Monday, May 30, 2011

Summerhayes - Open - 30th May 2011

After a bacon sarnie it was off to Summerhayes to see if I could break my jinx on Longs. I got to the draw just in the nick of time and there was a good turnout including some stars, Bob Gullick, Tom Thick, Gary O Shea, Steve Tucker and Alex Murray to name a few. I pulled out peg 12 which put me further down the lake than I'd ever been before. I had Scotty to my right and the owner Pete on my left.

It was a very wide peg and 16 metres was required to reach the far bank (pretty much uncharted territory for me!). I set up a dibber for the far bank and a Carpa 2 for down the middle at 10 metres. Scotty had very kindly done some expanders and some paste for me (cheers bud) and I had some micros and 4mm's for feed. Pete blew for the all in and I cupped in some micros at 10 metres and some 4mm's at 16 (God, my pole is heavy at the length). It was also raining and a fairly strong wind was blowing down the pond just to make things more uncomfortable.

Both Pete and Scotty both started across while I went down the middle with a 4mm expander on the hook. I had a bite straight away and netted a decent roach - good start. The chap next to Scotty was into carp straight away and then Pete started catching as well. I was toss potting in micros every put in and was getting bites but missing most of them! Scotty was getting a few silvers, I then had a lovely little golden tench and followed this up with a skimmer and a crucian. I did lose a small skimmer and was still missing bites. After an hour I had six fish and there wasn't much between me and Scott although Pete was ahead with several carp.

After two hours I had 12 fish, including more skimmers and a nice tench but I had lost what felt like a better skimmer. Pete was still catching across so I fed my 10 metre line again before going across with a 6mm banded pellet on the hook. I was firing some 4mm's over and started getting indications, my first strike saw me attached to the far bank! Next put in I've hooked a carp which shot along the far bank and went behind a partly submerged tree stump, it was solid and I pulled and pulled before coming back with a little bit of line, no hook and just the eye of the float - great! I put another rig on and lost the next fish too and that was enough of that, the wind was making holding my heavy pole very hard work.

I decided to concentrate down the middle as I was already a long way behind Pete and the bloke next to Scott on carp and as Pete was paying three in the silvers, I thought this was my best chance of a brown envelope. I had a couple more skimmers and a couple of small carp but I'd get a few bites and then it would go quiet for half an hour. Scott was getting odd fish but I didn't think he was too far ahead. The wind was making it hard to present the bait properly even at 10 metres. I did try paste once but the rig wasn't right for it and I just kept wondering if it was still on the hook!

Going into the last hour, I'd added another small carp and some decent skimmers but Scotty was now on the paste and bagging with carp and good skimmers. I only added three more fish in the last hour to give me 23 fish and I thought I must have 10lb or so. 15lb odd won the silvers in yesterdays match so I thought I might have a chance of sneaking into third in the silvers pool. Pete started the weigh in and it had been a struggle for quite a few anglers and some had even packed up early. Tom Thick was the first angler to put a good weight on the scales at over 43lb, Alex Murray came close with 42lb odd. There were several 11lb and 12lb silvers weights with the top weight 16lb 9oz so far.

Pete stuck a high 30lbs on the scales and then it was my turn, my three small carp weighed a rather embarrassing 3lb 1oz and then my silvers went 11lb 2oz. I still wasn't sure if I'd sneaked in or not because Pete doesn't pay double bubble so some of the anglers with better silver weights might have framed. Scotty then came close with a silvers weight of 16lb 8oz and his 41lb odd total put him in third place with a few left to weigh. Bob Gullick proved he is mortal by weighing 25lb plus, which was a good weight on the day but not good enough.

Back at the results and Martin Heard was called out as third place in the silvers with 11lb 12oz - bugger, ten poxy ounces. Still I wasn't too far away but still haven't broken my duck on Longs. Next week it's on Sellicks so maybe I'll do better then.

