Sunday, 29 November 2015

ATWL Final Round K&A Canal Bath

Phew, what a week. Work was especially busy and a tad stressful at times, but Tuesday night my eldest daughter wins two tickets to the PDC players championship darts at Minehead on the Friday, and that meant I was going. Drive to Taunton, pick up daughter, drive to Butlins, get tickets and find were VIP's sat on the same table as the darts players families right next to the walk on. Really enjoyed it although I was sober, next time I go to darts I will have a few bevvies!

Saturday and went by train to Exeter with the wife and former fishing team mates Paul Benson and Mark Jefferies. Surprised the daughter who did not know we were going and she burst into tears of joy, how I kept it a secret the day before I never know! Watching the Gas in the stand was a pleasure, they played well and the strong wind and rain were kept well away from me. Same couldn't be said for Benz and Podge who were stood in the open exposed to the elements, I think I may have mentioned it once or twice after as they dried out in the Wetherspoons and we got wetter inside lol!

After all this fun I was looking forward to day 3 of the long weekend on the last ATWL match, this time bloodworm and joker were allowed. It was forecast to be windy with very strong gusts and a draw out of the wind would be nice, the town was pegged today with 4 sections down there, good fishing but peggy as hell. John Harvey did the team draw and he came back and gave me D5, which was end peg at Darlington. Sounds good, but there were 3 pegs in the tunnels which can be very good and would definitely be sheltered.

Got to Darlington and nearly lost the car door as the wind ripped it from my grip, hmmm. Pushed the gear past the gate, and onto the towpath, peg D4 was just as you got to the towpath and was sheltered from the worst of the wind, my peg a mere 50 yards along was in the wind, hmmm. It was bad, very bad and I decided that other than top sets only my short no4 and 5m section were being gingerly removed from the holdall. I tried to get everything as close and as tight to me as I could. The picture doesn't do it justice, the video below may, but believe me it got much worse towards the end!!!

My options were severely reduced by my limited length of pole, but I set up in hope of a few fish as I was sure a decent weight would be needed in this section. I assembled a 0.4g punch rig, a 0.4g bloodworm rig for top set, a 0.5g for chopped worm and a 4x18 rig which didn't get used. I could only see Steve Hutchinson on peg 4, he was able to put a brolly up, had I done the same I would have flown across Bath ala Mary Poppins... Forty mins before the start and the fuel boat comes down, he's slowing down in my peg and churning up the canal a treat (see video). He refuels the boat to my left and goes on his way churning it up again. Plenty of colour now but hopefully it would calm down before the start.

 10:30 arrives and I do my best to feed a ball of bread on my long line top set +2, then a bit of joker on my topset line. Starting on a large punch I never had a bite, but the presentation was piss poor with the top foot of the canal towing with the wind. I tried a smaller punch and caught a few small roach, but it was all wrong and I was missing bites due to presentation. I stuck the rig 3 inches over depth and put a pinkie on, the float was bobbing up and down in the breakers but I did see it go under and a 2oz roach was netted, and I took a few more although it was not really fast. I stuck on a big red maggot to see if I could increase the quality, and it worked as I hit a skimmer of about 1lb but sadly it was a loner.

After about an hour the boat on my left moved off giving my peg another churn up. I fed some more bread and now some chopped worm to my right, the small roach, gudgeon and odd little perch were soon back over the bread and it was a good battle of the elements. Of course it died about 20 mins later when the boat returned and moored up again in the same place only facing a different way, more churn, fer fecks sake!!!  I dropped in on the top set and was catching little roach on pinkie, would you believe it was even hard to present the rig right here. I did get a couple of net perch of this line, 4 ouncers. I was thinking about what to feed on my long line when the John Rennie came through, huge boat this and it gave the peg another churn. Once it had all settled down I feed a decent amount of joker and caster just to the left of my bread line (down wind!).

