Up well early and at the Langport Arms by 8 ‘o’ clock for the draw. As captain I have to draw for the team and once again I didn’t make a particularly good job of it with no end pegs and the weigh boards. My team , Chard Remains, drew team Focus in the knockout, they are a good team with the likes of Scott Russell and Steve Bishop and would be hard to beat. My peg for the ensuing five hours was D4 at Coombe. This stretch hadn’t fished too well in the previous two matches. Got to my peg and there was duckweed everywhere but also loads of fish moving.
Had time to make a rig up, set up a one gram Drennan Tipo with a spread shot bulk, 0.08mm bottom and size 18 Kamasan B511. Didn’t set up a whip or waggler. The match kicked off at 10:15 and I cupped in two balls of Sensas Noire on the 7 metre line. Feeding hemp and maggot I was getting the odd roach and small skimmer but the duckweed was proving to be a nightmare and it was a real job to lay the rig in without getting weed on the hook. Steve Bishop and Baz Morgan to my right seemed to be catching well. After an hour I had 18 fish for around a pound but the weed was reaching impossible proportions. The three pegs to my left were around a slight bend and the wind was blowing the duckweed round the bend where it was piling up and the anglers on these pegs were really struggling.
Because of the weed I was now just fishing with my top four and flicking the rig out in between the weed and I was starting to catch well , with most of my fish coming on the drop. I kept clearing the area in front of me with my landing net and had an impressive pile of weed on the bank next to me. Going into the third hour was still catching lots of roach, small skimmers, hybrids along with the odd gudgeon and motherless minnow. Was getting the odd better roach but a pike had started to show an interest and I had lost a couple of fish (plus hooklengths) to the toothy critter. I was regretting not setting a whip up as this would have made getting those fish out a lot easier.
With the fish going about twenty to the pound I set my sights on 100 for around 5lb which would have been a good weight for this section on previous results. In the fourth hour the heavens opened and as I didn’t have a coat (it was scorching hot at the start) I got soaked. To compound things the pike was still snaffling fish and then my landing net pole snapped in half whilst doing some more weed clearing! There were loads of fish in front of me and I was getting a bite every put in, the trouble was I was missing and bumping loads and every better roach I hooked the pike would nab.
I reached my target of 100 fish with half an hour to go, by the all out I had 132 and in my heart I knew I should have done better. I’m sure a good whip angler would have had double figures off my peg. I followed the scales and when the anglers to my left weighed 3lb, 1lb and 2lb odd I knew I’d beaten that. My fish weighed 6lb 12oz, Steve Bishop weighed 7lb 8oz (I really should have had that), Barry Morgan plonked 10lb+ on the scales and the last two pegs weighed 3lb and 5lb something. So I was third in the section and got seven points for the team.
Back at the results Nicky Collins and Alan Dunn both came back with section wins (and nine points apiece), Andy had four and Les Braunton was last in his section and would be dropped for the next match. With my seven points this gave us a total of 31 points, we ended up joint second on the day behind Focus who also knocked us out of the knockout with 33 points. I picked up £15 for my section third.
The league standings were read out and Chard Remains are in joint second with 12 points behind Focus who are leading with 5. Next Sunday is round four on Stathe drain, can we knock a hole in Focus’s lead or at least consolidate our second place?
Results for Chard Remains so far
Round one – River Parrett – 7th on the day – 7th overall
Round two – River Parrett – 3rd on the day – 3rd overall
Round three – River Parrett – jnt 2nd on the day – jnt 2nd overall
The team for next week is