Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summerhayes - Open - 31st July 2011

I picked Janders up and off we went, there was a good turnout of 18, I pulled out peg 13 which is where Pete gave me a battering a few weeks back so it's a fairly good area. Would today be the day I finally ended my Longs jinx? I set up the usual Carpa 2 for my main skimmer line at 10 metres, I also set up a lighter Colmic Jolly to give me another option and also a Trabucco dibber for across at 16 metres and also down the left hand margin. I had Glyn Wickham on my right (where I was when Pete battered me!), a blank peg to my left and then Roger Russell.

The whistle went and I cupped in some micros at 10 metres before depositing the same plus some corn by the island and down the margin. I started down the track at 10 metres with a 4mm expander on the hook. It took a little while to get my first bite which I promptly missed!, I then started getting some very small skimmers and had five plus two lovely little crucians in the first hour and was hoping for better things in the second hour. Glyn had caught a couple of carp across but nobody was flying away with it at this early stage.

The second hour was better and I had some better skimmers and a couple of carp to put me on 14 fish. Glyn had some more carp and was pulling away from me, Roger seemed to be struggling and nobody else I could see was catching much. I was feeding my main line with micros through a toss pot and I was also flicking some corn down the edge. The third hour was even better still and I had some good skimmers with most of them flying out of the water on the strike (why do they do that?), I also had a gorgeous little golden tench and another crucian plus a small roach to put me on 23 fish.

Glyn now had around a dozen carp plus he was catching silvers to go with them and I couldn't see me catching him so stuck to catching silvers as Pete was paying the top four plus two in the silvers. The fourth hour saw me add more skimmers and three tench (green ones this time) around 12oz-1lb each and my silvers net was coming along nicely. I also added another small carp. There were loads of carp moving in the margins where I had been feeding corn and I couldn't resist having a go. I cupped in half a cup of micros at 10 metres before baiting up with corn and going in the margin. I didn't have to wait long and was soon playing a small carp, the black hydro did it's job and I netted a carp around the 1lb mark, could I be about to stage a comeback?

The answer was a resounding no when the next carp did me in the reeds and so did the one after that, I did catch a small roach on corn and another carp around the 3lb mark to put me on five carp. I then hooked a decent fish which I had in open water and was under control when it went under my keepnet and my hooklength parted - schoolboy error! Glyn was now catching a carp a bung on paste and looking to be on for a big weight. He also had several nice tench as well and I made a mental note to myself that I really must learn how to fish the paste! I went back over my skimmer line and in the back of my mind I kept thinking that I'd wasted an hour in the margins and it could cost me in the silvers.

Scotty turned up and was sat with Roger, he'd fished yesterday and was having a rest day as he's off to Larford tomorrow for a five day festival. I had a couple of roach before catching another skimmer and a crucian (I never tire of catching them), Scotty came over and my swim was really fizzing and I had a bit of a purple patch catching another skimmer and three more carp. I even hooked a carp just before the whistle and landed it just after to end with 9 carp and 37 silvers, I had no clue what weight I had but I was hoping it would be enough to sneak in the silvers and end the Longs jinx!

Scotty reckoned I should have dotted my float down more as I had loads of indications that I didn't hit and he also said I'd have caught more late on with paste, so although I'd done better than previous visits there's still much room for improvement. The scales soon arrived and I had a quick look at the weigh board, Alvin had 38lb odd and that included 18lb of silvers and I didn't think I had that. There were also 15lb and 13lb weights of silvers. The chap next to Glyn (Eric Fouracre I think) had also had a good spell late on and weighed 50lb!, Glyn had over 19lb of silvers and 48lb of carp to give him over 68lb. My carp went 16lb+ and my silvers went 17lb+ to give me a 33lb 10oz total. Another battering off the next peg!, also I was a 1lb shy of Alvins silvers weight and if he framed in the silvers I'd be kicking myself for that hour down the edge.

Roger didn't weigh and I took my kit back to the car so didn't see the rest of the weights. Back at the results and Glyn won followed by Eric, then there was a 46lb weight and Alvin finished fourth. Mark Leahy had won the silvers with an excellent 26lb odd, so did that mean I'd sneaked in? Nope, another Wickham had 20lb and I really should have been close to that, oh well, that's my best weight on Longs so far so I'm heading in the right direction. If I hadn't spent that hour down the edge I reckon I'd have been close to second in the silvers. And why didn't I try the lighter Colmic rig? I did have a £1 off Janders who had 8lb something but gave it straight to Alvin.

