Wednesday 8 March 2023

The first post of 2023......

I have not fished many matches this year hence the lack of activity on this Blog.

I did fish a match on the Gloucester Canal back in early January but I basically went, drew peg 31, sat in the rain for 5 hours and caught very very little as you do on that peg. the 40's dominated as usual.

I also fished a Clevedon Club match on the River Kenn recently, drew the wrong area and blanked as did 9 others around me.

I have however had my best winter on the River Kenn. It's not comfortable fishing as you need to stand in the mud due to the level being dropped to half its depth (average 3 to 4 foot in winter, Dec - March).

I have adapted a few bits of tackle of make it more comfortable especially my waterproof side tray with broom handles!

The last few years I simply used a ground bait bowl on a ring combined with a broom handle but everything got we when it rained. This way is much better and you can bring a long more items down to the water with you to save climbing up and down the bank, the top of which is generally at head height.

I prefer neoprene chest waders due to the rise and fall of the tide plus they are warmer than ordinary waders.

Like I said the roach fishing has been out of this world as well as good catches of tench and big perch.

I was lucky to catch roach of 2lb 15 and 2lb 13 in the one session which won the Canal and River Trust catch of the month for January.

The following week I had another going a level 2lb and another of 1lb 10 in a lovely mixed bag.

The most tench I have had this year in a session has been 4, lovely fish which go some on the waggler.

The River Kenn fished best late January to mid February after the previous heavy rain. The fish like a bit of flow and tripping a 2.5 gram waggler through a few inches over depth and feeding red maggot seems to work best. Two years ago in February I had 11 tench for 52lb when it was minus 2 degrees.

In terms of total weight in a session on the Kenn I have had around 40lbs twice this winter.

I have had a couple of session when I have blanked searching out new area's and a couple of sessions where I have just caught the odd tench but worth the wait and enjoyable.


It was nice to see some of the Club's new and younger members on the river this winter James Howell took this little video of me catching a tench.

Sunday just gone I fished the Lower Bristol Avon Champs, Newbridge to the Tree's at Saltford organised by Ben Rendall and Dean Harvey.

Team mate Sam Johnson and I booked in for this one even though it's usually feast or famine.

There had been some 50 / 60lb weights recently and a report of 120lb recently in the area.

The draw was in Stothert and Pitt Rugby Club Car Park from 07:45. On arrival there were some very good hardened river anglers there from across the West.

When the draw got under way Sam and I were about a half way down the queue. Ben took the money and Dean was in charge of the draw bowl. When I opened my paper peg card I was delighted to see peg 8 which today was permanent peg 18. This peg has real form and you can park behind your peg, the only trouble is the Rowing Club is directly opposite.

Sam drew down Newbridge straight somewhere which is a iffy area but ....Warren Bates did have 26 bream down there somewhere on the waggler during the week!

Off we went and I did manage to park behind peg 18, lovely.

I had loads of time and managed to gain some information concerning where to fish as I had never drawn it before.

I had 4 loaves of liquidised but Derek Coles who is a bream human hybrid advised me to just use ground bait as the bread might spook the bream in the low clear water. Sam said the same.

I took their advice and mixed up Sensas Black Lake and Sensas Black River 50/50, a really nice mix.
I had plenty of worm, maggot and caster. Only set up 2 feeder rods both with 25 gram feeders, 6lb main line and a big 14 hook to 5lb hook length, proper hauling gear.

Below me on peg 20 I had Bridgwater Angling Centres Shane Robinson, above me on 16 was Bristol Avon legend Tim Ford and above Tim on 14 was match organiser supremo Ben Rendall. What a line up.

As I was setting up another angler who was behind the Pump House came up and asked if I had a spare Landing Net Handle. I did and loaned him it.

Fishing today was 1030 - 1530 and I was ready with an hour to go. 

It was dry, hardly any wind but was very cold.

There wasn't much activity over at the rowing Club and those that were there were pretty mature people, it's the learners that cause the issues as well as the safety boat.

The whistle went and I cast a maggot and worm cock tail into the middle, I left it for 5 minutes before bringing it in and re-cast. Same again, another 5 minute cast and re-cast, left it a bit longer this time and the tip went round, bream on. The fish was around 4lb and Tim saw me get the net out.

Darren Gillman came down the bank and was behind Tim for a while and then came down to me. I told him I had one, Darren said Tim had one as well. He stayed around for a while between me and Tim and when he left I think we had 9 bream each but when he saw me net a couple he thought that my fish were a bigger stamp.

I wasn't putting a lot in the feeder as the fish were clearly there but did cast regularly, well I had to as I was basically getting a fish every 10 minutes.

Dave Micklewright also came for a walk along the bank. Dave had been down in the Tree's section and said it was poor so packed up.
He watched Tim and I catch for a while and reported that Ben was getting a few but Shane down on peg 20 wasn't catching.

Towards the end of the match Shane did start catching.

