Sunday, September 21, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 21st September 2014

After a long but very enjoyable day yesterday, I was off to Summerhayes with Janders today. I've only just finished the blog for the Dorset Stour and as I've got to be up early again tomorrow and it's now 22;27, this will be a fairly short blog (thank God I hear you cry!). There was another good turnout today with 18 fishing including Nicky Ewers and Nick Chedzoy who I hadn't seen here before so the venues popularity continues to grow and deservedly so.

It was another lovely day with hardly a cloud in the sky and no wind which meant Longs was flat calm for today and that doesn't happen very often! When Pete announced the draw Janders and me got in the bucket quite late, I pulled out peg 12 which I was very pleased with as it's a good silvers peg, not as good as peg 32 mind and guess who drew that? Glynn Wickham of course! Janders had peg 17 which is in a decent area as well. I helped him down to his peg with his kit before getting mine, I had Richard S on my left and Ray Wickham on peg 11 on my right with Nigel Wickham along from him in peg 9.
Peg 12 on Longs
With my pole still out of action I had to bring the old Trabucco out of retirement, I only had chance to have a quick look at it last night and saw that there were some light-ish elastics in two of the tops which would have to do for today. I set up two MW F1 Slims, a 14 x 11 for ten metres and a 10 x 11 for 5 metres, bait was the usual micros that I had wetted down last night and Bait Tech 4mm expanders for the hook. On the whistle I fed half a pot of micros on all three lines before starting at 10 metres straight out in front of me. Ray got off to a flying start landing two or three big skimmers and Richard was into a carp on the method feeder. I missed several bites and even at this early stage I knew my elastic was too 'pingy' and compared to my Garbolino the Trabucco was a lot sloppier.

I eventually hit a bite and landed a decent skimmer from the right hand ten metre line and another shortly afterwards, when I hit a third from the other longer line I had caught Ray up, that was until it came off as I was shipping back! I had a couple of carp and lost a foulhooker before catching another decent skimbob as the first hour came to a close. I had three skimmers for probably 2.5lb and it was neck and neck with Ray. The second hour was similar and I had another four skimmers to put me on 4.5lb and was getting lots of indications but missing loads as it was taking me a while to get used to my old pole again.
Ray and me were neck and neck
I'd been dripping some micros in on the five metre line every time I shipped out and after hooking another carp from one of the longer lines, it was time to try it. I had to wait a while for the first bite but then started getting skimmers and had eight from 4oz to 1.5lb plus a nice a little crucian in the third hour and there was now nothing between me and Ray. Richard was still catching carp on the feeder and was looking good for a frame place, I could see Janders over on peg 17 and he was getting a few too.

The fourth hour saw my shorter line slow up but every time I thought about going back on the longer lines I'd catch another skimmer and had two more pound fish and a smaller one. I did go back out but another carp was the result and I decided to stick with the shorter line for the remainder of the match. I bumped a few fish and missed loads of bites but hadn't had a carp from the five metre line yet which I was glad about as I didn't have a pulla bung in the top kit.

I had four more fish in the penultimate hour but then Ray would get a couple and it really was too close to call. Going into the last hour my bites slowed right up and I only added a couple of small skimbobs before catching my first carp which took ages to get in and I was really missing my pulla bungs! I also had one go under the pallet but luckily the hook pulled. My next fish was a good skimmer of over 1.5lb which jumped straight out of the water. I thought I now had about 15lb and there was still half an hour to go.

Then Ray had a good skimmer of a similar size and shortly after another and I thought he must have edged in front, I hooked a carp which came off and missed a few bites and then the all out was called and although I'd really enjoyed the day I thought I'd miss out today as apparently Glynn had done well and I thought those two late fish would swing the verdict Ray's way in our head to head battle. I'd bumped/missed/lost too many silvers today and I really thought it was going to cost me. I ended with 24 skimmers, 2 crucians, 4 roach and 6 or 7 carp.

As I loaded my car up the scales were already at Charlie Barnes in peg 1, it was the golden peg today too, he weighed 9lb 10oz of silvers and it wouldn't be enough to take half the pot. The scales reached Ray and as he pulled his net out, he had a nice bag of silvers, the digital scales read 15lb 12oz and it was going to be tight between us. My carp weighed 11lb 10oz and then when I pulled my silvers net out it looked very similar to Rays catch and I was relieved when my weight was called at 16lb 10oz and I'd gone into the silvers lead by 14oz! Richard had done well and weighed 52lb 5oz and wouldn't be too far off with that today.