It was probably around now that my no4 and 5 section were picked up by a gust and landed against the wall behind me, somehow they did not break. Had a look on the chopped worm line and had an immediate response with 2 perch and 2 ruffe, but then nothing, so a refeed and back to the top set which would be alright for a few quick fish and then nowt. I wanted to feed a bit of gbait but alas I'd not mixed any, and trying to pour some into my mixing bowl was futile as it was blown out before I could wet it, hmmm.

A boat came down and the owner said she was going to moor in front of me, I explained politely that she wasn't but she could at 3:30pm. She wasn't happy and as the rear of the boat was in front of me here husband opened the throttle (ask Mat Challenger he saw it happen!), more churn!!

The wind was now gusting with increased strength and I was a tad concerned, my pole roller had been knocked over by a large piece of insulation board, no idea where that came from, and bits of wood were being blown of a boat to my right towards me. I had to remove the stake from the bottom of my keep net as it was being blown clear of the water with the fish losing vital oxygen. Holding on to my pole 2+2 was becoming almost impossible, I took off the 4x18 rig and put on a 0.7g rig for fishing over the joker. Fishing about 4 inches over depth it was quiet at first, but with about an hour to go I had a little flurry of bites, a near 8oz roach and a 8oz skimmer were netted with great difficulty and unhooked with even more difficulty as everything was being blown around. N

I had some barren spells and some when the float kept going under with little roach, I think if I could have fished longer I would have caught a lot more, but it would have been folly to do so. About 5 minutes from the end, as the darkness and worsening winds made me think hell had arrived, one major gust managed to snap my no 5 section in my hands. OK I give up time to pack up.

I was trying to keep a brave face on things but knew the tunnel pegs would beat me. In fact Paul Purchase won the match from the tunnel with 16lb 8oz, he only had 14lb of that in the first hour, big skimmers on bread! Jammy git lol!  Next to him Nicky Johns had a high 7lb thanks to a bream which pulled the elastic out of his pole when he was trying to get his brolly out. My weight of 5lb 10oz was much more than I thought, and meant I was 3rd.

Back at the results and some lucky anglers had enjoyed a peaceful day, others had endured the wind, but I can assure you had the match been pegged further down Darlington today it would have been carnage. Top 4

1st Paul Purchase 16lb 8oz
2nd Vince Lunn 15lb 5oz (end peg Richardsons, no wind)
3rd Shaun Townsend 14lb 13oz (end peg Long Pond  he said "I won't catch 1lb out of this peg it is shit!")
4th Colin Dance 14lb 5oz (on his own in horseshoe pond, a lot of big roach all caught on top 4)

Team wise Thatchers won on the day by a single point from Bathampton and that meant Thatchers won the league. Top individual was John Harvey and Liam Braddell won the knockout.

I was a tad peed off after, I feel luck has really deserted me this Autumn on the winter leagues, despite having some good days often it has been a challenge. However, this happens in fishing and things will change again I am sure.

I think after today I deserve one of these..

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Commercial House Round 4 - K&A Canal

It was positively warm Sunday morning without the strong northerly wind, OK it was cold and there was ice on my car but it was still warmer than yesterday. Got to the draw with a bit of time to spare today and so had an egg & sausage bap whilst chatting to the lads. Plenty of ringers in today, with Dave Stiff, Paul Barnfield, Chris Ollis (yes really) and a young lad called Andrew Cranston (look out for him one for the future).

There was no bloodworm allowed today because this match was supposed to be on the river, but on Weds it was decided to put it on the canal. After seeing how hard everywhere fished yesterday I was thinking today could be a toughie unless you drew well. Team draw was done by Mark Harper, and he put himself on a great peg, one past the swingbridge up past Bathampton bend. I was in D section at Meadow Farm, and had 3 end pegs in the section so was up against it. Got to the canal and Rich Candy is on the flyer on the Bath side of the bridge, Tony Gilbert on the flyer t'other side of the bridge. Andy Britt was on 7, and I was on 8 with Martin Reyatt was on the end peg of our section on 9. Andy was gutted and said we were in the worst bit, it was narrow here only 10m wide, meanwhile Martin had a lovely bit of decking to fish up against and I fully expected him to beat me. Any said he though Vinny Lunn would win the match, I made a counter prediction that Mark Harper would win, and also that I'd get 1 point!  My peg below, with the sun in my face.

