Monday, June 29, 2009

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 28th June 2009

Conditions were still very hot and muggy although at least it was overcast for this one. The pond level was back up a bit as well and once again loads of big fish could be seen moving about. I really fancied drawing on the bottom bank and got my wish pulling peg 12 out of the bucket. I got to my peg and started making myself comfy, I mixed up a 50:50 mix of Sensas Roach and Lake Black and started setting up my kit. I set up a waggler rod with 2.5AAA Drennan insert waggler with only a couple of number eights down the line and a 0.12mm bottom with size 18 B611. I also set up my favoured 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float, again with 0.12mm bottom and another 18 B611.

On my right was Terry Morgan with Martin Heard, Graham Field and Alvin Jones to his right and on my left was Steve Parker. Alvin had a pair of shorts on and I was being blinded by the white glare coming from his legs! Opposite me on the far side of the pond was my nemesis Janders who had drawn peg 2 which was also the golden peg so if he won off it he would be in for a bumper payday. Neil Dring blew his whistle to signal the start and I carefully cupped in three balls of groundbait at 10 metres before picking up my waggler rod. I baited up with two red maggots before casting out and flicking casters and hemp over the top. After 20 mins all I had to show for my efforts was one tiny rudd so it was time to try the pole.

Should these be allowed out?

Martin was getting a few small fish but Graham said he was struggling and already it looked like being a hard match. I shipped out the pole with caster on the hook and once again had to wait ages before catching a small roach and by the end of the first hour I only had a few roach and a perch plus that tiny rudd. I stuck with it in hour two and would get a couple of fish before it died off again. Despite his legs, Alvin was catching quite well and netted a decent perch as well. Martin was still catching and Grahams catch rate had picked up too. Once again I was going nowhere fast and even a quick try with maggot didn't improve things.

By the end of the second hour I had around a dozen fish and was miles behind Graham, Martin and Alvin although I was keeping pace with Terry and Steve. Neil Dring on peg 20 had netted a good perch and Bruce Hunt on peg 1 shouted over that he had about a pound and a half. With big fish still moving around out of pole range I decided to have another go with the waggler. I started to get the odd roach, tiny rudd and even had a couple of small skimmers! (where did they come from?) but still wasn't adding much to my weight.

Then Steve hooked and landed a good perch which looked all of 3lb and when Bruce started hooking chub I knew I needed big fish to do any good. I knew there was a decent head of eels in the pond and had seen Roger Russell land several from peg 18 and Neil had caught a couple too. I baited up with caster on the pole and started feeding them quite heavily. After about ten minutes the float slid away and I missed the bite! - great. Back out again and the next bite saw me into a decent eel and I eventually slipped the net under a wriggler of 12oz or so. When I followed that up with another of 6oz I started to think a comeback might be on the cards.

I was just thinking that I'd only ever caught one big perch in a competition here and how one now would get me right back in the hunt when the float went. I struck and this was no eel, a couple of thumps and then the fish (perch?) woke up and shot off towards Terry's peg. I had the pole tip under water but it just kept going, I lifted the pole and it had gone under Terry's line and I was now attached to his rig as well - oh fantastic! Eventually the rig came loose only for me to find the fish was well and truely weeded up. I tried pulling from different angles and adding sections and this seemed to work as the fish came out only to dive straight back in again! This happened a second time but this time it was stuck fast and much to Martins amusement I had to pull for a break.

My head was gone now as I knew that fish had cost me, I should have just held on and not given an inch but I didn't realise how much weed there was in front of Terry. I tied another hook on and went back out. I hooked another decent eel but this one weeded me by my keepnet and I had to pull for a break again. Oh man, this was turning into a disaster. Bruce had now had a couple of chub and was looking good for another victory. I did land another eel and had another where it spat the hook out! I did manage another eel but I knew I'd lost enough to frame. I was hoping I might get another eel but all I managed was a small roach to take my total to 32 fish. The whistle went and I packed up feeling rather dejected.

