Sunday, July 26, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 9 - 26th July 2015

The penultimate round arrived and it was chucking it down, I loaded the car up and stuck my brolly in as well, I never normally take one as they tend to just get in the way but the wet stuff was showing no signs of stopping and I thought I could at least keep my bait dry. I got out the pond and the first job was to get the waterproofs on before paying my pools and waiting to see if I would be on peg 2 or 20 today. Les opened the envelope for this week and as he started to read out who was where, I knew I'd be in 20 today, it's not been a great peg, Paul Homewood framed off it in the first match with over 40lb but it hasn't done much since. I was just hoping I would be within touching distance of Blaker (who was in peg 6) after today to give me a fighting chance in the last match.

I took my kit to the peg and after getting my box sorted I tried to get my brolly in the ground without much success (note to self - get a brolly attachment!), I eventually managed to get the spike in deep enough to get the brolly up and keep most of the rain off me and my bait while I set up. My rigs for today were the usual up in the water and meat at 5 metres plus a rig to fish towards the end bank at 13 metres past an iron bar that rises out of the pond like Excalibur and is the cause of a lot of lost fish. The brolly was already being a pain in the arse so I took it down just before the match started and prepared myself for a rather moist day!
Peg 20, you can just see the iron bar if you look closely
Les blew for the start and I started on the shallow rig at 11.5 metres with a 6mm banded pellet while feeding the same, I was also firing pellets on the 13 metre end bank line and feeding some meat (flavoured with Bait-Tech's Krill and Tuna liquid) by hand at 5 metres. Jamie P had a carp on his depth rig and I saw Blaker also get an early fish down the edge, I was intending to give it at least an hour fishing shallow but then both Jamie and Blaker started catching really well and had three or four fish each and I was already a long way behind and we'd only been fishing 30 minutes! I decided to try the 5 metre line, to be honest I wasn't expecting much as I've only hooked one fish in eight matches on this line, and that came off!

After a couple of minutes the float sailed away and I missed it and then missed the next bite too! It was third time lucky and I finally connected with the next bite and landed a good fish around the 5-6lb mark, I had two more quite quickly (including another decent fish) to end the first hour with three fish, the trouble was, every time I looked up Blaker was netting a fish and Jamie had added a couple more as well. Picky, opposite me in peg 1, also got off the mark and it was looking like the pond was going to fish really well. I had my fourth fish but then started missing bites again, my next fish was foulhooked but I safely landed it. By now Jamie P had nine or ten carp and I think Blaker had a few more than him!

Andy Winter in peg 2 was obviously fishing worm as along with a few skimmers, he'd landed a couple of eels and I asked if he was going for the silvers pool as there isn't one! My next two bites resulted in foulhooked carp and they both came off so it was time to change again. I slipped a cube of meat on and shipped out to the end bank where I'd been feeding pellets from the start, there had been a few fish moving about down there but I wanted to leave it as long as possible before fishing it. The float settled and then buried and I landed a three pounder without too much fuss and then next chuck I had another and it was solid! I was starting to catch Jamie up but Blaker was still bagging and looking like he would do a big weight.

I lost a foulhooker but over the next hour or so I added another four carp to put me on eleven with two and a half hours to go. Jamie P was still a few fish ahead and he'd had a couple of lumps, Picky now had three or four fish and the Tart had around the same although I couldn't see anybody catching Blaker now. Chilly was still getting some big grinners and even caught a lovely tench along with a couple of nuisance carp. Then the rain eased off which was a good job as my pellets were starting to get a bit soggy but then my bites stopped and looking round the pond, everyone else was in the same boat!

I came back in on the 5 metre line and had carp number twelve, then I briefly hooked a fish which came off but I was still attached to something and I lifted the rig out to find I'd hooked a catapult! It was in fairly good nick too - bonus! Jamie P had slowed right up and was stuck on thirteen carp and a skimmer and I hadn't seen Blaker catch for ages although he'd caught enough early on that he could have gone to sleep in his car for the last two hours! With no more bites on my shorter line I went back to 13 metres and had a fish straight away but then nothing and it seemed to be a case of pinching a fish from each line and then leaving it alone for a bit. With half an hour left I was back on the 5 metre line and had carp number fourteen.

