Monday, October 27, 2014

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 2 - 26th October 2014

After a disaster in the first match I needed a good result in this one or my league was over already. I got to the draw in good time (yes I remembered to put my clocks back!) and there was another decent turnout and Langport invader Baz Morgan had turned up to mug us all again. I reckon he must have got his sums wrong this time as there was only £20 in the golden peg fund and he normally waits until it's built up nicely before he puts in an appearance. Steve P had also picked up my pole sections from Enterprise Angling and I'm so impressed with them. I think the guy that repairs the sections is called Jim Finch and I can't recommend him highly enough, I really thought both sections were knackered but not only did he manage to get them apart he did an amazing job on both ends of the section I'd butchered. If you break a pole section get in touch with John at Enterprise, it takes a couple of weeks but you won't be disappointed. So a massive thanks to Jim and John and also to Steve for picking the sections up and getting the bait, nice one mate.

Anyway back to today's match and with twelve of us fishing, Rob had put nine pegs at Upper and Lower Coxes and three above Isle Brewers bridge. The golden peg was drawn by landlord Steve Rutter and he pulled out peg 17. Rob announced the draw and asked if Baz wanted to go into the bucket first as he hadn't fished for ages and blow me if he didn't go and pull out 17! I definitely need him to do my lotto numbers for next week. I really fancied peg 14 or 15 at Coxes but of course pulled out peg 122 at Isle Brewers and couldn't have been further away! Stu Alford was third from it in the first match but I've never done any good off it.

I got to the river and parked up before having a quick chat with Big Frank who had drawn peg 124 and Neil Dring who was in 123. After several trips to get my kit to my peg, it was a bit of a rush to get ready and I only had time to set up a 1 gram bodied float with 0.12mm hooklength and size 18 B611. The peg is situated on a bend and upstream there is a discharge that comes in which means most of the flow comes into the bend under my feet. There were some stick ups to my right and also to my left down the peg. There was a good depth all across the swim and it only altered by a few inches when I plumbed up.

The start time of 10:15 arrived and I started at four sections just off the main flow under my feet and inched the caster hook bait through while feeding casters, hemp along with a few maggots. I was also feeding across at about 8.5 metres and the plan was to catch short for as long as possible before moving out. First chuck the float slid away and quite a bit of blue hydro slid out of the pole tip before I netted a nice 3oz roach and I was off an running. I was getting a bite every run through on caster although a lot of them were minnows, tiny chublets and dace that were no bigger than the minnows. I was getting odd slightly better dace and roach between 1-3oz but would only get a couple before it was back to minnows and I was having to chase the fish around a bit.

After an hour I had 17 fish on the clicker but hadn't been counting the minnows or tiny fish, the second hour was similar and I was now swapping between the two lines but those better fish just wouldn't settle. I have to say it's a great sign for the future with so many tiny chub and dace but it wasn't really helping me today as I was putting a lot of fish in the net but they weren't going to weigh bugger all! I was now catching a quite a few gudgeon as well but a lot of these were minnow sized too!

Things started to slow a little during hour three but I did lose a decent roach as I shipped back and then next chuck lost what felt like a good dace and just to make it third time unlucky I dropped off a small dace as well. Big Frank turned up and said both him and Neil were struggling and Steve Hurford had also phoned him to say nobody at Coxes was setting the world alight either. I was still getting a bite every chuck but most were tiny fish and I upped the feed to try and make something happen. It didn't really work and I just kept putting minnows, gudgeon and the odd dace in the net up until the end of the match.

My clicker read 54 but I'd probably had the same number of tiny fish as well and thought I must have 3-4lb which I was sure would be a long way off the pace today. I packed up and started taking my kit back to the car, I got to Neil's peg and he said he'd had a similar day to me. As he had the scales, I left my kit at his peg and we walked up to weigh me in, for once I wasn't too far off with my guess and Neil called my weight at 4lb 4oz. We walked back to his peg and when he pulled his net out he had a very similar catch to mine but the needle stopped short at 3lb 10oz. Frank was last to weigh and he said he had nowhere near mine or Neil's weights but when he pulled his net out he had some decent chublets and roach and I honestly thought he had 5-6lb and was amazed when the needle just crept over 4lb and Neil called it at 4lb 2oz.

