Sunday, July 27, 2014

Perry St Pond - League 10 - 27th July 2014

Yesterday had been really hot and I'd managed to burn my face and neck while walking round the Thai festival in Bristol so would need to be more careful today, although it did look like it was going to be a bit more overcast which would be better fishing conditions. Everyone knew which pegs they were on today and I had peg 6 to look forward to. Picky was on holiday so Dave Lawrence would be fishing for him and Bushy wasn't fishing today due to back problems and Paul Homewood and Chilly were also missing today which meant pegs 10 and 11 weren't taken which could even things up a bit for the rest of us. Today's side bets were with Janders, Exeter Mike and Jamie P.

As I was setting up loads of carp could be seen cruising about and there was some ripple on the water and combined with it being overcast, the pond just had to fish better than last match, didn't it? I set up my usual dibber to fish shallow and also one of the new Drennan Crystal dibbers (not used) along with a 'Slappa' float (not used) that I will be reviewing soon, all three had size 18 Kamasan B911's with a hair rigged band in a loop. My final rig was a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp to fish at five metres (not used!). My bait tray was even simpler than normal today with 6mm and 8mm Bait Tech pellets and some dead red maggots.

The whistle went and I cupped in some dead maggots at 5 metres before starting at 11.5 metres up in the water while constantly flicking out 5-6 pellets. I was also feeding pellets down the edge and on the shorter line. Oz in peg 18 was into carp straight away and Jamie P opposite me in 14 also had a fish quite quickly and Exeter Mike hooked a carp on his skimmer rig. I had my first carp after half an hour and added a second just before the first hour was up, Oz had flown out of the blocks landing five carp already and Jamie P was just ahead of me with three. Hoff in peg 20 was also catching well and Dunner in peg 12 looked to be catching shallow and already the pond was fishing a lot better than last week.

My second hour was pretty good and I added three more carp but Jamie P stayed a couple of fish ahead although Oz slowed up a bit. Hoff had a bit of a nightmare snapping a top three on a carp and Les suffered a breakage too. Hour three was better again and I added four more carp to take my tally to nine and I lost one as well when the hook pulled out. There now wasn't much between me and Jamie P and he was struggling on his shallow rig so had switched to fishing up the edge.

I was still feeding my short line and up the edge but as I was still getting indications and odd fish shallow I was loathed to come off it yet and two more carp took me to eleven fish with one a right lump of 7-8lb and I lost another fish which did me in the lilies. Jamie P also suffered a pole breakage on a carp which turned his top two into a top four! With two hours to go, Jamie P and Dunner were still catching really well but me, Oz, Hainsey and the Hoff were all still in the mix too. I did briefly try my shallow rig up the edge as there were some signs of fish but it wasn't long before I was back out on the long line again.

I added another three fish in the fifth hour to put me on fourteen and lost another one but Jamie P was now pulling away with a succession of good fish from his edge swim, Dunner was still netting fish like a man possessed and I was sure it would be between those two for the winners spot today, leaving the rest of us to fight it out for the lower places. I added two more carp in the final hour to finish with 16 carp and I thought I must have around 50lb and I knew it wouldn't be enough to beat Jamie P and I thought Dunner had done me as well but then he said he'd had 15 carp which surprised me as I thought he had a lot more.

As I was packing up, Exeter Mike walked up and conceded his pound, we started taking our kit back to the cars and I asked Hainsey how he'd got on and he said he'd had 15 carp and a good skimmer plus some bits so it could be close between us. We loaded the cars and gathered by peg 1 to start the weigh in, Bish had struggled for 13lb 2oz and for a corner peg it's not been great this year. Les then chucked my hat in the pond for it's yearly wash but fair play to him, he did get it back for me and then proceeded to plonk it on my head!, at least it cooled me down a bit. Peg 2 was vacant and then Chris's silvers weighed a level 6lb before he stuck 44lb of carp on the scales and all of a sudden I wasn't so sure of my weight.
Me with my nice wet hat!
Les didn't weigh his carp but had 2lb of silvers and was hoping Chris framed, with Exeter Mike not weighing it was then my turn and after my first two weighs went 31lb 2oz I needed my third net to be more than 20lb to beat Chris and was relieved when the scalesman called it at 22lb 10oz to give me a 53lb 12oz total to go into the lead. Dave had 14lb 2oz and Janders weighed 10lb 4oz and paid me a squid although I was sure I'd be giving it to Jamie P very shortly. Dino in peg 9 had 38lb 8oz and had lost several carp as well, with 10 and 11 empty the scales reached Dunner and he weighed 58lb 14oz to push me down into second.

