Monday, 29 December 2014

Landsend Fishery Open (plus a bit about the Avon)

Here's hoping everyone had a good Christmas, I certainly did and got through a great deal of food and drink. My original plan was to fish the King Billy match on Saturday 27th but family activities curtailed this, and I luckily found a match was being run at Landsend by Ken Rayner. Ken even agreed to get my bait, but he then suffered a very bad back and I had to find some bait for myself.

I found out that the Billy match (fished up the Crane) was a very hard affair due to the flood water and cold temperatures. Darren Gillman won the match from peg 83 in the long ashtip with 6lb 4oz, and this 5 1/2lb bream he caught on lobworm made all the difference as Jerry Pocock was 2nd just 1oz behind Darren! Jerry had 3 skimmers on the feeder.

Onto Sunday and a hard frost greeted me as I loaded the gear into the car. I was not all that prepared for a match on a lake, I did put some new elastic into a few top sets and threw some pole floats and barbless hooks into my box which currently is full of river and canal gear! I had some micros, a tin of corn, and I managed to buy some awful casters and a few maggots. I got myself into Shipham cafe and met some of the other lads fishing, an array of experts that would be tough to beat today, but in all honesty I was looking forward to getting some bites and felt I would enjoy today more than a session on the river.

The pegging was sorted between Mike Duckett and Craig Edmunds, with a number of pegs being suggested as flyers. I drew 7 which certainly had been good recently but I know this peg is the shallowest on the lake (and the level is down so only 3ft max) and I didn't feel the skimmers caught by Ron Hardiman on the last match would play ball. As you can see from this pic the frost made the platform very slippery!

I assembled 3 rigs today; a 0.3g pb inter 4 with 18 PR412 to 0.10 for the track, a 4x10 jobby for over by the reeds with 18 PR412 to 0.11, and finally a 4x12 with 18 PR412 to 0.11 for the pallet on peg 8. To start the match I fed a small amount of micros in two places down the track, casters by the reeds and down by the pallet. Starting down the track I never had a bite on any hookbait, in fact I never had a bite here all day! I shipped across to the reeds and caught a few perch on caster, they were between 4oz and 8oz. As soon as bites slowed I re fed and rested the line, trouble was I couldn't get a bite elsewhere!  After a couple of hours I had 6 perch, Steve Seagar on peg 5 had 1 carp, but up on peg 11 Adrian Bishop or is ot Jeffery (always get his surname wrong, hope it's one of those!) had caught a lot of perch on caster down the track. I dropped into the platform swim on double caster and had 2 perch straight off and then had a liner, I lifted the rig carefully and the float buried at 100mph and I struck into a solid fish which stopped in peg 10! I finally got the fish back to me and landed a 10lb common.

The platform didn't respond and I only had a couple more perch here all match. I tried feeding micro and corn at 13m to my left going up the far shelf (I had tried caster on a similar line without a bite) and with 2 hours to go I had my first indication over this line and landed a 6lb carp. I did have 2 liners over this in the next two hours but not proper bites, and all my other lines were dead. With 15 mins left I had another bite on the corn and the pole hooped over, in fact it hooped over too much as the rig was caught behind the pole pot! I twisted the pole around until eventually the pot fell off and the elastic poured out of the pole. This was another good carp and although I knew it wasn't going to win me anything I took my time. Sadly it got under the platform, and then with my elastic under the platform the fish appeared a foot below the surface under my pole tip, it had obviously got the line in a snag. I had a swipe with the landing net but a fish of 10lb is not easy to scoop at and I missed and the line snapped, oh well. Steve Seagar managed 2 or 3 carp and on our side of the lake the carp did not show at all.

Knowing that I could not win a prize I tipped back my 6lb of perch and 2 carp, that then froze my fingers as the temperature was close to zero again. I left before the weigh in as I had a party to go to when I got home, I think Craig won the silvers from peg 2 with 17lb of perch, and potentially Mike Duckett may have won from peg 24 with 12 carp.

It was good to be back on the bank and despite the struggle for bites it was interesting enough.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Bathampton Xmas Match - Not Quite!

Unfortunately I was struck down by the flu or a "virus" this week, and from Wednesday night to 4pm Thursday I was laid up in bed. I was not up to much at all on Saturday still full of aches and pains etc, and decided that I didn't want to spend a day in the cold on Sunday.

I spoke to Warren Bates and he was fishing the match and was going to fish the river, he sent me a text on the morning of the match to say he'd drawn peg 24. That's a nice peg at Newbridge on a coloured river, bream are never far away. As I had the trophy to give back I decided to pop out late on to see Warren and pass the trophy to him.

I got to see Warren at about 2:25pm with the match finishing at 3pm. He told me he just had 3 bream in as many casts and had some roach to go with them. He then caught a 10oz skimmer on double worm as I watched on, but his next cast produced a lovely drop back bite and he another bream on. I quickly remembered my phone and took these pictures of a good 4lb fish.

Next cast and Warren had an equally good drop back bite, this time though a 6oz eel was the culprit. Warren had two feeder rods set up, and he was using a 13 B711 to 0.17 with double worm when I arrived. Another rod had much lighter gear on with an 18 hook and he'd had a bream on that, I told him an 18 was to little for my liking, lol!

No more bream showed in the last 15 mins and the match ended. I wandered up the bank (Warren was end peg) and saw that everyone upstream had struggled with 2lb being about the best weight. I went back and helped weigh Warren in, his total net went 20lb 9oz and I am sure that the trophy will bear his name next to mine. A nice bag of fish from a coloured river that was not that pacey, well done matey! I just found out that Shaun Townsend came 2nd with 14lb on the canal, and in third was Rich Lacey with 10lb also from the canal.

Well a shame I couldn't get on the bank this weekend, work and Christmas now follow and I am looking forward to spending time with the family. Hopefully I can get back out on the bank next weekend, as I will be desperate for a few bites by then. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

March 1996

I couldn't find any matches that appealed to me this weekend, I did consider pleasure fishing the river for a few hours, but it was in flood after Thurs nights heavy rain and with that followed by 2 frosts it wouldn't be great. In the end Sat night on the beer up Kingswood with Glenn, Bela, Dave Haines and a brief visit by Shaun Townsend, put paid to any fishing Sunday. Though no hangover was a plus!

I missed a trip out in Feb 1996, a bit of pleasure fishing on the K&A canal on the long pond. I had about 4lb of gudgeon (where are they now?) roach and perch and a 6lb carp on caster, Nigel Wyatt landed it for me as I was struggling with 11m pole and 11m of elastic out!

First match in March 1996 was an open at Moorlands Farm, I drew peg 34 in a corner with the wind in my face, it was bitter and I only caught 7lb 12oz of bits for no good. Sunday 3rd March I fished the Ray Carter memorial match, usually on the Thames it was now on the Oxford canal due to flooding. I drew a section near Heyford, It was a tough day and I had just under 2lb of gudgeon roach and perch on bloodworm and joker, with a solitary roach on caster. I had 35 points out of 54, the team came 12th. I'm not 100% sure but this could have been the day some dogs running loose on the towpath snapped my pole. When I complained to the female owners their two husbands rounded on me and threatened to smash my gear up and then me! They looked like rugby prop forwards and as the anglers either side of me totally ignored my plight (gits) I backed down and survived. These people were boat owners but not living on the boat and they left before the end of the match, somehow all of my bait ended up in their boat, must have been a nice hatch that spring, lol!

After looking for a new pole section a great weekend followed..... Sat 9th pleasure fished at Conham and never had a bite what a gutter! Sunday I drew peg 22 behind the pump house at Newbridge and never had a bite again! The weather was mild and the temperature 16C, the river was very clear though, but I was at a loss to understand the complete lack of a single bite. I took a day off work on Wednesday and fished a Moorlands farm midweek open. I drew peg 14 on Meadow which can be good for carp, fishing a maggot feeder I caught nothing for 3 hours. Desperate for a few bites I switched to the pole and maggot and caught 10lb of roach and small skimmers. My section was only won with 13lb and so I blew the chance of some coin by going gung-ho on the tip.

After this match I had a long lay off and my next trip out was not until May 6th, pleasure fishing at Shearwater lake. I fished on the lawn with an open ended feeder hoping to catch some carp and skimmers, but after 2 hours I had nothing. Meanwhile next to me a Dad and his daughter had plenty of carp, they were sat on deck chairs about 6 feet away from their feeder rods, they'd wait until the reel started going backwards and get up and pick up the rod and play a carp. The difference, they were on a method feeder. I had one emstat feeder in my box that I had never used, I worked out how to set it up and cast it out on the same line I'd been fishing. 12 carp and 2 bream later I saw the power of the method feeder first hand.

Next week Sunday 21st December is the Bathampton Xmas match, being organised by Kev Dicks. You can fish either the canal or the river, as no rain is forecast I will give the river a go I think. There will also be a pairs pool on the day, one of you fish the canal, one of you fish the river. Give Kev a ring if you want to fish it, last year 19lb was top on the canal and I won the river with 20lb+ of bream, that would be nice again!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

ATWL K&A Canal Final Round

Time seems to fly as we get older, it didn't seem that long ago I was fishing the first round of this league up the Crane in warm weather. Today on the canal it was gonna be chilly and the thermals and extra layers were readied. The canal had been fished the day before on a Xmas match up at the George and Vinny Lunn won that with 11lb and his Mum Nicola was 2nd with 10lb, but weights dropped a bit after this. Today the match was pegged from Darlington up to the white gate by the George pub. Polished off a couple of tasty breakfast rolls and I was ready for the draw, today I was pegged in F section which was between Meadow Farm and the George Pub. I decided to park at Meadow Farm (which meant a nice steep walk back) and walk down. On peg E2 just past the wires was Jerry Pocock, and his peg was the end peg as E1 was not drawn (someone missed a flyer there!).

