Monday, November 28, 2016

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 4 - 27th November 2016

The river was still flooded at the start of the week but by Wednesday it was fishable again and looked lovely although the temperature has dropped a few degrees and we would be in for a chilly one today! I got to the pub in plenty of time for one of Steve's sausage sarnies before having a look at the pegs being used today and to be honest I didn't really mind where I drew as they were all capable of winning. Rob asked Adie if he wanted him to take out 120 because of the walk, Adie said no as he hasn't drawn it in six matches and was unlikely to today and of course then went and drew it!

By the time I went to draw there were only two balls left so Rob took them out and asked me to pick one, I went for his left hand and he opened it to reveal peg 29 which was in for the first time in a few years and was one of the pegs I'd looked at last Saturday, Rob ended up on peg 27 which I really fancied and Hurf was the rose between two thorns on 28 which also looked really nice when I walked the stretch last weekend. Elsewhere Steve P's drawing hand was back on form (after drawing for me last week!) as he was on 14 today, with Fieldy below on 15. Rich S was on 108 with Karl on 109 and Paul H, Justin and Stu were on 126, 128 and 129.

I got to the river and was quite surprised how clear it was although there was quite a bit of pace on it, the swims looked really good and Hurf almost came skipping back through the copse after seeing his! After two trips I was at my peg and got my box set up before surveying the options, the main flow was along the far bank where there was lots of cover and from memory I knew there was a nice bit of depth so I set up a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo (yes I still have a few left!) to fish there and a 1 gram bodied float for fishing in the middle of the peg where it was a little shallower and the water was a little steadier. Both rigs had size 18 Kamasan B611's to 0.10mm and the side tray contained the usual casters, maggots and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp.
Peg 29 looked lovely

By the time I'd had a coffee, Hurf shouted down it was time to start, I started with the lighter rig down the middle with the hook buried in a caster and normally if there are lots of small fish present, you'll catch quite quickly but after half an hour or so I hadn't had a touch which was a tad worrying. Hurf phoned me and said he hadn't caught either so I tried maggot just to see if I could get a minnow to avoid the blank and holding back down the middle at about 8.5 metres I had a couple of little knocks before catching a tiny little minnow and that was enough of that!
Blank avoided - just!
I tried the deeper rig tight to the far bank and under the overhanging cover but nothing resembling a bite and I was already fearing the worst! It had also got really cold and I had to put my coat and gloves on. Then a decent fish rolled down the peg which got me interested again, Rob turned up on the far bank and said he'd only had two minnows and Hurf was still blanking so it looked like it was fishing really hard. Another hour passed and I was running out of coffee fast, Hurf phoned again and said he'd spoken to Karl who said they were struggling at Redbridge and even Adie in 120 was only getting odd fish although he did say Stuart was getting a few down on 129. Another chub rolled, this time a little closer and daft as it may sound seeing as I only had a minnow in the net, I still thought there was a good chance I'd catch in the last hour (poor deluded fool!).

After a further half an hour it was time for a wander, I passed Hurf on the opposite bank who said he still hadn't caught, I then got to Rob who said after he'd been to see me earlier he went back and started catching some nice dace and roach, I walked down to Hurf who was trying to catch a minnow but still hadn't had a bite before crossing the river via the shallows to get back to my peg. Despite trying maggot again, going 14.5 metres down the peg and upping the feed in the last hour, I never had another indication. I packed up and Hurf credited me with an ounce (which is the lowest weight we record) before we went up to weigh Rob in, he had a nice net of dace and roach which went a level 6lb.
Rob had 6lb which included some lovely dace
Back at the results and a lot of the fancied pegs hadn't produced although the top three weights all broke double figures, Justin won on the day with 13lb 3oz of roach and dace from peg 128, Steve P continued his good run on the river with 11lb of dace and chublets from peg 14 and Paul Homewood had lots of small fish for 10lb 8oz and third place from peg 126. Rob won our section and young Stuart Aplin did well to win the other section with a nice net of roach and dace from peg 129. Thanks to Graham Field* and Stuart Aplin** for the photos.
Steve 'The Pole' Parker was second with 11lb from peg 14*
Stuart Aplin with his section winning 7lb 12oz**
1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 13lb 3oz
2 - Steve Parker (Ilminster) - 11lb
3 - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 10lb 8oz

