I am mainly a river angler , favouring the River Trent from the Tidal reaches at Torksey all the way up to the Upper Trent at Burton. I also venture further afield to fish matches on the Warwickshire Avon, Severn, Nene, Thames, Wye, Yorkshire Ouse, Yorkshire Derwent, Derbyshire Derwent, Don and in the good old days, the Witham and Welland.
In the winter months I tend to fish silver fish matches at venues like Sherwood Forest Fishery where the waggler and maggot can achieve awesome weights.
I have been winning river matches since the late 70's and have many big open wins to my name from a variety of venues. I have also been a finalist in the John Smiths Championship at Evesham, the Embassy Pairs final in Denmark and two Riverfest finals, coming fifth overall in the first Riverfest final on the River Wye.
I also used to be into team fishing many years ago fishing for the mighty Rotherham Raiders competing in National Championships, John Smiths Team Championships and Thames Championships to name a few together with winter league campaigns .....
Sunday 12/03/2017 - The grand finale to the river season for me today on the Derbyshire Angling Federation's final winter league match on the river Derwent at Duffield.
I asked Woody which peg I needed to draw today and he said Turf Side peg 18, I went in the draw bag and out came Turf Side peg 18, it must be my day I thought. I fished the waggler, stickfloat and the bomb and meat but never had a bite all day. I was lucky enough to have the scales but it didn't take long to weigh in, all five of us on Turf Side blanked, brilliant end to the season. My section also included four pegs on the Playing Fields on the other side of the river and 12oz ended up winning the section and only one other person weighing in out of the nine peg section.
The match was won by Ian Philips with nine chub on the waggler for 26lb 8oz off Bridge Inn peg 13, Mark Dawes came second with 16lb 8oz which included a barbel of 14lb 4oz from Bridge Inn peg 4 and finally Jim Gregory came third with a barbel and a chub for 9lb 5oz from Playing Fields peg 12.
I only fished the odd match in the winter league and wasn't in the league. The league winner was Jim Gregory with 18 points, Terry Moroz came second with 19 points, John Spencer came third with 20 points and finally Dave Thornley came fourth with 21 points
Saturday 11/03/2017 - Upper Witham teams of six today from Foston to Dry Dodington and I was fishing for Derbyshire Angling Fed.
Drew A17 at Foston which didn't mean anything to me as I rarely fish this stretch. Nice long walk to start the day, set up a 5 No 4 stickfloat rod, a light bomb rod and a heavy bomb rod. Started on the stick but could only catch minnows which don't count, changed to the bomb and caught a small grayling so at least I avoided a blank, back on the stick and caught a chub about 3lb on the hour mark so that was a bit better. No more bites until I tried a lobworm down the side which produced a nice perch then nothing else.
I've never fished mince and steak before but it's a method that works here so half way through the match I started introducing small balls of mince. Time to have a go with steak (Ribeye) on the stickfloat now, first trot down and the float buries, must be a chub I thought, no, it was a minnow, brilliant. No more bites on the float so tried steak on the bomb which produced a nice 4lb chub, result. Only had one more dace on the stickfloat and maggot to end up with 8lb 10oz. The Foston section fished really well so this was only good enough for 7th out of the 20 peg section.
On the team front we managed to come fourth and last in the money out of the 20 teams with 49 points, the third team had 48 points, second had 44 points and the winners were Grantham with 40 points.
On the individual front Leanne Knott won it with 21lb 2oz from Foston A8 (picture of her peg below), Reed Bradshaw came second with 19lb 15oz, Steve Kind? came third with 18lb 8oz and well done to Woody who came fourth with 18lb 6oz, the prize list went down to 12th place and he had 9lb 10oz.
Keith Hobson has been sacked from photo duties.
Tuesday 07/03/2017 - Back to Sherwood Forest Fishery after a weekend washed out with the floods, lets hope the water falls enough to let us get back to the rivers for the final weekend.
Today I drew peg 14 and with near perfect conditions everybody caught a few, my peg was a typical Toby Bunting peg with the wind off my back, perfect. Started on the wag and mag and it took about an hour to catch my first decent ide, had a nice days fishing after that catching mainly on the waggler plus a few on the feeder. Ended up with 26lb 14oz to come fourth in the match and win the section by default.
Unfortunately the carp have woken up today and the top three all had carp, the winner had four carp, second had nine and third also had four.
