Sunday, 13 January 2019

Commercial House Final Round K&A Canal Bath

Final match of a well run series, but sadly my team were only able to field 4 of our Thatchers squad for the 6 man team. We managed to get a super sub in, Dave Johnson but nobody else and so we would be fishing the last round one man short. A shame since we were winning the league narrowly from Bathampton A, but the way the canal has been fishing anything could happen.

I spent Saturday afternoon with my wife pegging the match out, and I was feeling a bit of pressure doing it as the canal had been so bad last week. However, my plan was to put as many pegs in the town as possible and with not too many boats about I was able to do that. I got 8 pegs in Long Pond, 4 pegs in Horseshoe Pond, 10 pegs in Malthouse, 6 pegs in Richardsons, and 4 pegs in the tunnels. The last two sections I put from Meadow Farm to the George, and I hoped I wouldn't draw them!

Sunday morning and I handed in the pegging sheets to Mike Goodhind, paid my pools and got a little bit of joker and some good bloodworm. I had loads of joker left from the week before, and by keeping it in black leam in newspaper it was all alive. Liam Braddel did the team draw and drew middle peg 4, and my team were pegged as follows:-

A section - the missing person! Bah best section and we don't get it!
B section - Jack Jones last peg in Horseshoe (good)
C section - Dave Johnson
D section - Tony Gilbert  (good)
E section - Liam (shite)
F section - me (shite)

I was gutted but half expected it, just cos you peg a match out doesn't mean you are owed a flyer. Still at least I had been able to see the pegs I fancied lol!

I parked up by the Church and walked past the George pub to my peg, just about the worst peg / area but you've just got to get on with it. At least the owners of the lawn didn't come out and cut the grass opposite. My view for the day.
The reeds look nice, but these actually grow behind a concrete wall of the canal, still they would give a little cover in places.

More in hope than expectation I set up a bread rig, also some rigs for bloodworm, one .25g for fishing in close and across, a .4g for fishing at 5m, and a rig for chopped worm down the middle. If I started to catch a lot of fish on bread I would set up a caster rig for over, but I wasn't confident. My section was always going to be tough to win with Neil Mercer sat on the end peg not far from the white gate just below the George, but I had to beat Mat Challenger of Bathampton A who was on peg 6 with 7 empty, Neil on 8 was pleasure fishing! Either side of me today were Jeff Surmon and Mike Goodhind.

The match started at 10am, I tried the bread for 10 minutes and no bites, then a boat comes down and the captain manages to steer it into my far bank and churns that up did the same to the 3 anglers below me, twat. I came off the bread as nobody had caught on it. I went out 11.5m of at 11 o'clock with the light bloodworm rig where I had fed a small amount of joker. It was very hard to present the rig, the wind was now howling from right, and the canal towing the opposite way (why does the wind always get up when the match starts!).  It was difficult to see the float tip, but I was sure I saw a positive dip as I lowered the rig in for the third time and yes a fish on. I was quite surprised when I swung a 1oz roach in, no blank. Back out over the same line and I caught two more fish in two drops, perch,  sadly these were not much bigger than the bloodworm. I caught another two micro perch from here and never had another bite on this line all match.

An hour gone, and Jeff and Mike were blanking as was Mike Withey, Matt had 1perch, Mike Martin had a couple of perch, and Neil Mercer had a few small perch. The writing was of course on the wall another struggle and ounces likely. Another boat came down and the bloke operating this one thought he had to avoid the anglers poles and was aiming for the far side, I told him to stick to the middle but again my far side got churned up. Mind you I was hoping the colour might switch a few fish on, but it didn't. I caught a perch from right across straight in front of me, and caught another on top set plus one down my left margin. But it was taking longer to get a bite and I couldn't see how I could improve things. I had fed a bit of chopped worm down the middle at 13m, never had a bite, and fed a bit more positive with joker at 11m to my right just past the middle , never had a bite.

