Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 10 - 31st August 2011

The last match finally arrived and it couldn't be any closer in the league with Alvin winning and me and Moses just 1.5 points behind. Realistically I didn't think Alvin could be caught because he needed to be last in his section with either me or Moses winning ours. We met a little earlier and decided to fish from 5:30 to 8:30, I drew peg 9 and was fairly happy because I didn't have that poxy wasps nest behind me. I had Rob two pegs to my left and venue expert, Moses, two pegs to my right although he was in the other section.

I only had time to set up the whip and mix a little groundbait before we were off. I started on maggot and fed the odd nugget of groundbait but missed several bites before connecting with a tiny roach. I had a couple more before trying caster and I couldn't get a bite on it! I was really struggling and after half an hour I only had five or six fish. Robin had yet to catch and I thought the evening had all the hallmarks of being a tough match. After an hour I was up to 21 fish and had included a couple of better roach. I couldn't really see what the others were doing and shouting up to Rob, he confirmed he was finding it hard going too.

If anything hour two was worse and although I was getting lots of bites I just couldn't hit them and initially I was putting it down to tiny fish but then when I did connect with one it was a better roach! I was feeding two lines, one straight out at 4 metres and the other towards the reeds on the inside and I was catching more fish from the latter swim. I was hoping the fishing would get better as the light failed but it just didn't seem to happen for me and Rob.

The last hour arrived and the light started to go really quickly, there were bats everywhere although at least they weren't poxy wasps. I was still missing more bites than I was hitting and I don't think I hit two on the trot all night. It didn't help that I just couldn't see my float for the last 15 minutes! I ended up with 51 fish and I thought I had between three and four pounds. Rob called the all out and it was a mad rush to pack up before total darkness arrived. Moses asked how I'd got on and I said I had really struggled for 3lb or so, he replied that he had 10lb+!!!!! This was a bit gutting as up until tonight me and Moses were winning the heaviest weight (sponsored by Paul Church Motors) with 9lb 7oz.

The scales started with Rob who had 2lb 7oz and then I weighed 4lb 4oz to end with a single section point, even if Moses won his now (which it looked like he would), we would be tied on points. Moses weighed an excellent 12lb 12oz and then Fieldy had 9lb 6oz and Alvin started to say that he reckoned he would be last in his section. This was how it turned out when he weighed 6lb 15oz, which meant me and Moses had leap frogged him into first place by half a point! As it was never stated at the start of the league what would happen in the event of a tie we decided to split the money for first and second and we ended up with £62 each. Looking at the results, if we'd have gone to weight Moses would have won whereas if we'd gone to points countback I'd have taken the verdict by one point so a fair result I think.

Moses had a nice pick up as he won on the night, jointly won the league and he also had the heaviest weight prize, well done mate.

1 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 12lb 12oz
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 9lb 6oz

Final League

1 - Jamie Rich and Moses Holbrook - 12.5 points
3 - Alvin Jones - 13 points

Heaviest Weight (Sponsored by Paul Church Motors)

Moses Holbrook - 12lb 12oz

So a good end to the league for me although ten matches is two too many and I think 6-8 would be better for next year.

I've had a bit of grief over 'slagging off' the pond in my recent posts and in my defence I'd just like to point out that it's just my opinion and the fishing currently isn't my cup of tea. I hear pleasure anglers bag up and that's great news and I also think it's a really good place for youngsters as they'll get plenty of bites. It's just it doesn't fish as well in matches as a few years back when you needed 15lb upwards to win and that was usually quality roach with the odd big perch or chub and I get fed up fishing the whip all the time. You only need to look at the match attendances of a maximum of 6 for the evening series and we're now getting the same sort of number on a Sunday. Anyway I'm back here on Sunday and that will be my last visit this year and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the river.

