Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dillington Pond - 25th November 2012

After rain of biblical proportions for most of the week, this weeks match was never going to be on the river, in fact with widespread flooding I wasn't sure there would be a match at all! On waking up the weather didn't look too bad outside and the drive to Ilminster was okay although there was a lot of water about. I got in the pub and Pete announced todays match wouldn't count towards the V.E.S. League and we'd just have a knock up out the pond, I really fancied going down the canal but apparently the path was flooded which ruled that out as an option. I was hoping for one of the pegs on the near side but pulled out peg 8 on the opposite bank.

On arriving at the pond, it was a horrible chocolate colour and up quite a bit too, there wasn't much moving but I quite fancied it as it normally fishes better when coloured. I had Steve Parker on peg 6 and Rob was on peg 4. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Supercup and set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 B611 as I was hoping to fish caster if they would have it. I plumbed up at 10 metres as I could control the pole at this length with the wind blowing into my bank. It was a bit of a rush to set up and I wasn't quite ready when Rob blew for the start.

I was carefully cupping in two balls of groundbait when Justin, across on peg 17, boshed in ten balls by hand! I baited up with a single red maggot and laid the rig in over my baited area and I fully expected to catch quite quickly but when no bites were forthcoming in the first ten minutes, I knew it was going to be hard, either that or all the fish were buried under Justin's groundbait! After an hour nobody had caught or even had a bite and a single fish could be worth some dosh today. Then Rob had a small roach to put him in the driving seat and then it started raining - great! I stuck the pole between my legs while I put my coat on and covered up my bait, the float was actually out of the water and when I had sorted myself out, there was a small roach on and the blank was avoided!

Thinking the fish might be up in the water I shallowed the rig up to half depth but this didn't work and then Rob had a second fish to go into the lead again. I had dead reeds on either side of me so with nothing to lose I plumbed up on both sides and tried here as well, I had a tiny roach but the float never moved so I'd had two fish and not seen a bite yet! Next put in I had a damaged pinkie and felt there might be a few small fish about but then managed to get tangled round a reed and the rig ended up in a terrible mess. It took me ages to sort out and while I was messing about, Rob had another small roach. I decided to go as fine as I could, so tied on a size 22 hook to 0.06mm bottom and went back over my groundbait line at 10 metres.

I had another roach where I hadn't even seen the bite, so I added another two number tens to the bulk to dot the float right down. This seemed to work and my next fish was a better roach of about 3-4oz which I netted. I got to five fish but then the next three came off! Steve had finally got off the mark with a couple of roach and I'd seen both Justin and Pete net fish opposite me. I was fishing double pinkie and the bites were very shy and most of the time the rig just wouldn't quite settle properly, in fact the float only actually went under twice all day. There were some big fish topping in the middle (as always) and I saw both Pete and Justin set feeders up to try for them but neither had a bite on the tip.

I got to about eight fish, when Steve netted what looked like a half decent fish and I thought he might now be ahead of me, Rob had slowed up but I'd seen Pete net another fish on peg 18. With about an hour left, it was obvious this was going to be a low weight affair but in some perverse way, I was actually quite enjoying it! I added a couple more tiny roach plus another couple of 3oz fish and also lost another while shipping back. With about ten minutes left I saw Pete net a good roach and I thought he would win it today, with five minutes to go I had another of 4oz and that was the last of my action. I ended up with 14 roach and wasn't sure I had a pound!

It didn't take long to pack up and Rob was soon on his way with the scales, Steve had three fish for 5oz and I hoped I'd beaten that, my fish went 1lb 5oz and Rob had four fish for 3oz so at least I had a brown envelope of some description headed my way. We loaded the cars and drove over to weigh the others, Justin had 10oz and then it was Pete's turn, he only had three roach but they were decent ones and he weighed a level pound which meant I'd won again! I picked up £40 and had quite enjoyed working for those little fish, even if it had been a bit of a struggle.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 1lb 5oz
2 - Pete Lonton (Ilminster) - 1lb
3 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 10oz

Well hopefully we can get back on the river for next weeks match but as I write this it's raining and blowing hard outside so I won't hold my breath!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 3 - 18th November 2012

It was round three of the Royal Oak league today and after winning the first two matches I was hoping for another good draw today. The trouble was we'd had the first real hard frost last night and combined with a low and clear river, it could be a struggle today. Rob had pegged Upper and Lower Coxes and I really fancied pegs 14, 15, 23 and 28, everybody fancied 23 after Heardy's weight off it last match and Justin was the lucky angler to draw it. I pulled out 28 and was well pleased as it's probably been the most consistent peg with weights around 8-10lb. Heardy drew 29 and did his usual moaning about it but if the fish are in 27 and 28, they've got to be in 29 as well!

I pulled up at the river and walked past Steve Parker who was setting up in 27, with the river being so low, I felt he might struggle today. My swim looked good and I was soon setting up my rigs, a 1.5 gram Drennan Trio for the deepest water in the main flow at 11.5 metres and a 1 gram rig for fishing this side of the flow where it was a few inches shallower. With a few minutes before the start I wandered down to see Martin who was on the opposite bank on 29, he was still grumbling which would probably mean he'd catch 20lb today.