1 - Glyn Wickham - 68lb+
2 - Eric Fouracre (Mosella) - 50lb
3 - 46lb
4 - Alvin Jones (Paul Church Motors) - 38lb+

1 - Mark Leahy (Street) - 26lb
2 - Another Wickham - 20lb

I really enjoyed the days fishing but there's so much to learn on commercials and I'm slowly getting there. Next up is an evening match at Dillington so let's see if I can get back to winning ways then.

Oh, and the Long's jinx carries on!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summerhayes - Pairs Open - 24th July 2011

I was all set to fish Dillington with bait ordered etc when Heardy phoned me up Saturday morning and asked if I'd fish the Summerhayes Pairs Open with him. Faced with the choice of blip bashing at Dillington or catching skimmers and the odd carp at Summerhayes, Martin soon persuaded me.

I got there and there was a good turnout of 36, the pools entry took me a little by surprise at £25 each as I thought that was between us!!!! I managed to scrape it together and then it was time to draw, I pulled out peg 13 on Sellicks which was next to where I won the silvers a couple of matches back. Martin drew 11 on Longs, which is a decent silvers peg and we'd already decided to fish for silvers as Pete was paying the top three in silvers and carp. Martin let me have some casters and said to aim for 10-12lb of silvers. He also advised fishing two lines for skimmers and then a three metre line with casters for roach.

Clive Cunningham was on my left and Tom Thick was on my right, Tom said him and Bobby Gullick were going for carp which I thought might help me in my silvers quest. I set up a Carpa 2 for my main skimmer rig along with a Colmic Jolly with spread shot for the roach line. I also scaled down with 0.10mm bottoms on both rigs. I wetted some micros and then it was time to start. I cupped in micros at 5 and 10 metres and flicked in a few casters at 3 metres to my left. There were loads of carp moving and Tom was straight against the island where he had two skimmers quite quickly.

My first fish was a small skimmer on a 4mm expander and I had four in the first half an hour and I thought if I could keep this up I'd do a decent weight. Clive was catching both silvers and carp well, I knew he was fishing chopped worm but he was also fishing further over than me. After the first hour I was on five skimmers and my bites had tailed off. I then lost a decent skimmer and couldn't buy a bite! I decided to refeed the 10 metre line and have a look on the shorter line, no bites here so I had a look on the roach line with single caster, still nothing! From a promising start I was now really struggling.

I decided to try the lighter roach rig on the longer line with an expander, after waiting ages I had my first bite and swung in a half ounce skimmer - not good. Tom had a couple of carp and we were enjoying a good bit of banter, but his bites were few and far between as well although he was catching small skimmers on pellet from tight to the island, why couldn't I catch them? I decided to add another section and fish further across but no bites and I was out of ideas. Heardy phoned and said he was getting a few without really bagging but we both said that we had to stick at the silvers now as we were too far behind the guys fishing for carp.

Past the halfway mark in the match and I only had eight skimmers and just couldn't buy a bite, then I had a spell of just hooking carp and I landed a couple and lost a few as well, much to Tom's amusement. To make matters worse he was still getting skimmers and had landed a couple of tench and crucians. Great I was being beaten on silvers by him fishing for carp! Martin phoned again and was saying that we should have gone for carp as he had loads in his peg as well.

I'd tried my roach line again and never had a bite from those elusive roach and the only bite I had resulted in a 3lb carp! With an hour to go I was on 10 skimmers and four carp and really thought I was going to finish well down. Then all of a sudden I was getting bites on my long line with the lighter rig and landed three skimmers (and another nuisance carp), then I've hooked a good skimmer which came off at the net and then another halfway in. I did manage one more decent skimmer just before the all out to finish with 14 skimmers and 5 carp. Tom had 13 or 14 carp and said that Bob had down okay on the other pond, so I reckoned they would be there or thereabouts.

I packed up cussing those two late skimmers I had lost and was sure they were going to cost me. When the scales reached Tom there were several 2-3lb silvers weights although several of those anglers had fished for carp, Tom then weighed 7lb 10oz of silvers and over 30lb of carp. I weighed 12lb 8oz of carp and my silvers went 6lb 5oz (so those lost fish had already cost me a point!). Things got worse when Clive weighed 8lb of silvers (two points!), Glyn Wickham had over 12lb of silvers and then Steve Jackson had 7lb of silvers to push me down another place and I finished fifth in the silvers on my lake and those lost two fish would have put me second - doh!

