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Monday, 29 September 2014

Trinity, Woodlands, 28 Sept

Originally I had seventeen booked in for this match but by Thursday that number had dwindled down to 10 so I gave Misha a ring to let her know that we wouldn't want the whole lake. Come Sunday morning (after 1 more had booked out) I arrived at the lake, a little worse for wear, to find there were only five of us as four hadn't showed up!
At least three of those are usually reliable so I can only assume that somebody, possibly me, had got their wires crossed somewhere along the line but to be fair out of a membership of nearly 40 you would have thought we would have had an half decent turnout at a popular venue like Trinity and with a good weather forecast too!
And not good for the fishery's income either but Misha did have the last laugh by leaving the otter fence switched on which thankfully, Mark Radford discovered before me!
This only reinforced my thinking that perhaps it's time I hung up my match secretary boots and let someone else have a go who can possibly inject a bit more enthusiasm into the club.

Anyway, enough of my whinging and back to the "match" (5 peg knock-up).
Plenty of room then so we spread ourselves out between pegs 6 and 15.
Ron Hardiman was in 6 which was where I would have liked to have been or maybe 8 which was occupied by Mark Radford.
I landed up in 11 but with this much room it didn't really matter much.
I had planned to have a nice easy day, nothing complicated and no 16m section coming out of the holdall.
So, I set up 2 shallow rigs for 14m (one was set for a foot deep and the other at about 3 feet which would double up as a margin rig).
I also set up a rig for on the deck at 6m where it was about 8 feet deep and fortunately this was the same rig from the last day at Holgan farm and was identical in depth within a couple of inches which was handy.
These rigs were all for 6mm hard pellet plus I set up a rig to fish dead maggot over groundbait which seems to be the fashion these days in the right margin between an overhanging bush and a small submerged branch.

The groundbait I had was actually some old green fishmeal method mix but it's all the same to me and I didn't expect the carp to be too fussy either.

At the start I fed a pot of 6mm's at 6m, which erupted into a mass of fizzing almost instantly, and went out on the deeper shallow rig with a 6mm in the band.
That only gave some little dinks on the float that I guessed were roach but after changing to the shallower rig I soon had my first fish which was an F1 (a new one for me at Trinity).
Not much followed on the shallow rig and I was itching to come over the short line which was still fizzing like crazy.
First drop in over that produced a small carp that was shaped like a football, followed by a foul-hooker that made it to the middle of the lake before the hook pulled.
The next fish was a slow-moving dead weight that obviously didn't realise I was trying to pull it out of the lake as, despite my best efforts, it was still milling around on the bottom amongst the feed but when it finally did wake up it cruised straight into the margin where I had plumbed up and transfered the hook into the previously mentioned branch which turned out to be quite a lot bigger than I originally thought, a small tree would be a better description and that was the end of that rig's short life.
So a new rig went on and the next fish tore off at a rate of knots and broke that one at the knot where I'd added a foot of line ... won't be doing that again!
Rig number three on and the next fish was a big bugger that was hooked in the tail and took me an age to get in.  After much fretting, elastic pulling and platform leg trauma I eventually managed to get it in by hand-lining the elastic ... not something I would recommend but it did the job.
I wasn't the only one having problems though,  Matt Taynton next door was having big problems with the undergrowth and seemed to be spending more time putting new rigs on than fishing. 
So after all that commotion I gave the short line a rest and had another go on the shallow line but only got one fish off that.
Back on the 6m line and I had a "run" of 2 skimmers followed by odd carp, some hooked properly but I was loosing lots, probably mostly but not all foul-hooked.
Over to my left I got the impression that Ryan on peg 15 was putting a few fish together and Mr Taynton and myself were even Stevens.
I could hear lots of splashing coming from my right but I couldn't see down that end so I assumed both Ron and Mark were also doing well.
I'd had a look in the margins with four dead maggots on the hook but I had discovered a problem with this method.
It can be a bit problematic if your peg is solid with "eyes" and I reckoned that even if I had put 40 maggots on the hook I would have had the same problem.
Matt was doing something similar and was also getting "roached out" but he must have had better groundbait as he was snaring carp as well, including one that you could put a saddle on (his words) which was worrying.
As it turned out though my efforts had proved fruitful as Ryan weighed in 58-15 to Matt's 46-9 and my nets went 63-12 helped by a couple of late fish including my biggest fish which I had on the shallow rig over the 6m line.
Mark's paste attack let him down badly and Rocket Ron weighed in 56-5 so happy days but a close match and I had achieved my target of catching more today than I did over the three matches last weekend.

