Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summerhayes - Open - 28th July 2013

The match this week was on Sellicks and Janders was coming along too, at the draw there was a good turnout of 17 anglers although I have to say I'm not a big fan of the 11 'o' clock draw time as it means I don't get home until gone eight. As always it was windy and it was blowing down towards pegs 1 and 23 meaning these had to be the favoured pegs. I drew peg 5 which I was pretty happy with as it's a good silvers peg. After last weeks disappointing match I was going back to my tried and trusted Bait Tech 4mm expanders over micros this week.

I set up two Malman pencil floats, 0.6 and 0.4 grams, both had 0.10mm bottoms and size 18 Tubertini 808's at the business end. On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros at 10 metres straight out in front and then the same angled to my right in the one 'o' clock position. I also fed half a pot at 4 metres in front of me. I started with an expander on the hook and after 5 mins the float slid away and my first fish was a small carp which wasn't ideal. Next put in I had a decent skimmer to get me up and running, I moved to the other 10 metre line and had a small skimmer followed by a better one and was catching well. Adam Palmer turned up for a look around and said Glynn Wickham was catching carp in peg 23 so at least that was one less silvers angler to worry about.

Nobody else seemed to be catching much around me with the exception of Mark Hanham who was flying in peg 2 and is on a right roll at the moment. I was toss potting in a few micros every chuck and swapping lines after every couple of bites and after the first hour I had five skimmers for about 3lb plus that carp and was bang on target for a good weight as 16lb had won the silvers in the mid-week match. I was also feeding some soaked 4mm pellets by hand on the 4 metre line.

Hour two was similar and I added five more skimmers and another nuisance carp to give me 5lb of silvers, I did bump two and lost a good one on the way in as well. The wind was hideous and it was a real struggle to hold ten metres but I was getting enough bites to keep me interested. Going into the third hour and I started to miss bites so when I had a small blade, I thought I'd try a banded 6mm pellet to try and sort out the better fish. First put in I had a good skimmer and then a little foul hooked carp, followed by a couple more skimmers and a roach and thought I'd sorted it.

I've then missed a bite but connected with a fish and it was obvious I'd foulhooked a carp up the bum, I wasn't too concerned if it came off so had the top two parallel with my bank and the white hydro was stretched across to the far bank. Using the pulla bung it was coming slowly but surely and I managed to put the pan under a five pounder which was a bit of a bonus. My right hand line was fizzing and next chuck I've hooked another carp but this one did me under Alan's keepnet on the next peg - whoops!

After tying on another hooklength I had a couple more skimmers but bites were becoming less frequent and the wind was getting worse. As nobody on my side was catching much I decided to stick at it and probably had around 8lb of silvers with two hours to go. Scotty arrived to see how it was going and my swim had slowed right up, I missed a couple of bites while he was there and then had a little blade on an expander so went back to banded pellet for the rest of the match but it was a struggle. I had a few more carp but only one more 8oz skimmer to give me about 8.5lb of silvers and as the whistle went I was playing my eighth carp.

I finished up with 19 skimmers, a single roach plus those carp and was a bit gutted my swim had faded so badly in the latter part of the match. I was left wishing I'd tried the four metre line which I'd fed all day but not tried once! And I also think if I'd gone back to expander I might have had a few more fish. With Pete not fishing today the scales were soon at peg 2 and Mark weighed an excellent 98lb 13oz and looked set for yet another win. Mind you I think a spare peg either side and the wind blowing into his swim helped! Alan Jenkins didn't weigh on peg 4 and then it was my turn, my carp weighed 19lb 2oz and my silvers went 11lb 7oz which was better than I thought. I must have had 11lb of that in the first three hours and I was hoping my poor second half hadn't cost me.

Brian Green (a mate of Bill Hoppings) on peg 6 had struggled for 10lb 5oz and Richard D next door to Brian had 15lb odd. Roger didn't weigh in peg 8 neither did Blaker in peg 10 which just shows how tough it had been on our side with that horrible wind. Heardy had 27lb 11oz in peg 11 and Dave Bull had struggled in peg 12 for 5lb 6oz. The pegs at the top end which had been a bit sheltered did a bit better and Rob Birch had 27lb 4oz in peg 13 and Nigel Wickham went into second place with 60lb 11oz from peg 14.

Bill 'The Paste' Hopping continued his good run with 72lb 7oz from peg 15, he'd beaten his mate Brian for a pound but only got paid 60p! John Pear had 22lb 5oz from peg 17 and Janders had 12lb and gave me a pound. Young Reece had 16lb 6oz from peg 20 and I was still leading the silvers with only a couple of pegs to weigh, the trouble was Adie Bishop was admitting to a decent weight of silvers and said it could be close. The scales reached Adie's peg and he had 31lb 10oz of carp and when he pulled his silvers net out, I knew he'd beaten me, his silvers went 14lb to push me into second. Last to weigh was Glynn Wickham and he had 84lb 1oz of carp to go into second place overall.

I picked up £19 for my silvers second and had enjoyed a decent days fishing (apart from the poxy wind!) but I was left scratching my head a bit as to why after three good hours, the silvers just disappeared. Also, nobody seemed to have read the rule book today, you had confirmed silvers anglers Glynn and Nigel fishing for carp and Adie 'I hate skimmers' Bishop winning the silvers! Personally I think the real Glynn, Nigel and Adie had been abducted by aliens but hopefully normal service will be resumed next week!

