Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tuesday 18th October - Pleasure session River Kenn

Quick summary of today's pleasure session on the River Kenn above Strode Rd.
Fished 1030 to 1500
Peg 38
Bright, sunny, windy.
Fished 13.5 meters with 1 gram float, 0.12 Fluor hook length to 18 hook.
Cupped in 4 balls of chop and caster at the start, topped up frequently with caster and hemp via pole cup only.
Fished floating red maggot or double caster for a 3lb tench and 12lbs of quality roach.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Sunday 16th October - Commercial House League Round 3 Bristol Avon, Swineford, Crane, Jack Whites and Fry's Sections

I seem to be spending a lot of time on the Bristol Avon at the moment but I do enjoy fishing it despite the ups and downs, highs and lows that the draw gives me. Up until the end of December I will be on it most weeks.
I missed the first two rounds of this league due to being on holiday and was looking forward to the third. A text from Captain Chris Hook in the week asked me to try and get another angler as we were one short. We do need more river and canal anglers in the team as we have struggled this year but where do we get them from... if anyone can help or if anyone is interested please let me know. Anyway a phone call to Clevedon Club stalwart Scott Smallwood soon had the gap filled, maybe he will come on board as he likes his natural venues. Full team was ... Chris, Sam, Lewis, Rob, Scott and myself.
With only a small amount of rain on the Saturday I knew it would not affect the colour of the river so could be hard going (again). Draw was done on time (08:30) so plenty of time to get to the pegs, with fishing 10:30 - 15:30. We did not have a great draw as a team.. peg 6. Chris and Lewis were at Swineford, Rob and I up the Crane, Sam at Jack Whites and Scott at Frys, we also had the scales.
My hike to C6 meant that I had to negotiate  two fences. It was OK as anglers gave each other a hand to lift the barrows over in one.
When I got to C6 I found I was up on a high bank again but the flow was at 13 meters so not too bad. An overhanging branch directly above me was just enough to stop my top 5 hitting it. Lots of line was hanging from the branch so another angler must have had a frustrating day.
Set up was very simple, 3 gram float on the pole as the flow was quite pacey, crowquill set up on the running line and a tip rod.

There was quite a bite of activity on the boat opposite as well as a young child shouting hello to me out of a window most of the day. More boats were moored either side of the one opposite, there is a whole community living on the river now and it appears to be increasing year on year.
At the start 10 Balls laced with hemp and caster went in at 13 meters and 4 down the middle. Beginning on the pole at 13 meters the float was just right for the pace of the river and I had a bite straight away and carefully swung a small chublet to hand watching the overhanging branch above me. I had a run of roach then for a while around 2oz to 3oz and then the light changed making it difficult to see the yellow topped float. A red pole top sleeve was put on which helped for a while but the light changed again and I was fishing blind again. 
I had a few runs through with the crowquill and had a few better roach towards the end of the trott before the bites dried up.
The sun had moved around a bit allowing me to come back on the pole and I added a few more roach, netters this time along with the odd perch. 
The second half of the match was a real struggle, the wind prevented me from fishing the crowquill properly and the persistent ever changing light conditions was a night mare. I did try the odd chuck with the tip across to the boat but not an indication at all.
I did do better than I thought I had and the peg was definitely worth a lot more on a duller and overcast day.

Here are the weights in my Section (A and B division).

So for the second week in a row I was ounces away from better points in my division!

The walk back was not good as I was last to pack up after doing the weigh in and had to break down the gear to get over the two styles.
Back at the results Sam had won his Section and Scott was second, the rest of us not good.

I had to rush off as my daughter was going back to London but here is a link to Tim Fords blog which gives his view of the match and results.......


Back on the same Section on Sunday fishing for Cardiff Nomads in the Winter League, pleasure fishing the River Kenn in the week.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tuesday 11th October - pleasure session River Kenn

Just a quick summary of the pleasure session I had today on the River Kenn Clevedon North Somerset.

Fished peg 38 above Strode Rd opposite TV Masts.
River as clear as tap water and bright sunshine all day.
Fished 10:30 - 15:30
Fed half a kilo of worm, half pint of caster and hemp in black ground bait.
Fished small piece of worm on the hook.
Pole at 13 meters and held back hard on a 1 gram float.

Not a bad days fishing given the conditions, pics below.

