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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Trinity Waters, Woodlands, 24 November (8 pegs)!

One positive about posting my updates a  day or two after the event is that I get the chance to see how the rest of the circuit has been doing over the weekend.
And with a mini cold-snap over the previous few days ( consecutive frosts on Friday and Saturday nights ) it was expected to be tough.
The first round of Mugger Shanks' Westerleigh winter league was won with 18-8 from peg 6 by Psv's very own Darren North. 
Things were a little better at Acorn on Sunday for the over 43's coffin-dodgers match with current Acorn superstar and  another Psv member, Ray Bazeley method-feedering his way to victory there with 43-12 from peg 5.
Psv's Mike Wilson shared second with M? Richards who both weighed in 40-5 and 4th was yet another psv veteran, Bob Warren with 36-1 so that would have been a close match.
The Saturday open at Landsend was hit by the cold, bright weather and 37-12 was enough for Rod Wooton to win from peg 15.
Over on Shiplate it was hard work for Mr Rixon and his superstars on the main lake, 27-10 was enough to win for Kev Molten from peg 1 but strangely the canals fished much better for the Shiplate winter series.
Tim Lewis won that one with 87-9 from peg 9 on Hawthorns.
A bit closer to home the recently reopened and refurbished Bitterwell Lake had its first match (I think) on Sunday but again it was a tough one and only 21lbs was enough to win that one.
Incidentally, second was someone called Des with 19-4.
By now I expect you're wondering where the hell this is all leading but the (very long-winded) point of this is that we are now well and truly in winter mode where every bite counts and one lost bonus carp can make the difference between framing or coming nowhere.
Personally I enjoy this type of fishing although I don't enjoy those days in the depths of winter when you know you'll be lucky if you get a bite but, as they say, "a bad day's fishing is better than a good day's work" (ok, I made that up)!
ANYWAY, on to the big event and it was a pretty poor turnout with just 8 fishing.
Thankfully the lovely Misha let us have the far bank to ourselves and only charged us the peg fees which was generous especially seeing as there had been an overnight charity carp match on Wildmarsh where 32 were booked in but "only" 24 turned up ... Bless her!
For a change, and seeing as there were only 8 of us, I thought I'd do a quick rundown of each peg so here goes.

Peg 6, Will Dearlove

Will has got it into his head that the last peg in the bag (which I normally have) is always a flier so to humour him I gave him the choice of the last 2 and sure enough he drew peg 6 in the bottom corner which was the peg everyone fancies and is usually a really good margin peg.
Not today though as Will never had anything down the edge and caught at 14m on corn, and feeding corn.
He ended up with a couple of lumpy carp and 11-12 of silvers for a total of 26-11.
His silvers net was made up mostly of good quality roach and a confused tench and was easily enough to take the silvers pool.

Peg 8, Stewart Riddle

One carp and a decent net of silvers for a total of 12-7

Peg 10, Mark Radford

Unfortunately Mark managed to forget to bring any maggot or caster but it made little difference as he caught down the edge to an overhanging bush on corn (I think) to weigh in a total of 29-3 which was good enough for second on the day.

Peg 12, Matt Challenger

Arguably Bristol's most popular tackle shop owner Matt fished 16m with soft pellet over micro where he caught silvers and a couple of decent carp. He also caught (and lost) a few more fishing to the empty platform next to him.
His total weight of 30-13 was enough to win the match and just about covered his bait costs.

