Friday, 14 January 2022

Tuesday 11th January - Tuesday Tenners Open Acorn Fishery Kingston Seymour

The tides on the River Kenn were not right for a bit of local river fishing so it was back to Acorn Fishery for this friendly match.

I booked in with Mike Chapman the evening before as I believe its always best to let organisers know in advance if you can.

I was there nice and early (07:45) for the draw which takes place around 08:15. There was a fine drizzle but it was mild and most were expecting it to fish well. Most of the regulars were there and I soon got talking to a chap who reads my blog and who also knows "Turtle" who travels with me to Ireland fishing. 

As we were talking the draw was done and I was informed I was on Island peg 1. Judging by past form it was not great but I though with the mild weather it would still produce a few bites.

There were only 3 of the 5 Island pegs in, 1 (me), 3 Kev Perry and 5 Bob Smith. With Bob fishing here most weeks (sometimes twice) I thought he would at least beat Kev and myself. Last time I fished here I was on 5 and won the match with 70lb.

The fishery had been well used of late with a couple of matches over the Christmas period plus every Sunday and Tuesday. There has also been a bit of wet weather so the pegs were a bit muddy despite the substantial platforms.

I have never been on this peg before but knew carp are caught on the nearside point to my right so plumbed up down this edge which was about 2 foot deep.

Right across at 13 metres against the rushes I had just over 2 foot which would be my bread sobbing area.

At 2 plus 3 it was around 3 foot plus to my right in the bowl area so planned to fish 2 area's here for silvers as no one was on 35.

So ... bread and corn for dobbing across and pinkie in ground bait for silvers and maggot for nearside edge, simples.

On the all in I fed my silvers lines with Sweet Fishmeal and a bit of Thatchers Original plus dead pinkie and finely chopped worm.

I went straight across with the bread fishing about 4 inches off bottom. I got indications within minutes and soon had a foul hooker on which at first seemed pretty placid but then took off around the corner to my right and came off.

Back out again dobbing and more liners. About another 20 minutes went by and I had another foul hooker on, how do they manage to get hooked in the tail ?. 

I was just about loosing patience with the bloody thing when it started to give up and I eventually netted it. A good fish of around 7lbs.

Another 2 carp came and were more straight forward, one about 3lb and the other about 2lb. I estimated I had 12lb in the first hour so on target.

Glancing around I couldn't see much being caught.

I decided to rest the sobbing line and have a look for silvers, it didn't take long for the float to bury and net a 6oz roach, much prefer catching these. More roach followed plus a skimmer before the bites dried up so re-fed and went dobbing again. 

No indications at all from carp on the bread or corn skin so after 20 minutes back to the silvers and fed a bit of maggot down my right hand edge for later.

I had a few more skimmers (not big) and roach fairly quickly but again they backed off. A couple of looks down the edge produced nothing. 

I heard Graham Smith behind me talking to Paul Faiers and saying Bob on 5 was having a few. At this point I more or less decided to go for silvers the rest of the match.

I was happy getting a few bites and opened up another silvers line in front of me just feeding pinkie.

Come the end my carp went 11lb and my silvers just under 6lb, neither was any good.

Bob on 5 had the best silvers net with 14lb 11oz made up of a lot of Carasso which count as silvers. Paul was 2nd in the silvers with 11lb plus which included 3 tench off peg 40.

The best carp weight was Chris Gay who I believe caught late of peg 14. Chris won the match with 44lb 5oz.

Full results as follows ....

1. Chris Gay 44-05 p14
2. Paul Faiers 41-07 p40
3. Dave Wride 36-00 p31
4. Bob Smith 26-13 p5
5. John Thompson 23-05 p24
6. Graham Smith 22-07 p37
1. Bob Smith 14-11 p5
2. Paul Faiers 11-12 p40

The 2 day River Tone Festival which was scheduled for this weekend has been put back again due to river levels and I can't make the new date in February. I am however going to a match on the Gloucester Canal instead with team mates Chris Hook and Sam Johnson. 

Please let the draw gods be good to me.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Sunday 9th January - Weston Super Mare match, River Axe, Bleadon.

 Happy New Year all.