Neil had come down for a walk and with 8oz he was easily winning the section. He went back to his peg and then began to catch some roach and skimmers that had probably dropped down from the George. I had spoken to Jack Jones and he had a few roach in the town, and Tony Gilbert had started well at Richardsons but a boat killed his swim stone dead. Tony told me that Jerry Pocock had walked up from the section below, he had managed to catch a small fish and decided to go for a mid match pie and pint, what a legend!

Mike Goodhind managed a ruffe to break the blank, he dropped off two more fish and later when he hooked another at 11m he simply swung his pole out onto the towpath and picked the perch up off the bank, lol!

I was still rotating all my swims the same as last week, and managed another perch from the margin and one at 5m. About an hour and 15 mins to go I went out to 13m down the far side, the light was terrible and I thought the float went under so struck, but I had hooked a snag, probably a trailing reed. But then the float moved, and moved again, my god a lump, but on 0.07. Well it was very heavy and hardly moved and before I had put any real pressure on the fish it came off, aargh! I guessed I had pulled out of big perch, but the hooklength was snapped. I hadn't put anywhere near enough pressure on the fish to snap me, so either the line hit a snag, or it was a pike. Basically that was match over.

Another stunning 5 hours of intense concentration looking at dimples and fighting the wind. Still as far as I could tell I had not missed a bite and lost only the lump, so at least that ration was OK again. Everyone in the section had managed to catch,with Jeff Surmon getting a little perch very late on. The scales started with Mike Martin on peg 1, a few perch and ruffe for 6oz, see his blog (26 year itch for the intimate details). Mike Withey had 4 1/2oz, Mike Goodhind 1 1/2oz, me next 7oz, Jeff 1oz, Matt had about 2oz I think, and then Neil spoiled it all with 8lb 6oz. A lovely net of decent quality fish as you can see.

Well my lowly 7oz was good enough for second in the section (sorry Mike) so good for the team but no coin again as Neil did not frame.

Overall it was no surprise that for the third match on the trot the tunnels provided the winner, this time Kev Dicks had 17lb of roach, skimmers and some perch over a pound. He fished positive with worm and caster best.

2nd K Morris 12lb 8oz (peg A2 long Pond)
3rd Paul Purchase 8lb 14oz (middle of Horsehoe Pond) This man is drawing so many flyers he is starting to annoy his fellow competitors!! lol fair play Paul you are catching loads.
4th Kev Boltz 8lb 11oz (stiff neck next to Kev Dicks)
5th Sam Johnson 8lb 10oz (A3 long pond)

Thatchers A came last on the day, we had 3 second in sections, but two poor scores and the missing person were costly. Bathampton A only just beat us though, and we ended up tying the league on points, but on weight Bathampton won, so well done lads.

Stand and Deliver won the B Div

Kev Dicks was top individual with 38 points, pipping Darren Gillman by one point after Darren had his worst result of the league.

Sam Johnson won the knockout beating Darrent Gillman, after Darren had his.......

Congratulations to all the winners, I had only fished 3 of the 6 rounds so was never in the frame this year, I ended with 20 points.

I think the thing that most pleased me today was that nobody moaned about my pegging (that's a first lol), well if they did they never told me. I crammed the pegs in tight in the town to get as many in as I could, and I think it was right as there were certainly more fish caught than last week. Interestingly there were quite a few chublets caught in the ponds, nice fish to catch.

Well done, Mike and Vince for running the league, and Andy and Nicola. It's a great little league with friendly rivalry and great banter.

I am not sure when I will be fishing next now, depends on the weather and if there is something that takes my fancy.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Commercial House Round 5 K&A Canal Bath

Well after the bagging session on the river and hearing of another few good catches on the river I was sightly sad to be going to the canal, especially after some severe frosts. The draw was supposed to be at the Crown pub in Keynsham, but the landlord forgot so it was moved to McDonalds near Twerton at the very last minute. No problem and nearer to the canal.