Peg 14, Me

No chance of winning today as this was the golden peg but I did better than last week.
I fed 3 areas at 14m, to the left I put in quite a bit of groundbait, caster and micros. In the middle it was just caster / maggot / micros and to the right I fed ultra-cautious (just the one potfull).
I also put a bit of maggot and caster at 11m and fed both margins with caster and groundbait just to make sure I never had to take any home.
The long lines produced small silvers straight away on double maggot and over the groundbait, where I was getting a bit of fizzing, I had 2 small carp before hooking a scale which seemed to kill it for a bit.
The shorter line was also giving up tiny roach as did the left margin which I'd been topping up with casters.
First put in down the right on caster produced a pole-bender which snapped the rig line on its way down to Matt's peg.
It was an old rig I'd dug out of the box and stuck a new 0.12 hook length on so that was a possible match-winning fish lost due to laziness unfortunately.
I stuck with this margin for the last 2 hours, topping up with groundbait and caster and managed a further 3 carp and a good skimmer on double maggot for a total of 25-1 and 4th place.

Peg 16, Ryan Radford

Ryan fished a tidy match but didn't seem to have any fish in front of him ... Dnw

Peg 18, Pete Uzzell

Pete seems to like drawing this peg although the peg doesn't seem to like drawing him!
One carp and a few silvers gave him 11-10 and the "must try harder" award.

Peg 20, Chris Gay

Fiortunately Chris didn't need the 30lb ice-breaker that together with the world's heaviest seatbox knocked about 10mpg off the fishing bus's fuel consumption on the motorway.
Chris caught very late down the left margin towards the corner on triple caster (nothing on single or double)!
Apparently the carp turned up in his margin in the last half hour which was too late to make a difference.
Mind you halfway through the match he decided to go down with his landing net and do a bit of swim clearing which may have also cleared out any carp that were in there ... nice logic!
Chris ended up with 22-3 and would have won if we'd fished on for another 30 minutes.

Full Result:

This Sunday we are on Spring lake at Viaduct and currently have 11 / 12 booked in. It should be a good day's fishing so don't miss out!

Monday, 25 November 2013

2014 Match Calendar

Not fully complete as there are a couple of empty dates, and I will be sorting out the weekend away in September over the Christmas holidays.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Harescombe Match Lake, 17 November (15 pegs)

This was our 4th and final trip up to Harescombe this year and I was looking forward to it, especially after last week's match on Campbell which was a bit of a struggle.
For once the weather was expected to be kind with little or no wind and reasonably dry too so it would be interesting to see how we would get on with the venue in decent conditions where presentation wouldn't be a problem.
The Tuesday match had been won with 104lbs with two weights of 99lbs and the previous Sunday had been won with 112lbs so despite the recent drop in temperature it looked like the fish were still very active.
Looking through the recent results showed no particular area standing out although Andy the owner reckoned pegs 5/6 were producing consistently recently (more on this later)!
Incidentally, if you are interested, you can find the match results here.
On to the match then and the pegging was sorted by Andy and almost everyone had an empty peg one side or at least plenty of space.
Payout was 1st and 2nd overall with three section payouts.  As Ryan Radford doesn't go in the pools I did suggest that if Ryan won his section I would leave it to the discretion of the default section winner to hand over part of their spoils to him although this suggestion was met with a rather mediocre response!
As usual I drew last and was left with peg 6 (more on this later).
Being quite an open venue it's quite easy to see (or hear) who is catching and from my vantage point, halfway down the carpark bank I could see plenty of elastic coming from the pegs to my right, most notably Brian Shanks on peg 9, Chris Szakacs 2 down on 13 and Rich Jones to my right on 7.
Jason Bird was sandwiched between Brian and Chris on peg 11 and I couldn't see much elastic coming from his pole although I guessed he had formulated a cunning plan of attack and would come good as the match progressed ( he didn't  though which was a shame)!
At the top end of the lake, fortunately I couldn't see him, Simon Belcham was also off to a tremendous start on the temporary end peg 29.
Luckily for everyone around Simon's neighbour Lionel Legge was keeping score with regular updates of how many fish Simon had .... By the time he reached 84 most were bored!
Mr Shanks meanwhile was steadily putting fish in his net in between losing fish and snagging the far bank undergrowth.
On the other side of the lake Derek Lucas had gotten off to a flying start on peg 18  (yes, you read that correctly), as had Stevie Wynne on 22 and I could just about make out Darren North opposite me on the other temporary end(ish) peg 24 putting a few in his nets.
And that was pretty much how it ended up with Brian Shanks taking the honours with 74-2 just ahead of Simon Belcham's tremendous weight of 70-0.
Miraculously Chris Szakacs' estimated 40lbs suddenly grew into 68-15 for third place.
Section winners were Dean Malin's bitch, Alan Healey (by default), Chris Szakacs (also by default) and Stevie Wynne who won his section fair and square and never broke anything so a good day for him!
Not a good day for Jason Bird however as he was well and truly "chip-shopped" between Brian and Chris, oh dear!
I did take the trouble to find out the secrets of the top 3's success.
Simon's response was "clean living" which made sense really as I wasn't expecting a sensible answer.
Brian and Chris were a little more forthcoming....
Brian caught on double maggot over kindered micros, feeding approximately 15 micro's after four fish.  He caught mostly on the shelf with a few fish caught down the shelf.
Chris fished similarly but fed maggots and found lifting his rig a few inches would induce more positive bites.
Neither admitted to lashing bait in with a polecup, lesson learnt! 
See below for the scores on the doors.

