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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Staunton Court, 16 August (14 pegs)

So, as is traditional now with our occasional visits to Staunton Court our first port of call was for breakfast at Watersmeet Hotel just a couple of miles back from the fishery at Hartpury.
Apparently they have changed management now and it was a lot busier than I've rver seen it before but the breakfast was still top notch although I noticed there were no racks of toast brought to the table and the usual pots of tea and coffee had been substituted for a self service arrangement at the bar but this was probably down to how busy it was.
More worrying though was that in the front lake nearest the car park every fish in the lake was on the surface sucking in air, presumably  due to a lack of oxygen in the water that was maybe caused by the recent unseasonal weather we've been having.
This did make me wonder how the fishing would be at Staunton today although with it being a Psv match no big weights were likely (apparently)!
In charge again this week, despite it being 90 miles from Somerton, was Will Daiwalove and he was using the same pegging and format as he did the last time we were up here which was back in May.
That meant there were five pegs on each of the long banks, two on both end banks and paying out top 2 overall, a silvers and 2 sections.
That match was won by Will's father-in-law Keith Ray with 110lbs from the top corner of the grass bank with Lee Williams getting 2nd from the other end of the same bank (the famous "bin peg")
And incidentally yours truly was 3rd from the bottom end bank.
6-toes wasn't with us today as he was out with Pawlett Legion on Campbell & Cary but Mark Radford had found himself on the "bin peg" so he was moaning less than usual.
Strangely, Keith drew the exact same peg this time round (peg 8) which meant he would be keeping me company as I was on 9 and next to me was Pete (the paste) Uzzell, so between the three of us there was quite a collection of colourful keepnets much to the amusement of those opposite ... Somebody mentioned a resemblance to a set of traffic lights which was quite an accurate description .

I set up a couple of shallow rigs, one normal one and the other was a Preston Jigger which I was trying for the first (and last) time. Both of these for banded 8mm's but with the option of fishing a piece of meat pulled onto the band.
I also set up a rig for on the deck (meat) which was plumbed up at 14m
No rods today as it was pole only.
I started off by feeding a big pot of pellet and meat at 14m and went out over it with the Jigger which proved fruitless as despite plenty of "jigging" the only things taking an interest in the pellet were micro skimmers which were stripping the 8mm pellet down to nothing within a minute.
The first hour was slow to say the least, and not just for me, as most were in the same boat and only a couple of odd fish had been caught around the lake.

By now my 14m line was fizzing like crazy so I switched to the deep rig with meat which produced a small skimmer  and my first carp of the day.
After that I started getting plagued by liners so I re-fed and went back shallow on the proper shallow rig which produced one carp and a couple of foulers that were lost.
Most of us were suffering a similar struggle although Steve o'Toole had started to catch at a decent rate up in the top corner (peg 6), and Pasty Pete next to me was catching skimmers regularly with a few carp thrown in.
Will on peg 3 was doing ok and Mark Radford was on his 2nd fish for the 3rd time but generally it was slow.

I'd been feeding both my edges regularly and there was plenty of activity on both sides judging by the swirls and waving tails.
An early look proved fruitless despite there being plenty of fish mooching around. 
Adam and Keith were having similar problems, especially Keith who was having a torrid time hooking and losing fish on a regular basis.
It was quite strange as the fish seemed to be homing in on the feed and rooting around but not feeding. Or perhaps they were mopping up the feed and ignoring the hookbait, I've no idea but it was frustrating all the same and I think Pete made the right decision by ignoring the margins and sticking it out on the deck.

Eventually I did manage to land a couple of margin fish, some of which were hooked legitimately, but my total of 37-6 was never going to make any waves but at least I managed to recover all 3 of my side bets, including Alan's as he had suffered an (almost) repeat of his last performance here weighing in a dismal 27-8 from peg 14 which is usually a decent peg, at least it was in the last match if I remember rightly!

As expected Steve o'Toole won the match convincingly with 116-4 caught on 8mm pellet in the margins on his topkit, although if that was the case he has 11m topkits so I suspect there was a bit of fibbing going on there.
Gangsta rapper DJ Steve-O
Second place went to Will with 83-6 caught on pellet shallow and in the margins.

Third place, and top silvers, was Pete (the paste) Uzzell with 82-12 caught on .... work it out!