I did venture out on my local River Kenn on the Wednesday before this match and never had a bite. There were a lot of other anglers on the Kenn who had the same experience, but ....that's the Kenn as they say! Too much water coming off the Moors, an overnight frost and a high tide didn't help.

Team mate Sam Johnson and I were meant to be fishing the River Tone 2 day Festival this weekend but it was put back until next weekend due to the high river levels.

Sam who is Secretary of the WSM Club invited me to his Club's match on the River Axe which I fished last January before Lock Down and had a great day on the roach fishing the whip so was looking forward to it.

Sam pegged either side of Bleadon Bridge and I did favour the downstream section as this is where I had 28lb of roach. Sam had fished upstream of the bridge last Sunday and had a lovely day. High tide was at 11:30 but unlike my local river Kenn the Axe still flows the right way when the tide is coming in.

At the draw I picked out P2 which was where I favoured. 

Rain the day before and overnight had put the river up, fast flowing and coloured but Sam was confident we would catch.

Above me on peg P1 was Dominic Sullivan who said he had walked the stretch the day before and there were loads of fish topping but today there wasn't a sign of any.

I had a platform to set up on but the river would eventually cover it when the tide came in.

All of the area behind me would be under water (lucky I was a submariner!)

I set up 2 x 6 metre whips with 3 gram rigs (just in case one got trashed) and a 4BB Crowquill for trotting down the middle. Mixed up a bit of Gros Gardons and Noire to get the bait down quickly in about 4 foot of water.

We started at 10 o'clock and after 20 minutes without a bite Dominic shouted that it was not looking good as did the guy below me as they had no signs either.

About 15 minutes after that Dom had a small roach on the running line.

The angler below me also had a roach and then foul hooked what looked like a skimmer, hmmm not good.

It took me another hour to get my first bite and I missed it plus the next one. By now Dom was catching regular and the angler below was getting the odd roach by laying on.

Another 20 minutes must have gone by before I hooked my first roach on the crow quill rig but it didn't feel right as the float was too light. I got off my box and put on an 8BB one which performed much better and I had a roach soon after I stepped up.

Due to the tide coming in you had to constantly alter the depth.

I had a bonus small bream just under 2lbs right at the end of the trot which surprised me but very welcome.

Putting in the odd ball of ground bait with chopped worm and caster brought me a few more roach toward the end of the match but I knew I was out of it really. Word on the bank was the upstream pegs were really struggling. Sam actually rang me at the halfway point and said he had not had a bite.

Dominic ended up with 11lb plus of nice roach to win the match.

2nd place also came from the end peg in my section and that went to Darren Greenwood with 10lb plus.

I ended up with 4lb 14oz (5th overall) the two weights above me were 5lbs plus so not that far away after a poor start.

The best weight above Bleadon Bridge was 5lb 2oz was Jason Fern helped by a 2lb bream.

If I fished the same peg under the same conditions again I would set up a straight lead as well or a maggot feeder. I'll be on the Axe again in 2 weeks time.

Tomorrow I'm back on Acorn Fishery to sample the dark side again as the tide is all wrong to fish the Kenn the next Saturday and Sunday is the 2 day River Tone Festival down at Taunton.

So it's pretty busy on the fishing front at the moment.

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Tuesday 28th December - Roy Carter Memorial Gloucester Canal, Hempstead to Netheridge

This match reminds a lot of West Country anglers of Roy who sadly passed away much too early a few years ago following a stroke. He was a very popular character on the local Match Circuit. Two memories I have of him is trying to draw bream away from me at Newbridge (he didn't and was the first to congratulate me on the win) and the other is giving a cyclist a "bollocking" for passing him on the inside when he was indicating to pull over at Rea Bridge on the Glossy, guess who won the argument.

Gloucestershire Match Ace Steve Long aided by Dave Clapton (Library photo's below) have been running a Match on the Gloucester Canal (a venue Roy loved) in his memory since his passing in order to raise money for the Stroke Association. 

Steve Long

Dave Clapton

The match is advertised quite early and is always held between Christmas Day and the New Year. I have fished all but one of them and as the 28th did not impact on any last minute family Christmas plans I booked in 2 weeks ago. Team mate Chris Hook was also booked in.

