Due to the high tide being 09:53 we decided to have the draw at 09:30 and fish 11:00 to 16:00 that way the river would flow towards the sea for the majority of the match and give anglers time to set up in the mud (lol that's what puts anglers off but believe me its worth it).
11 booked in for the match and 6 were newcomers (due to the publicity). but they were aware of how to fish it and we gave them some additional advice before the draw although I knew it would be a learning curve for them.
Scott pegged 5 below Kenn Rd. Bridge and 6 above. There was at least one peg between each angler and access was easy from the car park. £10 all in and no peg fee we decided to pay £50, £40, £30 which everyone was happy with. Wrong.. that adds up to £120 and we had £110... I knew that Irish 'O' Level would stand me in good stead. Changed to £50, £35, £25.
Life member Kev Perry was early into the draw and drew peg 1, this is the peg Scott had 11 big bream from a few weeks ago so he appeared happy. I had the last peg which was 7 and two above Kenn Rd Bridge which is the area I blanked from last week but with 7 loaves of very fine liqqy I was confident of catching.
Looking down toward Kenn Rd. Bridge
Looking upstream of my peg
First job on arrival at the peg was to get comfortable in the mud which meant taking the seat box down the fairly steep bank and negotiate the crevasses left by the cows toward the water. Front legs were already extended which made it more tricky. Once levelled the rest was easy as I had two Float Rods already made up. One with a 3BB wire stemmed Avon (bulk shotted and a no. 6 dropper) for when the flow picked up after high tide and the other with a 3AA Waggler to be used for the first couple of hours when the flow was either slow or virtually still. Hooks were size 16's on both rigs as I planned to fish 8mm punch (single and double). I had caster and maggot but they were not used.
There was a downstream wind but at the start it was not too bad, temperature was just warm enough for a sweat shirt only so the fleece stayed up the bank.
On the 'all in' I fed a tennis size ball of liqqy down the middle and started off on the wag with double punch. I had about 3 feet of depth down the middle and held back as the wag slowly trotted downstream, the wind probably had more to do with it moving than the flow of the river. I fed a small golf sized ball of bread every trot down and after about 20 minutes had my first bite which I hit resulting in a 6oz roach... so avoided the blank! I kept looking upstream but could not see the two anglers above me catching. I soon got in a rhythm getting bites on a regular basis and hit everyone of them. At one point I must have had 20 fish from as many runs down the peg. I still kept looking upstream and saw no fish coming to the other anglers. I added some hemp to the liqqy in order to keep the shoal in the peg although I was catching towards the end of the swim. After about two hours the flow as expected picked up so I picked up the wire stem stick rod which was just right for the conditions and after holding back hard was soon hitting bites again.
At this point Kev came up the bank and said he only had one roach from peg 1 and most below the bridge were struggling. He watched me for about 5 minutes and could not believe how solid it was in my peg.
After about 20 mins he came back again informing me that Scott up on end peg 11 was also getting a fish a chuck on the whip and he was admitting to around 40lb! Thought that cannot be right and carried on with the job in hand in my peg. The wind got a bit stronger and it was becoming more difficult to control the float but no other option that to stick with it. I had seen the two pegs above me start to get a few fish as well.
During the second half of the match I had 3 pike attacks which also resulted in a 40 minuter or so quiet spell but kept feeding regularly and got them back right to the end.
On the all out I felt absolutely knackered and my right arm was aching due to mending the line to get presentation right in the downstream wind.
Kev came up and got the van and car keys off Scott and I in order to get the scales and weigh board to start below the bridge. 1lb 7oz was best weight below the bridge. New comer Stu Ball done a respectable 7lb from the first peg above Kenn Rd and had a couple of nice perch, I did take a picture but cannot see the fish properly.
I was next to weigh and thought I had at least 25lb. I was very pleased when the scales registered 30lb 4oz.
Me with 30lb 4oz of quality roach
Andy Deveraux was next and had manged tot get a few in the second half of the match for 7lb 6oz
Club Secretary Barry Fowler was next. Barry just fished caster, hemp and maggot all day but went in second place with 9lb 4oz.
Young Lawrence Morgan was above Barry, it was his first time fishing a river and contacted me via facebook. It was a learning experience for him but he weighed 3lb and enjoyed the day.
Scott on end peg 11 had a tremendous day on the whip fishing bread and ended up with an all roach bag of 48lb 8oz!!!!!
Scott....nice and not a bad days work, hard to beat on any venue.
The guys who came for the first time really had their eyes opened and they are keen to join the Club.
Full results as follows:
1st Scott Smallwood 48lb 8oz (all roach)
2nd Ivan Currie 30lb 4oz (all roach)
3rd Barry Fowler 9lb 4oz