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Monday, 25 May 2015

Staunton Court, 24 May (14 pegs)

As usual the first port of call today was the Watersmeet Hotel for breakfast which  is always a good start to the day.
14 fishing so Will pegged 5 on the concrete bank, 5 on the grass and 2 on each end paying out first and second overall, one silvers and two sections.
Some eyebrows were raised at the inclusion of a silvers payout but no concerns from me even though I wouldn't be targeting them.
I drew 14 which put me on the bottom end bank next to Contraversial Chris (Gay) on 13 and Kev Jefferies on peg 1 which was the first peg on the concrete bank.
There were a lot of fish swirling within pole range which was a good sign and the shallow margins in front of Chris were also full of active fish but over in the corner (the famous bin peg) that was occupied by Lee Williams there was a full scale carp orgy going on in the reeds which is never a good sign.
Lots of options in this peg, obviously open water out in front, a long reed lined margin to the left and I remember Ryan Radford drawing it once and breaking his no4 section early on but he caught well later in that match on his topkit so that was another option to think about.
Pole only today so I set up a shallow rig for banded 8's, a deep rig for the same, and a rig for corn tight to the reeds down to the left where it was 2½ feet deep.
Chris had set up pretty much the same but had also set up a kit with a method feeder stuck to the end of it ... contraversial as ever!
He had mentioned earlier that it would take 200lbs to win today, I got the impression he meant he was up for that but he reckoned otherwise, however he was keen to have a pound with me but with a possible £3 loss on the cards for me already (Alan, Adam and Lee) I declined and he had one with Lee instead, in hindsight I should have taken him up on his generous offer.
Bait today was 8mm pellets, corn and 4mm's for the margin and some cubed meat which never got used.
After feeding a pot of 8mm's at 11m and some corn and 4's down the edge I started out on the shallow rig at 11m.
The pellet was under constant attack from bottle-top sized skimmers but I managed to snare a couple of carp quite quickly on this before it went quiet.
Chris had gone straight into his margin where there were still fish swirling but this was only producing skimmers and even the deadly pole/method combination didn't offer up any carp.
Lee had also gone down the margin but was only getting scales.
I kept plugging away with the shallow rig for the first hour and that took me up to four fish from about 400 false bites.
The pole line was by now fizzing like a jacuzzi so I tried the deep rig but that gave more of the same bites from tiny silvers so I didn't persist with it.
I had a look down the edge with a grain of corn on the hook and got the same result but I was hooking some better skimmers down there but they were coming off on the way back due to the heavy elastic so a change of plan was required and I fired a couple of pouches of 4's and corn into the margins while I dug out a lighter rig on light elastic to target these until the carp turned up.
Chris had all but given up on carp and was catching good sized skimmers in his margins.
My attempt at silvers fishing didn't last too long.
After about 10 minutes the float buried accompanied by a huge swirl and 20yds of green knicker elastic headed off towards Kev Jefferies before bottoming out accompanied by another big swirl before something gave way and the rig returned with a little pigtail of line where the hook should have been .... bugger!
I went back down there with the heavier gear but nothing followed.
By now we were past halfway but the only person really doing any good was Keith Ray up in peg 8 on the top end of the grass bank.
Alan Healey on 7 was virtually blanking and getting a lot of stick and Mark Radford wasn't doing much better judging by the moaning coming from his end of the lake.
Most others were on 3 or 4 fish although Contraversial Chris reckoned Lee had a few more than that, the whole lake was fishing badly.
At this point Adam Caswell on peg 9 hit a bit of a purple patch and started catching a few refugees from Keith's peg on his shallow line and making sure everyone in earshot knew about it which was handy as I went back out at 14m shallow and managed to put another 10 carp in the net ... Adam went a bit quiet again after that.
As Keith had by now easily won the match and it was looking to be between myself and Lee Williams for 2nd and we were both admitting to 14 carp although he had one at the death which was a proper net-stretcher.
As expected Keith won it with 110-10 catching on meat and paste down the edge.
Lee's "14" carp went 100-4 for second and you can read all about that here
My nets totalled 78-0 for 3rd (and the section) but I wasn't bitter in the slightest!
Silvers went to Contraversial Chris with 28-0 of skimmers.

