A nice leisurely start on Sunday, 9am draw and only 3 miles from home, great! I was up ready and into the rugby club with plenty of time to spare. I found out that my place at last weeks commercial house had been taken by Garbolinos John Atkinson, he drew Whaddon and failed to break a 1lb, so that's another crap peg I would have had!
It was good to see Andy Floyd back in the Maver team, and when I saw Bob Sheppard and Glen Bailey with him the team started to look like an old Avon Angling side! The talk in the club was how tough this match was going to be with a low, clear river and bright sunshine. I wanted to be drawn at Rotork or close to Newton St Loe Bridge, but instead was handed peg 130 in the trees. Straight away I knew it was virtually impossible to win the section as the end peg wins it every time, Andy Ottaway had the pleasure of this peg. Still I had a few tricks up my sleeve for fishing tight over to the cover. Unfortunately I found peg 130 to be unfished and opposite the biggest cow drink on the Bristol Avon, thanks Kevin Dicks! After much bank digging and reed bashing (the peg looked to me as it had not been fished) I finally got into a position where I could fish! I don't mind all the gardening bit, it's just that it takes time away from setting up! Thanks again to another Thyers angler, Paul Purchase, for lending me boots to get into the water, yep I never took them again as I was told every peg was fished from the top of the bank! Not long after this Andy Ottaway came running past me and in his haste nearly snapped one of my top sets, he had left his hemp at home and was off to get it!
I set up a 2 grm pole float, as I felt anything heavier would only cause fish to drop the bait, a 3grm flat float and chopped worm rig for 5 mtrs. I also set up the feeder (but never used it) and a waggler just the same as in Bath on Friday. As I felt I was in a poor area (5lb was 2nd in the section last time) I used 0.09 and 20 and 22 hooks, light for me I can tell you! Since the last match I had thought a lot about the balling in mix, and I decided to mix mine exceedingly black although I had still pre mixed 3 kilos. I approached this swim with just 9 balls that only had a pinch of bait in them, this is a negative approach but I felt it was justified given the peg. There were also a tremendous amount of rowers out, and judging by the skill level it was the annual intake of new Bath University students. There's nowt you can do but try to make sure you don't get a rig trashed by them, and for this reason and because all the cover was on my bank I only balled it at 11.5 mtrs. First chuck on a caster and a 3oz roach was my best fish of the day! After a few more runs through on the caster without a bite it was onto the maggot, this brought instant bites but they were hard to hit and I bumped a couple off. I think this was mainly because they were very small roach, I adjusted the depth and dropper shot and things improved. It was hard going though because the boats often went right over the line I was fishing and the disturbance meant the float wouldn't run through properly until the water calmed down.
After about an hour I reckon I'd had a pound and a half, Jerry Pocock wandered down and told me it was dire. When Jerry came back from the end of my section he said Andy had not had one roach, but he did have some perch and an eel on the worm. My gbait line was now giving up, so I tried a top up ball which only brought a couple of bites so it was onto the worm rigs. I should say that during this time I had wanted to feed the wag line, but I had hardly been able to do this due to the number of rowers. The 5mtr worm line was biteless but I took 3 small perch from the gbait line. At this point a motor boat decided to moor in the cow drink opposite and 5 young uns had a picnic with music, and tried to fish a bit (they later moved off pretty sharpish when the cows turned up for a drink!). The rowers had now reduced greatly so I picked up the waggler, it was solid, with bleak! I put a few in the net and was thinking of giving it up when Andy Ottaway came walking up, he said he had 2lb and that 3lb was best. That made up my mind to get my head down on the wag and get as many bleak as I could. I had 2 hours on them (with one break to look on the worm again for just 1 perch) but with 30 mins to go the river came alive with ocean liners and the bleak disappeared, I sat out on the worm but never had a bite.
The section was won by Andy (I've only got 2lb) who had 7lb of mainly perch, and a lad had 5lb 15oz of mainly roach on the pole, the only person to do so. I weighed 5lb 6oz for 3rd in the section, gutted I think I could have gone close to 2nd if the bleak had stayed for the last 30 mins. The guys either side weighed 3lb 2oz and 2lb 3oz and most of their fish came to the feeder chucked across to the trees.
Titch Bernstein won the match I think off peg 36, he had 30lb+ of bream on the pole on a pencil float! Bob sheppard had a successful comeback with 2 bream in two cast on the feeder for 2nd. Steve Tucker showed me how it should be done by framing with nearly 11lb from peg 56, Steve had a bream on the feeder (first cast) and lots of perch, he said he set a whip up but I think it was just the feeder! In 3rd place were Callum Dicks and his dad (joined at the hip are they?) from consistent peg 24.
Thatchers had a few poor results again and so we ended the league in 3rd place behind winners Garbolino and 2nd place Bathampton, Well Done lads!
After the match I heard that Guy Manton is back in the Thatchers side, so I guess that was his last match for Maver. He told me that a lady rower stopped right in front of him, and as he gave her the "evils" she asked what he was looking at "The ugliest woman rower I've ever seen!" was his retort, and she went!
After giving Nick Chedzoy a tidy sum of money for team fees he still couldn't help but moan at me "excuses on my blog" (mind you he did only beat one angler in his section), god I don't know how Nicky Ewers puts up with him travelling with him to every match, he must be a Samaritan!
Lastly if ever you've been to Avon Angling you'll know it can smell a bit. Well I noticed the budgie spent the weekend in Avon Angling, this was because its owner, Fabio, was on holiday. However, I believe that Tony has employed the old miners trick of having a bird in a cage to test the air. When Tony opens up on a morning and the bird is dead I think he will be keeping the doors open for a bit!