Mike C didn't weigh and then Jamie P stormed into the lead with 76lb and I was sure nobody else had that, I was now down into third place and hoping I wouldn't drop any lower. The Captain in peg 15 didn't weigh and then Butch had several carp but more importantly he had 3lb 4oz of silvers and he was now hoping Chris would frame. Rocking didn't weigh and then Oz had 39lb 8oz to go into fifth place and had done well from peg 18 which has been hard going again this year, Blaker chucked back and the Hoff had 33lb in peg 20. So Jamie P won with Dunner second and I had a nice little pick up of £60 for third place, Hainsey was fourth so him and the Captain had some burger money and Oz was fifth. Butch won the silvers by default.
Much better weights this week
1 - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 76lb
2 - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 58lb 14oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 53lb 12oz
4 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 50lb
5 - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 39lb 8oz

1 - Butch Baker (Chard) - 3lb 4oz

Jamie P's win today made sure of the league title with 60 points, the Hoff was second with 69 and with Bushy not fishing today I ended up in third place which I was quite pleased with after a disastrous start in the first match.

Winner on the day and Perry Street League Champion 2014 - Jamie Parkhouse

Final League Positions
1 - Jamie Parkhouse - 60 pts
2 - Mark Hollister - 69 pts
3 - Jamie Rich - 77 pts

I'm at Dillington next week, so come back then to see if the whip is still dominating!

Next up - Dillington Pond

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest review (below)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Water-to-Go Bottle Review

As I've said before on the blog, one of the unexpected perks of writing my weekly posts is that occasionally I get contacted and asked if I'd like to review a company's products and as long as the item in question is related to fishing or the outdoors, I'm more than happy to. I will always try and test the product and actually use it a few times before writing an honest review and posting it on the blog. The latest company to get in touch were a firm called Water-to Go and if I'm brutally honest I hadn't heard of them before but a quick Google search revealed they offer a water filtration system in a bottle which basically means as long as you have a bottle, any water within reason (not including salt water) can be made drinkable after passing through the filter.

The images of the bottle looked familiar and I remembered seeing them somewhere before, a quick flick through some of my fishing magazines confirmed they were being advertised in several of them. So with everything seeming legit I replied saying I would love to review their product on my blog and a few days later I got home to find a nice parcel waiting for me (I love parcels!). I opened the box to find the Water-to-Go bottle and some instructions on how to use it.

The Water-to-Go bottle
The bottle itself holds 75cl and mine was black with a rubber collar that ensures a good grip. Looking at the website ( there are other colours available too. Along with the instructions there was also an info sheet explaining how it works and that it eliminates 99.9% of all contaminants including the following,
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Chemicals
  • Protozoa
  • Fluoride
  • Chlorine
  • Pesticides
  • Waterborne Disease
  • Heavy Metals
  • Bad taste and odour
Taste test one

The instructions said it is essential that the filter medium is fully wet to ensure the best filtration results and they suggest the first time you use a new filter that you fill the bottle up and turn it upside town, submerging the filter for 10-15 minutes. I did as instructed before opening the nozzle and giving the bottle a squeeze in the sink and I was glad I did rather than drink straight out of the bottle as the initial water flow from the bottle was rather grey (the colour of the filter) and I wouldn't of fancied drinking it even though I'm sure it would be fine.

I emptied and refilled the bottle before repeating the process and this time the water was clear and it was time for the first taste test........ and it tasted fine! Now that may sound a little underwhelming but to be honest if you were asked to define the taste of water I bet you'd be hard pushed to describe it too! I filled a cup from the tap and had a drink before drinking from the bottle again and the tap water did seem to have a slight chlorine tang and the water from the bottle didn't so the filter had done it's job.

I realise this wasn't the most ground-breaking of tests but I had to start somewhere! There are loads of great reviews on the website from people travelling through jungles etc and using these bottles and surviving quite happily but I bet more people are using them and filling up from the tap at home or work to save buying expensive branded bottled water.

The info sheet also tells me that each filter will treat 200 litres of water and that if you use the bottle 2-3 times a day, the filter will last three months. You can also register with the Water-to-Go website and they will send you an e-mail after three months. I struggled with this a little bit because it's all a bit vague and I would like to know for sure when I need to change the filter as I think if I used the bottle regularly I would end up changing the filter way before the three months was up just to be on the safe side!

I'm sure that it's fine and when the filter reaches 201 litres you're not suddenly going to contract the black death or anything and it does say on the website the following 'One of the three technologies in our filter (the one which controls the taste and the smell) has a lifespan of approx 200 litres; although your filter will still be filtering bacteria, cysts and harmful contaminants, the water after this time will gradually start to taste and smell as it did before using the Water-to-Go bottle. This is a ‘sensory’ prompt for you to change the filter.' but I do think I'd rather change my filter before it got to the smelly, funny tasting water stage again!

Out of interest I also went on the website and checked out the prices for replacement filters and was a little surprised when I found they were £14.95 for a twin pack which after the initial outlay of £24.95 for the bottle seemed quite expensive. But then as they say on the website 'By using 4 replacement filters a year, a litre of water would cost well under 5p per litre'  and considering I currently pay around 70p for 500ml (£1.40 a litre) you can save yourself a considerable amount of money.

