Sunday 14 July 2024

13/07/24 - Ivy House - Old Match Lake

Weight - 65lb 8oz (19lb silvers)
Catch - 28 Skimmers, 1 Roach, 17 Carp, 1 F1
Weather - Cloudy and muggy
Match - Open (11 fished) - 1st in silvers, 4th overall

A return visit to the Old Match Lake at Ivy House, which I haven’t fished for a few months. To be honest it hasn’t been fishing well recently although recent results have been improving, although fishing the tea bag seems to be dominating again.

I drew p12 which isn’t my favourite area and with the 2 tea baggers (Allan Smith and Richard Rogers) drawing p1 & p2, an area which won the last match, the regulars felt we would be fishing for 3rd.

For me I wanted to play around with a new paste mix which revolves around the U-Zit GLM groundbait. On the all-in, I tried the method with fishery micros and 6mm wafter and immediately caught a small carp. A couple more followed before the swim died.

After 45mins I switched to a 3+2 line where I had been feeding 4s, fishing a hair rigged 4mm pellet and to be honest I was disappointed with the response, particularly as Simon Dukes on p10 already had a couple of carp and skimmers from his short line.

I did catch a small carp and couple of skimmers and decided to switch to the paste. Again, I caught a small carp and a couple more skimmers, but it didn’t feel right with what felt like more skimmers than carp in the peg, so I quickly set up a paste rig I have been using for F1s, i.e. 0.15 to 14 hook, rather than 0.19 to a 12 hook.

This was much better as I started to put skimmers up to 2lb in the net, staying on this line for much of the match. I occasionally tried the tea bag and 8mm pellet by the island to rest the swim, where I had been pinging 8s. This would produce 2 or 3 fish, but again they were on the small size.

At the halfway stage, news filtered down that the tea bag boys had already had 60lb each, so decided to stay on the skimmers.

Coming into the last hour the short line was fading, so I started feeding 4s off to my right at 3+2. I had also been feeding my margins, with corn, 4s and micros, which the roach loved so I just increased the feed.

I managed a couple of better carp on the tea bag before switching to my carp paste rig and this produced some proper carp from the new short swim. Finally, I managed a proper carp late down my left margin on double corn.

An enjoyable day and I’m pleased I stuck with the skimmers to win the silvers.

1.    118-  0 – Allan Smith – p1
2.    114-  8 – Richard Rogers – p2
3.      70-  0 – Dean Johnson – p7
4.      65-  8 – Ken Rayner – p12
1.      19-  0 – Ken Rayner – p12
2.      14-  4 – Paul Baker – p5
3.      11-  8 – James Dave – p16

11/07/24 - Lavington - Ellis Lake

Weight - 107lb 7oz (17lb 2oz silvers)
Catch - 15 Carp, 4 Bream, 3 Tench, 2 Roach
Weather - Sunny
Match - Evening Club (8 fished) - 1st overall

An evening (3hr) knock-up at my club water and I drew p22 which is a good feeder peg as you have shallow water off the end of the island.

Starting on the method with a 6mm orange wafter and Uzit bubblegum micros, and the tip went round almost immediately. Then I started to get pestered by silvers, resulting in a switch to an 8mm wafter and I netted another 2 carp.

I tried a short meat line, but only caught a good-sized roach and had plenty of indications from small silvers. In the meantime, I had started feeding 8mm meat down my margins and soon started feeding 6mm uzit p-nut pellet to bulk out the feed to feed off the small silvers, and it worked.

The last 100mins of the match I spent alternating between each margin, netting a further 12 carp, 4 bream and a tench on double 8mm meat to win the match.

107-  7 – Ken Rayner – p22
2.      66-13 – Steve Musitano – p27
3.      54-  4 – Martin White – p25

Tuesday 9 July 2024

07/07/24 - Tunnel Barn Farm - Top Pool

Weight - 108lb 14oz
Catch - 81 F1s, 8 Carp, 2 Perch, 1 Skimmer
Weather - Sunny, heavy rain shower later.
Match - Tackle Den (21 fished) - 3rd overall, 1st in section.

I’ve been looking forward to this match as I have enjoyed my previous visits to Tunnel Barn. Today we were on Top Pool and I was a little disappointed to draw p19 at the narrow end of the lake with the wind blowing down the other end of the lake.

Plumbing up revealed the lake was a little deeper than I expected, and the margins were 3ft deep.

I started on a pea size piece of Uzit GLM paste at 2+2 and soon realised there were quite a few small F1s in the swim. After 30mins as I couldn’t catch any quality fish I switched to my right margin on a top kit where I had been feeding meat and caught some bigger F1s amongst the smaller ones.

