Monday, March 30, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 29th March 2015

Last week Pete said todays match would be on Longs unless there were more than twenty fishing, in which case we would be split over Longs and Sellicks with separate pay outs for both. We got there in good time and with twenty four anglers fishing there would be twelve on each lake. I didn't mind which lake I drew but a fairly sheltered swim would be a massive bonus with very strong, blustery winds forecast. On arriving one of the first people I saw was Ivan Currie of Ivan's Angle fame, I knew he was fishing today and it was great to catch up with him again. I also saw Glynn who wanted double of quits on the pound from last week and I finally met Mark Cox who is organising the Gary Bull fundraiser on the 11th April. I'm really looking forward to that match, there are already over 50 people booked in and there are loads of great raffle prizes and it's for a very worthwhile cause.

Pete announced the draw and everybody delved in, Ivan pulled out peg 39 on Longs and it was also one of the golden pegs, Janders was on Longs peg 30 which has been a good area of late and I ended up on peg 4 on Sellicks which can be a great peg and Scott won off it on Wednesday with 48lb of carp fishing long although I would, as always, be fishing for silvers. Janders and me had discussed what we would do regards the side bet if we were on different lakes and had decided the fairest way of doing it would be to do it on silvers if we were on the same lake or overall weight if we were on different lakes. For company I had Adie Bishop on peg 2 and Bill 'The Paste King' Hopping on peg 6 so plenty of room which is always a good thing. Adie's peg had won the silvers in the midweek match with 19lb and according to Heardy we were all fishing for second place.
Peg 4 on Sellicks
The wind was already hideous and it would be a case of battening down the hatches, I set up the usual 0.4 gram Malman Pencil with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 Tubertini 808 hook and also set up a Drennan 0.6 gram G-Tip but I never picked it up all day so no more about that rig! I wanted to try and keep things as simple as possible so plumbed up three lines at 10, 8.5 and 5 metres, I would try and fish at the longer length but depending on the wind I had the other two as back ups although I'm yet to have a bite on the short line after two matches!

On the whistle I put half a pot of micros on the 5 and 10 metre lines and would feed the middle line if I had to go on it, before starting with a 4mm expander on the longer line. The rig settled, the float went under and for once I didn't miss it and carefully shipped back before netting a decent skimmer - great start. I had two more and then landed a good skimmer that was foul hooked under the wing and after an hour I had eight skimmers and a small carp and was bagging. The wind was blowing the pole all over the place but when I could actually present the rig sensibly for a few minutes I'd get a bite. Adie had a few skimmers but was already saying that he was getting battered!

The second hour was a little slower but I did add a couple more decent skimmers and a small carp but also had a good skimmer literally blown off the hook and I bumped a decent fish too. The wind was really doing my head in and one particularly strong gust saw most of my bait boxes fly off my side tray! Luckily I managed to retrieve my expanders but one box lid disappeared into the lake, never to be seen again. Adie was now getting some decent skimmers although he was still saying I was miles ahead of him. I kept trying the 5 metre line but for the third match running I haven't had a bite there although crucially the rest would do my longer line the world of good and as soon as I went back out, I'd get a couple of quick fish.

It was obvious it was fishing a lot better than last week and I could see Ray opposite on peg 21 netting some skimmers and Glynn was getting a few up on peg 8 as well. It was a shame the wind was so bad as I think we'd have caught some really good weights if we could have presented our rigs properly. On several occasions the wind bounced my micros out of the toss pot before I could feed! Last week Scott had 13 skimmers for 9lb 5oz so I thought if I could get to 26 it would hopefully give me around 18lb but I did have some smaller 6oz skimbobs. Adie and me were having a right old battle and it was fish for fish but I hoped my good first hour would keep me just ahead. Frank and Jake turned up to have a look as they're both fishing the charity match and hadn't seen the venue before. I had a carp and a small 2oz skimmer while they were there before they went to see how Janders was doing. When they got back they said he was fishing the feeder and had caught some nice bream, they also said quite a few anglers on Longs were fishing the tip.

With about two hours to go I'd reached 20 skimmers and 5 or 6 carp, I was still getting bites from the ten metre line but still nothing from the short line. Heardy on peg 19 packed up early and said that Ray was catching silvers well and had double figures and that Steve Kedge and Jess Jordon were both doing well catching carp but he said I could be in with a shout as well! Adie was still getting some good skimmers and it was going to the wire although he still reckoned I was well ahead.

