Normally I would write a post on my thoughts at the end of the year, but thought this posts needed to come earlier, and took me a few weeks to write, as it was a little emotional.
I was hoping that 2015 would be great year for me and Colmic, hoped to promote Colmic products more than ever and give Colmic the credit that it truly deserves. However with life, you never know what's around the corner and 2015 was by far the worst year in my life. You maybe aware I lost my dad to cancer in May. I fully appreciate that this has nothing to do with fishing, but this great man (sometimes misunderstood by people) got me into the sport, so he is the reason why I fish. I spent hours with Dad and my uncle John on the Rivers and Lakes, I do owe a lot of credit to them, and also to Richard Byrant who spent hours driving us around on the Junior matches, these people are all sadly missed!! Hopefully they are all together upstairs looking down on us!
I am finding it difficult as I used to speak to my dad after every match I fished, he always took a keen interest. One thing is I do regret not going fishing with him as much as maybe I should of, but I tried to get him to go to other venues, however this proved difficult as he liked his own comforts and if you knew my dad, then your know he was stubborn man, and would only do what he wanted. I miss him dearly, a bit of choker to find out that he had Cancer on 13th January 2015 and died 19th May 2015, one day before his birthday. Very sudden and very aggressive. We spent a very long three weeks at Cheltenham Hopsital, the Rencombe ward, where the staff were incredible. This was a major set back on my life, had a massive effect on my fishing and work, as it almost made me go bankrupt. The only thing my dad left me was a bruise on my shoulder when I carried him in the church, I think a little reminder who the boss is!! I am almost back on feet now, as got work back together and things have picked up again. But my promotional of Colmic did suffer, so I am sorry for that. I will ensure I do a top job in 2016 for you. I will write more in depth posts on my blog, more YouTube videos and hopefully get more features in the Angling Times, as I have done two this year.
I set high expectations for all the Open matches I fish, and I would sooner come last as long as I know I've given it my best shot to win the match! Fishing individually is the only form of fishing I've done so far this year. I haven't fished any canals or rivers on opens or team events. I focused my main attention on Fish O Mania. Also I was hoping to break a few venue records, mainly on Ivy House Lakes, Riddings and beat my Manor Farm Record of 353lb. However, never got close to any records!!! The Fish O Mania quaifiesrs were so disappointing, did find myself chasing rainbows but my good friend and team mate Frank Donachie did find himself in the final, which was fantastic and he done incredibly well to get there. Unfortunately the final didn't go to plan and Fish O Mania final was a lot tougher than we all had have anticipated. It was a quite an emotional day, as Frank had some much support from the orange army. I hope get myself back into the final in 2016
I was hoping to do the Ivy House Record and the Silver record too. I was lucky enough to catch 104lb of bream, which is the current Silver fish venue record but Andy Llod has an impressive 395lb of carp in six hours, cannot see that get beat for a while!!! I did have some good success at Ivy House Lakes with the silver pool and a few times I was lucky enough to win both!!! Angling Times wrote a feature on it.
August was a real tough month, couldn't seem to do anything right regarding my fishing. All descisions I made seemed to be poor, Ivy House Lakes was brutal, my luck had run out. I had a few tricks, paste caught me quite a few fish, as well as my worm mix, so I was flexible! However only managed 70lb in 12 hours fishing. Then we, me and Mark Malin, went to Riddings on the Sunday evening matches, hoping to do some massive weights from these really hard fighting carp. This didn't go to plan, I really struggled to catch, I managed to have a few, but not enough, way off the pace to be fair. I've learnt a few things, so looking forward to next year at Riddings!! Hopefully show off how strong the Colmic Poles are! I fished 4 matches, two blow outs, and 4th and 5th overall. I had fish up to 14lb and a couple of crazy Ghost carp. I would like to point out there were poles broken on each of my visits.... however me and Mark Malins poles are still in one piece!! ALL the matches I fished this year with Colmic poles I haven't broke one section. I have been using either Colmic Karper Evoultion with up to 4mm elastic and 0.30 lines and a Colmic Airon F44 with 3.5mm elastic and 0.25's and I have not broken one section. This includes the pole, hitting my car (not in angry), falling off the pole roller, 0.20's rigs getting caught up the tree and then smacking into my pole, pulling very hard on the pole either playing fish or pulling fish away from snags... how many pole sections have you broke this year??
A close up
The Karper Evolution has 16lb carp attached to double solid 14 elastic and 0.22 spider line.
The high light of the year so far is Whiteacres with the boys in September, what a laugh. Something I really needed! The fishing was tough, but interesting. Every time I come away from Whiteacres I feel I've learnt loads and annoyed at myself as I've made a load of mistakes. When Swindon go on Tour, we always have random pairs each day, which was full of friendly banter and pi££ taking. This adds lots of incentive to fish, as your fishing for bragging rights. Also we all add £2 in the pot and therefore 20 pairs equals £20 winners, a round of beers.
Thanks to Neil Richards for taking me and feeding me for a week!!
The rest of the year will see me enjoy some fish at Alders farm with my good friends. We have entered a team in the winter league, which going to be tough taking the locals on, but hopefully have some fun and catch so fish on the way.