Sunday, May 30, 2010

Perry St Pond - Spring League 6 - 30th May 2010

This could be the shortest blog ever! The day started ok with it being overcast and the fish had stopped spawning and I thought it might fish quite well. We were all back in with a chance of drawing a corner, of course corner boy Les got peg 10, Dunner had 11 and I drew peg 6, which is actually a pretty decent peg and I fancied it for a few. My peg has a tree in the water and people normally catch off the end of it, quite often up in the water.

I set up three rigs, one for up in the water, a deep rig and a margin rig and for bait I had micro pellets, maggots, corn and 6mm hard pellets. On the whistle I cupped in some micro pellets, corn and maggots on both insides before starting off the end of the tree with a 6mm Sonu baits S-pellet on the hook. After an hour of flicking hard pellets out and lifting and dropping the rig I only had one bumped fish to show for my efforts. By all accounts it was rock hard for most of the pond (pegs 10, 11 and 12 being the exceptions), Janders, Hoff and Dino opposite all had a carp but that was about it. I wasn't too worried with five hours to go!

I came in on the inside and was getting a few indications on corn although they may have been liners but after two hours I still hadn't caught. Darren Roberts on my right had one carp and Hoff had added another and I found out that Picky had sneaked in an early carp and at this early stage both my pounds were in danger. Back out long and I lost a carp that went straight through the tree tearing the float off and snapping me in the process - great. I was getting loads of blows where I had been feeding the hard pellets so went out with the deep rig with corn on the hook but apart from one missed bite, this wasn't the answer.

By now Hoff had three fish and was looking good for excellent points again, everybody else seemed to be stuck on one fish (except me!). I set up another shallow rig and caught a tiny rudd on maggot to avoid the blank. The odd fish was showing by the end of the tree but I just couldn't get bites. Also there were fish knocking the lilies in the margins but both me and Darren kept trying the insides but with the same result - no fish. It was already obvious that Les and Dunner were battling it out for first place, Butch was catching well on 12 as was Mike T on 13. In fact everybody from me upwards seemed to be getting the odd fish and everyone down towards peg 1 was struggling, that's it, I'm jinxed!

Then finally I had a decent bite on the inside on corn and struck into a fish which came my way instead of towards the tree and then the hook fell out, this wasn't going to be my day. I felt there were fish about as I was getting the odd liner, so tried my shallow rig on the inside but this didn't work either and the deep rig with soft pellet was a waste of time too. Darren caught a tench and then Janders added a second carp and I was really in trouble. With less than an hour to go I hooked another carp which started to come towards me then changed it's mind and tore off and despite me applying pressure with a fairly tight black hydro, it swirled on the other side of the submerged tree! All too soon the inevitable happened and I was tying on another hook. That was to be the last of the action and I was relieved when the whistle went even though I knew that was my league now buggered.

I packed up and watching the weigh in was quite depressing, Paul Blake had done ok on peg 1 weighing 15lb 1oz, Dave Lawrence (who was fishing for Bish) had 6lb, Hainsey had 10lb 10oz and Bushy 9lb 5oz. Darren next to me had 6lb 12oz and I was given a generous ounce! Dave Abrams on my left had 9lb 3oz and Mike Collins also had a level 6lb. Rockin' Roy did really well from peg 9 with 12lb 8oz and then Les had ten carp for 28lb 11oz and Pup (Dunner) had less fish but they were lumps and he won with 38lb 5oz. Butch got third from 12 with 17lb 5oz and gets the man of the match award and Mike T had over 13lb from 13 then the weights took a downturn again until the scales got to Hoff who keeps up his league challenge with 16lb 7oz.

Janders two fish went 7lb 8oz and he took a pound off me, Dino just had the one small carp of 1lb 6oz and Mike Hosgood had 6lb 1oz. Picky's single carp of 3lb 9oz was good enough to take another £1 off me and the score is now 6-5 to him - git! Terry Green-Niblett had 6lb 5oz and last weeks winner, Steve Osborne, just had 3oz from peg 20. So I was stone cold last in the match and scored a massive one point which meant I've dropped to 9th in the league. To stand any chance now I have to have four blinding matches and I can't see it happening.

Chris Haines still leads the league with 92 points followed by Les on 86 and Hoff is now in third with 85. Les and Mike Collins just knocked out Rockin' and Janders 25 points to 24 in the pairs competition, hard luck chaps although it was always going to be tough beating peg 10!

Don't look at the weight for peg 6 please!

So I'm sorry it's been quite a short blog and I'm surprised I've written this much! Next up is an evening match at Dillington and I hope to bring you more fish then (but don't hold your breath).