'What have you done with the real Glynn Wickham?'
Next Sunday the match is on Longs and after Pete lost a lot of skimmers due to oxygen problems during the week it will be interesting to see how it fishes and I think it will give him an idea of how many are left.

Really good weights despite the wind

1 - Mark Hanham (Summerhayes) - 98lb 13oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 84lb 1oz
3 - Bill 'The Paste' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 72lb 7oz
4 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 60lb 11oz

1 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 14lb
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 11lb 7oz

Next up - Summerhayes (Longs)

What's new - Lots of page updates today

Check Out - Andy and me by the seaside (below)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Return To Seaton - 27th July 2013

I've been gagging to get back down to Seaton after those mullet and with all the nice weather we've been having, Andy said he fancied another trip. I was awake pretty early and looking forward to it although the sky was a bit grey. As always I was a bit late picking Andy up and after a quick pit stop to pick up some bread and drinks etc, we were off. On arriving the tide was right in and it looked really nice.

First stop was the tackle shop to get some bits of terminal tackle and then we had a lovely bacon and sausage sarnie from the café next door. We went round to our normal spot in the slacker water off the end of the moored boats and set up some crystal floats with size 12 Kamasan Animal Barbless hooks. Andy had liquidised some bread and fed some while we were setting up. As always our first few casts were full of anticipation but this soon dissolved when we had no indications.

With the tide going out fast we also tried in the main river but despite seeing a mullet leap out of the water we had still not managed any interest on our bread flake hook baits. Back in our original swim I had a couple of positive bites but missed them and after a further half an hour with no action I started to question whether they were bites at all.

When it started to rain, Andy decided he was going for a walk to get some fish and chips (so at least he would see one fish today!), he'd got as far as the main mooring area for the boats when he started waving frantically and pointing at the water. I thought perhaps he'd finally lost the plot but he came running back, all thoughts of food forgotten, and said there were dozens of mullet in by the boats. We gathered our gear and walked up there and sure enough, there they were, bow waving and  cruising about, fish from a couple of pounds up to four pound plus.

Andy hoping a crafty mullet would take his bait
As we cast out, all the excitement and anticipation was back, they were everywhere and a good fish even came up to take some bread right by our feet. Despite having dozens around our floats we just couldn't get a bite! With the tide still going out at a rapid rate, where we were fishing was getting shallower by the minute. Then out of the blue we started to get some lightening fast bites but just couldn't hit them. I could certainly see why people find mullet fishing so frustrating.

Mullet city!
It was now raining hard and the tide had gone right out and the water was only inches deep in front of us, we could still see those mullet but they were further out towards the main channel. Andy didn't have a coat and even though I had one, I was still pretty moist so we decided to call it a day. We drove back a little disappointed but at the same time quite excited that we'd seen so many fish. Although very frustrating this mullet fishing is addictive and we both agreed we couldn't wait to come back for another go and as long as the weather is nice, we'll be back next Saturday.

Next up - Summerhayes (Sellicks)

What's new - News pages updated

Check Out - My last match at Summerhayes (below)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summerhayes - Open - 21st July 2013

I was really looking forward to this one as I haven't fished Longs for ages, speaking to Scotty who has been doing really well with silvers in the last two matches (weighing 46lb and 67lb), he had been catching on paste really short and said that my usual expander approach would just get ragged out by small fish. I decided to give the paste a go but as I've never really fished it before, it could be a recipe for disaster. So I wouldn't get distracted I took just some 4mm pellets which I had soaked the night before, some Ringers paste and some of the new Bait Tech Red Super Method Mix which I had mixed up in advance and it smelt great with a slight spicy aroma.

I fed one of the new Bait Tech groundbaits on the inside line
Scott also advised getting two silvers nets as there was a 50lb limit but bearing in mind my best silvers weight is 23lb odd I thought that was a bit optimistic. On arrival I collected a carp net and two silvers nets and hoped I hadn't just jinxed things. I paid my pools and had a quick coffee while chatting to some of the anglers including Charlie Barnes who I hadn't seen for years. Pete announced the draw and I pulled out peg 25 which I was fairly pleased with and had Pete on 23 and Ron Stark on 27 as Pete had pegged all the odd numbers today.

Longs looking up from peg 24
I put two nets in and laid them out parallel with the bank to leave the inside paste line free and set up two Malman paste floats one for 6 metres and the other for the inside at just two sections, both had Preston PR478 hooks in a size 12 to 0.12mm bottoms and both top kits had white hydro in them. I also set up a MW F1 float but I never picked it up all day. With no Janders today (he was on the reservoir) I had a side bet with Pete and another with Glynn Wickham.

Glynn was keen to have a side bet
The whistle went and I cupped in a big pot of 4mm's at 6 metres before putting in several big cups of loose groundbait on the short line along with some pellets. I wrapped a marble size lump of paste around the hook and popped it into the Preston paste pot with some pellets and shipped out to 6 metres before rotating the pole to deposit the payload. The rig settled and after about ten minutes I missed the first bite and then missed the next one too! I could already see this paste fishing would be frustrating. I hit the third bite and it was obviously a carp and I was soon netting a two pounder. I was making sure I kept feeding the inside with pellets and was keeping an eye out for bubbles as Scotty said he'd had loads of fizzing.