When I got to my home for the day I found I was pegged just before the old lock, it's only 10m+ wide here and I wasn't sure it would be that good if a lot of boats came through. On the other wider side of the lock was my stalker Kevin Dicks, think that's the 4th or 5th time we've been in the same section. My peg was nice and comfortable and I got my box in down on the edge of the water, rigs were pretty standard for me; 4x14 with 0.07 to 18 PR311 for punch on top 4, 0.2g PB silvers 5 for caster over 0.08 to 18 PR311, a chopped worm rig that caught nothing, a 4x12 bloodworm rig for across with 0.07 to 20 PR311. All ready to go my peg looked like this. (The house, conservatory and gardens opposite were very nice indeed!)

The all in was called and fed a ball of liquidized bread on my top 4, and some casters in 2 spots across, and that was it for now. I dropped in with a piece of punch and I was rewarded with a very positive bite and a nice bit of elastic came out, I guessed a skimmer, but it was in fact a roach of nearly 6oz. Next chuck a 3oz roach, and the next a smaller one. I put a bigger bit of punch on and was still catching roach which were probably averaging 1 1/2oz to 2oz. This is a great stamp of roach to catch and certainly better than what I have seen down at Darlington! After 20 mins a boat came through and I was gutted as I had been catching well, thankfully I must have been on a shedful as the bites continued after the boat had gone! The wind was now really blowing strong up the canal, it looked like the canal was towing, but it wasn't, and I had to hang onto the float or pull it against the tow to get the right presentation. At one point I went to lift my float up (not had a bite) and the float never moved, I'd hit the bottom, but as I shipped back the elastic came out and then pulled back twice before everything went lose. I can't be sure but I think I fouled a decent bream, it was very heavy. I think another 2 boats went through and I still caught on the punch, but after 90 mins this line hid the skids. Despite my best efforts I could not revive it again. I now fed some joker at 10m straight in front. as well as next to a boat to my left.

Time to look across on the caster lines, bang the float settled and carried on going and I caught another 2oz roach. I think I took 4 from my two lines but then snagged on an underwater bramble that came out further than I thought. It snagged my main line and I lost the whole rig. Luckily I had a spare made up and went back out and caught a large bleak and a roach before it went quiet. It was damn hard work holding the pole in the wind and trying to avoid all the leaves that were on the surface, they were a pain all day. Out on my main joker fed line at 10m and my first drop in with a pinke the float did not go under straight away (when I thought it would). After a few minutes of waiting the spec of a bristle disappeared and a better fish was on, must be a skimmer this time... no it was a roach getting close to 8oz. Back out again and a long wait for a little roach, and then a long wait for nothing, so on with a bloodworm and only 1 tiny roach, I was amazed! However, speaking to Martin Barrett and Kev Dicks it transpired the canal was fishing hard and some were getting hardly any bites and I was well ahead in my section.

The joker fed down by the boat might as well have been fed on the boat as I never had a bite over it! To be fair the last 2 hours of my match was awful and I could not get a bite over any of the lines. I did get a bleak on a red maggot over my chopped worm feed, lol, and a few micro roach on joker at 10m. I'd fed a small amount of joker over one of my caster lines and this brought 3 or 4 small fish. With 30 mins to go I fed some bread right over the far side as a last resort, this worked and brought me 10 or 12 little roach, at least a few bites to end on.

I was happy to pack up as I was now feeling the cold,and I was desperate for a pee but there was no chance of going as the towpath was very busy. I ended up weighing 6lb 3oz and won the section by a fair margin as Kev came 2nd with 2lb 14oz, I think that makes us about even this winter league! Walking back I saw Jerry Pocock about to weigh in and he had a nice bag of skimmers for 10lb 10oz, some on bread some on bloodworm. I then took some deep breaths for the walk up the hill, which I'm chuffed to say I did without stopping, but boy was I puffing at the end!

Overall on the day :-

1st Jerry Pocock 10lb 10oz
2nd Andy Power 7lb 3 1/2oz
3rd Kev Boltz  6lb 13oz
4th Vinny Lunn 6lb 4oz
5th me 6lb 3oz

On the team front Bathampton won the match finally beating Thatchers, but the league was sewn up already by Thatchers and we won the league with 5 wins and a second, Bathampton were runners up.

The knockout was won by Mark Harper, who beat Lee Trevitt.

The top 3 individuals in the league

1st Liam Braddell 27 points
2nd Shaun Townsend 27 points (less weight)
3rd me 25 points.

A satisfying set of 6 matches for me, and it was nice to get two section wins on the canal when last year I was last! Better draws this year have helped! As ever the Avon has fished well, but the boats up at Newbridge are really becoming a problem. Well done to Mark Harper and Kev Dicks for running the league, a thankless task.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

January / February 1996

My meeting with "general anaesthetic"on Wednesday (and what they did to me) left me feeling very tired even unwell. I was therefore glad that I did not have any winter league matches this weekend, painting doors was much less strenuous! Next trip to the hospital is mid January and I dare not tell you what they plan to do next time, other than mention an ultrasound, probe and a balloon, yikes!

Back in January 1996 my first match of the New Year was another round of the Moorlands Farm Winter League on Sat 6th. I drew Bank pool peg 13 and was expecting a tough match. Chopped worm was a great bait up here back in the day, and it was what I put my faith in for most of the day. I fished really light with a 22 to 0.08 and had 1 chub, 3 rudd, 6 roach and lost a carp. However, I rested this line on and off by fishing a maggot feeder which had yielded only 1 small carp, but in the last 45 mins I had 4 more carp all on double maggot on 20 to 0.12. My 12lb 9oz was enough to take second in the 22 peg section and helped the team to win on the day.

The following day saw me fishing an ATWL for Thatchers on the upper Avon, the river was flooded so a good draw was required. I took a small roach under my rod tip in the first 15 mins to avoid a blank and then cast a gbait feeder out in the main flow. After 20 mins I had a huge bite and a fish tore off miles downstream and I waited for the line to snap or the fish to snag me, but it didn't. With rod bent double the fish just held in the current, I pulled as much as I dared but I couldn't make the fish move. After 20 mins I gained about 6 turns on the reel and then the fish took it back again. Basically I held onto this fish with rod bent double for 90, yes 90 minutes!!! I was gaining more and more line on this fish but then it just swam off downstream again and into a snag. Talk about being gutted, I would have loved to have seen it, I wondered if it was a big barbel, or something fouled, I'll never know. I never had another bite all day and my roach of 2oz was only worth 3 points, the team won the league so that was the main result.

A trip up to Woodlands View lakes the following week was not much cop, I had 5 carp in a short spell half way through the match and lost 5 foulers, end of! Saturday 20th January found me back at Moorlands for the w/l, this time I drew on Meadow pool, and peg 18. My pole line at 10m was fed with chopped worm but I struggled on this whilst others caught a few, a skimmer and 2 roach were all I could muster and with nothing on the maggot feeder I was right down the section. I'd been feeding maggots at 12.5m but this has also been dead, so I upped the maggot feed as the last roll of the dice. This trick paid off with 4 carp in the last 40 mins, 2 coming in the last two drops prompting quite a lot of swearing from the anglers next door. My weight of just 11lb 15oz was enough to win the section, the team came 3rd and we were still hanging on to 1st overall.

For the next two weeks I abandoned all fishing as winter arrived with day time temperatures below zero, everything was frozen!

I managed to get out in February with a ATWL semi practice match on the Grand Union canal around West Drayton. I had to break the ice and in the end only had bites on joker from tiny perch, plenty of bites but they only weighed 1lb 8oz. My diary says on Feb 6th we had lots of snow, but it must have cleared because on the 10th I was back up the GUC for a team practice. I had a disaster with a mass of ice floating around in front of me, trying to push it out the way too far I fell in, that was cold! The next day we fished an open on the canal and I drew by the cement works. Once again I caught on joker, but this time small roach, a weight of 2lb 2oz was about halfway and a few better fish came out around me and I'd fished to negatively but learnt a lot.

Saturday 17th December I fished in the final round of the Moorlands w/l and with the team in the lead I must admit to feeling a bit of pressure! Peg 3 on Meadow Lake did not ease my nerves, but I was told to fish the worm and catch what I could. Effectively I fished the same as the match before, but this time my worm line yielded about 6lb of roach, my maggot feeder 1 crucian, and the long pole and maggot line a 1 1/2lb carp. 8lb 7oz was worth 17 points out of 22, the rest of the lads did well and we came 3rd on the day and won the league!, My winning team mates were Des Shipp, Steve Mayo and Vic Bush, not to shabby then!

I had little spare time that night as the next day was the last ATWL practice on the GUC! I was on the helipad section which was know to be crap and it meant I had to fish negatively with joker and forget all else. I fed tiny marbles of joker in various areas and caught 12oz of perch for 4th in the 10 peg section. I was absolutely gutted when the following week on the semi, Mark Harper did the team draw and I was on the helipad section, balls! I fished the same as the previous week and the canal was fishing really hard again and the bank runners were saying every fish was crucial. I caught 18 perch for 11 1/4oz and that was worth 15 points out of 25. Sadly I was really in a bad area of the section, I beat the 3 anglers to my left, 5 to my right, with the 6th angler beating me by 1/4oz, a certain Will Raison. I took a lot of positives from my result that day, even though the team shit out and came 16th!

Last round of the ATWL on the canal next Sunday, team have already won, and barring a boat sinking in his peg Liam Braddell will be individual champion!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Commercial House round 4 Bristol Avon

This match would be the last of the year on the lower Avon, and in the week the river was dropping nicely and looking like it could be really good. Sadly the rain decided to return on Friday and worse still Saturday night it tipped down, meaning it wasn't going to be great and except for a lucky few it would be a feeder match.

