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Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter Eggstravaganza, Viaduct, Campbell, 20 April

20 fishing today and Steve had pegged it slightly different than usual leaving out the set-back pegs (113 & 117) and putting in 121 and 135 instead which are in the middle of the end banks.
It's been a long time since I've seen these pegs fished and the last time I remember the match was won from 135 by Mark Britton, which shows how long ago that was as Mark hasn't been allowed to go fishing for quite a few years now.
On that day, if I remember rightly, he narrowly beat Bob Warren (his travelling partner) into 2nd and it was also the golden peg.
Anyway, payout today would be top four and two silvers, the same as the last time we fished here back in mid-March which saved me any early morning maths as I used the same figures from the last match.
As an added bonus, all the framing places got an Easter egg because I'm good like that!
Unusually for me I was running a bit late but I arrived to find that the ever-dependable Will Dearlove had collected up all the money and got the pegs, coffee tin and weighboard all sorted so when it came down to the now inevitable Mexican standoff for the last peg I was going to give in but he dived in first and picked 135 which looked like a good draw today and I was left with 132 which was the golden peg so I wasn't too disappointed either regardless of the fact that the last time round Stewart Riddle was in here and moaned his way to a dnw.
Since then the fish have spread out a bit around the lake and besides, I planned to fish it a bit different to how Stewart tackled the peg which involved 0.10 hooklengths and 4 elastic.
Incidentally, Ron Hardiman was hanging around the end of the draw queue and he picked the third from last peg which was 118, the peg he won from last time with 201lbs and with nobody in 117 he was also an happy (Easter) bunny.
For company today, I had Pete the meat Uzzell in 131, Darren North in 130 and Mark Radford on this side of the spit on 129.
As already mentioned, Will was around the corner in 135 and opposite me were Rich Britton in 110, Keith Ray in 111 and Mike Wilson in 112.
My plan of attack was fairly simple, a lead rod that was already set up, a wagg rod (also ready made up) that was only set up as it was new and I wanted to christen it but that never happened, and two pole rigs, one for straight out at 11m with meat and one for into the corner as close as I dared to the big over-hanging willow tree.
I didn't bother to plumb up the margin tight into the bank past the tree as even though it looked very inviting I expected there to be a fair bit of branches and other rubbish there which would be a bit of a nightmare so I was hoping to tempt the inhabitants out of the snags and into the clearer water where I would have more chance of hauling them out ...... that was the plan anyway!
So with not much to set up we were started on time for a change.
On the start I fed both the pole lines with pellet and meat and went out on the lead over towards the left bank and began the pellet barrage.
Most of my neighbours had started off in pretty much the same vein, except for Darren North, who had started off on the pole fishing shallow, no doubt in an effort to get one over on Brian Shanks who doesn't like being beaten on his speciality, least of all by one of his employees.
It wasn't very long before Rich Britton was reeling in his first fish and Pete Uzzell, Mark Radford and Will all followed suit but it took a fair while before my rod tip headed towards Somerton and put me back into contention and my first pellet went on the tray, which was my version of a fish-counter as I didn't want to do a "Chris" and fall foul of the 70lb net limit. 
My thought was to start a second net after 10 pellets which would allow for an average size of 7lbs and hopefully give me room for error.
As time went on my early confidence was fading as for some reason bites were hard to come by and it was looking like my pellet counter was going to be a bit pointless.
Pete had also cottoned on to the pellet counter trick only his pile of pellets was growing at a much greater rate than mine.
A switch to the pole with meat produced a fish almost instantly and for a moment I thought the tide had turned but it hadn't as nothing followed.
An early look down to the tree produced a fish straight away on meat, followed by a sailaway bite that I missed completely probably due to me not concentrating and then another fish that wasn't having any of it and won a tug-of-war battle under the tree by breaking my hooklength.
In the meantime, everyone around me seemed to be doing better except maybe Darren who was being a bit grumpy.
Will was catching anywhere and everywhere, Rich Britton was hooking brambles, snapping pole sections but still getting a few and Pete was being smug and giving me a running count of how many pellets he had on his tray!
With two hours left I was going nowhere slowly switching between the lead the pole and the rain that was forecast had started.
Going back down to the tree produced a big foul-hooked fish that I managed to get in but then went dead, so I threw caution to the wind, shortened the rig and stuck another section on to fish past the tree tight to the bank.
This resulted in almost a bite a chuck although I did pull out of a few due to pulling too hard and I probably doubled my pellet pile in the last 30 minutes, so that was a lesson learned.
Another lesson learned was that the pellet counter system I had developed doesn't work in the rain and by the end of the match I was left with a pile of mush on my tray.
The weigh-in was a bit of a nightmare as when Steve turned up with the scales the heavens opened making it almost impossible to write the weights down.
I ended up having to add up all the weighs in my head and then quickly open the folder and put the totals down but even so, by the time I got to Brian Shanks on peg 123 the pen was completely dead and the weigh-sheet was turning to paper-mache.
I was first to weigh and my pile of mush gave me a total of 12 fish for 65-11 so my estimated average of 7lbs per fish was a bit over-cautious.
I was soundly beaten by Pete "the meat" who had 77-15 despite me telling him his peg was crap at the start. 
The lake hadn't fished too well on the whole but the winner once again was Rocket Ron on 118 with 167lbs exactly which now makes Ron the club's current "big weight" specialist - a title he may not be too happy with!
Ron caught all his fish on meat on the lead and also on the pole.
Second was new signing Andy Gay on 115 with 83-0, followed closely by Rich Britton with 82-5 and Mark Radford with 80-5.
I didnt manage to get all the silvers weights but Brian Shanks won that with 16-1 from peg 123 and Darren was 2nd with 8-something so despite the "attitude" he still went home with 30 notes and an Easter egg and left with a smile.
The same couldn't be said for Chris Szakacs as although he caught a few fish, three of his pole sections got blown in to the lake at the end, he managed to rescue two of them but he was forced to strip down to his budgie-smugglers and go for a swim to retrieve his number 4.
Steve Wynne had similar troubles but he chose to shrug his shoulders and laugh it off as his matches usually involve some kind of disaster and he's used to it.
Steve Long did say he'd put his chest waders on and have a hunt for his sections for him which was good of him so hopefully Steve should be reunited with them in the near future.