1 - Alan Dunn (allezbaz) - 38lb 5oz
2 - Les Braunton (Chard) - 28lb 11oz
3 - Butch Baker (Chard Minnows) - 17lb 5oz

A - Paul Blake (Chard) - 15lb 1oz
B - Roy Fowler (Chard Minnows) - 12lb 8oz
C - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 16lb 7oz
D - Terry Green (Chard) - 6lb 5oz

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Perry St Pond - Spring League 5 - 23rd May 2010

The weather was much warmer for this one, blistering hot in fact and when I got to the draw people were saying there were carp everywhere but they had one thing in mind - spawning! We could be in for a frustrating day. The four remaining anglers who hadn't had corners drew first and then the rest of us went in the bucket, I pulled out peg 9 which I was quite pleased with. As I got to my peg Oz called me up to his (peg 10) and there were carp everywhere in the reeds and lilies but all spawning. Janders had drawn peg 3 so I wouldn't be able to see how my pound was looking. Also Les has got in on the 'hat of the week' feature although I'm not sure he can pull off the look like Janders.

Les was going for the Desert Storm look!

I had Chris Haines next to me and readied myself for another battering, I set up two rigs, one for fishing by the cormorant roost and the other for fishing up in the water at 11.5 metres. It was also the final of the indiviual knockout between Picky on peg 4 and Hainsey and they were both fairly even pegs. Picky was also looking to get the side bet score back to 5-5. I wetted some micro pellets and opend a tin of corn and was ready for the off. Les signalled the start and I cupped in some pellets and corn by the barge before starting on the long pole.

I put a 6mm Sonubaits S-pellet on the size 16 808 hook and continually flicked a few hard 6mm pellets over the top while lifting and dropping the rig. After half an hour I hadn't had any indications at all and Oz and Butch on peg 11 were straight into fish, Hainsey also had two quite quickly from his side of the barge. I decided to try the inside much earlier than I would have liked. I had a little toss pot on my pole tip and put in a little pinch of pellets and corn. First put in the float went and after a short scrap I netted a lovely 3lb tench. Next chuck I missed a good bite and I felt there were a few fish there.

Then I couldn't buy a bite and after Chris added a third he was struggling too, in fact the only people I could see catching were Bish and Oz although judging by all the swearwords coming from Oz's direction, he was losing a few. Butch was having the same problem on 11 and he was also getting 'fluffed' out. The carp were going potty and not interested in feeding at all. I tried going out long again and also up in the water on the inside but had nothing to show for it apart from a couple of liners. The most exciting part of my day was a cheeky little robin that kept pinching my maggots!

The highlight of my day

Halfway through the match it was obvious Oz was going to win but several anglers were in contention for the other frame places. I was still sat like a gnome, hoping the fish might get their heads down in the last hour or so. Then out of the blue I had my first carp and as Hainsey and Butch were stuck on three, I started to think I might be able to catch them up. It was shortlived though as the only other action I had was to lose two foulhooked fish while Butch and Hainsey added a couple more carp. Bish was now on seven carp and a bream and Hoff added a good tench to overtake me.

To be honest I was ready for the end with an hour to go, I did hook a carp and did all the hard work before it went under my keepnets and did me and that was the last of my action and I ended with just the two fish. Chris went right into the lilies and had three and lost three in the last hour to put him on seven fish. I was hoping he'd frame as there was a chance I could sneak the section by double default. I packed up and followed the scales along and it soon became apparent how hard it had fished for most. Paul Blake just had two carp from peg one for 7lb 10oz, Mike T had 3lb and Janders just had 4oz but had lost seven carp so I pocketed his £1 only to give it to Picky who did well to land five carp for 18lb 7oz. Terry Green struggled for 5lb 2oz although he did get a nice tan! and Mike Collins didn't weigh.

I was praying Chris would frame but his seven carp only went 18lb 4oz and Picky had beaten him in the kncokout by 3oz. My two fish went 5lb 7oz and then Oz put twenty carp on the scales for a fantastic 54lb 10oz. Butch also did well with 22lb 4oz, Hoff had 10lb 14oz and Bish ended with nine carp and a bream for 27lb 15oz and gets my man of the match award for coming second off a peg that wasn't a corner. Then the weights plummeted again until Alan Dunn on peg 20 who had a respectable 13lb 10oz. I still got half decent points with 11 but have dropped to sixth in the league and need good results in the next two matches to get me back up there.

I got battered both sides!

