At least in 1990 when we got knocked out the world cup we played well and were hard done by the hand of God. Yes I stayed home this weekend, did the BBQ, beer and footy lark, 2 out 3 ain't bad I suppose but I drank my sorrows away. Wot a bag of shite England were.
Talking of shite, I fished the middle Avon champs at the beginning of November 1990 drew Candys and caught a 1lb of bits! The following week I fished a Bathampton open at Newbridge. I drew peg 68 and got bitted out on the wag, so I upped the feed and fed off the bits and had no more bites! Peg 52 won on the day with 54lb of bream, but pegs 72 to 79 all produced plenty of chub, sadly these days those pegs hold hardly any chub. Never mind after two bad matches it was onto the Poppy Match which I liked. I drew up the Crane, just below bread point and a nice walk, and I caught sod all! In fairness after trying the wag for chub I fished for bream on the feeder and it was a bit like fishing for cod in the K&A, there ain't none there.... The match was good for many though, with 56lb of bream winning from Jack Whites, and 16lb was needed for 20th place.
After three dreadful matches I was hoping things had to get better on the next round of the Commercial House fished at Frys. I drew one peg above the lone tree (now a chub flyer) and went for bream on the feeder again, and again it didn't work for me! However, this time I was able to catch small fish by loose feeding maggot 1/3 out and running a crowquill over it. Red maggot on the hook was best, using a 22 hook to 1.8lb Tectan, and my 4lb 8oz was 2nd in the section.
I was picked to fish a superleague match the following Saturday on the Taunton & Bridgewater canal and I was drawn at Creech. I recall this match very well, because I went to a party the night before at Andy Leonard's house and ended up sleeping on his sofa. Without any alarm I was obviously still in dreamland and I don't recall quite how I did get woken up. Meanwhile Kev Boltz was at my house asking my parents where I was and was thinking he would have to go and tell the team I was AWOL! I remember walking to my peg in a hail storm that was so cold it made my hands go red and numb (like my brain felt anyway). I drew next to an angler (who I don't think fishes anymore) called Dave Gregory who I knew at the time, and he felt it would be a tough match. I could see why, the canal was absolutely gin clear! I decided not to bother setting up a pole, instead I just went for a 3 no4 Drennan canal grey set up on running line. I put 2 no11 shot down the line and used a 24 to 1.3lb tectan. I threw a couple of small balls of liquidized bread in down the middle of the canal and set about a days punch fishing. It was really hard, and after an hour other than 4 roach all I could get was the odd rudd fry! Thankfully by sticking to my guns I was rewarded with two 1lb skimmers about mid match, but nothing much after that. I weighed 3lb 4oz and that was worth 9 points from 12. I was however really chuffed to come 4th in the section because in the last 2 hours a bream shoal fed in the last 3 pegs of the section, and those anglers were not only the top 3 in the section but in the match overall. The team surprised many by coming 2nd on the day, but that still meant we were only 7th overall.
My confidence after that result was smashed the following day on the 3rd round of the ATWL when I drew 1 below Saltford weir, where the boats enter the locks. Here for about 20 metres out the river was just swirling around on itself, and all the rubbish from floods was sat on the surface swirling around. I caught 2 roach by chucking a feeder miles out and standing up on the bank, I did have 2 other fish on but lost both in the rubbish. My 9oz got me 3 points some how, but it was one of the most frustrating days of my fishing life. The team came 3rd on the day and were now joint top with Bathampton, so at the half way stage it was still all to play for.
Hopefully back on the bank this Sunday for a match.