Doug Smith wins his section at Woodland View Sunday Open


This Sundays Open match saw another excellent turnout of 45 anglers spread over Front Deans, Hay, High and Arles pools, with many using the match as a practise for the Golden Reel qualifier next Saturday.

Five of us Jubilee Nomads were in attendance dispite the weather forecast which saw blustery conditions with heavy rain forecast for later in the day. It felt like we were back to winter fishing! The good news was you could now sit in the cafe before the draw after more of the Covid restrictions being lifted but as normal the draw was done my Adi outside.

Doug, Rob and Phil drew on Front Deans while Andy and Robin found Arles pool home for the day. Doug was the star Nomad this week winning his section from Front Deans and also taking the Nomad super pool from his end peg 2 with 97lb closely followed up by Rob on the next peg who had 92lb, hoping for another pick up after the previous days section win!

Phil, further down the section through back 40lb wanting to get back home before the rain and for the final days football fixtures on the TV while over on Arles pool Andy and Robin caught a few but were really never in the race drawing Arles, with only a section win really up for grabs.

On the plus side, given the forecast for heavy rain later in the day, we escaped the worse of the weather and all our kit was back in the cars before the heavens opened and Woodland View continues to fish well.

Sunday open hay Arles f/deans high 45 fished
1st Ash price. Woodlands. D29. 150-8
2nd Ash ski. Peg one. Hay8. 137-4
3rd J Powell. Peg one. Hay 17. 131-12
4th S Campbell. Stourport. High26. 116-6
5th C Cameron. Midi. High34. 109-
6th K sheldon. Dudley. D27. 103-8

Why I’ve returned to mass produced Commercial pole floats


Several years ago mass produced pole floats from some of the main fishing tackle companies were really terrible. Often falling apart even before they sat in the water. The choice on offer wasn’t good either with only a few basic options generally available.

Many serious anglers turned to handmade or hand assembled float makers such as Mick Wilkinson and Nick Gilbert to name a couple. Their pole floats were and still are exceptional with plenty of choices and sizes available. I started using Nick Gilbert’s XL hand assembled ones for several years and I had no issues, very strong and well made and easily available from his website.

Around 2 years ago Preston released their mark I version of their Commercial pole float range and later the Des Ship Commercial Slims followed with the new super strong side eyes. Guru saw this and basically did a deal bringing Mick Wilkinson on board to design and build their versions of his pole floats.

My attention to these new pole floats came via their social media posts. I brought some to try and was impressed despite fellow anglers knocking mass produced pole floats.

Once something has a bad name, it sticks. Yes they had a bad name but now the quality and options available is 1st class. But one of the biggest plus’s with the Preston floats it that they are colour coded and named for their use, Yellow Carp Pellet for Carp, Red F1 Maggot for maggots or slow sinking baits fished on the drop. Blue F1 Pellet for pellets on the bottom, F1 fine for winter fishing etc, Simple!

Then from the Commercial range, Mark II there are purple F1 Shallows for F1’s Shallow and Carp Shallow for fishing shallow for carp, then the Edge for fishing in the Edge. This was a big draw for me. I can now easily select the right pole float from my seatbox with ease. I like to be organised and now I have all these options and their different sizes stored in my rig trays.

So are mass produced pole floats making a come back? Tell me what you think, leave me a comment below.

Rob Butcher wins the Woodland View Saturday Open, as the Nomads frame on both days this weekend


This weekend saw brown envelopes for Rob, Robin and Doug at Woodland View.

Saturday saw the Open on High pool where Rob and Robin framed in the top three. Rob winning the match from peg 22 with 93lb 6oz and Robin coming 3rd from peg 4 down the other end of the pool with 70lb 8oz.

Sunday saw the other Nomads join them for the open match on Front/Back Deans and Hay pools. This time Doug was the star Nomad taking the Nomad Superpool winning his section from peg 32 on Front Deans with another tonne+ weight of 111lb 0oz. Stu had 72lb from Hay, caught 60lb from Front Deans while Rob, Andy and Robin struggled on Back Deans but still caught 40-50lb each. So still a good day.

Saturday 15/5 high pool
Rob butcher. Jubilee Nomads. H22. 93-4
Rob Camden colmic select. H34. 78-8
Robin Ballard. Jubilee Nomads. H4. 70-8
Ash ski. Peg one. H16. 66-12

Sunday open 16/5 35
S Tibbits. Peg one. Hay 8. 142-4
Kev Slade. Peg one. D8. 137-8
Jim Pendrey. Peg one. Hay11. 128-12
G Clark. Colmic select. H20. 119-6
Doug smith. Jubilee Nomads. D32. 111-
H summer woodlands. D4. 106-4
B Whitley matrix. D30. 104-
D eke. Woodlands. Hay 17. 101-8
S Harris matrix. D1. 100-2
G pickton. Garbolino. D63. 100-2

Andy Mitchell continues to pick up at Woodland View


Andy’s the star Jubilee Nomad at the moment and has really got Woodland View sorted recently, picking up most weeks lately.

Sunday’s Open match at Woodland View saw Andy joined by Phil, Robin and Stu this week while Rob, Mark and Doug were fishing the 5 day Spring Festival at Solhampton. The Open at Woodland View saw an excellent turn out of 39 anglers fishing. So the match was held over Back Deans, High and Ghost pool. Andy and Phil on Back Deans, Robin on Ghost and Stu on High pool.