1 - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 54lb 10oz
2 - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 27lb 15oz
3 - Butch Baker (Chard) - 22lb 4oz

A - Alan Gage (Chard) - 18lb 7oz
B - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 18lb 4oz
C - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 10lb 14oz
D - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 13lb 10oz

Quite a short blog this week but it's difficult to write much about two fish!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dillington Pond - Evening League - 19th May 2010

Last year the evening matches fished a lot better than the Sunday fixtures and I was hoping this would continue this year. I was slightly worried that it might still be too early as the weather has been very changeable but the last few days had been glorious. As always I got to the draw a little late (nothing new there then!) and was told I had peg 4 which I was quite pleased with as it had framed on Sunday. I picked up my bait from Alvin who was kind enough to get some for me and was pleasantly surprised when he said there were nine of us fishing tonight.

It was already 17:15 and with the start scheduled for 18:00, I thought I'd be pushed to be ready on time. I quickly mixed up some Sensas Roach and made up a 4 metre whip and Drennan 0.5 gram float for fishing at 8 metres to my right, out past the reeds. The whip had 0.08mm bottom with a fine wire 20 and the pole had 0.12mm and size 18 B611. With no Janders to have a side bet with I hastily arranged a £1 each winner takes all side bet with Alvin and Moses. Robin Cox was on my right on peg 2, Scotty was all on his own over on 19 and I fancied him to do well and of course Martin drew the flier (peg 15 by the willow) and would be hard to beat tonight.

Robin blew to signal the start and I cupped in two balls of groundbait, laced with casters and maggots on the 8 metre line before flicking a small nugget on the whip line. First put in the float settled before sailing away and I swung in a small roach, next chuck the same thing happened and I really fancied I might have a busy night. Then just like Sunday and the Bank Holiday Monday it died and I couldn't string two bites together. I was getting the odd perch and roach without really putting any weight in the net and having to wait too long for bites. The banter around the pond suggested everybody was struggling (again!).

I tried laying off the groundbait and just loose feeding but this didn't make a jot of difference. I got to seven fish after 25 mins and then bumped a fish which killed it completely. It was time to try the 8 metre line, I baited up with two red maggots and shipped out, I picked up the catapult but before I had time to feed the float slid away and I had another roach. I tried a caster and missed a good bite but then couldn't buy a bite again. I was back on maggot and thinking about putting some chopped worm in when my float disappeared and the strike was met with solid resistance. The slow plodding fight indicated a bream and I was relieved to slip the net under a near 5lb bream, what a bonus!

Over an hour of the alloted three had already elapsed and I started to think I might get my first victory at Dillington for a couple of years, I might even snare a couple more bream! Alvin and Moses were struggling so the side bet was safe for now, Roger Russell and Bruce Hunt seemed to be catching small fish quite well, Martin had only had an eel (which bit him!) and Scotty was sitting it out for big fish. Rob and Bob only had a few small fish and as I was still getting the odd roach and perch it was all going rather well.

Then Scotty had a chub and a bit later Martin had one and all of a sudden I wasn't sitting as pretty. Robin said he could see a big shoal of chub and carp swimming around in front of him and then with an hour to go he latched into a big fish which turned out to be a slab of 5lb+. Martin had a second chub and as Bruce was admitting to 4lb of fish, all of a sudden I wasn't even in the top three! Time was running out and I couldn't get a bite and as odd eels and perch were coming out I felt I had to do something so I quickly chopped up some worms and casters and dumped half a pot on the 8 metre line and decided to sit it out for a big fish.

While that was settling I went back on the whip line (which I had been feeding all match) and had a small perch but that was it - where have all the small fish gone? There were loads topping but they just wouldn't settle over any feed, maybe it's the clarity of the water? Roger had an eel which he somehow managed to foul hook up the bum! and that was my cue to put on half a dendra and go out over my chopped worm. The rig settled and the float just sat there, surely some perch wouldn't be able to resist a juicy bit of worm? With just 15 mins left, Martin had his third chub and I hadn't had a sniff, I tried two maggots for the last part of the match and the result was the same - nothing.

Robin blew for the all out and I was gutted that after such a great start, I couldn't capitalise. I had 15 fish and thought I might have just over 5lb, which I didn't think would be enough. Alvin walked past with the scales to weigh Rob in, his bream was 5lb 3oz but he didn't have much to go with it and his final weight was 5lb 6oz. My bream was 4lb 14oz and with my 14 'bits' I was relieved to see the needle stop on 5lb 13oz. Alvin had 1lb 8oz and Moses 14oz so I collected their £1's, Bruce had 4lb 13oz and Roger 2lb 10oz so it was still looking good. Bob had 12oz (the same weight he had on Sunday!) and then Martin had a level 8lb to spoil things. Scotty hadn't added to his chub and weighed 2lb 1oz so I was second and picked up £30 and had a good start to the league. So the weights were quite good for a three hour match but I'm still quite concerned that it's just odd bonus fish making up the weights.

