After a few weeks off I was finally back fishing. Actually last weekend I spent an evening with Paul Benson doing a charity ball for two cancer charities; Orchid and Macmillan, and it seems we will raise nearly £3000 in total. Back to today and I was indebted to Martin Reyatt who called me Monday night to ask if I wanted to fish this match. At the time I was struggling to find a match and I thought great a days roach fishing. Buying some bait in Avon Angling the anglers in there all were telling me the carp had shut up shop and the roach and skimmers were the best bet. That was fine by me, a day of lots of bites!
Of course come the morning of the match we were greeted by Frosts, although not in the Jolly Sailor in Hanham for brekkie where it was very toasty! Onto the venue and the draw and I lent my Preston hat to Martin for the draw, and pulled out peg 12 for Martin and peg 3 for me. I was in a Bathampton sandwich with Andy Britt on peg 4 and Kev Dicks on peg 2. I was told the roach would feed better opposite me in the reedy pegs, but I was happy we'd catch them anywhere. I set up 2 pole rigs for roach at 4 mtrs, a 4x14 Drennan Roach at depth with spread shot and 20 to 0.09, a Preston Silvers 0.2grm float for half depth with the same hook and line. I had 0.6grm pencil float for out at 13mtrs, and that was it.
I started the match feeding some micros and dead maggots on two lines at 13 mtrs and started on the depth caster rig at 4mtrs. An hour into the match I was still waiting for my first bite, but Kev Dicks had taken 4 carp on a method feeder. It was fishing very hard, and 30 mins later I was off my box setting up my 10ft Preston mini carp feeder rod. I tied 0.14 to a 16 B911 hook and cast a piece of corn out on a straight lead for 20 mins for nothing. Kev had caught another carp or two and I knew I had to feed some bait on the tip, but with no gbait I opted for a small maggot feeder, filling it with about 20 magggots and some micros. After about 4 casts I had a wrap round and soon landed a fouled carp! Twenty minutes later a properly hooked carp was landed soon followed by another. Unfortunately this line then died on me, and I spent 2 hours with nothing on the tip or the pole.
Andy Britt with two tiny roach decided to pack up with 2 hours to go, and just before he left I had a couple of liners on the tip and then a carp, double red mag seemed best on the 8" hooklength. I had 3 more carp and a chub after this though frustratingly the last three casts produced 3 liners but no bites, still I hadn't lost a fish all day so can't complain.
It was clear Kevin had soundly beaten me with 12 carp on the method, and Mat Tainton on peg 10 had 10 carp on the pole, but it would be close for third between Martin Reyatt and myself. The scales went around and for many it was clear it had been a tough day with very few silvers feeding, and happily my 24lb 12oz managed to scrape 3rd and last in the frame. The final result was :-
1st Kev Dicks 44lb
2nd Mat Tainton 38lb
3rd Me 24lb 12oz
4th Martin Reyatt 18lb
Top silvers on the day with 7lb was Joe McMahon.
To sum up I got it all wrong as the roach did not feed, but to be fair I have never ever before not been able to catch roach at this venue, and yet I ended the day without a bite on the pole! Not one skimmer was caught today, and just 2 chub came out, I am glad I got off my arse to set up the tip rod, and changed my brain to carp.