They all caught well as did most anglers fishing but Andy flew the Nomad flag again catching well in the margins after a slow start for all. This time Andy won his section on Back Deans with another tonne plus weight, 126lb for 4th in the match and only losing the pool win by 4oz. Phil was also a little unlucky just missing the other section win on Back Deans needing one more fish but weighted in 75lb 8ox for 2nd on the bank.

Robin drew on Ghost were he produced another big weight of 98lb despite losing several big fish which would have given him a framing place and Stu still had a 50lb+ weight on High pool. So overall a good days fishing for the Jubilee Nomads.

Woodland View Sunday open, High Ghost and Back deans – 39 anglers fished.

1st S Roberts. Telford. H24. 155-122

2nd B Brett Whitley matrix. H28. 141-12

3rd H summers woodlands. D35. 126-4

4th A Mitchell. Jubilee Nomads. D40. 126-

5th M Sidwell woodlands. G6. 121-12

6th J Powell. Peg one. H17. 121-

7th R Willson. Peg one. G7. 113-12

8th T Whitcher. Peg one. G9. 112-12

9th S Tibbits. Woodlands. H15. 112-6

Over at Solhampton, Doug Rob and Mark fished the festival all week in some pretty unseasonal weather conditions which made the fishing tough. With all the Nomads catching plenty of fish during the 5 days but all finished out of the money this time.

Solhampton Fishery May Festival Results1st Simon Dicken 535.00 lb 2. Carl Jones 526.06lb 3. Chris Hill 484.00lb 4. Sam Parker 469.07lb

Andy Mitchell wins Woodland Views big money Open


Saturday saw Andy, Robin, Doug and Rob book into the the Big money Open at Woodland View, Fished over Front and Back Deans.

Andy continued his recent excellent form at the venue after finishing 3rd the previous week with 122lb off Hay pool by topping that with 151lb 9oz off Front Deans peg 2 to win the match outright this time, picking up a very nice large and heavy brown envelope.

Andy then completed a hat-trick of pick ups from his last 3 matches at the venue by drawing on High pool for the Sunday Open. This time wining his section with 39lb on a day when the fish didn’t want to feed. But Andy didn’t pick up the Nomad Superpool this time. That honour fell to Doug on Front Deans who caught well catching 85lb 2oz and claimed 4th place and a section win.

Saturday Big Payout Open Match

Fished both Deans

1st Andy Mitchell D2 151.8lbs

2.Paul Ellis D27 121lbs

3.Jim Pendry D11 110lbs

4.Jason Powell D35 108lbs

5.Mat Walker D24 101.6lbs

Sunday Open Match

Front Deans & High

1 Rob Wilson D8 154lbs

2.Andy Pollard H30 120.8lbs

3.K Sheldon D29 119.

4lbs4.Doug Smith D5 85.2lbs

5.Jim Pendry D21 76.12lbs

Rob Butcher main frames at Woodland View Sunday Open


This week 6 Jubilee Nomads fished the Sunday Open at Woodland View. A good turnout saw 30 anglers spread out across Front and Back Deans this week. Weather wise it melt like back to winter fishing with snow and hail showers blowing in all day with a cold easterly wind in between sunny spells. But we all caught fish. Some more than others.

Rob and Robin drew Back Deans while Phil, Stu and Doug found them selves pegged together on the low numbers on Front Deans opposite Andy also on Front Deans. Rob was this weeks star Nomad, taking the Nomad Super pool and also main framing in the match catching some large Carp from peg 38 to finish 3rd overall in the match with 81lb 8oz. Well done Rob.

Andy did well catching a 50lb plus weight again. while Robin chipped in with 34lb. Over on the lower numbers on Front Deans Doug was top Nomad weight between himself, Stu and Phil, all pegged together, weighing in 30lb to Stu’s 15lb and Phil’s 24lb.
Woodland View Sunday Open Result 11th April

1st Mark Taylor. Guru. D21. 97-1

2nd Kevin Slade. Peg one. D25. 85-8

3rd Rob Butcher. Jubilee Nomads. D38. 81-8

4th T Whitcher. Peg one. D63. 73-4

Jubilee Nomads get back to match fishing winning ways!!


Thankfully we Jubilee Nomads got back to match fishing over the long Easter weekend now that organised sport is allowed. With most of us fishing a couple of days. Phil, Andy, Robin, Stu and Doug fished the Saturday Open at Woodland view on Front and Back Deans where they all caught fish.

Robin was took the Nomad pound coins winning his section from Front Deans with 97lb 12oz. Doug just missed out on his section on Back Deans but caught well, weighing in 84lb while Andy and Phil had around 60lb each with Phil also just missing a section win.

Sunday saw Rob join Andy, Stu and Doug at Solhampton fishing Buzzard and Jackdaw pools. Andy was the starman here winning the Buzzard pool with 99lb 14oz pushing Doug into 2nd place with 91lb 4oz. Giving us a Nomad top Two. While Stu finished in 4th with 73lb. Over on the Jackdaw pool Rob was 4th with 72lb. It’s just great that we are all back match fishing, after such a long wait!!

The Angling Metric and Imperial Battle


Anglers really are a strange lot when it comes to the terminology we use when fishing. We frequently mix between metric or imperial units of measure all the time. With not a lot of match fishing happening at the moment I turned my thoughts on this, to create this latest blog post. It must be very confusing to the new comer to the sport! 