I had intended to switch back to the longer line for the last ten minutes but I was getting a few knocks so stayed at 5 metres, with only five minutes left on the clock I happened to glance away from the float only for the pole tip to be wrenched round, I played it carefully as I wanted to make this one count and when Les blew for the all out, I shouted 'Fish on' and despite Jamie willing me to lose it, I safely netted carp number fifteen a few minutes after the final whistle. It was going to be close between me and Jamie P, he had fourteen carp and a decent skimmer and was admitting to 49lb and I thought I had between 45-50lb. Blaker shouted across asking what we'd had and then said he had about 50lb!

I took my sodden gear back to the car and by the time I caught up with the scales, the first few pegs had already been weighed, Picky had 12lb 12oz and then Chilly had 17lb 8oz which included 12lb 2oz of silvers, there were a few DNW's and then Blaker was only 43lb out with his estimate as he weighed 93lb 2oz! Exeter Mike had 35lb 10oz next door and then Paul H went into second place with 45lb 8oz from peg 8. Janders had 19lb 10oz in peg 10 and Mike C had 13lb 8oz opposite him, Mike Smith (standing in for Andy Bayley) had 23lb 12oz from peg 12 and then Dunner had 39lb 8oz from peg 13.

Bish had 31lb 2oz from peg 15 and the Hoff had 26lb 1oz, then it was the Tarts turn and he had six carp for 22lb 15oz and when Jamie P had 49lb 15oz next door it looked like the Tart would be stopping off for sausage and chips on the way home yet again. I was last to weigh and I still thought it would be tight between me and Jamie P, my first two nets went 17lb 8oz and 18lb 9oz and then my third net was called at 21lb 8oz to give me a 57lb 9oz total and second place, plus a clean sweep of all five side bets to top off a nice (if rather damp) days fishing.

At the results, Blaker was confirmed as the winner, I was second and picked up £80 (and did I mention I took a nice shiny nugget off of the Tart?), Jamie P was third and Paul H was fourth. Although Blaker has pulled a point on me, I'm well chuffed with my result and felt I'd fished a good match today. So it's set up nicely for the final match in two weeks time, I will be on peg 2 with Blaker on peg 8 and I think his is the better peg and despite my two point advantage, he will go into the match as slight favourite, be sure to come back then to see how things pan out.
Today's board

1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 93lb 2oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 57lb 9oz
3 - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 49lb 15oz
4 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 45lb 8oz

A - Andy Winter (Chard) - 17lb 8oz
B - Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 35lb 10oz
C - Alan Dunn (Chard) - 39lb 8oz
D - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 26lb 1oz

With one match to go the league looks like this,

1 - Jamie Rich - 30 pts
2 - Paul Blake - 32 pts
3 - Steve Bishop - 46 pts
4 - Jamie Parkhouse - 49 pts
5 - Mark Hollister - 59 pts

In other news, I met up with fellow blogger Russell Hilton last Monday evening and we popped down to Seaton for a few hours after those elusive mullet but like the majority of my mullet trips we never had a bite between us and it's proving increasingly frustrating. Hopefully our next trip will be on the canal with rudd and possibly tench and bream our target. Next week I'm headed to Dillington and will have my feeder rod with me as the last few matches have been won on it.

Next up - Dillington

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 8 - 19th July 2015

With three matches to go, the dreaded peg 20 is still waiting for me and I had a horrible feeling I would be on it today. As Blaker won the last match he got to chose the envelope for todays draw sequence and as Les read out the pegs, my home for today was peg 14 which I was happy with. The sequence put Blaker in peg 20 and I really needed to gain some points on him today. As I took my kit to the peg, quite a few carp could be seen moving about and I fancied I'd get a few shallow today.
Peg 14
I set up the usual shallow rig, five metre meat rig (which I'm yet to get a bite on!) and a dibber for down the edge, all rigs had 0.14mm hooklengths and size 16 B911's (either spade ends or eyed with a hair rigged band). On my bait tray I had 6mm and 8mm pellets plus some 6mm meat which I'd added a couple of squirts of Bait-Tech Krill and Tuna liquid. After a quick chat with Jamie Parkhouse, Les blew for the start at 10:30. I had a big bed of lilies to my left and my inside line was on the other side of these at about six metres and I cupped in half a pot of meat and pellets here before starting shallow at 11.5 metres.

