Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 31st May 2015

After a lovely days fishing on Sellicks last Monday, I was back for another go today although the match was on Longs this week and I've struggled on this lake a bit of late. There are a lot more small fish than there are in Sellicks and trying to fish with expanders is a nightmare and banded pellets just seems to result in very odd silvers and the inevitable carp. There was a good turnout of 21 anglers including a few faces I hadn't seen before and with a match on Sellicks as well, the car park was pretty full. I was greeted by Adie Bishop with the usual 'Why don't you bugger off back to the river' (or words to that effect) and he's also started calling me the River Ninja which made me chuckle. When Pete announced the draw, I was fairly near the end of the queue, Glynn came out of the hut looking happy with his peg, number 34, a great skimmer peg. I pulled out peg 28 and was fairly happy with that as it's a decent area.
Peg 28 was my home for the next six hours
For company I had Rob Birch on my left on 29 and Ray Wickham was my right hand neighbour on peg 26, both would also be fishing for silvers which I didn't think would do any of us any favours. I set up the usual 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim to fish at 10 metres  and a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil to fish at 5 metres. I was ready with a few minutes to go when Adie Richards brought me down a coffee as he'd made me tea by mistake earlier, what a lovely man, cheers mate. On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres angled to my left and then half a pot of micros at the same distance but straight out in front and the same angled to the right, I also fed a similar amount of micros at 5 metres.

I started on the middle long line with a 4mm expander on the hook, Rob was into a carp quite quickly and then I've had one and then Ray did as well. I had another small carp quite quickly and hoped it wasn't a sign of things to come. Ray then had a nice skimmer and not long after Rob had one as well but when my float went under it was a 2oz blade! Rob had a couple more decent skimmers and was also using 4mm expanders so I thought it would only be a matter of time before I started getting a few as well. Ray was getting odd skimmers and added a couple of nice crucians too and I was getting battered both sides. The wind was making presentation difficult and when I did get a bite it would be from a small fish which would invariably drop off on the way in!

Rob was having the same problem with small fish taking his soft pellet so he switched to hard banded pellet and had a couple more decent skimmers, I tried it and had another blade followed by another small carp and I just knew it wasn't going to be my day. The middle part of the match was a real struggle for me and Rob slowed up as well although Ray was still getting the odd smaller fish and he'd also had another couple of crucians. I tried the 5 metre line but with no bites I didn't know what to do next. I had another small carp from the middle 10 metre line so with just over an hour left I decided to concentrate on 5 metres.

Both Rob and Ray were still getting odd silvers so it looked like I'd been properly 'Chip Shopped!', I added some more blades and had a couple of pretty Koi type carp and then with half an hour to go I've finally had a nice 12oz crucian which was the highlight of the day. To be honest I was quite glad when the final whistle went and I didn't think I'd be troubling the scales today. I ended with seven carp for around 10lb and that crucian plus a few bits for maybe 2lb but as a famous angler (Kevin Ashurst?) once said 'If you don't weigh in, you've caught nowt'. I thought it would be close between Rob and Ray and the word on the bank was that Glynn had also done well so our side bet would be quits as he owed me one from last week.
This lovely little crucian was the highlight of my day!
I packed up and didn't catch up with the scales until they reached Ray, his silvers weighed 13lb 8oz which would be there or thereabouts today, a quick glance at the weigh board revealed the top weight so far was 48lb and with there being quite a few 20-30lb weights I didn't bother the scales. Rob came close with 11lb 12oz of silvers and then Martin Addicot had 28lb 11oz of mainly carp from peg 31 which just beat Alvin Jones on peg 32 who had 28lb 5oz. Glynn had 12lb 1oz of silvers to go into second place and then Adie Bishop had 5lb 7oz of carp and a few silvers for 3lb 4oz and it had been hard going for quite a few anglers today with several not weighing in.

1 - John D (Summerhayes) - 48lb 8oz
2 - Jess Jordan (Summerhayes) - 30lb 9oz
3 - Mark Hanham (Summerhayes) - 30lb
4 - Martin Addicot (Summerhayes) - 28lb 11oz
5 - Alvin Jones (Alvin's Car Care) - 28lb 5oz

1 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 13lb 8oz
2 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 12lb 1oz
3 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 11lb 12oz
Today's board
So a really disappointing day and I just can't get my head around Longs at the moment and I had neck ache from watching Rob and Ray catch all day, it was like being at a tennis match! Anyone for chips!!!!

Chard had their first match of the Reservoir League today and some fantastic bream weights were recorded, leading the way was Tackleuk's Scott Russell who drew peg 31 and caught 44 bream for a staggering 193lb. Les Braunton was second with 123lb and Graham Pepper was third with 83lb.
Scott with part of his 193lb winning catch

Next up - Perry St

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summerhayes - Pairs Festival Day Two - 25th May 2015

After a really tough day yesterday, I was hoping we'd get a few more bites today. When I got there, it looked like the carp had finished doing their 'business' as they weren't thrashing about anymore although I really didn't know if this was a good or a bad thing as far as the fishing was concerned. Glynn and Nigel were leading both the carp and the silvers and Ray and me were lying in second place in the carp and fourth in the silvers so we were in with a shout and just needed a decent draw.

The anglers on Longs were called up to draw first and Ray came back with peg 18 which wouldn't have been my first choice but Ray didn't seem too worried. Then it was the turn of Sellicks and before I got to the bucket, Bill had pulled out peg 2 and Glynn was on peg 4, both pegs I would have liked. I stuck my hand in and came back with 19, a peg with some silvers form although it didn't do very well yesterday. My neighbours for the day were Steve R on peg 21 and Luke G on 17, Mark Leahy was up on 15 and would be fishing for silvers and Roy Hughes was in 23 and would be as well.
Peg 19 looking back to the car park
As I set my box up on the platform, there were quite a few blows down the middle and on the five metre line and I thought we might be in for a good day. I mixed up some more Bait Tech Special 'G' Gold before getting the rest of my kit ready. In addition to a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil and a 0.6 gram Drennan G Tip, I also set up a rig to fish banded pellet in the margins for carp if the silvers didn't want to play ball. Along with the groundbait, I had some soaked micros, 4mm and 6mm expanders plus some 6mm hard pellets.

On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros on the right hand 10 metre line, two balls of groundbait at the same distance but angled to my left before finishing my initial feeding with half a pot of micros at five metres. I started on the right hand line with a 4mm expander and missed a bite after ten minutes or so and thought I might be in for a better day but it proved to be a false dawn and with no more bites I started to think another grueller was on the cards. Mark Leahy netted a decent crucian and had a couple of carp as well and after around 45 minutes he walked past to get his phone from the car so he could see how his partner Rob was getting on.