Monday, 10 October 2016

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

Guesting for Cardiff Nomads again this week due to their Team being fairly stretched due to the Wye Winter League starting.
I had been looking forward to this match all week and was looking to draw either permanent peg 24 or 74 which have provided me with a decent days fishing this year in matches as well as a pick up.
Meeting the other guys at the Rugby Club it was pleasing to see they had a full Team. The draw was completed on time but when Richard came back i saw I was on permanent peg 32 on the straight, not good. parking up down by the river at Newbridge meant it was a relatively short walk to the peg. As i passed 24 who should be on it but Avon expert Tim Ford who was pleased to say the least. Had a quick chat with Tim before moving on, Tim was the first peg in my section so knew it would be hard to beat him. Immediately downstream of me I had Bathamptons Derek Coles again. Derek said to me you'll not get a bonus chub this week lol, i said I'll have a bonus bream instead.
The river was low and clear, no flow and I was up on a high bank. The far bank had a little flow and there was a willow bush on the water which looked inviting.

Lots on rowers on the water today with many having coaching, I did get my hair off once when one boat pissed about too much and continually crashed into the far bank cover.
Depth at 13 and 11 meters was the same and top 4 sets were sufficient. 1 gram floats to 18's on the 2 rigs I set up. Waggler for across as well as the Feeder. 
9 Balls went in at 13 meters on the ''all in'' and 2 big pots of chopped worm down the side. While that was settling 8 feeder fulls of chop and caster went in just short of the willow bush in the water.
starting on the 13 meter line it took about 6 trots down before air had my first bite, usually its a bite first run through. This resulted in a tiny roach followed by a equally tiny perch, not good. No indications at all then for around 20 minutes, totally dead. Put a piece of worm on and had a better perch followed by a few more around 4 ozs. 
Decided to try the inside line over the worm with worm and had a welcome perch around 8 ozs. That was it from that line all match despite topping it up little and often. Just over an hour had gone and I could see Derek below me had gone on the waggler catching small bleak across. He must be struggling as well I thought so followed suit. I had a could but they were very small and the bites hard to hit at distance so the waggler went up the bank. 
I put the feeder across and had a bite straight away on the worm but missed it. Due to the high bank I had to have the rod pointing more or less straight down the bank, not ideal. I caught a small perch on the second cast and at this point it was very welcome. I had a more positive knock around 2 hours 30 mins in and made no mistake in hitting it. I felt resistance straight away and it did feel like a chub. As it came half way across I could see it in the clear water and it was a tidy skimmer around 1lb 8oz. The landing net had to be used at full length in order to net it. Brilliant i thought, lets have a few more. Alas that was not to be despite plugging away at it. I did have a look on the pole lines now and again and just added the odd small fish on the 13 meter line.
Word on the bank was that most in my section had struggled but heard that before. I had the scales, Derek had the board so we started at Tim. 
Time said he only had a very small chub across and then in the last hour added a small roach a chuck on the pole. He did enough though to win the section with over 7lbs, which shows you how poor the river fished our end, really need some rain.

I was disappointed getting only 2 points and with the weights so tight after Tim felt I should have held out longer for a few more perch down the edge, but that's fishing.

Well what did I say to Derek ref bonus bream!

Back at the Rugby Club the team results were pretty good with 1 Section wins and a few 2nd in Sections. Andrew Trudging also won the match overall with a nice net of skimmers, hybrids and roach at 7 meters just below the bridge at Newbridge.

Individuals on the day....
1st   A Trudgian 26 lbs 12 ozs
2nd  S Townsend 19 lbs 10 oz
3rd   L Bradell 15 lbs 15 ozs

Teams on the day ....
1st   Bathampton
2nd  Thatchers
3rd   Nomads
4th   Jerrys
5th   Amalgamation

Team position after 2 matches (there are only 1 or 2 points between the teams so very tight)
1st   Thatchers
2nd  Bathampton
3rd  Nomads
4th  Jerrys
5th  Amalgamation

Fishing the Kenn again on Tuesday, here's what I had last Thursday.....

Commercial House League match 3 on the Avon next Sunday with Maver.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sunday 2nd October - Angling Trust SW Winter League Bristol Avon

