Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Sunday 15th January - Clevedon Club Match Plantation Fishery

Press report below...I Drew peg 4 and fished the lead to the island all day for one carp...must do better!

The Main Lake on the Plantations Fishery complex at Kingston Seymour hosted Clevedon Freshwater Angling Clubs first competition of the year. The anglers knew bites would be a premium due to the lengthily cold spell but at least it was dry and overcast. The recent form indicated that a draw up the left hand side of the lake would be the favoured area to draw. Paul Nichols did just that drawing peg 8 and set to work on the long pole feeding micro pellet and fishing soft pellet or maggot on the hook for 27lbs of skimmer bream and 6 carp for a match winning 37lb. Not far behind Paul was match secretary Adie Baker with 36lb from adjacent peg 7. Adie caught carp and bream on a variety of methods and baits. Third place went to Rob Fogg who from point peg 19 caught a 34lb mixed bag on the pole.






Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday 8th January - Bristol Commercial House League Round 5, Kennet and Avon Canal, Bath / Bathampton

This was the first match of 2017 for me, a Team Match and on one of my favourite venues. The League consists of 9 Teams of 6 with 5 Teams in 'A' Div and 4 Teams in 'B' Div. My Team are in 'B' Div as we only came back into the League last September.
Team mate Rob Wood went down with man flu on Saturday night so arriving at the draw we were one short. Not for long lol... one Team turned up with 7 anglers so we borrowed Tony Mazyk, happy days.
Nicola and Mike Goodhind assisted by Vince Lunn do a great job running the League and had their work cut out doing the pegging in order to avoid the boats and the resident Otter. They provided a nice little guide in order to get to the pegs.


Team Captain Chris Hook done the draw, we were more or less first in due to paying the Pools nice and early. The Team card came back and I saw I was on C3. Not a bad area and I thought it would be very fair due to the big bay not being pegged.
I had not ordered any bloodworm and joker but took Robs pack just in case, the rest of the Team had some.
Parking and access to my Section was easy and I was on C3 by 08:45 so plenty of time to set up. I passed Matt Challenger on C1 who suggested there may be a few fish about if I was in the ''Section''.
I had a nice big gap between the boats and I thought the peg would fish OK.


I had a really nice depth down the track, around 4' 6'' so set up a punched bread rig for fishing just off bottom at 12:00 o'clock and set up another similar track rig for fishing just on bottom at 10:00 and 14:00. Finally a chopped rig for 13 meters across about 0.5 of a meter out from the far bank where it was about 2'.
Bait tray was a little busy with worm, blood worm and joker, pinkie, caster, squats, red maggot and bread.
At the start I fed the track straight in front with liquidised bread and then fed the far bank with chopped worm, caster and squats at 10:00 and a ball of joker across at 14:00.
Starting on 6mm punch nothing happen for 10 minutes which was a bit concerning so fed another cup of bread. Next put in I had a small roach around 2ozs. Expecting a sail away bite as soon as I put the rig back in nothing happened so lifted it and dropped it twice which gave me a great bite and the No.3 elastic shoot out after the strike. A skimmer of around a pound and a bit was soon netted. After an hour no more skimmers showed but I did have a few roach, nothing to write home about though. I had topped up the far bank lines after 45 minutes as well as putting some chopped worm and caster in down the track at 10:00 o'clock.  
My first look across at 10:00 with red maggot got me a chunky roach of about 5 ozs, the float buried very quickly and a few more followed. Resting this line after 15 minutes I had a look over the joker with blood worm resulted in more roach but they were much smaller so decided to go back down the track for a while over the chop and caster with maggot.
Good decision this as I had 4 perch in a row and one was a pound plus.
The rest of the match I really only caught across to my left and down the track to my left. I kept busy trying different hook baits and topped up my main lines little and ofter. I had a 30 minute quiet spell due to a double boat mooring up immediately to my right.
The canal pulled quite hard at times and boat traffic was busy enough as was the tow path behind me. The surface of the canal was covered in debris as if someone had been doing some trimming so lots of rubbish on the line when brining in fish but you just have to get in the right mindset and focus.
At the all out I thought I had about 5lbs. I walked up to Mike Goodhind on C2 while waiting for the scales and he told me he had netted a decent skimmer, had the net on his lap and a dog of the boat beside him jumped into the net and made off with the fish! Got to be a first.
Scales came down and I was pleased to weigh 6lbs 9ozs.


