Sunday, March 30, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 30th March 2014

The weather was gorgeous again and it was starting to look like Spring had actually sprung! I met Rob at the Little Thief and we headed to Bridgwater, on arriving the car park was rammed as there was a match on Longs as well today. With a good turnout of sixteen for our match, the net bins were almost empty, the other match had already drawn their pegs so we paid our pools and the lovely Adie made us a coffee. As per usual I had one of the last balls in the bucket and was a little disappointed when I pulled out peg 15, now don't get me wrong it's one of the best pegs on Sellicks, a proper flier but for a carp and as you all know I like to fish for silvers. Still I had done alright off it last time so maybe lightening will strike twice! I had side bets with Reece and Rob on silvers today.

When I was on this peg last Sunday I had Ray Wickham on my left and Martin Addicot on my right, this time they were both in the same area again as well but Ray was on 14 with Martin on 13. Jess Jordon was on 17 and it was also the golden peg, also if you win the silvers off a golden peg you pick up half the pot which I think is a cracking idea as a lot of anglers just fish for silvers. I set up two Malman Pencils, a 0.4 gram and a 0.6 gram, both with 0.10mm bottoms and size 16 Tubertini 808's. Bait was dampened micros plus some Bait Tech 4mm and 6mm expanders.

On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros on two lines at 10 metres and the same at 5 metres. I started on the line straight out in front with a 4mm expander on the hook and my first bite resulted in a foulhooked carp which came off so I switched lines to the left hand 10 metre line and hooked another carp which gave me the run around and came off as well, this wasn't going too well! I did manage a 4oz skimmer off this line before the first hour was up to get me off the mark. Jess was having similar problems and had lost several foulhookers on the trot and Ray had lost a couple too.

I had a couple of small carp off the left hand line but also added a couple of decent skimmers and they settled me down a little bit. It was already looking like it might be fishing hard and with lots of carp moving about and getting foulhooked I wondered if they had other things on their minds! I tried the 5 metre line for the first time and had another 4oz skimmer and followed this up with another decent one and was getting quite a few indications.

Both Jess and Ray were still losing fish and there was a lot of head shaking going on, I couldn't really see how Martin was getting on but I hadn't heard any moaning yet! I lost what felt like a decent carp when it did me in the lilies and had to tie another hooklength on. I was getting odd skimmers from the left hand 10 metre line and the short line but hadn't caught off the other line straight out in front of me but I kept toss potting in some feed there and trying it for five minutes or so.

By the half way point I had about 9 skimmers and 4 carp and was doing as well as anybody I could see on our side and then in a carbon copy of the last match I started struggling for bites. I kept swapping between my three lines but bites were now very few and far between. Going into the last hour or so I was up to 12 skimmers and thought I must have around the same weight as the last time I was here (5lb) and felt I needed a couple more decent skimmers. Then I had another carp off the short line but then bumped a skimmer before losing a carp from the 10 metre line when I really should have taken more care.

Time was running out and I hadn't added any more to my nets when I've hooked another carp from the short line and that one did me in the lilies as well! After tying on another hook I just about had time to go out again and managed a 4oz skimmer on the whistle. Lost fish seemed to be the order of the day as I'd lost four or five carp, Ray had lost half a dozen and Jess had lost nine! To be fair I think the majority had been foulhooked and they just weren't feeding properly today.

I took my kit back to the car and Rob had caught a couple of nice carp but had lost several as well and when Reece said he'd only caught a couple of bits, I should at least have two nuggets to come! With Pete not fishing him and Adie were soon starting the weigh in on the other side and I caught up with the scales as they weighed Martin in. He'd weighed 12lb odd and looking at the board I was amazed to see the top weight so far was a lad called Adam on peg 6 with 18lb 1oz and he was also leading the silvers with 5lb 5oz. I was starting to wish I'd taken my time with a couple of those carp!

Ray had some decent lumps and went into the overall lead with 22lb 6oz and then it was my turn, my carp went 13lb 8oz and then my silvers weighed a level 7lb to give me 20lb 8oz and I was just short of Ray's weight although I was leading the silvers. Jess had 23lb 3oz and went into the lead for a bumper payday, Andy next door had 15lb 2oz and then Reece had 23lb 6oz meaning he had stopped the golden ball going by 3oz! Bill 'The Redfin' Hopping had 21lb 7oz and the weights were incredibly tight with only a single carp separating the top five. Rob's two carp went 6lb 8oz but he had lost several as well and said he'd really enjoyed it once again.
Reece was on the winner's podium again.
Back at the hut for the results and Reece was confirmed as the winner with Jess second, Ray third and Bill fourth. I won the silvers and picked up a nice little envelope with £42 in it and Adam was second in the silvers. To be honest I really should have done better and that's twice I've drawn this peg and should have won off it but the others also lost enough to win it too.

A nice little envelope today
1 - Reece B (Summerhayes) - 23lb 6oz
2 - Jess Jordon (Summerhayes) - 23lb 3oz
3 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 22lb 6oz
4 - Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 21lb 7oz

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 7lb
2 - Adam (Summerhayes) - 5lb 5oz

A very tight frame today
So another good result and a very profitable March! I'm back again next week and it's on Longs I think so come back to see how I get on then (peg 34 please!).