I thought I might have beaten Terry but reckoned everyone else around me had given me a spanking. I took some of my kit back to the car and got back to my peg as they were weighing Graham in, he had 101 fish but they only went 3lb 5oz, which surprised me, Martin pipped in with 4lb 6oz and three late eels probably made the difference there. Terry weighed just over a 1lb and my fish went 3lb 13oz to leave me thinking what might have been once again. Steve's perch went 3lb exactly and with some bits and eels he had a 4lb 13oz total. Bob Hammond ahd 1lb 1oz and Roger had 4lb 14oz and Neil had 4lb 13oz so it was all quite close. Bruce had indeed won it with three chub plus eight eels and bits for 9lb 14oz and Alvin was second with 6lb 8oz.

Still it had fished better than of late and the weights are gradually getting better but I still think it needs an injection of fish, probably skimmers or roach.

Next Sunday we're back at Chris's pond and I'm not confident as I'm yet to pick any money up there, we'll see.

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 9lb 14oz
2 - Alvin Jones (Chard) - 6lb 8oz
3 - Roger Russell (Ilminster) - 4lb 14oz

A - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 4lb 6oz
B - Steve Parker (Ilton) and Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 4lb 13oz

The top three on the day (from left to right), Roger Russell, Alvin Jones and Bruce Hunt

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dillington Pond - Evening League - 24th June 2009

Scotty Russell had phoned me the night before from Dillington to say there were fish everywhere, bream, chub and several big carp!!!! So I was really up for this one, I left work early and was at the pond a little before the draw. There was a decent turnout (well for a Wed night!) of eight and Robin Cox said we could all draw two pegs and choose which one we wanted to fish. I managed to pull out pegs 3 and 5 so not much of a choice! Graham Field had elected to fish peg 4 so whichever I chose I would be next too him.

The pond was at least four foot down as the farmer was abstracting water for his potatoes. The last time I'd seen it this low it had fished really well so I was hoping for more of the same this time. With just over half an hour to set up, I only had time to mix some groundbait up (Sensas Lake Black and Roach) and set one rig up. Per usual I opted for a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611. The next angler to my left was Alvin Jones down near the corner (where Scott had seen all those fish last night), so I had several blank pegs, would this help me?

On the whistle I cupped in three balls of groundbait at 11.5 metres and started with caster on the hook. No bites straight away and I looked up to see Alvin landing a chub on the waggler, Graham was also on the wag and had about ten small fish before I caught a small roach. After an hour I only had five small fish and all was not well. I tried maggot but this was just as slow so I went back on the caster trying to catch quality but it just wasn't happening.

Most off my fish were coming either on the drop or just as the rig settled but I would get a couple and then nothing for ages. I was resigned to yet another bad day (or evening). Several bank walkers came round and said most people were struggling although both Alvin and Graham were catching small fish quite quickly. With two hours gone I probably had about a dozen fish for 12oz or so. I decided to stick it out with caster and the last hour saw me get a few more bites and I struggled up to 18 fish but I knew I was miles behind Alvin and Graham.

With half an hour to go I finally hooked a better fish which turned out to be an eel of around 8oz and I ahd another with 10 mins to go, this one smaller at 4oz and that was it. I ended with 20 fish and was just disappointed with how it had fished again. After packing up I popped round to see how Scotty had got on by the pumphouse (peg 22) and he said he'd had one chub and some bits. When Robin and the scales reached me he said Alvin was top so far with 6lb 2oz, my fish went 2lb 5oz and Graham had 4lb 6oz so I was battered both sides - great!

Scotty weighed 3lb 9oz, Robin didn't bother, Stu had a level 3lb, Justin Charles had 1lb 8oz and Janders had 1lb 6oz so at least I won a pound. We're back here on Sunday and I have no clue what to do anymore, I really don't want to have to fish for shit fish but it may come to that.

Back at the results and Alvin won followed by Graham and Scott. After three matches and dropping the worst result Alvin and Robin Cox jointly lead with two points.