The winner today was Michael Elliott (Trentmen) who had 42lb 12oz from peg 16, John Holmes came second with 34lb 13oz from end peg 26, Fred Bispham came third with 29lb 9oz from peg 20, I was fourth with the best silverfish catch of 26lb 14oz, Ken Ryder came fifth with 20lb 15oz, including two carp, from peg 10 and finally Steve Richards came sixth with 19lb 6oz from peg 22.
Tuesday 28/02/2017 - Sherwood Forest Fishery match today and with the hard frost last night it slowed things down a bit compared to recent results.
Drew peg 14 and started on the wag and mag as usual and really struggled at first but things improved as it warmed up a bit. Caught a few decent ide and small roach but had to swap and change between the waggler and the feeder to keep them coming, ended up with 17lb 3oz to come second again.
My basic waggler set up is with a Drennan Acolyte ultra 14ft rod (perfect for silvers), Daiwa TDR reel (won from the first Riverfest final for the biggest fish), 3lb Maxima reel line, 3AAA Dave Harrell Sensitip waggler locked with two swan shot with a No 14 swivel at mid depth in four foot of water, size 20 Tubertini 808 hook to a 0.10 hooklength, perfect for this style of fishing I think.
Back to the match, the winner today was Steve Richards with 23lb 2oz of skimmers, ide and perch on the pole with pellet and maggot, Andres Nowakowski came third with 16lb 5oz and finally Mick Lysaght came fourth with 13lb 14oz.
26-2-2017 Sherwood Forest Fishery silverfish open today and with a very strong right to left wind it was always going to be hard work.
Drew peg 12 and had a good peg for peg battle with Rob Perkins to my left on end peg 10 and Colin Perry to my right on peg 14. Started on the wag and mag as usual but the presentation never looked right, stuck at it for much too long for only a few small roach. Changed to the dink dink feeder after two hours and it went round straight away. Ended up with 20 good ide, 2 skimmers and a good perch plus small fish on the feeder. Tried the waggler on and off but never caught a decent fish on it today.
Rob Perkins came out on top, winning the match with 28lb dead on the pole and the waggler, he had a good last 30 minutes which made the difference, knocking me back to second with 26lb 14oz, Colin Perry came third with 18lb 8oz and finally Pete Hodgetts came fourth with 9lb 15oz.
It was a good battle between the three of us and was very close right to the end. The wind spoilt it a bit but we still caught a few, a bad decision not to put the waggler down sooner cost me today but it's been so successful recently I always thought the ide would turn up.
Tuesday 21/02/2017 - Sherwood Forest Fishery match today and with the mild weather and a ripple on the lake it was always going to fish well.
Drew peg 10 and had a nice day on the wag and mag to catch 21 big ide together with skimmers and small ide to weigh 31lb 4oz to win the match, nice.
I am currently reading Jim Baxter's new book, "The Rising Antenna" and it has certainly made me think a bit more about my waggler fishing. I know that we probably do all these things automatically but, for example, catching fish away from your main feed area i.e. to the left, right and closer in rather than in the middle of the feed certainly helps to put more fish in the net, as todays weight shows. There are lots of good tips and advice on waggler fishing in the book and I would recommend it highly.
Back to todays match, Ken Ryder came second with 18lb dead of ide and skimmers from peg 14 followed by Steve Richards in third with 16lb 4oz and finally Fred Bispham in fourth with 12lb
Tuesday 14/02/2017 - Sherwood Forest Fishery match today on Sherwood lake.
I was hoping that we had finished with the cold weather but we turned up to a completely frozen lake today so a difficult day was expected.
Drew peg 22 and fished waggler and maggot as usual, it started very slow as expected with only small roach being caught but it got better as the day warmed up. It took me two hours to catch my first decent ide and then ended up with seven ide, four skimmers plus small fish to weigh 15lb 3oz for second in the match.
Well done to 15 year old Worksop junior angler Andrew Kitt for the convincing win today, he had 22lb 11oz of ide and skimmers on the pole and maggot from peg 26, I was second with 15lb 3oz and Fred Bispham came third with 14lb 5oz from peg 27 (again), finally Ken Ryder came fourth with 13lb 7oz.
It fished surprisingly well for the conditions today and things can only get better with the milder weather forecast for the weekend.
Sunday 12/02/2017 - Derbyshire Angling Fed winter league on the river Derwent at Duffield today.
The river was about a foot up and rose during the day with snow water so it was never going to fish well. I was standing in as a reserve for Terry Moroz today and as he was top of the league the pressure was on.
