Gard shows his silvers skills at Bitterwell Lake
WATER temperatures slumped and weights suffered a severe knockback in Bitterwell Lake's midweek 'Silvers Only' match.
Intermittent showers of cold rain made fishing uncomfortable, but, luckily, the promised heavier bursts failed to materialise until well past the all-out shout.
Silvers expert Andy Gard topped the scoresheet with 10-13-0 of skimmers, roach and perch, which he prised from the seven-metre pole line of Road Bank Three with a single maggot hookbait, poled over a light sprinkling of groundbait.
He said: "I cupped in a small amount of the fishery's own brand of groundbait at the start and started catching from my first put-in.
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"I then ground-baited according to bites, but it was impossible to hold the fish in any one place – the shoals would not settle and kept moving around and, like everyone else, I soon settled into a one-now-and-again routine.
"The fish varied so much in size that it was impossible to keep an accurate count of weights. There were three of us in the running for top rod, but none of us dared claim anything until the scalesman had finished his round."
John Andres, pictured, who held the Bitterwell Lake Match record for several years, finished just 5oz short of the winner's weight. He poled worm and caster over chopped worm at seven metres centre of corner peg five and weighed in 10-8-0 of mostly skimmers, perch and roach.
He said: "The fish kept coming and going and nothing I did kept them in my swim for longer than a few minutes. I just grabbed what I could when I could and, at the all-out shout, I just hoped I had done enough to at least frame in the top six."
Match organiser Steve Dawson probably caught more fish than any other angler, but apart from the odd bigger skimmer, his average-sized fish was much smaller than the winners.
Dawson poled a variety of wriggly baits over a light groundbaiting at four pole sections off Road Bank and weighed in 7-12-0 of mostly skimmers, roach and perch.
Result: 1, Andy Gard (South West Disabled & Over 50's AC) 10-13-0, Road Bank 3; 2, John Andres (Unattached) 10-8-0. Road Bank 5; 3, Steve Dawson (Unattached) 7-12-0; 4, Bob "The Bread" Price (Avon Angling) 6-2-0.