I had not prepared to well for this match at Newbridge because I spent 3 days working in Munich (and me bag leaked causing a right mess!) then had visitors from Hong Kong and went to a 60th birthday party on Sat. I did however manage to mix some groundbait for balling! It was not looking good based on lack on rain!
I can honestly say I really did not have a clue where I wanted to draw as the river is so low and clear it would just be a case of drawing on shedful. Well blow me, I was handed peg 33 on the straight (the peg I wrote about last week with the chub!) and I was pretty sure this would be dog shite. On the peg below me (36) was river ace Kevin Dicks and we both know these pegs are better with water in and are proper winter pegs. With Mark Harper on peg 20 (1st peg in my section) where 18lb of roach was had last week I reckoned I was going to be the wrong end of the section. I had a plan (as ever) and that was if I couldn't catch roach on the pole I was going to try to catch better fish, bream! That said I did set up a wag shallow for bleak (no more on this), a gbait feeder with 16 B611 to 0.14, 2 pole rigs for the balling line, 1gm pencil with 22 to 0.08 and 3gm PB Silvers with 20 to 0.1. Last rig was 1.25 gm with 0.14 to 13 B711 for chopped worm down the side.
At the start in went 10 balls of gbait with little food, I went straight over it with the pencil rig and in 30 mins managed 2 roach and a perch that might have weighed 2oz in total! I tried the 3 grm rig with a static bait but no joy and was soon on the gbait feeder feeding the far side. An hour and 30 mins in and I tried the chopped worm swim, you could have knocked me down with a feather when the float buried! A 6oz perch was soon followed by a 1lb perch and a 12oz perch, of course that line then went dead. At this stage Kev Dicks had walked down to see me and hadn't had anything as yet! Word had it the whole match was fishing terrible.
I wanted to go back in on the worm line after resting it but a huge narrow boat tried to turn around in the river, and due to the downstream wind could not. With his engine on full and rudder hard astern he went through about 7 pegs churning up the inside, twat! I went for a walk, and other than Colin Dance on peg 22 everyone else was really struggling.
I spent the rest of the match swapping between the feeder and the chop worm swim and having the briefest of looks in on the balling line. The feeder gave me 1 bite and a small perch, the balling line nothing. Another 4 small perch came from the worm line, so as you can tell it wasn't exactly frantic. The scales duly arrived after weighing Kev Dicks last in section 6.5oz (not often that happens) and I weighed 3lb 4oz which was enough for 2nd in section. Colin Dance won the section and framed wth 9lb 2oz (giving me section by default hee hee) of roach to 1lb. Meanwhile on the peg above Mark Harper had 12oz, and below Eddie Wynne 1lb+. A tight shoal!
There were some very poor weights and sections, but I won't dwell on those. Winning on the day with 30lb was ....wait for it.... Dave Haines ! I think it was the biggest cheer I have heard in a long time when they called Dave's name out. I heard a rumour that Nicola Lunn had stolen Dave's whips, and instead Dave fished waggler then feeder for a few chub then bream on caster. Next peg to Dave was the Karaoke kid Andy Britt and he had 26lb of skimmers on the pole. Andy Ottoway had yet another nice day with 17lb from peg 67.
On the team front the rivers form meant all teams suffered bad results, and somehow my team has now taken the lead in the A div by 1/2 a point!
I was pleased to see Nick Chedzoy starting to show a bit of proper river angler form, Chedz had 2 bites and one was a 3lb+ chub for 2nd in section. Scratching for lumps takes a bit of bottle! Meanwhile his travelling partner Nick Ewers is searching for the Samaritans phone number. As is Sean Townsend who after 24 years drew the end peg in the trees and said he would be dissapointed if he only had 10lb. He weighed 1lb 3oz (pmsl) and we all laughed as did Sean.
Crane next week, thank f%ck!