It all started over the August bank holiday 2008....I went fishing for the first time in probably 20 years with my new mate Spongebob. We were intoduced a few months before by the Birmingham,Coventry and Black Country Gestapo!! (My mrs and his mrs are from Germany)
I got my hands on his spare pole and ended up at some puddle at Tofts Lakes south of Coventry.
I caught probably 25 - 30 roach tench perch and something called a skimmer that was covered in goo and stank like something you can have a good guess at!!
None of them were over about 6oz, but I was happy as it had been the most fish I had ever caught in one sitting. ( I cut my teeth on the Grand Union in Knowle during the 80's after school and never caught anything bigger than a 6oz Roach.)
So I go home happy after one of the most relaxing times in recent years with my NBF Spongebob. (the most relaxing being the holiday in the Maldives last year with the missus)

Over the next few weeks I buy a garage load of tackle and we go and fish a couple of cuts ; one in Nuneaton with Spongebob and my other new fishing mucka Sumo, and The Cannock Extension with SB. Didn't catch much out of either just a few tiddlers again. (Are there any fish in the canals anymore??)(Were there any fish in the canals in the first place??!!)
The 18th October arrives and I meet up with SB for his birthday bender round Coventry. We go to the Ice Hockey then end up at a biker bar and get thoroughly sozzled. After the obligitory doner meat and chips we end up back at his place and I collapse in a drunken pile on his spare room floor.
The morning arrives too quickly and we go round to Dick's House for bacon sarnies and coffee to soak up the rubbish in my delicate tum!. We pack him in the van and set off for the venue ; Packington Somers.
We were all guests of Radford AC. We were fishing on Gearys and SB and Dick had been saying we needed to avoid pegs 1 to 15 as they had a steep bank behind them and were a bit of a pain with a pole. As it was my first match I really wanted to avoid them as I had enough on my plate without having a hill behind me to rest the end of my pole on.
We get there and I am faced with a group of middle aged men in skiing salopettes. I am quickly told these are called bib and brace...nice!! ( I have actually sent off for some now)
I hand my money in and I am told the pegs are 7 - 36. Now the odds are getting longer on me getting a low peg with mount everest behind me..great. We go then to the car park and hang about till the draw. I am quite excited by this time. A queue forms and we take our discs....No 4.....eh!! We start at 7 I thought. Well it ends up I have got peg 11...oh b*gger!!!. I get in my car and go to my peg. I stand at the top and look down at the peg..It's about 20 ft below me...how the hell am I going to get my pole up that when I'm fishing!!!
Anyway, I start setting my tackle up and get ready for the off at 1000am. I have made some rigs myself and get 1 of them on the end of my power top 2 on my new 12.5m pole and a lighter rig on my match top 3.
The hooter goes and I fill my cupping kit with chopped worm and caster and soil and start shipping out to 10m at 10 to! I just get it out there without spilling it everywhere (shipping out above head height at arms length..effing great!!!) I fill the cupping kit up with micro pellets this time and start shipping out to 10m at 10 past! I get to 5m and the end of the pole drops off the end of my roller 20 ft above my head behind me.....the cupping kit flies into the air and the pellets are everywhere at 5m out. I start again....pole back up the bank onto the roller...fill the cupping kit...start shipping out at 10 past...5m comes and the pole comes off the roller .......and the pellets are taking another flying lesson..straight in the drink at 5m!!!! Well thats when I decided that was my second swim.
So I then feed the margin to my left at 5m right by an overhanging hawthorn bush with some pellet. That would do for later on (so I was told - keep feeding the margin but don't fish it for an hour or so!!) Great.
I get my rig on and ship out 10m with a bit of worm on a 10 elastic top 2. Within 30 seconds I have a fish on the end only to be flung off...looked like a roach when it sailed past the end of my pole....! I ship out after re baiting and again a roach goes sailing past again....b*gger! This happens twice more in the first 15 mins...4 fish lost.
I change my top 2 to my match 3 with a 4-6 elastic and ship out after changing the rigs over. Straight in to a nice roach...8oz or so. Fan..effing..tastic I think.
I feed again with a few casters and pop some pellets in my margin. Ship out and straight into a great big slab of goo of about 3lb. I get it in my landing net...the biggest fish I have ever caught by far..I'm shaking like a leaf.
SB is on the phone..he's had a couple of tiddlers but nothing else. I ship out again and have a few bites, a couple of tiddlers but nothing else.
Then bam!!!! The elastic shoots out and I think I've caught a passing submarine..blimey. 5 mins later, a smashed up float and slimey trousers, a lovely 3lb ish tench is sitting on my lap...this is it...this is what it's all about...in the words of team america...f*ck yeah!!!
After that I have a couple of nibbles but nothing more. Must have spooked the fish.Bummer. I change my top 2 to my top 3 and go to the margin. Change to red maggot, straight into a couple of tiddlers. By this time it's about 1215 and the wind has got up and the end of my pole is swaying around. Suddenly I am shipping out and the wind takes me into the bush. On the end of my rig I have a lesser spotted Hawthorn fish...Oh Sh*t....then I hear a sharp crack as I try to play the bush...the end of my pole has taken a swim and is hanging like a xmas decoration about 4m away. Luckily it hasn't snapped and I put the top 2 with the 10 elastic on the end with a new rig.
I feed a few pellets out to 5m at 10 past, remember, where all the other pellets landed 3.5 hours ago, with my catapult, as the 3 section of my cupping kit is hanging from the bush, then I pop a 4mm hook pellet on; never fished a pellet before. I have no bites for 15 mins so think I'll go back on worm and caster as pellets are crap. I fling some casters out with a few bits of worm with my catty and plonk my rig in the drink. I wait and wait for about 5 mins and by this time the wind is blowing a gale into my face and I can hardly see the float. I chuck some more casters in and the float goes...I drop the catty and strike....a slab of slime comes in quickly followed by 1 more about 5 mins later both of a couple to 3 lb.
I keep there with the worm and my elastic goes again like a train....After an eternity of left, right up down in out up down left right I get this monster tench in my net. Must be about 4.5lb....oh yeah baby. I then ship out again and get another slimy slab of a couple of pound and then a couple of tiddlers.
It then comes to 3pm and the hooter goes. I start packing away and suddenly there's a chap in waders taking down my xmas decorations for me..thank god for men in kinky boots!! He then weighs my catch and at 15.5lb tells me I am way in front at this stage. Great. Then remember I am the 4th peg...bum! I go round to SB's peg 4 up from mine and he's had about 8lb. I'm shaking now and scrounge a fag off him to calm me a bit (gave up 18 months ago).
I finish that and go and pack the rest of my tackle away. Suddenly a 4x4 stops at my peg and this lovely man comes over and hands me a 20 spot!! "Well done mate..you won" he says and then drives off.

WAYHAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First match, first win!!!!

I pack my tackle in the car and after being invited to their next match in Evesham I say my goodbyes to SB and Dick and head home smelling like a kebab visiting the brewery at Grimsby docks!!

Next episode...Nuneaton Cut against Sumo's club on the 2nd Nov. I have got my Nugget ready!!!

See ya next time.