Sunday, 29 December 2013

Todber Manor Park Lake

This blog won't take long tonight, and as it was a bit of a bloggers meeting you will find various other blogs will have more fish to write about!

I was travelling down with Ken Rayner, he knows the way, and when he arrived at my house at 7:15am I had just managed to de-ice the car. During our journey to the venue the temp gauge went as low as -4.5C and we feared for the fishing but didn't think the lake would be iced over, wrong on both accounts! I've only fished this lake twice before and that was in warm weather, but I had heard that the fishing was still good in winter. Draw done and Ken pulled peg 5 (which was good) and I drew 26 which was the other end of the lake, peg 25 was in and is a peg I had before and did well from in summer. The lake was frozen in most pegs, peg 25 was clear, but mine was not so broke the ice out to 13m (as far as I could) which was well short of the far bank.
 The view up the lake to where my next peg companion Bela Bakos was.
It wasn't going to take long to set up and two rigs did me, a 4x10 with 0.12 to 18 PR412 (for inside margin and across) and a 4x12 Chianti for the deeper water with the same gear. My elastic in one top set was a bit slack so I needed to cut it back a tad, whilst doing that I somehow managed to also cut my finger. I needed a plaster and Bela came to my rescue as he had a first aid kit in the car, it did not look too bad as you can see.

As I got to the car the blood was really flowing now and a plaster would be no good, so I had to make a dressing to stem the flow and also allow me to fish without an issue, I think I went a bit over the top though, lol! It did the job though.

I finally started fishing 10 mins after the whistle and I fed some micros and maggots at 12.5m to my left, gbait to the right, and some micro and corn at 5m. An hour into the match and I had 2 small roach, Bela had 1, but the guy on 25 had 3 carp and had lost more fishing right across, also looking up the bank to the "good" pegs fish were being caught regularly. After another biteless 30 mins I went for a walk, and saw Fred Roberts, Tony Rixon, Phil Harding and Dave Romain all catching across. I went back to my peg and as the sun had been out for a while I managed to break the ice with my pole across to the far bank (Bela did the same). I fed some micro, maggot and the odd grain of corn over here, but it took me an hour to get a bite from a 1lb carp, and next chuck another! That was it for another 30 minutes and it was very obvious the fish were not at this end of the lake. I tried putting some gbait in right over on a new line, this only produced the odd roach.

The rest of my match was dead until the last hour when I had a few bites right across on either corn or maggot, from a few F1's and another carp. Plus two bites from my right margin on double maggot, a roach and a 1lb common. Bela also had a better last hour and caught some carp, he weighed 20lb to my 13lb, but we were the lowest weights on this bank, and I was BBS as peg 25 weighed 23lb of carp. Virtually every peg as you went past Bela the weights increased until match winner Phil Harding on peg 37 had a very good 98lb. I'm sure the other bloggers will have the full results!

A bad for me, which just seems to be the way things are at the mo, but that's winter fishing for you, and I hope the drawbag and fish start to like me again very soon!

Happy New Year everyone, onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

In Search of Dorset Stour Chub

During my many years fishing one thing I have never done is caught a gert big chub, I think 4lb 1oz is my biggest. I am sure I have lost some large dogs, and one time I hooked one on the high wall up the crane on the stick float, it took me all across the river, I got it back it surfaced and the hook pulled, it was a big un. I mentioned this last year to angling journalist Brian Gay and he said he would take me on a trip to the Dorset Stour where big chub were more of a realistic target. Last year though the river was in flood for a long time and we never had a chance. It was then a real treat when Brian asked me to go this year and I gave him a date I could do.

Tuesday 17th December and at 5am my alarm clock goes off, by 5:30 I'm in my car with minimal gear and a gallon of maggots. I was though not sure the day was going to go to plan as I was sure we'd had to much rain overnight to make the river right, plus I had to listen to England giving up the Ashes on my radio. I arrived at my destination (Sat Nav said so) on the gates of the entrance to Throop fishery, Brian was a little late and arrived 30 mins later though it was still very murky light. To get entrance to the fishery you need a key from the club, or wait for a car to come out and run through the electronic gate lol (we had a key but the car was to good an opportunity to miss). Walking down to the river Brian was still sure the river would be fishable as the local club baliff had set it would be, as we approached I heard a large swooshing sound and unless we were approaching a weir there was trouble..... Yep the river was right up and had a fair bit of colour in it, everything chub don't like, my heart sank. Oh well have to try to catch a barbel or a big roach.