It was really hard work trying to hold the pole in the wind and my back was killing me and I knew I'd be suffering later on. I got to 26 skimmers with 10 minutes to go and then had my eighth carp, which I played gently thinking it might be my last fish. I netted it and a quick glance at my watch showed there was a minute or two to go so I stuck on an expander and shipped out without bothering to put any feed in the toss pot and the float settled and sailed away and skimmer number 27 was a ten ounce fish and I still had time to go back out but as the rig settled, Pete called time. I packed up relieved my pole was still in one piece, Nigel Wickham hadn't been so lucky and 13 metres of his three grand pole was now in Longs lake! Janders turned up as he couldn't get his tip rod apart, he said he'd caught seven good bream and a carp so it could be tight for the pound.

Glynn came down and conceded the £2 but didn't have any change on him (that old chestnut!) and that's 3-0 this year so far, it won't last. Ray was admitting to 15lb of silvers which meant he probably had nearer to 20lb and I was sure I didn't have that. The scales started on Longs and there had been some good silvers weights, Ivan had struggled in peg 39 and it's still my least favourite peg on there, peg 3 did 26lb 4oz of silvers and Nigel Wickham had 31lb from peg 27, Janders had some lovely bream for 26lb and a carp for a total of 28lb 1oz and would have battered me if the side bet had been on silvers. Chris B continued his good run when he took the lead on the lake with 32lb 15oz of bream and 15lb 5oz of carp for 48lb 4oz.

Adie was first to weigh and he had 13lb 3oz of carp and then his silvers went 16lb which was a lot more than I thought he had, my carp went a level 21lb and my silvers went 17lb 12oz to give me 38lb 12oz and a pound off Janders although I have to reiterate that he battered me on silvers with a superb bag of bream skilfully caught on feeder tactics (how's that mate?). The Paste King didn't weigh in and then Glynn had 13lb 3oz of silvers which included some nice roach and perch (on worm of course!). I didn't see the rest of the weigh in as I took the kit to the car but was scarred for life when I met Adie coming the other way in just his (very wet) underpants and a t-shirt! He'd been in Longs to get Nigels pole which was recovered successfully although it did have a broken section.

Back at the results and Steve Kedge had won our lake with 51lb 10oz from peg 14 and as Jess Jordan was third with 32lb 13oz, I'd sneaked second place and picked up £35. Ray had won the silvers with a cracking net of 18lb 10oz which meant Adie Bishop picked up second in the silvers. So both lakes had fished really well given the conditions and I'd be well chuffed with my weight of silvers in next weeks two day pairs festival and if Ray (my partner) could catch 18lb again, that would be great!
Some great weights despite the weather
Sellicks
1 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 51lb 10oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 38lb 12oz
3 - Jess Jordon (Summerhayes) - 32lb 13oz

Silvers
1 - Ray Wickham (Summerhayes) - 18lb 10oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Summerhayes) - 16lb

Longs
1 - Chris B (Summerhayes) - 48lb 4oz
2 - Nick H (Summerhayes) - 37lb 10oz
3 - John D (Summerhayes) - 34lb 15oz

Silvers
1 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 31lb
2 - John 'Janders' Anderson (Donyatt) - 26lb

Next up - Summerhayes Two Day Pairs Festival

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 22nd March 2015

The match was due to be on Sellicks today but as always it depends on numbers and if there are more than sixteen anglers, Pete puts in several pegs on Lily. As me and Janders pulled into the car park, it was rammed! We soon found out that there were 31 anglers booked in for today which meant nearly all the pegs would have to be used on both ponds. Regular readers will know I'm not the biggest fan of Lily even though it regularly produces the winning weight. I just can't seem to get on with it and was hoping I would be able to avoid it today.

I hung back and when I stuck my hand in the bucket there were only two balls left, in a carbon copy of last week I grabbed one and then Scott had the last one. I couldn't bring myself to look in case my ball had the horrible letter 'L' on it but when I've eventually had a peek, my home for the day was peg 5 on Sellicks, a great peg and one I've done well on for silvers before. Scott had pulled out peg 3 which is also a good peg but with nearly every peg in, nobody was really sure how it would fish especially as the pond had fished hard last week. Janders was on Lily on peg 2 and although it's a good swim it's normally known for carp rather than silvers which we had our pound side bet on. On that subject, Glynn Wickham paid me his nugget from last week and would be trying his hardest to get it back today.
Peg 5 on Sellicks
When I got to my peg, it turned out I was to be the meat in a Wickham sandwich with Glynn on peg 4 and Nigel on peg 6 and for good measure Ray was next door on peg 7. I set up two rigs today, a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil with 0.10mm bottom and size 18 Tubertini 808 and a 0.6 gram Drennan G-Tip with 0.12mm bottom and size 16 808. On the whistle I fed two lines at 10 metres and one at 5 metres with a third of a cup of micros on each before starting on the 10 metre line straight out in front with a 4mm expander on the hook.