We commonly refer to poles being 13,14 and 16 metres long (metric), probably due to the fact that the Europeans starting using them long before us and we just adapted to using the same terminology. Yet when it comes to Rod’s we are happy being old school. Using 10, 12 and 13 foot match and feeder rods (imperial). Bomb/match cubes come various sizes, 15g-45g (metric) and using a heavier one will allow you to cast that extra 20 metres which does fit the same metric terminology yet we refer to them as 1/2oz and 1 oz leads (imperial) and so on.

This got me thinking, what else do we confuse the new comer too! Landing net poles are sold in metric in sizes but we go back to imperial with 3/8 male and female thread sizes to attach the landing net and then we keep in the imperial theme regarding the diameter for our landing nets in imperial. Often sold in 18-24 inch sizes. 

Then it gets even more confusing with anglers often saying they pole fished at 13 metres all day in 6 foot (imperial) of water feeding a pint (imperial) of maggots/caster and kilo’s (metric) of ground bait. All very confusing! Then when its comes to pellets we have 4mm, 6mm, 8mm and so on yet these are often sold by the pint (imperial) or by the kilo (metric) in larger bags. Fishing the running line doesn’t get any easier. Often fishing the feeder with 4-6lb (imperial) mainline with 0.10. 0.12, 0.14 (metric) bottoms etc. Again all confusing! Hooks are a different kettle of fish and sizes vary from manufacturer but that’s another story. Then when we come on to pole float these are sold in either grams and styl sizes using 0.3g (metric) etc silicone rubbers blah blah blah. 

We do however have a bit of uniformity when we tie our own pole rigs up having dropper shot spread 2 or 3 inches (imperial) apart from the bulk 18 inches (imperial) from the 4 or 6 inch (imperial) hook length but then when you buy the readymade pole rigs these go back to metric and are sold in 2 or 3 metre (metric) lengths. Now pole elastic’s are jumping on board and confuing us even more going from numbered grading to diameter. Confusing even more when many top kits have elastic rating up to 20 and then that shiny new elastic packet says 1.8mm etc.

When we come to match fishing we often weigh in with old school imperial lbs and oz’s while the bigger national contests seem to be going down the metric route now using digital scales. Hopefully getting the scales set correctly on metric in-between weighs. We’ve all been then, yeah. 

And there you have it. Just a light hearted observation between our use of metric and Imperial terminology and something to blog about during the current Covid lockdown when I’m unable to blog about my matches.

 We really are a lot of confused anglers. 

A pleasure bagging session on the Bread and Bomb


With the Covid lockdown there’s not been much for us match anglers to blog about lately. My blogging website has really suffered with the lack of fresh content. So I’ve now decided to write blogs about some of my pleasure sessions. 

Pleasure fishing isn’t enjoyed by many match anglers eager for the competitiveness a match brings but I’ve learnt during this lockdown it can bring an enjoyable days fishing, fishing styles and methods for longer than you would normally do in a match. 

For my latest pleasure session I popped down to my local fishery, Manor Farm Leisure, only 5 minutes away from me so adhering to the current Covid lockdown rules. With the weather forecasted to be barely above 0oC and a bitterly cold easterly wind to deal with I planned to go fishing armed with just a bag of Warburton’s Toastie and my bomb rod for a few hours if I could bear the cold long enough! 

On arrival at Manor I spotted the famous banker peg 6 on the island pool still available. The other anglers there had decided to fish further along the pool as that bitterly easterly wind would be behind the backs. So my first decision was to either set up camp on island 6 or fish another peg out of the wind. My good Jubilee Nomad mate Robin had fished peg 6 the previous week on the bread and so I couldn’t resist it. Peg 6 became home for the day, or a few hours if I could bear the cold. 

Preston KKM-B Ready rigs
Preston KKM-B Ready rigs

Set up didn’t take long, one rod, an advantage over match fishing already. I pulled out my Preston Innovations 10’6” mini plus rod out of the holdall with an inline ICS feeder stem already set up and added a 30g match cube and a pretied Preston 0.15”size 18 Ready rig. These KKM-B 0.17mm hair rigged Ready rigs with a rapid stop are ideal for fishing bread. These long hair rigs allows 3 10mm discs of bread to swell up the hair perfectly and there really is no need to tie your own hook lengths these days in my opinion. The Rapid stops on these Ready rigs make hairing the discs of bread with a baiting needle very easy and you can cast really hard without the fear of the bait coming off. 

Preston ICS System
Preston ICS System

There was one problem though. It’s a long throw to the island where Robin caught the week before and with the wind my bomb was landing to short. This is where the versatility of the Preston ICS system is a big benefit. I could simply change the 30g bomb for a heavy 45g one to get the extra length required and I began catching a few. But I wasn’t happy, I felt the 45g bomb didn’t enter the water quietly enough, potentially spooking fish away and my casting accuracy was suffering because I was at the limit of my 10’6” rod’s capability. A change of rod was needed. So I returned to my holdall for my 11’6” Mini plus rod. This was a great help the extra length and power now meant I could cast accurately with a smaller 30g bomb. 

If I’d have been fishing a match I know I would have just persevered with the smaller rod and struggled, ending with me giving up the bomb and picking up the pole. This is one of the benefits of “just pleasure” fishing and a lesson learnt during this lockdown. Something to think about going forward with my matches. 