Tim came down for a pee behind my van and said he was stuck on 17 bream, I said I was on 22 and had a second net in.

Well the bream feast continued and I ended up with 32 of them, what a day, my best on the Bristol Avon.

Ben was first to weigh and put 85lb on the scales.

Tim was next and had a total of 91lb

Me next and thanks to the guys for the help getting the nets out and putting fish back.
I ended up with 159lbs.

Shane on 20 had something like 6 fish for 43lbs.

What a day over 4 pegs.


1st Me - 159lbs
2nd Tim - 91lbs
3rd Ben - 85lbs

Iv'e even got St. Patrick shining down on my head here lol

I was meant to pleasure fish the Kenn today but the snow stopped that. There was also meant to be a knock up at Newbridge tomorrow (Thursday) but that's been cancelled.

Next up is a small Club match on the River Kenn this Sunday.

Friday 30 December 2022

Wednesday 28th December - Roy Carter Memorial, Gloucester Canal

 This match is held annually between Christmas and New Year and organised by Steve Long and Dave Clapton. It's £25 to enter with £10 going to the Stroke Association, no peg fee and the rest in section and overall pools.

It is usually well supported with anglers looking to get out of the house after 2 or 3 days of festivities.

I kept checking the weather forecast leading up to the match and it didn't look good. Heavy rain and strong SW winds were coming our way.

I was up just before 06:00 and heading up the M5 at 06:40 to the draw in Widden Rugby Club. The forecast was spot on. Heavy rain, strong winds and spray, I did question my sanity but carried on.

I stopped in McDonalds in Hardwick and the only other anglers there were Jon Tocknell and Andy Jane which was a bit concerning as there are normally quite a few who call in there before a match on the Glossy.

When I got to the Rugby Club and booked in with Steve he said he originally had 46 but it was now down to 37. The weather plus sickness had put a few off, it was also the day of the funeral for Mike Pollard so some would be going to that. Still a decent match with 37 fishing.

Pegging today was simple, every peg in from 23 to 65. Obviously you needed to draw on the bend and anywhere between 45 and 49 would be nice plus 63 or 64.

I was 3rd in the draw queue and my drawing arm let me down again badly on the Glossy, peg 32 was my home for 5 hours in the wind and rain, bloody hell I thought, must have killed a robin on the way up.

I hate this area of the canal and have drawn it several times now and never, never done any good.

Simple set up today, bread feeder, ground bait feeder and short pole (top 7) due to the wind.

I fed all lines with a little bait before starting off on the bread, 30 minutes went by and not a sniff. Dale Maplas to my right on 33 landed a small roach as did the guy on 31 to my left, hmmm. 

Went on the ground bait feeder for 30 minutes still nothing, saw a couple of fish caught on the feeder to my left but nothing substantial. Had a look on the pole when the wind allowed and not a touch either.

Was thinking of packing up just before 13:00 when the tip went round, couldn't believe it, a small skimmer. Knowing that my section was fishing rock hard I'd have to stay.

I had another bite which I missed at 14:50 and that was it. I weighed in 11 oz.

There were blanks in my section but it was won by Chris Jones who took a few fish on the pole and tip for 2lb 3ozs.

It was a different story down in the 40's as you will see by the results.......

1st Tony Davis 27 - 05 peg 43

2nd Mark Brush 24 - 06 peg 48

3rd Nigellas Baker 24 - 01 peg 45

Sections ....

23 - 32 C Jones 2 - 03 peg 30

33 - 42 A Storkey 20 - 12 peg 41 

43 - 52 N Pickering 18 - 12 peg 46 default

56 - 65 N Richards 7 - 02 peg 64

The draw beat me today but £375 was raised for the Stroke Association.

Well done the legend that is Tony Davis, Tony has helped me up at Evesham this summer which I am grateful for.

No more matches this year. 

I have had an enjoyable year again and looking ahead I'll be on my local river Kenn, a few trips to Evesham and perhaps fish the Glossy over the next few months.

Happy New Year everyone and tight lines.

Monday 19 December 2022

Sunday 18th December - Clevedon Freshwater Angling Club Christmas Match River Kenn

I fished the Kenn on the Thursday prior to the match with Matt Davis when it was -5 degrees and frozen over. After breaking the ice and the tide had turned we both managed double figures of roach each.

The weather for this match was much better with only an overnight ground frost and temperatures during the day forecast to be around plus 5 degrees. Strong winds and rain was also forecast.

I think the weather put some anglers off as we had 36 originally booked in but 9 cancelled. Can't blame them really as the weather coupled with standing or sitting in the mud is not the best advert. 

The Kenn in winter can be feast or famine, there's not much in-between but I love it.

We met at Angelina's Restaurant in Warrens Village for breakfast and the all important draw.

Match Secretary Rob Fogg had pegged from the Car Park just below Kenn Road down to peg 22 below Strode Road bridge. 