Full Result:
  1. Keith Ray (8) 110-10
  2. Lee Williams (12) ..... 100-4
  3. Steve Burgess (14) ... 78-0
  4. Simon Belcham (11) .. 61-8
  5. Darren North (4) ....... 56-6
  6. Chris Gay (13) .......... 54-4
  7. Lee Waller (6) ........... 54-0
  8. Adam Caswell (9) ...... 50-0
  9. Will Dearlove (3) ....... 41-6
  10. Pete Uzz (10) ............31-10
  11. and several dnw's (including Alan Healey)

  1. Chris Gay ...... 28-0
  2. Simon Belcham .... 15-0
  3. Lee Williams ......... 6-0
  4. etc

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Inter-club vs Crapenters Arms, Sedges, 17 May (31 pegs)

Before I venture down the long and drawn out road of self appreciation it's worth mentioning that I fished a match on the Saturday at Docklow pools near Hereford.
It was a 58 peg "knock-up" that had been organised by Norm Sterry through the Match Fishing South West Facebook page.
I have to say that Docklow was a bit of an eye-opener for me as not only do they have 8 well kept lakes, but there are also holiday cottages, a pub/restaurant and a proper tackle shop 
The match itself didn't go quite to plan for me as I treated it like I would do at the venues I'm more used to and to be honest it went a bit "tits up" from start to finish but my peg did look nice ....

Ok so I never bothered to trouble the scales but it still beats work!
And with this in mind I was determined to make up for my failings today so I spent Saturday night making up suitable rigs like proper anglers do.

On to today then and I was on my own in the fishing bus as my usual travelling partner was away watching a non-league football match which his team scraped through by the skin of their teeth to secure a place back in the proper league so well done them.
My first port of call was breakfast at Hilltops which was comical as Trigg was in there quizzing Bela on the finer details of his "random slapping method" while eating lemon meringue pie which is a scene you don't come across every day.

We had 31 between us fishing today on Brick and Tile and everyone was in good spirits with the usual nonsense pre-match banter flying around.
The two team captains sorted out the draw aided by fishery owner Jamie which gave us a fair, if not complicated, mix of pegs and as Carpenters had less fishing than ourselves they kept Stevie Wynne and Rich Jones (who are members of both clubs) and I believe we lent them Keith Ray to balance the numbers (but I could be wrong on that)
The wind was blowing left to right and slightly towards pegs 20 & 40 (looking down the lakes) so I was hoping for a peg with the wind behind me which would make the wag easy to fish, or any corner except 1 or 30.
Most people were hoping for a draw on Brick as it contains a bigger average stamp of carp although Tile has big fish in it but also a lot of smaller ones.
Our lot drew first and I took my chances in the middle and pulled out peg 10 on Brick which is a corner and one of the most desirable pegs out of the two lakes.
Most people would have ran to it but I chose to take a steady stroll with a smug grin and tried to ignore the obvious comments.
Lee Williams drew 30, and he didn't run to his peg either but for entirely different reasons ... never mind!

For company today I had Chris Woolley on peg 9 who apparently is quite an artist when it comes to fishing the paste and legendary amongst his Carpenters Arms colleagues.
Down from him on 8 was, yet again, 2-pegs Taynton who I reckon must have a bit of a man-crush on me considering how often he appears near me on the bank. I think I'll have to print him off a picture to keep under his pillow for the rest of the week!
Behind me (and the tree) was Phil Terry in 31 who I was expecting to do well and next(ish) to him on 33 was our Team Captain Will Dearlove who had somehow managed an empty peg either side of him which was a massive advantage and one not to be squandered in a team match.
Meanwhile Alan Healey, who had drawn 26 on Tile, popped over for a chat and attempted to give me his pound before the match had kicked off but I made him keep it warm and flatly refused to fall for his mind games. I do find it quite comical the depths some people will sink to for the sake of a shiny pound coin!
I did at one point consider walking down to fetch another net before the all in but as I said, I'm not into winding people up.