I was now fishing in the correct place with the right tackle set up, fishing the right bait and method considering the weather and the time of the year and I was soon catching well. I went on to catch very well, it almost felt I was summer bomb fishing. The rod was bending around for most of the session. I’d only planned fishing for a few hours because of the cold but I ended up fishing a lot longer than I thought I would be. It was a real bagging day. 

Fishing the bread and bomb was really enjoyable but you still need to get out and practise it with these pleasure sessions. It’s not a case of throwing it out and waiting. Experience is key. Feathering the line on the cast and tightening the line without dragging the bait into debris on the bottom comes with the extra time spent practising and why I’ve learn ’t pleasure fishing is really important to a match man and something I’m going to add to my fishing when we can finally match fish again. 

I must add that you really do have to be wearing the right gear fishing in these conditions. I recently brought a Preston Celsius suit for fishing in the winter and it kept me warm all day. You definitely need a warm hat, decent boots and fingerless gloves fishing in these conditions, boy it was a cold day but really enjoyable. 

Make the best of Lockdown and get out and practice


Well there’s not much happening for us match anglers at the moment is there. But thank god we can still just pleasure fish. I haven’t had anything to blog about for ages. All anglers really do have a lot to thank the Angling Trust for getting the green light from the government allowing us to be still be able to go fishing. The angling Trust isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and the majority of anglers are not members of the trust but if it wasn’t for this great work they’ve done my mental health and wellbeing would be at an all time low. It least I can still get my weekly fishing fix staying within the guidelines and staying local. I consider my £3.00 subscription fee money well spent. 

Join them HERE

Some fishery’s remain open for pleasure sessions during this Lockdown and I’m lucky to have Manor Farm Leisure on my doorstop so I’ve taken my weekly pleasure fishing fix there in recent weeks. But other local fisheries such as Woodland View have closed allowing them to make fishery improvements for when they reopen. So this Lockdown period has seen all my Spring/Summer match preparation completed but It’s only pleasure sessions for me at the moment. 

A lot of match anglers say pleasure fishing isn’t the same as a match. This is true I miss the buzz of a match and meeting my angling mates at the draw but pleasure fishing really can be a benefit for when we can finally match fish.

It’s the time to practise different and styles and tactics. I fish matches where fishing the pole often dominates, setting up multiple top kits and leaving my set up feeder and waggler rods alone. During matches I’d sometimes throw out a rod for five minutes and then chuck it back up the bank returning to the pole when it’s not worked.  So during this 3rd lockdown I’ve left the pole in the bag and used my rods more often. I’ve had some good days catching a few fish even in the depths of winter. Using these rods for longer periods of time has been an education. Trying out different baits and set ups. In fact its been a pleasure to do so without the pressure of a match, just trying to catch a big weight as quickly as possible. I’ve taken my time, enjoyed my day and not had to worry about getting left behind in a match. I’ve actually really enjoyed my fishing trips. We all know angling is a great pass time but I’d not being taking the time to enjoy the other experiences fishing gives you. Pleasure fishing during this lockdown has shown me the different side of angling that I’d long forgotten. Taking the time to actually enjoy the fighting fish while playing it and then looking and enjoying the fish I’ve caught which has been a revelation. 

It’s the whole experience of the day I’ve enjoyed, from choosing my peg rather than drawing the normal no hoper. Taking the time to study my swim and deciding how I’m going to fish it. Rather than setting up all my kit in a rush before the ‘all in’  to the “one last cast” before I go home. 

In fact it really has been a pleasure to pleasure fish after focusing on my fishing matches for the last 20 odd years and I’ll be doing more of it going forward. 

One word sums up 2020, Coronavirus!


Despite 2 lockdowns during the year and currently in our 3rd one now, we were still able to spend time on the bank fishing matches. Early in the year before the first lockdown we fished matches at Hawford Bridge, The Jam Factory, Hillview, Moorlands Farm and Manor Farm Leisure. We were all pretty successful with Phil, Andy and Mark winning matches with the other Nomads picking up several sections wins from these venues before the March Lockdown. 

Finally after several weeks pleasure fishing was allowed and matches began again with social distancing soon after that. But this was to late to save our annual 3 day Spring festival down in Somerset. But we were just happy to be able to fishing again.   

After this enforced break we began to visit Solhampton regularly, fishing their open matches. Rob dominated here winning several matches topped with a 233lb haul from the Valley pool. Solhampton fished extremely well after the lockdown with 100lb+ weights recorded by all Nomads. 

As the summer progressed we enjoyed two trips to the prolific Pete’s pool at Tirley Court. We arrange these matches ourselves as its not a commercial but a big weight venue we all enjoy. We invited a few guests to help us with the cost of booking the pool and we had two great matches there. Star performer was Rob again. His draw arm pulled at the same peg he had the previous year when he set the Nomad match record of 440lb. He won the match again with 308lb. Andy fished very well here on the second match, winning it and also setting a new PB of 288lb.


Robin Ballard, 2020 Worcesterset Champion
Robin Ballard, 2020 Worcesterset Champion

As the summer began to end we looked forward to our 3 day autumn festival down in Somerset as we couldn’t travel down to Somerset in the Spring. However we all had reversions about going. We still had the Covid restrictions to deal with and our accommodation wasn’t looking good as the bar was closed and we felt it was best to cancel the trip. A big part of this festival is the banter between us in the evenings and with no bar this just wasn’t going to be as good as previous years. We still wanted to fish and the time was still booked off work for us so Mark was given the task of arranging ‘Worcesterset’ a short notice 3 day local festival for us. He did well arranging matches at the Jam Factory on the Friday, Cob Hose on the Saturday and finishing with Hawford Bridge on the Sunday. Andy won the first day on the Ash pool at the Jammer with 125lb to set the pace but Robin fished brilliantly winning at Cob house on the Laurel pool the next day with 183lb. Robin just needed a section win on the last day at Hawford Bridge. The Bridge pool fished a lot harder for all that day but Robins 39lb not only took the important section win, he won this match as well. Crowning him 2020 Worcesterset Champion.  

