The fishing could hardly have been described as dynamic, but there can be few venues in the country where such quality fish are regularly caught.
The opening match of the Mirfield Teams of Four proved a happy occasion for two Trabucco ROK Halifax men, newly resigned Steve Mitchell and Paul McMillan and a less satisfactory affair for me.
The pair ripped the field apart and in the end were only separated by six ounces with Mitchell coming out on top from his peg opposite the twisted trees on the Long Length.
He took only three bream, the biggest well over 6lbs and a tench of around 2lbs to the scales for 17lbs 10oz after a risky approach to attract bites by dropping to a 22 hook. A lost chub cost McMillan dear after drawing the Gusher peg at Leeds Road. Buoyed on by a second place at Thornhill (a match in which Keith Marshall of Tri Cast Calder was third) the day before, he eventually weighed in with four heavyweights - two chub and two bream.
I drew the last peg on the match at Cooper Bridge, a peg I had failed miserably from two weeks previously in an open. Tench were my main quarry, or so I thought. I’d got a pike and some roach in the net when I got my first bite on the gear, 10s elastic and 0.14 hook length. Instead of a tench it was a bream and worse still it refused to pull against the elastic, holding its ground and nodding its head until the hook pulled.
Fifteen minutes later after resting the line I went in again this time on a lighter elastic and after a five minute tussle was seen off by either a chub or a tench that found a snag.I finally got out jail with 15 minutes to go and a first for the canal. A confident bite was met by the strangest of fights until the culprit - an eel weighing 1lbs 5oz - showed itself through the murky water. The first to be caught from the canal to my knowledge. Could they, along with sea trout and salmon be starting to make their way through the system?
Next drop saw the float sail under and 3lbs 8oz bream come to the net. A section win that should have been third place. Ah well.
Ultimate Barnsley won the day with a comfortable 56 points with two of their number, Keith Hobson and Tony Peel making the frame. Two Halifax teams tied in fourth place 10 points adrift. Still it is early days as they say.
*Bob Woodhead came out top along the Dead Arm at Sowerby Bridge in a 12 peg knock-up. He found a couple of skimmers and small roach for 1lbs 2oz. 2. Andy widdows 1lb; 3. Tony Hayles 10oz.
*Bradford No1 report that last Sundays members match at Raskelf was won by James Vickerman with 46lbs 13oz of F1 carp and tench on meat and pellet. Andy Jacques finished second with 30lbs 12oz ande Pete Vickerman third with 29lbs 14oz. Members are reminded that they must take litter away after some waters have been badly affected, including Kirklees Lagoon.