We walked upstream and Brian showed me the pegs that had produced 6, 7 and 8lb chub but none were fishable, we carried on going and found an inside of a bend where there was some steady water which looked like this.

Having no knowledge of the venue I did not how deep the water was or where weeds were, so I spent some time plumbing up a 3BB stick float. The river got deeper as it went downstream, not the best but feeding maggots and casting downstream I got some presentation, but after 45 mins and no bites it didn't feel right to me. Brian was a bit further down fishing the biggest maggot feeder I have ever seen, he was still biteless and picking up a lot of weed. I decided to move down to where the peg deepened and the water was faster but not boiling and fish a maggot feeder, I used 0.16 exceed to a 16 Super Spade, then changed to a 13 B711. Within a few chucks I had what looked like a decent bite but the maggot hookbait was untouched. I think reeled in a couple of times with chewed maggots having not seen a bite despite fishing of the rod end (weed was the problem).

Brian came and sat beside me and we chatted and then I hit a bite and small fish came to the surface and fell off. I was a bit gutted as although I had come to catch a big fish I still like to avoid a blank. Things went quiet and I was feeding plenty of maggots as most casts didn't last long due to the weed on the line. Finally quite a while into the session as I reeled in a washing line of weed a fish shook itself free of weed and there was a little gudgeon, and I thought I would take a picture as it might be a nice memento!!!!

Brian was still biteless but then saw my river skills come to the fore as I started to empty my peg with another gudgeon and 2 dace falling to 3 maggots, lol! During the day we did see a few fish top, nothing massive probably trout or roach, but Brian did have a huge fish swirl right next to the bank, with so many fry in the margins it could have been a predator. Eventually I decided I needed to find another spot to fish as my rod was just getting bent right round due to weed, as you can see...

I found a slack next to a bush and it was 8 feet deep and I was gutted not to have found this earlier. Brian reckoned this was an area big bream frequented so I changed to an open ender and fed lots of grounbait, worms and maggots into the swim before fishing it with a lobby over the top. I gave it about 2 and a bit hours here until the light was gone, sadly I had not bites or indications and had to pack up, Brian had had one chewed maggot all day, but he did tell me lots of stories of his chub exploits on this river and those just gave me even more of an appetite to come back again on a fishable river. A day where we could not beat the elements but we gave it our best shot, but being in Brian's company is great in itself and I really enjoyed the day out. No more fishing for me now until just after Christmas, so I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and hope you have a great time during the holiday, I intend to reduce the size of my collection of bottles of alcohol!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

CLIC Sargent Charity Match Bitterwell Lake

My original plans for this weekend were no fishing, but a couple of weeks ago I saw a plea on facebook from old school mate Paul Staite for some raffle prizes for this match. I offered him a rod I hadn't used for many a year (an original 13ft Normark Avenger) and found out there were some tickets left so I got in. Dead handy fishing local as I had to play taxi driver at midnight the night before for wifey.

I haven't fished Bitterwell for a while now, though I do try to pop over and watch the odd week day match for 30 mins when I can. This was made a float only match so pole and waggler would be all that would be required. Getting to the venue was easy (lol) and parking up I saw many unfamiliar faces and a few young ones which is good to see. A croissant was given to me and later a breakfast in a bun which I mostly ended up wearing in my beard. The pegging was sorted by Des Shipp and as I surveyed the lake I fancied being on the top bank as the carp park bank had the wind blowing into it and wouldn't be pleasant. Sadly I drew the car park bank, but I did have a bit of room. Des drew where I wanted to be but moaned it was shit and wanted to be where I was???? Panoramic piccy of the lake if you haven't seen it before

You'll note the lake looks quite calm in the photo, it stayed like that until just before the match started and then the wind just got worse and worse. For this reason I did not set up a waggler as I could not see how I could feed it properly, and a big scud waggler would not be much use with such a strong wind I thought. So it was pole only for me and rigs assembled were a wire stemmed 0.3g PB Inter with 0.10 to 20 PR412, same float but with .12 to 18 PR412, these would do for 13m swims, a 4x12 chianti for 5m on caster, and later a 0.75g PB Silvers was put up to cope with the wind.

