I'm not into dancing or singing so time for a blog on a Saturday night!
November 3rd 1991 was the date for the middle Avon champs, unfortunately a lot of rain in the previous days had brought the river up and the peg I drew was going to be very important in the outcome. Peg 1 at Warleigh was a chub flyer but not in today's conditions. I managed 1 chub and a bullhead on a maggot feeder before the river further and made the peg unfishable. I always remember this match as Bill Milton was a few pegs above me where the river was wider and he was getting regular bites on the feeder. I spent most of the last 2 hours watching Bill and he reckoned on having 15lb, but his keepnet got snagged and he ripped a big hole in it. When he pulled out just 4lb he was gutted, even more so as he would have won. I think on the same match there was a thunderstorm further up river and Warren Bates narrowly avoided being struck by lightning.
I pleasure fished the Crane stretch of the Avon on the Wednesday, starting on the stick float I was bagging and had 6lb in an hour before the peg was covered in leaves. I packed up and walked to the New Fence peg and fished the feeder for a couple of bream but missed bites that I couldn't see due to the bloody leaves! Come Saturday I was fishing an open at Newbridge and the leaves had washed through. I drew peg 3 in the little field which I was really pleased about for a days fishing but doubted I could frame as I thought the bream pegs would dominate. With a lovely pace on the river the peg screamed stick float but I did also set up the pole but that was it for tackle. Using a 20 to 0.1 and feeding bronze maggot I caught roach, chublets, dace and perch all day, but I did have to alter my shotting and depth to keep catching. I ended a lovely day with 15lb 2oz and I sneaked into 4th place!
Sunday and it was the Poppy match (topical!) and I got drawn at Swineford, the last peg in the first field in amongst the reeds. The river being pacey was obviously very fast in this shallow peg, and I took a feeder approach from start to finish. I had a poor start though and only 1 chub and a couple of bits after 3 hours, but then things improved and 4 skimmers and another chub gave me a reasonable 12lb 4oz. I'd caught fishing two lines, down the middle and right over, and worm and caster was the best hookbait on the day. My weight was 9th overall and a few quid dropped in my palm for the 2nd day running.
Wednesday and I was on the last round of the Veals classic league at Newbridge. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I pulled peg 3 out again! However, the river was once again different as more rain had added colour and flow, but I thought the stick would still work and set this and the gbait feeder up. As the match started it soon became evident I had misjudged the pace and the stick float was not right today. Switching to the feeder about 1/4 of the way across the river I proceeded to have a very enjoyable day despite heavy rain falling for most of the match. I really noticed on this day how the hook bait affected the species I caught, bronze maggot brought quick bites from decent roach and hybrids, red maggots took me longer to get a bite but if I got one it was a skimmer. If I tell you I had 7 skimmers, 2 chublets, hybrids and roach for 26lb you can see I had a lot of bites on the feeder and a lovely looking net of fish. Bob Ingram of Diawa Gordon League had the next highest weight in my section, 19lb of skimmers on the stick float from opposite marina. I got back to the results to get my section money only to find out the bream had not fed well elsewhere and I had won the match! I ended the league with 47 points out of a possible 55, and first one out of the overall payouts, those 2 early poor matches cost me, as you only dropped one result, but in retrospect it was a good result for a spotty young un like me!