***Toms Blog – March Open 28/1/18***

After a couple of months with no fishing due to moving from Berkshire to Norfolk, I was looking forward to getting back out on the bank and with the Winter League Final less than a month away, I thought I would take advantage of the fact that the venue being used for it is less than an hour away. The match was on the Old River Nene at March and with 105 pegs, it was a sell out as it always produces fish around this time of year, due to the roach shoals packing into the town centre.

My draw for the day put me on peg 54, 5 pegs to the left of the Health Centre Bridge for those who know it. It may not be the best area, but every peg on this venue is stuffed full of fish, so you are always guaranteed a few bites. Therefore, I kept my match very simple with only 2 lines, one for fishing bread in the deepest water (4ft) down the middle and a line further over in 3ft of water to fish squatt/pinkie over groundbait.

As the flow of the river is variable I set up a few rigs to cover the different rates of flow. For my bread line, I set up a 0.4g and 0.8g of the Sensas Avon Float and for my squatt line, I set up the old faithful chianti float in 4×10, 4×12 and 4×14.

The match was eventful, with bites coming from the start from roach on the bread. After a good hour, the fishing started to slow up, but by feeding a ball of bread after every 10 fish, I managed to keep fishing coming steady. Unfortunately, the stamp of fish had decreased, and I was starting to miss loads of bites. A change to fishing the squatt line, didn’t bring an improvement, as the fish were still the same small stamp, but I was waiting longer for a bite. Therefore, I got my head down on the bread line, until the end, and I steadily caught fish from there until the end of the match.

In the end, my 200 fish tipped the scales at 11lb 13oz, and this was enough for 2nd in the section behind a 15lb weight. The venue had fished well and on the pegs right in the town, 20lb weights were very common, with 27lb winning the match and 24lb needed to make the top 6!

Looking back at my match, I could/should have caught a slightly larger weight, and if I went back I would change a few things and I am sure that would have led to a bigger weight, although I am not sure a 15lb weight was achievable with the stamp of fish in the peg. Next week it is back on the drains this time on the 20ft, Factory bank or Benwick, so a good opportunity to right the wrongs from this week.

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