I paid Andy Cranston for my bloodworm and joker, paid Nathaniel Johnson my pools and had a quick chat with a few people, and it was really good to see Liam Braddel turn out for our team but that was sure to mean one of the flyers gone lol. Liam did the draw for our team and came back with peg 7, I was in B section at Darlington up towards the wooden bridge in an area that was very poor in the Xmas match I fished.

I got parked up near the canal and walked past the entrance to the tunnels where 4 lucky anglers were, and then past the bay where Liam was, and past the straight where I fancied, here were Shaun Townsend, Glenn Bailey and Darren Gillman all in my section. I went round the bend and passed Mike Goodhind and Rich Whitmarsh, and then found my peg, close to Rich but a long way to Jan Macezck on the end peg. Got my box sorted in the canal and everything close to hand and proceeded to knock up some rigs. I could tell you all about the rigs but in reality only two of them caught me anything!

When the match started at 10am I fed the usual bread at 5m, also fed some joker right across at 11 o'clock and that was it for starters. 15 minutes on the bread and not a bite, tried a pinkie nothing. Rich also had not had a bite. Looks like it is going to be hard then! I finely chopped up two lobworms and fed these straight across with a tiny bit of joker added in. I tried my 4x12 wire stem, wire bristle jobby with 0.07 to 22 across with a pinkie. I had a bite and a small perch straight away over my joker, and then nothing... went over the chopped worm and had another perch on pinkie. That was the last bites on pinkie. Think after 40 minutes half the section were still blanking, it was crap.

Knowing the canal was now going to be rancid I fed various areas with tiny amounts of joker, hoping to get a few perch or ruffe lined up, well we can hope. I took another 2 perch over my joker line across, but was never to have another bite here. I never had another bite over the worm line either, and tried many hookbaits here. I spoke to Glenn and he informed me it was fishing just as bad round him too, so nobody was running  away it in our section.

I could not get another bite on the far bank and did not for the rest of the match. Rich though managed to get a couple across including a roach which was obviously lost. I caught another perch on my top set straight in front, the only bite there. I caught 2 perch fishing in close to the bank to my left, nothing to my right.  With about 40 minutes to go fishing 12m to my left up the inside next to a boat I had a perch and two micro perch in as many casts. This was the first time all match that I had seen any sign of fish by the boat.

Well I cannot say I was sad when the all out was shouted, I had 9 fish for about 5oz I thought. Every fish I caught came when I dropped the rig in, and if I didn't get a bite on the first drop on a line I had to move, so I did a lot of moving lines! I missed one bite all match and never lost anything.

The weigh in began with Jan, he had 5 perch for 6oz, me next and my 9 perch went 6 1/2oz, then Rich had 11 fish and they weighed 6oz. Yay I beat the lads both sides! PMSL!!! My effort today shown below.

Mike Goodhind blanked, and then back round on the concrete Darren Gillman had 10 quality perch for 9 1/2oz and with that he won the section, well done matey and he is top individual in the league at present. Glenn was next and he had 7oz and won the B division with that, but got knocked out the knockout by Darren. Jeff Sibley had a few ounces, and then on peg 1 Towner had the most fish in section, but since they had only been born a couple of months ago they only weighed 4oz. Shaun had a pike in his peg before the match, and here in the picture he is holding the biggest fish he caught, a gudgeon, which was chased in by the pike. We did laugh!

I ended up 2nd in A div and 3rd in the whole section, so decent enough for the team with just 6 1/2oz. Other than A section the rest of the canal was as shite as my section. With a few people breaking the 1lb mark but ounces taking section money.

A Section was the place to be, the first two pegs in the tunnels were superb, with Rich Lacey winning with 13lb, and Mark Williams next to Rich having 8lb. In the bay Liam Braddel had just under 7lb of small roach with bites all day. 4th place I think went to Steve Skelton up by the bay past the George where he managed a big skimmer plus a few bits for 2lb 13oz.

On the team front my Thatchers lot had 5 people catch and that was 2 section winners and 3 seconds, Nathaniel blanked and went home early to get pissed I imagine. Even with Nat going AWOL we managed to win on the day and we are leading the A div but only just.  Stand and Deliver won the B div I think.

