Sunday, December 19, 2010

No fishing - 19th December 2010

Well this was supposed to be a fantastic account of how I won my second match on the bounce to end the year on a high but that poxy white stuff saw to that. Matches have been called off all over the place, including ours so a day off and I'm bored shitless.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish anybody who reads this blog a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year - Tight Lines!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

River Isle - Xmas Fayre - 12th December 2010

We actually didn't have a frost last night and the temperature wasn't too bad although with no rain, the river was always going to be low and clear for this one. At the draw there was a decent turnout of 14, including Andy Welch, Moses Holbrook and Tackle Uk's Ashley and Scott. The draw was announced and I went in the bucket just after Scotty who pulled out 124, I opened my fingers and saw a 1 followed by a 2 and then finally a 5! - yes I'd finally drawn a flier. The trouble was I now had to catch off it! With the river being low and clear I didn't think the peg would do the 30-40lb weights of previous weeks.

I got to the river and you could see the bottom over much of the peg but there were quite a few fish topping. With only twenty minutes to set up I quickly assembled a 13 foot Preston waggler rod with a small Drennan Crystal waggler with just two number 10's down the line, ending in 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611. I just had time to chuck on a pole rig (yep you guessed it - Ole Faithful) and plumb up before it was time to start. I shipped out the pole to fish just past the middle and started getting indications on double maggot before catching a 2oz roach, I was off the mark. At this early stage the pole just didn't feel right so I switched to the waggler.

I was feeding maggot, caster and hemp just upstream of me and fishing double bronze maggot on the hook. I started catching roach and dace quite well and after the first hour had 40 fish with the odd better one amongst them. I shouted up to Andy Welch above me to see if he'd caught and he replied he hadn't had a bite yet. I carried on still catching but having to go further down the swim to get bites and added around another 30 fish by the end of hour two. Scotty and Rob turned up, Scotty hadn't had a bite in 124 which surprised me and Rob had caught one chub and lost another in 123. Andy Welch then caught a half decent chub and Rob came back from seeing Leighton on 126 below the road to report he was catching quite well.

I was still catching but having to chase the fish around a bit, I would get a few from right under the feed then have to go right down to the tail to get bites. I was missing/bumping quite a few and most of the roach and dace were 2-3oz, not the usual 'clonkers'. I tried caster and caught a better stamp but had to wait longer for the bites. Scotty reckoned I should try the pole as there were fish flashing under my feed, I caught a couple but the pole was all wrong, float too heavy as was the elastic. I was still catching odd fish though and seemed to be doing better than most people at our end, Andy had added a couple more fish but Scotty had been phoned by Ashley at Ashford and they were all blanking!

Scotty went back to try and catch a chub and was replaced behind me by Butch and his son (and there was me thinking Butch had forgotten how to get to the river!). I was still on the pole and getting odd fish although I did lose a chub around the 1lb mark while they were there. I even had a spell fishing two sections to hand where I caught half a dozen roach before they disappeared again. I kept thinking that a four or five metre whip would be the answer but I didn't have any suitable rigs so carried on putting odd fish in the net on the pole and waggler.

I could see odd decent fish flashing opposite me, near the far bank and had caught a couple of net roach on the waggler there so tried the pole, but with the unsuitable rig and elastic I was missing too many. In the back of my mind I had the nagging doubt that I should be setting up another, lighter rig with lighter elastic. I was still fishing the waggler and alternating between double bronze and red maggots and single caster and with an hour to go had 120 fish. With half an hour left I finally went to the rod bag and got another top two out, attached a 0.75 gram Carbo and went across to where those big roach were flashing. First put in I hooked a good roach of around 12oz-1lb, only for it to come off halfway across - bugger.

I started getting the odd fish including a couple of netters and finished up with 149 fish, I had no clue to what they weighed as I had a lot of small fish including five or six gudgeon. I was amazed that I never had a pike strike with the water being so clear and a big snapper had a go at something above me near the end. Scotty had the scales and when I caught up with them, Rob had weighed 1lb 5oz and Scotty had found a chub albeit a small one as he only weighed 1oz! Andy weighed 4lb 5oz and then it was my turn, Scotty called my weight out at 17lb 4oz and I was hoping it would be enough. I'm sure a four or five metre whip, easing a rig through would have seen me do 20lb+ but still it was a lovely days fishing and my biggest weight so far this river season.

Below the bridge, Leighton had 4lb 4oz and Justin had 4oz and with Scotty saying they'd all not caught at Ashford, it just left the top end of the river. Back at the results and the top end of the river had fished poorly with Martin Heard top from peg 15 with 1lb 15oz. Martin paid me another £1 and said I'd won it - yes! I collected £35 and won a nice bottle of brandy and then we all had a lovely buffet (thanks Cindy and Steve). Andy and Leighton actually finished 2nd and 3rd but after last week the river had fished really badly. Still I was well chuffed to win my fourth match of the year and my first match on the river since January 2009.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 17lb 4oz
2 - Andy Welch (Ilminster) - 4lb 5oz
3 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 4lb 4oz

I must thank Pete Lonton for getting all the prizes and Robin Cox for organising the match and of course Steve and Cindy at the Crown for the lovely food. Next week is round five of the Crown League and it would be nice to draw 125 again! (well it worked last time!)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

River Isle - Crown Winter League - 5th December 2010

The weather had eased a little for this one although we still had a frost. At the draw there were nine of us fishing today and it was lovely to see Rocking Roy Fowler, who had come to give the river a try for the first time in ages.

