I had decided earlier in the week that I was not going to fish this weekend, this was due the fact I was working in Germany for a couple of days and also have a bit of DIY to get done, better to do it now then when the weather warms up! Seeing the weather forecast for Sunday I'm now quite happy to stay at home. Next weekend I'm going to help with the AT winter league Semi on the K&A, and am hoping to watch some quality bloodworm anglers and pick up some tips for next year! I'll give an update on this match and how Thatchers did in deepest Kent!
On the 2nd September 1990 I fished Shearwater Lake for the very first time. I was way off the tactics needed to win and ended the match with only 15lb. Before the start of this match there were small carp sucking on the branches of the bushes, and myself and the angler next door had a match who could catch the most carp on a bare hook, I won 3 - 2, an amazing place back then!
The first Commercial House round of 1990 took place the following weekend, I drew peg 3 (now peg 2) in the bay at Frys, yuck! To start with the tide was coming in and fishing a stick I put a few dace and roach in the net. I had a bit of a row with the bloke on peg 4 because he didn't agree with me fishing with the flow of the tide, but in the end he saw sense! I ended with 3lb 15oz which was good enough for 3rd in the section, on the day lots of eels were caught on the maggot feeder, and it only took 7lb of dace to win the match, Frys was always hard!
Something had got me excited now, we were to fish the Div 5 National on the river Trent, a river I was really looking forward to fishing. A few of us booked in for a Wednesday open at Holme Marsh, and I drew peg 138. I had little clue what the peg was like, all I knew was that the weir field pegs were the ones to draw for big feeder weights and I wasn't there! The river looked lovely, a nice pace and just a bit of colour, it looked like a stick float job to me, so I set up a 6 no4 float with a 22 to 1.1lb bottom. The angler next to me was a local and he fished a pole which I thought was going to limit his chances. He was a friendly chap and was very open with information on the pegs we had drawn. During the match I fed 3 pints of maggot and 2 of hemp, and ended with 10lb 13oz to win the section, I had taken mainly small roach and gudgeon. The local chap had just a few ounces less than me and gave me a pat on the back for beating him! We talked about general approaches for the Trent and one thing he told me was at Caythorpe you had to chuck a feeder miles to catch chub, but that there were a lot of gudgeon in close. I remember that Martyn "Woody" Woodington got a battering from Roly Moses that day. Roly had the Trent roach sussed and fished a waggler deep shallowing up as the roach came up, he also caught bigger roach this way.
On the Saturday we walked the Trent from Stoke Bardolf to Gunthorpe with a local angler, he advised 22 and 24 hooks to 12oz bottoms for the float, with 22 to 1.1lb bottoms for the feeder! He also said don't feed hemp just concentrate on maggot. On the Sunday we fished an open, I drew peg 245 at Burton Joyce and fished a stick and fed 4 pints of maggot for just 3lb 1oz. I had a bad day with a lot of fish coming off the hook and also found a hole in my net, as 3lb 5oz won the section I was gutted. Interestingly my section had been won with all gudgeon. Another Sat on the Trent followed, I fished a feeder below Shelford weir for chub, skimmers and small barbel, Andy Floyd did the best with 10lb on a long chuck feeder, but Kev Boltz had 8lb on the pole fishing 4m to hand.
Sunday was back to the Commercial House, and I found myself pegged on the weedbed at Jack Whites (one below the stream). Back in those days without all our attachments it was a right nightmare trying to get banksticks into this peg! The peg was chocolate colour as the stream had flooded overnight, but right across there was a run of clear water. I decided on a waggler attack into the clear water, fishing 3ft deep with a 20 to 1.8lb Tectan (remember that brand of line?). I had bites all day to end with 11lb 10oz of dace and this won me the section just beating Melvyn Holbrook. The match was won with 30lb of Dace, and if you didn't know it was caught by Woody, he did tell a few people about it so you might remember this feat!
Last match of September 1990 was one for me to forget. I drew the 1st peg below the pump house at Newbridge and was convinced I would bag on the wag. I couldn't get any bites and ended with 2lb 9oz of eels on the feeder for plumb last in the section, ouch! Going into October was all about the build up to the National, I'll go into the final practise sessions and the main event itself in another post.