I have the enviable task of pegging the canal out next week for the final round of this league, I will be trying to put more pegs in the town where I am sure the majority of the fish are now. However, it will be a struggle to get all 48 pegs down there, lol.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Back on the River

I had a much different Christmas than any other before, this was due to me taking a holiday with the family to Cape Verde. I have been to Sal Island once before and thought it would be a great choice to get some winter sun as I have always wanted to have a "hot" Christmas. It didn't disappoint and the weather was great and I spent Christmas Day in the pool, and on a beach bar watching the sun set, it was great.

Before I went on holiday I ordered some bait with Scotts Tackle, I ordered 2 pints of casters and some dendras assuming the river would be more likely my choice and it would be coloured. However, when I got back it seemed there was no match on the river  Sunday 30th and nothing close to home, so after talking to a few mates I opted to fish Newbridge and picked up a day ticket when I purchased my bait. I got up early Sunday and grabbed a MacD's breakfast and got to the river at 8am. I spotted a couple of vans parked up, Warren Bates and Ben Rendall were already there and just going off to there chosen swims. They told me they wanted to catch some roach and Warren was going in 20 where he could see fish topping and Ben 24 where Warren had bagged up before the river came up a couple of weeks ago. As for me, well I fancied a crack at the bream and so I parked behind peg 18. As I was setting up another van arrived and bream slayers Jerry Pocock and Dean Harvey turned up, both complaining they were hoping to fish 18 lol. Jer went above me in 16 and Dean to his favoured 36.

As the light became better I could see the river was still quite pacey but the colour was now a greenish tinge, I haven't seen this for many years, it was almost as if the river had not been ran off and I really liked the look of it. I'd like to have fished a flat float, but there's not much space between the trees either side and I could see me struggling to land fish with the flow taking them downstream. A feeder it would be and nothing else as you can't run a float down due to the trees downstream coming out a long way. I mixed up some groundbait first, 1 bag each of Sonubaits Black and River, plus some brown crumb. It was then the easy task of setting up the feeder rod, a 3/4g open ender and a 14 PR355 to 0.13 powerline. I was finally set up and ready by about 9:15am.

I began by throwing in 6 balls of gbait (containing casters and pinkies) out to about 15m, not as much my normal 12+ as I feel the fish are already in the peg and I was going to be feeding regularly from the start with the feeder. A nice underarm swing out with the feeder and with 3 red maggots on I was glad of rattle on the tip first cast, another bite next cast and then a roach. I then put 4 red maggots on the hook and on this cast I had a much better bite and for a few seconds thought I had a bream, but a skimmer of 1lb was landed. Wow did it fight well in the flow! The next two casts also brought skimmers and after an hour I had five of them in total. Going into the second hour I decided to start to introduce some chopped worms, not a lot of them though as Jerry had told me that in the matches on here recently maggot had been doing the damage. However, the addition of worms did no harm and I had about 8 skimmers in the next hour (from 1lb to 2 1/2lb).  Jerry came down for a chat as he had only had 3 skimmers and some roach, but my peg was solid and 4 red maggots was doing the damage every time. I did miss a few bites but some of the indications were definite line bites.

As it got to about 1:15 I had 23 skimmers and 3 bream, I really didn't want to put any more fish in my keepnet, luckily Warren had a spare in his van which I borrowed, I hoped it would not be the kiss of the death 2nd net syndrome. A skimmers and two bream were soon in the new net, but then all went quiet and for the first time bites stopped, I felt as if the bream had moved in and pushed the skimmers out, then the bream had backed off. I assumed this as Jerry started to catch some skimmers and said he was now getting an indication every cast. Dean Harvey rang to chat to me as he had heard from Warren I was bagging, he told me he had some scales in his van so could weigh my fish rather than estimating them. Dean was catching roach and landed a pike of about 15lb!

