Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 25th September 2016

It was back to Summerhayes and Longs this week and I was travelling on my own as Janders was at Perry St today, when I pulled into the car park, thankfully there was no sign of the Tart so hopefully he's gone into hibernation for the winter (or else he's run out of pound coins!). After paying my pools and a quick coffee, Ray drew the golden ball which was peg 28 and then went and picked the same peg for himself! I went in and was happy enough with peg 33 which is in a decent silvers area. In recent weeks Roy Hughes and Jeff Sparkes have been catching some good silvers weights fishing in really close so I decided I was going to feed two lines at top two plus one along with my normal five and ten metre lines.
Peg 33 on Longs
For feed I had some micros I'd soaked the night before and for the hook I had Bait-Tech 4mm Xpands, I also had some hard 6mm pellets for banding if little fish were too much of a problem. I set up a 0.3 gram NG Mini Gimp for the inside lines and five metres and a 14 x 11 MW F1 Slim for ten metres. On the whistle I cupped in small amounts of micros on two inside lines left and right before putting in a similar amount on two five metre lines and then finally half a pot of micros on one line at ten metres straight out in front of me.

I started on the short left hand line and first put in, the float sailed away and I netted a 4oz skimmer, three more between 2-6oz followed before I bumped what felt like a decent fish, then I had a 'leaper' around the pound mark and was off to a good start. I had some more smaller skimbobs and then an 8oz tench before another good skimmer went airborne, this one about 1.5lb. I tried the right hand line and had a couple of small fish before landing my first carp as the first hour came to a close. Back on the left hand line and the next bite resulted in a 10oz tench, I was really enjoying myself and with the best part of five hours left, I had 5lb of silvers already.

It looked like Derek on my left was catching carp and Rene over on peg 12 was getting a few on the method feeder but I couldn't really see how Ray on 28 and Jeff down on 23 were doing as I knew they'd both be fishing for silvers as well. Things slowed up a bit during the second hour, I was still catching small skimmers but no more of the bigger ones and every time I tried the right hand line I had a carp. To make matters worse, tiny roach were starting to be a pain knocking the soft pellet about on both lines. I ventured out to the five metre lines and added a couple more blades but I was missing quite a few bites and from doing really well, I was now struggling. I tried banded pellet which stopped the small fish but it wasn't long before the inevitable happened and I was playing yet another carp!

Several times during the day, I've struck into fish and was convinced it would be a decent skimmer only for it to wake up when I've got down to the top two and turn into a carp! Some of them were decent fish as well and I even had two lovely golden koi type carp with one pushing 8lb! Time was running out and I just couldn't catch anymore quality silvers, with about 15 minutes to go, I hooked what felt like a crucian or a tench but the hook pulled out which about summed up the day. When the whistle went my final tally was 2 tench, 2 decent skimmers, 28 smaller ones and a few tiny roach which I thought might go 7-8lb plus about 15 carp.

I packed up and took my kit back to the car and when Ray turned up, he said he'd struggled for silvers and Jeff said he had too and he reckoned Mark Leahy probably had the top weight with 8 or 9 decent skimmers. We walked round with the scales to start the weigh in with Rene on peg 12 and after five weighs his total was 168lb odd which set the bar really high (I have to apologise at this point as I forgot to get a photo of the weigh board so I'm a little unsure of exact weights etc!), Mark Leahy's skimmers went 9lb 6oz and I knew I didn't have that and would need to beat Jeff and Ray to get second in the silvers.

There were several 60-70lb carp weights and then we got to Jeff and he had loads of small fish to weigh 7lb 15oz and I knew it would be close between us. Nigel Wickham went into second place overall with 114lb 14oz and then Ray had 6lb something of silvers which just left me and Derek to weigh. My carp went 46lb odd and when I pulled my silvers net out, it didn't feel like much and I thought I that late lost fish might be costly. I couldn't see the scales display but a couple of people said it was close and I was relieved when Gareth called out 8lb 8oz and I actually wasn't that far off Mark's weight so I was right and that lost fish had been costly! Last but not least was Derek who just pipped Nigel for second when he weighed 115lb.

