Monday, August 27, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 27th August 2012

After yesterday where Long's fished pretty hard, it would be interesting to see how Sellicks fished today. There were only 12 of us today which would probably help as both ponds don't seem to fish so well with nearly every peg in. Brendon and Glynn were both there and out for revenge after yesterday and we had another silvers winner takes all bet with quite a few other anglers getting in on it as well. Heardy was also there and as his seat box gave up the ghost yesterday he didn't know what he was going to sit on today but Brendon came up with a cracking idea (I think it rather suits him!).

Martin with his new seat!!

In the end Pete took pity on him and said he could borrow his seatbox as he wasn't fishing today. Time for the draw and I pulled out peg 15 which put me at the more sheltered end of the pond. Brendon drew peg 11 and Bobby Gullick was on 13, Bob won a match on Saturday and was looking to do the double. I had Bill 'The Paste' Hopping on 14 and Glynn was on peg 17 on my left. Bob let me have his caster as he was going all out for carp although I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it! My peg looked really carpy with lily beds to both sides but I would be going for silvers per usual. I set up a 0.6 gram Malman pencil to fish at 10 metres where I would be able to control the pole in the gusty wind and also a Carpa 2 for fishing to my left towards the empty peg and between the lilies and the bank.

Pete blew for the start and I cupped in half a pot of micros at 10 metres and a full pot of casters on my other line (well I had to get rid of them somehow!). I started on my skimmer line with a 4mm expander and had a blade first chuck followed by a slightly better one of 6oz or so and I was on my way (or so I thought!). But then I could only catch small skimmers and lost three carp with the hook pulling out each time and on the last one I came back with a scale. Things weren't going to plan and Glynn had already had three good skimmers and a crucian. Pasteman Bill was getting odd carp and I could see Bobby catching as well. I did manage a fan tail/ brown goldfish thing of around a pound before the first hour was up.

The second hour was similar and I was just getting small skimmers and the odd carp to around 4lb although I did manage a little 8oz tench to put me on around 2lb of silvers and I was already a long way behind Glynn. I decided to stick with it as with Bill and Bob catching carp, I thought I was too far behind them to do any good overall and Pete was paying two in the silvers today. The trouble was my catch rate needed to improve radically and I didn't know what to do to try and improve it! I decided to cup in some micros to try and feed the blades off and have a go over my caster line.

I went out with a piece of worm on but never had an indication so tried the worm over my skimmer line, I had another blade and then yet another decent carp so went back out with sort pellet on. More blades and carp followed and I realised I was actually putting quite a few carp in the net and there probably wasn't much between me and Pasteman Bill. Glynn reckoned he had around double figures of silvers and I was way down on about 2-3lb. Glynn was getting a fair few carp as well and I started to think my best bet of a pick up would be if he framed and I sneaked into second in the silvers but I couldn't see that happening unless I could catch some better skimmers. Around half way through the match, young Reece came round and took coffee orders which was most appreciated in the wet and windy weather.

I just couldn't work out why I wasn't catching decent skims and Glynn was, I tried laying a few inches of line on the bottom and this just resulted in more blades and another carp so it was back to dead depth. Ray Wickham turned up for a wander and asked if I wanted to borrow some of Glynn's skimmers, cheeky git! Just as he left I hooked a fish and it didn't feel like a carp and I gratefully netted a crucian of about a pound. Then I had a decent skimmer and then another and had around five quite quickly and all of a sudden I probably had 6-7lb of silvers and thought I might stand a chance of sneaking in.

Bill had gone a bit quiet and even Bobby came for a walk and said he'd caught well early but had slowed up, he reckoned on having about 15 carp for 40lb-ish, I probably had 12 or 13 carp by this stage including some lumps so wasn't too far behind him. I was now catching really well and had another couple of carp and four more decent skimmers to finish with a flourish. I ended with 57 fish and was quite pleased with my match as, although I'd had a few carp come off (mostly foulhooked I think), I hadn't lost any in the lilies. It had rained quite hard for the second half of the match and the wind had been a pain at times but we had been quite sheltered at our end. I packed up and took my kit back to the car, Heardy who was in peg 23 said he'd had 21 carp so I thought he'd frame.

I loaded my car and caught up with the scales after the first few pegs had been weighed, Roy Hughes was leading from peg 2 with 48lb 3oz, which included a brilliant 26lb 6oz of silvers, Adie Bishop wasn't far behind with 48lb 1oz and all of a sudden I didn't think I'd be picking up today. Brendon had struggled and had 10lb 2oz of carp and loads of blades for 8lb 8oz to give him a total of 18lb 10oz and I knew I'd beaten him again today (6-3 now matey!!!!!). Bobby had finished up with 24 carp plus a few pounds of silvers and his total of 64lb 15oz put him at the top of the leaderboard.

