The title of this post is nothing cocky, in fact its all a load of balls! Last night I attended a charity ball in aid of the charity "Its in the bag" which supports men with testicular cancer, and its strap line is "Check your balls!" I have three mates who have been affected by this disease and so I was more than happy to attend and sink a few pints of Guinness, and the odd glass of wine. It was a great night and the only trouble was getting home at 2am knowing I had to be up at 7:30am! Just one last thing on the ball, I learnt that it is recommended that us men check our balls once a month as it is the best form of detection of testicular cancer, and early diagnosis makes surviving the disease very likely.
Onto the fishing now, well getting up was a struggle as you can imagine, thankfully I didn't feel sick but was rather 'jaded'. I arrived at the draw and looked into my wallet to find just £20, I'd left the rest at home in my suit pocket, thankfully money bags and self confessed river legend Matty Parsons bought me a breakfast. There was a shock at the draw as Bathampton were a man short, apparently Derek Coles hadn't realised he was in the team and went to Bullocks Farm instead, lol! It got funnier though as they rang Leon Hubbard to come and fish but he had only got to bed at 5:30am after a heavy session, he did get to the match eventually so fair play to him. Mat (I'm gonna empty it) Parsons did the team draw and I was to fish peg 74, a good peg with lots of bream form in recent years, so no pressure on me to catch one then.
When I got to the peg I had Paul Purchase from Thyers on 76, he usually catches bream and so I would have my work cut out today. The peg was a bit awkward to fish and I couldn't be arsed to set my box up in the water so I would stand and fish. This also meant I would only be fishing the feeder today, and as the river was up and coloured I thought it would be the best bet (or was it cos I was so shagged I couldn't be arsed!). I decided to set up the one rod with a 14 B611 and 0.148 Exceed line and 25grm open end feeder. Long before the 11am start time I was ready and so it seemed was everyone else.
To start the match I threw in 6 balls of groundbait just short of the middle of the river, there was some worm and caster in the gbait. Second chuck on the feeder and a 12oz hybrid obliged, soon followed by a couple of small roach all on 3 red maggots. It went a bit quiet and so I started changing the hookbait, a 8oz roach took liking to a dendra, and then an eel and small perch took a lobworm tail. Two hours in I had couple of 12oz roach back on the maggot, but then no bites again. I was having to wait a long time for a bite and that tests your confidence when deciding what bait to use and trying to hit a roach bite.
Three hours gone and Nicola Lunn walked down, she only had 1 bleak from above the bridge, and when she walked the section I was in 2nd place as the angler right next to the bridge above me having had a 3lb bream. I took another small eel, perch and a few more roach but then in the last hour things went very quiet with just 1 roach until the last 20 mins when I then had an 8oz hybrid. It was looking like once again I was going to fish a good bream peg and not catch one and I was already thinking how much stick I was gonna get, but at 3:50pm I had the tiniest of drop backs, it actually looked like the feeder was moving in the current, and then it moved again so I struck..... Firk me there's a bream on the hook! I was now bricking it as I knew this fish would give me a good section result, and boy did it fight in the flow until it went into the landing net, get in! I cast out again with the same hook bait, 3 red maggs, but the feeder rolled after about a minute so I reeled back in again. I then took the maggots off and put on a dendra with two maggots and cast out again, and I was soon attached to bream number two. I landed the fish and alas the all out was called, damn, still a nice way to end the match!
I weighed 16lb 13oz to win the section, 2nd in the section was the angler above me with 7lb 2oz, without the two bream it would have been a bit close. Paul below me had 5lb of roach but said that he had missed loads of bites. Word all throughout the day had been that the river was fishing very hard and people were saying I would win the match, but that wasn't the case as I ended 5th and first out the frame. Lance Tucker won from peg 46 with 29lb, Dave Micklewright had 26lb from peg 18 and on peg 50 Darren Gillman weighed 24lb which included a near 5lb hybrid! Dave Wride was 4th from peg 1 in the little field and he also had a 4lb sea trout which of course didn't count.
Thatchers had a cracking day (all except Mat Parsons who came last in his section) with a number of us getting bream and we won the day with 47 points, Thyers were 2nd and Bathampton 3rd. This meant Thatchers and Bathampton were now tied on points at the top.
That's it for tonight, I am cream crackered and apologise for and poor grammar or mistakes but I am too fooked to check it! Good night and don't forget to check your balls.