Saturday was really nice and the river had some colour in it and all the signs were there for a good match. That was until I woke up Sunday morning to be confronted by a wicked frost! The roads were pretty icy too, I got to the Crown and there were eight other nutters (sorry I meant hardy anglers) awaiting the draw. After last week I felt sure today was going to be better. When I pulled out peg 23 I thought I might get a few as it's been quite a consistent peg for weights between 7-10lb.
I got to the peg and the river wasn't as coloured as I thought it was going to be but the peg did look nice with a bush opposite. Once again it was a rush to set up and I wasn't really ready at the scheduled start time (10:00). I set up old faithful and tied on a fresh 0.12mm bottom with size 18 B611 ready to do battle with the pegs big old chub. I baited up with single caster and started feeding casters and hemp just up from the bush and I was also firing some maggots down the swim towards peg 24 to hopefully lure some fish up the swim.
No bites after half an hour saw me searching the far bank of the swim and also ringing the changes with the hookbaits. I tried caster, double caster, maggot, bread and lobbie but the only indications I had were from minnows on maggot but I didn't actually catch one. Still fishless after an hour I wasn't too worried as the fish can come on late in this peg and it only takes an hour to catch four fish for 10lb. The second and third hours also saw me still dry netting and I thought it would be case of waiting for the golden last hour.
Neil Dring wandered down from the tanktraps (peg 14) and he was struggling too as he'd only had one minnow. He reported that Justin Charles had caught a couple of small chub and some dace from peg 20. He commented that I was fishing where he had caught his chub (under the bush) two weeks ago and he left me to it. The last hour arrived and I was like a coiled spring waiting for the action to start, I waited and waited and waited. Half three arrived and with it the end of the match and I had blanked again! Christ I must have run over a nun or something.
I quickly packed up and as I drove back up the track I stopped to weigh Justin in, he had 4lb 12oz. Neil hadn't caught anything to go with his minnow and looked very cold, he'd still beaten me though! Back at the results the river had still fished quite well and Kevin Harvey had won on his debut from consistent peg 28 with 10lb 6oz. Rob Cox had finally found some chub from yet another flier (peg 85) for 7lb 4oz and second place and Dave Lawrence was third from 79 with 5lb 8oz. So another bad day for me and this league is now buggered as well, the only good thing was that Janders hadn't weighed in despite catching seven minnows, so at least I didn't have to hand over another pound.
Justin is now running away with the league with three section wins (3 points) although he may have to miss the last match, not that I've got any chance of catching him!
Next week is the Xmas Fayre so at least I'll win a prize (everybody does!), this shitty run has got to come to an end sometime, surely?
1 - Kevin Harvey (Ilminster) - 10lb 6oz
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 7lb 4oz
3 - Dave Lawrence (Chard Raiders) - 5lb 8oz
4 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 4lb 12oz