On his return he said Rob had got off to a great start and had five skimmers already! He also said that John B along from him on peg 12 was catching silvers well. As he went back to his swim, I missed a bite over my groundbait line and with the end of the first hour approaching, I was still blanking! Next chuck the float sailed away and I managed not to miss this one and gently shipped the pole back before slipping the net under a 6oz skimmer - phew! This signalled the start of a really good spell where I had another five skimmers plus a carp and missed a couple of bites before losing a skimmer which I'm sure was foulhooked and the swim went quiet after that. I tried the other ten metre line but no more bites and my next fish was a small blade from over the groundbait so I cupped in another ball plus some micros on the right hand line before trying five metres for the first time to give the longer lines a rest.

Steve and Luke both had a couple of carp and Mark was getting the odd skimmer but it looked like he was hooking quite a few carp as well. I had to wait ages for a bite on the short line and then promptly missed it so it was back out over the groundbait line. I was dripping in a few micros via a toss pot on all three lines every time I shipped out. Action wasn't fast and furious but I added three good skimmers from the groundbait line and was getting quite a few indications, a far cry from yesterday and it just goes to show what a difference a day makes! The skimmers were rough to the touch so they'd either just finished spawning or were about to start.

So at the halfway point I'd had ten skimmers for around 8-10lb plus that carp and was doing okay and I hoped Ray was getting some silvers. I did hook what felt like a good skimmer/bream that came off as I was getting ready with the landing net, but I'll never know for sure as I didn't see it. I had another brief try on the shorter line with no response. I then had a frustrating half an hour where I missed several bites on the groundbait line and then missed some more over the right hand line (in fact I never had a fish from there all match). I added another skimmer from the left hand line before feeding the two longer lines and trying five metres again.

I missed a bite before catching a pound fish that leapt straight out of the water on the strike but the next fish was a carp so I went back on the longer lines but never had another bite from either and with an hour and a bit of the match left and lots of fish blowing on the short line I decided to spend the remaining time there. I had another decent skimmer, my third carp, two smaller skimbobs and I missed a few bites too. Adie called time and my final score was eighteen skimmers plus three carp and I'd really enjoyed it today. I hoped I had 10-12lb of silvers, maybe a little more.

I packed up and Mark wandered down and said he thought he had around 8lb of silvers, after loading the cars we caught up with the scales which had begun weighing in on Longs. The anglers on the early pegs had fished for carp with Mark Cox weighing 14lb 8oz of them and conceding the pound as he only had 1lb 13oz of silvers, Adie Bishop had 18lb 4oz from peg 7 and then young Reece had 20lb 9oz from 11 and Harry M had 15lb 10oz. As the scales reached Ray the top silvers weight was Adie with 5lb 6oz. He had 30lb 13oz of carp before he pulled his silvers net out and went into the lead with 14lb 1oz - well done partner.

Nigel only had 5lb 14oz of silvers but he had 34lb 6oz of carp which would be good points with only three left to weigh on the lake. Rob Birch then plonked 14lb 6oz of skimmers on the scales and pushed Ray down a place, Chris B had 13lb 12oz of carp and 11lb 14oz of silvers from peg 32 before Alvin had 39lb 8oz of carp and 11lb 3oz of silvers. Last but not least was Charlie Barnes who had 8lb odd of carp and 4lb 12oz of silvers.

Bill was first to weigh on our lake and had 20lb of carp and only a few silvers, then it Glynn's turn and had 12lb 5oz of carp and 7lb 3oz of silvers and was convinced he'd blown out. Gareth L had 2lb 11oz of carp from peg 6 before Rob Kingston had 30lb 7oz of carp and 5lb 6oz of silvers so I got my pound back from yesterday. John B had 22lb 5oz of carp and a nice net of silvers weighing 14lb 4oz from peg 12, before Mark had 14lb 3oz of carp and 11lb 9oz of silvers. Luke G on 17 had 2lb 2oz of carp and 1lb 5oz of silvers but had lost a few as well. My three carp weighed 10lb 10oz and then I pulled my silvers net out and it didn't look as much as I thought, I was relieved when the digital display read 15lb 2oz and I went into the silvers lead with two pegs to weigh.

Steve on peg 21 had 19lb 8oz of carp before Roy just pipped him with 19lb 10oz of carp and a solitary 7oz skimmer. So I'd won the silvers superpool but had me and Ray managed to sneak into the frame overall? With Glynn and Nigel blowing out for silvers, it was going to be tight between us and Rob Birch and Mark Leahy. Back in the hut, we all enjoyed coffee, crisps and chocolate while Pete worked out the results. It was, as we suspected, very tight and both pairs tied on 12 points and I knew they'd just pip us on weight which they did with 36lb to our 32lb 4oz. Still we picked up £45 each which was very nice and I also won the silvers superpool which was £65, so £110 and a great days fishing, what a cracking day. I also had £3 in side bets although Glynn wants double or quits next week.
Nice little pick up today
Glynn and Nigel actually finished third in the silvers but as they won the carp with 12 points, Roy Hughes and Chris B sneaked in by default. Rob Kingston and Reece finished second in the carp with 13 points and me and Ray ended up third with 18 points which meant Adie Bishop and Bill Hopping picked up by default.

Top three for silvers on the day

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 15lb 2oz
2 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 14lb 6oz
3 - John B (Summerhayes) - 14lb 4oz

1 - Alvin Jones (Alvin's Car Care) - 39lb 8oz
2 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 34lb 6oz
3 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 30lb 13oz

Overall pairs

1 - Mark Leahy and Rob Birch - 12 pts (36lb)
2 - Jamie Rich and Ray Wickham - 12 pts (32lb 4oz)
3 - Roy Hughes and Chris B - 19 pts

1 - Glynn and Nigel Wickham - 12 pts
2 - Rob Kingston and Reece - 13 pts
3 - Adie Bishop and Bill Hopping - 21 pts
Much better weights today
Some decent silvers weights on Longs
Overall points

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - Day one (below)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summerhayes - Pairs Festival Day One - 24th May 2015

Another bank holiday weekend arrived which means another two day mini festival at Summerhayes and Ray Wickham was my partner again. There were a few more fishing today which meant one of us would be Longs and the other on Sellicks and then vice versa on day two. As soon as I arrived I went to pick up a couple of nets and could see loads of carp spawning in both lakes and I wasn't sure how it would affect the skimmer fishing. I did think that perhaps if the carp had their minds on other things, they wouldn't give us silvers anglers too much trouble. Pete had decided to run a super pool over both days, one for carp and one for silvers, which I think is a great idea as it gives you something to fish for if you blow out.

