Sunday, 20 May 2018

Todber Manor Fishery Open

With the Royal Wedding on Saturday, and knowing the ladies in my family would be watching it, I hatched a plan to fish Saturday at Todber. Mark Jefferies, Glenn Bailey and Dave Wilmott also wanted to journey down to the fishery, and so it was we met 8am in Riverside Cafe near the fishery. Nice breakfast, bit pricey though. I was pleased to have got there on time as the night before I had been playing skittles and had few pints, but luckily I stopped at 10pm and so was a good boy, lol. Saw some old faces at skittles, Paul Carey and Andy Brain, both who told me they enjoy reading my blog, cheers lads.

Arriving at the fishery and I saw a few friendly faces such as Alan Oram, Mark Leader, Dave Roper and Nicky Collins. The match was on two lakes, Hill View and Ash, and as I had not fished either lake had no idea where I wanted to be. At 9am the draw began and I pulled out peg 68 on Ash, this seemed to me about bang in the middle of the lake, the last time I was here the end peg to my right was the hot peg. Dave drew next me to on 69, Mark on 71 and Glenn was on Hill View just behind us in a corner.

Ash lake is a strip lake and the far bank is not pegged so this obviously is a fish holding area. Glenn had drawn this peg last Saturday and he had 87lb from it, he had some carp on pole and paste and some on the pellet waggler, but said he had to cast in tight to the reeds to get bites. The view from my peg below with a few ducklings that were a little to hungry during the match. The fishery was in pristine condition, and the area around the peg had been recently strimmed.

Setting up today I put a 3 swan pellet wag up with a 16 KKM hook to 0.15, and clipped this up. I also set up a method feeder knowing that this was a tactic used a fair bit here, but it is something I have not fished for a long time, I had mixed up some groundbait for this the day before, and soaked some 2mm pellets on the bank. For the pole I set up a 4x14 F1 pellet float, with a 14 PR478 to 0.15 this was to fish either meat and corn on the long pole. A margin rig was set up but only had a roach on that. There was no sign of any fish shallow, and the hot sun and lack of wind had me thinking this could be a tough day, I didn't even set up a shallow / mugging rig, but if I saw anyone catching on I would change. Dave next to me was going down the silvers route, he recently had 69lb of skimmers here and he was keen to improve on that he said.

The match began, I fed a cup of corn and meat at 13m slightly to my left as that was the empty peg side, and fed 6mm pellet across to the far side. I dropped the rig in at 13m with a piece of meat on the hook, and fully expected an immeadiate bite as I was sure I had felt fish when plumbing up. The float just sat there, didn't move, 5 mins, 10 mins and finally 15 mins a bite and a little 12oz carp. I caught another small carp, and then fed a little bit more bait, I waited longer for a bite, then a little tench, a skimmer and a F1 looking thingy. This was all over about 30 mins, and I certainly was not bagging and bites stopped, The lad to my left had caught a duckling on the method, lost a pellet waggler, and managed 1 small carp. Dave was getting into skimmers on the caster, and was doing well.

Into the second hour and I tried feeding pellets off to my right at 13m, but this line never produced an indication and I had the feeling the carp were not in the area, but with a few showing across I picked up the wag. I managed 1 carp on this but soon the fish had got spooked and disappeared and I was left being pestered by ducklings, until I hooked one in the leg. Two or more hours in and I had a visit from local legend Guy Manton, I told him I was lucky if I had 8lb and was pretty fed up and not going anywhere. I did manage a couple of carp whilst he was with me though, getting one on the method feeder, and this showed there were carp across as I had a lot of liners. However, a couple of casts later and I could not get my gbait / pellet to stick to the method, instead it was sticking to the mould. At this point I had no idea why this was happening, but I think it is my fault for using a free bag of carp gbait I was given, instead of sticking to my tried and trusted Sonubaits method mix, lesson learnt. I chucked the feeder rod up the bank and it stayed there lol. Guy saw enough of my ineptitude and wandered off!