Today wasn't a day to say I'd like to draw Swineford, or the Crane, as it was all going to be about what your peg looked like, but one in an area where bream could be caught would be nice. I found myself pegged in D section up the Crane and was hoping to above the bay where bream had shown in the Poppy, but it turned out I was the first peg in the little ashtip. This is a kiss of death peg under normal conditions, but with water on it can be better as most of the flow goes across. I walked past Thatchers B team's Nick Chedzoy who was on the high wall peg (I didn't fancy that!) and Graham Hunt who was the peg before the style which had some perch form. My peg was boily below but not too bad infront of me (Chedz said don't you dare moan about it on your blog) and whilst I was setting up Chedz saw a decent fish roll very close in. I assembled a 5 grm pole rig, a 5grm flat float and neither of these got me a bite! Two feeder rods one with 0.148 exceed to a 14 B611 and one with .0165 exceed to a 13 B711 were also put up.

At the start of the match I threw in 10 jaffas of gbait on the 11m line, tried the pole rigs for nothing and then cast the feeder out for nothing! I did also feed some worm and caster next to a tree down to my right, and I had a couple of plucks on the tip on a lobworm tail but twice I snagged up on the strike. The third time I tried down here I hit the snag again and this time I felt like I had something on, but after a lot of effort I finally freed the rig but it was attached to some heavy line which fell back into the river. I never hit the snag again but also never had a decent bite other than a ruffe from here!

Two hours into the match and I was blanking, Martin Reyatt above me landed a perch to save his blank, Graham had a few small perch and Chedz a chub. I was not getting any bites at all and all hook bait options were refused, but minutes after Martin caught I had a decent bite on 3 red maggots. I was attached to a decent fish and a bream soon kited across the surface and into my landing net, phew! It was getting on for 4lb and was very welcome. Two casts later and another bite, but this fish fought differently and a perch of a pound popped up in close, went back down and the hook pulled out, nuts!

Bites were non existent again after this, and the river was still rising although the colour was still not that bad there were plenty of leaves and the peg was now boiling more and started to go round in circles a bit. I was hoping another bream would come out, and when Martin walked up to the first two pegs in the section (where I wanted to be) and found they had 2 bream each I knew I had to stick out. Sadly the remainder of the match was dire for most (mainly anglers who caught did so in the first 90 mins) and for me, I added 3 ruffe and a 12oz  perch and that was it. I did miss a few bites but I think those pesky ruffe were the culprits. I was astonished that I had not had a roach, but then none of the guys around me did, when we expected to get plenty of taps on the tip. To give you an idea of how tough it was Martin snagged up on the tip and lost his gear, and hour later he hooked it and retrieved feeder and hook length and his maggots were still on the hook untouched!!

On peg 1 Nigel Wyatt had 4 bream for 15lb and he won the match, well done matey! On peg 2 John Fuidge had 2 bream and some bits for 10lb 6oz and 3rd in match, well done! Peg Martin had just over a 1lb, I weighed 4lb 14oz, Graham 3lb (of perch) and Chedz had about a pound and a half. I was knocked down another place by Kev Dicks who beat me by 1/2oz (oh I did laugh at that!). That gave me 9 points out of 12 and 4 points out of 6 in the A div.

Back at the results I found out that Kev would win the section by default (and win £60) so the poxy perch I lost cost me, Kev profited even more from me as I bought some worms from him in the morning forgetting I had already ordered worms from Thatchers. I then got a phone call from the wife that my eldest daughter was in A&E after being knocked over the night before at a night club, some days luck deserts you, such is life!

I've mentioned a couple of framers, but in 2nd place was recent Poppy Match winner Andy Gabb with 11lb 7oz, Thatchers Welsh wizard John Harvey was 4th from peg 28 at Swineford with 10lb 4oz, he had 1 chub and some roach on the bolo. Craig Fletcher was last in the frame with two bream from peg 16 at Swineford. There were lots of anglers who struggled today and I can only assume the recent weeks cold temps and rain knocked it on the head.

I think Wiltshire Angling won the A div today, my lot came 2nd on the day, that means we now have an 8.5 point lead going into the last two rounds on the canal in the New Year. Not sure what I am doing next week yet, but I have a trip to hospital on Wednesday where the consultant wants to examine my ... so I've got to have a general anaesthetic, such is life!

Sunday, 16 November 2014


This is my new version of this post as I now (after 3 firkin attempts) have a new power cable for my laptop.

Sad day Saturday buying my last casters and maggots at Avon Angling, Saturday mornings won't ever be the same, think I was the last paying customer. Last picture of John and Tony just before they locked the door for the last time. We went down the pub with Tony for a couple of jars, Tony was putting on a brave face but I could see it was difficult for him, 30+ years in any any job that finishes is a big deal. I told Tony, and it was genuine, that I wouldn't be half the angler I was if it wasn't for the time spent in his shop picking up tips.

Today was the first w/l on the canal, I found myself drawn at Darlington Wharf two past the bay, This area has not been so good in the last year but skimmers are always in the area. I have drawn the peg before many years ago and had perch from next to the bush but last year this area was full of tiny roach, and I mean tiny! As you can see from the photo below the bush is off to my right and there is a nice depth next to it.

To my left was pegged Nicola Goodhind who loves fishing the canal, and to my right was my stalker (lol) Mike Martin-Davies, also in my section again was Bathampton's Kevin Dicks.

I started the day off badly, as when I got to the towpath I realised I'd left my 14.5m pole section at home, but as Glenn Bailey was coming out for a walk I called him and he nipped round my house and picked it up for me, dead handy. A number of rigs set up today, the last standing 4x14 drennan Roach for punch, a couple of 4x16 PB Silvers for fishing either maggot, or worms, a 4x10 caster rig, and 0,4gm bloodworm rig which I never used. You can see here some of the floats I put together in my limited time on Saturday...

I started on the punch bread at 5m but straight off was into micro roach which was not a good sign. I persevered with it for 75 mins and did pick a few 1oz roach but not many. It seemed all in my section were struggling except Nicola who had 3 skimmers on the bread. I took a decision to turn this line into a gbait line to try to get a better stamp of fish on this line.

I went over to the bush and fishing either maggot or pinkie hookbait at first on the 4x16 PB Silvers. I picked up 1oz roach regularly but it was hard work shipping over at an angle and breaking down twice but the stamp of fish was much better. I was catching over a joker fed area and a worm and caster swim. I took fish from here for another 90 mins before things went iffy and bites were hard to come by. Mike Martin-Davies was on my right one out of the bay and he had a few skimmers over gbait in close, but I'd tried my converted gbait line and had no joy.

To be honest as I could see skimmers coming out I stayed fishing positive with bigger baits and fed more bait across to try to force a reaction. Sadly I never picked up any skimmers (other than 1oz jobbies) and I had to put pinkie on to get a few roach. I did manage a few roach on the caster and had three 4oz fish in three drops with 40 mins to go which helped, but they never stayed. These fish came on the lighter 4x10 float but not many other fish fell to this rig.

I finished with 5lb 6oz and won the section with 4lb 5oz being next best weight, however had I been in the section to my right I would have been last! As it happened other than Nicola nobody else had a skimmer in my section and so I got away with the section win, had I fished for bits I probably could have had another pound or so, but I got away with it today, and beat Kev Dicks again ;-)

Thatchers won on the day and have now won the league even with one match to go!

Team mate Nathaniel Johnson won the match from two pegs to my right in the bay with 12lb 13oz of skimmers, Shaun Townsend had 12lb 10oz from the end peg of the match, and Alan Jones had 10lb from the other end peg of the match, joint 4th was Rich Lacey and Mark Harper with 9lb 12oz.

Nat caught some decent skimmers on the pole over gbait, Alan caught some skimmers and good roach on bread early doors. Shaun caught most of his fish in the last 30 mins when roach and skimmers turned up and he couldn't get his float in quick enough.

This Sunday it is back on the river for the last river match on the Commercial House, hopefully the rain stays away and we could have a decent river.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Poppy Match (centenary match)

This year's Poppy Match had a special added element because it was 100 years since the beginning of World War I. I spent an hour or so early Saturday morning putting 30 pegs up the Crane assisted by Shaun Townsend and Jerry Pocock, with the river in flood we did our best to put the slacker pegs in and give everyone a chance. Ray Bazeley, Paul Haines, Colin Ellaway and Paul Benson put 70 pegs up Newbridge and I thought that was the best, as Swineford and Jack Whites would have been poor.

As ever on the morning at the draw there were plenty of old and great to see faces again, I could write a whole blog just on them! Sadly of course we were missing Bill Milton. I was really hoping for a draw up Newbridge as I thought a few bream would show today and 20lb would probably be a winning weight. I sort of got my wish drawing peg 124 down in the Trees, my prediction was that this area wouldn't throw up the winner but gave you a chance of framing, and I though 8lb would be a good weight. I didn't spend that long setting up and two feeder rods did for me, one with a 14 B611 to 0.16 exceed, and one with a 12 PR355 (I think!) to 0.16 exceed. I had my groundbait mix "thawed out", it was what I had used up on peg 7 a few weeks ago, I did add to it another bag of brown crumb but it was still red in colour despite what the onlookers thought!

I think it was before the start that organisers Paul Benson and Ray Bazeley walked down, we'd all been given Remembrance crosses at the draw and Bense (who wasn't fishing) decided to stick his in behind me, here it is...