Bill 'The Paste' Hopping weighed 33lb 6oz but had lost a fair few in the lilies and then it was my turn, I weighed my carp first which went 37lb 13oz but I didn't think I'd have enough silvers to trouble the 48lb weights, I pulled my other net out and Pete called out 12lb 9oz to give me a 50lb 6oz total, once again I didn't think I had anywhere near that weight and I think those blades must add up as I don't count them as I go along. So I'd broken my best Summerhayes weight and gone into second place but would it be enough for a pick up? Glynn's carp were on the small side and weighed 15lb odd but he had another fantastic silvers weight of 20lb 14oz to give him a 36lb 12oz total and I was still in second place.

Mark Leahy had 31lb 6oz before Heardy's 21 carp plus silvers went 64lb 1oz to push me down into third place. I picked up £30 to finish off a nice couple days fishing and it was really nice to give Brendon a spanking even though I didn't pick up any side bet money.

Todays weighboard

1 - Bob Gullick (Garbolino Blackmore Vale) - 64lb 15oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 64lb 1oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 50lb 6oz

1 - Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) - 26lb 6oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 20lb 14oz

Next week it's back on Sellicks so come back Sunday to see how I get on.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 26th August 2012

I was really looking forward to getting back on Longs as I haven't fished it for a while, after picking up Janders we arrived quite early and already there were loads of anglers there (in fact 31 had booked in for today!). All the usual faces were there plus quite a few I hadn't seen before. We paid our pools and had a coffee and the weather was actually quite nice (although tomorrow is going to be horrendous by all accounts). Brendon and Glynn wanted our side bet to be £1 apiece with the top silvers net taking all £3, I also had side bets with Janders on overall weight and Alvin on silvers. The score between me and Brendon stood at 4-3 to me and I desperately needed to beat him today to avoid him bloody texting all week!

I pulled out peg 17 which was on the bottom end of the pond, Janders drew 29 and Brendon had peg 5. I had Bruce Hunt on my right and a mate of Brendon's called Dan on my left. I set up the usual two Malman 0.4 gram pencils with 0.12mm bottoms and size 16 808's and also a token dibber rig but as I never picked it up all day I won't mention it again. For bait I just had some micros and Bait Tech 4mm expanders. The whistle blew and I cupped in half a pot of micros at 10 metres before going over it with the strung out rig with a 4mm expander as hook bait. I had to wait a while for my first bite and then had a small roach to get me off the mark, next put in I had an 8oz tench and was off to a good start.

I was toss potting in micros every chuck and had another roach and a small skimmer before losing a good skimmer that leapt out of the water and shed the hook. Losing that fish seemed to spook the fish and I only added one more roach in the first hour. I wasn't too worried though, as nobody was really bagging yet, in fact Bruce hadn't caught a fish yet! Alvin was the early leader with a couple of carp but I wasn't too concerned with 5 hours to go. The second hour was really slow and I only added 5 more small fish and was starting to get worried! It looked like it was fishing really hard and Bruce still hadn't caught and received a call from Heardy who'd only caught a roach.

At the start of the third hour I had two 1.5lb skimmers one after the other and both leapt, salmon like, out of the water. I thought this might signal the start of a good spell but despite the swim fizzing like crazy I only added one more skimmer to put me on about 4lb of silvers with half the match gone. Brendon turned up and said he'd only had one skimmer and a few roach but I can never tell if he's telling the truth or not! I never added anymore fish while he was there (I knew he was a bloody jinx!). Bruce started getting odd carp on bread fished a few inches deep but I reckoned Alvin was still ahead as he was getting odd skimmers amongst his carp and he probably had around eight carp already.

Bites were very few and far between and Dan next door only had a couple of skimmers, hour four saw me add a couple 'fliers' plus a couple of blades and although I wasn't bagging I seemed to be doing better on silvers than anyone I could see, Ray Wickham was getting odd skimmers but like me he was having to wait ages for bites. I tried a piece of worm but but never had a bite on it. At the start of hour five I lost a carp at the net before catching four in four chucks and hoped this wouldn't set the scene for the rest of the match. Then I had three skimmers quite quickly to put me on about 6.5lb of silvers and I was hoping a good last hour might see me get close to double figures.

The last hour was pretty similar and I added two more carp and a couple more skimmers and I thought I might have 7.5lb of skimmers but would it be enough to sneak in as he was paying the top six plus the top three in silvers but more importantly had I beaten Brendon? As I packed up quite a few people had chucked back including Dan and the two anglers along from him. Glynn reckoned he'd only had a few pound of silvers and when I met Janders by the car, he said he'd struggled too! When we caught up with the scales we'd missed the first few pegs weighing in and glancing at the weigh board I could see the top silvers weight was John Green on peg 34 with 15lb 3oz and I knew I didn't have that, he was also the top weight so far with 22lb 7oz. Janders had 7lb 1oz and handed over a pound although he did try to say we should do it on the number of species as he'd had roach, skimmers, chublets and perch - nice try John!