1 - Tom Thick - 43lb+
2 - Alex Murray - 42lb+
3 - Scott Russell (TackleUK) - 41lb+

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Perry St Pond - Spring League 6 - 29th May 2011

Unusually for me I spent quite a bit of time doing some prep on Saturday, tying hooklengths and doing some hair rigs for today. We were all in with a chance of a corner again but after last Sunday I didn't particularly want one! Before the draw though, Les had to do the preliminary draw for the individual knockout. I was one of the lucky dozen who got a bye to the next round (good job as it turned out, but more of that later). It was then time for the draw for today and I pulled out peg 4, which was where Hainsey won from last week, so I thought I might get a few.

Once again I had Les for company on the next peg and I don't think he was that impressed! I was intending to fish up in the water (just for a change!) and have the two insides for back up. Chris said he'd caught feeding 4mm pellets down the edge so that was the only change to the bait table, which also had the usual corn, maggots and 6mm pellets on it. The inside line to the right was through a channel Chris had cut in the reeds last week but it also had an anti cormorant rope going over the top which was going to impede striking.

On the whistle I cupped in some maggots, corn and 4mm pellets on the right and threw some in on the left hand margin before starting up in the water. First put in I was lifting and dropping the rig while feeding 6mm's when the float buried and carp number one was on. I had it under control and was unshipping when the sections stuck and came apart with a jolt and the fish came off - bugger. Still I was confident of getting a few more. The next two were only on very briefly and I think they were foulhooked. I did manage to land a small one before the first hour was up.

The second hour was much the same and I lost two more foulhookers and landed another small carp. Although it wasn't bagging I was fairly happy as most of the people in my section were struggling too and at this stage I was doing well. Bish and Blaker opposite only had one carp and a couple of eels each, Mike T on my right had one carp and Les hadn't caught a carp yet. I was still feeding both insides with 4mm's but I wanted to leave them as long as possible so kept at it on the long line.

I never added to my meagre tally in hour three and as Blaker and Bish had both landed another carp, Janders had landed a carp and Hoff now had two carp and a bream I was slipping down the section fast. It was time to try the insides, I slipped on a grain of corn and toss potted in some more 4mm's and corn. I had a couple of good bites quite quickly, but missed both with the reeds and rope proving to be a pain in the ass. I then had a bite which ripped the pole tip round but the resulting carp of 2lb wasn't helping my cause much.

Les had a couple of bream and a good foulhooked carp and he overtook me as well, Bish had another carp and panic was starting to set in. I tried banded pellet and corn on both inside lines but despite getting indications I never had another fish there. Carp could still be seen cruising and I decided to spend the last hour and a bit up in the water. I did have another foulhooked fish on briefly but that was it and I knew I'd be last in my section as Mike T and Janders had both added second good sized carp.

I packed up pretty pissed off as that would be my league buggered, in hindsight I should have concentrated on the inside and I might have had a couple more. The weigh in started at Bushy on peg 1 and he'd done well to land 43lb 9oz of carp and he would top the section and stay top of the league with that. Then Dino had 9lb 10oz, Mike T's two fish went 13lb 3oz and then my pathetic haul went 7lb 8oz, Les had 16lb odd. The pond had fished quite hard in places and Roy had 11lb 14oz from peg 6 before Hainsey put an excellent 83lb 3oz of carp on the scales from peg 7. Everyone knew he'd win with that to make it two wins at Perry St on the bounce and five wins in two weeks, he's just too good (and he had tennis elbow too!).

Next to Chris, Butch only had 6lb 14oz, Oz 3lb 14oz and Mike Collins 2lb 1oz. Picky did well from peg 11 with 53lb 8oz and I handed over a squid (and it's 6-4 to Picky now), he also won the second battle of the paste kings beating Terry Green who had 46lb 14oz from peg 12. The weights then dived and the next best weight along that bank was Steve Bishop with a level 25lb. Janders also took a pound off me with his 13lb to top off a miserable day. I was stone cold last in the section and 10 points meant I've slipped from 2nd to 6th. To stand any chance of doing well I need to win my section for the next four matches and that's never going to happen.

Quite a patchy weigh board this week

1 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 83lb 3oz
2 - Alan Gage (Chard) - 53lb 8oz
3 - Terry Green (Sillybait) - 46lb 14oz

A - Steve Bush (Chard) - 43lb 9oz
B - Roy Fowler (Chard) - 11lb 14oz
C - Dave Lawrence (Tytherleigh) - 15lb 3oz
D - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 25lb

League wise, Bushy still tops the leaderboard with 13 points followed by Terry Green and Hainsey on 17, I'm way down on 24.

