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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Landsend Match Lake, 26 July (12 pegs)

I thought we had 18 booked in for this one at some point but come Sunday morning that number had reduced to 12 due no doubt to the crappy weather forecast.
Friday had been cold, wet and miserable all day and after a break on Saturday more of the same was due today.
It was mainly down to the fact that I'd not been out for the last two weekends that I was still semi-keen but I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to a day sat on a box in the wind and rain and had to force myself out of bed and, after a hurried stop for nourishment at Shipham cafe, made it to Landsend with about 5 minutes to spare.

Alan was in charge of proceedings, pegging every other peg (almost) and  paying out the top 3 and 1 silvers.
And he also made it pole only to save any controversy which I thought was a good move.
I pulled out peg 17, no complaints as I was on the more sheltered side and Alan wasn't complaining either as he drew 13  which had won the Saturday open with 133lbs although he had Chris Davis opposite on 11 so had his work cut out today. I think Chris has been banned from Ivy house to give Tony Rixon and the locals a bit more of a chance of framing.

For company today I had Rich Jones on 19 and Lee Williams on 15, although I could only see their poles as the trees and bushes have grown back with a vengeance since their trim last year, but this probably wasn't such a bad thing.
Opposite on peg 7 I could make out Lee Waller through the gaps in the trees (he's not easy to miss) and on 5 the Gimp had settled in for the day.

My plans for the day were to fish short (5/6m) and down the edges with corn or meat so that I could easily feed by hand and stay as comfortable as possible, no chasing mud suckers on the far bank today ....
However, as we were tackling up the rain eased off and the wind dropped so I set up a shallow rig for banded pellet across at 14m (or so I thought).

My bait stash consisted of meat and corn to be supplemented by whatever pellet I had left in the bag from the last outing ... there wasn't any, so I paid a quick visit down to Lee Williams to scrounge some 6mm's.

Kicking off the match I fed all the short lines with corn, meat and pellet, pinged a few pellets over to the island and went across with a banded 6mm.
With 14m on I was nowhere near the far bank so I hastily blew the cobwebs off the 16m section and proceeded to annoy the residents by impaling them in places where they didn't want to be hooked and loosing them (some people never learn)!
By the end of the first hour I'd landed 2 (1 in the mouth) and released about 6 although I wasn't counting.
It was a different story for Richard next door as he had adopted a far more sensible approach and stuck to deeper water at 13m and had a great first hour, putting 9 fish in the net so a battering was on the cards.
Both Lees were getting a few as well so it was already looking like a double-battering.
I had a bit of fizzing happening on the left hand 6m line so went in on that with a piece of corn on the hook and it wasn't long before a carp gave itself up.
That was soon followed by a 1½lb skimmer and then a bigger carp that was fouled in the wing and took an age to land having swam round the peg in ever decreasing circles and annoyingly knackered the peg for a fair while.

I spent the rest of the match swapping round the various lines and picking odd fish off.  The margins were disappointing although I think I was being a bit too careful with the bait to make it last, the left hand 6m line seemed the best but I also had fish from the right hand short line on meat and across at 13m, again on meat.
The 16m pellet rig didn't last to the end of the match as the foul-hookers finally got the better of it and although I hadn't took too much notice of what I'd caught, by the "all out" I was guessing at 60lbs, as were mostly everyone else.

Chris Davis didn't disappoint and made the most of his guest pass with 120lbs of mostly small carp.
Alan's "60lb" miraculously grew into 90lbs for second and Chris Szakacs managed 3rd place with 80-14.

The silvers pool was safely covered by The Gimp with 30-4 which included a nice tench and some big skimmers caught on pellet with the rest falling to worm and caster (I think).
My collection of carp and 2 skimmers went 59-12 (no scandalous underestimation from me) which was one of the lower weights on the day
as the lake fished really well overall and it was a close result with 10lbs separating six places so I really quite enjoyed it as the weather wasn't as bad as I was expecting and the only downside was having to give Alan one of his pound coins back.
I wasn't quite so disheartened about giving Lee a pound as it was a fair bit cheaper than buying pellets from Scott's!