A - Rob Cox (Ilminster) - 6lb
B - Stuart Aplin (Ilminster) - 7lb 12oz

So a really disappointing day for me but as far as the league's concerned not an awful lot has changed because you can drop your two worst results so the table won't really start to take shape until round five, but anyway here is the leader board as it stands,

Steve Parker - 2pts (dropping 4 + 6)
Graham Field - 3pts (dropping 3 + 3)
Jamie Rich - 3pts (dropping 3 + 5)
Adie Bishop - 3pts (dropping 4 + 5)
Karl Aplin - 4pts (dropping 5 + 20)
Rob Cox  - 4pts (dropping 4 + 30)
Steve Hurford  - 4pts (dropping 20 + 30)

Next week it's the Xmas Fayre so even if I blank I'm guaranteed a prize! Joking aside if it's cold again and we don't get any rain between now and then it could be really hard again (now where can I get a bigger flask!).

Next up - Xmas Fayre

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dillington Pond - 20th November 2016

With Rob away playing darts, organising this weeks match fell to me, towards the end of the week, the temperature dropped and we even had some brief flurries of snow! There was also a lot of rain forecast for the weekend but with landlord Steve off chucking arrows as well, we were meeting down the river, so would be able to see if it was fishable and if not we could still head out the pond.

I actually popped down the river on Saturday afternoon to have a look at Lower Coxes as pleasure anglers have been reporting some good catches and I have to say I really fancied pegs 27, 28 and 29 and would try them on Sunday if we were on the river. There were also several cracking looking swims between the copse and the old peg 36 (Green Hut) and then peg 37 looked amazing, there was also one above it that looked like it should hold a lot of fish too. The trouble is they're a bit of a trek, especially with all the kit we take with us these days.

With some rain forecast we could be in for a really good match but of course by the evening we had thunderstorms and torrential rain which put paid to any chance of it being on the river. Paul Homewood had booked in for this one and as he wasn't sure where we were doing the draw, we arranged to meet at the Spar in Ilminster which also gave me chance to get a bacon butty. We soon arrived at Upper Coxes and with the river a raging torrent, we waited for the others to arrive before heading to the pond.

There were no pleasure anglers out there so we had our pick of the pegs, with all the balls in the bucket, I asked Paul to pull out a golden peg and 17 was the result, Baz Morgan had phoned earlier and was on his way and asked if someone could draw for him, Paul dipped his hand in the bucket again and put Baz on 20. I then asked Steve P to draw for me and he only managed to pull out peg 6 on the far bank, not my favourite area, but then I did put it in so perhaps it served me right!

The pond was chocolate coloured and as I took my kit round the pond, it was a little worrying that I hadn't seen any fish move and I said to Fieldy on peg 4 that it would either fish it's head off or be rock hard but then as I started to set my kit up, I saw a couple of small fish top which made me feel a little better. I mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Natural Dark and left it while I set my rigs up, a 0.5 gram Drennan Roach (I still can't believe they've stopped making them!) for on the deck at 10 metres and a little Preston Chianti for up in the water. Both rigs had size 18 barbless Kamasan B611's to 0.10mm. On the side tray I had maggots, casters and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp.
The view from peg 6
Bait-Tech Pro Natural Dark
Baz had arrived but would be pushed to get ready in time so I put the start back 15 mins. It was a lovely day and although it was a little chilly, I couldn't believe how lucky we'd been considering how awful the weather was last night with more to come later on today, hopefully we'd just about avoid it. I shouted the all in and Baz was just about ready, I cupped in two balls of Pro Nat Dark at 10 metres and shipped out with single red maggot on the hook with the main aim just to get a bite at this stage. The float settled and it wasn't long before it slid away and I was off the mark with a tiny roach, a few more followed and it was a bite a chuck. I could see Fieldy had started on the short pole to hand but with no bites he was soon going out on the long pole.

I put two reds on in a bid to improve the stamp and it worked to certain extent with a few 2-3oz roach but I was still getting too many tiny fish for my liking. I tried caster but knew it was too early for it and I waited ages for a bite with the result a fish no bigger than the ones I was getting on maggot. I would keep feeding casters and hemp and trying a caster on the hook every now and again but normally they don't switch on to it until later at this time of year. I was getting the odd 3-4oz rudd and roach and had one cracking redfin around the 8oz mark.

