My alarm went off at 4am for this match so that I had enough time to get to the venue and peg the match length. However, I still had enough time for a breakfast and also a quick dash with a couple more pegs that I needed to add to the end of the match length when a couple of extra people tipped up without booking in. I had peg B7 pulled out of the bag with my name on and I knew straight away that I would be up against it, I briefed Pez and Dave the best I could remember on their pegs and then travelled down to my peg.
The swim was a standard straight bit of canal, I had the bend to my right that usually contained a few better skimmers so I was hoping that perhaps one or two of them might stray as far as me, however, due to the recent frosts the colour had dropped out of the water drastically and I was in two minds as to even try for them. I set up a bread rig, 4ft deep at 4m, 0.12mm mainline to a 0.08mm bottom and a 20 B511 with a 0.6g pencil float and no.5 elastic through 3 sections. I also set up a deck squatt rig of a 0.1mm mainline, 0.07mm bottom and a 22 B590 with a 0.3g Classic 6 on no.3 elastic and an on the drop rig that consisted of the same line and hook but a slim browning float and no.2 elastic. I had a small overhanging bush at 14 m to my right so I set up a worm rig for that line on Pink Reflex elastic, 0.14mm mainline, 0.12mm bottom and a 16 wide gape match under a 0.5g FP500 float; this was also the same depth as under my keepnet so a second worm line was planned for there. I had a bit of time left after mixing my groundbait and prepping my caster, so I set up a skimmer rig and a bread rig for in the reeds on the far bank, the skimmer rig was 0.12mm mainline to a 0.1mm bottom and an 18 wide gape match under a 4X16 Chimp on No.5 elastic. The bread rig was the same as the close in rig but under a 4X12 float and no.3 elastic.
Before I knew it the all in was upon me and I potted in a Satsuma of licky with a bit of loose bread in on my 4m line, and then I shipped across to my 11.5m line with 4 balls of groundbait laced with squatt, dead pinkie and a few caster. I then dropped my bread rig in at 4m and awaited results, after 40 mins I had had 25 fish all on bread but had over fed the swim (again) so decided to try the squatt line, before I started on this line though I fed 10 worms and a pinch of caster under the tree. Back on the squatt line and I was straight into fish, however, at 25 to the pound I was going nowhere fast and decided to concentrate on catching a skimmer after the guys to either side of me had one. This proved to be the worst thing I could have done and over the last couple of hours I managed a couple of small perch on the worm lines and some small roach that hung themselves on big maggot.
The match was over before I knew it but not before the heavens opened and soaked us all, I had managed to catch 1.560Kg but this was only enough for 6th out of my 11 man section. I had not been far off with only a pound needed for 3rd in section but targeting the skimmers was not the way to go, as a team Dave and I had blown out but Pez continued his run with a 3rd in section from a tricky area so not all was lost. Still next month it is the Bristol Avon at Chippenham!!!