Rob was paying top 4 plus 5 sections and of course it being a Christmas Match everyone would get a prize. Scott Smallwood was also running a raffle.

Fishing was 1015 - 1515.

Breakfast at Angelina's we would also have the results etc in the adjoining club

Rob commenced the draw wearing his Christmas Jumper and tinsel covered bucket at 09:00 sharp. I was about halfway in the queue and finally dipped my hand into the bucket of doom. I had been to a carol service the evening before so I hoped the man above would reward me with a decent draw!

I was reasonably happy when I opened the peg card to see number 38, not one you would run to but not bad either. I fancied pegs 33 to 37 would be hard to beat.

It was a very short drive to the river along with a short walk. I had all my gear with me but left the pole in the van as I was going to get down in the mud (the level of the river is dropped by nearly 50% during the winter).

You need to go prepared for winter fishing on the Kenn i.e. lined waders or chest waders, a bait waiter, some bank sticks for rod rests and basin and hoop to store items of tackle. I wear chest waders and a gor tex jacket. I have also have adapted my storm shield tray with lid to take 2 broom handles so I can stand it up in the water and keep bait etc dry.

It was a simple set up take wise today ...... 2 waggler rods and a maggot feeder rod.

Both waggler rods had 2.5 AA floats on them, 18 B611 hooks to 0.11 hook length, it's best to gear up in case big perch and tench show up. One was set to fish the far shelf where it was about 2.5 foot deep the other for down the middle where it was just over 3 foot.

Loose feed only today, red maggot and some bronze for the hook.

There was still a fair bit of ice in the margins and ice coming down the middle of the river.

Scott Smallwood was above me on 39 and the angler on 37 below was a newish member. These pegs are quite tight together. Scott was down in the water like me but the angler on 37 below me was a bit high off the bank so I guessed he wouldn't fish the peg as hard as I would.

On the all in I put in a pouch full of red maggot across and another pouch down the middle.

Second run through across the float dipped and it was roach on, a tidy stamp fish but for some reason it came off just before the net. I glanced up and Scott was in on the waggler as well.

Back out again and this time success landing a 4 oz fish. I was aware high tide was around 13:45 so the river would back up around 13:00, it was important to catch well before this.

Feeding is always key on the Kenn in winter and you really need to discipline yourself and get in a rhythm otherwise the fish will move away.

I had a few more stamp roach and felt it was going well, feeding regularly and swapping lines kept the fish coming but the size of the roach got smaller. A couple of grebes diving in my swim might have spooked the better fish. I could see Scott getting regular fish as well swapping between the wag and long whip.

About and hour and a half into the match I was surprised to see Kev Perry behind me. Kev was down on the most comfortable peg on the river, 36A. He said he had cramp and asked if I was catching. I told him I had around 30 roach but most were on the small side. Kev said he hadn't that many and off he went.

I carried on working the peg on both lines. Best results were by using bronze maggot on the hook, single and double.

Just over halfway through Paul Nichols came behind me. Paul had packed up and said he hadn't had a bite up in the 40's which was the same for others.

About 14:00 the wind got stronger as did the rain, Scott shouted down "I want to go home" lol, I was quite comfy.

Cracking on working the peg I was getting fish regularly but mainly fish in the ounce to 2 oz range. I would get the odd stamp roach but they were few and far between.

At the end Simon Carvallo came up with the scales and started off with weighing Scott.

Scott had done well putting just over 12lb in the net.


I was next to weigh and knew I didn't have as much as Scott. My catch went 9lb 12oz. Simon said I'd be well up with that as below Strode Rd has struggled as had the Car Park section.


I walked down to see the angler on 37 weigh 15oz and then watch Kev weigh in just over 14lbs on 36A.


Kev said he had heard Glenn Calvert had a good bag on peg 40 so I walked up and weighed him in as he had the scales.

Glenn's net went just over 16lb

Back to Angelina's for the results and raffle it soon became clear that some sections had fished hard especially the Car Park at Kenn Rd and the section below Strode.

Rob got the results under way starting with the sections .....

A Section pegs 20 - 25..... They all blanked so the sections was decided on a lucky dip draw which went to Mark Bartlett

B Section pegs 29 - 34 ..... Simon Carvallo 2lb 9oz peg 33

C Section pegs 35 - 39 ....... Lee Smallwood quadrupled default 1lb 15oz peg 36

D Section pegs 40 - 44 ....... Andy Devereux 2lb 1oz (default)

E Section pegs 49 - 55 ........ Jeremy Salisbury 0.0.1 dram !!!!

Top 4 .....

1st Glenn Calvert 16lb 9oz (Team Sensas 88)

2nd Kev Perry 14lb 6oz (Team Sensas 88)

3rd Scott Smallwood 12lb 9oz (Garbolino CFWAC)

4th Ivan Currie 9lb 12oz (Team Sensas Nomads)

Some nice prizes for everyone which made it a great day.

