Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sunday 12th March - Bathampton Open Bristol Avon, Newbridge

Another visit to the Bristol Avon and my last river match of the season. Good turnout again due to the chance of catching a few bream. The river did look spot on and better than the previous Sunday.
Things did not go to plan at the draw as I pulled out peg 7 in the little field, a good peg if you intended to fish for roach and chublets. This was the peg where I had 17lb plus of roach on the pole to jointly win a recent Winter League Match (with Tim Ford). I spoke to Tim just after the draw when he asked what peg I had. I said I was going the wrong way for the bream and he said he was as well after drawing a peg in the 70's (I think) and too far down.
Graham Hunt told me he had been on 7 the previous week and had one bream but also said it was a snag pit.
Above me and for the second week running was Nigel Wyatt who was also non too happy with his draw. Geoff Surman was just above the bridge and was going to have to contend with all the Bath Half Marathon runners going over the road bridge above him and all their supporters.

peg 7, nice but wrong time of year.

Like the previous week I only brought two Feeder Rods as there was no point in taking anything else as this was going to be an out and out bream match. I had 3 pints of caster, a kilo of worm, maggots and lob worms.
I found the snag Graham told me about quite early in the match and lost a Feeder so had to fish to my left straight down the middle with a 25 gram. Hook was a 14 to 0.13 power on one rod with a 12 to 0.15 power on the other.
I was getting little knocks all the time but only from small fish attacking the lobby and only managed a chublet in the first hour. It was not long before Nigel came down for a walk and he was having the same day as me getting roach on smaller baits. Nigel went down to see Geoff on the bridge with his flask.
I also added a couple of roach when I swapped to three red maggots on the hook but went back to lobby in the hope of a slab or two.
After 30 minutes Nigel came back up a reported that Geoff had one bream but lost a big fish that he did not get sight off when he got it near the left hand bank.
I plodded on casting the feeder every 5 to 10 minutes but the bream did not arrive, I did have a couple of skimmers around a pound each though but I guess they were lost!
The angler on peg 1 walked past me around 14:30 having packed up.
The match finished at 16:45 and I give it my all throughout.

Nigel weighed 5lbs plus of small fish, he also had a trout. I had just under 3lbs.

Geoff on the bridge was the best in our Section with over 9lbs, pic below.

There were some great weights below the bridge on the ''straight'' which is where everyone wanted to draw.

Rich Lacey had a very good day from peg 36 with this nice bag, his biggest bream went 7lbs plus.

Matt Challenger caught his tea.

Top individuals as follows:

1st from peg 38 N Smith 75lbs 12ozs
2nd from peg 36 Rich Lacey 52lbs 2ozs
3rd from peg 30 Dean Harvey 42lbs 13oz (Dean also lost a double figure barbel at the net)
4th from peg 16 Adie West 42lbs 4ozs

Thats it for the rivers now so I'll be on the Bristol Feeder Canal and Gloucester Canal very soon so look out for my updates.

I was invited to fish a silvers match at Hunstrete Lake this week but doing a kitchen re-furb and have daughter down from London at the weekend so prob no fishing until mid week commencing Monday 20th March.

Happy St. Patricks Day (17th March).

Sunday 11th March - Don Sutherland memorial match Viaduct Fishery Somerton

Team Captain Chris Hook organised this match in conjunction with Viaduct Fishery in memory of our Team mate Don Sutherland who passed away unexpectedly almost a year ago. Viaduct was the last match he fished exactly a year ago. This match was silvers only (silvers fishing was Dons favourite) and 50 anglers turned up which is fantastic for a Saturday.
Prior to the draw Chris said a few words and we all had a minutes silence, Dons family would attend later but his son was there from the start.
I don't fish Viaduct or any other Commercial but Fishery owner Steve Long remembered me from way back when he bought the lakes as I organised a few Post Office Angling Club matches there in the early days. I found myself drawing 56 when it came to my turn to dip my hand in the draw tin. 56 was right in front of the tackle shop on the lawn. Fellow blogger Chris Fox told me 17lb of silvers had come off it the previous week, I thought I would need more than that today.
Plumbing up I could hardly believe how shallow it was, fairly even on all pole lines up to 13 meters and the waggler at around 25 meters.
No pellet was allowed today so I had caster, corn, maggot, pinkie and some worm.
At the all in I started on the waggler with corn after feeding two pole lines spraying caster over the top. I did have some indications put nothing positive.
It took me ages (probably around an hour) to get a proper bite on the waggler with red maggot and it was a decent perch of around 1lb plus but no more. Trying the pole lines it was also quite although Rowland Lucas on 59 was having a good day fishing about 9 meters catching big skimmers as well as carp which had to be put back.
It was a long 6 hours and I was kinda glad when the all out was called. I did catch some skimmers but they were small and ended up with under 6lbs. Sitting around a pond looking at other anglers is not really my scene but I think I should have done better and perhaps fished closer in. I will be there for next years event

Spring Lake fished well with all of the top weights coming from it.
Leading the way was Mark Saunders with 49lb plus.