So I sneaked second in the silvers and picked up £14 which helped pay for the day and my mini revival continues. Next week is the first match on the Isle and at the moment the river is very low and desperately in need of some rain, the bottom end is also very weedy although I've always preferred the upper sections early on as I think the fish are in the shallower, more oxygenated water but wherever we end up, it'll be nice to be back on moving water.
After my recent barren run, any envelopes are most welcome!
1 - Rene (Summerhayes) - 168lb
2 - Derek (Summerhayes) - 115lb
3 - Nigel Wickham (Summerhayes) - 114lb 14oz

1 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 9lb 6oz
2 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 8oz

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - More reviews and another great interview

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dillington Pond - Pairs Open - 18th September 2016

After a pretty disastrous Summer League, I didn't have high hopes for my bad run ending today unless I did something different and with it being a pairs match I felt the best chance of me and Hurf doing well would be just to get our heads down and fish the short pole. I actually made up a couple of rigs yesterday to fish two and three sections to hand but as I've said many times before, it's not a method I enjoy and I was hoping I'd be able to get some better fish on caster.

I got to the Royal Oak in time to have a lovely sausage sarnie and along with the regulars, it was nice to see Tackleuk's Andy Downton and Glen Radford again. When Rob announced the draw, I suggested Hurf pick two pegs for us as my drawing hand is currently broken! When we looked at the two ping pong balls, it was a case of all the twos as we were on pegs 2 (which is a decent peg) and 22 (not so good). Hurf asked which one I'd rather fish and I said the former as I'd struggled on 22 in one of the Summer League matches.
My view for the day from peg 2
On arriving at my peg, it looked nice with quite a few branches in the water to my right but there were a few sticking out which I just knew would impede flicking the rig out and would cause me problems at some point during the day. After getting my box level, the first job as always was to mix up some groundbait and today I was using Bait-Tech Pro Nat Dark with a little Eastern Promise added! On my last trip to Thailand I visited a local tackle shop and picked up a couple of bags of groundbait which I think is basically just coloured breadcrumbs but I can't be sure as I don't read Thai!
Pro Nat Dark is my favourite groundbait for silverfish on natural venues
I actually set up four rigs today which is practically unheard of for me! I set up two 0.2 gram Drennan AS1's to fish at two and three sections to hand, a Preston Chianti to fish up in the water and a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for fishing on the deck at 8.5 metres. All four rigs had hooklengths comprising size 18 Kamasan B611 barbless hooks and 0.10mm bottoms. I was ready with a few minutes to spare so went to check that Hurf and Steve P still wanted a side bet, they both said yes and Rob wanted to have a pound on it as well.

From my peg I couldn't see any of the other anglers in my section so would have to rely on the bankside banter to get an idea of how I was doing. The only anglers I could see in the other section were John Dursley on 20, Rob on 19, Stuart on 18, Terry on 17 and I could just about see Ash down on the bottom bank. Although I couldn't see Hurf because of the bush we could hear each other and would be able to keep each other updated throughout the day. I'd said to him in the pub that I thought we'd need around 12-14lb each to get in the top three and that we should aim for around 300 fish (50 an hour).

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 8.5 metres before starting at two sections to hand with red maggot on the hook. I fed a pinch of casters and a little nugget of groundbait and was soon swinging in a small roach followed by a tiny perch and another roach, I shouted over to ask Hurf how he was doing and he'd already had 5 fish and was up and running. I had planned to switch to caster if I was catching too many small fish but I started catching some lovely roach which required netting and even had a couple of 4oz chublets and a Dillington barbel (gudgeon).

After the first hour my clicker was reading 48 and although I was a couple short of my target, I thought I had at least 3lb, probably nearer 4.5lb and if I could maintain this sort of catch rate, 18-20lb was on the cards but I knew there would be some quieter spells. Going into the second hour, I was still catching well when Hurf shouted across that I needed to up my game as Andy Downton in my section had just landed a nice bream. I wasn't too worried at this early stage as long as he didn't catch anymore.

I added another 49 fish in the second sixty minutes and probably had around 8lb which was still way ahead of my target. Hurf said he was still catching small fish but had lost count and from what I could see he was doing okay in his section but then John Dursley netted a nice bream on the pole to wipe out Hurf's early lead and I shouted across that he needed to up his game!