After an hour I had 26 roach, rudd and some chunky little perch which I was fairly pleased with, I was ahead of Fieldy at this early stage and it looked like the anglers on the far bank were struggling, Adie Bishop on 18 had landed a skimmer on the feeder but it didn't look like much else was happening. The second hour was similar and I added another 23 fish although the average stamp was on the small size and dropping off a 3oz fish hadn't helped! I felt I needed to do something to try and catch bigger roach so cupped in another ball of groundbait and while that settled, I tried the shallow rig which was a waste of time and I never had a bite on it.

I carried on catching during the third hour but my catch rate was still going in the wrong direction and to make matters worse Justin on peg 13 had landed a lump, I'd also seen Paul H on 14 land a couple of skimmers and the anglers opposite were now catching regularly as well. With just over two hours to go the clicker was reading 70 and I was still hopeful I'd get a good run of caster fish to boost my weight.

With ninety minutes left I was getting the odd better fish on caster but they weren't queuing up, Fieldy was getting a fish a bung now but I still thought I was doing okay although I did lose a good roach shipping back. Then with three quarters of an hour to go and the light fading, I finally started to catch well on caster including a couple of clonking roach and I was having to use the landing net more often.
I started to get some cracking roach towards the end
I reached 130 fish and a quick check of the watch showed time was up so I shouted to everyone and started packing up. Fieldy asked how many I'd ended up with and I told him, he said I'd beaten him as he'd had 102 fish but only one bonus in the shape of a 12oz skimmer but I wasn't counting any chickens as his estimates are normally so far out, it's criminal (yes even worse than me!). He reckoned on having about 7lb if the fish averaged an ounce apiece and adding on his skimmer. I thought I might possibly have 10lb (128 fish at an ounce would give me around 8lb plus I thought those bigger roach would give me another 2lb or so).

I had the scales so walked down to weigh Paul in first, he had three skimmers plus some roach and when the needle stopped just past the 10lb mark, all of a sudden I wasn't so sure I'd done as well as I first thought. Justin's lump turned out to be a decent bream which boosted his weight to 8lb 12oz. Then it was my turn and my fish went 10lb 5oz which put me in the lead, Fieldy was next and as soon as he pulled his net out I knew he'd done me, for a start his 12oz skimmer was nearer 2lb!!!!, I called his weight at 12lb 7oz and my lead was short lived. Steve P was admitting to 4lb and weighed exactly that!
Paul had a nice net of fish for 10lb 1oz
Justin had 8lb 12oz which included a nice bream
I had some cracking roach in my 10lb 5oz
Graham had 12lb 7oz of roach and a bonus 12oz! skimmer
We got back to the cars and Adie had the top weight in the other section with 11lb 2oz and had caught seven skimmers on the feeder plus some roach on the pole and I'd thought he was struggling! Baz had the next best weight with 6lb but had lost two big fish followed by Rich with 4lb 4oz, Karl with 3lb 15oz and Stu who had struggled for 3oz. Thanks to Adie Bishop for the photos*
Adie had 11lb 2oz of skimmers and roach from peg 18*
Baz had 6lb from peg 20*
Rich weighed 4lb 4oz*
Karl had 3lb 15oz from, yep you guessed it, peg 19!*
Stuart had 3oz of mainly small fish from peg 17!*

1 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 12lb 7oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 11lb 2oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 10lb 5oz

A - Paul Homewood (Taunton) - 10lb 1oz
B - Baz Morgan (Somerset Angling) - 6lb

I ended up third and picked up £20 plus a nugget off Steve, so another really close match and I do enjoy fishing the pond in the winter, loads of bites and I'd probably missed/bumped enough to have pushed Fieldy but so had others, great fishing.

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

River Isle - Royal Oak Winter League 3 - 13th November 2016

After a disappointing match last Sunday, I was hoping my drawing arm would be back on form this week. I got to the pub nice and early and although Rob was there he wouldn't be fishing today as he'd done his back in, hope it's better soon mate. After a nice sausage sarnie, I had a quick look at the pegs in today and as always I fancied 108 or 120 and also 109 was in for the first time this series and it normally holds a lot of big chub. Along with Redbridge, there were three pegs in below Isle Brewers which have been pretty consistent and above Hambridge was in again, although I was hoping to avoid them after struggling last week.

The draw was announced and as people started delving into the bucket I was listening out, hoping to hear the pegs at Hambridge had gone, I heard Fieldy say he had one and Hurf was looking disappointed with H5 where I was last week but nobody was admitting to the last one and when I stuck my hand in the bucket there were only a couple of balls left and I was convinced I was down there again. I opened my hand and straight away I could see the numbers 1 and 2 so I knew I wasn't at Hambridge, as I revealed the last number it was a 0 and I'd only gone and drawn my dream peg, the weir pool at Isle Brewers.