I arranged to meet Chris at McDonalds in Hardwick around 7 a.m before going to the Draw at Widden Old Boys Rugby Club. I was there before 7 and shortly after was joined by Jon Tocknell before Chris turned up. 

We were at the Rugby Club in plenty of time and eagerly waited for the draw, team mate Andy Thomas also turned up. 40 plus anglers were booked in and the pegging was from Hempstead Bridge to permanent peg 65 at Netheridge. There were quite a few boats on Hempstead Straight and the last couple of pegs on the old bend but generally all pegs were in.

Those that are familiar with the Glossy know that pegs 45 - 49 and 62 - 65 would be the favourable draw.

Steve called everyone to order and explained the procedure and rules for the day (not everyone listens) before getting on with the draw.

Chris and I were probably a third the way from the front of the queue and it was pleasing to see most of the scales and boards had gone before it was our turn to put our hand in the tray of dreams.

Chris pulled out peg 30 on the Straight and I had 43, hmmmmm. Andy was on 59 which is a bit of a bugger peg.

I have never draw 43 before and knew I was close to the "pegs of breams" but not close enough. At best I thought if all of the pegs on the bend framed then I might pick up a default section win.

I parked at Netheridge OK for the short walk to 43. It's always hard walking past the likes of 48, 47, 46 and 45 and there were some good anglers on them. As I approached my peg I saw Jon Tocknell on 44. 

A pretty stiff breeze was blowing up the Canal and there was a fair bit of colour in it.

I set up a 20 gram bread feeder for straight in front of me about a meter from the far bank tins, hair rigged 7mm discs on a 16 would be the first rig in the water trying to get some early fish. I also set up a 25 gram ground bait feeder for fishing dead reds or live maggot / pinkie on a 16 B560 about 5 meters to the left of the bread line.

Due to the strong breeze I only set up a pole line at top 7 with a 2 grammer. At this length it was still almost top 5 deep which I was happy about as on the "Bend pegs" it is also this depth close in and fish frequent the inside line toward the end of the day.

The "all in" was shouted at 10:00 and I cupped in Sensas Black Lake and Leam on my pole lines ( 10 and 2 o'clock) laced with dead reds, dead pinkie and a little chopped worm.

Starting off on the bread feeder I was expecting a bite, not right away but at least 20 minutes in. Nothing!

I saw Jon swing in a small fish on the feeder.

Still persevering on the bread I gave it a good 50 minutes and not a single indication. 

So time to give the ground bait feeder a go, mix was Sweet Skimmer and a little Thatchers Dark with just a few dead reds and pinkie with double red on the hook. Well another 20 minutes went by and nothing. Jon had a net fish on the feeder but was now having a look on his short pole line.

It wasn't long before he had a couple of net skimmers so it was time to follow suit.

The float reassuringly went under and I had a hand sized skimmer so blank avoided. 2 more small ones followed before it went dead. Jon however had added another couple of net fish.

I re-fed the lines again and put a bit more worm in before having a look on the gb feeder again.

Time was going on now and word from passers by suggested it was fishing hard.

Before going back out on the pole again I added a couple of inches more depth to the rig.

It wasn't long before it went under and I had a better fish a skimmer of around 1.5 pounds, phew.

It went quiet after that and once again Jon was into a fish on the pole.

The pole seemed to be the way to go today so got my head down and just patiently waited for a bite feeding very little but topping up both lines. The wind had dropped a lot now and Jon was up setting up a longer line (this did pay off for him as he nicked a few more skimmers). I did as well and bumped a couple as well late in the match. There must have been fish moving through on the inside as I got a few liners as well.

I have thought quite a lot about the match and how I approached it. I would certainly do a few things differently next time I draw in that area.

From nowhere at the halfway stage I managed a respectable 8lb 11oz.

As expected the Bend produced the winner but I did beat 2 of the Bend pegs.

Here is my board my Section was 43 - 48

Full results as follows, Jon was last in the frame and on reflection I could have possible made the frame as well, next time eh.