I went back, checked my watch and it was time to start, my opening gambit was double red maggot on the the lighter rig at 10 metres, I was feeding maggots, casters and hemp sparingly and it took me a little while to get my first bite, which I bumped! I then started getting odd chublets along with a couple of spotties by inching the float through just off the flow towards the branches across the river to my left where it starts to shallow up. After an hour I had 13 fish, mainly chublets and trout along with a small roach and a few minnows (which I don't count). I wasn't going to break any records but if I could keep this catch rate up I would have around 8-9lb which is what I had the last time I drew this swim.

Sport slowed a bit in hour two but I still added another seven fish which included a couple of 8oz trout and my first dace, although I'd bumped a couple too. Heardy walked up on the far bank and he hadn't had a bite yet!, he said he knew he wasn't going to catch today and wandered up to see how Steve was getting on. On his return he said Steve only had a few small dace and that he couldn't see himself sticking it out for the duration. My 10 metre line was now dead as a dodo and maggot only resulted in minnow bites so it was time to try further across with the other rig.

I started getting odd fish from this line including some small roach but I was fairly happy as long as I was putting silvers in the net. I had eight fish in the third hour to put me on twenty eight with two and a half hours to go. This line soon faded though and I had to keep swapping lines to get bites and was only putting odd dace and minnows in the net. At the end of the fourth hour I had only added three more fish and was in trouble! I was also worried that Heardy hadn't packed up and I thought he might have found a couple of chub, Steve wasn't walking either and after another good start I was struggling again.

Time was running out and I was only up to 33 fish and way off my target, with half an hour to go I started getting bites across and added a couple more although I missed several as well. I ended up with 35 fish and was hoping I might have 5-6lb but felt sure this wouldn't do any good today. Just as I had finished packing up Steve arrived and said he'd struggled for eight or nine fish. We walked down to see how Martin had got on and he'd had a grueller and said he had a pound or so and was going to chuck back (which saved me from having to walk round to weigh him!).

I grabbed the scales from my car (yep I had them again!) and weighed Steve in who had 1lb 5oz which made me feel better after I struggled on it last week, my fish went 5lb 6oz which I was a little disappointed with and felt sure pegs 14, 15 and 23 would all beat this and I'd finish just out of the frame. We loaded the cars up and Martin admitted he'd bumped a good fish which was probably a spottie and he'd missed several bites as well. We drove up to meet the others and I was amazed when Rob announced I'd won it! The upper section had fished really hard and Rob was top there with 1lb 8oz which meant Steve was third and Heardy had possibly chucked back a framing weight! and he'd missed/bumped enough for second! Justin only had 14oz off 23 which just goes to show that those dace do move around.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 5lb 6oz
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 1lb 8oz
3 - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 1lb 5oz

So the frost really knocked sport today and this was the first match so far where double figures didn't win, although I had an enjoyable day.

In the league I'm still leading with 30 points followed by Rob on 27 and Fieldy on 25. Next week it's back to the V.E.S. league and I really need a good result to stay in touch with the leaders, so come back next week to see how I get on. Also we really need some rain or it could be another grueller!

Friday, November 16, 2012

V2V Fishing Dvd Reviews

I've just been sent two Dvd's by the lovely Steve Lockett today (both from the V2V stable) and I've just finished watching them both. I must confess I haven't seen an instructional Dvd for a while (in fact the last time I watched one I think it was on VHS!). The two titles Steve sent me were:

Will Raison - Silvers On The Pole - Part 3 Canal Roach On Breadpunch

Neil Machin - Baggin' Carp on Commercial Canals and Snake Lakes

Two cracking titles from V2V
Now I wasn't really sure what to expect apart from seeing a well known name bagging up on each method and yes, there was plenty of that but oh so much more!

These Dvd's cover everything from preparing bait and setting up rigs beforehand to feeding and when to switch lines etc. I particularly liked the shots to show what happens to the various baits underwater and also the use of multi cameras so you can actually watch the float go under - exciting stuff!

Each Dvd is packed with info and there are even rig diagrams and venue info.

Now obviously neither Will or Neil are professional actors but both looked comfortable in front of the cameras and the depth of knowledge they both have is second to none. Predictably there is a fair bit of product promotion for their respective sponsors (Daiwa and Garbolino) but that was only to be expected.

I've learned loads and can certainly see me using the snake lake tips at Summerhayes and it's got me thinking about using punch on the Isle when it's cold and clear.

I think I'll definitely be checking out some other titles in the range, have a look yourselves at

Sunday, November 11, 2012

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 3 - 11th November 2012

With no match last week, I was really looking forward to getting back on the Isle and despite a frost overnight, the air temperature wasn't too bad and it was a bright sunny day. Rob put some cracking pegs in and I fancied 14, 15 or 27 and the only pegs I didn't want were 17 or 23. Heardy drew 23 and screwed his nose up and said it would be no good (we've heard that one before!). I pulled out 27 and was well chuffed as it's probably one of my favourite pegs and I felt I'd get a few today. I needed a good result today as I'd had two section seconds in the first two matches and with Heardy having a perfect two point score already, I wanted to keep him in my sights.