  1. Steve Burgess (11) ...... 63-12
  2. Ryan Radford (15) ...... 58-15
  3. Rocket Ron (6) ............ 56-5
  4. Matt Taynton (13) ....... 46-9
  5. Mark Radford (8) ........ 40-15

Finally, I won't be around for Sedges on Sunday as I'm going to Perranporth for the weekend so next week's thrilling installment will be brought to you by Chris Szakacs (if he turns up)!

Holgan Farm 3-Day Festival

Ten of Psv's elite made the 2½ hour journey into deepest, darkest Wales for another go at Holgan Farm, the fishery owned and run by former World Champion Ian (Ronnie Corbett) Heaps.
8 of us were veterans from our last visit back in 2012 which was won by myself in case anyone needed reminding (see here) and the two Lee's, Williams and Waller were the Holgan virgins.
This time round we would all be staying at the fishery, which was a bit more practical than the last time round when we were spread around the Welsh countryside and, as before, the winner of the first match would get first shout on the choice of accommodation.
And this year we were fishing the Carp Lake on day one followed by the Tench / Crucian Lake and finishing off on the Match Lake which was unfortunate as the Match Lake usually produces provides the best fishing and it would have been nice to have been on there on day 1 or 2 when there was no hurry to get started or finished.

Day 1.  Carp Lake

The Carp Lake is the first lake you come across and has plenty of fish-holding  features including  islands, lilys plus some very inviting margins.
The official advice from Ronnie which seemed to apply to all the lakes, was to start down the edge on topkit plus one or two sections and get an early fish there and if you never caught a second fish in the time it takes to smoke a fag to try somewhere else but the important thing was to keep rotating swims after each fish.
The other important bit involved buying plenty of various coloured / sized pellet from the on-site shop (fishery pellet only here) but whatever the advice was, Alan Healey in peg 3 chose to ignore it completely and fished maggot to the island (lots of them) to win comfortably with 70-8.
The rest of us found it tough going, plenty of fish cruising around, plenty of foul-hookers and lost fish but real bites were hard to come by.
Lee Williams did well to sneak into 2nd with 45-4, just ahead of Mark Radford who managed 40-8 for 3rd place.
Despite my best efforts chucking a small waggler to (onto) the island in front of me I could only manage to winkle out four carp for 18-12 but that was good enough for 4th place so a reasonable start points-wise for me but way behind on weight.

  1. Alan Healey (3) ....... 70-8
  2. Lee Williams (19) ...... 45-4
  3. Mark Radford (8) ...... 40-8
  4. Steve Burgess (10) .... 18-12
  5. Mike Welling (7) ....... 17-0
  6. Ryan Radford (29) .... 16-9
  7. Darren North (23) .... 15-2
  8. **** ******* (21) ...... 12-14
  9. Lee Waller (27) ........ 5-0
  10. Derek (13) .... unlucky for some
The evening was spent in The Bush, which was where I'd spent most of my day!
Good food, a few bevvies and the usual nonsense involving pool tables, dartboards and much fishing related rubbish.
Alan spent most of the night on the phone to Dean Malin telling him how good he was!

Day 2. Tench / Crucian Lake

This lake has a bit of a misleading name as the tench are a bit scarce ... talking to one of the regulars beforehand revealed that we would be lucky if 2 tench would show up between all of us.
The crucians are the mainstay of this lake but we had been warned in advance that this lake was fishing really hard (it was crystal clear) and it was likely to be a tough match ... it was!
Ronnie Corbett forcasted 20lbs being a weight to be proud of today and advised the best method would be to fish paste on topkit plus 2 at the bottom of the near shelf.  Most ignored this and concentrated on the mass of lillies that fill the middle of the lake.
I drew peg 21 which put me on the far bank of the lake with Lee Williams for company in 25 which was the peg I was on last time round and was good for 2nd on that day.
My advice for the day was to fish a straight lead tight to the lillies but I didn't fancy that with my dodgy casting so I opted to fish 16m instead which got me within a foot or two to the lillies straight out and tight to them at the 10 o clock position.
My neighbour won the match with 15-8 but was run close by the other Lee (Waller) who weighed 15-2 but had a "torrid" day losing a lot of fish in the pads.
Mind you, he was cracking cans of Thatchers from 10 o clock so his bite reactions were probably hampered.
I started well hooking a big bream within 10 minutes of the start but after a few tentative minutes I lost it at the net .... not happy!
After that I struggled horrendously  and staved off the boredom by fishing caster shallow at 16m for blade roach and half-ounce skimmers.
I never had a sniff of a crucian and never even had the float wobble on the paste line.
My collection of fry gave me the grand total of 14oz and 8th on the day pretty much putting me out of the overall running unless I was to win the final match and Lee and Alan were to go home early.
Ryan Radford gave up early and took a lead rod over to the Match Lake and had 3  fish in about 10 minutes which promised good things for the final day.
After the match **** treated everybody to a lesson in paste fishing on the Carp Lake (see video).