Full Result:

  1. Chris Davis (peg 11) .... 122-8
  2. Alan Healey* (13) ...... 90-6
  3. Chris Szakacs (9) ....... 80-14
  4. Lee Waller (7) ........... 77-2
  5. Richard Jones (19) ..... 75-10
  6. Chris Gay (21) ........... 74-10
  7. Pete Uzzell (1) ........... 72-12
  8. Lee Williams (15) ....... 70-13
  9. Steve Burgess (17) ..... 59-12
  10. Lionel Legge (3) ......... 59-8
  11. John Bradford (5) ....... 30-4
  12. and 1 dnw
  1. John Bradford ...... 30-4
  2. Alan Healey ......... 10-8
  3. Chris Szakacs ....... 8-8
  4. Pete Uzzell .......... 6-4

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sedges, Brick Lake, 05 July 2015

Back this week to one of my favourite summer venues, Brick lake at Sedges where, at this time of year, almost any peg is capable of throwing up a match-winning weight and as the carp in this lake average a hefty size you don't need loads of them either.
Generally that will be fishing shallow, either on the pole or wag, or from the margins (or a combination of both).
As the carp here like to hang out in the surface layers they do tend to follow the wind which usually blows up the lake towards the corner pegs (10 & 11) so a draw up that end would be good news.
Good news for me then as Denise handed me the draw basket and out popped peg 11 and even better news was that there would be nobody on 12.

The only downside was that the last time we fished here in similar conditions peg 11 dnw'd which was a slight concern but to be honest not a massive one as there were obviously a few fish in the area today.
The picture above was taken when I got to the peg and it was flat calm then but it didn't stay that way for long.
First out of the bag today was the obligatory pellet wag rod followed by 3 pole rigs.
The first for bottom of the shelf at 13m along the end bank where it was about 5 foot deep to fish with corn and then 2 shallow rigs, with and without bands.
After feeding the pole line with a pot of corn and 6mm pellet it was out with the wag and after about four chucks the first carp of the day was hooked and landed.
Three more followed in the first hour so hardly hectic but I couldn't see anyone else catching so I was happy with that.
And by the end of the first hour most who had started on the wag had long since abandoned it.
As I've found before here the carp weren't taking the pellet on the drop and it was a case of chucking the wag out and firing pellet over the top (as best as possible in the gusting wind) and waiting for a bite.
The trouble with this is that you invariably get a bite while you're loading the catty so a lot of bites are missed and in addition the wind was pushing the float back towards me so that when I did get a bite I often had too much slack line to hit it.
At one point I tried reeling in slowly to keep in touch with the float and just watched the rod tip which worked for one fish.
After the second hour I was up to maybe 7 and my neighbour Ron Hardiman had wandered up and confirmed that nobody else was catching much and it seemed the lake was fishing below par although it can often switch on late here so there was still plenty of time for things to change.
Around midway through the match I had a look on the pole line and hooked a fish straight away, a big red and black koi that I'm sure I've caught before.
Next put in and another fish was hooked and I could tell straight away that this was a big one but it didn't want to come in and kept plodding off until the hook pulled, bugger!
The next fish was a fantail / crucian type thing (most likely an escapee from the canal) that was my only "silver" of the day.
After that I started getting roach holding up the corn hookbait so I dumped a pot of pellet and corn on their heads and after a brief and fruitless look on the shallow pellet rig in the right margin where I'd been throwing pellet at regular intervals, went back on the wag.
This coincided with the first of several torrential thunderstorms which got all my kit and bait completely drenched.
After the second of these downpours the wind suddenly dropped and the lake became flat calm.
This break in the weather allowed me to fish the wag properly and while it lasted I had three or four fish but going into the last hour the wind returned and changed direction and was now coming straight at me making it virtually impossible to fish the float or feed with the catty, especially as my pellet had turned to mush (twice).
Even worse for me was that across the lake on peg 8 Brian Shanks, who had caught hardly anything all day, had a complete transformation and was getting a fish a chuck on the pole.
Every time I looked up he was playing another one or wandering over to the scales on the bank.
At 4:15 I shouted the all out and hoped I'd done enough in the first five hours to hold off Brian's sprint finish.
But when he weighed in a total of 94-3 I was pretty sure I wasn't going to beat him and I was right as my nets went 81-12 for 2nd
Third place went to Chris Szakacs from peg 16 with 77-0 caught late on meat at 5m
Completing the frame was Matt Taynton with 55-14 from peg 4
That place could have been taken up by Lionel Legge but unfortunately his seven carp had an early release when his net slipped into the lake, unlucky!
Top silvers went to Steve Sewell on peg 9 with 15-1 of meat-caught skimmers.

