Monday, 23 October 2017

Sunday 22nd October - Angling Trust SW Winter League Round 3, Bristol Avon Swineford to Jack Whites

So on to the third round of the SW Winter League and guesting for Senas Nomads again. I had been over in Powys for a couple of days at the end of the week returning Saturday afternoon and was keeping an eye on the weather. Although there had been a lot of rain the Upper Wye did not seem to be affected.
My route to the Crown in Keynsham did not take me over the river so was unsure what condition it would be in. Some of the guys said the River Frome was up and coloured so we expected some colour and pace.
I said prior to the draw I would like A3 at Swineford. Well Mark was not far off and came back with me being allocated A5. So at least a short walk.
Young Andrew Cranston came up to me at the draw and was overjoyed as he had drawn the peg I had been on the previous week.

Team mate Jeff Sibley was on B5 so we headed out to Swineford and parked up next to each other in the lay by opposite the Swan Pub.
The gate was locked so had to handball all the gear over the fence or gate. As I had a short walk I gave a couple of lads a hand.
The river was up and rising, not too much but looked good. In my Section there was Warren Bates A1, Glenn Bailey A2, Mark Harper A3, Andy Curry A4 and then me. No mugs here then!!!
I already knew who would win the Section and also felt it would be difficult to compete with A1 and A2 as they are good small fish pegs. Never the less I started to set out my stall.
As I was setting up Kev Dicks came up from B Section saying that the thread had gone on one of the legs of his platform so I said he could borrow mine. Surely all this kindness and goodwill would see me OK today???
As I set up the river was still rising and a lot of debris was coming down. Trying out the Feeder it took 45 grams to hold middle. A 13BB Crowquill was also set up for a third the way out and a 6 metre Whip for the inside with a 5BB Crowquill. 3 Kilo of ground bait was also fixed up (gros gardens, noire and brown crumb).
Fishing today was 11 till 4 and I was ready with 20 minutes to go.
On the ''all in'' I fed 4 medium sized balls 2 on the Whip line just to see how it went. First and second trot down I had two small roach then nothing for 15 minutes or so. I had been dripping in caster and hemp down the edge so shallowed up and caught a few more. Problem was the bites were at the end of the trot and it was hard to see the float due to over hanging rushes and I couldn't get them to feed a little further out even using the running line set up. I decided to persevere and added the odd small fish.
I could hear Andy above me casting the Feeder out continuously, so he was going for it.
Around the halfway stage I was surprised to see Glenn behind me, he had come for a walk! he asked me how I was getting on and I said about 3lbs at best. He said Mark on 3 was admitting to 15lb (bream). I asked what he had and he reckoned he had 10lb of bits, which is what I would have expected.
After he went I chucked the tip out and had a rattle but did not connect with anything. i gave it another 20 minutes but nothing.
Back on the inside on the running line I had a few more roach and dace but nothing mega.
The river started to drop and there was less rubbish coming down so at 3 o'clock I put half a lobby worm on a size 12 and had another go on the tip. I was chopping worms up just after casting out and happened to glance up and blow me the tip was bouncing like crazy. I struck and knew instantly it was ''bream on''. It was a real heart stopping few minutes getting it across the main flow and was a relief to net it. It was a decent fish around 4lbs.
That was it then the rest of the match would be on the tip. I did add a few more fish, 3 perch, a small skimmer and a greedy roach.
I was first to weigh and I put 8lb 13oz on the scales.

The bonus bream (could have done with 2 more)

Andy above me had no bonus fish on the tip and weighed 4lb 14oz so it would have been close between us had I not had the bream.

On to the star of the show Mark Harper who had two weighs for 35lb 6oz.

Lovely net of fish for Mark.

As expected Glenn and Warren had a small fish battle and were only a couple of pounds apart.

Heres what the Section looked like.......

Back at the Crown it soon became clear we had fallen well short as a team although there were a couple of good results, Rich Whitmarsh and Vic Abbot.

Top individuals on the day....