Mid match and it seemed most people to my left were struggling, Dave was emptying the lake of every skimmer, and to the right of Mark more fish seemed to have been caught. Mark had a bit of a torrid time on the waggler, he lost a float, lost a few fish near to the net, and caught a duckling lol. I went back on the waggler and all of a sudden things came together, I had gone from casting a dozen times without a sign to now getting a bite / liner every cast. In ninety minutes I put a lot of small carp in the net and was really enjoying myself, though I did lose a few hooklengths in the reeds. I was thinking if this carried on till the end of the match I would be looking at a good ton plus weight, but the wheels fell off. The fish wised up again, or moved off, bit of both I think, and despite resting it the carp never fed again properly. Guy I had said to keep feeding meat at 4m, and I dropped in on this hoping to empty it, but a couple of skimmers and tench proved the carp were still not around. The last hour was costly indeed, the wind got up from nowhere and large amounts of cut reeds were blown down the lake to my right. I did catch three carp short but that was it, many other people had started catching at either end of the lake it seemed, especially the right hand end where the wind was blowing.

When the match finished I was a bit gutted, I had really not fished a good match, showed lack of practice and lack of knowledge on the venue. The scales arrived very quickly and weighed from the end peg on my lake, think it was peg 59 or 60. When they got to me 73lb was top weight, my silvers went 12lb and my carp 71lb, for a total of 83lb. Dave's turn next and we were wondering if he was going to break the silvers record, well his first net had 67lb of skimmers (1lb under the net limit) and his next net had 46lb, so 113lb 10oz of silvers and a new venue record. Wow well done mate, awesome day for you and it was great for me to watch.

Mark had 72lb, and then next to him on peg 72 Jim Butcher had 122lb 6oz and this was enough to win the match. He had caught on paste, and had caught all day fishing about 7m, on end peg 75 Darel Faletto had 116lb 10oz to come third overall. I thought I would get the section by triple default (PMSL) but at this fishery they section money also to the silvers money winners, so Dave took the section money.

On Hill View the top weight was on peg 49, Mayo had 118lb 6oz, and large amount of this came in the last 90 mins in the margin.

Glenn ended up with 87lb in his corner, and couldn't catch in his margins so fell back.

Well for me 83lb of small carp and silvers is really a nice day out in the sun, but with only one good 90 minutes of bagging I left feeling I had not made the most of the peg, but shit happens and I got a sun tan.

Spent Sunday with my wife and we had a great walk at Haresfield and a nice roast in a pub in the middle of nowhere. Saw some lovely butterflies at Haresfield, bloody hard to take picture of them, this was my best effort.

Next weekend it will be fishing on bank holiday Monday somewhere for me, as I have plans Sat and Sun. Hope you enjoyed the sun and had few fish this weekend, the weather in May really is making up for the long hard winter I feel.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Windmill Fishery Open

Back to Windmill for Sunday as I fancied staying local. I had spent a lovely Saturday with my wife, we went to Westonbirt Arboretum, walked the long way around it, and then then we had afternoon tea in Tetbury, that was a Xmas present from my sister in law. Had a great Argentine Malbec red wine, only had half the bottle and felt the effects of it that night, still there was no prep required as I had done all that last week luckily.

It was looking like being a lovely Sunday weather wise, I grabbed a breakfast at Kingswood Wetherspoon and was soon at the fishery. Sadly once again the turnout was poor with only 9 anglers but there was still £50 for the winner to fish for, as well as the golden peg. However, I did not draw the golden peg, that honour went to gentleman Bob Warren, I pulled out peg 4 instead. Peg 4 has been a good one of late, last week Chris Davis had 130lb from it to frame, and so I was quite happy with it.

Got to the peg and the lake was flat calm, no wind and no fish showing either, but that doesn't always mean the fish won't feed. The peg is one of the few that the island can be reached with a pole which is a real bonus, but I hoped I wouldn't have to go the full 16m. In the picture straight in front of me was some spiky grass, and on top of it was a moorhen nest. To the left was a bit of bare bank, very shallow but with my catapult feeding I would feed both spots.