Don's Mum and Dad, his wife and brother attended the match just before the finish and greatly appreciated the turn out in Don's memory, this will be an annual event.


Above - Mark with his winning bag and being presented with the Don Sutherland Memorial Shield by Don's wife and brother.

1st   Mark Saunders 49lbs 8ozs
2nd  Stu White  42lbs 9ozs
3rd  Gabe Skarba 39lbs 11ozs
4th  Shaun Kittridge 39lbs 9ozs
5th  Jess Jordan 33lbs 12ozs
6th  Ryan Shipp 32lbs 3ozs

We do miss Don especially his match analysis but this match will ensure his memory lives on.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Sunday 5th March - Bathampton Open, Bristol Avon, Newbridge

I was aware there was the usual last Sunday of the season match at Newbridge but saw that Kev Dicks advertised one the week before via Facebook. It was a no brainer and I was soon booked in. The draw was at 08:30 on the bank (just like the old days). I got there around 08:10 and saw there was already a decent amount of hardened River Anglers already parked up.
Organiser Kev was some way downstream pegging out so we would have plenty of room today. The river had a nice bit of colour and pace on it which was spot on for the bream.
The draw was done on time and I think there were around 26 ish in the orderly que. I was about 6th in and pulled out 43 which was at the bottom of the straight. Fellow blogger Tim Ford said it was a decent draw and I should also be a bit sheltered from the blustery wind. The weather forecast for the day did not look very good.
The walk to the peg was pretty slippery underfoot due to all the rain and nearly lost it a few times. The peg was pretty high off the water and only a small flat spot dug into the bank for a seat box. After  assessing the situation I decided to sit on the bank using a strong thick plastic bag to keep the old bum dry. The keep net was attached to a bank stick allowing the bottom 3 rings to be under water.  Nigel Wyatt was above me on 41 and the next angler below me was out of site around a bend.
Simple set up today, two feeder rods. I brought my old Silstar Traverse X out of retirement and attached a 45 gram feeder with a 12 hook to 0.15 power line. The second rod had a 3oz tip with a 30 gram feeder and a 14 hook to 0.13 power line. Bait wise it was classic bream fodder....chop and caster, some dead reds and lobby's for the hook.

I started off with the 30 grammer casting just my side of the middle retrieving and re-loading every 5 minutes to get some bait in. After 20 minutes I got a positive knock and left it to see if it would drop back but it didn't. I reeled in and half a lobby had gone. It gave me a bit of confidence and suggested a few fish may be around. Some 30 minutes passed and I had another knock which I hit and a roach of around 8 ozs was caught. Not what I wanted but at least I was up and running. At the end of the second hour as I picked up the rod to retrieve I felt felt some resistance followed by slow movement. It could have been a bream but I will never know as what ever it was it came off.
Nigel came down for a walk to see if I was catching. He had a roach and a bream of around 6lbs fishing the same line and method as me.
I plugged away at it as it does not take many bream to make up a decent weight. The pace of the river was starting to pick up a bit and it also began to rise so I switched to the 45 gram feeder and the trusty TraverseX. 
It held nicely in the increased flow and at 14:30 I had my third bite, a good one and it was bream on. The TraverseX had a good bend in it and even though the flow was strong I had the confidence to play the fish due to the big hook and strong line. It was a good fish of around 6lbs.
I did expect another but it did not happen. Nigel above me had added another roach giving him a total of 6lbs 13oz.

Nigel Wyatt

My single bream and roach went 6lbs 5oz

Most angler caught odd fish but best of the bunch was Jerry Pocock on peg 59 with 8 bream for 39lbs, second was Glenn Bailey from peg 52 with 6 bream for just over 31lbs and Tim Ford from peg 20 was third with 30lbs, also 6 bream.

Although windy the weather was ok and it only pissed down as we packed up.

Saturday 11th March I am down Viaduct for the Don Sutherland Memorial Match. Don fished in our Team for years before he sadly passed away unexpectedly last year. I think there are around 50 booked in for this match.
Sunday 12th back on the Avon at Newbridge for the last match of the river season.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tuesday 21st February - Pleasure Session River Tone, Taunton

Fellow Clevedon Freshwater Angling Club mate Scott Smallwood has a month off so contacted me about wanting to fish the River Tone down in Taunton as he had only ever fished it once before many years ago and he had seen the catches I had from the free stretch near B & Q. The weather forecast and conditions looked good for Tuesday 21st so I arranged to meet up with Scott in Clevedon at 07:30. As we drove down the M5 it was raining quite hard but the nearer we got to Taunton it began to clear up. It only took us about 30 minutes to get to junction 25 and then a 5 minute drive to the back of B & Q where there was access to the river.
We parked up and had a walkabout first and the river looked in mint condition, a little clear but plenty of pace. I pointed out a few swims to Scott and he choose one upstream of the picnic bench, I went down to my favourite swim in the Copse.