The raffle was also good with prizes donated from Cadbury Angling and Reel Fun Fishing tackle shops.

Next match for me is the Roy Carter Memorial on the Gloucester Canal 28th December.

Have a good Christmas everyone.

Monday 5 December 2022

Sunday 4th December - Brian Britt Memorial, Kennet and Avon Canal, Bathampton - Claverton

In previous years this match was known as the Commercial House League Christmas Match but is now in memory of Brian Britt who was involved with the league for many years. Brians daughter Nicola and son Andy donated a trophy to be fished for every year in his memory.

Access to the town waters in Bath is difficult now due to the Clean Air Zone and residents parking only extended to 7 days a week. It's a real shame as the town stretch is quite prolific.

There was 26 booked in originally for this match but 3 anglers pulled out. They probably looked at the weather forecast. 

I was surprised when I left the house that there was no frost but it was cold, 2 degrees. I had joggers on underneath the jeans and a couple of layers on under the fleece. 

Due to the parking and access issues in Bath the match was pegged between Bathampton and Claverton so no parking issues.

I really didn't fancy Meadow Farm. There were a couple of decent pegs either side of Meadow Farm bridge but didn't relish the walk back up the hill afterwards. 
The pegs at Bathampton fished ok in the final league match in November as did the pegs at Claverton.

I got to the Crown in Keynsham around 7:30 after being up in the night a few times with stomach problems, really didn't want a breakfast so declined that but they were able to sell the one I had booked.

Paid my pools etc and bought some raffle tickets, the prizes were donated by the Crown Pub which was brilliant of them.

I was about 6th to draw and pulled out peg 19. Quite happy with that as it was at Claverton halfway between the bay and Ferry Lane bridge.

Fishing today was 10:15 - 15:15.

Off I went the long way around to Claverton avoiding the Bath clean air zone (up over Haycombe and Combe Down), it takes about 25 minutes.

I parked up in the car park, unloaded and proceeded down to the canal bridge which you have to go down the side off through 2 gates. When I got to the bridge Andy Cranston was going to unload his trolley but I said with a bit of help there's no need. Between 3 of us we helped each other down the side of the bridge onto the towpath.

The pegs were well spaced out and Paul Purchase was right in the middle of the turning bay which is a good area for skimmers when there is colour and I mean colour (brown), it wasn't clear today but not that coloured either.

I soon got to my peg were a guy was sitting pike fishing, he had only been there 10 minutes and went off without any problems.

I was a bit high off the water and there was only one feature across, a den of twigs and a couple of over hung bushes but there was a little gap in the middle. The canal was quite narrow here, 8 sections to the far bank so easy enough. Depth down the track was about 4 foot and right across in the feature was about 2.5 foot. 

A 4 x14 for bread down the track, a 0.4 choppy float for in the feature with worm / caster and a 4 x 14 for the far shelf with pinkie.

While tackling up I had a visitor ........


That robin stayed around me all day and even landed on my knee !

Back to the match .....
After putting in one cup full of liquidised down the track I fed some sloppy minced worm and caster over to my snaggy feature and a few pinkies in ground bait at the bottom of the far shelf.

Starting of on the punch down the track the float was motionless for 5 minutes. I fed a little more bread but didn't make any difference. Jan Van Myzak was to my right and was fishing the same, he shouted down "I think we are in trouble". After 20 minutes I knocked it on the head.

I went over onto the worm line, a bit too easy for my liking but needs must. I had about an inch of red worm on an 18 and the float soon dipped and headed off. A micro perch which I thought was a daddy ruff at first, it was about 1/2 an ounce.
Back out and the same again, really bagging now lol. A few minutes passed and a boat went through so re-fed some more worm slop and a few pinkies on the far shelf as well as a pot of worm down the track.

Went back out over the worm and had a better perch, well I say better, it was about 2 ounces.

It went quiet again so had a look over the bottom of the far shelf. I didn't see the bite but bumped a fish when I moved the float, didn't think it was very big though.

Over the worm line again and a few more micro perch.

Jerry Pocock came walking down and said they were all blanking to my right and he walked on down to see how they were doing. He came back and said Andy Cranston had about 6 oz as did Andy Britt and that was it. When he was there my float went under and the 5 elastic came out. A jack pike of about 2lb which bit me off eventually.

A few more perch came in spells and then Andy Britt came down for a walk off the end peg above Ferry Lane. He asked me what I had. I said about a pound, with that he said your winning the match. Meadow Farm and Bathampton were struggling.

The end of the match couldn't come soon enough as it was now freezing.

Andy Cranston came down on his way back to the car park and stopped to watch me weigh, he had weighed 1lb 4oz and that was about 30 perch and a roach on bloodworm and joker.

My perch and a minnow sized dace went 1lb 6oz which was top weight at Claverton.

Back at the Crown I found I was 2nd in the match with Kev Boltz catching a 2lb perch when he lifted his float 30 minutes from the end! Better to be lucky than good Kev lol.

