Monday, August 21, 2017

Summerhayes - Open - 20th August 2017

It was back to Summerhayes this week for the first time since June and looking at the latest results on Sellicks, the carp have been getting their heads down and proving to be a real nuisance for the silvers anglers. I picked Janders up and we made good time, as we pulled into the car park, the first person I saw was the Tart waving at me, I'd received a text from him asking which lake we were on today so at least I'd had time to mentally prepare myself before I saw him. As I was getting my nets I met Matt Thomas who'd just come back to the UK after spending several years in Perth, Australia and he said he'd really enjoyed reading the blog whilst he was in Oz and it had kept him interested as there wasn't much coarse fishing over there, cheers Matt, thanks for the great feedback!

After paying our pools and having a quick coffee, Pete announced the draw and as per usual I ended up going in the bucket quite late, Janders was on 21 on the far side and I was hoping to join him but was slightly disappointed to pull out peg 7, as for the Tart, he was on 13 which has been a good area for carp and silvers in recent matches. As I took my kit to the peg I passed Bruce on peg 3, Mark Leahy on 5 and I had Dave Romain on my left on peg 9 with Gareth Lennox on 11 which was also the golden peg today.
The view from peg 7 looking up the lake
I set up a Malman 0.6 gram Pencil to fish two lines at ten metres and a 0.3 gram NG Mini Gimp for five metres and a top two plus one line on the inside to the right. The side tray was nice and simple today, just some Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse Pellets that I'd soaked the night before and added a decent helping of Special G Dark plus some 4mm Xpands for the hook.

On the whistle I put in half a pot of micros on the two longer lines, the same at five metres and a modest amount on the inside which was where I started. Mark had a carp first chuck from his five metre line and Bruce had one shortly after, I gave it ten minutes but never had a bite so moved out to the right hand ten metre line. The rig settled and the float sailed away but of course I missed it!, I shipped out again and the same thing happened but this time I connected on the strike, it was obviously a carp but after a few minutes a beautiful golden koi surfaced before I netted it.
My first fish was beautiful golden koi around 3lb
My next fish didn't feel like a carp and a lovely crucian around a pound popped up to open my silvers account. A couple of small carp followed and all around me plenty of elastic was coming out as everybody I could see was catching carp, which was fine by me as they weren't catching silvers! I switched to my left hand line and the first bite resulted in a small 6oz tench but then the next couple of fish were carp. So with an hour gone, I probably had 1.5lb and as the Friday silvers match was won with 10lb, I wouldn't be far off if I could carry on catching at this rate.

I switched to the other ten metre line and had a nice run of three skimmers and another little tench although I did lose what felt like a decent skimmer before the carp moved in but I was happy as I was still on target to do 8-10lb. Every time I shipped out I sprinkled in a few micros on the five metre line (and occasionally on the margin line) but wanted to leave it as long as possible before trying it.

I was swapping between the two longer lines but carp were starting to be a real pain and I foulhooked quite a few and was having to reverse them into the net! The right hand line was definitely the more productive and I added another four skimmers to put me on 4.5lb of silvers after three hours. Things started to go a bit pear shaped in the fourth hour, I lost a decent skimmer, hooked loads of carp including another koi/ghostie, another carp did me under the pallet (ouch!) and I only added one skimmer and a tiny blade to the net. Also after a fairly bright start, it had clouded over and we had some light rain but going into the last two hours it started to lash it down.

I came in on the five metre line for the first time and had to wait ages for a bite and of course when it came, I missed it! The next bite saw the elastic come jagging out of the pole tip and I just knew it would be a small tench and it was. Sport certainly wasn't fast or furious on the shorter line but over the next hour I added another three tench between 6-12oz and I was probably up to around 6lb with sixty minutes to go but then the carp moved in on this line and I was missing loads of bites as well.

Janders turned up and was looking rather moist as he hadn't brought a coat with him, he was blaming me for saying it would be a nice day but you'd have thought he'd have known not to believe anything I say by now! He said he'd had four skimmers for about 3.5lb but wasn't going to weigh in, while he was behind me I had my first skimmer from the shorter line, it was only about 4oz but very welcome all the same. He left me to it and headed up to see how the Tart was doing.

I managed another skimmer, this one around 12oz to put me on 7lb or so and there were still fifteen minutes to go, I was praying for a couple more skimmers or a decent crucian but time was ticking by and then I missed two great bites in quick succession, had I missed my chance? Then the float sailed away with minutes to go and the way the fish was fighting, I was convinced it was going to be a decent tench and was slightly gutted when a carp around 2lb came to the top, I was just about to go back out when Adie called time. Typically, no sooner than we started to pack our kit away, it stopped raining!

I took my kit back to the car and we all assembled at Bruce's peg to await the scales, the Tart arrived and said he'd caught a load of carp but only had a couple of roach and as we have a pound on silvers and a pound on carp, it was looking like it would end up quits. Rob Birch said he'd done alright and had between 8-10lb of silvers and I knew I didn't have double figures. Bruce set the pace with 103lb 12oz before Mark just edged ahead with 105lb 2oz, then it was my turn and I had around a dozen carp for 35lb and then my silvers went 8lb 12oz so I wasn't too far out with my estimate.
A very wet Janders watching the weigh in
I had 8lb 12oz of silvers
Dave Romain then took the lead with 109lb 9oz before we got to Gareth on the golden peg, after several weighs his total was called out at 141lb 9oz and he was in for a bumper payday. Then we got to the Tart and after his three carp nets were weighed, Pete called out 139lb 8oz and he was one fish short. Rob was next and when he pulled his silvers net out, it looked like it was going to be tight and his weight was called at 8lb 9oz - phew!

Chris W had done well to weigh 59lb 5oz from peg 17, especially as five sections of his pole was sticking out of the far bank! Alan Jenkins had 2lb of silvers, Janders didn't weigh (and conceded his pound) and then Matt T was last to weigh and had 67lb 2oz from peg 23.

Back at the results and after a very welcome coffee, Pete did the results and Gareth was called out as the winner and collected a nice fat envelope, the Tart was second and Dave was third. I won the silvers and picked up £27 with Rob in second place.
An enjoyable day (apart from the weather!)
1 - Gareth Lennox (Frenzee) - 141lb 9oz
2 - Brendon Ions (Torquay) - 139lb 8oz
3 - Dave Romain (Summerhayes) - 109lb 9oz

Silvers
1 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 8lb 12oz
2 - Rob Birch (Summerhayes) - 8lb 9oz

So an enjoyable day apart from the weather, the Summerhayes boat crew managed to retrieve Chris's pole sections also I went and used the new toilet block and I was very impressed with the new facilities, lets hope the anglers look after them.