Rigs for today were quite simple, a 4x12 for fishing about 18" deep across (short of the island) with 0.16 to 16 KKM-B for banded pellet, a Tyson dibber with a long line for swinging a pellet into the far bank shallow. I did set up a shallow pellet rig for slapping too. A meat rig for 4m never had a bite, and a 4x12 margin rig... never had a bite!!!!

My neighbours for the day were to my right on peg 2 venue regular John Osbourne, and on peg 7 was Ade Crawley. The match started at 10:30 and I began on the shallow slapping rig fishing at 14.5m feeding 6mm pellet and had a 8mm in the band. It was slow going to begin, and I swapped to the deeper rig but had to fish further across (it was 2 1/2 ft at 14.5m). I had a carp soon on this rig but lost two foulers straight after. Back to the shallow rig and I managed one carp and then nothing, back to the deeper rig and a couple more carp and a fouler. It seemed it was a slow start for most people and after an hour I was doing best from what people were saying. The second hour was much the same, shallow rig not working but get the odd carp on the 18" rig, there were carp over my feed but with no ripple they were proving hard to hook in the mouth!

The third hour became a real test, a lack of any indications, and those I had were liners. I pushed the rig further over, so had to shallow up. It was strange because my shallow dibber rig fished about 6" off bottom would get no interest, but the depth rig (now about 14") would get me the odd indication and lost fouler and odd one in the mouth. I would go ages without anything and then have two in two drops! I tried 6mm in the band, didn't make a lot of difference, and went back to 8mm.

Ade was struggling, he had managed a few carp fishing 14m, John had taken a few carp long lining towards the island, and some silvers and carp in his margin From what I could tell with 2 hours to go I was still winning the match, I thought I had about 70lb.  I just kept ticking over and working hard, varying the feed and where I dropped the float, but getting a proper bite was always a test. My margin and meat lines were tried regularly to give me a rest, as fishing 16m full is hard work.

John had a good fifth hour in the margin, but it died for him after this, MarkSummerhayes on the other side of the island started to catch well on the paste short and his last two hours he had 60ld he reckoned.

The last hour when I thought the margin would kick never did, but finally the carp got more confident across, and I started to get the odd proper bite where the fish nearly pulled the elastic out. Not frantic and had to be patient, but more fish to bite ratio.

The match ended at 4:30pm and I had 120lb on my clicker, not one silver fish today. John was first to weigh and he had 60lb, me next and I had spread my fish over three nets, my final weight was called at 121lb 10oz. Ade struggled for just over 20lb.

I had to wait for the last anglers to be weighed in on the other side, as they had done OK, but as it turned out I had done enough to get the win.

1st Clucker  121lb 10oz
2nd Mark Summerhayes 95lb 1oz on peg 21
3rd Shaun Townsend 82lb 8oz  from peg 17

Silvers winner was Dave Wilmott who won this prize by doubling the second weight, with 13lb.

A lovely day, had to keep working and concentrating all day, adjusting what I fed and lifting and dropping. The shallow long lining rig came in useful towards the end but used at depth, I felt the carp were spooking with pole over their heads and long lining helped I feel. Had a couple of pints back at the folly with Hainer and Dave Wilmott, good company sat in the sun with a cider.

Next week it is the Royal Wedding on Saturday, and so I will be watching that.... Will I f*ck! I am going fishing Saturday, not sure where, but I am not staying home, lol!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Shiplate Fishery Open

After the match here last week Glenn told me there was an open on the main lake on the bank holiday Monday, and as I have never drawn on that lake I booked myself in. The weather forecast was looking good and I was looking forward to a hot and sunny weekend.

I had a lovely weekend walking out with my wife and my youngest daughter, and in between I managed to get a number of carp top sets set up with new elastic, mainly Dura Hollo 12 and 14, though I did put some 16 into the margin pole. I got plenty of rigs made up for fishing shallow and mugging as I thought this would be the way to go, plus a couple of silvers rigs in case I drew pants.