In the meantime, I had prepped a shallow caster line at 14m by a small island. I caught a few on a conventional shallow rig, but soon swapped to an overshotted rig and had a really good 45min spell when I had some ripple. However, when the swim went flat calm a jigger rig kept me in touch with the fish, before the swim faded. A further switch back to the overshotted rig pushed under the overhanging reeds kept me going, but it was hard going. Although I could catch the occasional 2lb F1, most of the fish were 12oz to 1lb.

To give the swim a rest I also caught a few fish at 6m shallow down the left margin.

With 2hrs remaining the weather turned cold and very windy as a heavy rain shower passed through. When it stopped, I couldn’t catch anything shallow and was struggling.

To make something happen, I decided to drop a big ball of micros down my left margin on a top kit plus 1 and caught really well including an 8-9lb carp on paste. In the last hour I simply alternated between the paste down the left margin and meat in the right margin.

In the end an enjoyable day’s fishing and picking up a couple of bonus carp proved vital as they allowed me to claim 3
rd place, which I was pleased with particularly from my peg as the top 2 came from the other end of the lake.

1.    139-13 – Jason Crump – p3
2.    112-13 – John Pearce – p1
3.    108-14 – Ken Rayner – p19
4.    101-13 – Ian Barker – p13
5.      92-  8 – Dan Barnett – p27

06/07/24 - Harescombe - Match

Weight - 58lb 8oz
Catch - 14 F1, 13 Carp, 2 Roach, 1 Skimmer
Weather - Cold & wet start, sunshine & showers later.
Match - Summer Series rd 3 (13 fished) - 1st overall

The 3rd round of the Summer Series and peg 4 put me in the same section as 4 of the top 5, so there was an opportunity to take some points (and to lose some!).

It was cold this morning, following some heavy overnight rain and the car temperature read 9c. It’s supposed to be July, but it certainly didn’t feel like it.

I started at 3+1 feeding meat covered in Uzit A-krill cloud and started to catch some F1s. After 45mins I was thinking I needed to switch lines, then I got another fish and ended up remaining on this line for another hour, putting 10 F1s and a Carp in the net.

A switch to the bottom of the far shelf fishing 4mm pellet didn’t produce a bite, so I soon switched to fishing tight to the far bank feeding meat and 2mm p-nut pellet. It was a little slow going and the wind at times was a pain, but I kept putting the odd carp in the net through the middle part of the match.

When the far line faded, I tried fishing down the track in various spots, without success. Fortunately, both my margins where I had been feeding meat and micros produced a good last 30mins putting another 17lb or so in the net.

On the all-out I felt I had about 45-50lb and might be struggling to claim 3
rd in section. I honestly didn’t think I had Andy Janes 55lb which was leading my section. So, I was a little surprised to weigh 58lb - I obviously underestimated the size of the carp I caught which made the difference. The win put me 1pt clear of Andy.

1.    58-  8 – Ken Rayner – p4
2.    55-11 – Andy Jane – p14
3.    47-  5 – Steve Brown – p10
4.    46-10 – Luke Seabrook – p16

04/07/24 - Harescombe - Match Lake

Weight - 41lb 13oz
Catch - 14 F1s, 9 Carp, 2 Skimmers, 2 Roach
Weather - Sunny, cool and blustery
Match - Open (16 fished) - 3rd overall

I had last weekend off with the intention of doing a couple of local day trips walking the dog with Abi. However, Poppy ended up being quite unwell, having probably eaten something she shouldn’t have, which resulted in a trip to the vet and the weekend spent at home.

With the 3rd round of the summer series on Saturday I got a day off work to fish Thursday’s open to stay in touch with the venue. With 16 booked in it was always going to fish a little hard and a decent draw was required.

I drew a very average peg in the shape of p11, but to be honest I wasn’t that concerned and just wanted to enjoy my day. The weather however was a concern, with a 20mph wind forecast for most of the day.

On the all-in, I started at 3+2 fishing meat, but after 15mins, 2 roach and a single F1 wasn’t the start I wanted, however everyone appeared to be struggling. Trying pellet to my left at 3+2 didn’t produce a bite either and after 10mins I abandoned the short line.

A switch to fishing a 4mm (u-zit p-nut) pellet, tapping in 4s at the bottom of the far shelf at least produced a few F1s and carp. When the swim dried up, I tried to set up a new swim to the right but couldn’t get a bite – strange!

It was time to try the fishing tight to the far bank and to be honest, I didn’t like how it plumbed up, but I eventually found 2 spots to fish. By tapping in 6mm meat (covered in uzit a-krill cloud) and 2mm p-nut pellet, I had a slow start, but had a nice run of F1s and carp swapping between the 2 swims.

The wind however was proving to be a real pain at times as I struggled to keep the rig in place. With 90mins remaining, the far line had dried up, although I think my presentation was suffering due to the increasing wind.