When the match started today I began on a big open ended feeder and just wanted to see what happened, I was putting plenty of worm an caster in. After 20 mins I had a small bite and it turned out to be a little 2oz eel which liked my 3 red maggots. I then snagged up and lost my feeder, but after this had a few bites during the next 60 mins on various baits; dendras, lob worm, worm and maggot, and after an hour and 15 mins I had 4 eels. I kept banging the bait and trying different hookbaits but had a quiet spell for a good hour, then I had small roach on lobworm and next chuck a 8oz roach. That was it again and another dead spell was endured, Mat Challenger (of Scott Tackle) came up for a walk and saw me miss a good bite, by far the biggest bite of the day and the lob was gone! Here is my peg and set up..

All day long it was a nightmare with bots, but by far the worst were the damn dragon boats which came up very close on our bank and then went back down stream on the opposite side. I had quite a few "choice" words with them today, but they seemed to ignore me,

With 2 hours to go I threw in 8 balls of gbait laced with worm and caster on my feeder line, which was about 12m out. An immediate bite was missed then I had 2 eels in two chucks and then it was dead again. Going into the last 40 mins I went back to trying maggots and casters on the hook and this seemed a good move as I had another eel and two roach which must have both been over a pound, the last once coming at 2:55pm and I missed a bite on the whistle.

I knew I would not be getting my hands on any frame money this year as I was well aware of a number of anglers who had bream, but my 7 eels and 4 roach weighed 4lb 8oz which won my 5 peg section. The top weight in the trees was 9lb 5oz caught by Mark Harper down in the 140's.

Winner on the day was Andy Gabb with 18lb 6oz from around peg 26 up at Newbridge, which was 4 bream, well done! In 2nd place was Simon Alder from the little Ashtip field with 16lb 4oz. Simon had 3 bream but lost 3 (ouch) this was the second time he's come 2nd! In 3rd place was team mate Liam Braddell who was in the first field at the Crane, and he had 11lb 13oz which included one good bream and some nice roach and eels. Here are the winners and organiser Ray...

Of course the big winner was the Poppy fund which must have another £1500 added to it thanks to this match. The banter after the match was brilliant and I had a great laugh, managed to win a couple of Terrys Chocolate Oranges on the raffle and a bottle of vino for pegging out. Next week it is a change of venue and the canal for the ATWL.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

ATWL Round 4 Bristol Avon Newbridge

I spent a few days in Plymouth this week visiting my eldest daughter who is at the University, think she's learning as much as she is drinking, lol! I had a phone call from Shaun Townsend whilst there, he told me he'd lost a bet with Tony Rixon on weight last Sunday, and I'd lost him the bet as I refused to weigh in the couple of small fish he left in his keepnet. I did offer to pay him the £1 he lost lol!

I woke up a couple of times Sunday morning and heard some heavy rain, and I was sure the river would rise during the day, how this would affect the fishing I wasn't sure. Team draw didn't look so hot today, and I felt I was on a bad un and right up against it on peg 65. For some reason this season from here down to the bridge has been shocking, in years gone by I've had some good weights of roach and bream from here and would have run to the peg. With 3 bream pegs (54, 56, and 61) in my section it was going to be tough, above me on peg 63 was in form Rich Whitmarsh, and he said he had not done any good off his peg and was not happy either!

This part of the river is deep, around 14ft, and I had to tie some extra line on my rigs which today were 2grm, 4grm and 4grm flat float. I also set up a 14BB crowquill on a long rod, and feeder rod. Leaves were already very visible on the surface and they got worse as the day went on. I began the match by casting out 10 big feeders towards the far bank, which was a mistake. I then threw 14 balls of gbait in at 11m, I only went this far as the peg is very flat and deep and this was on the edge of the leaves. I started on the 2gm float with a caster on the hook  but only 1 roach on this was a bad sign. I was soon on a maggot and now getting bites from 1/2 to 2oz roach and perch. It was steady for the first hour and I thought I had 1.5lb. Things went iffy and noticing that Rich had taken a few fish on the crowquill I switched to this method too. It was a good move and I was taking small fish on maggot with a 20 to 0.10. However, bites were coming further down the peg and the fish were getting smaller and were mainly perch. Steve Skelton walked up the bank and told me not much was happening so I plodded on, but the swim was going away from me. I fed another ball of gbait on the pole line and then tried the feeder across. Sadly the leaves were making it near impossible to get my line below them and catching a leaf would bend the rod tip round and the feeder would roll.

About 2 hours to go I thought I was beating Rich, but Derek Coles on peg 61 had walked down to tell me he had 3 to 4lb and so he was doing well. Dave Stiff sat behind me and watched for a while and he noticed when Derek went back that he landed a skimmer / big roach (it turned out it was a 6 to 7lb bream!). I tried the flat float over the pole line and a few small perch on worm, but as a bit of colour came in the river the perch dried up, I tried the feeder over the pole line but alas it did not work.

I carried on working the crowquill loose feeding casters and hemp and was getting the odd bite here and there, still only from small fish but I did pick up 1 roach of 8oz.  With an hour to go I threw in another 6 balls and tried the pole rigs but none produced a bite. Only the crowquill was getting me bites and I plugged away on this to the end of the match with a few small roach and a gudgeon hitting the net.

My section today was won by Kevin Boltz on peg 56 who had 1 big bream and some roach for 11lb+, Derek was next with 9lb 9oz and I was next with 5lb 11oz. Rich weighed 4lb 12oz and last in the section with 3lb 3oz was Kev Dicks. I did a team job today and went for 3 points and got them, had I sat out for bream I may have been last. The 2 pegs below me in the next section had 1lb and 3lb  (Brian Melksham and Shaun Townsend) and so I think it just proves how poor this area is at present.

Winner on the day was Frys expert and all round nice guy Dean Harvey. Dean was on peg 40 and was struggling but in the last hour he had 9 bream for 46lb. Second place went to John Fughe on peg 7 in the little field with 43lb. John told me he read my blog and did the same as I did and caught bream on the feeder over the pole line. Mark Harper was 3rd with 16lb+ from peg 3 in the little field. Darren Gillman was first out of the money with another 16lb. Apparently Mike Goodhind came 5th and included in his weight a bream of 8lb 7oz!!!

Thatchers only had 1 section winner today (John Harvey with 11lb of roach in the trees) but still we managed to win on the day and now we have a 4 point lead over Bathampton with just 2 canal matches left.

Next week it is the Poppy Match, sadly one of the stalwarts of that match will not be present. Bill Milton died this morning in hospital, I think pneumonia took him from us. Bill had suffered from Menigitis, cancer and leukemia in recent years, prior to this Bill despite being in his 70's was a strong fit bloke. He was a great bloke, a great laugh and loved his fishing. He boxed my ears on more than one occasion when I was young, mainly for being cheeky, but it was all a laugh and I loved his banter and wind ups. Lots of memories of Bill, one I recall is him winning a Billy match up at Laycock with 40lb of bream on the feeder, he said he had 1 chub  too. That chub was a 2 1/2lb roach! RIP mate.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

ATWL Round 3 Bristol Avon Swineford, Crane & Jack Whites

A busy Saturday for me which included pegging the Crane and Jack Whites. There was a Keynsham AA match up the Crane which was a bit of a struggle with Warren Bates winning it with 8lb. A pleasure angler at Jack Whites was admitting to 15lb of dace and I must admit the river looked good with a nice pace and a tinge of colour. I hoped to draw Swineford or Crane on the match. I had a trip down to Thatchers Tackle shop in Wells where I picked up some more Sonubaits groundbait, this is what I and most of the team are currently using to ball in.

I then travelled to Avon Angling to pick up some more bait, and as I am sure most of you know the shop is closing down in a few weeks. I am gutted to hear this, John Bradford and Tony Rixon are two great blokes and have done a great job with this little shop for the last 30 years. I have always used Avon Angling because not only did Tony do his best to sell good bait, but he was a big help when it came to providing help on how to fish venues, and without Tony I would not have done  half as well on commercials. Very sad, but all good things......

Sunday morning, thanks for the extra hour in bed but why did I feel knackered? Liam Braddell is still being entrusted to draw for the team (we've been first every time he draws this year!) and he came back with a decent looking set of pegs. I was at Swineford on peg 6, it has not been good this year, ans everyone who has been on it has been plagued with tiny fish, so I thought I'd have to go positive to do well for the team.

On the outfall was Jeff Surmon, on peg 2 was another no show, then me, on peg 4 was Mike Williams and he knew bream had come off the peg, and on the first peg in the second field was Shaun Townsend. I set up a 12BB crowquill with 0.138 exceed to a 15 B711 and a 7 no4 stick float with .117 exceed to 18. Lastly a feeder with 0.165 exceed to 13 B711.  The banks are quite steep here but there are nice steps cut out in this peg and I was quite comfortable.

Although it was a team match I started on the feeder, I had a gut feeling I needed to start on this and feed the inside line heavily with maggot and hemp. A large gbait feeder was cast out with 3 red maggs on the hook, and within a minute it was back in again after a missed bite, next chuck another quick bite and a 1/2oz roach was impaled! Onto the dendrabena but still small fish bites, but after 25 mins I had a nodder on and a 4lb bream was a welcome early bonus. Not long after this Glenn Bailey sat behind me, and he watched as my tip would not stay still no matter how big the hookbait. I was chucking the feeder quite close to the far side, not to close as there is a weed bed that grows over there, but I wanted to be close to it as the bream tend to patrol it.

A decent dace, a 6oz roach and a few small perch all took the worm hookbait, but not long after the hour mark I had another slightly smaller bream. I was over the moon at such a good start but sadly the bream did not show again, it may be because there was a pike in the peg that hit the surface not long after I cast my feeder in, or simply they backed off to a quiet spot. Whatever I spent a lot of time and bait in pursuit of them for no reward. The trouble was the inside line was solid with little dace, bleak, chub fry and even the roach were small. I was feeding a big pouch of maggots regularly and even Glenn commented on how heavy I was feeding, but it made no difference. Eventually in the last 30 mins I did get a few better dace and roach on the crowquill, I'd fed nearly 3 pints of maggots and 2 pints of hemp and was disappointed that I'd had no chub, but it was just as others had found, the peg is wall to wall with bits.

