Me and Andy went to Alan Dunn's 40th barbie on Saturday night and as a consequence I was feeling really rough this morning. I got to the Crown for the draw and had one of Tommy's excellent brekkies which went someway to sorting me out. There was another good turnout with 14 anglers fishing. The Yeovil muggers, Scott and Ashley turned up again to line their pockets. I drew peg 6 on the field side and was fairly happy with that. Janders decided he was going to fish for bream on the feeder so it would be interesting to see how he fared.
I set up my two usual rigs, a Drennan Roach float for straight out in front of me at 10 metres and a light Drennan Squatt rig for fishing up in the water. The first rig had a size 18 B611 and 0.12 mm bottom and the latter had a size 20 B511 and 0.08 mm bottom. I mixed up some black Sensas Lake and PA Megabaits Chocolate match and added some casters, hemp and maggots. On the whistle I cupped in three balls at 10 metres and started with caster on the hook. I was soon into roach and after an hour I had 27 fish. As always I was waiting for sport to slow but the second hour was pretty good and I crept up to 47 fish, again nearly all roach.
Big Frank was on my left and by all accounts struggling, Scotty was opposite and fishing the waggler and had landed a chub although he didn't seem to be getting many bites. As expected my swim started to slow so I tried the up in the water rig but never had a bite. I cupped in another ball of groundbait but this didn't really help. I was still getting the odd roach around the 1-2 oz mark and was reasonably happy with the way things were going. After three hours I approached and then passed my total of fish from the last match (66) and thought I must have around 5lb or so.
Frank said he was catching mainly small perch, I'd only had three or four and one of those was on maggot so I carried on with the caster. Another try with the shallow rig proved fruitless although strangely most of the roach I was catching were on the drop with the deeper rig. I did have a couple of better roach and a small eel of 4oz or so. Going into the last hour I was on 74 fish but it was becoming harder all the time. Frank had lost a good fish and I was surprised that for the fourth match running I hadn't hooked any bonus fish. The whistle sounded and I ended with 80 fish (74 roach, 5 perch and that eel) and thought I should have about 8lb as the fish normally go around ten to the pound.
Frank shouted across to Ashley to ask how he'd got on to which he'd replied not very well and he said "Jamie's won it hasn't he?". Frank said he thought I'd be there or thereabouts and I felt the same. I packed up and we walked up to Malcolm Levy on the other side of Frank and he'd had over 240 fish for 7lb 8oz and I thought it would be close. Frank weighed a level 4lbs and then it was my turn and I was disappointed to only weigh 6lb 13oz. Roger Russell had 2lb 6oz and Robin Cox 3lb 9oz. Martin Heard didn't reckon he had anyway near my weight (mind you I fell for that last match) and when he pulled his net out I knew it was going to be close but his weight was called out at 6lb 12oz - phew! He wasn't a happy bunny though and tried for 6lb 13oz although the scalesman stuck to his guns. Neil Dring on the hot bush peg had found a chub and a cracking perch of 2lb 11oz to weigh 6lbs exactly.
We got back for the results and Ashley had struggled to land three chub for 7lb 8oz! to tie for first place with Malcolm and push me down to third. I picked up £28 plus a pound off Janders who weighed 1lb 1oz so his bream plan obviously hadn't worked! I had finished second in my section for the league so I'm still in the hunt. Next week I'm trying to organise a match down the canal but apparently it's choked with weed at the moment so watch this space.
1 - Ashley Tomkins (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 7lb 8oz
1 - Malcolm Levy (Tiverton) - 7lb 8oz
3 - Jamie Rich (Chard Remains) - 6lb 13oz
4 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 6lb 12oz
5 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 6lb
League positions (dropping the worst result)
1 - Martin Heard - 5 pts
2 - Jamie Rich - 5 pts
3 - Neil Dring - 6 pts
4 - Dave Lawrence - 6 pts