Full Result:
  1. Brian Shanks (8) ......... 94-3
  2. Steve Burgess (11) ........ 81-12
  3. Chris Szakacs (16) ......... 77-0
  4. Matt Taynton (4) ............ 55-14
  5. Steve Sewell (9) ............ 49-8
  6. Rich Britton (14) ............ 43-3
  7. Alan Healey (15) ............ 39-4
  8. Rocket Ron (13)* ........... 39-1
  9. Ross Baker (17) ............. 29-0
  10. Mark Radford (20) .......... 28-10
  11. Colin Butler (10) ............ 27-12
  12. Ryan Radford (6) ........... 22-0
  13. Paul Preston (1) ............ 17-8
  14. Lionel Legge (18) .......... 9-8 (oops)
  15. Julian Nurse (5) ............ 6-5
  16. Adam Caswell (7) .......... 6-1
  17. Lee Waller (3) ....... dnw 
  1. Steve Sewell (9) ....... 15-1
  2. Chris Szakacs (16) ...... 13-2
  3. Paul Preston (1) .......... 12-2

And finally I often hear comments about the amount of kit match anglers take to their pegs and I now know the answer to that as there were four or five guys having a knock-up on the canal lake who I guess were staying in the caravans and were obviously "travelling light" as each of them must have walked behind me about ten times during the match.
I don't think they were from round these parts as one of them stopped for a chat but I couldn't understand a word he said, must have been a northerner (or Welsh).
But anyway that is why we take everything but the kitchen sink, so that we can cater for every eventuality.
Try telling that then to Adam Caswell and Steve Sewell who both never bothered to bring their coats and both got a bit damp!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Avalon, 28 June

Only 10 of us fishing today, the Radfords, Alan Healey and Lee Waller had all opted out in favour of a fifteen peg open on Shiplate's Hawthorn lake and the other half of the match organising partnership had lost his day release pass, but then it wasn't a venue beginning with the letter "V" so no suprise there!
As Adam Caswell had been abandoned by the Shiplate Raiders and Derek wasn't fishing I volunteered to take Adam as it meant a free breakfast in Shipham which was very nice of him and it was enjoyable as ever (especially the views)
With no official match secretaries in attendance it was down to me to sort things out although there wasn't a lot of that to do as Vic had pegged it and Adam was in charge of collecting the money (he's good at that) and even I can't go wrong sorting out a payout for a 10-pegger.
The best part of it was it meant I could start when I was ready and finish when I had a fish on (as if I would really do such a thing)
Loads of room then and the last peg in the bag gave me peg 9.
That put me next to Adam on 11 (golden peg) and Brian Shanks on 7.
Matt Taynton was further down on 5 so at least I would see plenty of fish caught today, to my right at least!

Rigs today were a deepish shallow rig and a deep rig, both for banded 6's at 13m as suggested by Mr Bush and a margin rig to fish tight to the bank under a tree stump where it was still 4' deep.
And of course the obligatory pellet wag to fish with 10mm pellet which I'd picked up instead of 8mm's, due again to my dodgy eyesight, and I will hopefully be getting some free 8's in a minute from Matt Challenger by way of compensation.
(But I may be waiting a while in the shop)
No lead rod today as there's too much skill involved so best left to people who know what they're doing with that one - Giles Cochrane springs to mind.

