I was looking forward to this one after having two bad days last weekend but the weather was bitterly cold and this combined with a low, gin clear river, didn’t bode well. At the draw it was announced that some pegs at Red Bridge were to be used and I was really hoping I didn’t draw there as I’ve never caught much whenever I fished this stretch. I hung back in the queue and after I heard three pegs at Red Bridge had gone I thought it would be safe to stick my hand in the bucket. How wrong can you be? I pulled my hand out to find peg 107 stuck to it, poxing Red Bridge!
After sorting my bait out, off I went. I got there and the biting wind was blowing straight in my face and all the pegs are perched on top of the banks with no cover whatsoever – great! My peg actually looked ok with a tree opposite which looked like it might hold a few fish. Without much time before the start I quickly set up a 1.5 gram Carbo and plumbed up, a nice depth also got my hopes up. I baited up with double red maggot and shipped out to 10 metres to inch the rig through. I fully expected to catch small fish straight away but after an hour I hadn’t had a bite and I just knew I wasn’t going to catch.
It was time for a walk and a coffee to try and warm up, it was certainly the coldest I’ve been for ages. Alvin was below me and he hadn’t had a bite either, Graham Field was below him and he was fishless also. All three of us trooped down to see Robin Cox on the only decent peg down here, peg 110. He wasn’t bagging either but at least he was getting the odd roach although pike were grabbing most of them. Just after we arrived he had a small roach on, only for a big snapper to grab it. We left him tying on yet another hooklength.
I gave it another go, trying maggot and caster but still nothing and it wasn’t long before I was walking again. All three of us were still dry netting and I really couldn’t see me staying for the duration. Rob walked up to see how we were getting on and when he phoned Martin Heard, who was on yet another flier (peg 66), who reported he’d had four chub and lost one, enough was enough and I packed up. I can’t remember the last time I’d gone for an early bath but I reckon I could still be there now and I wouldn’t have caught anything. Well my league is already buggered after only three matches so I’ll have to wait until next season to see if I can win it.
I phoned Rob later to get the results and Martin had paralysed it with 15lb 2oz of chub. The river had fished really hard though and loads had not troubled the scalesman. Roger Russell again did well catching 7lb 6oz of small fish from 125 for second place and Dave Lawrence was third with 3lb 13oz from 128. My nemesis Janders stuffed up peg 126, only weighing 2oz although it was still enough to take a pound off me for the third week running. So after three rounds and dropping the worst result, Roger and Martin are topping the league with two points, God knows where I am? Next weeks got to be better hasn’t it?
1 – Martin Heard (Tiverton) – 15lb 2oz
2 – Roger Russell (Ilminster) – 7lb 6oz
3 – Dave Lawrence (Chard) – 3lb 13oz
4 – Neil Dring (Ilminster) – 2lb 14oz
5 – Pete Lonton (Ilminster) – 2lb 11oz