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Blog of the week - The Silverfox had a good day at Trinity Waters today - Mike's Blog

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 26th March 2014

I haven't fished a Wednesday match for a fair old while and as I had a few day's leave to use up I booked in for this one. It was a lovely day too with the sun shining and hardly any wind for the first time in ages. On my arrival, I collected some keepnets before grabbing a coffee and then Pete announced we would on Longs today instead of Sellicks - result! When it was time to draw I got to the bucket quite late and there were only a couple of balls left, I pulled one out and had a look and peg 11 was staring back at me which I was well chuffed with. It's one of the most consistent silvers pegs of late and has done several 30lb plus weights and Alvin won overall off it a couple of weeks back.

As I walked to my peg I passed Bruce on peg 1 who wasn't too happy with his draw but he said it was just nice to see the sun for a change. There was nobody between Bruce and me on peg 11, loads of room! I had a lad called Paul on my left on peg 13 and he said he always draws the same area, which can't be bad as 11, 12 and 13 are great pegs! I must admit as I was setting my gear up, thoughts of beating my best silvers match weight of 25lb odd were running through my head!
Peg 11 on Longs
I set up two MW F1 Slims, a 10 x 11 and a 14 x 11, both had 0.10mm bottoms and size 16 Tubertini 808 hooks and plumbed up three lines at 10 metres and a line at 5 metres. Bait was the usual micros that I had dampened the night before and Bait Tech 4mm expanders. Although a nice bright day there was some wind and it was quite chilly. Pete shouted the all in and I cupped in half a pot of micros on all four lines before starting on the right hand line. I had to wait for what seemed like ages before I had a bite and then I promptly missed it!

Next chuck I had another good bite and connected with this one but it was no skimmer and after a few minutes I netted a 3lb carp and I hoped I wouldn't see too many of them today. I took this as a sign to move to the middle of my three 10 metre lines and started getting regular bites but they were from 2-3oz skimmers and small roach, where were all the big skimbobs! I tried the left hand line but never had a bite there so went back to the right again. I was just getting odd roach and blades and after half an hour I was starting to get concerned at the lack of quality.

Then I had a pound skimmer from the line straight out in front and next chuck hooked a decent fish which I knew wasn't a carp and after a spirited scrap I netted a lovely 1.5lb tench, this was more like it! So after an hour I had about 3lb of silvers plus that carp and I hoped the swim would get stronger as the match progressed. The second hour started okay with some more blades, a 12oz tench and a gorgeous little crucian carp of 8oz or so. The left hand line was a flop and I still hadn't caught over it, so I decided to try the 5 metre line for the first time and had another little tench and a blade before I went back to the right hand longer line. Basically I was trying to get a couple of fish off each line before moving to the next one.

As the third hour started I was on about 5lb of silvers and a couple of carp and things needed to improve if I was going to collect an envelope today. I added more small skimmers and roach plus a couple of carp before hooking a lump which gave me the right run around before I eventually netted a carp which had to be 8lb plus. With all the carp catching and faffing about, the third hour was a bit of a flop silvers wise and I probably only added a pound or so and any thoughts of a big weight had long gone. I also binned the left hand 10 metre line as I hadn't caught a fish off it.

I kept trying the five metre line but all I could catch from it was the odd carp and I didn't know what to do next. Paul was catching carp and silvers well and I could see Ziggy across on peg 32 bagging up. I could still catch the odd small skimmer and roach from my ten metre lines but the bigger skimmers were few and far between. With two hours left I had to do something so got some 6mm hard pellets from my carryall and tried banded pellet. This seemed to discourage the small fish and when my first fish was a decent skimmer, I thought I'd cracked it until I saw it was hooked under the chin! I then had two carp before catching my fourth tench, albeit a baby of 8oz.

I also lost a couple of carp which I think were foulhooked and pulled out of a couple of big skimmers but did manage a couple more big skims before the end of the penultimate hour. I was having to wait ages for bites on the hard pellet and missed quite a few so switched back to expanders for the last hour. I had two good skimmers straight off and thought I might be in for a good last hour but then it was back to small skimbobs and I added a couple more small carp as well. The all out was shouted and I'd ended up with 44 silvers (which included four tench and that crucian) but a lot of them were small fish and I thought I might just have double figures which was a bit disappointing, I also had 13 carp including that lump and thought I might have 40lb in total.

Jacko walked up from peg 16 and asked what I'd had in silvers and I said I'd struggled for about 8lb, he said he'd struggled and I thought perhaps it hadn't fished as well as expected because although a bright day it got very cold during the last hour or so. Then I asked Paul how he'd got on and he said he'd had about thirty carp and 15lb of silvers! I knew Ziggy had also done well although he had slowed up near the end so I thought that would be the two frame places filled but maybe I could sneak in the silvers!