Silvers winner Pete Uzzell with his ridiculously coloured keepnet

Full Result:

  1. Steve o'Toole (6) ......... 116-4
  2. Will Dearlove (3) ......... 83-6
  3. Pete Uzzell (10) .......... 82-12
  4. Ryan Radford (4) ........ 55-12
  5. Mark Radford (12) ....... 45-12 
  6. Chris Szakacs (13) ....... 42-8
  7. Chris Gay (1) .............. 37-12 
  8. Steve Burgess (9) ........ 37-6
  9. Colin Butler (7) ............ 30-12
  10. Adam Caswell (11) ....... 29-2
  11. Alan Healey (14) .......... 27-8
  12. Steve Sewell (2) / Keith Ray* (8).. 25-4
  13. and 1 dnw
*Golden peg

  1. Pete Uzzell ........ 19-12
  2. Colin Butler ....... 10-12
  3. Steve Sewell ..... 8-4

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Viaduct, Campbell, 09 August (13 pegs)

First stop today, as usual, was Lilypool cafe at Shipham but unfortunately there was no view of the Mendips today as she must have been having a day off.
On the plus side?? Tony Rixon and a few of his apprentices were present on their way to the last of his Short pole series matches at Trinity.
I mentioned in the cafe that I'd be happy to draw anywhere on Campbell as long as it wasn't 110 as it's a bit of a tug-of-war peg and I know that there is a tiny crack in one of my pole sections (no 7 I think) which doesn't aspire confidence [that's not a spelling mistake]!
I arrived at the draw with a few minutes to spare and Will had everything well under control, looking very efficient sat at a table outside the shop with coffee tin and draw sheet at the ready.
I waited until the last 2 pegs and pulled out ... 110, but then it is a corner peg so was inevitable really (why do I always seem to get banished to corners)?
Anyway, it was the shortest walk on the lake so that was a bonus and the aereator has been running 24-7 of late and apparently this meant there would be a lot of fish down this end of the lake.
For company today I had Mark Radford on 112 and across on 131 & 132 was Chris Szakacs although with the aereator running and fishing down to the corner with my back to the rest of the lake I was expecting be having a "Billy no-mates" day.

By the time I had set up a couple of shallow rigs and a deep rig for banded pellet plus another for meat I'd run out of time so no rods were set up.
I fed a couple of spots at 6m with meat and pellet and pinged a few 6's down to the edge of the brambles and by the time I had achieved all this Mark was netting his second fish from chucking a lead towards the aereator which had me thinking maybe I should dig out the lead rod but instead I went down towards the corner at 14m and maybe 5m away from the brambles with an 8mm banded pellet and caught straight away on the shallow rig.
A good run followed and I caught small carp fairly regularly from then on, swapping between the deep and shallow rigs and after about 90 minutes I reckoned on around 50lb and started on my second net.
Chris had caught some on the lead but was well behind and Mark, after his flying start, had slowed especially since he'd had to take time out to visit the shop for first aid after harpooning his finger with an angry pole float ....
I heard the scream, saw blood dripping and looked the other way as I'm not good with serious injuries!

The middle part of the match continued as before although maybe not as hectic as earlier and I was suffering foul-hooking problems, one of which made it into the brambles and destroyed the shallow rig and the elastic, but at least the pole held out even though it was bending into some alarming shapes at times.
Heading towards the last hour I had a first look on the 6m meat line and after a couple of missed bites I landed my biggest fish of the day, near 10lb, which broke my landing net (bugger) and took my second net, guestimated, up towards the limit so this meant as I'd only brought 3 nets I had to chuck back my three skimmers and start a third.
I spent the last hour and a bit on the 6m line with meat but it was a very frustrating hour as I kept missing bites and losing foul-hookers while everyone around me seemed to be landing fish. Chris opposite especially so, and he was netting some big fish from down the margins which was worrying and I reckoned he had caught me up coming up towards the end.
I only managed to land one more in that last hour, I'm blaming it on Aldi's bacon grill which doesn't seem to sink very well (that's my excuse anyway)

Chris was first to weigh in and he put 114-1 on the scales which I reckoned had me beat (he thought otherwise).
That weight was topped by Steve o'Toole on 118 with 121-8 and I was pretty sure I never had that and I was right as my nets went 119-4 for second and left me wondering whether those three skimmers would have made 2 and a bit pounds but then Steve had gone over by a couple of pounds on one of his nets so I can't complain.
And it was a good, close match again with 10lb separating the top 6

Full Result:

