There was no blog last week as I was pretty rough after a bout of man flu, only really just cleared my chest this weekend, why is it these days every cold takes nearly 2 weeks to do one? Also with the weather not looking great right now and me not having any team match commitments I have decided to get some jobs done at home and get some brownie points in too. After a brief journey outside today I am happy as I was not sat out in the strong Northerly wind, but fair play to those that did.
Before I reminisce I have to say how shocked I was today to hear the news on Talk Sport (Fishermans blues) about the Angling Trust dropping the England Team sponsor Drennan after 25 years. The show host Nigel Botherway went on to explain that the Angling Trust have been unable to account for all of the sponsorship money which Peter Drennan had provided, I think it was in relation to 2017, and that £20K of the £30K funds were unaccounted for. Serious stuff, and some very serious questions need to be asked. Peter Drennan made an official statement which Nigel read out. In the statement Peter was clear the AT had now stopped any future sponsorship with Drennan, Peter thanked some of the people he had worked with; England managers Dick Clegg and Mark Addy, but another manager was not mentioned or thanked, hmmm...
Back in 2000 my fishing started on Sunday the 2nd January, it was another round of the ATWL fished at Newbridge. I was on peg 26 and I only had two fish, an eel and a roach which both came to the feeder fished down the middle of the river. Chopped worm got me the two fish, they went 13oz and as I got 8 point for that you can tell it was a bloody hard match. Things didn't get any better the following weekend on the Commercial House on the K&A Canal, I was drawn on the "concrete" up by Warleigh. I caught 8 fish all match and 4 of those came in the last 5 minutes! Of course they were only tiny and 4oz was my lot. Everything was caught on squatt. I had 6 points out of 14 so not great.
January 15th and the final round of the ATWL which was to be fished on the canal. My team were leading the league and we had to have a disaster to let the lead slip. I didn't record where I drew, must have been because I only caught 4 ruffe for 1 1/2oz and just 2 points, shocking. However, the team came 4th on the day and we won the league by more than 50 points, so that was great.
A week later I decided to have a go on the river at Swineford, peg 18 a good chub peg and all these years later still is. The river was going through fast so it had to be a feeder job, and I took an early 3lb chub and small one on the gbait feeder, but then never had a bite for 3 hours. A switch to the maggot feeder brought two more small chub and a good 4lb chub, I also got snapped on one when I gave it too much stick under the rod end. All the change the following day as I made my first visit to a lake called Fishponds House. A strange lake, with large open area, then a channel narrowing up to a bowl at the bottom. I managed to pull out the peg right at the end of the lake in the bowl, certainly sheltered from the elements and by all accounts one that could be very good. I was told the best approach was to fish to sweetcorn and that a lot of fish could be caught fishing by the nearside ledge. I fished a 4x14 float with a 16 to 0.12 and I fed 4 grains of corn by toss pot after every fish caught. I started out at 9m in front and had 5 carp, but once this slowed after an hour I went 9m to my right down the ledge and stayed here for the rest of the match. I finished with 27 carp for 80lb 11oz and second overall, certainly the best day I had for a while lol!
The following weekend and a visit to another new venue, Riverton lakes. If my memory is correct I drew next Tony Rixon and for sure I had gone there as he would have suggested it down at Avon Angling. Sadly it appeared we hadn't drawn on the fish, and I only had 2 carp for 6lb 8oz. It was back to Fishponds House the following week, and this time I found myself drawn on a point on the open water. Sounds like a good draw, and probably was, but the wind was horrendous and blowing straight in my face. All I could do was fish a very short pole, or down the edge. It wasn't a great experience and 6 carp for 21lb+ was not going to win any coin on such a good venue.
I had the flu after this, and wasn't sure I would fish on the weekend, and in the end I decided at the last minute to pleasure fish at Viaduct Fishery. I got all the way there to find there were matches on the lakes that were open and I was out of luck, bugger! However, Carey Lake was just in the process of being turned into a match lake and Ian Parsons told me he had built some platforms in the week and I could go and fish on them, I sat on what is probably about peg 98 or 99. Behind me on Lodge was a CARPS AC match, and Martin McMahon was struggling. I fished a 4AAA waggler with a 16 to 0.12 with sweetcorn, feeding 4 grains every 10 minutes. It was OK, with 13 carp, 1 bream, 1 chub and 2 roach. About halfway through Martin got fed up catching nothing and seeing me catch, so he wrapped in the match and came and sat on the next peg up from me and followed suit with wag and sweetcorn and enjoyed himself. Think we were pretty much two of the first people to ever coarse fish Carey.
Let's see what the week ahead brings, work and weather, and the rods might come out....