Alvin recorded his second win of the series

1 - Alvin Jones (Chard) - 6lb 2oz
2 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 4lb 6oz
3 - Scott Russell (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 3lb 9oz

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chris Haines Pond - 21st June 2009

Now I really ought to love this venue but I just can't seem to get my head around it, there's loads of silvers but I always seem to get bogged down with the carp and as a consequence never win any dosh. Well today I was determined to just go for silvers and hopefully catch any carp that come along. Match organiser, Les Braunton, has won lots of money by fishing 3 metres to hand with chopped worm and caster. Rather than copy (as you always come off second best) I was going to shortline it today.

Venue expert - Les Braunton

I had all good intentions of picking Dave Lawrence up but when I got to his place, we couldn't get his box in my car so he ended up driving again - cheers mate. After sorting out some bait it was time to draw and I pulled out peg 2 which is close to where Les won the last match and next to Picky so it would be a head to head battle for the pound. I set up a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp float with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 Tubertini 808 for the chopped worm line and a little Trabucco dibber for up in the water and against the island but hopefully wouldn't have to use this rig! For bait I had quarter of a kilo of worms, half a pint of casters, red maggots and some expander pellets.

Picky, my neighbour for the day

I can't go on without mentioning my nemesis Janders, after having a look at the lake we were walking back to the cars and he just fell over! There was nothing to fall over and it had to be the most theatrical fall I've ever seen, eat your heart out Ronaldo! I pissed myself laughing and John was fine, nothing hurt apart from his pride.

Janders (could he be Ronaldo's replacement at Man U?)

On the whistle I cupped in a healthy portion of choppie mix (worms, casters, maggots and a few expanders) at 5 metres and went straight over it with double red maggot on the hook. I didn't have to wait long for the first bite, which I bumped, so nothing new there then! I then had a decent skimmer followed by a hybrid and another skimmer. From all the splashing it seemed like most people were catching well. Although Picky was on the next peg I couldn't see him because of a bush but he shouted up that Les (who was next to him) was catching really well.

After the first hour I had 24 fish including a small carp and a couple of lovely little crucians and was pleased with my progress. I was cupping in small amounts of worm and caster each put in via a little pole mounted cup and this seemed to be working quite well. Hour two was a little slower with 17 fish although I did net a couple of decent perch and another crucian. It seemed to be neck and neck with Picky although from his reports, Les was catching like a man possessed.

Hour three saw things take a worrying turn, I was still catching lots of fish but instead of skimmers and crucians I was now catching small roach, rudd and perch. Then I hooked a bigger carp which dragged my rig straight through a lily bed and smashed me. This combined with Steve Bishop and Janders both starting to catch some better carp prompted me to have a look with my shallow rig with pellet on the hook. As always this didn't produce a lot (one better roach) and I felt Picky was probably pulling away from me.

Bish started to bag up

I tied a new hook on my choppie rig and went back trying to catch silvers but of course they had disappeared, I was only catching the odd small roach and perch and had lost my way yet again. Through the day I kept trying different hookbaits, maggot, caster, half a worm and expander pellet but I caught the majority of my fish on double red maggot. I did manage another small carp but time was running out and it looked like Steve Bishop was going to romp to victory as he was still catching carp. Janders had also netted two or three decent carp and I was mentally preparing myself to say goodbye to a pound.

With around an hour to go and my chopped worm line dead I reckoned I needed carp to do well (here we go again!), so it was back out with my shallow rig with pellet on the hook. I fished off the edge of the lilies at about 11.5 metres while constantly flicking a few 4mm pellets over the top and lifting and dropping the rig. It wasn't long before the pole tip was dragged down and I netted a small carp, then I had a slightly better one before I hooked one that ripped through the lilies and snagged me. After sorting the rig out I had time to land another but not before it had gone through Picky's peg - whoops! There were a lot of fish there at the end but you can't seem to catch like this all day.

As I packed up I was a little angry at myself for not sticking to my game plan of going for silvers all day but that line just withered after the first two hours. I ended with 79 fish and really had no clue of what weight I had, possibly 10-15lb. Les started the weigh in at Dave who had struggled for 7lb 1oz, then Butch had 13lb 8oz and Dunner had a few pound more. The lovely Chanter stuck just over 20lb on the scales to take the lead but this didn't last as Steve Bush had 27lb something.

