Sunday, 29 October 2017

ATWL Bristol Avon Newbridge - Round 4

Well after last week's match I was sick as a pig and didn't go into work on the Monday, it turned into a hacking cough which kept me and the wife awake most nights. That's the sob sorry done. Made some rigs up, tied some hooks and mixed my groundbait Saturday morning and felt well prepared.

I did have a few drinks Saturday, mainly Jameson whiskey which I hoped might numb my sore throat, and I did sleep better, still woke up early with the clocks going back lol. Off to the draw and once again it was a nice breakfast at the Crown in Keynsham. Whilst eating there was a debate as to who would draw for our team, and in the end "Lucky" Lee Trevitt volunteered. When he came back with the pegs he had drawn a few good ones, he was end peg in the trees, Luke Sorokin was on 50, and I was on peg 3 in the little field.

I got to my peg and was knackered, couldn't believe how hard I found the walk, but guess that's the lurgy. Peg 3 is the upstream peg and back in the summer it held a lot of skimmers, but in the winter leagues the skimmers have not shown and pike have been a pain.

I looked at the river and I was pleased it was not gin clear, maybe some skimmers might show? I set up a feeder rod, but it was never used, a 4g bolo with 18 to 0.10, a 2gm pole float with 20 to 0.10 and a 1g pencil float with 20 to 0.10. I also set up a flat float with 18 to 0.10 with the skimmer in mind. For the last weeks I have been using the Preston Flurocarbon hook length in 0.10 and I have had no problems with it all, in fact it is bloody strong as you will see...

I was positive about the peg and therefore I made up 12 balls of gbait which held 1/2 pint of caster, 1/2 pint of hemp and a good helping of pinkies. I threw them in at 13m, I'd normally only go to 11m but thought an extra section might give me a better chance of skimmers, though I wasn't expecting to see any of them till later on. I began on the 2g rig with single caster on the hook, missed a bite and then had a roach, then another roach, then a third which a pike took, new hook required. Back in and I was getting bites but not hitting them all, and then had another pike take take a fish, this one stayed on a bit and in the end I got the bloody thing in, about 3lb.

Back in and still a bite every drop in from small roach, but I didn't feel I was hitting enough bites so switched to the pencil float. This was a good move and I definitely hit more bites, but I had to shallow up and was about 1 foot off the bottom and still getting bites on the drop. Surprising really as at this stage I was not loose feeding, just plopping the odd ball of my mix. Another pike put in an appearance, this one was a double and it forced me off the pole onto the bolo. I was able to get bites on this but fish to bite ratio was poor, but fish hooked and landed ratio was better!  After a while I decided I was missing to many bites and went back on the pole, a good move as I had a couple of 4oz roach when the pike got me again, and again and I had enough and went for a walk to Ivan Currie on peg 7, he was suffering pike strikes to and generally fed up.

I went back and began loose feeding heavily with hemp and caster, I was worried that bleak might come in, but as it was they never did, I had 20 mins without a pike attack and then I had one on proper. I played it for 5 to 10 mins, and really gave it some stick, I actually had it in the net but it wasn't all in and got out, think it was getting on for 12 to 14lb. Anyway it decided to go down stream and eventually the line parted, but I was amazed how far it went before the 0.10 broke.

Giving that pike a bit of a headache seemed to improve things and I had a good 30 mins on the pole fishing shorter at 11m catching small roach, eventually of course a pike fecked this too. A dingy went past me with three rather unpleasant lads in it who were piking, just as they got past my peg they had one, a double, how many of these feckers are in here I thought.

The last 90 mins were still a bite a chuck, I had tried the flat float on and off but only caught the same size roach or a little perch, it was clear to me the peg was full of roach and pike. A very large pike emerged during this time, it was huge, I saw it a numbers of times go for my fish, but I think it was too big to be really fast. There were still other pike in the peg, as I lost 2 on the bolo which were clearly not big pike. Eventually the leviathan got me, and I was never going to win any battles with this one so just pulled hard until I snapped. 10 mins to go I hooked it again, and then tied on my last pre tied hook length. Caught a few more roach and that was it.