Well tomorrow I'm at Summerhayes but as it's on Longs, I'm not holding out much hope of a brown envelope there either!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 3 - 25th May 2011

I picked Alvin up and got to the pond expecting it to be blowing hard but it wasn't too bad. There were the usual six of us and I pulled peg 17 out of the draw bag which I was chuffed with as it's a peg that's been kind to me in the past. I mixed up a little groundbait (Sensas Roach) and set up the usual whip rig. After the last Sunday match I decided to also set up a rig to fish for eels. With no worm I was going to dump a load of caster and dead maggot at 11.5 metres and fish over it in the last hour if the whip line slowed.

I had quite a bit of space with the only other angler on my bank being Alvin, Fieldy, Justin (who hadn't turned up yet) and Moses were all opposite around the far corner and Rob was on peg 4. Rob signalled the start with a single toot of his whistle (oo-er missus!) and we were off. I cupped in my eel feed on the long line before tossing in a nugget of groundbait and flicking the whip rig out. I was loose feeding little and often (far less than I did last match) and was soon into roach and perch.

I was catching pretty well although I did suffer a spell of bumping some better roach, after the first hour I had 60 fish (which was better than the last evening match) and I'd also netted a perch of about 8oz. The second hour was pretty much the same although I kept trying caster and would get the odd better roach or rudd. I'd nick a couple of fish on caster before going back to maggot and after the second hour I had over 100 fish. Steve Hurford turned up again and we remembered the good old days and put the world to rights. Hurf reckoned I was catching quicker than Fieldy and I hoped he was right. While he was there I had a couple of fish that dropped off as I was swinging them in and they rolled back into the water (this happened four or five times during the match).

As the light started to fail I was struggling to see the float tip and Hurf told me to try his glasses, the difference was staggering and I think I might need a trip to the opticians soon! The last hour was steady although I kept trying caster for longer periods but still ended up with 156 fish. In the last evening match I had 110 for 7lb 10oz so I was hoping I had a bit more than that this time. Just as I was finishing packing up, Alvin turned up and asked if I'd struggled like he had! He had still found two decent perch though and knowing Alvin, his idea of struggling is a lot different than most.

I caught up with the scales at Moses, Robin had weighed 4lb 2oz, Fieldy had 7lb 13oz (which I thought I'd be close to), Justin didn't weigh in again (but he does keep turning up late!) and then Moses weighed 9lb 7oz and the venue expert was back on form. As I pulled my net out I thought I might be close to Moses, the needle flickered between 9lb 6oz and 9lb 8oz and Alvin eventually called it at 9lb 7oz and I was left cussing those fish that had dropped off. I still thought Alvin might push us down to joint second but for once Alvin was close to his estimate and weighed 5lb 14oz. So me and Moses had jointly won!

We picked up £25 each and Fieldy was third, Alvin tossed his pound coin to see who would take it, I called heads and of course it was tails - typical! So after three matches and dropping the worst result, Alvin and Fieldy lead the way with 2 points.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb 7oz
1 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 9lb 7oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 7lb 13oz

Still, it was nice to get back to winning ways, lets hope I can keep it up for Perry St on Sunday.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Perry St Pond - Spring League 5 - 22nd May 2011

With a corner peg to come this week, I was hoping I could draw one of the top corners, 10 or 11. I really fancied 10 as it's the more consistent peg although 11 wins it's fair share of money too. Luck was with me today (or was it?) and I pulled out 11. I got there and there was floating crap all over the place and I was hoping it would stay quite windy as it might help to blow it all into one place. Picky had drawn it a couple of matches back and it had proved to be a nightmare for him. Dino had drawn peg 10 and I had Les next to me on peg 12 and where he wanted to fish on the inside was a mass of fluff! Les also snapped a pole section setting up and wasn't having the best of starts!