TO start the match I cupped 3 balls of groundbait with some casters in at 13m in front, some micros at 13m 10'o'clock, and some casters and maggots at 13m but about 7m out from the bank. I started over the micro with a soft pellet but nothing happened and so single red maggot was tried and after 15 mins I had a small roach in the net. It was very hard to get a bite, I thought I might have been plagued by roach and had bulked the shot down, but I wasn't getting any bites and even with the bulk pushed up I only had the very odd roach, the gbait line was dead. About an hour in with the wind worsening another bite and this time plenty of elastic comes out and a skimmer of about 1.5lb was landed from the micro line. Skimmers are shoal fish aren't they??? Hmmm, back to very rare bites again from small roach.

It looked pretty obvious from what I could see that the venue was fishing poor, so I persevered and 45 mins after his mate another skimmer showed, though this one was hooked in the wing and pulled a bit even though it was just a 1lb fish. After this the wind got so bad that for a while I needed to use the 0.75g rig, nearly all my fish came from over the micro line during the day no matter what rig I tried. I always thought a few carp would show late so was quite happy to keep catching the odd silvers and feeding my lines even if things were very slow. As if on cue with 30 mins to go carp started to show and the three anglers to my right hooked two or three (but lost more than landed) the guy to my left who had 8oz then had a 7lb carp and alnded it just before the all, and John Andres round on the other bank landed one after the whistle. Me, I hooked no carp at all! I was quite pleased when the whistle went as we had just had a terrible storm for 30 mins with heavy rain blowing straight into the bank, and I wasn't the only one who could hardly see the float (even at 5m) it was that dark.

My silvers went 5lb 10oz, which I think was the 3rd best silver weight on the day beaten by two anglers in the match. Winner was a young lad called Keith over on the "calm" bank with 16lb+ of carp and skimmers, Des Shipp was 2nd with 15lb, and 3rd was Dan Shipp from the calm peg on the road bank with 13lb. Unfortunately for me organiser Terry Smith didn't do default payout, so Des got 2nd and the silvers, well they say money goes to money lol. We had a lovely bar-b-q after the match and that warmed me up a bit (except for my hands) and then the raffle was done and there were loads of prizes but my luck was not in today. I was though chuffed to see my avenger rod go to a junior angler, just where I hoped it would go, hope the lad gets a bend into it.

Not sure about Tuesday on the Stour, hope the rain does not feck things up for me, will be gutted if it does. I'm not fishing next Sunday so my next match will be on the 29th Dec.

Friday, 13 December 2013

November / December 1994

About time I had a quick look in the diary again....

The river was flooded after the Poppy match in 1994 and the following weekend all matches were cancelled so I fished for a few hours in the cut by the Lock Keeper pub at Keynsham. Fishing maggot at depth I had about 4lb which unusually included quite a few small perch. Sunday 20th November saw me at Frys fishing the Commercial House, I drew below the outlet pipe on what was a again a flooded river. Fishing a 3m whip I could catch tiny fish and did this for far too long. I tried the groundbait feeder and whilst I only had 3 eels I did lose a chub and a lot of anglers caught one or two bream. 2lb 10oz was my effort and not good enough to beat a bream!

After my debut success at Moorlands Farm I was back again fishing with Pete Sivell's team. This time around I drew another lake, well more of a pool, called Moors and was on peg 20. I was told this lake was all about carp and silvers would not be helpful, so I started on a wag an mag and after 10 mins I hooked one. Sadly it was fouled and came off but a while later I landed a properly hooked 5lber. After this it was a real struggle and I managed 1 small carp from down the margin and a few roach. On the day my half of the lake fished awful, and we sat watching anglers at the other end filling their nets, 15 points out of 27 was my reward. The next day and out fishing again on the ATWL at Newbridge. My home for the day was peg 34 on the straight on a clear river. I fished a groundbait feeder across whilst feeding maggots and hemp on a pole line. Bites were very hard to get, with just 5 roach coming on the pole and 3 skimmers on the feeder (to red maggot) for a total of 4lb 40z and 10 points for the team. Halfway through this league Bathampton were 2 points in front of my team Bristol Sensas.