After a couple of minutes I had a bite which of course I missed, next chuck the float sailed away and I hit this one which turned out to be a decent skimmer. I missed the next three of four bites but I wasn't too worried as at this early stage it felt like there were a lot of fish there. Nigel and Glynn were both fishing across and had lost foulhooked carp but other than that not a lot was happening. Typically my bites then just stopped and as the first hour drew to a close, I was just thinking about swapping lines when the float disappeared and I hooked what felt like a decent skimmer. I shipped back and as I unshipped at the top kit, the 'skimmer' woke up and I thought I'd hooked a small carp which wasn't what I was after but when it surfaced it was a lovely crucian around 2lb which would be a proper bonus. It was nearly ready for netting when it dived and snagged me solid - great! I couldn't shift it and reluctantly I've grabbed the elastic to pull the rig free when it moved and this time I got it in the net safely - yes!

It was really hard going, Scotty had one small carp but had caught a couple of skimmers down the middle, Glynn had one small carp and Nigel had a carp and a few silvers fishing across. I wanted to leave my 5 metre line as long as possible before fishing it but bites were now very scarce on the longer line although I did add another skimmer. When I did come on the shorter line after a couple of hours I never had a touch despite the odd bubble coming up over the feed. There were also blows over the longer line and I was amazed at the lack of bites. I'd fed the longer right hand line very sparingly and had a few bites over it but couldn't hit them.

By the halfway point, I was on three skimmers and that crucian, Scott was now fishing for silvers and had six or seven skimmers, Glynn was struggling and only had one carp and one skimbob, Nigel had a couple of carp and was getting odd silvers and Ray looked to be catching some blades. My next action came when I've had a bite but didn't connect with the fish until the float was half way out of the water, it was a decent skimmer and obviously foulhooked, I shipped back very gently only for it to come off at the net! I shipped out again and the same thing happened again and this one came off as well! Next chuck the floats buried again but this one was properly hooked and I safely netted it, this flurry of action proved to be a false dawn and I only added a 2oz blade over the next hour or so.

Nigel was still getting the odd skimmer and had netted a couple of decent crucians as well, he would be in with a shout for the silvers and could possibly even frame as he had a few carp as well. Scott was now up to 12 or 13 skimmers and would be there or thereabouts too. Glynn was still struggling though and with around an hour to go, I was looking good to take another nugget off him. Although with bites now at a premium it would only take a couple of good skimmers for the pendulum to swing back in his favour.

With only half an hour left, the float buried and the strike resulted in a good skimmer leap out of the water, my heart was in my mouth but the fish was still on, it leapt again and then on the third jump it shed the hook - gutted! That was the last of the action and I wasn't too upset when the all out was called. I packed up and while I waited for the scales, Janders turned up and said he'd had ten carp but had lost twelve! He hadn't had much in the way of silvers though and I was glad our bet wasn't on overall weight as he'd battered me today.

The scales soon arrived and John P in peg 2 didn't bother weighing in, Scott's silvers went 9lb 5oz which surprised me as I thought he had more than that, Glynn threw his couple of fish back and conceded the pound (but didn't pay up again!). Then my modest catch went 4lb 15oz which I knew wouldn't do any good today, also I couldn't believe I hadn't hooked a carp all day. Nigel's carp went 13lb 4oz and his silvers weighed 11lb 2oz to take the lead. Ray's silvers went 3lb 10oz so I hadn't fared too badly against the Wickhams today.

