I'll be your Substitute, whenever ..............


space cadet
Staff member
Site Supporter
Apr 23, 2008
Saw a post on a facebook local angling group I frequent

one of the lads was short an angler for a league match this weekend and the venue was one I particularly favour, So in the spirit of participation, my services were volunteered

didnt need to dowt prep wise as the tackle is already predominately set up for the venue, it being my local clubs water and the Black Dog and myself can be frequently found enjoying each others company somewhere along its length

rolled a few fags saturday evening and done a flask and a bottle of lemon barley water early doors sunday, loaded the trusty T4, give the pup his brekkie and a short walk, bit of earholing afterwards, then called up the stairs and bade my farewells

out to the van, and horror of horrors, it wouldnt start, tried it multiple times, engine turned over, fired for five seconds then died !

back in and on the dog to the emergency services, told by the very nice young lady, the patrolman had an ETA of between 30 and 45 mins,

on the phone to the team captain explaining was gonna be late for the draw and why and could they draw for me, if the van was dead Id get a taxi

30 mins later, mechaniccy person shows up, 5 mins after that he states, it aint the van its your Key, had I a spare, bit of frenetic searching and it was found in a pot on the dresser, quick try and he was right, motor started and ran no probs, weird ?, been using that broke key for over 5 years with no trouble before ???

rush to the bait shop, coupla pints gentles and a generous half pint pinkie and ringing the captain to find out what peg was my home for 5 hours

peg C2, says he, mad panicking drive and Im there, crawling along the bank offering apologies for my tardiness to those who had thier kit already spread across the access road, to find I aint far short of the middle of the entire gig, theres about 50 to 60 anglers fishing to day and some proper local names amongst em, never mind thinks me, your only fishing for section , points and prizes !

wasnt a bad looking peg, though it was on the bare section of the bank, no trees or bushes either side, so no shade once the sun rises behind you for the last 3 hours of the match, shadows on the water can mean a far better catching period as the silvers often gravitate there later on

set up 5 kits,

2 top 4's with NG finesse glass stemmed floats at 0.8g, 0.12 mains to 0.10 bottoms both with size 18 drennan silverfish maggot hooks, one rig for hard on the bottom with an olivete and single dropper and the other shirt buttoned with stoz for a through the water attack, both kits were loaded with white NG hollo laccy foor a more positive strike-lift as the venues between 9 and 12 ft deep down the track

2 top 4's with NG chianti copies, carbon stemmed with cane tips, same rig lines, but with size 20 drennan siverfish hooks, one set to fish 3/4 depth and the other at 1/2 depth, both shotted shirt button, both with NG dark blue hollo laccie, these were for anything that swims across the entire canal, with the benefit of with replumbing being used for the edge of the lillys line

the last was another dark blue hollo kit with NG XT gandhi 0.2 mated to a size 18 silverfish maggot hook for up in the water to hand fishing on a top 5

strange thing was, I had plenty a time to set up and was ready before the off,

the whistle goes and pot out a mix of hemp, crumb and biscuit based groundbait with a few dead reds on the 10 oclock line at 9 sections, 4 decent jaffas or big preston cups, this was going to be my bream line, I doubted they would turn up, but it was worth a go

then out with the on the bottom olivette rig, baited up with double red at 7 sections, and waited, and waited, and waited, lift and drop, wait a bit more, gave it a good half hour for no result, nad, nobbut

then tried the through the water rig set to settle at six inches off the bottom, sprayed a few loose fed maggot with the catty over it and rarely left it immobile, only around 20 seconds before I lifted it out and laid it in again, still nothing, not a tremble or indication, carried on across the clock face on 5 section, 6, sections, and 7 sections, it was like a watery desert, still hadnt even had a bite, wasted a good 90 mins and was still blanking

2 hours in and Im starting to get a tad worried, try the shallower lines mick, give em a go, another hour passes, still blanking, getting proper worried now

went out over the GB line, nothing there either, What to do ????

pull the half depth rig right into the edge of the weeds, single flouro pinkie, no feed, theres a slight dip, oooow, missed it, drop it in again near as same place, another tiny dip, lift and thought Id missed that, I hadnt, what was on the end woulda made a guppy in a fish tank look like jaws, I cracked up giggling, hoping that the scales would weigh in drammes, but wasnt even sure this mighty beast would even register on a chemists scales, in the net with you !

the rest of the gig was a mighty struggle, the canal was like glass, things were pretty dire, and a fair few were walking along the bank, I keot on, and the best way of even getting tiny fish was watching the water for anything to rise and flicking the UITW rig at it with a pinkie on, caught 8 fish in the end for a total of 4.5oz

and I was far from last with that (section and full match)

onwards to weds evening, back over to Sandwich, got shedloads maggots pinkies cawn and GB left, will be a cheap night !

( I shoulda taken the broken motor early doors as an Omen, sometimes the gods speak in mysterious ways)
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Regular member
Site Supporter
May 27, 2010
Some days are like that Mick. If you didn't have any bad luck.............good tale though. (y)


Regular member
Site Supporter
Feb 25, 2016
Good write up Mick....(y)......Despite the 'omens', you'll never know if you're at home sitting in the man den....;).....Onwards and upwards, and look forward to the next 'Sandwich' instalment. Be lucky.:giggle:


'Any indications?
Aug 2, 2012
Nothing worse than having to rush about, that said it was tough fishing too by the sounds of it.