The 'New' in my blog refers to my visit to Windmill Lakes today, a newish venue at Coalpit Heath and one that I had mostly heard bad things about. However, Martin Reyatt and Shaun Townsend told me they had fished it and were going again on an open match, so I popped along to have a watch. The match lake is a large rectangular lake with two islands running down the middle, well not quite the middle as one side can be reached with a pole the other cannot. The first angler I met was Bob Warren, and it was good to see him again as he had a bit of a rough time a while back. Bob had 3 carp on the feeder cast to the island. I walked down the other end to find Shaun on peg 10, he had taken a few skimmers on the pole with soft pellet but just 1 carp. As I sat and watched him he started getting regular bites, but he had a hard job hitting them in the wind and when he did hook a fish he would lose it. It was so weird how he kept losing carp at the net, and after he played one carp a bit longer I thought it was not going to come off and so took a video. It didn't quite go to plan and here is the clip. WARNING DO NOT VIEW IF YOU DON'T LIKE STRONG LANGUAGE. (I was in fits of laughter.)
The 'Old' now and a dip back into 1993 and more trips to the Gloucester canal, a place I had many bad times on. I fished a match at Rea Bridge section and after 5 hours hard labour 3 skimmers and an eel was a pitiful return. Clayton Hudson won this match with 14lb. The following day on the 1st August I was back on the Gloucester for the team champs and had an even worse day catching just 1lb 8oz for 4 points from 25. The team came 12th and I was hoping I had done enough to get myself dropped for the upcoming super league match on the venue!
The following weekend saw me fishing a pole qualifier at Shearwater lake, a venue full of fish..... Some how I avoided them and caught 2lb fishing maggot and hemp for carp, groundbait and caster was the way forward. Sunday and back on the Gloucester canal for the super league (I think I was press ganged into fishing) and I drew peg 93. I had a bit better day (really!) catching 3lb 8oz on the pole comprised of 3 skimmers, 2 roach and 2 eels on bronze maggot over gbait, this was worth 9 points and the team came 4th but were now 2nd in the league. The following weekend I endured two poor days on the K&A canal at Devizes and this month was really getting me down, so much so I asked to be dropped from the super league match on the venue. I made the right choice as I ran the bank and watched the team come 2nd on the day and jump into overall league leaders. I then fished the river a couple of times at Crane with wag and mag to get a few fish in the net, chublets and roach providing a nice confidence builder.
Sat 4th September South West NFA Championships, venue Gloucester Canal, oh no!!! I was fishing this match but was really bricking it after so many poor results. However, lady luck kissed me on the cheek just lightly as I found myself drawn 3 pegs away from where I had caught 1lb 8oz. "How is that lucky?" Well I had thought that the last time I fished this poor area that balling in gbait was no good, and I should have just loosefed, so today that's what I did with maggots and hemp. Fishing the pole from 11 to 12.5m with a 1.25g float I had 5 roach, 5 eels and 2 skimmers for 3lb 10oz, for 18 points from 22. The guys either side of me balled it and as a result one blanked the other had 1 roach, a lesson learned had really helped me. Even better the team won the match to beat nailed on favourites Avon Bait, it was a major shock and we hadn't even bet on ourselves with Billy Knott. In fact Billy had made a load of dough and was so chuffed that he bought all of the team a drink or two each. Happy days!