Don't let the title kid you, I did not get out and fish the river this weekend, I think it could be another month before I can wet a line. However, with the river season open again and this match on from Jack Whites to Swineford it gave me an opportunity to take a little stroll.
I parked at Keynsham Marina and took a walk up the Crane and I saw that the river was holding a good colour and was a bit pacey. My immeadiate reaction was this would be a bream river and those anglers not on them would be in for a hard day. It has been many years since I have seen, or fished, an early season match, but when I have they were always dominated by the good bream pegs and roach were hard to come by. As it turned out things haven't changed much.
I walked from the cattle grid up to the first peg in the long ash tip field, also bumping into Dave Haines and Liam Braddell who were having a walk. Bream had been caught around the cattle grid to parrot cage, mainly on the feeder, though Phil Stone had taken 4 on the pole. Don Sutherland seemed to being the best in this area with 9 bream. Most people said they were catching 2lb to 3lb fish, not the big boys we know are in the river but good to see fish of this size. The next pegs from the gantry up to the bay in the little ashtip were very poor, as these are shallower pegs where roach are normally caught I wasn't that surprised. Past the bay Martin Barrett had 7 bream, but his peg had dried up, all his fish coming to the feeder as he hadn't taken a pole! It was then that I heard that Callum Dicks had taken 25 bream up in the Cornfield, I wasn't going to walk all the way up there though! What was now obvious was a serious lack of small fish feeding, and reports from Swineford were that it was bream or bust, excepting Nathan Hawke who on the beach had 6 chub and unusually 4 bream.
I walked back and took a look at Jack Whites, as I was walking there Dave Micklewright came up, he had packed up and was going home and the anglers at the top end (shallow) that were around Dave were all virtually packing up. Lee trivett had managed to snare a bream from the steps, where the water was bombing through! Graham Hunt had taken 4 bream from the cow drink and told me that 1 bream had got stuck in the reeds about 30 yards below him, forcing Graham to go for a walk down to it, and he then dragged the bream back up between the reeds and the bank, I would have liked to have seen that!
I went home after this as that was probably as far as I have walked since my op, and I had a nice Father's Day meal to look forward to. Andy Ottoway kindly texted me through the top 4 anglers...
1) C Dicks 85lb 15oz (apparently he also won at Newbridge on Saturday, with 40lb)
2) M Kimber 42lb 8oz (He was on the New Fence peg)
3) N Richards 37lb 9oz (peg 18 Swineford)
4) S Portlock 26lb 6oz (peg 74 Crane)
For an opening season match on the river that really is a pretty good frame, mind you if the colour drops out it could be a lot different next week on the Superleague itself. That said I guess we will get a sh*t load of rain at some stage!
I'm off down to Viaduct Wednesday, watching the open and then staying the night in a lodge with some lads from Bristol (Glenn Bailey, Mark Tanner, Mike Nicholls, Bela Bakos and Martyn Woodington) who are down there now. Everyone has to share a room, and Mike decided he'd share with me, so he has the room to himself for 6 nights!!!
It will be good to see Woody fishing, as it must be 17 or 18 years since I last saw him fish, I hope he has improved! Only joking Woody!