Martin had to rush off so left his nets to be weighed in, I packed my kit away and caught up with the scales on the other lake with the last few to be weighed in. There was a 31lb silvers weight and the owner Pete had 18lb and then there were a few double figure weights. Martin's silvers weighed 13lb odd but the guy next door put over 15lb on the scales to push him down into fourth on the lake and we ended up with 9 points and I thought we'd finish just out of the money (those two poxy fish!).

Back at the results and it turned out Tom and Bob had tied for first in the carp pool with two young lads (sorry I didn't get their names) but had just pipped them on weight and Bruce and his partner were third. The Wickhams won the silvers with a perfect two point score and then Pete and Clive were second with four points and then we were read out in third and picked up £36 each - phew. Even if I had finished second on my lake and Martin had beaten his neighbour and finished third, we'd have had five points which would have tied with Pete and Clive but they'd have done us on weight. Still a better result than I thought we were going to have!

1 - Bob Gullick and Tom Thick
2 - Two Young Lads (sorry!)
3 - Bruce Hunt and partner

1 - The Wickhams - 2 points
2 - Pete and Clive Cunningham - 4 points
3 - Jamie Rich and Martin Heard - 9 points

I'd really enjoyed the banter with Tom today and he's a smashing lad and a very tidy angler. So my good run on Sellicks continues, next week I'm back here but on Longs so lets see if I can finally get a result!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 7 - 20th July 2011

I picked Alvin up and we set off for round seven of the evening league, the sky was quite black and it looked like we might be in for another wet one. On arriving at the pond we were greeted with just Moses there waiting, he said Justin would be here later so it looked like it was just the four of us. I was surprised Fieldy wasn't there after getting Bob to fish for him last match. We decided to give the other side a go and put in pegs 2, 3, 5 and 7. I drew 7 and was quite happy as I had nobody to my left.

I set up a whip and 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float to give me another option at 10 metres. I shouted the all in and cupped in some casters, dead maggots and a liberal helping of hemp at 10 metres to give the eels something to munch on. I flicked the whip rig out with maggot on the hook and tossed out a small nugget of groundbait (Sensas Matchblend), followed by some loosefeed. I was getting bites straight away but couldn't hit them, after four or five I finally swung in a nice roach of 4oz, my next fish was a similar size followed by a slightly smaller rudd. I then hooked a good sized rudd but it came off. After the first hour I had 27 fish which I thought would be well off the pace.

Justin arrived just after the start and set his stall out for big fish with chopped worm and surely it will pay off sooner or later! Hour two was very similar but I was missing and bumping more than I was catching. Rob turned up and blamed work for not being able to fish tonight, he watched me miss loads of bites before going to see how the others were getting on. I was by now fishing caster and despite trying hooking it different ways, my catch rate wasn't improving. Rob came back to say Alvin was getting some quality roach on peg 3. I tried a grain of hemp and had a nice roach first put in but then missed the next six bites and this seemed to be the pattern for the night.

I heard the venue expert, Moses, shout up to Alvin that he was really struggling and I hadn't heard much splashing coming from Justin's direction so I stuck at it with the whip. I finished the second hour with 25 fish to give me 52 in total, although the were generally of a good stamp I still didn't think I was catching fast enough. I kept flicking the rig next to the marginal reeds to my left and although I had to wait longer for bites the fish were a good size and I had a couple of 4oz perch and two roach that I netted to be on the safe side.

The third hour was much the same but I did hook one fish that wrenched the whip round and snapped my 0.12mm bottom like cotton! I guess it was probably a big perch or a chub. Justin had netted a decent perch and a 8oz hybrid and if he could get a couple more he might be there or thereabouts tonight. I finished the third hour with 28 fish to give me a total of 80 (a long way off the 132 I had in the last match) and guessed I had 4-5lb. I shouted the all out and began packing my kit up, at least the rain had stayed away!

I was first to be weighed and as I took my nice new keepnet out, my catch looked a bit better than the 4lb I had guesstimated, the needle stopped at 5lb 14oz and I thought I might sneak into second if Moses had struggled like he reckoned he had. Justin had 3lb 4oz and needed a couple more big perch, Alvin weighed 5lb 7oz and I thought he had a lot more than that, Moses had told the truth and he weighed 3lb 4oz as well which meant I'd won! I picked up £25 plus £1's off Moses and Alvin.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 14oz
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 5lb 7oz

My one section point meant that with Fieldy not fishing I had leapfrogged him and I'm now in joint second place in the league with Moses on 9.5 points. Alvin is still leading with a perfect 6 point score and I can't really see him being caught.