As we headed back to the cars, Frank's boy, Jake, phoned to say he'd weighed 2lb 14oz in peg 28 and Heardy had only weighed 1lb 8oz in peg 27 and I just needed to beat Hurf in peg 24 to win the section (and my pound back!). I drove back to meet the others at Coxes and Baz had won the match (and golden peg yet again) with 11lb 10oz from peg 17, his bumper payday didn't end there as he also collected a pound off me! I was soon back to evens though as Steve P had struggled in peg 19 for 13oz and then went 2-1 up on the day as Hurf had 1lb 12oz from peg 24. Rob Cox was second with 7lb 9oz from peg 15 and both him and Baz had caught several trout which count in our matches. The next best weight at Coxes was Fieldy with 3lb 1oz which meant I was actually third on the day and picked up £20.
Baz was overjoyed at taking a pound off me!
Better still I scored one point today and everybody who had done well in the first match had finished well down in their sections today and vice versa meaning the league is wide open after two matches. I'd had a busy day today and I can honestly say I've had a bite every chuck but just couldn't catch enough quality to challenge Baz's weight. I'd probably lost a pound of fish but they wouldn't have made a difference. The river is still very low and clear and we desperately need some rain (but not too much please!).

1 - Barry Morgan (Baz Angling) - 11lb 10oz
2 - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 7lb 9oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 4lb 4oz

A - Graham Field (Taunton) - 3lb 1oz
B - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 4lb 2oz

Next up - Round three of the V.E.S. league

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - How Chard juniors got on last week at Perry St

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chard AC Junior Xmas Fayre - Perry St Pond - 18th October 2014

Chard AC juniors held their Xmas Fayre match at Perry St pond yesterday, conditions were good and the rain held off for the duration of the match and they all had plenty of bites. Chard always hold it early as sometimes in December it's not much fun for the youngsters when it's freezing cold! Zoe Hollister had the best weight on the day with a nice net of mainly carp weighing 18lb 12oz from peg 14, Zoe caught on soft pellets. Josh Knight was second with another mainly carp net of 15lb 12oz from peg 4 and just behind him was Jack Rosling with 15lb 9oz of carp from peg 12. Sam Hughes was fourth with 11lb 10oz from peg 15.

After the match all the youngsters received some fantastic fishing tackle prizes and enjoyed hotdogs supplied and cooked by one of the parents. The club would like to say a massive thanks to the sponsors Clark and Cridge and Roy Fowler and Mike Collins for supplying the bait along with Butch Baker and all the parents who gave up their time to supervise and assist.

Zoe Hollister had 18lb 12oz on soft pellet from peg 14
Josh Knight had 15lb 12oz for second place from peg 4
Jack Rosling was third with 15lb 9oz from peg 12
Sam Hughes had a nice tench and a bream in his fourth placed 11lb 10oz from peg 15
Ethan Collins had 8lb 9oz in peg 1
Little George Baker had 6lb 4oz from peg 7
Sam Dunning had 4lb 1oz from peg 3
Young Luke Attyo had 2lb 8oz
Bobby Lord had 2lb 7oz in peg 20
All the youngsters received fantastic tackle prizes
1 - Zoe Hollister - 18lb 12oz
2 - Josh Knight - 15lb 12oz
3 - Jack Rosling - 15lb 9oz
4 - Sam Hughes - 11lb 10oz

Next up - Round two of the V.E.S. league next Sunday

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, October 13, 2014

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 1 - 12th October 2014

After no fishing for two weeks I was really looking forward to getting back on the river and I can't believe how mild it is considering it's October. I got to the Oak for the draw and there was a good turn out of eleven including Big Frank and Jake and it was really nice to see Steve Hurford there plus all the regulars. Rob had put in four pegs at Redbridge with the rest at Isle Brewers, to be honest I didn't really fancy Redbridge as I think it's too early for it and fancied 120, new peg 121 or 125 which had done well last week but of course ended up on peg 118 at Redbridge.

As a little bonus I also had the scales, when I got there the river looked nice although really low and clear. My peg was a fair old walk and after several trips I was knackered and only had five minutes before the start time. My peg was deep and I didn't have any suitable rigs so had to butcher a Dillington rig, needless to say I was late starting after all the faffing around. After running the float through a few times with single red maggot on the hook I had a minnow to avoid the blank but it was also a little concerning that I hadn't caught a roach yet. At both Redbridge and Isle Brewers if you are going to do well you normally catch small fish quite quickly and if you don't you're left hoping the chub put in an appearance and it was already looking like that today.
At least I'd avoided the blank!
Jake was above me and didn't seem to be doing much either and after an hour or so I only had three or four minnows and with the temperature starting to drop I felt it was time for a walk. Fieldy was in peg 120 (the weirpool) and was catching quite well and I need him to do my lottery numbers for next week! Big Frank was in new peg 121 and catching chublets although he did say he had one about a pound, further down was Stu Alford in peg 122 which is a peg I don't like but he was getting a few and swung in four small fish while I was watching and said he thought he had 4-5lb already, next stop was Heardy in 123 (another peg I don't like) and he said he had fourteen fish but it was hard going. Steve Hurford was in the kink (peg 124a) but only had minnows so that pound was safe for now, Neil Dring was in 125 but said he was getting lots of minnows but had lost a couple of better fish.

