Thursday, 20 April 2017

Wednesday 19th April - 4th session Bristol Feeder Canal

I cannot speak highly enough of this free to fish venue. OK it's not pretty nor is it quiet and to fish during the week you need to get up early to park. BUT .... loads of fish.

So up early again (05:30) and heading into Bristol at 06:30 after loading the car and getting some fuel.

The Bristol Feeder Canal has its on Facebook page and I knew from reading Will Gibson's posts over the Easter Weekend the fish were definitely entering the Canal to spawn in greater numbers from my previous weeks visit. As I had a few big skimmers down by Manor Scrap that was where I was heading.

I was parked up by 07:00 and loaded the trolley, then simply wheeled the gear across Feeder Rd when it was safe, down the slipway and turned left. Walked 20 meters or so and I was at my peg. Car to peg 2 minutes.
It was a lovely morning, not too bright and not cold either although you need the fleece. A few fish were topping here and there along the Canal's length, as I was getting the gear off the trolley a kingfisher flew towards Bristol City Centre just above the waters surface.

lovely old buildings grace the far bank

I was always going to fish more positive today and had squat, caster, worm, pinkie, maggot, leam and dark F1 left over from the Gloucester Canal match.
My ground bait was pre mixed so just had to wet it and add about 1/2 kilo of the leam then run through the riddle.
Two top 4 rigs were set up each with 1.5 gram floats size 18 hooks. The only difference between them was below the bulk. One had 3 number 10s spread out the other had 3 number 10s as bulk 6 inches from the hook.
Plan was to fish the track again and nowhere else.
My ground bait mix was split in half and I added a good helping of chopped worm, caster and squat plus a few dead pinkies. Five big balls were cupped in at 11 o'clock.
Looking at my watch it was now 08:10 and a maggot was put on to see what was about. Like the previous week it took a little while to get a bite and it was right on top of where the ground bait went in, I was just fishing off bottom. A very rough little roach was swung in and I was up an running. 
Usually the dace are more prolific than the roach but it was roach after roach more or less every other put in. The bites I missed where probably dace as the maggot was just nipped.

At around 09:00 I decided to cup in another big ball to feed off the smaller fish if possible.
I put on 2 casters on the bulkier rig and fished about 2 inches over depth holding back a little, the flow was very moderate towards the City.
After 10 minutes I hooked a good fish and the no. 3 elastic just kept coming out but done its job. I had 5 sections on when I netted the decent bream around 4lbs. Last spring when I fished the canal I did not have one that big so was well pleased.
I had two more bream in the next 30 minutes and bumped one. It was nearly 10:00 and I thought I was on a big shoal of them so fed a few more balls.
I continued to catch roach and dace plus a bull head and a perch so a real mixed bag. I also had a few 8 oz skimmers but no more proper bream.
As I packed up around 13:15 an Office worker came down the Canal with a camera so I thought he'll do for me and he kindly took these photo's for me and also took one for himself as he was amazed there was fish in the Canal.


Great session and lots of interest from other anglers since posting on Facebook.

Well thats it fishing wise for me until the 4th May (fishing Cadbury Anglings evening match at Acorn Fishery, these are being held every Thursday in May and June, draw 17:00 book in at the shop) due to other commitments.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Weekend - Acorn Fishery and Gloucester Canal

Good Friday - Acorn Fishery Open, Paddock Lake

Fellow Clevedon Club Committee Member Rob Fogg organised this match in partnership with Mark Bartlet. They capped the entry at 27 and it was to me a friendly open with a few little trophies for the winners, the money was well spread out as well.
On the day of the match there were 3 no shows and as fart as I know they did not contact Rob or Mark to say they were not attending.
I fished this match because.... the wife was away for the weekend and I am fishing the Cadbury Angling Shop evening matches on a Thursday through May and June so wanted to get a feel again for the venue.
Ping Pong Ball 40 stuck to my hand and I was OK with this as it was a bridge peg which I have had before.
Maver Cadbury Angling Team mate Glenn Calvert was also fishing and happy with his draw which was peg 9.
Some of Marks carpy mates were also fishing using and not used to participating in a match.