Robin with his 5lb 3oz slab

Next Sunday is the first of a trio of Perry St league matches, I wonder if I'll still be challenging after the third one? - I doubt it.

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 8lb
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 13oz
3 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 5lb 6oz
4 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 4lb 13oz

Also Rockin' Roy phoned me tonight to let me know that the Chard junior matches start at Perry St on Saturday 26th June. The draw is at the pond at 13:00, fishing 14:00 to 17:00. Names to Mike Collins on 07923 608581 or Roy Fowler on 01460 221019.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dillington Pond - Summer League - 16th May 2010

The first match of the Summer League was met with grey clouds and the threat of rain - great! At the Crown there was a decent turnout of eleven anglers with everybody wanting to draw pegs 1 or 16. Of course I didn't get either, drawing peg 6 which is a decent peg on the far bank. The big surprise was that Martin didn't draw it either, Robin got peg 1 and Alvin had 16.

We all got to our pegs and I had quite a bit of weed in the margins of my swim and Neil Dring kindly let me borrow his weedcutter. I spent ages clearing the swim and in doing so put quite a bit of colour in the water, would it help though? All my efforts didn't leave me much time to set up, so I quickly assembled my 4 metre whip with a Drake Crowquill and a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing out. Both had 0.08mm bottoms and fine wire size 20 hooks. I mixed up some Sensas Matchblend and was just adding some hemp, casters and maggots when the whistle went.

I chucked a little nugget on the whip line before cupping in two balls on the 10 metre line. I started on the whip with red maggot on the hook but despite loads of small fish topping the bites weren't instant and it took a while before I had a small roach. Looking around it looked like everyone was struggling but then I saw Leighton Cox slipping the net under a good chub to give him an early lead. I was still getting the odd roach and dumpy little perch but it wasn't fast and furious and after the first hour I was on twelve fish.

I shouted to Neil on the next peg and he'd only had four fish and Steve Parker on my right wasn't catching much but my whip line was dying. I could see Martin on the far side was getting odd fish on the long pole so decided to give mine a go and see if the catch rate was any faster than the whip. It wasn't and I never had a bite on it! I tried caster on the drop and had one small roach but I'm sure they were spooking in the clear water. I tried shallowing up as well but it wasn't happening. I took that rig off and put a little Drennan Squatt float on to fish up in the water properly but that didn't work either. Back on the whip saw me catch a couple of quick fish before it died again.

I was already all out of ideas, there were still loads of roach topping and I reckon a waggler fished out was the way to go but I didn't have my reels with me. Graham Bulgin and Robin were both walking, Graham hadn't had much and Rob had lost a carp but so far hadn't seen any sign of the chub. Neil lost a big perch at the net and not long after lost another good fish. I tried the light rig with maggot on the hook and started getting the odd small roach and struggled up to 20 fish. Alvin netted a good perch to put him among the leaders and Martin was still getting odd small fish and was now up to 40 odd fish.

Then just to add to the fun, it lashed it down! I was ready for the finish now and was resigned to a poor result. Neil had lost another good fish to polish his day off and then Steve next to me netted a good perch to finish off my hopes of sneaking a section win. I quickly packed up and while I was doing that Graham came round and collected the scales from me and started the weigh in. I was pretty soaked and I'm pretty sure my wellies have a leak now as well as my Drennan Drenchwear! Rob didn't find any chub and ended with 3oz, Graham had 1oz and Steve Parker's late perch plus two smaller ones gave him 2lb 12oz and I really hoped he'd frame with that. My 26 fish went 1lb 11oz, Neil found a small eel to boost his weight to 15oz. Bob Hammond had 12oz and Leighton weighed 3lb 3oz to go into the lead.

The other side had fished harder than I thought with Alvin the top weight there with 2lb 9oz, Martin had 1lb 10oz (which surprised me), Roger had 5oz and Graham Field had 1lb 1oz. With Steve framing that meant I'd sneaked the section and picked up £15 to keep the winnings ticking over, I'd also got two section points which is a good start to the league but I think I'll miss two matches so realistically I don't have much chance of doing well in the league.

Match winner - Leighton Cox

So once again the pond had fished really hard and I really hope it improves soon, last year it got better as the year went on and the weather warmed up. We've got an evening fixture here on Wednesday and last year it fished quite well so lets hope that's the case. I'll let you know.