With all the carp milling about I felt confident that the pole would wrenched round at any minute, Jamie P had a couple of early carp on his depth rig and Bish over on peg 9 opened his account fairly quickly too. I hadn't had any action after 30 minutes but I wasn't too worried yet as it's never a fish race here and normally two fish an hour will put you there or thereabouts. After an hour I was still blanking and although not exactly panicking, I was starting to get a little concerned. Jamie P and Bish both now had around four carp and Butch in peg 8 and Shane (fishing for Andy Bayley) in peg 6 had a couple of carp each and Janders had landed one too.

After a further half an hour with nothing to show for it, I had to try something else, I fed some more meat and pellets on the inside before trying the five metre meat line, I must admit to having no confidence with this line as I haven't had a bite on it yet in the previous seven matches (admittedly I haven't spent that long on it!) so was amazed when after five minutes the float sailed away, so amazed in fact that I missed it! I missed another bite a few minutes later but it could have been small fish. I tried this rig on my longer line where it was the same depth and had a few knocks (small fish?) but after two hours the only thing in my nets was water!

Jamie P and Bish hadn't added anymore and despite there being loads of carp cruising about, they just weren't interested and most people were now struggling. I slipped on a cube of meat and tried the inside line for the first time, I had a couple of indications quite quickly but I think they were liners, then the float slid away and I finally connected with a fish, it was a good one too and I was mightily relieved when I slipped the net under a 6-7lb common. I had two more carp quite quickly to put me on about 12lb but then I couldn't get a bite again.

I had another go shallow and tried chasing fish around but they just didn't want to know, I did have one bite but as soon as I struck I knew I'd foulhooked a fish and it wasn't on long. I had another go on the five metre line and the float sailed away and there was no missing that bite, it wasn't a big fish , probably 3lb or so and it was pretty much under control when all of sudden it came off and when I checked the rig, the hooklength loop had come undone! I was really mad with myself for such a schoolboy error and I really could have done with that fish, especially as both Bish and Jamie P had added a couple more to pull away again. By all accounts Hainsey was catching in peg 12, and it looked like Andy Winter on peg 16 and Bushy on peg 3 were getting a few now as well.

Time was running out and I was still stuck on three fish and had resigned myself to a bad day, worse still, if Blaker had managed to sneak a few out in peg 20, any chance of the league would be over too. I was back on the inside line and with an hour to go I've had my fourth carp and then ten minutes later I've hooked another, this fish tore off and with the pole tip under the water it still wasn't slowing down, I kept thinking I should add more sections but didn't and of course the hook pulled out (schoolboy error number two). With about 15 minutes left, I looked up to see Janders playing another fish and thought I might be paying out some side bets today when the pole was wrenched round as a big fish took off, after the initial run, the fish just wallowed and I managed to net another decent carp, this one a mirror around 6lb or so. There were still a few minutes left but that was the last of the action.

Jamie P said he'd ended up with ten carp and Hainsey had nine and the Hoff had six or seven so I didn't think I'd be scoring very many points today as I thought I might have 18-20lb. I packed up and took my kit back to the car before catching up with the scales which had already weighed Exeter Mike in peg 1 who'd had 15lb 14oz and Paul H who had 14lb 8oz in peg 2. Bushy then went into the lead with 35lb 8oz and had caught most of his fish late. Janders had 9lb 4oz and had lost quite a few fish in the lilies, Mike Collins had 8lb 14oz next door and Shane had 8lb 10oz from peg 6.

Butch had 10lb 8oz from peg 8 and then Bish had eight carp for 19lb 10oz, Rich Collins had 7lb 4oz from peg 10 and then the Hoff had seven carp for 22lb 12oz from peg 11 and I started to think those two fish I'd stupidly lost were going to cost me. Hainsey then just edged into the lead with 36lb 10oz from peg 12 before Jamie P weighed 33lb 12oz to go into third place. Then it was my turn and my five carp weighed 26lb 10oz which actually put me in fourth place for the time being. Picky had 11lb 10oz and Andy Winter had 17lb 6oz, Oz and Les didn't weigh, Rocking had 7lb 2oz and then we got to Blaker, he'd had four carp and weighed 17lb 2oz, so I finished fourth, picked up £40 plus three out of four side bets (I lost one to Jamie P) and gained a few points on Blaker.

