Round three of the Crown league saw a poor turnout of only seven anglers, possibly due to the crap weather, it was cold with a nasty gusty wind. The golden peg was pulled out and it was peg 18 so that was safe! After a fairly poor day yesterday I was hoping for a good peg and when I drew out the tanktraps swim (peg 14) I thought I'd got one. I've had some great days in this swim and won several matches with my best weight being over 24lb. It's normally full of small fish and I couldn't wait.
I got there and the river was a lot lower and clearer than I'd expected but I still fully expected a good day. I set up, you've guessed it!, a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo with 0.12mm bottom and size 18 B611 hook. On the whistle I baited up with single caster and started in the flow leading up to the traps, no bites so I started inching closer to the concrete blocks and still nothing and I was starting to worry as you normally start catching quite quickly. Double maggot saw me catch a minnow so at least I hadn't blanked. There is a large branch under the water, which was visible in the clear water and I started fishing next to it and finally after half an hour I had a bite and had a small chublet, quickly followed by a better one. That's it, found them I thought but then I couldn't buy a bite apart from minnows.
I tried tight to the traps but still nothing, the wind wasn't helping but I couldn't believe how hard it was. I kept feeding the little cutback near the tail of the swim but this was unproductive as well. A chap called Ned came up to see how I was getting on and said Neil Dring on 23 had caught a couple of decent chub but the others only had small fish, so I stuck at it hoping they would switch on. Halfway through the match and things hadn't improved and I was out of ideas, out of desperation I went 13 metres up towards the weir and the float went straight away and I had a 8oz trout, which luckily count in our matches, but that was the last of the action up there.
I scaled down to a 0.10mm hooklength but this didn't help either and a real disaster was on the cards. With an hour to go I tried half a lobbie all around the swim and finally settled on holding it back in the flow by the cutback. A decent bite saw me catch my fourth fish, a little chublet. I then started catching a few and had another four up until the end of the match, oh why couldn't they have switched on a little bit earlier? I packed up and as I had the scales, walked down to weigh in, Roger Russell had 4lb 4oz from peg 20 and Alvin Jones had 2lb 15oz from the golden peg. My eight fish went 3lb 10oz and I knew I wouldn't be picking up today, Neil had found another chub to weigh 7lb 7oz. Graham Field had struggled from peg 24, only catching minnows for 1oz.
Back at the results and the pegs in the copse had fished well, my nemesis Janders winning from peg 28 with 10lb 11oz and Martin Heard was second from 29 with 7lb 15oz and Neil was third. After three matches Justin Charles is still leading the league (despite not fishing today) with two points (as you can drop your worst result) followed by Neil and Janders on four. So my two days fishing had been pretty poor really and I'm absolutely knackered and to top things off I lost another pound to Janders. Next week is round three of the V.E.S. league and I can't afford another bad result, wish me luck.
1 - John 'Janders' Anderson (Chard Minnows) - 10lb 11oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 7lb 15oz
3 - Neil Dring (Ilminster) - 7lb 7oz
4 - Roger Russell (Ilminster) - 4lb 4oz