I cannot say it was a lovely day's fishing, but it was a bite every single run through, I honestly think without pike trouble there was a chance of getting near 20lb of roach. Dean Harvey who was on his usual peg 16 came up with the scales and weighed me first, I was still packing away so wouldn't get to see the others weigh in. My roach went 13lb 14oz, a little less than I hoped, guess the fish were not as big as I thought. Once I packed up I met the lads below the bridge but everyone had weighed in. The weights in my section are show below, Dean had small skimmers on the pole and feeder, and two 6lb bream in two casts on the feeder.

Back to the results and it was soon evident that the river had fished well today, pike had been a pain for many, but for the first time bream had shown in some areas. There were 24 double figure weights today and every section was won with double figures, see below where you can see 1st and section weight in each section, not bad fishing.

Winner on the day with Rich Whitmarsh who had 45lb from the Norfolk reeds, bream and skimmers on the feeder. Second was Steve Hutchinson on the peg below Rich, Steve had 42lb of bream and skimmers on the pole.

3rd team mate Luke Sorokin 30lb 6oz, roach, skimmers and bream on the pole peg 50
4th Mat Challenger 23lb 11oz on another flyer peg 76, he had a lovely net of quality fish on the pole.
5th Dean Harvey 23lb 9oz
6th Shaun Townsend 23lb 8oz  (feeder angler these days)

Thatchers managed to win on the day with 29 points, Bathampton 27 and Die Hards 26. League overall is now Thatchers one point ahead of ahead of Bathampton. There are two matches left on the K&A canal next week is up at Melksham, I'm dropped for that so weekend off for me, so next match is the Poppy.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

ATWL - Bristol Avon Keynsham

I had a lovely week away in the Isle of Wight with my wife, never been before but we really enjoyed it. Towards the end of the holiday I went down with man flu and a nasty cough which keeps me awake at night. It was that bad that I turned down a trip to the pub Saturday with Glenn and Mike Nicholls. All I could do Saturday was minimal preparation for the river and slump in my chair and feel sorry for myself lol.

Lee Trivett and Andy Ottaway had pegged out the match and messaged the pegging, when I saw it on Sat night I thought well anywhere but G section will do, G was bottom of the Crane which as not been good of late. Anyway come Sunday morning and I felt like shit and the wife said I shouldn't go, but it was a team match and we all know we have to do the necessary for the team. I now wanted to draw a short walk and really don't think I could face Swineford, so G section would be nice and short. After another decent brekky the draw was done, and it turned out we had the same peg from the earlier round, so all of us on pegs another angler in the team had drawn. Blow me if I didn't get my wish, G5, the first peg above the cattle grid at the Crane about as short a walk as I could get. The peg has not won the section of late but it is always one I'm happy to draw being an end peg, no chance of framing but a decent section peg.

I set up the pole to fish at about 13m as the flow here is across more, a good thing today as the river rose and got pacey and I was less affected than most. The flow was OK, and so a 2 grm and 1gm rig looked OK to me, and they went through the peg OK. A 14BB crowquill and and Gbait feeder were also set up. The wind was a nightmare, into me and a bit upstream, and I could see that it would make life difficult. The picture below does not do justice, but at times it was a right b'stard.

I was just about ready on time and let fly with 12 balls of gbait full of caster and hemp. I was quite positive with the feeding as I thought with the river having extra pace it might fish well. I went out with the 2g float first and stuck on a single bronze maggot, the float ran down past where I thought the gbait had settled and then some more and then went under, 1oz roach. The next 4 or 5 rns through produced nothing, but then I had a small dace. It was not a stellar start by any means, but bites started to come on and off from small roach and dace. The first hour was not prolific by any means and I reckon I only had 1lb 4oz by the end of it, not great at all but Darren Gillman who was a couple of pegs above was also struggling. Darren has been the king of the section so he was my paceman, if I could keep up with him I should do well.