So all in all, a pretty good day, admittedly I possibly could have won it if I hadn't lost those fish but considering I was blanking after two and a half hours, I'm happy with the result.
Today's board
1 - Chris Haines (Haines Angling) - 36lb 10oz
2 - Steve Bush (Chard) - 35lb 8oz
3 - Jamie Parkhouse (Burt Baits) - 33lb 12oz
4 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 26lb 10oz

A - Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 15lb 14oz
B - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 19lb 10oz
C - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 22lb 12oz
D - Andy Winter (Chard) - 17lb 6oz

So after eight matches, the league looks like this,

1 - Jamie Rich - 28 pts
2 - Paul Blake  - 31 pts
3 - Steve Bishop - 39 pts
4 - Jamie Parkhouse - 46 pts

In other news, Dillington pond continues to fish really well and Stuart Alford won todays match with an excellent 36lb 12oz of bream and skimmers on the feeder from peg 6. Good back up weights followed and Graham Field included two cracking perch in his second placed 24lb 4oz from peg 20.

Graham Field with part of his second placed catch which included two lovely perch

Next up - Perry St

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 12th July 2015

I phoned Pete in the week to put my name down and was hoping the match would be on Sellicks but no such luck and we would be on Longs again. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know I've been struggling on Longs and I just can't seem to put a decent net of silvers together. In my last couple of matches I've drawn on the road side and despite being really good pegs for silvers, I've not done very well at all and fancied a change of scenery today. If I could have picked a peg today, I would probably have gone for either 11 or 12 as they've been producing some skimmers.

The draw was announced and Glynn pulled out peg 34 and I thought he'd do a better job on it than I did the other week, Ray ended up on 37 which can be good for carp but hasn't got much silvers form. I stuck my hand in the bucket and there were only a couple of balls left, I opened my hand and peg 10 was staring back at me, close, but no cigar! I still quite fancied it and things got better when Pete said peg 11 wasn't in. After trying meat rather unsuccessfully in my last match, I decided to stick with what I know today, 4mm Bait-Tech expanders over micros and groundbait, changing to a banded 6mm pellet if small fish became a problem.
Peg 10 on Longs
Rigs were the usual 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim for two lines at 8.5 metres and another at 10 metres to the left and a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil for 5 metres. Adie signalled the start and I cupped in half a pot of micros on the right hand 8.5 metre line, the left hand 10 metre line and the 5 metre line. The middle 8.5 metre line got two balls of groundbait containing some micros. I started on the right hand line and had to wait a little while for my first bite which resulted in a 3oz skimbob, I missed a couple of bites before switching to the central line. I had a few more small skimmers and then a couple around the 6oz mark along with a little roach, so a steady first hour with around a pound and a quarter in the net.

From what I could see, nobody was catching that well, Gareth on peg 8 and Dan Squires on peg 6 were getting odd carp, fishing shallow to the island but the anglers opposite on the road side looked to be struggling at this early stage. Going into the second hour I've had a decent skimmer around a pound and a half and then shortly after another of 12oz, this was more like it! A couple more blades followed, all from the groundbait line, before bites slowed up, I cupped in a little more feed on both 8.5 metre lines before trying the 10 metre line for the first time but never had a bite there.

So after two hours I was on around 3-4lb which I was happy with as low double figures has been a good silvers weight recently. I had a small carp from the right hand line so came in on the 5 metre line for the first time where I'd been putting in small amounts of micros every time I shipped out. I had to wait ages for a bite and then missed it and then missed the next one too!, I was just about to go back on the longer lines when the float sailed away and a fair bit of blue hydro was pulled out on the strike and I was soon slipping the net under another decent skimmer. I had a couple more 2-3oz fish but I needed those bigger skimbobs if I was to do any good so I decided to try a banded 6mm.

I bumped a fish on the right hand 8.5 metre line before the next bite saw a good skimmer come flying out of the water, as I shipped back very gently I glanced back to make sure the pole was on the roller but when I looked back there seemed to be an awful lot of elastic out for a 12oz skimmer! I guess that the skimmer came off and the rig somehow became attached to a very angry foulhooked carp, thankfully the hook pulled out after a couple of minutes. I tried the other lines but after a steady start to the match, I was now struggling and a long way off my 10lb target.

My carp must have been getting lonely because it kept trying to jump out of my net, then on it's umpteenth escape bid it hit the rim of the keepnet and in almost comedy slow motion, pivoted over and gained its freedom, my carp net was now devoid of carp! I wasn't too bothered to be honest as I was never going to win any prizes for carp today.