I had to pack up at 3pm as I was going to a family do, and with 25 mins to go bites came back and I had another 3 bream and 2 skimmers before I had to call it time. All day long I had used the same hook and hooklength, and I had only lost 1 fish, can't fault that. It was great to see so many skimmers in the river.

As I packed up quick I got the scales and then Jerry, Warren and even Dean came to see my catch and help me weigh them in. The net from Warren I used for 90 minutes went 25lb. The first net was much heavier, and when all weights were added up the final tally was 89lb 12oz! So close to the ton, it was there for sure but I'm not worried it was a special day and a lovely way to end my 2018 fishing account. I've never caught a net like that on a river in all my years, finally I got the right tactics, on the right day, on the right peg in the right conditions! Nearly a perfect day, just needed to hit a few more bites.

Let me wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope the drawbag is kind to you in 2019, I just hope to continue to be healthy and happy and enjoy my fishing.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

December 1999

I will openly admit here and now that I wimped out of fishing this weekend. I saw the weather forecast for hard frosts followed by heavy rain, and a night out on the lash Saturday put me right off going. Quite honestly after seeing the number of anglers posting on facebook Saturday that had packed up due to being so cold and wet I feel I made a good decision. It was good to have a few beers out Saturday, and met up with my new Thatchers team mate Shaun Townsend, great to have him in our team.  For me the social side to match fishing is great, and it's one of the reasons I like to be part of a team, and Thatchers anglers are a great bunch of anglers who like to share their knowledge, a laugh and a few beers, and Shaun will fit right in.

After a relatively poor run back in 1999, I had managed to frame in the last match of November on the canal, so I was pepped up for the next match the Bristol & West Xmas match on the Bristol Avon fished from Swineford to Crane. I drew peg 6 up at Swineford, it's a few pegs below the outfall and is a shallow peg with plenty of flow and depending on the conditions a good bag of small fish can be almost guaranteed but there are also bream about. I really didn't think I would catch small fish on the peg on this day and I went down the one rod approach, a gbait feeder with 16 to 0.14. I cast the feeder two thirds the way over which I felt was about right as any further might get me into the weed beds which grow here. For the first two hours I never had a sniff, not a touch on anything, but in the next two hours I had 4 chub and 2 bream, and I also lost two fish. All the fish came to maggot or caster hook bait combinations, nothing on worm. I weighed in 18lb 12oz and that was good enough for 4th place and good pick up on the day.

The following Sunday it was the Bathampton Xmas match and the one you really want to do well in. The river had gone into a bad flood and was expected to be a struggle, most people wanted to draw in the trees, so when I pulled out peg 9 in the little field I really wasn't happy. However, when I got to the peg it didn't look that bad and it had a decent depth fairly close in. I set up two gbait feeders, one with a big hook, and one with a bigger hook lol. I was using my then usual flooded river gabit, Sensas Red Magic (pure stodge in my opinion though lol) with chopped worms and casters added. The only thing I had bites on was lobworm, and using bits, a half and even a whole lob, I used a size 10 to 0.14. I managed 6 roach and 4 eels, and I had 2 whacking bites on a whole lob which took the bait but I never connected. I also recall a strange thing, a swan which often came in by my net to feed decided it wanted to get out on the bank. As it swam in close over my line the rod went round slowly, I assumed the swan had touched the line but then the swan was past it and my rod was still going round! I picked up the rod and was attached to something huge, I pulled as hard as I could but this fish charged off down the inside of the river eventually snapping the line in a snag. No idea what I'd hooked. Anyway my 10 fish weighed 3lb 5oz and that easily won my section. You have to remember that in these days (before mobiles) unless anglers were walking the bank you had no clue of how a river was fishing, so I could not believe it when back at the results I could hardly find anyone with more than 3lb!  I ended up coming 4th and picked up £150.

Three framers on the trot, well could I make it four? Well the weather on Saturday 18th December was shocking, heavy snow, and on Sunday for the Docks Xmas match next it never got above 1C all day and was -8C at night. My luck deserted me when I avoided drawing the favoured Welshback area and I was heading towards Bathurst Basin. It was awful down here on the day, and I blanked, never had a bite run over lol!