Kev with his trophy and prize presented by Nicky and Andy

Here is the full report and results by Vince Lunn .......

The Sensas Commercial House Xmas match has been renamed this year to the Brian Britt Memorial match, as Brian was involved with running the league for a long time.
It was fished on the Kennet & Avon canal from Meadow Farm to Claverton (22 pegs).
Thanks to Angling Direct for donating some prizes for the raffle. Also thanks to Cameron Malin for donating some nice engraved glasses for all of the winners.
The drop in temperatures made the fishing extremely hard for everyone, with not many fish being caught other than tiny perch. The canal was fairly clear and there were not many boats moving around.
The winner of the match was Kev Boltz (Midland Spinner), who was pegged 1 to the right of Claverton bay. In the first 4 1/2 hours he managed to catch only 1 micro sized perch. With 30 minutes to go, he was fishing a small piece of worm on the inside when he lifted the float to try another line, but hooked into a large perch. After a bit of a battle he had the perch in the net which gave him a winning weight of 2 lbs 0 ozs.
He won the Xmas hamper and is also the first angler to get his name on the memorial trophy!
2nd was Ivan Currie (Sensas Nomads) who was drawn 4 pegs to the left of Claverton Bay. He had a decent feature over and fished really tight to this with small red worms over chopped worm. He caught lots of small perch to weigh 1 lb 6 ozs.
3rd was Andy Cranston (Sensas Nomads) who was drawn next to Ferry Lane bridge. He had all of his fish on bloodworm, catching mainly perch next to the concrete wall on the inside and then right over on the far side. He weighed 1 lb 4 ozs
4th Nicola Goodhind (M & N Electrical) - 12 ozs
5th Shane Caswell (Midland Spinner) - 8 ozs
6th Andy Britt (Mosella Bathampton) - 6 1/2 ozs

Monday 28 November 2022

Sunday 27th November - Tiverton Christmas Match, Grand Western Canal

 Team mate Sam Johnson and I have fished this early Christmas match a few times now. It is always well run and the prizes are very good.

Sam travelled down the week before and picked up our tickets in Cullompton Angling Centre.

I contacted Russell Hilton to see if he knew where it was being pegged in order to get my bearings as I have been way out of Tiverton before and nearly got lost. Russell indicated that it would probably be from the town basin towards Tidcombe and sent me a couple of map images. He also said "you don't want to be in front of the houses at Tidcombe".

There had been a pairs match on the canal a few weeks ago and it fished pretty well with bream dominating but there had been a bit of colour then.

The Grand Western is a very shallow canal and in most places no more than 13 metres wide. Boat traffic is just about non existent. My tray of rigs for the Kennet and Avon would more than suffice so prep was minimal.

The draw was in the Canal Basin Car Park at 08:00 with fishing 09:30 - 14:30.

After meeting at McDonalds in Tiverton we headed off to the draw. 

After registering we found that 41 were fishing today and everyone could walk to the pegs from the draw.

The draw was done after someone called a random number between 1 and 41, 25 was called so the person against that number was first. As Sam and I were 19 and 18 we would be near the end.

Most fancied pegs 1 to 10 and at the start a lot of high numbers were coming out. By the time it got to Sam there was only one peg left in the basin, peg 2 and Sam got it, he was happy with that.

I was next and number 31 was given to me, not good, Tidcome in front of the houses. I had to walk past the decent pegs and passed Russell on peg 8, needless to say he was quite happy as a bream weight had come off it during the pairs match.

I got to my peg and it did look inviting but I was conscious of what Russell and others had told me. Basically on the opposite bank were gardens coming right down to the canal from bungalow's. The area was also full of ducks and swans waiting for the owners of the properties to feed them. The ducks were all over the place chasing each other etc.

The towpath here had a bit of wear but I was able to set up a platform in the water.

Angling journalist Dom Garnett took the photo

I plumped up with a 4 x 12 and found that down the track it was less than 3 foot deep so set up two identical rigs one with a number 4 elastic and the other with a 5 just in case big fish turned up, yeah right. Size 20 hooks to 0.10 completed the set up. Across it was around 2 foot deep about half a metre from the bank. Another 4 x 12 with a 4 elastic covered this area and that was it, simples.
At the start I put in a small amount of minces worm across to the left of the bush, loose fed pinkie right in front of me and another minced worm line to my right.
I then put a small ball of liquidised bread down the track to my right leaving in front of me and to the right free to see what happened.

First put in down the track over the bread with a 5 mm punch the float buried and a small roach about 3 ounces was caught followed by another then nothing. I put another pinch of bread in and had another then nothing. I gave it another 15 minutes and nothing.

A small ball of bread then was put in to my right and as soon as I went over it a slow sail away bite brought me a small skimmer. As soon as I hooked it you could see it. No more bites on that line after that.

Hmmmmm what to do.