Second hour and I hit a pike, I had it on for a few minutes and did my best to piss it off, I finally broke on it and hoped I had given it a tooth ache. For the next two hours I never had any pike strikes, but the fishing was still really tough, there were clearly fish there but I was having to work hard to get bites. Aaron Britnell came for a walk up to watch his mate Mat on the peg above me, and he also spent some time watching me. I might get 4 or 5 fish in as many chucks on the pole, then nothing, changing to the crowquill might do the same, but then nothing. Changing hookbaits, maggot colours, caster would also make bites, I couldn't believe how much I had to change. Of course then the pike came back, the 2g pole rig got trashed and I needed to set another up, I chucked the feeder out for a bit whilst I put a new rig on and had bites but didn't connect, roach.

The crowquill got the pike treatment, and so another new hook etc, and I kept battling the elements, the wind was a joke, I was in and out of the tree on my left and suffering a lot of tourettes trying to fish a tidy match. I kept throwing small balls of gbait in and hoped better fish might turn up, but they never did. Thanks to Aaron and the many other people who were walking the bank I knew my section was not fishing well, I therefore stuck to trying to catch the small fish and avoided going on the feeder. Mat above me had lost a bream on the feeder and lost another late on, but I stuck to my guns. With about 30 mins left I hooked a little fish I thought, but when I shipped back the rig was solid and I assumed I was in a snag I had hooked before. I started pulling hard for a break, as you do, and then the rig started moving upstream and not long after bit me off, that was a bloody big pike!

When the all out was called I was tired, aching, felt like shit and just hoped that I might have won the section to make it all worthwhile. The scales were operated today by legend Dave Lewis, and he weighed my fish first and called out 7lb 10oz, not sure that would be enough. However, Mat had 2lb, and then Darren had really struggled and had just over 4lb, Vic Abbot had 6lb+ and on the gantry Dave had 5lb exactly which included a nice 3 1/2lb chub. A section win, yay, worth it after coughing my guts up all day, lol. Thanks to Aaron for the photo.

I was one of the first people back to the results, and was glad I could get a seat to rest. As the lads started to come back it was very obvious we had done well today, in fact we had 7 section winners and one who was 3rd in the section (Martin Barrett). Obviously we won the day by a long way, but with Bathampton scraping second place by 1 point we are tied at the top with them overall.

Top anglers today

1st Mark Harper 35lb 6oz, bream from peg 6 at Swineford
2nd Tom Morretti 26lb 10oz Jack Whites (same peg Glenn had last week)
3rd Randy Branston  22lb 5oz Jack Whites (same peg Ivan Currie had last week)
4th Lee Trivett and Matt Challenger 17lb 12oz.

The river was more coloured by the end of the match, and had more pace, and for some anglers their pegs were a bit too fast for the float, the river still fished well in most places.

Newbridge next week, hopefully I feel better.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Commercial House Round 3 - Bristol Avon Keynsham

Thanks to social media I was able to order some bait via Facebook messenger with Matt Challenger whilst I was working in Munich this week. It is not conducive for match prep to be working away so much and then watching Rovers on a Saturday. However, you only get one chance on this planet so I like to fill my days as much as possible whilst I'm fit and healthy. I was worried about my participation Sunday as Friday and Saturday I had a bad back and was struggling badly, thankfully it improved enough that I could get my gear into the car Sunday morning without too much pain.

I was slow getting to the draw so I didn't have time for breakfast, and before long the draw was underway and I was hoping for a peg at Swineford or Jackie Whites. Thanks to Mark Harper I got my wish and was on peg 27 at Swineford, and that meant another long walk along the cycle track, it takes me about 20 minutes. Our team was struggling for anglers and I had managed to get Andy Curry to fish for us, he probably was regretting saying yes to helping after he was given a peg at Frys lol.

Right, finally at the peg and soaked with sweat, as was Martin Barrett on peg 29. I was happy with the peg as it usually holds plenty of roach and sometimes the odd skimmer, but in this section there are some great pegs and 15lb has to be the target to do well. It is comfortable peg once you are down in it, but really not good for the pole with a high bank immediately behind you, so all rods for me today.