The scales started with Mark Hanham in peg 37 and he weighed 34lb 12oz, Bruce had 21lb 5oz from peg 1 (which included 8lb of silvers) before it was my turn, my carp went a level 32lb before I pulled my silvers out and Jacko reckoned I couldn't lie straight in bed as Pete called my weight at 15lb 11oz to give me a total of 47lb 11oz. Paul had 41lb 11oz of carp and 16lb 14oz of silvers to go into the lead on both fronts and I was hoping he'd frame. Jacko had 14lb 5oz of silvers and then Roger Russell had 13lb 8oz and I was still hanging onto second in silvers.

I missed the next few weights as I took the rest of my kit back to the car and caught up with the scales as they weighed the last two anglers, I was expecting Ziggy to beat me and was surprised when he weighed 39lb 10oz and when Paul Elworthy had 29lb 3oz (which included the best silvers weight of 20lb 14oz) I thought I'd actually sneaked second overall. It wasn't until I got back to the hut and took a photo of the results that I saw Steve Kedge had pipped me with 50lb 8oz from peg 29! Pete was paying the top two overall and the top two silvers and I actually ended up second in the silvers and picked up a tenner so at least I've kept this little run going (11 pick ups in the last 12 matches).

Looking at the results, I wasn't far off winning it and I reckon if I'd attacked the peg a bit more I might have done enough, also the silvers weights were all very close with the top six all catching double figures and that's decent fishing and I expect the weights to improve further as the weather warms up.
Some good weights again today
1 - Paul W (Tiverton) - 58lb 9oz
2 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 50lb 8oz

1 - Paul Elworthy (Summerhayes) - 20lb 14oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 15lb 11oz

So another really good days fishing although I failed miserably to beat my best silvers weight. I'm back again on Sunday with Rob Cox and we're on Sellicks I think, so come back then to see if I can keep this good run going or I crash and burn!

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Blog of the week - Lee Williams had a good day at Plantation Lakes - Lee's Blog

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 23rd March 2014

When I spoke to Pete to put mine and Janders names down for this match, he said it would be on Longs today so after picking Janders up, I was a little disappointed on arriving to see all the cars parked by Sellicks! It was also really windy (just for a change!) and there were also some showers forecast - great! As we collected our keepnets it was pretty cold and I was glad I'd not forgotten to wear my hoodie today. We paid our pools and had a coffee while waiting for Pete to sort out the pegs. There had been a match on Sellicks yesterday and it had been a fairly low weight affair with only 6lb needed to win the silvers.

When Pete announced the draw I was fairly near the back of the queue and thought peg 4 would do me as I'd had a lovely day there a couple of weeks back. It wasn't to be though and my ping pong ball had the number 15 on it which put me near the top of the pond, a great carp peg which wasn't what I wanted but it does occasionally do a weight of silvers. Janders drew peg 1 and although very windy, it's quite a narrow peg and I though he might do okay today.
Peg 15 on Sellicks
The wind was horrible and all over the place and I just knew it was going to make for a frustrating day, I set up a 0.6 gram Malman Pencil and also a 0.75 gram Drennan AS float (which I never picked up all day!), both with 0.10mm bottoms and size 16 Tubertini 808's. I plumbed up two lines at 10 metres, one straight out in front and the other angled to the left and also a shorter line at 5 metres where I thought I might be spending most of the day unless the wind eased off. Ray Wickham was on my left on peg 16 and Martin Addicot was on peg 14 and moaning about how he hated the peg and would be packed up by dinnertime and I was wishing I'd brought some earplugs!
I don't think Martin liked his peg!!!
I was just about ready when the whistle went and cupped in half a pot of micros on all three lines before starting straight out with a 4mm Bait Tech expander on the hook, I missed a bite before connecting with the next one, although very briefly and I think it must have been foulhooked. I swapped to the other 10 metre line and lost another foulhooked carp so I had a look on the shorter line much earlier than I really wanted to. I had two small carp quite quickly (one was foulhooked) before finally catching a 4oz skimmer to get me off the mark. Just before the first hour was up I've hooked a right lump which I had on for ages, the wind was being a right nightmare though and as well as trying to use the pulla bung, I also had to keep some of my pole sections from being blown in the pond! After about 10 minutes the carp decided it was fed up with all my faffing about and went under my keepnet and snapped me!

I had my third carp at the start of the second hour and then had a good 1.5lb skimmer followed by another of a similar size that jumped out of the water on the strike. Ray had bumped a couple of better skimmers and Martin only had a couple of carp so at this early stage I was doing okay. I added a couple more 4oz skimmers and another small carp and was fairly happy with my silvers catch rate as I was getting quite a few bites and it felt like there were a few fish there. The wind was getting right on my nerves and even blew my pole roller bag in the pond but luckily I managed to retrieve it.

The third hour was similar and I added another good skimmer plus a few smaller ones and a couple more nuisance carp and I still felt a decent weight of skimmers was on the cards. Martin was still getting the odd carp but poor Ray was having a bit of a 'mare and had lost another good skimmer plus several carp. Along with the wind we were now getting the odd rain and hail shower and it was bloody cold too! Then as we passed the half way point I went from getting regular bites on the shorter line to really struggling. I did add a couple of smaller skimmers but really should have rested this line but I just didn't fancy having to wrestle with the pole and the wind on the longer lines.

