Roy in the middle giving the thumbs up after qualifing (pic from Angling Trust)
Roy fished for Sensas Thyers and came second in the Commercial House Knock Out competition this year. He will be sadly missed on the natural venue circut.
I have always been aware of this match but for some reason never got around to fishing it. Tradionally it does throw up big bags of bream and anglers were asked to bring two nets. The draw was on the bank down by by Pump House (peg 20 ish) so no coffee, tea and food facilites... bit like the old days. I called into the 'golden arches' on the Bath Road out of Bristol for a plastic wrap filled with deep fried hash browns, sauage (looked more like a dog turd) and a rubber egg along with a coffee which filled a hole and had the desired effect so a visit to the looe (directed to the disabled facilites by the cleaner!) and off I went arriving on the bank at 08:10 for a 08:30 draw. Team Captain Chris Hook arrived shortly after and we also entered the pairs. 45 or so anglers were booked in so very good for a Saturday. Word was that a match on the Thursday was won witth over 100lb.
The river was very cold and very clear despite the rain on Thursday. The draw was a well organised free for all, I did get to the bait tub eventually and picked out 52, happy days I thought and at least I was in the right area. Chris did not have far to walk as he had a peg more or less were he had parked, 18 I think? The pegging was all the way to the 70's and if you drew this area it was a case of walking and keep going. The walk I had was also long but flat and no fences. As I was setting up Paul Purchase passed me and said there must be some fish here if you've drawn it. Paul was on 54 and it was a better peg with form, Paul Issac's was on 56, another good peg with form and mush wider on a bend.
All set up on 52
The match started at 10:00 and was due to finish at 16:30 ! A long day if you were not catching. I had plenty of worm and caster along with 3kgs of groundbait already mixed with plenty of dry in reserve if needed. I only set up 2 feeder rods so it was all or nothing, most done the same.
On the all in I decided not to ball it in but cast the feeder every 5 minutes two thirds across as well as halfway. I stuck to this and was probably the most disciplined match I have fished for a long time. The first 2 hours went without an indication, I could also see Paul on 54 was also fishless. I had a phone call from Chris after two and half hours to say he only had a roach and most around him were blanking so not good but early days. On the three hour mark I thought I had a bite, struck, nothing and the bait was untouched so back out in hope but nothing. The rest of match went like this and then I saw Paul on 54 land a bream, not sure of the time but it was late. At 15:30 I had a good pull around, struck and bream on (lucky I was still awake). After a good fight a fine specimen was netted and was looking forward to another. I knew from bank walkers not much had been caught. I did have a rattler around 16:10 but it did not materialise to anything and that was it. By the all out I was freezing.
Here are my section results.......
Paul Issacs had 6 fish for 25lb odd
Paul Purchase had 3 fish for 20lb odd (2 of them over 7lb)
Both Pauls framed
So on the face of it weights ok ish but not huge numbers of fish give it was a six and a half hour match. Tim Ford has the match results on his blog, you will also have Tims view of the day concerning the match http://cluckerspeg.blogspot.co.uk/
Well that's it for another season, unsure were to go next week.