Cracking on into December and a Xmas match, Bristol and West (doesn't exist now) where I drew peg 69 up the Crane. Just 2 small chub and a roach for 1lb 9oz was all my long walk yielded (caught on the feeder). The river was float fishable in some pegs but not in mine, but bream dominated with 30lb coming off pegs 28 and 29 at Swineford and a 20lb carp being caught from the blockhouse at Jack Whites. Not long after this more rain fell and midweek the weir disappeared at Keynsham. Luckily I was back at Moorlands so could at least fish sensibly, and I drew back on Meadow lake but on peg 29. Not good was all I was told, just try and catch a carp! Well all these years ago a maggot feeder was deemed the best way to go so I plopped a small feeder out with a 20 to 0.10 (really I did!). Of course I also primed a pole line, but one bite and I pulled out of small crucian was all the entertainment I had there! The feeder worked in as much as I had 1 roach and 1 small carp for 3lb 2oz. However, to give you an idea how poor this area was I got 23 points out of 27 for that weight!!!! Another double header for me and up the next day for the big one, the Bathampton Xmas match. I really wanted to draw a slack and pulling out peg 136 in the trees meant I should have a bit of steady water. This was an out and out groundbait feeder day as far as I was concerned so one rod was all I set up with a 16 to 1.5lb maxima hook length. I think this was the day that Ian Spriggs and Andy Floyd were also pegged in the trees and they came down for a walk before the match started. I had mixed up red magic groundbait and they thought this was hilarious (as they used std brown mixes). Casting about 1/5 of the way out I soon started to get odd bites from small skimmers / hybrids, with my second hour being the best by far. I had 3 small chub and 3 eels plus a roach, most fish fell to three red maggots but a couple fell to lobworm of course. When the scales came down most people had struggled for a pound or two, and the look on Andy and Ian's faces was amazement when I weighed in "now what do you think about red groundbait?" I asked them, lol! The river had fished very hard and I came 4th picking up £250 which was beer money for Xmas.

Bitterwell this Sunday, then hoping we don't get much rain because I'm going fishing on the Dorset Stour with Brian Gay in the week, hoping to catch my PB chub! Please please please let it be OK.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Bathampton Xmas Match

In years gone by this used to be a massive match and the ONE to win, my best effort I think is 3rd or 4th a couple of times. This year it was a bit different with Kev Dicks effectively running two matches in one with a choice of fishing the canal or river, and a pairs event. I opted to fish the river (not hard after my last 2 canal matches) and I paired up with Darren Gillman who wanted to fish the canal. At the draw it was breakfast rolls for a change, and they were very good, but I wish I'd taken a photo of the roll Martin Rayet had, it was 18" long and had 4 of everything... and he ate every bit of it!

The draw for the canal was done first as they had further to travel, and then the river draw and I managed to be at the front of the queue and pulled out peg 52. I was OK with this peg and then the more I racked my brains the more I thought it was a good draw as a few fish had come from that area on the last ATWL fished up there. Parking up I saw that England international Callum Dicks was on peg 20, a peg I draw a lot and don't do that well off. Walking up the bank I passed my mate Warren Bates on peg 46, and he reminded me that Glenn Bailey won the ATWL off peg 52 when it was up and coloured, how could I have forgot that, lol! Finally got to my peg all hot and sweaty again and surveyed the scene, the river was clear yes, but not what I would consider to bad. I only had two methods in mind as this peg holds bream, so it was pole and a groundbait feeder attack for me. The river was running with a nice pace and a running line might work, but I thought bream would dominate and so discounted the rods and floats today. I had to mix my groundbait on the bank and knocked up 3 kilos for pole and feeder (one mix does for me!) and then set up the feeder with a 20g open ender, and a 14 B611 to 0.128 exceed. Two pole rigs, a 3g PB silvers with 0.11 exceed to 18 B611, and a 1g pencil float with 22 to 0.08. View of my peg today, not much to look at but it is what lurks beneath!

My neighbours today were on peg 49  former Poppy match winner Dave Stiff, and on bream hole peg 54 a young lad who fishes Clevedon matches called Lewis Walker. At the start I cast a big open end feeder across 10 times, it would have been 12 but a boat caught me out and lost the effing lot, lol!!!! Not the start I wanted but I was always going to leave that to settle, so onto the pole and it went 8 big jaffas of groundbait with just a little caster and hemp. Going straight in with 2g float I had 2 small roach in 5 runs through but felt the smaller float would be better, and so it proved with the small roach bites showing up better. It wasn't a bite a chuck but there was enough interest to keep me doing it. I did get a 6oz roach but bites really slowed after this, Paul Dicks walked up and and said 1lb was best so I had more than that and that was OK for starters. I was just about to give up on the pole when a 8oz skimmer appeared and then four little roach and a 2oz hybrid ended the pole line.