I was getting quite a few indications at 5 metres but missed several before catching another decent skimmer, I then briefly hooked a fish which felt like either a tench or a crucian but the hook pulled out. I had a couple of small carp, including one hooked in the wing, and lost a couple of foulhookers as well. Then my next fish didn't feel like a carp and a beautiful 12oz golden tench popped up!, a few minutes later I've had a green one of a similar size and I was starting to put a few fish in the net as we got towards the end of the match.

My next two fish were carp which didn't help much and time was running out, with five minutes to go the float sailed away and a good fish was on, it shot off and I initially thought it was a carp but then it stopped and as I gently shipped back I could see it swirling near the surface but couldn't see what it was and will never know because the poxy hook pulled out! That was the last of the action for me and I ended up with 19 silvers (16 skimmers, 2 tench and a roach) plus 4 carp, I thought I had 6-7lb of silvers although I'd lost enough to be nearer 10lb.

Alvin was on peg 13 and as I was packing up, he asked how I'd got on, I told him and he said he'd had some good skimmers on meat so I was pretty sure he'd beaten me. As I loaded the car, the weigh in started with Ray Wickham in peg 37, he had nearly 25lb of carp but only 8oz of silvers, John D in peg 39 had 40lb 6oz of carp, Roger had struggled in peg 1 and then Richard in peg 4 had 22lb 4oz of carp. Dan had 4lb 5oz of silvers which included a goldfish and then added 39lb of carp (including a pretty Koi) to give him a total of 43lb 5oz and the lead.

Gareth was next and had 27lb 4oz of carp before we got to me, my four accidental carp weighed 6lb 8oz and then my silvers weighed 8lb 5oz which was a little more than I thought but I knew it wouldn't be enough. Jimmy in peg 12 had 20lb 4oz of carp and then Alvin had 27lb 7oz of carp and 12lb 12oz of silvers to push me down into second. I took the rest of my kit back to the car just as Glynn and Ray were heading off, Glynn paid me his pound (the first one I've had off him for a while) as he hadn't bothered weighing and had suffered a similar sort of day in 34 as I'd had a few weeks back.

Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping had done well catching 50lb from peg 19 and Rene in peg 21 had 38lb before the scales reached the other side, Mark Leahy just pipped me with 8lb 13oz of small fish from peg 28, Ashley Tomkins didn't weigh in peg 29, Roy Hughes had a few carp and 5lb 15oz of silvers and then Chris Boulton on peg 32 plonked 70lb 5oz of carp on the scales to go to the top of the leaderboard. So I'd managed to hang on to third in the silvers and picked up £16 which helped pay for the day.
Todays board
1 - Chris Boulton (Summerhayes) - 70lb 5oz
2 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 50lb
3 - Dan Squires (Summerhayes) - 43lb 5oz
4 - John D (Summerhayes) - 40lb 6oz
5 - Rene (Summerhayes) - 38lb

1 - Alvin Jones (County Gardening) - 12lb 12oz
2 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 8lb 13oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 5oz

Next up - Perry St

What's new - Lots of page updates

Check Out - My latest ramblings (below)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Fishing and (anti) Social Media

Technology is moving on at a scary pace, when I was youngster (yes I know it was a long time ago!), there was no such thing as mobile phones, computers or video games and we all spent a lot of our time out in the open air enjoying activities like football, cricket and of course (or should that be coarse!) fishing. We'd never heard of terms like 'childhood obesity' or 'cyber bullying' and 'trolls' existed only in fairy tales, the world just seemed a nicer, more pleasant place, of course there could be an element of rose tinted nostalgia there, but they were very different times.

Nowadays everybody has a pc, laptop or tablet and a smartphone and their lives are lived online all day, everyday, for all to see, from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow again you get to see what your friends are eating, what they're wearing and what they're doing, you see their holiday snaps, Xmas presents and birthday celebrations, all in real time, as they happen. Then you get to see the hangover photos the following morning. Relationship break ups, marriages, births and deaths, it's all there, nothing is sacred anymore. You can now find out what your friends are up to without ever leaving the house, or even talking to them (and it's called social media!).