Pete announced the first draw which would decide which lake we'd be on and I ended up on Longs and just needed to avoid the carp pegs now. When it was my turn I stuck my hand in the bucket and pulled out peg 13 which I was fairly happy with as it's normally a steady silvers peg. I had Glynn for company on peg 11 which is a great silvers peg and Glynn, me, Charlie Barnes and his partner John all stuck a pound in the pot and the top silvers weight would take the £4 and Rob Kingston was on peg 18 and wanted a pound side bet and Mark Cox also wanted a nugget on silvers.
I had high hopes for peg 13 before the start!
Bait for today was some Bait Tech Special 'G' Gold groundbait, micros and 4mm and 6mm expanders for the hook. I set up two rigs, a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for the 10 metre lines and a 0.2 gram NG Mini Gimp for the 5 metre line, both had 0.10mm hooklengths and size 16 Tubertini 808's. I was just about ready in time and on the whistle cupped in half a pot of micros on the 5 metre and right hand 10 metre lines and then two balls of groundbait on the left hand 10 metre line. I started with a 4mm expander over the micros and was expecting to get indications quite quickly but with no bites after ten minutes I was a little concerned. I moved to the other longer line and finally had a bite over the groundbait only to bump a small fish and after an hour I was still blanking!

Nobody seemed to be catching and this looked like it was going to be rock hard, Glynn caught a carp and then had a small skimmer which he'd foulhooked. There were carp spawning everywhere in the nearside margins and all along the far bank so maybe that had something to do with how poorly it was fishing. I did foulhook a 3lb carp from the right hand line but as the halfway point of the match loomed into view, that was the only fish I'd had and I wasn't enjoying myself very much! Rob was in the same boat as me and hadn't seen a silverfish yet and Glynn and Roy Hughes in peg 7 had a small fish apiece - not good!

To top things off a fine, misty rain started coming down, the temperature dropped a couple of degrees and I had to put my waterproofs on. I just didn't know what to do next and I was fishing the left hand line when out of the blue the float sailed away and the strike resulted in a decent skimmer leaping out of the water. I shipped back very gently, praying it would stay on and slipped the net under a pound skimmer, it was probably the ugliest skimbob I've ever caught with no tail and rotted fins but at that moment I could have kissed it! Young Reece came for a walk from his peg on Sellicks and reported it was a real struggle on there as well but Ray had caught a couple of eels so was doing okay.

Out of desperation Glynn was now fishing the far bank trying to catch some small rudd, he had a couple but was hooking more carp than anything else. With two hours to go I came back on the shorter line and started getting the off indication before catching a small blade, two carp followed in quick succession (one of which was foulhooked under the chin) and even though I was still really struggling I was ahead of those around me. With an hour to go I looked up to see Rob netting a decent skimmer and I needed another fish from somewhere but time was running out.

I was back on the five metre line when I noticed Glynn strike into a decent fish and straight away he said he thought it was an eel and sure enough it was a decent one of a pound or so and he'd gone ahead of me as well. I missed a couple of bites on the shorter line and bumped a fish and that was the end of that, I'd never known the venue to fish as hard as that, even in the depths of winter! I took my kit back to the car and the scales arrived after already weighing in Sellicks where Chris B had the top carp weight with 40lb 11oz from peg 12 and Alvin Jones only needed 7lb 11oz to top the silvers from peg 15. Mark Cox didn't catch any silvers so handed me a nice shiny nugget. Ray's two eels weighed 2lb to put him fifth on the lake for silvers and he had 12lb 15oz of carp which was third.

First to weigh on our lake was Bill 'The Paste' Hopping and he had 8lb 10oz of carp and 1oz of silvers and then Luke G in peg 1 blanked and Roy in peg 7 had 3oz so it had been really hard going. Glynn had 12lb 13oz of carp and 1lb 5oz of silvers to go into the lead on both fronts before my three carp went 9lb 3oz and my two silvers went 1lb 1oz, Rob had 10lb 2oz of carp and then his skimmer weighed 1lb 2oz to take a nugget off me and push me down a place. Mark Leahy had 10lb 6oz of carp and 8lb 15oz of silvers and I was rapidly slipping down the table. Gareth L had a small carp of 1lb 7oz and then John B in peg 32 had 2oz of silvers and Steve R in peg 34 had 2lb 10oz of carp and it had been really hard going for everyone today.

So it hadn't been a complete disaster for Ray and me, we go into day two lying second in the carp with 7 points and fourth in the silvers with 9 points. Glynn and Nigel are leading both with 3 points for carp and 4 for silvers and with no double bubble it will be interesting to see which way they go although I'm guessing a lot will depend on the draw. On the other side bet front, Charlie Barnes only needed a single skimmer of 1lb 9oz to win the £4 pot.

So the top three pairs for carp and silvers going into day two are as follows,

1 - Nigel and Glynn Wickham - 4 pts
2 - Mark Leahy and Rob Birch - 8 pts
2 - Roy Hughes and Chris B - 8 pts

1 - Nigel and Glynn Wickham - 3 pts
2 - Jamie Rich and Ray Wickham - 7 pts
3 - Rob Kingston and Reece - 8 pts
Results for Sellicks
Pairs points after day one
I can't go without mentioning the Ilminster AA match at Dillington today, Tackleuk's Ashley Tomkins had a fantastic day's fishing and set a new match record in the process, he had six bream for nearly 30lb, a 3lb chub and 15lb of quality roach for a staggering 48lb 2oz, what a cracking weight.
Ashley with a 3lb chub and two of his bream

Next up - Day two (tomorrow)

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 4 - 17th May 2015

Round four arrived and it looked like we were in for a glorious day weather wise, the only downside was that the Torquay Tart was standing in for somebody today! I was actually a little early for a change and paid my pools before having a chat with Janders and the Tart. The rest started turning up, fresh from having their breakfasts, well I say fresh but Jamie P and Paul H didn't look too healthy as they'd had a bit of a session yesterday! Les let Jamie pick the envelope for todays draw sequence which put me on peg 6, which I was quite happy with as the middle pegs can be good for my favoured shallow approach.