My catch rate started to slow as we approached the half way point but I still added another 36 fish to put me over 10lb and it was all going really well. Glen on peg 24 in Hurf's section had landed a big fish and with Ash on peg 14 catching roach well, it was all very tight. I had no clue how the rest of my section was doing, apart from Andy and his bream.

I was still getting some nice roach when disaster struck and the rig went up the tree, I pulled for a break thinking the hooklength would give way but it actually snapped above it and all the shot had pinged off! It took me a while to get the rig sorted again and, as is very often the case, it just wasn't the same. Then I noticed the line hanging down from the branch and the hook still had a maggot on it and I couldn't leave it like that in case a bird got hooked up. I went up to Scotty and asked if I could nick a cigarette, I asked how he was doing and was a bit taken aback when he said he had over 250 fish but was being battered by Andy who, along with the slab, had a decent skimmer and a pound plus roach!

I waited while he sparked up a fag and smoked a bit of it, during which time he had several roach, before I went back and wedged the lit fag in the end of my pole and faffed about before finally burning through the line, this all took time and obviously my catch rate suffered. During the fourth hour I only added another 26 fish and bites had really slowed up so I picked up the three sections to hand rig as I'd noticed Scotty was catching further out. I started getting roach and even added a couple more chublets but the rig wasn't really heavy enough and it just wasn't right.

Then news filtered down that Andy had added another bream so it was looking like it would be between him and Glen and Scott and Ash for the top two places and the best we could hope for was third and I still didn't know how the rest of my section was getting on! I briefly tried the deep rig at 8.5 metres but had to wait for bites and the fish were too small, I had another go at two sections but it just wasn't happening now and I made the decision to stick with three sections to hand for the remainder of the match.

With the final hour well underway, I was still catching some nice roach and the odd chublet although I was missing quite a few bites. Hurf shouted over that Glen had landed several chub and lost a couple so he was looking good to win that section although Ash had been catching roach well on his favoured shallow approach. Apart from those two on that side, it looked like it was going to be tight for third place in the section, John had that decent bream, Rob had a couple of decent skimmers and Hurf was still catching small fish.

With five minutes to go, my float buried and the strike resulted in a good fish tearing off, it headed straight for the bush on my right so I plunged the pole tip under the water and gave it as much welly as I dared. I started to win the battle and a decent chub came to the top on the inside and I managed to scoop a 3lb chub - bonus. I still had time to add another roach before the finish and ended up with 215 fish and I really had no idea of what sort of weight I had, possibly 15lb or so.

I packed up and took some of my kit back to the car and when I got back, Steve P was waiting to weigh me in, I pulled my net out and was happy when the needle settled on 17lb 11oz which is my best weight on the pond for ages. I asked Scotty how many fish he'd had and when he replied he had over 450, I said he must have 20lb, he protested saying he hadn't had any quality and he was right as he only weighed 19lb 15oz! Then Andy plonked his fish on the scales and they bottomed out so we had to take one of his big bream out and after two weighs his total was 22lb 7oz and I was down to third in my section and we'd only weighed three anglers!
I had 17lb 11oz which included a nice chub
Scotty had over 450 roach for 19lb 15oz
Andy had 22lb 7oz which included two lovely bream
Next up was Steve 'Nob Budd' Parker and he weighed 7lb 12oz followed by Paul Homewood who had 10lb 4oz which included a couple of nice skimmers on the long pole from peg 9, Karl also had a nice skimmer and weighed 3lb 15oz from peg 11 and Nick had 6lb 13oz from peg 13. So I finished up third in my section and just then the scales in the other section arrived to weigh Ash so we went to have a look. He had a lovely net of roach weighing 19lb 15oz which put him second in the section behind Glen who'd had five chub and some roach for 22lb 3oz from peg 24 and he lost three as well.