I loaded the car and with the weigh in completed it was back to the hut for coffee, crisps and the results. Jacko won again, this time with 48lb of small carp on the waggler from peg 5 on Lily and on the silvers front, Nigel took top spot with Scott second and Jon Martin was third with 6lb 2oz so that last skimmer had cost me and I'd actually probably missed/lost enough to have won the silvers! I felt really sorry for Janders today as he'd weighed 25lb 8oz and 26lb 4oz was last in the money and as he'd lost twelve carp he'd had enough on the hook to win the match.
A big turnout today
1 - Steve Jackson (Garbolino) - 48lb 6oz
2 - Chris (Summerhayes) - 40lb 6oz
3 - Steve Kedge (Somerset Angling) - 36lb 14oz
4 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 34lb 8oz
5 - Jess J (Summerhayes) - 33lb 8oz
6 - Martin Addicot (Taunton) - 26lb 4oz

Silvers
1 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 11lb 2oz
2 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 9lb 5oz
3 - Jon Martin (Taunton) - 6lb 2oz

So Sellicks had fished quite hard again which is probably down to it still being pretty cold and having nearly every peg in hasn't helped. Hopefully it'll start to warm up over the next few weeks and the fishing will start to pick up and be more consistent. We're back again next week and it's hopefully on Longs unless there's over twenty fishing in which case the Sellicks will be used as well with each lake having it's own match.

Next up - Summerhayes

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - Jamie and Steve's trip to the Big One (below)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Big One - 21st March 2015

I really look forward to my annual trip to Farnborough, it's a chance to see some of the new gear the big firms have got coming out, there are bargains to be had and you can get up close and personal with some of the biggest stars in angling. This year Steve Hurford came along to keep me company and it was his first time. Also it's always great to visit my friends on the Gillhams stand and its the first one I head to for a catch up with Stuart and Sean. Their stand was busy all day with customers old and new, I bought my draw tickets for a free holiday and this year the funds are being raised by Help For Heroes to take twenty five wounded, injured and sick military personnel to Gillhams to catch some monster fish which is a fantastic gesture from Stuart. If you would like to donate to help make this possible please visit www.bmycharity.com/ThailandMonsterFishingAdventure
The show was well attended
I'd also arranged to meet the lovely Hayley from Bait Tech who said she'd bring on my goody bag that I'd won from the Angling Times recently. She did me proud and packed in some of my favourite Pro Natural Dark and Bream plus a few of their exciting new products for 2015 including the new F1 Groundbait Mix which contains ground Xpand pellets and pure fishmeals with an added sweet edge to make it ideal for commercials and I can't wait to try it out. Website - http://www.bait-tech.com/
Some fantastic new products from Bait Tech
I also made sure I found the Buff stand and I am really impressed with their range of products although if I'm honest it's so big I find it a bit bewildering, I particularly liked the look of their anglers gloves and the High UV Buff with Insect Shield looks ideal for when I next go to Thailand. Website - http://www.buffwear.co.uk/
I didn't manage to get a photo of the Buff stand but we saw their van on our way out!
Most of the big tackle firms were there and we stopped by the Frenzee, Matrix, Guru, Garbolino, Maver and Preston stands and it was nice to see Daiwa there who we exhibiting at the show for the first time. We kept going back to the Preston and Guru stands to see if we could have a chat with Des Shipp or Dean Macey but we couldn't get near them as they were so busy all the time we were there. We did manage to get our photos taken with a certain Sir Bob Nudd, what a gentleman and a fantastic ambassador for our sport.
Me with Sir Bob
What a lovely man (and Bob was nice too!)
Dean Macey was very popular on the Guru stand
And so was Des Shipp on the Preston display
Besides the big boys, some of the smaller stands really impressed with the quality products on display. Dino Floats are one of the best float brands from Hungary and along with a vast array of some lovely looking floats, they had some cracking looking hooklength boxes on their stand. Have a look at their website - http://www.thebestfloats.co.uk/

I also stopped by the NG Floats stand and picked up some of the very reasonably priced NG Micro Bore Hollow Elastic and as soon as I've tried it out I will let you know what I think of it. I've reviewed some NG floats on here and was well impressed with them. Check out the website  - http://float-store.co.uk/
Maver had rods galore on display
One thing we weren't so impressed with was the price of the food, the choice was really good but a pork roll and a drink was £8 and Steve bought some noodles and a drink which came to an eye watering £9!

One thing that was evident as we walked round the show was how popular drop shotting and lure fishing has become and most of the big tackle firms now have rod and reel set ups ranging from £99 to some gorgeous rods from Japan that will set you back a jaw dropping £499! I really want to give it a go and it's on my to do list for this year.

If you've never been, get yourself to Farnborough next year, it is a really good day out.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Summerhayes - Open - 15th March 2015

I was looking forward to fishing my first match of the year on Longs, especially as there's been a recent influx of good sized bream. These new fish have been feeding well and anglers have been catching bags to 50lb meaning people can target silvers and have a realistic chance of winning the match. Janders was keeping me company today and on arriving, the car park was pretty full as there was a match on Sellicks as well, our match had a decent turnout of 19 anglers.

