The rivers have been struggling with low water levels as we have had very little rain. However on the Friday before the match there had been torrential rain and this was repeated on the Sunday of the match with heavy rain and a strong upstream wind, which made float control difficult. There are a limited number of swims that can be fished in the area between the reeds and the top fence. Hence anglers are required to book in in advance.
Steve put out eight pegs and this is about the maximum that can be fished. There is a real mixture of swims with some of the anglers needing to do some gardening to cut out there swims, whilst others could fish the swims that had been created by the barbel anglers. All, bar one of the anglers lasted till the end of the match, which is to their credit as the conditions were difficult.
The match was organised to coincide with a high tide at Watersfield at about 10am – this gives about an hour of the tide coming in, with some slack and then the rest of the 5 hour match with the tide going out. In some of the swims it becomes very difficult to safely keep the fish in a keepnet beyond 3.5 hours after high tide.
In first place was Steve Simmonds (below) who was fishing the mint swim, which was the end peg on the downstream end of the fishery and caught 9 – 4 – 0 of roach and dace. Steve fished a bolo float on 7 metres of pole to hand using maggots fished over groundbait.
Keith Hughes was in a second and was fishing the upstream end peg of the match length. Keith used a bolo float on the pole and caught roach, dace, perch, gudgeon and one good sized rudd on maggot and weighed in 4 – 6 – 8.
Mick Greenway was fishing one peg upstream of Steve and had to cut back the reeds and nettles to make a swim. He fished the bolo float on the pole to catch roach and dace weighing 3 – 14 – 0