Glynn on peg 22 had 9lb 2oz which included 3lb 2oz of silvers which just goes to show how hard it had fished. The next three didn't weigh and then it was my turn, my six carp weighed 10lb 6oz and I still thought my silvers would weigh 7-8lb and was very embarrassed when 13lb 2oz was called out to give me a 23lb 8oz total and I'd actually gone into the lead! I knew it wouldn't last though, Bruce had 18lb 12oz before Alvin pushed me into second place with 34lb 3oz although as he weighed 4lb 4oz of silvers I was another £1 better off! Ray Wickham had 7lb 12oz of silvers before his son Nigel had a level 8lb of silvers off the next peg. Adie Bishop then pushed me down to third when he weighed 24lb 5oz off peg 10. Brendon was actually telling the truth for once and had 4lb 6oz of carp and 3lb 6oz of silvers so I'd won that side bet as well - happy days! Martin Heard was last to weigh and I thought he'd beaten me as well but his final weight was 23lb 5oz and I'd done him by 3oz - even happier days!

Back at the results and I was called out in third place and picked up £60, so with the side bets I'd had a profitable day although I haven't had Glynn's yet but he'll probably win it back tomorrow.

A rather full weigh board ths week!

So quite a struggle for most and I've not known Long's to fish that hard before but lots of places are fishing rather oddly at the moment.

1 - Alvin Jones (Alvin Jones Car Care) - 34lb 3oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 24lb 5oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 23lb 8oz
4 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 23lb 5oz
5 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 19lb 3oz
6 - Bruce Hunt (Summerhayes) - 18lb 12oz

1 - John Green (Summerhayes) - 15lb 3oz
2 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 8lb
3 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 7lb 12oz

I'm back here tommorrow but on Sellicks so come back to see if Brendon and Glynn get their revenge!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dillington Pond - Summer League 8 - 19th August 2012

After some fairly rough weather in the week, the forecast was actually pretty good for the weekend. I got to the Royal Oak relatively early for me and the usual bunch were there apart from Richy who was off playing golf. I pulled out peg 6 on the field side and it was a bit of rush to get set up in time, I set up a 4 metre whip rig and a chopped worm rig but didn't have time to set up a shallow caster rig which I had intended to do. In fact I was still chopping worms when Rob blew for the all in.

When I was eventually ready I cupped in some choppie mix at 10 metres before starting on the whip, I tossed in a small nugget of groundbait and fed some casters and hemp over the top. I had a bite first chuck and swung in a 2oz roach, the first hour was pretty steady and I had 25 fish including some nice rudd and thought if I could keep that catch rate up I would do a decent weight. I couldn't really see what the others were doing but I guessed they would all be catching too.

The second hour started okay but rapidly went down hill, the first calamity happened when a decent roach came off and the rig ended up in the tree above me, I had to pull for a break and lost my hooklength. I untangled the rig and tied on a new hooklength and started catching again before the float went and I struck and it was just solid! I'd obviously hooked a big fish (perch or chub?) which then woke up and tore off, I stuck the whip under the water but it just kept going and then it snapped me, taking my rig and everything! I didn't know what to do next as I didn't have a spare whip rig (piss poor preparation) so shallowed up my chopped worm rig and tried fishing that on my whip line.

It just wasn't right though and I was bumping fish because the elastic was too heavy and I just knew I was falling behind the whip boys. Then up popped my whip rig just to my left, I managed to hook it with my pole but unfortunately the fish had gone. Clutching at straws a bit, I decided to set up the whip rig on a top three with a lighter elastic. I also fed my chopped worm line again as there were obviously some bigger fish about. Using the top three as an elasticated whip saw me hit more bites but going into hour three the bites were slowing up. I had struggled up to 46 fish after two hours and reached 70 after three.

The trouble was I felt I must be well behind Fieldy and Martin and was itching to try my chopped worm line. I got to 90 fish and couldn't wait any longer and slipped on a piece of worm and went out to ten metres and I was feeding casters quite heavily over the top. I had a few roach and tiny perch but no sign of any eels or big perch so for the last part of the match I came back on my short line. I actually caught quite well for the last half an hour and ended with 120 fish. I was convinced it wouldn't be enough for a pick up today though as Rob was only paying the top two and I knew Martin and Graham would have just got their heads down and fished the whip/short poles all match.

As I packed up Rob made his way round with the scales, Steve Parker had 7lb 6oz but had lost two chub which would have seen him weigh a lot more, Martin had 12lb 12oz (which was over 180 fish) and I knew I had nowhere near that, my fish went 9lb 7oz and then Fieldy said he didn't have 12lb but might push me and I knew that was that as all anglers are born liers! He actually weighed 12lb 11oz (around 140 fish) so it was pretty tight for the top two places although I reckon I'd have been a lot closer if I hadn't spent ages fannying around! Rob was last to weigh and had 4lb 10oz although he was suffering from a heavy night so had a good excuse!