  1. Steve o'Toole (118) ........... 121-8
  2. Steve Burgess (110) ......... 119-4
  3. Chris Szakacs (131) .......... 114-1 (section)
  4. Mark Radford (112) .......... 113-8 (section)
  5. Will Dearlove (116) ........... 113-7
  6. Keith Ray (119) ................ 110-7
  7. Adam Caswell (128) .......... 94-4
  8. Lee Waller (114) .............. 88-12
  9. Lee Williams (115)* .......... 85-15
  10. Ryan Radford (129) .......... 82-12
  11. Kev Jefferies (123) ........... 76-11
  12. Mike Wilson (125) ............. 69-12
  13. Pete Uzzell (116) .............. 41-10


  1. Mike Wilson (125) ....... 30-3
  2. Lee Williams (115) ...... 28-2
  3. Keith Ray (119) .......... 13-9
  4. Kev Jefferies (123) ..... 12-7
  5. Ryan Radford (129) .... 11-1

Monday, 10 August 2015

Shiplate, Hawthorns, 02 August (14 pegs)

This match was a late substitution for a match we had booked at Rood Ashton that was double-booked which is why we only had the one canal.
The main lake and Westpool were taken up with a memorial silvers match for Jeff Wye who was a lovely old chap who sadly lost his battle with cancer
and the new-ish Squircle lake?? (ask Steve and Carol) was occupied by Fry's so ear-plugs were required with Pete Sivell in attendance.

As ever the day started for myself, Derek, and a few others at Lilypool Cafe in Shipham where the Halal sausages and bacon were as good as ever but even more impressive were the views of the Mendip hills which always brightens up my Sunday and Lee Waller was equally impressed judging by the look on his face!
Alan was in charge again today and with fourteen fishing every peg went in with fate left to decide where the empty peg would end up.
I dug up peg 10 from the gravel, which meant nothing to me.
I don't seem to have much luck on this lake so I was happy wherever I ended up, even if it meant having Alan next door on 11 but at least with the bankside vegetation growing well I wouldn't have to look at him and I'd still have a good idea of whether or not my pound coin was safe.
Back down on 9 was Paul Preston who was likely to be fishing a method feeder as he struggles to hold his pole long due to back problems.
Others keen to rob me of coins were Adam Caswell who was skint after putting a 4-figure sum through the slot machines at Devon Cliffs last week, and Steve Sewell who, I guess just likes giving away pound coins!

I had formulated a plan for today, not much of one, but a plan all the same ....
Fishing pellet over small amounts of wetted micro tight across, and meat down the edge later on (deep and shallow).
Alan also had a plan after speaking with one of the venue regulars and I guess it involved worm / meat / and groundbait.
I knew this as I'd had a good look in his bait stash while he was sorting out the money and he also came over before the start to borrow my groundbait bucket and riddle.

As it turned out neither of our plans amounted to much and the lake fished hard, I don't recall getting a bite over the far side other than from an uneducated moorhen chick (he probably will be more careful next time) and I spent most of the match fishing shallow down the edge with meat for five carp that totalled 25-8
But it was good enough to beat Alan, Adam & Steve so at least I went home with enough winnings to cover the popadoms at curry kings.

Winner on the day was Chris Gay on peg 3 who caught long with worm over groundbait / caster (I think) and then on meat shallow down the edge for a total of 67-14
Steve o'Toole was second from peg 1 with 51-15 and poor old Lee Waller who was between them on peg 2 dnw'd ... I guess he was still thinking about the Mendip Hills!
Steve Sewell won the silvers with 6-2 from peg 7 beating Alan by 2oz

Full Result:
  1. Chris Gay (3) ........... 67-14
  2. Steve o'Toole (1) ...... 51-15
  3. Matt Challenger (12) ... 47-3
  4. Chris Szakacs (8) ....... 39-3
  5. Mark Radford (15) ...... 30-12
  6. Steve Burgess (10) .... 25-8
  7. Ryan Radford (4) ....... 24-12
  8. Adam Caswell (6) ...... 16-15
  9. Paul Preston (9) ........ 16-8
  10. Steve Sewell (7) ....... 15-4
  11. Derek Lucas (5) ........ 9-8
  12. Julian Nurse (14) ...... 7-14
  13. Alan Healey (11) ...... 6-0
  14. Lee Waller (2) ... dnw

  1.  Steve Sewell (7) ... 6-2
  2. Alan Healey (11) ... 6-0

The silvers match on the main lake and Westpool fished well, top weight was Ron Stark with 34-4 from peg 2 on the main lake.