It was a 10:30 draw and so it was a nice leisurely start to the day and I would have been at the fishery very early but decided on a new route and found a road closure lol. At the fishery the match had sold out with 19 fishing, and the usual fishery experts were in residence and I was greeted warmly by the owners. I was told a draw at the hut end of the lake was needed to do well, and my drawing arm at this fishery is unreal as I pulled out peg 14B which is one off the end peg 15 flyer. I was dead chuffed I had drawn well again and was hoping I would be able to make it count this week and get in the money. The payout today was top 3 overall and top 2 in silvers (no double bubble), last week I was third but had no money as the payouts were split over the canals which was fair enough. Glenn had drawn poor, peg 8 I think, and next to him was Dom Sullivan who was less than happy with his peg 9. The other side of Dom was Steve Howell, and so that was three baggers well away from the carp lol!

I got to my peg and before I did anything else I applied some factor 50 suncream, I was fishing in my shorts, a far cry from last week here when I had my thermals on!!! As I surveyed the peg there were the odd carp far out, but down on 15 and to the left there were carp everywhere, hopefully they would venture my way. Opposite me was an island, but it was a long way away and I decided to not bother setting up a lead to chuck to it.

Behind me on Westpool there were carp everywhere, and all day long they were crashing and slurping! As I set up my rigs I kept on the water for carp, I set up a mugging rig, a shallow rig for pellet at 14.5m, a 4x12 depth pellet rig for the same line all on 0.168 exceed to 16 KKM-B.  I also set up a margin rig 4x10 durafloat for hard pellet same line as previous, and a rig for meat at 5m. Lastly I set up a pellet waggler and was hoping to get a few on this as I set it up with one of my new Preston Centris 420 reels. Sadly it needed some backing as 150m of 5lb line didn't get to the spool lip, that said it made no odds as the float cast miles. Only trouble was I never had a bite on the wag so the reel is still a virgin.

Midday and the all in is shouted, I could see a carp about 10m out and so went straight out with the mugging rig, good first drop in and the fish took it game on. It pulled a bit, and took a while to get the net, probably about 12lb, nice start. No other carp were in mugging range, so I waited for a bit but the others I saw were not in the slightest interested when I plopped the bait near them. I went out to 14.5m and started feeding at 6mm pellet fishing shallow, for 20 minutes or so I never had a sign and also didn't get any muggers I saw. A few fizzes appeared and so I tried the depth rig, missed a bite and then hit one, this fish decided it wanted to go to the island and I hung on for my life. I eventually stopped the fish and could tell it was fouled, probably in the tail. It took a while and there were a few hairy moments, but eventually I netter a 8lb common hooked in the tail. Back out and just on the hour I hooked another carp, this one also went well but I didn't think it was fouled, it wasn't, it was about 16lb and lovely mirror. An hour gone and 36lb in the net, good start.

Second hour and I lost a fouler at depth, hooking the fish about 9" off bottom, I'd lose a couple more like that, pain in the butt when they are like that. I managed another 2 carp, 1 was caught fishing shallow and 1 was mugged. Slow going but but nobody was catching much from what I could see. third hour and I had 2 more carp both on the depth rig, one in the mouth one in the tail. Glenn appeared at this point, and he was pretty fed up as all he had was a couple of tench, all around him was poor. He said Gary Flinders on peg 13A (I think) had 5 carp and Mark Jones on peg 4 had the same, I could see he was catching shallow. Either side of me Roy Ede (on 15) and Ray Wickham were fishing for silvers, though Roy was getting the odd carp too.

Glenn went away to pack up and have an hour or so on Hawthorns. I had one carp not long after Glenn had gone on the shallow rig. With two hours to go I had 8 carp for 80lb on my clicker, I was thinking I would be doing a good weight as everyone was saying the last two hours would be awesome.... Ummm not for me! The carp had long since disappeared and I could not get any signs, I managed to catch 2 tench in the margin in the last 10 minutes and that was it. A very disappointing end to the match which I thought would cost me a framing place.