Jeff Surman suggested that would be enough to win the ''B'' Div Section. It was, ''A'' and ''B'' Section weights below.


Matt Challenger had a good day on C1 catching quality skimmers down the track.

Back at the results the Team had a good day with my Section win and about 3 second in Sections.

Results as follows on the day:

A Div 
1st   Preston Thatchers A & Bathampton Mosella B
3rd   Preston Thatchers  B
4th   Bathamptom Mosella A
5th   M & N Electrical

B Div
1st   Maver
2nd  Stand and Deliver
3rd  DW Builders
4th  Sensas Nomads

Individuals
1st   Tom Moretti 20lbs 12oz
2nd  Rob Randall 18lbs 13oz
3rd   ?  15lbs 2oz
4th  Matt Challenger 14lbs
5th  Nigels Evans 13lbs 11oz
6th  Nigel Wyatt 12lbs 10oz


Not sure where I am fishing next weekend but hope to go on the River Kenn Tuesday.






Sunday, 1 January 2017

Christmas period 2016

Sunday 18th December Clevedon Club Christmas Match - Acorn Fishery Paddock Lake

It was almost a year since I fished a Commercial but the Clubs Christmas Match is our Flagship Event so it had to be done. With 35 booked in for the 40 peg venue it was always going to be tough due to numbers and the cold weather. I had been looking at the recent match results and bread or maggot seemed to be the way to go.
I drew peg 25 and had Mike Pickering on 26 and Paul Nicholls on 23 for company (24 was vacant).
3 rigs were set up.... one for dobbing the bread, one for bottom of the far shelf and one for the middle.
The bottom of the far shelf rig was ok for down by the pallet on 24.
The day was very frustrating with 8 carp lost, 7 were foul hooked so it was a blankety blank cheque book and pen for me. Mike also lost a shed load of foul hookers but did manage to get a few in the net. Paul had a similar experience.
Weights were generally poor as expected but a few noted pegs produced.

Ist on the day was Mike Laird with 53lbs 7oz (peg 5)



2nd was Mike Wilson with 48lbs 4ozs (peg 22)



3rd was Rich Heatley with 38lbs (not sure which peg)
No photo available

Monday 19th - 28th December P & O Cruise Ship Arcadia
So off we went to Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bruge and Le Harve. So nice to be away for Christmas after 38 years working for Royal Mail.


Julie and I just before Christmas Dinner


Saturday 31st December - Clevedon Club Pairs Match Acorn Fishery Paddock Lake.

This match is always a good bit of fun as you don't know who you are paired up with until the draw is done. Louis Jones and I won it last year and the year before I came 3rd with Darren ''Nuddy'' Vowles.
18 anglers were booked in which made it nice and simple. When you drew your peg you could see which other peg your partner was on so there was a lot of similar questions among the anglers...what you got Ive? who's got ......? and so on.
My peg card showed I was on 7 and my partners was on 33 and it turned out to be Mark Bromsgrove who usually picks up where ever he goes. Mark was on a bridge peg and 7 was ok as well.  We had a quick chat before we headed off to our pegs.
Most anglers had a vacant peg next to them, I had a lot of room with 6 and 8 being left out. Due to the cold weather I decided to dob bread across, fish the bottom of the far shelf with pinkie and a rig for the middle. All three rigs would be used to search around their respective lines over next to no feed.
Carp Slayer and venue regular Mark Walsh was on 9 and across the other side of the bridge on 40 was another venue regular Mike Owens. Kev Perry was across on the corner of the island on 5. I had a good view of most of the lake from my peg.
Starting off on a double 6mm punch I started searching up on the far shelf. I did get a couple of indications which seemed promising but did not want any foul hookers. I had 3 x No. 10's down the line to a 16 hook and just kept lifting and dropping the bait along the shelf. 10 minutes in and I was playing a good fish which took the bread on the drop. I am not used to carp on the pole so took it steady and won the fight after around 8 minutes. It was a good common around 8lbs. I continued to dob and was soon playing another good fish but it was foul hooked. It did seem like an eternity but I successfully netted it and added another 5lbs to my keep net.  Nearing the end of the first hour I lost a fish, think it was hooked in the mouth but too lightly.
I gave the bread line a rest for a while and started working the bottom of the shelf with pinkie. Again there were indications of fish moving but it took about an hour to get a positive bite and carp number 3 was captured.
Mike over on 40 was getting a few fish against the bridge and Kev added a couple fishing right across on 5. Elsewhere it looked very quiet.
I tried the middle 6 meters out and the float did disappear a few times but it was just liners. The middle period of the match was fairly non eventful for me but Kev said Rich Heatly on 21was sacking.
With 90 minutes to go I went back on the bread and shallowed the rig up a few inches to fish further up the shelf as I saw Dom Sullivan on 3 take a couple of fish right over. This proved to be the right decision as I hooked another 5 carp but only landed 3 but they were OK and was happy enough with my performance.
I thought that if Rich was sacking on 21 it would be him and his partner that would win and Mike Owens and his partner would be second (pay out was top two pairs).
The scales recorded my weight as 28lbs 2oz so happy with that and it was the best from 1 to 11 as Scott Smallwood on 12 done 38lbs.
Back in the car park I met up with Mark and he had weighed 21lbs odd so we thought we would be just out of the money.
Rich Heatley did sack up weighing 89lbs and his partner Andy Devereux has 3oz. Mike Owens weighed 32lbs, I though he had more and his partner had about 5lbs so that changed things a bit.
Turned out we did come second so £50 each and a good way to end the year.


