Thursday, 29 January 2015

Thursday 29/01/2015 - Emerald Fishery - Veals "You have to be mad to fish" Open - Sapphire & Ruby

I drove today and had breakfast bought for me by mid week travelling partner Glenn Bailey in the Hilltops Café.

Both of us were concerned about the weather as the forecasts seem to get worse by the hour. I can factually report that we had gales force winds, snow, sleet and rain plus it was freezing cold.

With eight pegs on Ruby and two pegs on Sapphire the pond I was hoping to be on because there are more catchable Silvers. In to the draw bag and out comes peg 6 on Ruby a good peg. However, I was a little disappointed until I realised that the two pegs on Sapphire were occupied by good focused Carp anglers.

I decided to fish for Silvers and therefore set up a Ronnie rig and a 4x14 Jolly to be fished at 6 metres down the shelf of the opposite island. The bait tray consisted of just the one pint of casters.

Starting on the Ronnie rig I caught some decent Ronnie’s from the off with single caster hook bait. However, it wasn’t long before I was getting liners from Carp. So once again it was a question of fishing around to keep the Ronnie’s coming. At half time I switched to the Jolly and had a run of small Rudd and the odd accidental small Carp. Unfortunately I hooked a branch on the bottom and although I managed to get it out I disrupted the swim so switch lines so keep the fish coming. With 20 minutes to go I broke my hook length unhooking a small Carp. I tried to put a new hook on but my hands were so cold I couldn’t feel the line or hook! So it was back in the Ronnie rig adding only another two Silvers.

My eight small Carp weighed 8lb 14oz and my Silvers 13lb 1oz for a Silvers win (pictured upper right).

The match was won by Glenn Bailey (pictured right) with 47lb 1oz from peg 4, Glenn fished at 14 metres over to the opposite island. Glen had about 40 Carp most of them caught on either 6 or 8mm hard pellet.

Considering the conditions the weights were exceptional. This is a great winter fishery.

Full Result:

  1. Glenn Bailey 47-01-0 peg 4
  2. Adrian Jeffery 43-06-0 peg 10
  3. Tony Rixon 39-04-0 peg 1
  4. Dave Bacon 33-02-0 peg 5
  5. Pete Turner 23-12-0 peg 8
  6. Mike Nicholls 22-15-0 peg 6
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 13-01-0 peg 6
  2. Mike Jones 10-02-0 peg 7
Weigh Sheets:

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday 25/01/2015 - Hillview Open - Moorhen, Heron, Canals One and Four

I could have fished either Saturday or Sunday, with Saturday being forecast as cold and bright I went for Sunday which was to be overcast and 7 to 10 degrees. As it happened Saturday was right but Sunday very similar.

I had planned to go to Hillview on my own. However, after meeting up with Glenn Bailey in the pub on Saturday he decided to come along. I think it was the orange juice and lemonade that persuaded him!

Glenn and I had one of Keith’s very tasty Duck egg and bacon toasties, Billy didn't get any of mine relying instead on softy Glenn again.

For some reason I was the only one prepared to fund the Silver pool so didn’t bother. Just as we were to draw Mike West and Tom Mangnall arrived up from deep Somerset – nice to see them here. Considering the conditions it was a good turn out with 31 booked in.

I was hoping to be on one of the Canals. In to the woolly hat and out comes peg 15 on Moorhen - bugger, which is one from the nearside end corner peg. Nev Groves informed me that it wasn’t a good winter peg. Umm!

Arriving tat the peg I was disappointed to find the icy wind blowing in at me. This peg I think is the deepest on the whole venue with near eight foot at 9 metres. This is where I set up a 4x16 Jolly. However, I didn’t hold out too much hope for believing it was too deep for the wintery conditions with ice having been on the pool in previous days (cold water being heavier than warm). I then set up a 4x14 jolly to be fished down to the empty platform also at 9 metres to my left. I set the float at a depth 3 foot and plumbed up until I found that depth which was about 2 metres from the platform.

