Glorious day Saturday, walked to the Lock and Weir pub on the river (Chequers) with my wife, walking there through the fields I saw more butterflies than I can ever remember seeing. It was fantastic, and the fields where anglers and cows used to tread are now overgrown and birds, flowers and many insects have returned. There are a number of platforms on the Chequers stretch where carp anglers and pleasure anglers in the club fish from, as well as some small opens. After a nice meal and a few pints we walked back home, a 5 mile round trip, and then I sorted out my gear for the superleague.
Sunday morning, up at 6am and got away on schedule, then as went to get on the M32 it was blocked off by a police car, detour to Cribbs Causeway to get on M5 then. The rest of the trip was without issue and arrived at the 37club in good time. Due to my drawing last week and the team winning I was asked to do the draw again, fatal mistake. Anyway I pulled out peg 2 this time, so one peg away from team draw last week, I was down on the North Bank this time, peg 10, with peg 8 being the end peg.
I was drawn in this section last year, and a lot of bream came off the first two pegs, but it is pegged a bit differently and the bream don't seem to be here in numbers this year, only a handful were caught here last week. Got to my peg and I had a little but of space to my right due to the bank being eroded, but to my left peg 9 was really close to me. Nigel Wyatt was on that peg, and Andy Powell was on peg 11 to my right. Again a standard view of the Huntspill, though there was quite a bit of weed growing further out into the peg as you can see.
Setting up was once again a simple excersize, the gbait feeder as ever with 0.11 to 16 PR355 today, a waggler but was hardly used. Three pole rigs, a worm rig that again was a waste of time, a 0.4g silvers float with size 20 N40 to 0.09 Accu Power, and a 4x12 with with the same hook line, first rig bulk and droppers, latter strung out.
As last week the match started at 11, and I was going to cast 10 feeders out into the middle, then bal the pole line. Well the plan was blown... first chuck and I cracked off the feeder, not sure what happened as it didn't go on the tip, think there was a loop or knot as it snapped about 15m out, weird. Of course I got plenty of abuse from the anglers in the section, especially Stretch and Neil Richards, but I didn't bite. I decided to now ball the pole with my 12 made up balls, a mix of Sonubaits black roach, lake and brown crumb. I then quickly threaded the line back up the feeder rod and made my 10 casts. Nobody had caught anything of significance so it seemed no harm done.
The first hour on the feeder passed without incident for me, a couple of tiny indications and one end of the maggot sucked. A bream did roll, on my pole line and I dropped the feeder over it but to no avail. After the hour Nigel and Andy both had a couple of fish and nobody had caught a bream, so it was looking tough. I picked up the pole and went out with the heavier rig with a maggot on the hook, straight away I caught a couple of very small hybrids and roach that were welcome. Andy next to me changed to the pole but was struggling whereas I was getting bites. However, I had switched to a pinkie on the hook as maggot was not working as in the previous matches, and this was a great move as it was a bite a chuck. The wind this week was much lighter than last week, it was right to left and sometimes off my back. Feeding a little bit of hemp and pinkie was possible with the catapult.
Basically I stayed on the pole line, 11.5m for the next hour catching in bursts, mostly off the bottom or on the drop, though I did best on the bulk rig spotting the tiny bites. I kept my eye out on other anglers it seemed everyone in my section was struggling so I kept on going on the pole even when it went a bit iffy. At one stage bites just stopped, and I was wondering what to do but thought my loose feed might have been dropping short so came back a metre and had a good run here. If I could catch roach they were a little better stamp than the perch and hybrids. I did try hemp but I couldn't make it work and soon reverted to pinkie.
About halfway through Andy Powell on my right started to get regular bites on the feeder, he was pulling his hair out at the number of bites he was missing, but with many anglers not getting bites he was doing well with odd little skimmers / hybrids. As the match wore on I thought it was close between us, and it was difficult to know if my 3 or 4 fish to his one was the same or better. With about an hour to go my pole line proper died, so I cupped in 2 balls of my mix with some pinkie and squatt in. I considered chucking the feeder out but thought better of it. It was a good move as the fish responded well to the feed on the pole, and from then on in if bites died I fed a ball of gbait and got fish straight away. The match ended at 4pm, I was very hot and sweaty as the sun had shone all match and god knows how many times I shipped in and out with a little fish, I thought I might have 5lb to 6lb.
Nigel had the scales and I had the board so we started on the last peg in our section Neil Richards, he had 2lb 12oz. Next to him was Rob Randall, now Rob is one of those anglers that always seems to catch a lot of fish, a great angler, so when he tipped 4oz on the scales nobody could believe it, Bad luck Rob, sorry I just had to mention it.
Stretch had no bream so weighed 12oz, Then it was Andy's turn, and his net of little skimmers went 5lb 6oz. I thought it would be close, and my net of sprats went 6lb 10oz, that was enough to win the section as Nigel had 1lb 14oz and Brian Slipper on end peg 8 had 1lb 15oz. I was happy enough, I just had a feeling that the sun would put the bream off and going negative on the pole would do the team job, of course a bream or two would have messed it up, but hardly any fed today.
Back at the results it was clear it had fished hard. Top 4
1st Charlie Vallender 12lb 12oz all small fish on the pole end peg at Gold Corner
2nd Nick Chedzoy 10lb two bream early then smoked a cigar for the rest of the match
3rd Martyn Howard 9lb 13oz roach on hemp
4th Kev Boltz 9lb 12oz other end peg at Gold corner and small fish again
On the team front we had a few struggle today, including young superstar Andrew Cranston who after two section wins had the last in section treatment with 6oz. Such is the nature of this venue sometimes just getting a bite is a challenge.
DGL won the day and Blackmore Vale were second with my Thatchers third. That mean overall the top three are after 3 of 6 rounds:-
1st DGL 127
2nd Thatchers 123
3rd Blackmore Vale 104
That's another year on the Spill over, I can reflect on it happily, even though I didn't land on an end peg or flyer I had bites and some decent fish, and enjoyed my three matches. I cannot fish next weekend so a week off the blog, Tuesday this week I am off to Old Trafford to watch India v New Zealand in the cricket world cup, all thanks to my daughter Lucy who won a couple of free tickets.