Winter league Match. Canal at Boat and Anchor 22/02/2020

Once all participating anglers where in the car park next to the Boat and Anchor and all the gossip and nattering was out the way. The time came to collect the peg fees, this call to action brought forth the wad of Dodd. Enough to pay of the national debt. Note from the photo he is struggling with the weight. Now in contrast my wallet has all the characteristics of a helium filled balloon.

The wad of Dodd

The pegging was such that pegs only 5 to 11 were used. Peg 5 was next to the bottle neck just before wide waters and 6 to 11 was going back towards the Boat and Anchor. It was decided not to fish in the Wide Water section itself owing to the fact that a very strong wind would be blowing in your face and making it the equivalent to fishing of of the rocks on Cape Horn in a force 10 gale.

On the way to our pegs we caught sight of this young fellow who was spinning in the reen next to the canal. This persistent gentleman fished all day up and down the length of this little water course. On the way back we found out he had caught two jack pike. I take my hat to you sir for your enduring endeavour.

Paul Smith before the start of the match mixing his magic winning formula. “Double double toil and trouble eye of newt, toe of frog, wing of bat and tongue of dog eh eh eh eh”

Apparently before the start of the match Rob had a phone call from his stock broker who convinced him that he should buy shares in Betamax, Woolworths, and Maxwell Communications. Oh dear!

It hard to sum up this match except by using a bit of Charles Dickens. Yes you read that right Charles Dickens. A tale of Two cities in fact. The first paragraph.

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.

First on the day with a phenomenal performance was and I mean that most sincerely folks (who remembers Hughie Green) was the one and only Paul Smith. When the going gets tough he certainly gets going. Paul weighed in a grand total of 16lb 10 oz This great catch consisted of 6 Tench. Paul fished 3 lines, short, middle and far side. But to cut a long story short. The only bites he had came at the far side on worm.

2nd placed Dave Nash just had 3 fish a nice tench a bream and a small roach. The bream was caught in the first hour about a third of away across on the pole. The tench and small roach where caught on the tip. The bait was maggot and pinkie. Total weight for Dave was 5lb 14oz

3rd was a certain Rob Dodd who only had and I say only had in the context of things 2 tench which he caught on the far side with pinkie and maggot. Bites for Mr Dodd were at a premium. He put on the scales 4lb 10oz.

4th ah yes 4th place was me with a astounding 2oz yes 2oz , but who cares at least I weighed in. I had 2 small roach, first was caught with an hour to go and the other 15 minutes later. Enough said.

Phil Dodd did not weigh in but said had 4 small roach and a small bream all on the tip Mate you should have waited for the scales.

Alan Bland braved it to the end but did not have a bite.

Eric Searle got the Abington Town trophy for packing up at 1 o clock and going home to watch the racing.

The water in my peg. The colour #8d867f

Now who remembers science at school and in particular litmus paper. Yes get some litmus paper dunk it in to some liquid and according to what colour it turned you could tell if it was acid, neutral or alkaline. Now to jog your memories red was acid, blue was neutral and green was alkaline. There don’t tell me that I don’t teach you angling brethren anything. But what that to do with our beloved sport of fishing I hear you all wail. Well I am going to give you the digital equivalent and relate it to fishing the canal. Fish the canal and you hear the colour is wrong, or the colour is right for bread or the colour is is right for worm and caster etc etc. Now I going to give you lot a code. This code is #8d867f ( I got you all on the edge of you seat with this one) Well this is what is known as a web colour code. A web page or a photo displayed on a computer consists of pixels each pixel has a web colour code. Now pure white is #FFFFFF and pure black #000000. Now there are 16,777,216 different web colours with each having it’s own unique code. Basically I took this photo of my peg on the canal and found the average colour code of the water in my peg to be this #8d867f so what I am saying is this is if the colour of the water in the canal is #8d867f don’t bother.

Position Name Weight Peg
1st Paul Smith 16lb 10oz 7
2nd Dave Nash 5lb 14oz 5
3rd Rob Dodd 4lb 10oz 9
4th Pete Curnow 2 oz 6

Phil Dodd DNW 11

Alan Bland DNW 8

Eric Searle DNW 10

It was nice once again to see our dear old friend Alan Jenkins, as you all know poor old Alan suffers from poor health and to top it all he has now developed a eye condition. But Alan being Alan still keeps his spirits up. Good old Alan.

Here we can see the wise old sage giving the eventual winner Paul Smith some professional advice such as keep you hat straight and trim your beard.

The next match is on March the 7th at the Sedges Tile Lake.

Tight lines to one and all.

