Monday, June 25, 2007

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 24th June 2007

After last weeks disaster where I finished last I was keen to get back here and see if I really had lost my touch. I was a little suprised when I got to the pub for the draw to see there were ten other anglers there, Roger Russell and his mate Rob had turned up for this one and it was nice to see them both. After paying my pools it was time for the draw and I really didn't fancy drawing the pumphouse again as I had struggled here last time. That honour went to Janders whereas I drew peg eight on the field side, in the middle.

I made myself comfy and surveyed the swim, I was sat in a channel that had been cut in the reeds that have shot up all round the pond since last year. There were lots of small fish topping and bearing in mind 'Big Frank' and his boy have been catching quite close in it was nice to see I had three clumps of reeds at about four metres to my right. I set up a 3AAA Drennan insert waggler and two pole rigs. The first was a 0.5 gram Drennan roach float with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611 for fishing at ten metres and a 0.4 gram Drennan carp float for fishing at four metres by the reeds, hooklength and hook were the same as the other rig.

I mixed up some Sensas Matchblend and was ready for the off, on my right was Frank's boy Jake and on my left was Rob Birch who had Frank next to him. On the whistle I cupped two balls of groundbait in at both ten and four metres and started on the waggler. This was a non starter and after ten minutes I hadn't had a bite on it. Most people were catching on the pole so I chucked the waggler rod up the bank and went out to ten metres. First put in I had a small perch on double red maggot so I switched to caster and had more perch and small roach with the odd netter roach among them. After the first hour I had twenty fish and was slowly catching Frank up who had a few more fish than me.

After the second hour my catch rate had improved slightly and I was up to 45 fish, mostly roach and perch although I did have one rudd. I could see landing nets going out around the pond although it was mainly eels being landed apart from Frank who had caught a small tench. I decided to give my longer line a rest so I fed another ball before picking up my other rig. I baited up with caster and had a couple of small perch, which wasn't really the result I was hoping for. I then had a small eel, so decided to leave that line for a while. I was loosefeeding hemp and caster at ten metres and hemp and maggot, with the odd caster on the shorter line.

Back out on the longer line I was still catching mainly small roach but I did have a couple of better eels which kept the weight building nicely. After the third hour I was on around 65 fish and had now overtaken Frank. Going into the fourth hour and my longer line was definately slowing although from the comments being shouted around the pond it seemed like this was the case for everybody. Jake was catching the odd net fish but all Rob could catch was small perch. Robin Cox had caught a decent chub but had lost several good fish.

I fed another ball out and came back on the inside line, I had another couple of small stripies before the float buried and I was attached to something a bit more substantial. White hydro was stretched for what seemed like miles and I had to add more sections to stay in touch. I eventually started to gain the upper hand and a huge perch surfaced, I netted it and it looked like it had to go 2lb plus. This more and made up for the rest of the poor fourth hour after which I ended on around 70 fish. During the last hour and a half I kept putting the odd small roach in the net along with a couple more eels. Barney still seemed to be netting fish regularly on the point and right on the whistle Neil Dring landed a big eel.

I ended up with 90 fish and Frank shouted up to ask what weight I had and I replied about 6lb to which I got lots of abuse from around the pond as I'm well known for under estimating. Frank had the scales so we walked up to weigh Barney in first, he had ten eels plus roach and perch for 10lb 7oz and I honestly didn't think I had that, Graham Field had loads of small fish for just over 4lb and Jake weighed a little more and his net included two small tench. Then it was my turn and when I pulled my net out I thought it was going to be close, the needle settled on 11lb 4oz and I was well chuffed although there were quite a few anglers still to weigh. I weighed the big perch on its own which went 2lb 5oz and is probably the biggest I've ever had.

Rob weighed 4lb odd as did Frank and he too had two little tench, Rob Cox had 4lb 15oz. When the scales on the other bank finished weighing the top weight there was Roger Russell with 8lb 6oz but he had lost two big bream which would have won it. So I had won and Dillington is reinstated as my favourite venue once again. I picked up £65 plus a pound of Janders who was last with 3lb something although he did have the consolation of having a little tench. To be fair I don't think it's a great peg as it's been last in the last two matches.

So after three matches in the summer league I've had a first, a second and a last, Frank has had two wins and a middle placing so it could be tight. I will get the table off Rob and let you know how I'm getting on. Next week is the first match in the Langport League teams of five and we're looking to go one better than last years runners up position so keep you're fingers crossed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 17th June 2007

Back to my favourite venue for this match and at the draw I was quite suprised to see only six other anglers there. Still there was a match and money to be won. I stuck my hand in the bucket and pulled out peg four which was by the pumphouse. I have drawn here a few times and struggled to be honest but the tree had lots of cover on it and there were loads of reeds on the inside and it looked really fishy.

