I arrived at the venue early, as we had to peg out Rushcombe Lake, as usual, I had to chuck anglers off the Match Lake. I know Phil has the board saying which lakes are open/closed as you drive in, but notices at the lake entrances would make more sense.
Once I'd done this, Paul arrived, looking like he went to the pub yeterday dinner hour to watch the football and stayed all day and night and so it turned out, thats what happened. There are many tales of the drinking exploits of the now defunct Clevedon Veals team, which also included members of other teams, Mark Harper and Kev Dicks being two who readily spring to mind. One of the younger generation of anglers once asked me if these tales of folklore were true, I asured him they were and many were more wild and illegal than was commonly known - how everyone got away with all their limbs and driving licences, I'll never know.
As I just cannot physically cope with the massive drinking sessions and then fish anymore, I walked round Rushcombe with Paul and was glad I wasn't feeling too bad. After a full english, I felt ready to do battle with a decent draw, Charlie Barnes drew me peg 15 on Match Lake and if I never draw it again, it will be too soon.
I started full of optimisim, but soon had that knocked out of me!! I had set up a MW slim power on 0.15 with a 0.13 hooklength and a 20 808, the same float on 0.15 straight through to a 18 PR36, a margin rig which comprised a MW power on 0.17 straight through to a PR28 size 18 and a paste rig.
The crucians weren't in evidence in the open water, I could see Charlie Barnes on 12 and Louis Jones on 10 catching crucians and skimmers, whilst I struggled for bites. I did swap to a 6mm banded pellet and had three crucians, in three put ins - sorted - no, that was the end of that. The LH margin, close and under the pallet of 16 was seemingly devoid of fish, I had nothing from there, not so much as a liner.
I tried paste, maggot produced bites from quality roach, at least 1" long and in desperation I unwrapped the 'emergency, last resort' cat meat - nothing, no indication on the float at all.
The breeze got up slightly with a couple of hours to go and I noticed some fish movement tight to the island (behind peg 27), I fished tight across, in 12" of water with banded pellet and caught small carp in bursts until the all out. I'm sure I've done my pole some life threatening damage, at least 5 or 6 times whilst shipping back I whacked it into the chicken shed, as I had to try and bring the fish round before shipping back. I did try shipping back down the lake and a decent fish came towards me OK, then just kept running and cut through the line on the leg of peg 14's pallet. What with the people walkinground the lake, the chicken shed and the untamed vegetation growth making fishing so much more difficult than it should be, I finished the day pretty pissed off. I managed 3.900KG of silvers and 9.550KG of carp for a total of 13.450KG and hard bloody work it was.
Although not as pissed off as Paul, he'd drawn 19 on the Match Lake, the winning peg last time, there were fish in his peg, but I think it was carp 4 (in the keepnet) rigs in the boards and rushes double figures......
The rushbed between 25 & 26 looks to be spreading with the prowess of a triffid, these pegs may end up unfishable by June or July, Clive Petitt on 26 fished some old Maver pole that resembled a scaffold tube, saw edged braid (OK slight exaggeration) and still lost fish in the reeds, the others he managed to bully and lift out. It can't be good for poles or fish and removing the reeds and boarded areas would be like a big restocking programme.
Special mention to Glen Calvert, winning his second match in the series, especially as I heard from a reliable source that "Glen was out of it yesterday, he went to the Rugby and his kids were round my house as he was too pissed to be responsible for them" Glad to see Glen's keeping up tradition!!
Kev Perry was late, the cashpoint in Clevedon swallowed his cards, you'll be OK Kev, I bet your credit at the Blue Flame is good. Two series regulars couldn't make it today, so Darren 'Noddy' Vowles came along to make up the numbers and lived up to his awesome reputation, managing a creditable last but one in the section.
Disturbing murmerings from Thatchers rent boy and Charlie about the Yatton special and swallowing.........
The pegs on Rushcombe were all on the island with C1 being the second peg on the RH side over the bridge and round to D7 anticlockwise.
1) Glen Calvert 31.950KG peg 22ML
2) Louis Jones 27.500KG peg 10ML
3) Clive Petitt 25.100 peg 25 ML
4) Dave Roper 19.650 peg 8ML
5) Sean Kitteridge 18.070 peg D6 Rushcombe
6) Dave Wride 17.980 peg C1 Rushcombe
1) Dave Wride 12.320KG
2) Louis Jones 11.00KG
3) Dave Roper 10.950KG
4) Bob Gullick 7.320KG Peg C2 Rushcombe.
1) Louis Jones 17 points 49.770KG
2) Tom Thick 17 points 37.020
3) Glen Calvert 16 points 59.280KG
4) Mark Bromsgrove 16 points 38.400KG
5) Dave Roper 16 points 35.850 KG
6) Dave Wride 16 points 35.360KG
7) Bob Gullick 16 points 33.970KG
8) Mike Owens 16 points 33.930KG
1) Tom Thick 21 points 19.150KG
2) Dave Wride 20 points 24.970KG
3) Dave Roper 18 points 22.050KG
4) Bob Gullick 18 points 16.770KG
5) Nick Collins 17 points 17.650KG
Match 1, total weight caught 224.500KG of which, 87.610KG were silvers. Giving averages of 8.314KG /3.244KG per angler.
Match 2, total weight caught 272.620KG, of which, 103.760KG were silvers. Giving an average of 10.097KG / 3.842KG per angler.
Match 3, total weight caught 354.910KG, of which, 125.020 were silvers. Giving an average of 13.144KG / 4.630KG per angler.