Dave struggled for 7lb 1oz

Bushy did well again.....

weighing over 27lb

There were some more double figure weights and then Janders plonked 19lb 1oz on the scales and I didn't think I had that. Bish weighed a fantastic 51lb something and we all thought he'd win it with that.

Bish with part of his catch but would it be enough?

Then Les pulled his nets out, his carp net went 17lb+ and combined with a fantastic silvers weight of 36lb+ gave him a total of over 54lb, Les had done it again, well done mate. He really had got this venue sorted. This just left me and Picky to weigh to decide where the pound went. He weighed 16lb odd and when I pulled my net out I knew it would be close, Les read out 17lb 4oz and I claimed the pound. I didn't have it long though and gave it straight to Janders - oh well.

1 - Les Braunton - 54lb+
2 - Steve Bishop - 51lb+
3 - Steve Bush - 27lb+
4 - Steve Chant - 20lb+
5 - John 'Janders' Anderson - 19lb 1oz

I wasn't too far off the minor placings and looking at the results it seems being called Steve really helps here. I must apologise that I didn't bring the results sheet on so haven't got the exact weights.

Next up is an evening match at Dillington on Wednesday so lets see if I can get back to winning ways then.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 14th June 2009

Another blazing hot day awaited us for round three of the Summer league and once again there was a good turnout of 16 anglers. I drew peg 8 on the far side quite close to where I was last match and I was quite pleased with my peg. I made myself comfy and started setting up, first out of my rig tray was a Drennan 0.5 gram Roach float with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 and my other rig was a little Drennan Squatt float for fishing up in the water.

Drennan Roach floats are brilliant (I just wish mine would go under a few more times!)

I mixed up some Sensas Lake and River Black in equal quantities and was ready for the off. The lovely Woggy came up for a pre-match chat but when I got my camera out he went all camera shy and buggered off back to his peg!

Woggy suddenly decided he didn't want to chat!

The Old Fossil (Malcolm Levy) also came up and had a whinge about the tight pegging (remember that for later). For company I had Justin Charles on my right who was fishing his first match at Dillington for ages and a new chap on my left called Moses (honestly) but I'm really sorry I don't know his second name, I'll find out for next time I promise.

Justin, my next peg neighbour for the day (well most of it anyway)

Robin Cox blew his whistle at 10:30 and I cupped three balls of groundbait out at 11.5 metres and as always started with caster on the hook. After the last match I was prepared for a bit of a wait but after half an hour I'd only had one bite which I missed! I stuck double red maggot on but this wasn't much better and I only had a couple of small roach and perch. Very aware that the small fish anglers like Graham Field and Martin Heard would already be miles ahead, I tried my shallow rig as there were loads of small fish topping. This didn't exactly go to plan either and I only added three tiny roach. With two hours gone I was already in trouble and when a bank walker informed me that Graham was catching regularly I decided I needed to stick it out for eels (as I'd had a few last match).

I just don't know where all the big roach have gone (cormorants or otters?) but they have just disappeared and looking back over the last few years results, they just keep getting lower and lower. I think the club really needs to spend some money on stocking. Having said that, there were thousands of fry all over the place so the future looks rosy although something needs to be done sooner or else we'll start losing anglers. Anyway rant over so lets get back to the fishing (or lack of it).

Bruce Hunt on peg 20 lost a big fish and then shortly after netted a big perch to put him firmly in the driving seat. I was still sitting out with maggot on the hook whilst feeding loads of casters with only the odd small perch to show for my efforts. It definitely looked like my good run was coming to an end. The sun was so hot that the pole nearly burnt my hands shipping in and out. Woggy came round and reported that he hadn't had much either although he did catch a lovely little bar of soap (tench), which is the first one to come out for ages.