Martin was still moaning the odd carp into his net and I could see Mark Leahy further down on our side catching the odd carp as well and they were slowly but surely pegging back my early lead. With about an hour and a half to go I was on nine skimmers and around the same number of carp but my shorter line was dying on me. When Martin had two carp in quick succession, I knew I had to do something so I fed some micros on the 5 metre line before going out to wrestle the wind on the longer line. To be honest presentation was awful but I had two carp and bumped another and I was just about still in front of Martin.

I had another look on the shorter line, but when my neighbour had another carp I was soon back out long and added another carp myself. I think I was now on 13 or 14 carp but I had lost count as I only use my clicker for the silvers. I came back onto the five metre line for the last five minutes but didn't add any more fish to my tally, Martin on the other hand hooked one right on the whistle and landed it safely and I thought it might be tight between us. Ray reckoned we would be first and second but I wasn't so sure as we had no clue how the pegs on the far side had fished.

I packed up and as I took my box back to the car I asked how people had got on and most had struggled, Mark Leahy on peg 18 said he'd lost loads of foulhookers, young Reece on peg 19 said he'd caught quite a few skimmers as had Dave T in peg 21, Glynn Wickham in peg 23 had really struggled and hadn't caught any silvers at all so at least I'd won a pound today (that's 2-0 this year so far!). As I loaded the car I missed Janders weighing in but he had really suffered with the wind to weigh 2lb of silvers and 3lb of carp, he said he could only fish one line as if he turned around his hat blew off!

Andy B in peg 4 had 5lb 8oz of silvers and Dan P next door had 5lb 6oz of silvers and 18lb 4oz of carp to go into the lead. Bruce Hunt in peg 7 had 6lb 8oz of mainly small rudd and went into the silvers lead before Dave B in peg 9 pushed Bruce down into second with 8lb 3oz. Then we got to Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping in peg 11 and he had a few silvers and 46lb 8oz of carp to storm into the lead with 47lb 12oz. Rob Birch didn't weigh in on peg 13 but at least Man United won this week!

Martin Addicot was next and weighed 27lb 2oz to go into second place and had actually stopped moaning for five minutes! Then it was my turn and my carp weighed 34lb 8oz and my silvers went a level 5lb to give me a 39lb 8oz total and I went into second place. The rest of our bank didn't take long to weigh in with several people chucking back, Reece weighed 4lb 8oz of silvers and had to pay Dave B a pound and Dave T had 3lb 12oz of silvers and that was that.
Today's weighboard
I was well chuffed to frame again and glad that lost lump hadn't cost me although I reckon if I'd spent longer at 10 metres I might have pushed Bill's weight. Still I picked up £45 for second place plus pounds off Glynn and Janders. So a pretty good weekend as Chelsea beat Arsenal 6-0 yesterday to stay top although Man City and Liverpool are right behind us with games in hand.
Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping
1 - Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping (Summerhayes) - 47lb 12oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 39lb 8oz
3 - Martin Addicot (Taunton Moaners) - 27lb 2oz

1 - Dave Ball (Summerhayes) - 8lb 3oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 6lb 8oz

I've actually got a few days off work next week so I'm going to fish on Wednesday so come back then for a bonus blog!

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My Canvas Design review (below)

Blog of the week - See how Tim got on at Emerald Pool today - Tim's Blog

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Canvas Design Review

Through this blog I occasionally get things sent to me to review and I really enjoy doing it as I love getting home to find unexpected parcels waiting for me! I try to write an honest review of any products that come my way or indeed, any gear that I actually buy! I was recently contacted by a lady from Canvas Design asking if I would like to do a review of one of their canvases, all I had to do was send them a photo that I would like turned into a canvas. I decided on my favourite photo which is of a 80lb Amazon Redtail Catfish caught at Gillhams in 2012.

As soon as the print was ready I received a text telling me when the canvas would be delivered and the following day I had another message to let me know when it would arrive during an hour long window - fantastic service. The canvas was really well packaged and from me sending the photo off to receiving it was within 48 hours. I must admit I was a little apprehensive unwrapping it but it was brilliant and I am over the moon with it. The original photo is below with a picture of the canvas underneath and you can see how good it is.

The original photo
The canvas
The 100% cotton canvas is of the highest quality and comes hand stretched over a 3.8cm pine frame with a free hanging kit supplied. My wall was looking very bare but I've now hung it over my bed (well I didn't want to have to look at my ugly mug all night!) and I think it looks fantastic. In fact I'm actually thinking about getting a couple more done and paying for them!

Pride of place over my bed
Looking at their website (which is really easy to use), they can do a wide range of sizes and you can have square, landscape or portrait canvases. If you can't see the size you want they can make you a custom canvas right up to 72". They also do three different types, Canvas Lite (with an 18mm pine frame) with prices starting from £5.99, Canvas Classic which start at £7.99 and Floating Canvas Prints which look amazing but are a little more expensive, starting at £36. You can also have a photo montage done and they even do waterproof canvases! All shipping is free too!

