THIS WEEK’S MISSION
The first lure competition of the year for me, on a venue that I’ve only match fished a very long time ago, so I had no idea what to expect. Hopefully it would come down to preparation and fish being… well, fish!
I’m heading south, and a bit west, to the Kennet and Avon Canal,
last week’s crazy events, I had hoped for a more sedate weekend fishing for perch on my first competition of the year.
This match had a different feel and different set of rules that could mix things up a bit. Instead of being won on total length of fish of any size, this would be a pairs match, and the winner would be made up of a combined length of the five biggest perch.
Not knowing what the venue would look like, I asked a few locals how the match would fish? I wish I hadn’t!
Tales of woe were all I got, and that’s before anyone mentioned the colour of the canal, and the clarity.
So, a little recap. I live three hours away, and that meant a 3.30am alarm call. The weather forecast was basically apocalyptic, and to top all that off, I wasn’t going to catch many fish, because of the colour of the canal. Hardly the stuff of dreams…
What else could happen? Well, my partner called at 7.30am to say he couldn’t make it. The match started at 8!
Arun by Hungerford AC, in Hungerford, Berkshire.
wet, wet, wet! It absolutely threw it down from start to finish, with over a FOOT of rain falling in parts of the South West. Temperature 12 degrees Celsius; breeze northwesterly 6-8 mph; air pressure 909 mbar.
But, hey, it was a day’s fishing, and they do say: a bad day’s fishing is better than a good day Hoovering!
With everything behind me now, I was here, and was here to fish, so a quick chat to the organiser, and we agreed that Chappy could be my partner, though he was here to do another job, with the camera.
Knowing that very small perch wouldn’t cut it, I still decided to go for them, just to get five fish on the board, no matter what the size.
This was using my usual tactics of ‘kerb crawling’, which is not as sinister as it sounds! It involves fishing the very inside lines of the canal towpath, getting in the tiniest holes, often right under your feet. After all, the margins are the biggest feature.
Almost straight away I had a bite, which gave me a bit of confidence. What pleased me more was a glance up and down the canal and seeing nearly all competitors using a method I’d invented!
With one fish (well, barely a fish, but it was a fish) of 12 cm on the scoresheet, I only needed four more
VENUE: FTER WEATHER: ■ Measure for treasure!