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?