Earlier in the week I posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew of any opens on natural venues around the Bristol, Bath and Taunton area. A note came back from Shaun Bryan informing me that there may be a few spaces on the Winter League, My Maver Team have not entered this League but I was aware a few of the Teams were short so sent a text to Mark Harper who was running the matches. Fair play to Mark as he came back straight away saying I could fish for Cardiff Nomads, that'll do I thought as the first match was on the Bristol Avon, Crane and Swineford Sections plus Jack Whites.
Waking up to a chilly Sunday morning at 06:30 I soon had the car loaded and headed off to the Rugby Club at Salford for the 08:30 draw.
A few of the Nomad Team were there on my arrival but not the likes of Clive Branson or Richard Candy as apparently there was also a big match on the Wye as well so they were quite stretched. Richard Whitmarsh was the Nomads captain for the day and made me feel welcome.
The League is made up of 5 Teams of 8 but one of the Nomads guys failed to show so we were up against it even before we started fishing, not sure what the problem was.
Richard came back with the Team draw and I was in 'F' Section peg 4 which was about 3 pegs up from the Cattle Grid at the bottom of the Crane so a relatively easy and short walk.
got to my peg in plenty of time and found the downstream angler on the Cattle Grid peg was Derek Coles, could see the angler above me around the corner so plenty of room.
The heavy down pours on the Saturday had not put any colour in the river at all and you could see right down to the bottom ring of the keep net. The peg looked fine with some boats moored over in a bay on the far bank and a decent bit of flow at 10 meters. I had fished the peg some time ago and knew it was deep so set up a top 5 rig, 3 gram float and 2 no. 8's as droppers. Size 18 hook to 0.11 floor carbon line. A 2 gram rig was also set up in case they wanted it running through at the same pace of the river.
Plumbing up was a bit of a nightmare as the bottom was extremely uneven and shallowed up quite quick so adjustments had to be made in order to hold back hard and then kinda lay on towards the end of the run. A Feeder Rod was set up for fishing across.
On the ''all in'' at 10:30 I put 6 balls in on the pole line tightly packed with hemp and caster, normally I would put in more but due to the clear conditions and bright sunshine I wasn't sure how the fish would re-act. After that I put 6 big Feeder full's of chopped worm and caster across and about 1 meter away from one of the boats, it was a good depth across.
Starting on the lighter pole rig it took me about 6 runs through to get my first bite and I missed it. The rig did not feel right so switched to the 3 gram one. This was much better and a bite first run through with it resulted in a 4 oz roach. About 6 more followed over the next 30 minutes, it was certainly not fast and furious. I topped up the line with a couple of golf balls with a bit of worm mixed in and a few perch responded.  Double caster went on the hook and a few more tidy roach came to the net but then the pike moved in. I was bitten off twice and lost another 4 or 5 fish to them. You could see them coming up in the water after the small perch which I began to catch with a piece of worm.
Derek came up for a look and to see how I was getting on and he to was having pike trouble and not doing all that well.
I fed the pole line again and then went across on the tip with half a worm. I had a bite straight away and connected with a small skimmer around 5 ozs, sadly that was the only one. I did have a few perch and a couple were about 6 ozs which I was happy with but was getting lots of knocks and not hitting much no matter what bait I used.
After an hour I came back in on the pole line and had a nice 8 oz roach but then more pike trouble and I trashed my rig after one of the buggers let go of a roach when the elastic was very tight.
There was now about 90 minutes left so I decided to stick it out on the tip hoping for a bonus fish. i stopped feeding worm through the feeder and just stuck with caster and hemp with double caster on the hook. I was casting about every 5 minutes and was getting bites but not hitting that many. rather than watch the tip I kept an eye on the bow in the line for movement and had more success.
at around 14:50 the bow in the line went upwards and I hooked something solid, thought it was a bream at first until it started to run upstream and knew it was a chub.
It was that time in the match when you know the fish you had on was going to be really valuable and your bum starts making strange sounds. I was chuffed to land it and it was a good fish.
I kept on plugging away but did not get any more.
The scales came down and 7lb odd was best (Mark Harper) with just me and Derek to weigh. as soon as mark saw my net he said I had won the Section.
The scales registered 8 lb 11 ozs and the Chub went 3 lb 10 ozs.

My bag and the best chub I have had for a few years, worth £50.

Peg F4

My Section

Teams on the day....

1st   Thatchers
2nd  Bathampton
3rd   Nomads and Gerry's tied .......We (Nomads had 3 Section wins so could have done with that extra man)
5th   Bristol and Bath Amalgamation

Top 3
1st   Graham Hunt 18 lbs 14 ozs
2nd  Glen Bailey 17 lbs 15 ozs
3rd   Andy Ottaway 16 lbs 14 oz

Hope to be asked to fish with Nomads next week when the second round is at Newbridge.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Press report for Clevedon Freshwater Angling Clubs Charity Match 25th Sept - River Kenn