1st Neal Pickering peg 47
2nd Charlie Vallender peg 36
3rd Andy Jane peg 64
4th Jon Tocknell peg 44
Section winners:-
60-65 Pete Goulding peg 62. 11-0-0
54-59 Geoff Knight peg 55. 3-0-0
48-43 Nigel Baker peg 45. 11-2-0
42-37 Andrew Richings peg 39. 11-3-0
36-31 ade Baldwin peg 32. 5-3-0
30-25 Shaun grange peg 26. 9-11-0
1-6 David Clapton peg 3. 3-15-0

In total £420 raised for the Stroke Association.

Well that's it from me for 2021, my next planned outing is the River Tone 2 day Festival on 8th and 9th January which is a sell out.

Happy New Year all and all the best for 2022.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Tuesday 21st December - Acorn Fishery Open (aka a look on the dark side)

Those of you who follow my blog already know that I rarely visit a Commercial Fishery. I used to mix and match it a bit at Club level but since moving on to Team Fishing quite a few years ago I decided to concentrate on running line plus Canals.

Prior to lockdown last year I had tied a few Commercial Rigs and kept them  in a lunch box. I only got to use them once before lockdown came in and was second in the match at Acorn with a low weight on a cold day.

A few weeks ago I went back again and concentrated on silvers, I came second.

I decided to book in again this Tuesday and contacted Mike Chapman to book in. Mike told me I wouldn't need much bait as the winner on Sunday came from peg 5 with 70lb plus, 74 I think.

I was there in plenty of time and Mike aided by Eddie Wynne were master of ceremonies sorting out the draw masked up in line with Fishery Rules inside the cabin.

Clevedon Club mates Kev Perry and Paul Faiers also turned up as expected and we had a good old moan about our Christmas match on the Kenn a couple of days ago.

22 booked in and paid, its only £13 so you won't get rich on the winnings. The match on Tuesdays is an Open and generally well attended by regulars who are retired, self employed or skiving lol.

The Acorn Tackle Shop is open every day from 07:30 so fresh bait is available. I only topped up with half a pint of fluro pinkie. A small Warburton's Toastie Loaf was picked up from my local garage on the way as well ( I had plenty of maggot and worm plus half a tin of corn). 

The temperature was 4 degree's on arrival and it would not rise much above that all day.

The draw got under way and I was given peg 5, well you should have heard it ... lol ......

Despite the winner coming from it a couple of days ago (with carp) I was planning to fish for silvers so what do I do now.

Paul and Kev were on pegs 6 and 7. Fair play to Paul he walked over on the Island with me to the peg and pointed out where to fish for silvers or right across for carp. There are 5 pegs on the Island and all of them were in for some reason. The good thing was I was end peg with plenty of room to my left, peg 8 was not in.

A certain Mr Des Shipp was also fishing so know pressure, Des was over on peg 17, he usually does very well on this venue.

I did mix up some Sensas Black Lake for one silvers line and potted in a ball with caster and pinkie on the all in. My two other silver lines had loose fed pinkie and just finely chopped worm, all top 2 plus 3.

Before I finish baiting up young Freddie Clarke was netting a carp on peg 4.

I then went across at 13 metres towards the corner of the Island fishing bread (6mm punch) in 3 foot of water. I got an indication straight away and soon had a foul hooker on. A bit of a beast but I did land him. A big common of around 7lbs.

I was on 0.11 power line hook length to an old Preston 434 16 but the 11 elastic more than compensated the runs the fish took.

The float went under again right across and this time it was properly hooked. I calculated I had around 20lb in the first hour so on track for a decent weight. On the odd occasion when I did look around I couldn't see that much being caught.

I put a little bit more bait on my silvers lines though just in case.

Back over with the bread and a Carrasso was hooked, these count as silvers and come in really easy. A few more carp followed some caught on the bread, some on a corn skin but lost a few as well due to being mould hooked.

Trying my silvers line out in front with pinkie I was surprised to catch a small tench, gave it another 10 minutes but no indications. Tried by other 2 silver lines and nothing. That was it I was forced to continue to fish for carp.

I had a big skimmer on the bread plus a decent crucian.

My arms were aching on the all out, Paul and Kev reckoned I'd done enough to win.