I kept trying the shallow rig but it just wasn't happening so it was back trying for the eels. Then with two hours to go my float went under and a firm strike saw about four foot of blue hydro come out of the pole tip. The shaking suggested a big eel but then the fish went on a run and weeded me, eventually the poxy hook pulled out - bugger, that could have been my brown envelope fish. Then Martin shouted something down to Malcolm and I looked round to see him playing a big fish. Despite us all giving him loads of grief about the tight pegging, he eventually landed a big bream which looked to be 4-5lb.

With ten minutes to go my float went again and I had a decent fish on which turned out to be an eel of 6oz and that was to be the last of my action. I ended with 15 roach and perch and that eel for about a 1lb. I quickly packed up and awaited the scales, Steve Parker on peg 1 had a respectable 3lb 2oz, Dave Lawrence had 2lb 8oz, Martin Heard a level 3lb and Graham Field 4lb 9oz. I was going to be well down, Justin had thrown his toys out of the pram after losing a big fish and wasn't there for the weigh in and then it was my turn, I weighed a stunning 1lb 5oz! Moses beat me with 1lb 9oz and Malcolm's bream weighed 4lb 12oz and together with a decent perch, an eel and some bits he weighed 7lb 14oz which would be there or thereabouts.

Back at the results and Malcolm had notched up the victory, despite all his moaning. Bruce was second with 6lb 2oz and his perch weighed 2lb 15oz, Graham Field was third with sixty odd fish for 4lb 9oz. The only good thing was I beat Janders for the pound (he weighed 11oz), I ended up with six section points (out of seven) - not good, I'm still third in the league but can't afford anymore slip ups.

The Old Fossil with his 4lb 12oz bonus

1 - Malcolm Levy (Exeter) - 7lb 14oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 6lb 2oz
3 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 4lb 9oz


A - Steve Parker (Ilminster) - 3lb 2oz
B - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 2lb 12oz

The top three, from left to right, Malcolm Levy, Graham Field and Bruce Hunt

Next Sunday I'm at Chris Haines's pond near Frome so lets see if I can get back on track then (I doubt it!).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Perry St Pond - Spring League - 7th June 2009

The last round arrived and I was lying in third place in the league, but my position was by no means safe with Alan Dunn, Picky and Terry Green-Niblett breathing down my neck. Second place was also achievable with Steve Bush only three points ahead of me, Chris Haines was too far ahead for me to catch although Steve could with a good result. A decent draw was crucial and Bushy got just that, drawing the in form peg 10, Picky also drew okay with peg 12 (where I was last match). Dunner drew peg 2 which wasn't so good as it hasn't done much all series. Terry drew the winner from last match and would be a serious threat. And as for me, I pulled out peg 7 which has been quite a consistent peg, I just needed to catch a few now.

Dunner was hoping not to blow out on peg 2 again

I got to my peg and surveyed the situation, I had plenty of cover on both insides and of course the little cluster of treacherous tree stumps. My plan was to fish at 11.5 metres in open water and stay there for as long as possible while building up the inside lines. I set up the usual two rigs, a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp float for the long line and a little Trabucco dibber for the insides and up in the water. I also set up a duplicate of this rig in case I got smashed up. All the rigs had 0.12mm bottoms and size 18 Tubertini 808's. I attached little pole pots to all my top three's and was ready for the off. For bait I had maggots, corn, 4mm pellets and some expanders.

I reckon Les was basing his attack around worms!

On the whistle I fed all three lines and started out with double red maggot on the hook, I soon had a bite which turned out to be a small perch which fell off on the way in!, not a great start. Terry Green got off to a great start landing a couple of small carp quite quickly and this definitely wasn't going to plan! Mark 'The Hoff' Hollister drew yet another corner peg (11) and was also off to a flying start catching carp from the off. My one saving grace was that Picky hadn't caught yet. My attention was drawn to my right hand inside line where some better fish were taking the odd expander pellet that hadn't sunk off the top. I went in with a shallow rig but two small rudd wasn't the response I'd hoped for, still at least I was off the mark.

The Hoff was bagging again from yet another corner peg (how does he do it?)

