Sunday, 30 June 2013

Frys AC Match, Bristol Avon Frys

Well my first river match of this season came round quicker than I expected. I couldn't get on any commercial fishery matches, or at least any that I fancied, and so I sneaked in on this Frys match. Now Frys can be a tough nut to crack, but believe me it is full of fish and there are loads of bream. However, I decided to get myself prepared for it like I always did in years gone by... I went out the night before and had 6 pints of cider. I was a little woozy when I heard the alarm for some reason! Maybe that was the reason I didn't stack the car right and my box went over as I went round a corner, look at this mess, 1 drawer completely empty!

 It was good to see some old faces again, anglers like Warren Bates, Dean Harvey, Derek Coles to name just a few! After a breakfast in the Crown pub it was on to the car park at Frys for the draw. I didn't actually draw a peg I was handed one, quite funny really, but all above board! When I opened it up there was no number on it, it simply said "Culvert". Well I knew where that peg was, about 2 fields away and a place where bream live.

I got to the peg after a nice walk down across one pristine field, and one that was full of 3ft grass. My downstream neighbour was venue expert Derek Coles, and above me was another bream head Dean Harvey. As I was setting up I saw a bream roll, nice, and so the groundbait feeder was set up first a nice big open ender, a 14 B611 to 0.128 exceed. I also set up a crowquill with 0.11 exceed to 20 B611 and that was it. I had a nice well cut out peg to fish, and my box was about 3ft off the water with reeds in front and nettles behind, casting would be tricky, see piccy (can you spot my box?).

I started the match on the feeder putting in plenty of casters in the feeder plugging it off with Sonubaits F1 and brown crumb. After 15 mins I had a small chublet, and next chuck a proper bite and a 2 1/2lb bream was netted. Thirty mins later I hadn't had another bite but then the tip did another merry dance and I landed another bream of the same size. Things went quiet then and I changed my hook bait from red maggots to worm, that brought a couple of perch, oh dear usually a bad sign. An hour and a half later I was about to pick the float rod up when I had a slammer of a bite, the tip flew over and stayed there. Bream number 3 was landed and this one was bigger, over 4lb. If you look at the picture below you can see the culvert opposite me, and I was casting downstream of this, but well across. You will also notice that the river was flat calm, this was before the match, during the match it just got windier and windier, so bad I had to put the rod down to the water to see any of the rare bites!

At this point the sun came through and the fishing would get harder, I tried the crowquill a couple of times, just to rest the feeder, but it was a waste of time as the wind wouldn't let it go through properly. So I took it off and set up a 3AAA waggler with 5 no8 shot down the line. Even this was hard work in the wind but I did catch the odd small roach, dace and perch on it and I enjoy fishing a wag so it was real fun to do it. Of course these small fish weren't going to do me any good in the match so I had to get back on the feeder. It seemed that the bream had gone off the feed though, and Derek came up and told me he had 3 bream but no bites for ages. I persevered and then a good bite and a good fish, but bugger I pulled out of it in close, at least it was out of the shoal. Next chuck and the tip went round again and another 4lb+ fish on the worm. I thought maybe they were on the feed but alas all went quiet again, and so I had another spell on the wag and then with 20 mins to go chucked the tip out again. Five minutes left and lovely drop back and bream on, in the net, end of match!

Derek came up and said he had no more, but had lost 2 bream (one snapped him), and so I thought I must have beat him, Dean had 4lb of roach above me and came down with the scales. I went first and weighed 20 12oz and Derek's 3 bream and 2 perch went 18lb 6oz, I reckon two of his bream were well over 6lb! I'd done enough to win the match as the other end of the river had not fished well with 5lb being top, but those anglers could drive to the river bank and didn't have a long walk. I'll take the long walk and some fish thanks! Here for a change is a piccy of my fish..

So what about the lovers of commercials? Well I hear Mike Nicholls had a torrid time at Viaduct and even went for a swim, looking forward to reading his blog lol! My usual travelling partner Glenn Bailey went down to Summerhayes drew a flyer and came 2nd his favourite position on his favourite bait, paste! Happy days!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Landsend Top Set Plus 3, Or a Day to Forget!