Pete was getting odd silvers and so was Ron but it was early days yet. My next fish was a leaping skimmer and I was off the mark. That was my only action of the first hour and I was gagging to try the inside even though I hadn't seen any activity. I shipped back and swapped over to the other paste rig which didn't have a paste pot on as there was no need. I lowered it in and couldn't wait for the bagging to start. I was getting lots of little dinks and lifts but no proper bites and I was starting to get a little concerned at the lack of action when out of the blue I had two skimmers in two chucks. I thought they'd arrived but then went back to struggling.

All of a sudden there was a mass eruption of bubbles by the float and then the orange tip disappeared and a good fish was on, the white hydro streamed out before stopping and from the way the elastic was waving it was obvious I had foulhooked a carp, using the pulla bung I gave it some stick only to see an olive green tail come flapping up! I eased off a bit and netted a beautiful 2.5lb tench hooked in the tail. When I had a 2lb skimmer next chuck I was up to about 6lb of silvers which was a long way off the pace after two hours. I also bumped a couple of fish and lost a good one which I think was foulhooked.

Pete was also getting fish in fits and spurts and Ron was now fishing for carp, hour three only saw me catch odd fish and I added another good skimmer, a 1lb perch foulhooked under the chin! and an 8oz roach plus another nuisance carp to give me about 8lb plus the two carp at the halfway point. I was starting to wish I'd just fished with expanders and micros like I normally do. At a bit of a loss I dug a pot of soft pellets out of my carryall but these just resulted in a small roach which dropped off. I fed some more groundbait and pellets on the short line before having another try on the 6 metre line.

Three carp in four chucks soon saw me back on the inside as I was never going to compete with carp at this late stage. Ron was catching carp quite well but Pete had slowed up on the silvers although I felt he was just ahead of me for the pound. With an hour to go I picked up the other paste rig and stuck one section on the top two to fish just past my short line at about three metres. I started getting some more positive bites although the first fish I hooked was another poxy carp.

I then had two 2lb skimmers in as many chucks to put me on about 12lb, another carp muscled in on the action and then I've had my first crucian and just before the all out I had my last fish, a 12oz skimmer. I was left wondering if I'd fished a bit longer earlier, whether I'd have done a decent weight or was it just the time of day, Pete enjoyed a late purple patch as well and I reckon the pound would be close. I packed up and had a lovely drink of orange which I'd frozen the night before.

Pete asked what weight I had and I said about 12lb, he thought he had 12-15lb so we would have to wait for the scales. When I caught up with the scales, Bill 'The Paste' Hopping was leading the way with an excellent 93lb 6oz of carp and Jim Jenner was lying in second place with 54lb 2oz from peg 35. Ray Wickham then set the bar really high for the silvers with 21lb 8oz and when Martin Addicot had 15lb 4oz of silvers I knew I wouldn't be picking up today. Ron had 35lb odd and I thought he had a bit more than that and then it was my turn. My carp weighed 14lb 14oz and my silvers 13lb 10oz to give me a 28lb 8oz total.

Pete only had a few carp but would he claim a pound off me?, no was the answer as his silvers weighed 12lb 8oz and those last few fish had swung it for me. I didn't watch the rest of the weigh in but I knew Mark Leahy had done well and Glynn Wickham was also saying it would be tight between him and his Dad so I would be giving him the pound I had only just won!

Back at the results and Bill had won it with Mark Hanham continuing his good run in second with 73lb 4oz. Mark Leahy was third with 55lb and Jim last in the money with 54lb 2oz. Ray and Glynn made it a Wickham one-two in the silvers.

Well I'd caught a few fish on paste but I should have done better and I wish now I'd taken some micros and expanders and fished those on a 10 metre line and then fished the paste at 5 metres. So food for thought for next time.

Todays weighboard

1 - Bill 'The Paste' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 93lb 6oz
2 - Mark Hanham (Summerhayes) - 73lb 4oz
3 - Mark Leahy (Street) - 55lb
4 - Jim Jenner (Summerhayes) - 54lb 2oz

1 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 21lb 8oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 18lb 14oz

Next up - Mullet fishing at Seaton

What's new - Lots of pages updates and the latest Chard AC and Ilminster AA results on the news page

Check Out - New Bait Tech products review below

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Bait Tech Groundbaits Review

Anybody who knows me or reads this blog regularly will by now have realised I'm a big fan of Bait Tech products. Their expander pellets in my opinion are the best in the business and I've enjoyed a lot of success with the 4mm's at Summerhayes. They are a company that doesn't rest on it's laurels and they are continually bringing out new products and they also put a lot back into the sport. They sponsored my local Chard Reservoir league last year and on the first match Steve Tucker brought along a box of groundbait and gave all the competitors a bag to try which I thought was fantastic gesture.

I always get excited when new products are announced so just had to pick up their three latest groundbaits to review on my blog.

The three latest groundbaits from Bait Tech
Pro Natural

1.5kg bags priced at £3.99

The one I've been most looking forward to trying is the new Pro Natural which was created in conjunction with Dave Harrell and is designed (as the name suggests) for more natural venues like rivers and lakes and is aimed at 'silver fish' like roach, chub, barbel, tench and bream.

Pro Natural
It is designed to bind well and breakdown fast and it will hold a lot of particle baits. It contains coconut, molasses and hemp among other ingredients.

