Todays practice match saw a good turn out as some anglers have not fished the Spring League on the canal so were keen to pick up a few tips.
Senses Lobby's Andy Jane was running the match instead of Mark Treasure so fair play to Andy as its a thankless job.
With other Team members having commitments I was the only one fishing. I drew 269 and was aware it was at the Pilot Inn end and on arrival found myself on the upstream half of Tanker Bay.
Welsh International Nigel Evans was on my right on 271 by the turning bay. DGL's Troy Weaver was on my left on 267 but had to move up a bit due to a moored boat.
I was advised to fish against the pilons for the bream which was a fair old chuck and due to people walking along the far bank feeding bread to the ducks and swans. in addition set up a 13 metre and 5 metre line. it was about top 4 1/2 at 13 metres and top 3 1/2 at 5 metres so quite a nice depth.
I cupped in 2 balls at 13 metres and 1 at 5 metres beginning on the tip across, Nigel did the same. Over the last few weeks an hour on more has gone by before getting my first bite on the tip and today was no exception. I missed a rattle an hour in but think it was only a small fish as the dead red was just nipped.
Nigel on the other hand did not stick the tip for long and was soon into small skimmers perch and roach fishing the pole at 11 meters.
I came in on the 13 metre line after and hour and a quarter and had an eel first put in. No more bites after 15 minutes so re-fed and back out on the tip which sat motionless. Nigel pole line also dried up but he did have a small skimmer on the tip.
I tried the 5 metre line now and then but had another eel.
With and hour to go I just stuck it out on the tip and added two more eels. Nigel had a bonus bream with 20 minutes to go on the tip which almost doubled his weight.
I did not weigh as I knew I was way out of the top two payouts in the Section, I had about 2lb at the most. I have since learned that the peg did not produce much the previous week and I would approach it differently next time.
Nigel weighed 10lb 4oz for a Section win and 3rd overall which shows how hard it was. He fished a tidy match and read it right.
Nigel with his catch.
Gary Cross was 2nd in the Section with 8lb 4oz, 1 bream on the pole and one on the tip late in the match plus 3 eels after that the weights averaged 3lb.
Top weight today was 28lb off 238 with 16lb second off 210.
As for Teams who had not fished the canal for a while..... I am not sure anything was gained.
Nigel did give me some advice though and it seemed to work ........... ''open a bag of sweeties and you'll get a bite'' (in a South Wales accent).
Will try to get out somewhere in the week but the weather looks horrendous.