Then for the remainder of the year we carried on fishing local Opens. Rob continued to dominate at Solhampton backed up with section wins from all Nomads. Andy won an open at Hillview and Phil and Andy picked up with 2nd’s at Woodland View. As we went into December Lockdown came again. We had intended to fish the Solhampton winter league. This was rearranged once we were back fishing matches and two rounds took place. Mark did really well here winning his pool on the first round and then picking up a section win on the 2nd round. This saw him topping the standings in the league at the turn of the year. As we go to January now on the 3rd lockdown who knows if the league will be finished off. We ended the year fishing a couple of fur and feather matches at Hillview and Woodland View. Phil picked up a section and ate well over Christmas! 

So that was our Nomad year. Another great year dispite all the social distancing and Covid regulations disrupting our fishing for a large part of the year. Lets hope 2021 will be a better year for all. 

Robin Ballard 2nd at Woodland View Sunday Open


Our first match of the New year saw four of us fishing the Sunday Open at Woodland View. Worcestershire is currently a Tier 3 area so we were able to match fish but who knows how long this will be able to continue.

The match was on Front and Back Deans on a bitterly cold winters day with overnight snow surrounding the venue. We all drew on Front Deans this week. Phil and Rob on the low numbers on the first bank while Robin and Andy were pegged on the opposite bank. Stu, Mark and Doug had more sense and stayed at home in the warm in what proved to be a extremely difficult match. The aerators had been on all night, so no ice breaking was needed but the fishing was hard for most with several dry nets and anglers packing up early. Everybody was in winter fishing mode with many starting the match on bomb and Bread and this week it was Robins time to shine from peg 25. He caught several carp on the bread before changing to corn later in the match. He won the pool easily, taking the Nomad Super pool and also ended the match in overall 2nd place with 75lb. Rob did well catching a few fish, weighing in five carp for 28lb, being the only angler to weigh in on his bank. But Andy and Phil struggled, as did most anglers today, it was a really hard days fishing.

Mark Birbeck top of Solhampton winter League after pool win


This Christmas week saw a few of us Jubilee Nomads in action. Rob, Robin and Mark continued with the 2nd round of the Solhampton individual winter league on Sunday 27th and it was Mark that put in the star Nomad performance again after winning his section on the first round. This time Mark, drawn on Duck won his pool picking up his 2nd section win of the league, catching 51lb while Robin and Rob struggled for bites on the Valley and Badger pools. So after two rounds Mark tops the League standings. Well done Mark. Andy and Stu travelled over to Woodland View for the Open on Ghost and High pools. Andy had a good day catching 44lb while Stu struggled on High but neither picked up this week.

Phil Seedhouse wins his section at Woodland View’s Fur & Feather


This week we Jubilee Nomads fished two Christmas matches with Fur and Feather’s at Woodland View and Hillview.

Saturday saw Phil, Robin, Rob and Andy travel over to Woodland View for one of their fur and feather matches. A good turn out of 30 anglers were spread over Front and Back Deans this time and all anglers returned home with a Christmas box of goodies after a complimentary bowl of soup and Bread before the prizes were handed out.Phil and Andy drew on Front Deans where Phil won his section with 27lb while Andy who had a bigger weight, 51lb took the Nomad pound coins finishing 2nd in his section. Robin and Rob were pegged together on Back Deans where it fished harder and they struggled but still caught a few fish.

Section winner goodie bag, Many thanks Woodland View
Section winner goodie bag, Many thanks Woodland View

Then on Sunday Stu joined us as we fished Hillview’s Fur and Feather match. This match saw over 50 anglers fishing on all pools on the complex. All anglers returned home of goodie bags of fishing tackle. At Hillview they have a draw after the match where some tackle vouchers are up for grabs. The peg number you draw for the match also goes into a draw for the prizes. There was a 1st prize of a £200.00 fishing voucher and several £100, £50 and £20 vouchers to be won. This is a great idea and gives even the not so good anglers a fair chance of winning a prize and probably why they have such a great turn out for this match. Unfortunately none of us Jubilee Nomads won anything!!Top Nomad on the day was Robin and from canal 1 with 62lb who just missed a section win. Phil also caught well from canal 2 weighing in 46lb and also just missed a section win. Andy, Rob and Stu all caught but didn’t have good draws. In fact Stu’s 13lb was only a couple of lb off a section win on his pool!!

Woodland View Result1st Simon Nicholas senses. D21. 85-42nd Andy pollard. Dgl. D50. 80-123rd Andy Powell. Lobbies. D47. 79-04th Stuart Tibbits. Woodlands. D8. 73-8

Section win, Woodland View Fur and feather match


This week I fished Woodland View’s Fur and Feather match. Always a good turn out for these matches and this week 30 anglers were spread over Front and Back Deans. 

I drew FD23 a decent area but not the best as the carp shoal up in the winter and the corner pegs normally throw up a good weight and so it proved. 