I think it represents great value at £3.99 for 1.5kg as most groundbaits are £3.00 and more for a kilo and I think it will be perfect for Dillington pond and I look forward to testing it in the coming weeks.

Check out the Bait Tech website for more details

Super Method Mix

2kg for £4.99

The Super Method Mix is targeted at anglers who like to fish the method and I have to admit it's not my favourite way of fishing. But I think it could be used for much more than purely fishing the method feeder. Where the method is banned I think it would be equally at home fished in an open end feeder or mixed damp and cupped in on the inside line.

Super Method Mix
Being a method mix it is obviously aimed at carp, bream and barbel and will work on any commercial type fishery.

It contains five natural spices, herbs and hemp for high attraction, it's easy to mix and has a fast breakdown.

Superb value at £4.99 for 2kg, walk round any tackle shop and you will see other brands of groundbait selling for £5.99 (and more) for 2kg. If, like me, you are quite frugal with your bait (tight!) then a bag of this should easily last you two sessions.

More details at

Super Method Mix - Red

2kg for £4.99

As the name says this is basically the same groundbait as the Super Method Mix but red! I'm not going to just repeat what I've said above but I'm a big fan of coloured groundbaits and I think they can give you a real edge, especially on pressurised waters where the fish can be very finicky.

Super Method Mix - Red
I'm going to try this one first at my match on Longs at Summerhayes tomorrow, I'll mix it wet and use it to kick start my inside line. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I got on with it.

Don't forget to check out the Bait Tech website for these and loads of other great products

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Exciting times for Against Men and Fish

A little while ago I did a review of the Fishing UK app, which can be read here

and I am delighted to announce that they have asked me to become part of their blogging team and of course I said yes! My first post on the site was just a little introduction about myself but in the coming weeks I hope to post a mix of my existing articles and reviews along with some new material. My first post can be found here

and there are some other great blogs on there as well, including my good friends the Angling Gazette, so be sure to check them out while you're there.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Perry St Pond - Spring League 10 - 14th July 2013

The last match of the series arrived and everybody knew which peg they'd be on, my home for the next six hours would be peg 19. My peg is nice and shaded which I was really glad about as another scorching hot day was forecast. The Hoff won the silvers off my peg last week with 6lb 8oz so my plan today was to fish for the silvers but also feed the inside line for carp. The lovely Chanter was here again, standing in for Mike T this match and he had peg 10 to look forward to. As we were sorting out bait it was already really hot and there were loads of legs on display.

The Hoff and Dino were just two of the anglers showing off their legs today
There were loads of carp up in the water but with only a pint of casters I would try and avoid the temptation today. I set up a Drennan 0.75 gram G-tip with 0.10mm bottom and size 16 Tubertini 808 and also a margin rig plus a shallow rig but as I never picked up either of these I won't mention them again. I decided to feed just chopped worm and caster today and leave out the groundbait.

Opposite me I had the two gladiators fighting it out for the silvers title, Mike 'Wolverine' Hosgood and Les 'The Terminator' Braunton on pegs 2 and 3. I could also see Janders up on peg 4 so would have a good idea how the side bet was looking. I chopped up a load of worms and casters and was ready for the off with half an hour to go. Mike C was in peg 20 but had a wasp's nest in his peg and he had to sit slightly off the peg to avoid the little buggers.

I was hoping Les would shout "Gladiators ready?" before he blew the whistle but he let me down, I cupped in chopped worm and caster at 11.5 metres straight out in front of me and then some choppie, dead maggots and casters down the edge. I started out with a worm head on the hook and toss potted in some worm and caster. I had bites quite quickly but missed the first few and then connected with a carp which gave me the run around on blue hydro and then just when I had it under control it snagged me five metres out and I came back with no fish and a branch!

Next put in I foul hooked a carp which came off and my silvers plan wasn't really working out too well. Most people at our end seemed to have a slow start with not much caught, Exeter Mike (or should that be Wolverine?) had a couple of small fish and then netted a decent skimmer to put him in the driving seat for the title. By the end of the first hour I'd only had one small skimmer, a tiny perch and an eel and was hoping hour two would be better.

My next fish was a carp which I safely netted and then I had two decent skimmers in two chucks and then added a smaller skimmer as well, this was more like it. Les was really struggling and had only had one eel but there was a long way to go yet. Janders had landed a couple of carp but there wasn't much between us. Mike suffered a funny five minutes when he had a fish come off which resulted in his rig going up the tree and then when he'd sorted that out he shipped out and hooked the anti cormorant rope going across the pond and there was only ever going to be one winner there.

Blaker on peg one started getting odd carp but was losing a few as well and from the splashing coming from my right, Picky was catching as well. I was still getting bites but missing quite a few and I think a lot of it was small fish nipping the worm as I bounced a couple of tiny fish off. I did lose a carp that as I was thinking about netting it, decided to go under my keepnets and break the hooklength. The third hour saw my bites start to slow up and I still hadn't put much in my silvers net, I was just thinking about putting some more feed in and trying the inside when the float went and I hooked a decent fish. It wasn't a skimmer and I thought it might be a carp that hadn't woken up yet so I played it at 11.5 metres only for a nice tench to surface, I shipped back very carefully and netted a lovely fish around 2.5lb. I now had about 5lb of silvers with half the match to go.