Rich S had drawn the other Hambridge peg, Justin was on 108 and Steve P was below him on 109 and both are capable of doing big chub weights. Adie was on 126 again with Stuart and Karl Aplin on 128 and 129. I parked up and started to take some of my kit across the field as it's a bit of a walk and then Steve very kindly let me borrow his trolley/barrow thingy - cheers mate. I reached my peg and it certainly looked the part and as good as I remembered it. After getting myself comfortable, I set up two rigs, a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo to fish the deep water just off the main flow out in front of me at 8.5 metres and a 1 gram bodied float for the tail of the swim where, from experience, I knew the fish could often be found. Both rigs had size 18 B611's to 0.10mm and as per usual, the side tray contained casters, maggots and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp.
What a lovely looking swim!
We were only fishing five hours today and as 10:30 arrived I started with the heavier rig in the deep water at 8.5 metres (just to the right of the tree branch hanging down in the centre of the photo above) I also fed to the left where there's a back eddy where the main flow leaves the weir pool. I was into fish straight away on caster, mainly small dace along with the odd chublet and gudgeon and it was a bite a chuck. I started missing a few bites so switched to double red maggot which improved things and I added a couple of better dace as well.
I had some nice dace
I was still feeding hemp and caster to the left but would wait until the other swim started to fade before trying it. I had 37 fish after an hour for around 2lb or so and needed some bigger fish to show if I was going to do a good weight, the trouble was, I was starting to catch more gudgeon than dace so not wanting to try to the left just yet, I stuck another section on and went out to 10 metres. The float settled before sliding under and the strike saw a nice amount of Drennan Aqua elastic exit the pole tip, I gently shipped back and slid the net under a nice roach, if I could catch more of that stamp it wouldn't take long to put a weight together.
Going a section further out saw me net my first roach
Next chuck I had another and I was hoping it would be like shelling peas, a nice dace followed but then it was back to catching gudgeon, dropping back to 8.5 metres resulted in another flurry of dace and chublets but I was having to chase them around a bit. A low and clear river combined with bright sunshine probably wasn't helping much although I still added another 32 fish in the second hour. I then hooked a stubborn little fighter that turned out to be a lovely ruffe, the first one I'd caught for ages.
I even added a ruffe to my mixed bag!
Over the next hour I kept putting fish in the net including another ruffe and some nice roach from the longer line but I could only get one at a time before having to leave it for a bit. I reached 100 fish with two hours to go and it was time to try the left hand line for the first time. First put in, the float buried with a nice chublet the result and I really thought I was going to bag up, I caught well for a bit but again they went skittish on me and I started getting more gudgeon. I only added 24 fish in the penultimate hour although they were of a better stamp.

The last hour was similar and I added another 24 fish including another nice roach from the 10 metre line to finish up with 148 fish (plus a couple of minnows), I thought I had low double figures but I knew it wouldn't be enough today. Steve P phoned to check we were finishing at 3:30 because Justin had caught a chub late and thought we were fishing six hours, I confirmed we'd finished and asked Steve how he'd got on as he was sounding a bit chirpy, he replied that he'd had seven chub!

I packed up and Steve and Justin soon arrived to weigh me in, my fish went 12lb 6oz and although I'd had a lovely days fishing I was little disappointed I hadn't done better off the peg but then again if we'd fished the normal six hours, I'd have been nearer to 15lb which is par for the peg. Next was Steve and he had a lovely net of chub that pulled the scales round to 18lb 7oz, they were in mint condition and out of interest I weighed the biggest one which was an impressive 4lb 3oz, a cracking fish, he lost two as well so there were obviously a few there! Justin had one nice chub and a few roach for a level 4lb from 108.
Another really enjoyable days fishing
Steve had a lovely net of chub weighing 18lb 7oz
Back at the results and the lads from Hambridge were already back, Fieldy had 5lb 7oz which included a nice chub and a good perch, Hurf also had a nice perch in his 5lb 6oz catch and Rich had 3lb 2oz from by the bridge. So it had fished better than last week but it's still not hit top form yet and can't compete with Redbridge or Isle Brewers at the moment. It will be a different story in a few weeks or if we get some rain. Adie, Karl and Stu arrived back from Isle Brewers and Adie had done well again and weighed 15lb 1oz from Barney's Bend to push me down into third place. Karl had a nice net of quality roach and dace for 8lb 2oz from 129 and Stu on 128 had 1lb 9oz. Thanks to Steve Hurford* and Adie Bishop** for the photos.
Fieldy had 5lb 7oz which included a decent chub and a nice perch*
Hurf also had a nice perch in his 5lb 6oz*
Rich had 3lb 2oz from H4*
Camera shy Adie had some cracking roach for 15lb 1oz and second place**
Karl had a nice day to weigh 8lb 2oz from peg 129**
Stuart had 1lb 9oz from 128**
1 - Steve Parker (Ilminster) - 18lb 7oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 15lb 1oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 12lb 6oz

