Sunday, August 24, 2008

Evesham Festival - 23rd/24th August 2008

Me and my mate Andy went to the Shakespeare festival in Evesham once again and it was excellent as ever. On the Saturday we watched the fishing for a bit before going to the pub and eventually getting to bed around 11:30. Tried Guinness Red for the first time, very nice.

Sunday saw us hungover and back by the river, watched Samantha Sim hook and land a barbel of 10lb 6oz which might have been a match winner but we didn't stay until the end.

After dropping Andy off I popped out Dillington to watch the weigh in, Martin Heard won again and the league is his as he leads by 5 points with one match to go.

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 10lb
2 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 9lb 11oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 6lb 10oz
4 - Richard White (Ilminster) - 6lb 3oz
5 - Alvin Jones (Taunton) - 4lb 13oz

League after eight matches (dropping the worst result)

1 - Martin Heard - 12 points
2 - Jamie Rich - 17 points
3 - Graham Field - 19 points

Andy in the Vauxhall drinking Guinness Red

Guinness Red - nice!

The morning after

Warks Avon - Evesham Festival

Match Fishing's Jon Arthur

Kieron Rich

Darren Cox

Dean Barlow

Colin Beech landing an eel

Samantha Sim hooks a beast!

It's in the net! A cracking barbel of 10lb 6oz but was it enough for victory?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chard Reservoir - 17th August 2008

Conditions were perfect for today with a good blow on the resi and the resident bream would hopefully put in an appearance. I just needed to draw a peg in the forties, I stuck my hand in the bucket and pulled out peg 45, that'll do! After the the mammoth walk I reached my peg and sat down for a much needed breather. On my right I had Dave Abrams, who I always seem to draw next to, and on the other side I had Ashley Tomkins. I just set up a feeder and was going to sit it out for the bream, Dave was doing likewise and Ashley was going all out for the roach.

I set up my Drennan feeder rod with a Drennan feeder, 0.12 mm bottom and size 16 Kamasan B611 hook. My groundbait was Van Den Eynde Gold Pro Bream with some Brasem and fishmeal added. I was set up well before the start so decided to go and get some pictures, as I was talking to Chris Haines I felt something in the hair on the back of my head and as I tried to remove it, felt a sharp pain. The poxy wasp, for that was what it was, had stung me! Not a great start and I hoped it wasn't an omen of things to come. After I made sure it wouldn't be doing it again (not so funny now eh waspy?) I took some snaps and went back to my peg.

Chris Haines was going all out for roach

On the whistle I had a few quick casts to the clip (about 40 yards) to get some bait in before baiting up with two red maggots and awaiting the action. I soon started getting indications and on my second cast proper had a small roach. Then next chuck the tip went round and I had my first bream, I'm never sure if getting one so early is a good thing or not but when I had three more in quick succession I started to think it might be! Ashley had been getting a few roach but after my 4th bream he set up a feeder rod and went back to the car to get some groundbait. Dave was still fishless, Chris Haines had landed a tench on the whip but as the bream here average 4-5lb I reckoned I was comfortably ahead at this early stage.

While Ash was away I added a decent perch of 12oz, the start of the second hour was slower and I started to think perhaps the shoal had moved on and when Dave had a bream I started to fear the worst. After half an hour my tip went round again and I landed another slab followed shortly by another three, some of the bites were coming as soon as the feeder had hit bottom. With eight bream in two hours of the six hour match I started to think a big weight could be on the cards. Dave was now catching as well although I kept two or three fish ahead. Tommy Lee next to Dave was calling me all the names under the sun as he too walked up the bank to set a feeder rod up.

Looking along the bank I could see both Les Braunton on 47 and Dave Lawrence on 49 netting bream regularly. Hour three saw the action slow a little and although I only had two more I also had some roach and an eel. Dave was still catching but every time he had one, so did I. I was more concerned about Les but when I shouted up he said he had one less than me. Ash and Tommy both had a bream apiece but it was obvious the main shoal was in front of me and Dave.