Glenn wasn't that keen on this match at Landsend as his results aren't great there, neither are mine come to that! However, with a bit of persuasion and after his week of bagging he fell for it. Our day started well in that I picked him up on time and we got to Shipham cafe trouble free. The breakfast was excellent and I bumped into some old friends (so old they didn't recognise me, lol) and we were soon on the road again. It was not long after we came across a "Road Ahead Closed" sign, we tried to call some anglers if this was for real but got no answer and so we decided we should follow the diversion. The diversion took us around 10+ miles out of our way and we had to ring up again (got an answer this time) to advise we would be late. Not sure if we were the only ones to not know about the diversion but hey ho!

Ten minutes past the draw we arrived and I may have fired off a few "fecks" at Tony who told me to calm down! He held out two (he said good) tickets and I took one first and had peg 5, still drawing near to peg 7 then! Glenn was on 16 and off he went. I soon got to peg 5 passing John Bradford on 1, Dave Evans on 3 and Leon Hubbard was my close neighbour on 6. With the peg having silvers form I was glad I had some casters with me, I was going to feed these by hand into the left margin and pot in at full length to my left a bit. Pellet would be fed at full length in front of me and meat a couple metres out and to my right. Just before I set up my rigs I had them out on my bait waiter table, a gust of wind (which was blowing in my face) then somehow turned round and blew the rigs into the lake. Two winders sunk before I could scoop them up and I saved two others, oh bugger 2 of my favourite floats gone. So rigs now set up were, a 0.3grm PB Inter 4 for the caster lines (same depth as it happened) a 4x14 job for pellet (it was so windy it needed this) and a 4x12 Durafloat for the meat.

I fed my lines and before I finished Tom Thick on peg 10 was playing a carp, he really is relentless. I started on a soft pellet hoping for some F1's or skimmers etc, but after 5 minutes I hooked a 3lb carp which was fun on 0.12 line. One more bite on the pellet line which I missed so onto the long caster line which gave me a a couple of small perch and then a decent skimmer. This line dried up and so I tried swapping between the two lines but no more bites came for a while. Leon was struggling too with an F1 and a few roach, but Dave had 3 carp on meat. I tried the margin line and was rewarded with some regular bites from small perch, but I did manage to bump a better one. Bites dried up here but I wasn't to concerned and carried on feeding it, but the other lines were not playing ball and by now Leon was getting the odd carp, but losing one under his pallet he stepped up onto 0.14 and had a few skimmers! I had fed softened 4mm pellets but Leon had fed micros, he offered me some and I took him up on his offer. Fifteen minutes later I landed an F1 from the micro line, and 10 minutes later another, here we go....not. A look in the margin again on caster yielded a big skimmer and a few more perch plus some bumped / lost fish, grrr!

For the remainder of the match only the caster lines threw up any bites, I lost a carp on the long line and landed a 6lb common, and managed to bump / lose a few what I assume were perch. With an hour to go the margin started showing signs of bubbling and I had my best time, but was still frustrated. I took a carp, lost a fouler, had a crucian, a golden tench, a few perch and bumped / lost a few and missed about 5 down the plug hole bites......

When the match finished I told Leon to come and have a look at the bubbling and I fished on for one more, I did hook something else (carp or tench) but it snagged me in the margin just to round things off nicely, lol! My silvers went 19lb and my carp 13lb for 32lb odd. Leon had 15lb of silvers and an extra 2 carp saw him surpass me. Jon Bradford had 20lb of silvers from peg 1 and had his margin bubbling too but said he could not get a bite! Tom had 60lb (with 25lb of silvers) from peg 10 and Mat Toomes did well on peg 19 to get 32lb of silvers and only 3 carp. I think pegs 20 and 21 also did the best with carp. Tony will have everything on his blog I'm sure as he won it.

