I was booked in to fish Tony Rixon's open at Viaduct Match lake, but both me and the wife were feeling unwell and I cancelled, plus I have to travel to the Houses of Parliament Monday so the rest was best.
After a a few skimmers and eels for 5lb 5oz and 4th in the Flowerpot evening match at Frys I was preparing for a practice with the rest of the team on the river Axe. I fished to my strengths (with no other info) which was the wag and maggot, and had a nice 7lb bag of roach, plus a few eels on the pole. On the Sunday I was back on the Avon at Newbridge in the Skanderborg challenge and found myself drawn towards the bottom of the trees and not a good area (back then). Twenty one teams fished this event and I think the top 10 went through to the next round. The river was very poor (although quite normal for Newbridge early season) and I only managed 1 small chub a handful of roach and 2 eels for 2lb 2.5oz. Wag, pole and maggot feeder were all tried, but my efforts only gave me 8 points. However, the team came 8th and we progressed to the next round. I noted in my diary that 55lb of bream won from peg 53, and those bream still live there don't they!
A bad draw on the next round of the Flowerpot series at Jack Whites messed my head up, I had about 10 yards trot and 2lb 2oz was pathetic. A pleasure session at Jack Whites (to get my head sorted) on the bread and crowquill produced a 3lb chub, roach and hybrids, and 8lb of skimmers. Sunday I was back on the River Axe for the Sundridge Super League match (my practice weight having gotten me into the team) and I left the house in brilliant sunshine wearing shorts and a T Shirt. By the time we got to Bleadon the sun was gone and I spent the whole day shivering in drizzle. To make matters worse I could not catch on any method and I weighed 2lb 2oz (see a pattern forming on this weight?) for 3 points out of 11. I was feeling rather down about things, I could go pleasure fishing and catch but in matches I was struggling. Guess what, a 4lb 4oz (oh well double the usual!) on the Flowerpot match at Chequers for no where was then followed by 16lb of hybrids pleasure fishing at Jack Whites after a tide. Always fish after a tide for bream, I think it disturbs the bottom and the bream seize upon the moment to eat some freebies.
My run of appalling results in July was to continue, in the next round of the superleague, on the K&A at Whaddon, I weighed a huge 1lb 11oz thanks mainly to 1 tench! Still it was worth 8 points so not a complete disaster. Then it was onto Castle Ashby Game Fair in Northampton. At the time the team I fished for was known as Bristol Sensas, and Sensas Supremo Trev Tomlin asked my captain Andy Floyd if we would go and fish this invitation match. The guest house we had booked was run by Albinos who kept giving us funny looks and seemed to by eyeing up our car, but once we put a tray of maggots under it they screamed and took no further interest! The rooms were less than adequate but we were stuck in Northampton now. Andy and I headed off out to find a pub, and after what seem like an age we finally found one. I think we were in there for about an hour before we clocked it was a gay bar for both sexes! Andy wanted to leave, but as there were no other pubs about I said as long as we sit together we'll be safe, plus it was rather fun to watch a couple of lesbos kissing and canoodling! Onto the match and there were many angling starts present, including the one and only Ivan Marks, and I only went and drew next to him! He told me this part of the lake was poor and I could see why, it was 18" deep and after about 10m was solid with weed. I fished next to the weed for tench and managed to lose one foul hooked, I then came in on a closer line on maggot for 2lb of bits until I hooked and lost a monster that I couldn't prevent from getting into the weed! Ivan just beat me fishing for bits all day with bloodworm, but it wasn't about the result more about the chance for the visitors to see fish being caught. For some reason Ivan attracted a bigger crowd than me (lol), and it was a day I will never forget.