I had, 70lb 4oz (part of my catch above)

Here are the weigh sheets.....

Thankfully Des decided to fish for silvers due to the peg he was on, had he been on mine he would have emptied it as would most of the regulars on here but as Paul said a win's a win.

Paul came second in the silvers and Kev sixth overall.

Next up is the Roy Carter on 28th Dec Gloucester Canal.

Monday, 20 December 2021

Wednesday 15th and Sunday 19th December - Pleasure session and match River Kenn

On Wednesday 15th December I decided on a pleasure session on my Club water, the River Kenn in Clevedon North Somerset. The EA drop the level in early December and you are only fishing in 3 foot of water. It can be a bit of a challenge as on a lot of pegs you need to stand in the mud. Fishing is also a bit hit and miss and can be very frustrating as the river is affected by the tide.

This was my first winter session on the river, the tide was spot on for a fishing session up until 3 p.m.

It's not complicated fishing and you don't need a lot of bait.

I went on peg 35 just above Strode Rd bridge. A 2.5 AAA straight waggler with a no. 8 and 2 no. 10's down the line with a 18 B611 hook tied on 0.11 power line. A pint of red maggot and a few worms. 

I started fishing at 9 a.m. trotting through two thirds the way across just tripping bottom and feeding about 6 maggots every run.

There was little or no wind so I was able to present the bait in different ways, holding back or tripping the bottom. There was also a tinge of colour in the water.

Fishing this way is a bit of a work out due to the continuous trotting and it was 3 hours before I had a bite which I missed but at least it was a good sign.

Soon afterwards I was bent into a good fish, I knew straight away it was a tench. Nothing unusual about catching tench on the Kenn in winter (I have had 52lb of them in January 2 years ago).

Tony Derrick was behind me watching at the time and took this photo ......

You can't beat catching a fit tench on the waggler in running water.

Over the following 3 hours I had 4 more tench, a big perch and 2 roach. Due to the tide coming in the flow stopped just before 3 p.m. and I lost another big tench after playing it for 5 minutes but it was foul hooked as a scale came back on the hook.

Here's my full catch photo ....

On Sunday the 19th December we (Clevedon Freshwater Angling Club) had our Christmas Open on the River Kenn.

27 Anglers attended which is a decent turnout. We had our breakfast and draw at Angelina's Restaurant in Warren's Holiday Park Clevedon. It was a great venue, plenty of parking and room inside, the food was good and very clean premises.

The draw got under way at 08:45 and I was towards the end of the queue. Team mates Leigh Wakefield and Chris Hook were also fishing.
Into the bucket of dreams and I pulled out peg 36A which is above Strode Rd a few pegs up from where I was fishing the Wednesday before, on paper a great draw and I knew 4 tench and some roach had come off it the previous Tuesday by Steve Warren. Leigh was on 36 above me and Chris was on 11 a good summer peg for bream.

The good thing about my peg was I didn't have to sit in the mud as one of our members built a great platform in some reeds, it actually under water in the summer when the level is up.

I had a decent amount of room between myself and the next angler (Andy Law) downstream.

My rods and rigs were already made up. Full depth waggler and one for right across in 2 foot of water plus a 4 no. 4 stick float for the inside and a small maggot feeder.

An hour in and not a bite (same as the guys above me), then I saw Andy below me net a big perch. 2 more hours with not a bite then a small roach right at the end of the trot on the full depth waggler. Just as I swung it in Leigh above me had a decent perch on the straight lead.

I had a few more roach over the next 30 minutes but they were small but at the same time thought I could put a weight together and if a bonus perch or tench came along who knows what I could achieve.

Sadly it didn't happen and the roach disappeared. 

The river on the whole fished rock hard and the match was won by Glenn Calvert with 6lb 10oz of small roach on the pole with pinkie from peg 33 directly above Strode Rd. bridge.

4lb 4oz and 4lb 3oz were enough for 2nd and 3rd place.

There were quite a few DNW's down the bottom end but everyone knew the score before they entered, it didn't help that the temperatures plummeted a couple of days before the match and it was cold all day.

The Club provided some great Christmas Fayre prizes and the raffle was supported with donations from Cadbury Angling and Reel Fun.

