Sunday, November 27, 2011

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 4 - 27th November 2011

For this one Rob had put in a couple of pegs for the first time this season, pegs 92 and 96 at North Bradon and everyone expected the latter to do well. He also left out 120 and 126 which surprised me as they are probably the two most consistent pegs on the river at the moment. I pulled out the choice of 82 or 83 and drove to the river determined to fish 82 as nobody has fished it yet. The trouble was, 83 has been quite consistent, doing 4-5lb when it's been in but I didn't think that would be enough today.

When I got there, the river was still painfully low and clear and after looking at both swims, decided on 83. I set up a 1.5 gram Carbo (just for a change!) and plumbed up along the bush that's in the water. The swim always looks really chubby but I've only ever known it produce them once, many moons ago. The resident bullocks soon arrived to see what was going on and were doing their best to slobber all over my gear, luckily there was a barbed wire fence between them and me. I started ok and had a plump gudgeon straight away but then I noticed some thick line going between two branches of the bush and quite low to the water and every time I struck I would hit it - great!

I had a couple more gobies but that line was really starting to piss me off, then I noticed a cow trying to eat my keepnet bag and as I pulled it away with one hand, I managed to get my rig tangled in some branches. After an almighty yank the rig came back in one hell of a mess, minus the olivette and hooklength. I spent ages trying to untangle it, all the while cussing cows, branches, line and anything else I could think of. Finally I admitted defeat and set another rig up, by now quite a bit of time had passed and I hadn't put much in the net.

I was still getting gobies and the odd small dace and chublet and then had a proper elastic stretcher which turned out to be a trout of 1lb 8oz which was a proper bonus as they count, maybe I could still salvage a result! That line was still impeding my striking so I put a lit fag in the end of my pole and after much faffing about finally burnt through that pesky line but had wasted even more time. I was still getting odd fish and had a couple of slightly better dace but still only had a couple of pounds in the net, even with that trout.

That was the pattern for the rest of the match and I ended with 20 fish for around 2lb 8oz and I was sure there wasn't going to be a brown envelope for the sixth week running! I really felt I hadn't done the peg justice and was quite annoyed with myself for making several schoolboy errors. I packed up with my bovine audience still watching intently and walked down to weigh Justin in on peg 85 (yep he never draws a bad peg!). He'd fished for chub all day and done well to avoid them although he did have a nice net of smaller fish weighing a level 7lb but by his own admission he should have had more (tell me about it!). I thought he wouldn't be far off today with that. My trout assisted net went 2lb 11oz and I thought I'd finish well down in my section with that.

Justin did say that Fieldy had walked up from peg 96 and both him and Heardy (on 92) were struggling so maybe the river had fished harder than expected. Back at the results and Pete in 124 and Steve Parker in 125a had struggled for ounces as had Neil in 128, Rob had 5lb 9oz from 129 and was lying in second place and also said that Fieldy had packed up early which meant if I could beat Heardy I would be third! Of course the weigh board came back and he'd had 3lb 8oz - bugger! Still I picked up £10 for my section which at least stopped the rot for now. I had three section points which meant I'd dropped from 3rd to 5th in the league and really need three good results from the last three matches to do any good in the league.

1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 7lb
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 5lb 9oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 3lb 8oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 2lb 11oz
B - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 13oz

Next week is the Royal Oak league so tune in to see if I can fish a match without cocking things up!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 3 - 20th November 2011

With no rain to speak of in the week, the river was going to be low and clear once again and Rob had done the right thing by putting in all the pegs at Redbridge and Isle Brewers. All the pegs were capable of doing good weights and I really fancied 120, 124 or 126. The only peg I didn't really fancy was 128 but Heardy drew that and wasn't too amused. I pulled out 124 and was well chuffed as it's been framing every time it's been in. Could I end my bad run at last?

I got to my peg and it looked really nice, a bend with lots of reed cover on the far bank and odd small fish topping. I got myself comfy and only had time to set 'Ole faithful' up before the start. First put in with caster on I had a minnow and then had minnow bites every run down, even on double caster. I was soon reaching for my tub of lobbies, I put half a worm on and went back out. I was still getting loads of knocks from minnows and was just thinking it could be a struggle when I hooked and landed a good chub of 2lb 8oz and I was on my way. In the last few matches on this peg people have caught a couple of chub and lost fish as well so I knew there were a few more about and there were still four and a half hours to go!

After my decent start I soon reverted to struggling though and minnows were being a real pain, even taking the worm. I kept at it because I knew a couple of chub could show up at any time but after two hours I had only added minnows to the chub and was trying all over the swim. I'd been feeding quite heavily with casters, maggots and hemp to try and feed the little blighters off, it worked to a certain degree but I still couldn't catch anything else either! Then out of the blue I had a small dace in the flow and started picking up odd small roach on single caster by running the float through. I would get a couple before the minnows moved back in so it was back to lobbie against the far bank cover. I had a good bite and a decent amount of elastic streamed out of the pole, it felt like a decent chublet but as I got it half way across the bloody hook pulled out!

