Monday, March 31, 2008

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 30th March 2008

I wasn't looking forward to this one although the weather was a lot better than forecast. Les and Steve Bush drew their usual corner pegs and Janders was on consistent peg 13, for my sins I drew peg 7 which hasn't got a lot of form.

I set up a 0.6 gram Drennan carp float to fish at 11 metres and scaled down slightly to 0.12 mm bottom and finer wire Fox Match carp hook. I also set up a 0.10 gram Trabucco rig to fish down the margins on either side. I mixed up some Sonubaits groundbait and was ready well before the off. On the whistle I cupped in three balls at 11 metres and hemp, 4 mm pellet, chili hemp and corn on both inside swims. Starting on the longer line with double red maggot on the hook I was quickly into fish landing two skimmers and a roach in quick succession. I was hopeful the better bream might move in but then all I could catch was tiny roach. Still at least I was ahead of Janders who was opposite me. I looked up to see him land a good bream that was foulhooked and all of a sudden I was behind again.

I gave it an hour on the longer line but only added a a couple more small fish so I cupped in another ball and came in on my right margin swim. No bites here or from the other inside swim and once again I was all out of ideas. From all the splashing coming from Bushy on peg 10 it was obvious he was bagging and Tommy Lee opposite on peg 11 (my peg from last week!) was also getting a few including a 12lb bonus. From the comments around the pond it seemed, once again, as if nobody apart from the corner pegs was catching much.

After seeing some carp cruising near the surface I flirted with fishing shallow but only added a couple more tiny roach. Swopping between all three swims proved totally unproductive and I was right royally fed up. With two hours to go I was fishing the left hand margin with corn on the hook when I started getting some indications. I hooked my first carp only for the hook to pull out nearly straight away, I then hooked a good fish and had done all the hard work and shipped down to my long top two when it snagged me solid just in front of me in an unseen snag and I had to pull for a break. This just wasn't going to be my day yet again. I hooked a third but the hook pulled out of this one as well. Janders had landed a couple of small carp and I knew another pound would be heading his way.

With ten minutes to go I actually got one out and it was a decent fish of around 5lb, I just had time to go back in but no more bites and Les called the all out. I packed up and took some of my stuff back to the car and it became apparent the pond had fished poorly. Les on corner peg 1 had just over 15lb and was the early leader. Mr Consistent (Chris Haines) had 11lb 2oz which looked like being a good weight on the day. My fish went 5lb 12oz and after four matches that's my top weight on this 'bagging' venue. I've fished four matches (24 hours in total) for four carp so far - not good.

Bushy weighed a tad under 50lb for an easy win, Tommy had 35lb odd for second and Les was third and Chris fourth. Janders weighed 9lb 2oz to win his five peg section by default and take another pound off me. Picky also duffed me up again and deprived me of a pound. Some good anglers had struggled today including Alan Dunn who had 3oz and Steve Bishop who didn't weigh, so it's not just me. Well lets hope the weather warms up a bit as I'm back here again next week - great!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Perry St Pond - 23rd March 2008

More shitty weather was forecast and I wasn't really up for this one at all. At the draw only six other anglers turned up so Les decided it would be draw and choose, amazingly I got choice one and decided to go for peg 11, one of the consistent corner pegs. Les was paying out the top two and two sections so I only had to beat three people to pick up some money to stop this poor run that is picking up pace.

The peg looked good although the dark clouds overhead didn't. I set up a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp float to fish at 11 metres and a 0.1 gram Trabbucco to fish along the edges. Both had 0.14 mm bottoms to Fox Carp Match hooks. On the whistle I cupped in some chopped worm at 11 metres and some pellets, corn and hemp along the edge of the pond at about 8 metres. Opposite on peg 10 was Rocking Roy and we enjoyed the usual banter, he reckoned I'd win it today although I wasn't so sure. I started on the longer line with double red maggot on the hook and didn't get any indications for three quarters of an hour and then it didn't develop into a strikeable bite.