I managed a few bottle of wine, some chocolate, pellets (goodness know's what I will do with them) and biscuits.

When I got home I noticed a mouse had already had a go at the biscuit box lol.

The Kenn can be rewarding but can also do your head in but ....... never give up. I'm looking forward to a few more winter sessions.

If you would like to fish the River Kenn there is loads of information and the ability to purchase day tickets and permits on our website ......

Going on the dark side tomorrow (Tuesday 21st Dec) Acorn Fishery Cost cutter then on 28th Dec the Roy Carter Memorial on the Gloucester Canal.

Monday, 13 December 2021

Sunday 12th December - Ray South Memorial Match Warks Avon Evesham

This was my first outing since the Poppy Match on 14th November due to being away on a Caribbean Cruise. Although the cruise was 2 weeks I was being careful not to mix prior to going and had to self isolate after coming back to the UK until my PCR was done.

I search high and low for a match locally but there wasn't any. Bathampton AA had advertised a match on the Bristol Avon at Newbridge but after contacting Dean Harvey he informed me it was cancelled.

I was left with two options..... Port Talbot Docks or Evesham each of them about an hour and a quarter away, I decided on Evesham as it was also a Festival qualifying match.

We hadn't had that much rain locally but I knew they had more in the Midlands so set about monitoring the River Gauge reports for Evesham. It didn't look too bad and I also checked with local angler Trevor Chalk to get his opinion of what it might look like on the Sunday. It was going to be about 18 inches up at the most so not too bad.

Up early on the Sunday and at 0630 it was 12 degree's, I had everything in the van to cover all options.

A nice run up to Evesham and as I crossed over the Town Bridge I could see the level was definitely up with a tinge of colour. After I parked up at Hampton Ferry I met up with a few other from the Gloucestershire area, Jon Tocknell, Andy Richings, Brian Pollard and Mark Brush. I sat with Mark in the Cafe prior to the draw, he's very successful at Evesham and picked his brains a bit.

34 booked in today with 2 anglers qualifying for the Evesham Festival in August, the match prize money today had also been enhanced by the late Ray South's family to the tune of £250.

Most favoured the deeper pegs in the Ferry Field due to the state of the river as the conditions appeared to be spot on for bream.

Upstream of the town bridge had been put in but not the pegs immediately below as they are much shallower and the water would be bombing through. I was pretty well down the que and when I got to the battleship style draw grid I saw that A5 was still there (I have picked this disc quite often) so called it out to Diana and when she turned it over I was on peg 14, the first time I have been above the town bridge.

I spoke to Andy Richings afterwards who said it was a decent depth there and you could get skimmers or even a barble.

Fishing was 10:15 - 15:15 so plenty of time to drive down to the car park load up and a short walk to the peg. Not knowing what the peg looked like I just took everything.

To my surprise and give the amount of pegs v the number of anglers fishing pegs 13, 14 and 15 were all in. The guy above me on 13 had a bit of a moan as he was closer to me than I was to the angler on 15. I felt I had enough room so was fairly happy.

The river had a bit of pace on it right in the middle but there was also a crease this side of the middle and the near bank which looked fishy. I decided on just two methods, maggot feeder (45 gram) down the middle and a small ground bait (30 gram) feeder for about 12 metres out downstream. I nearly set up a whip for bleak but decided against it.

At the start the sun was right in my eyes and had to raise my had to block it out in order to see the tip.

I started off on the inside line with the ground bait feeder and worm but after 45 minutes nothing so picked up the maggot feeder rod. Third chuck and a very small chublet hung itself on 2 maggots, didn't even see the bite. The 45 grams held the middle just nice and on my next cast had a lovely drop back getting a nice 5 ounce roach, here we go, cracked it I thought. I did get a few nipped maggots but no indication whatsoever.

I could hear the angler above me on the phone having a good old moan and it sounded like most were struggling.

I had been re-casting about every 5 minutes trying to make something happen as you would for trotting, trying to draw fish into the swim.

A group of people passed on paddle boards dressed as Santa's ..... why?

Not long after they went by I put on 3 maggots, I was fishing a proper hook, Preston N50 although it was a 16 to 0.14 Accu Power.

