June and the canal!

First Sunday in June saw me at the second round of the Summer League at Dunn Mill, Hungerford on the Kennet and Avon Canal. I was drawn B10 which put me not far off where I was in the pairs match a couple of years ago! The tow path at my peg was quite narrow and with one thing or another my camera stayed locked away! I plumbed up and settled for a close in line just over the near shelf, two down the track, one to the left would be my groundbait line the one to my right a chopped worm and caster, the far side was very shallow and I settled for a line at 13m, just off the far bank.

I began on the short line and had 13 small fish in the first hour on pinkie, losing a good fish early on, possibly a perch before trying my groundbait line which proved less than spectacular but again losing a decent fish , chopped worm only gave me one small perch so it was across to 13m with a Peatmoor float on a number 2 elastic, 22 hook and 0.07mm line, feeding squatt with pinkie on the hook. I ended up fishing this way for most of the match which was difficult as with the narrow tow path I had the option of not unshipping until the top kit by lifting the pole on top of the 10 foot hedge behind me or unshipping twice; I opted mostly for the double unshipping! Gary Didcott on my left had caught some skimmers and I knew I was behind him and I had not seen anything to my right. At the weigh in Gary weighed in 4-11 and my 49roach,15 gudgeon, 6 perch, 4 dace and a solitary bleak weighed in at 2-13, the angler to my right had a grueller and weighed in 0.5oz.

As things stand we are up to 5th place after getting 5th place on the day! Still not convinced by their scoring system but they run it as they want!

So now I had some caster and squatt spare so Wednesday I bought a day ticket and set of for the K&A at Horton- about 10 minutes from home. I ended up fishing at the end of the pontoon of moored boats on the far bank which was about 12 feet below where my car was parked!

I was sitting a few feet off the water and decided to fish a line close in which as it turns out was the deepest water, a line across level with the boats but away from them, a line in the area between the pontoon (squatt) and the bow of the last boat (caster) and a worm line at the same distance but angled off to the left, just off the shallow water. Rigs were similar to Sunday –

The “Blood” for my close in line
The Peatmoor for the far side squatt and caster lines
My homemade worm float

The peg was just at the start of a long sweeping bend which coupled with the pontoon and moored boats opposite would explain why the deep water was on the inside. Starting on the inside after introducing a ball of groundbait on both the far side lines plus regular loose feed of squatt and casters while I fished the inside I was hoping to get the fish confident before going across. Fishing pinkie I began to get some roach and perch plus the odd small skimmer before moving on to the squatt line after about 40 minutes. The next hour or so was constant action mainly from small roach, moving on to the caster line that also produced – small roach to the caster with the odd bigger one and hand sized skimmer. Finally I gave the worm line 40 minutes and again had a run of skimmers and perch before I decided to make my way home. The final tally was 31 roach, 20 perch and 16 skimmers for 4-5lb.

Buoyed by the action I took the plunge as I worked out that it would be cheaper to pay the £37 for a canal membership that would see me through to June 2023 than buy day tickets given I would still want to fish somewhere during Bowood’s close season and not have to travel too far! So on Friday, still with some squatt and casters left, I returned only to find that there was nowhere to park! The lay-by that is the usual parking spot in the lane was full with cars and a German registered camper van! Not one person to be seen fishing so there was no alternative but to try other spots along the canal -after visiting four other areas which were discounted due to either no parking, parking but no spots available due to boats moored up for as far as the eye could see, parking but a narrow towpath with a procession of bikes going past or the final one parking but a short pound with horrible coloured flowing water due to the procession of boats going through the locks at either end. I went home and decided to give it a miss until next year!

June 16th arrives, the start of Bowood, but first I had to do the weekly shop so it was about 10:35 before I actually started fishing in peg1. I had made the decision to fish peg 1 if the water conditions were okay or peg 3 if they were too clear. As there was already an angler on peg 3 I tried peg 1 as it had a bit of colour but not as much as I would like. I put the rake through first before setting up. The weather was sunny, hot with little if any wind- not ideal! I introduced three balls of groundbait with some squatt, caster, wheat and corn and crossed my fingers! Tackle was 0.16mm, size 16 and an Ugly Duckling float. I started on corn as I had left my maggots in the fridge! Fishing from 10:356 to 2:15 I did not get a single bite on corn managing to catch 12 rudd on a bunch of squatt for 14oz. The fish were there as I saw three bream about 3lb plus a long broad backed common well into double figure plus had 3 pike attacks on rudd that I was bringing in. I had a walk up to peg 3 who was having no luck and looked at peg 5 which is going to be my peg on Sunday – nobody will be fishing it as it is choked with weed and unfishable at present – the weed rake will soon remedy that! The pairs match at Makins is looming and the third round of the Summer League on the Avon at Chippenham is the day after!