I had a very bad cold appear Friday and still had it Saturday when I helped Martin Reyatt peg out this match down at Crane and Jackies. Martin had pegged Swineford Friday night and did not see a fish top, we never saw one on Saturday either, and a match up a Newbridge yielded as many blanks as catchers, and it was feckin freezing..... which all pointed to a tough match on Sunday.
Woke up Sunday morning thankful for the extra hour in bed as I had not slept well due to the cold, if I laid on my side my nose ran, if I laid on my back I coughed! I gulped down a couple of tablets and made my way to the draw and once again there were people moaning about the pegging. Well get off your arses and peg it yourself, but that won't happen will it. The draw was done by Chedz and I was given one below Bitton brook, a lovely walk (!) and obviously one off a flyer. I got to the peg after a stroll down the cycle track and found that Kev Boltz was the fortunate man on the brook. Vic Abbot was on the end peg in my section on the beach, but then realised he was in D section, ummm that's in the long ashtip 40 pegs away Vic!!!!! He walked it too!!! On the peg below me was Lance Tucker, and I told him Kev would win the section and he would be second.
My peg was going through faster than I would have liked but I still set up a crowquill as I thought I might get a few fish down the inside, though recently this peg has been a struggle I was still positive. I set up a feeder rod which initially was with a groundbait feeder with 0.16 to a 15 B711 to cast just upstream of a tree where the water was steadier and I hoped some chub and skimmers may be waiting. On the whistle I threw a few balls in downstream and then threw the odd small ball in whilst running the crow through. In 30 minutes I had 2 tiny dace and about a dozen snags. Onto the feeder with red maggots and after another 30 minutes I still had 2 dace, was the river fishing hard I wondered? At this early stage I went to see Kev who had some chub, and Lance who was getting a bite a chuck, hmmmm....
Fast forward to 3pm (we were fishing from 11 to 4) and I have added a substantial dace and roach to my less than impressive net! Thankfully no one was on peg 6 so I could avoid the dreaded 1 point! I should mention that I had swapped about a bit during the match with feeders, gbait versus maggot, all to no avail when at 3:10pm I had a proper bite and was attached to a decent chub. I gave this fish no quarter knowing there were plenty of snags about and soon landed a 3lb chub. I went to take the hook out and it was already in the net, and it was straightened out! That was end of match for me as I had no more bites, and I weighed 3lb 4oz for my 2 points. Kev Boltz had won the match off Bitton brook with 22lb 10oz of chub on maggot feeder and Lance had nearly 12lb of chublets and perch etc on the groundbait feeder, so I was a proper CHIP SHOP SAUSAGE, lol! The walk back in near darkness was made easier as Andy Britt walked with me, we were rather wet from rain or sweat when we got to our cars in pitch black darkness!
As I said Kev Boltz won the match, and he is drawing some very good pegs at present, but that said you've got to catch them, and Kev has had some bad luck in life along the way and as far as I'm concerned he deserves all the luck he gets in fishing. Second on the day was my OLD mate Glenn Bailey from a peg just below the locks at Jack Whites, he had a cracking 20lb 8oz of dace and roach on pole / stick float, better then catching carp on paste methinks, lol! Moaning Martin Barrett was 3rd with an ounce under 16lb of roach from peg 78 in the ashtip field. At the other end of the scale was poor old Shane Caswell and Nathaniel Johnson on the outfall pegs at Swineford, they both blanked. However, Shane thought he'd avoided the blank 10 mins to go when he had his only bite on the feeder, he hit the fish, played it, landed it, and it was a trout.... oops!
Thyers had a very good day and took top honours followed by Bathampton and then Thatchers, so halfway through and the top 3 in the league is Bathampton 6, Thatchers 7 and Thyers 8.
Next week Newbridge.......I can hardly wait I'm so excited!!!!