Having not been able to fish the first round of this seasons CH league I put all thoughts of an individual league win to one side. Having won this league last year I had to ask Glenn to pick up my prizes (they are given out on the first match of following league) and I was well chuffed when he gave me a cheque for £62 and this little lot...
Woke up at 6:15am Sunday and that was just before the alarm was about to ring. You may wonder (or you may not lol) why I've not mentioned about shitting my pants for a while, well that's because I've been given a device which I have to use every morning to "empty" my bowels. I've been doing this since August, and it has given me my life back. Getting up 30-40 mins earlier than I normally would to use the device is nothing as I then don't need to go to the loo 10 to 15 times a day and night. Happy days. The theme of shit may continue!
Got to Spencers club in plenty of time for the 8am draw, and the talk was as ever team needed to draw one of the end pegs. That didn't happen and we ended up on peg 7 (out of 9 pegs). I was drawn at C section which was a section down below the "barge pub". I followed James Carty and as we got to the last part of the road to go into the track we stopped, the gate was locked! We waited about 15 mins for Vic Abbot to arrive and unlock the gate, by this time the road was solid with about 25 cars!!!
A nice short walk to my peg which looked OK, but then I knew nothing of the area.
Mike Withey was on my left and he fishes up here quite a bit, he felt the first 3 pegs and the end peg would be hard to beat but we should all catch skimmers. To my right Alan Jones was merrily setting up and we had a good bit of banter. Mark Harper walked past me and said it was a good depth across and I should chuck a little feeder out, I didn't have one with me, ummmm. Anyway when plumbed it at 16m which was across it was 10 inches deep, ummmmm no need for the feeder then lol! Set up a rig for 5m and another for 13m left and right which was out of the main boat channel, these were supposed to be my main lines, I set up a rig for right across but wasn't expecting to need to use it.
On the whistle I fed 3 balls of gbait 13m left, chopped w&c 13m right, and a ball of gbait at 5m. The 5m line produced 1 missed bite and after 15 mins I was trying my 13m lines, 30 mins later I had 1 see through roach, Mike had only had 1 missed bite. A couple of small roach came from another try at 5m but I was going no where fast. I'd seen Mike Martin on 5 and Nicky Collins on 9 catch a few small skimmers fishing further across so I had to go looking over. It was very shallow, and I ended up fishing just short of 14.5m where I had about 14" of water, I plopped in a ball of gbait here and gave it 10 mins to settle. This was a good move as when I went over this new line I had some bites from roach and over about 45 minutes to an hour I had 4 or 5 little 4oz skimmers the target fish. Sad to say I never saw another skimmer all match.
The day just got worse, and as the strong autumn sun shone down and the boats came though the canal just switched off for me. My 13m lines never produced at all, Another long swim was fed but only gave up a few tiny roach, and my main line at 14,5m was good for not a lot. Worm failed, and a desperation pot of squatt and caster tight over for an eel or any bonus was also a waste of time. To be honest I was quite happy for the all out as fishing 14.5m in a nasty wind (came along halfway through) for the odd shitter was not much fun. I had tried to catch better fish but had failed, but I don't think 5lb of bits was possible from this rat tip. Nicky Collins did really well to win our section with 8lb of skimmers, he went right over straight away and fished a good match. Alan had 2lb 7oz, then I weighed 2lb 13oz, Mike Withey was at a loss to explain why his local venue had fished so bad as he plonked 10oz on the scales. Pegs 1 and 2 both had 5lb, and I ended up middle of the whole section but 2 out of 5 points for A div, yuk!
Back at the results I hadn't done so bad in my team as Liam Braddell, Mark Harper and Martin Barrett had all come last in their sections, errr lol! The match was won by Welsh legend John Harvey fishing for the other Thatchers team (who won on the day) he had 22lb of small skimmers in A section. This section gave up 4 of the top 5 anglers on the day, only Mike Kent on the very end peg F9 split them with 13lb of skimmers. Sadly the vast majority of anglers memories of the day were bad ones, with many saying if this venue is in again next year they will not fish. I think it is daft to fish a canal before November, there are simply too many boaters which mess it all up, and this canal is just to shallow to cope.
Next week is the first ATWL and that will be fished on the Avon between Swineford, Crane and Jack Whites. Doesn't appear to be any rain forecast between now and then so the river will be clear on the day, that means pike trouble for some!