1st   Mark Harper 35lb 6oz (A3 Swineford)
2nd  Tom Morretti 26lb 10oz (G2 Jack Whites and last weeks winning peg 27lb)
3rd   Andrew Cranston 22lb 5oz (G1 Jack Whites last weeks 3rd place 21lb)

Teams on the day......
1st   P I Thatchers (7 section wins from 8)
2nd  Mosella Bathampton
3rd  Die Hards
4th  Sensas Nomads
5th  M & N Electrical

Newbridge next week for Round 4.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday 15th October - Bristol Commercial House League Round 3, Bristol Avon, Swineford to Frys.

Leigh Wakefield sent me a text early Friday morning to say he wouldn't be able to fish as he had dislocated his shoulder playing football. He fell just as the ref was about to blow the whistle!
So a man down and only a couple of days to go.
I just happened to go on Facebook and saw that Craig Fletcher had posted that Gary Cross (this year Evesham Champ) was looking for a match. Craig kindly sent me Gary's number and it took a while but he gave in to my Irish charm.
The draw was at the Crown again in Keynsham and a hearty breakfast was laid on.

Team today was......
Chris Hook (capt.)
Sam Johnson
Gary Cross
Jack Jones
Steve Hutchinson

Chris came back after doing the draw and we had drawn peg 1 and the scales (think my middle name is Avery as I have had the scales time and time again this year).
I found myself on E1 which is the first peg at Jack Whites...shortest breaking down the trolley...armchair there is a God.

Shawn Kittridge taking a break from Commercials and guesting for one of the Bathampton Teams followed me to the parking area as he was unsure were to go. Shawn was in my Section and was in the Cattle Drink.

Arriving at the peg it did look good, just below the Lock and plenty of flow due to the Wear just upstream.
The platform was put in the water and it was just so comfortable compared to some recent pegs I have been on.
I set up a Feeder (not used), 6BB Crowquill (not used), Waggler (not used) and a 6 metre whip which was used all day.

A 0.8 gram float with a number 8 dropper on the whip went through lovely and I held it back towards the end of the trot as it shallowed up a bit. I had about 5 foot of water.
4 small balls of gros gardons, black lake and noire laced with caster and hemp were thrown in a third the way across at the start.
First trot down about 5 metres out to my right downstream the float disappeared and a small roach was swung in. This was repeated for the next few put in's before it dried up.
I had been flicking hemp and caster in at mid river and as soon as I tried this line I had a decent dace followed by a 6oz roach. 
For the rest of the day I stuck it on the whip feeding two lines and putting in a nugget of ground bait every 5 minutes or so and in-between loose feeding. Loads of bites all day and the busiest I have been in a match for a while.
That was it ... no more complicated than that.
I walked down to Shawn who had the board and he wanted to get weighed in first even though there were pegs below him due to Cattle trouble. I think they damaged some of his kit while he was fishing.

Shawn nervously trying to retrieve his keep net

Paul Purchase was on end peg and had a nice net of roach for 12lb 15oz. The weights in our Section were pretty good, 7 double figure weights and 2 at 7lb plus.
Glen Bailey who was below me had a great net of mainly dace for a great 27lb 2oz prior to that Ian Paulley was top with 18lb 3oz but he was in A Div. I knew I had double figures but was thinking 15lbs ish. I was really pleased that my bag went 21lb dead.

Young Andrew Cranston took a photo for me but the lense must have been greasy.

So as Glen was also in B Div I got 3 points from 4 but second best weight in the whole Section.

Here's how the Section looked.

Back at the Crown everyone started to arrive back and we added up our points in the team and felt fairly confident that we had done enough in B Div with 17 points.
Gary and Sam had won their Sections and it looked like I might be in main frame for a payout.

Here are the results......

Top 4 on the day

1st   Glen Bailey 27lb 2oz
2nd  Paul Issacs 26lb 10oz
3rd  Ivan Currie 21lb
4th  Ian Paulley 18lb 3oz

Teams on the day

A Div
1st   P I Thatchers B
2nd  P I Thatchers A
3rd  Mosella Bathampton B
4th  Mosella Bathampton A
5th  D W Builders

B Div
1st  Maver Cadbury Angling
2nd Stand and Deliver Promotions
3rd  Sensas Nomads
4th  M and N Elect

Team positions after 3 Rounds

A Div
1st  P I Thatchers B
2nd P I Thatchers A
3rd  Mosella Bathampton A
4th  Mossella Bathampton B
5th  D W Builders

B Div
1st  Maver Cadbury Angling
2nd Stand and Deliver Promotions
3rd  Sensas Nomads
4th  M and N Elect

So that 3 wins for us out of 3.