Oh, and back to what happened on peg 6.  Not a lot to be honest!
I've always been a believer in the saying:
"Fail to prepare and prepare to fail" so with this in mind I sacrificed my normal Saturday dose of Ola Jordan on Strictly and set about making up some "special" F1 rigs which included ultra sensitive floats, light (0.12) line, size 16 Tubertini 808 hooks and lots of tiny no. 11 shot that could be spread around as required.
I also equipped a topkit with some light elastic so all was looking good.
I started the match feeding 2 spots at the bottom of the far shelf with micros and dead reds, a cup of the same went down the track and also in front of the empty platform to my left.
Starting at the bottom of the far shelf not much was happening apart from a few tiny skimmers on drm's and after flogging a dead horse for 30 minutes it became apparent that everyone else were catching in the shallow water on top of the far shelf which I hadn't accounted for in my clever plan of attack.
So a pot of feed was dumped up there while I fished around in the box for a suitable rig.
The best I could come up with was a shallow rig left over from the summer which had what looked like 0.18 line and a 14 B911 on but it would have to do and that was stuck on a topkit with 16 elastic in ( another leftover from the summer)!
I messed around with this rig up on the shelf with 2 or 3 drm's on the hook but it was a major struggle and was only producing small silvers and the odd half-decent suicidal carp/f1. Those that I did get seemed to be a bit bigger than what most people were catching but they were very few and far between and my best fish turned out to be a chub of about a pound and a half.
Corn produced sod all and the platform swim gave up a small skimmer and a missed bite.
I spent the last half hour down the track which produced a few tiny things and a last gasp decent carp in extra time just seconds before I called the "all out" ... Funny that!
Anyway the end result of that dismal performance was 20-8 for 15th (my fingers won't allow me to type the "L" word. But at least I never chickened out of weighing in and it was still an enjoyable match with plenty of bites for most of us which is what you want this time of year.
Next week we are on Woodlands at Trinity and at the moment we are a bit light on numbers so don't be shy.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Viaduct, Campbell, 10 November (15 pegs)