Full Result:
  1. Rocket Ron Hardiman (peg 118) ...... 167-0
  2. Andy Gay (115) ............... 83-0
  3. Richard Britton (110) ........ 82-5
  4. Mark Radford (129) .......... 80-5
  5. Pete the meat Uzzell (131) .. 77-15
  6. Chris Szakacs (114) ......... 77-7
  7. Al Healey / Rich Jones (126 / 127) ... 75-4
  8. Steve Burgess* (132) ....... 65-11
  9. Brian Shanks (123) .......... 65-9
  10. Will Dearlove (135) ........... 64-2
  11. Lee Waller** (116) ........... 63-7
  12. Simon Belcham (125) ....... 57-13
  13. Adam Caswell (121) .......... 52-2
  14. Mike Welling (128) ............ 48-11
  15. Mike Wilson (112) ............ 47-11
  16. Darren North (130) .......... 41-11
  17. Stevie Wynne (119) .......... 35-2
  18. Ryan Radford (124) .......... 23-0
  19. Keith Ray (111) ............... dnw
**golden peg
***silver peg

Next week we are at Sedges on Tile Lake and we have all 20 pegs taken at the moment but the pegging is quite generous so it should still fish well.
Sunday's match was won with 144lbs from peg 40 which is the peg I've drawn in the last two matches we've fished there so that should be interesting, especially towards the back of the draw queue!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Avalon, 13 April 2014 (21 pegs)

This time round I thought it wouldn't be necessary to bore you with the intricate details of how I managed to catch 2 carp, (one on meat from the margin and one that tried to drag my tip rod into the lake)
And a solitary skimmer on lead / pellet, plus a rudd that took a shine to an 8mm pellet on the shallow wag to give me a grand total of 13lbs.
Similarly, I had no intentions of mentioning that I put four of my best floats in a tree.
I also wasn't going to bore you with the fact that there were 2 pegs left in the drawbag ... one was peg 24 (one of the best pegs on the lake and the golden peg that was worth £100), the other being peg 3 which couldn't have been more undesireable,
and that Will Dearlove ran to his peg as fast as his little legs could carry him with a smug grin on his face.
I wasn't going to mention the fact that the first carp that I hooked in the margin would have secured me another section win if it hadn't have swam out of the landing net on the first attempt and then shed the hook just as it was about to revisit it.
And I definitely wasn't going to say anything about the fact that Alan Healey weighed exactly the same as me but  his weight included 4oz of micro pellet and Vic Bush wouldn't re-weigh him.
But it seems I have done!
What I did intend to do though was to impress you all with my awesome photography skills (below)