I started on the long line feeding some dead red maggot. After 30 minutes and no bites I was forced to change because on the sun on the water. So it was down to the left with various baits over kindered micro. Which for another 90 minutes gone I didn’t have a bite except for two plastic bags!

The sun disappeared behind the clouds at the same time I added another pole section taking me to 10 metres down to the left. I kept a few maggot and micro going in and I at last caught my first fish a Rudd!! I stayed on the line for the rest of the match adding a few more Rudd and seven F1’s. On my last put-in I hooked a 8 pounder which after playing it to a standstill the hook pulled. It wasn’t financially important but it would have made my 17lb a bit more respectable.

I did enjoy today as I had to really work hard for the fish.
The venue fished hard with only 22 out of the 31 troubling the scales.

The match was won by Andy Griff (pictured right) from peg 32 with 52lb 8oz. Andy fished at both 5 metres and 10 metres using either pellet or maggot over micro and maggot on both lines, Andy caught mainly F1’s on the short line and bigger Carp on the longer line.

Full Result:

  1. Andy Griff 52-08-0 peg 32
  2. Chris Hamilton 48-0-0 peg 36
  3. Ken Watson 39-08-0 peg 29
  4. Andy Bruton 36-0-0 peg 27
  5. Brad Proctor 36-0-0 peg 8
  6. Courtney 34-0-0 peg 19
Weigh Sheets:

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wednesday 21/01/2015 - Hillview Open - Rover - All Lakes and Canals

Glenn and I had previous commitments for the Veals Thursday match at Emerald so chose to go to the Hillview Wednesday Rover.

The drive up wasn’t too bad once we had negotiated the Ring Road, can’t say the same for coming home as the Ring Road was grid locked.

We had breakfast at Hillview which Glenn shared with his new mate Billy (pictured right).

Rover matches are great fun until it’s your turn to choose! In to the woolly hat and out comes draw queue number 6. With 11 fishing and with the whole venue to choose from I thought the match would be won on one of the Lakes. However, because of the weather conditions and cold biting wind plus I haven’t fished the Canals since Keith stocked the F1’s, I decided on Canal pegs 87 & 70 as my first choices which was as far as I could decide. Come my turn to select, theses pegs were gone so nostalgia took over and I went for peg 56 on the second canal (pictured right). I have done well on this peg over the years plus I was sheltered from the wind as it was off my back plus the Canal has a bank behind it. This Canal also holds plenty of small fish so with the venue having been frozen over the day before it might produce more bites.

I set up the one rig a 4x12 Jolly to be fished at top-set plus two which took me down the track. I changed the hook to an 808 – 20. I started the match by feeding a few micros with a micro on the hook and caught small Crucian’s from 3oz to 8oz straight off plus the odd small F1 to 1lb. After an hour I switched to semi-hard 4 pellet hook bait and carried on catching the same stamp of fish at least I was kept busy. At half way I opened up a dead maggot line to my Left at the same distance. However, this proved to be a mistake as I was pestered by minuscule Rudd, Gudgeon and Ronnie’s.  I switched back to the original line and had a slow hour but by keeping a few micro going in I managed to get the “Carpetts” back. In the last hour I did catch two 2lb Carp.

Because the fish were so small it was difficult to estimate my weight and I was surprised to weight 30lb for the highest weight on the Canal and sixth overall. I really enjoyed the fishing.

As I expected the match was won from Heron Lake peg 37 by Andy Bruton (pictured right) with 50lb. Andy caught at 14.5 metres out in front using maggot over micro.

Glenn was third to select his peg at went for historic peg 42 weighing 20lb.

Full Result:

  1. Andy Bruton 50-0-0 peg 37
  2. B Proctos 48-08-0 peg 87
  3. Colin H 40-08-0 peg 29
  4. Rob Danter 33-0-0 peg 70
  5. Pete 33-0-0 peg 95
  6. Mike Nicholls 30-0-0 peg 56
Weigh Sheet:

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday 18/01/2015 - Viaduct Winter League - Round One - All Lakes

Today saw the start of the Viaduct Winter League 2015 with 19 teams of 5 fishing five matches with each team member fishing all five Lakes.

