- D13 (Clanfield)
- 6lb 9oz
- 4th in 18 peg section
Thames champs is a team match that I always wanted win and was disappointed to left out of Gordon Leagues winning team last year, however was pleased to come 4th individual overall. Anyway that was last year and this is year and the team was buzzing a little after winning the Turner 400 by 15 points!!
This year you are able to place anglers in sections which can make life a lot easier for people travelling together now 6 in a team and therefore 6 sections on the River Thames. 1 section at Radcot up, Radcot down, 2 sections at Clanfield, 1 at Rushy and 1 at Newbridge. The 2 sections at Clanfeld is the least favoured section, as it can be super tough and depths range from 3 foot to 15 foot so would need a mountain of gear to combat this. However, I have had gout and therefore I asked to go to Clanfield as you can drive behind your peg which is idea for me, as I have had a job to walk and Larford Lakes almost killed me on Friday. The another five sections were drew at random for my team mates, so Tony Hobbs had Radcot Up, Mick Denton had Radcot Down, Bubbles had Clanfield, myself Clainfield, Carl had Rushy and Tom Hobbs had Newbridge.
I drew in the eighty’s and my peg wasn’t permanently pegged. I got on the phone as I saw peg C18 and knew this was near where Micky Ellyatt, which was worrying as this area was devoid of fish. After a conversvation with Micky Ellyatt I discovered I was the peg above where he was, and 6.5oz came off it and Mick Ellyatt had 6oz and Mick is one of the best roach anglers I know. So was concerned about the area, however again this was the past and the river is more fishable than two weeks ago, but is very clear and is only 5 foot deep and the main flow was at 4 meters in clear water!! 16 meter I could touch the far bank easily and I didn’t plum up as I worried that I spoke the fish if there were any. No fished topped while I was tackling up with was 2.5 hours! I set up 9 top kits all with different ups. They ranged from:
1 gram, 2 gram and 3 gram Stream float
2 gram Sensas Madunice for the chop
4x12 and 4x14 bleak rigs.......................
I set up a 15 foot bolo with 2gram.
I sent up some long lining rigs on my top 4 of Icon pole, which is like most top 5’s, so I could search the peg and also I can hold the pole high and keep it well away from where I planned to place the fish. If I was baggin, then I would 2g and 3g rigs with shorter line on top 4 and therefore could speed things up, but I haven’t bagged up at Clainfield for many years, and therefore would be happy with 5lb as that would be good points.
I cupped in 4 balls of groundbait at 5 meters and 1 ball at 10 meters. Started at 10 meters and caught a tiny roach (20 to the pound) after a couple of minutes and then another on my 5 run on my 2 gram rig. This wasn’t great and therefore went on 5 meter line with the 3 gram rig and caught 3 fish in three puts very quickly and then nothing. I knew the fish wouldn’t settle here as it was too close and way too clear. Therefore cupped in 2 balls at 10 meters and began to catch, but was slow and at this rate I was on off the pace for good team points, but I feel that I wanted to feel my way into the peg, as Martin Kirk was 30 yards below me, and was around the bend and therefore he was going to take the fish away from me and the peg above me was 100 yards So the fish weren’t going anywhere in my opinion and therefore why fill it in and only catch for a hour?? Or even worse blank and potentially cost your team an important match win.
The second hour I was flying and was catching almost very run though and would place the rig downstream on top of the fish, don’t see the point of running the rig down to them, as this wastes time. The fish were backing off at times and therefore would have to make some adjustments to presentation, like change rigs, the way you laid the rig in, change baits. I did work had and run a couple of my team mates to see how we were getting on, and things looked alright and everybody was catching to begin with. However, my section I knew two chub were caught, the chub at big now and they aren’t anything less than 4lb a piece and most more like 5lb! But my 6lb 9oz of all tiny fish was worth 4th in 18 peg section, which was ok. Carl was 2nd in his and Tom Hobbs was 6th which was good. But unfortunately weren’t lucky throughout the team, as Bubbles hooked a chub on 0.06 rig and played it for ages and got it up the surface but did break him in the end. Mick Denton struggled along with Tony Hobbs, the Upper Thames is a cruel place at times. We came a respectable 6th (we all were disappointed) out of 18 teams, but was 15 points off the winners.
Teams On The Day
WB Clarke 68
Drennan Banbury Gunsmiths 66
Well done to Mark Malin for winning the match with 14lb 13oz and Dorking for winning the team event.
Mark Malin with his winning catch.
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