My weight on the day was recorded as 12lb 5oz, which I was more than happy with, I beat Jeff and Mike who both had around 6lb, but Shaun smacked our asses with 19lb 7oz of chub and roach. Interesting Shaun could run a wag through and not get a bite, no bits in his peg helped, but a cracking weight from there. As it turned out Shaun came 2nd overall meaning I bagged the section money by default. nice!

Winner today was Mark Harper who had the longest walk, he was on the bottom peg of the beach. He had 22lb on the pole which bar a 2 1/1lb skimmer was all roach up to 1 1/2lb. Mark caught over balling in the above mentioned gbait, and he also landed 4 pike which don't count. Shaun was 2nd and in 3rd was Liam Braddell on peg 27 at Swineford who had 19lb of roach, skimmers and a chub on running line. Just behind Liam was Lee Trevitt with 18lb 14oz of mainly roach on the float at Jack Whites. It was a good day for float fishing today, but the top weight up the Crane was Kev Boltz who had 16lb from peg 76. Kev had 3 bream in the last 20 minutes which helped!

Thatchers had a very good day winning with 36 out of 40 points, Bathampton came 2nd. After 3 matches Thatchers lead with 3 points, and Bathampton are second with 6. I can't finish without mentioning a funny tale told to me by Nigel Wyatt. Nige was down at JAck Whites on one of my favourite pegs on the style. Nige hadn't done great and when he heard a shout looked at his watch and saw it was 3:30pm and time to pack up. About 20 mins later Nicola Goodhind walked along and asked Nige why he had packed up early..... Turns out Nige had forgotten to change the time on his watch and the shout he heard was nothing to do with anglers, lol! Nige set up his stick float again and carried on, getting beat by a couple of anglers by a few ounces, oh dear, there's always someone who forgets, bad luck Nige ;-)

Another ATWL next week, back up at Newbridge.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Commercial House Round 3, Bristol Avon Newbridge

I was looking forward to this match as the rain in the week had put some pace and colour into the river. Had a bit of banter on facebook with Graham Hunt, when I said to Clive Branson it would be a "FEEDER JOB" Graham quite rightly explained how it could still be pole fished. I said it was still a feeder job lol, well we would see.

At the draw I was asked where I would like to draw, and I said of course the usual bream pegs but definitely did not want to be in the little field. Liam Braddell does the team draw and I find myself pegged in little field on peg 7 which has been a brilliant roach peg of late. With 6 pegs in my section in this field and 6 up at Rotork where I expected some bream to be caught I was not happy! I had a little moan at Liam and then went on my way, I didn't think our team draw was that good either today.

There were some good river anglers in my section today, Darren Gillman was on 12A (but I didn't fancy that peg, Brian Melksham on 12, Glenn Calvert was below me on 10, above me was my good luck charm Mike Martin-Davies on 5 and Vic Abbot was on 3. The banks were very slippy and I slid down on my arse once, so cut a few small steps out to stop that happening again. I only set up two pole rigs today, a 5grm Preston Silvers float with 16 to 0.12 exceed, and a 6grm flatty with 16 to 0.14 exceed. A feeder rod with a 13 B711 to 0.165 exceed line finished off things and that meant I was ready on time. I should mention that I have recently been using the Sonubaits groundbait in my mixes, today I had some of their river and lake, brown crumb and some red magic mixed up. I made up 14 big balls of gbait which had hemp, casters and chopped worms in them. I threw these in at around 11.5m and dropped in with the 5gm rig. I had 2 roach on this rig in 20 mins and with the lack of fish topping I thought already this wasn't going to be a roach day. I tried the flat float and had a small perch on this and then hooked what I think was a better roach but it came off on the way in. 45 mins and things were not good and I reached for the feeder rod, to begin I thought I'd fish it over the pole line as there were quite a few leaves coming down which would make going further over tricky. A gudgeon and a tiny perch and a couple of tiny indications were all I got on bunches of maggots. Time for the worm and first cast on a dendrabena I had a 2 1/2lb skimmer. I spoke to Darren on the hour and he was really struggling so I was happy enough.

15 mins later and another good bite and a 4lb bream really pulled hard in the extra flow, but the fish was well hooked in its rubbery lips and was landed safely. Another bream of 4lb and a 3lb bream quickly followed before all went quiet. A couple of piccies from my other lucky charm Ryan Clancy, he took these of me without me knowing!

All went quiet for about 30 minutes and then another good bite saw me bump a bream, damn, the worm had doubled over the hook. That knocked things back and I had wait another 30 mins until my next bite, but disaster,I struck and felt a heavy weight and the line parted above the feeder. That had never happened before, but I realised later what I had done, I had been rubbing the line against a zip when plugging the feeder with gbait, so I moved the gbait bowl to my right (as you see in pics above).

I heard that Rich Lacey up at Rotork had some bream so I gave him a call and he had 7 so he was beating me. Having re set up things were still quiet and knowing I had nothing to lose I put on a bigger feeder and fed heavier with casters and worms. This soon had the effect of another bite, but this time from a 1lb perch, and then a smaller perch, not usually a good sign. Ryan then came and sat behind me and promptly saw me hook my first snag, I managed to reel this in close before it got lodged and I lost the hook. Then about 12 mins after this I had another 4lb bream, and then another. All of a sudden my swim was full of bream and I was getting what looked like bites within a couple of minutes, but sometimes it was liners I think. I switched to double dendrabena and this target bait brought me bites within seconds of hitting the bottom, and I hooked a real beast of a bream which turned out to be 7lb 14oz (my biggest ever). Ryan was amazed at this spell and so was I! I reckon I had 6 bream in 20 minutes. Here is me with my biggest bream (thanks Darren Gillman)

After this mad spell the swim went quiet again, obviously the shoal backed off again. With 30 mins to go Martin Barrett rang me and as he did he hooked and lost a bream, and as he was telling me he wished he hadn't phoned me I had a bite and hooked one and told him I had to go (lol) it was another 3lb fish and about 15 mins to go had another. I missed a definite liner (nearly pulled the rod in) and that was the match over. I thought I had 12 bream so well over 40lb.

Jerry Pocock came down with the scales and other than myself the little field had fished as bad as what I had expected it to, with a couple of 2lbs and a couple of 4lbs. After a few weighs Bri shouted out 51lb 2oz, my best weight at Newbridge! Darren took a little video of part of the weighing in..

Back at the results I found out that Rich Lacey had weighed 39lb and he was to come 3rd overall, in second place was Lee Warden on peg 26 who had 42lb of bream on the feeder. Of course that meant that I had won the match, yay!  Martin Barret came 4th with 28lb. Unlucky angler on the day was Roy Carter who was paid out for 5th overall, but then the organisers made a mistake and he was 6th and first out the frame, but he did get his section by default!

Thatchers A came joint 1st on the day and so we now have a 3 1/2 point lead over one of the Bathampton teams with the league now at its halfway point.

I certainly got a bit of stick afterwards for not looking forwards to fishing my peg, it is strange how things can turn up and why I was the only one to catch bream in the field I don't know. Certainly the Sonubaits gbait is working fine, and it was great to feel the heavy thud of slabs, told you it would be a feeder job Graham ;-) Today is why I love fishing the river, not just catching a net ful but because you never always know just what will happen, and the extra water does move the fish around. Next week its the ATWL back down at Keynsham.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

ATWL Round 2, River Avon Newbridge

A fairly unspectacular week leading up to this weekend and only needed minimal prep with a couple of a rigs redone and the obligatory groundbait mixed Saturday night. It was a pleasant sight to to see the rugby club open this morning allowing me to have a bit of breakfast. Sadly one of the teams was a couple of anglers short, but hopefully that won't be an issue going forward. Team drawing expert Liam Braddell did the business today with what looked a very good set of pegs for the team. My home for the day was peg 138 down towards the bottom end of the trees. Now against my number it said H5 which meant I was end peg in the match, but somehow I was not there were two pegs below me! Not quite sure what Kevin Dicks did but it all made sense to him, but with no section pegs pegged out it made life a little difficult in places.

After the relatively short walk from the car park to the arch and then 31 pegs later I found my home. Nathan Hawke was above me on 134, Jeff Surmon below me on 140 and on the end peg 144 was Lewis Walker. Normally in this section the end peg dominates and the further away you are from it the worse it gets, but I was more than happy with my peg. Thinking about my set up today I based it around catching roach as skimmers are pretty rare down this end, and the gbait feeder was set up and chucked out 3 times and never had a bite, the end! If you read my blog you'll probably already know what I set up, 1gm pencil, 2gm rugby ball, and 3gm flatty, and 1gm rig for chopped worm. I like to keep things light for roach fishing and a 20 to 0.08 was the most used end tackle today, I did try an 18 to 0.10 for a bit but it was noticably slower. I wished I had some tow rope with me though, as there were lots of rowing boats out on the water!

The mist was now clearing and I could easily see my rig at 13m and threw in 12 jaffas containing some caster, hemp and pinkie. I started on the 2gm rig with caster but it was a very slow start and and after 15 mins I was reaching for the pencil rig. Caster was catching me odd small roach but it was not prolific by any means, switching to single maggot got me a bite a chuck but it was from 1oz perch and similar sized roach. The bites were coming below where I felt my gbait had settled, and I started to run the rig further down the peg and for a while this picked up roach from 2oz to 4oz. Every time I thought I had it sussed though the bites would become fewer and I'd miss more, I had to keep trying the different rigs and different hook baits and different areas of the peg all day. I also had a few on the crowquill and they tended to be slightly better. Halfway through Jeff and Nathan were admitting to 4lb the same as me, we didn't know about Lewis. I reckon I'd wasted 20 mins by not being able to get the rig in due to the bloody rowers! At one stage an eight that was obviously virgin rowers ended up next to my keepnet, I kept cool. See below the useless feckers!