1st in the pairs Rich and Andy


2nd Mark and I

Next match for me is Sunday 8th January on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath (Commercial House League Round 5).

Happy New Year to all my readers.



Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunday 11th December - Bathampton AA Christmas Match, Bristol Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal

I found out about this match by chance last weekend. I just happened to mention to Dean Harvey at the end of last weeks match did he know if there was anything on the following week and he informed me about the Bathampton Christmas Match so I thought why not and booked in with Kev Dicks straight away. I was told you could fish the river or canal and there was also an option to enter a pairs competition. As I did not have a partner I just told Kevin I would fish the river.
Later on in the week I had a call from my Maver Team mate Lewis Walker asking if I wanted to pair up with him but he wanted to fish the river. I said ok so the canal it was for me.
After a late draw at the Crown Pub in Saltford Lewis was heading to a peg on the river at Newbridge at the top end of the straight and I was on my way to peg 1 just over the aqueduct at Dundas which is on the A36 the other side of Bath.
The turnout was not great with 10 on the river and 6 on the canal.
The canal anglers were Rich Lacey, Sean Townsend, Kev Dicks, Darren Gillman, Nicky Goodhind as well as myself (no mugs here then).
I had not fished this section of canal for about 25 years and thought the big beeches turning bay would throw up a bream weight, not so sure about the other pegs.
My peg did look quite ordinary and I was it between 2 boats with a concrete bank on the far side.
I had just set up when the guy from the boat to my left said he needed to move up a little towards me in order to make a bit of room between his and the next boat down to set up a stall as his wife was selling home made crafts and scarfs.
I told him there was a match on and we compromised meaning I only had to move up a few feet and had enough time to adjust.