my peg and the ''chickens come to Currie''

I had just brought hard and soft pellet with me and only set up 3 rigs, far, middle and margin, it does not get any more technical than that.
It was a really slow start with everyone looking around to see who was not catching (most of us).
My first fish hooked itself really as the banded pellet was taken by a fish right over against the far bank and it tore off under the bridge but I managed to get it back under control and net it fairly quickly.
The angler on peg 5 on the island opposite was getting a few fish now as was peg 4, it was still slow elsewhere.
Going into the second hour I had a couple more fish across but then had a foul hooker which I played to my right and started breaking down my sections as it tired. I put my number 8 and 9 section down at the side of the box and then had to turn to my right to prevent the fish going under the pallet on peg 39. As I turn my body my foot landed on my number 8 section and it smashed big time.
I had to fish the remainder of the match short and only added a few more fish loosing a couple of foul hookers along the way. I knew I had come nowhere.
Ben Hodder who was bagging on peg 5 only got credited with 27lb odd as he went over the 70lb net limit on his second net....he would have weighed 100 lbs.
That paved the way for Glenn on peg 9 to take the honours with 64 lbs.

I ended up with 26lb 10oz and felt I would have been there or thereabouts had I not broken my pole.

1st Glenn Calvert 64lb 10oz
2nd Kev Hewitt 62lb 15oz
3rd Dom Sullivan 55lb

Mark Bartlet 9lb 5oz

All the winners with Glenn centre, Easter Eggs also given

so.... broken pole section.
Glenn had a look to see if his diawa section would fit but it didn't.
I posted on Facebook to see if anyone could help me out.
Nigel Evans offered to repair it and bring it on Sunday as he was fishing the Gloucester Canal but he lives in Portcawl and I couldn't get over there.
Simon Hebditch of Sensas M5 organised for Ian Spanswick to bright me a spare no.8 section on the Sunday as he was also fishing the match.
I had a look at an old Maver Pole I had in the garage and blow me the no.8 section on that just about fitted perfectly so I was up and running.
But...what a great help via Facebook.

Easter Sunday - Gloucester Canal Teams of 4 Spring League.

15 Teams of 4 entered this league run by Diawa Gordon Leagues Mark Treasure and Dave Micklewright. We fished it last year and allow very hard enjoyed it, really friendly bunch from all over.
Our Team was Chris, Sam, Lewis and myself. The draw was at Gordon League Rugby Club and the Sections used where Hempstead to Rea.
The draw got under way and Chris came back with our pegs. I was on the upper section at Hempstead (H11), Chris had 49 (Hempstead bend), Lewis was somewhere further down at Hempstead below the New Cut and Sam down at Rea.

my peg H11 above Hempstead Bridge

3 set ups today.....
Tip across, 13 meters down the track top 5 deep, 11 meters to my right on the near shelf where it was top 4 deep.
F1 dark and leam for the pole lines and F1 dark for the feeder.
The bridge keeper was busy all day with a flurry of boats going up and down and the lock gates 19 miles away at Sharpness must have been opening and shutting as well as the tow was very strong but the 2 x 1.5 gram floats did ok.
I had a small blade on the tip quite early but on reflection did not give the tip long enough and lacked confidence using it as it is such a waiting game and your always wondering if there are any fish on the pole lines.
I did catch on both pole lines but they were small fish so kept trying the tip now and then. I had one good wrap around but did not connect.
At 14:00 with 1 hour 30 mins to go I decided to stick it out on the pole lines as the 2 anglers above me had done well on the tip so had no chance of catching them up.
This was a good decision as at 14:15 the float buried on the 13 meter line and it was bream on, a good fish around 31/2 pound. I added a couple more small fish and a bootlace eel.

