Wednesday 8 March 2023

The first post of 2023......

I have not fished many matches this year hence the lack of activity on this Blog.

I did fish a match on the Gloucester Canal back in early January but I basically went, drew peg 31, sat in the rain for 5 hours and caught very very little as you do on that peg. the 40's dominated as usual.

I also fished a Clevedon Club match on the River Kenn recently, drew the wrong area and blanked as did 9 others around me.

I have however had my best winter on the River Kenn. It's not comfortable fishing as you need to stand in the mud due to the level being dropped to half its depth (average 3 to 4 foot in winter, Dec - March).

I have adapted a few bits of tackle of make it more comfortable especially my waterproof side tray with broom handles!

The last few years I simply used a ground bait bowl on a ring combined with a broom handle but everything got we when it rained. This way is much better and you can bring a long more items down to the water with you to save climbing up and down the bank, the top of which is generally at head height.

I prefer neoprene chest waders due to the rise and fall of the tide plus they are warmer than ordinary waders.

Like I said the roach fishing has been out of this world as well as good catches of tench and big perch.

I was lucky to catch roach of 2lb 15 and 2lb 13 in the one session which won the Canal and River Trust catch of the month for January.

The following week I had another going a level 2lb and another of 1lb 10 in a lovely mixed bag.

The most tench I have had this year in a session has been 4, lovely fish which go some on the waggler.

The River Kenn fished best late January to mid February after the previous heavy rain. The fish like a bit of flow and tripping a 2.5 gram waggler through a few inches over depth and feeding red maggot seems to work best. Two years ago in February I had 11 tench for 52lb when it was minus 2 degrees.

In terms of total weight in a session on the Kenn I have had around 40lbs twice this winter.

I have had a couple of session when I have blanked searching out new area's and a couple of sessions where I have just caught the odd tench but worth the wait and enjoyable.


It was nice to see some of the Club's new and younger members on the river this winter James Howell took this little video of me catching a tench.

Sunday just gone I fished the Lower Bristol Avon Champs, Newbridge to the Tree's at Saltford organised by Ben Rendall and Dean Harvey.

Team mate Sam Johnson and I booked in for this one even though it's usually feast or famine.

There had been some 50 / 60lb weights recently and a report of 120lb recently in the area.

The draw was in Stothert and Pitt Rugby Club Car Park from 07:45. On arrival there were some very good hardened river anglers there from across the West.

When the draw got under way Sam and I were about a half way down the queue. Ben took the money and Dean was in charge of the draw bowl. When I opened my paper peg card I was delighted to see peg 8 which today was permanent peg 18. This peg has real form and you can park behind your peg, the only trouble is the Rowing Club is directly opposite.

Sam drew down Newbridge straight somewhere which is a iffy area but ....Warren Bates did have 26 bream down there somewhere on the waggler during the week!

Off we went and I did manage to park behind peg 18, lovely.

I had loads of time and managed to gain some information concerning where to fish as I had never drawn it before.

I had 4 loaves of liquidised but Derek Coles who is a bream human hybrid advised me to just use ground bait as the bread might spook the bream in the low clear water. Sam said the same.

I took their advice and mixed up Sensas Black Lake and Sensas Black River 50/50, a really nice mix.
I had plenty of worm, maggot and caster. Only set up 2 feeder rods both with 25 gram feeders, 6lb main line and a big 14 hook to 5lb hook length, proper hauling gear.

Below me on peg 20 I had Bridgwater Angling Centres Shane Robinson, above me on 16 was Bristol Avon legend Tim Ford and above Tim on 14 was match organiser supremo Ben Rendall. What a line up.

As I was setting up another angler who was behind the Pump House came up and asked if I had a spare Landing Net Handle. I did and loaned him it.

Fishing today was 1030 - 1530 and I was ready with an hour to go. 

It was dry, hardly any wind but was very cold.

There wasn't much activity over at the rowing Club and those that were there were pretty mature people, it's the learners that cause the issues as well as the safety boat.

The whistle went and I cast a maggot and worm cock tail into the middle, I left it for 5 minutes before bringing it in and re-cast. Same again, another 5 minute cast and re-cast, left it a bit longer this time and the tip went round, bream on. The fish was around 4lb and Tim saw me get the net out.

Darren Gillman came down the bank and was behind Tim for a while and then came down to me. I told him I had one, Darren said Tim had one as well. He stayed around for a while between me and Tim and when he left I think we had 9 bream each but when he saw me net a couple he thought that my fish were a bigger stamp.

I wasn't putting a lot in the feeder as the fish were clearly there but did cast regularly, well I had to as I was basically getting a fish every 10 minutes.

Dave Micklewright also came for a walk along the bank. Dave had been down in the Tree's section and said it was poor so packed up.
He watched Tim and I catch for a while and reported that Ben was getting a few but Shane down on peg 20 wasn't catching.

Towards the end of the match Shane did start catching.

Tim came down for a pee behind my van and said he was stuck on 17 bream, I said I was on 22 and had a second net in.

Well the bream feast continued and I ended up with 32 of them, what a day, my best on the Bristol Avon.

Ben was first to weigh and put 85lb on the scales.

Tim was next and had a total of 91lb

Me next and thanks to the guys for the help getting the nets out and putting fish back.
I ended up with 159lbs.

Shane on 20 had something like 6 fish for 43lbs.

What a day over 4 pegs.


1st Me - 159lbs
2nd Tim - 91lbs
3rd Ben - 85lbs

Iv'e even got St. Patrick shining down on my head here lol

I was meant to pleasure fish the Kenn today but the snow stopped that. There was also meant to be a knock up at Newbridge tomorrow (Thursday) but that's been cancelled.

Next up is a small Club match on the River Kenn this Sunday.


  1. Hi Ivan, is that Nufish tray solid sided / bottomed, or collapsible? I like the fact that you can make it free standing, albeit with broom handles lol - great for more natural venues. Any downsides to it?