Steady Success for Jamie Rich

Since my last report where I won my first match of the year, the results have kept on coming, the following week I drew a good peg and with the river carrying some colour, I was expecting a nice days fishing and I wasn’t disappointed. I had a bite a chuck all day, feeding casters and Bait-Tech Super Seed hemp with caster on the hook to finish with 155 fish (mainly roach) for 16lb 5oz and I really thought it would be enough for another win but it was only good enough for third in the section! Luckily the other section hadn’t fished as well and I ended up third overall.

In the club’s annual open match on the River Isle, I struggled for a gudgeon and a small chub for 1lb 6oz which earned me the section money by double default to keep the winnings ticking over. The next match was the final fixture in our IBC league and I drew the same peg I’d won from a few weeks back, the weather was awful but I had a steady day catching roach, dace and gudgeon for 8lb 6oz, second on the day and it also secured me second in the league.

Our final river match of the season also sees the climax of our prestigious winter league, sponsored by V.E.S. Precision, I was lying in third place and although too far behind league leader, Adie Bishop, to catch him, Steve Parker in second place was only one point in front of me. I drew a peg above a bridge which has been fairly consistent although I felt all the cries of me drawing better than Picasso were a little harsh as it had only framed once so far!

I got my box in place and set up two one gram rigs, one to fish three sections to hand and the other a short line rig, on the side tray I had the usual casters, bronze and red maggots plus some Bait-Tech Super Seed hemp. 10:00 arrived and I started with the three sections to hand rig with double red maggot on the hook. Second run through I had a small roach and more followed along with the odd 3-4oz fish which were just about swingable. After an hour I had 28 fish for around 2-3lb and it was going well.

During the second hour, although it was still a bite a chuck, I kept slipping a caster on to see if I could improve the stamp but they weren’t having it and double red maggot was definitely the best hook bait. After 90 minutes I struck at a bite and was met with solid resistance before a good fish shook it’s head and I just knew it was a big perch as there are quite a few in the area, I played it carefully, mindful of the perch’s bony mouth and slipped the net under a lovely fish around 1.5lb, it was in stunning condition and one of the best looking fish I’ve had in a long time.

I had another 33 fish in the second hour and with that perch I probably added 4-5lb to the net and I started to think a big weight was on the cards. Typically going into the third hour, bites slowed right up and I started having to chase them around a bit and I wondered if perhaps a pike was spooking them. I stuck another section on and had a decent roach on caster but it was a one off, fish had been topping under the bridge all day so I went to 11.5 metres and swung the rig out by the far side, I started getting odd roach but obviously it was a lot slower and a pike also had a go at a fish as I shipped back. I probably only added a pound or so during the third hour.

I kept swapping between fishing under the bridge and three sections to hand and was still putting fish in the net on a regular basis and then with around an hour and a half left I flicked the rig upstream with caster on the hook and started catching some quality roach right under where I was feeding. Then the float sort of dragged under and I struck rather half heartedly and once again it was solid as another big perch moved off, I was sure it was going to come off due to not having a good hook hold but after a couple of runs, I started to think I had a chance when everything went slack – gutted!

I had a run of good roach but couldn’t stop thinking about that lost perch which would have been the icing on the cake. The good roach kept coming and I was netting quite a few and swinging some that I probably shouldn’t have and then I hooked another perch, this time my luck (and the hook) held and I slipped the net under another superb looking fish of around the same size as the first. In the last thirty minutes I added fifteen roach for around 3lb and ended up with 124 fish, nearly all roach apart from a few little dace, those two big perch and two smaller ones.

I packed up and went down to weigh Terry Morgan in below the bridge, he’d had lovely day as well and had caught loads of fish for 8lb 13oz although pike had been a pain and were even attacking his keepnet! Then it was my turn and the needle pulled round to 16lb 11oz, my biggest weight of the campaign and a lovely end to this year’s river matches. To be honest with that lost perch and some bumped roach it should have been nearer 20lb.

Back at the results and Karl Aplin had a nice net of dace and roach for 9lb 6oz from 120 for second place and Terry finished in third Steve P actually finished third in his section which meant in a carbon copy of last year, I’d won on the day and leapfrogged him into second place in the league.

The final match of February was Barney’s Pairs Open which was held on two ponds, Dillington and Hebditch’s, I was on the latter while my partner, Scott Jackson, was at Dillington. The weather had been bitterly cold leading up to the match although it was actually a gloriously mild day with not a cloud in the sky. I drew a peg in a corner where I’d struggled when I was on it last and that match I didn’t have a bite for four hours before catching two carp and a few rudd.

I fed some Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse pellets along with a few dead reds and some corn that I’d added a glug of The Juice to. I was expecting to have to wait for bites but after thirty minutes, I had a carp of around 1lb 8oz and I thought I might get a few but that was it. The whole pond switched off and my single fish was enough for second on the lake as only two of us managed to catch anything. My partner won his lake with 4lb 8oz of small roach and a bonus chublet so with three points, we won on the day and had a nice pick up.

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Tight Lines

Jamie Rich

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