Not long after I weighed in Glenn arrived wanting to go home, and we soon exited the carp park, having arrived last in the morning we left first at the end! We took a different route home that was still extra miles but at least we had the feeling we were heading the right way, then just as we were getting towards Hicks Gate a young female driver tried to cut me up forcing me to slam on the brakes at the same time as she bottled it. Fuck knows how we didn't touch as all I could see was her car millimetres from my front wheel. She then after being in a rush hung back a long way behind me obviously shitting herself, silly mare. So the end of not one of my better days, but that's fishing. It could have been worse I guess, I could have been Martin McMahon sat next to Tony Rixon taking a big battering. As they say, there's always someone worse of than you and I just remember it's good to be fishing and looking forward to going again. Oh and finally happy birthday to Leon Hubbard who will be 50 later this week, he still looks under 40 to me!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Viaduct Fishery Thursday Costcutter / Friday Match lake

I woke up Thursday morning a little jaded after too much food and drink and too little sleep, and remembered I was no longer in my twenties!

A normal match today so the rods were put into the holdall in case waggler or more likely lead were required. The original weather forecast of heavy rain changed to showers, but although it was a very muggy day we saw no rain at all. The nets outside the lodge had dried nicely from the day before.
After a decent breakfast in Woody's Cafe it was off to the draw, with Carey being today I thought it would not be the place to draw since Campbell generally fishes better after it has been match fished. Luckily I got my wish and drew Campbell, and blow me I drew bang opposite my previous day draw and was sat on 123. Mark Tanner had been on this peg the day before and had 80lb+ and Matty Toomes had taken 98lb off 124 the day before but most of his fish came late. (Oh and I forgot to say on the last blog that of course the double or quits went in my favour, and Matty paid up his £2 just as he was about to drive off.)

Peg 124 was no into day, but Scott Russell was on peg 121 which I was slightly disappointed with as I never seem to draw these corner pegs with the end bank empty. For that reason I left the rods in the holdall and concentrated on the pole. I was made aware that the peg can be good for silvers, and I would be very happy to catch them all day, so a 4x12 rig with 0.14 to 18 PR36 was set up for fishing in front of me and at an angle to my left. A paste rig for the margin, and a banded pellet rig for the margin was all I set up, meat was not going to be used today! I only fished 10m today in front, and in the margin about 9m up to where some reeds have fallen into the water. I fed a small amount of 6mm pellet on the long lines and a big pot of 6 and 8mm pellets in the margin. Starting long both swims were fizzing and after about 10 mins I hooked a carp, hmmm, is 30 pellets too many for silvers!!! I actually soon abandoned the swim in front of me as for whatever reason I struggled to catch on it, where as the angled swim produced on and off all day.

Glenn Bailey rang me from Carey 78, probably half way through the match, and happily told me he was sat on nearly 100lb of big carp. I was rather less chirpy (Glenn said I was moaning!!) and reckoned I had 35lb of carp and 10lb of silvers and said I did not know what I was doing wrong! Part of my being down was that Scott Russell was emptying the lake on peg 121, and catching in his margins, again I could not catch in the margin having had a perch and a skimmer. Scot was feeding 8mm pellet so at least I was on the right bait. The second half of the match improved, especially the last 90 mins. The angled swim started to produce more skimmers and carp, with a couple of the carp being 12 to 14lb. The margin also switched on late but I caught on hard 8mm pellet here, paste was a waste of time. Was it a co-incidence that Scott's margins died when I caught???? I thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of hours but thought I was out of the running as Scott had beat me and every time I was playing a fish it seemed Mike Nicholls and Woody were playing fish.

The scales arrived at my peg from 135 and 100lb was top, my silvers went 34lb and my carp 119lb for a total of 153lb. Scott weighed 190lb to win the match but as it turned out I came 2nd, yay! Mike Nicholls and Woody had lost a lot of fish as it turned out, and Glenn stopped catching, just shows how sometimes we get a false impression.

We went back to the lodge, drank a couple of ciders, showered, drank some more ciders and had some pub grub. Going to bed at 1am I was glad I was not fishing a match on the Friday!