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Dillington Pond - Summer League 8 - 13th August 2017

After the last match where I did okay and actually managed a few fish on corn, I was a little more confident going into this one (which is bound to mean the kiss of death!). Before I get on to this weeks match, the club would like to say a massive thanks to Hurf, Jake, Rob, Frank and Max for doing some swim clearing during the week, well done guys! As per usual we met at Ilminster Bowling Club for brekkie and there were a few sore heads as Rob, Hurf, Frank and Jake (who never made it to the draw!) had been out celebrating Leighton and Kayleigh getting hitched the day before, congratulations to the happy couple and all the best for the future.

Hurf announced the draw and I went into the bucket of dreams with only two balls left and pulled out peg 24, one of the infamous bush pegs. To be honest I had mixed feelings as you feel obliged to fish for the chub and bream that live under the bush and of course they don't always show. John Dursley did win off it a few weeks back with a brilliant 45lb but other than that, peg 1 has been the better peg, winning four of the seven matches so far.
The infamous bush between pegs 24 and 1
I got my kit to the peg and it looked nice although there was an overhanging branch which meant I couldn't fish to the point of the bush but I still fancied it. I set up a 1 gram Drennan Tipo to fish at 11.5 metres in open water and a little Carpa 1 to fish by the bush, I had nearly two pints of casters, some maggots, two tins of corn and I also mixed up some Bait-Tech Pro Natural Dark for the long line. I've been playing around with Bait-Tech's Triple-N Stick Mix Liquid and added several squirts to the water for mixing the groundbait, it's got a lovely nutty smell and I can think of loads of other uses for it too, I'll do a proper review soon.

On the whistle I cupped in two balls of groundbait at 11.5 metres and then put two big pots of casters and corn by the bush before starting in open water with single maggot on the hook. I had a small roach so switched to caster and had a couple of better roach and then tried a grain of corn, I had to wait ages for a bite which resulted in a 2oz roach and with thirty minutes gone, I was itching to have a go by the bush where hopefully the chub and bream would be lined up! I gave it half an hour with no bites but wasn't too worried at this early stage, I put in another big pot of corn and casters and went back out on the longer line.

I asked Steve P on peg 1 how he was doing and he said he'd only had a couple of small fish, I hadn't seen Bill catch yet on 20 although I was sure Fieldy would be catching lots of bits on peg 2. I had another roach on caster and tried corn again, the rig settled and then sunk from view, I struck and it felt like a slightly better fish before I netted a 6oz chublet. The next bite saw more elastic come out and this time it was a decent skimmer around the pound mark and although I wasn't bagging, I was doing okay from what I could see. With an hour and a half gone, I cupped in another big ball of groundbait containing corn and caster on the long line and went back into the lions den.
My first skimmer was around a pound
Another thirty minutes passed without any indications and although I wasn't panicking yet, small elements of doubt were starting to creep in. It was a bright and sunny day, not ideal conditions for bream and I was beginning to think it might be quite a low weight affair today. I could see Rob on 19 and John Dursley on 18 were both swapping between pole and feeder which usually means people are struggling, Bill still hadn't caught and if Steve P was telling the truth, he only had around a pound of bits, surely somebody would find a few bream (hopefully me!).

I put in another big pot of grub by the bush before going back out and I had a second chublet quite quickly and then after a long wait I missed a good bite but on the next chuck I had another slightly smaller skimmer, this one around 12oz. No more bites so back by the bush and still nothing as we passed the half way mark, any thoughts of bagging had long gone and I was just hoping to get a couple of bites under the bush from bigger fish.

I'd been feeding casters on the long line and there were some swirls from better fish and I couldn't resist having a go for them so quickly set up a shallow rig and had a couple of slightly better roach but they soon disappeared when I put the pole over their heads. Then Bill had his first skimmer and then added two more in quick succession followed by a proper bream so I chucked the shallow rig up the bank and went back by the bush, I needed a couple of lumps now and was hoping they might get their heads down in the last hour.

I tried going further and further under the bush but just couldn't get a bite, I tried double caster and finally the float sailed away but I missed it and then missed the next one too! Then it was third time lucky but a one ounce roach wasn't going to help my cause much! Jake turned up for a walk round and said nobody was bagging and that Frank was doing well catching roach shallow on peg 16 and that's what I should have done but it was pointless doing anything else now and I was committed (or should be committed!) to trying to catch a couple of chub.

With five minutes to go, the float finally flew away but I struck and hit a branch and that was it, my final tally was 13 fish (two skimmers, two chublets and nine roach) and once again I'd got it all wrong. I packed up and took my gear back to the car before catching up with the scales, I missed Nick Payne who'd done well again to weigh 8lb 15oz of skimmers from peg 14, then Frank had a nice bag of roach weighing 9lb 4oz and he'd only fished for them for three hours, Bob didn't weigh on peg 17 and then John Dursley had four skimmers for 4lb 5oz from 18 and Rob had chucked back on 19.
Big Frank had a nice net of roach weighing 9lb 4oz
John Dursley had 4lb 5oz from peg 18
Then we got to Bill who had a good bream and eight skimmers for 14lb and unless there were any surprises, he would win with that, my fish went 4lb 1oz and I only weighed in for the sake of the side bets! Back at the results and Adie Bishop had the top weight in the other section with 10lb 14oz from peg 7, Fieldy had 10lb 7oz from peg 2, Rich Studley had 4lb 8oz, Justin had 4lb 6oz and then Hurf had 3lb 4oz and Steve P had 1lb 3oz so at least I'd won the side bets (or I would have done but Steve P sloped off and Hurf didn't have any change!).
Paste King Bill Hopping does it again, this time with 14lb of bream and skimmers
I had 4lb 1oz and got it all wrong once again
1 - Bill Hopping (Ilminster) - 14lb
2 - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 10lb 14oz
3 - Graham Field (Taunton) - 10lb 7oz

Sections
A - Frank Woodard (Ilminster) - 9lb 4oz
B - Rich Studley (Ilminster) - 4lb 8oz

In the league, after eight matches and dropping the two worst results, the top four looks like this,

Bill Hopping - 9 pts
Graham Field - 12 pts
Adie Bishop - 13 pts
John Dursley - 13 pts

Even though the pond fished quite hard with the lowest winning weight of the series so far, it's really intriguing fishing and I feel like I got it badly wrong again. If I could fish the match again I would fish for roach and I'm sure I could have framed but that's with the benefit of my old friend hindsight. It'll be interesting to see if the weights are back to what we're used to or if this match was a blip, peg 24 will probably win with 100lb next match now!!

