After our fourth place in the last match I was hoping for another decent performance from the team in this match. At the draw I once again managed to avoid any end pegs but thankfully also avoided the dreaded scales or weighboards. My peg was C7 on the Coombe stretch where I’ve done alright in the past.
The river looked in good nick with a tinge of colour and there were lots of small fish topping. I had Parrett expert Baz Morgan on the next peg and as always he would be tough to beat. I set up a five metre whip with a 1.5 gram Drennan Carbo and size 18 B611 plus a 1 gram Drennan Tipo with spread Stotz and a size 20 B511 for fishing at 9 metres. For bait I had bronze and red maggots, casters and hemp, I also mixed up a bag of Sensas Noire.
On the whistle I cupped in two balls at 9 metres and balled in four on the whip line. I started on the whip and caught a small roach first run through which settled the nerves. I caught fairly well for the first hour, mainly small roach with the odd blade skimmer and reached 30 fish for about a pound (well I did say they were small!). Once again the heavens opened and once again I was soaked on a Sunday! The second hour was pretty productive and I started to get some slightly better roach, a switch to caster saw me catch some nice roach but I was missing quite a few bites. I was now on 60 fish and if I could keep catching like this I reckoned 150 fish would give me a decent weight.
Hour three saw me still catching the odd better roach among the blips but it was starting to slow and I got to 86 fish. The fourth hour arrived and I couldn’t get a bite, it was like someone had flicked a switch. I threw another ball of groundbait on the whip line and had a look at 9 metres, after a couple of runs through I knew I wouldn’t catch as the presentation just looked all wrong. Back on the whip and back to catching nowt! An upstream wind was hampering the rigs passage, the anglers either side were catching odd fish and I was losing my way.
I could see odd small fish topping so out of sheer desperation I shallowed my whip rig up to about three foot and had a go for them, I did catch around half a dozen chub but they probably wouldn’t go an ounce between them! I deepened the rig back up and went through the motions and only managed another four roach in the last hour to end with 94 fish.
The scales arrived at C8 and he weighed around four and a half kilos and I knew I was nowhere near that, my fish went 2 kilos 500 grams and when Baz weighed over three kilos I feared the worst. The next two anglers weighed one kilo something so at least I had a few points. The angler on C2 had a bream to beat me by 30 grams and the Team Focus angler on the other end peg had sacked up with bream to weigh over eight kilos. I ended up with five points (out of a possible nine) which was middle of the road.
I got back to the pub and the team had fared poorly, Nicky had 6 points, Dunner 5, Andy 3 and Dave 2 to give us a grand total of 21 points and 7th place on the day which is not good with only 8 teams fishing! We dropped to 7th in the league and we now need four good results in the remaining matches to stand any chance of a podium place. I think it’s a steep hill to climb. Our big rivals Team Focus won on the day with a fantastic 39 points (out of a possible 45).
Next week it’s back to Dillington so hopefully I can catch a few then.