my peg today

I had plenty of room on the bank but set up my rollers more or less in line with the canal as its a busy tow path.
Nice and simple today, one rig for straight across at 14 meters just up the far shelf, another for the bottom of the far shelf at 10:00 and 14:00 and a final one for down the middle, 10:00 and 14:00. Size 18 hooks for the far shelf rigs and a 20 for down the track, all to 0.10 fluro and 4 x 14 floats as the canal does tow a lot. The bait tray was the same as last week, squats, pinkie, maggot, worm and bread.
Rich Lacey was the only other angler I could see (peg 2). Rich called the ''all in'' at 10:30 and I fed my up on the shelf and bottom of the shelf lines with chopped worm, caster and squat, two pots of liquidised bread went in on my track line and this is were I started with 5 mm punch on the hook. not much happened straight away but I did catch a glance of Rich netting a fish, he shouted down it was a roach. 
I started lifting and dropping the punched bread and it brought a sail away bite connecting with solid 
resistance and that thump thump of a skimmer bream. It was a decent one at around 11/2 lbs but spat the hook out as I was trying to net it, not happy. I put in again and soon was playing another and did net it although a bit smaller than the one I lost.
The bread line came alive but only small fish obliged. The end of the first hour was nearing now and Rich said he was struggling, he also said the guys in the turning bay were also struggling.
Boat traffic was quite heavy and one actually stopped and moored up opposite me ending the option to fish up on the shelf. A group of guys got off and headed up the pub.
I fed the two bottom of the far shelf lines again and stayed on the bread for another 15 mins or so.
First look on my 10:00 line with double pinkie I had a good bite and bumped a decent fish. Back out again and hit another positive bite and ended up nervously playing a big perch with an audience of kids behind me. Safely netted it was around 11/2 lbs.  I rested the line and had a look on the other getting a couple of tidy 6oz roach. Word was others on the canal were finding it hard so given that the fish appeared to be responding to the chop, caster and squat I upped the feed rate and rotated the two lines at the bottom of the far shelf for the remainder of the match getting lots of small roach and more bonus perch on a full maggot.
15:30 came and I knew I had a tidy weight but after last weeks guessing game couldn't call it.
Rich said he had around 4lbs and he thought I had at least 8lbs.
The scales came down our way and top weight above us was Darren Gillman the other side of the turning bay with over 8lbs.


Darrens roach bag


Rich did weigh 4lbs plus so he was spot on. When I pulled my net out the guys were surprised at the size of my perch.
My total weight went 11lbs 7oz. Darren took these pic for me.




I had done enough to win the canal section but wasn't sure how Lewis has got on. Rich had told me earlier on that Dean Harvey was admitting to 40lbs of bream at Newbridge.

Back at the Crown Pub it turned out the river had fished really well with two 60lb plus weights. Lewis my partner had just over 10lbs.

Results as follows:

1st River - Warren Bates 66lbs 6oz including a 10lb 6oz barbel (peg 36)
2nd River - Dean Harvey 62lbs 8oz (peg 38)
3rd River - Derek Coles 27lbs (peg 18)

1st Canal - Ivan Currie 11lbs 8oz (peg 1)
2nd Canal - Darren Gillman 8lbs plus (peg 4)

Pairs winners...
Sean Townsend and Dean Harvey

Next week is the Clevedon Clubs Christmas Match at Acorn Fishery and I am giving it a go (not fished a Commercial for a year).









Monday, 5 December 2016

Sunday 4th December - Bristol Commercial House League Christmas Match, Kennet and Avon Canal, Bath.

I was unsure wether to fish this match due to family coming around in the evening but with youngest daughter home from London for the weekend ... she could assist my wife prepare the meal etc so booked in with Nicky the previous weekend.
Only 25 turned up for this match, I think a few more were booked in but due to the cold weather some had decided to stay under the duvet. There was a frost overnight so had to defrost the car at 06:30.
On arrival at the Rugby Club tucked into my favourite black pudding and sausage bap with brown sauce (its an acquired taste) and a tea. Wanted another tea but fishing on the town stretch in Bath with lots of walkers etc there is nowhere to pee.
Talk before the draw was that the Canal would be rock hard today and Kev Dicks turned up with bloodworm and joker that had been ordered by a few. It was good quality Polish stuff and some were very excited when they opened the little paper parcels containing them while having their breakfast.
I have used it a few times myself but done just as good with normal squats, pinkie, caster and worm.
Entry was £20 which included Xmas Fare prizes and Kev ran a £5 super pool which I entered.
I was about halfway in the draw que and when it was my turn I pulled out peg 7. Nicky told me it was   on the ''Long Pond'', I had no idea how to get there but after taking various bits of advice (some good, some ridiculous) i established that I needed to head for Pultney Gardens so Sat Nav it was.
Arrived no problem at all and parked up on the hill leading to the canal towpath. The road was white with frost and therefore very hazardous under foot.
It was only a short walk to the canal but hard to find the white peg card in the frosty grass (thanks Vince Lunn for your assistance).