I set up a dibber to fish up in the water and another to fish under the tree to my right (if the fluff would allow it!). I had the usual bait of corn, maggots, micros and 6mm sinkers. Les blew for the all in and I cupped in some feed under the tree before starting at 11.5 metres in open water with my shallow rig with banded pellet on the hook. Even at this early stage the floating debris was being a pain, Blaker on peg 9 got off to a flying start with an early carp and I was confident of catching a few. I had a few indications and dropped off a rudd at the net but wasn't too worried at this early stage.

After 2 hours and nothing in the net I was starting to get worried!, the wind was right in my face and we'd had a few showers of cold rain too - lovely. The fluff was hideous and I was finding it hard to find anywhere to drop the rig in! Blaker hadn't added to his early carp and from what I could see, most people at our end were struggling apart from Bushy on peg 13 who was getting a few. Dino finally got off the mark after losing a couple of foulhookers but it really wasn't happening at all. Carp could be seen cruising but they just weren't interested, I got my first carp after about 3 hours and followed it up with a second not long after. Les had landed one as well.

I kept trying under the tree but the fluff kept swirling around and there was nowhere to lay the rig in. I was by now fishing at 13 metres in open water where it was marginally better with less fluff around. I hooked another carp and thought it was under control when it kited towards the lilies and I felt a bump and the fish was off and I was attached to some line and a branch. I started pulling the line in and this was followed by a rod and reel!, was this to be the best catch of my day? I then lost another where I was down to the top three when it shot off and rather than add sections I hung on and the inevitable happened and it snapped me (will I ever learn?), this was turning into a nightmare.

Dino then had his second and Les added another as well, from doing ok in my section I was now in danger of falling behind. When Les had another which we weighed at 8lb 13oz, I was definitely lagging behind. Dino was hooking fish but the majority were coming off. I was still firing some pellets under the tree and with an hour and a half to go I spotted a gap in the fluff and quickly laid the rig in. The float went straight away and I netted carp number three and I was back in the hunt. Next put in I lost one when the hook pulled and it felt like there were quite a few fish there. I then suffered a run of bites where I'd strike and come back with a stick on!

I hooked another carp but this one did me in the lilies, I tied another hook on and then had carp number four, the trouble was, after every fish I had to de-fluff the line as it looked like a load of washing! I then had a nice tench and with 5 mins to go I hooked another carp but the bloody hook pulled on that one too! Les was into a good fish on the whistle and netted it after and at about 9lb, I knew he would beat me but then he missed the net with it! - whoops. The banter going round the pond suggested that Hainsey had won it and Bushy and Terry Green wouldn't be too far off. When Picky said he'd only had three carp although one was a good one, I thought I might win the section if Bushy framed. Picky even handed over the £1 side bet, he was that confident I'd beaten him.

The scales started at peg 1 and Roy had 15lb 3oz, Pup didn't weigh on peg 2 which shows how hard it had fished, Mike T had a solitary carp of 3lb and then Hainsey showed his class to plonk 59lb 1oz on the scales which everyone knew would be enough to win. This would be Chris's third victory for the week so plenty of burger money then! Butch then pipped Roy by an ounce on peg 5. Then the top weight in the next five pegs was Blaker with 16lb 14oz in peg 9, Dino had three carp and had lost 10 for a level 10lb in peg 10 (so all the 10's then!). My four carp, a tench and a roach went 21lb 7oz and when Les weighed 16lb 15oz, that last carp could have been costly. Bushy weighed 39lb 6oz to go into second place and Janders weighed 9lb and handed over a £1. Then Picky's three carp weighed 23lb 2oz!!!!! and I had to hand back his pound plus one of mine (and yes it's 5-4 to you now).

Picky lost the battle of the paste kings though when Terry had 46lb 15oz next to him and that was enough for second place. I was left really cussing the five fish I'd lost especially as I shouldn't have lost one of them and that would have got me two section points instead of the three I ended up with. The league is still really tight and Bushy has now gone top with 12 points followed by Terry and me on 14, Hoff on 15 and Bish and Hainsey on 16.