  1. Lee Williams (25) .......... 15-8
  2. Lee Waller (5) ............... 15-2
  3. Alan Healey (29) .......... 9-12
  4. Mike Welling (4) ........... 8-0
  5. Ryan Radford (14) ........ 5-2
  6. Darren North (6) .......... 5-1
  7. **** ******* (8) ............. 3-2
  8. Steve Burgess (21) ........ 0-14
  9. Mark Radford (17) ........ 0-9
  10. Derek Lucas (11) .... oh dear!

The evening was spent on site, following an alcohol-run to the nearby town.
Ronnie Corbett kindly got the chef to do us a deconstructed steak & ale "pie" accompanied by jacket spuds and beans, yep, beans (as requested by **** *******)!!
In hindsight a pizza delivery might have been better and probably cheaper but you live and learn as they say.
The draw for the Match Lake was done in order to save time in the morning and we also did a draw for a pairs match which conveniently partnered me up with Lee Williams so there was some hope for a pickup after all.
Some bright sparks decided it would be a good idea to check out their pegs in the pitch dark and set their kit up while the rest of us spent the night in true "festival" tradition getting bolloxed into the early hours and looking forward to a few fish at last.
Except for Derek that is, who snuck off to bed to watch Match of the Day through his eyelids and **** who spent the evening with Ronnie Corbett and friends watching X-Factor in Ronnie's office / brandy cabinet.

Day 3. Match Lake

As I said the draw had been done the night before so following breakfast we were straight to our pegs and looking forward to a good day's fishing.
Unfortunately the fish had other plans and it was soon apparent that it wasn't going to be the fishfest we were all hoping for.
In fact it was dire.
Mike Welling on peg 28 had an early fish on the waggler fished on top of a sunken island the size of a dinner table that he was sharing with myself.  I could reach it with 16m of pole but Mike needed a hefty chuck to get to it but as I'm not a moaning type I won't dwell on that!
I also had one early down the edge but smoking a fag as slowly as I could I never had another down there.
A few others had their early fish too including Derek at long last, but after that initial flurry of activity it all went quiet. 
Mike had a few more down the edge but he also had one jump out of his keepnet which was to prove costly.
As it turned out, my pairs partner did the business again from peg 22 weighing in 43-8.
**** was second with 33-0, followed by Mark Radford whose 4 bites and 4 fish gave him 32-12.
Mike Welling weighed 31-12 putting him out of the money by 1lb so that lost fish would have got him second on the day ... but there was worse news to come as Mike and Alan ended up level on points for second in the series which meant Alan took the spoils by weight advantage.
That meant Mike's flying fish cost him £60 
There was some consolation though as Mike and Mark Radford won the pairs after tying on points with Lee and myself and scraping through by 2oz ... oh well!
No suprise then that the overall winner was Lee Williams with a near perfect 29 out of 30 points so well done that man.
And, as usual, you can read how he did it by clicking here

  1. Lee Williams (22) ....... 43-8
  2. **** ******* (2) ......... 33-0
  3. Mark Radford (6) ...... 32-12
  4. Mike Welling (28) ...... 31-12
  5. Steve Burgess (3) ...... 20-14
  6. Ryan Radford (17) ..... 14-2
  7. Lee Waller (20) ......... 10-10
  8. Derek Lucas (9) ........ 2-14
  9. Alan Healey (24) ....... 2-0
  10. Darren North (26) ..... dnw

Overall Result
  1. Lee Williams (29 points) ... 104-4
  2. Alan Healey (20) ........ 82-4
  3. Mike Welling (20) ...... 56-12
  4. Mark Radford (18) ..... 73-13
  5. **** ******* (16) ........ 49-0
  6. Steve Burgess (16) .... 40-8
  7. Ryan Radford (16) ..... 35-13
  8. Lee Waller (15) ......... 30-12
  9. Darren North (10) ..... 20-3
  10. Derek Lucas (5) ......... 2-14

Monday, 15 September 2014

Holgan Farm Weekend Details


Holgan Farm,
SA67 8DJ

Travelling on the A40 towards Haverfordwest take the third exit off the second roundabout (signposted Robeston Wathen). Follow the road and take the first left turn (signposted Llawhaden).
Take the 1st right turn towards Llawhaden Church and continue for approximately 3 of a mile. Bear left at the stone bridge – DO NOT CROSS IT. The Fishery is located approximately 200 yards past the church on your right hand side.


