Top Scorer On The K&A

Drennan Team England’s Simon Willsmore was crowned the top individual points scorer on the Sensas Kennet & Avon Spring League. 

simon-willsmore-skimmerThis popular event saw 92 anglers (23 teams of four) lining the banks of the Kennet & Avon Canal over four rounds. The team event was won by Devizes PI Thatchers, with Homestores 2nd and Drennan Bordon 3rd, which was the team that Simon was guesting for.

The fishing was tough in areas but Simon’s experience and consistency on catching small fish and winkling out bites shone through.

He ended up with 81 points out of 92. Here’s how he fared on each round:

Round 1:
Location: Semmington | Weight: 1lb 8oz | Result: 7th

A really terrible day weatherwise with wind in our faces and the fishing suffered as a result. I managed just 1lb 8oz, which included a vital bonus 8oz perch and that was good enough for 7th in the 23-peg section. I caught almost everything on squatts in the shallow water on a top four and tight to the far bank.

Round 2:
Location: Kings Arms, Whaddon & Pound Lane | Weight: 3lb 14oz | Result: 1st

After a quick run of fish in the deeper water I caught most of my fish on bread punch over liquidised bread, fishing two spots towards the far bank and rotating between them to keep bites coming. I just got my head down and tried to catch all day and was pleasantly surprised to discover my 3lb 14oz of small roach was enough to win the section.

Round 3:
Location: Farmers & Trout Reach | Weight: 4lb | Result: 2nd

I kicked off with a big fish approach, feeding chopped worm over Spotted Fin Super Sweet and had a good skimmer really early. I topped up with more groundbait and worms with the intention of resting the swim but spotted a boat coming, so decided to have a quick look immediately over the top. To my surprise I hooked a good fish instantly. I assumed it was another skimmer before the fish went for a run and forced me to stand up and let the boat go under my pole while I played it on No6 elastic and a size 18 B560 hook. It turned out to be a very welcome 1lb perch! After that I added 2lb of smaller fish on squatts at 11 metres to end up with 4lb exactly and a 2nd in section.

Round 4:
Location: Great Bedwyn | Weight: 4lb 15oz | Result: 5th

The canal was really clear so I fished bread punch at five joints of my Acolyte pole and had a great start with a 10oz skimmer first drop, then dumpy roach for the next hour and three quarters. Just as I was thinking a big weight was on the cards a pike really upset the peg. Things slowed right up but I managed a late run of fish on squatts in the shallow water right across. That gave me a 5th in section with the next four weights catching better skimmers.

It was a really interesting and well run league and reminded me of proper ‘old school’ canal tactics. The venue wasn’t completely dominated by big fish so you could come back with good section points if you worked hard at putting fish of any size in the net. It was nice to feel you could compete and potentially win a section with baits like bread and squatts. One thing I also noticed was that it was better to fish several inches off the bottom with squatts. You also had to keep loose feeding small amounts regularly and persevere, right up to the final whistle.