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 12lb 12oz
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 12lb 11oz

Well that's me done at Dillington now as I miss the next two matches and I can't say I'm too upset. I'm at Summerhayes for the next four matches and I can't wait! I must say I'm also looking forward to getting back on the river, I hope it fishes well this season and the weather is kind to us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mission Impossible Update - 16th August 2012

Badge number three arrived today, for my perch caught at Dillington recently

I'm still hopeful I can get tench before the weather turns colder, come to think of it I've actually had tench, roach, carp, eels, crucians and rudd in recent matches but just haven't weighed them or had photos taken! When the river fishing starts, I'll hopefully be able to add dace and maybe pike and possibly barbel if I can arrange a trip.

Also my Thailand trip approaches fast, I wonder if they do badges for siamese carp and redtail catfish!

Badges so far

Perch - 1lb 7oz - Dillington Pond
Bream - 2lb 13oz - Chard Reservoir
Chub - 3lb 5oz - River Isle

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 12th August 2012

I was really looking forward to getting back to Summerhayes and hopefully a nice days skimmer fishing. But with 29 fishing, Pete had decided to use Sellicks and Lily and I was desperate to avoid Lily as a good weight of silvers on there is 10lb and that won't normally be enough to compete against Sellicks. I'd picked Janders up and when we got there, Brendon was there and he had been texting me all week to say he was going to whoop my ass again (what is it with him and my ass!). Pete announced the draw and I hung back hoping most of the pegs on Lily would go before I delved in. Brendon pulled out a peg on Lily and of course I didn't laugh (much!) but then poor Janders also ended up on there as well and blamed me for going on about it all the way there in the car!

I pulled out peg 13 on Sellicks (phew) and I have struggled on it the last time I was there but it has been producing some good silvers weights lately. I had the owner Pete on 12 and a silvers side bet was soon arranged. Rob Birch was my left hand neighbour. My peg has loads of lilies on the inside and a small island to the left, basically carp city but as always I would target the silvers and hopefully have a nice day. As me, Janders and Brendon weren't on the same lake we decided to have a £1 each winner takes all on overall weight.

I set up two Malman 0.6 gram Pencils and a dibber for fishing just off the island but didn't really expect to pick this rig up. The all in was shouted and I cupped in half a pot of micros at 10 metres and some 6mm pellets by the island before starting on my skimmer line with a 4mm expander on the hook. The rig settled and the float slid away and I was soon netting my first decent skimmer, great start and I hoped it would be the first of many. I had a few blades before catching my first carp but no more proper skimmers, which was a tad worrying. Nobody around me was catching and all of a sudden it looked like it was going to be hard. I did manage a little tench before the end of the first hour but stuck at it as I was sure the decent skimmers would move in at some stage.

The second hour was worse and apart from a few tiny skimmers and another carp, I was really struggling but then so were Rob, Pete and Ray Wickham. There were loads of carp moving about and I thought about setting up a shallow rig but I didn't have many 6mm pellets with me and kept thinking the skimmer line would have to improve. The swim was fizzing but I could still only catch small skims so decided to dump in a pot of micros and have a look by the island. I slipped on a banded pellet on my dibber rig and toss potted in a few of my meagre supply of 6mm's and had a few indications but the only fish I had was another tiny skimmer so chucked that rig up the bank.

I went back over the 10 metre line but if anything it was now worse and I couldn't buy a bite! With half the match gone, I was just going through the motions as nobody around me was catching apart from the odd carp. Mark Leahy was walking and said he'd caught quite a few skimmers up in the water so maybe that was why I couldn't catch? He also said Brendon was catching silvers quite well on Lily and had around 5lb which meant I was a long way behind him. I really should have set that shallow rig up for carp but felt I'd be too far behind others who had gone for carp from the start.

I was getting odd carp on soft pellet and so were Rob and Pete, Ray seemed to be catching carp quite well although he was losing a few too. With about an hour to go, Scotty turned up and while he was talking to Pete I hooked my first fish for ages and netted a cute little crucian but I was sure it wouldn't do me any good and was resigned to my worst day at Summerhayes for ages. Scotty sat behind me for a bit and and I missed several bites while he was there which he reckoned were liners. I did manage a couple more carp and a few more blades to end with 24 fish (7 carp, 1 decent skimmer, 1 tench, 1 crucian plus blades) and I knew I wouldn't be picking up today. The only reason I was going to weigh in was for the various side bets.

I packed up and met Janders and Brendon by the car, Janders had struggled and was still blaming me for him drawing on Lily, Brendon was admitting to 7lb of skimmers and 5 small carp and said I'd beaten him today which immediately made me suspicious as he tells so many porkies he can't even lie straight in bed! As the weigh in started it became apparent that it hadn't fished that well at all with several people not bothering the scales and Mark Leahy had chucked back 6-7lb of silvers. The early leader was Eric Fouracre with 45lb, which included 8lb 9oz of silvers from peg 8. Ray Wickham had 34lb 5oz from peg 11 and Pete had 27lb 2oz but crucially only had 1lb 10oz of silvers. My seven carp weighed 14lb 1oz and then my silvers weighed 4lb 5oz to give me a 18lb 6oz total (so I had a £1 to come from Pete at least), Brendon once again repeated he had nowhere near that! Rob Birch had 25lb 14oz but had suffered from a carp leaping back out of his keepnet (they really are good at that here!).