On Sunday I'm back here for a Summer League match and there will be a depleted turnout as Moses and Alvin are off to Summerhayes as they're getting fed up with the pond as I must admit, I am. I know I keep banging on about it but hopefully someone in the club will listen if I keep on, but they need to remove most of these small fish and put some quality in before the match attendances dwindle even further. I do feel there are lots of quality fish in there but you just can't target them and if you try (like Justin does) you'll get beat every time by the whip anglers. Some skimmers would really turn the place around and the small fish would give the river a real boost. Oh well, maybe it will be better on Sunday although I won't be holding my breath!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summerhayes - Open - 17th July 2011

With nothing on locally, I booked in to fish at Summerhayes and Janders fancied a days fishing too. The match was on Sellicks but the forecast was awful though, with gale force winds and rain predicted. I picked John up and we made good time, I'd even done him some soft pellets (makes a change from Scotty doing them for me!). There was a decent turnout of 18 which would mean most pegs would be in. I pulled out peg 8 which meant I'd have the wind in my face - great! Janders drew 18 on the opposite side so I'd have no idea how the sidebet was looking. Also at the draw was Phil 'Digger' Denslow who I haven't seen for years and it was lovely to see him.

For the third match on the trot I had the owner Pete on the next peg, the score stands at 1-1 and I was hoping to make it 2-1 today. I set up a Carpa 2 for the skimmers at 10 metres and a dibber for down the edge and towards the island at 13 metres (although with the wind I couldn't see me venturing over there too often). Pete was pinning his faith in chopped worms and casters again and it would be interesting to see how he got on.

Pete blew for the all in and I cupped in half a pot of micros at 10 metres, the same plus some corn at 13 metres and threw some 6mm's and corn down the edge. Ray Wickham next to Pete was into a carp straight away and a good one as well. I had to wait a while for my first bite and then hooked a decent skimmer which came off, good start! I was getting bites on a 4mm expander but they weren't coming particularly fast. I had 4 skimmers in the first hour for a pound or so, I stuck with it though as aside from Ray nobody on our side was setting the world alight.

Going into hour two I hooked a carp and was down to the top three when all of a sudden the hook popped out - bugger. I did add a small foulhooked carp and four more skimmers including two good ones of a 1lb or so. Pete had yet to get off the mark and it was looking like it could be a relative grueller. The wind made holding the pole a nightmare, even at 10 metres. I was still getting the odd skimmer but I was also feeding regularly down the edge with it in mind to try it if the wind got too bad or my bites on the long line slowed.

Pete finally got off the mark with a small carp and was getting regular indications but losing a few foulhooked fish. The guy on my left was having similar problems too and even Ray seemed to have slowed up. With the halfway mark approaching I decided to rest my skimmer line and have a go across if the wind would allow. I put some more micros in before going across with corn on the hook. I had two carp quite quickly but the wind was a real pain so next stop was down the edge. I had a good carp of about 4lb on my second drop in but that was the only bite I had there.

Into the final third of the match and I had four carp plus around a dozen skimmers and although I was ahead of the people either side, I knew I was behind Ray so thought my best chance of a pick up today was to concentrate on the silvers. Pete was having a nightmare, the carp he'd caught earlier made a bid for freedom and was successful, leaping out of his net which was now empty again! He then had a run of two or three fish before landing one that leapt out of his landing net onto his bait table, knocking all his bait tubs in before going back in the pond. Luckily the fish was still on only for it to come off at the net - whoops!

I was still getting the odd skimmer but I was having to wait ages for the bites and I missed several along with bumping a couple of fish. The lad on my left packed up with an hour to go and said that the anglers to his left were struggling too. I tried down the edge again but had no more indications so spent the last half an hour at 10 metres. I managed two more skimmers and then five minutes before the end hooked and landed my fifth carp of about 2lb. I packed up and took half my kit to the car, I passed Digger on peg 3 who said he'd had 8 or 9 carp so I was pretty sure he'd beaten me.