The scales started on the end peg 15 and Roy weighed in 18lb of silvers, plus some carp. My turn next, 4 carp in each net, first net goes 50lb, and next net 33lb, plus the two tench I ended up with 85lb 14oz. A picture of a couple of my larger carp.

Ray Wickham had 16lb of silvers, and then Gary Flinders was next, I assumed he had beat me, but it turned out Gary suffered with the carp not staying in his peg either, and he had around 60lb. Gary told me he was confident he would do a big weight on the peg, but the carp had other ideas today and may have been dining out on silvers spawn. As it turned out the pegs opposite were better and the winner was Paul Faires from peg 2 (whom I could not see as he was behind the island. Paul had 138lb  14oz, he caught on pellet to the island and also on worm over caster in his margin. Second was Mark Jones who weighed 112lb 2oz all carp caught shallow, Mark caught best the last 3 hours when a bit of ripple appeared in his peg. Third was me, but that meant a pick up this time yay!

Steve Howell did well today to win the silvers with 20lb 12oz from the far end of the lake.

After the match Glenn rang me to find out how I had done and the overall results, he had drawn another bad peg as the A38 was solid due to bank holiday traffic. I took a route through Cheddar and past Chew Valley Lake and got home trouble free. Couple of cans of Thatchers to cool me down and now it is time for bed.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Shiplate Fishery Open

Thanks to Mike Nicholls I was booked in to fish this match, a 20 pegger with 10 pegs on the two canal lakes, Hawthorn and West Pool. Not fished here for a long time so was really looking forward to coming back here. I had another busy week, I had travelled to Munich again on business (last Sunday flight so hence no fishing then) and was generally tired all week. I had a couple of hours at home on Friday night when I could make some rigs up to cover what I thought would be my options. Saturday was the last home game at Rovers and I somehow ended up sinking a fair few pints of Thatchers, and when I got home topped that off with a couple of large whiskeys...

Sunday morning and I was a bit sluggish if I'm honest, I rang Glenn to tell him I would not meet him, Mike, Geoff and Bela in Shipham cafe, instead I went straight to the fishery and tried one of the small breakfasts being sold on site, I was more than happy with, and I felt better for it. This fishery has an avid following of regular anglers and I knew I was going to have my work cut out to beat them but I like a challenge. It was great to Steve Howell again, we used to battle out nearly every weekend at Cider Farm lakes many years ago. Steve had won a little knock up on Hawthorns yesterday with 180lb, it surprised me as I thought with the weather going cold the fishing might be affected.

I got in the draw queue not far behind slayer Dom Sullivan who is very consistent and hard to beat, he drew on Hawthorn peg 9 a good area as I recalled. My turn and I pull out short walk peg 1 on Hawthorn. Lots of good vibes from everyone about this peg, and was told a lot of fish live there down in the corner by the sedges. However, I was told the sedges come out a fair way and the peg is a known tackle graveyard. I had brought bait for silvers and carp but now was going to focus on carp and that meant there were only two prizes I could win today, overall winner £100 and lake winner £55.

The peg was just about 14.5m wide, it had some bull rushes and spikey grass as well as a bit of bear bank to the left. The wind was blowing from the North East and for the most part I was not that badly affected by it. A 4x10 F1 shallow for 2 1/2ft of water and a dibber for fishing right over and pellet shallow. 0.16 to 16 KKM-B on both.

The feared end of the corner is pictured below, I plumbed about and decided upon a spot at 14.5m in line with the left side of the gate, it was about 3 1/2 feet deep here and I set up a 4x12 Des Shipp float with 0.16 to 16 KKM-B. The same rig would do for fishing my margin at 5m, virtually the same depth. I also set up a 0.4g rig for fishing in the deepest water with corn. As I was setting up there were carp showing themselves and blows, it looked good.

On the all in I fed some corn and a bit of pellet at 11m in the deep, some pellets down to the corner and fed the far bank with a catty. The deep line was fizzing and so I dropped in on there first with a piece of corn, I had a couple of digs but after 15 minutes no fish. With a few carp showing themselves across the far bank I moved over there. Starting on the deeper rig I had a few signs and lost two foulers, onto the shallow rig and for 10 minutes I was infuriated by getting liners but not fish. I finally managed to hook a carp and as the hour ended I had landed 3 for about 10lb. Sadly the fish completely drifted away from the far bank and I never hooked another fish here all day.

