Kennet and Avon Canal, Commercial House League.
Todays match was the first back after the xmas break and I was 'guesting' for Bathampton AA, this 72 peg match was pegged from Darlington Wharf to out past the George, thats a lot of water for 72 pegs, but with so many boats moored you need a lot of towpath to get everyone in.
I had drawn C10 which is not far from Meadow Farm Lane, I was one peg away from the famous 'recycle' peg, I'm not sure why they its called that but there is sort of statue on the far bank with a bike as part of it and this peg has won a lot of matches with skimmers, being so close to this peg gave me some hope of catching a few.
Three days earlier the canal was frozen and today the water was a bit of a 'funny' colour, not clear but not dirty, it was a different colour to what it normally is, there was no signs of fish so I was unsure how it was going to fish. The weather was quite pleasant for the time of the year, hardly any wind, no frost and the weather forecast was to reach a balmy 5 degrees, the only problem with nice weather on this part of the canal is that every Tom, Dick and Harry is out walking along the towpath, there are dog walkers, joggers and cyclists in their hundreds which make it a real pain shipping back a pole, Today, I had quite a wide towpath behind me and by putting my seat box in the water it gave me a reasonable amount of room to ship back.
I set up my usual canal rigs, bread punch for the top 5, two joker lines at 11.5m, one to the left and one to the right, I fed some chopped worm and casters underneath a small tree on the far side and I chopped some lobworms for the deepest part of the swim, of to the left at 13m.
I started at top 5 and second drop in I had a roach on the punch, after 20 minutes I had 5 roach, not exactly bagging, but I had not seen another fish caught around me. After an hour I had 10 roach and things were starting to look grim, the canal wasn't moving, normally there is a left to right pull but today it was stood still.
I then swapped to my bloodworm and joker line and after a little wait I caught a small roach, I then rotated all my lines without with only the occasional bite on the joker line, this was to be the pattern for the rest of the day, I even tried starting another bread line off to my left and could only get a couple of small roach of that. It was a very hard frustrating day and when the wind blew it was really cold, there was a bit of easterly about it, it reminded me of an old saying 'when the winds in the east, the fish bite the least' and it was very true today.
My five hours of effort weighed 1lb 10oz, the worst weight I have had on this canal for an awful long time, the anglers either side of me weighed 2oz on the flyer and 6oz the other side, my section was won about 6 pegs away to my left, the canal bends and there are a lot more boats along this stretch, Andy Britt won the section with 5lb all on the bread and there was a lot more fish to be caught at the other end of the section. This was a typical Kennet and Avon match at this time of the year, the more boats you have around you the better and if you don't catch straight away on the bread, then you are going to struggle. The match was won with 10lb in Beeches bay.