Monday, 13 August 2018

Sunday 12th August - S W Super League Round 5, Bristol Avon, Newbridge

Back at Newbridge again for the penultimate round of this popular league. We had quite a bit of rain prior to the match and more was forecast so we were hoping there would be a bit of colour in the river.
Draw was at the Crown in Keynsham again but due to last weeks staffing problems with breakfast Chris, Sam and I met up in McDonalds on the Bath Rd in Bristol. We got to the Crown in plenty of time and met up with the others and picked up my 2nd in Section money from the previous week from Mike Withey.

Team today was...
Mike Withey
Rich Whitmarsh
Rich Candy
Chris Hook
Sam Johnson
Leigh Wakefield
Andy Thomas
me
Mike Martin-Davies ...bank runner

56 anglers today but one made up team of 8 to boost numbers but their points would not count.

Draw done I found myself on D2 which is permanent peg 52 which is a long walk but I thought worth going to. Fishing today was 11:30 - 16:30. Parked up OK and headed downstream dressed as if it was winter. Once I got to my peg it was down to polo shirt.
Above me and the first peg in my section was Welsh International Nigel Evans. Also in my section was another incredibly talented angler Andy Power.

My peg looked OK and I was able to fish from the bank as opposed to getting in the water last week but just as well I took my 4 metre keepnet.
Plenty of ground bait today and a mix of Sensas River, Roach, Black Crumb and Leam. Tackle Shop set up as I had plenty of time.....
Crowquill
Waggler
Feeder
3 gram Flat Float
2 gram Running through Float

To be honest I don't really know this section of the river as I have never drawn it. I did learn that Nigel was on a form peg especially for the pole.
I had top 4 deep rigs at 13 metres which was quite nice. I did intend to start on the running through rig and then sit on the Flat Float to see if there are any bonus fish about.
The river had a bit of flow but not any colour.

14 big balls went in at the start on the pole line and 4 down the middle laced with dead reds, caster and hemp.
I had 30 fish (roach, perch and hybrids) in the first hour and a quarter before the bites dried up. I let the rig run down as far as I could to see if they had backed downstream when the float buried and when I struck loads of elastic came out. It did feel like a bream but soon discovered it was a jack pike about 3lbs that must have take a roach straight away after it had been hooked. I was just letting it swim around when the phone went. It was Sam who told me he only had 8 fish and was struggling. The pike eventually bit the line.
Mike came along and said I was more or less level with those around me. I picked up the waggler and went right across and started to pick up barrel chub and chunky bleak fishing about 4 foot deep and spraying maggot. A couple of better chub around 8oz were good weight builders.

I had been feeding caster on the pole line as well so after 40 minutes had another look on the light rig. Nothing, no sign of life at all. Picked up the Flat Float and put half a dendra on. Put it in, held back and it sailed away. A perch of about 6 ozs. That'll do I though then nothing more after 20 minutes so back on the waggler picking up odd fish. I kept checking the pole line and re-balled but no joy.

On the all out I thought I had about 7 to 8lbs....I wasn't far off.


7lb 4oz so bang on with my estimate




Heres what my section looked like




Section winner Nigel Evans with some quality fish, all on the pole

Back at the pub it was clear we had not done very well and quite a few of the team did not come back. Shame really as the pub had laid on complementary sausages and chips.

Results as follows:

1st    Tim Ford 18lb 8oz   P I Thatchers
2nd   Paul Nicholls 15lb 15oz   Sensas 88
3rd    Nick Chedzoy 15lb 5oz   P I Thatchers

Teams on the day:

1st    P I Thatchers
2nd   DGL
3rd    GBV
4th    Sensas 88
5th    Sensas Lobbys
6th    Sensas Nomads

League to date:

1st    DGL
2nd   P I Thatchers
3rd    GBV
4th    Sensas 88
5th    Sensas Lobbys
6th    Sensas Nomads



Tim with his winning catch taken from the first peg in the little field See his blog http://cluckerspeg.blogspot.com

So the final round is next week, again its at Newbridge.

My results lately have been mediocre so need a decent result as does the team.





Monday, 6 August 2018

Sunday 5th August - S W Super League Practice, Bristol Avon Newbridge

Quite a few booked in for this practice match at Newbridge which hosted a River Fest qualifier the previous Sunday when 153lb won it.

A number of our Team fishing today....

