I missed this match last year and was hoping that once again the bream would oblige and many anglers would get some decent weights. There had been bream caught most of the week at Newbridge and Frys and whilst the river was no longer heavily coloured it still looked great. There was a good turn out for this match with anglers coming from Swindon and Devises searching for slabs. I paired up with Lord Lucan (Glenn Bailey back fishing after a long break) who drew peg 7 in the Little Field, whilst I drew peg 34 on the straight which was OK for bream.
I set up two feeder rods, one with a 16 to 0.14, and the other with a 12 to 0.16. With these two rods I could swap between maggot and worm hookbaits. My plan was not to ball it at the start, but I had plenty of gbait so if it was dead after 2 hours I would then ball it. However, this plan went tits up when the lad next to me (and we were quite close) revealed 20 cannon balls of gbait. I thought I had no choice but to follow suit at the start for if the bream did go big time he would take them.
The river looked so good I expected to get a few roach bites on the tip to start but there was nothing. After an hour I had seen two bream roll just past my groundbait but had not had a bite, but seeing those bream gave me a confidence boost. Two hours later I was still without a bite and so I went for a walk, quite a long walk! From peg 3 in the little field to peg 43, and 1 bream was the best!
I spent the rest of the match admiring the wonderful bird life, a skylarks song, a couple of ravens, buzzards, woodpecker, lots of small birds and best of all a peregrine falcon. Then an admiral butterfly appeared, obviously awoken by the spring warmth and there were even.........OK I can't put it off any longer. Other than one small tap on the tip I never had a bite and blanked, in fact 4 of us in a row did. Bollox!
The match was won with bream but as you will see the weights dropped off very quickly.
1st Brian Melksham 70lb (just below Newton St Loe bridge) biggest bream 9lb 6oz
2nd Mark "ACKOO" Haskins 59lb (peg 61 Norfolk Reeds) biggest bream 8lb 6oz
3rd Alan Brown 27lb (I think peg 69)
4th ........ 13lb+
5th Martin Barrett 13Lb+ (just above N St L bridge)
Glenn had 8lb of small roach to win the little field and Rotork section. Leon Hubbard won the next section from peg 18 with one bream for 7lb. Nigel Saunders had 2 bream from peg 38, and Mike Shellard on peg 59 had 10lb.
Catch of the day....Darren Gillman with an estimated 15lb pike on the feeder (pike don't count). As Darren played the pike he noticed two small jacks following it around.
Laugh of the day...Richard Lacey snapping his brand new Maver feeder rod when casting out!
(Oh and at Frys 1 bream won the match, after there had been lots caught all week.)
One more match for me next week then an enforced break.