The scales started at Digger and he weighed just over 20lb, the next person to put a good weight on the scales was Ray who had 25lb 1oz and I thought he'd had a lot more than that. Pete had 8lb odd but had suffered a real nightmare, my five carp went 13lb 4oz and my seventeen skimmers went 9lb 5oz to give me a 22lb 9oz total and I was sure those lost/bumped fish were going to cost me. Aidy Bishop reckoned I'd easily won the silvers but I wasn't so sure. Janders conceded defeat and handed over a £1 as he'd only had three carp. I took the rest of my kit back to the car before catching up with the scales again, I was still leading the silvers but there was a weight of 24lb and Glyn Wickham was winning with 30lb 2oz and I was wishing I'd spent longer across as a couple more carp would have put me right up there.

Jander had 8lb something but didn't bother weighing his solitary skimmer, then Bruce Hunt weighed 30lb 9oz to win his third match on the trot. I won the silvers and picked up £20 and was actually fifth overall. As you can no longer win double bubble, Digger actually sneaked into 4th place although he didn't hang around for the results.

1 - Bruce Hunt (ALS) - 30lb 9oz
2 - Glyn Wickham - 30lb 2oz
3 - Ray Wickham - 25lb 1oz
4 - Phil 'Digger' Denslow (Taunton) - 20lb+

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb 5oz
2 - Clive Cunningham - 5lb+

So my good run on Sellicks continues, just need to try and crack Longs now! The weather hadn't helped us today and the weights were a lot lower than normal. Janders said he'd enjoyed it though and wants to come again. Next up for me is an evening match at Dillington on Wednesday so tune in for more blip bashing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Perry St Pond - Spring League 10 - 10th July 2011

The final match arrived and I was hoping for a good draw so I could finish with a flourish but pulled out peg 3 and I was pretty gutted as it hasn't been a great peg. Bushy got me to open his peg for him and he had peg 2 which he wasn't happy about. His main rival in the league, Hainsey had peg 20 which is a corner but tends not to be as good as 10 or 11, so it was all to play for. Also he was against Bish in the knockout final and he'd drawn peg 13 so he was probably favourite in the battle of the Steve's.

My peg had loads of lilies on the inside but I didn't want to have to go too close to them in search of fish. I had a shallow rig for 11.5 metres, a dibber for under the tree towards Bushy and a deep rig for 8.5 metres just past the lilies. Janders came down from peg 5 for a chat and then it was time to start. I cupped in some micros, corn and maggots on my two lines before starting up in the water with a hair rigged banded pellet. Bushy was into carp straight away as was Pup opposite but I was struggling to get indications. Hainsey was soon into fish, as was Mike (somewhere in the South West, possibly near Exeter) Hosgood on my left.

Bushy got to four or five and Hainsey wasn't too far behind before I hooked my first carp, I didn't think it was particularly big but it shot up towards Mike and was bashing the lilies to his left! Mike jokingly asked if I wanted him to net it for me, I got it back and thought I had it under control when off it went off again. This time Mike struck into a fish and our rigs got tangled and my puny elastic was no match for Mikes beefy elastic and he netted the fish! Everyone thought this was hilarious although it transpired that Mikes fish was hooked in the mouth so it looks like mine came off, not an ideal start.

I stuck at it for a bit and after an hour or so finally netted my first carp of around 3lb or so but I was already miles behind Hainsey and Bushy. Picky had landed one on peg 15 so the pound sidebet was still in the balance, although with all the grief him and Les were giving me I was hoping the fish fairy would pay them a visit. Plenty of fish could be seen cruising but they seemed very wary of the pole, Bushy and Hainsey were still getting odd fish and Oz on peg one had got off the mark after losing a few. After an hour I had put some more feed on my two other lines and with another hour now gone, I decided to try them.

Firstly I went to the 8.5 metre line with corn on the hook and toss potting in some micros and corn, I gave it half an hour but only had one small indication. I was still feeding pellets out and there seemed to be plenty of carp milling about now that the pole had gone from over their heads. I had a look on my right hand inside line and started getting bites but I just couldn't hit them. After five or six missed bites I finally did connect with one and landed a good carp of 5-6lb without too much fuss. I did hook another but as I got it into open water, the hook pulled out. I also tried banded pellet on the inside but only had a couple of indications on it.

With carp on the long line swirling for the odd pellet, it was time to go back and have a look. I'd noticed Bushy was fishing much shallower than me, six inches to my foot, so I made a quick alteration. I pulled out of a carp (foulhooked?) before hooking a bit of a beast which tore through Pup's swim before going through Bushy's as well before I could get it under control. My green Preston number 12 Hollow elastic was woefully under gunned really and I must get some pulla-bungs because I had hell of a job trying to net the fish. I eventually netted it and at 6-7lb it was a nice weight builder. I had a couple of smaller carp to put me on five and all of a sudden with an hour and a half to go, I was getting regular bites and Bushy had slowed right up although he was on around ten fish so I couldn't see me catching him.