Mike Withey
Rich Whitmarsh
Andy Thomas
Chris Hook
Me

Draw was at the Crown in Keynsham, usually pretty good but breakfast a bit disorganised.

We had to pay an additional £1 today in order to cover the cost of a parking charge at the Rugby Club in Saltford which is also the access point to the ''trees section''. I  am sure if Bathampton AA put their mind to it a car park could be developed for anglers use, not only for matches but for pleasure anglers as well. There is currently no safe place to park in the area as far as I know.

The match length had been pegged out the day before by Lee Trivet who had also provided anglers with plenty of room. I drew peg 21 which was somewhere in the mid 40 permanent peg area so not too bad.

It was already warming up but the walk was OK, all on the flat and no fences.
I got to the peg and looked at it ...thought oh bollocks....it was a long way down the bank to get to the water so the Rigger Platform would need to be set up and unshipping back with the pole at an acute angle of 60 degrees would not be much fun either.


Just as well we had plenty of time to set up, fishing was 11:30 - 16:30.

There were a few rowers about which were going all over the place but they usually are off the water by lunchtime.....hopefully.

I took a bit of time sorting out the platform as I usually slide in halfway through the match, cries for help would go unnoticed due to the distance between pegs.

2 pole rigs and a feeder for today, not much point setting anything else up as there was little flow and deep on the inside and middle. No flow across so not much point in a waggler.

Depth at 11 metres was good enough for a top 4 rig with about 2 foot between pole and float. A 1 gram was just right and pick up what flow there was. 18 hook to 0.10. At 13 meters it was a bit deeper about top 4 and a half, could have done with a short no. 4 section really to ease any swinging (fish that is not swinging like your thinking of). A 2.5 gram was chosen with a 16 to 0.12.  The feeder chuck was just downstream in the middle.

On the all in I balled 14 big ones in between the 2 lines. My mix wasn't right and should have put some leam in it, will sort that out for next week. In the mix I had corn, hemp, caster, dead reds.
6 feeder fulls of chop and caster were put in as well with green F1.

Starting at 11 metres with the light rig it was a bleak first put in then a few more ..couldnt get through them. I decided to give them a break of 10 minutes while I took the hook out of my keep net followed by my trousers then my t-shirt...no going well you might say!
New hook length sorted and back in business .... more bleak.

Picked up the heavier rig, shortened the depth a bit put on double caster and had a few roach followed by perch. Unshipping was difficult with the pole having to be raised high in the air causing a slack line after hooking fish resulted in a few losses. You can't afford to loose fish early at Newbridge as they tend to back right off quickly. I hooked a decent skimmer and it spat the hook out at the net. This happened with a couple of nice roach as well.
After an hour the bites dried up so went out at 13 metres after adjusting the depth again. Bingo a couple of skimmers and some lumpy perch. Double caster was doing the trick still but after catching a small chub it spewed out a load of corn.
Corn on the hook did not get any interest at all. Nigel Wyatt came down (he was pegged up near the Pump House I think) asking what I had saying it was fishing hard but Warren Bates had around 8lbs. It was about the halfway mark and I just plodded on after topping up the feeder line for a look later on. I took the odd fish on the pole now and then, tried the feeder a couple of times but not a sign.

I did enjoy the day but that bank behind me was a real hinderance and knew it cost me a few pounds. I also made a couple of school boy errors swinging fish so have had a word with myself.

Dean Harvey came down with the scales and said it had fished hard, he hadn't done that well.


My fish went 5lb 14oz but it should have been more like 10lbs 

I went back to the pub for a pint, not many had come back and after hearing the main weights left for home as my dog was on her own.

1st      Neil Richards 20lb (little field)
2nd     Rob Jones 16lbs 6oz (trees peg 122)
3rd     Phil Bendall 16lb 5oz (peg 88)

Warren Bates and Dave Clapton both had 16lb 3oz so a tight 2nd to 5th.


2nd placed Rob Jones, nice bag of fish (courtesy of his FB page)

As I write this team mate Mike Withey had contacted me saying he has some money for me £20 for 2nd in Section....happy days.




Friday, 3 August 2018

Sunday 29th July - S W Super League Round 4, River Huntspill

Bit of a late blog due to having a bit of a DIY workload and Community Bus commitment this week.

Back on the Huntspill then for the 3rd Sunday in a row. Heavy rain and strong winds were forecast so as a team we decided on an all out Feeder approach as we had nothing to loose. Top positions in the League are gone for us so we are just going for individual glory in the form of pick ups if we can.

