As I'm doing ok in this Summer league I had to miss the teams of five match on Stathe drain and handed over the captains armband to Les Braunton. I needed a good result in this one as Graham Field is currently leading the league with 5 points followed by me on 7 and I couldn't afford for him to stretch his lead. With eleven anglers fishing I was glad to note they had left the pumphouse swim out, mind you I didn't fancy peg 5 either (where I was last time). Of course I only went and drew it!!!! The only good news was that my section only had five anglers in compared to six in the other.
I got to the pond and the wind was really strong and blowing into fancied peg one where my nemesis Janders had drawn. Looking at my peg the water was flat calm as it was sheltered from the wind by some trees and bushes, would this work in my favour? I set up a gram Drennan Tipo for fishing at 10 metres with 0.12 mm bottom and a size 18 Kamasan B611 and a 0.6 gram Drennan carp float for fishing the insides and by the bush. I also set up a 4 x 14 Colmic Jolly for fishing two sections to hand, this rig had 0.08 mm bottom and size 18 B511. I mixed up some Van Den Eynde Supermatch and was ready for the off.
The whistle went and I cupped in three balls at 10 metres plus casters and hemp by the bush and to the reeds to my left. I started fishing two sections to hand with maggot or caster on the hook and loosefeeding over the top. I caught a small perch straight away and after half an hour I had 22 fish (all perch apart from 2 roach). I soon tired of this and went out to 10 metres with caster on the hook, it was slower but I was getting perch, small roach and I also had a couple of net roach. After the first hour I had 35 fish and was fairly pleased with the way things were going.
Looking across the pond I could see Justin Charles catching small fish quite regularly but Jake and Frank Woodard down from him didn't seem to be doing much. I was still catching the odd roach and perch but a lot of the fish seemed to be hitting the bait on the drop. I tried with the shallower Jolly rig and this brought a brief flurry of roach to the caster but I still couldn't catch the quality roach. I tried both insides and by the bush but this just resulted in a few more small roach, rudd and perch and an eel of about 4oz. Back out at 10 metres with the shallower rig saw me catch some more roach. I tried hemp but the stamp of roach didn't get any bigger and I was missing too many bites.
My next peg neighbour, Malcolm Levy, asked how I was getting on, I told him and he replied he was catching but hadn't had anything over 2oz. Justin had netted a couple of better roach but from what I could see nobody was bagging. I tried caster on the shallow rig again and immediately caught a couple of net roach before reverting back to catching fish in the 1-2oz bracket. As the end approached I was still putting the odd fish in the net and had 12 in the last hour to finish on 102. I was pretty sure I had more than the 5lb 9oz I caught the last time I drew this peg but I am hopeless at estimating weights.
Malcolm also reckoned he had more than he had last time and as Neil arrived with the scales it was time to find out. My fish went 9lb dead which I was chuffed with and Malcolm weighed 7lb 13oz, Neil weighed 5lb 13oz. My main concern were pegs one to four on the other bank as they were in my section. As I walked round I met Frank with the scales and asked how he got on, he said he'd had 6lb odd and Jake had 7lb 9oz which really suprised me as I hadn't seen them catch bugger all! Justin took his fish to the scales and he weighed 7lb 7oz, so the weights were really close. Janders on peg one had struggled for 3lb something so the pound bet was safely mine but more importantly I'd won the section .
As we were packing our gear away the rest of the other anglers turned up, Roger Russell had weighed 9lb 6oz and was top weight on the other bank. Bugger I should have kept catching those roach and not tried the insides. I ended up second on the day and picked up £37. Graham Field was second in his section so I pulled a point back on him and with two matches to go there is one point in it.
I must also mention my Chard Remains team who won at Stathe Drain with 39 points. Nicky Collins won his section and the match overall, Steve Bush won his section, Alan Dunn was second in his, stand in skipper Les Braunton was third and Dave Lawrence had 6 points. Well done boys although it's now doubtful if they'll let me back in the side!!!
Next weekend me and Andy are at Evesham for the festival and I dare say a few beers, I'll let you know how we get on.