I had one more day out on December 29th , it was supposed to be a feeder lobworm session on the river with Brian Gay for a feature in Match fishing magazine. However, Brian called me and we agreed with the conditions we were unlikely to catch any eels, instead it was a trip to Bathampton's Newton Park as Brian had the idea for me to fish for silvers on the prolific carp venue. Before Brian arrived I cast out a gbait feeder with some fishmeal in to look for a carp, no sign though. I then fished a 2 1/2AAA waggler with 18 to 0.10 feeding caster, I caught small skimmers and roach on this. It was an interesting day and varying the shotting and depth were necessary to keep bites coming. Brian had a go using my waggler, and I chucked the feeder out again and I caught a 6lb carp. Brian commented that he had not seen any other angler catch a carp all day, and he was chuffed that I had managed one and 12lb of silvers. In the the end he ran the article without the carp and called it "Silver Polish".  I was glad I could help him, but I will say I felt the pressure to catch for the cameras, and didn't want to cock it up!

I have lots of plans ahead of me now, so I won't be fishing next weekend at all and then not again until after Xmas (weather dependent lol). Therefore I will wish everyone who reads my blog a very Happy Christmas, and just like to say thank you to those of you who kindly tell me you read my blog and enjoy it. I was asked recently why I don't do any advertising on here, well this blog was never about making money, I originally did it to save me hours on the phone, or emailing people who asked how I did at the weekend or how I caught. It wasn't that I didn't like to talk to people (lol) but my boss wasn't happy with all the fishing talk at work! I then realised that I could hopefully pass on some information from my own experiences, and I know I've helped a few people and encouraged some back on to the bank. I've also met many new friends through the blog from simple pleasure anglers to seriously good top match anglers. For this I am truly grateful and it is more than I could of hoped for when I began hitting the keyboard nearly 10 years ago in January 2009.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Commercial House Xmas Match - K&A Canal Bath

This match used to be on a Saturday on the canal (though many years before that it was on Frys ont he river) and I've always tried to fish it if possible. There were around 25 people fishing it today and I was hoping for a better day than the same match last year when I drew in section that was dire.

Mike and Nicola Goodhind were running the match and Andy Britt had pegged it. The town was not in as some of the pounds were dry due to restoration work, peg 1 was in the tunnels and Darlington was in as was up past the George. the canal has not been match fished for a while so I wasn't sure where I wanted to draw. I paid my pools, picked up my bloodworm and joker from Darren Gillman who had kindly ordered for many people. After Kev Dicks had drawn 4 pegs for the organisers I stuck my hand in the draw tub at the same time as a number of others. Peg 6 stuck to my mit, up at Darlington.

Drove to the canal and passed the peg on the duck ramp (peg 3) Steve Skelton, and then two in the bay Jack Jones and Jeff Surmon. I was probably 100 yards past Jeff which was a shame as I always fancy the peg just past the bay where it first narrows up, but moored boats meant it wasn't pegged. Forgot to take a picture but I was basically on the concrete in the middle of the two sets of steps opposite. Although lots of room to my right Ben Rendall on 7 was pretty close to me on my left. Ben asked me for some advice as we set up, as he said he doesn't fish the canal much, so I told him how I would approach his peg. I got organised and set up my rigs, a 4X14 with 18PR311 for bread at 4m, a 4x16 with 16 PR311 for fishing over the bread line and at 11.5m at 11 o'clock, it was a bagging rig if skimmers showed. For the far bank I set up 3 rigs; 4x12 with 0.07 to 20, 0.3g with 0.09 to 18 PR311 and a chopped worm rig with 0.12 to 16. Being an open match, and with the mild weather I was hoping to fish positive and get among some skimmers.

