Let me start by saying I had an excellent night out Friday at the Queens Head where Landlord Martin Rayet was celebrating his 40th birthday. Mike Nicholls was there but couldn't take the pace and was off early. There was a great mix of people there (including the police twice...) and I stayed until around 1am. My walk home was interrupted when I found a friend passed out half way up Willsbridge Hill, despite my best efforts I could not revive him so I dragged him into the hedge for safe keeping. He has since informed me never drink Cheddar Valley cider and Sambucca!
The 5th round of the super league was at Newbridge and due to my River prowess I was put into the real Thatchers side. Mark Harper did the draw and handed me peg 56, oh great the longest bloody walk and not a good peg this time of year. Thankfully I am fairly fit and so the walk to 56 was not to arduous (don't see that word on Tony Rixons blog) for me, but I was greeted with a peg which was just a slope. I cut some steps out but then realised I'd left me boots in the car and was in for some wet feet. Luckily Brian Slipper had some boots on and didn't need them so we swapped footwear (must be something in his name!).
Once again despite all my preparation I was not able to get ready on time for the start. I decided to chuck a big feeder out 10 times to get some bait in across in the vain hope the bream might show, Bream 3000 and brown crumb is my favourite mix for this. I then balled in 14 jaffas of gros gardons, noire and crumb containing caster, hemp and some worm. Now as most of you will know you expect the float to go under first chuck with this, but my 3 gram float sailed through swim a dozen times before I had a bite! Actually there was hardly any flow where I was as it all goes across the far bank and I was at 14.5 metres on the pole to get passed the uneven bottom and try to get a bit of flow. I managed 4 roach and 2 perch here mainly on either a caster or worm. Oh well onto the feeder for a quick look and a small roach first chuck on a worm then no bites at all. Back onto the pole in the hope some fish had settled there but no, so I tried a flat float with a worm and had a perch 1st chuck... but then no more!
I was now very worried and set up the waggler which I had not had time to do before the start. I had been loose feeding some maggot down the peg, but that was tricky as the wind was in my face, meaning I could get bait just about to the middle. Half hour on the wag produced 1 bleak, and now I was having some concerns. Time for a look on the worm line ( I had bait droppered in worm at 6 mtrs ) not a bite here! I bait droppered in some worm on the long pole line and then had a go on the feeder again. I took a perch and then had a rap round bite which I thought I missed, but I came back with no hook 0.14 snapped / bit off, bugger!
I spent the last 2 hours swapping between flat float and feeder hoping for a bream or decent perch, but all I managed were 6 small perch. I knew I had done bad as Andy Britt had run the bank and told me others were catching, Andy cheered me up by saying he hated my peg and in his opinion it was one of the worst on the length. I weighed in a paltry 3lb 1/2oz, avoiding being last in the section by the 1/2oz. There were two other anglers with 3lb 6oz (one being Dave Micklewright who usually always catches a few) and the top 2 anglers had 7lb+. Guy Manton won the section and next peg to him on 46 Gary Etheridge was 2nd in the section, these 2 pegs are narrower and there's a bit more flow, Gary caught all his fish on wag against the willow tree, bleak dace and the odd chublet.
The match was won by Bob Gullick, he had 38lb of bream on the feeder in the 60's I think, Mark Harper was 2nd with 22lb from peg 77, he had skimmers and roach on the pole. The river had fished very well in places but hard in others, waggler caught a few fish up in the water where there was cover, but in some pegs there were hordes of bleak (not my peg) which were a pain / had to be fished for. On the team front Garbolino won again (yawn) and Maver had a good day too. Thatchers bombed out but so did Bathampton, and going into the last match Bathampton are in 2nd place but only 1 point in front of Thatchers.
Personally I'll be glad when this super league is over as I have caught nowt and cannot get a decent draw, hope my luck changes soon or it rains a lot so I can chuck the feeder out and catch something! First round of the Commercial House this weekend at Melksham, if the drawbag isn't kind to me here then it could be deja vu or worse!
Oh yes, venues for next years super league are 2 at Newbridge, 2 at Hunstpill and hopefully 2 at Viaduct. Yes, Goodbye Porth!