First stop for Geoff and me - Shipham Café where we found Tony Rixon struggling to eat a small breakfast. Umm! Enjoyable plate of food especially the eggs.
Into the Game Keepers Lodge to pay the pools and to book in for Sundays open match on Westpool where venue expert and pleasure angler record holder Jim Thomas was being his usual affable self (pictured right). Jim was a member of our Avon Angling side back in the day on the River.
We were promised 10 degrees, nothing like that, more like 1. The wind was bitter – I hoped would draw out of it on the far bank for once, now completely fed up with these cold winds. Into the draw bucket and out comes peg 5. Definitely not out of the wind, in fact the very opposite with the wind blowing in at 11 –o clock!! However, I guessed the Silvers would be under the cover the wind was providing, cant have it all. I fished this peg last year and had 30lb+ of Ronnie’s. So the Ronnie rig was the first to make it into the roost. Next was a 4x14 to fish at 10 metres with the 11.5 metre section behind for some ballast and quicker to the roller. This rig was for Skimmers. Last was the waggler with a 9 inch bodied Drake.
I fed a smidgen of micro at 10 metres, starting on the Ronnie rig with caster over caster. Now of you don’t get a bite first or second try then the Ronnie’s aren’t feeding and I didn’t, so went on the Skimmer line with double unconscious reds, but decided to keep a few casters going in over the Ronnie like for later. The presentation was crap with the float going with the wind. It was a case of holding back then letting it go a bit like stick float fishing. My first bite was very positive from a 1lb Skimmer. This was followed quickly by another. I switched to 4mm expander. I don’t know what’s going on but the new bag of Baitec expanders are not the same and are much too squelchy and irregular, but do catch fish, as I then had two better Skimmers. It was a question of catch a brace followed by a bit of a wait, then another brace. I had been topping up with a small amount of micro through out. After three hours it slowed so switched back to maggot and had a few smaller Skimmers, Hybrids and Ronnie’s. After trying the Ronnie rig again to no avail I decided to give the Skimmer line a rest and try the waggler. I needed to put a foot on bottom to get any sort of presentation. With double red over loose fed caster it wasn’t long before I had a 12oz Skimmer, things to come I hoped. I thrashed about in areas that the wind decided I should fish nicking the odd Ronnie. Last hour or so I decided to sit it out on the pellet for the Skimmers. The rest did the swim good as I started catching some better ones but I needed to be patient. I hooked and landed a 5lb pretty Carp. In the last throws I hooked three more Skimmers all lost one was foul hooked and came off attempting take-off, the other the hook pulled close in and the other may of may not have been hooked properly. I put this down to Carp disruption.
My Silvers weighed 24lb 4oz for second in the Silvers and the pretty Carp bringing my weight up to 29lb 13oz for fourth overall. It was another memorable and excellent days fishing at this venue. All my fish were in excellent condition including the bigger Skimmers, none suffering from keep net fins/tails. All we need now is for Steve and Carol to sort out the weather.
The match was won by Tom Light (pictured right) with an excellent weight on he day of 114lb 10oz from end peg 15. Tom caught on corn fished at 13 metres down to his left 5 metres out from the bank. Tom used one tin of corn which he fed in conjunction with 4mm hard pellet. The picture right shows the quality of the fish that can be caught at this venue.
The Silvers was won by Tony Rixon (pictured right with his net of White Bait) with 24lb 12oz from peg 3 …see his blog for the details. During the weigh in Tony said that “no one has more than 15lb of Silvers” – really Tony!!
He last and final part of a great day was the stop in the Lock Keeper for a few beers. I did have to watch Geoff and Dave Willmott eat their £13.50 fish and chips!
- Tom Light 114-10-0 peg 15
- Terry Taylor 53-10-0 peg 1
- Mark Jones 46-04-0 peg 14
- Mike Nicholls 29-13-0 peg 5
- Tony Rixon 24-12-0 peg 3
- Mike Nicholls 24-04-0 peg 5
- Roy Ede 22-12-0 peg 12
- Nigel Wycombe 20-04-0 peg 13