Now anybody that knows me will know that I spend a lot of my time on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and of course Blogger, if I'm not fishing or at work I seem to spend my life 'Liking', 'Sharing', 'Tweeting', 'Retweeting', 'Commenting' and 'Blogging'. I'm now 'friends' with hundreds of people I don't know and I'm never likely to meet (and in some cases don't even exist!), I've had allsorts of porn, beheadings and generally unpleasant stuff posted on my wall and I've been invited to play a billion stupid games. Everyday I'm being told to share or like some photo of 'Little Johnny' who only has days to live, why?, what possible good can it do, it's a scam people, the same as the 'Share this or bad things will happen to you', I'm sorry but Bo****cks!. Oh how I laugh when six months later the same photo of 'Little Johnny' does the rounds again and he's still hanging on in there! You also have the 'Click on the link to see what happens next' type scams, uh oh, VIRUS ALERT, are people really that daft?!

I didn't intend this to be a piece on slagging Facebook and it's users off, as I am, after all, one myself, and I will hold my hands up and say I've been guilty of liking and sharing various competition posts on a regular basis which I know piss some people off, but hey, I really needed to win those lures or that baseball cap! For all it's bad points, there are loads of good ones too and like most things in life you just need to be a little bit sensible. Through the various forms of social media I have made some great friends and contacts and everybody now has better access to the top names in our sport than ever before.

As I touched on in my previous post about sponsorship (which was very well received and can be found here - So you want to be sponsored? ), Facebook, Twitter and various blogs are fantastic for getting match results and info that is bang up to date and very often you can follow the big matches as they happen. So with all the news and match results now available on the same day are we reaching a point where the days of the weekly angling newspaper are numbered? I don't think so, even if demand for physical copies is on the decline, I believe there is still a market for digital copies.

Along with all the match results that get posted online, lots of anglers now update their status with how that days match went, some are quite brief and some are more detailed, almost a mini blog, if you like. Now I think that's great as I love to see how people have got on and how various venues have fished but I do have a couple of issues with it. Some anglers will post regardless of how they've got on (Des Shipp and Scotty Russell are good examples of this) which is how I think it should be, it shows they are human and have bad days and bad draws too and it gives hope to mere mortals like me, so massive respect to them (and others) for that. Then on the other side of the fence you have the anglers who only ever post when they've done well or the ones who update their status to say they've had a bad day but it's always because of the swim or the fishery is too peggy.

I can understand they want to keep their sponsors happy but nobody is going to win all the time and I think their peers would respect them more and ultimately that has got to better for their sponsor than them throwing their toys out of the pram all over Facebook because they drew a duff peg! Not only is it very unprofessional when you hear them describe a fishery as a 'cess pit' or a 's**t hole, they have to remember that it's somebody's livelihood they are slagging off and as respected anglers they should know better. There is no fishery in the country where every peg is equal, it's part of what makes our sport so great.

When an angler does post on Facebook that he's won a match or framed, is the rest of the match fishing fraternity pleased for him? On the whole, it would seem not, if all the comments like 'Bunghole', 'Not another end peg' and that old favourite 'Well, he should have won from there' are anything to go by! I realise some of it is just match anglers 'banter' (which sometimes doesn't translate that well when you see it on the screen and is sometimes taken out of context) but a lot of it isn't. We do seem to be pretty good at congratulating the guys right at the top of our sport, it's just everyone else we seem to begrudge a 'Well done' or at least that's how it comes across most of the time.

I make no secret that I'm not a big fan of massive weight venues and as a consequence I don't tend to fish them very much but by the same token I don't slag them off on here or on Facebook, if you don't like it, don't go, simples. Similarly if a particular method or bait dominates a venue, you have two choices, either get up to speed so you can compete or go somewhere else but don't moan about it (yes I know I've said I didn't enjoying going to Dillington when it was all whip fishing for bits but that was my opinion. I wasn't slagging the place off or knocking the guys that are very good at that particular method, I was just saying it wasn't my cup of tea and that's the difference). I certainly would never call for a method of bait to be banned (unless it was harmful to fish), enough on method and bait bans for now, I think that's a subject worthy of a future post.

I've always been quite proud that regardless of how I've got on, you get to read about it, warts and all, my good days, days where I've drawn a bad peg, days when I've cocked up a flier and I seem to remember having to post once after a rather heavy night when I slept behind my peg all day! There have been matches where it's been painful having to relive the six hours again as I type away and I know some elements can be very repetitive which is why I don't tend to go into too much detail with the rigs I use etc as it's never been my intention to try and tell you how to fish (I leave that sort of thing to the experts) but I still love doing it (I must do as it's been around nine years now!) and from the great feedback I receive I guess I must be doing something right.

