THIS WEEK’S MIS­SION

Anglers Mail - - Match News -

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!

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