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!