Something attracted me to this day arranged by TA, I don't know what, Maybe Im just as crazy as the guys I met.

Well it all starts with a long drive from London up through Birmingham and down the M5 to Leominster, I got up late and left about 40 minutes behind time, I had arranged to meet Bagging up Art and Bad boy Bagger outside the tackle shop at 8am it was imperitive I got there close to that, having never met anyone from TA the thought of walking around the complex asking people if they were bagging up or bad boy didnt appeal to me

I make good time and arrive at 8.10 am I get out the van and walk down to the tackle shop.

Now I got to find two people I have never seen before, I see two guys loitering around by the tackle shop I walk up and ask are you Art
and I get a reply in a strong west country accent, "you must be Justin"

Its quite a unique situation when you think about it, very few know each others real nams on TA its like having a new life, we discuss where we are going to fish and go off in seperate directions, I need a breakfast they need some bath towels strange habits these Bath guys have, what ever happened to a good old fry up to get the day going.

After brekkie I drive down to the lake where we arranged to meet, Art and bad boy are already there and best part set up Im not sure what they done with the bath towels but they look ok.

I drop into the swim next to Art, I set up quite quick throw a few rigs on a few cups of bait go out and its one a chuck all day, I think we must have fished the training pool or something, no matter what bait what line what depth It resulted in a bite and a fish. "good times"

I don't know what weight we had they were mainly small fish, but we had a lot. I decide enough is enugh and arrange to meet back at the pub later and go off in search of my B&B

Leominster isnt far 5 minutes doiwn the road and I find my digs, Its a really nice place called Copper Hall, I felt my van looked out of place in the car park but hey its only one night.

I met the owner she ran me through the set up "I was in the coach house" this was a seperate building accross the courtyard consisting of two bedrooms a lounge and a bathroom. I arranged to go to the main house after I had a shower for some afternoon tea "How posh"

Disaster strikes

I grab the keys, my bathroom kit and hit the shower, all thats on my mind is meeting up with the lads back at the pub and the other people that are coming down, I go back to my room, I look for the room key.

Do you ever get that feeling your in deep doo doo, all the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you think to yourself
what the ..........
well of all things I had picked up the van keys instead of the room keys.

Iam now stuck with no clothes no keys no phone im in the coach house across the courtyard and cant get into my room, as I got undressed in the room all I have is a tiny towel and a very small ill fitting bath robe that I cant even get my arms into, "I found this in the bathroom,

Oh well, I set off to the main house as I ring the door bell the door opens, she must have seen me half naked walking across the courtyard, WRONG some old guy and his wife walked out the door, you know the type ex wing commander, I didnt really know what to say so out came the words " good evening" they looked me up and down with disgust and walked off shaking their heads more to the point they shut the damm door.

It wasn't going to be my evening I rang again and wondered what else could go wrong, the owner finally arrived laughing histerically and let me back into my room, I get dressed go and have a cup of tea then book a cab.

I called the local cab firm, I sensed the woman was a tad crazy when she said she couldnt pick me up for 10 minutes as she had to pack away the lawn mower ? Im starting to wonder im being set up.

The cab arrives she is quite pleasent and she gets me the 5 miles back to Docklow "How much I ask" She replies "20 quid" looks like im about to get my backside slapped, I question the cost, its because its bank holiday, I don't want to argue I just need a beer and I pay up.

The Pub

I walk in Art and Bad boy have ordered food I get a beer and order some myself.

After a while Larry and his party turn up Sumo, Sue and Larry's partner (sorry the name has gone) we drink into the night lots of jokes some great laughs were had its was brilliant, it was as if we had known each other for years.

At the end of the night Larry dropped me back to my B&B and I crashed out looking forward to the match the next morning.

The Match

The next morning we meet up in the car park its strange how we all seemed to gel form the off, a great bunch of guys, Breakfast was going to be interesting as during breakfast the day before I talked to the owner and we arranged to have brekkie at one huge table in the hall,

This was ace, it was like a medievil gathering for bacon and tea, the jokes were flying about it was a great ice breaker to start the day off.

after brekkie we drive down to the lake do the draw and carry out the TA rituals of mickey taking etc etc and then go off to our pegs, lots of people wearing pink by the way.

I have drawn next to Floater (Polekiller) and Opposite Tony (Rive t) I dont remember all the other guys around me it was all too much to take in, I look across the lake to see if Rive is looking and light up a ciggie, I watch carefully to see if he gets his laccy out of a cool bag,

I have a good look at the peg not having a clue about this pool I set up a chop and caster rig for 14 metres a heavy rig for down the edge and a light style rig in case t fishes the same as yesterday,

Off we go

Two pots of chop and caster go in long
1 pot of corn down the inside line tight to the reeds and I flick a few casters on my to hand line, I drop out the to hand rig and instantly start catching a few small roach followed by a pastie and a few more roach, fish are steady but slow so I switch to the long pole, first cast im greated with a skimmer, it goes a little quiet I put out another pot and go back to the style rig and it is dead , I nick two or three more fish and that line is over. I try the corn line and nothing.
looks like its a long pole day, I go back over my chop the float sails away, I hit it slide the pole back to the top 3 and heave the fish to the top and into the landing net a 10 pounder in the net in about a minute, I dont think the fish realised what had happened as it went crazy in the landing net.

By this time Rive was doing his best to reduce the lilly pads opposite me with some new age trimming tools a bomb rod some monofil and a carp, I laughed quite a bit at this as it was a no win situation it was too far for the pole and as soon as you had a bite on the bomb the carp was already wrapped up in pads I did notice at one point frustration had set in and I almost offered him a fag, what Im sure made it worse is Polekiller had just Lasood one on a floating pole next to me and dead opposite Rive, he went on to get onather as well.
Our very own Mr Nudd was in the corner and it seemed like he was getting a fish a chuck, he ended up with a good weight, I went on to add a few bits to my weight and missed a couple of cracking bites on the chop line undoutably big fish as I was on big baits.I weighed in 15 pound odd I beat either side and thats all I could hope for on such a dismal day in fact I ended up with my section.

Back to the pub for a cold drink results and a long drive home.

It was a great day the fishing was poor but the company was second to none, all the way home I chuckled to myself about Rives infectious laugh, Larry with his facial hair making him look like a young john Wilson and le mo losing every fish in the lake, twice and of course the Bath brothers forgetting there towels and how bad boy seemed so proud to wear his bright pink hat for the whole duration of the match, Im sure Art done the same, There was a rumour they didnt have to buy them as they were taken from their line dancing outfit

It was great meeting all of you sorry I dont remember all the names, I wished I had took some pics. and I can't wait to do it again

JC