I think they would make an ideal present for anyone and gift vouchers are available on the site and you can even get a canvas sent to someone if you wanted to.

I have to say again how impressed I am with this company and the service they provide, these canvases will brighten up any wall. Have a look at their websites (links below) and if you're still not tempted there's even a discount code (BLOG15) which will get you an extra 15% off.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 16th March 2014

I was looking forward to fishing Longs this week as the silvers weights have been steadily improving with over 18lb needed to win it in the last match. Rob Cox also fancied giving it a go for the first time so I met him at the Little Chef in Ilminster and off we went. There was a good turnout with over twenty anglers fishing today, including Alvin Jones who I hadn't seen for ages and Steve Jackson. The hot pegs for silvers have been 30 and 34, I was near the end of the queue but when it was my turn to draw, peg 34 was still in the bucket. My drawing hand had deserted me though as I opened my fingers to reveal peg 18 down the far end, an area I have struggled on the last few times I've been down there. Pete did offer me some crumbs of comfort when he said somebody had caught 16lb of big skimmers off it recently.

Rob had drawn peg 12 which can be a good silvers peg and he had Alvin next door on peg 11. For company I had Rob Birch on my right on peg 16 with Nigel Wickham on my left and he had his brother Glynn to his left. Ray Wickham was next to Rob so we had the whole family down our end! When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and it looked like a lovely day so I didn't bother wearing a hoodie, I should have remembered it's always windy at Summerhayes because as I was setting up I was freezing cold!

The wind was wicked and I just knew it would be a pain in the bum, poor Rob Birch tried plumbing up on the far bank and got caught in some overhanging vegetation and then had to spend ages setting up again only to go across again and the wind blew his brand new rig into the same spot and he lost that as well, not a happy bunny!

I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for fishing at 10 metres and also a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil for the five metre line. My bait table was very simple, just some soaked micros and the usual Bait Tech 4mm expanders. On the whistle I cupped up quarter of a cup of micros at 10 metres, angled to the right and half a cup at the same distance but straight out in front of me. I also put in the same amount on the shorter line. I baited up with a 4mm expander and started on the right hand line, second chuck I've had a decent skimmer and hoped it was a good sign. I then had a blade before swapping to the other long line, a couple more small fish followed before I had my second good skimmer and although I wasn't bagging at least I knew there were a few better fish about.

The second hour was pretty similar and I had some more blades and my third proper skimmer, I did lose a carp and then hooked what felt like a small carp, I was giving it some stick and was then pleasantly surprised when a 12oz tench popped up! At this early stage nobody down our end was catching much although I could see Alvin netting fish in peg 11. I tried the shorter line but my only fish off it was a motherless minnow! I've gone back out to the longer lines and I did bump off what felt like a big skimmer but the wind was making it almost impossible to get decent presentation. Apart from the odd small fish and a couple of small carp I was now really struggling. To make matters worse Nigel had three good skimmers in quick succession and there wasn't much between us.

With over half the match gone I hadn't added any more decent fish and was getting increasingly frustrated with the wind. Things hadn't improved much for Rob either, his beloved Man United were 3-0 down to Liverpool and down to ten men! Glynn was walking about and while he was with Nigel I've hooked a fish which turned out to be a foulhooked skimmer of a pound and a half and I managed another not long after. Rob then caught a cracking perch which had to be 2lb, on pellet! He was also getting the odd good skimmer and I reckoned it was tight between him, me and Nigel.

With two hours to go I still wasn't adding much to my nets, apart from the odd small carp, when out of the blue I've had three good skimmers and a blade in as many chucks from the long line straight out in front, the right hand line was a bit of a non starter and I'd only had the one good skimmer off it right at the start. With half an hour to go the wind dropped and I could actually keep the pole and the rig still and I started getting bites and added three more good skimmers, a crucian and a carp in a hectic finale. My final tally was 27 silvers (11 good skimmers, a tench, a crucian plus blades) and five carp.

Glynn had packed up so at least I'd won a pound and Nigel chucked his fish back too, I packed up and took my kit back to the car before having a quick chat with Heardy who said he'd struggled with the wind as well but had caught twelve small carp. As I walked back, the scales had already weighed the first few pegs and Bruce Hunt was leading the silvers with 10lb 10oz from peg 2 and was actually in the overall lead with 15lb 10oz! This all changed when the scales reached Jim Jenner on peg 10 who had 13lb 2oz of carp and then plonked a brilliant 17lb 12oz of silvers on the scales.

Next up was Alvin who had 11lb 4oz of carp and then pulled his silvers net out to reveal a brilliant 36lb 10oz of silvers which included some cracking skimmers and tench. Rob on 12 and peg 13 didn't weigh before Ray Wickham had a total of 17lb 15oz. Rob Birch had 7lb 8oz of silvers and along with the perch, he had a lovely golden tench. My carp went 11lb 4oz and my silvers weighed a level 13lb and I went into third place in the silvers. The trouble was that the bankside grapevine was suggesting Adie Bishop had done a big weight of silvers as well so I was hoping a couple of the big silvers weights would frame.