The river is really clear at the moment and does not have much flow, I really felt a peg with chub on would be better than roach today. My peg has most of the flow from about 7m to half way across and so this would be my main attack.

I set up a 7 no4 stick float with 0.10 to 20, a 4g bolo with 0.10 to 18, and a gbait feeder which was not used. I did set up a chopped worm rig on the pole for fishing 10m down the inside, but this only brought me 1 perch.

The question for me was to use gbait or to loose feed, and in the end I went with just loose feeding due to the clear water and long trot I had. I began on the Bolo but it wasn't quite right to me and bites were not positive so I switched to the stick float and was soon getting a bite most casts, trouble was I was either missing them or catching 1/2oz fish. It was not the start I'd hoped for but when loose feeding the swim can improve so I persevered and upped the caster and hemp feed. The first hour wasn't great, and I was a long way behind Martin. I switched back to the bolo on my 18 foot rod and bites were better but the fish were still small. There were clearly plenty of small fish in the peg, and the bait was being picked up on the drop forcing me to shallow up a few times.

In the second hour I picked up my two best fish, both roach at about 6oz. I was catching best on a bronze maggot on the hook, caster did not produce better fish at all. I tried a tare a few times today, but again I only caught a couple of small fish and often had fast unhittable bites which I think might have been from dace which I had on and off.

Halfway through and I don't think I had 4lb in the net so not going well. Glenn rang me, he was for the second match running on the fence peg at Jackies which is solid with dace and he was bagging. Every time I tried to up the feed to feed off the bits my bites would slow right down, and I just got the feeling the bigger stamp of roach were not feeding. Then to make matters worse I managed to catch the tree on the strike and snapped off below the bolo. I could not fish the stick as the wind was to strong upstream and so I had to set up again. At first it seemed the rig was not working as well as before, however, things improved and the last two hours the roach were better and I could get runs of 2oz roach but after three on the trot you would be back to tiddlers. I started to feed maggots heavily over where there was not much flow, but did pick up a few roach here. It was a case though of casting around the peg to try to find those slightly better fish before they moved again. The last 90 minutes I reckon I caught most of my fish actually away from the feed, and this was something many people experienced.

Match over and I thought I had about 9lb which I expected to only beat a couple of people today. Sam Johnson had a nice walk to weigh the section in, and when he got to Martin 26lb was top and 10lb was next. Martin had 13lb+ , he had fed a bit of gbait but had managed a dozen chublets across which was worth a couple of pounds at least, I'd not seen one of them. My turn and I was a little surprised to see 11lb 4oz on the scales, "a lot of fish" was the comment, and on another day with better quality it would have been 20lb, but if's, but's and maybe's....

Paul Isaacs had won our section from Bitton Brook, he had 6 decent chub and lots of dace, roach, bleak and chublets, a busy day and well done him. Martin was 2nd and I was 3rd in the A division.

The long walk back but at least the sun was shining and it was such a pleasant day weather wise. Back at the results and I soon found out some parts of the river had fished very hard, and most of the river was below par today, the exception being Jack Whites which was superb.

1st Glenn Bailey   27lb dace at 4m Jackies
2nd Paul Isaacs     26lb  chub Bitton Brook
3rd  Ivan Currie    21lb  dace (peg above Glenn)
4th Ian Pauley      18lb dace (couple of pegs below Glenn)

In the A div Thatchers B were first and Thatchers A second, and after three rounds these two teams are 1st and 2nd respectively.

In the B div Maver are leading Stand and Deliver. But in both divisions it is still quite tight and all to play for.

Next week it is the same venue (less Frys) for the third round of the ATWL, and unless there is a decent amount of rain then we can all look forward to a tough match, unless you can draw bunghole pegs lol.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

ATWL Round 2 Bristol Avon Newbridge

The older I get the more I forget I think, I am sure there are many things I mean to mention in my blog and later in the week I recall them. Another busy week where Wednesday I was in Birmingham presenting an award, the event was hosted by news reader Katie Dereham, nice lady.