Janders was now catching quite well and Dino on the next peg was hooking loads but from all the swearing I think he was losing most of them. He also had a family of ducks diving down on his feed which wasn't helping his mood much! I was still feeding casters down the edge but felt I had to stick it out for the silvers now. Mike had turned his attentions to his margin swim and was getting a few carp, Les still just had one eel and the title was heading to somewhere near Exeter at this stage.

Hour four saw me add another eel and a good sized carp and it was still quite close between me and Janders. Blaker started catching really well in peg 1 but then suffered a pole breakage and was having a bit of a nightmare. He'd also been up the tree and had lost quite a few foul hookers, at one stage he'd thrown his pole up the bank, turned away from the water and had a drink while muttering and grumbling to himself! Going into the last period of the match I had another eel and thought I must have about 6lb now, I also lost another carp. With half an hour to go I've hooked what felt like a good eel only for it to come off straight away and the whole hooklength had gone! I didn't add any more fish and ended with 1 tench, 2 decent skimmers, 3 smaller skims, 3 eels, 1 tiny perch plus four carp.

Picky shouted up that he'd only had six carp and I was left cussing the six carp I'd lost during the day as I was sure he'd beaten me and with Janders having nine or ten carp I could be losing both side bets today. I packed up and took my gear back to the car before waiting at peg 1 for the weigh in to start. While waiting, Chilly said he'd had a tench plus some big skimmers and Kev Baker had quite a few big skimmers too so the silvers could be tight. Blaker had 45lb 10oz in peg 1 and had done well considering his nightmare match. Exeter Mike had 4lb 4oz of silvers and as Les only had the one eel for 10oz, the Wolverine had defeated The Terminator although Dunner was still to weigh and could trump them both for the title if he'd done well.

Janders had done well and weighed 32lb 4oz of carp and I handed him my first pound of the series, there were then several 20lb weights of carp until we reached Chanter in peg 10, he'd caught 15 carp and when he pulled his nets out, it was going to be tight, he weighed 44lb 10oz to go into second place. Carp weren't the only thing Steve caught, he also caught the sun quite badly but I can't decide from the photo below whether he'd been wearing a bra or if it looks like a smiley face, what do you reckon?
The lovely Chanter with his impressive! suntan
Then we got to Chilly and his silvers weighed 5lb 15oz and I hoped I might have a little more than that, he also just under 24lb of carp but would it be enough to beat Bushy in the knockout final? Dunner had 3lb 12oz of silvers in peg 13 which meant Mike Hosgood was crowned the silvers champion - well done Mike, a very close fought league. Bushy had 33lb of carp in peg 14, meaning he'd won the knockout and the carp league as well, another great performance from the venue expert.

Then the scales reached Kev Baker and if I could beat him I thought I'd win the silvers, when he pulled his net out I knew there was no chance, he had a lovely net of quality skimmers for 15lb 8oz, he'd kept them quiet! Well done Kev and for that performance you get my 'Man Of The Match' award. Picky had a 21lb 9oz total and I paid him my pound making the final score 5-4 to him over the series. Then we reached my peg and my silvers went 6lb 8oz to put me second and when I pulled my carp out, Picky said it was going to be close, Butch called out 14lb 12oz which gave me a 21lb 4oz total and Picky got to keep the pound - just! Mike C had struggled but at least he'd avoided getting stung all day.
Kev Baker with the top silvers weight of 15lb 8oz
So that's the spring league over for another year, not as successful for me as other years but I still picked up in six of the nine matches I fished, so not too bad. My second today saw me collect £50 which was my best pick up of the series.

1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 45lb 10oz
2 - Steve Chant (Chard) - 44lb 10oz
3 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 33lb
4 - John 'Janders' Anderson (Chard Minnows) - 32lb 4oz
1 - Kev Baker (Tatworth Tigers) - 15lb 8oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 6lb 8oz
3 - Andy Winters (Chard) - 5lb 15oz
4 - Mike Hosgood (Near Exeter) - 4lb 4oz

I actually forgot to take a photo of the results sheet this week but the top three in each league were as follows

1 - Steve Bush - 404lb 10oz - Champion
2 - Paul Blake - 330lb 10oz
3 - Andy Winters - 322lb 2oz

Steve Bush, carp league, pairs and individual knockout winner

1 - Mike Hosgood - 54lb 13oz - Champion
2 - Alan Dunn - 52lb 15oz
3 - Les Braunton - 52lb 12oz

Silvers champion Mike Hosgood next to defeated gladiator Les

Pairs Knockout Winners - Steve Bush and Andy Winters

Individual Knockout Champion - Steve Bush

So a very profitable day for Bushy who really takes some beating at Perry St and special mention must also go to Chilly who picked up every match.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates and don't forget my competition to win a hoodie and sweatshirt on my Facebook page

Check Out - New Fishery Focus (below)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fishery Focus - Dillington Pond

This weeks focus is on Dillington pond, a lovely lake on the Dillington Estate, it's an irrigation pond with 24 pegs and I've been fishing it since it opened in 2006. It's an Ilminster AA water and you can find the details on the website address listed below. It's absolutely stuffed with fish and the main species are roach, rudd, perch, chub, eels and bream. Tench and crucian carp have also been stocked although they are seldom caught (I've only had one small tench in 7 years!), some carp have also found their way into the pond and they can often be seen basking on hot days.

