Wanting to get a bit of practise in on the Thames before the forthcoming three-day festival, I got myself up early and took myself to the Thames at Abingdon for the 5th round of the Oxford Summer League. The Thames has been on top form recently with plenty of roach, skimmers and bream showing through most of the sections. With it being overcast and with a bit of rain during the week I had high expectations.
Arriving slightly late (because of the ever-faithful sat nav!) I was informed I had been drawn an end peg at Culham, which was great news as I had never seen this section before. Arriving at my peg, there was plenty of tree cover. Unfortunately it made no difference to the howling gale that was blowing down the river!
I kept things simple and set up two lines. One was at eight pole sections under a tree where I would feed chopped worm and caster for perch. The other was at 13 metres where I would hopefully be attacking some of the Thames roach and skimmers.
I fed more positively than what I had planned because I was on an end peg, so 10 balls of a heavy, roach mix went into the swim with caster and chop worm in, with no live bait at all to minimise small fish problems.
I set up two perch rigs; 1g and 2g bodied floats on 0.18mm line to a 0.16mm hooklength and size 13 Kamasan B711 hook. I only caught three perch from this line during the day for roughly 2lb, as my main line at 13 metres was producing well. When I topped up at 13 metres I occasionally had a quick look on the worm swim, not wasting to much time.
On my 13m swim I set up four rigs; a strung-out 4×14 rig for if it was hard or if the roach came up in the water, plus a 1.5g, 2g and 3g float, all on top fours. I used heavier floats than normal for the depth simply to get through the Thames’ resident bleak and dace that can be a nuisance.
My rigs were all made up of a simple bulk and three droppers on 0.14mm line to a 0.08mm Drennan Double Strength hooklength and a size 18 Kamasan B511 hook. My best bait was single caster or a worm tail.
I ended up with roughly 10 skimmers up to a 1lb and the rest of my weight was made up of roach to 5oz for a total of 17lb 12oz and a nice match win!
1st A Clements (Drennan Bordon) 17-12-0
2nd J Beesley (Drennan Banbury Gunsmiths Red) 16-2-0
3rd Mark Lindsay (KC Angling) 12-15-0
4th Gary Barclay (Drennan Banbury Gunsmiths Red) 12-14-0