I had another carp which must have been pushing 8lb so I shouted across to Les to ask if he wanted me to take it to be weighed as there was just over an hour left. I even received loads of stick from Les and his sidekick Picky about that! and Dave decided he would join in as well, it was like being back at school! Still, it looked like the fish fairy had answered my prayers as they seemed to be struggling. This blog also seemed to come in for a fair bit of stick (but I bet you're all reading it now though aren't you?). Oh well I suppose you'll always get some people who want to take the piss and if they don't like it, why bother reading it!!

I had another of a similar size to put me on seven carp (and a roach that had snaffled a 6mm pellet) and from rather a bleak start it was looking like I could do a decent weight. With half an hour to go I hooked number eight and again I think it was a good fish, I was down to my top two and it wasn't doing too much when it went into a patch of lilies and was stuck solid, eventually I had to pull for a break and lost the hooklength. I really hoped it wasn't going to cost me and was wishing I'd played it in open water a bit longer. That was to be the last of my action and I made a mental note to myself to get some pulla-bungs as soon as possible as over the course of this league I reckon I would have landed a fair few more fish if I'd had them fitted in my top kits.

Picky asked how many fish I'd had and when I shouted back seven, he said he'd had four so there was a good chance of us ending up all square at 7-7. I hadn't seen much happening at the other end so was hoping Bushy would frame and I might get the section by default. Then as anglers started walking back it turns out the other end had fished quite well, Andy Eagle (fishing instead of Terry Green) had 16 carp in peg 10, Butch had ten opposite and Bish had ten carp and a bream from peg 13 which meant the knockout final would be tight as Bushy had 11 carp.

The scales arrived and Oz had over 21lb in peg 1 before Bushy's fish went 56lb 15oz, I pulled out one net with my two biggish late carp in and they went over 15lb and my other five went over 21lb to give me a 36lb 11oz total. To top my day off I ripped a hole in my second keepnet as I pulled it out (TackleUK here I come!). Mike H weighed 29lb odd and Janders just shy of 20lb so I pocketed a nugget, Picky also paid up before weighing so we ended up all square.

I finished packing up and took my kit back to my car, as the rest of the anglers came back, Andy Eagle had won as predicted with 69lb 7oz, a victory on his very first visit! Butch had weighed 27lb 2oz so I just needed Bushy to beat Bish to pick up the section. Bish had 42lb 3oz so at least I'd have a brown envelope to come to help pay for a new keepnet. In the knockout final it turned out that the two Steve's had tied on points so Bushy nicked it on weight, it couldn't have been closer, a great final. Hainsey's 15 carp went 60lb 13oz to take second spot and although he gained a point on Bushy it wasn't enough and Bushy took the league title.

At the results Andy was announced as the winner and very generously donated £20 to Les's charity. Bushy was announced as the league and individual knockout champion and a very worthy winner too, over the ten matches he's finished in the top three six times and won his section twice, only not picking up winnings on two matches. Hainsey was second with the Hoff third and Bish fourth and then I sneaked into fifth and picked up another £20 to go with my £30 section winnings, so a good end to the league really.

Good weights yet again

The top four in the league (from left to right), Bushy, The Hoff, Bish and Hainsey

1 - Andy Eagle (Haines Angling) - 69lb 7oz
2 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 60lb 13oz
3 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 56lb 15oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 36lb 11oz
B - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 36lb 9oz
C - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 42lb 3oz
D - Paul Blake (Chard) - 25lb 2oz

Final League positions
1 - Steve Bush - 24 pts
2 - Chris Haines - 26 pts
3 - Mark Hollister - 35 pts
4 - Steve Bishop - 36 pts
5 - Jamie Rich - 41 pts

Individual Knockout - Steve Bush
Pairs Knockout - Steve Bishop and Mike Thomas

I would just like to thank Les for organising another excellent league and the Cotley for doing the breakfasts (they are huge and well worth checking out). Well this will be my last year fishing the league as Les has said I can't fish next year as I don't fish the other Chard leagues. It's a real shame as I've fished the Spring League every year and he knows I fish the river in the winter. It's a friendly league (on the whole!) and I've really enjoyed fishing it and they're a great bunch to fish with and I will miss it.