Heardy had 26lb 1oz and then Steve Jackson just pipped him with 26lb 7oz before Martin Addicot had 31lb 9oz to go into second place. The scales reached Adie and he had a few carp plus another fantastic silvers weight of 31lb 6oz to go in front of Martin with 35lb 2oz. Adam in peg 36 had 28lb 11oz and was looking like he would frame with that.

Back at the results and Alvin had won with Adie second and Martin Addicot third, Jim Jenner was fourth but picked up the silvers by default as it was worth more, meaning I finished second in the silvers and picked up £33. Bruce finished third in the silvers and Adam and Steve Jackson completed the overall frame.
Some great silvers weights today
1 - Alvin Jones (Summerhayes) - 47lb 14oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 35lb 2oz
3 - Martin Addicot (Taunton) - 31lb 9oz
4 - Adam (Summerhayes) - 28lb 11oz
5 - Steve Jackson (Summerhayes) - 26lb 7oz

1 - Jim Jenner (Summerhayes) - 17lb 12oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 13lb
3 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 10lb 10oz

So some good weights which I'm sure would have been even higher if it hadn't been for the wind, it was great to see some fantastic silvers weights, especially as the top two weights were made up mainly of silvers - lovely fishing. Although Rob didn't weigh in, he said he'd enjoyed it (apart from the wind!) and would be back for another go.

Me and Janders are back again next week and it's on Longs again so hopefully the weather will be kinder and it would be nice if I could draw peg 11!

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest ramblings (below)

Blog of the week - Tony had a nice day's fishing today - Tony's Blog

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More Rambling On

I haven't 'rambled' for a while so I thought I'd just update you on a few things, the blog continues to go from strength to strength and I'm now approaching 143,000 hits which I just find incredible, so thank you so much to everyone that enjoys and reads this drivel.

My Facebook page is steadily increasing too and I now have 641 followers, so if you haven't already, please could you 'like' the page, here's the link

Similarly my Twitter page is now up to 1,195 followers so if you could help me get to 1,200 I would be very grateful

If that wasn't enough I'm now on Tumblr

and Flickr

so please feel free to have a look and follow or like or favourite or whatever!

On the fishing front, I've been enjoying a really good run, winning five matches since Xmas, winning two leagues, including the much coveted V.E.S. Precision winter league and winning Barney's Pairs Open with Justin, along the way I also beat my best match weight at Summerhayes too! I've probably jinxed it now and I won't pick up a bean for ages!

I try and keep introducing new content to stop this blog from becoming stale and the interviews have been very well received and I've had some great feedback so look out for the next one soon. As well as the interviews I try and review new items of tackle and bait when they hit the market and I picked up some at The Big One so expect my reviews of these in the near future.

On the subject of new bait, I'm still well impressed with the new Bait Tech Pro Natural Dark and it's fast becoming my number one feed for any venue where I'm after silvers.
Pro Natural Dark, I love it
I also try and get to some new venues and recent ones that spring to mind include Emerald Pool, the Viaduct and the River Exe, along with my trips after new personal bests and species (not always successful) which I find exciting and hopefully you do too! One of the most enjoyable was my trip after pike and perch with Russell Hilton, the weather was awful but the fishing was great! If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here

I really enjoyed last Sunday's match at Summerhayes and it was really nice to see young Reece Birch doing well, he's a really likeable young man and a very decent angler too, it's just a shame there aren't more youngsters coming through the ranks.

Other things on the horizon include the Spring League at Perry St starting and my next trip to Gillhams in Thailand (61 days and counting) and with the better weather arriving hopefully some more trips after mullet and I would like to get a nice tench on my pb list too!

Well that's it for now so thanks to everyone who has left nice feedback on here or has taken the time to talk to me on the bank, the good has far outweighed the bad!

Until next time - tight lines

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Summerhayes - Open - 9th March 2014

Last night I went to Scotty's 40th (I know, he's had a hard life!) at the Square and Compass and it was a really good night with two good bands, lovely food and it was nice to catch up with Scott and Ash, Alex Murray, James Cooper, Martin Addicot and Bean Searle who I haven't seen for years and the legend that is Jon Martin of course! As I was driving it was pints of coke all night but I did wake up feeling nice and fresh! With no more Ilminster matches until the Summer league, I booked myself and Janders into the match on Sellicks at Summerhayes. It had been fishing quite hard for silvers with just a few pounds needed to win although the carp weights have still been pretty good. I wasn't too bothered to be honest as looking out the window it was a beautiful day with blue skies and the sun was out, it would just make a nice change to stay dry and not have to hang on to the pole for dear life.