So another really good match with double figures needed to frame and some decent back up weights, I picked up £22 for third place but had to give a nugget to Steve who won his second river match of the campaign with the biggest weight so far.

In the Royal Oak league you can drop your two worst results but as we've only fished three matches, I've listed the top seven with the two best results counting,

Jamie Rich - 3 pts (dropping a 3)
Graham Field - 3 pts (dropping a 3)
Adie Bishop  - 3 pts (dropping a 5)
Karl Aplin - 4 pts (dropping a 20)
Steve Hurford - 4 pts (dropping a 30)
Rich Studley - 5 pts (dropping a 5)
Steve Parker - 5 pts (dropping a 6)

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My latest review (below)

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The PrintBiz/Bait-Tech Hoodie Review

Now that the blog is associated with Bait-Tech I thought it was high time I treated myself to a new hoodie. In the past I've always used a local shop to get the blogs name embroidered on hoodies, sweatshirts and polo shirts etc but as Bait-Tech have a shop on The PrintBiz website (, I thought I'd take a look. Once on the site it was just a case of going to categories and clicking on the Bait-Tech logo.

There's a great selection of merchandise, everything from t-shirts and joggers to caps and mugs all with the Bait-Tech brand emblazoned on them and with most of the clothing you have the option to have your name or club or in my case, blog's name, embroidered (up to 50 characters) free of charge. The hoodies certainly looked the business and are described as a 'High quality heavyweight hoodie' with 'Embroidery to FLB and right arm and print to rear' and were very reasonably priced at £26.

Sizes available from small to 4XL and in a variety of colours,
  • Military Green (Dark Olive)
  • Khaki (Light Olive)
  • Chocolate Brown
  • Bottle Green
  • Black
  • Red
  • Royal Blue
I was a little disappointed that burgundy wasn't on the list as that's the colour I've sort of adopted for the blogs clothing so went for black which you can't go far wrong with. I added the text I wanted embroidered in the relevant box, which was as follows,

Jamie Rich
Against Men and Fish

and submitted my order, postage was £3.50 (free for orders over £50), this was late Friday evening and I got home from work the following Tuesday to find a package had been delivered via courier, fantastic service. The hoodie certainly felt like it was good quality although I don't profess to be an expert on such matters, it fitted nicely and the various Bait-Tech logos (both embroidered and printed) looked spot on. My only little gripe was the embroidery I'd requested (see above) differed slightly from what I actually received (see below),

Jamie Rich
Against Men & Fish

Now I know this is a very minor issue and overall I am very, very pleased with this product and the service but it will niggle me as the blog is called Against Men and Fish. I still fully intend to order some more polo and t-shirts but I will give them a ring before I order just to make sure it's right next time.

Update - There has been an overhaul of the clothing shop and there is now a section for match and another for carp, items have been added including burgundy which pleases me very much. I will order some t-shirts and polo shirts over the next couple of weeks and update this review further. Also if you are interested there is a discount code for Against Men and Fish readers, contact me for details. In the meantime, check out the two new shops on the following link

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

River Isle - V.E.S. Precision League 3 - 6th November 2016

With the forecast for the weekend decidedly chilly and the river still very low and clear, it was going to be hard today and a good draw would be essential. I got to the pub and we were down a few anglers this week with some of the regulars on holiday or working. Rob had pegged Redbridge, Isle Brewers and above Hambridge for the first time this series, the landlord Steve picked the golden balls and this week they were pegs 108 and 129, both very capable of winning. When it was time to draw I really fancied a crack at the aforementioned 108 or 120 but Karl and Rich pulled those out before I got to the bucket. I ended up on H5 which is the first bend above Hambridge, it's one of the few swims I've never fished and I was looking forward to it as it wins its fair share of matches although I was a little concerned it might be a little early for it.