Dillington Pond from the field side

Club licences can be purchased from Mark Nicholas at Ilminster Warehouse, Ditton Street, Ilminster, Somerset and the fees are as follows

Adult Licence - £22
Juniors - £8
Concessions - £15

Ilminster AA website -

As you drive in from the main road, if you turn left there is parking right by the pond and over on the field side you can drive up and park inside the gate (as long as the ground isn't too wet!).

The main methods are the pole and fishing the whip, with large numbers of roach, rudd and perch, the whip often scores well in matches with weights ranging from 10-20lb being needed to win in the summer. Sorting out the bigger fish is the key to doing well as there are lots of roach and rudd to a 1lb+ and feeding small nuggets of groundbait with caster (or even corn) on the hook should see you get some quality. Chopped worm and caster also does well for the pole anglers with some good sized eels and perch. There have been reports of perch to over 4lb and even 5lb but I can only vouch for ones I've seen and caught, personally I have had them to over three and seen numerous fish of that size caught, Roger Russell had three in a match for over 10lb.

Roger Russell with three stunning perch
The bream are a good size and again there have been reports of fish to over 8lb which I can't verify but fish over five are regularly caught and one was weighed at 6lb 3oz in a recent match by Robin Cox. I've seen a few carp caught around the 10-15lb mark and the chub have packed on weight with the average size between 3-4lb.

Martin Heard with a carp of 8lb 10oz caught during a match
Robin Cox with a Dillington bream
Graham Field with a couple of nice chub
The waggler can also work well, fished up in the water with maggots or casters sprayed around the float. The feeder doesn't seem to work that well, possibly due to the depth in the middle of the lake. Carp anglers fishing boilies with PVA bags of feed have been enjoying success and also catching the odd bream. Perch and chub have been caught on small spinners by anglers pleasure fishing.

During the winter the match weights can vary depending on the temperature but bites can normally be found by scaling down and cutting back on the feed and matches can be won with anything from ounces to 15lb. The pond has several feeder streams and can fish very well after heavy rain as it colours up although too much and the fish shut up shop.

Martin Heard with a typical double figure net of quality winter roach
Pegs all round the pond fish well although the noted pegs are probably 1 and 24 by the pumphouse and 17 and 18 under the trees. Most of the pegs have reeds on the inside and some pegs have lilies and fish can be caught very close in.

I used to fish the pond a lot and it was one of my favourite venues, I once won seven matches on the trot with weights from 8lb to 20lb caught on the waggler and the pole and the weights were all made up of quality fish, roach, chub, perch and odd bream. But as the pond has matured there has been an explosion of small fish and the matches tend to be dominated by whip anglers catching over 200 fish in some cases and that's not really my cup of tea. Lots of quality fish still feature in catches but very often it's just a case of fishing for bites and hoping some bigger fish show among the smaller fish.

Pleasure anglers enjoy some fantastic fishing with 20lb bags commonplace. I do quite enjoy the fishing during the winter where it's more what I call 'proper' fishing, that is feeding some groundbait and fishing the pole at 10-11.5 metres for quality roach on maggot and caster with double figures needed to frame. Have a look at the link below when I enjoyed a cracking day last December

It's a great place for youngsters to go and they will get bites all day long so if you're after plenty of bites or fancy a go for a specimen perch this is the place for you. There are also plenty of matches which are well attended by a good bunch of friendly lads, if you fancy trying your luck give Steve Parker a ring for all the details.

Also check out these links from matches below,

a win for me and a cracking perch for Leighton Cox

a very tight affair

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Perry St Pond - Spring League 9 - 7th July 2013

Well summer has finally arrived and the last few days have been scorchers, I headed to the pond knowing I had either peg 11 or 19 to come. I got there and said hello to everyone and it was nice to see Bish's face had gone back to normal size and he was wearing a rather fetching t-shirt today. As I went to get my bait I was confronted by Les changing into his shorts, not a pretty sight! He opened the envelope for this weeks draw and it put me on peg 11 so hopefully I should catch a few although Picky was on peg 10 opposite and it's normally the better peg so I could be saying goodbye to another squid.
The Fish Whisperer
Not a pretty sight!

Peg 11 is also a right sun trap with no trees to provide any shade and I knew I'd be in for a hot one, as I got to my peg there were carp up in the water everywhere. I set up two shallow rigs with 0.14mm bottoms and size 16 Kamasan B911's and also a Carpa 2 float for fishing under the tree at 11.5 metres where Les had caught a couple of matches back. After opening a tin of corn and chopping up a load or worms I was ready and made sure I plastered on the sun cream before the match started. I did ask a few people if they would rub the sun tan lotion in but surprisingly I had no takers!

On the whistle I cupped in some chopped worm and caster plus corn and dead maggots under the tree before starting shallow out in open water with a worm head on the hook while feeding casters over the top. I didn't have to wait long for my first fish and I had two carp in the first half an hour. Picky hadn't caught yet and when I hooked my third carp it was all going to plan, it was only a smallish fish of 2lb or so and I was bullying it and pulling grey hydro out of the pulla bung when it went for the lilies on the inside and the hooklength parted - bugger! I wasn't too worried but that fish would come back to haunt me.

Mike C on peg 12 had a carp on the feeder first chuck but had now gone quiet, Picky then landed a fish and I was only one ahead. I couldn't see anybody catching much so was fairly pleased at this early stage. I landed carp number three just before the first hour was up and felt if I could catch three an hour I would be in with a chance. I only had a pint of casters and I was feeding five or six on a regular basis but I knew they wouldn't last me the full six hours.