Rich Lacey was selling Poppy Match tickets so picked mine up.

Back on the Avon next week in the Winter League guesting for Sensas Nomads.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunday 8th October - Angling Trust SW Winter League Round 2 Bristol Avon Newbridge

Due to my own Team not fishing the Winter League I joined the Sensas Nomads lads for this campaign as I did last year. I missed the first match last week though due to my own Club putting on a Charity Open.
All of the Team was from the english side of the Severn Bridge today.

5 Teams of 8 make up this League with matches being held on the Bristol Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal.
The draw was at the Crown Inn Keynsham and I found it to be a great venue with a good quality breakfast laid on.

Mark ''the Whippet'' Williams was captain today and drew the Team peg 1 which gave us the scales and I found myself on peg 42 at the end of the Newbridge straight. The river is in desperate need of rain and I think we all knew it would be rock hard.

I got to my peg and to say it was high off the water is an understatement. I had to put a small bank stick on the keep net and put it in a third the way down the bank just to get the bottom two rings in the water.

The flow was 13 metres out and just over top 4 deep. I set up a 2 gram float to a 15 hook. I choose this size hook because I would have to swing any fish to hand and because of the clear water perch would be the target later in the match. A 1 gram pencil float was also set up on the same line to run in through but with a 18 hook and a few inches off bottom.
A crow quill rod for fishing the middle and a Feeder completed the set up.

I put 9 big balls in at 13 metres on the ''all in'' and just 1 down the middle.

Starting off on the 2 gram rig I was into fish within 5 minutes and numerous small roach around 2 ounces were swung in. The river was very busy with rowing boats and they were all over the place due to new University Students being coached. You do need a lot of patience and theres no point in loosing your cool with them.

I bumped a few fish in a row which was frustrating as they felt a decent stamp. After about an hour a pike grabbed a fish but let go, it was a perch so shows how hungry they are. More pike trouble continued and I got bit off 3 times.

I had been spraying hemp and caster so tried the lighter rig and was back on the fish for a short spell before the bites dried up again.
I cupped in a big pot of neat chopped worm and with a dendra tail or head on the hook managed to snare a few perch now and then but they were not big.

A bank walker confirmed it was fishing hard.... really lol.

The crow quill didn't really work as the flow more or less stopped and a few chucks with the Feeder brought a couple of bleak and small roach.

I was pretty glad when the ''all out'' was shouted.

Tony Gilbert had the board so I walked down to him in order to weigh in. Tony also had a nightmare with pike and lost skimmers in a huge snag which he managed to pull out ..... a big branch of a tree.

Heres how the Section weighed, Matt Challenger had a nice net of fish and a bonus perch for over 9lb.

Geoff had a nice net of roach for 6lb plus and would have done better had his No. 7 section not snapped.

Matt Challenger won the Section.

So a 3rd in Section for me and not a disaster.

I made my way back to the Crown and met up with the others. Most had reported in and Mark was collating the scores. It didn't look bad at all with a total of 28 points.

2 Section wins as well Jeff Sibley and Paul Elms.

The Crown provided doorstep bread and butter plus sausages, chips and beans while we were waiting for the results.

Results as follows...... it was a bit noisy so weights there or there abouts.

Sections were won with the following weights....