I came in on my other line by some dead reeds and debri and fully expected to catch straight away, which I did but they were only small rudd. Roy was in the same boat and a bank walker confirmed that only two small carp had been caught around the pond so it was still anybodys match. In amongst the hail and rain the sun would put in an appearance and it was actually quite nice although it never lasted long. I kept swopping between my lines and trying maggot and corn hookbaits but all I could catch was the odd little rudd and roach.

This pattern continued with the only elastic stretcher being a perch of around half a pound. My nemesis Janders had an early carp and a skimmer so my pound looked like it would be heading his way again. The last hour arrived and Roy sprung into action and landed five carp quite quickly before losing three. He said he was on a lighter rig and in the back of my mind I had this niggling thought that perhaps I should scale down to 0.12 mm but didn't for fear of losing anything I hooked. I needn't have worried though because I didn't hook a carp all day.

Sweet relief came in the form of Les shouting all out, I quickly packed up and took some of my stuff back to the car. I asked Janders how he'd got on and he'd ended up with three carp, Alan Dunn had caught four, Les had three, Bushy six and Roy finished on five. So let alone win the match, I was last on the pond! I tipped my fish back and drove home without watching the weigh in. I knew I should have scaled down but I never felt at any time like there were many fish in the swim.

I'm really not enjoying this venue at all and just can't get my head around it, perhaps next Sunday will be better - pah!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Perry St Pond - 21st March 2008

Chard AC always hold on match on Good Friday and today was no exception. Once again the forecast was crap with strong winds, hail and rain. I managed to draw poxy peg 15 again and the wind was right in my face. I set up the same two rigs as the last match (see previous post) and on the whistle cupped in some chopped worm at ten metres and some 4 mm pellets, corn and chili hemp on the inside to my right. I started on the longer line with double red maggot on the hook. It was very cold and the wind was making holding the pole difficult.

After half an hour it looked like it was going to be hard as nobody I could see had caught anything! Ten minutes later I had a bite and after a short tussle, netted a carp of around a pound, things were looking up. I then had a small roach and that was it. Alan 'Picky' Gage opposite me had placed a pound side bet with me before the start so I was dismayed when he landed a carp on the feeder. I refed the longer line and came on the inside.

After an hour on the inside I hadn't added to my tally. The odd fish was now being caught around the pond but nobody was running away with it. The grapevine reported that Janders had landed a carp so my other side bet was looking iffy as well. Then the jungle drums reported that Les on corner peg ten had landed a lump of 10lb 10oz and had a couple of smaller carp to go with it. I still couldn't buy a bite on either line. I was once again looking forward to the final whistle.

With an hour to go I was on the inside with double red maggot on the hook when I started getting the odd bite, they turned out to be roach, which staved off the boredom a little and I added four to my 'bulging' net. Then out of the blue I had a carp around three pound and hopefully this had put me ahead of Picky. No more bites and the whistle sounded just as the rain came down yet again. I quickly packed up and walked round to watch the weigh in, Oz on peg one has 15lb+ and Janders had four carp for 10lb something so that was one pound down, Picky had another carp which I hadn't seen him land and he weighed 5lb odd. I knew I didn't have that so my other pound bit the dust as well.

There were a few double figure weights and then Les went into the lead with over 22lb, Steve Bush came the closest to him with just under 17lb, I weighed a lowly 4lb which was second from last but at least I'd beaten my weight from last time. I'm out here again on Sunday and the weather doesn't look great for then either. I just can't get my head round this carp lark, give me roach anyday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 16th March 2008

Me and Janders had missed the first match in this league due to a clash with the Crown league and as you can only drop one match I was keen to get off to a good start. The weather was awful with a very cold wind and freezing rain. I drew peg 15 which meant nothing to me apart from I knew it wasn't one of the hot corner pegs. After another recent influx of carp, weights had been pretty good and although I'm not a fan of carp bashing I was quite looking forward to having my string pulled.