Importantly we both had nice long trot. The stick float was going to be the set up today and I also set up a tip rod for the bread as there are some good chub in the stretch. I advised Scott to continually loose feed as there is a good head of small fish around.
We both got going and I was into fish straight away. A mix of roach, dace, chublets and bleak. A good pouch full of caster and hemp was fired in every trot and after 30 minutes I had my first chub, a nice fish of around 3lbs and a lovely fight on the slim rod. It literally was a bite every run through and another chub soon graced the net,
I started to get pike trouble with one sizeable fish attacking the fish in the keep net. It was biting the metal rings and twisting and turning like a great white shark in a frenzy. Even knocking it on the body with the landing net handle did not deter it, I almost netted it at one point before it disappeared.
Scott came down to see how I was getting on and said he had 2 big chub and lots of small fish which he found hard getting through. He too was having pike problems. Seeing me swing a chublet of around 8 ozs he asked how many of them I had as it appeared my fish were of better quality.
Scott went back to have another crack and I continued to catch although the pike were really starting to be a nuisance and I did manage to land one after the hook some how got caught in one of its fins preventing it from biting the line.
Towards the end of the session I gave the tip a try with bread flake and liquidised in a small feeder.
This made a good difference and I had some good roach and 3 more decent chub.
It truly was a great session. I ended up with around 15 lbs of chub, 10 labs of mixed silvers and a pike of around 5 lbs. Scott had 2 nice chub and about 8 lbs of silvers.

my 5 chub

Mixed silvers and the pike

Scott with his bag

All in all a great day on a free stretch of water, must get back there before the end of the season.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Sunday 19th February - Chippenham Open Bristol Avon

It's been just over 3 weeks since my last match so I was keen to get back out this weekend. I had three matches to choose from..... a club match on a Commercial, the Upper Brue Championships and a Chippenham Open on the River Avon. My choice was the Chippenham Open.
Chippenham AA have a lovely stretch of the Avon and access is very good as are the pegs. I used to fish their water a few times a year when the Avon Commercial League was running and with my old Club, Bristol Post Office. That was about twenty years ago though. I did fish a Saturday Open on the stretch about a year ago but that was in the summer.
Draw was at Witherspoons in the Town Centre at 08:30 and on arrival at 08:00 I met up with Mike Martin captain of the Sensas Nomads Team. Mike had won a recent match here (19lb of chub) and was looking to target them again. Talk was that chub would win it.
Twenty Two were booked in and every other peg was put in between Monkton Park up to above Riverside Drive. Into the draw bag and out comes peg 17 which is accessed from Riverside Drive. The angler on peg 20 had the golden peg and he said we were at the wrong end and needed to be on a peg in the mid 20's. One of the local anglers told me he lived more or less opposite the peg and best option was to fish a stick float down the middle.

The peg did look inviting but most of them do at this end of the river. There was a nice bit of pace so I set up a 4 x No. 4 stick float on one rod and a 3BB avon on the other. As I was plumbing up I found it was about 5 foot deep in front down the middle but shallowed up 30 yards downstream and was a bit weedy. Three quarters the way across it was the same picture. I set up a tip rod for fishing the straight lead with bread in case a chub or two were under the far bank tree.
On the ''all in'' I sprayed a pouch of caster and hemp and began on the stick with maggot. I was expecting an early bite but no joy. A few trots down later a few dips on the float suggested minnows so upped the feed. This seemed to make a difference and I started getting a few small roach about an ounce. I persevered with this and some slightly better ones came on (3 ozs). Although I was getting a few bites I felt it was going nowhere so switched to the small avon float which was bulk shotted. I had a small chublet first trot down and it felt much better. Next run down the float buried and I had a better fish on then saw a trout jump out of the water. I landed it easily as it was around 10oz but they don't count. Very small fish continued to plague me so in order to try and improve things I fed a small nugget of senses roach and noire every trot. The fish remained the same size. I had a look on the tip across but not a nibble.
I ended up with 3lbs 14oz, able me weighed 1lb odd and below me 5lb odd so definetly the wrong end. 19lb (6 chub) came off peg 23 I think and below that a 22lb and a 24lb, all big chub.
Not sure what won it but those weights would have been there or thereabouts.

Going pleasure fishing on the River Tone down in Taunton on Tuesday so hopefully get a few decent fish.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Sunday 29th January - Bob Warden Memorial Match, Kennet and Avon Canal, Bath.