Steve P had 7lb 12oz from peg 7
Paul H had 10lb 4oz which included some nice skimmers
Karl had 3lb 15oz from peg 11
Nick had 6lb 13oz from peg 13
I asked Hurf how he'd gotten on and he said he weighed 10lb 12oz but John had beaten him by 3oz to push him down to fourth in the section but by my reckoning that would mean we tied on points and we'd sneak third on weight. Thanks to Ash for the photos*
Glen won the other section with 22lb 3oz which included five chub*
Hurf had 10lb 12oz from peg 22*
John was third in the section with 10lb 15oz*
Rob had 9lb 7oz from peg 19*
Young Stuart weighed 6lb 2oz from peg 18*
Terry had 5lb 4oz of roach from peg 17*
Ash was second in the section with yet another cracking net of quality roach, this time weighing 19lb 15oz*
So back at the results and Andy and Glen were confirmed as the winners with a perfect two point score pushing Scott and Ash down into second place with four points. Then we were read out in third place with seven points, beating John and Paul on weight, and we picked up £20 each plus I had the £3 in side bets. So my bad run has finally ended and it was just nice to catch some fish although at once stage I thought it had all gone wrong when I had my mid match wobble. I'm still off the pace but I don't feel quite as bad about things.

So the pond continues to fish extremely well and it really is an intriguing venue that's changing all the time, it will be interesting to see how it fishes after the first couple of frosts, will those bonus fish still continue to show?

1 – Andy Downton (Tackleuk) – 22lb 7oz
2 – Glen Radford (Tackleuk) – 22lb 3oz
3 – Scott Russell (Tackleuk) – 19lb 15oz
3 – Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 19lb 15oz
5 – Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) – 17lb 11oz

1 – Andy Downton and Glen Radford – 2 points
2 – Scott Russell and Ashley Tomkins – 4 points
3 – Jamie Rich and Steve Hurford – 7 points (on weight)

I'm at Summerhayes next week and then the river matches start in October and I'm looking forward to getting back on the Isle although at the moment it needs some rain and a good flush through.

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - More reviews and another great interview

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dillington Pond - Summer League 10 - 11th September 2016

It's been a great week for the blog as it flew past 400,000 hits but even bigger news is that Against Men and Fish has a new site supporter, regular readers will know I'm a huge fan of Bait-Tech products and I am over the moon to now be associated with them. I look forward to bringing you details of new products, reviews and interviews with some of their stars.


Right onto the last match of the Summer League and I have to say it's not been a great series for me with just a few section wins to show for my efforts. The pond is fishing extremely well and we are seeing attendances grow week on week but I'm just not getting it right out there at the moment. Graham Field on the other hand is having no such problems and has won the league with a match in hand. He fishes the short pole to hand with maggot or pinkie hookbaits and catches an awful lot of small fish but the difference this year is that he's started to catch some quality fish as well and has been averaging 20lb a match which is brilliant fishing. To give you an idea of Graham's consistency, he's picked up money in every round, has the two best weights with 38lb 5oz and 31lb, he's won his section five times and hasn't scored lower than two points.

We were meeting at the pond again so I stopped off at Burger King to get a bacon butty only to be told they didn't have any bacon! What a poor show and I hoped it wasn't a bad omen for the day ahead. I got out the pond and there was another great turnout of sixteen anglers and after paying the pools and collecting my bait from Steve (cheers mate), it was time to draw. I went in fairly early and as always, I wanted to avoid pegs 1 or 24 and hopefully pull out a peg on the nearside. I opened my hand to see the number 15 staring back at me and my initial relief at avoiding the bush pegs soon turned to disappointment when I realised I was on the high bank with the fence right behind me - great!

The leagues two most consistent anglers, Ash and Fieldy, drew two of the best pegs on the pond, 18 and 19 and they would be there or thereabouts again and as an added bonus neither would need to plumb up or change their Wi-Fi passwords from the last time they were here and I'm sure they would need directions if they ever drew a peg on the other side of the lake (but I'm not bitter, honest!).

I took my kit to the peg and started setting up, I mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Nat Dark before getting my rigs ready, as per usual I would be using a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach for on the deck and a little Preston Chianti for up in the water. As already mentioned there is a fence behind the peg and combined with a fairly steep slope behind that, it makes shipping the pole in and out a right pain in the arse (can you tell I was fed up yet!). Then I plumbed up but had to go out to 11.5 metres to find any depth which would just make things even more awkward.
It looks really nice but it's a very awkward peg to fish, I'd rather of been on peg 16!
After my last disaster out here I'd decided I was going to try and catch skimmers and bream on the pole today so when Rob blew his whistle at the 10:15 start time, I cupped in four balls of groundbait which was hard work with that poxy fence, I did find another use for my Bait-Tech towel though as I put it in the fence to ship my pole back over to stop it getting scratched. I started with caster on the hook and had a couple of half decent roach on the drop followed by two small ones so I switched to corn in a bid to avoid the nuisance fish. At 10:30, Bob on the next peg asked if we'd started yet as he hadn't heard Rob's whistle and thought I was joking when I said we'd kicked off ages ago!