Taste test two

For the second taste test I headed to the garden where I have a water butt that collects rain from the guttering and is used to water the plants and grass. Now given the current weather where its been really hot and we haven't had any rain to speak of for quite a while, the water should be nicely 'stewed' by now!
Filling the bottle for taste test two
I filled the bottle and I must admit to feeling a little apprehensive as I opened the nozzle and raised it to my lips but again it was very nice, clean tasting water (albeit a little warm!). So the system passed both my (rather tame) tests with flying colours, I do intend to stick the bottle in my carryall and try it the next time I'm out the pond and down the river and I will, of course, update this review when I do so.


As I'm unlikely to travel up the Amazon any time soon, I think I will probably get most use out of this bottle by having it sat on my desk at work and filling it up from the tap instead of buying expensive bottled water, saving me lots of money! I also think this bottle will be ideal for anglers, fill it up before you head off and if you run out you have a handy supply close to hand!

I do feel a better way of knowing when to change the filter is needed as the three months is a bit approximate and relies on the bottle being used everyday and I think the majority of people would struggle to keep a handle on when they've drunk 200 litres. Maybe if the filter changed colour or something as it neared the end of it's life?, just a thought and as the filter itself uses space age technology, it must be feasible.

I also think the price will put people off, I certainly wouldn't have paid nearly twenty five quid for a water bottle even though it would save me money in the long run. I also struggle a little bit to see why the bottle is so expensive, I assumed the cost of the filters were to blame but as they work out at under £7.50, that makes the cost of the bottle around a whopping £17.50!, which I find a tad pricy for a plastic container. That said if I was going exploring in the back of beyond where drinking water was at a premium, this system would be the first item in my rucksack.

Final thought - a great water filtration system but space age technology at space age prices!

Look out for - Lots more reviews in the coming weeks including,
  • the latest Drennan products
  • handmade pole floats
  • the new Nick Gilbert XT Gimp pole floats
  • an update on how I'm coping with my new Matrix Superbox!

*Water-to-Go sent me this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained in this post are my own.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Perry St Pond - League 9 - 20th July 2014

After a few days of unsettled weather with some thunder and lightning, the weather was scorching for this one as we head towards the business end of this years league. I knew I'd either be on peg 6 or peg 8 today and after Hoff picked the envelope it turned out peg 8 was my home for six hours today. The draw sequence also meant Janders was in peg 10 so my pound was in grave danger today. As well as my other usual side bet merchants, Picky and Exeter Mike, Paul Homewood and Jamie P also wanted in on the action today and this could be expensive!
Peg 8
There were loads of carp cruising about and I was hoping for a nice day fishing shallow, I set up my usual little in-line dibber with a hair rigged band in a loop on a size 18 B911 but also set up one of the new Drennan Crystal Dibbers and also a 4 x 12 Slappa float which I'd been given to try and I will do a review of both of these float patterns (and some others) in the near future. A Trabucco dibber was also set up for the inside (but not used) and a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp for the five metre line (again not used). For bait I had 6mm and 8mm pellets plus some dead maggots, corn and casters. Poor Mike from Exeter didn't have the best of starts when he was putting his pole together only to discover his number six section had broken in half, he managed to telescope it through so he could use it today but I did feel for him as it's horrible (and expensive) when it happens.

The whistle went and everybody set about feeding their various lines, I fed corn and casters in my left hand margin and at five metres before starting shallow at 11.5 metres with a 6mm pellet. Both  Chilly and Paul Homewood opposite in pegs 12 and 13 hooked early fish but lost them. After about half an hour I've hooked my first fish, a decent mirror about 5lb to get off the mark and added a second carp before the first hour was up and was doing as well as anybody I could see.

I had two more carp quite quickly in hour two and was starting feel a decent weight was on the cards, Paul Homewood was starting to catch fish shallow and Picky had landed a couple fish next door to me and he said Janders had caught three or four carp so a few fish were still being caught. But then in a carbon copy to the last match I couldn't get a bite despite loads of carp swimming about. I did pull out of a fish which I think was foulhooked and landed my fifth carp but from the banter round the pond it seemed as we headed for the halfway point that the fish had just shut up shop. The only person who was still catching was Paul and he was now on seven or eight carp. Dino was in peg 11 and just couldn't buy a bite.

 Out of desperation I tried to mug some of the cruising fish but they just weren't having it, I tried fishing shallow on the inside line but that was a waste of time as well. None of the anglers I could see who were fishing on the deck were catching, so it was back out to 11.5 metres to try and snare a couple more fish but it was hard work. With about an hour and a half to go I finally managed to mug a fish only for it to come off at the net, much to Chilly's delight! He was now fishing the pellet waggler and had lost two carp with the second one snapping him off!

