I'd like to start off by saying what a great day I had with my family at the Balloon festival on Friday. I have never been before and did not realise how much there was to do and see there, plus there were loads of freebies for the kids (Darren Gillman would love it here!) and a Nintendo Wi village where you could try out the new resort games! I never saw any balloons go up because it was to windy, but that was not to disappointing as Sat and Sun evening we had loads come right over the house!
Earlier than normal of late I was on the road to the Hunstpill for the 3rd round of the Superleague. I was again fishing for the All Stars team, but I'm beginning to think it should be renamed the "Old Stars" team. For example we had Nicky (Sumo) Collins, Martin (PC) Barrett, and Ian Parsons.... yes that's right Ian Parsons!
Having myself not fished the Huntspill since last years teams of 4 match you could say I was not to well prepared compared to most, but I had spoken to a few of the Thatchers boys and had got some rigs up together for the pole. I met a few of the team in the Hilltops cafe, as well as seeing a few Frys and Bathampton lads there. Sean Townsend and Rich Lacey looked much the worse for wear, they, and I, were not to bothered about being late for the 8:30 draw as Nicky Johns is never on time.
Timmy Rowe did the draw for our team and handed me peg 21, this is at Gold Corner in the bay and not good in the section. Would you believe on my visit last year I drew peg 20! After the short walk of 21 pegs (see when your fit these walks are like Mr Rixon walking 3 pegs to a lovely platform) I found I had Thatchers Grandad and Huntspill regular Nicky Ewers on peg 20. We both felt we were in trouble as pegs 18 and 19 (either end of the copse) and the end peg 24 would be hard to beat, although having Gary Cross on the end peg gave us some hope!
I set up a 4x18 wire stem float, and 4x14 float for the pole aimed at roach, a waggler for casting beyond the pole and a feeder. On the whistle I balled in 10 jaffas of gbait containing squatt, caster and hemp, then had 12 chucks on a big feeder before tying on a 0.11 hooklength, size 16 PR34 and chucking out a medium feeder. I did not chuck as far as others did, this was for 3 reasons 1) I wanted to stay accurate, 2) I wanted a line to myself, 3) I had no more line on the reel!
The first 90 mins was not good for me, I did lose a near 2lb fish at the net (and I swore a bit) and landed a 12oz skimmer and a few bits. It seemed everyone else I could see had 3 or 4 skimmers, so I picked up the pole, luckily the float never settled and I had ounce roach. For the next hour or so I kept small roach coming to the net, but they started to drift away. Out with the feeder again as I knew I now needed some skimmers /bream to catch up, 6 skimmers in about 10 casts was great but then they went again and I had very little in the last 30 mins. Nearly all my skimmers fell to worm and reg maggot, and the bites were good from skimmers. About half way through Gary Cross cracked off (oh we laughed) and his feeder landed about 10 mtrs out, then the lobbys guy did the same, then Andy Bernstein and Darren Gillman both cast their feeders about 10mtrs! I did rather take the pee, but they were all threatening to give me loads of abuse when I did it, luckily I did not!
Andy Bernstein ran away with the section from peg 19 with 14lb, Darren did well to come 2nd from peg 23 with 10lb, I think he stole the fish that evacuated Gary Cross's peg. I ended 4th in the section with 7lb 6oz just beating Nicky who weighed 6lb 10oz. Nick, as you have fished the venue every weekend of the season and I just fished it the once what can I say! To be fair we both think balling it in was wrong, I have never done it on the Spill before and think loose feeding may have been better.
The Garbolino team won again, Bathampton 2nd, and they are the two teams leading the league. AllStars are still 3rd overall, but we had a bad day, Martin Barrett last, Ian Parsons last (stick to Viaduct), Nicky Collins last or nearly last! I hope these guys can fish again this weekend on round 4 and have a better day, I cannot fish but wish them well, perhaps Tony Rixon could take my place as he seems to have lost his touch on commercials (ha!). Finally Timmy Rowe stuck it out on feeder all match and was getting hammered by Liam Braddel who was fishing for bits, in the last hour Timmy came good with two slabs and a section win, from zero to Hero again, Top Man!