Clevedon Freshwater Angling Club held their annual Dave Fowler Senior Memorial Charity Match on the River Kenn in aid of The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust. Leading up to the match the river had been fishing reasonably well, however on the day strong winds and clear water challenged the best of anglers. Committee member Rob Fogg actually won the match in the first 20 minutes. Rob drew peg 19 halfway between Strode Rd bridge and the Sea Wall and began on the ground bait feeder casting to the far bank with a mix of maggot, worm and caster with maggot on the hook. On his second cast he hit his first and only bite of the day resulting in a bream of 5lbs which was enough!
Second place went to Lance Tucker who put together a net of small perch and roach for 3lb 14 ozs closely followed by Club Chairman Steve Bonwick with 3lb 12ozs.
A total of £515 was raised for the Charity, the Guess the Wining Weight was won by A Fowler and earned him £242.
The club would like to thank Cadbury Angling, Olivers Angling, Reel Fun, Veals and Ecolab for their sponsorship as well as Angelina’s Restaurant and the Blue Flame Public House.

pic below of Rob Fogg (left) receiving the Charity Shield from last years winner Jeff Surman (right)

Monday, 12 September 2016

Arvagh International Fishing Festival 5th - 9th September.

Four of us spent a week in Arvagh Co. Cavan last year pleasure fishing at the same time the Arvagh International Festival was being held. Speaking to some of the anglers who were taking part Steve and I decided to give it a go this year as soon as I got the news earlier in the year that I was offered a package to retire.
We booked into the Breffni Arms again through Anglers World Travel, £300 each for 7 nights B & B which also included the Ferry is a great deal.
The Breffni Arms is the HQ for the festival, registration, daily draw and presentation night.
We travelled over on Saturday 3rd September catching the 15:10 ferry out of Holyhead and docked in Dublin around 17:30 and then onto Arvagh arriving at 19:30. A quick wash and brush up got us into the bar by 20:00, some food and a few pints of the black stuff before the singer came on at 22:00. More pints of the black gold and a singalong, talking rubbish to locals as the night went on and off to bed by 01:15.
There was an open being run on the Sunday but we decided to pleasure fish the local lake within the town. Lough Garty was 5 minutes walk from the Breffni Arms!
I pleasure fished it for a few hours last year and found quality roach on the waggler loose feeding caster. It was a causal start to the day with a fine 'full irish' and then off to the lough. Andy who also came with us (he was not fishing the festival) decided to give it a go as well. It did not take long to set up the one waggler rod and mix up a couple of kilos of ground bait.
Depth is only about 4 foot and within 10 minutes I was into my first roach around 10 ozs. We fished for 6 hours and I ended up with a good 50 lbs of roach, Steve around 30 lbs and Andy 20 lbs - 25 lbs from the slipway. For such a big piece of water access is very limited but on the town bank you can get 6 anglers without walking too far.

nice bag on the waggler for me

Steve caught on the waggler and a few on the feeder

Garty Lough from the town shore

On Sunday evening all the 75 anglers taking part in the festival arrived for the rotational draw so you knew which lough / lake you would be on each day and know which draw que to get in Monday through to Friday. it is well organised as they allow anglers travelling in the same vehicle to draw in the same lake rotation which saves a lot of running around each day. Our rotational draw ended up as follows.
Monday E Section - Gulladoo
Tuesday A Section - Rockfield
Wednesday B Section - Tessa's
Thursday C Section - Corfree
Friday D Section - Dernafest

Tessa's shore, Corfree and Dernafest are all part of the mighty Lough Gowna system.

So a fairly earliest night on Sunday (before 23:00) saw us up bright and early at 07:00 on the Monday and we were tucking into a full irish by 07:30. The Bait Van also turned up from Irish Bait and Tackle at Ballyconnell supplying fresh bait and odd bits of terminal tackle. Anglers began to arrive and there was a range of accents from the North East, North West and the East Midlands. most of them have been fishing the Festival for years and it almost turns out to be a re-union. Kevin Rowles and Nigel Franks from Devizes and a couple of guys from the Southampton area appeared to the the only ones along with us south of Birmingham. All very friendly and helpful and good instructions supplied in order to get to the sections and pegs.
At 09:00 we were both fairly near the front in our draw due and we ended up in adjacent pegs on Rockfield Lake. It was only a few miles away and we knew were it was but had never seen it. Access was excellent and we were able to park in-between the two pegs and unload our gear and had plenty of time to set up before the 11:30 all in.
I set up two pole rigs, 1.5 gram top 4 deep at 11 meters and a 4 x 16 for fishing up in the water. The Feeder Rod was clipped up at 35 turns where it was about 20 feet deep. David Heron who is an Irish International gave me a ground bait mix after I messaged him a few weeks before we went over. Caster, hemp and chopped worm were added to it and 6 balls went in at 11 meters on the 'all in' followed by 10 big feeder fulls of chop and caster at my clipped up distance.
Coming in on the pole line I had a bite straight away and began adding a few roach and perch for about an hour before in died on me. The fish were not as big as the ones we had been catching on Garty. I could see Steve through the trees in-between our pegs and he shouted up to me holding a big Skimmer that he caught on the feeder. I gave the feeder line a go myself and stayed on it for the rest of the match. Had a few perch and small skimmers and then at 16:40 I had a more positive knock and hit it connecting with what I though was a bream. It wasn't until I got it up in the water that I saw it was a tench! Never ever had a tench in Ireland before and it went between 3 lb - 3.5 lbs. I did not add that much more and weighed 5 kilo 400 grams for nowhere, Steve had 5 kilo 800 grams with a few bream. Nigel Franks won our lake with 12 kilo on the whip, all small fish.