Rob was on H4 by the bridge with Steve P above me and when we got to the river, it had been recently dredged and looked really nice. Also, after a cold start, the sun was out and it was turning into a lovely day. We got to our pegs and I managed to get my box nice and low to the water and when Steve shouted down that he'd just seen a good fish roll on the bend above him, I said to Rob that I thought it would fish really well today (famous last words!).
My swim looked really nice
I was struggling a little bit to get set up in time as all my rigs were either miles too deep or not quite deep enough, I settled on a 1 gram Drennan Trio which I hadn't used for a while and put a new hooklength on it. Casters, maggots and Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp were on the side tray. Rob shouted the all in and I started at 8.5 metres down the middle but the float just sat there as there was no flow at all which was a tad worrying! I was even more worried when I hadn't had a bite after 15 minutes as I was expecting to catch small fish quite quickly. I asked Rob and Steve how they were doing and they still hadn't caught either.

I tried maggot to see if I could get a minnow to avoid the blank but only succeeded in getting snagged up and there was obviously still a fair bit of weed about. I started feeding a new line down the peg at 8.5 metres but after an hour I still hadn't had a sniff and it was time for a walk. Rob hadn't caught so I walked up to see Steve and as soon as I saw the big grin on his face, I knew he had a fish and he told me he'd caught a big perch around 2lb on caster and he'd missed a couple of bites on worm as well. Feeling a bit more optimistic as there were obviously some fish willing to feed, I headed back to my peg with the intention of sitting it out hoping for a bonus or two. I quickly popped down to let Rob know that Steve had caught and as I walked away he swung in a tiny perch to leave me as the only blanker (and no that's not a spelling mistake!).

I sat back on my box with renewed enthusiasm but after an hour or so of swapping between my two lines and drinking coffee I was still fishless so with bait tin in hand I decided to see if I could scrounge a couple of worms off one of my neighbours. As I sat down with Steve he told me he'd had another perch, this one about 12oz, he only had a few worms but very kindly let me nick a few. I walked back down to see Rob and he'd added a small roach to his tally, I asked if he had any worms and he let me have a handful - cheers mate.

Nipping the head of a dendra, I shipped back out and surely no self respecting perch could resist this wriggling morsel of goodness! After a further hour, the worm was looking as bored as I was and I just could not buy a bite. Steve arrived behind me and said he hadn't had anymore but Rob was now getting the odd chublet and roach and I was looking at a DNW which wouldn't do my league any good whatsoever.

With around an hour to, I tried a single red maggot and the float settled, dipped and then slid under, I lifted the pole and there was life on the end! I shipped back carefully and swung in a small roach that I nearly kissed and I'd avoided the blank. No more followed but at least I knew there were some fish about, I stuck another couple of sections on and went right down the peg and just as I was about to fire some feed out, the float went again and I had another little roach, another followed on the next chuck and then I hooked a fish that actually pulled some number five elastic out and I netted a lovely 12oz perch. A quick look at my watch and there was still 40 minutes left, maybe I could still pull this out of the bag!
I had a lovely 12oz perch that was in perfect condition and beautifully marked
Next put in, as the float settled, it slid along the surface and another small fish was on but it came off as I shipped back and that killed it - bugger! Steve shouted down that he'd just been done by a big fish and I was still hopeful that a couple of bonus fish might show in the last half an hour. I was fishing down the peg when a fish rolled in front of me and that was the first one that had showed itself all day. I took a couple of sections off and went back to where I'd been feeding all day but no more indications until just before the end when I managed a small roach. My final tally was four small roach and that perch for a pound or so.

