I guess you could say my match started on Saturday as I pegged the venue out along with a lot of help from Lee Trivett. When I say pegged thanks to Lee we bashed some pegs out, and 5 hours later we finally finished. Come Sunday morning I was hoping for a good peg and was happy with peg 15 up at Swineford. This peg has been fished a lot lately and there actually was an angler in the peg Saturday so I was just hoping there were still some hungry fish in there! For the 2nd week running I was pegged next to Callum Dicks, he was on 17 which is where I won the Poppy Match from a few years ago.
I set up a 2.5AAA wag with 0.14 to 16 B520, a Crowquill with same terminal tackle, and a feeder rod was set up with 0.16 to 15 B711. My plan was to feed caster and maggot down the middle of the river and hope to catch everything that swims on the float, but with a view to getting some decent chub and maybe some skimmers. I felt I would need 20lb+ because this section (from outfall to peg 19) usually throws up good weights. Feeding my first bit of bait the peg erupted with small fish, and I was catching little size dace and roach, very little! I immediately filled the pouch to the brim and tried to feed the little buggers off. By swapping between the wag and Crowquill I could get the occasional 1oz to 2oz roach, not enough quality by a long way. I had scaled down to 0.12 and a 20 in case I was putting off the more "wise" larger roach, but it made no difference.
Mid match and I was surprised to have not hooked a single chub or chublet, and I had a look on the gbait feeder over. The feeder was dire with only 2 pissers giving me a bite and they were both consumed by a pike. Mr Pike never took a fish from my mid river line, so he was obviously over the far bank. Back on the wag and despite constant feeding it was the same small stuff and so I upped the feed to two pouchfuls every run through! This heavy feeding finally got rid of the bits, but it also stopped all my bites and so I reluctantly tried the feeder again for absolutely nowt! Picking up the wag for the last 15 mins I had 6 roach all about 3oz to 4oz.
I knew I was on for a hiding as soon as Andy Floyd approached me with the weigh board (I had the scales) and told me of the various bream that had been caught. Callum had managed 6lb+ above me (only 3lb above him was caught) and I weighed 8lb 1oz, only beating 3 anglers in my section. Glenn Bailey had taken 11 bream for 49lb from the peg before the reeds (to win the match, fair play!) and Jerry Pocock had 2 bream in the last 20 mins (one was 6lb 14oz) with some bits for 18lb, Andy had one bream in the last 10 mins and a lot of bits for 14lb. So for whatever reason it seems I was at the wrong end of the section today, perhaps the peg has been hammered or perhaps I'm losing my touch! Glenn was told his peg is crap, but I have seen Bream come off it lots of times, and he fished well to only bump two and lose one lol!
The river did fish generally well, with Nick Chedzoy having 46lb of chub from Bitton Brook, Rich Lacey having 23lb of bream / skimmers from one below the New Fence. There were two 20lb's of roach and lots of high double figures of roach from the Crane. Jack Whites was a bit harder but still needed doubles to do well.
I forgot what teams did well sorry! To be honest the walking yesterday and thrashing the peg today knackered me out. I've had 5 radiotherapy treatments during the week and am taking 6 chemo tablets every day. I have to go to hospital every weekday for the radiotherapy treatment and tiredness is one of the early side effects, the later ones (should they happen) ain't so pleasant so I'm not worried about feeling like a zombie! Could do with a peg full of feeding fish this Sunday to make feel a tad better though!