Going into hour two I had three carp quite quickly to put me on six but then I lost one that did me in the lilies over in Picky's peg! I put another cup of choppie under the tree and I hoped they'd be lined up when I ran out of casters. I had two more carp in the third hour and with Picky struggling I was pulling away and from what I could see nobody was really bagging. Rocking in peg 9 had lost a few and Dangerous and Oz were getting odd carp.

I was now starting to run out of casters and the swim under the tree was beckoning, I hooked my ninth carp and it felt pretty lumpy and after ten minutes I netted a nice mirror that had to be 7-8lb. Just as I landed it, the Torquay Tart turned up and the abuse started (it's always lovely to see him!), he didn't stay long (thank God) as it was really hot in my peg but he did say Mike T was catching well in peg 2. Just after he left I had carp number ten and there were still two and half hours to go, the trouble was I'd run out of casters, it was time to try under the tree.

Picky had a tench so it was nice to see somebody taking the silvers league seriously! My first fish on worm under the tree was a 3oz roach which didn't help me much but then I've had a small carp to put me on eleven. I then had another roach and a small perch and I just knew the fish wanted to be up in the water. I tried my shallow rig under the tree but never had a bite on it, Picky was getting odd carp now and I could see Bushy down in peg 6 catching regularly and I'd gone from doing really well to struggling.

I tried going back shallow in open water feeding maggots but it just wasn't right, I did hook two carp but they came off straight away and I reckon they were foul hooked. Time was now ticking away and I hadn't added any more carp, I tried corn under the tree and then on the inside but never had a bite on it and then Les blew for the all out and I knew I hadn't done enough today and should have done better. Another pint of casters would have seen me catch more fish shallow I'm sure but then I was convinced I'd get a few under the tree but that's fishing for you! I finished off the last of my water and was still gagging for a drink so as I walked past the anglers on my way to the car I stopped and asked if anyone had any drink left. Several obliged including Les's Dad, Mark M, Janders and Dino, thanks chaps I was so thirsty!

Most people I asked seemed to think Mike T had done well and so had Bushy yet again and as we waited by Dave M in peg 1, the scales arrived, Dave had struggled for 8lb 14oz before Mike T had 19 carp in peg 2 but they were on the small size and he weighed 41lb 8oz, then Chilly had 37lb of carp and 5lb 9oz of silvers which put him in the lead. Bish's fish whispering hadn't worked today as he weighed 23lb 2oz but he had lost quite a few. Pup had 4lb 1oz of silvers but had been pestered by vermin (carp) today. Bushy had ten carp but had some lumps and weighed 41lb 12oz to push Mike into second by 4oz, Dangerous had 22lb of carp in peg 7 and Oz had 11lb of carp and a few bits in peg 8. Rocking had a similar catch, weighing 12lb 6oz of carp and a pound of silvers.

Then we got to Picky and as he'd already paid me his pound (4-4 now), I was hoping he hadn't been telling porkies. He had 32lb 8oz of carp but his 4lb 8oz of silvers put him second although he did have an eel get out through a hole in his net. My silvers weighed a fantastic 8oz and then my first net of six carp went 18lb 12oz, my second net (including the lump) weighed 21lb 14oz to give me a 40lb 10oz total and I was just 1lb 2oz off first place (remember that early carp?) and I was in third place. To be fair, I'm sure Mike and Bushy had lost fish as well and what really cost me was that poor last two hours.

Mike C had only added a few bits to his early carp and then Blaker had a level 28lb in peg 13. Exeter Mike had 18lb of carp but his 1lb 2oz of silvers hadn't done his league chances any good. Les had over 27lb of carp and he had 4lb of silvers but would it be enough for him to regain the silvers lead again? Janders had 18lb of carp and paid me his pound but he did beat me on silvers with 1lb 8oz. Dino had struggled for 5lb 2oz of carp and Mark M had 14lb of carp and 2lb 10oz of silvers. Then we got to Hoff in my peg for next week (19) and he'd done well with 31lb of carp and his 6lb 8oz of skimmers saw him go into the silvers lead with just Butch to weigh. Butch had 30lb 4oz of carp and 2lb 9oz of silvers and that was that.

Today's board

1 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 41lb 12oz
2 - Mike Thomas (Chard) - 41lb 8oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 40lb 10oz
4 - Butch Baker (Chard Minnows) - 30lb 4oz
1 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 6lb 8oz
2 - Andy Winters (Chard) - 5lb 9oz
3 - Alan Gage (Chard) - 4lb 8oz
4 - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 4lb 1oz

After nine matches, the silvers league is still incredibly tight although Chilly will need to do a huge weight next week to overhaul Bushy, this is how the leagues look now,

1 - Steve Bush - 371lb 10oz
2 - Andy Winters - 298lb 4oz
3 - Paul Blake - 285lb
4 - Alan Gage - 279lb 7oz
1 - Les Braunton - 52lb 2oz
2 - Mike Hosgood - 50lb 9oz
3 - Alan Dunn - 49lb 3oz
4 - Butch Baker - 42lb 8oz

It was also the semi finals in the knockout, results below (points scores in brackets)

Andy Winters (20) beat Mark Mockridge (8)
Steve Bush (19) beat Kev Baker (11)

So next week sees the two most consistent anglers this year battle it out for the title, who will be Andy Murray and who will be the other bloke?