After a week of wind and rain the weathermen had promised a bit of a respite today and they were right and although the overnight temperature only just held above freezing we were blessed with a warm(ish) and clear day with hardly any wind for the second fixture of the Psv Winter Series.
For whatever reason however, maybe the weather conditions, the recent top up of cold rain or the start of the winter pellet ban, the fish decided to shut up shop for the day and it was tough going and not just for us as the matches on Cary and Lodge were also a struggle.
Apart from a few odd fish coming out around the lake, Mike Wilson had one early on the pole and Matt Taynton also snared one early on the waggler, most of us were resigned to the frustration of motionless floats and rod tips and even the silvers were refusing to cooperate.
As the day went on though a few pegs were showing signs of activity with Chris Szakacs finding a few fish on the 14m line down on 129 and both Matt Taynton and Will Dearlove (126 & 116) catching odd fish on the waggler with corn as was Brian Shanks on 119.
And that was pretty much how it finished up with Chris Szakacs (pictured below) winning fairly convincingly with 54-10 caught on meat at 14m.
Chris is on a bit of a roll at the moment having won or framed in every match he's fished recently. 
He has been doing well lately catching down the edge over groundbait although this week he tried something a little different and fed a Samsung Galaxy S3 down the edge. I tried to call him later to ask how he got on but unfortunately his phone was switched off!

Will Dearlove took second place with 41-0 caught on corn on the waggler and Brian Shanks was 3rd with a similarly caught 32-10. 
Silvers went to Simon Belcham with 13-6 from peg 112 which came as no surprise as Simon is the only club member with the patience to target fish that aren't capable of pulling a float all the way under for six hours.
Bob Warren did once go through a phase  of chasing silvers glory, no doubt under the influence of his midweek carer Mike Nicholls, but he has now regained his senses and even managed to catch proper fish on the lead today.
Seond in today's Silvers pool (yes, 2 silvers payouts today in the absence of Kev Jefferies) was Mark Radford with 9-2 from peg 110.

Full Result:
  1. Chris Szakacs (peg 129) ...... 54-10
  2. Will Dearlove (116) ....... 41-0
  3. Brian Shanks (119) ....... 32-10
  4. Ryan Radford (118) ....... 23-8
  5. Matt Taynton (126) ........ 22-0
  6. Bob Warren (130) .......... 20-8
  7. Simon Belcham (112) ..... 13-6
  8. Mark Radford (110) ........ 13-2
  9. Steve Burgess (127) ....... 9-13
  10. Derek Lucas (123) .......... 4-12
  11. and 5 dnw's

  1.  Simon Belcham ........ 13-6
  2. Mark Radford ............ 9-2
  3. Matt Taynton ............ 5-12
  4. Derek Lucas ............. 4-12
  5. Brian Shanks ............ 3-12
  6. Chris Szakacs ........... 3-5
  7. Steve Burgess ........... 2-9
  8. Bob Warren ............... 2-0

Finally, just to clear up a bit of confusion, the match at Trinity on the 24th is on Woodlands and not Ash Pool and there are plenty of spaces available so book now to avoid dissappointment.
And also, could I have names please (and ideally) deposits for the Christmas match so that I know how many prizes to get.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sedges, Tile, 03 November (10 pegs)

It was a bit of a chaotic start for me today as the fishing bus (which had been loaded up the night before) decided it wasn't going to start unless it had a new battery so a hasty phone call resulted in fishing bus no2 being brought into service much to the delight of its owner, Derek, who was waiting for me with his kit in his back lane.
Luckily for us though there were only three people in The Hilltop Cafe so we never had to wait for breakfast and we arrived at The Sedges just about in time to cobble together something resembling a draw.
Jamie wasn't about today as he was fishing the first of the "Teams of 3" at Avalon (see here for results) so Denise was in charge of the hut and she reckoned it was best to leave out the pegs at the bottom end as the fish had pushed up the lake a bit.
So with only ten fishing it was a simple case of every other peg going in which gave everyone plenty of room.
The match itself started slowly with a few odd fish coming out around the lake but nobody seemed to be setting the world on fire.
I had a small carp early on the tip as did Matt Taynton on peg 24. 
I could also see Brian Shanks opposite on 33 sneaking a few out and although fortunately, Chris Gay was out of sight hidden by the island on 37 apparently he was getting a few small carp on the method feeder.
And Steve Wynne was having a bit of an adventure in peg 22 hooking and losing fish on the shallow wag along the end bank.
Lionel Legge was also suffering a few mishaps in peg 30 but luckily he didn't manage to fall off his box (see pic below)