I suppose I had gone nearly 3 hours on the pole and I thought I had 6 to 7lb when it was time to try the chopped worm swim which was about 11m down the peg. I had 6 perch up to 6oz and 1 eel here so useful fish when it was fishing tough. I lost a perch though when the most useless line up of rowers in that eight came back and nearly hit me again, I kept cool. Then they just sat there whilst they got given instructions by another boat, after a minute I lost my cool and told them to get the f@@@ out of my way, and they did and looked rather sheepish! I guess it is the time of year and all the Bath Uni freshers are giving it a go, I did feel sorry for the 4 girls rowing who got hit by a narrow boat..... no I laughed quite a bit actually lol!

 I was convinced the roach would come back on the feed late, especially as we were fishing to 5pm and the conditions light winds and overcast were perfect. I'd kept loose feeding casters and hemp all day at 13m and it paid off when with about an hour to go the bites came back and the rowers had finally thinned out. I still had to keep messing about with my rigs but the 2gm rig with caster and then later a maggot was best. I had 4 roach that must have been 8oz, two coming on the last two drops, and plenty of 2 to 4oz fish and it was a fabulous last hour. I had to land the last two fish on my top set as my number 4 section got jammed in, a bit hairy that was!

I thought I must have at least 10lb today, which I was happy with, Jeff said he didn't have that and Nathan said 7lb. The scales showed Lewis on the end had 11lb+, Jeff had 13lb 3oz, I weighed 13lb 12oz, and Nathan 8lb 6oz. With an angler missing I won the section, and was thankful for the last two roach. I'd lost a couple of fish off the hook today, and an 8oz skimmer at the net, but thankfully I'd not had any pike trouble.

The river fished quite well today, but as ever there were a few tougher areas, not may bream were caught despite there being a tinge in the water. Some nice perch were caught on the day with two anglers seeing huge perch taking 6oz roach. Match winner today was Vinny Lunn who had a runaway victory with 30lb of skimmers from the Norfolk Reeds peg. Vinny struggled early on for 3lb of roach, but later he had 6 skimmers on the pole and 6 on the gbait feeder. In second place was the man on fire Andy Ottaway with 18lb+ of roach with some fine samples over a 1lb, Andy was on flier peg 74. Third and last in the main pool was Liam Braddell with 14lb 10oz of roach to 1lb 8oz on the pole from peg 49. Liam lost some big roach to a huge pike he estimated at 20lb. Unlucky in 4th place was yours truly!

Thatchers had a good day and we won again and Bathampton came 2nd again, meaning we have a 2 point lead after two matches. It was good to see Lee Trevitt fishing today, he was using Mark Harper's gear and sadly none of Lee's gear has been found. Lee had just under 10lb but was beaten by two anglers, I can only imagine how tricky it was using someone elses gear.

Back at Newbridge next week for the Comm House, once again a lot of rain is being forecast, let's see if it materialises this time, if it does we could be facing the first flooded match of this series.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

ATWL Round 1 Swineford, Crane, Jack Whites

I start my blog with some bad news and ask that everybody please keep their eyes open. Some thieving shit has nicked Lee Trivetts gear after the match. His van was parked by Keynsham angling and his seatbox, holdall and carryall were all taken. Virtually everything was Preston Innovations gear including a Absolute 14 pole. Sorry mate, hope it turns up.

Well back to the events earlier in the day, which started with an almighty cock up, the draw venue the rugby club was not open! That meant parking was a nightmare and most of us were hungry. The draw was done and I was going to be fishing in the long ashtip field, but before that I visited McDonalds in Brislington to get a Mc Muffin to keep me going.

I arrived at my peg after getting the gear over two styles (thanks to other anglers) and found myself in the middle of the field on peg 79. Below me was Kevin Dicks on 81 and above me on 77 was Leighton Warden. I had to get into the water to fish this peg but it was easy enough, but there were a few tree branches out in front of me which would limit options.

It was a rush to get ready for the start of the match but I just about managed it, though I didn't have time to put hook lengths on my feeder rod and my crowquill rig. The pole rigs were as usual 1gm pencil float, 2gm, 4gm flat float and a rig for perch. I threw in 12 balls of gbait at 13m to begin and started on the 2gm rig but I had no bites for 10 mins. I then started to get a few bites but caster on the hook was a complete waste of time and I was soon trying maggots. This was better but I was missing more bites than hitting, and when a pike took a fish and bit me off I reached for the pencil float. With a bit of alteration to depth and shotting I started to hit more bites but everything I was catching was tiny roach. I hooked a better roach and that was soon gone after the pike took it. After about 30 mins Andrew Trudgian turned up to watch me, I'm not sure if he learnt anything as I was mainly catching tiny roach and lost a few more hooks to pike. By now my elastics were looking awful as they had been well stretched by the pike, and I'd lost one rig.

I started to get a bit of a run together on these small roach, with single bronze maggot best. I was loose feeding casters and hemp on the pole line and also maggots further across the river, small fish were topping and it was evident the peg was solid with bits. A jack pike took another fish and I got this 3lb+ fish all the way in and was about to net it when it dived into some reeds, that finished off the hook length and the rig went up a tree, I had no more pencil floats in the box! Luckily I managed to get the 2gm rig working better and Mr pike never bothered me again. The roach were still small and if I did get a better roach it was a one off. Colin Dance walked up behind me and said I was catching quicker than Kev Dicks but his fish were bigger.

With 90 mins to go the pole was drying up and a try on my chopped worm rig was uneventful all bar a 1oz perch. I tried the crowquill which I had attached an 18 to 0.104 and used double maggot on the hook. It was hard going as the wind was downstream now, but I could get bites on this and although hitting the bites was tricky the fish were a better stamp. I cursed myself for not trying it earlier.

The match ended and I was knackered, it was a very busy day of shipping in and out and it was hard work going back up the bank. I wasn't sure what I had but thought 8lb+ which wasn't going to beat Kevin below. As it was Kev weighed a very good 12lb, and my skerrits went 10lb 5oz, I was beaten again by the section winner Mat Challenger of Scotts Tackle who did brilliantly to weigh 14lb of little roach. I did chuck my keepenet at him as he'd kept that quiet lol!

Back to the new results venue the Lock Keeper at Keynsham and it seemed the result was going to be tight, but in the end my Thatchers lot managed to win the day beating Bathampton into second. I didn't know the winners name today Ben.... he had 17lb from the top of the cow drink at the crane which included 4 good chub, that peg doesn't often win a match! In second place was an old mate of mine Paul Staite, he was on peg 9 in the first field at Swineford and also had 17lb which was made up of 4 bream and bits, well done matey. In 3rd was the now bearded Andy Ottoway who do well to catch 16lb from the high wall, Andy had a couple of chub, roach and a lot of perch. I think Jerry Pocock was 4th from peg 27 at Swineford with a brilliant 15lb+ of roach on the crowquill.

With Jack whites throwing up a 12lb and four 11lbs, and plenty of small roach everywhere it was a match where people had lots of bites.

Next week is round 2 up at Newbridge, hope it rains some more, fancy a lazy feeder match!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Commercial House Round 2 Bristol Avon Barton Farm and Staverton

The second round of this popular league with 12 teams of 6 anglers, well some teams struggle to get 6 for various reasons. Such as one team today which could not raise Martin Rayet for love nor money from where ever he was sleeping, seriously hope he was OK.

I do not know a thing about this part of the river, having not fished up here for probably 15 years+. Tony Gilbert (4 star) gave me plenty of info before the match and said he'd like to draw F section at Barton Farm and the further down the better as bream would most likely be caught. Tony ended up drawing there on peg 5 and as it happens so did I on peg 2. Most people turned their noses up at my draw saying I would get hammered by the bream pegs at the other end of the section. Never mind I hoped I'd catch a few and enjoy the day, which was very summer like!

After a lovely walk along a concrete path (heaven) I arrived at my home for the day. As I surveyed the peg I wasn't particularly struck with hope. There were some nasty overhead branches (I did remove the lowest) which prevented me from setting up a float rod, and a tree overhanging from my inside which was bound to catch line being mended!  You can see the branches overhead in this pic.

and there was no flow on the river until at least 14m out. I really didn't want to have to fish 14.5m as the path behind me would be busy with walkers, but with roach in the forefront of my mind I knew I had to get into some flow. In this pic you can see the tree coming out from my downstream inside line.

My neighbours today were mister nobody on peg 1 (someone short) and local expert Vic Abbott who'd pegged the match out on peg 3. As I started to get myself settled in and set up I knew I had to put my faith in the pole today. I set up my typical river rigs, a 1gm pencil rig with 22 to 0.08, a 2grm rugby ball with 20 to 0.09, a 4gm with 18 to 0.10, and a 1.5gm rig with 13 to 0.16 for chopped worm. I also set up a gbait feeder in case the bream showed, but it was only cast out twice.

