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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Psv v Frys, Shiplate Farm, all lakes

I thought I'd stick this picture on because I found it quite amusing, in fact I want one (Steve / Carol)!  Although judging by some of the performances today maybe it should read "I'd rather be Knitting or Playing Golf".
Anyway, 22 fishing today with all three lakes to choose from so loads of room for everybody and it was looking to be a good day with decent temperatures and a gentle breeze putting a nice ripple on the lakes, not very autumnal at all.
Payout was top 2 overall and 2 silvers (still no sign of Kev Jefferies) and a section on each lake which spread the pools money about a bit and gave everybody a good chance of picking up something.
The overall result would be decided on points, 1 point for the winner etc so the lowest points score would win less the bottom 2 PSV results as we had 2 more fishing (somehow I forgot to mention the points scoring system)! 
From my home for the day (peg 5 on the main lake) I could only see three other people on the opposite bank and a bit of Chris Gay on peg 1 (which was enough thanks), and I could hear Pete Sivell about 500yds away over on Westpool 15.
But I had no idea what was happening behind me on Hawthorns as all I could hear was ducks and geese arguing on the stock pond behind so I didn't have much idea of what was going on.
As it happened, all that hard work scratching about for bites down the docks on Thursday evenings must have paid off for the top 3 as Andy Curry took top honours from 15 on the main lake with 79lbs 14oz caught mostly on paste at 13m and later 5m.
Following him was Alan "have you got some meat Dean" Healey with 78-10 from Hawthorns 5, caught on .... no point in asking but probably Dean's meat as Alan is very fond of a bit of Dean's meat!!
And in third place was Jason Bird with 71-10 from Hawthorns 13.  I've no idea what Jason caught on as he was too busy gloating over his pound that he robbed off me but I got one back off Pete to cover it which was a relief.
Top silvers went to Mike Wilson with 16-2 consisting of a bream plus skimmers caught on maggot over groundbait from peg 3 on the main lake.
That was followed by Paul Chapman with 15-6 from peg 14, again on the main lake.
Sections went to Matt Taynton on Westpool 10 with 68-12, Jason Bird on Hawthorns (by default) with 71-10  and Mark Radford on Main Lake 7 with 57-8 (again by default) which included the biggest fish of the day, a 14lbs 4oz common that must have wandered out of Chris Gay's peg (peg 1) where most of the proper fish on that side of the lake tend to hang out.
And the end result was ..... A DRAW! Probably due to my inspirational points system but anyway 106 points each which was a fitting result as the weights were close across all the lakes with a couple of exceptions.
As for my day, as already mentioned, I was drawn on peg 5 which was one of the last 2 pegs in the bucket, Dean drew Westpool 3 which he was welcome to as I was hoping for the lake because I've always struggled on the canals.

Apparently it was a good draw with lots of open water to go at and the plan (according to Dean) was to go at it with the waggler and method feeder with 8mm pellet and leave the pole in the van (should have left the pole in the van).
I had a waggler rod already set up but the method feeder is still a bit new-fangled for me so that was substituted for a lead rod.  Both were paced out on the bank and clipped up so they'd be fishing in the same spot (very technical stuff), and I also set up a rig for on the deck at 13m as Andy Curry reckoned the legendary bream could move onto that line later in the day and I set up a margin rig.
After feeding the 13 m line with four balls of groundbait / micro I went out on the lead and commenced the 8mm pellet barrage which started to produce indications.  In fact the tip was just moving an inch or so backwards and forwards for ages which I assumed was a skimmer "licking" the pellet so I got fed up of waiting for a proper pull and struck but instead of the expected skimmer the rod bent double and line started clicking off the spool and a very strange fight ensued and I was starting to think I had a monstrous bream on or maybe even one of the resident sterlets which got my palms sweating a bit but it turned out to be a carp hooked neatly in the dorsal.
Further chucks with the lead produced only liners and lost foul-hookers so the wag went out but that was hard work as the crosswind was dragging the float about and the ducks were a nightmare. 
Swapping about between the lead and the wag kept a few odd fish coming to the net including a proper bream but liners, foul-hookers and ducks were getting annoying so I got tempted by the 13m pole line.
Unfortunately this line was only any good for a few hand-sized skimmers and the margin wasn't happening so I spent the rest of the match on the wag with meat pulled onto the band which  seemed to work better than the pellet and throwing handfulls of maggots into the margins was keeping the ducks occupied. I think I was starting to get the hang of it by the end of the match and I was getting fish swirling on the feed but too late as usual.
The end result was 51-11 and another mid-table nowhere result much to the amusement of Jason Bird.