1 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 3lb 3oz
2 - Steve Parker (Ilminster) - 2lb 12oz
3 - Alvin Jones (Chard) - 2lb 9oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 1lb 11oz
B - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 1lb 10oz

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chris's Pond - 9th May 2010

I was up early to get ready for Picky collecting me at 7:00, it was my birthday too (28 again) and we were off to Chris Haines's pond at Clivey. Picky turned up on time and we shoe horned all my kit into his car and set off via Cartgate for a brekkie. Oz and Bish also had some nosebag before the rest turned up and yes, Janders had yet another different hat on! Our convoy made good time and we were soon at the venue and in the shop ready to spend some more dosh. Janders made the coffee and tea and we paid the pools and sorted out some bait and I bought some Marukyu groundbait.

Janders 'Hat of the week'

Marukyu groundbait

Once again Les took exception to my (rather smelly) hat and tried flushing it down the toilet! I managed to retrieve it and had to wear a wet hat all day - thanks Les! Then it was time to draw and as usual every peg pulled out was met with Les saying 'Best peg on the pond', I drew peg 10 which meant nothing to me. It turned out I was round the back of the pond opposite an island, a peg I drew on my first visit here and I'd struggled that day. After getting distracted by the carp last match and finishing just 15oz off third place I was determined to avoid fishing for carp today. It would be chopped worm and caster all day.

My bait tray for the day

I set up three rigs, a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp with 0.12mm bottom and size 16 808 for my main worm lines at 7 metres straight out and 8 metres to the left just off some lilies. I also set up a light Drennan Squatt float with 0.08mm bottom and fine wire size 20 hook as my plan was to keep putting something in the net, even if they were small roach. I also set up a small Drennan Blob with 0.12mm bottom and size 16 Kamasan B911 for against the island in case the silvers didn't play ball and I was forced to go for carp. Along with the worm and caster I also wetted some Ringers micro pellets for the island swim. It was rather a grey day and quite chilly, odd spots of rain didn't help either and quite a few anglers thought this might mean the weights would be lower and that 20lb would be a good weight today.

Bushy was on the next peg along on my right and Les reckoned nobody would live with him today as it's a consistent carp peg, I had Mike T on my left in the peg where I had my best Clivey weight of 23lb odd and Les was in the peg I had last match. In the last match I had put in nearly a full cup of choppie on the whistle and had to wait 20 mins before I started getting bites, so this time I put in just half a cup on both lines. I also dumped a load of pellets by the island. This time I had a little pole pot on my top three and intended to feed a pinch of worm and caster every put in.

Bushy was on the next peg and expected to do well

I started on my 7 metre line with the head of a dendra on the hook and once again the float just sat there while everyone around me seemed to be catching. After 20 mins I hooked a decent roach only for it to come off on the way in - good start! I swapped to the inside and started to get bites, my first two fish were tench around the 1lb mark (that's more like it), I love tench. Then I had a run of good perch up to the 12oz mark. The 7 metre swim seemed to be quite slow although I did manage a sweet little crucian carp and a small skimmer off it to give me 8 fish in the first hour. I was quite happy with this catch rate as this would give me 48 fish over the six hours and last match I'd had around 38 for 16lb 9oz so hopefully this would give me the target 20lb weight.

Hour two saw the inside line the more productive with some 1lb+ perch and some small carp and the odd roach and 12oz skimmer. The open water line was still quite slow although I did catch a little goldfish type thing and a couple of skimmers. Everybody seemed to be catching plenty of silvers and the odd small carp, Bushy kept trying his carp line but as yet he was quite quiet and I kept waiting for him to explode into action. Mike T and Les were netting plenty of fish but I couldn't really see quite a few of the anglers from my position behind the island.

I was still hitting my 8 fish an hour target with every fish requiring netting, I would put in a little dollop of choppie on one line before fishing the other. After each fish I repeated the procedure but the inside line was definately the stronger of the two. The bankside grapevine seemed to suggest I was doing well so I kept at it. I was getting loads of blows over my 7 metre line but I bumped/foulhooked a few skimmers and I reckon they might have been up in the water. I then hooked and safely landed my first decent carp of 4-5lb from the inside and I now had five carp including four smaller 8oz samples.