My nemesis Janders wasn't fishing today as he was on holiday (I thought everyday was a holiday for him!), his substitute was Alvin Jones who was next to me on peg 8 so at least I could keep an eye on whether I would be a pound worse off at the end of the day. At this early stage he hadn't had much either although Mike Thomas next to him had an early fish and so had Bushy in peg 10. Already I reckoned second place was out of sight and I was worried about hanging on to third as Terry was getting regular bites. There were quite a few fish moving about and I was convinced I would be able to catch up in the water but despite trying this for three quarters of an hour, I didn't add to my two rudd.

Alvin was standing in for Janders but which way would the pound be headed?

I decided to try the long line with the deep rig again but this time slipped a soft expander pellet on the hook. After about five minutes I had a good bite and a swift strike saw a substantial amount of white hydro come out of the pole tip. I played the fish with kid gloves and netted a carp of around a pound and a half - phew! So after an hour I was still behind quite a few people but crucially I was ahead of Picky. Steve Bishop, Les and Dave Abrams were opposite me on pegs 14, 15 and 16 and were really struggling (these pegs had been awful all series), so I wasn't doing too badly.

Dave had time for a cup of coffee

And something to eat!!!!!

Hour two saw me hit a purple patch and I landed a foulhooked 2lb bream and a small 12oz pastie and was now closing in on Terry who hadn't added to his earlier fish. The Hoff was still catching regularly although from all the swearing coming from peg 10 I was guessing Bushy wasn't having it all his own way. Mark Leahy was on the other side of me on peg 6 and getting the odd fish and then he hooked a right lump which he had to weigh straight away as it was over 8lb and Les called the weight out at 11lb 12oz, a right bonus! Not to be outdone, the Hoff weighed one of 8lb 4oz, but I wasn't too concerned about those two league wise, but they were both looking good for frame places on the day.

Going into hour three and I had my first proper look on the inside to the right, I missed a bite straight away on corn and next put in hooked a decent fish which I knew straight away was foulhooked. I had it on for ages and was just thinking I might have a chance of landing it when the hook pulled out - bugger. Then just to twist the knife even further, Picky landed a carp which looked to have wiped my early lead out. No more bites saw me switch to the left and then back again, no bites and I was back out trying to catch shallow again. They just weren't having it though so I made the decision to concentrate on the left hand inside line which is normally the most productive. After about half an hour I had my first proper bite there and eventually landed a decent carp of around 5lb which put me right back into the fight.

Terry was now struggling and Picky hadn't added anymore, I shouted up to ask what Alvin had caught and he replied only small fish although he'd lost a couple of carp, Mike T next to him had landed a couple more carp and was doing well. My thoughts turned to the early pegs (which I couldn't see) and I hoped Dunner wasn't bagging up. I then hooked a good fish which smashed me up and I was beginning to think third place was slipping away from me. No more bites to the right and then I hooked a good fish from the left on corn and it felt like a good fish. While I was playing it, Picky safely landed another carp and I felt I really needed this fish. Eventually I slipped the net under a good common which looked to be about 6-7lb and I'll happily admit my hands were shaking a little as I unhooked it.

Picky was wondering what to do next!

I was hoping the last hour would see me catch a few more but the heavens opened and we all enjoyed a torrential downpour - lovely! and during that time I only had one bite which I missed! Terry on the other hand had three fish including one on the whistle and I reckoned he might have sneaked past me. Even worse though was when Les called the all out, Dunner shouted 'Fish on', had he beaten me for third place right at the death? Typically the rain stopped as we packed up, as I took some of my kit back to the car I asked how the anglers to my right how they'd got on and and many had struggled including Dave Lawrence on peg 1 who hadn't caught a carp. Dunner said he'd had four carp including a couple of better ones, this was going to be close.

Dave wasn't quite so cheery at the end of the match!