Waking up Friday I took a view out of the lodge and noticed a common tern feeding on small fish, a rare bird in this part of the world.

The rest of the lads were fishing a match on the match lake, but I needed to get home early afternoon so I sat on peg 41 to pleasure fish whilst the guys fished around me. I stuck to a short pole to avoid causing any issues, with Woody on 42 and Glenn on 40 being my immediate neighbours. I took a mixture of F1's, skimmers, small carp and small tench on soft pellet. Feeding small amounts was best for me, as was changing where I fished, I reckon I had about 40lb in the end. I was however well entertained by first Glenn who was having a few issues with his pellet waggler catching as many things on the island as he did carp, then Woody gave it a go and made Glenn look good, lol! Once we got Woody onto the right size waggler (so he could reach the island) he started to catch a few, as well as the odd tree. I think there were a couple of wagglers floating around the lake, but to be fair in the end both Glenn and Woody had it well sorted.

As I started to pack up Mark Tanner had me in stitches as he was covered, or at least the lake, his line and reels were covered with willow fluff, or "white stuff" as he called it. As you can see from the picture below it all ended up in front of Mark, and the air was blue! Mike and Glenn now started catching on paste, but as I bid farewell the margins seemed to be sparking into life. It was sad to leave the lads as I had really had a great time with them; great fishing and a great laugh in great company. Four better blokes you could not wish to spend time with.

Viaduct Fishery Top Two Plus Two Match

I was really looking forward to this match as it meant I was going to be on a few days holiday down at Viaduct. The day didn't start well though when I got stuck behind every truck, tractor, red light and I only arrived at 10am after setting off from home at 8:20am! However, nothing was going to dampen my spirits as I was going to be pitching up in one of the fabulous lodges with Mike Nicholls, Glenn Bailey Martyn Woody Woodington and Mark Tanner. Those guys had been down since Saturday and were clearly enjoying the fishing, weather and cider. I was obviously one of the last draw but was not unhappy with peg 119, though I hoped the fish would not be hugging the top bank.

Getting to the the peg I found I had Jason Radford on 118 and Dan White on 121, across from me was Mark Tanner on 123 and Matty Toomes on 124 who I had double or quits with on my £1 winnings! Setting up was a nice and easy affair, with a paste rig for the long line, a 4x12 PB4 for hair rigged pellet with 0.16 to 16 PR36 for the long line, and a margin rig which was a 4x10 Durafloat with 0.18 to 14 PR36. On the whistle I cupped in some 6mm pellets in front at 5m, a big pot of meat down my right hand margin and that was it. I was into a fish on my first drop in at 5m on the pellet rig with a 6mm pellet,and a 5lb carp was landed. I lost another and then it went quiet, but by the end of the first hour I had 5 carp so a good start. I took another 2 carp in the 2nd hour on paste but now things went tits up and all signs and bites stopped. An early look in the margin gave me just an odd roach, meanwhile Jason was getting a carp a chuck in his margin back toward 117, though he was losing a lot of them.

I spent a sad third hour watching other people catching, I think I managed a skimmer out at 5m and that was it. I did have to get off my box at one point because Jason knocked his no4 and no5 sections in whilst playing a carp. I rescued them for him knowing that he would carry on bagging and kick my butt, but I would never try to get an unfair advantage and spoil another person day, and Jason was always helping me carry my kit when I was ill so I owed him a favour.

Hour 4 improved ever so slightly with a couple of carp another skimmer and a tench, but the margin was still full of bits whilst Jason was still catching and Dan on 121 had taken plenty of tench and some carp from their margins. I was confused as I had by now fed nearly 6 pots of meat into the margin but small fish were grabbing the meat on the way down. I reckoned I needed a heavier float to get the bait down, but before I changed floats I stuck an 8mm pellet on the rig and tried that. It sat there for a few minutes nudging about and I was just about to give up on it when it shot under and I landed a carp. I now started to feed pellets into the margin and gradually I started to get the fish going. The last hour was great and Jason was moaning at me to slow down, it did a little but it was never going to get me in the frame anyway. I weighed 116lb in total which had 10lb of silvers in it. I was a chip shop sausage as Jason weighed 140lb+ and Dan 135lb (including top silvers). The match was won by fellow lodger Glenn Bailey with 174lb on paste from peg 112, beating Tony Rixon on peg 135 who had 164lb.