Hour four saw more roach so I tried a piece of corn on the hook and had another bream but two quick bream for Dave saw him creeping up on me so I switched back to maggot and had two more plus a foulhooked eel! The fifth hour saw me net three more bream and while lifting my landing net on one of them the bloody pole snapped in half! Luckily Les said he had a spare I could borrow, while I was getting it I asked how many he had and he replied he'd had 14 so I was still just ahead.

A very hungover Scotty Russell turned up and started to take the piss out of his mate Ash, who was now back on the whip, for not fishing for the bream. While he was with me I had another foulhooked eel but I couldn't seem to get anymore bream and all the time Dave was edging ever closer and every time I looked up Les seemed to be netting bream and I was convinced he'd overtaken me. With half an hour left Dave latched into a big fish which was no bream. While he was playing the beast I had bream number 17 and and missed a bite with five minutes left. I quickly cast out again and just before the whistle the tip flew round and I was into number 18.

'Fish on'

Les sounded the all out and both me and Dave shouted 'fish on', I netted my bream but Dave was still battling away with what was obviously a big carp. I walked up to get some snaps, and with just five minutes of the allowed fifteen left he slipped the net under a very big fish. Onlookers estimated it at 15-16lb, had I got enough bream to cancel it out, I didn't think so. I quickly packed up and went to give Les a hand with the weigh in.


Alan Dunn was first to weigh and put a fine 28lb+ of roach on the scales, then Mike Hosgood had ten bream for 51lb 4oz and I thought perhaps I might have around 80lb. Mark Leahy had 40lb 12oz of bream but the rest of the weights were roach with the odd bream until we got to Dave. We weighed his carp first and the scales settled on 20lb 12oz, now that's what you call a last gasp bonus! He then plonked around a dozen slabs on the scales to give him a final weight of 75lb 6oz. I still felt it might be close but when my first weight was called out at 29lb odd I wasn't so sure, my second net was better and my weight was called out at 69lb 14oz - damn. Now this might sound silly as this was my best match weight ever (beating my previous best of 61lb 3oz) but I was gutted. I honestly thought 18 bream at 4lb+ apiece plus 5lb or so of roach, eels and perch would give me 80lb or thereabouts. Still a really enjoyable day.

Bonus fish (all 20lb 12oz of it!). Les wasn't as impressed if his hand gesture is anything to go by!

Ash didn't weigh and things got worse for me when Les stuck less fish on the scales for 70lb 10oz to knock me down into third place. Chris Haines weighed 19lb of mainly roach and unusually for him he finished well down. Dave Lawrence didn't have as many bream as I thought and weighed 36lb 4oz. I did take pounds off Janders and Picky and picked up £50 for third place. Like I said I really enjoyed it and was knackered (and people say fishing's relaxing!).

Les pipped me for second place

No fishing next week as me and Andy are off to Evesham to watch the festival so I'll stick some snaps on here next week.

1 - Dave Abrams (Chard) - 75lb 6oz
2 - Les Braunton (Chard Remains) - 70lb 10oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 69lb 14oz
4 - Mike Hosgood (Chard Raiders) - 51lb 4oz
5 - Mark Leahy (Street) - 40lb 12oz
6 - Dave Lawrence (Chard Raiders) - 36lb 4oz

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dillington Pond - JMA Summer League - 10th August 2008

After a bad couple of weeks I was hoping to put things right today, conditions looked good and after some heavy rain the pond had some colour in it. With it being overcast as well all the signs pointed to the pond fishing well. Eleven anglers awaited the draw and when I pulled out peg 14 I wasn't too disappointed.

When I got to the pond the wind was blowing into the bank I was on and the level was back to normal and I really fancied it. Ashley Tomkins was on my left, a good peg with a willow tree to fish to and on my right was Woggy. Dave Lawrence had drawn the flier by the bush and would be hard to beat. I set up my normal Drennan Roach rig and mixed up some Sensas Roach groundbait. On the whistle I cupped in three balls at 11 metres to my left off the reed bed and another two straight out in front at about 10 metres.

