I am still getting my wounds dressed daily so I have no opportunity to get out fishing at present, and quite frankly with the weather being so wet and cold I don't think I could stick it out for too long. Come on sun let's being seeing you!
I had a Wednesday off on the 8th July and fished an open at Shearwater lake. Having not been there for a few years I knew the carp had grown but was unsure how to catch them. My tactics were waggler at full depth (4ft) 25 metres out, feeding balls of groundbait and caster by catty. For the first half of the match I struggled for just one small carp, but then I started to catch the odd skimmer and had a few small carp in the last hour. I weighed 16lb 11oz which won the section by just a few ounces. This was a nice distraction from the team matches, and I was now going to have a run of matches on the K&A canal. First up was a team practice at Whaddon but we all did our own thing! I fished up and down the far bank shelf and found loose feeding pinkies was best to catch small skimmers and roach. I had 4lb 4oz using a 4x10 float with 0.08 to a 22, some of the lads caught tench right across over balled in groundbait. The next day I was fishing the K&A Team Champs and I was drawn at Seend at the Willows end of the section. There was always a chance of carp here and I set my stall (originally) out for bigger fish, using caster. I had a poor start to the match landing just a 10oz tench and 1 perch as well as losing a carp in the first 2 hours. I changed tactics to fish for bits to put something in the net and fished pinkie over loosefed squatt, this brought small skimmers. I had the odd look across for a lump but they never showed in my area on the day and my lost carp was going to cost me. I weighed 3lb 10oz which was worth 36 points out of 65, so not great at all. My poor result was made worse when the team came 7th which was the first place out of the team payouts, nuts!
I did fish a Bathampton open at Newbridge on Saturday 18th, I drew peg 52 and fished for bream loose feeding heavily with caster. I got it wrong and the bream did not show and I chucked back 4lb. Pegs 74 and 75 were top with roach on the pole and on peg 53 Gary Cross battered me, fishing my normal method of waggler, with 10lb and he came 3rd. Sunday and back on the K&A at Whaddon for the Superleague, and the team were keen to do well after our first round win. I drew what I was told was a poor area and that turned out to be spot on! I fed a line for tench (but never had a bite) and did as I had done in the previous match loosefed squatts across, this time to a very small patch of lilies. Utilising the same 4x10 rig I winkled out tiny fish for the first 3 hours, ending up having to fish behind the lilies to get a bite. A hard 5 hours yielded a lowly 1lb 10oz, but amazingly that was 3rd in 13 peg section! The team had struggled though and came 6th on the day which dropped us to 2nd overall and we'd already blown our big first match lead.
Wednesday 22nd July and I found myself back at Shearwater again after travelling down with Bob Sheppard. I had drawn the next peg number to the legend Bob Nudd, well actually I was opposite him at the top end on peg 80 and close enough so that we could talk. I fished the pole at 11m this time, the peg was just 2.5ft deep here, feeding balls of gbait and caster again with a 20 to 0.10. After 2 hours I was blanking, and Bob had only had 2 fish, so I decided to go for a walk, a long walk! I walked nearly to the dam and took Bob's car keys off him so I could go back and pack up as all around me was poor. When I got back to my peg Mr Nudd said he'd seen a couple of carp top in my peg and I should give it another go, well you don't argue with a world champion do you! Incredibly I managed to get the odd bite from small carp, and I remember getting some good advice from Ian Parsons who sat behind me for an hour. I finished with 12lb 10oz which won the section beating the same angler into 2nd as last time here by an ounce (he wasn't too happy). As for Bob Nudd he had 8lb, and he congratulated me for catching and I thanked him for telling me to have another go, he really is a great man.
I fished a Billy match at Swineford on the Sunday, I drew peg 12 which I didn't fancy that much. I was bitted out on the wag despite feeding heavily, so I switched to the feeder for a bream and a chub, 8lb 4oz won the section by default. I recall 17lb of dace coming from peg and lots of roach were caught on tares in the second field.