Hainsey won his third match in a week

The pond fished a lot harder this week

1 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 59lb 1oz
2 - Terry Green (Sillybait) - 46lb 15oz
3 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 39lb 6oz

A - Butch Baker (Chard) - 15lb 4oz
B - Paul Blake (Chard) - 16lb 14oz
C - Alan Gage (Chard) - 23lb 2oz
D - Mike Hosgood (Chard Raiders) - 23lb 10oz

The next match for me is an evening fixture at Dillington on Wednesday so lets see if I can get back to collecting brown envelopes then!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Summer League 1 - 15th May 2011

I got to the pub for the draw and there was a decent turnout of ten for the first Summer League match, which was good to see. Along with the usual Wednesday night crowd there was also Rich White, Heardy, Leighton and Steve Parker. I drew peg 2 which is on a point and quite a deep peg and I had Leighton for company on peg 4. Across from me I could see Alvin and Steve although they were in a different section from me.

I set up the usual whip rig but as I was anticipating sport to be harder than Weds night I also set up a chopped worm rig to give me another option if the bites tailed off on the whip. I mixed up some groundbait (50:50 Sensas Matchblend and Roach) and also put some worms, casters and maggots in a pot before chopping them all up - yummy! I also intended to set up an up in the water rig but ran out of time, still I could always do it later if I was really struggling.

Rob blew for the all in and I cupped in some choppie along with casters at 10 metres before starting on the whip. I started catching small perch and roach but they were a smaller stamp than normal. After the first hour I had around 30 fish which confirmed my suspicions that it was going to be harder than the evening matches. Steve shouted across to ask what I'd had when I was on 20 fish and I asked what he'd had to which he replied 11, so I was doing ok at this early stage. I also heard Martin on 17 ask what Alvin had on the next peg and Alvin said about 15.

After the first hour I cupped in some more choppie and continued with the whip, the second hour was slower and I only had around 20 fish, I flirted with caster but had to wait ages for a bite and the fish weren't much bigger so it was back to single red maggot. Leighton walked up and said he'd had a big perch along with some small fish so he was probably ahead of me at this stage. I struggled on into hour three but bites were becoming few and far between, I got to 64 fish and thought I had around 3-4lb and it was time to try the chopped worm line.

I went out with a worm head on the size 18 hook and was loose feeding casters over the top, I started getting bites but they were only tiny perch but as everyone I could see looked to be struggling, I stuck with it. I bumped what felt like a slightly better perch before catching an eel of about 6oz. Another four eels of a similar size followed along with a perch and a roach, which were both about 8oz. I was still getting small perch as well and missing a few bites which I suspect were small fish. I was feeding caster quite heavily and also cupped in some more choppie mix before going back on the whip for a bit.

I had been feeding the whip line with hemp and caster but it was hard going and I added another ten small fish in half an hour before deciding to spend the remainder of the match on the chopped worm line. First put in I missed a good bite before hooking and landing a good perch of about a pound and a half, which really boosted my weight. Three more eels along with some more small perch saw me finish on 98 fish and I had no clue what weight I had because although the whip fish were smaller I'd had some bonus fish as well. I thought I'd done ok because I hadn't seen people catch much but it's always deceiving out here.

Leighton turned up with the scales and my fish went 9lb 2oz and I was well chuffed with that and felt I'd fished a good match. Leighton's perch weighed an impressive 3lb 2oz and along with some small fish he weighed 4lb 4oz. Then the rest of the weights in my section were close with Neil weighing 2lb 11oz, Rob had 3lb 6oz and Rich had 2lb 8oz. So I'd won my section at least, we caught up with the scales in the other section and the top weight was Martin with 6lb 11oz, so I'd won my first match for a while - get in!

Leighton with his cracking perch of 3lb 2oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb 2oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 6lb 11oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 6lb 4oz

A - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 4lb 4oz
B - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 5lb 3oz

I was quite impressed with the number of bites I had over the worm and caster so I will definitely make sure I've got some worms with me for the next match. Next week it's back to the Spring League out Perry St and I'll be in one of the corners (number 10 please but that won't happen!), so tune if to see if I can keep this run good run going.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 2 - 11th May 2011

After a poor first match in this series I was hoping to turn things round tonight. There were six of us this evening as Graham Field had joined us and we put three pegs in on each side of the pond. I drew peg 10 and was quite pleased with that as there were loads of fish topping. I quickly mixed up some Sensas Matchblend groundbait and set up the usual 4 metre whip. I also set up a light Drennan Squatt float to fish on the drop with caster if I couldn't catch on the whip.