Although my peg looked nice, there were quite a few lilies and I knew I'd have a job stopping any carp from finding sanctuary in them. I set up rigs for fishing shallow, down the edge and for fishing the meat at five metres although I'm yet to have a bite from this line! Bait was the normal 6mm and 8mm pellets for fishing shallow and 6mm meat for the other two lines, the only difference today was that I added an extra kick to the meat with a few squirts of the new Bait Tech Krill and Tuna liquid and it certainly smelled pretty fishy!
Bait Tech Krill and Tuna
Loads of carp could be seen cruising about although it was flat calm which wasn't ideal for fishing up in the water and there was also the possibility that they might be getting ready to spawn and if that was the case they wouldn't be interested in feeding. Les blew for the start and I feed some meat at five metres and down the left hand edge by hand before starting shallow at 11.5 metres. Unlike last week I didn't manage to get one straight away but then after five minutes I saw a group of fish heading my way so dropped the rig in their path and one of them grabbed the pellet and I was in! With all the lilies on the inside I decided to try and play the fish in open water before shipping back and breaking the pole down. It was a decent fish around 4-5lb and I was in control until I got down to the top kit and it made a beeline for the lilies and snagged me! I managed to get it out and added a couple of sections but it then headed to the pads on my right and snagged me there, I eventually got it moving only for the hook to pull out - not a great start!

I landed the next one, a smaller common around 2lb to get off the mark and then had an 8oz rudd, Jamie P hooked a good fish shallow and was trying to stop it getting in the lilies when his number four section snapped, luckily Chris Haines managed to snare it with his pole and gave it back to Jamie with the fish still attached. Jamie landed the fish, a good 8lb carp and then put it back so the fair play award goes to him, well done mate. It does raise an interesting question though, if Chris had landed the fish would he be entitled to put it in his net? or was it Jamie's fish? did he do the right thing by putting it back? I would like to hear your views and what you think so feel free to comment on the blog or message me using the contact box in the right hand column.

I had another carp to finish the first hour with two and nobody was bagging at this early stage, Picky next door had a couple and Blaker, Exeter Mike and Paul H in pegs 12, 13 and 14 on the opposite bank were getting the odd carp although Bushy and Janders in 15 and 16 were struggling. After two and a half hours I was up to four carp but it wasn't really happening, it looked like Picky was now catching regularly and Bushy said the Tart was bagging in peg 9 and I could see Blaker and Mike catching from their inside lines but I wanted to leave mine as long as possible before trying it.

Jamie P on my right and Hainsey and the Hoff next to him had a few fish but it was hard going for a lot of people (me included). As we approached the half way point, I couldn't wait any longer and it was time to try the inside line, after five minutes the float buried, the Preston Green Hollow did it's job and I landed a three pounder. I added another three over the next hour or so and although I wasn't bagging I was doing okay. Then the bites tailed off and I went back on the shallow line to rest the inside for half an hour but this just resulted in a foulhooked fish which came off nearly straight away. Bushy had a couple of fish shallow but Janders only had a small roach and shouted across asking what other activities he could do on a Sunday, we gave him lots of options from bowls to dogging!

Despite there being loads of carp moving about, they just weren't interested and I suspect they had other things on their minds! Blaker and Exeter Mike were still catching quite well and Paul was now putting a few fish together as well. Jamie P then had several fish in quick succession from his meat line before he hooked a lump that snapped his top kit and he lost the rig, elastic and everything. He reckoned it was a ten pounder and his day was going from bad to worse. I was still stuck on eight fish with an hour to go and a low points score looked to be on the cards along with losing most of the side bets.

I had a brief go on the five metre line which resulted in no bites yet again so I decided to spend the remainder of the match down the edge as Blaker, Mike and Paul were all catching on their inside lines. I had my ninth carp but then Jamie had two in as many chucks to put him on eight and I was sure he'd beaten me as he had a couple of lumps. As Les blew the whistle Exeter Mike was playing another carp and looking good for a place on the podium. I packed up and took my kit back to the car, asking people how they'd done on my way, Hainsey in peg 4 had six, Hoff in 3 had seven, Rich Collins in 2 had six and Bish in peg 1 had ten so it was all pretty tight. I loaded the car and checked I had enough pound coins to pay out as it was looking like I'd lost four out of five!

As we all gathered around Bish's peg waiting for the scales, the Tart said he'd only had six carp and a skimmer so either he was lying or some winding up had been going on but you can never tell with him, then Picky said he'd only had six but had lost several and all of a sudden it wasn't sounding like I'd done as bad as I'd first thought. Bish weighed 36lb 10oz which would be a good weight on the day, of course then the normal guess the weight shenanigans started and when asked I said I probably had 27lb (nine carp averaging 3lb apiece) as I certainly didn't have any lumps like last week. Rich had 12lb 2oz before the Hoff had 30lb 2oz and Hainsey had 22lb 6oz. Jamie plonked his fish on the scales and his weight was called at 28lb 5oz and this would be incredibly close. My nine carp and a single rudd went in the weigh sling and my weight was called at 29lb 12oz - phew, that was close and for once my guesstimate wasn't too far off.

Picky then had 16lb 12oz and handed over a nugget, Chilly had struggled for 6lb and then things got even better when Brandon had 20lb 14oz and would be stopping at the chip shop for tea on the way home! Les had finally christened his new Drennan Acolyte Carp Pole in peg 10 with 52lb and went into the lead. Dave Lawrence was fishing for Rocking and had 23lb 14oz in peg 11 before Blaker came close with 50lb 10oz, Exeter Mike then went to the top of the leader board with 57lb from peg 13. Paul H had around twelve carp for 40lb 10oz and took a nugget off me and then Bushy had six carp for 25lb 8oz before the weights took a nosedive.