First put in with corn on the hook, the float sailed away after a few minutes but I missed it, next chuck I had a 3oz chublet followed by it's twin a few minutes later. My next fish was a small rudd which I had to wait ages for and then I missed a couple of lovely slow bites in quick succession. Going into the second hour, I hadn't put much in the net and already I knew I'd be miles behind Fieldy and Ash. I had a roach but was waiting longer and longer for indications and to be honest I'd had enough already but then the float slid away and the strike resulted in the tip bending right round and no elastic coming out! The line had wrapped round the pole tip! I shipped back really slowly with the tip rattling and slipped the net under a lovely 12oz tench. A nice fish but with 90 minutes gone I hadn't caught 2lb yet and was going nowhere fast.

I'd been feeding casters and hemp over the top and there were some good fish swirling for the feed and I couldn't resist having a go so went out with the shallow rig and the missed bite madness began, all I managed over the next 20 minutes was two little roach and I wasn't going to do any good if I carried on like this. I was going to cup in some more feed and spend the rest of the match hoping the bream would turn up but had a quick go with the shallow rig just on the edge of the weedbed you can see in the photo above, about three sections out. I had a couple of small roach and then a gudgeon and was just about to give that up as a bad job when I had a net roach.

Another followed quite quickly but any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared when I went back to waiting for bites. I couldn't really see the anglers to my left because of the willow tree and from what I could see the anglers on my right weren't doing much and I started to think it might be fishing quite hard and if Ash and Fieldy framed per usual, there might be a chance of sneaking a section win. I found I would get a couple of good roach but then it would go quiet so I switched to fishing by the reeds to my right where I would get some tiny rudd but crucially it rested the left hand swim and allowed those big roach to get their confidence back.

It certainly wasn't fast and furious but I was getting some clonking roach up to 12oz and had another chublet and a 4oz perch and I thought if I could get to 80 fish I would have at least 10lb (if the fish averaged 2oz apiece) but probably nearer 12-14lb. As the match progressed I was beginning to enjoy myself and I was starting to wish I'd done this from the start. When Rob blew his whistle to end the match, my clicker was reading 80 fish although I'd also had quite a few tiny rudd which I hadn't counted.

I packed up and took my kit back to the car before we all walked up to start the weigh in with young Stuart on peg 24, he'd caught loads of small fish for 7lb 8oz, his dad, Gordon was next and weighed a level 3lb from peg 22. Then we got to John Dursley on peg 20 and he'd fished for big fish and struggled until he came short after watching Fieldy bag up and had two bream in two chucks! He weighed 12lb 8oz but also lost a big bream as well, then as we reached Fieldy, the usual antics started and he admitted to having 406 fish for somewhere between 5lb and 30lb! We weighed his two bream first which went 7lb 14oz and then the rest went 19lb 12oz which included a decent skimmer and a pound plus roach to give him a total of 27lb 10oz.
Stuart had 7lb 8oz from peg 24 and nearly raised a smile!
Gordon had 3lb from peg 22
John had a nice net of bream and skimmers for 12lb 8oz
Fieldy had two bream for 7lb 14oz...
and then added another 19lb 12oz to give him a total of 27lb 10oz
Ash was next and had a lovely net of quality roach for 18lb 8oz before Nick had 5lb 4oz from peg 17, then it was my turn and I thought it might be close between me and John but once again I was miles off when I weighed 10lb 8oz and that first hour and a half had probably cost me today. Last but not least in our section was Bob who had 2lb 8oz.
Ash had another nice net of quality roach weighing 18lb 8oz
Nick had 5lb 4oz from peg 17
I had some lovely roach for 10lb 8oz but got it all wrong yet again!
Bob had 2lb 8oz from peg 14
The other section arrived and Adie Bishop had the top weight with a nice net of skimmers weighing 17lb 8oz from peg 4 which put him third overall, Steve P had 11lb 10oz to win the section by default and take a nugget off me, Big Frank had 9lb 14oz and just behind him was Rob with 9lb 13oz. Karl had 5lb 10oz from peg 7, Rich S had 5lb 8oz and Terry had 4lb 10oz from peg 2.