Next up - Summerhayes

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Perry St Pond - League 9 - 6th August 2017

The final match arrived and the low numbers would be my home for the day, after another excellent Millfield café brekkie we all headed out to Perry St to do the draw with the guys at Sadborow going first where the top three would battle it out for the title. Howard was on peg 1 with Shane on 5 and Exeter Mike on 9, all decent pegs and anything could happen although Howard did have a three point cushion. Then it was the turn of Perry Low to draw and I just wanted to avoid peg 1 which hasn't been great so I had a master plan and would let everybody go first and I'd have the last peg in the bucket. Of course you know what's coming next and I was left with the peg I didn't want. As it turned out the last two pegs in the bucket were 1 and 10 with Commander Smith the lucky recipient of the latter.
Peg 1 (I could have just used the photo from last time!)
I took my kit to the peg and to be honest it looked nice although while I was setting up I only saw a couple of carp cruising about. The usual rigs were assembled, an in-line dibber for fishing a shallow, a 0.3 gram Drennan Crystal Margin for the inside line and I made up a new rig for the five metre meat line. On the side tray today I had Bait-Tech 6mm and 8mm Carp and Coarse Pellets, Strawberry Meat, maggots and some Juice Dumbells in case I could see the odd cruiser.

I was ready in plenty of time so wandered up to give the Tart some abuse, as I reached him on peg 7, Superintendent Smith was already there and there were loads of carp swimming about which didn't bode well as far as my pound was concerned and with Picky on peg 4 and Janders on 8 at Sadborow, this could be an expensive day! On the plus side, Sergeant (Delia) Smith had brought some lovely looking doughnuts for today's treat.
Smithy with todays treats
I walked back with a few minutes to spare and on the whistle I cupped in some meat at 5 metres and dead reds and some meat on the inside before starting at 11.5 metres with the shallow rig and a banded 6mm pellet. After a couple of minutes of firing 6mm's out and lifting and dropping the rig, I was surprised when the float shot under and I was into a carp already. I safely netted a decent fish and was relieved to get off the mark as the last time I was on this peg, I was still blanking after 3.5 hours! The Hoff on peg 2 landed a couple of carp and Grandad Young over on peg 17 had netted one as well.

Any thoughts of bagging up soon disappeared when the rest of the first hour was pretty uneventful, I was just about to try the inside line when I had two more carp in quick succession which prompted me to stick at it for another hour. Along with feeding the 5 metre and inside lines, I was also pinging a few 8mm's up towards the corner where I'd caught a few late the last time. As the second hour drew to a close I hadn't added to my three fish so I tried the inside line for the first time. I hadn't been in there long when the float disappeared at a rate of knots and a decent fish has gone off up towards Hoff, I was hanging on with the pole tip under water when everything's gone slack and its buried me in some lilies and snapped me.

The next bite saw me get the fish in open water only for it to come off and when I looked at the rig, I had a load of line and another hook attached to it, so I think I'd hooked that rather than the fish. Things got even worse when I lost the next two as well, I got both in open water and the hook has just pulled out, on a day when the bankside grapevine was suggesting it was fishing hard, I had a feeling they might cost me! Yardie over on peg 19 was having the same problem and had several come off for no apparent reason so maybe they weren't having it properly.

Hoffy was a couple of fish ahead of me but I couldn't tell how the rest of my section was doing although it sounded like Picky and the Tart were getting odd fish. I cupped in some more feed on the inside before having another go shallow without any success and a first look at 5 metres had the same result. A fish signalled it's presence on the inside with a tail pattern so I quickly shipped back and changed rigs, the float sailed away and I actually managed to get this one out to level the scores with the fish at 4-4! Then normal service was resumed when I hooked another that snagged me and I had to pull for a break.

I had another go shallow but it just wasn't happening so I stuck on another section and went up towards the corner where I'd been feeding 8mm's for four hours and never had a bite! Another fish waved at me from the inside so I went in to say hello and enjoyed a purple patch, landing three fish quite quickly to make the score 7-5 in my favour and with an hour left, I thought if I could get another couple, I might not be far off. Then my mate Andy turned up for a chat and it was great to see him, he said he'd almost thought about getting his gear out again but after watching me catch nothing for an hour, I'd probably done nothing to inspire him!

Hoff had a decent fish late to put him on 8 and a skimmer, I packed up and as people started taking their kit back to the cars, I asked how they'd done, it had fished hard for most, Picky had 5, Mark had struggled for a couple on peg 5, Bushy had 7, the Tart had 9 and Sith Lord Smith was admitting to a similar number. The scales started with me and my fish went 30lb 14oz which was an improvement on the last time but could have been a lot better. Hoff weighed 35lb 12oz and that last fish had done me, Picky weighed 15lb 12oz and then Mark had 6lb 14oz before we got to the Tart, his fish went 44lb 2oz although he said he'd lost 15, so obviously a few fish there then!
I had 30lb 14oz but needed one more fish
Hoff had 35lb 12oz
Mark had 6lb 14oz from peg 5
The Tart had 44lb 2oz
Bushy just pipped me with 31lb 8oz to push me down another place and then we got to Corporal Smith on peg 10, when he pulled his net out, it was obviously going to be close and he'd just done enough to beat his travelling partner with 44lb 8oz so at least he wouldn't have to put his ear plugs in on the way home!
Bushy had 31lb 8oz (and nearly smiled!)
Squadron Leader Smithy with part of his section winning 44lb 8oz
Then we headed around to weigh in the other section, Chilly had struggled in peg 11 to weigh 10lb 6oz, Les had 16lb 12oz which included 9lb 4oz of silvers, Oz on peg 13 had 17lb and then Bish had done well on 14 and weighed 58lb 14oz. Butch didn't weigh and then Grandad Young had 39lb 6oz from peg 17 and struck a pose for the camera although we weren't sure he'd be able to get back up again! That just left Yardie who had 10lb 10oz but had lost several as well.
Les had 16lb 12oz which included this nice net of silvers weighing 9lb 4oz
Oz had 17lb from peg 13
Bish had the top weight on the lake with 58lb 14oz
Grandad struck a pose with his 39lb 6oz but we weren't sure he'd be able to get back up again!
Back at the car park and everybody was back from Sadborow, Howard had finished his league in style with 66lb 12oz to win the section, match and league, well done mate. He lead the league from the second match, winning his section five times along the way. Exeter Mike was second in the section with 57lb 14oz which meant he finished as the runner up in the league ahead of Shane. Janders was third on the day and took a pound off me with 52lb.