I was 90 minutes into the match and going nowhere so had to try the scarey corner. First drop in and I hooked a carp but did not pull hard enough and it snagged me and snapped the hooklength. New hook on and I tightened the elastic up a bit more. Back down there and I had 3 carp in 3 drops and got them all out. Of course the next one I hooked did me good and proper. I tried elsewhere but I could not get a bite anywhere else in the peg, so it was back to the corner. I had quite a few problems hooking up on the bottom, probably sedges, but also branches, so I went a metre to the right and replumbed. I hoped this would take me away from the snags and help me land a few more carp. To begin with it was a good move as I had a few more carp. However, I lost a carp and after this seemed to hook up on more snags, and had one carp on which was boiling just under the surface snagged, I got it free and landed it. I shipped down my pole with cupping kit and managed to clear some line / elastic and a branch!

Sadly the bottom here was covered in twigs it seemed and it became harder to get proper bites and the swim gradually slowed. Fours gone and I had about 65lb. I had fed dead maggots at 5m but I had only taken 2 small carp and a tench here. The fifth hour was a struggle, and I changed to feeding the margin with 6mm pellet, I should have done this from the start. The last hour was my best as I caught around 40lb of carp from the margin, using a 8mm pellet in the band I caught on the deck and on the drop. I lost one large fish that managed to get down into a snag, and I lost one last cast which snapped the hook length just before I was about to land the fish, I guess it was damaged as I was not putting huge pressure on it.

I looked at my clicker and I had 124lb but I tend to overclick on these smaller carp so having had about 28 carp it could be 100lb. I was the last person to be weighed in, and the board showed a 140lb was winning with 126lb 2nd, I didn't have that. I had 4 weighs and my nets went 115lb 4oz. I'd probably lost 7 or 8 carp, so more than enough to win the match. Plus I should feed pellet at 5m all day and I'm sure I would have caught a lot more. To say I was rusty at this commercial canal fishing would be an understatement, and not knowing the venue didn't help, still can't complain I had a nice bag of fish.

As it turned out Richie Hawkins won the match from peg 7 with 140lb 2oz, he caught shallow and in his margins. Dom Sullivan was 2nd with 125lb 12oz and I was 3rd on the day but no winnings.

Rob Birch won the silvers with 21lb 8oz from Hawthorn. Unluckiest angler today was Bela, he was 2nd on his lake Westpool overall and 2nd in the silvers on the lake but picked up nothing.

Coming back to fish here on Bank Holiday Monday, it will be on the main lake, which I think I have never fished before.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Sensas Kennet & Avon Canal Spring League

Earlier in the week I was looking for a match to fish and was kindly texted by Tony Rixon about a match he was running on Landsend, so I booked in on that along with Glenn. That was handy as I was working in Munich Weds to Friday and would have little time to prep but would be easy enough. However, not long before going to Munich I had a request from Martin Barrett to fish for the team in the K&A canal spring league, I protested that I would have no time to get any bait or prepare, but Martin was out of options and I could not let the team go short. The league this year was 27 teams of 4 anglers, so a good event.

I was delayed on my flight back Friday and spent a couple of hours late on making a couple of rigs and tying a few hook lengths, and sorted out some top kits with light elastic. That would have to do as Saturday was a busy day.

Up early Sunday morning to get to Spencers club in Melksham, but I parked up in the nearby McDonalds to grab some grub and avoid the packed club car park. I paid my pools and got my bait off Martin Barrett, and then waited for the draw which probably was going to be poor as Tony Gilbert was team captain and he has drawn crap all winter. It seem to be a good draw that Tony got, and certainly he was on a poor one up on the pile section. I was at Kings Arms and was going to need a sat nav to get me there as I had not been there before. I did get a little lost but saw Mike Martin and he told me the last bit. It was quite a long walk up the canal before I got to peg 1, and then a decent walk to my peg 11, bit of a hike for the lads on the last pegs. There were some nice bushes opposite me, but I have learnt that on this canal the far bank is often very shallow as the canal has silted up badly. I managed to get my box in place and started setting up as safely as I could on the narrow towpath.