Janders didn't weigh so I finished 4-1 up on the side bet front, Mike Collins had 7lb, Andy Bayley had 8lb 10oz, Dunner didn't weigh and then Butch had 10lb 4oz from peg 20 and those last five pegs had been really hard going. If you look at the weigh board (below) you'll see the top four came from pegs 10 to 14 so that was the end to be! So Mike won with Les second, Blaker third and Paul fourth, I won my section by default and picked up £30 which was a bonus.
Today's board
1 - Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 57lb
2 - Les Braunton (Chard) - 52lb
3 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 50lb 10oz
4 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 40lb 12oz

A - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 36lb 10oz
B - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 29lb 12oz
C - Steve Bush (Chard) - 25lb 8oz
D - Butch Baker (Chard) - 10lb 4oz

So after four rounds, this is how the league table looks,

1 - Steve Bishop - 13 pts
2 - Jamie Rich - 15 pts
3 - Paul Blake - 17 pts
4 - Mark Hollister - 26 pts

The next match is in three weeks time so hopefully the carp will have finished spawning by then, I'm at Summerhayes next weekend for a two day pairs festival with Ray Wickham so make sure you come back to see how we get on.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest review (below)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Handmade? Float Revolution

The world has gone handmade float mad! Although I was probably late to the party (just for a change!), I first became aware of the handmade float revolution through reading articles featuring Steve Ringer in the many fishing mags where he was using MW Diamonds and F1 Slims made to his own specifications. The first handmade floats I actually bought were some Malman Pencils which I'd seen used by an angler in a magazine (sorry I can't remember who) for skimmers and carp using soft pellets. It was around the time I'd started fishing Summerhayes and using Bait Tech expanders for the first time so I took the plunge and ordered some.
Two of my Malman Pencils, I love 'em
Regular readers will know the floats I'm talking about because I mention them every time I fish Sellicks, I bought two each of the 0.4 and 0.6 gram versions and although I can't remember what I paid for them, I've certainly got my money's worth as they are still going strong after several years even though the wire stems are a little bent and they've started to sit lower in the water towards the end of each match. It'll be a sad day when they eventually give up the ghost as looking at the website, he doesn't seem to make them anymore. Gaz Malman produces the pole float bodies on a custom made lathe he built himself and even the eyes are made in house, check out his excellent website at Malman Floats

The next floats I decided to try were the MW F1 Slims which Steve Ringer was praising very highly and using for a lot of his fishing and I thought they would be perfect for the shallower Longs pond at Summerhayes. Getting hold of some was a feat in itself as every time I visited the website, they were out of stock (which was probably down to the Ringer factor!). I eventually managed to get hold of a couple of the 10 x 11 and 14 x 11 sizes that Steve loved so much and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. I use them nearly exclusively on Longs and again, like the Malmans, I have certainly had some use out of them and after several years worth of wear and tear I've yet to have one break.
Two F1 Pears and a F1 Slim - awesome floats
They are a lovely sensitive float but obviously not ideal for when it's windy or the venue is tow affected (like Longs very often is) so Mick brought out the 'F1 Pear' which is ideal for those kind of days, so of course I had to have some of those as well! At the request of some of the top F1 anglers in the country there is now a carbon stemmed version of the F1 Slim in the range although I haven't been able to get hold of any of these yet! They may seem a little pricey at £2.35 apiece but after all the years service I've had out of them, I think it represents great value. All the float bodies are machined from the raw materials in house. The website can be found here MW Floats and if the F1 Carbons are in stock, get me a couple!

I'm also a member of several angling forums and it some became apparent that there were several other float brands with almost cult status, like NG Floats, Hillbilly Floats and SconeZone Floats and although floats by these makers are often described as 'Float porn' and certainly looked the business, I could see no reason to switch from the tried and tested patterns I was already using. Then one day I was lucky enough to win a competition on the Match Fishing Scene site and the prize was the new range from Nick Gilbert, the NG XT Mini Gimp Wire Stem, one condition of winning is that the lucky winners must write a review and post it on the site. My review can be found here NG Floats Review
NG XT Mini Gimps
Looking at the NG Floats website I was a little confused as it seems Nick has a handmade float range which are produced in his UK workshop but the XT ranges are 'hand assembled floats built to my spec' which I guess means they are assembled somewhere else and sold under the NG banner, they are still cracking floats and if anything have a more professional finish than many of the handmade floats on the market. The other advantage is that the are ready to ship within 24 hours whereas there is a waiting list for the handmade floats. The XT range are priced from £1.50, I couldn't see prices for the handmade range on the website. A very comprehensive range of floats and I will definitely be trying out some more patterns.

At the recent Gary Bull fundraiser there were some fantastic raffle prizes and although I wasn't lucky enough to win, my mate Janders did and he picked up a lovely array of tackle which included some lovely floats made by Commercial Indications and being the lovely man he is, he let me have some to try, thanks mate. Again they look very well made and were professionally packaged, the three floats he let me have look perfect for margin fishing and I will be trying them out at Perry St over the coming weeks. I couldn't find a website but there is a Facebook page with plenty of photos. Website - Commercial Indications If I had one tiny criticism it's that I'm not crazy on the brown paint jobs.
Floats from Commercial Indications
Mark Cox also let me have me have some made by Swede Floats and again, they are fantastic quality and look indestructible, the two patterns I've got are a margin type float and another which looks like it will be ideal for fishing down the middle on Sellicks or in open water at Perry St. They are £1.70 each and made to order, check out the Swede's Facebook page - Swede Floats
Swede Floats
Everybody seems to be having a go at making their own floats and I think it's great that there's such a range and variety available and many at a great price too!
Check out these delicate little pencils made by Adie Bishop at Summerhayes....
or these beauties made by Andy Downton
I've never had so many floats, best I start making some rigs up and as and when I start using them I'll update the reviews on here.

I do find it interesting that there is such a huge appetite for handmade floats and there is a massive choice out there to suit all styles of angling and a price range for all pockets. It's certainly not 'a flash in the pan' as several of these float makers have been around for years and demand seems as strong as ever. Go on, have a look at a few, I bet you end up buying some!

Update - Since the post went live, it generated quite a bit of interest/discussion which is great and some points were raised that I hadn't really even considered. There are several levels of float making/assembling ranging from the bodies being made in house (and in some cases even the wire eyes) to the various components being bought separately and then glued together to even buying the floats already assembled from abroad and then applying your own paint job. Basically most of the websites (not all) have an 'about us' section which will tell you about the process involved in making the floats and whether they are handmade or assembled. A big clue is also in the price and it depends what you are after and your budget, as the bespoke patterns will be that bit more expensive and then you have the assembled floats which represent fantastic value for money, the choice (as they say), is yours. The aim of this post was purely to showcase what floats were available out there other than the big firms. I suppose I could have called the post 'The handmade/assembled/not shop bought float revolution' but it's not a very catchy title! Joking aside I've enjoyed doing a bit more research and learnt a lot along the way!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 3 - 10th May 2015

Round three arrived after I'd had a really crappy week where my Mum was taken ill on Wednesday and rushed to Musgrove hospital and then it was my birthday on Saturday (39 again!) but obviously I didn't really feel like celebrating much and I also wasn't really up for this today. I got to the pond and we were a few short for this match meaning Les would only pay the top three and three sections today. He opened the draw sequence envelope which put me on peg 16 with Picky in peg 17 and Jamie P on my right in peg 15, he had an empty peg next door which is always a bonus.