The river looked nice with a decent pace although it was pretty low and clear, my peg looked good with a nice eddy on the far side and ivy lining the far bank. It tends to be a small fish peg these days, so with this in mind I set up a 0.75 gram Carbo with 0.10mm bottom and a light elastic along with a beefier 1.5 gram version with 0.12mm bottom. I walked down to see Rob in 28 and his peg looked good as well, I had a quick natter before heading back and starting.

I got off to a great start with a dace first put in on caster on the lighter rig and was getting regular bites inching the float down through just off the eddy. I had 12 fish in the first hour, mainly dace with a couple of small chublets and was really enjoying it. Hour two saw things slow up a bit and I had a few more small fish before reaching for the heavier rig, I had a chublet and a spottie before I couldn't buy a bite! I had also been feeding an inside line as well as feeding above me but couldn't get a fish off either line. Going into the third hour I was on 19 fish (plus a few minnows), when Rob walked up and said all he'd caught was minnows, he also said he hadn't had a call from Heardy which usually means he's catching well.

With the lack of activity in my swim, Rob didn't stay long and was soon going back to his peg for another go. I couldn't believe after a good start that I now couldn't buy a bite. I was now back on the lighter rig and normally you can catch in this peg by holding back by the far bank ivy but apart from a couple of digs this was a waste of time. I did manage two more fish by holding back in the eddy but I was really struggling and didn't know what to do next. I stuck at it though because if it was fishing hard I could still get a decent section placing.

Time was running out though and I only managed one more fish, a tiny trout, before it was time to finish. I ended with 22 fish plus a few minnows and I wasn't sure I had 2lb - not good! I packed up and got the scales (yes I had them again) before walking down to weigh Rob in. He looked quite happy and said he'd found the fish late and had caught well in the latter part of the match. He was admitting to 5lb but when he pulled his net out I knew he had more than that, I called his weight out at 7lb 8oz and said I thought he'd frame with that today. My fish weighed 2lb 15oz which was a tad more than I thought but I knew it would do no good today.
Rob with his second placed 7lb 8oz

We drove up to Upper Coxes where the others were finishing the weigh in and Martin came back with a fantastic 19lb 3oz of mainly dace from his unfancied peg! He said he'd bumped/missed loads and he'd spent the first hour fishing for chub! Pete Lonton was the next best weight with 4lb 11oz from peg 14 so Rob had finished second. I ended up with three points and will need to drop this result and I now need four good results from the remaining matches.

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 19lb 3oz
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 7lb 8oz
3 - Pete Lonton (Ilminster) - 4lb 11oz

So Heardy has now won all three V.E.S. matches and looks unstoppable. I've got a day off tomorrow so I'm going to pop down the river and see if I can actually catch some fish!

Also Pete asked me to remind club members that the Xmas Fayre is on 9th December so can you please let him know if you want to fish.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

River Wye - Whiskers Wanted! - 4th November 2012

Justin Charles has been enjoying some great fishing on the Wye with barbel to nearly 10lb and pike to 18lb+ so with no match this weekend I jumped at the chance to head to Wales today. With the weather turning colder he thought we might stand a chance of a barbel or two but didn't think we'd be catching as many as he had been earlier in the year when he's had as many as ten! One would do me as it would be enough for another 'Mission Impossible' badge and there was a real chance I could beat my pb of 6lb 11oz.

I set my alarm for the ungodly time of 05:45 and met Justin just after 6:00 and off we went. We made good time although it was raining quite hard which was a tad worrying and several people messaged me to say they'd had snow in Chard after I'd left - welcome to winter! We got to the river and it looked really nice although a couple of feet up and pretty coloured. Justin kindly supplied all the kit and bait and we were soon chucking feeders across the river, fishing hair rigged pellets on the hook. The flow was really strong and our 3oz feeders weren't really holding bottom.

Some impressive fish holding features!
Justin put on a 5oz beast which seemed to cope better and not long after was playing his first 'bertie', it was a nice fish of perhaps 6-7lb and I really thought we'd catch a few more. We also had a sleeper rod out for the pike but never had a touch on it which doesn't surprise me with the colour of the river. I did have a good bite and hooked a fish only for it to come off nearly straight away! Our cause wasn't helped when we lost the only big feeder we had and had to revert to the smaller versions. We stayed until the light started to fail with the only other action being a lost fish (possibly a chub) for Justin.
First 'Bertie' to Justin

So thats what they look like!
Despite blanking I actually really enjoyed fishing somewhere new and trying a different method and I'll definitely be back next year when it's warmer. So my two attempts of adding to my badge collection have failed miserably. Russell Hilton text me to say him and a friend had fished the canal again and had enjoyed frantic sport, catching 20 pike between them, so maybe I'll have another crack at that pike badge soon!

Next week it's back on the Isle (rain permitting) so come back on Sunday evening to see if I can actually catch something for a change!