Team was.....
Mark Williams (c)
Rich Whitmarsh
Rich Candy
Leigh Wakefield
Martin Bendall
Mike Withey
Steve Saunders
Me

It was blowing up a bit on the way down the M5 along with heavy showers. Leigh and I met up with Rob Jones in the Services and he too was going for a Feeder approach.

The draw was at the 37 Club Woolavington.

Mark came back with the draw and I found myself on 86 which was the Section below Woolavington Bridge. It had not fished that well in the previous weeks. Leigh was in the next Section down on 89 so we both had a fairly easy walk.

When I got to my peg there was one more in just before the copse, after that there was a 50 yard gap. Fortunately the peg below me was not drawn. It must have been put in to accommodate a Hospital Team in order to boost the number of anglers fishing.


The wind was off our backs on this bank so not much effort was needed to chuck a 30 gram feeder tight across (42 turns), I had a line down the middle as well. It didn't take long to set up the 2 Feeder Rods. Usual fishmeal ground bait with choppy, caster and dead reds.

I fed the 2 lines with 6 feeder fulls each before starting right across with half a dendra and a dead red on a 14 to 0.13.  Most other anglers in the section appeared to do the same. 

It took about 30 minutes to get the first indication, just a rattle from a small fish. I hit the bite but nothing. Next cast I had a slightly more positive indication in the form of a slight pull and a drop back on the 2.5 oz tip. Hit it and a positive thud in the form of a bream. Not big, more of a skimmer around 1.5 lbs.  15 minutes later another one, slightly bigger. Lee Green DGL to my right also had one but was not casting as far as me. In the next hour I had another 2 small bream and just kept plugging away but unfortunately no more bream although I was getting the odd liner.

Lee to my right managed a few quality roach on the pole and hemp late to pip me by a few ounces.


They look bigger than what they weighed


Heres how my Section finished, I only needed one proper bream to pick up.


Chris Parr on the first peg in did really well on the pole catching quality roach, hybrids and small skimmers to win the Section.


Heres how our Team Sheet looked, not good.


Overall the River switched off compared to the previous week with only 20lb needed to win.

Top 3 individuals on the day....

1st     Martin Barrett 20lb
2nd    Matt Parsons 17lb 11oz
3rd     Steve Long 16lb 10oz

Teams on the day.....

1st     DGL
2nd    GBV
3rd     Sensas 88
4th     P I Thatchers
5th     Sensas Nomads
6th     Sensas Lobbys

League position to date...

1st     DGL
2nd    P I Thatchers
3rd     GBV
4th     Sensas 88
5th     Sensas Lobbys
6th     Sensas Nomads


Practice Match Sunday 5th on the Bristol Avon at Newbridge, league match the week after.






Monday, 23 July 2018

Sunday 22nd July South West Super League Round 3 - River Huntspill

An extra Team was made up for todays match in order to boost numbers but their points did not count, so 56 fishing today.
I met team mate Leigh at the Clevedon Junction of the M5 South before heading down to McDonalds for a breakfast wrap. Reason being Laburnum house where the draw is held is way over priced. Just as well we did as they had no gas and were just able to do bacon or sausage sandwiches with tea for £5.

Team today was...
Mark Williams (c) ...stands for captain although alternative words are available
Mike Withey
Rich Whitmarsh
Steve ''Stretch'' Saunders ...not sure what Stretch sand for
Andy Thomas
Chris Hook
Leigh Wakefield
Me

Todays Sections were...
A - Gold Corner
B - North Bank
C, D, E, F - Woolavington Bridge Up
G - Woolavington Bridge Down

The Team Plan was to fish the Feeder on A and B Section plus the top end of C, all other Sections we were to spend most of the time on the pole based on the last practice match.

Mark came back with the draw and I saw that I was on 66 which was D Section, not great to be honest but just got to get on with it.
The good news was we were able to drive to our pegs on Woolavington Up, drop our kit off and then park in the usual car park.


The peg was nice and comfortable.

I was the last peg in my Section. I set up 2 feeder rods (as it was always going to be worth a look across and down the middle now and again. A waggler for just past the pole line and 2 rigs at 13 metres, a 0.5 and a 0.75. Ground bait was fishmeal for the feeder lines and magic and lake for the pole.
I cupped in 3 hard and 3 loose helpings laced with caster and hemp before feeding the middle and across with 5 big feeder fulls of caster and some worm.