The final action for me was 15 mins from the end when I've hooked a good fish which tore off and snapped me and I knew those two lost fish would probably cost me. Chilly finally managed to get a fish out on the waggler but the score was still 2-1 to the fish! I couldn't believe it had fished so hard and for the second match on the trot I'd started really well and then struggled for the second part of the match. It sounded like it could be tight with most people seeming to have between three and five carp apart from Paul who ended up with eleven!

We all packed up and gathered at peg 1 for the weigh in, Dave Lawrence was fishing for Blaker and had a level 13lb and then the Hoff did really well in peg 2 catching 8lb 8oz of skimmers and then added 15lb 8oz of carp for good measure to give him a 24lb total and the lead. Bish had 12lb 10oz in peg 3 and Bushy had 8lb 2oz on the next peg, the lad fishing for Hainsey had 7lb 4oz before Les and Exeter Mike didn't bother weighing so I was one side bet up. My five carp went 19lb 10oz and I went into second place but I knew that wouldn't last. Picky had 12lb 9oz and paid me his nugget and I've gone into a 5-3 lead with just one match to go.

Janders had 11lb 4oz and I was 3-0 up in side bets, Dino had 12lb 4oz before Paul plonked 48lb 12oz on the scales and would win by a country mile with that and he took a pound off me. Then Chilly, Pup and Mike C didn't weigh which gives you an idea how tough it had been today, before Jamie P had 14lb 8oz and I was another pound to the good and I had my revenge for the last match. Andy D had 10lb 6oz and then Butch had 13lb 12oz but had 8lb of silvers in that and should pick up the silvers by default today with Hoff framing. Rocking didn't weigh and then Oz had some lumps in peg 20 to weigh 21lb and push me down into fourth place (I knew those lost fish would be costly!).

So the pond had fished really hard but the hot conditions hadn't helped and several people thought the carp might be about to spawn again! Paul won on the day with the Hoff second, Oz third, I finished fourth and picked up £50 and Jamie P was fifth. Butch did indeed win the silvers by default.

It was hard going today
1 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 48lb 12oz
2 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 24lb
3 - Steve Osborne (Chard) - 21lb
4 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 19lb 10oz
5 - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 14lb 8oz

Butch Baker (Chard) - 8lb

So with one match to go, Jamie P is back on top of the league with 59 points, followed by the Hoff on 62 and Bushy on 65. I'm actually up into fourth place which isn't too bad after a disastrous start to the league.

Next up - Final Perry St League Match

What's new - Look out for the latest Ilminster AA results on the news page

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 13th July 2014

Before I get onto this weeks blog I must just mention that I picked up my new seatbox yesterday, yes you heard correctly, the Tardis has finally been retired! After talking to several people and looking at what's available I decided on the Martix Superbox as it's had great reviews and it doesn't cost the Earth. It's a nice looking box but I have to say I was a little disappointed that it didn't come with winders like the majority of boxes these days and I've had to buy winders (which themselves weren't great quality but more of that later), keepnet arms and a sidetray. Also my nice new, shiny winder trays don't fit in any of the drawers supplied! So I've had to put them in the removable base unit until I buy more drawer units!
My new box
As I was transferring kit from my old box to the new one, I came to realise that I just wouldn't be able to fit it all in the new one!, maybe that's not such a bad thing as I carried around a lot of stuff that I was never going to use. The Tardis was a heavy old box but it was solid and sturdy and it served me very well for a long time and I just don't feel that with many of todays boxes (with the exception of the Rive perhaps) as a lot of the fittings are plastic. My final whinge is to do with my new winders (which cost me a tenner by the way), they have the slider on the side so no more perishable pole anchors for me but as I was putting rigs on them, these sliders just popped off! Now this isn't too bad when I'm in my garage but on a windy day by a lake like today, it's a recipe for disaster and I lost a couple of these sliders rendering the winders utterly useless!

Those of you that know me will probably know that I'm not a big fan of change so it'll probably just take me a couple of weeks to get used to my new box and then it'll be the best thing since sliced bread!

Right onto this weeks match, I was looking forward to getting back to Summerhayes and today we would be fishing on Longs which has been fishing well with silvers weights over 30lb and good backing weights too. I picked Janders up and as we made our way to Bridgwater the sky was getting darker and darker the closer we got and he said he hadn't brought a coat or brolly as the weatherman said it was going to be dry today! On arriving the car park was packed as there were several matches on various lakes today and this cracking venue seems to get more popular all the time. Our match was well attended and it was nice to catch up will all the usual suspects. We had a coffee while we waited for the draw and as always, this venue seems to have it's own micro climate where it's windy all the time and it would seriously affect presentation today.