I can't go without thanking Paul Church Motors for their kind sponsorship and Alvin for running a good little league.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summerhayes - Open - 28th August 2011

After picking Janders up it was off to Summerhayes, the match was on Long's again and I wasn't confident of breaking the jinx. There was a good turnout of twenty anglers and after a coffee it was soon time to draw, I was near the end of the queue and pulled out peg 4 which put me on the far side yet again. I just can't seem to draw the near side or down the bottom end. Janders pulled out peg 23 and was on an inviting looking corner.

Pete had pegged it so anglers were in two's so you had two spare pegs to one side to give everyone plenty of room. I had a chap on my left who used to fish with us years ago at Howley and had just got back into fishing. The nearest angler on my right was Heardy on peg 1 who was keen to have a £1 sidebet. I set up a 0.4 gram Malman pencil float for the skimmer line at 10 metres, a Malman paste float for the same line and a dibber for fishing to the far bank which was 14.5 metres away. As always it was pretty windy and I couldn't see me venturing across too often.

Pete shouted the all in and I cupped in half a pot of micros at 10 metres and the same plus some corn against the far bank. I started on the skimmer line with a 4mm expander on the hook and first put in the float sailed away and I had nice skimmer of a pound and a half - good start. I then missed a good bite before catching some 6-8oz skimmers and some small roach and skimmers. After an hour I had 12 fish for around 3lb or so and was ahead of the anglers around me. Heardy and the Wickham on peg 39 were really struggling (so it's not just me then!) and it looked like it was going to be hard at our end yet again.

The second hour was much the same, I was still toss potting in micros every put in and added around 8 more fish but was getting quite a few small roach. I was missing quite a few bites but I thought these might be small fish. We'd had a few showers and the wind was still being a pain. The third hour saw my skimmer line start to slow right up, I only had 5 fish although two of these were good skimmers and I guessed I probably had around 8lb in the net. Martin had only had three small carp and the chap on 39 probably had around the same. The guy on my left only had a couple of skimmers and lots of small roach. The chap three pegs away on his left seemed to be catching silvers quite well but I felt I was still ahead at the half way point.

I decided to rest the skimmer line and put in another half a cup of micros before going across with corn on the hook. Although the wind had died off a little and the showers had stopped, it was still a real struggle to hold the rig still and apart from a few indications, it was a waste of time. There were some reeds across in front of peg three which had been knocking every now and again so I plumbed up there and tried that for half an hour but never had a proper bite. Back on the skimmer line and I couldn't get a bite here either now! The guy next door had a couple of skimmers and a small carp so at least I knew there were a few about.

With an hour and a half to go, I started getting bites again, I was still getting small roach but then had a small carp, a decent skimmer and a lovely crucian in quick succession to put me on around 11lb. I was on 34 fish and thought if I could add another six skimmers in the last hour it would give me around 14lb or so. I had a 6oz skimmer but then the next few fish were all small roach. Martin was now fishing paste down the edge and had three carp one after another before losing a good one and I was sure that he would beat me in the last hour after I had been ahead of him all day!

I then lost a good skimmer and shortly after lost another and it was all going pear shaped. With 15 minutes left I had a skimmer pushing 2lb and another of similar size with 5 mins to go. I did miss one more bite and then Pete shouted the all out. I finished with 41 fish and thought I had around 14lb although I was admitting to 10lb! Martin reckoned he had about 14lb so the sidebet was going to the wire. As I was packing up the scales arrived at peg 39 and he had 18lb something and I didn't think I had that. I took my kit back to the car and caught up with the scales a few pegs on. 31lb 9oz was top weight so far but crucially the top silvers weight was 12lb odd, then there were a couple of 14lb silvers weights and I started to think those two late, lost fish were going to cost me.

Janders didn't weigh and handed over a £1, Eric Fouracre came close to Glyn Wickham's leading overall weight with 31lb 8oz and there was also a 31lb 4oz. The chap on my left didn't weigh and then it was my turn. My solitary carp weighed 15oz and then I pulled my silvers out and everyone was saying it would be close, Pete called out my weight at 17lb 1oz (18lb in total) and I'd gone into the lead for the silvers with only Martin to weigh. Martin weighed 13lb+ in total so I'd won the silvers and an added bonus was that I took a squid off Heardy (he'll have it back on Sunday!).