On arrival at my peg the recent heavy rain had turned the paths around the pool a mud bath and my kit was covered in mud after the match, but that’s winter fishing and can’t be helped. 

The plan was to fish for anything with maggots, No cash prizes up for grabs in this match as all the pools go towards the prizes so I wanted to catch as much as I could, I set up a pole rig at 14.5 metres, a 4×16 Preston F1 Fine pole float on 0.13mm mainline with a strung out no. 8 and no,10;s to a size 18  0.11mm Preston SFL (ready rig)  This same rig for the short line but a 4×14 as it was a little shallower at 5 foot and a 4×12 for the inside line. 

I began cad potting in several maggots and a small ball of fishery micro’s on the long pole line and began catching small stockie’s and the odd small F1 on double red maggot for the next hour but then the angler on the end peg flyer began to catch proper Carp now. Although I was catching well these stockie’s weren’t going to compete with carp being caught. So I switched to corn skin hook bait for the next 30 minutes hoping for a carp on the drop as I was fishing though the water and a corn skin still sinks slow through the depths of water.  This didn’t work I was still catching the stockies but at a lower catch rate. It wasn’t working. So I tried triple red maggot on the hook next and began feeding maggot with a catapult next rather than cad potting in the maggots. No change to luck  now I was still catching small stockie’s and F1’s but my catch rate hadn’t improved when fishing the corn.

Now at the half way point in the match, the two end pegs on my end of the pool were now catching carp as expected and were pulling away from the rest of us A section win was all that I could hope for now so I returned to the double red maggot hook bait and carried on catching the stockies. At least I was catching well and building a weight and there was still a change of catching a carp at any time. I stayed on this long line but began feeding my short line with maggots hoping for a good last hour there which sometimes can be brilliant. 

I did finally hook a carp on the long line next. My no.11 Dura slip elastic stretched out, This was my bonus fish! I needed to get it out so I took my time with it and after several minutes I placed a 6lb Carp in the keepnet. This probably doubled my weight now and I hoped for another. But the low winter sun had finally come out now and my peg was pointing directly at the sun. With the ripple on the water I just couldn’t see my float but as I’d finally caught a carp I persevered with the long line with a view to switching to the short line a little sooner and I added another small carp after another 30 minutes, plus more stockies but I really couldn’t see my float now. It was time to switch to the short line. 

This was much better. I could see my float now and it was now into the last hour of the match. I hoped for a few bites otherwise the maggot feeder would come into play for the long line. I caught a few more small F1’s here so I decided to finish off the match here, catching a few more stockie’s and silvers. Then with 15 minutes to go I hooked a small carp but pulled out of it. I should have taken my time but with only 15 minutes left in the match I bullied it to much hoping to catch another and it was lost. (Bad angling) I shipped back out and then hooked another on the all out. You get time to play a fish after the all out so having just lost a small carp I didn’t want to lose this one and I took my rime. But you’ve guessed it, I pulled out!! 

Section winner goodie bag
Section winner goodie bag

So that was it. I knew the end peg flyer had already beaten me but if he mainframed, would those to two lost carp cost me an default section win? He actually won the match with 85lb and my 27lb of small stockies and F1’s plus the two carp already caught was enough to pick up the default section. So a good day and my Christmas goodie bag (which everybody gets) was enhanced with a few more Christmas goodies to eat over Christmas and the New Year. 

Woodland View really do look after there regulars with some great Fur and Feather prizes for all fishing and the complimentary Soup and Bread before the prizes were handed out really warmed us all up after the cold winters day fishing. Thank you Woodland View.   

Phil Seedhouse 2nd placed, Woodland View Sunday Open


his week we fished at two different venues. Phil, Andy and Doug fished the Open at Woodland View while Robin, Rob and Mark fished the first round of the Solhampton Individual winter league.

Phil was the star Nomad this week flying the Nomad flag, drawing on Front Deans 5 at Woodland View on a bitterly cold winters day. The fishing was tough for all but he had the advantage of plenty of room on an end peg this week and made it count, weighing in 9 Carp and a few Silvers for 39lb 0oz. This was enough to win the pool and also 2nd overall in the match. Andy and Doug drew on Back Deans but at the wrong end and struggled, but Andy put his head down on a poor peg and just missing a section win by a few ounces. Weighing in 19lb.

Over at Solhampton Robin, Rob and Mark fished the first round of the delayed individual winter league. Mark was the top Nomad there collecting the Nomad pound coins by finishing 2nd on his pool, Dragonfly with 47lb 8oz. This was enough for the all important section win. So a good start to the league for Mark. Robin and Rob also caught fish but struggled on the Kingfisher pool this time.

Andy Mitchell wins the Hillview Saturday Open


This weekend Jubilee Nomads were in action over both days on different venues on a cold winter weekend.

Saturday saw Andy and Robin travel down to Tewkesbury for the usual Saturday Open match at Hillview spread over the two main pools, Heron and Moorhen. Andy drew peg 39 on Heron and after a slow start on the maggot feeder he went long on the pole to find carp and F1’s feeding at 13 metres, where he caught well, placing 72lb on the scales to win the match. Robin also caught well finishing 2nd in his section with 32lb 8oz.

Sunday saw Phil, Mark and Robin at Solhampton for the Open on Valley and Jackdaw pools while Andy and Stu fished the Woodland View’s Open on Deans. Phil was top Nomad weight on Jackdaw at Solhampton finishing 4th on the pool with 45lb 8oz while Mark and Robin pegged on Valley caught 20lb+ weights.Over at Woodland View Andy and Stu drew on a tough section on a difficult day and struggled to catch. But well done Andy on the Saturday win flying the Nomad flag this weekend.