The Silverfox Team remained unchanged from last year with Bela Bakos, Steve Skelton, Leon Hubbard, Gordon Cannings and me.

Bela and I stopped at Canards Well for breakfast and luckily Chef Kim was there to do the buffet otherwise it can be hit or miss.

On down to the pub for the draw where Bela drew for us even though we were planning to sack him after the draws he delivered last year! Luckily the Captain did well bringing us all good draws. Not only that I would have placed the anglers on the pegs they were allocated.

I was to fish peg 47 on Match Lake (pictured right) which I was happy with because last time I fished it I had 45lb of F1’s and Carp on the waggler. So the waggler was quickly untangled and the hook length changed to 0.14 with a 20 hook. Next I set up the straight lead – in case. Finally I set up a yellow top 4x12 Jolly to be fished at 11.5 metres which is about all I can manage these days at 11 o clock into the dark water. I started by feeding a sizable pot of caster and chopped worm in on the pole line and started on the waggler with a single white maggot without feeding anything to see what was about. However, the wind was coming more in from my right making presentation difficult. I thus put and extra foot on the bottom to slow the float down which resulted in a small Ronnie. After 10 minutes I couldn’t help myself and started to feed caster. This helped and now with double dead red maggot on the hook I had a couple of F1’s and three small Carp. Because it was so bright this spooked the fish allowing the Ronnie’s to have a go. I had seven species of Silvers before I had another F1. I then foul hooked a Carp which broke my hook length – bugger. As the match progressed the sun, both low in the sky and on the water became a nuisance and for twenty minutes I couldn’t see a thing, so I picked up the straight lead with a bunch of dead reds and cast it blindly and if I hear a plop I would leave it if not I pulled it off the island! I had one small Rudd on the lead. Once the sun had gone down this left me 15 minutes for the waggler again and I caught a Ronnie a cast with a decent Perch included. At halfway I did have an unproductive go for a very short while on the pole but as suspected 11.5 metres was far too short.
I finished with 6lb 11oz of Silvers and 15lb 9oz of Carp for a total of 22lb 4oz for 14 points out of 19. Happy with the result, fishing the waggler very enjoyable, but especially as the team did well from the good draw collecting 65 points with Leon framing with 108lb and picking up the Captains bottle of wine.

The match was won by Craig Edmonds (pictured right) with 154lb 1oz from Lodge peg 73. Craig fished bread down his right hand margin starting at 14.5 metres then creeping longer until he was fishing 17.5 metres down to the tree trunk (pictured lower right)

The Silvers was won by Lee Werrett (pictured lower right) with a lowly 13lb 2oz from Spring Lake peg 26. Lee caught Skimmers on various methods.

Full Result:

  1. Craig Edmonds 154-01-0 peg 73
  2. A Mitchell 123-07-0 peg 66
  3. Nicky Collins 116-0-0 peg 132
  4. John Howell 113-13-0 peg 110
  5. Leon Hubbard 108-08-0 peg 96
  6. Richard Ahearn 90-09-0peg 119
Top Silvers:

  1. Lee Werrett 13-02-0 peg 26
  2. Chris Hook 12-13-0 peg 90
  3. Gary O’Shea12-04-0 peg 20

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Thursday 15/01/2015 - Coffin Dodger & Skivers @ Emerald Fishery - Ruby Pool

Today it was off to Emerald Fishery to be fished on Ruby Pool these matches are ably run by Mike Jones. I travelled with the “Reluctant Winter Angler”, and after a decent breakfast in the Hilltop café it was off just down the road to the draw. The BBC weather girl Carol had obliviously overstated the conditions putting off a number of the anglers booked in.