I was really chuffed and had fished a pretty tidy match with the only blip being those two lost skimmers and I'd finally broken the Long's jinx.

1 - Glyn Wickham - 31lb 9oz
2 - Eric Fouracre (Mosella) - 31lb 8oz
3 - 31lb 4oz
4 - 26lb+
5 - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 25lb 10oz

Silvers
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 17lb 1oz
2 - 14lb 13oz

Well I seem to do okay on silvers at Summerhayes but can't seem to get to grips with the carp and I really need to put in some practice with paste to get my confidence up.

Next up is the final evening league match at Dillington where Alvin leads me and Moses by 1.5 points. I would love to do well in the final match but it'll probably all go tits up now!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Summer League 8 - 21st August 2011

With only a few of us fishing today I was going to put us down the canal for a change, I had a walk down there on Thursday night and although weedy, there were at least 7 or 8 fishable swims. Fieldy messaged me on Saturday night to say he'd been down there and there were loads of fish moving and I was really looking forward to fishing it. This all changed when I got to the pub for the draw and they'd all decided we would fish the pond! Great, instead of a day catching quality roach, perch, skimmers with maybe the odd tench or small carp for double figures, I would be now blip bashing yet again, where 6lb would be a good weight, I'm so fed up with it! From really looking forward to fishing I was now pissed right off.

Anyway we did the draw and I pulled out peg 7 which is where I did well from a couple of weeks ago, the downside is there's a massive wasps nest behind the peg and I absolutely hate them! I set up the usual whip and chopped worm rigs and mixed some groundbait before calling the start of what I knew would be a torturous six hours. The pond was flat calm and it was bright and sunny and I knew this would make it hard going. I cupped in some chopped worm and casters at 10 metres before starting on the whip. I caught a couple of roach on maggot before switching to caster but couldn't get a bite on it! After an hour I had 25 fish although most of them were tiny, Fieldy on peg 4 and Heardy on 10 were already ahead of me by quite a few fish.

I fed my chopped worm line again and couldn't wait to go eel hunting, I resisted and stuck to the whip and after the second hour I was on 50 fish but I had no quality at all, it was time for the long line. I put on a worm head and shipped out and loosefed casters over the top. I soon started getting bites and as per usual caught quite a few small greedy perch along with a decent roach, normally the eels move in and the little fish bugger off. After an hour I'd had 12 fish but no eels!, I did bump a fish after a slow, very eel like bite but then I couldn't buy a bite. I stayed on this line for another half an hour (too long really) before putting some more choppie out and going back on the whip.

The whip line was now as dead as a dodo and bites were very few and far between, I did manage a nice rudd of 8oz or so but I only gave it another half an hour before going back on the eel line. Justin across on peg 19 had netted a chub so maybe, at long last, his chopped worm approach was going to pay off! I never had another bite on the worm so before giving the long line up for good, I slipped on a caster and had five better roach quite quickly, all on the drop. I tried shallowing up but this didn't work at all and as quickly as they'd arrived they disappeared.

I spent the last half an hour on the whip, Martin and Moses had been catching pretty steadily all day and I also thought I was behind Fieldy and Justin. I added a few more tiny roach and ten minutes before the end, hooked a decent fish on the whip that did me in the reeds. The perfect end to the perfect day! I tied on another hook and had two more roach before the end to finish with 83 fish. I thought I had between 4-5lb which would get me nowhere today.

I had the scales as well (deep joy!) so started with Fieldy who said he'd had 71 fish and they weighed 5lb 4oz , I thought I might be close to that but I weighed 4lb 11oz, so that was that. Martin weighed 8lb 10oz, Steve Parker had 2lb 4oz and then Moses came close with 8lb 8oz and that left Justin. He'd had two chub plus some better perch but only weighed 5lb 1oz, proving once again it's pointless trying to catch bigger fish as you'll never compete with the whip anglers, although he did lose a carp which would have won it. The trouble is it's too hit and miss. For my part, if I'd fished the whip and maggot I'd probably have done enough for third place but it just does my head in.