Setting up today was quicker without B&J rigs, a bread rig of 0.4g with 18 PR311 to 0.07, a caster rig 4x10 with 0.08 to 18 PR311, a worm rig with 14 B611 to 0.14, and finally a small fish across rig 4x12 with 20 PR311 to 0.07.

Just before the start Martin wandered down and had a pee behind me, there was a tree swing cut back in and so it was a safe place to pee. As soon as Martin vacated I took my turn to empty my bladder, but (I blame it on my woolly hat) I turned round the wrong way and smacked my head into a tree. Ouch, it hurt, really hurt and soon after I had a small egg size lump appear, plonker! Never mind if I can see two floats I might do better.... I shout the all in, cup in a decent ball of bread just past 4m, and some worms down to a boat, then a few casters were potted across. I started positive with an 8mm punch and lowered the rig in, it drifted to the right with the tow and didn't dip. I lifted it out and repeated the process, and did it again, 3 drops with the same punch no indication. I dropped the rig in above where I cupped my bread in and as the float was settling it shot under, my strike was met with firm resistance, skimmer. I held the pole and very slowly shipped back, by the amount of no4 elastic out this was a decent fish. I broke down to the top 2, turned to get my landing net, looked back to the water and saw a 2lb fish below my top set. I then saw my rig fly up in the air and the 2lb skimmer laid flat for a second or two as if to say "look at what you could have won" and then twitched and swam off. I did shout out in anger, think it was the lump on my head made me do it.  Never mind where there is one skimmer there is sure to be...... none! That was it, not another bite, and I mean not another bite on small punch or anything.

Thirty mins in and I fed a cup of bread 9m up the canal on the same depth, this was a good move in that it avoided the blank, I took a 1oz roach and 7 pairs of eyes, and after an hour that was it. I got up for a walk, Martin only had 6 fish and was struggling like me, but to my right Andy and Mat Challenger had skimmers and the other anglers had roach and small skimmers. I was 3lb to 4lb behind already. Now when you can't get a bite and you've not got b&j and you're 3lb behind big fish are probably all that will claw it back. I tried my worm line and caster lines all to no avail, also biteless. I was loose feeding a few casters to another part of the far bank and I did get a dink there but no more.

Feeling bored, fed up and with a muzzy head (not helped by staring into the sun) I decided to put bread in against the far bank and use my 4x12 rig with punch. This was a good switch as I could get a bite a chuck here from five to the ounce roach!!!! I tried a bigger punch and that was no good at all, a 2mm punch was the only way to get a bite. I fed 2 chopped worm swims way off to the left and right, one fed heavier than the other in the hope of nailing a perch. Back to the bread across for more pairs of eyes. I settled into a rhythm, catch 10 see through roach and then have 15 mins looking for a perch. I did manage a 4oz perch on my caster line, a 4oz perch on the worm, and managed to foul a 2oz perch in the dorsal fin. That was how my match panned out and I knew I was beat up.

Martin had managed to catch a dozen perch against the decking and was glad he had them, 4lb 6oz, My sprats went 2lb 1oz. I was chip shop sausage when Andy Britt put 4lb 1oz on the scales and then Matt won the section with 4lb 15oz of skimmers. Matt told me he hardly had a fish after the first 25 mins!!! Sadly my prediction came true and I had 1 point for the team, I did beat 2 in the B div but that was scant consolation. Even Rich Candy on his flyer managed to beat me and he packed up 1 hour early getting the time mixed up, PMSL!!!

I also got my other prediction correct with Mark Harper winning with 11lb 12oz of mainly roach up to 12oz on bread then casters, a lovely net of fish there. 2nd was that excellent angler Paul Purchase with 6lb 8oz, young Andrew Cranston came 3rd with 6lb 6oz, Mike Kent 34th from Darlington with 6lb 4oz. Bathampton won on the day and now lead the league with the next two matches being on the canal in 2016.