Pete announced the draw and Janders and me hung back a bit, lots of anglers were coming out of the hut moaning and groaning about their pegs, Jacko had drawn peg 9 which was yet another golden peg. I delved into the bucket and pulled out peg 24 which wasn't the result I wanted, it can be a decent carp peg but it hasn't got much silvers form. Janders went after me and pulled out peg 11 which is one of the better silvers pegs and my pound was in serious danger today. Glynn Wickham also wanted his usual nugget on silvers and Rob Kingston wanted a pound on overall weight.

As I got to my swim I noticed I had an empty peg either side which can only be a good thing with a lot of anglers fishing like today. Glynn was in peg 21 so we could have a bit of banter and Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping was on peg 26. I set up two MW F1 Slim floats, a 10 x 11 and a 14 x 11, both with 0.12mm hooklengths and size 16 Tubertini 808's. Bait was the usual micros and 4mm and 6mm expanders but I'd also soaked some 4mm feed pellets the night before as several people had said feeding just micros brings in small roach and skimmers and also that the bigger skims can get preoccupied with them.

I plumbed up two swims at 8.5 metres (because of the wind), one straight out in front and the other angled to the right, I also planned to fish a closer line at top two plus one. I just had time to band up some 6mm pellets in case small fish became a problem and then it was time to start. I fed all three lines with half a pot of micros plus a few 4mm's before starting straight out with a 4mm expander on the hook. I missed a couple of bites which I suspect were small fish and was soon switching to banded pellet. Glynn had two good skimmers quite quickly and then I had one of my own and maybe this could be better than we'd anticipated. After half an hour I had two good skimmers plus a blade and Glynn had three plus some bits and he'd bumped a couple as well.

But then I couldn't buy a bite and trying my other 8.5 metre swim yielded nothing, Glynn added a couple more fish and he was fishing further across than me so I decided to start another line at 10 metres, I had another good skimmer but it proved to be a false dawn with my next two fish, both small carp. I tried the short line but could only catch the odd roach and with the match only two hours old, both me and Glynn were really struggling. The wind was being a real pain and to be honest I wasn't enjoying myself that much. Bill was catching quite consistently and he was doing well to fish paste tight across in the wind.

I was putting very little in the net apart from the odd roach and with a couple of hours left, I decided to fish my short line for the rest of the match where I had been feeding 4mm's. My first fish was a lovely golden crucian around the pound mark but I was still a couple of decent fish behind Glynn on the silvers front. Then I started catching carp quite well but I was never in danger of getting close to Bill who was now bagging and even had a big eel that looked to be 2lb+. As the whistle blew I was playing a decent carp that was foulhooked in the tail but just as I thought I might land it, the poxy hook pulled out which about summed up my day. I ended up with 14 carp plus a few pounds of silvers and I paid Glynn a pound as I knew he's beaten me today.

As the scales reached our end, Scotty Russell was leading with 77lb 6oz from peg 12 with most of his fish coming to the method feeder, he also won at the Viaduct yesterday with a massive 251lb and was looking to make it two out of two. Mark Hanham came close with 70lb 9oz from peg 13 but needed a couple more fish and Ray Wickham was leading the silvers with 13lb 5oz from peg 17. Janders had chucked back and paid me a £1 so I was evens for now and would have to wait to see how Rob had got on.

Glynn had 6lb 10oz of silvers in his 21lb 4oz total and then my carp weighed 24lb 10oz and my silvers went 4lb 14oz giving me a 29lb 8oz total. Bill 'The Snake Charmer' Hopping had 67lb 12oz to go into third place and had done really well battling the wind today. I loaded the car and caught up with the scales as they weighed the last few pegs. Rob Kingston weighed 26lb so I went 2-1 up in side bets on the day but as he had 13lb 13oz of silvers which put him second, I don't think he was too worried.
A tight frame as always

1 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 77lb 6oz
2 - Mark Hanham (Summerhayes) - 70lb 9oz
3 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 67lb 12oz
4 - Richard S (Summerhayes) - 42lb 13oz
5 - Nash (Summerhayes) - 39lb 2oz

1 - Jim Jenner (Summerhayes) - 17lb 9oz
2 - Rob Kingston (Summerhayes) - 13lb 13oz
3 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 13lb 5oz

So some good weights and a tight frame as always. I'm at Perry St next week so come back next Sunday night to see how I got on.

Next up - Perry St Pond

What's new - Latest junior Ilminster AA result on news page

Check Out - How my last match went (below)

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Perry St Pond - League 8 - 6th July 2014

After watching the juniors yesterday I was quite looking forward to this match, the weather was nice again although some rain was forecast for later but I was hoping I'd be able to catch shallow again. We nearly had a full house again with only one absentee today. I had to pick the envelope for the draw sequence and when Les opened it and read out who was where, my home for the next six hours was to be peg 16, not a great peg but it leaves me with two half decent pegs for the last two matches, pegs 6 and 8.