Rocking Roy

Rob had decided to give the top end of the river a rest so this week we would be fishing Ashford, North Bradon and Isle Brewers. Of course everyone wanted 125 or 126 at Isle Brewers but I also fancied 85 at Ashford, I came close when I pulled out 82 but not close enough. Rob drew the flier (125) and Neil had 126, Rocking drew 85 and I was sure he'd get a few fish. I got to Ashford and was surprised to see that Rocking's van wasn't there, I unloaded my kit and as I was walking across the road, Roy turned up from the opposite direction!, he'd actually been to North Bradon (I didn't realise it was that long since he'd visited the river!).

My peg actually looked really nice with the mill stream coming in opposite with tree branches in the water to my left and to my right. I set up a Drennan Carbo (but a deeper rig than I normally use!) and after plumbing up had to chop a bit off to make it fishable. I had a nice depth to my left before it started to shallow up, there was also a tinge of colour but I was worried that all the cold water that had gone in might knock sport. Ten-thirty arrived and my opening gambit was to fish caster to the left just past the main flow in the slacker water.

No bites here so I started searching down the swim to my right, still nothing and I thought that it might be as hard as I expected. I tried double maggot to see if I could get a minnow to avoid the blank but no indications at all. With three quarters of an hour gone I decided to have a coffee, a sandwich and a rethink. I laid the rig in downstream in the flow and put the pole down while I had a hot drink. As I was tucking into a packet of crisps and a sandwich I noticed my pole moving and looked up to see elastic being pulled out of the end of my pole! I dropped my breakfast and lifted the pole and there was a decent fish on, as I shipped back carefully I could see the fish twisting in the flow and then the elastic went slack - gutted.

I was desperately hoping that wouldn't be my only bite of the day, but next put in I had a decent roach, followed by three chublets and as the first hour drew to a close I already had 2lb in the net. I was getting quite a few indications but several times I lifted the rig to move it and there would be a fish on! I then had a better chub of a pound and a quarter before losing two fish where I hadn't seen the bites. All my fish had come to double bronze maggot so far. I kept swapping between two places in the flow and added a couple more roach but decided to rest it for a bit as each hooked fish caused quite a commotion in the shallow water.

I came back up the swim and fished against the branches of the tree to my right and my first bite resulted in something much more substantial on the end and after some hairy moments in the strong flow, I safely netted a 3lb+ chub and was probably up to about 8lb with three hours to go! Things got even better when I had a pound and a half chub next put in, although I have to admit I didn't have a bite and the fish was on when I moved the rig. No more fish from here so I went back downstream in the shallows and lost another fish in the flow before catching a 12oz chublet to give me double figures.

Bites were becoming less frequent though and I kept thinking about adding another section to search further downstream. I also reckon if I'd set up a little crystal waggler I might have kept those fish coming for longer. I tried double red maggot and had a couple more chublets to give me around 11lb. With an hour and a half left, Roy turned up and he hadn't had a bite! I then had a spell where I hooked three fish only for all three to come off - bugger. I added a section to search further downstream and missed a bite straight away so I took six inches off the depth as I knew I was well overdepth and had a small chublet.

I was hoping the last hour would be very productive but I only added two more chublets to end with 18 fish for around 12lb. With Roy not weighing, I quickly packed up and he weighed me in, my fish actually went 12lb 4oz with the biggest chub weighing 3lb 2oz. I'd lost/bumped six fish and I was hoping they wouldn't cost me as I was sure pegs 125 and 126 would do good weights. Back at the pub and Leighton was first back and he'd been at North Bradon and done a respectable 5lb 10oz from peg 92 and Steve Parker had 2lb 13oz from peg 96, so far so good.

Then Rob came back from Isle Brewers and he'd had 32lb 2oz from 125 and Justin had caught 22lb 8oz from 124! At this rate I wouldn't even frame but luckily Graham had done 9lb 3oz from 123 and Neil 9lb 2oz from 126, Heardy didn't weigh from 128 so I actually stayed in third place and picked up £20 (plus I've got a £1 to come from him next week). The river had fished really well and this was my best weight so far this river season and I'd really enjoyed it. I also got my first section one pointer to lift me into second place with five points behind Leighton who leads with four.

It was lovely to have a good old natter with Roy and I hope his blank today doesn't put him off (you might draw 125 next time mate!). It was also nice to see lots of roach and chublets showing up in catches, lets hope it continues. Oh and I had my first proper chub this year!

1 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 32lb 2oz
2 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 22lb 8oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 12lb 4oz
4 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 9lb 3oz
5 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 9lb 2oz

Next week is the Xmas Fayre, what's the betting I don't draw 125!!!!!