So not a bad day, I picked up £40 and £2 in side bets but I can't help feeling it was a chance missed today.

Next up - Perry St Pond

What's new - Latest Ilminster AA match results on the news page

Check Out - New Fishery Focus (below)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fishery Focus - Ilminster Canal

This weeks Fishery Focus is on Ilminster Canal and it's a venue that's very dear to my heart. Although my first ever fishing trip was to the Isle, I spent most of my younger years down the canal as it was only a short walk from where I lived. I've seen it go from a stagnant pond to a cracking little wild fishery where you could be and nobody would know you were there to it's current incarnation. It now has a path and the bankside vegetation on both sides is managed now. It can get quite busy with dog walkers and youngsters playing in the recreation ground but it's a place I still love and don't fish nearly enough.
Ilminster Canal

The canal is an Ilminster AA water and club licences can be purchased from Mark Nicholas at Ilminster Warehouse, Ditton Street, Ilminster, Somerset and the fees are as follows

Adult Licence - £22
Juniors - £8
Concessions - £15

Ilminster AA website -

There is some off road parking at the bottom end of the canal.

Club rules
  1. The taking of fish by any other means than by rod and line is strictly prohibited and proceedings shall be taken against any person taking fish by any other means. No member shall use more than one rod, one line and one hook. Spinners & Lures used when fishing for trout or pike count as one hook.
  2. Barbless hooks only to be used on any of our still waters.
  3. Any member selling fish, lending or refusing to show his ticket, or who shall, at any time infringe any rule of the Association shall be liable to forfeit his membership.
  4. Any member or any other person fishing the waters of the Association shall show their ticket and the contents of their bag, basket or other container, when requested to do so by any bona fide club member or Environment Agency bailiff.
  5. Any member or visitor who, whilst fishing or going to and from the river, leaves gates open, leaves litter or wilfully damages growing crops or wood, shall pay for any damage thereby incurred and be liable to a fine to be decided by the Committee. Also no dogs are allowed to accompany anglers when fishing.
  6. No member of the Association shall enter any field adjoining the river which is laid up for hay from the 15th May until the grass is cut.
  7. Fishing for trout on the river is allowed during the course close season with artificial lure and fly only.
  8. Any member fishing in a manner contravening the Environment Agency bye laws or any governement authority shall be warned for the first offence and expelled for a repetition. This applies to any waters or occasion. (Members have the right of appeal at the Annual General Meeting.)
  9. No fish of any type to be taken from club waters.
  10. The minimum length of keepnet for use on Association waters is 8 feet.
  11. If necessary, the Committee may close the waters at any time.
  12. Anglers fish the water at their own risk.
  13. No carp to be retained in keepnets.
  14. No groundbait to be used on the Ilminster canal.
  15. Any angler fishing a club match or club open may not fish the match venue on the Thursday, Friday or Saturday prior to the match on the Sunday.
  16. All swims must be left clear of litter, whether your own or not. Failure to comply may lead to the member being banned from using club waters.
  17. All matches are at the discretion of the Committee. Organised sweepstake matches are not allowed without Committee approval.
  18. No night fishing is allowed and no tins are to be taken to the bank. No fires or barbeque’s are allowed on the banks.
  19. The Association is affiliated to the Somerset Levels Amalgamation of angling clubs and members are entitled to fish Amalgamation waters on the Rivers Isle, Parrett and Brue. Also designated stretches of Thorneymoor Main Drain and Longload Main Drain.
  20. The Annual General Meeting will be advertised in the local paper. Any item, a paid up member, wishes to bring up at the AGM must be with the Secretary in writing 14 days prior to the meeting.
When I started fishing any catch was notable and my ancient photo albums are full of photos of me with a catch of seven small rudd or a single roach and a eel! Over the years I've had many firsts on the canal from my first carp and golden orfe (which I won a rod from the Anglers Mail for) to my first stillwater chub and numerous match wins as a junior and senior. It's held allsorts of species over the years from gudgeon to crucian carp but the main species are carp, roach, rudd, perch, tench, eels and skimmers. Most of the carp are around 2-4lb but there are supposed to bigger fish in there, for me the quality roach, perch and skimmers are the real attraction. Some cracking roach and perch to over a 1lb are common and tench and skimmers to 2lb plus feature regularly along with odd carp.

Me with a match winning catch of 12lb 13oz caught in March (includes tench, skimmers, roach, rudd and perch)

The canal can suffer from excessive weed growth during the summer but there are normally a few swims that are fishable. Most of the swims have a feature in the form of trees and reeds across or weedbeds although you can catch a lot of fish by just fishing down the middle. The pole is a top method although on warmer days floating crust can really score for carp. All the normal baits will catch you fish although chopped worm and caster does really well for the roach and perch and with groundbait banned, an expander pellet fished over micros will attract the skimmers which can go to over 2lb.
Martin Heard with a winning catch of mainly skimmers and a bonus carp, caught in January
Maggots and casters will get you plenty of bites although in the winter scaling down your tackle and using pinkies on the hook should see you get plenty of action. Match weights can go over 20lb in the summer with double figure bags common, during the colder months matches are won with 7-8lb nets which still include plenty of quality fish. The carp can show up at any time and regularly feature in winning nets.

Malcolm Levy included this nice carp in a winning weight, also caught in January
Well that's this weeks Fishery Focus, check out some of my blog posts from when I've fished the canal below