I set up an in-line dibber for up in the water, a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for the 5 metre meat line and a little Trabucco dibber for the inside to my left. All rigs had 0.14mm bottoms with size 16 B911 hooks. All the usual side bets were placed with Picky, Jamie P, Paul H and Janders with the latter two both opposite so I could keep an eye on them. I had all the usual grief about my favoured shallow approach with Blaker asking if I actually had any rigs that were deeper than 18 inches!

Les blew to start the match and I started on the shallow rig of course and fed some meat by hand on my other two lines before picking up the catapult to fire out some 6mm's, I didn't get chance as the float buried and carp number one was on! I got off to a great start landing four carp in the first hour, Jamie P also got off to a flying start although I was just ahead at this early stage. The second hour started in a similar vein with another two carp and I was bagging, Jamie was still catching as well but from what I could see the early pegs were really struggling.

A grass snake swam across the lake as I was playing carp number seven which was nice to see and then just as the fish was nearly ready for netting, the hook pulled out, much to the delight of Bushy! Still I wasn't too concerned as there were plenty more out there, a few minutes later I've hooked another which I'm sure was foulhooked as it just kept going, snapping the hooklength in the process. Then I couldn't get a bite on the shallow rig and to make matters worse Jamie P started catching on his depth rig and quickly overtook me. Janders also said that the Hoff up on peg 13 (with an empty peg either side) was now in front of me as well and from a fantastic start, things had rapidly gone pear shaped. Also Bish was in corner peg 11 and apparently getting a few as well.

Not wanting to fall too far behind Jamie, I tried the 5 metre line with a 6mm cube of meat but never had a bite there so tried at 11.5 metres on the deck but no indications there either and Paul H wanted to know who I'd borrowed the rig off of! Jamie P was now about five or six fish ahead of me and Paul H, Bushy and Janders were starting to get odd fish now as well. So as we approached the half way point I tried up the edge to my left and despite a few knocks I was about to go back out shallow (which I'd continued to feed) when the float sailed away and I've netted a decent 5lb mirror, three more decent fish followed quite quickly and I was at least staying in touch with Jamie P, although according to him I was now in front!

Bites dried up here so it was back out long with the shallow rig as Jamie was still getting the odd carp, I missed a bite and then foulhooked what was obviously a big fish, I didn't think I had a prayer of landing it but slowly and surely I started to get the upper hand and eventually netted a cracking 8lb+ fish hooked in the wing, a nice bonus and worth the 20-30 mins I took faffing around with it. Jamie was still way ahead on numbers of fish but he only had small fish according to him (they didn't look that small to me!).

Butch's boy turned up to watch for a bit and while he was with me, I've landed carp number twelve and then lost another that didn't want to stop and the hook pulled out. We were now into the final hour and Jamie P had around twenty carp and I couldn't see anybody catching him. I've gone back on the inside line hoping they might be queued up when Picky walked up and conceded his pound, he said it had been really tough and in the four pegs to my left, only two carp had been caught! Just as he went to walk away, my float shot under and another lump was on, it was plodding about and I was in control when the hook pulled out - bugger. No more bites there so with only quarter of an hour left I've gone back on the shallow rig.

With only five minutes left the float disappeared and I was attached to another decent fish, I took my time and eventually slipped the net under another lump of 6-7lb about five minutes after the final whistle had gone. I finished with thirteen carp and despite Jamie having twenty one, he was adamant that I'd beaten him as he reckoned all his fish were 2lb apiece! I packed up and took my kit back to the car and all the pegs to my left had really struggled, Blaker and Paul H in the section opposite had five or six carp each so it had been really tough going at that end of the pond.

Apparently Bish in peg 11 and the Hoff in 13 both had fourteen carp so this could be pretty tight. Rocking didn't weigh in peg 1 before Blaker set the early pace with 29lb from peg 2, Paul H ran him close with 25lb 6oz and had lost a fish late on which would have won him the section. Janders had 20lb 10oz and had lost several fish as well. Then there were two empty pegs before Pup had struggled for 11lb 12oz and Butch had 18lb 8oz in peg 10 but had lost six carp. Then we got to Bish in peg 11 who plonked some lumps on the scales to go into the lead with 52lb 14oz, peg 12 was vacant and then it was Hoff's turn in 13, after two weighs it was obvious it was going to be really close and his weight was called out at a level 52lb to put him into second place.
Bish about to weigh in with Butch on the scales and Jamie P watching
With nobody in 14, next up was Jamie P and after his three nets were weighed, his total was 67lb 6oz and I knew I had nowhere near that but hoped I might have enough for second, in fact it was a lot closer than I thought as my first net went 29lb 8oz and the second one weighed 31lb 10oz to give me a total of 61lb 2oz to go into second place. The remaining four pegs had been dire and Chilly just needed 6lb 8oz to win the section.

Les announced the results and Jamie P won (and took a nugget off me in the process), I finished second and picked up a very nice £80 (and ended 3-1 up in the side bets) and Bish was third. So a good end to what had been a pretty horrible week for me. Although the leading weights had been good a lot of anglers struggled today and it was very noticeable that most of the anglers with a spare peg did well as you would expect.
Todays board
1 - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 67lb 6oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 61lb 2oz
3 - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 52lb 14oz

A - Paul Blake (Chard) - 29lb
B - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 52lb
C - Andy Winters (Chard) - 6lb 8oz

So after three rounds, the league looks like this,

1 - Steve Bishop - 8 pts
1 - Jamie Rich - 8 pts
3 - Paul Blake - 14 pts
4 - Mark Hollister - 20 pts

Next up - Perry St (round four)

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Summerhayes - Mini Festival Day 2 - 4th May 2015

Day two arrived and looking out the window, the weather looked rather nice and there was even some sunshine! I was in a really good mood after a great start yesterday with a lake silvers win and Chelsea winning the Premiership, I just needed to draw a decent peg on Longs now. I got a coffee and waited while Pete and some of the anglers decided on what pegs to use today. I was relieved when I saw he wasn't going to put 39 in today as I just can't get on with that swim although peg 1 was going to be used instead and I didn't really fancy that much either. I'd also like to avoid the bottom corner (pegs 20-25) if possible.