Two hours and 15 mins were now gone and so it was time to set up and chuck the feeder out, whilst still feeding some hemp and caster on the pole line. First chuck and a bloody boat comes down so I put the rod down and the tip knocked but nothing to strike at I thought, but when I reeled in 1 of 3 maggots remained, doh! Next chuck I hooked a snag and new hook required, but next chuck a bream of about 3 1/2lb was in the net. Sadly I then got into snag city and had a torrid time, but eventually I pulled something away  and the line became clearer. Lewis came up for a walk as he was struggling, and he had a chat with me, he was fishing it all wrong. He went back and caught a bream and then a few chucks later had one 8lb 9oz and was beating me!

The bream obviously didn't like all this messing about in the snags and it was an hour before I had my next bream, one over 4lb. I tried worm and had a perch, so went back on maggots and thirty minutes later bream number three was netted and I thought a few more would show now. Sadly the feeder line went really quiet and I noticed the sun was shining on the far bank and not what I wanted. With 20 mins to go I decided to try the pole line for a quick look on double red maggot on the heavy rig, I had a couple of quick dips but no fish. I then put on 2 casters and on the first drop the float went straight under and a 2lb skimmer was netted. Going straight back out on double caster I had what looked like the float dragging under but I lifted anyway, it was a bream but soon realised it was fouled as it headed upstream and I pulled out. I then plopped the feeder over this line but it didn't budge and I was thinking the bream wanted a bit of movement so out on the pole again. Another dip and bream on, this was hooked proper and after a good fight a near 5lb fish was landed. One more drop in and another bream hooked but a fouler again and off, end of match. I shouted down to Lewis and a angler watching, they came up and I said watch this, dropped in the rig and it went straight under, and I landed a 6lb+ bream and slipped it straight back, it was firkin solid now!!!!

Lewis had 5 bream the same as me so it was going to be close, especially as he had the big lump. He weighed 22lb 4oz in total. My fish went 24lb 9oz and those early fish on the pole had in fact swung the needle my way. As it turned out my weight was enough to win the match on the river, and overall, which brought me a nice payout, a hamper, and the trophy. Only took me 30 years of trying!

The river had fished very hard in places and as I expected the top weights had bream in them, bucking the trend was Steve Hutchinson who had 10lb of roach from peg 76. Winner on the canal was, well you can probably guess as he IS THE man in form, Shaun Townsend. Shaun had a massive 19lb from Limpley Stoke, and included in this was at least 3 perch over 2lb, and he lost 2 others bigger he told me! Below is the sheet showing everyone who weighed in today. You will not see Callum Dicks name as he DNW, he actually hooked and lost a carp of about 8lb and he said he came to the river to get away from them, lol!

Next week I'm fishing Bitterwell for a CLIC charity match, a bit different from today.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


I am now 5 days into my beard growing, or should I say non shaving. I was going to put an update on here when I hit £500 but that amount was hit very early on and so I held off. However, today I have checked my just giving page and the donations have now passed £2000... yep that's right £2000 wow!!!!

I have to thank everybody who has donated so far, I really never expected to get anywhere near this amount and I have felt quite emotional about the support of family, friends and business contacts. Of course the angling fraternity have also been very generous and it makes be very proud to be a part of our sport.

I've not got much hair to show off but here is the "mass" of bristles so far, far too many grey ones for my liking, lol!

The whole point of my fundraising and growing a beard is to help raise awareness of bowel cancer as it is the second biggest cancer killer. More than 41,000 people every year are diagnosed with bowel cancer, though it is relatively rare in the under 50s (yes I really am a lucky basard aren't I !).  Around. 2,100 people are diagnosed, under the age of 50, every year in the UK. However, currently too many younger patients are being diagnosed with a more advanced disease which makes treatment more difficult.  Knowing the symptoms of bowel cancer can help reduce this problem. (I waited 6 months before seeing my GP and that was far too long but I got lucky). It is important we know what the symptoms are, so read on.....

The symptoms of bowel (colorectal) cancer can be:
  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A change in bowel habit lasting for 3 weeks or more especially to looser or runny poo
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy
You might experience one, some, all of the above or no symptoms at all. Remember most symptoms will not be bowel cancer.

If you are worried about any symptoms that you think might be caused by bowel cancer, make an appointment with your doctor or call the Bowel Cancer UK Information and Support Service on 0800 8 40 35 40 or
Just remember you'll not be wasting anyone's time by getting checked out. If it isn't serious, you'll put your mind at rest. If it's bowel cancer, early detection can make all the difference. Over 90% who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are successfully treated. So a trip to your doctor could save your life.
Once again here are the links for the bowel cancer website
and my just giving page if you have a few quid spare
I'm off to the hospital Friday for another violation (lol, but not to much lol please) hopefully all will be fine again.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

ATWL Final Round K&A Canal

After my last canal debacle I had a word with myself and a good chat with canal bagger Liam Braddell to get my head sorted. I spent a few hours on my day off on Friday making some new rigs, which was a good idea as most of Saturday was spent assembling flat pack furniture! I was all sorted and ready to go on Saturday looking forward to the match, and with the team having a two point lead over Bathampton it was all good.