Before social media came along, I always thought trolls lived under bridges in a land 'Far, far away' but it would seem they are very real and live behind keyboards all over the world! They are never far away and always willing to put somebody down, throw in a spiteful comment and in the fishing world they are constantly looking for a 'bite' (if you'll excuse the pun!). In the early days I would respond to these comments and 'often rose to the bait' (sorry!) but realised quite quickly that was what they wanted so now I just don't get involved. If I'm asked a genuine question I will do my best to answer it, I welcome any feedback good or bad (as long as it's constructive criticism!), feel free to engage in some fishy banter but anything abusive or rude will be deleted and the same goes for any spam or 'phishing' comments.

Almost on a daily basis I see somebody ask a question on Facebook about what pole they should buy and everybody pitches in with their favourite brand before it descends into a 'My poles better than your pole' slanging match. Similarly the other common debate seems to be people pledging their allegiance to rivers or commercials and then trying to say it's more skilful to catch 20lb of roach than 200lb of carp or vice versa, basically who cares? There is no right answer to any of those type of questions, it's all to do with personal preferences and doing what you enjoy doing.

At the end of the day, the internet and social media are fantastic resources and if anglers across all disciplines actually united instead of getting involved in all the back stabbing, snobbery, elitism and the rest of the general nastiness that goes on, we would be one hell of a force to be reckoned with. I won't be holding my breath though, in that respect us anglers are our own worst enemies and I can't see that changing anytime soon.


Monday, July 06, 2015

Perry St Pond - League 7 - 5th July 2015

After the last two matches at Summerhayes and Dillington where I've had plenty of bites but finished up well off the pace, I was hoping it wouldn't be third time unlucky today. Out of the four pegs I've still got to come in the remaining fixtures, one is a flier (peg 10), two are half decent (2 and 14) and one is real stinker (peg 20), I had a horrible feeling I was going to end up on the latter today but when Les opened the envelope, the draw sequence put me on 10, the best peg on the pond! The Torquay Tart was standing in for Chris Haines and I'd already received a few texts saying he was going to teach me a lesson, the usual sort of thing. He had a pair of shorts on and it was a good job I hadn't had any breakfast as it might have come back up again, what a horrible pair of spindly, lily white legs, I've seen better on a chicken!

My peg looked a dream as always as it's one of the four corners and there were already fish blowing all over the place, there are quite a few lilies but my plan was to fish shallow (just for a change!) well away from them. I set up an in-line dibber for up in the water, a little handmade float for fishing into the corner with banded pellet and a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for fishing the meat at 5 metres (unused yet again!). Picky was opposite in peg 11, Jamie P was on peg 9 and had the dubious pleasure of having Brandon (and his chicken legs) next door. I was ready with a few minutes to spare and Jamie and the Tart came up for a chat, he'd bought a new pole and said he had a little surprise for us to look out for when he shipped it out!
Peg 10 (loads of features)
Les signalled the start with a toot on his whistle and we were off, I started on the shallow rig with a hair rigged banded pellet at 11.5 metres, feeding 6mm's, I was also firing some pellets up into the corner and feeding a few cubes of meat by hand at 5 metres. Brandon's little surprise soon became evident as his top kit was painted white which apparently makes it invisible to the fish below, I'm not sure about that but it was certainly very visible to us as the comments about him "Bringing a blind mans stick", "Where was his guide dog?" and "Had he bought the pole off Steve Wonder" were anything to go by!

I really thought I'd catch straight away but this didn't happen, the Tart had a fish shallow (but I wasn't going to rush out and buy a tin of white paint just yet) and Jamie P had one on his depth rig quite quickly but apart from that not a huge amount happened in the first half an hour as far as I could see. I kept thinking it would only be a matter of time before I started catching but after an hour I was still blanking and when Picky had his first fish, I was just thinking about trying in the corner when I saw a couple of cruising fish, so I flicked the rig in their path, the float buried and a few minutes later, I safely landed my first carp.