The draw was announced and I hung back again, when Glynn said he had peg 1 and Mark Leahy revealed he had 20, I felt it was safe to stick my hand in the bucket, like yesterday there were only two balls left and I picked one and was a bit gutted when I saw I would be on peg 15. Pete even said he'd bet me a fiver that I wouldn't catch a single silver today!, which didn't do my confidence any good whatsoever. Peg 14 wasn't in and as it's been doing some decent silvers weights, I still thought there was a chance I'd get a few today.

I got to my peg and surveyed the scene, the peg is on a corner with reeds to my right where lots of carp live so I'd be avoiding that. Ray Wickham was on peg 13 and I had Rob Birch on peg 17 on my left which was the next peg as bizarrely there isn't a peg 16! I couldn't believe we were next to each other when peg 12 was left out, I know which peg I'd rather be on! I mixed up a little groundbait before setting my rigs up, a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for the 10 metre lines and a 0.2 gram NG Gimp for 5 metres. In previous matches on Longs I've had problems from small fish using 4mm expanders so today I had some 6mm expanders, jelly pellets and some banded hard 6mm's which would hopefully counteract that.
Peg 15 on Longs
I plumbed up one line at 10 metres towards peg 14 and another straight out at the same distance and then my final line at 5 metres. Ray came round and let me have some boiled sweets before the start, cheers mate and then Adie tooted on his whistle to get us started. I put in half a pot of micros on the right hand line (in front of peg 14) and the same at 5 metres before cupping in two balls of groundbait on the other longer line. I started with a 4mm expander on the right hand line and fully expected to get indications straight away if only from small fish. The float just sat there which was a bit of a worry, I swapped to the other line with the same result and this wasn't the start I'd hoped for. Ray had a couple of small fish before my float dipped and I netted a 4oz skimmer which was a start.

I added a couple more small fish and then Ray had a nice little crucian and also added a couple of better skimmers, Rob had a decent skimmer on paste so at least there were a few about. I kept dripping a few micros on the 5 metre line and with the lack of activity on my longer lines, I might be trying it earlier than I would have liked. Ray had a tench and Rob was catching the odd skimmer and after two hours I only had around 4oz and was getting battered and it was starting to look like the second day curse had struck again. I briefly tried the 5 metre line and bumped a fish before catching a blade but I was going nowhere fast. I was trying not to panic but I needed to catch some decent silvers and I just couldn't see it happening.

Mark Cox came for a look round and let me have some Swede Floats to try (check them out on Facebook, they certainly look the business and I'll be reviewing them and other makes of handmade float very soon), while he was sat with me I missed a bite on my shorter line before catching a small carp and then had my first decent skimmer (and it had only taken three hours!!!). Next chuck the float slid away and the strike met with solid resistance and the fish just plodded around and I was sure I'd just hooked a 'get out of jail' bream but then it woke up and after a five minute scrap I netted a 4lb carp - great!

Ray and Rob were both still getting odd skimmers and after another carp from the shorter line, I went back on the longer lines, the float sailed away and this was definitely a skimmer, I gently shipped the pole back and the skimmer wallowed on the top like they tend to do but then I've thought 'hang on, that looks suspiciously like a carp' and it was, a small carp of 12oz that didn't fight at all. I think I've realised then that it wasn't going to be my day today. Next chuck I've hooked a carp that went crazy and after it gave me the run around, I slipped the net under a five pounder hooked neatly in the tail.

I've come back on the shorter line and carried on catching carp, I did manage a couple of small skimmers and a 3oz roach in amongst them but they wouldn't help much. Several times I've hooked fish and would have sworn blind they were bream only for them to turn out to be poxy carp. With half an hour to go, it started raining which just about summed my day up. The whistle went to end the match and I wasn't sorry to hear it. I packed up and took my kit back to the car as the weigh started with Alan Jenkins on peg 37, he had 2lb 2oz of silvers, next up was Glynn in peg 1 (remember that peg I didn't want?), he weighed a brilliant 18lb 7oz of silvers and added 21lb of carp for good measure and got his pound back from yesterday.

Nigel was on peg 4 also did well with 12lb 10oz of silvers and just shy of 30lb of carp and was in with a chance of making the silvers frame. Rod Wootten had 56lb of carp in peg 7 and Nick Harvey had 38lb of carp in peg 11. Then it was Ray's turn and he had 10lb 6oz of silvers which put him in with a shout of winning it, I was next and my carp went a level 28lb and my meagre silvers catch registered a lowly 2lb 6oz. Rob had 9lb 6oz of skimmers all caught on paste and then Mark Leahy in 20 (remember that other peg I didn't want) had a lovely net of silvers weighing 15lb 2oz to put him firmly in the mix for a frame place.

Jess in peg 23 had 16lb of carp and 7lb 11oz of silvers and then yesterdays carp winner, Jon Martin, had 30lb 8oz which put him third in the carp with four pegs to weigh. Lewis in peg 29 had 9lb 6oz of silvers and 72lb 13oz of carp to put him in with a shout on the carp front before Andy Hembrow on peg 31 did even better with 79lb 4oz of carp to go into pole position. Roy Hughes was next and had 13lb of carp and 7lb odd of silvers and then last but not least was Alvin on peg 35 and he 7lb of silvers and 54lb of carp.

So with all the anglers weighed in, it was time for coffee, crisps and the results, I knew there would be no envelope for me today as my 2lb 6oz only beat four anglers and that included Dom who didn't fish today! But who did take home all the prize money! Well, quite a few anglers who'd done well yesterday blew out today and vice versa, on the silvers front, Ray Wickham won with 7 points so well done partner (that's if you still want me!!!!) and Mark and Nigel tied on 8 points with Mark taking second place on weight. Andy Hembrow had 4 points yesterday and his win today gave him a 5 point total and first place in the carp. Lewis took second spot with 7 points ahead of Alvin who had also had the same points but an inferior weight. I felt sorry for Jon Martin who also had 7 points but finished first out of the frame on weight, unlucky mate.

Top three on the day for silvers,

1 - Glynn Wickham (Summerhayes) - 18lb 7oz
2 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 15lb 2oz
3 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 12lb 10oz

and carp

1 - Andy Hembrow (Clevedon AA) - 79lb 4oz
2 - Lewis J (Summerhayes) - 72lb 13oz
3 - Rod Wootten (Summerhayes) - 56lb 9oz
Some great weights today

1 - Ray Wickham - 7 pts
2 - Mark Leahy - 8 pts (on weight)
3 - Nigel Wickham - 8 pts

1 - Andy Hembrow - 5 pts
2 - Lewis J - 7 pts (on weight)
3 - Alvin Jones - 7 pts

A disappointing day and I was gutted to blow out yet again but I just couldn't catch skimmers and I really don't think my peg did me any favours today (I knew I should have drawn earlier!).