I went over on the minced worm line a bit early but I had an immediate bite and had another roach around 4 oz, yes please I thought keep them coming. As with my bread lines, no more bites followed so re-fed more worm. A look across in front of me with pinkie produced nothing.

Dom Garnett was next to me on 30 and he was also struggling despite trying different lines. I was also ahead of the angler on 32 would as far as I knew only had a couple of blade roach.

Get your head down Ivan and win the section I thought.

The minced worm line across produced the most fish but you would feed, catch and then have to feed again wait 10 minutes and then nick another one. The middle didn't give me anything.

About 10 minutes from the all out Dom caught and landed a small pike which count in these matches.

Bugger I thought but then remembered he was in the next section.

When the scales came down to me I weighed 0.975 which was made up of about 20 fish, I certainly had the most in the section but not enough weight as a couple of the 1kg weights had perch.

As I walked back to the car park I had heard that Russell had a good day catching skimmers and bream.

I met up with Sam before he weighed, the basin area had fished poorly, Sam weighed 0.700.

Russell blitzed the match with over 9 kg, photo below.

Here are the weigh sheets and full results, I actually finished 15 from 41 so not too bad.

Sam got his section by quadruple default, unbelievable, lol.

Acorn fishery match tomorrow and then Commercial House Xmas match on the K & A Sunday.

Monday 14 November 2022

Sunday 13th November - Bill Milton Memorial Poppy Appeal Open, Bristol Avon, Newbridge - Chequers

This match attracts anglers from all over the South West and beyond, even anglers who just fish Commercials most of the year come together to support this worthy cause. 

As usual the organisation was superb and lead by Ray Bazely and Paul Benson with support from a number of others who regularly give up their time to ensure the match is a success.

Team mates Sam Johnson, Leigh Wakefield and I bought our tickets some time ago from Rich Lacey who promotes the match and sells them during the Sensas Bristol Commercial House League.

I met Sam at McDonalds on the Bath Rd around 06:45 before going to the Somerdale Pavilion on the old Fry's Chocolate site at Keynsham which is a great location for the draw.

We met up with Leigh and paid our pools. 100 pegs today and completely sold out.

The pegs were well spread out with decent access and parking for such a huge match.

We thought there would be a big bream weight today and Newbridge would be the place to draw especially after the rain in the week. Some of the pegs at Chequers could throw up a weight as well.

Brian Lloyd from the British Legion read the citation and after the 2 minutes silence the draw got under way. Sam was early in the queue while Leigh and I were a little way back.

I drew 62 and initially I was quite excited but then thought you idiot its not permanent peg 62 at Newbridge your up the Crane which I didn't really want. Leigh was also up the Crane upstream of the High Wall. Leigh and I briefly caught up with Sam before he went and found that he was on permeant peg 59 at Newbridge 20 something in todays match and where I had a 31lb bag of bream and roach in a league match a few weeks ago.

It was only a couple of minutes drive for Leigh and I to park up before heading up the Crane. The only person ahead of me up the Crane was Dean Harvey and I caught up with him on the gate just before the Little Ash Tip field. We helped each other with the gear over the style. Dean had helped peg the match the day before and said we were both in the Big Ash Tip Field so another fence to go over. Dean was on 63.

Once I got to my peg I recognised it as I had 27 lb of roach from it a few years ago in a league match.

The bank was a bit steep but steps were cut out and I was able to get my platform in the water and set up nice and comfy. 

I had take the pole with me but it wasn't an option today so just set up a 4 gram bolo, 2 feeder rods, one maggot and one open ended.

The river looked spot on although a bit pacey.

I had already pre mixed up 3 kilo of ground bait consisting of Sensas black river, gros gardons noire and a little black magic. Before adding more water I put 4 pints aside for the open ended feeder before adding more water and a little lean for a real heavy mix to get it down to the bottom in the 9 foot deep swim.

8 balls laced with caster, hemp, dead reds and a little worm went in a third the way out followed by 6 feeder fulls of caster and worm just past the middle and downstream for bream.

I started on the bolo with the 16 foot rod and had a roach straight away on the size 18 B560 to 0.11. I started to spray red maggot up against the boat opposite.

I was catching fairly regular not huge roach but good weight builders if they continued to stay. I was surprised to see Ray and Paul come behind me about 40 minutes in. They watched me for a while and said I was doing it right as most of the others on the Crane were just fishing the feeder and not catching.

To my right going out a good rod length was a sunken reed bed and after about 2 hours while I was bringing a roach alongside it from downstream I had a pike attack. Pike count in this match but I had no chance of landing it took me back into the reed bed and bit me off.
This was the first of many pike attacks.

I put a few more balls in a bit further out to try and keep away from the reed bed on the retrieve and it worked for a while before the pike cottoned on.
Changing to loose feeding did give me some respite but also meant I had to trot further down the peg to connect with the fish.

I still had been spraying maggot across and took a look on the bolo, it was easy to cast the 4 gram rig across as the wind was light.

