I was honoured to be asked to guest for Fox Match Trentmen in the Erewash Valley Winter League last Saturday. I had only ever fished the venue once before, and that was in the height of summer, so I was relying on sound advice from the regulars to put me in good stead!
Rob Perkins didn’t let me down, and after a chat about how to fish my peg, he said I would struggle to beat the better pegs at the far end of the section to my right. These included an end peg next to a lock with Shakespeare canal ace Jason Cunningham sat on it, and a big tree with Matt Hall sat opposite it!
Although the fishing was really hard, I had an enjoyable day scraping together 2-3-0 of small roach on joker, which was good enough for third in my nine-peg section. Jason won the section with 4-7-0 and Matt came second with 3-10-0. If I was to fish the peg again, I would definitely catch more, but being my first winter session on the venue I was just pleased to have done a reasonable job for the team on the day.
Sunday saw me once again don Trentmen colours, for the third round of the RILMAC Winter League on the Fossdyke. I was winning the league individually going into this match, and so was keen for a good result!
I was pleased with my draw of Peg 41 on the Odder length, as although the bank on this particular peg is fairly barren, while other pegs in the section have big trees and fishy looking features to fish up to, it just seems to hold better perch in my experience, while the pegs on the trees can sometimes struggle.
With big stripeys the target, I decided to base my match around lobworms and casters. I did feed two bloodworm lines, but only planned to drop on them to rest my lobby lines, or in the worst case scenario put something in the net to stop me from blanking!
Fortunately the gamble paid off, and four big perch and a few tiny roach later, I weighed in with 6-14-0 and won the match! We also won as a team on the day, with Rob Perkins and Steve Woollard also winning their sections. I just need to hope I can keep up my run of good form in this league, as Roger Wakenshaw also won his section again, putting him on the same points as me and only a few pounds behind on weight.