Chard reservoir, the main species are roach, bream, perch and carp. Got to the draw in the resi carpark, everybody wanted the favoured bream pegs, 48, 49 or 50 and of course I drew peg 37. Still I'd decided I was going to fish for roach all day because although the bream fishing can be fantastic and 100lb weights arn't uncommon, it's a bit too hit and miss for me, I just like getting bites. In the lead up to this match roach weights had been winning quite a lot of money.
After a fairly long walk, got to my peg and started to set my gear up, we had plenty of time until the all in. I set up a 0.4 gram rig with 0.12mm bottom and a size 18 B611 to fish at 9 metres, I also set up a 3AAA waggler as an alternative. I had a chap called Mike to my right and Steve Bush to my left. Steve had recently won a two day festival by fishing for roach over the two days so I knew what he would be doing.
As I waited for the whistle my mate Andy wandered down, he had drawn peg 49 in the bream area so I thought there would be a good chance of losing my £1 side bet. There were roach topping everywhere and was looking forward to the start.
On the whistle I shipped out and started feeding hemp, casters and maggots, had a bite straight away on double red maggot and started catching roach in the 1-2oz bracket quite quickly. I always count my fish and after the first hour had 43 fish (roach and one small skimmer). There are some cracking roach to be caught but sorting these fish out from the hoards of small fish can be difficult. I had some tares and sweetcorn with me but never had a positive indication on either. I did have one good roach of around 12oz, but this fish came to double maggot.
At the start of the second hour I started feeding a line just off the end of the keepnet at two metres, thinking if I could catch here my catch rate would improve. I kept trying here but fish were sporadic although I did have a couple of good roach. Through trying the inside my catch rate actually suffered and I only had 28 fish during the second hour. Hour three and I concentrated more on the further line with only brief forays onto the inside, where I would get a run of fish but they wouldn't settle and I had 39 fish.
Hour four was much of the same, but I was bumping and dropping off loads of fish, I changed the hook to be on the safe side. During this hour I also discovered the reason why the fish wouldn't settle on the inside, a small pike or trout leapt out of the water to take a roach and after a brief struggle it spat the unfortunate redfin out, I placed it in the keepnet where it didn't look very healthy at all! At the end of this hour I managed 37 fish. Mike to my left kept swopping between feeder, pole and waggler and I guessed I must be ahead of him, wasn't too sure how Steve was doing.
With two hours to go I kept trying the inside and by constantly changing depths I would get 5 or 6 fish before having to go long again whilst feeding the inside. Looking back I would have probably done better sticking it out on the longer line. This was my worst hour only putting 26 fish in the net. In the last hour I had some more fish at 9 metres and spent the last half an hour on the waggler and caught quite well on this ending the final hour with 35 fish for 208 fish in total (nearly all roach apart from two small skimmers).
When Les, the match organiser, came down with the scales he said that the bream hadn't really showed, Mike weighed over 16lb, and I thought he'd been struggling!. My fish pulled the scales round to 18lb 1oz and I should have really done 20lbs. Steve Bush weighed a fantastic 26lb+, which was over 400 fish. Didn't watch any more of the weigh in as I had the long trek back. As I loaded the car up, other anglers started to arrive back and it became clear only the odd bream had fed.
As Les sorted out the results, Steve Bush had won and another 20lb+ weight was second, Les was paying out the top two and two sections. Alan 'Picky' Gage won the top section with 19lbs and I won the other section and picked up £35 plus the £1 side bet from Andy and £5 from Janders. Quite a few anglers had set out for bream and it hadn't paid off. An enjoyable day.
Next weekend I might be at another new venue (for this blog anyway) as we might be at Curland pond, another small fish venue, I'll let you know how I get on.