After paying our pools and having a coffee it was time to draw, I hung back per usual and when I stuck my hand in the bucket there were only two balls left, I grabbed one and then Scotty Russell had the last peg in the bucket and only pulled out peg 11, a great silvers peg and one I would have loved! I called him a jammy git and then looked at my peg only to see the number 12 staring back at me, another great silvers peg! The last time we'd been next to each other on these pegs in the silvers festival, I'd taken the verdict 23lb to 20lb so could I do it again or would Scott get his revenge?

As I took my kit to the peg, a few people said our pegs hadn't been great for silvers in recent weeks and the bigger bream had been concentrated on the road bank (which dampened my enthusiasm somewhat!). It was also really cold but on the plus side at least rain wasn't forecast for today. I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim with 0.10mm hooklength and size 16 Tubertini 808 to fish three lines at 10 metres and a 0.4 gram Malman Pencil to fish at 5 metres where I've caught a lot of fish in previous matches but I did think it might still be a bit early for the fish to come that close.
Peg 12 on Longs
I was just about ready in time and when Pete shouted the all in, I cupped in a third of pole cup of micros on all four lines. I had Frenzee soft pots on both of my top kits and as I shipped out I would tap a few in on the shorter line before depositing the rest on my longer line. Bait Tech 4mm expanders were the hookbait as always. It was slow going and despite trying all three of my longer lines I hadn't had any indications after half an hour. Nobody around me had caught from what I could see apart from Ray Wickham who had caught a couple of nice skimmers in peg 5.

My first bite came from the right hand line and of course I missed it, I then got off the mark with a 6oz skimmer before losing what felt like a good fish next chuck. I tried the other two longer lines but never had a sniff off either of them, back on the right hand line and my next fish was a 3-4lb bream and it felt like there were a few fish there. Scott then had one and then Charlie Barnes next to him so had those bigger bream just been passing through? No more bites seemed to back this up. I cupped in some more feed on all three lines before trying the shorter line for the first time but never had a touch.

Charlie was struggling and Scott was getting odd fish but there was nothing between us at this early stage. Back on the right hand 10 metre line, I had another skimmer, a small carp and then a 2lb skimbob and was getting odd fish, by the halfway mark I had seven skimmers for about 8lb plus a couple of small carp and was ahead of those around me, I could see Steve Jackson bagging up over on peg 32 but couldn't really see how Janders was doing on peg 36. I had a couple more carp before hooking a right lump which gave me the run around before I slipped the net under a 7-8lb fish. I started to think I could be in with a shout when I had a couple more carp quite quickly but then it died. I should have realised that after putting some feed in and leaving it for a bit, I'd get a couple of quick fish, but it threw me a bit when I couldn't get a bite from any other line apart from the right hand one.

The bankside grapevine was saying that the lad on peg 3 had caught 8 or 9 good bream and Ray was hooking them but had lost several, Jacko was still catching carp and bream and was now looking good for the victory. With an hour to go I had seven skimmers and eight carp and thought if I could get two or three more I would be in with a chance of framing. I had carp number nine but then couldn't buy a bite and in hindsight I should have put some feed in at 11 metres and gone a section further over for that last period. Scott had a really good last ten minutes and by fishing right across he had two carp and a decent bream whereas I never had another fish. I thought it would be close between us but I thought I might just sneak it due to that lump.

As Pete hadn't fished today he started the weigh in as we were packing up, when the scales reached Heardy in peg 8, I had a quick look at the weighboard and there were already 37lb and 42lb weights and I knew I didn't have that. Heardy had 12lb odd and Charlie didn't weigh and then it was Scott's turn, his carp went 18lb 15oz before his four good bream plus some skimmers went 21lb 15oz to give him a 40lb 14oz total and he went into second place and I knew he'd got his revenge on me. My carp went 26lb 6oz and my skimmers 9lb 1oz for a total of 35lb 5oz which put me fourth with half the pegs still left to weigh. Pete was paying the top four today and I knew Jacko had beaten me so my only hope of a pick up would be by default.

