Lately some people have told me they read my blog for the old matches, whilst others only like to read about the recent stuff, well I'll carry on as is and you read what you want!
At the start of 1990 I spent a lot of time pleasure fishing the Bristol Avon at Conham (this was on Saturdays) and fishing the odd open there. My diary tells me that in 3 visits in January I had around 8lb of dace each time on the stick float, with maggot on a size 22 hook to 1.1lb line. The main issue I had was only catching in spells, a good first two hours often was all I had. I think looking back I should have employed a waggler and stick approach feeding two lines, but I was stuck in a rut on the stick!
On the 5th round of the ATWL I once again found myself above Saltford weir, but this time opposite the boat house (wouldn't want to be drawn there these days, too many rowers!). Now unusually, despite having wrote about this match in my diary I cannot clearly recall it, age must be catching on me. Apparently I fished a waggler down the inside (must have been windy) for some roach, and took 2 skimmers and 3 good roach on the groundbait feeder. That gave me 11 points from 13 and my Bristol Amalgamation team came 2nd on the day, we were now 2 points in the lead with one match left on the river.
The week after on Sunday 21st January I fished the last round of the Commercial House and this was a match where I had a chance of doing well in the league individually and my team (Bendix) were pi55ing the A division. The venue was Swineford to Crane and I drew the New Fence, which I guess I must have been happy about! At the time this peg was noted for Chub, although there were of course bream in the area, and as the river was a bit pacey I decided on a maggot feeder approach. I was using my standard size 18 to 1.5lb maxima hooklength with 2 bronze maggots as hookbait. The first hour was slow but then I had a great big drop back and I played a decent fish in carefully, it was a bream! So I changed to the gbait feeder and 30 mins later I landed a chub. For the rest of the match I swapped between the two types of feeder on the same line and ended up with 4 bream and 1 chub for 16lb 13oz. On the day this was good enough for 5th overall, and I was 3rd individual in the league. Bendix won the A division and we had only dropped one point all league, I can recall some of the team members were Ian Spriggs, Bob Sheppard and Andy Floyd.
The Thursday following this was when the great storm took place, with hurricane winds. The farm where I lived was damaged, with stable walls blown in, garage roof gone and porch ripped off the front of the house and found 60ft away. With this storm a lot of rain had fallen causing the river to flood. I came 4th in a Bathampton open on Newbridge a couple of days later, I had nearly 5lb of bleak from the cow drink below the shallows (boy could I draw back then!). Unfortunately the ATWL next day, and further down the river, was cancelled and the last match would now take place on the canal a week later. Also the Sundridge League all winners final that we had qualified for was transferred from the river Trent to the Trent & Mersey canal. The team were gutted about this as we felt we would have had a chance on the Trent, but we would now have to try our hand at bloodworm & Joker fishing!