A 11lbs
B 8lbs
C 5lbs
D 9lb 3oz
E 4lb 13oz
F 13lb 11oz
G 12lb 7oz
H 7lb 6oz

Top 3 Individuals
1st  Warren Bates Mossella Bathampton 13lb 11oz
2nd  Paul Elms Sensas Nomads 12lb 7oz
3rd  Mark Harper P I Thatchers 11lb

Teams on the day
1st Mossella Bathampton 31 points
2nd Sensas Nomads 28 points
3rd PI Thatchers 25 points
4th Die Hards 23 points
5th M & N Elect 13 points

League overall after 2 rounds
1st Mossella Bathampton 3 points
2nd P I Thatchers 4 points
3rd Sensas Nomads 5 points
4th Die Hards 8 points
5th M & N Elect 10 points

So a great result for us today and 4 rounds still to go.

Back on the Avon next week for the 3rd Round of the Commercial House League with my Maver Team.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Sunday 1st October - Clevedon Charity Open River Kenn

I declined to fish for Sensas Nomads in the Angling Trust Winter League due to my Club having their annual Charity Match.
I had put a couple of sessions in on the river with mixed bags of small fish up to about 9lbs. The river was very clear and I knew it would be hard going. I did favour a peg below Strode Road but it was not to be as I pulled out 51 which is just the other side of a foot bridge below Kenn Road. It can be good here in the right conditions but I had very little confidence. I ended up with 7oz!!!! Fished the pole all day due to the weed, nothing worked but thats fishing and the luck of the draw.
Craig Fletcher done the best in this section a couple of pegs below me. Craig managed a bream and a few perch on the pole for 4lbs plus. Had he not caught the bream the section would have been won with a 1lb!.

Craig with his bonus bream

Lance Tucker won the match with a great 29lb 8oz from a new peg I helped to cut out last year. It has a great feature with a tree going out halfway across the river provided a sanctuary for fish in the clear water.

Lance with a great bag of fish in the tough conditions.

Scott Smallwood and Rob Fogg took a £1 of me and Scott provide the tissues...... I'll be back.

Press report below.........

Clevedon Freshwater Angling Club held their annual charity match in memory of founder member and trustee Dave Fowler Senior. Twenty-six anglers lined the banks of the River Kenn from the Sea Outfall to Kenn Road. The river was very clear despite the rain but an overcast sky did improve conditions for fishing on the day resulting in everyone one catching fish. Lance Tucker drew peg 39 just above the TV Masts and fished the pole over chopped worm and caster under an overhanging tree to net bream, tench, roach and perch for a total weight of 29lb 8ozs which was more than enough to win. Four pegs below was Mark Bromsgrove who fished a similar method but had much smaller fish for 9lb 6oz earning him second place. Third was Kev Perry from peg 27 below Strode Road who had 7lbs 14oz. Guess the winning weight was won by Mark Appleby who was only 2oz away. 
The event raised £400 for Parkinsons UK.
The Club would like to thank Cadbury Angling, Olivers Angling, Reel Fun, Veals, Ecolab, QCM Equipment and Worle Village Butchers for their sponsorship.

Back on the Bristol Avon at Newbridge on rain forecast this week so could be tough.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Sunday 24th September - Bristol Commercial House League Round 2 - King Sedgemoor Drain Somerset

I missed the first round of this 6 round league due to travelling back from Ireland. The Team had done well winning the B Div plus had the individual winner and 2 section wins. 9 Teams in the league this year, 5 in A Div and 4 in B Div. The bottom team in A Div gets demoted and the top in B Div gains promotion at the end of the series. Its a 6 aside team event so 54 anglers in total.
I had to travel to London in a hire van Friday evening to stay with my youngest daughter and then move her to her new place in Harrow on the Saturday. I did get home around 8 p.m on the Saturday but was knackered.
It was up early to meet Leigh at the Clevedon junction on the M5 and he would follow me down to the draw venue in Puriton just outside Bridgwater.
Team Captain Chris just got back from Ireland the previous evening so he had a busy night switching his gear around and doing some prep.
Other team members fishing were..
Glenn, Jack, Leigh, Steve and myself.

Not many of the anglers in this league fish the King Sedgemoor Drain (KSD) but there was a match on the stretch we were fishing a couple of Sundays ago and it appeared to fish well with 25kg of bream winning it and good backing weights of between 5kg and 12kg.
I myself have only fished it twice and not done very well.