We returned to the lodge drank a couple of ciders, showered, drank cider, ate curry, and drank more cider.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Glorious 16th

Fathers Day and the opening day of the season usually mean nothing, I tend to stick to a commercial fishery. However, this year I decided to have a lie in actually see the kids on the morning and then have a few hours on the river. It nearly all went wrong when I ran out of time to get any bait, but Warren Bates came to my rescue and I collected some bait from him. It was only on Saturday night that I realised I didn't have a day ticket for the river!

Waking up on Sunday I decided that a trip to Bath Town should be OK for a few fish, although Chris Ollis warned me on Facebook that there were a lot of railings up now. Unfortunately Chris was correct, and even though I found a gap when I surveyed the scene I was not impressed, look at the piccy!

I got back in my car and drove down to Herman Miller, there was one guy fishing here on a groundbait feeder and after 5 hours all he had was 1 perch, back in the car again! I ended up at Rotork (I believe this is still free fishing) and parked down by Dukes and walked down the river until I came across this peg which looked much more pleasing on the eye!

I think this was about peg 22, couldn't see a number, but it was quite fishable although I was about 6ft off the water. To be honest I wasn't expecting to hit the heights today, but just to run a float through and get it to go under a few times would do me, though it was a shame it was raining! I settled on a pole approach as the river didn't have much flow, and picked out my trusty 1grm pencil rig with an 18 B511 to 0.1 attached. Nothing more was set up as I wasn't packing much in the way of bait. I did have plenty of gbait though, and so I threw in 14 balls containing about 1pt of hemp and 1/2pt of caster. I picked up the rig, impaled a single red maggot and carefully lowered in the rig......... the float went under and I swang in a roach, heaven was back! Ummmm nope, no bites then for 15 minutes, lol! I tried an old trick which has worked a few times for me and ran the rig way downstream where the balls had gone in, this worked and started catching small roach. After about 20 minutes the bites stopped and this was the signal to go back over the gbait and hey presto bites over it!

The fish I was catching were small, 2oz mostly and the roach disappeared to be replaced by big bleak with fat bellies! The bleak were not shallow, but then I had not loosefed as I knew bleak could be a pain here, they were about 6" off bottom and I was happy to catch them . In between I took a few perch to 4oz, a couple of tiny chublets and a dace. I threw another 8 balls in after 2 1/2 hours and I thought I had killed it, but after 10 mins the bleak were back, though I did catch my best roach of the day at around 6oz.

I did try going over depth with a worm and double baits (not easy on a pencil float but with the lack of flow OK) for a time but 2 perch were all I had to show and there was no sign of skimmers, not that I expected any. I wrapped in after 3 1/2 hours fishing having had an enjoyable time, and whilst not a great day it was just nice to be back on a bit of flowing water and I have had a lot worse opening days! The early weeks of the season in my experience have never been great, unless you land on a load of bream, and I tend to wait until end July if I can. Last piccy today is of the fish in my net, I guessed at 8lb, not a great piccy as everything was wet and slippery by now!

I'm off to Viaduct on Wednesday to spend a few days down there in the lodge with Mike Nicholls, Glenn Bailey, Martyn Woodington and Mark Tanner. They are already down there, but apparently Mark has broken a no4 and no7 section of pole already, lol!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

February / March 1994

I'd planned not to be fishing this Sunday as the garden shed and fencing needed painting, though it didn't all get done as I was feeling a bit rough from the night before (Bitton Beer Festival). Therefor it's a trip back in time today....

