Round three of the Crown league arrived and after the last two weeks being pretty pants I must surely be due a decent draw!!!!! There were a few pegs I fancied but true to form I stuck my hand in the draw bag and pulled out peg 52 at Ilford, which wasn't one of them. The peg is known as the bream bend although they very rarely show. I did win off it once and had a bream of 4lb that day.
I got to the peg and the first thing that struck me was how low and clear the river was, it was also very windy which would make presentation difficult. You could see the bottom in a lot of the peg although where the flow came in to my right there was a little more depth by some overhanging grass. I set up a gram and a half Drennan Carbo with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611. On the whistle I started feeding hemp and caster in the flow to my left and also in the slacker water.
It soon became clear that the wind was going to a nightmare and holding the pole very difficult. With caster on the hook I was getting the odd knock (from minnows I suspect) but after an hour I hadn't had a proper bite and was beginning to fear a blank coming on. Then out of the blue I had a bite on double caster and after a brief scrap I netted a decent chub. The next bite resulted in a minnow on double caster! I really felt the swim would produce another couple of chub and tried a lobbie but never had a bite on it.
Big Frank wandered down from his swim above the bridge, he'd had a few small fish and his boy Jake had landed a good chub. After he left I again rang the changes with the baits and tried every inch of the swim but all to no avail and I ended the match with just the two fish. I packed up and took my kit back to the car and got back to my peg as Frank walked down with the scales, he weighed 1lb 2oz and Jake had caught another chub and lost one to weigh 5lb 8oz, my chub plus minnow weighed 2lb 6oz for yet another disappointing week.
I really felt I would be way down with my weight but on my return to the pub it became apparent the river hadn't fished at all well with lots of anglers weighing ounces. Graham Field won from peg 72 with an excellent 17lb 6oz but then the weights dropped right off. My nemesis Janders was second with 7lb 14oz and took yet another pound off me and Jake was third with his 5lb 8oz. The good news was that I won my section by double default and picked up £20. That takes my winnings this year to £995, so I'm close to the grand again.
Lets hope I draw a good 'un next week.............