Sunday, October 31, 2010

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League - 31st October 2010

After quite a bit of rain on the Saturday I was once again surprised to see the river low and clear but at least this week we didn't have bright sunshine to contend with. There were only eight of us fishing and this week Rob had put two pegs in at North Bradon, 92 and 96 and I didn't really fancy either and really wanted 14 or 27. Of course I pulled out peg 92, it's known as the 'Roach Hole' but hardly any roach show nowadays and it's normally chub that make up the weights from it. Last year a tree had gone down across the peg but Janders (remember him!) still did over 6lb off it and I also recall Neil Dring doing 18lb of chub off it a couple of years previous. Neil had drawn 96, which was a golden peg and had the scales. Rob said most of the tree was now gone and he saw several chub in there yesterday.

I got to the river and my peg looked really good and I couldn't wait to get started, it was a bit of a rush to get set up so only a single rig came out the bag and yes it was a Drennan Carbo! I plumbed up and there was a good depth running up to the tree in the water.

Peg 92, how fishy does that look!

The start time arrived and I went out in the flow with a single caster and missed a bite straight away, I then started catching small chublets and had eight and a roach in the first hour and I started to think I could do a weight. Surely it was only a matter of time before the big chub arrived? But then I got plagued by minnows and despite trying double caster, half a lobbie and upping the feed, they remained a problem. Every now and again I'd get a small roach, chublet, dace or gudgeon but I wasn't catching fast enough to do a weight. Where were those bloody chub? I kept holding back right by the tree but got snagged a couple of times and minnows were still being a bloody pest.

By the half way point I probably had a pound and a half and was very frustrated, then Neil arrived and he hadn't had a bite so I stuck at it, hoping for good section points are maybe even yet another default section win! Time was running out and still no chub when out of the blue I had a better chublet and three nice roach with the best probably around 8oz. Would I finish with a flourish? no was the answer as I only added a couple more gudgeon to end with 28 fish (plus minnows) for a couple of pound or so.

Neil walked up with the scales and reported that he'd had four good chub and lost two in the last two hours! My fish went 3lb 1oz and after four matches that's my top weight! and I still haven't caught a proper chub. Neil's four 'dogs' went 10lb 4oz and if he framed there was still an outside chance of a section win.

Neil with his late chub!

Back at the results and Neil had tied with Martin Heard (another £1 bites the dust!) for first place. So Neil won his second V.E.S. match (and golden ball) on the trot and Martin won his second match on the trot! Graham Field won the top section from peg 15 with 3lb 14oz and as for my section, Pete Lonton had 3lb 2oz from peg 27, so I'd been ounced again! I'm having a bit of a bad run at the moment, with a free date next week I think we're having a knock up somewhere so lets hope for an improvement then.

1 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 10lb 4oz
1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 10lb 4oz

A - Graham Field (Taunton) - 3lb 14oz
B - Pete Lonton (Ilminster) - 3lb 2oz

Sunday, October 24, 2010

River Isle - Crown Winter League - 24th October 2010

After quite a bit of rain on the Saturday I was hoping the river would be carrying a bit of extra pace and some colour but as I went over the river at Hort Bridge was surprised to see it still low and clear! There were 11 of us at the draw and Robin had put some interesting pegs in, including much fancied pegs 25 and 50. There were also several in I didn't want, mainly 38 and 39 because of the mammoth walks.

When the draw was announced I decided to hang back and wait until those two pegs had gone, this worked to a certain degree but the two new pegs (25 and 50) both went as well. With only two balls remaining I went for it and pulled out peg 48 at Ilford - gutted. I've only fished the peg twice before, the last time I blanked and the time before that was when I was a junior (a long time ago!) and caught a small chub, so I didn't have high hopes. Malcolm Levy did catch a chub off it last year, so lets hope it still lived there!

I got to the river and passed Tony Newman on the much fancied peg 50 and Leighton Cox on 49 (another peg that just throws up the odd chub or two) and on arrival at mine, it looked quite fishy with plenty of cover on the far bank. I set up a 1.5 Drennan Carbo (surprise, surprise!) with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 coupled with a fairly tight black hydro as if I hooked the resident chub I wanted to get it out. I plumbed up and had a decent depth of around 2-3ft over most the swim. 10:15 soon arrived and in his wisdom, Robin had decided we would fish six hours today!