I began the match balling it in with 9 jaffas containing not much feed at 14.5m. I went in on the 2gm float and after 10 mins had my first fish on a caster a 3 to 4oz roach. I took a couple more but it was not prolific and a switch to maggot was a bit better and the fish were about the same size. I could not get them lined up at all, bites seemed to come further and further down the peg and not in the same place and it was really intensive fishing requiring a lot of concentration. I did try the 1gm rig but it didn't seem right at all. Due to the depth of the peg, at least 13ft I had decided not to loose feed and instead would feed a small ball of gbait to try and keep things tight. After an hour I had about 2lb I thought, but I was still getting bites on the 2gm rig on maggot. I think the 2nd hour went very much the same as the 1st hour and so I probably had 4lb. The flow on the river had picked up considerably and my dead water was now flowing, I could have fished at 11m such was the flow, and that would have been a big help as I was always having to watch out as I shipped back. I nearly hit one kid off his bike, and had a few close shaves with the rather posh people on show. Thankfully a posse of 50 ramblers passed by without me getting a bite.

Things started to get tougher now. I had dropped in on the chopped worm line earlier without a sign and so had fed it again and left it. Before I tried it again I went out on the 4gm rig fished over depth with double maggot, just as I did retired angler Johnny Atkins sat behind me. I took a few nice roach on this before it died and I fed a ball of gbait. John told me Rich Whitmarsh and Tony Gilbert were catching roach but many were struggling. Trying my worm line again the float buried first drop in, but as I struck I felt a double bump, and the fish put up a bit of fight. Not long after a 6oz perch surfaced hooked in the dorsal fin! Obviously I must have pulled out of the perch but the hook then caught the fin, lucky. Another small perch and then it was all quiet, so it was back out on the long pole but this was also dead.

The next hour or so was awful, and a solitary roach and 2 tiny perch were all that I could muster. Jeff Surman down on peg 4 had been up for a walk and he was really struggling with less than a pound. I went down to see Tony who had also dried up, it seemed the river had switched off. No matter what I tried I couldn't get a response, and so with an hour to go I gave it another 6 big jaffas full of caster and worms in the hope of a better fish. What I did manage to catch in the last 40 mins was 7 roach which would have added maybe another 1lb 8oz. These fell to double maggot on the 4gm rig and a couple on pinkie on the pencil float.Sadly they didn't feed the last 15 mins of the match.

I was packing up when the scales arrived, they'd decided to weigh me first and go on down to the end peg. My efforts today went 6lb 13oz, and I was honestly very happy with that and felt I worked hard all day and only lost a couple of fish. Vic below me weighed less than 3lb and 2lb+ of that was a skimmer, Jeff had 15oz and then Tony had 5lb 10oz. I did not follow the scales down and carried on packing up and also had to look after Hadrian Whittle's rod holdalls. I later found out that Rich Whitmarsh won the section with 7lb 10oz, and Lance Tucker on the very end peg of the match came 2nd with 7lb 6oz, meaning I was 3rd in section. Not much in it today, perhaps if I had not put so much feed in the last balling mix I would have caught more roach?

It was a day of so near yet do far for me today, I got knocked out of the knockout by Nathaniel Johnson who won E section at Barton Farm with 8lb 10oz (beating Martin Barrett off the dog peg! Is that alright Stretch lol). I also came 8th on the day but never got any coin or default coin like Liam and Martin Barret did!

On the team front Thatchers A won again and we have a 3 point lead over Bathampton Invincibles. In the B division Sensas Wilts Anglers and D+W Builders are tied with 11 points.

Top individual on the day was the Karaoke King Andy Britt with 19lb 14oz of Roach on one of the 3 flyers at Staverton ( a great catch that), on the next peg Welsh sheep worrier Mike Martin-Davis had a good day too with 16lb of roach and hybrids.

3rd Kev Dicks 9lb
4th Nathaniel Johnson 8lb 10oz
5th Andy Gabb 7.11

Next week sees the start of the ATWL, with 5 teams of 8 it will be a lot easier to peg out! The match is back on the lower Avon around Keynsham. With more warm weather and no rain forecast small fish will be aplenty.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

December 1995

I had decided that I was not going fishing this weekend since it was going to be a busy and emotional long weekend. Friday was my birthday and my eldest daughter's last day at home, so lots of things to do. Saturday travelled to Plymouth where said daughter now resides at the University, the journey home was a bit of  tear jerker as the wife will testify. Ended up having a cracking meal out on Sunday in Hallatrow with Warren Bates and his family, that took my mind off a few things including the coloured Bristol Avon which might have thrown up a few bream today. Anyway back to 1995....

Saturday December 2nd 1995 saw me taking another ride in the Steve Mayo mobile with the legend that now is Des Shipp as we had another round of the Moorlands Winter League. Once again I found myself on Bank Pool but today I avoided the corners and was sat on peg 7 where I could fish pole and waggler comfortably. Starting on the pole all I had was 1 skimmer and after 30 mins the wag was flying out towards the middle along with regular amounts of maggots. I took a few carp on this but it was by no means hectic, but I was doing as well as anyone else at this stage. Back in on the pole line where I had been feeding casters and 3 carp in 3 drops got me going, but it also got the carp going out of the peg! I stuck it out on the wag and had a few more small carp and a skimmer to end with 31lb 3oz and that was 2nd on the lake, beaten by Leigh Nutland. The team came 4th on the day and were still in 3rd place overall at this stage.

On Sunday I was fishing the Bristol & West Xmas match on the Bristol Avon, I drew a peg at Jack Whites down below the stream heading down towards Chequers in a peg called the cow drink, which was just before the river went into a bend. Below me was Ian Spriggs. The river was dropping after a flood but still had some nice colour and all I set up was a groundbait feeder as it was too fast for the float. I had a nice day with odd bites throughout but mainly from chub up to 3lb, Ian came up for a walk at one time and said I had a bit more than him, and when I had 2 skimmers and another chub towards the end I was happy. I finished with 21lb 11oz and a lovely net of fish, but that was not good enough to beat Ian who took an 8lb barbel in the last 15 mins after losing one a bit earlier. We were first and second on the day, and I think Ian had won a match on Frys the day before so he was on fire and had a full wallet that weekend!

The following weekend was going to be a tough affair as the weather had turned with some snow and temperatures at night down to -6C. I fished an open at Moorlands Farm, drew on Meadow lake and struggled for a skimmer and 3 roach for 4lb 8oz, I lost a roach of over 1lb that day that cost me a section pick up. The next day it was the Bathampton Xmas match, and I drew peg 49 in bubbly bay at Newbridge. I had 1 bite on the tip and missed it and went home early. Not such a good weekend as the previous eh!!

The weather stayed cold and when on the 16th December I found myself on corner peg 1 on bank pool for the winter league I was gutted! Just catch something was all Mayo said. Well I did, I caught a carp in the tail on the pole (lol) and 2 roach in the last hour for 4lb 11oz. There were 4 blanks around me but the other end of the lake was alive and produced two framers. I got 11 points out of 22 and the team were only 7th on the day, however it was a tough day and we improved to 2nd overall in the league so far. Sunday saw me travelling with Vic Bush to the Bath Xmas match, I didn't fish this part of the river Avon much and so when I drew my peg I didn't have a clue where it was let alone what to fish for! Luckily Vic knew where the "piggery" was! The river had a nice bit of flow here and I set up a stick float, waggler and gbait feeder. I caught some roach on the float but with 90 mins left all was quiet until I saw a big fish (I thought bream) roll a long way down the peg. I chucked the feeder down where this fish showed for the rest of the match but the tip was motionless. Then with 15 mins to go I had a decent bite and landed a 12oz perch. Last cast on single caster the tip slowly pulled right round and I thought I was into a massive bream. Very gradually I got this fish infornt of me and then up popped a pike which I netted straight away, then the whistle went. As I waited for the scales I was elated and then Vic arrived as he'd done no good, but when the scalesman arrived he refused to weigh my pike saying they didn't count. Eventually after a lot of debate Vic and I managed to get him to agree to at least weigh the pike separately, and it went 9lb 14oz and with my other fish my "potential" total was 17lb 8oz. Back at the results the talk with the rest of my mates was all about my pike and if it counted, then Vic heard that Bath angler Steve Stretch Saunders had weighed in his fish including a pike and said he usually knows if they count. Eventually one of the organisers came out and asked if I was Tim, he said Pike don't count in Bath matches but as we forgot to say anything at the draw they had to count! This chap had a bold head and I gave him a kiss on his bold bonce and thanked him. I came 2nd overall and had a lovely hamper.

Saturday 23rd December and the Masterclass Xmas match was on the canal at Limpley as the river had now burst its banks. I only managed 12oz for bugger all as I was still avoiding fishing bread punch. Christmas Eve saw me fishing the Docks Xmas match, I drew at Half Penny Bridge and was told forget about wining anything as there were no skimmers there. I fished the pole most of the match loose feeding maggot and caster, it took a long while to get bites but eventually I started to catch a few small roach and dace and was quite enjoying myself. I was fishing double white maggot on the hook and also caught an eel of a pound and a couple of tiny skimmers. I tried fishing the feeder over the pole line and out of the blue had a 2lb skimmer but nothing else. I won the section with 7lb 7oz and came 6th overall which was a nice bonus.

Over the Christmas period the cold weather returned with a vengence, it was only a maximum of -2C in the day! I did venture out on the 28th and had 2 to 3lb of roach on a maggot feeder at Bath gravels, the river was too fast for the float. On Saturday 30th I stayed at home and this was a day I shall never forget, when I looked out in the morning there was light rain, but the ground and air was freezing and the rain froze instantly. I had never seen freezing rain before, and I never want to again, it caused carnage on the roads and dozens of people fell over breaking bones.

My very last trip out was on New Years Eve, I fished at Bath Gravels again and although the river was still pacey a peg with a long trot meant I could fish a crowquill with caster and maggot. Using light gear a 22 to 0.08, I had roach to 10oz and ended with just under 8lb. It was still very cold though and Dave Haines tried fishing the pole next to me, but his pole elastic kept freezing up lol!