Nicola and Mike Goodhind with the help of Vince Lunn do a tremendous job organising the league but enlisted the help of Paul Purchase to peg the match out and close the sections off.

There was only 2 access points and Paul provided postcodes

Chris drew us peg 1 and I was in D section. Jack was in E so he put in the postcode to his phone and I followed him down to Bradney Bridge where there was plenty of parking.
So and 18 peg walk for me which was nice and easy, no fences and all on a flat path. As I got near my peg a couple of the other anglers who were already on their pegs said mine looked nice but it was covered in duck weed which had become stationary up against a big willow going out a third of the way across. 
It did look like a lawn and it took me a good 30 minutes to clear it with my landing net and using the landing net telescopic style in the pole.
The ''all in'' was at 10:30 and I was just about ready in time.

It was top 4 deep and 13 meters so had  a set up to cover this with a 5 elastic and 1.5 gram float, just under top 4 deep at 11 meters so had a similar rig and at 9 meters beside the edge of the tree top 3 deep. I had an 8 elastic for this with a 15 hook as I intended to just feed chopped worm here looking for a big perch or a tench. A feeder rod was also set up just in case.

3 big balls of Noire and black lake went in at the start on the 13 metre line and a big pot of chopped worm by the tree.
It didn't take long to get my first bite down the middle, a decent rudd of around 6 ozs. The first hour was going swimmingly with a fish a chuck and then the pike moved in. What a nightmare, they were almost jumping out of the water as I lifted the fish out too early than I would have liked dropping quite a few off as I could see the shadow of the pike coming behind them. Peg D2 was also having trouble.
I fed the middle again and went over the worm line but only had a small perch after 20 minutes.
When I went out in the middle again it was still fairly productive and decided to put in a half a cup of chopped worm. This brought some small skimmers on the feed along with a few hybrids, not big but worth having. At around 13:00 I bumped a good fish, could have been a big perch or a bream but I will never know, the elastic came out quite a bit for 10 seconds. Half an hour later I bumped another so stepped up to a 16 hook. I did not get any big fish but 3 skimmers around 12oz were very welcome.
In hindsight I should have fished the whip, was going to set one up but didn't have time, then again if I took time out during the match or started later I would have done better.

Kevin Boltz and Mike Withy came up with the scales and I weighed 11lb 15oz.

A nice net of fish which anyone would be happy with.

This weight was the worst in B Div section would you believe and well done in the overall section.

Look at these for weights from D Section........

I packed up and walked down to Jack in E section, he had done well weighing 16lb odd and won his section.

Back at the results the Team Scorecard was looking good even with my 1 point. Jack had the maximum 4 points and the other guys had 3 points each giving us 17 points. I was confident that would be good enough.

Our Team Scorecard, decent weights as well.

Jack picked up section money and Chris picked up his by default.

Results as follows.......

Individuals paying top 4

1st   Shaun Townsend 25lb 5oz
2nd  Paul Purchase 23lb
3rd   Andy Ottoway 21lb 14oz
4th   Ian Pauley 20lb 14oz

Teams on the day......

A Div
1st   Mossella Bathampton A
2nd  P I Thatchers B
3rd   P I Thatchers A
4th   Mossella Bathampton B
5th   DW Builders

B Div
1st   Maver Cadbury Angling
2nd  Stand and Deliver Promotions]
3rd  M and N Electrical & Sensas Nomads (tie)

Overall League positions after 2 rounds

A Div
1st   P I Thatchers B
2nd  P I Thatchers A & Mossella Bathampton A
4th   Mossella Bathampton B
5th   DW Builders

B Div
1st   Maver Cadbury Angling
2nd  Stand and Deliver Promotions
3rd   Sensas Nomads
4th   M & N Electrical  

Mike announced that out of 54 anglers there were 35 double figure weights which is quite outstanding for a natural venue.

Here are a few of the catches..........

Nicola Goodhind 12lb 14oz

Warren Bates 16lb

Rob Jones 14lb

Team mate Leigh looking up and thanking god for his 13lb 10oz

I was knackered when I got home and fell asleep with the dog.