I set up two 0.4 gram Drennan carp floats, one to fish out at 10 metres and the other for the inside to my right at about five metres. Both rigs had 0.14 mm bottoms and Fox Match carp hooks. On the whistle (or rather Les shouting all in very loudly) I cupped in some 4 mm pellets, chili hemp and a few grains of corn on both lines. With double red maggot on the hook I started on the longer line and after a few minutes battling the wind the float sunk from view and I landed (!) a half ounce roach. Next put in I had another but it dropped off and then I had my second roach, it was time to try the corn.

This proved very uneventful and the wind was being a right pain, from what I could see around the pond, not a lot was happening. Janders was still blanking, Tommy opposite had caught a few small fish and next to him Steve Bishop had landed a bream and a small carp so not the bagging session I had anticipated. From the banter around the pond it seemed Chris Haines on corner peg 11 was getting a few and Mark Hollister on peg 3 was landing fish quite regularly. I cupped in some more feed at 10 metres and tried my inside line, two more small roach on maggot prompted me to switch to corn. I had a couple of bites which I missed and I was getting colder by the minute but at least the rain had finally stopped.

After another cup of coffee I went for a walk, 'Rockin' Roy Fowler next to me had caught four small skimmers, Les Braunton on 13 had one small carp plus bits and Butch Baker had one small carp, Chris Haines on 11 had 9 carp and a tench and his peg was like a mill pool. Dejected I walked back. I did bump a carp but I was rapidly going off this carp lark. Hollister walked by with a carp (as all fish over 8lb had to weighed by Les straight away and put back) and on his return I asked what it had weighed and he replied 11lb 14oz, which was a nice bonus.

My mate Andy came round for a natter, he'd had around a dozen small fish and wasn't enjoying himself at all, I did miss a bite while he was there but to be honest I was ready for the match to finish. I did manage a carp of around 2lb with an hour to go and thought I might get a few more to give me a chance of my five peg section but it didn't happen. The match finally ended and I packed up before following the weigh in. 'Picky' Gage on peg 1 had 19lb and lead very briefly before Hollister plonked 48lb on the scales, the next decent weight was Hainsey who had over 35lb and those three were the top weights on the day. My five fish weighed 2lb 6oz for nowhere although I did take pounds off Janders who blanked and Andy who didn't weigh and is now giving up fishing.

Despite not enjoying it very much, I've booked in for matches on Friday and Sunday, wish me luck.

Monday, March 10, 2008

River Isle - Crown League - 9th March 2008

After drawing peg 125 last week I only went and drew it again!!! After some rain yesterday I really thought there might be a touch of colour but if anything the river was lower and clearer than last time. I made myself comfortable and set up the same rig as last week, a 2BB Drennan peacock waggler with 0.12 mm bottom and a size 18 B611.

After two or three runs down the swim I had my first roach which was followed in by a pike, my second roach I missed the keepnet with! After an hour I knew it was going to be hard, I only had three roach although a couple were good fish. The wind was once again quite difficult to contend with and a pike kept scattering fish at the bottom of the swim. It also started raining off and on, Janders walked up to the car to get his brolley and asked how I was doing, I replied that I'd only had five fish. He said Neil and him were both struggling below the bridge.

I was still getting odd fish but I bumped a couple and had two good fish taken off by pike. After three hours I'd only had around a dozen fish, mainly on caster with a couple on double bronze. Then I had a visit from a mink which probably didn't help matters. Then just like last week a fish topped above me, so I cast upstream and had another six roach. I ended the match with 19 roach and a minnow.

Janders walked up to weigh me in and asked for my estimate, bearing in mind I had 28 fish last week for 7lb 10oz I said I reckoned I had about 3lb. I actually weighed 6lb 8oz and Janders and Neil gave me loads of abuse. Neil weighed 3lb 4oz and Janders 2lb 2oz, so I had pulled a couple of points on Janders but I knew it wouldn't be enough. They said that the chub had fed in the other section at South Bradon and that Digger had caught eight and lost eight! and Justin had landed five.

