Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Season Starts in 1992

After my travels to Cornwall the arrival of June 16th heralded a nice short journey to the Bristol Avon. I was up early on the 16th and set myself up on a peg at Chequers that was opposite the weedbed on Frys. It was a bit tricky setting up in the darkness but as the daylight arrived I was pleased to see I had not missed out any rings on the rod when threading the line! It was a pretty straight forward approach, I set up a crowquill and a groundbait feeder and was going to fish bread. The fishing was steady and no small fish showed at all, I finished with 9 skimmers, 1 bream and 3 hybrids for 20lb. I lost a few that were foul hooked and I reckon that some of the fish were cleaning off in the weedbed and not feeding. A couple of my mates also fished, Martyn Wooding had 28lb of bream off the barge peg, and Andy Floyd had 22lb on the top of the straight. The one thing in common about all our pegs was that we were fishing in the shallow water.

On the 18th June I travelled with Bob Sheppard to Tockenham Reservoir. We went very early to try to get on the best pegs, but as we arrived in the car park two carp anglers were walking off to the pegs. Luckily we still got on the pegs on the point and were dead happy. I set up the pole to fish at 10 metres with 1 rig a 4x16 with an 18 to 0.10 smart. Bob was ready before me and starting throwing in groundbait around his float, before he had finished his elastic was out! I followed suit with the groundbait and although I didn't have a flying start I was soon into fish. If I put caster on the hook I would catch a roach, if I put red maggot on a skimmer would oblige. I also caught 3 tench and lost 6 lumps which smashed me up. During the day Mike Kent turned up and we let him fish on the peg in between Bob and myself, Mike didn't have a pole but by throwing gbait at a waggler he also caught plenty. My final tally was 44lb, whilst Bob had 60lb.

On Saturday my team had a practice on the river Axe for a future Superleague round. I was tasked to fish for eels but after 2 hours all I had managed was to lose two eels one of which was near 2lb. I then had a go on a wag feeding maggot, and after another 2 hours still had nothing! However, a couple of lads had tried fishing with brown crumb and had a few roach and so I mixed some crumb up and started throwing it at the wag. I couldn't believe it, I started to get bites and ended with 2lb 2oz of roach. It was clear the roach needed a cloud to make them feed.

I fished two matches on the Avon next but caught nowt but eels, so nothing more to say about that! I was back practising again on the Axe again and this time fishing gbait and waggler with a single maggot on a 20 to 0.10 I had 6lb of small roach and skimmers, and we all caught well.

On July 5th it was to time to see if our practicing on the Axe would pay off in the Drennan Superleague. I drew above Lympsham bridge and this area had not been to good recently, also I recognised the water level was well up. I set up a Paul Lumbard hand made waggler with 3 no8 and 1 no10 down the line and went with a 22 to 0.08. I fed a ball of brown crumb every single cast and caught on single white maggot (and later double squatt) fishing between 6ft and 10ft deep. At one stage Robbie Greenham (a Bathampton runner) came up to me and said "What are your lot doing, you are all catching loads!". I ended up with a lowly 4lb 1oz but that won the section beating Kev Dicks by a few ounces. Back at the results it was amazing as we had all done well, and we won the day with 93 out of a possible 104 points. It was quite funny when the organiser read out all the section winners and was continually shaking his head in disbelief as the same team name came out. It was a day never to forget as it is not very often that just one team gets on the winning method.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

April / May 1992

Getting bored with day time TV now and daily visits to get my wounds dressed, so here's a blog...

After my trip to Northern Ireland I had booked myself in for some more travelling as I was going to fish a league at a place called Porth Reservoir. I arrived at the venue for the first match and nearly choked when I saw the size of the water! I had little knowledge of the venue but it was going to be suck it and see for most people. I drew peg 23 and set my stall out on the open feeder. I fished with a size 20 hook to 0.10 hook length and cast about 35 yards out. Bites were very hard to get and all I could catch were small roach and tiny skimmers, but all around me were struggling too. A single maggot was best either red or fluro, and in the end my 3lb 3oz was worth 8 points out of 11 so not a bad start. This match was won with 109lb of bream.