Janders had also enjoyed a nice days fishing with 10lb 11oz of silvers and a few carp but he still had to pay me a pound. I didn't watch the rest of weigh but I'd hoped I might be second behind Glynn who said he thought he had 20lb of skimmers. Back at the results and Glynn had won the silvers but only just as he weighed 17lb 3oz and it had been really close. Still I'd finished second and picked up £26 although I had to pay Glynn a pound yet again and I'm thinking of setting up a direct debit! Nicky Ewers won overall with an excellent 93lb 5oz and Richard was second.
Today's board
1 - Nicky Ewers (Thatchers) - 93lb 5oz
2 - Richard S (Summerhayes) - 52lb 5oz
3 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 51lb 3oz
4 - Harry Muir (Acorn) - 48lb 5oz

1 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 17lb 3oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 16lb 10oz

Next up - River Isle

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My trip to the Dorset Stour with Steve Hurford (below)

Dorset Stour - 20th September 2014

My mate Steve Hurford offered to take me barbel fishing at Throop on the Dorset Stour as a thank you for giving his wife Sally all the info I could to help her arrange a surprise trip to Gillhams in Thailand for his 50th birthday earlier this year. Steve arranged all the day tickets etc and Scott Russell very kindly leant us a couple of barbel rods and a suitable landing net. I had quite a few packets and tubs of various pellets and boilies lying around at home so that would save us having to buy loads of bait.

I set my alarm for 4:30 which is pretty much uncharted territory for me and Steve picked me up at 5:00. We found the car park fairly easily (after a brief trip up an industrial estate thanks to the sat nav!) and had a walk to look at the river which looked really nice. There was an angler setting up just below a bridge and he said there were quite a few swims on the other side and that beat one was upstream and beat two was downstream of the bridge and if we were after barbel, beat two was the place to go. We went and got our kit and crossed the bridge before heading downstream, the river was still quite weedy but after walking for a little while we went through a gate and came across a very fishy looking swim which had room for the both of us.
The swim certainly looked fishy!
We set the rods up and I was going to fish a conventional cage feeder and Steve was going to fish the method to give us two different approaches, both had hair rigs tied with the knotless knot. Steve had also brought a float rod with him to try later on. I'd brought some Bait Tech Method Mix with me which Steve mixed up while I opened some pellets. Scott had also let us have some small Robin Red boilies which him and Ash had caught on when they fished the Wye and I started off with two of these on the hair. I cast the feeder just short of the main flow in the middle and Steve put his close to the gravel in the tail of the swim. I fed some pellets by catapult and we sat back to await the action.
Base camp
I had a bit of a headbanger on my rod but didn't connect on the strike but we felt quite encouraged with an early indication, we also saw a barbel roll near the bottom of the swim so there were definitely some around. After 15 minutes or so, Steve reeled in and he'd managed to foulhook a gudgeon in the head and was trying to claim he was the first to catch! We kept the feed going in and swapping hookbaits but apart from a few knocks we didn't have a really positive bite that you'd associate with a barbel.
Steve's gudgeon! (or was it a mini barbel!)
Still, it was a nice day and we had a good old natter and it was just nice to be sat in such lovely surroundings, a couple of kingfishers kept flying past in a flash of blue and there were some swans that kept quarreling to keep us entertained. Steve's wife had packed us a load of food which was just fantastic of her and we certainly didn't go hungry during the day. In the shallows above us, upstream of a tree we could see several chub and we both tried for them throughout the day with no success and they were quite easily spooked in the shallow water.

Steve set up his float rod but the only action he had was from a minnow but at least he hadn't blanked! I had fished the Stour many years ago and blanked then too! We kept piling the pellets in (and got through nearly four kilos in total plus two kilos of groundbait) but still no rod wrenching bites. We saw quite a few good fish roll and both felt that if we were going to get a bite it would be as the light started to fail.
Steve was like a viper ready to strike as it got dumpsy!
As the light started to go, the fish activity increased and we were getting quite a few knocks, at about 19:00 as it started to get dumpsy (Steve's favourite word), I had a better indication and left it hoping it would develop further and when it started to go again I struck only to met by thin air! I reeled in and the hooklength had gone! I'd missed my chance and with the light fading fast we decided to call it a day. As we walked back to the car Steve tried to claim a pound off me as he said he beat me 2-0!