1 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 27lb 10oz
2 - Ashley Tomkins (Tackleuk) - 18lb 8oz
3 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 17lb 8oz

A - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 11lb 10oz
B - John Dursley (Enterprise Angling) - 12lb 8oz

Final Summer League positions
1 - Graham Field - 10 pts
2 - Ashley Tomkins - 14 pts

So as I said at the start of this post, Fieldy has been unstoppable and really has got it sorted at the moment, Ash has been super consistent and is very good at catching quality roach shallow, looking at his results, he fished eight matches and his lowest weight was 14lb (from peg 24) and his best match saw him catch 23lb from peg 20.

As far as my league went, it never really got off the ground and I just seemed to be well off the pace every match and making the wrong decisions on several occasions has probably cost me a few section wins but I was never in danger of framing! To be fair, I haven't drawn that well either and couldn't get near pegs 17-20 which are my favourite swims and have been really consistent.

Before I go, the club would like to say a massive thanks to Rob for all his hard work organising another excellent league and also to the Royal Oak, Ilminster for looking after us so well and for their continued support and last but not least, all the anglers who fished one or more of the matches and helped make it a great league. Over the ten fixtures we had 28 different anglers fish which is brilliant for the club and just goes to show that there is a healthy appetite for silverfish matches.

Next week I'm back again for a pairs match with Hurf so make sure you come back to see how we get on.

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - More reviews and another great interview

Check Out - Part 2 of my Birthday blogs (below)


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Birthday blogs (Part 2)

As promised here's Part 2 of my Birthday blogs 'Hit Parade' but can it live up to the previous five years?

5 - Midweeker

I took the day off work for my birthday and decided to fish a match at Summerhayes


4 - Unlucky 13!

Round four of the Spring League and I drew peg 13 but would my luck be in?


3 - Yep, that one again!

This is the post that inspired Birthday blogs and has appeared in several 'Hit Parades' before, just a lovely days fishing.


2 - Sweet (peg) 16

After a really crappy week, I had a nice days fishing.


1 - Up to date

For my birthday this year, I went to Summerhayes and we were on the lake I wanted, I drew one of the pegs I wanted but did I get the result I wanted?


So there you have it, the last ten years of my birthday matches. Here it is in numbers,

10 years
7 pick ups
5 different venues
3 match wins
1 pb match weight


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Birthday blogs (Part 1)

Looking through old posts for my last 'Hit Parade' I noticed one of my wins came two days after my birthday and it got me wondering what my results were like on or near my birthday over the years.

10 - Standing in at Sadborow

Going back to 2007 and the first 'Birthday blog' since starting Against Men and Fish saw me standing in for my mate Andy at Sadborow, a little pond I used to fish with Chard AC quite a bit.


9 - A win at Perry St (just!)

I drew a corner peg and managed my first win at Perry St for ages, what's also noticeable from the early blogs is the lack of photos!


8 - Life begins at forty!

This one was the day after my 40th birthday and another corner peg! (wrong end this time though).


7 - Perfect day?

My birthday was actually on the Sunday and this match has featured in several of my 'Hit Parades' as it was almost the perfect day.


6 - Perry St Pairs Final

For the last 'Birthday blog' of Part 1, I'd reached the Pairs Knockout Final at Perry St, but how did we get on?


So five pick ups including two wins, maybe I should have two birthdays every year like the Queen! Look out for Part 2 coming soon.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Summerhayes - Open - 4th September 2016

Something a little different this week as when I phoned Pete to book in, he said the match would be a rover on all ponds. I picked Janders up and then we met Harry who also wanted to fish today. As we pulled into the car park at the venue there were already a fair few vehicles there and it was nice to see Paul H again and he'd travelled up with Jamie P who I hadn't seen for ages, it wasn't so nice to see the Tart but it wasn't a surprise as he'd text me to say he'd been in his trophy room making a space for my scalp!