Anyways, rigs for today consisted of a shallow rig which was capable of supporting an 8mm pellet (unlike yesterday's).
This was to fish tight to the reeds near the tree stump towards the corner and would double up as a rig for "random slapping" in open water.
Next was a rig for the same area but about a meter away from the bank where there was an even depth of about 4 feet and that would be for meat over meat / pellet.
A third rig was set up for meat at 5m at 1 o' clock which was more of an emergency back-up in case all else failed.
Finally a shallow wag rod was set up with a 3ssg float set to 18" as there were quite a few fish swirling all around the peg.
Bait today was nothing fancy, 8mm pellets for the wag (but more like 10's),
2 tins of meat (there's a 3 tin limit at Sedges currently), and a bag of 6mm pellet left over from Docklow for feeding the ducks by the tree stump.
Nothing there to interest the silvers as they were not on the menu today (hopefully)

Will shouted the All-In at 10:30 and after feeding my pole lines I started out on the wag and by 10:31 my float had vanished and I was playing my first fish which took me a bit by suprise, a nice black and yellow ghostie of about 8lbs
Chris next door though was having none of it and also landed a similar sized wag caught fish minutes later and this was how it continued for the first 2 hours with myself and Chris matching each other fish for fish, not loads of them but they were averaging around 10lbs.
And from what I could see of it we were the only ones catching anything of note and especially on the far bank of Brick there was a line of glum looking faces.
The guy in 11 (with the nasty cough) who I had spoken to before the start had said he was going to target down the end bank by the reeds with paste but it seemed that hadn't gone to plan and he was later slinging a wag around to no avail.
A look over my shoulder and I got a big thumbs down from Will who was struggling from his three pegs and he reckoned nobody on Tile was getting a great deal.

After the first couple of hours the wagg line seemed to grind to a halt, bites were few and far between and those I did get I was missing. So I had a look round the pole lines.
The tree stump produced nothing even though I had seen fish moving there and the short meat line gave up one bite that I missed.
I had a go at the random slapping but it only produced one fish that was hooked in the chin.
Chris meanwhile had gone out long with paste and was catching well on it which was concerning as I had hit a wall and was getting nothing.
The bankside rumour mill reckoned Matt Taynton had been catching all day long on the wagg and looked to have it seem up.
With 90 minutes to go I started to get some fish from the tree stump and I was catching well for the last hour adding maybe another 40lbs in that time.
Come the all-out it seemed that Brick had been the better lake and had produced the top 6 weights but Tile had been more consistent with lots of weights  in the 50's and 60's
Matt was the clear winner with 135lbs 2oz followed by myself with 115-14 and then Chris with 91-4 (but still battered from both sides).
Lionel Legge in peg 20 took 4th spot with  79-0.
Top weight on Tile was Keith Ray with 69-13 from peg 22
The top Silvers  went to Colin Butler with 22-7 of skimmers from peg 5
The inter club match was decided on the top ten weights from both clubs and predictably went to Psv with 656-2 against 582-2

Weigh Sheet:

The guy in peg 11 with the nasty cough packed up early, fishless. I reckon he coughed all the fish out of his peg!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Viaduct, Cary, 03 May (20 pegs)

After what could be best described as a dismal match on Horsesoe at Plantations last week I was really looking forward to this match.
And not just because there had been some good weights coming out in recent matches but also because it would be my first match out of the driving seat.
It all started well (almost) with the usual quality breakfast at Shipham and the new staff creating a bit of a stir.
And arriving at Viaduct the new match secretary team had things well under control and organised like clockwork ... even had envelopes for the payouts!
I hung back for the last two tickets and found 77 (that wasn't part of the plan) and Will was left with 96 which was about right.
77 is one of the early pegs on the thin end of Cary on the bank shared with Campbell.  Not a peg I would have run to but at least it was a short walk back to the fishing bus for spare nets (like that was going to happen)!