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 8lb 10oz
2 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 8lb 8oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 5lb 4oz

In the league, Martin still has a perfect score of 7 points followed by Fieldy on 12 and Steve Parker on 27. Thank God I've only got two more matches to fish here although there has been talk of holding one of our winter leagues on the pond instead of the river, what is the matter with people! Yes it does fish better in the winter but it's still catching bits and 6-7lb is a good weight and double figures a rarity. We fish the pond quite a few times anyway when the river is flooded and there are several anglers who just won't fish if it's on the pond. Hey-ho, next week I'm back at Summerhayes on Longs so tune in to see if the jinx continues.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 9 - 17th August 2011

For the penultimate match we decided to shorten it by 15 mins due to the failing light. There were five of us again but this week Rob couldn't make it and Justin would do his usual and turn up late. I drew peg 14 and I had Fieldy for company on the next peg along. I set up the usual whip rig along with a chopped worm rig (which I've yet to use on an evening match!). I also mixed up a little Sensas Roach groundbait although I'm finding I'm hardly putting any in and mainly just loosefeeding.

I shouted the all in and cupped out some choppie at 10 metres at an angle to my left before starting on the whip with maggot. It took me a while to get a bite and then it was tiny roach so I was soon on the caster. This wasn't fast and furious either and by the end of the first hour I had 28 fish, which was way off the usual pace. I wasn't too worried as I'd had some nice size rudd but also bumped off a few.

As well as feeding at 4 metres straight out, I was also feeding a line by the reeds and alternating between the two. Hour two was a bit better and I had 36 fish to take me to 64. Again. I'd bumped/dropped off a few and rather annoyingly I'd hooked a decent fish which went round some reeds and came off (I suspect it was a good roach or rudd). Going into the last three quarters of an hour I snapped off on the strike on a decent fish and had to tie a new hooklength (note to self - less of the Zorro strikes!).

Rob turned up to see how we were getting on and I suffered a bit of a blank spell where I missed loads of bites and with the light failing I could hardly see my float and it didn't help that I'd left my glasses in the car! I added 20 more fish to finish with a total of 84 and I thought I had around 7lb. I was first to weigh and for once I wasn't too far out with my estimate as my fish went 6lb 12oz. I really didn't think it would be enough and Moses was looking quietly confident.

Fieldy had really struggled for 2lb 9oz and Alvin had 5lb 14oz, then Moses spoiled things by weighing 8lb 1oz. Justin's chopped worm approach hadn't worked yet again and he didn't weigh which meant I was second and picked up £20 although I had to give a £1 to the venue expert, Moses. With one match to go, Alvin still leads with 10 points with me and Moses 1.5 points behind so it's all to play for in the last match.

1 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 8lb 1oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 6lb 12oz
3 - Alvin Jones (Paul Church Motors) - 5lb 14oz

My winnings tonight took me over the grand for the second year on the trot, so lets see if I can beat my best total ever of £1216 with over 4 months to go, I've probably put the hex on it now and I won't win another bean!

We're supposed to be back here on Sunday but as I'm running the match I might see if the guys fancy a trip down the canal for some proper fishing (weed permitting!).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summerhayes - Open - 14th August 2011

After my last visit to Longs and a next peg paste battering I was determined to try and get this paste fishing sussed. I ordered some Malmans hand made paste floats and bought some Ringers paste along with some Preston PR478 hooks in size 10 and 12 and Saturday was spent mixing paste, pumping pellets, making rigs up and tying hooks. The saying goes that 'Preparation is the breakfast of champions' so lets hope it turns out to be right.

I picked Janders up and off we went, there was a big turnout and along with all the regulars there were loads of faces I recognised including Digger, Paul Blake, Mark Leahy, Roger Russell, Alvin and Darren Roberts. After a quick coffee it was time to draw and I couldn't believe it when I pulled out peg 39 again. It can be a good peg and certainly looks the part but I never seem to do any good off it. You have the point of the island opposite at about 11.5 metres and to the left there is a footbridge going over the lake with a big sign saying Summerhayes Fishery behind it.