Today's golden ball was drawn and it was number three so whoever had third choice was in with a chance of a bumper payday. Pete announced the draw and I went in fairly early for a change and grabbed a ball but didn't have a look as the rest of the anglers drew. I could hear quite a few high numbers being mentioned, Harry had choice 11, Janders 15 and the Tart 16, I finally had a look at my ping pong ball and I'd only been and pulled out first choice! Had my luck finally changed? Was my bad run going to come to an end today?

All week I'd been thinking I would pick peg 12 on Longs if I had the chance but a quick look at recent results saw me change my mind and I went for peg 17 much to Jeff Sparkes disgust! As it was Harry's first time here, I suggested peg 12, Janders went on 15, Jeff went on 20 and the Tart chose peg 23. Janders and Harry agreed to a side bet and at first the Tart declined as he was fishing for carp but then said 'Oh go on then' so I wasn't sure whether he was feeling confident or he really is as daft as he looks (my money is on the latter!).
Peg 17 on Longs
Unfortunately the Tart was in fairly close proximity!
I set up a 10 x 11 MW F1 Slim with a size 16 Tubertini 808 to 0.10mm bottom and plumbed up two lines at ten metres, straight out in front and angled to my left, I also set up a 0.3 gram NG XT Mini Gimp for the five metre line with the same hook pattern and hooklength. On the side tray I had Bait-Tech 4mm Xpands for the hook and some soaked micros for feed. I also had some hard 6mms and half a tin of corn in case small fish became too much of a pain (thanks to Janders for the corn).

On the whistle I cupped in half a pot of micros on all three lines before starting straight out with an expander on the hook. I missed a couple of bites before catching a small skimmer and then it was a bite a chuck but I just couldn't hit them and I suspected small fish were to blame. I tried a grain of corn and had to wait longer for bites and the first fish I hooked felt like a slightly better skimmer only for it to come off on the way in! The next bite resulted in lots of blue hydro coming out of the pole tip as a rather lumpy carp lead me a merry dance before snapping me!

After putting on another hooklength I went back to soft pellet and had a couple more 2-3oz skimbobs before I hooked a fish that felt like a decent skimmer but as I gently unshipped the pole, it came off and things weren't going to plan. From what I could see Janders and Harry were struggling and Jeff was only getting the odd small fish so no need to panic just yet. Then just before the first hour was up I struck into a fish and straight away I knew it wasn't a carp and I was delighted when I slipped the net under a lovely 1.5lb crucian which settled me down somewhat.

The second hour was similar with some more skimbobs and another slightly smaller crucian (and a couple more nuisance carp of course) but I was slightly worried about the lack of better skimmers, especially as Jeff had netted a couple. I kept swapping between the two longer lines but I had most of my fish from straight out in front, I was dripping some micros on the shorter line every time I shipped out but wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it.

More small skimmers followed in the third hour but still no big skimmers so as we reached the halfway point it was time to try the shorter line for the first time. I had two little skimbobs quite quickly but then had problems with small fish knocking the soft pellet about, I tried a banded 6mm pellet but it was a waste of time and the only action came from a carp foulhooked in the wing. I went back out on the longer line and that was hard going now as well, I tried corn again but it was a non starter, I did manage another crucian on soft pellet.

Janders had landed a nice skimmer but was hooking a fair few carp and Harry was getting the odd fish but was being led a merry dance with his light elastic. Jeff was still catching small fish and I felt he was pulling away from me, the Tart was catching carp but seemed to take more delight in winding me up about the size of fish Jeff was catching! With an hour and a half left I finally caught a proper skimmer from the ten metre line and then had two about 8oz apiece before the carp muscled in again so I came back in on the shorter line. I had a couple more little skimmers and then had my first better one from this line and then another with only a few minutes left and I still had time to ship back out, the float sailed away and on the strike my first thought was tench before it woke up and I was still playing it when Adie blew for the all out and I netted another poxy carp a few minutes later.

