Todber Manor – Silvers Open – 4th May 2024

Another long weekend due to a Bank Holiday (is it really May already!) and I was fishing all three days starting with another trip to Todber. After breakfast we arrived at the fishery and it was nice to see Steve P who had booked in last minute. Guy announced the draw and I decided to wait and have the last ticket in the bucket again, it didn’t quite work out like that as there were two pegs left as somebody was on their way. The one I went for turned out to be 68, in the middle of the lake where I wanted to be and it won last Saturdays open so I was well happy with that.

Nick drew 74 at the top end, PTP was next to me on 67 and I had feeder supremo Pete Neate on my right. It was shaping up to be a lovely day weather wise and it made a nice change not having gale force winds! We also all had our rod licences checked by the EA before the start and it’s always great to see them out and about.

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I set up a little 0.3 gram Guru F1 Slim for the top two plus two along with a Preston Innovations F1 Maggot to fish two lines at 13 metres. On the side tray were maggots, casters, worms, micros, expanders plus some Bait-Tech Special G F1 and Dark groundbait.

Pete got us underway and I fed the short line with gb and casters, the left hand long line with a worm/caster/gb sloppy bomb and then the other 13 metre swim got half a pot of micros. I started on the top two plus two line and first put in I had a little 2oz skimbob. After twenty minutes I had 8 fish for a pound or so but bites were already tailing off so I’ve gone out on the pellet line.

I’ve had a really nice spell, several 6-8oz skimmers and then I hooked a better fish which turned out to be a 2lb tench. More skimmers followed but I also didn’t want to neglect the worm swim so had a look with maggot on the hook but a small fish wasn’t the desired result so I tried double caster. No bites so I dropped back in on the micros line and the float buried, another tench around the same size as the first and it was all going rather well!

Back on the expanders and I had a couple more skimmers to finish off a really good hour where I’ve probably had 6-7lb. My second sixty minutes was decent with some more skimmers but they weren’t the bigger fish you need to do well. PTP was catching odd fish and Pete had a couple of skimbobs on the feeder.

Guy came for his usual lunchtime walk (still didn’t bring me the cake he promised though!) and reported it was fishing quite hard with a few people on 7-8lb and Lee Woodhouse on 75 admitting to double figures, so at this stage I was right in the mix. As we approached the halfway point, I was still getting bites on soft pellet but missing loads and when I did connect they were 2-3oz skimbobs while on the worm line I just wasn’t getting any bites at all!

Apparently Stu White on 65 was catching quite well and then Nicky Collins on the next peg hooked a bigger fish which was giving him a funny scrap and he did well to land a 3-4lb catfish, a handy bonus and Nicky was purring (sorry!). Pete had landed some big skimmers on the feeder and Mark Brennan on 71 was now bagging with some slabs.

Both of my longer lines had died so I tried feeding them again and had another look short where I’d been feeding casters but it just wasn’t happening and after a great start I was now really struggling. I went half a section past the feed on the worm line and had a couple of fish by being patient so tried toss potting in some feed there and had three half decent skimmers on the trot but it was short lived.

With time running out, I went to 14.5 metres to see if I could repeat the process but apart from a few small fish, it’s not really worked and on the whistle I finished up with 44 fish and knew I hadn’t done any good yet again.

The weigh in is always a slick operation at Todber and when the scales reached me, Stu White was leading with 24lb, closely followed by cat tickler, Nicky Collins with 23lb 4oz. Steve P weighed 10lb 2oz and then my fish went 16lb 10oz, Pete had 21lb and Darren Duffield had really enjoyed his first visit catching lots of fish short for 17lb 4oz.

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Stu White was third with 24lb on peg 65*

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Nicky ‘The Cat Tamer’ Collins weighed 23lb 4oz*

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I had 16lb 10oz which included two nice tench*

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Pete caught 21lb of mainly skimmers on the feeder*

Then Mark Brennan had a superb net of bream, skimmers and tench for 38lb 4oz, Nigel Bartlett on 72 weighed 17lb, Nick had 13lb 10oz and Lee Woodhouse had done well on 75 to finish second with 27lb. Thanks to Todber Manor for the photos*

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Mark Brennan won comfortably with a cracking net of bream, skimmers and tench for 38lb 4oz*

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Lee Woodhouse was second with 27lb of skimmers and roach on 75*

1 – Mark Brennan – 38lb 4oz (71)
2 – Lee Woodhouse – 27lb (75)
3 – Stuart White – 24lb (65)

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Despite being ‘Star Wars day’, the ‘Force’ definitely wasn’t with me today. I’m drawing some great pegs and not doing them justice, it’s always close at Todber, after Mark’s brilliant net of fish, there were then four weights between 21lb and 27lb (which is just a couple of skimmers) followed by a further five between 13lb and 17lb. So I’m not a million miles away but crucially I do always seem to be a couple of fish short of framing.

After the match I stayed for ages chatting to Darren who lives quite near to me and has recently just got back into fishing after a long lay off and is loving it, he’s been going to Revels and doing well and really enjoys his silvers fishing which is great to see.

There’s still a great offer running if you fancy treating yourself to some new fishing gear, use the exclusive discount code AgainstMenandFish10 to get 10% off when you shop online at Somerset Angling

Also I still have copies of my book available from eBay here or Amazon here


And if you could spare five minutes to leave a nice review on Amazon, it would be very much appreciated.

Next up – Summerhayes

Coming soon – Lots more match reports

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Posted by Jamie Rich

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