Next up - Perry St

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - Day one of the mini festival (below)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Summerhayes - Mini Festival Day 1 - 3rd May 2015

I always look forward to these two day events and this weekend it was individuals and not pairs, on arriving there was a decent turnout of sixteen anglers including the Wickhams and fellow blogger Dom Sullivan, no sign of Brandon, thank God! I paid my pools for the two days and had a coffee before it was time to draw, we were all on Sellicks today and I was hoping to avoid the carpy pegs at the top end. Glynn went in and pulled out peg 20, a great silvers peg and one he's won off several times recently, his brother Nigel was next door on 21 which is another really good peg for skimmers but it probably wouldn't do them any favours being next to each other. Ray had drawn peg 15 which is one of the better carp pegs but it can produce some decent nets of silvers.

Most people had drawn so I went for it and there were only two balls left, I picked one and opened my hand and the number 2 was staring back at me, a great silvers peg and I was well happy with that. Nobody was in peg 1 so I had some space and Dom was on peg 3 and he normally fishes for carp although I'm sure he would be feeding a silvers line too. The weather was actually quite nice, overcast and mild with hardly any wind and it all looked set for a good match.
Peg 2 on Sellicks
Dom Sullivan was my neighbour for the day
I set up a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 Tubertini 808 for my longer lines which would be at 8.5 metres as it's quite a narrow swim and a 0.6 gram Drennan G-Tip for the 5 metre line where it was a little bit deeper. I mixed up some of the excellent Bait Tech F1 groundbait before having a coffee and was looking forward to the start. Adie blew the whistle and we were off, I fed half a pot of micros in front of peg 1 where I'd caught last time I drew this peg, half a pot at 8.5 metres angled to my right and then two balls of groundbait at the same distance but straight out in front of me. Finally I cupped in some more micros at 5 metres before starting on the right hand line with a 4mm expander on the hook.
Bait Tech F1, fast becoming my favourite groundbait for commercials 
I was expecting to catch quite quickly but this didn't happen which was a little worrying, still it was early days yet. I tried in front of peg 1, nothing, next I went over the groundbait line with the same result before trying all three lines again (I wanted to leave the shorter line as long as possible). Dom hadn't caught yet and looking up the pond, Alvin Jones in peg 7 was the only person catching and he'd already netted a couple of carp. After about 40 mins I've finally caught a decent skimmer from in front of peg 1 but that was the only fish I had in the first hour. My next one came from the right hand line and I then had a smaller one from the groundbait line which signalled the start of a really good spell where I caught another six decent skimmers although I did bump one as well. I really thought I was going to bag up but then as we entered the third hour it started chucking it down and everybody started putting on waterproofs and few brollies went up around the pond.

It was raining that hard I was struggling to see my float which I'd dotted right down, I did catch my tenth skimmer but then couldn't buy a bite! Dom finally got off the mark with a small carp, Alan Jenkins on peg 6 had caught a couple of skimmers, Alvin was still getting odd carp and Jess Jordan had caught a couple from his inside line on peg 5 but it looked like it was quite hard going for most. As we reached the halfway point, I fed my three longer lines again before trying the 5 metre line for the first time, after leaving it for three hours I was hoping the skimbobs would be queued up but I never had a bite there and was soon back out over the groundbait line but apart from a small carp I couldn't catch there either and I didn't know what to do next.

Just to add to the fun, the wind got up and I was struggling to hold the pole at 8.5 metres, I kept trying the 5 metre line but never had a bite there, Dom lost a skimmer and then landed one foulhooked in the wing. I decided to try my heavier, deeper 5 metre rig on the longer line where it would be a few inches overdepth and I'd hopefully be able to keep the bait still. With about an hour and a half to go, the float sunk from view and I netted a very welcome 8oz skimmer. I then had a lift bite and the strike saw a decent skimmer come flying out of the water. I wasn't bagging but at least I was putting the odd fish in the net.

I had a carp which I was convinced was a skimmer until it woke up when I'd got down to the top kit, I then had another skimmer foulhooked in the wing, much to Dom's disgust. I had my third carp with about ten minutes to go and next put in had another skimmer nearly straight away and that was the last of the action. I ended up with 14 skimmers and 3 accidental carp, I wasn't sure how I'd done but Scotty Russell turned up for a walk round and said that both Glynn and Nigel had struggled and that Andy Hembrow was admitting to 8lb or so and I hoped I had a little more than that.

I packed up and as I took some of my kit back to the car, the scales arrived at Roy Hughes in peg 23 to start the weigh in, he had 4lb of silvers and 43lb 14oz of carp, then Nigel had 5lb 1oz of skimmers and 26lb 9oz of carp before it was Glynn's turn, he'd really struggled for 1 skimmer and 7lb 4oz of carp. Andy Hembrow had nearly 36lb of carp and 8lb 13oz of skimmers to go into the silvers lead before Jon Martin plonked 51lb 15oz of carp in the weigh sling from peg 17 to take the lead on the carp front.

Ray Wickham did well in peg 15 with 7lb 13oz of silvers which included a big eel, Rod W had 26lb odd of carp from peg 14 and Nick Harvey had 23lb 1oz of carp and 3lb 5oz of silvers in peg 13. Lewis J had 31lb of carp in peg 11 and Mark Leahy had a level 5lb of skimmers in peg 10. Rob Birch only had 1lb 5oz of silvers in peg 9 before Alvin did well with 41lb 11oz of carp and 6lb 8oz of silvers. Alan Jenkins had 4lb 11oz of silvers and then Jess had 24lb of carp and 2lb 15oz of silvers, Dom had chucked back and hadn't had a very good day today and then it was my turn. My three carp went 8lb 2oz before my fourteen skimbobs went 12lb 6oz to win the silvers on the day and take a pound off of Glynn.

So at the halfway point the top three for silvers and carp are as follows,

1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 12lb 6oz
2 - Andy Hembrow (Clevedon AA) - 8lb 13oz
3 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 7lb 13oz

1 - Jon Martin (Taunton) - 51lb 15oz
2 - Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) - 43lb 14oz
3 - Alvin Jones (Alvins Car Care) - 41lb 11oz
Today's results
So I'm in a good position for day two but a good draw is essential, I've been here before and done well on the first day on several occasions only to blow out on day two. There are several people who have good points for both silvers and carp and with no double bubble I'm obviously hoping they all fish for carp!

Next up - Day two at Summerhayes

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match at Perry St (below)