Mike T was getting quite a few small carp as was Les but Bushy was still strangely quiet. Oz across the pond was now catching carp regularly and I could see his yellow elastic stretching all over the place although he lost a few due to a big patch of lilies in front of him. I landed a second 5lb carp and was still getting the odd skimmer and roach, my Preston Hollow elastic was perfect for the carp but I was bumping the odd skimmer and I reckon Blue hydro would have been better. Hainsey came for a walk round and as he was coaching Butch I hooked a good carp from the 7 metre line and I heard him say how I was emptying it and that it must be solid - cheeky git! I had the fish under control and was down to my top three when it went under my keepnet and snapped me - bugger! I tied on a new hook and carried on but that fish was playing on my mind and I was hoping it wouldn't cost me at the end.

I was back on the inside when I hooked a decent fish which turned out to be a 3lb+ bream, incredibly it was the same fish I had caught last match here and on two other occasions (I could tell because of a mark on it's side). Hainsey said it's the only one in here and is called 'Billy'. That fish settled me somewhat and I carried on picking up odd fish from both lines, including my third decent carp. Oz was now catching strongly and Les was bagging and I wasn't sure if I was beating them or not. I was on 49 fish with ten minutes to go when I hooked another good carp, I was playing it carefully and I don't mind admitting I was shaking a little, Les blew for the all out and Mike T was playing a decent fish too, we both landed them successfully.

So I ended with 50 fish and I had no idea what weight I had, I thought I must have 20lb+. I felt I'd fished a really tidy match with the only blip being losing that carp and a few bumped fish. I'd done what I'd set out to do and just fished for silvers all day, in fact I hadn't picked up either of the other two rigs I'd set up. I turned on my radio as Chelsea were playing Wigan and needed to win to clinch the league title and they were winning 2-0 so it was all going to plan. I packed up and asked Les how he'd done, he said not as well as me but you can never tell with Les!

The weigh in started with Janders who had 10lb 6oz, before we moved onto Butch who had 18lb 10oz and then Mike T had an excellent 24lb 9oz and I wasn't overly sure I had that! Then it was my turn and my 4 decent carp plus about 6 smaller ones went a level 21lb and my silvers went 21lb 14oz, giving me a 42lb 14oz total and I was well chuffed. It was my biggest weight ever at Clivey but would it be enough. Bushy had 17lb 8oz off what is normally a really good carp peg but they just weren't there today. Then it was Les and I thought he might be one of the danger men, he weighed 28lb 8oz so I was still looking good. Les had done really well off a peg that hasn't done that well in recent matches so get's my man of the match award.

Les Braunton - Man of the Match

Next to Les, Steve Bishop had 19lb 11oz and then Picky didn't weigh and handed over a £1 (5-4 now, woo-hoo). Then came my other danger man, Oz and I was mightily relieved when he weighed 26lb 7oz, that just left Dunner and he had 24lb 6oz. So I'd done it, won on my birthday, won my first match of the year and for the first time at Clivey, to make things even better Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 and were crowned Premier League Champions. The icing on the cake was Janders handing over £1 (well 70p actually). I'd also just like to retrospectively make Janders my joint 'Man of the Match' for last week when he had the best weight off peg 2 at Perry St this year.

Oz with part of his third placed 26lb 7oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 42lb 14oz
2 - Les Braunton (Chard) - 28lb 8oz
3 - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 26lb 7oz
4 - Mike Thomas (Chard) - 24lb 9oz

Good weights all round

I'd like to thank Chris for the use of his pond, a cracking little venue and to 'Billy' the bream for showing up on my birthday. Next week I'm at Dillington for the first match of the Summer League, I hope it fishes better than last Monday.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dillington Pond - Blind Pairs - 3rd May 2010

After a good night out at the Phoenix watching a band with my mate Andy it was off out Dillington for a very reasonable 12:00 draw for the blind pairs match. There was a decent turnout of ten anglers including Martin Heard who showed me some of his photos from his recent Thailand trip and it looks amazing and I can't wait until September when me, Scotty and Ash head to the same place. It was match organiser Robin Cox's birthday today and he was looking a little fragile as was his boy Leighton and Moses - Happy Birthday Rob!

The format today was very interesting, we would all draw and then fish and then after the match we would find out who we were paired with! I really wanted peg 17 and promptly drew it! and Martin Heard carried on where he left off last year by drawing the bush peg (peg 1) where loads of chub have been caught recently, does he ever draw a bad peg? Today the weather was supposed to be much better than yesterday but there was still a really cold wind along with the odd bit of rain - lovely. In fact the wind was blowing straight into peg 17 with a vengeance and it looked like I was in for another cold day.

Graham Field was on my right on peg 16 and Rob was on 18, I mixed up some Sensas Matchblend and started sorting the rest of my kit out. I'd bought some lovely Drake crowquill wagglers and had made one up specially for today for the whip. It was shotted with just three no 10's down the line ending in a fine wire size 20 hook. I also set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing at 10 metres, this had another fine wire 20 and 0.08mm bottom as I expected it to be quite hard.