I set up 4 rigs today, 4x14 for punch bread at 4m, 4x16 rig for fishing over gbait in 3 feet of water at 10 o'clock and 2o'clock at 13m, 4x14 rig for fishing further over in 2 feet of water.  By the bush was just 6 inches of water so that was left alone. I did set up a chopped worm rig but I never had a bite on this.

The angler on my left was Chris Telling, and he told me he had been pegged in this area last year and it was poor, but that the reed pegs to my right were better. Picture of the reeds, and on the far end of them was Gary Etheridge who was expected to do well.
The match began at 10:30, and I was about a minute late starting. I fed all my lines across with gbait and squatt, and one of the lines a bit of worm and caster, so one negative and one more positive. I started on the punch and was quite happy to get a few early bites even if it was from 1oz roach and and skimmers. It was not hectic, and every bite had to be worked hard to get, but after an hour I thought I was ahead of those anglers around me with probably 1 1/4lb. Out to the groundbait lines, and starting on the positive fed line in 3 feet I had a bit of a wait before a positive bite, a fair bit of elastic came out and it was a skimmer, how big I'll never know cos it came off.... Mark Poppleton had walked along to see Chris and as he walked back past me I had another bite and had another skimmer on, just small one of maybe 4 to 6oz, and this one also came off, FFS! No surprise I couldn't get a bite on this afterwards.

For the next hour all I caught were the odd small roach on pinkie, I would have like to have fed some squatt but the wind was awkward, but also caught a few more on punch. Chris on the next peg could loose feed and was catching roach regularly but they were very small. I topped up all my lines during the match, but I couldn't make any of them produce, a lighter rig and dripping in squatt would have caught me more small fish but I kept looking for the skimmers that would boost me up in the section. I did get a couple of 4 to 6oz skimmers from the shallower line, but after them this line died. I was really struggling and went back in on the bread and I managed to pick off another 6 or 7 small fish.

With an hour to go the lad on my right who had really been struggling then had about 10 small skimmers in no time. I was getting nothing. With about 25 mins to go I had a decent bite on the 3 foot line but struck thin air, then a boat came up. The boat didn't do a lot of damage so I stayed on this line, and a fwe minutes the float went again and this time I connected. It was my best fish of the day, a skimmer about 10oz. Sadly no more followed and the match ended with me knowing I had not done enough and was feeling a bit down and damp as it had been raining for an hour.

Rich Whitmarsh who was not walking grabbed the scales and walked off to peg 27 to weigh in. As he came back up I saw most of the weights were high 3lbs and 4lbs, more than I had. The lad two below had 2lb 15oz, then Chris had 3lb 3oz, I had 3lb 4 1/2oz and the lad to my right had 3lb 13oz, next to him on the reeds only had 2lb 15oz. Not the best of areas then it seemed. The section was won by a lad with 8lb 14oz, he had a 1lb roach, couple of hybrids and bits, and an eel of well over 3lb.

Overall the match was won by Tom Boyce with 27lb from opposite the marina mouth at the pile, a noted peg but a great weight. 2nd was Kev Abigail with 22lb of skimmers and roach, and 3rd Lee Trevitt with 16lb+.

Garbolino BMV teams were first and second, but the other Thatchers team were 3rd and well in contention. My Thatchers team struggled, with only Nick Chedzoy doing any good as he had 7lb+ mainly on worms.

Not a great day out, I never felt like I got to grips with the peg, lack of preparation certainly didn't help, but I never got any lines going other than the punch line. I should have had 4lb+ that is for sure, and those lost skimmers were costly. No fishing next weekend as I have to go to Munich yet again, and this time I had to fly out on the Sunday  :-(