Final round of the Commercial House today and the canal was my destination once more. Two sections were from the George to up past Bathampton bend (as normal) but the next 4 sections were Claverton and then Diggers out to Warleigh. These last 4 sections had not been fished much but are not as good as they used to be. Team draw done and I was on the last section from Warleigh bridge back towards Diggers, yuk! I got away fairly early from the draw and managed to get a parking space in the lay by, I think I would have been better parking in Diggers as that hill was a test coming back!
As I walked the section and arrived at my peg I was really pleased, I had some really good cover over in the form of brambles which helps as this part of the canal has no far bank depth. I pulled out the same rigs as last week, no surprise there then! With the 4x14 roach for use on the punch, the 0.4 grm and 0.2grm for bloodworm. A caster rig and a chopped worm rig were also put up, but as I never had a bite on these two rigs there is no more to say!
The angler to my right was Richard Lacey, he was fishing for Bathampton Red and as his team were in 2nd place I had to beat him, on my left was Thatchers young star Nathaniel Johnson. We were soon all feeding our liquidized bread, jokers, casters, etc and I fed heavily with my licky as I was hoping for a few bonus skimmers. Then the moment of truth as I slipped on a 4mm punch of bread, and then for 5 minutes nothing. Then a bite and a 3oz hybrid, next chuck roach and the next and the next. It was going to plan for me, the float was burying very quickly and I was catching a nice stamp of roach. 40 mins in and I was thinking a really good weight could be on the cards, and then I had a cast without a bite, and then not another bite! It was madness, I'd gone from getting bites on the drop to dead stop, it never showed any sign of slowing up. I just didn't get another bite on the punch from a roach, although a silly perch did prove the roach had gone. I reckoned I had taken 2lb on the punch, whilst my neighbours had struggled for ounces.
Although the punch had ended abruptly I assumed the roach would be pigging out on my joker, ummm wrong! It was a real hard task to raise a bite even on a bloodworm, and all my lines against the brambles were useless bar one which gave up 5 tiny fish all day. A line at 11mtrs to my left produced a dozen or so fish during the day but that was it, I can't say anything very interesting about the last 4 hours!
I had gone for a walk during the match and I could see I had been winning the section early doors, but I was concerned about my lack of fish after the initial burst. However, everyone in my section had endured a very tough day and my lowly 2lb 15oz was enough to the win section, with Rich Lacey coming second with 1lb 14oz. Nathaniel was trying to look on the bright side having only caught 11oz! I was obviously on a few roach, but I wonder if my positive feeding helped me make the most of the feeding spell?
Back to the results at the rugby club and the team sheet was looking good, we had all done well and were joint top on the day with Bathampton, and so of course that meant we won the league, yay! My team consisted of Martin Barrett, Mark Brennan, Liam Braddell. Gary O'Shea and Andy Power, although today the Power went to Viaduct and his flyer went to super sub Mick Hurst who just missed out on the frame.
On the day Nathan Hawke left the baby at home and caught some chub up at Ferry Lane for 7lb+, just a few ounces behind him at Diggers was Liam Braddell who had 3 big perch (and lost 2), and then came Gary O'Shea with a big 6lb which included a big skimmer, perch and chub from next to Nathan. The legend that is Roy Carter was 4th with 5lb 12oz just past Bathmpton bend, and last in the money was Kev Dicks.
The B division was paralysed by Dave Tippets team, they had already won the league before the day started, no surprise that Kev Boltz featured in their team. Well done lads.
The knockout winner was Paul Purchase, runner up Andy Ottoway.
Biggest fish with a 6lb 2oz Barbel was me!
Individual champion was a bloke who drew some half decent pegs, that'll be me again! Before the piss taking starts I should say I won't pick up any money for this. That's because when the league started I never expected to fish all the matches as I have been waiting for an operation since September, and so I never entered the individual pool money. So in 2nd place taking the money was Thatchers A leg end Leigh Trivett. Well done Lee, or is it Leigh, any chance of a pint mate?
Well done to Mike Goodhind, Vinny Lunn and Mark Harper for running a smooth league, I look forward to fishing it again next year.