 

my view towards Bath (bit frosty)


tunnel my left leading to a lock and Horseshoe pond


Nicky Goodhind passed me on her way towards her peg and said that my peg was where Nige Evans had 14lb odd the other week and peg 6 were young Cal was Tim Ford has his match winning 15lb odd. I said to Nicky its a different day today with the frost and clear bright conditions.
I had not fished this part of the canal before but was very please with the draw. There was plenty of room and far bank cover in the form of brambles.
3 rigs were set up today, a 4x14 for the track at 9 meters in about 4 foot of water for fishing the punch, same set up but for fishing at 13 meters at 10:00 and 14:00 just at the bottom of the far shelf in about 3 foot of water and a little chop float for fishing up on the far shelf about a meter out from the bank where it was around 2 feet deep. All rigs had 20 hooks and 0.10 fluro.
On the bait tray was red squats, pinkie, red maggot, worm and bread.
At the start I fed a small pot of liqqy bread and then cupped in chop and caster on the far shelf and fed my two other lines with squat and caster in a mix of black lake and noire.
Starting on a 4 mm piece of punched bread I expected the float to sail away. It didn't. Glancing down to you Cal on 6 he was already swinging in a small roach which he caught short on bread. I persevered but after 20 mins on the bread I had not had a single indication. Cal however had about 5 by this time!
I picked up my far shelf rig and put a fluro pinkie on, the float buried straight away and to my surprise it was a small chub of around 4 ozs. I took a few more chub on this line before it went quiet due to a boat coming down and the lock opening making the swim a bit like a jacuzzi with bubbles and whirl pools everywhere. I waited until the boat had come down and passed and re-fed all my lines. the bread line was fed with chop and caster with a few squats.
I started again on my 10:00 line where I took, dace, gudgeon, bull head, roach and perch but they were quite small but at least I was putting fish in the net. Young Cal was struggling now.
I took a look again on the far shelf and was soon back catching chublet's, a few were net fish as well.

It must have been around 13:00 ish when Nigel Wyatt came down the towpath for a walk from upstream (this is unusual). He asked how I was getting on and I said I thought I had around 8lbs. Nigel said that up above they were all struggling and he had only had a few bites but Jeff Surman in Horseshoe Pond had a couple of big chub (2lbs odd a piece). He walked on down to see the others and on return said others down their were also struggling.
After he went my peg switched off on all lines and for the remainder of the match I only caught the odd small fish which would cost me.
At 15:00 the ''all out'' was called and while I was packing up Mike Goodhind came down and said the favoured ''tunnels'' area was dire today and that an otter had now taken up residence which accounted for the poor fishing. his section was won with 5ozs!!!! The ''Richardsons wharf area had also fished poor for most.
The scales came up and Vince Lunn was the best in our area with 6lbs 13oz after that it was 2lbs 15oz.
My net went 5lbs 15oz, I had a lot of fish but the chub tend to be a bit hollow.


Not bad for a cold day

Back at the Rugby Club it was clear a lot had really struggled and i don't think that blood worm and joker made any difference.

Top 6 as follows:

1st   Jeff Surman 8lbs 11oz, well done mate
2nd  Shane Caswell 8lbs 4oz
3rd   Vince Lunn 6lbs 13oz
4th   Ivan Currie 5lbs 15oz
5th   Kev Dicks 5lbs 5oz
6th   Sean Townsend 4lbs 6oz

As they only paid top 3 I was just out of the main money but got my section by default plus 10 cans Thatchers, 18 cans of John Smiths and a big box of biscuits.
Followed by Christmas Dinner when I got home and few beers.

Back on the Bristol Avon next week at Newbridge for the Bathampton Christmas Match.








Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sunday 27th November - Bristol Commercial House League Round 4 Bristol Avon Newbridge to Saltford.