Sadborow
1 – Howard Watts (Torquay) - 66lb 12oz
2 – Mike Hosgood (Nr Exeter) - 57lb 14oz
3 – John Anderson (Donyatt) - 52lb

Perry St Low
1 – Mike Smith (Torquay) - 44lb 8oz
2 – Brendon Ions (Torquay) - 44lb 2oz
3 – Mark Hollister (Chard) - 35lb 12oz

Perry St High
1 – Steve Bishop (Chard) - 58lb 14oz
2 – Geoff Young (Torquay) - 39lb 6oz
3 – Steve Osborne (Chard) - 17lb

After working out the results, Les read the final league results out in reverse order, I was surprised to hear him call me and Bish out in joint sixth place with 30 points as I thought he was only paying the top three, we picked up £15 each although I was bit gutted as today's bad result has cost me a few places, Chris W was fifth with 29, the Tart fourth with 27, Shane with 26, Mike with 23 and champ Howard had 19 points. The final top ten in the league looks like this,

1 - Howards Watts - 19 pts
2 - Mike Hosgood - 23 pts
3 - Shane Jeffery - 26 pts
4 - Brendon Ions - 27 pts
5 - Chris W - 29 pts
6 - Jamie Rich - 30 pts
6 - Steve Bishop - 30 pts
8 - Les Braunton - 35 pts
9 - Steve Osborne - 36 pts
9 - Mike Smith - 36 pts
League Champion Howard collects his winnings from Les
Top three in the league (from left to right) Exeter Mike, Howard and Shane
I really enjoyed the league, the fishing was great and the banter even better! As I said in a recent post, there are fine lines between success and failure and over the nine matches, lost fish here and there have cost me loads of points, especially those lost through my own stupidity. Drawing peg 1 twice at Perry St hasn't done me any favours either. It looks like I won't be able to fish the league again next year as it'll be starting in February but Les said I should be able to fish most weeks as a stand in. Here's a brief overview of the league in numbers,

Most section wins - Howard Watts with five
Best peg at Sadborow - Peg 9 (average of 3 points per match)
Worst peg at Sadborow - Peg 7 (average of 7 points but only used for the first three matches)
Best peg at Perry St Low - Peg 5 (average of 2.86 points per match)
Worst peg at Perry St Low - Peg 8 (average of 5.87 points per match)
Best peg at Perry St High - Peg 11 (average of 3.22 points per match)
Worst peg at Perry St High - Peg 20 (average of 8 points per match but only used for the first three matches)
Biggest winning weight at Sadborow - Jamie Rich - 120lb 6oz
Biggest winning weight at Perry St Low - Karl Everton (standing in for Chris W) - 96lb 8oz
Biggest winning weight at Perry St High - Steve Bush - 79lb 8oz
Side bet scores on the doors
Jamie 5 - Tart 4
Jamie 5 - Picky 3 (he was away for one match)
Jamie 6 - Janders 2 (we tied one week)

So huge thanks to Les for organising another great league and to all the anglers for making it such a good laugh. But for me (and everybody else, I'm sure) the league will be remembered for the wrong reasons with the sad loss of Dave, tight lines and rest in peace mate.

Next up - Dillington

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My last match (below)

Monday, August 07, 2017

Todber Manor - Open - 5th August 2017

After a really good week where I saw one of my all time favourite bands, Teenage Bottlerocket, in Bristol, I was looking forward to fishing Todber for the first time but then came down with a stinking cold on Thursday and wasn't sure I'd feel well enough to go. When the Tart text me to say he was fishing, a day in my sick bed started to look even more favourable! I woke up at the crack of dawn and felt half human at least, so decided a day in the fresh air might help!

I met Scotty and a few others in the Little Chef at Podimore for breakfast, it was really busy and by the time we got served and had eaten we were quite pushed for time but got to the venue with a few minutes to spare. There were 37 booked in for this one which just shows what a popular venue it is, it was also great to see Alan Oram who I hadn't seen since the Chard Pairs league, many moons ago, it wasn't so nice to see the Tart who was looking very pleased with himself. It's a great set up at Todber with loads of lakes where you can park behind your peg in most cases and there's a well stocked tackle shop on site.

The draw was announced and I delved into the bucket quite late, I opened my ticket to see 38 on Hill View staring back at me, this meant nothing to me, the Tart was on 49 on the same lake and when he showed Freddy Roberts and Ashley Tomkins there were some jealous looks and shouts of 'That's the best peg on the lake'. Hopeful of a similar reaction, I tentatively showed them my peg number only for the jealous looks to turn to pity and comments like 'At least you should get a few bites' didn't fill me with much hope. Scott said it wasn't the best area and he'd drawn a couple of pegs away on number 40.
The view from peg 38 on Hill View
With it being my first visit I was going to keep it simple and several people had advised me to fish just down the slope at top two plus two and also feed a margin line for later. Looking at previous results, well over a ton is needed to frame and 40-50lb weights win the silvers, busy fishing with lots of bites from little tench, carp and skimmers along with the odd lump. The side tray was also fairly uncomplicated with three big tins of corn, Bait-Tech 6mm and 8mm Carp and Coarse pellets plus I mixed up some Special G Dark to which I added some Nutty Stick Mix liquid and added a generous helping of corn.
Bait-Tech pellets, Special G Dark and corn
I set up a Drennan 0.4 gram Carp 1 for fishing corn and pellets at top two plus two straight out and another rig featuring a hand made pattern for fishing the inside at the same distance but at an angle to my right. It was already quite windy and it was looking like we might get some of the wet stuff which was bad news for Alex Nadin on my left as he hadn't got his waterproofs with him!

On the whistle I fed three balls of groundbait packed with corn straight out and then fed some corn and 8mm's by hand on the inside line. Both my neighbours started on the method feeder fished towards the islands. I had to wait a while before I had my first indication which resulted in a 4oz carp, I had another next chuck and then a couple of tiny tench before I caught a roach and then a small perch (on corn!). Then I hooked a fish that saw a fait bit of grey hydro exit the pole tip and I landed a 4lb carp, a smaller one followed and then a skimmer. Scott and Alex both had a couple of carp but it wasn't fast and furious at this stage although I was expecting the sport to improve as the day progressed.

The wind was getting steadily worse and it started to rain hard enough for me to put my coat on, after an hour I probably had 5lb or so which wasn't great and if anything my bites were slowing up. I could see odd fish being caught but nobody looked to be bagging and Scott commented how hard it was fishing. I had a few more fish in the second hour including a nice skimmer around a pound and a couple of half decent carp but going into the third hour I was really struggling and it wasn't just me. I tried banded pellet but only had one bite which I missed and at the half way point, I probably had around 15lb. I could hear the anglers on the far bank talking and it sounded like it was a similar story over there with people admitting to 20-25lb, Freddy Roberts came for a walk and said he was struggling and was going to get something to eat.