Oh well, tune in next week to see if I've finally bought some pulla-bungs (and a new keepnet!).

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 6 - 6th July 2011

First up I'll apologise for the lateness of this blog but my poxy pc died but I'm back up and running again now. I was quite excited about this evenings match as Alvin said we'd go down the canal for a change but Moses phoned me earlier in the week to say the canal was very weedy so it was back out the pond for blip bashing yet again. With the weather forecast predicting rain and strong winds I really wasn't up for it at all.

I picked up Alvin and as we went past the canal we saw Bob Hammond waiting, I turned round and went back, Bob said he had been persuaded by Fieldy to fish for him as he was on holiday and he thought it was on the canal. So like a fishy Pied Piper we set off with Bob in tow. At the pond there was just the venue expert Moses as Justin would be late as always. Alvin decided to put in pegs that would afford us some shelter and I really fancied peg 17 and came close when I pulled out 18. I mixed up some Sensas Matchblend before setting up the usual whip rig and a chopped worm rig as a back up in case the whip line died like during the last evening match.

With Rob in Nottingham again (rounding up some more Merry Men I reckon!), it was down to me to shout the all in, which I duly did. I cupped in some chopped worm at an angle towards peg 17 at 10 metres before starting on the whip. The wind was quite fierce and causing a wicked tow from right to left, I virtually had to hold the waggler back, which wasn't ideal. I was feeding the odd little nugget of groundbait plus maggots, casters and hemp alternately. I caught a couple of tiny fish on maggot before switching to caster. I was getting odd better roach without setting the world alight. Justin had turned up by now and was setting out his stall on 17 for bigger fish as he wouldn't be able to compete with us 'blip bashers' who'd had a headstart.

After an hour I was on 35 fish for 2lb or so, I could see Moses on peg 11 catching but it's always difficult to gauge how well people are doing on the whip. The second hour was better for me and when I got to 70 fish, a rather wet Justin tirned up to say he hadn't caught yet and he didn't think Alvin was doing that well on 16 either. I got my head down with renewed vigor and despite dropping off a few fish on the way in, by the end of the second hour I had added a further 45 fish to give me a total of 80 with an hour to go.

Going into the third hour I kept expecting the whip line to slow and I was quite looking forward to trying over my chopped worm. But if anything the whip line was getting stronger, I cut out the groundbait and was feeding just casters and hemp with caster on the hook. I started getting some nice roach on the drop and although I missed loads of bites I ended hour three with 52 fish to give me a total of 132 and thought I had 6-7lb.

The scales started with Bob who had 2lb 8oz and guarenteed Fieldy three points to keep him in the hunt in the league. Moses had 5lb 8oz and I thought I'd probably do that, Alvin had sneaked in a chub and weighed 8lb and I thought it might be close between us. He'd also lost several big fish, one which he was sure was a tench. Justin's big fish attack hadn't worked and he didn't trouble the scales. When I pulled my net out I wasn't sure I had 8lb but the needle stopped on 9lb and I'd won! I picked up £30 plus £2 in side bets and it was nice to win, albeit a small match, for the first time in a while.

The league is pretty tight now, Alvin is leading with 5 points followed by Moses on 7.5 and Fieldy on 8. I'm just half a point behind and with four matches to go, it's all to play for.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb
2 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 8lb
3 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 5lb 8oz

On Sunday it's the last match of the Spring League at Perry St and it would be nice to finish on a flourish.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Perry St Pond - Spring League 9 - 3rd July 2011

Well we reached the penultimate round and we were greeted by glorious sunshine, another bonus was my mate Andy Langdon was standing in for Terry Green who had pulled out of the league. Les announced the draw, I pulled out peg 19 which did well in the early matches but it's form has dipped of late. Andy pulled out peg 7 and it's been a pretty consistent peg so God knows why I suggested a side bet! Bushy drew and gave me his peg to open, I asked what he fancied and he said peg 6, I opened it and it was indeed peg 6, why can't I draw like that!

The good thing about the side of the pond I was on is that it's quite shaded so I'd be out of the sun which was already getting bloody hot. For company I had Dino on 20 and Blaker on 18 with Hainsey next to him so a pretty hard section. There were loads of carp basking and most people seemed to fancy they'd have a go up in the water. The early entertainment was provided by the Hoff asking if anybody had picked up his rodbag because it had gone missing, it turned out Les had picked it up by mistake.