When the match started I fed a ball of bread at 5m. Some casters and a bit of chopped worm 13m across to my left, and some joker and casters 13m across to my right. Dropping in on the bread line with the biggest punch I had, it was bites straight away from small roach. To my right Jeff had a 2lb skimmer 2nd drop on bread, then after 15 mins Ben had a 1 1/2lb skimmer on bread and then lost one. Me... roach, small roach that started to struggled to engulf my punch. A few boats went through but the fishing didn't suffer. I finally gave in and tried a smaller punch and then hit more bites from these small roach. Just after the hour mark the roach were to small to warrant continuing and top ups had not improved anything. With no skimmers I hoped I might get some on the other lines, and I now fed some joker in gbait on my 11.5m line.

I first went across over my long joker line, using a big red maggot I had 5 roach in 5 drops, then the bites stopped. Out with the 4x12 rig with a pinke and 4 more roach and then bites stopped. I rested this line and went left trying caster, nothing, red maggot got me a couple of roach and a little perch. Back over the joker line and all I could now catch was minute ruffe, this was not good. Halfway through and I couldn't really make anything happen, meanwhile Ben was getting fish on caster. I had enough and went for a quick walk down to Jeff and Jack, both who had 4lb+ .

Back on my peg and I decided to feed 2 big balls of gbait and joker over my original long joker line hoping the gbait might see off the ruffe. I tried the 11.5 line again, a roach, a roach and then a 12oz skimmer, at last! No more skimmers from here but some roach before it slowed and I refed. Across over the converted line and a roach and then a proper fish hooked, it pulled out a fair bit of elastic and when I netted it I reckoned it was a 1lb 1/2lb skimmer. This line was now a bite a chuck from roach, but I kept thinking I needed bigger fish and tried bigger baits on and off without reward. The worm / caster line threw up a few small perch and roach but was never great and I forced this line which didn't work. I kept taking the roach from the two gbait lines topping up as soon as bites slowed. Ben then hit me in the ribs when he took another skimmer on his caster line, but lost two more straight after.

With 10 minutes to go all lines were fading, back over the 11.5m line and a small roach on pinkie so I put a big red maggot on again, the float didn't move for a minute and then buried, skimmer on! As I tried to ship back this fish swam hard toward me and to my right, this meant it put a lot of pressure on the elastic as I could not ship the pole back in the right place due to the angle and the walkers. The inevitable happened a head shake and the hook pulled out, damn that was a big skimmer. As I went to ship out again I could a boat coming up, I left the float there until it was about 5 feet from the approaching boat and lifted the rig out but a skimmer was on, but only for a few seconds then it was off too... fecks sake. The boat had one right over the line and with only 5 mins left I knew my chance had gone.

I packed up quickly as I had the scales and started weighing in with Andy Britt. he had 7lb 14oz which included a couple of decent skimmers, perch and a roach of 1lb 6oz.  Next was Nicola who also had a couple of big skimmers and had 6lb 14oz. Ben Matthews had 5lb 14oz, but this included a 1lb 13oz roach, wow! Ben weighed 8lb 2oz to win the section and then I weighed 7lb 7oz. Clearly either on the skimmers lost would have won me the section, but such is life and Ben had lost three of them. To my right Jeff had 7lb exactly, and Jack had 8lb 6oz. However, to their right it was SOLID in the first 3 pegs.

Top 4 on the day..

1st Dave Stiff  18lb, peg 1 a lot of small skimmers on worms, and 3 decent perch across
2nd Steve Skelton 15lb skimmers from peg 3
3rd Nathaniel  Johnson 12lb up by the school past the George, couple of skimmers and lots of small roach
4th Jerry Pocock 10lb  in between 1st and 2nd.

Dave Stiff with his hamper, well done UTG.

It was good to see plenty of people back at the results and Jamie Brown had come in to see his old mates. There were about 22 prizes, and so only a few anglers missed out on a prize, most of them came from the section up past me where it was a real struggle with Darren and Shane Caswell only getting 1lb+. Other than this area (by the wooden bridge) it has to be said the canal fished well and it normally does first match, so I wasn't totally surprised.

Not sure what to do next weekend, will have to see what is on but no idea at the moment.