Spent most of Saturday watching Fish O Mania with Warren Bates and plenty of Thatchers cider, that meant not a lot of preparation for the Huntspill! I mentioned this on facebook and Bob Gullick struck a £1 bet with me claiming he was rusty, well I would be rusty in the morning!
Woke up 6:30am Sunday having slept on top the bed all night and still felt boiling hot! Got the missus a cup of tea and loaded my car up with the gear I needed for the Huntspill. As I drove onto the ring road by ASDA at Longwell Green the low pressure in tyres warning came on. Only turned out I had a flat on the rear, I tried to fill it with air but no luck it was flat out! I drive a BMW and it has no spare tyre but has these "run flat" tyres which you are supposed to do no more than 50 miles in, that being the case I didn't fancy driving. A few phone calls later and Rich Lacey picked me up at my house, he was fishing Tony's match at Sedges and after he picked up Shaun Townsend we were on our way to Hill Tops cafe. When I got to Hill Tops I never stopped for brekkie, I then transferred to Gary O'Shea's van who took me to the draw at Laburnam House. I shovelled down a brekkie and got given my draw (peg 32 on the North bank which meant sun in my face all day) and Gary dropped me off at my peg and nice short walk.
I had a Diawa Gordon League angler on the the end peg 30 and Thyers angler Dave Wride on my right. Andy Britt, Ian Hudson and Steve Hutchinson were also in my section and all offered me a lift home after the match. Getting on with setting up, I mixed some groundbait (Thatchers and Lake) and set up a feeder rod and then realised I had no feeders, they were back in my car, this day was really not going to plan lol! Dave Wride gave me 3 feeders and I just hoped I didn't crack off during the match so I could give him them all back (which I did). A size 16 PR34 was tied to 0.12 and that was the feeder set up. A waggler was set up but never used as the wind got up, two pole rigs a 4x16 with spread shot with 0.10 to a 20 B611 and a 3/4grm job with 0.10 to 20 B520. I had noticed that just past the middle there were 2 or 3 reeds sticking up, and so I decided to fish the feeder next to these (or as close as my casting would allow!) as I thought they might hold a few fish.
On the whistle I made 5 quick casts with a feeder, then potted in some maggots and caster at 14m. Meanwhile Dave next door fired some balls of gbait across and I hoped that he would not catch on this line! I chucked the feeder out and started with double red maggot on the hook, and after an hour all I had to show for my efforts was a roach and 2 perch. The tip then pulled round really well and struck and felt nothing... reeled in to find the maggot had gone over the point of the hook, grrrr! I immediately changed up to a 14 hook. Next chuck and a bite again and this time a nodder, I safely landed a 1lb skimmer and that was followed by a 2lb fish. I then had a couple of casts with small fish bites so I put a worm on and had another 2lb fish. A couple more fruitless casts and then a really good bite and fish on, it felt like another 2lb+ fish, but it came off about halfway back, bugger! That was the end of the action on the feeder for a long time!
I had a few looks on the pole and took a few small perch and roach, but had to wait too long for bites. I upped the feed and during the match caught 2 eels on the pole without really giving it a good go. The reason was that I knew 2 lads in the middle of the section had bream and so I needed one of them too! I did manage 2 more skimmers on the feeder but theses were smaller 12oz fish, I missed a couple of bites but they could have been pesky ruffe which give great bites! By the time the match was finished I was well cooked but glad I had some lotion, my pinkies and maggots were nearly all dead and everything else had survived thanks to ice packs!
The scales arrived and gave me 8lb 9oz which I was more than happy with considering how hard this section had been before. I beat the anglers either side of me and was only beaten by the two lads in the middle who had 10lb and 12lb, so 3rd in section was job done for the team. I then chucked my gear in Ian Hudson's van and he took me back to the results, where I found out my team had done poorly and came 5th. Cadbury Angling won on the day and Diawa Gordon League lead overall. 41lb won the match (I didn't catch the name) and Darren Gillman came 2nd with 28lb, Dar said that every one of his bream snagged him in weed mid river but he pulled them all out. A 22 and 21lb filled the frame.
After the match I transferred my gear into Gavin Messer's truck and travelled home with him and Martyn Reyatt. Finally home I found my feeders and kicked the car and got some grub down my neck. Oh and I almost forgot to say, I did collect £1 from old rusty himself Bob Gullick, cheers Bob see you at Shiplate next week!