After I cast it was in about 3 minutes or so and I turned to get some gear out of my back behind the seatbox when out of the corner of my eye I noticed the tip bounce back. I hit it and thought I had snagged a floating log or branch until it started to move upstream. The way it was nodding I thought it was a decent bream and carefully got it with about 5 metres of the bank when it came up to the top. Not a bream but a barble and a big one at that. As I shipped the net out it dived and headed right across the river and I was franticly back winding.

Please don't come off I thought, I was a bag of nerves to be honest and knew the importance of landing this fish.

The angler above me shouted down "barbel" I shouted back yes, he said something else but I didn't hear it. I don't know how long it took to get it back to the nearside but I managed it and netted it successfully to the apaulse of a guy stood behind me (non angler). It was bent double in the landing net and there was a huge sense of relief on my part. Even after I had put it in the keep net I was still shaking for quite a while.

It was about 13:30 now with and hour and 45 minutes to go, plenty of time to get another I thought.

Word from passers by suggested the river was fishing rock hard, a few skimmers had been caught above me as well as a bream in the Ferry Field.

I had only one more bite until the all out, a ruff.

Peg 13 above me had one ruff and on peg 15 he had a small chublet.

When Jay came down with the scales to me the best upstream of me was 5lb. 

My barbel, roach, chublet and ruff went 10lb 7oz so the barbel was a level 10lb.

2 photo's below which shows off it's length and girth .....

Back at Hampton Ferry I found that I was 2nd overall and didn't qualify as Jon Tocknell had 2 big bream on the pole feeder for 13lb plus (2 in 15 minutes) after he saw one roll. Jon was also the last peg in my qualifying zone, but tbh I wasn't that bothered after landing that magnificent fish.

Jon with his 2 big bream

Here is the board with the weights by peg and results......

As you will see Mark Brush kept his recent good form on the venue by winning his section.

When the called out the results overall beginning with 4th place and said it was worth £90 I knew I was in for a good payout.

What a day, I have only ever caught one barbel before and it was only about a pound back in the 80's.

Pleasure fishing the River Kenn on Wednesday and Club Xmas Match on the same river next Sunday.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Sunday 14th November - Bill Milton Memorial (RBL Poppy Match) Bristol Avon, Newbridge to Chequers

 This is the biggest match of the year on the Bristol Avon. It did not take place last year due to COVID restrictions but thankfully it was able to go ahead this year in order to raise money for our service men and families who need support.

Ray Bazeley is the CEO and co-ordinator of this event supported by quite a few others who do a great job. A few years ago the event was renamed the Bill Milton Memorial following Bill's passing, Bill used to run the match and was very passionate about the cause.

I got my ticket weeks ago via Rich Lacey who was selling them on one the of Commercial House League matches.

4 of my Sensas Nomads Team fishing today, Chris Hook, Sam Johnson, Leigh Wakefield and myself.

With little or no rain for a couple of weeks we thought Swineford would be the place to draw in order to target the roach and chub. However it had also been very mild so anything could happen. Given the length of river that was pegged along with the variation in pegs you had to take everything.

I packed the pole, 2 feeder rods, 16 foot rod, 13 foot waggler and a 6 metre whip. Depending on where i drew I could lighten the gear down or on the other hand have to take the lot.

The Pavillon Club in the old Fry's Chocolate Factory development was the draw venue and we got there at 07:30 in plenty of time. A lot of the anglers were already there, some who don't fish that much but always support this match,  a few from well outside the area as well as those who fish the Bristol Avon on a regular basis.

Pegging for the match

Prior to the draw Brian Lloyd from the Legion Club read out the citation and there was two minutes silence. I am very proud of my time in the Royal Navy and wore my Submariners Dolphins, it was also lovely to see Sam wearing his Dads Dolphins. 

The draw then commenced and we were all fairly near the start of the queue except for Sam as he was right up there at the front.
We said before the draw that we would meet up after we had drawn but Sam was gone like Billy Whiz out of the car park, we didn't even know where he was going lol. Chris and I drew Newbridge, I was on 11 behind the Pump House (permanent peg 22a) and Chris was on 13 (permanent peg 24 a good chub area), Leigh was down in the Tree's by the Rugby Club (permanent peg 122 I think).