Rob blew for the all in and I was into fish straight away, all on maggot, feeding caster, hemp and maggots and the odd nugget of groundbait. I was catching mainly roach with the odd perch and rudd thrown in for good measure. I quickly eclipsed the 30 fish I had last match and after the first hour I'd had 44 fish and thought I must have 3lb+. If I could keep this up, I'd be on for double figures by the end of the match.

As always I couldn't really see what was being caught around me although Justin Charles on the next peg had pole problems and was now fishing the feeder without much success. Then the first of several visitors arrived in the shape of Steve Hurford who I hadn't seen for ages, we had a good old natter and he said he would be getting into fishing a bit more this year. My catch rate slowed during hour two but I still had over thirty fish including a couple of net roach and was still on for a decent weight.

Max and Rich White were the next visitors and Rich said he'd be fishing on Sunday so hopefully there will be a decent turnout. The last (but not least) visitor was Scotty Russell who sat behind me for the final part of the match, I ended with 110 fish and Scott reckoned I'd had around 2lb with the 18 fish he'd seen me catch so I thought I might be close to double figures. I had the scales so walked round to weigh Moses (the venue expert) and he put 4lb 9oz on the scales and I was pretty sure I had that. Graham Field went into the lead with 5lb 10oz and then Rob was close with 4lb 6oz.

I was disappointed when my fish weighed 7lb 10oz and I've gone from under estimating to chronically over estimating (I'll get it right one day!). Justin didn't weigh and then Alvin had a lovely 2lb+ perch in his bag to pip me with 8lb 9oz, he also said he'd lost several as well. I ended up in second place and picked up £20 to keep my winnings ticking over.

1 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 8lb 9oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 7lb 10oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 5lb 10oz

We're back out here on Sunday so it will be interesting to see how it fishes with more anglers on it and during the day.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Perry St Pond - Spring League 4 - 8th May 2011

Round four and the pairs knockout final arrived, Les did the draw for the pairs and me and the Hoff got drawn together again. Three of the finalists (me included) were in with a chance of a corner. Bish was the only one who'd already had a corner so he went in the bucket and pulled out peg 14 which is a very good peg. We all piled in and I was disappointed to pull out peg 2, Hoff got 18 where he was last match and then Bish's partner, Mike Thomas pulled out 10 and we were up against it. Points wise me and Hoff were in the same section as were the other two, so we just needed to do well in our section.

I decided to stick with the up in the water approach which has served me well so far, as I was getting my top kits out, the zip on my holdall finally gave up the ghost - good start!, was this an omen? I set up two identical Trabucco dibbers, one to fish up in the water and the other to fish my margins. Bait was the usual micros, corn, maggots and 6mm sinkers. Hoff was nearly opposite me so at least we would have an idea how we were getting on in the section. As for my sidebets, Picky had drawn corner peg 11 so I could pretty much write that one off and Janders had peg 13 but would it prove unlucky for him! The wind was blowing up towards 10 and 11 and everyone expected those pegs to fly.

The whistle went and I cupped in some grub on my two inside lines before starting at 11.5 metres with banded pellet on the size 16 808. Steve Bush on 19 got off to a great start and landed two carp in as many chucks, he was fishing up in the water too, so surely it was only a matter of time? I started getting the odd indication before landing a good one of 6lb+ followed by a smaller one. After an hour Bushy was on four, I had two and the Hoff had landed one but other than that nobody was really catching much at our end despite loads of carp cruising about.

I had an early fish in the second hour but then it went really quiet, Bushy was now on five and Hoff was on two and Dave Abrams had a fish as well. The third hour saw me try the inside to my left and I missed a few good bites on corn but didn't add any more fish. By now Hainsey in peg 20 and Blaker in peg 1 had got off the mark as well, so it was back out to 11.5 metres. I had three fish quite quickly, including one carp foulhooked in the tail! but was still a fish behind Bushy but we were pulling away from the anglers around us.