Back at the results and Diggers chub weighed a fantastic 21lb 11oz and Justin's 13lb 6oz, I sneaked into third place and picked up £25 and another nugget off John, as I thought I finished second in the league, one point behind Janders, and picked up another £20. Well done on your league win Janders.

So that's the end of the river fishing until October, I would just like to thank Tommy from the Crown for his sponsership and continued support and to Robin Cox for doing an excellent job in running the league. The day was also tinged with sadness as we remembered Barney who had started the river season with us but sadly wasn't with us at the end. You will be sorely missed mate.

Next week sees me (hopefully) carp bagging at Perry St Pond.

Monday, March 03, 2008

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League - 2nd March 2008

The last match arrived and I had been dreaming about drawing peg 125 for weeks and I only went and drew it!!! and it was a golden peg too! Driving to the river I kept thinking this was my best chance of winning a golden peg for years and I actually had butterflies! The peg itself is nothing special to look at, a shallow run leading upto a bridge but for some reason the roach shoal up here and the last time I drew it I had just under 25lb. As I made myself comfortable I noticed the river was a lot clearer than I expected but still expected to do ok.

I was lying in third place in the league and although I couldn't win it as Justin Charles was too far ahead, second place was achievable if I could do well and Martin Heard had a bad match. The trouble was he'd drawn peg 74 again and he'd won off it the last time. I only set up a waggler rod with a short and stumpy 2BB Drennan peacock waggler with a couple of number tens down the line and a 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 Kamazan B611 at the business end. I set the float at a foot deep and even then it was dragging bottom!

On the whistle I baited up with double bronze maggot and away we went, on the first two put ins the float buried and I had two nice roach in the net. This was going to be easy! I mentally set my target at ten fish an hour and hopefully would be able to exceed that. Anyway the third cast was biteless, as was the fourth and fifth and all of a sudden I wasn't so sure. I then hooked a good ten ounce roach and as I went to net it a pike swirled for it, maybe he was the reason for the sudden downturn in sport. Feeding bronze maggots, casters and hemp I had eight roach after the first hour for about 2lb and was a little short of my target.

Hour two was much the same and the pike kept putting in an appearance, which didn't help. I was having to cast further and further down the swim to get bites and a fairly strong wind was doing its best to blow the float into the near bank. I was still getting the odd fish and enjoyed a purple patch catching four fish directly under where I was putting the feed, but it didn't last long. With a couple hours to go I knew I'd be well short of my target and the golden ball was slipping away. A fish topped above me so I cast upstream and had a small roach straight away but it was a loner.

Casting as far down as I could I also started catapulting some feed down the swim to see if I could bring the fish up, I did hook two good roach in successive chucks only for the pike to nab one and the other snagged me up. I then had a roach and a chublet about half a pound and thought I might enjoy some late frantic action but I only had one more roach to end with 28 fish (26 roach and 2 chublets) plus a couple of minnows. I had the scales yet again so I packed up and went down to weigh Justin in who was on peg 126, he'd caught loads of fish to weigh 6lb 5oz and I reckoned on having about 7lb (four fish to the pound). In fact I weighed 7lb 10oz and knew it wouldn't be enough for a bumper payday.

There was one glimmer of hope, apparently Martin had been struggling so could I sneak second in the league? Back at the results and Roger Russell had won from peg 85 with four chub for 9lb 13oz, bugger! I was second and picked up £31, Martin had found some late chub and was third with 7lb 6oz. So my second in section meant I kept hold of third place in the league and picked up £40. Maybe next year eh? I also had another squid of Janders who had struggled for 7oz.

I can't sign off without saying a big thankyou to V.E.S. Precision for their sponsership and to Pete Lonton once again for his fantastic organisation.

Final league standings

1 - Justin Charles - 8 points (superior overall weight)
2 - Martin Heard - 8 points
3 - Jamie Rich - 11 points

Next week is the last Crown league match where I'm currently second so a good result could see me pick up some more money, wish me luck.