I'd been feeding corn and pellets on my other line and with three hours to go it was time to try it, I had to wait a while for my first bite and landed a nice mirror carp about 2lb, more followed including some good commons and a 3lb skimmer and all of a sudden I was starting to put a weight together. Scotty was getting odd fish and I could see Ash up on 34 netting fish regularly but I was doing okay and if anything my peg was getting stronger and stronger.

With an hour to go, Scott has come in the edge by the hay bales where he'd fed heavily with groundbait and maggots and started to get some proper beasts, including one that he could have put a saddle on! I was still catching well but after hardly losing a fish all day I lost three in quick succession, including one that felt like a big fish. I then hooked one that just plodded around but I couldn't get its head up, after what seemed like an age I managed to get a fish that looked to be around 10-12lb in the landing net, breaking it in the process, I had a spare so wasn't out of action long.

Scott wasn't catching as quickly as me but every one he landed looked like a lump, just before the all out was called, my float buried and I hooked another only for it to come off and I didn't have time to go back out again. I ended up with 49 fish (37 carp plus tench, roach, skimmers and perch) and to be honest I didn't have a clue what weight I had because my carp ranged in size from 4oz to 12lb!

The venue's team does all the weighing in and arrived just after I'd started packing up, Ash had weighed 94lb 8oz, Rich Yeo on the next peg had 51lb 8oz and Alex had already gone. My first carp net went just over 40lb and my second net was 51lb and I wasn't sure I had enough in my silvers net to beat Ash but it was called at 6lb to give me a total of 97lb 8oz. I was a little disappointed not to break triple figures but by the same token I'd had a cracking days fishing after a slow start. Scott weighed a fantastic 137lb 11oz with his biggest fish going over 18lb and the last hour had seen him bag right up. The Tart turned up looking rather dejected as he'd only weighed 37lb and Vince had given him a right spanking off the next peg when he weighed over 130lb, so another of his pounds was heading back to Chard with me.
After a slow start I weighed 97lb 8oz**
As I was packing up I could hear the odd weight being called out as the scales carried on round the lake and I started to think I had a chance of a pick up. Back at the results and the top weight came from Homeground with James Knight weighing 211lb 4oz from peg 76, Scott was second and Vince Brown was third with 130lb 4oz. Top silvers also came from Homeground with Steve Hutch weighing a brilliant 53lb 14oz from peg 87. I just missed out on the section money as Scott Puddy won our section with 101lb from peg 45. Thanks to Todber Manor* and Scott Russell** for the photos.
James Knight with part of his massive winning catch*
Scott was second with 137lb 11oz*
Scott Puddy won our section wit 101lb*
Steve Hutch won the silvers with 53lb 14oz*
Barry Robson was second with 37lb 4oz*
Paul Greenwood was third with 31lb from peg 58*

1 - James Knight - 211lb 4oz
2 - Scott Russell (Tackleuk) - 137lb 11oz
3 - Vince Brown - 130lb 4oz
4 - Jack Stamp - 127lb 6oz
5 - Alan Oram - 126lb 2oz

Silvers
1 - Steve Hutch - 53lb 14oz
2 - Barry Robson - 37lb 4oz
3 - Paul Greenwood - 31lb

Sections
Hill View A  - Scott Puddy - 101lb
Hill View B - Mark Poppleton - 80lb 10oz
Homeground C - Nick Ewers - 86lb 4oz



I really enjoyed the day and will definitely be back again, it's just a shame it's so far away, my main worry was getting battered but I didn't disgrace myself and only just missed out on the ton (and a pick up) in the end.

Next up - Perry St

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My latest ramblings (below)

Friday, August 04, 2017

A Long Time?

A recent match really got me thinking about the time we spend on the bank at weekends, most of the matches I fish are six hours in length, that's a long time right? Well I'm not so sure it is, if you're bagging up, time flies by and by the same token if you are really trying your hardest to put a few bites together, there's never enough time. It only seems like a long time if you're blanking (or if you're unlucky enough to be pegged next to the Tart, it feels like an eternity!).

The match in question was at Perry St where normally twelve carp is there or thereabouts, now for a venue that is well stocked with carp, catching two carp an hour shouldn't be too hard should it? I ended up with 11 carp, 1 bream and a small skimmer so I just about hit my target but if you say I spent five minutes playing each fish, that's around an hour, so what an earth was I doing for the other five hours! That's a lot of time not catching anything, sat waiting for a bite, admittedly that's not strictly true as I did also lose another five fish (three of which I'm pretty sure were foulhooked) but even if you said that took up another 30 mins, that's still four and a half hours, not really being exploited to it's full potential.

I don't profess to have all the answers because obviously if I knew the secret to catching fish all day long, I'd be winning an awful lot of matches and to be honest I think it would get boring pretty quickly. If you read the blog regularly, you'll know that most of my matches at Perry St follow the same basic formula, normally three lines, shallow, meat at five metres and a line in the edge. I normally start shallow and as long as I'm catching odd fish I stick with it and in an ideal world, that's the only rig I'll need all day but in most the matches I've had a go at five metres at some point but only had the odd fish (until the last match but more of that later) and I can't recall catching a carp from my inside line this year!

To be fair it's worked pretty well and in seven matches so far (including the pre-league match), my results have been as follows,

Match 1 - Peg 14 - 37lb 8oz (7 carp) - section win
Match 2 - Peg 13 - 28lb (8 carp) - 5th*
Match 3 - Peg 2 - 50lb 6oz (13 carp) - 1st
Match 4 - Peg 1 - 21lb 10oz (5 carp) - 6th**
Match 5 - Peg 12 - 63lb 6oz (14 carp) - 2nd
Match 6 - Peg 19 - 45lb 12oz (11 carp) - 3rd

So you can see that my target of twelve carp will in most cases get you top three in the section and some money. In match 2*, one more carp would have been second and two more in match 4** would have been third and it just goes to show that there are very fine lines between success and failure.
45lb 12oz but should have been more
Talking about fine margins, in the last Perry St match, tactically my match went like clockwork but there were several key moments that ultimately meant I ended third rather than first,
  • foulhooked fish, all about luck, probably 7 times out of 10, they will come off but occasionally you will get one in. I lost three including one that came off at the net, on another day, luck would have been on my side and I'd have finished second.
  • losing a 8lb carp due to the rig snapping, no excuse, it was a rig that had been in the box a while, my own fault and, annoyingly, so easily avoided. The difference between winning and being an also ran!
  • not having another suitable rig in the box, with fish queuing up at five metres, I had to abandon that line and go back out shallow, inexcusable!
  • losing a fairly hooked fish when the hook pulled out for no reason, it happens and there is nothing you can do about it, another day you land everything you hook.
Now the first and last points are all down to luck and along with missed bites, lost fish are part and parcel of match fishing, several others in my section that day also lost fish that would have made a big difference, we have to take that on the chin and move on. The others are my fault, user error if you will and sometimes with fishing you get out what you put in and I didn't deserve to win that day. If nothing else, it has rammed home the point that preparation is key to doing well, you don't get that many chances in this game, so when one comes along you have to capitalise on it. We can't do anything about luck, but we can avoid making things difficult for ourselves!