We got there and collected some keepnets and paid our pools before having a coffee and saying hello to everyone. Pete announced the draw and I hung back hoping the carpy pegs up the top end would go before I delved in, they did with Janders drawing one of them, peg 13. I did notice peg 5 had gone and I would have fancied that for some silvers today, with only a couple of balls left I stuck my hand in and pulled out peg 4, a great peg and one I've done well off before for silvers. It really was a lovely day and as I got to my peg I saw I had young Reece for company on peg 2. He's a good looking lad and he's just had his hair cut and I reckon he could be in a boy band! Despite my best efforts he wouldn't have a side bet with me on silvers although Janders did agree.
Young Reece (from Take That) was on peg 2
I set two rigs for today a 0.75 gram Drennan AS float with 0.10mm bottom with a size 16 808 and a 0.6 gram Malman Pencil with the same end gear. For bait I had 4mm Bait Tech expanders, micros plus some dead red maggots. The all in was shouted and I fed quarter of a pot of micros at 10 metres angled to my right and half a pot at the same distance but straight out in front of me. I also fed quarter of a cup at 5 metres as I've done well off this line before. I started on the right hand line with an expander on the hook and toss potted in a few micros over the top. I had to wait a while for my first bite and a 2lb carp wasn't the result I'd hoped for, my next bite was also a carp which came off at the net.

I switched to the other long line and had my second carp before losing another one at the net, back on the right hand line and carp number three was netted and we'd only been fishing 45 minutes! Reece had also got off to a flying start and had already landed four of five carp. The carp were obviously having a munch on my longer lines so I decided to try my 5 metre line a lot earlier than I had planned. My first fish from the shorter line was a decent skimmer and I followed this with one of 4oz to finish a fairly frantic first hour. I stayed on this line for the second hour and was getting regular bites on expanders and added another eight skimmers (including some good ones), a lovely little tench of 8oz or so and a small carp.

I had some more skimmers in the third hour but when I had two carp in two chucks I thought I'd rest it and try the longer lines again. I had a couple of blades but also lost a foulhooked carp and caught my fifth carp and was soon back on the shorter line. There wasn't much between me and Reece at the halfway point, he had more carp but I had a few pounds of silvers. I was getting the odd carp among the skimmers from this line and had another come off at the net. Janders walked round to use the loo and said he could only catch blades and the odd carp so the pound was looking safe at the moment. With two hours to go I was still getting enough bites to keep me interested and although I was waiting longer for the bites they were from good skimmers with some around the 2lb mark.

The last hour saw me catch several more carp and two good skimmers and as Reece had slowed up a bit, I thought it might be close between us. My final tally was 33 skimmers, 1 tench and 13 carp and as per usual I had no clue what weight I had. Adie started the weigh in at peg 23 so I didn't catch up with the scales until they reached our side. A quick look at the weighboard revealed the top weight so far was Dan P on peg 15 with 49lb 14oz and Janders was leading the silvers with 12lb 12oz and had done well off that peg, I said that I thought I had double figures and it might be close for the nugget.

Daniel B on peg 9 had 36lb 12oz to go into third place and there was a 7lb silvers weight before we got to my peg. My carp went 35lb 12oz and I needed my silvers to go 15lb to go into the lead and I was amazed (and slightly embarrassed) when my skimmers weighed a level 23lb to give me a 58lb 12oz total which is my best weight at Summerhayes yet. Reece still had to weigh though and I knew it would be close as he had caught some lumps, Adie called out his weight at 51lb 2oz and I'd won! While we enjoyed coffee and crisps, Pete did the results before calling me out as the winner and I picked up £50 (plus a pound off Janders), Reece was second and is on a right roll at the moment (and if the boy band thing doesn't work out, he has always got his fishing!) and Dan P was third.
Today's weigh board
A nice white envelope today!
Janders won the silvers so it was a very happy car going home, a very nice days fishing to top off a great weekend (did I mention Chelsea beat Spurs 4-0 to stay top of the league). That's only my second ever win at Summerhayes but both wins have included lovely bags of silvers which I really enjoy fishing for.

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 58lb 12oz
2 - Reece Birch (Summerhayes) - 51lb 2oz
3 - Dan P (Summerhayes) - 49lb 14oz

1 - John 'Janders' Anderson (Donyatt) - 12lb 12oz
2 - Louis Jones (Summerhayes) - 8lb 12oz

So it fished really well with some great weights of silvers and I can't wait to come back next week.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Blog of the week - See how the Silverfox got on at the Viaduct today - Mike's Blog

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Dillington Pond - Barney's Pairs Open - 2nd March 2014

This is another of my favourite matches that I've got a pretty good record in over the years but last year was a bit of a disappointment so I was hoping for better things today. We were planning to have a section on the river today but the weather forecast put paid to that so there was a section on the canal and one on the pond. My partner today was Justin Charles who was gutted when he found out it wasn't on the river and agreed to go down the canal and I would fish the pond. At the pub it was lovely to see some new faces, Matt Pang from work and his mate Simon were there along with Scott Jackson and Mick Greaves. Pete also presented me with £100 for winning the V.E.S. Precision league last week which was a lovely start to the day.

