My route to the Crown in Keynsham did not take me over the river so was unsure what condition it would be in. Some of the guys said the River Frome was up and coloured so we expected some colour and pace.
I said prior to the draw I would like A3 at Swineford. Well Mark was not far off and came back with me being allocated A5. So at least a short walk.
Young Andrew Cranston came up to me at the draw and was overjoyed as he had drawn the peg I had been on the previous week.
Team mate Jeff Sibley was on B5 so we headed out to Swineford and parked up next to each other in the lay by opposite the Swan Pub.
The gate was locked so had to handball all the gear over the fence or gate. As I had a short walk I gave a couple of lads a hand.
The river was up and rising, not too much but looked good. In my Section there was Warren Bates A1, Glenn Bailey A2, Mark Harper A3, Andy Curry A4 and then me. No mugs here then!!!
I already knew who would win the Section and also felt it would be difficult to compete with A1 and A2 as they are good small fish pegs. Never the less I started to set out my stall.
As I was setting up Kev Dicks came up from B Section saying that the thread had gone on one of the legs of his platform so I said he could borrow mine. Surely all this kindness and goodwill would see me OK today???
As I set up the river was still rising and a lot of debris was coming down. Trying out the Feeder it took 45 grams to hold middle. A 13BB Crowquill was also set up for a third the way out and a 6 metre Whip for the inside with a 5BB Crowquill. 3 Kilo of ground bait was also fixed up (gros gardens, noire and brown crumb).
Fishing today was 11 till 4 and I was ready with 20 minutes to go.
On the ''all in'' I fed 4 medium sized balls 2 on the Whip line just to see how it went. First and second trot down I had two small roach then nothing for 15 minutes or so. I had been dripping in caster and hemp down the edge so shallowed up and caught a few more. Problem was the bites were at the end of the trot and it was hard to see the float due to over hanging rushes and I couldn't get them to feed a little further out even using the running line set up. I decided to persevere and added the odd small fish.
I could hear Andy above me casting the Feeder out continuously, so he was going for it.
Around the halfway stage I was surprised to see Glenn behind me, he had come for a walk! he asked me how I was getting on and I said about 3lbs at best. He said Mark on 3 was admitting to 15lb (bream). I asked what he had and he reckoned he had 10lb of bits, which is what I would have expected.
After he went I chucked the tip out and had a rattle but did not connect with anything. i gave it another 20 minutes but nothing.
Back on the inside on the running line I had a few more roach and dace but nothing mega.
The river started to drop and there was less rubbish coming down so at 3 o'clock I put half a lobby worm on a size 12 and had another go on the tip. I was chopping worms up just after casting out and happened to glance up and blow me the tip was bouncing like crazy. I struck and knew instantly it was ''bream on''. It was a real heart stopping few minutes getting it across the main flow and was a relief to net it. It was a decent fish around 4lbs.
That was it then the rest of the match would be on the tip. I did add a few more fish, 3 perch, a small skimmer and a greedy roach.
I was first to weigh and I put 8lb 13oz on the scales.
The bonus bream (could have done with 2 more)
Andy above me had no bonus fish on the tip and weighed 4lb 14oz so it would have been close between us had I not had the bream.
On to the star of the show Mark Harper who had two weighs for 35lb 6oz.
Lovely net of fish for Mark.
As expected Glenn and Warren had a small fish battle and were only a couple of pounds apart.
Heres what the Section looked like.......
Back at the Crown it soon became clear we had fallen well short as a team although there were a couple of good results, Rich Whitmarsh and Vic Abbot.
Top individuals on the day....
1st Mark Harper 35lb 6oz (A3 Swineford)
2nd Tom Morretti 26lb 10oz (G2 Jack Whites and last weeks winning peg 27lb)
3rd Andrew Cranston 22lb 5oz (G1 Jack Whites last weeks 3rd place 21lb)
Teams on the day......
1st P I Thatchers (7 section wins from 8)
2nd Mosella Bathampton
3rd Die Hards
4th Sensas Nomads
5th M & N Electrical
Newbridge next week for Round 4.