When the scales arrived Dave didn't bother weighing in, Dunner had 14lb 4oz and I really thought he'd pipped me, Mike Collins had 3lb 9oz and Oz on peg 4 had 5lb 7oz. Mike Hosgood didn't bother the scalesman and then Mark Leahy put 28lb 5oz on the scales and I knew he'd frame with that. I pulled my net out and my four carp, one bream and two rudd went 15lb 7oz which was better than I thought and unless Terry and Picky beat me by several places, third place should be mine. Alvin didn't weigh and handed over a pound on behalf of Janders. Mike T weighed 9lb 11oz from peg 9 and I started to think that if Bushy framed with his six carp and a tench, I might sneak the section again. Bushy actually weighed 15lb 5oz but lost some real munters and I was lying in second place on the day with half the pegs weighed. This didn't last though as the Hoff put a fantastic 55lb 6oz on the scales to take the lead by a mile.

Picky had 8lb 12oz and handed over the pound I gave him last week and then it was Terry's turn and I really thought he'd done me but the digital readout on our new scales said 15lb 1oz and I was still hanging on in third place (both on the day and in the league). Bish found a couple of late carp to weigh 7lb 15oz and then Les and Dave A didn't weigh.

Terry Green came close with 15lb 1oz

Darren Roberts had 5lb 12oz from peg 17, Steve Chant weighed a lowly 7oz from peg 18 but took some lovely photos for me once again, Butch on 18 didn't weigh and Chris Haines had a level 8lb from peg 20 but was it enough to take the league title?

The lovely Steve Chant had mainly small fish!

At the carpark Les started with todays results and the Hoff won easliy followed by Mark Leahy and I sneaked into third place and picked up £60 (my first podium finish of the series). Then came the league results and Chris Haines and Steve Bush tied for first with 114 points, I hung onto third place with 112 and picked up £100 and Alan Dunn and Terry Green tied for fourth with 107. Terry was also crowned individual knockout champion and me and Les collected our pairs winnings (£50 each). So all in all a very profitable match, I collected £210 which equals my biggest ever pick up. In the seven matches I fished, I picked up in six of them so perhaps this carp bashing isn't as bad as I first thought!


1 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 55lb 6oz
2 - Mark Leahy (Street) - 28lb 5oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 15lb 7oz

A - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 14lb 4oz
B - Steve Bush (Chard) - 15lb 5oz
C - Tery Green (Sillybait) - 15lb 1oz
D - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 8lb

1 - Chris Haines and Steve Bush both with 114 pts
3 - Jamie Rich - 112 pts
4 - Alan Dunn and Terry Green both with 107 pts

Individual knockout champion
Terry Green

Pairs knockout champions
Jamie Rich and Les Braunton

Joint Spring League Champions

Chris Haines


Steve Bush

The top three on the day from left to right, Mark Leahy, Mark Hollister and yours truely

I would like to thanks Chris Haines for his kind sponsorship and Les for once again organising an excellent league and of course all the anglers who fished for making it such an enjoyable series to fish - cheers guys

The motley crew

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 31st May 2009

Saturday was scorching hot and today looked liked it was going to be more of the same. After the pond fished quite well on Wednesday night, I was hoping that it would continue today. I got to the Crown for the draw and there were 16 anglers fishing, which is a great turnout for our little matches. As ever everybody wanted peg 1 which went to Neil Dring, I looked at my ping pong ball to see a number 5. This was next to where I was in the first match and neither peg had done much then but the pond as a whole hadn't fished well, lets hope today is better eh?

After a short drive to the pond and a short walk to my peg, the first thing I noticed was the carcass of a dead bream on the bank, probably killed by an otter. At about 3lb it was a nice fish, I know it's nature and all that but it still seems a shame. I put my box in the water and started setting up, I'd brought a new keepnet this week in case any eels showed up as I had a hole in my other one. I had intended to set up a waggler but being a lazy bugger I settled on two rigs. They were both ones I had used in previous Dillington matches, a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 and a Drennan Squatt float with 0.08mm bottom and size 20 B511 for fishing up in the water. I mixed up half a bag of Sensas Lake and added some free samples and was ready for the off.