I ended up with 36 skimmers, 3 crucians and a few little roach for about 7-8lb plus about 10-12 carp. I packed up and as we were loading the cars, the scales arrived at the Tarts peg and a quick look at the weighboard showed that Roy Hughes was leading the silvers with 21lb 11oz of silvers and there was a 12lb 14oz as well, I knew I had nowhere near that but with Pete paying the top three silvers I needed to beat Jeff to stand any chance of a pick up. In the meantime, the Tart weighed 70lb 6oz of carp and didn't bother weighing his meagre silvers catch so at least I had a pound to come (more of that later!).
Jeff just pipped me for third place
Jeff weighed 11lb 1oz of silvers and then it was my turn, as we reached my peg I could see my carp net had gone in which I wasn't too worried about, I retrieved it but there were only four of five carp left so I didn't bother weighing them. Then I pulled out my silvers net and I had a bit more than I thought but Adie called out 10lb 5oz and I was just short. I'd lost a couple of better fish today and spent too long trying corn or banded pellet when I should have just got my head down and fished soft pellet all match but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Janders had 15lb of carp and 3lb 12oz of silvers and with Harry not weighing, at least I'd won the side bets. Janders, bless him, did ask if I wanted him to give me his pound in a brown envelope - cheeky git!

The scales then headed to Willow where Paul H had 81lb and then Mark Leahy had 67 carp for 163lb 15oz from peg 7, next stop was Lily (my favourite lake!) where Gabriel Skarba went into the lead with 185lb 11oz from peg 4 and last but not least was Sellicks where there was talk that the two most consistent paste anglers at the venue had both caught big weights. After the far side had been weighed where Dave in 23 had 101lb 9oz and Jack on peg 15 had 66lb 7oz, the scales reached Martin Addicott but he'd gone over the weight limit in both his nets which meant his total was knocked back to 160lb - ouch! Bill 'The Paste' King Hopping was the last angler to weigh and after four nets and multiple weighs his total was read out at 242lb 15oz, a new match record, well done mate!

The Tart then tried worming his way out of paying his dues and was asking all and sundry for their opinion because he thought he shouldn't have to pay up as he was second on the lake! What he actually neglected to mention though was that all the other anglers on our lake fished for silvers and he actually finished second behind Roy who had also fished for silvers and still beat the Tart with his accidental carp! Fair play to the Tart he did eventually give me his nugget and the space he cleared in his trophy room is still empty! For a very brief moment I felt a tinge of guilt for taking his money when he'd fished for carp but it didn't last long!
Todays board
1 - Bill Hopping (Summerhayes) - 242lb 15oz - New Match Record
2 - Gabriel Skarba (Mosella) - 185lb 11oz
3 - Mark Leahy (Summerhayes) - 163lb 15oz
4 - Martin Addicott (Summerhayes) - 160lb

1 - Roy Hughes (Summerhayes) - 21lb 11oz
2 - Kev (Summerhayes) - 12lb 14oz
3 - Jeff Sparkes (Summerhayes) - 11lb 1oz

So I wasn't far off today but the bad run continues, will my luck change next Sunday?, make sure you come back to read my latest tale of woe and in the meantime, check out my latest 'Hit Parades'.

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - My 'Birthday Blogs' post

Check Out - My latest 'Hit Parade' (below)

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Better Days

I haven't done a 'Hit Parade' for a fair old while (May 2014 to be exact!) and on the back of my last rather downbeat post I had a look back at some match wins out the pond to remind me of times when I could actually catch fish!

5 - A win from peg 24!

Regular readers of the blog will know it's not my favourite peg and I seem to draw it a lot but it turned out to be cracking day and still remains my biggest weight out the pond.


4 - Pairs lake win

Over the years I've got a good record fishing Barney's Pairs Open and this was a really nice days fishing on another peg I seem to draw a lot but this time it was the right time of the year!


3 - I actually tried the feeder!

With the feeder starting to win a lot of matches, I had to give it a go and although I managed a win, it was one I got away with somewhat!


2 - One of my favourite pegs

The pond was chocolate coloured and fished a little harder which is just how I like it, especially when I drew peg 18!


1 - A lovely days fishing and a nice bonus

This win brings me right up to date as it's my last victory on the pond, a cracking days fishing with a nice bonus fish (which I didn't need in the end) although I lost another which would have been the icing on the cake!


I quite enjoyed reading back through some of my old posts and I'm looking forward to winter now!

Next 'Hit Parade' - Birthday blogs!