I did think about fishing this weekend but a day on lake 3 at Landsend in wind and rain was not really getting my juices going. However, what made my mind up was when the biggest tree in my garden got blown over, and with the awful weather forecast I decided Sunday would be chopping day. Warren Bates brought his chainsaw Sunday and was going to take the wood for his fire, but his chainsaw wouldn't start and so I spent an hour cutting up the small branches and that was it, lol! (It was nothing to do with the large amount of Guinness consumed the day before enjoying hospitality at Bristol Rovers.)
A look back to 1995 now when the river was out of its banks (really) and the last ATWL was held on the canal on the 5th Feb. I was drawn in the Malthouse section, just a couple of pegs down from the road bridge, and I could not get a bite! I ended with 1 gudgeon and 1 fluked bleak, 1.5oz was only worth 3 points as the pegs further down emptied it. The team came 2nd on the day and were tied in 1st place overall on points, but a count back on section wins pushed us into 2nd as we had 1 less than Bathampton, bugger. The following weekend the river was still in flood and I spent a couple of hours fishing above the locks at Keynsham for 4lb of bleak, roach and perch.
Saturday 18th February was the last round of the Moorlands Farm W/L, and found myself pegged on Moors lake, peg 16. The corners tended to be best here and as I wasn't in one I just had to do the best I could. Starting on a maggot feeder I missed a couple of roach bites and lost two foul hooked carp, not good. It was two hours into the match when I tried the margin to my left and I then caught 3 small carp in 3 drop ins, sadly those were the last action of the match for me. My weight of 9lb 3oz was worth 21 points out of 27, and another good team performance saw us come 2nd on the day and 2nd overall, a great result as a lot of good midland anglers fished this! I think Pete Sivell and Brian Shanks were in this team, I can't recall the other angler.
I didn't fish again until Sunday 12th March when I fished the canal in Bath, the Long Pond to be precise. I pleasure fished it with Andy Floyd, and I recall the day was very mild and sunny. We both fished wagglers but I fed maggot whereas Andy fed casters. I caught 7 species of fish, all rather small, for 5lb+, Andy had more as his casters unsurprisingly took a better stamp. For the last day of the river season I sneaked a couple of hours on the river Chew at Keynsham, it wasn't great but a couple of chub on a waggler made it worthwhile.
The next trip out for me was another pleasure session, this time at Bitterwell lake on the roadside. I fished a waggler with maggot using 0.10 to a 20, the first 2 hours were quite a struggle but then the fishing went up a gear, I had 6 carp, 1 tench, 2 crucians, 1 skimmer, and roach and rudd to 1lb. In just under 5 hours I had fed 2 1/2 pints of maggots and reckoned to have 30lb. It was another long time before my next outing, and I should say that these big gaps were due to my getting married at the end of May! I finally got out on the 10th May on a place called Lovelynch Lakes, I was told I would need to catch 100lb+ of small carp on a top set and got my rigs, elastic and bait all sorted by Tony Rixon (he had hair then). Well Jonah that I am the place fished poor with only one ton weight and 56lb coming 3rd, I had 38lb for nowhere but I really liked the look of this lake, even though it was a long way from home.
After marrying Wendy, and saying cheerio to Martyn Woodington (who was off travelling the world with BA) I had a little think about my fishing. Having fished Moorlands and seen other anglers I realised there was a lot more to experience and learn. I'd been talking to Steve Mayo and he'd mentioned about me joining a team he was now fishing for called Thatchers. After a short while it was all change and my days with the Amalgamation / Bristol Sensas team were over as I joined Thatchers Tubertini. It was a very hard decision to leave my best mates, but I can look back now knowing it was the right one, fishing with the likes of Steve, Des Shipp, Mark Harper, Vic Bush, Steve Long, Ian Parsons, Gary Etheridge, Gary O'Shea, Brian Gay and many, many more would see my eyes opened to many new techniques.
Well I hope I can get to fish next Sunday as I expect that really will be my last time on the bank for a couple of months.