Signed & framed prints available from the Psv online shop

So having not mentioned any of the above, on to the nitty gritty.
21 fishing today with 20 in the pools so the payout was top 2 overall, 2 silvers as there are now 25lbs of skimmers on every peg (apparently they've grown a bit) and 4 sections of 5 anglers to give everyone half a chance of picking up something.
Vic had sorted the pegging for us giving us 5 pegs round the back of the Long Island at the top (good) end of the lake so a decent bit of room for all and it was a glorious day for a change with almost unbroken sunshine and a gentle breeze so some good weights were anticipated.
Unfortunately it didn't quite go to plan as the lake fished much harder than expected.
It turned out to be a 3-horse race between Will on golden peg 24, Brian Shanks on 9 and Rich Britton on 12.
But when conditions favour fishing the pellet wagg Rich takes some beating and today was no exception with Rich taking the honours with 54lbs caught on the wagg and straight lead along the end of the island.
It was close though as Brian finished just 1½ lbs behind with 52-8 caught on the pole shallow with pellet.
Will had a bit of a "torrid" day losing 16 fish down the edge and his catch rate wasn't helped when an inquisitive pleasure angler decided to stand on the bridge and lean over the water where he was fishing.
Will did put him right but the damage had already been done. Just as well it wasn't Dean Malin fishing the peg!
The silvers honours went to Matt Challenger on 16 with 30-3 of mainly skimmers and a 3lb 8oz python all caught on worm over chopped worm / caster so Vic's estimate of 25lbs was pretty well spot on.
Runner up in the silvers was Alan Healy with 8lbs from peg 11.
Section winners were: Chris Gay (peg 5), Chris Szakacs (20), who was the only one to weigh in in that section and Mark Radford (26).
There was a bit of controversy however, as in the 3rd section 4 out of the 5 anglers framed which meant that Stevie Wynne would have claimed the section by 4x default if he had weighed in (which he didn't), so after a steward's enquiry it was decided to pay the unclaimed section money to 3rd place (Will), giving Mark Radford that section by default which everyone agreed was the fairest way to resolve the situation.
So a lesson to be learned there!

Full Result:
  1. Rich Britton (peg 12) ...... 54-0
  2. Brian Shanks (9) ........... 52-8
  3. Will Dearlove* (24) ........ 47-0
  4. Matt Challenger (16) ..... 33-11
  5. Mark Radford (26) ......... 31-3
  6. Chris Szakacs (20) ........ 29-9
  7. Chris Gay (6) ............... 15-9
  8. Ryan Radford (30) ......... 15-5
  9. Steve Burgess (3) / Alan Healey (11) ... 13-0
  10. Adam Caswell** (7) ....... 11-5
  11. Keith Ray (29) .............. 10-12
  12. Ron Hardiman (5) .......... 10-5
  13. Derek Lucas (1) ............ 4-13
  14. and 7 dnw's
* golden peg 
** silver peg

  1. Matt Challenger (16) ..... 30-3
  2. Alan Healey (11) ........... 8-0
  3. Adam Caswell (7) ......... 7-11
  4. Mark Radford (26) ........ 5-8
  5. Will Dearlove (24) ........ 4-8
  6. Keith Ray (29) ............. 2-4
  7. etc

Next week we are back at Viaduct (Campbell) which is a full house with a reserve list, so if anyone who is booked in can't make it can you please let me know sooner rather than later to enable someone else a chance to fish.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Harescombe Match Lake, 30 March (17 pegs)

