I was back down the Medway at Barming Bridge for the second of 4 evening matches on the river, when I arrived and had a look at the river I knew I should have left the hemp and tares at home. There had been some heavy rain early in the day and the river was brown, rising and motoring through. Luckily on the way to the river I picked up a pint of maggots as bait from the local tackle shop and had a few casters I had turned from last weeks maggots.
To be honest I didn’t think it would be flowing so fast and coloured so wasn’t really prepared, I had only packed ten pole rigs in my small box I use for the evening matches and the biggest were only 2g so not big enough! I had a feeder rod with me but didn’t really fancy it as I thought the bream wouldn’t feed well with the river rising.
At the draw I pulled out a peg on the high bank and under normal condition would be a decent draw for a few bream plus the ever present roach. Today it looked grim and I didn’t fancy it at all, there was a lot of marginal weed so I had no slack water down the edge to run a float through, and the flow just didn’t look right further out but I decided to give it a go anyway.
I kicked off the match on the 2g rig to nail the bait near the bottom and edge it through at about 7 meters. 5 hard balls of groundbait went in at the off, and maggots was the bait. I just edged the bait over the feed for the first hour or so. All this produced was 1 small roach and a few bleak. I did have a feeder set up so switched to this for another half an hour and caught nothing. By this time I started to lose interest as it started to rain again.
With a hour to go I thought I better pull myself together and try to put a few fish in the net so I ripped of the 2g rig and stuck on the smallest float I had with me which was a 0.5g Drennan Carbo, set it about 2ft deep, using a top 4 to hand preceded to go bleak bashing! Feeding small amounts of maggots and with a single as bait I started to catch one a bung, I was quite glad when the whistle went and probably ended up with about 100-150 of the tiny fish.
When the scales arrived amazingly 14lb of bream was winning (did I say the bream would not feed, Ops!), I managed to put 3lb 8oz on the scales putting me third, I didn’t stay there long as John Overton on the next peg a very good feeder angler had, you guessed it, 6 bream all caught in the last hour for over 15lb to win the match. There was another bleak weight that was amazingly 1 oz behind me so I stayed in 4th place on the day.
The lesson learned today is not to be so impatient on a out of sorts river and chop and change methods too much, who knows if I had stuck it out on the 2g rig I may have put a few bream in the net too.
On a bright note
Get yourself a copy of the August edition of Southern Angler (or buy it every month as its a great read), my pellet waggler write up will be featured in there.
Also I have been asked to do a few of the venue guides for Kent every month so if you have had a decent day anywhere in the area particularly on the rivers, or know a good venue to feature send us an email.
I have a busy week fishing wise planned, down the Medway again for the Wednesday evening match, down Moat Park for a bit of roach fishing, then a Saturday and Sunday matches down Monk Lakes