Jamie Parkhouse on peg 15 then went to the top of the leader board with 63lb 14oz, Alvin on the next peg had 24lb 1oz but his net included 12lb 4oz of skimmers and I couldn't see anyone beating that today. There was a 37lb 8oz from peg 19 and Glyn Wickham had 43lb next door, even he said he couldn't catch silvers and only had 2lb 13oz of them, pegs 21, 22 and 23 didn't weigh which just goes to show how tough it had been for most. Then we got to Lily and in the early pegs Steve Jackson was top weight with 35lb 11oz from peg 4, then Bruce Hunt had 47lb 1oz from peg 10 to go into second place. Janders had really struggled for 3lb 12oz, Bill on 12 had 28lb 14oz before we got to Billy Bullshitter (Brendon Ions) on peg 14, his 'small' carp weighed 12lb and I knew he'd pip me with his silvers, which to be fair he wasn't too far off his estimate of 7lb as he weighed 7lb 12oz to give him a 19lb 12oz total.

Billy won the £3 side bet but worse still, it looked like he'd frame in the silvers as Pete was paying three today and I knew the gloating would reach epic proportions and I don't think he'll have enough credit on his phone for all the texts I will be getting! He'd had a lot of small fish for a decent weight of silvers on Lily but had to resort to getting his canal rigs out and fishing pinkie and squatt for them! The side bet score is 4-3 to me and I need to beat him next time or he'll pull level and I'll have to buy ear plugs and turn my phone off!

Back at the results and with Eric Fouracre framing, Billy was actually second in the silvers behind Alvin and I made a point of telling him he was only second by default and then wished I hadn't said anything as I was called out in third and picked up £18 which keeps my good little run of brown envelopes going. I didn't get my pound off of Pete though so it will have to be double or quits next time.

Today's weigh board, there were quite a few DNW's

It was really hard going today and the silvers just didn't want to know although I reckon Mark Leahy chucked back a framing silvers weight! I'm dying to get back on Longs but I think it'll be on Sellicks again in two weeks time.

1 - Jamie Parkhouse (Summerhayes) - 63lb 14oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Summerhayes) - 47lb 1oz
3 - Eric Fouracre (Sedges) - 45lb
4 - Glyn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 43lb
5 - 37lb 8oz (sorry, couldn't read the name on the board!)


1 - Alvin Jones (Alvin Jones Car Care) - 12lb 4oz
2 - Brendon Ions (Torquay Tarts & Bullshitters) - 7lb 12oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 4lb 5oz

Next Sunday I'm back at Dillington so come back to see how I get on, I must admit I'm not overly looking forward to it as fishing the whip does my head in but you just can't compete otherwise. I'm not knocking it as you get plenty of bites out there and there are some quality roach being caught, it's just not my cup of tea.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Coking Farm - Tackleuk Open - 11th August 2012

I saw Tackleuk were holding an open at Coking Farm and after talking to Scotty about the venue, I booked in. I'd never fished the venue before and Scott said you would need around 25 carp to win and that they average 3-4lb apiece. I was up at 6:30 which is unheard of for me before meeting Scotty in Ilminster and then picking up Roger in Ilchester. We made a quick pit stop at Mcdonalds in Sparkford for breakfast before making our way to the venue and I can heartily recommend the breakfast wrap!

When we got there some of the other anglers had already arrived including Bait Tech's Steve Tucker. Scotty walked round to peg the pond and fish could be seen moving everywhere, he said he'd be fishing shallow although the straight lead to the island also works well but as I didn't have any rods or reels with me, I would be fishing the pole all day! A lot of fish could be seen in peg 7 so I was quite pleased when I pulled out peg 8. You can drive to and park behind your pegs so I was soon setting up. I had my Garbolino with me again today and made sure I had two pole rollers with me as I expected to be fishing 13 metres all day.

Scotty pegging out

I set up three dibbers all at different depths all with 0.14mm bottoms and B911's with a hair rigged band for fishing hard pellets. I only had 6mm pellets and Scott said that rudd and roach can sometimes be a problem so he let me have some 8mm pellets. The only anglers I could see were Scott and Roger and the chap in peg 7. Although it was a bright, sunny day there was quite a strong gusty wind which put off any chance of me going further than 13 metres.