I set up a brand spanking new Malmans 0.4g pencil float for my skimmer lines at 10 metres straight out and also to my left in the bay by the bridge at the same distance. I also set up a dibber for the island and my new paste float for fishing over the skimmer lines later on. Jess Jordan was the next peg on my left on peg 2 and there was a guy two pegs along on my right. I wetted up some micros and opened a tin of corn and I was ready for the off. Heardy asked if I wanted to go double or quits on the pound I owed him from Sunday and like a fool I agreed.

Pete blew the whistle and we were off and all around was a frenzy of people shipping out pole pots, I cupped in some micros on both my skimmer lines and the same plus some corn by the island. I started straight out with a 4mm expander and toss potting in some micros. I pulled out of a good skimmer before losing the next one on the way in - not a great start. I was getting odd bites and landed a couple of small skimmers but it was already looking like it was going to be hard. It was bright and sunny but there was a wicked gusty wind which was making presentation a nightmare.

After an hour I only had four fish and one of those was a tiny skimmer and another was a minuscule roach. A quick look on my left hand skimmer line saw no action at all, after two hours I was on seven fish and it wasn't just me, all the anglers I could see were struggling too. Bites were very few and far between, I tried by the island with corn but never had a touch. I decided to feed an inside line towards the bridge as odd fish were moving there and my dibber rig would suffice as the depth was the same as by the island.

I tried the inside with corn and was getting the odd indication so tried soft pellet and landed my first small carp. No more positive bites so I tried a small piece of paste. I then had four small carp in as many chucks and thought I'd sussed it but it turned out to be short lived and I only lost one more carp. Back to my skimmer line and this was as dead as a doornail, as was the island (even with soft pellet) so I cupped in some more micros on the skimmer line before going back on the inside.

Time was running out and with no more fish on the inside, I refed it before deciding to spend some more time on the skimmer line. I had another skimmer before missing a run of bites, I then lost a carp which as I only had it on briefly, made me think it was foulhooked. I did add another skimmer but with 20 mins left I thought I'd see if I could add a couple more carp from the inside. I did catch one more carp (I say catch but it was hooked neatly under the armpit!) and I did miss a couple of bites and came back with a small scale on the hook but didn't add anymore to my virtually empty nets. Pete blew for the all out and I'd ended with 15 fish and I wasn't sure I even had double figures, a bad day at the office.

I was first to be weighed and my carp went 6lb 5oz and my silvers 3lb 12oz to give me a 10lb 1oz total. The guy on my right had a few more ounces than me and the chap next to him had 8lb odd. Janders didn't bother weighing and gave me a pound which I was soon giving to Martin plus one of my own as he'd weighed 11lb+. Jess reckoned he'd had around 10lb, so our end had fished really poorly. The guy next to Jess had caught quite well and would probably be in the frame. We didn't hang around for the results and made our way back.

The highlight of the day was when me and Janders were talking about the paste I had made up for us both and he said 'You get quite a crust around it don't you?', I inquired whether he'd left it in the bag I'd kindly provided and he replied that he'd taken it out of the bag so it was at the mercy of the sun all day, and I said that would probably explain it! He went on to say that my lovingly prepared ball of paste looked like a conker by the end of the match!!!!

So my jinx at Longs continues although to be fair I don't think the draw did me any favours today. At least I'd caught a few fish on paste even though it wasn't using my new paste float. I'm back at Dillington on Wednesday night so tune in to see if I can collect a little brown envelope then.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dillington Pond - Royal Oak Summer League 7 - 7th August 2011

The day didn't start too well when I overslept but I phoned Robin and said to draw for me and I'd meet him out the pond. After rushing around I arrived out the pond and paid Rob my pools and he said I had peg 7. The pond's level was back up to normal and although the forecast for the day was awful, it was actually bright and sunny albeit a bit windy. There were only six of us fishing today, a rather poor turnout. Rob was the next peg to my left on 11 and Richy White was on 4 to my right so I had plenty of room.