I ended up with 4lb 12oz which was 8th in my 15 peg section so not a disaster.

me with my ''get out of jail'' bream

Sam text me to say he was off home and not going back to the results, he sent me his weigh board which shows how hard it was at Rea.

I met up with Chris who had done OK coming 4th in his Section with 14lbs, he had a good day and only missed out on some coin by 1oz.

Chris with his catch from peg 49, caught on the tip and pole

Lewis did not come back either as he had a bit of a mare with some anglers in his section blanking.

Here are the results......

Teams on the day...
1. DGL Gold
2. DGL Red
3. Preston Thatchers
4. Misfits
5. DGL Blue
6. Drennan Oxford
7. Sensas 88
8. Sensas Strike
9. Sensas Lobbys
10. GBV
11. Maver Cadbury Angling
12. Harescombe
13. Mix and Match
14. Maver Harescombe
15. Devizes
Top 2 individuals...
1. A Jones 35lb 10oz (bream on the tip)
2. L Stone 24lbs 10oz (bream on the tip)

The next round is 30th April but Glenn is standing in for me as I will be on my way back from Cuba.

Hope to fish the Feeder Canal in Bristol during the week.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tuesday 11th April - 3rd Session of the year on the Bristol Feeder Canal

Today's session was planned last week and I was going to go above Clark's Wood where I was last week until long time friend Mike Endicott informed me he had walked the Canal on Sunday and a guy fishing below Clark's Wood was having a few bream. I checked the Feeder Canal Facebook page and sure enough Will Gibson had reported having a few skimmers in front of Manor Scrap. That's where I decided to go.
I was up early and parked by 07:00, it was cold, only 4 degrees and very bright. I was soon on the water after crossing the busy Feeder Road (only a mile from the City Centre.
A cormorant was diving in the water and there was the odd fish topping. I settled on the bank with Manor Scrap behind me, you can't miss it with Wallace and Gromit characters on the roof.

The bright conditions down this end can play havoc with seeing the float bristle as the various colours of bricks on the wall opposite reflect on the water, hiding the float. I picked out on of the rigs I used last week and gave the red bristle  a thick coat of orange paint. Another 1.5 gram rig was selected from the tray with a nice thick red top.
Two number 10 droppers below the olivetti to a size 20 and an 18 completed the simple set up. Hook lengths were .10 and .12 fluro carbon.

You don't fish the Feeder Canal for the view

My ground bait today was Heinz 57, some of everything left over from Sunday and last Wednesday but when mixed it smelt and bonded OK. I has a fresh pint of caster, less than half a pint each of maggot, squat and hemp.
4 big balls were cupped in at the start down the track and I did expect the float to sail away first time but it didn't. I took about 15 minutes for the first bite and it was a daddy ruff. After that I started to put a few fish in the net but on caught directly over the ground bait. The tow was all over the place and about 08:45 the canal became still. The float buried and my no.3 elastic shot out and then the thump thump of a big skimmer was felt, lovely fish about 2lbs.
I then had a nice few roach which were really rough as was the skimmer.
There where not many bites but the fish were a better size.
In the 2nd hour I had another two good skimmers, I also bumped a couple.
The flow picked up again and some canal boats came through, after this the dace showed up and they were not a bad size either.
I managed another good skimmer about 12:00 and still kept putting fish in the net until I called it a day just after 13:00.
I did not have my spring balance with me but would estimate I had around 15lbs. I asked a passer by to take the photo below.

lovely mornings fishing and its free

Next outing is this Friday when I am fishing a match on a local Commercial, then Gloucester Canal on Sunday.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Sunday 9th April - Gloucester Canal Practice Match, Hempstead.

