Sunday, 22 March 2020

January / February 2001

I haven't written a blog for a few weeks now, that's because I have moved house and put all my fishing gear into storage. Actually I can't see me fishing for a while now, I need to get a new shed built and with this virus shutting business down it is not going to get built soon. Bit gutting with the improving weather but then there is plenty to do in the new house and most likely I won't be going far. Covid 19 is a real bitch for sure, and it is concerning for my parents, but they are staying home and out of harms way. I sincerely hope all my friends and family do the right thing, stay home, keep safe and let's hope we can get through this serious problem, which is unlike anything I have ever known. All sports and multiple fishing events now postponed and no real idea when they will restart, but this is really nothing compared to the stark reality of what could happen if we carried on as if nothing was wrong.

I still have a large number of boxes in the house unopened, but luckily I found my old diaries. Reading about January 2001 it seemed it was a cold start to the month. My first match on Sunday 7th was the ATWL on the K&A canal around Limpley Stoke area. I drew just below Dundas swingbridge in a pretty fair but hard section of the canal. I started on the usual bread punch over liquidized bread, but fished 2/3 across. It was a real struggle, but I caught a 1lb skimmer on a red maggot to get me going. With no bloodworm and joker allowed back then my options were fairly limited. However, I had fed chopped worm across in 2 feet of water and further along some groundbait. I had a flurry of bites on each line taking roach on red maggot or pinkie. I weighed in 3lb 2 1/2oz which was enough for 2nd in the section, but amazingly was also 6th overall. The team came 2nd on the day and were winning the league overall.

Hard frosts followed every night, cold in the day and very cold winds. On the Commercial House at Newbridge (Bristol Avon) I drew crap, 2 pegs above the stream about peg 88. I blanked, though I did have an indication on the feeder which was a liner for sure. Just one angler caught in the section, a tiny chub. I remember on this day I was next to John Dursley and we saw a little egret, it was a very rare bird to see in the area and I reported it, nowadays they are quite common and have established well in the UK.

Sunday 21st January and the final round of the ATWL at Newbridge. I was pleased when the team draw placed me on Kelston Straight as this had produced a few roach on the previous weekend. The river had a bit of pace and though I did set up a waggler it didn't produce. I fished a groundbait feeder but kept it light with a 20 to 0.10 with a single red maggot or caster on the hook, and I put just 10 casters in the feeder. I did set up a heavy feeder rod with a 14 to 0.14 for trying bits of lobworm. I caught 8 roach and 4 small skimmers during the 5 hours, that was just over halfway in the section. The great news was my team won the league, I was team champion and 4th individual in the league.

I pleasure fished Newton Park at the end of the month, tried to catch carp but failed, but had plenty of small roach and skimmers on the waggler and caster. Into February and the final round of the Commercial House which was fished on the Hunstrete complex. I was placed on Bridge Pool which was gin clear and was told it would be rock hard. I dropped in a small ball of gbait which contained a tiny bit of worm and caster out to 13m, actually I only fed one more ball all match, but did loose feed the odd few casters. I caught 2 big skimmers, a small skimmer and some roach for 6lb 8oz. A second in section and the team won, and we won the league. Great to win both leagues that year.

On Sunday 11th February I pleasure fished the Avon at Saltford, in the trees peg 126. The river was dropping after a flood, a nice colour but very fast. It was straight forward gbait feeder with 0.14 to a 16 using caster and chopped worm as feed. It was a nice day, roach to 8oz, hybrids to 1lb and a chub getting on for 4lb. Red maggots on the hook was best but double caster caught the chub.

That will do for tonight. I find some solice from reading my diaries and trying to recall the actual day I fished, some I can remember, others I can't, must be an age thing. Stay safe guys and gals.

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