Over the course of the last few months I have gotten into the habit of paying for my morning paper with ten pound notes (whenever I can), the reason being so that I have plenty of £ coins to hand out on Sundays.
But I have now found myself in a bit of a predicament as there is nowhere left in the fishing bus to store them all.
Anyway, (more on that later) with 17 fishing today I entrusted fishery manager Andy with the pegging which gave everyone an empty peg to one side and with the weather forecast to be warm and sunny with a bit of breeze, conditions were ideal.
Payout today was to be top 3 plus 3 sections, 2 sections of 6 and 1 with 5 in!
No silvers pool as here the silvers go in the same net as the mini F1's and the bigger fish go in a separate net.
I made sure I had the last peg and for the second week running was left with peg 1 which is a corner with plenty of options and not much to complain about.
For company I had Rich Jones in 29 which used to be a corner but is now a secluded bay since part of the hillside became a major feature of the lake.
And Mark Radford in 3. The rest of my section was made up of Steve O Toole, Darren North and another new signing, Andy Gay (no relation to Chris).
I set three rigs up. A shallow rig for across to the island with a banded 6mm, a rig for the bottom of the far ledge and a rig for the margins.
I would have set up a couple more but the rabble were getting a bit restless by 10:07 so I shouted the "all-in" before I had my nets in and let them get on with it.
It was soon apparent there were plenty of fish up this end as both Rich, Mark and myself all caught well from the off.
Rich looked to be doing the best partly due to the 5 minute head-start and his being super-organised and having 3 pole rollers set up.
After feeding some wetted micros and meat in various places and pinging some 4mm's over to the island  I started on the shallow rig with a banded 6mm over towards the corner of the island at 14m and caught straight away.
I was having a bit of a mare to begin with as with my 1-roller setup I was having to break my pole down twice to ship back up the slope behind but after a couple of adjustments I got it reasonably sorted though it still wasn't quite right.
Rich jones meanwhile was catching anywhere he could get his bait in the water and Mark (pictured below) was fishing tight over with soft pellet and doing his best to try to convince me and anyone else who could be bothered to listen that he was being battered by the two of us but it can be a bit tricky to hide what you're catching from someone sat next to you.
I had a bit of a quiet spell mid-match when the fish seemed to back off and a look on my other lines kept a few fish coming until they returned with a spot towards the left edge at 14m producing a few better fish by lifting and dropping small pices of meat on the deck but I was having to wait too long for bites for it to be worthwhile and I was soon back out on the shallow rig by which time the fish had returned.
The last hour was quite frantic for all three of us and I was getting bites non stop but the fish were snatching at the pellet and I was getting foul-hookers and pulling out of a lot.
Being tucked out of the way up this end, and with no Adam Caswell to provide a running commentary, I couldn't really see what was going on around the lake but it seemed that other than the three of us, and also Lee Waller and Brian Shanks on the far end pegs (15 & 16), nobody else was setting the place alight and that's how it finished up with Mark lying his way into first place with 71-0, Brian second with 61-13 caught mainly on corn down the edge (I think), and Lee 3rd with 60-13 caught on (not too sure)
I managed to scrape the default section money (and 4th overall) with 59-9 beating Rich by just 5oz so that last fish netted on the all-out made all the difference for me,
Jason Bird won the middle section, which also had Brian & Lee in, with 27-7 from peg 9 and in-form Ryan Radford won the small section with 39-5 from peg 21, earning Uncle Adam Caswell a small bonus as Adam had paid for him to go in the pools this week which, according to Mark, was a good move as it gives Adam a better chance of picking up money!

Although there was no official Silvers pool today, the unofficial silvers was won by Simon Belcham with 6-10 caught on his leftover maggots from the Westerleigh Winter Series.
It's a little known fact that Simon was a member of the team that won the National Mortgage Lenders Angling Association fishing competition not once, but twice ... not a lot of people know that!

Full Result:
  1. Mark Radford (peg 3) ..... 71-0
  2. Brian Shanks (16) ......... 61-13
  3. Lee Waller (15) ............. 60-13
  4. Steve Burgess (1) .......... 59-9
  5. Rich Jones (29) .............. 59-4
  6. Ryan Radford (21) ......... 39-5
  7. Steve O Toole (4) .......... 37-2
  8. Alan Healey (19) ............ 29-4
  9. Matt Challenger (22) ....... 28-6
  10. Jason Bird* (9) .............. 27-11
  11. Ron Hardiman (10) ........ 20-10
  12. Andy Curry (13) ............ 16-2
  13. Simon Belcham** (12) ... 15-10
  14. Darren North (6) ........... 9-7
  15. and 2 DNW's (including Pete Sivell again)
*golden peg 
**silver peg

And finally, going back to what I mentioned earlier about my pound coin predicament, well it wasn't made any easier today by Allan Healey, Pete Sivell, Jason  Bird or Andy Curry and so if they don't start trying a bit harder I'm going to have to find a bigger coin pot in the van,
Fortunately for the aforementioned, I didn't go on about it too much ... Or did I?

No match next Sunday (I'm away for the weekend and didn't want to loose any league points) but there is a meeting on Tuesday night at The Horseshoe where I will be taking bookings for our next matches which are ,,,
Avalon on 13 April
Campbell on 20 April (Easter weekend)
Sedges (Tile) 27 April 
and Hillview 04 May