Starting on the pole with the 0.5 gram rig I had small fish straight away. The trip on the water was just right and heading towards the sea. A few better fish moved in, hybrids, perch and dumpy roach. In less than an hour the bites stopped, the wind got up and the trip was going the wrong way. A change to the heavier rig just brought the odd bite.
A look on both feeder lines for about 10 mins each gave no indications. I tried the waggler but conditions were not right and presentation was rubbish. Back on the pole and nothing so I re-fed. this did not make any difference what so ever.
I couldn't see if anyone was catching around me either. I phoned Leigh and Chris as they were in the Sections below me and they were also struggling just catching small fish although Chris had a few hand sized skimmers on the tip.
A look on the tip down the middle gave me a small rattle and when I hit it I thought it was an eel but turned out to be a 10oz skimmer. I gave it another 15 mins or so which produced nothing.
I stayed on the pole the rest of the match cupping in loose neat ground bait at intervals to pick up small fish and that was it.

Nick Ewers up stream from me sat on the tip all match and was admitting to 10lbs approx.

I walked up to meet the scales halfway down the Section. I asked Mark Bromsgrove what the weights were so far....he said two 14's and a DNW....two 14ozs that was! I thought he was joking...he wasn't.

Anyway this is how my Section panned out with Nick winning it very comfortably.



Nick easily won the Section

There were some fantastic weights today from the inform and known area's of the river.

Individuals...

1st      Tony Goodland 73lb 8oz - peg 54
2nd     Paul Purchase 66lb 12oz - peg 37
3rd      Andy Richings 37lb 15oz - peg - 38 ....Andy came 3rd the day before at Evesham and qualified for the BH Weekend match in August so a good weekend for him.

There were at least 3 other 30lb plus weights.

I tried to get all the Section winners but too noisy when they were read out.

Teams on the day...

1st     P I Thatchers
2nd    DGL
3rd     Sensas Lobbys
4th     GBV
5th     Sensas 88
6th     Sensas Nomads

League to date.....

1st     P I Thatchers
2nd    DGL
3rd     GBV
4th     Sensas Lobbys
5th     Sensas 88
6th     Sensas Nomads

Back on the Huntspill for Round 4 next week.

We had another Team fishing at Evesham today on the last qualifying match for the BH Weekend.
It was great to hear that they came 5th and qualified after narrowly missing out by ounces on the first attempt.
Captain Clive Branson even took a dip to land a chub after his landing net broke..and...apparently he can't swim!


Clive with his 5lb 11oz which was 5th in the match at Evesham

Hope to fish the Staverton match on Wednesday afternoon but hear there is very little flow.








Monday, 16 July 2018

Sunday 15th July - River Huntspill ''knock up'' quick summary

Sunday 15th July was meant to be the 3rd SW Super League match which was to be held on the Huntspill but after the practice match on 8th July it was decided to push the dates back a week as it was World Cup Final Day and all eyes where on England making it. 
I was on a Rhine Cruise while the practice match was being run but was looking forward to the league match on the 15th when I would be back.
Before I go on ....team mate Andy Thomas won the Practice Match on the 8th with over 30lbs so well done to him.

Sensas Nomads have had some success so far this year......

  • Mike Martin-Davis has qualified for the Evesham Festival.
  • The Team just missed out on qualifying for the Team Event at Evesham (but having another go this weekend)
  • Chris Hook and I won the AT/CRT Canal Pairs Qualifier on the Gloucester Canal
  • Geraint Powell finished 3rd at Staverton on a Open
  • Andy Thomas won the Huntspill Open
I arrived back in the UK on the 12th July so was unsure where I would fish on the Sunday. Andy Thomas put out on Facebook that he would run a ''knock up'' on the Huntspill (North Bank) so I said I would come along. Only 6 in total and Andy sorted out the day tickets. We fished downstream from the famous Gold Corner pegs 37 to 42.

I had not fished this bank for some years but it was where the bream showed the week before. I drew peg 40. It was a hot day with little or no wind and bright sunshine.