One week later and back at Porth but this time on the other side of the lake on peg 99, this is a shallow area but can be good when warm as you are up by the nature reserve. I cast a feeder further out here 40+ yds and went with an 18 and 1.5lb maxima in the hope of better size fish. It sort of paid off as I caught 1 bream and skimmers all on a red maggot and worm for 9lb 14oz and 9 points. Peg 67 to 72 were hot with 112lb winning this match.

It was 3 weeks before the next Porth match and as this was to be fished on the May bank holiday Monday I decided to take the girlfriend down for the weekend. On the Sunday I pleasure fished a lake called Rosewater, a few hours here on a waggler with maggots produced 7 tench, 3 chub and some small roach and rudd, which impressed the girlfriend! Monday and peg 84 at Porth was a good draw for me and the girlfriend (in the sun). It was once again going to be all about the feeder, but I only cast 25 yds today and settled on an 18 with 0.10. The first 3 hours saw fish come in odd spells, the bites were very finicky which I put down to the bright sunshine, the last 2 hours were dead. The lake had fished hard and my 9lb 6oz not only won the section but got me in the frame 4th, almost paying for the weekend away.

The following Sunday I was back again at Porth and feeling very confident when I pulled peg 89. I had put my recent good results down to a new groundbait I was using, Sensas Bream 3000, and it was to become my choice of bream gbait for many years. This match was memorable as I had an angler called Clint Elliot on my left, I didn't know him, but he made me laugh by cracking off twice during the day and getting a lot of stick from people as I battered him. I started this match back on a 18 and 1.5lb maxima (can't recall why, I think I thought there might be a chance of bream and 0.1 might be a bit light) and cast a good 30 yds. I had a nice steady start to the match catching small skimmers and a little tench and a bream after 90 mins. Three hours in and things suddenly went quiet, I decided to tie up a 20 on 0.10 to see if I could pick up a few more fish, but before I could finish the hook length the tip had bent right round and I had a bream. I had 3 more bream in the next 3 casts before they disappeared. I ended the match with a few more small skimmers and weighed 30lb for a match win.

In keeping with my good run of draws (hee hee) I pulled peg 83 on the penultimate round. The pole was now producing a lot of fish but I stuck to my feeder and Sensas Bream 3000 approach. Once again I snared a slab and along with skimmers weighed 12lb 1oz to win the section and come 5th overall. I was now in with a good shout of doing well in the league as long as I could avoid a disaster. However, lady luck deserted me on the final round, I drew peg 6 in the trees and the girlfriend was not impressed as she was froze. I lost a huge fish on the pole and and only had 2 small skimmers all day long. I ended the league in joint 5th on points but 8th on weight and out of the money. Gutted to say the least, but other than the last match I'd enjoyed myself at Porth during the closed season of 1992.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Back to Square One!

Hey everyone,

Just a quick post to advise that I am finally back home after just over 2 weeks in hospital. My reversal operation seem to go well, but in fact it couldn't have gone worse. Three days after the reversal op I was given an emergency operation as I was going downhill fast. I'll omit the gory details, but after a lengthy op I ended up in intensive care and then 5 days in a high dependency unit and suffice to say I was touch and go for a while, the Docs said being fit was a major reason for me pulling through.

To top it all during the emergency op everything had to be reversed again, meaning I still have the bag. I also have an open wound which requires daily dressing and I've lost a stone and a half in weight (like I was fat anyway!). All this means my road to recovery is going to be a lot longer than I would have liked and I won't be able to draw any flyers for quite a while. Still I am determined to build myself back up again, take each day as it comes and get back on the bank when I can. In the mean time I'll have to be content reading blogs and magazines, thanks for all the support, see you soon.