As I walked back and reached Stu's peg I could see he was into a big fish but as I watched he lost it and said it was a big chub. I trudged back to my peg not really knowing what to do next, with it looking like Fieldy and Frank might frame, it wouldn't take a lot to win our section. At the tail of my swim were a load of stick ups and with the river being so clear, I thought any roach might be in the safety of cover so started to flick a few casters down there and holding the rig back just off the stick ups. After about five minutes or so I was amazed when the float sailed away, I wasn't so amazed when I missed it though! Next chuck I was ready and when the float went again the strike resulted in some resistance, it wasn't a big fish but I slipped the net under the 3oz roach just to be sure.
Stu Alford was catching well in peg 122
If I could catch them regularly for the remaining couple of hours I could still do a decent weight but it wasn't to be and I only had one more roach and a gudgeon and my first match on the river in 2014 had been a bit of a disaster. After packing up I took my kit back to the car before collecting the scales and walking back to weigh Frank in, he weighed 2lb 15oz and had slowed up after a great start. Fieldy was only admitting to 7lb and gave us his usual "I've only caught small fish and haven't used my landing net all day", needless to say he weighed 9lb 6oz and had plenty of quality chublets and dace. My two roach, one gudgeon and five minnows weighed a massive 7oz, Jake had done well in the end catching a couple of decent chublets for 2lb 2oz, he also lost one at the net and another that did him under the far bank cover and could prove costly.
Big Frank had 2lb 15oz
Fieldy had 9lb 6oz but only had 'small' fish!
Steve Parker only had a few minnows for an ounce so I was a pound to the good, Rob had suffered pike trouble in peg 109 and weighed 2oz so the pegs at Redbridge hadn't fished well. Steve Hurford phoned from the other section and he'd found a 2lb 13oz chub so I was back to evens on the sidebet front. He also reported that Heardy had 'struggled' his way to 8lb and second place, Stu Alford weighed 5lb 6oz and also must have slowed up after a good start. Bob Hammond weighed 15oz in peg 124 and is going off that peg rapidly as he drew it last week as well. Neil Dring had 4lb 7oz from peg 125 and it was enough to give him a section win.

A really disappointing day for me and so far my defence of the V.E.S. title hasn't gone well! I ended up with four section points and need a good result next match or my league is over.

1 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 9lb 6oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 8lb
3 - Stuart Alford (Langport) - 5lb 6oz

A - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 2lb 15oz
B - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 4lb 7oz

Next up - River Isle

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest ramblings (below)

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Rambling Update

With no fishing for a couple of weeks, I thought I'd just post a little rambling update,

After a blistering first half of the year where I won loads of matches and caught new pb's all over the place, things have slowed up somewhat (well they had to at some point I suppose!). Since my last 'rambling' post (which can be found here - The Halfway Point), I've only won one more match and although I'm still collecting regular brown envelopes they are for minor frame places and section wins. I seem to have lost my way at Summerhayes a bit and another silvers win eludes me (mainly due to that pesky Glynn Wickham!) and similarly the fishing at Dillington is still fantastic with high double figures required to win every match but the whip boys (Fieldy and Bruce) are taking it in turns to win and in the ten match Summer series they only failed to do so on two occasions. Ash proved you can win with the pole and caster catching quality roach but I'm not getting it right at the moment.

I hadn't intended this to be a downbeat post but with the Summer coming to an end I didn't manage any more mullet trips and tench fishing at Cheddar reservoir was also on my radar but never materialised and when I knackered my pole in my last match, the year was definitely taking a turn for the worse! Enough of all this doom and gloom though as the blog reached and stormed past 200,000 hits and as I write this, the total stands at 209,853 which I just find incredible. When I first started writing way back in 2006, I was getting around 1000 hits a month and now I sometimes nearly reach that in a day!

Steve Hurford took me to Throop Fishery on the Dorset Stour a few weekends back and even though neither of us managed a barbel, it was still a really nice day and we saw quite a few good fish roll and missed a few bites. I'm still eager to add new species and pb's to my list and there might be a beach fishing session on the horizon and Russell Hilton has been catching loads of different species from the coast and I'm trying to get him to take me!

The matches on the river started today although my campaign starts next week and I'm really looking forward to trying to defend my V.E.S. title. The river looks in good nick although we could do with some rain (but not too much!). Rob Cox, Stuart Alford, Steve Parker and Graham Field have worked really hard down at Redbridge and Isle Brewers digging out some existing swims and creating some new ones and they've reported lots of fish moving about so hopefully we should see some good catches.

Last year we had torrential rain which meant we were rained off the river and our last match was in December but with the colder weather I enjoyed some fantastic roach sport at Dillington with nets of quality roach to nearly 18lb - great fishing.

So please stay with me as, along with the usual match reports, I'll be bringing you more interviews with some top anglers, reviews of the latest tackle and I'll be visiting some new venues and as ever, trying to add new species to my list.