Andy Jane was on end peg 37 where Andy Thomas had won the previous week and Derek Jarman was on the other end peg 42 but hadn't brought his Feeder Reels with him (I wasn't supposed to mention that). 
So....
Peg 37 Andy Jane
Peg 38 Chris Hook
Peg 39 Andy Thomas
Peg 40 me
Peg 41 Andy Richings
Peg 42 Derek Jarman

I set up 2 Feeder Rods (middle and across) plus 1 pole rig. Usual Fishmeal ground bait for Feeder and  Lake and Roach for the pole.
I did catch on the pole but the fish were relatively small. I did pick up some skimmers and a decent bream on the Feeder but only after coming down the middle instead of right across.

Andy on 37 was in to bream quite early and ended up with 10 of them for 31lb plus which was more than enough to win.


2nd was Derek on 42 who fished the pole most of the day and the whip now and again. He caught 3 bream on the pole with about 90 minutes to go for 14lb 6oz.


Next door Andy Richings caught bream on the Feeder and Waggler for 14lb 2oz.


I had a measly 5lb 6oz but should have come in closer earlier.


Chris and Andy tipped back and had about the same as me.

Looking forward to Sundays match and hope to get out on my local River Kenn tomorrow.









Monday, 2 July 2018

Sunday 1st July - SW Super League Round 2, Bristol Avon, Staverton (between Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge)

Back to the finest restaurant in Trowbridge for todays draw..... McDonalds.

Sensas Nomads Team for today was....
Mike Martin-Davies (cpt)
Rich Whitmarsh
Mark Williams
Mike Withey
Chris Hook
Leigh Wakefield
Geraint Powell
and me

We were also fielding a team at Evesham on the same day, how good is that?

Mike also brought some nice new Sensas T Shirts for us as they are a lot cooler than the polo's. He did say whatever happens we will be the best dressed team if nothing else.
Prior to the draw I had to pay pools, contribution to the entry fee for the match, pay for the T shirt, pay Chris his share from winning the Angling Trust match last week and collect money from Leigh for the caster. Its all go.

Mike came back with the draw, we also had the scales. We had drawn 1, 13, 16, 32, 36, 43, 58, 69. Apparently the draw was forecast as absolute crap. I had fished the previous 2 Wednesday matches along with Mike and we thought 5lb would be a really good weight for points on the day. I won my section the previous Wednesday with 5lb 8oz, roach all caught on hemp.
Originally we were meant to have a couple of sections at Barton Farm but all the pegs were moved to Staverton due to a boating event. There would still be canoes coming up river as far as the railway bridge at Staverton for an hour or so and turning back, that was peg 13 and Leigh was on it. Mike was on 58 a peg that gary Etheridge has struggled on last Wednesday. I had peg 1.....I know, I know another end peg..but.. I don't actually draw, its usually Chris, but it was Mike this time.
Now I know I come from across the water...but let me tell you....I dreamt I would be on the peg. I told Leigh and he asked if I caught. I said I don't know because I woke up!!!

As I drove along the river I came across Rich, not sure what peg it was but it was clear it had not been fished and he was squeezed and I mean squeezed between 2 other pegs, really tight no more that 8 metres apart, absolute crap.
Got to my peg, last to arrive in the section and found myself next to James Carty.
The peg looked OK to be fair, lilies on the far side and a bit of flow at 11 metres. Plumbing up I found a top 4 set up was spot on as it was about 8 foot deep. 1 gram float to 0.10 hook length and a 20 hook was perfect. I also set up a waggler for across, a 6 metre whip with a hemp rig and that was it. Ground bait was a mix of frenzied hemp, sensas noire and sensas roach.
The peg was a little high of the bank so had to get in the water and set up the rigger platform, the long legs just about coped.


you can see how low my box is v the top of the bank

Fishing today was 11:00 - 16:00. On the all in I cupped in 3 ball of ground bait laced with hemp and cast at 11 metres and a few pouch fulls of caster across and loose fed hemp on the whip line. A grass snake swam across from the far bank and a cormorant dived in the lillies! Starting off at 11 metres maggot over the ground bait just to see what was about I had a roach straight away, only about 3 oz but a good sign. Then it was bleak, bleak, bleak. I was still feeding the other 2 lines all the time. I put on a tare and then hemp but no interest whatsoever. I cupped in another few balls of ground bait and picked up the whip. A couple of bits but nothing to write home about. Gave the waggler a go and had a few small barrel chub. Then the canoes started to come up river. I did persevere with the waggler in between them but after 30 minutes came back on the 11 metre line which was a good move. Fish had come to the ground bait and I caught on this line for the rest of the match, not fast and furious but some nice roach and little hybrids.  Continually feeding my ground bait mix laced with hemp and pinkie and maggot on the hook kept the fish coming although the last 30 minutes was a bit slow. I didn't loose a fish and just wish I had kept on that line all day, potentially could have done a lot better.