I got to Newbridge by 08:30 and was able to park a short distance from the Pump House. I took a look at the peg before unloading and decided it was not necessary to take the pole gear. It's a fairly steep bank here but you can get down in the water.

Jeff Surman was above me on 10, no one drew 12 so I had plenty of room. I had fished this peg many years ago but that was in the summer. a couple of boats were moored on the far side were most of the flow was but it was steady from the middle right across. I knew this was a chub and roach area, you need a bit of water on it with colour for skimmers and bream.

With that in mind I decided to set up a 4 gram bolo for down the middle, a 3AAA waggler for right across and a maggot feeder for across as well. Nice a simple. 
I had also pre mixed a bag of Sensas River and Gros Gardons so just had to dampen it down.
I had trees above me but setting up the platform in the water gave me plenty of room, however I was sat in the shade all day.

The rowers were out in force today, many under tuition, too many in fact and they do come very close on the near bank as there is a bend to my right but you just got to get your head down and get on with it.

I had the scales and board for pegs 11 to 20 so shouted the all in at 10:00. I was ready with 10 minutes to go.

5 balls went in laced with dead reds and caster down the middle were it was 12 foot deep, I didn't put in anything that wriggled on this line. 2 pouch full's of red maggot and hemp were also fed in the gap between the boats.

Starting off on the bolo with a single maggot I had an 8 oz roach first run through, lovely. The next few trots I missed bites towards the end of the run so put double maggot on. This made a big difference and the bites were very positive, numerous 3 to 4 oz roach were swung in. 
I got a good rhythm going feeding small nuggets down the middle and feeding across with generous amounts of maggot and hemp.

I took a couple of chublet's on the bolo so started to loose feed caster which gave me a few more, not big and they look heavier than what they weigh but worth having.

The bolo line produced well for nearly 2 hours and even though I was still catching, not as much as the first hour and you should never come off feeding fish I decided to give the far waggler line a go.

First cast the float buried and it was solid, a decent chub which took me down river into nearside reeds but got him out. A great bonus fish of around 2lbs. 

Sam rang me and asked where I was and how I was doing, he was at Swineford and said he was catching chub and roach on the crowquill.

Darren Gillman came walking along the bank (he wasn't fishing) and said my mate Chris on 13 was admitting to 10lbs. I thought I might have near that or just under at this stage. No more big chub showed but I did have a run of 10oz chublet's.
I was still feeding down the middle and swapped around between the bolo and the waggler every 15 minutes or so for the remainder of the match.

I had a great day's fishing on the running line fishing fairly positive with a B560 18 to 0.11 power line on both rigs. I only bumped a couple of fish all day.

I called the ''all out'' at 15:00 and packed up before starting at peg 20 to weigh in etc.

As I walked down there didn't appear to me much caught down the straight and the best weight before I got to Chris was Kevin Boltz with 7lbs. 
When I got to Chris and he pulled his net out I knew I had a bit more than him. Chris weighed 9lb 9oz.

I got Paul Randell to weigh my net which went 18lb 3oz so a section win at least.

My board

Today's catch, with the light fading fast and the overhead tree's its a little dark.

Word on the bank suggested there were a few huge bream weights down in the Tree's.

Back at the Pavilion the raffle, auction and prize giving took place, it was a shame not everyone came back but there was still a good attendance.

Sam done well at Swineford catching 26lb plus which got him 6th overall, Leigh also won his section with 13lb odd. Those bream weights did happen, here is the results (top 6).......

1st    Chris Parr 181-04 bream in the Tree's section 
2nd   Tony Goodland 98-04 bream in the Tree's section
3rd    Derek Cole 78-04 bream in the Tree's section
4th    John Smith 36-02 bream at Swineford
5th    Paul Purchase 34-11 roach and 2 pike which count on the Crane
6th    Sam Johnson 26-07 Swineford

I think I was about 11th overall, the best I have done in this event is 5th but felt I couldn't have done anymore.

It was a great event and when all the money comes in it will have raised in excess of £2000.

That's it from me for a few weeks as I'm off on hols.