Monday, 17 March 2014

ATWL SEMI FINAL PRACTICE

Just a few words and pictures.

I spent most of last week tucked up in bed with flu, not good. I also got roped into fishing the ATWL semi as Andy Power cannot drag his sorry ass back from Whiteacres to Malborough for one day, lol! Seriously, I was of course expecting to be recovering at home from my op and not available for the semi, so it makes life a lot easier for Andy even if my presence weakens the team now! I say that as I have just looked at my pole float collection and I can hardly see that I have anything suitable for this venue, unless river floats or carp floats can be doctored.....

Back to yesterday and in order to have some idea how to fish the K&A canal out by Great Bedwyn way I decided to have a watch rather than to fish. This approach may backfire, but in years gone by I've often benefited by watching anglers fish, I find it gives me an idea of rigs to use, fish to be expected and some varied view of the venue. I was advised by Martin Barrett to go to Great Bedwyn Station and walk the canal sections there, and thanks to my sat nav I found the area pretty easily. Walking downstream from the car park (the canal flows up here) I soon found the lucky angler on the end peg, none other than fireman Richard Chave. Rich advised he had not been fishing for 3 months but he had obviously not lost any of his drawbag abilities as he was on a flyer. End pegs on this canal are awesome and this particular peg has won matches in the past. Next to Rich was a pretty good angler called Darren Cox, and also in the section was Mick Dent, Darran Bickerton, Simon Wilsmore, England manager Mark Downes, and none other than Nick Ewers. Good luck Nick! I watched the match start here, and other than Chavey who had 30 fish in the first hour and Simon on the other end peg it was a slow start.

The next section dropped down below a lock and the first peg is a flyer and another star called Cameron Hughes was on this peg, it was flowing like a river and he was catching a small fish a chuck. A few pegs down Nick Chedzoy was catching very small fish and next to him Hadrian Whittle was having a bit of a struggle as was the rest of the section. I walked to another section and this one was quite spread out with 4 anglers having either end pegs or a lot extra room. The first angler in this section and with extra room was former world champion Sean Ashby, he was catching a small fish a chuck on bloodworm. A peg away and also with extra room was Dorking's Ian Didicote and he was doing the same as Sean but he did have a decent perch in the net. At the other end of the section was some wires and on one side Dave Micklewright had a big perch and some small skimmers, on the other side on the end peg was Thatchers Colin Dance and he was catching 3oz roach regularly.

Rather than walk on any further I turned and walked back as that would allow me to see how the anglers were now fairing. Of note was an angler in Chedz section who I saw catch two 2lb perch. Further back Simon Wilsmore was still catching, Downsey had a stiff neck, and Darran Bickerton was catching small fish at 100mph! However, Chavey had been enjoying his day catching decent roach on casters and he had some late perch too, he won the section and came 3rd overall with 15lb 3oz, his catch is here...

I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with some of the UK's best anglers, and whilst of course they were not going to give away any secrets they were all very pleasant and did speak to me when I asked a few questions. I am always aware nobody wants to be skylined or put out of rhythm so I tried to keep a low profile, sit and watch out of the way and gauge the reaction. I can honestly say all the anglers I met were gentlemen, and it was nice to say hello to some lads I've not seen for a long time. Look at this gathering of top anglers watching the weighing in, Downsey, Cox, Wilsmore.....

The Thatchers lads fishing had some up and down results, the two who drew end pegs had plenty of fish, but Colin got beat by Sean Ashby for the section. So what did I learn? Well that would be telling! Firstly draw an end peg and you really should be laughing (only in one section is an end peg a crapper), the top anglers are dynamite on small fish when using bloodworm on the hook. I know I cannot match them on bloodworm, so my plan is hope to draw an end peg!

This Sunday I'm off to Emerald fishery, maybe I can ponce a few floats that might be useful for the semi!

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