A tad bored at the moment, at least yesterday (Monday) was a nice sunny day and I walked down the cycle track to see the river near Swineford, Bitton brook was full of small fish taking respite from the raging main river!
November 1992 started for me with a poor draw at Meadow Farm on the Middle Avon Champs, all I could muster was around a 1lb 8oz of tiny roach. The river fished hard throughout and only 13lb was needed to win from the peg below the white pole at Meadow Farm. (I wonder if that pole is still there?)
The following week and a double header, sarting with a Bathampton open at Newbridge. Peg 19 was my home and I started like a train with some good roach in the first 45 minutes on a stick float. However, this was a false dawn and the remainder of my match was a disaster with hardly a bite coming to stick or waggler and I threw my 5lb back. Sunday was the Poppy match and I was drawn at Jackie Whites a couple of pegs below 123. I fished for bream on the feeder as this was what I expected to win, but bream hardly showed through the whole river so I got that wrong! I had 4 chub for 7lb 5oz and no good, the match was won a few pegs below me where an angler took an 8lb pike along with 1 bream and bits for 17lb.
During the following week a lot of rain fell and on Thursday the weir at Keysham had disappeared threatening to call off the Commercial House at Frys. By Saturday it was deemed fishable and so the match was pegged out, unfortunately another deluge of rain fell during the night and the river that greeted us Sunday morning was high and rising (rose 1.5 feet during the mach). I drew about as bad as I could have given the conditions, 2 pegs above the barge with the river banging through on the inside. I needed 2oz of lead to hold bottom just off the rod end, and even then the tip would pull right around as the line, feeder and hookbait became covered in leaves and debris. This was one match where I was convinced I would blank but I kept plugging away in the hope an eel would find my lobworm before the leaves did! Then with about an hour to go I reeled in and saw the usual trail of leaves, but then some of the leaves were shook off and a small eel revealed itself, yippee! I have never been so happy to catch a fish, and it was a real surprise. The eel weighed 2 1/2oz, which was low down in the section but got me through the knockout. 5lb won the match and 2lb+ framed.
The rain continued on and off all week, and so it was the anglers fishing the ATWL at Newbridge were faced with another flooded river. I was on peg 27 and on the next peg was Leon Hubbard who I happened to have drawn in the knockout. The attack today was dead simple again, a one rod job on the gbait feeder. I wrote in my diary "I struggled for 3 1/2 hours fishing like a prat." Basically I fished too far out, I then came in off the rod end and started to get a few eel bites, by this stage Leon was way out in front. I was fishing the end of a lobworm and started catching eels when I hooked something big which swam off out into the middle of the river, and withing seconds the hook pulled out. I was really peed off after the match, I had fished a bad match and was going out of the knockout. I weighed just 2lb 3oz for 7 points and then Leon pulled out his net which should have had 4lb+ of eels in it... but he had a hole in his net and only weighed 1lb+!!!! Leon was as you can imagine gutted, and I was a lucky git. My team had a good day and we won, and Silstar Bathampton came 4th which meant my team went into the overall lead.
Even more rain fell for the rest of November, in the end 7 inches fell during the month, rivers burst their banks and Bristol suffered some flooding issues. The Silver Dace Xmas match was transferred to the K&A canal. I didn't have much of a clue on fishing the canal (I can hear some saying I still don't lol) and it showed. I fished groundbait and pinkie on the whip for 35 small fish, and loosefed caster and pinkie over for 8 better roach. My 1lb 10oz was off the pace and all the top weights came to punch bread, a bait I ignored for a long time and I can't remember why.
Actually I might as well finish writing about one more match that was in December, because I continued to catch feck all for the rest of the year! It was my team's (Bristol Sensas) Xmas open, and it was on the river at Chequers as the river was back in its banks. It was now running clear but very fast, something that only really happens after massive rain fall. I drew rubbish again, just round the top of Chequers straight and the peg was a mass of boiling water. I tried casting over into the bay with a feeder, but I could not hold with 3.5oz of lead on. Dropping a maggot feeder down the inside under a bush I extracted 4 roach, 2 perch and 1 dace for another 1lb 10oz. Something I remember very well was going for a walk to see team mate (and eventual match winner) Ian Spriggs who was in a nice slack peg. Ian was plopping an open ender just a rod length out and a few feet down the peg, he had no bend in the quiver tip so he could see bites easily. He had already had bream and chub when I arrived and he was just baiting up with 3 red maggots on a 16 barbed hook on a 14" long hook length. Ten minutes later Ian wound in after not having a bite and every maggot was gone!!! He looked at me and checked if he had baited up and I assured him he did. How a fish took those maggots without showing an indication is something I will always remember!