I tried the bottom of the far shelf again, without success which just left the margins and a 2+2 meat line. Unbelievably, I only caught 1 skimmer from the margin. Fortunately, I managed a couple of decent F1s and carp from the short meat line.

When the match finished, I was fairly sure Steve Brown on p15 had won as he had a very good last hour fishing shallow and I hoped I would frame, which I did just missing out on 2
nd by 3oz to Mick O’Brien. The anglers either side of me didn’t weigh, so I was quite pleased to weigh what I did, and I will be glad when the weather settles as I’m sure it effected todays match.

1.   52-  0 – Steve Brown – p15
2.    42-  0 – Mike O’Brien – p3
3.    41-13 – Ken Rayner – p11
4.    30-  3 – Jerry Wiggett – p5

Wednesday 26 June 2024

23/06/24 - Witherington Farm - Cottage

Weight - 58lb 10oz
Catch - 10 Carp
Weather - Warm & sunny
Match - Tackle Den (20 fished) - 3rd on lake, 8th overall

I was looking forward to this match, as I won the corresponding fixture last year with 186lb on paste and planned to do the same again regardless of which lake I drew.

However, since last year the fishery was underwater for most of the winter thanks to the river being flooded, which resulted in lost fish. More recently, I found out after the match, there was an algae problem on Cottage that resulted in an oxygen crash last week!

Even without knowing that I wanted to be on Selwood, but I drew p10 on Cottage, which was opposite the island. When I arrived, there were plenty of fish blowing and I thought I might catch a few.

Well, it was a struggle. I started at 8m on paste (Uzit GLM), feeding 4mm p-nut pellet and was surprised not to get a bite, although I eventually netted a foul hooker.

Jason Crump to my left caught a couple of fish on the straight lead cast to the island and after his 3rd fish it prompted me to try the method. This resulted in an immediate response netting a 4lber. The hook pulled out of the next one, but then I couldn’t get another bite. Neither could Jason, although Dave Keen on the right-hand bank was catching casting a method to the island.

I kept pinging 6s to the island and I managed another carp on the straight lead and 8mm pellet later. I did consider whether to set up a meat rig, but decided against it preferring to stick with the paste hoping the fish would get their heads down, particularly as no one was really running away with it and most were struggling.

That said, in hindsight I wish I had brought some worm, as Crumpy caught a few fish on it during the middle part of the match, when the fish were really moody. There was plenty of blowing in the peg, but it just felt like the fish didn’t want to feed in the silt.

Eventually, with 90mins remaining I started to get clean bites on my 8m paste line and caught 6 carp before the end of the match. The surprise was I never had a bite from either of margins, despite feeding them from the start.

I finished the match 3rd on the lake, just behind Jason and as expected Selwood was the better lake to be on.

1.    103-  8 – Andrew Black – (Selwood)
2.      81-  8 – Dave Keen – (Cottage)
3.      78-10 – Dan Barnett – (Selwood)
4.      70-  5 – Bobby Moore – (Selwood)
5.      66-10 – Cliff Dutton – (Selwood)
6.      65-12 – Matt Greaves – (Selwood)

Friday 21 June 2024

20/06/24 - Ivy House - Heron

Weight - 230lb 11oz
Catch - 146 Carp, 34 F1s
Weather - Warm & sunny
Match - Open (5 fished) - 2nd overall

As I had a load of spare (vac packed) caster due to over ordering I decided to book into the open at Ivy House on Heron Lake hoping for a day’s shallow caster fishing.

There were only 5 booked fishing, although I was told 10 had booked in. At least we had plenty of space and I drew p4.

I started on paste (top kit plus 1), whilst I primed my shallow line and after 30mins had 14 fish, however except for 2 decent size carp the fish were 12oz or less. In that time everyone else was catching F1s shallow.

A switch to shallow and I caught F1s, but after an hour the F1s were replaced by small carp despite trying different depths.

To give the line a rest I tried the right margin on a top kit with Uzit GLM paste and started to catch some better sized carp, but still had the odd tiny one. I fed caster down my left margin and caught, but the average stamp was on the smaller side.

I must admit I lost my way a little mid-match trying to keep the margins and shallow lines going. Every time I returned to the shallow line, I would get a couple of F1s, before the small carp returned, as it became obvious the F1s wouldn’t settle in the bright flat conditions.

With 2hrs remaining I binned the shallow line to concentrate on the 2 margins, converting the left margin from caster to paste. The move worked as I had a strong end to the match.

Dave won the match, as he managed to catch more F1s shallow and then had a good run-on pellet down his margin. I had more fish, but just too many small fish.

1.    254-  0 – Dave Willmott – p2
2.    230-11 – Ken Rayner – p4
3.    191-  4 – Tim Hadland – p8