There are three rooms in the farmhouse
Upstairs is a 3-bed room and a twin room and there is another twin bed room downstairs.
In the new accommodation there is a twin room upstairs and a single downstairs.
All bedding will be provided.


Pools will be £10 per match and £10 for the overall result paying out
top 3 each match (£50, £30 & £20) and the overall series result paying out the top 2 (£60, £40).
The overall result will be worked out on a points basis
10 points for a win, 9 for second etc so that the maximum points would be 30.
And if the points are tied then it will be decided on overall weight.
This is the same points system as last time and it seemed to work ok as I won it!

Fishery Information:

Keepnets and Landing nets are provided.
Feed pellet must be Sensas pellet / groundbait (sold on site) but you can use any pellet or paste for hookbait.
Meat can be used but only on the hook
There are no restrictions on maggot / caster / worm or corn (I think)!

Day 1: Carp Lake

Breakfast has been organised for 8:30 for those that want it (not included in the package).
Fishing times to be decided on the day.
As before, the winner of this match will get the pick of the accommodation.

Day 2: Tench / Crucian Lake

Apparently this lake has been fishing quite hard recently and Ian has suggested bringing some maggot / caster or worm for this lake.

Day 3: Match Lake

Will probably be a 5 hour match but this lake is fishing really well so some good weights can be expected for the last day and will probably decide the overall result ... well not probably, it will!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Viaduct, Campbell, 07 September (18 pegs)

So after a well-deserved two week break in Ibiza spent mostly asleep in various places (according to my son) it was back down to Viaduct.
Mind you, I almost never went as I spent all day Saturday suffering from a severe dose of man-flu and after spending the evening in one of Staple Hill's finest Indian restaurants I booked myself out and phoned my travelling partner at 11pm to tell him I wouldn't be picking him up in the morning (which is normally severely frowned upon but I let myself off on this occasion).

However I woke up at 5am and thought sod it, threw my gear in the van and coughed and sneezed my way down to Shipham for breakfast .... In hindsight I might as well have stayed in bed as arriving at the fishery we were told by Steve Long that the Saturday open had been a struggle and had been won with just 101-12 from peg 128 and that anyone catching over 100lbs today would do well!
A bit of a shame then as Viaduct has been fishing it's nuts off all summer with most matches requiring 200-plus to frame but never mind, at least the sun was shining (and I'd forgotten my hat)!
It did occur to me that I did bump into Kev Dicks when I went in Scotts on Saturday to pick up a few bits and he asked if I had enough nets as I would need five at least ... kiss of death then!

On to the match then, and seeing as Will Dearlove had done all the hard work, bless him, I let him have the last peg (130) and I took the second last which gave me 127. I wasn't too bothered where I drew as there was almost no wind and there were fish active all over the lake.
For company I had Lee Waller on 128, yesterday's winning peg, and Rich Britton on 126 so a chip shop battering was looking extremely likely but at least it meant I wouldn't need to worry about running out of cigs.
Opposite on 115 was Alan Healey and the six-toed sprat-basher from Bridgwater was up on the top bank on 121 so I had a clear view of where my pound coins would be heading.
The corners were occupied by Chris Szakacs on 110, Ryan Radford on 132, Chris Davis on 119 and Kev Jefferies on 123 which would be interesting......
I didn't have much of a plan formulated as I hadn't looked at my kit for three weeks so it would be a simple day with just 8mm pellet for bait and feed at 9m, 13m (shallow and on the deck) and in the right margin plus a lead rod and a wag rod were looked at and abandoned as they were in an horrendous tangle in the rod case so it was to be "pole-only" for me today. 

After the almost on-time start, as predicted not a lot was happening.  Rich Britton had an early fish on the lead (which was worrying) as did a few others on various methods including myself getting one on the 13m "deep" rig first drop, but nobody seemed to be running away with it except for Derek, my ex travelling partner, on 135 who had five carp in the first hour which is probably the best hour's fishing he has had for about four years!