Going back to the title of this post and six hours being a long time, how do you approach your match to maximise it's potential? Now match fishing being such a complex sport with so many different factors involved I'm not even going to attempt to analyse it, put simply, most anglers have an idea of how they are going to approach a match and then tweak it depending on the swim they've drawn. It may be they target multiple lines, even different species, possibly using several different methods and sometimes it all goes swimmingly, everything works and you walk away with a big fat envelope but to be honest, mostly it doesn't go like that.

Basically it boils down to two ways of thinking, you either have supreme confidence in your method or methods and work on the basis that it will come good during the match or you try and make things happen i.e. change methods, feeding, start a new line, scale down. The trouble comes when your chosen method doesn't work or you try something different and that doesn't either and then you end up chasing your tail in ever decreasing circles until the all out is called and at the results you have to applaud the anglers who have got it right!

A good example of this was the latest match at Dillington where weights of bream and skimmers have been winning, Jake Woodard won it with 21lb 3oz of chub and bream from peg 1, Nick Payne was second with 15lb 13oz and I was just behind with 15lb 5oz. The interesting thing was myself and Nick had very similar weights but fished two very different matches and I think it neatly illustrates my point above. Nick had done well in the previous match, framing with 25lb of bream and skimmers from peg 19 and his tactics today were similar, feeding corn quite heavily and sitting it out for bigger fish, he caught very little for the first three hours but then caught well in the second half of the match.
Bonus fish late but I needed one more
Whereas I fed a big fish line but never had a bite over it until the last thirty minutes when I had a bream and two skimmers for about 6lb but I only tried it two or three times during the match, the rest of the time I spent fishing the caster for 9lb of roach, rudd, perch and a bonus 1lb tench. Going back to the subject of six hours is a long time, if Nick had fished for small fish for the first three hours would he have caught the 6lb he needed to win? Or maybe if he'd done that he wouldn't have caught those bream! Conversely, would I have done better if I'd stuck it out on my big fish line all match? I really don't know, I tried it for probably two hours without a bite throughout the match when I probably could have added another 4-5lb of roach.

Nick had supreme confidence in what he was doing and it paid off but for me it's too much of a gamble, after three hours he didn't have much in the net, say it got to four hours or five? It's pointless doing anything else then, other anglers fished for big fish all day and weighed 6-7lb. It's certainly an intriguing venue, I think I could possibly have done 14-15lb of small fish which would have got me the same result but in recent matches that's only been enough for a section win so you do need some bonus fish.

That's what makes the top boys like Des Shipp and Andy Power so good compared to us mere mortals, not only are they fantastic anglers and technically brilliant, they have an uncanny knack of knowing how to make the best use of the full six hours and they prepare meticulously for matches (and I'm pretty sure they have duplicate rigs and none that have been hanging around a while!).
 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dillington Pond - Summer League 7 - 30th July 2017

I was back at Dillington for this weekends match and I have to admit that after getting it wrong in the two matches I've fished so far, I didn't know what I was going to do today. Another cracking Ilminster Bowling Club breakfast set me up for the day and great value at a fiver. Rob announced the draw and after delving into the bucket of dreams I was quite pleased to see I was on number 7 on the far side, a decent area. The forecast for the day wasn't great with storms predicted in the afternoon although as we took our kit to the pegs it was nice and sunny and hopefully they'd got it wrong again.
The view from peg 7
I'd popped to Tackleuk yesterday to pick up bait and also bought some bits and bobs and made up several new rigs up and tied a load of hooks. I got one of my new rigs out, a Drennan 0.4 gram Pencil to fish just past the reeds as that's the line where the bream and skimmers seem to be showing, along with a Drennan 0.2 gram AS1 to fish two sections to hand plus a little Preston Chianti for up in the water. On the side tray I had casters, maggots, corn, Bait-Tech Super Seed hemp and I also mixed up some Pro Natural Dark with the Juice added to the water. My neighbours were Nick Payne on my right and Big Frank to my left with Adie next to him, also in our section was Jake on peg 1 and Steve P on peg 2.
Pro Natural Dark and The Juice
On the whistle I cupped in two pots of caster and corn at 8 metres just off the reeds to my right and then three balls of groundbait at the same distance off the reeds to my left before starting on the top two to hand rig with single red maggot on the hook and was soon catching small rudd and roach, I switched to caster and started getting the odd better fish but I was also bumping a few. With nobody really bagging I stuck with it and got to 50 fish in just over an hour for around 2.5lb before having my first look on the longer line with corn on the hook.

I gave it thirty minutes but no indications saw me try over the groundbait line with the same result, I tried caster but only had a few small fish and much like the last match I was starting to wish I'd just stayed on the short line and not wasted time trying to catch bonus fish. I fed both longer lines again and went back to catching rudd, roach and perch and even had a Dillington barbel (gudgeon). Bill had a couple of skimmers down on peg 13 and Adie landed a good bream but from what I could see nobody was bagging. I probably had 4lb or so was doing okay and then things got even better when I hooked a decent fish which turned out to be a lovely little tench around the pound mark.
 I love tench!
I was still catching small fish quite well but as a few more skimmers were starting to show I had another quick go over the longer line but still no bites. Frank phoned Jake who said he'd had a couple of chub and bream so it was looking like he'd frame and I thought Adie and Bill (who had now landed a bream) would be up around there too but with the bream averaging 4lb apiece and the skimmers about a pound, they probably had 6-7lb each and I didn't think I was too far away from that. I decided to get my head down and fish the short line as I thought double figures was still possible. We'd had a few showers but thankfully nothing anywhere as bad as predicted although I did have to put my coat on.