I got to eight carp and was feeling really pleased with myself that I hadn't lost any yet when I promptly lost the next one and came back with a big scale on the hook. Going into the last hour I had my ninth carp and Bushy was on nine as well, the carp had started to feed a bit better and Dave Abrams and Hoff were catching up in the water too. With 10 minutes to go I hooked carp number 10 and it was under control and I decided to take my time and try and make it count, the carp had other ideas and kited round to my right and snagged me and I had to pull for a break. While I was faffing around, Bushy netted two more to finish with 11 carp to my 9.

The scales started, as always, with peg 1 and Blaker had struggled for 20lb 4oz, my fish went 36lb 1oz and both Picky and Janders said it would be close. Mike Collins didn't weigh on my left and Mike Hosgood (from somewhere near Exeter) had 9lb 15oz and Dunner had 16lb so at least I'd won my five peg section. Les had 14 carp for 54lb 5oz and lead the way until we got to Mike T who had 15 carp for 66lb 10oz from peg 10. It looked like Mike had won his section (and the match) so now it was down to how Bish had got on, he said he had nine carp so I was hoping there might be a few section places between him and Mike T to give us a chance in the pairs.

Picky's eight carp went 41lb 12oz and he took a £1 off me to make it 4-4 (I should think so off peg 11!), Dino had 34lb 8oz from peg 12 and then Janders had seven fish for 39lb 7oz and took another £1 off me, this wasn't going to plan! Bish's nine carp went 51lb 5oz to give him and Mike four points and I knew we weren't going to beat them. Terry Green had 35lb 15oz (phew, that was close!) but as he'd broken one of his butt sections for his Spectron, his day was probably worse than mine. Dave Abrams had 25lb 5oz to Hoff's 24lb 11oz and nicked a point off him. I thought it might be close between Bushy and me but his eleven carp went 50lb 5oz and Hainsey had struggled in 20 for 19lb 14oz.

I ended with two section points and Hoff had five so Bish and Mike T were crowned pairs champions - well done lads. I did have the consolation of my £30 section winnings. The league had now tightened right up and there are five of us on 11 pts, Hoff, Bish, Mike T, Bushy and yours truly.

1 - Mike Thomas (Chard) - 66lb 10oz
2 - Les Braunton (Haines Angling) - 54lb 5oz
3 - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 51lb 5oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 36lb 1oz
B - Dave Lawrence (Windwhistle Inn) - 14lb 8oz
C - Alan Gage (Chard) - 41lb 12oz
D - Steve Bush (Chard) - 50lb 5oz

Good weights (mainly from the opposite end to me!)

Round five is in two weeks time and I'm guaranteed a corner, the trouble is the only two corners worth having are 10 and 11, the other two are currently two of the worst pegs on the pond. Which one will I get, you'll have to tune in to find out. Next up is an evening match on Dillington on Wednesday, will anyone stop Moses from winning again?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Perry St Pond - Spring League 3 - 1st May 2011

First stop of the day was the Cotley Inn for an excellent breakfast, it was too much for me and I had to admit defeat (I'm only a little lad!). Then to the pond and the draw was a little delayed due to Steve Bishop having a bit of a heavy night! Steve received a huge round of applause when he finally arrived. Les drew for the pairs knockout semi finals and I got paired with the Hoff and we were up against Butch Baker and Steve Bush. Then the anglers who had already drawn a corner went in the bucket before the rest of us delved in. I pulled out peg 9 and it's been a decent peg, Hoff had 18 and it's not been a good peg, Bushy had 14 which can be good and Butch had a corner peg 20 which isn't one of the two fliers (10 or 11), so this could be tight.

As usual there were loads of carp showing and I decided on my usual up in the water approach while also feeding an inside line by the cormorant roost. Janders was on my right so I could keep an eye on my pound and I had Dunner on my left in peg 10. My other sidebet, Picky, was in 19 and that hasn't been a brilliant peg but I couldn't really see him so would have to wait until the end for the result of that one. My bait table was a pretty simple one, just maggots, corn, micro pellets and 6mm sinkers.

On the whistle I cupped in some micros, corn and maggots on the inside before starting at 11.5 metres up in the water. My first bite resulted in a small roach but at least I'd avoided the blank! Terry 'The Paste King' Green was into fish straight away in peg 11 as was Bushy on peg 14, they both had two or three fish before I got my first carp of about 2lb. I then had a good one around 6lb and after half an hour I'd already had three carp! Then I was getting indications but never had another fish in the first hour. I put some more grub on the inside line and added six inches to the depth of my rig and this seemed to do the trick and I had two more carp in hour two and was happy with the way things were progressing.