I set up the usual 4 metre whip rig and also a chopped worm rig for 10 metres as I expected the whip line to die after a couple of hours. With my late start I just about had time to mix a little groundbait (Sensas Lake) and chop up some worms and casters before the off. I cupped in some chopped worm and casters at 10 metres before tossing in a small ball of groundbait at 4 metres and flicking the rig in with single red maggot on the hook. I caught a couple of small roach on maggot before switching to caster, it was hard going on the caster (it never seems to work like it does in the evening matches!) and I was having to wait ages for the bites and the fish weren't much bigger than the maggot fish.

After an hour I had 23 fish (mostly on the maggot) and although it was slow I was ahead of Rob and Fieldy who was next to him as they were really struggling, in fact Fieldy only had 5 fish! Richy was doing better and at this early stage he was already ahead of me by 10 fish or so. Along with feeding my 4 metre line I was also regularly feeding down by the reeds to my left. Hour two was better and by swapping between my two whip lines I got up to 50 fish and I'd had a couple of better roach and rudd although the overall stamp was quite small.

I fed some more choppie on the long line and was looking forward to trying it, I was still getting odd fish and when I had a 6oz eel on the whip I was sure I'd get a few on the worm. As the halfway point arrived I couldn't wait any longer and put a worm head on my choppie rig and went out to the long line. I was loosefeeding casters over the top and making sure I didn't neglect my two whip lines as I might have to come back to them later if I couldn't catch long. My first bite resulted in a decent roach and I followed this up with a small eel of 4oz or so. I then had a run of small perch but at least I was putting fish in the net. I added two more eels and I was chugging along nicely. The sun also disappeared and we had some pretty heavy downpours - lovely!

Richy was still ahead of me on numbers of fish but I was closing in on him with those eels bumping up my weight. I could see Martin catching steadily across from me on peg 18 so I decided to put some more worm out and go back on the whip to let it settle. Rob and Fieldy were catching a few now but I had quite a head start on them. Both the whip lines produced a few more fish including the odd better roach and chunky perch and as the last hour arrived I was on 100 fish so decided to spend the last hour in search of some more eels.

Richy was only a few fish ahead of me now and a couple of times he had to see to his brolly which the wind had turned into a satellite dish, we all reckoned he was trying to tune into some porn! I had to wait quite a while before I had my next bite on the worm and I was just thinking about going back on the whip when the float buried and I had my best eel of between 12oz and a 1lb. I then missed a couple of bites before catching a couple of nice roach. With only a few minutes left I landed eel number six and thinking the whistle was about to blow I quickly slipped a caster on and shipped back out and had another decent roach to end with 105 fish.

Richy asked how many fish I had and said he'd had 115 so I was pretty confident I'd beaten him with the help of those eels. Martin said he'd had 160 fish and reckoned I'd won it but he always says that! I packed up and the scales started at Richy who had 5lb 6oz, I thought I had 6 or 7lb and was pleasantly surprised to weigh a level 9lb, but would it be enough? Rob weighed 3lb and Fieldy had 4lb 5oz but they'd both really struggled for the first two hours. Then we got to Heardy and he said he'd had loads of tiny fish but when he pulled his net out I knew it was going to be close. The needle stopped at 9lb 8oz - bugger! That just left Steve Parker who had some nice rudd but hadn't found any chub by the bush on peg 24 and weighed 2lb 12oz.

So I finished second and picked up £22 but I couldn't help wondering if I'd have had more on the whip in the last hour. I don't think so as I'd had probably 2lb on the worm and I don't think I'd have done that on the whip and one more eel would have done it, oh well.




Heardy seems to be unstoppable










1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 9lb 8oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb
3 - Richard White (Ilminster) - 5lb 6oz


Next week I'm back at Summerhayes again and it's Long's again, so tune in to to see if I can finally break my duck.