I baited up with a single caster and after ten minutes of running the float through with no indication I knew I wasn't going to catch today. You usually get a mug chublet or dace or at the very least minnow bites but nothing!! Along with feeding above me I was also firing the odd morsal downstream to hopefully bring some fish up (ha, ha). I tried maggot and caster in all the likely looking spots but never had a touch after two hours so it was time for a walk.

I popped down to see Leighton who had caught a couple of minnows but also had a pike in his swim, next up was Tony on the much fancied peg 50, he'd caught 4 chublets early on but bites had dried up in the bright sunshine. I then walked down to Neil Dring on 52 and it was much the same story with him, he'd caught a few fish early before the bites tailed off and all he could now catch was minnows. I walked down the river a bit and never saw a single fish before heading back to my peg and I was thinking I'd give it an hour before packing up.

I tried 13 metres down the peg but nothing, by this time we were heading into the last couple of hours and I was bored stiff. Neil and Leighton turned up as they were in the same boat as me, after a bit Leighton wandered off and then I had an indication on half a lobbie and I was interested again. It didn't develop though and Neil soon got bored of watching me catch bugger all and went back to his peg. I tried caster and started getting bites but only from minnows, still I had avoided the blank.

Then Tony came up and said he'd just landed a decent trout (which count) and wanted to rest the swim after all the commotion (I think he just wanted to warm his feet up!). I was back on the lobbie and as I lifted the rig out a jack pike snaffled it and a short tussle ensued before it bit me off and that was the highlight of my day! I couldn't wait to pack up and thankfully the torturous six hours finally ended. Leighton had the scales and awarded both me and him the minimum weight of 1oz, before Tony had 2lb 13oz and Neil found a couple of late fish to weigh 3lb 9oz.

Back at the results and Martin Heard had got back to winning ways with 14lb 6oz of chub from peg 85, so I owe him another £1, Graham Bulgin had three chub for 7lb 9oz from peg 38 but lost three which would have pushed Martin's weight. Surprisingly Neil's weight was enough for third place and Tony won the section by default. Bob Hammond won the other section with 3lb 6oz from peg 27. The other fancied peg, 25, was an anti-climax and Graham Field only had 1lb 8oz from it. I scored 4 points so at this early stage I could already do with dropping a match!

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 14lb 6oz
2 - Graham Bulgin (Ilminster) - 7lb 9oz
3 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 3lb 9oz

A - Bob Hammond (Chard) - 3lb 6oz
B - Tony Newman (Ilminster) - 2lb 13oz

Next week is round two of the V.E.S. and I must be due a good peg soon!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League - 17th October 2010

I was a little late getting to the draw and was amazed when there were only six other anglers there! Quite a few people were unable to make this match (probably a good choice, but read on dear blog fan). There was some money carried over from last years league in the golden peg fund and there were to be two golden pegs today, pegs 27 and 29. Both were potential winners and I really fancied peg 27 but of course pulled out 18! I wasn't too disappointed though as Fieldy did 5lb 10oz off it last week. Heardy paid me his £1 from last week and said he'd have it back today.

I got to the river and it was painfully low and clear and coupled with a frost last night and bright sunshine today, the signs weren't good. Graham had fished the peg high last week and I could see where he'd sat but I decided to sit lower so I could get to the tree in the water with my pole. I set up a 0.75 gram Drennan Carbo with size 18 B611. There were fish topping in peg 17 above me and I could have reached them if I'd sat where Graham had, was this going to be a costly mistake!

10:30 arrived and I baited up with single caster and started running the rig through in the flow, I started getting bites but only from minnows, after two or three I tried double caster but was still getting minnowed out. I then tried half a lobbie and was still getting loads of digs from pesky minnows. After two hours Robin walked up and he hadn't had bugger all from peg 22 (apart from minnows) and said Fieldy was the same on 24. He then went up to see Pete on 15 and Steve Parker on 14.