Ready for the off on Rockfield

Day 1 catch and my first Irish Tench

Day 2 was on Gulladoo (or would it be Gullapoo!). I drew 14 on an area they call the 'steps' and Steve was up in an area call the 'cross'. Andy dropped me off first and it was only a short walk to the peg but took me 3 trips with the gear. Water levels were way up and the access path to my peg was knee high in water. 
I had top 4 deep at 13 meter and set up a shallow rig as well along with the Feeder at 30 turns. Same bait and ground bait mix as the day before.
I had bites all day on the pole, deep and shallow so just stayed on it not picking up the feeder at all. The fish were a half decent size and I did had a big hybrid shallow. I was expecting to weigh more but the scales recorded 7 kilo 800 grams. Nigel won our lake again with 19 kilo plus taken shallow.

A misty day on Gulladoo

A busy day

On to day 3 and I could have been on Tessa's or Kevin's Shore on Gowna (section used to be called Rossduff). I drew peg 10 on Tessa's and Steve drew 12. Access was great and Andy dropped us off behind our pegs. Same set up as previous days but found top 4 deep at 8 meters this time. I did catch from the off and the fish were better quality, I had another big hybrid up in the water before the lines died after about 90 minutes. I saw the angler on peg 11 net a few skimmers on the tip so i had to go for it. I caught small skimmers and roach and then i had a proper wrap around at around 16:00 connecting with a small bream. I ended up with 7 kilo 240, I think Steve had 5 kilo plus and the angler in-between us 6 kilo ish.

Peg 10 Tessa's Shore

Day 3 catch

On to day 4 and Corfree. Where ever you drew on this Section it involved a boat ride. I drew peg 9 and Steve was further on up in the higher numbers. The boats are well organised taking 2 anglers at a time and dropping them off in-between the 2 pegs. Everyone helps each other load and unload.
My peg was quite shallow at 11 meters, about top 3.5 deep. I could not fish any further out because of the wind although I still set my shallow rig up. The Feeder clipped up at 30 turns indicated it was about 15 foot deep. I did catch on the pole at the start, all depths but died after 40 minutes, I could see the angler on 10 also giving up on the pole, plus the wind was getting stronger. I caught small skimmers and hybrids through out the day but it was far from steady. I weighed 5 kilo 840 grams.

Steve heading off in the 1st boat

Still smiling

Day 5 put us on Dernafest and another boat ride to the pegs. I drew 7. The lake had been won from this peg the previous day so no pressure. Heavy rain was due today and it was drizzling when we arrived at the boats. Two pole rigs set up again, it was very deep close in so only needed to fish 9 meters out top 4 deep. The angler the day before had caught a load of perch on the feeder so I chopped up a kilo of worm to save me getting off the box and platform which was way out in the water. 
The pole line barely lasted 40 minutes, cannot understand why it does this. I could see the anglers on 6, 5 and 4 putting very few fish in the net and they were chopping and changing between the feeder and pole quite early. My feeder line had been fed at the start and I had a positive bite on it straight away from a perch around 4 ozs. I stayed on the feeder the rest of the match catching mainly perch and ended up with 9 kilo 340 for second on the lake. I was beaten by 40 grams by Ian Fieldhouse who managed to snare a 3 lb bream!

Here are some photo's taken by the official photographer. 

Ian who beat me by 40 grams for the lake win

What a great week that was and I had a 60 Euro pick up on a Festival and venues I had never fished before.

 Learned a lot and have already booked for next year.
Nice little touch by way of a hat.

Full results as follows:

Entry to the Festival    150 Euro
Insurance                         5 Euro
Boat fee                          10 Euro

Pools for the week 50 Euro but they pay out sections and mini sections as well as overall each day.
Optional pairs pool at 40 Euro per pair
Optional super pool as well.

Really well run Festival, cannot wait until next year.