For this one Rob had put in a couple of pegs for the first time this season, pegs 92 and 96 at North Bradon and everyone expected the latter to do well. He also left out 120 and 126 which surprised me as they are probably the two most consistent pegs on the river at the moment. I pulled out the choice of 82 or 83 and drove to the river determined to fish 82 as nobody has fished it yet. The trouble was, 83 has been quite consistent, doing 4-5lb when it's been in but I didn't think that would be enough today.
When I got there, the river was still painfully low and clear and after looking at both swims, decided on 83. I set up a 1.5 gram Carbo (just for a change!) and plumbed up along the bush that's in the water. The swim always looks really chubby but I've only ever known it produce them once, many moons ago. The resident bullocks soon arrived to see what was going on and were doing their best to slobber all over my gear, luckily there was a barbed wire fence between them and me. I started ok and had a plump gudgeon straight away but then I noticed some thick line going between two branches of the bush and quite low to the water and every time I struck I would hit it - great!
I had a couple more gobies but that line was really starting to piss me off, then I noticed a cow trying to eat my keepnet bag and as I pulled it away with one hand, I managed to get my rig tangled in some branches. After an almighty yank the rig came back in one hell of a mess, minus the olivette and hooklength. I spent ages trying to untangle it, all the while cussing cows, branches, line and anything else I could think of. Finally I admitted defeat and set another rig up, by now quite a bit of time had passed and I hadn't put much in the net.
I was still getting gobies and the odd small dace and chublet and then had a proper elastic stretcher which turned out to be a trout of 1lb 8oz which was a proper bonus as they count, maybe I could still salvage a result! That line was still impeding my striking so I put a lit fag in the end of my pole and after much faffing about finally burnt through that pesky line but had wasted even more time. I was still getting odd fish and had a couple of slightly better dace but still only had a couple of pounds in the net, even with that trout.
That was the pattern for the rest of the match and I ended with 20 fish for around 2lb 8oz and I was sure there wasn't going to be a brown envelope for the sixth week running! I really felt I hadn't done the peg justice and was quite annoyed with myself for making several schoolboy errors. I packed up with my bovine audience still watching intently and walked down to weigh Justin in on peg 85 (yep he never draws a bad peg!). He'd fished for chub all day and done well to avoid them although he did have a nice net of smaller fish weighing a level 7lb but by his own admission he should have had more (tell me about it!). I thought he wouldn't be far off today with that. My trout assisted net went 2lb 11oz and I thought I'd finish well down in my section with that.
Justin did say that Fieldy had walked up from peg 96 and both him and Heardy (on 92) were struggling so maybe the river had fished harder than expected. Back at the results and Pete in 124 and Steve Parker in 125a had struggled for ounces as had Neil in 128, Rob had 5lb 9oz from 129 and was lying in second place and also said that Fieldy had packed up early which meant if I could beat Heardy I would be third! Of course the weigh board came back and he'd had 3lb 8oz - bugger! Still I picked up £10 for my section which at least stopped the rot for now. I had three section points which meant I'd dropped from 3rd to 5th in the league and really need three good results from the last three matches to do any good in the league.
1 - Justin Charles (Ilminster) - 7lb
2 - Robin Cox (Ilminster) - 5lb 9oz
3 - Martin Heard (Tiverton) - 3lb 8oz
A - Jamie Rich (Against Men and Fish) - 2lb 11oz
B - Steve Parker (Ilton) - 13oz
Next week is the Royal Oak league so tune in to see if I can fish a match without cocking things up!