I then had my first proper fish, a 4oz chublet on half a lobbie, Moses turned up to see how it was fishing and I saw a fish flash in the flow, so went back out with a caster on and had a decent dace first chuck. A little while later I had a small one but was still going nowhere fast. Moses soon got bored watching me and then Robin turned up to say that Steve was catching consistently but Pete only had minnows. I stuck at it because there were only four of us in the section and if Steve framed I had a chance of the section.

I carried on getting very occasional dace and ended with 11 (plus minnows) for a 1lb or so - not a good day. Robin packed up early, so I just needed to beat Pete and hope Steve framed. Pete turned up with the scales and said he'd managed a small chublet, he weighed me in and I had a massive 1lb 9oz before I went down to weigh Graham in as Robin had gone on. He'd found a chub and weighed 2lb 6oz but luckily he was in the other section. When I got back to the car, Pete had just got back from weighing him and Steve in. Pete had 3oz and Steve had 4lb 8oz and I was hoping that would be enough to frame.

Back at the results and Neil Dring had won it with 5lb 12oz from 27 and also picked up the golden peg money - well done mate. But how had Heardy got on?, he actually weighed 1lb 10oz which meant I owed him a pound but also that I'd won my section and picked up a tenner, which was better than a kick up the ass! So despite two not very good days fishing, I've actually got off to a good start in both leagues with two points in each.

1 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 5lb 12oz
2 - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 4lb 8oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 1lb 9oz
B - Graham Field (Taunton) - 2lb 6oz

Round two of the Crown league is next week and some fish would be nice!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

River Isle - Crown Winter League - 10th October 2010

I was really looking forward to getting back on the river and the weather was bright and sunny which isn't ideal for fishing but the river looked in good nick. There was a decent turnout of 12 (including me), I just needed to draw peg 14 or 27 now! After a quick coffee it was time to draw and I managed to pull out peg 24, it used to be a proper flier but has dropped off the last couple of years.

I got to the river and surveyed my peg, there was loads of far bank cover and it looked really chubby, Heardy was above me on 23 and his peg looked nice too and he was soon asking if I wanted a £1 side bet! I accepted after checking I had enough change to pay him. I only set up 'old faithful' and set about plumbing the swim, there was a decent depth all along the middle and far bank. 10:30 arrived and we were off, I baited the size 18 hook with single caster and started inching it through just past the middle. while feeding casters, maggots and hemp.

I had my first bite holding back by an overhanging branch to my left and was soon swinging in a 3oz chublet, blank avoided. I then had two perch about 8oz apiece and another small chublet, all on single caster. Martin had a perch about 10oz and then I had another, this time about a pound and a quarter. With only an hour gone, I was pleased with my start and fancied a few more. I had another chublet about 4oz and then couldn't get a bite! Martin was getting minnowed out and all of a sudden it was looking bleak.

In fact apart from the odd dig from minnows I only had one more decent bite, on lobbie, which I bumped when the worm went over the point of the hook. Robin wandered down from peg 22 and said he'd lost two big chub and that Fieldy and Graham Bulgin were catching small fish on pegs 18 and 21. He'd also phoned Leighton on 85 and he'd had a decent chub and some smaller fish.

I went through the motions for the latter part of the match, hoping for a couple of fish in the 'golden' last hour but it didn't happen. Martin packed up with half an hour to go (so he is human!) and promised to pay me the pound next week. His travelling partner, Malcolm, had also packed up and chucked back a couple of pound of fish.

I packed up, a little disappointed after such a good start and walked up to see Robin, he'd lost four chub in the end which could prove costly. The scales reached Robin and he had 2oz, Justin had 10lb 12oz from 14, Steve Parker had 4lb 12oz from 15, Fieldy had 5lb 10oz from 18 and Graham Bulgin had 2lb 3oz from peg 22. I thought I had about 2lb or so but my section was in with the pegs below the bridge and at Ashford and apparently Bob Hammond had caught a few on peg 27. My fish actually went 2lb 15oz (yep, underestimated again!) so I would have to wait to see how the rest of my section had got on.

