As I drove to the draw I went over the Isle at Donyatt and the river looked awful so I knew we'd be on the pond. There were twelve of us fishing and I drew peg 10, which put me on the side with the wind in my face - great. Also my peg was between two trees and as I'd decided to fish the whip I knew they would be problematic. I had two very good small fish anglers on either side of me, Malcolm Levy and Graham Field. I mixed up some groundbait, a 50-50 mix of Sensas Noire and Formula Supreme and then started sorting my rigs out.
As I said earlier, I had decided to fish all out for bits to see if I could compete with the likes of Martin Heard and Scotty Russell as trying to fish for quality had been my downfall here for ages. I set up a four metre whip with a little waggler and size 18 B511 and also a short pole with a Drennan Squatt float and another 18 B511 to 0.10mm bottom to give me a change of presentation. Robin blew the whistle and we were off, I started on the whip with bronze maggot on the hook, feeding a little nugget of groundbait every other chuck. It took a while to get bites but I was soon catching small roach.
They weren't coming quickly though and after the first half an hour I had 10 fish, nobody really seemed to be bagging though so I stuck at it. I reached 20 after the hour and then tried the short pole, this was slower although the fish I did catch were of a better stamp. The wind was horrendous and a couple of times my rig was blown into one of the trees which meant I had to do some impromptu pruning. It kept raining as well and I wasn't enjoying myself. I was still maintaining my catch rate and on a couple of occasions I would catch more than 20 an hour, only for things to slow up for the next 20 minutes.
I did try caster but never had a bite on it and red maggot didn't improve things either. I caught a couple of chunky perch and bumped quite a few fish as well. I was really glad I don't fish under a brolly because those anglers that were kept having them blown inside out! Tony Newman's brolly got totally trashed as did my mate Janders. As for me, I couldn't laugh too much as I kept getting my rig caught in the tree and was removing more and more branches, much to the amusement of many of the anglers. I was still on target to reach 100 fish by the end of the five hours, when with half an hour to go my bites dried up! I could see Malcolm catching by using a top three with a couple of sections added, so I swapped rigs.
This didn't really have the desired effect and I only added a couple of fish to end with 93 (all roach apart from two perch). Last week Scott Russell had 160 odd fish for 11lb so I thought I must have between 5-6lb. I couldn't wait to pack up and was soaking wet and freezing cold. Janders had the scales and started at peg 1, where Graham Bulgin had 1lb 4oz, Roger Russell did well and weighed 4lb 14oz, Scott did even better and had double figures again with 10lb 4oz. Janders had 1lb 13oz although he did lose a chub on the feeder, Graham Field had 6lb 15oz and I knew I didn't have that. I was disappointed when my fish only went 4lb 2oz, the only two saving graces were that I took a pound off Janders and beat Malcolm who had a level 4lb.
The other section fished well with Martin Heard coming close with 10lb 2oz and Alvin Jones had 6lb 9oz. So Scotty won his second match on the trot, I did manage two section points to keep me in the running in the league. So did I compete with the small fish anglers? not really and I'm a long way off the pace compared to Scott, Martin and Graham.
1 - Scott Russell (Yeovil and District Angling Centre) - 10lb 4oz
2 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 10lb 2oz
3 - Graham Field (Ilminster) - 6lb 15oz
A - Roger Russell (Ilminster) - 4lb 14oz
B - Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) - 6lb 9oz
I have to apologise because there are no photos at all this week or exact league positions but my computer broke and I'm using a borrowed one, so hopefully normal service will be resumed next week. And it would be nice to actually get on the river!