I went back to catching the odd roach and had a couple of slightly better ones but it was short lived. My next bite by the cover saw me hook a beast that tore off before coming off, when I lifted the rig out, there was scale on the hook and things were going pear shaped very quickly. I did manage a chublet of 12oz-1lb but I have to confess I never had a bite and the fish was on when I lifted the rig up! With an hour and a half to go I still fancied I might get another chance and upped my feed to try and make something happen. Apart from a couple more small fish I had no more action and packed up feeling really deflated. I thought I had about 3-4lb and knew it wouldn't be enough to end my dismal run.

I walked down to weigh Steve Parker in on 125 and he'd really struggled for 1lb 1oz but it didn't really affect me as my section was in with pegs 106, 108 and 120. I weighed 4lb 2oz and felt I'd cocked up a good peg which has been doing 6-7lb every match. Heardy arrived back at the cars moaning, but he still did 5lb 10oz. Leighton had 8lb 9oz from 126 and looked like he might make it two wins out of two. Rob turned up from the top section and Neil hadn't weighed from 106, Graham had a level 2lb from 108 and Rob had a nice day in 120, weighing 8lb 5oz to make it a Cox family one-two. So my terrible run continues although I did score two section points to keep me in contention in the league.

1 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 8lb 9oz
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 8lb 5oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 5lb 10oz

In the league Martin leads this one as well as the V.E.S., with me and Rob second on three points. Tune in next week to see if I can finish November with a flourish or if the bad run keeps chugging along.

Right I'm off to do a rain dance!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 3 - 13th November 2011

After three bad weeks I was hoping to turn things around this week and as Rob, Leighton and Neil were off playing darts (getting drunk), it was down to me to sort out the pegs for this match. I intended to put all decent pegs in and was hoping to put us all down at Redbridge and Isle Brewers but ended up putting three pegs at Upper Coxes. There was 14, 15 (or 18) and 17 at Coxes and then 106, 108 and 120 down at Redbridge/Isle Brewers. I really fancied 14 or the three pegs at the bottom end but pulled out 17 and it's a peg I just can't seem to do well off. Martin drew 14 but kept telling me I'd win off my peg, yeah right! but to be fair he did do 8lb 15oz off it a couple matches back and there seems to be quite a few small fish there at the moment. I'd still rather have his peg though!

When I got to the river I was amazed to see it low and clear, especially as we'd had a lot of rain in the week. I sat right down by the water, just below the bridge and as I was setting up, there were loads of small fish topping and I was actually starting to look forward to it. Fieldy had the choice of 15 or 18 and chose the latter which I didn't think would do me any favours as the peg is directly below mine. I set up a Carbo on quite a long line so I hopefully wouldn't spook the fish in the shallow water (it was only about 18 inches deep) and was ready with ten minutes to go.

I started with the top three with a couple of sections added to fish down the middle but only had indications from minnows so I soon added another section. This was better and I was soon catching dace and some tiny chublets, all on single caster. I put another section on and started getting odd fish across by the wall. I wasn't really flying but after an hour I had 14 fish for probably a pound or so. I kept trying down in the main flow where the fish had been topping but only had a couple of very small roach. The second hour was a carbon copy of the first and I added another 14 fish and thought if I could keep this up I would have around 5-6lb which might sneak into third place as I couldn't see me beating Heardy or Justin in 120.

Hour three was slower but I wasn't too concerned as I hadn't ventured down the peg yet. Ned turned up for his weekly walk and was joined behind me by Fieldy who said he was struggling and was probably wishing he'd fished 15 now! I added a couple of fish while they were there and Graham accused me of bagging! By now I was regularly trying down the peg but it just wasn't happening, a big fish rolled in the flow a couple of times and once just above and I tried half a lobbie to try and snare it but never had a bite on the worm. I kept adding the odd dace and chublet and ended up with 43 fish plus a couple of minnows and thought I had around 2lb 8oz which wouldn't get me a brown envelope today. My only hope was is Pete in 108 and Steve in 106 had struggled and I might sneak third but it was unlikely.

Graham walked by to weigh Martin in and when he came back he said Heardy had 5lb 13oz, which was nearly all trout! (I reckon Martin was fly fishing!). His weight surprised me as I thought he would sack up in there today. My fish went 3lb 6oz and Fieldy had 1lb 6oz (and was definitely wishing he'd picked 15 now!) so at least I'd secured two section points for the league. Back at the results and Justin had a lovely days fishing and won with nice net of dace and chublets weighing 9lb 7oz. Not far behind was Steve Parker who had three chub for 9lb 1oz, his peg was also a golden peg so he was close but no cigar! and Martin sneaked into third.