What a shite league I have had so far, it is by far my worst since, well I cannot even remember lol! My day got even better when I got home to find the electrics in my shed weren't working despite no fuses or trip switches blown, so I fumbled around in the dark and managed to trip up over my trolley. Feck me what a day.

Next week back on the canal for the last ATWL with B&J.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Bob Gullick Birthday Bash - Sedges

Some time ago I received a message from Bob Gullick asking if I would like to fish a match at Sedges to celebrate his 50th birthday. It was to be a silvers match on Brick Lake and with a free brekkie and tea and cake thrown in how could I refuse!

Got to say I have not been feeling to well this week and when I awoke 5:30 Saturday morning and heard the howling wind and sleet I was thinking I really would rather stay in bed. However, it would be poor show to let Bob down so I got on with it and put on lots of extra layers. As soon as I started to load the car I knew winter had arrived, gloves and woolly hat were also needed.

Here's a picture of Bob and his birthday cake which tasted very nice.

Bob and the 19 invited anglers all met in Parkway Cafe in Bridgwater, there were loads of drawbags and great silvers anglers in there. I had a nice breakfast and most people went for the normal size, but Dom Sullivan had the large and it was a big un!!!  At the fishery and the cold Northerly was hammering down the lake, pegs 6 to 10 and 11 and 12 looked the calmest, with the other end and especially 18 to 20 looking really rough. I pulled out peg 3 which I didn't fancy one bit, the skimmers aren't usually here in numbers and the wind would make life very awkward, but with £40 for the 4 peg section it was worth a shot. My section was Russ Peck on peg 2, Alan Oram on peg 4 and Dom Sullivan was on peg 5 and I thought he was favourite.

I kept the set up very simple, a 0.8g wire stem float with 0.10 to 18 PR412, and a medium feeder with 0.128 exceed to 16 PR412. Although the wind was bad I felt I could fish between 11 and 13m so plumbed up here, it was deeper by a few inches at 11m. This little video clip shows what the wind was like before the match.

When the hooter went to start I fed some micros at 11mm, 3 balls of gbait at 13m and then cast the feeder out with double maggot on the hook. It was a slow start for me, but Dom had an early small skimmer and over on 17 Gary O'Shea had a tench first cast on the tip. After about 25 mins I snared a 1oz roach on the tip and I did miss another bite probably from a roach. After 40 mins I had no more so picked up the pole and tried a soft pellet over the micros, nothing, not a bite. Right onto a red maggot on the hook, a bite and a little 2oz skimmer which I tried to swing and the wind blew it off the hook. Over the 13m line and nothing not a bite. Back over the micros and I had a tiny roach  but nothing else,

Nicky Ewers on peg 1 had 2 skimmers on the tip, and although Russ and Alan were biteless on it I decided to give it another go. It was more difficult to cast precisely as the wind was getting stronger so bad casts had to be retrieved, but when I landed on the spot within a couple of minutes I had a positive bite and struck. There was a decent fish attached but not a skimmer, probably a bloody carp, but as there was £20 for the top carp weight I played it carefully. When the fish popped up and I saw it was a tench I was dead happy, and in the net it went. Next chuck and the tip flies round again, another tench? Not this time sadly, it was a carp. I played it carefully and it came in slowly but then decided it wanted to see Alan Oram and soon after the hook length parted. That knocked the feeder on the head and I rested it again.

Back on the pole and everything was rock hard, I had to go well over depth as the trip was bad. A little roach and a tiny skimmer from the micro line and nothing from the gbait line, in fact I never had a bite at 13m so no more of that! Alan then had a decent skimmer on the pole and lost a carp. At this stage I was winning our section.

The rest of the match was rock hard, Alan got an eel and was close to my weight, Dom fouled a skimmer and was also close. All I managed was another little skimmer and a rudd on the feeder, and a couple more tiny fish on the pole with pinkie. To be honest I was really getting cold and couldn't wait for the end of the match to come. At the all out it was clear it had been a struggle for all.

