This match was to be fished on Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites and I had spent all week holding onto a lucky rabbits foot and planted some lucky heather in the garden all to try to help me get a peg at Swineford! Let's just say the foot and heather didn't work. To begin with I couldn't believe it when I found out that the match had not been pegged out, and so myself, Kev Dicks and Lee Trivett did our best to come up with the pegging on paper! What we had to do to make it easier was put two sections in at Newbridge and that is where I drew, peg 66. To be honest this has been a good area recently for roach, skimmers and bream so I wasn't to worried about not being at Swineford.
After the long walk I arrived at my peg to find Steve Hutchinson below me on 67 and Kev Boltz above on 63. I went positive, two pole rigs the usual 1 grm and 2.5grm, and a groundbait feeder. I couldn't see anything else being needed here as I thought I would need bream. At the beginning of the match I threw in 12 jaffas of gbait and caster and emptied 8 big feeder fulls across the river. I then spent 25 mins without a bite on the pole and was just thinking it was going to be pants when a 12oz roach obliged. Next chuck and another roach and as I netted it there was quite a splash, as I pulled up the landing net I saw there was a 3lb pike in with the roach, it must have literally jumped in the net after the roach! Pike don't count!
I had quite a few roach over the next hour, not many but many were 6oz to 8oz fish so worth catching, Kev had been catching the same stamp but then had a bream and 2 skimmers on the pole to move ahead. I managed to sneak out a 3lb bream and a 1.5lb skimmer soon after and thought things were going well, but then my bites slowed right up. Then I hooked a lump, I wasn't sure if it was a big bream or a pike so I took my time with it and after about 5 mins I saw it was a 4lb bream foul hooked. Of course once I got it in close the hooked pulled out, bugger! This really killed the peg and the gbait feeder line was not giving me any bites, meanwhile Kev hit 6 skimmers / bream on the pole in as many casts. I decided to re ball the pole line and hope. It worked to a degree as I started to catch the odd roach again, and had another 1.5lb skimmer out of the blue. Then Kev chucked the feeder out over his pole line and had 7 more skimmers / bream in 7 casts!!!!! The last 45 mins for me was poor, a double figure pike had moved in and did both my rigs in and the feeder didn't produce either across or over the pole line.
I had the scales so had the joy of weighing Kev in first, and he had a fantastic 45lb 11oz and won the match. I weighed 19lb 1oz and that only beat Steve Hutch's 9lb, as the two other anglers in my section below Newton St Loe Bridge beat me! Andy Britt on the same peg he had last week snared 4 good chub to go with his roach for 21lb, and on the end peg which won the match last week (does this guy ever draw a bad peg?) was Shawn Kitteridge. Shawn had a couple of bream and a lot of roach for 23lb and 4th in the match. As it turned out the lost foul hooked bream cost me framing, but such is life, I had a nice days fishing!
Swineford threw up a few bream weights, Robbie Manns was 2nd overall with 30lb from the last peg in the first field, and on the peg below him Nick Chedzoy had 22lb on the feeder. Paul Barnfield was 3rd from the little ashtip with a couple of big chub to go with a good net of roach.
Thyers won on the day and they are now tied in first place with Bathampton overall, with Thatchers 2 points behind.
Next week is back up at Newbridge (assuming it is pegged) and we could with some more rain as the other section up by the pumphouse was only won with 5lb.