Back on Newbridge today and this match would be OK for pegging as it is permanently pegged! The river had taken on a hell of a lot of colour from the previous 24 hours although it was not pacey at all. Talking to Leon Hubbard we both thought it would either be a bagging match or crap. Well I drew peg 20 just before the pump house, a good peg generally but the area had been poor in recent weeks. On peg 22 below me was once again Kev Boltz, I hoped for revenge, but hope was all I had!
I was convinced this would be a bream match, and on this peg most fish are caught on the bream line so I set up two pole rigs; a 3grm with 0.12 to 16, and a 3grm flat float with the same gear. I also set up two feeder rods, one with a 16 and 0.14 and the other with 11 to 0.16 for lobworm. No point in setting up a float today, plus there were lots of leaves on the surface. At the start I threw in 18 bombs of gbait, thinking this would help hold any bream later on. I started by trying the normal 3grm float, and it took me about 10 mins to get a bite and a little 4oz hybrid. Next chuck a roach, two chucks later another 4oz hybrid. I expected hybrids as they normally feed in coloured water, and then I hit a decent fish. What it was I don't know as I pulled out of it just as it came near the surface leaving a boil. A few runs through later and I had a nice 12oz hybrid now this was more like the stamp I wanted! I thought these fish would come better to a static bait so I went out with the flat float...and never had a bite!
Back on the normal float and it was dead until out of the blue a bite and a skimmer of nearly a pound and a half. I couldn't get another bite, I tried the flat float and the feeder over this line but it was shot. Resting it I cast the feeder across a few times and settled in on this for an hour for 1 perch! It was evident the river was fishing hard, with some anglers still only having ounces, but I still couldn't work out why my bites had died. I did reball the pole line, that gave me 2 small roach and a foul hooked an eel. So I stayed on the feeder but only had 2 bites on this, hitting one which was a 8oz roach. I tried various hookbaits during the day, and only had one bite on a worm which surprised me, red maggot was best for me when I had the fish early on.
Once again Kev Boltz had given me a lesson, he lassoed 3 bream for 12lb whilst my net went 4lb 8oz only 3rd in the section. When I say lassoed, he actually caught one by hooking a lost feeder from ealier in the day and a bream was on the end of that old rig! OK I give up Kev! Shaun Townsend was 2nd in the section from peg 14 with 6lb.
The pegs below Kev in the next two sections nearly all had bream, with Thyers anglers Paul Purchase landing 3 for 18lb (I heard 2 were fouled!) and Paul Bromsgrove having the same weight including a foul hooked slab, they tied for 1st overall. Thyers won on the day with 40 points, Thatchers 2nd with 38 points and Bathampton 3rd with 28 points. League is now -
Thyers, Bathampton, Thatchers, Wilts Angling, Amalgamation.
Quite a number of anglers got out of jail with late bream, none more so than team mate Leigh Trivett who had a last cast bream of 7lb 14oz in his 8lb 10oz! Meanwhile Darren Gillman was last in section for the 2nd week running, that shows how tough the river is at present as Darren is one of the most consistent river anglers around.
Next week is the Poppy match, and I hear that many tickets are sold and it should be well over a 100 pegger. I wonder if my luck will come back next week, cos at present I seem to be wearing something that the bream don't like, lol!