Maver Cadbury Angling are fishing the Teams of 4 Spring League again on the Gloucester Canal commencing Easter Sunday 16th April. I made contact with Diawa Gordon Leagues Mark Treasure in the week to see if there was a practice match on the Sunday before. Mark text me back to say that Lobby's Andy Jane was running one and passed me his details to book in. Only Team Captain Chris Hook and I were available to fish it though.
The draw was at McDonalds Bristol Rd which was nice and handy to the pegs. 25 were booked in and I think everyone turned up and early at that so the draw was carried out 15 minutes early. The money was well spread out with a Section worth £70 which is very fair and reflects the mood of the venue.
I was near the end of the que and when it came to my turn pulled out 62 below the new swing bridge at the end of the new cut. Chris was up on 13, the top end of Hempstead which can be very hard.
I knew exactly where my peg was, it had some good recent form but I had fished a few pegs either side of it before beating anglers on 60, 61, 62, 64, 65 and 66.

The peg is at the bottom of the new part of the canal were is was straightened out, the old cut where the famous bend is was directly opposite me and pegs 60, 61 and 63. I would have preferred 63 as it is an easier cast to the far bank cover and I won my section there with 9lbs plus last year. For me I had too much water in front of me.
On the all in I put in 10 big balls by hand on the 5 meter line where it was top 5 deep. My mix was pro natural and black lake laced with chopped worm, caster hemp and squat.
I left this line and started off on the bread feeder with double 7mm punch on a wide gap 18. I cast just over halfway which would have put me at the bottom of the old shelf. I had a couple of casts before my first bite which I missed. Another few bites materialised over the next 30 minutes, they were only small knocks and I should have hit them earlier than I did. 
With nothing to show after an hour and a quarter I had a look on my pole line. Absolutely motionless and after 15 minutes or so I was back on the feeder this time with with chop and caster and worm on the hook. As I went on this line the local angler on 61 had a decent bream on the tip, the angler on 64 also had a bream.
I did have a couple of knocks but very very small indications that did not produce a proper bite.
Back on the pole line for a look and to my amazement the float went under and resulted in a nice 10 oz roach but nothing else.
Going back on the tip with worm I had a cracking bite just as a boat went over the top of my line preventing me to strike upwards and I did not connect with the fish.
That was my match.
Peg 64 won the Section with 9lbs odd. Peg 65 had 1 lb plus, 63 blanked, 60 had 2 bream, 59 had 1 bream, 58 blanked. So... pretty tough.
Spoke to Chris on the phone while packing up he had lost 3 bream on the pole and caught a few blades for a couple of pound, his section was won with a single bream.
Back at the car and speaking to Andy Richings who had 13 lbs of peg 50 said there was a 16 lbs of peg 40 and Andy Jane had 13 lb 2 oz so It would appear that was the top 3.
Still looking forward to next Sundays match with 16 Teams of 4 and Team Meeting this week should improve our approach (hopefully).

Fishing the Bristol Feeder Canal tomorrow (Tuesday), Good Friday Match on Acorn Fishery as its local and no traffic to worry about.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Bristol Feeder Canal, Chew Valley Lake and Woodlands Lake Trinity Waters

Not updated my blog for a few weeks due to having a kitchen refit, decorating and putting down new decking in the garden but I have been out so here is a summary......

Tuesday 28th March 
I was up early and heading into Bristol to fish the Feeder Canal at 06:30, you need to get there before 07:00 in order to park as its in an industrial part of the city. I had good results on the Feeder Canal last year but was fishing it a few weeks early this year. Weather was fine but the water was a bit dirty. I fished a spot down near Bristol Commercial Vehicles and Manor Scrap (gives you an idea of the environment).

Two top 4's were set up with a 1.5 gram and 2.0 gram float to cope with the changes and pace of the flow, the depth is around 8 to 9 feet. A 20 and 18 hook to 0.10 fluro completed the rigs. At the start I cupped in 3 balls of hemp caster and chopped worm in a Sensas Noire and Roach mix.
Starting off with maggot I was expecting a bite fairly soon but it did not happen for around 20 minutes and then the maggot was just nipped.
The flow was all over the place, left to right, right to left, still and at times very pacey. The high tide coming through the docks was affecting the Canal big time. I persevered but only ended up with 4 dace and a perch.