As the day went on though things picked up and the last 90 minutes saw the fish switch on and get their heads down.
Chris Szakacs in peg 31 ( yes he drew another corner peg ) had a late run of big fish from down the edge catching on worm over groundbait and Rich Jones was tackling some proper lumps from the margins in peg 26 after following some tactical advice from Tony Rixon and filling his margins in with caster ( it worked)!
Winner on the day was Chris Gay with 62-0 of small carp caught on the method with a popped up expander plus a few from down the edge on dead maggots,
Second was Chris, corner peg, Szakacs with 58-10, just ahead of Brian Shanks who had 57-10 and avoided framing by 1lb (must try harder).
Silvers, in the absence of Simon Belcham, went to Rich Jones with 7-4
As for myself, I drew peg 28 which I was happy with as this was the most consistent area last winter.
Last night I had a dream that I was catching huge bream that wouldn't fit in the landing net and it's very rare for me to dream about fishing so I took this as some kind of premonition and with that in mind I set up a rig for on the deck at 11m with light elastic and fed it at the start with 4 babies heads of sweet/fishy groundbait laced with a couple of big handfulls of micros.
I also put a feeder set-up together and I would have set up a waggler for on the deck further out but I didn't have time so I put together the shallow wag rod that was in the bag and set it at about 3 foot deep.
I never had a touch on that so never mind.
To start off I chucked the feeder out with a piece of punched meat in the general direction of the island and had a 2lb carp in the net after 10 minutes.
That was a "false dawn" though as it took almost an hour to add another.
By then it was about time to try the 11m skimmer line and with a soft pellet on the hook I was in to a small carp almost straight away followed by its brother and then it died so I plopped in another 2 babies heads (still thinking about my dream of a bream bonanza) and then hooked a proper carp that took an age to land on skimmer elastic. 
After that the 11m line died a death so I fed it again and left it to settle while I had a play about with the feeder/ lead which didn't produce.
Another look at 11m produced a 4oz skimmer (happy days) followed by 2 foul hooked (and lost) carp which completely killed the swim so I went down the edge with caster which only produced a few roach and not the anticipated crocs that Rich Jones was struggling with next door so, having run out of options, I went back to the 11m line and spent the last 15 minutes of the match wrestling a near-double figure fish which boosted my total to 34-2 and no trip to Curry Kings!
And on a lighter note I had a chat on the phone earlier with  Alan Healey.
He didn't fish our match today as he was fishing the open on the main lake at Shiplate with his sidekick Des Malin, practicing for the winter series, which Dean (Des) is currently winning with 2 wins out of 2 matches (plus a golden peg win).
Unfortunately though, they both crapped out today and to add insult to injury, they got drowned in torrential rain whereas 14 miles down the road at Sedges, other than a few light showers, it was quite pleasant.
I will be sleeping with a smile on my face tonight knowing that!

Full Result:
  1. Chris Gay (peg 37) ....... 62-0
  2. Chris Sakacs (31) ........ 58-10
  3. Brian Shanks (33) ....... 57-10
  4. Rich Jones (26) .......... 54-12
  5. Matt Taynton (24) ....... 52-11
  6. Lionel Legge (30) ........ 35-10
  7. Steve Burgess (28) ..... 34-2
  8. Ron Hardiman (35) ...... 28-2
  9. Derek Lucas (39) ......... 21-12
  10. Steve Wynne (22) ........ 12-0
  1. Rich Jones ..... 7-4
  2. Chris Szakacs .... 4-12
  3. Brian Shanks / Derek Lucas .... 4-8
And finally, a reminder that the meeting this Tuesday is at The Horseshoe (not The Spinner) and I will be readily accepting monies for the Christmas Match prizes.
And finally finally, the winter pellet ban will be in force for Sundays match at Viaduct.