I had only fished one of the 3 previous matches in this long standing league due to holidays and was looking forward to getting back on the river following the heavy rain and flooding last weekend into Monday. I had not seen the river but word was it was very clean with a bit of pace and a tinge of colour. The Newbridge section would be the place to draw today with bream the main target.
At the beginning of the week we were one angler short but Sam managed to convince Mark Thorne to come along and help us out. Mark is primarily a commercial angler and had not fished the river before. After captain Chris Hook sent the team sheet out in the latter part of the week it was quickly followed by another amendment with Steve Hutchinson replacing Sean Partridge. At least we had a full team of 6.
I did fancy the Norfolk Reeds area but Chris came back with the team draw and I found myself on F3 which is about halfway along in the section know as ''the trees'' at Salford and walkable from the Rugby Club where the draw was. Not too bad an area and usually plenty of roach.
When I saw the river for the first time I was pleasantly surprised. It looked very fishable and the pole would be an option depending on my peg.
Space between the pegs appeared to be quite generous although Thatchers Tony Gilbert was not that far away on F4 (I do seem to be drawing the same section as Tony, 3 times in the last 4 matches).
My peg was fine as far as pace of the river was concerned and a 3.5 gram float was able to cope along a crease on the bank side of the main flow at 11 meters. Depth was just over top 4 so I set two identical rigs up top 5. Yellow and red tipped float and a 5 and a 6 elastic. Two feeder rods also set up, dutch master with a 40 gram and my trusty drennan with a 30 gram. Both had wide gap 14 hooks to 0.15 power line.


At 10:00 5 balls laced with chopped worm, caster, hemp and squats went in on the pole line. I decided not to put any feed in on the feeder line (halfway across) until I saw how the pole line went. 
After a couple of trots down I had a 4 oz roach on double red maggot which was encouraging. I added a few more roach over the next half an hour and then topped the line up with another small ball of ground bait. A few better roach were caught and worth netting. Tony came up to see if I was catching and said he only had a couple of small roach so I knew I was ahead of him at this point anyway. Soon after the angler upstream of me came down for a walk and was admitting to around 2lbs. I think we were about 2 hours into the match. The fish seemed to be a little bit further out and down the peg more so topped up again with two small balls. I caught a few more decent roach on pinkie but it was painfully slow. 
I guess it was around 13:00 when I picked the tip rod up and filled there feeder with plenty of worm and caster and half a lob worm on the hook. I was re-casting every 5 minutes or so and missed a drop back bite after 20 minutes. Another bite came next cast and I connected with a solid force that slowly started to move. It turned out to be a decent skimmer bream about 2lbs or slightly less.
Regular casting and lots of chopped worm brought me two perch around a pound each over the next 11/2 hours. I did miss another rattle of the tip due to being distracted by a dog walker behind me.
I did have a look now and again on the pole line but decided to finish the rest of the match on the tip. 
5 minutes before the ''all out'' at 15:00 i had what looked like a slow pull on the tip. I hit it on the second indication and thought I had a bream but it turned out to be a tidy eel of a 1lb plus.
After packing the gear up I walked downstream to meet the scales. Lance Tucker had just weighed 7lb 9oz and the next best with 4 anglers still to weigh was 4lbs odd. I wasn't sure I could beat Lance.
Tony was next to weigh and had 2lb 12oz. I knew he had had a bit of a mare today as he kept swapping methods all day trying to find some fish.
When I pulled my net out I knew it would be close between Lance and I. It was, my net went 8lbs 3ozs.


Those feeder caught fish gave me the edge in a tough section

I caught up with the scales for the last two anglers who had struggled so my section win was confirmed.


F Section weigh board

Back at the Rugby Club the rest of the team met up. Chris won his section up at Newbridge with 13lbs of bream, Lewis was second in his section as was Steve. Sam and Mark had barely a pound each and finished bottom in theirs.

There were a couple of decent bream weights up the Newbridge end as I expected.

Individuals .......
1st    Rob Mann  60lb 13oz
2nd   Rich Lacey 35lbs 01oz
3rd   Paul Purchase 30lbs 12oz

Teams......

A Div 
1st   Thatchers B
2nd equal...M&N, Mosella A, Mosella B
5th  Thatchers A

B Div
1st   Sensas Nomads
2nd  Maver
Not sure about 3rd and 4th places 

Next Sunday back on the canal in Bath for the Commercial House Christmas match.