Watchet Angling Winter League match no 7 08-02-2020

When the draw is at 9 am and you decide to raise from your nice warm bed at 7: 30 you can see that an atmosphere of lets get it over and done with has crept in to one’s thinking. Now when I travel to Summerhayes I go by the way of Marsh lane then under the arch of the railway bridge then up the track which runs parallel to the river Parrett. Well as I went up this track as far as the entrance to the fishery and turned right so as the scene of the fine view of Summerhayes emerged, something odd struck me. Um I thought something strange something amiss something very odd indeed. As I drove up to the car park I was completely surrounded by total absence, an absence of parked cars and people Total desolation greeted me. Now thoughts started to enter my head I’ve got the wrong venue or the wrong Saturday. Now if some one had taken a photo of me as I got out of my car to investigate and turned it in to a cartoon image. There would be a think bubble protruding from my head, and in that bubble would be an image. An image of my nice warm bed. Well my excuse for going back to bed was short lived because within 2 minutes Alan Bland arrived then followed by a few others. Well all in all it was a good turn out 11 anglers in total.

Pete loves his dump truck.

Now before the start of match on Sellicks the thankless task of deciding which pegs to put in and obviously which ones to leave out was in progress. It was then agreed that Alan Jenkins who poor chap suffers badly from his knees should have a peg with a short walk so pegs 1 and 23 where put in. Well as soon as it was agreed that 23 should be used. Enter Pete the owner in to the hut where the draw was being sorted. “I pity any one who has 23” “why” came the reply. Pete then duly explained that he with dump truck and chain saw will be making a bit of a racket in the immediate vicinity. He babbled on about chopping up a tree for logs or something. Well 23 then was pulled. Thanks for the warning. But Mr Jenkins did achieve a short walk by having peg 6.

Now how do I describe this match not just the results and who caught what but in the atmosphere the essence of this contest. What was the feeling like to participate in this winter league tie.

Well folks I want you to imagine a scene from a typical western where the stereotype stranger rides in to town. He is on horse back riding down the main street. As he passes the towns hotel there is always a few cowboys sat out side on the hotel veranda on rocking chairs feet up on the rail. These guys always have the appearance of waiting for something to happen. So the 8th of February 2020 you had 11 angler from Watchet Angling club sat around Sellicks lake with the exact same persona of cowboys described above. Changing baits, trying different depths and altering distances fished did not make much different. It was fish 7 to 10 meters out with maggot or pinkie on the bottom and wait for something to happen.

Just waiting for some thing to happen.

Well the results form this wild west type match if you prefer to call it that. Is as follows

Once again Paul Smith is in the money once again.

Top bagger was Paul Smith with a mix bag of silvers for 6lb 6oz Paul used maggot and pinkie and generally fished 9 and 10 meters out.

A smile from 2nd place Dave Gartenfeld.

2nd top weight was mister in form Dave Gartenfeld. Dave Struggled in the first half of the match but caught on and of through out the 2nd part. Dave had a few nice size skimmers the bait was maggot. His weight was 5lb 4oz

This was Alan Bland’s mixed bag.

Just pipped by 1 oz to get 3rd was match secretary Alan Bland with 5lb 3oz. He had in his own words 1 x crucian carp which was between ¾lb to a pound, 1 x small tench 4 x roach and 2 x skimmers.

4th was Eric Searle he put 4lb 5oz on the scales. Eric had a nice size crucian which topped nearly 2lb which he caught in the last half hour. He caught 4 fish in the first hour and then then nothing until the last ½ hour.

5th was slivers expert Dave Nash with a small mix bag for 3lb 10oz.

6th was Rob Dodd (this must be his worst result of the season) with 3lb 7oz Rob fished mostly 7 meters out on maggot. He did have a bonus fish a crucian of 1/2lb.

7th was yours truly (elated that I am not last. Yippee) I weighed in a massive 2lb 4oz. I had 2 nice skimmers and a few roach. I just got the fish feeding at 4 meters which is were I got my biggest skimmer and then the whistle went. Typical. Like all the anglers, come the last part of the match it was more or less impossible to fish the pole at any distance owing to the strong wind.

8th placed was angling veteran who is 82 years young Tony Richards, Tony amassed a weight of 1lb 12oz of small roach.

9th position was Dave Colley, Dave caught 1lb 4oz of bits, but he probably had his mind on starting his new job and moving house.

Mr Phil Dodd and Mr Alan Jenkins did not weigh in. One has to feel sorry for poor old Alan because he was in a lot of pain owing to the fact that he is waiting for a knee replacement and the poor fellow could hardly walk. All the best Al. Now rumour has it that Phil had a decent size carp which would of put in frame, but alas they didn’t count in this match.

Position Name weight Peg no
1st Paul Smith 6lb 6oz 17
2nd Dave Gartenfeld 5lb 4oz 19
3rd Alan Bland 5lb 3oz 15
4th Eric Searle 4lb 5oz 9
5th Dave Nash 3lb 10oz 11
6th Rob Dodd 3lb 7oz 5
7th Pete Curnow 2lb 4oz 21
8th Tony Richards 1lb 12oz 14
9th Dave Colley 1lb 4oz 13

Phil Dodd DNW 3

Alan Jenkins DNW 6

The next match will be at wide waters on the B and T Canal on the 22nd of Feb.

Until then have fun.

The Inland Water ways Association.

