[caption id="attachment_1429" align="alignnone" width="654"]A dull grey windy peg 8 A dull grey windy peg 8[/caption]

32 Coffin Dodgers fished this years match on Bridge Pool, its always well run and well supported and everyone gets a prize. The weather had really warmed up from the weekends frosts, the weather forecast was for strong south westerlies, light rain and 13 degrees. the water had cleared since my last visit, probably due to lack of feeding activity at the weekend.

My peg for the day was no 8, I drew the same peg in this match last year, this was the last match before the silver fish league started, so I decided to ignore the carp and hopefully learn something useful. I pondered over which length of pole to fish, because the water was clear i wanted to fish 13m, but the wind was strong and gusting, in the end I settled on 11.5m with a spray bar for stability.

At the whistle I cupped in some ground bait and dead reds on the long line and started to loose feed casters at top 5, I had a very slow start, although the air temp had warmed up the water temperature probably hadn't had time to warm up. during the first hour I only caught 3 small skimmers and 6 roach over the ground bait, most of the anglers I could see had a similar slow start. I kept feeding the casters short and topping up the long line, neither line was producing much, but I kept putting the odd small roach into the net.

Opposite me was Dave Bacon, he had fished a feeder to the island and was catching carp, I had left my feeder rod at home, Dave went on to win the match with 7 carp for 63lb, well done mate. By now my top 5 producing only the odd small roach, so I went to top 6 and eventually to top 7, still loose feeding, as I fished further out the bites became more frequent, so I spent most of the rest of the match fishing top 7, loose feeding casters, lifting and dropping for small roach and fighting a strong wind. By the end of the match I was absolutely knackered, this long pole fishing in a strong wind is definitely a young mans game, not for old coffin dodgers like me.

[caption id="attachment_1431" align="alignnone" width="652"]Bridge Pool, Huntstrete Bridge Pool, Huntstrete[/caption]

At the weigh in I had 10lb of roach, I can't remember the last time I felt so exhausted at the end of a match, perhaps I should stick to feeder fishing for carp, its a lot easier. Terry Church, on peg 7, won the silvers with 11lb 10oz on the method feeder, using his 'unique' style of casting, he caught most of his fish in his own swim. My 10lb was good enough for second and i won a box of Ferrero Rocher to go with my £25.

While we were waiting for the results to be read out a strong gust of wind blew my cap off my head and it landed on the table of prizes, knocking off a bottle of wine, which smashed when it hit the ground, much to the amusement of everyone else, so i spent the next 5 minutes clearing up all the glass and getting a lot of 'banter'.

By the time I got home I felt really 'knackered' and slept for 11 hours solid, there must be an easier way of winning a box of chocolates.