Not to much to mention of what went before fishing, just to say I was so busy I didn't remember to order my bait till Friday! I took a run down to Thatchers Saturday to get my bait and pay my debts, Rodney really does look after the team and many other anglers. Sensible night Saturday just 1 pint, and that meant I was up bright and early Sunday. My lot had a substitute in today in the shape of Des Shipp, a bit handy then. It was decided that I should do the team draw today, as after two rounds we have done shite lol! I wasn't the first angler to draw and had seen the end peg 9 go to Bathampton, my turn and I pull peg 1, should be OK then. To be fair our draws looked OK and only Des was in what is normally a bad bit. I was on peg E1 and once I got to the river I realised it was peg 97. This peg has some form, it has won the last 2 riverfest matches and produced some roach in superleague matches. Apparently the angler on it last week was last in section but said he had seen bream rolling all day.
The peg is a bit of a parrot cage but if you are going to catch a few fish you can put up with that, note the positive thinking. I set up a 12BB crowquill today (which became a waste as not long into the match the wind picked up and was nast downstream), a gbait feeder with 14 to 0.148 exceed. The usual 3 pole rigs, 1g, 2gm for 13m and 1.5g for worm down to my left. 13m rigs were on lighter line this week (0.07 to 0.09) due to the river being a lot clearer. To my left today was Mike Goodhind who was in positive mood after last week battering Shaun Townsend off the next peg. There were numerous good anglers in the section, with Rich Lacey being the end peg in my section on the peg where Kev Dicks won last week.
I threw in 10 balls to start and cast a clipped up big feeder to the tree on the far bank 7 times. Pick up my 1g pencil rig as it is usually a good indicator of what lies ahead and tried running through with a red maggot. Ten mins later and I was biteless, but then a 2oz perch opened my account, 10 mins later another perch, After 35 mins I netted my first roach at around 4oz. I couldn't get another bite on the pole and I was very concerned by the lack of roach. I fed some worm on the inside and had a very early look on the feeder. I did get bites on the feeder but I missed most and caught a 1oz perch and a 1oz chublet, I had a few more chucks to feed some more bait on the feeder and tried my chopped worm line inside which yielded 1 bite and 1 perch of 4oz, here endeth that line!
Ninety mins into the match and with about 14oz in the net I knew that Darren Gillman on the arch and Warren Bates were catching and I was back out on the pole again. Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when the float went under and I had a 4oz roach on the maggot. I put a caster on and next chuck it was a 6oz roach! In the next 15 mins I had another two net roach and a perch. If I could catch this stamp I would do a nice weight, but as it turned out that was the last action on the pole, crap!
Time to chuck the feeder and I was already thinking I was going to need to snare a bream or two to do OK for the team. The tip was going round but it was from 1 to 2oz perch and the bites were a bit quick. I then had a cast where I saw no indication and I rang Mike next door to see how he was doing, he was also struggling. I picked my rod up and it arched over and I assumed I had a snag, but it was coming towards me very slowly, I told Mike I had a snag or a bag on. However, as I got this unseen snag from across the river to about 13m it suddenly pulled back hard, then found its engine and snapped me, bloody pike! I put another hook on but decided to try to pole again to rest the feeder, that was a waste so 10 mins later I was casting a worm and red maggot out on the tip again. After 10 minutes of nothing a speed boat passed and my tip slowly pulled round, towing, but the tip carried on pulling round a lot! I struck and once again I was into the same almost immovable heavy weight. I cranked this towards me and again it did not fight or show any signs of being a fish until at around 13m I saw a flash. I was confused, what I had on the end looked like a foul hooked 6lb pike (difficult light to see in the water), but then I saw that it was in the jaws of a bloody enormous pike! I am not going to exaggerate, this pike was well in excess of 20lbs, it was very long, and with one savage turn it pulled my hook out of the the pike it was clamped to, Not really what I needed, lol!
Ten mins later the 6lb pike was up on the surface topping or gasping for air a few times, obviously he was too big a mouthful for the monster, but was obviously not feeling too well. That was certainly the most excitement in my peg. All I could catch was tiny perch on the the feeder, I could not get a bite anywhere else in the peg on any other method. With an hour to go I rang Rich Lacey who told me he had 12 bream and 4 skimmers, well I was on the right method anyway. Sadly my swim on the day held no bream and just a lot of little perch. The match ended and I hoped I might have 5lb.
As it turned out my section had thrown up quite a few bream from pegs 4 to 9. Rich had 81lb, Clive Branson next to him 20lb, Steve Priddle 18lb, Warren Bates 40lb, Darren had 10lb of bits and then there was a 15lb. Tom Moretti had 6lb of perch and a big roach, Mike had 2lb (came last in B div and won the section by default!!!!) I managed 5lb 3oz for last but one on the section and last in A div, oh dear... Nearly all the anglers who caught the bream saw some rolling in their peg. Warren caught his in the last 2 hours of the match, as did many others,
Here is a pic of Rich with his net and his biggest bream of 8lb 9oz. That was Rich's biggest ever weight on the river and would have been many people's biggest weight (including mine) so well done mate, brilliant result. Those days don't come round very often.
Typical of Newbridge bream, once the river goes clear they shoal up and show up somewhere, that said nobody would have predicted this area, and the normal bream pegs did not show.
As it turned out the top 4 overall all came from my section, Liam Braddell was 5th with 17lb from peg 46, he had 2 bream on the feeder in the last 20 mins to go with some roach. Well I guess I drew in the right section but I drew the wrong end lol, at least I fished the right the method so I I have no regrets or thoughts of "what if", the bream just weren't there today. Never mind, not really getting the rub of the green at the moment on the Avon, but I am still enjoying it. Swineford to Jack Whites next week, please let's have a bit of rain before then!