Thursday, 26 September 2013


I quite often get phone calls from people interested in joining the club be it new people or former members who want to come back but because the club has got quite popular over the years we have had to cap the membership around 38 and that fills up quite quickly. 
The reason for the capped membership is so as not to have to have to run matches on a "first come, first served" basis over the phone especially as I work 6 days a week on building jobs and don't have immediate access to my booking-in sheet. Plus the fact that I have a memory like a sieve which is why it's always better to text me and why we have always encouraged people to book in at the monthly meetings.
Secondly, because I have to book matches 18 months to 2 years in advance (especially at places like Viaduct) I don't want to be guessing how many will be fishing a match 2 years away!
In other words, I try my best not to have to turn anyone away from a match although it does happen rarely.
On the plus side, this year we've introduced "guests" where a non-member can fish if there is space available but this is limited to one match for the season and one "guest" per member.
Although we have a membership around 38 I've found that we have a "core" group of about 10 who fish every week.
A few more, (some are also members of other clubs) fish once or twice a month, and then there are some that fish a couple of matches a year and the Christmas match. This means that the turnout averages around 15 which on the venues we fish is about right.
So if you're reading this and would like to join, the best thing is to come to the AGM around April / May time to avoid dissappointment.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sedges, Brick Lake, 22 September (19 pegs)

Unfortunately for most of us today it was a tale of two halves as other than Rich Jones on peg 5 who started the match like a pro from peg 8 on the pellet wag, the left bank that's shared with Tile lake was a bit of a struggle.  There was no wind on the lake at all today to push the fish around so maybe it was down to the extra activity on that bank with pleasure anglers walking (and cycling) up and down or just the quality of the anglers, who knows!
At the start around half the field went out on the wag and the rest were out on the long pole but nobody was setting the world on fire other than Rich Jones who had 3 quick fish on the waggler. 
Matt Taynton on peg 18, after a fruitless 30 minutes out at 14m on the deck dropped back onto his short line with worm and caster and started catching a few carp and skimmers and I could see elastic coming out further up the lake from what looked like Darren North on 16
As it turned out Matt never really looked back and caught steady all day on the short line and despite loosing a fair number of foul-hookers he won the match comfortably with 172-2 which is a new record for Brick lake and not a bad days fishing for the cost of a pint of caster and KFC for his kids. Apparently he was digging his garden on Saturday and told his  2 daughters that if they wanted chicken with their chips they had to spend all day collecting worms!
Matt is pictured below "sword-fencing" with 5 sections of pole and an angry carp.