For a change I went out Friday night with the wife and we had a nice meal and a few drinks and had a good chat with Shaun Townsend and his wife Lyn. Next day I woke I was a little tired, it was either the day 20km on the bike to work and back, the 6km walking to pubs and home, or the many pints of Thatchers.... perhaps all three took their toll.

Saturday popped to Scotts, saw a few anglers in there including Bob Price who told me still reads my blog and likes it, thanks Bob. I was at home all afternoon and had time to prepare some rigs and gbait etc whilst listening to the radio, and it was rather pleasant listening to the Gas winning 6-0 away from home.

Sunday morning all fit and ready to go and by far the best breakfast at the Crown so far I feel. Lovely people in here run the pub and I'm glad we had to move to this pub from the rugby club. Anyway, paid my pools, picked up a few Preston bits I had ordered and then got told draw was done and I was in the trees on peg 118. I'd rather not go to the trees when the river is low and clear but such is life.

The section is only 5 pegs, but it was well spread, Rich Whitmarsh was on 113, then myself, Towner was on 122, Shane Caswell 126 and finally a young lad called Randy Branston on peg 130 was end peg and the end peg is always a boon here. Before I go on I should mention that Shane has bought a new keepnet recently, and the last two matches he has had a lot of trouble with it tangling up as he weighs in, wish I had a video of it lol.

I got down in the water and got comfy, I set up a crowquill, feeder, and 4 pole rigs, a chopped worm rig, 1gm, 2gm and 3gm flat float. I was a minute or so late starting, so Shaun below me balled it in before me, then I got going and threw in 12 balls. Out with the 2gm rig and no bites on a caster or a maggot, out with the 1gm and finally a couple of roach on a maggot but right down the peg below the gbair, it was not a good start, but then I had a couple of fish over the gbait, including tow perch. I was struggling though and was concerned, so when I then saw around 10 to 12 bream roll up and down the far side within a couple of minutes I was just waiting for them to arrive on the pole line, they didn't.

After about 40 minutes and no more than 1 1/2lb in the net I had 10 chucks on the feeder to get more bait out there. I tried the crowquill over the pole and had a couple more roach but again these were down the peg. I tried the pole again and out of the blue had two roach that must have been nearly 8oz each, then I had a couple more perch and then it was dead. I gave the feeder a go but it was just a couple of little roach.

From this point on things went downhill for me big time, I just could not get any bites on the pole or crowquill. In fact I think I went two hours without a bite over my pole line, and just had a couple of perch a roach and a ruffe on the feeder. I was looking at a very bad result and hoping that one of those bream would grab my feeder hook bait. With about 35 mins to go, after a good go on the feeder I had another look on the pole, blow me the float went under, and it did so every run through until the end of the match, though bites were quite hard to hit with little flow and a terrible light which made it hard to see the float. When I called all out I was left feeling happy with the ending but not sure what else I could have done.

Everyone in the section was admitting to 5lb, so as I thought I had 5lb I wasn't thinking I would do to well, Randy had 7lb 6oz and won the section, Rich was 2nd with 7lb 3oz, Shaun had a late skimmer to give him 6lb 13oz, Shane had some nice roach for 6lb 10oz, and I was last with 6lb 6oz.  Just 1lb between all five of us and I was whipped. Such is life, I didn't feel like I fished a bad match, it was just hard, I bumped and dropped a couple but we all do that. There you go, from Hero to zero lol.

I had heard during the match the river was fishing hard, and so it proved with Warren Bates only needing 13lb to win the match, he was on 76 and had a 5lb bream plus plenty of roach. 2nd was Paul Elms from form peg 92, Paul had a lot of chublets. Mark Harper was 3rd from peg 5 and Mat Challenger framed again with 9lb from peg 49. Just out of the frame was Andy Curry, fair play to him as he is just getting back into his fishing and it was good to see him again.

Bathampton won on the day and Nomads came 2nd, my lot were third, which means Bathampton lead overall after two matches by 1 point from Thatchers.