Mark Leahy next to me didn't weigh and then Glynn Wickham had struggled for 16lb of carp and a few silvers so I'd actually taken a pound off him for the first time in ages (or I would have done if he hadn't shot off without paying!). Janders said he'd had a couple of nice bream and that it might be close for our side bet. I didn't see the rest of the weigh in as I took my kit back to the car and began loading it up. I just about finished when he turned up and said his silvers went 8lb 11oz so I was another pound better off - just! Back at the results and Jacko had won as expected with a lovely net of skimmers and bream weighing 35lb 5oz and 22lb 15oz of carp, Chris B was second from peg 3 with 30lb of bream and 12lb of carp, Scotty was third and I sneaked fourth and picked up £18 thanks to Casey winning the silvers by double default with 24lb 7oz.
Some great silvers weights today
1 - Steve Jackson (Garbolino) - 58lb 4oz
2 - Chris B (Summerhayes) - 42lb 12oz
3 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 40lb 14oz
4 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 35lb 7oz

Silvers
1 - Casey (Summerhayes) - 24lb 7oz
2 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 19lb
3 - Jon Martin (Taunton) - 17lb 15oz

Those bream have made a huge difference to the silvers weights and when the weather warms up it should get even better. We're back next week and the match is on Sellicks which fished quite hard today but hopefully the weather will change a bit before Sunday.

Next up - I'm off to the Big One with Hurf on Saturday and then me and Janders are back at Summerhayes on Sunday

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My last match below

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Dillington Pond - Rod Only Match - 8th March 2015

Today's match was a bit of fun but also an experiment to see if we could catch some of the venues bigger fish by using feeder or waggler tactics. As the pond has evolved over the years, lots of different methods have come to the fore but the feeder has never really proved to be that successful, which I'm convinced is down to the depth out in the middle and I'm sure those bigger fish are swimming about up in the water. So my plan was to fish the waggler and hopefully catch some quality roach and rudd shallow on caster. I still fancied you'd need double figures to do well today and I didn't think anybody fishing the feeder would do that as they would need at least two bream (which I've only ever witnessed twice in all the years I've fished the pond!) or half a dozen skimmers and again they don't seem to show in those numbers.

We met at the pub and there were only a few of us which was a bit of a shame and after a coffee and a bacon sarnie we headed out to the pond to do the draw so we could see which way the wind was blowing. We parked up on the road side before deciding to drive around and having a look at the other side, the wind was blowing straight into the bank which could make fishing the waggler difficult so before we headed back round the other side again we did the draw and I managed to pull out peg 21 which is the platform peg and I was happy with that. My happiness didn't last long though as there was a very angry goose sat on the platform and he (or she) wasn't letting me get on it!

Rob said I could fish peg 22 instead so I plonked my kit down and started to set up with the goose squawking at me from next door. I can't remember the last time I used a rod so it took me a while to work out where to put the reel and there didn't appear to be any elastic in the top section! Joking aside, I have a lovely Preston Carbon Active Sentient float rod and Daiwa TDR 3012 reel which I don't use nearly enough so it would be nice to give them an airing today. Float choice was a Drennan 3AAA insert peacock waggler with most of the weight around the float with just three number 8's and a number 10 down the line to a 0.12mm hooklength with a size 18 Kamasan B611 hook.

I was ready with a few minutes to go so thought it might be a good idea to try and make friends with Mr Goose, he was having none of it and charged at me which everybody else thought was highly amusing as I legged it down the bank! I eventually managed to get back on my box but that poxy bird was now sat just behind me, I tried to avoid eye contact with it but I'm sure I could see it glaring at me out the corner of my eye. We were fishing five hours today and I wasn't looking forward to spending all match looking over my shoulder!

Rob blew for the start and I cast out, sunk the line and fired some feed out, I was expecting to catch quite quickly but the float just sat there, I fed again and reeled in a few turns so my hookbait would rise and then fall through the water again, still nothing, this wasn't going to plan. It looked like Rob in peg 20 was struggling, Hurf in peg 19 had caught a couple of decent roach and rudd and both Frank and Jake were fishing the feeder on the bottom bank but I hadn't seen them catch yet. It took around 15 minutes before I had a bite which of course I missed! I then missed the next four or five bites as well but at least I was getting indications.

I finally connected with a roach of 2oz or so and I should probably mention at this point that in a bid to stop people just catching lots of bits, Rob had said that anything under 4oz wouldn't count, he then changed this to 2oz but as it was down to each individual to police themselves, I just couldn't see it happening. I was missing loads of bites but did manage a 4oz rudd along with some smaller roach, I chucked back a couple of small roach but then decided to stick them all in my net and worry about what did and didn't count after the match.