Also spoke to Pete (from Summerhayes) today and he was very complimentary about this blog and it's lovely to hear from people who enjoy reading it. Please feel free to leave feedback and let me know what I'm doing right or even let me know if I can improve it at all. I know it could do with more photos so I'll try and improve that side of it over the next few matches.

Check out the Summerhayes website at http://www.summerhayesfisheries.com/

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dillington Pond - Evening League 8 - 3rd August 2011

It had been a beautiful day and looked like being a nice evening too, there were five of us tonight although Justin wouldn't be joining us (late) this week. I drew peg 17 and was well pleased as I've always done well off it. For some reason I was struggling to get ready in time so quickly mixed up some Sensas Lake groundbait and set up the usual 4 metre whip.

Rob signalled the start with a single toot of his whistle (oo-er missus) and we were off. I flicked the rig out followed by a small nugget of groundbait and soon had a small roach so a switch to caster was in order. I was catching chunky roach and the odd small perch and had 20 in the first half an hour and thought if I could keep this up I would do a good weight. Then it slowed and I couldn't work out why, by the end of the first hour I was on 29 fish but with most of them being 2-3oz I still thought I'd done 2-3lb.

The second hour was much the same and they continued to be a decent stamp of fish. I had pretty much cut out the groundbait as just loosefeeding seemed to be better. Fieldy was on my right and fishing the pole and seemed to be struggling as was Alvin across on peg 10 but then it always seems to be that way and the weigh in normally tells a different story. I was getting some biteless spells but found that by burying the hook inside a caster instead of hooking it like a maggot would result in more bites, I just couldn't hit them!

My mate Arf turned up and going into the third hour I was still catching quite well but the fish would come in spells of two or three before backing off. I did swing a nice roach only to miss the bloody keepnet with it! and I had three or four drop off. I also netted a corking roach of 8-10oz and had some perch around the 4oz mark. Arf left with about half an hour to go and was replaced by Bob Hammond, who had come for a look. I caught really well while Bob was there and ended with 92 fish although I had no clue what they would weigh. In my mind I really thought I'd be close to double figures as most of the fish had been just about swingable.

After packing up I was walking round to watch the weigh in and met Alvin who reckoned he had double figures too! Fieldy said he had around 80 fish and was sure I'd beaten him (I've been had like that before too!). We would find out soon enough as the scales were on there way to Robin. Moses had already weighed 8lb 11oz and he'd been bagging quietly as I couldn't see him at all from my peg. Rob had a level 2lb but had lost a big chub at the net, Alvin's double figures turned out to be 6lb 11oz and all of a sudden I wasn't so sure of my weight.

Fieldy had 5lb 10oz and then it was my turn, the needle stopped at a level 8lb and I was a little disappointed. Still I was second and picked up £20 although I had to give a £1 to the venue expert, Moses. My section one pointer meant that me and Moses are still locked level on 10.5 points in our race for second place in the league, behind Alvin who leads the league with 8 points.






Venue expert, Moses Holbrook, got back to winning ways













1 - Moses Holbrook (Ilminster) - 8lb 11oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb
3 - Alvin Jones (Paul Church Motors) - 6lb 11oz

Well I'm back here on Sunday so lets see if I can go one better then!

Also I've heard rumours that the club might be looking to put some F1's in the pond to improve the fishing - wrong choice! All that would do is turn it into yet another carp puddle, lets keep it carp free and offer something unique. There are already loads of carp puddles around and to stock enough to compete with those venues would take a huge expenditure. People have also said that F1's don't grow very big but it's still an unknown quantity and some venues are already producing them to 7lb+. As I've said many times before, all thats required is to thin out the small fish and put them down the river and stock some skimmers and maybe some more chub around the 12oz mark as they would improve sport no end.

I was hoping we'd end up with a nice mixed fishery like the canal (which we don't fish nearly enough) which has loads of quality roach, rudd and perch along with the odd decent skimmer and tench plus eels and the occasional small carp.