For Company, yet again it was Matt (2 pegs) Taynton down on 74 who didn't look over the moon about it.
And going up the bank I had Lee Waller on 78 and Lee Williams on 79.

Lee Waller (widescreen)

Lee Williams

Up from them was Chris Szakacs in peg 80 (left side of the spit) which was probably the best draw in this area.
Across from me was the sumo wrestling partnership of Steve Sewell and Paul Preston on 103 & 105 and Chris Gay on 102 who was fishing with a plastic bag on his hand after spending a few traumatic days in hospital after suffering a nasty scratch from his cat (which must be worth an extra sardine)!

Back to my peg then and I'd been hoping for a nice open water peg with plenty of space to chuck leads and floats around so I was a bit scuppered.
And instead the pole was reluctantly drafted into service with a rig for 13m which would also work for up against the overhanging willow tree branches to my left at 5m. That rig was set up with 0.15 to 0.13 and a size 16 808 to fish with corn over 4's and 6's to target anything.
I also set up a waggler for 8mm pellet on the deck out past the pole line and that was it.
No meat today as I'd asked the wife to get me a tin of meat the night before and she came back with a little round tin of "lean ham" so it was corn instead but I was hoping the Viaduct carp weren't too choosy about their dinner.

I won't bang on much about what happened through the match sufficient to say it was frustrating.
I ended up also setting up a lead rod and a shallow wag to tempt fish that were coming to the feed but not having it.
Foul hooked and lost a few on all three rods, managed to land just two (one fouled) on the lead and the shallow wag only produced a big skimmer.
The pole lines produced a handful of silvers before the last hour when the carp finally turned up under the tree and I managed 2 good ones from there before a freak gust of wind took the rig into the tree branches and completely f'ed up my chances of a late charge.
I half-heartedly dropped the wag into the same spot but wasn't concentrating and looked down to find my float wasn't where I left it but was attached to an underwater branch in the margins .... Great!!
And that was that, my unimpressive 4 carp and handful of silvers gave me a grand total of 43-0 which was the top weight for about 10 seconds (Matt had struggled for 23lbs).

Lee Waller had done well on silvers with some nice perch on caster from the other side of the tree for 20-1
Lee Williams whinged out 72-15 see here for the gory details
And then Chris Szakacs took the lead with 123-8 caught partly on the tip and then later catching some Cary "babies" down the edge on meat.
And the leaderboard stayed that way with the closest contender being Alan Healey on 97 with 106-1

Full Result:
  1. Chris Szakacs (80) ...... 123-8
  2. Alan Healey (97) ......... 106-1
  3. Pete Uzzell (86) .......... 99-11
  4. Ron Hardiman (81) ..... 82-1
  5. Will Dearlove (96) ...... 80-3
  6. Lee Williams (79) ....... 77-11
  7. Rich Britton (94) ........ 76-4
  8. Cat Scratch Gay (102) ... 75-3
  9. Mark Radford (100) ..... 64-8
  10. Paul Preston (105) ...... 62-14
  11. Steve Burgess (77) ..... 43-0
  12. Ryan Radford (88) ...... 34-11
  13. Adam Woodland (90) ... 33-5
  14. Steve Sewell (103) ...... 31-3
  15. Matt Taynton (74) ....... 23-0
  16. Lee Waller (78) .......... 20-1

  1. Lee Waller (78) .......... 20-1
  2. Steve Sewell (103) .... 17-5
  3. Alan Healey (97) ....... 14-14
  4. Ron Hardiman (81) ... 11-11
  5. Matt Taynton (74) ..... 11-2
  6. Rich Britton (94) ....... 7-5
  7. Steve Burgess (77) .... 6-12