Hurf's catapult broke early on so I let him have one of my spares and he said he was getting a few fish, I was still missing loads of bites and just knew I'd be bagging up if I could have used the pole. I tried double maggot and had a net roach but then went back to catching smaller samples which Rob said weren't of a 'countable' size although I noticed he was putting similar sized fish in his net and it was looking like the size limits had already gone out the window. We had several visitors during the day, Bob Hammond, Steve Parker and Stu Alford all turned up for a walk round and they all asked me who I'd borrowed the rod and reel from! what were they trying to say?

Mr Goose had been fairly quiet although he kept walking up the bank and eating lots of grass! (which I thought was a little odd!), he did get a little close to my rod holdall so I thought I'd shoo him away with my landing net which was a bad idea as he grabbed it and started shaking his head like a bloody terrier (never right that animal!). More squawking followed before he got bored and wandered off to eat some more grass.

I was still getting the odd net roach amongst the smaller ones but I was missing too many bites and struggling a bit if I'm honest. I did hit one bite and was met with solid resistance and head shaking, I was convinced I'd hooked a good perch but it actually turned out to be a foulhooked roach of 3oz or so! I also had another visit from the bird of Satan when for no reason and with no provocation, it attacked my carryall and pecked my reel case! Rob called the all out and my counter read 48 fish which I thought would give me 3-4lb, I really wasn't sure if it would be any good as I hadn't seen anybody bag up although Rob said that Hurf had caught all day.

I packed up and loaded the car before we went to weigh in the two feeder boys, Jake didn't weigh and Frank had 1lb 11oz which confirmed my suspicions that the feeder isn't the way to go although to be fair we might have got a better idea if everybody had fished the feeder. We then walked back to weigh me in and my fish went 4lb 13oz which was a little more than I thought, as I went to put the fish back, my feathery friend, who had been out on the lake, took off and made a beeline for me, it landed in front of me and sat there giving me the evil death stare!

Big Frank had 1lb 11oz
I weighed 4lb 13oz
Under attack!
Devil bird!
Rob then weighed 2lb 13oz before Hurf pipped me at the post with 6lb 9oz and took a quid off me as well, I had to settle for second and picked up £25. So a rather strange day with killer geese and size limits that nobody took any notice of, it was quite nice to fish the waggler for a change but at the same time it was frustrating as I knew I'd have bagged up if I could have used the pole.

Rob had 2lb 13oz
Hurf won with 6lb 9oz
1 - Steve Hurford (Ilminster) - 6lb 9oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 4lb 13oz

I'm not too sure what's happening next week yet, I'll book in for Summerhayes if there's a match on, I would like to have a crack at those recently stocked bream in Longs but as there was a match on there today, I think it might be on Sellicks next week.

Next up - Summerhayes?

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My last match below

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Dillington Pond - Barney's Pairs Open - 1st March 2015

After my elastic disaster last week, I re-elasticated three top kits yesterday, two with Daiwa blue hydro and the third with yellow hydro which I was trying for the first time today. I got to the Oak for the draw and it was nice to see there were eight pairs fishing today and along with the regulars it was great to see the likes of Leighton, Ashley, Scott, Ned and Tony Newman had turned up to support this annual event. Baz and Hurf both had matching hats on and I wasn't sure if I was at a fishing match or the gunfight at the O.K. Corral! My partner was Justin and we've got a pretty good record in this match and we actually won it last year so could we defend our title?
Hurf and Baz (or should that be Butch and Sundance!)
Rob asked the team captains to come up and draw two pegs for each pair, one on the pond and the other on the river, Justin went up for us as he draws better than Picasso! He came back with peg 4 on the pond which is a great peg and H1 on the river which isn't so good and he would struggle to beat the pegs by the bridge. I felt a bit sorry for Scott who had drawn H7 which blanked last week and he can't draw for toffee at the moment, Heardy had drawn peg H6 and was already moaning that there were no fish there!

Strong, blustery winds were forecast for today so I was relieved when I got out the pond to see that my peg was fairly sheltered, Baz and Andy Welch weren't so lucky and would have the wind straight in their faces all day and to make Baz's day worse he was in peg 6 where he'd had a bit of a nightmare the last time he'd drawn it with the tree above him claiming several rigs. Bruce was in peg 2 and Fieldy was across in peg 23 which also looked relatively calm, Ash was in 19 with Hurf in 18 and Ned in 17. On the side bet front, Baz, Andy and me decided on all putting a pound in with the best weight taking the £3 and Hurf wanted a nugget on overall pairs position.