But then Nick has had two decent fish in quick succession and it was all getting rather tight, I reached 128 fish, which at an ounce apiece would give me 8lb or so, hopefully a bit more as I had that tench but then Nick landed another bream and I had to have another go for a bonus fish. I fed some more corn and casters and would go over it for the last hour, I carried on catching roach and rudd and got to 150 with sixty minutes left so picked up the heavier rig and went out with a grain of corn on the hook and fed some hemp and casters via a toss pot.

Half an hour passed without any indications and I was just starting to think I was wasting my time, when the float dipped and slid away, I struck expecting to be met with solid resistance but missed it! I thought to myself it was probably a roach and shipped back out and lowered the rig in, the float barely settled before disappearing from view and this time the elastic did come out. It was obviously a decent fish and I have to admit my heart was in my mouth when I could see it was a nice slab around the 4lb mark and breathed a sigh of relief as it slid over the rim of the net.

That fish put me right back in the mix and I was hoping there was still time for a few more, I had to wait 15 minutes for the next bite which was a skimmer about a pound and next chuck I had another and with ten minutes still left on the clock, I was praying for another but that was my lot. I quickly packed up and took some of my kit back, Frank said he'd struggled and Adie was admitting to 10lb. I had the scales so walked up to peg 1 to start the weigh in, as I passed Nick he said he had seven or eight decent fish including two good bream.

Jake had a nice bag of chub, bream and skimmers weighing 21lb 3oz and I didn't think anybody else had that, Steve P was next and had 6lb 2oz from peg 2 before we got to Nick, he weighed 15lb 13oz and I thought I'd be just short of that. As it turned out I was a lot closer than I thought when the needle settled on 15lb 5oz and I was cussing as I'd missed/bumped and dropped off a couple of pounds of fish today.
Jake had a lovely net of chub, bream and skimmers weighing 21lb 3oz
Steve P had 6lb 2oz from peg 2
Nick had some nice bream and skimmers to weigh 15lb 13oz
I had one bream, two skimmers, a tench and 150 bits and bobs for 15lb 5oz
Frank had 5lb 2oz from peg 8 (but was camera shy this week) and then Adie weighed 11lb 15oz which included a big, dark old bream.
Adie had a big bream and some skimmers for 11lb 15oz from peg 9
Back at the results and top weight in the other section was Fieldy with 10lb from peg 14 followed by Bill with 6lb 12oz from 13, Rich S had 5lb 12oz, Leighton had 3lb from 24 and Rob chucked back on peg 19. So I ended up in third place and picked up £25, an enjoyable day and it was nice to finally get a few better fish on corn but they haven't turned up until the last thirty minutes and that 9lb of fish from the short line has been crucial.

1 - Jake Woodard (Ilminster) - 21lb 3oz
2 - Nick Payne (Ilminster) - 15lb 13oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 15lb 5oz

Sections
A - Adie Bishop (Taunton) - 11lb 15oz
B - Graham Field (Taunton) - 10lb

In the league, after seven matches and dropping the two worst results, the top five looks like this,

Bill Hopping - 8 pts
John Dursley - 9 pts
Graham Field - 10 pts
Adie Bishop - 12 pts
Jake Woodard - 13 pts

Next weekend I'm fishing a double-header with Todber Manor on Saturday and Perry St on Sunday, I'm really looking forward to Todber but I'm also under no illusions and expecting a battering!

Next up - Todber Manor

Coming soon - My next review

Check Out - My latest interview (below)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Paul Jessop Interview

In yet another first for the blog, my latest interview is with angling inventor, Paul Jessop,

Hi Paul, firstly could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi Jamie, I’m just a typical working family man with a wife, two kids and a couple of dogs to support. I have been fortunate enough to work in the chemical industry all my life and at the moment I work on a massive site that makes little tiny plastic pellets which are then re-melted to make food packaging. I started fishing at 7 years old when my dad took me and my brother down the river Hull because he didn’t know what to do with us during the school holidays. We didn’t catch a thing but I loved every minute of it and I am still just as keen now as I was back then. I would describe myself as  a good club angler and I have fished for a number of clubs down the years.
Paul in his workshop

Thank you and for those readers that haven't heard about the Sodafloat, could you explain more about the concept and thinking behind it?
The Sodafloat is a new type of feeder float that enables an angler to feed and fish with any sinking bait at any distance they want to cast it. The list of baits that can be used includes hard pellets, sweetcorn, luncheon meat, hemp, maggots, casters and even “runny” baits like chopped worms and groundbait slop – but you can use any bait that will fit into it. It works because it has a sliding ball which moves between the bait housing (that contains the loosefeed) and the bottom of the stem. When the Sodafloat is cast out the ball sits against the bait housing, sealing it in, so none is spilt. Then, when is lands in the water the ball drops after a few seconds because at first it contains a pocket of air, which bubbles out and gets replaced by water. This action makes the ball drop down the stem which releases the loosefeed. It’s a simple principle (the displacement effect discovered by Archimedes) which is why it is called the Self-Opening Displacement Action float.
The Sodafloat in action

I thought of the idea whilst fishing a match at Lambwath lake in Aldborough. All the fish were gathered around a central rope, but it was a windy day and I just couldn’t catapult the bait out accurately to reach the fish. The beauty of the Sodafloat is that you can also place your hookbait inside it, so when you are casting at the rope, your hook cannot snag on it. After the Sodafloat lands in the water you get a few seconds before the ball drops, but if you keep the line tight you can reel it into position without it emptying, so you can over cast it then reel it into position.

Check out my review here - Sodafloat review
I'm intrigued by the whole process, could you give us an idea of how long it took from the initial idea to get to the finished product we see before us today?

After I came up with the idea, I knocked up a prototype in my garage using a few things I had lying about and realised that I might be on to something. I bounced some emails off the major fishing tackle producers and one of them agreed to see me. They were that happy with it that they suggested patenting the idea, which is exactly what I did. All this took a while and the patenting process alone took about 3 years. All in all, I would guess from start to finish it took over 5 years to develop the idea into the finished product you see here.
Were there any major stumbling blocks? Did you ever think it wasn't going to happen?

Eventually the tackle producer and I went our separate ways, but I had already committed to patenting the Sodafloat and being a bit stubborn (or stupid) I decided that I could make a go of it on my own. This was one of the most frustrating periods of the development because I didn’t know who to approach to actually turn the prototype into a finished product and I spoke to a lot of people before I managed to find somebody who understood what I was trying to do. Eventually I found the right man who was a fisherman himself and he got it right from the off. We all need little bits of luck in our lives and I think this was a lucky break for me when we met.
So what constitutes a typical day for an angling inventor?