Photo courtesy of Mrs. C

Next Sunday I am on the River Kenn fishing the Clubs annual Charity Open, details below.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Arvagh International Festival 2017 Monday 4th - Friday 8th September

This was my third visit to Arvagh over consecutive years and the second time fishing this Festival.

I left home South of Bristol at around 04:30 on Saturday morning 2nd September to pick up Steve in Kingswood North Bristol for 05:15 ish and were we were to meet up with Tony and Andy in the other van.
Everyone was on time and we headed up to Holyhead for the 13:50 Ferry. We allowed ourselves plenty of time taking the advice from Professional Trucker Andy (aka Turtle) as there was a couple of long stretches of road works.
We got to Holyhead with 90 minutes to spare (took a break on the A55), the Ferry left on time and we got talking to a couple of Midlands anglers who were heading up to fish the World Pairs. They did not realise they needed Euro's for the toll roads so I exchanged 20 euros for £20 for them.
The Ferry docked in Dublin just after 17:00 and we headed up the M50, M3 and N3 towards Cavan and then on to Arvagh arriving at the Breffni Arms at 19:20. We have stayed here every time as the rooms are comfortable, the food is fantastic as well as the hosts Philomela and Eamonn Gray who can't do enough for you.

A quick wash and brush up and we were down in the bar for food and Guinness, think it was nearly 01:00 we got to bed or perhaps later so a long day.

There was an Open Match on the Sunday which we did not enter. Instead we had a lie in and a leisurely full Irish breakfast before heading down to the local Garty Lough off the main street and 2 mins walk away.
We have fished this Lough a few times now and last year done 50lb bags of roach on the waggler.
The French boys also decided to fish this Lough and beat us to the pegs we were going to fish but we got in OK with Steve fishing on the slipway and Tony and I wading around the back of the old swimming pool and police station.

Steve was into roach straight away while it took Tony and I around 30 minutes to get them feeding were we were. Probably due to the fact that no one usually fishes the spot we were.

Tony in the foreground and the French foreign Legion further down

Spraying hemp and caster and fishing about 6 foot deep 25 metres out it was a roach a chuck. Looking down I couldn't see the French guys catching much. There was a quiet spell for a while and I think the pike moved in. Still had 28lb dead including a small brown trout and took 2 euros each off Tony and Steve.

Smile says it all

80 anglers were in this years Festival and they all converge at the Breffni Arms on the Sunday nigh to do the ''Rotational Draw'' i.e. what Lough you will fish each of the 5 days. I must just mention that the money is well spread out and you have a very good chance of picking up something. Entry fee was 150 euro plus an extra 20 euro to cover the boat mens costs and insurance.

The rotation draw took place about 21:45 as it can't go ahead until everyone had paid up. Van draws are done first and as we had our tackle spread over 2 vans I went and drawed for all of us.
We ended up with.......

Mon  E Section - Rockfield and Glasshouse Loughs
Tue  A Section - Gulladoo lough
Wed B Section - Rossduff which is part of the Lough Gowna system
Thur C Section - Corfree ----------------''---------------------------------
Fri D Section - Dernafest ----------------''--------------------------------

A few more beers and then off to bed and a 07:30 breakfast in the morning.

Monday 4th Sept.
We all stood in our different Section Lines just before 09:00 ready to draw our pegs but not before dipping our nets and getting the ''no dip no draw'' ticket from the Inland Fisheries Officer.

Steve lost his dip ticket...wonder where it could be?

Into the E Section draw bag and I pulled out peg 3 on Rockfield, Steve had 9 on Rockfield and Tong had a peg on Glasshouse.
Peg 1 was the fancied peg on Rockfield so I was not far away. Bream can show up here but they are usually rare with the best chance being the pole for roach and hybrids.

peg 3 Rockfield

It was top 4 deep on the pole at 11 metres so I stuck with this line and also set up a shallow rig as the usual method is cup in a few balls then loose feed over the top. The Feeder was also set up for fishing 60 turns using a Window Feeder. I caught fish on all rigs and lines but only ended up with 3kg 500grms. Steve done better off unfancied peg 9 catching one proper bream which contributed to a 4kg 500grm weight giving him 3rd in section and a 40 euro pick up. E Section was won with 7kg 200grms. So fished hard. Tony weighed 1kg 400grms on Glasshouse and was not the bottom weight!