Dunner had only had a couple of fish and Janders had yet to catch a carp, Bushy had slowed up a bit and I was starting to make inroads into his lead. The same couldn't be said for Terry though and he was landing carp like a man possessed including a couple round the 8lb mark. I had three more carp in the third hour to put me on eight before suffering a run of foulhooked fish, all of which I lost. I started playing around with my feeding and altering the depths and netted a couple more fish including a good fish foulhooked in the fin. I also kept some feed going in on my inside line every hour or so.

Janders had a couple of fish up in the water as did Dino and Oz opposite but Bushy was now fishing his inside line and I felt I'd caught him up. With two hours to go it was obvious Terry was going to win and he'd taken a fish down to Les to be weighed which turned out to be over 14lb, which helps! I caught a couple more fish in hour five and was hoping for a grandstand finish. This didn't really happen and I only had two more fish and over the last two hours Bushy had landed several more and I thought he'd done me. Maybe I should have tried my inside line but nobody else seemed to have caught much on their inside lines. I felt I'd fished a tidy match and ended with 14 carp which I thought must average 4lb apiece.

I packed up and as I was walking back to the car with half my kit I stopped to ask how everyone had got on and on our bank the most carp was Chris Haines and Mike T with 11, Bushy said he'd had 12 as did Picky but as he caught on paste I thought he'd probably done me (he fishes the paste nearly as much as Terry, I reckon he's his bastard lovechild!!!!). As for the pairs, the Hoff had seven carp and three bream and Butch had nine carp and one bream, this was going to be close.

The scales started with Les on peg 1 and he'd done well to weigh 27lb 4oz from a fluff infested swim (he's my joint man of the match along with Terry), Dave Lawrence didn't weigh and Mike Collins had 17lb odd from peg 3. Chris Haines then had loads of silvers plus a tench and his 11 carp for 53lb 7oz and went into the lead. Dave Abrams had 20lb 12oz and Mike Hosgood (not from Exeter, although he lives quite near) didn't weigh from peg 6. Mike T continued his good form with 46lb 4oz and then Janders had 17lb 2oz and handed over another nugget. I still thought I had 50lb+ but my carp went 48lb 3oz and I've discovered I'm rubbish at estimating carp weights.

Dunner had 31lb 1oz before Terry came close to the record with a stunning 111lb 5oz, Dino had struggled for 5lb 8oz and Oz had caught quite well up in the water later on to weigh 36lb 14oz. Then when Bushy's 12 carp went 51lb 3oz I thought that was it for the pairs. Dave Ball (standing in for Rocking) had 29lb 10oz and Blaker had 30lb 10oz. Bish had recovered from his hangover to weigh 35lb 9oz and then my partner for the day, the Hoff, had 45lb 1oz and Butch said he didn't have that, it was going to the wire. When Picky pulled his nets out, the pound sidebet was going to be close as well, Les finally called his weight out at 48lb 1oz and I'd done him by 2oz - phew! (4-3 now Picky!). That just left Butch and his fish weighed 31lb 14oz but we still didn't know who was through to the final as Bushy had beaten me in my section and Hoff had beaten Butch.

At the results, after much deliberation, Les read out that we had scored 6 points to their 7 and we were through by a solitary point - double phew! In the other semi Bish and Mike T went through. I picked up my section and £30 and my three section points meant I'm lying in fourth place in the league with me and Terry Green on nine points behind Bish and Hainsey on eight and the Hoff is leading with six, early days though.

Mr Consistent (Mark 'The Hoff' Hollister)

1 - Terry Green (Sillybait) - 111lb 5oz
2 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 53lb 7oz
3 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 51lb 3oz

A - Les Braunton (Chard) - 27lb 4oz
B - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 48lb 3oz
C - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 36lb 14oz
D - Alan Gage (Chard) - 48lb 1oz

Another good day for most

Tune in for round four next week to see how I get on in the pairs final (I'll probably fall at the final hurdle).