No let up for me at present, I'm off to Germany working for a few days, Commercial House next week back at Keynsham, hoping I get my mojo back.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

ATWL - Bristol Avon Keynsham - Round one

I knew I would feel tired Sunday morning, but I hoped a breakfast and cuppa would perk me up. Meeting up at the Crown in Keynsham it was not long before the draw would commence. There were four sections at Swineford, three on the Crane and one at Jack Whites. Andy Ottaway and Lee Trivett had pegged it and done some serious swim clearing on pegs 17 and the gas pipe. When the team draw was done I could not believe it when Lee drew 17 and Andy the Gas Pipe! Myself I was going for the long walk up to the Beach at Swineford.

I walked along the cycle track with Shaun Townsend who was on peg 29 in the other section, it was a good workout.I finally got to my peg with less than an hour to get ready. I'd forgotten my waders so was lucky that Andy Britt could lend me his, thanks mate. All I had time to set up was a 2g pole rig with 20 to 0.10 a 4g flat float with 18 to 0.12, and a waggler with 20 to 0.12. It was an awkward peg for sishing a pole but there was a nasty downstream wind which ruled out the crowquill, plus there have been skimmers showing in the area and I thought the pole would be best for them. Before I go any further I was surprised to see Dave Stiff on the peg below me, end peg. Surprised because he had walked up from the Crane, can't believe a bloke who lives on a boat doesn't know where to walk from lol!!!

On the all in I threw 8 balls of gbait in, I had worms, casters and hemp in the balls. I loosefed maggots and hemp further out and down for the waggler line. I began on the 2g rig, the first half dozen runs through were a little disconcerting as I only had 1 small roach and dace. I was expecting decent roach on caster, but it wasn't happening. Then about 30 mins I had a 6oz roach, next drop in another good fish but this appeared to come off on the way back I thought. Next chuck another but pike took it. Soon after another pike took a fish and snapped me. New hook length lasted all of a couple minutes as pike did me again. I then bumped a decent fish and quite frankly everything was going wrong. I did manage to land a couple of 6oz skimmers and after the first hour had about 2lb.

Going into the second hour I was playing the pike again, this time it stayed on for a while and eventually it swam into the reeds under my feet and I lost the whole rig, oh you pig I think I said... I attached another 2g rig and soon was back in action, but bites were almost non existent and I guessed the pike had unsettled the fish. Out on the wagg for a bit, it wasn't great but I did have a couple of 3oz chub and dace and bleak. I kept thinking though I needed skimmers as I thought my section would be won with 15lb+, so out with pole again. Over the next two hours I never had any pike trouble, yippee, and by feeding casters and topping up with the odd food rich ball of bait I caught the odd small skimmer and some roach. I only had 3 skimmers on the flat float, but the 2g rig fished a little over depth with either maggot or caster was by far the best.

Going into the last hour the skimmers seemed to have had enough, and I worked hard with the waggler and pole to catch roach, the waggler was better as it avoided the pike which had returned!

With the match over I was knackered, throwing the pole up behind me, and having to stand up to it every time was hard work, but I knew I had a decent net and hoped I had 15lb. Once I had finally packed up I had to weigh in as I had the scales, we started with Dave and he had 9lb 8oz which included a brea, of 3 1/2lb, nice one Dave. My turn next and I was pleased to see the scales record 17lb 10oz. Jeff Surmon above me had 11lb 8oz, then Andy 8lb 7oz, and last Shane Caswell on Bitton Brook had 8lb 10oz.  Section win for me and job done, so it would make the walk back a little easier.

Mike Kent had taken a walk on the river and he took this photo of my catch.

Finally back to the pub and I was wet through from sweat so glad of a Thatchers Gold to cool down. It soon transpired the team had done really well and we won on the day with 36 points out of 40, Bathampton were second.

Top 6 was something like this....