Tuesday 5th Sept.
A Section today and Steve and Tony drew lower Gulladoo (steps) while I was on a section of the Lough called Gulladoo Cross. I drew peg 6 in the middle which I fancied as there are a lot of small roach here. I still set up the tip but never used it and fished 3 foot in 7 feet of water all day spraying caster and hemp. I ended up with over 200 roach for 7kg 860grms and 3rd in section, so a 40 euro pick up. The section was won with 10kg 970grms.
Should have fished the whip.

Steve and Tony did no good although Steve did have another proper bream and a few skimmers for 4kg 350.

Wednesday 6th September.
Ross duff today and I drew peg 14. The weather was a bit overcast and gusting but I still set all the usual gear up.

I caught on the pole at full depth (top 5) for about 2 hours at 13 metres before throwing the towel in as it became too hard to hold the pole. Out on the tip I had a few fish and only got pipped by 100 grams for 3rd in Section.

My catch and photo bombed by ''Tiny'' a little blind dog owned by Eric Ball from Nottingham.

Eric and Tiny.

Steve had 2kg 800 and Tony 3kg 600.
B Section was won with 8kg 550.

Thursday 7th September.
Corfree today and a boat ride to the pegs, well for Tony and I, Steve drew a crap shallow peg and stayed on dry land.

Tony giving the ''royal wave''

Poor day for me and I struggled mostly on the tip for 4kg 450 off peg 13 catching mainly perch. I made a bad decision by not fishing the pole for a few hours.

Tony and Steve also struggled. The Section was won with 7kg 600.

Friday 8th September.
The last day of the Festival and a boat ride on Dernafest. There was a bit of confusion on the boats as some anglers jumped the que and messed up a common sense approach of 2 or 3 anglers going together and who were on adjacent pegs but... no point in getting wound up.....grrrrrrrr
Peg 18 for me this year, I was second on this lough last year from peg 7. Due to being almost last on the boat along with Wayne Easter on peg 17 both of us had limited time to set up so only a couple of pole rigs and a feeder.

I had fish straight away on top 4 deep at 11 metres but this soon died as it did last year. i lost a big hybrid about 2 hours in which was to cost me later. Wane was fishing the same as me and we were more or less fish for fish all the way through the match. Looking down past him there was not a lot being caught and I could tell from the moans above me it was fishing poor. I stuck at it, mainly on the pole trying to entice a bite and only spent 30 mins on the tip resulting in 5 bites and 4 fish.

I ended up with 3kg 060 to Waynes 3kg 950 and enough to pick up 50 euro for 2nd in mini section.
Tony also picked up 40 euro for 3rd in mini section.

The Section was won with 7kg 250 (hybrids turned up late on the pole).

Heres how my Section Rotation looked at the end of the week.

The top 3 over the week were....

1: Kevin Johnson 57.960
2: Neil Parkinson 54.530
3: Neil Mallinson. 51.250

and here they are...

Full results as follows....

So finished halfway and a big improvement on last year. These venues take some getting used to and I suppose thats why most of the competing anglers stick to this Festival. some of them have been fishing these venues 3 weeks a year for 30 years.

Really good week though and we will return but not next Sept as its my 40th wedding anniversary but there is a couple of Festivals in June on the same venues we may fish instead.

On the way home my slave cylinder went on the clutch at Keele Services on the M6 and I did not get home until 05:30 after landing in Holyhead at 18:40. All fixed now as under warranty so ready to go again lol.

Next match for me is the Bristol Commercial House Round 2 on the King Sedgemoor Drain 24th Sept.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Sunday 20th August - SW Super League Final Round Bristol Avon Newbridge

This was the final round of a 6 match series but with practice matches in between it took up almost every Sunday for 3 months. This is my 3rd year fishing it and I get a real buzz out of it. It does not happen all on its own so a massive thanks must go to the organisers namely Dave Micklewright, Mark Treasure, Mark Harper, Nicky Johns and Lance Tucker. In addition those that organised the practice matches Andy Jane, Lance Tucker and Kev Dicks. There are also many others working behind the scenes and not forgetting the hospitality provided at the draw venues....Gordon League Rugby Club in Gloucester, Laburnum House in Highbridge and the Riverside Pub Saltford.