The float went under and it was a chub just over a pound. No more followed but I had some roach.

Up until the last 30 minutes I just chopped and changed the bolo down the middle and across. The last 30 minutes I put the maggot feeder across by the boat looking for more chub but it didn't happen.

I ended up with 11 lb 9 oz which was 2nd in the section to Jon Tocknell who had 12 lb 14 oz.

my bag

Jon Tocknell

Dean was making a few phone calls and found that the bream hadn't shown at Newbridge or anywhere else. The Tree's section had fished really hard as did Chequers.

I caught up with Leigh back at the van and he said he had 7lb odd helped by a small pike.

Back at the Club I spoke to Tim Ford briefly and when I told him my weight he said I might frame as they were paying the top 10.

Well I didn't make the top 10 but Jon did so got the section by default and ended up one out of the main money so 11th out of 100 isn't bad.

Sam done really well coming 2nd overall with 15 lb 12 oz.

Paul Issac's won from the Jack Whites section with 19 lb 1 oz and Kev Dicks was 3rd with 15 lb 2 oz from behind the pump house at Newbridge.

The top three, well done chaps

Results including section winners

Ray announced that over £2000 had been raised but today (Monday) I see that the figure now stands at £2780.

Up to fish a qualifier at Evesham on Wednesday and working on the River Kenn with a few guys on Friday doing repairs to pegs and pruning.

Monday 7 November 2022

Sunday 6th November - Sensas Bristol Commercial House League final round, K & A Canal Bathampton - Dundas

In my opinion this has been one of the best series of the league for a few years. Although only 5 teams of 6 this year the contribution and support by everyone has made the 2022 league a great success.

A big thanks to Nicky and Mike Goodhind, Andy Britt and Vince Lunn for the behind the scenes work and organisation on the day of each match. Thanks must also go to the staff at the Crown Pub in Keynsham for hosting the draw and the results over 5 matches and the 37 Club in Puriton who hosted the first match on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain. 

A few new faces fished the league this year which is great to see and will help the league to continue.

Due to various issues which couldn't be helped my Sensas Nomads Team struggled for anglers this year but we were covered for each match thanks to Baz Bright, Jack Jones, Andy Cranston and Dave Lewis.

Team fishing isn't for everyone but although you always want to come back with good points this league isn't serious enough to get too annoyed if it doesn't work out on the day.

The league itself was very tight this year and there were some great individual performances. The Lower Bristol Avon fished its head off although some of the pegs at Swineford and Jack Whites are getting very dangerous which could put off new teams joining, something that needs to be looked at for next year.

The draw at 08:00 sharp worked well and with an amendment to the fishing times (1015 - 1515) gave everyone a chance to park and set up.

Todays match on the Canal was pegged as follows:

The George Bathampton A & B Section

A1 Start of bay

A2 White gate

A3 Flag pole

A5 Tree swing (rope)

B1 Opposite tree between boats

B2 start of bay

B3 after bay reeds

B4 before wires

B5 after wires

Claverton  C, D & E Section

C1 -C5 Claverton towards Bath around bend, all 5 in a row.

D1 Claverton towards Ferry Lane near bench

D3 This side of bay

D4 Far side of bay

E3 & E4 either side of wires

E5 Ferry Lane

Dundas Turning Bay towards Diggers F Section

F1 – F5

Our Team today was.....

Me, I drew B5 above the wires at Bathampton (end peg)

Brian Melksham who drew A1 start of turning bay opposite Bathampton School

Sam Johnson who drew C2 which is not a great area

Jan Van Myzak (our dutch international) who drew D4, can be a great peg

Leigh Wakefield drew E3, not bad

Dave Lewis F2 at Dundas, right area

Off we went to Bath then, not far from Keynsham but I have suggested if we fish the Canal next year we do the draw a bit nearer to the venu plus a lot of us had to go the long way around to avoid the congestion charge in Bath.

I parked in the George Pub Car Park in Bath which Nicky had kindly agreed with the Manager as long as we scanned our reg in before we left after the match.

Brian's peg looked great opposite the School and he has fished here a few times so I expected him to do well.

Due to moored boats the pegs were well spread out and in particular mine and Neil Mercers.

It was a nice morning but due to lash down with heavy rain later.

My peg was in-between 2 boats but still plenty of room and they didnt look as if they were going to move during the day.

I was surprised to see the water so clear which was likely to be a problem. A nice bit of depth right across for choppy lines (approx 2.5 foot), 3 foot at the bottom of the far shelf and about 4 down the track, the same rig done under the boat to my left.

Various canal rigs were already set up with the appropriate hooks to save time and no adjustment was required.

At 1015 I cupped in 2 golf balls of bread down the track, fed 2 choppy and caster lines tight across and a soft ball with dead pinkie at the bottom of the far shelf.