1st Martin Barrett  24lb dace and roach, steps at Jack Whites.
2nd Lee Trivett  20lb+ 6 chub peg 17 Swineford
3rd Mat Challenger 19lb 10oz  chub peg 12 Swineford
4th Andy Ottoway 19lb 4oz chublets and bits Gas Pipe Swineford
5th Rob Jones  18lb 15oz  roach, dace, couple of big skimmers and perch, peg 4 Swineford
6th Me 17lb 10oz.

The Crane was poor today with everyone having pike problems and 10lb the best weight I think.

I think I had enough fish on the hook today to come 2nd, but everyone had pike trouble and lost some fish, Lee lost 3 big chub for example. First hour was a nightmare, but after that things got better and it was a lovely day catching on the pole, and catching small skimmers is great fun.

Round two at Newbridge next week.

Viaduct All Winners Final

The blog is back after I spent a great week on holiday in Zante, loved it and so glad I went. It was a busy week for me and with this match on the Saturday and the first round of the winter league on the Sunday I had to use Friday afternoon / evening to do all my prep. Not easy to get all my gear organised for a day on carp and then the river, but it has to be done.

Met up Saturday morning in Cannards Well with Mike Nicholls and Glenn Bailey, bit early for my liking but meant we had brekky in double quick time. Once at the Viaduct there were plenty of winners already there, and the talk was you needed to draw Campbell lake to win the £1000 prize. 67 anglers were fishing and as well as Campbell, Carey, Lodge and Match lake were all in, even if you drew poor there was £65 for winning your 5 peg section. Into the draw queue and I had two of the best draw bags in front of me, Des Shipp and Andy Power, not bad anglers either lol. I just hoped I could get a flyer on Campbell as that was going to be my best hope of getting in the frame against tall the regulars and very good anglers. I pulled out 117 on Campbell, happy days. It is a peg not used in most matches as it is set back and hemmed in, and 116 and 118 usually catch in the edge back towards it.

Once at the peg I had to move Steve Nadin's keepnet, Steve was on 80 and didn't expect to see anyone on 117. I reckoned my best bet to do any good was to catch on the straight lead, and in by the tree on my left (see pic) and my margins left and right. Two rigs did for the pole, both 4x12 but one for meat with 0.16 to 12 PR478 and one for hard pellet with 18PR36 to 0.16.

When the match began I started at 8m right in front with meat looking for a mug fish, no bites here at all sadly so I moved to the same distance but next to the tree with meat. One skimmer was all I had from there so not a good start but Dave Romaine on 118 was fishless and not much was happening. I was feeding a few 8mm pellets with the catty out for the lead so went on that. It didn't take too long for me to get a little 3lb carp, and about 20 mins later another of the same size. An hour gone and that was all I had, but it was more than my neighbours,

The next hour went passed without any action, and the third hour was also poor until a few carp started to show themselves out in front. I had a few on the lead but again only small fish, but at least I was getting a few liners and indications at last even if the carp were still hard to catch. With about 90 minutes to go I had 9 carp for 40lb, Dave was still struggling but then had a carp on meat, I had tried the tree and margin lines without a sign, but I saw a few bubbles by the tree. Out with the rig and within no time I was attached to carp, I had to give it some stick because the branches, but it came out and was about 5lb. Back out in again fed a bit of meat and another carp, about 8lb this time. Typical of carp these days, they were coming on the feed and coming in closer late on. I couldn't absolutely empty it but I did at least manage to put another 7 carp in the net from this line, I lost two I think, one was definitely a fouler. I tried the margin to the right with pellet and hooked one, but despite me pulling hard the scrapper did me in the brambles.

Match over, it was certainly a bit tough where I was and from what I could tell I was looking good for a section win. In the end only one other angler weighed in my section, on 116 and he had 65lb, 115, Dave on 118 and Nick Ewers on 119 all chucked back. I weighed 100lb 10oz so was happy enough with that and it was nice to finish my commercial fishing off with a ton.

I had to shoot off straight away as I had a work do to attend, a good night playing skittles, so I missed the full results but I do know that Andy Power won the match from peg 129 with over 200lb. He'd have probably won it from my peg too.