Well it has been a few weeks since the BLAC Q1 2015 Gloucester Canal round has been and I have had ample time to think about the days events and how I performed.
For those that are not familiar with the term BLAC it stands for British Lure Angling Championship. This is a lure fishing tournament in its second year put together and hosted by Julian Chidgey of Fox Rage fishing with qualifiers from each event making it to the final where they get the opportunity to be crowned the British Lure Angling Champion. In my opinion it is the best lure fishing competition in the UK as is covers waters up and down the country giving access to waters such as Chew Valley that the average angler may not otherwise get access too. Not only is is great for the diversity of waters but it is great to meet new anglers and learn new fishing tips and techniques along the way, like I always say fishing is a life long learning lesson.
Back to BLAC Q1 2015 Gloucester Canal Report which has taken me a while to get to thanks to a busy work schedule. This qualifier was always going to be either a great event or a tough one unfortunately for most anglers it turned out to be the latter with the majority of anglers blanking on the day. Having said that there was a super pike caught by Matt Barnsley measuring in at 101cms which was the envy of any anglers in the vicinity including myself.
The day started as usual for me waking up at ‘stupid o’clock’ to get on the road for a 2hr journey to the Gloucester canal where Julian ran through the tournament and venue specific laws as well as health and safety before making the drawn for our partners. Having never fished this water before it was always going to be a challenge for me even though I had spent the previous three fishing occasions on my local canal getting as used to canal fishing as I could for this event. Which I thought was going to pay off early on as I landed what was the first fish of the BLAC Q1 2015 Gloucester Canal and the entire British Lure Angling Championship 2015. A small 31cm Zander on a dead slow jigged 8cm Battleshad in rainbow pattern. The reason I was fishing as slow as I could was because the water temperature was right down and on my practise days on my local canal all the fish I had caught were on slow moving baits including dropshot.
For a while I was the only man on the board but then a couple anglers started to catch fish, first a small Zander then the big Pike and then a few Zander and then some more Pike. I must add that all the fish caught were in the main area near the start and all within a 150 yard fishing stretch, needless to say my partner and I did not move much during the morning. By lunch time I really needed to land a couple fish and switched my gear right down opting for a dropshot rig and micro jigging 1inch shads. As soon as I switched down I started getting bites but could not connect I put this down to using hooks that were too large. Anyone that knows me and knows my angling style knows I prefer using bigger hooks for dropshoting and jigging than the regular angler because it just works for me. Well normally it works on this occasion it would have paid for me to have opted for the smaller hooks as I kept missing the bites. Had I landed all my bites I could have had at least 5 fish banked which would have been 2 more than the 1st place qualifier. If only….
I ended up not qualifying for the final which is disappointing for me but the day was great catching up with the familiar faces and making new friends as well as taking the honour of landing the first fish of BLAC 2015 and not putting in a blank.