Rob blew for he start and I cupped in two balls containing some hemp, casters and maggots on the 10 metre line before starting on the whip. I threw in a small nugget of groundbait and flicked out some maggots and the float disappeared only for me to bump the fish, still at least there were a few there right? - wrong! I couldn't get a bite and judging by the gnome like anglers around me, nor could anyone else. Eventually I managed two small perch but it was really slow, then Rob netted a decent perch from his long line so I chucked the whip up the bank and went out on the long pole.

Normally if the whips a non starter the fish are on the long pole line but this line was pretty much the same. After ten minutes my float eventually went as a 6oz perch took my single red maggot hookbait. I then added three small roach but it really was a struggle. Fieldy had about the same as me and after Rob's early bonus he was now sat waiting for bites as well. After losing a big fish Martin now had a couple of chub and was heading for yet another victory and I was praying I would get him as a partner. Looking across the pond I hadn't seen anybody catch a fish!

The wind was evil and I was really cold and not enjoying it at all but at least I'd remembered a flask of coffee today and was already half way through it. Then my float sunk from view and the strike resulted in solid resistance before my number four elastic streamed from the pole and I was attached to a big fish, not for long though as it snapped the 0.08 like cotton - bugger. I tied on another hooklength and went back to catching nothing, a brief return to the whip line confirmed there was nowt there either.

Leighton came for a wander around to warm up and he'd caught a chub and some bits but other than that it just a few small fish had been caught. Then Graham Bulgin latched into and landed a decent chub and I knew fishing for non existent bits was a waste of time. I quickly chopped up a load of worm and caster and deposited it on the ten metre line before changing to a more substantial elastic, hook and 0.12mm hooklength to sit it out for a bonus perch or chub. I tried double maggot and when this didn't work I stuck on a small piece of worm and then back to maggot and had no response at all. Rob and Graham were in the same boat, in fact the only person who was catching was Heardy who now had half a dozen big chub.

With an hour to go I still hadn't added to my six fish then Fieldy had two good chub from under the willow tree. Rob blew for the all out and for the second day on the trot I was glad to hear the whistle. Rob started the weigh in at Bruce Hunt who had 15oz, Rob weighed 1lb 4oz, my meagre catch went 9oz and Fieldy's chub assisted catch went 5lb 8oz. On the other side Martin had seven good chub for an excellent 23lb 8oz, Bob Hammond had 3oz, Leighton 3lb 5oz, Moses 8oz, Graham Bulgin 2lb 4oz and Steve Parker 2oz.

Then it was time to see who was paired with who, the first peg out was number one (Martin Heard) and he got partnered with peg 14 (Steve Parker) which meant they ran out easy winners with a combined weight of 23lb 10oz (that's the best 2oz Steve's ever caught!). I was now left hoping to get Graham Field as a partner but the two Graham's (Field and Bulgin) were pulled out together and that was second place taken care of with a combined weight of 7lb 12oz. The last two balls in the bucket were mine and Bob Hammond's and we had a combined weight of 12oz! so not too far off then!

Graham with his second placed 5lb 8oz

Still it was something different and Rob's on about doing another similar event with a section on the pond and one on the canal, which I think would be good although a points system would make it fairer. So my two days fishing were quite poor and no coin, next week it's my birthday and we're at Chris's pond so hopefully the God's will smile on me and let me win (yeah right!).

Blind pairs
1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) and Steve Parker (Ilton) - 23lb 10oz
2 - Graham Field (Ilminster) and Graham Bulgin (Ilminster) - 7lb 12oz

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 23lb 8oz
2 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 5lb 8oz
3 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 3lb 5oz

Monday, May 03, 2010

Perry St Pond - Spring League 4 - 2nd May 2010

The weather for round four was awful (for a change!), I pulled out peg 4 and although not a flier, it did ok last match with Les catching 11lb odd off it. Les (or corner boy Les as he'll now be known) drew peg 10 but didn't rate his chances because the wind was blowing towards the other end. I had Steve Bush on my right and Janders next to him and Hainsey on my left so I prepared myself for a battering! Also I could see Picky opposite so I'd have a good idea how the side bet was going.

As it was blowing hard I decided to fish at around 6 metres and also feed the insides to my right and left. The open water rig was a Drennan Roach float with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 808 and the margin rig was a Drennan Carp with 0.12mm and the same pattern of hook but a size 16. For bait I had the usual maggot, corn and micro pellet (Ringers). Les blew for the all in and I cupped in some pellets and maggots at 6 metres and the same plus corn on both margin lines. I started out with double red maggot and after only 15 mins I knew it was going to be a struggle.