First put in with caster on the hook and the rig didn't settle properly and I was soon swinging in a small rudd. Next put in I had a perch followed by another rudd. Then I started catching some small roach and although I wasn't bagging, it was steady and after an hour I had 15 fish. I would be happy if I could catch 15 fish an hour as this would give me over 80 fish and a weight of 7-8lb. Ashley had more fish than me although his were smaller. Hour two was slower and despite swapping between my two lines I fell short of my target and ended with 26 fish. Nobody seemed to be bagging apart from Dave who had caught three chub and looked good for a comfortable victory. My main rival in the league, Martin Heard, was also well ahead and had 55 fish although I suspected they were mostly bits.

I was getting most of my fish from the left hand line and would catch two or three roach before they drifted off. I really don't know what's happened to the quality roach this year as they seem to have done a disappearing act. Woggy and then Ashley both lost good fish so at least there were a few about. I then landed an eel of around 4oz which was most welcome. By the half way point things had really slowed for most people and I even set up a light up in the water rig but after catching three tiny rudd I gave this up as a bad job. Martin was still catching odd small fish and I could feel another bad section result coming on.

Then I've hooked a good fish and as it's lunged off the bloody hook pulled out! I really felt that could be costly. Ten minutes later I've hooked another and after a tense scrap I've guided a chub of a pound and a half into the net, relieved or what? Martin shouted up that I was now ahead of him, I wasn't so sure. Ashley then landed a chub and his looked bigger than mine. Robin Cox wandered over, he was pegged next to Dave and said he was easily winning, Robin was struggling and had lost a couple of big fish. Woggy lost another big fish and then Neil Dring next to him also lost a beast. I upped my feed and started feeding more caster to try and get another chub.

I could see Dave's landing net being used more and more, why can't I draw that peg? Then Ashley landed another chub and Martin had an eel, I was falling behind again. I tried double red maggot and added a few more perch and a small roach but they weren't coming fast enough. I did have another eel which was a little bigger than my first one but with half an hour to go I decided to stick it out on the caster. Just before the end Neil hooked another big fish only for it to plough into a weed bed and he lost it. I never added any more and when the whistle went I had 50 fish which I reckoned would go 4-5lb but I didn't think it would be enough to beat Ash or Martin who were both in my section.

I packed up and waited for Martin and the scales as I was first to weigh, my fish went 4lb 14oz which I was disappointed with. When Ash weighed 6lb 9oz I began to realise how costly that lost chub was. I said I thought he'd frame with that and when Martin weighed 6lb 1oz I honestly thought Ash would be second on the day. I did manage to beat the other two in my section as Alvin Jones had 2lb 8oz and Robin didn't weigh so I was third in my section again. As we all expected Dave was a clear winner with 14 chub for 23lb 14oz and he lost several as well. I was then surprised to find out Graham Field had weighed 9lb 4oz of small fish, mainly on the whip and Malcolm Levy had 6lb 12oz of whip fish.

I think Dave enjoyed his bag up session!

So not only had Martin increased his lead over me to three points, Graham was now right on my tail and I've got to miss the next match. Whatever happens I'll have to beat him in the last match to stand any chance of clinging on to second place in the league. I did manage to take a pound off Janders who still hasn't really tested his new pole. I must also say thanks from everyone to Robin Cox and Alvin Jones who gave up last Saturday to clear out the swims and put in some permanent pegs - good job lads. Next week I'm on the resi again and not confident of ending my bad run there either.


1 - Dave Lawrence (Chard Remains) - 23lb 14oz
2 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 9lb 4oz
3 - Malcolm Levy (Tiverton) - 6lb 12oz
4 - Ashley Tomkins (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 6lb 9oz
5 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 6lb 1oz

League positions (after seven rounds and dropping the worst result)

1 - Martin Heard - 11 pts
2 - Jamie Rich - 14 pts
3 - Graham Field - 17 pts
4 - Neil Dring - 18 pts

Monday, August 04, 2008

Chard Reservoir - 3rd August 2008

After my last disaster on 'the resi' I was keen to get back and plunder the resident bream population, I really wanted to draw in the forties but of course drew peg 37. Apparently the roach have started to show with a vengeance and you need to make your mind up what to go for and stick with it because if you have an hour on the feeder and the bream don't show you are already 6lb behind the roach anglers. I got to my peg and set up a Drennan feeder rod and a whip! (what have I just said!).