I set up three rigs, a dibber (dibbler as people have now taken to calling it!) for up in the water with a hair rigged band, another for fishing the margin and a Carpa 2 for fishing at 4 metres. I had micros, 4 and 6 mm pellets, corn and maggots for bait. Les called the all in and I potted bait on my two inside lines before starting up in the water. I fully expected to catch quite quickly but didn't have my first carp until after 20 mins, by which time Bushy on peg 6 had four or five, Oz on peg 4 had also netted a couple and from all the splashing Hainsey was catching on 17 too, Blaker also got off the mark with an early carp. Andy shouted down to say he'd had one and lost one so there were quite a few being hooked.

I carried on feeding 6mm pellets and lifting and dropping the rig but couldn't buy a bite, I changed the depth but it made no difference at all. I couldn't understand it Oz, Bushy and Hainsey were all catching up in the water, why couldn't I? Hoff opposite was really struggling and had only caught a roach and a perch, Mike Collins next to him had an early carp but like me and Blaker, was now struggling. Dave Lawrence on the unfancied peg 1 had already lost two carp and wasn't a happy bunny.

We were already two hours into the match and even at this relatively early stage it looked like Bushy and Hainsey would be framing. I tried my 4 metre line which I'd been feeding since the start but after missing two quick bites on corn, it wasn't really happening there either. I had been feeding the 11.5 metre line constantly while fishing short and odd carp could be seen taking pellet so back out I went. I did manage a carp by plonking the pellet on it's nose and after leading me a merry dance I slipped the net under a carp approaching 8lb. Shortly after I 'mugged' another of similar size and when I added a fourth one of about 3lb I thought I might get back into the hunt.

Andy shouted down that he had five and lost a couple (which I'd guessed from all the swearing!), Dave had landed a couple including a good one, Hoff had got off the mark with a couple and Dino was starting to catch as well. My good spell died off as quickly as it had arrived although I did lose three more carp by trying to mug them but I'm pretty sure they were foulhooked. With an hour to go all I had added to my meagre tally was a roach that had taken 6mm pellet.

Then there was an almighty commotion from up the pond and it transpired that Janders had hooked a duck which kept trying to take off and after much quacking, splashing and cries of 'Freedom' from Andy, it was safely netted and returned with only it's pride dented. I was running out of time and ideas so tried my margin line for the first time but one missed bite saw me spend the last ten minutes fishing at 4 metres but I didn't catch anything else. I knew that alongside not picking up a brown envelope today it could be potentially expensive as Andy had five carp and Picky had six plus a big eel. The only saving grace was that Janders had endured a 'ducking' (sorry John, couldn't resist it!) nightmare and wasn't weighing in.

The scales started at Dave who'd done well to weigh 26lb 14oz from peg 1, Hoff had 20lb 2oz next door and Mike 'Feeder' Collins had 14lb 5oz before Oz set the early pace with 42lb 10oz. His lead lasted two pegs before the league's most consistent performer, Bushy, put 84lb 12oz on the scales to take the lead. Andy had 26lb 5oz and I was pretty sure he'd just pipped me so handed over a £1. Mike T had struggled in peg 10 so Andy actually won his section (see you never lose it mate). Les did well and went into second place with 68lb 9oz from peg 11 before there were several 30lb+ weights, including Picky so I handed over another nugget and the day was just getting worse.

Quacker (sorry John) didn't weigh and I recouped a £1, Dave A didn't weigh before Hainsey put an excellent 98lb 6oz in the weigh sling for another victory. Chris caught on meat up in the water and his weight only comprised of 15 carp. Blaker didn't weigh before my four carp and a roach went 23lb 15oz confirming I needed another carp to beat Andy before Dino weighed over 40lb to win my section.

Chris needed one more fish to do the ton

1 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 98lb 6oz
2 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 84lb 12oz
3 - Les Braunton (Haines Angling) - 68lb 9oz

A - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 42lb 10oz
B - Andy Langdon (Chard) - 26lb 5oz
C - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 35lb 10oz
D - Graham Pepper (Taunton) - 40lb 13oz

Bushy and Bish are through to the final of the individual knockout next week and it should be a good battle. After a good start my league tailed off rather so lets see if I can finish with a flourish next week. Also I'm not sure if there's a match on Wednesday but if there is you'll be the first to know.

Finally I can't sign off without giving a big shout out to Ben Bradford and Ben Evans who both said they read this tripe and enjoyed it, cheers guys.