Kicking off I dumped a pot of pellet and corn at 13m and under the tree stump and launched a few donkey chokers out to the end of the island.
Starting on the deep/ shallow rig I was getting some good silvers straight away which was a bit of a dilemma as they weren't part of the plan but I fancied I could have a good weight of them if I stuck it out but then Brian next door was catching carp from the off on the wag (casting 1.5mm from the grass) so the pole was dumped and replaced with the wag rod.
Unfortunately my casting standard isn't quite in the same league as Mr Shanks and after the first hour I was about 6:1 down to my neighbour and even Adam was ahead of me.
My 13m line was meanwhile fizziing like crazy so I had a look over it with a piece of corn on the hook and had a bream of about 3lbs straight away which sounded promising but was a false dawn as the next fish was a carp hooked in the tail that took ages to land and not much followed.
The middle of the match was a bit of a struggle spent swapping between the 13m rigs and the wag with not much success.
A first look down to the stump with corn and the float buried and an angry carp tore off and wrecked the rig in the reeds, bugger!
Rig 2 went on and angry carp 2 transferred the hook into a snag which I managed to pull out and consisted of a long length of rope connected to a length of electrical cable and was apparently the remains of a straw bale.
Carp 3 put up less of a challenge which was no suprise as it weighed about 12oz and carp 4 was a skimmer that thought it was a dolphin.
Brian had slowed by now from his hectic start to a more leisurely rate but was still a good 80lbs ahead and was having a bit of a battle with Matt Taynton on 5 who was giving him a good run for his money and getting 0.5mm closer to the island than Brian to get takes.
I went for a slightly different approach to save on floats and end tackle by filling in the open water and it worked to a degree as I had a good last hour on the wag.

The top end of the lake had done better, benifiting from the wind, winner on the day was Lionel Legge on 19 (2nd time for him off that peg) with 122-7.
It wasn't all good news as he did break his Reactolite wag rod but having seen the "tow-rope" line he uses I'm not that suprised.
Chris Szakacs was 2nd on 23 with 111-1, again mostly caught on the wag.
And the big news was that the silvers was won by Matt Challenger with a new lake match record of 61-3 (not caught on 10mm pellets) ... Well done Matt, and it even raised a smile!

Full Result:
  1.  Lionel Legge (19) ...... 122-7
  2. Chris Szakacs (23) ....... 111-1
  3. Brian Shanks (7) ......... 102-1
  4. Matt Taynton (5) .......... 79-13
  5. Matt Challenger (16) ..... 61-3
  6. Steve Burgess (9) ........ 46-10
  7. Adam Caswell* (11) ..... 41-15
  8. Ron Hardiman (13) ....... 33-7
  9. Lee Williams (3) ........... 26-4
  10. John Bradford (21) ....... 19-12

  1. Matt Challenger (16) ..... 61-3
  2. Lee Williams (3) ........... 26-4
  3. John Bradford (21) ....... 19-12
  4. Brian Shanks (7) .......... 10-12
  5. Steve Burgess (9) ......... 7-0

And as for the Shiplate Raiders, the less said the better but rumour has it that Ryan won the silvers but with a lot less than 61lbs

Harescombe, 21 June (13 pegs)

I wasn't around for this match as I was away on my annual camping / fishing expedition at Hartleton lake near Ross on Wye which is always a good laugh with old friends

The fishing was a bit slow but I did enjoy a good couple of hours on the last evening when, after four days, the bream finally showed up and it was "one a chuck" until I couldn't see my float any more. So the chicken madras and Stella  must have made the difference.
Or maybe it was due to the hi-viz Frenzee net being chucked up the bank in favour of a not quite so conspicuous one, who knows.

In the meantime the Harescombe match fished well with Matt Taynton topping the weigh sheet with 93-4 from peg 29

  1. Matt Taynton (29) ........ 93-4
  2. Chris Gay (24) ............ 89-8
  3. Lionel Legge (6) .......... 60-12
  4. Adam Caswell (19) ...... 56-6
  5. Ryan Radford (18) ....... 54-14
  6. Pete Uzzell (21) ........... 49-4
  7. Rich Jones (5) / Steve Sewell (15) 45-15
  8. Mark Radford (2) ......... 42-2
  9. Alan Healey (30) ......... 41-15
  10. Kev Jefferies (11) ........ 36-3
  11. Simon Belcham (16) .... 29-6
  12. Steve Wynne (22) ....... 28-0
  13. Paul Preston (3) .......... 27-1
  14. And 3 dnw's