The view from peg 37 looking across to the dam wall

For company I had the legend that is Graham 'Dino' Pepper on my right and Butch Baker on my right. Graham only set up a feeder and Butch, like me, set up both. Dave Lawrence next to Dino was going all out for roach so it would be interesting to see how both approaches fared. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Bream Gold Pro groundbait and added some fishmeal. For bait I had maggot, casters, hemp and some corn.

Dino in full flow before giving me a spanking off the next peg!

On the whistle I cast out to the clip (about 40 yards) with double red maggot on the hook, I didn't leave it out long so I could get some bait into the swim. I started to get indications and in the first hour had around 6 roach but no signs of bream. Dino was still fishless and Butch only had one roach. Dave was bagging and catching loads of silvers. Butch then hooked a bream only for it to come off on the way in, after another half an hour I had added a few more roach but no bream. Dino landed a slab so I stuck with it a little longer and tried corn to try and avoid the roach but they were hitting this as well. Butch was now on the whip and catching lots of small fish.

I had been feeding caster and hemp at 4 metres and decided to give it a go, with caster on the hook the action was instant and I was soon catching roach including some nice ones but I had two or three come off. I changed my hook from a 20 B511 to an 18 B611 with a more substantial 0.12 mm bottom went back out and couldn't get a bite! Once again I was going nowhere fast and not enjoying it one bit. After two and a half hours I was well behind Dino, Butch and Dave. I was now back on the feeder and catching the odd roach on maggot and even corn. Dino then had two bream in quick succession and was closing in on Dave.

I had a decent bite on triple red maggot only to strike and my 0.12 mm hooklength to part like cotton. I went back on the whip again and enjoyed a quick flurry of roach and small perch before the bites tailed off again. Butch was fishing a much longer whip than my 4 metres and catching consistently so I chucked it up the bank and decided to concentrate on the feeder for the remainder of the match - shit or bust! With 2 hours of this 6 hour fixture left, the heavens opened and it looked like it was here for the duration.

The chap next to Butch latched into a big fish and after a lengthy battle netted a carp which after weighing straight away was confirmed as 19lb exactly - a nice bonus! This cheered Dino up no end and he was muttering about bivvies and bite alarms for the rest of the match. He added another slab but lost a decent skimmer at the net which did nothing to improve his mood. Dave was still banging out roach and looked good to win our five peg section. At half past four (the match finished at 5), my tip went round and I finally hooked a bream, I carefully played it to the net. As I went to unhook it there in its mouth were not one but two hooks! This was the fish I had snapped off on earlier as my three maggots were still wriggling away and I had hooked it on corn! I removed both and deposited it in my net.

During the next half an hour the only distraction was EA bailiff Andy Locke checking my licence for the first time this season. In reality I was only now fishing for pride but you never know I might snaffle another, time ticked away and at 5 'o' clock the all out was shouted and as I lifted my rod to reel in there was a fish on! Shortly after I netted my second bream which was a similar size to my first at 5lb+. Dino also had one on the whistle to take his final tally to five and Dave shouted up that it would be close between them.

I quickly packed up my sodden gear and started taking some of it partway back to the carpark. When I got back to my peg Les and the scales had arrived at Dino's peg, he weighed just under 24lb and as Dave weighed 27lb 4oz that lost skimmer might have been costly. My 42 fish (2 bream and the rest roach and perch) weighed 15lb 2oz and I needed at least another couple of bream. Butch weighed 16lb odd so wasn't as far ahead of me as I'd thought. As expected the high numbered pegs did all the damage and long range feeder expert, Mike Hosgood, had 15 bream for an excellent 68lb 4oz from peg 48. Match organiser Les Braunton was second with a mainly roach bag of 45lb on the whip and tares from peg 50. Dave was third, Yeovil and District Angling Centre boss, Scott Russell was fourth with 25lb 10oz of bream and Chris Haines was fifth with 24lb 14oz of roach.

Next week I'm back on Dillington and I might be able to use my new pole, a Garbolino Super G8 - whoop, whoop! God I hope it fishes better than last time.


1 - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 68lb 4oz
2 - Les Braunton (Chard Remains) - 45lb
3 - Dave Lawrence (Chard Remains) - 27lb 4oz
4 - Scott Russell (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 25lb 10oz
5 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 24lb 14oz