I think this match has only been going a few years and this is the first time I have fished it. Despite my most recent form on the K & A I was looking forward to it especially with a rise in temperatures forecast.
Only 26 booked in (although there were 30 pegs) due to other events clashing with the date.
I drew peg 26 which was the Bathampton bend and not an area I fancied at all. It was a peg you would run to in years gone by but I am not aware of any decent weights from it for some time. Upstream of the school at Bathampton has been generally poor.
I set up a waggler for fishing across into the bay where it was no more that 2 1/2 foot deep. The deepest part of the peg was about 11 meters out in front of me where it was around 4 1/2 foot so set up a 4 x 14 for fishing chop and caster at 10 o'clock and bloodworm at 2 o'clock where it was the same depth. Then just a bread rig at 5 meters in about 4 foot of water.
The bread line did not produce after 30 minutes so went out on the blood worm and had a micro perch straight away, not a good sign. No more bites so tried the waggler over loose fed casters and had a micro roach. After less than an hour anglers were walking the bank. Rich Lacey came up and told me he only had 3 small fish and anglers where blanking not having a bite.
oooohhhh shit I thought another scratch match.
Up toward the end peg 30 Nicola Goodhind was doing the best with a dozen small fish.
As the match progressed Rich was back walking and told me he had 3 decent perch for about 3lbs. That was by far the best at Bathampton. I did get a few bites on the bloodworm in the last half hour but they were very, very, very small fish. My total weight was 2oz. Nicola did take our 5 peg section with 10 1/2 ozs.
Rich won the other 5 peg section.
The report below is from Vince Lunn's Facebook page.
The Bob Warden Memorial match was fished On the Kennet & Avon Canal from Garage pond to Bathampton (26 pegs) in aid of lung research.
We would like to thank everyone who fished the match and all the anglers who donated extra money to the charity, even some who were unable to fish.
Thanks to Lee & Leighton Warden, their mum Yvonne, Veals and Scotts tackle for donating prizes. Thanks to Bathampton for waiving the peg fees. Thanks also to Dean and Tracey for opening the rugby club and doing food.
£239 was raised for lung research!
After the recent cold weather the conditions had turned milder and there were showers during the match. Whilst the framing weights were good, some people really struggled for bites, particularily those fishing at Bathampton.
The winner of the match and collecting the trophy was Mike Goodhind of M&N Electrical. He was pegged on the right hand side of horseshoe pond and he caught about 1 lbs of fish on bread at the start. After a couple of hours he went over his joker at 13 metres fishing red maggot and caught 10 skimmers along with some roach. He finished with 11 lbs 9 ozs. Some pics of him catching skimmers are attached.
2nd was Carl Steffan (Black Horse), who drew peg 1 in Garage pond. He caught 90 roach on bread on the inside before moving out further on a groundbait line to catch another 70 roach on pinkie for 10 lbs 10 ozs
only top 3 paid out for main prizes,
1) M Goodhind M&N Electrical 11 lbs 9 ozs
2) C Steffan Black Horse 10 lbs 12 ozs
3) N Evans Preston Innovations Thatchers 8 lbs 11 ozs
4) T Gilbert Preston Innovations Thatchers 8 lbs 6 ozs
5) J Surmon Stand & Deliver Promotions 8 lbs 2 ozs
I also made a note of the Section Winners (some by default)
1-5 Mike Martin- Davies 4lbs 12oz (Sensas Nomads)
6-10 Tony Gilbert 8lbs 6oz (P I Thatchers)
11-15 Kevin Boltz 5lbs 10oz
16-20 Ben Matthews 10oz
21-25 Rich Lacey 3lbs 8ozs (Mossella Bathampton)
26- 30 Nicola Goodhind 10 1/2 ozs (M&N Electrical)

Photo's below from Vince Lunn and Nicola Goodhind.

Action shot of the winner Mike Goodhind landing a skimmer on Horse Shoe pond

Mike with the winners trophy and Lee and Leighton Warden.

Mike and Nicola do a tremendous amount of work running this match and the Bristol Commercial House League, nice to see them both get a result today especially as it was Nicola's birthday the day before.

Not sure about next week, no match planned and need to get a pole section repaired.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Match announcement - Charity Match K & A Canal Bath 29th January.

Bob Warden charity match in aid of Lung research is on Sunday 29th January Kennent and avon Canal Bath Town sections. 8am draw at Stothert & Pitt Rugby Club Saltford Bath. £20 all in, free entry for juniors. Please book in asap if you want to fish. Call Nicola Goodhind on  07877 294095. This is always a brilliant match with a big raffle at the end. All proceeds to charity. Please support this match Bob was a lovely man and it is for a good cause.

Temperatures into double figures at the weekend and no frost forecast the night before.