Lee next door was struggling to get a bite from anything as was Alan Healey and a few others.  And those that were getting fish were losing as many as they were netting.
Rich Britton was managing to put a few together by swapping between the lead and the shallow wag and I was getting odd fish on the pole but was missing loads of bites, some were sailaways maybe liners and the float was going under every couple of minutes but I wasn't connecting with hardly anything apart from the previously mentioned carp and a baby tench plus one good skimmer that thought it was a carp.
It didn't help much either that I couldn't see the yellow float tip against the glare from the sun and was relying on either Rich Britton telling my float had disappeared  or waiting for a load of elastic to come out of the end of the pole which is always a good indication that something has taken the bait!
At one point I struck at a bite and spooked a couple of shallow fish so I went out on the shallow rig and had one almost straight away but nothing followed and that was the only fish I had on that rig so no more on that as they say.
Back out on the deck rig and I hooked a fish that tore off like a foul-hooked train towards Colin Butler on 112 so I stuck the pole under the water and braced myself for the inevitable but it didn't happen and after much elastic pulling I got it within netting distance and realised that it wasn't foul-hooked at all but was a beast of a fish.  Despite having played it almost to a standstill, due to it's weight and there being too much give in the elastic I couldn't get it's head up so tried to net it under the water but it side-stepped the net and went for the platform leg in slow-motion resulting in the inevitable rig explosion and much abuse from all around the lake.
That was enough for me and my "pole-only" day.  I took a timeout and set up a wag rod.

Elsewhere Mark Radford was putting a weight together on 114, fishing long towards the redundant peg 113, Chris Davis was also getting a few fishing into the corner and Rich Britton was still steadily sneaking a few out.
Alan Healey however, had spent the best part of his day hunched over a motionless tip rod feeding the fish that were swirling on the top in front of him whilst rolling fags to keep himself busy (he did have a few breaks to loose fish on the pole line) and Derek was having a rest after his busy first hour and was topping up his suntan.
Lee next to me had started getting a few silvers in between loosing carp, six-toed Lee was getting a few lumps and Adam on 125 had "decided" to go for silvers (presumably as he had foul-hooked a couple of skimmers).

My pellet waggler efforts had produced one tiny carp plus several lost fish, plenty of frustration and a lost rig where the mainline strangely broke on the strike so I was soon back in "pole-only" mode which wasn't much more productive but a couple of 4oz skimmers maybe answered the mystery of the un-hitable bite problem I had earlier.
A look down in the right margin that I had been hand feeding with 8mm's all day gave nothing more than a few tiny dips on the float from the resident fry so that was abandoned and I spent the last hour back out on the pellet waggler.

This time the fish seemed to have gained a bit of confidence and bites were coming thick and fast but unfortunately, of the six fish I hooked in the last hour I only managed to land one.  The rest either pinged off or broke the hooklengths so that will be the last time I will be buying pre-tied banded hooklengths (laziness). Odd too that they were tied to 0.20 powerline when I usually tie my own to 0.16 powerline and don't get that many breakages (I got through the whole pack of 10 today)

Anyway, the 4 o' clock finish came (and went) but I couldn't manage another one in extra time so I called the "all out" and guestimated my weight at 50lbs.
Steve was soon round with the scales having started with Ryan Radford on 132 who had struggled for only 20ish pounds.
By the time the scales arrived Will Dearlove was leading with 74-11, my efforts went 50-6 which was 6oz over my guestimated weight (take note Lee / Alan).
Rich Britton then took over the top place with 89-6 and Adam's collection of foul-hooked skimmers and tench went to 16-7 and was looking safe in that department as Kev Jefferies had cocked up peg 123 and didn't weigh.
Six-toed Lee put 68-6 on the scales robbing me of a pound coin (read all about it here) and it was then round to Chris Davis on 119 who managed 104-1 of carp plus a few silvers for a total of 108-15.
Keith Ray managed 52-8 from 118, Lionel and Alan dnw'd which was unfortunate for Al but good for me as I got my pound back!
And then it was Mark Radford's turn and it was going to be close ....
105-14 of carp but only 2lbs of silvers meant a total of 107-14 so not quite enough but despite the lake fishing well below par it was a very tight result.

Next weekend we're at Avalon and there are plenty of spaces for that one so give me a call if you fancy it.

Full Result:
  1. Chris Davis (119) ........... 108-15
  2. Mark Radford (114) .......... 107-14
  3. Rich Britton (126) ............ 89-6
  4. Ron Hardiman (111) ......... 76-8
  5. Will Dearlove (130) .......... 74-11
  6. Lee Williams (121) ........... 68-6
  7. Keith Ray (118) ............... 52-8
  8. Steve Burgess (127) ........ 50-6
  9. Derek Lucas (135) ........... 43-13
  10. Rich Jones (129) ............. 41-13
  11. Adam Caswell (125) ........ 37-0
  12. Ryan Radford (132) ......... 20-2
  13. Lee Waller (128) ............. 15-2
  14. Colin Butler (112) ........... 13-2
  15. and 4 Dnw's including Alan Healey
  1. Adam Caswell ....... 16-7
  2. Lee Waller ............ 15-2
  3. Colin Butler .......... 13-2
  4. Steve Burgess ...... 5-13
  5. Rich Britton .......... 5-12