I got to my peg and after beating some of the reeds down and making myself comfortable I surveyed the pond, there were loads of fish topping and I couldn't wait. I mixed up some Sensas Magic groundbait and set up two rigs, the first was a 0.5 gram Drennan Tipo with a spread bulk, 0.08 mm bottom and size 20 B511 for fishing in out in front at 11 metres and the second was a 0.4 gram rig with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611 for fishing by the bush. On the whistle I cupped in four balls at 11 metres and two cupfuls of hemp and caster by the bush to hopefully hold any big fish.

First put in with double red maggot saw me catch a decent roach and another soon followed, I then had a small perch which was the signal to switch to caster. After half an hour I had five roach and that perch and was happy with the way things were going, I reckoned that if I could carry on catching like that I would do 12-13lbs. Big Frank Woodard was on the opposite bank and was catching regularly as was his boy, Jake, on the point to my left. Barney Crockett was on my right and was catching small fish quite quickly on the waggler. I had a couple more decent roach on the caster before losing a good one on the way in.

After an hour my 11 metre swim was definately slowing which was quite worrying, I fed another ball of groundbait and tried by the bush, half an hour later all I had to show for my efforts were two small perch. I fed some more hemp and casters here and went back out to 11 metres. A couple more roach quite quickly got me excited before it went quiet again. I could see both Frank and Jake netting fish on a regular basis and I could see Jake was fishing a much shorter line at around 6 metres. I then had a panic attack and plumbed up at the same distance (6 metres) before balling in five 'jaffas'. With over half the match gone I was probably last on the pond.

Frank then netted three bream and a 12oz tench in quick succession to storm into the lead, Jake also got in on the action and landed a chub and some good roach. I had a couple more roach but I was really struggling, I tried my newly primed 6 metre line and a decent roach proved to be a false dawn. Odd fish were topping so I even set up a rig for fishing up in the water but I never had a bite on it. I had a decent last half an hour where I added another three or four roach but I knew my 28 fish wouldn't be enough for a brown envelope today.

I packed up and electrocuted my gonads climbing over the electric fence which proved to be about the most exciting part of the day for me. I weighed Graham Field in who had loads of small perch and a couple of better ones for 8lb 13oz, Barney weighed 6lb 10oz which I didn't think he had and my fish weighed a disappointing 5lb 2oz. Elsewhere Frank was the clear winner with 17lb 13oz and his boy weighed 6lb 13oz for third place behind Graham. It was just a good job Janders didn't fish as that saved me a pound.

Next week it's back here again so we will see if I have lost my touch!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 10th June 2007

Blistering hot conditions met the anglers for the last match and after paying my pools and playing my joker I got one of the favoured pegs, number one. I really needed a good result and the swim looked really nice with loads of carp moving. In front of me was a huge bed of lilies that stretched to 11 metres and the only clear spot was a small channel to my left where I would have to land any fish I hooked.

I decided to fish just off the edge of the lilies at 11 metres and at 11 to 13 metres to my right towards the end of the pond where there were more lilies. Both rigs had 0.4 gram Drennan Carp floats with 0.15mm bottoms and size 16 Kamasan B911 hooks. On the whistle I fed a cupful of Ringers micro pellets, casters, corn and the new chili frenzied hemp on both lines and started at 11 metres to my left. I went off like a house on fire and landed two hand sized skimmers and a small carp in the first three put ins. I then lost another carp in the lilies and lost another which was foulhooked. I did have another couple of skimmers and another small carp and was fairly pleased with how the first hour had gone.

I couldn't see many anglers but Tommy opposite had landed two carp, Graham 'Dino' Pepper next to me hadn't caught and my mate Andy was struggling. Chris Haines had a couple of fish and Gary Moon was the only angler who seemed to be catching well. I couldn't wait to get out on my main line and with my other line fading fast, I refed it and shipped to my right with corn on the hook. The float settled and I waited and waited but no bites were forthcoming, I did hook one fish which took the bait on the drop and it snapped me up. Things were definately not going to plan. I fed this line again after an hour and went back to the left, this line was pretty dead as well and all I added were another skimmer, a perch and some small rudd and roach.

Tommy had only had a couple of eels and wasn't a happy bunny, Andy had landed a carp but lost one estimated at 15lbs, he was also not too impressed. Chris was starting to get a few and Les was also into carp although he was getting done by a few even with his 'Braveheart' pole. The next few hours were really unproductive for me despite trying all over the swim, even going to 16 metres (albeit very briefly!) to my right. Chris was now bagging, catching carp up in the water and apparently Alan Dunn on the hot peg ten was filling his net at an alarming rate.

With two hours to go I was still fishing to my right with corn on the hook and all of a sudden I started getting bites, the trouble was I couldn't get the fish in the net! A couple took me in the lilies and either snagged or snapped me and even the ones I got away from the lilies, I would be playing and the hook would pull out. This was really frustrating and although I landed four more carp I must have lost six or seven, along with a rig and loads of hooks. The whistle went and again I felt I hadn't done the peg justice. I was first to weigh and my six carp and a handful of silvers weighed 11lb 8oz, Dino weighed 10lb odd and I needed to beat him by several places for any chance of a league placing. Les had 15lb 6oz to take the lead, this lasted until we got to Alan who weighed an excellent 39lb.