As I had the scales, I packed up and went down to weigh Rob in first, he'd caught quite a few in the end and weighed 1lb 6oz, I was next and my fish went 1lb 2oz and then it was Steve's turn, out of interest we weighed the big perch and the needle stopped just shy of 2lb, a lovely fish but as is very often the case with perch they look an awful lot bigger than they actually are. Along with his other perch, he weighed 2lb 11oz and I said that lost fish might be costly today.
Rob had 1lb 6oz
A perch made up most of my 1lb 2oz
Steve had two lovely perch for 2lb 11oz (and took the pounds off me and Rob)
We were first back at the results, next to turn up were Rich and Karl from Redbridge, Rich had struggled in the weir pool for 1lb 7oz but Karl had done really well in 108 to catch four big chub for 13lb 12oz on the straight lead and single maggot, he lost one as well but was still in a good position for a bumper payday. Then the rest turned up from Isle Brewers and it had fished quite well, Adie Bishop was the top weight down there with 8lb 14oz of roach and dace from peg 129 followed by Fieldy with 8lb 3oz from 129 and young Stuart had 12oz from peg 126. Thanks to Fieldy for the photos*
Adie had a nice net of fish weighing 8lb 14oz for second place*
Graham was third with 8lb 3oz from peg 128*
Stuart had 12oz from peg 126*
So Karl had done it and won the match and golden ball, well done mate and it just goes to show it's always worth staying to the end as he caught all his fish in the last hour.

1 - Karl Aplin (Ilminster) - 13lb 12oz
2 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 8lb 14oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 8lb 3oz

So considering how low and clear the river is at the moment, it's fished quite well and if we ever get any rain, I think you will see some big weights, I think there's a lot of chub at Redbridge and it may sound strange given we'd struggled at Hambridge but I reckon there's a lot of fish there and I think it'll fish it's head off later in the year or with some colour on it.

A few people have asked for the league table so far but as I haven't worked out how to upload a spreadsheet, below are the top eight with the two best points scores counting,

1 - Steve Parker - 3 pts (dropping a 4)
2 - Adie Bishop - 4 pts (dropping a 4)
3 - Rob Cox - 5 pts (dropping a 3)
4 - Jamie Rich - 5 pts (dropping a 4)
5 - Rich Studley - 5 pts (dropping a 5)
6 - Graham Field - 6 pts (dropping a 5)
7 - Karl Aplin - 6 pts (dropping a 30)
8 - Stuart Aplin - 8 pts (dropping a 30)

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Hebditch's Pond - 30th October 2016

With no scheduled matches this week, Harry was keen to hold another charity match on the pond, it hadn't been fished since August when the level was right down and the weights were a lot lower than normal so with the level back up, hopefully it would fish better today. For todays charity, Harry decided to donate the money to the fund to help rebuild the Dowlish Wake pavilion which was destroyed by an arson attack recently, a great idea mate. He'd also been out in the week and cut the grass so we wouldn't come across any lost pygmy tribes on our way to the pegs!

We all met at Cartgate services and had a nice breakfast before it was time to delve into the bucket of destiny! Harry asked me to draw for him and I only pulled out peg 1 which is one of the hot pegs by the reed bed, I went in again and came back with a ball with the number six on it which put me on the far side, an area I've struggled in the two times I've been over there. Fieldy drew the other reed bed swim with Adie on peg 10 next door and Steve P on peg 9.

After a short drive we arrived at the pond and it looked really nice with quite a few carp moving about. For company I had Hurf on my right (although I couldn't see him because of a big bush between us) and young Stuart Aplin was on peg 5 on my left. I set up three rigs today, a 0.4 gram Drennan Carp for fishing at 10 metres, a Carpa 2 to fish top two plus one to my right and a little dibber for fishing up in the water with a hair rigged pellet. I hadn't intended to fish shallow but with it being so mild and those carp showing themselves, I felt there was a good chance of getting a few.
Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse pellets plus The Juice, a great combination
I had a rather full side tray today, some 2mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse Pellets that I'd soaked the night before with some Juice infused water, 6mm pellets, corn, maggots (dead and alive) and some 6mm Xpands. Rob blew to kick us off and I cupped in half a pot of micros and some corn at 10 metres straight out, some dead reds at the same distance but angled to my right and some micros on the short line. I started with the shallow rig, firing out some 6mm's and lifting and dropping the rig but after 15 minutes I hadn't had a touch. The pond was flat calm which isn't ideal for shallow fishing and with Harry, Fieldy and Adie all into fish on the opposite bank I didn't want to fall too far behind at this early stage and was soon shipping out the deep rig with corn on the hook.