My peg for the day

Scotty blew for the start and most people started on the lead or method feeder, I went straight out with a rig set about three foot deep with a 6mm pellet and started feeding 6mm pellets over the top. I was getting indications straight away and started catching 6oz roach and a slightly better hybrid but I knew I wouldn't win anything with them so switched to 8mm pellets. My first proper fish was a foulhooked 2.5lb skimmer, I then had a carp but lost one next chuck which I suspect was foulhooked so I shallowed up a little bit. I could hear lots of splashing from the guy on my right and I could see Scotty and Roger getting odd fish too.

I was still getting lots of knocks from small fish so upped my feed and this combined with the bigger pellet seemed to work as I added another four big skimmers in the first hour and probably had getting on for 20lb, which was bang on target. I felt if I could catch five decent fish an hour I would do a good weight. The second hour was similar and I added four more carp and two more skimmers and there seemed to be a lot of fish out there. Scott was still catching well on the tip although from all the swearing I guessed Roger was losing a few on the next peg to him.

In the third hour, I had a funny half hour where I lost a carp and then next chuck hooked another which I had under control and was down to the top two when it made a beeline for the reeds on my right and was successful and I had to pull for a break and lost my hooklength. I landed the next carp but missed the second roller while shipping back and lifted the pole off the front roller because I didn't want the wind to blow it over. After unhooking the carp and firing out some feed I went to ship out but the butt section was rubbing against the leg and screw of the back roller, not wanting to scratch my shiny, nearly new pole I went to try and lift it away from the leg by the number four section and you can guess what happened next! Yep, there was a sickening crunch as the number four section snapped in half - what a doofus!

Luckily it was a fairly clean break and I was able to telescope it through and wrapped some gaffer tape around it and was soon back in action. I was still catching quite well and felt I was ahead of the guy on my left as he'd had a slow start. By the halfway mark I had 11 carp and 7 decent skimmers but was a long way behind Scotty who I heard say to Rog that he'd had 24 carp and probably already had 100lb! The fourth hour was a bit slower and I tried not feeding and slapping the rig in and would get odd fish and even had to put my third keepnet in. With two hours to go I felt there was a good chance I could break the 'ton' for the first time and beat my biggest match weight in the process.

The penultimate hour was similar although the wind was making presentation difficult and if I could have used a shorter rig I think I'd have caught a lot more. I got to 29 fish with an hour to go but then lost two fish in two put ins before reaching my target of 30 fish with 45 mins still left on the clock. Scotty was now catching on the pole and was looking good for yet another match win. I had two more carp and was on 32 fish with 10 mins left, then I hooked another and it was obviously a good fish, I was still playing it when the all out was called and eventually netted a 8lb mirror five minutes after the whistle. I ended with 24 carp, 9 good skimmers and a couple pounds of bits and really had no clue what weight I had although I hoped I'd done enough to break the 100lb mark.

Scotty had finished up with 42 carp and was admitting to around 160lb, I missed the first few pegs weighing in and when I caught up with the scales, Steve Tucker was leading with 107lb 8oz and as he'd had over thirty carp, all of a sudden I wasn't so sure I had the weight I thought I had! Scotty weighed a fantastic 165lb 6oz to go into the lead and the only person who could come close was Ashley who had around 35 carp but before we got to him it was my turn. My first carp net went 43lb 2oz and then my second carp net (which had a couple more in) weighed 55lb 2oz to put me on 98lb 4oz with my silver net to go. My silvers weighed a level 23lb to give me a total of 121lb 4oz and I'd smashed my previous best match weight by more than 40lb! I also went into second place but this only lasted until we got to Ash who weighed 152lb 14oz and pushed me down into third.

Me with part of my 121lb 4oz catch

I picked up £30 for third which will help pay for a new pole section and I was quite pleased with my first visit here. Talking to Ash afterwards he said he'd caught on a really shallow rig (which I hadn't tried) and he fed a lot more than I did, which is worth remembering for next time.

1 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 165lb 6oz
2 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 152lb 14oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 121lb 4oz
4 - Steve Tucker (Bait Tech) - 107lb 8oz

Todays weigh board, four 'ton' plus weights and good backing weights too

Tomorrow I'm back at Summerhayes for part two of my double header and originally it was going to be on Sellicks but apparently he's got 28 booked in and is going to use Lily too! So if I get pegged on Lily any chance of a nice days silvers fishing is out the window, maybe he'll stick us on Longs!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dillington Pond - Summer League 7 - 5th August 2012

The pond has been fishing well in recent matches with 16-17lb weights needed to win and some quality roach featuring but that has been with plenty of colour in the water but that had dropped out today. I must admit I wasn't really looking forward to fishing the whip all match so decided to fish a 10 metre pole line as well. At the draw there were only six of us and I really fancied pegs 17 or 18 and luck was on my side this morning as I managed to pull out 18. I had Richy White next door (on 17) and a £1 side bet was soon organised.