I was first to weigh and knew I had 5lb plus which was the target weight. Really pleased to weigh 7lb 3oz 8drms but knew I could have done better.


todays catch

James was next to weigh and said he had 400 bleak!


the photo does not really do it justice and he weighed 9lb 1oz

Our section was quite tight but I ended up with 4 points from a possible 6.


Driving back up the bank I stopped by Leigh on peg 13. It was really unlucky for some as not only had he had the boats turn in his peg he lost his number 6 section but went swimming and got it back. His 1lb 8oz was bottom in Section. I then caught up with Chris and he had done OK getting 3 points from 6.

Back at the Kings Arms pub where the results were held the rest of the team as predicted had some sorry tales, we had not done well overall.

Results as follows:

Sections, paying top 2 in each

A
James Carty P I Thatchers 9-1
Tony Goodland Sensas 88 7-6

B
Gary Cross Sensas 88 5-8
Buzzer GBV 5-0

Rich Chave GBV 3-9
Andy Ottaway P I Thatchers 3-1

D
Derek Jarman Sensas Lobbys 4-0
Alan Jones DGL 3-6

E
Kevin Abigail GBV 3-14
Ian Pauley P I Thatchers 3-9

F
Dave Micklewright DGL 5-12
Gary Etheridge GBV 3-4

G
Ruben Gurra DGL 9-15
Rob Randall GBV 7-5-8

H
Rich Hoskins DGL 8-10
Paul Purchase Sensas 88 7-11

Top 3 paid out..
1st    Ruben Guerra DGL 9-15
2nd   James Carty P I Thatchers 9-1
3rd    Rich Hoskins DGL 8-10

4th   Paul Purchase Sensas 88 7-11
5th   Tony Goodland Sensas 88 7-6
6th   Rob Randall GBV 7-5-8

I finished 7th or 8th out of 48

Teams on the day..

1st    GBV 
2nd  DGL
3rd   P I Thatchers
4th   Sensas 88
5th   Sensas Lobbys
6th   Sensas Nomads

Teams after 2 rounds...
1st    DGL
2nd   GBV
3rd    P I Thatchers
4th    Sensas Lobbys
5th    Sensas 88
6th    Sensas Nomads


The Evesham Team were unlucky. 17 teams entered, 6 would qualify. Senses Nomads finished 6th equal but on weight count back did not qualify. Captain Clive Branson finished 4th overall in the match with 9-14


decent catch at Evesham for Clive

Well that's it for me for a couple of Sundays due to cruising the Rhine, next match is the SW Super League match on the Huntspill 15th July.











Sunday, 24 June 2018

Sunday 24th June - Angling Trust / Canal and River Trust Pairs Qualifier Gloucester Canal.

Organiser and Diawa Gordon League Captain Mark Treasure sent out a text just over a week ago reminding people about this qualifier. I had originally booked into Evesham on Saturday 23rd as team mate Sam Johnson was down to fish on the same day but he changed it to the Sunday instead. I decided to cancel after team mate Chris Hook asked if I would be interested in the Pairs Qualifier on the Glossy. Why not I thought and registered us both last Monday with the Angling Trust to fish the match. We have been fishing the Gloucester Canal for about 4 years now and thought we had a good a chance as anyone.

14 Pairs had paid to fish this match but on the morning only 12 turned up for whatever reason!
Based on the entry 2 pairs would qualify for the grand final. Looking around at the Gordon League Rugby Club where the draw was all the competitors were Glossy regulars.

There would be 2 Zones for todays match and the winning pairs would go through on whoever had the combined lowest points e.g. 1 point for a Zone win.
Pegging was....  Zone 1, 45 to 65 (Hempstead) and Zone 2, 173 to 199 (Rea). It was every other peg at Rea.

Mark called each pair up in turn with angler 1 drawing in the Hempstead Zone and angler 2 drawing in the Rea Zone.  I drew 47 in Zone 1 and Chris 199 (end peg) in Zone 2, we were fairly happy with that. Fishing was 10:30 - 15:30.
Pay-outs were 4 sections of 6 and top angler in each Zone plus overall top weight (by default). The winning pairs would also receive a cheque from the Angling Trust.

