I've just realised it has been a while since I threw in an old story or two, so as I am at a loose end and listening to the rain hammering down outside I thought why not.
October 3rd found me on the Avon at Laycock for the Commercial House, I was drawn in the abbey field on the peg with the rope swing. This peg was known to hold chub, but if they stay behind the rope which trails in the water you won't get them. I set up a stick float and a waggler both with 20 hooks to 0.1 line.I fed hemp and caster on both lines to begin and picked off a few gudgeon and dace on the stick whilst getting the chub confident by the rope I hoped! Eventually a switch to the wag produced a small chub, and a couple of ouncers. I changed to feeding maggot and took another 2 chub and ended with 8lb 4oz which won me the section and was 6th in the match, the team won comfortably. One week later and the river was in flood (sounds familiar) and I was sat on a nasty looking peg just below the carp hole at Chequers in the ATWL. Fishing with either gbait or maggot feeder I had 6 small eels for 14oz and just 6.5 points, the team came 3rd and we were now 2 points behind the leaders.
A weekend off was followed by a double header, although Saturday on the Thames at Radcot produced a blank! Sunday was once again the ATWL but this time I was up at Avoncliffe, pegged just below the gun turret. I fished a waggler down the middle of the river feeding caster but really struggled for bites, ending with just 2lb 4oz. The last two pegs in my section both had good bags of roach and suffered pike problems all day, I remember one of those anglers was Nicky Isles the other was Mike Kent. The team came 2nd on the day. I fished a small club match at Meadow Farm the following week and had a good first couple of hours on a 5BB wag with 3 no 10s down the line to my usual 20 to 0.1 and then a deep set up for a while, but the last two hours was dead. 7lb 4oz of little puppy chub was enough for 2nd.
On Saturday 6th November I chanced my arm on a Newbridge open, I drew peg 52. You won't be surprised to learn I fished a waggler, feeding maggot and hemp I caught small roach all day for 8lb 8oz and no good. The late Ian "Bloke" Pulsford a few pegs above me had 17lb of chub on the wag to win the section. I fished again the following Saturday and drew peg 9 at Rotork, the river looked good for bream and so I set up and fished just a gbait feeder. FAILED! Less than a 1lb was all I caught whilst 2 pegs away 38lb came out and did so in a few pegs at Newbridge. Never mind, Sunday was the Poppy Match and I could catch a few, but overnight rain had put the river into a serious flood (sounds familiar again). I actually drew opposite the outfall at Swineford, and had an angler above me on the old peg 1. I fished a gbait feeder all day again and sneaked out 11 small eels on mainly maggot hookbaits for 2lb 2.5oz. That was actually enough to get me 8th and in the frame! I am sure this match was won by the late Ron Gaulton, he had 3 bream over heavy caster feed in a slack.