I was asked to do the team draw again (we've won every time I've drawn recently) and the pegs looked OK with a few good pegs in the mix. I was in E section, Bath side of the recycle tree, an area I've been pegged in before and done well from. First thing to sort was parking at Meadow Farm, and like most other places these days it's a struggle. A nice walk down the hill with Mike Withey and onto the canal where we found no pegs... somebody had nicked all of them! With some memory and some common sense we got ourselves into pegs and everyone was happy, happiest of all was Kev Boltz who we put next to a tree that had fallen into the canal, over halfway! As for my peg it was much the same as the rest of the section, and the view was OK...

Rigs for this week were two for bread (one for bagging one for errr catching normal) but only one used my faithful Drennan Roach. A deep bloodworm rig (0.5g), a shallow bloodworm rig (0.2g) a caster rig, a chopped worm rig and that was it. As the start approached three boats had already been through, including the big John Rennie, and on the whistle I saw two boats on the way up and so I fed nothing. Ten minutes into the match I started and fed some bread at 5m, some chopped worm at 13m to my right and fed some casters across. The bread line last week was tough, this week it was shocking with only 4 roach falling to the punch, nightmare, but it was poor for all except Kev Boltz who had a 1lb skimmer. Another boat or two and so then I tried bread at 11m in case the fish were across, but they weren't and I never had a bite on this line. It was time to feed some joker swims, and I put some in over my 5m line, 13m to my left and right across. I tried the chop worm but no joy here and had a look on caster and I had a bite and a 2oz roach straight away. It took another 10 mins to get another tiny roach on caster.

In the next two hours I had absolutely nothing, not a bite anywhere and a walk showed that Kev and the genial Roy Carter were doing the best, with Roy having a lovely 12oz roach on the caster. Martyn Rayet and Mike Withey were struggling but had more than me. Another look on the chopped worm and the float didn't settle right, so I lifted it an thought I felt something, so I dropped it and the float went under. I struck and felt something then the float hit the pole and I'd pulled out, fook it!

I took two tiny fish on bloodworm at 5m, I tried by a moored boat but never had a bite, and then with an hour to go I got a few fish going on bloodworm right over. They wouldn't settled though and after 5 fish I had to rest it and then go back, still at least I had a few bites in the last hour, a few! I was happy the match had ended, it had been very poor for me again, not really sure what I'm doing wrong but obviously some bad angling which I need to work out. The scales got to me and I had 1lb 9.5oz for last in the section, Mike had 1oz more, Martyn 2lb 1oz, Roy 3lb, and Kev had 5lb+ which included 2 skimmers and a big rudd.

The great thing back at the results was I had a Xmas dinner to look forward to followed by Xmas pudding and Thatchers Gold! Thankfully once again the team performance was good and despite my ineptitude the team won on the day and that meant we won the league and are in the semi finals.

Winner on the day with 10lb was Neil Mercer, he was one peg past the white gate up by the school, and he had 4 big skimmers to start but then caught all day. Richard Whitmarsh was 2nd with another 10lb, he was the only angler pegged past the Meadow Farm bridge, so the fish kept him company, lol! In third place was that man Shaun Townsend (he might buy a beer soon with all his winnings) with a big 6lb up by the brambles, he caught small fish all day he told me.

In the individual league stakes, Nathaniel Johnson tied with Nich Chedzoy, but Chedz had weight advantage and won, well done. Chedz also won the knockout and bought the lads a drink, fair shout. Here he is telling us all how good he is! Only joking he was gracious as ever and is mightily consistent in these winter leagues, a great angler.

Well that's it for team fishing until the New Year, next week I'm fishing the Bathampton Xmas match, you can choose to fish either the river or the canal (guess which one I've chose) and there is a pairs event too, and Darren Gillman is my pair, as he wants to fish the canal. The river could be awful of course with no rain now for a while, but I need a rest from the canal.

The fundraising for Bowel Cancer UK is going well and I have passed the £1500 mark now, it would be awesome to get to £2000, so if any of you have some spare reddies then visit my just giving page and help fight cancer and save lives.

Tight Lines!