I'll start off by saying that my last blog obviously touched a few Bathampton boys nerves as they were having a bit of a go at me at Jerry Pocock's 50th party. Can't recall what they said because after 8 pints of Bath Ales Gem the brain seems to go blank! They're so easy to wind up, especially Lee "swampy" Trivett!
It was not going to be an easy match on the river as it was so clear and the rain we have had has done nothing to improve it. For that reason I had some bloodworm and joker off Tucks as a bit of insurance. I was given F section, which is the bottom of the trees and found I was drawn 1 peg below where I had been in the last super league match. Once again it was going to be tough to beat the end peg and in total I had 4 anglers below me and 6 above, so I was at least toward the better end!
I set up my now standard 2grm rig, but with a light 0.08 hook length and a 20 PR31 hook which would be employed at 13 mtrs. I had a nice shelf at 7 mtrs at an angle for chopped worm, waggler and maggot feeder were also set up. This peg has a nice row of bushes across and I hoped the feeder would work later on, 0.14 to a 15 B711 would do for starters.
Thatchers B team had drawn on the peg below, and I had Liam Braddell for company, also in the section were Nicky Johns, Andy Floyd, Dave Wride and Andy Britt all good river anglers. Dave Haines was also in the section, so I thought I would get at least 2 points! One thing of note, Peg 124 was unfishable as a boat had moored and set up camp, it had also put some netting up on the bank and enclosed about 4 chickens and a hen house, Andy Britt said that's Cluckers Peg!
Start of the match and I threw in 12 balls of gbait and a bit of leam with joker and caster in, and went straight in on top of it. I had bites straight away on the caster from 4 oz roach, about 3 of them! Trouble was there were so many flaming rowing boats and fallen leaves on the surface it was a precise operation to get the rig in position! It was a steady but not spectacular first 2 hours, catching odd perch and roach, not many fish but mostly 2oz+ fish and a couple of 6oz roach. I had hardly been able to feed any maggot for the wag line due to the amount of boats but these started to dwindle. As the pole line went dead I refed with some more joker and also fed chopped worm for the first time. Back on the long pole and I could get bites but now only with bloodworm on the hook. I had no stupidly small fish, but quite a few 2oz perch and even managed an 8oz roach. When it died again I tried the choppy but never had a bite, tried the wag but never had a bite. Back on the bloodworm but no bites, so I fed again and with an hour to go chucked the maggot feeder. Conditions were not nice with rain and a wind that had picked up strongly, but my second cast landed spot on where I wanted it so I clipped up! In 10 mins I picked up 2 small chublets (2 to 4oz) but nothing in the next 10, back on to the pole nothing, choppy nothing. Last 30 mins on the feeder then, bang it was a bite as soon as the feeder landed, and the same next chuck! Trouble was I missed them both, so I shorten the hooklength and hit the next couple of bites. Mr Pike then made his one and only appearance snaffling a chublet just before I was about to swing it! It took hold of it and I let him have it, but it bit me off immediately. A couple more chublets and the match finished.
The section fished nearly to form, the last 2 pegs both weighed 7lb 1oz, but Andy Britt beat them with 8lb 1oz including a near 5lb pike, how come him and Vincent always seem to get pike in? Andy told me he had been playing a 8lb pike, when it let go of the perch Andy had originally hooked, as he reeled the perch in the 5lb pike came for the perch grabbed it and swam straight into his landing net! I weighed 6lb 9oz which was the next weight, just beating Dave Wride by an ounce and Liam had 5lb 3oz.
The river had fished terrible, and the 2 B division lads on 7lb 1oz were last in the money, and as Andy had also framed I got the A division section money £30. I must say that I had not realised I was so close to the frame and I wish I had gone on the feeder a bit earlier. Would you believe Rotork had been won with less than 3lb, and I wanted to be drawn there. Gary Cross won overall with 20lb of Bream from the little field, and Leon Hubbard proved he can still catch fish coming 2nd from flyer peg 10 with 9lb odd (2 bream not skimmers Leon!) On the team front Karoke Nites won (helped by Andy and Vincent Lunn's Pike) and Thatchers A and Bathampton blew out! The division is very tight halfway through; 14 points for the leaders, then 13, 12.5 and 12, although I think Maver are a bit behind and still last!
Martyn Rayett continued his good form for Thatchers by getting the dreaded 1 pointer, still he drowned his sorrows as usual! However, Martyn was still picked for the next match, it seems many of the Thatchers team have "something on", I think the river is starting to do their heads in! Of course, we have to go back to Newbridge again this weekend for the ATWL, still no rain in the forecast so it will probably be even harder.