Jamie came up with the scales Nick had 3lb on peg 1,  Russ had 12oz, my tench and bits went 3lb 2oz, Alan's 2 fish went 2lb 14oz and then Dom weighed 2lb 12oz. Ken Rayner was pleased to tell me with a chuckle I'd won the £40 with my lowly weight lol!

The silvers winner was local ace Eric Fouracer who had 3 bream on the feeder for 8lb+, just beating Matty Toomes who had just a few decent skimmers on the pole. Accidental (not so accidental) carp winner was Ken Rayner with 6 carp on the lead for 40lb. Ken was on peg 19 and chucked into peg 20 as Dave Roper never bothered to fish the peg. It was good to warm up with a cup of tea and a piece of Bob's birthday cake, and Bob had won his section (4 corners of lake) so had some birthday money. I did ask Bob if he could move his birthday to July as it would have been a bit warmer lol! Thanks for the invite Bob, I hope you enjoyed your birthday.

Fishing again tomorrow the Commercial House on the canal up at Bath, hope I get a lot more bites tomorrow!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Windmill Fishery Open

Not fishing the winter league today meant I had to chose where to fish, and my original thought was to pleasure fish the river. Of course the rain that fell during the week and especially on Friday put paid to any river fishing, and after a chat to Dave Haines and Shaun Townsend I set my stall to fish Windmill for the first time.

I got to the fishery a little late (due to over celebrating the Rovers winning the day before) and found only another 7 anglers willing to face the elements, apparently Mike Nicholls and Bela Bakos did come to the venue but cried off! I was given a very warm welcome by fishery owner Terry and the other (regular) anglers and had a quick look at the lake as Dave Haines decided what pegs to put in. It certainly was very windy, and the far side was a bit better as the wind would be ever so slightly off your back. Dave put every other peg in from 11 to 1 then 31 and 29, the last two having a little calm water. I drew peg 3 which meant nothing to me, but most people didn't seem to fancy it, and a quick ring to Shaun didn't give me a lot of hope as his advice could not be followed due to the wind. I took this photo after the match when of course the wind had dropped a little lol.

The wind was so bad the first thing I set up was a little lead rod, but as it turned out I never picked it up. I then set up a 0.75g pole float with a 16 B911 to 0.14 exceed. Plumbing around I found the bottom of the shelf at about 5m, and I used my short no4 section to help control the rig. The only other rig was a 4x12 job for using in my left and right margins, with again 01.4 to a 16B911. The water was very coloured and I hoped the fish would come in close to me.

On the all in I fed 4mm pellets in the margins and a conker ball of micros at 5m, starting here with a 4mm expander on the hook. Everybody else seemed to chuck a lead or a feeder to the island, maybe I was on for a battering. It took about 10 mins for me to get a bite and a little skimmer of 2 to 3oz was swung in. Back in again and soon had another tiny skimmer. By now Dave Haines to my right had lost a carp on the lead and Gerry Welsh to my left had one, further down on peg 9 Bob Price was getting a carp a chuck.

After an hour I was getting regular bites from small skimmers but nothing else and quality. The lake was now tripping very hard against the wind and I went 4" over depth to try to slow the rig down. I'd basically drop the rig in and try to hold it steady before either the trip got the better of the rig or the wind blew my pole tip and moved the float. The small skimmers didn't mind the bait tripping through but I thought the better samples might not. I tried a piece of 6mm meat on the hook and after a a bit of a wait a bite and a skimmer of 1.5lb. Sussed it I thought, but no, it was a longer wait for a bite on the meat and then I'd miss it every time, I assume it was the little skimmers.

Although only odd carp had come out (other than Bob) I was not to keen to chuck the lead as I was getting a bite a chuck on the pole and enjoying seeing the float going under. About halfway through I added another skimmer of 1lb and a little crucian, a couple of missed bites saw me rest this line and go in the margin. LH margin was useless and never produced a bite, RH margin and the float went under and carp on, well when I say carp it was 4oz. Carp under 8oz are to be put in the silvers net so I was happy enough, and when I had a 4oz perch in the margin next I felt someone was telling me it was a silvers day. No more bites in the margin today.