I was in peg 16 with Exeter Mike next door
Along with my normal side bets (Janders and Picky), Jamie P and Exeter Mike (who had a bad back) also fancied trying to nick all my change off me as well, this could be an expensive day. Quite a few carp could be seen mooching about and I really fancied another nice day fishing up in the water was on the cards. I set up the usual dibber with a hair rigged band on a size 16 Kamasan B911, I also set up a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp to fish at depth and a Trabucco dibber for fishing up the edge.

I was set up with a bit of time to spare to went to have a natter with Janders, Picky, Exeter Mike and the legend that is Dino who was on top form and had us in stitches. With five minutes to go we all wandered back to out pegs and awaited the start. Les shouted the all in and I cupped some dead maggots and corn down the edge before starting shallow at 11.5 metres with a 6mm pellet and flicking out a few pellets constantly and lifting and dropping the rig.

Jamie P opposite in peg 4 hooked a fish shallow nearly straight away but lost it and then lost another not long after. I had a small carp after about 20 mins and when I hooked another quite quickly, I thought the signs were there for a good match, I was shipping back slowly and keeping the feed going in when the poxy hook pinged out for no apparent reason! Jamie had now lost three fish and there was a bit of swearing going on, my swim then died a death but I did manage my second carp just as the first hour was up.

The second hour was very good for me and I added three more carp and from what I could see I was doing well. Jamie P said Paul Homewood in peg 20 was catching but other than that quite a few people were struggling at this early stage. I could still see loads of carp swimming about up in the water and it was all pretty much going to plan so far but then in hour three I just couldn't catch and I lost a foulhooked fish that led me on a merry dance. I get quite a bit of stick about my apparent 'mugging' of fish but to be honest most of my fish are caught fishing shallow in the conventional manner but if I see fish cruising I will dob a pellet in front of them and I did just that with my sixth carp, much to the disgust of several people! It was a decent fish of around 5-6lb and kept me in touch with the front runners.

I was still feeding maggots and corn down the edge but hadn't tried it yet as all the anglers I could see who were fishing the margins hadn't caught yet. I was now really struggling and just couldn't catch shallow with the only action in the fourth hour being a bumped fish. Exeter Mike had caught a few small skimmers early on but was now struggling and the only angler who seemed to be getting a few was Hoff in peg 10. I was still a couple of fish ahead of Jamie P but then he had two carp fishing on the deck and by my reckoning he'd edged ahead as I had some smaller fish.

Now of course you'd think I'd try my depth rig with banded pellet of perhaps have a quick go up the edge with corn but no I just kept blindly fishing shallow hoping I'd catch several fish late like last week. We also had some quite heavy rain showers which should have told me to try the deep rig but I took no notice! I only managed two more small carp in the remaining two hours. Jamie caught several carp shallow just off the lilies and despite him saying otherwise, I knew he'd battered me today and I'd be a pound worse off. I still thought there was a good chance of sneaking into the frame as the pond had fished hard today.

Exeter Mike conceded defeat and paid me a nugget so I was at least back on an even keel although to be fair he'd fished for silvers all match and had a bad back. Picky also wandered up and gave me a £1 as he'd only had a couple of carp and the score is now 4-3 and I've gone into the lead for the first time this series! Janders had caught some nice carp so we would have to wait for the scales to see where that pound was headed.

I took my kit back to the car and went to watch the weigh in which started today on peg 3 as Chilly in peg 1 and Pup in peg 2 had chucked back and gone which goes to show how hard it had fished today. Mike Collins in peg 3 had 5lb 4oz of carp before we got to Jamie P who weighed 27lb 14oz and I thought he'd frame with that. Andy Donovan had 4lb 6oz and then Butch didn't weigh, peg 7 was empty and then Oz and Dave Lawrence (fishing for Blaker) both didn't get the weigh sling wet either! The Hoff had 40lb 8oz in peg 10 to go into the lead and Bish opposite in peg 11 had 32lb to go into second place.

When Bushy weighed 24lb 14oz in peg 12, I wasn't sure I had that and my chances of a pick up today were disappearing fast. Hainsey had a few carp but his 4lb 8oz of small roach and rudd but him in the lead on the silvers front. Les in peg 14 had fished chopped worm and caster all day and was with a couple of nice bream was hoping to make it four silvers wins in four matches but the needle stopped at 4lb 8oz to tie with Chris. For good measure he plonked 21lb 6oz of carp on the scales as well. Exeter Mike didn't weigh and then it was my turn and I needed to weigh 25lb+ to stand any chance but I knew I had some small fish and Butch called out 22lb 14oz and I needed a couple more fish.

Picky had 4lb 8oz before Janders weighed 18lb 4oz with just four carp so at least I finished 3-1 up in side bets, Dino had 31lb 14oz to go into third place and then Paul Homewood in peg 20 had 31lb 8oz to finish in fourth place and just 8oz separated second and fourth positions.