Runner up was Darren North on 16 with 97-9 also caught on the short line but on meat.
Chris Szakacs was third from peg 13 with 83-5. Chris had struggled for most of the match but had a really good last hour catching fish to over 14lbs on worm over groundbait in the margins.
Silvers went the way of Alan Healy with 30-5 of mostly skimmers caught on soft pellet over groundbait from peg 4.
Matt Taynton was second with 26-10 which meant Matt Challenger took the second Silvers money by default with 23-12 from peg 14.
(2 Silvers payouts today as Kev Jefferies wasn't with us)!
As for me, I drew peg 19 which is a peg I've won off before so I was happy and despite the flat calm conditions I was still expecting to catch on the wag (and straight lead) out towards the cable that powers the aerators that runs down the middle of the lake.
I also set up a shallow rig and a rig for down the margin at the bottom of the shelf.  I set up a duplicate rig for that line but it was too short but I kept it anyway as it would do to push up the shelf.
On the all-in I fed the margin line with a couple of cups of groundbait with dead maggots and micros (properly dead this week) and went out on the lead while feeding a barrage of 8mm's which was expected to get the fish queueing up  for the pellet wag.
After 15 minutes the tip hadn't moved an inch and thrashing about on the wag was equally unsuccessful but I had noticed a few fish were cruising about in pole range so I switched to the shallow rig at 14m with an 8mm on the band and feeding 6s .... nothing!
I then had an indication which was missed but the pellet was gone (and the band with it) so rather than set up a new rig I stuck a piece of meat on and hooked a carp straight away followed by a skimmer around 1½ lbs  but they weren't staying and I was waiting ages between fish.
By mid-day a few fish were crashing about on the wag line but despite my best efforts they didn't want to know that and I wasn't happy with reeling the waggler through the pole line so I scrapped it and stuck with the long wait on the 14m line.
I had a look down the edge with a bunch of maggots on the hook but that was only good for micro-skimmers but eventually a decent carp took it followed by more "milk-bottle tops" so I stuck a piece of corn on which produced a double-figure orange and black koi.
The next fish tore off at 100mph and made it almost to the centre of the lake before breeching like a whale and snapping my line just above the hook.
One more decent fish followed before the all out and the end result was 56-6 which was a decent weight on the day but a proper battering from Matt next door.
But on the upside I got a pound back off Alan Healy which was still warm from last week.

Full Result:
  1. Matt Taynton (peg 18) ....... 172-2
  2. Darren North* (16) .......... 97-9
  3. Chris Szakacs (13) ........... 83-5
  4. Brian Shanks ................... 77-5
  5. Rich Jones** (8) .............. 71-5
  6. Matt Challenger (14) ........ 67-8
  7. Steve Burgess (19) .......... 56-6
  8. Mark Radford (2) ............. 54-7
  9. Adam Caswell (9) ............ 54-11
  10. Alan Healy (4) ................. 39-5
  11. Mike Wilson (11) ............. 35-3
  12. Derek Lucas (10) ............. 29-14
  13. Ryan Radford (15) ........... 19-12
  14. (not so) Rocket Ron Hardiman (7) .... 15-6
  15. and a few dnw's
*golden peg
**silver peg

  1. Alan Healy (4) ........... 30-5
  2. Matt Taynton (18) ...... 26-10
  3. Matt Challenger (14) ... 23-12
  4. Mark Radford (2) ....... 10-1
  5. Ron Hardiman (7) ...... 10-0
  6. Chris Szakacs (13) ..... 8-8
  7. Mike Wilson (8) ......... 8-7
  8. Darren North (16) ..... 6-6
  9. Adam Caswell (9) ..... 5-5
  10. Steve Burgess (19) ... 4-4
  11. Rich Jones (8) .......... 4-0
  12. Ryan Radford (15) .... 3-6
  13. Brian Shanks (12) .... 2-12
  14. Derek Lucas (10) ...... 2-5

Next week is at Shiplate and we have the whole venue with Fry's so there is plenty of room at the moment and it's fishing well with Sunday's open being won with 100-10 from peg 6 on Westpool and 2nd was 84-9 from peg 6 on Hawthorn.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Landsend, Match Lake, 15 September (15 pegs)