Earth Rise

Apollo 8 not as famous as Apollo 11 with Messrs Armstrong. Aldrin and Collins, but never or less Apollo 8 should certainly hang on to the coat tails of Apollo 11 in importance for Apollo 8 was the first mission to the moon the 3 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders orbited the moon 10 times and returned to earth. They were the first humans ever to escape the clutches of earth’s gravity and to orbit another world. But there was a legacy that was created from that mission. On December 24 1968 at 1600 hrs GMT Bill Anders took a photo during the 1st orbit which can only be described as one of the most iconic photos ever taken. This photo has been given the name Earth rise. This photograph tells us a great deal about us. To actually get to that point in space and to be able to take that photo sums up one thing. If mankind puts his mind to it he can achieve great things. Project Apollo was the accomplishment of some of the worlds greatest minds, Scientists, engineers, technicians, mathematicians and administrators, over 400,000 in fact. But also the photo showed earth hanging in the dark void of space fragile and somewhat innocent. Earth is what we call home. Everyone who has ever lived, lived there, every dream that has ever been dream’t has been dream’t there on the bluish whitish object. This is home.

No comment.

There is however only one earth and Mans presence has been a burden a some what nuisance, mankind has indeed fouled his nest. It is scarred and stained by rubbish and pollution. There is no Star Fleet with the likes of captain Kirk or Jean Luc Picard to take us to another planet. Earth is the only home and we have to make do with what we have got. It is up to us to treat our planet with the respect it deserves, it is up to us to do our bit, We only borrow the planet for our life time then pass it on to the next generation. Surely it is up to us in the here and now to make sure that when we hand over the property it is in a fit and habitable state.

Mike Slade the founder member.

Well there is hope, a start, that little acorn that could some day turn in to a oak tree a light at the end of the tunnel. That sub set within society, the lets not sit on our backsides let get out and do our bit brigade. I am talking about the volunteer. The person who seems fit to contribute to make a difference, no matter how small. One such group is the Bridgwater contingent of the IWA the Inland Waterways Association. This motley band of people turn up at 10 am every Tuesday and Saturday at Bridgwater docks. The head of the group, the operations manager if you like is the one and only Mike Slade. This chirpy happy go lucky chap was the one responsible for starting of the group simply advertising for volunteers and in his own words “by Putting up posters on lamp posts” Mike an ex long distance lorry driver, Taxis business owner and Environment Agency worker started the group 5 years ago. This guy is a person with many fingers in many pies. He sits on the local transport forum, The town development forum and liaises with the canal and rivers trust, Sedgemoor district council and Somerset county council. PHEW

Others members of this clean up clan are.

In the fore ground is Glyn Downs an ex chip shop owner, In the middle with the blue woolie hat is Elizabeth Mckennon who has lived in Scotland for over 40 years but now lives the other side of Langport, The guy on the left is Mike Aldridge, although retired his does a small job inspecting foot paths for the council.

Note the flat raft that Mike and Elizabeth are on, This is known within the group as the paint flat. This raft was acquired from Portsmouth harbour where sailors from the Royal navy used it to paint the hull of their ships.

This is Julian Gibson one of the stalwarts of the gang . Julian is a gardener handyman and also drives gritting lorries when needed. Julian also provides some of his own tools for the group to use and also provides his van as well.

These two intrepid Eco warriors are Jonathan Henry (Left) and Mike Wheatly. Jonathan to give him credit cycles all the way from Highbridge to make a contribution. Good effort mate. Now if you want to know anything about show jumping Mike on the right is your man. Mike was a show jumper for many years but now is an active bell ringer at St Mary’s Church in the town.
This husband and wife team are Mark and Julie Howden. Both have been active members of the group for two years,
This hands on guy is Paul Labuschagne. He really is a roll up your sleeves and get on with it type of person.

On the left is Pete Radford, I not giving away this guys age but he helped to service the first colour TVs in the 1960’s. On the right is Greg James who we wouldn’t see for a few weeks because he be going on holiday to Spain. Lucky so an so..

This is Pete Lowe. He travels all the way from Drayton which is near Langport every time on his motorbike to contribute. Pete is also a volunteer at the Westonzoyland Steam Museum.
This smiler is none other than Liz Gruffydd Jones, Liz travels from Brent Knowle every time. Where she lives on a small holding.

Well what exactly does the group get up to, Well we do a variety of jobs. We do our best looking after the docks. The main stay is picking up the litter and rubbish. This is done either by volunteers walking around the docks or sailing around on our own raft the paint flat. Weeding and painting are other tasks we perform Other areas also covered are the canal, we have worked all the way up from the docks to the bridge on squibblers way. We also keep an eye on two local ponds. Brownes pit of of Elmword Avenue and Taunton road pond between Taunton road and the canal. We also do litter picking on the river Parrett between Black bridge and Saltlands bridge.

We are not the only ones.

You anglers may well ask what is the purpose of this post on a angling blog. Well I am a member and I think its’ appropriate.