Sunday morning and up at 6:30 still coughing my guts up but feeling a lot better. The draw was in the Crown at Keynsham and there were 18 hardy souls who turned up. That meant the pegs used were mostly in the town; garage, long pond, horseshoe, crystal, the tunnels and three pegs at Dundas. Having never drawn the tunnels before, and with it being really good for the last few years I wanted to draw here. It wasn't to be though, but I was not complaining getting a peg in horseshoe pond.
My peg was right in the middle of the pond and I was really hoping to bag some skimmers, though on the last match here not many showed. My peg was like this not your typical canal peg..
On the other peg in this pond was Jeff Surmon. I have drawn next to Jeff a number of times over the many years I have been fishing and it is always a close affair, last time out on the canal I beat him. However, Jeff was on his favourite peg and one he had won from before, up by the lock and it holds chub, a waggler man on waggler peg. I said it would be chub v skimmers.
The weather forecast was not great and strong winds were forecast, but mostly the wind was off our backs and so I hoped we would not be too badly affected by it. I set up a waggler with a 20 to 0.10 for fishing at about 20m out. Then just three pole rigs, the usual 4x14 for bread at top set plus 2, a 4x18 with 0.09 to 18 PR311 for fishing all sorts of hookbaits, and a 4x18 with 0.10 to 16 for fishing bits of worms and bigger baits. Positive rigs.
The match started at 10am, but somehow neither Jeff or myself were ready on time, I fed a big pot of joker at 12m to the left, and some gbait, worm, caster and pinkie off to the right. Fed casters on the waggler line, and then at 10 minutes past 10, went in on the bread line. I dropped the rig in it settled, and it didn't shoot under straight away as I had expected. I lifted the rig out and dropped it in again, and this time a bite, a 1oz dace. Next drop in a wait again and a small roach, and this was how the first 15 mins went, a little wait for the bite but then I had a skimmer of 10oz, and next drop a 1lb+ skimmer. Those were the only skimmers on the bread, but shortly after I had caught these I started to catch roach of about 2oz. Jeff was catching roach on bread but had no skimmers. After an hour the bread was dead and Jeff had already gone long on the pole and was catching perch. I tried my joker line and had a 8oz skimmer straight away on a red maggot, but that was a one off.
By fishing both the long lines I could get odd roach, little dace, and tiny chub on maggot. Trying a pinkie or a bloodworm caught me fish but they were much smaller. A 6oz hybrid and 6oz roach came from the gbait line, but if I caught two or three fish that would be it and I would have to swap lines. However, Jeff went onto the waggler by the bank and he soon had a couple of 2lb chub and some smaller ones and was well ahead of me. Not long after this a boat came into our pond and moored up next to me, I hoped this would be good for me by colouring up the pond and getting the skimmers going and switching of the chub, sorry Jeff! Well it didn't work out like that as I had a few roach as it coloured up but the next hour or so for me became a real drag, but Jeff went back on the pole looking for a skimmer and had a 3lb+ chub. The wind got really bad, and we had some heavy rain, with bad light it became really difficult to see my floats. I did manage a lovely roach near the 1lb mark from my joker line, and a couple of roach on the waggler. The gbait line was shot and all I could catch on it was ruffe or gudgeon even on big baits.
The boat then went back up the canal and added some more colour, this did seem to slow Jeff for a bit. With 30 minutes to go I needed snookers, but then I noticed some blows over the joker and went back out again with 3 bloodworm. I soon had an 8oz skimmer in the net, then another skimmer, then an 8oz roach. Then the blows stopped and it was little perch. Back on the waggler and a couple more roach but it was slow. Then with 4 minutes left more blows on the pole line, I got my rig out there and dropped it in, I couldn't see the float the light was terrible. After a minute I struck and out came the elastic, as I netted an 8oz skimmer it was 3pm, end of the match.
Jeff had spanked me, and I said he would win, as last time out the guy on my left won the match, aargh! As we packed up the wind dropped for a bit and we could see the odd fish now blowing over the joker, too late lol.
I had the scales and had to weigh just Jeff, myself and Shane Caswell up in Crystal Pond. Shane had 4lb 3oz of roach and perch. Jeff had a lovely net that to be honest you would be happy with on a river, 16lb 12oz.
Me next and a totally different net of fish than Jeff that went 10lb 6oz.
Not long after these photos it went pitch black and hammered down with rain!
Back at the results and it was as follows:-
1st Jeff Surmon 16lb 12oz
2nd Tim Ford 10lb 60z
3rd Nigel Wyatt 9lb 2oz (skimmers in dundas marina)
4th Kev Dicks 9lb (5 skimmers in the long pond)
5th Lee Warden 8lb 10oz (skimmers and perch Garage)
6th Darren Gillman 7lb 14oz (2 skimmers and roach long pond)
Oh and the tunnels where I wanted to draw... they were terrible with 1lb the top weight!
Well done Mike and Nicola on running the match with help from Vinny, and it was nice to see Andy Britt at the results after his brush with a heart problem.
After last years awful draws on the canal I am well happy to have had a couple of decent draws and two good days. Next weekend it is back on the commercials, I had two Xmas matches, Todber manor Saturday, and Bitterwell lake Sunday. Probably be pools fodder but it will be nice to try to catch a few carp again.