The closest challenger to Alan was Gary Moon who weighed 31lb 4oz for second on the day, Steve Bush was third with 28lb 8oz and Chris Haines was fourth with 19lb 10oz which also saw him take the league title. Well done Chris, he fished an excellent series and I think fourth was his worst result and he didn't draw any of the corner pegs. I ended up sixth on the day and sixth in the league with the top five picking up money.

Next week is an Ilminster match, hopefully on Dillington, so maybe I can get back to winning ways then!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 3rd June 2007

I was looking forward to this one, the first match of the Ilminster summer league. At the draw there were only six of us fishing, including my nemesis, Janders. I drew peg 6, by one of the inlets and although normally a good peg, nobody knew how it would fish. There were fish topping everywhere and loads of fry about so it looked good.

I set up a waggler to fish up in the water at a depth of about three foot and a o.4 gram rig for the pole, both had 0.12 mm bottoms and size 18 B611's. The pole had blue hydro elastic through the top two which is soft enough not to bump off the small fish but man enough to land any bigger fish that should come along. I also set up a Drennan Roach float to fish up in the water and the for the inside, this top two had number two elastic. For bait I had maggots, casters and hemp and I also mixed up some Sensas Magic groundbait.

On the whistle I cupped in two balls on the ten metre line and then started on the waggler. While loosefeeding the waggler line I was also feeding maggot on the inside, to hopefully keep the hoards of small perch occupied. I started catching roach from the off, mainly small fish around the 1oz mark with the odd better fish and also the usual small perch and by the end of the first hour I had 20 fish. Looking around the pond most people seemed to be catching and 'Big Frank' on the point was catching more than most. Things slowed on the waggler and I was disappointed that none of the venues chub had showed.

A brief flirt with the inside line using just my top three saw just two small perch grace my net so it was time to try the pole. With caster on the hook I shipped out to ten metres and started feeding hemp and caster, the rig didn't have time to settle properly and I had six roach in as many put ins, mostly on the drop. Some of the roach were good fish, approaching 8oz and perhaps slightly bigger. By the end of the second hour I had 34 fish, Frank shouted over to ask how I was getting on and I told him, he replied that he had 50 fish although I think my fish were a better stamp.

Graham Field was opposite and was catching small fish on the whip and Neil Dring on peg 4 landed the first chub of the day. My third hour was ok but it was noticeable that I was catching better while there was a ripple on the water and as soon as the wind dropped my bites slowed right up as well. Robin Cox wandered up from his peg next to me and he was struggling to catch anything apart from small perch. Janders was getting the odd fish and I saw him net a decent eel. Frank was fishing the whip and his fish seemed to be getting bigger as well and he landed two chub in quick succession, which by my reckoning put him in the lead.

Going into the fourth hour and I was still catching fish in fits and starts, so I cupped in two more balls of groundbait and went back on the waggler. They still weren't having it and I only had a couple of small roach. Another go on the inside saw the float bury and number two elastic come streaming out, after a decent scrap I netted a very welcome perch of 10oz. No more bites so I went back out to 10 metres and was still getting the odd roach and perch but things were slowing right up. Frank had balled in more groundbait a couple of times and was still catching quite steadily and even landed his third chub. Robin shouted up that he had just landed a perch of a pound and a half.

With half an hour to go I had reached 70 fish and was hoping that, with the light fading, the roach might get their heads down and I could reach 80. This wasn't the case and no more bites were forthcoming until five minutes from the end the float disappeared and I was hooked into something substantial. The fish was really pulling and I was convinced I had hooked into one of the ponds really big perch. Robin blew the whistle to end the match and I shouted 'fish on', I was starting to get the upper hand and dreaming of the ideal end to the match. I took off a couple of sections and a big swirl made my hands start to shake with nerves. Robin came up to watch and asked what it was, I told him I was sure it was a big stripy.

The other anglers started to shout encouraging comments like 'Make sure you don't lose it' and 'It could be a money fish', thanks very much! The fish swirled again and to both Robins and my suprise my big perch turned out to be a large foulhooked bream! I had unshipped to my top four and really felt I was in with a chance, the fish kited to my left and then the elastic went slack - shit, shit, shit! The fish was around 3 or 4lb and with it I might have had a chance of beating Frank. I was really gutted although from the other anglers reactions I don't think they were!

I packed up thinking of what might have been and then Robin arrived with the scales, my fish weighed 9lb 5oz which was more than I thought, Robin's mostly perch net went 4lb 4oz. The scales got to Frank and his fish pulled the scales round to 13lb 12oz, which made me feel a little better as, even with that bream, I reckoned I'd have struggled to do that. Graham had nearly all small fish plus a couple of eels for just under 9lb and the others weighed between 4 and 5lb which meant I was 2nd on the day and picked up £33 plus another nugget off Janders.

All in all, a very enjoyable day although that last gasp fish would have been the icing on the cake, oh well, there's always next week. Talking off next week, it's the last Chard spring league match and I really need a good result with my joker to stand any chance of a good final league placing, wish me luck, I must be due some.