Baker in peg 8 had a carpet of the stuff! but Les reckoned the carp follow it about and this looked to be the case as he flew away catching two carp early. Alan 'Picky' Gage also had a carp as had Steve Bishop on peg 9. Other than that not a lot was happening and it looked like being another grueller.

I had by now had a look in both margins without a hint of a bite and I wasn't alone. After a couple of hours rotating swims without response I thought I would fish my dibber rig in the open water as an up in the water rig as odd fish could be seen cruising around. Loosefeeding caster with caster on the hook saw me catch a couple of roach and a half decent hybrid but during this time Butch had added a good eel and Bushy next to me had landed a decent skimmer and a good carp. I was going nowhere fast, Les and Roy opposite were also still blanking so at least I was ahead of them.

Les said he could see a lot of carp cruising in front the island so out I went at 14.5 metres but the fairly strong wind made presentation hard work and I soon gave this up as a bad job. Besides as Les was fishing there I could always keep an eye on him and go back out if he started catching. Picky had added a couple more fish and Bishop was now on two but apart from that the pond was fishing really hard. Dunner caught a small carp off the island and when he had one from the margins to his right (towards me) I decided to concentrate there. With meat on the hook I was really suprised when the dibber shot away, and after a really hard scrap the black hydro did its job and I netted a carp around 4lb. Five minutes later a good bite saw me bump a fish, bugger!

I re fed and went in on my left, a bite nearly straight away and a slightly smaller carp was soon netted, I was back in the hunt! With a couple of hours left I needed a couple more but at least I was interested again. Butch had another to take his tally to three carp, a small one and that eel, Bishop had two and Picky had three or four. Dunner had another small carp, again on the inside. Apart from a couple of indications I hadn't had another proper bite. I fed another six cubes on my left and went back towards Dunner and missed a bite straight away! I then had my third and was hoping for a really good last hour.

Oz on peg 4, got one that got him off the mark but around the pond nobody was catching and that now included me as I couldn't get a bite. I fed again on my right and switched back to the other, lightly fed, swim. After five minutes the float went and I netted my fourth carp and I started to believe I could win it. Picky now had five and I felt I needed to get two more with half an hour to go, Butch hadn't added any more and I reckoned it might be close between us. A brief go with red meat was unsuccessfull, I switched back to normal meat and went back to the right.

Time was running out when the float shot away and I missed it, worse still my rig shot into an overhanging branch, after a short tug of war the branch won and my knuckle was throbbing. The stem of the float was also no longer attached to it. A quick root around in my drawers found an identical rig and I was back in action. With quarter of an hour to go I hooked another and after a fairly long battle I netted my best fish, a common around 5lb. I just had time for one last put in but no more bites and the whistle went. Had I done enough? I didn't think so as Picky had all his fish on catmeat and they tend to be bigger fish.

I didn't have long to wait to find out as Picky was first to weigh and his five fish weighed 20lb 14oz, Roy and Les ended fishless and Oz just had the one for 4lb odd. Dunner just had the three small carp for a couple of pound, my five carp (plus three silvers) went 18lb exactly and as I thought I needed a sixth fish. As the remaining pegs were weighed there were no suprises, Butch weighed 9lb 12oz and Bishop had 9lb 1oz. I was second on the day and picked up £45 so not a bad day really.

Next week is round four of the Spring League on Perry St and I really need a good result, tune in to find out if I get it.