I set up the usual crowquill whip rig and also a Drennan 0.5 gram Tipo for fishing the longer line. I mixed up some groundbait (50-50 Sensas Lake and Roach) and on the whistle cupped in three balls containing maggots, casters and hemp on the 10 metre line before starting on the 4 metre whip. I was feeding casters and hemp with caster on the hook and was getting bites straight away but missing loads. After an hour I had 20 roach including some better ones and was just ahead of Richy at this early stage. I could see Fieldy and Heardy opposite catching quite well and was sure they would already be ahead of me. I was also feeding down towards the reeds to my left and getting odd fish from there as well but was missing/bumping/dropping off way too many fish.

I got to about 40 fish after two hours and was already fed up with the whip so tried my longer line but there were so many small fish, the bait just wouldn't reach the bottom. After three fish I gave that up for a bad job and carried on getting odd roach, rudd and perch on the whip. From what I could see nobody was really bagging and I didn't think 17lb would win it today. With that in mind I decided to cup in some chopped worm at 10 metres and see if I could catch some eels which would boost my weight. I carried on getting the odd fish for the next half an hour before feeding another pot of chopped worm. I flicked the whip out while I changed my hooklength on the pole from 0.10 to 0.12mm and switched to a heavier elastic. I noticed I had a bite on the whip and struck into a 4oz eel so at least I knew there were some about!

With over half the match gone, I was still ahead of Richy who had around 40 fish to my 61 so thought I'd try my worm line. I shipped out with the head of a worm on and started getting bites from small perch and the odd better roach straight away, I was feeding casters quite heavily over the top so hopefully some would be getting down to the eels. Richy came up and said he was struggling a bit now and while he was with me I had my first eel of around 4oz from the chopped worm line. I was still getting quite a few roach and perch so cupped in some more worm and caster before going back on the whip for 30 minutes. The whip line had now slowed up and I just added a few more small roach before deciding to spend the last 45 minutes over the worm.

I'd just gone back out when I saw Fieldy playing something a bit more substantial and he netted a 1.5lb perch to put him in the driving seat. Then Richy shouted up that he'd just had a decent hybrid and he was now closing the gap between us. As I looked back my float slid away and I hooked something that felt a lot better and I was glad I'd upgraded my hooklength, I eventually netted a decent perch which was probably around the same size as Fieldy's and felt I was up around there. I was hopeful of getting another eel or two but only added a few small fish in the last 20 minutes. I finished with 90 fish and when I heard Fieldy say he'd had 89 I thought it might be close for second as Heardy had 156 fish and would probably win yet again.

The scales started on the far side and when they reached us, Heardy had weighed 11lb 5oz, I asked Fieldy what he'd weighed and he replied 12lb 7oz which took me by surprise but then he said he's actually had 189 fish! So that confirms it, all fishermen are compulsive liers (me included). Steve Parker had weighed 5lb 6oz and Rob had 6lb 7oz and then Richy weighed 5lb 11oz.

Richy with his 5lb 11oz

I had no clue what weight I had but I did know I hadn't beaten Fieldy or Heardy but had I done enough for third? Yes was the answer as my fish weighed 9lb 9oz and out of interest I weighed the perch which was 1lb 7oz and I'll enter it for Mission Impossible badge number three!

My 1lb 7oz perch

Fieldy won his second match on the trot

1 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 12lb 7oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 11lb 5oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 9lb 9oz

I picked up £15 for third and a pound off Richy but had bumped/missed enough fish to have won it but I'm sure the others had missed plenty of bites as well. I'm not a fan of whip fishing and I'm glad I've only got to fish a couple more matches here as it would just do my head in. I've said it before but if the club thinned out the small fish (which would do the river the world of good), it could be a cracking venue and the addition of some more skimmers wouldn't do it any harm either.

Anyway, next week I'm back at Summerhayes so pop back to see if I can keep this good run going and if I can get my revenge on Brendon and win my pound back!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Summerhayes - Open - 1st August 2012

As I've got the week off, I booked into the match on Sellicks today, Brendon was also fishing and had been texting me loads about how he was going to whoop my ass again (I'm starting to get a bit worried about his fixation with my ass!). The forecast wasn't great today with fairly strong winds and rain on the cards. There were fourteen fishing today which is pretty good for a midweeker. Pete announced the draw and Brendon pulled out peg 2 which he wasn't overly pleased with and to be fair it's not a great silvers peg, I said I quite fancied 19 or 21 and pulled out the latter and was well chuffed.

I had Ian Dawe on my right, nobody in 22 and Bruce was in 23 and said he'd be going for silvers, Roy Hughes (another silvers angler) was on 18. I set the usual 0.6 gram Malman pencils up and also a paste rig but with the wind, I never picked it up all day. With the wind I decided to fish down the middle at about 8.5 metres, where I could control the pole comfortably. For bait I just had Bait Tech 4mm expanders, micros and I also had some worm left from the weekend as a change of hookbait.