Monday, 21 November 2016

Sunday 20th November - Angling Trust SW Div Winter League, Kennet and Avon Canal Bath / Bathampton

This was the final round of the Angling Trust Winter League in the SW and was held on the town sections of Bath as well as 3 sections at Bathampton.
I was guesting again for Sensas Nomads who are a great bunch of lads and who take their fishing seriously. When I was asked to fish for them I did not think I would be able to make all the dates but I did and just going into this last match I was equal 4th individually, Rich Whitmarsh was 6th and a number of others in the team were in the top 15 out of 40 anglers, pretty good performance I would say.
As a team we were lying in 3rd place and had no chance of wining the league overall. The experience of Mosella Bathampton and Preston Innovations Thatchers was evident throughout the matches although we did upset the apple cart on the 5th round when we won the day by a convincing margin.
The town sections through Bath were the favoured area's to draw and I managed to be allocated peg D3 in an area known as the ''tunnels'' down stream of Darlington Wharf. I think the area is called Sydney Gardens. I had not fished this section before but checked my understanding of where to go before leaving the Rugby Club. I parked easy enough and headed down to Darlington Wharf, through the tunnel under the main road and then into what I can only describe as the ''Victorian'' past. It was very quaint and a bit like stepping back in time with little bridges and a park area. My peg did not look that spectacular but Paul Purchase who was on D2 told me he won a match off it the previous year with 14lbs of skimmers (apparently all caught in the first hour on bread).

 

You can see why the section is called the ''tunnels''

Due to the variation in with of the canal in this area and with the bridges and tunnels we virtually all had end pegs.  The towpath behind us was quite narrow so had to be careful due to the walkers and cyclist's. 
set up was simple for me today with just 3 rigs. Two identical rigs for down the track at 10:00 and 14:00 just in case I trashed one (4x14 to an 18 to 0.08) and one for halfway up the far shelf at around 11 meters (a drennan choppy float to an 18 to 0.10).
On the ''all in'' at 10:00 I fed a small pot of bread on the 10:00 line and a half pot of chop and caster with a few squats across.
Starting on a piece of 5mm punch down the track I had a bite straight away and missed it, this happened for the next 3 or 4 put ins before catching a roach around 2ozs.  I had quite a few of these fish on the bounce and as I glanced down towards Paul and Tom Moratti I could see that they were having a similar stamp of fish.
I suppose it was 30 mins in before I had a proper fish which pulled out the no. 3 elastic about a foot. a decent roach of around 8 ozs was the culprit and it was safely netted. Just as I put it in the net i could see Tom netting a decent fish as well.
I had a few more proper roach over the next hour before latching into a skimmer of around a pound....had they arrived? 
Well some did and I had about 5 of them, still on the 10:00 line. They were not big but most welcome.
The 10:00 line then slowed up so went across on the far shelf and managed a couple more tidy roach. A boat went through and seemed to have killed the line so I re-fed and went in on my 14:00 line which I had not fed. A small ball of ground bait and squats with pinkie on the hook soon had me adding more small roach. I had kept looking towards Paul and Tom every so often but they did not appear to be catching as much as myself.
For the remainder of the match I just keep swapping around all 3 lines and picked up fish throughout.
I estimated I had around 7lbs.
When the scales came to me they registered 8lbs 2oz which I was happy with and don't think I could have had much more from the peg. 


My 8lbs 2ozs (almost looks as if I am carrying out a bodily function).


Tom and Paul above me had 6lbs and 7lbs plus respectfully.
Rich Lacey and Nigel Evans were in our section but not in the ''tunnels''. They were at Darlington Wharf and had better weights of 9lbs and 10lbs.


My section board...well done to Nigel

Back at the Rugby Club the results started coming in and the section nearer the town had fished well and as expected. Tim Ford made no mistakes and took 15lbs from 'A' section winning the match overall.
Organiser Mark Harper showed me the section by section results and they would have put a lot of rivers to shame with double figures required to win most sections and good backing weights.

Individuals on the day.....

1st    Tim Ford 15lbs 12oz
2nd   Nigel Evans 14lbs 12oz  same section as Tim.
3rd    Mark Harper 12lbs 4oz

League overall....
1st    P I Thatchers
2nd  Mosella Bathampton
3rd   Sensas Nomads
4th   Jerrys
5th   Amalgamation

Over the series of 6 matches .......

Senses had 3 individual winners
Won a round on the canal
Approx 8 sections winners
We had a good few anglers in the top 1/3 individually

Certainly something to build on for next year and thank you for making me welcome.

Huge thanks to Mark Harper and those who assisted with pegging etc. I enjoyed it tremendously.