Nobody at our end was catching much, not even pegs 1 or 20, Picky had an early carp but there really wasn't much going on. I missed a bite before catching a small roach to avoid the blank. Chris netted a decent perch and had a foulhooked carp but despite my best efforts he refused to put it back! Mark 'Hoff' Hollister was doing well on the opposite bank and had a couple of good fish. Picky was now on two and I could see me losing another pound. Worse still was that Janders had landed a tench and a carp and I reckon it's all down to his latest lucky hat! He has that many hats I going to have a 'Janders hat of the week' photo every week!

Hat of the week

I added a rudd to my meagre catch and was going nowhere fast, Chris had another carp and Picky was now on three (bye bye pound!). Janders was still getting odd fish although Bushy was in the same boat as me and league leader, Steve Bishop, was also struggling next to Picky. Reports filtered down that Les and Darren Roberts on 11 were catching. I kept feeding the insides and trying them every now and again but apart from a single liner I had no indications from either side. I was still potting in maggots and pellets on my 6 metres line and added two bootlace eels to my net.

Hoff was still bagging and looking good for a frame place, he now had several bream to go with his several carp and I'm sure he thought he was down the resi! Dave Abrams also got in on the act with a couple of carp but if anything our end was getting worse (apart from Janders). Picky was stuck on three although Bish had finally got off the mark with a small carp.

My inside lines were still dead as a dodo but with two hours to go I had my first carp and things were looking up! What cheered me up even more was the news that Chelsea had gone 1-0 up against Liverpool to keep their league title hopes alive. Then I had a second carp and it was starting to get interesting and I even started to think that if Janders framed there might be an outside chance of a section win. Then Chris spoiled things by landing a third carp, I then hooked a fish which turned out to be an 8oz eel which still left me chasing him.

I was getting blows on my 6 metre line and then I had my third carp to put me neck and neck with Chris and Picky. Then Chris hooked a good fish but lost it after a lengthy battle, I kept thinking I needed another carp but then Chris only went and hooked another, only for this one to come off as well! Bushy then had two in two chucks and our side had suddenly come alive. With 15 mins left Bushy struck into his third and Chris was into his fourth and all of a sudden my three wasn't looking so good anymore. My float then sunk from view and I was into one and played it gingerly, in fact there was elastic everywhere as Mike T on peg one, Bushy, me and Chris were all playing carp.

I netted mine and Les blew the whistle as I was unhooking it, so that was that, I was quite relieved as I was freezing cold. As I was packing up Les came by and said he'd had nine carp and a tench and one of his carp went 14lb 8oz (which is a handy bonus!) and that Darren had around eight fish and had snapped his pole on one. The weigh in started (as always) at one and Mike T had struggled for just over 3lb although he'd lost several, Janders had done really well to finish with five carp and two tench for 20lb 5oz. Bushy's three carp went 10lb 14oz and I thought it might be close between us despite my extra carp. In fact my fish went 11lb 2oz - phew! Hainsey then went and spoiled it by weighing 13lb odd, but then then weights dropped until Mike Hosgood had 16lb 1oz from peg 7 and then Les weighed 47lb 8oz. Darren had 39lb 3oz and the next best weight was Hoff who weighed 29lb 15oz from peg 16 and gets my man of the match award.

Dave Abrams had 10lb 10oz so that last carp of mine was worth a few extra points, poor old Oz didn't weigh on 17, Picky had 9lb 3oz (yes 4-4 now!) and handed over a £1 which I gave to Janders. Bish just had the one carp for 2lb 8oz and Dino had caught a few for 9lb 8oz. It was also the semi finals of the knockout with Chris Haines and Picky going through to meet in the final in three weeks time. Chris now leads the league on 63 pts, Les's win catapults into second on 59 and Picky is still in third with 55 and I'm just behind on 54. There's loads of people on 52 and 51 and a long way to go.

The corner pegs do it again

Tomorrow I'm out Dillington for blind pairs event which could be interesting!

1 - Les Braunton (Chard) - 47lb 8oz
2 - Darren Roberts (Chard) - 39lb 3oz
3 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 29lb 15oz

A - John Anderson (Chard) - 20lb 5oz
B - Mike Hosgood (Exeter) - 16lb 1oz
C - Dave Abrams (Weymouth) - 10lb 10oz
D - Graham Pepper (Taunton) - 9lb 8oz