Sunday 13th February 1994 was the Commercial House w/l final match of the series. For a change we were on the Bristol Docks, and having been so cold for a few days (-6C at night) nobody was to sure how it would fish but most wanted to be drawn at Welshback. The team draw put on the first peg going into Bathurst Basin, and that meant not a lot to me! Tackling up on my peg I pulled out a 1grm pole rig and plumbed up, it was about 18 feet deep here and I settled on fishing using 9 mtrs of pole and I could loose feed by hand. It was a very slow start to the match and I think I waited an hour for my first bite, all the while feeding 6 casters and 4 maggots every few minutes. Using a 22 to 0.09 and fishing between 2 and 6 inches overdepth I picked up odd dace and roach on and off. It was very cold and the old guy next to me had a fish and couldn't unhook it due to arthritis in his hands, I disgorged the fish for him and put it in his net. I ended up winning my section with 3lb 12 1/2oz, but was shocked to find the venue had fished rock hard and I'd come 2nd overall on the day, and won the knockout trousering £190, the icing on the cake was the team won the league.

I pleasure fished the Avon in Bath town the following Saturday, near the crescent, and caught 8lb in 3 hours fishing a 3BB stick float with 22 to 0.09 feeding caster but with maggot on the hook. I didn't have many bites and most of them were a long way down the peg (river was pushing through), but a couple of 1lb chub and decent roach and dace were certainly welcome. The following day at Newbridge I found myself pegged on number 18 with a cold wind blowing sleet and snow straight into my face. After half the match without 2lb on the waggler I packed up, and realised I should have sat it out on the feeder all day! A week later I pleasure fished at Yate Rocks and I caught 2lb 12oz of roach and perch on maggot on the pole, nobody else had more than 1 fish. The river was in flood again hence no match (no commercials back then!).

More pleasure fishing again on Saturday 5th March when I ran a stick float down the river of the boating platforms at Chequers. The river was still pacey and I fished very close in feeding hemp and maggot with the now standard 22 to 0.09. I had 9lb of dace and roach but felt a big weight could be had if the river slowed up. The next day I fished an open on the Crane, and I had a nice long walk to the Cornfield! I had one bite on the groundbait feeder and lost the bream I had hooked, the maggots had doubled over the hook. Glenn Bailey was pegged next to me and showed me the way by catching 4 bream and a chub.

Saturday 12th March I fished a match that I think was a one off, it was the winners of the Commercial House (my team Bendix) versus the winners of the Amalgamation mini league (Silver Dace), sort of "who really are the champs"! The match was fished on the Avon at Chequers, and I was very late getting to the draw in the carp park. I arrived and Paul Benson (Silver Dace) said "Give me yer effing pools money, everyone has drawn and here's your peg you jammy ...." I was on the top of the straight opposite the wall, nice! To try to make it as fair as possible we were pegged on odds and evens so I had Dace boys either side, below me was Andy Leonard, and above me Dave Haines. I couldn't see me needing to fish anything else other than a stick float and so that was all I set up, a 4 no4 jobby with 22 to 0.09. I fed maggot and hemp and for the first hour never had a bite! Andy below me then had a few dace and a few minutes later I had my first dace in the net, and for the next two hours had dace and a couple of small chub. In the 4th hour a few roach started to show and in the last hour it was nearly all roach! Dave had struggled above me fishing a crowquill (he thought he had a chub at one point, but he had hooked a bit of iron lol) and Andy had about 6lb I think. I weighed 15lb 14oz which won the match and Bendix were crowned the Champs!

The last match of the river season for me was at Newbridge, and I drew a good peg 209 on Kelston Point. If yesterday had been all about the stick today would be all about the feeder. I had just 2 bream all day which weighed 8lb 15oz and won me the section, but I missed a bite and also didn't see 1 bite and that cost me possibly winning the match.

Nothing much tickles my fancy on the fishing front next Sunday and so with it being Fathers Day and the first day of the river season I may just go and pleasure fish the river somewhere, now where's the reel with 3lb line on and my stick floats?