We were a man down up until the Friday but then new signing for the Commercial House Winter League stepped in, Jack Jones. We also had Mosella Bathamptons Kev Dicks and Darren Gillman helping us out today.
We were one from bottom in the League so nothing to gain today as a team. Although we have had some good individual results we have been way off the mark as a team and its all about consistency and availability for our guys. Its a tough ask turning out every week from a small squad.

Chris done the draw as usual and we ended up with the following pegs.....
20 Chris Hook
32 Me
47 Sam
63 Geoff
77 Nigel
99 Jack
118 Kev
146 Darren

The river was clear again so a difficult match was predicted with small fish being the main target on the pole.
I walked down to my peg (32) with Geoff who was on 33 the previous week. I had fished this peg last year and only had a low weight off it helped by a decent skimmer.
Mark ''whippet'' Williams was on the peg I had last week and I gave him some info for what it was worth. He was the first peg in my section as was I the previous week and all the pegs below had done better. But that was then!

I was quite high off the water on my peg with only the bottom 2 rings of the keep net in the water. Plenty of cover across and looked inviting but the big Chub that used to frequent the far side no longer show.

It was top 4.5 deep at 13 meters were the flow was so same set up as last week a 2 gram for running through and a flat float same distance. A waggler and a feeder was also assembled. Ground bait was gros gardons and magic with a little black crumb.
Usual bombardment on the ''all in'' and out immediately with the pole. It was a difficult angle to fish due to the high bank and I missed too many early bites, on reflection I had a little too much line between the end of the pole and the float but it was a bit gusty at times. Roach started to come but only lasted 30 minutes or so and they were not that big.  I went out on the flat float early with half a dendra and had a 10oz skimmer followed by a perch about the same size then nothing. I fed a couple of small balls and loose fed caster and hemp over the top. Back on the 2 gram rig and running it through bumped a decent fish, probably a big perch. A few more small roach followed and then bumped 3 good fish one after the other. I became very frustrated and I quietly cursed to myself as I knew those fish would probably make the difference today.
I tried the waggler for about 15 minutes but the fish were the size of minnows, small chub and bleak.
Nothing on the tip either although I didn't really give it very long.
The flat float produced a few more small skimmers and by the end of the match I knew I had no more than 4lbs.
In fact it was less that but I wasn't last and it could have been a few more pounds if I had got my act together and not lost those fish, all down to me.

my section

I met up with Chris who was packing up on peg 20 and he had done just over 4lbs but done better than Dean Harvey on favoured peg 18!
Back at the Riverside the Teams started drifting back in and it was clear we struggled (again).
Points from a possible 7 were....
Chris 2
Me 2
Sam 3
Geoff 5
Nigel 3
Jack 4
Kev ? didn't come back
Darren 2 (but did not fish 146 due to a boat, ended up on a crap peg).

individuals on the day...

1st   Neil Richards DGL 19lb 9oz
2nd  Kevin Abigail GBV 12lb 2oz
3rd   Dave Clapton Sensas Lobbys 11lb 14oz

Teams on the day....

1st   DGL
2nd  PI Thatchers
3rd  Sensas Lobbys
4th   GBV
5th   Sensas Nomads
6th  Maver Cadbury
7th  Sensas 88

Top 3 Teams after 6 rounds...

1st  DGL
2nd PI Thatchers
3rd  Sensas Lobbys

Thats a fair result and these 3 teams dominate the league, we as a team find it hard to compete against the bigger squads but we will be back to have another go next year.

Next up for us is the Bristol Commercial House League starting 10th September on the Avon. I miss the first one as I get back from Ireland in the early hours that day.

No more fishing for me now until 3rd Sept when I will be in Arva, first day pleasure fishing then 5 days fishing the festival, prep almost done.