A tight frame but it was hard going for half the field
1 - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 40lb 8oz
2 - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 32lb
3 - Graham Pepper (Taunton) - 31lb 14oz
4 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 31lb 8oz
5 - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 27lb 14oz

1 - Les Braunton (Chard) and Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 4lb 8oz

After eight matches, Steve Bush still leads the league with 52 points followed by Jamie P on 54 and Mark Hollister on 60.

I'd got it badly wrong today after a great start and not trying my other lines has cost me but hopefully it's a lesson learnt the hard way.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Latest Ilminster AA result on news page

Check Out - How the Chard juniors got on yesterday (below)

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Chard AC Junior Match - Perry St Pond - 5th July 2014

Last Sunday, Rocking Roy reminded me that there was a junior match out the pond today so I popped out to see how they were getting on. There were five youngsters fishing today and they were on pegs 12 to 16, I walked the long way round and came to Sam Hughes on peg 12 first, Sam was fishing the feeder and had caught a nice carp plus a few roach. Next up was little George Baker who had his grandad, Butch, assisting with feeding and netting fish. He was doing really well fishing banded pellet at about 5 metres and had caught five carp and a couple of nice skimmers and landed a nice carp while I was there.
Little George was a picture of concentration
Butch netting a nice carp for him
Another one in the net!
On peg 14 was Bobby Lord and he already had eight carp and there was still an hour of the three hour match left. He was catching on the pole with corn just off the lilies to his left. Zoe Hollister was the next peg along and fishing soft pellet at five metres and had her dad, the Hoff, helping out. Her peg was fizzing and she started to catch really well while I was there and landed two nice skimmers and a carp.

Bobby was fishing by the lilies
Fish on!
I can't believe Hoff had the nice comfy seatbox and made his daughter sit on the floor!
It didn't stop her catching fish though!
Another quality skimmer
Last but certainly not least was young Luke Attyo on peg 16 who was fishing only his second match, and catching some small perch and roach by the lilies with the waggler and maggot. As always it was great to see some enthusiastic young anglers on the bank and hopefully some of them will make the transition to the seniors when the time comes.
Young Luke was fishing the waggler in peg 16
All too soon the all out was called but the Hoff couldn't resist having a quick go in Zoe's swim and had a decent skimmer within minutes on soft pellet and I was quite surprised at the number of decent skimmers that showed today, I bet they don't tomorrow!

The weigh in started at the top end where Sam weighed 2lb 14oz, young George then went into the lead with a cracking net of fish weighing 21lb 1oz and along with some nice bream he had a carp that looked nearly as big as him!
Sam Hughes was first to weigh and had 2lb 14oz
George Baker had a lovely net of carp and skimmers for 21lb 1oz
Then Bobby pulled (or rather struggled to pull) his net out and everyone knew we were looking at the winner, his catch of 39lb 3oz in only three hours was very impressive and I'm sure many of the seniors would be happy with that in six hours tomorrow!
Bobby Lord did brilliantly to weigh 39lb 3oz in only three hours
Zoe had some quality skimmers in her 7lb 12oz which put her into third place and then Luke had mostly small fish in his 5oz catch but still looked like he'd enjoyed himself.

Zoe Hollister had some nice skimmers and carp in her third placed 7lb 12oz
Luke Attyo caught his fish on the waggler
At the results Bobby was announced as the winner followed by George and Zoe and all the anglers received tackle vouchers. The club would like to thank Rocking Roy, Mike Collins, Butch Baker, The Hoff and Luke's dad for giving up their time to be there today as without your help, these matches just wouldn't happen.

1 - Bobby Lord - 39lb 3oz
2 - George Baker - 21lb 1oz
3 - Zoe Hollister - 7lb 12oz
4 - Sam Hughes - 2lb 14oz
5 - Luke Attyo - 5oz

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Bonus Interview!

I haven't done an interview for a while and hopefully I have another big name in the angling world lined up but until then, here's a little 'tongue in cheek' interview to tide you over (and you may even find some bits interesting!).

Hi Jamie, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions,
I’ve known you for a very long time (it almost feels like a lifetime!) but I thought the readers might find it interesting to learn a little more about you

Against Men and Fish - When did you start fishing and what was your first fish?
Jamie Rich - I started fishing when I was 10 years old with some friends on the River Isle, we chucked a lead out and when we reeled in at the end of the day there was a bullhead on the end!

What’s your favourite style of fishing?
I love fishing the pole and if I’m catching quality fish I’m happy although I have to say I’m not a huge fan of carp.

Your favourite venue?
I couldn’t narrow it down to one, I enjoy fishing Summerhayes in the warmer months and I love the River Isle during the winter. I also really love Ilminster Canal although we don’t fish it nearly enough and Dillington is a very fair venue when the river is flooded. Although I said in the previous question that I wasn’t a big fan of carp, I’ve fished a Spring/Summer league at Perry St Pond for as long as I can remember and I do quite enjoy fishing shallow for carp. My favourite venue abroad is Gillhams of course!