Happy days, back to the present, next week the 2nd round of the Commercial House is on the Avon at Bradford-on-Avon and Staverton. I've not fished there for a very long time, so will have to take the kitchen sink and hope to get a local to give me a clue as to what I should target.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Commercial House Round 1 Bristol Avon Swineford, Crane, Jack Whites

After 3 very poor matches on the Avon at Newbridge I was looking forward to fishing this part of the river which is generally much better in these low clear conditions. My involvement with this match began on Saturday when, along with my good wife Wendy, we pegged the match. Starting at Swineford I was soon in trouble with a lack of pegs (someone forgot to do swim clearing) and ended up having to put 4 pegs of B section at the top of the Crane. Wendy asked where I wanted to draw and I said Swineford. After nearly 4 hours of walking the task was done, I would sleep well tonight I thought, but a party a few doors up meant I didn't get off till gone 1am.

Sunday morning I awoke tired and the legs were a bit achy, got to the draw and I handed over the list of pegs (12 copies 1 for each team) and got a couple of baps. I was fishing for Thatchers A and I think Mark Harper did the team draw and he got me a peg in A section at Swineford, thank you! I was on what was old peg 18, and it's one of those pegs that on its day can throw up roach and chub and even some bream.

I had a nice walk today, had to lift the gear over two gates and I was nice and hot when I got to my peg, the lads in B section had to go a lot further! As you can see from the picture of my peg there is a lovely tree opposite, but really it is to far upstream to make fishing against it with a float viable, still a fish holding feature though.

Setting up today took a while, I was going to have to wade in the river right up to my chunks, and put my box in just behind me so I could get all my attachments in place. The pole was out of the question I felt, and so I set up a 3AAA waggler with 0.14 to 17 B711, a 14BB crowquill with 0.12 to 18 B611 and finally a feeder rod was put up but left without hook until I decided what I would be fishing for on it. Downstream of me was the welsh blogger Mike Martin-Davies and upstream of me (along way above as peg 14 is blocked by moored boats) was Craig Pinker they both seemed to go the opposite way and were going down the pole route.

(Below pic shows the remnants of my tackle in the water after the match, note the keepnet high to prevent any jumping fish!)

To start the match I threw in 6 orange size balls of gbait at about 14m and downstream of me. I swung out the crowquill and tiny roach was soon swung back in. Next chuck on a single caster and a better fish, a roach of 4oz and just as it surfaced a big pike went for it but missed and I lifted out the roach quickly. I was feeding hemp and casters over this near line, and feeding maggots right over towards the tree. I started to get bites I couldn't hit, and when I did it them it was very small fish, but occasionally a better roach was swung in to avoid the pike. Sadly Mr pike started to wise up and he snapped me up 4 times and pulled a 1lb+ skimmer off the hook, grrrrr!!!!! The small fish were really a problem and I was now feeding heavily on both lines, sadly this along with the bloody pike seemed to kill my crowquill line and it went dead. The waggler was a bite a chuck from chub fry and tiny dace, great!

After 2 hours I reckoned I had 3lb but I was going nowhere, Mike below me said he thought he had a bit more than that and was getting bites on the pole and no pike trouble. Word was everyone was struggling in the section getting bitted out. As the inside line was dead I decided to give it some more gbait and fired in a dozen pouchfuls of caster, this was going to be a shit or bust line. Back on the wag to give the inside line time to settle and I plugged away catching little fish and heaving in the maggots in the hope of feeding them off. After about 30 mins I picked up the crowquill again and stuck on 2 red maggots. It wasn't long before I was feeling quite smug about my change of feeding as the float buried and I knew I'd hooked a bream. I landed the fish which fought well, and it was about 3lb. Time to change terminal tackle (as I had shortened my hooklength to get through the bits earlier) and I put on a a 16 to 0.13. In the next 20 mins I took another 3lb bream and one of 2lb. Bites stopped and so I tried a straight lead and then the feeder but all were a waste of time. Back on the crowquill and a run of decent roach and no pike but they soon went.

With an hour to go I gave it another 6 balls of gbait in close and went back on the wag. The small fish were a lot less hassle now and on the wag I had 3 chublets and some perch and roach, and I had some nice perch and 12oz chub on the crowquill. This was definitely a match of two halves with the 2nd half an absolute belter! I guessed I had 15 to 20lb in total.

The scales soon arrived and Mike weighed just short of 9lb of roach, and then my fish went 19lb 9oz. Craig above me also had 3 small bream (on the pole) and he had 9lb 15oz. The next best weigh in the section was Tony Gilbert in the first field with 12lb which included a couple of bream, Clive Branson had 10lb on the waggler on the outfall. A section win today and a good result for the team.

Back at the HQ for a well needed drink I soon realised I was the best weight at Swineford and Crane. However, down at Jack Whites there were a couple of good weights including Andy Ottaway who (after calling me to moan before the start of the match that he was going to get hammered) had 19lb 6oz (hee hee) and the winner Mark Palin who had 21lb. Mark had 3 big bream on the pole and some roach, Andy had roach and chub. Below Andy was Paul Purchase and on the end peg he had a great 16lb of roach.

Before the results were done the presentation for last years commercial house was made. As I was top individual last year and in the winning team I was given plenty of Sensas goodies, I must have had 14 bags of gbait, and a cheque for £58. Add that to my £145 for coming 2nd today and £20 for pegging out I would say today more than made up for the last few weeks!

On the team front we had a good day and won the A division with 31 points out of a possible 36, Martin Barrett had a tough time in the parrot cage and was are only poor points. The Crane really did not fish that well today, and pike were a problem. I think the river needs some colour soon otherwise it will just get harder and the pike worse.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Superleague final round Newbridge

Last week carried on from Sunday (as far as my backside was concerned) and I was thinking about dropping out of the team mid week. However, I was so friggin busy in work and outside of work it slipped my mind and too late. Thankfully today was the best day I had in ages, shame I can't say the same about the fish (big sigh).

The Thatchers team was the same as last week but Colin Dance was in Ireland and so Nathaniel Johnson came in. I was hoping for a draw in the little field as it seems there are a few roach up there, or down the bottom of the trees. Alas the team draw put me on peg 51 which would be another nice walk in the warm sunshine. This peg had thrown up a few fish a couple of matches ago, and it can be good especially in winter. The only trouble is you're right on top of peg 52 and with many anglers having lots of room (next bloke above me was at least 70yds) I though I should fish peg 50. The lads either side were OK with this, but the more I though about it the more I thought I had to fish 51. The lad above me was the first peg in the section and my section ended down on about 65. Last week only a high 3lb was needed for 3rd in section so it could be a toughie.

Despite my pole line not really working for me in the previous two matches I had chatted to the rest of the team and was really fishing the same as them, some more positive some more negative. That being the case I went down the same track as last week on the pole line, set up the usual gbait feeder, but I also set up a 14BB crowquill just to give me a different presentation and to cast around a bit. Glen Calvert was my close neighbour on peg 52 and he asked if I wanted a £1, and of course I said yes.

On the whistle in go 14 balls on the pole and 6 smaller ones on the feeder line, picking up my pencil float rig and impaling a caster on the 20 hook I dropped in the rig and the float didn't go under, a couple of drop ins later and it did and a 2oz roach was swung in. During the next 20 mins I had a bite every cast on caster from 2oz to 4oz roach, then I bumped something bigger. I picked up the 2gm rig with a 18 hook on and dropped in with double red maggot, as the float settled it shot under, I struck and bumped a fish and the maggots were gone. Hmmm what's going on. No more bites on that rig so a quick look on the crowquill, a tiny perch, then a better perch that came off!!!!!  Then another perch that was about 8oz and that signalled the end of the bites.

A look on the feeder was about as entertaining as watching Bristol Rovers and after a biteless 30 mins I was back on the long pole for nothing at all. Drop in the edge for perch on worm, and 3 for about 14oz were all I caught here. At this stage I thought I had 3lb, Glen said he had 12oz. On 90 mins I tried the long pole again and had 2 roach in 2 chucks, they were the last roach I had for a very long time. The middle of the match followed the same pattern as last week and the only thing I did to avoid boredom was catch about 20 chub fry on a top set. With 2 hours to go Glen started to catch on a waggler right across, he didn't (and couldn't) feed anything that far across but when the river hardly flowed he caught bleak and small chub. I quickly nipped my crowquill off and replaced it with a waggler with a 20 to 0.10. That proved to be fruitless for me and I never had a bite, which did my head in and Glen even apologised for catching lol!

I'd tried putting some more gbait in on the pole line, and changing my feeding all to no avail, but then in the last 10 mins I had 3 roach out of the blue. The lad below Glen on the bream hole peg 54 informed Glen he had taken a bream and had 8lb, and roach had come out in the pegs below, oh dear!

When the scales got to peg 54 there was a 10lb and all the others were 5lb+, or more than me! Peg 54 weighed 8lb 8oz and the bream did him a big favour, Glen had 2lb 12oz, then I had 4lb 9oz, and the lonely guy above me on 49 had 3lb 10oz. Once again I beat the lads either side of me but this time no one else, the £1 from Glen being my only winnings in three river matches. Fucked if I know what I'm doing wrong, lol!

Back at the results a few of the other lads had struggled, but crucially we had 4 second in sections, and that gave us 40 points on the day which was good enough for 2nd place and as a result we won the league.

Individually the match was won today by Steve Tucker who at the last minute fished for Frenzee after seeing my message on facebook. Bunghole Steve drew peg 74, normally a very good peg but Richard Chave came last in section on it last time out. Steve though had a good day catching roach, then skimmers and 1 bream on the pole for an excellent 27lb.

Next week is the commercial house league first match, it is to be fished at Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites. I'm pegging the match out (no moaning please) and you get paid for pegging so at least that way I can guarantee some coin!