Monday, 22 May 2017

Sunday 21st May - Practice Match Gloucester Canal, Rea Bridge to Pilot Inn

This match was advertised earlier in the week on Facebook so sent a text out to the Team to let them know as we would be on the same stretch for the final round of the Spring League 28th May.
Due to commitments it was only Team Captain Chris Hook, new signing Dave Hoskin and myself that could make it.
Draw was at McDonalds Bristol Rd 08;00.

As I approached the turn off for McDonalds I could see the road ahead and on the new Hempstead Swing Bridge was closed by police.
According to Gloucestershire Live 2 vehicles were involved and 3 people including an 8 year old girl was taken to hospital so hope they recover ok.

Photo from ''Gloucestershire Live''

There was another match on at Hempstead and the anglers could not get to it, they were hold up in McDonalds. Our stretch on the canal was south so unaffected by the closure.

So... on to the draw.... talk was pegs in the 220's would be the place to be today. Chris goes and draws 220! I draw 212 and Dave draws 194. Chris and I head for the Pilot Inn and walk upstream, Dave goes in at Rea Bridge.
Chris follows me but Sat Nav took me into a housing estate on the other side of the canal but we got there in the end. it was a long walk whatever end we decided to come in on and after a few breaks we got to Chris's peg on a big bend. Match organiser Andy Jane was next door on 222 and told us he fished it for a few hours very early the day before and had about 30lbs on the pole. I was told I was probably out of it by a number of anglers as I passed them, they were not too optimistic either.

Got to 212 and to be honest it looked nice across with a few lilly's, a gap then a tree. I had loads of time to set up so after stripping down to the T Shirt I set about the uncomplicated task of setting up the feeder and a pole rig at 13 meters. The distance I had clipped up from the last match was perfect so job done and only a minor adjustment needed to the top 5 rig for down the track.
Ground bait for both lines had been semi prepared the night before and I was ready with 45 minutes to go.

I took a walk down to Chris and saw that he had the same set up plus a top 5 with a bait dropper. Andy elaborated a little more on his session the previous morning but did not say which peg he had fished. With 15 minutes to the all in I headed back. As I passed Dave Clapton on 214 he was shouting at a cyclist who was going too fast down the narrow tow path in his own unique manner (lol, he gave more words of advice during the rest of the day!). He also said we would not catch much.

I cupped in 4 big heavy balls down the track at the start then went over on the tip, far shelf to the right of the lilly's. I had a rattle 3rd cast and hit it connecting with a perch of around 6oz so blank avoided. 
A large fish rolled down the middle on 214.
Dave below me had started on the tip as well and also had a n early perch but was soon on what looked like 5 meters out on the pole and caught a small roach. I gave it an hour and fifteen minutes on the tip without any indications so went on the pole. I think it was around about then when Dave landed a good bream on the tip and that as far as I could see was the best so far.
After a few minutes my float sailed away and small skimmer of around a pound graced the landing net. I had a couple of dips on the float but nothing positive so fed another big ball and went back out on the tip with 2 dead reds. 
I had an indication straight away and left it. The tip then went right around and it was a big skimmer of 2lbs. Casting out again my tip took ages to bend slightly as the feeder dropped through the water. I thought this is not right thinking it had hit some floating debris so I struck only to discover a bream of around 3lbs had taken it on the drop! Happy days.
I stayed on the tip for the next hour and missed a couple of bites, think some were liners and one or two I couldn't hit properly due to boats passing through.

Back on the pole I added another couple of skimmers a perch, eel and a ruffe before it dried up so re-fed.

The rest of the match was fished swapping between the two lines every 45 minutes and I did get a few more big skimmers on the tip before the all out. I had not seen much caught so thought i had done OK.

Andy was doing the weighing in and I was last to weigh in the Section. Alan Jones DGL who was on end peg 238 just around the bend was best with 19lbs 4oz, I knew I did not have that.
The scales registered 13lbs 5oz for me so a pick up was coming as the payout was top 2 overall and top 2 in each Section.

Todays catch

Chris struggled today having only one bite which gave him an eel. Dave also found it hard going at Rea with 1lb 4oz.

A and B Section Sheets as follows..... you can see the amount of DNW and Blanks.

Top 6 as follows:

1st Troy Weaver DGL 28lb 10oz - A Sect
2nd Mark Traves Sensas Strike 27lb 15oz - A Sect
3rd Alan Jones DGL 19lb 11oz - B Sect
4th Aaron Nash 17lb 12oz - A Sect
5th Ivan Currie Maver Cadbury Angling 13lb 5oz - B Sect
6th Andy Jane Sensas Lobbys 11lb 12oz - B Sect


Back on the Gloucester Canal next Sunday, probably fish the Bristol Feeder Canal Tuesday and evening match at Acorn Thursday.

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