Starting off on the bread line with 6mm punch I expected it to sail under pretty quick ....... nothing, not a sign even by slightly lifting and dropping. 15 minutes in and still not an indication. I put a white pinkie on and still no response. I fed another pinch of liquidised and it didn't make any difference. When the bread went in you could almost see it on the bottom. I gave this line a good 30 minutes but no joy.

Going across on one of the choppy lines with a worm head the float sat motionless, I was now very concerned. Nothing on the other choppy line either so re-fed more worm.

Just over an hour had gone and I had a look at the bottom of the far shelf with a fluro pinkie. The float went under and a barely half ounce perch was swung in. Not a good sign and no more bites there after 10 minutes.

I went back over the worm line while the tow was pulling towards Bath and let a worm tail run through all the way down the peg against some reeds. Under it went first time and a perch of around 4 oz was netted. I had another 3 small perch while the tow remained.

2 hours had gone so I phoned Sam, he was also struggling. Neil came walking up from the peg below me and said he only had a couple of small perch, Nicky below him had one and the others below were struggling as well.

So section wise at this point I was doing ok. Given that everyone seemed to be having a nightmare I decided just to go all out for perch.

Finely chopped worm was fed on all lines including under the left hand boat and the worm dobbing began lol.

The lifting and drooping did work in a fashion as I ended up with 1lb 9oz which got me 3 points from 5. The section was won by Shaun Townsend with 3lb plus maily small roach and Paul Purchase had 2lb 3oz of mainly small roach late, the roach caught were small even by canal standards.

In A section Shane Caswell won it with 9lb 7oz of mainly roach and our man Brian done the business catching 8lb 11oz for second in section.

Leigh done the best in our team taking 4 points from 5 with 5lb 14oz, Sam had 2lb 15 for 3 points and Jan and Dave blew out giving us a total of 16 points which wasn't good.

I haven't seen the canal fish that bad for ages but without any colour it was always going to be hard. The only place there was colour was at Dundas and the top 4 weights came from there.

Vince Lunn was at Dundas and made no mistake catching just over 13lbs of nice skimmers and roach to win the match.

Vince with his catch.

Here is the match report from Vince from the leagues facebook page.............

The final round of the Commercial House League 2022 was fished on the Kennet & Avon canal from Bathampton through to Dundas.
The weather was overcast for most of the day with heavy rain at times. The canal was coloured at Dundas, which produced the top 3 weights in the match, but it was clear in the rest of the sections.
Only 6 anglers caught more than 6 lbs.
The winner of the match was Vince Lunn fishing for M & N Electrical, drawn on F4 at Dundas. He caught 6 skimmers from 6 ozs to 1 lb 8 ozs on the bread down the middle along with lots of quality roach. Then he caught more quality roach on red maggot over groundbait 3/4 across. He also caught roach, dace and bleak on castors right over. He weighed in 13 lbs 5 ozs.
2nd, on the next peg (F3) was Craig Pinker of Midland Spinner. He fished bread 2/3rds across and caught 7 skimmers and lots of small roach.
He then caught more small roach right over on pinkie having fed groundbait with dead pinkie and squatts in.
He finished with 11 lbs 1 oz.
3rd was Rich Lacey (Mosella Bathampton) from end peg F1. He fished bread at 5 metres and caught 3 skimmers from 1 lb to 2 lbs and some roach.
Then he put in some joker across and caught lots of roach and chublets. He weighed in 9 lbs 15 ozs.
4th Shane Caswell - Midland Spinner - 9 lbs 7 ozs
5th Jeff Surmon - Midland spinner - 9 lbs 1 ozs
6th Brian Melksham - Sensas Nomads - 8 lbs 11 ozs
Midland Spinner won on the day with 27 points which is only 3 points dropped.
M & N Electrical were 2nd with 21 points, whilst the league leaders Mosella Bathampton were 3rd with 16.5 points.
After the final round, only 8.5 points separated the top 4 teams, so it was very close.
Mosella Bathampton won the league overall with 123.5 points from M & N Electrical on 121.
Toby Bentham (M & N Electrical) won his section to claim the top individual over the series with 24 points.
Jeff Surmon (Midland Spinner) was 2nd with 23 points.
Nick Coles (Mosella Bathampton) and Sam Johnson (Sensas Nomads) had 21 points, with Nick taking 3rd place on weight.
Andy Richings had the biggest fish of the series with a 6 lbs 14 oz bream.
Top of teams:
Sensas Nomads: Sam Johnson
Mosella Bathampton: Nick Coles
M & N Electrical: Toby Bentham
Midland Spinner: Jeff Surmon
Teams on the day
Midland Spinner 27
M & N Electrical 21
Mosella Bathampton 16.5
Sensas Nomads 16
Crown 8.5
League positions
Mosella Bathampton 123.5
M & N Electrical 121
Midland Spinner 119
Sensas Nomads 115
Crown 53.5

Having a pleasure session on the River Kenn on Wednesday then the Poppy Match on Sunday.

Tight lines all.