The last two rounds of this league are on the stunning K&A Canal in Bathampton. Apart from my home canal at Gilwern, this is probably my favourite canal to fish so despite in being January I was really looking forward to this match.
The team for today was myself, Luke, Chris & Cellan Wilkins, Mike Martin and Sean Wilson. I drew C10 which was "The George" section of the Canal in the middle of Bathampton itself.
The Canal was 13m wide with a bit of far bank foliage but not many other features to go for (as expected at this time of the year). My plan was a 5m line on bread punch and caster, a far line working the far bank with chopped worm and caster and then a pure chopped worm line next to a boat for perch.
Rig wise, the bread rig was a 4x12 Jolly with stotz strung shirt button style to a size 20 B511 tied to 0.08 bottom with the main Line was 0.10. The far bank line was the same Jolly float, lines and hook but with the shot bulked instead.
The worm line was again a 4x12 but tear dropped pattern and on 0.10 hooklength to 0.12 main line with a 20 B611 incase a few big perch showed up. All my top kits had no 4 elastic which I find perfect for all aspects of this fishing.
The match started and I cupped in a nugget of groundbait on the 5m line and went over with a 5mm breadpuch. I didn't have a bit for the first 10mins but shortly a tiny roach was in the net so at least the blank was avoided!
As I fished this bread line the bites I was getting were not very positive and I soon worked out that these Roach were probably sat mid water and following the punch down before having a sniff and slowing taking the bait. I tried shallowing right up but they wouldn't take it at all then but found that if I came off bottom by about 6 inches then I would get a more positive bite. Also if I didn't have a bite within a few minutes of the float settling then the best thing to do would be to lay it out again.
This went on for most of the match and I was catching regularly but the Roach were tiny, and with a few bonus fish rumoured to have been caught I went over the far bank for a look after potting in some chopped worm. First chuck the float buried, but sadly it was only a tiny perch. I had about 3 very small perch on this line before it dried up so then went for a look on the other perch line.
I fished this for about half hour, regularly feeding chopped worm and lifting and drawing the baited worm up through the swim but without even a bite so for the last half hour I went back on the 5m line with a pinkie and managed a few more tiny Roach before the all out was called.
I was on the clipboard for this match so the weigh in started up on the end peg 13 on the section, who weighed 15oz, then there was a 1lb 2oz and a 1lb 11oz. I weighed 1lb 12oz so was in the lead! Not for long however as the further up we went the better the weights got with a great 8lb finally winning the section with back ups of 6lb and 4lb.
However for league points, in our B division I was only looking to beat 5 anglers for points and was joint 3rd so middle of the road! In my points section there was a 15oz, 1lb 11oz then two of us on 1lb 12oz and a 2lb and 4lb so half way house. I was a bit gutted but also realistic that I don't think I could have done much else to snare any bonus fish as my biggest fish today was probably about 1oz! Team wise we were 4th with Mike having a 2nd, we had 2 x 3rds, 2x 4th and a 6th.
Disappointing result but that's winter fishing I guess! We are back on there again next week and still looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll have to use the landing net at some point next week :-)
Sensas Commercial House WL, Kennet and Avon Canal, George to Diggers, Nr. Bathampton. Sun, 78. Neil Mercer (Maver Bathampton Elite) 13-2-0, 8 lb of roach on pole with punch and bloodworm plus 5 lb of skimmers on bloodworm from end peg at Diggers; Vince Lunn (M & N Electrical) 8-9-0; Mike Withy (Sensas Wilts Angling) 7-14-0; Rob Randall (M & N Electrical) 7-8-0; Shaun Townsend (Maver Bathampton Invincible) 7-4-0; Sam Johnson (Maver Cadbury Angling) 6-12-0
Finally apologies for no pictures but the camera on my phone packed in, so the one above was nicked off google images!