Dillington Pond

For company I had Robin Cox on my right and Bruce Hunt on my left so at least there'd be some banter. Rob blew his whistle and we were off, I cupped in three balls of groundbait at 11.5 metres and went straight over it with caster on the hook. Normally bites come quite quickly but after 10 minutes I was still waiting for my first bite! Then the float dipped and sailed away and I bloody missed it!, still at least the fish had arrived - wrong. I had to wait another 10 minutes before the next one but at least I successfully connected this time and was soon swinging in a 2oz roach. My next fish was a much better 8oz roach and this was quickly followed by a smaller sample, this one came as soon as the rig settled and I really thought I'd get a few now.

How wrong can you be, after an hour I just had the three fish, Rob had about the same and Bruce was doing slightly better with about sixteen small fish on the whip. Then he hooked a sizeable fish and after a lengthy battle, netted a perch of 2lb to put him firmly in the driving seat. With no more bites on the caster, I resorted to trying double red maggot as this normally guarantees bites, when this didn't work I knew I was in trouble and it was going to be rock hard today. I did manage a small roach and a tiny perch but was going nowhere fast.

There were loads of small roach topping so out came my shallow rig but despite trying loads of different depths I didn't add any more fish, I did miss a couple of bites though. Back on the deep rig with maggot on the hook I did hook a better fish which turned out to be a 4oz eel (good job I had my new keepnet with me!). Bruce hooked another big perch but luck wasn't on his side this time as the hook pulled out, I shouted up that if he'd landed that one it would have been game over. Roger came up from peg 2 and reported that he was struggling as was Neil on the flier!

By now we were half way through the match and the sun was blazing down and shoals of bream could be seen swimming about just out of pole range. I did contemplate setting a waggler up but just knew they weren't in the mood for feeding. Also a couple of big carp could been seen cruising and God knows where they came from as none were stocked! Bruce was still getting odd small fish but me and Robin were sat like a couple of very sad garden gnomes. I tried up in the water with maggot on the hook and did manage one small roach. I decided to stick it out on the deep rig with maggot on the hook to try a tempt some more eels.

I was feeding casters quite heavily and had another 4oz eel, followed quickly by a 2oz perch and a little bootlace eel of the same size. Things were looking up!, Robin came back from a wander to report that Roger and Neil were still struggling. Bruce went to see how Martin was getting on and came back to say most people were in the same boat as us although Graham Field was catching small fish on the whip and had around 60, Martin was also getting a few as well. The sun was so hot that it was a job to hold the pole and combined with the lack of bites, I wasn't enjoying myself at all. I did manage another 4oz eel and a small perch and 5 minutes from the end netted my best eel of about 6oz and that was it. I knew Bruce had beaten me but I reckoned if he framed I might just sneak the section. Robin asked me what I thought I had and I replied 'About 1lb 12oz'.

I packed up and took some of my kit back to the car, on the way I again passed the dead bream and wondered if I could get away with weighing it in! Mind you as most of it had been eaten I reckon even Robin might spot something amiss! Robin's lad, Leighton started the weigh in and Neil had really struggled on the flier to weigh 13oz, Roger had 9oz as did Robin. My 13 fish went 2lb 6oz, Bruce had 4lb 3oz so for the second match on the trot I'd been done by a big perch off the next peg. My mood was lifted somewhat when the next best weight in my section was 2lb 4oz so as long as Bruce framed, I'd get the section. I also beat Janders who had 1lb 7oz so another nugget was mine.

Back at the results and Graham Field had won easily with 125 fish for 5lb 2oz, Bruce claimed second spot and me and Martin Heard tied for third place with 2lb 6oz and we picked up £20 each. Another two point section score as well meant I was still in contention in this league. Although not that many fish were caught, everybody had caught the sun and there were some very red faces and arms about.

1 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 5lb 2oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 4lb 3oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 2lb 6oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 2lb 6oz

Section A - Moses (sorry I didn't get his second name) - 2lb 4oz
Section B - Alvin Jones (Chard) - 2lb 2oz

The top four on the day, from left to right, yours truly, Graham Field, Bruce Hunt and Martin Heard

Next week is the last match of the Haines Angling Spring League, I'm currently lying in third spot and would dearly love to hang on in there so lets hope I get a decent draw.