Back out at 5m and the peg seemed to have slowed with no bites, but I let the float trip through and about 8ft from where I fed the float dipped and I had knocker on, or as we know it a crucian. The next 3 drops in the same hole and 3 crucians, the smallest was 4oz the biggest 1lb. I kept the odd conker of micros going in but the fish seemed to be backing off, or the feed was going down a long way with the trip and I went even further down the peg and got bites. I now started to get the odd 2oz to 4oz carp (probably 10 over last 2 hours) and I had a another lovely crucian off about 1.5lb. As soon as those better fish went it would take a few minutes for the little skimmers to come back in again, and I just kept catching them with the hope of the odd other fish showing up, and I did get a 12oz tench and a couple more small crucians. When the match had finished I was really happy having had a bite nearly every cast and enjoyed battling the elements. I'd caught all bar one skimmer on 4mm expander, meat and corn were not to the silvers taste today,

I managed to win the silvers today, my weight was 23lb 8oz and I must have had a hundred fish, Terry took a snap of my net. I think 13lb was the next best silvers weight, but there are certainly lots of silvers in here.

Winner on the day was Bob "the bread " Price who had 70lb+ on the lead with bread. Bob had caught the same weight from the next peg on Thursday, and it seems the carp seem happy to be shoaled around the end of that island. Gerry was 2nd on peg 5, he had 44lb of carp on the lead.

Well that was an enjoyable first visit to Windmill, it is certainly a very different venue to when it first opened and there are plenty of bites to be had. I shall go back again hopefully when the wind is not so bad so I can fish a bit further out!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Poppy Match Bristol Avon

Looking forward to this match, as ever, but the rain forecast could mess it up. In the end the river was looking great Saturday but the rain we had early Saturday morning was really heavy and pushed the river up and coloured. That meant minimal preparation which was dead handy as I was very hungover after a night out with lads (Thatchers Gold and Jaeger Bombs were not a good idea) and all I needed was to defrost my groundbait.

Sunday morning I was feeling fine and got to the draw where I saw Andrew Chatterley and Steve Nadin who were up from Dorset, must be 20 years since I've seen Chats! There were plenty of other anglers who I only see on this match and it is always good to see them. After our 2 minutes silence the draw began, I was hoping to pull a peg at Newbridge and I got my wish when I found I was going to be spending 5 hours on peg 77 which is 3 below Newton St Loe bridge. It was so mild as I walked to my peg I had to remove clothing. My first glance of the river by the arch and it was dirty and pushing through, but not that bad that you'd have to fish right in close. As I walked along with Jeff Surmon we spotted a few bags of gbait on the floor that had been dropped, it turned out to be Trevor Chalk's bait, Trevor is normally to be found fishing the river Wye.

Finally arrived at my peg and decided to fish from the top of the bank, on my right was Steve Skelton and on my left Martin Reyat. Looking at the river I thought a flat float might work, but I hadn't brought any with me. Then I remembered this was an open match, be positive, so it was 2 feeder rods to be fished down the middle. One feeder rod had a 14 PR355 to 0.165, and the other rod a 12 PR355 to 0.165.

As I was setting up I saw an angler pushing his gear down from the bridge, it was Alan Jones (who is getting on a bit) and he had walked from the pumphouse by mistake and had to go to peg 90 on the stream. A bad mistake to walk 70 pegs to that peg lol! I also heard another angler left his seat box in the car park whilst he drove to the Crane, that made me laugh. I did set up a bleak rig as I was on a peg which caught some last week, and thinking that 10lb would be a good weight today bleak would be handy. I was just ready for the start, and I threw 8 jaffas stuffed with worm and caster out to about halfway and followed them in with the feeder. The first 30 minutes were dead and then I had a bite which I missed, but the very next cast I had a small eel. I was trying different hook baits out and the eel had come to a dendra with red maggots, not long after an 8oz roach also took the same bait.