We loaded the van and made the long trip back and Steve dropped me off around 21:30 and I then had to get my kit ready for Summerhayes the next day. I'd really enjoyed the day despite blanking and I do enjoy doing something completely different from match fishing. I think we'll be back for another try as it's a lovely venue. So a big thanks to Steve for sorting it all out and to Sally for looking after us so well with all the grub.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dillington Pond - Summer League 10 - 14th September 2014

It was the last match of the Summer League today and another lovely day, I got to the Oak and it was nice to see Mike Board fishing today although we were down a few who had fished the last match. In the league Fieldy had the title sown up already although Rob and Bruce would fight it out today for second place. Rob said there was a lot of scum on the surface of the pond and he'd left out the bottom bank as that was where most of it had accumulated. He announced the draw and I was hoping for a peg on the near side but pulled out peg 24 by the pump house which is a good peg but for me it's one of those hero or zero pegs. I did win off it in the first match by just fishing in open water and ignoring the bush and that's what I intended to do today. I just feel that fishing for the chub is too much of a gamble and since I had two in that first match, I don't think one has been caught from the peg since!
Peg 24 and no, that's not my float in the distance
I popped over to Tackleuk yesterday and picked up two winder trays for my box so it's now the right height and hopefully I won't get chronic backache anymore! I had intended to pick up some of the new Bait Tech Pro Natural Bream to try but they didn't have any in stock or the Pro Nat Dark so a bag of the regular Pro Nat would have to suffice. I got to my peg and the first thing I noticed was that all that scum had blown up my end of the pond - great! I got my box level and mixed up some groundbait before starting to get the rest of my gear ready. Stuart Alford had drawn peg 21 (the pontoon) but he's said from the start that he wouldn't fish it if he drew it as there's a handrail and it's on the wrong side with him being left handed. With mine and Fieldy's agreement he moved to the next peg up but that didn't stop me from calling him 'Pick a Peg' Alford for the rest of the match!

Then my day took a turn for the worse when I got my pole out of the holdall and the section that I broke (remember PoleAid?) and had repaired was wedged solid inside the next section and I just couldn't get it out, Bruce and Pick a Peg tried to help but nothing was shifting it, with time running out Bruce let me borrow one of his Garbolino poles and my top two's fitted perfectly and I quickly set up a Drennan Tipo to fish at 8.5 metres and a little Preston Chianti to fish shallow and finally started a few minutes late. I fed a couple of balls of groundbait and started with the deep rig with caster on the hook. Poor Stu was also late starting and by the time he got fishing, Bruce in peg 2 already had four fish on the whip!

I had a bite first chuck and started catching roach and rudd including some nice ones and had 25 fish after an hour, I was a few ahead of Stu but a long behind Bruce although he was catching a lot of small fish. Going into the second hour I was still catching but it was slowing up, I also had my first visitor when Steve Hurford turned up to discuss our barbel trip to the Stour next week. I was now getting odd fish but starting to miss quite a few bites. Courtney Pas turned up fresh from winning the junior league yesterday although she didn't stay long and soon got bored watching me catching not a lot.

Next to arrive was Scott Jackson, he had a look at my pole and said he'd take it home with him to see if he could loosen it. While he was there I tried fishing shallow and had a couple of fish quite quickly before I started missing more bites than I was hitting and it's really starting to do my head in. Then Big Frank turned up and was taking the piss at the number of bites I was missing although I did net a couple of clonking roach while he was there. He went for a wander and Scott went off home to see if he could sort my pole out. After they'd gone I actually started to catch quite well in spells and there wasn't a lot between me and Stu in numbers of fish. Frank came back from his wander and said it looked like a bit of a struggle for most although Bruce was still catching lots of small fish.
I've finally got my box sorted but now I've buggered my pole! (thanks to Scott Jackson for the photo)
Scott returned and despite his best efforts he hadn't managed to get the sections apart and I was starting to worry I'd never get them apart. While he was with me I was still missing loads of bites, probably 8 or 9 out of every 10! Occasionally I'd hit one and it would be a clonking big roach of 8-10oz. I tried going deeper and also shortening the line between pole tip and float and then hit three out of the next four bites, cracked it I thought but nope and I went back to missing bites. I also bumped several good roach and I just can't get my head round it. Rob blew for the finish and I ended up with 88 fish, all roach and rudd and guessed I probably had 7-8lb. Old Pick a Peg had over 100 fish and had a nice skimmer and I thought he'd done me and I said he should have taken up my offer of a side bet before the start of the match.

