The forecast was atrocious for round six with very strong winds and heavy rain predicted. I was praying for a good peg and pulled out 124 at Isle Brewers, a good peg which has won a couple of matches. The trouble is you are perched on a high bank and exposed, I also had Martin Heard in my section who is hot on my heals in the league and he had drawn peg 126a which is sheltered and I knew I was up against it.
I got there and the wind was terrible, I set up a gram and a half Drennan Carbo with 0.12 mm bottom and size 18 B611 per usual and plumbed up. The peg is a fairly big bend and where I wanted to fish at 13 metres proved impossible with the wind. On the whistle I started feeding casters, maggots and hemp and started at a more manageable 8 metres. With double red maggot on the hook I had a bite on my first put in and a minnow meant I had at least avoided the blank.
The next chuck saw a positive bite and I was attached to something substantial, after a few minutes I saw a flash and it looked like I had hooked a good chub, the fish eventually tired and the fish surfaced and it was a poxy pike around 4-5lbs, as I was about to net the toothy critter, it bit me off. After tying a new hook on, I went back out with a caster on, another bite saw me swing in a tiny roach. The wind was hideous and turning my pole into a big banana, no more bites on the shorter line saw me try 11.5 and then 13 metres.
No bites at either distance and I just couldn't hold the rig still and was just going through the motions, I thought about setting a waggler or a tip up when out the blue I had a bite on caster at 13 metres and a decent roach was on, as I was shipping back a pike swirled and I was soon tying on another hook! I was starting to get the feeling that today wasn't going to be my day. No bites for a bit and then I hooked another quality roach only for that to become a pikes dinner too. I hooked a third one and shipped back as fast as I could only for a pike to grab it under my feet.
Still at least there were some fish there, wrong!!!! and I never had another bite. After 4 hours of battling the wind (and pike) I wandered back to the car to get a reel to set up a tip rod, on my way I stopped to see how Digger (Phil Denslow) was getting on on peg 125, he was fishing the waggler and had a roach and lost one while I was there. Thoroughly dejected I got a reel and trudged back to my peg, I set up a lead and flicked it out, baited with double caster praying for a couple of chub. The rod was being blown all over the place and I wouldn't have seen a bite if I'd had one.
The end of the match took an age to arrive and I packed up with freezing and wet hands (did I mention it had rained for the last couple of hours!). Digger walked up with the scales and I was awarded a generous ounce, Digger had some lovely roach and weighed 9lb 11oz although he was cursing the loss of several big roach. Martin had 11lb 6oz to win his section and the match, Stuart Brown below him was third with 4lb 2oz and the rest of the river had fished poorly. League leader Justin Charles had won his section with one chub for 2lb 4oz and Martins result meant he leapfrogged me into second. With one match to go I am in third place with 9 points but there are several people on 10 and 11 so I need a good result to hang on to third. To rub salt into the wound , Janders had won his section with 15oz to take another pound off me.
Next week has got to be better, hasn't it?