Justin won with a nice net of dace and chublets

1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 9lb 7oz
2 - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 9lb 1oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 5lb 13oz

With the three darts players away, the league is tight after three matches and after dropping the worst result Pete Lonton and Heardy are leading with three points followed by me, Justin and Robin on four.

Next week is the Royal Oak league so tune in to see if my bad run continues or if I can get back to winning ways.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Summerhayes - Open - 6th November 2011

After two weeks with no brown envelopes and no Ilminster match this week I booked into a match at Summerhayes. The match was on Sellicks and I have a pretty good record on this lake so I was hoping to get back to winning ways again. At the draw there were all the usual suspects like Mark Leahy, Heardy and Bruce Hunt who was hoping he could make it a hat trick of wins today. I was hoping for a nice middle peg so I could fish for silvers and really didn't want to draw peg 23. But my drawing hand is really not behaving and I pulled 23 out of the hat! Still I had 12lb of skimmers off it last time and I thought double figures would be enough today.

The pond level was right up but Pete said pleasure anglers had been bagging with silvers off my peg so I was feeling quite buoyant. I had Heardy on the next peg and he was keen to have a side bet which I thought was a little unfair as I was fishing for silvers, but I still agreed like a mug! I set up a Carpa 2 for my two skimmer lines at 8.5 metres in the bay (where I caught last time) and 10 metres straight out about two thirds of the way across. I also set up a dibber for fishing right in the corner and also for across to the island but hoped I wouldn't end up fishing either of these.

Pete shouted the all in and I cupped in half a pot of micros on both skimmer lines and the same plus some corn in the corner. I started on the 8.5 metre line with a 4mm expander and was expecting to catch quite quickly but after ten minutes I still hadn't had a bite. Martin got off to a good start landing some skimmers and a couple of carp, fishing tight across. Eventually I started getting a few bites but I couldn't hit them and then I foulhooked a carp briefly before it came off. After an hour I was still blanking and Martin was well ahead with three carp plus some silvers.

I went out to the 10 metre line and finally got a skimmer and followed this up with a 2lb carp and thought they had finally found the bait but those fish proved to be a false dawn. I added a couple more skimmers plus some tiny ones and it looked like the silvers weren't playing ball at all. I kept swapping between my two skimmer lines but it took two hours before I had a decent skimmer off the shorter line. I then hooked what I thought was carp on the longer line only for a near 2lb tench to pop up! That fish got me interested again and when I added another decent skimmer I thought I still might be able to challenge for the silvers.

But then my swims died completely and all I could get was the odd tiny skimmer of an ounce or so. Martin had slowed up as well although he was comfortably ahead of me with about six carp plus some silvers. I tried in the corner with soft pellet and corn but only had another tiny blade. Running out of ideas I went across to the island at 13 metres and had one tiny skimmer before losing another foulhooked carp and I was going nowhere and just didn't know what to do next.

The rest of the match was a real struggle and I was just getting the odd knock from small fish and only landed one more decent skimmer before the end. I ended with that tench, around seven decent skimmers plus around a dozen tiny fish and that carp. I thought my silvers might go 4-5lb which I just knew wouldn't be enough today. I quickly packed up and went to watch the weigh in which started with Bruce on peg 3. He had 13 carp for over 40lb plus some silvers to total just over 44lb and was looking favourite to win although by all accounts Adie Bishop had also done well.

As the scales worked their way round the lake I was keeping an eye on the silvers weights and nobody had much more than 4lb and I started to think I might sneak in. Adie Bishop was 6lb shy of Bruce's weight but it put him in second place. Then we got to Glyn Wickham and he had 10lb 10oz of silvers in his 25lb+ total, I knew I didn't have that but I thought if he framed I might pick up by default, this didn't last long though as somebody pipped him a few pegs along. Glyn admitted he'd lost six carp and two big tench so he could have won it. Martin then moved into third place with 33lb+, I didn't bother weighing my single carp but out of interest weighed the silvers which went 6lb 13oz which was second in the silvers, the trouble was, Pete was only paying one today!

Oh well, my bad run continues, in hindsight I should have fished 0.10 instead of 0.12mm and some maggots or casters would have been a good idea as the fish just weren't having the pellets at all. Glyn caught on chopped worm and several people caught on maggots or bread and it just goes to show how quickly you can fall out of touch with a venue when you haven't been for a few weeks and the weather starts to get colder.

Bruce did the hat trick

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 44lb+
2 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 38lb+
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 33lb+

Glyn Wickham - 10lb 10oz

Weather permitting I am back on the Isle next week so tune in to see if I can put this bad run to bed then.