The last weekend match of the river season on Newbridge is always the Lower Avon Champs and is usually a bream or bust affair. Sadly over the years I've never done any good in this event, but I keep going thinking the law of averages will finally swing in my favour.
I got to the draw and realised I'd left my mobile phone at home, not a problem other than no photos for blog, it just meant people would think I was either bagging or being ignorant lol! I thought there were a fair number of pegs in the draw that would give a chance of bream today so it would be unlucky not to get one. I entered into the pairs today with Roy Carter, Roy pulled peg 77 which can produce but is not as good as 74 and 76. I managed to get into the draw queue fairly early but even so 4 or 5 good pegs came out of the bag before me, I pulled out peg 90 which was just about as far from the bream as you could get, and whilst you never say never I thought my chances of doing any good in the match were already over. This peg is just below a small stream and is shallower than most and a good roach peg under normal conditions, but the river is still pacey and my peg was far to fast for fishing a float. Two feeder rods were assembled but to be honest only one got used, this had a 14 B611, and later a 16 PR456 to 0.148 exceed.
To start the match I threw 16 balls of gbait laced with casters, worms and dead maggots just short of half way. (I heard that some people threw up to 50 balls in at the start, WTF!!!) An hour later I was still waiting for my first bite, changing to caster on the hook brought me a good bite and a roach of 1lb. Not long after a 6oz roach obliged and then a chub of 1lb+. After the end of the second hour bites dried up again and I thought the rest of the match would be tough, but a few more bites and a few small roach kept me trying things. I went for a walk with 2 hours to go (this was a 6 1/2 hour match) and the anglers above me were all struggling, only Kev Dicks on 74 was doing better than me as he landed a bream just as I got to him (his only one).
Back to my peg and the last hour brought virtually a bite a chuck, but could I hit them, could I bugger! The trouble was the swim had some sort of snags in there, and whilst I never lost any kit I did blunt quite a few hooks. However, the hooks weren't the problem, I couldn't balance the feeder properly as one minute it would sit solid, the next it would bounce, all depending if it was on whatever the snag was. It was frustrating, but at least I was getting regular bites which was a nice way to end the day. My fish weighed 6lb 2oz, which surprised me because I was sure there was well over 7lb in my net, but maybe I need to go to Specsavers!
My section was won, as was the match, on peg 61 by Ben Leach with 123lb 12oz I think. Ben had 2 bream after 3 hours, and by the end of the match he had 26, nice! Kev Dicks won my section by default with 9lb, so I needed to hit more roach bites for coin. The guy on peg 63 had a rainbow trout, Martin Barrett on 65 had a 7lb 6oz bream on the pole, here endeth the bream as Glenn Bailey next door can testify!
2nd Derek Coles 66lb 1oz on peg 32
3rd Graham Hunt 60lb on peg 20 (13 bream virtually all caught in just over an hour)
4th Nathan Hawke 55lb 3oz on peg 54
5th Steve Hutchinson 45lb 10oz on peg 16
6th was I think Mike Martin with 34lb
Biggest fish was by Mike Withey with a bream of 10lb!!!!!
Pairs was won by Derek and Nathan.
Well my shocking run in this match continues, but some people had a really tough day today, Leigh Trevitt blanked on peg 6 in the little field and I think other than my net of roach there were hardly any caught.