In to the draw bag and out comes peg 9, which was the top end near side. There were only two pegs on this side because the wind was blowing into this bank. Arriving at the peg I was encourage that down wind (RH side) there was some stick-up Sedges. I thought this would hold some Silvers. However, Dave Bacon who was the only other on this bank and had drawn my peg the last match said the Sedges were full of branches and snags.

Nevertheless I set up the Ronnie rig to fish along to the Sedges with caster over caster. Because the wind would make this rig difficult to fish I also set up a 4x14 Jolly which was far heavier than I would normally use in three foot of water, but needed it due to the conditions.

First cast on the Ronnie rig produced a small Carp, I usually catch a Ronnie!!. I did have a couple of Ronnie's over the next few casts. However, after landing a few branches and twigs I put the Ronnie rig down to never be applied again.

I spent the next 4 hours fishing the Jolly out in front at a distance of the top set plus one. I had a run of small Carp before I managed to get a few Ronnie’s – my target fish. These fish are difficult to catch on this pool which I suppose keeps me going after the blighters.

I tried various hook baits - soft pellet over the kindered potted caster and micro and dead red. However, any soft  bait only resulted in unhittable bites from Motherless Minnows which I had ten or more in the landing net every time I landed a fish. I think feeding micro didn’t help the cause.

For the last hour I added another section but this time only feeding neat casters which did keep a few more Ronnie’s coming plus the occasional accidental Carp.
I finished the match dry, warm but muddy. My Silvers weighed 8lb 4oz (pictured upper right) for first in the Silvers and my accidental Carp weighed 34lb 12oz for an overall 43lb for a match third.

The match was won by apprentice Coffin Dodger (pictured right) who will become fully fledge next Sunday! Tony Rixon won with 46lb 4oz from peg 4 catching long down his peg to the right using hard pellet (that stops the Motherless) – see his blog for further details.

And the reluctant angler finished runner up on the day with 8oz more than me (pictured lower right with his runner up catch).

Overall an enjoyable day out plus a very close match.

Full Result:

  1. Tony Rixon 46-04-0 peg 6
  2. Glenn Bailey 43-08-0 peg 4
  3. Mike Nicholls 43-0-0 peg 9
  4. John Bradford 39-08-0 peg 8
  5. Rich Coles 33-03-0 peg 1
  6. Pete Turner 32-02-0 peg 2
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 8-04-0 peg 9
  2. Mike Jones 5-12-0 peg 5
Weigh Sheet:

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sunday 11/01/2015 - Hillview Open - Moorhen and Heron

Back to my commercial fishery roots – Hillview. It was nice to meet up with Keith Hill again. He told me the story of his missing Christmas tree – Keith was not amused.

Keith has done more work adding a bar/function room @ £3 a pint.

It was also nice to meet up with Terry King and Neville Groves. These are the two anglers to interrogate. Apparently the winning weights have been coming on the waggler and straight lead, not feeding anything with either bread or maggot hook bait. However, there are only a few pegs that these methods can be sensibly used. Otherwise it was to be pole and pellet or maggot.

The venue has been fishing well due primarily to the head of big F1’s.

The pools are £20 with an option of a £3 Silvers Pool, which I decided to enter.

In to the smelly woolly hat and out comes peg 24 on Heron. This put me on the far side in the RH corner. Peg 24 is the shallowest peg on the venue. I was glad I had done the Silvers as to win overall from this peg would be difficult to say the least. I initially set up a Ronnie rig for caster over loose fed caster. However, I couldn’t find enough water to make it viable so it did get a serious wetting. The only other rig was a 4x 14 Jolly which had to be fished at 7 metres to find the shelf in 5 foot of water.

I decided on two lines for the Jolly – one at 12 o clock where I would fish 4 mm soft pellet over hard micro (can’t use wetted feed at Hillview) and the other at 2 o clock where I fed Pinkie.

