Picking up the diary for the first time in ages. Last time I had finished off by saying I had just joined Thatchers Tubertini and as a result I was now travelling with the team to venues for practice for superleagues / other team events. Whilst I didn't feel under any pressure I certainly did not get great draws to help me get started. First up was an open match on the Gloucester Canal, I drew peg 146 (cannot remember what part that is) and was told it would be a hard section. I fished the groundbait feeder for just over an hour and never had a bite on it, or at any point in the day. I'd been feeding a few maggots and casters at 12m for the pole and by fishing a 22 to 0.1 with single maggot I caught 1 perch and 4 eels (losing another 2 eels) for the grand total of 1lb. Amazingly I won the 10 peg section. The following week on the 24th June I was back on the Gloucester at Splatt, this part of the canal was very clear. I had just 1 bite all match and that was from an eel on the pole, at 14oz it was enough for 2nd in the section but as it was an open no coin.
Sunday I found myself at Cardiff East Dock, another open match being used as practice. I had a terrible day, scraping a pound of bits off the pole line whilst 4 people caught plenty of skimmers on the tip in my section. That put paid to me being picked for the team and I ran the bank the following Sunday on the same venue. The team did well and won the day catching bits short over groundbait, with some roach on hemp later and a lucky few had skimmers on the tip.
On Saturday 8th July I went back to my roots and pleasure fished the Avon below Keynsham weir. Using a 6 no8 stick float with a 22 to 0.1 I fed 2 pints of bronze maggots and caught a shed load of dace as well as perch and roach, I also lost a 10lb pike at the net. The following day I was fishing the K&A canal up by the 3 magpies pub (Willows?) on an open match. My peg / section was thick with blanket weed extending about 3 metres from the far bank, so fishing up against it was my bet. It was a very slow day and after 3 hours I had just 2 skimmers, a caster line had failed to produce and I filled it in and went for a walk. Coming back to the peg Andy Greenham on the next peg said he saw fish roll over my caster line. So I dropped in with double caster and had a 3lb carp and that was it, my 4lb 6oz won the section, and with a planned practice in the week with Steve Mayo I got told I was picked for the superleague match next Sunday, pressure on now!!! Given my draw which meant nothing to me, I was told there was very little chance of any carp in my section, that suited me as I had been working hard on fishing gbait and squatt. This match turned into a real struggle and I was really worried I was letting the team down, but bank runners assured me my section was awful. I managed a 12oz skimmer, four much smaller samples, and then a bits from right over. My next peg neighbour, who mainly fished for carp all match, slated me for fishing negatively even when he came last in the section and I ended up 2nd in the section with just 2lb 3oz, it was a team match mate! I was chuffed to have done well and the team won the day again.
A break from the team the following weekend and I fished a pole qualifier match at Newbridge, I simply fed maggot and caster and caught odd dace and bleak on the drop, with the odd better roach and perch on the deck. 7lb 6oz was enough for 2nd in the match.
Hope you all caught plenty of fish this weekend, and not too much sun!