After the Xmas break I couldn't wait to get back on the river and some much needed rain promised to put some colour in the river. Even a frost couldn't put a dent in my hopes. Eight pairs had signed up for this one and my partner was club chairman, Pete Lonton. My usual partner Justin (or should that be Judas?) was fishing with someone else today. At the draw all the talk was about what a dream draw pegs 14 and 126 would be, Mr drawbag himself, Martin Heard, only went and drew just those two pegs for him and his partner Malcolm (the old fossil) Levy and everyone else was fishing for second place.
I drew peg 28 (the big bend in the copse) and 125A (the kink at Isle Brewers) and I ended up with the former. It's a peg with some form although by no means a flier, Pete had the latter peg which was a short walk and all or nothing really. After a mammoth walk I finally reached my peg and the river looked in good nick with a nice tinge of colour. I didn't have long before the off so quickly set up two 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo's, one to fish tight across in a little cutback where the flow comes back on itself and the other to fish near a tree to my left although there was hardly any depth here. Both rigs had 0.12 mm bottoms and size 18 B611's.
I started off tight across at 13 metres with caster on the hook feeding hemp and caster and first put in the float sailed away and I was soon swinging in a tiny dace, at least I had avoided the blank and hopefully there would be a few more out there. This proved to be a false dawn and after another half an hour my dace was starting to feel very lonely. I picked up the shallower rig and had a go around the tree but this proved completely fruitless. I decided to stick tight across as this is where I had always caught in the past. I put on half a lobbie and went over prepared to wait for a couple of bites, the float settled and then sank from view, I struck but missed the bite!
Next put in and this time I was ready, the float went and after a decent scrap I safely netted a decent chub of around two and a half pounds, I then bumped a decent fish and that was the end of the action for a while. I then missed a couple of bites before landing chub number two which was about the same size as the first. At this stage I was starting to think I could do a decent weight and when I landed my third chub I thought double figures was definately on the cards with a couple of hours to go.
A chublet of a few ounces kept the catch rate ticking along but then I couldn't buy a bite, I still kept at it though as very often the last hour can be good. Apart from a couple of digs which may or may not have been bites I didn't have any more action despite upping the feed in the last hour to try and make something happen. I quickly packed up and waited for the scales while thinking of the long walk back. John Coxon wandered down with the scales from peg 27 where he said he'd struggled, my five fish went 7lb 11oz which I reckoned would be worth good points, Neil Dring on peg 29 had blanked and John only weighed 6oz (mostly small fish).
Back at the pub and it turned out I had won my section, now I just needed Pete to come back with decent points. He got back and he had blanked! Easy winners on the day were Martin Heard and Malcolm Levy (as predicted), Martin had won his section and the match outright with an excellent 17lb of roach and Malcolm was third in his section with 4lb 6oz to give them victory with 4 points. Runners up were Graham Field and John Coxon with 7 points, Graham had also got among the roach with over 15lb from peg 125 to give him 2 points and John had 5 for his 6oz. There was a three way tie for third place on 9 points which me and Pete just sneaked thanks to my superior weight so we picked up £23 each, which was a bit of a suprise. Oh and I took a pound of Janders to start the year as I meant to go on.
Next week and it's back to the Crown league so lets hope my good run can continue.