Fifteen fishing today which was a good number although one more would have been ideal in that the cost of the lake would have been covered.
The weather forecast was not good at all with strong winds and rain forecast for most of the day but we were lucky in that the wind seemed to blowing over the top of us and the rain wasn't as bad as I'd expected, at least not until we were heading home when it became a bit more biblical so we got away lightly there.
Some familiar faces on familiar pegs today with Alan on 13, Will on 24 and Kev Jefferies on 19 (again) and presumably keen to improve on his dismal performance from this peg last time round.
Those of you that know this lake will be aware that there are more fish in peg 19 than there is water but anyway .....
Following the all-in, which was on time this week as I had all my rigs made up the night before, it was apparent that Adam Caswell was catching a few by all the splashing and bullshit coming from peg 1, other than that, Kev Jefferies was having a "torrid" time sticking hooks into various parts of fish across towards the island and also Bob Warren in 22 was sneaking a few from across although, as seems to be the norm here, he was foulhooking more than he was landing.
I couldn't see much else from my vantage point but apparently Lionel Legge was catching well on meat short over on peg 3 which was unfortunate because it was the golden peg and I'd said at the draw that if anyone managed to win the match from peg 3 I'd double the golden peg money (great idea)!
As it turned out the lake had fished well below par, maybe because there had been some cold nights previously.  First to weigh in was Adam Caswell on peg 1 with 52-4 but that was soon eclipsed by Lionel who dumped 66-10 onto the scales which looked like it was going to be hard to beat but luckily (for my pocket) Rocket Ron Hardiman saw that off with 71-8 from peg 15.
Simon Belcham took the Silvers honours from peg 9 with an impressive mixed net of maggot caught fish for 20-10.
If it was any consolation, the Saturday open hadn't fished that well either, the results from that one can be found ... click here
As for me, I'd based my plans on a "catch anything" day which meant feeding the margins and the track with micros and "stunned" maggots in groundbait.
The maggots were supposed to be dead after their spell in the freezer but once thawed most of them re-incarnated themselves hence "stunned".
I didn't have to wait long for a bite over the groundbait down the track but the strike didn't connect with anything for the first 2 feet so needless to say that one was neatly hooked in the pelvic fin but he came in after giving me the runaround.  That line didn't produce much after but the margin down towards the empty peg 20 gave up a few perch and seeing as both Bob and Kev either side of me were loosing a few across I had a try at 16m where the piss-takers were waving their tails at me.
  This resulted in a few fish, some hooked in the mouth, but it was hard work and after loosing a monstrous ghostie I gave in and fished the rest of the match down the edge which produced a few more proper carp on the stunned maggots for a final total of 49-7.

Full Result:
  1. Rocket Ron Hardiman** (peg 15) .... 71-8
  2. Lionel Legge* (3) ........ 66-10
  3. Mark Radford (18) ....... 61-12
  4. Alan Healy (13) ........... 60-11
  5. Brian Shanks (12) ....... 57-9
  6. Adam Caswell (1) ........ 52-4
  7. Chris Szakacs (16) ...... 49-7
  8. Steve Burgess (21) ..... 49-7
  9. Will Dearlove (24) ....... 45-0
  10. Ryan Radford (7) ........ 34-12
  11. Simon Belcham (9) ..... 26-10
  12. Bob Warren (22) ......... 25-2
  13. Garth Creese (11) ....... 12-12
  14. and 2 dnw's
*golden peg
**silver peg

  1. Simon Belcham ..... 20-10
  2. Alan Healy .......... 13-5
  3. Steve Burgess ..... 4-2
  4. Lionel Legge ....... 3-0
It's probably worth a mention that one of those dnw's was Kev Jefferies on 19 who packed up early after yet another very torrid day and sloped off for an early bath looking a bit downbeat.
I suspect he will be off to fish the open at Windmill next Sunday as he's good there and kicked Tony Rixon and Shaun Townsend's asses either side of him in a recent match there, so good luck with that Kev!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Catch up time / clearing the backlog!