Chris and I had fished these Sections enough to know what to do and we both went off to fish our respective pegs accordingly.
When I got to my peg I found Sensas Lobby's Andy Jane to my left on 46 and Diawa Gordon Leagues Mark Brush to my right on 48. Senses Lobby's Shane Williams was on 49 so I guessed this part of the Zone would be tight.


I had never fished 47 before but had fished 48 and 49. I saw Diawa Gordon Leagues Alan Jones fish it a few weeks ago and remember it being very snaggy. 
I decided on 2 Feeder lines, both fairly long chucks each side of where a drain comes in and about 4 metres out from far bank vegetation. Depths on both lines was quite good at around 6 to 8 foot. Only 1 pole rig today to fish at 5 metres where it was top 5 deep. 
Fishmeal ground bait for the Feeders and a mix of Sensas Magic and Brown crumb with a little soil for the pole line.
As we were setting up there were bream rolling everywhere, not a good sign.

Andy shouted the ''all in'' and I fed 4 big balls on the pole line before starting off on my Feeder line to the right of the drain. Just a pinch of caster, dead pinkie and a couple of bits of worm each cast. 
it wasn't long before I saw Shane on 49 net a couple of fish, I thought at that time they were proper lumps. 
I didn't get my first indication until about 35 minutes in and let the bite develop, usually the tip flies around no problem. The tip eventually went around and a skimmer of around 1.5 pounds was safely netted so blank avoided.  Frustration soon set in due to getting quite a few liners, Andy on 46 was having the same problem, they just wouldn't get their heads down but at least there was some activity.
Constantly looking up and down the bank as far as I could see nothing much was happening although Andy did get a couple of skimmers. About 2 plus hours in I had a call from Thatchers Jack Jones who was on 61 asking how I was getting on. He had only had a small eel i believe at that point and said his Section was fishing really hard.
About 15 minutes after that I gave Chris a call who said he had about 10 had sized skimmers feeding squats through the Feeder with maggot on the hook. 
I decided then to stop fishing worm and put on a couple of dead reds with a live pinkie and had a perch straight away. 

A very quick 10 minutes on the pole at the halfway stage gave no indications of fish so it was back out on the left had side of the drain with the Feeder. I did have a couple of liners but thought my options were better on the other line. I soon had another big skimmer followed by a second perch. At this stage I thought I was doing OK although behind Andy who had take a couple more skimmers. 
One more big bream followed before 14:30 and I lost another good fish halfway across the canal due to the hook some how coming off the line.

Based on who I could see I thought I was possibly 2nd in our mini section of 6 but didn't know what they had the other side of the swing bridge. Turns out I had done enough for 2nd in the 12 peg zone.

Here is our Zone weigh sheet......


Andy took the Zone with 10lb 3oz with me less than 2lb behind, that lost fish cost me.


Andy with his catch, not big fish but enough.



my 8lb 4oz, sorry about the quality, dirty lense.

Word soon arrived that the other Zone had fished hard and that Chris had done OK.
When I caught up with him back at the Rugby Club, he had done OK coming 3rd in his with just under 5lbs, top man.


Zone 2 had a couple of good weights but most struggled.

Gossip around the Bar suggested Chris and I had won it as we had 5 points. Always best to wait and see though.

Results as follows.....

Sections....

51 - 46       Ivan Currie, Sensas Nomads 8lb 4oz
45 - 61       Jack Jones, P I Thatchers 7lb 7oz
173 - 183   Steve Long, Garbolino Blackmore Vale 4lb
189 - 199   Chris Hook, Sensas Nomads 4lb 15oz

Zone winners......

Zone 1   Andy  Jane, Sensas Lobby's 10lb 4oz
Zone 2   Rob Skillet 15lb 10oz

1st Overall.....

Andy Pollard Diawa Gordon League 21lb 12oz


Andy Pollard, todays winner

Qualifying pairs.....

1st    Ivan Currie and Chris Hook, Sensas Nomads 5 points
2nd  Charlie Vallender and Andy Pollard, Diawa Gordon League 10 points same as 3 other pairs but went through on weight.


Qualifying pairs, Chris and I had goodie buckets cash and waiting on cheques from the Angling Trust

So.....national pairs final on 21st October on the Trent and Mersey Canal wherever that is....!!!!