Drew playing fields peg 2 which is not a good peg and has no form so far in the league. Started on the whip feeder for no bites, changed to a light stick float for no bites then tried the bomb down the side with the same result. The aim is to try and catch a few grayling in the first hour then fish for chub and barbel when the grayling back off. I was an hour into the match without a bite so it wasn't looking good. I tried the bomb across as it was fairly slow across and caught one small grayling which at least avoided the dreaded blank. With no further bites coming on that it was time to try for some big fish so out went the bomb and meat or lobworm but no bites on that either also kept trying the bomb and maggot for graying every now and again without any luck.
So not a good day, ended up with just that one grayling which weighed 7oz and finished fourth in the section out of six, at least it wasn't a blank, don't think Terry will ask me to fish for him again. However, he is still top of the league after this result but only by one point, all he has to do is win his section on the last two matches. When I was last a reserve, it was for Nick Atkins, in the first match of the league and I won that with 23lb of chub, I think Terry was hoping for that kind of result.
The match was won by Stu Raynor with 13lb 4oz from playing fields peg 6, he had four chub plus a few grayling, John Spencer came second with 5lb 8oz of grayling and roach from Bridge Inn peg 10, followed by Woody in third with one chub for 3lb 10oz from Bridge in peg 17 and finally Jamie Mills came fourth with 3lb 5oz from Bridge Inn peg 28.
Tuesday 07/02/2017 - Sherwood Forest Fishery open today on Sherwood lake.
Drew peg 16 which is in the middle of the lake and makes a difference from my usual draws at one end or the other end of the lake. Fished waggler and maggot as usual and it was hard work to put anything together, eventually started to catch a few small roach and small ide together with a few good skimmers and a big perch, the big ide haven't fed for weeks now. Ended up with 9lb 11oz to win the section by default and finish fourth in the match.
The match was won by Ken Ryder with 13lb 4oz of skimmers from peg 14, not on the dink dink as usual but on the pole and pellet at about nine metres, Paul Ashley came second with 10lb 11oz of skimmers on the pole and pellet from peg 10, Andraos came third with 10lb 10oz from peg 24 followed by Barry Wiggington in fifth with 8lb 3oz from peg 20 and finally Rob Perkins came sixth with 7lb 10oz from peg 22.
It was a tough match for most in perfect conditions but we all caught a few.
Sunday 06/02/2017 - Fifth round of the Sherwood Forest Fishery silver fish league today on Sherwood lake.
Drew peg 20 for the second league match in a row and failed dismally again off the peg. Fished waggler and maggot for most of the day and a feeder over the top occasionally and struggled on both. Ended up with 3lb 6oz which at least beat the 2lb 10oz I had on the peg last time. I don't think it helped having a section on the other bank for waggler fishing today.
The match was won by Matt Bailey with 16lb 8oz from roadside peg 44, he has now won the league with a match to go with five section wins out of five, well done mate. Second today was Rich Bonson with 14lb 4oz from end peg 8 narrowly beating his travelling partner Michael Elliott (Trentmen) who came third with 14lb 1oz from the next peg, peg 10, Mick Langton came fourth with 11lb 1oz from peg 12, Rob Perkins (Trentmen) came fifth with 11lb 5oz from peg 24 and finally Colin Perry came sixth with 10lb 10oz from peg 42.
Sherwood Forest Fishery match today and with the milder weather it was hoped that a few silvers would feed.
Drew peg 27 which some consider to be a fairly decent peg, I tried to get Mick and Steve to leave the peg out of the bag to make it a fairer match but it was put back in at the last minute so I had to draw it of course (first time ever).
Set up the waggler as usual together with a feeder and a pole to fish chopped worm to the weeds, someone once caught a few perch from there and I fancied a bit of that. Anyway, only had one small ide on the feeder and no bites at all on the pole.
However, the waggler and maggot didn't let me down, caught mainly skimmers together with three or four decent ide plus small roach to weigh 17lb 10oz to win the match (should do from that peg as it's the best peg on the lake).
Rob Perkins (Trentmen) came second with 15lb 3oz from peg 24, John Holmes came third with 14lb 12oz from peg 12, Mark Bower came fourth with 14lb 2oz from peg 14 and finally Steve Richards came fifth with 13lb 7oz from peg 20. Decent weights all round and it would have been a close frame without peg 27.
- Sherwood Forest Fishery open today and another cold one. The lake was still iced up up to peg 9 today with cat ice along the far bank on a lot of the other pegs.
Drew peg 22 and fished waggler and maggot as usual, I also set up a dink dink feeder as I expected it to be a tough day with the cold conditions. The waggler failed again as I only caught three decent ide plus skimmers and small roach. The dink dink wasn't any better as I only had two decent ide and a skimmer on it to weigh 8lb 10oz to come joint fifth in the match.