I packed my kit away and let Bruce have his pole back, cheers mate you are a star and thanks also to Stu and Scott Jackson for trying to help, it does make you realise what a nice bunch anglers are on the whole. Rob soon arrived with the scales and said Bruce was leading with nearly 300 fish for 16lb 4oz followed by Justin with 9lb 6oz, I knew Fieldy had beaten me and thought Stu had as well so there would be no pick up for me today, so I was amazed when Rob called out 9lb 10oz to put me into second place with three left to weigh. Stu weighed 6lb 10oz which surprised me as I thought he had more than that but at least he managed to stay on that peg for the rest of the match! Fieldy pushed me into third place when he weighed 11lb 13oz and then Mike Board had 6lb 13oz and had some cracking roach with one getting on for a pound.
Stu 'Pick a Peg' Alford had 6lb 10oz
Fieldy weighed 11lb 13oz and had a very tight, very white top on!

Mike Board had some cracking roach in his 6lb 13oz
So I actually sneaked into third place and picked up £22 (plus a pound off Steve) but I was still a little frustrated as all those missed bites and bumped fish had cost me again today. If I could convert even half of those bites into fish I'd be a lot closer to the winning weights.

In the league Fieldy won with 10 points and the battle for second was won by Bruce who pipped Rob by a single point. Bruce and Graham demonstrated the dominance of the whip as between them they won eight out of the ten matches, I still think quality caster roach on the pole will beat the whip (as Ash proved a few matches back) but I'm not getting it right at the moment. It's a cracking venue and one of the fairest around with different pegs winning every week, looking through the results we've had 17 different anglers fish the matches, it's just a shame they don't fish them all as we could have some really good matches.

1 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 16lb 4oz
2 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 11lb 13oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 9lb 10oz

Final League Positions
1 - Graham Field - 10 points
2 - Bruce Hunt - 27 points
3 - Robin Cox - 28 points

The club would like to say a massive thanks to Robin for organising another great little league and Steve and Cindy at the Royal Oak for their continued support and sponsorship, it really is appreciated.

Pole Aid update - I got home and tried everything I could think of and have now succeeded in splintering and snapping the end of the section and it's still stuck up the other section! Any ideas welcome or if someone wants to donate a Daiwa Air or Airity to a good cause it will be much appreciated!

Next up - The Dorset Stour next Saturday

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

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, September 08, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 7th September 2014

It was back to Summerhayes today and I've been struggling here a bit of late, when I phoned Pete to put my name down he said it would be on Sellicks and possibly Lily (oh no!) depending on numbers. On arriving there were quite a few cars there already and I knew there would be some pegs on my least favourite pond. Just to show how popular this lovely little venue is becoming, there were 22 booked in for today including Giles Cochrane and Lee Pesticcio who had made the trip over the Severn Bridge from Wales.

When Pete announced the draw I was outside yapping (just for a change!) and was near the end of the queue, as always people started to come out of the hut with either a spring in their step or moaning about their bad luck. Glynn had drawn peg 3 which is one of the most consistent silvers pegs on Sellicks (no change there then!) and his brother Nigel had drawn peg 23 where he won the lake on day two of the pairs festival with over 14lb of skimmers. Their Dad Ray wasn't so lucky and was on one of the carp pegs up the end. By the time I got to the draw bucket, there weren't many balls left and I pulled out peg 21 on Sellicks which is in a decent silvers area but more importantly I had managed to avoid Lily for once!
Peg 21 on Sellicks
It was a lovely sunny day and for once there wasn't any wind but bright and still might be nice for the anglers, it's not so good for the fishing! The pond had a nice colour to it and the way Pete had pegged it, most anglers had empty pallets either side. I set up two Malman Pencils, a 0.6 gram and a 0.4 gram version (which I never picked up all day), both rigs had 0.10mm bottoms and size 16 808's. My side tray just had some micros and 4mm's on it which I had soaked last night and some Bait Tech 4mm expanders for the hook, I also had some banded 6mm hard pellets in case small fish became a problem.