I started on the Pellet and after 15 minutes without a bite switched to fishing maggot over the Pinkie and had for F1’s and some Silvers. I did loose a 2 lb Skimmer at the net which was foul hooked and another where the hook pulled at the net – bugger. I made amends by netting a 2lb Tench. The Ronnie’s were not really feeding but I managed to keep a few small versions coming plus the odd small Skimmer. Even though I kept topping the Pinkie up the swim finally died after foul hooking three F1’s.

In the meantime I had converted the pellet line to a combo of micro and dead red feed. I then had a run of f1’s on single red. I did loose a 8 pound Common Carp at the net – bugger. Looking around my section there were pegs which I expected to fish well but were struggling for bites and a good few DNW's

My Silvers weighed 8lb for first in the Silvers and my F1’s weighed 20lb (you don’t get ounces on the venue – nearest ½ lb) for a total of 28lb for an additional section win and a double bubble payout. (pictured right with the match winner).

I must say I did enjoy the day – my sort of fishing.

The match was won by that man again Neville Groves (pictured right with his bucket of F1’s) with 64lb 8oz from Moorhen peg 2. Nev fished 14.5 metres towards the aerator to his right at 2 to 3 metres out from the bank. The man to beat on the venue for sure.

Full Result:

  1. Neville Groves 64-08-0 peg 2
  2. Andy Newton 60-08-0 peg 18
  3. Andy G 56-08-0 peg 6
  4. Pete 51-0-0 peg 36
  5. S Someone 38-0-0 peg 9
  6. Barry Hill 35-0-0 peg 40
Top Silvers:

  1. Mike Nicholls 8-0-0 peg 24
Weigh Sheet:

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Thursday 08/01/2015 - Bathampton AA/Veals Silvers Championship - Huntstrete - Bridge Pool

After a long layoff over the Christmas and New Year due to family commitments and a heavy cold it was out today for the first time this year on the Bathampton Silvers league. I was hoping for a good draw to start the league off. However, it wasn’t to be as in to the bank bag and out comes peg 25. I was up against pegs 18, 19, 21, 22, 23 and 24. Realistically my peg was only better than peg 23 that was unless the Skimmers showed up in numbers.

Peg 25 is well set back from both pegs 24 and 26 by 7 metres so I wasn’t expecting to catch the Ronnie’s so Skimmers were the target.

 I had brought the feeder and waggler rod in case I dew this peg and set both up. I also set up the pole with a 4x 16 Jolly to be fished at full depth at 6 metres where the Lake bottom levelled out.

I fed the 6 metres line with a big pot of a mix of all the hook baits on the table – dead reds, Pinky, caster and wetted micro.

However, I started on the feeder and had two quick Ronnie’s both less than 1/2oz! The feeder spent the rest of the match sat in the wet grass.

On to the pole with maggot and I was soon catch and dropping off more less than ½ Ronnie’s irrespective of the hook bait – except caster which produced nothing. I found sitting on 4 mm soft pellet did produce the odd 2 oz Skimmer. I stayed on the pellet for a good few hours trying the various baits including double micro which did produce some even smaller bottle tops. The difficult part was deciding when to top up as when I did the swim died for a while because small Skimmers will come up ij the water to intercept the feed. I did have half hour on the waggler with caster over loose fed caster and even though the presentation was really good I only had a ½ Rudd and a ½ oz Ronnie!!
I ended the match with 30 odd tiny Skimmers for a miserable 3lb 8oz for as expected last but one in the section. The Ronnie’s fed but not the Skimmer as very few were caught as the weigh sheet bear witness.

The match was won by Barry Fitchew with 11lb 11oz of Ronnie’s and Perch from peg 21. Barry caught on hid top set with casters and other rest baits caught over loose fed caster and some micro.

I like the pictured of Barry upper right. I also like the picture lower right.

Full Result:

  1. Barry Fitchew 11-11-0 peg 21
  2. Paul Dicks 10-14-0 peg 15
  3. Paul Barnfield 10-06-0 peg 18
  4. Charlie Barnes 9-02-0 peg 8
  5. Rich Coles 8-11-0 peg 14
  6. John Smith 8-05-0 peg 12