Advice with a pinch of salt

If I had a fiver for every time I’ve been told I’d drawn a good peg, I’d have won more than I ever have done in prize money.

So there I was on Sunday in conditions that had regressed to some time in mid-February being told that, having drawn the most downstream peg on the match, it was a flier. Or at least it had been a flier one day about a year ago when it produced 9lbs of roach.

The truth was that the Wharf Pond in the middle of Milnsbridge right by where the draw is held is a much better prospect in the huge bay area to my left where all the other four anglers on this length were pegged.

Here they usually catch tench and a few bream.

And being a little too long in the tooth to take predictions at face value I settled down to what I kind if already knew would be a tough day’s fishing. And that’s what it was. The only moment of excitement came when my big fish gear pounced into action after a sail away bite on double caster. Out came the elastic and in came a big fat roach of around a pound. Maybe this would be the start of something good. It was not and my day ended with a further eight roach added on the punch and caster for something around a pound and a half. I didn’t weight because by my calculations there was no chance of the section even though Kev Hartley forced his way into a distant second with 6lbs 15oz mainly made of a two bream from a tight peg in the corner of the bay, which, with an overgrown slipway was once used to repair canal barges

He came out with one of the funniest lines I’ve heard when, having returned from holiday in Turkey that morning and arrived at his peg he moaned to match organiser Alan Bedford - “I’ve just travelled 2,000 miles to end up in a dry dock”. Priceless!

Maver North West’s Steve Crossley won the day at a canter with six bream in a late surge on Appleyards for 22lbs. Nigel Storr of Trabucco Thunderflash Halifax being the only local money winner with a section win.

The Broad Canal series reaches its penultimate stage this Sunday when Halifax and Maver North West will be hoping to make up ground on the league leaders Barnsley and second placed Slaithwaite.

There was a healthy turnout for Sunday’s Ryburn and Halifax club match at Copley, but it was another match clearly affected by a shift in the weather.

Thankfully the roach were not shy and Pete Kemp came out top of the 20-strong field with 2lbs 13oz, beating Pete Binns into second with 2lbs 6oz and Trabucco Thunderflash Halifax man Daz Kershaw into third with 2lbs 4oz. Club members and those of Hebden Bridge begin their annual evening series at Mearclough on the Calder and Hebble Canal tonight (draw 6.15pm by Mearclough Bridge). This series of 10 matches runs until the end of July with the seven best results to count and qualify for a grand final.

Hot Spot: I have it on good authority that Bradford No1 water Chellow Dene at Allerton is on fire at the moment. Local anglers Doug Townson and Daz Taylor enjoyed some great sport there on day tickets costing just £1 from Tackle2U Bradford. My sources tell me that there are plenty of chub and roach going on the pole while feeder will sort out the skimmers. It literally is a bite a chuck at the minute.

Tip of the Week: Don’t curse boat traffic, make the most of it. When the water starts to move, that’s when the big fish emerge from their hideouts and scavenge for food.