And favourite fish?
In the UK I love tench and crucian carp and abroad, Amazon redtail catfish and arapaima take some beating in the looks department, and they put up a pretty good scrap too!

Amazon redtail catfish
You mainly fish club matches along with the odd open, what’s been your best match result to date? And are there any matches you would love to win?

I’m very proud that I’ve won the Chris Patten memorial match and Barney’s Pairs which I’ve won twice with Bruce Hunt and Justin Charles as my partners. After many years of trying I finally won the V.E.S. Precision Winter League this year and that was very satisfying. I would love to win one of the two day festivals at Summerhayes with my best result to date a second place.

You started blogging in 2006, can you tell us a little about why you do it?
Good question! I’ve always enjoyed reading about fishing and my favourite articles were always the diary style articles written by the likes of Richard Wade and Lee Kerry to name a couple. I’d always kept fishing diaries myself so this was really just an extension of that. I enjoy doing it even though it takes up a lot of my time, I’ve had some stick and sarcastic comments but you have to expect that and the positive feedback I’ve received far outweighs the bad. The best bit though is that through my blog I’ve met some fantastic people, some of who I now regard as friends. An added bonus has been I’ve received tackle, bait, clothing and even a canvas to review and I’ve really enjoyed that unexpected perk! I even got to do a feature for Match Fishing magazine with Steve Lockett and that has always been an ambition of mine. I can’t really believe that when I started I was getting about 1000 hits a month (most of them probably from me!) and now I’m getting around ten times that number as I approach the 180,000 mark, thanks so much, I really do appreciate the support.

These interviews are a fairly new feature for your blog, what prompted them?
Well I’m always looking at ways to try and keep it interesting, like focusing on various fisheries and bait and tackle reviews. I’ve gotten to know Hayley at Bait Tech quite well and she’s been a huge help with getting access to Pete Clapperton and Dave Harrell and the feedback from the interviews has been amazing (not too sure how this one will go down though!).

I’ve also noticed that along with trips abroad after more exotic species, you’ve also started trying your hand at fishing for some different types of fish in this country, what brought this about?
A fairly recent addition to the blog was a personal best’s page and as I was putting it together I noticed there were several species of fish I’d never caught and decided to try and add them to the list. Also I’m a match angler and I love fishing contests every week but I found these trips after new species very refreshing and a total change to what I’m used to. I must say a big thanks to Scotty Russell for being my guide when we fished for grayling, Justin Charles for trying to help me catch barbel, Russell Hilton for his assistance in me catching new pb’s for pike and perch and my mate Andy Langdon for accompanying me on several mullet trips. I think these trips also bring a new dimension to the blog and I hope there will be many more and I would love to add zander and flounder to my list!
A River Tone grayling
3lb 4oz mullet caught from the River Axe
Have you got any other plans for the blog?

I’d like to be able to earn enough money from it to do it full time! But as that isn’t going to happen anytime soon I will keep blogging about my matches and other content which I hope you’ll find interesting. In the near future I hope to be able to post about lure fishing, drop shotting (which everybody seems to be doing at the moment) and I may even have a bash at some sea fishing!

In the blogging world, yours is one of the longest running (since 2006) but now everybody seems to be doing it, what are your thoughts on rival bloggers?
The more the merrier! Seriously, I love reading fishing blogs and no matter what type of angling you’re into, there is a blog about it. On my blog I have a massive reading list of blogs which I’m adding to all the time (if you want yours adding, just contact me). I love the fact that anglers of all abilities blog and writers of all abilities blog, anyone can do it. I try and advertise other blogs by sharing links to my favourite bloggers and hopefully they will return the favour! The one piece of advice I would give is that if you start blogging you have to update regularly, there is nothing worse than getting into and following a blog only for the posts to fizzle out after a couple of months!

Before I let you go, here are a few quick-fire questions,
What’s your biggest fish in the UK? And abroad?

My biggest UK fish is a 28lb 4oz carp caught on the feeder in a match at Chard reservoir and my biggest ever fish is a 260lb arapaima from Gillhams Fishery in Thailand.

260lb arapaima caught at Gillhams Resort, Thailand
What’s your favourite drink?
A pint of Carling Black Label (early evening) or Jack Daniels and Coke (end of the night!)

Favourite meal?

Steak and chips
Favourite film?

I love so many different films it’s impossible to pick just one, but if pushed, True Romance and Pump Up The Volume are right up there.
TV show?

The Walking Dead and Buffy The Vampire Slayer
What music do you listen to?

Again, I love so many bands but at the moment I’m listening to Teenage Bottlerocket, NOFX and Propagandhi.
Do you have any other interests/hobbies outside of angling?

I enjoy live music and going to gigs and I also collect coloured vinyl although I get a lot of stick as I don’t own a record player!

Thanks Jamie it’s been lovely chatting to you and hopefully we’ll meet again!

Against Men and Fish