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Tony Rixon Float Only Series Landsend

It was rather tricky leaving home today as it was my eldest daughters 17th birthday, but I did stay around long enough to see her opening her cards and pressies. The weather was looking good and the sun cream was in the box now all I needed was a few fish. After a good brekkie at Shipham cafe it was onto the venue in the Bailey mobile. At the venue Matty Toomes was running a book and you could bet on yourself or anyone else, Matty had me down at 8/1 so I put a few quid on myself,quite a few people had a bet on Craig Edmunds. Actually maybe I have been spelling Matty's name wrong on my blog, here's a photo of him with his "winners" T shirt, lol!

I managed to get myself about halfway up the draw queue today and seemed there were good and bad pegs left in the hat. I wanted to avoid drawing 8 and 10 on match lake, and at least I couldn't draw peg 7 again as it wasn't in, but I didn't get too far away drawing peg. Glenn drew peg 19 and was very happy with that. Getting to my section I had Tom Thick on 1, Clint Wojtila on 3, Neil Mercer on 5 and Johnny Baker on 8. Pegs 1 and 5 are usually the boss pegs and so I was already thinking I would need a good match. I had the point of the island to fish to and could clearly see Glenn and also Gord Cannings on 18 opposite me.

The one thing that was very evident whilst setting up was the amount of fish moving on the end of Neil's island, whilst mine was very quiet. I set a rig up for meat at 5m and it did for the pallet on peg 7 a 6x10 pencil with 0.16 to 14 PR478, a rig for pellet shallow across, and a depth rig 4x10 durafloat 10 for across with 0.16 to 18 PR36, and a stalking / slapping rig. However, I started the match at 10 mtr on a 4x12 Inter float with 0.14 to 18 PR36 with banded 6mm. I had fed all my lines and was feeding 6mms by catty to the far bank. By this stage Tom Thick had caught 2 carp and Neil had lost 3 foulers. After 30 mins I had pulled out of a skimmer, Neil had 2 carp, John Baker had 3 and Tom Thick had 6. I was forced across earlier than I wanted to, and my reward was a carp in the tail!

90 mins in and I had a look on the meat as I only had 1 carp in the net, I took a quick carp, and then 2 skimmers before this died. After 2 hours I was now a country mile behind everyone!!! Neil had lost more than he caught and Tom was still slaying carp by mugging (he said after there were nearly a hundred in his peg on the surface). Glen had a good start but his peg had died, and as John Baker had caught a few on meat I decided on a change. I fed a pot of meat across where I had been feeding pellet with the catty, and using the durafloat rig pulled the band through an 8mm cube of meat. This worked in that I did catch a couple of carp, but bites were few and far between with hardly any liners. I fed it carefully with a kinder pot of meat every chuck, and if it went really quiet I fed a bigger pot then tried my other lines for 10 mins. Trouble was I couldn't get a bite elsewhere. I did mange to mug one fish, but it did me under the pallet (I didn't pull very hard cos 10 mins before Neil had the same and snapped his top kit in 3!!) I had a 2 1/2lb ide from my 5m line but that was it, and the margin never produced a bite. I clawed my way back into the match but then John and Neil both caught some better fish in close on meat. The far bank had slowed badly and so I dumped in a big pot of meat and pellet and this gave me a few more fish in the last hour, but it was not going to be enough.

The scales showed that Tom won the match from peg 1 with 189lb, Clint had 30lb of silvers (I guess he won the silvers), Neil 98lb (and he lost about that amount too!), myself 69lb 5oz and Johnny Baker 69lb 13oz. So that was that beat both sides and I had to pay them both a £1! John did very well from peg 8, he caught 4 carp and a tench at the start without feeding anything and ultimately I never quite caught that back up. My league is now over after 2 poor results which is a gutter,but I am still in the knockout after getting past Jason Radford who was up on lake 3 which fished poorly. I'll have to try to pull my finger out in the remaining 4 matches to try to progress in the knockout, frame or at least win a section. I didn't stay for the results as I wanted to get home to see my girl, Glenn didn't need convincing either after a tricky day when he had 64lb but on 21 Bob Gullick had 145lb. Oh well such is life!