After a hectic week I was looking forward to getting out on the river as I was sure it would be decent after a week of no rain. However, I was surprised to see that the river level had hardly dropped at all (river level website at Saltford) and so there would be quite a bit of pace.
I went to Swineford as there was a few like minded individuals who also fancied a few hours on the river and as we are not allowed to have a match we just fished where we could but decided to fish the same time, 9:30 to 2:30. There wasn't anyone else at the river so we could wander along and pick a peg of choice. I would have liked to have fished 17 but early bird Warren Bates was in there, I went in 18 which is a peg that can be good for chub or bream. Ivan Currie fished below me in what would be peg 20. It was very foggy to start the day and I couldn't even see the river to tell how fast it was.
I wanted to put a photo on of the fog, but for some reason either my phone / laptop are not playing ball tonight and I can't upload any photos sorry..
I set up a groundbait feeder with 16 to 0.16 and this was to fish just over 2/3 just past the main flow. I also set up a 6g bolo with 18 to 0.11 reflo power line, this was to be fished just past a third. It was quite boily on the inside and had I realised this I probably wouldn't have picked the peg, but the fog obscured my view. I didn't set anything else up as I felt the pace of the river was too fast.
I began the match on the feeder for 20 mins, to get some bait in and hope for an early bonus, all the while I fed casters / maggots and hemp on my bolo line. The feeder was unproductive other than snags and so I moved onto the float. I tried fishing overdepth and easing the float down, but I hit a lot of snags all over the peg, and if I came onto the boily water it was very snaggy. After about 15 mins of running the float through and adjusting the depth, the float went under somewhere different, I struck and assumed snag again but as I looked at the end of the rod it was moving, fish on. It was fairly straight forward playing the fish on the 18 foot rod, and I was happy to pan a 2lb chub early on. Sad to say this was not the start of a good day... No more bites on the float and back on the tip....nothing on the tip back on the float.... Two water snails and a stone on the float!
To cut a long story short I had one more bite all day, another chub about 12oz on the float. The peg seemed to get more and more snaggy and I lost two bolo rig set ups. I would have liked to have sat it out on the feeder as odd bream were showing, but I could only get 1 clean cast in 3 and spent most of the time in snags. A shame. I went for a walk and realised I might as well pack up 30 mins before the end as I could not see me catching. I had a good chat with Ivan as I packed up (he was already packed up after 1 tiny roach) and he witnessed me returning my two chub.
Dean Harvey on the outfall had 4 bream for about 17lb, and Warren above me had a chub and a bream on the float, and a chub late for just under 10lb. Most people on the river had either a chub or a bream or a couple of chub, though a couple blanked. For whatever reason the big fish didn't want to feed and other than Ivan's tiny roach no small fish fed. High pressure, bright sunshine, cold nights... Still strange that the river is still racing through and has a tinge of colour, looks good but the fish don't agree!
Yesterday my team Thatchers fished the ATWL final, split across Decoy Lakes and various drains at March. Last year we came 4th, but this year the lads had a couple of poor results which meant they could only finish 15th (halfway) Bordon won the event and so well done to them.