After an hour I had added a small roach and then had a rattler of bite and had another eel of around 8oz. This eel had swallowed the bait deeply and after a quick try with the slamo I decided to cut the line, as I did the eel had managed to make a hole in a new landing net and slipped through it back into the river, balls! As I had to tie another hook on I decided to have a cast out with the bigger hook and try a lobworm tail. Not long after tying the new hook on I had a bite on the lobby but missed it, try again and another 8oz roach. No more bites on the lobworm followed so I went back to the smaller hook and had a chub of about 6oz. It was about now that organisers Paul Benson and Ray Bazely met behind my peg. Benz said I was doing OK, but Ray had seen a bream caught by Jan Mazyk who was on the bream hole peg.

During the next 2 hours I would get odd bites from roach, I never saw another eel, but these bites are bloody hard to hit despite fishing for drop backs. I think the bigger roach are easier to hook than the smaller ones, and as I really wanted to catch a bream I did not scale down to catch small roach. A dendra with 2 casters was good for another few roach, mostly netters. I kept piling the worms and casters in through the feeder hoping to attract the aforementioned bream but there was no sign of any in my peg or around me. Warren Bates had drawn well again and was on the peg which won the match last week, Warren was struggling and went for a walk, when he returned he caught a bream on his first cast, nice. Sadly my peg seemed to be going downhill with the fish getting smaller, to prove a point I put 3 red maggots on and caught a dace and my smallest roach. Sod that. Tried the lobworm again and had 1 roach on it, but the last hour was not good for me and even though I kept the faith the bream did not show up and I was not going to be winning this year.

In this match they pay money out on every 5 pegs, I thought I had about 3 1/2 to 4lb. Jeff and Martin had a lot more fish than me so it was not looking good even for £20. The section above the bridge was won by Glenn Bailey with 5lb 12oz, Jeff had just under 4lb, then I weighed 5lb 2oz which caused much cursing and foul language to appear from Martin. He needen't have worried as he did me by 3oz, and yes I was now cursing losing that bloody eel lol! Just seems not to be my year on the rivers, not won a bean and I cannot rememember that happening before, I've got one more chance in two weeks to avoid the white wash.

Back at the results word started to come in of bream that had been caught and it wasn't many. Also a couple of anglers had lost a lot of eels as they had holes in their keepnets, one was my teammate Nick Chedzoy, he lost 15 of 17 eels, plonker!! In the end the winner was Jan Mazyk who had 4 bream for 24lb 6oz, well done!!!

In second and next to the winner was Dereck Coles who had 14lb 12oz which included a 9lb 10oz bream, wow!!!

In third and a previous winner was Andy Ottoway who had a really good net of roach and eels for 12lb 6oz, he just beat Warren Bates who framed for about the 4th match on the trot with bream and is doing really well. The top 4 all came from Newbridge and you can see below the top weights.

As usual the results were full of fun and banter as Ray is the king of wind up. I managed to win something, a tin of biscuits on the raffle lol, but Glenn won a rod so he had a good day. John Smith got the biggest laughs as he kept coming up to claim raffle prizes only to have the right number but the wrong colour! At the end of the day Ray and Benz and their helpers did a great job, and advised they are getting a new trophy for next year as they will make it the Bill Milton memorial trophy. Bill was an avid supporter of the Poppy match and it is a nice touch, now I just need to get my name on that trophy!

Not sure what to do next week, if the river looks good I might fish it for fun, or I might sneak on to a carp match.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

No real blog - just...

I didn't fish today as I was only briefly back in the UK from a lovely time in Barcelona, and then I'm off first thing to Munich on business.

I did walk / run the bank at Newbridge today where the Avon had a lot of colour and it was fishing really hard. Some anglers were blanking after a couple of hours, some went for bleak out of desperation but that often turned out to be a good plan.

Very few bream showed but as ever a few did come out late. Bathampton won on the day by 2 points over Thatchers, and it sounded like Andy Britt's last came bream that won him the section probably got his team the win.

I don't know what caused the river to fish so poorly perhaps the water was cold and the fish need to acclimatise. It'll probably fish well in the week, hope it improves for the Poppy Match next week!