First job as always was to mix up some Bait Tech Pro Natural groundbait before setting my rigs up, I set up a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach with 0.10mm bottom and size 20 B611 to fish at 10 metres and this top kit had the yellow hydro in, another identical rig in case of a disaster and also a little Preston Chianti to fish shallow with strung out shot and 0.10mm bottom to a Middy 63-13 size 18 hook. The all in was shouted and I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 10 metres and then started on the deep rig with double red maggot, the float settled and then sailed away and I was soon swinging in a small roach.

More small roach followed so I tried caster and had more of the same but was getting the odd better fish in amongst them and netted a couple as well. Baz looked to be struggling a bit and the glare from the sun was making it almost impossible for him and Andy to see their floats although at this early stage his Tourette's wasn't too bad! After an hour I'd had 40 fish and I was well impressed with the yellow hydro and hadn't lost a fish yet. Hour two saw things slow a little bit and I had another 28 fish which included a couple of cracking rudd. I could see Ash was fishing shallow and seemed to be catching quite well so I had a quick go but as always I was missing loads of bites and I find it really frustrating. I played about with depths a bit and had a couple of lovely roach before I went back to missing bites and I'm sure those bigger, cuter roach back off so I went back out with the deep rig.

I was still getting roach and even had a couple of 6oz perch and after the third hour I was up to 98 fish and thought I must have around 6lb and if I could carry on like this for the five hours I would have double figures. Baz was starting to grumble a bit and hooking the bottom of his keepnet didn't help much, although at least he hadn't been up the tree yet! I was just thinking how I'd only bumped a couple of fish with my new elastic when I've hooked what felt like a better fish and as I gently shipped back the poxy hook pulled out! Also like a doofus I managed to miss the keepnet with a 2oz perch!

I kept trying the shallow rig and was still missing loads of bites but every now and again I'd get a decent roach and had a couple around the 6-8oz mark, I could see Ash netting fish but it looked like he was suffering loads of missed bites too. Then with about half an hour to go it started chucking it down which did wonders for Baz's Tourette's! I carried on catching roach and ended up with 151 fish which I thought would hopefully give me 10lb or so, I thought I'd done okay until Bruce came up and said he'd had 275 fish! I also thought Ash had probably beaten me and Fieldy is normally there or thereabouts. I collected the scales from the car and started the weigh in with Andy who had struggled for 2lb 14oz, Baz had 8lb 14oz and if he never sees peg 6 again I think it will be too soon. My fish went 14lb 8oz which was more than I thought before we moved on to Bruce, when he pulled his net out it was obvious it was going to be close and I was relieved when the needle stopped at 13lb 10oz.
Andy had 2lb 14oz
Baz had 8lb 14oz
I had some quality roach and rudd in my 14lb 8oz
Bruce had 275 fish for 13lb 10oz
Things got even better when I got back to the car and Andy said Ash had the top weight on the other side with 10lb 13oz so I'd won the lake! It was then back to the pub to see how our partners had fared on the river. As I was parking, Justin pulled up behind me and he'd struggled with his 8lb 8oz only beating a couple in his section and I was sure we'd miss out. Rob was top on the river with 16lb 14oz but his partner Fieldy had finished fifth on the pond which meant that as Heardy was second with 13lb 14oz (from his fishless swim!), him and Bruce had won it with four points. Rob and Fieldy were second with six points and then me and Justin and Baz and Leighton had tied for third with seven points and we just took the verdict on weight (23lb to 21lb) and picked up £22 each.

There was a lovely spread laid on for the anglers by Steve and Cindy and then my day got even better when Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0 to win the League Cup final.

Overall Pairs
1 - Bruce Hunt and Martin Heard - 4 points
2 - Rob Cox and Graham Field - 6 points
3 - Jamie Rich and Justin Charles - 7 points (on weight)

Pond
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish/Burt Baits) - 14lb 8oz
2 - Bruce Hunt (Tiverton) - 13lb 10oz
3 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 10lb 13oz

River
1 - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 16lb 14oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 13lb 14oz
3 - Leighton Cox (Ilminster) - 12lb 2oz

So a really nice days fishing again (the sheltered swim helped) with load of bites and I'm very impressed with the Daiwa yellow hydro, it's lovely and soft and I hardly bumped a fish all day. Next week we're having a rod only match on the pond and it'll make a nice change as I haven't fished a waggler for ages (I just need to find a reel now!).

Next up - Dillington Pond

What's new - Loads of page updates

Check Out - My last match below