Get your pole rigs organised


Where do we start with commercial poles rigs? What’s pole type float? Which line?, stotz’s or shots? What Shotting to use? What size hook length and what type of hook? Its all very confusing and you can get lost spending many hours watching Youtube clips from the Country’s leading matchman. There’s lots of content out there and I’ve spend hours watching and learning from these excellent video’s from the likes of Jamie Hughes, Des Shipp and the like. 

These anglers will run though all their float selections and shotting patterns, better than I could even do. So with this post I just explain how I organise my pole rigs in a way best suited to me. Giving me all the options I need.   

So there do you start. Well for a start as commercial venue match anglers we need to have pole rigs ready for all types of pegs we may draw. You can spend hours tying up rigs but I have condensed these into just two trays in my seatbox. These rigs cover 95% for my fishing and I carry close to 100 pole rigs in my seat box. I keep track of these by keeping a excel spreadsheet. This gives me a good overview as to what I have available and what I need to tie up.

Pole float choices are vast and I just use 10 pole float patterns now. I’ve returned to the readily available main brands of Preston innovations and Guru now after using handmade or hand assembled ones in recent years. The big tackle companies have really stepped up to the plate now regarding their pole float patterns and the days of poorly made, mass produced pole floats have long gone. The same can be said about pre-tied lengths and I’ve stopped tying my own now completely, just buying the Preston GPM’s and SFL ready tied ones and the Guru SLWG banned ready rigs for hard pellet fishing. The quality of these main branded pole floats and hook lengths are excellent. I read reports on social media as to them breaking easily but I think this is more down this anglers using unbalanced tackle and if used correctly there aren’t any problems. 

20cm Tray – (Preston Absolute box) This gives me the option of storing 28 winders of Guru Diamonds and Wire Pingers

Rig choices really depend to the weather, the time of year and what size/type of fish you are looking to catch. But to keep it easy for me all my long and short line summer carp rigs are tied up on 20cm winders using 0.19mm Guru N Gauge main line. Guru Wire Pingers for windy days because of their rugby ball shape and wire stem that gives good stability and for the short pole line my choice is Guru Diamond again tied up on 0.19mm mainline. The long glass stem and Diamond shape gives me the stability I’m looking for and the 1.7mm hollow tip also allows for large carp baits to be used. So all these summer carp pole floats are stored in just the one tray in my box ranging from 0.15g to 1.0g using the rule of 0.1g for each depth of water. This way I have all depths of water covered and if its a windy day I can cut down a heavier rig to aid presentation. For calm summer days with little wind and no tow I go to my 2nd tray where I have all sizes of the slim Preston Carp Pellet rigs tied up, again on 0.19mm mainline. The 2mm tip is ideal for supporting a large pellet. 

All these rigs are shotted with Preston Stotz’s because you can easily get no.11 stotz’s onto 0.19mm mainline and these can be moved up and down the line to adjust shotting patterns without damaging the line. Using an 0.19mm mainline means hook lengths can go up as high as 0.17mm in the height of summer. 

18cm Tray – (Preston Absolute Box) Stored on double winders I can get 60 rigs stored in the tray

My 2nd tray consists of all Preston innovations pole floats tied onto 18cm winders meaning I can get 60 rigs in the tray (Preston Absolute box) this has the bulk of my other rigs for F1’s, Silvers and winter Carp. Using the full range of Preston innovations commercial pole floats. F1 fine, Chianti’s, F1 Maggot, F1 Pellet, Carp Pellet, F1 Shallow, Dibbers, and Edge floats. One of the big advantages of returning to using the Preston pole floats was that they print the name of the float on to the body of the float. This just means selecting the right float on the day without having to rummage though my pole rigs is even easier. Sometimes the simple things are best! 

Apart from the Carp pellet and the Edge floats which are tied on 0.19mm mainline I drop the mainline diameter to 0.15mm for the F1 Pellets and F1 Maggots which are a better option when visiting venues holding small Carp or F1’s as hook lengths go from 0.13mm to 11mm. but I step up to 0.17mm for the shallow rigs as it’s more durable and leads to less tangles when slapping.

In the depths of winter when bite detection is harder I drop the mainline diameter down to 0.13mm. You have to use a sensitive float and get the tip dotted right down. I use the F1 fine’s because of it’s 1.2mm tip to show up the smallest of bites with small baits like maggots and pinkies. Silvers come into play in the winter especially when the Carp aren’t biting and I also have a few Chianti’s tied up in all the sizes. 

So with these two trays of pole rigs available in my seat box I have most of my options ready to go for any time of the year. Yes I have a few paste and margins rigs in another box but these two trays of rigs mean I’m well organised and ready to fish a match when ever I wish. 

Read more on my pole rigs and watch video’s on how to tie and use them HERE

I couldn’t fish affectively without my excel spreadsheet !!

2nd placed, overall at Woodland View Sunday Open


This week I travelled over to Woodland View for their Sunday Open match with a good turnout spread over Front and Back Deans. 

The weather was horrible, wind and rain was forecast all day but the temperature was up a little from last week so I hoped some fish would be feeding. I drew peg 5 on Front Deans an area that hasn’t produced in recent weeks so I though it would be tough going this time. No Carp had been caught in this area the previous week. However this was a end peg and I had plenty of room so I was a little hopeful. 