It was decided to do the draw at the respective venues so we could fit around any pleasure anglers and hopefully put pegs in that would afford the anglers some shelter.With Rob down the canal, pegging duties were left up to Graham Field. I was a little late getting to the pond as I had to make a fuel stop and was a little surprised when Fieldy announced he'd just put in every third peg starting at peg 4. I managed to pull out peg 7 which was on the far side and I would much rather have had a peg on the near side but still thought I'd do okay as I won off peg 6 a few weeks back.

It wasn't until I got round the far side and started taking my kit to the peg that I realised I had the wind straight in my face - great! Still it could have been worse, Bruce on peg 10 had forgotten his wellies and waterproofs! I mixed up some Bait Tech Pro Natural Dark (which is fast becoming my favourite groundbait), before setting up the rest of my kit. With time tight I just set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach float with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 B611 and plumbed up at 10 metres. Even at this early stage I could tell the gusty wind was going to be an absolute nightmare.

Looking across the pond I could see Simon in peg 16 and Pete in peg 19 with the wind off their backs and couldn't believe 17 and 18 weren't in, in fact we could probably have all gone on that bank. I just had chance for a coffee before Fieldy shouted the all in, I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres and even that took longer than usual with the wind trying to rip the pole from my hands. I baited up with a single red maggot and shipped out and hung on for dear life. I attempted to loose feed some casters and hemp but it was going all over the place. After a few minutes, the float slid away and I was off the mark with a tiny roach, I switched to double white maggot as this has sorted out some quality in previous matches but two more tiny roach obliged and caster was my next offering.

I was missing bites on caster and guessed it was small fish, Bruce had only caught one fish and Fieldy in peg 13 hadn't had a bite yet and this could be hard going. After an hour I had around ten small fish and was doing okay as far as I could see although I had seen Simon and Mick in peg 4 both net fish. The second hour was slightly better and I was getting the odd better fish on caster. The wind was horrendous and I had to drop the pole on the water at times to avoid a breakage. I was sure there would be a few carbon casualties by the end of the match. We were getting some fine misty rain which wasn't too bad although with the wind in my face I had to keep stopping to wipe my glasses.

Bruce had managed to find an old coat in his van and in a bid to stop his legs getting soaked he had put his legs through the armholes of the jacket and was surviving for now but he was praying the rain wouldn't get any worse. I was swearing like a man with tourettes at the wind, the rain and most of all, Fieldy for not putting us on the other side. I was still getting small roach with the odd better one and also managed to drop off my usual 3oz fish when I really should have used the net.

I wasn't really enjoying myself too much and this wasn't helped when I managed to hook the top of my hoodie and spent quite a while trying to unhook myself, Bruce found this highly amusing and asked if that was a 'Hat Trick', very funny. I still felt I was doing okay although everybody seemed to be getting odd fish but I didn't think anybody would be weighing in double figures today. When the wind dropped and I could actually keep the float still, I would get bites but I just couldn't get decent presentation. With two hours to go, the weather gods decided misty rain wasn't enough punishment and it started lashing it down.

I had hoped to catch some quality roach in the last period of the match but if anything my bites dried up and I only added a few more roach to finish up with 65 fish and I hoped I might have 6lb. Thankfully I don't think there had been any pole casualties and I was relieved to pack mine away unscathed. I took my soaked kit back to the car before walking up with Fieldy to start the weigh in at Mick, he was looking rather bedraggled but he'd had some nice rudd and a little tench and weighed 2lb 9oz. Then it was turn and my fish weighed a level 7lb which I was quite pleased with, things got better when a soaked Bruce weighed 5lb 5oz and I was still leading. As we walked to Fieldy's peg he kept saying he had nowhere near my weight so I was pretty sure he had beaten me as he can't lie straight in bed! When he pulled his net out it was close and Mick called the weight at 7lb 8oz and I was down to second in the section.
Mick Greaves caught one of the newly stocked tench and some lovely rudd
I took the rest of my kit back to the car and just as I'd finished and was taking off my very wet waterproofs, Fieldy came back from weighing the other side where Simon had 5lb 9oz and Pete had caught 3lb 1oz, so I was still second in the section and now just needed Justin to come back with good points. Back at the results there were only a few very wet anglers as those that hadn't done too well had shot off home to dry off and warm up. I was pleased to see Justin there and when he said he'd won his section with 8lb 9oz of roach and perch I was even happier. Pete worked out the results and announced us as winners with three points and we picked up £45 each, Rob and Fieldy came second with four points.

My partner Justin Charles
The canal had fished quite hard with Scott Jackson doing well to finish second with 3lb 10oz, Rob was third with 1lb 11oz and Steve P was just an ounce behind. Still it was all in a good cause and we raised some money for Alzheimer's disease.

1 - Jamie Rich and Justin Charles - 3 pts
2 - Robin Cox and Graham Field - 4 pts

1 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 7lb 8oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 7lb

1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 8lb 9oz
2 - Scott Jackson (Ilminster) - 3lb 10oz

Well that's it for the Ilminster matches until the summer so next week I'll probably be at Summerhayes so come back to see if I can catch some silvers.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Blog of the week - Russell was out again after that elusive three pound perch Russ's Blog