The end peg did the damage again, Rich Bonson drew the peg (27) and had 15lb 14oz of skimmers and ide on the pole and maggot to easily win the match, James Stevenson came second with 10lb 2oz of skimmers from peg 12, Andreos and Steve Richards came a close joint third with 9lb 15oz from peg 16 and 24 respectively.
- Fourth round of the Sherwood Forest silver fish league today on Sherwood lake and a right struggle for me.
I can't complain about drawing the low numbers today because it was iced up to peg 10 so peg 11 was the first peg in the match. I drew peg 20 which is normally a good peg and I've had some good results off it this winter but it was not to be today.
I've fished waggler and maggot and even set up a feeder rod to fish the dink dink method but hardly caught anything, just a few small roach and small skimmers to weigh 2lb 10oz and probably come last in the match. I lost one big ide which just came off half way back, that cost me second in the section and would have kept me in the running for the league but never mind.
Because of the ice today we had to fish peg for peg and you really had to draw the end pegs to have any advantage. The winner today was Michael Elliott (Trentmen) who took full advantage of end peg 26 to weigh 22lb 11oz of skimmers, Mark Bower came second with 14lb 9oz of skimmers from peg 13, Adey Higginbottom (Trentmen) came third with 13lb dead from end peg 11 and Colin Perry came fourth with 9lb 15oz from peg 24.
That's me out of the league now with two bad results when you can only drop one so I'll just have to win the last two rounds, lets hope it warms up a bit so that ide feed a bit better.
- Just about recovered from the marathon walk on the Derwent last Sunday so fished the Sherwood Forest Fishery open today.
Still can't get away from the low numbers, drew peg 6 today, going the wrong way as you need to be in the 20's. Fished waggler and maggot all day but didn't get a bite for the first hour then started catching small roach with the odd better ide thrown in. Ended up with 11lb 4oz to come nowhere, at least I caught some fish today and could park behind the peg.
It fished quite well further up the lake and it was a fairly close frame.
Nigel Shipman won it for the second week running, he had 21lb 10oz of skimmers on the pole and pellet from peg 23, Steve Richards came second with 17lb 14oz of skimmers from peg 16, Rich Bonson came third with 17lb dead of skimmers from peg 8, Fred the bread came fourth with 16lb 9oz from peg 27 and finally James Stevenson came fifth with 15lb 7oz from peg 26.
- As I couldn't get on the Rivendell winter league on Sherwood (even though only ten fished it), I fished the Derbyshire Angling Fed winter league on the River Derwent at Duffield.
Drew Bridge Inn peg 18, the one below the weir and the longest walk in the world. No parking behind your peg here, oh no, it was a hike over two fields, over two fences, unloading and loading again, slipping and sliding in the mud until I finally arrived at the peg. After a good rest and a coffee I started to tackle up, not just one rod as on Sherwood but a stickfloat, waggler, bomb rod and a feeder rod to cover all the options.
The peg had fast water close in, stood in the middle and backing up across so it wasn't easy to fish. Struggled all day in the rain, only had one bite and that was a trout (on the waggler) which of course didn't count so a DNW.
The river didn't fish well really apart from the winner, that was Ant White who had 15 chub for a brilliant 44lb 10oz from peg 19 on the playing fields, he's obviously improved from the last time he drew it a couple of weeks ago because he only had 30lb+ then, Dave Revill came second with 10lb 14oz from peg 3A on bridge Inn, Bob Ball came third with 8lb 14oz from Bridge Inn peg 1 and finally Phil Hill came fourth with 8lb 12oz from Bridge Inn peg 29.
- Sherwood Forest Fishery open today. Improved conditions but the water was still cold from the recent thaw.
Drew peg 8 today, I just cant get away from the low numbers, I've drawn 8, 9, 9, 11 and 4 recently when you really want to be in the 20's. Anyway, apart from the lack of fish, it was one of those Toby Bunting pegs, wind off your back, perfect, fished waggler and maggot to catch roach, small skimmers and ide but never really got them going. Ended up with 9lb 1oz for a default section win.
The match was won from the next peg by Nigel Shipman with 20lb 15oz from peg 10, he had one carp on the bomb and pellet after five minutes then caught skimmers on the pole and pellet, Richard Bonson came second with 19lb 14oz of skimmers from peg 20, Fred Bispham came third with 14lb 9oz from peg 26 and finally Steve Richards came fourth with 13lb 7oz from peg 24.