I shipped out again and before I had time to feed the pole was wrenched round by carp number two, but any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared as the action was short lived. Jamie P had his second carp and by all accounts the Hoff had got off to a good start with several fish in peg 7. I was just considering a change when I've hooked another fish but it tore off at a rate of knots and found the sanctuary of the lilies and broke me. This seemed to set the scene for the early part of the match, I plodded on fishing shallow and by the halfway point I had struggled up to six fish (and lost another), this wasn't far off the pace and the only person who seemed to be catching regularly was Blaker.

Then Brendon has had a run of fish from his inside line and spurred on by the thought of having to pay him a pound, which I'd never hear the last of, it was time to try up in the corner where I'd been feeding pellets for three hours. First chuck I've had a small carp, then another and another, it was solid! The next one did in me in the lilies (ouch!) but after tying another hooklength on I went straight back out and the float buried again, there were obviously a lot of fish there. It was a case of striking and just throwing the pole back as fast as I could but although I was catching really well, every now and again one would reach the lilies. I had one spell where I lost two carp to the lilies and then the hook pulled out of the next one at the net but with around an hour and a half to go I was on thirteen fish (and had lost seven or eight).

I was sure Blaker was still ahead by some margin but if I could continue catching like this I had a chance of pegging him back. My mate Andy turned up for a chat, we had a good old natter and it was lovely to catch up as we hadn't seen each other for ages. I hooked another carp in the corner but it snapped me in those poxy lilies, bites had slowed up quite a bit so I decided to go back out shallow for a bit while feeding the corner and letting the fish settle again after all the commotion. Jamie P was now catching well on his depth rig and the Tart was still getting odd fish from his inside line and they were both gaining ground on me. Jamie had already had one lot of white hydro snap and when it happened again as he was about to net a good fish, there was an awful lot of swearing and top kits being thrown about!

I had two smaller carp shallow then hooked a decent common that gave me the run around but just as I got it under control, the hook pulled out at the net - bugger! With half an hour left I went back in the corner and had carp number sixteen which was a decent fish and that was the last of the action for me, the Tart landed a lump near the end and it was going to be close for the pound. I knew Blaker had beaten me and although I had more fish than the Tart I had a couple of 'squeakers' whereas he had some lumps.

I packed up and Andy gave me a hand back with my kit (can you come every week please?) and we met the scales coming the other way, the top weight so far was one of Brendon's mates (standing in for somebody) with 38lb 8oz from peg 2. Bish had 19lb 12oz from peg 5 and the Hoff had slowed up after his good start to weigh 30lb 9oz, the Tart had managed to equally spread his fish between his two keepnets with two in one net and ten or twelve in the other! He weighed 55lb 4oz and I knew I didn't have that so paid him my pound and mentally prepared myself for the weeks of gloating texts that lay ahead of me.

Jamie P had 30lb 1oz and conceded his pound before it was my turn, my first weigh was 33lb 12oz and when I pulled out my other net I could see it was going to be close, 23lb 6oz was called, giving me a 57lb 2oz total and I'd just beaten the Tart. Picky in peg 11 had 19lb 12oz so I was another squid better off, the next few pegs struggled before the scales reached Blaker and he plonked an excellent 78lb 10oz on the scales to go into the lead and he's really got this meat fishing down the edge sorted. Exeter Mike had 13lb 8oz, Paul H had 28lb 8oz, Bushy had 23lb 8oz and Janders had 15lb 8oz from the dreaded peg 20.

So I finished second and picked up £80, an enjoyable day but frustrating that I'd lost enough to win it, I'm sure a better angler would have won off my peg today.
Today's board
1 - Paul Blake (Chard) - 78lb 10oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 57lb 2oz
3 - Brendon Ions (Torquay Chicken Legs) - 55lb 4oz
4 - M Smith (Torquay) - 38lb 8oz

A - Steve Bishop (Chard) - 19lb 12oz
B - Mark Hollister (Chard) - 30lb 9oz
C - Alan Gage (Chard) - 19lb 12oz
D - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 28lb 8oz

So with three matches to go, the league looks like this,

1 - Paul Blake - 23 pts
2 - Jamie Rich - 24 pts
3 - Steve Bishop - 33 pts
4 - Jamie Parkhouse - 43 pts

Ilminster AA fished round five of their Summer League today and Leighton Cox had the top weight with 31lb 10oz of bream and skimmers on the feeder from peg 9, and for good measure he included a nice tench as well.
Leighton had a lovely net of bream and skimmers to win today at Dillington

Next up - Summerhayes

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Check Out - My last match (below)