Thursday 30th March
I dusted off the Fly Rod and headed up to Chew Valley Lakes for a bit of fluff chucking. A ticket after 15:00 is only £16.50 and you can take 4 fish and do catch and release as well. I got to the Lodge at 15:15 and I was hoping to fish Whalley Bank but the wind was quite strong and blowing straight on to it. The Ranger suggested Wick Point right over the far side so thats where I headed.
On arrival two anglers were out in the water with chest waders, the wind was coming just off the back of the left shoulder and not too strong due to the wood behind.
I fished the first piece of bank beside the car park for about 20 minutes without any pulls. I had two dawn bachs and a black buzzer on.
The guy at the end packed up, he had his 8 fish limit after fishing all day. The angler below me carried on and caught two nice rainbows within a few casts of each other. He too decided to call it a day after another 30 minutes, he had 3 fish in total.
After he went I moved down by the bird watchers hide, I was able to wade out (waders) a good distance and felt I could get a few fish.
I had my first pull around 16:45 but missed it. A further pull came 15 minutes later and it was clear there was fish not far from the end of my cast. I slowed the retrieve down and was rewarded with my first fish at 17:15 ish... it was a good fish around 3lbs.
I continued to cast as far as I could and had a further 2 fish before packing up at just before 19:00.

one on the buzzer two on red dawn bachs

Sunday 2nd April
Clevedon Club Match, Woodlands Lake Trinity Waters Fishery near Bridgwater.
12 of us booked in for this match so plenty of room for everyone. I ended up on peg 6 over on the far bank, not really a good area but Steve Bonwick informed me there were some big lumps up the right hand margin.
I started off on the straight lead with popped up bread but after 30 minutes not even a liner. Not much if anything was being caught from what I could see. While out on the lead I was feeding my 13 metre line regularly with 4mm pellet but no evidence of fizzing. I had also feed my right hand margin in two places with meat.
I gave the lead an hour without any success, even changed from bread to meat. Time to try the margins and my near right one first. This resulted in lots of little dips of the float, small roach attacking the meat but then it buried and I was in to a decent carp which duly swam under the pallet and it was 1 - 0 to the carp. I went 13 meters up the margin with meat and soon had carp number two on which was successfully landed, a fish of around 6lbs. I stuck this long margin the rest of the match and landed a tench, a big perch and a real zoo monster of a carp and a personal best.

my PB, all 18lbs 6ozs of it on the pole

My two carp went 24lb and I had 4lb of silvers for nowhere.

Down on peg 15 Kev Perry had a real red letter day catching 180lb 8oz of carp shallow for 1st on the day.

Kev with part of his catch, his biggest fish was around 14lbs.

Paul Nichols on the opposite bank also had a good day catching 126lb 10oz mainly in his margins and 2nd place.

Paul with part of his 126lbs, poor pic due to sun

 4 pegs down from me Brian Slipper persevered fishing shallow and had 80lb 4ozs for 3rd place.

Brian Slipper

Wednesday 5th April
Back on the Bristol Feeder Canal. On arrival at 07:00 I could see lots of fish topping all the way along the Canal, the tide was ok as well so hoped for a good day.
I selected an area opposite Clarks Wood and set up my rigs and mixed GB as the previous week.

I had bites from the off, small roach and dace. The roach were a bit rough and getting ready to spawn. 
Best dace was around 5ozs and best roach approx 8 ozs but in the main fish were small averaging 3ozs but still an enjoyable day.
I ended up with just over double figures.
I asked a lady passer-by to take a pic for me on my phone but she did not get it quite right lol.

looking at the sense afterwards I think she smeared some butter from her sandwich on it hence the cloudy effect.

So that was a quick round up. 

On the Gloucester Canal Sunday 9th April for a practice match and the first of the teams of 4 Spring League follows the week after. Mid week next week I will probably be back on the Bristol Feeder Canal.

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.