The all in was shouted and I cupped in half a pot of micros down the middle and went straight over it with a sort pellet. I had to wait 5 minutes for my first bite and was soon netting a 4oz skimmer, three more followed before I had a decent one and probably had 1.5lb in the first 30 mins and felt a good weight was on the cards. Then I've lost a good skimmer on the way in and next chuck lost a foulhooked carp and things started to go pear shaped. I was still getting a bite every put in but from small blades of about 1-2oz apiece and then I had my first vermin (carp).

The next hour only saw me catch blades and the odd carp, I even tried worm but just had tiny fish on that. I did manage two more proper skimmers to put me on 2.5lb and my catch rate needed to improve if I was to stand any chance. The third hour started the same and I felt I needed to do something so cupped in a full pot of micros at 8.5 metres before coming a section short and toss potting in some pellets there. Two more small blades from this line and I was soon back over my main line, I then had a decent 1lb+ skimmer to put me on about 3.5lb. Brendon turned up and said he was struggling and probably had 2.5lb and from what I could see around me, nobody was catching much in the way of silvers. Bruce had given up on the silvers and was now catching odd carp.

After Brendon left I had another skimmer plus blades, another carp and two more skims to put me on about 5lb of silvers at the halfway point. I reckoned 10lb would be a good weight today. Ian on the next peg was fishing a similar line to me and was getting odd skimmers and carp and I could see Roy netting odd fish as well. I would get a couple of decent skimmers before reverting to catching blades and the odd carp. In the fourth hour the ratio of carp to skimmers increased and I found myself playing carp for long periods although the pulla bungs helped but I did manage another couple of skimmers to put me on about 6lb of silvers with two hours to go. I thought if I could catch eight more proper skimmers it would give me my 10lb target.

The fifth hour was pretty much the same and I had more tiny skimmers, plus another couple of carp and a couple of skimmers to put me on about 7lb with an hour to go. I was missing quite a few bites which I put down to small fish and I tried not feeding until I caught another fish but it didn't really work. I got off to a good start in the last hour with two decent skimmers in two chucks to put me 8lb but then suffered a run of carp. I still felt I could get close to my target but the remaining 30 minutes only saw me put a few more small fish in the net. I finished with 52 fish which included 10 carp and normally 20 silvers will get you 10lb but today I'd had a lot of small fish and thought my 8lb estimate wouldn't be too far off.

Brendon shouted across and said he'd had about 8lb, so it could be close today for the £1 side bet. Bruce had ended up with 23 carp and Martin had 21 so the overall winner would come from one of those two today. After some early showers it actually turned out quite nice and even the wind died off for the latter part of the match. I packed up and went round to watch the weigh in which would start with Brendon, Adie Bishop said Brendon had around 4lb of silvers and even Brendon started to say he thought he had about 6lb instead of his initial 8lb estimate which I thought a little odd. I started to think he'd done better than he was admitting and he was woefully under estimating his weight.

Pete arrived with the scales and Brendon had a couple of carp for 5lb 8oz and when he pulled his silvers net out, it was obvious he'd done well. Pete called out a level 16lb to give him 21lb 8oz total. Now I know I'm crap at estimating weights but he was 200% out with his guess!!!!! I gave him my pound as I knew I didn't have that and was hoping there wouldn't be any other decent silvers nets. He'd done well off peg 2 (which isn't a known silvers peg), especially after struggling early on but I knew I'd now have to suffer loads of gloating from him for weeks to come!

Adie Bishop had 35lb 9oz on the next peg to set the bar before a chap called Martin (not Heardy) on peg 6 took over the lead with 38lb 2oz before Heardy stormed to the top of the leader board with 56lb 7oz from peg 13. Steve Jackson moved into second place with 41lb 13oz from peg 15 before Roy Hughes had 11lb 4oz of skimmers to go into second place in the silvers and I thought I'd miss out today. Ian next to me had 7lb 12oz of skimmers and 17lb 12oz of carp before it was my turn. My ten carp weighed 19lb 10oz before my silvers went 14lb 3oz which was more than I thought (for a change!) and put me into second place but it was agonisingly one skimmer short of Brendon's weight. Then Bruce came close but his 23 carp plus a few bits weighed 49lb 8oz to put him in second place overall.

Today's weigh board

1 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 56lb 7oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 49lb 8oz
3 - Steve Jackson (Summerhayes) - 41lb 13oz
4 - Martin H (Summerhayes) - 38lb 2oz

1 - Brendon Ions (Torquay Tarts) - 16lb
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 14lb 3oz

So I picked up £17 for the silvers second and had a really enjoyable days fishing but had made a few schoolboy errors today. With the tow on the pond I should have tried laying some line on the bottom with worm and I also should have dotted my float down to a pimple as I had quite a few tentative bites that didn't develop. Oh well, next time I will do better!

On Sunday I'm at Dillington but I'm a bit out of touch there so come back to see how I get on.

P.S. it didn't take long for the gloating to start, I had a text from Brendon as soon as I got home saying how he was awesome today and that he was going to lay in bed naked with my pound tonight (I knew he was a strange lad that one!).