Off shift I get up at 7 with the kids and see them off to school, take the dogs for a walk then get the laptop out when I get home. I can then spend the next few hours sending emails, making phone-calls, keeping up with the social media (which takes up way too much time), processing and packing orders until some other domestic duties need doing. My wife calls me a workaholic because I am always busy with something, but I try and have some quality time everyday with her and the kids. When I am on shift, I have to try and fit everything in in the hours that I am not at work, so quite often I am still at it while midnight. My mind is always ticking and quite often ideas will pop into my head and I keep a notebook to jot them down until I can get a bit of tinker time in the garage.
Do you have any plans to do this full time?

My ambition for Peejay Tackle is to create a firm that will support my children, who both have learning disabilities - I think this drives me more than just wanting to do it for myself. I am lucky because I get enough income from my regular job and I do get a lot of time off to pursue this venture. I have a few things up my sleeve and if things go well then who knows?

What can we expect next from Peejay Tackle? Have you got anything else in the pipeline you can tell us about?

I am a bit secret squirrel about new developments but we plan to develop the Sodafloat range initially to improve our offering and then there are a number of things in the notebook that will be of interest to the anglers out there. We want to be known as an innovative brand, our motto is “innovation not imitation.”
You’re obviously a very keen angler, what’s your favourite style of fishing?

I love fishing the stickfloat on rivers and during my youth I spent a lot of time down the length and breadth of the river Trent with my Pete Warren stickfloats and crowquill avons. I love the constant movement of the water and float and the satisfaction of getting your feeding right and mending your line so it is perfectly in line with your float. Then, when it does go under and you get that swoosh as you pull your line through the water and watch the tip of your rod when you see the fish start to kick – absolutely blissful.
Your favourite species?

Chub - where they are present I seem to have a natural affinity for them and they have got me out of jail a number of times in matches. I grew up in an age where they were often the most reliable big fish on the rivers that I fished and they can be caught on the hottest and coldest of days, on a number of different baits.
Where is your favourite venue?

River – the Trent at Carlton, during our club matches I was unbeatable on here for a while.
Stillwater – 100 Oaks at Sutton upon Derwent. A variety of pegs can win on the day and there is a good head of chub as well as carp. It’s a great venue for the Sodafloat.

Have you any angling heroes or anyone who has inspired you?
There have been a few over the years – Ivan Marks, Frank Barlow, Bob Nudd, Tommy Pickering, Bob Roberts, Des Taylor, Alan Scotthorne and more recently Steve Ringer. I like anglers that innovate and think about what they are doing.

What’s your biggest fish in the UK? And abroad?
My captures are very modest – a carp of 16lb 3oz in a match at the Nest in Winteringham almost 30 years ago and abroad, just mullet from a Spanish harbour on breadflake. None of them weighed, but I guess the biggest would have been about 2lb. I am hoping to beat this next year with a trip to France though.
Paul with a carp caught using a Sodafloat

A lot of people say commercial fisheries have been the saviour of match fishing, especially with the decline of the rivers but more recently there seems to have been a swing away from carp back towards silver fish matches and rivers, where do you think the future of fishing lies?
I think anglers are suffering from carp fatigue. Initially it was a novelty catching big bags of relatively large fish that tug back a bit, but when all is said and done, we are sitting by the sides of relatively new fisheries continually catching the same variety of fish and people have started to get bored with it. It’s good to see anglers starting to fish for silvers again and running silvers only matches, you do need a different skill set and you’ll become a more accomplished angler if you fish for all varieties. Add in the beauty of the fish themselves and the natural diversity you find in more established venues and it is no surprise to me that we have seen a swing back to the rivers. All things are cyclical though and there will always be a place for the commercials
One from the archives, Paul's first barbel from the Trent back in 1984

Being an innovator yourself which items of tackle of methods do you think have revolutionised the face of angling?
The development of carbon and graphite into the materials used to build rods and poles has to be the number one innovation during my generation. Poles were not generally available when I first started fishing although they were used on the continent. I remember my first model was an 11m glass fibre Sundridge one that was heavy as hell – nothing like the poles we have nowadays. Other things that have impressed me have been method feeders and the invention of the hair rig.

And any that, in your opinion, should never have seen the light of day?
I believe that all invention should be celebrated because it develops the sport – even if this takes us down a road that I personally wouldn’t want to travel. Frequently the initial invention is used as a stepping stone for other inventions / uses that the original inventor never envisioned.

If you had a time machine is there one moment in fishing you wished you could go back and change? i.e. a dream fish coming off at the net or a decision in a match that’s cost you a title?
Going back a few years, I was fishing a club match on a fen drain and a win would have won me the league. I think 5lb won the match and I knew I was there or thereabouts when I lifted into a big eel. I played it out really carefully, netted it after a couple of attempts and unhooked it in my landing net – so I could grip the eel with the landing net mesh. As soon as I released the hook, the eel shot out of the net with all the grace of a leaping salmon and splashed back into the water. I lost the match by ounces and the eel must have weighed a pound and a half

Have you got one piece of advice that will help the readers put more fish in their nets?
In a match situation, stick with the methods you are best at. If you haven’t practised it don’t do it, you’ll waste too much time trying to perfect it. Remember the golfer Gary Player's quote” The more I practice, the luckier I get.”

Well thank you for giving up your time but before I let you go, here’s a few more quick-fire questions,
What’s your favourite drink?

Ice cold Becks from a bottle - I always have some in the fridge in the garage
Favourite meal?

I love a fillet steak with all the trimmings
Do you support a football team?

Coming from Hull, it could only be Hull City, but I lived in Manchester for 10 years and I am a bit of a Reds fan as well.
Favourite film?

The Commitments
TV show?

Game of thrones
What music do you listen to?

Mainly rock and indie, but in the last few weeks I have seen The Flaming Lips and ELO.
And finally what’s your idea of a perfect day?

Waking up and taking the dogs for a walk. Then packing the gear into the car with the anticipation of a days fishing ahead. Meeting up with the lads and enjoying a cooked breakfast before pulling an unfancied peg out of the drawbag. Making all the right decisions at the right time during the match and winning by the narrowest of margins (for future banter rights). Driving home whilst listening to Hull City continue their record unbeaten run on the radio and on arrival having the kids meet me to help put my gear away. The wife will have already run me a Radox bath, spread rose petals over the surface and taken the top off a bottle of Becks and left it on the side. After half an hour basking in the bath it’s then on to the pub to spend the winnings on a meal for us all and a few more pints. (it’s never happened yet, but it would be a perfect day)
Well thank you very much Paul, from Against Men and Fish and I look forward to seeing your next project

Website - Peejay Tackle

* All images courtesy of Paul Jessop