Fishing has taken a back seat, last weekend I was full of cold and my sinuses were playing up, I'm still coughing and bunged up today. The mother-in-law had to go in hospital for a 6 hour heart operation this week which has been a bit stressful, and I have purposely not booked any matches for now. To be honest I wouldn't have been in a fit state to fish Sunday after a day on the lash watching Rovers yesterday. It was a great day out with the wife, youngest daughter Emma and her boyfriend Mitch, and good friends Glenn Bailey, Paul and Andrea Benson and organiser Mark and Bern Jefferies. Starting at 12:30 at the ground and ending about 10:30 at the Essex I was not very steady on my feet.
Picked up another diary today as we move into 1997, December 1996 had been very, very cold, so much so that the Avon in Bath froze over! Temperatures climbed a little and I decided to pleasure fish the river in Bath near Norfolk Crescent. I had a nice day on the waggler fishing maggots and catching 10lb of dace, it was a day when I had to vary the depth to keep bites coming, and try to hit them. I took a walk downstream towards the end of the day, and just above the green bridge was Kevin Boltz who was also fishing a waggler. However, unlike me Kev had not caught a single dace but had 25 chub for about 60lb fishing 5 feet deep. Most matches were cancelled this weekend, with the Avon at Melksham froze over and the canal ice was 4" thick.
The following weekend we had the first night without frost for 3 weeks, I pleasure fished the Avon up at Laycock with Des Shipp and Steve Mayo, none of us had a bite! On Saturday 18th I was back at Moorlands Farm for their winter league, I drew peg 15 on Moors pool. It was a difficult match with the corners dominating, I only had 1 small carp of a 1lb but some roach and 2 small skimmers on worm and maggots got me 6lb 13oz for 12 points out of 19, my 4 man team were 3rd on the day and 2nd overall in the league at this stage.
With all this cold weather fish on the river were shoaling up, and if you were on them you would sack up big time (just like Kev Boltz). Bream appeared on the shallowest water on the top of chequers straight and people were catching up to 40 of them on waggler and caster. The Rod Hill Memorial match was being fished on the Avon around Keynsham and so a draw at Chequers would be handy, of course I didn't draw there! I drew a peg at Jack Whites (downstream of Siston Brook) in the cow drink, a peg I've had before. It was an out and out feeder day for me, and I had just 1 bite all day, thankfully I connected with the fish and landed a 3lb 4oz chub. That was handy as nobody else in the section caught and so I picked up 1st and 2nd section money lol! Chequers was the place to be and lots of bream were caught down there.
The following weekend was a double header at Moorlands, the w/l on Saturday was dreadful for me. 3lb 8oz from peg 40 on Meadow and only 10 points from 19. Sunday and I fished an open on the venue and drew peg 15 on bank pool. I really wasn't happy with this peg, it is on the end of the pool and your hemmed in by the anglers around you, and the wind was blowing into my face. As I was setting up though the wind turned around completely and was now off my back! I decided to set up a waggler and a maggot feeder as well as the pole, but the waggler was my main method fishing with just 3 no 10's down the line and and a 20 to 0.10. It was a slow match and everyone was struggling but I thought it might be my lucky day when I managed somehow to land a 6lb carp hooked in the tail. Five more carp and 1 big skimmer later and I weighed 21lb 11oz to come 2nd overall. I was back here two weeks later for the last round of the w/l and I drew peg 7 on Moors. Straight away Des and Steve told me this peg had a hidden feature, a gravel bottom around 6m out and that I should find this and fish over it. Plumbing up and dragging a plummet around it was easy to find the gravel patch. I used a heavy 1/2grm float with 18 to 0.12 and fed casters lightly, on the hook double caster or double red maggot did the business. I had a nice steady days fishing, ending with 17 carp for 49lb 13oz, and that was enough to win the match. It was a great day as the team came 2nd on the day and 2nd overall, and I picked up nearly £300 as a result!
Saturday 22nd February and I Was on the K&A canal at Limpley Stoke fishing a seniors and juniors pairs match, sadly I cannot remember the junior I was paired with. However, he would have been happy as I won the match with 4lb 7 1/2oz and we won the pairs too! I had 4 skimmers on punch and some gudgeon on pinkie.
I hope I can fish a match next weekend before Xmas, but I've just remembered I need to get my no 5 section fixed!