During that period all I'd managed to put in the net was one bream of around two pounds. Then a shoal moved in and I managed to get another seven, giving me a 26.14.0 total and fourth place in the match. By the end of the competition I was wanting another couple of hours as there were a lot of fish in front of me judging by the amount of line bites I was getting.

My set up for the match was straightforward. I set up two twelve-foot feeder rods with braid on each of my reels. These were clipped up to fish at around forty-five metres out. I also set up a telescopic carp rod with a big cage feeder also set to cast to the same distance. This rod is what I use for a rapid-fire feeding rod. At the start of a competition I often cast several big feederfuls out to lay down a carpet of feed.

Mixes are very personal but recently I've been trying a new mix that has been developed by big weight specialist Steve Gregory. I'm pleased to report that I've caught fish each time I've used it so I'm gaining a lot of confidence in it.

Most of the time during the summer months at Earlswood I adopt a chopped worm and caster approach with worm or two red maggots on the hook. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks with more matches coming up at Earlswood and the new river season only a couple of weeks away.

The river looks really good right now and it will be good to do battle with some barbel again…