Back at the pub and Leighton was top at Ashford with 7lb 15oz, which meant he'd frame and then the next best was Tony Newman with 2lb 9oz and Bob with 2lb 4oz, which meant I'd won my section and picked up £15, so not too bad a day and a good start to the league with two points (and I've got a £1 off Martin to look forward to).

1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 10lb 12oz
2 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 7lb 15oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 5lb 10oz

A - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 4lb 12oz
B - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 2lb 15oz

Next week is the first match of the V.E.S. and it's a league I'd love to win (I know I say it every year!) and a good start is vital so wish me luck.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Goodiford Mill - 3rd October 2010

This will be a short one as I'm all blogged out, Martin and Malcolm have been asking us to go down to Goodiford for ages so with nothing else on we had a knock up. There were only six of us and we decided to pay the top two and do a blind drawn pairs after the match. The lake looked nice and I managed to draw out end peg 27, I set up a rig for fishing three metres and a shallow rig. This was to be a silvers only match and Martin said weights should be good.

I had a small roach first chuck so switched to caster and started getting some better roach, I also had three nice tench and felt I was doing ok after the first hour. I was just ahead of Steve Parker on my right but was sure Martin would be catching on the next peg to Steve as he knows the venue well. I started to get the odd clonking big roach to 12oz but was bumping off loads of fish, I also lost a carp.

After a couple of hours Martin wandered down so maybe he wasn't doing so well after all! Apparently Malcolm was catching well on the other end peg. I tried my shallow rig but it didn't improve my catch rate so went back to the deep rig and catching the odd fish on the drop. Martin was getting the odd crucian on soft pellet so I kept trying it but could only catch roach. I finally caught a couple of crucians on double caster but no more tench. I gradually pulled away from Steve but thought I was behind Martin and Malcolm.

I ended with 144 fish but had no clue what weight I had because although I had some decent fish, I had a lot of smaller ones too. The weigh in started at Malcolm who fished peg 20 instead of 24 with the agreement of Rob and had 30lb 15oz and I was pretty sure I didn't have that, Rob had 8lb 6oz, Graham Bulgin weighed 21lb 10oz and then Martin plonked 37lb 11oz on the scales and I knew I wouldn't be framing today. Steve had 11lb 7oz and I weighed 23lb 14oz and was praying I'd draw Martin or Malcolm in the blind pairs.

The first two names out the hat were Rob and Malcolm to give them a combined total of 39lb 5oz, then Graham got called out with Steve (33lb 1oz) so me and Martin won the pairs with 61lb 9oz and picked up £15 each. The day got better still when Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 to stay top of the league.

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 37lb 11oz
2 - Malcolm Levy (Tiverton) - 30lb 15oz

Drawn pairs

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) and Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 61lb 9oz

Next week is the first match of the Crown league on the Isle and peg 27 would be nice!

Gillhams Resort, Thailand - 22nd September to 30th September 2010

Scotty, Ashley and me headed off to Gillhams Resort in Krabi, Thailand for a nine day fishing holiday and it was brilliant. The fishing was excellent, food was top notch and we met some brilliant people. Stuart and Sean Gillham were the best hosts and nothing was too much trouble. Stuarts wife, Benz, was lovely as was my guide, Golock, the other guide Joe (Fishcake), Matt the head gardener, Stuarts daughter Becks and his son Jack was very sweet.

We caught loads of fish, topped off by a stunning arapaima of 330lb, caught by Ash. We also caught Amazon redtail catfish to 66lb, siamese carp to 55lb, Asian redtail catfish, silverbarbs, alligator gar, Mekong catfish to 110lb, sorubim catfish and spotted featherbacks and arrawana.

Ash with his 330lb arapaima

Scotty with his 110lb Mekong catfish

Me with 100lb arapaima

Stuart and Benz

Alligator gar

Ash with Amazon redtail catfish

Scott with siamese carp

Me with spotted featherback

It wasn't all fishing though and we went elephant trekking which was excellent

and we had a night out in Ao Nang!

Joe (Fishcake)

Fishcake and Amy

It was a top night!

The resort was lovely and the scenary fantastic

Well, we're back now and down to earth with a bump and I'm fishing a knock up at Goodiford Mill in Devon on Sunday so I'll let you know how I get on.