I fed some micros and a few grains of corn via a toss pot and after a few minutes the red float tip disappeared from view and I missed it which seems to be the norm for me these days. Next chuck I hooked a carp only for the hook to pull out as I reached for the landing net! I finally got off the mark with a small carp on the next put in but then pulled out of the next two and things most definitely weren't going to plan. Most people seemed to be getting the odd small carp and I ended the first hour on four although it should have been more!
A lot of the fish were around the pound mark
The second hour was better and as I was playing carp number seven, Adie shouted across to ask how many I'd had, I told him and he said he was on eight which surprised me as I thought he had more than that. I added a couple of better 3-4lb fish and was up to thirteen fish after the second sixty minutes and I was starting to think a good weight was possible. I added three more fish quite quickly at the beginning of the third hour but then couldn't buy a bite! I tried the dead maggot line but no indications so cupped in some more feed on both of the longer lines before coming in on the short line where I'd been feeding a few pellets from the start but nothing doing there either.

I asked Hurf how he was doing and he said the same, he'd had a few early but it had just died and looking round the pond it seemed to be the same for everyone apart from Harry who was still catching well and Fieldy and Adie who were netting the odd small carp. Stuart was now keeping busy catching quite a few rudd and it also looked like his brother Karl was doing the same over on peg 8.

I went back out over the pellet line and had two small carp quite quickly but it was short lived and those fish just wouldn't settle. It was going to be a case of nicking a couple of fish before resting that swim and trying somewhere else, the trouble was I just couldn't get a bite on my other two lines! I did try different hookbaits over my main line, double maggot resulted in a small rudd and I did miss a couple of bites on a 6mm expander but again I think it was rudd knocking the soft hookbait about.

The only person I could see that was still catching well was Harry although Rob walked past to get his flask from the car and said Jake had caught well on peg 3. Fieldy and Adie were getting odd fish and although I felt they were ahead of me, I didn't think there was that much in it. With around 90 minutes left I tried double red maggot again and had two little carp and lost one but then the next two fish were small rudd that fell off as I shipped back so it was back to corn on the hook.

I had another fruitless look on the other two lines to rest my main line and when I went back on it I had another two carp to put me on 24 carp with about quarter of an hour to go. I missed two more bites but failed to add to my tally before Rob blew for the all out. I couldn't believe I hadn't had a touch on the other lines but in hindsight I should have started another line at 10 metres with micros and corn and maybe one further out and rotated around those but I'll remember that for next time although no two matches are ever the same and you never stop learning in this game.

Jake soon arrived with the scales and after two weighs my total was 34lb 10oz, Stuart had 4lb 13oz and then Rob had 14lb 6oz. Jake was next and he was admitting to 30 carp which I thought would give him around 45lb but when he pulled his nets out he had a better stamp of fish and after three weighs, his total was totted up to give him a total of 53lb 4oz. Rich had 19lb 9oz from peg 2 and then after five weighs Harry's total was 61lb 10oz and I was pretty sure that would be more than enough today.
I had 24 carp (and a rudd) for 34lb 10oz
Stuart had 4lb 13oz
Rob had 14lb 6oz from peg 4
Jake with part of his 53lb 4oz
Rich had 19lb 9oz from peg 2
Harry had loads of small carp for 61lb 10oz
As we were weighing Harry in, the others turned up and Adie was the top weight in that section with 43lb 12oz followed by Fieldy on 42lb 1oz, Steve P with 14lb 4oz, Hurf with 14lb and Karl with 12lb 9oz (he'd had a busy day as 4lb 8oz of that was made up of rudd!). Thanks to Harry for the photos*
Adie finished third with 43lb 12oz*
Fieldy won the other section with 42lb 1oz*
So Harry won and I was really pleased for him as it's his first win with us although saying that, I won't be drawing his peg for him next time! I ended up winning my section by default and the £15 helped pay for the day although as I said earlier, if I'd done things a bit differently, I might have pushed Adie although I don't think I could have done enough to beat Jake. An enjoyable day and although I'm not a big carp fan, it does make a change and I like it because it's always a fairly close match and the weights aren't ridiculous.

1 - Harry Hebditch (Ilminster) - 61lb 10oz
2 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 53lb 4oz
3 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 43lb 12oz

A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 34lb 10oz
B - Graham Field (Taunton) - 42lb 1oz

On behalf of the anglers I would just like to say a massive thanks to Harry and his family for letting us fish their pond and cutting the grass and to Rob for organising the match. We raised £55 which will go to the Dowlish Wake pavilion fund and the club is aiming to have another match to raise funds after Xmas.

We're back on the river next week and with no rain forecast and the weather getting colder we could be in for a tough one, peg 108 or 120 please!

Next up - River Isle

Coming soon - Some more great reviews

Check Out - My last match (below)