I think on my last look back in history I blanked at the Docks to end 1993 on a low point. Well to start 1994 I blanked again at the Docks, this time at Gas Ferry Lane, just 1 perch was caught in my 10 peg section, rat tip! Things weren't much better the following weekend when I fished the K&A canal at Darlington in the 4th round of the ATWL. I drew in the bay and it seemed devoid of fish as I only managed a handful of tiny fish on bread and pinkie for 9.5oz which was worth 8 points. The team had a disaster coming 10th and we were now 6th overall with a couple of rounds left to go.
During all the this time the Bristol Avon had been at the top of it's banks or even over them, and hence the matches on the Docks or canals, back in 1994 the canal was only a reserve venue and not fished that much. My lack of canal fishing was on show once again when I blanked on a round of the Commercial House on the 16th Jan, three matches and two blanks to start the year, I was really flying! Thankfully the river dropped and the following Saturday I got a pleasure session in at Limpley Stoke on a steadyish peg. I fished a 3BB stick float with a 22 and 0.08 and eventually settled on feeding 10 casters and 4 maggots every cast. Using either single red or bronze maggot on the hook I had 6 chublets and some roach up to a 1lb for nearly 13lb, well that was better than the canal! The next day and on the river at Keynsham for the ATWL I drew 5 pegs below the New Fence peg. The river was pushing through here and it was an out and out feeder job. I fished a big open end feeder down the middle of the river with an 18 to 1.5lb maxima. Using either triple maggot or double caster I caught 3 chub and 2 roach (one of 1lb) in the first half of the match and then had no more bites. Those fish weighed 5lb 9oz and were enough to win the section, the rest of the lads did well and we won on the day to drag ourselves back up to 3rd overall with one match left.
One week later and the river was in flood again (sounds just like 2013!) but I tried another pleasure session at Limpley but this time one 10oz roach on the feeder was my lot. The next day was another Commercial House match on the canal, this time I drew up at Dundas and was the first peg as you go over the Aqueduct. The end peg advantage was to prove fruitful and my approach was to fish a whip 4mtr to hand with a reverse crowquill and 22 to 0.08, I would have had a bulk of 10's with 1 dropper I reckon. I fed groundbait with squatts in and used a pinkie on the hook and the first hour was great with lots of small skimmers and roach and gudgeon. As the match wore on I reduced the feed and changed down to a 26 to 0.06 and managed to keep the odd bite coming. My weight of 4lb 3oz was one of my best on the canal, and it secured me 3rd place on the day and a £100+ payout.
The 6th of February 1994 was the date of the final round of the ATWL and the match had to be fished on the canal. I had a much longer walk this time, being 7 pegs past Beeches Bay, and in an area that had not been very good. My whip approach yielded only 1 roach and 1 gudgeon and so I went across with pinkie and had 2 roach, 2 gudgeon and 1 tiny skimmer. I did manage 3 roach on caster but in total my 10 fish weighed just 11.5oz. That was good enough for 10 points out of 12 and I was only beaten by 3 pegs in the bay (see there used to be fish in there!) and so I guess really my peg must have been solid! The team had redeemed itself by winning this final round, but the 10th place on the previous canal match had done too much damage and we ended the league in 2nd place.