Yes, I know it's been a while but I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks and then to add insult to injury I got lumbered with some necessary domestic repairs.  Well the shower has been leaking for years now and besides the slight inconvenience of turning the downstairs lighting circuit off to have a shower the living room ceiling was looking like it was about to go through at any moment.
That just leaves painting the woodwork on the stairs which isn't a rush job as there has been masking tape on the handrail since the 90's so a few more months won't hurt!
Anyway, first up in the backlog was a match at Trinity (Woodlands) way back on 18 August.
It was another glorious sunny day with very little wind and prior to the start there were fish showing all over the lake which looked promising.
For whatever reason though, most likely down to the bright calm conditions, the carp were cagey on the shallow pole line and the way forward seemed to be with paste.
Pete Sivell did the honours from a flat clam and unfancied peg 2 with 108lbs on (you guessed it) .... paste.
Second on the day was Chris (2 pieces of worm) Gay with 77-11 from peg 27 followed by Brian Shanks on golden peg 8 who staged a legendary comeback after a fruitless first half of the match to weigh in 71-11.
Silvers was a tie between Simon Belcham and Chris Gay both with 11-0 although Simon collared the money by default.
I had yet another bad day after drawing peg 13.  I struggled to catch shallow on the pole so switched to trying to catch skimmers on meat which was semi successful but they were small fish.  I had tails waving in my right margin but I hadn't plumbed it up and just went in there with meat on my adapted shallow rig.  If I had have plumbed the margin I would have realised that there was a complicated network of tree roots under the surface and saved myself a whole lot of heartache!
I ended up with 8-1 of silvers and 26-2 of carp for a measly 34-3 which was a lot closer to the bottom of the weigh sheet than the top and meant handing over pound coins to both Alan Healy and a very smug Pete Sivell.
I was even beaten battered off the next peg by Alan Healy's apprentice, Garth Creese, who has not long taken up fishing matches and caught mostly plopping a method feeder in the margins which I'm not knocking because he did a lot better than me and he's built like a brick shithouse!
Speaking to Misha's bodyguard and resident expert, Tom after the match he seemed to think the pellet wag would have been the way to go, he may have been right but who knows as I don't recall anyone using it on the day.

Next up was the "much anticipated" inter-club with Fry's at Durleigh res.
Merv Sivell loves this place and had enthusiastically talked me into this one and to be fair I've heard the fishing (especialy for the roach and bream) is awesome but I had a sneaking suspicion that we weren't going to have a very good turnout from psv with mutterings about horrendous walks to pegs etc.
As it happened we had 2 turn out for psv and one of those was a "ringer".
Lee's blog from this match can be found ..... click here
To be honest I would have been more than happy to have fished it myself as I've never even seen the place but unfortunately I was in Skiathos at the time and I have absolutely no idea of the result!

The following weekend was on the match lake at Harescombe near Stroud.
30-ish pegs in an oval around a central island at around 14m with no features to speak of and stuffed full of small carp and f1's averaging 1 to 2lbs so a nice and fair venue where you need a lot of fish to do well.
Winner on the day was Andy Curry with 81-8 (peg 3) followed by Mark Radford with 73-2 (peg 15).
Another Fry's defector, Jason Bird was 3rd (he's took my advice on board and seems to be trying a bit harder) with 67-13 (peg 9)
Alan Healy was 4th with 66-12 (peg 5).
 I've just been through the results and in actual fact Ryan Radford was 3rd with 71-2 (peg 29) so perhaps Jason Bird really ought to try that litle bit harder!

Next up was Walters Lake at South Cerney.  This was our 3rd visit here and my first match back from holiday so I was hoping for a good day today as the previous two visits had been disappointing (crap).
Walters consists of four interconnected canal-style "lanes" set out in a in a "w" shape and the Saturday opens regularly produce weights of 200lbs plus
This time round we were on the Blue lane which is supposed to be the best one and there was another club match on White behind us.
To cut a long story short, it fished crap (again)!
Mark Radford took the honours with 63-8 from peg 18 caught on pellet.  He was struggling for the first few hours until the fish eventually turned up in force.
Chris Szakacs repeated his previous performance here by taking 2nd place (again) with 62-12 from peg 8.
Third place went to Pete Uzzell from end peg 19 fishing worm up towards the corner and weighing in 59-15, closely followed by Brian Shanks with 58-0 from peg 16.
Brian also collared the Silvers with 5-10.
Ironically peg 1 (best peg on the lake) never got drawn.  The following Saturday produced a new venue record of 400lbs-odd  so no prizes for guessing which peg produced this weight!
My day was grim to say the least. After nearly five hours I had nothing bar one lost fish that I'd hooked on meat swinging a long shallow rig out as far as I could get towards the far bank at 16m. Once hooked it had trashed my rig in the undergrowth!  I managed to avoid the dreaded blank with a couple of late fish from the margins and that was heart-stopping as on my peg (bridge peg 11) they like to take you round the corner and under the bridge to freedom so it's a bit of a tug-of-war even with the small ones.
One day I'm sure we'll get this venue right on the right day but at £8.50 for a large brekkie and a coffee I'll be taking sandwiches!