I was ready with 15 mins to go so had a quick walk and managed to persuade Martin Addicot to have a £1 sidebet on silvers even though he'd drawn a good carp peg! Back on my box and the all in was shouted which saw me feed half a pot of micros plus a few 4mm's on two lines at 10 metres (right and left) and also at 5 metres. I started on the right hand line and had to wait a little while for the first bite which I missed of course! Nigel in peg 23 was soon off the mark with a decent skimmer that leapt out of the water. My next bite resulted in a 2.5lb carp which wasn't a great start so I moved to the left hand line. I had a decent leaping skimmer and then Nigel had another and we were both getting regular bites.

By the end of the first hour I think we both had seven skimmers although I had some smaller ones, I'd also lost a carp at the net which I wasn't too bothered about. The second hour was a bit slower but I was still getting enough bites to keep me interested and added another four skimmers by swapping between the two longer lines. Every time I shipped out I dripped in a few micros on the five metre line but wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it. The third hour saw bites slow further and I only added two more skimmers (plus the inevitable carp), although I did prick one fish on the strike which saw a good skimmer come flying out of the water!

It was time to try the shorter line and my first fish off it was another carp before I had a really good spell where I added six skimmers from 4oz to 1.5lb and a lovely crucian around the pound mark. I also missed a bite that saw yet another skimmer fly out of the water! There was still nothing between Nigel and me but I felt I was just about in front. The penultimate hour arrived and I tried the longer lines again but it was painfully slow so was soon back on the five metre line. I only had three more skimmers from this line including a couple of better ones around the 1.5lb mark (plus pond pigs of course) and I thought I had around 10-11lb with an hour to go.

The last hour was an anti-climax for me and I only added another couple of carp and I should have gone back on the longer lines. Nigel had a tench and a decent skimmer in the last period of the match and it really was close between us but he thought I had more than him. Glynn shouted over that he had 15-16lb and we both knew we didn't have that so it was looking like he'd be taking yet another squid off me. I packed up and was soon waiting by peg 1 for the weigh in to start, somehow I ended up with the weigh board and with some good catches being made there was a danger I might have to take my shoes and socks off!

Martin Addicot had done well in peg 1, weighing 81lb 5oz but crucially only had a couple of pounds of silvers so at least I had a nugget to pay Glynn in peg 3 who 17lb 8oz of skimmers. Geoff Sparks had 69lb 9oz of carp in peg 5 and Alan Jenkins had 8lb 11oz of silvers in peg 6 before the scales turned left onto Lily. Lee Pesticcio was on Lily peg 2 and went into the lead with 84lb 9oz of mainly carp, Bruce Hunt had 10lb 7oz of skimmers to go into second place in the silvers from peg 5, a few anglers didn't weigh in on Lily and the last peg was Giles Cochrane in peg 14 who had 65lb 7oz which put him in fourth place with the rest of Sellicks left to weigh.
Lee Pesticcio with part of his catch (thanks to Dom Sullivan for the photo)
Jim Jenner had 69lb 4oz from peg 12 which meant the golden peg was safe until the next time, Ray Wickham had 9lb 7oz of silvers from peg 13 before fellow blogger Dom Sullivan had 81lb 15oz to go into second place from peg 14 (see his account of the match here - Dom's Blog). There were then a few 30lb plus weights before it was my turn, my 8 or 9 carp went 23lb 9oz before my silvers went 13lb 2oz to put me into second with just Nigel to weigh. His carp went just under 30lb and when he pulled his silvers net out I could see it was going to be tight, the digital scales read 12lb 6oz which meant he would be third.

Back at the results all the anglers enjoyed coffee, crisps and chocolate while Pete worked the results out. Lee won with Dom second and Martin third and Geoff Sparks and Jim Jenner filled the remaining main frame places. Glynn won the silvers yet again, I was second and collected my first Summerhayes envelope in ages and Nigel was third. I really enjoyed today and that poor last hour probably cost me when I should have gone back on the 10 metre lines.
Today's weigh board
1 - Lee Pesticcio (Mosella) - 84lb 9oz
2 - Dom Sullivan (Maver/Cadbury Angling) - 81lb 15oz
3 - Martin Addicot (Summerhayes) - 81lb 5oz
4 - Geoff Sparks (Summerhayes) - 69lb 9oz
5 - Jim Jenner (Sedges) - 69lb 4oz

1 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 17lb 8oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 13lb 2oz
3 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 12lb 6oz

Next up - Dillington

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)