Preston F1 Fine, ideal for shy winter bites with its 1.2mm bristle
Preston F1 Fine, ideal for shy winter bites with its 1.2mm bristle

I setup a light rig for fishing maggots or corn on the drop. This was Preston 4×14 F1 Fine pole float as it has a thin 1.2mm bristle to show up the smallest of bites and also a carbon stem to follow the lightly spread shotted no.10’s and no,11’s though the depths of the swim. Main line was 0.13mm to a light size 18 Preston SFL hook on a 6 inch 0.11mm Ready rig. Elastic choice was a Preston 11 Dura Slip which would give me half a chance of getting Carp on a light hook length out but also soft enough for silvers which would probably come into play this week. 

I also set up a heavier rig for soft pellets and corn as the temperature was warmer this week and a margin rig for fishing down the self in the deeper water. If things didn’t go to plan or if the wind became to bad for the long pole I had bomb rod on stand by for fishing bread or corn out into the middle of the pool. 

Definitely a brollie day!
Definitely a brollie day!

I started on the long pole at 14.5 metres fishing maggots and cad potted in several maggots and waited for a response. I began to catch very small Roach and the odd small Skimmer but this wasn’t going to win anything. So hoping to attract a Carp I began to cad pot in small balls of fishery micro and alternated between 1 and 3 maggot on the hook. This didn’t make any difference I was still catching very small fish. So I came in short at 6 sections again fishing maggots and balls of fishery micro. This made no difference to my catch rate but it was easier to fish short because of the wind. So I stayed on this short line for the next half hour. 

An angler down the other end of the pool had now caught a carp and a re-think was needed. I decided fishing with maggots for these small fish wasn’t the way forward and I changed to corn on the hook, still feeding micro’s and a few grains of corn between these two pole lines. First ship out on the long line with corn snared a carp on the drop around 4lb. This took the pressure off and I stayed there for the next half hour but no more bites followed. Maybe it was a rouge carp? I came in short and caught a 2nd carp here again on corn and then after a while another. This persuaded me to stick with the corn hook bait as the odd carp was feeding and not many had been caught around the pool. I was doing OK with my three carp and a few silvers. 

As time progressed sitting it out on corn hoping for another carp after trying different places long and short, Silvers began to come into my thoughts. I was doing well, not many carp had been caught on the pool and I had three. Maybe I should now fish for silvers to boost my weight to give me a better chance of framing. It was going into the last hour now. I’d tried pellets and corn short and even the margins for no reward. My float was towing a lot today and it was difficult to fish over my few loose offerings that I was cad potting in but I felt the carp would feed in the last hour as despite it being windy and raining the actual temperature was good. I began catapulting maggots out to 13 metres spreading out my bait trying to trigger the carp to feed but also knowing there were still plenty of small silvers to be caught if the carp didn’t show up. So I began to feed maggots though the catapult heavier. I caught some silvers as expected, then the elastic pulled out with another carp. The heavier feeding at the right time worked! 

Peg 5 Front Deans, Woodland View
Peg 5 Front Deans, Woodland View

I went on to have a good last hour adding another five Carp with a few Roach and small Skimmers feeding the maggots via the catapult and catching on the drop. I felt I would push for a section win as not much else had been caught by the other anglers on the pool. However the angler at the opposite end of the pool had caught a few. I was first to weigh in and placed a dead 39lb on the scales and then packed away all my gear as it was raining rather than going to look to see what everybody else had caught. So I didn’t know the result until the end when Mick the fishery owner pulled up back at my peg as I was loading up the car with a brown envelope for me. I thought I’d won the section but actually it turned out that I had actually finished top weight on my pool and 2nd overall in the match between both front and Back Deans.

So this was a difficult days fishing with the tow on the water and the windy conditions making it hard to fish over my feed. I felt the best chance was feeding with the catapult and spreading out my bait. This worked well in that last golden hour and a nice brown envelope to go home with this week from an unfaniced peg!! 


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Doug Smith frames twice at Solhampton Opens this weekend


This weekend saw some of the Nomads fished both Opens at Solhampton. Saturday saw Doug, Robin and Rob in action on the Badger and Dragonfly pools. All caught well with Robin and Doug posting tonne plus weights off the Badger pool. Doug’s 124lb was enough to finish 2nd while Robin wasn’t far away. Over on the Dragonfly Rob framed as usual finishing 3rd with 54lb

Saturday ResultDragonfly pool 1st Mark Hingley 95-08 2nd Stu Campbell 66-04 3rd Rob Butcher 54-00Badger pool 1st Dave Johnson 129-14 2nd Doug Smith 124-12 3rd Carl Jones 120-02Sunday saw Phil join Doug, Robin and Rob. Doug drew well again having the Badger pool home for the day again, finishing 3rd this time with 93lb giving him a double pick up weekend plus the Nomad super pool. Rob caught 55lb while Phil finished 5th on the Jackdaw pool with 45lb

Sunday ResultBadger pool 1st Chris Hill 123-12 2nd. Karl Stephens 107-08 3rd. Doug Smith 93-08Valley pool 1st. Rich Green 81-10 2nd. Ken Turner 73-10 3rd. Mike Groves 68-13Jackdaw pool 1st. Jamie Hughes 95-14 2nd. Simon Dicken 95-06 3rd. Stu Campbell 71-00